Tag Archives: Elon Musk

Why is NASA Covering Up Elon Musk’s Mistakes? by Drew Armstrong

Would it be to much to suggest that some of the government’s subsidies for Elon Musk’s companies somehow end up in his pocket, which he then uses to purchase more influence with the government? From Drew Armstrong at mises.org:

On June 28th, 2015, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a Dragon resupply ship not into space, but rather into the Atlantic Ocean. It was a catastrophic failure that cost taxpayers $112 million.The payload that was meant to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) went up in a huge plume of smoke and flames. However, even though SpaceX did not complete their mission, they still received all but 20 percent of the full payment. Standard NASA protocol is to release a report on every launch accident, but to this day — two years later — there is still no formal statement as to what went wrong on the SpaceX accident.

Per NASA, there won’t be one released anytime soon. The Agency recently announced that it will in fact not publicly release a report on their investigation into the disastrous explosion of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. They had originally committed to reporting their results by the summer of 2017, but have instead passed the buck to the FAA.

“Since it was an FAA licensed flight, NASA is not required to complete a formal final report or public summary, and has deferred any additional products related to the matter at this time,” the agency’s Public Affairs Office (PAO) stated. “The data is important for historical purposes, but the mishap involved a version of the Falcon 9 rocket, the version 1.1, that is now no longer in use.” Apparently, the fact that SpaceX is no longer using that version of the Falcon 9 after this $112 million “mishap” of taxpayer funds means the American taxpayers have no right to know what happened. Strangely, that storyline did not work for a competing firm’s similar failure that occurred eight months prior.

On Oct. 28th, 2014, an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket was loaded with NASA Supplies aboard a Cygnus cargo ship worth $51 million bound for the ISS. Upon lift-off, the booster exploded, and the payload was lost, severely damaging the launch pad. Just like the SpaceX flight, the Orbital rocket was an official FAA-Licensed commercial launch. Both the Antares and the Falcon 9 launches were conducted under the same NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. And just like the Falcon 9, the Antares was part of an expiring line of rockets. Yet, NASA completed and published an executive summary within one year of the Antares incident.

The smell of hypocrisy has never been so potent.

To continue reading: Why is NASA Covering Up Elon Musk’s Mistakes?

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Former GM Vice Chair Trashes Tesla: “Musk Is A Great Salesman But They’re Doomed. It’s Going To Fail” by Tyler Durden

Competition is coming to Tesla in the high-end electric car market and Bob Lutz think it dooms Tesla. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

For those who may have missed it, GM’s former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz dropped a whole lot of reality on some unsuspecting Tesla cheerleaders on CNBC this morning. A rather blunt Lutz shared his views, as have we on several occasions, that Tesla’s constant cash burn combined with a barrage of competitive models that are about to hit the market likely indicate that the company is “doomed.” As for Tesla’s gravity-defying stock price, Lutz attributed the company’s soaring market cap solely to Musk being the “greatest salesman in the world” along with his being “aided and abetted by some analysts.”

“I am a well known Tesla skeptic. Somehow it’s levitating and I think it’s Elon Musk is the greatest salesman in the world. He paints this vision of an unlimited future, aided and abetted by some analysts. It’s like Elon Musk has been beamed down from another planet to show us mortals how to run a company.”

“The fact is it’s a constant cash drain. They’re highly dependent on federal government and state incentives for money which constantly flows in. They have capital raises all the time.”

“Even the high-end cars that they build now cost more to build than they’re able to sell them for.”

“Mercedes, BWM, Volkswagen, GM, Audi and Porsche are all coming out with 300-mile [range] electric luxury sedans…I think they’re doomed.”

At that point, an incredulous CNBC host was forced to step in asking “what does doomed mean?”

“What does doomed mean? Their stock price comes in? They go out of business? They have regular competition like other companies? What do you mean by doomed?”

To continue reading: Former GM Vice Chair Trashes Tesla: “Musk Is A Great Salesman But They’re Doomed. It’s Going To Fail”

Musktopia Here We Come! by James Howard Kunstler

Historians will look back and undoubtedly see Elon Musk as a symbol of our age. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

It ought to be sign of just how delusional the nation is these days that Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X is taken seriously. Musk continues to dangle his fantasy of travel to Mars before a country that can barely get its shit together on Planet Earth, and the Tesla car represents one of the main reasons for it — namely, that we’ll do anything to preserve, maintain, and defend our addiction to incessant and pointless motoring (and nothing to devise a saner living arrangement).

Even people with Ivy League educations believe that the electric car is a “solution” to our basic economic quandary, which is to keep all the accessories and furnishings of suburbia running at all costs in the face of problems with fossil fuels, especially climate change. First, understand how the Tesla car and electric motoring are bound up in our culture of virtue signaling, the main motivational feature of political correctness. Virtue signaling is a status acquisition racket. In this case, you get social brownie points for indicating that you’re on-board with “clean energy,” you’re “green,” “an environmentalist,” “Earth –friendly.” Ordinary schmoes can drive a Prius for their brownie points. But the Tesla driver gets all that and much more: the envy of the Prius drivers!

This is all horse shit, of course, because there’s nothing green or Earth-friendly about Tesla cars, or electric cars in general. Evidently, many Americans think these cars run on batteries. No they don’t. Not really. The battery is just a storage unit for electricity that comes from power plants that burn something, or from hydroelectric installations like Hoover Dam, with its problems of declining reservoir levels and aging re-bar concrete construction. A lot of what gets burned for electric power is coal. Connect the dots. Also consider the embedded energy that it takes to just manufacture the cars. That had to come from somewhere, too.

To continue reading: Musktopia Here We Come!

Elon’s Carbon Con (Elections Have Consequences, Part Deux), by Eric Peters

When Elon Musk isn’t angling for government subsidies, he lobbies for government to cripple his competition. All in a day’s work for one of America’s premier crony socialists. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

People sometimes said Ayn Rand’s writing was . . . heavy. Obvious, too. Villains with names too good to be true (or believable). Elsworth Monkton Tooey… rhymes with … things unpleasant.

Well, how about Elon Musk.

Something definitely stinks.

The latest being the Crony Capitalist King’s suck-up to President Trump to impose carbon taxes… which would just happen to hugely benefit . . . Elon Musk. Who already milks the cow (that’s us) via a handsome-sounding rip-off called “carbon credits” – which are just a tax by another name (like Social Security “contributions”) shifted from one place to another but ultimately landing squarely in our laps.

That con works as follows:

Musk, who has considerable political pull (partially a function of his having considerable funds, but chiefly because he is a Green Celebrity) gets a state – California, for example – to pass a fatwa requiring any company selling cars within the state to sell “x” number of “zero emissions” cars each year in order to be allowed to sell any cars at all. Most car companies don’t have many “zero emissions” cars to sell.

Elon does. It is all he sells. If you want to use that word. Which is editorial abuse, or should be so regarded. Elon gives away cars – heavily subsidized – to affluent fools and tools, who like to preen “green” while hemorrhaging it. Unless you think that spending $70,000 (the least expensive Tesla available) to “save gas” makes economic sense.

To continue reading: Elon’s Carbon Con (Elections Have Consequences, Part Deux)

The “Jobs Creator” by Eric Peters

Eric Peters exposes the film-flammery that is Elon Musk. From Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

The Russians never got to the Moon – because their Moon Rocket, the N1, had trouble getting off the launch pad in one piece. It’s the same problem Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 Space X rocket has been having.

It blew up on the pad back in September – taking a lot of taxpayer dollars with it.

And before it.

Space X is a money-loser. Tesla Motors is a money loser. Both are gaping black holes that suck up resources and spit out things that don’t work or cost too much.

Usually, both

Yet the government continues to hand over money to Musk. Our money. Lots of it. Space X has burned through a reported $900 million, almost all of it insider-deal government contracts, including $400 million to develop the “next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.”

Maybe focus on achieving flight capabilities first.

Better yet, focus on keeping his hands out of our pockets.

That’s the real problem with Space X – with all of Musk’s operations: They live off the taxpayers’ dime. Could not live without the umbilical cord of taxpayer support. Which, apparently, is bottomless – regardless of Musk’s failures (plural) to deliver on his hocus pocus promises.

At least the Soviet Moon program was not a crony capitalist operation. There were surely cost over-runs and inefficiencies, but no Soviet pseudo Tony Stark/Iron Man was milking the Soviet people, as Elon Musk is doing to the American people.

He gets away with it, in part, because the media fawns over Musk as if he were Tony Stark (whose big screen creations, unlike Elon’s, at least work).

To continue reading: The “Jobs Creator”

It’s Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism, by David Williams

The sooner local, state, and the federal government turn off Elon Musk’s money spigot, the better. From David Williams at the dailysignal.com:

From Enron to Bernie Madoff, at the end of every great American financial scandal, the totality of the perpetrators’ greed seems to be matched only by the public’s incredulity at how such a thing could be allowed to happen.

And thanks to Elon Musk, there’s a good chance we may all be asking this question again soon.

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.

SolarCity, a solar installation company set to be purchased by Tesla Motors Inc., is one of the seven companies named in the initial investigation.

Already grossly subsidized, Musk’s SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars. As legitimate earnings and cash become even scarcer for SolarCity, its entanglement in the Tesla empire suggests that a drastic reckoning not only is imminent, but in fact emboldening Musk to become more outlandish and reckless.

Notably, SolarCity is run by Musk’s cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. During his chairmanship at SolarCity, Musk’s family enterprise has taken in billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies from both the federal and local governments. But the subsidies and sweetheart deals were not enough, as losses and missed projections continued to mount.

Ultimately, rather than endure the embarrassment of collapse and further damage to the public image of Musk and Tesla, the cousins conspired to have Tesla simply purchase SolarCity this year. The conditions of the deal screamed foul play.

To say nothing of what sense it might make for an automaker to purchase a solar installation company, Tesla stockholders were being forced to absorb a failing, cash-burning company and pay top dollar to do so.

While cost cutting and corporate restructuring should have been the priority for a company swimming in debt and burning through available cash, SolarCity in fact has been doubling down on the failed model of taxpayer support. The desperate thirst for handouts has manifested itself in some of the murkiest political waters imaginable.

Thanks to Musk’s cozy relationship with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, the state has granted at least $750 million of its taxpayers’ money to SolarCity, building the company a factory and charging it only $1 per year in rent.

It would be hard to imagine such an operation would not be lucrative for its shareholders. And yet somehow, SolarCity never has made a profit.

It’s not just in New York. In this year’s race for Arizona Corporation Commission, the state’s public utilities overseers, only one outside group funneled cash into the contest.

All of the $3 million donated by that group, Energy Choice for America, came from SolarCity. The beneficiaries are candidates who have signaled their willingness to be part of the “green machine” that greases the skids for lucrative government subsidies.

Burning through taxpayer dollars, buying elections, and expanding a network of crony capitalism has become so inherent to the SolarCity model that $3 million to a public commissioner’s race, brazen though it may be, is only a drop in the bucket for Musk and SolarCity.

To continue reading: It’s Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism

Elon’s Space Pinto, by Eric Peters

Like his auto and battery ventures, Elon Musk’s space venture burns through cash and slurps up government subsidies. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket recently had trouble getting off the ground – well, in one piece – and it’s an awfully long way to Mars.space-pinto-lead

There’s also an awful lot of money involved.

Taxpayer money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts. Which Musk hopes to wrangle for his Space Pinto – er, SpaceX rocket. It’s the ballistic version of his Tesla electric car.

Both seem to have issues with catching on fire.

And burning through cash.

Houston, we have a problem.
Maybe that’s why SpaceX is shopping conspiracy theories that “someone” (hinted-at rival for government payload payola United Launch Alliance) deliberately monkey-wrenched the rocket – like Gary Seven, from the original Star Trek series, Assignment Earth. Or maybe sniped at it with a rifle from the roof of a building more than a mile away, Texas School Book Depository-style.
Elon’s minions – and Elon himself – have actually suggested the latter.

According to The Washington Post, a SpaceX employee visited the ULA building shortly after the rocket blew up and asked for access to the roof. You know, to look for the sniper’s nest.

Yes, really.

From the article: “SpaceX (says it) had still images from video that appeared to show an ‘odd shadow’, then a ‘white spot’ on the roof” of the ULA facility, which has “a clear line of sight” to the launch pad where the Falcon9 rocket grenaded.pinto

Mel Gibson, your phone’s ringing…

“Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off,” Musk himself Tweeted. “May come from rocket or (cue ominous sound effects) something else.”

But not even Lee Harvey Oswald – and whomever was behind the Grassy Knoll – could make that shot.

Besides which, why would they?

Musk – like the Warren Commission – appears to want a diversion. A politically acceptable explanation for the debacle.

Back in ’63, the Commission’s job was to sweep the serial incompetence of various government agencies, especially the FBI and Secret Service, under the rug and focus all the blame for the president’s murder on the “lone nut” who came out of nowhere. In the case of SpaceX – which is investigating itself – the object seems to be to not look into potential problems with the engineering of the Falcon9 rocket, procedures or personnel involved with the botched launch.

The Oswald Solution is apparently preferable.

Particularly odd is this business of self-investigation, an oddity given that while SpaceX is nominally a “private” company, it is subsidized by taxpayer dollars and effectively operates as a kind of quasi-NASA. Where is the oversight? Haven’t taxpayers got a right to know how their cash is being burned up?

To continue reading: Elon’s Space Pinto