Chu Chu Ch'Boogie

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Like most Americans on the West Coast I began buying Japanese cars after a host of mishaps with American brands — chronic alternator failures on a Chevy S-10 pickup; a Chevy Malibu whose brakes lasted about 10,000 miles, and whose air conditioner went out every six months; a Dodge Dakota whose electrical system failed three times, twice on mountain roads — once in a rain storm, the other at night … and so on. Like millions of others, I reluctantly started buying either Hondas or Toyotas. But suddenly in this new pod world, I am noticing cars are now becoming political statements — and buying them a political act. Toyota has been demonized over what empirically seems to be an isolated accelerator problem. The subtext, however, is that the now number one automaker threatens U.S. union jobs and the now federal GM brand. Indeed, buying a GM product is becoming patriotic, at least more so than Ford, which did not participate in the federal bailout. Indeed, the evil GM Corporation of Michael Moore’s fantasies within a year has transmogrified into something akin to Social Security or Medicare. What will Palo Altoans or Carmelites do with those Priuses? A year ago, they were signatures of environmental caring, replete with Obama bumper stickers and fading  “No blood for oil” slogans. Now, however, are not they anti-American, anti-union, anti-Obama administration, anti-consumer, pro-corporate greed fetishes?


— Victor Davis Hanson, “We Are All [Pod People] Now,” PJM, March 30th, 2010.

In a piece of video that shot across the Internet Thursday like a sports car doing zero-to-60 in four seconds, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu told the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power that he does not own a car. But The Daily Caller has confirmed that Chu’s wife does — and it’s quite an automobile.

There’s no Chevy Volt in the Chu household’s driveway. TheDC has obtained motor vehicle registration records showing that Jean Chu (née Fetter) is the owner of a 2002 BMW 325i, a sports sedan with a gas-guzzling 6-cylinder engine.

And its engine requires premium gasoline. AAA determined on Thursday that the average U.S. price for that grade of fuel was $4.03 per gallon.

When the car was first sold, its EPA-estimated fuel economy was rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on highways, according to, a website run by Secretary Chu’s own Department of Energy. The website reports that the car’s average fuel economy was 21 mpg — back when it had zero miles on its odometer.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics has reported that the average fuel economy of light-duty passenger vehicles for the 2002 model year was 29.0 mpg, putting Mrs. Chu’s car in the less-than-efficient column.


“Energy Sec. Chu doesn’t own car, but his wife drives BMW gas-guzzler,” David Martosko, the Daily Caller, today.

To sum up, “This administration seems to have a very theoretical connection with reality,” Ace wrote yesterday, linking to an article on the increasingly appropriately-named Fisker Karma. Add that to the reported battery-bricking risks of the Tesla and the complete overall suckitude of the temporarily(?) discontinued Chevy Volt, and you’ve got serious crony corporatist sparky car woes for the Oba-ministration. “If you’ve ever wondered what Government By Hippies might look like, now you know.”

Did Iowahawk call this at the end of 2008, or what?


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