About the only people who knew slavery living today in America were Korean immigrants and American POWs who got to experience slavery as practiced by the Japanese. Guess that's part of the reason why Korean store owners in the LA riots of the early 90s took up arms rather than make apologies when the bros came to rob and burn down their establishments. Never bought into that con game.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to offer "credible" turnaround plans Tuesday, including pledges to meet tougher fuel economy requirements set by California and other states. They're in the process of going under for the third time. So put a brick in each of their pockets.
In letters cosigned by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., the California Democrat said the automakers should also commit to "protecting and sustaining the health and pension benefits" of workers and "an additional assurance that taxpayers benefit as corporate conditions improve and shareholder value increases." When they wink out of existence there isn't going to be any health and pension benefit for the workers and peasants. How's Studebaker-Packard's shareholder value doing lately? What kinda taxpayer benefit is American Motors providing?
GM and Chrysler are set to submit extensive plans for restructuring their businesses to the Obama administration as part of the $17.4 billion in government loans that have kept them solvent. The market cap for GM is about $5 billion these days. We loaned them about $13 billion and we're going to loan them another $15 billion regardless of whether or not the turnaround plan meets San Fran Nan's test of 'credible'. And that's on top of the $18 to $20 billion GM owes to private lenders that they can't pay off. This is brilliant, simply brilliant use of public money ...
Both were ordered to make steep cuts in debt and rework agreements with the UAW. "We are writing to stress the importance of your submitting a credible restructuring plan that results in a viable industry," Pelosi and Frank said in their letters. "And while you're at it, find Judge Crater."
Chrysler has said it needs an additional $3 billion to ensure its survival on top of its $4-billion loan, while GM has not made any additional request for aid beyond the $13.4 billion it has received so far. Better to break either or both companies into their component parts and let them sink or swim, rather than creating a single point of failure. Even if the nation's driving Toyotas and Subarus, the military will still need Hummers and 2 1/2 ton trucks.
The letter from Pelosi and Frank to GM Chairman Rick Wagoner and Chrysler Chairman Robert Nardelli asks the automakers for "a demonstration of your ability to meet or exceed" federal fuel economy requirements and "the emissions standards adopted by California and other states, if they receive federal approval." And how does that make them more competitive? It won't, but the cars they build to meet those standards will cost more. Cost more=sell fewer. How can you go wrong?
California and 17 other states want to set limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles that automakers contend would lead to state-by-state sales limits on many models. The Obama administration may reverse a decision by the Bush administration and allow the rules to take effect within a few months. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.
Look at the market caps for some of the big banks that have received partial bail-outs from the Feds. It would have been cheaper for the Feds to simply buy out those banks.
Imposing the proposed ridiculous emissions and fuel economy standards would severely restrict auto sales for many years to come. The public can't afford what is being manufactured now.
GM management must be wondering if it's really worth it to stay out of bankruptcy when the alternative is monthly meetings with SarBox Harry and Botox Nan, their new Super Board of Directors. A creditors committee could start to look pretty good, especially with Gittlefinger gelded. Now they could do an 11. Soon it will be directly to 7.
It would take a few dots to link together, but an agreesive GOPer should try to point out how Speaker Pelosi personally benefited from an exception to the minimum wage laws for the tuna processing plant somewhere in our pacific territories.
I don't recall all the details, but essentially a classic case of limousine liberal double standards. I recall that the Speaker's spouse had the interest, and I'm sure the big 3 would be interested in similar wage flexibility within the law and outside of bankruptcy filings.
Guys like Wagoner and Nardelli have the UAW on one side and Frank/Pelosi/Reid on the other. If I was in their shoes I'd be so disgusted I'd quit.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
02/15/2009 16:48 Comments ||
I can remember when Joan Claybrook was the head of NHTSA under Jimmy Carter. NHTSA tried to design a safe and efficient car. That experiment didn't work out so well; Washington doesn't do well at designing cars. Probably because there are so many attorneys in D.C. Lawyers designing instead of engineers is not a good deal. That has been a problem for a long time in the U.S.
State lawmakers are calling for a criminal investigation into whether U.S. Sen. Roland Burris committed perjury before a state impeachment panel, in the wake of a Sun-Times exclusive story published online today.
The development comes after the Chicago Democrat failed to initially disclose under oath to a House panel that he was hit up for campaign cash by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother.
State Rep. James Durkin (R-Western Springs) said Saturday that the Sangamon County state prosecutor's office will be asked to review Burris Jan. 8 sworn testimony before the House panel to determine whether Burris (D-Chicago) perjured himself.
"I don't trust anything that comes out of Roland Burris mouth or from his pen," Durkin said.
"We had a major league situation facing us. This is a United States senate seat that came under the most clouded of circumstances," Durkin said. "This is supposed to be about the year of reform this is about ethics and about transparency."
Durkin questioned why he found out about the additional testimony Friday night from the Sun-Times.
"Why were we kept out of the loop? Why were we kept out of the latest filing of Roland Burris?"
Word that Burris' account of his appointment has changed yet again came as a surprise to some of his colleagues in the Senate, who were not aware of the affidavit's filing until learning of it from press accounts. It was unclear what response might be triggered by Burris' revisions.
An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who initially sought to block Burris from being seated, said the Senate leader intended to take a closer look at Burris' new affidavit. But Reid's office declined to say whether the new revelations would reopen the question of whether Burris should be Illinois' junior senator.
"Senator Reid is reviewing the affidavit," Reid spokesman Jim Manley told the Sun-Times Saturday.
After Reid's hand was essentially forced by Burris and African-American supporters in Congress, Burris was formally seated in mid-January, leaving the Senate few options in responding to the matter. If criminal charges were ever to surface against Burris, the Senate Ethics Committee could probe his conduct and recommend censure, but outright removal from the Senate would require a two-thirds vote.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who also had reservations about Burris' appointment, intends to more closely examine Burris' evolving storyline before determining a response, a spokesman said. The No. 2 Senate Democrat left for a trip to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus today and won't return until Friday, his office said.
Durban will have a response when he is told what to think.
Interesting question is WHERE IS THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL? Did she enter the witness protection program? or did she find a hidden door in her wardrobe and is vacationing in Narnia?
She missed ALL of Blagos's crimes and is nowhere to be seen on this one... and of course the Dems want her to run for Governor.
During a decade in Congress, California Representative Grace Napolitano has pocketed more than $200,000 of political contributions by charging as much as 18 percent interest on money she loaned to her own campaign.
The suburban Los Angeles Democrat made the $150,000 loan in 1998, when she was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Through Dec. 31, her campaign committee has used d More..onations to pay Napolitano $221,780 of interest while reducing the principal by just $64,727, a review of her Federal Election Commission filings shows.
As recently as June 2008, Napolitano held a fundraiser asking supporters and political action committees for money to pay down the 1998 debt. Napolitano, her spokesman and her campaign's lawyers didn't respond to requests for comment.
"I find this practice quite reprehensible," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington advocacy group. Interest payments from Napolitano's campaign treasury have "proven exorbitantly profitable," he said. "Candidates are not supposed to personally benefit from these campaign funds."
The Federal Election Commission in 1999 ruled the loan and its 18 percent rate were allowed by U.S. election laws, after a complaint by Napolitano's 1998 Democratic primary opponent. The commission agreed with Napolitano's explanation that the interest charges were justified because Napolitano had to pay penalties for taking the money from a retirement account.
Hollyweird bookkeeping. That's why blockbuster movies and long running series never seem to make 'net profits' and that only the 'smart' people in the tar pit settle for a small take of the gross. Somehow, years after the event, there are still charges for 'advertising'. And you wonder why, outside of Congressional public show trials hearings, things never really get changed. Here's your answer.
Follow-up. And no, the Trib fails to mention that he's a Democrat.
U.S. Sen. Roland Tombstone Burris, who repeatedly denied anyone tied to disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich solicited him for cash in exchange for his seat, now acknowledges Blagojevich's brother asked him three times to help with fundraising.
Translation: he lied and he's admitting it, which is now safe to do since he has the seat and Blago is gone.
Leading House Republicans said Saturday they plan to call on an Illinois House special investigative committee to ask the Sangamon County state's attorney's office to investigate Burris.
Springfield being in Sangamon County.
In an affidavit Burris quietly filed nine days ago with the head of the House committee that recommended Blagojevich's impeachment, Illinois' new junior senator also said he spoke with three close associates of the governor about being appointed to the Senate. Prior, Burris only acknowledged having spoken to one such friend.
It's his third story and I'm betting, as an astute and close observer of Illinois politics, that it won't be his last. And he'll try to slide them in just as quietly.
Burris said he refused the fundraising request for Blagojevich, who was removed from office after being charged Dec. 9 with corruption, including trying to sell the Senate seat Burris now holds.
The new affidavit--filed only after he was seated in Congress--is Burris' third account of what happened behind the scenes preceding Blagojevich's decision to pick him as President Barack Obama's replacement in the Senate. It also reflects a major omission he made before the panel. Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate initially refused Burris entry, but relented in part on the condition that he testify fully and openly before the House impeachment committee.
This is Illinois: did you clowns really think he was going to testify 'fully and openly'?
Initially, Burris stated unequivocally in an affidavit, "there was not any contact between myself or any of my representatives with Governor Blagojevich or any of his representatives" regarding the Senate appointment prior to Dec. 26, when he met with a Blagojevich attorney. But during Jan. 8 testimony before the House committee, Burris disclosed that months earlier he had expressed his interest in the Senate seat to Blagojevich's former chief of staff Lon Monk, now a state lobbyist whose activities have come under federal scrutiny.
But despite being asked specifically at the hearing if he had met with Blagojevich's brother about the Senate seat, Burris cited only his meeting with Monk.
In this newest version, Burris said he talked about his interest in the Senate seat with Blagojevich's brother, Robert, who called him three times to seek his assistance in fundraising for the then-governor. The first conversation was in early October, before Obama was elected president, and the other two were shortly after the Nov. 4 election. Burris said he told Robert Blagojevich he couldn't contribute to the governor's campaign fund "because it could be viewed as an attempt to curry favor with him regarding his decision to appoint a successor to President Obama."
Burris said he filed the affidavit "to change completely supplement my answer" to questions by the House members about what conversations he had with the governor and his associates.
The real question is, why file the new affidavit? Is this because Fitzgerald has something new going, or was a newspaper going to reveal the information? It certainly wasn't because he had a guilty conscience or anything.
In a statement released Saturday, Burris said he didn't disclose the facts because he "was not given the opportunity to" during the impeachment committee hearing. "I was asked to raise money by the governor's brother and made it unequivocally clear to him that it would be inappropriate and pose a major conflict because I was interested in the Senate vacancy," Burris said in the statement.
"Especially since your brother is on the way out and couldn't get elected to streetsweeper."
"I did not donate or help raise a single dollar for the governor from those conversations and would never consider making a donation through a third party."
"No, no, certainly not!"
Burris also disclosed in his new lie affidavit that he spoke about his interest in the Senate with three other Blagojevich insiders, Doug Scofield, John Wyma and former chief of staff John Harris, who was arrested and charged with Blagojevich.
On the day before Burris testified to the House panel, he met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nevada) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Both senators stressed the importance of Burris's testimony on whether he should be seated. "Roland Burris, to me, appears to be candid and forthright," Reid said after the meeting. "Without any hesitation, he prepared an affidavit that the impeachment committee for the Illinois state assembly already has. And he's going to go answer any other questions they might have. He's not trying to avoid any responsibility or trying to hide anything," Reid said.
Posted by: Steve White ||
02/15/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
Perhaps some of those conversation with Blago's brother are on FBI tape. Hmmm.
It is time for a new category on the 'burg. I suggest 'The Sucker State Way' since Illinois was originally known as 'The Sucker State' until Lincoln.
It will go well with the 'Name that Party' section
Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania explains what former Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke told congress during the September 2008 closed door session. During the first third of the video an enraged caller is ranting to Rep. Kanjorski about how wasteful the first $700 billion bailout was. The best part is 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the tape where Rep. Kanjorski reveals what Paulson and Bernanke told congress that shocked them into supporting the first $700 billion bailout.
On Wall Street today, stocks had a late rally on talk of a possible buyout for Lehman Brothers, the troubled investment bank. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 164 points, to close well above 11433. The Nasdaq rose 29 points, to close at 2258.
The Next Day:
Wall Street waited today to see if federal officials will line up a private sale of Lehman Brothers investment bank. The Dow Jones industrial average ended with a loss of 11 points, to close just under 11422. The Nasdaq rose three points, to close at 2261. For the week, the Dow gained nearly 2 percent. The Nasdaq rose a fraction of a percent.
Nothing about a run on the MM funds on the 15th, 16th, or 17th either. Can't figure out why, unless an act of war was hushed up by the Bush administration?
Here's a link to the Portfolio.com refutation that seems reasonable given the lack of traction for the Kanjorski comments given the noteriety they got on Rush's show.
Seems to me the sphincter tightening resulted from the collapse of the interbank lending market. But there is still no explanation as to why it seized up. That was nothing but raw fear. Why were they so scared?
Part of the reason the last quarter has been so bad is the fear that Paulson and Bernanke conveyed in the few television shows I saw. If what I saw was typical of what was being seen day in, day out, something was spooking those guys. What was it?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.