(FROM: The Wall Street Journal) President Bush kicked that can right down the road and, in the process, kicked conservatives right in the teeth. Instead of permitting General Motors, Chrysler and Ford to undergo an orderly bankruptcy, Bush wrote a check for $17 billion after Congress failed to act. Supposedly, the companies have until March to comply with a few terms and conditions, but even those were deemed “non-binding,” and you know what that means — nothing will be done. Heck, in the press conference immediately following the news of Bush’s decision, the first thing that came out of GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s mouth was a hearty “thank you,” not to President Bush for making the decision or to you and me for paying the bill, but to United Auto Workers President Ron Gettlefinger. The problematic relationship between business and labor which has adversely affected the automotive industry for longer than I have been alive is not going anywhere. Mark my words, nothing of substance will change. Certainly not under Barack Obama and his new pro-union labor secretary.
Mark Steyn: We’re in the Fast Lane to Bailoutistan
(FROM: Orange County Register) ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. I wish I could write like Steyn. Here’s a snippet … read the rest for yourself:
General Motors now has a market valuation about a third of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and no one says your Swash 700 Elongated Biscuit Toilet Seat Bidet is too big to fail. GM has a market capitalization of about $2.4 billion. For purposes of comparison, Toyota’s market cap is $100 billion and change (the change being bigger than the whole of GM). General Motors, like the other two geezers of the Old Three, is a vast retirement home with a small money-losing auto subsidiary. The UAW is AARP in an Edsel: It has three times as many retirees and widows as “workers” (I use the term loosely). GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.
How do you make that math add up? Not by selling cars: Honda and Nissan make a pretax operating profit per vehicle of around $1,600; Ford, Chrysler and GM make a loss of $500 to $1,500. That’s to say, they lose money on every vehicle they sell. Like Henry Ford said, you can get it in any color as long as it’s red.
Where does it end? Why should we be forced to pay for other’s mistakes? Why should the investors in the hedge fund which owns most of Chrysler continue to fatten their wallets with cash from ours? As South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford asked, why should the folks in the Palmetto State be forced to bail out those in California and New York who could not reel in their excessive taxes and excess spending? Why should any of us be accountable for someone else’s malfeasance?
- Thatcher Wouldn’t Have Gone Wobbly on Detroit (The Wall Street Journal)
- Congress Votes Itself a Pay Raise (USA Today)
- Palin: No Pay Raise for Me, Thanks (HotAir)
Illegal Fatally Beats Woman Who Gives him Home
(FROM: WorldNetDaily) In this case, unlike so many others, it isn’t that the animal in question had been picked up several times for traffic violations and such but not deported before crossing the center line and killing a car full of kids. In this case, the killer had been deported a dozen times but kept sneaking in. This is a problem which needs to be solved. Border security is a priority which must be done. Unfortunately, between President-elect Obama’s globalist perspective and his choice of Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security director, I’m not sure we’ll see anything on this front for the next four-plus years.
The Madoff Inheritance
(FROM: The Wall Street Journal) While the sheer size and scope of Madoff’s scheme is shocking, does anyone here take a look at what’s happening with our federal government and these bailouts and feel as though we’re all being Madoff-ed? Just wondering.
‘Baghdad Clogger’ Suffered Brutal Beating After Arrest
(FROM: UK/Observer) That’s unfortunate. Of course, there should be consequences of his actions, but this isn’t how a free country handles itself. Regardless of the developments in this story, two things just continue to stick out — first, the irony that the shoe-thrower was permitted to actually throw his shoes because of the freedom afforded to him by his target, and second, the fact that he is being revered as a hero by BOTH radical Muslims who hate America and the American political left. Liberals always take offense whenever their patriotism is challenged — having an enemy-of-my-enemy is my friend approach to this particular issue just doesn’t do any good for anyone.
Is Obama Vulnerable to Blackmail?
(FROM: American Thinker) Even aside from the concerns raised about the president-elect’s background and possible citizenship issues, there are a wealth of opportunities for anyone looking to get under this upcoming administration’s skin. All that time spent, during the election cycle, talking about how questions about Obama’s character and associations were relevant with regard to judgment, and this is one of the first time I’ve seen any resource raise the same questions and points with a blackmail-related angle. Good, thought-provoking read.
China Blocks Access to New York Times Web Site
(FROM: Newsmax) Oppressive government my foot. I think the folks along the Yellow River are just averse to yellow journalism.
Duggar Family Welcomes 18th Child
(FROM: People Magazine) A guy I know, upon reading about this story, wrote simply: “It’s a uterus, not a clown car.” As much as I found the sentiment to be hilarious, as much as I cannot even glance at the Duggar family without thinking of Monty Python’s “Every Sperm is Sacred” song from The Meaning of Life, in truth I see nothing whatsoever wrong with having a large–or even enormous–family so long as it is self-sustainable, so long as government is not involved for support. Somehow, be it the do-it-yourself haircuts or the sew-it-yourself prairie clothing, the Duggars make it work. As I type this in bed, my wife informs me that (1) they make their own laundry detergent, (2) they have several rental properties from which they garner quite a bit of income, (3) they shop at thrift stores, buying used shoes instead of new ones, and (4) they grow much of their own produce, requiring them to buy less at budget supermarkets. Obviously, somebody’s been watching the Discovery Channel! Regardless, 18 kids means a whole lot of love, and aside from mortgages and car payments and grocery bills, isn’t that what matters? For those who are curious, contrary to popular belief, the child–a girl–was born by Caesarean section, and did not physically walk out.