Auto Bailout Dead in Senate

The Senate has effectively killed the chances of the auto bailout. Leading the oppositon: Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Mr. McConnell said he and other Republicans had drawn a clear distinction between the Treasury’s $700 billion economic stabilization, which they helped pass in October, and the proposal to aid the American automakers, which he said raised questions about which industries or individuals deserve help.


The House approved the $14 billion plan, negotiated by Congressional Democrats and the White House, on Wednesday night. It would grant emergency short-term loans to General Motors and Chrysler and require the companies to submit to broad government oversight directed by a so-called car czar appointed by President Bush.

Now what?

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    A**holes! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by DFLer on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:47:47 PM EST
    Compliments the Austin MN Herald, via Ollie Ox at Bluestem Prairie blog, here are doctors' opinions on the federal government's bailout:

    The allergists voted to scratch it, and the dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

    The gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but...

    The neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve, and the obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

    The ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. The pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the pediatricians said, "Oh, grow up!" The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, the radiologists could see right through it and the surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

    The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the plastic surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."

    The podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.

    The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say "no."

    In the end, the proctologists left the decision up to some (fill in the blank) in the Senate.

    Beautiful!! (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:18:54 PM EST

    Neo-Hooverites (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by souvarine on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:58:23 PM EST
    Republican's believe that their electoral problems arose from insufficient adherence to their ideology.

    They are proving that their ideology is the problem.

    But they're right. (none / 0) (#60)
    by bocajeff on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:50:56 PM EST
    Think about it:
    Conservatives didn't want bigger government and Bush gave them higher spending (Defense, Medicare, etc...)
    Conservatives want balanced budgets and Bush gave them huge deficits (wouldn't we like more money to invest now?)
    Conservatives didn't want CRA expansion and Congress pretty much mandated it.
    Conservatives were against the financial bailout and Bush and Dems gave it to them.
    Conservatives are now against the auto bailout and guess what's going to happen.

    But make no mistake: This entire crisis is CREDIT related. Until money begins to flow again this isn't going to abate anytime soon.


    Gee boca (none / 0) (#115)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:39:41 PM EST
    that's exactly what Herbert Hoover said those many years ago.  

    Think about it boca.

    You and yours are about to destroy an important American industry and put over 2 million people out of work.


    Ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:22:43 PM EST
    If McConnell did come up with some distinction between the auto bailout and the financial services bailout that made the former less advisable, I've yet to hear it.  And how often has congress bailout out the airlines?  Seems to me this is a brand new principle for Mitch.

    This is a terrible day (5.00 / 5) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:50:16 PM EST
    We must cough up some loans until the auto industry gets with the program.  So they had to be forced into this position but the only losers now will be the rest of us.  Republicans insist on driving those last few nails into their coffins and bringing on a full scale economic depression.  Knock yourselves out you yahoos!  Go ahead, wipe your own party out for the next two decades, after everybody gets to eat again what do I care you idiots.

    Why should the taxpayer be on the hook (none / 0) (#64)
    by abdiel on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:01:12 PM EST
    for the auto industry to "get with the program"?  Is there any point where you would cut them off and force them into Ch 11 if they didn't?  

    BTW, there is not a single poll where a majority of Americans support a bailout.  Not even in the Midwest.  


    When the term bailout (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:44:25 PM EST
    is used.  But if the terminology is changed a majority support.

    But you should know that it doesn't really matter what some damn poll says.

    The fact is you and yours have blown it big time.  You've done terrible damage to this country.


    Taxpayers being on the hook (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 08:37:05 AM EST
    is a valid concern.  I'm a taxpayer, I want value for my dollar and I'm just as tired of being ripped off as the next guy.  As taxpayers we are all on the hook for the community our dollars create and the quality of life for us all that that in turn creates.  Based on my own personal assessment of this situation my dollar is better spent by enabling America's Auto Industry to recover.  We stand to lose 3 million jobs if all three companies fail.  I'm not sure people understand the economic turbulence that will come with that.

    And they call themselves leaders? (5.00 / 8) (#70)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:32:43 PM EST
    We could hand the finincial community $700 Bil with not strings. They don't even have to tell us where they used the money. (They're using it to buy up their competition). But they're willing to sit back and see hundreds of thousands of people put out of work so that the Republican's can bust another union.

    They must feel that their only hope in 2010 is to have the country in such a depression that they'll be looking for any change possible.

    With a great big what the bloody heck! (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by reslez on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:03:04 PM EST
    Now the Republicans are demanding the autoworkers take upfront concessions. Corker's plan would force salaries down for current workers and slash funding for pensioners' health care (by gutting VEAW). Where was this guy when the bankers lined up for their $700 billion? Where was this guy when AIG and Merril Lynch and all the other Wall Street big shots helped themselves to $10 million dollar bonuses (or "retention payments" or whatever else these loons call them now) straight from the taxpayer's pocket? Anglachel mentioned this and now I'm boiling mad over it!

    Why should the everyday citizens who work for these companies -- and who buy the cars they manufacture -- get such walleyed scrutiny when management honchos skate around doing "business as usual"? This is incredibly disgusting behavior. I'm all for restructuring GM and the others -- but let everybody line up and make concessions at the same time. Bondholders included. The workers should not be the first ones to take the hit.

    Because these (none / 0) (#113)
    by Slado on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:24:29 PM EST
    workers are killing the very company they are working for.

    Each GM worker is really 4.76 workers in benefits.

    How can a company afford to pay for 5 employees worth of beneifts when only receiving 1 employees worth of work.   Meanwhile the single employee has a powerful union behind it and can strike at the drop of a hat.

    This is not a proposition the federal taxpayer should be on the hook for.

    GM and the UAW made their deal.  Now they have to live with the consequense.

    Employment and benifits for life are not a federaly insured right last time I checked.  


    Slado (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:48:21 PM EST
    you are totally clueless.  Your "facts" are completely incorrect.

    And by the way pal you're going to have to live with what happens next.


    Do not confuse this a-h*le with me! (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:56:20 PM EST
    It's not like the UAW wouldn't refuse a Single-Payer Health Care system right now.  

    The manufacturers have had this benefit system more or less imposed on them by a halfars*d government run by the likes of the Bush's and Reagans.


    The point is (none / 0) (#160)
    by reslez on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 05:30:57 AM EST
    UAW will make concessions. They have already made huge concessions with VEAW and the other agreements slated to go into effect. No one disputes that there will have to be additional negotiation. But why have these Senators put the American worker first in line to get shafted? If we write legislation that forces the workers to take paycuts and slash retiree benefits, all that does is remove any bargaining power they had against corporate bondholders and investors when time comes to make a deal. It's unconscionable to single out the workers. They are not at fault for what has happened to these companies.

    No one in UAW forced management to roll out Hummers and Excursions. Nobody on the manufacturing line ordered company execs to kill the Volt and every piece of legislation that would force them to become more efficient at a time when foreign competitors were already focused on researching hybrids and electrics. Nobody forced the automakers to saddle themselves with insane amounts of debt and spend billions on "stock buybacks" that inflated the worth of their stock options.

    We need some equity in this country. We need our Senate to stand up for the citizens. Right now I see darn little of that.


    He has... (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:53:10 PM EST
    in the past, posted more than 100 times a day.

    Does that precedent ... (none / 0) (#123)
    by cymro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:30:25 PM EST
    ... make today's count (already ~30 posts) acceptable, especially when most of those posts just fill up the thread with argumentative nonsense?

    Classic "chatterer" (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:30:00 AM EST
    except that so are the people who persist in arguing with him/her endlessly.  Really tedious.  The guy obviously has no life, so he comes here and gives himself a thrill up his leg by being provocative. <yawn>

    Just ignore him/her and he'll go away.


    Will we (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by shoulin4 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 07:48:55 PM EST
    ever have government leaders that actually care about the fate of the country they're supposed to be leading? Good grief, I feel like I just stepped into the French Revolution. What the h-e-double hockeysticks is up with all of these snakes?!?!?! Does anyone have a cheap guillotine for sale?

    Some news reports are now saying (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:12:10 AM EST
    that Bush threatened the Senate Republicans with using TARP funds if they rejected the bailout. I hope that comes true (I did predict that earlier. . .)

    Or if they won't, how about this (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:31:29 AM EST
    TO: Banks

    FROM:  Barack Obama

    RE: The Big Three

    DATE: 12 December 2008

    Dear XXXXXXXX,

    It is my intention to make TARP assistance in the amount of $XB available to Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford immediately upon assuming the Presidency on January 20th.

    I further intend to extend additional TARP funds to your organization, if needed. However, you should understand that I will find this much more difficult if you do not extend credit to the automakers in the amount of $XB over the course of the next week.

    /S BHO

    Or something to that effect.


    Like it! (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:40:46 AM EST
    And Sen. McConnell's wife is the (4.90 / 10) (#7)
    by steviez314 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:39:58 PM EST
    Secretary of Labor!  What a joke.

    Is it possible (2.00 / 1) (#121)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:58:34 PM EST
    to ban jimakaPPJ?

    Continuously posts incorrect information.  When  corrected he/she simply repeats.

    Over my dead moniker.... (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 08:00:29 AM EST
    Jim is allright...clueless sometimes, but allright:)

    Refute the info you deem incorrect, but banning is for pikers imo.


    I'm learning a lot (none / 0) (#134)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:29:21 PM EST
    by reading the replies.  

    I see you don't like to read the links (none / 0) (#143)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:07:58 PM EST
    Truth be known (1.66 / 6) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:53:52 PM EST
    The problem is the economy.

    The problem with the economy is the housing market.

    The problem with the housing market is that the price of oil destroyed the economy.

    Democratic finger prints are all over the housing market bubble.

    Democratic finger prints are all over the sky high oil prices.

    As a ROF I am concerned over the pension and benefits that the workers worked for in good faith.

    Congress should step in and make those good and let the "Big 3" fire their management and start over.

    Starting over should include "Right to work" laws that won't give the unions almost 100% control.

    Congress should do all things necessary to reduce the price of gasoline and keep it low while we we work full time to devise acceptable alternative energy sources.

    Congress should also tell the man made global warming hoaxers to take a hike. We can't afford anymore government grants to give them funding to do computer studies to scare the populace so they can get more government funding.... you get the picture.

    And the darn well don't need any carbon taxes to further depress the economy.

    If the price of oil and the housing market (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:58:22 PM EST
    are the root causes, then why are "right to work" laws the essential first step to correcting the problem?
    Don't you think it's time to stop letting right wing ideology dictate the terms of the social contract in this country?

    Where did I say (1.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:05:14 PM EST
    that was the first?

    All of these things need to move forward together.

    BTW - You did notice I said fire management.. didn't you?


    So it was the second. The point stands. (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:08:20 PM EST
    Furthermore, your anti-global warming science talk is nuts.

    You're about three years behind (1.00 / 2) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:22:37 PM EST
    The problem now is global cooling.

    Please try and keep up.


    It looks that way at first (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:45:21 PM EST
    because the polar caps are melting.  That's what happens though before YOU melt.  Please feel free to keep your head firmly wedged in that small space that makes the input and assessing of new information impossible for you.  It is a free country.

    latest measurenents (1.00 / 2) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:18:50 PM EST
    all ocean temps are lower..

    you have no idea what you're talking (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:43:15 PM EST
    about. Unless you have a ph.d in the field and years of expierence, you have zero credibility if you are trying to refute a position supported by more than 99% of all papers in the climate science.
    Rush Limbaugh does not count.

    Note that I also said fire management. (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:26:18 PM EST
    The unions are also part of the problem.

    Time to start over.


    The lack of a single payer... (5.00 / 6) (#128)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:58:17 PM EST
    ...government run nhealthcare system is the real killer here.

    Most other nations support workers by (and thus wage costs) by running a non for profit healthcare system.


    Kudos To You (none / 0) (#138)
    by CDN Ctzn on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:48:25 PM EST
    Salo for pointing out the elephant in the room!!!

    In other words, overturn the election (5.00 / 9) (#19)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:59:45 PM EST
    and install Jim Inhofe clones.

    You're too much Jim.


    You see, we have this thing called a (1.00 / 2) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:28:41 PM EST

    BION there are weeks and weeks before Obama becomes Pres.

    Aren't you a law student?

    Don't they teach that?


    Now you care about what the Constitution says? (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:43:00 PM EST
    I think I'm the one (1.00 / 2) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    who taught you that we have a Constitutional Republic...

    No gratitude?


    monuments could be built (none / 0) (#172)
    by sallywally on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 02:36:07 PM EST
    to your arrogance and pig-headedness.

    Heh (5.00 / 9) (#22)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:02:15 PM EST
    Over a million people may lose their jobs, and all you can think about is busting the unions and blaming the Democratic Party for high gas prices.  Small wonder the electorate chose to reject your ideology.

    And yet the Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:03:21 PM EST
    have just enough time to give him almost exactly what he wants.

    Facts be facts. (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:19:25 PM EST
    It has been the Democratic party that has carried the water for the eco freaks.

    It was Nancy Pelosi who blocked bills last spring to get us started drilling.

    It was Barney Frank who, in 1999 was a major force behind expansion of Freddie and Fannie that led to the housing market bubble and subsequent bursting.

    It was Barney Frank who, in 2003 was a major force in blocking Bush's attempt to reform Freddie and Fannie.

    Steve, I have no "ideology" beyond what works. You need to throw yours away and join me. There are too many problems to for people to beat their chest and posture.

    One of the things we desperately need is National Health Care. If you listened to Obama this AM you heard him stumble around when the question was, "How do we pay for it?"

    Yet while we don't have that money for health care we pledge to reduce world wide temperatures by 1 degree C... which will cost  $3 trillion 600 billion a year?

    Think that might better used for flu shots for children and the elderly?


    Here are some facts: (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by steviez314 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:31:41 PM EST
    1.  Crude oil went from $150 to $50 without any drilling (which would have taken 10 years to come on line anyway).  The ENTIRE move up in gasoline and crude were caused by Chinese hoarding before the Olympics and hedge fund speculation (I am a trader, I know this as fact).  Thank goodness we didn't foolishly start some crazy drilling program.

    2.  Fannie and Freddie were the last to get into sub-prime mortgages, and didn't even do that many.  It was the banks, independent mortgage originators and CDO creators that fed this insanity.  And that was a result of absolutely NO regulatory oversight from the Bush Laissez Faire gov't.

    And????? (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:48:55 PM EST
    It went from $25 to $55 in the first 72 months of the Bush Admin and then $55 $146 the next 17 months that the Demos had control of Congress.

    Now. Your point is what?? Let me help you. The $4.00 a gallon destroyed the economy and at the same time Bush dumped the EO banning drilling. He was about 7 and a half years late but it did scare the speculators enough to start the slide downward.

    Fannie and Freddie were the leaders who got the ball rolling in 1999. And yes there were others, including Countrywide who saved Senator Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee $75,000 on his mortgages. Sure is nice to have friends.

    ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

    Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's

    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

    That guy Wallison knew some stuff, eh?



    There was collusion... (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    ...between real estate surveyors, mortgage lenders and Alan Greenspan--and malignat neglect from the Bush administration. That lead to a speculative flurry in the housing market and allowed prices to double in 4 years.  

    The freemarket in action with on oversight or regulation taking place.



    You know you have a free market (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:26:07 PM EST
    when it is unstable and prone to extreme fluctuations.

    Unregulated or poorly regulated markets are prone to bubbles, booms and busts which is why well regulated markets attract more resources than poorly regulated ones.  People prefer to limit their risks.  


    Please note the date (none / 0) (#137)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:45:55 PM EST
    September 11, 2003
    New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.


    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

    Link to NYT


    Tell me (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:35:53 PM EST
    do you believe the war in Iraq did more, less, or about the same to impact oil prices as Nancy Pelosi did?

    Tell me (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:50:16 PM EST
    Do you really believe it will take 10 years to get oil out of the new wells?

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:37:10 PM EST
    No answer, huh?  Par for the course.

    As for your question, who wrote this?

    The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017. Total domestic production of crude oil from 2012 through 2030 in the OCS access case is projected to be 1.6 percent higher than in the reference case, and 3 percent higher in 2030 alone, at 5.6 million barrels per day. For the lower 48 OCS, annual crude oil production in 2030 is projected to be 7 percent higher--2.4 million barrels per day in the OCS access case compared with 2.2 million barrels per day in the reference case (Figure 20). Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.  

    Answer: the Bush Administration.  But go on believing that offshore drilling is some kind of magic wand.

    I think a lot of us find it very amusing that you repeatedly claim to be so non-ideological and interested only in facts, and yet nothing you say seems to deviate in the slightest from the far-right fiction they peddle on the WSJ editorial page.


    Stupid questions don't deserve an answer (none / 0) (#84)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:05:02 PM EST
    The question brings two issues so totally unrelated you can get any answer you want.

    And I see you believe the Bush administration when you agree with it. (hehe)

    Have you forgotten to ask why? Why should it take two years to do the leases? Why would it take 10 years?? Because you want it to..

    Priorities and such things....

    BTW - I see you failed to note by comment re NHC.


    I don't need to ask why (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:15:29 PM EST
    My knowledge of the oil industry comes from the inside.  It's not hard for me to laugh at your silly "drill baby drill" sloganeering.

    You know, these companies are all vertically integrated.  How do you possibly expect exploration and development to be any kind of priority for them, when you're simultaneously recommending policies designed to keep gas prices as low as possible?  It does not make even a smidgen of economic sense.  In fact, sky-high oil prices are about the only thing that could get the oil companies interested in developing some of these leases.


    It is called "laws" and (none / 0) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:24:12 PM EST
    "political pressure."

    I thought you understood that. Should I explain

    Of course right now you are giving the oil companies what they want.

    Of course Obama did vote for the energy bill.


    Haha (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:47:02 PM EST
    So your strategy is to use laws and political pressure to compel the oil companies to engage in economically inefficient activities?  This must be the new conservatism.

    No that would be your way (none / 0) (#107)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:06:28 PM EST
    I would do things like tax cuts, research grants (BP already claims to be moving into alternatives), revoking unused leases, etc.... if they didn't produce enough to keep oil prices around $40-$50. then they lose the incentives.

    BTW - If you haven't caught on just yet, I'm not a Repub or a conservative just somebody who has seen three major recessions in my life time caused by energy prices..


    lots of us have seen that and (none / 0) (#173)
    by sallywally on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 02:39:29 PM EST
    funny, we draw different conclusions.

    10 years easy (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by cenobite on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:41:29 PM EST
    It takes 3-4 years to build a deepwater drilling rig alone.

    That does not include surveying, drilling test wells, drilling production wells, building production platforms, the pipelines to the shore facilities and the shore facilities (Gas-oil separation plants, etc).

    10 years is pretty optimistic.

    And, right now, the amount of economically recoverable oil in the OCS that isn't leasable is almost certainly 0. Good luck getting a loan to start up your project.


    You are assumung (1.00 / 1) (#110)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:18:06 PM EST
    everything done serially with no sense of urgency.

    Why does the Left hate American drivers???


    Fannie and Freddie did not do this (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:47:00 PM EST
    This bull has been refuted now even in the Main Stream Media.....they finally started reading some figures too.  You might try that.  What eco freaks?  What Fannie and Freddie?  What water?

    I see that you ignored all the information (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:53:09 PM EST
    I linked for you.

    Oh well, that's not new.


    Drilling? (none / 0) (#52)
    by cenobite on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:43:58 PM EST
    As John McEnroe would say, "You cannot possibly be serious."

    First, the areas of the offshore US that are off limits for drilling contain very little oil.

    Second, the lead time for getting from nothing to oil hitting the market is 10 years or more.

    Third, there are no deep water drilling rigs available to do the drilling. They're all busy drilling in places where there is oil, or waiting to be finished because the construction companies can't get credit to finish them.

    Forth, the oil companies already have offshore oil leases they are not drilling. How about they go work on those first, which leads to...

    Fifth, at the current price of oil, lots of projects are now being closed, because they are not economically recoverable. This includes any marginal offshore operations (and I suspect, ANWR, too). This is very expensive and inefficient, and will lead to very high oil prices probably as soon as next year.


    So 115 billion barrels is nothing (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:50:51 PM EST
    Your math makes no sense (none / 0) (#63)
    by cenobite on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:59:32 PM EST
    OCS Oil Available for Lease

    3.8 bil + 4 bil + 0.4 bil + 2.1 bil + 2.3 bil + 5.6 bil = 115 bil?


    That's the estimated recoverable (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:06:10 PM EST
    oil using today's technology.

    If oil doesn't matter (none / 0) (#66)
    by abdiel on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:05:17 PM EST
    then that kind of kills the "green cars will save the auto industry" argument, doesn't it?  That's a significant concession of the bailout plan.

    GM, Ford and Chrysler all have (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:09:02 PM EST
    hybrids available today. Go buy one.

    Excluding the SUV's, they all get around 40-45 MPG and they all use gasoline to run the motor that charges the batteries.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:38:37 PM EST
    this'll work...."Congress should do all things necessary to reduce the price of gasoline and keep it low while we we work full time to devise acceptable alternative energy sources."

    Are we really going to be a servant of two masters?


    Some people can chew bubble gum and walk (1.50 / 2) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:52:15 PM EST
    Evidently you can't.

    oh yeah (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:03:20 PM EST
    people are really motivated to research alternative energy when gas prices are low.

    History shows that, that's for sure.


    People aren't (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:09:49 PM EST
    That's why we have government funded research plans.

    ...in theory. (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:18:52 PM EST
    Let's ask Dick Cheney about the past eight years' energy policy.

    Is Toyota sponsoring McConnell? (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:32:40 PM EST
    Also, AP article says some Democrats were absent or ill.  What gives?

    For Pres. Obama's Stimulus Plan: (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by steviez314 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:37:22 PM EST
    When he gives money to the states, any state that has given tax breaks to foreign car companies should get no stimulus money.

    Let's see how McConnell and Shelby like that.


    It was more the hypocrisy of it. (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by steviez314 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:40:49 PM EST
    You don't see Strickland calling for no bailout.

    I'm just tired of the Senators from the southern states that have given "incentives" to foreign (or domestic) car companies railing against giving anything to the domestics that are located mostly in the Northern (read Democratic) states.

    Why should it be OK for Kentucky to give its taxpayers' money to car companies but not for the US to give taxpayer money also?  And then, for the US gov't to give the taxpayer money to those very same states.


    It is not clear to me (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:40:20 PM EST
    that the foreign manufacturers will be beneficiaries of this action.  There are many facilities in the US, including factories and research facilities that are operated jointly between foreign and domestic manufacturers because no single company is sufficient to sustain the facility on its own.  If the Big Three vanished tomorrow, the ability of the foreign manufacturers to prosper in the American market - at least in the short-term - would be severely impaired.

    "Now what?" (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:33:35 PM EST
    Ch 11.

    Not possible (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:38:05 PM EST
    No way could any of the Big Three obtain sufficient debtor-in-possession financing in this credit market.  It's going to be a big, big mess.

    We shall see. But whatever happens, (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:41:54 PM EST
    I agree, it'll be a big mess.

    Thats the perfect use for (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:05:59 PM EST

    Thats the perfect use for fed funds.  GM in particular needs chapter 11 to clean up its dealer network.  GM and Toyota's market share is nearly the same, but GM has about 5 timeas(!) as many dealers.  This means the average GM dealer is 20% the size of the average Toyota dealer.  That means less variety on the lot, less local advertising, less flexible repair/maintenmance hours, or in other words less able to compete.  

    Everyone's an expert (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:13:44 PM EST
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would allow Republicans to offer amendments to the compromise worked out between Democrats and the White House, and let votes happen on the version passed by the House last night. It wasn't clear today when or if votes might take place.

    "I have had calls from a number of senators today, frankly mostly Republican senators, telling me they have the solutions to all the problems of the auto industry," Reid said.

    I personally question whether putting 80% of GM's dealers out of business in this economy is the right solution, but hey, you know best.


    It's an attempt to... (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:43:02 PM EST
    destroy the unions, in accordance with Friedman/Reagan-omics. And it will work.

    After ch.11 they can divest themselves of all the union trappings like pensions, health care, etc. and hire workers back at bottom of the barrel wages.  And they'll be happy to get the jobs.

    That's what I think.


    Nope (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:56:18 PM EST
    The transplants all have benefits, etc.

    No (none / 0) (#69)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:31:15 PM EST
    but hey, you know best.

    Not at all.  That is the role of a bankruptcy judge.  I was merely pointing out one of the elements that puts GM at a competative disadvantage.  If you think keeping GM at a competative disadvantage is an appropriate goal, you are welcome to that thought.

    IMO, the first priority of any federal funds should be competative, profit making, tax paying, viable businesses.


    You have not shown (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:46:35 PM EST
    that the number of dealerships is a factor that puts GM at a competitive disadvantage, or anything close to that.  The number of dealerships could easily be nothing but a symptom.

    I am constantly baffled by conservatives who profess unending skepticism concerning the ability of Big Government and "experts" to plan the economy, yet have no problem with delegating it all to a bankruptcy judge.  The bankruptcy system does not magically result in better solutions.


    In Chapter 11 you almost alwats get new management (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:59:12 PM EST
    that's where the change comes from, not a judge.

    The higher number of dealerships leads to a lower volume, which leads to lower profit per car which works its way right up the line.


    fine (none / 0) (#92)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:13:34 PM EST
    You have not shown that the number of dealerships is a factor that puts GM at a competitive disadvantage, or anything close to that.

    If you believe that small dealerships are advantageous compared to large dealerships, you should probably stay out of the car business.  More dealerships means more overhead for the same volume of vehicles in addition to less competative dealerships.  Sorry, I thought that was so obvious as not to need explanation.  BTW, can you offer any explanation why Toyota (the industry leader) has not adopted that marketing model?

    If you visit Tonya's Toyota with five times as many vehicles on a bigger lot you are much more likely to find the size, shape, color and options package you want than at Bill's Buick with 80% fewer vehicles on hand.

    Haeley Davidson has been reducing dealerships for the same reason.  

    Similar to GM's plan, Ford will also attempt overlapping or redundant models and reducing its dealership network from 4,396 down to 3,790.



    Don't be silly (5.00 / 0) (#103)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:44:00 PM EST
    Of course everyone would like fewer dealerships, all other things being equal.  But that doesn't prove that GM's additional dealerships are the cause of the problem, rather than a symptom.  It's possible that the additional dealerships actually help GM compensate for its competitive deficiencies in other areas.

    You can't just assume that if GM had the ability to cancel its dealership contracts, they could magically sell the same volume of cars but with fewer dealerships dragging down the bottom line.  You have no idea.


    the problem (none / 0) (#136)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:42:45 PM EST
    But that doesn't prove that GM's additional dealerships are the cause of the problem, rather than a symptom.

    The cause of the problem.  Please.   GM's restructuring needs to address all of the factors that put it at a competitive disadvantage.  


    Dealerships are no cost to GM (none / 0) (#130)
    by wurman on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 07:40:48 PM EST
    The dealers are independent entrepreneurs running stand-alone operations. Each dealer owns the store, finances the inventory on the lot, hires the staff, etc.  Many dealerships are now multi-lot, large corporations operating in several states.

    There may be "problem dealers" who can't pay for inventory or perform warranty work because of the liquidity & credit crunch, but that's a tangential problem.

    This silly line of reasoning resembles all of the arguments against Dr. Dean's 50-state strategy.

    Having a dealership in Elephant's Breath WY might make 100 Chev truck sales per year that would otherwise go to a nearby Ford or Dodge dealer.


    Dealerships are no cost to GM (none / 0) (#135)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:31:26 PM EST
    Dealerships are no cost to GM

    Utter nonsense.  More small transactions cost more to process than fewer large transactions.  Dealer training costs more.  Policing warantee work costs more.  Advancing credit to one large dealership is less costly than to five small dealerships, five credit checks cost more than one, evaluating five credit reports costs more than one.  Shipping costs more.

    Imagine a small city with one large GM dealership and one similar sized Toyota dealership.  They compete with each other for the car business.  Now imagine five smaller GM dealers and one large Toyota dealership.  To some extent the GM dealerships will compete against each other.  

    Too many dealers costs GM both directly and indirectly.

    Chapter 11 is the fastest way to address the problem.


    You have no knowledge whatsoever (none / 0) (#146)
    by wurman on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:27:33 PM EST
    of the GM, or any auto manufacturer, dealer functions.

    And you're quite astute about such things as admin. costs.  Paying 5 dealers does cost quintuple, so GM is out 0.005 cents for the electronic blips to transfer those funds.  Flooring, the credit advance, is per car (as a package) so it doesn't matter which dealership gets the vehicle--the vehicle is floored before its shipped from the factory, no matter where or what the dealer.

    And if GM has Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer, Cadillac, GMC truck, etc., dealerships in a city (& they are sometimes combined in various match-ups such as Buick-Hummer-Cadillac, etc.), they are normally not in competition.  It is not typical (although possible) for Chevy to compete with Cadillac & both are stand-alone products, for the most part.

    Dealers pay for their own training.  GM helps them form co-operative teams that bring in specific programs to focus on issues identified by that group as their key issues.  It's a form of "buddy" system among individual dealers.

    The dealers pay for credit reports, not GM.  So, it's one per customer no matter where located.

    Your lack of comprehension about vehicle shipping is astounding.  It costs exactly the same amount to ship each or any car from Flint MI to Los Angeles CA, or from any GM factory to any dealer.  Rail or truck, GM has the end rate for hauling their units.  Now, if you go to a GM dealership & look at the sticker, the shipping cost is passed right through to the BUYER, at no cost to GM or the dealer.

    Your comments have no relationship to the dealer system.  You're making guesses based on some odd perceptions of a very different franchise model.


    Doesn't it kill you (none / 0) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:08:26 AM EST
    when people who have absolutely no knowledge of something give themselves permission to pronounce on it?

    Thanks for the detailed run-down on this.  Much of what you say had been my vague impression, but it's good to have the detail and the confirmation.


    Knowledge (none / 0) (#161)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 07:51:08 AM EST
    Paying 5 dealers does cost quintuple...

    True but irrelevant.  It costs more than one.  More cost than the competition is not good.

    GM helps them form co-operative teams

    At no cost!  Amazing.  Do you have a source?

    It costs exactly the same amount to ship each or any car from Flint MI to Los Angeles CA, or from any GM factory to any dealer.

    The raw transportation cost from the hauler may be the same, but the admin cost of organizing smaller shipments to more destinations is greater.

    Dealers pay for their own training.

    And GM needs to support a larger training infrastructure to accomodate more smaller dealers.  Funds to support that that could be better spent producing better vehicles.  Is it your assertion that dealer training is a profit center for GM?

    Can you explain why if over saturation of dealers is not a problem, reducing dealers is part of the big 3's work out plan?    Hmmmmmmmm?

    Is it your assertion that Toyota is making a business mistake by not adopting GM's dealership model?


    Will it come back? (none / 0) (#3)
    by CST on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:35:43 PM EST
    With the new senate?  Or will it be too late by then...?

    Likely too late (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:49:01 PM EST
    I think Paulson might change his mind and come forward with some TARP cash.

    Hot Potato (none / 0) (#54)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:45:28 PM EST
    The Senate lobbed it back.

    GM says it has (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:59:39 PM EST
    only enough money to get to the end of this month.  With no credit available, they'll have to do Chapter 7 bankruptcy-- complete dissolution.

    If you look at the polls, (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:00:35 PM EST
    that's what people say they want.  Just wait until they open up Pandora's box. . .

    Since when (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:16:54 PM EST
    is the "public" competent to abjudicate complicated economic situations.

    It's fine for them to throw out their knee-jerk opinions, but don't we hope the politicians have a little more loyalty to the realities?

    Are we going to navigate our way out of this mess by mob rule?


    Of course not (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:20:33 PM EST
    but the political reality makes it fairly difficult to pressure the Republicans on this.

    It's really shortsighted of them, though. There will be real pain if the auto industry fails.


    Oh, I understand (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by NYShooter on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:53:58 PM EST
    completely....the political realities. And I should kick myself a hundred time for forgetting the utterly incomprehensible, and indefensible, "Politics over Country" creed of the current Republican Cabal.

    I can just hope this will have the same effect as Gingrich's "shutting down the Government" during Clinton's reign.

    Unfortunately countless millions of innocent Americans will pay the price for this Beltway Boondoggle.


    I don't get this impulse (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:18:53 PM EST
    people seem to have to just burn the country down. These are real businesses with a real chance of recovery if they get over the hump - not some investment banks that threw away all their money.  If the auto companies had come forward 6 months ago before people were so disgusted by the TARP mess, whould they have been treated this way?  Hard to tell.

    Misguided at best (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:12:08 PM EST
    They say let them fail because they believe the media about the $70 an hr salaries. If they took time to really look into the situation and if the Democrat's and auto industry would ever learn how to frame an issue, they wouldn't be so quick to slit their throats.

    Republican's are still miles ahead of the Democrat's in manipulating their message.


    What you said, mmc9431 (none / 0) (#149)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:09:47 AM EST
    40 days.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Coral on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:05:27 PM EST
    Actually, it might be better politics all around if Paulson or the Fed found some way to get the auto co's through to the new administration w/o bankruptcy.

    Then Obama with better majority in the Senate would be able to structure a sounder solution.

    I am really liking his choices for cabinet/inner circle. Though I may have issues with some of them individually, as a team, it looks like they could be extremely effective.


    Dead, or almost dead? (none / 0) (#6)
    by bocajeff on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:39:00 PM EST
    Of course, they can wait 6 weeks and do it again with a new Senate.

    Chapter 11 wouldn't be so bad, especially if they can do it quickly so it doesn't have too much of an effect an sales.

    Obama says that he warned them 1 1/2 years ago. Did he also warn all automakers because they are all having a real hard time. Besides slumping sales, U.S. Automakers have other costs foreign makers don't have to deal with.

    This is a credit issue as well...

    GM can't wait (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:01:49 PM EST
    They'll be completely out of money by then.  They can't do Chapter 11 bankruptcy because there's no credit available.  Who's going to buy an expensive new car from a company in bankruptcy without solid, long-term government guarantees anyway?  I sure wouldn't.  This is a GOP fantasy, and a big, big part of it is busting the UAW once and for all.

    He did? (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:43:58 PM EST
    Obama says that he warned them 1 1/2 years ago

    I'm sure that (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    No one did more to warn them!

    But why does he say that? What does that solve now?


    "No one did more to warn them!" (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by vml68 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:16:50 PM EST

    I could not resist (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:20:02 PM EST
    Can the (none / 0) (#12)
    by WS on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:48:14 PM EST
    car companies survive until Jan. 3rd?  The Republicans have a death wish and will hurt them with the electorate at large and the Midwest in particular.


    I got an idea.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:10:30 PM EST
    we just gave the banks a sh*tload of money...can't we force them to loan the auto companies 14 billion of the bounty the have received from taxpayers?  or should I say taxpayers that aren't even born yet.

    I thought the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Frank Burns on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:24:21 PM EST
    This is what the bailout money was for, to get the banks lending again. Or do they all think this isn't going to plunge this country deeper into a depression?

    It would be nice (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by cenobite on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:24:39 PM EST
    Except we had to give Hank Paulson's golfing buddies a ton of money NOW NOW NOW (h/t Lambert) so there are no strings attached to require the banks to use that money to actually make loans. So they used it to give themselves bonuses, shore up their balance sheets, and buy up their weaker competitors instead.

    The banks desperately needed (none / 0) (#37)
    by vml68 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:22:04 PM EST
    that money to save themselves from going down the tubes. No way are they going to lend/share the bounty.

    A comment above points out that GM, (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:21:54 PM EST
    for example, has 5x as many dealers as Toyota but has nearly similar sales. So each individual GM dealer has about 20% of the sales of each Toyota dealer. Let's assume that's a pretty good broad-strokes picture of the situation.

    I've heard that it's also tough for a consumer to get a loan to buy a car these days, which, if true, obviously puts a damper on sales, not to mention many consumers have no interest and/or ability to buy cars considering the economy.

    But,  moving up the chain, I also read that when the dealers buy the cars from the automakers they also borrow the money to do so, so would a bigger dealer borrow more money and thereby get better loan rates/terms than a smaller dealer?

    Also, now, are dealers able to even get the loans they need to buy cars from the automakers?

    Many dealers finace their inventory (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 02:33:01 PM EST
    through GM/Ford Credit and other sources. (Also called "floor plans.) Others pay cash, net 30 and other variables.

    Hmm, if the auto makers had to put (none / 0) (#158)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:46:00 AM EST
    their cars on the dealers lot under a partial consignment deal, would they build more competitive cars?

    From Forbes: (none / 0) (#71)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    And the measure was losing support on the other side as well. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who represents an automobile manufacturing state, announced she would oppose it because of an unrelated provision giving federal judges a pay raise. [...]

    But many Republicans remained staunchly opposed to it, and some Democrats were ill or absent from the emergency, postelection congressional session. Supporters of the bailout acknowledged that in this scenario, getting the requisite 60 votes to pass it would be very difficult. [...]

    Republicans are directly challenging Bush, arguing that any support for the domestic auto industry should carry significant, specific concessions from autoworkers and creditors.

    They're also bitterly opposed to tougher environmental rules carmakers would have to meet as part of the House-passed version of the rescue package - something that also faces some Democratic opposition.

    Aaargh (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:40:03 PM EST
    getting the requisite 60 votes to pass it

    Can't they just once say that the 60 votes are needed to break the filibuster, not to pass the bill?


    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:42:51 PM EST
    claiming to oppose it because of the COLA increase for judges is about the most cowardly position one can take.  Really, if you believe this loan is so nonessential to the overall economy that you're willing to let your vote hinge on whether judges get a pay increase, then you probably should just be voting against it in any event.

    Meanwhile, over at the White House, Dana Perino:

    Something else happened today that all of you are probably already covering, which is we had the unemployment claims which are the highest now in 26 years. And we believe that the economy is such -- is in such a weakened state right now that adding another million jobs -- another possible loss of 1 million jobs is just something our economy cannot sustain at the moment.

    Sounds like common sense to me, but hey, take a position on it one way or another.  Don't try to tell me that whether federal judges get a cost of living increase is a more important issue!


    Know what I think? (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by hitchhiker on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:06:05 PM EST
    I think it's possible Reid put that COLA in just to give cover to people like Claire.

    Otherwise it does not make sense . . . these things don't quite fit together.  If this bill really is a dire last-possible-second emergency fix, why would Reid screw with it in any way?

    Silly Ed Schulz is on the radio right now screeching about how this sort of thing makes people hate politicians, saying that Reid was trying to sneak some federal spending in, right in the middle of the meltdown when people can't even buy sh#t for their kids for Christmas.

    But Reid is not stupid.  He knew how this would go over.  So why, unless it was so that people like little Claire did not have to publicly stick it to the voters?


    Shrug (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:18:37 PM EST
    might be true, but if it really does give political cover to someone like McCaskill, that sorta makes me think less of the electorate.  I mean, who does it score points with, people who are like "I'm in favor of the bailout because we need to save all those jobs, but gosh, I'd rather have it fail if judges are going to get a cost-of-living increase"? It's like voting for or against the war in Iraq based on whether the bill renamed a post office.  To me, it makes her look like someone with her eye way off the ball.

    iirc, the "expert" on NPR this AM (none / 0) (#80)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:54:15 PM EST
    said he expects unemployment to hit 8.5% next year from it's 6.5% now. My calculations figure that's another 2.5-3.0 million out of work. I'm not sure any industry is going to be immune to steep additional job losses...

    if that is for real (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    then she deserves a massive pay cut.

    Wow, what a stupid person she is (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:50:41 PM EST
    Hard to find the bottom (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:53:26 PM EST
    with her, isn't it?

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:00:23 PM EST
    This is like (none / 0) (#87)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:06:26 PM EST
    a bad impression of John McCain Campaign vers. 08.  

    Maybe she is getting advice from Joe the Plumber now?  I hear he is looking for a ride.


    Oy. (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:09:32 PM EST
    but was anyone expecting something different?  ;)

    cnbc (none / 0) (#98)
    by jedimom on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:31:23 PM EST
    John Harwood is now reporting on CNBC Fast Money that there may be a deal, Reid says he may have a late night vote

    they call it Open Mic night in DC then they can revote and pass it manyana

    tarp (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by jedimom on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:33:17 PM EST
    Harwood notes they dont have the GOP votes to get it done, they may vote on all three bills, House, Sen Dems, Sen GOP, let them fail, then turn the screws on Paulson to use TARP funds...

    Whats good for the goose.......... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Missblu on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:40:44 PM EST
    It is time to end tobacco bailouts now

    Radio Times on NPR (none / 0) (#109)
    by Slado on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:16:37 PM EST
    Ran very good shows on this subject.

    As a die hard conservative and major stockholder in a company that supplies Auto Manufactureres including GM I am torn.

    The facts are...

    1. All of the big three are in trouble long term but GM is the biggest mess because of legacy costs.

    2. GM has too many dealers and state laws prohibit them from simpling canceling them.  Only Chapter 11 will make this possible.   The government is incapable for political reasons to shut the doors of mom and pop dealers all over the country.   Without Chapter 11 this necessary step won't happen.

    3. The UAW has made many concesions but it's not enough for the companies to remain solvent.  GM and the rest of the big three know it and the the UAW has the trump card of having 1/2 of government in their corner.   Chapter 11 solves this.   The contracts are torn up and we start over.   The beuracracy of Washington and a democratic administration and congress are not going to gut the UAW's contract and legacy cost.  I don't blame the UAW but the fact is the deal they've cut with the big three is unrealistic and is killing the company.  If it continues then they might as well become government workers.

    4. Even if the UAW agrees to every demand on it's current work force it's not enough.   Legacy costs are killing the big three and especially GM.  What is killing GM is not what the UAW workers are making it's the healtcare and pensions GM is paying for former employees and the FAMILIES of former employees.   This add s anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 per car to the cost that it's competitors are not paying.   Ford and Chrysler have similar deals but since they where never as big as GM and never had as many employees the costs aren't as astronomical.


    5) GM's plants are inefficient and the bueracracy mindboggling.   GM is poorly run and so are it's plants.   A first year MBA student could write the things GM needs to do on a a single sheet of paper and fix most of their problems but the machinery and will isn't in place and that's obvious if you look at the decisions this company has made over the last 30years since the energy crisis of the 70's.  It needs new management, a new board and new officers.   Only Chapter 11 will make this happen.  

    Chapter 11 is the solution.   It will be miserable for GM employees and for the employees of the thousands of suppliers (including a company I own part of) but it's an economic reality.

    15billion is just a bandaid.  Do people really have faith that the federal government will manage this properly?   Do people really believe if nothing is done about all these issues now that things will get better?  

    Of course they won't.   GM needs to be cut in half and built back up if the market is there to be had.    

    Here's the case made by someone (none / 0) (#114)
    by Slado on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:30:10 PM EST
    smarter for bankruptcy

    Thanks for the link... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:56:24 PM EST
    to the odious (I'm vomiting) Heritage Foundation.

    What GM needs to do is shed labor contracts, retirement contracts, and modernize its distribution systems by closing many dealerships. It appears to need new management as well. Bankruptcy gives them the opportunity to do all that.

    That is, of course, the plan.


    Corker's "Plan" (none / 0) (#111)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:18:35 PM EST
    Corker has crafted a separate, three-pronged plan:

    It would require the two firms closest to bankruptcy, General Motors and Chrysler, to reduce their debt by two-thirds. Bondholders would have "plenty of incentive to make sure that the debt is reduced by two-thirds" or risk losing even more if the firms go into Chapter 11, where their bonds might be further discounted, Corker said. "We're going to force them into bankruptcy if they don't do this," he said bluntly.

    He also would require that the Voluntary Employee Benefit Association, the entity created by the car firms and the UAW to handle retiree health care benefits, accept stock in lieu of half the cash payments due. The carmakers had agreed to fund VEBA but can no longer afford to do so. "If a company goes bankrupt, these future payments are never going to happen anyway," he said.

    Finally, Corker's bill would force the UAW to lower its members' wages to the level of workers at the American "transplants," the factories in Tennessee and other states owned by Toyota, Hyundai and other foreign car companies.

    from MSNBC

    Unbelievable (none / 0) (#166)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 09:57:36 AM EST
    It is absolutely unbelievable to me that Republicans - who thought it was the height of socialism to impose any sort of wage caps on CEOs in return for hundreds of billions of taxpayer money - would now think it is a-ok to impose wage caps on everyday workers.  Workers, I might add, who are already seeing their benefits cut.

    And I loooooove their "enron-esque" scheme to make the workers even more dependent on company stock.  Because we all know stock only goes up in value.  

    You know what?  maybe this is the GOP testing ground for privatization.  Let's see what happens to worker benefits when we substitute cash for stock....


    Regarding wages, (none / 0) (#119)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 05:55:05 PM EST
    I'm starting to wonder if, in the long run, essentially all autos sold in the US will be made elsewhere regardless of the "nationality" of the brand.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:11:04 PM EST
    you could replace autos in that sentence with, like, everything.  We seem to be in a slow process of transitioning to a 100% service economy which I'm sure is an exciting prospect to everyone.

    I personally believe that we're nowhere as a nation without a strong middle class, and that's why I believe the key question of our time is how we can achieve our aspirations for the middle class given that we're committed to participating in a global economy.  I wish I had an answer to it.


    Me too. (none / 0) (#125)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:53:19 PM EST
    Gosh (none / 0) (#142)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:06:50 PM EST
    Don't faint, but you are right.

    I've been watching this for 50 plus years and the only way out that I see is to be on top of the next technology jump... yet our educational system sucks and we seem to be determined to teach our kids (my grandkids) that competition is bad.

    Because of this my grandkids are in private schools where the discipline is strict, standards are high and  they are taught a second language from grade one forward.

    The only thing I agreed with Obama on was that we need change.


    It sounds like (none / 0) (#151)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:13:37 AM EST
    you also agreed on the importance of learning a second language!

    "Obama says (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:37:37 AM EST
    It isjust common sense (none / 0) (#171)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 05:14:42 PM EST
    to learn a second language in a global economy.

    So just how loud would the howling be (none / 0) (#124)
    by pluege on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:50:36 PM EST
    if a Democratic Senator torpedoed the American auto industry because he had a foreign owned car company plant in his state? My imagination is insufficient to conceptualize howling of such enormous magnitude.

    Are we of the absolute belief (none / 0) (#126)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:56:19 PM EST
    that unless we give them the 15B they will die, but with the 15B they will live?

    No (none / 0) (#154)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:36:49 AM EST
    The $15 billion is explicitly to buy them enough time to do a sensible restructuring plan.  All the $15b will do is get them through to the new Congress and administration next month, where at least they will have a chance. IOW, it's only a stopgap and will solve nothing, just provide a bit of breathing space.

    They weren't in good shape before, but the sudden credit crash has utterly killed them.

    Chrysler is going to go under anyway.  It's owned by a private equity firm that's now avidly eager to get rid of it, almost certainly in pieces.

    Ford is just barely doing OK and says it actually doesn't need the money, at least not right now.

    GM is what this is all really about.  It might be able to limp along with major rethinking, restructuring, etc., but without that bill NOW, it will crumble.

    There's no Chapter 11 banktrupcty here, it's dissolution.


    I should add (none / 0) (#156)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:38:56 AM EST
    that the parts suppliers in particular tend to do parts for all three companies.  If one of them dies, many of the parts suppliers themselves will go under.  If both GM and Chrysler evaporate, Ford won't in a bad economy have enough business for them to keep the parts people alive for its own needs.

    There's just a huge domino effect in prospect here.


    Chapter 11 doesn't mean death (none / 0) (#163)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 08:16:59 AM EST
    Why can't the auto companies go into chapter 11 like the steel companies and airline industry before them?

    No one has an answer other then that GM is too important.   What a load of bull.

    Chapter 11 was designed for just this situation.   Congress can step in and use these precious TARP funds to load money to GM in a structured bankruptcy.  

    This isn't that complicated.

    I have no faith that if GM is allowed to get into a democratic congress and presidency that they will take the steps to purge the costly labor costs that are killing them.   The UAW has way to much political capital to allow its members to feel the real pain that is necessary to right this ship.   Instead these compaines will become state run car companies and taxpayers will be financing their inneficiencies and failure.

    That's a much worse scenario to me then bankruptcy.


    GOP talking points (none / 0) (#169)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 10:17:28 AM EST
    This is nonsense.

    Labor costs are not killing them.  That's a lie being spread by anti-worker anti-union ideologues.  Look it up.  It's been discussed in great detail, including a major piece in the Times yesterday or the day before.

    Big three Detroit workers make $10 an hour more than their non-union fellows at foreign company plants in the South in wages and benefits.  That's just about enough to compensate for the vastly higher living costs in Detroit versus Alabama or Tennessee.

    I'm all for letting GM go into an orderly bankruptcy at some point in the future -- without taxpayer help-- but at this moment in time with an incredibly fragile economy, it would be totally disastrous.

    Chapter 11 is completely impossible.  Nobody will buy expensive new cars from a company in bankruptcy and nobody will lend to a car company in bankruptcy except the government, and it would be a far worse deal for the taxpayers than to help them limp along for a few years yet and maybe get to where they can start bringing out the more reasonable car models they've got in the pipeline.

    What's killing GM, which is what's at issue here, is crappy cars Americans don't want to buy.  Bankruptcy is not going to make those cars more desirable.

    In this case, bankruptcy means dissolution.


    Nope (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:50:58 PM EST
    I enjoy yours too much to complain. At least you do links and stuff. A bunch of these newbees don't.

    members (Democrats, anyway) (none / 0) (#141)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:06:19 PM EST
    are returning to the floor. Something may happen soon.

    Reid speaking: (none / 0) (#144)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:10:45 PM EST
    there's no deal, apparently.

    Saw a headline that said no deal (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:25:34 PM EST
    but my attention got side tracked by the 50 billion Ponzi scheme. Oy.

    It's really, really dead (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by zyx on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:39:07 PM EST
    and the American economy is going to go down the bowl in the next month.

    ####ing Republicans.


    I am so angry. I am no big fan of GM, and I don't like the idea of bailing out the company, but this is just union-busting--not looking looking after the general welfare, at this point in time.

    I am so angry AND worried.


    I'd rather loan out money to companies under (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by nycstray on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 12:51:25 AM EST
    a plan that will have a positive ripple effect than hand 700 billion over to the big finance companies with no strings attached. I think the automakers have blown opportunities for quite some time, and I'm not happy about it, but realistically . . .

    I can only wonder how many on this (none / 0) (#164)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 08:20:39 AM EST
    thread who are so worried about these UAW workers and pensioners drive cars made by GM, Ford and Chrysler.

    I purposely don't say American becuase I drive American cars built by Nissan and Toyota.

    My point is you or no more likely to buy one in the future so why do you feel the tax dollars of the rich should be used to pay the benefits of employees who work for a failed buisness?

    Because (none / 0) (#167)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 10:01:52 AM EST
    The tax dollars of all of us, rich and poor alike, will be used to pay for these unemployed workers when they are collecting unemployment, or on welfare, and relying on state-funded health care, and using food stamps, and having to depend on tax-funded benefits (however few are left) to scrape by, and failing that, well I can't even imagine how awful it will be for them. Not just the UAW workers but workers in all the associated industries. I'm much happier thinking that my taxes would keep people working and an industry viable than I am thinking that yet even more people are being thrown to the tender mercies of our rapidly diminishing social safety net, but YMMV.

    And yes... (none / 0) (#168)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 10:06:18 AM EST
    if a Democratic Senator torpedoed the American auto industry because he had a foreign owned car company plant in his state? My imagination is insufficient to conceptualize howling of such enormous magnitude.

    OMG you speak truth indeed. Every day we'd be hearing long sobbing speeches about the Democrats' utter lack of patriotism and indifference to hardworking Americans. Republicans would stand in front of rippling American flags, stoic autoworkers by their side, manly chins and fists raised in outrage as they thunder on about the Democrats selling out to foreign interests. They would choke up as they railed about workers trying to put food on their families while the Democrats worried more about driving their fancy little twee eco-friendly sportscars. Oh, it would be grand, grand theater, and no doubt involve fireworks and apple pie and family farms while we're at it. And needless to say, the Dems would fold and the bill would pass.