“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker Redeems Himself In The Detroit Bailout

Back in early October, I wrote this post excoriating Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker.

Fair is fair. I believe Senator Corker's statements and efforts to stop the bailout of GM, Ford, Chrysler and the UAW have earned him a reprieve, and, even more, recognition as a standup, standout Washington legislator.

I was extremely impressed when, on Monday, Corker stated in an interview on CNBC that, while he believed the bailout plan would pass Congress, he would not be voting for it.

Last week, he challenged the viability of GM, and condemned the entire notion of allowing any of the auto makers to short cut to Washington without stopping in bankruptcy court first.

As I write this on Thursday night, December 11, the following information was available on Corker's version of the bailout plan, which even Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader, named as the 'only plan being considered now' in the Senate,

"He got busy before dawn today, working multiple angles, in hopes of convincing Senators the current auto bailout bill won't help the industry. "I mean you couldn't make it almost more ineffective and more complicated," said Corker about the White House plan.

Corker favors an alternative plan that focuses on debt reduction, and bringing the wages and benefits of U-S auto workers in line with foreign competitors.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says "if the Republicans have an alternative, let them offer that." So, this afternoon, Corker filed an amendment to the bailout bill, with his ideas. "

And this article noted,

"In one meeting, Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who has proposed his own alternative to solve the auto industry's problems, spoke briefly with Reid and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd.

Republicans, as well as some Democrats, are requesting that amendments be made to the legislation. Corker's proposal calls for the federal government to give loans to the auto companies with a provision that General Motors' and Chrysler's debt must be cut by two-thirds by March 15 or they must file for bankruptcy.

Corker also proposed making bondholders and unions take stock in the Big Three in place of some cash payments they're owed. Plus he wanted autoworkers to renegotiate their contracts and adjust their pay and benefits to match what foreign automakers pay their workers in the U.S."

These are the details I heard discussed on Fox News this evening. While I'm disappointed President Bush backed the House version, rather than standing with Republican members of both Chambers to back a Corker-style bill, it is very similar to what I hoped for when I wrote this recent post just a week ago today. I think Corker's ideas concerning forcing existing stakeholders, until now along for a free ride on the taxpayer's nickel, including bondholders and the UAW, must take equity instead of some cash payments, as well as forcing the latter to lower their compensation to that of Detroit's onshore competitors.

Very shrewd, because, eventually, to survive, all three Detroit auto companies will need to do that.

Regarding the House version, the article states,

"The House approved the plan late Wednesday on a vote of 237-170. It would infuse money within days into cash-starved General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. Ford Motor Co., which has said it has enough cash to make it through 2009, would also be eligible for federal aid.

The plan would also create a government "car czar," to be named by President Bush to dole out loans, with the power to force the carmaker into bankruptcy next spring if they didn't cut quick deals with labor unions, creditors and others to restructure their businesses and become viable.

But the legislation has met strong opposition from many Republicans -- including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who claim it does not require enough accountability from auto makers. The Republicans have plans to filibuster the legislation to prevent its passage in the U.S. Senate.

McConnell said on Thursday that the measure "isn't nearly tough enough" on struggling automakers, which employ thousands in Ohio. He said a primary weakness in the measure is with the so-called "car czar." He added that the post wouldn't have the power to force the car companies to make the tough concessions needed to ensure their survival.

On Thursday, Republican senator Tom Coburn told FOX News that he expects the bill will be defeated in the Senate. Coburn said the legislation is "only a short term fix." "

So, I'm happy to report that Corker has already begun to help lead the long Republican march out of this November's defeat, with a positive, realistic bill to temporarily aid GM, Ford, Chrysler and the UAW.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Illinois' Latest Governmental Shame: Governor Rod Blagojevich

Current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is following a long and rich history of corruption in the Land of Lincoln.

As this newstory recounts, Blagojevich is the fourth governor of the state to be on the way to the Big House in less than forty years.

The Illinois Democratic governor of my youth, known back then- no kidding- as 'Honest Otto' Kerner, was convicted while on the Federal bench.

"Walkin'" Dan Walker, another Democrat who emulated Jimmy Carter and walked across the state, and into the governor's mansion in Springfield, was imprisoned for S&L-related fraud.

George Ryan, a Republican, left office for a jail term on account of selling licenses and leases while Secretary of State. In that, he continued the proud tradition of his predecessor in the 1970s, Paul Powell.

In those days, I recall that Illinois residents wrote their drivers license payments not to "Secretary of State of Illinois," nor "Illinois DMV," but directly to "Paul Powell."

Upon Powell's death, hundreds of shoe boxes full of uncashed checks were found in his home.

Nice work if you can get it.

There are so many interesting angles to the Blowdryovitch (that's what they call him back home) scandal.

For example, why did Federal DA Patrick Fitzpatrick wait until after the November election to move on the Illinois Governor? You have to suspect political calculation on the part of the Illinois Democratic mafia.

Clearly, with only a 6% point margin of victory, the New Messiah would have probably lost the November election, had Blagojevich been arrested a few days before that first Tuesday.

Doesn't this illustrate how corrupt and rotten is the nest of Cook County, Illinois Democratic vipers from which our President-elect was spawned? It is unimaginable that all of the key Democratic party players didn't know this was going on.

So, why didn't our New Messiah work to change any of this? Instead, he willingly turned a blind eye to it, while scrambling up his own political ladder, knifing old mentors in the process.

Will Illinois voters choose a Republican replacement, the better to punish the deeply-corrupt Democrats? One can only hope. It would be a fitting reaction, should the downstate Republicans finally mobilize and manage to regain at least one seat.

Is the Anointed One complicit in any of this? Well....that is the $64,000 question, is it not?

As William Bennett noted on Hannity & Colmes last night, we just don't know yet. The denials haven't yet been sufficiently sweeping from the Illinois rookie's camp. We don't know whether any of his underlings did him a 'favor' that will come back to haunt him.

Remember, Nixon didn't initially know of the plumbers' activities. His crime was obstruction of justice, not planning the original crime.

Oh....and Jesse, Jr? What about Candidate #5? The Feds explicitly state that somebody representing Jackson approached Blagojevich. Jackson's denial was carefully wordsmithed to avoid denial of responding to requests for bribes to get that Senate seat. He only denied initiating the process- not participating.

Should be interesting to watch this unfold. Of course, the stench of the mess will hang heavy over the Rookie's inauguration.

Wasn't this how Carter's era began? Bert Lance and "Ham" Jordan causing embarrassment from virtually the get-go?

Yes, it's Carter-time again, folks. Only, I predict that this next administration will look Carter look moderate and competent by comparison.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama's Birth Controversy

I know I haven't written about this topic yet. In fact, I only became aware of it a few weeks ago, well after the election.

But, if you Google the topic, as I did, you'll find there are several suits filed to force the newly-elected Illinois rookie to release his birth certificate for verification.

His own grandmother has sworn she saw him born in Africa. Hawaii won't release his birth certificate. And neither will the incoming President.

How can you not smell a rat on this one? The Democratic party is fearful of losing the election if it is shown their candidate didn't meet the basic requirements for office.

How can we sit still for this?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Democrats Plan To Piss Your Tax Dollars Away

All this talk by Democrats about 'infrastructure' spending and, along with it, 'green jobs,' is nonsensical.

You'd laugh, if you didn't want to cry, instead, at the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars about to be wasted by our New New Deal.

One of the basic lessons of even Keynesian economics one learns in the introductory macroeconomics course in college is that government fiscal policy rarely, if ever, counteracts a recession. Instead, it typically stokes inflation as, just when the natural cycle of the economy moves into expansion, all of the government-induced use of resources for infrastructure projects hit home, causing cost-push inflation.

I wrote here recently about how current evidence clearly shows the FDR New Deal programs to have failed at providing long term, meaningful jobs, or economic expansion, in the 1930s.

So, whether it's long term economic change, recessionary offset spending, or honest replacement of bridges and roads- the last, by the way, already the subject of large, recent years' outlays by Congress- this coming orgy of Obamanomics won't help the current natural economic recessionary cycle end any sooner.

But it will add to the deficit which, only a year ago, was the primary tool with which Democrats fought against Republican-sponsored tax cuts.

Oh, well. I guess fiscal responsibility was only desirable for Democrats when it kept Republicans from cutting taxes. Now that fiscal rectitude might impair the Democrats' newly-elected Messiah's plans to single-handledly save the Western economies, it'll have to go.