Should we bail out the UAW ... er, GM, Ford, and Chrysler? -- John Hinderaker at Powerline says no, and notes that the $25 billion that GM wants is probably more than the market value of all Big Three auto makers combined. He also provides a nice graph that succinctly illustrates the problem:
And writing for the Wall Street Journal, Michael Levine says that GM should not be bailed out; rather, they should file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He writes, "The social and political costs would be very large, but if GM fails after getting $50 billion or $100 billion in bailout money, it'll be just as large and there will be less money to soften the blow and even more blame to go around." Under Chapter 11, GM would be forced to renegotiate vendor contracts, dealer obligations, pension and health care benefits, property leasing and municipal bond agreements, and labor contracts.
Foreign automakers like Toyota and Nissan who build cars in the US are not burdened by these obligations, many of them dating back 30, 40, 50, and even 60 years. I agree with Mr. Levine. Unless GM undergoes a major restructuring, there is no way it will ever be able to dig itself out from under these massive legacy expenditures. Over the years, GM has promised more pieces of pie than it can now cut out of the pan. Bankruptcy is probably the only way to force anyone to give up their piece of GM's pie.
Well, knock me over with a feather, again -- "ACLU calls on governor to create privacy protections". Ohio's governor, that is. Seems that the roughshod treatment of "Joe The Plumber" Wurzelbacher even ruffled the feathers of the ACLU, known for its routine dismissal of civil rights cases that do not advance the radical liberal/progressive agenda. But now even they are concerned. Will wonders ever cease?
"We seem to have crossed a cultural line into myth-making" -- writes Howard Kurtz, regarding the media's maniacal obsession with Barack Obama. Unfortunately the honeymoon can't last forever. "But what happens," Kurtz writes, "when adulation gives way to the messy, incremental process of governing?"
I think we are already seeing the beginning of a very cautious attempt by some of the more wizened members of the press to begin lowering the public's expectations of Obama, if perhaps only down to the upper levels of human achievement. The LA Times' Dan Morain recently reviewed Obama's unimpressively thin legal resume and came away...well...less than impressed. Naturally no one in the MSM was interested in this before the election, but now they are looking for anything with which to make a soft landing pad, in anticipation of The One's first major policy stumble.
ADDED: Jonah Goldberg, NRO, 11/21/08 -
In an attempt to dial down expectations for his administration, President-elect Barack Obama’s supporters have dropped much of the “messiah” talk. No more talk of him being The One (Oprah), or a Jedi Knight (George Lucas), or a “Lightworker” (the San Francisco Chronicle), or a “quantum leap in American consciousness” (Deepak Chopra). Instead we have more humble and circumspect conversation about the man. Now he’s merely Abraham Lincoln and FDR and Martin Luther King, combined.
You should also check out John Ziegler's new website How Obama Got Elected. Of course Ziegler doesn't "prove" that ignorance among the general electorate led to Obama's victory. That's probably not true; people will often vote for a candidate they like or trust, regardless of the behavior of that candidate -- witness the re-election of William "Cold Cash" Jefferson in Louisiana and Jack "Col. Porky McABSCAM" Murtha in Pennsylvania. But Ziegler does show, both through interviews and a poll carried out by the Zogby organization, that Obama voters generally knew very little negative information about Obama, compared to a tremendous amount of negative -- sometimes even fictional -- information about Sarah Palin. This can be attributed to nothing short of full-blown news media bias.
Can't take my eyes off of you ... -- It seems that the folks who put together the satirical OKC blog The Lost Ogle really do know their ogling; last week they posted a hilarious video of News 5 anchorman Paul Folger paying a curious amount of close attention to newsbabe Jessica Schambach:
By the way, The Lost Ogle is really named after Kent Ogle, Kelly Ogle, Kevin Ogle, and their father Jack Ogle, who together have infested OKC's broadcast television airwaves for fifty years.