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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yeah. Don't Wanta Be Damaging Their Credibility.

Amazingly, I agree with this Roanoke Times editorial on the subject of the Big Three auto makers and their impending bailout:

Automakers Need a Bailout

Bewildering, though, is this odd declaration:

Though some experts believe that only the tough love of bankruptcy will provide the impetus for true change, others worry bankruptcy would be fatal to a car company.

Unlike other companies, such as airlines, that can emerge from bankruptcy leaner and stronger, auto manufacturers depend on consumer confidence that the company will be around for the life of the car to provide service and honor the warranty.

Ah, yes. That sterling consumer confidence in Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

That's like arguing that Richard Nixon's reputation might be damaged by lackluster sales of his memoirs after he resigned in disgrace.

Their reputation is in the toilet, fellas. Consumer confidence is nonexistent. And has been for years. It can't get worse.

Besides, there comes a time when bankruptcy becomes a "healthy" way for a company - or an individual - to restructure debt. Yeah, it comes with baggage. But we're talking about Chapter 11 here (at least today). That's not the end of the world. Potentially, it's a beginning. Ask Kmart. Ask Texaco.

In my opinion, if GM were to declare bankruptcy, its image might actually be enhanced. A message would be sent that it is no longer business-as-usual. Contracts - especially with the UAW - would be abrogated, with the Statement of Cash Flows improving dramatically as a result.

And cash, being king, might allow for more consumer-friendly automobiles to be released to market. Who knows? GM and the others might actually once again have reputations.

Guess we'll see ...

They're Going To Start Snorting Cocaine?

Girls get new role model in Obama

Sorry. This Room Is Occupied.

Over my dead body ...

Expect Obama To Govern From On High

From on High? Uh, I don't think so. I seized this high ground long ago. Obama can stick to the nether regions. There ain't enough room here at the top for the both of us.

The Cold, Hard Truth

Congress has decided it knows more about the auto industry than the auto experts do. That alone should frighten the thong underwear off of you. And if that ain't enough:
The Car of the Future -- but at What Cost?
By Steven Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writer

Many members of Congress believe they know what the car company of the future should look like.

"A business model based on gas -- a gas-guzzling past -- is unacceptable," Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last week. "We need a business model based on cars of the future, and we already know what that future is: the plug-in hybrid electric car."

But the car company Schumer and other lawmakers envision for the future could turn out to be a money-losing operation, not part of a "sustainable U.S. auto industry" that President-elect Barack Obama and most members of Congress say they want to create.

That's because car manufacturers still haven't figured out how to produce hybrid and plug-in vehicles cheaply enough to make money on them. After a decade of relative success with its hybrid Prius, Toyota has sold about a million of the cars and is still widely believed by analysts to be losing money on each one sold. [link] [my emphasis]
Auto expert Chuck Schumer tells that a business model based on gasoline-powered automobiles is unacceptable. But a business model based on the classic premise "the more you make, the more you lose" is a winner? Because that assumption works for government, it necessarily works in the real world? I don't think so.

And who, exactly, has decided that hybrids are the car of the future? Those "wildly popular" sorta-electric autos now make up a whopping 5% to 10% of all cars sold in this country (and that's with gobs of incentives and rebates). GM, Ford, and Chrysler are going to dump the 90% to capture that 10%? That's a sound business model?

And why those inconvenient and annoying plug-in cars? Why not fuel cell vehicles (FCV's)? Don't they hold out more promise? And aren't they more suitable - by far - for the average American's driving habits?

Lastly, who elected Chuck Schumer auto guru? And if he hoists that mantle, is he going to give up that of banking guru, now that his efforts to regulate the banking industry have resulted in the collapse of markets across the globe?

Why are we even listening to this nitwit?

This Should Be Interesting

A blaring headline in this morning's New York Post:

The Post calls upon the entire board of directors of Citigroup to resign because of the financial giant's impending collapse that has forced the federal government to step in and, with billions of taxpayer dollars, attempt to bail them out.

And who, until recent days, sat on the Citigroup board?

None other than the man who is rumored to be Barack Obama's soon-to-be go-to guy on all matters financial.

It don't get juicier than this:
Bounce These Bozo Bankers
Rubin & Co. Orchestrated the Fall of this Behemoth
The New York Post

Washington was forced over the weekend to come to the res cue of Citigroup - a once- great bank brought near to ruin by a grossly negligent board of directors.

The cost? A mere $351 billion - that is, only $1,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

Blame abounds, but most of it must accrue to the Citigroup directors - the men and women paid well to make corporate policy, and to oversee its proper execution.

Already gone, though not soon enough, is former Director Robert Rubin ...

Rubin, the Clinton administration treasury secretary who successfully engineered the bank deregulation that made so much of the current mess possible, was appointed to the Citi board in 1999.

Then, it seems, things began to happen.

That is, Rubin apparently undertook to test the limits of his new banking rules.

In a 4,076-word autopsy of Citigroup's "rush to risk," The New York Times on Sunday labeled Rubin "an architect of the bank's strategy." [link]

Rubin. The architect of the collapse. Soon to be Barack Obama's closest financial advisor.

Change we can believe in?

I can see it now. Barack Obama, as he makes the announcement: Robert Rubin will do for America what he did for Citigroup. Sweet.

Word Games

The editorial writers at the New York Times can't be this obtuse. Diabolical, perhaps. Stupid, maybe. Petulant, probably.

Let me ask you a question: If Congress passed and put on the ballot an amendment to the Constitution calling for a permanent ban on the ownership of handguns, do you suppose the leftists at the Times would argue that such an amendment isn't an "amendment," but, because of its significance, it's more of a "revision," and therefore requires extraordinary considerations?

Not on your life. They'd be out there championing the amendment process as the best means for the American people to be heard when it comes to making America a better place for all to live. Yada yada yada.

But when its one of their oxen that's being gored, look how their argument changes:
California’s Legal Tangle
editorial

The approval of Proposition 8 in California, a constitutional change designed to prohibit marriage between couples of the same sex, was not just a defeat for fairness. It raised serious legal questions about the validity of using the Election Day initiative process to obliterate an existing right for a targeted minority.

The case turns on whether Proposition 8 is a constitutional amendment, requiring only approval by a bare majority of voters, or a more far-reaching constitutional revision, requiring a two-step process: either a constitutional convention or a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature followed by voter ratification. The court, which has struck down several measures before, should not lightly overturn the will of the people. But it has not confronted a revision this far-reaching in terms of upsetting basic rights and the state’s constitutional structure. [link]
Got that? The constitutional amendment that the people of California passed isn't an amendment. It's a revision. Because its so far-reaching.

A preposterous notion on its face.

So expect every leftist in California - especially those on the California Supreme Court - to seize upon it.

A question: What makes the amendment - a simple guarantee that the classic definition of marriage would be maintained in perpetuity - so "far-reaching"? Especially considering the fact that the amendment simply affirms that set of laws and those mores that have been in place since this country was founded? I'll tell you. The goons at the Times disagree with the peoples' decision. Pure and simple. Thus, to them, it is earthshaking.

To the rest of us though, us normal people, the amendment is nothing more than an annoyance. The people of California had to take time out to explain the birds and the bees - in codified form - for the beanbrains to understand. Marriage - our most sacred institution - exists for a reason. It is the cornerstone of that which we call THE FAMILY, two key ingredients of which are a man and a woman. A third being children. Marriage means nothing without them.

Despite that, the New York Times tries to make something of the will of the people that it isn't. Laughably so. The amendment isn't an amendment.

For the love of God.

- - -

For the geniuses at the New York Times, from Grammar 101, a couple of synonyms to ponder:

Revise: Improve.

Amend: Improve.

Revision? Amendment? A distinction without a difference.

Oh, Brother

To think, this is the same government that will soon be in charge of America's health care system:
Ineligible farmers keep getting federal subsidies
Investigators found that at least 2,700 farmers received subsidies they were not supposed to get.
By Michael Doyle, The Miami Herald

Washington -- Millionaire farmers continue to pluck crop subsidies they don't deserve, federal investigators say.

At least 2,702 farmers nationwide received subsidies between 2003 and 2006 even through they were making more than the $2.5 million gross-income cutoff. The unwarranted payments totaled $49 million and exposed enduring Agriculture Department management problems, investigators concluded.

"USDA cannot be assured that millions of dollars in farm program payments it made are proper," the Government Accountability Office investigators noted in the report issued Monday.

In one case, investigators noted, "an individual with ownership interest in a professional sports franchise received a total of more than $200,000 in farm program payments for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006." [link]
Just goes to show, the government can't keep track of a Little League baseball roster, much less a list of farmers who are entitled to federal handouts.

And soon, with Obama now taking the reins and nationalized health care looming, that same government will be in charge of keeping track of organ donations. And rare blood supplies. And diagnostic equipment. Hospital beds. Flu shots.

May God have mercy on us.

Change We Can Believe In

Isn't former Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham in prison for taking in ill-gotten gains? If so, why isn't this guy some big buck's girlfriend in a federal correctional facility not of his choosing?

N.Y. Congressman Rangel Incorrectly Got D.C. Tax Break

Oh. Wait. Cunningham is a Republican, Rangel a Democrat. Never mind.

GOP Loses, Lobbyists Win

Most of us knew this to be true: No matter who won the presidential election, Washington lobbyists would end up standing tall and doing what they do best - greasing palms. And despite all the Obama rhetoric about putting an end to it, it continues unabated.

This tidbit proves instructive:
For Lobbyists, No Downturn, Just a Turnover
By David Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

Many trade groups and Republican lobbying firms did not wait until the election on Nov. 4. The lobbying firm of Barbour, Griffith and Rogers, for example, was once almost synonymous with Republican power. Its three name partners were all well-known White House officials under President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush. One, Haley Barbour, went on to become Republican Party chairman and is now the governor of Mississippi.

But in the aftermath of the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections, the firm’s partners decided to shorten the name to the less evocative “BGR Group,” and started to hire more Democrats. Last month, the firm even held a fund-raiser for the Democratic campaign of Senator-elect Mark Warner of Virginia. And on Election Day, it acquired the Democratic firm of Westin Rinehart, headed by a former Clinton administration official, Morris L. Reid. [link]
One of the most reviled lobbying firms in Washington cozies up and throws a party for our very own Mark Warner. That didn't take long, did it? And what will Warner do in return? Stay tuned.

Parties in power may change, but the real power in Washington never does.

Good Debater Moves On

Every time I hear some Democrat talk about the need for the Fairness Doctrine to be reinstated with regard to talk radio because "there are no liberal voices to be heard," I think of poor Alan Colmes. What is he, a potted plant?

I heard the same thing said when left-wing Air America was launched with great fanfare a number of years ago. "There are no liberals on the radio verbalizing ..."

Poor schmuck. He never gets any respect.

And he moves on:
One Half of ‘Hannity & Colmes’ Is Leaving
By Brian Selter, The New York Times

“Hannity & Colmes” will soon be without “Colmes.”

Alan Colmes, the longtime liberal half of the Fox News Channel prime time program, will leave the show at the end of the year, the network announced Monday.

Mr. Colmes will remain at the network as a commentator and will develop a possible weekend program. He will also continue to host his 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. radio show, “The Alan Colmes Show.” [link]
Colmes's presence on the show made for a good counterpoint to the wildly popular Sean Hannity. The interaction between the two will be missed.

Now, if only he could get a little respect from his pals in the loony left ...