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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

From Barack Obama (actually uttered on March 30*):

"We cannot make the survival of our auto industry dependent on an unending flow of taxpayer dollars. These companies -- and this industry -- must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state."

This was spoken at a time when he wanted to flush six billion tax dollars down the GM/Chrysler toilet. Just after the government had dumped 17.5 billion into that same sewer.

Today? $50 billion. Just for the GM commode.

For the love of God.

* Info courtesy of the Washington Post.

If Promises Were Jobs ...

... Martinsville would have full employment.

Obama made a stop there and promised ... jobs.

Biden came. And went.

Warner, Kaine, Webb, Kaine, McAuliffe, Kaine, Deeds, Moran ...

Promises. Promises. Promises.
Troubled Va. Town Gets Attention but Wants Action
By Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post Staff Writer

Martinsville, Va. -- No one in this tiny Southside mill town likes to be reminded of its tough luck, or its distinction of having the highest jobless rate in Virginia.

But there is a pushy group of job seekers who won't let anyone forget.

Politicians.

Ever since this city's textile and furniture plants collapsed a decade or so ago, political candidates of all persuasions have arrived for campaign stops that sometimes resemble bedside visits to a critically ill patient. The message is straightforward: In their hands, even the sickest will become well.

In stump speeches, debates and bullet points, the city's 20.8 percent unemployment rate has become a set piece for a broader discussion of the state's recessionary woes.

What remains unclear to residents of Martinsville and similar textile towns across the industrial South is whether there is much of anything the politicians can do after the campaigns have passed by. Even President Obama, who toured Patrick Henry Community College's innovative motor sports training program in the fall with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine at his side, has not produced a prescription for the town's troubles. [link]
Barack Obama came to Martinsville in August looking for votes. He promised the people there that he wouldn't forget them. He got their votes. Unemployment has accelerated. He never came back.

Does Anyone Believe This?

When the government puts out crap like this every day, complacency starts to set in. Too bad. In truth, this is a crying shame:
U.S. Hopes To Recoup GM Outlay In 5 Years
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post Staff Writer

The United States would recover most of its planned $50 billion investment in General Motors within five years, according to a preliminary Treasury Department estimate that foresees the company, now on the brink of bankruptcy, rebounding over that time to become a strapping global competitor.

By putting billions of dollars into the ailing automaker, the Obama administration has placed a huge bet on the effort to revive and streamline the company through the elimination of brands, dealerships and factories. Yesterday, the company's union announced that it had approved a cost-cutting contract and GM neared an agreement to shed its Opel brand. [link]
This comes, of course, from a president and minions who have never run a business and don't know the first thing about how to do so.

Here's Obama on the subject:

"My hope … is that we will see both GM and Chrysler having emerged from this restructuring process leaner, meaner, more competitive with a set of product lines that appeal to consumers, good cars that are fuel efficient and that look at the markets of tomorrow."

That "hope" thing again.

Well, I hope that somewhere in his law school studies there were classes on how to turn around the most screwed-up corporations in American history, because it's going to take more than hope to accomplish that which the best minds in the business community failed - utterly - to achieve.

It's worth noting that this non-businessman is fine with another 50 billion of your tax dollars being invested in a company that is currently worth about 1% of that amount.

Me? I say: Let's take that $50 billion and buy beer. At least there'll be some short-term reward. And when pissed away, it won't have any less lasting effects than Obama's "hope" has.

Another President, Another Barrage Of Warnings

Kim Jong-il to subordinate: "File this in the warehouse marked Empty U.S. Warnings."

North Korea Is Warned by Gates on Testing

"File it under May, 2009 (vault G)."

Why The Chinese Will Rule The World

Would you hire a Harvard MBA if your intent was to maximize shareholder equity?
A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality
By Leslie Wayne, New York Times

When a new crop of future business leaders graduates from the Harvard Business School next week, many of them will be taking a new oath that says, in effect, greed is not good.

Nearly 20 percent of the graduating class have signed “The M.B.A. Oath,” a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to “serve the greater good.” It promises that Harvard M.B.A.’s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their “own narrow ambitions” at the expense of others.

What happened to making money? [link]
If the "greater good" involves anything other than corporate earnings, I wouldn't let these misguided fools clean the corporate bathrooms. And I get the impression that that is the case:
“It’s been a dramatic change,” [Diana C. Robertson, a professor of business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania] added. “This generation was raised learning about the environment and raised with the idea of a social conscience. That does not apply to every student. But this year’s financial crisis and the downturn have brought about a greater emphasis on social ethics and responsibility.”
The environment. Social conscience.

Meanwhile, the Chinese, who seem to have learned what business schools are all about, are churning out money managers whose goal it is to enrich the owners of the companies for which they work, and make a decent living for the family.

Greed?

Whatever.

With unemployment hitting 10% this month here in the USA, maybe we should be focusing a bit more on greed and a bit less on social conscience. Nobody ever fed a starving child with social conscience.

We can only hope that the 80% of those Harvard graduates who didn't sign onto this misguided oath did so out of a sense of purpose and a clearer understanding of their role in turning this country away from the abyss it's hurtling toward.

Making Beggars Of Us All

This, friends, is unsustainable:
Leap in U.S. debt hits taxpayers with 12% more red ink
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

Taxpayers are on the hook for an extra $55,000 a household to cover rising federal commitments made just in the past year for retirement benefits, the national debt and other government promises, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

The 12% rise in red ink in 2008 stems from an explosion of federal borrowing during the recession, plus an aging population driving up the costs of Medicare and Social Security.

That's the biggest leap in the long-term burden on taxpayers since a Medicare prescription drug benefit was added in 2003.

The latest increase raises federal obligations to a record $546,668 per household in 2008, according to the USA TODAY analysis. That's quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined. [link]
It should be noted that both milestones - the 2008 jump in long-term debt and that which took place in 2003 with the ill-conceived expansion of the Medicare prescription drug benefit - took place at a time when a Republican was in the White House.

Is it any wonder that a Republican is no longer in the White House?

Of course, both events will be dwarfed by the actions of our current president. Obama has taken our debt load right off the charts ...