Barack Obama

Who Shall They Give my Money to Next!

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In addition to the horror-show of government giveaways listed below, it now appears as though America's crappy car companies will be seeking another $50 billion from the money factory formerly known as the United States Treasury. And if President-Elect Obama's first press conference is any indication, there'll be more green where that came from come January:

The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces, hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry.

The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted.

In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America.

And I was glad to be joined today by (Michigan) Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who obviously has great knowledge and great interest on this issue.

I've asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose.

NEXT: Friday Unfun Links: Bailout Balance Sheet

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  1. We are SO fucked.

  2. This problem is easily solved. Simply take away money from profitable industries and funnel it to unprofitable ones.

    The jobs this will create will be uncountable.

  3. And now it begins.

  4. Change you can believe in.

    Sounde like business as usual.

  5. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing…

    Doubtful.

    …and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

    Okay, that is just dumb.

  6. It’s one thing to say shit like this on the campaign trail to get votes. It’s another thing to keep on saying stuff like this after you’ve won, because that indicates he really means to be a socialist.

    Gonna be a bumpy two years, at least, maybe more if a repeat of 1994 doesn’t occur and the Republicans don’t take back the House.

  7. Granholm? Really? What’s Obama gonna do next, consult with Bush on how to respond to a hurricane?

    So, what are the odds that, within the next four years, we’ve applied the farm-subsidies model full-scale to the manufacturing sector?

  8. Oh boy, Jenny Granholm. Maybe we can come up with a cool states initiative since her cool cities initiative* was such a phenomenal success.

    So the fourth way we will grow the economy is by spurring strong regional economies anchored by cool cities. Over the last year, we’ve begun an important dialogue about how we can stimulate the rise of such cool cities in Michigan-cities that attract these young workers and the businesses that rely on their talents.

    We are sooo fucked.

    * I shit you not, boy and girls. This is what passes for economic leadership in Michigan. She ran against some Amway guy (Dick DeVos) and not surprisingly got re-elected. Since assuming the helm here

    Taxes – ?
    Unemployment – ?
    Revenue – ?
    Rainy day fund inherited from a GOP governor – Gone.

  9. So how does this tie in with the Green Collar Jobs thingee.

    I got it, auto workers will start wearing uniforms with Chartreuse shirts, right?

  10. Is Grosse Pointe a cool city? John Cusack may be available for a sequel.

  11. Jennifer Granholm, who obviously has great knowledge

    Does not compute.

  12. Damn…

    Thanks for fucking up my weekend! And yes, we’re FUCKED.

  13. Ah yes, in usual Lib fashion, give the money away and end up with nothing to show for it.

    Quick Math: 50 billion divided by 25 grand (price of a reasonable car) = 2 million cars.

    Of course, the way the big 3 and the UAW operate, they’d loose money on each of those cars unless they got the special “Government” price of 100,000 a unit.

  14. Obama is so fucked. I just watched one of the google guys on MSNBC. He apparently is an advisor to Obama. They asked him what they were going to do. The guy looked like a deer in the headlights. He actually said “I think it is important to remember there still is a president and Congress and Obama is only the President elect”. When asked what Obama would do in January, he said “he will act quickly”.

    Bill Clinton walked into a country coming out of a recession and into a peace dividend from the cold war. That allowed him to raise taxes and revunue and hand out all the goodies to liberal consituencies.

    Obama is walking into the begining of a deep recession and is fighting two wars so there will be no peace dividend. What does he do? Even the biggest Keynsian admits that you can’t raise taxes on the productive during a recession. Thanks to the bailouts, the deficit is through the roof. Unless he just wants to print the money, he can’t really spend much more without finding new revenue. And oh by the way revenue is going to tank because the economy is going down.

    The way out of this mess is to cut taxes and regulation to spur investment and conumser spending. But that is not an option because he has a Demcoratic Congress and a bunch of supporters who don’t understand economics and think that he is going to tax the wealthy and give them a tax cut. Believe me, they know that you can’t raise taxes at the begining of recession.

    At the same time, he has made so many promises to so many people, he has to do something. Do what? A spending bill we can’t afford? Raise taxes? Maybe that is why Bush wanted the bailout bill. It spent all of the money and totally fucked Obama.

  15. What, if any, would be sound, concrete, and completable economic solutions suggested by those who sit on the sidelines throwing stones. Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better…step by step….waiting

  16. Anyways, GM bonds are yielding 40% in the bond market, they sound like a good investment if you believe Obama will come up with the money. Call it the new way of hedging in the 21st century.

  17. He pass all of the bailout bills he wants. It is not going to help the economy, especially if he raises taxes or impliments some kind of goof ball carbon initiative. At the same time, if he doesn’t raise taxes on the “rich” and do something about carbon emmissions what are his supporters going to think? What happens after we have all these bailouts, have a trillion plus deficit, and the economy is even worse next summer?

  18. You’re new here, right?

  19. that was for “Wandering bye the way”

  20. Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better

    The first problem is that you think an economy can be planned. The second problem is that you think completable is a word.

  21. “Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better…step by step….waiting”

    1. Make the Bush tax cuts perminant.

    2. Stop with the bailouts. Take our medicine and let failing business fail.

    3. Impliment a strong dollar program at the fed and treasury

    4. Raise the threshold that federal labor laws apply to businesses from 50 to 200 employees. This would allow all of the business who are sitting at 49 employees to hire without the marginal cost of having to comply with federal laws and regulation.

    5. Tell the world to go to hell on global warming and carbon. Start building nuclear and clean coal to ensure a solid supply of cheap energy

    6. Honor our trade commitments and negotiate more and try to open up as many markets as possible.

    7. Kill off as much un productive pork spending as possible and give it back to the econmy in the form of tax cuts.

    How about that?

  22. How about this game? What can Obama do given the situation and what he has promised his supporters and what the Dems in congress are going to demand?

  23. Binden will be a fine President.

  24. Slash spending…

    It’s the only way to save the economy.

    This means giving up both entitlement programs (like tuition subsidies, medicare, social security) and military spending (F-22’s, CV-X, JSF, attack Submarines etc).

    Repeal Sarbanes Oxley.

    End the dividend tax (even more important than lowering capital gains taxes).

    End subsidies on hybrids and “green” projects.

    Disband the NSF. Disband the FCC.

    Repeal legal tender laws.

    Abolish the income tax entirely.

    Oh yes, for a year, things will be bad. But by the time the midterm elections roll around, the economy would be growing again. Dramatically.

    Of course, most Democrat politicians would guess that Bastiat is a swear word in a foreign tongue, and so they will try to make us all richer by paying guys to dig ditches and fill them back up again.

  25. What can Obama do given the situation and what he has promised his supporters and what the Dems in congress are going to demand?

    Every year the president promises boatloads of crap. Every year he thankfully fulfills but a fraction of those promises.

    I think Obama should pick the cheap fraction and tell Congress that he has to be tough with the budget in these times, so don’t go sending vetoable legislation his way, or he will sick his popular support on them.

    Hey, the newspaper tells me hope is alive in America. Yes We Can!

  26. Tarran,

    I forgot about Sarbox. That would be one hell of a good start there. You and could work it out with about each of us getting most of what we wanted. Of course none of that would ever get through Congress. Obama is fucked. Everyone outside the most idiotic leftist knows when the economy is down you cut taxes. But obama can’t do that because his own congress won’t agree to it and his own supporters would never forgive him. I bet he is on the phone with Mitch McConnal begging and pleading for help to get passed the Dem controled Senate within the month.

  27. Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better

    most constructive way to run the economy better

    run the economy better

    run the economy

    /uninstall

  28. “I think Obama should pick the cheap fraction and tell Congress that he has to be tough with the budget in these times, so don’t go sending vetoable legislation his way, or he will sick his popular support on them”

    He is going to tell Reid, Pelosi and Frank et, al. and all of his liberal base that they are not going to get any of the goodies they were expecting? Good luck with that. You are right that is what he should do. He should be on the phone with Republicans and centrist Democrats right now trying to figure out a way to cut spending and get real tax cuts that will encourage investment and growth. But to do that he will have to throw the left over board before he is even elected. That is going to be a tough pill for them to swallow.

  29. EVen inaugurated.

  30. John, I thought there were slim odds that McCain, economic semi-bonehead that he is, might have advisors good enough to try things like that once he got elected.

    But Obama? As far as I can tell, his instinct for any problem is more government, more taxes, more regulation. Liberals confronting a sick economy are like medieval doctors: is the patient sick? Bring leeches! Does the patient weaken further? Quick, more leeches!

  31. But to do that he will have to throw the left over board before he is even elected. That is going to be a tough pill for them to swallow.

    If Obama can do what Clinton did in his first two years — start off incompetently, propose wildly overreaching government programs, get spanked, lose his majorities, and learn to moderate his economic policies — in his first two months, he will be reelected in 2012 in a landslide. Who cares about his far left supporters?

  32. “But Obama? As far as I can tell, his instinct for any problem is more government, more taxes, more regulation. Liberals confronting a sick economy are like medieval doctors: is the patient sick? Bring leeches! Does the patient weaken further? Quick, more leeches”

    Very true. But he does have a few smart advisors. Larry Summners is no idiot and neither is Paul Volker. Both of those guys know you can’t raise taxes and impliment a bunch insane carbon policies during a recession. The problem is that people like Pelosi and Reid don’t. They really are like medieval doctors with leaches.

    In order to do something positive for the economy, he is going to have to build a coalition among Republicans and centrist Dems like Clinton did. When he does that the left is going to lose their minds. Clinton was never their guy. He was always the bubba they tolerated to keep the evil Republicans out. But Obama is their guy.

    I am all for Obama getting some sanity and working with Republicans and getting some sane policies through. Watching the left go insane with rage as it happens is just a bonus. If he doesn’t do that, he will run the country into the ground and destroy his party to boot.

  33. F*ck those f*ckin’ fans who come out here and say they’re Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you, rippin’ every f*ckin’ thing you do. I’ll tell you one f*ckin’ thing, I hope we get f*ckin’ hotter than sh*t, just to stuff it up them 3,000 f*ckin’ people that show up every f*ckin’ day, because if they’re the real Chicago f*ckin’ fans, they can kiss my f*ckin’ ass right downtown and PRINT IT.

    They’re really, really behind you around here…my f*ckin’ ass. What the f*ck am I supposed to do, go out there and let my f*ckin’ players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the f*ckin’ nickel-dime people who turn up? The motherf*ckers don’t even work. That’s why they’re out at the f*ckin’ game. They oughta go out and get a f*ckin’ job and find out what it’s like to go out and earn a f*ckin’ living. Eighty-five percent of the f*ckin’ world is working. The other fifteen percent come out here. A f*ckin’ playground for the cocks*ckers. Rip them motherf*ckers. Rip them f*ckin’ cocks*ckers like the f*ckin’ players. We got guys bustin’ their f*ckin’ ass, and them f*ckin’ people boo. And that’s the Cubs? My f*ckin’ ass. They talk about the great f*ckin’ support the players get around here. I haven’t see it this f*ckin’ year. Everybody associated with this organization have been winners their whole f*ckin’ life. Everybody. And the credit is not given in that respect.

    Alright, they don’t show because we’re 5 and 14…and unfortunately, that’s the criteria of them dumb fifteen motherf*ckin’ percent that come out to day baseball. The other eighty-five percent are earning a living. I tell you, it’ll take more than a 5 and 12 or 5 and 14 to destroy the makeup of this club. I guarantee you that. There’s some f*ckin’ pros out there that wanna win. But you’re stuck in a f*ckin’ stigma of the f*ckin’ Dodgers and the Phillies and the Cardinals an all that cheap sh*t. It’s unbelievable. It really is. It’s a disheartening f*ckin’ situation that we’re in right now. Anybody who was associated with the Cub organization four or five years ago that came back and sees the multitude of progress that’s been made will understand that if they’re baseball people, that 5 and 14 doesn’t negate all that work. We got 143 f*ckin’ games left.

    What I’m tryin’ to say is don’t rip them f*ckin’ guys out there. Rip me. If you wanna rip somebody, rip my f*ckin’ ass. But don’t rip them f*ckin’ guys ’cause they’re givin’ everything they can give. And right now they’re tryin’ to do more than God gave ’em, and that’s why we make the simple mistakes. That’s exactly why.

  34. The Cubs suck.

  35. Then again, there’s an odd brilliance to Lee’s post.

  36. There is real brilliance in a surealist kind of way.

  37. Unless the economics profession is full of leftists I think this poll should be comforting: they have at least some faith that Obama will help with the economy.

    I agree that his interventionist leanings are a bad habit, but I don’t see doom and gloom scenarios coming to pass. Propping up failed industries IS bad economics but then again, if I were president, I’d rather use government loans to get an industry through a credit crunch than just see tens of thousands lose their jobs and then have to keep them on the dole for years (sorry this is how the real world works). Ideally I’d use the loans to strongarm the unions, which are probably the main problem in the auto industry.

    As for defecit spending, I don’t see it getting much higher as a % of GDP than it did under Reagan.

  38. Funny Blog about the biggest OBAMA SUPPORTER, A MUST READ, dying laughing.

    http://nomorefreefordupree.blogspot.com/

  39. “Unless the economics profession is full of leftists I think this poll should be comforting.”

    I dunno about the economics profession as a whole, but the poll had a 45 to 10 Democrats to Republicans ratio excluding the “neither” option.

    From a lay perspective, economists generally seem to be like most people: they tend to favor those policies which make what they do seem more important than it otherwise might be. So if you need economists to crank out the particulars on stimulus packages, tax incentives and credits and adjusting interest rates, you’re generally going to find economists more apt to favor stimulus packages and tinkering with interest rates and the tax structure. Only the most hardcore of Austrians seem to disagree.

  40. I don’t envy Obama in the coming years, but he really has a chance of either getting his face put on Mt. Rushmore or becoming extremely vilified. It’s one extreme or the other at this point.

  41. He could just start another war, and have GM and Ford build Humvees, tanks and other vehicles for the military

  42. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

    The makers of fucking Hummers are a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

    I’d rather use government loans to get an industry through a credit crunch than just see tens of thousands lose their jobs and then have to keep them on the dole for years (sorry this is how the real world works).

    Uh, GM and Ford have lost around $100 billion total since the end of 2004. These are not good businesses that just need some short-term relief. They bleed cash, make bad products, have problems with their labor unions, and can’t turn profits. Seriously, they’re two of the worst major corporations in the world.

    Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better

    I would, but I’m still trying to think of how to run society and culture.

    Anyways, GM bonds are yielding 40% in the bond market, they sound like a good investment if you believe Obama will come up with the money.

    Yeah, but CDS are implying a two-thirds-ish chance of bankruptcy and there’s a big upfront cost. And when the government bailed out Chrysler, a lot of debt was renegotiated, which was actually mandated by the loan guarantee act. (And around half the workforce was laid off, so structurally it was more of a shareholder bailout than actual bankruptcy prevention.)

  43. Your mom’s a tit.

  44. I know, I know, you kids want me to starve in the streets. Mr President Elect Obama has a plan all figured out in his head on how we can save everyone and give SS to all those earning less that $__ a year. It’s done in France and all over in Europe and everyone drives a Mercedes electric car and we can take a vacation and go to Mardi Gras because New Orleans is a really fun place or to Las Vegas and get a condo for almost nothing down and only pay the interest with our government interest stamps and the illegals will vote in a Mexican for our next president.

  45. Hey, GM stock is super cheap. Maybe Chairman Mao-bama can get the Treasury to just buy the means of production, er, obtain a share of the company just until it gets on its feet. Then when the shares go up (and they surely will) we’ll sell them for a huge profit! Genius!

  46. This has all the fascination of watching a train wreck.

    The engines are off the rails, along with the first several dozen cars filled with building materials and consumer goods.

    The car carriers filled with automobiles are jumping the track just now.

    The real show begins when the last 20 cars filled with compressed, liquefied propane and gasoline roll into the pileup.

  47. I honestly thought that it was some sort of joke when Kolohe mentioned Granholm advising Obama on economic matters.

  48. Can Presidents commit suicide?

  49. If you didn’t think the candidate of the UAW was going to bail out the auto industry, you are a freaking idiot.

  50. …America’s crappy car companies…

    I think “crappy” is over the top. US auto manufacturer’s made crappy cars in the 1970’s, but not now.

    It’s hard to tell where any car is made these days. You can only pin-point where it is assembled, not where the engineering is done or where the multitude of components are designed or manufactured.

  51. ..America’s crappy car companies

    .. dammit, 50 comments and jk beats me to it by a few minutes!!

    .. anyway, I just want to point out that I’m getting tired of the assumption that American cars are by default crap and Japanese cars are by default flawless .. my personal experience is that I have been inside the engine of every Toyota that I have ever owned (one of them three times!) and that after my last Subaru I would never take another one on a bet (tied with a ’64 Rambler for Worst Car I Ever Owned) ..

    .. on the other hand, I have put one million miles on Chevy trucks over the last 20 years with little more than routine maintenance ..

    .. Hobbit

  52. Some of you guys are assuming Obama wants to turn the economy around. I think Obama sees the current state of the economy as a failure of Capitalism and now is as good a time as any for New Deal 2: Electric Boogaloo, let’s see how much Uncle Sam can do. And he’s got a built in excuse for failure: Bush hangover.

  53. John @6:55, that’s terrific. My only suggestion is on the sentence “Raise the threshold that federal labor laws apply to businesses from 50 to 200 employees”, you left a couple zeros off of that last number.

  54. Kenneth,
    “New Deal 2: Electric Boogaloo” is too sweet for words. It’s got that whole ’70s leisure suit Carter II thing down, baby. Maybe I should start polishing my AMC Pacer with the Mr. Microphone.

  55. “Crappy car” companies? Have you actually driven any domestic autos recently? I’m not referring to something in a rental car fleet, I’m talking about Caddilac STS, Corvette, Malibu, etc… The Cobalt is a good quality car for a decent price. GM quality has greatly improved and Toyota has seen its quality rankings fall. Still there is no place for taxpayer supported bailouts, a dumb idea as usual.

  56. “Lay out a plan that you believe is the most constructive way to run the economy better…”

    Easy – the government has no business trying to “run” the economy. Get the f*** out of the way.

    Didn’t keep you waiting too long, did we?

  57. Have you actually driven any domestic autos recently?

    I haven’t because there is no such thing as a domestic car (or a foreign car). Cars are assembled from pieces made in a global market.

  58. I have a plan– crank up the mint-print out the $100 bills–pay off everyone and finish with by filling everyone’s vehicles. Damn, had to replace my hummer with a hybrid, I’ll have to make 2 trips.

    Instead of giving the banks billions/trillions–divided out to the taxpayers–we can off the mortages and spend baby spend.

  59. The MAIN reason he is bailing out the automakers is that there are lots of union auto workers who would be out of a job otherwise and, ergo, not paying dues to the UNION. Obama is dancing with the one that brung him.

    Card check should be next on his payback agenda.

  60. GM and Ford cars are far from crappy. And GM’s portfolio actually has a higher avg mpg than Toyota. In fact, Ford is top tier when it comes to initial quality and durability.

    Domestic automakers, like conservatives, have been a punching bag for too long. Go look at a freaking Malibu instead of just discounting domestics entirely – I hate non-car people making uninformed comments, it’s like Kos Kids trying to tell me the Truth(TM).

  61. I have a plan– crank up the mint-print out the $100 bills

    The mints only make coins. Bureau of Printing and Engraving prints the bills.

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  63. I think wengdongqin may be onto something here. Why not just get a bunch of government employees to start a gold farming operation in WoW! Legalize it, tax it, and mass-market it! Problem solved!

  64. GM and Ford cars are far from crappy. And GM’s portfolio actually has a higher avg mpg than Toyota. In fact, Ford is top tier when it comes to initial quality and durability.

    It doesn’t matter particularly how good the cars are. Ford and GM can’t make a profit with their current cost structure.

  65. I can smell the Change(tm)…

  66. I don’t envy Obama in the coming years, but he really has a chance of either getting his face put on Mt. Rushmore

    With New Deal II, The Revenge of the New Deal, it’s highly likely he’ll get his face on Mt. Rushmore. Where do you think those thousands of new WPA jobs are going to be put to use?

  67. I have a plan– crank up the mint-print out the $100 bills

    The mints only make coins. Bureau of Printing and Engraving prints the bills.

    Joe the pedant: That’s the brilliance of the plan…

    No one will expect it.

  68. Maybe that is why Bush wanted the bailout bill. It spent all of the money and totally fucked Obama.

    Huh. You mean Bush isn’t a complete idiot?

    Who would have guess that.

    If it kept the from passing the carbon tax bullshit or something similar, we’d actually owe Bush for that one. The bailout we can eventually pay for, but carbon taxes are forever.

  69. It’s not like the last prez wasn’t doing this or McCain wouldn’t. They’re all looters!

  70. One problem with “too large to fail” is that it drains revenues (not to mention real hope) from those who become, as a result of these policies, too small (and discouraged) to succeed.

  71. I am getting sick of hearing about these “handouts” to the BILLION dollar corporations. They should learn to manage their money! What about the people on Main Street America that are SUFFERING, wheres our “handouts”. What a pathetic joke.

    Jess
    http://www.anolite.echoz.com

  72. Reading all of this, all I can say is, you’re all a few days too late. Nobody thought Obama would do this? Please.

  73. You guys are so naive.

    Socialist? Socialism??

    So far the only form of socialism that’s respectable in America is socialism for the rich.

    And I’ll bet my last dollar that 99% of you commenting here are not anywhere near rich. I’ll be at least 80% of you don’t have a family income of over 100k.

    What is socialism?
    Spending my tax dollars on:
    – unbid contracts for the Iraqi war?
    – more defense than the next 20 nations … COMBINED!
    – occupying Germany, Korea, and Japan 50+ years after the wars ended
    – bailing out banks and white collar criminals?
    – artificially floating industries that can’t compete in a global industry for whatever reason?

    It’s all happening with your tax dollars right now.

  74. Atlas Shrugged! Time to go John Galt!
    Deny the takers your productivity and keep it for yourself. Go underground, get trained, because the SIZE OF THS MONSTER MUST SHRINK!

  75. Ideally I’d use the loans to strongarm the unions, which are probably the main problem in the auto industry.

    Ya really think that’s gonna happen?

    “I owe those unions,” Mr. Obama explained in his 2006 political memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.” “When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don’t consider this corrupting in any way . . .” [emphasis added]

    You make the call.

  76. It’s not like the last prez wasn’t doing this or McCain wouldn’t.

    True as far as it goes, but Obama has been claiming for the last few weeks that the proposed auto bailout wasn’t large enough and needed to be doubled.

    It will be terrifying indeed if Obama actually meant everything he said.

  77. Hey, Wandering, are you still “….waiting”? Because you’ve gotten a bunch of concrete replies immediately, yet you haven’t said shit.

  78. Sounds like there will be no $$$ left over for war on Iran or Syria. Starve the beast!

  79. So what’s wrong with Bankruptcy? One guess – it would entitle GM/Ford to renegotiate Union contracts, one of managment’s major mistakes in the runup to this mess. Maybe a government guarantee if the bankruptcy court decides the plan might work – it would still be cheaper than pouring money down the rathole. Shareholders have to take the risk and the hit, just like they do in every other badly run company.

  80. Ideally I’d use the loans to strongarm the unions, which are probably the main problem in the auto industry.

    I dunno about the auto industry, but they’re doing their best to bankrupt the NY city and state governments.

  81. Sounds like there will be no $$$ left over for war on Iran or Syria. Starve the beast!

    Just as there is always room for Jello, there is always money for war. Darfur here we come!

  82. Darfur here we come!

    Why again are there not American troops in Darfur? Some villages are getting raped for the third time already. At the very least we could have airlifted AU troops over there. China vetoed any UN action on Sudan because of their oil interests; it’s time to act outside the UN in this case. So go ahead and complain when Obama does something about Darfur, joining the inevitable, hypocritical, and thankfully hollow whines of a Republican chorus that will oppose military action. (I’m not calling you hypocritical but you’ll find yourself in the company of hypocrites)

  83. Just as there is always room for Jello, there is always money for war. Darfur here we come!

    The progressives can hardly wait.

    Listened to Eat The State on KEXP today, and they’re vibrating with excitement over the fact that when Obama takes the helm, he will finally commit troops to Darfur.

    Why again are there not American troops in Darfur? Some villages are getting raped for the third time already. At the very least we could have airlifted AU troops over there. China vetoed any UN action on Sudan because of their oil interests; it’s time to act outside the UN in this case.

    Wow, this statement’s full of so much irony, I have no idea where to start.

    1. We’re arguably spread too thin.
    2. The UN is a group of nations. Other nations are free to commit troops to Darfur. Why is the UN a euphemism for U.S.?
    3. It’s time to act outside the UN? Didn’t we just spend an entire eight years decrying unilateral action and demanding a new era in concensus building (Change We Can Believe In(tm)? Geez the man’s still a lame duck and the liberals already have their amnesia in full swing…
    4. Yes, we agree that when the Republicans complain about military action it will be entirely hypocritical. That’s why this is a libertarian hang out. We tend to spread the complaining around a little more evenly.

  84. Why again are there not American troops in Darfur? Some villages are getting raped for the third time already. At the very least we could have airlifted AU troops over there. China vetoed any UN action on Sudan because of their oil interests; it’s time to act outside the UN in this case. So go ahead and complain when Obama does something about Darfur, joining the inevitable, hypocritical, and thankfully hollow whines of a Republican chorus that will oppose military action.

    And when the Dems invade Darfur to stop governmaental supported atrocities, they’ll be implictly approving the Bush invasion of Iraq. As there was no shortage of government committed atrocities, including the use of chemical agents against their own citizens, surely GWB did the right and moral thing by defending the Kurds and Shiites.

    No you say? Democratic pot, meet Republican kettle.

    This libertarian will just shake his head at the disingenuous justifications posed by both sides during the upcoming debate.

  85. Now, we’re getting somewhere.

    Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) — Democratic congressional leaders urged Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to use the $700 billion rescue bill passed last month to provide temporary aid to the U.S. auto industry.

    “Congress granted you broad discretion to purchase, or make commitments to purchase, financial instruments you determine necessary to restore financial market stability,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote in a letter sent to Paulson today.

    After meeting with U.S. auto and union leaders this week, Pelosi of California and Reid of Nevada said they were “convinced that our nation’s automobile industry — the heart of our manufacturing sector — and the jobs of tens of thousands of American workers are at risk.”

    They argued that the auto industry may qualify for federal financing under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “A healthy automobile manufacturing sector is essential to the restoration of financial market stability, the overall health of our economy, and the livelihood of the automobile sector’s workforce,” they said

    Bailouts for everybody!!

  86. Democratic congressional leaders urged Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to use the $700 billion rescue bill passed last month to provide temporary aid to the U.S. auto industry.

    Corporate Welfare… FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!

  87. Look, if the auto industry is failing because they’re not selling cars, why don’t we just let the auto industry fail, and put the auto-workers Union to work in a WPA 2.0 program carving the head of a new president on Mt. Rushmore. I’d actually be happier with that. Seriously.

  88. Maybe that is why Bush wanted the bailout bill. It spent all of the money and totally fucked Obama.

    What money? Oh, you mean he sold more bonds to Asia and the Middle East and had the Fed print up the rest. We (the US) HAVE no money (savings) and the world is about to finally wake up and stop throwing it’s savings down our rathole. Then all that will be left to do is print money or default, and then hell, and I’m not being hyperbolic, begins here. I hear New Zeland is nice…?

  89. Most people don’t understand “leverage.” Maybe this will provide a new way to define it: A nation of people for years on end spends more than it makes, then expects that nation’s government to panic and spend more than it takes in and more than most of its people can expect to take in for as far as the eye can see.
    It’s as if the cure for alcoholism is more alcoholism, and I’m not talking about just a nip of “the hair of the dog that bit ya.”
    What comes after government as the “gateway drug”?

    Most of us predicted that government panic would just prolong “reaching bottom.” That’s proved true in spades, but, because of the panic, no one has noticed.
    … And on it goes… down into that burnin’ ring of fire.

    Ruthless Cashless

  90. No you say? Democratic pot, meet Republican kettle.

    I guess it’s a matter of scale. In Iraq we had to take down a whole government. In Sudan you’re committing enough resources to stop marauders on horses. Implicitly I approve nothing. Explicitly I disapprove of action in Iraq and approve of action in Sudan. Is that not allowed?

  91. mark,
    I was thinking along those lines. Thanks for saying it.

    But, if I were President, I would continue, sort of, in the tradition of “Silent Cal” Coolidge: Don’t just do something! Stand there.

    Before Dubya stepped into the Middle East quicksand, I was saying he could practice in Africa. But no… Twas not to be. Twould have been better than the fix he got us in.

    Is this spreading of democracy and freedom thing going backward or what?
    Just stand there!

  92. It’s as if the cure for alcoholism is more alcoholism

    “Let me tell ya a little story, Brewster. When I was seven years old, my daddy caught me smoking a cigar. Locked me in a broom closet for two days and two nights with nothing more than a box of cigars and a book of matches. No food, Brewster. No water, just those god damn cigars. Wouldn’t let me out till I finished every last one of them. Taught me one HELL of a lesson! I’m gonna do to you what my daddy did to me. I’m gonna teach you to HATE spending money. I’m gonna make you so sick of spending money that the mere sight of it will make you wanna throw up!”

  93. David E. Gallaher,
    Would you really want to muck around in Africa? That actually sounds worse than the Middle East.

  94. economist,
    You skeered of da tsetse fly, ain’t ya?

    Just Plain Brian,
    Admit the difference betwixt alcohol and alcoholism.
    But, if you can administer your perverted “cure,” more power to you.
    (The only way to administer it is by a consumption tax replacing the income tax. Is that gonna happen?

  95. Admit the difference betwixt alcohol and alcoholism.

    Done.

    But, if you can administer your perverted “cure,” more power to you.

    Well, to be fair it isn’t my perverted cure, I’m borrowing it from a Richard Pryor (arguably the source of all wisdom) movie.

    But let’s stick with the analogy for the moment. Even 12-step programs have, at best, a long-term recovery rate of 10%, and that’s being very generous.

    Sure, best case scenario would involve our money not being spent in such a ridiculous fashion, and if anyone has any way to stop this crazy ride, I’m all ears.

    But since they’ve already spent over $2,000,000,000,000.00 with no end in sight, maybe pulling the airplane out of the dive simply isn’t a possibility. Given that, maybe the best we can hope for is to drive the plane as far into the ocean as possible, so that when the few survivors think back on this horrible time, no one will ever consider doing this again.

    Please forgive my cynical and fatalistic attitude, I’m just not feeling very positive about this at the moment, but in the same sense that “suffering builds character”, maybe national suffering is the only way out of this ridiculous mess.

  96. It doesn’t matter particularly how good the cars are. Ford and GM can’t make a profit with their current cost structure.

    I was going to say basically the same thing. Welch was not saying necessarily that the cars are crappy, but the companies certainly are. Of course, that’s what happens when you let labor unions bleed you dry.

    And I still do think that Honda/Toyota/Nissan makes a better vehicle, though I look at further than one year old.

  97. David Gallaher,
    I once commented that there is no place on earth with as many things that are likely to kill you in one place as Africa. It has as many deadly critters as Australia, all sorts of lovely diseases (who says AIDS is the biggest problem in Africa?), more political turbulence and strife than the Middle East (Holiday in Zimbabwe, anyone?), and killer lakes.

  98. concerning my last post:
    I just realized that there’s better examples of political turbulence in Africa than Zimbabwe. The Congo is an even better example. And Rwanda even better than that.
    “Better” meaning the turbulence is worse, of course.

  99. THis thread decease:11:03 pm Nov 8, 2008

  100. Top o’ tha morn, economist,
    With regard to Africa, I’ll offer this: Like in Field of Dreams: Wherever the US builds a military base (outside the US), an “enemy” will come.

  101. I guess it’s a matter of scale. In Iraq we had to take down a whole government. In Sudan you’re committing enough resources to stop marauders on horses.

    Yeah. What could possibly go wrong there> We’ll of course be greeted as liberators with the greatest dangers to our troops being scratched by the thorns of the roses showering them. You may have read in the media that the Iraqi/Afghani suicide bombers and those who make and employ IEDs are not exactly surrounded with high tech devices.

    Implicitly I approve nothing. Explicitly I disapprove of action in Iraq and approve of action in Sudan. Is that not allowed?

    You implied that using armed force in a a foreign, sovereign nation (Sudan) to prevent atrocities was just, a course that the United States should follow regardless of UN approval. How would that alleged reasoning apply to Darfur but not Iraq?

  102. You implied that using armed force in a a foreign, sovereign nation (Sudan) to prevent atrocities was just, a course that the United States should follow regardless of UN approval. How would that alleged reasoning apply to Darfur but not Iraq?

    When you register Democrat, it all becomes more clear, to be sure.

  103. Ahem, the Democrats are being Democrats. The Republicans did the hard work by breaking the seal. Reserve your ire for the responsible ones.

  104. In Sudan you’re committing enough resources to stop marauders on horses.

    I seem to recall we had a spot of trouble the last time we tried to get away with committing only light infantry to sorting out the wogs in that neighborhood.

  105. I’m not a Democrat, but I’ll admit it does take a little ideological leeway to allow intervention in one place but not another. Still I’d rather reserve the right to make judgment calls about human rights in other sovereign countries, rather than emulate the shameful Chinese policy of “non-interference”.

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