June 3, 2009

From the ‘It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over’ Dept.

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:40 pm

From the NY Times:

Chrysler Sale to Fiat Moves to a Higher Court

A federal appeals court agreed late Tuesday to hear an appeal of Chrysler’s sale to Fiat, after a lower court judge approved the move to help expedite the process.

….. (fifth paragraph — Ed.) As part of its decision to hear the case, the appeals court delayed the closing of the sale, meant to transfer most of Chrysler’s assets into a newer, healthier company.

The appeal was filed by lawyers for a group of Indiana pension funds, which objected to the sale because they were seeking more compensation for the Chrysler secured debt they hold.

“We are pleased the Court of Appeals has agreed to hear our arguments,” Richard Mourdock, Indiana’s treasurer, said in a statement. “As we have stated from the beginning, Indiana retirees and Indiana taxpayers have suffered losses because of unprecedented and illegal acts of the federal government.”

Lawyers for Chrysler and the government argued that the sale to Fiat needed to be completed as quickly as possible to preserve its viability and to save thousands of jobs. Fiat can walk away if no agreement is struck by June 15 ….

Tick, tock.

Note how the Times’s headline failed to tell readers that the sale has been stopped by the court, and waited until the fifth paragraph to tell us. Even then, you can only assume that the court “delayed” the sale if you know for a fact that it will approve it. Reporter Michael J. de la Merced may be smart, but he’s not a fortune-teller. The court prevented the sale, and could conceivably rule that it should be stopped, in which case the next “stop” would presumably be at the Supreme Court.

Maybe the rule of law still exists.


UPDATE: Also in the Times article —

Other objectors included several groups of Chrysler dealers, representing some of the 789 that would be cut as part of the Fiat sale. These groups argued that Fiat should be forced to accept more dealers, or that the deal should be delayed to give them more time to challenge Fiat’s decision.

A hearing on Chrysler’s motion to cut those dealers, which was scheduled for Wednesday morning, was delayed until Thursday.

Now why would that delay have occurred, and who requested it? I’ll bet de la Merced knows, and decided not to tell us.

From the Sore Losers’ File: Lee Fisher on NCR’s Announced Departure From Ohio

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:58 pm

Only a bunch that doesn’t have a clue about how the real world operates would fail to recognize how completely pathetic this reaction to NCR’s decision to leave Ohio is:

Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher said he and Gov. Ted Strickland were “extremely disappointed” about NCR’s decision to relocate.

Fisher said repeated requests to NCR’s senior management to discuss the company’s plans went unanswered, and that the state was not given a “meaningful opportunity to negotiate.”

Ohio had offered NCR a package of incentives worth about $31 million dollars, Fisher said. He added that Ohio “could have matched or exceeded” the $60 million Georgia put up, if the company had been more willing to communicate.

In other words, Lee wanted to know what the other guy’s price was before he put in his own bid.

Uh, sorry Mr. Fisher, in a competitive bid, as opposed to the rigged bids so often involved in government contracts, you don’t get to know the other guy’s price. Too bad, so sad. This forces you to put your best foot forward. In this case, you stumbled badly, not just at the last minute, but for years before that.

And while we’re at it, Lee, Ted, Rhine McLin, and others — A company whose relationship with the political class has become tenuous, as apparently became the case between NCR and the state and local governments with which it dealt, has no automatic obligation to let you know that a bidding process is even taking place. Stop whining, and get it through your thick heads that as long as the people and businesses conduct themselves within the law, government is supposed to be their servant, not their master. The preponderance of the responsibility for keeping the relationship with NCR alive and constructive was on the governments involved, and it failed. Part of the responsibility for that failure would appear to lie with absentee State Representative, now absentee State Senator, Jon Husted.

Now for the coup de grace from a very sore loser:

“This was simply a unilateral decision by senior executives,” he (Fisher) said, calling the (sic) NCR’s disregard for the community in Dayton a “shameless irresponsibility.”

No Mr. Fisher. Making a company-bashing statement that responsibility-averse 2010 Democratic U.S. Senate Primary voters will lap up — a statement that will likely cause other Buckeye State businesses to wonder if enduring its business-hostile political climate is worth it — is shamelessly irresponsible. Trying to achieve the best long-term returns for its shareholders by leaving Ohio for a more hospitable state, as NCR will do, is, sadly for Ohioans, and especially Daytonians, looking more responsible with each passing day.

Rick Santelli: Tim Geithner Is ‘Lying To The American Public’

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:59 am

As the YouTube poster says, the vid quality is awful (indirect HT to Radio Equalizer; vid is also at Real Clear Politics if CNBC gets proprietary with YouTube).

But Rick Santelli has never auditioned to be Mr. GQ anyway, unlike someone else.

Santelli’s riposte addresses Tax Cheat Tim Geithner’s one-word denial, followed by a platitude, when asked if Treasury and the Fed are monetizing the debt. As Santelli says, it is very, very unlikely that they are not.

Also, don’t miss the trap question and the cynicism inherent in the comments coming from the other CNBCers in the second half of the vid:

  • “Why is he saying it then?” (Goal: To get Santelli to say something personally hostile about someone else’s motivation. Nice try; Santelli didn’t take the bait.)
  • “C’mon, they’re always disingenuous.”
  • “Do you think he has a choice?”
  • “I don’t think he has a choice, Rick, politically.”

The other CNBCers are in essence acknowledging that Geithner has to lie to us, either because we can’t handle the truth, or because the Obama administration can’t handle the truth being known.

Lucid Links (060309, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:00 am

Notewothy Net-Worthies:

Best-kept secret, and most unobtainable video, in America, in a Reuters report on June 1 — “‘Chinese assets are very safe,’ (Treasury Secretary Tax Cheat Tim) Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s. His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience ….” An Associated Press report on the same day carried at CNBC written by someone who was clearly there did not mention the statement, or the student audience’s laughter. On the air yesterday morning, Glenn Beck’s reaction to this was something on the order of “you need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what’s really going on in the world today.” Center-right, sensible conservative talk radio is best seen as the mass medium where the detective work’s results can get out, which is why the Obama administration is attempting various ways to accomplish a de facto implementation of the old, misnamed Fairness Doctrine.

Reuters, of all places, may be evolving into a location where you can get fair and balanced business news. The report referenced in the previous item also told us, I believe uniquely, that “In his speech, Geithner renewed pledges that the Obama administration would cut its huge fiscal deficits and promised ‘very disciplined’ future spending ….” Conan O’Brien, who just began his Tonight Show gig this week, should be worried if Geithner keeps generating knee-slappers like that. More ominously, Reuters also told us that “Geithner offered U.S. backing for a higher-profile role for China in running global institutions including the IMF.” You would think that China is just another country with a democratically elected government, instead of the oppressive regime with the murderous Maoist legacy, the 40 million missing girls (probably more like 50 million now), and the US tech-assisted Great Internet Censorship Firewall. The apparent total lack of interest in Chinese human-rights abuses on the part of this administration is disappointing, but, sadly, not unexpected.

Another reason Reuters might be the surprise source of fair and balanced business news in the next few years is that James Pethokoukis has left U.S. News and is now blogging there. One of Mr. P’s better offerings of the past few days is his catch of Robert Reich’s speculation on CNBC that the administration’s real plan in the GM bankruptcy is, in Mr. P’s paraphrasing, “slowing down the death process so communities and workers and the economy have more time to adjust to GM’s demise.” $50 billion or more is a lot to pay for slowly euthanizing a patient. I wonder if they’ll feel that compassionate about spending money to keep dying patients alive a bit longer in the Brave New World of nationalized health care?

As LifeNews.com reported Sunday, there is no evidence that Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer of George Tiller, had any association with pro-life groups. Comment rants on web sites clearly mean nothing; if they did, a lot of lefty loons who comment here, or attempt to, would, by their mere appearance or attempt, be “associated” with me, and I with them. Further, there’s no evidence I have seen that Roeder had any intentions to harm anyone beyond Tiller; he certainly could have done so on Sunday if he had wanted to. Meanwhile, Fox is reporting that, according to a senior U.S. official, “more targets were found on the computer of a man charged in the fatal shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas — suggesting the accused gunman may have been part of a larger plot to attack military targets and may not have been acting alone.” If true, and there really is a group involved, Pvt. William Long’s murder is a bona fide act of domestic terrorism. So of course in the coming days, alleged murderer Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (AMM) and Long will get more national press attention than Roeder and Tiller have up until now. Prediction: Dream on. (Also see Updates below.)

The Wall Street Journal tells us that political calculations continue to subvert contract law in Obamaworld (HT Business Insider via Rose) — “Citigroup Inc. has told about five former top executives that it won’t pay them tens of millions of dollars in promised severance payouts, according to people familiar with the matter. …. (management concluded) that they wanted to avoid even the possibility of a public backlash over the money, people familiar with the situation said. On Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said that Citigroup might eventually resume the payouts once the political climate cools.” The execs are suing, but they shouldn’t have to. The “public backlash” would really be administration-orchestrated, ACORN-executed intimidation, perhaps carried out against the company, the suing execs, or both if it appears that the plaintiffs will win. This situation exemplifies how a Chicago-way, Obama-induced climate of fear has injected itself into the decision-making process. Even if the economy somehow meaningfully grows in such an atmosphere of uncertainty — a dubious prospect — never forget that by definition it will have underachieved what could have been accomplished in an atmosphere of freedom and certainty about the rules of the game.

UPDATE: This of course will not stop the leftosphere’s liars, but here’s a LifeNews.com reiteration

Roeder has no links to any legitimate pro-life group other than a couple of postings on a public forum on a pro-life web site. Otherwise, he has never been a volunteer of, staff member of or in any way associated with either national, state or local pro-life groups.

UPDATE 2: Unlike Roeder, who had one target, Mr. AAM reportedly said that “he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot” (HT to Michelle Malkin, whose related column is also at the HT’d link).

UPDATE 3: It’s harder than you would expect, given the seriousness of the story, to find pictures of or relating to the seven men killed in Chicago in six separate incidents within a 24-hour period on Saturday and Sunday. The only picture I could find is this one of the family of one of the seven, Desmond Stansbury.

Based the block addresses of the victims, it’s virtually certain that all but one or two of the seven were African-Americans. It’s quite probable, based on the neighborhoods where the murders took place, that all were.

May they all rest in peace in a better place.

Let’s talk about political agendas and “institutional racism,” shall we? It’s hard not to conclude that the violent deaths of seven men, mostly if not all African-Americans, in just one city in a horribly short period of time, all within 3-20 miles of Dear Leader’s Hyde Park home, is less important to those in America’s establishment media than the death of one man who murdered pre-born babies for a living. I should add that this warped perspective also applies to all too many in the far-leftosphere.

Positivity: Twelve Mexican states now protect right to life in their constitutions

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Mexico City:

May 22, 2009 / 02:57 pm

The San Luis de Potosi State Congress in Mexico approved a measure Thursday reforming the State Constitution to protect the right to life of children from the moment of conception.

Representative Vicente Toledo Alvarez said the reform would ensure that the State’s Constitution clearly recognizes the right to life as the most basic of all human rights and protects it from the moment of conception.

Before passage of the measure, Archbishop Luis Morales Reyes of San Luis Potosi said, “The Church has her principles and one of them is life. I am only stating that the Church supports life and will always support life, regardless of the politics or laws of the moment.”

….. San Luis de Potosi now becomes the twelfth Mexican state to enshrine protection for the unborn into its Constitution. The protections became necessary after Mexico City legalized abortion in some cases.