November 26, 2010

OMG, They’re Serious: ‘GM Says Thank You to American Public,’ Using Popeye, Animal House, Evel Knievel References

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:12 pm

When I first saw this video at a non-Government/General Motors site, I said, “Wow, that’s quite a spoof. Who did that?”

It’s not a spoof. It’s for real. It’s posted in the media section at GM’s web site.

Even diehard defenders of the GM and Chrysler bailouts have to wonder what in the world the folks who put together and approved the 60-second ad that follows were thinking.

Here’s the hype for the ad found at GM’s site (bold is mine):

As the nation celebrates Thanksgiving on Thursday, General Motors is saying thanks to the American people. In a 60-second commercial with no voiceover, serious and comic images of failure appear on screen back to back followed by images of recovery, or comeback, as the advertisement is titled. The ad closes with the words: “We all fall down. Thank you for helping us get back up.”

GM shares returned to the New York Stock Exchange last week in an initial public offering that reduced the U.S. Treasury’s ownership stake from more than 60 percent to about 33 percent, just 16 months after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization.

Now here’s the ad

Here are the examples of falling down and getting back up:

  • A knockdown scene from a boxing movie (the get-up ends the ad).
  • A space launch that fails.
  • Truman defeating Dewey in 1948.
  • A Popeye clip.
  • Animal House, with John Belushi shouting “I’m not gonna take this!”
  • Evil Knievel.

The “falls” are in the order just listed. The get-ups are in reverse order.

Knievel? Popeye? Animal House? Are you kidding me?

Do you ever get the feeling that some of the people involved are getting their jollies by mocking the fools at GM who actually paid them for this?

As to substance:

  • Nobody asked the American people first. Oh, wait a minute. They sort of did; at least they tried to go through channels. After House passage, the Senate voted down the initial attempt to “lend” money to GM and Chrysler in December 2008. Despite that legislative failure, President Bush just went ahead and started the ball rolling anyway by ill-advisedly and more than likely illegally allowing TARP funds to be used for the initial “bridge loans.”
  • Nobody asked the American people before President Obama and his car czar crew did their boardroom coup and ousted GM’s Rick Wagoner in March 2009. He, and they, just did it, without even bothering to ask Congress (which wouldn’t have been enough anyway, given that they never approved the initial “loans”).
  • Nobody asked the American people if they were okay with the idea of ripping off certain creditors of equal or superior standing in favor of others during bankruptcy and ensuring the the United Auto Workers remained whole. The government’s “negotiators” just went ahead and did it.
  • Nobody asked the American people if they were okay with the idea of pumping tens of billions of dollars of cash into GM and giving it additional tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks so it could emerge from bankruptcy. The government just did it, giving GM a huge unfair competitive advantage.
  • Finally, nobody asked the American people if they were down with the idea of foreign entities and owners taking a stake in “their” company.

There’s nothing wrong with GM being thankful that it’s alive.

But to pretend that “the American public” had anything to do with the company’s survival is a complete insult to our intelligence. This was a government-engineered rescue totally absent of popular input.

If a conservative cause used cartoon and movie references to draw direct parallels to what it was doing or trying to do, the ridicule from the establishment press would be deafening. Searches on “General Motors thanks” (not in quotes) at the Associated Press and the New York Times instead come up with nothing related to the claptrap I have just covered.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lightning Links (112610, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:55 am

Drop-dead obvious media double standards, exposed by Sarah Palin. Expect little establishment press coverage of Palin’s tremendous takedown.

The press betrays its mortal fear of Palin on a nearly daily basis.

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Great points found at Ann Althouse’s place, Part I: Juxtaposing TSA’s willingness/eagerness to irraditate airline passengers and its own employees, vs. the mortal fear of food irradiation by modern-day Luddites, “Even though there is absolutely no radiation in the food that we would buy.”

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Great points found at Ann Althouse’s place, Part II: Here is “‘why so many Gen-X/Yers turned against Obama’: “he made them look stupid.” They took Obama seriously. They believed. And that set them up to look…. lame!”

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From the “We Can’t Save Everyone from Themselves” Dept. — “EU rescue costs start to threaten Germany itself.”

Subheadline: “The escalating debt crisis on the eurozone periphery is starting to contaminate the creditworthiness of Germany and the core states of monetary union.”
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At the UK Telegraph: “Barack Obama’s grandmother ‘prays he converts to Islam.’” I think most Americans would be more impressed if he converted to capitalism.

Positivity: England sees highest number of new seminarians in over a decade

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:35 am

From London:

Nov 23, 2010 / 03:11 am

Seminaries in England have seen a rise in the number applicants this fall – the highest number in over a decade, according to the local bishops’ conference.

This September, 56 men began their journey towards the priesthood in the country, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales announced on Nov. 15, adding that Pope Benedict’s recent visit to the U.K. may boost numbers in the near future.

“The number of people responding to the call of Christ to be priests and religious has been rising slowly but surely,” said Fr. Stephen Langridge, Chairman of the Vocations Directors of England and Wales.

At their annual seminar in Birmingham earlier this month, local vocation directors discussed what has contributed to the increased interest in vocations within the U.K. One example, the recently held “Invocation” festival held in Birmingham this July 2010 for Catholic young adults, drew close to 300 men and women seeking further vocational discernment. The event was so popular that it is slated to be held again in June of 2011.

In addition to this initiative, several dioceses and religious orders are running discernment groups for young men and women, the bishops’ conference reported. Vocation seminar participants also noted World Youth Day Madrid in 2011 as an opportunity for young people to enrich their knowledge of Catholicism and increase their individual vocation discernment. …

Go here for the rest of the story.