Government Motors

Government Motors

GM? Today they get their final lifeline… 30 billion more in Taxpayer dollars, but still bankrupt:

But the officials said Sunday they would try to steer clear of getting involved in the automaker’s day-to-day operations, though the government will maintain the right to set upfront conditions for providing assistance in “exceptional cases.”

The administration expects company CEO Fritz Henderson will continue to serve in that capacity, officials said, though they added that Henderson serves at the pleasure of the board — some of whose members would be replaced. Those new members have not yet been identified, though administration officials said there would be some continuity between the old GM and the new GM.

The administration said it will also avoid involvement in determining which dealerships are closed as the automaker continues downsizing, nor will the administration seek to name members to an oversight board determining the company’s compensation for executives.

Also, just a couple of things to remember if you are seeing the astroturf spam about “Republican Dealers being picked on” that’s been making the rounds the past two weeks:

  1. Correlation is not cause
  2. 88 percent of Car Dealers are Republican donors anyway, a strong correlation was bound to be there, if they didn’t find a strong majority of Republicans in the data, something would be wrong. The difference between 92 percent and 88 percent is statistically insignificant with the small sample size of closing dealers.

North Korean Nuclear Test

North Korean Nuclear Test

North Korea has performed another underground nuclear test, and test launched more missiles. Video from AP

President Obama’s Statement:

Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch. These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations. North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security.

By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.

Obama’s Open Government: Release Abu Ghraib Photos; No Visibility to Tarp Funds

Obama’s Open Government: Release Abu Ghraib Photos but No Visibility to Tarp Funds

obamaI would laugh, but it’s not funny. President Obama is still waffling on releasing Abu Ghraib photos five years after the fact, and closing Gitmo, but at the same time the American public has pretty much zero visibility to where Tarp money is going, where auto bailout money went, or analysis of how the coming climate legislation is expected to affect them economically.

While Al Qaeda in Iraq is trying their own “Re-surge” with a spate of suicide bombing aimed at reopening sectarian conflict our President proposed releasing five year old photos that are certain to enrage now calm militias in Baghdad.

How is it open to propose then revoke on Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Tarp? The American public is certainly more interested in how the government is spending Trillions in their tax dollars and managing the offshore loans against our future.

We have no clear policy directions on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Pakistan yet. How open is that?

We don’t know when taxes will be added, or what taxes will be added – how open is that? We don’t know whether the Bush tax-cuts will expire, how open is that? ( knowing the tax structure in advance is critical to planning most medium to large business’ in the US. Most of the bean-counters still don’t know what to plan for two to three years out and it’s crippling our ability to grow the economy back.)

This isn’t open government, it’s posture and charade.

Drowning the Taxpayer in Debt: Priceless

Drowning the Taxpayer in Debt: Priceless

There are some things your tax dollars shouldn’t buy…

Obama’s Nuclear Energy Limbo

Obama’s Nuclear Energy Limbo

A good post is up at NEI discussing the ambiguity of the Obama Adminstration’s stance on new nuclear energy plants in the face of the push for cap and tax:

If a cap and a price are imposed on carbon dioxide emissions, [nuclear] plants could be among the biggest economic winners in the vast economic shifts that would be created by greenhouse gas regulations.

That’s from the New York Times, borrowing a story from Climate Wire, which while noting the nuclear plants achieve the goal of carbon emission reduction rather well, runs though the tough sledding it faces.

For example, President Obama is overly ambiguous in his support:

“The president needs to show his cards on nuclear energy,” said energy consultant Joseph Stanislaw, a Duke University professor. “He cannot keep this industry, which must make investments with a 50-year or longer horizon, in limbo for much longer.”

We’re not absolutely sure this is the right way to put it – Congress weighs in, too, and we’ve seen an EPA report that basically shows that carbon emission reduction goals are unattainable without nuclear energy. The nibbling around the edges is happening from both ends.

Tigerhawk and Trailmix: Hawking Obama Up

Hawking Obama Up

Tigerhawk has some speculation today about solving piracy, it’s much like what I said last year. In light of the need to “hawk” Obama up, this does present even more opportunity than the Taliban in Pakistan for Obama to appear strong without any geopolitical ramifications.

Since Obama is already taking the war to our enemies in Pakistan with drones despite the rumblings from Pakistan, this wouldn’t be over the top for him to do. On the other hand, campaigns against piracy can be very problematic and politically cumbersome in their own right, as President Jefferson found out in an earlier era.

UPDATE: Fox News just stated that General Petraeus has announced that there will be “increased US military presence in the Horn of Africa area within 48 hours”.

UPDATE: In the “All’s Well that ends well” department: An Early Military Victory for Obama. Meanwhile the true Military test is really shaping up in Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda is proposing quaqmire.

Bush Deficit vs Obama Deficit

wapoobamabudget1

Bush Deficit vs Obama Deficit

Washington Post has a graphic deficit comparison of the two budgets, and Heritage Foundation highlights some of the differences.

More on this from Karl Rove at the Wall Street Journal:

Last fiscal year, the deficit was $459 billion. For this fiscal year, it was $569 billion when Mr. Obama took office. Under his proposals, another $1.276 trillion will be added to the deficit this year, for a total of $1.845 trillion.

The CBO says deficits will fall for three years to $658 billion, still nearly 50% larger than any past deficit. After that, deficits go back up every year, reaching the trillion-dollar a year mark again in nine years. By 2019, the debt would reach 82.4% of GDP, a level not seen since 1947. With astonishing candor, even Peter Orszag, the president’s budget director conceded these levels of deficits and debt are “unsustainable.”

Update: Just in from Rasmussen :

Two-thirds of U.S. voters (66%) think President Obama is likely to raise taxes on people who [make] less than $250,000 per year. That figure includes 47% who say he is Very Likely to do so. [sic]

Also keep in mind that Obama’s Carbon tax is regressive: it will raise the price of energy for every person in the US, and it will raise the price or decrease the quality of every product in the US. [e.g. for the quality statement – when oil prices went up, Starbuck’s decreased the mil on the plastic cups they use, causing more “crush spills” when people grip them too tight.] Any rise in energy prices will also create rises in food prices since food production, transport, storage, and preparation are energy-intensive operations.

As Stephana points out in coments: we also have to factor in Congress’ actions over the past two years when Democrats were in control, they created the deficit ahead of this coming one. They are also now in process of breaking Obama’s campaign promises for him – yesterday the promised $400.00 tax credit went bye bye almost as quick as Social Security surpluses.

The only video that fits the zeitgeist:

h/t Little Green Footballs Spinoff links and to Lawhawk for the Rasmussen update

Post Barakalyptic Wasteland

Post Barakalyptic Wasteland

Ayn Rand once wrote an essay that compared the crowd and the aftermath of the Apollo 11 Launch in 1969 to that of Woodstock. It was both acerbic and insightful, contrasting how the 1 million souls interested in science and the future at Cape Kennedy left the scene of the historic launch to how the 300,000 music and drug enthusiasts left Woodstock. I will leave it to you to determine what this post-innaugural video of the National Mall  is more reminiscent of.

 

It makes you wonder how these people enthused by Green solutions will perform over the next few years.

Morning Update; Gitmo, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and more

Normally I spend the morning surfing news and the web and posting newslinks at Little Green Footballs but Charles’ site is serving a blank once you get below the header ad this morning, so I’ll do my updates here. Here’s a picture to look at while I’m compiling.
UPDATE: It appears that Charles at LGF is going through the tribulations of installing new, beefier servers, give him time and things will be back faster than ever.

Obama’s Plan to Close Guantanamo Forces Decision About Inmates

Obama Picks Richardson (ermmm… how well will he get along with Hillary?)

Celebrities are fighting like mad to be part of “The In Crowd” on January 20th. (We got our own way of walkin… we got our own way of talkin…)

In Israel this is probably a case of the “relief” organization not letting the Israelis search the ship for weapons before entry, a precaution performed at every port in the world, but FWIW, Libya in High Dudgeon calls for Security Council Intervention.

Meanwhile the tense situation continues over the Mumbai terror attacks, but I do believe that both governments are calmer than the usual incendiary political talking heads on both sides of the issue would have you believe. From various reports I’ve seen that the nuclear readiness on either side has not increased, troops have not moved or been reinforced at borders, and talking between the governments proceeds. India has demanded that Pakistan hand over the terror masterminds and accomplices, Zardari in Pakistan is saying that the terrorists are “stateless” actors, and that in no way was the government of Pakistan involved. At this point I believe it, right now Pakistan is desperate for more trade with India.

UPDATE: Rice to Zardari: (in different and more words) ‘ If you don’t take care of those terror training camps we don’t care if India does…’

The Daily suicide bombing or Taliban attack has occurred in Pakistan, and it appears that they are stepping up raids in urban areas, rounding up the usual suspects. Here’s a list of India’s most wanted, if Pakistan could find some of these terrorists and turn them over it would ease tensions a great deal.

The Governor of Kandahar, General Raufi, whose watch the Taliban jail break occurred on is stepping down after a short four months in position.

On the domestic front the Millenium Bomber, who has been singing like a bird, is back in court.

Industrial Scale Wind Energy is not pure as the driven snow, and here’s some interesting graphics on various power sources. There’s also that small problem that Wind turbines have with icing.

In Thailand the Airports have re-opened with the demonstrators leaving after the court ouster of the PM.

The New Anglicans appear to be splitting from the pack, with a new conservative schism forming in the Episcopalian church in North America.

Hot Air discusses opposition to Anti-Gay Adoption laws, the conflict comes when you turn pro-children or pro-family into anti-gay. It’s mostly religious conservatives behind the laws, but as I’ve pointed out here gays do have children already. While it’s preferred to place children in male-female families, it is so preferred that some children get no parents at all?

Pizza Prisoner Bomber gets 45 Years

Black Panthers Intimidating Voters in Philly

This is definitely voter intimidation – blocking doors of polling places while tapping a nightstick? This does not belong in America, it is not democratic. From Fox News the video is below the fold:

Continue reading “Black Panthers Intimidating Voters in Philly”