'Tis a cold day in Seattle (snow's even predicted!), but this news has warmed my heart:
With Congress gridlocked and the economy flailing, the Bush administration declared Friday it would step in and prevent the "precipitous collapse" of the U.S. auto industry and the disastrous economic impact of the hundreds of thousands of job losses sure to follow.[snip]
Urgent requests for White House intervention to save the automakers came from President-elect Barack Obama, Republican and Democratic members of Congress and outside groups.
"Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms," White House press secretary Dana Perino said after the failure of a $14 billion bailout bill in Congress. The legislation died when Senate Republicans demanded upfront pay and benefit concessions from the United Auto Workers that union officials rejected.
Perino added, "Given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary including use of the TARP program to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers. A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy, and it would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time."
Ye gods. The fucktard Cons in the Senate have actually driven the Bush regime sane. Unfuckingbelievable.
They are, of course, throwing hissy fits now that they've failed spectacularly:
Tension bubbled Friday among Republicans as GOP senators criticized the Bush administration’s decision to tap the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package to save U.S. automakers.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a lead negotiator who had nearly convinced the United Auto Workers (UAW) to accept sweeping reform of the industry, including lower wages in the near future, said Congress had a chance to return to the bargaining table Friday.
Once Democrats and the union heard the White House would cave in to demands to release money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), all incentive to negotiate further vanished.
“We would have had a whole lot better chance of agreement if the White House hadn’t said they’re getting ready to put money in,” Corker told a group of reporters after a news conference.
Oh, but you see, Bob, that's the problem with trying to bluff on a bad hand: if someone calls your bluff, you lose big fucking time. That little grandstand just squandered aaaallll of your political capital for the year, and all you got was a big fat black eye.
How much did they lose? Oh, y'know. Lots:
Republicans had a chance to make this bill as appealing as possible, but they wouldn't take yes for an answer when Democrats said autoworkers would see their wages cut in 2011 instead of 2009. The GOP walked away from the deal and claimed victory.
Except, they haven't really won anything. Detroit is going to get its money, Bush's deal for the industry will be more favorable than Congress', and in the new year, a stronger Democratic majority is going to craft a bill -- that won't undermine UAW at all -- that Republicans are going to like even less.
Kevin asked, "[D]id the Senate Republicans really decide they didn't care that they were giving up what little leverage they had? That they just wanted to make their point, and reality be damned? Are they really that nuts?"
Yes they are! And credibility, political leverage, and the chance to make the UAW and Dems dance to their tune ain't all they've lost:
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher in his heyday, was scheduled to appear Sunday at a sports card show in Taylor, Michigan to sign autographs. “But Bunning was kicked off the schedule after he helped derail an auto-industry loan package in the Senate Thursday night.”
The money comment:
Owner Jim Koester says he can't support someone who voted against Michigan's economic well-being.
That's right. People have realized there's a difference between principled heroes and deranged fucktards. They've plopped the Senate Cons firmly in the latter category (they're welcome to add the three Dems who voted to block the auto bailout out of preference rather than procedure, if they like.)
Which makes me wonder if it's really a coincidence that Colin Powell chose yesterday to take the bad boyz to school:
The Republican party must stop "shouting at the world" and start listening to minority groups if it is to win elections in the 21st century, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.
In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for Sunday's "GPS" program, President Bush's former secretary of state said his party's attempt "to use polarization for political advantage" backfired last month.
"I think the party has to stop shouting at the world and at the country,"Powell said. "I think that the party has to take a hard look at itself, and I've talked to a number of leaders in recent weeks and they understand that." Powell, who says he still considers himself a Republican, said his party should also stop listening to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Of course, I'm not sure which leaders Powell has talked to - if you look back through the Discursos for the last few weeks, you'll notice that the Con party leadership all seems to be harping on two subjects: "not conservative enough" and "stop the evil Dems!" Maybe they misunderstood Colin's question.
Still, it is nice to hear a lonely voice of Republican reason in that howl of insanity.
Hear the insanity roar:
Last month, former Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke before the Hudson Union Society in New York. During his speech, Ashcroft asked the question, “What do we do with people apprehended in the war,” and proceeded to defend and support the Bush administration’s detention policies since 9/11.
Ashcroft said he is “stunned” that so many Americans (and the Supreme Court it turns out) think that terror suspect detainees should have their day in court. He then meandered through the alternatives to detention, such as “kill[ing] everybody on the battlefield” or releasing prisoners, which he said he “is not in favor of.” But astonishingly, Ashcroft then concluded that the detention of suspected terrorists “has been a humanitarian act.”
You're fucking kidding me, right? Alas, no. He believes that bunkum. But that's possibly not too surprising:
Raw Story reports that, during the same interview, Ashcroft said he makes the best decisions "when I have a lot of morphine in my system."
Wow. Just... wow.
And this is the piece of shit Bush appointed to keep the "homeland" safe.
No wonder so much of the country is in denial:
In 2000, nearly 48% of American voters supported George W. Bush. Four years later, just under 51% voted to give Bush a second term.
Oddly enough, a whole lot of these voters want to pretend their votes never happened.
There was a time, though admittedly it's hard to remember now, when George W. Bush was remarkably popular. So popular, in fact, that he easily won re-election four years ago, racking up what was the largest popular vote total for any presidential candidate until Barack Obama shattered it this year.
So it's a particularly amusing sign of how far the political climate has shifted that in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 33 percent of respondents admit to having voted for the guy twice, while 52 percent said they'd never voted for him at all. If that were actually true, of course, Bush would never have had the chance to run the country so firmly into the ground that people are now pretending they never liked him.
Gee, you guys, whatever could you possibly be ashamed of?