Obama Does A Happy Dance On The Raptor’s Grave

    Did Obama really say that a measly $1.75 billion to build seven more F-22 Raptors, the world’s premier air dominance fighter, was wasteful and that we couldn’t afford it? How wasteful is a $1 trillion “stimulus” fiasco that can’t be shown to have “created or saved” one job and spends money on ridiculous nonsense like $1.191 million for sliced frozen ham , $1.5 million on mozzarella cheese, and almost $17 million on canned pork? Or how about another trillion dollars for socialized healthcare that will degrade the overall level of medical care in this country and which the Congressional Budget Office has calculated will only increase our already unsustainable budget deficits and national debt, can we afford that?

    Are you [expletive deleted] kidding me, we can borrow trillions of dollars to fund every Democrat and left wing pet project ever conceived, trillions it’ll take a miracle for us to ever hope to repay, and yet we can’t spend a comparative drop in the bucket $1.75 billion to defend ourselves against the Chinese and Russians, because it’s wasteful and we can’t afford it? We can’t spend $1.75 billion to save tens of thousands of highly skilled F-22 Raptor design and manufacturing jobs, because it’s wasteful and we can’t afford it, but we can spend more than $50 billion to bail out inept car companies to save Obama’s UAW buddies and their gold plated pensions?

    Obama and the Democrats’ spending policies and priorities are not only depraved and thoroughly disgusting, they border on psychopathy and criminal insanity.

    Shooting Down The Raptor

    Defense Spending: The TARP bailout may hit $24 trillion, but the Senate says the F-22 is too expensive to build and maintain. So why are the Japanese so desperate to buy this “unnecessary” Cold War weapon?

    By a vote of 58-40, the Senate on Tuesday voted to remove $1.75 billion set aside in a defense bill to build seven more F-22 Raptors, adding to the 187 stealth technology fighters already in the pipeline.

    After some hope the production lines would be kept open, the Senate succumbed to arguments by the administration and others that the fighter was too expensive, too hard to maintain and not built for the wars America is fighting these days.

    President Obama welcomed the Senate vote, saying he rejected the notion that the country has to “waste billions of taxpayers dollars” on outdated defense projects.

    Well, the inspector general in charge of overseeing the Treasury Department’s bank-bailout program now says the massive endeavor could end up costing taxpayers almost $24 trillion in a worst-case scenario. Yet we can’t afford to build just seven more F-22s?

    Keeping the F-22 production lines open would be a real stimulus saving real jobs. Lockheed Martin, the main contractor, says 25,000 people are directly employed in building the plane, and another 70,000 have indirect links, particularly in Georgia, Texas and California. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a supporter of the program, says there are 1,000 suppliers in 44 states. That’s wasteful?

    Speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago last Friday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates repeated his assertion that “the F-22 is clearly a capability we do need — a niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios — specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet.”

    But the “F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict,” he added.

    Air dominance is not a “niche scenario,” and while we’re lucky the Taliban does not have an Air Force, other potential opponents do. It would prove quite useful over the skies of North Korea, if necessary, or in thwarting a Chinese threat in the Taiwan Straits. Gates forgets that it was high-tech “Cold War” weapons such as the stealthy F-111A that shattered Saddam Hussein’s air defenses and infrastructure and controlled the skies during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq.

    Retired Lt. Gen. Michael M. Dunn, chief executive of the Air Force Association, notes that in last year’s conflict in Georgia, the Raptor was the only aircraft in our inventory that could have penetrated the defended airspace and had a chance of surviving.

    The F-22 Raptor is also perhaps the only plane that could evade the sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system Russia has contracted to sell Iran. Russia’s S-300 system is “one of the most lethal, if not the most lethal, all-altitude area defense” systems, according to the International Strategy and Assessment Service, a Virginia-based think tank.

    Gates and the Pentagon prefer the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But many believe its lesser abilities have been further compromised by making it a one-size-fits-all aircraft for all services in all conflicts.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., in whose state final assembly occurs, says, “The F-35 was designed to operate after F-22s secure the airspace and does not have the inherent altitude and speed advantages to survive every time against peers with counter-electronic measures.”

    In an interview with Human Events, Japanese ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki said Tokyo wants F-22s to replace its aging F-4s and F-15s. Japan is facing an increasingly capable and unstable North Korea armed with nuclear weapons and the weapons to carry them. It also confronts a future superpower in China, with which it has territorial disputes.

    Japan wants the F-22 to deal with both threats. It will soon have to deal with fifth-generation Chinese fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers to carry them. Japan is wise to prefer the F-22, which can fly 300 to 400 mph faster and two miles higher than the F-35.

    We would be too.

    See also:
    Obama victory: Senate votes to kill additional F-22 funding
    Obama Praises F-22 Funding Shut-off; Sen. Chris Dodd Upset
    Senate Votes Against Funding For New F-22s
    Senate kills production of F-22 Raptor
    Senate votes against F-22 Raptor
    Senate strips extra F-22 funding from defense bill
    Senate Votes To Halt Production Of F-22 Fighter Jet
    Governor Rell blasts U.S. Senate vote to strip F-22 Raptor funding
    We Cannot Afford to Lose the F-22
    Obama Plucks The Raptor
    The Air Force Association (AFA)
    International Assessment and Strategy Center
    S-300 (missile)
    S-300PMU
    S-300PMU (SA-10) Air Defence Missile System
    Israel’s Red Line: The S-300 Missile System

    Well, hey, that’s another $1.75 billion that Obama can now spend on ham and cheese.

    /for the first time in my adult life, I’m not proud of my country

Back To The Moon

NASA heads back to the moon

Nearly 5-1/2 years after former President Bush decided to send US astronauts back to the moon by 2020, America is set to launch the first mission supporting that goal.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and a companion spacecraft are set for launch Thursday aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. The $504-million mission is scheduled to take off as early as 5:12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

After a four-day journey, and another 66 days of testing and easing the spacecraft into its final orbit, the LRO will circle the moon some 31 miles above its surface, building the most detailed atlas yet of Earth’s companion. The data will help planners figure out where to send astronauts when it’s time to put boots back on the lunar surface.

After the first year, the orbiter will continue working for an additional year or two with emphasis on answering basic questions about the moon – about the composition of the moon’s “seas” and highlands, and its geologic history written in the rocks exposed in crater walls.

“This is exploration and science working together,” says Mike Wargo, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) chief lunar scientist.

The orbiter will gather images of objects as small as 18 inches across, build contour maps of the lunar surface accurate to within about three feet, and map surface temperatures at different latitudes and through the moon’s subtle seasonal changes. It will gather information on radiation hazards from the sun, from cosmic rays from deep space, and from energetic neutrons those rays kick up when they strike the lunar surface. It will also map the distribution of surface minerals.

From the standpoint of establishing lunar outposts, a key task is hunting for water ice that may lurk in the permanent, frigid darkness at the bottom of craters at the moon’s poles. Past spacecraft have yielded evidence of water. But the signs have been vague.

That’s why the mission includes some fall fireworks. In October, the orbiter’s companion craft, the Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), is destined for a lunar smack-down. The craft – actually a guidance-and-instrument package mated to the Atlas rocket’s upper stage – will steer the stage toward a head-on collision with the bottom of a polar crater. One NASA scientist has likened it to a VW bug pushing a school bus.

At the right moment, the package will release the spent upper stage and follow it down, measuring the results as the collision kicks material from the dark crater floor back into sunlight. Scientists say they expect the plume to extend to some four miles above the crater rim. Shortly after the upper stage augers in, the guidance package also will end up as rubble on the crater’s floor.

“This is the crescendo event,” says Dan Andrews, the project manager for LCROSS.

Space-based telescopes, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, India’s lunar orbiter, and several ground-base observatories will try to tease out the material’s composition with an eye toward capturing the signatures of water ice, if it’s there. The event also is likely to be visible to amateur astronomers with the right-sized telescope.


See also:
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
En Route to Moon!
Mission Overview
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter: NASA Returns To The Moon With First Lunar Launch In A Decade
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
USGS Astrogeology Returns to its Lunar Roots With LRO
Public Can ‘Participate’ In NASA’s Lunar Mission
Moon orbiter faces many risks
NASA Mission to Survey Moon for Return of Astronauts
Moonstruck: Tagalong Probe to Blast Moon in Search for Water
Catherine Peddie, Deputy Project Manager
ASK Talks with Cathy Peddie
Atlas V: Countdown 101
Atlas V

/and hey, coming in at a measly $504 million, the cost of the LRO/LCROSS mission is statistically insignificant compared to the tens of billions we’ve wasted on bailing out Chrysler, GM, and the UAW, and the LRO/LCROSS mission is infinitely more worthwhile

Not So Fast There Obama

Supreme Court Delays Chrysler’s Swift Sale

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday held up the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Italian automaker Fiat, at least temporarily interrupting the Obama administration’s massive and speedy restructuring of the U.S. auto industry.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 53-word order did not hint at what she thought of an appeal led by a group of Indiana pension and construction funds, which stand to see their investments in Chrysler reduced with no say in the process. Instead, she instructed simply that the transaction is “stayed pending further notice.”

The decision buys the court time to consider objections filed over the weekend, and it comes as the clock is ticking. Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.

The stakes may be higher for the Obama administration: If the court backs some of the claims, it could disrupt plans to rescue General Motors and weaken the government’s hand in stabilizing the troubled economy.

“Every day that Chrysler remains in bankruptcy without consummating the sale threatens to postpone the resumption of production even further and to prolong the period of $100-million-per-day losses” financed by taxpayers, Elena Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, said in a 26-page filing with the high court.

A host of business and conservative groups applauded Ginsburg for standing up to what one called the Obama administration steamroller. And Congress is beginning to stir. Legislation is being drafted to reverse decisions by Chrysler and GM to close thousands of dealerships. The Senate Banking Committee, meanwhile, is preparing to hold a hearing this week on the government’s role in the auto rescue.

The significance of the court’s action remains to be seen. The language Ginsburg used in her order usually signals a delay of short duration.

There could be several explanations, not the least of which is that the justices may not have had time to fully consider the request. Court filings from those opposing the deal began arriving over the weekend and into Sunday. The government’s response in opposition did not arrive at the court until shortly before justices convened yesterday at 10 a.m.

The petitions are directed at Ginsburg because she is the justice responsible for the circuit that includes New York, where the suit was filed. She may decide the stay issue on her own or refer the question to the full court. If it’s the latter, that could explain the need for more time. The full court would have to vote on whether to hear the merits of the case.

See also:
High court blocks Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale
Chrysler sale on hold, but for how long?
Supreme Court asked to block Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court Asked to Block Chrysler Sale to Fiat

Of course Ginsburg’s stay doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will take up the case, it only means that she wanted more time to decide. However, the Supreme Court should take on this case and take a good long look at the legality of the Chrysler/Fiat deal that Obama’s Car Task Force is trying to ram down the taxpayers’ throats. What’s the rush, are they trying to hide something?

The government’s first argument as to why this shotgun wedding must be rushed through is that the deal with Fiat is necessary to stop Chrysler’s “$100-million-per-day losses”. Well, gee, let me get this straight, Fiat gets Chrysler’s assets and suddenly Chrysler miraculously stops losing money. How does that work, exactly, magic?

The government’s other equally bogus argument for steamrolling the Chrysler bondholders is that “the clock is ticking, Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.”

Really, are they sure Fiat will back out? That’s not what the Fiat CEO said earlier today.

Fiat Will ‘Never’ Walk Away From Chrysler, CEO Says (Update1)

Fiat SpA will “never” walk away from its deal with Chrysler LLC, Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in an interview.

“We should just be patient and let the system work,” Marchionne said by telephone today moments after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a delay of Chrysler’s planned sale to the Italian carmaker while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a request for a longer postponement that might scuttle the deal.

A federal appeals court in New York last week allowed the sale, while putting its decision on hold until 4 p.m. today to let opponents, including Indiana pension funds, seek Supreme Court intervention. The Indiana pension funds hold $42.5 million of $6.9 billion in Chrysler’s secured loans.

“We would never walk away,” Marchionne said in response to a question about whether Fiat would pull out of the deal if it isn’t completed by the June 15 deadline. “Never.”

So, there’s no good excuse not to slow this deal down and let the Supreme Court take a careful look at the legality of it. The real reason the Obama administration wants to cram this down the taxpayers’ throats, without any meaningful scrutiny, is to cover up their abhorrent, thuggish behavior, motivated by the single minded purpose of protecting the UAW, whatever cost to the taxpayers be damned. The Obama Auto Task Force wants to get this deal done because the unseemly details concerning their extremely questionable tactics and purpose are starting to see the light of day and honest people are starting to ask some hard, honest questions.

U.S. Pushed Fiat Deal on Chrysler

The Obama administration rushed an alliance between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA despite Chrysler’s worries about Fiat’s financial health and its willingness to share technology, according to internal company emails.

The emails show Fiat ignoring requests for documents and trying to change contract terms late in the talks. A Chrysler adviser at one point said the deal risked looking as if the U.S. auto maker and the Treasury Department, which helped broker the pact, were “in bed with a shady partner.” In another note, an official referred to the Treasury Department as “God.”

The documents, filed in the Southern District of New York as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceedings, provide a glimpse at the tense debates that shaped Chrysler’s final days as it raced to find a suitor.

On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld Chrysler’s Fiat deal, dismissing a challenge by dissident Chrysler debt holders. But the court also issued a stay until 4 p.m. Monday — leaving a small window for Thomas Lauria, the lawyer pursuing the case, to appeal to the Supreme Court. One judge on the three-judge panel suggested the Supreme Court should have “a swing at this ball.”

Mr. Lauria’s persistence led one government lawyer in the Chrysler case to dub him a “terrorist” in an email to a Chrysler adviser.

See also:
Obama’s man called shots on bankruptcy
Chrysler-Fiat Deal: U.S. Government as “God”

UPDATE: Indiana vs. Chrysler: Was TARP Used Illegally?

A quick scan of the 169-page legislation detailing the purpose of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund doesn’t say anything about automobile companies. Nor does it say anything about using the government’s money to bail out nonfinancial institutions generally.

On its face then, it might appear the Indiana pension funds have a solid argument in challenging the U.S. Treasury Department’s use of TARP funds to finance Chrysler’s restructuring. That point is at the heart of the pension funds’ effort to persuade the Supreme Court to issue a stay the Chrysler-Fiat deal. The stay asks for a temporary hold on the deal until the Justices can decide whether to hear the case.

See also:
Why the Legality of the Chrysler Bailout Won’t Matter
Senate panel to question Obama auto task force

Like a dead, flattened skunk on a hot asphalt road at high noon on a sunny 950 day, this Chrysler/Fiat deal stinks to high heaven. Just a few of the serious problems with it include the government coercion of a private corporation, the trammeling of first lien secured creditors’ legal rights in favor of unsecured creditors, the abrogation of well settled bakruptcy law and established capital structure, and the possible illegal use of and wasteful spending of taxpayer money. And these same legal concerns are also cropping up in the GM banruptcy.

/all I can say is that if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t take on this case and sort through these very important legal issues threatening the existing rule of law in this country, they’ll be shirking their duty as a coequal branch of government and shame on them

GM Goes Bankrupt, Sun Rises In East, Sky Doesn’t Fall

As widely predicted and telegraphed, the once unthinkable finally became reality today.

GM Files Bankruptcy to Spin Off More Competitive Firm

General Motors Corp., the largest manufacturer to go bankrupt, filed for court protection with a government-financed plan intended to create a viable company that can compete in world markets.

The U.S. government will extend $50 billion of loans to the 100-year-old automaker and plans to convert that into a 60 percent stake in the reorganized company, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. GM today missed a deadline to show that it could reorganize outside of court and reported debt of $172.8 billion, more than twice its assets.

“GM and its stakeholders have produced a viable, achievable plan that will give this iconic American company a chance to rise again,” U.S. President Barack Obama said today. The government was becoming a “reluctant” owner of the automaker, Obama said, adding that his goal was to “take a hands-off approach and get out quickly.”

GM, the largest carmaker until its 77-year reign ended last year, surpassed Chrysler LLC as the largest manufacturer to file for bankruptcy. Detroit-based GM plans to launch a new company in 60 to 90 days, armed with vehicles from its Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC units for the U.S. market. The court will supervise the sale or liquidation of unprofitable brands, such as Saturn and Hummer, and at least 11 unwanted factories.

Interim Loan

The automaker won approval of a plan to auction its assets and interim approval of a $15 billion loan from the U.S. and Canada to keep the company going until it can complete the sale, which it plans to do in July.

GM said it has more than 100,000 creditors, and that unsecured creditors will recover some assets in the reorganization. Company operations outside the U.S. weren’t included in the petition.

The case was assigned to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber in Manhattan, who also presides over the bankruptcies of Lyondell Chemical Co. and BearingPoint Inc. He presided over the bankruptcy of Adelphia Communications Corp. as well.

“Today marks a defining moment in the reinvention of GM,” said company President and Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson. “The economic crisis has caused enormous disruption in the auto industry.”

GM listed in its petition as top creditors Wilmington Trust Co., representing bondholders owed $22.8 billion; International Union, the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, owed $20.6 billion; and Deutsche Bank AG, representing bondholders owed $4.44 billion. The Unofficial GM Dealers Committee, which said it represents more than 6,000 GM dealers in the U.S., filed a notice that it will take part in the bankruptcy litigation.

A Matter Of Law

Economy: With General Motors’ long-awaited “pre-packaged bankruptcy” finally here, America is on the verge of a new era — one where government, not investors and consumers, is the final arbiter of success.

GM’s bankruptcy pushes bondholders aside in favor of the U.S. government and the UAW. Though bondholders hold $27 billion in debt, they’ll get just 10% of stock.

How’s that compare with the other “stakeholders?” For spending $50 billion to bail out GM, the government will get 60% of the equity in the new GM; the UAW, which along with other unions gave millions to Democrats, will be repaid for its loyalty with 17.5% of the stock for $10 billion of unsecured debts.

So the government, with roughly two times what private bondholders have on the table, gets a stake five times bigger. And the union, with about a third as much “invested,” gets a 70% bigger stake. Even the Canadian government, with its $9.5 billion “invested,” ends up with 12%.

They call it “restructuring.” We call it theft. Never in our memory has there been a more thorough, systematic effort to disenfranchise the shareholders and bondholders of a major American firm.

It will make investors — domestic and foreign alike — think twice about investing in an American stock or bond in the coming years. Why invest if your money and rights as an investor can be arbitrarily stripped from you, as they were in GM’s case?

But our real issue with this isn’t that people will lose money. It’s that we don’t believe the government’s actions are even legal.

The White House has basically been manipulating GM into bankruptcy since early this year, putting 31-year-old Brian Deese, a Yale law student, in charge of GM’s restructuring. “It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism,” the New York Times said with tongue in cheek (we think).

It used to be that the “rules of American capitalism” came from 200 years of U.S. case law, the Constitution and legitimate federal regulation. But no more. Instead, the job’s been given to someone not yet out of law school. This shows shocking contempt for GM, once the world’s pre-eminent industrial company, for American capitalism and the rule of law.

We don’t think this travesty passes constitutional muster and hope to see it vigorously challenged in federal court soon.

Our Constitution is very specific. It limits the executive branch’s rights to those enumerated therein. The rest it grants to the people and the states. It also requires due process under the law, especially when government “takings” are involved.

That’s why in 1952, when President Harry S. Truman tried to seize control of the U.S. steel industry during a debilitating strike, the Supreme Court made him back down. And Truman had a real emergency on his hands: the Korean War.

We pored over Article II of the Constitution, known as the Executive Powers Clause. Nowhere is the White House granted the right to override the time-tested bankruptcy process, to use Treasury money raised by taxing Americans to buy or bail out companies, to fire CEOs, to micromanage corporate policy, or to abrogate lawful contracts made by private parties.

Yet, our government has done these things and more — leading to a corrupt GM bankruptcy. The damage to our system of corporate capitalism and the rule of law is severe. Next stop: Federal court?

See also:
GM Collapses Into Government’s Arms
General Motors files for bankruptcy
GM declares chapter 11 bankruptcy
World’s Largest Company Files For Bankruptcy Protection As GM Makes It Official
General Motors may follow Chrysler’s path to quick exit from bankruptcy

So, this travesty of a probably illegal boondoggle taxpayer funded GM bankruptcy, alarmingly prophesied as the loosing of the seventh seal of the Apocalypse, was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York today. What were the dire and scary consequences? Did the economy fall off a cliff into the abyss? Was there panic in the streets? Did dogs and cats start living together, was there mass hysteria?

Hell no! Wall Street and the equities markets not only totally ignored the GM bankruptcy, all the major stock market indices soared, tacking on gains of 2 1/2-3% each, having their best session in months! Personally, I had a great day!

/so, once again, all the Chicken Littles were wrong, GM should have been put into bankruptcy six months ago, it would have saved the taxpayers $20 billion that has all since been flushed down the GM/UAW toilet, never to be seen again

If It’s Friday It Must Be Time To Transfer More Taxpayer Money To The UAW

Oh yeah, it’s late Friday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend, time to tell the taxpayers how much more money Obama just flushed down the auto bankruptcy toilet, hoping you won’t notice.

U.S. Lends Additional $4 Billion to Ailing GM as Bankruptcy Looms
GM says it received 4 bln dlrs more from US Treasury

General Motors Corp. said Friday that it has borrowed an additional $4 billion from the Treasury Department, meaning the automaker has now accepted $19.4 billion in loans from the U.S. government.

GM started taking government money in December and said it intended to borrow $2.6 billion more by June 1 and an additional $9 billion after that. But in a regulatory filing Friday, GM said it needed $1.4 billion sooner than originally forecast.

The company didn’t publicly disclose how it will use the money but said it provided the information to Treasury officials, and they considered the loan acceptable.

“We appreciate President Obama’s and his administration’s ongoing support of GM and the domestic U.S. auto industry as we undertake the difficult but necessary actions to reinvent our company,” the company said in a written statement.

And remember, the plan is to forgive these “loans” in bankruptcy, which GM will most likely declare next week. The UAW thanks you for the direct transfer payments, have a nice long Memorial Day weekend!

See also:
GM borrows another $4 billion from Treasury
GM borrows additional $4 billion from government
GM gets $4B in new federal aid
GM Bankruptcy Filing Moves Closer Amid Sale Plans, Union Deals
Report: General Motors bankruptcy expected as early as next week
GM bondholders dig in, gird for bankruptcy
UPDATE:GM Bondholders Lobby US Lawmakers To Oppose Treasury Backed Deal
GOP Lawmakers Push Geithner on GM ‘Main Street’ Bondholders’ Behalf
UPDATE:GOP Lawmaker Presses For More Oversight Of Auto Bailout
Auto Task Force Wages ‘War on Capital,’ Lawmakers Say (Update2)
Lawmakers want Obama to slow down on GM, Chrysler
Lawmakers urge Obama to slow auto task force
Lawmakers worry about auto job losses…GM borrows more money…New…
Lawmakers want Obama to slow down on GM, Chrysler
UPDATE 2-Fiat already concerned for ‘deteriorating’ Chrysler
The UAW Says Thanks Taxpayers!

/anyone else think these government sponsored “auto bailouts/bankruptcies” were a really bad idea, aren’t going to go well, will cost taxpayers more than they could ever imagine, and it’s all a criminal waste of money because Chrysler and General Motors will never be able to survive anyway?

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Gee, for someone who says he doesn’t want to run car companies, Obama sure seems to like to collect them.

GM bankruptcy plan eyes quick sale to government

If General Motors Corp files for bankruptcy, as widely expected, its healthy assets will be quickly sold to a new company owned by the U.S. government, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The source, who was not cleared to speak with the media and would not be identified, said the U.S. government would pay for the assets by assuming the automaker’s $6 billion of secured debt and forgiving the bulk of the $15.4 billion of emergency loans that the U.S. Treasury has provided to GM.

The government is negotiating the terms on which it will assume GM’s secured debt and might make an the offer to holders of the debt that is far superior to the one made to Chrysler LLC’s secured lenders, the source said.

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in April and has proposed paying its secured lenders about 28 cents on the dollar.

The new GM is likely to distribute stock in the company to GM’s unions in return for concessions on wages and benefits, the source said.

The percentage of stock given to the unions, bondholders and other creditors whose debt is not repaid by new GM has not been determined, the source said.

In addition, the government would extend a credit line to the new company, the source said.

The remaining assets of GM would stay in bankruptcy protection to satisfy other outstanding claims.

The government has given GM until June 1 to restructure its operations to lower its debt burden and employee costs as sales have plummeted in recent years.

See also:
GM shows signs that bankruptcy filing is coming
GM says still hasn’t made deals with Treasury, UAW
GM bankruptcy would be complex, painful

So, to recap, the U.S. government is going to buy GM, turn a large ownership stake over to the UAW, the taxpayers are going to take it in the shorts for the $15.4 billion of loans already made to GM, and then, to add insult to injury, we’re going to loan the new government/union owned company even more money. Can you say Chrysler redux, only on a much larger scale? Did anyone ask you if you wanted to spend tens of billions of your tax dollars to buy and run two of the three major U.S. car companies just so the UAW can keep their overpaid jobs and gold plated health care and pensions as payback for supporting Obama?

/this isn’t Venezuela, is this Venezuela?

Auto Bailouts In A Nutshell

Dennis Sevakis sums it up succinctly.

Bye-bye sanctity of contracts

As property rights are flushed, you can fuggedaboutwhat’s in your contract. After all, you wouldn’t want to be a”hold-out” member of a “cabal” of “dissident lenders” now, would you? A Saturday Washington Times article includes some terribly prejudiced phrasing (perhaps tongue-in-cheek?), but is a good summary of the structure of the Chrysler bankruptcy “deal” that included the collapse of the secured lenders.

The hold-out lenders charged that Mr. Obama, who had called them “speculators” and questioned their patriotism as well as blamed them for the bankruptcy, used undue political pressure, even though they were pursuing their legal rights in bankruptcy court, where the claims of such secured lenders normally prevail.

“After a great deal of soul-searching and quite frankly agony, they concluded they just don’t have critical mass to withstand the enormous pressure and machinery of the U.S. government,” said Thomas Lauria, the group’s lead attorney.

The White House’s auto task force asked the lenders to accept about 33 cents on the dollar for $6.9 billion of loans and offered them no equity in the company, while unions were given a 55 percent majority stake in exchange for expunging $4.6 billion of debt to a retirement fund.

Oh, what wonders one can accomplish by having a friendly, (sym)pathetic judge! And, when you’ve got ’em by the cajones, their hearts and minds are sure to follow! IMHO this is just about the most egregious abuse of government power of all time. How long before the Obamachine just takes dissidents out back and threatens to shoot them? Nah, they’ll never dispense with all the legal formalities, will they?

But do keep in mind, that we have no dollars for more F-22s and such. Must tighten our defense belt, folks. But there’s billions available to “save” Chrysler — now and in the future. And Obama is only just getting started.

Praise the Prez and pass the subsidies!

/couldn’t have said it better myself

More Taxpayer Money Down The Drain

And you thought the Chrysler bailout was a bad deal for taxpayers. Watch Obama crow about how proud he is of himself for cutting a drop in the bucket $17 billion from his $3.5 trillion budget.

See also:
Obama touts $17 billion ‘lot of money’ budget cuts
Obama seeks $17 billion in U.S. budget savings

But wait, what about General Motors, the too big to fail company that we’ve already shoveled $15.4 billion into, how is our taxpayer investment in that going? The answer is, not good. We could have let GM go bankrupt back in November, but no, that was unthinkable! Well, guess what, GM will be in bankruptcy by the end of the month and if you think we’re ever going to get our $15.4 billion back you’re crazy.

GM Posts $5.98 Billion Loss Amid Steep Drop in Revenue

General Motors, facing the prospect of bankruptcy, posted a loss of $5.98 billion for the first three months of this year as revenue continued to slide because of the economic crisis and slumping auto sales.

GM’s losses were offset somewhat by the company’s restructuring efforts and by an infusion of loans from the federal government, the automaker said yesterday.

GM has until the end of the month to cut costs further and win stakeholder concessions. If it fails, the government will likely force it into bankruptcy protection.

GM lost $9.78 per share, compared with a loss of $5.80 per share, or $3.28 billion, a year earlier. Cash on hand totaled $11.6 billion — approaching the minimum reserves needed to continue operations.

Revenue fell 47 percent to $22.4 billion, compared with revenue of $42.4 billion in the same quarter last year, as GM cut production. Ray Young, GM’s chief financial officer, warned that such a drop could be dangerous.

“Once you start losing revenue, you get yourself into a vicious circle in which you cannot recover,” he said. Talk about bankruptcy has pushed customers even further away from dealerships, Young said.

See also:
G.M., Leaking Cash, Faces Bigger Chance of Bankruptcy
US would facilitate GM bankruptcy, if needed -Geithner

And just what is soon to be bankrupt GM doing with our $15.4 billion in taxpayer money, besides paying for gold plated UAW retirement and health care benefits? Can you say insult to injury?

GM hosts fleet buyers at spa in scaled back event; critics unmoved

Just weeks before a deadline that could send it into bankruptcy, General Motors is entertaining 500 of its biggest customers at a luxury spa and golf course in Arizona.

GM, (GM) which has borrowed $15.4 billion from the U.S. government in the past six months, shipped in 150 cars and trucks to the event this week at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, and paid for airfare and hotel lodging for 90% of the guests.

The affair is scaled back from previous years, says GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan. Guests have to pay for their own golf outings, he says, and most of the days are packed with informational sessions on GM’s 2010 product line. The guests are GM’s fleet and corporate customers, which accounted for 27.6% of GM’s business in 2008. Fleet customers can buy dozens of vehicles at a time.

Well, hey, at least they made the taxpayer funded junket bingers pay for their own golf. And now look at what GM is planning to do after we finish paying for their bankruptcy.

Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas

The U.S. government is pouring billions into General Motors in hopes of reviving the domestic economy, but when the automaker completes its restructuring plan, many of the company’s new jobs will be filled by workers overseas.

According to an outline the company has been sharing privately with Washington legislators, the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, China and South Korea will roughly double.

The proportion of GM cars sold domestically and manufactured in those low-wage countries will rise from 15 percent to 23 percent over the next five years, according to the figures contained in a 12-page presentation offered to lawmakers in response to their questions about overseas production.

As a result, the long-simmering argument over U.S. manufacturers expanding production overseas — normally arising between unions and private companies — is about to engage the Obama administration.

Essentially in control of the company, the president’s autos task force faces an awkward choice: It can either require General Motors to keep more jobs at home, potentially raising labor costs at a company already beset with financial woes, or it can risk political fury by allowing the automaker to expand operations at lower-cost manufacturing locations.

“It’s an almost impossible dilemma,” said former labor secretary Robert B. Reich, now a professor at the University of California-Berkeley. “GM is a global company — so for that matter is AIG and the biggest Wall Street banks. That means that bailing them out doesn’t necessarily redound to the benefit of the U.S. or American workers.

“More significantly, it raises fundamental questions about the purpose of bailing out these big companies. If GM is going to do more of its production overseas, then why exactly are we saving GM?”

That’s exactly the ~$30 billion dollar question, why are we bailing out these two car companies that bleed money like hemophiliacs? The answer to that is easy, so Obama can protect the UAW as much as possible. You can already see that from the progress of the Chrysler bankruptcy. The Obama car czar Steven Rattner, is literally bullying a deal throgh bankruptcy court that heavily favors the UAW interests by trampling the Constitutional rights of more senior lien holding creditors. It’s a big, disgusting sham so far, expect the General Motors bankruptcy to be just as bad and probably much worse.

/and remember, while, on one hand, Obama brags about cutting $17 billion, much of it cuts in defense programs, less than 1/2% of his stupeniously bloated $3.5 trillion budget, the largest in American history by a wide margin, keep in mind that, on the other hand, he’s going to flush about $30 billion down the road to bankruptcy toilet bailing out his UAW buddies at Chrysler and GM and you’re paying for it

The UAW Says Thanks Taxpayers!

Surprise, surprise!

Chrysler Won’t Pay Back U.S. Loans

Taxpayers may never get back billions of dollars lent to Chrysler, according to various reports.

Testifying in bankruptcy court on Monday, one of the top financial advisers overseeing Chrysler’s restructuring said the U.S. government may never get back its loans to the company.

“They’re offering financing with a low likelihood of being repaid,” said Robert Manzo, an executive director for Capstone Advisory Group LLC, according to the Associated Press.

Manzo’s comments mirror the assumptions he listed in Chrysler’s bankruptcy filings last week, CNN Money reports. As part of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Manzo wrote Chrysler expects the U.S. Treasury to forgive a $4 billion bridge loan the automaker received during the Bush administration, a $300 million fee on that loan, and the $3.2 billion in financing the Obama administration approved last week to help the company stay afloat while it is in bankruptcy.

The Obama administration confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that it does not expect Chrylser to repay the loans.

See also:
REPORT: Chrysler unlikely to pay back most recent $4.5 billion gov’t loan
Chrysler won’t repay bailout money

What a scam. This amounts to a direct transfer payment to the UAW, nothing more. You should be getting your taxpayer thank you note from them any day now. The government should have just burned the money in a massive bonfire for all the good we’re getting out of it. Chrysler should have gone bankrupt in November. Remember when all the politicians were adamant that bankruptcy wasn’t an option because allowing Chrysler to go bankrupt would plunge the U.S. economy into a deep depression and basically the world would come to an end? Well, here we are, six months and billions of taxpayer dollars later, and Chrysler is bankrupt and the economy didn’t even so much as flinch.

/with all the billions of taxpayer money we wasted on Chrysler, we could have built the rest of the, now on the chopping block, F-22 Rapror fleet the Air Force wants and restored all the proposed cuts to missile defense

Back At The Trough Again

As predicted, like clockwork, Chrysler and GM are begging for another bailout.

Chrysler asks govt for $5 billion more in loans

Chrysler LLC on Tuesday told the U.S. government it needs even more taxpayer money to survive. General Motors is expected to do the same. Acknowledging that industry conditions are worse than expected when it made the case in December for a government bailout, Chrysler requested an additional $5 billion in government loans. It originally said it would need $3 billion more. The company had previously received $4 billion from the Treasury Department.

GM needs up to $30 billion in aid to avoid failure

General Motors Corp (NYSE:GM – News) said on Tuesday it could need a total of up to $30 billion in U.S. government aid — more than doubling its original aid — and would run out of cash as soon as March without new federal funding.

The request for additional aid from the top U.S. automaker came in a restructuring plan GM submitted to U.S. officials on Tuesday.

The GM restructuring plan of more than 100 pages was posted on the U.S. Treasury Web site

See also:
Chrysler Restructuring Plan for Long-Term Viability
General Motors Corporation 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan

Chrysler has already received $4 billion and is now asking for an additional $5 billion after originally estimating that they would need $3 billion. GM has already received $13.4 billion and is now asking for $30 billion after originally estimating that they would need $18 billion.

So, both companies are still bleeding cash like they have a severed aorta and neither company met today’s deadline to obtain concessions from the recalcitrant UAW.

See also:
Chrysler, UAW make progress in talks-source
Source: GM, UAW closing in on concession deal

Will we let these obviously insolvent and unprofitable companies fail and proceed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize like 99.9% of the other companies that find themselves in untenable economic positions? Hell no! It’s bailout mania season in Washington, expect the Bad Business Enabler Cavalry to ride your tax dollars to the rescue! Well, actually your tax dollars were all already spent a long time ago, so they’ll have to borrow or print the money and you or your children or grandchildren will just have to pay for it all later, with interest.

Will Obama stop the craziness? Hell no, Giddy Up!

Obama to appoint panel for auto recovery

It will take more than one “car czar” to help get the embattled U.S. auto industry back on track, President Barack Obama has decided.

Instead, his administration is establishing a presidential task force to direct the restructuring of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, a senior administration official said Sunday night.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers will oversee the across-the-government panel, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.

So, assume the position and prepare to bend over again for the Detroit Duo and the UAW!

/you know, I can understand bailing out the major banks, because if the international banking system fails the entire global economy will crash overnight, however, if GM and Chrysler go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, you’ll still be able to buy a car the next day