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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 12/07/2008 - 12/14/2008
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More "I told you so..."

see previous post...
Auto bailout's death seen as a Republican blow at unions
For some Senate Republicans, a vote against the bailout was a vote against the United Auto Workers, and against organized labor in general.

sometimes, it's no fun to be right...

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Why did it take so long for everybody to figure out the whole deal was to break the autoworkers' union and the pension fund?

i don't intend to break my arm patting myself on the back, but i called this quite some time back, all the way back to 19 november and again on the 24th... it just seemed too goddam obvious that the entire repub resistance to an auto industry bailout was predicated on pounding the union autoworkers into fine, powdery dust and rendering their pension plan insolvent... well, now EVERYBODY'S waking up to that sordid scenario but, no surprise, perhaps the most eloquent is none other than flint, michigan's finest, michael moore...

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we'll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That's right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers -- billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever -- the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

Of course that is heresy to the 31 Republicans who decided to blame the poor, miserable autoworkers for this mess. And our wonderful media complied with their spin on the morning news shows: "UAW Refuses to Give Concessions Killing Auto Bailout Bill." In fact the UAW has given concession after concession, reduced their benefits, agreed to get rid of the Jobs Bank and agreed to make it harder for their retirees to live from week to week. Yes! That's what we need to do! It's the Jobs Bank and the old people who have led the nation to economic ruin!

But even doing all that wasn't enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren't opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they're opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country, not because the UAW hadn't given back enough, but because the UAW hadn't given up.

It appears that the sitting President has been looking for a way to end his reign by one magnanimous act, just like a warlord on his feast day. He will put his finger in the dyke, and the fragile mess of an auto industry will eke through the next few months.

That will give the Senate enough time to demand that the bankers and investment sharks who've already swiped nearly half of the $700 billion gift a chance to make the offer of cutting their pay.

yep, it's blue collar blood they smell and they aren't going to rest until the streets of detroit are running red with the stuff... as i've said before, i'm not a proponent of bailouts, but i AM a passionate advocate of the poor working stiffs that are the backbone of any business, the very folks that get the short end of the stick at every turn...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

So much for the advocates of free-markets, capitalism and small government as we watch them rush madly to Washington, tin cup in hand


otoh, with the printing presses cranking out trillions of dollars 'round the clock that are seemingly up for grabs, you don't want to be the last one in line...

A Lobbying Frenzy For Federal Funds

With Congress poised to vote on a rescue for the nation's auto industry and President-elect Barack Obama promising to launch a massive public spending program, Capitol Hill has once again become the scene of a lobbying free-for-all, with industry and local governments alike seeking some of the billions in taxpayer dollars that Congress is likely to spend in the not-too-distant future.

While some of the lobbying has been conducted by the usual hands on K Street, a parade of trade groups, unions and business owners have chosen to voice their pleas in person.

do ya suppose if i could afford my own lobbyist or even to pay my own way to d.c., i'd be up there elbowing at the trough with the rest of 'em...? i guess the reality is that, if i could afford my own lobbyist, i'd had to have been a different kind of person to begin with, dontcha think...?

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Eid al-Adha

today begins the muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and continues through the 12th... now that i've at least begun to gain a little familiarity with muslim religious practices and holidays, i thought it would be only fitting to honor some of my new muslim friends by offering up a little information about a major muslim holiday...
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā, Urdu: بقرعید) or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah intervened: instead Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal, as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. The meat is then shared out with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community (Islam names Ishmael as the son who was to be sacrificed, whereas the Judeo-Christian name Isaac).

Eid al-Adha is one of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran. (Muslims in Iran celebrate a third, non-denominational Eid.) Like Eid el-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).

Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for two to three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

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Here's what Argentina's doing to help ITS auto industry


interesting, no...?

Gov’t cranks out cut-rate car loans
3.1 billion pesos earmarked for first-time new car buyers

The government jump-started Argentina’s sputtering auto industry yesterday providing details of a 3.1 billion peso boost with cut-rate loans for first-time new car buyers.

Production Minister Deborah Giorgi said that six automakers will each offer two models selling for 31,000 pesos or less for people buying a new car for the first time.

The companies will have to promise to shun layoffs and hold down profit margins on cars sold under the programme. Buyers can choose a pre-savings plan under which delivery times are determined by lottery or they can contract low-interest financing. Payments are supposed to range around 800 pesos a month.

The programme affects vehicles sold by local branches of Renault, Peugeot Citroën, Ford, General Motors, Fiat and Volkswagen.

whether this makes more sense than a direct auto industry bailout, i'm not economically savvy enough to say, but i can say this... it's clearly more aimed at directly helping the average citizen rather than the fat-cats who are already grossly overpaid...

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Spammers' names

didja ever wonder who in the hell comes up with the names spammers use...? i don't think even a random name generator could come up with some of the bizarre combinations i see regularly in my spam inbox...


not to mention that six out of the eleven are advertising sexual enhancement medications...

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