Posted on | December 10, 2013 | 68 Comments
If there is one sentence which should be indelibly etched in your mind about President Obama’s bailout of General Motors, it is this:
In other words, the folks who had loaned GM money got screwed over, and the benefit went directly to Obama’s friends in Big Labor, who had done so much to destroy the company’s profitability. Delivering effective control of the company to the UAW — anybody want to guess how that deal worked out at contract negotiation time?
It makes perfect sense: Screw over the bondholders, put the UAW in charge of the company and then have the UAW negotiate with itself!
While you’re contemplating that psychotic madness, now let’s take a look at the bottom line for U.S. taxpayers:
DETROIT — The U.S. government ended up losing $10.5 billion on the General Motors bailout, but it says the alternative would have been far worse.
The Treasury Department sold its final shares of the Detroit auto giant Monday, recovering $39 billion of the $49.5 billion it spent to save the dying automaker at the height of the financial crisis five years ago.
Without the bailout, the country would have lost more than 1 million jobs, and the economy could have slipped from recession into a depression, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said on a conference call with reporters.
Well, if Jacob Lew says the alternative was worse than losing $10.5 billion of taxpayer money, who are we to disagree? Because the effects of hypothesized alternative scenarios are always subject to speculation, officials can justify any policy by declaring that things would have been worse if we had done something different. (Let’s keep this principle of Liberal Logic™ in mind: Next time some hippie peacenik tells you that Bush’s Iraq policy was a failure, just remind him that an imaginary hypothetical alternative — e.g., Saddam Hussein’s army invading Connecticut — would have been much worse.)
“Mr. President — How could you lie to Whoopi Goldberg?
And the rest of us too . . . In 2010 President Obama
appeared on The View and promised we would get
all of our money back from the auto bailout . . .”
Remember: There are 5 A’s in “RAAAAACIST!”
Anyone who ever believed a single word Obama said — other than that promise about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” — is neurologically impaired, mentally defective, demented, deranged, wacko, bonkers, zany and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
And speaking of Mike Elk . . .
Surprise, surprise union busters using mental health smears against me to question VW reporting http://t.co/oKxmYrdRkC
— Mike Elk (@MikeElk) December 10, 2013
Look, it would be cruel beyond words if we were to start funding mental health services by charging admission for spectators to visit psychiatric wards and watch the lunatics shuffle through the halls jabbering madness to themselves. Fortunately, we have the Internet, so it costs nothing to watch Mike Elk’s continuing meltdown.
What are we supposed to do with Mike Elk, who is to journalism what Amanda Bynes is to Hollywood starlets? Elk flaunts his mental illness like a badge of honor — preemptively pleading insanity, as it were — and yet if any critic should mention it, this becomes an occasion for Elk to start screaming “bully!” and then claim victimhood: Heads, he wins; tails, you’re a hateful racist wingnut.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 10, 2013
Which brings us, rather surprisingly, to the latest offering from Chattanooga Times Free Press columnist David Cook:
It’s right there on the list. Just before food and clothing. Right after the section on people being able to vote and participate in government.
“Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”
It’s Article 23 on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The 30-article document was written after the horrors of World War II (one of its primary authors was Eleanor Roosevelt) and expresses an exalted vision of what’s possible for humans here on earth.
It lists the fundamental rights we should have — any and all of us — simply by virtue of being alive. . . .
(When a newspaper columnist begins by citing the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, sane readers turn the page.)
Will that happen here? Will the United Auto Workers unionize the Volkswagen plant at Enterprise South? . . .
(David Cook certainly hopes so. Did I mention that he “holds a master’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College“?)
The debate on the UAW and VW has reached hyperbole and rhetoric on the level of an election year. Mike Elk, a journalist with In These Times, published a story last month showing how out-of-state conservative groups have financed efforts to oppose unionization here. . . .
(You see what I mean? It’s as if there were some kind of private club where these kooks all know each other — the Marxist version of the Masonic lodge, with secret handshakes and stuff. But that would be a paranoid conspiracy theory. Speaking of which . . .)
Elk discusses the role of Matt Patterson, a consultant based in Washington, D.C., who developed a playbook on how to defeat the UAW’s efforts here.
“Within a few weeks, I had organized a coalition consisting of members of the Tea Party, Students for Liberty, former VW employees, politicians and businessmen to craft and deliver a consistent message that has shaped public opinion,” Patterson wrote in a report Elk obtained.
The funders behind Patterson’s work are of particular interest to Elk . . .
(Astonishing! Shocking! People who are opposed to labor unions have hired Matt Patterson, who is opposed to labor unions, to organize people who are opposed to labor unions. Quick — you call the FBI and I’ll e-mail the Pulitzer Prize committee!)
This Thursday, Elk comes to town, speaking at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s UC Auditorium at 6 p.m. His trip is being sponsored by Chattanooga for Workers. It’s open to the public.
“Well, my, my, my!” as Lt. Joe Kenda would say. “What have we here?”
It must an evil corporate conspiracy, you see, for anyone to pay Matt Patterson — “a consultant based in Washington, D.C.” — to organize opposition to the UAW in Chattanooga and, therefore, these shadowy “funders behind Patterson’s work” must be investigated by Mike Elk who, last time I checked, was based in Washington, D.C.
Speaking of the “funders” of shadowy organizations, who do you suppose is bankrolling “Chattanooga for Workers”? Do you think there might be any overlap between (a) the money for ”Chattanooga for Workers” and (b) the people funding In These Times magazine? In other words, do you suppose that the people who (c) fund Mike Elk’s “investigation” of the opposition to the UAW would also be interested in (d) bringing Mike Elk to Chattanooga, and then (e) enlisting such of their friends as Times Free Press columnist David Cook to publicize both (f) their unionization drive, and (g) Mike Elk’s “investigation” of their opponents?
Do you need me to draw a Venn diagram to explain that there might be some substantial overlap of categories (a) through (g)?
Hey, who is this “Chattanooga Organized for Action” (COA) that’s promoting Mike Elk’s speech Thursday at UTC? Aug. 10, 2012:
A 2-year-old Chattanooga social justice and community-organizing nonprofit is hoping to expand the scope of its work after receiving a $40,000 grant from one of Chattanooga’s most prominent foundations.
Chattanooga Organized for Action announced last week it had become the newest local recipient of a Community Grant from the Benwood Foundation. Community Grants, given to groups planning to “address issues of critical concern to the future of Hamilton County,” are awarded to more than a dozen different area groups annually.
Leaders for COA, which played a role in supporting recent grassroots efforts to block a proposed redevelopment project on the Westside, along with the movement to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the new funds would be put toward creating a “Justice School,” with the goal of replicating similar member-driven interventions in other Chattanooga communities. The group hopes to train individuals on organizing their own responses to their own specific issues.
Just a spontaneous grassroots thing, you see? And there’s no reason for anyone to suspect that the Benwood Foundation’s $40,000 grant to COA was coordinated with a slightly larger donation to the Benwood Foundation from someone who maybe didn’t want their fingerprints on a donation given directly to COA. Nor need anyone investigate whether the non-profit “Institute for Public Affairs” that publishes In These Times also receives funding from the same people who contributed to the Benwood Foundation in 2012.
— Chattanooga4Workers (@Chatt4Workers) December 5, 2013
Like I said, do you want me to draw you a Venn diagram?
Yeah, the 501(c)3 Benwood Foundation just randomly decided to fund COA, so that it could organize protests against McDonald’s and support a UAW unionization drive at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. Nothing remotely suspicious about this coincidence.
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.”
Readers may go back to the top of this post if they need a reminder: Obama bailed out GM in a deal that screwed over the bondholders, protected the UAW and cost American taxpayers $10.5 billion, and now it seems as if the UAW has plenty of money to throw around for organizing drives in Chattanooga, where there’s this wonderful “grassroots” group COA that will be hosting an event Thursday featuring that courageous (but perhaps insane) investigative journalist Mike Elk.
“Well, my, my, my . . .”
What’s this at the bottom of David Cook’s column? “Contact David Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6329.”