The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Taxpayers Lose $10.5 Billion on UAW Bailout; Does @DavidCookTFP Care?

Posted on | December 10, 2013 | 68 Comments

Before we talk about @DavidCookTFP — a liberal columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press — let’s talk about Detroit, the city driven into bankruptcy by Democrats and organized labor.

If there is one sentence which should be indelibly etched in your mind about President Obama’s bailout of General Motors, it is this:

“GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder
obligations as UAW claims were protected.”

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?

GM Offers $5,000 ‘Signing Bonus’ as
Part of Deal With Union That Owns GM

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!”

Also, Obama’s promises always carry an expiration date.

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 . . .

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.

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.

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 [email protected] or 423-757-6329.”




68 Responses to “Taxpayers Lose $10.5 Billion on UAW Bailout; Does @DavidCookTFP Care?”

  1. Mike Elk = BSC | Batshit Crazy News
    December 10th, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    […] Taxpayers lose 10.5 billion dollars on UAW GM Bailout (with bonus payments for the UAW).  Bond holders get […]

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    “Well here’s to you Mrs. Robinson Roosevelt, Jesus loves you more than you can know, wo wo wo.”

    Mrs. Roosevelt is a lefty saint, in the alternative universe of gay liberal Jesus.

  3. Professor_Why
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

    Taxpayers Lose $10.5 Billion on UAW Bailout; Does @DavidCookTFP Care?

  4. Quartermaster
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    So far, things have been fairly quiet at GM. We’ll have to wait longer to see if the Union actually understands they have been given the managerial equivalent of a last chance agreement.

  5. DaveO
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    With all the focus on the IRS, dollars to doughnuts that there can never be any audits of any of the Dem money-laundering schemes such as GMC and the so-called green industries. Obama has already overseen the greatest redistribution of wealth in America’s history. And, not just individual citizens have been robbed, by many states and municipalities like Detroit that were invested GMC whose rights were cast aside, accelerating its insolvency.

  6. Quartermaster
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    If some of them want to volunteer, I have no objections. Just do it quietly.

  7. Quartermaster
    December 10th, 2013 @ 12:41 pm


  8. betsyscribeindc
    December 10th, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    RT @rsmccain: “Mike Elk, who is to journalism what Amanda Bynes is to Hollywood starlets …” @EliLake @betsyscribei…

  9. ChattAnarchy
    December 10th, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    RT @MikeElk: upset about my visit to Chattanooga, right wing bloggers go after Chattanooga for Workers

  10. JeffWeimer
    December 10th, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

    I didn’t say it was a good deal, all things considered. But UAW ownership stake might, might, be another positive outcome this Administration backed into, like privatizing space.

  11. Adjoran
    December 10th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    GM DID go bankrupt, it just was managed by Obama instead of the normal bankruptcy courts so that his favored union goons could clean up while everyone else got screwed.

    And when I say “everyone else,” I mean it, because it wasn’t just the bondholders who lost their money. Creditors lost everything. Little companies that had done work or delivered supplies to GM offices and factories and were awaiting payment never got it. Some went out of business because of it.

    People who had been award court judgments or settlements because of GM wrongdoing or faulty products got nothing. Their awards were erased. Some of these were people suffering disabling injuries who were depending on the money to pay for long term care.

    Lew is a liar. It was a massive theft. I for one will NEVER buy a GM vehicle again.

  12. 1catherinesiena
    December 10th, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    RT @rsmccain: ” Quick — you call the FBI and I’ll e-mail the Pulitzer Prize committee!” @wupton @ali @vadum @vinniev…

  13. Kim Jong Un’s Crazy Uncle… In the Basement? | Regular Right Guy
    December 10th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    […] Taxpayers Lose $10.5 Billion on UAW Bailout; Does @DavidCookTFP Care? […]

  14. Dai Alanye
    December 10th, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

    I’m pretty sure that some of the anonymous backers of Chattanooga for Workers and Chattanooga Organized for Action had ancestors who fought for the losing side during the Civil War.

  15. McGehee
    December 10th, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    I find that even funnier because my Civil War ancestor was not only on the winning side, but part of his time in was spent at Chattanooga. He was part of the only Union invasion of Chattanooga I can support.

  16. SarahWW
    December 10th, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

    RT @yidwithlid: I counted….he’s correct RT @rsmccain: “Remember: There are 5 A’s in RAAAAACIST!” @yidwithlid @EdDr…

  17. SDN
    December 11th, 2013 @ 12:43 am

    Feed them in headfirst and at least they get quiet fairly fast….

  18. » Instant justification
    December 11th, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    […] Not that we can actually prove any such assertion, of course: […]