Auto industry CEOs appeared on Capitol Hill today to ask for a $25 billion bailout. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) asked the top execs if they would be willing sell their corporate jets and travel home on commercial flights.
Sherman asked the CEOs, "I'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial." "Let the record show, no hands went up," noted Sherman
MSNBC's Contessa Brewer and Mike Viqueira discussed the CEOs' lack of response. "I have to tell you, just listening to that is awkward," said Brewer.
These idiot CEO's are not helping themselves and they need to change their King Maker mentality very fast or they will go down in flames. Asking for a rescue package while flying in on private jets is freaking ludicrous.
No matter how we slice it, the Auto Industry is in big trouble and needs some help. We can't allow it to fold because of the ramifications that will be felt throughout the country and the good people who will lose their jobs. Millions of them actually. Matt Stoller told me in an email exchange: "What most people (including politicians I've talked to) don't realize is that the auto industry dying will hurt every single community in America through the dealer network."
Richard Shelby and his pals are hellbent to break the UAW and as many unions as they can get their hands on and that's what is really going on here, but the media will never say that. Shelby has deep ties into the auto industry that wants unions busted.
What Shelby doesn't mention, of course, is that Alabama is a right to work state. Shelby also doesn't mention that Alabama is home to Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes plants.
Shelby also doesn't reveal that many of the cars those manufacturers make in Alabama, without unions, are precisely the kind of behemoths critics attack Detroit for making--only these have foreign nameplates: M-Class SUV, GL-Class SUV (a new model), Pilot SUV, Santa Fe SUV, plus engines for Tacoma and Tundra pick-ups and Sequoia SUVs.
In other words, Shelby isn't opposed to car companies that are stupidly committing and recommitting to SUVs. Rather, he's just opposed to car companies that make SUVs with union labor.
If you remember, Shelby was the one who leaked NSA intercepts to Carl Cameron of FOX News and the media and then refused to take a lie detector test about it right after 9/11.
"A sharp disagreement ensued between the FBI and senior Justice Department officials overseeing the case, according to federal law enforcement officials. The FBI was convinced not only that Shelby leaked the information regarding the intercepts, but also that the senator might have misled the FBI when he was interviewed about his actions, according to sources. They advocated that Shelby be prosecuted." Read the whole article. Pat Roberts helps ruin the investigation.
He got off because Pat Roberts screwed up the investigation like he usually does. And he's the one on TV the most trying to force the auto industry to go belly up.
And Kathy G writes:
I've written about this before, but I'm doing it here again, because the wingnuts really need to put an end to this irresponsible bullshit, and pronto. Repeat after me: unions do not cause lower productivity.
The latest conservative to lie about this is Soren Dayton (who, last I heard, was "suspended" from the McCain campaign for peddling a sleazy, racially charged anti-Obama video). In a recent post about "card check," aka the Employee Free Choice Act (a proposed law that will make it easier to organize a union -- see here for more), Dayton wrote:
The unions and their lackeys in the Democratic party are intent on a path that will destroy our productivity for a significant period of time.
Um, not hardly. Even if you didn't know what the economic literature says about this topic, if you stop to consider that the postwar era saw the record high union density in this country as well as unprecedented economic growth and productivity gains, it might give you pause. Indeed, Ezra made just this argument recently.
I want an overhaul in the auto industry for sure, but this country is spending millions of dollars a day to pay for two wars while our country is going bankrupt. This is criminal and I think we have to remember that these are incredibly difficult times. Historic times and Obama is facing challenges like almost no other president has had to face as he gets ready to take office.