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Political News and Commentary from the Right

GM sending bailout money to Korea


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You would have thought General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner would have learned a little about the value of PR last November.  Flying to DC to beg for taxpayer money aboard a private jet almost cost him and the other little piggies their bailout cash.  Evidently he didn’t learn a thing.

In an announcement at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show today, Little Piggy Wagoner announced that GM would bypass an American supplier to spend our money in Korea.  The battery cells for GM’s long overdue Chevy Volt, will be purchased from LG Chem in Korea.  LG Chem and Massachussetts based A123 Systems/Continental were competing for the contract.  I wonder what Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) thinks of the bailout now that GM is bypassing a Massachussets company and sending his constituents’ jobs overseas. 

Now, I’m a free market/free trade fan and if these were normal times I wouldn’t raise a fuss about this.  However, these aren’t normal times and last month’s auto company bailout cast off any semblance of GM operating under free market/free trade principles.

Recall, we were told the bailout of GM and Chrysler was essential to save American jobs and prevent an imminent collapse of our economy if these two went under.  In this video, Wagoner claims the bailout will “preserve many jobs, and support the continued operation of GM and the many suppliers, dealers and small businesses across the country that depend on our company and our industry.”  The following is a Bush quote from an article in the Dallas Morning News after the bailout was announced.  (emphasis added)

“By giving the auto companies a chance to restructure, we will shield the American people from a harsh economic blow at a vulnerable time,” the president said. “And we will give American workers an opportunity to show the world once again that they can meet challenges with ingenuity and determination, and emerge stronger than before.”

This would be understandable if the A123 batteries just couldn’t cut it, but that’s not the case.  GM’s vice-chairman, Bob Lutz says the A123 product was “very good.” 

That’s not the worst part.

Lutz went on to blame the US government for GM’s choice of a foreign supplier, saying Detroit isn’t the problem, Washington is.  His rationale?  The US government hasn’t spent enough money on research to develop battery technology.  He goes on saying this “is part of the penalty we pay in the U.S. for not having a well-funded R&D budget.”

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!  Can you believe the arrogance of these jerks running GM?

They come begging from us, telling everyone that will listen the US economy is dependent on them and we must fill their coffers to save our jobs, save our economy.  Then, they have the gall to send that money overseas and tell us its our fault!

GM management still doesn’t get it.  They’re dependent on us, the US taxpayers/consumers.  This latest PR boondoggle is going to use up whatever good will the American taxpayer has for this US icon.  I’ve bought nothing but GM vehicles for the past 15 years, and now I’ll probably never buy another.

Congress shouldn’t give the idiots running GM another dime.  The only hope for this American icon’s survival is bankruptcy.  The GM Board of Directors should be ousted for leaving incompetent Little Piggy Wagoner in charge and paying him millions of dollars to lose billions of the company’s money.  Wagoner and the rest of GM’s management should be replaced with a team that understands that without customers, there’s no chance of success.


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January 13, 2009 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Witness to inefficiency of 3 Little Piggies slams bailouts


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Thanks to my father for alerting me to the existence of this letter from Gregory Knox, President of Knox Machinery, Inc. to Troy Clarke, President of General Motors.  Mr. Knox claims to have observed first-hand what those of us who’ve been against the bailout of the auto industry from the start.  He also makes great points (that many of us have been making) against ALL the bailouts.

Snopes has already verified the legitimacy of the letter.

From Gregory Knox, President Knox Machinery, Inc., Franklin, Ohio 45005

In response to your request to call legislators and ask for a bailout for the United States automakers please consider the following, and please also pass this onto Troy Clark, the president of General Motors North America for me. You are both infected with the same entitlement mentality that has bred like cancerous germs in UAW halls for the last countless decades, and whose plague is now sweeping the nation, awaiting our new “messiah” to wave his magical wand and make all our problems go away, while at the same time allowing our once great nation to keep “living the dream”.

The dream is over!

The dream that we can ignore the consumer for years while management myopically focuses on its personal rewards packages at the same time that our factories have been filled with the world¢s most overpaid, arrogant, ignorant and laziest entitlement minded “laborers” without paying the price for these atrocities. and that still the masses will line up to buy our products.

Don’t tell me I’m wrong. Don’t accuse me of not knowing of what I speak.. I have called on Ford, GM, Chrysler, TRW, Delphi, Kelsey Hayes, American Axle and countless other automotive OEM’s and Tier ones for 3 decades now throughout the Midwest and what I’ve seen over the years in these union shops can only be described as disgusting.

Mr. Clark, the president of General Motors, states: There is widespread sentiment in this country, our government and especially in the media that the current crisis is completely the result of bad management, it is not.

You’re right – it’s not JUST management. How about the electricians who walk around the plants like lords in feudal times, making people wait on them for countless hours while they drag ass so they can come in on the weekend and make double and triple time for a job they easily could have done within their normal 40 hour week.

How about the line workers who threaten newbies with all kinds of scare tactics for putting out too many parts on a shift. and for being too productive (mustn’t expose the lazy bums who have been getting overpaid for decades for their horrific underproduction, must we?) Do you really not know about this stuff?!?

How about this great sentiment abridged from Mr. Clarke’s sad plea: over the last few years .we have closed the quality and efficiency gaps with our competitors.

What the hell has Detroit been doing for the last 40 years? Did we really JUST wake up to the gaps in quality and efficiency between us and them?

The K car vs. the Accord? The Pinto vs. the Civic? Do I need to go on?

We are living through the inevitable outcome of the actions of the United States auto industry for decades. Time to pay for your sins, Detroit.

I attended an economic summit last week where a brilliant economist, Alan Beaulieu surprised the crowd when he said he would not have given the banks a penny of “bailout money”. Yes, he said, this would cause short term problems, but despite what people like George Bush and Troy Clark would have us believe, the sun would in fact rise the next day, and something else would happen. where there had been greedy and sloppy banks new efficient ones would pop up. that is how a free market system works. It does work, if we would let it work.

But for some reason we are now deciding that the rest of the world is right and that capitalism doesn’t work – that we need the government to step in and “save us”. Save us, hell – we’re nationalizing. and unfortunately too many of this once fine nation’s citizens don’t even have a clue that this is what’s really happening. But they sure can tell you the stats on their favorite sports teams. Yeah – THAT’S important.

Does it occur to ANYONE that the “competition” has been producing vehicles, EXTREMELY PROFITABLY, for decades now in this country?…

How can that be? Let’s see.

Fuel efficient. Listening to customers. Investing in the proper tooling and automation for the long haul. Not being too complacent or arrogant to listen to Dr W Edwards Deming four decades ago. Ever increased productivity through quality, lean and six sigma plans. Treating vendors like strategic partners, rather than like “the enemy”. Efficient front and back offices. Non union environment.

Again, I could go on and on, but I really wouldn’t be telling anyone anything they really don’t already know in their hearts.

I have six children, so I am not unfamiliar with the concept of wanting someone to bail you out of a mess that you have gotten yourself into – my children do this on a weekly, if not daily basis, as I did at their age. I do for them what my parents did for me (one of their greatest gifts, by the way) – I make them stand on their own two feet and accept the co nsequences of their actions and work them through. Radical concept, huh?

Am I there for them in the wings? Of course – but only until such time as they need to be fully on their own as adults. I don’t want to over simplify a complex situation, but there certainly are unmistakable parallels here between the proper role of parenting and government. Detroit and the United States need to pay for their sins.

Bad news people – it’s coming whether we like it or not. The newly elected Messiah really DOESN’T have a magic wand big enough to “make it all go away”. I laughed as I heard Obama “reeling it back in” almost immediately after the vote count was tallied.” We might not do it in a year or in four.” where was that kind of talk when he was RUNNING for the office? Stop trying to put off the inevitable.

That house in Florida really isn’t worth $750,000.

People who jump across a border really don’t deserve free health care benefits.

That job driving that forklift for the big 3 really isn’t worth $85,000 a year. We really shouldn’t allow Wal-Mart to stock their shelves with products acquired from a country that unfairly manipulates their currency and has the most atrocious human rights infractions on the face of the globe.

That couple whose combined income is less than $50,000 really shouldn’t be living in that $485,000 home.

Let the market correct itself people – it will. Yes it will be painful, but it’s gonna be painful either way. The bright side of my proposal is that on the other side of it is a nation that appreciates what it has, and doesn’t live beyond its means. and gets back to basics. and redevelops=2 0the work ethic that made it the greatest nation in the history of the world.. and probably turns back to God.

Sorry – don’t cut my head off, I’m just the messenger sharing with you the “bad news.”

Gregory J Knox
President Knox Machinery, Inc.
Franklin, Ohio 45005

Bravo, Mr. Knox!


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January 4, 2009 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Little Piggies’ Activity 12-19-08

We now know Little Piggy Wagoner was in Detroit yesterday, where he gave a press conference at GM headquarters.  I’m not sure if he took questions from reporters because the only video I can find only shows him reading a prepared statement.

Wagoner thanked everyone at GM, his competitors, Little Piggy Gettelfinger, the President, Congress, etc. for their work in getting Bush to approve the taxpayer bailout “loan”.  He went on to say he is confident GM can meet the requirements laid out by the administration.  (I don’t know if he’s considering Gettelfinger’s threats to challenge the UAW’s part of the requirements.)  He also wants GM to lead the country’s recovery during the economic crisis.  (I don’t know how he can lead it when he’s part of what’s holding it down.)

I wasn’t impressed, but here’s the video so you can judge for yourself.

I still can’t find anything on the whereabouts of Little Piggy Nardelli, but he did send a lengthy letter to Chrysler employees yesterday.  Like I said, it’s lengthy so I won’t clutter this post with it.  You can read the text of the letter here.  It doesn’t do anything to make me feel like Bush’s investment in Socialism was money well spent.  He uses a lot of words to say Chrysler is the victim of a global recession and everyone’s been doing a great job and they should simply keep doing so.  Everything will be fine.

Right.

I haven’t found anything new on Gettelfinger today.  Last word I have on him is still that he plans on pressuring Obama to remove the “unfair conditions” Bush’s Socialist agreement makes on the proletariat.

Remember, at TCOT we’re looking for any info readers may find on the Three Little Piggies.  So if you see them out and about, snap a few pictures or video them (if you can do so without being intrusive) and let us know.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How much did the “3 Little Piggies” make last year?

The 3 Little Piggies have ignored all the warning signs that pointed to the tanking of their

Three Little Piggies

Three Little Piggies

industry for years.  While Ford was working to restructure and make their business model competitive in today’s market, GM and Chrysler along with the UAW were closing their eyes, crossing their fingers, and hoping things would magically turn themselves around before the money ran out.

Now, we see these “3 Little Piggies” groveling to Congress and the President for us–the American taxpayers to bail them out of the mess they’ve made for themselves.  You heard the story about these CEOs flying to Washington in separate private jets to panhandle, but you might not realize just how much these incompetent CEOs made last year. 

So let’s check that out.

General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner received compensation worth $15.7 million last year according to this USA Today article.  That was a 64% raise over the previous year for setting his company up for failure.  Even more amazing is GM stock has lost almost 90% of it’s value since its 2007 peak AND GM lost $2.5 billion that year.

Man, I wish they’d pay me millions to lose their money!

Chrysler is no longer a publicly owned company, and CEO Bob Nardelli’s compensation package seems to be a closely guarded secret.  According to this WSJ article, he’s not actually being compensated at the moment, but will receive compensation when/if he turns a profit for Cerebrus Capital Management which owns Chrysler LLC.  Of course, he probably doesn’t need a paycheck right now because he most likely still has plenty of the $210 million he received as a severance package when he left Home Depot, Inc. in 2007.

Anybody else having trouble feeling sorry for these guys?

That leaves us with the UAW leader Ron Gettelfinger.  Apparently, he made a much more modest salary of ~$150,000.  But, he represents the workers costing the Big 3 automakers ~$70 per hour.  Even though he’s sitting alongside the other 2 Little Piggies begging for the government to hand over taxpayers’ money, he doesn’t want to make concessions to get it.  Quite a few taxpayers who make far less than that would probably take issue with using their taxes to maintain that standard of living for UAW members.

If these Three Little Piggies’ groveling for your money makes you mad as Hell, call and/or email the White House and let them know you don’t want them bailed out with your money!

Email the White House at comments@whitehouse.gov .

White House phone numbers: 

Comments:      202-456-1111
Switchboard:  202-456-1414
FAX:                  202-456-2461

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments