The Jury Talks Back

12/5/2008

Bad news, folks…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 8:10 pm

Whelp…  You knew it was going to happen.

Democratic leaders and the White House reached a deal.

There is no way this is good.  It’s like the perfect storm of “people you don’t want making a decision.”

The package, which Democratic leaders hope to win passage of next week and send to President George W. Bush, totals between $15 billion and $17 billion, the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Yup.  That’s it.  Waiter, check please.  We’re done.

I hated the financial bailout, but at least one could argue that it wasn’t solely the fault of those companies.  Mostly, sure.  90%?  I could be convinced.  But there were failures in government that shared some blame.  It was too big, but that’s life.

The auto bailout is disgusting because it is 100%, completely and fully the fault of the Big Three.  They are the ones who made the decisions that led to them building cars people didn’t want, and selling them for prices people didn’t want to pay.

That’s Free Market, people.  You either make a product people want at a price they will accept, or you go under.  That’s how it works.

The amount is far less than the $34 billion requested this week by General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler, but Democratic leaders believe the money will keep them going until Barack Obama replaces Bush as president on January 20 and a new effort can be made for a rescue plan.

Oh. My. God.  They said it.  They actually freaking said it.  ‘We’re settling for so little until Ocarter gets into the White House and we can power through WAY more.’

My. God.  Shoot me.  Shoot me in the head, right now.  We are screwed, people.

Here, let me illustrate the worst part of this.

See, Chrysler is owned by Cerebus Capital (which has in its fold former VP Dan Quayle, former Treasury Secretary John Snow – who is since 2006 the chairman of the company).  Cerebus shelled out $7.4 billion to get Chrysler from Daimler AG, and has holdings or minority interests in companies around the world that in total generate over $100 billion in revenue.

Chrysler wants money from the Fed, both a bridge loan to help cover operating costs ($7 billion) and a loan from the Department of Energy to help them make energy efficient cars ($8.5 billion).

Cerebus isn’t shelling out a dime.  From the hearings:

Corker spent much of his time sparring with Nardelli over the privately-held company asking for taxpayer help.

Cerberus invested $7.4 billion in August 2007 to acquire majority control of Chrysler from Daimler AG.

[…]

“Cerberus owns 80% of this company and has cash — lots of cash — that they are unwilling to put into this company,” Corker said.

He also accused Cerberus of simply trying to buy time in order to merge Chrysler.

“It troubles me a little bit knowing that basically all we’re really doing is providing a little capital for y’all to hang around long enough to get married,” Corker said.

I’m just disgusted.  I’m so pissed off, I can’t even spit.  I’m beyond swearing, and clear into “random personal property damage.”

We’re done.  We’ve lost.  There is nothing that can stop the flood of federal money to private companies that can’t run themselves properly.  Nothing.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go start laying plans for an insurrection.  I’ll be in the bunker.

Zimbabwe seeking help, Mugabe likely seeking a scapegoat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 9:00 am

So, Justin posted a bit ago about Zimbabwe’s rampant, insane inflation.  I thought I would add a bit to that, as the country’s woes are seemingly without end.

It would seem that Mugabe is now at a point that he must ask for international aid to deal with a cholera epidemic, caused by inept handing of the sewage and water treatment system in his country.  He’s even asking the UK for help, and he freaking hates the UK.  The problem stems from Mugabe years ago taking away the power to manage local water resources from cities that had a mayor who belonged to the MDC (the opposition party to Mugabe’s PF aka Zanu).  He set up the utterly incompetent Zimbabwe National Water Authority, which has, in the spirit of all nationalized systems, failed utterly at its job.

It’s so bad, even an Archbishop is calling for Mugabe to either leave, or be forced out:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa expressed similar sentiments, openly calling for Mr Mugabe’s removal. “If they say to him ’step down’, and he refuses, they must do so militarily,” he said.

The good Archbishop is, by the way, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

When left-leaning African leaders like Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga call for African nations work together to topple Mugabe, and Archbishops are saying that if he won’t go quietly, send in the tanks, you might start to get the idea that Mugabe was in a rough spot.

You’d be right.

From a Fred Thompson Report on June 11th, 2007:

If there’s a hell on earth, it’s probably Zimbabwe. Life expectancies in the landlocked nation in the South of Africa are the world’s lowest. Reports say women live an average of 35 years; men a bit longer. Four in five people are unemployed. Government printing presses run day and night to produce enough money to keep the military from rebelling, so inflation is at an annual rate of 3,700 percent and rising. Cash loses over ten percent of its value everyday.

It wasn’t always that way. Before Robert Mugabe’s government took power a quarter of a century ago, this land was one of the most prosperous in Africa. Known as the breadbasket of south Africa, it exported food to the rest of the continent. Then Mugabe was elected. He used his office to destroy his own market economy, silence the press, murder his opposition and persecute minority ethnic groups, black and white alike. Zimbabwe was, by any account, the most disastrously managed economy on the planet.

Amazingly, Zimbabwe was tapped by the UN (despite the fact that two UN agencies were estimating 4 million people were in danger of starving to death – one third the country’s population) to lead the UN Commission on Sustainable Development – the commission tasked to promote long-term economic growth.

I mention the above because of what it means regarding the UN and Zimbabwe – namely that the UN will do nothing besides throw money at the country, because Mugabe’s views on sustainable development so closely mirror those of so many members of the UN.  Free Markets caused Zimbabwe’s woes, not socialistic, inept, dictatorial control, that’s what Mugabe claims, and I would be shocked if a majority didn’t agree.

Zimbabwe’s in a rough spot, and the only way to make things better and right is for Mugabe to go the way of the dodo bird.

A shame the UN will likely do all it can to prevent that from happening.


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