Patterico's Pontifications


Indiana Pensions File Chrysler Appeal in Supreme Court

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 11:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Indiana pension funds have appealed to the Supreme Court the Second Circuit’s denial of their objection to Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler. The sale will go forward unless four of the nine Supreme Court justices vote to hear the appeal by Monday at 4 PM.

More information and briefs are available at The pensions object to the treatment of their claims compared to junior creditors and the use of TARP funds:

“The funds hold roughly $42 million of Chrysler’s $6.9 billion in secured debt. They complain that the plan would strip them of the priority to which they are entitled under the bankruptcy law over junior creditors.

Under the plan first approved by the bankruptcy court and now by the circuit, the funds stand to receive 29 cents on the dollar for investments they purchased in July 2008 for 43 cents.

The funds also argued that the use of $2 billion in loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program was illegal because the statute creating the program was intended to aid financial institutions, not automakers.”

Meanwhile, bankruptcy hearings on the dealer terminations are also scheduled to resume, so the next two weeks should bring more clarity to the fate of Chrysler and its dealers.


More Questions About Dealergate

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 6:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democrats are expressing concerns about the GM and Chrysler dealers selected for termination:

“Closing these dealerships will put over 100,000 jobs at risk at a time when our country is shedding jobs at an alarming rate. We also question the criteria being used to determine which dealerships should be closed and the fundamental fairness involved in this effort. It is our view that the market [sic] rather than leaving it up to the manufacturers whose poor leadership contributed to their demise. Furthermore, we believe car dealers will be key players in any effort to revive the American auto industry.”

This is an excerpt from a letter circulated by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Daniel Maffei. The letter has reportedly also been signed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The last line of the letter notes they “may consider legislative proposals to ensure that dealers and their employees are treated fairly.” The full text is below the “more” link.

In a related development, Rep. Barney Frank convinced the GM CEO to keep the plant in his district open for at least 14 months.



What Democrats Want: Sonia Sotomayor

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 3:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A lot has been written about Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination as a Supreme Court Justice. Here are my two cents.

There are many viewpoints regarding what kind of legal training and experience a Supreme Court Justice should have but, in modern times, virtually all Supreme Court nominees have graduated from law school, are licensed attorneys, and have commendable experience as lawyers, teachers or judges. Thus, for all their differences – in geography, education, and experience – modern nominees are more alike than different when it comes to legal ability.

Furthermore, where there has been controversy about a nominee’s legal ability, it has largely come from intra-Party debates. Thus, conservatives challenged Harriet Miers’ legal skills, and liberals debate whether other candidates — like Judge Diane Wood or Solicitor General Elena Kagan — are more qualified than Sotomayor.

Democrats won the last Presidential election so instead of complaining about Sotomayor’s legal ability — something that will not impress a Democratic Congress or many Americans – Republican leaders should acknowledge Sotomayor has the legal ability to serve as a Supreme Court Justice and on that basis she should be confirmed.

At the same time, Republicans should highlight the different personal qualities Democrats and Republicans look for in judicial nominees. Barack Obama picked Sotomayor for two personal qualities: Because she’s a Latina and because she brings empathy to her decisions. Apparently the traditional legal quality of impartiality wasn’t a factor, and even Sotomayor acknowledges impartiality is overrated:

“The aspiration to impartiality is just that — it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.”

Unlike Obama and many Democrats, Republicans should clearly state that impartiality is more important than a nominee’s empathy or race.

Admittedly, I don’t know if this is a winning strategy. Americans just elected their first black President who is adept at connecting emotionally with people. It may be that empathy and race are the qualities today’s Americans look for in a leader or a judge. But I think most Americans realize a judge should be impartial and rule according to the law, not swayed by empathy or race. I hope Republicans will lay the groundwork that makes this difference clear now and will remind voters in future Presidential elections.


Barack Obama, Defender of the Faith

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Thursday Beldar noticed Barack Obama’s promise to defend the Muslim faith from its detractors. A day later, Jonah Goldberg commented on Obama’s new job description:

“In addition to CEO of GM, Thwarter of Rising Ocean Tides, and countless other duties not found in the Constitution or tradition, Obama has decided to add Defender of the Muslim Faith to his job description.”

Like this Episcopal minister, Obama doesn’t seem to see much difference between Christianity and Islam, let alone church and state. He’s counting on the American people not to notice the ambiguity.


D-Day 2009

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 11:24 am

[Guest post by DRJ]



“This embattled shore, portal of freedom, is forever hallowed by the ideals, the valor and the sacrifice.”

President Barack Obama commemorated today the 65th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach, France, where he paid tribute to valiant Soldiers, Sailors and Marines:

“Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget—what we must not forget—is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century,” he said.

“At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary.”


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