Auto bailout report card

To continue on with the theme from the conservative bloggers uniting post, let’s look at a favorite claim of the Obama administration, the success of the auto bailouts. As the walking gaffe machine, Joe Biden, likes to claim, “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive”. In fact, Obama is just the tip of the iceberg. Many others side with the President on this issue. The general premise is that the auto industry would have failed without government intervention including the supply chain and various other support industries. Of course, we’ll never know now if that claim was true but we can examine the contentions and the results.

The assertion of rescuing an industry is to preserve jobs. American jobs. Obama, amongst others, claim the bailout saved over a million jobs. He also made this statement.

“I am convinced that we’re going to rebuild not only the auto industry but the economy better and stronger before,” Obama said. “And at it’s heart is going to be three powerful words: Made in America.”

Made in America. How did he fare? Did the American taxpayer get a good return on its investment? This video from GM CEO Dan Akerson is very telling.

70% of GM cars are made outside the United States. Those three powerful words Obama referenced seem hollow.

Let’s take a look at Chrysler. The Chrysler bailout cost taxpayers $1.3 billion dollars. Did we save an American icon? Depends upon your point of view. If you’re satisfied with your tax dollars going toward rescuing a foreign automaker, then call it a success. That’s right, Chrysler is now majority owned by Italian automaker Fiat. Of course, the intent wasn’t to save money but to save jobs.

We didn’t do this to maximize return. We did it to save jobs, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said during a trip to Detroit in April

If Chrysler being foreign-owned doesn’t rankle you, perhaps the notion of Fiat building Chrsyler’s overseas and then exporting them to America will as reported by Bloomberg – . Fiat announced today that the iconic Jeep will see production in Europe – Fiat also lowered production forecasts from a lofty 6 million annually to the low-to-mid 4 million range.

So GM makes 7 out of 10 cars overseas and Chrysler is now owned by a foreign company, is lowering production goals and moving assembly overseas. Hardly a smashing success. Let’s look at another viewpoint as to whether or not our taxpayer dollars went toward saving American jobs and not just industry jobs as the above examples illustrate.

There is no definitive evidence showing that American jobs were saved. Nor that the entire industry would have simply liquidated. Take a look at this list compiled to show the 22 largest bankruptcies worldwide .What do they have in common? Generally, they are financial, automotive or airline industry companies. History shows that the financial and airline industries continued to exist despite major member bankruptcies.

Another claim is that liquidation was imminent because private capital was unavailable due to the seizing of the credit markets brought about by the global recession. You’ll note that number 18 on this list was LyondellBasell Industries. During the very same time frame as the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, they secured over $8 billion in debtor-in-possession financing . This was the largest amount ever by nearly a factor of two and again, it occurred during the  same time frame as GM and Chrysler.

Furthermore, as Mitt Romney pointed out, an auto industry managed bankruptcy would have had government backing. Meaning any risk would have been absorbed by the U.S. taxpayer and not the consortium of lenders that would have supplied the $85 billion dollar lifeline.

The debate as to whether there were really no other options other than government intervention will go on indefinitely. The results of the bailouts can be measured in many ways. The precedent has now been set and the auto industry is well aware it has carte blanche to continue on with risky investments as well as other unsound business practices with the implicit guarantee of a taxpayer rescue lifeline always at hand.

Case in point is the Chevy Volt. Every car that rolls off the lot is a loser, yet there is no accountability as to a return on investment as it falls under the Obama green energy initiative. It also provides an interesting quandary for the American taxpayer. Public sentiment runs high for punishing corporate welfare, excessive CEO salaries and bonuses and the like. Yet the Chevy Volt is purchased by an individual with an average annual income of around $170,000 dollars. We the taxpayer provide that well-to-do individual with a tax credit of $7,500 for purchasing a Volt. One would think an average Joe bringing home his $30K salary would not support their tax money going to subsidize a Volt buyer making much more money.

I never even mentioned the travesty of the bankruptcy process the Obama administration engaged in. Or the crony capitalism they promoted in doing so.  Stakeholder relationships have been forever altered in knowing that standard bankruptcy practices can be so easily discarded.

Early repayment of the TARP loans was highly publicized, yet was just an accounting gimmick utilizing one capital credit line to pay off another. Even individuals who play that game at home by using one credit card to pay the minimum payment on another realize that eventually the clock runs out on that as well.

You simply can’t find a true positive outcome on the auto bailouts. The iconic American companies are gone. The billions in taxpayer revenue is forever lost. The claim of an entire industry simply liquidating just doesn’t pass the smell test.

The bottom line is that American taxpayer dollars were used to save American jobs. You failed, President Obama.

Conservative bloggers unite to defeat Obama

A half-dozen conservative bloggers have united and will all have the same post on their blogs today in an effort to help defeat President Obama. Please read this post in its entirety and be sure to go visit each bloggers site via the links. I would also encourage anyone to reblog or link this post to get the word out to as many people as possible. Romney may not be the first choice for some of these contributors, but we can all agree that Obama must go so help us spread the word! Join us to help the undecided vote to stop the destruction of America!

“Why bankruptcy is preferable to bailouts” by Spellchek

President Obama has been on a chest-thumping tour touting the success of the bailouts both in the auto industry as well as the financial industry.Supporters and critics alike have focused upon what constitutes a success.Some will calculate the cost to the taxpayers.Others will focus on the jobs saved.It is these glass half-empty/half-full arguments that highlight the crux of the problem.Bailouts v. bankruptcy is not an apples to apples comparison.

A bailout by its very nature is the epitome of a reward for past indiscretions.The idea is how best to cushion the blow and alleviate the pain.The fear card plays a big role here as witnessed a full-fledged campaign to warn us of the disaster awaiting should we decline to bailout a failing company/industry.Then to make it worse,we saw government picking the winners and losers in the fallout.

A bankruptcy is intended as a poison pill as much as a legal recourse to alleviate a failing business model.It’s called moral hazard.It is painful by design so it will have a preventative effect.The path chosen by Obama eliminates this.Companies/industries know they can operate with high risk or inefficient practices when an implied guarantee of a bailout is always awaiting.

The key difference is that implied guarantee.It enables risky behavior and distorts the free market.And why not?When you know there is reward as opposed to pain available,who wouldn’t engage in high risk/high reward practices?Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enabled the housing bubble accordingly.AIG and the other players in the banking sector engaged in the derivatives market with our 401(k)s and pensions as monopoly money.

Bailouts encourage and enable bad business practices.Bankruptcy penalizes it.So when you question whether or not Obama succeeded with his bailouts,you should instead be asking why he engages in a policy that promotes risky investments and inefficient business practices that will eventually require you the taxpayer to pay for it.

“The Libyan Scandal” by What Would The Founders Think

Politicians lie. There is nothing that is earth-shattering about this statement. Presidents are politicians and they generally adhere to the stereotype.

There have been exceptions to the rule, but Presidents like Washington and Garfield are few and far between.

Sometimes presidents lie with the best of intentions. More often than not they lie to protect themselves and their careers.

But while the reasons presidents lie are probably as numerous as the lies that they tell, the depth of mendacity demonstrated by President Obama is unique in American political history. It is not merely that he will do or say anything to remain in office, but the reason he will do or say anything to remain in power – his hatred of American pre-eminence on the world stage. We have never had a president who felt it his mission to reduce the nation to benefit other nations.

It is an established fact that Obama is a devotee of Saul Alinsky – a completely amoral – “ends justify any means” individual. Obama has learned his lessons well and seeks to bring America down a peg by any and all means necessary. Obama is apparently quite comfortable with Lenin’s adage, “You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

It is only when one understands Obama’s motivations and complete lack of morality, that one can understand how this callous president could refer to the death of an American ambassador and other Americans in Libya as “bumps in the road.” One has to wonder, where does that road lead?

“Barack Hussein Obama & The Race Card” by Mind Numbed Robot

Barack Hussein Obama was swept into office by a wave of voters willing to give the new guy a shot. He offered a chance to redeem America from its original sin and at the same time promised to end the bi-partisan bickering of politics as usual in the DC beltway. He was a relative unknown on the national scene and took every advantage of that fact. After all, when a candidate doesn’t have a record to campaign on, it’s much easier to paint himself as the elixir for the times.

Four years later, we know a lot more about the man at the helm of our ship of state and it should be clear that Obama was either not ready for the task he was given or his prescriptions did not work as advertised. In fact, if they were meant to heal a nation of its economic malaise and draw the political parties together in some magical union of left and right then the cure was worse than the disease. The patient should switch doctors, stat.

Too many also, voted for Obama under the premise that he would close the supposed divide between the races, a flag his surrogates in the media fly on his behalf but one he seldom raises himself, as if to stay above the fray. Indeed, the subject of Obama’s race is ever in play by the media and that too has had the opposite effect than what Americans were promised, namely, more division, not less.

Sooner or later Barack Hussein Obama must lose his pigment to be judged by actions and results. That time is now. Americans must look at the man without the rainbow goggles and flowery rhetoric to discern what he and his party have accomplished in 4 years. We must decide if we are pleased with the results of Obama’s Transformational Vision for America:

An America that believes the Constitution is flawed and must be remade or flat-out ignored.

An America that owes the world an endless apology.

An America that is not the last bastion if freedom in the world, not that shining city on the hill, but just another third world ghetto.

My friends, America deserves and demands better than Barack Hussein Obama’s dismal vision for our future. We must make that message crystal clear on November 6th in numbers that cannot be denied or ignored.

“US Relations With Islamic Countries _ Another Reason To Vote For Romney” from Conservatives on Fire

Obama came into office with zero experience in anything useful. But, narcissist that he is, he was sure that because his middle name was Hussein and because he went to a Muslim school in Indonesia when he was a child and because he had dreams from his Kenyan father that he could single-handedly resolve all the problems between the Muslim nations of the world and America.

Mitt Romney, of course, has no foreign affairs experience. But, we know that he has ben a very successful businessman. So, we can expect him, like a good businessman, to surround himself with the most capable people in foreign affairs that he can find. He would never nominate a woman to be Secretary of State whose only claim to fame was that she married a sexual predator who was once President of the United States. We know that a President Romney would never make a trip to Cairo to apologize for Americas past actions in the area nor would he bow to a Saudi king. A president Romney would not have ended the war in Iraq without maintaining a large air base we had there for strategic reason just because the Iraqi government, that we helped to bring about, didn’t want us there. A president Romney would never have announced two years in advance our withdrawal from Afghanistan giving the Taliban no reason to seek peace. A President Romney would have supported rebels in Iran in 2009. He would never have permitted his Secretary of State to train young Arabs from North Africa on how to organize protests against their governments. There never would have been an Arab Spring and there would still be the tenuous stability in the Middle-East held for the last forty years. Our embassies would not have been left unprotected and we would not have a dead ambassador and three of his staff in Libya. And, if there had been attacks on our people in that region, a president Romney would not have tried to place the blame on some stupid You Tube video when it was obviously a well planned terrorist attack. And, following some such attack, a president Romney would not have gone before the UN General Assembly and, at first defend our constitutionally protected right of free speech, only to turn around and say that we can’t let the world be won by those who insult Islam. And, a President Romney would not be seeking emergency aid for Egypt just after their Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, stood in front of the UN General Assembly and told America where they could stuff it.

A President Romney may not be able to bring peace to the Muslim nations, not after the mess Barack Obama has made of our relations there; but we can know that he would deal with those nations from a position of strength and not of weakness, as Obama has done. Because of Obama, the Muslim world is a more dangerous place. Ask yourself, if trouble breaks out in that region, who would you rather have as the US president?

On November 6, 2012, vote for Mitt Romney!

“Supreme Court is Another Reason to Vote Romney This November” by

I didn’t support Romney in the primaries. However, after it became clear that he was going to become our nominee, I had an offline discussion with a smart and passionate Ron Paul supporter.

We discussed the wisdom of voting for, what amounts to, my second choice candidate. We bantered back and forth a few times then I said “no matter how bad you think Romney is, he would never nominate a left-wing lunatic like Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.” And I added, “Justice Kennedy has announced he plans to retire sometime after the 2012 election and Ginsberg is no spring chicken.”

What is worse, I said this to my passionate Libertarian friend before Justice Roberts flipped his vote in the ObamaCare debacle underscoring the urgency of getting more Constitutionalist Justices on the Court.

Intellectually, I understand why some passionate Libertarians and Conservatives want to sit out the upcoming elections. They are tired of holding their noses while voting for ‘the lesser of two evils.’

However, the prospect of Obama getting TWO MORE Supreme Court appointments, shifting the court even further to the left should frighten all freedom loving Americans into action.

Imagine four Obama Supreme Court Appointees blocking conservative reforms while rubber stamping every left-wing agenda item for the next 25 years.

If this happens, Obama will have succeeded in fundamentally transforming America.

“America’s Need for Energy” by WyBlog

President Obama calls his energy strategy “all of the above”. That’s actually a good description, because he’s gung-ho for everything that’s above the earth and absolutely opposed to using anything found below ground.

Coal? Not in his plans. And he’s shuttering coal power plants as fast as he can, putting thousands of Americans out of work in the process. When he said he’d bankrupt the coal industry, he meant it.

Oil? Sorry, we can’t drill for it, and we surely can’t build pipelines to deliver it.

Natural Gas? Only if it magically rises to the surface without drilling or fracking.

Nuclear? He’s instituted a moratorium on uranium mining. Harry Reid has ensured there’s no place to store nuclear waste. And so there are no new plants on the horizon.

But solar power is the future! Just so long as you don’t put all those solar panels anywhere near an endangered species or pristine wetland. And wind turbines are all the rage, unless they’d block the Kennedy clan’s view or make too much noise near Barbra Streisand’s house.

The real danger with all these changes to the power grid is instability. Those coal plants provide a valuable service, keeping the flow of electricity constant in the face of varying demand. Solar cells can’t do that at night (or in the rain). And wind turbines don’t spin without wind. So you can’t flick a switch and expect them to work on a moment’s notice. We’d better get used to the idea of brownouts, and probably rolling blackouts too.

Just imagine the next hot summer day when you go to switch on your air conditioner only to discover that Obama’s “Smart Grid” has decided you’re not on the list for extra electricity today. Because that’s what’s coming if we don’t replace the 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity Obama has mothballed in the cause of saving the planet.

Strangely though President Obama insists everyone should drive an electric car. I suspect he’s unclear on exactly where the electricity comes from, because as the EPA shuts down many of our existing power plants the supply of electricity keeps shrinking. Hanging solar panels on lampposts won’t take up the slack either.

Yet if the price of gasoline keeps going up we may have no choice. California’s environmental regulations are generally held up as a model for the nation. And thanks to those regulations California leads the way in gas prices, topping $5 per gallon. They’re well on their way to fulfilling Steven Chu’s dream.

So what’s a concerned citizen to do? The good news is Governor Romney plans to take a more practical approach to energy policy if he’s elected president. Drilling for oil and gas is not incompatible with protecting the environment. American ingenuity and engineering know-how is the best in the world. We can make our nation energy independent, create good jobs, and do it safely and efficiently.

When it comes to energy the choice is clear. President Obama will ensure that we freeze in the dark. Mitt Romney can keep America working, with a balanced approach that recognizes the value in coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and yes green technologies too.

The Obama legacy is now complete – blood stained hands in Benghazi

The hot news of the day is the release of the e-mails showing that President Obama lied to America about the Benghazi attack that killed 4 Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens. That Obama lied is hardly news. That he got caught in such an overt, indisputable manner is. Watergate forever tainted Nixon. The blue dress caught Clinton. But they didn’t have blood on their hands and Obama does. This will likely go down in history as the worst scandal ever in a town filled with scandals. The reason why isn’t the lying and the media complicit cover-up after the attack. It’s the lead up and what happened during the attack that is the key.

What everyone should be talking about is why? Why did we allow the attack to happen? How the administration botched the aftermath for political reasons to keep the ‘Al-Qaeda is no longer a threat’ narrative alive is really just a smokescreen.

Let’s find out why we had a drone overhead filming and didn’t alter our response. Could it be that our folks in the White House situation room were watching just as they were during the Bin Laden killing? Of course they were, in real-time to boot. Leads one to believe they were admiring their handiwork. Perhaps not optimal really means it didn’t go down exactly as planned.

Let’s find out why we had fighter jets and AC-130 gunships stationed nearby and never scrambled them. The AC-130’s would have put a quick end to the opposition. You can read about their capabilities here – We also had quick response teams that could have had boots on the ground via Blackhawk choppers within an hour. Yet the entire drama unfolded over 7 to 8 hours with the last deaths in the last couple of hours.

Let’s find out why the U.S. was gunrunning and supplied the Libyan rebels. Could it be that we supplied the arms used to kill our own people?

Let’s find out why there were in excess of 200 security incidents in Libya in the prior year with 48 at Benghazi and an apparent dry-run attack on June 6th, yet additional security requests were denied. The claim of budgetary restraints has already been debunked.

Let’s find out why the SST members as well as the Libyan February 17th Brigade were over at the CIA compound instead of protecting the consulate. Could it be they were purposely out of the area at the time of the attack?

Add it up. We supplied the arms. We had more than ample warning including a dry run at this very location. We had drones in the sky watching, support aircraft nearby unused, security forces relocated out of the consulate. We denied additional security requests. We ignored critical intel within 48 hours of the attack and intel briefings all the way back to Sept. 4th. To top it all off, it happened on 9/11. Then Obama flies off to Vegas and the video cover-up is hatched.

There are real questions that need answered. The Romney camp is entirely focused on getting Obama to admit that Al-Qaeda is still strong, that terrorism is still a threat, that getting Bin-Laden didn’t result in defeating Al-Qaeda and that he lied about the whole situation. That’s fine, it’s good stuff for the campaign and could very well result in the final nail in the coffin of the Obama re-election campaign.

The fact is that clear thinking people already know it was terrorism, Al-Qaeda is still effective and that Obama lied about the whole thing. What they don’t know is why the attack was allowed to happen. Or worse, that the White House allowed it to happen. Or beyond that, that they were complicit.

Obama has blood on his hands. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were allowed to die. The evidence is overwhelming. The best possible answer would be complete and utter incompetence by the Obama administration. Look at the whole picture and that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Debate fact checkers get it wrong on auto bailouts

Time once again to fact check the fact checkers. One of the most contested issues from the final Presidential Debate was the federal auto bailouts. President Obama makes the claim that he saved the auto industry whereas Mitt Romney preferred to let it liquidate. The LA Times ran a fact check article on this and as expected, sided with the President. You can read it here –,0,7740119.story

First we need to step back. The fact is that it was President Bush who extended the rescue loans under the umbrella of the TARP, not President Obama. President Obama further extended TARP financing to the automakers once in office, but the fact remains that President Bush gets the credit for extending taxpayer funds in December of 2008 when the automakers would have went bankrupt.

Which leads to the second point. President Obama has extensively used the now infamous Romney quote in his ads to “Let Detroit go bankrupt”. Which President Obama then promptly did. Romney promoted a managed bankruptcy without a government check. Never did he insinuate allowing the automakers to liquidate. You can read the referenced op-ed in the Nov. 18, 2008 NY Times here – You will find it crystal clear that Romney was referencing a multitude of scenarios regarding reforming the automakers. Nowhere does he make the claim to prefer that the automakers simply cease to exist.

President Obama then makes this claim.

You were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the U.S.
auto companies even if they went through bankruptcy

Yet the Romney op-ed contains this quote.

The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk

Again, the difference is Romney preferred federal government financing guarantees to a check. I would think any reasonable person would consider a loan guarantee as government assistance so once again, President Obama fails the fact check. The loan guarantees would have provided the relief lenders sought to mitigate the risk involved to lending to a failed corporation. People forget that. Despite the President’s claims of success, there is no denying that GM and Chrysler failed.

The LA Times article then references this quote from Steven Rattner, the former head of Obama’s auto task force.

In late 2008 and early 2009, when GM and Chrysler had exhausted their liquidity,
every scrap of private capital had fled to the sidelines,” Rattner wrote in the
New York Times in February

Every scrap? Consider the case of LyondellBasell Industries. They received $8.25 billion in private debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing finalized on March 1st of 2009. You can read the background here – You won’t find this little tidbit of information on any liberal media anywhere because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

You also won’t hear anyone from the Obama Administration talk about Project Quark. Never heard of it? It was an internal Ford Motor Corp. project to head off supplier issues should an industry bankruptcy occur. It later expanded to include Honda, Toyota and Nissan. GM declined to participate. Here is a Wall Street Journal article describing the book that revealed the project – . The point is that the manufacturing arm of Ford never took bailout funds and had been pro-active for several years in preparing for the eventual demise of GM and Chrysler.

Taking it all into context, it seems clear that the fact checkers failed here. The auto industry could have gone through a standard managed bankruptcy and avoided all the payoffs and skirting of the bankruptcy process the Obama Administration oversaw. Financing was still available even in a tight market. GM was simply a bad risk but a government loan guarantee would have alleviated that. As it is now, taxpayers are going to take it on the chin for many billions of dollars in losses, perhaps over $25 billion.

Which is preferable? Government loan guarantees without any certain loss of taxpayer money or bailouts with a multi-billion dollar price tag?

Which debate will you watch?

Are you planning on watching the debate Tuesday night? But wait, you say, the debate is tonight (competing with MNF #@&*!!!). No, that’s just the dog and pony show on tonight deciding if we sink faster with the incumbent or slower with the challenger.  The third-party candidate debate is Tuesday, Oct. 23rd at 9:00PM EST. Watch it on YouTube. Participating will be the following:

  • Gary Johnson – Libertarian Party
  • Jill Stein – Green Party
  • Virgil Goode – Constitution Party
  • Rocky Anderson – Justice Party

Better yet, you can submit a question online if you hurry. Do it here –

Granted, you will have to suffer through Larry King as moderator but the chances for a real discussion of issues the big two don’t want to talk about will be worth it.

The true Benghazi cover-up means asking the right question

You should take the time to read the State Department account of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. You can read it here –

The cover-up by the Obama Administration has been the focus, but that won’t be resolved prior to the election. More interesting to me are the events that led up to this attack and why it was allowed to happen. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has publicly acknowledged responsibility for the attack as security for our overseas diplomats around the world fall under her jurisdiction. More directly it would appear that  Charlene Lamb, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, made the decision not to increase security at the compound. Her testimony is here –

U.S. security officer Eric Nordstrom has claimed that Lamb tried to keep security at the compound in Benghazi “artificially low” –  He has also claimed that members of the Libyan February 17th martyrs movement who were assigned security of the compound were only being paid a $30 per day food stipend and hadn’t been paid for months.

When reading the background briefing linked above, I found this sentence.

At this point, the special security team, the quick reaction security team from the other compound, arrive on this compound. They came from what we call the annex. With them – there are six of them – with them are about 16 members of the Libyan February 17th Brigade, the same militia that was – whose – some members of which were on our compound to begin with in the barracks

Questions. Over 200 security incidents at our Libyan compounds in a one year period. 48 at Benghazi. Lamb repeatedly denies extra security requests. The Libyans assigned security not being paid. And on the night of the attack, the 9/11 anniversary, the 6 members of the SST and the 16 members of the Libyan February 17th Brigade are all located at the secret CIA compound (the annex) and not the consulate. What’s it all add up to? Set-up anyone?

The media firestorm is all about the Obama cover-up of the response. It should be focused on why this ever happened because it stinks to high heaven. Ambassador Stevens is dead and it appears to me that it was intended to be that way. The testimony supports it. The events leading up to it supports it. The real question is why?

John Bolton speaks the truth on U.S. war policy

” The critical oil and natural gas producing region that we fought so many wars to try and protect our economy from the adverse impact of losing that supply or having it available only at very high prices “

I rant on this blog frequently about our national foreign policy concerning energy security. It’s the centerpiece. Going to war to liberate foreign countries from ruthless dictators or retaliate against acts of terrorism sells much better though. Still nice to see a talking head make reference to what we are really up to.