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Thursday, November 20, 2008

This week's bozos

The parade of obscenely overpaid CEOs slithering into the Capitol and asking Congress for bailout billions continues. This week it was the auto industry executives. Rather than prove that they are smarter than the average guy, they illustrated how supremely stupid they are by flying in to Washington on private jets.

If American industry can't get along without high-price bunglers like these, then "managed bankruptcies" are in order. Mitt Romney, whose family knows a thing or two about manufacturing, put it succinctly in the Times yesterday:

Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms — all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.... [D]on’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass — they bet on management and they lost.
The same thing should have been said -- and indeed, still can be said -- to the banks.

Nobody should be making the kind of money that these fat cats pull down. Especially since they've run their companies into the tank. There needs to be a serious shakeout. Indeed, that is exactly what the bankruptcy laws are for.

Comments (20)

Turns out the CEO of Chrysler lives in Seattle. And has a private plane that flies him to and from Detroit every week too. Must be nice.

Just 10 months ago Romney was singing a different tune. According to him, the problem with the U.S. auto industry isn't that it's focused on gas-guzzling SUVs, but rather they're spending too much $$$ on their employees.

Good old Mittens is one of those bozos.


"I hear people say, 'It's gone, those jobs are gone, transportation's gone, it's not coming back,'" he said. "I'm going to fight for every single job. I'm going to rebuild the industry. I'm going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry."

Romney criticized federal fuel efficiency standards -- passed last year over the objection of Michigan's congressional delegation -- which require cars and light trucks to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020. He's also been slamming McCain for supporting a tax on energy companies that exceed certain levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

Did you see the footage when they were asked if they'd give up their private jets if they got this bailout? Not one of them raised their hands. Wow.

All-time 'Bozo' every week is the idiocy of the industry of militarism, 'diplomacy' by violence. It is BANKRUPT. And with it, our country and our posterity's future. BANKRUPT! Absolutely STOP IT; stop the immoral obscenity.

Our taxes pay to further the IMMORAL OBSCENITY which has destroyed itself, us, and everything else -- Pentagonal fear, (violating humankind hope), destroyed the banks, destroyed the auto industry, destroyed en masse body and mental health, destroyed opportunity, destroyed America.

We can NOT 'fix' the auto industry of gluttons, we can NOT 'fix' the banking industry of gluttons, we can NOT have an economy -- NO justice and NO domestic-tranquility civilization and NO general-welfare peace -- we can NOT live life until we abolish the CIA, abolish the Pentagon.

STOP 'war.' It solves nothing and it causes bigger, worser, irreparable problems. STOP IT so we can say, and hear said, of McCainiac militarism: 'It's gone, those jobs are gone, nationalistic hysteria's gone, it's not coming back.'

They will not voluntarily give up their perks or responsibly re-tool production. Chapter 11 is not the end of the industry, it's the beginning of enforced fiscal responsibility. Let them fail.

This week's Bozos ... heck, this LIFE's Bozos, aRe US!

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction, By Chris Hedges, Nov 17, 2008.

War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate. The poison of war courses unchecked through the body politic of the United States. We believe that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war. We embrace the dangerous self-delusion that we are on a providential mission to save the rest of the world from itself, to implant our virtues—which we see as superior to all other virtues—on others, and that we have a right to do this by force. This belief has corrupted Republicans and Democrats alike. And if Barack Obama drinks, as it appears he will, the dark elixir of war and imperial power offered to him by the national security state, he will accelerate the downward spiral of the American empire.


The American empire, along with our wanton self-indulgence and gluttonous consumption, has come to an end. We are undergoing a period of profound economic, political and military decline. We can continue to dance to the tunes of self-delusion, circling the fire as we chant ridiculous mantras about our greatness, virtue and power, or we can face the painful reality that has engulfed us. We cannot reverse this decline. It will happen no matter what we do. But we can, if we break free from our self-delusion, dismantle our crumbling empire and the national security state with a minimum of damage to ourselves and others. If we refuse to accept our limitations, if do not face the changes forced upon us by a bankrupt elite that has grossly mismanaged our economy, our military and our government, we will barrel forward toward internal and external collapse. Our self-delusion constitutes our greatest danger. We will either confront reality or plunge headlong into the minefields that lie before us.

Lee Iacocca took a salary of $1 when he got his bailout. I have no idea what that is inflation adjusted, but perhaps these guys could do something similar. Of course the difference is Iacocca gave a crap about saving his company.

"the problem with the U.S. auto industry isn't that it's focused on gas-guzzling SUVs, but rather they're spending too much $$$ on their employees."

Well, that is true. I think Honda/Toyota/Nissan/BMW are building cars in the USA and doing pretty well.

However, most unions have said they will not do givebacks, even if it means putting GM/Ford/Chrysler out of biz.

Of course the same goes for the pub employee unions even if it means shutting every school down.

This is the economic equivalent of the perennial story of a politician who has a photo op of himself having dinner at a "regular Joe" diner, and then doesn't leave a tip for the waitress. Yes, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter--but couldn't you at least have THOUGHT of how it would appear?

Personally, I'm more troubled that Congress is about to adjourn for a TWO MONTH vacation while the economy crumbles around us. Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide if I want to take 3 days of vacation between Christmas and New Year's to spend with my family, or whether I should bank those days and use them when my wife gives birth in January. I can't even relate to the concept of a two month vacation right now--and I earn probably 1/4 of what a member of Congress earns.

Let's not forget that Nardeli is the current CEO of Chrysler. He took down Home Depot and walked away with a $200 million dollar bonus. I wonder what his separation pay is with Chrysler?
Private planes indeed! Those bozos laid of 200,000 people this year already! They should all be fired right now with NO compensation at all.
I doubt if we will see any of them on the side of the road with a cardboard sign asking for money. Creeps!

and that goes for the weasles in congress too!

Jack, thanks for the link. It struck me when I read the article that, whatever the manufacturers may know about making cars, they don't know much about public relations.

Automakers, before you come back with your tin cup, liquidate all corporate toys, travel coach, and stay in Hotels like an average business person. It's not that tough, I'm sure over time they will adapt. If not, a bankruptcy trustee can help them. With regard to a used fleet of jets, is that what was meant by "trickle down"? Well then, step right up. How much flying does the typical GM corp. exec. need to do? (besides commuting from palatial homes in exotic locales)

It's pretty rich that Congress gets all in a tizzy over CEOs using corporate jets when they write the tax code to subsidize the use of corporate jets.

I'm not defending Nardelli, Wagoner, or any of those greedy jerks, but I smell some rank hypocrisy here.

ALTERCATION! -- CEOs of the big three automakers made their case to Congress for an industry bailout -- and they flew private jets! The mainstream media was all over this: ....
Well, it was dumb, to be sure, but let's ask a question: Is Diane Sawyer really surprised to learn that CEOs travel in private jets? What does the head of ABC travel in? Hell, how about Diane, Charlie, George and all the rest of them. Ever see any of them in coach?
But are these journalists really angry about excessive executive compensation? I wish. Remember some of these stats ....

... we'd love to see more stories on the earnings of ... CEOs vs. workers ..., But ... [broadcasting] hasn't done that story ..., this cheap outrage from the network's own million-dollar babies, well, forgive us if we pass.

(ALTERCATION! cont'd.) One of the more popular talking points these days is that the average auto worker makes $70 an hour, which is the fault of the big bad unions, who, by the way, are also at fault for the crisis in the automotive sector.

Trouble is, as any auto worker is surely and painfully aware, they don't make $70 an hour, or anything close to it. Felix Salmon has the fact-check here.

(ALTERCATION! concordance) ... of his most recent post at TomDispatch.com, Engelhardt explores the way in which Rumsfeld's "Military Lite" became a Military Heavy in Iraq and what key top [Bozos!] military officials claim it will take to get all our troops and all our stuff, from helicopters and Humvees to ice-cream making machines and Porta Johns, out of that country. "In a nutshell, the Pentagon's argument couldn't be simpler or more red-bloodedly American: We have too much stuff to leave Iraq any time soon. In war, as in peace, we're trapped by our own profligacy. ..."

Ford CEO Alan Mulally's answer was so honest, yet showing how completely out of touch these guys can be, it is almost laughable:

"I think I'm OK where I am."

"Where I am" = $40,000,000 in 2006 and $21,700,000 in 2007. I'd be okay there, too.

Any thoughts about the Rabbi Trusts that these guys probably have in place? Did the folk at WAMU have one and trigger it?

If the auto industry needs a loan, why not ask the oil companies for one. The oil companies made big bucks from the manufacturing of non-fuel efficient vehicles.

That would be like the State of Oregon asking the retired public employees for a loan. Not gonna happen.

Here's an oldie but a goodie ...

Possibility of Federal Bailout for General Motors, Ford in Response to Increased Health Care Costs, Other Issues: Wall Street Journal, Main Category: Public Health, Article Date: 28 Apr 2005.

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday examined the financial problems faced by US automakers ...General Motors and Ford because of health care costs and other issues and how, "in a sign of a changed political climate, nobody in Washington is talking about bailing them out" (Harwood et al., Wall Street Journal, 4/27). GM last week reported a $1.1 billion first-quarter loss -- the largest quarterly loss for the company in more than ten years -- and cited the cost of health insurance for 1.1 million employees, retirees and their dependants as a large factor (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 4/20). Ford posted a first-quarter profit but has predicted a full-year loss in ....

Framing the taxpayer ransom as 'a public health issue' -- three-and-a-half years ago! Sheesh, it never ends; the scammers refuse to hear NO! and stop ... until arrested and punished.

Memo to CEO sicko's: Give it up. Your greed botched it, you lose. Give the money back, and the limo-jets, and all stock options; deed the factory to the workers. Bosses go suck soup lines.

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