Late-night shenanigans on the Hill: UAW bailout watch: Update: Union negotiations fall apart. Good! Headed for cloture; Final vote: 52-35. FAIL! “Now we’ll see if the GOP mavericks are truly up to the task of carrying through the filibuster threat,” muses Michelle Malkin.
Dec. 11th, from the Nation:
Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused to back federal aid for Detroit’s beleaguered Big Three without a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to wage cuts to bring their pay into line with Japanese carmakers. The UAW refused to do so before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.
Here’s what the Senate negotiators wanted from the UAW, and what the UAW refused to do, for the $14 million bailout:
In the end, the difference between a deal and an implosion was about 20 months: The Republican senators wanted the UAW to reach wage parity with employees of the foreign autoworkers by the end of 2009 and, said people in the meeting, the UAW said it was willing to get there when the current contracts expire in the late summer of 2011.
The next step – from the AP:
Democratic leaders called on Bush to immediately tap the US$700 billion Wall Street bailout fund for emergency aid to the auto industry, whose fate – along with that of the roughly 3 million jobs it touches – was in limbo.
My Take has up Senator Jim Inhofe’s comments on the Senate floor on December 11th. Here’s a glimpse – and this is definitely worth a read:
This legislation empowers one unelected bureaucrat, which has come to be known as the ‘car czar,’ to spend money how he sees fit to keep the auto companies afloat and make the U.S. government part owners of the companies.“There are no provisions in the language that specifically direct the car czar to take any specific restructuring actions, such as renegotiating union contracts which has led to nearly a doubling of the cost per worker for the Big Three auto makers compared to their foreign competitors here in the U.S. The ‘car czar’ will also be empowered to dictate how these companies are to structure and run their business. This is a bureaucratic, command and control approach to industrial policy in lieu of market forces and Chapter 11.
The Spin Cycle asks:
Why would you give $14 billion in taxpayer money to companies that are non-competitive because of high union labor costs and a mountain of indebtedness without ironclad requirements that labor and creditors to take a big haircut to make them competitive as a condition of getting the help? Why would you say OK to that?
Satisfying future energy needs could also improve the economy: James Shott at Observances has some thoughtful commentary on drilling off shore in the Pacific, future energy needs and future energy possibilities, along with some common sense suggestions for future President Obama:
…Mr. Obama can kill two birds with one stone if he doesn’t let partisanship and ideology get in the way. The oil and natural gas industry directly employs 1.8 million Americans, with another four million jobs indirectly tied to the industry. Read more at Observances.
Death by 1000 Papercuts looks at Bill Ayers’ latest whine in the New York Times: “Don’t Demonize Me.” The blog author, LBG1 says, “when I began reading the comments I was struck by the obvious fact that Ayers had failed to sway many readers” [that Ayers was NOT a terrorist]. There are some very interesting links here. The Ayers reputation has not been rescued or sanitized by his old friend Obama winning the Oval Office.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is condemning Israel AGAIN. More unrighteous outrage about Israel’s self-protective measures concerning the Gaza Strip. The UNHRC’s new demonstrably anti-Semitic “Special Rapporteur,” Richard Falk, claims that Israel’s minimal allowance of food and medical aid to the Gaza Strip “constitutes a continuing flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law.” Here Falk references the “normally cautions UN officials.” Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the United Nations knows that when it comes to the Human Rights Council, the U.N. is not shy or cautious or discerning when discussing Israel:
Such a flurry of denunciations by normally cautious UN officials has not occurred on a global level since the heyday of South African apartheid,” said Falk.
Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, says of Falk:
He [Falk] brings to the table a bias which is continually demonstrated, an inability and unwillingness to report the facts without referencing his – what can only be described as anti-Jewish comments. It is an outrage that the UN appointed him and that he has now been given a global platform to spread his version of hate,” Bayefsky continued.
“Richard Falk, in short, is dedicating himself as a UN ‘expert’ to the destruction of the Jewish state, despite all his pretenses to the contrary. Read the entire story at The Jerusalem Post.
Bayefsky at a recent conference on Human Rights:
More than 50 percent of all human rights condemnations issued by the council have been against Israel. Sudan comes in second, having received about 20% of the condemnations. Only five other countries have been condemned by the council.
A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: We have a New Year dawning. Join me in a New Year’s Resolution to learn more about the United Nations. We are living in dangerous times, and the United Nations is a dangerous, and in my opinion, evil organization. Anne Bayefsky is a riveting author and speaker, and an expert on tracking and documenting the U.N.’s Human Rights atrocities. Her work can be found at Eye on the U.N. Add her to your reading list for 2009.