- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2009

GM’S FUTURE

“With General Motors having filed for bankruptcy, the question arises: What will the bankrupt company look like and how will it be different?” Fortune magazine’s Alex Taylor III writes at http://money.cnn.com.

“The answer to the second part is ‘a lot.’ The answer to the first is, nobody knows for sure, but it may not be pretty,” Mr. Taylor said.

“At the outset, let’s establish one fact: Assuming an entity called ‘General Motors’ does emerge from bankruptcy, it will be a different company than the one that went in. Only the good bits will come out: Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC and the plants needed to make the parts and assemble the cars and trucks.

“The bad bits - Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Saab, Opel and other legacy operations - will be left behind in another company. New GM could emerge from bankruptcy in 60 days to 90 days; old GM could be stuck there for several years.

“New GM could just as well be called ‘Government Motors,’ because the U.S. is going to own 60 percent of it, with the Canadian government owning another 12 percent. That may not be a good thing. Remember East Germany’s Trabant and other vehicles built by the government-owned companies in the old Soviet Union?

“Although the bureaucrats disclaim any interest in micromanaging the automaker, it isn’t hard to imagine them nudging and guiding decisions in directions they would like them to go. V-8 engines? Inefficient. Leather seating? Bad for the environment. Multiple options and trim levels? Wasteful. We could all wind up driving some variation of a minivan.”

PRAVDA’S VERDICT

“It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed, against the backdrop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me, dear reader, I meant people,” Russian blogger Stanislav Mishin writes in the newspaper Pravda.

“True, the situation has been well-prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past 20 years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists,” the newspaper said.

“Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters. …

“The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history, but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.”

DODD AND OBAMA

“These days, beleaguered Democrats wrap themselves around Barack Obama,” WalterShapiro writes at www.politicsdaily.com.

“Despite nearly 29 years in the Senate, Connecticut’s scandal-tinged Chris Dodd has morphed into the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in 2010, even though Obama carried the Nutmeg State with 61 percent of the vote. So in a bit of political imagery that is as obvious as a candidate walking along a beach with a soulful, save-the-planet look, the Dodd campaign has released its first 30-second spot with (duh) Obama in the starring role.” Mr. Shapiro said.

“The commercial is built around last week’s signing ceremony for the credit-card reform bill as Obama announces, ‘I want to give a special shout-out to Chris Dodd, who has been a relentless fighter for this.’ And the ad ends with the tag line: ‘Chris Dodd. He’s fighting back for us.’ Democratic consultants, by the way, love the verb ‘fight’ with all of its faux-populist connotations. But the phrase ‘fight back’ signals something new - that the voters are even angrier than ever about special interests like predatory credit-card companies.

“Dodd’s problem is that Connecticut voters are also enraged at him. It started with the revelation that Dodd, the chairman of the Senate banking committee, had received two reduced-rate home loans from Countrywide, a troubled mortgage lender. Then there was Dodd’s decision to move to Iowa (and enroll his children in school there) during his hapless 2008 presidential campaign, which is not normally the best way to ingratiate yourself with the voters of Connecticut. Finally, when the frenzy over the AIG bonuses reached near-lynch-mob levels, it turned out that Dodd (admittedly at the behest of the Obama administration) had written the amendment that had permitted the largesse with the federal government’s money.”

Mr. Shapiro added: “But Dodd’s greatest asset is that he has Obama (and his 71 percent statewide approval rating) on his side. The risk for Dodd, of course, is that popular presidents rarely are willing to dent their halos by backing hopeless causes. But as long as the veteran Connecticut senator continues to get a ‘special shout-out’ from Obama, Dodd is not dead.”

NEW PRIORITY

Speaker Nancy Pelosi took her climate crusade to China last week, urging that ‘we must work together’ to address what she called this urgent challenge. Her junket won’t change many Chinese minds, but it does speak volumes about her party’s changing priorities,” the Wall Street Journal said Monday in an editorial.

“Back when Mrs. Pelosi was a rising liberal star, her signature issue was human rights in China. In 1991, she famously unfurled a pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square. During the Clinton administration, she argued against normalizing trade relations with China unless linked to human-rights progress. Yet throughout last week’s China tour, Mrs. Pelosi said nothing of note about human rights - despite the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre this week,” the newspaper said.

“Mrs. Pelosi told us in a brief interview in Hong Kong that she had raised human rights ‘privately’ with Chinese leaders. She explained that her previous human rights lobbying had been in a ‘personal capacity’ as a mere congresswoman, but now that she is speaker she ‘speaks for Congress’ and has to take a softer approach. That argument would be more credible had Mrs. Pelosi not regularly excoriated Republican presidents for not doing more about Tibet and the other billion or so Chinese who lack basic political freedoms.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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