Daily Archives: April 13, 2009
My latest Examiner column taking on the recently increased federal tobacco tax.
After skillfully managing the bailout of GM and throwing billions of dollars in taxpayer money at it, our man Timmy (Geithner) has told GM to prepare for bankruptcy:
General Motors Corp. is believed to be preparing to file for bankruptcy by June 1 after being directed to plan for a filing by the U.S. Treasury Department, according to a report Sunday in the New York Times.
The Times, quoting unidentified sources, said the Treasury Department has directed officials at General Motors to lay the groundwork for a “surgical” bankruptcy filing that could last as short as a few weeks for portions of the company. Those portions would be the “good” parts of the company, and the “less desirable” parts of the company would remain in court for much longer and possibly be liquidated, according to the Times.
One has to wonder who gets to determine what the “good” parts are, but that said, if the following is true, it won’t be GM’s present “health care obligations”.
The parts of GM that may get bogged down in a lengthy court restructuring or liquidation include the “unwanted brands, factories and health care obligations,” sources said in the report.
That should fire up the UAW. The union won’t be the only one who isn’t going to be happy with an attempt to rush through a GM bankruptcy.
A report in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday said that any attempt at a “quick” bankruptcy for GM could face legal challenges from bondholders of the company.
As they have every right to do — but it certainly isn’t going to make the bankruptcy either surgical or short. My guess is the bondholders are realizing that pirates aren’t only to be found off the coast of Somalia.
You want pithy, here’s pithy – from Gerald Warner of the UK Telegraph, speaking of the recent European foreign policy tour by President Obama:
President Barack Obama has recently completed the most successful foreign policy tour since Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow.
And that’s the opening line. Couldn’t help it – deep belly laugh in reaction to it. As you’ll discover, Warner is not an Obama fan. RTWT.
[HT: Scott Jacobs]
Anne Scott Tyson, at the Washington Post, seems to have the low-down on how the mission to rescue Captain Phillips went down.
The pirates apparently were growing increasingly agitated with the situation and were making threats when they made a fatal mistake and gave SEAL snipers 3 targets at once. Feeling that Captain Phillips life was in imminent danger, the on-scene commander called the shot and the snipers took all three of the pirates out.
Okay and well done. But there seems to be a whole bunch of spin on both sides as to what role Obama played. The left seems bound and determined to spin this as some sort of “military victory” which proves Obama has stones of steel and the right seems equally as determined to deny him any credit for the rescue, claiming it was the “on-scene commander” who made the decision.
Look – Obama was most likely briefed and asked for the go ahead to use both the military and lethal force if the situation called for it. He gave his approval for both. I doubt he tried to tell them what tactics to use or how to carry out the rescue. Instead he allowed those on the scene to make that determination. His concern was Phillips and resolving that situation in a way that the captain was rescued unharmed. By approving the use of lethal force, he made it clear he had no concern for the final disposition of the pirates and placed no constraints on the military in that regard, assuming the main mission – rescuing Phillips unharmed – was accomplished.
Great – that’s what he should have done.
But a “military victory”? It was a hostage situation – albeit on the high seas with lots of drama. But at its foundation, it was no different than a situation the local sheriff finds himself in with a domestic disturbance gone bad and hostages held in a house. The reason the national command authority and the military were involved at all is because the situation developed on the high seas in international waters. But at base, it was a run-of-the-mill hostage situation that law enforcement deals with routinely without presidential input.
So? So Obama did the right thing (at the right level of visibility) and so did the military. The situation was resolved. To the right – Obama did a good job. Get over it and understand that it wasn’t his job to “call the shot.” He gave the on-scene commander, through his authorization to use deadly force, the latitude to make that call himself without seeking further permission.
To the left – this was no more a “military victory” than was Ruby Ridge or Waco. Quit trying to make it more than it is. If you think popping 3 rag-tag pirates is going to be interpreted by Iran or North Korea as a demonstration of our military might, you’re dreaming. Obviously, had it gone bad, it would have reflected badly on the US. However it didn’t (thankfully). But it proves nothing more than in the situation presented – a hostage situation – we were able to resolve it to our advantage. That’s good and it reflects well on us. But a “military victory”? For heaven sake, get a clue.