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Observations from the Cheap Seats

  • Well let’s see — it’s now President-elect Obama’s recollection versus David Axelrod’s recollection.  Who are we going to believe?  Did he talk to Blagojevich or did he not?  My money’s on Axelrod’s first version of these events.  When I watch Obama’s denial of any contact, I am left with the sickening feeling in my stomach — given the stilted, parsed denial — that he’s not telling the truth.  When I hear Axelrod’s first version of the event — I hear an equally halting response, but one which acknowledges that there was contact and that there were a wide variety of candidates under consideration.  In other words, Axelrod’s was a carefully parsed answer, which not coincidentally falls in line with the indictment affidavit’s acknowledgement that a number of candidates were under consideration.  There was no mispeaking in Axelrod’s quote — today’s assertions to that effect are baloney.
  • Remember, President-Elect Obama, the cover-up is always worse than the crime.  In your case, Mr. President-Elect — the cover-up is even more foolish because I really don’t think that you did anything wrong — but you are perilously close to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • Now to the auto bailout — oh, excuse me, loan — or, um, line of credit — where are these UAW concessions that were promised last week?  Mr. Gettelfinger, yoo-hoo — is anyone home?  Just as I figured — $15 billion so that the UAW can continue killing the goose that has laid the golden egg.  In other words, combine the absence of concessions with management malfeasance and it’s clear that this is a bandaid approach to a full-out bleed and the hemorrhaging will eventually kill the Big 3.
  • The juxtaposition of the Blagojevich indictment and the auto bailout creates an interesting query — which will happen first, further indictments of prominent Illinois politicians or the auto companies coming back to Congress for more money?  I truly don’t know, but you can bank on the fact that both will happen.
  • I reiterate my suggestion that the Big 3 should consider a merger.  Consolidation, continued product lines in 3 separate divisions with built-in profit motives, reduced fixed and variable overhead, union concessions with enhanced profit incentives for labor, maximize various economies of scale and purchasing power with suppliers, realignment of product line to actual consumer demand and no government interest or management — the new American Motor Company. 

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