Politics

December 02, 2008

Better Than a Bailout

On Tuesday, executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will submit reports on how they can restructure their operations. And quite a lot is riding on what those reports say. If Congress isn’t satisfied that the planned changes will make the companies more competitive, it’s unlikely to approve the $25 billion in emergency loans that the automakers may need to survive the current crisis. If just one of the companies should fail, let alone all three, the economic repercussions could be enormous--and not just in Detroit.But exactly what kind of changes should the executives promise?

Better Than A Bailout

Today, executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors will submit reports on how they can restructure their operations. And quite a lot is riding on what those reports say. If Congress isn't satisfied that the planned changes will make the companies more competitive, it's unlikely to approve the $25 billion in emergency loans that the automakers may need to survive the current crisis. If just one of the companies should fail, let alone all three, the economic repercussions could be enormous--and not just in Detroit.But exactly what kind of changes should the executives promise?

What’s The Matter With South Dakota?
12:00 AM

South Dakota state legislator Larry Rhoden is as loyal a pro-life crusader as you are likely to find in the Rushmore state. Rhoden worked enthusiastically in 2004 to pass a state bill that would ban nearly all abortions. When that failed, he continued to push the issue--helping to form an abortion task force that would give legitimacy to the ban effort, and helped lead the efforts on another abortion ban bill that passed the legislature but failed when referred to a statewide vote as a ballot initiative in 2006.

Unions Jacked
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--There is a paradox at the heart of the proposed bailout of the auto industry. The rescue would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three's unionized work force. Yet you can't turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living.The CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, having blown their earlier plea for help last month, deliver their revival plans to Congress on Tuesday and face their big test later in the week when they defend them.

Getting To Know Louis Caldera
12:00 AM

NAME: Louis Caldera NEW APPOINTMENT: Director of White House Military Office OTHER TOP POSITIONS: California state assembly member; managing director and chief operating officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service (1997-98); Secretary of the Army (1997-2001); president of the University of New Mexico KNOWN FOR: Navigating the Army's recruitment problems in the late 1990s, when many young people were turning to the private sector in an era of peace; started the ROTC Hispanic Access Initiative, which allowed the ROTC to target Hispanic-heavy high schools and colleges. Some c

Last-minute Gifts For Pigs And Mines
12:00 AM

This is very useful: Propublica is compiling a complete, searchable list of all the last-minute regulations the Bush administration is trying to jam through before Obama takes office.

Can Holder Speak Truth To Power?
12:00 AM

Ezra Klein, building on this Richard Cohen column about Eric Holder's role in the Marc Rich Pardon, says no: I'm not one who thinks the attorney general should be some sort of lone renegade within the administration, but he should feel empowered to aggressively push back against abuses of presidential power. Holder's history offers little evidence of that sort of temperament. I think these are very legitimate concerns.

The Clintonite Infiltration Continues
12:00 AM

Obama announces that Louis Caldera, a Secretary of the Army during the Clinton administration and a Hillary Clinton backer during the '08 primaries, will be his Director of the White House Military Office. Not a huge job, but interesting nonetheless. It seems one of the key Clintonites to keep an eye right now is Wendy Sherman, a Clinton-era State Department official who's now the head of Obama's State Department review team.

December 01, 2008

What Jefferson Said
12:00 AM

Americans this year were confronted by a near-record 174 ballot propositions, many hitting the usual hot buttons: same-sex marriage, illegal immigration, abortion, etc. Nearly lost in this deluge were three unusual--and very intriguing--referenda on whether state constitutional conventions should be called. Voters in Connecticut, Hawaii, and Illinois had to decide--as they’re required to by their state constitutions every ten or 20 years--whether they were satisfied with their states’ foundational documents or wanted to revamp them.

Hawks for Hillary

When news first leaked that Hillary Clinton was being considered for secretary of state, some of the most vocal responses came from the right--and they weren't exactly negative.

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