Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Commander-in-Chief also becomes Warranty-in-Chief

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the reincarnation of Rip Van Winkle. I took a nap and when I woke up, I found myself in an alternate universe. Last night as I sat down to supper, there was Mr. Overexposed Celebrity himself on TV telling us all to go out and buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle. And don't worry about being left holding an unreliable hunk of Detroit iron when the companies go belly up because our Commander-In-Chief will also be Mr. Warranty-In-Chief.

Since when is it the President's job to sell cars? The Obama Kool-Aid has definitely worn off for David Brooks, by default the last semi-conservative left standing at the Noo Yawk Times, which is dangling on the precipice of shutting down and turning out the lights. Brooks writes an op-ed today that really is an opposing editorial view about our Car Dealer In Chief.

When the economy cratered last fall, the professionals at G.M. went into Super-Duper Restructuring Overdrive. In October, they warned the Bush administration of a possible bankruptcy filing and started restructuring. In December, they came back asking for a loan while they ... (wait for it) ... restructured.

The Bush advisers decided in December that bankruptcy without preparation would be a disaster. They decided what all administrations decide — that the best time for a bankruptcy filing is a few months from now, and it always will be. In the meantime, restructuring would continue, federally subsidized.

Today, G.M. and Chrysler have once again come up with restructuring plans. By an amazing coincidence, the plans are again insufficient. In an extremely precedented move, the Obama administration has decided that the best time for possible bankruptcy is — a few months from now. The restructuring will continue.

But this, President Obama declares, is G.M.’s last chance. Honestly. Really.

No kidding.

Could this really be true? Could the Harvard Business Review’s longest-running soap opera possibly be coming to an end? Could President Obama really scare the restructural recidivists in Detroit into coming up with changes big enough to do the job?

Well, the president certainly acted tough on Monday. In a show of force, he released plans from his Office of People Who Are Much Smarter Than You Are. These plans insert the government into the car business in all sorts of ways. They pick winners (new C.E.O. Fritz Henderson) and losers (Rick Wagoner). They basically send Chrysler off into the sunset. Joe Biden will be doing car commercials within weeks.
Oh well, it can't get any weirder can it? Yeah, it not only can, it almost surely will. And speaking of Joe Biden and weird, the VP's prophetic prediction of the campaign has come home to roost in North Korea, where our rookie President now has his very first international crisis brewing.

SEOUL — Two American journalists detained in North Korea will be indicted and tried on charges of perpetrating "hostile acts" against the Communist state, a crime punishable by years in a labor camp, the North’s state-run news agency reported on Tuesday.

Pyongyang’s decision to put Laura Ling and Euna Lee on trial signaled that the regime has no intention of freeing them soon.

Their indictment comes amid hightening tension between Pyongyang and Washington over a North Korean plan to launch a rocket by Wednesday next week. United States officials consider a possible rocket launch a provocative test of the North’s long-range missile technology.

Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee, reporters for Current TV, a San Francisco-based media venture founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, was arrested by the North Korean military on March 17 on charges of illegally crossing the border from China. They were in China to report the plight of North Korean refugees who fled hunger at home and were living in hiding there.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency accused the two of “illegal entry" and said, "their suspected hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their statements, according to the results of intermediary investigation conducted by a competent organ.”

"The organ is carrying on its investigation and, at the same time, making a preparation for indicting them at a trial on the basis of the already confirmed suspicions," it said.

This was the first reported case in which a U.S. citizen will be indicted and tried in North Korea, South Korean officials said. The North’s criminal code calls for between 5 and 10 years of "education through labor" for people convicted of "hostile acts" against the state.

So the maniac "Dear Leader" in North Korea has two U.S. citizens in the slammer and he's getting ready to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. "It's only a satellite launch, honest!" protests the lunatic leader of the most aggressive Communist nation on earth. If this doesn't qualify as an international incident, it will do until the real thing comes along.

This is almost laughable if it wasn't so serious. This lunatic in North Korea is very probably in possession of nukes, which he could use at any time, and is getting ready to test an ICBM.

Thomas Sowell writes about our Rookie President's pratfalls in the first inning of this "game."

Someone once said that, for every rookie you have on your starting team in the National Football League, you will lose a game. Somewhere, at some time during the season, a rookie will make a mistake that will cost you a game.

We now have a rookie President of the United States and, in the dangerous world we live in, with terrorist nations going nuclear, just one rookie mistake can bring disaster down on this generation and generations yet to come.

Barack Obama is a rookie in a sense that few other Presidents in American history have ever been. It is not just that he has never been President before. He has never had any position of major executive responsibility in any kind of organization where he was personally responsible for the outcome...

There is no sign that President Obama has impressed the Russians, the Iranians or the North Koreans, except by his rookie mistakes-- and that is a dangerous way to impress dangerous people.

What did his televised overture to the Iranians accomplish, except to reassure them that he was not going to do a damn thing to stop them from getting a nuclear bomb? It is a mistake that can go ringing down the corridors of history.

Future generations who live in the shadow of that nuclear threat may wonder what we were thinking about, putting our lives-- and theirs-- in the hands of a rookie because we liked his style and symbolism?

It's a Dr. Phil kinda question that will come back to haunt America -- what were we thinking? I don't know about you, but I didn't vote for the rookie. But I have to live under his rookie rule.

Here's a news report on the upcoming missile launch in North Korea expected very soon.

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