Tag: bankruptcy

Did the 2008 Election ever really happen?

Quite a good article posted at www.CommonDreams.org that sums up my feelings about the state of our Country some 8 months after we had been promised “change” (and voted for it).

See: Hey, Did You Hear That Democrats Won The Election?”

Some excerpts:

I’m not shocked that he’s not FDR. But why is this guy carrying water for George Bush, covering up his worst crimes?

Why are his civil liberties positions so bad that one attorney described them as “the good old Bush-Cheney inherent presidential power theory” all over again?  

Why is he working so hard to make sure Wall Street sucks every drop of blood it possibly can out of the pale-white corpse of the American middle class, even while it ruins the global economy in yet another get-rich scam, then turns to the government for a bail-out when it all comes a cropper, all the while – and without a hint of irony – still loudly singing its effusive praises of Ayn Rand?

I might also add, why is he so personally heavily invested in the legal protection of Dick Cheney?

Mom, don’t try to save the world when your ass is on fire

Advice from my oldest son on the eve of suing Washington Mutual and their successor JPMorgan Chase. Follow me below the fold for why it is much more than playing it safe verses being on Olbermann and I need to have it all.

Nationalizing General Motors

It looks like GM is going to be nationalized, but with a twist. Because we can’t bear to say the S-word (Socialism) in America when the taxpayers start funding a private company, the incompetent management is likely to be retained and given more money to burn. Readers of the business pages may recall that the GM CEO was given a vote of confidence by the board just a few months ago, and so this bozo expects to retain control of a company that is too distressed even to file for bankruptcy protection.

The Wile E. Coyote moment never seems to come for incompetent US top managers. They continue to defy the laws of economic gravity because their spin control is so highly perfected that it functions as a levitation mechanism. I wonder how much longer the taxpayers will be willing to provide unlimited funding to companies led by idiots? Here are some practical measures the Obama administration should consider when it takes over a private company:

1. Conduct a thorough post-mortem on the management decisions leading to the business failure.

2. Remove all managers associated with poor decisions revealed in step 1.

3. Hire replacement managers with proven records of business turnaround execution.

4. Reclaim all past bonus compensation paid to managers associated with a failed company for the last five years.

5. Restructure the business model of the failed corporation to address shifting national priorities. (E.g., GM should start making rail cars and trolleys, in addition to fuel-efficient cars).

6. Introduce a high degree of transparency into the financial records and management deliberations of the nationalized company. All key decisions and their supporting documentation should be visible on the Internet. A taxpayer-funded company should be accountable to the taxpayers.

7. Put private citizens and worker representatives, with no connections to existing management, on the board of every taxpayer-funded company.

Bite Size Bad News 8–Airline Surcharges

Crossposted from over at Fire on the Mountain.

The flailing US airline industry continues to tack on charges to the price of a ticket, as soaring jet fuel costs hammer bottom lines already shakier than the crate the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.

The pre-$140-a-barrel-oil adjustments were mostly of two types:

Fuel surcharges added directly to the cost of a ticket–$65 these days.

Cost cutting, like how free in-flight meals dwindled to li’l bags of peanuts and then tiny ones of pretzels, which have evaporated entirely on some flights, replaced by the $8 airline-food sandwich.

But in the last month or so we’ve seen the announcement of:

   * $15 fees to check a bag, $30 for a second bag. Another $2 each if you want to check in at the curb. This insures super-crowded overhead bins.

   * A charge to select your seat–$15 for aisle, $10 for window, $5 for middle. So let them put you wherever, you say? That’s because you aren’t traveling with a spouse and kid. If you are, that’s another 30 smackers right there. (Me, I’ve always gone for window in a “Serve The People’ gesture-it means there’s at least a 50% chance that when I fall asleep I won’t start listing gently to the other side and drooling on the shoulder of the party next to me.)

   * $5 to watch a movie. On a tiny seatback screen. Oh, yeah, if you want to actually hear what’s going on, add on a $3 headphone upgrade.

   * $2 for a smallish bottle of water. Of course, you can’t bring water from home. Well, you can, but they’ll make you throw it out at the bag scan, and if you make a big fuss about it, you’re asking for a session with the national security proctologist. Needless to say, you can opt to buy a somewhat larger but more expensive bottle from the pricey shops inside the concourse.

   * And when you cash in your frequent flier miles for the free ticket they promised you? Well, their idea of “free” involves you forking over $50 cash.

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