Saturday, December 6, 2008

Careful what you wish for . . .

Some liberals out there are sarcastically rooting for Sarah Palin to run in 2012. I remember some conservatives sarcastically rooting for Obama early in 2007. Careful, careful.

Chambliss: Palin 'allowed us to peak'
By: Andy Barr
December 3, 2008 03:34 PM EST

Fresh off his runoff victory Tuesday night, Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss credited Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with firing up his base.

“I can't overstate the impact she had down here,” Chambliss said during an interview Wednesday morning on Fox News.

“When she walks in a room, folks just explode,” he added. “And they really did pack the house everywhere we went. She's a dynamic lady, a great administrator, and I think she's got a great future in the Republican Party.”

Chambliss said that after watching her campaign on his behalf at several events Monday, he does not see her star status diminishing within the party.

The Republican also thanked John McCain and the other big name Republicans that came to Georgia, but said Palin made the biggest impact.

“We had John McCain and Mike Huckabee and Gov. Romney and Rudy Giuliani, but Sarah Palin came in on the last day, did a fly-around and, man, she was dynamite,” he said. “We packed the houses everywhere we went. And it really did allow us to peak and get our base fired up.”

But as Chambliss heaped praise on Palin and other big-ticket Republicans that came to Georgia on his behalf, he questioned why President-elect Barack Obama would not use his star power to aid his Democratic opponent Jim Martin.

“I have no idea why he didn't come down,” Chambliss said.

“His people were here. His organization was here,” he added. “They really did a good job in the general election of turning out people. And whatever their game plan was this time, if he had been here, I have no idea whether it would have worked better.”

© 2008 Capitol News Company, LLC


vwatt said...

Ah yes, good ole boy Saxby...a real poster child for America....four draft deferments for Viet Nam. Then when he finally couldn't dodge anymore he got an exemption for "bad knees"(not one-TWO). Not that it makes him any worse than Clinton...but then he proceeded to paint Max Cleland(triple Viet Nam amputee) as anti-patriotic in the 2002 senate race! He's also a real champion for Sarah Palin's "real America"; during a Senate hearing a few years ago concerning workplace pollutants/dangerous chemicals, he took the side of a Georgia company and reduced the woman(disabled due to chemical contamination in the plant)testifying before Congress to tears...making sarcastic remarks about it being her fault for taking the job, etc....the usual Limbaugh spin stuff. Fortunately, Georgia is only one of the very few "stupid" states left...most have figured out that to live like a Republican they have to start voting Democrat. I knew there was hope for America last year during primary season when I saw a North Carolina good ole boy in bib overalls being interviewed at an Obama rally. When the TV interviewer asked him "what was his story", he said that he was a lifelong Republican, but that the last eight years had made him wonder, and ended the interview by saying, "A man's gotta eat". Classic.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Geez, I wonder why he was elected . . .

Mike West said...

Number of "stupid states" left is listed below: (Boy that's a classy way of putting it. "Since they didn't vote blue, they must be stupid? LOL!)
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Know this. 10,941,314 more people voted for McCain in his LOSS, then voted for Clinton in his BEST win in 1996. Speaking of stupid, I will match McCain voters against Obama voters on knowledge of the issues anytime.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

All those stupid people, when will they ever learn . . . (Sung to the Beatles song, "Lonely people")

vwatt said...

I knew that would get a reaction! Actually, I forgot to give Rush Limbaugh credit for the "stupid" statement. In his interview with Barbara Walters the other night he said that the next poliitical/cultural war in the U.S. would not be religous or family values based but would pit the intellectuals against the "stupid people"....I took it to meant he was speaking of the states that went for McCain this time around...he must have meant it in a sarcastic way as Rush is always for the working man-he loves social security, universal health care, living wages for everyone,.etc.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Rush IS for the working man. What's he NOT for is the working man giving the fruits of his labor to the non-working man as in "from each according to his ability to each according to his need."

vwatt said...

From an upcoming Sunday interview on CNN.....and this is from a Republican! Heresy! Treason! I'm sure this will convince all "good" Republicans to turn the dial when Rush comes on-right!

"Former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at Sarah Palin and the Republican party's emphasis on small-town values during an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakharia that will air this Sunday.

Powell also says that we should rethink its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuals in the military. And he tells Republicans that they should stop listening to Rush Limbaugh:

"Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?" Powell asked. "Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?"

As noted by Think Progress, Powell says:

Gov. Palin, to some extent, pushed the party more to the right, and I think she had something of a polarizing effect when she talked about how small town values are good. Well, most of us don't live in small towns. And I was raised in the South Bronx, and there's nothing wrong with my value system from the South Bronx.

And when they came to Virginia and said the southern part of Virginia is good and the northern part of Virginia is bad. The only problem with that is there are more votes in the northern part of Virginia than there are in the southern part of Virginia, so that doesn't work.

vwatt said...

This topic is a little off-thread, but I am a little confused about the GM situation-could somebody please explain to me why the GM autoWORKERS are responsible for the collapse of our industrial manufacturing base? Sens. McConnell(KY.), Sen. Shelby and Sen.Sessions(AL) seem to think the South shall rise again and recreate another auto industry below the Mason-Dixon line using Nissan, VW, and Toyota. I see Sen. Shelby is also already putting pressure on the Obama adminsitraton to get the new Air Force tanker bid out so that Airbus can start building in Alabama. For starters-back to GM- the state tax subsidies per auto employee to foreign auto companies in Alabama exceed what the per employee(GM, Ford,,Chrylser) cost of a$15 billion bridge loan would be. I guess it's OK to lose jobs as long as they are not in "my" state. No wonder the Republican party is being marginalized year by year with this "Southern strategy". The UAW is not the cause of the problem although they definitiely do have some albatross work rules which must be changed. The current long term worker at GM makes approx. 30/hr.(wages only) vs. approx. $29/hr. for Toyota in the U.S. Is it the falut of a UAW worker that our country has a poor health care system that financially penalizes good companies who provide benefits? Poor mangement decisions about products, right sizing their operations, and the national economy are the main causes. Bankruptcy may be an option-but where will the debtor in possession financing come during this period when most banks need federal money to survive? Will my warranty still be honored and by what dealer if they all go out of business? What is the cost of 3 million more workers hitting the street without medical insurance and collecting unemployment? Why is the hourly wage of Joe Fender Builder being micro-examined when many of these same senators opposed any type of executive compensation limits on the 750 billion Wall Street bailout? Nobody likes the whole mess but isn't it worth 15 billion to take a chance on saving REAL jobs that affect real families who do not have summer homes in the Hamptons? As I write this it looks like Pres. Bush may step up to the plate and use some of the 750 billion as a bridge until a long term solution can be reached-and I give ihim full credit if he does. He has always had this authority and it appears his party is unable to get beyond union bashing in order to make the right decison in congress.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

Powell is no longer a Republican. He's an African American, although not from Africa.

Brodad Unkabuddy said...

How about this? Let the auto companies declare bankruptcy with the government insuring the service deals. If they go out of business, you get a check from the gov't. If they don't, then the gov't saves the money for the taxpayers. Also the number being tossed around for the average wage of auto workers is $73/hour. How they come up with these numbers is anyone's guess. I know some consider the retirees and all the affliated businesses in the industry. Who knows?

vwatt said...

I would rather take a chance on saving an entire industry than having the U.S. Treasury guarantee the warranty on my car. The 500 million the government gave(total gift-not a loan) NWA after 911 is almost the same(to total annual revenue) in proportion to the 15 billion proposed for the big three. Of course we would lose more than the Big Three-all the bolt manufacturers, radio makers, tire manufacturers,etc. The $73/hr. figure is no big mystery:

Published: December 9, 2008

That figure — repeated on television and in newspapers as the average pay of a Big Three autoworker — has become a big symbol in the fight over what should happen to Detroit. To critics, it is a neat encapsulation of everything that’s wrong with bloated car companies and their entitled workers.

To the Big Three’s defenders, meanwhile, the number has become proof positive that autoworkers are being unfairly blamed for Detroit’s decline. “We’ve heard this garbage about 73 bucks an hour,” Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said last week. “It’s a total lie. I think some people have perpetrated that deliberately, in a calculated way, to mislead the American people about what we’re doing here.”

So what is the reality behind the number? Detroit’s defenders are RIGHT that the number is basically WRONG. Big Three workers aren’t making anything close to $73 an hour (which would translate to about $150,000 a year).

But the defenders are not right to suggest, as many have, that Detroit has solved its wage problem. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler workers make significantly more than their counterparts at Toyota, Honda and Nissan plants in this country. Last year’s concessions by the United Automobile Workers, which mostly apply to new workers, will not change that anytime soon.

And yet the main problem facing Detroit, overwhelmingly, is not the pay gap. That’s unfortunate because fixing the pay gap would be fairly straightforward.

The real problem is that many people don’t want to buy the cars that Detroit makes. Fixing this problem won’t be nearly so easy.

The success of any bailout is probably going to come down to Washington’s willingness to acknowledge as much.

Let’s start with the numbers. The $73-an-hour figure comes from the car companies themselves. As part of their public relations strategy during labor negotiations, the companies put out various charts and reports explaining what they paid their workers. Wall Street analysts have done similar calculations.

The calculations show, accurately enough, that for every hour a unionized worker puts in, one of the Big Three really does spend about $73 on compensation. So the number isn’t made up. But it is the combination of three very DIFFERENT categories.

The first category is simply cash payments, which is what many people imagine when they hear the word “compensation.” It includes wages, overtime and vacation pay, and comes to about $40 an hour. (The numbers vary a bit by company and year. That’s why $73 is sometimes $70 or $77.)

The second category is fringe benefits, like health insurance and pensions. These benefits have real value, even if they don’t show up on a weekly paycheck. At the Big Three, the benefits amount to $15 an hour or so.

Add the two together, and you get the true hourly compensation of Detroit’s unionized work force: roughly $55 an hour. It’s a little more than twice as much as the typical American worker makes, benefits included. The more relevant comparison, though, is probably to Honda’s or Toyota’s (nonunionized) workers. They make in the neighborhood of $45 an hour, and most of the gap stems from their less generous benefits.

The third category is the cost of benefits for retirees. These are essentially fixed costs that have no relation to how many vehicles the companies make. But they are a real cost, so the companies add them into the mix — dividing those costs by the total hours of the current work force, to get a figure of $15 or so — and end up at roughly $70 an hour.

The crucial point, though, is this $15 isn’t mainly a reflection of how generous the retiree benefits are. It’s a reflection of how many retirees there are. The Big Three built up a huge pool of retirees long before Honda and Toyota opened plants in this country. You’d never know this by looking at the graphic behind Wolf Blitzer on CNN last week, contrasting the “$73/hour” pay of Detroit’s workers with the “up to $48/hour” pay of workers at the Japanese companies.

These retirees make up arguably Detroit’s best case for a bailout. The Big Three and the U.A.W. had the bad luck of helping to create the middle class in a country where individual companies — as opposed to all of society — must shoulder much of the burden of paying for retirement.

So here’s a little experiment. Imagine that a Congressional bailout effectively pays for $10 an hour of the retiree benefits. That’s roughly the gap between the Big Three’s retiree costs and those of the Japanese-owned plants in this country. Imagine, also, that the U.A.W. agrees to reduce pay and benefits for current workers to $45 an hour — the same as at Honda and Toyota.

Do you know how much that would reduce the cost of producing a Big Three vehicle? Only about $800.

vwatt said...

Here's another great idea posted below-let's give some more bailout money to these insurance companies...they pay SO MUCH in income taxes and provide so much family income to ordinary working Americans(disclosure-I do have an annuity from Prudential, so we can't let them go totally out of business!) After all , these are white collar conpanies and we must give them priority for bail out money. If we give it to the auto companies, they will just continue to pay salaries to their union workers who will waste the $$$ on things like buying washing machines and clothes for their kids....

WSJ Dec. 12

Several of the biggest U.S. life-insurance companies are seeking a piece of the taxpayer-funded $700 billion federal bailout program, but pay little in income taxes themselves, securities filings show.

Consider Prudential Financial Inc., which last week announced that it is seeking an unspecified amount of aid through the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Despite reporting pretax profits to shareholders of nearly $25 billion over the past decade, Prudential has paid just $1.3 billion in taxes to federal, state and foreign governments in that period, filings show, for an effective tax rate of 5.1%.

vwatt said...

First it is was Colin Powell going "rogue" with the Republican Party and now look who's also going sideways(and wouldn't even endorse his "ex" running mate for 2012 in an interview this morning). I guess he is now no longer a "real" Republican-which is probably why he had such a knockout appearance on Letterman on Friday-he was great!:

In a surprising rebuke to the warriors who fought for him through tough times, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday sided with President-elect Barack Obama and scolded the Republican National Committee for fanning the Illinois corruption scandal.

On ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked: “The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President- elect Obama has dealt with this.

"He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor [Rod] Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?”

McCain replied: “I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody — right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.”