Friday, May 1, 2009

ProPublica is collecting Administration’s Ethics Letter

ProPublica is collecting and maintaining a file on the Ethics Letters of the Administration.  Top  members of the Administration pledge to adhered to ethics legislations and outlines any possible conflicts of interest that might exist either through their holdings and current affiliation or that of their immediate family.  This may be a very good source if a question of “conflict of interest” arises.  Of special interest is the first letter from Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State.

There are currently 154 pages of such letters and they are at:

Below is a description of process by Ms. Michel of ProPublica

Previously Unpublished Obama Admin. Ethics Letters

by Amanda Michel, ProPublica - April 30, 2009 3:03 pm EDT , available at:

President Barack Obama meets with members of his Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at the White House on April 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama meets with members of his Cabinet in the Cabinet Room at the White House on April 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama's administration came to Washington pledging transparency and accountability in government. The White House has demanded strict new ethics requirements and signed pledges from appointees detailing what they will do to abide by the rules.

A few weeks ago, we published roughly three dozen ethics waivers (and nearly 200 financial disclosures) from the Obama administration by reporter Olga Pierce. Since then Olga has received more previously unpublished ethics letters, all of which we've now posted for public review

Robert Reich questions what America receives from the auto bailout.

Quite unbelievable that this very “Democratic” thinker is so opposed to Obama on this issue.  To view this and other comments by Mr. Reich, go to:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Auto Bailout Is Going Off the Road

GM just announced it was laying of 21,000 more of its workers, as a means of assuring the Treasury Department the company is worthy of more bailout money. A Treasury official was quoted as saying approvingly that the goal is a "slimmed-down" GM.
What? Having General Motors or Chrysler cut tens of thousands of jobs in order to be eligible for a government bailout reminds me of "saving" Vietnam by bombing it to smithereens. Aren't we giving these companies billions of taxpayer dollars to save jobs? If not, we're just transferring money from taxpayers to GM and Chrysler bondholders and shareholders.
I agree with those who say the United States needs an auto industry. But there's no point spending tens of billions of taxpayer dollars for an auto industry that's a tiny fragment of what it was before. We could achieve that objective by doing nothing.
Besides, as I've said before, the "American auto industry" shouldn't be defined as auto companies whose headquarters are in the United States. The true "American auto industry" is Americans who make automobiles. At the rate the Big Three are shrinking even as they’re bailed out, foreign automakers with American plants may soon employ more Americans than the Big Three do. The Big Three have gone global anyway. A Pontiac G8 shipped by GM from Australia contains far less American labor than a BMW X5 assembled in the United States. General Motors' European subsidiaries include Opel and Saab. Ford also has operations around the world. It even owns Volvo.
The purpose of any auto bailout ought to be to help American auto workers keep their jobs, regardless of whether they work for GM or Toyota or anyone else. Or if they lose their jobs, help them get new ones that pay almost as well. Yet we’re doing exactly the opposite: We're paying GM and Chrysler billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat while they cut tens of thousands of American jobs and slash wages. There's no good reason why taxpayers should foot any of this bill unless the Big Three agree to keep their workers employed while they try to turn themselves around

NY Time’s Editorial casts doubt that Chrysler’s bankruptcy will be short and successful


short “prepackaged” bankruptcies generally succeed when all of the difficult issues are resolved ahead of time, requiring only a judge’s official approval

Quickie bankruptcies … have also never been attempted for a company as big and multifaceted as a carmaker.

Click on the following for more details:  Editorial - The Chrysler Bankruptcy -