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  • Morning Bell: President of Everything

    “This is a presidency on steroids.” That’s not an assessment from a libertarian shocked by President Barack Obama’s first month in office. That is the first sentence of Eugene Robinson‘s latest column, which goes on to list many of the ways that the Obama Administration is “managing the big chunks of the private-sector economy that are now more accurately described as semi-private at best. … He may have to become an auto executive, a banker, mortgage broker and who knows what else before this crisis is done.” Who knows what else indeed.

    This past weekend the Obama Administration backed off previous plans to appoint a ‘car czar’ instead opting for a “The Presidential Task Force on Autos” headed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council chair Lawrence Summers. Robinson sees this as a positive step, writing: “Obama and Congress are going to have to oversee GM and Chrysler almost like a board of directors. Go ahead and laugh, but explain to me how even Washington could do a worse job with these two companies than Detroit is doing.” We’re not laughing. And neither are auto industry analysts who Politico reports: “charge the panel is short on experience specific to the auto industry, made up of nine federal agencies and, so far, only one outside expert in [Ron] Bloom.” “You have basically entrenched bureaucrats trying to solve a business reorganization of the utmost complexity, and I just don’t see how it is going to work,” Automotive Consulting Group president Dennis Virag told Politico.

    But worse than the lack of day-to-day business experience are the political pressures a government run auto industry will be beholden to. Already the Obama Administration is dictating what types of cars the auto giants can build, and the bailout money they are receiving could very well start a trade war. And as the Los Angeles Times reports: “Not only does Obama need to worry about the effect of major auto industry bankruptcies just as he hopes the stimulus package will start to work, but he has strong political concerns. Union workers were major supporters of Obama’s campaign and states with U.S. auto assembly plants such as Michigan and Ohio were crucial to his victory.”

    Political pressures are also hurting the Obama Administration’s management of the financial sector. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) inserted a salary cap provision into the stimulus bill that will make it harder for financial firms to fire failing leadership and hire new leadership. The Obama Administration did not want the provisions in the bill, but lawyers say there is little wiggle room around the populist measures. And the pay cap provisions do not hurt just the big institutions, but hamstring small local banks as well. Finally, the Obama Administration is considering unprecedented interference in the mortgage industry by allowing bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgage contracts. These modifications would undermine home ownership, drive up the cost of new home loans, and prevent few foreclosures.

    Columbia Business School professor Amar Bhide writes in the Wall Street Journal: “Americans are unusually idealistic and optimistic. We believe that we can all get ahead through innovations because the game isn’t stacked in favor of the powerful. … To sustain these beliefs, Americans must see their government play the role of an even-handed referee rather than be a dispenser of rewards or even a judge of economic merit or contribution.” But this is not what we are getting from the Obama Administration. Millions of dollars are being minted by lobbying firms in DC cashing in on connections to the current regime. Not only has the Obama Administration signed over a dozen waivers bringing lobbyists into their administration, but Obama campaign operatives are also fetching high salaries on K Street. No wonder the markets have reacted negatively to the new administration’s recovery plans.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    46 Responses to Morning Bell: President of Everything

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The Left is now able to do everything that they want, whenever they want thanks the the "messiah", President Obama. The Media keeps pumping out "Everything will be alright if we follow President Obama's plan". The followers of the Left are ecstatic with this whole "stimulus plan" and firmly believe that spending is in fact saving!

      CT Senator Dodd is again overstepping his bounds as a US Senator. By placing salary caps on the private sector, he is stepping on the throat of Capitalism. There is no excuse for this action because the Federal Government should NOT be acting as a bank! The FEDERAL Government should never be involved with the private sector because it is not the job of the Federal Government to do so. The Left thinks that the Federal Government has to control everything. Soon the Left will be controlling so many pases of the private sector that nothing will work properly anymore.

    2. E Paul Lian, Scottsd says:

      Now is a good time to remember that age old adage: " As California goes….so goes the Nation". I read this morning that "The Golden State" is basically bankrupt. Is anyone out there listening?

    3. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I say let's all go back to riding horses. Obama can tackle that with his new board of directors.

    4. mike says:

      when your running hundreds of billions of dollars, in trade deficit, year after year, your smack dab in the middle of a trade war. the problem is: america hasn't fired back.

    5. D,WATSON--ARIZONA says:

      MAYBE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT OBOMA WAS SO WONDERFUL AND VOTED FOR HIM ARE BEGINNING TO THINK OTHERWISE.

    6. Sliver, Wisconsin says:

      You know if this wasn't so sad it would be funny, the government telling private business how much their employees can make but they can vote themselves a raise and whatever else they think they need and want. Revolution, Revolution, Revolution etc.

    7. Mark Y Durango,Co says:

      Obama, What a joke! He has had only one job to my knowledge, a lawyer for ACORN. His lack of any experience astonishes me.There has been more scrutiny of the loser that had octuplets than a possible leader of the free world.He is ia simple puppet of the far left radicals,like George Sorros.With his 200 million in illegal campain contributions,connection to the play to play scam and his Stimulus payment to acorn is nothing less than criminal.Not to mention the dropping of the charges against terrorists like the 911 mastermind and our buddy who killed our sailors in Yemen.His decisions are being made by lawyers and lobbyists. What a leader ,huh?

    8. Robert T. Davis says:

      THESE GUYS IN DC HAVE VIRTUALLY DESTROYED THE US ECONOMY. FOR EXAMPLE, IF WE HAD BEEN DEVELOPING THE US OIL INDUSTRY THESE PAST 20 YEARS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN 700BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR RECIRCULATED INTO THE US ECONOMY. THATS 14 MILLION JOBS AT $50,000 A YEAR. THE US CORPORATIONS WOULD HAVE PAID BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN US TAXES OVER THOSE YEARS AND WHAT A WHOPPING DIFFERENCE IT WOULD HAVE MADE IN OUR ECONOMY. LIBERALS IN BOTH PARTIES DONT UNDERSTAND FREE ENTERPRISE. WHY DO WE KEEP ELECTING THEM??? cdorbg@yahoo.com

    9. LVKen7@Gmail.com - says:

      None of the managers of Big Auto

      should get OVER $10.00 an hour

      ALL they KNOW how to do is FAIL.

    10. jeff,Atlanta says:

      The hypocrisy is rich..What is the purpose of Obama spending tax payer money to fly air force to denver to sign the so called stimulus bill?

    11. ra,ohio says:

      This is deplorable.

      2 years before we can attempt to fix this?????

      There's got to be some other way.

    12. K. Austin, San Diego says:

      The Treasury Department is also now getting into the Meetings Industry! Model language was sent out late last week which defines for TARP takers exactly how much they can spend on meetings and, if they go over that amount, what they need to do to have it approved.

      The policy is long but here is the most disturbing part "All proposed meetings, events and incentive/recognition travel organized by the company must serve one or more specified legitimate business purposes(see representative listing attached). Each proposed meeting, event or incentive/recognition travel with a cost exceeding $75,000 must be supported by a written business case identifying a specific business purpose."

      Cities all over the US rely on meetings to support their tourism intake. Vegas, Orlando, NYC, DC, Denver – all are suffering. The meetings business is a trillion dollar industry and the trickle-down effect from the new policy is going to be devastating.

      The best part? At the top of the policy, it states "This model policy is intended for adoption by companies receiving emergency lending from the federal government. If other companies are interested in adopting these guidelines, they may choose to alter metrics based upon industry size, company size and market sector."

      How long will it take for the government to tell "other companies" how much they can spend?!

    13. Wayne Flittner Wy says:

      If Obama has an ounce of "leadership" in his veins he will veto the bill–and get it rewritten.

    14. tc, South Carolina says:

      Where is Pelosi? I understand she left the country last Friday and pushed the House vote through so she wouldn't be delayed in her departure. An 8 day trip tp Europe. Haven't heard if this trip's on us or some lobbist. Where's the investigative press when you need them?

      When will the Congressional leaders set an example for the rest of us and take salary cuts and curtail their spending? Hard to feel good about what they're doing without them first setting the example.

    15. K.R. Wells says:

      Correct if I'm wrong, but didn't Obama and his running mate Joe Bidden, during their campaign accuse John McCain of having Lobbyist on his staff. That if elected Obama and Bidden were going to change how business was conducted in Washington. I think I remember their statements were "change was going to keep lobbyist out of Government". It's hard to remember exatly what Obama and Bidden said because their speeches placated listing audiences .

    16. K.R. Wells says:

      Have you noticed oil prices still dropping but gas prices are slowly increasing.

      What happened to "Drill Here Drill Now"?

      I wonder if Someone in the House and or the Senate invested in the ugly Wind Farms dotting our country side.

      I'll give a hundred to one odds the Kennedy's would not want these wind turbins dotting the hill of thier vacation resort.

    17. ra,ohio says:

      I really never ascribed to conspiracy theories however, if you stand back and look at this scenario unfolding before our eyes it all started in 2006, right after the dems won the majority.

      Obama essentially started campaigning as soon as he was elected to the senate, and here we are today with a wrecked economy courtesy of the bad mortgages, forcing the banks to lend to people who are in over their heads, thereby making them dependent on the government., et.al.

      With the immense bill that was just rammed thru congress, I think all they're doing to us is showing us their butt.

      Hang on,…. the next 2 years are going to be bumpy.

    18. PJ Texas says:

      Time for this generation's "Boston Tea Party"

      Oil prices are down gas prices slowly increasing at the pump.

      Remember this statement by Obama during his campaign? When asked about the $4.00 dollar a gallon pump price.

      "I wish the price hadn't gone up this quickly".

      WHAT HAPPEN TO DRILL HERE DRILL NOW?

    19. OSCAR says:

      The traditional, method of "living with in ones means" need to be emphasized – trying to make the spending line and the income line mean at some point in time, not grow apart. These new spending methods will help no one try, try to live, plan within a budget. If the auto industry fails, then perhaps several little car companies will from, more streamlined – we should not support the big car industries that are living in the past with their manufacturering and business methods.

    20. Kent, Oregon says:

      Does anyone remember when the government took over the Mustang Ranch in Nevada due to non-payment of taxes? The business failed and they had to close it down. And this was a business with which congress was well familiar: whores and booze.

    21. William Sieger says:

      It's not surprising Obama would rethink the appointment of a "car czar" considering his track record of appointments. Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Timothy Geithner, Anthony Zinni, Hilda Solis, Judd Gregg, Nancy Killefer so far have been cut from the roster, making the process appear to have been devised by the Three Stooges. Instead of naming his favorite low-rider detailer, who would probably have been discovered to have been running a chop-shop, Obama has opted to put the fate of the auto industry in the hands of Lawrence Summers and the aforementioned Timothy Geithner, an admitted tax cheat who was part of the original TARP team and who can't even master Turbo-Tax. This oughta be good.

      I'm intrigued by the rhetoric being used by Obama and parroted by his lemmings. During the campaign, Obama promised to create 2, then 3, then 4 million new jobs in two years. Now the line used by 'The One' and his surrogates is the plan is going to create "or save" 3 1/2 million jobs. Which jobs will have been saved? If the unemployment rate is the same or worse than it is today, will those still employed be among the "saved"? It'll be interesting to learn the spin employed by these obfuscators by the time the next election approaches.

    22. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      This is the way of the socialists. The dems have been working toward this for years, now the people have given them the way to get there. I pray for this country and our people.

    23. cynthia overland, sa says:

      Everyone is angry. God knows I am and have been. We are still American citizens and we need to positively direct this anger and disgust and unite together to prevent this newborn dictator from stealing our country. Remember: The people of Venezuela "voted" to allow Chavez to run again. He has taken over private property, the media, etc. The next thing Obama will do will be to enact the Fairness doctrine. Next, the 2nd Amendment–then it will be too late.

    24. Phil, North Carolina says:

      Socialism is on the march in America. Next communism. The only mistake made by the voters of America is that they gave up on themselves. "We the People" are the government. Stop depending upon a few ill elected individuals to fix this country. Capitalism and a our FREEDOMS are at stake.

    25. William Sieger says:

      Mea culpa. I didn't mean to include Timothy Geithner in the roster of would've beens. I realize that, in spite of his transgressions, he's been kept on the team due to his indispensability, which was so ably demonstrated in his speech and his appearance before Congress.

      Suffice to say that each appearance by this absolutely essential individual will be a reminder of his privilege.

    26. Rick Agosta says:

      Hi to my fellow conservatives.While the press is criticizing Rush for wanting Obama to fail,do they take note that Obama wants the country to fail. Yes, he does smile as the market tanks. The reason is , the lower he can bring the economy down, the more wiggle room he has for an up turn after he passes the spendulous bill.I am sick of what is going on in this country. I pay my mortgage on time, I follow the rules, but I'm really starting to wonder if I am smart to do so.

    27. Mrs. Dorothy Barron, says:

      America has predominantly become a nation on government welfare. The auto industry took government funding- corporate welfare benefits. You take the government hand-outs; you dance to their tune.

      We, as a nation are finally waking up, but seemingly, do not know what to do, nor have the answers.

      We chose to ignore- "What affects one, affects some and eventually, directly or indirectly, all" (D. Barron).

      Thanks,

      Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author

      of, "Slinging Stones when United States Congress has lost control and American Courts are out of control"
      http://www.dorothybarron.com http://mrsdbarron.typepad.com

    28. Patricia New Jersey says:

      I don't even recognize our government any more..and feel very frustrated by my inability to do anything…..

      I think it's about time the states stand up for their rights…maybe they can stop the power grab.

      "you toil and work and earn bread and I'll eat eat it" is especially meaningful in these times.

    29. Pingback: Morning Bell: President of Everything » The Foundry « Snow Report Blog

    30. Larry Harasansky Chi says:

      Let the state of California go bankrupt. The state will restructure itself forcing all union contracts void. This does not mean the state will fall apart. Bankruptcy can be the only way..other then forcing the Calif. taxpayers to pay even higher taxes. We are already the highest paying sales tax gas tax and property tax in the country. If this budget bill in Calif passes, their will be a tax revolt and repeal.

    31. Ireland says:

      I don't know why anyone would want "government" to control any more things so they can screw that up too. Name me one government controlled department or division that runs efficiently and effectively? Let's see Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Nope! The Department of Transportation? Nope! Social Security Administration? Definitely nope. Department of Education? Definitely nope again. We’re creating dumber people as liberal education system dominates education they’ve only gotten worse as they control stranglehold in American education.

      They all have poor track records. So why in God's name would we want them to be in charge of banks, mortgage brokers, Stock Market, car manufacturers, healthcare? If they are used as back up, then alright, but they clearly want to take control in areas they have no experience in as in making and creating cars and I certainly don’t want them snooping in healthcare.

    32. Judith in Michigan says:

      K.R. Well and P.J. in Texas asked what happened top "Drill Here, Drill Now". As you know, Bush called for new leases to be issued for off-shore drilling and for areas that had been banned for years. Obama indicated he agreed. Well, surprise, surprise! His new Interior Sec., Ken Salazar has indicated this plan is dead, and he has already pulled some leases. He said he will study closely the plans along with Congress. I think we might agree that this is liberal-speak for "Don't bet the farm on it".

    33. Dorothy Morgan, Okla says:

      I hate what's happening now; but then I've hated what's happened the last two terms. Which do we hate the most? What are the choices? Those what got us into this mess or those who portend to get us out? It's become a civil war……….and everything seems to be rusty and broken.

    34. James Wolbert, Garf says:

      The OBAMA Administration has no experience at all in dictating to the private sector in what they can and cant do. We are loosing are capitalistic system to these socialists. i say fight any way possible.

    35. John E Rosina, Borde says:

      Yadda Yadda Yadda! You folks flying the banner of Free Market Capitalism would be completely in the right if the last 35 years of Trickle Down economics had not come to this catastrophy. CEO's of today are factually proven to be greedy to an overcompensated fault and totally incompetent.

      You must now eat some crow for your economic transgressions.

      Additionally, our past Presidential penchant for FREE TRADE agreements have further denuded our viability in terms of Real Wealth Generation. We got cheaper off shore products for that effort which enhanced a few of our wealthiest, but it also decapitated our middle working class.

      Thankfully, this is still a majority rule Democracy (except for the 2001 Florida/Supreme Court Presidential election debacle) and the public has spoken. The Conservative Icons of the Republican Party and Wall Street are being called to task. The ship starting sinking on your watch. You'll pardon me if I don't get all lathered up over your hysterical rants.

      Come up with a plan that will surpass Obama's and then talk. So far you've delivered nothing but a Hyper-Capitalistic and Global ship wreck!

    36. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Let the car committee get to work. When they are in charge of GM to develop modern automobiles, the show room will be studded with Oxcarts with wheels missing.

      Let us please stop pretending that we still have our Constitution enacted in 1789. I was disgusted about all the chatter in the media yesterday about our president's day. We have destroyed the country that George Washington and all the other founders created so the individual freedom will reign supreme in this land of ours. While we are at it let us drop our national anthem. They are all meaningless just as much as modern Greek government talking about the Athenian democracy.

      Can we at least be honest about who we are now as a nation? It would be more fitting if we erected monuments to Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin-socialist stalwarts.

      I am disgusted that majority of Americans have no self respect. What is the difference between what is going on in Washington DC today and the looting that took place following a riot in LA? Current looting is organized and lawful!

    37. eugene frazer mounds says:

      This can't be the same country I was born in, it never was socilist before.I guess if you have have half the pepole working there butts off for half the pepole who are on welfare or maybe alot more of them then us,thing like this are going to happen. In the end I think Obamas Plan will fail,and he will just have a four year term.It's also long enough time though to do some damage.

    38. Floyd Green-Chicago says:

      My opinion, we've become a nation of "gimmies"! Gimme this, gimme that. No initiative, (I exclude myself). I uphold capitalism, conservative government, and an honest approach to the task ahead. The democrat left believes in nothing-GOD-included. Where would the investigation have ended up if Blogo had been watched a little longer. Look at this new incident with Mr. Burris. There are a few honest Democrats in office, but for the most part their only objective is to get elected and then focus on getting re-elected. If we don't step forward and stop this failling, our country will perish as the ONLY STRONGHOLD AGAINST COMMUNISM and SOCIALISM, in the world. We are letting our children down, undermining the reason our fore fathers came here in the first place and dashing the hopes of all those who thought they might have an opportunity in The United States. If the Statue of Liberty could move she'd probably be extinguishing her torch.

    39. Cynthia, Hampton, NH says:

      One must divest oneself of the assumption that these people, who are almost despotically ruling this Constitutional Republic, have "good intentions", and only want to help.

      They want nothing less than a nation-wide socialization of every sector. And this is why it is so important to them to shut down opposition voices, wherever they are, including duly elected representatives (see: weren't allowed to write bill, read it, be involved in teh Conference sessions, had to pass on "emergency" basis because they HAD to do something). This is stupid OR malign. Or both.

      If someone were having a heart-attack, and we had to do something, would we tell him to stand up and run to the emergency room? The treatment in an emergency situation must be an iformed one.

      The inmates are running the asylum.

      cynthia

    40. Rhonda, Marble Fall says:

      Obama acts like he is still out campaigning.He doesn't act like he knows he won the election. He uses Air Force One to fly around the country doing things he could do in Washington without costing the taxpayers so darn much money. He can sign the stimulis(spending) package and go on tv from the White House. Why is he spending so much money flying around? He also need to quit campaigning and deal with presidential matters besides his spending package.We got it shoved down our throats already.

    41. H L PUCKETT VA. says:

      WE NEED SOMEHOW TO STOP THIS PERSON WHO CALLS HIMSELF A PRESIDENT, THERE IS NOT MUCH POLITICAL SAVVY GOING ON BETWEEN THOSE BIG EARS.IF LEFT ALONE, HE WILL BRING US TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN, I DON,T THINK WE WERE READY FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT ANYWAY, THEY HAVE NOT BEEN OUT OF THE COTTON FIELDS THAT LONG, COME ON NOW, LETS GET REAL. ALL THAT IS OUT THERE, PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO SAY WHAT THEY ARE THINKING ANYMORE

    42. H L PUCKETT VA. says:

      I WOULD SAY WHAT I SAID TO MY MOTHER AT THE DINNER TABLE,IF SHE WERE ALIVE TODAY YOU ARE AFRAID TO SAY WHAT YOU ARE THINKING. WE STILL HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH YOU KNOW,

    43. Dave Schraub, Coates says:

      I wonder if everybody is as fed up with politicians as I am? It's pretty bad when you go to the polls, and you vote for the lesser of 2 evils. There is no difference between republicans and democrats, they are all criminals. They are only interested in the power. If you don't believe me, then why would you spend 600 million dollars for a job that pays 400,000. Check your common sense at the door, when you get to washington. Is it me or are lobbyist legal bribes?

    44. christopher g scott says:

      what is going on with this country that I love so much. we are on a very slippery slope, we as Americans have to stand up and fight for what is the freedoms that make the United States a great nation, make your voices heard today and every day, flood your local state and federal governments with letters phone calls or stop by let them know your there. this fight has just begun. and as always THANK A VET they truly know what it means to fight for freedom.

    45. Forex Scalping Club says:

      Try the Obama Administration with this method and you will soon be spotting Americans, with clearly defined stops and targets. In themselves they can give Americans. Now sometimes of the Obama Administration it will but, more often than not, it won't.

    46. Detective cell says:

      I dont usually comment, but after reading through so much info I had to say thanks.

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