A president of the United States orders the chief executive officer of General Motors to resign. The same president is further ordering Chrysler to merge with Fiat, the Italian firm specializing in flimsy cardboard boxes on wheels.
This new reality should send a chill down the spines of all Americans. The federal government has begun to run U.S. companies.
President Obama said Monday, "my team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan."
To that confident assertion he added these stern sentiments:
"They must ask themselves: Have they consolidated enough unprofitable brands? Have they cleaned up their balance sheets, or are they still saddled with so much debt that they can't make future investments? Above all, have they created a credible model for how not only to survive, but to succeed in this competitive global market?"
Who is in a better position to know the answers to these questions? Rick Wagoner, the GM CEO for nine years and former GM chief financial officer who has been with the automaker since the late 1970s, even running one of its foreign affiliates in Brazil, and who holds a Harvard Business School MBA?
Or President Obama, a former community activist from the south side of Chicago with a great rhetorical gift?
The president answered that question this week by ordering Wagoner's firing.
Who'd a thunk it? I knew things weren't going to be good under an Obama administration but I really didn't think it would be this bad. And to add insult to injury... The One has the incredible chutzpah to chide GM about their balance sheet and debt... after submitting a budget to Congress that guarantees the largest deficits in our history. Just how we... the United States... are going to finance this debt remains to be seen, but let's not go down that road. Let's think about other things, such as going to the DMV (or some other to-be-announced Fed agency) to file a warranty claim on your GM car. Yeah. THAT will be fun, dontcha think?
In other news... You know how I'm always going on about the wind here on The High Plains of New Mexico? Aside from being a real pain in the a$$ as far as comfort goes, the high winds can have real negative effects. Case in point (from the Portales News-Tribune.):
After wind knocked down a transmission line serving parts of Portales on Monday, 3,136 customers were without power for as long as almost 2 1/2 hours, Xcel Energy spokesmen said.
Spokesman Troy Foos said the power went off in stages, but the longest time before it was restored was two hours and 20 minutes. Spokesman Wes Reeves said power was back by about 5 p.m.
“We’ve had some wind issues across the whole system today,” Reeves said.
The wind caused several outages at once in the Portales and the Texas Panhandle, he said.