The politics of distraction, continued

I think it's fair to say that this exchange is dominating coverage of the seemingly doomed auto industry bailout.
"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."

He added, "couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."|CNN|

Yes, the executives heading up the big three automakers are chowder heads. This is not in dispute. Nor is it the issue.

On the plus side, there's always the possibility that the bailout will rise again, stronger than before. You might think, for instance, that any acceptable bailout must involve those jet-setting jerks tumbling ass over teakettle out the door. Well, political support for your version of the bailout just went up a notch.

By way of contrast:
President-Elect Obama has to say to them, yes, we're going to use this money to save these jobs, but we're not going to build these gas-guzzling, unsafe vehicles any longer.

We're going to put the companies into some sort of receivership and we, the government, are going to hold the reigns on these companies. They're to build mass transit. They're to build hybrid cars. They're to build cars that use little or no gasoline.

We're facing a national crisis, not just an economic crisis, but a crisis of the polar ice caps are melting. There's only so much oil left under the Earth. We're going to run out of that, if not in our children's time, our grandchildren's time.

There's got to be a plan set out to find other ways to transport ourselves in other ways than using fossil fuels. |CNN: Michael Moore|

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