Daily Archives: Dec. 20, 2008

McCain miffed about auto loan

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has changed, or perhaps changed back. In counting him among the congressional Republicans upset about the White House’s Big Three bailout, MSNBC’s First Read blog recalls that “this is the same John McCain who ‘suspended his campaign’ to try and strike a deal on the Wall Street bailout – which was roughly 41 times the size of Detroit’s.”
McCain said of the massive auto loan: “I regret the president’s decision to give away over $17 billion to the domestic automakers. Just last week, the Senate rejected a bailout plan because it failed to provide assurances that the domestic manufacturers would fundamentally change the way they do business to ensure their long-term viability. I find it unacceptable that we would leave the American taxpayer with a tab of tens of billions of dollars while failing to receive any serious concessions from the industry.”

Open thread 12/20

U.S. is still a powerhouse

Amid the economic gloom and post-Madoff rage, the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan finds reasons for consolation that go to the root of what it means to be American. She writes: “This is a good time to remember who we are, or rather just a few small facts of who we are. We are the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, the leading industrial power of the world, and the wealthiest nation in the world. ‘There’s a lot of ruin in a nation,’ said Adam Smith. There’s a lot of ruin in a great economy, too. We are the oldest continuing democracy in the world, operating, since March 4, 1789, under a vibrant and enduring constitution that was formed by geniuses and is revered, still, coast to coast. We don’t make refugees, we admit them. When the rich of the world get sick, they come here to be treated, and when their children come of age, they send them here to our universities. We have a supple political system open to reform, and a wildly diverse culture that has moments of stress but plenty of give.
“The point is not to say rah-rah, paint our faces blue and bray ‘We’re No. 1.’ The point is that while terrible challenges face us – improving a sick public education system, ending the easy-money culture, rebuilding the economy – we are building from an extraordinary, brilliant and enduring base.”

Illegal immigration making comedy comeback

“Mexico City has begun working on expanding its subway system. That’s right. Apparently, they’re adding stops in San Diego and Los Angeles.” – Conan O’Brien

“And the Mexican government has opened up a telephone hotline here for illegal immigrants living in Arizona. Yeah. Here’s the best part, the calls are answered by a guy in India.” – Jay Leno