Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Washington Post Examines Obama’s Recent Ohio Speech and Finds, um, Discrepancies

This is kind of old, since it’s from last week. I’m from Alabama, what can I say?

Anyway, as you may know, President Obama gave a speech at an automotive plant that makes Jeeps. He was rather proud of his perceived “rescue” of the American auto industry, and this speech seemed to be little more than him patting himself on the back.

I hope he didn’t hurt himself.

As our economy continues its downward slide, Obama has seen fit not to actually do anything to improve it, but he does speechify quite a bit. It’s like he’s a cheerleader for the opposing team on the wrong sideline.

His administration is solely responsible for our economy now. Obama was elected primarily on Bush-bashing, trodding on the well-prepared ground of the media and its’ relentless attacks on Bush. But after two and a half years of continuing downturn, it’s painfully evident that he’s not making things any better. Nor does he intend to.

There is no question that we have in Obama the most virulently anti-business president in our history. His hostility has been well documented. He never misses an opportunity to paint all business owners as greedy vampires, eager to drain the lifeblood of the nation. Never mind that he’s the beneficiary of massive amounts of money from various large companies who greased his palm and are now the recipients of large government contracts. Think General Electric.

I’ve already poked many holes in Obama’s anti-American agenda. But, last week, a major newspaper, the Washington Post, decided to try their hand at some real, live, journalism by doing a bit of fact checking on Obama’s speech. Glenn Kessler does a stellar job of examining the inconsistencies and fabrications in the President’s speech.

Normally, one must go to a blog to get this level of accuracy, but here the Post seems to be attempting to actually report in a factual manner. Wow, what a concept. Who knew that a major news outlet would even consider printing anything more than a transcript of a presidential speech, much less do some actual reporting of, *gasp*, fact?

All snark aside, it’s really nice to read. I present a few choice quotes to remind you of how it once was done. They come out of the gate with this…

“What we found is one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech. Virtually every claim by the president regarding the auto industry needs an asterisk, just like the fine print in that too-good-to-be-true car loan.”
OK, that’s pretty good. I like it when somebody else does my fisking for me. See the second sentence above. It gets better…

“Let’s look at the claims in the order in which the president said them.

“Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for their support during my presidency — and it repaid that money six years ahead of schedule. And this week, we reached a deal to sell our remaining stake. That means soon, Chrysler will be 100 percent in private hands.”

Wow, “every dime and more” sounds like such a bargain. Not only did Chrysler pay back the loan, with interest — but the company paid back even more than they owed. Isn’t America great or what?

Not so fast. The president snuck in the weasel words “during my presidency” in his statement. What does that mean?”
Whoa, there, Nelly. Did I just read the words “weasel” and “Obama” in the same article from a prominent newspaper? That has to be a first. Truly Pulitzer Prize worthy.

It gets better…

Obama said this:

“In the year before I was President, this industry lost more than 400,000 jobs, and two great American companies, Chrysler and GM, stood on the brink of collapse. Now, we had a few options. We could have done what a lot of folks in Washington thought we should do — nothing.”
To which the Post responds…

“This is quite a straw man — that many people wanted to do nothing. It was never so black and white. The debate was over the right course to take in the bankruptcy process.

The Wall Street Journal published Monday an interesting conservative critique of the government’s intervention by David Skeel, a law professor at University of Pennsylvania. Skeel says that the revival of the auto industry “is a very encouraging development,” but “to claim that the car companies would have collapsed if the government hadn’t intervened in the way it did, and to suggest that the intervention came at very little cost, is a dangerous misreading of our recent history.””
More truth? What is this world coming to, its senses?

You know, there actually were a few in Washington then that remembered why we have bankruptcy laws.

“We do not read Boehner’s quote that way; in this 2009 comment, he is questioning the administration’s approach while saying, “The success of our automotive industry is critical.”Shelby and Kyl in 2008 were protesting the use of taxpayer funds by Bush to delay a bankruptcy filing; they preferred immediately putting the companies through the bankruptcy process.

It will be up to historians to decide what the best solution would have been for taxpayers and the auto industry. We can understand why the president wants to portray himself as making a lonely and tough decision. But the debate was not either/or, [but] rather what was the best policy to bring the automakers back to financial health.”

In hindsight, what happened was that Obama, instead of letting our system work, intervened and skirted the normal course of action for companies in financial trouble, which is to file bankruptcy. Obama couldn’t allow this because it would have permitted GM and Chrysler to renegotiate contracts with the unions. And as we all know, unions are among the biggest block of Obama’s supporters. If you’re a stockholder in GM or Chrysler, you know you were screwed.

It’s heartening to see a major newspaper actually do its job these days. Obama's speech received three our of a possible four Pinocchios.

To quote the Blogfather, read the whole thing.

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