Helen Thomas And Energy Policy – I found a massive void

I know what it is like when Steven Hawking discovered Black Holes. Helen Thomas was a journalist for 55 years. The dean of the Washington Press core. The author of several books and a columnist for the Hearst Press Organization. To top that off – She IS Lebanese or more properly of Lebanese extraction. She is also very outspoken as a result about the middle east. You would expect that the word oil or the word energy would have been penned by her at some point. However I spent 2 hours looking and this column on the auto industry was all I found. There were thousands of articles about her “anti-semitic” remarks and her resignation. Even articles about politics but nothing else and I wouldn’t  have even found this is if it wasn’t for the nice gentleman at Slate.


It is not even really on topic because she doesn’t even mention CAFE standards or electric cars. But it is all I got.


Obama Tough On Automakers, Workers

Wall Street Higher Priority For President

Helen Thomas, Hearst White House columnist

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama seems to be more interested in propping up Wall Street than saving the car companies and the auto workers in Detroit.He displayed his “get tough” side when he laid down the law to General Motors and Chrysler, whose restructuring plans had displeased the White House auto task force.The president gave the car makers a choice of coming up with tougher plans or face bankruptcy. GM was given 60 days to produce a plan for Obama, who has never ran a company, and Chrysler was given 30 days, with a threat to end its federal aid unless it merged with Fiat, the Italian automaker.

Bailout funds were Obama’s price for their concessions.Although he has allowed a few financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers to go down the drain in the current economic crisis, the administration’s financial advisers said other banking houses were too big to be allowed to fail

If only the Obama administration also had said that the thousands upon thousands of jobless auto workers and suppliers were too important to be allowed to drift into poverty.The bankers and big investors are taking big bailouts while the blue collar workers are left out in the cold. So what else is new? In an extraordinary government intervention, Obama forced Rick Wagoner, GM’s chief executive, out of the company as a symbol that times were changing, dramatically.Though he was picked to take the fall, Wagoner won’t go hungry. His retirement package at G.M. is reportedly worth more than $20 million as he heads out the door.

In rejecting General Motor’s proposed make over, Obama’s auto task force said GM had been “far too slow” to adapt and needed a more aggressive restructuring blueprint.Obama, who wants it both ways, said GM ’s proposed plan wasn’t tough enough but that he was “absolutely confident that G.M. can rise again.”The White House’s handling of the auto situation raises the question of whether the government has a role in dictating to business in a free society. In my opinion, the current state of the economy calls for more regulation of banks and businesses, if only to save them from their own rapacious stupidity.

If the Obama administration has its way, GM will have a new look. The giant company would have fewer models, brands and dealers. Thousands more jobs would be cut and more concessions will be asked of the thousands of bondholders and the United Automobile Workers union.

The 100-year-old once-mighty GM may be reduced to producing only Chevrolets and Cadillacs. Its European division may have seen its last days. James Womack, chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute of Cambridge, Mass. — a company that promotes efficiency — declared: “The old GM is dead and that needs to be said.”


More tomorrow.


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