Amazing show of solidarity

So it looks like Republicans in the Senate just pulled the plug on the American auto industry. Unless Bush steps in and uses TARP funds to keep GM afloat the left owns the country for the next eight years, but at a terrible price. Billions in payments to suppliers are coming due in next few weeks, so not only will GM have to file for bankruptcy, so will many of their suppliers. Chrysler will go next. And, as soon as suppliers start going under, Ford will go down amplifying the effect. The transplants will have to layoff thousands as well, since they depend on the same suppliers. The domino effect begins now, and it's going to go fast. As I've mentioned before, just in time production where suppliers deliver precise amounts of product directly to assembly workers on the line (in place at all auto manufacturers) means there is no wiggle room for error. Just in time is a high risk, high reward strategy. One key supplier goes under and everything shuts down.

I am, however, extremely glad that the UAW didn't cave to Republican demands that they sell out the million+ retirees, which would have been the only way to bring wages in line at transplant and Big Three plants. It would have set precedent for all future concession discussions, selling out all manufacturing workers. So, two amazing shows of solidarity this week: UAW shows solidarity with all manufacturing workers by refusing to accept Republican demands for immediate concessions, and Republic Windows and Doors workers win their sit-down strike/plant occupation as Bank of America and JPMorgan agree to ensure they get their due severance. Together with this delicious morsel: anger at banks increasing, and Obama's vocal support for Republic workers, means a long eight years for the right.


Blago goes down - sniff.

Big news today that Blago was arrested for trying to sell his "golden" authority to appoint Obama's replacement in the Senate. He also allegedly refused a lifeline to the Tribune Co. unless they fired critical editorial staff. At least the first allegation is caught on tape. None of the allegations are surprising--haven't heard a kind word said about him since he was first elected. But, is he really that stupid? And is he to blame for the Tribune Co. bankruptcy?

The earliest comments on Chi Trib today were of the vein: If he were a Republican, everyone would be up in arms about his arrest. Since he's a Democrat, no one says anything. Whatever. But one of the response comments claimed the arrest was payback for ordering the state not to do business with Bank of America for their role in the sudden closure of Republic Windows and Doors. The Republic Windows and Doors workers are staging a sit-in/plant occupation since the plant did not give fair notice and is not compensating workers as required by law. Details can be found at pilsenprole. I certainly hope the state of IL continues to refuse to do business with Bank of America, but this video from yesterday shows a pretty cynical ploy on the governor's behalf to tie his fortune to that of workers battered by Wall Street. Would he have been there if it didn't provide the perfect photo op for his "fight the power" attempt to influence public opinion? Was it at all successful? Just a thought.