Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Seems that the TOYOTA brand meme is in the news lately...
Breaking yesterday... even the good folks at Toyota are having a bad year, posting their first loss in 70 years.
In a story-behind-the-story from the Big Three Auto rescue drama, the plot thickens as we learn more about the block of 31 Republican Senators who had a vested interest in expediting the demise of the Big 3. The Senators who were the most vocal about letting GM and Chrysler suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as they tottered on the brink of financial collapse, were the very same folks who have been helping foreign automakers grow in their own states. These are now the so-called Toyota Republicans,
A week earlier, 31 GOP Senators, mostly from Southern states, voted to avert their eyes and allow American auto companies to die. They opposed $14 billion in federal loans for GM and Chrysler, revealing that their loyalty lies not with America, not even with their own states, but with South Korea and Germany and Japan.
They are Toyota Republicans.
Toyota has non-union manufacturing plants in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas — states whose senators led the GOP quest to slay the Big Three American auto manufacturers — Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and John Cornyn, R-Tx. Here’s the Republican from Mississippi, Sen. Thad Cochran, explaining why he’d vote against the loans, “Things have changed. It’s not just the Big Three anymore,” he said, pointing out that Nissan and Toyota employ more Mississippians than General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. But, he said, the foreign companies would not share “in the benefits of that automobile bailout program.”
No. But Mississippi did give Nissan and Toyota more than $650 million to entice them to locate in the state. GM, Ford and Chrysler didn’t share in those benefits, Sen. Cochran.
The Toyota Republicans are all for helping the rich with tax breaks and shelters, and they’re all for aiding foreign auto manufacturers with billions worth of tax forgiveness and government-paid infrastructure improvements.
But their disdain for the working class couldn’t be clearer as they organized defeat of loans to the Big Three under this command: “Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor.”
Sunday, December 21, 2008
PE Obama - Weekly Address 12/20/08 source: Change.gov
Scientific thinking and evidence-based government will return to our Democracy on 1/20/09.
President-Elect Obama has begun the organizational moves necessary to push back on the forces of irrational ideologies that tend to stymie fact-based inquiry or ignore scientific evidence that does not conform to their ideological precepts -- a notable hallmark the Bush Administration. In his most recent weekly video address, Obama put ideologues on the Right and Left on notice, if you want to be part of The Change We Need in Washington, rather than piles of special interest money -- bring DATA!
“The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry,” President-elect Obama said. “It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States—and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.”
“I am confident that if we recommit ourselves to discovery,” President-elect Obama said,” if we support science education to create the next generation of scientists and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe and invest in things unseen, then we can lead the world into a new future of peace and prosperity.”
Obama announced his initial appointments to lead the Science & Technology charge :
Dr. John Holdren - Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander as the other co-chairs of PCAST, which the President-elect said he hopes will be “a vigorous external advisory council that will shape my thinking on the scientific aspects of my policy priorities.”
Dr. Jane Lubchenco - Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration