Richard Shelby Wants To Place US Government In Bankruptcy And Eliminate Military Pensions And Benefits

Seriously. He must be saying that, right?

Because here is what Shelby (and many other belligerent Republican union busters) has been spewing in every microphone and videocam he can get his demented Chesire cat grin in front of:

"I think a lot of it will be life support," Shelby, R-Ala., said. "I believe their best option would be some type of Chapter 11 bankruptcy … These leaders have been failures and they need to go."

Let me draw an analogy that will drive Richard Shelby and his fellow mouth breathing bottom feeders nuts. What about military pensions and benefits after retirement? Well, come on, what about it blowhards that are so quick to call for trashing the pensions and benefits of the auto workers, are you also arguing to trash and burn the same for those in the military???

Because, there is a lot of yammering about how the CEOs of the auto companies made bad decisions and are upside down financially; and, based on that, group think that the auto workers ought to be taken to the woodshed. How is that any different than the employer of the military? Their employer, the US Government, makes the auto company executives look like the most brilliant and responsible financial minds on the planet in comparison. Talk about yer upside down and bad management.

Who has been more of a failure in leadership, the auto executives or the Bush/Cheney Administration and their Republican toadie enablers like Richard Shelby and friends?

And speaking about people who take early retirements; jeebus, a lot of military people are retired and taking full benefits at 40-45 years old. Sorry. How do we afford this if we can’t afford a miniscule bridge loan for American auto manufacturers so they can save their auto workers?

You want to bankrupt GM? Then bankrupt the US too; they need the "reorganization" a hell of a lot more.

This is what Richard Shelby and his ilk are advising. It must be. Because, otherwise, they would just be mindless, hypocritical, bloviating bags of hot foul air.

I think we know the real answer.

“It’s Too Expensive to Reveal Our Role in Mine Disasters”

Elaine Chao (and her acting solicitor Jonathan Snare) must have spent a lot of time with Alberto Gonzales. Because she seems to be parroting him, in an attempt to refuse to comply with Congress’ oversight requests.

The Labor Department said Friday that it could cost millions of dollarsand take months to respond to a House committee’s subpoena looking atthe agency’s oversight of the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, site of a fatal accident in August.

Jonathan Snare, the department’s acting solicitor, said nearly 15,000documents already had been turned over to the House Education and LaborCommittee before Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) issued a subpoena in September.


Just searching through their e-mails for material related to theCrandall Canyon mine could cost $3.5 million and take 20 weeks, Laborofficials said.

Uh huh. Are we discovering the same kind of email archiving "problems" the White House has? Or is Labor just trying to turn over the emails they want to turn over?

Because every time some part of the Executive branch gets asked for emails of late, we hear the same story. Too much time, too much money, golly we can’t find those emails you want.

UAW and Health Care

The UAW is about to become one of the country’s biggest purchasers of health care.

Under the agreement, responsibility for the retiree health plan willshift to a Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association managed by theunion. Details about how the VEBA will be funded have not beendisclosed. But it is expected to involve a one-time payment of as muchas $35 billion by GM, providing the union with money to invest and useto pay for retiree benefits while reducing the company’s futureexpenses by billions of dollars. Creation of the retiree health trustis to be monitored by a judge and the Securities and ExchangeCommission, according to GM’s statement this morning.

At a Detroit news conference, UAW president Ronald A. Gettelfingersaid the memorandum of understanding outlining the health fund wouldsecure retiree health benefits for decades to come.

Presumably, the UAW will pick up the retiree health care for Ford and Chrysler, as well.

I’m glad the strike was successful and I’m glad it’s over (though it looks like MI is going to have a shutdown). But I’m especially intrigued by the possibilities of unions exerting a lot of sway in the health care industry. As the UAW becomes a bigger and bigger buyer, for example, they’re going Read more


My state’s a mess: we still have no budget, and today the UAW launched its biggest strike in 30 years. (At least the football world is back to normal, with UM beating JoePa and the Lions losing badly).

A lot of people bitch and moan about bad American cars and use that as an excuse to bitch about UAW. But that ignores two things. First, those UAW guys don’t get to design the cars. I’ve heard as much enthusiasm among UAW workers as I have Ann Arbor yuppies about Priuses–though the UAW members were just wishing their manufacturer was the one making the Prius. And second, this strike is really about whether or not working people in this country get healthcare. For all their bad car designs, American car companies are really getting pounded in this day and age through legacy costs–the health care and pension for the men and women who made the car you learned to drive on (for me it was a Pontiac Grand Prix with way too much power for a 16-year old). By the time the manufacturers have paid the legacy costs that, in the case of many of their competitors, are paid by some Read more

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