Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Romnesia Versus Obambulation

Romnesia – (n) an affliction that causes a victim to forget the truth of what an opponent has said

Obambulation – (n) a tendency to wander or stray, especially from the truth.

One of these words is a made-up word.  The other is actually in the dictionary.  Obama created the fictional disease of Romnesia, although he seems to be the chief victim.  In the last debate, Obama accused Mitt Romney of wanting to take the flailing Detroit automakers through bankruptcy.  Romney didn’t deny it.  In fact, in September 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times Op-Ed describing how he disagreed with the bailout and the managed bankruptcy he would take the company’s through, to rid them of excess debt and labor, and bring them back to financial health.

If you have “Romnesia,” fear not; the Times editorial is still available:

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Nov. 8, 2008   Mitt Romney

“IF General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

“Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself.  With it, the automakers will stay the course – the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses.  Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

“I love cars, American cars.  I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive.  In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died.  The company itself was on life support – banks were threatening to deal it a death blow.  The stock collapsed.  I watched Dad work to turn the company around – and years later at business school, they were still talking about it.  From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.

“First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated.  That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota.  Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic markets is not higher than that of foreign producers.

“That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car.  Think what that means:  Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon.  Of course the Avalon feels like a better product – it has $2,000 more put into it.  Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars.  But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

“Second, management as is must go.  New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries – from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.  The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end.  This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits.  But was Walter Reuther, former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a ‘dead-end street’”

“You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road.  Companies in the 21st Century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th.  This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit-sharing or stock grants to all employees and change in Big Three management culture.

“The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salary and perks.  At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to talk to workers directly.  Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms – all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.

“Investments must be made for the future.  No more focus on quarterly earnings or the kind of short-term stock appreciation that means quick riches for executives with options.  Manage with an eye on cash flow, balance sheets, and long-term appreciation.  Invest in truly competitive products and innovative technologies – especially fuel-saving designs – that may not arrive for years.  Starving research and development is like eating the seed corn.

“Just as important to the future of American carmakers is the sales force.  When sales are down, you don’t want to lose the only people who can get them to grow.  So don’t fire the best dealers, and don’t crush them with new financial or performance demands they can’t meet.

“It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition.  I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research –on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like – that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others.  I believe Washington should raise research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today.  The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration.  The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.

“But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass – they bet on management and they lost.

“The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing.  A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs.  It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs.  The federal government should provide guarantee for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”
There’s the truth, in black and white.  There’s Mitt Romney telling the automakers that they’ve got to cut the excessive executive salaries, the private jets and dining rooms, as well advising that the company must cut excessive union benefits.  There’s Mitt Romney giving sound business advice and a coherent explanation of what a managed bankruptcy means:  that the company’s debts will be cancelled, or paid off by the government, so as long as the company takes measures to improve its financial standing.   The company is saved, the jobs are saved.

I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Romney about leaving the investors hanging in the wind.  It was their capital that helped the company get started.  But it seems to me if they hang in there in the long-run, they will see a return on their investments.

That’s Mitt Romney’s record, his legacy.

Meanwhile, Obama is suffering from a dreadful case of Obambulation; whenever someone challenges him, he obambulates.  He dances around the issue at hand until he can cleverly change the topic. 

He’s running as fast as he can from his disastrous record as a president.  He’s got a very severe case of “the runs,” indeed.  He’s running from a $16 trillion dollar debt, a high unemployment rate, an increase in people on food stamps, one scandal involving running guns to Mexican drug cartels, and an even bigger scandal involving running guns to Syria.  He’s offended our allies around the world, gone on an “Apology Tour” in the Middle East, criticizing his own nation’s policies for promoting freedom throughout the world.  He’s provided financial aid to terrorists in Palestine.  He’s wasted billions on personal trips.  He was going to have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in New York City, until popular opinion made it impossible.  He’s ordered any criticism of Islam purged from military training manuals.  He’s solidly in the pockets of the very unions that helped wreck Detroit as well as the biggest bankers who have contributed to his campaigns.

He also wants to downsize the military, all the while claiming to care about our armed forces.  He criticizes our presence in Afghanistan, yet has kept us there for four years for no discernible reason other than that our military has cleared the path of Talibanists in order for China to exploit Afghanistan’s rare earth mineral deposits.  We should note that China has plenty of her own rare earth mineral deposits which she is sitting on, the way American oil companies want to sit on our own oil on federal lands.  You see, an oil company trader once told me that the last guy holding the reserves win.  Bad as it is having the Arabs hold us over the oil barrel right now, if we were to consume all our reserves now, inevitably we would be begging them for oil and much higher rates than $4 per gallon for gas.

Obama’s clean energy policies are worthless.  Here’s a list of clean energy companies that have gone bust.  Mitt Romney (who expressed support for clean energy) take note):
       1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million) - bankrupt
 2. SpectraWatt ($500,000) - bankrupt
 3. Solyndra ($535 million) - bankrupt
 4. Beacon Power ($69 million) - bankrupt
 5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million) - faltering
 6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million) - faltering
 7. SunPower ($1.5 billion) - faltering
 8. First Solar ($1.46 billion) -faltering
 9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million) - faltering
 10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million) - bankrupt
 11. Amonix ($5.9 million) - faltering
 12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million) - faltering
 13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million) - faltering
 14. Abound Solar ($374 million) - bankrupt
 15. A123 Systems ($279 million) -bankrupt
 16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million) - faltering
 17. Johnson Controls ($299 million) - faltering
 18. Schneider Electric ($86 million) - faltering
 19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion) - faltering
 20. ECOtality ($126.2 million) - faltering
 21. Raser Technologies ($33 million) -bankrupt
 22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million) -bankrupt
 23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million) - bankrupt
 24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million) - bankrupt
 25. Range Fuels ($80 million) - bankrupt
 26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million) - bankrupt
 27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million) -bankrupt
 28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion) -bankrupt
 29. UniSolar ($100 million) -bankrupt
 30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million) - bankrupt        
 31. GreenVolts ($500,000) - faltering
 32. Vestas ($50 million) - faltering
 33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million) - faltering
 34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million) - bankrupt
 35. Navistar ($10 million) - faltering
 36. Satcon ($3 million) – bankrupt

* Figures courtesy of the Stop U.N. Agenda 21! Facebook site.

The list of Obama’s failures as president is longer than the list of failed clean energy companies.  He wants to Americans to believe that a pinwheel can get America’s economy going again.   He doesn’t believe or desire any such thing.  Anyone as beholden to the unions as Obama is determined to drive America over the cliff towards a communist “Workers’ Paradise.” 

He’s depending on the black and Latino vote in the large cities, especially Los Angeles, to do that for him.  That is how he proposes to win the electoral vote.
Whether he wins the election or not, Obama and his cronies intend for America to surrender her sovereignty and be governed under the auspices of the United Nations.  When we say he’s for Big Government, he means really big, as in global government.  The Progressives have opened our borders to a flood of illegal aliens, and alienated the immigrants who are here through socialist education, pouring oil on every minority grievance and discouraging assimilation into the majority, Westernized culture.

The only thing that can save us is the truth.  That’s a real word, not a malady.  It’s a remedy to sociopathy, amnesia, and narcissism.





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