Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gathering Bits and Pieces...

We have some scattered odds and ends today.
In our Tuesday’s post, “Some Further Bernie Sanders Thoughts,” [Here] we wondered whether President Obama would invite Jeffry Immelt, the CEO of GE to his White House Business Summit that was scheduled to meet on Wednesday.  Remember that in his nine-hour Senate speech, Bernie Sanders mentioned that Immelt had rhapsodized about the virtues of outsourcing in “China, China, China, China, China”?  Sanders quoted Immelt as saying that GE could build an 18 cubic foot refrigerator in China and deliver it back in the U.S. for less money than to build it here?  Sanders then added that when GE needed an $18 billion dollar bailout, they came to the American Fed, and not to China, China, China, China, China.
The answer to my Tuesday’s musing is...Mr. Immelt was indeed invited to that business roundtable that met at Blair House. [Here]  While at that meeting with President Obama and the other CEOs, I wonder if Immelt put in his plug for outsourcing in China, China, China, China, China?
The companies represented at the meeting were indeed an impressive and varied lot: Intel; Google; American Express; Dow Chemical; PepsiCo; Cisco, Comcast; UBS Group Americas; IBM; UPS; Dupont; Motorola; Honeywell; Centerbridge Partners-(a private equity firm); Kleiner Perkins-(venture capital firm); Eli Lilly; Pritzker Realty Group; Duke Energy; NextEra Energy.  And I am sure that they all know about outsourcing in China.  
I wonder what Obama promised them?  I also wonder how much money those 20 firms pumped into the last election?  Probably for the GOP.
By the way, of the 20 corporations that were invited, there were 3 female CEOs: Indra Nooyi of Pepsico, Ellen Kullman of Dupont, and Penny Pritzker of Pritzker Realty Group.
As the Senate dithers about Obama’s Compromise Tax Bill, the repeal of DADT stands waiting in the wings for a Senate vote.  The NYTimes’s Caucus Blog claims that there are enough votes to pass the repeal, but only if it can come to a vote in this lame duck session.  In the last few days, Republicans Scott Brown from Massachusetts, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and both of Maine’s Senators have announced their support for repeal.  Another bit of interesting news is that incoming GOP Senator-elect Pat Toomey has announced his support for repeal, too.  
Wouldn’t it be splendid if the support for repeal grew on both sides of the aisle?  Yes, I know there is a group of GOP Senators who are strangers to intelligence, sanity, fairness, decency and either the Twentieth or the Twenty-first century, but we can hope, can’t we?
The Times also ran a sad story about Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Ted’s son, packing up his office and preparing to leave Congress.  You may remember that he chose not to run for re-election this year.  Patrick’s leaving will mean that there will be no member of the Kennedy family serving in national elected office.
It’s hard for me to write this, but the Times reporter, Michael Shear, is made of sterner and probably different political stuff.  Shear pointed out that the next political father-son team left in Congress is Ron and Rand Paul.  Shear quoted a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute who indicated that this shift from liberal Democrats to Libertarians was “the kind of sea change we are going through.”
Reporter Shear also quoted a Mr. Darrell West from the Brookings Institute who said that the Kennedy family’s only elected official now was Bobby Shriver, whose mayoral term of Santa Monica, California, had just ended, although he still sits on the City Council.  Mr. West commented that this was “...a pretty dramatic fall, and it’s symbolic of the decline of liberalism.”  [Here
Wow!  At least Mr. West confined this “dramatic fall” to liberalism and not to all of Western Civilization, but then he wouldn’t have allowed himself to be quoted on such an hysterical note, would he?  After all, Brookings describes itself as non-partisan...
Mr. West and Reporter Shear should take note:  I just read that Patrick Kennedy’s nephew, Edward Moore Kennedy 111, announced at age 11 that he intends to run for Congress when he grows up.  He’ll be 13 next February.  
I can’t wait...   

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