The Republicans created this economic mess, and now they’re trying to stand in the way as Obama tries to clean it up.
Dennis Kneale rarely provides any real analysis, and that’s the biggest problem on CNBC. Too many of the CNBC hosts use each piece of news to regurgitate their political views, and Kneale is one of the worst offenders.
Today he was outraged that the Obama administration would ask Rick Wagoner to step down. He talked about it on the air, and he even managed to write a column about it.
He starts with a rational statement, but he quickly lets his anger get the best of him.
So, he starts by admitting this might be a good move, but he’s concerned that the “shareholders” didn’t ask Wagoner to leave. Of course, the stockholders really don’t have that power (GM is a Delaware corporation, so it’s “stockholders,” not “shareholders”). The board of directors has the power to fire the CEO, not the stockholders. The stockholders can elect a new board, but elections usually happen once per year. The stockholders of course HAVE weighed in by hammering the stock from about $40 to under $5 in just six months. Do you think they’re happy with Wagoner? He also doesn’t mention that the Obama administration also wiped out most of the Board of Directors as well.
Also, at this point, who gives a damn what the stockholders think? This company would be bankrupt without the help of the federal government and the stockholders would lose everything. As the most senior lender, and as the ONLY entity or person on the planet capable of saving this mess of a company, the government has every right, AND the obligation, to put in place a management team of its choosing.
In the next paragraph, we see his real agenda – using this incident to take cheap shots at the Obama administration.
Here we go again. Anyone who uses the phrase “the president’s henchmen” in this context shows he’s not serious about analyzing the issue. Can’t he just explain why he disagrees with the decision? Does he have to use this kind of language? Is someone at CNBC asking him to act like an asshole so he gets more page views for his articles? We’re in the middle of a huge financial crisis that has produced real anger among the American people, and reasonable people will disagree about how we should address these political problems, so is it really necessary for CNBC hacks to ratchet up rhetoric in this case?
Then he goes on to slam Fritz Henderson.
Naturally, he doesn’t answer his own question. That might require some actual reporting that would compromise the pissy tone he has worked so hard to establish. He probably spent at least five minutes coming up with the “doppelganger” crack. If he had done a little digging, he might find that some people actually think Henderson could do a good job.
Now, we don’t know if Henderson is the right choice. One could argue he was too easy on the UAW in the last round of negotiations. But we certainly didn’t learn anything about this important move from Kneale.
The future of one of the most iconic companies in American history hangs in the balance, and all of his comments on the subject were simplistic and useless. He was more concerned with insults and politics as opposed to analysis. What a joke.
I argued yesterday that Jim Webb’s proposed commission on prison reform could be the first step to ending the drug war. Now Jim Webb has confirmed that he’s open to all possible outcomes regarding drug policies.
Jim Webb is a serious guy with impeccable military credentials. He’s not someone who can be pushed around by the “law and order” crowd. Proponents of legalization or decriminalization want this to happen overnight, but they are not being realistic. A thorough study by experts will give politicians cover as they try to deal with this political minefield.
At the very least, advocates of reform should be pushing the feds to leave regulation of marijuana to the states. This will make it much easier to get sensible policies, as progressive states like California and Massachusetts lead the way.
John Stossel has a great piece about the idiotic drug war. Medical marijuana has been legalized in California, but the feds under Bush raided his operation, which was legal under California law, and convicted him in federal court. He faces 100 years in prison. Fortunately, the judge has decided to delay sentencing in light of the recent announcement by the Obama administration that growers and users of marijuana will not be prosecuted unless they are also violating state law.
Jim Webb and Arlen Specter “introduced bipartisan legislation to create a blue-ribbon commission charged with conducting an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the nation’s entire criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.”
One of the key terms above refers to the need to “restructure our approach to drug criminalization.” This is critical if we’re ever going to reform the Drug War, and perhaps a commission on prison reform is the best way to attack the billions wasted on prohibition. We should be focusing on violent criminals, not drug offenders.