No Love for Detroit


The NYT, in parallel with the AP’s Ben Evans, notices that the bailout fight more than anything has revealed the diminished political clout of GM, Ford and Chrysler. One problem is that Southern lawmakers care more about catering to the foreign makers who’ve set up shop in their states. Another is that Detroit has pissed off everyone on the left by stonewalling CAFE, pollution and climate-change regs. Bottom line, a bailout, when it happens, will be on terms dictated by the Obama administration and the Congressional leadership.

Like 1947, Only Tougher

The National Intelligence Council sees the entire international system, in both the economic and security realms, being revamped between now and 2025. Worth a read, just in case you thought the stakes involved in Obama’s presidency were low.

Pardon Pool

The folks at ProPublica speculate on who Bush will pardon on the way out. Michael Milken and Scooter Libby top the handicapping. They do not touch on the possibility of a blanket pardon.

“Not Recommended”

Former Space Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale discusses the problems involved in aborting short of orbit the flight of any crewed spacecraft. Suffice to say, the problem is a lot more complicated than a lot of armchair astronauts think. Most scenarios involve meat waffles or crispy critters. 

Hale frequently shares spaceflight war stories at his blog, along with the occasional nightmare scenario. Fascinating stuff.

It’ll Never Happen

The Chinese buying one or two of the Detroit 3, that is. Congress will never allow it, for fear of the national-security ramifications. It’ll let the carmakers go belly-up first.