I beg you, no.

I read both Detroit dailies every day, not every word but a lot of them, usually returning to the websites several times. I think the Freep may have lost me for good today. I don’t know what the print edition looks like, but you know what the lead story is on the website? (Underneath the Red Wings package, of course; I mean, the bankruptcy of the cornerstone of the underlying industry that supports a whole region might be news, but hey — priorities, people!)

A Mitch Albom column.

A really stupid one.

One with lots of one-sentence paragraphs and padding creative white space.

Oh, and a repetitive catch phrase, like a refrain, because you know Mitch is a songwriter, too.

It is: All fall down.

It’s hard for a newspaper to insult me, these days. I’ve gotten used to the degradation. I told my boss the other day, the one I farm news for, that the hardest thing about this job has been watching the steady decline of newspapers over the last three years. There was an oncology conference in Florida this week, a big one, that we were tracking for our clients. Monday’s Wall Street Journal and New York Times had several stories on the news coming out of it, about new cancer drugs and therapies. So I made sure to visit the website of the local paper, once one of the finest papers in the south, in search of stories. They had punted it to the AP.

But Mitch Albom writing about General Motors? That might just do it for me. I can’t even stand to take it apart for laughs, it’s so depressing and stupid. OK, one line:

We have each other.

What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?

Nothing like starting the first day of the rest of Michigan’s life on a high note, I always say.

I’m starting to like these one-sentence paragraphs. I think that extra white space really gives flaccid prose that extra oomph, don’t you think?

It’s sort of like the very short sentences in children’s books:

Look, Sally, look. Mitch is writing a column. See Mitch write. Write, Mitch, write. See Mitch write while he’s doing his radio show. Multi-task, Mitch, multi-task. Mitch is quoting the governor: Gov. Jennifer Granholm told me Monday on WJR. Synergy, Mitch, synergy.

OK, that’s not funny. Here’s what is: I’d be willing to bet a mortgage payment that Mitch makes at least $200K from his Free Press revenue stream, perhaps more. They could get Sweet Juniper for half that, the columns would be better, he’s shoot his own photos and show up in the office more. I know I’ve made this suggestion before, but it bears repeating.

Well. It’s a bad day in Michigan, innit? We are officially in free fall. I’m now working under the assumption we are capital-F you-know-what. For a while now, I’ve been asking old-timers, “Is this the worst recession you’ve seen in Michigan?” and they all say, “No, early ’80s were worse.” That was the “Roger & Me” downturn, the tent cities in Houston, the “Continental Drift” migration of the blue-collar working class to the south. They don’t say that anymore.

Fortunately, we still have the solace of television. Dexter posted this excellent interview with Vince Gilligan, creator of “Breaking Bad,” which just finished its second season. I was a little worried as the season began; whereas last year’s had a fairly constant undertone of comedy, year two dawned under dark, dark clouds. Gilligan faced the same problem David Chase did with “The Sopranos,” i.e., how do you make a show with an evil character at its heart and still make viewers want to tune in? I remember Chase saying at the time how frustrating he found it to hear viewers describe Tony as a nice guy, when he clearly wasn’t. I think the turning point for viewers came in that show’s second season, too, with the Scatino bust-out and subsequent whacking of Big Pussy. You really couldn’t hold on to your illusions after that.

Walt had more sympathy going for him; the guy had cancer, and his turn to meth cooking was initially because he felt he had to leave a grubstake behind for his family. So Gilligan had to rub our faces in the fact even a noble end doesn’t justify the evil means, and the first few episodes were so, so bleak. But Chase figured it out — when you need relief, turn to the other characters. And so we got buffoons like Paulie Walnuts and sweet, clueless Adriana to leaven Tony’s march into hell. Gilligan did, too, and found depth in the characters of Skyler and Jesse and even Hank the DEA agent. Jesse, Walt’s toddler-dressed accomplice, turns out to be the one who most regrets his actions, and his suicidal depression at the end of this season will be interesting to watch in the next.

And in the meantime, we have “True Blood” to look forward to, and then “Mad Men,” coming back in August. If we still have cable then, that is. You never know.

Not much bloggage on this depressing day, but what I have is amusing: my left armpit smells while my right one doesn’t. this isn’t even a shower issue, it smells right after a showerOversharers on Twitter. HT: Brother Jim.

Off to the gym. Because if only the strong survive, I want to at least be able to carry one of their suitcases.

Posted at 9:49 am in Current events, Detroit life, Media |
 

43 responses to “I beg you, no.”

  1. whitebeard said on June 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I read Mitch and my question is “Is it possible to up-chuck when all fall down. What a pompous ass!!”

  2. beb said on June 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Nancy wrote I’d be willing to bet a mortgage payment that Mitch makes at least $200K from his Free Press revenue stream, perhaps more. They could get Sweet Juniper for half that…

    Hey, if it’s a race to the bottom, I’m sure the Freep could find someone who writes well for only $50,000, maybe even $30,000. Hel – er heck, I know one journo who’s doing freelance work for roughly minimum wage because if they don’t they may not get another assignment. But I’ve bookmarked Sweet Juniper and read it regularly. He’s good. Good with words, good with ideas and subjects. He would be the kind of addition that would bring readers to the paper.

    I don’t know why Monday should have been any worse than expected. We knew GM was going into Chapter 11, and that Chapter 11 provides for the continuity of the company while it reorganizes. And we knew, or should have known, that as part of its reorganization, GM was going to have to close a lot of plants. It’s not like this came as a surprise. Nor should it come as a surprise that Mitch would write a lousey column about all of this. Life goes on. What we need is 12 months of unemployment, and health cover for unemployed families. These people will be out of work for a while. But if the government props them up then the ancillary businesses in the community wouldn’t collapse as well.

  3. mark said on June 2, 2009 at 10:34 am

    A really horrible article. Kumbaya, blah, blah.

    I was amused by the part about “we were great before GM”. Yes, and that was before pesticides, vaccines and air-conditioning, when living above the frost line was an advantage. And before highways, sanitary sewers and indoor plumbing, when lakes and rivers provided transportation and clean water.

    I fear for the midwest.

    There seems to be almost universal agreement here about Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Interesting. Perhaps this could be a point of common ground from which we could build to peace in the Middle East. Really great shows.

    The episode before last really got to me. Walt acts on the “never give up on your loved ones” advice, returning to help Jesse, then fails to intervene as an inconvenient young woman chokes to death. Talk about your bad (selfish) choices.

    I kind of wonder how the apparent demise of the auto industry will affect watching Mad Men. THAT era was the height of midwest power and sexy automobiles.

  4. jeff borden said on June 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Damn you, Nall! I went and read that Albom crap and now I need an insulin injection for the sugar overdose. God, what mewling, insulting prose.

    As someone who grew up in the Cleveland area, I recall the dark, dark, dark days of the lunatic Dennis Kucinich administration in the mid- to late-1970s, when Cleveland became the first large American city to default on its debt. A popular T-shirt at the time featured the Cleveland skyline, lashed by rain, snow, sleet, lightning bolts, etc. Below were the words: “Cleveland. You Gotta Be Tough.”

    Cleveland got its bounce in the `90s, when the tech boom and all that investment money really did lift all boats. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, the new ballparks and arenas. But it’s foolish to think Cleveland, Detroit, Flint, Youngstown or any of a dozen major manufacturing cities in the upper Midwest are going to emerge from this terrible time in good shape.

    Mark, the one thing the Midwest will always have going for it is water. We need to admit that a lot of the growth in the arid states –Arizona, Nevada, SoCal– is simply unsustainable unless someone creates an effective and inexpensive desalinization process. Meanwhile, the blush is off the rose in some of the fast-growing Sun Belt cities such as Charlotte and Dallas as they are battered by the problems in the financial markets. Because it is so dependent on the banking industry, Charlotte is having a tougher time than New York City because it has a higher percentage of employees in that sector.

    The Amazing Kreskin himself could not predict where we’ll all be in 50 years. But I’m willing to bet the Midwest will be doing all right. Maybe not spectacularly good, but all right.

  5. ROgirl said on June 2, 2009 at 11:00 am

    After reading Mitch Albom I feel like I’ve been coated in Cheez Whiz. It’s just excruciating, and insulting to people who read above a 5th grade level.

  6. jeff borden said on June 2, 2009 at 11:20 am

    ROgirl,

    That’s a terrific comment. Hacks like Albom and Greene regularly insult their readers by treating them like children and acting like something is new simply because they just discovered it. There’s definitely a market for this processed cheese product, however. Many editors at the ChiTrib were appalled by the schlock Greene turned out, but readership surveys handcuffed them because a sizable segment of readers enjoyed his prose. If not for his amorous adventures coming to light, he’d still be in the paper every day.

  7. Jolene said on June 2, 2009 at 11:20 am

    mark, you may have a future in international diplomacy. In all the years I’ve been reading about the lurching-from-hell-to-highwater Middle East peace process, I don’t believe I’ve seen anyone consider agreement on TV shows as a basis for an end to interethnic hatred, terrorism, and political oppression. Perhaps you should pass this idea on to President Obama.

  8. Sue said on June 2, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Mark, do not fear for the Midwest. We in flyover country are strong, salt-of-the-earth, hearty/hardy, buckle-down-and-get-the-job-done, raise-that-barn-and-birth-that-baby survivors.
    And the rest of the country should know that you can have our Great Lakes water when you pry it out of our cold, dead hands. It’s all we have left and we’re keeping it.
    The above can be described as Mitch Albom meets Charlton Heston. Works in a weird kind of way, don’t you think?

  9. brian stouder said on June 2, 2009 at 11:44 am

    True, Mitch Albom is a one trick pony –

    and yet.

    And yet, that one trick he keeps turning keeps him in green, green clover. A collection of Mitch Albom’s Greatest Hits would quickly highlight that all his stuff is rigidly formulaic: first bromide, trite refrain, second bromide, trite refrain, third bromide, etc. And yet –

    and yet, he built a brand. You read a column with an Albom by-line, and you know what you’re going to get. If there was no by-line, you’d still know who wrote it. Any of us could do an Albom cover – just as any cover band should be able to do some Monkees tunes, and yet –

    And yet, one wonders. Why does this sell? How did Mitch manage to capture this over-ripe banality brand, all for himself? And yet –

    And yet, we know that – just as a favorite album with a scratch will repeat itself, so, too, will Detroit’s favorite Albom

  10. Jolene said on June 2, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Groan. I’m looking at you, Brian.

  11. Sue said on June 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Brian wins!

  12. nancy said on June 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

    And I’m chuckling. Funny, Brian.

  13. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    That “Detroit Albom” comment is sure to bring an evening comment about how Iggy sucked and MC5 was the real deal.

  14. brian stouder said on June 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I was reading Time magazine (I think) while awaiting a haircut just last evening – and waded through a long-play Albom feature on Detroit…so the “and yet” riff has a genuine imitation journalistic provenance!

  15. paddyo' said on June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Albomination, agreed.
    And so I’m with you, Nance — at least we’ve got the solace of good TV, so why not focus on that (until the next brake shoe drops in Motown, anyway)?
    And so, here’s another very nice farewell-to-Breaking-Bad’s-second-season from the newspaper I grew up with, the LA Times:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/05/breaking-bad-perfect-season-ends-with-a-falling-sky.html#more

  16. Dexter said on June 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Yes, we have more TrueBlood on the agenda, perfect timing to replace Breaking Bad for a while.
    While Six Feet Under remains #1 with me, and I watched The Sopranos every time, this TrueBlood show is the most exciting, hard-hitting series in HBO history.
    I expected nothing less from the amazing Alan Ball, who turned a suggestion from a producer , something about doing a show about an LA funeral home, into a blockbuster mega-hit in March,2001.
    I know I would not waste my time on any stupid vampire show unless it was done by Alan Ball. I don’t know anyone else who could get so much out the actors than the directors of that show, either. No weak links…every actor in that show knocks it out of the park every week.
    No “off the wall” show has captured me the same way since “Twin Peaks”.
    David Lynch is still at it, too…I saw an interview with him on Sundance Channel the other day.
    There’s no sense in raving on about Lynch and Ball, as I am obviously in their camp; you get them , or you don’t.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    On XM202, Sirius 197 today, host Ronnie B asked callers to phone in their “holy trinity of comedians”; what he meant was a “who begat whom” thing, using three different generations of comics. All the big names were mentioned, and I called these in, but the bit changed and I didn’t get through…my holy trinity descencion of comics: Moms Mabley , Tim Moore (“Kingfish”) and Katt Williams. Ever see Katt Williams on HBO? Now that’s some funny cat there!

  17. john c said on June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    A writing teacher giving a lesson on “show, don’t tell” could use that Mitch column is the classic example of what not to do. The stories of the GM bankruptcy are all around us. It would be far more powerful to hear them. But that would involve – ohhhh what’;s the word I’m looking for – reporting.
    I spent last night out on Lake St. Clair drinking beer, sailing, and kibbitzing with the braintrust of the Grosse Pointe Park Little League AAA Mets. A not insignificant chunk of time was spent running through the list of our friends. “How’s Rich going to come out of this? What about Reggie? Lear. (American) Axle. They’ll be filing soon.” This was not idle talk. We were literally trying to assess whether our friends , and our children’s friends, were facing real crisis.
    A few weeks back I was at the venerable Cadieux Cafe with my featherbowling pals, a broad cross section of the Detroit economy. Barry, a general contractor, was talking to Jeff, an unemployed metal worker. Normally a joking smartass of a guy, Jeff was earnestly shaking Barry’s hand.
    “I can’t tell you how much I appreciated Saturday,” I overheard him say.
    “Shut the #@*& up and don’t worry about it!” Barry, who’d obviously given Jeff a day of work, said.
    “I can’t tell you how nice it was to let my neighbors see me walking out to the truck with my mask and torch.” He was near tears.
    Then I was on my kids’ school playground, chatting with the principal. A little girl, probably 8, ran up and interrupted us.
    “Mrs. Satut,” she said. “My mom lost her job.”
    “Oh,” the principal said. “It’ll be okay.”
    The little girl just shrugged and ran back to her friends.

    And this is off the top of my head.

  18. nancy said on June 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Honestly, John, for the life of me I don’t know why someone can’t say this to him. Of course he’s untouchable, but when the industry is literally crumbling underneath us, he can certainly be criticized, I think. His output is so numbingly awful these days, his coasting so obvious, even in Sports, that I think his exit from the staff wouldn’t mean much of a readership drop for the Freep. And he needs them more than they need him.

  19. LA Mary said on June 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    There is a little justice in the world of job losing. The person who arranged our jobless job fair for people we had laid off…
    She got fired. There was more than the jobless job fair to get her fired, trust me. Her salary will now pay about four food service or cleaning people.

  20. MarkH said on June 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    “…mewling…”
    Now, THAT was a choice word, Jeff. And, yes I did have to look it up, but worth it. And, yes, on target, re: Albom.

    Slightly OT, but speaking of Iggy: Nancy, did you catch “Fresh Air” with him yesterday? I’m no Iggy fan, in fact know little about him, but I was fascinated with his muses these days, ie, Louis Armstrong. Good interview, as usual with Terry.

  21. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Is it an onerous burden to be required to produce a driver’s license and a Social Security number when registering to vote? Or when voting, is it an intrusion of privacy to be asked to produce a photo ID?

  22. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Mary, I was joking around with one of the top brass at my work whom I friends with. He suggested that they could cut back people at his level and I agreed and suggested they just hand out a few megaphones to some of the regular salary to take up the slack:

    “Hey, you over there! What ya doin’? Get back to work!” {/Pink Floyd “The Wall” Voice}

  23. Sue said on June 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Danny, interesting workplace – what kind of comments have you overheard in the lunchroom?

  24. Conan the Libertarian said on June 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    You should really teach Mitch how it’s done, Nancy.

    That patented straw man lede of yours…

    Followed by dismissive eye-rolling and exasperation in lieu of supporting facts…

    With impeccable statistical analysis ala how a 90/10% Republican to Democratic donor ratio explains a 99.9993% screwing of Republican-donating car dealerships…

    Oh yes. It’s amazing you can’t make a living as a journalist any more with mad skillz like that.

  25. LAMary said on June 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I should have listened to what I overheard from people coming out of the lunchroom here. It was about the spaghetti and heartburn.

  26. Connie said on June 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Danny, a large contingent of retired nuns living in a home near Notre Dame, were refused the right to vote the first year Indiana’s ID law went into effect. They had never needed picture ID before.

    The unemployment thing here is depressing. We have friends our age, laid off after a lifetime with one company, kids in college, I can’t even imagine how they do it. Our libraries are overwhelmed by those who need to file weekly in order to receive the next benefit check. The ones we see are those with no other computer access any where else. They have few if any computer skills, and sometimes we have to ask them to please take our mouse tutorial.

    OTOH my kid’s usual summer job came through after all, a great relief to us.

  27. jeff borden said on June 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Connie,

    There have been several stories about how libraries are seeing a wave of new customers, most of them newly out-of-work and seeking help with resumes and access to free computers. Many are now limiting the time individuals can spend on each computer after spats between kids using them to update their Facebook profiles and the unemployed trying to find work. There’s also been a marked increase in anxiety and depression among library staffers, who are hearing these poignant stories day after day after day.

    Conan, as a Chicagoan, I’m deeply familiar with Barack Hussein Obama’s jihad against Republican-owned Chrysler dealerships, which he plans to shut down and use as al Queda training bases and Spanish-only retail centers. From there, we’re going after the country clubs, which we hear are overwhelmingly made up of Republicans. Those we will turn into communal farms, where anyone who read “Atlas Shrugged” will be forced to work together raising aragula lettuce and dijon mustard seeds.

    Oooops. Sorry. I have to run. A bunch of us reverse racists are going downtown to yell “Whitey” and “Viva Sotamayor” at commuters as they head to the trains.

    Lastly, Nancy Nall’s grocery lists are more informative, better written and way more entertaining than anything Mitch Albom has written in the past decade.

  28. Dexter said on June 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    …just read Albom, and I feel like I was just lectured by my Little League coach after we got beat 25-5 in an All-Star game, and I was the pitcher.
    Fall down, get up, we still have each other, don’t mean nuthin’…

  29. MarkH said on June 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Speaking of current atmospheres in libraries, is this a new trend?

    http://www.examiner.com/x-1361-Seattle-Books-Examiner~y2009m5d28-Seattle-library-to-change-rules-of-conduct

    Connie, are you seeing much of this in your (hopefully more genteel) aisles?

  30. Connie said on June 2, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Unfortunately probably less genteel. We announced a zero tolerance policy a couple of years ago and have stuck to our guns. No internet pornography. No foul language or threats to staff. No using someone else’s library card to get more internet time. We have uniformed law enforcement in the downtown building every day. Our Code of Conduct is posted in every lobby and elevator, and laminated to the tables in the teen area. Shoot, we have mug shots posted in staff areas and are watching a known sex offender who strikes up conversations with teenaged boys. We have a matrix of offense levels, numbers of offenses, and action that will be taken. And property tax reform is going to hit us hard. Depressed? Nah, angry.

    We have put a priority on computer services for unemployed, have dedicated workforce filing computers at every location and on busy days can switch over the catalog computers to workforce filing. We have lots of available -non internet- computers with word processing, resume software, connections to our test practice sites, etc.

    Our internet reservation system scans your card and checks your age before assigning you a computer. Adult computers are for adults only, although as many of them are on facebook or playing games as doing anything serious.

    I have just deleted my last para and will stop here.

  31. joodyb said on June 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    used to be every market had its mitch. as the markets go, so go the mitches, leaving the last king of the mitches to glow red in the sunset of newspapers. it’s hard to imagine even his last few loyal readers making it all the way through today’s lesson.

  32. Jolene said on June 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    MarkH: When I read your comment re the Seattle Public Library, I expected to find a much worse list of offenses in the article you linked to. Most problems mentioned in the article are offenses against civility rather than actual crimes; as I understand it, maintaining orderly environments in large, urban libraries is a pretty challenging problem all across the nation. It’s still sad, though. The SPL is both architecturally and intellectually innovative; one would like to think its effect on the population would be entirely salutary.

  33. moe99 said on June 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    As someone who uses the Seattle Public Library weekly (in fact I was just there after work today picking up The Incredible Hulk video and a Peter Hamilton book I’d put a reserve on online)I can attest to the regular clientele there. Only problem is they’re homeless and have no other place to go. And more of them are expected as the economy continues its sad, slow spiral down. The staff is very good and tries very hard, but in fact they’ve made it not very friendly to stay and read there in part because they’re trying to control the transient population. So, I just pick up my reserve books and head out.

  34. MarkH said on June 2, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    No additional paragraph necessary, Connie. We get the picture. I shouldn’t be surprised but I am, probably as I am used to our very good local library, serving a regional population of about 20,000 with no major issues I am aware of. A homeless man hung out there every day for a while and caused concern after an outburst, but he soon disappeared after his ejection. And, yes, depletion of funds will be an ongoing problem for all of us.

  35. beb said on June 2, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Danny asked: Is it an onerous burden to be required to produce a driver’s license and a Social Security number when registering to vote?

    We went for decades, generations without requiring picture ID and didn’t have trouble with voting fraud. Why is it suddenly such an important issue? It just sounds like another attempt to prevent people from voting.

  36. alex said on June 2, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I know a few librarians in urban areas, and one of the most vexatious problems, I hear, is that the homeless flush their poopoo undies in the public washrooms and cause catastrophic floods.

  37. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Sue, we’re actually doing okay at my company. They’ve cut overtime for hourly and there is a hiring freeze, but so far, it looks like even our temps are safe. Of course, things could change.

    Something odd did happen though. A couple of months ago, there was some sabotage where someone was flushing yards and yards of paper towels and shop towels down the toilets and backing up the whole facility’s sewer. I was out on travel when this first started and heard that they almost sent everyone home one day due to the health concerns.

    Anyway, it’s stopped. We’ll see though.

  38. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    beb, I can’t remember an election going back to the 1960’s where there weren’t concerns over voter fraud, so I don’t see how you can say that.

    Now, I suppose that requiring ID for registration and voting could be misused and abused, but if it were the law everywhere and with no exception, it would be quite fair. And voting is a much more important activity than any number of mundane things that do require proper identification. It seems like common sense that for voting one should be able to prove that they are who they say they are and that they have a right to vote. Furthermore, individuals who do have the right to vote could be better assured that their vote is not being diluted by fraudulent votes.

    I don’t see how anyone could be against this.

    And if people cannot be responsible enough to have their ID’s when they go to the polls, it brings to question whether they can be responsible enough to be informed voters.

  39. Danny said on June 2, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Conan, as a Chicagoan, I’m deeply familiar with Barack Hussein Obama’s jihad against Republican-owned Chrysler dealerships, which he plans to shut down and use as al Queda training bases and Spanish-only retail centers…

    I knew it! I just knew it! And the fact that you are a newspaper guy only completes the picture of the left-wing cabal that you are admitting to being part of.

  40. Dexter said on June 3, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Obama’s not rushing to socialism! Obama is pulling out all the stops to ensure capitalism retains its grip on the American public.
    GM, the giant of all giants, is being kid-gloved, bailed out, entered into a special bankruptcy from which it shall emege debt-free and all-new, under dedicated management, and it will do everything it can to turn a profit and more importantly attain a high mark on ROI so the market share can rise above the dollar-a-share mark for good.

    AIG would have been blasted to smithereens by the hordes if socialism was in the cards, but no, the US Treasury doled out billions so the execs could party with whores and whiskey in California or wherever…and bonuses could be paid to swindling crooks, all of it from the US teat.

    No, socialism is not coming here, and whether it actually happens or not , in the next few coming years we will be told that Chrysler (Fiat) and GM have paid it all back!…Turned the corner! Capitalism is thriving again!

    The first rule socialists learn is that capitalism , by nature, goes in cycles. With no army of the people all stirred up for revolution, capitalism will remain in varying degrees of existence.
    Who woulda thunk after the meltdown of the car industry in the early 1980s that the car industry could ever rise again?
    Well, it did, and now it’s down , but not out, because the econ-geniuses know what I know, this dark horse always win the race, always, and it is a good bet not to let it die on the vine.
    Capitalism is just sleeping, but it shall rise again, just like most devilish things; it’s hard to kill.

  41. coozledad said on June 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Dexter: And I think the Chinese have figured out you can even refer to predatory gilded-age capitalism as Communism, as long as you’re feeding the army.

  42. John said on June 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

    With impeccable statistical analysis ala how a 90/10% Republican to Democratic donor ratio explains a 99.9993% screwing of Republican-donating car dealerships…

    142,858 dealerships are being closed??? OMG!!! If I were the one solitary Democratic donor amongst that lot, I would feel I was wearing a well lit bull’s eye!

  43. Montag said on June 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    This is a tough crowd. The Detroit newspapers, however, have thrown in the towel a long time ago. We usually see interesting Detroit articles in the Sunday NY Times, then catch them later in the following week in the Free Press or News.

    They were in on ground zero of the beginning of one of the most revolutionary changes in American economics…and they pretty much booted it.
    Mr. Albom certainly did.