It's a Friggin' Christmas Miracle: Bush Comes through for the Auto industry?

It's a Christmas "Miracle", George Bush came through. $13.4 billion for the auto industry. Or maybe, not so fast. This is a stay of execution, not a pardon.

The troubled U.S. auto industry will receive emergency loans of $13.4 billion from the federal government in return for an extensive restructuring of its outstanding debt and labor costs over the coming year, according to administration officials.....

Funds for the loans will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program initially set up to aid the financial industry. An additional four billion will be available in February.

But the money will come with some extensive strings attached. Though the White House will not appoint a "car czar" to oversee the industry going forward, the companies will have to restructure their wage agreements so that they are competitive with foreign automakers by the end of next year. In addition, by March 31 of this year the companies will have to show they are financially viable and able to repay the government -- a requirement that may, for example, force them to renegotiate outstanding debt and other agreements.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Although this money is going to push the industry through till March, a whole new set of challenges await the President-elect come March. First, let's set lay down a few facts to start the discussion.

The Big Boys Are Threatening to do..... What Hitler Couldn't Do

Solidarity Whatever?: Labor and the Blogospere

One of the things that's always irritated me about the blogosphere is how the idea that people who work in a factory should be able to have the same living standard as white-collar occupations gets pissed on. I've always found that the worst hate is reserved for the UAW, which in general is lumped in with the management in Detroit whenever a discussion about the auto industry pops up. Like today on Daily Kos, from Kos himself.

For years, Democrats outside of Michigan tried to coax Detroit into making more fuel efficient vehicles. The automakers, the autoworker unions, Republicans, and Michigan Democrats all fought those efforts tooth and nail. Successfully.