David S Broder
"I think the altitude subconsciously gives us a confidence that we're in better shape." - George Karl
Well, it looks like the Chrysler deal fell through and it will head into bankruptcy court. This was one of the most interesting deals, involving a foreign car maker, two governments, major banks, the union retirement and pension fund, and about 20 other financial groups that held out on the deal, thinking they could get more money in bankruptcy by about 20 cents on the dollar. As the Washington Post writes: "Today, a group of about 20 firms who declined to go along with the deal to save Chrsyler from bankruptcy, released a statement claiming that the deal was unfair...
The holdout lenders -- who said their combined debt holding represents about $1 billion of the $6.9 billion owed to senior secured lenders -- struck back at comments from an unnamed administration official this morning that blamed them for causing the imminent bankruptcy. The group said they had offered to accept 60 cents on the dollar, despite "long recognized legal and business principles" that gives senior lenders such as themselves the right to be repaid in full before others recover anything in bankruptcy court.
"Our offer has been flatly rejected or ignored," the group said. "In its earnest effort to ensure the survival of Chrysler and the well being of the company's employees, the government has risked overturning the rule of law and practices that have governed our world-leading bankruptcy code for decades."
The hedge funds likely think they could get a better return in a bankruptcy filing or in a sale of Chrysler's assets, said Sheldon Stone, a turnaround expert at Amherst Partners. The government offer made yesterday would represent a recovery of about 32 cents on the dollar. A recent Standard & Poor's analysis said the lenders could recover 30 to 50 cents on the dollar.
"These rogue hedge funds are not coming in line because they feel like the government is attempting a cramdown, which is essentially a take it or leave it deal," Stone said.
Last night Barack Obama gave another press conference. He did well. The hullabaloo afterwards was that Fox News did not carry the press conference and Obama did not call on the Fox News reporter to ask him a question. Coincidence? I think not. Instead of quoting from the story, it's more fun to give you some of the comments readers gave on Politico: "Toughen up, Fox Fans. Just think of how happy you'll be in just a couple of hours when Beck decides to light someone on fire, Bill-O talks about how he "fell asleep" during the presser, and Hannity starts waving his arms and crying "Communism" and "Fascism" (as if he could explain the difference). If you're REALLY lucky, maybe Sean will trot out ol' Bernie Goldberg or Bonehead Brett Bozell to shed a bucketful of tears about "liberal bias." Enjoy your next 100 years in the wilderness, as you grow more irrelevant day by day." - Drew
"So much for the postpartisan presidency. To all the obnoxious, rude liberals claiming that Fox deserves it, Republicans are just whining -- what was your reaction when Bush didn't talk to the news outlets that weren't "nice" to him? Obama hasn't remotely lived up to his pledge of postpartisanship, but his cult's response to that is always, "Bush didn't do it either!" But didn't we all want "change" in that department too? Obama is dumb to do things like snub Fox after all his talk of decency and civility during the campaign -- his poll numbers may be good today, but how long can he flout his central campaign theme and think voters won't notice?" - Katharine
"Maybe you read too much into this. Last time it was that he failed to call on NYT and Washington Post." - Thomas
Politico has a good article it created by asking several top Gop'ers about Arlen Spector's defection from the party: "Orrin Hatch, the No. 2 man at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Toomey can’t win in a general election in Pennsylvania — and that by chasing out Specter, the Club for Growth and its backers may have cost the GOP another seat in the Senate.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with leadership; it had to do with Club for Growth,” the Utah Republican said of Specter’s switch. “I wish they’d spend their money going after Democrats, rather than Republicans. ... Let’s just be honest about it: In blue states, we’re not going to get conservative Republicans. It’s just that simple.”
The GOP is going to launch National Council for a New America, taking leaders and placing them in townhall meetings across the country, trying to get their message out to people, and hopefully, learning to listen what the people say back to them. Sarah Palin has been asked but hasn't returned the message.
Pelosi concluded her long riff about the GOP by saying, "Our country needs a strong, diverse Republican Party." Without missing a beat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chimed in, saying "not too strong."
As Pelosi, Reid and other Democratic leaders ticked off a list of legislative accomplishments passed largely without Republican support, the speaker insisted she's tried to reach out to Republicans in Congress, but said it hasn't been easy.
Republicans in the House of Representatives "are difficult to deal with, let's put it that way," she said. Asked about Pelosi's comment, House Republican Leader John Boehner responded curtly, "She hasn't tried." I think old John is part of the problem, not the solution. Memo to all states on your Congressmen: term limits, baby, term limits...
Late night jokes:
"As you know, a big holiday is coming next week here in Los Angeles and Mexico: Sicko de Mayo." --Jay Leno
"Remember the good old days when we thought the only bad pork was in the Federal budget?" --Jay Leno
"Give you an idea how bad it is with the swine flu, earlier today, the U.S. took down the wall between the United States and Mexico and replaced it with a giant sneeze guard." --Jay Leno
"They say this outbreak of swine flu got its start in Mexico and then came up here. You know what Wal-Mart calls something that got its start in Mexico and came up here? Employees." --Jay Leno
"Well, another pilot has been taken off a plane for being drunk. This time it was an Air Canada pilot who was about to fly from London to Calgary. They took him off the plane before he could do something really stupid, you know, like fly low over Manhattan." --Jay Leno
"Did you see that, the 747 jet flying low over New York City? It caused a huge panic. Some government idiot thought it would be a good idea to buzz the city to get pictures of planes flying over the Statue of Liberty. But they didn't warn anybody. What's the government's next big idea? 'Hey, let's send a guy in a pirate costume to Captain Richard Phillips' house.'" --Jay Leno
"And in a move that has stunned Washington, D.C., longtime Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter has switched parties. He is the first Republican senator to switch teams since Senator Larry Craig, I guess." --Jay Leno
"And I love this. At the Summit of the Americas, the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela all agreed that capitalism will destroy the planet. Then they all hopped in their private jets and returned to their huge palaces." --Jay Leno
"Well, the U.S. government is saying look out for the swine flu, which apparently comes from Mexico. Thank God we have an airtight border with that country. So, the U.S. is going to be fine." --David Letterman
"This is, I mean, this is exciting. Air Force One was in New York City and apparently nobody knew. They didn't make the call. Hello! Air Force One comes to New York City and wants to take some pictures. They send it right up and start buzzing New York City. I mean, isn't this something you would expect from the Bush Administration?" --David Letterman
"President Obama, if you take a look at it, has accomplished quite a lot in his first 100 days. By way of comparison, take a look at George W. Bush's first 100 days in office. This is in his memoir. So, according to that, Bush spent 100 days in the Oval Office looking for the corner." --David Letterman
"Specter announced he'd become a Democrat and the Republicans are like, 'Yeah, he's been a Democrat for about 15 years.'" --Craig Ferguson
"This really is big, because Specter's move puts the Democrats within a hair's breath of a unfilibusterable 60-seat Senate majority. So now it appears the Senate's balance of power, in many respects, the future of our nation is in the hands of Al Franken. What a country!" --Jon Stewart
"Republican Senator Arlen Specter has contracted donkey flu. Folks, this disease is now officially out of control. Back in 2004, we thought we had it contained to the coasts and the cities, but then it mutated and tore through the country [on screen: a map of 2004, showing most states as red states. The next map, from 2008, showed more blue states than there previously were]. Republicans tried to fight it off, but their white cells weren't strong enough, although they were very, very white [on screen: photos of four prominent Republicans]. Now, we should have seen this coming, folks. Specter was exhibiting the classic symptoms of donkey flu: mild fever, and being 21 points behind in Republican primary polls. I want to warn Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to take every possible precaution. Donkey flu is highly contagious and virtually incurable. Only one man has ever beaten it, but clearly, it took a horrible toll [on screen: a photo of Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut]." --Stephen Colbert