November 21st, 2008
01:36 PM ET

For whom the bell Dingells

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2007/0706/a_wdingell_0611.jpg caption="Congressman John Dingell (D-MI)." width=292 height=320]
Joe Klein

Lord, things are moving fast...and also not. The stock market is moving south–fast. The number of jobless claims are moving north–fast. Economic panic is in the air...and the atmosphere is Washington is changing faster than a speeding ballot (ouch, sorry). There is a stirring in the Congress, too, where nothing of substance has happened in a long, long time. Today the hopelessly dopey auto makers received a couple of stark warnings: First, California's crusading Henry Waxman replaced the eternal John Dingell, patron saint of the gas-guzzlers, as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is great news for those who are looking forward to the greening of Detroit. Then Nancy Pelosi called out the Big Three, saying no bailout without a plan. Now, no one really believes the Democrats will wit(h)hold money from the automakers–but the Big 3 would have to be stupider than idiotic not to understand that higher gas mileage standards and a whole bunch of other requirements are coming down the pike. They have very few, if any, defenders left in your nation's capital and that's real progress.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Joe Klein • Raw Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Larry

    Joe, didn't know you had a direct line to god. Are the CEOs not elected by the shareholders? Why are the shareholders not being held accountable for giving the CEOs the lucrative contracts with the perks? Why doesn't Congress address the shareholders to renegotiate the contracts? Why is Congress not holding UAW accountable for the strikes that got the huge salaries that are almost equivalent to what a physician earns?

    The CEOs should go borrow the money from the ivy league universities that have hundreds of billions in endowments. Hmm let's get Harvard, which has enough endowment $$ to pay the tuition of 15,000 students for free every year.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm |