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Obama's New Manufacturing Czar Is "Labor's Man"

Van Jones, President Obama's "green czar" may be gone, but team Obama isn't standing pat. They've announced their new "manufacturing czar" Ron Bloom, an investment banker and AFL-CIO money guy. If lack of actual manufacturing experience was a prerequisite then it appears they've got their man.

Before being promoted to the new "manufacturing czar" position Bloom was in charge of the auto bailout.

So the auto bailout was a debacle, certainly they'll do much better with manufacturing, right? Surely your confidence will be bolstered by the fact that manufacturing policy in the United States will be set by "labor's man," right?

What could possibly go wrong?


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Comments (50)

Kind of like that FEMA guy,... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Kind of like that FEMA guy, "doing a heck of a job Brownie."

Putting that which helped d... (Below threshold)

Putting that which helped destroyed manufacturing in the US in charge of it? Sure that'll work. /

Next up... fox in charge of hen house.

When every appointment he m... (Below threshold)

When every appointment he makes is as blatant a payoff to political cronies as this it's going to be easy to point out to voters with more than two functional brain cells just what's wrong with this administration.

I have never witnessed an administration as tin eared and inept as this one. I can only hope that the damage they do can be undone.

So apparently, you want us ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

So apparently, you want us to believe the Bloom appointment is a bad idea because Bloom lacks "actual manufacturing experience."

Now, where would Bloom GET "actual manufacturing experience?" If he had worked for MANAGEMENT instead of labor, would that constitute "actual manufacturing experience?"

Elections have consequences, dude. Republican administrations are filled with ex-corporate fatcats. Democratic administrations are too, but occasionally we get thrown a pro-labor bone.Get over it.

Republican administratio... (Below threshold)

Republican administrations are filled with ex-corporate fatcats.

Man, I am sick to death of this argument. "It's ok cause the other guys do it." They're all dirtbags. And you are a special kind of dirtbag for attempting to defend it.

Did you read my next senten... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Did you read my next sentence, Mr Sensitive?

Bruce Henry: "If he had ... (Below threshold)

Bruce Henry: "If he had worked for MANAGEMENT instead of labor, would that constitute "actual manufacturing experience?""

Yes, if his management experience was in a company or companies that actually manufactured things. Bloom has been a bag man for the mob, I mean the unions.

The LABOR Department is where folks focused on LABOR (even as bag men) should be working.

There are, rightly, opposing forces in a FREE MARKET economy. For a company, or an entire economy, to be healthy the needs of Labor must be offset by a focus on profits and competition.

Pay your workers TOO MUCH and you become non-competitive...the company ultimately fails...and the workers LOSE THEIR JOBS.

Pay your workers TOO LITTLE and your work force becomes less productive...other companies attract away your talent...and the company ultimately fails.

Obama's entire focus is on Labor...and like the car company he now operates (Government Motors), the economy will fail. Hell...it IS failing!

Hello, Kevin and Wizbang re... (Below threshold)

Hello, Kevin and Wizbang regulars! I haven't visited here since CBSgate. Are we going to have a wonderful reunion of the pajama sleuths?

CBSgate's fifth anniversary is coming up on Sept. 8th!

If only the Justice Department had followed up on bloggers' and commenters' wonderful research (eventually validated in the CBS/Viacom-sponsored Thornburg Report), and got convictions in '04 of the guilty parties in the MSM and DNC/Kerry campaign, and ACORN-connected individual, we may not have this mess in the WH now.

Pres. Bush was too polite, but others could have. Not for Pres. Bush, but for the well-being of the country. It is actually a national security matter.

Hm, maybe FBI Director Mueller can take a new look! At least the FBI is still independent of the politicized Homeland Security conglomeration.

Gawd, would I love to see some prosecutions in CBSgate / Rathergate / MSMgate !!!

Thanks for the Econ 101 les... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Thanks for the Econ 101 lesson, Mr Justrand. That part about paying your workers too much vs paying them too little...wow, what an eye-opener! I never knew that! You're a genius.

All levity aside, I'm sure there are plenty of representatives of management in the administration, just as there were in Clinton's. I don't see the harm in having a pro-labor voice around for a change.

you're welcome, Bruce. May... (Below threshold)

you're welcome, Bruce. Maybe you didn't need the lecture...but the Obama regime sure does.

I actually agree that during Clinton's administration there WERE representatives of management around. I have yet to see any in Obama's administration. Perhaps you could enlighten us?

The FACT that the head of the SEIU has a weekly meeting, usually face-to-face, with Obama is troubling at best. Obama OWES the Unions...and is certainly going about paying his debt to them.

Justrand, your first mistak... (Below threshold)

Justrand, your first mistake is trying to explain anything to Bruce.

The second mistake is to try to clarify your explanation.

It's a waste of words. Wake up to the facts. You're stupid. I'm stupid. Kevin is stupid. Everybody else is stupid. Admit it.

Now you can get along with Mr. Henry.

My god...Brucie is such a p... (Below threshold)

My god...Brucie is such a putz. Poster boy for moronic libs.

I'm sorry, Mr bobdog. I don... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I'm sorry, Mr bobdog. I don't mean to be disagreeable. I was under the impression that this was a "comments section" where people disagreed with one another when they discussed things. My bad.

I will admit to a little unnecessary sarcasm on occasion, but I don't think you, Mr Justrand, Kevin, or "everybody else" is stupid.

Don't get me wrong, there are some stupid people posting here. See comment # 12 for evidence of that. But most Wizbang commenters are fine people who I happen to disagree with. I'm sorry if my style offends you. Gee, a little sensitive, aren't we?

Mr Justrand:None c... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Mr Justrand:

None come to mind off the top of my head. Perhaps you could enlighten ME as to where you obtained the "FACT" that Obama has weekly meetings with the head of SEIU. I hadn't heard that before.

Yes were a little sensitive... (Below threshold)

Yes were a little sensitive to mob bosse's and marxist's violating the constitution and destroying all our forefathers established Bruce.

Who's he going to appoint next? Soros as global czar of finance? I know he's not a US citizen but what does that matter.

Bruce Henry: "Perhaps yo... (Below threshold)

Bruce Henry: "Perhaps you could enlighten ME as to where you obtained the "FACT" that Obama has weekly meetings with the head of SEIU."

The LA Times, for one:

key paragraphs:

When the president met privately with the health industry leaders that day, [SEIU chief Andy] Stern and a second Service Employees International Union official were the only labor representatives in the room.

The SEIU spent $60 million to help elect Obama, according to the union. Stern said the group deployed 100,000 volunteers during the campaign, including 3,000 who worked on the election full time.

Now in the White House, Obama has continued to derive political benefits from the union. It was the SEIU's health chief, Dennis Rivera, who helped bring industry to the table to start talks on a healthcare overhaul.

Moreover, Stern has enjoyed considerable entree to the new administration -- starting on Inauguration Day, when he joined Obama and the new president's family on the reviewing stand outside the White House to watch the inaugural parade.

Stern estimates he visits the White House once a week. SEIU officials talk to senior Obama advisor Nancy-Ann DeParle about healthcare -- a top priority for Stern -- and to Obama aide Cecilia Munoz about immigration, Stern said.

Just so I'm clear on this.<... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant Democrat:

Just so I'm clear on this.

The SAME people, i.e wingnuts who supported without question George Bush who had 30 + czars are complaining - actually I mean whining - about Obama's czars?

The SAME people. i.e. wingnuts, are complaining - I mean whining - about a union leaders's access to Obama? That is, the SAME people who supported without question Dick Cheney who gave unfettered access to the managers of energy companies and told the public to shove it when asked about what they spoke about behind those closed doors?

Just so I'm clear, the SAME people? Wingnuts? Right?

Oh, great, yet Anoth... (Below threshold)
SC Ward:

Oh, great, yet
Another un-elected Kommissar appointed to another newly-established shadow cabinet position not subject to congressional advise and consent provided for by the Constitution.

Still An Unrepentant Democr... (Below threshold)

Still An Unrepentant Democrat...you give trolls a bad name.

Drool and spittle alert in... (Below threshold)

Drool and spittle alert in aisle 17.

You may call it quibbling, ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You may call it quibbling, Mr Justrand, but the LA Times article doesn't state as FACT that Stern has a weekly meeting with Obama, usually face to face. Far from it. It states that Stern estimates he visits the WH once a week, and that "SEIU officials" talk to DeParle and Munoz.

Now perhaps you find those facts troubling, Mr Justrand, but they don't add up to a weekly, face-to-face meeting with the President. I don't mean to split hairs, but they just don't.

Stern estimates that he vis... (Below threshold)

Stern estimates that he visits the White House once a week?

Kind of a hard thing to not know.

Bush 5 Czars in 8 years an... (Below threshold)

Bush 5 Czars in 8 years and each was appointed to respond to specific issues.
Obama has 32 in 8 months.

SAUD? can you name the 30 plush Czars under Bush.
Personally as an Unrepentant Patriot , I have always dislike Czar title from the first time I heard in the Reagan administration.
1. It is the Name for an Emperor or King
2. It is someone with equal power to King,

Never liked the term, or what it implied.

Bruce, I said "the LA Times... (Below threshold)

Bruce, I said "the LA Times, for one". Many outlets have covered this. They softened it, but even they had to admit that Stern has "unprecedented access"...if you bothered to rad the whole article.

"When the president met privately with the health industry leaders that day, Stern and a second Service Employees International Union official were the only labor representatives in the room."

SEIU's reach is indeed unprecedented, and their connection to ACORN and HCA just add fuel to the fire.

All those facts are indeed troubling...as is the fact that you and the rest of the Left DON'T find it "troubling" in the least

Bruce Henry: "I... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Bruce Henry: "If he had worked for MANAGEMENT instead of labor, would that constitute "actual manufacturing experience?"

Einstein, the manufacturing "czar" (how I hate that term, and the concept it describes) is a MANAGEMENT position, so management experience in that sector he's managing wouldn't be such a bad thing now, would it?

We're now seeing with every Presidential decision the consequences of giving someone hefty management responsibilities for which he has zero relevant experience.

Sure it wasn't 50 CZARS sau... (Below threshold)

Sure it wasn't 50 CZARS saud?

If you're gonna make shit up at least make it believable.

First mistake is trying to ... (Below threshold)

First mistake is trying to "teach" Bruce anything. He only receives his news from KOS, Media Matters and MSNBC. That is why he is unaware of these things. His news sources are still griping about Bush, Cheney and Palin exvidenced by the trolls themselves. ww

Sorry, Mr Justrand, but you... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Sorry, Mr Justrand, but you stated as a "FACT" that Stern and Obama had weekly, usually face-to-face meetings.

Not a fact at all, simply an unfounded assertion, and certainly not confirmed in the LAT article you cited as evidence.

The fact that Stern and another SEIU official were the only union representatives in a meeting with healthcare officials is a bad thing? Did you want MORE union representation at this meeting? How many different unions represent healthcare workers? How many workers does each represent? What should have been the appropriate threshhold for attending the meeting?

Well why should Obama discr... (Below threshold)
Slick Willie Clinton:

Well why should Obama discriminate against someone with no experience? He had none and was awarded one of the hardest jobs in the world.

I must add however that he is even more compromised than his czars and is a miserable failure on the job. But heh, you cant fault the organizer for trying.

Bruce, you're hopelsss. ST... (Below threshold)

Bruce, you're hopelsss. STERN himself is the one who made the "assertion". Did he make it all up??

And the question is why was ANY Union there at a meeting about Health Care??? Let alone just ONE Union (SEIU)...led by Andy Stern.

I'm done w/ you.

Further to Justrand's point... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Further to Justrand's point, IIRC, aren't the unions exempt from the proposed healthcare legislation?

If so, Comrade Andy doesn't have a dog in this fight, so what the hell is he doing meeting with Obama about it?

You may be done with me, Mr... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You may be done with me, Mr Justrand, but I ain't done with you.

Did Stern himself assert that he met weekly, usually face-to-face, with Obama? No, that was you, saying it was a "FACT."

Stern said he "visits the WH once a week." He DID NOT ASSERT HE HAS A WEEKLY MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT. That was you, and guess what? It ain't true, but yet you said it was a "FACT."

Why was SEIU present at a meeting og healthcare leaders? I don't know, maybe because they represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers?

If there was a meeting of trucking industry leaders, would you want the Teamsters excluded?

Who's hopeless here?

Now I'm done with you.

Why was SEIU present at ... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Why was SEIU present at a meeting og healthcare leaders? I don't know, maybe because they represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers?

Where was the AMA?

I don't know, Mr Beard, it ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I don't know, Mr Beard, it wasn't my meeting. Were they NOT there?

I'm not the one obsessed with who was or wasn't included in any given WH meeting.

Perhaps it's time to entert... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Perhaps it's time to entertain a less sanguine scenario: Obama meets with Stern to discuss how to use SEIU muscle to ram through Obama's agenda. That hypothesis also fits the data, doesn't it? Especially now that SEIU goons are regularly fetching up at town hall meetings.

That would also explain why the AMA's representative wasn't required, wouldn't it?

Even if you dispute this conjecture (fair enough), please be honest enough to admit it does fit the facts. I will grant that Stern's attendance fits the conjecture that he's there to represent his membership.

Perhaps you are right, Mr B... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Perhaps you are right, Mr Beard, although I wouldn't necessarily phrase it in the same way.

Perhaps SEIU was included because they are allies who can help get a healthcare reform bill passed. Although if AMA was excluded, I don't know why. It seems that they haven't been entirely against the concept of reform, as most Republicans seem to be.

Bruce, fair enough. <... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Bruce, fair enough.

My point is that the meetings admit of more than interpretation, some more sanguine than others. To decide between the interpretations we will have to see which interpretation leads to predictions that are borne out by subsequent events.

You seem like a reasonable ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You seem like a reasonable guy, Mr Beard.

Thanks for being polite. For that matter, thanks to Justrand for that as well. Both of you stand in sharp contrast to some of the more Neanderthal commenters around here.

Nah, I can be as rabid as a... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Nah, I can be as rabid as anybody, but I try to keep an open mind, sometimes with more success than others. /g

Bruce, I just read everythi... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Bruce, I just read everything you posted here in the comment section. I have come to the conclusion you must have suffered some damgage after receiving repeated punishing blows to the head in your formative years delivered by persons trying, in vain, to instruct you on any topic. I guess unless the SEIU president personally came to your house with documents proving who he was to your satisfaction and slowly explained to you along with pictures which were date stamped along with massive amounts of other verifying material to prove he had met with the President on a weekly basis you would not be convinced. You got a dictionary? Look up the word denial.

BH - "Stern said he "vi... (Below threshold)

BH - "Stern said he "visits the WH once a week."

So, if he wasn't meeting with Obama directly, just who was he meeting with? Maybe thinking Monica was still around?

And even if he wasn't meeting directly with Obama but with his aides, and or "health czar" why does it make a difference?

Maybe he was going there fo... (Below threshold)

Maybe he was going there for his health?

Y'all see what you stirred ... (Below threshold)

Y'all see what you stirred up?

Rule 1: NEVER question Mr. Henry.

Rule 2: See Rule 1.

Bruce, I'm not among those who view you merely as argumentative, conceited, and nakedly partisan. The FACTS you demand are wasted on you. You just love to bicker with people. It's not about facts with you.

No, I just think you're annoying.

I'd also bet you've heard this many times during your life.

Bruce is trying to appear t... (Below threshold)

Bruce is trying to appear to be holding us to accuracy, which is appropriate, however I think his level of skepticism is skewed and disproportionate depending upon the subject at hand. Give the dog a bone, don't beat him for barking appropriately. If he's not barking at anything other than frustration, beating him will do no good (Definitely a thick skinned individual). A muzzle would be inappropriate. I say call in a dog whisperer, put in your ear plugs, anything but encouragement, please.

" I say call in a dog whisp... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" I say call in a dog whisperer, put in your ear plugs, anything but encouragement, please. "

So true.
A certain level of opposition from an opponent is a good thing; it keeps the argument sharp and makes you think through your position.

After a certain point, however, you can tell when the opposition is just being deliberately obtuse and trying to derail the conversation.
In other words, a troll.

Why are these people called... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Why are these people called "czars?" That sounds like right wingnuts BS. First Obama was a Muslim, then a Nazi, now he is "what?"

Make up your minds, just what is he? And why should he appoint some one is a fat cat corporate leader to that position? What would you do if he decided to paint the White House to a Black House?

I don't agree with everything he has done, but it REALLY sounds like some people can't handle a black person being president.

"What wou... (Below threshold)

"What would you do if he decided to paint the White House to a Black House?

Applaud him getting his first real job.

May sound like that to you,... (Below threshold)

May sound like that to you, JC. But for most of us who disapprove of his agenda, race doesn't have a damned thing to do with it. In fact, it seems to me that the only people raising race as an issue are liberals. I can tell you this, and you can believe it as truth or not: among all my conservative friends, I have never yet heard a racist comment from any of them, and many of them despise Obama and the damage he is causing to our country. And this is when there are no liberals around. I know liberals prefer not to believe it, but we simply don't care about his race.

What we do care about is Obama's ideology, his naked partisanship, his obvious ignorance of economics and the traditions of the presidency, his transparent political ambition at the expense of everything and everyone else that makes him a poor president. He has chosen to be a Democrat president, the answer to every dream of conquest on the hard left. He apparently doesn't see that he was elected to be an American president, not a Nancy Pelosi from the Executive Branch.

Gee, what's wrong with Bloo... (Below threshold)

Gee, what's wrong with Bloom, let count the ways with a bit of history shall we?

Recent history in the form of the auto bailout instructs this:

Also at the hearing, Bloom denied that the government had coerced Chrysler's debtholders into dropping a legal protest that they were being treated unfairly in court. Some holders of $6.9 billion in secured Chrysler debt initially protested that they were being pushed behind unsecured creditors such as the United Auto Workers union's retiree health care trust.
But the debtholders dropped their protests after receiving $2 billion in cash to wipe out their debt.
Then there is far past history, like the Carter years:
But most significantly, Bloom (and Keilin) made their reputation battling steel companies which, burdened by excessive union costs, suffered through a very similar experience to the Detroit Three thirty years ago. In fact, as the New York Times's David Streitfeld points out in this superb article, five U.S. steel companies received over $300 million in bailout loans from the Carter Administration in the 1970s.

"If they were allowed to go under, their partisans warned, the consequences would ripple through the economy at a cost too high to bear," writes Streitfeld of Big Steel's predicament in the Carter years. "The old saying, 'As steel goes, so goes the nation,' was as much a threat as a boast." Sound familiar?

Yet, despite that government rescue -- the domestic steel industry continued to whither because its unions would not make the concessions necessary for Big Steel to become competitive against foreign competition. In the late 1980s, Keilin and Bloom -- representing steelworkers with Bethlehem Steel and LTV -- even proposed a national solution with labor, industry, and government involvement.

Yet, as Prof. Richard Fruehan, a steel industry expert with Carnegie-Mellon points out, it was only bankruptcy in the early part of this decade that finally saved U.S. steelmakers. Suffocated by their union and pension overhead costs, Bethlehem & Co. went into Chapter 11. And they emerged only when venture capitalist Wilbur Ross told labor that the mills would re-open if the unions took the concessions they had resisted for years.

Put another way, Bloom may be good at negotiating, but what gets agreed to may as well never have happened.

And I'd bet the Chrysler bailout will have the same result, the company will be left for people's imagination as it sinks for good despite all the cash tossed its way.

JC -I agree with B... (Below threshold)

JC -

I agree with Bobdog - I don't give a damn if Obama labels himself as black, white, green, purple with puce polkadots or whatever. He's the PRESIDENT, and he's being judged on what he says and does.

And that's what's really the problem, isn't it? We're not supposed to look BEYOND skin color when deciding on the effectiveness of his policies, choices, and ideas? The idea that ignoring his skin color and focusing on his ideas and policies and associations is somehow racist is frankly absurd.

The race card's been played way too much by the left. It's worn out, and it's pretty clear there's no other rebuttal that can be made to support Obama other than to call anyone with a criticism 'racist'.

Get a new horse. We ain't buying that one.






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