Good Lord – get over it.  The election was three and a half months ago, yet some Republican blowhards simply can’t get past the fact that Obama is president despite effort after effort to derail his road to the Whitehouse.  Richard Shelby of Alabama  is still pondering whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States.  Such birth, of course, is one of the criteria to become president.

In a news conference this past week held at a Cullman County, Alabama, steakhouse, Shelby was asked if he had any thoughts on the rumor which surfaced during the presidential campaign that Obama was not born in the United States.  His snappy response?

“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate.”  “You have to be born in America to be president.”

They said? They said?  That would be an official birth certificate filed in 1961 in Hawaii located in the good ole U.S. of A.  Ya know, I haven’t seen the birth certificate either – but then again, millions and millions of Americans have probably not been privy to actually seeing and touching the birth document.

To still be dwelling on this topic just shows the continuing idiocy of some Republicans.

Oh, and another interesting statement by Shelby?

“If we (republicans) were in control, I would have been chairman of the banking committee … and I would have killed some bills,” Shelby said with a laugh.

Hey buddy – remember, you guys used to be in control and you were booted out.  But that philosophy goes along with the notion that Republicans – after eight years of kowtowing to the Bushie policies – have now found their voices.  I guess they finally figured out how to treat that eight-year bout with laryngitis.



A number of key Republican senators who led to the defeat of the recent auto loan package have foreign-owned automotive companies in their states.   Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, has emerged as Detroit’s leading nemesis during two sets of hearings.  He seems to be everywhere these days giving interviews and his sage opinion on the Big Three.  And no wonder, his state has benefited to the tune of billions of dollars brought to the state through foreign car manufacturing and industry.

Almost every foreign auto factory that has opened since the 1990s has sprouted below the Mason-Dixon Line. Two of the three auto plants under construction also are in the South.  Plants typically establish their roots in what is known as the auto corridor — roughly a 200-mile-wide stretch that runs from Michigan to Alabama.

One primary reason for locating in the southern states is the lack of unionization.  Unions increase overall costs at plants, thus foreign automakers are drawn to the South where unionization is not mandatory and where workers have resisted calls to join voluntarily.   Unionization in the North requires that everyone must join.

No foreign assembly plants are unionized except for a few joint-ventures: the ones that started as projects between domestic and foreign companies.

Since the 1990s, Senator Shelby’s state, Alabama, has won three assembly plants from Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai and an engine plant built by Toyota, as well as numerous investments by parts makers. They have been worth $3.8 billion to Alabama, or one-tenth the amount spent in the United States by foreign companies, according to the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing foreign car companies.

Another opponent from the South, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee  also has been a Detroit critic.  Again, no surprise since his state  is home to Nissan’s North American headquarters, a Nissan plant, and a promised Volkswagen factory.

Although southern senators have been more vocal than many other detractors of the auto loan package, the north has its share of naysayers and one of them is right here in Indiana.   Representative Mike Pence – an extreme right-wing Republican conservative representing Indiana’s 6th district – stated during the opening of Honda’s new assembly plant in Greensburg, Indiana, that he would rather see the U.S. automakers file for bankruptcy than receive taxpayer money.

It seems Pence is blissfully unaware of the fact that the Third District, just to his north, has a GM plant which provides a tremendous amount of employment.  I would dare say some of those employees come from Pence’s district and take their incomes back to their homes to be put into the 6th district’s economic stream of commerce.  His righteous attitude is simply ludicrous.

Perhaps all along the efforts haven’t been to bust the unions – at least entirely – but to dictate what the working wage for the domestic auto industry should be compared to the foreign companies.  With the southern senators spewing their constant harangue against the Big Three, they have staked out their support of the foreign auto industry while forsaking the domestic industry – all for the almighty dollars flowing into their states.

Breaking ground at the Greensburg, Indiana plant