Watch as a man criticizes the government for mistakes and then comes dramatically to the utterly wrong conclusion.  This is an amazing testament to the idiocy of mankind and I'm just happy that I was present to witness its grace, its awesomeness, and its complete and total wrongness. 

I give you, acclaimed and capable writer, Mitch Albom and his column entitled, "If I had the floor at the auto rescue talks."  Take it away, Mitch.  In bold of course. 

OK. It's a fantasy. But if I had five minutes in front of Congress last week, here's what I would've said:

I actually have this fantasy way too much.  I like to pretend that I'm some Jimmy Stewart-type melting congressional minds with my pure and independent thinking.  In this dream I wear a fedora and drink scotch out of a dusty glass.  It is a straight up awesome dream.  But this is Mitch's dream.  And I am stealing his thunder. 

Good morning. First of all, before you ask, I flew commercial. Northwest Airlines. Had a bag of peanuts for breakfast. Of course, that's Northwest, which just merged with Delta, a merger you, our government, approved — and one which, inevitably, will lead to big bonuses for their executives and higher costs for us. You seem to be OK with that kind of business.

Seem to be okay with that kind of business?  Seem to be?  That's some weak ass accusing.  Way to stand in front of one of the richest and most corrupt organizations in the world, straight up accuse them of manipulating American business for their own gain and then equivocate.  I love me a good equivocation.  Come on man, breathe that fire! 

Which makes me wonder why you're so against our kind of business? The kind we do in Detroit. The kind that gets your fingernails dirty. The kind where people use hammers and drills, not keystrokes. The kind where you get paid for making something, not moving money around a board and skimming a percentage.

The idea that anyone in a congress that literally pockets the money of murderers would be appalled by a business because it implies some grease and/or dirt for someone who is not in congress is fuck-tarded.  Mr. Albom, even in your dreams, you are wasting congress's time. 

You've already given hundreds of billions to banking and finance companies — and hardly demanded anything. Yet you balk at the very idea of giving $25 billion to the Detroit Three. Heck, you shoveled that exact amount to Citigroup — $25 billion — just weeks ago, and that place is about to crumble anyhow.

And while you're handing out money, since you just gave away all that cash, can my Uncle Lenny have some?  He's really cool.  He can play the mouth harp. 

Does the word "hypocrisy" ring a bell?

Yes.  I believe because it is an English word that I know.  I believe that is why it is ringing a bell.  Or it could just be the bell I keep at home to ring for the hell of it.  Really it's hard to say. 

Sen. Shelby. Yes. You. From Alabama. You've been awfully vocal. You called the Detroit Three's leaders "failures." You said loans to them would be "wasted money." You said they should go bankrupt and "let the market work."

Good idea.  These stupid automakers buried their future in guaranteed pensions, squandered their position at the top of the food chain by failing to recognize consumer trends, overpaid idiots that basically watched an entire city crumble and just generally screwed the mother grabbing pooch.

Why weren't you equally vocal when your state handed out hundreds of millions in tax breaks to Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda and others to open plants there?

Because of hypocrisy, Mitch.  It's an English word.  And it rings bells. 

Why not "let the market work"? Or is it better for Alabama if the Detroit Three fold so that the foreign companies — in your state — can produce more?

Hmm… methinks that would be better for Alabama.  Senator Vocal Dude is like, representing business interests in his state and trying to create jobs for his constituents most likely while being bribed (lobbied) to create the opportunity.  Who would have thunk it. 

Way to think of the nation first, senator.

[insert: disappointed face of concerned TV father, Sandy Cohen]

And you, Sen. Kyl of Arizona. You told reporters: "There's no reason to throw money at a problem that's not going to get solved."

Seems like sound thinking. 

That's funny, coming from such an avid supporter of the Iraq war. You've been gung ho on that for years. So how could you just sit there when, according to the New York Times, an Iraqi former chief investigator told Congress that $13 billion in U.S. reconstruction funds "had been lost to fraud, embezzlement, theft and waste" by the Iraqi government?

Hypocrisy, dude.  Don't you remember?  Congress is a bunch of hypocritical thieves.  You totally just said that like a little while ago.  Sheesh. 

That's 13 billion, senator. More than half of what the auto industry is asking for. Thirteen billion? Gone? Wasted?

So like, find it and give it to my Uncle Lenny, please.  Did I mention he only has one hand?  Has a bitch of a time with pickle jars, he does. 

Where was your "throwing money at a problem that's not going to get solved" speech then?

Busy being bribed, I guess. 

And the rest of you lawmakers. The ones who insist the auto companies show you a plan before you help them. You've already handed over $150 billion of our tax money to AIG. How come you never demanded a plan from it? How come when AIG blew through its first $85 billion, you quickly gave it more? The car companies may be losing money, but they can explain it: They're paying workers too much and selling cars for too little.

There are three major things wrong with this paragraph, but I am only addressing one (you can find the other two on your own if you're bored or something): the car companies are losing money because they are paying workers too much and selling cars for too little?  So they're paying too much for their product AND selling their product for too little AND producing a sub-par product!  Great.  Give them my money.  Oh wait.  I was insane for a second there.  Don't give them any money.    This is shit business.  This is not something worth saving.  This is something worth bankrupting. 

AIG lost hundred of billions in credit default swaps — which no one can explain and which make nothing, produce nothing, employ no one and are essentially bets on failure.

And you don't demand a paragraph from it?

A credit default swap is basically a bet that an institution will fail.  It's a way to short the fixed interest market (or any market, really) without specifically shorting a stock.  Here's your easy to follow example, guy who is supposed to be college educated Mitch Albom: A guy named Me thinks Mitch Albom Inc sucks and will go out of business.  Me is pretty sure that Mitch Albom Inc will not be able to pay its creditors, so Me makes what is essentially a running bet with a bank on whether or not Mitch Albom Inc will default. Me pays monthly for this opportunity.  When Mitch Albom Inc fails to pay, Me wins his bet and the bank must pay Me.  Many smart people thought like Me and as such, received a ton of money when the banking companies they'd been betting against went belly-up.  So Mitch, as you said, they are bets on failure.  Not too hard to understand, though.   

Oh, and not for nothing, but credit default swaps are not the reason that the finance stocks all went under.  Giving out too many bad loans to people who didn't qualify or the money because they were inept or poor or whatever.  That was the reason we're in this mess. 

Look. Nobody is saying the auto business is healthy. Its unions need to adjust more. Its models and dealerships need to shrink. Its top executives have to downsize their own importance.

Give them money now so they can downsize their own importance (which is not as cheap a process as you might think). 

But this is a business that has been around for more than a century. And some of its problems are because of that, because people get used to certain wages, manufacturers get used to certain business models. It's easy to point to foreign carmakers with tax breaks, no union costs and a cleaner slate — not to mention help from their home countries — and say "be more like them."

Yes it is.  It is easy because it makes sense.  Jobs and wages are not some goddamn guarantee that corporate owners owe their employees.  Jobs and wages should be based on needs and skills.  This way, people can enjoy something called, competition, which has a tendency to produce superior products and cheaper goods.  Which is why I have a flat panel television.

[Hums "God Bless America" to himself]

But if you let us die, you let our national spine collapse. America can't be a country of lawyers and financial analysts. We have to manufacture. We need that infrastructure. We need those jobs. We need that security. Have you forgotten who built equipment during the world wars?

If you let the automakers die, you paralyze America from the neck down, forcing it to spend the rest of its life in a wheel chair, coughing up its lungs and gasping for air like a dying fish in the toxic pool of a horribly mixed metaphor. 

Also, America can be any damn kind of country it wants to be.  If it's more profitable to manufacture here, someone will do it.  Because people like profit.  It makes them rich.

Also also, I don't get the world wars reference.  Is he talking about women building stuff, or men, or the country, or… fuck it.  I need a drink.    

Besides, let's be honest. When it comes to blowing budgets, being grossly inefficient and wallowing in debt, who's better than Congress?

No one.  Which is exactly why they shouldn't be allowed to give anyone tax payers money.  Thank God, Mitch.  You finally get it. 

So who are you to lecture anyone on how to run a business?

Go get ‘em, Mitch.  Whoo!  Wow, and for a second I thought you were a big wrongheaded wrong head but really you were being all sneaky and stuff.  Wow.  My bad.  I guess we're cool now.  I guess there's no reason to slam your idiocy on a website.  That was close. 

Ask fair questions.

Damn right, Mitch.

Demand accountability.

You know it, my fiscally conservative brother. 

[insert: imaginary and totally geeky white guy fist pound]

But knock it off with the holier than thou crap, OK?

Yeah, you rolling holy rollers!  You suck!

You got us into this mess with greed, a bad Fed policy and too little regulation. Don't kick our tires to make yourselves look better.

Aaah, Mitch you devilish bastard.  You had the truth in your hands and then you made that classic American mistake: you refused to let the responsible party take credit for their own actions.  Goddammit this pisses me off. 

Mitch, being in the land of freedom and opportunity means that you are free to fuck up and someone else is free to have the opportunity that you create when you fuck up.  This is how progress is made.  It's ugly but it works because it assumes that some people will be inept while others will be inventive (which is always true).  You know what does not work?  Rewarding the inept for sucking.  That tends to slow progress down. 

And Mitch, if it is wrong for the government to bail out Citigroup or AIG or whoever because selling credit default swaps doesn't get your fingernails dirty, then it is also wrong for the government to bailout automakers because they're thirty years behind the rest of the world when it comes to developing decent goddamn products.  Giving away taxpayer moneys to corporations that screwed up is tantamount to thievery and whatever the reason for that thievery, that does not make it right. 

Mitch, you are basically a five year old girl, saying to his father, "But you gave Tiffany a diamond necklace so I want one, too."

Now I ask you, Albom, is that really what the Big Three have been reduced to?

Love (some of) your sports writing.  Please stay away from the economy. 

Yours in Christ,

Ten Kremendous. 

We'll miss you, FJM.