January 20, 2009

Fiat-Chrysler alliance

Chrysler’s troubles worsened last fall when the meltdown on Wall Street hit. So most analysts said the US automaker had little hope of surviving as a standalone company, and Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) said the company needs to “merge or go away.” Italy’s Fiat, in turn, has its own troubles, but it is still true that it is at the moment the stronger of the two and a recognized world leader in the area of innovative and environmentally friendly products, thanks to its chief, Sergio Marchionne, who has pulled the company back from the brink collapse since taking over in 2004. So, in an attempt to revive two of the world’s storied auto makers, Fiat and Chrysler decided to lend a hand to one another. And the Americans will soon be reaping the benefits and the healthy rewards of driving small vehicles, while the Italians will experience the excitement of driving large, gas-guzzling cars … Well, actually, not exactly I’m afraid. See here and here for details.

If Obama lives up to the dreams

“There is an entire generation that will grow up taking for granted that the highest office in the land is filled by an African American,” Barack Obama told the Washington Post last week. “I mean,” he added, “that’s a radical thing. It changes how black children look at themselves. It also changes how white children look at black children. And I wouldn’t underestimate the force of that.”

“Neither would I,” writes Jonah Golberg in today’s Los Angeles Times. Nor would I, if I may say so myself. In his column Golberg explains “what Obama brings to conservatives,” and argues conservatives out of trying “to belittle the importance of this milestone,” because “this is simply a wonderful—and wonderfully American—story,” and “any political movement that is joyless about what this represents risks succumbing to bitter political crankery.”

And this is how he concludes his remarks:

If Obama lives up to the dreams of his biggest supporters in writing a new, post-racial chapter for America, he will have at once done more for America than any Democratic president in generations. But he also will have cut the knot holding much of the left together. As an American and as a conservative, I certainly hope that’s the case. He’s already made a good start of it just by getting elected.

A thorough reading of Goldberg’s piece is highly recommended. (Thanks: Sandra K. S.)