Just 38 Scoffing Days Left
By: Mark W Adams

Earlier, CNBC-TV18 had reported that the auto makers had first asked for USD 25 billion and then two weeks later revised it to USD 34 billion. After two grueling days of being questioned at the Capitol Hill, the CEOs seem to have convinced the government representatives, though maybe partially, because what they are likely to get is USD 15 billion.
Anyone else find it a bit too convenient that George Bush played hardball with the auto-makers and House Democrats, whittling down their final request of $34 Billion down to $15 Billion and insisting it come out of the $25 Billion already earmarked for green-retooling the companies and not from the TARP -- only to find out that so far the Treasury has spent all but $15 Billion of the money's already appropriated to bailout the banks with zero oversight?
Treasury has already run through the TARP's first $335 billion, with just $15 billion left before he has to seek further authorization from Congress. That $15 billion might tide GM and Chrysler over until the new Congress convenes, but it will leave him with little running room to help out the banking system.
Seriously, this isn't just a dot to connect, a mere coincidence.  This is a clumsy a "tell" as you get.  Phoenix Woman at Firedoglake is close in her analysis, liking the whole charade as Kabuki Theater.  The "take their first shot against organized labor" memo outlines the closed-minded tactics involved (although any coherent strategy among the "Plantation Caucus" is conspicuously missing).
Bush and the Democrats came up with a deal that won bipartisan approval in the House, and then when Senate Republicans created a few obstacles to poison the deal, the Dems gave them almost everything they wanted.  But of course, this ISN'T what they wanted.  What they wanted was to have political cover for killing the deal, so they could pretend that the Dems were being unreasonable.  They had multiple reasons for not wanting this to pass, but they knew that it would hurt the party politically if they couldn't come up with some decent sounding excuse for why they were killing it.
Bush already signaled their "out," that they were covered for up to $15 Billion once he got Pelosi, et al. to lower their demand to less than half of what was barely adequate.  But the Senate GOPers overplayed their hand and now have nothing to show for all the criippling concessions demanded from the UAW.

You'll note that talk of tapping the TARP was out there almost immediately upon the death of the emergency loan in the Senate.  My guess is that knowing how fragile and volatile the markets are, they weren't going to risk even a day where the headlines would be full of the Rust Belt's obituaries. 

Bush is in legacy-fixing mode and it's care for his own worthless hide that is motivating him far more than refusing to watch Detroit go the way of post-Katrina New Orleans.  Presiding over the ghettoizing of the industrial mid-west would be the last straw. No gate-community retirement home could hide him.

What's funny is hearing Plantation Caucus spokesman, Bob Corker saying that it would be irresponsible for the President to unilaterally give the Big Three any cash without all the safeguards and conditions worked out in the House -- which he led the way to flush down the toilet.  These folks just don't know how to play a winning hand, went all in and got called only to find out they were the ones bluffing all along.