The automaker bailout is now, apparently, officially and really dead. Dems were willing to agree to Republican demands that Big 3 employees move to wage parity with Japanese automakers operating in the US. But they wouldn’t agree to reach parity by 2009, as Republicans demanded.
Late Update: The AP has a different take on it— suggesting it wasn’t the Democrats who wouldn’t agree to the immediate move to wage parity but rather the UAW. Perhaps it’s simply a difference in emphasis since I would assume the Dems and the UAW leaders were operating in close consultation in the negotiations.
Later Update: Asian markets already tumbling on the news.
Comment: In the future I think it will be difficult to explain why this happened, perhaps even more challenging to explain why this key national decision was left in the hands of lame duck senate Republicans.