Finally, after all these years, we might see some intelligent relief for manufacturing in the US, and a change in direction. The govts of Germany & Japan have been very strategic in how they positioned their countries to capture and maintain the leads they have in automotive manufacturing. The Japanese govt decided to invest heavily in ways that could bring electronics and automobile production to Japan, and they succeeded. The govt did not decide to create a state owned car manufacturer--just the environment that you would need for that industry and sector to be a success. Same with Germany. One of the things both countries did was to invest in education & health care at the federal level, so that individual manufacturing companies did not have to fund education and health care through salaries and benefits paid to employees. This meant that local wages could remain more competitive with international wages, even in less developed countries. Plus they both rejected the old "military model" of command and control from the top that is still used at GM. This is what makes Detroit rigid, out of touch, inflexible, and unable to anticipate what people are going to love 3 or 4 years from now, or 10. To do that, you have to have flexible management feedback loops built into an entire system, a little like what Obama did with his campaign. You don't hire 13 extremely expensive "experts" like McCain did, at the top, and expect them to produce trickle down results. That absolutely never works, nowhere, nohow, if joint, collaborative action is involved. Toyota's management model allows for new insights to come from the assembly line and the grass roots very quickly, and feed management decisions. They can constantly improve the way they work and the way cars are made, adapting much more quickly to change than US makers can. The future is all about flexibility, since global connectivity makes change quicker. Change in the US will not happen over night, but the kind of intelligence and flexibility the Obama team is likely to bring to Washington bodes well for increased flexibility in US manufacturing. The old dinosaurs in Detroit are going to have to cooperate and adapt to a new way of doing business in the country and in the world, if they are serious about survival. Change would be a bad thing for Detroit if US automakers were enjoying a winning streak. But since they have been losing steadily for such a long time under the GOP's laissez faire approach, it's time to change gears. Why not keep our attention focused now on the economy, on the automotive sector, on repositioning american workers and products to make them more competitive? Isn't this what a good coach would do with a good team, rather than trying to find scapegoats somewhere else? Isn't trying to scapegoat Pelosi or the dems part of the same old distraction tactic that has kept this country from investing in manufacturing and energy or the workforce for 40 years?