Friday Reads

vintage-summer-sonja-quinteroGood Morning!

The same news is dominating the cycle.  Republicans have gone crazy attempting to circumvent the democratic process in order to instill the religious right’s anti-abortion views on the country. People are still playing ‘Where’s Snowden?’  Every one is hashing over the new SCOTUS decisions and watching to see if Trayvon Martin will find justice and his parents will get peace.  The Supreme Court’s term this year has brought up speculation about Ruth Bader Ginsberg and possible retirement.

At age 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, says she is in excellent health, even lifting weights despite having cracked a pair of ribs again, and plans to stay several more years on the bench.

In a Reuters interview late on Tuesday, she vowed to resist any pressure to retire that might come from liberals who want to ensure that Democratic President Barack Obama can pick her successor before the November 2016 presidential election.

Ginsburg said she had fallen in the bathroom of her home in early May, sustaining the same injury she suffered last year near term’s end.

“I knew immediately what it was this time,” she said, adding that there was nothing to do but take pain killers and wait out the six weeks as her ribs healed. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said on Wednesday that the day after the May 2 incident, Ginsburg was examined at the Office of the Attending Physician at the Capitol and then went about her regular schedule.

I’ve been so tired of all the assaults on women, minorities, and the GLBT by the religious right in this country that I’ve nearly taken to leaving the TV off and limiting my time looking at the news.  Here’s some of the things these folks have to say about women.

Women are made to be led, and counseled, and directed. . . . And if I am not a good man, I have no just right in this Church to a wife or wives, or the power to propagate my species. What then should be done with me? Make a eunuch of me, and stop my propagation. –Heber C. Kimball, venerated early LDS apostle (1801-1868)

·         A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband, even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. –Official statement of Southern Baptist Convention, Summer 1998, (15.7 million members)

·         The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. — Pat Robertson, Southern Baptist leader (1930–)

The Holiness of God is not evidenced in women when they are brash, brassy, boisterous, brazen, head-strong, strong-willed, loud-mouthed, overly-talkative, having to have the last word, challenging, controlling, manipulative, critical, conceited, arrogant, aggressive, assertive, strident, interruptive, undisciplined, insubordinate, disruptive, dominating, domineering, or clamoring for power. Rather, women accept God’s holy order and character by being humbly and unobtrusively respectful and receptive in functional subordination to God, church leadership, and husbands. –James Fowler, Women in the Church, 1999.

·         Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them. Ladies, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up it is because you are fighting your role in the scripture. Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill nondenominational mega-church franchise.  (1970–)

This just makes me want to airdrop them all on the Taliban so they can have their little wars all to themselves.  screen-shot-2011-11-16-at-7-57-34-pm

Here’s a great little bit of information that relates today’s shrill TeaBots to the real Boston Tea Party Patriots?  What would the founders have done with today’s group?

The fact is, the Founding Fathers would have hated the Tea Party – misspelled signs and all.Yes, you heard that right, they would have despised the ammo-hoarding sycophants of AM talk radio for a number of reasons, and would have likely lined them up in front of a firing squad or fitted them for a noose if this was the 18th century.

First of all, the original Tea Party was a protest of being forced to pay taxes on imported goods for which there was no competition. The East India Trading Company had the cozy relationship with the British government that allowed them to have a monopoly on tea and other items. Imagine Walmart being the only store from which you could buy and they dictated both cost and taxes on everything. The real Tea Party wasn’t about mentally unstable rants about oppressive government and imagined Muslim takeovers, it was about actual oppressive government in which there was no representation for the colonists.

In the modern United States, we do have representation and theoretically, everyone can vote. The American Revolution used bullets because ballots weren’t available and the East India Tea Company had too much power in government. Now we have ballots and so-called “patriots” are trying to take away voting rights, talking about using bullets if they don’t get what they want, and supporting corporate power in government via Citizens United. You know, the opposite of what the Founding Fathers and the real Tea Party were all about.

The Tea Party is ramping up against the immigration bill.  And of course, Fox News knows all about it.

After spending weeks dealing with the fallout from the IRS targeting scandal, Tea Party groups are starting to focus their energy on the immigration bill — a development that could imperil President Obama’s hopes for a speedy approval.

Before adjourning for the Fourth of July holiday break, the Senate easily approved its version of the legislation. The bill now rests with the House, where Republicans say they will take up their own version.

Obama, during his Africa trip, called on the House to “get this done” before the August recess.

But House lawmakers already are hearing conservative calls to slow things down. And if the debate leaks into August — when Congress takes a nearly month-long recess — the prospects could get even more wobbly. The Tea Party, during the 2009 August recess, famously helped stall ObamaCare by storming town hall meetings and other events.

Tea Party groups may be preparing to again mount demonstrations during the summer break. And even if the House passes a bill this month, it’s unlikely the two chambers would be able to agree on a unified piece of legislation by August — leaving the work unfinished going into recess.

While Tea Partiers await that opening, they’re already beginning to stir the pot.

Earlier this week, dozens of conservative groups including the Cincinnati Tea Party sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to declare the Senate package “dead on arrival.” They complained that the Senate bill, by virtue of giving up to 11 million illegal immigrants a shot at legal status, would make life harder for U.S. workers “struggling to reach the bottom rung of the economic ladder.”

Yes. I am sure that’s their concern.  That’s why we see so much emphasis on jobs and higher wages in Republican held legislatures all over the country.  But cheer up, Ted Nugent is considering running for President.  Imagine that!
So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Deadly Shallows

Wonk the Vote mentioned a great article today about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her commentary on the ACA published in New Yorker Magazine and written by Amy Davidson.  I wanted to follow up on this with some more information on the court’s sharpest mind.

“Staying power” is something that Ginsburg has. As Jeffrey Toobin says in this week’s Political Scene podcast, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seventy-nine. She is about five feet tall, eighty pounds, she has had every disease known to humanity. She is as tough as nails.” She made her way at a time when you could have a legal education from Harvard and Columbia and still be turned down for a job because you were a woman. She is not as loud or colorfully charismatic as Scalia—who is?—but neither does she seem to have learned to give up. (Those wondering about the liberal future of the Court might note that, on a point related to Medicaid expansion, Ginsburg was joined by only one Justice: Sonia Sotomayor.) We don’t know what happened inside the Court, or why Roberts voted the way he did. But by writing a scathing opinion, Ginsburg may at least have done him the favor of showing him what he might have looked like if he had signed on with Scalia: a political opportunist, and almost a fool.

She wasn’t the only one exerting that pressure, of course. But she is the leader of the liberal wing and the one who articulated what would have been the Court’s internal reproach.

Ginsberg’s writing on the case was full of gems including her use of Romney Care as one reason for upholding the Obama version.

In her opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made note of Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law as a reason why the individual mandate was constitutional.

While Ginsburg was a part of the majority opinion, she had differing reasons as to why the mandate was constitutional. The rest of the justices found that under the Commerce Clause, the mandate requiring all U.S. citizens to buy health insurance was not valid. They upheld it as a tax.

Ginsburg, however, said it should have been upheld under the Commerce Clause, and explained how Congress followed Massachusetts’ lead in preventing only sick people from signing up for health insurance:

“Massachusetts, Congress was told, solved the adverse selection problem. By requiring most residents to obtain insurance … the Commonwealth ensured that insurers would not be left with only the sick as customers. As a result, federal lawmakers observed, Massachusetts succeeded where other States had failed.”

Ginsburg continued, citing briefs “noting the Commonwealth’s reforms” and “noting the success of Massachusetts’ reforms.” She noted that the reforms reduced the number of uninsured to less than 2 percent, the lowest rate in the nation. 

“In cou­pling the minimum coverage provision with guaranteed­ issue and community-rating prescriptions, Congress followed Massachusetts’ lead,” Ginsburg wrote.

Ginsberg did not write an ideological screed like the opposition.  Instead, she actually focused on well known economic theories like adverse selection or the “lemons” problem and indicated a direct knowledge of the concept of externalties noting that broccoli was a private good.  It is a good that is separable from public benefits and costs.  This is the traditional microeconomic way of looking at how to determine if a good should remain in a basically unfettered private market or should be considered for regulation or public provision.  Scalia’s broccoli horrible indicates the man has no knowledge what so ever of basic market structures and economics. Ginsberg toasted his cerebral marshmallows on that one.

It’s the noxious “broccoli” argument, a Tea Party cock-and-bull story elevated to law by the chief justice of the United States. But as the unflagging Ruth Bader Ginsburg explains, in her often hilarious separate opinion, “although an individual mightbuy a car or a crown of broccoli one day, there is no certainty she will ever do so;” nor will she get broccoli for free “at the expense of another consumer forced to pay an inflated price”. Ginsburg calls this freshman slippery-slope reasoning “the broccoli horrible”, and she mocks her conservative benchmates for imagining that “a vegetable-purchase mandate” could bring down the healthcare costs of “lithe Americans”:

“The court would have to believe that individuals forced to buy vegetables would then eat them (instead of throwing or giving them away), would prepare the vegetables in a healthy way (steamed or raw, not deep-fried), would cut back on unhealthy foods, and would not allow other factors (such as lack of exercise or little sleep) to trump the improved diet.”

Unlike broccoli, healthcare is something everyone, but everyone, will need at some time. For Ginsburg and the other liberal justices, the individual mandate is not the unprecedented dilemma Roberts insists it is. There is nothing particularly new here. On the contrary, it fits in naturally with what Ginsburg calls “Congress’ large authority to set the nation’s course in the economic and social welfare realm”, and failing to recognize the legislature’s power to do so under the commerce clause is for her “stunningly retrogressive”.

Scalia was so played in her argument that he should blush every time he sees her if he had any intellectual honesty at all.

Again, the argument is insane. It’s even difficult to apply the term shark-jumping because that sounds too mundane for this leap to surreality.

What’s so horrible about eating broccoli?, the legal naïf might wonder. But then Justice Ginsburg comes back at him very sharply:

Consider the chain of inferences the Court would have to accept to conclude that a vegetable-purchase mandate was likely to have a substantial effect on the health-care costs borne by lithe Americans. The Court would have to believe that individuals forced to buy vegetables would then eat them (instead of throwing or giving them away), would prepare the vegetables in a healthy way (steamed or raw, not deep-fried), would cut back on unhealthy foods, and would not allow other factors (such as lack of exercise or little sleep) to trump the improved diet.Even in her brave opinion, Justice Ginsburg reveals the heart of the problem: nobody on the Supreme Court knows how to cook broccoli.

Speaking of intellectual dishonesty,Governor/exorcist/kidnapper Bobby Jindal took the leap to intellectual dishonesty infinity and beyond with this one. He obviously spent know time with the court’s opinion.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said Thursday’s “frightening” Supreme Court ruling could lead to penalties for Americans whose lives are out of step with government priorities.

On a call with reporters, Jindal said that the decision to uphold the healthcare law as a tax is a “blow to our freedoms.”

“What’s next?” he said, expressing concern for people who “refuse to eat tofu” or “refuse to drive a Chevy Volt” — a popular hybrid car.

He doesn’t even realize how he just got dumped into Ginsburg’s trap. But, that’s about what happens when you go after the crazy little Teabot vote.

She even managed to call Roberts an “activist” judge by reminding every one of precedent.

“Rather than evaluating the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision in the manner established by our precedents, THE CHIEF JUSTICE relies on a newly minted constitutional doctrine. The commerce power does not, THE CHIEF JUSTICE announces, permit Congress to `compel individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product.’” This argument gets “no force from our precedent and for that reason alone warrants disapprobation.”

Jindal sure missed this one.

Ginsburg: Congress can’t do silly things like compelling people to eat broccoli or buy General Motors cars because that would violate the well-established reasonableness test under previous Supreme Court decisions. But even if it did, the voters would rebel.

“As the controversy surrounding the passage of the Affordable Care Act attests, purchase mandates are likely to engender political resistance. This prospect is borne out by the behavior of state legislators. Despite their possession of unquestioned authority to impose mandates, state governments have rarely done so.”

It’s a good thing we have a few true intellectuals and scholars around still. May we continue to be blessed by her fine mind.

You can read the entire ruling here.

Religionists on Supreme Court Damage Rights of Women

It’s  obvious the real legacy of Dubya Bush will be his assault on the fundamental secular nature of the United States through court appointments.  Republicans–and their appointees–appease people with such extreme religious views that we will need to remain vigilant for some time.  These people  murder doctors in their churches and harass women at health clinics day-in-and-day-out. They’ve done these things obsessively and zealously for over 45 years.

I think I’ve told you that I was stalked, slandered, and made generally miserable by the omnipresent fascist elements of the anti-choice movement just under 20 years ago as a young mother and economist running for state legislature.  The only group to not only oppose me–but go out of their way to ensure nothing truthful about me or my positions was put out there–were religionists.

It doesn’t surprise me that the continuing hotbed of theocratic insanity in the entire area continues to be Nebraska. This is a state whose hallmark of fame right now is its continual brain drain and DINO Senator Ben Nelson who blackmailed the entire country for his vote on health care. Another big mistake made by the state was to put term limits on all its unicameral members ensuring they have a perpetual revolving door of hit and run policies.  No wonder people leave that state in droves. Your entire life is in the hands of religious fanatics and the amateurs they bring to office.

The right’s continual obsession with letting women die or suffer to bring nonviable pregnancies to term is nothing but torture-based public policy laced with the sanctimonious mythology of “Eve made us all deserve to die in childbirth” .  Here’s the latest craziness from Nebraska that will undoubtedly be given attention by even crazier people like Justices Thomas, Alito, and Scalia;  the Republican  version of  the Spanish Inquisition. No science or medical facts here folks, just religious dogma from the dark ages please! 

Gonzales v. Carhart was the 2007 court decision that values religious dogma over science, medicine, reason, and facts.  It’s set the perpetual Nebraska industry of manufacturing laws to test Roe v. Wade in action.  Millions of tax dollars will now go into defending a distinctly warped view of medicine.  This one is based in the absolute lie of  ‘fetal pain’ in early term pregnancies set up by Justice Kennedy.  Kennedy also basically wrote that women were too stupid to realize they might come out of an abortion traumatized.  He’s just one more adherent of that 3rd century mythology that needs to go away.

A long line of Supreme Court precedents seemed to stand in his way. But Flood believes that a 2007 decision offers hope for him and other state legislators looking for ways to restrict abortion.

Using that decision as a road map, this spring Flood wrote and won passage of legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks. Introducing into law the concept of “fetal pain,” it marked the first time that a state has outlawed the procedure so early in a pregnancy without an exception for the health of the woman.

The law shut down LeRoy Carhart, the provider who had planned to expand his practice outside Omaha and provide late-term abortions to women across the Midwest.

The importance of Flood’s bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska. Abortion opponents call it model legislation for other states and say it could provide a direct challenge to Supreme Court precedents that restrict government’s ability to prohibit abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb. (It also prompted Carhart to shift his practice east, and he has since opened a late-term practice in Germantown, outside Washington.)

Critics of abortion hail the law as the most prominent and promising outcome of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision, in which, coincidentally, Carhart was the lead plaintiff.

The 5 to 4 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart turned away Carhart’s challenge to the federal ban on “partial birth” abortion and appeared to mark a significant change in the high court’s balancing of a woman’s right with the government’s interest.

The ruling was a key moment in the emerging identity of the court headed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who marked his fifth anniversary on the court this fall.

‘Fetal Pain” has no more basis in reality than virgin births and immaculate conception, yet here it is, threatening the ability of a woman to self determination, privacy, and life.  There is also no such thing as ‘partial birth’ abortion.  The entire thing is a public relations sham with no basis in anything but the desire of  a bunch of crazed religionists to inflict their personal religious dictum on every one else.  Since they can’t convert us all, they’ll force the law to recognize their extreme views through reckless Republican court appointments.

Kennedy’s ruling in the case–and his very words–are a warning to people who don’t like the government involved in their most personal and private decisions.  It  inspired Ruth Bader Ginsberg–a life long champion of women’s rights–to write a response and dismantle Kennedy’s attempt to logically explain a ruling based not on law, precedent, or logic.  Kennedy’s rambling diatribe was both intellectually and legally weak.  Its main tenets were clearly based in his own rooted need to defend his own narrow patriarchal misogynistic religious view instead of examine evidence and prior rulings.

He noted that the Casey decision affirmed the right to abortion before viability. But he said it also established that “government has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life.”

Kennedy’s ruling was shot through with references to government’s interest in protecting the unborn and in making sure women knew the consequences of their actions.

He drew the ire of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others when he discussed the regret a woman might feel about the decision to end her pregnancy.

“It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound” when she learns the details of the intact-dilation-and-extraction process, Kennedy wrote.

In a dissent, Ginsburg struck back at the insinuation that a woman has not fully thought through her decision, or should be protected from making such a choice. “This way of thinking reflects ancient notions of women’s place in the family and under the Constitution,” said Ginsburg, which “have long since been discredited.”

Ginsburg noted that, besides being the first court decision not to require a health exception, it as the first to uphold the ban on a specific procedure.

Leave it to Nebraska–a state with lots of land, buffalo and tumbleweed, and very few people that exists on federal funding and taxing people for gas as they drive through the state–to once again bring up an expensive test of our audacity to stand up to theocracy.  This has been a tactic of theirs for decades.  Nebraska no more represents the country than a penguin in ANWAR could.   Nebraska is whiter than than the rest of the country and older than the rest of the country.   It has only 22 people per square mile when the entire rest of the country averages 79.  It represents a gone bye era in many ways but  it still creates trouble despite its basic irrelevance to the country as anything more than a series of interstate stops.  The state  endlessly manufactures laws that impose a religious view on medical procedures  that always require tax payer funding to fight it  through courts.  What I’m saying is Nebraska’s main export is test laws for Roe v. Wade.  What a shameful legacy!

From little, irrelevant states like Nebraska,we get laws like those that force ‘biased consent’.  That would be laws that force physicians to give state lectures rather than advice on medical procedures.  But, this isn’t because of the state’s overwhelming concern for the health of pregnant women or fetuses or babies.  Witness this little law that now plagues my ob/gyn doctor daughter doing residency in that hell realm right now. Many of her patients typically come in obese.  She was telling me over the weekend  that a BMI of 40 was not atypical.  This puts a lot of her young patients into the automatic high risk/C-Sec category.  Does any of this bother Nebraska?  Hell, no!

Charities, hospitals and other nonprofit groups are scrambling to fill the void left by the state’s decision to end state Medicaid funding for prenatal services for low-income women, including many illegal immigrants.

In nearly two dozen interviews, Nebraska providers said that while they may be able to absorb the costs for women now pregnant, the long-term outlook for providing an estimated $10 million a year in health care services without reimbursement is bleak.

Hospitals are bracing to provide more “charity care” and expecting an increase in emergency-room visits from women who experience pregnancy complications due to the lack of prenatal care.

A couple of emergency fundraising events have been scheduled, and private donors and the United Way are being asked to dig deeper.

Clinics that focus on the poor and uninsured are shifting resources away from other areas, such as mental health and diabetes care, to cover the loss of funds for services that can head off expensive birth defects and premature births.

“We only have so many resources. If we start pouring more money into uninsured pregnant women, that will take away from what health care we can offer in other areas,” said Dr. Kristine McVea, medical director at the OneWorld Community Health Center in south Omaha.

The issue of whether hospitals, health clinics that focus on the uninsured and private physicians can shoulder the load for such low-income women without government help is now front-and-center in the controversy.

The debate intensified last week after a Schuyler, Neb., doctor said one of his patients opted to have an abortion because she couldn’t afford the cost of prenatal care on her own. At least seven other women in Omaha and Schuyler have told clinicians they plan to seek abortions.

Gov. Dave Heineman, who opposes government aid for illegal immigrants, has said he expects charities, church groups and others to pick up what the government cut off.

See that.   They already caused at least ONE needless abortion.  Of course, that law primarily impacts babies that infertile white couples don’t want to buy from the baby market, so the religionists are less concerned about that.

It’s about state control of women and children.  It’s about the state making decisions that belong to individuals and doing so based on religious views alone.  It’s about the improper role of religious belief in our country as written in The Constitution.  Young women in this country better get a grip on what’s happening and pretty quickly.  That’s because these same folks are after all forms of birth control and if they continue on with the same tenacity of lunacy, the pill will also be banned or hard to get.  This is especially important because President Barrack Obama has left open many vacancies on courts and if he is a one term president, or a two term president with a senate that goes Republican, we can only look forward to more.

Ginsberg Puts the Brakes on the Chrysler Deal

1928 Chrysler ImperialI’ve talked about the issues involving primacy of commercial bond debt and the issues in the Obama administration attempt to wheel-and-deal GM and Chrysler around the standard bankruptcy process. It seems Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg may have similar concerns. She put a stay on the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. The action puts into question the future of Chrylser in that there will be no other bidders for Chrysler if this deal does not go through by June 15. It also would cause bond holders to re-visit the GM restructure.

This from Scotus Blog.

The action had almost no legal significance, however. The deal remains in legal limbo until Ginsburg, as the Circuit Justice, or the full Court takes some definitive action. There is now no timetable for further action at the Supreme Court, although the terms of the deal allow Chrysler’s new business spouse — Fiat, the Italian automaker — to back out as of next Monday if the deal has not closed. Moreover, the papers filed in the Supreme Court have suggested that Chrysler is losing money at the rate of $100 million a day, pending the sale. That gives the Justices some incentive not to let much time pass before acting.

Among the likely explanations for Ginsburg’s action:

* Ginsburg may have decided to share the decision on what to do with her eight colleagues, and they needed more time to think or talk about it.

* Members of the Court may have decided that they wanted to give some explanation, or perhaps some may have decided to dissent and wanted a chance to prepare a statement saying so. In the meantime, it was her task, as the Circuit Justice, to impose a limited stay.

* Ginsburg or the Court may be waiting to see how the Second Circuit explains its decision to uphold the terms of the sale. The Circuit Court issued no opinion on Friday, indicating that such an explanation would come “in due course,” although the expectation was that one or more opinions would emerge from those judges on Monday.

The wording of Ginsburg’s order — “stayed pending further order” — is the conventional way by which a Justice or the Court carries out an action that is expected to be short in duration, and not controlling — or even hinting at — the ultimate outcome. Any speculation that her order meant the Court was leaning toward a further postponement would be unfounded.

Use by the Obama administration of TARP funds may be at the heart of the issue, although there is no way to determine that from the stay. This from Yahoo news.

Chrysler claims the agreement with Fiat is the best deal it can get for its assets and is critical to the company’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

But a trio of Indiana state pension and construction funds, which hold a small part of Chrysler’s debt, have been fighting the sale, claiming that it unfairly favors Chrysler’s unsecured stakeholders ahead of secured debtholders like themselves.

As part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan, the automaker’s secured debtholders will receive $2 billion, or about 29 cents on the dollar, for their combined $6.9 billion in debt. The Indiana funds bought their $42.5 million in debt in July 2008 for 43 cents on the dollar.

The funds also are challenging the constitutionality of the Treasury Department’s use of money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to supply Chrysler’s bankruptcy protection financing. They say the government did so without congressional authority.

Consumer groups and individuals with product-related lawsuits also are contesting a condition of the Chrysler sale that would release the company from product liability claims related to vehicles it sold before the “New Chrysler” partnered with Fiat is created.

Individuals with claims against “Old Chrysler” would have to seek compensation from the parts of the company not being sold to Fiat. But those assets have limited value and it’s doubtful that there will be anything available to pay consumer claims.

The appeals come as Congress intensifies its scrutiny of the Obama administration’s government-led restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors Corp. The Senate Banking Committee said it planned to call Ron Bloom, a senior adviser to the auto task force, and Edward Montgomery, who serves as the Obama administration’s director of recovery for auto communities and workers, to a hearing Wednesday.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the committee’s chairman, planned to review the use of TARP funds to help the auto companies and look at whether taxpayers will receive a return on their investment.

GM and Chrysler executives faced questions last week from Congress over the elimination of hundreds of dealerships as part of the companies’ reorganizations.