If they’re willing to sink to this level of manipulative schmaltz now, I can’t wait to see what the thank-you ads will look like after their next bailout in a few years. A newborn foal struggling to walk for the first time? A kitten trying to climb a tree, falling adorably on its bottom the first few tries before scrambling triumphantly up to a limb? In fact, they could go ahead and make another thank-you spot right away: On top of the bailout funds, they’re getting a gigantic tax break due to TARP rules that will let them carry forward losses notwithstanding their recent change in ownership. For that ad, how about a cello sonata and footage of a cuddly baby piglet with its nose buried in the trough?

The occasion for this spot is last week’s IPO, which wasn’t quite the Popeye-eating-spinach moment as this vid might lead you to believe. For one thing, they’re still not remotely close to paying back all the money they owe: According to ProPublica, GM itself is still on the hook for close to $30 billion while GMAC owes close to $15 billion more on top of that. Mickey Kaus, meanwhile, offers upwards of a dozen reasons to believe, per the boxing analogy in the clip and despite The One’s insistence, that GM hasn’t yet gotten up off the mat and might not be getting up anytime soon. And not surprisingly, thanks to Obama’s largesse towards the UAW in brokering the initial bailout deal, it turns out that the union ended up being the big winner from the IPO, recouping $3.4 billion from share sales and positioning itself to break even if GM shares rise modestly. By comparison, share prices would have to soar for the feds to get back to zero, and as for longstanding GM investors, well…

Perhaps the biggest losers are the investors in the old GM. None of the bankrupt company’s previous stockholders got any money, while the claims of thousands of investors who purchased the company’s bonds are still being kicked around in a Manhattan bankruptcy court.

“It gives outraged flashbacks to the old GM bondholders,” who remain mired in the bankruptcy proceedings and are unlikely to recover more than 30 percent of their investments, Mr. Reynolds said…

Craig Coffey, a retiree in Nevada who invested $55,000 in bonds in the old GM that are now worthless, was outraged that the union is on its way to recovering all its money before investors get even a cent of compensation.

“We just sat and watched [the stock offering]. We got nothing,” he said. “Screwed again.”

Lighten up, pal. You did get something. You got a bailout ad with clips from “Animal House” in it.