Though I am an Apple user—phone and laptop—and happy with both, the tepid response to the latest Apple dog and pony show left me feeling a bit of schadenfreude. The digital revolution is pushing other technologies into the grave, and like a lot of people, I mourn that—in the way, probably, that an ardent lover of the old clipper ships resented the arrival of coal and steam. Something was being lost. Something beyond the mere ships.
From a recent Washington Post article, one learns thatRead more
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry both spent two days in April at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, but hotels and transportation for the entire delegation for the conference topped $1.4 million.Read more
The original corn laws put tariffs on imported grain in an effort to help domestic producers. That was nearly two centuries ago, in England, and the experiment is taught as an example of bad economic policy. But people never learn and in this country, today, we have the renewable fuel mandates which have been a boon to corn farmers in Iowa (among other states) where presidential candidates are obliged to speak in favor of a policy that is a drag just about everywhere else in the country.Read more
According to my mechanic, that burning smell emanating from my car’s vents was caused by an oil leak near the camshaft synchronizing sensor underneath the right side of the engine. Unfortunately I had no idea what he was talking about. He lost me at camshaft.Read more
"More than 13 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in a world still menaced by terrorists and in a city at risk of attack as few others, how is it possible that basic radio communications used by the District’s first responders could fail in an emergency?” asked the Washington Post editorial board. “How could the District’s transit system be unprepared to ventilate smoke from a subway tunnel? What other lapses in preparedness will the region’s residents discover, and will it take an emergency to discover them?”Read more
It has been days now (at least two of them) since General Motors has issued a recall on any of its cars. But then, the law of diminishing returns applies here. After the first 15 million, there aren’t that many GM vehicles left out there for recalling.Read more
The new CEO of the new General Motors testified yesterday before Congress and said that she is “deeply sorry” about the company’s negligence in selling cars that came standard with a flaw that could kill you. The company knew. A government regulatory agency knew. And if the administration of President Obama did not know, then one is inclined to wonder why not and go to the only possible explanation, which is incompetence. The administration rescued the company from bankruptcy, after all, using billions of taxpayer dollars. Should it not have taken a careful look at what the money was buying?Read more
Vice President Joe Biden thanked the executive chairman of Ford at today's North American International Auto Show for "saving our ass." The event took place in Detroit.
Via the pool report:
Vice President Joe Biden toured the North American International Auto Show for more than 30 minutes after making remarks in Detroit. The show remained open to invited people with tickets -- but it doesn't open to the general public until Saturday.Read more
Although CO2 is considered a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to climate change, if the Energy Department (DOE) finds partners to capitalize on the research of one of its laboratories, someday cars might run on sunshine. Technically, cars would run on the product of sunlight, CO2, and water using a "two-step solar thermochemical cycle" developed by the Albuquerque, New Mexico government lab.Read more
Late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, my wife Jill and I were driving through Vienna, Virginia, toward Tysons Corner when we found ourselves in front of, and then beside, and then right behind an old gray Volvo wagon. The car caught our eyes, and quickly we realized why, for it wasn’t just another car on the road but a car we’d once owned—from 1987, to be precise, when we bought it new, until December 2011. That’s not a misprint: The car was ours for more than 24 years.Read more
The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Obama's request, as detailed in a letter sent to Capitol Hill by the director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, includes these requests:Read more
Earlier today at an Obama rally in Chesapeake, Virginia, former President Bill Clinton said that American can't export Jeeps to China:
"They used to produce Jeeps in China and they were about to go broke so they had to quit," Clinton said. "You can’t make a Jeep in America and send it to China – it weighs too much, it costs too much to send over there. All they are going to do is reopen their operations there and try to sell Jeeps there too. We’re doing fine here."Read more
Just as America proved to be such a safe haven for immigrants in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, it is now seen as a safe haven for wealth attempting to escape Europe’s tax collectors and financial chaos and recession in Europe, and for foreign central banks newly enamored of the dollar.Read more
Mitt Romney maintains that "President Barack Obama is holding on to the government's stake in General Motors to avoid an embarrassing financial loss before the election, and says he'd sell the stock quickly if he wins the White House," according to the Detroit News, which recently interviewed the Republican presidential candidate.Read more
Paul Ingrassia, former Detroit bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, is probably the best broadsheet reporter ever to cover the car business. He and Joseph B. White won a Pulitzer Prize for their articles about how General Motors got busted to corporal by its fool management and union. Ingrassia wrote the book on “The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster,” that being the subtitle of his Crash Course (2010). Now he’s broached yet a larger subject, the car’s whole effect on our entire nation.Read more
Speaking in Ohio, Vice President Joe Biden admitted that auto workers lost jobs because of actions taken by the Obama administration:Read more
Vice President Joe Biden didn't seem too worried about the auto workers who lost pensions and benefits because of the restructuring that the auto bailout required:Read more
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