A Blog About Cars ... And More
Wednesday November 30, 2016
AutoSketch: 1957 Ambassador - The Last Nash
In 1916, when Charlie Nash bought the Thomas B. Jeffery Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin, he got the chance to build his own car, having worked in the carriage and automobile business for over 20 years. By 1923, Nash was making 60,000 cars per year and could barely keep up with demand.
Nash automobiles developed a reputation for sturdiness and durability. Nash's successor, George Mason carried on that tradition. In 1941, Nash adopted unit-body construction for the new 600 model, in order to save weight and produce a quieter car with fewer rattles and squeaks than its competitors. That year, the firm sold 80,000 cars.
After the war, the company sought to distinguish itself with unique egg-shaped aero styling. The 1949 Nash Airflyte featured a 'teardrop' shape and enclosed wheel wells, a Mason favorite. Detractors said that it looked like a 1930s cartoon car of the future and it acquired the moniker 'bathtub Nash.'
In 1952, the big Nash models were given a complete restyle based on a design by Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina. Unfortunately, the Carrozzeria Pinin Farina prototype was substantially changed for production, with more bulbous sides and Mason-preferred skirted wheels. The effect was less-than-pleasing to many.
Realizing that independents needed to join forces in order to compete with the Detroit Big Three, George Mason arranged for the merger of Nash and Hudson in May, 1954. He died shortly thereafter and was succeeded by his protégé, George Romney.
In 1955, over 125,000 Nashes were sold; in '56, sales dropped perilously to 22,173 units, undone by fuddy-duddy styling and a Big Three price war driven by overcapacity. In 1957, Nash made its final appearance. Front wheel wells were finally opened up, stacked quad headlamps decorated the front fender edges and a more powerful 255 horsepower V8 engine was available.
Noted auto writer Richard M. Langworth has said that the 1957 Nash offered "interior design and comfort generally unrivaled by its peers." Ambassador pricing was in the $2,700-3,000 range, depending on model and options. While the '57 model may have been Nash's finest iteration, the restyle couldn't fully disguise the ... (more >>>)
The Eighties Called ... and they mailed us a catalog: The Sharper Image, a mail order establishment where we bought too much mostly-useless electronic gizmos and overpriced glitzy crap in the fabulous 1980s, has returned. We received a new catalog in the mail last week. It almost inspired me to put on one of those yellow-with-small-red-dots power ties of the era and listen to The Bangles' 'Walk Like An Egyptian'.
At one time, The Sharper Image sold over $750 million worth of merchandise though its catalog and almost 200 brick-and-mortar stores. The company went bankrupt in 2008. In the 1990s, I sometimes visited its store in Portland while killing time. I never bought anything in the store and never saw anyone else buy anything there either. I couldn't understand how the Pioneer Place location stayed in business. Then it closed. No surprise there.
The new catalog still offers a nose-hair trimmer for $29.95, the same price Sharper Image charged in 1986. It's a good thing that the government's Consumer Price Index isn't based on nose-hair trimmers. If it was, we'd have zero percent inflation over the past 30 years and my Social Security payments would be much less.
Book Review: 'Paul McCartney: The Life' by Philip Norman
This 864-page doorstop of a book is a long and winding read. It is tediously detailed and, while informative, is often so boring that I had to slog through it. It's a shame because, as the driving force behind the Beatles and the most successful of the bunch in the lengthy post-Beatles era, Paul McCartney is an interesting subject. I expected Philip Norman to offer a real page-turner.
Unfortunately, the book offers little ... (more >>>)
Trump Bump? Holiday spending rose 9% Thursday and Friday combined, compared with the same two-day period last year, according to First Data. The bump was fueled by shoppers turning to online deals. E-commerce sales rose 10.8% for the two-day period, while sales at physical stores grew 8.6%.
Bad Pun Of The Day: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
Monday November 28, 2016
Little Car, Lotta Money: Dan Neil tested the Audi S3, the performance version of Audi's VW Golf-based A3. The example he drove cost north of $52,000.
Dan wrote, "The cabin noise levels of our S3 leaned more toward VW than Audi; the soft-touch materiality of upscale Audi interiors - the upholstery of dash and doors - didn't quite make the trip down-market. The S3's shift paddles are inexplicably toylike plastic. Is this a co-branding deal with PlayStation?"
It's fast, of course. The turbo two-liter four pumps out 292 horsepower and pulls the 3,462 pound Audi to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
In the end, the S3 is a tarted-up Volkswagen with a big price tag. And based on some of the reader comments below the article, Audi stores don't do deals. No thanks. Or: Nein, danke.
Let There Be Light: Every day, I get e-mail spam for Tactical Flashlights.
No one ever offers to sell me something I really need - a Strategic Flashlight. I want a light that will shine on what I should be doing a year from now.
All Aboard: My kids were here at Thanksgiving and my daughter posted photos and videos on Facebook of my O-gauge train layout in operation.
The 'P' Is For President: Democrats are in meltdown mode after their presidential election loss. But they'll make a comeback, just as the Republicans bounced back from the devastating loss of the presidency and congressional seats after Barry Goldwater's disastrous 1964 campaign. There was a Republican presidential victory in the 1968 election, even though no one thought it possible a year earlier. I remember pundits proclaiming that Republicans were "near extinction" after the Demcorats' sweeping victory in 2008.
What the Democrats need, in my opinion, is to do what the Republicans did - run a wealthy, political outsider in 2020. (Of course, the stupid Republican Establishment fought its outsider candidate tooth and nail, but that's another story.)
Maybe the Dems should consider P. Diddy as a presidential candidate.
Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Diddy) is not just a singer and record producer. His non-music business ventures include the clothing lines Sean John and 'Sean by Sean Combs' for which he earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award a movie production company, and two restaurants.
He's worth almost $800 million. He has a private jet. Combs founded Daddy's House Social Programs, an organization to help inner city youth in 1995. Programs include tutoring, life skills classes, and an annual summer camp.
Diddy's vice-presidential running mate should be a woman with Congressional experience. Senator Elizabeth Warren is well-known and a fiery speaker. The Republicans hate her. Or Mr. Diddy could choose newly-elected Senator Tammy Duckworth. She was formerly in the U.S. House of Representatives. She's female, a minority (Asian), a veteran and handicapped (double amputee as a result of injuries while serving in Iraq).
A crazy idea? I dunno. Not long ago, lots of people thought the idea of President Trump was crazy.
It's About Time: Brutal, murderous Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the scourge of Havana, is dead at age 90.
Not that it's going to make any difference in the lives of ordinary Cubans, because tyranny is still the order of the day on the island. Especially while Raul and his crew are running the place. Cuba is still a lousy country in which to live. The people were better off under the corrupt Fulgencio Batista. The poor were less destitute in those days; in the 1940s and '50s, Cuba was a fairly prosperous island with a growing middle class.
I thought Fidel Castro died ten years ago. Meanwhile, in Miami's Little Havana, they are certain that Fidel's in Hell and are singing 'The Christmas Song': "Castro's roasting on an open fire ..."
Tom McMahon tweeted, "The United States has been trying to assassinate Castro for 57 years. Trump is elected and he's dead in three weeks." Yuge news.
Howja Make Out Last Week? Here's a list of thee least popular Amazon Black Friday deals ... (more >>>)
Question Of The Day is from William F. Buckley: "If a liberal Catholic is dying, does he ask the priest to give him Moderate Unction?"
Thursday November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving: Hope you enjoy your dinner. And I trust it's better than this:
As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmmmmmm. Cobbler."
Monday November 21, 2016
Alfa Male: Dan Neil drove the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia and was quite impressed. The $70,000 four-door sedan offers 505 horsepower from its 2.8 liter twin-turbocharged V6, transmitted through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
"I was able to put some miles on the Giulia Ti on the roads around Napa, and, on balance, this would be the trim level I recommend. The Ti is plenty athletic for real-world driving, while the touring tires are quieter, ride better and offer more security than the Quadrifoglio’s Pirelli P Zero Corsa gumballs.
Actually, on a cool, damp Sonoma Raceway, the Pirellis were not really working that great. Under heavy braking the front tires skittered and hunted for grip, and the car pushed wide and got loose before the stability-control intervened.
Until l get this car on up-to-temp tires, I'll remain officially skeptical. That way maybe they will send me another one. But the Quadrifoglio absolutely shakes my faith in faithlessness. All of a sudden, I want to believe in Alfa Romeo."
Dan noted that "Alfa is being reborn as an honest-to-God volume auto maker, offering mass-class on a scale that will make old-time Alfistis blow out their spark plugs. The Giulia sedan is only the first of a reported six vehicles to be built on the new Giorgio architecture, including two crossover/SUVs. And no matter how fine the Giulia sport sedan turns out to be (absolutely fantastic, by the way), everyone knows Alfa's long-term health depends on the bucks-up SUV and crossover models to follow.
Mr. Marchionne has said he would like to see Alfa Romeo brand sales in the neighborhood of 400,000 units annually, by the end of 2018, a mere eightfold increase over 2015. He also asked for a pony."
Therein lies one of the problems with the Alfa: Sergio Marchionne's 'empire' is shaky at best and one has to wonder where one might get parts or service for that $70,000 Alfa in 2021. For a Jeep - no problem. Jeep is a popular and iconic brand and some other manufacturer will snap it up from the smoking ruins of FCA. Alfa has never been popular in a volume sense and is iconic only to a limit number of auto enthusiasts.
My other problem with the Giulia sedan is this: if you cover up front end, from a 3/4 front view the car has a certain ... ummmm ... 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix look about it.
Regulations Are Killing Small Business: The owner of a tool and die shop with 61 employees lamented the burden of regulations and taxes.
He wrote financial adviser Malcolm Berko, "Most people have no idea of the mountains of government (state and federal) regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Fair Employment Practices Agency and other agencies. There are rules for everything from health care to gender discrimination to toilet use.
Last year, we paid the law firm that handles our corporate work $87,000 just to complete the paperwork certifying we're in compliance with all these rules, edicts and regulations. And we paid our accounting firm $182,000 last year to prepare our tax returns, to handle our payroll, to handle our health insurance deductions, to make sure our pension plan complies with federal requirements and to distribute quarterly reports to each employee. Then every year, I have to renew my numerous city, county and state licenses and show we are in compliance with all regulations.
It's getting worse every year." I hope that the Trump administration can address these burdensome regulations quickly. As I noted last month, business closures now exceed business formations. And the rate at which new companies are being formed continues to fall.Not-so-incidentally, business startups by the 20-34 demographic fell off the cliff the year after ObamaCare was signed into law.
Remembering Camelot: For people of my age, there are two dates that will forever resonate as tragic: September 11, 2001 and November 22, 1963.
It's hard to believe that tomorrow will mark 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas.
Whenever I watch television specials about the Kennedy years, I find the film clips and photo stills to be a time capsule. Fifty-three years later, the clothes people wore, the hairstyles, the cars on the road, the store signage - all are fit for a museum but simply remind me of what things were like when I was young.
For the 50th anniversary of the assassination, I shared some of my memories. That 2013 article, 'Remembering Camelot', is posted here.
Book Review: 'Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great - And Why We Need Them More Than Ever' by Eric Bolling
Based on the title, I feared that this was going to be a hokey, cliche-ridden, rah-rah cheerleader chant for 'Murica. What I found instead was a thoughtful, eminently readable book which relayed a ... (more >>>)
Rail News: I am pleased to report that my O-gauge train layout is now up and running. All work was completed just after noon on Saturday. Here's a night photo:
No-Class Elites: VP-elect Mike Pence and his family were booed and jeered by fellow audience members last Friday night as he attended the Broadway musical 'Hamilton' in NYC. It's fair to say that, given the popularity of this show and the outrageous scalper prices, the audience was most likely composed of know-it-all, 'sophisticated' Manhattanites. You know the type - the wealthy, poncy Masters (and Mistresses) of the Universe portrayed in 'Bonfire of the Vanities'. What a bunch of rude and boorish people. What ever happened to civility, common sense and good manners?
One of the cast members delivered an uncalled-for, you-better-be-fair message for Pence at the conclusion of the performance. I have my own message for the cast: "Shut up and perform."
The disrespectful behavior demonstrated once again the arrogance and lack of class exhibited by the so-called Cultured Class, our alleged social betters. Today's liberals are the most biased and intolerant people in America. The real Alexander Hamilton would be ashamed of them.
I Love A Parade: Everyone has their own traditions at Thanksgiving. One of ours is watching the parade. I usually DVR the Macy's New York Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade - now called the Channel 6 ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade - is not televised out my way. It is a much different parade than it used to be when I was growing up. The route now travels along the Ben Franklin Parkway and ends at the foot of the Art Museum. When it was sponsored by Gimbels Department Store, the parade used to go north on Broad Street, around City Hall and then continued east on Market Street to the flagship Gimbels store at 8th and Market Sts.
For the parade's grand finale, Santa Claus used a Philadelphia Fire Department hook and ladder fire truck to ... (more >>>)
Living Advice ... from James Lileks: "Live each day as though you hope to have one more to remember how good the previous day was, and how many of the people around you agree. Something like that. You wonder how many Words to Live By are really Words to Die By in costume."
Quote Of The Day is from Kathy Shaidle: "Pacifists are easy to spot. Note the slightly raised chin, and the blank stare of resignation and superiority, something they may have picked up from watching, say, Anthony Perkins in 'Friendly Persuasion'. They tend to carry themselves with a kind of statuesque faux dignity, as if they're posing for a stained glass window."
Thursday November 17, 2016
An Indication ... of the mindset of Fiat-Chrysler: On December 18th, FCA will close the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, located in Auburn Hills, MI, and convert the building to office space.
So much for "selling heritage" to strengthen the brand image, something Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and other auto companies do very well. But then, it's hard to connect a 1947 Town & Country convertible to a 2016 Chrysler 200.
FCA is also discontinuing the popular Dodge Caravan - currently America's best-selling minivan. It's as if Sergio Marchionne actually wants to kill off the Dodge brand.
No Future? Wannabe automaker Faraday Future has stopped construction on its billion-dollar electric vehicle factory in North Las Vegas. The primary contractor has not been paid.
"Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, and probably anyone else who has been following this story, is a little less optimistic." "This is a Ponzi scheme," he said. "You have a new company that has never built a car, building a new plant in the middle of the desert, financed by a mysterious Chinese billionaire. At some point, as with Bernie Madoff, the game ends."
Sounds like the Tucker of the 21st Century. Or the Vector.
Nostalgic Dreck: I suspect that you too are experiencing the Annual Deluge of holiday mail-order catalogs. On Tuesday, our mailbox was stuffed with at least three pounds of them. Many of these brochures offer tacky, old-timey items and poorly-made Americana.
Nostalgia is a generally-harmless, sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations or the evocation of these feelings or tendencies, especially in commercialized form.
Greeting card companies have made a fortune peddling cards depicting happy-time scenes from a pleasantly hazy, generic past. And Hallmark Stores seem to have more nostalgic 'collectible' crap in them than actual cards.
The manufacture of 'replicas' - many inaccurately rendered and/or done cheaply in Asia and/or exorbitantly overpriced - has become a major industry. Pepsi and Coke, appear to be masters at tapping into our quest for nostalgia with many of their commercials vividly extolling the Good Old Days. Then there are those faux 1920s gas pump gumball machines. Who would eat food out of a miniature gasoline dispensing device, anyway?
One such miniature nostalgic totem is ... (more >>>)
New & Improved: Recently, I spent some time thoroughly studying my website's traffic patterns and popularity of various pages.
Here are six things I learned ... (more >>>)
I've Been Workin' On The Railroad: I've spent much of this week working on my model train layout. Things are going fairly smoothly. The mountain portion is finished and more than half the work on the middle level is complete. I'm making progress but I'm a little rusty since I haven't had the layout up since 2013 due to health issues.
When I built this layout 16 years ago, I was a lot more agile and able to scramble under and around the platform with ease. I'm less nimble now and my muscles ache more - a problem addressed by consuming wine at dinnertime each night.
Book Review: 'We Have The Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time' by Kara Platoni
This is a quirky, 300 page book, discussing how technology will alter our perceptions of taste, sight, sound, pain and other senses. As well as reality itself. The chapters on grinders, people who implant magnets and other devices in their bodies was weird and reminded me of Medieval trepanning of the skull, which didn't work out so well for most.
The book meanders between ... (more >>>)
Bad Pun Of The Day: Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly, it sank - proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
Tuesday November 15, 2016
A Work In Progress: That's what Car and Driver called the 2017 Lincoln Continental. The good news: "The thoroughly fussed-over design, with exquisitely beveled edges and lovely LED light bars in back that give a seamless neon look, makes an imposing statement from any angle."
On the other hand, the two models tested - a $74,705 Reserve and an $80,260 Black Label - had very comfy front seats but "we only wish the back seats were as comfortable. There's tons of legroom in back, but the rear bench doesn't welcome or support you nearly as opulently as the front, and the head of this five-foot 11-inch reporter was almost touching the roof."
"The six-speed automatic transmission proved another rough spot. It can shift at odd times, and often it doesn't work transparently, especially on mid-throttle roll-offs from the line. Occasionally it lurched into second gear as if the car were hiccuping; once, it seemed to disconnect from the engine completely for half a second, then slammed into gear as if the car had been rear-ended, eliciting a startled gasp from both driver and passenger."
And: "The suspension clomps against its bump stops over rough pavement that should be cushioned out in this, a somewhat genteel luxury liner. Lincoln eschewed fancier air springs or magnetorheological dampers in favor of adaptive shock valving, a cost-effective and reliable solution but one with somewhat limited capability. Whatever the thinking, at the price point where the Continental is playing, the suspension steps just a little too hard."
No thanks, Lincoln. I'm keeping my Lexus LS 460 which just had its 30,000 mile service - very low mileage (29,365) considering it will turn 9 years old next month.
Moving Story: At 12:40 pm last Saturday, we brought the train platform in from the garage. We moved it in under partly sunny but dry skies. Everything went smoothly. No animals were harmed; no humans were killed. No screws were stripped. And, if they had been, I don't care; I have enough left until 2037.
There is much work to be done but I hope to have the layout operational before Thanksgiving.
RIP: Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Clarence Ditlow has died at age 72 after a year-long battle with colon cancer. Ditlow is best known as a tireless safety crusader, campaigning for recalls of fire-prone Pintos, Firestone-equipped, rollover-prone Ford Explorers, faulty GM ignition switches, exploding Takata airbag inflators and other auto safety issues.
In 1982, after my '80 Oldsmobile Omega spun and went over a steep embankment when I lightly tapped the brakes on a curve, I wrote a letter to the Center for Auto Safety with a copy to Roger Smith, then chairman of General Motors, relating my near-death experience. Both letters were sent by registered mail. Within a week, I got a phone call from Detroit, instructing me to bring the Olds to the dealer in Eugene. I did and was given a loaner car. They kept the Oldsmobile for five days and returned it. The brakes never gave me a problem afterward. I think the inclusion of Ditlow made GM pay attention. Thanks, Clarence.
Robert Vaughn, who played dapper spy Napoleon Solo in 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and the slimy, ambitious politician Walter Chalmers in 'Bullitt', has died at age 83 from acute leukemia. In the 1980s, he did infomercials for Helsinki Formula - a hair restoration product. Well, Mr. Vaughn had great hair till the end so maybe he was on to something.
Chinese Bandstand? Dick Clark Productions, the prolific and iconic company behind 'American Bandstand' as well as awards shows including the Golden Globe Awards has been sold to Wanda Group, a Chinese firm, for $1 billion.
"The Wanda deal is the fourth sale in a decade for Dick Clark, which was launched in 1957 by the legendary broadcaster and American Bandstand host, who died in 2012."
I wonder if 'ol Dick Clark is spinning in his grave at 45 rpm? Well, I guess not, since his ashes were scattered at sea. Perhaps they've now reached Chinese waters.
Quote of the Week ... so far: More people are protesting Trump's victory than attended Hillary's rallies.
Big Trouble In Little Utopia: Macy's is closing its down Portland store, once the flagship of the Oregon's Meier & Frank Department Store chain.
The cause is a combination of general brick-and-mortar retail woes, combined with the fact that fewer shoppers go to downtown Portland anymore. Camping homeless, aggressive panhandlers with their big dogs and impossible parking are the primary causes. Thanks, Lefty Portland government.
In somewhat related news ... (more >>>)
Tough Cowboy Wisdom ... from Sam Elliot: "The fact that there are riots in the streets because Donald Trump was elected president … is proof Donald Trump needed to be elected!"
Quip Of The Day is from W.C. Fields: "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm so indebted to her for."
Friday November 11, 2016
Rising From The Grave: Defunct auto-brand Borgward has been resurrected by a Chinese firm, state-owned Chinese truckmaker Beiqi Foton.
Borgward will begin German assembly of an electric BX7 SUV in 2018, from knock-down kits imported from China. The production target is 10,000 vehicles per year.
Founded in the 1920s, the original Borgward firm collapsed in 1961 after building about 1.2 million Borgward, Lloyd, and Goliath vehicles in Bremen, beginning ... (more >>>)
Happy Birthday, Grandmom: The only grandmother I ever knew (my other one, Delia, died a year before I was born) had her birthday tomorrow.
Ellen would have been 138 years old, although she always lied about her age and would probably admit to being 127 or so. Born in County Mayo Ireland, she emigrated to the U.S. in 1904 and later married a fellow immigrant from her old village. They worked hard, prospered and raised three children.
My grandmother was very good to me and bought me my first car - a new 1963 red Volkswagen Beetle, so I could drive to college rather than take public transit. It cut two hours off my commuting time. (Mass transit is not nearly as good as transportation utopians would have you believe.)
My favorite story about my grandmother involves a Seinfeldian dating situation:
Thanks for everything, grandmom. Fifty-plus years later, I'm still having a good time at the dance. (permalink)
Even A Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day: North Korea has declared Barack Hussein Obama a "failed president" whose legacy will be consigned to "the cesspool of history."
Better Than Thee: This presidential election was a revolt by the common people against the elites - Republicans, Democrats, Uncaring Bureaucrats with cushy, protected government jobs (Lois Lerner, for instance), Corrupt Corporate Insiders, Too-Big-To-Fail Banks, the IRS and others - who have betrayed their trust.
Republican media strategist Bruce Haynes challenged his Republican and Democratic DC-based peers to take a step back and look at the map of what Clinton won Tuesday night. "She won the biggest metropolitan areas in the country and a couple of Southwestern states that have seen a huge influx of Mexican immigrants. And that is all she won and not a damn thing else."
Salena Zito commented, "Hillary won the top ten populations centers where most of the wealth, commerce and power is located - and lost the bulk of America. This great populist election was all a big pushback against elitism on both sides of the aisle."
Haynes said that Donald Trump served as a voice for economic and social unrest, but also change. "Look, elites don't understand why America needs to be great again because for them America is great." Their economy is strong, their lifestyle is comfortable and the communities they live in, in and around New York and Washington, are the wealthiest and most influential in the country.
When Trump voters turn on cable TV, they see their lives and livelihoods disrespected. They don't want to keep up with the Kardashians; they just want to watch football without a political statement thrown in their faces.
On election night, the experts kept insisting the election was a rejection of Clinton. But it wasn't - at least not just Clinton. It was also of the Bush dynasty and every other symbol of establishmentarianism." Including the Davos-class of power elites whose influence infiltrates every corner of government. In the District of Columbia, 93% of voters pulled the lever for Hillary.
What do ordinary Americans want? These three things would make a good start:
Of course, liberals aren't all bad. I can now change my sexual identity at will and take a leak in the ladies' room while smoking a medically-approved joint and holding a leash with a sharp-clawed, 'therapy animal' vested Bengal tiger on the other end. Thanks, Democrats.
So Lemme Get This Straight ... all the 'Love Trumps Hate' people now want to 'Riot and Kill Trump Supporters'? During the massive anti-Donald Trump protests held after Election Day, one woman called for violence and death as a means to enact political change. She's not the only one, either.
“If we don't fight, who is going to fight for us? People had to die for your freedom where we're at today. We can't just do rallies, we have to fight back," said Lily, a
"There will be casualties on both sides. There will be, because people have to die to make a change in this world. Trump, enough with your racism. Stop splitting families. Don't split my family." So, either she's here illegally or her family members are.
This moron is apparently unaware Trump doesn't take office for 10 weeks but she also wants him impeached ... right now. Hmmmmm ... maybe that's how they do things down in Mexico.
Sadly, she's not the only bloodthirsty liberal. The violence and hysteria from the Left seems to be par-for-the-course these days when those thugs don't get their way. I've read that Moveon.org, funded by George Soros, is paying many of the rioters to incite violence.
I guess the Let The Healing Begin crap doesn't apply unless a Democrat is elected.
How About "You Suck!!" On the day after Americans chose Donald Trump over a woman who promised to defend and "build on" Barack Obama's policies, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters he doesn't know what message the voters were trying to send.
I am always amazed at how White House spokespeople can say such outrageous things and keep a straight face. Do they have to go to special training school for that? And practice a lot every day? I guess I could ask that dimwit Dana Perino.
Best Headlines Of The Week come from The People's Cube:
Honoring Veterans: This is the day for all of us to be grateful for their sacrifices which have kept and continue to keep us safe. Freedom is never free. Thanks to all soldiers who serve or have served.
November 11th used to be called Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I - a war that ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. In 1954, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor veterans of all American wars.
Quote Of The Day is from Greg Gutfeld on roadside memorials: "Since I've been home and driving around town, I've seen a few of those homemade memorials placed where fatal freeway accidents have occurred. As usual, they trouble me. I am positive that when other drivers see these memorials, they slow down to a safer speed as a natural response to their own fear of death. This, over time, may reduce the incidence of car accidents.
The reduction of car accidents, however, will inevitably lead to the reduction of homemade memorials placed on locations where a traffic fatality might occur. Reducing the number of these homemade memorials, sadly, will then lull drivers into a false sense of complacency, thus increasing risk for more accidents. This vicious cycle will only stop once we replace cars with llamas."
Thursday November 9, 2016
Pathetic Compilation: Recently, Dan Neil listed 12 affordable, "collector-worthy cars that best exemplify the glory days of gasoline." Not a single one was an American brand.
The list included the egg-shaped 2000 Honda Insight hybrid and the AWD mid-1990s Toyota Previa van, which Dan described as "shaped like a big suppository."
Hey, Dan, what about the 2003-04 Mercury Marauder, later-model C4 and all C5 Corvettes, 1992-97 Cadillac Seville, 1993-98 Lincoln Mark VIII, 2004-09 Cadillac XLR roadster with retractible hardtop or 2005-09 Shelby Mustang?
Surely, these are more collectible than a Previa.
Have They Purchased Their Tickets Yet? Well-known names such as Samuel L. Jackson, Lena Dunham, Cher, Miley Cyrus, Barbra Streisand, Chelsea Handler, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Al Sharpton indicated that they would leave the U.S. if Donald Trump is elected.
Best of luck and good riddance.
More About Trump's Victory: It may be hard to believe, but the Republican primary debates began in early August 2015 in Cleveland hosted by FoxNews.
In November 2015, Jack Baruth wrote that, "you have to think of Donald Trump as Elvis. Not because he's an entertainer, or because he's got the outrageous hair, but because he's a cultural appropriator. I'll explain. Elvis became popular because he was a white guy singing black music to white people. Donald Trump is kicking ass because he's a Republican using Democrat tactics. More specifically, he's using the tactics developed by the Clinton/Soros machine two decades ago. ...
The fact of the matter, however, is that the Clintons perfected being post-truth a long time ago. Trump is simply reading from their playbook. To a national media that is used to watching Republicans bow and scrape in front of them, it's an act of unprecedented cheek."
Donald Trump formally announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015 - five days before Father's Day. On that Sunday, we had one of my son's friends, Dale, as a guest. I wasn't thinking very much about election politics yet and wasn't sure if Trump was really serious about his presidential quest and wondered whether he'd remain in the race.
Dale spoke passionately about Donald Trump and the promise he offered to America. Dale thought Trump would be our next president. That was my first indication that the 2016 election might be extraordinary. And look what happened!
Recently, Gavin McInnes had James O'Keefe, founder of Project Veritas on his show. O'Keefe said that win-or-lose, "Trump has ... reminded us that we are a grassroots culture and we can make America great again all by ourselves. I desperately want him to dominate the polls over the next couple of weeks and win the election but even if he doesn't, he woke us up. All we have to do now is stay awake after the inauguration."
Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft, a respected St. Louis area blogger, noted that "during the final 3 months of the campaign Donald Trump had 12 times as many attendees as Hillary at rallies." Hillary's speech on Friday November 4th drew only 126 live participants, while Trump's rally garnered over 12,000 people. Trump always drew large, enthusiastic crowds but no one had ever correlated crowds with votes before.
The Z Man wrote, "The Conservative Movement has managed to conserve nothing. The reason they are in a crisis is the same reason a losing ball coach finds himself in jeopardy. People will tolerate only so much losing. A salesman, who cannot close deals, gets fired, even if he is the nicest guy in the world." Indeed. I expect the term Pragmatic Conservatism will soon be used to describe the Trump administration.
And so, it came to pass that Donald Trump won. Holy cow! Dale was right.
More Election Data: Donald Trump performed stronger among black and Hispanic voters than Mitt Romney did as the Republican nominee in 2012, according to NBC's exit polls. Trump outmatched Romney by two points in each voting bloc. Trump claimed 29% of the Hispanic vote on Tuesday compared to Romney's 27% in 2012. With blacks, exit polls show Trump claimed 8% of the vote to the previous Republican nominee's 6%. Trump won 58% of Cuban-American voters.
Trump/Pence won the overall Catholic vote 52-45. They won white Catholics 60-37, but lost Latino Catholics 67-26 - though among non-Spanish speaking Latino Catholics the margin was likely significantly closer. The pair won the evangelical vote 81-16, better than either Romney or Bush 43.
Speaking of Catholics, Brian Burch of Catholicvote.org wrote, "We decided to hire a full time 'community organizer' to build a network of Catholics on the ground in one state. We purchased massive amounts of Catholic data and organized churches across this state. ... And by the grace of God, were able to raise over $500,000. We saturated Catholic voters across hundreds of websites and social media with digital ads to supplement our massive ground campaign.
Nearly 95% of our budget was spent in one state: Pennsylvania. The state that decided it all."
Quote Of The Day is from Greg Gutfeld: "People with accents believe that you are the one with an accent."
Wednesday November 9, 2016
Indian Summer? Call it what you will, but the last couple of days have been mostly sunny with afternoon temperatures in the mid-60s. The joke among those living west of the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest is that it only rains once a year - from November 1st to July 15th. Not right now ... and I'll take what I can get. Time to fire up my '39 Plymouth business coupe and I did so on Tuesday morning.
The heater in my car is original - a primitive box near the floor that takes its time warming up and then dispenses a feeble stream of warmth at the rate that a stingy, bitter old man gives out throat lozenges as Halloween treats. No matter. At 10:15 am, the temperature was an acceptable 53 degrees and I wore a hoodie over a light sweater.
The skies were the semi-pale blue of late Fall - that odd color for which there's no Crayola match - but the view was quite good; snowy-white Mt. St. Helens resembled a slightly-squashed giant Hostess Sno Ball.
The old car ran great as usual, and I had a pleasant drive - one that I'll remember fondly when the Season of Endless Rain inevitably returns.
Looking Good: I've not been a fan of Volvo's looks but the 2017 S90 luxury sedan is a bit of a stunner.
Of this $66,000 car Dan Neil wrote, "Living, breathing, ready-to-lease consumers looking for a premium/luxury sedan, this is what you want to know: Yes, you should definitely cross-shop the S90 with the relevant Mercedes-Benz (the S90 is slightly bigger than E-Class), or Audi (A6), or BMW (5 Series). When you do, you'll find that feature-for-feature, number-for-number, the S90 makes a strong economic case."
The styling is pleasantly conservative but the problem for me is that the S90 is only available with a four-cylinder engine. And it sounds like one, according to Neil: "At full throttle load, the furious atmospherics around the cylinders moan like ghosts sitting in with the tenor saxophones." This is why the late Paul Newman used to drive Volvo wagons fitted with big American V8 power.
Summary: Nice car ... call me when it gets a decent motor transplant.
The People Have Spoken And They Cried, "Yuge!" Donald J. Trump decisively won the 2016 presidential election. At 11:30 pm EST, FoxBusiness showed side-by-side shots of Hillary's headquarters and Trump headquarters. Javits Center looked like a funeral; people were shaking their heads and looking glum. At the Hilton, it was a party with a sea of happy people wearing red 'Make America Great Again' caps. The night belonged to We The Deplorables.
Hillary Clinton lost. I wonder how many broken lamps will be found in her hotel suite? What a hapless and hopeless candidate. And a crook, too. Even Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen and the rest of the celebrity glitterati couldn't get people excited enough to vote for the leader of the Clinton Crime Family. Of course, there's always an upside: Hillary can now spend more time with her neurologist.
The Clinton Foundation issued a brief statement this morning: No Refunds.
Perhaps the biggest losers were the pundits, pollsters and exit polls. Most called it wrong - big time. Why? That will be a media topic of discussion for weeks to come. Here's my theory: Liberals love to talk - especially if it's about them or their opinions. They'll always chat with pollsters. Most of the rest of us don't answer the phone unless we know who is calling. Therefore, every poll will intrinsically over-sample liberals. On one occasion, I accidentally picked up the phone and found a pollster on the other end. I told her that I charged for my time and asked if she would rather use Visa or MasterCard to pay for this transaction. She hung up.
Donald Trump was the most-electable candidate in the Republican field of 17 and gave it his all. And he won.
You also have to give lots of credit to Kellyanne Conway. A respected pollster, she had never run a presidential campaign before. As Trump's third campaign manager, she got him 'on message', forced him to think strategically in terms of electoral votes and gave him a laser-like focus on his talking points.
Conservative purists and establishment RINOs will lick their wounds and drink heavily. Jeb Bush blew $120 million to make it to sixth place in the primaries. And the Bush Dynasty was pissed enough that they would neither endorse, support nor vote for Donald Trump. He's not their kind, ya know. The Bushes, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and others who refused to support the Republican nominee are toast. We deplorables will give them their comeuppance.
The smug pundits were big losers tonight: Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, Juan Williams, George Will, Steve Hayes, et al. I wonder which of them will be given the Dick Morris Treatment and be banished into obscurity and political irrelevance?
Charlie Hurt, Neil Cavuto, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter, Eric Bolling, Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, Lou Dobbs and a few others said Trump would win. Tucker Carlson said that anything could happen but he was clearly not a Hillary supporter. A non-pundit, Dilbert cartoonist and blogger Scott Adams, predicted a Trump win early on.
Tuesday night was a Hat Trick - a Republican president, a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives. And it gave me great joy to see that smug Democratic insider and frequent guest on Fox News Sunday, Evan Bayh, get his arrogant ass handed to him in Indiana's U.S. Senate race.
In January 2017, our new president will begin his great journey to make America great again. God bless him, God bless Mike Pence and God bless America.
Payback Time: Snooty conservative sites, National Review and the Weekly Standard, have seen their traffic - and therefore, ad revenue - decline substantially because of their "principled" #NeverTrump memes.
On the other hand, pro-Trump sites, such as Drudge, Breitbart, Conservative Treehouse and Gateway Pundit, are soaring in popularity.
"Bye, Schmoopie!" Actress Ali Wentworth, wife of ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, declared that if Donald Trump wins, the couple will move to Australia. Wentworth played Sheila the ditzy Schmoopie Girl on 'Seinfeld'.
Book Review: 'Prestige, Status and Works of Art: Selling The Luxury Car 1888-1942' by Thomas Solley
Let's begin by discussing what this book is not. It is neither a history of luxury automobiles (you can find that here) nor a book full of full-page color photos. Rather, it is an attempt - a successful one I believe - to capture the feel and look of period advertising for luxury and near-luxury cars of yore by selectively publishing images (most are small as well as black and white) of such machines. Most of the images selected by the author are evocative and stunning.
First published in 2008, this 430-page tome offers documentation of ads, photos and catalogs for luxury marques from the dawn of the automobile age to 1942. Catalogs from coachbuilders are also covered.
This is no mere picture book. The author provides much ... (more >>>)
Rampant Non-Belief: Sweden has the second-highest number of non-religious people as a percentage of its population of any country in the world, according to a 2015 survey. The study found that 76% of Swedish respondents said they were either "not religious" or a "convinced atheists."
The only country to score higher was Communist-controlled China, where religion is officially frowned upon.
Quote Of The Day is from Tom McMahon: "Never buy an imported car made in Prague. The Czech Engine light never goes out."
Monday November 7, 2016
Three-Car Thursday: Last Thursday, morning, I drove to west Portland, returning the dealer's overnight loaner car, a 2017 Lexus ES 350 (a front-wheel drive model based on the Toyota Avalon platform), and picked up my LS 460 from its scheduled maintenance. The $40,000 ES sedan did yeoman service but didn't inspire me to buy one. It is not nearly as luxurious as my LS 460 and the ride was harsher. I don't care much for the current - angry grille style of current Lexus models.
I drove my LS back home and was so impressed with the rare sunny weather, that I fired up my recently neglected '39 Plymouth business coupe and went for a drive. The Plymouth had been garage-bound because we've had so much rain lately; I haven't been behind the wheel since October 11th. Traffic was light and the drive was most pleasant. The car ran great, as usual.
The skies were clear blue with just a wisp of clouds here and there. Mt. St. Helens and its full snow covering was clearly visible to the north.
Colors are past peak, although some stubborn sugar maple trees were still clutching to their bright red leaves. Emily Dickinson wrote of November, "The noons are more laconic and the sunsets sterner." Yep. Winter is coming.
Keep On Truckin': Mercedes-Benz will soon introduce a luxury pickup truck, based on a Nissan platform. My reaction? Meh.
If I really wanted to impress people with a Mercedes pickup, I'd show up at valet parking with a Unimog.
Print Woes: Job Losses: Mark J. Perry wrote, "Newspaper jobs continue the steep decline that started back in the early 1990s and accelerated about ten years ago. Compared to the peak of nearly 458,000 newspaper jobs in 1991, the industry has shed more than a quarter-million jobs and employment was down to 180,100 jobs in July, well below even the 1947 level. Expect the "creative destruction" to continue."
It's hard to blame these job losses on offshoring. The culprits are ... (more >>>)
Don't Forget To Vote: You shouldn't whine about politicians if you refuse to participate in the game. Please remember the new rules implemented to avoid long lines: Trump supporters vote on Tuesday, Hillary fans vote on Wednesday.
The System Is Rigged ... and I bet she'll vote for Donald Trump! An unemployed mother of four thought she had hit a nearly $43 million jackpot on a slot machine, changing her life forever. Then she learned the crushing news: There would be no millions because the machine was malfunctioning. The casino offered her a steak dinner instead.
Katrina Bookman of Queens, N.Y., was playing the slots at the Resorts World Casino, when the machine she was using told her, “Printing cash ticket. $42,949,672.76."
But the New York State Gaming Commission told Bookman she was not entitled to any winnings because the machine, which is only supposed to pay out a maximum win of $6,500, was malfunctioning. All the machines are labeled with a disclaimer reading, "Malfunctions void all pays and plays." According to the gaming commission, her actual winnings were just $2.25.
The real question is, "What the hell was an unemployed mother of four doing playing the slots?"
Gang Of Thieves: While Clinton apologists consider Bill & Hill's foundation to be a font of beneficence, its 2014 IRS filings show that the Clinton Foundation spent a whopping 5.76% of its funds on actual charitable activities - far below the 65% that the Better Business Bureau calls kosher.
That paltry figure also mocks Hillary's Las Vegas lie, uttered at the final presidential debate on October 19th: "We at the Clinton Foundation spend 90 percent - 90% of all the money that is donated on behalf of programs of people around the world and in our own country."
"The Clinton Slush Fund ...uh ... Foundation seems to be mainly a travel and full-employment program for Hillary's government in waiting. It's also a bribe pump that sucks in money and spews out favors."
Drain the swamp? "No, flush the toilet," wrote Deroy Murdock. His entire article is worth a read.
Enough To Make Vito Corleone Blush: Now there's evidence that Chelsea Clinton used Clinton Foundation money to pay for her wedding and support her lifestyle for a decade. This comes from a recently released e-mail from Doug Band, Clinton pal, formerly of the Clinton Foundation.
During the wedding of Vito's daughter, no one from Haiti got robbed of charitable donations. There are limits, after all, even for a crime family.
What A Screwed-Up Candidate: Holman W. Jenkins of the Wall Street Journal wrote, "It's hard to generalize about Hillary Clinton's e-mail situation except that she tried to afford herself an extraordinary privilege as a high-ranking official, and then caused for herself exactly the problems (and worse) that she presumably was trying to avoid. It's the White House Travel Office, the Rose Law Firm billing records, the Seth Ward option (don't ask), the health-care task force, etc., all over again. Mrs. Clinton is a screw-up. And when a trait takes such trouble to announce itself, note must be taken. Complicating the legal question, of course, is the fact that she didn't exactly hide her behavior."
FBI = Keystone Cops: Inspector Clouseau says, "Oooooo. Never mind." The fix is in ... just another reason to Drain The Swamp. Vote Trump!
Sounds Very Un-Catholic To Me: The nation's largest Catholic college, DePaul University, told a group of pro-life students that it could not display posters reading 'Unborn Lives Matter', lest they provoke the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. In a letter to the College Republicans, University president Father Dennis Holtschneider said the posters contained "bigotry" veiled "under the cover of free speech."
Perhaps this explains ... (more >>>)
Quote Of The Day is from Samuel Goldwyn: "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper its printed on."
Thursday November 3, 2016
October Auto Sales: Light vehicle sales were at a 17.9 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) in October, down about slightly from October 2015, and up 1.3% from the 17.7 million annual sales rate last month. It appears that the market is topping out.
At Fiat-Chrysler, sales plunged 10%. The Jeep brand posted a sales drop of 7% year over year, as the Jeep Cherokee showed a sales decline of 23% and the Compass and Renegade each posted a monthly sales drop of 9%. Sales of Ram pickup trucks increased 7%. Chrysler sales nosedived a whopping 45%, while Dodge sales fell 16%. Sales of Fiats dropped by 24% to a miserable 2,622 vehicles. Only 23 Alfas were sold in October.
FCA's incentive spending rose to $4,388 per unit, up 23% year over year and down 1% compared with September 2016. Unit incentive spending totaled $4,404 at Ford and $4,417 at GM, up 30% and 14%, respectively, year over year.
General Motors' sales dropped 2% in October. Sales of the company's top-selling Silverado pickup fell 3.6% year over year to 49,768 units, and GMC Sierra sales dropped 18.7% to 15,050 units. Chevrolet sales were off 1%, while Cadillac sales decreased 9% to 13,948 units. Buick sales were up 7% to 20,046 vehicles, while the GMC brand dropped 6%.
Toyota sales were off by 9%. Car sales were down 11%, SUV & truck sales were up slightly. Prius sales fell 47% to 8,132 vehicles.
FoMoCo sales tumbled 13% because of a 31% car drop and a 10% SUV decline. F-Series truck sales increased 2%. Mustang sales fell off a cliff - down 45% to 5,414 ponycars. Lincoln's volume rose 7% to 9,069 vehicles. The biggest Lincoln seller for the month was the MKZ sedan (2,481 cars), followed by the MKX SUV (2,279 vehicles)
The word is out - Ford will discontinue the Flex soon. No wonder. Ford sold 1,066 Flexes in October (Ford sells more than 15 times as many Explorers). What's worse, sales of the Lincoln version, designated MKT - a favorite of hearse builders - totaled 248 in October.
"American Honda's 4% drop was caused mostly by a 20% decline at Acura (to 12,869 vehicles). The Honda brand enjoyed rising Fit, CR-V, HR-V, and Ridgeline sales and slid only 2%. Hyundai's 4% improvement was the brand's seventh increase in the last ten months. Hyundai's Kia partner reported a 2% drop caused largely by the Optima's harsh slide."
Mazda sales were down 11%, Nissan sales dropped 2% (Infiniti sales were up 1% to 11,208 vehicles) but Subaru sales increased 4% to 53,760 units. Volkswagen sales dropped 19%, despite the fact that my friend Dennis G. leased a new Tiguan, shedding his silver Passat which remained on a long waiting list for replacement Takata air bags.
Mercedes sales declined 1% but it still won this month's luxury brand war with 31,383 units delivered. Lexus sales dropped 6% to 24,803 units; only 353 LS sedans found homes - a drop of 31%. BMW sales fell 18% to 24,017 vehicles. Audi sales were flat at 17,712 units.
3,219 new Jaguars found buyers - a whopping 226% increase. Bentley sold 312 vehicles - a 158% jump, while Maserati sales were up 12% to 1,304 units.
The Hillary Disaster: The latest one is last week's revelation that the FBI had reopened its criminal investigation into Hillary's e-mail scandal based on stuff found on one of disgraced Democratic congressman and alleged pedophile Anthony Weiner's devices, during the FBI's Sexting investigation. Weiner, his wife Huma the Muslim and Hillary - all are now mixed together in a huge, tasty bowl of schadenfreude. Anthony Weiner has been called the Fredo Corleone of the Democratic Party.
It's just one more Clinton bombshell and the damage is adding up. This is the first time in my memory that an actual presidential candidate has been the subject of a federal criminal investigation. Pundits have begun referring to the candidate as Hillary Milhous Clinton.
Tennessee Williams once mused, "The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite!"
Professor Camille Paglia weighed in on Hillary Clinton before this latest revelation. "It's an outrage how she's played the gender card. She is a woman without accomplishment. "I sponsored or co-sponsored 400 bills." Oh really? These were bills to rename bridges and so forth. And the things she has accomplished have been like the destabilization of North Africa, causing refugees to flood into Italy … The woman is a disaster!"
Currently professor of the humanities at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, social critic Paglia first shot to fame in 1990 with the publication of her best-selling book, 'Sexual Personae'.
"If Hillary wins, nothing will change. She knows the bureaucracy, all the offices of government and that's what she likes to do, sit behind the scenes and manipulate the levers of power." And collect pay-for-play money.
Paglia says she has absolutely no idea how the election will go: "But people want change and they're sick of the establishment - so you get this great popular surge, like you had one as well … This idea that Trump represents such a threat to western civilization - it's often predicted about presidents and nothing ever happens - yet if Trump wins it will be an amazing moment of change because it would destroy the power structure of the Republican party, the power structure of the Democratic party and destroy the power of the media. It would be an incredible release of energy … at a moment of international tension and crisis."
That kind of change sounds like a good thing to me. Go Trump!
None Dare Call It Treason ... Until Now: U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Hillary Clinton's exposing sensitive information to potentially multiple hacks from at least five foreign intelligence agencies amounts to treason.
"This is why you have security protocols - to protect classified information," Rep. McCaul said. "She exposed it to our enemies, and now … our adversaries have this very sensitive information that not only jeopardizes her and national security at home, but the men and women serving overseas."
"In my opinion, quite frankly, it's treason," said McCaul, a Republican representative from Texas.
Lock Her Up: Pennsylvanians former Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Lane was sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail for perjury and obstruction of justice that was a part of a political retaliation feud. Lane had illegally disclosed details from a grand jury investigation to embarrass a rival and then lied about the incident under oath. Inspired by Hillary, perhaps?
Coming Soon To A Health Insurer Near You: A mother, dying of scleroderma (my dad died from the same horrid disease), was denied treatment coverage for life-extending medication but got approved for a suicide drug.
Her doctors had ... (more >>>)
All The Leaves Are Brown ... and the sky is gray:
The photo was taken from our back deck.
Book Review: '1941: Fighting the Shadow War - A Divided America in a World at War' by Marc Wortman
This work describes the build-up to World War II during the pivotal year, 1941, with special emphasis on the clandestine actions taken by FDR in support of Great Britain. President Roosevelt had to contend with continued isolationism as he attempted to sway public opinion in favor of helping our Allies. The author does a good summary of the rancorous relationship between the White House and Charles Lindbergh, a prominent figure who was the poster boy for the isolationsts.
Wortman's book provides a good overview and was, for me, an enjoyable read, although ... (more >>>)
Quip Of The Day is from Mae West: "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
Tuesday November 1, 2016
Cash On The Hood: This is not to be confused with Cash In The Hood which probably involves the drug trade. We're talking about the hoods of new vehicles on dealer lots.
"U.S. car buyers wandered onto dealer lots in healthy numbers in September, but only because automakers heaped a record pile of cash on the hoods."
Incentives exceeded the previous record set during the Dark Ages of September 2008 which was the beginning of the financial meltdown - the dawn of the Great Recession.
Compared to the same month last year, incentives rose by an average of $490 per vehicle, an increase of 13% to a total per vehicle of $3,921 - about 10% of the average selling price. Despite the deals, auto dealers' inventory is piling up - average turn time is now 66 days on the lot.
It's a good time to buy a vehicle. It's not a good time to be an automaker.
Inexplicable: At the Paris Auto Show, manufacturers are displaying vehicles with connections to "spies and detectives." Among all the glittering concept cars and shiny new offerings is a battered '60s-era Peugeot 403 convertible, similar to the one driven by Detective Colombo of the old television show.
The French. They're different. Because ... ummmmm ... they're French.
When Rock Was Young: Bill Haley and his Comets rocked the house during a performance at the Sports Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania on ... (more >>>)
Doot Doot Do-Do Do-Do Doot Doot Do Do: If the mainstream media were in the tank for Trump instead of Hillary, they'd play circus music in the background every time Tim Kaine opened his mouth in front of a TV camera:
Milestone: Last week, I discarded my almost 30 year-old pair of Dexter faux-Topsiders. I never found them to be that comfortable so I kept them by our front door. I only wore my Dexes when I walked to the mailbox at the end of our driveway. The one-piece bottom finally wore down to the point where my socks were getting wet during rainy weather, so off they went into the trash can.
I'm now using a ... (more >>>)
Boo! According to two Halloween costume retailers, Trump masks have been outselling Clinton masks across the country. Halloween mask sales have long been a predictor of the presidential election. One index shows that the candidate with the highest mask sales has won the election since 1980. Retailer Spirit Halloween says their records have shown the same pattern going back to 1996.
"Data from Savers/Value Village shows that Trump masks are currently outselling Clinton masks by seven percentage points." No data was available on sales of Anthony Weiner masks or prison-orange jumpsuits to go with the Hillary mask.
Before You Vote, Think About This: Do you really want to consciously elect a president who's under federal criminal investigation, whose whole first year or two or maybe more will be taken up by this, who may very well face impeachment proceedings, and who may even have to be removed from office?
Can you really bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton - a woman who had to be "sobered up" at 4:30 in the afternoon? Do you want a before-the-sun-is-over-the-yard-arm drunk in the Oval Office?
John Kass of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "FBI director James Comey's announcement about the renewed Clinton e-mail investigation is the bombshell in the presidential campaign. That he announced this so close to Election Day should tell every thinking person that what the FBI is looking at is extremely serious."
It's not about Anthony Weiner and his interest in photography and underage naked pulchritude (although recent Wikileaks docs show that Team Clinton were worried about Weiner's activity with young girls back in 2011, when they learned that police had visited a home in New Castle, Delaware to question a 17-year-old girl about online communications with Anthony Weiner). It is about e-mail exchanges between Hillary Clinton and her questionable aide, Huma Abedin, concerning serious matters of state. There are 650,000 e-mails being reviewed and five FBI field offices are now involved in the investigation of the Clinton
"Underlying metadata suggests thousands of those messages could have been sent to or from the private server that Mrs. Clinton used while she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the matter."
Karl Denninger wrote that he believes "that what was uncovered in those e-mails and on that laptop was nuclear waste-grade incriminating evidence and not toward Weiner or Huma, either of whom could be charged individually without much of an impact on anything else.
No, whatever was found had to relate to Hillary personally, it had to be of sufficient magnitude that James Comey came to the conclusion by manifest weight of the evidence that Hillary Clinton had committed acts so serious that she could not serve in the Office of President." Sounds plausible to me.
By the way, I voted over the weekend. And I voted against corruption and for someone who promises to clean things up: Donald Trump.
In related news, Saturday's online edition of the Columbian (Vancouver, WA), contained absolutely no mention of the FBI reopening Hillary Clinton's criminal investigation. Instead, headlines included 'Predicting How Trump Handles Loss', 'Hola: Tim Kaine Speaks In Spanish Frequently On Trail', 'Trump's Still Short On Promise To Invest $100M Into Campaign' and 'Clinton Has Big Cash Lead'.
Ya think maybe this rag has an extreme leftward bias? By the way, the nickname of the paper's editor is 'Lefty Lou' Brancaccio. Also known as 'Lyin' Lou'.
Lefty Lou "has never hidden his disdain for blogs and bloggers and in years past has laid a portion of blame on blogs for the (Columbian's) declining sales and subscription rate." Gee, I hope Lou Googles himself and finds this entry.
Oh, No. Roland Is Dead: John Zacherle has died at age 98. At age 14, my favorite pastime was to watch his late-night horror movie show, 'Shock Theater', on WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.
His character, the cadaverous Roland, often interrupted the film to do numerous horror-comedy gags parodying the film, an influential change which pioneered a now-standard television genre. In the opening sequence, Zacherle as Roland would descend a long round staircase to his elaborate crypt and laboratory.
During those comedy 'cut-ins', the movie's soundtrack continued to play on the air, while the visual feed switched briefly to a shot of Roland in the middle of a related humorous stunt, such as riding a tombstone, or singing 'My Funny Valentine' to his wife, My Dear, in her coffin. Who could forget Roland's pet amoeba, Thelma - a large gelatinous blob which made noises like a combination buzz-whistle? Thelma rested atop Roland's lab table.
'Shock Theater' was a big hit but Zacherle left for New York when WCAU refused ... (more >>>)
Quip Of The Day is from Bob Hope: "She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn't help wondering from what direction."
| last month |