No. 968
October 17, 2018

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On The Surface



November 19, 2008


Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R - MI). We don't need to add anything to Mr. McCotter's words. His was the one voice, make that the only voice of reason in Washington this week -

Dick Shelby. The stumblebum Senator from Alabama could barely contain his glee at the sight of the CEOs of the Detroit Three sitting before him asking for bridge loans. His mind was as closed as the incentive-laced back room deals that he helped grease in order for Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Toyota to build plants in his home state. It's not a national problem, he insists, even though Toyota and Honda are both extremely fearful that if one of the Detroit Three goes down, it will take their shared suppliers down with them. Shelby is a clueless, self-serving buffoon who displayed his true colors for all of America to see on Tuesday. Nicely done.

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee. The opening remarks by these Senators bristled with enough half-truths, un-truths and flat-out inaccuracies to fill up the airwaves for a month. What, did they send their staffers home early for the break, or is that just the standard operating procedure and level of interest that they bring to work each day in the Senate? Yikes.

Bob Menendez. It's hard to make Dick Shelby look august, but this Senator from New Jersey was a tightly wound, boiling cauldron of mediocrity from the time he first opened his mouth. Hello, New Jersey, you actually voted for this guy? Wow.

Peter Morici. The fact that this self-promoting hack was allowed to testify before the Senate committee on Tuesday was unconscionable and a measure of the "setup" that was in place before the hearings ever took place. Morici is consistently more interested in promoting his brand than he is in presenting useful information, and his command of the facts in the case of the crisis in the domestic automobile industry left much to be desired, needless to say. Why this abject embarrassment was allowed to impart his "wisdom" at the hearings is beyond us. Pathetic.

Neal Boudette. Continuing the Wall Street Journal's relentless jihad against Detroit and the Detroit-based automakers, Boudette weighed-in with an item on on Tuesday afternoon (11/18) that takes Detroit's top executives to task for flying to the hearings in Washington D.C. on their company jets, instead of flying commercial. Boudette said, "There are good reasons for flying the company plane to Washington – it’s corporate policy, ensures their security, saves executive time, which is a legitimate and limited resource. Still, taking the corporate jet costs thousands of dollars more than flying commercial and that may not help the auto makers’ already controversial request." Then Boudette adds, "Now GM’s Rick Wagoner will try to make the case he’s doing everything it can to stave off disaster. It may have helped if he were able to add: 'And the sacrifices are starting with me. I've cut my pay and in fact I took a Northwest flight to get here today to save the expense of using the corporate jet.' " I'm sure UjianNasional readers would love to know that this is the same Neal Boudette who has availed himself access to flights on many of these automakers' corporate planes himself, so it's more than a little puzzling that he would choose to slam the top executives of the Detroit car companies on this issue, don't you think? The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the crisis in the American auto industry has been reprehensibly flawed and blatantly biased from the beginning, a classic example of how piss-poor hacks masquerading as front-line journalists can screw-up a story on a grand scale. Boudette closed his little post with the following: "When these three executives turned to politicians for money, the political implications of their travels and salaries became relevant." To that we say when a publication with the reputed reputation of the Wall Street Journal allows this kind of crap to go out under the guise of "responsible journalism," then that publication becomes fair game for the kind of brutal attacks that are sure to ensue.

VW, Tennessee. Do you want to know what the real scope of subsidies to import auto manufacturers looks like? Click and see what the State of Tennessee is doing to make sure VW has a golden ticket to build a plant there. It's a sad irony that Senators like Dick Shelby are decrying any kind of help for the Big 3 as "nationalization" or "state cars like in Russia" when Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee have been directly subsidizing the foreign makers via abatements and giveaways for years.

Ford. The new 2010 Mustang is more aggressive, more aerodynamic, has a much more sophisticated cabin and has myriad suspension/chassis tweaks for crisper handling, resulting in a much better all-around car. The Mustang will be unveiled in a a special event at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. on Tuesday night (November 18), the eve of the Los Angeles International Auto Show, to a nationwide audience of Mustang enthusiasts, with coverage on SPEED. The broadcast, with hosts Mike Joy and Tommy Kendall, will start at 11 p.m. EST. Mustang Club of America groups across the country - including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, Detroit, Phoenix, Denver, Columbus, Ohio, and Tampa - will hold reveal events in local movie theaters. Many locations are organizing Mustang car shows before the reveal broadcast. Ford Racing Mustang legends joining the celebration include Carroll Shelby, Jack Roush, John Force, Ashley Force, Dorsey Schroeder, Parnelli Jones, Scott Pruett and Lyn St. James. Famous Mustangs on display will include the 1967 SCCA Trans-Am Terlingua Mustang, 1969 Super Boss, 1969 Bonneville Mustang Mach 1, 1970 SCCA Trans-Am Boss 302, 1986 IMSA GTO Mustang, Outlaw Super Street Mustang GT, 1992 IMSA GTS Mustang, which claimed back-to-back class wins in the 1991 and 1992 24 Hours of Daytona, the 1997 All-Sport SCCA Trans-Am Mustang, 1997 NHRA Castrol GTX Mustang Funny Car, NMRA Pro 5.0 Mustang - the world's first small-block Mustang to break the 7.5-second and 190 mph barriers, and 2008 Mustang Challenge FR500S.

(Photos courtesy of Ford)

GM. GM's Opel/Vauxhall Insignia was named Car of the Year 2009 (COTY) this past Monday by a panel of car journalists from 23 countries. “Many jury members appreciated the looks and visual quality of this model but the new C/D (mid-sized) car from Rüsselsheim is much more than style,” the nonprofit COTY organization said. “Active and passive safety, comfort and a wide array of efficient engines characterize this model. The richness of equipment can be increased with sophisticated options such as the ‘Opel Eye’, that reads road signals, FlexRide suspension and nine-mode Adaptive Forward Lighting.” The Car of the Year is a designation given by 59 senior motoring correspondents from 23 European countries. They chose the Insignia from a field of 37 contenders in this year’s competition. Twenty journalists placed the Insignia as number one. To be named the best car of 2009, the journalists must take into consideration criteria such as design (the Insignia has a Cd of 0.27.), safety, handling and performance, with technical innovation and value-for-money being particularly important factors. The Insignia will arrive at dealerships in Europe beginning in early 2009.


Autoweek. The car mag weekly is going to every other week in January with a newly-designed format. Wait a minute, the one product differentiator between Autoweek and the car monthlies in this Internet Age is the fact that it came out every week. When that (relatively speaking) immediacy goes away, then what? Or better yet, why?)



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