May 20th, 2009

Obama the car czar

Here’s an excellent piece from the Wall Street Journal that describes just what’s wrong with Obama taking on the role of car czar:

So far, the Obama administration has yet to lay out its magical thinking on how the homegrown auto makers are to become “viable” when required to subordinate every auto attribute that consumers find desirable in favor of achieving a passenger-car average of 39 miles per gallon by 2016. Nonetheless the answer has quietly seeped out: Taxpayers will write $5,000 or $7,000 rebate checks to other taxpayers to bribe them to buy hybrids and plug-ins at a price that lets Detroit claim it’s earning a “profit” on its Obamamobiles.

Mr. Obama was supposed to be smart. His administration was supposed to be a smart administration. But the policy coming out has not been smart. It has been a brute shifting of power to the president’s political allies, justified by the shibboleths of copybook liberalism.

Here’s another that says much the same thing:

We wish these folks luck “working together” with the Obama auto-design team. One thing seems certain by 2016: Taxpayers will be paying Detroit to make the cars Americans don’t want, and then they will pay again either through (trust us) a gas tax or with a purchase subsidy. Even the French must think we’re nuts.

Is this the hoped-for change that Obama voters so desired? I continue to be surprised that more Americans are not shocked and angered by all of this. The fact that they are not seems to me to be evidence that the majority of Americans (a) no longer understand the most basic economic facts; and/or (b) believe the environment is so threatened that Draconian measures are absolutely necessary; and/or (c) have come to regard big business (including car companies) as the enemy, and the Obama-run federal government as friend.

I don’t happen to agree.

52 Responses to “Obama the car czar”

  1. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Alex, please read my note to you specifically in the creditaholic thread.

  2. Scottie Says:

    Locally, there are several Chrysler dealerships that The Messiah and his cohorts have deemed shall be closed. They literally have weeks to get rid of remaining stocks of vehicles and shut their doors.

    Ostensibly, this is to make Chrysler a leaner and more efficient company – or at least that’s what the brainiacs in the administration keep saying.

    However, there is a major flaw in their reasoning.

    Since the remaining Chrysler dealerships cannot absorb the vehicles currently on the car lots of dealerships that are closing, the dealerships that are closing are going to have to dump them on the market at whatever price they can get for them at this point before they shut their doors.

    The result is the price a customer is willing to pay for a new Chrysler product is going to plummet as it becomes a buyer’s market.

    Simultaneously, you have the other shoe dropping – which is how many people really want to purchase a vehicle from a company that is disappearing before our very eyes and you see dealerships here today and gone tomorrow????

    Will Chrysler even be around a year from now at this rate?

    So, end result is this massive dumping of new Chrysler products from closing dealerships onto the market is going to drive down the price of new Chrysler products on the lots of dealerships that are supposed to remain in business.

    That kind of price undercutting is going to further erode any profits from the remaining Chrysler dealerships, further hindering any hope Chrysler has of recovering from this boondoggle.

    They plan the same tactic on GM dealerships, only GM dealerships have far more time than Chrysler did to absorb these blows.

    Now that Obama has performed his magic (it’s a disappearing act!) on the auto industry, we can sit back comfortably and watch him perform his next magic act on the health care industry.

    Pass the popcorn……

  3. Thomass Says:

    Or people are still stuck in Bush bashing so they don’t want to see it.

  4. vanderleun Says:

    I’m going with (d) Like voters in California yesterday, they are so numbed by the endless onslaught of initiatives and change they simply cannot focus any longer on what this might mean for their future — or (e) Changenumb is so deeply stuck in the brains of the people that they can no longer imagine future pain and it will take an actual arrival in the future for them to understand the pain.

  5. vanderleun Says:

    Or it could just be uppercase (D)enial.

    Here comes the downsizing of the American dream. Enjoy.

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    I think it is going to work out fine for me. I bought a nice American made Toyota Sienna 8 passenger van in January. My little old lady wife and I will probably drive this thing about 4,000mi per year; it is garage kept. In about 7 or 8 years, when people with families cannot buy a new van, this one should be worth a mint. I am assuming that people will still be having families at that time; may be the fallacy in my thinking.

    Living reasonably close to DC, it has occurred to me that if we still had the Buick we would soon be able to drive up to the White House and have the Car & Medical Czar’s minions change the oil and do a colonoscopy while we wait–free, of course. Oh well, can’t have it all.

  7. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Last I heard, the lemon law does not apply to Chrysler.
    Got a lemon? Get in line with the rest of the creditors at the bankruptcy hearing.
    Wonder if that will happen wrt GM.

  8. JKB Says:

    Now is not the time to act. Chrysler and GM were dead anyway so you wait for the opportune moment. Soon, such as just happened in Cali, the populace will dare Congress to fund subsidies for the Obamacar. GM and Chrysler will be put out of our misery since what is worse than buying a car from a defunct company? Buying a car from a defunct company run by government bureaucrats. In the meantime, there will be a mini-boom in car sale as people scarf up the last properly designed and manufactured cars. Then long about 2012 we’ll scrap this nonsense with the election of decent leadership.

  9. SteveH Says:

    People have somehow figured the grass is greener on the other side of prosperity. I got bad news for them.

    I get the feeling this whole economic debacle is nothing more than a self imposed wilderness camp for liberals.

  10. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    It is stunning that the idea of the government running an industry is even under consideration. My suspicion is that many progressives continue to think that there is someone out there with money, if Obama can just find a way to pry it loose from those evil capitalists. Most people, even quite liberal ones, understand something about growth and taxation, if they can only stop and think a moment. My worry is those angry (but clever) extremists who will continue to believe in magic money from somewhere. They have shown themselves to be quite effective in stirring up class warfare, even among those who should know better.

  11. expat Says:

    I think people have tricked themselves into believing that because they use energy-saving light bulbs and don’t waste toilet paper they will not be too affected by Obama’s policies. They rationalize their own SUV or 30-mile commute, but assume there are others not making a sacrifice–for the environment, for the poor, for whatever cause they feel smug about. Somehow all those other people will cram their families and soccer gear into a Smart. They themselves are the ones they have been waiting for.

  12. Occam's Beard Says:

    A modest proposal: license the plans for the Trabant, and start making those. Might as well cut to the chase right away.

  13. SteveH Says:

    Lol @ Trabant! I had a friend in highschool who was 6’6″ 300 lbs and drove a Fiat. He could check the oil while sitting in the drivers seat. 🙂

  14. FredHjr Says:

    Remember the Yugo was a gem of socialist central planning. Encore anyone?

    That does not include the shitboxes that were produced in the U.S.S.R.

  15. Webutante Says:

    It’s hard for most of us to be appalled yet—as you and I are—because the effects to all this will be delayed. But it will happen and there will be outrage down the road, so to speak.

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    The problem with all this – where to start? – is

    a) Obama has zero experience at business, or indeed anything else, apart from campaigning and agitating,

    b) socially-directed businesses (as in everything from the USSR to the “socially responsible” mutual funds) have a track record that approaches “dismal” from below, and

    c) the source of Chrysler’s problems – the UAW – is now not just part of the picture, but in fact calling the shots.

    Apart from that, things look good.

  17. JR Dogman Says:

    I think most people don’t know what exactly is going on, and to the extent that they do know, the news has been given to them in such a way as to downplay the lunacy of what the administration and congress are doing.

    I also think vanderleun is right: denial is definitely playing a big factor.

  18. Stark Says:

    The pre-adolescent like responses of adult voters is truly amazing. Political parental figures promise ice cream and that everything will be fine if the children remain quiet. Nobody cares if their neighbor, or sibling, gets whacked just as long as they have ice cream today and soothing reassurances. The growing dependence and complacency is appalling. It will lead to everyone being sent to bed without their supper.

  19. Tom Says:

    It is a lot more than BHO. It is the Dem Congress and the RINOs. Contract and bankruptcy laws are breached, businesses are nationalized by a bunch of oh-so-nice looking (remember Neo on Geithner?), glib violators of the Constitution and Federalism.
    What we have here is fascism in its early stage. We are the new Germany in the year 1933. The Buffets and Gateses and Soroses will prosper while uncounted thousands of our businesses and our rights as citizens get crushed It is a revolution. Make no mistake about that.

  20. Matthew M Says:

    President Obama’s car mileage edict is farcical replay of the early 1970s introduction of CAFE – right down to the prediction that it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (Producing more of our own might do something in that regard.) Again, foreign car companies are well positioned to respond since they are already supplying small cars to the residents (or is subjects more precise) in their more statist countries.

    It is obvious that Americans don’t like small cars. Forcing them on us won’t change that. American car companies will be screwed by the government again as they try to meet entirely irrational goals spewed forth from Washington. Aside from being an immoral sucker punch from one hand even as the other offers a so-called bailout, it is not realistic to think automobiles can change so radically in five years.

    Unless the Republicans offer abolishing the EPA, NHTSA and other bogus beneficiaries as a remedy to the Democrats statism, they won’t deserve any support in 2010 or later.

  21. Mitsu Says:

    You guys are writing as though these mandates only apply to American car manufacturers. They don’t — they will apply to ALL manufacturers, obviously, foreign and domestic, across the board. And they’re long overdue, as they will save us billions of dollars in money we’ve been sending to the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Not to mention reducing greenhouse gases and pollution.

    Furthermore these standards are already in place in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere. We’re simply playing catch-up.

  22. Occam's Beard Says:


  23. expat Says:


    Don’t be too smug about the Trabi. There were 17-year waiting lists to get one. Heck, at the same time American car builders couldn’t even tell 17 years in advance what models they would be building. Didn’t some of the car builders say that the new norms would give them planning security? People might complain about the debt being passed onto their grandchildren, but think how secure the kids will be about the car they will be driving. Unless, of course, the Stasi hears something they don’t like when they bug your apartment. But walking is good for your BMI.

  24. JR Dogman Says:


    You say “these standards are already in place in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere”, as if such is unequivocally a good thing. It is *arguably* a good thing, but just as arguably not.

    First, if you read Energy Victory by Robert Zubrin, he shows that higher CAFE standards won’t do a thing to starve OPEC, as the oil cartel will simply raise the price of oil per barrel to make up for any lost revenue.

    Second, to increase fuel standards so greatly, cars will have to be built smaller and ligher than they are at present. That smaller cars are not as safe as larger cars is a fact; per the stats, increased CAFE standards have resulted in more deaths on the road in the past, and that’s not going to change.

    One of my closest friends just had a baby, and, for reasons of safety, she has decided to purchase a larger, heavier car. I don’t blame her; when I have kids of my own, I’ll want to do the same for them.

    Lastly, whatever CAFE standards Europe and Japan have is their business, but I don’t see why either of these places should be a model for America, as their governments are a lot more intrusive than ours are — or rather, at least for a while, used to be.

    That said, if we are going to emulate Europe and Japan, how about we build some more nuclear plants? We can use the cheap electricity to turn our garbage into methanol, which can be burned in current gas combustion engines AND made into a more efficient diesel fuel than petro-based diesel.

    If we did the above, we could have cleaner air, and still drive whatever cars we wanted.

  25. Occam's Beard Says:

    First, global warming is total nonsense. Total, crystalline, diffracting out to 90 degrees in two theta nonsense.

    Second, is there a single example extant in human history of a liberal policy proposal that was supposed to “save us money” and actually did so?

    It’s rhetorical question.

  26. FredHjr Says:

    It was only during the past year that I became aware of the role that GE’s Jeffrey Immelt has been playing in the ramming home of the cap and trade system that is being put into place. It will make GE and Immelt fabulously wealthy, but will impoverish America. As many as two million jobs will be lost because of it. We are talking trillions of dollars in “taxes” (carbon offsets charged) that will be taken out of the economy. Nuclear power is nowhere on the radar screen. There is absolutely no way that wind turbine and solar photovoltaic cells will replace even a significant amount of the grid that will be taken out.

    The government is putting the oil, gas, and coal industries out of business. It has taken over the auto industry. It is about to put private medical insurance out of business and take over the health care industry.

    We are witnessing a power grab of monumental proportions. Central planning put in place. The more I think about the ramifications of all of this, and because I knew it was coming even before Obama was over the top in the Democratic primary season, the angrier I feel towards my fellow citizens. And believe me, I am pissed. We have to have an utterly stupid and deranged citizenry for the U.S. to have willingly chosen Marxism.

    Jeffrey Immelt said he thought the science underlying cap and trade was compelling and settled. And that’s why he’s been having GE’s network companies push global warming hard for some years. At least he was honest enough to admit that he did it because he wanted his company to profit from it.

    To my fellow citizens: Most of you (the ones who voted for Obonga) are lazy, stupid morons. You are the ones responsible for the loss of our country, the loss of our Constitution, the destruction of our economy, and the trashing of the remnants of the culture of Western Civilization. You deserve to be urinated and defecated upon.

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    your like my friend who just bought a prius and thinks its great.

    its great if your willing to trade safety to acheive your point.

    small cars are inherently less safe than larger cars. even if all other cars were the same size as the small one, that would leave full sized deer, full sized trucks, and full sized just as hard concrete and sign posts.

    now i know that your going to whip back some smart mouthed thing about safety ratings.

    well, safety ratings, if you read how they are created, are not cross class or even different cars.

    that is the safety number is the thing that would be assumed if a car hit a car exactly like itself.

    so the safety rating of an egg hitting an egg has nothing to do with how safe it really is when hitting other things.

    whoops.. i know.. you have another quick answer on your lips..

    but if you do a bit of research you will find that the agency that creates those ratings did a study of cross class collisions and a nice write up explaining the truth about physics. small cars will never be as safe as larger cars.

    Wait… suck in another breath mitsu… here is the link:

    The death rate per million 1-3-year-old minis in single-vehicle crashes during 2007 was 35 compared with 11 per million for very large cars. Even in midsize cars, the death rate in single-vehicle crashes was 17 percent lower than in minicars. The lower death rate is because many objects that vehicles hit aren’t solid, and vehicles that are big and heavy have a better chance of moving or deforming the objects they strike. This dissipates some of the energy of the impact.

    you cant bend the laws of physics and if they car companies could have made a car with 100 miles to a gallon and be safe, they would have. which is why they never did till the state forced them to

    I will skip to the bottom line..

    If we could get all the energy out of a gallon of gasoline and apply it to overcoming the rolling resistance of a car, we could get about 400 miles per gallon. But the internal engine resistance multiplies the force required by roughly five, meaning the best we could hope for is about 80 miles a gallon. The engineering constraints of getting useful work out of expanding hot gases cuts that figure by 50 per cent to about 40 miles per gallon. So better fuels and fuel injection could improve mileage, but not stupendously.

    Guess what? they are at the point where the law of diminishing returns kicks in. they now have to sacrifice to meat an arbitrary mandated value.

    That means making the car weigh less… which means doubling the number of road deaths to meet the target.

    How sweet…

    [edited for length by neo-neocon]

  28. Mr. Frank Says:

    Detroit made big cars and trucks because the profit margins on small cars were not sufficient to cover the bloated UAW compensation package. It was the only way they could make money. Forcing them to make small cars will apply the coup de grace.

    Also, where the heck did the figure 39 come from? Why not 38 or 40? I think it came out of thin air.

  29. FredHjr Says:

    “I think it came out of thin air.”

    Or they pulled it out of a place where the air is of such a malodorous nature that you just don’t want to go there…

    I really don’t think these people truly know what they are doing. Obonga is making shit up as he goes along, hewing to the general plans that Soros and the other oligarchs want implemented. And unfortunately, at least for the next four years it is a done deal. The Marxists have taken over. It will take stunning victories in 2010 and 2012 to reverse it all. Or a sanguinary event that will be horrific for the Left – for the American Left the only rescue from certain destruction would be foreign armies, and I don’t think that will happen if the U.S. military is mostly on our side (and I expect that to be the case). At least out of work carpenters will get work building gallows.

  30. Artfldgr Says:

    one of the more interesting thing to see in indonesia is a family of 6 on one motor scooter.
    lower than 6 is more common, but in a sea of motor bikes and scooters occaisionally there was a man, his son standing in front of him, his wife behind him holding a baby, with the daughter behind her holding her.

    i should send neo an image

    did i mention that obama lived there?
    and so that might be his mental conception of a workable level of living?


  31. Artfldgr Says:

    the missing person is either another child with the one standing… or the daughter has a sister or another baby as she sits side saddle behind mom on the baggage rack.


  32. jackscrow Says:

    Does this mean that I have to pick sides when the UAW goes on strike and the 0-Man calls in his Brownshirt strike-breakers? Whew… tough call.

    Nothing more deserving or entertaining than Union Thugs beating and getting beaten by Government Thugs!

    It probably also means that Chevy will have to change its ad tune from “Like A Rock” to Neil Young’s “Welfare Mothers (Make Better Lovers)”….

  33. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I really, really hate it that I am being proved right in my analysis, that Obama is rushing through and putting in place the initial building blocks for the foundation of a Socialist/Fascist/Marxist Tyranny; moving so fast, on so many fundamental issues, on so many fronts simultaneously that Obama & Co’s Blitzkeig is hard to even comprehend, much less organize against and oppose. The MSM, meanwhile, is just looking the other way and not reporting or analyzing at all, but rather, is shaking their Pom Poms–although with less and less enthusiasm, it seems–and cheering for Obama and Hope and Change, and instead of honest news and analysis, we are bombarded by stories about the Obama’s new dog, the muscle tone in Michelle’s arms, and her planting her very own “Victory Garden” on the White House grounds; and why shouldn’t she and Obama celebrate their “Victory” over America.

    The most astonishing thing is that the Congress just lays back—I guess, as they say “to enjoy the inevitable,” and lets the Constitution, the Economy and America be gang raped by every big Democratic donor, crook and leftist special interest group there is. Had anyone written a story about how–in a few short months–the Constitution was trashed, the Rule of Law ignored, and the capitalist system and our economy destroyed–and how, all the while, “a Cancer grew on the Presidency,” Congress actively helped in the orgy of destruction, and those, in Congress and elsewhere, who should have adamantly and vigorously opposed all of these malicious, horrendous, destructive actions just stood back, shell-shocked, witless and slack-jawed, and watched the destruction, no one would buy it, they’d say it was too outlandish and unlikely and that “It Can’t Happen Here,” but, it is happening here, taking place right in front of our eyes.

    Obama, ever the Marxist, is smashing the Capitalist system as all good Marxists have dreamt of doing, and in the process, gathering all power and control to him and the government. I very much doubt that, with Obama and ACORN involved, the elections in 2010 will be fair and honest—they will be fixed, and by 2012 I fully expect Obama & Co. to be well enough entrenched to hold on to power, no matter how any of us votes.

    Even if it is possible for voters to deprive the Democrats of their majorities in the House and Senate, or even to send our first Black, Marxist (and Muslim) President into richly deserved retirement after one term, the damage will have been done; that is the whole idea behind Obama & Co’s indecent haste.

    It will be impossible to reassemble the America that Obama & Co will have so thoroughly hacked into pieces, stitched together, and reassembled into a new and disturbing Frankenstein; a shambling, staggering, twitching, stuttering wreck, a ghost of what America once had been, a sick, scruffy, dirty gray, one-eyed Pigeon, instead of an Eagle.

    Will a post-Obama Congress be willing to drive the number of people who pay no taxes down from Obama’s 50% by taking their “tax credits”–disguised welfare checks–away from a truculent mob? Will Congress be willing to dissemble all of the “people’s organizations”; alternate sources of power for Obama, that he is so busily setting up? Can anyone revive a capitalist system when the major sectors and companies that made up that system have been “taken for a ride,” hijacked and hacked to death, nationalized, and confidence in the sanctity of contracts destroyed? How can a dollar that has been inflated 15 fold (and that is what the Federal Reserve is busily doing) be made the standard for the world once again? Who would be willing to see us as a good credit risk again? It was our government–when it was relatively honestly and sanely run—that used to provide insurance for U.S. businesses that wanted to go into overseas markets, but were deterred by the possibility that they would be nationalized. Who would want to invest in the United States after Obama’s nationalizations? How, short of repudiation of our debts, can Obama’s ruinous spending, deficits and debt be rolled back and paid off? Who, in their right mind, would ever want to invest in American companies again, or try to run a major corporation, or a car dealership? Why should anyone believe in a benign U.S. government ever again?

    I fear this episode in America’s history will only end in tragedy and massive violence, and that the America that emerges will be a pale shadow of the America that once was, before Obama.

  34. jackscrow Says:

    methinks you need to employ an editor

  35. Charles Says:

    “Is this the hoped-for change that Obama voters so desired? I continue to be surprised that more Americans are not shocked and angered by all of this.”

    D) are so busy with trying to survive this economic mess that they don’t have time to worry about things other than putting food on the table this week and paying next month’s rent/mortgage.

    I think that’s not unlike what happened in pre-war Germany. Most Germans were too busy trying to survive hyper-inflation that they didn’t notice or care about what the Nazis were up too.

    Let’s hope that we, Americans, start paying attention sooner rather than later.

  36. Artfldgr Says:

    neo, where do i send the check for the editing services? sorry… 🙂

  37. Artfldgr Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,
    yup. and the most frustrating thing is that you cant get them to stop arguing about the color of their sneakers to show them their house is burning down.

    but, go back to my earlist posts…

    if it werent for obama, i would be written off as a crackpot!!! but now, i am prescient… hindsight is funny that way.

    this is what is called a STATE change in physics.

    you see it all the time… when you put ice cubes in a glass, or make some tea.

    as i said before, they didnt have to move us all the way to socialist communism

    they only have to convince us that the perfect temperature for the perfect glass of water is 31.9 degrees.

    as long as we think its a smooth spectrum, we will never ever see that the system at a critical point will self reorganize suddenly..

    and to make it worse… in order to complete the task in the time, they have a lid on the pot. that way, boiling point can be pushed off to 300 degrees…

    but once they cant hold the lid of truth on it, then the same thing happens as with a pressur cooker when they dont release it.

    another way to look at this end event… the release valve can handle X amount… cahnge it too fast and the pressure builds faster than the vent can vent. it might as well not be there… this is how a house which is not sealed can end up containing an explosion anyway and increasing the destructuve force of it.

    its why my romanian friend is planning her suicide

    odd to hear her talk about it… but completely rational if you know what it can be like even if its nice.

    the people i tried to partnher with and build something all thtough it was greedy to work that hard for that much extra. they are now asking me what to do..

    i said get a lawn chair, some pop corn and watch the class war and all the mayhem from a court seat!!!!

    i was trying to make it so we could watch from a press box in another coutnry for a while, but that woudl have bene greedy…

    now look at the great seats you have to see a revolution up close.

    [now one is getting some work done that may save his famikly and mine. but it will be too late.. its what happens when you play with the grasshoppers too long]

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    I think that’s not unlike what happened in pre-war Germany. Most Germans were too busy trying to survive hyper-inflation that they didn’t notice or care about what the Nazis were up too.


    and now the people on the beach see the tsunami

    too bad they held on to us who wanted to get to the hills.

    like a bucket of crabs they pull the smarter ones that would escape the same fate back in.

  39. Artfldgr Says:

    ALL the leftists who love revolution got their wish.

    but none of them have the real world life skill sto survive the clash.

    for those worried about such a clash…

    imagine rednecks against the cast of american idol

    who wins?

  40. Roy Says:

    To answer Neo’s question, how about:

    (d) All of the above.

  41. ninjafetus Says:


    Two quick questions for you.

    1. Even if we accept your premise that higher-mileage cars will save money sent overseas, why do I need the government to tell me what type of car (and thereby how much gas) to buy? (hint: since I’m an adult and I work for my money, there’s a strong possibility that I should decide how it’s spent.)

    2. If you got the first question correct (and even if not, we’re all winners for trying ♥), here’s the second. If we assume the population is ultimately in charge of their purchases, and we assume the government is representing the will of the people, why is the government encouraging cars that the market hasn’t supported? (hint: contradictions don’t exist! check your premises)

    Well, actually, I guess I could have boiled it down to one question…

    1. Is it better for government to restrict behavior when because it interferes with the freedoms of others, or restrict behavior because it knows how to take care of you better than you know how to take care of yourself?

    … but that would take all the fun out of it, wouldn’t it?

  42. ninjafetus Says:


    I continue to be surprised that more Americans are not shocked and angered by all of this.

    Is is sad that, even if I’m angered, I’m not even shocked anymore?

  43. br549 Says:

    Just because because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean my own government isn’t out to get me.

    Never miss an opportunity to take advantage of ……..

    I submit the current catastrophes were oh so more than “allowed to happen” in order to “take advantage of it”.

    Too many things have occurred at once, basically, and fallen into place, causing the constituent freezing fear that has allowed us to be where we are. W is way too silent. Surely, he has a mouthful he could say. Quietest ex-president I’ve ever seen. I mean…the man has disappeared. Is it him, or the MSM making sure he is missing by exclusion? They don’t even seem to be curious. I never hear a word from them wondering where Bush is and what he’s doing.

    We are at a point where one can no longer look at these things individually. The cumulative result is what matters. The snowflakes have become avalanche.

  44. Dan Says:

    Just thinking out loud: what will happen if Detroit makes a bunch of trucks and SUVs they can’t sell because people aren’t buying enough hybrids/electrics to offset the bigger vehicles? BOGO sales? The buyer parks his tiny smart car and doesn’t drive it much. Old large cars start appreciating on the used car market? I forsee waiting lists to buy large cars and the government subsidizing (picking your pocket) the purchase of small cars. More bailout money to the automakers. Isn’t ownership of corporations by the government the definition of fascism?

  45. armchair pessimist Says:

    One reason why there isn’t more indignation is that Obama is continuing a process that began with TR and Wilson. To take a trivial example of just how thoroughly we’ve been tamed to follow the Federal Government’s orders, take Daylight Savings. Twice a year we all change our clocks…like clocks.

    Face it. We’ve all been slowly marinated in the sauce of Government knows best and now America is cooked.

  46. Don Says:

    Mitsu Says:

    May 20th, 2009 at 7:09 pm
    You guys are writing as though these mandates only apply to American car manufacturers. They don’t — they will apply to ALL manufacturers, obviously, foreign and domestic, across the board. And they’re long overdue, as they will save us billions of dollars in money we’ve been sending to the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Not to mention reducing greenhouse gases and pollution.

    Furthermore these standards are already in place in Europe, Japan, and elsewhere. We’re simply playing catch-up.

    Mitsu, I don’t believe that the rest of the world has such strict emission standards. Car companies specifically make cars for US vs non US, and the US ones are typically the neutered version. That’s why some of the best Jeep and Toyota products are sold elsewhere, but not in the US.

    You will also note that some of the most efficient vehicles are not sold in the US. The reason is that CAFE standards are at odds with efficiency; hence our industry is hampered at attaining top fuel efficiency.

    Furthermore, CAFE has hampered efficiency by punishing big cars, with the result that people now buy trucks. The 70s station wagon was replaced by minivans and SUVs, an unintended consequence of CAFE. This Obamanation will further this effect. Soon, everyone will be driving a truck.

  47. Thomass Says:

    jackscrow Says:

    “Nothing more deserving or entertaining than Union Thugs beating and getting beaten by Government Thugs!”

    Blue on blue!

  48. waltj Says:

    “…one of the more interesting thing to see in indonesia is a family of 6 on one motor scooter…”

    Saw 8 in Cambodia once. Dad, driving, Mom (holding baby), Grandpa, four young kids (one in front of dad, one between Mom & Dad, one on Grandpa’s lap, one behind him). Plus a dog and a chicken. And not a helmet in sight. It was truly amazing. But 6 is also the max I’ve seen in Indonesia. If Obama wants to ride around that way, that’s his business, but he shouldn’t be forcing it on the rest of us. But “for thee, not for me…”

  49. Gringo Says:

    The point about putting in mileage and/or emission standards right now is that you couldn’t pick a worse time to implement them. The auto industry is under a great amount of stress like now. More stringent standards will simply make it less likely that it will recover.

    BTW, US emission standards were way ahead of the rest of the world.

    Having Obama run the auto industry is like putting a 14 year old behind a semi on a curving mountain road. He couldn’t even run the Annenberg Challenge, and he thinks he can run the auto industry? Lords preserve us.

  50. Gringo Says:

    My remark about emissions standards related to decades past. How they are right now, I don’t know, but I doubt that they are currently much less stringent than the rest of the world.

    Consider the air quality of the LA basin 40 years ago, and the # of cars then and now. Much better.

  51. Artfldgr Says:

    waltj 🙂

  52. Sean the Maggot Says:

    “Also, where the heck did the figure 39 come from? Why not 38 or 40? I think it came out of thin air.”

    Mr. Frank

    Nah, think lower and also body cavity.

    “…they will save us billions of dollars in money we’ve been sending to the Persian Gulf and elsewhere…”


    Dude, it’s called “domestic oil production”. No, it’s not just for oil, it’s also for petroleum products that you use in the production of plastics and other materials. Can you say polyester? Surely you must be thinking of those leisure suits you heard about, that is true. Hmmm, go a head and take off that R.E.I fleece you’s wearin’ and look inside the collar, vas dis? POLYESTER!!!!!

    Energy independence is a nice goal we want to get to, but the current plan just don’t factor in the domestic need for oil and the use of domestic production during the transition period to cleaner and greener fuel.

    Clue, get some.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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