Archive for auto industry

"What is #Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?" He's protecting monopolies.


chris christie tesla free marketImage via.

Oh that scamp New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he says he is all about the free market. He's so supportive of a free market that he's doing whatever he can to stomp all over it in the name of "protecting consumers." Isn't that just like Governor "Heartbroken"? Always so concerned about his people; why, he's so concerned that they're still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy due to his broken promises and (alleged) nefarious deeds.

Gee, when you think about it, his position is about as hypocritical as that of pro-forced birthers who demand that Big Government stay out of our lives as they force trans-vaginal ultrasounds up women without their permission while denying them the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. To protect "children." But they're not "children," they're zygotes and fetuses. But I digress.

Both are the kind of "protection" we can do without.

And with that, here is today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The car dealers' racket," Opinion, March 17

So New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed a decision last week by the Motor Vehicle Commission to "protect consumers" and effectively kick Tesla out of the state by prohibiting it from selling its electric vehicles directly to consumers.

It appears, however, that the Christie administration is actually protecting long-established dealership monopolies.

Christie recently huffed, "We have an opportunity problem in this country because government is trying to control the free market." What is Christie doing if not trying to control the free market?

Another Christie talking point: "We need to talk about the fact that we're for a free-market society that allows your effort and your ingenuity to determine your success; not the cold, hard hand of government determining winners and losers."

I challenge Christie to come up with a better example of the free market at work than Tesla Motors, the first successful new American car company in more than half a century.

Linda Nicholes

Huntington Beach


Climate change? Pfft! say deniers. But money talks, and right now it's screaming.


climate change Jack and Jill

Climate change, schlimate change, what a bunch of hooey, because, brrr, it's cold! Clearly, that means there's no global warming, right? Wrong.

Psst! Weather is not the same as climate, denier geniuses:

noun \ˈwe-thər\

: the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place : the temperature and other outside conditions (such as rain, cloudiness, etc.) at a particular time and place

: bad or stormy weather


noun \ˈklī-mət\

:  a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions

a: the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation

Now that that's settled, let's take a little peek at how increasingly extreme weather conditions, likely caused by overall climate change, are affecting more than what we wear. As we speak, we are seeing an alarming economic impact. As I read my morning Los Angeles Times, several articles scattered throughout the Business section caught my eye, and not in a good way:

1. Stocks dive on fresh growth worries:

Stocks were pounded by discouraging data released Monday on manufacturing, auto sales and construction spending.

You're probably asking, "Yeah? So? What does that have to do with climate change?" Plenty:

2. GM, Ford, Toyota auto sales plunge with January's cold weather:

Arctic-like weather across much of the nation put a freeze on January auto sales. [...] General Motors said Monday that its U.S. sales fell 12% in January to 171,486 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. [...] The automaker said its sales were the worst in the South, Midwest and Northeast, all areas that suffered from the extreme cold. [...]

Ford Motor Co. said its January fell 7% to 154,644.

Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. [...]

Toyota reported January sales results of 146,365 vehicles, a 7.2% decrease from what it sold in the U.S. in the same month a year earlier.

“January was off to a solid start, but the weather conditions slowed industry sales in key markets late in the month,” said Bill Fay, Toyota’s division group vice president and general manager.

but wait there's more smaller

3. Manufacturing activity slows in January; stocks slump:

"A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January," said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

4. California citrus season shortened by December freeze:

Consumers will have less time to get their hands on California citrus this year because of a cold snap in early December that damaged $441-million worth of fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, an industry study released Monday said. [...]

An estimated 40% of the [mandarin orange] crop that remained on trees were lost. That amounts to 4.7-million 40-pound cartons and $150 million in lost revenue. [...]

About 30% of the navel crop was lost in the valley, the heart of the state’s agriculture industry. That amounted to 22 million 40-pound cartons or $260 million worth of navels.

Valley lemon producers lost 20% of their crop, equal to $24 million in lost revenue.

And finally...
tadaa35. 'Polar vortex' wallops fliers' wallets:

Flights canceled in January's "polar vortex" inflicted $2.5 billion in costs on stranded travelers, according to a new analysis. The $2.5-billion figure represents lost productivity, hotel expenses and meals, MasFlight reported. The airline industry lost $75 million to $150 million. [...]

To avoid the hefty fines, airlines are now more likely to cancel flights during bad weather. [...] [T]he weather woes could take a bite out of the bottom line for some of the nation's biggest airlines.

"They'll definitely take a financial hit," Counter said.

All of those stories appeared in just one day, in one section of my paper.

And while all this is taking a financial and emotional toll, we have the filthy, "game over," disaster-in-waiting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline looming.

Hope the weather's good wherever you are, because the overall climate-- whether economic, psychological, political, or meteorological-- is chilling.


Women Power, Not Horsepower



The "making of" this Fiat ad drives me crazy -- totally amazeballs as my kids would say. If you start watching it, you won't stop. So here's four minutes of mind boggling fun, beautiful women and some vastly creative and talented body artists.

This is a country of ingenuity and imagination. We need to provide for the education as well, so we can develop and generate creative minds and a more productive future. Let the GOP know that we're not going to allow them to cut education funds. After all, we want to go forward, not backwards. Who'd want to see a commercial done this way for a horse and buggy?

Red Neck Haven

And in a related matter, Good Ol' Texas, that state that keeps on giving, has provided us with some body-painting related fodder from their franchised Red Neck Haven Restaurant. Seems body paint isn't enough of a "cover up" at their establishment, so they've decided to ban female servers who just cover their breasts with body paint. In the HuffPo article about Redneck Haven Restaurant or as the locals were calling it, the Redneck Breastaurant:

A Lewisville, Tex., restaurant must decide what their breast move is after the city banned it from allowing their waitresses to wear body paint while serving food.

After complaints to police about the waitress' attire (or lack thereof) at Redneck Heaven restaurant, the city council voted to change an ordinance so that it's now illegal for women to cover their breasts with just body paint, according to KDFW.

So, I guess what's good enough for a television commercial, the naked body-painted Fiat women, isn't up to your high standards to serve you a beer and nachos in a facility that you must be 21 or older to enter. Ah, Texas, you just have too much time on your hands and you're going to use it to minimize women's rights of all kind.You find the female body is yours to control. Just how much longer before rape becomes decriminalized? You've taken women's rights almost totally away with your GOP forced anti-women's reproductive rights measures.You're shutting down legal abortion clinics. Now you're targeting adult eating establishments? When do you drop the charade and go with having women legally declared sex objects or banning them outright?

Oh, and while were on the subject of controlling bodies, how about looking into regulating places that serve food that can kill?  Doesn't the epidemic of obesity concern you at all?

greasy burger

Redneck Heaven patrons may no longer be able to see women with no clothes on, but they can still tuck into one of the restaurant's signature "Border Patrol Belt Busters" or chomp down a "Double-Bubba Pounder" Nolan Ryan Burger.


Video- Fox's Bolling: Weaker Unions "May Be Actually One Of The Best Things That Could Happen" To Michigan


Via MM.


VIDEO: Romney manages to unite corporate America and unions with his false Jeep ad


Image via

: Fact checkers break down Mitt Romney's misleading and false Jeep ad. Romney is desperate and deceptive in Ohio.

President Bill Clinton called Romney’s Jeep Ad the “biggest load of bull in the world.”

A Chrysler executive called out Donald Trump's lies about sending Jeep productionto China by saying, “You are full of sh**!”

But none of that stopped Willard M. Romney and Paul Ryan from perpetuating the lies at their campaign stops. This is who Republican voters are supporting? This is who they call patriotic and want as role models for their kids? Really?


"The people of Ohio know who's on their side and who's a phony" & the phony is desperate Mitt Romney


My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up at HuffPo; hence, because Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has comedic insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here:

This is not the besmirch anyone's analytical skills, but I think I can say as someone who grew up in New York City, lived in Washington, DC, and is now living in Ohio, there is only so much you can understand about how President Obama's successfully tapped into our current cultural zeitgeist without living here. 

Ohio has played an outsized role in this nation's history. There have been seven presidents from this state. [...]

In recent years, however, the state suffered from a manufacturing decline as ill-considered free trade deals, deregulation and other factors beyond the control of everyday Ohioans decimated the economy. The state saw its population fall, and with it its importance as an economic power and cultural force. [...]

...Ohioans, and white workers in particular, are not just looking for policies, but for someone who is on their side on an emotional level. 

For three key reasons, President Obama has become the candidate a disproportionate number of white-working-class Ohioans see as being planted firmly there. First, he enacted the auto bailout (result: the economy is rebounding here), while Mitt Romney was looking for a Bain-like arrangement where the auto industry would have crashed, with its parts auctioned off to China. [...]

This leads me to the second major factor, Mitt Romney's record-breaking career of getting rich off of destroying successful companies. ... Romney bought often thriving companies, saddled them with debt, paid himself and his country club pals obscene fees and then let the companies implode, taking with them the hopes, aspirations and healthcare of an untold number of American workers.  [...]

Finally, an assist must be given to Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Kasich was elected with the help of many union members in 2010, and especially police and firefighters, only to turn around and try to dismantle their collective-bargaining rights. [...]

The people of Ohio know who's on their side and who's a phony, and no amount of tax-shelter-supplied campaign funds will change that.

Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients. 

Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter


TuhWEET! Chrysler executive to Donald Trump: "You are full of sh**!"


Our buddy Cliff Schecter tweeted this:

Ralph Gilles' (@RalphGilles) Twitter bio reads: "Vice President Product Design Chrysler LLC, CEO SRT & SRT Motorsport. Love how cool cars bring great people together."

And Ralph Gilles, Chrysler exec, tweeted this in response to a tweet by Donald Trump that you can see below:

Gilles called out Willard's BullshMitt, right out in the open for all to see.

Is this really where Team Romney wants to go? Apparently lying is much, much more important to them than running a campaign based on integrity and honesty...  and sadly, way too many Americans are willing to vote for someone they can't trust or believe on an hourly basis.

To those voters, see: Romney, Fake "storm relief event" and so much more.