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Thursday – Just the Same Old News

120 Miles an hour!!

I bet a lot of people wish they could have their “clunker” back — Am I the only one who didn’t know that car accelerators are remote controlled now? ::

Prius brakes questioned; Toyota probe expands

Americans should park their recalled Toyotas unless driving to dealers for accelerator repairs, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Wednesday — then quickly took it back — as skepticism of company fixes grew and the government’s probe expanded to other models in the U.S. and Japan. Questions now are being raised about the brakes on Toyota’s marquee Prius hybrid.
. . .

Many consumer groups have questioned whether Toyota’s fix will work and have asserted it could be connected to problems with the electronic throttle control systems.

Joan Claybrook, who formerly lead Public Citizen, a watchdog group, noted that Toyota told owners during last year’s recall to remove floor mats to keep the accelerator pedal from becoming jammed. “I don’t think that’s what the issue is. I think it has to be electronic when it slam dunks and takes off and goes 120 miles an hour,” Claybrook said.

One quick question: Can we really drive these recalled vehicles just because Secretary LaHood says, “What I said in there was obviously a misstatement. What I meant to say … was if you own one of these cars or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer and they’re going to fix it.” — Maybe people should check with their insurance agents before driving them. . . . .
U.S. Widens Toyota Probe to Electronics

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday his agency is widening its probe of sudden acceleration complaints in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles to look at the possibility of electromagnetic interference with electronic throttle systems, and said he wants to talk directly with company Chief Executive Akio Toyoda.

. . .

Toyota has blamed sudden acceleration on just two causes: out-of-position floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals.

Electronic throttles replace mechanical links between the gas pedal and the throttle with electronic relays. The systems, used widely in the industry, reduce vehicle weight and fuel waste.

NHTSA said it had begun a “fresh look” at both electronic throttle control systems and the possible effects of electromagnetic interference on them. The agency said it has no reason at this point to believe there are safety defects in the systems or in their ability to function when exposed to electromagnetic interference.

Apple Co-Founder: My Prius Has a Problem, Too

“Toyota has this accelerator problem we’ve all heard about,” Mr. Wozniak said last week at Discover Forum 2010 in San Francisco, reported CNET.com (via Autoblog). “Well, I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn’t get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild, but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again — safely.”

He added: “This is software. It’s not a bad accelerator pedal. It’s very scary, but luckily for me, I can hit the brakes.”

I’m a devoted Amazon customer but, the Amazon/Macmillan story (background here) has shaken my loyalty. Here’s one of the best explanations of just how cruelly stupid it was for Amazon to delist the Macmillan books (1/6th of Amazon’s inventory!!) — I didn’t really feel it until I realized the impact on the authors ::

All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend

Instead, we got the Foot-Stompingly Petulant Friday Night Massacre: One minute the books were there, the next they weren’t. And everyone was left going “huh?” Was it a hardware glitch? Was it a software bug? Was it a terrorist act in which renegade Amish attacked Amazon’s server farm and poured jugs of hard cider into the machines, shorting out the ones holding Macmillan’s vasty inventory? No! It was one corporate entity having a big fat hissy fit at another corporate entity, and everyone had to figure out what the hell was going on the weekend from bits and pieces that they found on the Internet, which was not easy to do. Which may have been Amazon’s plan all along: Kill every sixth book on your site, hope no one notices! Well played, Amazon, well played indeed.
. . .
6. Amazon Destroyed Its Own Consumer Experience, Without Explanation, For Several Days.

Note to Amazon: Real people do not give a shit about your fight with Macmillan. Real people want to buy things. When your store takes them to a product page on which they cannot buy the thing on the page, they will not say to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder if Amazon is having a behind-the-scenes struggle with the publisher of this title, of which this is the fallout. I shall sympathize with them in this byzantine struggle of corporate titans.” What they will say is “why can’t I buy this fucking book?” Because, you know, they are there to buy that fucking book. And when you don’t let them buy that fucking book, they aren’t going to blame Macmillan. They are going to blame you.

What’s the point of stories like this?

White House Privately Signaling Support For House Passing Senate Bill With Fix, Aides Say

White House aides have privately told Dem Congressional aides that the White House supports the House passing the Senate health reform bill with a reconciliation fix, something that could give a bit more momentum to that approach, according to two Congressional staffers familiar with the discussions.
. . .
A White House spokesman said he wasn’t aware of any such signals being sent.

U.S. May Lose 824,000 Jobs as Employment Data Revised: Analysis

The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.

These are stories I’ve been watching.  What’s in YOUR newspaper this morning?

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109 Responses

  1. It is almost always a good bet that employment data is worse than is reported. Either the methodology sux or someone thinks lying about it and then correcting will some how give people more confidence.

    Novel idea: Tell the truth so we can begin dealing with the problem immediately. Naw, ga, appn.

    • Is it me or now when they announce the figures on unemployment or growth is the immediate reaction that the numbers will be revised down?

    • I recall W had his flunkies/handlers change the way unemployment was calculated (by taking out people who no longer received benefits, I believe, or stopped looking). Anyway, I am sure that, had Obama reversed this, it would have been announced in speeches and “unprecedented” propaganda to no end.

      • Reagan administration also changed the way unemployment was calculated but as long as the American public doesn’t seem to give a darned about the truth or real solutions then these politicians are never going to change.

  2. The lead story in my local paper:

    Houses of Blues
    Elected and appointed officials said the psychological trauma spawned by home foreclosures in Merced County poses a serious challenge, but that recent cuts to state mental health funding makes treatment hard to get.

  3. Toyota is destroying its brand almost as quickly as Obama destroyed the Democratic brand. I guess Honda will benefit, but apparently Ford is their closest competition.

    As for the Amazon thing, I guess I’m on the other side. I don’t want to have to pay more for e-books. If the authors don’t like that, they should talk to Macmillan. E-books should be cheaper, because the overhead is much much less. Someone has to stand up for consumers or all of us are going to lose out. I’m sorry Amazon caved.

    • I guess whoever wrote that blog post is rich and doesn’t care how much he has to pay for things. But most of us aren’t rich.

      • The person who wrote that blog post was an author who lost sales. Hardly a disinterested party.

        Frankly, this is two big businesses pissing on each other. I’m nominally on Amazon’s side because their side benefits the consumer. There’s NO REASON that an eBook should cost more than five bucks, and they shouldn’t come with all of that bullshit DRM, either.

        • Thank you. E-books are obviously going to be the wave of the future. At least Amazon is trying to keep the prices down, whatever their motivation. I bought a Kindle, because I want to stop wasting money on physical books that I’m probably not going to read again. It will be better for the environment too.

    • I’m sorry Amazon caved, too. The increased competition from Apple should have lowered the price of books not raised it. But this will eventually come back to bite MacMillan. Watch for new eBook only publishing houses to sprout up with better royalties for authors and lower prices for readers as more people begin to read on eReaders and cell phones. MacMillan is going to go the way of the dinosaur unless it evolves.

      • Or even better, why have publishing companies at all? Or record publishing companies for that matter? Why do we have these dinosaur middle men when you can put your book in e-book form out on these various e-book stores directly?

        • If I was an author, I don’t think I’d want to deal with the business angle — all the marketing involved would drive me crazy. And I’m sure that I’d be even more vulnerable to corruption. I’m not a business person and most authors aren’t.

          But, it’s more than that. Publishers also employ editors (who are very nearly artists themselves.) If you go the self-publishing route where do you find a good editor? And how do you pay that person? How do you even FIND one?

          Self publishing e-books sounds good in theory but, I think you’d have to have a business-genius-spouse to handle the business end while you (the author) focus on writing. I just don’t see how anyone could do both. And even then you’d be stuck for an editor.

          • “I think you’d have to have a business-genius-spouse to handle the business end while you (the author) focus on writing. ”

            Frank Zappa did as well as he did largely due to Gail Zappa’s deft handling of the business end. But we can’t all marry Gail Zappas.

        • Publishing houses don’t just print books, there are a lot of elements involved in publishing including editing, and a lot of other businesses connected to it, all with employees. Workers. Wage earners.

          Lots of jobs are involved and simply wiping them out at a time like this may not be such a great trade-off for paying five bucks less for a book.

          I’m all for Amazon making its profits and I’d like to pay less for books but I think we should think twice about the ramifications for us all if we keep closing out industry sectors without creating new ones.

        • What katiebird said. If I–or any other writer I know–had to handle the marketing, the accounts payable and receivable, the taxes and other reporting, there’ d be no time to write, and no energy for it, either.

          As for editing, I’ve been on both ends of the process, and can say without hesitation that most writers cannot edit themselves. Writers who have worked with self-publishing firms before selling to a publishing house tend to be completely clueless about such things as standards of grammar and usage–which is why they were self-published in the first place. The publishing house not only helps the writer put a higher quality product before the public, but also offers some assurance to the buyer that s/he’s getting something at least slightly above amateur level.

        • Dandy,

          Given my recent two hard drives going caput, and loosing all my data, including a research paper which I will have to start ALLL OVER again, and loosing all my e-books too I am glad to walk by my books shelves and see all those books are nice and safe.

          When the e-books can be safe and when you can access what you paid for already, I will support it. Also, not everyone has a computer, many are still in the digital divide and therefore still rely on good Ole books.

          • Amen. And Woman Voter, next time, back up all your work on a CD or floppy disk.

          • Yup, I know it now, and to think I had bought the 2 gig back up thingie and hadn’t gotten around to backing up (setting the thingie up). The guys at the get your stuff out of the hard drive must live in mansions as they say it will be close to 2 gran…EAAK. That is why I may just start over and but I do have the drive and may pay later to retrieve the other data.

          • OOOpsie that is a 2 Tera or is it 2 Terra bit thingie from Apple that is wireless and supposedly effortless?

          • Quick back-up suggestion? Get a Gmail account and send yourself a copy of every important doc. Easy off-site back-up.

        • I get weary of the digital gurus and their celebration and worship of all things free and open on the internet. Free and open is great if everyone is happy working for free. Truth is that with the exception of a few large notable companies, the internet has undone far more paying jobs than it has created, even before factoring in the economy. So as things change and people are displaced, more leaders from the digital realm need to have a vision for an information economy that pays and contributes to the national economy. People like Eric Schmidt…hmm, not sure. But as I said, I’m getting tired of the academic internet guru types skipping around digital confabs preaching the virtues of free, free, everything should be free…

          • Your comment is in response to mine but doesn’t seem to relate. I’m not advocating free. Or open necessarily. Just for cutting out a possibly unnecessary middle man.

          • Sorry DT. I’ve been scuffling on this issue elsewhere. Shouldn’t have let it spillover at this position on this blog. I will be more careful.

          • No problem. The issue you mention is a fascinating one in my opinion. From
            creative commons for authors and other media creators to open source licensing for software. The advocates have some interesting arguments, but there are some serious flaws I think too. I also notice many advocates for those are people that make their living in other ways. Another topic for further discussion.

          • I love linux and especially Ubuntu. I love free and open operating systems, programs, etc. Problem is I don’t have any machines currently running them since my last computer had a mother board death. Quality Windows machines are cheap and easy to get.

          • Free as in Free Speech, Not as in Free Beer.

            The point isn’t that everything should be available at no COST, it’s that consumers should own what they own, and be able to do what they like with it. That’s anti-DRM, not anti-paying for media. The current IP law in this country is BROKEN. It doesn’t protect the little guy, it only protects the big corporations. It needs to be Fixed.

          • There are at least 200,000 journalists and writers of every variety out of work today. That’s not counting all the people in related support fields. I was referencing free as defined by Chris Anderson in his book FREE, Clay Shirky, Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, others, who at times sound like they’re shilling for Google. Privacy is also an issue which companies like Google steamroll over because they earn their living on people’s data. Free as in free speech is often a herring. I don’t feel constrained with my speech. And open source is great so long as the people originating or producing the content, software, media are getting paid somehow so they can eat. If you’re not paying, you’re probably cutting into someone else’s livelihood. If you produce and don’t need the money, then you’re lucky. (I mean generic “you” of course.)

        • Lots of great issues to bring up.

          Here are a few things to think about. Both in the book publishing and music publishing areas, the actual artists get next to nothing for the published work. Musicians get around $.001 per CD or online purchase. Authors get something similar per book (physical or electronic), though I think they do better than musicians (who get their money from concert tickets instead). If you skip the middle man, sure you have a lower priced product (say $1 instead of $10), but you get 70% instead of .01%, so .70 per vs. .01 per. For authors it’s not as dramatic, but they would still get quite a bit more per.

          So then we have the two main trouble issues. The business side and the editing. On the business side the “app store” model takes care of selling part of the business. But you are left with the marketing. And yes, that’s an issue. On the editing part, I think the days of good editing from publishing houses are long gone, but even with some editing help, that’s still really valuable. So instead you’d have to hire an editor.

          Yes, there’s some downside. The upside, no gate keeper. Another downside, no filtering of bad stuff. Then again, that’s what crowd sourcing in social networking is all about, you get reviews and crowds chiming in about what’s good. Then again, herds can be stunningly stupid.

          Hey, I didn’t say it was necessarily the right thing to do. Just something to ponder. 🙂

          • Authors typically get much more than $0.001 per book. It’s generally around 10%, so if the book is $20.00 they get $2.00.

            From the publisher they get services that include editing, design, publicity and distribution — all by people who do it for a living and have established networks. You get published by an outfit like Macmillan and the opportunities it provides are a world of difference from doing it yourself. Also a good publisher is an author advocate and book advocate; outlets like Amazon will never be an advocate for writers or books, they’re just a place to buy books.

          • Those are good services which you would want to have from someone. But now that we can avoid the middle man if we want, and we can hire an editor and a publicity/marketing firm, the only question is, are those services worth 90% of sales?

          • Do we really need marketing and someone to filter out the crap? If recommendation engines and the Long Tail theory work, then we shouldn’t really need it.

            And freelance editors already exist, although finding a good one might be difficult. And it’d be an upfront cost to authors, who might not be able to afford it.

            But I’m all for getting rid of these middle-man industries.

          • The publishing house handles much more than simply the printing and distribution of the book. There’s always negotiation involved in the sale of rights beyond first publication, and either an agent or a publishing house is better equipped to handle them than a writer, who will generally not have the contacts or the inside knowledge to do so effectively. I’m thinking of such things as marketing and auctioning secondary rights, where a firm with a roster of many writers can demand far more than an inidividual writer with no track record beyond his/her own works and no specialized knowledge or contacts could. That track record works for the writer, too. Being published by Macmillan (since they seem to be the bone of contention here) will do far more for sales that sending a work out that’s printed by Vanity, Inc., or J. Smith, author. Not that an amazing amount of junk doesn’t find its way into print, but a reputable publisher is a filter for the book buyer as well as a profitable way for the writer to put a work before the public.

      • There already are e-book only publishing co’s. You can even publish your own book and sell it–or give it away–on Kindle.

    • Yeah, gotta say I am also on Amazon’s side. I would much rather have pressure to lower e-book prices, not raise them. Heck, the way it is now, I check once a week or so to find the new freebies or new low price books that are out for the Kindle.

    • Think the original Amazon plan was actually to reduce (not raise) their book prices on Kindle and give a bigger cut to publishers to compensate. This was their plan to dominate device market share in light of all the other e-reader introductions. But they got outflanked by Apple who offered publishers higher end user prices than Amazon offers now. Apple’s iPad obviously needs to sign up publishers to catch up with Kindle. Ultimately the iPad, Kindle, Nook and others will make most of their money on device sales, so it’s in their interest to keep publishers happy at a time when both publishers and authors are getting creamed by digital. There’s also the gray markets for trading and file sharing books online (similar to music sharing) which will hurt authors. For now, the various publishers will probably come together to form a cartel of sorts to protect their business and pricing. At same time, more and more authors will opt to license their work directly with the electronic readers. Regardless of which e-readers survive and flourish, if bookstores and the publishing industry go down, digital book prices will eventually come down for consumers. I suspect IP lawyers are very busy these days..a lot of jobs are on the line.

      • Will the file-sharing hurt artists? The RIAA claimed that for years, while attempting to hide the fact that sales were up. I’m not sure that file-sharing hurts anyone.

      • I’m not so sure Amazon will be outflanked in the end. They are a very big player. And the I-Pad has a back-lit screen, doesn’t it? I couldn’t stand to read books on something like that. Unless they change that technology, they are only going to attract the Mac snobs.

        I considered buying a Nook, but I decided to go with the Kindle because it wasn’t at all clear what would be available on the Nook or whether the prices would stay low. Barnes and Nobel is in financial trouble and their prices for regular books are way higher than Amazon.

    • BB, I’m on the side of finding cheap books too. I’m certainly not looking for excuses to pay more for books.

      The thing I thought was interesting about that article is how the author walked through all the steps of how Amazon messed up an opportunity.

      That conflict has been going on for a year — there was no crises until Amazon pulled the Pay links to the books with no warning at all to anyone involved.

      THAT’s where I understand the shock of the writers. Amazon is one of their biggest markets. And many of them watch the sales-position of their novels the way some of us watch blog statistics.

      It must have been a shocking experience to see that disappear on a Friday night and I thought the linked post gave a good explanation of just why & how it was.

      • Then they should put pressure on Macmillan, IMHO. They are going to be better off if more people have access to their work. If the prices go up, people will just go to the library.

    • I am for real books read and put on a bookshelf to be read again or by someone else.

      • I’ve always thought that too. But, my housemates are complaining. There are WAY too many books in our house. And I’m the only one likely to read them.

        I’m looking forward to eventually finding a device that will let me buy/acquire an e-book from any source and read it all from the same device.

        • Tell your housemates the books are good insulation and will lower utility bills. A friend of mine never needed to run the heating in her small house because her walls were literally lined with bookshelves and just normal usage of the stove and other appliances produced enough heat–prevented from escaping by the books– to warm the house.

        • That’s my problem. I have too many books, and it’s not really that easy to give the away anymore. I’ve decided that I’ll stick to e-books for things like mysteries or popular books that I know I’ll only read once.

  4. Brought up from the last thread:

    • Glad the raging grannies have moved on from advocating for Obamacare and are advocating for women’s choice instead.

    • I should have been more precise… I think the raging grannies were actually for singlepayer Medicare for all.. but sometimes watching their videos I would wonder if they realized Obama wasn’t for what they were for.

      • I don’t get how anyone or any group could get so wound up about Obama at this inexperienced stage in his career. In 8 or 10 years, who knows, he might have developed some convictions, beyond his tactical political skills.

      • I had them over (well they found me) for an end the war/remembrance event and they were great.

    • Wish I could join them in Miami. 🙂

    • I’ve pretty much moved away from actively advocating for women’s reproductive rights. I’ve not met many young women who are paying attention much less speaking up for their rights. I’ve paid my dues and am not going to fight the battle for them when they are not even entering the game.

    • I went on you tube to rate this and found this complaint from an oppressed male right on top

      At least women have a choice. Men have no say in the matter at all. Yet, if the women has the child against the man’s will he can’t walk away from his financial duty without punishment.

      Women have all the rights and men have only responsibilities.

      • No say? Uh dude do you let your little brain do the thinking? If you don’t then you have a choice.

        Awwwwwww how sad that once he pulls down his pants and gets in bed with a woman he might actually have to be held responsible for his judgement

        Poor poor guy I feel so so sorry for him- not.

        I guess he must of missed the healthportion of class where they explain how babies are made. No choice indeed.

      • He can control his fate, he can store his sperm, have a vasectomy and then he will be free to choose when to reproduce. Women have their tubes tied all the time, so he too can be a BIG BOY and choose by accessing his reproductive choices. 😉

      • Oh jeez. As usual, all logic is trampled in rush to self-pity. Of course men have a say in the matter. Condom, vasectomy, don’t do it in the first place. And once the child is born the father does have rights. But if he manages to make himself a complete obnoxious jerk to mother and child, a court may well curtail those rights. Ever try asking what you want *nicely,* big boy? You may be surprised how well that works.

  5. with all the probs that toyota haveing is just one more reason that i own a ford mustang

    • My brother has been telling me that Ford has improved the quality of its cars over the past few years. I have been skeptical. Of course, a Mustang has a charm of its own.

    • Supposedly the remote controlled accelerator is common and used by other companies too.

      • That’s what I’ve been hearing. There are rumblings that the same company that makes those faulty systems makes them for quite a few other car companies.

        • Many have them, however VW for one puts a safety override on theirs, and has for years. If the accelerator and the brake get engaged at the same time, the software errs in favor of the brake, and lets it “win”. Gotta love German engineering – they think of stuff like that.

          That’s one of the reasons we got a Jetta for our very smart but terrible driver daughter.

      • remote controlled accelerator?? what in the world would that be for?

      • How can a person be driving, take a phone call (hands free), turn down the radio and keep an eye on the remote control accelerator?

        I couldn’t operate one, and I hope they keep the foot operated ones for us Ole folks.

    • My first guess on cause of the sudden acceleration was software bug. I’m not surprised at Toyota’s response; replace mats and pedals is easier than retesting the software components. The latter is painstaking and time-consuming work, and Toyota needs to look like it’s doing something Right Now.

      Unexplained, rare, but recurrent loss-of-control accidents are now cropping up in cars as they have in aviation (think AF 447). Expect to see more of these as by-wire systems come to dominate ground and air vehicles.

  6. Carly Fiorina has a new ad everyone is talking about. This ain’t it:


    • This will cause me to have sheep nightmares now.

      • Dandy,

        Just count iPads until they release it for sale 😉 Oh and don’t forget to remind me so I can run down to the Apple store and buy one. That reminds me I have to go and pick up my laptop (they replaced the second hard drive, thank goodness I got the Apple plan or some such thing…Apple insurance…but the data went caput.).

      • So much for counting sheep to get to sleep.

    • The Darn thing is SOOOOOO long, and the ‘Paid for Carly’ went by so quick… hemmm. I guess she wants to make sure he doesn’t get one vote. For a minute I thought the crawling sheep was Da Arnold, after he left the State of CalifoooooNIIIIA in such a mess.

    • LMAO! Fiorina’s GOP opponent has a sense of humor. He now has a web site up mocking the demon sheep, and promising to keep the campaign a demon sheep free zone. I know zero about him, but politically speaking this is a great response to the bizarre ad:


      • That’s Chuck DeVore – The best part is the “demon sheep” ad wasn’t directed at him but at Tom Campbell, the other GOP candidate.

        • I’m hearing that “demon sheep” is now the highest trending topic on twitter? Too funny!

          I want to see the guys who designed that ad. They must have been stoned or something. I can’t get over how simply bizarre it is.

    • Interesting that the ad has gone viral.

      “Demon Sheep: Epic FAIL or Genius?”


    • From Entertainment Weekly:

      To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Monopoly is changing its look. A lot. To a circle. I can only assume this represents the endless cycle of wealth accumulation and the ultimate futility of seeking fulfillment from money alone. That, or it looks really really cool. Either way!

    • Didn’t watch, but apparently BO only called on Senators who are on the bubble for November. Also, interesting on Jonesers edge-o. 🙂

  8. Politico:

    Democrats protect backroom deals

    The health care bill is in trouble, but a series of narrow deals — each designed to win over a wavering senator or key interest group — is alive and well, despite voter anger over the parochial horse-trading that marked the rush toward passage before Christmas.

    With the exception of Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback,” which alienated independent voters and came to symbolize an out-of-touch Washington, none of the other narrow provisions that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted into the bill appear to be in any kind of danger as Democrats try to figure out the way ahead.

    Not only that, House liberals want to reopen the labor deal struck just days before Democrats lost their 60-vote majority — not to dial it back but to provide more generous protections from the tax on Cadillac insurance plans.

  9. Re:Toyotas

    Hey wasn’t there an American car that was killed recently (Saturn) that to the best of my knowledge ha NOTHING wrong with them??

    Why in this ‘stimulus bill’ could there not have been a rider that made it easier to buy AMERICAN cars?????

    • Didn’t they give money to an ultra expensive car, the Telsa or was it Testra? Gee I can’t keep the name of cars I can’t afford in my mind?

    • Officially, official: Tesla gets $465m in loans from the DOE to build Model S, EV powertrains

      The Model S has an anticipated base price of $49,900 after a $7,500 US federal tax credit. It has lifetime ownership costs equivalent to a conventional car with a sticker price of $35,000, thanks to the lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline and a relative lack of service and maintenance. Tesla expects to start Model S production in late 2011 in a state-of-the-art assembly plant employing about 1,000 workers.

      I found the company and it is in the US and it is a GREEN CAR. OK… it is growing on me, but still a bit pricey.

    • Yeah, I had a plain Saturn sedan that got — are you sitting down? 42 mpg on the highway. Not predicted, but actual 42 mpg highway. High 30s for city driving. Bought it in 1996. {{sigh}} Now I can’t get another one.

      But plenty of SUV gas guzzlers abound.

  10. Gillibrand makes the case on CNN for repealing DADT. I don’t know what Hunter’s response was–probably the GOP argument that in the midst of war, “it’s working just fine.” Yea, let’s ask the gay soldiers how they feel about having their civil rights violated, and how much they enjoy living a lie.

  11. Details surface of Scott Lee Cohen’s 2005 domestric violence arrest
    SHOCKING PAST | Dem nominee for lt. gov was once accused of holding knife to woman’s neck


  12. I’m not sure I understand the loyalty to Amazon. The place is a sweat shop, known to chew up and spit out the best of people. If you last there 2 years, you’re considered a long-timer. 80 hour work weeks are often expected. Family life is not a consideration. In addition, they low-ball and screw the mom-and-pop outfits out of the market. They are just Walmart online.

    I’d say, proudly support local mom-and-pop shops. They are becoming extinct. In 20 years, they won’t exist at all.

  13. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/03/AR2010020302913.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    Biden speaks. Not on message



  14. Have no idea why spammy is acting hungry today, I’ve had to pull a bunch of you out for reasons unknown. Sorry!!!

    • Thanks for saving us Dak…that spammy is hungry? Maybe he saw the Carly ‘Sheep’ videos.

    • The spambots seem to be out in force. I’m guessing TPTB are feeling insecure and have called out the troops. Maybe they’ve got spammy’s spidey sense all worked up.

  15. dakinkat
    spammy got me too. I will promise cheesecake filled chocolate covered strawberries if he will let me go.



  16. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/32481.html

    This is a very good thing for the women of the world. I just wish they would do more than pay lip service to the idea here in the US.



  17. Recalls don’t scare some loyal Toyota fans

    CNN just reported a grannies death at 80 miles per hour in California due to the Toyota problem. Don’t know if the video is up yet. The transportation Department is now opening an investigation with the Prius brakes going back to 2004.

    An auto safety advocate accuses Toyota and the George W. Bush administration of ignoring problems with Toyota cars.


    • Having a problem that you recall and fix is one thing, but if there is a problem that they knew about and didn’t fix, and memos show it, then they’ve got some serious problems. No, wait a minute, Ford is still in business. Never mind, apparently car companies can do whatever they want.

      • Ah that Dandy logic sense of homour!

        Did you check out the mechanic fixing the peddle on the CNN videos? They do the final check via a computer.

  18. Toyoto also partners with other manufacturers. Here’s a post about the Pontiac Vibe.


  19. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Supreme_Court/white-house-prepares-possibility-supreme-court-vacancies/story?id=9740077

    this worries me. After seeing who backtrack appoints as czars, I would not trust him to appoint a dogcatcher.



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