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2020 Demolition Derby


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Interesting, the concepts of party discipline; I would not have called the Republicans disciplined, given the bitterness of the last two years. Maybe they were just able to keep it to a less-critical time, like before the mid-terms got serious, when they were not quite as UN-disciplined as the Dems.

 

Political partisans everywhere universally think their own party is divided and weak-handed and never has the balls to play dirty like their opponents, who are always united and strategic in taking over institutions. I've seen the same here in Germany.

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I had hoped she would be prevented from returning to that role, but she seems to have deftly bought off her opposition...

 

If that's what you call her people leaking a letter her opponent wrote in support of a black judge after he was accused of beating his wife. The fact that he was just arrested for her murder and the letter just happened to make it to the press which dutifully printed it, was timely. The Dems don't like it when certain people step off the plantation.

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Interesting, the concepts of party discipline; I would not have called the Republicans disciplined, given the bitterness of the last two years. Maybe they were just able to keep it to a less-critical time, like before the mid-terms got serious, when they were not quite as UN-disciplined as the Dems.

 

Political partisans everywhere universally think their own party is divided and weak-handed and never has the balls to play dirty like their opponents, who are always united and strategic in taking over institutions. I've seen the same here in Germany.

 

 

Well, we were discussing how the Democrats are fiercely regional in Louisiana, and statewide races usually have 4-5 Democratic candidates and at most 2-3 Republicans in our jungle primaries where everyone runs against each other instead of limited primaries like everywhere else. The GOP severely limits the funding of candidates they don't think can win whereas the Democrats of places like New Orleans or Baton Rouge will prop up weak candidates that are from their own sphere of influence, which hurts them because in runoffs there's been the instances where there's two Republicans running against each other, or in one instance, the Democratic candidate lost votes between the primary and runoff because factions were angry with the candidate that was in the runoff. I asked him if that meant that the scene from the Life of Brian was an accurate representation of the Democratic party, and he laughed. :)

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Interesting, the concepts of party discipline; I would not have called the Republicans disciplined, given the bitterness of the last two years. Maybe they were just able to keep it to a less-critical time, like before the mid-terms got serious, when they were not quite as UN-disciplined as the Dems.

 

With only a few major exceptions like McCain and Flake, the GOP has rallied behind Trump. Occasionally he gets called out by GOP senators in a sound bite, but outside the ones I mentioned they have almost never *voted* against him. The GOP is the party of Trump now, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out once Trump leaves the presidency (when ever and for whatever reason). I highly doubt Trump will just be quiet when he leaves, and he'll likely wield his base like a club for the rest of his life, heavily influencing Republican politics indefinitely for better or worse.

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Not surprised:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich 'very seriously' considering White House run in 2020

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/11/25/john-kasich-2020/2108618002/

Given his pettiness and self-absorption, I expect he will try to pull a Pirot-style 'spoiler' campaign against Trump

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Not surprised:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich 'very seriously' considering White House run in 2020

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/11/25/john-kasich-2020/2108618002/

Given his pettiness and self-absorption, I expect he will try to pull a Pirot-style 'spoiler' campaign against Trump

 

Which given Trump's pettiness and self absorption, would be fantastically poetic justice.

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Not surprised:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich 'very seriously' considering White House run in 2020

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/11/25/john-kasich-2020/2108618002/

Given his pettiness and self-absorption, I expect he will try to pull a Pirot-style 'spoiler' campaign against Trump

Sooo you think John Kasich is petty and self-absorbed...but yet you support Trump?

 

You must mean petty as in criticizing Trump's behavior, and self absorbed as in thinking he should dare run against Trump.

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Petty as in betraying his constitutents as a representative in 1994, when he voted for the 'Assault Weapon Ban', after running as a strong pro-gun candidate. His vote arguably allowed passage by one vote.

Petty as in promising to veto a pro-life and a pro-self defence bill, despite claiming to be a conservative Christian.

In '16, he stayed in the Republican race even after he had no chance of winning, thereby drawing enough support from Cruz to allow Trump to clinch the nomination, possibly in hopes of being named VP.

Trump, OTOH has actually fulfilled more of his campaign promises and goal than any other recent President, in spite of his pettiness.

Kasich has no chance of winning the Presidency. The most he could accomplish is to draw down enough support to cause Trump to lose.

Edited by shep854
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That likely is all Kasich is going for. He and Trump were hardly friends. Trump has a tendency to make enemies of anyone who doesn't unconditionally support him; if Flake or Kasich attempt to deep six his chances (and neither of them could possibly win a primary), it will likely be because of Trump's unnecessarily combative style. To Trump's base, that is a feature, not a bug. But as the midterms displayed, it can be a liability when everyone who isn't your base wants to stop you.

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On that we can agree. And as shep854 pointed out, I suspect if he runs, he does so knowing full well he has no chance. Trump is apparently not the only individual who is capable of doing something purely out of spite.

Speaking of which, apparently the free market is only free until you're GM and piss Trump off. Then you need to fall in line!

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Why is this GM thing even political? It seems to highlight poor leadership at the top and they're only now realizing Americans don't want to buy most cars anymore. Ford came to this realization a while ago (1-2 years?) when they announced they were basically stopping all car production outside of the Mustang and one other model.

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I suppose that without the new tariffs on aluminum and steel GM could have soldiered on for one or two more years, but now it becomes all too obvious for them that they must make some radical changes to retain a chance to stay relevant in the field of individual mobility. And chopping industry jobs, especially on a large scale, is exactly the opposite of what Trump wants.

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The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid. Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well. People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't

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The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid. Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well. People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't

I'm in full agreement. I don't understand why Americans seem hell bent on wasting as much money as they do on vehicles (to be fair, in my lifetime, Americans have always been pretty bad regarding their own monetary habits).

 

But... at the end of the day GM is simply reacting to what consumers want no matter how foolish it may be. That's not something to criticize them for if sticking with what consumers 'should be doing' could potentially set them up for disaster like back in '09 (some of what I've read about this recent move is critical because it highlights leadership that has learned nothing and is still too slow, putting the company at risk yet again).

 

If Trump is going to criticize them for anything it should be at how slow they were to make these changes, not that they're being made in the first place.

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Trump laid into Ford for moving the Focus production to China. The Focus is a pretty good cheap car with a poor transmission design. Ford got upset and said we just won't make the Focus here or anyplace else either.

Now Ford says that they can't make any money on a Focus but a Mazda 3 is the same car but with a better transmission. Mazda can do it, why can't Ford? Legacy costs and the costs of doing business in the US are very high, that's why.

Now Trump has done a boatload to reduce regulatory costs on manufacturers but 40 years of bloat can't be undone in two years. The manufacturers have to build better cars for less money which is hard to do when 27 air bags are "mandated" for insurance purposes. Add on the regulatory burdens associated with the actual production process and the expenses are real. A generous helping of bad management (new Lincoln Continental built on FUSION platform!) and stuff is bad.

A new F350 is around $71,000 for a truck than has about $40,000 in value. You'd have to sell a lot of Focus or Fusion cars to make the kind of profit that those trucks bring BUT there are fewer people that can buy a big $71,000 truck than there are a small $20,000 car. Economies of scale enter into it as well. If GM cuts out 40% of their production is it realistic to assume that their truck and SUV divisions are going to boost sales by 40% to compensate? No it isn't. The margins will go up a point or two but volume will drop tremendously. Dealerships will be screaming at max volume because they've lost a quarter of their volume and used car prices will increase even further from their already high point.

In short what we have here is a recipe for disaster thanks to poor planning, bad execution, and very bad government actions.

GM cries that "we can't sell cars" and President Trump says: "funny, there's no difficulty selling Toyota Camrys" and there isn't. I hope Trump calls Ford and GM and tells they both to fuck off.

Maybe a little of the Carlos Ghosn treatment is in order?

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additionally,

the whole SUV platform thing is an outgrowth of trying to meet CAFE standards in the first place. Some say that CAFE in necessary to move technology forward and at one point that may have been true but now the market is really in the driver's seat. If people want fuel economy then that is what they will buy. Ditch CAFE entirely, relax crash standards by a generous portion ans let the auto manufacturers build what they can sell. If people want Volvo grade safety then they can but it. If they want 1959 Cadillac styling then they can get it at the cost of some safety. Since you are wondering, old school bumpers and fins with big chrome don't meet standards for pedestrian impact. Turns out that big steel bumpers coated in chrome are much harder on pedestrians that cheap plastic bumpers 1/16" thick with a foam absorber behind them. Then people hit a deer and wonder why their two year old car is totaled.

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The whole "not going to make cars" thing is fucking stupid. Fuel isn't going to stay cheap forever and then smaller cars will come back into vogue.

Further, government interference in car manufacturing with regards to fuel and crash standards have made cars indistinguishable which opens the door for other, cheaper makes and models to thrive.

Low quality recycled metal and lightweight structures to improve economy lower the quality of the car as well. People think that SUV's and trucks are built better but they aren't

Fuel will likely stay sub $100 a barrel forever. Probably closer to $50-60 for the next several years. US production and export infrastructure is steadily rising while global demand is dropping off, despite Iranian partial sanctions and Venezuella's continual drop in production.

 

In any case, GM isn't betting against cars in favor of trucks, it is betting heavily on electric vehicles instead of gas ones. It is a gamble. But the gas car production market is demonstrably saturated. Those GM plants are working at one shift per day.

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additionally,

the whole SUV platform thing is an outgrowth of trying to meet CAFE standards in the first place. Some say that CAFE in necessary to move technology forward and at one point that may have been true but now the market is really in the driver's seat. If people want fuel economy then that is what they will buy. Ditch CAFE entirely, relax crash standards by a generous portion ans let the auto manufacturers build what they can sell. If people want Volvo grade safety then they can but it. If they want 1959 Cadillac styling then they can get it at the cost of some safety. Since you are wondering, old school bumpers and fins with big chrome don't meet standards for pedestrian impact. Turns out that big steel bumpers coated in chrome are much harder on pedestrians that cheap plastic bumpers 1/16" thick with a foam absorber behind them. Then people hit a deer and wonder why their two year old car is totaled.

None of this is what Trump is proposing. He's merely threatening GM for working inside the current legal and customer trend framework.

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gas car production market is saturated? Seriously?

There are plenty of people in the market for an affordable new car.

It just has to be affordable and that is hard to do when the car is full of technology designed to deliver every last ounce of economy and safety cost be damned.

Electric vehicles have been "coming soon" for 80 years. The existing power grid won't support one fourth of the current gas car count converted over to electric and team "D" is damn sure that no no energy production facilities are going to be built (excepting crazy expensive solar, of course)

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