So, did you miss us? We've been putting the hurt on some green bean casserole while the elves downstairs made upgrades to TheCarConnection servers. Don't worry, though: we've been paying close attention to the news feed between naps. Here are the first of several links that ought to bring everyone up to speed:
- Higher national gas tax may be on the horizon: Everyone's feeling the economic burn these days--state and federal governments included. Now, from Washington and elsewhere, we're hearing the nacent murmurings for a higher national gas tax (not to mention higher state taxes), the idea being that higher gas prices will (a) generate revenue and (b) encourage fuel-economy among consumers and auto manufacturers. Which is far more straightforward and far less creepy than a GPS-based mileage tax, I suppose.
- Chrysler cancels trip for all-star dealers: Chrysler may have seriously fumbled with the much-maligned "Thank you, America" ads, but they may have recovered slightly by putting the kabosh on a splashy Mexican soujourn for its 300 best dealerships. Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr lamented the cut, saying that the trip has been a cherished tradition for 45 years--"as far back as we can measure". Which begs more than a few questions about their record-keeping and their counting skills.
- Seattle takes on the snow: Seattle has a reputation for being really eco-conscious, but that may be costing some drivers. The city doesn't use salt to clear icy roadways because it's worried about toxic runoff, meaning that many folks--including police--can't get around very well. Luckily, the city's DOT is playing around with a new mixture that includes molasses, which sounds much stickier than the plain old sand they'd been using. All I know is, it's easier to make snow yellow than green.
- Doobie Brothers plan to burn it up in Detroit: I suppose they were added to the entertainment bill to balance out teenie-bopper heavyweights the Jonas Brothers. If only some of the automaker's product lineups showed that kind of diversity....
- Poll reveals public bias against CEOs, UAW, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer": In December, American Pulse surveyed 4,117 folks and found that nearly 80% of Americans point the finger for the Big 3's troubles on management, with around 58% insisting that the unions also deserve a chunk of the blame. As lagniappe, over 28% of those surveyed agreed that "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is the most annoying Christmas song of all. It's like they read my mind.
- Santas, save your pennies for next year: The 2009 holiday season has gotten exponentially more expensive: next summer, Morgan Motor Company will release the SuperSport Junior Pedal Car, which is a three-wheeled, 2/3 scale replica of some of the racers the company made 100 years ago. Of course the major difference is that this is, as the name implies, a three-wheeled pedal car--in common lingo, a tricycle. As in, for kids. At upwards of $3,700, it kinda makes that new Xbox 360 sound like a bargain.