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Monday, August 29, 2005

Dubya says "We're makin' progress"

George actually left Crawford.
Interrupted his vacation (anything to avoid meeting with Cindy Sheehan again) to meet with the National guard.
It is amazing what he will do and say to try to repair his image.
He really has some balls to stand up in front of the National Guard after all they have been put thru in Iraq. Then he has the audacity to try to form a bond with their plight by comparing his service with the Air National Guard.
"Nineteen individuals have served both as Guardsman and President of the United States and I'm proud to have been one".
I'm sorry but when did he serve and what did he do ?
Was that issue ever cleared up or just another spin off by his PR people ?
I thought he was MIA..
He then addressed a mother with FOUR boys in the guard !
What is this, another "Saving Private Ryan" ?

This meeting followed the same program as many others previous.
Take a catch phrase or a term and repeat, repeat, repeat..
today's word was "progress"..IE.."We're makin' progress in Iraq"..
There is still no exit strategy and "no timetable" and lest we forget why we are there..
"September 11th"..repeat, repeat, repeat..

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Car Wars

The new gimmick to sell cars is "Employee Pricing".
First it was GM after the they reported 1 billion in lost earnings and then watched their stock drop to $25 in April. Now almost all the car companies are using the "Employee Price" hook.
Sales can be tough job with any product but it's an uphill battle for the car salesman because of the reputation they have earned.
Not all car salesman/dealers are honest or reputable.
Some of the Mom & Pop dealers in small towns still trying to maintain an image may be all that's left of car sales without the gimmicks.

Most dealers have so many add ons it hard to justify doing business with them.
Some add "dealer prep" charges..
Yeah well they are a dealer, so why an additional charge to the customer ?
Some dealers add a "doc fee" for documentation..IE..Title and tag work ???
Again if it is a dealership and they have to do transfer of titles and tags, why does the customer have pay this ?
Have you ever been to dealer that has a second sticker in the window beside the manufacturers sticker ? Where they add in "mop and glow", environment protection or fabric protector .
More bullshit to drive up the price and the dealers profit.

I was drinking coffee one Sunday in May and watching a dealer with his inventory of specials. These two guys(sales manager and finance manager) were offering this "special deal", new cars at half price !
Wow.. I was sucked in!!
Said they had a "special deal" with Nissan because they were the largest inventory movers in the area(Rock Hill, SC). One example a Maxima listed for $30k.. They said "you can finance or just write a check for $15k ( I am using round #s).
I still couldn't believe it.
You know if it sounds too good, it probably is !
WOW !! Half price Maxima..WOW !!

I wrote down the phone # and gave 'em a call.
Mr Salesman answered and I asked was this for real, will they really sell a 'new car' for half price ? He said YES !
I asked if they had other add on costs like doc fees ? He said yes the doc fee was $495.(ripoff)
I walked around for a bit and finished my coffee then talked to the Mrs about the ad.
This dealer is a little over an hour drive for me so I called back to confirm and check inventory.
The operator put on hold for sales..2 min..5 min.. 10 min.. This was long distance so I called back and explained to her that I was left on hold. She tried again this time after 3-4 min Mr Salesman picked up but this guy was a dullard..clueless..didn't know the inventory at all and said they were so busy he couldn't go check. Said they had sold over 20 cars that morning and he wasn't sure what was left. I explained the distance I would have to travel but wanted to know if they had some inventory before I made the trip.
He said they had a lot of cars and trucks, better hurry!
My wife said "What the hell let's get some lunch and take drive."
We arrive at what appeared to me as kind of a medium/small lot. But I knew going in this was going to be a challenge. There may have 15-20 people looking at the cars. There was remote radio broadcast for the big event.
There were ONLY 4 MAXIMAS and 1 was a DEMO !!!
I had to go inside and wait for a salesman they were so busy. On the way back outside the salesman asked"What brings to our dealership today" ? I advised had seen the ad on TV this morning with the special deal selling new cars half price.
The salesman stopped in his tracks and said this is a special finance deal that they (the dealership) had this pilot program for qualified buyers.
I said you mean I can't buy a car for half off sticker ? He said No.. Said they are financing half the cost of the car for people who normally couldn't afford a $30k car. That way they can make payments on half the normal amount and at the end of term (3-5 years) they still owe the other half. The customer at that point can buy it outright or finance again.
I explained to this guy what his people said on the ad.
I explained that I had called back not once but twice to confirm if this was for real.
I explained how far I drove.
He said he was very sorry for the confusion and inconvenience. I said me too.

Is it any wonder people don't trust car dealers ?
I have seen articles about public trust..
IE.. People trust their pharmacist the most..
On the bottom of the list are car dealers and politicians.. No freakin' wonder..

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Vacation of Politics

Congress passes one of the worst bills ever.. The new "Energy Bill"..
And who's interests does the Congress represent ? Well Oil it seems..
Yeah oil and big corporations that struggle to make ends meet and need more tax breaks, more subsidized research and more write offs for exploration.
There are so many special interest concerns that I don't know where to start.
> $500 Million for research
> $2.7 Billion in tax breaks
Hell Exxon only posted $7.6 Billion in 2 nd quarter profits !
It's estimated the write offs will cost tax payers $974 Million over the next 2 years.
Please just do away with the damned IRS and the present tax system and there won't need to be any "tax breaks" !

If there are Millions or even better Billions around to spend, why they can't they find and fund programs for the tax paying citizens..IE ..soc/sec, health care etc ???

After all that hard work they are due for a vacation.. Yeah right..
Even Dubya takes yet another vacation and heads back to Crawford.
But before he left, since Congress was out, he went ahead and appointed Bolton to the U.N..
A little end around play, since they didn't like his "boy".

The way this guy continues to abuse the power and the position is amazing.
I wonder what color the sky is in his world ?
Sometimes it seems his head is so far up his ass that his feet should sticking out his big Texas ears.

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