FROM Bert Boeckmann
The Auto Industry: In Survival Mode President Obama's automobile task force is in Michigan this week to assess the so-called “viability plans” of Chrysler and General Motors. Meantime, auto sales have taken a nosedive. GM is down by 53 percent since last year, Ford by 48% and Chrysler by 44%. Toyota sales are off 40% and Honda has dropped by 38%. How important is the price of gas? How difficult is getting a loan? Are car sales tied to housing? We talk with the world's biggest Ford dealer and others about the present and future of the automobile. What would “an intelligent transportation system” look like?
Car Sales Drive off the Proverbial Cliff President Obama’s automobile task force is in Michigan this week to assess the so-called “viability plans” of Chrysler and General Motors. The task force already has determined not to recall the $17 billion in government loans approved by the Bush Administration, and have emphasized that bankruptcy is not their preferred option. But their final decisions won’t be made until end of this month. Meanwhile, auto sales are in free fall, especially among the gasoline-saving hybrids beloved by politicians who want the industry to turn “green.” How important is the price of gas? How difficult is getting a loan? Are car sales tied to housing? We talk with the world’s biggest Ford dealer and others about the present and future of the automobile. What would “an intelligent transportation system” look like?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.