Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000

Could Hit 1000-Mile Range

The Air Car caused a huge stir when we reported last year that Tata Motors would begin producing it in India. Now the little gas-free ride that could is headed Stateside in a big-time way.

Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) confirmed to PopularMechanics.com on Thursday that it expects to produce the world’s first air-powered car for the United States by late 2009 or early 2010. As the U.S. licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, which developed the Air Car as a compression-based alternative to the internal combustion engine, ZPM has attained rights to build the first of several modular plants, which are likely to begin manufacturing in the Northeast and grow for regional production around the country, at a clip of up to 10,000 Air Cars per year.

And while ZPM is also licensed to build MDI’s two-seater OneCAT economy model (the one headed for India) and three-seat MiniCAT (like a SmartForTwo without the gas), the New Paltz, N.Y., startup is aiming bigger: Company officials want to make the first air-powered car to hit U.S. roads a $17,800, 75-hp equivalent, six-seat modified version of MDI’s CityCAT (pictured above) that, thanks to an even more radical engine, is said to travel as far as 1000 miles at up to 96 mph with each tiny fill-up.

We’ll believe that when we drive it, but MDI’s new dual-energy engine—currently being installed in models at MDI facilities overseas—is still pretty damn cool in concept. After using compressed air fed from the same Airbus-built tanks in earlier models to run its pistons, the next-gen Air Car has a supplemental energy source to kick in north of 35 mph, ZPM says. A custom heating chamber heats the air in a process officials refused to elaborate upon, though they insisted it would increase volume and thus the car’s range and speed.

“I want to stress that these are estimates, and that we’ll know soon more precisely from our engineers,” ZPM spokesman Kevin Haydon told PM, “but a vehicle with one tank of air and, say, 8 gal. of either conventional petrol, ethanol or biofuel could hit between 800 and 1000 miles.”

Those figures would make the Air Car, along with Aptera’s Typ-1 and Tesla’s Roadster, a favorite among early entrants for the Automotive X Prize, for which MDI and ZPM have already signed up. But with the family-size, four-door CityCAT undergoing standard safety tests in Europe, then side-impact tests once it arrives in the States, could it be the first 100-mpg, nonelectric car you can actually buy?

For a guy that puts a lot of miles on a ride, this is very interesting. It MUST be dependable, which is my concern. I also wonder about dealerships, for a robust vehicle, at this cost, in this area would sell like hotcakes.

Are They TRYING to Get Obama Killed on Purpose?

I have come to the conclusion that nothing… no conspiracy or potential for harm is beyond the scope of the Bush Administration. 

Police concerned about order to stop weapons screening at Obama rally

By JACK DOUGLAS Jr.

DALLAS — Security details at Barack Obama’s rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.

The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department’s homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order — apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service — was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena’s vacant seats before Obama came on.

“Sure,” said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a “friendly crowd.”

The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.

Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m., and for the first hour security officers scanned each person who came in and checked their belongings in a process that kept movement of the long lines at a crawl. Then, about 11 a.m., an order came down to allow the people in without being checked.

Several Dallas police officers said it worried them that the arena was packed with people who got in without even a cursory inspection.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because, they said, the order was made by federal officials who were in charge of security at the event.

“How can you not be concerned in this day and age,” said one policeman.

Big Money Chaulks Up Another Win For China

I have many good friends at this company, which has also been a very good customer of mine. Free Trade has ruined Mississippi’s furniture makers.

15 Feb 2008 05:03pm | Posted by Steve Rogers | Local News, Business


Airline Manufacturing Closing in Columbus


One of Columbus’ oldest manufacturing plants is closing its doors. Airline Manufacturing will start laying off workers on April 30 as current orders are filled and expects to close the plant May 31. A few employees will remain until September to finish cleanup.

Company officials notified Mayor Robert Smith of the decision this afternoon. The company employs 89 workers making upholstered and hardwood furniture in a 275,000-square-foot facility. It’s the latest furniture maker in North Mississippi to succumb to foreign competition, especially from China.

Airline was founded in 1956 by the Williamson family. Company officials said an extensive upgrade seven years ago and help from the Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University have not been enough to keep the plant competitive.

Efforts to sell the company have been unsuccessful.

Part of the 2001 changes included a move to lean manufacturing, a change implemented by then plant manager Judy Dunaway, the daughter of company founder Ralph Williamson. The changes were featured in a furniture industry trade magazine last year. The process reduced inventory, improved cash flow and made the plant more flexible but it still was not enough.

Last year the company had about $10 million in annual sales, according to its Web site. It employed as many as 160 people last year and at its peak, had hundreds of workers. It grew from an original facility with a handful of workers in a 1,000-square-foot building.

Does America Owe The Bush Administration The Benefit of Doubt?

It’s like some unmentioned, but insistent prerequisite that we owe them some benefit of doubt towards their apparent criminal activities. Have you noticed it? At the same time there is a major rush towards a police state, which is obvious simply by the mass usage of population controlling measures (tasers, unrestricted access to your communications, more and more “strong-arm” police tactics… how many rednecks have seen M16′s and other automatic weaponry in our yahoo Sheriffs’ squad cars… rolling eyes).

It seems that Congress, by and large, is giving them “the benefit of doubt”, no doubt. But why?

Yeah, yeah, yeah… innocent until proven guilty. Yah, yah, yah. Does that mean that one cannot investigate to find rationale to what appears to be obvious, blatant, IN-YOUR-FACE, lawbreaking and total disregard for the law? Does this country think that if you just happened to appear guilty of a minor traffic violation that they do not scrutinize you for any OTHER potential illegal activity? Lets say you are pulled over for crossing the center line (ever so slightly). The truth could be that you accidentally poured hot, scalding coffee all over your privates, and you lost attention for even a brief second as your nads boiled in agony.

However, the cop behind you may “suspect” you of something much more sinister… like DUI or maybe some road pleasure from your “friend” or for “whatever” illicit behavior he may “suspect” you of conducting as you drove. Point is that they will suspect you, because it looks “suspicious” and they pull you over and beat the shit out of you, or taze you, or whatever they want to do basically.

 Why then, if virtually everything you look at within the Bush Administration’s tenure has so much “suspicion” written all over it, why isn’t someone pulling them over?

Is that old redneck deputy smarter than those high falutin’ law people up there in DC?

Nah… (well, maybe) but, don’t you think it might be because they are covering up for him? Or might have been involved with the illegal activities? Or get their money from some of the same people, so they dare not say anything against those law breaking interests… or WORSE stand up FOR those law breaking interests with no fear of retaliation or loss?

Should I believe that Sherlock Holmes personally witnesses the killer plunge the dagger into the dead man’s heart, but cannot even “suspect” him of the crime?

What will it take for this country to get outraged enough at the lawless behavior to actually demand something be done? Are we all so ignorant of what is happening, for whatever reasons (life is freaking hard enough as it is for us to really “keep up”, etc, that I can’t pay attention to them). I understand that, but we need to wake up.

Our lives are NOT going to get much, if any better (no matter WHO wins the presidency). You need to understand that. Her “experience” won’t do it. His “hope” won’t do it. Their identical health care plans won’t do it. Their identical Iraq and empire building continuation won’t do it. Their continued feeding of the Big Money machine won’t do it.

 ONLY WE CAN DO IT!

McCain, The “Anti-Lobbyist”, Gets His Advice From Lobbyists

Who’d a ever thunk it?

So, I must ask you readers, do you know what a duck looks, sounds and tastes like? Then call it a DUCK, dammit.

The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists

Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 22, 2008

For years, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has railed against lobbyists and the influence of “special interests” in Washington, touting on his campaign Web site his fight against “the ‘revolving door’ by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided.”

But when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm whose clients have included Verizon and SBC Telecommunications. His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington’s lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways.Senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon work for firms that have lobbied for Land O’ Lakes, UST Public Affairs, Dell and Fannie Mae.

McCain’s relationship with lobbyists became an issue this week after it was reported that his aides asked Vicki Iseman, a telecom lobbyist, to distance herself from his 2000 presidential campaign because it would threaten McCain’s reputation for independence. An angry and defiant McCain denounced the stories yesterday, declaring: “At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust.”

Even before McCain finished his news conference, uber-lobbyist Black made the rounds of television networks to defend McCain against charges that he has been tainted by his relationship with a lobbyist. Black’s current clients include General Motors, United Technologies, JPMorgan and AT&T.

Black said he is still being paid by his firm and does work for clients in his “spare time,” recusing himself from lobbying McCain: “I not only do not lobby him [McCain], but if an issue comes up that I have a client on, I will tell him that and stay out of the discussion.”

A common career path for political operatives is a lucrative job at a Washington lobbying firm that allows them to continue campaign work, and McCain is hardly the first candidate to draw on that talent pool. The campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has been aided by lobbyists Harold Ickes and Mark Penn, who heads Burson Marsteller Worldwide. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been advised by former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.), who is not a registered lobbyist but advises clients about Washington.

In McCain’s case, the fact that lobbyists are essentially running his presidential campaign — most of them as volunteers — seems to some people to be at odds with his anti-lobbying rhetoric. “He has a closer relationship with lobbyists than he lets on,” said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “The problem for McCain being so closely associated with lobbyists is that he’s the candidate most closely associated with attacking lobbyists.”

Davis did not respond to requests for an interview. Black, acting as a campaign spokesman, said that Davis is being paid neither by his firm nor by the McCain campaign, and has not been a registered lobbyist for three years.

Schmidt and McKinnon said they remain with their firms, but are not lobbyists and have recused themselves from the issues of their clients in the McCain campaign. “I’ve never discussed a client issue with the candidate or his staff,” McKinnon said in an e-mail.

Campaign finance experts said employees of a company are allowed to volunteer for a campaign as long as they do so on their own time, or continue to perform the functions for which their employers are paying them…

(The rest here)

It’s His Judgment, Stupid

from Hullabaloo by  

It’s His Judgment, Stupid

Even if you take him at his word and give him every benefit of a doubt, even if you cut him some slack for being more willing than most politicians to admit mistakes, even if you dismiss as tawdry the insinuation of an affair that the Times couldn’t prove, the article makes it quite clear there’s something seriously wrong with McCain’s judgment. The deal breaker – what makes him utterly unqualified to be president, especially now – is that he seems incapable of improving it. He makes the same mistake over and over again. Here’s an overlooked nuance from the second paragraph:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

Aides – plural – repeatedly had to confront McCain about his inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist. Once or twice wasn’t enough for him to get the message. This is a persistent theme in McCain’s behavior.

In fact, the Iseman incident itself was a reprise of similar behavior. Ten years earlier, to use the Times’ word, McCain had done an “official favor for a friend with regulatory problems” and found himself knee deep in the Keating savings and loan scandal, barely escaping with his career. And then, with Iseman, “Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of” his new friend’s client.

But there’s more. Not only had McCain gotten in trouble for the earlier favor-mongering, he even realized, albeit belatedly, what his mistakes were – being too trustful of daring, confident, people; getting too close to people with business before the government, and so on. Even understanding this, he acted the same way with Iseman (regardless of whether you believe his denials of an affair).

In other words, McCain admits his judgment is frequently awful. Even when he knows better, he can’t help himself sometimes- he’s easily, and dangerously, swayed by strong personalities and by his need for friendships with such people. But think about what that means. Even if you cut him slack on a personal level – something along the level of, “well, at least he has the courage to admit he’s wrong and the insight to know why” – this is not the kind of personality you want negotiating with Vladimir Putin, to pick just one example.

Sure. Everyone makes mistakes. And even though McCain makes spectacular mistakes, that in and of itself isn’t the real crux of the problem. Rather it’s this: By his own admission, McCain can’t learn from his mistakes. He knows himself that his personality is too rigid. That is the critical difference between John McCain and a truly qualified candidate for President of the United States. And no amount of straight-shooting hype will change that.

I have thought about this a lot lately. McCain would be a horrible president, not because of some personal discrepancy or an adulterous affair, but because he is simply not a very sound thinker and “Decider-in-Chief”. His entire career is questionable (not that many politicians are not), but as tristero ALWAYS points out so clearly, he is less prepared and capable of the job than most all others (with the possible exception of Mike Huckabee). He makes a lot of mistakes that he flip-flops on, yet the Republicans don’t seem to notice or care (not near as much as the rabid Right Wing Noise Machine, like Rush, mAnn Coulter, etc).

So, be prepared for a party only following, even tho they understand he is a flip-flopping, indecisive political weenie with no real concrete stances (they can change as needed for votes needed).

Bush Hopes Recession Doesn’t Affect Sales Of His Memoirs

WASHINGTON—President George W. Bush told reporters Monday that he remains optimistic that the impending recession will end before his memoirs go on sale. “With any luck, we can pull together as a nation and get through this thing before Dec. 15, 2010,” said Bush, referring to the tentative release date of his autobiography, Born Leading. “It would be a terrible tragedy if this massive economic downturn left the average American family unable to afford the $39.95 plus tax they need to buy my book.” Bush added that he is currently considering an exclusive straight- to-paperback deal with Wal-Mart to make his memoirs less costly should the country slide into a crippling economic depression.