Remember This?

French stunt driver, stock (or nearly so) Fiats.


A roomie of mine when I was in law school had a Fiat 850 like this one:

There really was a Fiat mechanic near us named Tony. We pushed that 850 into Tony’s shop more than once.

Not for nothing, but you know what the worst part of state socialism was? The fact that East Germans had to endure the Trabant (displayed below), while their capitalist-lackey neighbors could drive actual, honest-to-God automobiles.

Communism really sucked sometimes.

[ADD: But also, the Wartburg ( ) sucked ass too.]

@chicago bureau: The wife grew up in the land of the Yugo. I saw one lodged in a tree after NATO finished bombing the shit out of Kosovo. The Zastava was a beaut, too.

The script basically says that Remy Julienne insists on Fiats for his stunts. I’d have used an Alfa, but whatever floats your boat.

What’s up with all the car posts lately?

@SanFranLefty: Slammed at work today, and the automotive stuff comes easily. Besides, I love Italian cars, and Chrysler might go to Fiat – could open up a whole new world.

@Nabisco: Goodness, this is the kinda story that separates from blogs Bravo! Bravissimo!

@SanFranLefty: Indeed, and what about the total lack of news about Stormy?

Stinquers, don’t forget to mail your tea bags tomorrow.

DEVELOPING HARD: GOPer up by a thousandish votes with two-thirds of the vote in the Kristen Gillibrand/John Sweeney (of wife-beating, frat-party-attending infamy) district in Upstate New York. They’re saying that there are 10,000 absentees. This could go into OT. But it’s not a knockout for Steele by any stretch. More later.

[ADD: Now 800ish with 75% or so in. Huh. And BTW: TPM reports that Coleman got totally jobbed by that court in Minnesoda that is reviewing whatever it was that they were reviewing. Yawn.]

[ADD #2: Now 1100ish with 5/6ths in. That’s probably where it’s going to land at the close of play tonight.]

@Dave H: Sorry – all’s quiet on the Stormy front.


And just who are we sending teabags to?

@blogenfreude: I believe the proper question is, Who are we teabagging?

@Mistress Cynica: I thought it was the wingnuts that were sending teabags, but I could be wrong.

Further news: GOPer up 1400ish, but there’s almost nothing left on his home turf. A handful of districts at the southern end of the district may bring the margin really close. But (insofar as live voters, as opposed to absent ones, are concerned), the GOP looks to be home and dry tonight.

[ADD: Wait a minute: The GOP lead is now down to 30 votes! Not 30ish, but 30 on the number. Tom Durkin at the Saratoga Race Course would be yelling so loud right now, he would have blown a vessel in his brain.]

@chicago bureau: Asshole challenged the election even before he knew the results. Here’s hoping the seat stays D.

BREAKING HARD: The Dem is now 252 votes to the good, with 3 precincts left! At the buzzer!

[ADD: Dem +81 with one stinking precinct (of 610) left to report. Wow.]

@chicago bureau: It’s Son of Al and Norm. Oy.

PS – does anybody remember this ad? Fiat ran it in the US with English narration. I loved it as a kid.

chicago bureau: The sickest part about this? The machines used to vote in New York? If memory serves — they’re the old electric lever machines — the one that gave you a bit of a hedonistic thrill as you threw the switch to cast the ballot and open the curtain. But also: totally unreliable pieces of crap. Ruh roh.

@chicago bureau: I voted for Obama on one of those ancient machines … and yes, we still have them. More accurate than Diebold machines, however.

blogenfreude: I’m almost ready to give up on that last precinct. The result of tonight is clear enough.

Law-talking guys — to the Suitmobile! (Dunna-dunna-dunna-dunna SUITMAN!)

FINAL SCORE: Dems 77,344, GOPers 77,279. The Hopium eater wins by 65 votes. (The call home to Ma and Pa Bureau provided 3% of the margin of victory. Huzzah!)

[ADD: I should say “margin of victoryish.” Absentee votes, lawyerz, etc.]

TJ, China is testing Obama, just as they did Bush. Denied a US geological survey ship access to the Taiwan straight (a geological survey ship, you know, like the Glomar Explorer) and has announced that all trade with Argentina is going to be in Yuans now.

@chicago bureau: Huzzah! Now lets seat Franken, or at least Davis.

@blogenfreude: Correct. The New American Tea Party is set for April Fools Day. The last I saw, maybe on Snopes, the true believers had decided to mail the labels instead of teabags because they could save money on the postage. That’s the kind of commitment to the cause that put Pres. Ron Paul in the White House. That plus his blimp.

In re that New York race, please enjoy this little snip of wisdom from a Redstate commenter:

Jeez, wish we could have sent Palin in there. She would have been good for at least 500 votes.

He was in earnest, mind you.

[ADD: Free Republic commenters (plural) are blaming ACORN. I shit you not.]

@chicago bureau: DIE! FUCJKING DIE! Pulp GOP faces with fucking softball bats! FUCKING DIE!

@chicago bureau:
So the Demrats won in NY20?

I can’t wait for the “positive” spin on this one, assuming it doesn’t go all Franken/Coleman which it probably will.

ManchuCandidate: Oh, you can count on the GOP throwing some elbows. The GOPer in the race, Jim Tedisco, is a biter. (Which would stand to reason, as this is Mike Tyson’s home district too.)

@blogenfreude: Man, that video is weak. Isuzu put out a series of ads years ago that featured the Gemini and was all real stunt driving. Here is my favorite edit of those classic ads:
You really need to watch the whole video. It starts out OK, then becomes almost unbelievable, but it’s all real driving.
You can also see the original Japanese versions of the ads, plus extras, by doing a YouTube search for “Isuzu Gemini”, but the clip I linked is my fave.

@chicago bureau: ACORN? Because they do so much grass root organizing in ass-fuck upstate NY (no offense to Ma & Pa Bureau)?!?

Next they’ll blame all the black and brown inmates from NYC who are locked up in the upstate area yet counted for census purposes of living in upstate to somehow being behind this.

@Ewalda: I love that they use their turns signals when exiting the Metro station. That was a thing of beauty.

@mellbell: Some of those synchronized spins and drifts were as good as professional driving has ever gotten. Remember, these are old Isuzus we’re talking about, not some Wundercar.

SanFranLefty: No offense taken. And spot on in re Upstate having a knack for locking up a diverse bunch of guys from the city. (There may be some ACORN types in Albany and Schenectady, but they are the hole in the donut that is the 20th District.)

Apart from those in the pokey? The district is as white as a sheet of paper. Also home to a lot of thumpers. The fact that Democrats (moderate ones, sure, but Democrats just the same) can actually play in this district shows just how far gone the GOP really is.

@Promnight: I’m calling you out, dude. What in the holy hell is THIS piece of crap? It’s a bad joke, right?
Try dialing down the ‘Think’, try turning up the “Feel”??? Huh???
Try throwing this abortion into the trash, along with all of Chevy’s other bonehead pieces of crap.
By the way, I’ve driven both the latest Cobalt and Malibu. They are both pieces of shit, destined for rental fleets at best.
Sorry, Prommie, but this crap from GM ain’t happenin’.

@Ewalda: I’ve driven the Cobalt and the Malibu. Hyundai makes better cars than those. And that fucking small-penis Camaro link froze my computer.

Did you car fans see the NYT story tonight about how the GM bankruptcy would work? Like good bank / bad bank, Chevy and Cadillac would be split off as the “good” company and the bad company would get the dreck plus (natch) the pension obligations. All financed by: us, the taxpayers. I’m pretty sure this isn’t an April Fools joke.

@Dodgerblue: Sorry about the freezeup, that site is full of ignoramus redneck gee-whiz flash bullshit that might have been impressive in 2002. GM can’t even find a non-doofus web designer!
At least folks with decent drug profits are buying the damned Caddys. Who is buying Chevy autos?

@Dodgerblue: All financed by: us, the taxpayers.

And there’s the rub…

Because (hi, Tool!) the taxpayers should be financing pensions and healthcare, taking the expense off the books of American business, and making us more competitive. We’re living with a system devised for a different era.

And yes, no free lunch, blah blah blah — corporations would still be dinged with taxes to cover the expense. But don’t worry. Until we see Hoovervilles across the land, nothing will happen.

@chicago bureau: Could someone tell me why everyone’s all excited about a House district? I don’t see how one more vote in a spineless majority is going to make a difference.

@nojo: Correct me if I’m wrong, but GM was offered the removal of the healthcare burden on several occasions, and I think the pensions, too (not as certain on that one), and flatly rejected the proposals. They would rather play “chicken” with the federal govt than budge on inch in their stand against “socialism” for their employees. Now, “socialism” for their corporate hides is a different matter. Makes sense, right? If you are living in 1953.

@nojo: I think it’s being looked at as the first test of Dem/Rep electoral dynamic since the inauguration of the Brown Bomber. Foolish idea, really.

@Ewalda: Socialize the losses, parachute the bosses. That’s the American Way.

@Ewalda: Yes, very foolish. Check back, say, November next year, we’ll see where things stand.

It’s not even a matter of cutting Barry some slack. It’s just wayyyyy too early to be reading tea leaves, and besides, they’re all soggy anyway.

(Just checked with Yoda Pez. He says you can’t really call the honeymoon over until Labor Day.)

“Un automobile per famiglia.”


@nojo: Because it used to be a safe Republican seat. When Paterson chose Gillibrand it looked like he’d lost it. If the Democrats have managed to keep it without Barbarella it’s quite a big win. And a sign of what’s to come. It’s the district north of me. I try not to go there.

And the cue for much comedy goodness from Hard-partyin’ Steele.

nojo: My interest in the district stems from my formative years there. You may have heard of something called the Solomon Amendment — no munnie to colleges that bar ROTC recruiting. That dude lived two blocks from my house. (But also: shouting down a Kennedy on the floor of the House, for being in favor of an assault weapons ban.) This guy literally is the reason why I’m a dirty hippie liberal.

Also notable: Steele and the GOP betting the farm on this one race in a district they used to win in token-opposition walkovers. (I remember 70-30 spreads in the bad old days. Srsly.)

@nojo: Missed the bait – just now working my way back to the present. It is far too late to comment, but since you called me out – let me be clear – I’d far prefer a straight up government run socialized health care solution to the path we are now on – Barry is looking to just widen and pave the path that Shrub carved out with the prescription entitlement – more and better” public-private partnerships” corporate statism. The worst of both worlds.

And did anybody notice that with the media all ga-ga over Barry’s finger wagging about bankruptcy and firing the CEO, what he actually did is just continue to keep the GM Zombie stumbling around for a while longer with some fresh taxpayer blood.

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