Nightmare before Christmas

Based on the cold hard economic news that is peppering us like ice pellets of late, Santa Claus must be planning on delivering nothing but coal this Christmas Eve. That's not all bad. Even though you can't play with coal much and you sure can't eat it, you at least can burn it to help hold down the heating bill that will soar as high as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer this winter. Too bad you can't fire up a truck with it.


Now deploying environmentally friendly LED lamp

Just the other night, Brian Williams ended the NBC Nightly News on a decidely sour note: with a report dubbed "Slow Going" that posited that when sales start to slide in the the RV --or "Motor Home" to the aficionados-- industry it's an indication the general economy is heading for a ditch, too. Apparently this year RV sales were down 10% and they're expected to drop another 5% next year. The silver lining in the land yacht, though, is that if you've ever hankered for one and can actually afford one, now is probably the best time ever to get a deal on one!

But were the hand-wringing over RVs not enough to chase away dreams of sugarplums and whatnot so early this holiday season, yesterday came word via The Wall Street Journal that both GM and Ford plan to drastically cut back production early next year "reflecting toughening U.S. economic conditions and mounting challenges keeping their turnaround efforts on track." Specifically, GM said it will slash production 11% in the first three months of '08 compared to the year-earlier period and Ford said it would reduce its first-quarter production forecast by 7.4%. The newspaper noted that those two were not alone: "Chrysler previously announced it will eliminate production shifts at several plants in the first quarter."

OK, so we all (or me anyway) can live without an RV. Even the RV head honchos NBC interviewed admitted as much. But when the Big 3 automakers are rolling back production in the face of economic hardship, well, that gets my attention.

So much so I think it's time to write a letter to Santa. For starters, I will ask him for a dose or twenty of intestinal fortitude. That will come in handy as I wait for my second request to be fulfilled next November-- a new POTUS whom we can hope and pray will get this country to pull together and start moving again on all fronts.


Can the "right jolly old elf"

deliver the goods?