"Is Bangle to Blame?" Discuss. The October Automobile admits that the sales of Chris Bangle's prized Z4 sports car--the one that was "as big a jump in terms of aesthetic value systems as there was between an Eve before the fall ... and an Eve after the fall"-- have "tailed off quickly after a robust first year (fewer than 20,000 cars were sold in 2005)." But you already knew that would happen. What's intriguing is that Automobile reports BMW's disappointment with the contrived Bilbao-wannabe design in a way that suggests the anti-Bangle spin was approved, perhaps even purveyed, by BMW's representatives themselves. And if BMW is putting out the word that Bangle bombed, does that make you want to put down money he'll still have his BMW design job three years from now? Just speculating! [If he's pushed out, what will you do for easy automotive filler items?--ed. It will be tough. Maybe he'll start a blog.] ... Bonus Prediction: Once it's perceived as a design flop--once it loses its you're-just-too-dumb-to-appreciate-me arrogance, once there's no danger that it actually represents the future of the automobile --the Z4 will start to seem much better-looking. Appealingly quirky! I claim it's already happening. ... 2:29 A.M.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Fence update: Majority Leader Frist has attached the detainee treatment bill to the border fence bill. Apparently his plan is for the Senate to do both contentious pieces of legislation in one swoop. Okey dokey ... 10:06 P.M.
If YouTube "isn't a cool medium," Bill Clinton's got nothing on Wafa Sultan. ... P.S.: Clip is from February. I mistakenly thought it was new. Still! All she needs is the "iconic lurch." . ... 9:47 P.M.
The 'Bad Timing' Con: ABC's The Note--
Will the Medicare prescription drug benefit (and the ill-timed doughnut hole press coverage) be a net plus or net minus for the Republicans? ...
On "Good Morning America," ABC News' Jessica Yellin reported, "It is just terrible timing for the White House. Just as there are signs that the President's poll numbers are starting to rise, leaked portions of the classified report are turning the attention back to the key issue that has dragged down the President's Administration and his party, the war in Iraq." [E.A.]
Yes, it's such terrible bad luck that these anti-GOP stories and leaks just happened to surface a few weeks before an election! ... [Are you saying the press shouldn't report this stuff?--ed No. WaPo's "doughnut" story was excellent. I'm saying sophisticated political reporters covering the impact of these stories shouldn't pretend there's any luck or mystery to their timing, It's a disingenuous pose designed to heighten their impact.] 1:17 P.M.
Elvis Down: Chris Wallace did too ask a Bush aide (Rumsfeld) pointed questions about why Bush didn't go after bin Laden-- Patterico's got 'em. ...
P.S.: In the stimulating Wallace v. Clinton confrontation--which Clinton was winning before he plowed on into paranoia about Rupert Murdoch and Fox--Clinton spent a lot of time discussing Osama bin Laden and Somalia. Specifically, Clinton said:
"He wasn't involved in that, that's just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohamed Aideed, a Muslim warlord ...."
My impression--from Mark Bowden's book, Black Hawk Down--is that al Qaeda operatives had taught Somali warlord Aideed's men how to bring down U.S. helicopters with RPGs. (See, e.g., here.) Did Clinton misspeak, or does he really not know of this Al Qaeda connection? Or does he have information that Bowden's claim really is "bull"? Update: Bin Laden's Somalia role was included in a U.S. Justice Dept. indictment. ... Clinton also said: