Lemon aid: Please bail out Edsel!



Who cares that the Edsel’s grille looked as if it were sucking a lemon?

In a piece dripping with acid of the citric variety, this morning’s Daily News showcases some of Detroit’s best blunders.

“Crash & Burn: Detroit’s Biggest Lemons of All Time” offers a photo tour of the Edsel and 14 other relics, just to prepare you for the continuing sob stories by the people who now run the relics that are called Ford, Chrysler, and GM.

The Daily News list is clever and not as predictable as you’d think, because it includes Detroit disasters from all eras, including the Aveo and the Prowler.

But here’s the problem: The Pinto and Chevette, for example, were clunky, and the Corvair was stylish but dangerous, but the Edsel was only stupid. Compared with today’s bland vehicles, the Edsel was not clunky. In fact, let me get behind the wheel of the ’58 model pictured above.

Ford may go bankrupt, but the Edsel must live on. In fact, if Ford does go under, its relics will only get more valuable. For the first time, even the Pinto would appreciate in value.

You might want to shop around for one of these lemons. When they foreclose on your house, at least you’ll have a car to sleep in.

While I go out to beg spare change for gas money for these ancient Detroit guzzlers, stick to your keyboard and click …


Register (U.K.): ‘Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles: America tools up for the inauguration’

Guardian (U.K.): ‘Rice tells Islamabad US expects “robust” response to Mumbai attacks’

US secretary of state arrives in Pakistan hoping to ameliorate growing tensions with retribution-seeking India.

N.Y. Times: ‘Mumbai Attack Is Test for Pakistan on Curbing Militants’

BBC: ‘Italy Confronts Puppy Smugglers’ (video)

Italy has launched a campaign calling for a Europe-wide effort to stamp out the illegal trafficking of dogs and other pet animals.

The credit crunch has given an added incentive for smugglers to import expensive breeds, which remain in high demand.

N.Y. Times: ‘A Rush Into Refinancing as Mortgage Rates Fall’

Wall Street Journal: ‘U.S. Makes a House Call’

Register (U.K.): ‘Human rights court rules UK DNA grab illegal’


National Post (Canada): ‘Crossing the blue line: The NHL relishes bloody noses, but won’t tolerate Sean Avery’s mouth’

BBC: ‘Australia MPs “face breath tests”‘

Politicians in an Australian state could be breathalysed before voting after reports of bad behaviour by MPs.

In the latest incident, New South Wales MP Andrew Fraser resigned from his frontbench role after shoving a female MP after attending a Christmas party.

In September, state police minister Matt Brown resigned after allegedly dancing in his underpants at a drunken party in his parliamentary office.

Several MPs have now backed a proposal to supply breath test kits.


A retired NYPD cop attended the 20th reunion of his Brooklyn Catholic school — and later told cops he was shocked to find a teacher who had sexually abused him still working at the school.

Philip Repaci, 38, broke his 23-year silence to file charges.

Register (U.K.): ‘Windows patching abysmal, and getting worse’

Fewer than one in 50 Windows PCs are fully patched, according to stats from users of Secunia’s new patching tool, which suggest surfers are becoming even more slipshod with applying patches over the last year.

N.Y. Daily News: ‘Police may throw flag on team’

The Giants knew Plaxico Burress shot himself minutes after it happened — but the team didn’t report the incident for 8 hours.

Reuters: ‘US must halt spread of nuclear, bio weapons — Biden’

Financial Times (U.K.): ‘Alarm raised on threat of mass assault’

Terrorist organisations would succeed in using weapons of mass destruction within five years unless the world community “acts decisively”, according to a congressionally mandated commission set up to scrutinise WMD after the September 11 attacks.

“It is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013,” according to the report, released yesterday by the commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism.

Washington Post: ‘Napolitano Calls Fighting Terror “Top Priority” ‘

Council on Foreign Relations: ‘The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal’

Washington Post: ‘Treasury Weighs Action on Mortgage Rates: Intervention Would Aim to Buoy the Housing Market by Forcing Down the Cost of Loans’

Register (U.K.): ‘”Faith-based” investment firm fingers holiday’s most sinful games: Holy @&$#’

Washington Post: ‘UAW Offers Detroit Concessions’

With Senate hearing on bailout set this morning, union retreats on health care, jobs bank.

Agence France Presse: ‘Intelligence bodies rush to avoid Mumbai blame: experts’

India’s intelligence agencies have descended into “civil war” following the Mumbai attacks that exposed the country’s vulnerability to terrorism, analysts and experts said.

The country’s various security bodies have long refused to communicate and now blame each other for failing to act on information that could have thwarted the terror strikes, they said.

A week after the attacks, and amid mounting public anger, reports are emerging that intelligence agencies knew India’s financial capital may be targeted by extremists.

The Hindu (India): ‘Ex-Pakistan Army officers, ISI trained Mumbai attackers: NYT’

BBC: ‘Huge cut in UK interest rates’

The Bank of England has cut interest rates by one percentage point from 3 percent to 2 percent, their lowest level since 1951.

Washington Post: ‘Obama Policymakers Turn to Campaign Tools: Network of Supporters Tapped on Health-Care Issues’

Barack Obama‘s incoming administration has begun to draw on the high-tech organizational tools that helped get him elected to lay the groundwork for an attempt to restructure the U.S. health-care system.

Former senator Thomas A. Daschle, Obama’s point person on health care, launched an effort to create political momentum yesterday in a conference call with 1,000 invited supporters culled from 10,000 who had expressed interest in health issues, promising it would be the first of many opportunities for Americans to weigh in.

The health-care mobilization taking shape before Obama even takes office will include online videos, blogs and e-mail alerts as well as traditional public forums. Already, several thousand people have posted comments on health on the Obama transition Web site.

AP: ‘Fla. congresswoman accidentally hangs up on Obama’

When a man sounding remarkably like President-elect Barack Obama called a Florida congresswoman Wednesday, she assumed it was a crank call.

So Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen hung up. But, the Miami Herald reports, this was no prank.

“I thought it was one of the radio stations in South Florida playing an incredible, elaborate, terrific prank on me,” Ros-Lehtinen told the newspaper. “They got Fidel Castro to go along. They’ve gotten Hugo Chavez and others to fall for their tricks. I said, ‘Oh, no, I won’t be punked.'”

BBC: ‘France unveils huge stimulus plan’

Register (U.K.): ‘Berlusconi plans to use G8 presidency to “regulate the internet”‘