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Photo: Vetatur Fumare, Creative Commons 2.0 license

In another great leap forward for the nation's manufacturing economy under Donald Trump's trade wars, Ford Motor Company announced it will be laying off Crom only knows how many white-collar workers as part of a worldwide "reorganization" intended to keep the automaker afloat. Although maybe "automaker" is the wrong word, since last spring Ford announced it would drop production of virtually all its passenger cars except for the Mustang -- which may still see production cuts due to tariffs. Hooray! SO MUCH WINNING. We bet the laid off workers are probably sick of it.

NBC News, citing a report for investors by Morgan Stanley, said the cutbacks could amount to roughly 24,000 workers out of Ford's workforce of 202,000 worldwide. But hey, no reason to panic, because it's all about efficiency:


The decision is part of Ford's $25.5 billion reorganization plan, which includes slashing $6 billion in improved capital efficiencies. Ford CEO Jim Hackett, who cut more than 12,000 jobs as head of office furniture maker Steelcase, had been expected to make cutbacks even sooner, according to some observers.

GOP strategist Frank Luntz seemed fairly excited by all the efficiency, quote-tweeting the remarkably Luntzian lede of the NBC story on the cutbacks:

"More decision-making power to employees" translates to having all sorts of exciting options, like paying the rent OR the power bill, or buying food OR clothes for the kids. It's empowering! The NBC piece also notes Ford has experienced losses of over a billion dollars thanks to the trade war, because what is a global trade war anyway?

Ford decided earlier this year nobody wanted to buy its passenger cars like the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, and Taurus, because 90 percent of its sales in North America came from its truck lines -- and most of its profits came from the F-series of pickup trucks. The original plan was to keep the Mustang and one other small crossover carlike thing, the "Focus Active." But Ford killed that model in September because Trump's tariffs made the Chinese-built Focus Active uneconomical to sell in the US or Canada. Donald Trump, who is A Idiot, thought that was a win for America, because he has no idea how cars get built:

Nah. Instead of building it in the USA with no tariffs, Ford ran the numbers and decided it would make more sense to scrap the vehicle altogether, as a Ford spokesperson explained in response to a Moonie Times article celebrating the "victory":

Oh, yes, there's this, too: Even Mustang production could be imperiled by Trump's tariffs, because while Chinese consumers sure do like the pony car, China has slapped restrictions on US-made cars coming into the country.

Ford actually may have to cut production of the Mustang and some other models — in the process, potentially reducing U.S. jobs — as a result of the tariffs China has enacted on American-made vehicles in a tit-for-tat trade war. The Mustang had been one of the most popular U.S. vehicles sold in that country.

Bummer, American autoworkers! There's probably a lesson in here about international trade and the completely foreseeable effects of tariffs, but as Motor Trend pointed out when the Focus Active became the first entire vehicle line killed by Trump, it's not a message that fits easily on a t-shirt. But at least it fits awkwardly on a T-shirt (and yes, that's a Wonkette-kickback link):

We assume you can still order that, although by the time this posts, novelty T-shirt tariffs may have kicked in too.

[NBC News / TechCrunch / MotorTrend / Image: 1979 Ford Fiesta by Vetatur Fumare, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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What did we say this morning? Something about how "They want a war with Iran," and "Please do not listen to news reports about Trump telling his people to cool their jets with the Iran talk, because they want a war with Iran, and all they are looking for is their trigger"?

News came out early this morning that Iran shot down a US drone in the Strait of Hormuz, outside Iranian waters. Let's see what our president and his war-bonering GOP shitmouths in Congress have had to say about that:

Great. Just great. So what's happening now?

Awesome. Just splendid. Trump is having a cuddle party today with John Bolton (who's had a hard-on to bomb Iran since the Bush administration); Mike Pompeo (who's been making the rounds lying and saying Iran and al Qaeda are best friends, thus implying that it's very legal and very cool for Trump to strike Iran without congressional authorization, based on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Congress voted for five days after 9/11); and Patrick Shanahan, the outgoing acting Defense secretary, who will make way for another acting Defense secretary, because who needs real Defense secretaries? (The new guy, Mark Esper, is part of the meeting too.) And as Senator Schatz points out above, Trump is emotionally unstable and doesn't know dick about foreign policy, so it's just great that he's having an emergency meeting with these unhinged hawks about this right now.

Tell us what this all means, unhinged hawk Lindsey Graham!

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