Auto dealers

Nearly 2000 auto dealers were informed by GM or Chrylser of the manufacturer’s plans to terminate franchise agreements.  The impact to GM and Chrysler is not likely to be very large.  For example, 90% of Chrysler’s sales volume come from about 50% of their dealers.  Stand this stat on its head, and it tells you that Chrysler could terminate agreements with half their dealers and lose only 10% of their revenue.  For the dealers affected – many of them longtime family businesses – the impact will be much larger.  Some dealerships were diversified with agreements with multiple manufacturers and should be able to make up some of the shortfall by focusing on selling the other brands.  Others, however, had all their eggs in one manufacturer’s basket and will simply be unable to sell new cars unless they are able to procure a franchise agreement with another manufacturer.

Gay marriage

Gay marriage continues to be a hot topic.  California’s supreme court is set to rule on whether or not to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage that was enacted by proposition 8.  The court overturned the previous ban on gay marriage last May.  New Hampshire’s governor has said that he would approve a gay marriage bill if the legislature changes the bill to allow certain protections for churches.  The legislature will vote on the altered bill this week.  Gay marriage is being debated in several other states.  Currently, gay marriage is legal is 6 states – California, Connececticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachussetts,and Vermont.  Once this numbers gets to about 15, I think there will be a tidal wave of states that pass bill allowing it.  With Democrats (who are bigger proponents of gay rights) in control in many states, this would be the ideal time for them to move forward with gay marriage bills, expecially with a currently high level of public support.

Governors and Senators

Republican senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson has decided resign in order to run for governor in 2010.  On the flip side, Florida governor Charlie Crist has decided to run for senate in 2010.  As critical as Florida has been in recent elections, a Democratic pickup in the Florida governorship could be just what the Dems need to tilt the balance a bit more to the left.

On the Bunning front, Kentucky Republican senator Jim Bunning has decided that he will indeed run for re-election, in spite of previous reports to the contrary.  Ron Paul’s son, Rand, may join in the fray in the Republican primary.  Circle this one as a race to watch.  Hall of Fame pitcher Bunning has become an embarrasment for his party, and his won party make seek to undermine his efforts at re-election.  Bunning narrowly won in 2004 and would likely lose to a strong Democratic challenger.

Farrah Fawcett

There’s another reason to like Farrah Fawcett.  She became convinced that someone at UCLA medical center was leaking her medical records to the press.  In order to confirm her suspicions, she intentionally withheld news from her family and friends when her cancer returned in 2007.  When the information found its way to the National Enquirer, Fawcett knew that someone at UCLA was the source.  An investigation found that employee Lawanda Jackson was responsible for the leaks.  Jackson was convicted, but died of cancer before she could be sentenced.

Fawcett’s actions have raised awareness of the seriousness of patient privacy and the need for harsh penalties for those who breach that privacy.

 

Note: inaccurate information regarding the California Supreme Court has been corrected.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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