Tales from the Trail

Cash for Clunkers: the day after

One of the most popular programs brought in by the administration of President Barack Obama, “cash for clunkers”, which offered rebates of up to $4,500 to trade in older gas guzzlers, wrapped up on Monday.

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Some auto dealers are concerned about the slow pace of reimbursements under the program and the low inventories that have followed in its wake.

(PHOTO: A clunker vehicle sits in a parking lot during the last day of the “Cash For Clunkers” auto rebate program at Courtesy Chevrolet dealership in Phoenix, Arizona, August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Lott)

See the two video clips below. The first is of Cliff Johnson, president of Texas Motors Ford in Fort Worth, talking about his concerns. The other is from his new vehicle director, Jeremy Pirotte, who talks about inventories.

Government and industry officials say they do not expect the auto rebate program to be renewed in the immediate future, even though it has been popular with consumers and is considered a genuine economic stimulus at a time when the nation is in recession.

The First Draft: no rest for the weary?

The Obamas may be on vacation this week, but the news hasn’t taken a break. OBAMA/

The Justice Department is expected to release a report Monday disclosing details of prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the CIA’s inspector general but never before made public. According to published reports, the department has recommended re-opening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases.

A review of the cases threatens to weigh down the Obama administration, which is already involved in deeply partisan battles over healthcare and climate change legislation.