‘Cash for clunkers’ keeps dealers busy
Would-be buyers race in as reports surface that the federal rebate program is running out of money. The Obama administration is keeping it going at least through the weekend.
By Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu
August 1, 2009
Anxious buyers were rolling into Southern California car dealerships Friday, eager to snag a cash-for-clunkers deal while they still had the chance.
And some dealers said they were girding for a hellish weekend with a lucrative twist.
At Galpin Ford in North Hills, where huge banners promised “Big ca$h for your clunker,” the showroom was packed with people.
“I’ve never worked so hard,” said Galpin salesman Brian Fraleigh, who said he worked selling cars until 3:30 a.m. Friday and was back at his post before noon.
Car dealers said they have seen a healthy increase in customers all week, but things took off Thursday night when reports surfaced that the program was running out of money.
Losing Afghanistan’s Drug War
The U.N. drug czar says that efforts to eradicate opium have failed.
After spending years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to eradicate the fields of poppies that produce opium in Afghanistan, the United States suddenly announced in June that, in the words of special Af-Pak envoy Richard Holbrooke, “eradication is a waste of money.” Instead, NATO and Afghan forces are trying to focus on the nexus between the opium trade and Taliban financing. Nobody has watched these developments more closely than Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. A frequent visitor to Afghanistan himself, he also has a staff of some 360 locals “crisscrossing the country,” tracking the growth and sale of narcotics. In a series of interviews with NEWSWEEK’s Christopher Dickey, Costa talked about the surprising drug story behind the war story in Afghanistan. Excerpts: