VW Microbus to return as I.D. Buzz electric minivan

Its official: Volkswagen is bringing back the Microbus. At least something that appears a lot like one.

VW brand Chairman Herbert Diess has confirmed to Auto Express that a model based on the electric I.D. Buzz concept unveiled at this years North American International Auto Show has been greenlighted for production.

The retro-inspired I.D. Buzz features a battery pack mounted flat in the floor, Tesla Model X-style, that VW says is good for 270 miles of range and is equipped with a wireless charging system that can deliver an 80 percent charge in simply 30 minutes. An electric motor at each axle offer 369 hp, all-wheel-drive capability and 0-60 mph acceleration in five seconds, which is quicker than a VW GTI compact.

The three-row I.D. Buzz features a highly configurable interior, with seats that can be turned into tables and beds, and front chairs that can be rotated to face the back. Thats because it was designed with fully-autonomous driving abilities in intellect, something VW hopes to add by as early as 2025.

The I.D. name is being used for a new lineup of battery-powered vehicles that VW plans to launching in 2020, as it continues its transformation away from diesel powertrains, but Diess didnt say exactly when the Buzz-based model would go on sale.

Read more: www.foxnews.com

Nicole Kidman Gets Candid About Supporting Keith Urban During His Battle With Addiction

Nicole Kidman

can’t stop gushing about her husband of ten years, Keith Urban.

This time though, the Lion actress is opening up about the country singer’s past battle with addiction “as the wife of somebody who’s been through” it.

Video: Nicole & Jimmy Fallon Share More Of Their Awkward Dating History

Speaking on The Jess Cagle Interview, Nicole shared her advice for any loved ones of an addict with People and Entertainment Weekly:

“Get help. To put your hand up, to reach out. There is absolutely help out there. You can’t save somebody, they’ve got to save themselves.”

In case you didn’t know, the Break On Me musician credited the A-lister with helping him overcome his alcoholism after he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center back in 2007.

The 49-year-old starlet continued:

“[It] Is a very big thing for people like me who go, I can take care of you. I can do it.’ At some point, you just have to say, I love you and I’m here when you decide to do the work. If you don’t, then that’s it.'”

Nic finished with one last thought:

“It’s not easy, but there’s an extraordinary life if you do get there through help.”

So supportive!

And look where they ended up!

[Image via Pacific Coast News Online.]

Read more: perezhilton.com

A sign on scrubland marks one of America’s largest slave uprisings. Is this how to remember black heroes?

The Stono rebellion of 1739 was the biggest slave rebellion in Britains North American colonies but it is barely commemorated unlike Confederate leaders

The slaves met on a Sunday morning, close to the Stono river. Plantation owners tended to go to church on Sundays, and would leave them unattended.

A man named Jemmy had gathered them together. Described in reports as an “Angolan” who could read and write, Jemmy had talked the men through his plan the night before.

There were about 20 men in total. They marched to Hutchenson’s Store, 14 miles west of Charleston, South Carolina, and killed two white men. They then loaded up on pistols and gunpowder, and headed south.

Jemmy was leading them towards the then-Spanish territory of Florida, where he had heard slaves could live as free men.

The men marched from the store to a house belonging to a white man named Godfrey. They burned the house to the ground and killed Godfrey, his wife, and his son and daughter.

When the slaves arrived at the home of a man called Lemy they killed him, his wife, and their child. They did spare a man named Wallace, who owned a tavern. He was considered a kind slave owner. But every other home they passed they torched.

It was 9 September 1739, and Jemmy was leading what became known as the Stono rebellion – one of the largest slave uprisings in what was then the North American colonies.

The men would not make it to Florida. They wouldn’t even come close.

In the 1700s, and on through the 1800s, Charleston was one of the most prominent hubs for the slave trade in North America. At one point 35-40% of slaves entered the US through the city, and it served as a base for trading slaves once they had arrived.

A
A white man sells black slaves at a sale in Charleston, South Carolina. At one point 35-40% of slaves entered the US through the city. Photograph: Popperfoto/PPP

But walk around Charleston today and the most visible monuments and memorials are not to people like Jemmy and his Stono rebels. The major monuments are to the Confederate leaders who declared their secession from the United States and fought a war over their right to own slaves.

The same is true for cities and states across the country. There are more than 700 monuments to the Confederacy in the US, the majority in the south. Including park and school names, street and bridge names and public holidays, the Southern Poverty Law Center says there are more than 1,500 “symbols of the Confederacy” in public spaces across the country.

There are signs recently that times are changing. Statues of Confederate leaders like Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis have been removed in New Orleans and Baltimore, with other cities exploring how to take down similar structures.

In 2015, after Dylann Roof killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, finally removed the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.

But the fight to erect monuments and memorials to those enslaved – or who fought enslavement – has proved just as difficult as the battle to remove those Confederate symbols.

***

As Jemmy and his group made their way south-west, more slaves joined the Stono rebellion. Their number had swelled to about 100 men before they were spotted, by chance, by South Carolina’s lieutenant governor, William Bull.

Bull rounded up a militia, and they confronted the slaves in the middle of a field near the Edisto river, a winding stretch of water that meets the Atlantic Ocean 50 miles north of the South Carolina-Georgia border. A battle ensued.

Accounts from the time say the slaves fought bravely, but they were outnumbered and their opponents were better armed. The majority of the rebels were slaughtered. Some were taken back to plantations and returned to slavery. About 30 escaped, but were later rounded up and killed.

The plantation owners mounted some of the slaves’ heads on sticks along the main road, as a warning to others.

Jemmy and his men had made it just 15 miles.

There were uprisings over the next two years, although historians are divided on how much they were inspired by Stono. None were on the same scale, and none were successful.

Slavery continued in the North American colonies, and continued when the US became an independent country in 1776. It would be 1865 – more than 120 years after the uprising in Stono – before the 13th amendment to the constitution was ratified and slave ownership was finally made illegal.

Slaves
Slaves of the Confederate general Thomas F Drayton at Magnolia plantation, Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1862, a few miles south-west of where the Stono rebellion was crushed more than a century earlier. Photograph: UniversalImagesGroup/Getty Images

Today the only marker of the failed rebellion is a small sign by the side of US Highway 17, just past the Stono river.

It is not easy to spot. Cars and trucks rumble through this part of South Carolina at 60mph, crossing the marshy expanse of the Stono river before reaching the small town of Rantowles.

The sign is on a grass verge, opposite a gas station and underneath an advertisement billboard currently promoting a Chevrolet and Ford car dealership. There is a corrugated metal building behind it which sells arcade games and pinball machines.

There is no layby to pull into, no place to stop. Even with an idea of where the sign was, I flashed past it before I’d seen it. It took a screech of the brakes and a hard right turn to pull into the arcade store car park and take a closer look.

The marker was erected in 2006 by the Sea Island Farmers Cooperative, and looked as if it has been forgotten in the 11 years since then.

The white background was streaked with dirt. The paint of the small black lettering, which gives a pithy summary of the rebellion, was flaking, and the black border was faded and cracked.

It was hard not to think of the contrast with the gleaming Confederate memorials which loom over streets in downtown Charleston.

On a sunny Wednesday at the end of September the grass at the base of the signpost was long and scorched. Wading through it, I could finally read the 50-word tribute to the enslaved men who had made their bid for freedom.

“The Stono Rebellion, the largest slave insurrection in British North America, began nearby on September 9, 1739,” it reads.

“About 20 Africans raided a store near Wallace Creek, a branch of the Stono River. Taking guns and other weapons, they killed two shopkeepers.

“The rebels marched south toward promised freedom in Spanish Florida, waving flags, beating drums, and shouting ‘Liberty!’”

A
The Denmark Vesey monument in Hampton Park in Charleston, South Carolina. Vesey attempted to lead a slave rebellion. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

The largest rebellion of the time may have been doomed, but over the next 100 years more men sought their own version of liberty. Eighty-three years after Jemmy and his men attempted their revolt, Denmark Vesey, a former slave himself, was planning his own large-scale Charleston rebellion.

Around 1800, when he was in his early 30s, Vesey had won $1,500 in a cash lottery. He used some of the money to buy his freedom from his owner, and hoped to use the rest to secure his wife’s freedom, but her owner refused to sell her.

Over the next 20 years Vesey, who had been born into slavery in the then-Danish colony of St Thomas, built up a carpentry business and became a prominent figure in the emerging African Methodist Episcopal church – the church Dylann Roof would target two centuries later.

Vesey maintained friendships with enslaved men, and became increasingly determined to change the state of affairs in South Carolina.

“He’s a man who by that time period was in his 50s, mid-50s. He’s an old man,” said Curtis Franks, museum curator at the Avery Research Center for African American history and culture in Charleston.

“It was this heightened sense of urgency because of where he was in his life to do what he could do to bring about an end to the institution of slavery.”

In 1821 Vesey and other churchgoers began to plan a revolt. By some accounts thousands of men were prepared to join the cause, both in the city and out into the countryside – even as far as the Stono river where their predecessors had assembled nearly a century earlier.

The men planned to attack an arsenal facility in downtown Charleston on 14 July 1822, seize weapons, then commandeer ships and sail to Haiti, where slaves had overthrown French colonialists two decades earlier. Had they made it, Vesey and his companions would have been able to live freely on the island, a thousand miles south-east.

They didn’t make it.

The plot was exposed days before they were due to strike. After a brief trial Vesey and 34 others were hanged, 38 more were deported.

Franks was part of a group of people who wanted to erect a statue of Vesey in Charleston. He saw it as an important counterpoint to the existing monuments that glorify Confederate politicians and leaders.

The group got the backing of some members of the Charleston city council, which at the time was evenly split between black and white people, and of the city’s mayor.

Nevertheless, it took almost 15 years for Franks and the others to get their memorial to Vesey and his would-be rebellion.

They faced opposition in the press, Franks said, and on talk radio. Opponents vilified Vesey as a terrorist – ignoring the hypocrisy of the memorials to people who initiated a civil war – and one proposed site was blocked after residents protested.

Monument
The monument to John C Calhoun in Marion Square in Charleston. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The group had wanted the Vesey statue in the downtown area, where tributes to the former US vice-president John C Calhoun, a hardline defender of slavery who referred to it as a “positive good” in an 1837 speech, are unavoidable.

The main street running east to west through downtown is named after Calhoun. That street borders the south of Marion Square, where a giant Calhoun statue glares down at passersby.

“In a sense it could offer a counter to the Calhoun piece,” Franks said. This more visible representation of the darker parts of Charleston’s past would not just honour the history of black Americans, Franks said, but also offer something to the people who travel to the city each year.

“There are black folk throughout the country who are visiting Charleston. And they’ve done their work, they’ve done their reading. And they understand the importance of this physical space to this country, and to the world.

“So they’re coming with great expectations, and they get here and that reading, that preparation doesn’t meet or match what they find when they get here,” Franks said.

“You look around and you see all this other stuff that is Confederate.”

The plan to place the Vesey statue there did not pan out. The city of Charleston does not own the park – it leases it from the Washington light infantry, a military organisation that fought on the Confederate side in the civil war.

It was years before a site was agreed on. Franks’s group did not get their downtown location, but were granted a site in Hampton Park, a couple of miles north.

Franks drove me out to see the statue in September. The monument has Vesey standing on top of a plinth, a Bible in one hand and a bag of carpenter’s tools in the other. He has his back to the open green space of the park, facing instead a paved semi-circle with two benches designed for contemplation.

The tale of the Vesey statue shows how divisive the legacy of slavery remains today.

***

This battle to accurately represent both side of Charleston’s history is not lost on locals. I took a cab from the Vesey statue to downtown, and the driver, Jamal Middleton, was aware of the struggles Franks and others from the Avery center had faced.

“It’s the largest monument to anything that has to do with ending slavery or evolution or freeing slaves,” Middleton said of the Vesey memorial.

“And it’s placed in an area where it would be almost difficult to find unless you know where it is.”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

When One Adult Child Needs More Help Than Another

As a parent, you may want to provide financial assistance to your adult children when they need it. But what if one faces more money woes than another?

Should you provide extra, periodic cash infusions or leave him or her more in your will? And if so, should you let the other sibling or siblings know?

Of course, there are no definitive answers to those questions. And playing financial favorites, even for a good reason, can have unintended consequences. “Families are complicated systems,” says Megan Ford, a financial therapist at the University of Georgia’s ASPIRE Clinic and president of the Financial Therapy Association. “And money inequality — perceived or otherwise — can introduce even further complexity, affecting relationships.”

That said, sometimes parents feel they have no choice. If you’re struggling with this issue, here is some savvy advice from experts that could be useful, provided as questions and answers:

Is It Ever Fair to Help One Child More Than Another?

Yes. It’s understandable if you don’t want to see your grown child in a financial bind. Most often, Ford says, the reason parents offer financial support to an adult son or daughter is that he or she is struggling due to a job loss, divorce or the pursuit of a career path that’s meaningful, but not lucrative. Parents also may want to provide assistance to a child dealing with addiction or mental health issues. And ongoing support may be a given for parents whose adult children are disabled or have special needs.

Ford believes that most instances of financial inequality are a response to a particular situation and are not an expression of favoritism. Sometimes, the parents may not even be aware they’re giving unequal amounts to their children because their help is periodic and seems small each time.

Could Providing Regular Support to One Child Backfire?

Yes it can, if it results in him or her being unwilling to become self-supportive, posing a drain on your finances. This kind of enabling also may breed resentment in your other children who feel they’re being penalized for working hard or choosing a well-paying career while a sibling gets a free ride.

Take the case of Declan (not his real name) and his brother. Declan is a 50-year-old consultant who is married with two children. His older brother trained as a lawyer but never practiced, and instead worked in college administration before losing his job at 52. Because his wife stayed home with their children, his parents stepped in to cover some of their bills. But he also stayed out of the workforce for three years, without taking even temp jobs. Meanwhile, Declan and his wife worked full-time to provide for their family.

Declan admits he’s sometimes angry that his parents have created a dynamic that “enables a grown man to not take responsibility for his own finances. It sends a terrible message.” Because his brother recently got a job at a local university, his parents are no longer helping out — a big relief to Declan, who’s concerned that his parents curtailed their own desires and needs at a time in their lives when they should be treating themselves.

What Declan’s parents should have done, experts say, is set limits on how much they were willing to give their other son and for how long. “It’s good to qualify assistance with some boundaries and parameters that assist the child temporarily and also do not cause undue burden on the parents’ situation,” Ford says. “It’s important to establish these very early on and set a precedent in the beginning, so everyone is on the same page.”

What’s the Best Way to Leave More to One Child in My Will?

As soon as possible, make your reason for treating your children differently in your will clear to all your grown kids.

Perhaps you shelled out a lot more in college tuition for your other kids. Maybe this child has a special-needs toddler. Or maybe you just want to enable this particular child to live the comfortable life that his or her more ambitious or fortunate siblings have.

It’s your money and your choice, but experts agree that it’s important to avoid surprises upon your death. As Ford puts it: “After [you’re] gone, the unintended consequences of not discussing this with the family prior is risking misunderstandings, turmoil and divide among siblings — in extreme cases, for even years or generations afterwards.”

What if the Siblings Are Angry That I’ve Given More to One?

You don’t want to spend years deflecting criticism from children who feel they’re getting the short end of the stick. If they can’t accept your decision, Ford suggests, it may be time for family members to visit a financial therapist who can help sort out emotions from dollars.

“Financial therapists can help people think, feel and behave differently with money as a way to improve overall well being,” she says. “The structure of this process will look different for each family and the financial therapist would be useful in helping the prospective clients decide who should attend [sessions] and be involved.”

Consider the possibility that any complaints from your more financially secure children may stem from a deeper hurt. “There is often bad blood between siblings,” observes John Schapiro, an estate lawyer and partner at the Kleinbard law firm in Philadelphia. “So it’s common to have real disputes and resentment over unequal — or supposedly unequal —treatment of siblings and their children, even when objectively any difference is relatively trivial. In general, I think that’s an indication of pre-existing difficulties in the sibling relationships.”

Adult children bearing old grudges may make accusations of favoritism that go back decades (think The Smothers Brothers), Schapiro says.For example: “Mom and Dad always gave you whatever you wanted. Remember when you got to have a sleepover for your 12th birthday and I didn’t?”

Or the kids not receiving extra assistance may refuse to consider any reasonable accommodations or settlement terms that you or the therapist suggests.

“There’s no magic way to make those problems vanish,” Schapiro says. “That’s a situation where it really helps to have lawyers most of the time, because they are pretty good at separating out legitimate economic issues from emotional ones.”

An astute lawyer will find a way to get all parties to talk to each other without yelling and steer clients away from self-destructive strategies.

How Can I Unite My Family?

Try pointing out that everyone will be better off if no one has to worry about a sibling needing money in his or her old age.

Schapiro’s own family tale illustrates this. After beginning his career and buying a house, the only financial help his parents gave him (and his wife) was a small loan to cover closing costs. One sister became an investment manager with a high income and never needed assistance. The other sister chose a much lower-paying career as an order-book official on a stock exchange. Burned out, she returned to live with her parents in her thirties and enrolled in med school at 37. Her parents didn’t pay the total cost of that tuition, but subsidized her expenses for about 20 years.

Schapiro’s parents were open about their financial support. And because he and his other sister were well off (and all three had a good relationship), they applauded their parents’ efforts.

“We felt that when our parents died, our sister would become our problem,” he explains. “So we definitely wanted our parents to nudge her onto a sustainable path. Any resources they used to make her financially independent were well spent as far as we were concerned.” Today, that sister is a physician, fully financially independent.

When the parents died several years ago, their estate was split three ways. “That was more than fine with us,” says Schapiro.

Also From Next Avenue:

The Aging Problem We Don’t Talk About

Why Some Grown Kids Cut Off Their Parents

The Top Drugs For Older Adults To Avoid

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

At least 2 dead, more than 1,000 rescued from Gulf Coast flooding deemed ‘historic’ | Fox News

More rain Saturday was expected to swamp already soggy ground across Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast, as Louisiana’s governor announced that crews had rescued more than 1,000 people, some of whom were clinging to trees to stay safe.

Officials said at least two people had died in the floods. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency as rescue workers in the southeastern part of the state braced for more rainfall. The state’s emergency management office called it a “historic flood event.”

In a 24 -hour period, Baton Rouge reported as much as 11.34 inches of rainfall. One weather observer reported to the National Weather Service that 17.09 inches has declined in Livingston.

The Comite River near Baton Rouge and Amite River near Denham Springs, both in Louisiana, were predicted to set record crests over the weekend. Forecaster Alek Krautmann said both rivers could flood many homes in suburban areas near Baton Rouge.

Rescue teams pulled more than 100 pets to security as well, Edwards told reporters at a news briefing Saturday.

Leroy Hansford, his wife and stepson were among those rescued near Gloster. Hansford, 62, said water from Beaver Creek, which is normally more than 400 feet away from his house, rose quickly overnight. He said another stepson who lives nearby alerted him.

“We woke up and the water kept on coming, ” Hansford said. “It came up to my waist.” His spouse told Hansford that it’s the highest she’s assured the creek in the 48 years she’s lived there.

Edwards spokesman Richard Carbo said the governor returned to Louisiana on Friday because of the flooding. Edwards had been in Colorado for a policy meeting of the Democratic Governors Association but left early because of the storm.

A spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office said one man succumbed Friday after slipping into a inundated ditch near the city of Zachary. Casey Rayborn Hicks identified the main victims as 68 -year-old William Mayfield. His body was discovered about midday Friday.

Dr. William “Beau” Clark, the parish coroner, ruled the death “an accidental drowning.”

A second victim was found in St. Helena Parish, where crews pulled a body from a submerged pickup on Louisiana Highway 10.

State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning confirmed they found a man in his 50 s inside a marooned Chevrolet pickup truck about 7 p. m. Friday. The body was turned over to the parish coroner’s office. His name has not been released, but Browning said he’s believed to be from the area.

Even the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion has a flooded cellar. WAFB-TV reports the governor’s household has been relocated until the situation is resolved.

Meanwhile, crews are continuing to search for perhaps another washed away vehicle after residents reported a missing person.

Browning said the area is sparsely populated and authorities merely came across the truck after earlier successfully rescuing the driver of an 18 -wheeler whose rig was pushed off the roadway.

Numerous rivers in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi were overflowing their banks and threatening widespread flooding after extreme rainfall that began late Thursday, the National Weather Service reported.

Meteorologist Mike Shields, with the service’s Slidell, Louisiana office, said a flash-flood watch remained in effect through Sunday.

“Potentially, additional heavy rain from 4 to 8 inches can be expected west of Interstate 55 and lesser sums east of there as the system continues moving further west, ” he said.

The Tickfaw River, just south of the Mississippi state line in Liverpool, Louisiana, was already at the highest level ever recorded at 9 a. m. Friday.

Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said requests were coming in for high-water vehicles, barges and sandbags. Tangipahoa Parish alone requested tens of thousands of sandbags.

In southwest Mississippi, rescues occurred in Amite and Wilkinson counties.

In Crosby, Mississippi, more than 50 people flooded out of a neighborhood will be housed at a shelter in Natchez.

Wilkinson County Chancery Clerk Thomas Tolliver said an apartment complex and surrounding homes in the town were flooded after 10 inches of rainfall fell. Authorities said they expect to shelter displaced Crosby residents at the least until Monday.

Click for more from Fox 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

Read more: www.foxnews.com

Musk’s Tesla makes a bid for Musk’s SolarCity energy company

Electric car company attempts to acquire solar panel seller to create a Silicon Valley one-stop-shop for clean energy for car and home

Elon Musks Tesla electric car company has made an offer to buy Musks solar power company, SolarCity, for as much as $2.8 bn in stock in an attempt to make a one-stop-shop for cleaner energy.

SolarCity, for which Musk is both chairman and its largest shareholder, is the market leader in residential solar panel installings in the US, but has about $6.24 bn in liabilities, including debt.

Musk described the deal as a no-brainer, saying: Instead of building three trips to a house to put in a car charger and solar panels and battery pack, you can integrate that into a single visit. Its an obvious thing to do.

If the bargain goes through, SolarCity will adopt the Tesla brand and sell its solar panel alongside Teslas PowerWall home batteries to store electricity created during the day for when it is needed at night.

Both of the companies, situated 17 miles apart in Silicon Valley, are burning through money as they try to expand in still relatively small markets. Tesla has lost $1.2 bn in the past two years alone while SolarCity has suffered losses outstripping $ 1.1 bn during the same period.

Yet both have fared well in the stock market, especially Tesla, largely thanks to Musk being widely viewed as a visionary since he co-founded online pay service PayPal in 1998.

SolarCity is run by Musks first cousins, the chief executive, Lyndon Rive, and his brother, Peter, who is also a founder of the company and its chief technology officer.

Musk and Lyndon Rive hatched the idea for SolarCity during a trip to the Burning Man desert festival in 2004. More than a decade afterward, SolarCity has become the top US residential solar installer thanks to a no-money-down financing strategy that allows homeowners to pay for their solar panel through a monthly fee that is less than what they would pay their local utility.

Musk and the Rive brethren said they would recuse themselves from the vote on the bargain, as will Antonio Gracias, who is a director of Tesla and sits on the board of SolarCity. Musk owns a 26% stake in Tesla and a 22% stake in SolarCity.

The move comes as Tesla sold over 100,000 of its Model S barroom autoes by the end of 2015, launched its Model X SUV in the US, as well as unveiled its Model 3 aimed at the mass-market with around 400,000 preorders. Tesla has also invested$ 5bn in battery production in partnership with Japans Panasonic for its so-called Gigafactory, which will be needed to bring the cost and scale of battery production into the mass market.

Huge profits in store for firm that they are able make a great leaping in battery technology

Chargers, chteaux and the Channel Tunnel: can you really do a driving vacation in a Tesla ?

Obama takes heat for skipping Nancy Reagan’s funeral for festival | Fox News

President Obama once again is facing criticism for planning to skip the funeral of a prominent conservative figure, with the president expected to attend a festival over the services Friday for former first lady Nancy Reagan. 

Michelle Obama plans to attend the funeral in Simi Valley, California, but the president will instead be in Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, a popular interactive mash-up of music, tech and film.

Obama is set to deliver a keynote speech.

Obamas decision immediately drew fire from some conservatives, with former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann calling the move self-centered and classless.

The controversy comes after Obama chose not to attend the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February a move that was heavily criticized by many on the right.

KT McFarland, former Defense official in the Reagan administration and a Fox News national security analyst, knocked Obama on Twitter for skipping the funerals of Nancy Reagan, Scalia and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

That’s petty, petulant & lowclass, she wrote. 

Democratic presidential candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton, as well as former President George W. Bush, plan to attend. 

Obama, though, hardly is setting a precedent by missing the funeral of a former first lady. 

The Clintons did not attend the funeral of Pat Nixon in 1993. In 2007, President George W. Bush did not attend the funeral of Lady Bird Johnson, though he had no scheduled events that day.

And in 2011, Obama did not attend the funeral of former first lady Betty Ford. 

President Carter also did not attend the funeral of Mamie Eisenhower in 1979, while President Reagan did not attend the funeral of Bess Truman in 1982.

But presidents have attended such services in other cases. 

President John F. Kennedy attended the funeral of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s widow, Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1962. When Jacquelyn Kennedy died in 1994, President Bill Clinton and then-first lady Hillary Clinton attended.

The Obamas still paid tribute to Mrs. Reagan on Monday, saying she had “redefined the role” of first lady and praising her advocacy for those suffering from Alzheimers.

Read more: www.foxnews.com

Lexus, Toyota And Buick Top New Auto Reliability Survey

A 2017 Buick Encore at the New York International Auto Show( AP)

Lexus, Toyota and Buick are the most reliable brands in Consumer Reports’ latest survey, a reward for their conservative approach to new technology.

It’s the fourth straight year that Lexus came in first and Toyota came in second. Two of their hybrids the Toyota Prius and the Lexus CT 200 H were named the most reliable vehicles. But Buick General Motors Co.’s near-luxury marque is the first domestic brand to crack the three best since the publication began tracking vehicle reliability in the early 1980 s.

Audi and Kia rounded out the top five brands. Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and Ram all owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were the worst performers. Electric car maker Tesla Motors also fared poorly.

The magazine released its annual reliability survey Monday. It’s closely watched by the industry, since many purchasers look to the publication for recommendations.

Consumer Reports predicts the reliability of 2017 model-year brands and individual vehicles based on survey responses from its subscribers. The magazine collected subscribers’ remarks on vehicles they own from the 2000 -2 017 model years. Around 500,000 subscribers responded to this year’s survey.

Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, said the best performers have something in common: They tend to add new technology slowly, and bit-by-bit, rather than all at once. When Lexus introduced its new 2016 RX SUV, for example, it use an older engine and an eight-speed transmission that had already been used in another Lexus vehicle. When Buick introduced the Encore small SUV in the U.S. in 2012, it was built on a small-car platform being implemented in prior vehicles and had a six-speed transmitting, rather than the eight- and nine-speeds coming into vogue.

By contrast, Honda fell in this year’s survey partly because of its 2016 Civic small auto, which has two new engines, a new steel underbody and a new continuously variable transmitting. Cue the problems: Shortly after the Civic went on sale, it was recalled for engine failure. Consumer Reports said Civic customers also have reported problems with the car’s infotainment system.

“It’s the choice of making such a big change, ” Fisher told The Associated Press. “They pay the penalty for trying to get it all right.”

Fisher said GM has been improving its vehicles and small SUVs for several years now. The Chevrolet Cruze was the top-performing small auto in the survey, while the Chevrolet Trax was the top-performing small SUV. But the company continues to struggle with pickups and larger truck-based SUVs, which get low marks for steering and suspension issues. The Cadillac Escalade large SUV is the worst performing vehicle in the magazine’s survey due to its combining of transmission problems and its difficult-to-use infotainment system. Buick has no truck-based vehicles.

Tesla which was added to this year’s survey because the publication “ve had enough” responses from owners suffered multiple problems with its new Model X SUV, including water leaks and issues with climate control.

Fisher said Tesla should perform better than average, since electric cars have fewer mechanical portions than gasoline-powered autoes. But it gets tripped up by flashy features like the Model X’s glitch-prone falcon-wing doors.

“The problem with Tesla has always been the gimmicks, ” he said.

———

Here are the ten most reliable vehicles and the ten least dependable vehicles and their scores on a scale of 0-100.

Most Reliable

Toyota Prius( 94)

Lexus CT 200 h( 94)

Infiniti Q7 0( 91)

Audi Q3( 91)

Lexus GX( 90)

Lexus GS ( 89)

Mercedes-Benz GLC ( 89)

Chevrolet Cruze (8 9)

Audi Q7 (8 8)

Toyota 4Runner (8 8)

Least Reliable

Chevrolet Tahoe/ GMC Yukon( 13)

Fiat 500 L( 13)

Ford Fiesta( 13)

Ram 2500( 13)

Tesla Model X( 12)

Chrysler 200( 11)

Chevrolet Suburban/ GMC Yukon XL( 10)

Jeep Renegade ( 8)

Ford Focus( 6)

Cadillac Escalade( 3)

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The common cold is so common that we set “common” in its name. If it was like consumption, then we might call it the uncommon cold, or even the rare one. But no, that shit is common. Basic bitch disease is what it is, and that’s how we treat it. We don’t respect the cold. We start getting a coughing and a runny nose, and what do we do? Pull some straight bullshit like stocking up on vitamin C and zinc. Well, good luck with that, because all those common-sense remedies for common sickness are as basic bitch bullshit as the illnesses themselves. By which we mean lies. Ineffective lies.

# 4. Vitamin C

According to the internet, you can cure cancer with vitamin C, but only if you read the headline and not the body of any scientifically sound article on the subject. Because the body will then explain how they’ve use vitamin C in trials for about 40 years now, and have never cured cancer with it a single time. Though it did appears to perhaps have luck slackening the rate of cell growth once … with a super high dose of intravenous vitamin C. But your Flintstones chewables will probably do the trick if you double up.

Why does everyone and their uncle still think Vitamin C can cure cancer, leprosy, and gout? One man: Linus Pauling. The guy was a veritable genius for a portion of his career, and he won two different Nobel Prizes all on his own. It’s only that one day, another doctor who had gotten his PhD from an unaccredited correspondence school told him that 3,000 mg of Vitamin C a day would stimulate him live another 25 years, and he bought it. He bought it so hard that he wrote volumes about it telling everybody else to do it while he was up to 18,000 mg a day. That is some “sell the cow to a maniac in exchange for some magic beans” shit.

The face of a human doing 300 hours the “required” dosage .

The daily requirement of vitamin C needed to ward off scurvy is 60 mg. Fortunately, water soluble as vitamin C is, if you take an excess, you’ll piss it away and no damage done. Generally speaking. But that “no harm done” upper threshold maxes out at around 2,000 mg a day. Mega doses can and will cause side effect like diarrhea, kidney stones, heart burn, cramping, and vomiting. Pauling must have supposed those were just his body’s route of celebrating its newfound health.

The face of a human who literally won’t stop pooping .

This guy was on the verge of shitting lemonade on a regular basis, and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately for him, it was about as useless as sliced bread is for opposing any illnes aside from sandwichitis. He’d go on to claim that vitamin C was a cure for cancer and had saved him from prostate cancer, right until the day he died of prostate cancer. It’s been shown since that mega doses of Vitamin C actually may contribute to cancer in mouse. Pauling was known to take up to 40,000 mg if he felt a cold coming on, which is about 1/6 of a cup of pure vitamin C. You should never be able to use grandma’s measuring beakers to see how much of a certain nutrient you’ve had in a day, when ordinarily it would be in the virtually microscopic range.

How influential could this one man be? Well, they still call vitamin C therapy Pauling Therapy, and there are millions of websites gushing off about how beneficial it is. He’s likely more influential now in demise thanks to the internet than he ever was in life — a man with real scientific credentials gushing nonsense which had now been been proven to be nonsense.

# 3. Echinacea

There are two facts you need to know about Echinacea before you use it to treat any illness. The first is that it is not a main character from the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh. That’s Enkidu. The second is that it does nothing, so throw it away. It can’t even cure Gilgamesh of his arrogance. Pile of crap.

Back in the 1960 s, when your granny was appearing super hot, a Swiss fellow was on a trip across America. In South Dakota, he discovered Echinacea, and the noble Native Americans explained to him how they had utilized this sacred herb for generations to prevent and remedy sickness such as the common cold. Except perhaps they pointed to a different plant. Or perhaps Swiss Miss didn’t speak English so good. In any event, the Natives didn’t tell him they’d been using Echinacea to cure jack and that it was just a mistake, and he took the stuff back home. Now, 50 year later, you can bet your ass someone is inducing millions of dollars off of Echinacea sales thanks to people who don’t know any better.

Making Money Off Of Dummy is never not profitable .

So a Swiss human who built health supplements for a living started the Echinacea industry, and let’s just assume he took the Natives at their term( or since perhaps they never told him anyway, that he pretended to take them at their term ), and started selling Echinacea as a miracle herb. The New England Journal of Medicine, use things like peer review and doubled blind testing and science and whatnot, concluded that there’s truly no evidence at all that Echinacea has any effect on a cold.

Now, if you Google something like “Echinacea cold” or even the herb itself, you’ll probably find a million and one pages which state that the herb will abbreviate the amount of period you have a cold, ease the symptoms, or outright prevent it, as if they were fact. They’ll also preach that it contains a host of other benefits for your digestive system and headaches and whatever else. So how did that come to pass? That, my friends, is the curious world of “alternative medication, ” which is founded not on the desire to remedy illness or help the sick and infirm, but to say the exact opposite of whatever science says pretty much all the time. The validity of alternative medication is totally reliant on the idea that you might be a cave troll who is skeptical of Nikola Tesla and his lightning machine and wants to stick with invisible magic to construct the world run, because science hurts your brain.

“Me no trust facts, so me eat these foliages instead. Why does me still so sick? ”

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Ford Moving All Small-car Production To Mexico From U.s.: Ceo

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