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Auto Show Begins as Industry Fails to get Bailout

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Newly imported Mercedes-Benz autos pile up parked in the port of Long Beach instead of on dealership lots | AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Plans to vote on a $25 billion bailout for the "big three" automakers were scrapped by congress yesterday after discussions focused, not on how the industry will fix the problem with taxpayer money, but on how they each used corporate jets to travel to Washington DC.

"There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying in to Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) via the LA Times. "There's a message there. I mean, couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet pooled or something to get here? It could have at least sent a message that you do get it."

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Meanwhile, as car sales have slumped, thousands of them sit at the Port of Long Beach awaiting dealerships to scoop them up (see above photo). “This is one way to look at the economy,” Art Wong, a spokesman for the port, told the New York Times.

On the lighter side of things, the LA Auto Show began this week with it public opening starting tomorrow.