Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from The New Republic, Car And Driver, and Vanity Fair.
Edward Snowden's going to stay in Russia, just you wait – The New Republic
Reporter Julia Ioffe had both the subject area expertise and cajones to call what just happened with Snowden re: Russia a week ago. Now she gets to enjoy an I-told-you-so moment.
Just in case she doesn't take a victory lap on her own, here is Ioffe being right (and explaining why it would happen) on the 25th of last month.
Full Disclosure: At one point I considered trying to hire Ioffe to cover Russia for Jalopnik. It was a strange idea that probably wouldn't have worked, and she would never have said yes, but it would have been a fun experiment.
But the main reason Snowden is likely to stay in Russia is the country's ornery instinct for doing whatever gets in America's way. In a past post, I called Russia a "geopolitical racketeer," insinuating itself into situations that have nothing to do with it—Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict come to mind—and extracting some demagogic profit. The Guardian's Andrew Ryvkin put it even better when he said that Russia loves to "photobomb" American foreign policy. This gets back to the wounded psyche—seriously, stop me if you've heard this one—of a still downed Cold War superpower and its almost adolescent desire for "respect." But mostly, this is an opportunity to photobomb, an opportunity like no other. It costs Russia little, and the U.S. can't really get back at it—our trade with Russia, for instance, is infintesimal and we've already scaled down the importance of the Russia portfolio (see above re: respect)—and it probably just feels so good.
Jalopnik favorite Brett Berk goes for a spin in the "Taxi of Tomorrow" and insults the Crown Victoria! We might have to rethink that "favored" status.
The Crown Vic, though beloved by fools, was already an automotive anachronism two decades ago—bulky, inefficient, cramped, and wallowy—when it became New York’s de facto yellow cab. It now falls somewhere between “walking dead” and “fossil.” The Japanese-designed mini-minivan that will replace it is none of those things.
That Chrysler/Fiat Headquarters-in-Tennessee Rumor? Total Nonsense – Car And Driver
There was apparently a rumor that Chrysler and Fiat would setup a joint HQ in Tennessee… an idea that would only make sense if you'd just smoked the fattest one a Jefferson North assembly line worker ever rolled during a lunch break.
After hearing rumors propagated last week by Detroit-area and auto-industry news outlets, we were skeptical. Marchionne was said to have made the remarks after a small press conference in Pulaski, Tennessee, about a new factory for Fiat-owned parts company Magneti Marelli. Having now obtained an audio recording of the Q&A, we can say our skepticism was justified. Quotes were taken out of context, and the story is bogus.