Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Six O'Clock News - Three Katrinas Edition

  • Obama's "Auto Recovery" official Ed Montgomery was in the state today, and he got to hear some big numbers.

    "We have been slammed," (Granholm) said, noting that the state is on track to lose 760,000 jobs by the end of next year compared with the number of jobs it had in 2001, with most of the losses related to the auto industry and manufacturing.

    That is over three times the amount of jobs that were lost in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and I'm not sure if we want to bring up that particular "federal response" in the context as to making it "similar" - we need it to be a lot better than the Bush administration's fumbling of that unfortunate situation. Get the point, just a bad quote. You can watch the news conference video at the LSJ. This guy is going to be very busy, and you can guarantee that the state will be right in his face about the help the Obama administration will be expected to deliver, especially if Chrysler and GM are forced to bankruptcy.

    "He may not be aware of the assets we have that can further the nation's goal of getting us independent of foreign oil or reducing our reliance on fossil fuels," she said. "I want to set forth that whole plan so he can see how our agenda dovetails with the Obama agenda and get those jobs here and get training for people to be able to take those jobs."

    You bet. Along those lines, Governor Granholm has a web exclusive op-ed for Newsweek about electric cars and the obvious future that the automobile industry must face. The question now becomes: Do we trade dependence on foreign oil for dependence on foreign battery technology? Not if we are wise.

  • In other (busy) governor news, Constituent Services has joined the Twitter parade @GranholmHelps, and the Michigan Economic Recovery Office now has a Facebook page. Check 'em out - but now I'm starting to wonder if I have to cut down on my Twitter followings because I can't possibly keep up with all of this. I may need to break it up into three categories: federal, state and Claire McCaskill.

  • The Bay City Times wants to take a look at a graduated income tax and bring us in-line with 36 other states - unfortunately the Senate Republicans will not allow this. Anyone got a couple of million so we can get this on the ballot in 2010?

  • Mark Brewer puts the smackdown on the Freep's Steve Henderson for listening to Republican polls, and points out that the Democrats are the ones out there fighting for people and addressing this economic crisis.

    Michigan Republicans, on the other hand, refuse to lift a finger to help. Not one Republican in Michigan's congressional delegation voted for President Barack Obama's stimulus plan -- a plan that will help create 100,000 jobs in Michigan.

    Republican policies created this economic mess, and Republican obstructionism since the election demonstrates they are unwilling to work in a bipartisan way to clean it up.

    I want to weep with joy when I see things like this. Seriously. More please.

  • Ron Dzwonkowski at the Freep notices that we might be having budget issues in Lansing. Gee, ya think? Note to the Legislature: They are all on to you now. There will be no place to hide this year.

  • Michigan film news: Parallax Production Studios in Detroit signed a $60 million deal with New Castle Entertainment LLC for 12 feature films to be produced here in the next two years. Birthday girl Senator Gilda Jacobs got up on the Senate floor today and praised this move, and also warned that Ohio is right on our tail concerning incentives (and Indiana sucks).

  • More movies: WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids ran a great story last night about production training at GRCC. Key quote: "I started with the company in November. Prior, I was a camera technician in Chicago. All I heard was Michigan, Michigan, Michigan." Yup. "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia", we are the envy of all the country in this instance. Republicans want to quell that talk - we can't have anything good happen here, can we, Nancy?

  • Notice that extra $$ in your paycheck yet? The Making Work Pay tax credit starts today; some employers already started it a few weeks ago. When I can, I am going to make sure that I spend it at locally owned businesses and/or restaurants. Skip the big chains, go to the local owner-operator eats/store in the neighborhood. Just a thought to keep in mind if you don't need to spend it all on bills. Support your Michigan businesses!