Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekend Update

In case you missed it:
  • The Freep ran a great eight-part series on the auto industry called "Rising from the wreckage" that takes a look at the "inside story of the 18-month period in which the incredible, the unthinkable, befell the Detroit-based auto industry in a collapse that very nearly took the state of Michigan with it". The last chapter runs today, be sure and check out the whole thing. Great work.

  • Skooby reports that changes in the distribution of power in the Michigan Senate are being discussed by the GOPers not being wiped out by term limits. Why? "Part, but not the whole reason for a deeper look at this power arrangement is the performance and problems of Mr. Bishop (bold mine) whose tenure has caused consternation inside and outside of the GOP caucus from time to time". Tim tells us that every leader has "suffered" with that. Sure they have. No, I believe ya, honest I do. Just find it interesting that it was this particular leader that finally got someone to do something about it.

  • The view from another state:

    A proposed solar module plant that eyed Corpus Christi will instead set up in Saginaw, Mich., but hasn’t ruled out South Texas for a future company site.

    GlobalWatt, which proposed a $189 million facility that would bring 400 jobs to Corpus Christi, made its decision official Tuesday, company site selector Kathy Mussio said.

    The Michigan city won out over Corpus Christi because of its proximity to a large, new polysilicone production plant, a cell manufacturing plant and a supply of skilled, unemployed auto workers, Mussio said. Saginaw is a city of 57,500 about 100 miles northwest of Detroit.

    Nice, huh? We also offered a better deal on incentives. The Saginaw area is still "abuzz" about the new solar plant, which will hire 125 workers by the end of 2010 and up to 500 within five years.

  • Peter Luke takes a look at our great success in attracting the "green" economy to our state, but wonders why we don't invest in our roads and schools the same way. He actually answers his own question when he hits on the word "politics". In another story, he spells out all the educational reforms in the "Race to the Top" legislation that was passed yesterday. No one does it better. If you are looking for a great reporting on state news, follow Luke on Mlive here.

  • Seen the new 787 yet? Two West Michigan companies, GE Aviation and Gentex, made the computer system, landing gear, and auto-dimming windows.

  • Did you know that Michigan has one of the best prisoner re-entry initiatives in the nation? That other states look to our model as "the gold standard" to follow? Dome magazine brings us the entire success story. Seems some GOP candidates are trying to score points with scare tactics as we reduce out prison population, but "there is no evidence to support this — improved return-to-prison rates both for technical violations and for new crimes point to the opposite conclusion". What? Republicans are lying? What a shock.

  • Legislator Christmas cards. Say, is that Brooks Patterson as Santa in Senator Bishop's family photo?

  • Disillusioned with the way health insurance reform is going? One of the best diaries I have ever read at Kos spells out what you are up against when it comes to effectively using the techniques that the right wing has carefully built over the past 30 years. The "think tanks, newspapers, periodicals, cable news channels, and political advocacy organizations" took a great deal of time and money to "spread their finely tuned, well-honed messages" in this mass media world of ours - and remember, they were thrown out on their keisters in the last two elections. So much for their "permanent majorities", but the infrastructure still remains to push the wingnut agenda. Read and learn, and keep fighting for what you believe in.

    Good policy will trump advertising in the end, it's just going to take some time to get there.