Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday News Dump

Lincoln Face
Clever marketing wins.

Some stuff to ponder while we are waiting for the Magic Bipartisanship Pony to arrive:

  • The Auto Show has surpassed last year's attendance and will be well past the target of 700,000 by the time it closes later today. Great quote from this story:

    "It is quite crowded," she said as her boys oohed and aahed over the cars on display. "There has been a change in the economy. Everybody is interested to see what they (automakers) are coming up with."

    Aside from the one small fire, Cobo seems to have held together this year, and now the chatter is starting about adding the name "Detroit" back to the title of the show. Pride comes back to the Motor City, and that's a beautiful thing. More pics from the show here.

  • It takes money to create jobs. Although venture capital investments plunged during the height of the Great Recession, Michigan still remains in the top 20 in the nation for $$ invested in 2009. As the credit markets open up (please?) expect that amount to rise in 2010. Hey, wait a minute... I thought that we were a horrible place to do business, and no one wants to come here! Must be the Republicans haven't scared off everyone yet. Or they are lying, one or the other. For a history of Michigan's economic diversification strategy, check out the excellent article by Rick Haglund in Dome. Turns out Milliken is responsible for all of this. We've had mixed results, but it's not like we changed over from fur and lumber to manufacturing on a dime either. Time brings perspective.

  • Michigan has landed its biggest movie production yet - DreamWorks will start filming "Real Steel" with Hugh Jackman in June. The $80 million dollar production will shoot in Detroit and other locations across the state. Pray that our Legislature doesn't screw up the film incentives during the next budget battle...

  • Bigotry is still alive and well in the MI GOP, as SOS candidate Paul Scott decides that he will make transgender individuals a campaign issue. He's going to make it a priority that those individuals "will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver's license in any circumstance", because nothing says "Michigan is open for business" like some ignorant jackass making it a point to show how backwards we are to the rest of the world. Maybe you should make it a priority to visit Jocelyn Benson's website instead.

  • While we are on the subject of Bad Republican Behavior, the Senate Republicans are busy trying to undermine the will of the voters on both stem cell research and medical marijuana, which you may remember are ballot proposals that passed by overwhelming margins. If the House even considers messing with this while other important issues are ignored, I am going to throw a fit. You've been warned.

  • Mike Bishop, makin' friends everywhere he goes. Or not.

  • Bank of America is now a part owner of the Detroit News, as its parent company Affiliated Media Inc. has filed for bankruptcy. BoA received $45 billion in TARP funds. Does this mean that the taxpayers have now bailed out Nolan Finley? Maybe irony isn't dead. For the record, I believe BoA may have paid back the TARP funds by now - but if we hadn't bailed them out, Nolan's ego would have been "allowed to fail". Hmmm. Maybe there is something to all that free market stuff after all...

  • Washing the Republican out of your brain by ending on a good note: Michigan companies and their employees have stepped up in a big way to help relief efforts in Haiti. Watch out for fraud though; it's out there. Check this diary at Kos for a list of reputable charities.