Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Sunday Paper: March 28, 2010

Spring brings stimulus roadwork. This is the "Fix on I-196", looking west toward the Grand Rapids Medical Mile skyline. The stimulus served to speed up this project and do it right - adding another lane in both directions to accommodate a growing downtown. That being said, avoid I-196 through GR at all costs for awhile, 'cause it's a nightmare at rush hour.

Hey JC, JC, won't you fight for me? Sanna, Ho-sanna, hey, Superstar... sorry this is late. I was jammin'.

  • The NY Times features a story this morning on states that are proposing raising service taxes to combat huge budget deficits, Michigan and Pennsylvania are featured. There's Ed Rendell, trying to steal our thunder again...

  • More economic indicators are showing recovery in Michigan is underway: The Michigan Retail Index "showed the highest level of sales activity since August, 2007". 129 retailers are surveyed on a scale of 1-100, anything above 50 is considered growth. February had the index at 56.7; a year ago it was 40.8. 46% of retailers reported increased sales, 39% declines, 15% no change. Optimism abounds; the seasonally adjusted outlook for a period through May has the index at 70.7.

  • Rising optimism is also translating in auto sales, and that means stronger manufacturing purchasing in Michigan, which of course brings jobs. The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index, which tracks purchasing trends including employment, jumped 27% from January to February. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. predicts that incomes in Detroit will grow 2.5% in 2010, but figures that job growth will be sluggish.

  • Folks in Menominee are rallying around Bart Stupak, as the anti-choice crowd's threats of violence are backfiring in a big way. Major wingnut fail, essentially attacking a usual ally on that front.

  • Pete Hoekstra missed 71% of the votes in March to campaign? Tsk tsk.

  • Speaking of inaction: Because the Legislature waited so long to settle the Pure Michigan funding, what little ad space we can buy now will start later, cost more, and there is a chance that all the good slots are taken. There really is no excuse other than incompetence and/or laziness, having been warned of this last fall, and again in December and January.

  • Trouble in paradise? Looks like the Bishop-Dillon nuptials are OFF again, as Andy Dillon has nothing but praise for Kevin Elsenheimer and Mike Nofs in this radio interview, and takes a shot at his BFF Mike in this story at WKAR. I think someone's feelings have been hurt here...

  • ... and it's too bad that Speaker Dillon doesn't talk about Democrats in the same glowing terms he saves for his "R" buddies. He wouldn't really comment on the Granholm vs. Cox health care lawsuit(s) issue in that radio interview, only to say that it's an "interesting dynamic". The Governor is now teaming up with other Democratic governors with an offer to help defend the legislation. And when it comes to the health care vote itself, Dillon tells MIRS that he was "undecided". Seriously? After all that we went through, for over a year? Here is the headline:

    Dillon 'Not Sure' On Health Care Reform Bill
    "Gubernatorial hopeful House Speaker Andy DILLON (D-Redford Twp.) told MIRS Thursday that he's not sure whether he'd have voted for the national health care reform bill that Congress passed last weekend."

    Um, is it possible that we could get a Democratic House leader that actually supports Democrats for a change? Might be helpful when it comes to the elections this fall. Kthxbai.

  • Go right through for MSU... Elite Eight action today at 2:20 on CBS. Be there.