Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Sunday Paper: April 4, 2010

Rainbow Peep Easter. Peeps of all orientations gathered this weekend to celebrate and honor diversity in the wake of deeply-closeted AFA leader Gary Glenn's over-reaction to Governor Granholm's renewed call for lawmakers to pass anti-bullying legislation. Believe it or not, Glenn accused the Governor of using Good Friday to promote "the homosexual agenda", leaving Peeps everywhere to spend this holiday praying that Glenn be delivered from his paranoid delusions.

Some news from the week that was:

  • Auto sales surged 24% overall in March; the industry recording its "largest year-over-year increase in eight years". Toyota's 41% gain was fueled by incentives, GM at 43% (excluding the discontinued brands) and Ford at 40% were offering zero percent loans, but wisely did not increase incentive spending. Experts predict that if Toyota keeps up with the heavy incentives, other brands will soon have to follow. The increase in sales has led to auto makers and suppliers adding hundreds of new jobs to keep up with demand - and the circle of life in Michigan starts once again.

  • The first Chevy Volt rolled down the assembly line this week, and the Obama administration has pledged to buy the first 100 off the line for federal use. Overall, the administration will purchase 5,000 hybrid vehicles when all is said and done.

  • The Freep has a series running today that takes at look at Detroit in 2020. Big plans for a battered city - and they all are within reach, as the pieces are starting to fall in place right now.

  • The Michigan Dept. of Human Services is looking to dispel some of the Republican talking points myths surrounding what remains of welfare in this state. With 25% of Michigan families receiving assistance through "cash, food, medical care, disability or child development and care" and other initiatives concerning things like home heating and adult and child abuse or neglect, they would like to point out that the average recipient is a single parent with two children, and is on a program for less than two years. They also answer the "waste, fraud and abuse" canard that is a favorite of the fortunate sons that seek to take food and shelter away from children. Check out the state release here, and go count your blessings.

  • The new state parks "Recreation Passport" legislation has been signed. Starting in October, Michigan drivers will be able to buy a $10 yearly pass for state parks, recreation areas and boat launches when you renew your plates. The system has worked well in places like Montana - but I still haven't figured out whether or not you have to opt-in or opt-out. Makes a difference. Either way, let's give it a try. Even a low-ball figure of a 25% participation rate will generate $18 million - which is $18 million more than the parks are getting now, as our Legislature has refused to fund them since 2004.

  • Ah yes, the Legislature. Seems some in the media are starting to take umbrage with the fact that they went on vacation once again and haven't really accomplished anything of note this year. Lessenberry busts them good at his respectable job at the Toledo Blade, and again on his essay column for Michigan Public Radio. The Muskegon Chronicle was down-right furious that they passed the pandering helmet law as they ignore the real issues and problems facing this state. Even the very conservative Jackson Cit-Pat took them to task for taking a vacation. Add it all up, and it's a very serious PR problem for those seeking re-election or higher office.

  • Intriguing headline of the week comes from the Freep: "Pickle jar, mushroom soup used for evil". Got me to click.

  • Congratulations go out to the MSU Spartans and coach Tom Izzo for the thrilling run in the NCAA tournament. Too many turnovers and a couple of missed shots at the end brought that run to a close last night - but it sure was fun while it lasted. Thanks guys, that was a blast.

  • Spring is finally here, and nothing renews my soul like the start of baseball season. The Tigers kick things off tomorrow at Kansas City, game time is 4:10PM. For us west side Cubbie fans, the boys in blue will start in Atlanta at 2:10PM. The DNews has a nifty interactive MLB page to catch up on what happened over the winter. Play ball!