"More pictures!" was the cry, so here is one to start the month off - a Monarch, presumably heading south.
Some news of the morning:
Starting today, item-pricing in Michigan is now a part of history. Somewhere Fred Meijer is smiling at the thought of reducing hours for stock clerks and making that extra ten cents off you because you are bound to forget what the shelf tag said by the time you hit the register. Oh, but those penalties still apply, if you think to try and catch them at it. And who has time for that?
Enbridge has failed to meet the deadline for cleaning up the K-zoo River; the EPA is on the case. Enbridge claims the "scope grew" over the summer. OK, well, then let them do a thorough job, I guess. As long as they keep at it...
Speaking of the environment, retired U.S. Marine Corps Major General Michael Lehnert writes a great op-ed for the Freep, warning that budget cuts from Republicans in the House are threatening the beauty and ecosystem of our state and the Great Lakes. Heed the man's warning, and turn your eyes toward the Koch money, because that is where this policy is coming from.
Brian Dickerson points out that Dick Cheney had no problem bestowing favors on oil companies and defense contractors, but he would have let the American auto industry die. Man, I hate it when someone makes George Bush look like a hero.
Auto sales and other durable goods pushed factory orders up 2.4% in July, the crisis in Japan finally subsiding and the supply chain getting back in the game, as manufacturing is still one bright spot in the economy. "Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 9.8%, the largest one-month gain since January 2003." Good thing we didn't listen to Dick, huh?
While the news that some solar companies are going under is certainly distressing, keep in mind that the US has a solar industry trade surplus at this point. It's a good news/bad news sort of thing; exports on polysilicon are great for Michigan-based Dow, and the people making the machines to build solar panels are in the green, so to speak, but what is happening is that we are sending the raw materials out while the Chinese subsidize the manufacturing of panels below cost. Eventually, that will catch up to the Chinese government, but it sure would be nice to create those jobs here first and not wait for their monetary policy to blow up in their face, yes? Trade, trade, trade, no one is talking about trade policy when it comes to creating jobs, and once again that is hurting us.
And by the way, would anyone like to buy a Hupmobile? Another thing to keep in mind about the green economy: At one point, we had hundreds of car companies in this country, too. They grow, they die, they merge, all for different reasons at different times. Not everyone in this new economy is going to make it - doesn't mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater. A little something to remind all the Koch sycophants out there.