Monday, November 07, 2011

Random Shots: 11/7/11

The DNews has a very good, extensive story on how they over-fished the Detroit River in the late 1800s. Check it out. Here in GR, we make them jump up cement ladders to get up the Grand. Keeps 'em fit.

Bunch of things on my mind, bunch of leftover links on my computer. I'm really trying to cut that down, so I'm dumping them on you.

  • The revolution will be commercialized. T-shirts, coffee mugs, and a "wide-variety of goods" will be available, as entrepreneurs flood the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with applications to register the "Occupy" theme.

  • The AP has a very nice summary of where the Republican candidates for president stand on the issues. Here's the short version: Cut taxes for the wealthy, destroy government programs and regulations. All you need to know. By the way, the clown car pulls into Michigan this week for a debate at Oakland University. Wednesday night, 8pm, CNBC, be there. Or not. Up to you.

  • About that debate: David Shephardson of the DNews reminds us that all the GOP candidates opposed the auto industry rescue. He also wrote recently about all the new jobs the auto industry has brought to the economy - 75,000 in the past year alone. Hope someone asks about that.

  • The Freep tells us it's Michigan for Mittens all the way when it comes to the cold, hard campaign cash. He leads the next Republican in donations from state residents by miles; over $1 million to Ron Paul's $125,000. GOP hack Bill Ballenger cites the in-roads made with local Republicans in his last campaign, and also the fact that no one else has set-up operations here.

  • Think Progress lists 99 Facts About Mitt Romney. Study up.

  • Republican Buckeye blues are on tap for tomorrow's election day, as the anti-union bill SB5 looks to go down to a huge defeat. The press is trying to draw this as a referendum on Gov. John Kasich, who has some very poor approval numbers at 33/57. The electorate now says they would vote for Strickland 55-37. A lot of that buyer's remorse going around lately - will we remember this in 2012?

  • A similar comparison is trying to be made to the Paul Scott recall here - but one district does not an entire state make. Ballenger (him again already?) says that if Scott loses, it's a disaster for the Democrats and the MEA, because then the Republicans will be mad and punish us all. Or something. So, heads it's victory for the GOP, tails it's victory for the GOP, says the guy who always falls on the side of the GOP. Moving on...

  • The NY Times eviscerates the flat tax argument. Any way you slice it, it comes out as a tax cut for the rich and a tax increase on the poor.

  • The Economist takes a look at how technology is replacing jobs previously done by humans faster than we can create new jobs to replace them. Robots have replaced people on the factory floor, and now artificial intelligence software is threatening white collar middle-class jobs as well. Too smart for our own good?

  • Energy efficiency programs and the use of renewables such as solar and wing are cutting down on the need for new power plants all across the country. The Denver Post gives us the breakdown. Paul Krugman writes of the falling price of solar power in his latest column as well.

  • The US House Republicans have passed an amendment that will allow the Badger ferry that runs from Ludington to Manitowoc to keep dumping poisonous coal ash in Lake Michigan for as long as the boat is in operation. Seems like just yesterday we were talking about retrofitting the ferry to compressed natural gas to make it the "greenest ship on the lake". Unfortunately the federal grant was denied. The SS Badger is the last working coal-fired steamer in the US.

  • Record crop of apples this year in Michigan. They are very tasty, too, I've noticed. Juicy and sweet. Get some soon!

  • Did you know the first woman ever elected to the Michigan State Senate was from Grand Rapids? She only served for two years, from 1920-22, but by the time she died in 1948 she was still the only woman to do so. Started the city's farmers markets, too.

  • Today in income inequality: So-called "elite" colleges are now out-of-reach for middle class families, and the wealth gap between younger and older Americans is now the widest ever. The running joke with us Gen X'ers was always that the Boomers would take all the money, and it turns out we were right.

    Yeah, that was a lot, I know. Thanks for hanging in there.