Wednesday briefing and open thread

On this day in 1946 the first electric blanket went on sale. (Details in the census daily) Know why that’s important to me? Because my effing furnace went out and repairs are somewhere in the ballpark of $500 – $6,000 depending on whether there’s a hole or a crack. My heating blanky was extra comfortable the last few days. I’m freezing right now but every so often I get up and do some lunges. Don’t say that I don’t learn anything from all those survival shows I watch.

  • First off, Candy Crowley. This had to be a tough job.

  • I wanted to bring your attention to this handgun related incident in Wixom:

    Police say the driver of a dark colored sports car was shooting a pistol out of the driver’s side window. No one was injured.

    However, a vehicle was damaged by the gunfire, police said. That vehicle was traveling northbound on Wixom Road and its front driver’s side tire was struck by a bullet.

    The police are looking for the suspect, and I don’t know anything more about this than what is in that article. Just wanted to point out that there is legislation sitting in the House and House Judiciary Committee that addresses drive by shootings. Just sitting there.

  • Salmon is serious business. Vandalism kills 5700 coho salmon at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery. Someone herded and trapped the fish in such a way that the water couldn’t flow and oxygenate properly, so the fish died.

    Hatchery officials say that they had higher than average production this year and that the total loss of the program would have cost the state millions in revenue. “The Platte River is the source for wild coho salmon broodstock for the coho salmon programs in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.” So that makes me wonder, why would anyone do this? Who would think of doing it and who would know how? Who would know their way around well enough to do it? It’s interesting because it’s weird.

  • Check this out – Cleaner, greener buses for Michigan thanks to technology made in Michigan:

    For now, the green automotive revolution will be retrofitted by companies like Engineered Machined Products of Escanaba, which is cleaning up transportation one bus fleet at a time in municipalities across Michigan–and the country.

    The innovation is called a mini-hybrid thermal conversion kit and is saving money for bus fleets by giving them better economy, preventing them from overheating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And they run quieter, too. In Michigan, bus fleets in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Bay City and Saginaw all have them installed. It’s a way that municipalities, hard-up for cash to replace buses, is choosing to improve the quality and safety of their existing fleets.

    I would quote the whole thing if I could, you should really check it out.

  • Facebook faces a lawsuit in Flint over the “want” button:

    Farmington Hills-based company CVG-SAB is suing Facebook in Flint federal court over its new “Want” button.

    Users who click Facebook’s want button are taken to non-Facebook sites where they can purchase merchandise.

    CVG-SAB claims the feature closely resembles a service it already markets through its website,, and that it is already causing confusion in the digital marketplace.

  • Thad McCotter testified that he knows nothing:

    McCotter claims total ignorance of the alleged tampering and has not been charged with any crimes, although the scandal prompted his resignation this summer.

    “I was told that everything was fine,” McCotter said. “I believed we had 2,000″ signatures.

  • Ruth Johnson will be back:

    But for those who think the SOS is onto something with her quest to ferret out the non-Americans who dare to vote in our elections, she will be back after November trying to get this done by “going back to the legislature.”

    In other words, case NOT closed.

  • And then there’s this:

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether states can demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote, taking up an Arizona case with racial overtones and nationwide implications.

    The case, which the court won’t consider until after the Nov. 6 election, tests states’ power to impose requirements that go beyond the registration procedures set out by federal law. A U.S. appeals court invalidated Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law.

  • Is Michigan a true battleground in the race for the White House? I don’t think so, but some people make the case.
  • This is fun. GW Bush is ‘skeptical’ of Romney’s chances, and the Bush family is bummed about what W did to them. (Hey Bushes, we’re bummed about what he did to us too.)

    “The most unpopular president in recent political history, W. left a record of big-government spending and intractable wars that remains difficult even for allies to defend. …

    “W. remains convinced history will vindicate him. But the Bush family is well aware of the damage to their future prospects. Perhaps none more than Jeb, the new custodian of the family brand. ‘Jeb is highly pained,’ says a friend. ‘He is so loyal. Jeb knows some of the missteps, but Jeb is profoundly impacted by the kind of criticism he’s taken about his brother. It’s over the top.'”

  • And now, from outer space: Earth-sized planet found at Alpha Centauri B:

    Astronomers have spotted an Earth-sized exoplanet in orbit around Alpha Centauri B.

    At just 4.37 light years away, the stars of the Centaurus constellation are Earth’s nearest neighbours. That makes the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet rather exciting.

    Maybe that will be the planet that Mitt gets when he ascends to his High Mormon status. But until then, it’s a cool little rock.

  • And the truth about the binders

    What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

    None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

    Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration […]

    Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?

Census DailyWednesday, October 17th. As the weather gets colder, a bulky package will be taken out of closets in many homes across the country — where it has been stored since spring. Inside is an electric blanket, and homeowners will be testing their memories to make sure it’s hooked up correctly. For thousands of years, people used handmade woolen blankets to ward off the cold — and started their evening’s rest with either a bed warmer filled with coals from the fire or a hot-water bottle. Now, we take the easy warmth of electric blankets for granted. The first such blanket went on sale on this date in 1946 in Petersburg, Virginia, at a cost of $39.50. Today, electric blankets are part of the more than $2.5 billion electric housewares industry.

Inspired by this DKos diary
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