Friday briefing and open thread

“America likes to think of itself as a land of equality and opportunity, the so-called American dream is very deep to our sense of identity, […] The stats show otherwise, the US has one of the worst opportunity rates of any of the advanced economies. A child’s life chances are more dependent on the income of his or her parents than most other industrial economies.” ~Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Prize winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses inequality in the United States. And more on the land of opportunity in this Crooks & Liars post.

Before I get too far into the briefing today, here’s a quick update on the Blue Tiger Bloggers. We had a hangout last night and discussed our plans for upcoming activities. We’ll be putting together a Facebook page to keep everyone updated on what we’re doing. We’ll also be electing officers and voting on a few more things at the February convention. If you’d like to attend the convention, the details are here. We’ll be meeting at 10am.

On the topic of the MDP and the convention, take note that Mark Brewer may be facing a credible challenge for Chair this year. Gongwer reports that several influential Democrats are looking for a replacement. Those said to not support Mark are Mark Bernstein, Sander Levin, James P Hoffa, and Bridget McCormack. He does continue to have the support of the AFT and the MEA.

I don’t have much to say on this topic, except that I don’t know where Bob King gets off looking for a replacement to Mark. King is the one who pushed Prop 2 last year before the rest of us were sure of what was going on. $30 million (or so) on that campaign; can you imagine a $30 million commitment to State House races? Wrong priorities. I don’t know that we would have raised $30 million for House races, but imagine if we had committed even 1/4 of that money to state races.

On the topic of state party chairs, check out Kevin’s article on Right Michigan about Bobby Schostak. Notable for the content as well as the logic behind the conclusions.

To underscore the importance of these positions and the battles at the state level, take a look at Karoli’s article on the battles being fought in the states.

Citizens are starting to ask Snyder for some data on those tax breaks. Here’s a letter to the editor asking for details on performance of Snyder’s budget vs performance of the auto recovery. In short, who created the jobs?

Alternative energy leaders in Michigan:

It’s because of these and other Michigan-based companies that the state was ranked No. 3 in the country by Business Facilities magazine as “Alternative Energy Leaders” in 2010. The magazine says anyone surprised by the selection of the Wolverine state hasn’t been paying attention, citing the groundbreaking of an advanced battery plant in Holland and commercialization of solar shingles in Midland as concrete examples of Michigan’s deservedness of their praise.


Incentives are the key to success. In order to maintain and even improve on the state’s ranking, Michigan must continue to support growth in alternative energy. The end result is a sustainable environment and workforce. What more can you ask for?

Republicans hate the incentives, but America and other successful nations have always used incentives to spur the growth of a new industry.

Jack Lessenberry on the GOP push to F up the electoral college so they can win some elections again someday.

The President won more popular votes and more states than the challenger. But popular votes are legally meaningless, and the 24 states Mr. Romney won would have given him an Electoral College victory with 276 electoral votes.

“It’s more representative of the people,” Mr. Lund said, claiming “this is a better, more accurate way.”

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder last week cautiously said he “could go either way” on the proposal, and called for a “thoughtful discussion.”

… Even if dividing electors by district made sense, it is hard to see voters accepting a president such as Mr. Romney, who lost decisively and whose opponent got an absolute majority of the popular vote.

I know Lund is talking out his ass, but there is no way that using congressional districts to award electoral votes is representative of the people. Primarily because the congressional districts are not representative of the people.

Boycott Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.

Here’s why.

Off topic: Louis Armstrong plays for his wife in front of the Sphinx by the pyramids in Giza, 1961

Census DailyFriday, January 25th. On this date in 1915, east and west were linked by voice in the first transcontinental phone call. This event was a conference call involving Alexander Graham Bell in New York, his assistant Thomas Watson in San Francisco, President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, and the president of American Telephone and Telegraph in Georgia. Using the new, commercial service was a major financial commitment. The charge for a three-minute call from New York to San Francisco started at $20.70. That’s over $474 today. Over 97 percent of America’s households have phone service. Users of landline phones pay an average of $434 for a year.

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  1. Snarky Anderson says:

    I don’t have much to say on this topic, except that I don’t know where Bob King gets off looking for a replacement to Mark.

    The MDP has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UAW for the past half-century. Perhaps the union’s dominance once made sense, but it has lost 75 percent of its membership since 1979 and has strayed so far from its progressive past that it in 2010 its head was unwilling to back a Democratic challenger to Thaddeus McCotter.

    I’ve given up on the possibility of changing the MDP from within. I let my membership lapse and declined to run for precinct delegate last year. Call me retired.

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