From the Pistons changing point guards and changing Tayshaun Prince to “point forward” to a Presidential campaign in which change was the overwhelming theme, “change” has been very much in the air of late.
One part of Michigan that is certain to see change is the auto industry. The Globe & Mail notes that it was no accident that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was positioned to appear in photos at President-elect Obama’s first press conference (links are ours):
Granholm was there to send a message, the message being that Obama knows he owes Michigan and the payoff is coming. Fast. Just in case anyone missed the visuals on Friday, Obama and the Democrats went to work on the weekend, too.
Obama’s incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, called the Detroit auto companies â€œessentialâ€ to the U.S. economy in interviews Sunday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrats, of course) sent a letter Saturday to President Bush, calling on him to release some of U.S. Government’s $700 billion in aid paid to help the auto companies, too.
While it sounds as if Obama is going to create an “auto czar” and there is definitely a strong case for bailout, there are those who wonder if an auto industry bailout is a wise move. Tom “The World is Flat but my book sales are rising” Friedman spends most of his editorial How to Fix a Flat burying Michigan’s politicians and auto industry leaders before tepidly endorsing some form of government takeover of the industry coupled with forced innovation. Other voices are calling for unplugging the car companies and letting them fail – something that will be pretty hard to do in the wake of the financial bailout and as GM mobilizes a half million current and former employees. What do you think? Post it below!
While it’s unclear exactly what the right road to take with the car companies, the Associated Press reports that a new study by the Alliance for the Great Lakes finds that the only way to keep invasive species like the eat-everything-in-its-path Asian carp (now within 50 miles of Lake Michigan) out of the Great Lakes is to eliminate the engineered connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watersheds.
…now if we could just get the Lions to change.