Michigan's refreshing Rick Snyder

Excerpts of the Governor's discussion with the Detroit Free Press about his budget proposal and philosophy.

Quality bus token from Moline-Rock Island

(via The Nesting Nomad)

13,000 angry union fans...

... piled into the Wisconsin Capitol building to holler about Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget, which would reduce public worker pay and bargaining power. Wisconsin is some $3.6 billion in the hole for the 2011-13 budget.

With imagination we'll get there

Mike Madison pinpoints a Rust Belt reinvention challenge tougher to solve than the rust:
What holds the Rust Belt back, perhaps necessarily and inevitably, isn’t really the challenge of clearing brownfields and attracting new firms and residents. It is the challenge of history and culture that frames how one can imagine the future. 
Rust Belt chic is hip, to be sure, but it’s also all we’ve got, for now. Can you imagine a broadcast of Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh that does not feature video of steelmaking? Yet no steel is made in the City of Pittsburgh today, and only a modest amount of steel comes out of the region as a whole — nearly all of it specialty steel, not the giant pieces that framed bridges and skyscrapers.
Who knows what Pittsburgh might become, even if it might become anything more than it is right now. But Pittsburgh has to find a way to put steel in its place, metaphorically speaking.

City talk

David Brooks writes about the Splendor of Cities from Chicago's mayoral campaign trail:
Chicago has its problems: it suffers under one of the biggest debt loads in the country. But it has thrived because it has had good leadership, a constantly updated housing stock, a good business environment and an ethos that attracts talent and celebrates blunt conversation.

Hottest fires make the hardest steel

Plenty of good ads during the Rust Belt Bowl yesterday. If you're bullish about the rise of Michigan and the greater Great Lakes region, this was the best one...