"If you can’t explain to a 5-year-old what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing" -- Robert D. Ballard, explorer of shipwrecks.
* The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities addresses "some basic facts" about state and local workers. Among them, "Benefits like pensions and health insurance are larger and more secure for most public employees than for most private-sector workers, but the value of these benefits does not eliminate the gap between state and local employees and their counterparts in comparable private-sector jobs.":
* Rick Haglund checks into the scenario of what happens if a President Romney orders a fast sell-off of the federal government's remaining 26.5 percent stake in General Motors. It might not be pretty. Also, GM's stock is trading well below the November 2010 rate when GM returned to public status:
* There's no telling how this story will go down with members of the Republican caucuses at the State Capitol who have become increasingly vexed by the operations of the state's major universities. A wait-listed University of Michigan applicant does a remix of a Jackson 5 song and gets admitted. Staff writer Nancy Derringer wrote on the increasingly long lines to get into Michigan's most selective public university a few months ago:
* A vaccination gap is costing Michigan $500 million a year, an expert told Bridge last month. Now, Reuters is reporting an area in Oregon is rife with "alternative" vaccination schedules for infants:
* The Michigan Department of Transportation estimates a second span over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, will create 775 permanent full-time jobs:
* Technically this isn't a link, but it's nice to think of a wintry scene in this 90-degree weather: The state of Michigan is taking nominations for the 2012 state Christmas tree to adorn the Capitol lawn in Lansing.
"The state requires the following in order for the tree to be considered:
"Must be a spruce or a fir.
"Height must be a minimum of 65 feet, with a maximum crown of 30 feet and a "maximum trunk diameter of 30 inches.
"Easy access from a road with no interference from wires.
"Available at no cost."
Send nominations to ChristmasTree@michigan.gov by July 31.