Thursday briefing and open thread

Hello Michiganders. It’s a great day in talk and reading and whatnot. Check it.

Today in talk.

  • Tony Trupiano – First Shift has already wrapped up for the day, but all of the segments can be downloaded / streamed on demand from here. If you aren’t in Tony’s listening area you can always stream him live through iheart radio, via his site. Today Tony discussed opening day, the financial situation in Detroit, and a whole lot more. Guests include Jonathan Byrd of Occupy Detroit, Fran Brennan of Working American, Richard Mack, and Charles Parrish. I’m sure I’m missing some of the yummy guest goodness, so go check it out for yourself.
  • Stephanie Miller – Excellent show today. Karl Frisch, David Bender, Torie Osborn, and Rick Overton. You can stream Steph’s audio right after Tony’s show on iHeart or catch her simulcast on Current TV now.
  • Thom Hartmann – Thom is on from 3p-6p now. Remember if you can’t listen to Thom live, you can always pick up the radio show later at Today Thom’s got some awesome geeky science in the 2nd hour … dandelions as antioxidants. I love geeky science.

    Watch live streaming video from thomhartmann at

    You can also watch Thom on Free Speech TV:

    Thom discusses President Obama’s speech on Paul Ryan’s radical budget, health care and the middle-class. Also discussed: Ayn Rand’s continued influence on the Republican Party, the many problems with our nation’s high court and in tonight’s “Daily Take” Thom looks at why Denmark is the happiest nation in the world, and what the U.S. can learn from the Danes.

  • Ed Schultz – You can listen to Ed live at from noon – 3pm. If you miss The Ed Show you can also watch the video on the Ed Show ‘watch’ page. You can also listen to The Ed Show at 8pm on MSNBC on Sirius & XM radio, on channel 117.

    Ed recently covered the Chevy Volt …

    Chevy Volt Back in Production

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  • Randi Rhodes – You can listen live via her website from 3p-6p EST.
  • The War Room with Jennifer Granholm is on Current at 9pm. If you can’t watch the show you can still get some good info from The War Room blog. I’m supposed to be getting clips to share with you guys but it’s taking a while to work it out.
  • Go Left TV on YouTube.


  • Articles like this are why I don’t trust any political analyst who isn’t me:

    Michigan can definitely get competitive,” according to Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report. Two-term Democratic incumbent senator Debbie Stabenow “doesn’t poll higher than the mid 40s, which is not a particularly healthy place to be for an incumbent,” Duffy explains. Although Michigan leans Democratic—the state hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988—Republican Rick Snyder scored a smashing victory in the 2010 governor’s race when he won with 58 percent of the vote.

    Now look carefully, because this statement is one of those creatures that is 100% factually correct AND 100% wrong. Let me ‘splain.

    First, Congress has historically low approval ratings. No getting away from that. Debbie Stabenow is in Congress. While normally it would be bad to be an incumbent in an institution with historically low ratings, it is good to be an incumbent who is aligned with workers in a year of extreme worker hostility by the GOP. So the polling right now is irrelevant. When the race heats up she will poll much like she did against Bouchard.

    Second, Snyder’s margin of victory was due to

    1. Virg Bernero’s unpopularity
    2. Bernero’s dysfunctional campaign
    3. Overall lack of enthusiasm of our base

    Between Bernero’s history and the logistics of his campaign, Democrats probably conceded at least 5% to Snyder. The enthusiasm problem cost us another significant percentage to Snyder. And Snyder’s nerdiness pulled some cross-over votes. I will admit publicly right now, even I want to like Snyder. I really really do want to like him. I love nerds. These are my people. Unfortunately Snyder is not actually a nerd. He’s just a guy tapping into a non-threatening culture so that he can create a likeable identity for himself. He’s just another Republican.

    Regardless of the authenticity, Clark Durant doesn’t have the same personal appeal. Durant won’t get those cross-over votes. And he would need them too, because Stabenow is a skilled campaigner who is not burdened with the same problems that Bernero had. I went into some detail on this here.

    In short (heh), nothing that Duffy said is relevant.

  • There’s an interesting letter to the editor in Free Press, regarding the imminent repeal of the helmet law. It’s a short letter and I’d love to copy the whole thing, but here’s the most relevant excerpt:

    We only have to look at other states to know what would happen if Michigan’s law is repealed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the three years after Florida repealed its helmet law in 2000, 933 motorcyclists were killed, an 81% increase. Another study found that fatalities grew by more than 50% in Kentucky and 100% in Louisiana after those states struck down helmet laws.

    The signatories to the letter:

    Pete Kuhnmuench
    Executive director, Insurance Institute of Michigan

    Spencer Johnson
    President, Michigan Health and Hospital Association

    Michael F. Dabbs
    President, Brain Injury Association of Michigan

    Dan Petterson
    President, Skilled Motorcyclist Association — Responsible, Trained and Educated Riders Inc.

    Unfortunately I think we’re going to find that this is another one of those laws that the GOP will pass based on how they feel about it, rather than based on data. Ugh.

  • It looks like Wells Fargo will be challenging the latest GOP atrocity:

    GARFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WTW) — Wells Fargo bank is challenging a new state law signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder that would overturn a $2.4 million judgment against the brother of state GOP chairman Bobby Schostak for a northern Michigan real estate deal gone bad.

    “We fully expect to challenge the constitutionality of this law on a number of grounds,” said Troy attorney James Allen of Miller Canfield, who represents Wells Fargo.

    State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills and chairman of the House ethics committee, said he was bothered that the measure alters existing contracts and was rushed through the Legislature. He said his initial concerns were elevated when he discovered the Schostak connection and what he said were inflated claims by backers of the bill.

    Yet another ethics problem in the GOP. Chris Savage spoke eloquently about this on Blog Role earlier this week.

  • Senator Whitmer is questioning Rep-DUI Bob Geetski’s impartiality regarding MSU:

    “I do think the chairman is compromised, he got busted on MSU’s campus for DUI,” Whitmer said. “I don’t think he should be in a position of authority determining the (university’s) budget.”
    Whitmer said if she were in Bolger’s position, she wouldn’t allow Genetski, R-Saugatuck, to play a role in MSU’s budget, at least appointing someone to temporarily take over the seat.

    Genetski has said his actions as chairman and his arrest are unrelated.

    Yes, they’re unrelated in the sense that he was not drunk due to his actions as a chairman.

    We’ve gone through this in Shiawassee, when police officers have had the misfortune of arresting someone in a position of authority. We’ve had to deal with lawsuits of retaliation, and it always costs the taxpayers. It’s the taxpayers who pay when the city has to defend itself. If Genetski cared about the integrity of the process he would simply recuse himself. There are other things he could do, and he could even hold it up as an example of the right thing to do. But he won’t, because he’s a Republican. It’s about showing the Democrats who’s boss.

    The good news is, maybe he is sober today.

  • It’s fun watching Republicans beat on each other.

    That’s all I have to say about that one.

  • Republican Michigander, who is in that “politically wrong but personally respected” category, has a great article here on one of Brighton’s stupid laws.
    It shall be unlawful for any person in the city to insult, accost, molest ,or otherwise annoy, either by word of mouth, sign, or motion any person in any public place.

    Annoy is such a broad term and can cover anything. “Annoy” is such a broad term that isn’t well defined. It’s subjective. It’s not defined in statute. What is considered annoying to a reasonable person? There’s been mixed views of that in law to the courts.

    I wrote about this on CBDC several years ago, but I can’t find a link to it right now. My concern with this law is that it would be unfairly applied to people with disabilities such as Asperger’s. I think I had a row with Chet Zarko over the law at the time. (As much of a row as one could have with Chet). Or maybe I had a rare moment of agreement with him. I can’t remember, but I’m certain that I came out on top of whatever it was.

    Anyway I’m not in love with the Ridiculous series, but he’s got it right in this one.

Census Daily

Profile America — Thursday, April 5th. One of the most compelling stories of the triumph of the human spirit began on this date 125 years ago. Anne Sullivan had been hired to teach 6-year-old Helen Keller, left blind and deaf from a severe illness when she was a toddler. While Keller was termed “unteachable,” Sullivan persisted and reached her in just a month, teaching her the word “water” by holding her hand under a well pump and spelling the word in sign language on her palm. That incident unlocked what proved to be a fine mind and Keller went on to graduate from college, write books, and lecture around the world on behalf of the disabled. Now, there are more than 10 million Americans who have difficulty hearing and 6.5 million who have vision problems.

Solidarity Forever brothers & sisters!!!

There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow me on Twitter - @christinebarry
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