Monday briefing and open thread

Happy Monday everyone! I’ve got a bunch o’stuff in the queue for you, so here we go …

RMoney – Ryan

  • Abbreviated pundit round-up: Liberals & conservatives agree, Paul Ryan is the candidate they wanted
  • Florida newspapers: Romney is in big, big trouble

    So much so that a distraught and panicked Village believes “Mitt Romney is in big, big trouble” for selecting the man who wants to pull the plug on Grandma.

    This is the perfect wedge issue. This desperate, panicked move by Romney to quell the teabag base has now placed John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the House in jeopardy.

    It unites our side and divides their candidates. Are they going to stand with Ryan and Rush Limbaugh or will they stand with seniors? Are they with them or are they against them? If you pick seniors, the base stays home. If you pick the base, then seniors poke them with a pitchfork.

  • Editorial: Voters get a real presidential election choice as Mitt Romney adds Paul Ryan to ticket

    More important, the choice of Ryan should give any voter who gives a darn some real food for thought. After a couple of months of campaign silliness, now the campaign between President Obama and Romney becomes real. Saying “there’s no difference between the candidates” is not remotely acceptable.

    Ryan is the architect of a budget blueprint for the nation that is much more important than the numbers. It would radically change the Medicare and Medicaid systems, simplify the tax code and reduce taxes, and cut deeply into federal spending.

    Obama and the Democratic Party he leads have far different priorities, promising to preserve programs such as Medicare as they are. In fact, reports have suggested the president’s campaign team had hoped Ryan would be the choice, so that they could exploit his plan’s unpopular features with voters.

  • Michigan’s Winning Romney-Ryan Precedent

    Normally I take no interest in Henry Payne, but I feel the need to answer his douchy article. In this one he makes the point that RMoney / Ryan are the Snyder / Calley of the national stage. Here’s why that’s a load of crap:

    1. Snyder branded himself very well and was able to do so because he was largely unknown. People know RMoney.
    2. Calley was also largely unknown across the state. Paul Ryan is the national poster child for Ayn Rand and the TeaBaggers.
    3. Virg Bernero v Andy Dillon in primary gives way to Virg Bernero v [doesn’t even matter] in general. ’nuff said.
    4. 2010 is not 2012.

    Henry Payne probably knows this, but he’s doing his job, which is trying to get people worked up. I’d have pulled a quote out for you but his writing is so horrid that it’s hard to extract a coherent thought. (shudder)

Democratic Party

  • The Democratic National Committee moves its money

    Even while the move your money movement was taking tens of billions of dollars out of Wall Street, even as some cities were moving their money, the Democratic National Committee was banking with Bank of America. No more—and the DNC has chosen to move its money to Amalgamated Bank, which is the only union-owned bank in the United States.

    In a release announcing the decision, Amalgamated president and CEOP Edwards Grebow said: “The DNC joins a growing chorus of non-profit groups, labor unions, and progressive organizations that are choosing to bank with an institution that understands and is fighting for the values of all hardworking American families, and we are proud to have their business.”

    Amalgamated Bank is here.

  • Language of support for marriage equality in Democratic platform released
    “We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.”

    “We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.”

    [Actually pulling that quote from a DK diary that pulled it from WaPo.]

    This is a BFD.

  • Dems suspect fake GOP candidacy

    Grosse Pointe Park attorney Mindy Barry has filed to run for the high court as a Taxpayer Party candidate, but she’s a former Republican House staffer who clerked for Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr., a GOP nominee.

    Democrats have nominated an all-female slate to try to unseat the two Republican nominees, Justices Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra, who face voters Nov. 6. Party Chairman Mark Brewer says the more candidates there are, the more it helps the GOP, and a female candidate is more likely to draw votes away from the Democratic nominees.

    It looks like those trying to engineer a win for the Republican nominees “have taken a page from Speaker (Jase) Bolger’s election fraud playbook and put a sham candidate into the race,” Brewer said.

War on Education

  • Bill Would Require Parental Permission For Children To Be Taught By Ineffective Teachers

    “Parents are taxpayers,” said State Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville. “If they don’t want their kid being taught by an ineffective teacher, that’s their call. It’s all about choice. It comes down to parental choice and it also makes the teachers more accountable.”

    I can’t get on board with that. The people trying to grade teachers tend to think that students are widgets. If you make a good widget, you’re an effective widget-maker. The problem is, widgets don’t come from a socio-economic background. They don’t end up eating too much sugar or dealing with an alcoholic parent or having undiagnosed dyslexia or learning english as a second language or being bullied by other widgets. You can test the quality of a widget and know exactly what numbers have to be met in order for that widget to be of quality construction. Whereas the student … well, you get the point. Non-educators like Dave Agema should not be weighing in on this.

  • School choice: Sometimes less proves to be more

    We love choice. We demand choice. When we go into a supermarket, we fully expect to find whole shelves devoted to variations on Coca Cola: Regular Coke, Diet Coke, Decaffeinated Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke, Cherry Diet Coke, Cherry Vanilla Coke, Coke with Lime. And if the right flavor isn’t there in the right size, we feel, well, betrayed.

    But what we forget is that choices can expand the opportunity for bad choices. We scarf junk food because it’s there. We ditch the motorcycle helmet because we can. We avoid exercise because it’s so easy to drive the car or take the elevator. Faced with choices, best judgment doesn’t always prevail.

    In education, it’s not much different. In a perfect world, parents would gravitate to schools with the highest academic standards, and the market would be a ruthless arbiter of school quality.

    But it’s not a perfect world. Parents choose schools for many reasons, of which superior academics may or may not be one.

    In the state’s latest ranking of schools by academic proficiency, there are three charter academies in the 0 percentile, meaning 99 percent of Michigan schools are ranked higher. Nobody is forced to go to those charters. They aren’t even the default choice for any family. Yet those schools have students.

    This week, I heard about a district that received a flurry of school-of-choice students from a neighboring system. The reason for the exodus? The second district had gone to a longer school year, a best-practice move to boost achievement. Yet some parents were aghast at the idea of shortening their kids’ summer break.

Stupid People, Stupid Law, Stupid Stupid Stupid

  • 2012 House Bill 5785: Ban “Agenda 21” implementation

    A bill to prohibit this state and its political subdivisions from adopting or implementing certain policy recommendations of the United Nations;

  • Who Needs Anecdotal?

    You know this story. The 13 year old kid who set up his hot dog cart in an area that isn’t zoned for it. He’s the poster child for the righties these days.

    Families destroyed, future prosperity hampered, and setting up a whole new set of government dependent souls.

    Unintended or otherwise, it is considered normal nowadays for government to hamper the opportunities of some, to favor others. A pretend scenario is certainly unnecessary for this family.


    Oh yeah, they’re all over it. Mackinac Center might change its name to Mackinac Center for Public Policy and Nate. But none of them give a crap that the reason Nate’s hot dog cart is his family’s only income is that the state shut down his step-father’s place of employment in order to cut spending. Thus eliminating the family’s income.

    Noooo, don’t look at that. Nothing to see there, because that is not the kind of “families destroyed, future prosperity hampered” they want you to notice.

  • Fireworks noise and safety complaints – 2,000 to Gov. Snyder – prompt Michigan lawmakers to form workgroup
  • Work group to review Michigan fireworks law

    See, this stuff has consequences.

    LANSING, Mich. –

    A group of lawmakers plans a review following a slew of complaints, safety concerns and confusion about a law that made powerful fireworks legal in Michigan.

    Bottle rockets, aerial cakes, Roman candles, firecrackers all can be sold and enjoyed legally after lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder erased the ban. Some communities have taken steps to curb the use of such fireworks, but many aren’t sure what they can do to avoid a conflict with state law.

    Eliminate fireworks regulations? Check!
    Eliminate motorcycle helmets? Check!

    Next up on the GOP agenda: eliminating all firearm regulations. It’s good for votes!! squee!!


  • Fred Upton’s Smear Campaign – This is a really interesting analysis on Upton v Hoogendyk, with an especially cogent point toward the end:

    Is it any wonder that Upton won? Or is it more amazing that despite all this, Jack Hoogendyk still got a third of the vote?

    This election was not a defeat for conservative philosophy. Upton took conservative positions on everything! He certainly never mentioned his long, non-conservative record.

    Of course, it was a defeat for truth. You can tell a lot of lies with two million dollars.

  • The strength of a ‘Sole Survivor’ – Cecelia Cichan opens up 25 years after Northwest Flight 255 crash

    DETROIT – The only photo of Cecelia Cichan ever released to the media captured the attention of people around world when it landed on the cover of Life Magazine. At 4 years old, she was the only survivor of the Aug. 16, 1987, crash of Northwest Flight 255.

    The plane took off from Detroit Metro Airport en route to Phoenix. But only moments later, it crashed into Middlebelt Road.

    A total of 149 passengers and 6 crew members were killed – among them were Cecelia’s mother, father and brother.

    In her interview with Dickens, Cecelia says she thinks about the crash every day.

    Click through for video too.

Census Daily

Profile America — Monday, August 13th. When golfers talk about the greatest players, one of the names that always comes up is Ben Hogan, born on this date 100 years ago. Known for his dedication to practicing, and intensity on the course, he spent his early career fighting off poverty, once entering a tournament with 15 cents in his pocket. Hogan reached his highest level in the years following a near fatal head-on crash with a bus. He is one of only five players to win all four of golf’s major tournaments — the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. In his career, Hogan won a total of 64 PGA sponsored tournaments. In the U.S. each year, more than 22 million people enjoy playing golf.


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

    The “ineffective teacher” bill was introduced by Maureen Stapleton, a Democrat from Grosse Pointe.

    The MDP has a serious Blue Dog problem, and has had this problem for years. And before someone comes back at me with the argument that there are a lot of conservative districts, I live in Canton Township, which has twice elected Dian Slavens, a progressive, to the State House.

  2. Hector Solon says:

    This Education Bill is the ALEC “Great Teachers Great Leaders” Act that was recently identified by the NJ Star Ledger in the investigation into ALEC in NJ and within Gov Chris Christie’s administration.

    HB 5776 is a pretty good match and establishes “Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness“, in the ALEC model it’s called the “State Council for Educator Effectiveness”.

    Just more of what will be dozens of more ALEC models to be used to completely convert Michigan government into ALEC/Mackinac “Government in a Box“.

    Michigan is now the “Laboratory of Choice” for New ALEC Models. the Snyder Administration ties (5 direct ALEC member appointees and more in advisory roles) and use of ALEC concepts and strategies is MORE complete than in Christie’s NJ.

    For example, the redo of the 1979 (Michigan) School Aid Act and control of the $14 Billion Michigan Education Funding system has been put in the hands of Richard McLellan (using Engler/Mackinac’s Oxford Foundation), who literally wrote the early ALEC education models in the late 1990’s. The ties between Michigan, the Mackinac Center and run very deep, now and throughout recent Michigan political history.

    The McLellan/Mackinac crowd is now in control of Snyder as predicted.

    Could go on all day on this. We are so out-gunned and over whelmed here in MI, where this well-greased machine, of which ALEC is only a part, is running over us with impunity. Resistance is light, unorganized, lacks collaboration & teamwork – we’re not WI and even there they are having to pile tons of resources to fight only a portion of the ALEC infestation we are now facing.

    Again, wake up people.

  3. Regarding the candidacy of Mindy Barry, is Mark Brewer suggesting that I might show up at the polls and ask myself, “which woman candidate should I vote for?” regardless of their party? Is it likely that, as a Democrat, I might be distracted by a Taxpayer Party candidate? Shouldn’t the presence of a Taxpayer Party candidate be as much a concern for the Republicans?

    • Hi Heather, thanks for the comment. Judicial candidates are elected on a non-partisan ballot. So I suspect the concern is that the public knows that the Democrats have nominated an all female ticket during this GOP “war on women” and women who want to fight back will not know that one of the women on the ticket is a Republican, or worse. Mindy will probably split the female vote, not the Republican vote. Maybe if we hadn’t just gone through the #bolgerschmidtfraud we wouldn’t be so suspicious of Republicans and party changes. (The two Republican nominees are male. )

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