Thursday briefing and open thread

Happy Thursday. There are some interesting and alarming bills going through the legislature in Lansing right now. I am hoping to get some time to explore them today but if I don’t then I’ll put them in the briefing tomorrow. If you’d like to look at them now just check out some of the latest threads over at Michigan Votes.

Remember we have a google hangout at 8pm tonight for the MI Progressive Blogger caucus-wannabe. Send me an email if you’d like an invitation.

And on to the show..

  • You have probably heard that the GOP has put white men in charge of everything in the House? Michigan’s own Candice Miller, while white enough, was not man enough to chair the Homeland Security Committee:

    Though she has less seniority than McCaul on the committee, Miller, elected to the House in 2002, has served longer in Congress than McCaul.

    But no worries, we still have three manly Michigan men in chairs:

    Michigan will have three House committee chairs. U.S. Reps. Fred Upton of St. Joseph will serve another term as the head of Energy and Commerce; Dave Camp of Midland was re-elected to chair Ways and Means; and Mike Rogers of Brighton won another term at the helm of the intelligence committee.

  • Michigan DNR verifies three Upper Peninsula cougar photos … cool!
  • GOP tries again for right-to-work laws in Michigan Or in other words, GOP tries again for retribution against labor.
  • Thank God: Sources: State House Democrats won’t back major bills if GOP pushes right to work

    “Pushing right to work is toxic to the atmosphere in Lansing. That’s true not just of this lame-duck session, but it’s also true spilling into next term,” Greimel said. “All options are on the table for us in terms of trying to stop it.”

    It would be best for everyone if Republicans “came to their senses” and opted against introducing a right-to-work bill, he said.

    I’m pretty sure we’re going to need to have their backs on this. From the blogger perspective, feel free to join us tonight in our google hangout. If we get enough people in there we can add some of these issues to the agenda. Let me know if you need an invite.

More over the jump …

  • School choice proposal bets on market forces (guest column). Yes we know. If this, if that, if if if if if. If my aunt had a winkie she’d be my uncle. There are some things that just shouldn’t depend on market forces. Jesus.
  • opinion: Voting history, lingering controversy could be responsible for Ouimet defeat

    What explains Ouimet’s relatively poor showing? It could be the perception that he mostly voted in line with the State House GOP’s business tax cuts and reductions in education spending. He also may have suffered lingering effects from the controversies surrounding his campaign in 2010 — his receipt, and subsequent repayment, of more than $14,000 in excess compensation as a Washtenaw County Commissioner and questions about the validity of a graduate degree that he claimed at that time.

    Plus he’s a bit of a jerk.

  • Speaking of: Letter: Republican voters need to realize why others don’t vote that way

    Cal Thomas’ opinion column marched right in step with other conservative post-election rants. Apparently, anyone not voting Republican is “… self-indulgent, greedy and envious …” with weak character and an inflated sense of entitlement.

    Or maybe they believe that promoting the general welfare means a robust middle class contributing to public wealth (education, health care, sound infrastructure, clean water, safe food) and not a mere few with obscene private wealth lording indifferently over a decaying world.

  • Natural gas is key to Snyder’s energy policy
  • Troy rebukes state’s demand for quick election
  • Thom Hartmann – Goldman Sachs coup d’etat

    Thom discusses how we’re still a slave nation (we just don’t have to look our slaves in the eyes anymore). Also discussed: why infrastructure spending needs to be included in the “fiscal cliff” deal, how Republicans in Florida are finally admitting to their plan to suppress the vote and how the Supreme Court may once again decide the fate of Obamacare. In tonight’s Daily Take, Thom discusses how Goldman Sachs is taking over the world.

  • Oh sweet Moses: The Latest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama’s Third Term

    Among the main proponents of this theory—which comes in several different flavors—is Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, a publishing firm that hawks financial advice—and also has a history of promoting dubious claims. Even before the president won reelection, the company began blasting out emails to subscribers of various conservative newsletters, warning of the coming third term of Obama. The emails went out as paid advertisements through the right-leaning, Newsmax, Human Events, and Gingrich Marketplace (a spokesman for Newt Gingrich and the vice president of Human Events both claimed this email blast was a mistake).

    The emails alerted readers to a vague—and somewhat counterintuitive—theory: Some unspecified but major event will lead to an epoch of American economic prosperity. Because it will happen under Obama’s watch, he’ll claim full credit and receive an unprecedented boost in approval ratings, giving him a mandate to demand and subsequently obtain a third term.

    There are screenshots of the emails and a video of Rush Limbaugh musing about Obama’s 3rd term a few years ago.

  • Michigan health officials getting 3-year, $1.6M grant for hepatitis prevention, surveillance
Census Daily Thursday, November 29th. Imagine if you shopped for a few items, including your favorite brand of coffee, and found that coffee was rationed? That’s exactly what happened this week in 1942, because the war had interrupted shipments and people were hoarding coffee. But rationing only lasted until the next summer. It’s thought that coffee was introduced into America by Captain John Smith, one of the founders of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. Its popularity jumped after both the Boston Tea Party and the beginning of Prohibition. For those who don’t make their own coffee, there are just over 19,000 coffee shops across the country, and they sell more than $10 billion worth of coffee a year.

I’ve got one, and IT’S AWESOME!
There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow me on Twitter - @christinebarry
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