Friday briefing and open thread

“I feel that Bolger acted unethically when he and former Rep. Roy Schmidt colluded to swindle voters in the November election. Bolger is still under a grand jury investigation for his actions. If we cannot trust him to always act honestly, how can we possibly trust him to lead the stateforward?” ~ Dian Slavens (D-Canton) explaining her vote against Jase Bolger as Speaker

Although Rep Slavens could not vote for Jase Bolger, Winnie Brinks could:

“I put a lot of thought into that,” Brinks said. “It’s really a signal … that I want to move forward and work in a bipartisan way.”

In a statement on her vote for Bolger, Brinks took a shot at Schmidt, calling him a “career politician who cared more about his self-interest that about what’s best for families in West Michigan.”

Speaking to MLive, Brinks conceded some constituents might view her vote as odd, given the scandal.

“I’m about looking forward,” Brinks said. “I didn’t want to be looking back, fighting battles that I think were addressed back at the election.”

Overall, it looks like the Democrats offered up an ‘olive branch’

“It was a very difficult last term – particularly the lame duck portion of that term,”Greimel told media after the House ceremony. “And we have been very concerned about the extreme agenda that the Republicans have pushed. It’s clearly the most extreme agenda in the state’s history.

“But we also recognize that we have an opportunity here with a new term to show our respect for the institution and for the history of this institution by abiding by longstanding practice,” Greimel said. “And hopefully by extending this olive branch of symbolic bipartisanship, we can find opportunities and occasions when the two parties can find common ground. And that’s what the people of this state deserve – for the parties to do everything we can to find common ground to move this state forward and find solutions to the very real challenges we’re all facing.”

This is not inconsistent with what Tim Greimel said just last week, in an interview with Gongwer:

But Mr. Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said how much Democrats participate in the development of legislation is up to House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) and the House GOP.

“The door is always open to bipartisan cooperation,” Mr. Greimel said in an interview with Gongwer News Service. “But the ball is in the speaker’s court. They have not, to date, been interested in bipartisanship.”

“I have always been willing to go toe-to-toe with Republicans when standing up for what is right. But I’ve also always been willing to reach across the aisle when doing so makes sense for the residents of our state. “

Let’s talk about what this means over the fold.


In that interview with Gongwer, Greimel makes it clear that the previous legislature is the most extreme in the history of Michigan. I suggest to you, dear reader, that it may also be the legislature that has been most willing to operate outside the law. They do this by ignoring the House rules (immediate effect, calling Michigan State Police on to the floor, etc.) to violating election law (#bolgerschmidtfraud) to passing ALEC laws that are contradicted by our own Constitution and existing law.

Greimel also stated, “We are not just here to play defense. We have a vision for the state of Michigan.”

What a difference between the Democratic minority in Lansing and the Republican minority in Washington. The first thing that the Republicans in Washington did was to promise to make President Obama an ineffective one term President. They’ve been able to stall job creation and mess with our credit rating, but they weren’t able to defeat the person who Americans feel “cares about people like me.” The first thing our Democrats did was say, we’re willing to work together for the good of the people you keep screwing over.

While that doesn’t feel good, we have important work to do in making sure people understand that we’re willing to play the game, put forward a positive vision, and work together where we can. That’s the best strategy to get Michiganders to hear our message. But on the other hand, here’s hoping that someone teaches Jase Bolger and the Republicans that you can’t keep violating people and then asking for bipartisanship and nicey-nice.

By the way, if this is how the GOP acted in lame duck when they lost nationally, what do you think the Lansing lame ducklings will do when they lose statewide?

GM vs HP. So the IT talent fight is on and HP got stung:

HP is seeking to depose a pair of former executives after 18 employees “resigned en masse and without notice” and went to work “immediately” at GM, according to a petition filed in state court in Travis County, Texas. “The company feels compelled to investigate the potential claims it may have,” Hewlett-Packard said in the filing.

GM had already agreed to absorb 3,000 HP employees who were assigned to GM work.

This should be interesting to follow, in part because of the types of non-competes and non-disclosures that may have been signed and how well those hold up in court. I was quite restrained by my company when I wanted to leave due to the NCA that I signed, even though I was leaving due to, let’s say, bad behavior by other people. I’d like to know what exactly does get enforced. There are no details on any agreements like that in this article.

How about a bit of levity?

Here’s Fox News confusing the idea of a coin-shaped pile of platinum worth $1 trillion and a $1 trillion coin that happens to be made out of platinum and can be of any size.

It’s ok to laugh out loud on that one.

State House trading laptops for iPads It makes good economic and technological sense. I only add it here because 1. I’m pleased with it and 2. It was approved by Jase Bolger, and you know that if some school wanted to do this, he’d blow a nut.

And finally, don’t forget to pick up your very own Rick Dictator shirt. Made in the USA. Design protected by God and parody law. Buy one. Bye two. Buy a third for Ari Adler!

Census Daily Friday, January 11th. This date in 1973 was a day that lives in infamy, at least among some self-described baseball purists. The American League approved a three-year experiment with replacing pitchers in the batting order with a designated hitter. The rule change stuck and is the most visible distinction between the two major leagues. The first DH to come to the plate was the New York Yankees’, Ron Blomberg on April 6, 1973. The result of this epochal at-bat? He walked. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League this year, there will be up to 15 designated hitter jobs in the U.S., a tiny, one-in-10-million specialty, among the more than 155 million people 16 and older in the labor force.


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