Wednesday briefing and open thread

“It seems pretty clear the public really believes the most important things for the economy are these public goods that support economic growth … People want to do better by these assets that matter enormously for economic growth” ~ John Austin, president of the State Board of Education and director of the Michigan Economic Center

Austin is talking about “Michigan Dream Restored,” a new report that shows that the public disagrees with the Republican ideas on how to encourage growth and create a higher quality of living in Michigan.

According to the survey, 64 percent of respondents said the most important thing state government can do to facilitate job growth is provide high-quality education and core services such as good roads, police and fire service, parks and libraries.

That compares with 29 percent who said cutting taxes is the most important thing state government can do to increase jobs.

And according to the survey results, residents propose paying for those assets by raising taxes on businesses.

People just aren’t buying into the BS that the GOP is trying to sell.

Speaking of people not buying into the GOP BS, Kos has a post on the new permanent minority status of the Grand OLD Party. He credits their growing irrelevancy to a number of factors:

  • Their goofy civil war between the crazies and the extra-crazies
  • Young voters, especially latinos, are turning out for Democrats while older and predominantly Republican voters are passing on. The math favors the Democrats.
  • Self-destructive actions like filibustering a Secretary of Defense nominee and opposing hurricane aid.
  • And finally, their inability to move beyond “it’s a marketing problem.” Let’s call this “denial.”

And back to Michigan and crazy (or extra crazy) Republicans, here’s Republican Michigander complaining about a provision that has been stricken from a gun control bill in the State of Washington. The provision would have allowed Sheriffs to search homes for assault weapons. I don’t need to go read the provision because it has been removed from the bill on the basis that it was a mistake in the language. But a good Republican doesn’t let that stop him from saying that even though “leftists” came out and opposed the provision as being too extreme on the basis that “even they have their limits,” all leftists are lying to you when they say they won’t come take your guns. Also although it was “supposedly a mistake” it probably wasn’t a mistake because words mean things and attorneys check language before it goes into a bill. That is total Republican proof right there. And we haven’t even discussed Ayn Rand yet.

Meanwhile how many pieces of Michigan (Republican) legislation have been challenged in court due to the fact that nobody reads them before introducing them?

Ok then.


I wanted a separate post on this, but that’s the story of my life. Rep John Olumba has left the Democratic Caucus to form his own independent urban caucus. Olumba has criticized the Democratic caucus for not prioritizing the needs of Detroit, not supporting him on getting state funds restored to Detroit, and for pressuring him on an investigation into Ficano. (ugh, Ficano) Greimel responded by saying that he reached out to Olumba several times and never received an answer, and ultimately had no warning about Olumba leaving the caucus.

What’s interesting about this is what we’re hearing from Jase Bolger.

Bolger released a statement this afternoon confirming that Olubma had visited him several times in recent weeks and discussed his desire to leave the Democratic Caucus.

“I told Rep. Olumba that, in my view, there was no need for him to do so as I was and am willing to work with him, or any member of any party, to achieve a healthy Detroit,” Bolger said. “I have said repeatedly — and I say again — I will work with anyone from any party who is willing to put politics aside and focus on accomplishing results for Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers.”

Olumba was obviously talking to Bolger about leaving, and not talking to Greimel about it. (Way to solve problems) And this time it looks like Bolger isn’t so anxious to take credit for negotiating a Democratic defection. I don’t want to say that Jase learned a lesson, but have we heard anything on that Grand Jury investigation yet?

And finally, the Right to Work for LESS law is being challenged in court again.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed two bills into law on Dec. 11, making it illegal to require public- and private-sector employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Ever since, there has been debate over whether the new laws apply to unionized state workers because the Michigan Constitution gives the Civil Service Commission oversight of state employees, including collective-bargaining agreements that apply to those workers.

It’s as though the Republicans didn’t pay any attention to what they were doing when they passed this crap. But that couldn’t happen, because Republican Michigander tells us that mistakes like that don’t happen.

Census Daily Wednesday, February 20th. In the early days of the telephone, knowing who had one and what the number was quickly became a problem. The first telephone directory in the U.S. was published this week in 1878, in New Haven, Connecticut. It wasn’t a big list — there were only 50 subscribers. A little later, a directory also came out in San Francisco, with about 170 names. Now, there are over 21,000 retail establishments in the U.S. selling landline and cellular phones, with annual receipts from such sales at over $10 billion. Nearly 115 million or almost 97 percent of occupied households in the U.S. have telephones.


I’ve got one, and IT’S AWESOME!
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