Thursday briefing and open thread

Not safe for work. There’s an F bomb & a couple of hand grenades in here.

Community is real. We know that it matters for health and happiness. And people are willing to pay for it.

Real estate markets reflect the value people place on local school districts in home prices. Identical homes on opposite sides of a district boundary can differ in price by tens of thousands of dollars. Destroy the districts where people have paid extra for their community schools, and property values will fall. . . .

Citizens across Michigan care deeply about these issues. Please listen to what they have to say. ~ Professor David Arsen, MSU College of Education

Professor Arsen has a great message on education, from “one finance nerd to another.”

Here we go again with people pretending that we don’t know that Snyder is running again.

“Ours is an eight-year project,” Dennis Muchmore said Wednesday at the Michigan Society of Association Executives 2013 Legislative & Public Policy Conference. “We’re not here to win the polls at the end of the second year. We’re here to fundamentally change the way the state operates and does business.”

Snyder has not yet announced whether he will seek a second-term, and Muchmore backed off his forward-thinking mission statement when asked if he had just revealed the governor’s re-election plans.

“Dagonnit, did I let that slip?” he said with a laugh. “…I don’t think he’s made that decision. He’s a very goal-oriented guy. If he get’s to where he wants to be, that will be as far as he’s going.”

“Dagonnit did I let that slip?” Give me a break you smarmy jackass.

And I didn’t even look for the article where he asked a group of gazillionaires for $15 million for his re-election campaign.


Speaking of Snyder the Republican a-hole, he issued an executive order creating a Mental Health and Wellness Commission, and a Mental Health Diversion Council. Details are here.

Right Michigan has a piece on GOP (Schostak) financial assistance to Boards of Education candidates. It’s awesome for a couple of reasons.

From JGillman: “Is it surprising that we lost the 8 seats while at the same time maintaining control of the state house? ”

No, because there’s no gerrymandering for the 8 Board seats.

From Tim Bos: “And not only are we then able to repel absurd union practices, wages, and benefits, we also can somewhat stanch the flow of union cash into Democrat coffers. But even more importantly, we can demand that our Founding Principles, American Heritage, and Constitutional studies are re-installed in the curriculum.”

In other words, where else can you bust unions so easily, AND indoctrinate the children with the Republican revisionist history?

Right Michigan just made the case as to why we must make sure we continue to dominate the Boards.

These fuckers will complain about anything:

The Lansing bus authority had 69 drivers who made $60,000 or more in 2012, including one who earned $104,411.

The Capital Area Transportation Authority had 236 bus drivers in 2012, many of which were part time. Salaries ranged from under $1,000, to 34 bus drivers who made more than $70,000, according to information obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request. The salaries include overtime.

$60,000 is not a lot of money to drive a bus, and if there’s a bus running around dowtown, I’d like it to be driven by a professional. You stupid bastards.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local 876 has announced it will not endorse a candidate for MDP Chair.

“Efforts in building a unified labor coalition have been disheartening,” Roger Robinson, UFCW 876 president said. “Michigan labor would have been better served had a consensus been made prior to convention. This division may dilute organized labor’s efforts, and could further weaken its strength.”

Robinson remains hopeful post convention sentiment will bring a renewal of unity; coupled with the rethinking and restructuring of the caucus.

“At this time, my endorsement would only further this divisiveness; and weakens our effort. Ultimately, labor will have to collect ourselves as a group; and move in unison, despite who the chair is,” Robinson said. “UFCW 876 remains committed too; and will fully support the emerging candidate unconditionally in finding new strength and direction.”

And let’s wrap up with some interesting polling stuff.

So Snyder’s ratings have slipped, that’s not new, but look at the numbers:

Now, I would like to read the names of two political figures. For each one, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of that person
Barack Obama

Favorable – 55%
Unfavorable – 42%
Undecided – 3%

Rick Snyder

Favorable – 42%
Unfavorable – 46%
Undecided – 12%

So on the question as to whether you ‘like’ these guys, only 3% are undecided on President Obama, vs 12% undecided on Governor Snyder. Additionally despite the 24/7 hate machine going against the President, his unfavorables are 4% less than Snyder.

Next question:

Overall, how would you rate the job being done by Barack Obama as President — would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?

Positive – 49%
Negative – 50%
Undecided – 1%

Overall, how would you rate the job Rick Snyder has done as Michigan’s Governor – would you give him a positive rating of excellent or pretty good, or a negative rating of just fair or poor?

Positive – 36%
Negative – 61%
Undecided – 3%

So here we have a few percentage points sliding on Obama .. it’s clear that some people like him despite thinking that he’s not doing a very good job. That factor was analyzed to death during the Presidential election, which was a race between Obama’s economy and Romney’s personality. But look at the Governor; he has fewer undecideds here, indicating that people have stronger feelings about his job performance than his personality. Apparently that schlep-nerd shtick has been working for him. But he still has 61% unfavorable job performance, which works for us. His higher taxes are kicking in and his lame-duck rtw for less won’t be forgotten. The ongoing war on women is going to rile up the women who weren’t already activated in the previous battles.

And Snyder’s gay-bashing bill is heading to court while most of America is turning toward equality.

Snyder is a one term Governor, unless the Democrats pull off one of our awesome ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’ stunts again. If anyone can do it, we can.

Oh, and,

“Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.”


Census Daily Thursday, February 21st. “Only Nixon could go to China” is a metaphor for a person of an established reputation to defy all expectations by acting in a contrary fashion. That phrase, was born on this date in 1972. President Richard Nixon, an established cold warrior, surprised everyone by his visit with the Chinese leadership. This led to expanded contacts between the U.S. and that nation. Full diplomatic relations, broken off in 1949, were restored on January 1, 1979. Today, China is a major U.S. trading partner. In 2011, China bought nearly $104 billion of U.S. goods, while we imported over $399 billion worth from that once isolated nation.

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