Jase Bolger, who once toured Detroit, might scuttle Detroit bankruptcy deal just to be a dick

April 18, 2014 by  
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A few months ago, everyone made a big deal that Jase Bolger visited Detroit and said that something needed to be done to help out the people of Detroit. Today, we learn what it is that he thinks needs to happen to help Detroit: Detroit's unions need to be extorted or else he's happy to let Detroit's bankruptcy drag on. Along the way, Ari B. Adler burns yet another bridge.

Ari Adler, a spokesman for Bolger, said: “I think it’s entirely reasonable to expect the unions to give back to the very people they profited from.”

“The union leaders made these deals that couldn't possibly have been afforded; they built up their own savings from membership dues paid for by unaffordable contracts,” he said. “Now they want to walk away, effectively leaving the retirees they are supposed to have represented holding the bag.”

The great thing is that he essentially waited until the last minute to say this, rather than letting everyone know ahead of time that it was his expectation.

Dear Dan: Smoking weed does not lead to demonic possession

April 17, 2014 by  
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Oh brother.

But let me show you why smoking pot presents an even bigger problem for you, which is: It invites demonic infestation into your spirit. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 10:14-21:

There's ... no need to go quoting Scripture around here, so we'll just skip past that to the Precious Bodily Fluids argument.

The use of mind-altering substance for “recreational” purposes puts a person at serious risk of demonic attack because what you’re doing is rejecting the natural chemicals God already put in your body as insufficient to satisfy you physically and emotionally.

How about a little pure grain alcohol with your fluoride-free water, Dan? Oh wait, I guess the grain alcohol is a gateway drug to Beelzebub.

By the way, just for the record, when you try to -- in the space of the same article -- try to cite science and Scripture's support for demonic possession, you deserve the peals of derisive laughter that result. Consistency is a damn fine thing.

P.S. I am happy to report that, after decades of drug and alcohol use, that polluting your precious bodily fluids with mind-altering chemicals does not, in fact, lead to demonic attack. Unless by demonic attack you mean the occasional crushing headache.

RGA attacks Mark Schauer for something Mark Schauer wasn’t responsible for

April 16, 2014 by  
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There's always an inherent problem in letting someone campaigning on your behalf: They might do or say something stupid, and you look stupid by reflection. We saw this when Terri Lynn Land, who might be the worst candidate for the U.S. Senate since Peter Hoekstra, let Americans for Prosperity lie about Obamacare and then use a cancer sufferer as a willing human shield (by the way, anyone ask if Julie Boonstra got paid for all this?). Now, there's this.

LANSING, MI -- The Republican Governors Association released what it called a "new attack ad" on Wednesday, criticizing Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer for a 2002 state House vote that imposed a new per-bed fee on nursing homes.

The only problem?

The "Medicaid Quality Assurance Assessment Program" was backed by Republican Gov. John Engler, won bipartisan support in the state Legislature and was later extended by Gov. Rick Snyder, who Schauer is challenging.

The program is designed to win federal match dollars and then return them to nursing homes that participate in Michigan's Medicaid program.

The sound you hear is the Republican Governor's Association wrenching the sink out of the kitchen and hurling it at Mark Schauer.

They might be making our prisons less safe for the guards, but man are we killing with the savings

April 16, 2014 by  
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This reminds me of the last six months of my Navy career when they discovered that some enterprising young man had converted a storage room into what one wag later called "The Nookie Nook."

The state fined Aramark almost $100,000 in March for contract violations, including "overfamiliarity" with inmates and unauthorized changes to menus. The union representing the state's corrections officers, the MCO-SEIU, has also alleged the Aramark workers have endangered the safety of prisons through inappropriate behavior with inmates.

Marlan said about half of the stop orders issued against Aramark employees were for "overfamiliarity" problems.

Of course, there was the time that Aramark's shitty service also caused a prison riot.

DeVos outfit trying to stack convention delegate spots to give heave-ho to Goat Killer

April 16, 2014 by  
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As we all know, the Michigan Republican Party is bound by their bylaws from pursuing the party's best interests and brooming Goat Killer from the office of national committee man. A normal organization whose leadership didn't want as its de facto public spokesman to be someone who regularly embarrasses it by slurring homosexuals and Muslims would find a way within their bylaws to jettison that person, but for some reason unprecedented in the history of organizations, the Michigan Republican Party's hands are tied on this. So, they have to resort to this.

The Michigan Freedom Fund, in a recruiting mailer sent out to potential delegates this week, targeted Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema and urged his critics to get involved in party politics.

"Does Dave Agema speak for you?" asked the mailer. "If not, join the majority of Republicans who believe freedom, character and virtue do not include hate. Stand up and be heard!"

The answer is that, yes, Dave Agema speaks for them. He did and does and will do. He got the Republican National Committee to unanimously adopt a policy plank endorsing marriage as between one man and one woman, and even if the people who've loudly and ass-coveringly demanded his resignation weren't forbidden by their bylaws from introducing a resolution under the section entitled Resolutions and Amendments to force him out of office, they probably couldn't get a majority of people on the state central committee from voting in favor of it. I mean, they've still got Doug Sedenquist as a member, and he stalked his ex-wife and held police at bay with a rifle while in Wisconsin, to which she fled after he beat up his daughters (allegedly), and later used a computer to try to extort her. I mean, what's a little homophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry next to that?

ACLU sues state over One Gutless Nerd’s refusal to recognize legal marriage unions

April 15, 2014 by  
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Something to keep in mind on today, Tax Day. You have the privilege of paying for this.

LANSING, MI -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is expected to sue the state in an attempt to win recognition and benefits for some 300 same-sex couples issued marriage certificates last month.

The ACLU is scheduled to announce a lawsuit Monday afternoon at its headquarters in Detroit, according to an advisory. A staff attorney will be joined by impacted couples and their families.

Keep in mind that this is the governor's position: They were legally married, but the state can't recognize those unions because their marriages are, in fact, not legal. He had a choice to either help shape the world in which he lives, or kneel cravenly before our most caveman impulses. He chose Door Number Two.

Some people who were running for office this year

April 14, 2014 by  
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Via a Facebook announcement, John Barker has dropped out of the 4th Congressional District race in favor of an Alma physician named Jeff Knowles. It's still not a race Democrats are going to win, but at least I have the memory of Barker ambushing me with a nominating petition while I was reading in my front lawn.

Update! ... From Gongwer.

Sen. Bert Johnson announced this morning that he will seek re-election to his Senate seat, dropping out of the still crowded field for the 14th U.S. House District.

“As a state senator, I represent communities that are being harmed each day by the destructive policies pushed out of Lansing,” Mr. Johnson (D-Detroit) said in a statement. “Recognizing this, I have decided to seek reelection to the Michigan Senate in order to continue serving as a voice for my constituents, to stand firmly against the ongoing assault on hardworking Michiganders, and to continue building on the legislative successes I have achieved during two terms in the House of Representatives and one term in the Senate.”

Stay tuned for further developments.


A thin line is all that separates the words "thread" and "threat": Out on the weekend

April 12, 2014 by  
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There's lots to discuss this weekend, so here's your chance. If you like, also go download and watch this week's Off The Record. It's a bloggers' edition, and you can see the clear treeline establishing itself on top of Mt. Eric B.


Goat Killer says Obama is worse than Hitler

April 11, 2014 by  
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From Gongwer blog.

On Tuesday this week, on his Facebook page, Mr. Agema shared a webpage showing the “Downfall” scene with Hitler saying he did not want to see a Jewish doctor, then being told his old doctor is not on his Obamacare network, followed by Hitler screaming about the ACA.

Whether Hitler in any context outside of a Mel Brooks satire is funny is open to debate.

One can also question and (writing as the son of a World War II veteran) be disturbed, very disturbed, at the line Mr. Agema posted introducing the scene on his page: “Even Hitler, who ruled like Obama, didn’t like Obamacare. Funny!”

The Michigan Republican Party, naturally, is held hostage by its bylaws and is incapable of doing anything to prevent Goat Killer from further tarnishing the organization's image.

CapCon continues to flog the bits of that CBO report they like

April 11, 2014 by  
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There was a post the other day about how one of the drones at CapCon wrote a post citing a Congressional Budget Office report about raising the minimum wage, but only used the bits and parts that supported the point he was trying to make while discarding the rest. What he wanted you to think was that the CBO was predicting that raising the minimum wage would cost us acres and acres of jobs without doing anything beneficial. In reality, the CBO report pegged job losses at between a minimal figure to a million jobs, said it would raise weekly incomes of every wage earning group except for the very wealthiest and would also raise millions out of poverty. Facts can be a troublesome thing.

Yesterday, another of CapCon's drones revisited that well in an "article" with another sandwich-related headline.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the president's plan, 500,000 of these jobs would probably disappear, and possibly as many as 1 million.

As it relates to the minimum wage, the CBO projected these job losses as part of a range (and, again, the lower end of this range was very few lost jobs at all), but their projections say that many millions more will benefit from a higher minimum wage. Trying to make the case that it's a bad idea because half a million people might lose their jobs while ignoring the many millions who the exact same report says will benefit is being dishonest.

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