Debunking the myth that it’s OK for the Michigan GOP to ignore the constitution because “Dems did it, too”

Wrong is wrong, illegal is illegal

I have been writing about how Michigan House Republicans have been refusing to acknowledge Democrats’ request to have a roll call vote on whether or not to make a bill take “immediate effect” rather than wait until 90 days after the end of the legislative session. Our state constitution says that they can do this if 2/3 of the House votes for it. If 1/5 of the House asks, the vote must be by roll call.

Democrats have over 1/5 of the House.

Republicans do not have 2/3 of the House.

Because of this, they have been ignoring Democrats’ request for roll call votes because they know they do not have the votes for it.…

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How the Republican Party Fails Miserably and Still Wins

Why refuting conservative lies will never work.

I’ve been haunted by a question recently: How did the GOP win the House in 2010?

I can’t even come up with analogy to express my disbelief of this insane fact that we’ve been living with for more than a year now. How can I explain the dismay at watching the GOP win a popular vote in this country less than two years after letting our economy crash? How could the same people that brought you the Iraq War and didn’t bring you bin Laden ever be returned to power?

Is it like hiring the designer of the Hindenburg to head the FAA?…

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An Easter PHOTOdiary: Peeps & global warming

We may be at a tipping point

Spring came early to southern Michigan this year so on Good Friday, my wife Anne and I put our kayaks in the Huron River and set out to document the effects of global climate change on the wildlife of our area. What we found was both stunning and shocking.
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Ann Romney: ObamaCare Poster Woman?

We can’t give all Americans a car elevator, but we can help everyone get decent health care.

A few weeks ago we learned that Mitt Romney’s palatial estate in La Jolla not only had its own lobbyist, it also had a car elevator. Yes, an elevator just for cars.

Maybe Mitt paid for it with the pittance, only a few hundred thousand dollars, he was paid for public speaking appearances. Or the money came out of his blind trust, which he never instructed to invest only in America. However he paid for his car elevator it seemed a perfect example of how a guy who made millions betting against American workers might not be the right man to lead an America in an income inequality crisis.…

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My appearance on Off The Record with Tim Skubick shows this weekend (and in this post)


Here is the video from my appearance on Off the Record with Tim Skubick that airs starting tonight and twice on Sunday (your mileage may vary depending on your public television station.) The other guests were Joe DiSano (the other liberal, sitting on my right), Jake Davison (Joe's conservative podcast partner at and Jack Spencer from the very conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Although this was the "Bloggers Edition" of OTR, Jack and I were the only actual bloggers. Jake and Joe are not. Enjoy (video after the jump.)
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Michigan Republicans have ILLEGALLY passed over 96% (546) of their bills under “immediate effect”

It's much, much worse in Michigan than we even realized

Last night, Rachel Maddow broke a huge story that has been happening since Republicans took over in Michigan in 2011 and has gone completely under the radar. Since January 2011, 566 bills have been signed into law. Of those, 546 of them, 96.5% were passed under “immediate effect”. Here’s the video from last night’s show that will blow your mind. Pay particular attention to around 12:30 where they show it in action. It’s astonishing. This is new in Michigan governance. This is not the way that Michigan was set up. This is not the way it was supposed to be…Michigan Republicans are using what is supposed to be an emergency provision for everything, even for the most contentious and partisan and divisive things that they want to do...
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Republicans Tell Democrats to Quit Being Hysterical

This is no War on Women. It’s simply a uteri-policing action.

Reince Priebus is a Republican from Wisconsin, where they apparently grow conservatives so bland it almost blurs their extremism. Like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, Priebus uses a condescending tone and denial to make a case for policies that exclusively benefit a group I like to call “rich, penised Americans”.

Yesterday, Priebus said that the so-called “War on Women” was made up:

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillar.…
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Michigan GOP appeals ruling preventing them from violating the state constitution

Constitution schmonstitution, part eleventy billion

When I wrote about Michigan Republicans being put under a restraining order to keep them from violating the state constitution a few days ago, I wrote, “It will be interesting to see if the Republicans are so intent on betraying the state constitution that they appeal to the appeals court.”

Turns out they ARE and they have.

Not only that, they are being represented by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Republicans in the state House have asked the state Court of Appeals to strike down an injunction issued earlier this week that impaired their authority to give immediate effect to legislation and nullified immediate effect for several recently approved statutes, including one that blocked the unionization of university graduate assistants.…
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Mitt Romney’s anti-labor labor advisor accused of receiving insider info from NLRB member

The anti-labor president(ial candidate)

Mitt Romney’s labor advisor, Peter Schaumber the former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is being accused of receiving insider information from a current NLRB, Terence Flynn. Flynn served as chief counsel to Schaumber during his stint as chairman.

A recent report from the NLRB Inspector General (pdf) highlights a number of clear violations of the ethics code of the NLRB and, according to a piece in Salon, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, believes the concerns raised in the IG report “are very serious and involve potential criminal implications”.…

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Mitt Romney v. Everything People Hate About Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney v. Everything People Hate About Mitt Romney

We need government to protect us from people like Mitt Romney.

In 2009, as it was organizing, promoting and explaining how non-partisan the Tea Party was, Fox News adopted a simple talking point.

The Fox Effect describes that Fox’s Bill Sammon instructed his staff to call any suggestion of a buy-in federal health care plan a “government option”. Basically, never call it a “public option”. Why?

Republican polling expert Frank Luntz finds that people dislike the word “government”.

Americans generally love Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the military, monuments, bridges, libraries, universities, hospitals, etc. But they don’t like the word “government”, even after under-regulated and non-policed Wall Street and the financial sector crashed our economy, forcing the government to rush in and prevent a Great Depression.…

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Detroit City Council approves consent agreement in 5-4 vote, avoids Emergency Manager, but…

Public Act 4 no longer in play in Detroit

Detroit's financial review team was given the okay to meet yesterday morning by the Michigan Court of Appeals, clearing the way for them to vote to approve the consent agreement between the city and the state in the afternoon. And, last night, the Detroit City Council followed suit in a 5-4 split decision, agreeing to the consent agreement, actually called the "Financial Stability Agreement", which gives city leaders some measure of control, including choosing some of the members of the financial advisory board... (more after the jump)
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LOL Book Club: The Fox Effect

The antidote to email forwards from your uncle.

Conservatives have been getting their news from clowns for years. But something changed in 2009.

From 2001 till the end of January 2009, the conservative movement held the White House for eight years and the Congress for six. And by the end of Bush’s second term it was evident that the GOP had failed in nearly every imaginable way*.

Some speculated it would be decades before anyone but the reddest states let them run anything larger than a circus.

In The Fox EffectHow Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine by David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters for America we learn how Fox News’ chief Roger Ailes seized a perfect moment to exploit his lifetime of experience in television and politics.…

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