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Today in campaign news: Republican edition

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

All the campaign news I have this morning comes from the R side. All of it is great fun, of course. If any of you have news from the D side, please share in comments. In fact, I note that this is already happening, which is great and as God intended (if, by God, you mean the people who thought up open blogging).

*--The Hill says that Lil' Fella looks poised to hold off Brian Ellis.

*--Someone sent me a link yesterday of a Paul Mitchell ad (his junk mail is again showing up at my home and I'm again apologizing to our local mail carriers for having to put wear and tear on their knees delivering it) of him saying he's going to take aim at Obamacare or something like that. That is, the 4th Congressional District race will ultimately be decided based on how voters react to something from Cloud Cuckoo Land. Jesus Fucking Christ. CapCon has more.

*--Mike Bishop leads Tom McMillin in a poll. It would not make me terribly unhappy if Michigan lost another Congressional seat because both candidates destroyed it while also destroying each other.

*--Tim Skubick has a column on Bill Schuette's poll problem. His poll problems are well deserved, since he's used his office mostly to pursue his own agenda, which is intended to help him run for governor. More than that, however, is his track record of getting creamed in court. It's an awful train wreck that we're all paying for.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Terri Lynn Land backfills paper work for $3 million oversight

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:03:31 AM EDT

I'm really happy to see this sort of coverage by our political press.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land says she's close to filing an amended financial disclosure statement to account for nearly $3 million she's given her campaign.

Spokeswoman Heather Swift says Land likely will fix the "clerical error" this week. Democrat Gary Peters Tuesday called on the ex-Michigan secretary of state to stop spending the money until addressing discrepancies his campaign says may be illegal.

This is the sort of thing they should be doing instead of reporting breathlessly on the latest poll or what the latest ad says. Also, this reminds me of the complaint by reporters that our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan refused to answer questions on the campaign trail four years ago. This is an aggressive media doing its job, forcing campaigns to talk rather than asking them to talk and rolling over and playing dead when they refuse. It's a beautiful site to behold.

By the way, have the boys in the Beltway press stopped referring to her as a top-tier candidate yet? 'Cause this is bush league garbage.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

BuzzFeed does story on John Dingell's Twitter feed

by: Eric B.

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 11:51:27 AM EDT

It's true. It's right here.

The longest serving member of Congress is better on Twitter than all of us. Rep. John Dingell, the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat first elected in 1955, has quickly solidified himself as the best politician on Twitter.

It's a fine diversion from the campaign trail for all of you wearing out shoes on it today.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Today in campaign news: Hobbs endorsed by the Teamsters

by: Eric B.

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 11:42:20 AM EDT

*--The Teamsters Joint Council 43, to be precise.

*--A new poll says that Koo Koo Kerry trails the Vampire of Misfortune by 22 points.

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

John Oliver notes Aramark's unique maggot-based prison menu

by: Eric B.

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 13:48:04 PM EDT

This is great.

Remember, what Michigan has done is part of a nationwide trend. So when he talks about privatized medical service in Arizona using sugar to prevent infection in a C-section, he's talking about something that could happen in Michigan should we take privatizing Corrections to the logical extreme.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Detroit suspends water shutoffs; Fried Chicken Frank has a sad

by: Eric B.

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

Just as the headline reads (except for the Fried Chicken Frank part, which I made up).

Detroit — The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is suspending water shut-offs for 15 days starting Monday.

The department is facing criticism worldwide for mass shutoffs that have turned off water to 15,200 customers since March, but department spokesman Bill Johnson said the move is not a concession in the high-profile political fight.

“This is a pause. This is not a moratorium,” he said. “We are pausing to give an opportunity to customers who have trouble paying their bills to come in and make arrangements with us. We want to make sure we haven’t missed any truly needy people.”

Saw a different report this morning about how there are a bunch of abandoned buildings in Detroit with water flowing unchecked into their basements. If true, perhaps what they ought to focus on is preventing those losses to the system rather than shutting off water for inhabited homes and apartments.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

With six you get Gadsden flag

by: Eric B.

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:05:25 AM EDT

I suppose attention needs to be paid around these parts to this summer's nonsense in Vassar. I was going to a week or o ago, because someone published a story with a bunch of hilarious photos of people walking around with Gadsden flags and guns and a sign that said that Jesus wouldn't break laws (apparently someone has confused Jesus with Ward Cleaver, which I guess is pretty understandable). That opportunity came and went, but there was another one this morning. I think this quote from the story sums up America, 2014 excellently.

“I don’t understand the guns,” said Jake Jacobson, a retired airline pilot from Lake Odessa.

That's in response to people walking around the town heavily armed saying things like this:

“If you allow the immigrants to take over, the country will be destroyed,” said Krol, 56, a building contractor from Linden.

and this:

“My rattle is rattling,” Krol said. “Next is the bite.”

What in Hell does any of that mean? Fuck if I know. But, I think we can enjoy the joke built into the first one.

We have a problem with child immigrants, and not only do these clowns go to a town they don't live in and start trying to strong arm local merchants into sharing their opinions but they've made it all about firearms.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Weekend open thread

by: Eric B.

Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 12:52:44 PM EDT

I realize probably many of you are right now at Netroots Nation. I'm not. I've had a few people ask why not and the answer is pretty simple: I work weekends, have a child and hate crowds. Instead, I spent time in my garden this morning: Six zuchinni, a pepper, a crown of broccoli and the season's first green beans were my reward. One of the zuchinni I immediately gave to a neighbor to bribe her for her continued support in an ongoing Facebook feud with another neighbor (one of the other zuchinni I gave to him). I've got a friend who is a poor college student who I've been giving excess produce to all summer, and she'll probably get one or two more (if you have any impoverished millenials in your neighborhood, consider starting your own Feed a Millenial program ... the heartfelt thanks from one member from the Most Fucked Generation in Mankind's History will gladden you).

For the rest of you not at Netroots Nation (or are, but are taking breaks) and not stealing from my garden, the thread is hereby open.

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

Nancy Kaffer writes something smart about Detroit's water crisis

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 14:00:00 PM EDT

Fried Chicken Frank's column this morning on the Detroit water thing was the awfulest thing written about it yet. It's about how the real victim in the shutoffs are suburbanites and if you had any lingering doubts that Fried Chicken Frank is something of a racist this should erase them. We can debate the merits of whether the water department should just be up and shutting off people's water, especially since there are apparently two different policies regarding residential water and water for businesses but attacking a bankruptcy judge because he didn't take the time to listen to suburbanite whining is the very essence of white privilege.

I would advise skipping the column. It adds nothing of value to this issue and will only make you think about those two minutes you'll never get back, plus the one minute thinking about those two minutes.

Go instead and read Nancy Kaffer's column, which unlike both the columns written by Nolan Finley and Fried Chicken Frank, appears to have involved research and thought.

Let’s be absolutely clear about a few things: Water isn’t free. Nor should it be. It takes money to treat and deliver water to residential and commercial customers. In Detroit, water shutoffs continue, despite international criticism, and strong words from the federal judge overseeing the city’s municipal bankruptcy case. After shutoffs, most residents pay up promptly, restoring service. Those numbers notwithstanding, it’s unavoidably true that some Detroiters can’t pay what they owe.

The only quibble I have is that water is free. If you live in Detroit, you can walk to the Detroit River and help yourself to as much water as you'd like and no one will ask you for a red cent. What costs is treating it and transporting it to your home.

But, beyond that it's an excellent column that does more than just stake out a stark position, either that poor people shouldn't have their water turned off under any circumstances or that the people who are getting their water turned off deserve it because they are terrible.

It asks this question: Should we deliver water as a fee-for-service, or do something else. These paragraphs are especially helpful.

Residential consumers are a small part of total water consumption (agriculture sucks down the most). Indoor residential use is defensible as essential, Beecher said, but not so with outdoor uses, such as watering lawns.

Fee-for-service, she said, serves a purpose apart from funding the system: Paying by volume encourages responsible water consumption.

That second is something everyone who thinks that water service should be free needs to remember. We in Michigan have a lot of water. We're blessed with it, but it also does the disservice of convincing us that water conservation isn't important.

Some media outlet ran a story pretty recently on the plight of Las Vegas that highlights this. Their main source of water is going dry and they're still talking unrestrained growth. It's idiotic. It's also admittedly not Michigan, but whether an approach to paying for something encourages wise usage or waste is important to sorting it all out.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Terri Lynn Land ad says Gary Peters a creature of Wall Street money

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 11:06:47 AM EDT

What a strange week to release this ad:

Keep in mind that in talking about BIG MONEY behind Gary Peters, Terri Lynn Land is the same person who had a mysterious $3 million show up in her campaign account (how long until someone who runs with Fried Chicken Frank starts speculating some kind of nefarious donation by Tom Steyer?).

It's not a bad ad, all things considered, but it also frankly smells of desperation.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Goat Killer says homosexuality is sexual perversion

by: Eric B.

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:37:40 AM EDT

Set the "Goat Killer says something offensive and moronic" clock back to zero. Courtesy a Progress Michigan press release that says the following was posted around 9:30 a.m.

Families are the most important element in a nation. Sexual perversion ruins a nation. Political correctness allows it. Silence out of fear by our politicians perpetuates it. What are your representatives and senators saying about it?

Because the Michigan Republican Party refuses to get rid of him as its national committee man, instead blaming its internal documents for having to keep around such a public embarrassment, this statement can be interpreted to be an official position of the Michigan Republican Party.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Yes, Nolan Finley, you do in fact have a right to water

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 17:11:00 PM EDT

Nolan Finley decided to write something about the Detroit water shutoffs. It's something that, like a lot of what Nolan Finley writes, did not in fact need to be written, but he doesn't understand that so went ahead and wrote it anyway.

We start with the headline.

There is no right to free water

Well you do have a right to free water if you live in Michigan. The reason why you have a right to free water is because, if you are a resident of Michigan, you have rights of ownership over water. If you want to do something with the water -- drink it untreated -- then you have the absolute right to free water. And, by the way, if you live in the country and have a well, you don't pay anyone for access to the well water. You pay to have the well sunk. The water is yours for free.

more...

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 1176 words in story)

MDP unveils smartphone app to let you apply for an absentee ballot

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 16:03:28 PM EDT

This seems really smart.

Detroit will become the first city in Michigan to allow residents to apply for absentee ballots by touch-screen-enabled phones, officials announced Wednesday.

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson announced the initiative at the city’s elections headquarters, saying the effort is to reach out to people ages 18-35 who might otherwise not get involved in the electoral process.

People in that age group “are the least engaged, yet they have cell phones attached to their hips,” Winfrey said. “So why not allow them to use their cell phones to apply to vote” by absentee ballot?

Here's the website.

Like I said, this seems like a really smart idea and obviously rolling it out in Detroit is a way to boost voter participation by the Democratic base.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Terri Lynn Land and the mysterious $3 million

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 15:10:38 PM EDT

I hate it when this happens.

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has given her own campaign nearly $3 million this year and last, but nowhere in her federal financial disclosure form has she listed any bank accounts or other assets in her control worth that much.

Her campaign says it’s an oversight, claiming Land — who for two terms as Michigan’s secretary of state oversaw the enforcement of election laws — inadvertently failed to disclose a joint account she has with her husband, Dan Hibma.

Remember four months ago when the Beltway press was saying she had a shot to win because she was such a terrific candidate? Yeah, don't believe anything those people say.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

It's tough to keep the maggots out of the food when the workers are getting busy in the cooler

by: Eric B.

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 09:40:14 AM EDT

Smell the savings.

LANSING — In a development a Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman said was “unprecedented,” four Aramark prison workers at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia were fired today for having inappropriate sexual contact withinmates inside a walk-in cooler, a Corrections Department official confirmed.

This is excellent. File this, and the shit wages these people are no doubt paid, in the folder marked, "To attract talent, you need to pay talent."

Discuss :: (1 Comments)
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