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Dear Dan: Smoking weed does not lead to demonic possession

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 18:37:22 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 17:30:43 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 14:34:09 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 14:15:15 PM EDT

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?

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:28:12 AM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Some people who were running for office this year

by: Eric B.

Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 09:17:16 AM EDT

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.


Discuss :: (26 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 10:34:47 AM EDT

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.


Discuss :: (32 Comments)

Goat Killer says Obama is worse than Hitler

by: Eric B.

Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 15:57:42 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

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

by: Eric B.

Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 13:33:59 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Nolan Finley mansplains why Lisa Brown is shrill

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 13:22:01 PM EDT

Nolan Finley has a fairly obnoxious column today, if by "fairly obnoxious" you mean "odious" and "entirely obnoxious." It's an attack on Lisa Brown as Mark Schauer's choice as lieutenant governor. Among other things, it gives you a glimpse of why rightwing blogging never really got big in this state ... that space was all occupied by the caveman crowd at the Detroit News. Before we get to the nut graf that everyone is talking about, there's this:

But what about those Democrats who deserted the party four years ago to help elect Gov. Rick Snyder because they perceived him to be a moderate who would bring jobs and development to the state without bowing to the right wing on contentious social issues?

Most of those people understand that they were misled, since the alleged moderate has turned out to not be a moderate at all, but instead a spineless administrators who has caved to rightwing social special interests at almost every turn, who has failed to deliver on his promise to fix the state's roads, got publicly pantsed in trying to set up a state-run health care exchange, got publicly pantsed again in expanding Medicaid, had a dickens of a time getting Common Core through the Legislature, and whose "business-savvy" ideas about government mostly involved cutting taxes for businesses, shredding the social safety net and protecting the state contracts of his friends and family members. But, please, do go on...

Her confrontational style will give the ticket the spunk the colorless Schauer lacks, but won’t broaden his appeal. Brown could help bring in campaign cash, however. She’s still milking the vagina business, and is a minor celebrity among feminists.

So minor a celebrity to feminists that Mark Schauer picked her as his running mate to help excite the Democratic base. In case you're paying attention from the cheap seats, the underlying premise behind this is the same as the underlying premise behind Terri Lynn Land's "The wimmenfolk don't want equal pay, they want the freedom to run their wimmenfolk errands and hold down a job" speech. But, I'm sure that right now, Nolan Finley is under the impression that the criticism is being aimed at him because he dared speak truth about Lisa Brown and not at all because strong women in general hate being portrayed as if the strength of their opinions comes primarily from them being unlikable harpies.

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

Hune won't seek Mike Rogers' seat

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:35:23 PM EDT

From Ye Olde Inbox, seconded from MIRS.

Sen. Joe HUNE (R-Hamburg) won't seek the open 8th Congressional District seat, the first-term state senator announced today.

"Washington and Lansing both need strong conservative leadership," Hune said in a statement this afternoon. "As a state representative and a state senator, I have always stood for less government in our lives, lower taxes and growing our economy. 

"I have a strong desire to continue the unfinished work of rebuilding Michigan and will be seeking re-election to the 22nd Senate District."

That leaves the Mackinac Mauler, Mike Bishop, and Bryan Barnette in the running. Tom McMillin might also get in.

Discuss :: (35 Comments)

RGA ad: Bottled water companies should take your property without paying you for it

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:46:03 AM EDT

The Republican Governor's Association is out with the newest ad attacking Mark Schauer. It's probably the dumbest ad I've seen in a very long time, based on its core message, because it says that a bulk water tax he supported in 2007 was a tax on your drinking water.

Here's the ad. After you watch it, I'll get into why it's so dumb. If you're a media person, it'd be nice if instead of writing a story explaining what the ad says, what the original proposal was, why it's not a "tax on water" and why Schauer's proposal was actually more like a royalty payment. I realize that's a tall order that might require some book reading and such.

Well, first of all, Schauer's tax proposal was a bulk withdrawal tax proposal. That much is evident in the ad, since it's a per-gallon tax. No one buys bottled water in gallon bottles. The RGA is making this out to be a retail tax when it is not.

Second, it's more akin to a royalty payment. Michigan's water belongs to the people of Michigan. Not whoever happens along and scoops it up. Not the government. Not individual businesses. You are free to use it to irrigate crops, and drink, and put out fires, and travel on, but you are not free to simply sell it as if it belongs solely to you. This is the Public Trust doctrine. A few years go, Dan Scripps wanted to enshrine it as statutory law because it's existed for hundreds of years as common law. That effort was defeated, Ray Franz called the Public Trust a form of communism, and Dan Scripps was voted out of office. Anyway, bottlers currently pay nothing for the water, except for the infrastructure used to get the water out of the ground or, in the case of the city of Evart, payment to the city (at a rate below home owner costs, since the company suggested but never specifically promised jobs that -- ta-dah! -- never materialized). Schauer's tax represented a way to make water bottlers compensate the actual property owners -- you and me -- for taking and property and selling it for private property. That's not a tax. That's a royalty payments.

So, the ad is stupid and ahistorical and paints Schauer's proposal inaccurately. Of course it does. It's a campaign ad. It would be nice to see someone else pick this apart and explain why it's misleading and inccurate, but the claims that are undergirding it are themselves old and simply taken for granted. It also requires a little knowledge of the history of Michigan and our water laws. So, that's probably not going to happen.

Update! ...  Just so we're clear, this was an ad from John Cherry's people back in 2010.

Again, what the RGA ad is arguing on behalf of is a scheme to privatize an already privately-owned resource. It's just managed by the government on behalf of its owners.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

A veiled shot by Obama at Terri Lynn Land's "I'd do the same job as a man for less pay" remark

by: Eric B.

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:50:11 AM EDT

Someone forwarded me the press pool report from President Obama's trip to Texas, specifically to a fund raiser in Houston. He comments on Terri Lynn Land's speech a few years ago in which she said that wimmenfolk would rather have the flexibility to do wimmenfolk work rather than get paid equally as men for doing the same job.

"I think there was a candidate for the Senate, a Republican in Michigan, who voiced the opinion that women make other choices," he said, according to the transcript of his remarks. "And I think that's certainly true; every individual makes other choices. Very rarely do you meet people who make the choice to be paid less for doing the same job." 

There's a bit of speculation this morning that the underlying strategy Republicans are pursuing is to go after married couples, leaving single women to Democrats. Gotta tell you that based on married friends of mine that they're not doing that very smartly. I don't know anyone who is in a marriage where it would be okay for one partner to earn a below-market value wage for their work because a) it's all about paying bills and b) the husband is expected to also run errands like getting the kids to the doctor. The Republican Party's concept of marriage is as dead and archaic as it is in its approach to same-sex marriages.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Some people who are running for office this year

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 15:00:00 PM EDT

Debbie Dingell gets competition after all.

A long-time Washtenaw County attorney plans to run in the Democratic primary for Michigan's 12th Congressional District seat.

Raymond G. Mullins is challenging Debbie Dingell in the race to succeed her husband, U.S. Representative John Dingell.

Submitted without comment, mostly because I have nothing to say.

Update! ... Got an e-mail this morning announcing the candidacy of Dave Burgess for Kalamazoo County Commission.

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Political patronage misdirection by any other name...

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 13:40:07 PM EDT

A week or so ago, we shared the sorrowful tale of a wealthy furniture manufacturer who faced the prospect of not getting even wealthier and who had to turn to his political contacts to prevent it from happening. You will be happy to know that his good fortune continues.

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded a contract worth more than $731,000 to Haworth Inc. and DBI Business Interiors to reconfigure and remodel its downtown Lansing headquarters.

The quasi-governmental agency, which receives state funding, did not seek competitive bids for the project, noting that other options would have been cost prohibitive.

The governor's cousin got a no-bid furniture contract from the state? What's to complain about?

Meanwhile, the point, she was missed.

The companies recently made news when Michigan Democrats pointed out that a state budget provision that would have negatively impacted Haworth and DBI was changed after George Snyder reached out to one of the governor's top aides.

The Snyder administration denied any foul play, noting that the state spent roughly $18.5 million on contracts held by DBI in the three years before the governor took office, but only $17 million in the three years since.

What the state had done previously is entirely beside the point. It's assumed that the state has to buy furniture from someone, and a Michigan furniture manufacturer is a logical source for it. What isn't beside the point is the behind-the-scenes influence peddling that prompted what were going to be spending cuts to not take place.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)
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