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Bobby Schostak: Goat Killer's bigoted tirades have hurt fund raising for the party of Dave Agema

by: Eric B.

Mon Mar 02, 2015 at 10:01:44 AM EST

Bobby Schostak just stopped being chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, which we all know means he was in fact chairman of the Michigan Dave Agema Party. Bobby Schostak talked to the AP about the party, lied about there being no means on paper about getting rid of Dave Agema (the fact that there are no realistic means is partly the fault of Bobby Schostak, of course), and said that Dave Agema's bigoted tirades were a poor choice and that they've hurt fund raising.

Asked about Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, who has refused Republicans' calls for him to resign for derogatory Facebook posts and links to articles about gays, Muslims and African-Americans, Schostak said Agema had made "bad" choices that were "very unfortunate and very offensive to all of us." Agema cannot be removed unless he has committed a felony, Schostak said.

"It's affected fundraising, it's affected perception, it's given ammunition, rhetoric to the other side. But it's beyond partisan, it's just inappropriate conduct."

Obviously they weren't offensive to everyone. If they were offensive to everyone, the party would have gotten rid of him, since he goes on to say that he's hurt the party's public standing.

But, again, organizations pursue their own best interests, which includes managing leadership positions and memberships. There exist means on paper to get rid of him, and there also exists the age-old avenue of simply interpreting a way into the existing rules and setting precendents. That the Republican Party hasn't done any of that is a clear sign that the lunatics run the asylum*.

Meanwhile, Agema makes another unfortunate choice.

Just got an email update from MI GOP National Committeeman Dave Agema. In it, he describes MI GOP Ethnic Vice Chair Darwin Jiles as such: "As he (Darwin Jiles) articulated his life story and his values, he sounded like Dr. Ben Carson, Congresswoman Mia Love, and Col. Allen West."

So, according to Agema, Dr. Ben Carson and Mia Love and Col. Allen West and Darwin Jiles have very similar life stories? Does Agema think that all Caucasian Republicans also have very similar life stories? Or, just Black Republicans? Do all Black folks sound alike?

Agema honestly doesn't think he is racist. He just thinks all Black Republicans are pretty much interchangeable.

That's Chad Selweski, sharing one of Leon Drolet's Facebook posts. There is next to nothing that I agree with Drolet on, and I think he needs to spend more time working in the private sector that he thinks is the panacea to all that ails us, but he's very right on this. Racists don't think they are racist. They think they are bold, truth tellers, willing to risk their necks to say the thing that everyone is thinking but aren't willing to share out of fear that a P.C. lynch mob will strike them down. That's what makes them funny**. It's also what makes them assholes.

*--Back when Schostak and lots of other prominent Republicans, including Betsy DeVos, were calling for Agema to go, I was wrong in assuming that the leaders behind the scenes had the juice to make it happen. That they couldn't and didn't was not only shocking to me, but it spoke volumes about the state of the party, internally.

**--No, it's not funny when Dave Agema says that homosexuals die of AIDS before 35. It is funny that he believes something so idiotic and further believes that he is very brave for sharing this tightly held belief with the rest of the world.


Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Open thread: Going boldly where basically everyone went yesterday

by: Eric B.

Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 13:18:53 PM EST

There are three television shows that are central to who I am as a person. The Simpsons, especially during its early years, is probably the biggest. Second is probably Mystery Science Theater 3000. I started watching both of those their first seasons while I was in college. And there was Star Trek. The old Star Trek. Not the terrible second iteration Star Trek where everyone sat around and talked about their feelings. It was the first one, where acres of guys in red shirts were horribly killed throughout the three seasons it was on the air.

I was a big fan of Captain Kirk, but he was a bit ... oh, I don't know ... much for me. He was always jumping around, yelling things and either punching or kissing whatever was standing in front of him. Kind of struck me as a wee bit overenergized, kind of like that kid who gets all hopped up on sugar sticks before bed time. Spock was my guy. Where Captain Kirk would punch and punch and punch, Spock would kind of quietly sidle up and give you what we later started calling The Spock Shock. Then Captain Kirk would say something about Spock teaching it to him, and Spock would respond with something like, "I have tried," which translated from the original Vulcan meant, "Yeah, probably not, Junior."

Later on in life, I came to appreciate how he used logic to arrive at conclusions based on compassion. I wonder sometimes if we'll eventually go full Vulcan on our approach to animals and wind up a species of vegetarians (at least until resource depletion turns us into a species that eats primarily Soylent Green).

As all of you by now know, one of my childhood heroes -- Leonard Nimoy -- died yesterday. Since the stars of my other important shows are either animated or existed mostly just in the lower right corner, that leaves one human being -- William Shatner -- as the only Tee Vee icon left to me.

Thread's open, yo.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Jim Fouts punked as prayer station costs Warren taxpayers $100,000

by: Eric B.

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 16:00:00 PM EST

This pleases me.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts’ approval of a prayer station in city hall, a decision that cost Warren taxpayers $100,000, was shot down by a federal judge because of Fouts’ refusal to also allow a “reason station” proposed by a local atheist.But now we are learning that Fouts did give consideration to another group seeking a city hall station – the United Church of Bacon.

Fouts is the same guy who last year went full-blown Godwin on atheist groups who objected to his prayer station. He's also the same guy who gave his girlfriend executive assistant a hefty pay raise.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

It's Dave Agema's party ... the rest of you just stay there

by: Eric B.

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 14:37:28 PM EST

We have John Yob's hatred for Saul Anuzis to thank for Republicans electing Dave Agema to the post of RNC national committeeman. Yob's hatred for old Saul is part of what led to him backing Agema in running against, and ultimately defeating, him. That victory was made possible by seizing enough delegate slots to vote him in. Last Saturday, it was made plainly evident that the Michigan Republican Party is Agema's, not that of Ronna Romney McDaniel and the other establishment types.

There was, for instance, the contest for the party's so-called ethnic vice chair, in which Linda Lee Tarver, an incumbent favored by the party's pragmatic wing, lost her re-election bid to 29-year-old newcomer Darwin Jiles Jr.

Jiles' critics have made much of his criminal history, which includes a juvenile adjudication for assault with intent to do great bodily harm and a subsequent altercation in which he was charged with armed assault but pleaded to a misdemeanor. Paul Welday, a longtime GOP operative who is close to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and once served as former congressman Joe Knollenberg's top aide, called Jiles' triumph "the most disturbing election" he'd witnessed in more than three decades of GOP activism.

Much has been made of Giles' criminal history. Much less has been made of the fact that Tarver a month and a half called on Agema to resign from his post.

Earlier this week, Oakland County Republicans urged the RNC to remove Agema, and the Michigan GOP 14th Congressional District committee adopted a resolution urging the state or national party to “terminate his membership.” Linda Lee Tarver, ethnic vice chair of the Michigan GOP, also penned an open letter asking for his resignation.

In private organizations, your membership and especially your role as a person of prominence are at the pleasure of the organization's membership. You don't have the right to belong to a private organization, Dave Agema has no right to be an RNC committee member, Linda Lee Tarver had no right to be MRP ethnic vice chair. Linda Lee Tarver made it a thing of her or Agema when she called for Agema to step down. Agema's supporters responded by replacing Linda Lee Tarver with probably the only minority they could find still willing to excuse Dave Agema's relentless bigotry ... he also happens to have a criminal past.

Aside from the fact that they had to get someone convicted of various crimes, and someone who just last year shot another person, to replace her is the only thing scandalous that has happened here. The Michigan Republican Party has exercised its values but not only declining to get rid of Dave Agema, but further empowering him by voting out of internal office people who were opponents. This is clear and straightforward.

Back to the top of Brian Dickerson's column.

If most of what you know about the Michigan Republican Party comes from perusing what Sarah Palin likes to call "the lame-stream media," you might imagine that Gov. Rick Snyder is the party's de facto leader, as well as its highest-ranking elected official.

You might also imagine that what those of us in the LSM call the party's tea party wing (but who prefer to call themselves the Republican grass roots) are a vocal but ultimately inconsequential minority within the party, and that self-appointed tea party leaders like Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema are lightning rods who attract more attention from the LSM than other Republicans.

But if you're paying closer attention, you know that when Michigan Republicans gathered in Lansing for their annual convention last week, Agema arguably cast a larger shadow (and scored some more important intramural victories) than Snyder, whose still-mending Achilles tendon kept away from the GOP confab.

Dickerson works in the LSM, and is basically telling truth: The real story is that a sitting governor is not the leader of his party, but that an unreconstructed bigot is. It is to the ongoing shame of the LSM (Ye Olde Emm Ess Emm) that they continue to cover this story according to traditional story lines ... Ronna Romney McDaniel elected as state party chair, and nothing of much consequence happened. What Dickerson is saying, between the lines, is that if you want the real story here, you have to look someplace other than his employer.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

A return to the good old days of budgets balanced with accounting gimmicks and fund raids

by: Eric B.

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 13:14:33 PM EST

One-party rule was supposed to, we were told, end the annual budget fighting where the state balanced its ledgers not by appropriately matching revenue to meet needs, but by accounting gimmicks and raids on various funds. I mean, that was basically what happened Jennifer Granholm's whole last term, and the Very Serious Persons caucus tut-tutted and called her a weak, ineffective leader.

Part of that was very true, of course, but the larger part of that was because she didn't have a good faith partner running the state Senate. Mike Bishop refused to negotiate because he couldn't get enough of his caucus members to rally around raising revenue, and the Very Serious Persons caucus let him get away with it because the conventional wisdom was that it was all Jennifer Granholm's fault. I mean, anyone else remember how Tim Skubick said in 2007 that the service tax was DOA because Granholm didn't talk about it in her state of the state address?

Fast forward nearly a decade, and what is happening?

LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Senate on Thursday signed off on plans to fill a looming general fund budget hole by cutting spending and shifting money from the School Aid Fund.

The budget bills, approved by the House last week and now headed to desk of Gov. Rick Snyder, seek to reduce general fund spending by a combined $420 million in the current fiscal year.

This, after our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger punted on its duty to pass bills raising revenue to fix roads and dumping that into the laps of voters in May.

It's time to reconsider the last decade of conventional wisdom, that Jennifer Granholm was somehow solely responsible for annual budgets that were balanced based on shifting tax collection deadlines (accounting gimmicks) and stealing money from applied funds to pay for general government operations. She's been out of office now for half a decade and they are still doing it. It is time to consider the very real possibility that the primary culprit here is mindless anti-tax, anti-government ideology at the heart of the Michigan Republican Party ... an ideology that everyone understands to have taken a deeper, more serious hold on what ideas our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect is willing to consider.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately"

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 10:56:42 AM EST

From a policy standpoint, exempting the police and fire fighters unions from Right to Work made next to no sense. Yes, I know ... public safety public safety public safety public safety. It's the same inane argument made every time some new law is passed enshrining the police into some special class of citizen: infallible, legally entitled to take your shit without a criminal conviction and that you are expected to show deference to in every situation. It only makes sense from a political standpoint (anyone else remember Lisa Posthumus Lyons trying to get her husband's union exempted?), which is basically the way anything ever gets done in on ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect. I mean, Right to Work is not really effective policy, but it is a good way to attack the traditional primary funding mechanism for the opposing party. Anyway, it's handy to have cops on hand when you need Mark Schauer pepper sprayed on the lawn of the Captol and when you want the endorsement of the local police union because ... tough on crime.

Speaking of which, this has been making the rounds today.

LANSING, MI -- A newly-elected state representative from Midland has drafted legislation to extend the reach of Michigan's Right to Work law to public safety personnel, the only union members exempt under the 2012 law.

State Rep. Gary Glenn is currently courting co-sponsors for the legislation. He said he hopes to accomplish that goal and introduce the bill sometime in early March.

You hate to see anyone's access to collective bargaining harmed, but there is considerable fairness in treating everyone the same. For rebuttal, we go deeper into the story.

Dan Kuhn, a former Saginaw police officer, now works as a business agent and serves as an executive board member for the Police Officers Association of Michigan, a union that represents many of the state's police personnel.

Kuhn said Glenn would not be doing police officers any favors by extending Right to Work to the exempted group. He said there was a reason police were exempted in the 2012 law.

"We don't have any ability to strike," Kuhn said. "It's not like the police can walk off the job and protest for better wages. The legislature and leaders in the state wanted to make sure that never happened."

Know who else can't, by law, walk off the job and strike for better wages? Teachers.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Ronna Romney McDaniel, latest protector of the shield

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 11:12:26 AM EST

There's been precious little coverage of substance from this weekend's Michigan Republican Party convention, where the election of members to the state central committee made it more difficult for the party elders to get rid of Dave Agema. After years of unrelenting negative media attention and a growing public awareness that party officials who say that he can't be gotten rid of are full of shit, delegates to the convention decided not only to not clean up their internal mess, but decided to make it harder to do so in the immediate future.

That was reflected in a statement by the Romney thrown at the job of party chairperson.

"The over-riding theme of my campaign is unity," McDaniel told reporters. "We have a lot of different factions in our party. We need to get them to coalesce if we're going to be successful."

Among the points of division is Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, whose comments and social media postings have been widely condemned as racist and anti-gay. McDaniel had refused to be drawn into the controversy while on the RNC, though RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and outgoing Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak are among those who have called on Agema to resign.

"Dave and I have had private conversations; I'm going to keep them private," McDaniel said Saturday. "There is no mechanism for removal. He's not going to step down, so we're going to move forward."

Well, first off, good luck healing divisions within the party by refusing to deal with a racist and a homophobe (and, since bigotries tend to run in packs, who knows what else) in an important party post. I'm sure the party faithful who are homosexuals and Muslims feel much more welcome after all this.

Understand this: Ronna Romney McDaniel was not brought in to clean house of the party's bigots. The primary job of the party chairman -- both Republican and Democrat -- is basically the same as the commissioner of the NFL: Protect the brand.

For the NFL, that's mostly an external thing. The people the commissioner has to deal with internally -- the players -- are few in number and there are always (a lot) more people willing to join them. So, he has to worry about the public at large. Party chairmen have to worry more so internally to maintain cohesiveness as an organization.

We all know that her comment that there is no mechanism for removal is horseshit. We know this because they claim to follow Robert's Rules of Order, which overtly permits removal of members, and we also know this because the Michigan Republican Party is a private organization. You don't have a right to belong to it, and you don't have a right to represent it to national committees. You do so at the pleasure of the organization, and if you damage it too badly they can get rid of you ... either through existing means or by simply interpreting their rules in a way that gets rid of you. As has been said time and again regarding this, an effective leader knows how to use internal rules to get what he or she wants done, an ineffective leader -- or one who doesn't want to do something unpopular -- blames the rules. This is true in every human endeavor.

Bobby Shostak made an error in very early on closing the door on forcible removal. His people told the press that they had no means to get rid of Agema. This was untrue, and I hope that the media is beginning to realize that they were bamboozled. Schostak's mistake, probably based on thinking that Dave Agema would shut himself up for the good of the party, was in taking every piece of leverage off the table. With no threat of forcible removal (how can they, after telling the media for two years that they can't), the only incentive Agema has in remaining quiet is his own good sense ... which he appears to have in very short supply. Ronna Romney McDaniel could have reversed that error, but she would have had to admit to it. That would have risked turning off the considerable number of people within the party who have no problem with what Agema has said, and it would have required admitting to a lie to the media.

The only thing that will pull the Michigan Republican Party's collective chesnuts out of the fire at this point is electing someone else as national committee man next year. In fact, because the Michigan Republican Party's leadership has screwed this up so badly, their best option is probably to just let Dave Agema off his leash. His bigoted tirades didn't appear to cost his party anything at the polls last year, and there won't be the chance of that happening until after their convention. The more he talks, the more Republicans he makes angry. The more angry that other Republicans get by his conduct, the more likely that they will become energized and toss him out. Then, the party leadership can tell the media that the Republican Party has spoken with a firm voice that they will no tolerate a bigot within their ranks, and bank on our media having gotten so terrible that they will simply write all that down without asking why it took four years to get rid of an unpopular cancer.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Joe Munem maybe has a future in micro-blogging: Open thread

by: Eric B.

Sat Feb 21, 2015 at 11:40:34 AM EST

In private group correspondence a few years back, one of the participants referred to the Republican Party as "the enemy." It felt like a very strange thing to read, especially about another American. It might be that I genuinely regard hatred and perpetual anger as a waste of time and focus, but calling someone in the other political party "the enemy" is, well, overwraught. In fact, I have a hard time calling anyone "the enemy." It goes back to my last days in the service.

We launched missiles against Sudan and into Afghanistan, and the whole of Naval Operations Base, Norfolk went into a soft lockdown. On my ship, that meant standing up an extra watch: handing an E-5 or E-6 qualified in pistol use a kevlar vest, a 9mm pistol, and telling him to hang around near the quarterdeck. If any terrorists tried to shoot their way onto the ship, you were expected to hold them off until real security forces arrived. I got the impression that "expendable" was how they considered the person standing that watch. I stood it twice.

Fortunately, no terrorists ever tried to shoot their way past the quarterdeck of the USS Wasp. But it was instructive in how I define my enemies. Unless you are trying to shoot your way through me, probably I wouldn't define you as an enemy. I might say that you're an asshole, but that's a damn sight different.

Over the last few years, there've been a few members of "the enemy" that I've interacted with and gotten to be friendly with. It's especially the case for the number of them who've been highly critical of Goat Killer's frequent unpunished bigoted tirades. It's very easy to bash from without, but difficult to try to affect change from within, and for that these people have my respect.

One of those people is Joe Munem, who co-hosted the Two Joes podcast with Joe D., friend of Michigan Liberal (and husband to Teh Demas). He's doing a microblog of this weekend's Republlican Party convention, and it's a damned hoot. It's part performance art and part micro-journalism. Go read it.

For the rest of you, the thread ... she's open.

Discuss :: (28 Comments)

And now, a word from our sponsor

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 15:44:59 PM EST

Y'all might have heard that the Michigan Democratic Party is in the middle of a membership drive. 'Tis true. In fact, we'll be resetting the number of w's in the standard, "Hey, we ain't got no one sponsoring this website" posts, because we now have a sponsor -- the Michigan Democratic Party -- over it. See inset. Also, see the picture up and to the right? It'll be there for a whole month. Please see this link for more information.

For even more information, please see the Michigan Democratic Party's Facebook page, and check out their Twitter feed. And, of course, check back the next month for updates on what the party is up to. This space is theirs!

Once that month is up, of course, it means we'll be sponsor-less here. Anyone paying attention the last few lean months can imagine what it was like ... a website resorting to eating leather shoes and picking nits off its neighbors to stay nourished, melting ice from the front yard for water, huddling around the smoking cinders of its antique bed to stay warm. Let's make sure a return to those days doesn't happen. Get out ahead of them and sign up for a sponsorship.

Rates are $25 a day, $100 a week and $360 a month. For more information or if you want a little of what the Michigan Democrats are getting the next month, contact me at ebaerren@michiganliberal.com, via text message at 517/881-8008* or over social media.

*--Warning: The last day I worked, I left my phone charger plugged into the wall. When I woke up this morning, my phone was dead, dead, dead and couldn't be revived by plugging it into my laptop. So, until I get my charger back or find one to borrow, don't text or call, 'cause then you won't get me and I won't return your call, which will leave you feel sad and abandoned.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Finalists named to replace Derrick Quinney on Lansing city council

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 11:13:14 AM EST

From the LSJ.

Lansing City Council members on Wednesday settled on six finalists for an open seat on the panel.

Joseph Lee Yang, Joseph Graves Jr., Colin Maguire, Rico Neal, Dulles Copedge and Vincent Delgado are scheduled to be interviewed during a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday night.

Most of the chatter I've seen on this is that Delgado, who is a former reporter at the Lansing State Journal, has the inside track and is reportedly Virg Bernero's choice.

UPDATE by ScottyUrb: Delgado it is, as expected. 

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Schauer named to lead DLCC effort

by: Eric B.

Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 10:19:47 AM EST

From Ye Olde Inbox.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Executive Director Michael Sargeant announced that former U.S. Representative and state lawmaker Mark Schauer is joining the organization as Director of Advantage 2020 and its new related super PAC leading the effort to position Democrats nationwide for success in the next round of redistricting.

“We are excited to welcome Mark Schauer as Director of our effort to analyze and target state legislative races across the country through the 2020 election cycle as we launch our Advantage 2020 super PAC,” said Sargeant. “The coming round of congressional redistricting will shape the political landscape for the next decade, and Mark’s leadership of Advantage 2020 is crucial to empowering us to win the state legislative seats critical to that process.”

Submitted without comment.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Chad Selweski puzzles over why someone running unopposed won re-election

by: Eric B.

Tue Feb 17, 2015 at 10:35:34 AM EST

I'm actually pleased that Democrats re-elected Lon Johnson to the party chairmanship. It's not because I have any particular affinity for the guy. It's because it would have been very easy, considering what happened last fall, to have jettisoned him for someone different (or someone old) and gone back to doing all the same shit that ended in repeated election disasters. It's not a matter of rooting for a losing team. It's a matter of it just being painful to watch.

As bad as last November was, it wasn't nearly as bad as 2012 was, when despite Barack Obama winning re-election to the presidency, Michigan Democrats won jack shit. Democrats and their "allies in labor*" dumped all their money into dumb ballot proposals that all went down in flames because the state's Very Serious Person's Union decided that changing the constitution was the worst, most horrible thing that anyone could ever imagine doing. (The same Very Serious Persons then tut-tutted the rushing of Right to Work through our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect, something else anyone capable of fogging a mirror knew was going to happen, as an uncivil usurpation of the democratic process**.) Rather than toss the guy out on his ear and then go back to failing in the same, old ways, they opted to risk failing in new, exciting ways before possibly finding a way to win***.

Not only did they re-elect Johnson to the party chairmanship, no one came forward to challenge him, which apparently has confused Chad Selweski.

Rookie Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson somehow re-captured the crown over the weekend at the state convention in Detroit even as the grumbling among the party faithful that spilled out on election night in November continued right into the Dems’ biennial confab.

Let's be frank here. The real problem isn't Lon Johnson. The real problem are the party faithful. Well, not the party faithful, but the people operating behind the scenes. These are the people who threw the 2010 gubernatorial election by hurling America's Shoutiest Mayor at the state because they didn't want Andy Dillon to get the nomination and have any juice in remaking the party. They didn't do it because they thought Virg had the best shot at winning. They did it to protect their perch as Democratic Party insiders.

The risk of elevating Johnson over Mark Brewer was that in doing so, you weren't really going to the root of the problem. As obsolete as the party had become under Brewer, he wasn't the real problem. Getting rid of him without also marginalizing the people behind the scenes risked changing very little.

Since the election, there's been second guessing on veering away from tried and true failures and towards stuff that it new. People have said that if they'd only put the minimum wage on the ballot, Mark Schauer would have won, or that if they'd have knocked doors instead of created the absentee ballot app, Mark Schauer would have won.

Bullshit. Mark Schauer was never going to win that race. It's not because the MDP did this and didn't do that, or because they didn't have their ballot question on (when will this zombie -- after failing over and over ... Bush in 2004 with same-sex; MDP to win *anything* in 2012 -- finally stop shambling forward?). I hate to, again, say this: Poll after poll from Detroit showed that while bankruptcy and emergency management are reliable red meat for Democrats and progressive activists, regular people liked the way the governor managed Detroit. The fact that Schauer came within four points is nothing short of a miracle (also, despite the legislative losses in a Republican year, they came within 700 votes of beating the guy who is now House Speaker).

*--Code for, "The people who run the Democratic Party behind the scenes, but we can't say that because we can't find anyone to go on record as saying it even though anyone capable of fogging a mirror knows it to be true".

**--Very Serious Persons, as we know, pride themselves on "civility in politics" to the point where they are ineffective and mostly just useless.

***--Here, we have to again note that mid-term elections like last November are more than anything a referendum on the sitting president, and the current one is both a Democrat and of dark skin pigmentation, so we knew the unhinged, angry Tea Party base would turn out, and that enthusiasm for Democrats -- as it was in 2010 -- would be tempered.

Discuss :: (60 Comments)

Michigan Radio on Gretchen Driskell's early "I'm in" announcement

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 14:44:48 PM EST

Michigan Radio, on why Gretchen Driskell's announcement that she's running for Congress is not a big deal.

With 631 days to go until Election 2016, some political watchers were surprised at how early the former Saline mayor announced her campaign to unseat Republican Tim Walberg in Michigan’s 7th Congressional district. In fact, it’s only been a month since Driskell was sworn in for her second term in Lansing as a state Representative.

The early announcement has some outraged (outraged, we say!); it’s got talking heads bemoaning the fact that the 2016 campaign season is already underway.

Certainly there is truth in the fact that election cycles in modern times continue to begin earlier and earlier but, fear not, this is not the signal of the beginning of the campaign season. This is, rather, the beginning of the fundraising season, unseen and unheard by most voters.

Also, let's be honest about something. Michigan's finest legal mind, we assume, is already angling for his party's nomination to run for governor. I mean, we all assume it because a) he's been tossing red meat to his party's base (a base that claims to hate Establishment Republicans even as Bill Schuette is as Establishment as they come), and b) he hasn't done an honest day's work since the early 80s. In fact, most of us assume that to some degree every lawmaker is running for some new office right now based on what they are doing right now. For people who aren't term limited out of office, we all assume that they are running for re-election basically all the time. If Driskell weren't running for Congress, we'd all assume that she was already planning a re-election campaign for her final term in the House.

The only thing that Driskell is guilty of in this regard is being upfront and honest with the public about her intentions. She's trampled the sensitivities of people who believe there are actual rules to this game, certainly, but who cares?

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

And now, a word from our ... a, nuts

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 16, 2015 at 11:36:27 AM EST

Dagnabit it. I finished up that freelance assignment last week, and sometime during the drunken stupor I fell into to celebrate, the v busted through the gate to the pen that I keep the headlines in. Now, in the middle of this dad blamed cold, I've got to go out and repair that stupid thing. Plus, I've got to shell out money for the materials to patch it together until I can do a total makeover once the spring thaw arrives.

That's why I'm asking for your help today. You can help me put this thing back together by sponsoring this website. The more that I get in sponsorship money, the stronger the materials I can repair the pen and the better I can keep the headlines properly corralled. Plus, I can go out and get some proper w's so I don't have to rely on v's, which tend to be more skittish and more prone to stampede.

How do you sponsor? Contact me at ebaerren@michiganliberal.com, or by text message at 57/881-8008, or over social media. There's also a link off to the left to just go ahead and dump money into the MichLib Paypal thingy (if it doesn't work, don't be surprised, but contact me if you still want to help, because I can make magic).

Rates are $25 for a day, $100 for a week, or $360 for a month.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Burn in Hell, all of you: Open thread

by: Eric B.

Sat Feb 14, 2015 at 11:04:49 AM EST

Today is February 14, which means that most of you are right now scrambling to make it look like you remembered that you celebrate Valentine's Day. Last year, around this time, I decided that it's a stupid holiday and should be replaced with something better, so I started Second Halloween. My next-door neighbor occasionally brings me eggs his wife gets from a co-worker, and when he did it last year, the plastic Meijer bag he brought them in had "Burn in Hell" written on it. I'm not sure if that was already the official Second Halloween greeting, or if it was part of an ongoing work of jackass performance art that last summer embroiled the entire neighborhood, but it cemented "Burn in Hell" as the official greeting of Second Halloween. I haven't figured out what other traditions Second Halloween encompasses (my son has forbidden me from mooning people as they walk past, however), but I just talked my neighbor into bringing over eggs later today. So that might be a Second Halloween thing, although to be honest I just need more eggs because I ran out this morning, am too lazy to go to the store to get more, and have half an avocado leftover from dinner last night and want one of those "eggs baked into an avocado half" things for breakfast tomorrow (I'm thinking that this might be a good thing to try that Vulcan's Fire salt I was talking about the other week). So maybe it's coincidental.

Anyway ... Burn in Hell. All of you. Please feel to spread the Second Halloween cheer today. Especially with strangers, loved ones you haven't seen in a long, long time, and -- naturally -- your spouse or significant other.

Oh yeah, I was told that at the Democratic Party convention this morning that the MDP Progressive Bloggers Caucus voted itself out of existence and to rejoin the Progressive Caucus. I don't know what any of that means, mostly because I'm terrible at joining clubs and even more terrible at being a member of clubs, but it seems vaguely like a People's Front of Judea thing. I might be wrong on that last bit.

Beyond that, this thread is open for business. And giving each other the business.

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