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A data-driven nerd no more

by: Eric B.

Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 19:59:36 PM EST

So, this is going to be a difficult post. I've given benevolent overlord Rick Michigan a lot of slack the last two years, because I generally prefer his no-bullshit approach to doing things over his predecessor. Up until today, things had gotten worse under his watch, but they at least maintained the same arc that they had under Jennifer Granholm, when the federal government was in the hands of Republicans. Things were just getting worse all the way around for regular people.

And then there was today. Perhaps the worst betrayal he committed was to his own self-image as a data-driven person. A lot of the policy he's promoted has in fact run counter the actual available data, such as the claim that repealing the item pricing law would lower shelf prices on consumer goods and that reducing the tax burden for business owners would create jobs. Today, however, he's ramrodded through the state Legislature a bunch of really stupid, petty and vindictive legislation that has been tried out elsewhere and doesn't produce the results that supporters claim it will. They aren't just moving the Right to Work bills. They're also moving anti-abortion legislation.

So, to lay it out for you ... they introduce huge, earth-shifting pieces of legislation one day, and run them through both chambers in less than 24 hours without committee hearings or testimony from the public. This is not a data driven process. This is a process that was pre-determined. Also, the data says that Right to Work will either do nothing to boost the state's economy, or will create a drag on it by reducing take home pay of the state's biggest spenders ... the working class.

A recall of the governor is still not the way to handle this. Recalls of individual legislators is the way to handle it. So is refusing to horse trade votes, and finding a candidate who can make Rick Michigan a one-term benevolent overlord.

Update! ... I've never before stolen content from Facebook, but this status update from David Holtz is the most damned eloquent thing I've read at all today.

What we have seen today in Michigan is democracy mangled and bent by authoritarians in service of extremists. These now include a majority of Michigan Chamber of Commerce members who, paraphrasing one columnist, believe greed is good and supported so-called 'right-to-work' despite solid evidence that it will hurt their customers. No hearings, no testimony, no public input, locked doors and mace. This is what democracy looks like today in Michigan.

Stephen Henderson has a pretty good column about this, also. His point, summed up ... the nerd t'weren't driven by data on this.

Eric B. :: A data-driven nerd no more
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I agree totally that a recall of Snyder should be off the table. That would just be a waste of resources that should be saved for the big match in '14. Recalls of some carefully chosen Senators, however, could send a message.

Any ideas on a good candidate for Gov in '14? Whitmer?

Agree: no recall of Snyder but target select Senators
We should focus laser-like on 2014.  Period.  If we learned anything in 2012 it should be that when it comes to elections stick with the basics and throw the bums out. It won't be easy; it's an off-year and we won't have the Obama campaign going for us.  And god knows we need to get a real grassroots operation going in the Democratic Party.  Maybe today will be the wake-up call.  

"we need to get a real grassroots operation going in the Democratic Party"

Is anyone from the Obama campaign giving tutorials on grassroots organizing, voter tracking, and GOTV? Because the MDP sure needs the lessons.

For that matter, they could learn some lessons from the marriage equality folks in ME, MD, MN, and WA. Oh wait, I forgot. That's just a bunch of silly queens. Nothing to learn from them either...

[ Parent ]
The biggest gifts OFA could give us are the Dashboard and Mobile App
If we have the tools used so successfully in 2012, we have a great start on a strong 2014.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
Oh sh%t!  Stephen used "balderdash".  It's on, now. lol

No, but seriously, this is a dark day in Michigan, and this is yet another example if people were still confused that you give a Republican inch and he'll take a mile.  It's why there should be no more cooperation; it's time for war.  It was always time for war, because one was being waged both behind the scenes and out in the open, but they finally blew the top off.  I hope some of you learned your lessons.

The tea party has taken over utterly; they do no understand the word "no", and that makes them dangerous.  There is no such thing as a benevolent overlord when he or she is beholden to a party that showed us that they'd rather crash the nation's finances into a wall that accept a right-wing offer a Democratic president gave them to head of catastrophe.

Snyder has never been a tough nerd.  And the tea party just bent him over and went to town.

The mask is off Snyder
At least the average voter won't have any illusion of Snyder being a "honest broker" between Democrats and Republicans. He's exposed himself fully for the political operative that he  has been since he was elected. First step should be a ballot measure to undo any of the RTW measures that are going to be passed. The Republicans will be able to block efforts to repeal these laws but it doesn't stop an initiative process to replace what the Republicans will pass. Next, the Democrats need to start recruiting top tier candidates especially for the Senate races up in 2014. We've seen how much destruction a Republican majority can do and who's to say that they won't continue that effort over the next 2 years?  

The token appropriation prevents overturning RTW with a referendum
But the rest of your statement is spot-on.

The other thing we'll need are new revenue streams, now that unions are going to lose about a third of their operating funds by early 2014.

Perhaps an overtly political version of Kickstarter or Indie-Go-Go? I mean, who's going to crack down...the impotent FEC? Courts hamstrung by Citizens United?

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
Overturning RTW
You're right about the bar to referendum through the appropriation amount. That's why I suggested than an initiative effort should be undertaken as soon as possible that would have language to undo what the legislature has passed. That would put the issue back to the ballot as soon as possible.  

[ Parent ]
Did anyone think
they wouldn't do this? Or any of the other extremist items still on the agenda? Snyder has never been anything but a tool of the tea party. They raised taxes on retirees and the working class, and the personal property tax is going away, and there will be little in the way of replacement revenue for municipalities already reeling from the reduction in state aid. More EFM's are coming to a town near you. They're attacking abortion coverage in the exchanges, allowing health care workers to cite "moral objection" as a reason to not do their jobs, and ramming through a replacement for the EFM law that was struck down by voters. Any bets on what they go after next? Worker's comp? Medical marijuana? Morning after pill?  

Any bets on what they go after next? Worker's comp? Medical marijuana? Morning after pill?

With two whole weeks left in the lame duck, all of the above and more are possible.

Gotta give credit: These ****ers are organized, brutally efficient and have proven to be masters of "shock and awe" tactics -- passing so many offensive bills in so little time that the opposition can't even decide WHAT to fight, let alone mobilize to stop the bills.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

[ Parent ]
But it also demonstrates that they knew these issues were toxic. Otherwise, they could have done them anytime in the past 2 years. But they wanted to wait until after the election when they could force these issues without having to worry how it would affect them politically.  

[ Parent ]

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