There will likely be a lot of arm-chair quarterbacking and posts about the data over the next few weeks from people far more qualified than I so pay attention to those folks. If you're looking for a "quick and dirty" summary of election results here in Mid-Michigan with a dose of snark... read on.
Michigan State University Trustees (aka "Cow College"): Looks like Republican Melanie Foster and Democrat Joel Ferguson will be returning to rule over our land grant university. Not quite all of the results are in so this isn't official-official but it's pretty likely that MSU will have the status quo.
UPDATE: MLive is calling it for Ferguson and Mosallem (another Dem).
54A District Court: Hugh Clarke, Jr. ran unopposed after a pretty contentious process to get him on the bench in the first place.
54B District Court: For the first time in my life, I didn't vote for Mark Meadows. I cast my ballot for Andrea Larkin and she won. (Clearly, there's a connection.) I like and respect Mark but Andrea ran the better campaign. I think after so many years of winning everything (City Council, Mayor, the House) with 70%+ of the vote, he just didn't put much into the race. So maybe people I know were SHOCKED by this outcome.
Well kids, it's just a few short months until the General Election so fasten your seatbelts and prepare for an onslaught of robocalls. (P.S. A certain candidate in *cough*East Lansing*cough* may have actually lost the election because of an aggressive robocalling campaign. I got 6 calls in 2 hours in which I was exhorted to vote for a particular candidate because of our mutual gender.)
In any case, and since Eric B. is on vacation, here's a quick round up of races that I found interesting. If you would like to see the unofficial summary of the Primary election, check out the Secretary of OMGYOUMIGHTNOTBEACITIZENSOIDISOBEYEDMYBOSS State's website.
If you are anywhere near Southwest Michigan this Saturday, come join us for the O’Brien for Congress Announcement Tour.
Mike O’Brien is our Democratic candidate to take on Fred Upton in the Sixth District this fall — or, if fate and the Republican primary voters decree, Jack Hoogendyk.
Mike O’Brien of Douglas, Michigan, will announce his candidacy for Michigan’s Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives in a series of events to be held in every county of the District on Saturday, April 21.
There will be a rally in Kalamazoo at Democratic Party Headquarters, 3254 S Westnedge Ave., from 10 to 11:30 AM. Speeches from local candidates, Mark Bernstein, candidate for U of M Board of Regents, and 60th District Rep. Sean McCann. Julie Fletcher, wife of late Congressman Howard Wolpe, will introduce Mike.
Mike O’Brien is a former Marine, who enlisted twenty-eight years ago, about the time that Congressman Fred Upton was becoming part of the entrenched Washington establishment.
I felt I had a debt to repay, and that service to others in the defense of our nation was a noble calling. I rose through the ranks, and served with pride and distinction as a Reconnaissance Marine, always mindful of the honor of serving one’s nation.
After the Marines, Mike put himself through college (Washington University) while working full time.
As the next Congressional fight over payroll tax extensions and unemployment benefits and pipelines gets set up in the next few weeks for either its final chapter or to be kicked down the road a bit farther, one or the other, you're going to hear a lot from our Republican friends about how much they value work and workers; most especially, they'll tell you, they value American jobs for American workers.
After all, they'll say, creating American jobs is the most important thing of all.
But if we were to look back over just the last few months, some would tell us, we could quickly find examples of how Republicans promote ideas that don't seem to value work or workers at all, much less American jobs.
Well as it turns out, "some" seem to be right; to illustrate one of those examples we'll look back a month or two or three to a time some Republicans might wish was long, long, ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
I got a weird little story about my friend Blitz Krieger to bring to you today.
He's had a crazy car problem, he has, and over the past few months he thought he had found a solution - in fact, he thought he had found the solution of his dreams - but in the end, he's discovered that the things you dream about often don't go according to plan.
The way it's worked out for him so far, it's been a lot of anticipation followed by a sudden wave of frustration, but I feel like he's a lot better off having his particular problem with his car...because if he'd had cancer instead, he'd surely be dead by now.
You know what the problem is with America?
The poor don't get just how great they have it.
I've been hearing this a lot lately; the basic thrust of the discussion is that all those cars, TVs, DVD players, refrigerators, and stoves that have found their way into the homes of the economic underclass are proof there's really no such thing as "poor" in America.
If they were truly poor, the argument goes, well...think recycled corn.
And if the poor want things to get better, let 'em pull themselves up by their own bootstraps - and if they can't, then let 'em rot, because that's the best thing for the economy.
But I don't buy all that, and by the time we're done today, I hope to have given you a whole new perspective on how jobs get created in this country.
When last we met, it was to discuss a Big Idea that the Obama Administration might apply to get some job creation going, despite a difficult Congress; the Big Idea was to look at the "Buy American" provisions that exist in our laws, regulations, and Executive Orders and see if we could practice a bit of "jobs arbitrage" by not just meeting the "Made in USA" requirements when governments across this country make purchases, but exceeding them.
(As it stands today, pretty much any "good or service" with more than 50% Made in USA content qualifies as a Made in USA purchase, even if 49% of the "good or service" comes from somewhere else).
At the time, I told you that if all went well we could look forward to comments from both Labor and the Administration as to the practicality of the Big Idea, and as it turns out I have comments for you that hit close to that mark - and a bit more besides:
On Saturday I just happened to bump into Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09); in the course of that conversation I told him what we're doing here, and he wanted to offer a few thoughts of his own...and when you put all that together, I think we're going to have a lot to talk about.
We gotta grow some jobs, and that's a fact, and we probably aren't going to be able to do it with big ol' jobs programs funded by the Federal Government, what with today's politics and all, and that means if this Administration wants to stay in the jobs game they're going to have to find some smaller and more creative ways to do it.
They are also going to have to come up with ideas that are pretty much "bulletproof", meaning that they are so hard to object to that even Allen West and Louie Gohmert will not want to be on record saying "no no no!"; alternatively, solutions that work around the legislative process entirely could represent the other form of "bulletproof-ery".
Well, I have one of those "maybe bulletproof" ideas for you today, and it has to do with how "Made in USA" the things are that our Government buys.
It was just a couple of nights ago that Keith Olbermann was challenging us, in one of his "Special Comments", to rise up in the streets and take back this country.
He pointed out that the only way those on the left were going to be able to fight against those who are looking to get all "Tea Party" is to be as angry and as organized and as aggressive as the Tea Party community, and if we're smart, we'll take him up on that challenge.
But if you really want to push "professional" Democrats to the left, most especially this President, and you want to do it in time to impact the '12 cycle, the only way to do it is to run a candidate in primary contests that either moves the conversation your way...or leaves you with a surprising new Candidate.
And right here, right now, we actually have a chance to do exactly that - and that's why, in today's discussion, I'm going to challenge Olbermann right back.
I have not been talking about the insanity around the debt ceiling and debt and deficit and the efforts of Republicans to drive us all off the cliff, but I am today - and I'm going to do it by allowing you to grab ahold of this problem and see for yourself just how unbelievably bad this manufactured crisis is going to be.
You will hear a lot of conversation about the consequences from others; today, however, you are going to get the chance to be both the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, and you will get to decide for yourself exactly what bills the Federal Government should and should not pay as the cash runs out if a deal is not made by the time borrowing authority runs out.
At that point you'll be able to see what's coming for yourself - and once you do, you won't need me to tell you what ugly is going to look like.
(FNS - Washington, New Germany, April 17, 1947) America's new Führer, Adolf Hitler, announced today that his official War History would in fact acknowledge that one of the biggest contributing factors to the defeat of the Allies was the insistence of the former United States of America on sticking to its Balanced Budget Amendment, which left them unable to fund the wartime conversion of the US economy for the benefit of the Alliance.
"All those ideas Mr. Roosevelt spoke of", said Hitler, "Lend-Lease, modular shipbuilding, War Bonds, secret weapons...in the end, all of them were just words, since the Americans' Congress was never willing to allow the country to fully fund its war effort."
I know better than to go drinking on Sundays, but it's just been one of those weeks, and I figured I'd grab a few beers, no big deal, and then head hone and get some real work done.
Of course, the reason I don't drink on Sundays is because that's when Satan likes to go hang out at my favorite bar - and to be real honest with you, lately Satan's getting to be a real drag to hang out with once he gets drinking.
I mean, it's depressing: he's always talking about how he gets blamed for the economy, even though he claims he has no control over Wall Street, and atheism is a bit of a sore subject - and he's forever complaining about how all his best customers have been outsourcing more and more work to Varsavarti.
But if you think all that's a drag to have to deal with...you should hear him complain about Republican Presidential Politics.
Diligent reporter that I am, I got up Thursday morning to do a bit of fishing for a story, and as so often happens, I've caught something a bit unexpected.
Now what I have for you today starts out as a bit of insider information that came to me on background-but it turns into a chance for those of us who support Social Security to very much get in the faces of our members of Congress, for two whole weeks.
And to make it even better, I'm going to throw out a few direct action ideas "for your consideration" (as they say in Hollywood during Awards Season) that would absolutely make good street actions and YouTube videos, both at the same time...and even more importantly, we'll absolutely make some great Spring Break fun.
In our efforts to form a more perfect Union we look to the Constitution for guidance for how we might shape the form and function of Government; many who seek to interpret that document try to do so by following what they believe is The Original Intent Of The Founders.
Some among us have managed to turn their certainty into something that approaches a reverential calling, and you need look no further than the Supreme Court to find such notables as Cardinals Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia providing "liturgical foundation" to the adherents of the point of view that the Constitution is like The Bible: that it's somehow immutable, set in stone, and, if we would only listen to the right experts, easily interpreted.
But what if that absolutist point of view is absolutely wrong?
What if the Original Intent Of The Founders, that summer in Philadelphia...was simply to get something passed out of the Constitutional Convention, and the only way that could happen was to leave a lot of the really tough decisions to the future?
What if The Real Original Intent...was that we work it out for ourselves as we go along?
So it's Day 3 of my fake campaign for Congress, and we've run into our first obstacle
The Fake Campaign, as you may recall, is fake headed for Wisconsin, to show solidarity, and we've fake hitched a ride on a delivery truck headed for Rush Limbaugh's Florida broadcasting studios-but we fake found ourselves caught up in the all-too-real Giant Grip Of Winter that has seized the Midwest over the past week.
We're back on the road now, but we were stuck for darn near a half-day there at Wall...and if you know anything about South Dakota, you know there are really only two things to do in the City of Wall: you can shuffle back and forth between Gold Diggers and the Badlands Bar, partaking of numerous intoxicating liquors along the way...or you can head on into Wall Drug (the same one that's on all those bumper stickers and signs) and partake of the finest display of Giant Jackalopia on the planet.
The Campaign, naturally, chose Jackalopia-and that's why today's Manifesto is all about the fake impromptu 5-cent-coffee-fueled Social Security Town Hall that we held in the Wall Drug Mall for several hours while we waited for I-90 to reopen.
We have spent the past two years watching as insanity has gripped Congress, and even more so with Republicans now running the House.
We have a wavering President, far too many feckless Democrats, and Republicans that have decided to dive headfirst into total "insane mode" in a full-blown effort to destroy this country just as fast as possible.
To give but one example, in my own District, WA-08, we are represented by the absolutely useless Republican Dave Reichert, whose best-known legislative achievement is that he has virtually no record of any legislative achievement whatever.
Now we've had a very interesting relationship, you and I, over these past few years; in my efforts to "bring you the story" I've been a fake political consultant, a fake lobbyist, even a fake historian...and now, I think it's time to try to bring our relationship to a new level.
And that's why, America, I'm announcing my fake candidacy for Congress.
We are now about two weeks away from the November election in Washington State, and one item on the ballot that has national attention is Referendum 71, the so-called “everything but marriage” proposal that would give same-sex couples more rights and protections than they have today.
There has been a lot of conversation about whether it will or won’t pass—and a lot of conversation about whether it should pass.
I hope it does, and if you live here I encourage you to vote “yes” November 3rd.
But that said, you may not be aware that Washington has an electoral system in transition, and that as a result of the transition Washington has some idiosyncrasies that will make forecasting the results a bit tougher, and determining the results a bit slower.
We’ll talk about that today, and by the time we’re done you should have an appreciation of the odd way in which things can work out—and that, absent a landslide, we aren’t likely to know the results on Election Day.