Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Link Letter

This post is updated throughout the day. Don't miss one exciting link: check back often!
Catching the Curmudgeon's eye as we he recovers from the "we're back" traffic in East Lansing...

FEDS: U.S. AUTO PRODUCTION RATE HIGHEST SINCE 2002
Wondering why Michigan has added 300,000 jobs since the Bush recession? Look no further than the auto industry. By the way - the Governor of Michigan has little or nothing to do with how many cars get built and sold around the world. Jennifer Granholm didn't cause the disaster at GM, and Rick Snyder didn't save GM. Michigan's "comeback" was started by the FEDERAL action to save GM and Chrysler. Thank you President Obama for taking what, at the time, was unpopular but decisive action to save America's most important manufacturing industry...and save Michigan's economy.



MICHIGAN DEMOCRACY ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST
Michigan Constitution - Section 9
The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum...


Once again, the Legislature has voted to circumvent the constitutional right of Michigan voters to have a referendum. The new system: you collect the signatures, and if we don't like your position we'll figure out how to make your petitions invalid.
This time the issue was wolf hunting. In the past, the Legislature has thumbed its collective nose at voters on the issues of Emergency Fiscal Managers, the minimum wage, rape insurance and an earlier wolf-hunting petition.
This band of Republicans looks on the state's Constitution as a list of suggestions, not the ultimate law of the state.

UPDATE: MICHIGAN WOLF HUNTING MAY WAIT UNTIL 2015 WHILE OPPONENTS PREPARE LEGAL CHALLENGE TO NEW LAW

NEW NONPROFIT AIMS TO BOOST MICHIGAN WOMEN'S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE
While "Silent Terri" Lynn Land sips coffee and smiles smugly, term-limited Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer will actually do something in support of women's health care.
The East Lansing mom will be the face of an organization educating women on the impact of public policy on their own bodies. As a non-profit they won't endorse candidates, but you can be sure the GOP will (continue to) attack Whitmer for standing up for the half of our population that gives birth.
The tipping point for Whitmer was the passage of the infamous "rape insurance" law which forces women to buy an insurance rider (often unavailable) to have coverage for terminating pregnancies resulting from rape and incest.

MDOT: PIECEMEAL APPROACH TO ROADS KEY FLOOD FACTOR IN DETROIT
Thanks, Legislature, for only passing a half-assed response to fixing the worst roads in America. Yes, it will mean raising taxes and we know that tax increases are a capital crime in tea-party-world.
According to MDOT 58% of the pumps used to remove flood water from roads are in poor condition.
You'd think even the pea-brains in the tea party would understand that increasing taxes to fix our transportation system is far less expensive than dealing with the damage resulting from a broken system.

ONE DEMOCRAT'S GAMBLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Gary Peters is following in the tradition set by Senators Phil Hart and Carl Levin: telling the truth regardless of short-term political consequences. Hart (so beloved one of the two Senate Office Buildings is named in his honor) and Levin (winner of six elections) understood that voters will respect and trust a Senator who tells the truth.
Peters understands it, too. He is willing to take on the massively wealthy fossil-fuel industries to speak truth about our climate. Politico.com seems somewhat nonplussed by the concept of treating voters like adults.
And it's interesting to note that "Silent Terri" was unavailable to talk with Politico about the campaign. She apparently won't talk with anyone who isn't already on the Koch brothers' payroll.

THE FABRIC OF OUR STATE
In a related article, Pulitzer Prize winning journalism Eric Freedman speculates on the role of environmental issues in the fall campaign. He sees signs, reflected in community newspapers, that environmental issues ranging from mining, the Enbridge oil mess and Asian carp to transportation, will play a role in November's vote.

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