Here are some of the items catching The Curmudgeon's eye on his Macbook Air today...
RESIDENTS: ENBRIDGE HASN'T LIVED UP TO PROMISES TO CLEAN UP PROPERTY
|Gillis Benedict/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus|
They operate an aging pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac. What could go wrong with that?
They have pipelines all across Michigan, they use eminent domain to seize the use of private lands, and generally operate in their own my-way-or-the-highway world.
Now, people like Oceola Township resident Dennis Moody (pictured above) say the good folks at Enbridge make a mess, promise to clean it up, and then renege.
GOP'S OBAMACARE NIGHTMARE IS COMING TRUE: IT'S WORKING
More importantly, there are 20-million additional people across our country with healthcare coverage, and millions more whose coverage has been improved because of the minimum coverages required by the ACA.
Conservative columnist Bill Kristol, whose predictions on things like the Iraq War have been laughably bad, was much more precient on the healthcare issue. He wrote a memo way back in 1993 (in the days of HillaryCare) predicting that, if enacted, it would be political popular and paint Democrats as "the generous protector of middle-class interests" to the detriment of these mean Republicans.
Even then, conservatives fear was that it would work.
THE POLITICS OF DEBATING: WHY MICHIGAN'S POLITICAL DYSFUNCTION CONTINUES TO MAKE YOU WORK HARDER
The Curmudgeon's friend (and fellow former radio talker) Tony Trupiano has joined the team at the very excellent Eclectablog (a must read for anyone who wants to know more about Michigan politics). His debut post is an in-depth analysis of the two folks The Curmudgeon labeled "COWARDS" for dodging debates.
MONEY TALKS IN THE SHADOWS: HOW LAWMAKERS, LOBBYISTS QUIETLY BYPASS STATE'S MURKY POLITICAL SPENDING RULES
Crain's Chris Gautz provides some details to a meme we know is true: the current lack of transparency in campaign funding is an open invitation to corruption in government. At best, it leaves the appearance of influence buying.
Ever since the United States Supreme Court decided 1) money = speech, and 2) corporations = people the floodgates have opened wide. Instead of debates we get massive profits for TV stations as candidates and their supporters lay waste to truthful discussion of issues, focusing instead on lies, half-lies and deceptions.
Steve Linder, a partner in the communications company Sterling Corporation (which spends those secret contributions on behalf of numerous Republican candidates), disagrees with the idea that secretly giving huge amounts of money to politicians' campaigns can be a bad thing.
"You can't demonstrate a correlation," Linder told Crain's. "Where's the corruption?"
BRIAN DICKERSON: HOW THE TEA PARTY IS MUDDYING MICHIGAN'S ROAD DEBATE
You may think our roads are in sad shape, but you are misguided ... according to tea party state Sen. Patrick Colbeck. He thinks higher taxes are a greater threat to Michigan's well-being than our crappy roads and ready-to-collapse bridges.
- Thanks to gerrymandering, combined with a made-up rule that the majority of the majority party must agree before a bill is passed in the Senate, extremists in the tea party movement have veto power over damned near anything, like increasing the money available to fix roads and bridges
- building quality public education making sure every American has access to affordable healthcare
To fix our system, we need to begin by returning to a representative democracy. That's a democracy where the Legislature is representative of the electorate. Thanks to partisan mapmaking in the 2011 legislative session, we have a right-wing legislature in a state that leans a little left of center (Democrats got more votes than Republicans for both the Legislature and members of Congress, but Republicans elected more candidates).
That ain't right.