Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Already? Links

While the Curmudgeon gets ready for an MSU-less football weekend, here are some of the goodies on the internet catching his eye:

Whitmer knows, of course, that Land is intellectually incapable of debating Gary Peters and no campaign adviser in his right mind would allow her in the same city as Peters. But it's still fun reminding folks that the would-be member of the world's most prestigious debating society is afraid to debate. She also sticks it to Rick Snyder for refusing to debate Mark Schauer.

Apparently their reasoning is "Obama opposes an ebola outbreak, so therefore we're for it." Of only kind-of against it, as they cut the administration's request for fighting the ebola outbreak by more than half. 
A spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee (that's Paul Ryan's committee) would not confirm the cuts, saying they are still working on the bill.
Reuters reports that Ebola has already killed 2,300 people, with as many as 200 deaths in a single day. Those numbers do not include updated figures from the worst-impacted country, Liberia. A spokesperson for the World Health Organization says accurate data is difficult to compile, and suspects the actual toll is under-estimated.

Which is probably why he doesn't want to debate. You can say anything you want in a paid TV ad and most people won't see the fact-check. In a debate, your opponent can call "Liar, liar pants on fire" right away.
The interesting omission (not mentioned by the Freep): Snyder rightly says "budget battles were an annual embarrassing nightmare". Correct. He forgets to mention that the Senate was controlled by Mike Bishop and the Republicans who delighted in creating nightmares for Jennifer Granholm. Snyder, on the other hand, has had trouble getting his budget proposals through a Legislature controlled by his own party.

One of the constant right-wing memes is that bad old Democrats love to tax-and-spend, tax-and-spend. While Democrats have a history of supporting investing in ourselves (quality schools, affordable higher education, roads that don't destroy your car etc.) they don't have a history of raising taxes.
The fact is that Michigan's taxes have gone down pretty consistently over the last quarter-century. Bridge Magazine, published by The Center for Michigan, reports:
"In 1977, Michigan total state and local taxes amounted to 10.96 percent of all the personal income earned by state residents. In 2007, those total Michigan taxes amounted to 10.78 percent of personal income. By 2011, those total Michigan taxes amounted to 10.08 percent of personal income. In other words, that’s an effective average overall tax rate decrease of 8 percent over the past generation and 6.5 percent in the four years between 2007 and 2011."
Another way to measure taxes is comparing taxes collected per capita. "Since 1977, Michigan has the lowest growth in tax revenue per capita in the country...".
The full report is a fact-filled refutation of just about everything you hear from the tea party folks about taxation in the Pleasant Peninsulas.
In part II of the report, the article quotes the far-right economic agenda of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The Mackinac Center's Michael LaFaive quotes studies by the Tax Foundation to back up his cut-taxes-on-everything policy agenda.
Effectively he is backing up his ideas by quoting his own bosses: both the Mackinac Center and Tax Foundation are part of the Koch brothers underground political machine (the chairman of the Tax Foundation is a Koch employee, and the Mackinac Center is part of the Koch-funded State Policy Network).
That's how the Kochs work. They create multiple layers to promote the same policies, and then cite each other as "independent" proof of their ideas.

Missouri's GOP legislature has overridden Governor Jay Nixon's veto to impose a three-day waiting period before women can seek a specific medical procedure: an abortion (a procedure that is a constitutionally guaranteed right). As usual with the bills pushed through by Right to Life fanatics, there isn't even an exception for cases of rape and incest.
The Curmudgeon predicts with sad confidence that extreme anti-choice legislation will be jammed through the Michigan Legislature following the November election and signed by Governor Snyder -- even though it isn't on his agenda.

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