Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Thread: On the Internet

The Curmudgeon is considering a new policy that anyone who disagrees with him will no longer be allowed to read this blog, limiting readership to undecided blog-readers and people who already like him.
Along The Tubes of the Internets this autumnal Tuesday:

@OneCowardlyNerd faces off with audience of supporters ... well, mostly supporters
Bruce Fealk (c), whose ticket to NerdPalooza was cancelled,
stood outside the WMU auditorium in hopes of scoring a
ticket from a scalper
Despite their best efforts to fill their massive 150-person audience with sycophants, campaign contributors and The Accountant's next-door-neighbors, a couple of non-believers slipped into Rick Snyder's first "town hall" campaign rally in Kalamazoo. The first question out of the chute was about the Governor's secret slush fund which, we assume, was filled by corporate checks but we'll never know. Another questioner made it clear the Snyder flip-flop on screwing union members with "right to work for less" legislation showed he can't be trusted.
And the Free Press story notes that Snyder was called out for his disingenuous claims of more money for school kids:
Craig Herschleb, a Kalamazoo school board member who works in the pharmaceutical industry, attended the event but said he was disappointed he didn't get to ask his question: "Are public school children better off in their school in 2014 than they were in 2010?" Herschleb believes the answer is 'no' ...
(The Curmudgeon is guessing the campaign staffer charged with planting questions will get a sharp scolding from The Accountant, but any fine levied will be rescinded.)
Outside the hall, protesters asked questions that actually were worthy of answers on things like the pension tax, cuts to the classroom and his administrations growing list of scandals.

Snyder Lies During First Campaign Rally (a.k.a. 'Town Hall')
According to the Free Press coverage of the NerdPalooza, Snyder claimed his position on right-to-work has never changed.
Snyder said he supported the change before he became Governor...
But before he became Governor, he actually said something else.
Here's the story from mLive.com, September 6, 2010 in a story headlined with the unfortunately wrong prediction of "Right-to-work policy is unlikely to happen in Michigan."
"He thinks it would be just too divisive at a time when we need to bring labor and management together to try to work on these issues," (campaign spokesman Bill) Nowling said. Nor does Snyder favor any legislative effort to make Michigan a right-to-work state, he said.

Incumbent governors fear wipeout
Malloy, Snyder Corbett Quinn, Brownback, LePage
Politico's James Hohmann reports that as many as a dozen incumbent governors face defeat next month.  Hohmann ranks Rick Snyder as 6th most likely to take a tumble.
Topping his list (in order) are Republicans Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania) and Paul LePage (Maine), Democrats Dannel Malloy (Connecticut) and Pat Quinn (Illinois), and Republican Sam Brownback (Kansas).
Following Snyder on Hohmann's endangered species list are Rick Scott (R-Florida), Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado), Nathan Deal (R-Georgia), Sean Parnell (R-Alaska) and Butch Otter (R-Idaho).

Getting Real About Education Funding
Mike Connell
Governor Snyder, Accountant, is good at making numbers "prove" whatever needs proving. He can make a case that he has "increased" support for education, yet public school districts are going broke, teachers are seeing pay and benefits cut, and school boards are screaming at Lansing.
This article, from retired Port Huron Times Herald reporter Michael Connell, lays out the facts pretty clearly. It's a "must read" if you want the upper hand when talking with a Snyder apologist over his sorry record on education funding.
Spoiler alert: the column's headline is "Traditional Schools Could Be Doomed."

Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Climate Change
September 29, 2014
How much more proof do we need that we are permanently damaging our planet? The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action: crop failures leading to higher food prices, billions in storm damage, increased deaths from climate extremes, economic disruption from blizzards/ice storms ... you'd think those profit-loving Republicans would finally get on board.
But that would displease the owners of America's leading provider of pollution, the Koch brothers. And we all know the GOP isn't ready to displease Chuck and Dave.

So the U-M quarterback had a concussion after all
This story is going from the sports pages to the front page because, as Richard Nixon demonstrated to all of us, the coverup is often more serious than the crime. The second rule is "don't screw up on national television."
The University of Michigan looks to have violated both of those rules.
From bad pizza to
bad football: David
Brandon is on the
hot seat at U.M.
In this case it's about the health of a "student-athlete" who was left in a football game after what the University now admits (after 2 days of denials) had a concussion, something which was pretty obvious at the time to anyone with two eyes. And it's about a University athletic director who puts out a written statement reversing field shortly at 1 a.m. rather than at the weekly scheduled news conference organized by his staff. (Brandon did not attend the news conference.)
Athletic Director David Brandon is already on the hot seat because he has committed the ultimate sin for a big-time, big-money athletic program: hired a football coach who is losing games ... badly.
Now he's really in trouble because this story transcends winning and losing. It is now a story about jeopardizing a young man's health. The incredibly irresponsible failure to pull quarterback Shane Morris from a game after he was slammed helmet-to-helmet, and then staggered back to the huddle, could be the final straw for a University that despises losing so much it pushed out Lloyd Carr as coach after a 9-4 season.
The Curmudgeon has several friends who have played college and professional football, some of whom now suffer from permanent brain injury because they sustained repeated concussions. A great university is supposed to be in the business of developing young minds ... not damaging them.
The University of Michigan, which has done cutting-edge research on this very subject, should and must be held to the highest standard in protecting the health of its hired hands.
News stories such as ABC's report, and how it reflects on the image of U-M, is a part of why Brandon and Hoke are in trouble.

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