Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Links Thread

This thread is updated throughout the day as more insane stuff catches The Curmudgeon's attention, so check back every half-hour or so if you know what's good for you...

WOOD-TV POSTPONES GOVERNOR, SENATE DEBATES AS RICK SNYDER, TERRI LYNN LAND FAIL TO AGREE
Cowards
But Snyder's record and Land's minimal grasp of reality make their cowardice necessary.
I'm sure the Schauer and Peters campaigns will be supported by attack ads pointing out the disservice these two are doing to the voters of Michigan.
Rick Snyder was elected in 2010 without ever spelling out his agenda, and we all paid the price: cuts to education, tax increases for retirees and middle-class families, tax increases for low-income working families, attacks on workers' right to organize, attacks on womens' healthcare.
And TLL has demonstrated that she isn't ready for the U.S. Senate or damned near any other responsible policy-making position in government.
Cowards. But their cowardice is probably politically wise.

THE MICHIGAN POLICAST IS NOW ALIVE ALL ACROSS THE INTERNETS - LISTEN!
We analyze the latest polls, look at Koch brother financed efforts to destroy the MEA, explain why Michigan's new minimum wage isn't nearly enough, and actually say something VERY nice about two dedicated public servants - one of them elected, the other a career civil servant.


THINK THE SOUTHWEST'S DROUGHT IS BAD NOW? IT COULD LAST A GENERATION OR MORE
Silent Terri Lynn Land's rejection of global climate change brought about by human activity isn't just wrong-headed. It is dangerous. The scientists have been warning us for a generation about the growing impact of greenhouse gasses on our climate, our economy and our safety. The massive drought in the Southwest will cost all of us dearly.
Researchers at Cornell University concluded that the odds of a decade-long drought are "at least 80 percent" and the changes of a 35+ year drought are between 20% and 50%.
We can ignore the scientists or respond. Gary Peters has focused on climate change in his campaign. Silent Terri prefers to bury her head in the sand.

Photo credit: Silent Terri's Facebook Page
BREAKING: ANOTHER "SILENT TERRI" CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATION
Silent Terri's been campaigning across Michigan with a pair of gas-guzzling trucks that she has leased from her brother-in-law.
Seems that she's paying Roger Lucas $1,000/month to rent the vehicles, or $17/day. Michigan Democrats will charge later today that TLL's deal with Lucas (who just happens to be an owner of Land & Company, the family piggy bank) constitutes a corporate campaign contribution since the rental is well below fair market rates.
We'll have more later in the day.
BTW Michigan Republicans are flailing away at the ridiculous campaign finance complaint they've filed against Mark Schauer, claiming money spent promoting his running mate, Lisa Brown, should have triggered creation of a separate candidate committee for Brown. Of course the very Republican Secretary of State will investigate and probably issue a fine. But the reality: the complaint is technical, the spending was reported (through the Schauer campaign), and the comparison with Silent Terri's multi-million-dollar campaign finance violations is ridiculous.
UPDATE: MICHIGAN DEMS FILE FEC COMPLAINT
The Republican Secretary of State won't investigate, so Michigan Democrats have filed a federal complaint over Land's sweetheart truck-renting deal. According to a statement from the party, brother-in-law Roger Lucas is renting the two trucks to Land for $1,000/month, at least one-third below the fair market value of the rental.
"Lucas has already donated the maximum $5,200 to Land’s campaign. Since the fair market value of each truck is at least $750 per month, as far as we can tell without any information from Land’s campaign, she is accepting an in-kind contribution from Lucas for $12,500 without even reporting it. The below fair market value rent that Lucas gives Land is an illegal in-kind contribution subject to Federal Election Commission civil penalties of $25,000."
This comes on top of Land donating in excess of $3-million to her own campaign even though her financial disclosure statements show she doesn't have that kind of money. It appears the money came from her husband which would be another violation of federal law.

PER CAPITA MEDICARE SPENDING IS ACTUALLY FALLING
The cost of Medicare coverage for seniors has dropped an astounding 6.7% in the last three years (after adjusting for inflation). The CBO sees it dropping another 1.8% by 2017 and stay below this year's costs until 2020.
This is in stark contrast to the dire warnings from the anti-Obama wing of the Republican party (that would be all of them) that the Affordable Care Act would send health-care costs through the roof, bankrupt America and bring about the demise of democracy as we know it.

RICK SNYDER'S LATEST AD SHOWS PRISTINE ROAD FIXED DURING GRANHOLM ADMINISTRATION MOSTLY WITH FEDERAL FUNDS
Really.
Congratulations to the MIRS (subscription) news service for picking up this latest bit of deception by the Snyder gang. The road, according to MIRS, is Intertown Road in Emmet County. The road was overhauled four years ago (during the Granholm years). The feds picked up 80% of the bill as part of that "failed Obama stimulus" that, in case you missed it, pulled our economy out of the Bush Great Recession.
The link goes to Eclectablog which offers an analysis of the entire ad and its deceptions. In addition to the Granholm-fixed-it road, the Governor takes credit for closing a deficit that didn't exist, and for unemployment going down (as it has nationwide under Obama's leadership). Of course he fails to mention that Michigan is still #3 nationally in unemployment.
And there is talk that the ad producers used some computer magic to make Snyder's voice less annoying.

TRUTH SQUAD FOUL FOR SAYING SCHAUER "NEARLY DESTROYED" MICHIGAN
The gang at the Center for Michigan calls out Chris Christie's Republican Governors Association for, in effect, blaming Mark Schauer for the bankruptcy of GM which would have destroyed the company (and Michigan) without the intervention of President Obama.
"...any reasonable analysis of Michigan's economic meltdown in the past decade cannot ignore the near collapse of the state's automobile industry...."
"It is also evident that Michigan's economic slide began in 2000, under the administration of GOP Gov. John Engler...."
"...it's worth noting that Schauer served as minority leader in the state Senate and that Republicans controlled the body during both of Granholm's terms, making unlikely <Schauer> could meaningfully impact any aspect of the state's economy...."
The Truth Squad also criticizes a Democratic Governors Association ad for claiming Snyder raised property taxes for seniors, saying that the reduction of the property tax credit was not targeted at seniors. Actually, the law does single out many seniors for higher taxes by reducing the number of seniors eligible for a 100% property tax credit. The Truth Squad needed to fact-check itself.

POLICE ARREST YOUNG BLACK POLITICIAN FOR DISTRIBUTING VOTING RIGHTS LEAFLETS
It happened in North Carolina, one of the leading states in the GOP voter suppression drive. They really really don't want people of color voting down there. He was arrested for distributing flyers on parked cars. When he demanded to know what made that illegal, they told him he was resisting arrest.
If he'd been a white guy with a Glock 9mm strapped to his side, passing out 2nd amendment rights flyers, I'm pretty sure they would have left him alone.

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