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BREAKING: The NERD Fund is back – Snyder administration faces charges of nepotism and corruption

“We are on it…”

This morning the Michigan Democratic Party released emails obtained through a FOIA request suggesting that Richard Baird, Governor Rick Snyder’s “Transformation Manager” who was once paid from the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify (NERD) Fund, intervened on behalf of Governor Snyder’s cousin George Snyder to ensure he was protected from budget cuts in 2011. The NERD Fund has since been shut down by the governor after accusations that its secret donors were obtaining political favors in return for contributions to the multi-million dollar slush fund. CVS Caremark, the only known contributor, received a $60 million no-bid contract with the City of Detroit subsequent to a donation to the fund, for example.…

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In a post-Citizens United world, the Kochs may own the midterms

The one word Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and President Obama all need to say: Volunteer

Democrats didn’t randomly pick the Kochs from a lineup of anonymous right-wing billionaires. They’re not just the perfect example of a plutocrats subverting the electoral system to improve their bottom line.

The brothers’ network is outspending Democrats ten-to-one as they spread their anti-community ideology with fallacious ads and build an “elaborate field effort.”

“In all but one key Senate race so far this year, Koch-linked organizations like Americans for Prosperity, Concerned Veterans of America and the American Energy Alliance have spent more on issue-based ads attacking Democratic candidates than all independent Democratic groups combined have spent on similar ads criticizing Republican candidates,” the Huffington Post‘s Paul Blumenthal reported last week.…

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Chris Christie brings the stink of his scandals to Rick Snyder and Terri Lynn Land

Yes, this is the best Republicans have to offer

Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal has not been shut down and it’s only getting closer to the governor.

Questions about his administration’s willingness to inflict traffic on taxpayers and a tangled web of conflicts of interest involving the governor’s associates at the Port Authority remain unanswered.

Now, reporting by The Nation‘s Lee Fang reveals how Christie donors seem to have used the Republican Governors Association to get around campaign finance laws and were rewarded with massive pension contracts. And suggestions that the former U.S. Attorney went easy on a human trafficker to get dirt on a small-town mayor add weight to The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis’ theory that Christie’s “entire career reeks.”

So what’s the governor doing this week instead of providing the answers he’s promised to his constituents?…

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How to enjoy Ted Cruz and Rand Paul destroying each other

If 2012 was the year of the “clown car,” the 2016 GOP presidential primary will be Reservoir Dogs.

And the dogs have already started circling, as two savvy yet vicious politicians recognize the Tea Party is only big enough for one filibusterer.

For the past few years, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul pretended to be friends and kept their divisions mostly private. Cruz opportunistically joined Paul’s drone filibuster. When Paul — like most of America — recognized that a government shutdown would only help Cruz, he leaked his opposition yet stood with the junior Senator from Texas in public.

But recognizing that Senator Rand Paul was about to win the CPAC Straw Poll for the second year in a row, Ted Cruz began trumpeting a subtle attack on Paul he first made to donors last year designed to exploit what could the Kentucky’s senator’s biggest weakness.

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BREAKING: Americans love the government

Sorry, foreign aid only makes up 1 percent of our budget

Republicans and people obsessed with tax breaks for the rich know that Americans hate “government spending” and “deficits.”

This hatred of Washington DC’s largess isn’t built on actual animosity for what government does; Americans actually love specific government services and have no desire to cut them in any significant way. The twin vague menaces of “spending” and “deficit” implicitly suggest that by helping “them” the government will eventually not be able to help you.

Beyond the guarantees of defense from invaders, protection from crime and clean water, Americans expect the government to enable our success and make life a little better with essential niceties like national parks.…

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Michigan House Republican Tom McMillin to host fundraiser with fake historian & Christianist revisionist David Barton (UPDATED)

David Barton calls himself an historian though he has no credentials as an historian and is far more accurately described as an historical revisionist. The Southern Poverty Law Center, watchdog for hate mongers in America, has an entire page on Barton and it’s worth reading only so that you can see what a jaw-dropping charlatan he is.

Here are some choice excerpts:

David Barton’s ascendant star as a self-taught “historian” and influential leader of the evangelical far right crashed in a storm of ridicule when the world’s largest Christian publisher recalled Barton’s 2012 book, The Jefferson Lies, for too many serious whoppers — the kind of gross factual mistakes that are a death knell for any real historian.
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How many millions of Obamacare success stories are there?

Millions and millions of Americans have gained health insurance in the last five months, if you’re wondering why Republicans are so pissed

According to political lore, Lyndon Johnson spread a rumor during a congressional campaign that his opponent was pig-f*cker.

When his campaign manager asked him why he was spreading such a vile falsehood, Johnson allegedly said, “I just want to make him deny it.”

This is the strategy behind Republicans’ torrent of often fake Obamacare “horror” stories — one of which is still on the air here in Michigan even though the claims in the ad have been debunked. By forcing Democrats to deny them, they’re helping to spread the stories.…

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Why the GOP’s new, anti-gay ‘Southern Strategy’ won’t work

There’s no freedom greater than my freedom from your religion

In 1968, the year after the Supreme Court ended all bans on interracial marriage, 72 percent of Americans were still opposed to so-called “mixed marriages.” Richard Nixon ran for president campaigning on “states rights” and “law and order.”  It worked. He was easily elected then re-elected in a landslide.

Nixon blew the dog whistle but Ronald Reagan was a virtuoso who took the instrument to unimagined heights. He gave a speech at the beginning of his 1980 campaign for the presidency professing his belief in “states rights’ near Philadelphia, Mississippi where the local Klan had killed four civil rights workers in 1964.…

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The Koch Brothers present another Obamacare success story

If Republican Terri Lynn Land wants to repeal coverage for more than half a million Michiganders, she better start giving some answers

The Koch brothers’ most visible political operation Americans for Prosperity has already sunk millions into Michigan’s U.S. Senate race to prop up Republican Terri Lynn Land, an intentionally vague candidate whose tenure as Secretary of State was marked by a voter purge that broke federal law.

The organization’s latest ad had grabbed national headlines for the way it presented Dexter-resident Julie Boonstra’s experience with Obamacare.

The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler pointed out that the ad depicting the cancer patient’s experience with the law “doesn’t add up.” The Huffington Post‘s Ashley Wood’s notes that Boonstra’s costs are any higher because of the law, the difference would be at most $2 for the whole year.…

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Why Rick Snyder is worse for Michigan than ‘out’ homophobe Dave Agema

Pandering to the far right is bad for Michigan’s economy and our families

Governor Rick Snyder refused to join the chorus who called for Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign after the former member of Michigan’s House of Representatives.

The party’s leadership was okay with a year of anti-gay comments but an especially vile anti-Muslim post made them realize that Agema could actually cost them votes. However, the governor could even be that bold. Instead, hemade a vague appeal in his State of the State address for “a greater degree of civility and respect towards others of different backgrounds and different views.”

This week, within hours of Agema — who still hasn’t resigned — announcing that the “devil” was after him for speaking the truth, Governor Snyder asked a federal judge to uphold his ban on benefits for same-sex couples.…

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