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Michigan GOP moves to fill budget crater from corporate tax breaks by robbing a quarter billion dollars from schools

To hear Michigan Republicans tell the story, they are all about the importance of education in Michigan. Get them in front of a microphone, camera, or a reporter and they will tell you it’s one of their highest priorities. Their hypocrisy on this issue is in clear display this week as they passed to bills, H.B. 4110 and H.B. 4112, which take over a quarter billion dollars out of the state School Aid Fund.

I’m not kidding:

Much of the surplus in the current budget for Michigan schools could be used to pay down the state’s projected deficit after members of the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday.…
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GUEST POST: We Need Paid Sick Leave Because Workers Are Humans First

The following post was originally posted at Ramona’s Voices. Note that there is an ask at the end of this post: several groups are looking for stories from workers both who have and don’t have paid sick leave with their jobs. Please check out the links and share your stories.

There’s a fuss going on in Michigan over whether the state should mandate paid sick leave for all workers. It’s the Democrats who are proposing it but the Republicans dominate the government, so at this point it’s not a question of winning the issue, it’s a question of how far their bill gets before it fails.…

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Michigan GOP caucus won’t support sales tax hike proposal to repair our roads that THEY passed in 2014

Last fall, Michigan Republicans, aided by some Democrats who effectively negotiated for some very good things for Michigan schools and working people, passed a package of bills to fix our crumbling transportation infrastructure and soon-to-be-rubble roadways. The entire thing is predicated on the passage of an increase to our sales tax which voters must approve in May. Given that they put together this house of cards plan, you’d think Michigan Republicans would be supporting and promoting it.

You would be very wrong:

Asked if the GOP caucus would endorse the governor’s sales tax hike for the roads, the [Republican House] Speaker did not wince.…
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Freshman Michigan tea party legislator Todd Courser whines about seating assignments on House floor

Tea party Republican Todd Courser is the comical gift that keeps on giving. His latest social media missive is titled “What about the seats?” and is over 2,000 whining words about the tyranny of the state House seating chart.

Srsly.

It’s hard at times to know what should and should not be shared with people about the mechanical processes of official government, nor what is even worth sharing, and how it affects them. As a representative my first duty is of course to God, then to my family, then my home district, and finally to the great people of our state that truly want a voice that is uncompromising in its advocacy for the cause of freedom and liberty.…
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Extremist Michigan theocrats Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser issue bizarre “Liberty Response” to the State of the State Address

Last night during his State of the State Address, Gov. Rick Snyder broke very little new ground. Many of us were happy to hear him support further investments in education and to call for an expansion of civil rights for the LGBT community. One glaring point for me was that Gov. Snyder never once mentioned K-12 education in the part of his speech discussing 2014. Only when he talked about the year ahead did we hear about K-12 education and he completely bypassed the profound failures of his administration and Republican lawmakers when it comes to K-12 classroom students over the past four years.…

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BREAKING: Dave Agema posts Facebook post re: corrosive impacts of bigotry on our democracy with the comment “Educational!”

Today Dave Agema posted a piece to his Facebook page describing the corrosive impacts of bigotry, racism, and intolerance on our American democracy with the comment, "Educational!".

"This article is making me rethink my position on the inferiority of anyone who isn't white, male, straight, Christian, or American," wrote Agema. "Our republic is damaged when people denigrate any of our citizens." ...
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Republicans around the country call for Dave Agema’s removal – but not Gov. Rick Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

Republicans in Michigan and around the country are lining up to reject the notorious bigot Dave Agema. Here in our state, multiple Republican elected officials have called for his removal from the Republican National Committee:

Oakland County Sens. Mike Kowall and Jim Marleau and Rep. Jim Tedder sent the 168-member Republican Party governing board a letter Tuesday pleading that it “end our party’s long nightmare” and remove Agema and his “hateful rhetoric” from the RNC.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof issued a statement Tuesday calling for Agema to resign after a string of public and social media outbursts that critics have decried as racist and homophobic.

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Michigan Lt. Gov. Calley attends Todd Courser & Cindy Gamrat’s tea party Bigotfest 2015

This past weekend, newly-elected extremist tea partiers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat held “The Powwow”, a gathering of tea partiers with the subtitle, “Going on the Offense”. Given the line-up, “offense” (as in “offensive”) was the operative word in the title, of course.

Courser and Gamrat, who recently released their Manifesto designed to turn Michigan into a theocracy, invited notorious Republican bigot Dave Agema along with a host of other big name bigots to speak to the roughly 300 attendees.

Also in attendance was Michigan’s own Lt. Governor Brian Calley, shown here during Gamrat’s swearing-in ceremony:


[Photo courtesy of Progress Michigan, used with permission.]

Bigotfest 2015 was so toxic with the involvement of Agema that even the conservative corporatist group Mackinac Center declined to participate after Agema was announced as a speaker:

The Mackinac Center’s focus is policy, not politics.…
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Michigan Republican Party: Saving the auto industry didn’t help Michigan’s economy

The Michigan Republican Party has continued Gov. Rick Snyder’s efforts to take credit for the economic improvements that have benefited the entire country, including our state. Here in Michigan, nothing has helped fuel economic growth like the resurgence of the vehicle manufacturing sector. Upwards of 60% of Michganders work in jobs that are impacted by vehicle manufacturing and, had our domestic automakers gone out of business, our state would be in seriously bad straits.

The last thing they want is for President Obama to get any credit for that so, when he visited Michigan yesterday to tout the results of the loan program that kept Chrysler, GM, and the entire vehicle manufacturing supply chain from going under, Republicans sat on the sidelines throwing spitballs.…

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The Republican Party’s “Dave Agema Problem”

In order for Dave Agema to be removed from his position as a member the Republican National Committee (RNC), he must be convicted of a felony. The RNC’s rules don’t have any other escape hatch to remove toxic cancers like Dave Agema. A dog can sometimes shake off fleas but Dave Agema, a profoundly racist, homophobic, xenophobic bigot is more like a tick. He engorges himself on the notoriety that he receives when he puts out some outrageous Neanderthal statement or post. And like a tick, he’s nearly impossible to remove.

Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby Schostak has asked Agema to resign.…

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