LIVEBLOG: President Obama in Ann Arbor – January 27, 2012

Being a battleground state has its privileges

If the internet gods shine their benevolent faces on us today, I’ll be posting live updates from President Obama’s speech in Ann Arbor, Michigan this morning. During his last Michigan stop at the University of Michigan spring commencement, there were so many people uploading to their Facebook pages that I was unable to get my email, much less liveblog. Today’s event should be a bit less congested but there are no guarantees.

As I said in my fundraiser post earlier, Anne and I are trying out some new technology today that will allow her to post her high quality photos just a minute or two after she takes them.…

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Day 5 – First quarter fundraising drive

Why should you donate? Let me count the ways reasons.

It’s a big day today. My wife and I are up early, getting ready to head over to cover President Obama’s speech in Ann Arbor.

We’ll be trying out some new technology today that will allow us to have Anne’s high-quality photos online within minutes of her capturing the image. I’m not talking about quick uploads of iPhone photos. I’m talking about the high-quality photos my readers have come to expect. If everything goes well on the inaugural run today, you’ll be seeing photos of President Obama online before any other news outlet.

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Detroit News wants a piece of the Emergency Manager action, I guess

Now tell me something I didn’t know

The Detroit News ran a rather absurd article today titled “Michigan EM statute is strictest in nation”.

No, dudes, the Michigan Emergency Manager statute is the ONLY ONE in the nation. Really, get your facts straight.

The article is nothing more than a fluffy regurgitation of a handful of things I’ve been writing about here for months.

One of main the segments talks about Indiana’s legislation wending its way through their legislature. I wrote about that five days ago.

I honestly have no idea what the point of this article was. It presents no new information and has a title that is totally absurd.…

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Michigan is 175 years old today! Why we fight for this beautiful state.

Happy Birfday!

Today is Michigan’s 175th birthday. As a proud, lifelong Michigander, I am so happy to wish my beautiful state a glorious happy birthday. It’s because this state is so beautiful, has so much spirit and is full of so many amazing people that I and so many others will never give up the fight against the powers that would harm our precious home.

My wife has a most-excellent photoblog up with some of her amazing photos of our state.

Click photo for more amazing images of Michigan

From her blog post:

My husband, Chris, and I met in an unconventional way and at the time we lived 500 miles apart.…
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Thousands in line by 8 a.m. in January for tickets to see Obama in Ann Arbor

Barackstar Obama

It’s January in Michigan which means brrrrrr! That didn’t stop thousands of people from being in line by 8 a.m. this morning, hoping to score one of the 3,000 tickets that were being given out starting at 9 a.m. What rock concert was it? Not a rock concert but truly a rock star: tomorrow morning President Obama will speak at the University of Michigan.

You can see some photos of folks in line at AnnArbor.com.

My friend Bob M. emailed me a few times about it:

8:06 a.m. – Any chance you can influence the Obama folks to change the venue.…
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Day 4 – First quarter fundraising drive

Now you’re making me blush

First, a big thanks to everyone who has made a donation this week. The support is so very much appreciated.

In addition to the financial donations I have been getting, I have received so truly touching emails and comments. I got one yesterday that I would like to share with you.

I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now. You totally rock!! I would love to donate but my credit card is maxed-out (surprise! surprise!) and my husband doesn’t feel safe making such transactions on the internet. I really don’t either. Anyway, I would really like to help you out and send SOMETHING.…
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EXCLUSIVE: The cost of privatization – Pontiac has water contamination issues under United Water

This past year, the Emergency Manager of Pontiac at the time, Michael Stampfler signed a five-year contract with United Water to run their water and wastewater treatment systems. The move was said to save Pontiac an astonishing $2.8 million per year.

I broke a story that made national news about the fact that, by hiring United Water, Stampfler had hired a company facing a multiple felony counts by the U.S. Justice Department for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

United Water Services Inc., the former contract operator of the Gary Sanitary District wastewater treatment works in Gary, Ind., and two of its employees, were charged today with conspiracy and felony violations of the Clean Water Act in a 26-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, the Justice Department announced today.
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Michigan Republican has solution to Michigan’s financial crisis: cut the state income tax

Out of touch and out to lunch

Republican state Senator Jack Brandenburg has an idea with what to do with the budget surplus created by taxing seniors’ pensions, cutting funding to cities and stripping $1 billion from schools: lower Michigan’s income tax.

I’m not kidding.

A proposal at the state Capitol would cut the Michigan income tax rate to 3.9 percent over the next five years. Right now the rate is 4.35 percent.

Republican state Senator Jack Brandenburg sponsored the measure. He said people in Michigan were promised the reduction during messy budget and tax deals made in 2007. Brandenburg said he told his Republican colleagues about his plan earlier this month.

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