One Michigan Supreme Court justice has a MAJOR conflict of interest on the Emergency Mgr Law

The Sugar Law Center is requesting that Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman recuse himself from anything related to their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Law:

Lawyers fighting Michigan’s tough new emergency manager law want a Michigan Supreme Court justice to recuse himself from the case because his wife represents the government in a separate lawsuit challenging the same law.

Lawyers from the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice said in a brief filed Wednesday that Justice Stephen Markman should recuse himself from their challenge of the emergency manager law’s constitutionality, which Gov.

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Michael Moore has now COMPLETELY lost me

I used to adore Michael Moore. I still like his “documentaries” mostly. But him, as a person who speaks for ‘liberals’? Ummm…not so much. Dude totally does not speak for me.

To wit:

I voted for the black guy and what we got was the white guy.

Shut up, asshole. Seriously. Just shut the fuck up.

H/T Angry Black Lady

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Republicans think protecting children from lead poisoning is “job killing”

I was taking a gander at one of the Republicans’ latest bits of anti-Obama pablum, a report called “Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama’s Promise of Regulatory Reform” (pdf). In it, the very first job-killing regulatory move they decry is described thusly:

The removal of the opt-out provision in the EPA lead paint rule is a blatant example and has dire consequences for job creators.

What is the “opt-out provision in the EPA lead paint rule”? Essentially, the EPA removed a provision that allowed remodelers to opt out of “complying with training and work practice requirements of the rule when the firm obtains a certification from the owner of a residence he or she occupies that no child under age 6 or pregnant women resides in the home and the home is not a child-occupied facility”.…

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Response filed challenging Gov. Snyder’s request for Supreme Ct. intervention on PA 4 suit

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Governor Rick Snyder has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to intervene in a Sugar Law Center lawsuit on behalf of 28 Michigan citizens, challenging Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Law. Snyder asked the Court to expedite the process and make an instant decision, avoiding the discovery process and fact-finding that takes place as suits wend their way through the lower courts. This week, the Sugar Law Center has filed a response challenging the governor’s request. Here is their press release detailing their response filing.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Contact: Tova Perlmutter, 313-993-4505

Response Filed Challenging Snyder Supreme Court Request
Sugar Law Center Says Fast-Tracking Emergency Manager Suit Short-Circuits Justice

LANSING, MI – Lawyers for 28 Michigan citizens challenging the state’s emergency manager law have filed a response with the Michigan Supreme Court opposing an extraordinary request by Governor Rick Snyder that the high court bypass normal procedures and immediately take up a legal challenge to the controversial law.

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The quiet diplomacy of Barack Obama

An event took place this past week that didn’t get much attention but shows us that a lot happens in the White House that we never hear about. Efraim Halevy, an Israeli intelligence expert and former head of the Mossad spoke in New York about the recent uprisings in Cairo, Egypt. He tells the story of three Israelis who were trapped in the Cairo embassy and, but for the intervention of President Obama, they never would have made it out alive.

We’ve been talking these days about Turkey and about Egypt. And I would like to say something about the event which took place last Friday evening or through the night in Cairo, which I think to a large extent was a seminal event, not only in the history of the Middle East but also in the history of the relations between Israel and Egypt, and between Israel and the United States of America.
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Mich GOP: Automatic deductions for union dues not okay, but for charitable donations, totally okay

The state House passed a bill today that would prohibit schools from deducting union dues from teachers’ paychecks. The bill doesn’t say they don’t have to provide this service, it says they are prohibited from providing this service.

Why? It’s definitely not a cost-saving measure. School administrators agree that the cost to schools for providing this service to teachers is neglible. No, this is simply a way to hurt the teachers’ union. Republican Representative Joe Haveman of Holland puts it this way:

I don’t understand how giving people money back in their paycheck is a bad thing..It makes them more accountable.…
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Flint and Detroit City Councils support repeal of Public Act 4 – the Emergency Manager Act

The city councils of two of Michigan’s major cities have weighed in on the repeal of Public Act 4 and both are in support. More accurately, the Flint City Council is in support of putting it on the ballot for voters to decide. The Detroit City Council voiced more full-throated support of the repeal.

Here’s the scoop on Flint:

The Flint City Council wants Michigan voters to decide if the state’s controversial emergency financial manager law goes too far.

The council on Monday passed a resolution in favor of putting the newly amended law on the ballot for possible repeal, even as the city undergoes the financial review process spelled out in the law.

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Anti-teachers union StudentsFirst spent nearly $1 million on Michigan ads so far in 2011

I have a new piece up at A2Politico where I look at the Michigan Republicans attacks on teachers in our state. I also look at how, although teachers are fighting back, politically-speaking, they are also working hard to make things better for our schools, particularly the ones facing the biggest challenges.

Teachers unions are also working to help poorly-performing districts improve their programs. Last year, the National Education Association (NEA) started the Priority Schools Campaign. This campaign aims to bring all education stakeholders together to help failing schools.
Through our Priority Schools Campaign, we’re promoting increased professionalism and systemic education reform in some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools; what we call priority schools.
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