First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden booed by NASCAR fans

After receiving a standing ovation from drivers during a pre-race drivers meeting on Sunday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden were unceremoniously booed at NASCAR’s final race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The two women were there honor military men and women and their families and to draw further attention to the companies who have stepped up to hire returning vets and their spouses as part of the Joining Forces initiative.

Here is a snippet of the First Lady’s comments on Sunday.

We know you guys are moms out there — moms and dads juggling it all alone while someone is deployed.…
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Mich Republicans to use “imaginary wages” and “imaginary pensions” to reduce workers’ compensation benefits

You have to hand it to the Republicans in the Michigan legislature. Just when you think it’s not possible for them to kick the 99% in the face any more ruthlessly, they go and prove you wrong. Their current targets are workers who are injured on the job and the creative ways they are coming up with the reduce workers’ compensation benefits will stagger your mind.

So far this year the legislature has passed bills to raise your taxes and tax your pensions…now they want to take away money you don’t even have!

House Bill 5002, passed by the House and now in Senate Committee, would cut worker compensation benefits by wages you don’t earn at a job you don’t have.

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Paul Scott is officially FIRED by the citizens of Michigan

And so it is done.

An election board Friday certified results from a recall election that removes a Republican state lawmaker from office.

Rep. Paul Scott of Grand Blanc was removed from the Legislature by 233 votes out of more than 24,000 ballots cast in a Nov. 8 election. The Board of State Canvassers certified the results in a meeting at the state Capitol.

Republicans say they won’t challenge the outcome and instead will focus on the special election to replace Scott, scheduled for Feb. 28.

Good riddance, Mr. Scott.

By the way, Scott was removed by a slender 233 vote margin.…

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Sugar Law Center lecture & fundraiser a rousing success, Emergency Manager plaintiffs honored

On Wednesday this week, the Sugar Law Center held their annual reception and fundraiser called “ESSENTIAL: Advocacy for Community Justice”. The event started with the first annual Leonard Grossman Memorial Lecture given by civil rights attorney Michael L. Pitt.

Michael L. Pitt

All photos by Anne C. Savage. Click any photo to see larger versions. Please do not reuse without permission. Seriously. Be courteous. Ask first.

From the lecture program:

Michael Pitt has earned a nationwide reputation as a litigator and in employment and civil rights cases. He is also widely known as a civil rights advocate who has taken on enormous challenges and won.…
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Mich Supreme Court: Okay to tax seniors’ pensions but not raise taxes on the wealthy

The Detroit Free Press characterizes a move by the Michigan Supreme Court as a “victory” for Governor Rick Snyder. The reality is that it is a solid defeat for the 99% and a “victory” for the 1%. The Michigan Supremes basically said it’s okay to tax seniors’ pensions but not okay to raise taxes on the 1%.

A divided Michigan Supreme Court has given the green light to the extension of Michigan’s 4.35% personal income tax to pensions, one of the cornerstones of the Gov. Rick Snyder-led overhaul of the state tax system that was approved amidst partisan rancor earlier this year.…
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BREAKING: Adam Zemke announces run for Michigan House of Representatives’ 55th District

Adam Zemke announced today that he will be running as a Democrat for Michigan’s 55th House District to unseat Republican Rick Olson. The district is strongly Democratic after recent redistricting making this a very likely win for the Democrats.

Zemke ran for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission in 2010 and lost by only 723 votes in the Republican tide that swept across the state. He is a tireless campaigner, a solid progressive and a great choice to run for this seat. I look forward to seeing him win.

At a recent legislative panel discussion at the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber’s annual Impact public policy forum, Olson earned the dubious distinction of being the only legislator who thinks Michigan is spending enough on education.…

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Recall Rick Snyder organization turning into a Super PAC – “Michigan Rising”

The organization that tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to recall Republican Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder has reformed into a Super PAC called “Michigan Rising”.

Yes, the times are certainly exciting and the optimist in us says that they are also changing for the better. Nationwide November election results clearly indicate a shift in public opinion when it comes to radical legislation. Ohio’s defeat of SB5, Mississippi’s smack-down of their proposed “Personhood Law”, Arizona’s recall of Russell Pearce – the Anti-Immigration Champion, all made headline news and rightly so.

In Michigan the victory belongs to the voters who successfully recalled Paul Scott and of course, the volunteers who collected enough signatures to put that recall on the ballot.

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What’s left to take over in Benton Harbor? Oh, yeah. The schools.

Benton Harbor schools are a whisker away from getting a — you guessed it — an Emergency Manager.

The State of Michigan will conduct a preliminary review of the “critical and alarming financial situation” at Benton Harbor Area Schools. This is the first step in a process that would determine if the school district needs a state-appointed emergency manager. It doesn’t mean one would be appointed for certain.

Leonard Seawood has been superintendent of Benton Harbor Area Schools for a little more than a year. “When you are in a deficit like I inherited…there are no easy answers in terms to digging yourself out of this hole as a district,” Seawood said.

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