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LIVEBLOG: Occupy Lansing – Mayor Virg Bernero in complete support

LIVEBLOG: Occupy Lansing – Mayor Virg Bernero in complete support

I’ll be live-blogging the Occupy Lansing event in Lansing, Michigan today. One thing that sets this particular event apart from many of the others is that the mayor of Lansing, Virg Bernero, is in total support of it. He has sent portable toilets, garbage dumpsters and given the protesters a permit without an expiration date to protesters at Reutter Park where the encampment started earlier this week. Here’s his Facebook update from Wednesday:

Our political system has become increasingly corportized, privatized and profitized by the filthy rich. The unholy alliance of Washington and Wall Street have conspired against regular folks to all but obliterate the American Dream and bastardise our democracy.…
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Read this. Read this now. Share it with everyone you know.

Seriously, if you haven’t read “An open letter to that 53% guy”, you need to do so.

And then share it far and wide.

It’s the most cogent explanation of why #occupywallstreet is happening right now in this country.

Period.

P.S. it’s officially the most viral and widely-shared post ever to appear on Daily Kos. That’s saying more than most people realize.

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Presidents Obama and Lee in Michigan today

Presidents Obama and Lee in Michigan today

Here are a couple of early photos by my wife Anne C. Savage from a visit to Michigan today by President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. They were visiting GM’s Orion Assembly Plant, in part to tout the new trade agreement passed by Congress this week.

Also, the President Obama told the crowd that, unlike Republicans, he believes helping save the domestic automakers in the USA was a good idea. Most Michiganders (except Republican politicians, it seems) agree. Whole-heartedly.

[Please do not use photos without permission. Really. Seriously. Check first. Thanks.]


Go Tigers!

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Chair of Michigan Republican Party says auto bailout was wrong

Like father Romney, like son Schostak:

Obama and the Democrats will continue to hammer away at the fact that it was their decision to rescue GM and Chrysler with billions of dollars of aid. Romney, for one, has said the auto companies needed to go through a structured bankruptcy – as they did – but that taxpayers should not have been on the hook for the money lent them.

Schostak made the same argument during the call today, saying capital markets – the banks – would have been there to invest in the auto companies, leaving the taxpayers out of it.

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Michigan GOP giddy about new bill allowing residents to waste energy with impunity

Oh, my. This must have Republicans just giggling with giddiness.

On a nearly party-line vote, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill that would skirt a federal phaseout of older, less efficient light bulbs and allow Michigan manufacturers to make and sell the old version of bulb in the state.

State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, called the bill the “Right to Light,” bill

and said that consumers should be able to choose what products they buy.

But Democrats in the House said the bill flouts the state’s status as a magnet for green technology and is a fantasy because there are no businesses in Michigan who make the older variety of light bulb.

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We Are The People Bridge Rally & March for Jobs in Ann Arbor – Oct. 19, 2011

We Are The People Bridge Rally & March for Jobs in Ann Arbor – Oct. 19, 2011

From my good friends at We Are the People Michigan:

Fighting to protect working and middle-class families

Join us at the Stadium Blvd. Bridge Rally and March – Wednesday, October 19

Concerned citizens are rallying to raise awareness on the need to invest in public infrastructure to create jobs and get Michigan back to work. Community members and leaders are speaking out and we need you.

SHOW US THE JOBS!

Do we keep giving billions in tax loopholes to oil companies or do we put construction workers back to work and fix our crumbling bridges?

There is a clear choice:
More jobs and safer bridges not more tax breaks for corporations.

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Michigan’s 99 Percent – Are you one of them? Getchyerself heard and seen!

Michigan’s 99 Percent – Are you one of them? Getchyerself heard and seen!

A few clever Michiganders [yes, it’s Michiganders, not Michiganians] have put together a coolio Tumblr for Michigan’s 99-percenters: We are the 99% Michigan.

What’s cool about it is that YOU can participate, too!

  1. Write your story down.
  2. Write #mi99percent and michigan99percent.com at the bottom.
  3. Take a picture of yourself holding your story.
  4. Email your picture to mi99percent@gmail.com or
  5. Upload your picture at www.wearethe99michigan.tumblr.com/submit

There’s a printable flyer version (PDF) of this HERE. Here’s another example of one of the submissions:

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It’s final: Illegal abortions are now illegaler in Michigan

Man, I’m glad our Republican legislature and governor don’t have better things to do than making illegal abortions illegaler.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill this week banning a type of late-term abortion.

The legislation was approved last month by the legislature and mirrors a federal ban on the practice, called partial-birth abortion by opponents of the procedure, that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.

The legislature has tried to pass the bill three times in the last eight years.

Twice, it was vetoed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and a third time, it was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S.

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“Reforming” no-fault insurance in Michigan: the GOP’s gift to insurance companies

NOTE: updated to correct info about Sen. Joe Hune, Rep. Pete Lund and the House & Senate versions of the bill.

Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance is the GOP’s current target for reform. In what can only be described as a gift to auto insurance companies, they are looking to remove the requirement for unlimited lifetime coverage for victims of auto accidents. The claim is that this will save Michigan insurance purchasers (i.e., auto owners) so much money that our pockets will be filled and the world will be set right once again.

Problem is, it’s a bunch of lies. The fact is that, outside of Metro Detroit, the average cost to Michiganders for auto insurance is similar to the national average of $1,000 per year or less for a single vehicle.…

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Michigan country club cancels speaker due to his belief in God

Via the Detroit Free Press:

One of the world’s noted Christians says a Rochester Hills country club canceled his speaking engagement after learning about his views.

Richard Dawkins, a scientist from England who is known for his outspoken defense of Christianity, planned to speak tonight at the Wyndgate Country Club at a fund-raising dinner for the Michigan branch of the Center for Inquiry — a group that defends Christianity.

But on Thursday, an official with the country club contacted the Center for Inquiry and canceled his appearance after finding out Dawkins is a Christian after watching him on “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News channel, said Dawkins and center officials.

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Mitt Romney writes off Michigan and most of the Rust Belt at last night’s debate

Mitt Romney writes off Michigan and most of the Rust Belt at last night’s debate

It’s not like Mitt Romney was counting on Michigan for any sort of support already. As I said before, if Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination, he should probably just skip Michigan after his New York Times editorial called “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” back in 2008:

It will be interesting to see if Romney dares to show his face in Michigan again after advocating for letting the Detroit auto companies die. If he does, I knew a few auto workers who will have a thing or two to say to him when he gets here.

He doubled down at the most recent Republican debate in New Hampshire last night:

My — my experience tells me that we were on the — on the precipice and we could have had a complete meltdown of our entire financial system, wiping out all the savings of the American people.…
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