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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Some thoughts on President Obama’s State of the Union Address

I can haz inspiration?

The classic response we hear from Obama-haters after he gives any speech is, “Yeah, he gives a great speech but…” And, surely, last night was a great speech. It was more than a great speech, it was an inspirational speech. Never before has a national politician spoken so openly and plainly about the unfairness in our economic system. This speech went beyond populism; it asked us to engage our brains and look at things from a common sense standpoint.

Which, of course, why Obama-haters (a) didn’t hear the same speech as the rest of us and (b) didn’t understand the concepts President Obama was talking about.…

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Day 3 – First quarter fundraising drive

Wait, you don’t get paid for this?

The tip jar was pretty quiet yesterday but I am very thankful to those of you that have contributed so far.

It surprises people that I don’t get much income from my blogging. As I was walking up to the Capitol building last week with my wife Anne C. Savage and co-blogger at Blogging for Michigan, Christine Barry, we ran into the reporting crew from AnnArbor.com. Reporter Ryan Stanton asked me, in essence, how much of my income comes from my blog. He was surprised to learn that it’s almost nothing.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I don’t know how you do it” and “Where do you find time to put up 4, 5, 6 posts a day?” and “I don’t know when you sleep”.…

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While you were sleeping, President Obama authorized a daring hostage rescue

Chewing gum AND walking. A refreshing president.

While you were sleeping and after giving an incredibly inspiring State of the State address, President Obama was busy overseeing/authorizing an daring hostage rescue of an American in Somalia and a Danish national.

U.S. special operations forces have rescued a kidnapped American aid worker and her Danish colleague in Somalia, the White House and officials with the aid organization said Wednesday. During the raid, all nine captors were killed.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were abducted by a group of armed men in the Somali town of Galkayo in late October.

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