I … It’s … Um … I can’t … It’s uh … Maybe it’s the crazy pills …

It’s not often I am rendered completely bewildered and speechless by a news item but this morning, I am. And, big surprise, it’s because of news coming out of Arizona.

What would you think if you read this?

…[A]rmored vehicles, including a tank, rolled into their neighborhood to make the bust. Neighbor Debra Ross was so worried she called 911 and went outside where a nearby home had its windows blown out, was crawling with dozens of SWAT members in full gear, armored vehicles and a bomb robot.

If you’re like me, you’d think, “Holy COW! An Al Qaida terrorist cell operating right here in the USA!…

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Comment spam awesomeness

My wife got this most awesome comment spam on her new website, The Savage Feast:

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Michigan Republicans introduce bills to punish/fire striking teachers

The fun never ceases in Michigan these days, does it? What now?

This: Republicans in the state House have introduced legislation to fine striking teachers and even revoke their licenses.

State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Genoa Township, on Tuesday introduced legislation creating penalties for public schoolteachers and the Michigan Education Association for inciting or participating in strikes.

House Bill 4466 would fine the Michigan Education Association $5,000 per teacher for each full or partial day public school employees are engaged in a strike or “strike-like activities.”

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, also would require school employees to pay a fine equal to one day of pay for every day or partial day they participate in a strike.

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Allen Park reverses decision to lay-off fire dept after wringing concessions from them

You may recall me writing about how the Michigan city of Allen Park planned to layoff their entire fire department.

Well, they have reversed that decision. But not before wringing concessions out of their fire fighters.

Of course.

The Allen Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to rescind layoff notices that were sent to the city’s 26 firefighters last month after officials said they would be forced to shut down the department if concessions were not made.

The vote came after City Attorney Todd Flood said officials with the fire department as well as police department worked to negotiate concessions for personnel in both departments.

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Michigan Governor Snyder signs bill outlawing workplace safety rules

Yes, you read that right: outlawing workplace safety rules.

Governor Rick Snyder has, apparently, identified one of the chief reasons Michigan businesses aren’t successful and why businesses refuse to come to Michigan: they are afraid we’ll pass a law requiring businesses to implement ergonomically safe workplaces.

Well, they need not worry anymore. Today, Snyder signed a bill outlawing laws that would require ergonomically-safe workplaces.

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to sign a bill that would prevent state-level administrative rules mandating workplace ergonomics in Michigan.

The Republican governor scheduled a formal bill signing event for this afternoon.

Ergonomics aims to limit injuries caused by lifting, repetitive motion and awkward work positions.

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Labor mural being removed from Maine Department of Labor

THIS is positively astounding.

In 2007, Judy Taylor, an artist based on Mount Desert, won a competition to create a mural for the lobby of the Department of Labor (MDOL). The work was to depict the “History of Labor in the State of Maine,” and was commissioned by the Maine Arts Commission. Taylor’s work is of 11 panels which you can find here; here are what panels 7-9 look like:

Today staff of the MDOL learned that this mural would be removed. In an email, Acting Commissioner Laura Boyett made the announcement, along with news that some of the names of the meeting rooms would be changed, names like the “Perkins Room.”

Here’s a snippet from the perky letter written by the Acting Commissioner, letting her staff know that, well, some businessmen and women don’t feel “welcomed” when they are forced to stare at the evil depictions of labor and its history in the state of Maine:

We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers – primarily because of the nature of the mural in the lobby and the names of our conference rooms.
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Buyers’ remorse regarding Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has quickly fallen out of favor with the citizens who elected him, reaching levels of unpopularity lower than first term Republican governors in neighboring states and almost as low as the end-of-term numbers reached by his Democratic predecessor [Jennifer Granholm], according to a new poll.

The poll by Public Policy Polling found 50% of Michiganders disapprove of Snyder’s job performance, compared to 33% who approve, and would prefer to have elected Snyder’s opponent last fall, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, by a 47%-45% margin.

I’m just sayin’……

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Private Employers Have Added 1.5 Million Jobs In 12 Months

Adjusted jobs numbers show healthier economic improvement than previously reported

Unemployment and job creation numbers are, apparently, better than previously reported

Job growth may be stronger than it appears.

Another healthy drop in unemployment claims reported last week is the latest clue that job gains might be more robust than the Labor Department’s monthly reports show.

Some economists say jobless claims and other recent data show that employers likely added 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month this year, rather than the 128,000 average reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The reason for the possible disparity: The government tends to underestimate both job gains in a recovery and job losses in a recession, the economists say.

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