Snyder stops party from punishing public universities offering benefits to domestic partners

As you’ve all no doubt heard by now, the State of Michigan ended up taking in quite a bit more in tax revenue this year than was previously estimated. As a result, the State is expected to carry a surplus of $429 million into the fiscal 2012 budget year. And, now it looks as though some of the most contentious cuts first proposed by Governor Rick Snyder may be revisited. The following clip comes from an article posted by a Business Week writer after Thursday evening’s meeting of Republican lawmakers in Lansing.

…Rick Snyder announced a budget deal Thursday that would partially offset some proposed cuts to public schools, bulk up the state’s savings account and reduce the amount of concessions sought from state employees…

Snyder’s original budget plan called for an additional cut of $300 per pupil for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The deal announced Thursday would offset up to two-thirds of that cut by giving districts back an average of roughly $100 per pupil to help pay employee retirement costs, plus another $100 per pupil if a district adopts what officials call “best financial practices”…

In other promising news, it’s being reported by the Gongwer News Service that Snyder’s legal counsel has informed the Senate and House leaders that proposed bills to financially penalize universities for pursuing embryonic stem cell research and offering benefits to the unmarried partners of employees are “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

According to friends at Eastern Michigan University, it also looks like their reduction in State funding may be less than the 15% initially proposed. (According to what I’m hearing, it looks as though different universities could have their funding cut by different amounts.)

So, things may not be as bad as we’d feared….

Are they still bad? Yes, of course the are. K-12 education is still being slashed, as are the budgets of our universities. It just looks as though some of these unexpected tax revenues could be used to offset them to some extent.

Does this mean that we should thank Rick Snyder, and the Republicans in Lansing? No. They’ve still made a choice to favor tax breaks to industry over investment in education. While cuts to higher-ed may not ultimately be 22%, as we’d feared, and cuts to K-12 education may not reach 3.5%, it’s sill true that significant cuts are being made so that $1.7 billion can be given back to corporations, and even more can be spent on prisons.

Still, things could be worse. I’m not convinced, had we elected either Hoekstra or Cox to be our Governor, that they would have stepped in to stop the recent attacks against gay university employees and those pursing stem cell research. And, for what it’s worth, I doubt that either would have accepted money from the Obama administration for rail projects, as Snyder did a few weeks ago.

So, with all of that said, I’d like to come out and say that I think that the recall effort against Rick Snyder that started this weekend is probably a poor use of time and resources. I would much rather see the effort go toward something like a a ballot initiative for a graduated income tax, like the one being called for by State Representative Jeff Irwin. While Snyder isn’t by any means perfect, I do believe that he’s doing his best to hold the more radical elements in his party in check. At least that’s what his recent actions are demonstrating to me.

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78 Comments

  1. Josh
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    my (conspiracy) theory is that he cut too much from schools on purpose, in order to give a third back and look like a hero. captain cynical to the rescue!

  2. Knox
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I was waiting to see how he responded to the additional 5% cut for state universities that gave benefits to domestic partners. I’m glad to see that he did the right thing. Or, at least it sounds as though he has. The cuts to education are still inexcusable, and I won’t be voting for him in 2012, but I agree that things could be worse.

  3. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Anyone read the Free Press yesterday? U of M has 1.8 billion dollars in excess of its current budget that they can spend on anything they want.

    In other great University news, Sean Morrison is leaving the state and taking his life destroying research with him!

  4. Edward
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Yes, Sean Morrison is leaving, and you’re staying, EOS. I cannot imagine a sentence more illustrative of the situation we now find ourselves in.

    As for Snyder, I agree with Josh. He started high, knowing that he could come down and bit and look like a hero. I don’t think Mark’s saying that he’s a hero, though. What he’s saying, I think, is that, while he’s a terrible leader, he may not be purely evil.

  5. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Sorry Mark, this guy has done too much damage in too short of a time for me to not want to recall him. I understand the “devil that you know” argument and I agree that others may have been worse; however, this is the man who is funneling billions of dollars of tax breaks to his rich buddies while allowing that horrible EM bill to go through and by hacking away at school funding. That’s fab-o-rama that he found some money for us but the fact of the matter is, the rich are still getting richer under most of his plans.

    And please spare me the anti-stem cell cries…my husband is a type 1 diabetic and has been for 30 years. Likely, he will not live another 30. Stem cell research is one of the few real hopes for diabetics. I’d like anyone who is against this research to come to my crib & tell us why you think a lump of cells has more of a right to “life” than a grown man with a wife, job, house, life.

  6. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Patti,

    Because adult stem cells hold the promise for a cure, and they don’t require destroying another life. Diabetes is already being treated successfully with adult stem cells. Many clinical studies are underway. We can easily get unlimited supplies of adult stem cells.

    There is no way enough babies can be killed to treat all the adults with diabetes. Embryonic stem cell research is merely practice for cloning humans. A woman of child-bearing age must be treated with strong hormones for several months so that researchers can harvest 10 eggs at most.

    Please study the facts. There is a significant difference between embryonic stem cell research and adult stem cell research. Only adult stem cells have resulted in effective treatments for disease.

  7. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/winter01/stem_cell.html

  8. Kim
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Not to nit pick, but it just says that Snyder’s legal counsel told Republican legislators that it likely wasn’t constitutional. It doesn’t say that Snyder found it disgusting. Still, though, I’m happy to hear that this particular element is being scuttled.

  9. Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Can we vote EOS off the site? :)

    Seriously, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. If you actually believe it’s destroying a life then why aren’t you trying to make it illegal for couples to destroy their leftover embryos that result from in vitro procedures? Because, if you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that that’s where the embryonic stem cell lines come from: embryos that would otherwise be destroyed as medical waste, but which were donated by the couples for research instead.

    I also love that the article linked is a decade old.

  10. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    http://www.umich.edu/stemcell/faq/

  11. Kim
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    From the U of M page on why stem cell research is important:

    The new law makes Michigan one of just three states that protect stem cell research in the state constitution, while also enshrining specific restrictions. In addition to the restrictions listed above, the new law prohibits the buying or selling of embryos, as well as removing stem cells from embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins. It also requires the informed, written consent of embryo donors.

    No one, as EOS would have you believe, is destroying “life”. These researchers are trying to save lives.

    If EOS had lived a few hundred years ago, he’d be burning down the labs of men making telescopes.

    http://www.umich.edu/stemcell/faq/

  12. gary
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Even though it hasn’t been raised since 1966, Snyder is against raising the tax on beer. He’s not all bad.

    http://news.michiganradio.org/post/conversation-michigan-governor-rick-snyder-audio

  13. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I would never consider any human life” leftover”. I would rather not live in a society where others discard a viable human life as medical waste. I am glad that I don’t have to live with that on my conscious.

    You both have linked to Sean Morris’ talking points. Many scientists have proven him wrong and switched over to exclusively using adult cells. Currently, lives are being saved with adult stem cell therapies.

    Scientists are practicing human cloning techniques with embryonic cells. Many embryos are destroyed during each attempt at cloning which leads to a net loss of life. At the present time scientists destroy over 100 embryos before they are successful in creating a single embryonic cell line and only a handful of embryonic stem cells have shown any benefit whatsoever. And where there has been even limited benefit, adult cells have already proven better results.

  14. dr
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    EOS, so how do you feel about the loss of life during war. Do you also believe in war?

  15. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ll take the talking points of scientific experts over the talking points of ignorant religious folks all fucking day.

  16. Elise Snozen
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Who exactly are these scientists who have “proven Sean Morrison wrong”?

  17. Mr. X
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, Gary, I guess the Greff’s invested wisely.

  18. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7099758.stm

  19. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/screw-the-embryos-they%E2%80%99re-irrelevant/

  20. Bob
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    “Well, Gary, I guess the Greff’s invested wisely.”

    That’s funny

  21. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Elise,
    While I wait “moderation” they include Ian Wilmut, the guy who cloned Dolly the sheep, Dr. Bernadine Healy, onetime director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr James Thomson, godfather of embryonic research and Dr. Colin McGuckin, a noted UK embryonic research leader.

  22. Elf
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    For those of you not following other threads on this site, EOS also believes that adopted children are worthless and that children can be sold into slavery by their biological parents.

  23. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of whether you “would never consider any human life ‘leftover'” once again your problem (indeed often a big problem with religious zealots) is that you can’t deal with the world as it is.

    The choice here is whether these specific embryos are allowed to be donated for science that’s intended to help the sickest among us, or whether they will be thrown in the trash. There are currently no other options; it’s the way it is whether you like it or not. You apparently would rather have them thrown in the trash. That is your right, appalling and idiotic to so many of us though it is.

    And I love the shit about human cloning. That’s a pretty old lie to keep repeating.

  24. Brainless
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Yeah Mark, you got your ass triangulated here:

    “Still, things could be worse.”

    and…

    “So, with all of that said, I’d like to come out and say that I think that the recall effort against Rick Snyder that started this weekend is probably a poor use of time and resources.”

    I don’t give a shit who the governor is, but for those of you who do, these are the exact phrases that they have paid enormous sums of money to get you to say. Remember the sanity of Milliken republicanism? Would you EVER have said anything like this then?

    Sucka.

  25. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    My problem is that I have little patience with those who think they understand technical information when in reality they don’t know jack. Try looking up SCNT and educating yourself before you post.

  26. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    And what about the option of cord blood? Maybe you should take a look at what is being done in the real world of science.

  27. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    No one is arguing that cord blood or adult stem cells should be ignored, and if they are found to be more efficacious then they should and will get additional support. However, few actual scientists who aren’t also very religious strongly think they hold more promise than lines derived from embryos. That’s why there are tons of scientists who have been trying to do the work despite the interference of religious actors.

    We’re not closed minded about these other options, but you certainly are close minded on specific religious grounds that aren’t shared by most of the rest of us.

    Also, please let us know where/when you got your PhD in a life sciences related field (as you seem claim technical expertise), I’m interested in checking out your recent papers.

  28. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Coming from someone who got a psychology degree from EMU??? Some scholar. The rest of the world is using adult cell treatments while the politicians in this country want to promote destruction of embryos as a means to promote abortion and make it more acceptable.

  29. Brainless
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    To the sick – nothing. Heal yourself.
    To the poor – nothing. Find work.
    To save the environment – nothing. Earth will care for itself.
    To the mentally ill – nothing. There is no such thing.
    To the old – nothing. They should have saved their own money.
    To the young – nothing. You have a lifetime of earning ahead of you.
    To those who leave the womb – nothing. It’s a hard knock life.

    To an embryo – all.

    I got that right, douchebag?

  30. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Who got a psych degree from EMU? Not me (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but again, you dodge the relevant issue.

    You are making the affirmative argument – on what basis is your opinion on life sciences more informed than Sean Morrison’s?

  31. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    “The rest of the world is using adult cell treatments while the politicians in this country want to promote destruction of embryos as a means to promote abortion and make it more acceptable.”

    This is do demonstrably false and laughable. It does give us a lot of insight into your thinking, however. You think that people like Sean Morrison spend their lives studying this stuff so they can be tools of evil politicians who want to promote abortion.

    Most of us hear this and laugh at the idiocy of such an idea. It’s amazing what religion does to the working mind.

  32. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Andy,

    My links are waiting Mark’s moderation. It’s not based on my authority but on the authority of experts.

    Brainless,
    No. The sick, the poor, the ill, the old, the young, and the living all benefit more from the more efficacious treatments using adult stem cells.

  33. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Researchers like Sean Morrison are dependent on grant funding and will do whatever is necessary to stay funded.

  34. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    And in your mind there’s a cabal of abortion hungry NIH/NSF scientists working with abortion thirsty politicians (fucking Democrats no doubt) handing out grants favoring embryonic destruction to people like Sean Morrison over *obviously* more efficacious adult stem cell work. What other possible explanation could there be?

    Ok, Satan commands me to stop feeding the troll now.

  35. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Gee Andy,
    I think Sean is leaving Michigan, where the people changed the State Constitution to accommodate his research, so that he can kill more embryos in the heart of Texas, because he really does think that people will be more accepting of his methods there. Yeah, I’m thinking there are fewer religious fanatics in the Bible belt too. Sure. And research outcomes have nothing to do with the funding sources. Get a clue.

  36. Ez
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I think the Recall Rick movement is a useful and absolutely necessary one. More power to it.

  37. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m still waiting for someone to show up and tell me and my husband why we shouldn’t at least try to save his life and why his life isn’t more valuable than a clump of cells.

    Yeah, I’m being an asshole :) But man Andy–ROCK ON brother! We have to chat next time we’re at the Corner.

  38. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Patti,

    How many lives do you figure should be sacrificed for the treatment of your husband’s condition? Is there any ethical limit? By the way, hasn’t his life already been saved by the current treatment options?

  39. Maria
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Let the recall proceed. Running a state is not like running a business.

  40. Posted May 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I do think there may be advantages to the recall effort. It might be helpful as an organizing tool. If it brings people into the process, that would be good. I don’t, however, think it has much of a shot at being successful. And, if it were successful, I don’t know that it would give us a better Governor. I’d much rather focus on a ballot initiative for a graduated income tax. More on that later…

  41. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    EOS–that’s the thing…I don’t consider them “lives”. And that’s something we can never reconcile…I go by science and, if you want to go there, my religion does say that life begins with the first breath. But first I go by science and I really don’t believe it’s a “life” until it could survive independently (i.e. outside the womb).

    But yeah, sounds like you think life starts at…wherever. I don’t know that there is a way to reconcile those beliefs.

    Mark, I don’t think it will be successful either and I do agree that we could get someone worse but he’s just been so awful. I just wish we could get a regular person in there who makes less than $80,000 or whatever a year and/or is a teacher or fire fighter or whatever…I know, I know…if wishes were horses….

  42. Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    EOS
    thank you for exposing your self as a LaRouchite provocateur. Why anyone would think anything approaching rational thought can go on in your head in beyond me. probably been brain washed since being recruited back in the NCLC days.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_Energy_Foundation#21st_Century_Science_and_Technology

  43. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Patti,

    “I really don’t believe it’s a “life” until it could survive independently (i.e. outside the womb)”

    That’s a moral value. It is not science. You cannot find a science textbook anywhere that defines life by independent survival. Many protozoa are alive yet must live a portion of their life as a part of a colony with other organisms. A two year old baby cannot survive independently yet few would argue that its not alive.

    If it is not a life because it needs to be implanted in a womb, would it become a life when science advances technologically to devise a mechanical womb? Do you really think the defining aspect of living is a location?

    All scientists agree that a fertilized embryo is human, alive, and growing. It contains all the necessary DNA instructions for a unique organism independent of each parent. All the structures, all the chemicals and enzymes, and all the characteristic traits. You can claim that the embryo is not fully conscious or that it doesn’t yet have a soul (which are religious or spiritual concepts) but there is no disputing the fact that science considers it a human life regardless of anyone’s spiritual, moral, or religious views.

  44. Charlie November
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    One thing pro-life believers seem to ignore is natural, spontaneous abortions. Why don’t they spend any money trying to prevent this loss of innocent human life?

    “ One study testing hormones for ovulation and pregnancy found that 61.9% of conceptuses were lost prior to 12 weeks, and 91.7% of these losses occurred subclinically, without the knowledge of the once pregnant woman”

    “The most common cause of spontaneous abortion during the first trimester is chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo/fetus,[14] accounting for at least 50% of sampled early pregnancy losses”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#cite_note-pmid7117572-10

    This abortion and termination of human life happens naturally, yet pro-lifers gladly ignore this fact of life, maybe because the facts get in the way of their opinion, which they want to impose on others. No one is forced to have an abortion.

    Snyder should be recalled because he is a corporate stooge. He is bought and paid for by the economic elite who want to wield the power of government for their self-enrichment.

  45. EOS
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    There are approximately 100,000 embryos discarded by IVF clinics each year in the U.S. For effective treatment, a patient’s DNA must be successfully inserted into the nucleus of the embryonic stem cell. This process works about once in every hundred tries. So if every “leftover” embryo were used in the U.S. approximately 1000 patients could possibly receive treatment from embryonic stem cells if research leads to potential treatments.

    There are currently 24 million diabetes patients in the U.S. But we’ll need to treat far more patients than just diabetes sufferers. The list of potential patients is enormous: Paralysis victims, Alzheimer’s disease, Cerebral Palsy, Cardiac Disease, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stroke, Leukemia’s, Cancers… potentially every human now alive.

    If embryonic stem cell research is successful at finding effective treatments we’ll need to recruit all women of childbearing age to be conscripted into egg harvesting service for much of their reproductive years.

    Or maybe, we should use a little foresight, and develop technologies using the patient’s own adult stem cells, of which there are a limitless supply and which are already being used for effective treatments.

  46. Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I thought this blog was markmaynard.com, not EOS.com.

    Have you ever thought about grandstanding on your own blog?

  47. EOS
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Peter,
    Shouldn’t you be helping at the North Pole?

  48. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Charlie November brings up a good point in that about 1/3 of all pregnancies (that’s the number I’ve always read, although the 60% is interesting!) do spontaneously abort. One of my off color FB friends once posited the idea that either God is an abortionist Him/Herself or God does not control what is going on in the womb. Man, the shit flew that day!!!! Someone unfriended her with a huge ol’ flounce…good times, good times.

    EOS, I still disagree that it’s a “life” but then we are getting down to what is life?!?! Gotta agree to disagree on that :)

  49. Edward
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I think Elf raised an interesting point earlier when he mentioned that EOS has said in other threads that, unless children are born into families where both biological parents are present, they are basically doomed. It’s difficult for me to reconcile that belief with his notion that all pregnancies should be carried to term without regard to whether or not loving two-parent households await them.

  50. Maria
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Yeah, Mark, the thread was sort of about a recall, but EOS diverted the flow of conversation.
    I was raised a strict Catholic and these days that whole argument tires me.
    Though it is kind of gross to take little immature embryos, and do research on them, it doesn’t rise to the level of science experiments the Nazis did, but if you thought each and every one of them could’ve been a contender in life somewhere sometime, that could make you squeamish. If you had a loved waiting on a cure, it’s understandable you would be looking everywhere for that cure. It’s cold of EOS to dismiss their angst, and you never should be pointing stuff out like that, but for the grace of god goes…anybody.
    Fate is fickle, and best laid plans get blown apart, and yet we try to control our fate..
    which brings me back to the recall, which, I support still.

  51. Peter Larson
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    EOS, the North Pole would be great for you. There are no black people, no gays an no abortions.

    I used to like this blog.

  52. Brainless
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Mark, ballot initiatives are the last, desperate move of a painfully broken political system. WE hire (vote for) people to run our government and you’re basically saying that, after all that work and expense and everything else, WE didn’t get what WE wanted and so WE have to bypass completely the very system that WE set up.

    I think the MM bubble is starting to go to your head. You do realize that you’re not up against a bunch of mythical corporations or bogeymen or something, right? WE did this. Why in god’s name do you think we’d now want to bypass it? If you’re so unhappy with the result, fix what we have. Quit dreaming about faeries and elves and voters initiatives and other childish things, eh?

  53. Maria
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    So Brainless, if we did this, we can undo this…works for me

  54. dragon
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    WE didn’t get what WE wanted and so WE have to bypass completely the very system that WE set up.

    What exactly are We bypassing?
    Here’s the system We set up:

    The Ballot Proposal Process in Michigan: A Synopsis

    There are four methods whereby a proposal can be placed on the statewide ballot in Michigan: (1) statutory initiative, (2) voter referendum, (3) legislative referendum, and (4) constitutional amendment.

    STATUTORY INITIATIVE is defined by Section 9 of Article 2 of the Michigan Constitution as the power which the people reserve to themselves “to propose laws and to enact and reject laws.” The power of initiative extends to any law the Legislature may enact and is invoked by filing petitions containing signatures of registered voters equal in number to at least eight percent of the total votes cast in the last election for governor. The Legislature is required to enact, without modification, or reject any proposed initiative within 40 session days. An initiative not enacted by the Legislature is placed on the statewide ballot at the next general election. A law that is initiated or adopted by the people is not subject to gubernatorial veto and one adopted by voters cannot subsequently be amended or repealed except by the voters or by a three-fourths vote of the Legislature.

    VOTER REFERENDUM is defined by Section 9 of Article 2 of the Michigan Constitution as the power “to approve and reject laws enacted by the legislature.” Referendum must be invoked, within 90 days of final adjournment of the legislative session during which the law in question was enacted, by filing petitions containing signatures of registered voters equal in number to at least five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the last general election. The effect of invoking a referendum is to suspend the law in question until voters approve or reject it at the next general election.

    LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM is authorized by Section 34 of Article 4 of the Michigan Constitution, which provides that “[a]ny bill passed by the legislature and approved by the governor, except a bill appropriating money, may provide that it will not become law unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon.”

    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT is authorized by Sections 1 and 2 of Article 12 of the Michigan Constitution and may be proposed either by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or by filing petitions containing signatures of registered voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the total votes cast for governor in the last general election.

    The question of CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION is required by Section 3 of Article XII of the Michigan Constitution to appear on the ballot automatically every 16 years after 1978.

  55. Brainless
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I realize that ballot proposals are legal. That’s not my point. (All you know-it-alls can come down from your pedestals now. Not everybody needs you to save them from their ignorance.) My point is that we went to all this trouble to have free elections and then, when you don’t like the result, you want to take a completely different path. Initiatives are expensive, time-consuming and messy.

    (To that point, the actual voting process is expensive, time-consuming and horribly inefficient, causing people not to vote. Fix that and maybe the rest of these problems will fall into line and you can quick fucking around with flights of fancy.)

    That fact is that, for most of us, government is a small part of our lives. I’m not saying anything against government. It’s important and I like most of its basic functions. But enough already! I have a job. I have a family. I have shit to do. I researched and voted as I saw fit. And now you’re asking me to participate YET AGAIN. 90-some percent of my life is NOT government. (Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in….)

    Who, exactly, do you think is going to participate in these ballot initiatives – the content and quiet center? Think again, brother. You’re going to get every fringy whack-job and every deep-pocket oligarch. You’re opening the door to corruption as widely as possible and patting yourself on the back for your brilliant participation. And then the 25% of eligible voters who will drag their unemployed or retired ass to the booth are going to make the decision for us. No thanks.

  56. Glen S.
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Brainless.

    Are you for real?

  57. Mr. X
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Most states have graduated income taxes. If I’m not mistaken, there are fewer than 20 that do not. Michigan is one of them. As I understand it, Michiganders voted 30 some years ago, as part of the Headlee amendment, to make progressive taxation illegal. So, it requires a ballot initiative to remedy. I may be wrong, but, contrary to what you suggest, Brainless, I don’t think that just voting in Democrats will make it happen. I believe it needs to be voted on. I also believe that it’s an incredibly popular idea at the moment. The people of Michigan want it.

  58. Mr. X
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    EOS, can you respond to Edward’s last comment?

    And, Maria, if I’m not mistaken, I think you’re overstating it a bit when you say that they would be testing on immature embryos. I believe the cells used are harvested no later than 14 days after the beginning of cell division. It might technically be an embryo at that point, but it’s really still just a clump of cells. Here’s a picture.

    http://www.indexedvisuals.com/scripts/ivstock/pic.asp?id=135-032

  59. kjc
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    “the content and quiet center” is a big part of the problem. blech.

  60. Brainless
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    kjc, did you just “blech” the majority of people? Maybe that’s your problem right there. Jesus, some of you need to take a step back and read what you write sometimes. Yes, many of your hearts bleed for the needy. You’re good people. But then you turn around shit on pretty much everybody – equating the average person who simply doesn’t give a shit to a tea party loony. Do so at your own peril. Or, for fuck’s sake, try being nice to the “the content and quiet center” for a change.

    And yes, I’m absolutely for real, Glen. What part of what I wrote do you disagree with or do you just like to make pointless statements because you think you’re cute? Thank you to Mr. X for possibly clarifying what might or might not be the mechanism for changing to a graduated tax, but my main point still stands.

    You have all conveniently forgotten what happened very recently when the USA’s most liberal state passed a horribly draconian anti-gay Proposition 8 via ballot initiative. Why? Fringe loonies and out-of-state money. The quiet center just really didn’t give a fuck about other people’s marriages. They’re not against same-sex marriage, they simply don’t care, so they didn’t vote. You’re a fool for thinking they would.

    I think it’s appalling to prevent anybody from marrying the person they love. But you’re out of your ever-lefty mind if you think that I’m going to, once again, drag my ass to the voting booth over this issue (and that one and that other one and the one your mom told you about…). That’s why we have representatives. They’re supposed to do that for us.

    Hate me. Bitch. Cry to your little friends at Corner. But I will never care enough to keep going to the voting booth again and again to fight out-of-state money and oligarchs – and I am hardly alone. Let our local government work as it’s supposed to, put your weight behind that instead. But quit dragging everybody into every little fight and quit opening the damn door and raising a red flag and daring crazy, rich, religious nuts into our business.

  61. kjc
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    dude, you’re creating straw men all over the place. i don’t feel implicated in any of your criticisms, and i imagine lots of other people don’t either. you’re pissed and projecting.

    as for bowing to the lame ass center, no thanks. i could make up a bunch of shit about you that doesn’t stick but i’m not having a bitch session at the world.

  62. EOS
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr. X,

    It’s a distortion of what I said, as was Elf’s previous comment. Maybe it’s not intentional on their part. Perhaps they actually comprehend little of what I write. A greater likelihood of physical and sexual abuse does not mean that there will necessarily be any abuse and I didn’t say anyone was doomed.

    Two parents are better than one, biological parents are better than non-biological, loving parents are better than abusers, and people shouldn’t destroy another’s life for their personal benefit. No human should be used as spare parts for another. Of course, there are individual exceptions in the first two instances, but not the latter three.

    And go ahead, I’m waiting for someone to tell me that they agree that no human should be used as spare parts, but that they define human as being 3 feet tall and able to spin on one foot. Nothing on this blog surprises me anymore.

  63. Brainless
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    “lame ass center” – That’s two in a row, kjc. You’re bitter because you neither understand nor like your fellow citizens. And yet, somehow you expect these folks to take an interest in your ballot initiatives or recall efforts? (Yes, I know you didn’t say that, but that’s what this thread is about.)

    That right there, everybody. That attitude right there is why you will NEVER be able to reach out to anybody outside of the dozen heavy commenters on this blog. That attitude right there is why assholes like Snyder will continue to get elected and you wonder what the fuck happened to the world.

  64. EOS
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Charlie November,

    Yeah, I don’t get it. People die everyday. Who would want to spend time and money to stop even a few murders? Especially if its a natural, spontaneous murder that just happens as a result of hatred. It’s not as if anyone is actually forced to pull a trigger.

  65. kjc
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    ““lame ass center” – That’s two in a row, kjc. You’re bitter because you neither understand nor like your fellow citizens. And yet, somehow you expect these folks to take an interest in your ballot initiatives or recall efforts?”

    you’re so full of shit. but if you can’t make up ideas about who people are to match your critiques, then they fall apart, don’t they? you sound like one of those duped moderates (a redundancy) who think that everyone not in the majority is a loony lefty. but i’m not sure about this so i won’t base my whole argument on it. oh yes i hate my fellow citizens and i’m bitter blah blah. a bunch of made up crap.

    for what it’s worth i agree that ballot initiatives are a bad idea. gasp! who’s the know-it-all, you blathering fuck.

  66. kjc
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    but let me say, i can really feel your love for your fellow citizens.

    i’m serious. try anger management. maybe you won’t need to whine about dragging your ass to the polls (which is hilarious btw).

  67. Brainless
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I guess I hit a little too close to home. Sorry about that.

  68. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    STOP FIGHTING!!!! I dreamed of this f’in board and all of you mf’ers. STOP IT :) :) I don’t mind dreaming about mm.com but the fighting is irritating.
    :)

  69. Brainless
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Well then, NOW what the hell are we supposed to do? This is all I had on my calendar today.

    But you’re probably right. We should stop fighting and let ol’ Rick roll us.

  70. Tommy
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Can this thread be aborted? Please?

  71. Andy Cameron
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Another abortion? I don’t think so! This thread’s life is too important to just throw it away, no matter how much good that might do!

  72. Mr. X
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “No human should be used as spare parts for another.”

    I’d agree with that. I’m against raising children for the sole purpose of stripping them for their parts. Was someone arguing in favor of that? If so, I must have missed it. I thought the discussion had been on embryonic stem cells harvested from less than 14 days old tissue samples otherwise destined for destruction. That’s a hell of a lot different than slicing the nose off of a baby because you think you’d prefer it to your own. If you can’t see the difference, you probably shouldn’t be on the internet without supervision.

  73. Charlie November
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    EOS,
    I can see you don’t get it based on your nonsensical response to the biological facts of life. No need to confirm it.

  74. Posted May 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’ll post something on how babies are made and really blow EOS’s mind.

  75. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    When a man and woman love each other very much, they lie down together and the man plants a seed in the woman and nine months later, a baby is born!

    The book “Where Did I Come From?” was very helpful for me when I was comin’ up…it was kinda 70s hippie but it was awesome and described orgasms as feeling like a giant sneeze.

  76. EOS
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    I once heard someone say “that “campaigns have consequences” and those who are elected have a mandate to enact the changes they promised during the campaign and now his supporters are working to recall a newly elected official. Exactly what do they believe?

    Excuse me, I feel a sneeze coming on.

  77. LaidOffTeacherPatti
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Nice one, EOS!!! :)

  78. EOS
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Mr. X,

    We were all embryos at one stage of our lives and today we are collections of cells, tissues, and organs. Less than $5 worth of chemicals. The DNA in every cell in your body is identical to that of the fertilized egg you originated from.

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  3. […] things come to a head. As you may recall, things heated up a few years ago, when House Republicans attempted to withhold funding from Michigan universities that continued offering domestic partner be…, in spite of the fact that many in the legislature made it known that the Lord was opposed to the […]

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