Protecting us from the nonexistent threat of Sharia Law, putting guns in classrooms, restricting reproductive health care access for women, and resurrecting an Emergency Manager law that the people of Michigan have already said no to… these are the new priorities of our legislators in Lansing

Do you remember, a week or so ago, when we were discussing the anti-abortion omnibus bill (HB 5711), often referred to in the national press as “the country’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill“? Well, it passed the Michigan Senate today, and, after a quick trip back to the House, where a few edits need to be approved, it will be heading to the desk of our Governor, Rick Snyder. If you’d asked me last week whether or not I thought it was possible that he’d sign it, I would have said, “Not a chance.” Now, though, in light of yesterday’s passage of the right-to-work bill, I’m not so sure. I keep telling myself that Snyder, if he wants to avoid recall, is going to have to stand up to the right wing zealots in his party, now that he’s delivered on right-to-work, and start vetoing some of these more egregious pieces of legislation that are coming across his desk. But, in the back of my mind, I can’t help but think that a lot of Republicans, giddy with excitement over yesterday’s historic defeat of organized labor, are feeling that this lame duck session is their one big chance to finally do everything that they’ve been dreaming of since the Carter administration. And, I don’t know that Snyder, even if he wanted to, could stand up to them now, if that’s the case… You’d have a better chance, in my estimation, of fighting off a gang of starving bodybuilders high on bath salts who are intent on eating your face.

Someone today asked State Representative Jeff Irwin what those of us who wanted to stop 5711 from becoming law could do. He responded that, at this point, all we could really do was contact the Governor’s office and express our concern. He then added the following… “My fear, however, is that Governor Snyder traded horrible anti-woman legislation for horrible anti-worker legislation.”

Could it be possible that Snyder agreed to sign 5711 in exchange for support on right-to-work? Is it possible that his love of unions is so strong that he’d be willing to sell out our state’s women in order to make organized labor stronger? (In case it’s not clear, that’s sarcasm… I still can’t get over the fact that Snyder is trying to peddle this ridiculous narrative that Michigan’s new right-to-work legislation, which, by the way, was copied almost word-for-word from the ALEC template, is pro-union, as though we’re not smart enough to see right through that.)

And, like it or not, 5711 is just the tip of the iceberg. Once the anti-choice super bill goes through, that’s when the floodgates open in earnest… At present, there are dozens of pieces of extremist legislation winding their way through the legislative process in Lansing, in hopes of being signed into law before our newly-elected Senators and Representatives arrive in town, and the balance of power shifts a little bit more toward sanity, as this magical “anything goes” period of extremist wish fulfillment comes to an end.

Not only are the Republicans in Lansing, at this very moment, moving to reinstate the controversial Emergency Manager legislation that the people of Michigan overwhelmingly voted to get rid of in November, but they’re also pushing through legislation that would make it possible for gun owners to carry concealed weapons into schools, and, if you can believe it, make it illegal for Michigan to adopt fundamentalist Muslim law, as though that’s a pressing threat that we’re up against at the moment. (I’ll have to check, but I don’t think that it’s Muslims who are behind the push to end abortion rights in our state, or put guns in our schools.)

And, these are just the bills that I’ve learned about today… As we’ve discussed over the past few weeks, there are still bills making their way to Snyder’s desk which would, if signed into law, protect the rights of bigots working in the health care, allow for the unrestrained expansion of for-profit charter schools, and end the personal property tax revenue that funds local police and fire protection, among other things.

The folks a really weren’t kidding a few days ago, when they referred to us a Michissippi. We’re really through the looking glass now, my friends.

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  1. Thom Elliott
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    This is what you get with 50% of new college grads leaving the state, the brain-drain is real, these Republicans are simply pernicious, vindictive idiots who don’t care about us. They are living in a ulterior universe constructed by wealthy nihilists, for the sake of their thoughtless white aristo-swine constituency. If they wake up from their depression induced comas, the people of Michigan will be attempting to undo the malicious legislation of these idiots for decades to come. Fucking Verg Benario, fucking spineless Democrats who thought it was a good idea to run that pathetic clown against the fascist nerd, fucking people on the left who supported Synder, fucking libertarian business sleeze of Washtenaw county who helped launch this fascist pig into the govenors’ office, fucking white working class dupes who voted against their class interests in favor of their sickening social views, fuck you, fuck you forever.

  2. Edward
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I’d like to say, “We’ll see what Snyder is made of once these bills start landing on his desk,” but I think we already know what he’s made of. This lame-duck session has made that clear. He could veto every one of these bills and he’d still be a cowardly leader with no integrity.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Michigan State University – Baccalaureate Degree Commencements, Saturday, December 15, 10:00 a.m, Breslin Center

    Speaker: The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor, Michigan, will be awarded an honorary doctorate of laws and will address baccalaureate degree candidates.

  4. anonymous
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Where in the fuck do these people live that these are the most pressing issues?

  5. Knox
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Can someone explain to me how the Republicans are able to introduce new Emergency Manager legislation that appears to be essentially identical to that which was struck down by the voters of Michigan in November? Have they amended it in some way that I’m not aware of, so that it addresses the concerns of voters?

  6. K2
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    For those of you who are masochists, here’s today’s agenda for the House of Representatives.

  7. Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    It’s actually here:

  8. Aaron B.
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I did not support the recall of Snyder before but I do now. The GOP have gone way too far and I hope they pay come next election.

  9. Meta
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    From the Detroit Free Press:

    Two sweeping bills aimed at limiting abortion options moved closer to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk Wednesday, adding to two others already awaiting his signature.

    From a chaotic Lansing, where protests over right-to-work this week had overshadowed abortion concerns, Ed Rivet, spokesman for Michigan Right to Life, was thrilled.

    “Those three issues were our top issues: conscience, insurance, and regulation and reform,” he said, referring to the issues addressed in the bills. “That we’re doing them all simultaneously is pretty remarkable. This is a bit of rewards for 25 years of work.”

    Read more:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  10. John Galt
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Where’s the “Give Public Parks to Industry to Build Coal-Powered Hog Rendering Plants Operated by Black Children” bill that I’ve been lobbying for? All of these other things are nice, but that one is essential.

  11. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Did I read somewhere that they are attaching another appropriations bill to the EM stuff so that it can’t be overturned by referendum? I woke up at like 2am and started looking through Facebook and I thought I saw something about that.

    I’m kind of getting tired of hearing that Snyder is afraid to stand up to them. You know who is great at standing up to bullies? Me! I’ll school his ass. (Maybe it’s because I have a real Doctor of Law that saw me sitting my ass in 100+ hours of 800 level classes but oh I see you can get an honorary one, neat). Isn’t this guy super rich? Why does he need DeVos money anyway?

    Speaking of DeVos, much has been made about the idea of “union thugs”. DeVos was threatening to pull support from people and fund a primary challenge if they didn’t fall in line behind the RTW(4L) stuff. Um, isn’t that thuggery? He’s not stomping their faces but he is still making threats and being a dillfuck.

  12. Demetrius
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    From Wonkette:

    ‘Right To Work’ Possibly The Least Awful To Happen In Michigan This Week

    While everyone was focused on nerd-strongman Rick Snyder and the Council of Conservative Citizens/Michigan legislature passing Right to Work with the deliberation normally required to order from the Taco Bell drive-thru, Michigan’s government was busy doing all kinds of other terrible things during their lamest of lame duck sessions. Let’s take a look at some items under consideration as part of Lansing’s plan to turn Michigan into a backwater that makes Saudi Arabia look progressive and Appalachia seem prosperous …

  13. Demetrius
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    … the end of the article is my favorite part:

    “Someone really should contact Rahm Emanuel about all this. Chicago will need to build refugee camps to handle Michigan’s dwindling minority of literate residents who will likely seek asylum in the Windy City. Those people won’t stick around for the idiocracy Lansing is constructing, that’s for sure.”

  14. Mr. X
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of refuge camps right over the border.

  15. Posted December 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    We don’t share a border with Illinois.

  16. Demetrius
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    That’s why we need to build a new “underground railroad” through Gary, Indiana.

  17. Brainless
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Without unions or support for reproductive rights, Michigan will get its wish and will “compete” with other states for residents. Don’t let the mitten smack ya in the ass on the way out. Who knew Ohio would start to look good?

    Wait till they start to pump water outside the basin and flatten the Keweenaw with one massive strip mine. They’re gonna keep raping the whole thing until it becomes Kentucky all over again. In fact, we can finally have our Ypsitucky jamboree when we all end up moving down there.

  18. Posted December 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    And Mark, you spelled existent incorrectly.

  19. Meta
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Rebekah Warren on 5711:

    “If women have to be screened to see if they are being coerced into having an abortion, I offered the amendment to have men be screened to ensure they are not being coerced into having a vasectomy.”


  20. Meta
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    These lame duck bills, as the Detroit Free Press points out, come with a price tag. As a result of what the Republicans are now doing in Lansing, we’re going back into the red.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  21. John Galt Jr.
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    You laugh about Sharia Law, but we all know that’s Obama’s endgame. He wants to turn our beloved country into an Islamic state. That’s why he’s been killing so many Islamic leaders with drones. It’s all part of the plan. Listen to Michele Bachmann if you won’t listen to me.

  22. Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    A short history of “right to work”

  23. Jeff Irwin by proxy
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Right now, Michigan House Republicans are moving to eliminate corporate taxes that support local units of government. Schools, cities, townships and counties will lose revenue that currently supports police and fire protection. Because Republicans failed to provide replacement revenue, this will either reduce police and fire protection or raise local property taxes. This is yet another, regressive tax shift that lowers taxes on the wealthy in order to raise taxes on middle class and low income families.

    Everybody agrees that the so-called ‘personal property tax’ should be reformed. I will not, however, support a change that fails to provide replacement revenue and that shifts the burden to those least able to pay.

  24. Edward
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Our Representatives in Lansing were still passing legislation at 5:00 AM this morning. They’re unstoppable, trying to get everything done by the end of this session. They’re certainly not letting this opportunity go to waste. At 3:30 AM they were voting on tax breaks for mining companies.

  25. Bob Krzewisnki
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Now our Republican friends want to restrict recall elections –

  26. Demetrius
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    It has become a cliche on discussion forums and blogs like this one to refer to practically anything anybody doesn’t like as “fascism.”

    However, when a legislature starts working marathon sessions (all-day yesterday, all through the night, and on into today …) pumping out literally DOZENS of pieces of sweeping, radical and unprecedented legislation — only to cap it off by restricting the right of voters to repeal it, or even to recall their elected officials — what, exactly do you call it?

    Nothing less than *democracy* is under attack here in Michigan, my friends — no hyberbole intended, at all.

  27. Rutledge by proxy
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    David E. Rutledge:

    Last night in the last day of “lame duck,” I voted against a repeal of the personal property tax (PPT), an unfair tax but a significant source of much-needed revenue for schools and local units of government. The flimsy plan that would replace a portion of that revenue was rushed through the House and Senate in the final hours of the two-year session – is this a way to make sound, quality public policy?

  28. Eel
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    CNN: “Suspected gunman in Connecticut elementary school shooting is dead on the scene, source says.”

    If only the teachers, janitors and administrators were outfitted with assault riffles, this never would have happened.

  29. Posted December 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This is getting to be a weekly occurrence. I don’t know how groups like the NRA have two feet to stand on.

  30. Demetrius
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    There are no words:

  31. John Galt
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    How do we know that Obama didn’t orchestrate this school shooting so that he can take away our guns?

  32. Meta
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    According to WDIV Detroit, Snyder isn’t going to sign the “guns in schools” bill today.

    The Michigan Legislature has enacted a bill allowing people who undergo extra training to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools, churches, day care centers and sports stadiums where they previously were off-limits.

    The Republican-controlled House approved the bill Friday after it cleared the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature. However, Snyder told Local 4 Friday in an interview that he wasn’t rushing into signing it. He is planning on taking a week to review and finish language — especially in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.

    Read more:

  33. Elf
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Snyder is going through an extreme nerd makeover.

    Much like this woman:

    He went into an office as a logical nerd, and he’s coming out a hardcore extremist.

  34. Jim
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Elf, that’s awesome.

  35. John Galt
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Interviewer: After the elections you said, “Unless there’s an organized, militant labor movement, it’s very unlikely that the goals of changing the society will be achieved.” But 42 percent of the public would like to see unions have less influence, while just 25 percent would like to see them have more. Even more strikingly, 38 percent of union households voted for anti-union Wisconsin governor Scott Walker in June . . . The European social democracies counted on roughly a 70-80 percent unionization rate for their proper functioning. What would returning to the historic US high-water mark of 1954, where a third of the country was unionized, do? And how exactly does labor go about achieving it? Could even high union density be enough to address a host of newer problems, like climate catastrophe, which are unlikely to be solved through simply a more social-democratic political system?

    Chomsky: You have to look at American history. The US has been, to an unusual extent, a business-run society – I mentioned some of it – and it has a very violent labor history, much more so than Europe. In fact, workers were getting murdered in strikes up through the late 1930s. Nothing like that had happened in Europe for years. There’s never been a parliamentary labor party.

    The labor movement was virtually crushed by the 1920s. It was quite substantial and important. There was a big union movement, and there was also a radical farmers’ movement. The radical farmers had come from Texas, incidentally, and that was the source of the most important democratic movement in American history. It was a huge movement – the Farmers Alliance linked up with the Knights of Labor. They were crushed by force. Then they reconstituted, and then Wilson crushed them. The First Red Scare virtually eliminated the labor movement; by the 1920s, there’s nothing there.

    It picked up in the 30s with the CIO [Congress of Industrial Organizations] organizing sit-down strikes and so on. Business was terrified. If you read the business press, they thought the world was coming to an end. Then they immediately turned to other methods to block the labor movement: recall the scientific methods of strikebreaking, the Mohawk Valley formula and things like that. Well, the war came along – everything got put on hold – but immediately after the war, all of this went into operation.

    It was a huge business offensive, astonishing in its scale. There’s pretty good scholarship on it – the propaganda penetrated churches, sports leagues, schools, cinema, almost anything you can think of. Nothing was left out to try to make sure that labor was destroyed. It had an effect. The attack on labor persisted. There were some changes in the 60s, but in the early 70s, it was resumed – part of the neoliberal assault, which was violently anti-union.
    By now, as you know, it’s down to like 7 percent in private industry. A lot of hatred of unions is simply based on the effectiveness of propaganda, and partly it’s themselves. I’m sure you remember that in 1979, Doug Fraser, then head of the United Auto Workers (UAW), made an important speech. He pulled out of the labor-business council that [Jimmy] Carter was setting up. He complained that business had been fighting a one-sided class war against labor, and that’s not right. He was correct, except he was a little bit late. It had been going on throughout American history and the labor movement had cooperated. The business world through the 50s and the 60s made a deal, so the UAW would say, “Okay, you do something for us, and we’ll shut up; give us pensions and decent health care and we won’t do anything for the rest of the population. We’ll give up control on the shop floor and so on.”

    Well, that compact is a suicide pact for labor. If business didn’t like it, they would say, “Okay, get lost,” which is exactly what they did. And of course, then Reagan came along and basically informed the business world that you can do anything you like to break unions. You can violate the law, and in fact, illegal firing of organizers tripled in the Reagan years. Clinton came along and he added another way of destroying unions. It’s called NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement]. He didn’t bother saying it, but the business world knew they could violate labor laws to break strikes by threatening to transfer enterprises to Mexico. And the number of illegal actions like that shot up again. Bush I won’t talk about – or Obama.

    The net effect is that private-sector labor has been very seriously harmed, also in the public mind – partly their own fault. Now, what about the public sector? That was able to preserve the legal conditions, so now they’re under attack. It’s mostly a propaganda attack, and Obama’s a big part of it. You have to try and get people to think that their problems are due to the fact that teachers have pensions; it’s not that Goldman Sachs has money coming out of its ears. It’s because the teachers have pensions and I don’t have a pension.

    That’s been the terrific propaganda, and that’s what happened in Wisconsin, and elsewhere, too: huge attacks on schools, teachers and public-sector workers generally to try to break that last bit. Well, can that ever be reversed? It was reversed in the 30s, from a much smaller base, so you don’t know.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Ted McClelland on fleeing “Michissippi” on December 24, 2012 at 12:44 am

    […] on fleeing “Michissippi”By Mark | December 24, 2012Here on the site last week, I twice invoked an article that appeared on Salon.con entitled Right-to-work bill: Michigan just gives up. […]

  2. By Save yourselves. Don’t be like Michigan. on December 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

    […] out previous warnings from the Mitten State here, here, here and […]

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