For those of you who were wondering what the Republican endgame would look like, just turn your attention toward Michigan, where women’s rights, gay rights, public education, and unions are all being systematically dismantled before our eyes, in one fell swoop

Not only did both houses of Michigan’s Republican-controled legislature, with the aid of billionaire conservative activists like Dick DeVos and the Koch brothers, jam through controversial right-to-work legislation this afternoon, in violation of long-honored rules, as members of the public were forced from the Capitol by armed police and pro-labor protestors were assaulted with pepper spray, but the Republicans, hoping to make the most of this pre-holiday lame-duck session, also made their move to push through an ambitious collection of draconian bills aimed at curtailing the reproductive freedom of women in our state. Following, with more on that, is a clip from the Huffington Post.

State lawmakers in Michigan are using their lame-duck session to pass a bundle of bills that would significantly restrict women’s ability to access and pay for abortions in the state.

The state Senate passed three bills on Thursday that would ban abortion coverage in state-based health insurance exchanges and all private insurance plans, and another bill that would allow employers and medical professionals to refuse to cover or provide health treatment to which they morally object. State lawmakers are also expected to pass a so-called omnibus bill on Thursday that would impose prohibitive building regulations on abortion clinics and ban the use of telemedicine to prescribe abortion medication…

Senate Bills 612, 613 and 614, which passed along party lines in the State Senate on Thursday, will prevent all insurance plans in Michigan from covering abortion unless a woman would die without the procedure. The measures do not include exceptions for rape, incest or pregnancy complications that would jeopardize the mother’s health. Private insurance companies will be given the option to carry a separate abortion coverage policy that the woman would have to pay for in addition to her regular coverage…

State senators also passed a bill on Thursday by a vote of 26 to 12 that would allow employers, doctors, nurses and pharmacists to conscientiously object to providing or paying for certain medical services, including birth control and abortion. Senate Republicans argued that the bill protects religious freedom. The Detroit Free Press reports that one Republican doctor, state Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw), broke with his party to oppose the bill.

“I don’t know how this doesn’t violate the oath I took, when I promised to resuscitate someone with TB or treat someone with AIDS,” he said.

The House is expected to consider those bills next week. In the meantime, it is expected to pass an omnibus bill that would further restrict abortion access. House Bill 5711 would regulate abortion clinics as surgical centers by imposing strict physical building requirements on them, such as minimum doorway sizes and minimum square footage. The regulations could effectively shut down some clinics in the state.

The omnibus bill also includes a provision that ends telemedicine abortions, which are commonly used by women in rural and medically under-served areas of the state. According the Groen, 21 out of 83 counties in Michigan have no local OBGYN, so telemedicine allows doctors to prescribe medication abortions to women in early stages of their pregnancies through a phone or internet consultation…

It’s worth mentioning, I think, that HB 5711 has been referred to in the press as “the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill.” It’s still possible, of course, that Rick Snyder could veto these various bills, assuming they all make it through the legislature, but, given what I’m seeing play out in Lansing today, I think it’s highly unlikely that he’ll throw himself in front of the runaway train that is our Republican legislature.

For those of you who were wondering what the Republican endgame would look like, this is it… In the past week, we’ve not only seen aggressive movement against reproductive rights in Michigan, and unions, but against gay rights and public education as well. This is everything that members of the Michigan GOP have been pushing for these past thirty years, and it’s finally coming to fruition. This is their New Deal, and they’re going for it. I’d like to say that I’m surprised, but it was obvious from the start that this was what they had in mind. Here, with more on the specifics, is a comment left on the site earlier this evening by State Representative Jeff Irwin.

The Right to Work for less bills (HB 4157, 4466, 4054) were passed out of the House. The Senate will likely vote on the bills on Tuesday next week.

The language was introduced today and the bills were brought to the floor without any committee hearings. The Republicans even locked down the Capitol so that they wouldn’t have to endure the throngs of protesters.

The Republicans believe that this will improve Michigan’s economy. Those of us who look at the data know that the states with the most dymanic and successful economies are those states that invest in education and support the rights of workers. RTW states have consistently lower wages, more poverty and higher unemployment.

In 2011, Michigan Republicans devastated school funding, raiding $1.5 BILLION per year from K-12 schools and cutting higher education by 15%. Now, Michigan Republicans are eliminating the fundamental aspects of collective bargaining.

In any event, I’m still on the floor of the Michigan House, standing with Rep. Rutledge to oppose the repeated attempts by Michigan Republicans to drag down the state I love.

One more thing: the Michigan Republicans also inserted an appropriation in the bill in order to deny the citizens our right to referendum. Because of this appropriation, we cannot start a petition drive to overturn this action. This practice of inserting appropriations in controversial legislation is the surest sign that the Michigan Republicans are afraid that their actions are not supported by the voters.

Oh, and that quote at the top of the page – “workers should have freedom to choose” – is something that Snyder said this morning, when defending the decision to jam through right-to-work legislation, which, as we discussed yesterday, would essentially defund unions in our state to the point of collapse. And, as I point out at the top of the page, I think it’s wildly ironic that, immediately after sounding the death knell for unions, claiming disingenuously that it was all about protecting “freedom to choose,” those same Republicans began pushing through a stack of bills designed to rob women of that same right as it pertains to their own bodies.

Lying, fortunately, is something that these people are very adept at. My favorite recent example is the radio ad, funded by the forces of Amway tycoon Dick DeVos, which repeats, “Freedom-to-work safeguards workers’ rights to bargain collectively. Tell Lansing – protect collective bargaining and support freedom-to-work.” As there don’t appear to be any ramifications for this kind of dishonesty, I suspect that we’ll keep hearing it. I don’t have the exact quote, but, today, during Snyder’s press conference, I believe I heard him say that this right-to-work legislation was about making unions stronger. (How’s that for honesty?) And, if I’m not mistaken, no one in the press called him on it. Soon, I imagine, we’ll begin hearing radio adds assuring us that the anti-abortion omnibus package is intended to broaden access and increase options for Michigan’s women.

One last thing… I think it’s worth noting that some Democrats in Lansing are pushing back. Here, in evidence of that fact, is an incredible piece of footage of Representative Brandon Dillon, of Grand Rapids, speaking out against the Republican push to force through right-to-work legislation without debate.

Is there any hope of fighting back at this point, or is it too late? Is it possible that a general strike would help? Is it conceivable that our Democratic legislators, like their counterparts in Wisconsin, could slow this whole runaway train of horrific legislation down by leaving the state and going into hiding? Or, should we just resign ourselves to the fact that we allowed this to happen by letting our guard down, and trusting that Rick Snyder was a level-headed reformer who would never let this kind of thing take place in Michigan? Hopefully, if nothing else, this serves as a warning to other states as to just how much you can lose when you give these people an opening. Personally, though, I’m not ready to give up, and concede our place in history as a cautionary tale? At least not yet.

One last question… How do I reconcile the fact that Snyder says that we need to pass right-to-work legislation in order to create jobs in Michigan, when, every day, I receive email updates from his office, telling me that things are steadily improving, and that jobs are already being created? Was he lying before, when he said that we’d turned the corner, and that things are getting better, or is he lying now, when he says that a turnaround would be impossible without this legislation?

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  1. anonymous
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Obama has weighed in on the right-to-work mess. A spokesman for the President said the following today.

    “President Obama has long opposed so-called ‘right to work’ laws and he continues to oppose them now. The President believes our economy is stronger when workers get good wages and good benefits, and he opposes attempts to roll back their rights. Michigan – and its workers’ role in the revival of the US automobile industry — is a prime example of how unions have helped build a strong middle class and a strong American economy.”

  2. Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    To get the so-called Reagan Democrats to wake the F up. It’ll be interesting to see if 2014 is a repeat of 2010, with Dems staying home in droves because Obama could not walk on water, or if they will be just as ‘fired up, ready to go’ as they were in 2008 and 2012. Plenty of things to get fired up about today, hopefully all this crap will get repealed in 2015 before it can do serious damage.

  3. Kristin
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I know I have been lazy for the past five years raising my child, but since she is a female child these knobs are going to force us to drop out of our crafting and our flash cards and demonstrate. Wouldn’t they rather we were at home? We would.

  4. Demetrius
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Is there any chance that House and Senate Democrats could walk out — Wisconsin-style?

    Would this prevent a necessary quorum, thus preventing a vote?

    At the very least, could they refuse to vote on any other legislation, or participate in any committee hearings, until these tactics stop?

    The Republicans’ push to pass so many far-reaching bills so quickly, and with so little discussion or input from the public, while in a lame-duck session, and just days before the holiday break — seems unprecedented in Michigan’s history.

    It seems to me these extraordinary circumstances requires some extraordinary action on the part of the Democratic caucuses.

  5. Demetrius
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    When all this over, we also need to focus on the process that allows the creation of these crazy gerrymandered legislative districts which have given Republicans such a lop-sided, and seemingly permanent, majority.

  6. Edward
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    To paraphrase something a friend shared on Facebook yesterday – “A hearty ‘fuck you’ to all of my friends who told me that a vote for Snyder would mean that this wouldn’t happen.”

  7. Edward
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    When I first read this post, I was reminded of something written some time ago on this site by “an anonymous Lansing insider”. Well, I found it.

    “Rick Snyder had the chance to be the next Bill Milliken, a sort of post-partisan technocrat who didn’t buy into all the normal GOP bullshit but just wanted to cut taxes and generally make things work better. He shit the bed. Time and again he’s bowed to the demands of the craziest elements in the State House and Senate. These are people who don’t believe in science, who want to put women back in the kitchen, and who are terrified of allowing non-whites and young people access to voting. They also believe in magic in terms of economic policy. Snyder has been flaccid in standing up to them, just look at the domestic partnership legislation he signed. If the Governor had been more like LBJ and actually pointed out to legislators that he was elected to govern a state of 10 million people, not some district where 5,000 primary voters get you to Lansing, then he could have succeeded. If he’d focus solely on job creation and better governance, he’d be in great shape. Instead, what we’ve had is a governor who has relentlessly and positively allowed the GOP to put him over a barrel.”

  8. anon
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    if this doesn’t get you moving, lord knows what will.

  9. Facebook Watcher
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Jeff Irwin elaborated on Facebook this morning:

    Just to be clear how deeply they disrepespect the voters, Michigan House Republicans inserted an appropriation in the Right to Work for Less bills. This was done to prohibit a citizen referendum, effectively denying citizens their Constitutional rights.

    The House Republicans have been violating the Constitution the entire time I’ve been in Lansing – refusing the respect the rights of Democrats in the House (specifically refusing the follow Article 4, Sec. 18). However, when they similarly disrepect the people of this state, they up the ante. Citizens of all stripes should stand up for fairness and following the Constitution.

  10. Posted December 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Are they going to take this opportunity to gut environmental regulations too?

  11. Eel
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Any chance we could plan a hike up to the Governor’s house this weekend, and remind him that his actions have real consequences on his neighbors?

  12. Anonymous Mike
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Who wants to be that this post will eventually bring EOS back?

  13. Chaely
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I’m concerned that they’ve been doing so much underhanded vote-less bill passing here in Michigan lately that even with a Dem walkout they’ll still find some loophole through which they can push this shit through like a slippery turd. Now that they’re writing their own rule book I’m not sure how to stop them.

  14. 734
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Photo of cops shutting down the capitol yesterday.

  15. Jennifer
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Half-listening to Diane Rehm’s weekly news roundup on NPR just now, with someone talking about “shoving this bill down their throats in one night!,” I realize that they’re talking about Egypt and Morsi, not our legislators and fearless “leader” in Lansing.

    I’m speechless over this mess, incensed that the local TV news gave about 28 seconds to it last night, and wish that Snyder would at least have the decency to keep quiet, if not tell some version of the truth (ie that his hands are tied by the anti-union forces in the Republican party), rather than saying that he’s standing up as a “leader” and “protecting workers.”

  16. Jennifer
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    And obviously real “decency” wouldn’t be Snyder keeping quiet; real “leadership” would mean standing up to this LAME lame duck maneuvering that is anti-democratic in every way. Real leadership would mean standing up, saying no to the way this has been done, and averting the years of unproductive, relentless negative inaction about to begin.

  17. Mr. X
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    “The Michigan Republicans also inserted an appropriation in the bill in order to deny the citizens our right to referendum. Because of this appropriation, we cannot start a petition drive to overturn this action.”

    What the fuck? Is that even legal?

  18. Bob
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I forget, when is the labor rights fundraiser at the Corner Brewery again?

    Fuck the Corner and every other Democrat, working family person or hourly worker who voted for Snyder.

  19. Denise Heberle
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Senate democrats tried one kind of slow down that last night by offering a whopping 20 amendments. (Committee meetings might get the wheels of lawmaking back to “normal.”) We are fighting more than mere Republicans here. Koch’s “Americans for Prosperity” were there, Voss put $6 million into this package, and ALEC wrote the bills. They can’t vote on the final version for five days, so at a minimum we should keep up a constant presence, physical and through phoning/writing and maybe the turd will decide not to sign. Obama weighed in yesterday to no avail – maybe he can come up with a bigger threat.

  20. KKT
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Gretchen Whitmer on the floor of the Senate yesterday.

  21. Jennifer
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Eel wrote: “Any chance we could plan a hike up to the Governor’s house this weekend, and remind him that his actions have real consequences on his neighbors?”

    I take this as a serious question. Does anyone know of something like this being organized?

  22. Meta
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Think Progress has a breakdown of all the abortion related bills being considered in Lansing.

    1) Regulate abortion clinics out of existence. HB 5711, the massive 45-page legislation that sparked a massive outcry when the House considered it in June, contains additional and unnecessary regulations for abortion providers. HB 5711 would subject any facilities that perform 6 or more abortions per month to burdensome regulations that could be so costly that they force clinics to close their doors, an indirect method of targeting abortion providers.

    2) Limit abortion access for women in rural areas. HB 5711 would also place restrictions on telemedical abortions, which provide essential health services to women in rural areas who often lack any access to nearby abortion doctors. Even though telemedical procedures have been proven to be safe and effective, Michigan lawmakers seek to require doctors to be physically present to administer abortion services.

    3) Impose further guidelines for the disposal of fetal remains. Michigan already has regulations in place to instruct medical professions about how they must dispose of fetal remains, but HB 5711 wants to go a step further, requiring fetal remains to be treated in the exact same manner as dead bodies. Doctors would be forced to fill out death forms and make arrangements for the fetal remains’ cremation or burial, imposing an emotional burden on the women whose pregnancies end through a medical miscarriage. No other state handles fetal remains at 10 weeks in the same way as it handles dead bodies.

    4) Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services. A trio of companion bills — SBs 612, 613, and 614 — would work together to ban the health insurance exchange that Michigan will set up under Obamacare from covering abortion, as well as ban private insurers from covering any abortion services under their general insurance plans. Currently, 87 percent of Michigan’s insurance plans include abortion care in their benefits packages. If private insurers elect to cover abortions, they have to do it as a separate rider, which often ends up being more costly for women.

    5) Allow doctors to refuse to perform abortion services because of their personal beliefs. SB 975, which passed the Michigan Senate’s Health Policy committee earlier this week and is now up for a full vote, is a sweeping “license to discriminate” bill that would allow medical professionals to deny health services based on their personal beliefs. It would allow doctors to refuse to provide HIV treatment, vaccinations, or abortions to any of their patients simply based on their “conscience.”

    Read more:

  23. Mr. X
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Calling Rick Snyder the new Scott Walker, Mother Jones says there will be training in Lansing on Saturday and protests next week.

    A senior labor official with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) tells Mother Jones that unions are ramping up to persuade Snyder not to sign the right-to-work bills next week. There will be a civil disobedience training in Detroit on Saturday, workplace actions on Monday, and then on Tuesday, when the state House goes back to work, unions hope to bring thousands of protesters to Lansing—all in opposition to Michigan’s right-to-work bills. “Rick Snyder is the new Scott Walker,” the official says. “We’ll make sure the voices of working men and women are heard in Michigan.”

  24. anonymous
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    “Right to work is not high on employers’ things to consider when they move to a state,” Dale Belman, a professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, said Thursday. “For existing employers it doesn’t provide a benefit and may be a detriment,” he said, because of worsening labor relations in right-to-work states.

  25. Posted December 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure there will be things happening on Monday, but it looks like the big protest is being scheduled for Tuesday in Lansing… I just received the following.

    Michigan’s far-right legislature slipped through Right to Work legislation without any debate. Without any input. And Michigan workers are under attack. It’s time to step up. There will be a Rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, December 11th, at 8:30 am. Meet up is at the Lansing Center (320 E. Michigan) with a march to the Capitol.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact the organizer for this event:

    Dan Fingas
    Michigan Laborers
    (313 )354-4035

  26. Bob Krzewisnki
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Friday early evening, I received a robo-call that blasted State Representative David Rutledge for “voting against veterans”. The call did not identify who was putting the call out, the caller ID just said Plymouth Michigan, and calling the number back, a recording said it was “out of service”. Being a veteran, you sort of build up a strong bullshit detector when you are in the military, and this call, by people that don’t even have the balls to identify themselves, really did stink.

    Sources tell me that these calls were coming from far right wing Republicans/”tea party” fanatics that want to label Davids vote against Right To Work legislation as being against “jobs” and therefore hurting veterans. I guess these assholes sending out the robo-calls are probably are not vets themselves but have no qualms using veterans as a tool. Sure, Michigan veterans want to come back to jobs in Michigan that pay less.

  27. SparkleMotion
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I had an idea for the next round of state elections, and I looked and don’t think it’s being done. Gather a list of who voted for and against all controversial legislation and hand it out at polling places. Given that people tend to focus on what laws became laws and not the names behind them, we could help people make a slightly more informed decision on some of the elections that don’t get the spotlight instead of relying on tv scare tactics.

  28. Demetrius
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I was just reviewing some of the local mainstream (Detroit News/Freep/ coverage of this issue — and made the mistake of reading many of the reader comments that followed these articles.

    I’m sure they’re not necessarily a representative sample, but I’m shocked at how many ordinary people — including many low- and middle-income working people — are buying into one or more of the following scenarios:

    Choice: Basically, why should workers be *forced* to pay union dues as a condition of employment? (While continuing to receive all the advantages — higher pay, better benefits, health and safety, job protection, etc. — which have been hard-won by unions).

    Jobs: The idea that by finally ridding Michigan of all those “greedy union thugs,” businesses will immediately begin flocking to Michigan to create jobs. (Even though most studies show that while this might create a small number of new jobs, almost all would be low-wage, low-skill positions.)

    Fiscal: The idea that, by finally breaking the teachers’ and other public workers’ unions (and taking away their “big salaries” and “gold-plated benefits” ) we could finally solve the Michigan’s school and municipal funding crises — and lower taxes, too.

    Independence: More than a few posters (mostly men) said they didn’t need a union to bargain on their behalf because they believe they are “hard-working enough,” and “smart enough,” to bargain (wit a multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation) for their own best interests.

    Big Government/Big Corporations Are Our Friends: Many argued that unions were once, but are “no longer necessary,” because … “after all, we have OSHA,” and besides, “don’t the companies we work for really want what’s best for us, anyway?”

    I just don’t understand this mentality where so many ordinary workers see their class interests aligned with the wealthy and with corporate power — instead of with their fellow workers. (Hence the common Detroit-area scenario of well-paid union auto workers seeing nothing wrong with shopping at Wal-Mart — instead of, for instance, Meijer) if it will save them 5 cents on a can of creamed corn … )

    What’s even crazier: I’ll bet 99% (no pun intended) of these people have NO idea that in many parts of Europe and in Scandinavia (where union participation is much stronger, and where unions are even guaranteed representation corporate boards), not only are wages, benefits and job security much better — but companies are actually more stable, and more profitable.

    The only way I can begin to explain this is by pointing to the 30+ years of relentless right-wing propaganda has, obviously, been enormously successful in getting many ordinary working people to see unions (and their fellow workers) as the bad guy — instead of the corporations that are continually trying to undermine their wages, benefits and job security.

  29. Posted December 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Demetrius, I agree 100%. I blame hate radio & Fox News and I really have to hand it to the right-wingers for turning the tide against unions. I think the *only* thing I can accept from your lists is the white men who say they can bargain better themselves because I think that is probably true. As a female, I definitely didn’t have that luxury especially whilst in the legal field where women are routinely paid much less and aren’t seen as valuable because the presumption is that we will get married & have kids and leave anyway.

    I can’t bear to look at reader comments because it breaks my heart to see how ignorant people are (esp. cries that our employers want what is best for us and would never screw us over). In a sick way, I want to see all of the union protections go away–no more maternity leave for women, no bathroom breaks/lunch breaks, kids working instead of in school, etc. But even if that happened, I’m sure a large majority of people *still* wouldn’t recognize the value of unions and would somehow blame their fellow workers :(

  30. Demetrius
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    @ TeacherPatti:

    I agree — and I can’t help feeling that so many of the people who take this arrogant view do so because they, personally, feel they are so much smarter, more capable, harder-working, etc. — that they don’t need the kinds of protections that “others” do.

    Of course, this ignores the fact that just one accident, injury, illness, divorce — or even the simple fact of aging, or working in a rapidly-changing economy — can put ANY our livelihoods at risk, no matter how “strong,” or “smart,” we think we are.

    I think another overlooked issue is how many better-educated people in more “professional” fields often feel absolutely no solidarity with (and perhaps some distaste for) more blue-collar folks who work in less glamorous occupations … but that’s a whole other topic …

  31. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, when the governor is a shill and actor hired by the Rockefeller and Greenberg to play the Republican Agenda in Michigan; what do you exspect?

    Until you understand actor based reality is running this country and others, your logic is foggy.

    We’ve been Scammed for decades and centuries.

  32. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    They play as many Democrats as they don’t care. They win both ways. Divide and Conquer us. They own everything, these families.

    We’ve been scammed.

  33. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Genetics don’t lie, exposing these hired actors for the families agendas.
    Once you’ve been exposed, through scientific ear biometric genetics. You’re done.
    Game over.
    I know it’s tough to swallow; but come on. This BS over the airwaves, TV etc, is just ridiculous. Well, there is a reason. We are being scammed.
    Just go around in circles and nothing gets done.

  34. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Rick Snyder has the same Ear Genetic Biometric as Tom Beringer, Dancing with the Stars. He is a Rocketfeller. Prostethetics, latex, makeup and tons of money to pull these scams off is nother for these families. Hmmmmm, Rick Snyder comes from no where and becomes governer and doesn’t want to live at the governers mansion. How convienent. LOL. Man, WE ARE SCAMMED.

    Okay, I’m done.

  35. Watching Ypsi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Believe me, I AM A DEMOCRAT and for the masses. WE HAVE BEEN SCAMMED.

  36. Posted December 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Try as you might, WY, this thread will not be derailed.

  37. Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


    Oh! That’s a good point about the “professionals” vs. blue collar/not glamorous jobs. My job is definitely NOT glamorous (unless you think being puked on, peed on, drooled on is a thing of beauty) and I feel like teachers always run around trying so hard to prove we are “professionals” like we somehow have to prove ourselves to the “white collar” people. Whatever.

    And you are totally right…one car crash, one seizure (hell, a new student on my caseload was a 30 ACT kid/3.8 GPA headed to at least UM if not elsewhere had an 8 minute seizure and now can’t see out of parts of her visual field, can’t read/write/comprehend), one mugging, one retina detachment (another student had two just this semester) away from being in a lot of trouble.

    FWIW, I think the idea of Dickie S being an actor is AWESOME. Even better if he’s just a puppet– like the Mark Maynard puppet but evil.

  38. Posted December 9, 2012 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    I have not heard a word about this
    KRAMPUS 2012
    Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 PM at Corner Brewery

    Is this happening?

  39. Posted December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Yes. It will happen. Expect a formal update shortly.

    (The Republicans in Lansing fucked with my schedule.)

  40. Meta
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    This is from the Detroit Free Press. It’s an editorial that ran today.

    The Free Press, by the way, endorsed Snyder in 2010.

    Two years ago, a newly elected Rick Snyder told the Free Press editorial board he was determined to be a new kind of governor — a pragmatist focused like a laser on initiatives that promised to raise standards of living for all Michiganders.

    And until last week, we believed him.

    For two years, we supported Snyder as he took painful steps to restore Michigan’s fiscal stability and confront a crisis in which plunging tax revenues and mounting obligations to retired workers threatened to cripple the state’s cities and school districts.

    We criticized the governor for signing legislation that burdened a woman’s right to choose, condoned discrimination against gays, and beggared colleges and universities to pay for business tax cuts.

    But we also indulged many compromises Snyder maintained were necessary to advance his pro-growth agenda. And when ideologues on the right and left mounted campaigns designed to hamstring state government by limiting its authority to raise revenues, regulate labor relations, and fund critically needed infrastructure, we joined the governor in opposing them.

    In short, we trusted Snyder’s judgment.

    That trust has now been betrayed — for us, and for the hundreds of thousand of independents who voted for Snyder with the conviction that they were electing someone more independent, and more visionary, than partisan apparatchiks like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker or Florida’s Rick Scott.

    Last week, in an abrupt about-face Snyder’s defenders said was born of his frustration with organized labor, the governor unleashed a legislative blitzkrieg that seems certain to bring a bill barring closed-shop contracts to his desk next week.

    He has already promised to sign it.

    Watching Snyder explain his right-to-work reversal was disturbing on several levels.

    His insistence that the legislation was designed to promote the interests of unionized workers and “bring Michiganders together” was grotesquely disingenuous; even as he spoke, security personnel were locking down the capital in anticipation of protests by angry unionists.

    Snyder’s ostensible rationale for embracing right-to-work legislation — it was, he insisted, a matter of preserving workers’ freedom of association — was equally dishonest.

    The real motive of Michigan’s right-to-work champions, as former GOP legislator Bill Ballenger ruefully observed, is “pure greed” — the determination to emasculate, once and for all, the Democratic Party’s most reliable source of financial and organizational support.

    Off track for a better state

    Michigan voters have never trusted business interests or organized labor to govern Michigan unilaterally, and they have been appropriately wary of schemes to secure a permanent advantage for either side. Thus the ignominious demise of Proposal 2, which a majority of voters correctly perceived as an attempt not just to tip the scales of labor negotiations in unions’ favor, but to lock them there for decades to come.

    Snyder and other critics of Proposal 2 called it an overreach — and we agreed, even when proponents warned that Snyder and his Republican legislative allies would move to crush the labor movement if the voters rejected Proposal 2.

    Nonsense, we assured them — Gov. Snyder is smarter than that. Too many of Snyder’s higher priorities would be jeopardized, we reasoned, if he picked a needless fight over right-to-work.

    Our reasoning was sound, and it remains so. What we miscalculated was Snyder’s resolve to buck his own party’s most irrational ideologues and keep his eye on the main prize: a better Michigan.

    It’s all about politics
    Like the failed labor initiative it seeks to avenge, Snyder’s right-to-work legislation is an attempt to institutionalize Republicans’ current political advantage. Everything else is window dressing, and most of these diversionary talking points are demonstrably false.

    The argument that right-to-work status makes states more competitive or prosperous is refuted by a mountain of evidence that shows right-to-work states trailing their union-friendly counterparts in key metrics like per capita wealth, poverty rates and health insurance coverage.

    Snyder’s contention that workers’ First Amendment rights are compromised when a union they have freely elected to bargain on their behalf proposes a contract making union dues compulsory is equally specious. Employees are always free to reject such a contract or decertify the union that negotiated it, just as stockholders can force the ouster of corporate managers they deem unresponsive to their needs.

    Snyder has long acknowledged that steamrolling right-to-work legislation through the Legislature would have enduring negative consequences for productive collaboration between workers and employees. His decision to embrace such legislation now destroys, in an eye blink, the trusting relationship he and his business allies have struggled to establish.

    It also yokes a governor who once aspired to be seen as a new kind of Republican with the most ideological, backward-looking elements of that party — the very people whose exclusionary vision of the country’s future was rejected by voters in last month’s election.

    Trust betrayed
    Snyder’s closest brush with candor came when he suggested that his endorsement of right-to-work was less than voluntary — a decision “that was on the table whether I wanted it to be on the table or not.”

    But that is less an excuse than a confession that Michigan’s governor has abdicated his leadership responsibilities to Republican legislators bent on vengeance.

    What reasonable person now believes that Snyder has the will or the wherewithal to deliver Michigan, or even his own party, from the failed politics of division?

    Michigan voters who provided Snyder’s margin of victory in 2010 feel betrayed, and they have every justification. If he was ever serious about being the governor who brought Michiganders together, Snyder has just sent himself back to Square One.

    The original:

  41. Gretchen Whitmer
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Friends –

    I’ve had the honor of serving the people of Michigan in our state’s Capitol for the past 12 years, yet never have I been more disgusted by what I’ve seen take place there than what I saw this past Thursday.

    Governor Snyder has spent the past two years telling us that so-called Right to Work legislation wasn’t on his agenda. He told us it was a “very divisive issue” and one that he didn’t think was appropriate for Michigan. He promised us he would be a moderate voice that would stand up for Michigan’s workers.

    He lied.

    At 11am on Thursday morning, Governor Snyder joined Republican legislators at a press conference to announce he had gone back on his word and would encourage the legislature to immediately pass Right to Work legislation so that he could sign it into law. Cowards, they did it locked away in the Romney building so they could hide from the thousands of workers gathered at the Capitol. And when I crashed his event so that I could ask him “why?” on behalf of those he was betraying, I was shut down and escorted out as well.

    Just hours after the Governor revealed his true colors to the people of Michigan, the Senate moved this terrible legislation without any opportunity for us legislators, much less the public, to read the bills or examine their impact. As the public outcry grew louder throughout the day, the Governor took the unprecedented and disgraceful step to illegally lock down our State Capitol, denying the public an opportunity to even see what was happening inside the Senate chambers.

    In the end, despite loud protests from Democratic lawmakers, the Governor got what he wanted as Republicans passed this disastrous anti-worker agenda. What they did was wrong. The way they did it was repugnant.

    But this fight is far from over.

    On Tuesday, Republicans will reconvene at the Capitol to finalize this ghastly legislation and I hope that you are there to help us tell them just how wrong they are. If they keep ignoring the will of the people, then we need to commit to change in 2014.

    We need to begin the fight today to take back the Governor’s office and the State Senate and House so that the PEOPLE have a voice in our Government again.

    Sign up online ( to commit to being a part of that change and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Tell them about how the Republican plan is bad for all of us. This isn’t a fight about unions, it’s about people. It’s about our nurses, our teachers, our social workers and the countless others that help make Michigan great.

    I’m ready to fight and I hope you’ll be right by my side on Tuesday and beyond as we reclaim our Capitol for the people whose voices the Governor tried to silence.


    Gretchen Whitmer Signature

    Gretchen Whitmer
    Michigan Senate Democratic Leader

  42. Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Here I sit, on the eve of one of the largest labor demonstrations – if not THE largest – our state has ever seen, wondering what Republicans envision all this going. So I enter “republican end game” into Google and a link to this post is the first thing that pops up, along with the description: “For those of you who were wondering what the Republican endgame would look like…” I clicked on the link and read the rest of the sentence: “…just turn your attention toward Michigan, where women’s rights, gay rights, public education, and unions are all being systematically dismantled before our eyes, in one fell swoop.” So, there’s my answer. It looks like this. And I hate it. I hope you’ll be out there with us tomorrow, in person or in spirit.

  43. Demetrius
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    What happens when you foster superstition by to de-emphasizing science and critical thinking in public education — while at the same time weakening gun laws and promoting a culture violence and fear?


    Nice job, Michigan.

  44. 13
    Posted August 8, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Holy fuck. Why did I just move here?

  45. Your Momma
    Posted August 14, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Well considering Abortion is murder! Has nothing to do with telling a woman what she can do with her body, it has to do with stopping murder! You people supporting abortion are pathetic garbage!

14 Trackbacks

  1. […] show in Depot Town. And, since then, I, like the rest of you, have been completely overwhelmed by the sustained assault on the Michigan middle class being waged by our Republican legislators in Lans…, who, over the past two weeks, have pushed through dozens of bills seeking to do everything from […]

  2. […] and why right-to-work is wrong for Michigan, you'll find my comprehensive post on the subject here.]This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Michigan, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged Christmas […]

  3. […] stopping the non-esixtent threat of Sharia Law, etc.By Mark | December 13, 2012Do you remember, a week or so ago, when we were discussing the anti-abortion omnibus bill (HB 5711)… often referred to in the […]

  4. […] stopping the non-esixtent threat of Sharia Law, etc.By Mark | December 13, 2012Do you remember, a week or so ago, when we were discussing the anti-abortion omnibus bill (HB 5711)… often referred to in the […]

  5. […] on his desk…. Call his office, and tell your friends today!By Mark | December 19, 2012As we’ve discussed before, among the proposed new laws put on Governor Snyder’s desk, during the lame duck session of […]

  6. By Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview: Zach Pollock on December 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    […] and have elected representatives intent on “moving backwards,” as evidenced by the recently passed right-to-work legislation. Little did I know, as I interviewed McClelland, that, the very next day, I’d be speaking […]

  7. […] (As you’ll recall, the controversial anti-union legislation in question was forced through the lame duck legislature this past November without so much as a single hearing, in violation of all accepted […]

  8. […] (As you’ll recall, the controversial anti-union legislation in question was forced through the lame duck legislature this past November without so much as a single hearing, in violation of all accepted […]

  9. […] While we’re on the subject of “gay” stuff, the last few years have been pretty bad in Michigan, legislatively speaking. I’m curious to know if that factors into your decision to leave Michigan […]

  10. […] armed with legislation drafted in far right think tanks, set out to end collective bargaining, and systematically roll back women’s rights, gay rights, public education? Well, it would appear that they weren’t quite done… Unsatisfied with having just […]

  11. […] will bring an army of young entrepreneurs into a state where gays are constantly under attack, the rights of workers are being systematically dismantled, and women are seeing their reproductive rights rolled back. All the trains in the world […]

  12. By How Dick DeVos made Michigan a right-to-work state on January 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

    […] DeVos and Weiser had invested so much in had come to fruition. The perfect storm had achieved. And the Republican endgame had been realized. All that was left was for Snyder, with a straight face, to claim on national television that his […]

  13. By Save yourselves. Don’t be like Michigan. on December 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

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

  14. […] legislation was put in place allowing the state to usurp local control from cities like Flint, and when it became evident that this administration would do anything in its power to subvert the democr…. Long before the children of Flint were being poisoned, Snyder’s was the least transparent […]

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