Mitt Romney loves so many things. He loves jokes and laughter. He loves cars — American cars. Most of all, he is a big fan of Michigan's trees, which "are the right height." But do Michigan voters agree with Romney's arboreal judgment?
Much was made during the Michigan primary about Romney's comments about the state's trees being 'the right height.' That line seems to go over most voters' heads — only 38% express the sentiment that their trees are the right height while 8% think they are not and 55% are unsure. Democrats (48%) are actually more likely to express agreement with Romney on that front than Republicans are (34%).
Public Policy Polling's crosstabs reveal an interesting ideological breakdown. Fifty-one percent of "very liberal" voters agree with Romney that the trees are the right height, as do 48% of self-described moderates, while only 27% of "very conservative" Michiganders share this sentiment. Presumably, the state's most conservative residents are upset that the trees have not yet been put into toward their God-intended use — as timber to be manufactured into rocking chairs and rifle stocks.
Yet voters' overall reaction to the tree height controversy is a resounding "meh." Which is about as hearty an endorsement as Romney is going to receive in a state he's currently losing to Barack Obama 53-39%.
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Michigan, Mitt Romney, Polls
Christine Yancey of Mendon, Michigan (population 917, per Wikipedia) wants your vote for St. Joseph County probate court judge. Probator gotta probate. Sometimes you eat the probate, sometimes the probate eats you. You know? I don't. I have no idea what a probate court judge does.
The bottom of every municipal ballot is full of probate judges and county supervisor aldermen. What do these people do? I'm glad they're doing it — mad civil service respect –- but what is "it"? Don't get me wrong, I always vote, I just don't have any idea who these ballot-bottom-feeders are and what is they intend to do. But I earned that "I Voted" sticker all the same. So, democracy.
After some research into the whats and whys of probate court judges, it turns out that Yahoo! Answers is crazy. It also turns out that Ms. Yancey would be taking on the county's role for a long list of major milestones, like birth certificates and death certificates, and parental guardianship and adoption and marriage licenses and wills and sweet Jesus I've had no responsibilities in life so far.
My very thorough Internet-based research also revealed that probate courts handle hunting and fishing licenses. Probate court, what don't you do? You are the man or woman behind the curtain in the Mendon, Michigans of our nation. We make all this fuss over the president, but can he get your baby and your boat registered in the same day? No. No, he cannot.
As a recently-minted expert on probate court, I'd like to make this recommendation for Ms. Yancey, should her campaign prevail. I think it would be awesome if the probate judge demanded that every will in St. Joseph County include a treasure hunt, so you can have a cool court catchphrase: "Good will hunting!" Something like this would inject some much-needed levity into the proceedings, and would comfort the bereaved.
This is assuming, of course, that the probate judge is actually in charge of overseeing wills. I'm still a little hazy on the details.
Photo by Jim Arbogast/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Previously: Michael Davis, "Progressive GOP, yeah, you heard me"
Our friends at Dr Pepper are going to send Ms. Yancey a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, and you get to choose its slogan:
Want a custom t-shirt of your own? Of course you do! Head to DrPepper.com and get started.
Tags: Michigan, One of a Kind Candidates
Every once in a while, after periods of feeling like I cannot be surprised by U.S. politics any more, I hear something magical, and… and… it's like… it's like I'm an wide-eyed child full of wonder all over again…
Campaigning in the backyard of America's auto industry, Mitt Romney re-ignited the bailout debate by suggesting he deserves "a lot of credit" for the recent successes of the nation's largest car companies…
"I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet," Romney said in an interview inside a Cleveland-area auto parts maker. "So, I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back."
I am genuinely shocked. I did not realize that this was a thing that was capable of happening. If a person who famously wrote a New York Times op-ed called "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" and said during a debate just a few month ago…
My view with regards to the bailout was that whether it was by President Bush or by President Obama, it was the wrong way to go. I said from the very beginning they should go through a managed bankruptcy process, a private bankruptcy process…
My plan, we would have had a private sector bailout with the private sector restructuring and bankruptcy with the private sector guiding the direction as opposed to what we had with government playing its heavy hand.
…can just turn around and take credit for the opposite of that happening, well, then I've just been living my life all wrong.
Where is my Academy Award for Platoon. I was 13 when that movie came out, and I didn't really have anything to do with it. But I saw it, so I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that it won Best Picture. Also, I'll be taking a lot of credit for the invention of Chunky Monkey ice cream, the discovery of the Hawaiian islands by migrating Polynesians several thousand years ago and, what the hell, the formation of sand.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Auto Industry, Michigan, Mitt Romney
Faced with high unemployment, an exodus of businesses, plummeting government revenues and the general problem of being Michigan, last year the MI state legislature gave Governor Rick Snyder the authority to appoint emergency managers to takeover the operation of cities and school districts.
The expanded emergency manager law allowed these prefects to ignore collective bargaining rules, nullify union contracts and bypass local elected officials. In a sense, it was the ultimate expression of small government: you can't get much smaller than one guy calling all the shots, for all levels of government, without oversight.
Not all Michigan citizens were on board, however, and 203,000 residents petitioned for a referendum on the November ballot to repeal this brave experiment in limited dictatorship. Unfortunately for these rabble rousing democrats, the Board of State Canvassers refused to validate the petitions due to a dispute over font size…
The canvassers split 2-2 along party lines (Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed) after hearing exhaustive testimony on a single point of contention about the adequacy of the petitions — whether the typeface used on a heading met a statutory size requirement.
The Republican-nominated members of board concluded that it did not, touching off a raucous protest from supporters of the ballot proposal who packed the room and assailed the emergency manager law as an affront to the basic principles of democracy.
"I think there is a legitimate question as to size," said Republican Norm Shinkle, who, along with GOP member Jeff Timmer, voted against it.
State regulations require a 14-point boldface font, rather than whatever communist font size was used by the petitioners, wherein all the tiny letters have to share a small space with minimal kerning.
Except it appears likely that the petitions, whose validity will now be up to an appeals court, may have met or exceeded state requirements for heading size. It probably means whatever font they use to print government documents, some members of the Board of State Canvassers do all their thinking in Comic Sans.
Tags: Michigan, Republicans, Rick Snyder, State Legislature
Look, as the President of the United States, sometimes you're gonna have to travel. You're going to have to get in a plane and fly to another state and say some presidential stuff in front of a bunch of out-of-work factory workers. It's just the way it is. It's a simple fact of life.
And if, by chance, those some –or most, or maybe all — of those places to which you simply have to go happen to be in swing states that you will need to carry in November to win reelection, is that your fault?
Some Republican legislators seem to think so…
In a letter to the Government Accountability Office from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, the committee requested an investigation into Obama's recent travel – including trips this week to Iowa and North Carolina – alleging those trips were more political than official.
The White House and Obama For America, the president's reelection campaign, go to great lengths to distinguish between official and campaign activities, as do elected officials and their reelection efforts at various levels of government.
But Obama's recent speeches, the RNC said in the letter, were "events widely reported to be equivalent to campaign rallies." The committee's case sees supporting evidence in a list of the states Obama has visited this month, including the general election battlegrounds of Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio.
Hey, I'm not saying that the president's recent schedule seems somewhat fishy, because it's totally not. I'm just saying that somebody totally else might be tempted to say that the president's recent schedule seems somewhat fishy.
But, I'm certain that Obama's spokespeople have immaculate explanations for anything that anybody might be tempted to maybe think…
Carney seemed offended by q's about whether electoral factors in POTUS travel sked (FL last week, OH + MI this week, NC, CO, IA next week).
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 20, 2012
(via Washington Free Beacon)
Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Colorado, Corruption, Florida, Iowa, Jay Carney, Michigan, Money, North Carolina, Ohio