Dateline: May 7, 2014, Lansing, Michigan — BREAKING NEWS: Lawmakers are hard at work, squandering taxpayer dollars with two new crucial pieces of legislation. One is designed to protect Michigan hunters from drone attacks, and the other to reaffirm that GOP leaders really, really, really believe zygotes should be accorded full personhood, with all the rights that may entail — just like Morgan Stanley and Berkshire Hathaway.
Bypassing the opportunity to address school funding and critical infrastructure shortfalls, lawmakers went straight to the heart of their donor base with these groundbreaking initiatives.
Sen. Tom Casperson (R-38), joined by his usual merry men, crafted a bill to protect hunters from the constant harassment of buzzing drones. Senate Bill 926 is tie-barred with another bill which similarly prohibits the use of drones by hunters to bring down their game. So it’s a logical offshoot, albeit the kind of syllogism unique to the inscrutable recesses of the Republican mind — concluding that since they conceived of hypothetical drone-hunting in the first place, others would rush to employ the same technology to impair their hunting rights. Of course Democratic lawmakers, easily distracted by matters of education, equal rights and the restoration of the middle class, were not on board with this.
Casperson, who recently rescued the children of his constituency from being devoured whole by wolves, now seeks to amend Public Act 451 of 1994, to include penalties for any individual for the following violation:
In another earth-shattering development — 37 GOP lawmakers, with fully 7 of them being women, fearlessly crusaded against the reproductive rights of Michigan’s women with an empty gesture of a completely unenforceable nature. Each, apparently felt a crushingly urgent need to impose their medieval views on the legislative body with a resolution stating that abortion of any kind, for any reason, should always be prevented, in spite of the fact that their view on the issue runs against the current of public opinion, and also the law, for that matter.
Voters will be relieved to know where their leaders stand on this issue, because it wasn’t at all clear when just a few months ago they bravely passed the “rape insurance” law, which requires women to purchase a special policy to cover abortion, even in the case of rape. Of course no insurer offers such a plan, and the law received support from only 42 percent of Michigan’s voters — but this legislature wasn’t about to let annoying facts get in their way.
It really takes a lot of courage for Michigan’s elected leaders to take a firm stand on these issues, especially considering they are not even close to what’s really on the minds of their constituency.
So, outside of the Republican leadership’s imagination, what issues are truly important to the people? It’s safe to say they’ll ignore the following:
A recent EPIC-MRA survey of Michigan voters indicates that 60 percent favor raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. When asked how they would vote on a proposal to do just that, respondents indicated they strongly support the idea.
Education Funding and Roads
As the details of the budget are hammered-out over the coming weeks, we can also expect education and roads to be fundamentally ignored, in spite of the fact that they remain the top priorities among all Michigan voters across the political spectrum. When asked what the state should do with its budget surplus, voters couldn’t have been more clear.
Today, members of the House Tax Policy and Transportation Committees held a joint session to approve Speaker Jase Bolger’s plan to tap sales tax revenues for a portion of their flaccid $500 million GOP attempt to hot-patch Michigan’s neglected roads — just a drop in the bucket, or pothole as it were. Republicans offered the plan with a touching note of apology from Rep. Jeff Farrington (R-30):
“The package is a good foundation, it’s a good start. We do need to do more, but at some point, someone has to take the first step.”
Republican lawmakers are counting on Michigan residents not understanding how very little money that actually is in the face of a vast statewide problem.
In other news today, we learn that 1 in 4 of Michigan’s bridges are in need of repair. That’s about 2,750 out of 11,000 in the state. Safety tip: If you live or work in any of the following counties, you may wish to rethink your daily commute.
Alas, Michigan’s schools will remain grossly under-funded, and the state’s roads and bridges will continue to earn the distinction of being the worst in the nation. But hey, at least hunters need not fear a drone attack, and we can all sleep soundly tonight with the knowledge that if our daughters are raped, Republicans would deny them their reproductive rights in favor of a zygote.