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MichMan's Journal
MichMan's Journal
July 9, 2024

Michigan House Democrat calls on Biden to step aside, says state seats are at risk

In a lengthy social media thread Tuesday, state Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids, said the 81-year-old president should “pass the torch to a new generation of leaders” and noted the risk for Michigan Democrats down ballot if he refused to step aside.

Skaggs' statement comes two days after Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel posted a cryptic message on social media praising U.S. national women’s soccer team athlete Alex Morgan for how she handled the news that she would not be participating in the Olympics for the first time in years. The post was believed by many Democrats to be a direct reference to calls for Biden to step aside.

“I adore Alex Morgan,” Nessel wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “One of the greatest of all time. But she’s aged significantly from her prime playing days & gracefully accepted that in order to win the gold it was time to pass the baton.

“No one will ever forget her incredible accomplishments,” Nessel continued. “But Alex just wants what’s best for the team and for America. That’s what makes her a true champion.”

June 19, 2024

This vehicle is No. 1 again on the American-Made Index

For the third year in a row, Tesla Inc.’s Model Y is the most American-made car, according to a ranking released Tuesday by Cars.com.

The Jeep Gladiator produced by Stellantis NV was the only Detroit automaker vehicle to rank in the top 10 on the annual list, coming in at No. 8. Meanwhile, Tesla's Model S and Model X also ranked in the top 10, along with Honda Motor Co.'s Honda Passport, Odyssey and Ridgeline, Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry and Lexus TX, and the Volkswagen ID.4.

To determine if a car qualifies for the American-Made Index, Cars.com evaluates the location of vehicle assembly, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, U.S. factory employment relative to vehicle production, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing.

“Over the last year, domestic manufacturing was thrust into the spotlight by the recent United Auto Workers organizing efforts and continues to be a hot topic with the impending presidential election,” said Patrick Masterson, lead researcher for Cars.com’s American-Made Index, in a statement. “Pundits champion homegrown corporations as the key to investments in local and state economies. However, when it comes to the global automotive industry, the badge on the hood doesn’t always reveal a vehicle's economic contributions."

May 22, 2024

Harvard Defies Faculty Vote to Block 13 Students From Graduating

(Headline is poorly written)

(Bloomberg) -- Harvard University’s governing board said it’s declining to award degrees to 13 students who violated the university’s policies by participating in a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus.

The move came after 115 faculty members showed up to a meeting on Monday and voted to allow the students to graduate, even after they’d been disciplined by an administrative board, according to the Harvard Crimson. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has about 888 voting members.

The ruling may exacerbate divisions between the Harvard Corp., led by former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, and some faculty and students. The students were found to have “violated the university’s policies by their conduct during their participation in the recent encampment in Harvard Yard,” the corporation said in a statement Wednesday.

May 2, 2024

Hollier may struggle with 13th District ballot due to petition signature issue (Detroit Free Press Opinion)

This is going to be complicated, and fair warning, it involves a lot of talk about nominating petitions and signature gatherers and various boards of canvassers, which seems like the text equivalent of Ambien.

But if you stick with me, we'll get to the part where a congressional campaign forged a Free Press reporter's signature on a nominating petition, and a host of other signature problems alleged by a sitting congressman — who is also seeking to have top state election officials' name struck from those petitions — and the implications all of this has for an important Detroit congressional race.

The petitions in question belong to Adam Hollier, a former state senator who is seeking to unseat incumbent U.S Rep. Shri Thanedar, elected in 2022 to represent Michigan's 13th District.

I generally try to stay in my lane, and I'm a columnist, not a handwriting analyst. But it's hard to look at the signatures on nine of 10 petition pages provided to the Free Press by Thanedar and not conclude that they'd been written by the same person; that they're forgeries, and not very good ones, at that.

March 19, 2024

Dartmouth says it won't bargain with basketball players' union

In a statement announcing its refusal to bargain a labor deal with the athletes, the school was adamant that it believes "athletes in the Ivy League are not employees."

Given Dartmouth's decades-long commitment to athletics as an extension of our academic mission, we believe the regional director has made an extraordinary mistake in finding these students are employees," the school said in its statement, which called the players "students whose educational program includes athletics."

"From a procedural standpoint, if the full NLRB refuses to overturn the regional director's decision, Dartmouth's only remaining option to challenge this legal error is to engage in a technical refusal to bargain, an unprecedented step in our long history of labor negotiations," the school said. "This will likely result in SEIU Local 560 filing an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, which we would appeal. This is the only lever Dartmouth has to get this matter reviewed by a federal court."

March 14, 2024

Federal judge finds Flint, Michigan, in contempt for missing water line replacement deadlines

A federal judge has found the city of Flint in contempt of court for missing deadlines for lead water line replacement and related work in the aftermath of the Michigan city's water crisis.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson found the city in civil contempt for violating a February 2023 court order. The order arose from a 2017 settlement of the lawsuit under which the city pledged to replace lead pipes that carry drinking water.

The city had agreed to replace the pipes by early 2020 but still has not completed that work, according to a news release Wednesday from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Also, homeowners are waiting, in some cases for years, for the city to repair property damage such as damaged curbs, sidewalks, and lawns caused by the lead line replacement, the NRDC said.

"The city has failed to abide by the court’s orders in several respects, and ... it has no good reason for its failures," Lawson wrote in an order issued late Tuesday.

March 12, 2024

Court upholds town bylaw banning anyone born in 21st century from buying tobacco products

Brookline, Mass. — A Massachusetts town that adopted an unusual ordinance banning the sale of tobacco to anyone born in the 21st century is being looked at as a possible model for other cities and towns hoping to further clamp down on cigarettes and tobacco products.

The bylaw — the first of its kind in the country — was adopted by Brookline in 2020 and last week was upheld by the state’s highest court, opening the door for other communities to adopt similar bans that will, decades from now, eventually bar all future generations from buying tobacco.

The rule, which bans the sale of tobacco to anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2000, went into effect in 2021 in the town of about 60,000 next to Boston.


March 7, 2024

Feds charge man in theft of $700,000 from Michigan casino

An undocumented immigrant from Mexico has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with stealing $700,000 in cash from a west Michigan casino last year, officials said.

Jesus Gaytan-Garcia, 43, was arrested last week and is accused of participating in a scheme to steal money from the Four Winds Casino in Hartford on July 30, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten said in a statement Wednesday. The casino is owned and operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Investigators allege he was part of a scheme to steal money from the casino in which someone pretending to be the tribal chairman called it and said he needed money for an urgent payment.

An employee who was duped by the claim collected $700,000 in cash, left the casino, took it to a Gary, Indiana, gas station and gave it to two unknown individuals, authorities said.

March 2, 2024

Repeated fires at a GM EV plant have Detroit fire officials demanding changes

General Motors has a problem at Factory Zero, its electric vehicle plant, that Detroit fire officials and local union leaders want fixed.

Since last summer, there have been eight incidents at the plant prompting GM to call the Detroit Fire Department, said Dennis Hunter, Detroit's chief of fire prevention. Hunter did not provide details of the incidents, but indicated many of them were fires.

One of them, as the Detroit Free Press reported on Dec. 19, was a three-alarm fire that warranted an evacuation of the building and a halt to production that day of the GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, and Silverado EV work trucks. According to the incident report obtained by the Detroit Free Press through a state Freedom of Information Act request, there were 22 fire trucks and 88 firefighters at the scene, many of whom were exposed to "the tremendous hazards of a toxic environment."

There were no serious injuries from fires at the factory, Hunter said. But two of the fires caused a total of more than $1 million in damages, according to two incident reports the Free Press obtained.


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