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TexasTowelie's Journal
TexasTowelie's Journal
January 31, 2018

Indiana lawmakers kill hate crimes bill again

Senate Republicans pulled the plug Tuesday on a hate crimes bill, leaving Indiana as one of only five states without such a law.

Senate leader David Long said Republicans could not reach agreement about Senate Bill 418, which would have allowed judges to impose tougher sentences for crimes motivated by factors such as race, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“This is very disappointing,” said Rajesh Patnaik, whose sign shop in northwest Indianapolis was vandalized with anti-Hindu graffiti in September. “I was hoping there was momentum this time.”

The decision comes despite a rise in reported hate crimes in Indiana and five months after a violent white nationalist rally last summer in Charlottesville, Va.

Read more: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/30/indiana-lawmakers-kill-hate-crimes-bill-again/1078013001/

January 31, 2018

Ford's rating outlook downgraded by Moody's; investors concerned

Ford Motor Company has had its rating outlook change from stable to negative, which does not impact the company’s credit rating but does alert Wall Street investors that the situation is dynamic.

The latest Moody's rating outlook indicates there is downward pressure on Ford's credit rating and a higher chance of a credit rating downgrade in the next 12 to 24 months.

“The negative outlook reflects the challenges Ford will face in implementing its ‘Fitness Redesign’ initiatives” and restoring operating performance that is more solidly supportive of its sound credit rating, wrote Bruce Clark, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service in New York. “During the past 18 months the company has allowed an erosion in many of the operating disciplines that it established following the 2009 restructuring of the North American auto sector. These disciplines supported strong performance through 2016. In addition, Ford is contending with the disruptive changes being caused by the auto sector’s move forward vehicle electrification, autonomous driving, and ride sharing.”

He said Ford’s “ability to stabilize its outlook” will be determined by the pace at which it can address its challenges.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/01/31/ford-moodys-rating-outlook/1082631001/

January 31, 2018

Michigan State University hires former Gov. John Engler; faculty vows no-confidence vote

East Lansing — The Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to choose former Gov. John Engler as interim Michigan State University president in a bid to steady the school after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Engler, a Republican who graduated from the university with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, was Michigan’s governor from 1991 to 2003 and will now lead MSU during a troubled time of intense public scrutiny and criticism in the aftermath of convicted doctor Nassar’s two decades of sexual abuse.

“I’m only here to help the university community address this crisis and lay a positive foundation for the new president,” Engler told reporters. “We have an extreme organizational challenge that needs to be changed.”

“I put myself in the place of every parent who sent their loved ones to this great institution,” he continued. “I understand the concern and uncertainty as well as the frustration and anger … I will move forward as if my own daughters were on this campus.”

Read more: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/31/msu-board-engler-interim-president/109968804/

January 31, 2018

Some 256 women and girls have come forward as Larry Nassar victims

CHARLOTTE, Mich. – More than 250 women and girls have reported to law enforcement that former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulted them.

Nassar’s sentencing on three sexual assault charges in Eaton County began this morning, with 65 women and girls are expected to speak.

Michigan Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted Nassar, said today that 256 women and girls have come forward to law enforcement and said Nassar sexually abused them. Police and prosecutors are still getting new complaints.

As today's hearing started, Eaton County Circuit Court Judge Janice Cunningham had said 265 women and girls have reported abuse.

Read more: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2018/01/31/judge-265-have-come-forward-larry-nassar-victims/1082707001/

January 31, 2018

Moody's credit agency to review MSU's rating amid Larry Nassar fallout

Moody's Investor Service has placed Michigan State University's credit rating under review for a downgrade amid fallout from the Larry Nassar case.

The agency will "assess credit risks surfacing from the conviction of former employee Larry Nassar on sexual assault charges," according to a notice filed Tuesday by the agency. "The review will focus on any financial, legal, or reputational impacts on the university, as well as the strength of the university's management and governance, that we believe would affect the university's credit quality."

MSU said it was aware of the review.

"Our focus is on taking the actions that demonstrate that the voices of the survivors have been heard, and on creating a culture that provides a safe environment for all members of our community. These actions will provide the right foundation for the university’s future," spokesman Jason Cody told the Free Press.

Read more: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/30/moodys-credit-agency-michigan-state-larry-nassar-scandal/1080645001/

January 31, 2018

Michigan prevailing wage law repeal petition will undergo second signature review

The group working to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law was dealt a blow Tuesday when the state’s Board of Canvassers decided to reject its request to send its proposal straight to state lawmakers.

Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, the ballot committee spearheading the repeal effort, hoped to convince the Board that a handful of signatures deemed invalid by the Bureau of Elections should be considered valid under a more generous, “tie goes to the runner” philosophy. The group argued that when determining if signatures should be disqualified due to illegible or confusing handwriting, the state should err on the side of considering them valid.

Petition signers “should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be disenfranchised for what amounts to sloppy handwriting,” Gary Gordon, attorney for Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, told the Board Tuesday.

Those handful of signatures are significant because if they were considered valid, the ballot petition would have reached the threshold for it to go before the Republican-dominated legislature, which has said repealing the prevailing wage law is one of its priorities for the year. If lawmakers got the chance to pass the petition from the citizen group, Gov. Rick Snyder — who has opposed such a repeal — would not have been allowed to veto it.

Read more: http://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/prevailing-wage-law-repeal-petition-will-undergo-second-signature-review

January 31, 2018

Even after Flint, lead-free water lines may be a pipe dream in Michigan

LANSING — Two years ago, Virginia Tech University engineering professor Marc Edwards helped raise alarms about shocking levels of lead in the Flint water supply — blowing the whistle on officials in Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration who tried to discredit his evidence.

These days, the 53-year-old Edwards is applauding the governor for pushing reforms following the public health scandal that made international headlines and shook Flint residents’ faith in state government.

Trying to escape the shadows of a crisis his administration triggered, Snyder wants to overhaul the state’s “Lead and Copper Rule.” Those standards currently mirror a federal rule that experts have long said fails to protect public health. Snyder’s wide-ranging proposal — first circulated in late November and winding through a rulemaking process — would require some utilities to replace all of their lead service lines over 20 years. It would also lower the threshold for how much lead regulators will accept in water and significantly tighten testing standards, among other changes.

“It’s true executive leadership that is so urgently needed on this one particular issue,” said Edwards, who many consider a hero of the Flint water crisis.

Read more: http://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-environment-watch/even-after-flint-lead-free-water-lines-may-be-pipe-dream-michigan

January 31, 2018

Lansing city board member quits after her racial remarks emerge

Minutes after being confronted with over four dozen racist and xenophobic social media comments she had posted, a member of the newly formed Lansing Medical Marijuana Commission resigned her position.

Mindy Jones, a nurse at McLaren Hospital, was named to the commission in December by former Mayor Virg Bernero. It is charged with reviewing appeals for medical marijuana license denials.

Officials at McLaren also announced the hospital was conducting an internal investigation into her postings to see if they violated policy.

In her Tweets, Jones referred to George Zimmerman, who shot and killed black, unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, as an “American hero,” referred to Chinese buffets as “chink buffet,” called for the sterilization and deportation of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer and referred to some women as “bratpopping whores.”

Her vitriol wasn’t limited to race. Jones called people in Saudi Arabia “#towelhead fucks,” argued that children born to undocumented immigrants should not be granted citizenship and said that immigrants should not enjoy the full privileges and rights of the First Amendment.

Read more: http://lansingcitypulse.com/article-15735-City-board-member-quits-after-her-racial-remarks-emerge.html

January 31, 2018

ACLU class action lawsuit for Flint children exposed to lead

DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - The American Civil Liberties Union, the Education Law Center, and White & Case LLP provided testimony Monday in Federal court on behalf of children in Flint exposed to lead.

The lawsuit claims that the state has not identified children who were affected by lead poisoning in Flint.

Federal and educational disability laws require states to provide the appropriate special education services and accommodations to students that are affected by things such as lead posing.

Monday the plaintiff's asked for a court order that would force the state of Michigan to start giving screenings and assessments to children in Flint to address their elevated exposure to lead.

The class action lawsuit was originally filed in 2016.

(short article)

January 31, 2018

Jack Lessenberry: Is Michigan a shithole state?

By Jack Lessenberry

As previously noted, we currently have a president of the United States who is an emotionally disturbed, possibly mentally ill man-child. This is, of course, endlessly fascinating.

Think of how much more boring our lives would be if we were saddled with a sane and sober leader who was doing boring things like trying to make trade deals better or make college affordable.


But while the Donald and his thugs and contemptible fellow travelers are cheerfully providing entertainment for the masses, less flamboyant maniacs, flying under the radar, are ruining our state.

We are just too distracted to pay much attention. But that's what's happening. Two weeks ago, a friend who had worked for the legislature for years suggested I check out a sexy little book published just before Christmas by the state Senate Fiscal Agency.

Read more: https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/is-michigan-a-shithole-state/Content?oid=8911718

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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 02:57 AM
Number of posts: 110,178

About TexasTowelie

Retired/disabled middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

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