I’ve never been to Michigan, except for a few hours spent at the Detroit airport once.
It seems like a lovely place. A world-class university is in Ann Arbor, there’s great culture there, and I’ve got some friends who live there and love it.
But I’ve got two stories to bring to you today, from Michigan, that scare the hell out of me, and really truly make me wonder about the intelligence of state leaders. Michigan just edges out Tennessee in my rankings this week as the most insane state, although Tennessee put up a heck of a fight with this, passing a law that says you can’t use the words “gay” or “homosexual” in school.
But Michigan wins this week with these two stories.
The first came from “The Rachel Maddow Show” last week, and it’s about the shutting down of the Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit, a school that helps pregnant teenagers complete high school. This school has a 90 percent graduation rate, and 100 percent college acceptance rates for those who do graduate.
This is a wonderful place. And yet, using dictatorial powers and wrestling control away from local government, the state is shutting it down. And arresting the pregnant teens and others who had the temerity to protest.
Seriously, watch this for a few minutes, and be very afraid of a state run by Tea Partiers that is simply running roughshod, and doing whatever it wants:
Then there was this story. Which frightened me even more.
A plan set forth by state senator Bruce Caswell would require that foster children in the state would use their state-funded clothing allowance only in thrift stores.
Caswell says he wants to make sure that state money set aside to buy clothes for foster children and kids of the working poor is actually used for that purpose.
He says they should get “gift cards” to be used only at Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.
Seriously. This is what the man is worried about. All those foster children running around buying drugs and stereo equipment instead of clothing.
As Rachel Maddow said, “This can’t be real, right? This is cartoon evil.”
But yep, it’s real. In the great state of Michigan.
**Finally today, because people falling down is always funny, a couple of hockey refs who really, really don’t like carpets on the ice: