Rick Snyder

A few Republicans who have acknowledged the moral urgency of immigration reform.

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The Loneliest Man in the Room

Chris Christie came to CPAC with nothing to offer conservatives

NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND, A.K.A. A MAMMOTH HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER ON THE POTOMAC RIVER — Chris Christie's segment of the program Thursday at CPAC, the great conservative cattle call, was launched to the tune of "Sweet Child O' Mine." Better, perhaps, would have been a song by Christie's second-favorite New Jersey rock star, “When We Were Beautiful” by Mr.

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Obamacare took a big step forward on Tuesday night, when the Michigan Senate approved an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. The state House is likely to back the same measure, as early as next week. And while the program requires a special federal waiver, the Obama Administration is likely to grant it.

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Why is this blue state enacting such conservative legislation?

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Yes, the seat of the United Auto Workers is about to become right-to-work, thanks to the governor who said he had no interest in doing so.

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You have to feel sorry for leaders of the Michigan Republican Party: They have a tough job this year. They want to promote Rick Snyder, the Republican governor. The obvious, easy way to do that is to highlight the state’s economic record. Since Snyder took over as governor in 2010, Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily to 8.3 percent, which is only slightly higher than the national average. (See graph below.) That’s pretty remarkable, given the state’s well-chronicled troubles. But nobody seriously believes Snyder’s policies have a lot to do with the Michigan's recovery.

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In addition to massively outspending Rick Santorum on the airwaves in Michigan, Mitt Romney now has the support of the state’s governor, Rick Snyder, who to no one’s surprise announced his endorsement this morning. Snyder’s affinity for Romney is plain: both are charisma-challenged technocrats (Snyder ran as “one tough nerd”) who made a bundle in venture capital (and private equity, in Romney’s case) before bestowing their data-driven know-how on the electorate.

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Of Note

Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has created an Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives to focus on city and regional economic development activities. The office is a partnership with the state funded by the Council of Michigan Foundations, a consortium including the Kresge Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Mott Foundation. Program office will be located in Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids. Another map-based transit app has debuted. Unlike our recent transit-job access tool, Mapnificent computes transit access by timeframe.

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The regions on both sides of the Great Lakes international border need to team up to strengthen their highly integrated economies. That was the conclusion of over 250 public and private leaders from both the United States and Canada recently brought together by Brookings and the University of Toronto Mowat Centre in Detroit-Windsor. The tone was set by Bruce Katz’s keynote--where he pressed for international metro action to expand exports and encouraged the industrial Great Lakes to seize and lead the low-carbon, clean-tech economy. Overall, two topics dominated discussion by delegates as ripe

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Ad Absurdum

The scene is rugged Western desert; the music is corny countrylite. A lone motorcyclist rides across the frame. Text flashes on screen: “IN 6 DAYS.” Followed by: “Did not become famous with his band ‘Wizard.’” What does any of this have to do with Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign? Well, that’s kind of unclear. In the days leading up to the announcement of his candidacy in mid-June, Huntsman released three Web videos, featuring the same lone rider, the same cheesy music, and a random fact about the former Utah governor.

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