Declaration_of_Independence

To the self-described “patriots” of 2013: My friends, this is NOT what tyranny looks like

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

With the reelection of Barack Obama and the subsequent resurgence in tea party rhetoric about "tyranny", stoked white hot by talk of enacting a handful of sensible gun regulations, I've been thinking a lot lately about how our present-day "patriots", and I use that phrase very loosely, have perverted the meaning of the word tyranny and the philosophies of our Founding Fathers. Although it is widespread across the nation, one particular example of it here in Michigan really ignited my thinking on this. A tea party state Senator, Patrick Colbeck, has taken to posting passages from the Declaration of Independence on his Facebook page this week. That, in and of itself, is no big deal, of course. However, the quotes he has chosen make it clear that he is making a direct comparison between the King of England during the period before the American Revolution and our current President, Barack Obama. Much more after the jump.
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<h2>Draped in a flag, carrying a cross</h2>
With all of the struggles Michigan faces right now, it's good to know that things aren't so bad that religious zealots and "patriots" like Senator Patrick Colbeck have time to worry about censorship in the teaching of American History in our classrooms. This week, Colbeck introduced a bill to remedy this egregious (and essentially nonexistent) problem. The bill is modeled after legislation promoted and passed in 2001 by far-right conservative and tea party goddess Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Bachmann's bill copies a law passed in North Carolina in 1997.

Details after the jump.

Michigan Sen. Colbeck introduces “patriotism” bills modeled after bill pushed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann

Draped in a flag, carrying a cross

With all of the struggles Michigan faces right now, it's good to know that things aren't so bad that religious zealots and "patriots" like Senator Patrick Colbeck have time to worry about censorship in the teaching of American History in our classrooms. This week, Colbeck introduced a bill to remedy this egregious (and essentially nonexistent) problem. The bill is modeled after legislation promoted and passed in 2001 by far-right conservative and tea party goddess Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Bachmann's bill copies a law passed in North Carolina in 1997. Details after the jump.
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<h2>A progressive gift to Michigan returns to the airwaves</h2>
I have been woefully remiss in not writing about the disappearance of our beloved progressive voice of the Michigan radiosphere, <b>Tony Trupiano</b> (probably because it was too painful to contemplate.) Right before the holidays, the radio station that he was on was closed by Clear Channel and with it went Tony's show, First Shift with Tony Trupiano. Though it wasn't a political move by all accounts, it was a huge loss to Michigan progressives.

Thankfully, after some hard work and what I can only imagine was a great deal of anxiety and heartburn, Tony has landed an evening show on 1130 AM WDFN. The show, called "Night Shift", will stream via iHeart radio from 7-8 p.m. and then be on "regular" radio as well from 8-10 p.m. You can read Tony's piece on this <a href="http://thetonyshow.org/ready-or-not-here-we-come/">HERE</a>.

There's more after the jump.

Tony Trupiano is BACK, Jack!

A progressive gift to Michigan returns to the airwaves

I have been woefully remiss in not writing about the disappearance of our beloved progressive voice of the Michigan radiosphere, Tony Trupiano (probably because it was too painful to contemplate.) Right before the holidays, the radio station that he was on was closed by Clear Channel and with it went Tony's show, First Shift with Tony Trupiano. Though it wasn't a political move by all accounts, it was a huge loss to Michigan progressives. Thankfully, after some hard work and what I can only imagine was a great deal of anxiety and heartburn, Tony has landed an evening show on 1130 AM WDFN. The show, called "Night Shift", will stream via iHeart radio from 7-8 p.m. and then be on "regular" radio as well from 8-10 p.m. You can read Tony's piece on this HERE. There's more after the jump.
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<h2>The fight continues...</h2>
My good friend Bonnie Bucqueroux, a professor at Lansing Community College and owner of the esteemed <a href="http://lansingonlinenews.com/">Lansing Online News</a>, has joined with the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition labor groups to file a lawsuit intended strike down Michigan's recent Right to Work law. The suit contends that the legislation was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Act when Republicans locked down the Capitol and wouldn't even allow journalists, including citizen journalists like Bucqueroux, to cover the unfolding drama.

Details after the jump.

ACLU and labor coalition file suit to block Michigan’s Right to Work legislation

The fight continues...

My good friend Bonnie Bucqueroux, a professor at Lansing Community College and owner of the esteemed Lansing Online News, has joined with the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition labor groups to file a lawsuit intended strike down Michigan's recent Right to Work law. The suit contends that the legislation was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Act when Republicans locked down the Capitol and wouldn't even allow journalists, including citizen journalists like Bucqueroux, to cover the unfolding drama. Details after the jump.
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<h2>Your tax dollars at work</h2>
Domino's founder and billionaire Tom Monaghan filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration late last year, fighting the mandatory coverage of contraception provision in the Affordable Care Act. Monaghan calls contraception use "gravely immoral" and doesn't want to have to pay for his employees' health insurance if the insurance covers birth control.

This 19th Century puritan is using his vast wealth to promote his religious "morality" and force others to abide by his rules. It's not enough for him to make the personal choice not to use contraceptives. Instead, he feels the need to impose it on others as well.

Our far right conservative Attorney General here in Michigan, Bill Schuette, <a href="http://legalnewsline.com/federal-government/239213-mich-ag-files-brief-in-support-of-suit-challenging-contraception-mandate">has now entered the suit, filing a brief in support of Monaghan's moral crusade</a>.

Details after the jump.

Mich AG enters lawsuit over ins. coverage for contraceptives, plaintiff Tom Monaghan calls birth control “gravely immoral”

Your tax dollars at work

Domino's founder and billionaire Tom Monaghan filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration late last year, fighting the mandatory coverage of contraception provision in the Affordable Care Act. Monaghan calls contraception use "gravely immoral" and doesn't want to have to pay for his employees' health insurance if the insurance covers birth control. This 19th Century puritan is using his vast wealth to promote his religious "morality" and force others to abide by his rules. It's not enough for him to make the personal choice not to use contraceptives. Instead, he feels the need to impose it on others as well. Our far right conservative Attorney General here in Michigan, Bill Schuette, has now entered the suit, filing a brief in support of Monaghan's moral crusade. Details after the jump.
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<h2>Do NOT trust Michigan Republicans on this</h2>
There are reports all over the internet saying that the Republican plan to change how electoral votes are assigned in order to exploit their insidious gerrymandering of Congressional districts is dead in the water in Michigan.

It's not.

The reports about the death of this scheme, which is basically a billboard saying: "Welcome to the Michigan Republican Party where we can't win elections unless we cheat", are based on comments made by both Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Governor Rick Snyder. But, as <a href="http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/01/electoral-vote-rigging-scheme-gets-the-dreaded-not-on-my-agenda-label-from-michigan-senate-maj-leader-richardville.html">I pointed out earlier this week</a>, both Richardville and Snyder said nearly the exact same words regarding making Michigan a Right to Work state only to turn around and jam it through in less than a week during the inflamed duck session.

More after the jump.

Think electoral vote distribution-related election rigging is over in Michigan? It’s not.

Do NOT trust Michigan Republicans on this

There are reports all over the internet saying that the Republican plan to change how electoral votes are assigned in order to exploit their insidious gerrymandering of Congressional districts is dead in the water in Michigan. It's not. The reports about the death of this scheme, which is basically a billboard saying: "Welcome to the Michigan Republican Party where we can't win elections unless we cheat", are based on comments made by both Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Governor Rick Snyder. But, as I pointed out earlier this week, both Richardville and Snyder said nearly the exact same words regarding making Michigan a Right to Work state only to turn around and jam it through in less than a week during the inflamed duck session. More after the jump.
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<h2>And then there were three</h2>
Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she will <b>NOT</b> be a candidate for Governor in Michigan in 2014. Her stepping aside narrows the immediate field from four to three: 2010 candidate and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Detroit-area Congressman Gary Peters and former MI-07 Congressman Mark Schauer. While that's not to say that others won't throw their hat into the ring, these three are certainly the top three at the moment.

My analysis after the jump.

Democratic Senator Gretchen Whitmer drops out of 2014 gubernatorial race

And then there were three

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she will NOT be a candidate for Governor in Michigan in 2014. Her stepping aside narrows the immediate field from four to three: 2010 candidate and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Detroit-area Congressman Gary Peters and former MI-07 Congressman Mark Schauer. While that's not to say that others won't throw their hat into the ring, these three are certainly the top three at the moment. My analysis after the jump.
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<h2>Why do I get the feeling there's a LOT they aren't telling us?</h2>
The Michigan House Republicans released their <a href="http://www.gophouse.com/Publications/999/ActionPlanWebVersion.pdf">"2013-14 House Republican Action Plan" (pdf)</a> today and, while there's much I still need to digest, there were enough glaring LOLs in it to warrant pointing them out.

The 21-page plan, titled "Brighter Days Ahead", is almost half "Executive Summary" and is full of photos of happy, smiling white people. Reading the Executive Summary is an odd experience. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was either a Democratic proposal or something a bipartisan group put out. You honestly would never know that this is the party that focused so intensely over the past two years to crush unions, demonize teachers and other public employees and that led the way in the Republican War on Women.

Details after the jump.

Michigan House Republicans 2013-14 “Action Plan” released today. LOLs ensue.

Why do I get the feeling there's a LOT they aren't telling us?

The Michigan House Republicans released their "2013-14 House Republican Action Plan" (pdf) today and, while there's much I still need to digest, there were enough glaring LOLs in it to warrant pointing them out. The 21-page plan, titled "Brighter Days Ahead", is almost half "Executive Summary" and is full of photos of happy, smiling white people. Reading the Executive Summary is an odd experience. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was either a Democratic proposal or something a bipartisan group put out. You honestly would never know that this is the party that focused so intensely over the past two years to crush unions, demonize teachers and other public employees and that led the way in the Republican War on Women. Details after the jump.
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