Gridlock in Lansing tosses road funding decision to taxpayers but Dems get a LOT of what they wanted

Michigan’s legislature is essentially a microcosm of what is happening in Washington, D.C. A small coalition of hard-right tea party types are holding the Republican party hostage, forcing them to cut deals with the Democrats in order to actually, you know, govern. Cast in the role of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner is Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger. This gridlock gave Democrats the ability to secure some important elements in the road funding agreement.

The battle to find over a billion dollars in road funding finally came to an end at something like 5:30 a.m. this morning. The final result does a whole lot of things but entirely depends on Michigan taxpayers raising the sales tax from six percent to seven percent.…

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Functional Medicine: The vision of healthcare reform put into practice

In the bigger picture of healthcare reform, a clinical approach that prioritizes wellness over treatment is exactly what we need.

Over at my personal blog, I recently wrote about my experience with Functional Medicine and how it’s overhauled my health. Although it’s not brand-new, Functional Medicine is an approach to care that’s rapidly gaining acceptance — and for good reason.

When you consider that healthcare reform advocates are working to transform what’s known as America’s “sick care system” into a healthcare system that emphasizes prevention and wellness, Functional Medicine could be central to this goal.

Below is the post that originally appeared at my website.…

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Michigan Republican posts photos of his kids with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, calls them “modern muskets” & “weapons for liberty”

NOTE: I have updated this post and the title to correct the misuse of the term “assault rifle”. Though semi-automatic AR-15 rifles are commonly called assault rifles, the strict definition of an assault rifle says that it must be “selective fire” meaning that it has “at least one semi-automatic and one automatic mode”. The rifles in the photos below are semi-automatic only. They do, however, have magazines that hold 10-30 rounds or more of ammunition.

Yesterday, I wrote about Todd Courser and showed a photo he had posted on Facebook of one of his kids with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.…

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While progressives try to catch up with ALEC in the states, ALEC moves to the cities and counties

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Koch brothers-funded group that churns out pro-business model legislation for state legislators, has been incredibly effective at impacting policy at the state level. A recent study shows just how effective they have been:

Building on research I am conducting with Konstantin Kashin, I used text analysis of ALEC’s model legislation, along with all state legislation introduced and enacted since the mid-1990s, to identify instances when state governments enacted ALEC-authored bills related to public unions. (In all, I counted twelve enactments of ALEC reform bills across eight states.) These bills generally followed several common patterns, such as provisions making it more challenging for labor unions to automatically collect dues from workers, and making it easier for states to contract out services that were previously performed by public workers.…
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Religion, guns, and anti-government paranoia guide incoming Republican legislator Todd Courser

One of the newly-elected legislators who will take his seat on the floor of the state House next month is Todd Courser from the Lapeer area. Though he has yet to take office, I have written about him several times already and, judging by his bizarre rhetoric and behavior, there will be an abundance of Eclectawords written about him over the next couple of years.

Courser, along with all of the other incoming legislators, has been going through the extensive training offered to new lawmakers. Courser has been writing about what he refers to as his “indoctrination” on his Facebook page and his posts are a creepy blend of religion, paranoia, and a twisted sense of what it means to be a “patriot”.…

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You’ll need 4 Bushes to match net jobs created under Obama, 10 to match Clinton

Jeb Bush is in.

The smarter Bush brother — which is like being the most compassionate Cheney — was savvy enough to win two terms as Florida’s governor. He also did more than his share to help his little bro George W. “win” his first presidential election. And now the former Lehman Brothers executive has decided to “actively explore” his own bid for the White House.

Earlier this year, I pointed out that more net jobs had been created under President Obama than both presidents named Bush combined, in less than half the time.  Soon, if job growth continues as the pace that made 2014 the best year of job creation this century, net job growth under Obama will double both Bushes.…

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Obamacare: unleashing the power of entrepreneurship on our economy

My daughter turned 26 this past fall and is no longer covered by my health insurance. She had the misfortune of graduating from college with a Masters in bassoon performance right in the middle of the Great Recession. Though she has an advance degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, finding a full-time position with an orchestra or symphony has been elusive so far. Being the bright, energetic young woman that she is, she formed her own quintet and she has been eking out a modest living, supplemented, of course, by waiting tables. While she’s paying her own bills, she does not have to kinds of resources needed to purchase health insurance on her tiny income.…

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AFT President Randi Weingarten shares her personal story and her truth about being raped

Three years ago, I I wrote about being sexually assaulted by a doctor when I was ten years old. It was a story that I had kept to myself for decades and the decision to share it came after I came to the realization that our national conversation about rape and sexual assault was a complete train wreck. Two years later, not much has changed in that regard. Because it’s such a disaster, many sexual assault victims are afraid and/or unwilling to tell their own personal stories about their experiences.

But these experiences are truths. They are real and they are all around us yet they go largely unheard because victim-shaming is such a tragic reality.…

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