The Trump Effect: Empowering the previously voiceless bigots of America like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

The Trump Effect: Empowering the previously voiceless bigots of America like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis.

It’s easy for Democrats to hope that Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination because it’s easy to believe he can’t win. For those of us who watched in horror as George W. Bush won (twice), we know otherwise. For those who watched the Michigan state legislature be completely taken over by tea party religious zealots, we know otherwise.

Trump, who sat glowering as President Obama skewered him at the 2011 White House Corresponents’ Dinner, has in the past shown himself to be tremendously thin-skinned. However, he now seems to feed on his opponents’ attacks. Attacking him only seems to drive him to be more provocative now.…

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Leelanau County Democrats call on Senator Gary Peters to support Iran nuclear deal

Leelanau County Democrats call on Senator Gary Peters to support Iran nuclear deal

The Leelanau County Democratic Party up in the “pinky” of Michigan has sent a letter penned by their County Party Officers and Leadership Team, on behalf of their membership, urging Democratic Senator Gary Peters to join with Sen. Debbie Stabenow in supporting the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration (a position we have also taken here at Eclectablog.)

Here is the full text of their letter:

August 19, 2015
To: Senator Gary Peters
From: The Leelanau County Democratic Party

Dear Senator Peters;

We, the undersigned members of the Leadership Team of the Leelanau County Democratic Party — which includes LCDP officers and 44 others who represent our 357 members — urge you to vote in support of the Iran nuclear deal that is now before you.

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Bill Schuette: Not a Constitutional Scholar - Part 9,346

Bill Schuette: Not a Constitutional Scholar – Part 9,346

MLive reports that earlier today that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sent a letter to the governors of all 50 states suggesting that they take it upon themselves to enact their own economic sanctions against Iran. He suggests (1) ensuring that state agencies (particularly pension funds) are not engaged in any business or investment in Iran, and (2) asking state legislatures to enact their own economic sanctions.

Schuette, despite being a former member of the United States House of Representatives, has apparently not read Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which states:

The President…shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…”

The Heritage Foundation (not exactly a bastion of liberalism), in its handy dandy online Guide to the Constitution, says this:

Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection.…
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Michigan GOP House Speaker Cotter absolves himself while Todd Courser goes deeper into BizzaroLand

Michigan GOP House Speaker Cotter absolves himself while Todd Courser goes deeper into BizzaroLand

One of the worst parts about my chronicling of the Gamrat/Courser fiasco is that, as much as I’m sick of it and want to stop, I’m now all but obligated to continue writing about it as things continue to unfold unravel. Today is no exception. We now have the House Business Office (HBO) “Report on the Investigation of Alleged Misconduct of Representative Todd Courser and Representative Cindy Gamrat”, Todd Courser’s typo-filled tome of over 4,000 words constituting his “response”, and another of their former aides stepping forward to dish dirt on the pair.

Starting with HBO’s report, what we have is nine pages from a group controlled by Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter which absolve Speaker Cotter of any responsibility with only passing mention that “in hindsight”, his office should have investigated complaints by staffers earlier in the process.…

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Members of the Michigan Nurses Association, including Carolyn Hietamaki, RN, at a rally in Marquette.

Ignored in the Detroit News editorial on Medicaid expansion: human lives

Chris already did an excellent job highlighting the significant shortcomings of Sunday’s Detroit News editorial, which essentially asserts that the sky is falling and we’d all better run away from Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program, the Healthy Michigan Plan. If you haven’t read Chris’ piece, you should.

But there’s a sobering omission I had to weigh in on, something that’s left out of the editorial entirely: human beings. The lives of people who are relying on the Healthy Michigan Plan, mostly the working poor who earn far too little to afford health insurance otherwise.

That’s why I’m re-posting this piece I originally published on July 25, 2013, when we were waiting for the Michigan Legislature to decide whether to expand Medicaid in the first place.…

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Crittenton Hospital becomes part of Catholic-affiliated Ascension Health

Crittenton Hospital becomes part of Catholic-affiliated Ascension Health

The deal is done, but no word yet on the fate of reproductive health and other care standards Catholic-run hospitals are allowed to ignore.

As reported in Crain’s Detroit Business on Monday, Crittenton Hospital in Rochester is now officially part of Ascension Health Michigan. Ascension Health is the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. — and a Catholic-affiliated health system that adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (“the Directives“).

The Directives governing Catholic hospitals are written by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Not doctors dictating care. Not patients dictating care. Bishops dictating care.…

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GUEST POST: The Paradox of the Apple

GUEST POST: The Paradox of the Apple

This story arrived in my email inbox today from the most excellent group Local Harvest. It’s an important story about how our food supply cycles and our food demand cycles can be out of sync to the point where we literally throw away delicious, healthy, nutritious food and import the same food from other countries. In this case, the supply and demand cycles that are out of sync are those for apples.

What’s good about this essay is that it doesn’t just talk about the problem. The author, Rebecca Thistlethwaite from Farm Business Consulting and author of the books Farms With a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising & Selling, also points out things each of us can do to help address the issue.…

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New Chrome browser extension replaces "political correctness" with more accurate term on all webpages

New Chrome browser extension replaces “political correctness” with more accurate term on all webpages

One of the things that (a) sets progressives’ teeth on edge and (b) quickens the heartbeats of ignorant racists, bigots, misogynists, and sexists is the idea that “political correctness” is censorship. It is, of course, nothing of the sort. It’s actually an expression of our fundamental right to call someone out on their racism, bigotry, misogyny, and sexism. You’re free to be one of these closed minded people but you are decidedly NOT free to be immune from criticism for your shitty views.

A developer of a new extension for the Chrome browser has an answer for this. They developed PC2Respect, an extension that was inspired by this quote from author Neil Gaiman:

I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase “politically correct” wherever we could with “treating other people with respect”, and it made me smile.…
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