The cure for the common cause

The past three weeks I have been involved in a project that is irrelevant to this discussion save the fact that it gave me time to think. The work I was doing allowed me time to clear my thoughts and to allow a stream of consciousness that maybe I didn’t realize I needed, but I did.

We are a few weeks out of the election, which was a disaster for Democrats in Michigan and around the country. It is what it is. It won’t change, so get over it.

What I am about to propose to you is easy. I mean very easy.…

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Pres. Obama takes action on immigration reform that Republicans say THEY should take but won’t

“Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands. No free and prosperous nation can by itself accommodate all those who seek a better life or flee persecution.”

- Ronald Reagan

Last night, President Obama announced the he is taking long-anticipated executive action to permit up to 5 million undocumented immigrants in our country to legally extend their stay and allowing them to, in his words, “come out of the shadows and get right with the law”.

Conservatives Republicans and others on the right preemptively lost their minds, calling this, among other things, “executive amnesty” (which one activist I know hilariously described as “what Wall Street bankers received when none of them went to prison for crashing our economy in 2007.”)

Ted Cruz says none of President Obama’s nominees should be confirmed now that he’s done this.…

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Retired nurse applauds ACA’s emphasis on prevention — and not turning anyone away, including her

Once denied insurance at any price, Amy and her husband found a plan that works for their lifestyle and budget.

One prescription for blood pressure medication. One test that showed an early-stage heart valve issue that isn’t causing any problems. That’s all it took for insurance companies to deny coverage to Amy and her husband, Mike before the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Amy had health insurance through work before she retired from the Michigan hospital where she worked as a registered nurse, often taking care of patients with heart problems. But when she retired, she and Mike couldn’t find a private insurer to cover them at any price — despite them being two very healthy 61-year-olds with no serious health concerns.…

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Constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law headed to federal court

Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh has found that a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law, Public Act 436, can move forward based on its disparate impact on African Americans in Michigan.

The suit alleges that PA 436 is unconstitutional based on nine specific causes:

  1. Denial of “substantive due process” by violating the right to vote of Michigan citizens living in municipalities controlled by Emergency Managers
  2. Violation of the Guarantee Clause which guarantees ” to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”
  3. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the denial of the “fundamental right to vote [which] has been denied, abridged, and/or diluted by PA 436 because governing authority is stripped from local elected officials and transferred to one unelected EM with no accountability to local citizens”
  4. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race
  5. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on wealth
  6. Violation of the Voting Rights Act
  7. Violation of the First Amendment by:
    1. Viewpoint discrimination which violates the First Amendment when it regulates speech based on substantive content
    2. Denial of Freedom of Speech
    3. Denial of the right to petition the government
  8. Violation of the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery
  9. Discrimination against localities with Emergency Manager appointed under previous laws

Every one of these was found to be invalid except for #4, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race.…

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immigrationteaparty

How much of America does the GOP want to turn into California?

On Wednesday, we finally learned that two Democratic members of Congress from California will keep their jobs.

This was remarkable for two reasons. First, Democrats in Congress got some good news for maybe the first time all year. And, secondly, these two victories mean that a Democratic incumbent in California hasn’t lost a House seat in 20 years.

Hmm. I wonder what happened in 1994 in California that suddenly changed the fortunes of Republicans.

*waves fingers in a dreamlike motion* It was called Prop 187. Governor Pete Wilson rode this contentious ballot measure to ban undocumented immigrants from all public services to an easy re-election.…

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UPDATED x2: According to incoming House Rep Todd Courser, House Speaker Jase Bolger is just too goddam liberal

Right before the election, a voter from Lapeer County reached out to me to tell me he had received a call from the campaign of far-right candidate Todd Courser. When he informed the caller he would be voting for Courser’s opponent, she asked him, “Would you change your vote if you knew that Margaret Guerrero DeLuca had faggots and blacks working for her?”

Some folks refused to believe this had actually transpired but, when you scratch beneath the surface of the sort of hateful person Todd Courser is, it’s no surprise and many folks in Lapeer had no problem believing something like this came from Courser’s campaign.…

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EVENT: TOMORROW Wayne State University hosts talk on “Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”

Tomorrow night, the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies will host its innaugural event, a presentation by Dr. David E. Kirkland titled “The Practice of Freedom – Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”.

The Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative is a newly-formed group and is headed up by the amazing Friend of the Blog Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University. The Collaborative was founded in September 2014 to honor the lifework and vision of Leonard Kaplan, an uncompromising advocate for the social and affective well-being of the “whole child” in America’s schools.…

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Keystone XL pipeline vote loses by 1 vote in the Senate for several VERY good reasons

Senate Democrats, in a very weird bid to help Democrat Mary Landrieu’s reelection bid, allowed a vote on the mythologized Keystone XL pipeline yesterday. It failed by one vote.

And that’s a very Good Thing.

As I have written about before, the much-touted job creation promised by the pipeline’s ignorant or lying proponents, is wildly inflated:

Let’s take the first Big Lie: that the Keystone XL will create a job bonanza in the U.S. When TransCanada began pitching this boondoggle and environmental-disaster-waiting-to-happen, the Big Oil trade group the America Oil Institute (it’s an “institute” — that’s kinda like a university!) claimed that it would create — not kidding here — “21,000 jobs today to 465,000 jobs by 2035″.…
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