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Chris Savage is the owner of Eclectablog, your one-stop shop for progressive Michigan news and state & national political commentary.
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Michigan tea partiers in full-blown panic over possible creation of state-run health insurance exchange

With the recent conflicting rulings by federal courts over whether subsidies for health insurance can be used by residents in states relying on the federal health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act, there is discussion of revisiting the creation of a state-run exchange in Michigan.

There could be another push in Lansing to set up a state-run website to purchase insurance through the federal healthcare law. [...]

Republican Jim Marleau chairs the state Senate Health Policy Committee. He says the federal health exchange has worked well for Michiganders since problems with the website were fixed late last year.

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Former Michigan Christian radio show host pleads guilty to child rape, being held for rape of second 11-year old

WARNING: Trigger alert for those sensitive to discussions of rape of any kind.

The former host of a popular “family friendly” Christian morning show based in Grand Rapids has admitted to the rape of a bound 12-year old boy. John Balyo was indicted in June. The charges, which can be read HERE, are “sexual exploitation of a child” and “possession of child pornography”. During a court appearance today, he admitted to having sex with the very young boy:

Former WCSG radio host John Richard Balyo admitted today that he and a second man handcuffed a 12-year-old boy to a motel bed, sexually abused him and took nine photos during the April encounter.…
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UPDATED x3: Despite supposed moratorium, Detroit water shutoffs continue

Depends on what your definition of “moratorium” is, I guess…

Last week, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, bowing to pressure from Detroit bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes, instituted what they said was a 15-day moratorium on water shutoffs in Detroit. However, despite this, water shutoffs continue:

The Detroit water department recently announced a temporary break in its campaign to cut service to delinquent customers—but some people are still being shut off. [...]

[T]he temporary reprieve doesn’t apply across the board, as most people had assumed.

Spokeswoman Curtrise Garner says the water department remains committed to helping anyone genuinely unable to pay their bill.

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The MI-11 Congressional race is one of the most interesting in the country

The race for Michigan’s comically gerrymandered 11th district is one of the most interesting in the country. The story really started two years ago when Thad McCotter botched his reelection campaign by hiring some idiots who photocopied signatures for his nominating petitions and then proceeded to get busted by elections officials. If McCotter himself wasn’t a big enough oddball, his seat was eventually filled by an even odder man, Republican Kerry Bentivolio who got the seat really because he was the last person standing.

Bentivolio is a classic tea party candidate whose main focus has been Benghazi, Obamacare, the IRS, Benghazi, Obamacare, and Benghazi.…

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Paul Clements, a real threat to the incumbency of Fred Upton, releases first ad

There are few Republicans who have so poorly represented the issues and concerns of Michiganders than Fred Upton in the 6th Congressional District. He has repeatedly supported the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, spurring an op-ed by the Kalamazoo Gazette asking him to “Knock it off!”.

In a district which has Lake Michigan as one of its borders, Upton was once chosen as the #1 the Los Angeles Times‘ “Biggest enemies of the Earth” in Congress:

As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Upton is the gatekeeper for many of the disastrous anti-environment bills that have been approved or proposed in the House this year.…
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REMINDER: Canvass packs beat Super PACS and special interest money – It’s time to canvass for Democrats!

It’s no secret that Republicans have a cash advantage over Democrats and nowhere is that more obvious in Michigan. The sinking ship that is Terri Lynn Land’s Senate campaign still managed to outraise her Democratic opponent Gary Peters by over $1 million last quarter. Governor Rick Snyder outraised his Democratic opponent Mark Schauer by over $2 million. Much of the money flooding into Republican coffers comes from special interest Super PACs and wealthy individual donors who are intent on keeping the corporatist status quo in place.

But, as LOLGOP so eloquently described last week, there is one thing that can defeat all of this massive spending: person-to-person contact:

There is no voter outreach strategy in politics more effective than a volunteer showing up and knocking on a door.…
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LAST DAY, 3rd Quarter Fundraiser – 5 million visitors and growing

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed during this quarter’s fundraiser. It’s been a bit quieter than usual. Hopefully that’s a sign that everyone is tapped out giving to their favorite Democratic Party candidates and not that you’re not getting value out of the work we do here at Eclectablog. Judging by site traffic, it appears that you DO enjoy our work – we just surpassed 5 million visitors this past quarter. That’s a pretty huge milestone.

If you’d like to join those who find what we do here at Eclectablog worthy of supporting financially, there are three ways to help.…

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Day 6, 3rd Quarter Fundraiser – I want money, that’s what I want

One of my favorite lines from the epic novel Infinite Jest by the late David Foster Wallace is, “He’s one of these people who doesn’t need much, much less much more.” That pretty much describes me. Anne and I live a fairly simple life without a lot of expensive toys besides our computers and iPads. However, in order to run a blog, you need to raise funds if the writers are to be paid. And writers SHOULD be paid. As progressives we fight every day to build a world where people are respected, treated fairly, and given a fair wage for their work.…

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Day 5, 3rd Quarter Fundraiser – Your support DOES make a difference

I’ll keep it short and sweet today. We work our tails off to bring you the high quality content you have come to expect from Eclectablog. In return, we hope you get enough value out of our work to chip in a little to ensure that all of our regular contributors are paid.

It’s important to me that our writers ARE paid. There are very few – scandalously few, in my opinion – blogs that pay their writers. But you can spot the ones that do because they keep their staff for a lot longer and the quality of the writing is significantly better.…

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Mark Totten: AG Bill Schuette helped give half million Michiganders a $4700 tax hike in Halbig case

Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

A federal court’s decision in the Halbig v. Burwell lawsuit earlier this month threatens the Affordable Care Act subisidies of nearly a half million Michiganders. The ruling contends that the law is written to exclude subsidies from residents in states that rely on the federal health insurance exchange. This, of course, wouldn’t be an issue if Michigan Republicans not stopped our state from setting up its own exchange.

In an op-ed in The Detroit News today, Democratic candidate for Attorney General Mark Totten calls the result a tax hike on a half million Michiganders and lays the blame for it largely on Republican AG and tea party darling Bill Schuette:

This week, a federal court accepted Attorney General Bill Schuette’s argument that hundreds of thousands of Michigan families are ineligible for federal tax credits to purchase health insurance.…
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