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Are you better off than you were four years ago? Well, are you, really?

1980 was the first year I was able to vote in a presidential election and, with chest puffed out, off I went to the polls to vote for Jimmy Carter on November 4, 1980. It began a long, sad slide for me personally as the country was electing Republicans at a record pace, and I seemingly was voting for people at all levels of government that were not destined to be elected. I kept thinking that I was maybe not understanding politics (I now know I knew exactly what I was doing), and that the people I wanted to see elected, almost all Democrats, were good people.…

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Ms. Ellen’s neighborhood: lessons learned and lessons that will live on

I’ll venture a guess that most of us weren’t around in 1917, but that year, deep in the South, a baby girl was born who eventually changed my life and helped me gain perspective on issues, ideas, and purpose. Profoundly!

Allow me to start at the end and then, if you will, go back a few years.

Last night at 8:15 PM, I received a call from my neighbor Ellen’s full-time caretaker who has been part of a group that is been assisting my 97-year old neighbor with her daily tasks. Over the last two years, I’ve seen some caretakers come and go and I have seen others stay on the entire period.…

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Why is the National GOP giving Rick Synder’s hilariously awful re-election campaign a pass?

The national media has finally figured out what our Chris Savage has been saying all year — Republicans never wanted Terri Lynn Land as their candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

Avoiding debates, skirting the press, and making no scheduled public appearances isn’t her strategy. It’s a reaction to self-destructing after just a few questions from the press during a rare media availability this May.

But critics may end up regarding Land’s effort as the second worst state-wide campaign run by a Michigan Republican in 2014.

Rick Snyder began his re-election run in scuba gear with a Super Bowl ad from the same team that brought us Pete Hoekstra’s infamously disastrous “Yellow Girl” ad.…

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INTERVIEW: Rep. Dan Kildee on gamesmanship in Congress and leveling the playing field

Why the current Congress isn’t working for the people — and how Democrats can change that.

Do you miss “Schoolhouse Rock”? Me, too. And there’s no question that many members of the current U.S. House of Representatives, particularly Republicans, could benefit from a re-run, a refresher course on how legislating is actually supposed to work.

During the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) participated on a panel with Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41). The title was “A Fresh Perspective: Lessons From a Crazy Congress” and the three representatives shared their take on why Congress is so dysfunctional right now — and what Democrats are doing to drive positive change.…

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The DCCC is looking for organizing fellows for campaign work this summer – here’s how to apply

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is looking for Summer Fellows to work this summer to elect Democrats across the country. That’s especially true here in Michigan where the DCCC is supporting a number of our candidates like Pam Byrnes (MI-07) and Jerry Cannon (MI-01). Below is an announcement that explains things.
The only way to defeat the Republicans is to empower Americans to be the change they seek in their communities. That is what we aim to do through our Organizing Corps team of grassroots activists.

Do you want to be on the front lines of the fight to kick John Boehner and Republicans out of power?…

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The edifice crumbles: turns out Obamacare IS working and people are happy to pay for it

But Benghazi

One of the biggest faux memes being perpetrated by Obamacare opponents is that people who signed up for it wouldn’t actually PAY for it. Charles Gaba over at ACAsignups.net got earsful of it. We even see it here at Eclectablog.

Turns out it it’s a complete lie.

Three large health insurers including WellPoint Inc. (WLP) and Aetna Inc. (AET) say that a high percentage of their new Obamacare customers are paying their first premiums, undermining a Republican criticism of enrollment in the program.

As many as 90 percent of WellPoint customers have paid their first premium by its due date, according to testimony the company prepared for a congressional hearing today.

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Helped by Explainer-in-Chief Bill Clinton, Michigan Dems fire up at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

“Politics is all about power for them. Politics should always be about people for us.”

Michigan Democrats took over the newly-renovated Cobo Hall in Detroit last night in a show of forceful solidarity unlike anything I’ve seen in the recent past. A sold out crowd of over 2,200 packed the venue, over 700 more than attended the event in 2012 when Vice President Joe Biden was the keynote speaker for their annual fundraising dinner. While the keynote speech by President Bill Clinton was certainly a major draw this year, the energy in the building went beyond just admiration for one our favorite Democratic presidents.…

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Team Eclectablog join the Farmington/Farmington Hills Dems & Kalamazoo Dems this week

If you are in the Farmington Hills area on Wednesday this week, April 16th, please consider joining Anne and I for an Eclectablog presentation to the Farmington/Farmington Hills Democratic Club. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be at the Pipefitters Local 636, 30100 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills. Their Facebook event page is HERE.

The following night, Thursday, April 17th, we’ll be with the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party. That event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at Theo & Stacy’s at 5225 Portage Rd, Kalamazoo. Their Facebook event page is HERE.

At both events, Anne will talk about her photography and her time as a White House photographer during the 2012 presidential election.…

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Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan leads the charge to renew unemployment insurance benefits #RenewUI

Rep. Kildee calls for an immediate up-or-down vote on a bill he introduced to restore emergency unemployment benefits.

Since last November, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) has been at the forefront of efforts by U.S. House Democrats to extend, and then renew, unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Immediately after the bipartisan passage of a bill in the U.S. Senate on Monday to offer a five-month extension to 2.8 million Americans who have lost their benefits so far, Rep. Kildee introduced the House companion bill, identical to the Senate version.

This bill, HR 4415, would retroactively extend unemployment insurance benefits to all Americans who have lost theirs since December 28, 2013.…

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DCCC targets Michigan Republicans for support of Paul Ryan’s “screw the poor, enrich the rich” budget

Republicans know who butters their bread and it ain’t YOU!

Paul Ryan introduced a new budget bill recently that is basically a rehash of his previous budgets. As LOLGOP put it, “In Ryan’s Randian hellscape, everything must be done to tame the debt in the next ten years, except anything that could hurt the GOP immediately with seniors, though huge cuts to Medicare will follow. And taxes must never be raised, nor may any tax break be eliminated. Also, we should spend more on defense. Thus incredible cruelty must be inflicted from the cuts he proposes to the programs the keep America’s working poor and elderly from abject poverty.”

He’s right.…

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