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Michigan unemployment rate up, now 3rd highest in the country

NOW can we ask, “Where are the jobs”???

Back in February, Michigan had the 4th highest unemployment rate in the country.

Today, we have the 3rd highest at 7.5%. That’s up from last month, by the way.

In fact, only Mississippi and Rhode Island – who are tied for last place – and Nevada are higher. 46 states and the District of Columbia have lower unemployment rates.

I know the changes that Republicans have made to raise taxes on the middle class and on retirees and to slash school funding to give a huge tax break to corporations and the repeated laws kneecapping labor unions including making the birthplace of the modern labor movement a right to work for less state probably will take time to show results.…

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How a progressive convention in Michigan changed America forever

The Crosswhite incident, Michigan and the power of the grassroots

Photo: Adam Crosswhite (Archives of Michigan)

You know that from July 17-20, much of America’s progressive community will gather in Detroit for Netroots Nation to organize, galvanize and socialize, in approximately that order.

“Why Detroit?” Chris Savage wrote last year, after being given the honor of announcing the 2014’s conference location from the stage of the 2013 Netroots in San Jose. “Because Michigan represents the future of our country if we don’t regain political control of our state governments.”

If Democrats can’t win this blue state in 2014—after four years of a state government dominated by the Tea Party and a governor who has only been tough on the middle class—there’s no hope of keeping the Senate, or ever taking back the House.…

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ACTION: State of Michigan preparing to sell off unprecedented amounts of public land – Make your voice heard!

My wife Anne, who lived in St. Louis, Missouri when we met, often tells people that I “wooed her with Michigan”. And it’s true. Michigan has so much to offer from big cities to secluded forests and everything in between. We have over 19 million acres of forested land, about 4 million of which is state-owned. This immense amount of land provides habitat for animals, recreational opportunities for our residents and tourists, and natural resources like timber and oil & gas when the lands are leased.

However, the state of Michigan is preparing to sell of vast amounts of this land to private companies.…

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BREAKING: McCoig Materials withdraws request for permit to build intrusive, harmful gravel mine in Lyndon Township

Back in March, I wrote about an effort by McCoig Materials to create a gravel mine just north of Chelsea, Michigan in Lyndon Township. Here’s what I wrote then:

As you look at the photo of downtown Chelsea above, imagine 80 gravel trucks a day, 6 days a week rumbling through the middle of it and then back again after they dumped their load. That’s one truck every 4 minutes during daylight hours and that’s the reality of what will happen if McCoig Gravel, a subsidiary of Thompson-McCully, is issued a special use permit and a mineral mining operations permit by the Lyndon Township Board.…
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Michigander publishes book on the state’s history

Pioneers, Reformers, & Millionaires is a historical narrative that reads like a novel.

Elizabeth A. Homer is a public historian with a passion for political and women’s history — and a curator with more than 20 years of experience at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame and the Turner-Dodge House.

This spring, she published a book, Pioneers, Reformers, & Millionaires, an epic story of two generations of western New Yorkers who settled in Michigan’s Grand River Valley in 1834. Prominent figures in the book include Marian and James Turner and James Munroe Turner, who played pivotal roles in the history of our state and the country.…

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Univ. of Michigan law prof Steven Croley confirmed by Senate as general counsel for U.S. Energy Dept.

University of Michigan law professor Steven Croley was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as general counsel for the U.S. Energy Department this week. Croley, the husband of State Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, has been working for the White House as deputy assistant and deputy counsel to President Obama and spends his weeks working at the White House. He is currently on leave from his position as professor at the University of Michigan law school.

A University of Michigan law professor will become the top attorney at the U.S. Department of Energy after the U.S. Senate voted Monday to confirm his appointment.…
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MI legislature should restore unemployment benefits

Tens of thousands have been cut off from the benefits they earned.

A study released this week found that the Michigan legislature’s cuts to unemployment insurance have meant a loss of benefits for 14,000 to 32,000 Michiganders a week. (full disclosure here, one of the study’s authors is a personal friend, and has been a client on other issues). For those who may have missed it at the time, Governor Snyder and the legislature shorted the period the short-term jobless can collect unemployment from 26 weeks to 20 weeks, along with reducing eligibility and making it easier for employers to contest claims. And this was during a period where the national unemployment rate has remained high, and Michigan’s jobless rate one of the highest in the nation.
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Obamacare success stories keep coming, with a rosy forecast for 2015

Karen is just one of 272,500 Michiganders who signed up for coverage through, where a strong finish to 2014 enrollment bodes well for next year.

So much good news, it’s hard to know where to begin.

On Thursday, Obama administration officials predicted health insurance premiums would be stable in 2015, thanks to a large and varied pool of insured Americans. This is according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which reported that about 28 percent of the 8 million Americans who enrolled in private health insurance through were in the 18-34-year-old age range needed to help keep the risk pool balanced and keep premiums down — the demographic naysayers predicted would not sign up.…

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On Tax Day, it’s worth looking at how the Michigan GOP has shifted the tax burden to the poor & middle class


A little over two years ago, I wrote a cautionary post titled “The tax timebomb that explodes in Michigan in 2012 is MUCH worse than you thought”. In it, I explained how the Republican budget passed in the first year after the 2010 midterm election annihilation of Democrats and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder created a massive shift of taxation from the wealthy and from corporations onto the poor and middle class. Here’s a bit of that post:

[A]s we all know, last year the Michigan Republicans passed a budget that lowers business taxes by $1.6 billion and increases individual income taxes by $1.4 billion.…
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“The Affordable Care Act was a refuge in my time of need,” says City of Detroit retiree

People continue being helped by Obamacare — and it’s a winning issue. Politicians and pundits, take note.

When City of Detroit retiree Cora Dolley learned that she’d no longer be receiving health insurance coverage from the City, she was worried. For 10 years, $150 had been deducted from her pension check to cover hospitalization expenses and provide other healthcare services at a low cost.

But the benefits Dolley had been promised were taken away, just like that.

The City gave us $125 a month to go buy some healthcare. That’s cruel. Without Obamacare, I would never have known I was eligible for tax credits and I’d have to pay a lot more.…
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