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Man who shot an un-armed man over road rage to use Michigan’s “Stand Your Ground” defense

On September 2nd, Derek Flemming, a 43-year old married father of two young children was driving with his wife in Livingston County to pick up their kids when a pick-up truck nearly t-boned them as they drove down Grand River Avenue. Instead, the truck swerved and cut them off. The truck driver then slammed on his brakes and was clearly messing with Flemming. When they arrived at a stoplight, Flemming got out of his car and approached the truck which was being driven by Martin Edward Zale.

Zale then rolled down his window, pulled out a pistol, and shot Flemming, who was unarmed, in the face, murdering him in front of his wife.…

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Kalamazoo women to lose home after a 3-year old delinquent tax bill she didn’t know she owed

This story hasn’t gotten much attention which is surprising since it’s so outrageous. In 2008, Deborah Calley was in a horrendous auto accident that nearly left her permanently brain damaged. In 2010, she purchased a home in Richland, Michigan, just outside of Kalamazoo, paying cash for the home. In 2011, she made two tax payments but, unbeknownst to her, she owed a third tax payment for $2,000.

This past spring, the County began foreclosure proceedings over the missed tax payment. The County says they sent 10 notices to Calley but all but one of them went to banks with whom she has no affiliation and the one sent to her was returned to the County; she never saw it.…

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Michigan led the country in job losses in August, tied for 5th highest unemployment rate

When Rick Snyder came into office, Michigan had the nation’s 5th highest unemployment rate. After nearly four years of his relentless positive Republican action, guess where we’re ranked now?

Yup: 5th.

That number doesn’t tell the full story either. The only reason we’re ranked 5th instead of 4th or less is because so many Michiganders have left the job market. Our unemployment rate is still 1.3 percentage points above the national average of 6.1%. The worst news, however, is that our state lost 9,500 jobs between July and August, the highest job loss in the country. By contrast, 35 states saw job growth improve in the same month.…

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GUEST POST – Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

This article is cross-posted from the website of Political Research Associates and appears in PRA’s upcoming Fall, 2014 issue of The Public Eye magazine, a special edition on neoliberalism and the Right. It was written by Jane Slaughter, an American journalist based in Detroit who writes frequently on labor affairs. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, Monthly Review, and In These Times.

The term neoliberalism refers to “ideas associated with economic liberalism, which advocates — under reference to neoclassical economic theory — support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.”

Manufactured Emergency: The Neoliberal Assault on Michigan

Those who want to privatize public services and destroy unions have made some successful incursions into the once union-friendly state.

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Like Shelby Township, Scio Township passes moratorium on oil drilling. Company keeps drilling anyway.

You know we’re in the steely grip of corporatocracy when this happens:

West Bay Exploration Company has no plans to cease drilling at the corner of West Delhi and Miller roads northwest of Ann Arbor.

The company’s oil rig is in Scio Township, where the Board of Trustees passed a moratorium last week against oil exploration activity.

West Bay Exploration vice president Gibson said Monday evening that he received the township’s moratorium that day in the mail, but had not had a chance to read it closely. [...]

“We’re into the drilling phase now and there’s a safety factor that becomes involved in the drilling where we need to continue circulating mud in the hole,” Gibson said.

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Personal experience fuels Michigan Senate candidate Deb Havens’ healthcare advocacy

This Democrat knows first-hand that getting the right care at the right time can be life-saving.

When Deb Havens entered the race in Michigan’s 28th State Senate District, healthcare access wasn’t at the top of her issues list. The former educator was heavily focused on safeguarding the public school system and everything that once made Michigan the envy of other states, from high employment rates to an abiding respect for the state’s natural resources.

But two months into her campaign, Havens found another issue to champion: healthcare access for all. That’s because she was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram.…

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Cue GOP call for more business tax cuts: Michigan unemployment rate ticks up to 7.7%, still nation’s third highest

If you go to Rick Snyder’s Facebook page, you’ll see a picture of him smiling smugly under the banner “Michigan’s Comeback Kid”. Putting aside the fact that “comeback kid” actually refers to a person who has come back from some personal trauma, something our Governor has not done, the suggestion that Michigan is somehow roaring back to economic prosperity under Rick Snyder is ludicrous at best and complete and utter lie at worst.

Last month, we had that the third highest unemployment rate in the country at 7.5%. This month, we’re still the third highest, tied with Nevada and Nevada, at 7.7%.…

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Another benefit of Michigan Medicaid expansion: reducing state prison costs

It’s not just good for the state budget — it’s good for the health of current and former prisoners, which may help keep them from returning to prison.

I wrote more than a year ago about the benefits Medicaid expansion would bring to Michigan, including a boost to the health of Michigan’s citizens and its economy, with $1 billion in federal funding and an expected $2.1 billion increase in economic activity.

Now, the Healthy Michigan Plan — Michigan’s version of Medicaid expansion — is on track to help the state save $19 billion in 2015 and improve the health of current and former prison inmates.…

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Warren Mayor Jim Fouts defends decision to deny atheist space in City Hall

Last week I wrote about Warren, Michigan Mayor Jim Fouts’ decision to deny Douglas Marshall space in the City Hall atrium for a “reason center” where atheists could share their worldview. In his letter to Marshall, Fouts said, “The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Klu Klux Klan station. I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here.”

This comparison of atheists to the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis drew national attention.…

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Be unique, just like everyone else! VOTE IN THE PRIMARY TOMORROW!

Predictions for turnout in tomorrow’s primary election are pretty dismal. It’s ironic that progressives do so much to fight for voting rights and then turn around and stay home on election day. What that means is that our candidates for office are chosen by a tiny minority rather than a democratic majority.

Don’t be “that guy” or “that gal”. Vote.

You can have a look at who and what you’ll be voting on tomorrow by creating a sample ballot for your precinct HERE.

In addition to the various candidates for office, there is one statewide ballot proposal (more on that HERE) and, in many places non-partisan judge positions as well.…

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