Category: Michigan

Charles Kettles, heroic Vietnam veteran from Ypsilanti, Michigan, awarded the Medal of Honor

Charles Kettles, heroic Vietnam veteran from Ypsilanti, Michigan, awarded the Medal of Honor

The dashing young man in the photo above is Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Charles S. Kettles. LTC Kettles, who lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, was awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday at a White House ceremony. His story is extraordinary. Here’s an excerpt from President Obama’s remarks:

May 15, 1967, started as a hot Monday morning. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne were battling hundreds of heavily armed North Vietnamese in a rural riverbed. Our men were outnumbered. They needed support fast –- helicopters to get the wounded out and bring more soldiers into the fight. Chuck Kettles was a helo pilot. And just as he’d volunteered for active duty, on this morning he volunteered his Hueys –- even though he knew the danger.…

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What Snyder’s choice of an oil executive as DEQ director says to Michiganders

What Snyder’s choice of an oil executive as DEQ director says to Michiganders

When, in the wake of the Flint water crisis, Dan Wyant resigned from his post as director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Gov. Rick Snyder’s outgoing chief of staff lamented the move.

“I’m not sure why this decision was made but if it’s only optics, keep in mind that finding a replacement who has the trust of the business community will be very difficult,” Dennis Muchmore wrote in an email to his replacement, Jarrod Agen.

The optics — or public perception — in question was the public’s loss of trust in Wyant as leader of the state department charged with protecting the environment.…

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Judge Deborah Thomas announces run for Michigan Supreme Court, endorsed by House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel

Judge Deborah Thomas announces run for Michigan Supreme Court, endorsed by House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel

Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas recently announced that she is running for the Michigan Supreme Court. This is her second supreme court race and her candidacy is generating a lot of energy and enthusiasm. She’s a fierce and lifelong advocate for those in society without a voice in the judicial system and, in addition to her job as a Circuit Court judge, she travels the state at her own expense, giving forums and workshops on issues like having a criminal record expunged and the scourge of human trafficking in our state and beyond.

For a comprehensive look at Judge Thomas’s life and mission, you can read my interview with her, conducted during her first run for supreme court.…

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As Gov. Snyder touts Michigan’s economy, local municipalities and families circle the drain

As Gov. Snyder touts Michigan’s economy, local municipalities and families circle the drain

In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder pointed to Michigan’s economy as heading in the right direction.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday said people should be mindful of Michigan’s continued economic resurgence even as the state grapples with lead in Flint’s drinking water and enormous debt in Detroit’s public school district.

The Republican governor, while acknowledging his administration’s “challenges,” said he is trying to “set the tone that we need to be more positive and proactive.” He said the state’s 4.8 percent unemployment rate has stayed flat despite the addition of 104,000 people seeking work, and its per-capita personal income growth was fourth-fastest in the U.S.…

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GUEST POST: What’s next for #PureMichigan?

GUEST POST: What’s next for #PureMichigan?

Today’s guest post is by Laura Packard, a partner at PowerThru Consulting, a growing national progressive digital consulting shop.

Enjoy.

Now that Snyder has effectively ruined our state brand, we should be thinking about what it is we DO want to be known for. We’ll have the chance to replace him in 2018 (or maybe even sooner, if he steps down or is forced to resign), but Michigan needs a lot more than a better leader at the top.

If you think back to the heyday of the auto industry, Michigan was a booming state. My grandparents moved here because there were good-paying jobs to be had in Michigan.…

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Bernie Sanders proves in Michigan that the ground game is what wins elections

Bernie Sanders proves in Michigan that the ground game is what wins elections

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ upset victory in Michigan yesterday unequivocally proved that a solid ground game is the key to winning elections. Not only has Sen. Sanders brought scores of new people into the political process, he was able, in Michigan at least, to get them to register to vote and to actually go to the polls in large numbers. How large? Let’s put it this way, if you’re using the 2008 election as your high water mark, you’re aiming too low. The highest turnout for a presidential primary in Michigan was actually in 1972 and turnout yesterday was higher than that:

With more than 2.4 million voters turning out for Michigan’s presidential primary on Tuesday, the record set in 1972, when 1.9 million people cast ballots, was shattered.…

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About Trump winning Michigan… Yeah, no.

About Trump winning Michigan… Yeah, no.

Donald Trump has a good chance of winning Michigan. The GOP primary that is.

And that’s the last time — barring complete disaster, near Apocalypse or freak Canadian Godzilla invasion  — he’ll ever have a good chance of winning Michigan.

Here’s what the NBC/Wall St. Journal/Marist poll found when it polled hypothetical match-ups between Trump and the likely Democratic nominees:

That’s probably a bit generous to Democrats.

But a Monmouth University poll finds also that as 22 percent of Republicans in the state would not back Trump if he were there party’s nominee, which echoes a Democracy Corps study that found about 1 out of 5 Republicans could be persuaded to abandon their party in the general election if Trump is on the ballot.…

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CNN discovers what Michigan journalists already know: Snyder adminstration hides information behind HUGE FOIA fees

CNN discovers what Michigan journalists already know: Snyder adminstration hides information behind HUGE FOIA fees

The Snyder administration had long been thought to be using fees to process FOIA requests as a way to avoid transparency and to scare off inquisitive journalists and private citizens from poking around in their (public) affairs. Then, last October, the fine folks at Progress Michigan got definitive proof that FOIA fees were being wielded as a weapon against transparency. As I wrote in my earlier reporting on this, Progress Michigan asked the state government for copies of all communications between Paul Pastorek, one of Snyder’s education advisers, and employees of the Michigan Department of Education, Education Achievement Authority and Michigan Department of Treasury.…

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GUEST POST: We broke Michigan – the insidious and harmful impact of term limits on democracy

GUEST POST: We broke Michigan – the insidious and harmful impact of term limits on democracy

Today’s guest post is by Laura Packard, a partner at PowerThru Consulting, a growing national progressive digital consulting shop.

Enjoy.

With both the GOP and Democratic presidential candidates coming to Michigan this week for their respective debates, I hope some of the larger issues that Michigan (and the country) faces will finally be addressed.

Michigan state government has been broken for decades, but it’s just now coming to people’s attention outside our state. How did this happen? And could it happen to you?

The Michigan legislature used to be populated (at least somewhat) by dedicated public servants on both parties.…

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Forget Michigan: Trump should pick a different state for his ‘authoritarian CEO who loves to win’ act

Forget Michigan: Trump should pick a different state for his ‘authoritarian CEO who loves to win’ act

Michigan has been poisoned by this act before

On CNN’s State of the Nation, Donald Trump picked New York and Michigan as two blue states as he’ll have a chance of winning if the Republican Party’s immune system continues to fail and the party nominates the most unpopular candidate in recent American history.

Trump spoke in Grand Rapids last year and is dominating the GOP primary polls.

So is there some hope that his “rouse the white working class with racism” strategy could win over the Reagan Democrats in this state in 2016? Sure. He’ll win them over as Republicans have for decades as they lost the state every four years since 1992 — the last time with Obama carrying the state over native son Mitt Romney by 9 percent.…

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GUEST POST: Republicans set to dissolve all historical districts in Michigan

GUEST POST: Republicans set to dissolve all historical districts in Michigan

The following guest post was written by Nancy Kotting who writes at Watapama blog. From her About page:

Nancy Kotting is a fourth generation Detroiter, former partner at Detroit MetroTimes/Alternative Media Inc., architectural historian, trainer/instructor of classical horsemanship for over 35 years and a Catholic convert. She has been published in both the U.S. and the U.K. and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. Watapama is an exploration of anomalies at the intersection of popular culture, politics, faith and art.

The topic that Kotting writes about is one near and dear to my heart. As Anne and I have traveled around the state of Michigan to document some of our formerly robust urban centers as they implode from the collapse of their manufacturing base and the subsequent disinvestment by the state that has taken them to a financial precipice and pushed them off, time and time again we’ve seen the gorgeous architecture and beautiful buildings and homes disintegrating, stripped of anything of value, with some burned out or collapsed into forgotten piles of rubble.…

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