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NEWS ROUND-UP: This week in GOP idiocy in Michigan

There’s been so much in the news about over-the-top idiocy from Michigan Republicans lately that I thought I’d just put them all in one post. Over the past week or so, they’ve been trying to further degrade a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion and to corrupt our democracy by rigging the electoral system in favor of Republicans. But, sadly, they didn’t stop there.

So, without further ado, here’s the round-up.


In his outstanding piece for The Metro Times, Curt Guyette showed how, after four Emergency Managers and being under state control for six years, the Detroit Public Schools system is further in debt than ever.…

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VIDEO: President Obama comes out in strong support of net neutrality

Last January, a federal appeals court struck down rules promulgated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that ensure net neutrality, the idea that internet service providers should not regulate access to the internet by allowing some customers to get better, faster, and/or more reliable access through pricing arrangements or other deals. It’s a big deal because the ability of small internet start-up companies to succeed could be inhibited if their competitors were given preferential treatment. There is also the very real threat that the information you can access on the internet could be controlled, preventing users from access some types of information or websites.…

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When will Americans wake up and smell the money?

Anyone who thinks that the wealthy who are buying elections are doing it to help the country is in for a rude awakening.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is a staggering blow to democracy. But it’s certainly not the only obstacle average Americans face in the fight to maintain a fair election process.

Because of the ruling, Americans may now donate as much money as they want to candidates, political action committees (PACs) and political parties in a campaign cycle, provided they spread the wealth. SCOTUS ruled in a 5-4 decision that it’s a free speech issue — like Citizens United.…

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PHOTOS: President Obama signs historic bipartisan farm bill in East Lansing, Michigan

All photos by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

President Barack Obama traveled to East Lansing, Michigan yesterday to sign the federal farm bill into law. Last updated in 2008, the bill in its current form has been worked on for four years. Much of the wrangling was contentious and no topic was as contentious as its impact on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. Republicans in Congress wanted to slash this essential program by $40 billion at a time when our national economy is still in recovery mode. Fortunately Democrats were able to reduce the Republican hit on SNAP benefits by a full 80%, a 1% cut overall.…

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The 2014 State of the Union: Let’s make this a year of action

From my view inside the White House, I saw what every other American watching the President’s speech did: true leadership.

I believe in the dream of America. I always have. So has President Obama, which is why he’s always had my support.

In his 2014 State of the Union address, he made it clear that his optimism is unwavering. Despite all the obstruction and partisanship he’s faced from day one, he still believes that our country can come together for the good of every citizen.

Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want: for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations.…
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Obamacare Friday Update: Private 2.4M, Medicaid/CHIP 4.5M, 10M Total

Full details available at

The biggest news since last Friday was Monday’s release of the official HHS Dept. December enrollment numbers. I had the Private QHP Enrollment total as 2.137 million as of 12/31. HHS has the official tally as 2.153M as of 12/28. I love being 99% accurate! :)

In any event, the second biggest news as far as enrollments are concerned are the weird, seemingly contradictory Medicaid/CHIP numbers that have been released by HHS and CMS respectively. HHS gave the exchange-based number as 1.58 million as of 12/28…but the December CMS report gave it as 3.9 million as of 11/30.…

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The GOP shrugged: pitting Obamacare “makers” vs. Obamacare “takers”

“When one gains, another loses.”

There is one very unfortunate aspect to the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. The tiny percentage of people who are being forced into new policies happens nearly all at once and at the very start of the roll out. The overwhelming benefits of having more Americans insured and covered by decent health care insurance don’t really begin until January 1 and, even then, will take months or, in some cases, a few years to manifest themselves. In the long arc of history, that’s fine. In the short 24-hour cable news cycle, though? Not so much.…

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The Tea Party GOP can’t read a calendar any better than they can spell

They’re trying to turn back the clock to re-fight the 2012 election. Or the Civil War.

At first, many of us had trouble keeping track of what the Tea Party GOP wants in exchange for ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. But now it’s clear: What they’re really after are the same things they’ve wanted since 2010, and even earlier. Certainly since President Obama was first elected in 2008. The fact that the rest of the country wants to move forward with continuing to rebuild the economy and creating jobs doesn’t make a dent in their stubborn ideology.…

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The GOP just can’t take “yes” for an answer: A reminder of what we’ve achieved under Barack Obama

I see what you’re doing here. We all do.

I think all of us are, like Amy described in her righteous rant yesterday, sick and tired of being held hostage by extremist right wing ideologues who behave like petulant children when they don’t get absolutely everything they want. What’s most infuriating about it is that these very same ideologues have actually achieved much of what they say they want out of the government they so despise and want floating strangled and dead in a tub of water.

Let’s just take a quick look at three major accomplishments by Barack Obama since he took office, all of which was done against a stiff head wind of purely partisan pushback, accomplishments that even the most rabid Tea Partarian should cheer about.…

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Arizona Republican state rep goes full Godwin, compares America under Obama to Germany under Hitler – twice

“Germany started with national health care and gun control before any of that other stuff happened”

Arizona Republican Brenda Barton posted on her Facebook page that “Someone is paying the National Park Service thugs overtime for their efforts to carry out the order of De Fuhrer.”

The post was still up on her page as of 6:30 p.m. today:

Sparking outrage, the story went national. Then during an interview with the Arizona Capital Times, she doubled down. I’m not kidding:

[I]n a telephone interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Barton stood by the comments, saying the comparison between Obama and Hitler was apt, at least in their style of leadership.…
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