Michigan tea partiers can’t decide who is the boss of the tea party

Heh, heh. There’s a funny thing about the confluence of power and a deliberate decision not to have a leader: someone is going to step up and grab the reins eventually. And that’s where the fun begins.

The tea party effort to unite behind one conservative U.S. Senate candidate is taking shape, with dates set for a debate and straw poll convention […]

Invitations are being sent to all eight GOP candidates for a Jan. 14 debate at Central Michigan University, organizers announced. Two leaders from each qualified tea party group will be invited to participate in a Feb. 25 straw poll at CMU to determine who wins the tea party endorsement.

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Tea Party mayor of Troy waves goodbye to $8.4 million in federal funds for transit center

Tea Party homophobe and Troy, Michigan Mayor Janice Daniels led the way to the city losing out on $8.4 million in federal transportation funding for a state-of-the-art transit center this week.

After a decade of planning, a regional transit center is off the table after the Troy council voted Monday to pass up a design contract that would have paved the way for $8.4 million in federal funding to build it.

A divided council listened to residents, stakeholders and engineers speak for about two hours before turning down, in a 4-3 vote, an architectural and engineering contract to design the facility.

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Obama admin smacks down Michigan GOP effort to thwart Affordable Care Act

In a rather stunning rebuke this week, the Obama adminstration, through the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services denied an effort by the Republican Snyder administration in Michigan to thwart part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The federal government has denied a request by the Michigan Office of Insurance Regulation to delay a regulation under health care reform that requires insurers to return $89 million to people who have purchased health insurance.

The decision means that eight health insurers in Michigan will return the $89 million to their subscribers

, said Gary Cohen, acting director of oversight with the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the U.S.…
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So, did you guys all hear about the Obama Christmas tree tax?!

No, seriously. Barack Obama is such a freak for taxing your ass off that he has imposed a Christmas tree tax this year. Those danged Democrats! Those guys will tax anything.

Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association Marsha Gray says most Christmas Tree operations are small farmers. “When we have so many different individual farmers it’s difficult for them on their own to executive an effective ad campaign.” Gray says there’s no exact count, but estimates there are between 600 and 700 growers. Only about half of those harvest more than 500 trees per year.

Gray and others turned to the U.S.

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Pres. Obama signs Executive Order establishing a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

This morning, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. You can read the Executive Order HERE (pdf) and the comprehensive plan itself HERE (pdf). This is the part of the Executive Order that is most compelling for me:

Sec. 2. National Action Plan. A National Action Plan shall be created pursuant to the process outlined in Presidential Policy Directive 1 and shall identify and develop activities and initiatives in the following areas:

(a) National integration and institutionalization. Through interagency coordination, policy development, enhanced professional training and education, and evaluation, the United States Government will institutionalize a gender-responsive approach to its diplomatic, development, and defense-related work in conflict-affected environments.

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C’mon, EclectaReaders. We can do WAY better than this. It costs NOTHING to support this worthy effort.

You may have seen my previous post about Lauren Reichelt (TheFatLadySings) and her effort to expand the number of “People of Color” at Netroots Nation by bringing a large group of folks from her area. To do this, she is applying for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant. Right now, her grant stands at a sad #104.

From Netroots Nation coordinator Raven Brooks:

“The key to winning the Pepsi Refresh grant is accumulating daily voters. Netroots Nation has agreed to help us organize to win this grant. Sign up at this link to receive an email once a day providing you links to vote.
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The War on “Happy Holidays”

War on Christmas? Really? What the heck is it with conservatives and their outrage that people dare to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”? That’s what I say. This year, Hanukkah is December 20-28. Kwanzaa is December 26. I have lots of friends who are Jewish and a bunch that celebrate Kwanzaa as well. I even have some solidly atheist friends who still celebrate this as a holiday season. There are plenty of people from all walks of life celebrating this holiday season and I wish them all a joyous greeting when I say “Happy Holidays!”

This really struck home for me during the Republican debate this week.…

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Michigan Republicans vote to turn down federal money to create statewide health exchange

Republicans got very, very busy in the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of the things House Republicans did was to vote to turn down federal funds for creating a statewide health exchange to help make health care insurance available to all Michiganders.

In an action with major implications for health reform in Michigan, the state House has voted to turn down — at least for now — nearly $10 million in federal funds to create a statewide health exchange by 2014 to sell more affordable, standardized health insurance to consumers and small businesses.

The action, considered a victory for opponents of federal health reforms, means Michigan “runs the risk of falling behind other states” planning the health exchanges, said Steve Hilfinger, director of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Insurance Regulation.

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