Can the Democrats Win Again? For many years I was a die-hard, dedicated Democratic Party activist. The reason I left the party is largely because the leadership has abandoned the working class. They are concerned about issues like bathroom equity, the rights of illegal immigrants, and blaming working people for not adapting to globalization by going back to school. Most of my working-class friends are now voting Republican. Their political thinking can be summed up as follows: The GOP stinks, its trickle-down theory of economics is a proven 40-year-old lie, but at least I might get a tax cut; the Democrats have nothing to offer me. If Democratic candidates would relentlessly advocate for a public option for health care, and for a government-subsidized livable wage for small-business workers, average Americans would again look at a candidate with a D after their name. More at theatlantic.com

Robert Reich: Hello Trump Tax Cuts, Goodbye Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. The goal of Trump and the Republican leaders is to pull off a giant redistribution of over $1 trillion from the middle class, working class, and poor to the rich, who are already richer than ever. They're selling this to the public with a false claim that the middle class will benefit from their tax cut plan. At newsweek.com

Why Aren't Dems in Congress Raising More Hell to Oppose the Worst GOP Tax Bill Ever? Could congressional Democrats be showing their fealty to corporate America? Read here

The GOP's Tax Cut Bonanza Is a Major Attack on Medicare. The GOP tax bill will instantly trigger $400 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare in the next 10 years, including $25 billion in the first year after enactment alone. A vote for this tax bill is a vote to cut Medicare. More here.

Pistols in Preschools: Why Schools Are Fighting Gun Advocates in Michigan. While Republican ideology lauds local control, these bills would strip authority from local school districts in Michigan, and force them to concede to guns in their school buildings. More here

Elizabeth Warren agrees DNC was 'rigged' in Clinton's favor. At cnn.com.

Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC. The Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. This agreement was signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination. More at politico.com.

How to Reduce Shootings.I suggest that we try a new approach to reducing gun violence - a public health strategy. At nytimes.com.

The Profound Misunderstanding the Public Has About How the Military Operates. Connecting the dots between systemic patriarchy, white supremacy and permanent war. Few Americans have any idea of just how pervasive militarism is in defining who we are as a nation and as a people. From the massacre of indigenous people to the suppression of slave resistance, we are steeped in brutal and relentless slaughter. We are also utterly and completely immersed in language designed to confuse and obscure just how much killing and destroying we do. Full article

Noam Chomsky: Trump Has Pushed the Doomsday Clock Dangerously Close to Midnight. If you ask, why did people vote for Trump, there's a lot of reasons. Many of the people who voted for Trump, voted for Obama, working people, because they believed the propaganda about hope and change - They didn't get hope, they didn't get change, and now they're listening to a con man who's saying the same things. More here.

The Democratic Party Must Part Ways with Wall St. It takes a lot of money to run a political campaign and Wall Street has helped to foot the bill for the Democrats in a big way. So they may own them. Full article here.

Trump Tax Plan Benefits Wealthy, Including Trump. In broad brush strokes, they're doing nothing for the bottom 35 percent, they're doing very little and possibly raising taxes on the middle class, and they've specified tax cuts for the wealthy. nytimes.com

Larry Flynt Offers $10 Million for 'Smoking Gun' That Would Impeach Trump. "I do not expect any of Trump's billionaire cronies to rat him out, but I am confident that there are many people in the know for whom $10 million is a lot of money," Flynt writes. "Make no mistake, I fully intend to pay the entire sum. Sure, I could use that $10 million to buy luxuries or further my business, but what good would that do me in a world devastated by the most powerful moron in history?" At vice.com

SB 584 will allow hidden, loaded weapons in SCHOOLS as well as other currently weapons-free zones. Concealed carry weapons increase the risk that everyday disagreements will escalate into shootouts. People carrying hidden, loaded weapons create unnecessary risks of intentional or accidental shootings. Call your state senator and urge him or her to vote NO on this legislation. Numbers and emails are at senate.michigan.gov.

In her new book What Happened? Hillary Clinton goes after Bernie Sanders with a vengeance. She claims that: Bernie is a snake oil salesman who makes preposterous promises; That he is partly responsible for Trump's "Crooked Hillary" mantra; and That he is not a real Democrat and doesn't really care about the party's success. So much for party unity in a time of peril. More here

Gregg Popovich Goes Full Throttle On 'Soulless Coward' Donald Trump. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it. At thenation.com

Divided Democratic Party Debates Its Future as 2020 Looms. On the surface, the Democratic Party has been united and energized by its shared disgust for Trump. But dig an inch deeper and it's clear that the party is divided, split on issues including free trade, health care, foreign affairs and Wall Street. They even disagree over the political wisdom of doing deals with Trump. Full article at time.com.

Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS Is One of 'Most Admirable' Displays of Resistance in the World. He has become one of the most prominent musicians supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Waters is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in Long Island, despite attempts by Nassau County officials to shut down the concerts citing a local anti-BDS bill. Waters criticized a bill being considered in the US Senate to silence supporters of BDS. Read more here

The World is a Mess, and U.S. Leaders Scapegoat the Rest of the World: But it is Hard to Escape Who is Really Responsible for the Global Crisis . From Bush criminal response to 9-11 to Trump putting nuclear war on the front burner, the U.S. is steering the world to disaster. At tomdispatch.com

EMERGE MI Class of 2018 Applications for the Emerge Michigan class of 2018 are now live! Be part of the growing number of women who are seeking seats and winning in local elections here in Michigan. These women will make the changes needed and make history along the way as they serve and seek higher office. Why not join them? For more information or to see all of the great things EMERGE has planned please visit here

Hey Democratic Leaders: Stop Listening to Focus Groups and Start Listening to Your Base. "It"s time as progressives that we stop letting the Democratic Party leadership take us for granted." "The Democratic Party leaders again want us to be 'Republican lite' -when will they learn that's a losing idea?!". At mediaite.com

No Right to Be Healthy in America. Try to understand the strategy and tactics of the newly energized Republican Congress as first it wishes to seize from paying customers the health care insurance they were able to obtain through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. From Harry T. Cook at wbldems.blogspot.com

How Did Democrats Become the Party of Elites? In order to win back statehouses and Congress, Democrats must rewrite the political narrative that now has them on the side of the establishment and Republicans on the side of sticking it to the man. Full story.

Senate GOP tries one last time to repeal Obamacare. While progressive activists and 2020 presidential hopefuls alike were salivating over Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All bill last week, a team of Republicans took the opportunity to craft a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Meet Graham-Cassidy, whose spin masters Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, and Dean Heller want you to believe is a more moderate piece of health care legislation. Read more here

Hey, Democrats: Quit Defending Obamacare! Let's Fix It-By Moving Toward a Single-Payer System. Hell-bent on proving they can beat something with nothing, Democrats offer criticism but no alternative. Their one tangible vow is to save Obamacare, not fix it. They studiously avoid telling us how they'd do either. Read here

U.S. healthcare ranks last among 11 developed nations, report says. Despite having the costliest care, the U.S. ranks last among 11 industrialized countries on healthcare quality and access. usnews.com

Noam Chomsky speaks on the Trump "Trainwreck" and the state of US Democracy. If there had been a charismatic figure in the United States who could mobilize the fears, anger, racism, a sense of loss of the future that belongs to us, this country could be in real danger. Trump I think is too much of a clown, so we've been lucky, but we're not going to be lucky forever necessarily. dailykos.com

TIMELY COLLECTION TO ASSIST REFUGEES IN SAMOS, GREECE! There is a shipping container waiting in Detroit to bring urgently needed items to refugees on Samos Island in Greece! The temple is collecting items throughout the week Drop off is this week! Monday - Friday, 10am - 3pm AND Friday evening from 5pm (preceding Shabbat services) Items may be left in the lobby. The Birmingham Temple | 28611 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334. CLICK HERE TO SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF NEEDED ITEMS!

The Trillion-Dollar National Security Budget . You wouldn't know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians, and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Given the Pentagon's penchant for wasting money and our government's record of engaging in dangerously misguided wars without end, it's clear that a large portion of this massive investment of taxpayer dollars isn't making anyone any safer. tomdispatch.com .

By killing teacher pensions and striking sweetheart deal, lawmakers go full on Orwell. The headline said "Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation that protects retirement benefits of school employees (and) reduces financial risks for taxpayers." Actually, the bill does exactly the opposite. Read Jack Lessenberry at michiganradio.org

How This Millennial Woman Hopes To End 50 Years Of GOP Dominance In Her Hometown. Focus has already turned to the 2018 midterm elections - and Haley Stevens' battle for Michigan's 11th Congressional District is already heating up. Although she's certainly younger than the average member of Congress, the 33-year-old Democrat has racked up an impressive resume in government and manufacturing, and that is why she's confident she will be the one to end the GOP's long tenure in her district. full article

You Will Never Get Your Country Back. To the supporters and enablers of President Trump: You will never get your country back because it was never yours to have in the first place. America doesn't belong to any one person. It belongs to Muslims in Detroit, Christians in Lubbock, Jews in New York City, and atheists in Los Angeles. huffingtonpost.com

Tomorrow (Thursday, 7/20/17 at 12:15 pm), the full US Senate will vote on the nomination of John K. Bush to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Bush has recorded his extremist views in a blog full of rhetoric so inflammatory as to call into serious question his ability to serve as an impartial judge. The blog is full of personal attacks on those with whom he disagrees. He has no particular qualifications for the bench besides his right-wing ardor. There's still time to stop him from being confirmed! Call Senators Stabenow and Peters ASAP using the Capitol Switchboard: #202-224-3121. See here for more info

Leonard Pitts Jr.: The right wing's war on journalism. All of us in the news business should stand warned. At freep.com

Journalist Who Exposed The Racist Creator Of Trump's CNN Tweet Gets Death Threats. "This environment is the creation of the man in the White House," says Jared Yates Sexton. huffingtonpost.com

Bernie Sanders: Why the Democratic Party Is an 'Absolute Failure' and More. "Trump didn't win the election; the Democratic Party lost the election." What I find particularly disgraceful about Trump is not just his reactionary economic, environmental and social policies or the fact that he lies all the time. What I find beyond belief is his incredible hypocrisy. The Democratic Party needs to open up its doors to working people and young people and all people who are prepared to fight for social and economic justice. The Democratic Party must understand which side it is on. And that cannot be the side of Wall Street or the fossil fuel industry or the drug companies. Read more here

Americans' View of Israel Is Getting Worse By the Day. The more Americans know about Israel, the less they like about it, according to a new survey. Shared values are the bedrock of our relationship, and young Americans do not believe Israel shares our values. Full story

Noam Chomsky: America 'May Be the Safest Country in the World,' But Its People Are Paralyzed by Fear. The U.S. has always been a very frightened society, It may be the safest country in the world, but [it's] very frightened; it doesn't take much to scare people. More here

Let America be America again (Posted by Robert Reich) .
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free. At wbldems.blogspot.com

Up for Grabs: The Survival of the Nation .During the Q&A period of a recent lecture, I was asked by a member of the audience if I thought the United States and its Constitution would be able to survive the upheaval of the first months of 2017. The substance of the lecture was an analysis of the Trump administration and its governance. More from Harry T Cook at wbldems.blogspot.com

Tony Trupiano has been there for us for years. Now it's time for us to be there for him. I'm saddened to share that Tony has fallen on a tough patch in his life due to some significant health problems. More at eclectablog.com

All the President's Lies. President Trump's political rise was built on a lie (about Barack Obama's birthplace). His lack of truthfulness has also become central to the Russia investigation, with James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., testifying under oath about Trump's "lies, plain and simple." There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. More at nytimes.com. Complete list of lies at wbldems.blogspot.com

How Did Health Care Get to Be Such a Mess? Both parties have stumbled to enact comprehensive health care reform because they insist on patching up a rickety, malfunctioning model. The insurance company model drives up prices and fragments care. Rather than rejecting this jerry-built structure, the Democrats' Obamacare legislation simply added a cracked support beam or two. The Republican bill will knock those out to focus on spackling other dilapidated parts of the system. More at the ny times

How An Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar . Russia is using Ukraine as a cyberwar testing ground, a laboratory for perfecting new forms of global online combat. And the digital explosives that Russia has repeatedly set off in Ukraine are ones it has planted at least once before in the civil infrastructure of the United States. See more at https://www.wired.com

The Truth About Jeremy Corbyn's Triumph Staring Us Smack in the Face. Corbyn has shown that while centrism and fascism gurgle mindlessly over a landscape flattened by low voter turnout and mass political apathy, it's socialist politics that can drive the optimism and engagement needed to stop them. Full article here

Bernie Sanders Lambasts 'Absolute Failure' of Democratic Party's Strategy. "The Democratic party needs fundamental change. What it needs is to open up its doors to working people, and young people, and older people who are prepared to fight for social and economic justice. The Democratic party must understand what side it is on. And that cannot be the side of Wall Street, or the fossil fuel industry, or the drug companies." More at alternet.org

Noam Chomsky on Trump: The Worst Is Yet to Come. Noam Chomsky believes today's Republican Party is "more dangerous than ISIS," whether or not Trump voters will ever be willing to admit it. As of one May 31 poll, 68 percent think America is on the right track. Chomsky believes the country has been on the wrong track since it adopted a neoliberal economic model several decades ago, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. Read the full article here

Governor Abdul? The man running for the Democratic nomination for governor is a dream candidate - but faces an uphill battle. He ia the Democratic Party's all-time too-good-to-be-true dream of a candidate. Well, maybe, except for two little details: His name is Abdul El-Sayed. And he is a Muslim, with a wife who wears a headscarf. metrotimes.com

I Picked Prison Over Fighting in Vietnam. We are all responsible for what our country does. Doing nothing is picking a side. At the ny times

Reagan Aide Says Trump Is Like "Springtime For Hitler" . I was as dumbfounded by the election results as Max Bialystock was by the success of Springtime for Hitler. He has instituted policies so right wing they make Ronald Reagan look like a liberal Democrat. Read more here

How America's Right-Wing Fell in Love with Putin and Moscow. To them, Russia is the "most powerful white power in the world." At alternet.org

Call or email ICE to stop deportation of Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo. Call (313-568-6049) or email ICE (Detroit.Outreach@ice.dhs.gov) about a father from Ann Arbor facing deportation TOMORROW. More info at mlive.com

I could face prison for protesting. A man who sexually abused a hotel worker got a $50 fine. On Jan. 20, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department arrested more people than it had space to detain. As one of the 214 people arrested protesting Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, I was among them. The determination by the U.S. Attorney's Office to pursue the Inauguration Day charges has gobbled up resources and stretched the limits of affordable defense counsel in the capital. washingtonpost.com

Charlie Munger says single-payer healthcare is the solution. Munger, who Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett calls his partner, made the remarks in Omaha the day after Berkshire's annual meeting. "Having a basic level of care for everybody with no insurance aspect as a right I think is a good idea". See full article at finance.yahoo.com

TRUMP CLOWN T SHIRT. At pro.teechip.com

The Progressive Caucus Vice Chair, Bob Alexander passed away in April. The Executive Committee will be voting in a new Vice Chair at our next meeting scheduled for 12:00pm on Saturday, June 24th. If you or anyone you know are interested in running for Vice Chair, please email progressivecaucusmdp@gmail.com. For regular updateson the Progressive Caucus go to https://www.facebook.com/ MdpProgressiveCaucus.

Republican Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) is willing to spend $46 BILLION in taxpayer money to strongarm new teachers and faculty into a 401(k)-type system, and remove them from even having the option of the current, stable hybrid retirement system (that works AND is fully-funded). More on pension bill here.

Why Saudi Women Are Literally Living 'The Handmaid's Tale. Just over a week after Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old Saudi Arabian, was dragged onto a plane from Manila to Riyadh with her mouth taped shut and her arms and legs bound, the United Nations voted to appoint Saudi Arabia to a four-year term on its Commission on the Status of Women. So much for the status of this Saudi woman. At nytimes.com

The Dying Republic: A Vast Disconnect Between Faux Values and the Corporate Controlled Anti-Democratic Reality. What ancient Rome can teach us about the Trump administration. Chris Hedges / Truthdig

Republicans leaders in the House and Senate today pushed ahead with plans to close the school employee retirement system to new hires despite reluctance from Gov. Rick Snyder and other GOP lawmakers over staggering cost estimates from the state's own budget experts and independent studies. See MEA capital comments

"For all the misfortunes facing their foe in the White House, Democrats have yet to devise a coherent message on the policies that President Trump used to draw working-class voters to his campaign." Read here

End the racist drug war with a Michigan ballot proposal for 2018 ....and a message to AG Sessions. A Brief History of the Drug War. Mike Whitty. Learn more about the Drug Policy Alliance.

Barack Obama's $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admit. The reason many of us have been critical of Barack Obama's outrageous $400,000 speaking fee is that it robs us of a fantasy: that sooner or later, the first black president was going to use his considerable powers, in or out of office, to help the economic ravages of the poor, who are disproportionately black. But this was all a fantasy. The high-paid speeches were a sign that Obama's post-presidency will, like his presidency was, be Democratic business as usual. At yahoo.com

To think that a simple vinegar test could save lives yet Trump has withdrawn funds to help women around the globe, is another tragedy of this president's archaic and mean-spirited policies. New orders affect care around the world, including money for a $3 procedure that screens for cervical cancer with a dab of vinegar. nytimes.com

Leading Historian Believes 'It's Pretty Much Inevitable' Trump Will Try to Stage a Coup and Overthrow Democracy. "On Tyranny" author Timothy Snyder says we have less than a year to save our democracy. What can the American people do to resist Donald Trump? What lessons can history teach about the rise of authoritarianism and fascism and how democracies collapse? Are there ways that individuals can fight back on a daily basis and in their own personal lives against the political and cultural forces that gave rise to Trump's movement? Read full article here.

For some immigrants, fear is now their daily companion. For some immigrants, fear is now their daily companion www.sacbee.com Thousands of Latino families are living in fear as they learn that friends and families are being ripped apart. They have stopped driving, shopping, participating in school and church activities because they worry about being deported. The Sacramento Bee

Fox News Weaponized the Story About Obama's Paid Speech. When it comes to the story about Obama accepting speaking fees, it is important to note that the story was launched by Fox Business News. See washingtonmonthly.com.

Obama's $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character. This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama's entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama's Wall Street payday will confirm for many what they have long suspected: that the Democratic Party is managed by out-of-touch elites who do not understand or care about the concerns of ordinary Americans. Entire article at huffingtonpost.com

Bye bye, Bernie: He's not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can't stop chasing the great white male. To the extent that Democrats are looking for their progressive soul, Sen. Bernie Sanders is not where they should be fixing their gaze. Sanders is clear that he is not a Democrat - except when he needs to be one in order to run for president. Being pro-choice is not an optional part of being a progressive. At salon.com

Why Aren't Bernie Sanders-Style Democrats Getting More Support from the Party Leaders in Washington?. In Kansas, the Democrats barely lifted a finger to help James Thompson, a progressive who came painfully close to winning. The Bernie Sanders wing might bring grassroots energy and popular ideas, but their redistributive policies pose too much of a threat to the party's big donors to ever be allowed on the agenda. More at alternet.org.

Stephen King Explains How a 'Joke' Like Trump Can Rise to Immense Political Power. I started thinking Donald Trump might win the presidency in September of 2016. By the end of October, I was almost sure. Clinton voters were convinced she'd win, even if they saw her as a ho-hum candidate at best. Many did not even bother going to the polls, which was a large (and largely unstated) factor in her loss. Trump voters, on the other hand, could not wait to pull those levers. They didn't just want change; they wanted a man on horseback. Trump filled the bill. More at alternet.org

Trump Hypocrisy: Blaming Syrian Chemical Attack on Obama. In 2013, Trump tweeted-repeatedly-that Obama should do nothing in Syria. See motherjones.com

Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship. In a New York Times Magazine article about the future of the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked what he thinks the party stands for. "Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats." It seems that the Democratic leadership would prefer to destroy the party in its entirety rather than concede political power to progressives in order to start recouping their losses. The Democratic Party doesn't stand for anything, and - as long as fundraising from wealthy and corporate donors remains the party's focus - this won't ever change. More at http://observer.com

An MLK speech more nightmare than dream. on April 4 exactly 50 years ago, King gave a damning and historically important speech at Riverside Church in New York. The country, he charged, had "gone mad on war." King's evolution from civil rights champion to an anti-war, anti-poverty Jeremiah brought down the wrath of the press and public. The country has reconciled itself to much of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. - to the point where the King of the early and mid-1960s is embraced by conservatives and liberals alike. It's time now to follow him beyond that dream to the broader, deeper and more challenging one he evoked 50 years ago today. https://www.usatoday.com

The Offender of the Free World. It is possible to do business with Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but these officials are flying blind because above them at the White House rages a whirlwind of incompetence and ignorance. Trump's United States of America has become an unserious country, the offender of the free world. More at nytimes.com

"We are relearning democracy": 5 Ways the anti-Trump movement "Indivisible" is redefining political action. At salon.com

What's "choice" got to do with it, Paul Ryan?. Paul Ryan wants persons to have the "choice" to not purchase health insurance. Hey, why so timid, Paul? Let's go Full Monty on this choice stuff, Mr. Speaker. Let's give persons the "choice" to not purchase auto insurance; I'm sure there won't be any issues with folks getting into car accidents and just refusing to pay for the damage they do to someone else's car-or worse. Let's also give folks the "choice" to not purchase mortgage insurance; I can't imagine the banks you conservatives love so much will have any problems with that. Unsecured loans are their favorite. And more at www.eclectablog.com.

The 10 biggest statements from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's Senate hearing. "You have gone to great lengths to disagree with your colleagues," one senator told Gorsuch. At www.salon.com

White supremacism is ready to roar White supremacism was never banished from American political thought, just shoved to the fringe and hushed to a whisper. Now, in the Age of Trump, it's back in the mainstream and ready to roar. Witness the words of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on the subject of immigration: "Culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." washingtonpost.com

Attend a Resistance Recess Event: Save our Health Care, our Communities, and our Democracy. Go to resistancerecess.com

Dear Birmingham Temple Members, Last evening our Board voted unanimously to support the following resolution: As people of conscience, we pledge to resist policy proposals to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants or discriminate against marginalized communities. In this spirit, the Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaism hereby resolves that our community is committed to providing sanctuary and/or support for those seeking refuge in a manner consistent with our Humanistic commitments to ensuring the dignity and human rights of all people. Charles Paul President, Jeffrey L. Falick Secular Humanistic Rabbi

Look at Michael Moore's "Resistance Calendar." https://www.resistancecalendar.org/

At gathering on 'politics of love,' Sanders warns Trump could start a war."This is one of the things that scares me most: For a demagogue to succeed, they need to cultivate hatred. Now the hatred may be against immigrants - we're all supposed to hate immigrants, and maybe it's other minorities, African-Americans, Latinos," Sanders said. "But also I worry that the hatred will spill over to foreign affairs, and that we are maybe entering into a situation where a Trump needs a war to rally public support." He said Trump's victory, was not a victory for Trump or his ideology, it was a gross political failure of the Democratic Party. He won because "there are people in this country who are hurting, and they are hurting terribly," Sanders said. "And for years they looked to the Democratic Party, which at one time was the party of working people. And they looked and they looked and they looked and they got nothing in return, and out of desperation they turned to Mr. Trump." Sanders encouraged conference attendees to run for office, especially school boards, city councils and state legislatures. More at yahoo.com

Count MI Vote, the organization putting together a ballot initiative to fight gerrymandering See the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/736264846533020/

Have you ever thought about running for office? Consider applying for the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan's (EJAM) Local Candidate & Campaign Manager Online Training Program. Application deadline pushed back to Friday March 3! Topics covered include: Campaign Planning Best Practices - March 8th, Developing a Winning Campaign Strategy - March 22nd, Define your Message and Communicate it with Impact - April 5th, Voter Contact Dos and Don'ts - April 19th, Raise the Dough to Win Your Campaign - May 3rd. Apply HERE today.

Tell Your Senators: Reject Trump's Dangerous Choice for Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is a friend of the settlement movement who backs unlimited settlement expansion, has accused President Obama of being an anti-Semite and says that liberal Zionists are "worse than kapos." Tell your Senators to reject his nomination to be the next US ambassador to Israel. Go to jstreet.org/stop-friedman

Trump's FCC head is doing exactly what we expected. Ajit Pai is a vocal opponent of net neutrality, promising to "fire up the weed whacker" against his agency shortly before assuming leadership. The official has also been quick to launch a campaign to roll back many of the consumer protections that the FCC was instrumental in creating. Read a summary of Ajit Pai's first two weeks as head of the FCC in engadget.com

Jill Stein Is a Right-Wing Tool? Read at thestranger.com

Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda. Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever to call himself President-Elect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress who would do his bidding. Download the complete guide

The things Gov. Rick Snyder did not say in the State of the State. He said "We had an incredible year." But there's a lot he didn't say like you still can't drink the water in Flint and more at freep.com

Charles Gaba talked about the effects of repeal of the ACA at WBLDEMS Jan 18. Go to his website at http://acasignups.net/Charles to learn more. The chart of where people get their medical coverage shows nearly everyone's healthcare coverage is heavily taxpayer subsidized.

Scholars Steeped in Dead Politicians Take On a Live One: Donald Trump. nytimes.com

The Jacksonian Revolt - American Populism and the Liberal Order. For the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. More at foreignaffairs.com

This 1967 speech may have helped put a target on Martin Luther King Jr.'s back. That speech, entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break The Silence, was an unequivocal denunciation of America's involvement in that Southeast Asian conflict. "I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos, without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world: my own government." More at usatoday.com

In Case You Missed It The Senate voted 51 to 48: 1. To end coverage for preexisting conditions, veterans benefits, and aid to rural hospitals. 2. To remove discrimination protection for women in healthcare. 3. Against the provision allowing children to remain on their parent's insurance till the age of 26. 4. To cut off funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 5. Against ACA contraceptive coverage and maternity care provision. 6. To direct committees to send budget legislation to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act. For those who get health insurance through work, no pre-existing conditions. Lifetime caps for coverage are back for everyone. Real and disastrous actions are being taken that will affect more than just the 20-30 million people who will lose their health care coverage and the 3 million people who will lose their jobs. Measure passed in the House on Friday 227-198, 1/13/17

"The federal week in review: Read it and weep: 1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day. More at wbldems.blogspot.com.

400 Obama Accomplishments so far, With Citations. Read article here

Robert Reich: 15 warning signs of impending Trump tyranny. As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do these 15 things: Go to salon.com

Check out metro Detroit's progressive community calendar. . There are numerous interesting, important events coming up in the new year. This is a community-managed calendar which means that you can add progressive events without having to request special access rights. Activate! 313 : SE Michigan's Progressive Calendar

How the U.S. came to abstain on a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements. washingtonpost.com

Faced with Donald Trump and David Friedman, Jews must resist the toxic allure of tribalism. Donald Trump's new ambassador to Israel doesn't get to define my heritage - but his hateful views are not isolated. salon.com

Tea party teaches us how to fight Trump.Of self-identified tea party members, just 1 in 5 attended events or donated money. But because that relatively small group coordinated and executed its plans flawlessly, a comparatively small group of people had an outsize impact on national policy. How? By ensuring the men and women who represented them in Congress heard their voices. Read it at freep.com

Michigan Dem Meeting Breaks Into Violence as Clinton Fans Repel Sanders Partisans. Senior Michigan Democratic Party official Mike Stone cited for assault and battery after melee at state party meeting. On December 3, the Michigan Democratic Party held a committee meeting, open to the public and party members, to vote on delegates to represent Michigan at the Democratic National Committee. Unfortunately, rather than learning from Hillary Clinton's presidential election loss, and sincerely welcoming Bernie Sanders supporters into the party , the Democratic establishment continues treating progressives as second class citizens. More at observer.com

The League of Women Voters is joining with allied organizations for a Hill Call-In Day urging Congress to address President-elect Trump's unprecedented and unconstitutional conflicts of interest. The calls will support a forthcoming bill from Senator Elizabeth Warren that will require the President to divest ownership of businesses and disclose all business dealings in order to avoid severe unconstitutional conflicts of interest. Call the below numbers to connect with your two Senators and your one Representative between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm EST tomorrow, Wednesday January 4. You will be automatically connected to your appropriate congressional offices based on the zip code you provide. Senate - 1-866-985-2543 House - 1-866-948-8977

A new video, produced by "Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead and her abortion rights advocacy group Lady Parts Justice, satirizes the outsize influence that far-right anti-abortion groups have on the political process. Read the full story.

Why Hillary Lost: The Great American Lie. "It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you." At huffingtonpost.com

Trump's America. Do some people fear for their safety?. This will give you a better idea of what Muslims in America have to live with now. youtube.com

J Street Vehemently Opposes Nomination of David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. At jstreet.org

Michigan's legislature has finally gone home for the year, but not before the Republican majority used the "lame duck" session to do even more damage to our state:
Tried to strip police and firefighters of retirement health care.
Pushed to privatize and cut even more from teacher retirement benefits.
Gutted unemployment insurance funds to pay for more corporate tax cuts.
Threatened to pass strict voter ID laws to make it harder to vote.
Failed to extend transparency laws to cover the governor's office and legislature.

We did it: this week, the Michigan Senate tabled oppressive voter identification bills HB 6066-6068, which would have silenced the voices of our most vulnerable communities. And since the current legislative session concluded yesterday, voting rights in Michigan remain unobstructed for now.

No president or president-elect has ever before bypassed the media and spoken directly to large numbers of his followers to disparage individual citizens who criticize him. That occurred in the fascist rallies of the 1930s. America came closest to this in the 1950s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy wrecked the lives of thousands of American citizens whom he arbitrarily and carelessly claimed were communists. McCarthy's reign of terror ended when a single man, U.S. Army counsel Joseph Welch, asked him publicly, during the televised hearings McCarthy was conducting, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" In that moment, Americans began to see McCarthy for the tyrant he was. Not incidentally, McCarthy's assistant was Roy Cohn, an attorney who perfected the art of character assassination. Cohn was also one of Donald Trump's mentors. Excerpt from Robert Reich: "The creeping tyranny of Donald Trump"

Keith Ellison Town Hall Thursday. December 22, 2016 5:00pm. Church of the New Covenant Baptist 3426 Puritan Avenue Detroit, MI 48238. Keith talked with members of the community about the future of the Democratic Party and took questions from the audience. Keith Ellison was born and raised in Detroit, MI and moved to Minneapolis to attend law school in 1990. In 2006, he became the first Muslim elected to Congress and in 2010, became Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He sits on the House Financial Services Committee and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Progressive Democrats for America are supporting Keith Ellison for DNC Chair. Go to pda.nationbuilder.com

Obama's legacy: Lorrie Moore, Richard Ford, Marilynne Robinson and others look back. His election was a historic moment, he campaigned on a platform of hope, but did President Obama deliver? Leading authors have their say. At theguardian.com

Jackie Robinson in 1972: 'I Cannot Stand and Sing the Anthem; I Cannot Salute the Flag'. Jackie Robinson, in his 1972 autobiography, I Never Had It Made, described the moment when he realized that he could not "stand and sing the anthem," nor "salute the flag,' which calls to mind recent statements made by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Robinson strongly indicted this nation on charges of racism, classism and bigotry. At theroot.com

That "Muslim Registry"? It already exists. And President Obama can shut it down. A government registry of Muslims already exists and President Obama can act right now to shut it down before Trump becomes President. Take Action Now

Republicans are consistent about one thing: their desire to suppress the vote . They want to do anything to prevent people who aren't apt to support them from voting. Yesterday, they rammed a bill through the House to make it essentially impossible to vote without photo ID. More from Jack Lessenberry at michiganradio.org

Seth MacFarlane Explains Why Hollywood Hates Trump. "Wanna know why Hollywood folks hate Trump? We live and work amongst his kind every day out here," the Family Guy creator wrote on Friday. "His tactics are those employed by the shiftiest of agents, lawyers, and publicists. We've learned to recognize the blustery showmanship of a lying con man because we encounter it every day in our business. We've learned to smell it, because it's bitten so many of us in the ass. Most of us love America a hell of a lot, and we don't want America to be conned the way many of us have. "

The Guardian reported that the Obama administration was deeply involved in planning to give Trump access not just to nuclear codes, but also to the massive new spying and killing system that Obama personally helped shape and lead. "Obama's failure to rein in George Bush's national security policies hands Donald Trump a fully loaded weapon," Anthony Romer of the ACLU, observed recently. "The president's failure to understand that these powers could not be entrusted in the hands of any president, not even his, have now put us in a position where they are in the hands of Donald Trump." More at tomdispatch.com

Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, apparently thinks that the election of Donald Trump paves the way not only for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but for the demolition of Medicare. Read more from Harry T. Cook at wbldems.blogspot.com

Donald Trump's 'Monster's Ball' DEC. 1, 2016 . There is work to do. Your country needs you, now more than ever. The loyal opposition needs your energy and your moral imagination. Donald Trump was elected on a wave of fake news, fake minority outreach and an 11th-hour email head fake by James Comey. During the campaign, Trump lied with the ease of breathing and made promises he knew well that he could never keep. He positioned himself as a champion of the disaffected, all the while imagining himself a dictator. Read more at Monster's Ball

The GOP's Attack on Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016. This was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. See full story

Another thought on why Clinton lost . We just elected a hate monger, racist, misogynist who cares only about his own ego. And people think this out-of-touch billionaire (is) a voice for the working man? The folks who voted for Trump didn't feel that Hillary Clinton, a multi-millionaire fixture of the Washington establishment for decades, was any kind of a voice for the average American either. More from Jack Lessenberry at michiganradio.org

It was not a good night for Democrats. Clinton did not get out enough of the base to make a difference. Our party has a lot to work on and needs to get away from its "normal" politics. Democrats need to reach voters with a positive message that is relevant to them. If we do not do that, we will continue to have bad results.

Oakland County Results
39th State House: Kesto - 25,024 (50.34%) Stack - 20, 973 (42.19%)
40th State House: McCready - 30,660 (53.33%) Bedi - 26,670 (46.39%)
Oakland County Executive: Patterson - 340.487 (53.50%) Barnett - 293,227 (46.08%)
Prosecutor: Cooper - 315,469 (50.49%) Goetz - 281,226 (45.02%)
Sheriff: Bouchard - 375,308 (59.15%) Covey - 257,759 (40.62%)
Clerk: Brown - 331,839 (54.26%) Bullard - 277,730 (45.41%)
Treasurer: Meisner - 333,735 (54.3%) McCulloch - 278,902 (45.38%)
County Commission - 5th District: Berman - 15,814 (55.8%) Pulver - 12,466 (42.98%)
County Commission - 13th District: Gershenson - 19,228 (62.61%) Dinardo - 11,362 (37%)
Circuit Court: Valentine - 235,580 (55.65%) Savin - 176,689 (42.49%)
Probate Court: Callaghan - 265.238 (67.63%) Geibel - 123,158 (31.4%)
West Bloomfield Trustee (4 to be elected): Manna - 20,200 Rosenberg - 19,331 Swimmer - 18,925 Warshay - 17,190 Weissman - 15,213 Karmo - 15,178 Perry - 13,736

Transit millage was defeated, mainly due to large No vote in Macomb. Oakland defeated it by 2,000 votes, Wayne and Washtenaw voted Yes, but not sufficient to overcome Macomb's stong No vote.

WBLDEMS ENDORSED CANDIDATES: VOTE TUESDAY NOVEMBER 8 Michael Stack - 39th District, Michigan House of Representatives Nicole Bedi - 40th District, Michigan House of Representatives Dr. Anil Kumar - US Congress 11th District Brenda Lawrence - US Congress 14th District Non-partisan, Judicial races: Frank Szymanksi for Michigan Supreme Court, 8yr Term Deborah Thomas for Michigan Supreme Court, Incumbent Position Partial Term Lorie Savin for Judge Circuit Court, 6thCircuit - Non-Incumbent Position Jennifer Callaghan for Oakland County Probate Court Judge - Non-Incumbent The other Judges are running unopposed County Offices: a. Executive: Vicki Barnett b. Treasurer: Andy Meisner c. Clerk: Lisa Brown d. Prosecutor: Jessica Cooper e. Sheriff: Craig Covey f. Water Commissioner: Jim Nash h. Commissioner (13th District): Marsha Gershenson Board of Trustees Oakland County Community College: Emily Mixter, Max Milstein, Pam Jackson West Bloomfield Trustee: Howard Rosenberg, Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer, Jonathan Warshay West Bloomfield Park Commissioner: Merv Aronoff, Sally Wenczel, Robert Brooks Township Library Board Vote For six: (Exclude Carol Foster) Karen Eikemeyer, Judith A. Holtz, Carol A. Kravetz, Ken Macon, Thomas Meyer, Wendy Bidgood Osthaus

Libertarian VP Candidate Just Wants to Stop Trump Presidency. Bill Weld excoriated Trump and endorsed Hillary Clinton on Rachel Maddow. He said he known Hillary for years and has the utmost respect for her as a moral person who is more than capable of being president.

Donald Trump Will Lose the Election, and It Won't Be Pretty. GQ Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson has some good news and some bad news. Either way, you should definitely vote. Brace yourself. I hate to say all of this, especially so close to Halloween, but what happens after Election Day may be more terrifying than what came before it. Because Donald Trump will go. But he will not go easy. Read more at gq.com

Michigan Coordinated Campaign West Bloomfield Office. Volunteers needed: Nightly phone banking (5:00-9:00), as many volunteers as possible Location: 7439 Middlebelt Rd., W. Bloomfield, Mi. 48322, N.E. corner Field Organizer John Pavik, (313) 400-5494; jspavik@gmail.com; representing Farmington, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield Open door policy at office; volunteers always welcome and needed; 2 hour shifts. We represent Hillary and all down ticket Democrats.

Years ago, I heard a young reporter ask an old editorial writer what the difference was between Republicans and Democrats. The old guy said, "Democrats love big government, preferably controlled by and run from Washington. Republicans are in favor of smaller, less intrusive government, and local control," he said, and then paused. "Except, that is, when they're not." The young reporter asked when that was. "Whenever local government does something they don't want it to do," the old cynic said. See article by Jack Lessenberry

OCDP ENDORSED CANDIDATES: Jennifer Callaghan for Oakland County Probate Court Judge; Victoria Vallentine for Oakland County Circuit Court Judge; Deborah Thomas for Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court; and Frank Szymanksi for Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Oakland County Community College - Pam Jackson, Max Milstein and Emily Mixter.

We likely have a very narrow window to defeat the disastrous Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal in the lame duck Congress. We expect that, as early as the middle of September, the White House will start the process to "fast track" the TPP. From that point, it is likely that Congress must vote within 90 days. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell just said he does not want to vote on TPP this year. And Secretary Hillary Clinton has also said TPP should not come up for a vote in this Congress. Wall Street, corporate America and their representatives in Congress will try to pass this bad trade deal after the election anyway. Sign the Petition to stop the TPP

DeVos family showers GOP with contributions after DPS vote. Bought and paid for. Back in June, that's how I described the Detroit school legislation that passed in Lansing - a filthy, moneyed kiss to the charter school industry at the expense of the kids who've been victimized by those schools' unaccountable inconsistency. More at freep.com

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to revive a Michigan law that barred straight-ticket voting. The court's brief order gave no reasons. Two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., said they would have granted a request from state officials to allow them to enforce the law in the coming election. 9/9/2016

Oakland County 115 News. This site features independent local news, features, events, & investigative reporting. For 2016 Candidate Interviews & Ballot Issues go to oc115.com/

A federal judge has blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities. Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. The state attorney general's office, which is defending the law in court, says Michigan joined 39 other states in banning straight-party voting. The judge says that's irrelevant. 7/21/16

RESULTS OF AUGUST 2 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.
US House of Representatives:
      11th District: Dr. Anil Kumar
      14th District: Brenda Lawrence.
Michigan House:
      39th District: Michael Stack.
      40th District: Nicole Bedi.
Oakland County:
      Executive: Vicki Barnett.
      Clerk: Lisa Brown.
      Treasurer: Andy Meisner.
      Prosecutor: Jessica Cooper.
      Sheriff: Craig Covey.
      Water Resources Commissioner:       Jim Nash.
      Commissioner (5th District): Julia Pulver.
      Commissioner (13th District): Marsha Gershenson.
West Bloomfield Township:
      Supervisor: Stephen Kaplan.
      Clerk: Debbie Binder.
      Treasurer: Teri Weingarden.
      Trustee: Howard Rosenberg, Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer, Jonathan Warshay, Jim Manna
      Parks Commissioner: Merv Aronoff, Sally Wenczel, Robert Brooks.

See the League of Women Voters West Bloomfield Candidates forums: Follow the Youtube links at westbloomfield.localstew.com

Gov. Snyder's criminal defense attorney fees continue to go up and up, and taxpayers are stuck with the bill. Sen. Ananich put it best in his recent editorial in the Detroit News: I can't help but imagine how many school nurses, home visits or healthy meals we could have provided to Flint families instead of paying for ineffective emergency managers and picking up the tab for the governor's legal fees. The people of Flint are still struggling to access clean, safe drinking water. We can only use filtered or bottled water, and the same lead pipes that contributed to our poisoning are still in use. How many of those pipes could we replace for $5 million?

WBLDEMS ENDORSEMENTS. All are for the August 2nd Primary, except where noted.
US House of Representatives:
      11th District: Dr. Anil Kumar
      14th District: Brenda Lawrence.
Michigan House:
      39th District: Michael Stack.
      40th District: Nicole Bedi.
Oakland County:
      Circuit Court (November Election): Lorie Savin.
      Probate Court (November Election): Jennifer Callaghan.
      Executive: Vicki Barnett.
      Clerk: Lisa Brown.
      Treasurer: Andy Meisner.
      Prosecutor: Jessica Cooper.
      Sheriff: Craig Covey.
      Water Resources Commissioner:       Jim Nash.
      Commissioner (13th District): Marsha Gershenson.
West Bloomfield Township:
      Supervisor: Sam Logan Khaleghi.
      Clerk: Cathy Shaughnessy.
      Trustee: Howard Rosenberg, Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer, Jonathan Warshay.
      Parks Commissioner: Merv Aronoff, Sally Wenczel, Robert Brooks.

Democrats have recruited a Macomb County assistant prosecutor to be their new congressional candidate to face Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Bishopin the 8th District. Suzanna Shkreli of Clarkston will be introduced Wednesday as the Democratic replacement candidate for actress Melissa Gilbert, who ended her campaign in late May. See http://suzannaforcongress.com/.

Attention, Michigan: This is how the GOP is planning on stealing this election. Read at eclectablog.com.

IT'S NOT JUST DETROIT SCHOOLS IN TROUBLE. Read the article at freep.com. Scathing condemnation of the Republicans, especially Speaker Kevin Cotter, Senate Majority leader Arlan Meekoff and our duplicitous governor. Some facts from the article: Michigan now ranks 40th in education. 71% of fourth-graders aren't proficient in reading. 71% of eighth-graders aren't proficient in math. 53% of young children aren't in school. Michigan ranked 41st in fourth-grade reading.

Warren Incensed at GOP Effort to Gut Financial Protections. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday to repeal a new Labor Department rule aimed at protecting retirement savers from Wall Street brokers. Read more at commondreams.org

Hillary Clinton says it's time for a new chapter in the American Dream. "I have a clear vision for the economy: We need to make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top," Clinton laid out five key proposals: 1. Make an "historic investment" in infrastructure to create jobs 2. Make college debt-free for all 3. Make companies share profits with their employees 4. Make the rich pay more in taxes 5. Put "families first" in the economy by raising the minimum wage, enacting paid family leave and expanding preschool for all. In her first 100 days in office, Clinton vows to enact a massive $275 billion investment in U.S. infrastructure. This would fix America's roads, bridges and technology access and create good-paying jobs.

At our June meeting the West Bloomfield Democratic Club endorsed the following: US House of Representatives: 11th District: Dr. Anil Kumar. 14th District: Brenda Lawrence. Michigan House of Representatives: 39th District: Michael Stack. 40th District: Nicole Bedi. Oakland County Circuit Court: Lorie Savin. Oakland County Probate Court: Jennifer Callaghan. Oakland County Clerk: Lisa Brown.

Made sure no one is trying to steal your property! Check for fraudulent actions against your property at ocmideeds.com.

Oakland County Stolen by GOP Legislature. In 2011, the Legislature passed a bill to reduce the number of Oakland County Commissioners and allow Republicans to redraw the county's district lines. Before the new law, Oakland County used the same system as the rest of Michigan's other 82 counties for the last half century to draw the maps: a five member reapportionment commission composed of the county clerk, prosecutor, and treasurer, plus the the heads of the county Republican and Democratic Parties. However, at that point the Democrats had a 3-2 majority on the Oakland County reapportionment commission for the first time; and the Republicans didn't like their map, so they appealed. But the Court of Appeals upheld the map. Not to be dismayed, the Republican Legislature wrote a new law (only for Oakland County) which reduced the number of commissioners and had the county commission with its 16-9 Republican majority redraw the map. That law was ruled unconstitutional by the circuit and appeals courts, but our majority Republican endorsed Supreme Court upheld it. Since then the GOP has controlled Oakland County and its $800,000,000 budget!

On Wednesday, May 18th, our club met to hear and vote to endorse candidates to represent the Democratic Party in the upcoming West Bloomfield Township Elections. The positions include Township Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer and Trustee. For Township Supervisor - Sam Logan Khaleghi, For Township Clerk - Cathy Shaughnessy, For Township Trustees: Howard Rosenberg, Diane Swimmer, Jonathan Warshay

Doctors' Single-Payer Prescription for Health Care Reform. We convened a nonpartisan group of 39 leading physicians to envision health care reforms that would fix the glaring problems that remain despite the Affordable Care Act. At least 27 million Americans remain uninsured, and for tens of millions with insurance, sky-high copayments and deductibles mean they'd be bankrupted by a serious illness. Doctors and nurses contend with insurers' growing demands for mind-numbing electronic documentation. These trends predated the ACA, but the law accelerated them. The alternative we and our colleagues developed calls for radical change: a single-payer national health program, essentially an expanded and improved version of Medicare for all, much along the lines that Bernie Sanders has advocated. More at huffingtonpost.com

Left-right divide on Israel widens. A new Pew Research poll provides more evidence that there is a growing partisan divide among Americans related to support for Israel. Overall support levels for Israel remain high, and are four times the level of support for the Palestinians (62% versus 15%). The overall numbers mask the growing split between Republicans and conservatives versus Democrats and liberals on Israel. israelhayom.com

Republicans in the House Education Committee passed a school voucher program to send some Michigan students to private schools. This is just another attempt by the GOP to reintroduce a general voucher system in our state -- an idea that was twice rejected by Michigan voters. Republicans are obsessed with sending public school dollars to private schools. 4/28/16

SB 564 and SB 565 will be voted on in the Michigan Senate tomorrow morning. These bills use now discredited videos as a basis limiting fetal tissue research in the state by placing unprecedented restrictions on the regulated, legal and life-saving practice. 4/28/2016

Unions suing state over election law. A coalition of labor unions sued the State of Michigan in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Friday over a law that allows corporations, but not unions, to use payroll deductions for contributions to political action committees. More at tablet.olivesoftware.com

Question: How many American deaths have occurred since 2001 as a result of terrorist attacks? Answer: About 50. Question: What are your chances of being killed in a terrorrist attack if we include 9/11? Answer: 1 in 4 million. Question: What are odds if 9/11 is taken out of the equation? Answer: About 1 in 100 million. More at wbldems.blogspot.com

In his new book, "Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?", author Thomas Frank skewers the Democratic Party for abandoning the bottom 90%. Democrats began to identify with Wall Street back in the 1990s. The present Democratic administration has hounded individuals who lied on mortgage applications, but it seems to find top bankers incapable of wrongdoing. More at wbldems.blogspot.com

BECOME A CANDIDATE! Act now to become a candidate on the August 2 primary ballot. Candidates for West Bloomfield township, Oakland county and state offices must file by April 19. School board and OCC board of trustees candidates must file by July 26. Precinct delegates must file by May 3. For more information and filing requirements for offices go to: oakgov.com/clerkrod/elections or call West Bloomfield clerks office at (248) 451-4848

Ex-Rep. Barnett to challenge Patterson in Oakland Co. executive race. "It's becoming growingly apparent that Oakland County needs to jump into the 21st century with both feet" Barnett said. "I wouldn't be running if I didn't think we could do things better. I'm very optimistic about Oakland County's future if we begin to look more regionally instead of being the impediment and the blockade to that progress." Barnett served in the state House of Representatives from 2009 to 2014, when she had to leave because of term limits. Before that, she was a city council member and Mayor of Farmington Hills. More at freep.com

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence of Michigan seeking 2nd term. The former Southfield mayor was elected to Congress in 2014 to represent the district that includes parts of Detroit and some of its suburbs.

THE OAKLAND PRESS - OFFICIAL CANDIDATE ANNOUNCEMENT, SAM LOGAN DEMOCRAT FOR WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP SUPERVISOR!"As a local businessman and an official Laker, I care about my hometown and want to bring peace and prosperity to the township board. The residents deserve community leadership that will listen to them and also help guide them with positive decisions made with integrity and candor". Read more at wbldems.blogspot.com and at theoaklandpress.com

Hillary's Wall Street-Friendly Economic Plan Costs Her Michigan. Billed as a major populist economic address, Hillary Clinton put forth her jobs program in Michigan. Not a word is mentioned about public goods or public sector jobs. Clearly, the only real job is a private sector job. Her silence about NAFTA, however, is deafening. And that's very good news to corporate and financial elites because NAFTA is the trade deal that has facilitated the financial strip-mining of the American worker. Michigan voters saw it for what it is - Wall Street economics. Read more at: huffingtonpost.com

Report from Make Government Work Forum #3. The topic on Feb. 6 was "What's the Big Deal About the New Deal?" Upcoming forum to get ready for Election 2016 will be: "We Are the People We've Been Waiting For: How to talk WITH your conservative brother-in-law or your neighbor who's given up on voting."The 2016 Presidential election is important because it is about what kind of country we will be and what values will determine government policy and budget decisions. See the full report at: wbldems.blogspot.com. To find out more about the the Make Government Work Project, click on /semijobswithjustice.blogspot.com/

Scrambling to hide the truth. We learned yesterday that the governor's two top attorneys urged that Flint be returned to Detroit water as early as late 2014. The governor did absolutely nothing. There are really only two possibilities. One is that Snyder knew and took no action, and the other is that his top staffers treated him like a house plant and didn't bother to clue him in on the key warning signs of what would become a huge national scandal. Read more from Jack Lessenberry at: http://michiganradio.org

Looking for County Commissioners. County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson is actively recruiting for County Commission candidates. If you believe you or someone you know would be interested, or would like more information, please contact Marcia at flower1693@aol.com

What does the Det News, Freep, Common Cause and Mackinac Center Have in Common?. The Detroit News joins the Detroit Free Press and other strange bedfellow like Common Cause MI and even the Mackinac Center in calling for subjecting the Governor and Legislature to FOIA. The Flint water crisis highlights the absolute need to get this done. The editorial also calls for government reforms like a cooling off period for legislators before becoming lobbyists and more financial disclosure.

Hillary Clinton: The Candidate of Cynicism. If you are looking for idealism in the Democratic Primary, you will not find it among Secretary Hillary Clinton's supporters. While Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters look at the world and say "what if," Hillary Clinton's supporters look at the world and say "not so fast." Read more at: huffingtonpost.com

This morning Allan & I were in Lansing again to show our support for Planned Parenthood. There was an Appropriations Committee Hearing to "Prohibit State Funds to Entities Providing Elective Abortions" (House Bill 4145) Sponsor Rep. Thomas Hooker -Republican introduced this legislation along with other Republican reps. Of course, there exists no state funding for abortion in Michigan. The anti-choice/anti-abortion side provided their testimonies in support of the bill which at times were particularly repugnant & theatrically outrageous. This is typical of Ed Rivet of Right to Life Michigan. The testimonies opposing HB 4145 were factual, strong, educational, articulate, heartfelt, reasoned & powerful. The President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Lori Carpentier provided an excellent testimony! HB 4145 is one of several anti-choice pieces of legislation which Republicans have introduced recently in the the Michigan State Legislature. This causes us much distress & also reminds us that our activism is consistently needed. Jill Farber-Bramson

West Bloomfield Township showed its ugly side at a recent meeting. I have thanked Teri and Diane and I want to thank you for your vote in favor of diversity. It was appalling to hear such bigotry and xenophobia expressed by people who live in our community. I'm sure you have read Jack Lessenberry's article. That he felt compelled to write such an article when he doesn't live in our community, is an indictment of the behavior shown by the people who spoke with such hate against welcoming immigrants and refugees into our community. I was glad that there were those who spoke up in favor of West Bloomfield being an inclusive community. They were brave to speak up while they were being shouted down. I was especially proud of Teri and Howard's daughter, Julia, and the Muslim women who courageously took the mike and informed others (if they weren't shouting and berating them) of their contributions to our community. I was very proud of the vote that you, Diane and Teri took. I want everyone in our club to view the video and read Jack Lessenberry's article if they didn't hear him speak on Wednesday on Michigan Public Radio: at michiganradio.org. Linda Samelson

what America would look like without gerrymandering! action.independentlines.org

Sanders' Economic Plan Best for the 99 Percent. Hillary has now pivoted to attacks on Bernie that are more typical of Republicans than Democrats. Secretary Clinton is attacking Bernie Sanders' Medicare For All proposal because she says it will raise taxes on the middle class. What she doesn't say is that the Sanders plan would allow Americans to stop paying health insurance premiums, that their deductibles and copayments would be dramatically reduced, and that insurance executives would no longer interfere with their care. Here's the bottom line: The middle class is in crisis, and Secretary Clinton's proposals merely tinker at the margins of that crisis. They would not shift the fundamental direction of an economy that is growing more unequal every day. Nor would they offer greater security for the millions of Americans who live in fear of the future and wonder how they'll make it through today. Read more at huffingtonpost.com

When did state know kids in Flint were lead poisoned?. When did the State of Michigan first learn that kids in Flint had been poisoned by lead in the city's drinking water? This is one of the most critical questions to answer in the aftermath of a public health crisis that's still unfolding in one of the state's largest cities. And it shouldn't be a hard question to answer. But when I asked Gov. Rick Snyder this week, he said he couldn't recall. But here's the thing: For months, state officials worked diligently, not to investigate the brewing public health crisis in Flint, but to discredit outside experts presenting test results contrary to the state's assertions that everything was fine. And all that time, data that would have shown what was happening was ignored. Why? Nancy Kaffer. See her story at freep.com

2015 Phil Hart Award Winners.The Sander M. Levin Elected Official of the Year: State Rep. Jim Townsend, Councilwoman Gwen Markham, Young Democrats of the Year: Lauren Bealore, Sam Pernick. Precinct Delegates of the Year: Tom Regan, Tiffany Tilley. The Wings of Justice Award: Attorney Dana Nessel. The Tim Dinan Community Service Award: Jill Farber-Bramson. Lifetime Democrat Award: The Honorable Mattie McKinney Hatchett

Gloves off as Senate OKs ban on straight-ticket voting. The GOP moved out of committee Tuesday and then through the full Senate a bill to ban an automatic check box for straight-ticket voting, which is seen as benefiting Democrats more than Republicans. Senators added a $1-million appropriation to the bill, making it "referendum proof." 11/10/15. Read at freep.com

10 Reasons I'm Only Voting for Bernie Sanders and Will Not Support Hillary Clinton. Just under half of Democratic primary voters nationwide say they would enthusiastically support Clinton if she became the party's nominee. Here are 10 reasons I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders in 2016, and will not vote for Hillary Clinton or Trump: at huffingtonpost.com

Paul Ryan's Seven Terrible Ideas | BillMoyers.com.
1. Reduce the top income-tax rate to 25 percent from the current 39 percent. A terrible idea. It's a huge windfall to the rich at a time when the rich already take home a larger share of total income that at any time since the 1920s.
2. Cut corporate taxes to 25 percent from the current 35 percent. Another bad idea. A giant sop to corporations, the largest of which are already socking away $2.1 trillion in foreign tax shelters.
3. Slash spending on domestic programs like food stamps and education for poor districts. What?! Already 22 percent of the nation's children are in poverty; these cuts would only make things worse.
4. Turn Medicaid and other federal programs for the poor into block grants for the states and let the states decide how to allocate them. In other words, give Republican state legislatures and governors slush funds to do with as they wish.
5. Turn Medicare into vouchers that don't keep up with increases in healthcare costs. In effect cutting Medicare for the elderly. Another awful idea.
6. Deal with rising Social Security costs by raising the retirement age for Social Security. Bad! This would make Social Security even more regressive, since the poor don't live nearly as long as the rich.
7. Finally, let the minimum wage continue to decline as inflation eats it away. Wrong again. Low wage workers need a higher minimum wage.

13 Ridiculous Things Ben Carson Actually Believes. Women who get abortions are like slaveholders, Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery, Jews could have prevented the Holocaust if they had guns, Muslims should be disqualified from the presidency, and more at: thinkprogress.org

75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America. Socialism. There is nothing more feared and hated in America. I have some terrifying news for you.... Socialism is alive and well in America and it has been here for a very long time! Read more at dailykos.com

Guns in Michigan churches? Bars? Schools? Maybe. A packed hearing is expected today October 13 as state lawmakers debate bill to let concealed weapons into places that are now off-limits. More at freep.com

Israelis Fear a Third Intifada. The slow-burning Israeli-Palestinian conflict has flamed up in the past week with a series of terror attacks, but this has happened before. Read the article at jta.us

CNN forces anti-abortion group's head to admit fetus in video was stillborn, not an abortion. Carly Fiorina's claims that a Planned Parenthood representative was harvesting a fetus's brain after aborting it on video with "it"s legs kicking, it's heart beating," have been roundly debunked, though she has continued to double down on the remarks. The anti-choice group, Center for Medical Progress (CMP), heavily doctored the videos which triggered the recent assault on the vital women's health organization. At deadstate.org

The Chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee has announced his intention to bring a dangerous package of bills for women's access to abortion up for a hearing in the next couple weeks. The bills, House Bills 4833 and 4834, seek to criminalize the safest method of abortion for many women seeking care in Michigan. These bills would allow politicians to dictate how physicians perform these procedures when they are needed - forcing women in Michigan to receive medical care that is not based on medical standards, invasive, and carries great risk. If passed, these bills would be an unprecedented intrusion into a woman's relationship with her doctor. A similar law was challenged in Kansas just this year, and the court blocked the law from taking effect on the grounds that it is likely unconstitutional. It is important that legislators, especially members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, hear from us. Questions contact Kimberly Beebe at kimbeebe43@gmail.com.
Fox Buys National Geographic, Aaarrghg!!!!. The magazine that offers finely detailed stories on climate change, on endangered species, on changing food resources in a changing world, is now owned by a company that is among the chief deniers of climate change. More at dailykos.com

The Latest Failure of the American Jewish Establishment. Older American Jews are closely split on the Iran nuclear agreement. Younger American Jews are not; they support it overwhelmingly. If the specter of another Holocaust is one narrative underlying the American Jewish establishment's opposition to the Iran deal, uncritical support for the Israeli government is another. Most younger American Jews reject that: "They see supporting the state of Israel as obligatory only insofar as the state acts in accordance with highest principles of democracy, tolerance, human rights, and Jewish ethical values as they understand them." And most younger American Jews don't think this Israeli government embodies those principles. Read the whole article at wbldems.blogspot.com or at www.haaretz.com

Top Cancer Doctors Call for Lower Drug Costs. A group of cancer doctors are joining grassroots organizers and politicians in pleading with pharmaceutical companies to reduce the cost of cancer treatments. In an editorial that ran Thursday in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal, 118 cancer experts produced a series of recommendations they say would lead to a reduction in treatment expenses. The doctors say that one in three individuals will be burdened with cancer in their lifetime, but out-of-pocket drug costs could easily exceed the average household income of an insured patient. A change.org petition calls for a reduction in drug costs, particularly for cancer patients.

Why The Iran Deal Makes Sense. On Oct. 2, 2002, President George W. Bush asked and received authorization from Congress to go to war with Iraq. Just one month before, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Congress saying, "If you take out Saddam, Saddam's regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations in the region." Nothing could have been further from the truth. Read more at thejewishweek.com

Brandon Dillon Elected MDP Chair. At the July 11 Michigan Democratic State Central Committee Meeting in Port Huron, MI, Brandon Dillon was elected to replace the outgoing Chair Lon Johnson, who resigned to run for Congress, 1st Congressional District. "I think there's a lot of frustration growing in the Democratic Party by some voters and activists feeling like they've been taken for granted," Dillon said. "The first thing we want to do is make sure that we bring them into the fold and get their input so that they understand that we're not just coming to them during election time for votes but we want them to be active participants in building the party."

DECLINE TO SIGN! Deep-pocketed sponsors are behind the circulation of petitions this summer that are intended to prompt the state Legislature to repeal the Michigan Prevailing Wage Act of 1965. PLEASE DON'T SIGN THE PETITION: repeal would lower workers' wages, make construction sites less safe, and attract out-of-state contractors and tradespeople to work on building projects funded by Michigan taxpayers. Prevailing wage has benefited Michigan in many ways for 50 years. michiganprevailingwage.com

Politics & Prejudices: Welcome to our ideologically based nightmare. Well, it's now clear what kind of future the Republicans who run the state legislature have in mind for us. The roads will continue to fall apart, though we will throw a little money at them by raising taxes on the working poor. But they do have a plan for economic growth: Michigan is to become the nation's privatized penal colony! Read Jack Lessenberry at metrotimes.com

Today, Senate Republicans passed a package of bills they claim will fix our roads. In reality, this plan will devastate our already depleted state budget and cause further damage. It hits working families hardest, gutting the Earned Income Tax Credit and hiking the gas tax, while potentially cutting funding to schools, higher education, and public safety. Senate Democrats voted no because we want a real solution to our road funding crisis. We want a plan that offers the residents of Michigan assurance that our roads and bridges will be taken care of for years to come. We want everyone who uses and benefits from our roads to help pay the cost of maintaining them - not just working families. Senator Vincent Gregory 7/1/2015

State Senate Committee Votes to Pay Young Adults Poverty Wages. Continuing their trend of attacking workers' wages, conservatives on a Senate committee voted this morning to lower the wages of young Michiganders working at a minimum wage job. The bill, SB250, would lower the minimum wage for workers under 20 years old to 85 percent of the state's minimum wage or the federal minimum wage whichever is greater. Read the article at progressmichigan.org

ADL raps Michael Oren for stereotyping Obama in new essay. The Anti-Defamation League criticized Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to the United States, for an "insensitive and unjustified" attack on President Barack Obama. The essay, said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman, "veers into the realm of conspiracy theories, and with an element of amateur psychoanalysis he links U.S. policies in the Middle East to the president's personal history of having a Muslim father."

OBAMA AND THE REPUBLICANS PREVAIL ON "FAST TRACK" IN THE SENATE On Tuesday June 24 the Senate voted 60 to 38 to approve "fast track", with 60 being the minimum number required. 47 Republicans and 13 Democrats voted for the bill, and 5 Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against. Democrats voting "for" were: Feinstein CA, Coons DE, Donnelly IN, Shaheen NH, Wyden OR, Cantwell WA, Murray WA, Manchin WV, Bennet CO,Carper DE, Nelson FL, McCaskill MO, Heitkamp ND, Kaine VA, Warner VA. Republicans voting against were: Sessions AL, Shelby AL, Rand KY, Cruz TX, Collins ME.

Michigan's legislature is quickly and quietly advancing a far-reaching preemption bill. Michigan's legislature is working to strip away local control in favor of big money lobbies like the Michigan Restaurant Association and other corporate special interests. This bill will be taken up by the Senate any day now and, if passed, will bar local municipalities from enacting economic justice measures that exceed state or federal minimums. It will effectively ban localities from passing paid sick days and ban the box laws, prevailing wage laws and minimum wage increases, fair scheduling ordinances, and apprenticeship programs. 6/3/2015 Help stop this bill.

Remember this when Gov. Snyder brags about "the Comeback State: there are fewer workers now than in 2010. While the country as a whole as has a steady increase in the number of workers and the number of people working since the onset of the Great Recession, Michigan is still lagging far behind. In fact, since Michigan Republicans made the birthplace of the labor movement a right to work state in late 2012, the number of workers looking for jobs has stagnated as people have simply given up: Read more at eclectablog.com

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) schools willfully ignorant Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) over Obamacare lies. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan had one of his unscheduled Obamacare bashing hearings this week. "What's busted is not ACA But your attacks on it, endless attacks."Sander Levin said calmly and deliberately. "Never coming up with a single comprehensive alternative all these years". Read more at dailykos.com

They couldn't care less about you. Here's some news for you, kids: The folks running Michigan's government - the legislature, at any rate - couldn't care less about you, or what you need and want. They don't have to. They've rigged the system so that you normally have little say in who is elected. Thanks to term limits, they can stay just long enough to find themselves a job working for a lobbying firm or some other special interest. Read more from Jack Lessenberry at metrotimes.com

See Bernie Sanders Video Last February Senator Bernie Sanders (I) Vermont, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs introduced a bill that would provide $21 Billion dollars in benefits to veterans. The bill was blocked 56-41 with all but two Republicans voting against it. The video can be summed up with one quote from Sen. Bernie Sanders, "If you think it is too expensive to take care of veterans, don't send them to war."

In just a few weeks, the Supreme Court will rule on a case that could completely DISMANTLE Obamacare as we know it. If the Supreme Court rules AGAINST the Affordable Care Act, it would utterly CRUSH Obamacare: states could lose $721 BILLION in federal funding, and nearly ten million Americans would be booted from their health insurance. We're not being dramatic - this would be cataclysmic. Tell Justice Roberts WE WANT OBAMACARE TO STAY!

HOUSE PASSES "FAST TRACK" WITHOUT TRADE ADJUSTMENT, SENATE TO TAKE UP BILL TUESDAY.On Thursday 6/18 the House voted 218-208 for Trade Promotion Authority, legislation that would empower the Obama administration to wrap up talks in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a key element of his second-term agenda. Backing the bill were 190 Republicans and 28 Democrats; 50 Republicans and 158 Democrats voted against it. Eight members did not vote. All Michigan Democrats and Justin Amash voted against the bill. The legislative maneuvering, on which Boehner and McConnell consulted with Obama during a conference call this week, could result in Obama approving the trade package before the July 4 recess.

Every American should see this documentary: "Buying the War," how we were lied into war with Iraq. Bill Moyers interviews several journalists who were skeptical that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction but the medial giants wouldn't allow them to be on any of the news shows. It details how influential newspapers (The Washington Post, New York Times, etc) parroted the case for war while the "Patriotic Police" intimidated those that cried out for the truth. What a loss that Bill Moyers is no longer on PBS. This is the only way to see his show. See Buying the War.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell threw cold water on Fox News' latest faulty Benghazi narrative, characterizing a report that says the Obama administration knew that the attacks were planned in advance as inaccurate. Morell criticized Fox and the media at large for habitually scandalizing the Benghazi attacks based on incomplete or unsupported claims. Michael Morell criticized Fox News and other media outlets for perpetuating "Benghazi myths" in this May 25 article

Luis Lang quits GOP, calls for Single Payer. Lifelong Republican Turns On His Party, Embraces Obamacare Luis Lang, who is currently crowdfunding for medical expenses that he can't afford because he didn't sign up for insurance under Obamacare, has become a viral sensation. However, the 49-year-old South Carolina resident says he doesn't want to be the poster child for the Republican Party's opposition to health care reform anymore. Read more at dailykos.com

OBAMA AND THE REPUBLICANS "FAST TRACKED" THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP IN THE SENATE 5/21/15. President Obama states that this bill would not take American jobs and would protect worker rights, unlike the Nafta agreement. "When people say that this trade deal is bad for working families, they don't know what they're talking about," Obama said, "I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families". However the trade pact is being written in secret with no input from legislators or workers. Democratic opponents accuse their party's leader of putting more effort into this bid to aid corporate America than anything he's done for the middle class. 38 Democratic Senators including Senators Peters and Stabenow voted against this treaty. The bill now goes to the House, where opposition from Democrats and some Republicans is stiff and where its outlook is uncertain. Action there is expected in June. Albom: Michigan's no-fault insurance bill a shameful grab. You always should be wary when lawmakers move fast. This same body that couldn't get its act together to fix our roads - so it told US to go vote on them - has somehow greased a bill that spent one day in a Senate committee, three days in a House committee and could be voted on the floor this week - a bill that would cap, cut, alter and reassign the benefits that catastrophic victims rely on. Call your state legislator today! Read Mitch Albom's article at freep.com

Stop the Capital View Boondoggle' Press Conference, Lansing, Mi. 5/20/15 Michigan State Republican Senate legislators want to move into a new senate building which would cost up to $134 million dollars over the next 30 years while Michigan's citizens are struggling with crumbling roads & over-crowded classrooms, etc.! Updating bathrooms & lighting in their current building would cost $11.5 million. And these are all the renovations that are basically needed. The reason they give for moving into a new building is the desire for all senators to have a view of the Capital which all senators currently don't have. According to the Free Press, the developer behind this deal has donated $219,000.00 dollars to Republicans since 2005. Jill Farber-Bramson

In 2009, more than 11,300 untested rape kits were found in a police storage facility in Detroit. The revelation was jarring. Since then, the state and local officials in Michigan have done their best to alleviate this backlog, but to finish testing all of the kits, the state would need an estimated $10 million. Will you sign on and demand federal funding to help victims of sexual assault receive justice? Brenda Lawrence

May is National Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness one out of every four Americans suffer from this illness. That means everyone knows at least one person who suffers from mental illness. Yet, historically, mental health illness was viewed as a non-issue. The Democratic Party is leading the way and speaking out on this epidemic. The Mental Health Parity Law, that the Democratic Party supports, requires insurance companies to have equal benefits for mental and physical health illnesses. Twenty-six percent of the homeless, 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners all suffer from mental illness. Nancy Quarles First Vice Chairman, Michigan Democratic Party

We've all suffered from Michigan's deteriorating road conditions. To compound those problems, nearly 30 percent of Michigan's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the Federal Highway Administration. At a time when hundreds of bridges around the country are in need of repair, the last thing that needs to happen is the expiration of the federal Highway Trust Fund, which funds infrastructure projects around the country. Add your name and support a long term reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund. Brenda Lawrence

We need the U.S. Postal Service; they deliver our mail, medicine and packages. Now they need us. Three facts about the USPS: 1. The Postal Service uses no tax dollars. 2. The USPS goes everywhere - private shippers don't. As a result, the Postal Service has delivered more than 470 million UPS and FedEx ground packages for them. 3. More than 140 mail processing facilities have closed since 2012, and 82 more are scheduled to close in 2015. Postal workers want to keep post offices open, expand hours, offer shorter wait times and continue prompt mail delivery. But they can't do that if their offices are shut down or remain understaffed. These cuts affect you personally. They affect how fast you receive your mail and the hours your local post office is open. Tell Postmaster General Megan Brennan that you stand with postal workers. Tracey Conaty AFSCME Digital

Yesterday, voters across Michigan sent a clear message to their leaders in Lansing: Everyone should pay their fair share to fix Michigan's roads. Michigan's middle class has already been asked to sacrifice so much, while big corporations and those at the top profit, and Republicans put off making tough decisions. Democrats have some basic principles that must be respected in road funding negotiations: 1. Middle-class families have sacrificed enough - Michigan families have paid an addition $1.6 billion in new taxes. It's time for big corporations that got huge tax cuts to pay their fair share. 2. Schools, health care, police, and fire protection cannot be on the chopping block - The safety and well-being of Michigan residents needs to be our top priority when any deal is reached. 3. No more Band-Aid solutions - We need forward-thinking solutions, not just quick fixes. These conversations are just the start of the priority setting we'll be doing between now and November 2016. Michigan House Democrats 5/6/2015

The United States is "The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today". Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967 (One year before his death on April 4, 1968). He would call the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today" and note that "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." Sad to say, 48 years later, his words still ring true.

Four years ago, the RNC teamed up with right-wing state legislators to push a plan to gerrymander the Electoral College and guarantee a Republican White House. They backed off at the last minute, and then the American people elected President Obama to an historic second term. Now NBC News says the GOP's Electoral College gerrymandering scheme is BACK. Their first target is my home state of Michigan, where a new GOP bill would give Republicans most of the state's electoral votes, even if the Democratic presidential nominee wins the state. This right-wing scheme could have stolen the Presidency for Mitt Romney in 2012. Now we could get a President Ted Cruz or Scott Walker, not because more Americans vote for them, but because GOP legislators "rigged" the Electoral College. Congressman Mark Schauer

Your public officials should answer to you, not special interests and lobbyists. But Michigan's lack of accountability and transparency means citizens can't be sure who is influencing the decisions made by top officials. Our Michigan Government Reform and Accountability Plan will:
Expand the Freedom of Information Act to include the governor's office and Legislature,
Require personal financial disclosures from top officials to prevent conflicts of interest,
Prohibit large state contracts from being awarded to financial supporters,
And forbid officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office.
The Center for Public Integrity gave Michigan an F for accountability. That means your state government is failing you. Michigan Democrats believe you deserve better. Michigan House Democrats

Noam Chomsky on Barack Obama. Its true he's regarded as a disappointment on the Left, but there's really no reason for that. He's sort of a centrist liberal, and could easily be a moderate Republican. He has no particular principles that I can identify. In fact, the advertising industry enthusiastically gave the best marketing campaign of the year to Obama, the year he was first elected. The business press, like the Financial Times reported to executives that they were euphoric at his being elected: they knew he wouldn't try and rock the system.

"No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."
The President's Science Advisor Answers Your Climate Questions

6,845 Americans Died and 900,000 Were Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Say 'No' to Obama's War. President Obama is asking for a new war against ISIS. According to Foreign Policy, Obama's request to Congress is vague, includes "limited ground troops," and fails to address any solution to the bloody divide between Sunni and Shia in Iraq. If we haven't defeated "terror" after over a decade of two wars that will cost up to $6 trillion then what makes Obama think we'll be victorious this time? Read more at huffingtonpost.com

Negotiations are taking place behind closed doors right now that could mean the loss of thousands of manufacturing and automotive jobs, yet not a lot of people are talking about it. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would be devastating to our economy here in Michigan and across the country. Please take a couple of minutes and watch the video below from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich to learn a bit more about the TPP, who really benefits from it, and the effects it would have on our country. Make no mistake, if fast-tracked is passed, TPP would hurt our competitiveness and contribute to a race to the bottom in wages and exports. Dan Kildee.

click to watch the video


The new revelations about the Bush administration's secret torture program are sickening. But today, one of the key legal architects of the torture program, former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, is the dean of a Christian law school. Gonzales has never apologized or repented for his role in drafting and approving the infamous memos that provided the administration's legal justification for torture. Tell Christian university: Torture is unchristian. Fire Alberto Gonzales.

Democrats prepared to vote down Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal . Congressional Democrats say there are enough votes on both sides of the aisle to strike down a Trans-Pacific Partnership if it doesn't include key measures to protect U.S. jobs. Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee says the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other similar deals did the opposite of what they promised. Instead of bringing jobs, they took them. More at michiganradio.org 12/9/2014

Tim Skubick: Democrats will do deep dive into official elections results to figure out what went wrong. Read his article at mlive.com

Strange Bedfellows Are Blocking The McConnell-Obama Trade Deal. President Barack Obama's administration has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership since the beginning of his presidency. But Obama has faced two domestic obstacles to enacting his pact: Democrats in Congress, who worry it will exacerbate income inequality, and a bloc of House Republicans, who are up in arms about the deal's implications for executive power and national sovereignty. Read more at huffingtonpost

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Is a Pending Disaster. The TPP is a Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits. Read more from Robert Reich at huffingtonpost.com

Oakland County Executive Election Bill Moves To Senate Floor. The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee yesterday moved a bill that would allow Oakland and Bay counties to change their county executive elections from presidential years to gubernatorial years starting with the 2018 election. THIS IS THE LATEST OF A SERIES OF REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO CHANGE THE RULES AND RIG ELECTIONS TO PRESERVE THEIR POWER AND MINIMIZE VOTER PARTICIPATION. Contact Amanda Klein or Kelly Garrett at the Oakland County Democratic Party today by calling 248-584-0510 or info@ocdp.org and offer to write a letter to your local paper about this issue.

Why Voter Turnout In Oregon Is Incredibly High. This TPM article raises crucial points such as, "civic culture," "civic participation," & voting by mail: talkingpointsmemo.com

GOP States' Hitlist: Abortion, Unions & Hillary. thedailybeast.com

Congress must pass a spending bill to keep our government running before tomorrow at midnight. But House Republicans are once again undermining the process by jamming in provisions for their special interest backers. In the middle of the night, they slipped in a provision that would allow big banks to gamble with money insured by taxpayers. It's opening the door for another taxpayer-funded bailout of big banks. Republicans were hoping this would go unnoticed. The Republicans want to saddle middle class families with the burden of Wall Street's failures. Sign your name and demand Boehner remove these provisions immediately at action.dccc.org 12/11/2014

Discrimination in the Name of Religion Bills Passes House. These bills, PASSED today in MI House (59 - 50), and allow discrimination in the name of religion!! 1. Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 5958) 2. Adoption & Foster Care bills (HB 4928 & 4991) (that allow adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to provide services and make placements based on religious or moral convictions, even if the decisions are not in the best interest of the children.) Please call your State Senators this Friday to defeat these bills. 12/8/2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren - Enough Is Enough: The President's Latest Wall Street Nominee. Last Wednesday, President Obama announced his nomination of Antonio Weiss to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department. So who is Antonio Weiss? He's the head of global investment banking for the financial giant Lazard. I have voted against only one of President Obama's nominees: Michael Froman, a Citigroup alumnus who is currently storming the halls of Congress as U.S. Trade Representative pushing trade deals that threaten to undermine financial regulation, workers' rights, and environmental protections. Enough is enough. It's time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy making. Sure, big banks are important, but running this economy for American families is a lot more important. More at huffingtonpost

Black Friday Revealed How Poor Americans Really Are. Black Friday sales plummeted this year, leaving retailers completely stumped. After weeks of declining gas prices, many analysts predicted the biggest holiday season ever. So where are the customers? They're probably broke, according to some analysts and executives. Read the article at msn.com

The missing story of the 2014 election written by a Republican who's worried about the Republicans' electoral opportunities in 2016. See blog.chron.com

Over the past few years, Republicans pushed through laws to double campaign contribution limits and change Oakland County Commission redistricting after Democrats won key positions. Now they're working to rig our election system once again. Last week, Republicans introduced legislation to change the way our electoral college votes are cast, splitting the votes between the first and second place finishers. Gov. Snyder has not said that he will veto the bill if it arrives at his desk. The first committee meeting on the bill was held today. On top of that, Republicans also want to change the Oakland County Executive election to non-presidential years, when Democrats traditionally have lower turnout. It's clear that this is yet another political power grab. Republicans are desperate to regain control of the White House - and they'll do anything they can to make sure it happens. Sam Singh House Democratic Floor Leader Elect.

Health Care Law Recasts Insurers as Obama Allies. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation's largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment. The insurers in turn have provided crucial support to Mr. Obama in court battles over the health care law, including a case now before the Supreme Court challenging the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low- and moderate-income consumers. See the article at nytimes.com

Michigan Democrats Get More Votes, Lose Anyway. There are a lot of reasons Democrats lost big: newspaper endorsements for Snyder, a money disadvantage for all candidates, gerrymandering which allowed the GOP to win seats without winning more votes. But you can't blame it all on Lon Johnson. The numbers demonstrate he made some progress. Not enough, but movement in the right direction. Read the article at: eclectablog.com

Legislation proposed yesterday, House Bill 5958, would create a Michigan version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the federal act on which the Hobby Lobby decision was based. Let us be clear, HB 5958 is not about religious liberty. It is about allowing individuals and entities, including public institutions, to discriminate and create barriers to accessing critical healthcare like birth control and emergency contraception. We need your help. House Bill 5958 goes too far. Tell your representative to VOTE NO on this dangerous legislation. Lori Lamerand Carpentier President Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

WHITHER THE DEMOCRATS: WALL STREET OR MAIN STREET. After the Democrats' drubbing in the 2014 midterm elections, there have been fervent debates about whether the Party should embrace an economic populism to tap pocketbook frustrations -- or move further to the center in the hopes of capturing more independents. One thing the Democrats did throughout Obama's nearly six years was move closer to Wall Street -- from the economic team Obama appointed, to the administration's premature embrace of deficit reduction promoted by financial moguls, to a bailout plan that shored up the biggest banks rather than breaking them up. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee not only raises money for House candidates, but also recruits them, and decides which ones to favor. The DCCC chairman thus has substantial influence over whether the future House Democratic Caucus has a more progressive or a more pro-Wall Street cast. See the article at: huffingtonpost.com

Thank you for your actions and beliefs over the last two years. While our actions and beliefs didn't always result in the desired outcome - we must only question the former and never the latter. Despite a national Republican wave: Putting our beliefs in action elected the only new Democrat to the U.S. Senate - Gary Peters. Putting our beliefs in action elected 5 women to statewide office and 2 women Members of Congress. Putting our beliefs in action built a stronger and more inclusive party that will continue to serve us for many years to come. Thank you. Our work continues. Sincerely, Lon Johnson Chair, Michigan Democratic Party

Why you shouldn't vote in the election on November 4:
1.) You are happy that the governor and legislature raised taxes on senior citizens especially after promising not to. 2.) You are pleased that the governor and legislature diverted millions in funds from successful public schools to for-profit charter schools which perform poorly and are not held accountable for their poor performance. 3.) You are happy that the public schools are forced to cut teacher salaries, cut school programs, and then get blamed for all the ills of society. 4.) You are pleased that the governor and legislature won't do anything about our crumbling roads and infrastructure so that we can have more damaged cars and trucks, broken down bridges, flooded underpasses and accidents. 5.) You are happy that the governor and legislature eliminated the helmet law for motorcycles thus guaranteeing that more people will be more seriously injured and killed, and everyone else's insurance costs will go up. 6.) You are pleased that the governor and legislature passed a bill allowing the shooting of aerial fireworks by anyone in your formerly quiet neighborhoods before and after every holiday (including Christmas) thus threatening our peace and safety and threatening our homes with fire.
If you are pleased and happy with these things, then you should not vote in the November 4th election. You can be assured that your not voting will enable a continuation of the kind of decisions that our current governor and legislature are so eager to make.

James Risen's New Book: Exposing the "War on Terror". After 13 years of militarized zealotry and fearmongering in the name of fighting terrorism, the book - subtitled "Greed, Power, and Endless War" -- zeros in on immense horrors being perpetrated in the name of national security. It's also a wise response to repressive moves against him by the Bush and Obama administrations. Read more at huffingtonpost

I had the distinct honor of serving with Mark Schauer and Gary Peters in Congress, and I know that when they win, they'll work hard for Michigan families every day in Lansing and Washington. That's why I'm so excited about an innovative new program launched by the Michigan Democratic Party. This new website at MIAbsentee.com allows qualified Michigan voters to apply to receive an absentee voter ballot using a smartphone! We've seen what happens when we lose - Republican Gov. Snyder has pushed through laws allowing his political appointees to take over our local communities and make cuts to funding for schools, public safety, and public workers' pensions. Congressman John Conyers

On Thursday, October 2nd, Rick Snyder held a "town hall" filled with hand-picked audience members in an attempt to white-wash his record. Democrats were there to help remind the Governor of his record. For the last 4 years Gov. Rick Snyder has told us there would be shared sacrifice. And there was sacrifice. Seniors were hit with a new tax on retirement that puts many of them in tough situations of whether to pay the electric bill, mortgage, heat or prescription drugs. Our kids sacrificed too. They took cuts to their education to the tune of $1 billion. But it turned out that the sacrifice wasn't shared. Instead of asking people like himself to sacrifice, Rick Snyder helped his family and political friends. He has given 90% pay raises to elected Treasury officials. And he gave his cousin in the furniture business a bigger state contract - a $41 million contract -while raising taxes on seniors and cutting $1 billion from our schools. This November 4th we need to send a message that this is not the type of Governor our seniors, our kids or our residents deserve.

Snyder And Schauer Agree To Town Hall Meeting Scheduled For Oct. 12. After much wrangling, a debate, of sorts, has been scheduled between Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. The two have agreed to make a joint appearance at a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, October 12 which will be televised on Detroit Public Television. How do we get invited? We don't get invited. A polling firm will bring together "undecided" voters who will then be there and be allowed to ask questions, of course, picked in advance of the "debate". Tony Trupiano. See more at: detroit.cbslocal.com

KOCH SCANDAL. In an election too close to call that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, ABC News reports that hundreds of thousands of voters have received grossly incorrect voter registration information in the mail from the Koch brothers' right-wing front group, Americans for Prosperity. Here's just some of what's in the mailing:
The wrong deadline for registering to vote - cutting the registration window short by five days.
The wrong office for questionsand the wrong zip code for turning in a voter registration form.
False information about how voters will be notified of their precinct after they register to vote

Milliken endorses Gary Peters for U.S. Senate. See the article at: wkzo.com

Michigan's 'Foreclosure King' (David Trott) Is Trying to Win a Seat in Congress. "He built the machine that was made to feed off of human misery," said Curtis Hertel Jr., register of deeds for Ingham County, Michigan, who tangled with Trott's law firm on a number of cases. "I've had kids crying in my office. I've seen terrible human tragedy, and frankly they didn't care." From the New Republic

The Invisible Senate Candidate. Terri Lynn Land is avoiding press and skirting debates in what's largely a stealth campaign in Michigan. Read the article at US News.

AMERICA IN THE MIDDLE EAST. Perpetual War, and Shame, Is Our Policy. The United States' official policy in the Middle East is now perpetual war. What has been known for some time, including by those of us who have served overseas, by the millions who have suffered through our bombs and our bullets, and, of course, by the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been ripped from their families and from any promised futures, President Obama solidified last night. On the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is clear to me that the cowardice evinced by the president is directly proportional to the never-ending 9/11 fear mongering that continues to paralyze and retard this country. Read more at The Huffingtonpost

Obama's Most Important Achievement in the Middle East. The president is a superior terrorist hunter. He has also neutralized a profound existential threat to U.S. allies in the Middle East, and denied ISIS access to vast storehouses of deadly chemical weapons. So why does he get no credit? Read more at The Atlantic.

Voter Guide Questionnaire Responses of Mary Belden - Candidate for State House 40th District. Read them at wbldems.blogspot.com

Will Anyone Stop Charter School Corruption? When politicians and pundits take to the barricades to defend "wonderful charter schools", is this what they're thinking of? A recent article in a Minnesota newspaper reported about a change in state law. Read it at nationofchange.org

The Detroit Free Press has published the results of an alarming in-depth investigation of Michigan charter schools and their use of state money. The news is disturbing. Charter schools spend $1 billion a year in state money with little transparency, oversight, or accountability. In fact, the Free Press' reports found that there are "a record number of charter schools run by for-profit companies that rake in taxpayer money and refuse to detail how they spend it, saying they're private and not subject to disclosure laws.". The Michigan Senate Democrats introduced Senate Joint Resolution R last year, a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the operation of any public school in Michigan on a for-profit basis. It's a move many other states have taken to protect our tax dollars and ensure the focus in our schools is always on educating our kids, not maximizing corporate profits. Unfortunately, this legislation has gone nowhere under the Republican Majority. Sign our petition at www.learningnotearning.com today to ban for-profit corporations from running our schools in Michigan

Other states are saying no to radioactive waste, but Michigan is saying yes - with more than 36 tons of waste from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, scheduled to hit landfills here by the end of last week, according to a Detroit Free Press investigation. We still don't know the full extent of the chemicals used in the fracking process, or the long-term impacts of those chemicals on our water supply and the soil where we grow our food. Sign our petition calling on the governor to reject the radioactive waste. Michigan Senate Democrats

RESULTS OF AUGUST 5 PRIMARY
Prop 1 yes (paid for by big corporations.....this might be challenged in the courts) Big win for Snyder.
Marajuana yes !!!
Brenda Lawrence 36%, Rudy Hobbs 32%,Hansen Clark 31% (14th District)
Library Millage yes in Detroit!!!
Smart Bus yes in all 3 counties!!!!
John Conyers!
Debbie Dingell!
Warren Evans!
Bobbie McKensie 34% Anil Kumar 32%, Nancy Skinner 27% (11th District)
Vincent Gregory 35%, Vicki Barnett 34%, Ellen Cogen Lipton 31%
Cyndi Peltonen 55%, Ryan Fishman 45%
Tony Trupiano lost 28% to Frank Liberati 56% (Tony is a friend so this is a big disappointment)
Virgil Smith 52%, Rashida Tlalb 41%
Robert Wittenberg 44%!
Sandy Colvin won with 86% of the vote
For complete elections results in Oakland County go to http://www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/elections/

One Of The NSA's Original Whistleblowers Says The Goal Is 'Total Population Control' William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. The NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. "The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone", Binney said, "and it's said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks." Read More

"Alarmingly, dozens of large United States companies are contemplating the increasingly popular tax-skirting tactic known as an inversion. Under the strategy, companies merge with foreign rivals in countries with lower tax rates and then reincorporate there while still enjoying the benefits of doing a large part of their business in the United States.". Read the story: Walgreen - renouncing corporate citizenship


Control of the Senate is going to come down to the wire. These six women are locked in tough races. Alison Lundergan Grimes is running against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. Michelle Nunn in Georgia. Natalie Tennant is the Secretary of State in West Virginia and is now running to replace retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is facing Scott Brown in New Hampshire. Senator Mary Landrieu. Senator Kay Hagan. Click here to contribute before the critical June 30th deadline. Debbie Stabenow United States Senator

Senate to vote on medical marijuana amendment!. Last month, we made history by passing an amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please take two minutes to call both of your U.S. Senators and urge them to support the Paul/Booker medical marijuana amendment! June 19, 2014. See more at Marijuana Policy Project

For 20 years Michigan has cut taxes with little to show for it. "... for 20 years Michigan has been vainly cutting taxes with little to show except poorer public services and considerable damage to education." Read Jack Lessenberry's post at wbldems.blogspot.com or at michiganradio.org

Minnesota or Wisconsin? Which one will Michigan become. See this article in the New York Times

Get your start in politics!. Be a key player in electing Democrats in 2014 by interning for the Michigan Democratic Party! We're looking for interns in our Finance Department, Communications Department, and Political Organizing Department. To apply, send me an email. Let us know which department fits you best and attach your resume! We can't wait to meet young Democrats across the state! Sincerely, Caitlin O'Rourke Director of Party Relations, corourke@michigandems.com . Read more at this link

Tax increases on low-income working families. New numbers reveal that Michigan's low-income working families paid nearly a quarter billion dollars ($247 million) more in taxes in tax year 2012 as a result of tax shifts passed by the Michigan Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2011. The big tax shift reduced taxes paid by corporations by $1.8 billion. Those cuts were offset by tax increases on seniors and working families as well as budget cuts. See the fact sheet

Mike Thompson, Detroit Free Press: Climate change is real.


Join Senator Bernie Sanders to tell the Supreme Court that "Corruption is Corruption" "I'm partnering with my friends at Progressives United, who have been on the front line of this fight, to tell the Supreme Court that corporate influence isn't part of American democracy. It's corruption." Sign the Petition

Israel's 66th Birthday Celebration: a Spiritual Progressive Perspective. "I still celebrate Israel's existence even while I deplore its racism and oppressive policies toward the Palestinian people". Read more from Rabbi Michael Lerner at the huffingtonpost.com

Senate Democrats worked to secure final passage of Senate Bill 934, legislation to increase Michigan's minimum wage, after fighting to protect the provisions to provide a fair wage for Michigan workers in the years ahead. Earlier, Republicans threatened to gut the legislation, but Senate Democrats worked to ensure SB 934 gave workers a real increase in their wage to $9.25/hour.

ALEC vs. American Democracy. Americans are starting to catch on to ALEC. Read the article at The Detroit News, or on our blog at wbldems.blogspot.com

Americans United responded immediately to the Supreme Court's wrongheaded decision in Greece v. Galloway. We explained to print, TV and online media how the decision is a serious blow to church-state separation and out of step with the realities of modern-day America, which is marked by expanding religious and philosophical diversity. Read more about the decision at Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Once again, Senate Republicans went out of their way to discriminate against Michigan's LGBT community yesterday, and they did it in our state's Higher Education budget of all places! Yes, in legislation that's supposed to simply ensure we're giving our universities the resources they need to educate our students, Republicans added language to prevent these institutions from providing same-sex and unmarried couples benefits to their employees. Worst of all, they defended their actions by saying they were protecting the "religious freedoms" of Michigan taxpayers. Watch Senator Gretchen Whitmer speaking on the Senate Floor about an amendment she offered to the Higher Education Budget that would strike the language that bans domestic partner benefits for university employees. May 6, 2014

Scalia's conflict of interest. Tell Justice Antonin Scalia: "You have an obligation to recuse yourself from any case where your impartiality might be questioned. Given your wife's long history of work with crisis pregnancy centers, which contribute to an atmosphere of intimidation and harassment outside abortion providers, there are major questions about your impartiality in McCullen v. Coakley, the Massachusetts buffer zone case. You should recuse yourself." Sign the Petition

READ THE ARTICLE: Debunking the Top 10 Most Egregious Republican Lies

           We Still Have The Power to Stop the Expansion of the EAA
I wanted to share the latest news in our fight against the expansion of the flawed Education Achievement Authority (EAA). It is no secret that the EAA is hurting students, but the evidence has never been clearer that this failed experiment must end. We cannot risk expanding this disaster to even more communities and harming more kids across our state.
Senate Republicans didn't take up House Bill 4369 today, but they could do so first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks to our hearing with teachers and parents yesterday and all the people like you who have already signed our petition, the Senate Republicans are feeling the pressure. It is more important than ever for all of us to continue to speak out!
Thanks for signing our petition and standing up for quality education. We still have the power to stop the expansion of the EAA. Please share the petition with friends and family TODAY so we can continue to send a message tomorrow that this bill should NOT be passed! www.senatedems.com/StopEAA. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senate Democratic Leader



Sign our petition calling on Terri Lynn Land to denounce
Right to Life's disgusting attacks on Gary Peters.


BECOME A PRECINCT DELEGATE. Be the voice of the Democratic Party for your friends and neighbors. Print out and fill out the precinct_delegate_affidavit. Affidavits must be turned in at the County Clerk's office by May 6 for you to be on the August primary ballot.

For a good explanation of Obamacare, see this website: The-Affordable-Care-Act
Also read the Free Press articles about Michigan's Medicaid expansion and about Navigating health care reform.  See the video:  Everything you need to know about Obamacare in seven minutes from the dailykos.

             USEFUL HEALTH CARE LINKS
THE HEALTH CARE LAW: HealthLawAnswers.org
                                                 healthcare.gov
                                                 politifact.com
MEDICARE: medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227
MEDICARE/MEDICAID ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: mmapinc.org or call 1-800-803-7174

Gov. Snyder's Fuzzy Math
For someone who claims to be an accountant and not a politician, Governor Snyder sure seems to have trouble with math! He is claiming that he's increased funding for our schools by $1 billion when the reality is he's slashed per-pupil funding by $340 and taken more than $2 billion out of public education in total. Parents know the truth. They've seen the crowded classrooms, experienced the elimination of educational programs, dealt with cuts to services and even had their schools close. The Governor's claims don't match with reality, and we've put together a quick online test to show you how easy it is to beat Governor Snyder at his own math. Check out the Snyder Math Test and share it with your friends. It's an simple way to show people that the Republicans' claim that they've helped our schools is anything but the truth. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senate Democratic Leader

Hollywood Legend Ed Asner Has Outraged Republicans
Ed Asner sums up our issues in just under 8 minutes. See his movie at: moveon.org

President Obama's anti-choice judicial nominee President Obama has asked the Senate to confirm a judicial nominee who tried to channel funds to anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers and make a parental consent law even more extreme. Tell the Senate to oppose anti-choice judicial nominee Boggs.



The Michigan Democratic Party launched a new website
to hold Snyder accountable for failing to fix our roads.


Facts presented by Cancer patient in anti-Obamacare Ad Inconsistent
A new Americans for Prosperity television ad highlighting a Michigan cancer patient who is critical of Rep. Gary Peters is making representations that aren't consistent with what she told The Detroit News three weeks ago in an interview. The $750,000 anti-Obamacare ad launched this week in Michigan features Dexter's Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who received a cancellation notice last year from her health insurer. It's the most emotional attack ad yet against Senate candidate Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, as Boonstra implies Peters' vote in favor of the health care law threatens her life. See the article at detroitnews.com

Here is an ad about Snyder from the Democratic Governors Association

Reintroduction of auto insurance bill offers no improvement, imperils citizens. State Rep. Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) denounced the introduction of an automotive no-fault insurance plan today that echoes a similar failed effort from 2013 and offers no new benefits to Michigan motorists, passengers or pedestrians. The bill would limit health care coverage to those injured in catastrophic accidents while offering no real savings on auto insurance bills for drivers.

RAISE MICHIGAN'S MINIMUM WAGE
We need to get these petitions signed and then take it to the legislature. If they reject it, then take to to the people where it will be passed. Don't believe the scare tactics like it will "shut down restaurants if approved". People deserve a living wage and if the Republicans won't pass this legislation, then we will. This website is to volunteer to collect signatures for the petitions. http://www.raisemichigan.com/

See Mark Schauer's TV Ad.

Mark Schauer: Michigan's budget surplus should repay schools, seniors, families.
See Mark's article at mlive.com

The Michigan House of Representatives are taking up House Bill 4643 that creates civil fines of up to $10,000 per day for picketing. They are trying to pass this bill to create fear in the minds of citizens to hinder people from exercising their Constitutional Right to Assembly. Your action is needed now to stop this power grab. Click here to find your State Representative's phone number at http://act.aflcio.org. Call NOW and tell them to vote NO on HB 4643. HB 4643 is already on its second reading in the legislature. Every second counts. Call your elected official now, and tell them that you expect them to defend free speech.

Has the Obama presidency campaigned against the American public school system, eating away at the foundations of elementary education? The DOE has decreed that no proposal (for monies for Race to the Top) will be considered where the state government has put a cap on charter schools. Penalties are being imposed on those who choose to limit, in any quantitative way, the charter school movement. Read the article at the huffingtonpost.com

There is a horrifying twist on the $8.7 billion cuts to food stamp cuts that passed the House, and which will soon face a vote in the Senate. Almost all of the food stamp cuts come from 16 states and the District of Columbia, including Michigan. The rest of the nation is left virtually untouched. Sign and send our petition to your two U.S. Senators, telling them to just say "no" to food stamp cuts.

Update on Stand with Michigan Women Luncheon December 19, 2013
Hello Friends, I want to give you a quick update on what's been happening since we gathered on December 19. As we discussed at that time, over the next two weeks our professional pollsters are gathering data and testing our messages, and I'll be eager to share those results with you as soon as we have them. At the same time we have proactively reached out to our sister states that have fought laws of this type of law as well as working with our national strategists at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We hear the clock ticking loudly toward the 90-day deadline that would allow us to put this question on the ballot in November of this year with signature gathering of our own. We will continue to keep you up to date as our work solidifies. Meanwhile, thank you for helping us to keep the passion and momentum alive. We know that the people of Michigan are with us and with your help will all work together for a win for Michigan women and families. Lori Lamerand President/CEO 734.926.4815 office | 734.751-4840 mobile 734.929.0423 fax lori.lamerand@ppmchoice.org

New Abortion Law is Immoral and Cruel. Read the article in the Grand Haven Tribune

Why Is Detroit Bankrupt? The City of Detroit's bankruptcy was driven by a severe decline in revenues (and, importantly, not an increase in obligations to fund pensions). See the article in Demos

We need your help to save the DIA!. The Detroit Institute of Arts has been a cornerstone of Detroit culture for more than 100 years. But today it's facing an unprecedented threat: liquidation. Detroit is in financial crisis, but selling off its masterpieces is not just an inadequate fix, it's also the wrong one. Liquidating the museum's Picassos and Warhols to cut a check to Wall Street creditors work only as a stopgap measure -- a quick fix that would leave the city only slightly more solvent and culturally bankrupt. Decades of poor governance got us into this mess in the first place, don't let the DIA be its latest casualty. Sign the petition!

States Are Focus of Effort to Foil Health Care Law Conservative groups are increasingly taking the fight against President Obama's health care law to states like Virginia in an effort to block Medicaid expansion. Read the article in The New York Times

From Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senate Democratic Leader:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may be coming to a vote! This agreement is accused by anti-globalization advocates of going far beyond the realm of tariff reduction and trade promotion, granting unprecedented power to corporations and infringing upon consumer, labor, and environmental interests. The TPP has been called "NAFTA on steroids" and the "Wish List of the 1%". The agreement was written without any input from Congress or the public.
DEMAND TRANSPARENCY!
DEMAND THE DETAILS!
OPPOSE FAST TRACK AUTHORIZATION!
CONTACT YOUR SENATOR AND CONGRESSMAN
More about the TPP at Public CitizenAflcio.org,  and  The Huffington Post



READ: A Guide to the New Exchanges for Health Insurance
from the New York Times.

A Few Reasons Rick Snyder is Impossible To Like. "I guess the truth is, and I might as well just come out and say it, is that I just don't like Gov. Snyder. And there is certainly plenty not to like about him. Whether that be policy, gay rights, educational freedom in the public schools and properly funding them. Maybe it's the way he decided to tax pensions of our senior citizens. Maybe it's because of the most needy amongst us, those that were receiving the earned income tax credit, which represents a significant percentage of their income, were penalized just for being unfortunately underemployed". Read Tony Trupiano's article at http://thetonyshow.org

Obama's war on Journalism.  Journalists "could not remember any precedent" to the Obama administration's aggressive crackdown on leaks and efforts to control information. These include unprecedented use of the Espionage Act in prosecuting media leaks, classifying government documents as secret when no harm could come from their release, increased government surveillance that jeopardizes the safety of news sources, and Freedom of Information Act violations. Journalists have also been harassed at the border when returning to the US. Read the article at huffingtonpost.com

In the Free Press two of Michigan's preeminent legal scholars conclude that Bill Schuette has violated Michigan law and legal ethics in his filings around the Detroit bankruptcy case.

In Texas, state-appointed textbook reviewers have been caught filing some alarming and unconstitutional objections to how universally accepted principles of science are presented in public school textbooks. Because the Texas public school system is so large, national textbook makers often tailor their materials to that market. So if Biology turns into Bible-ology in Texas, it could impact how science is taught to children nationwide. Sign the petition to protect science at: https://www.aclu.org

The U.S. of ALEC.  Look at The Center for Media and Democracy website which contains proof of the shocking reality that is ALEC. The documents paint a picture, tell a story, that will hopefully make your blood boil, cause you to get off the couch, and take this country back from the Kochs, Weyrichs, and so-called "smart-ALECs" of the world. See Dr. K F Stone's article about ALEC on the blog

The End of the "Reagan" Democrats? Bill de Blasio won the New York Democratic mayoral primary promising to help the poor, not the wealthy. Maybe it is time to turn away from "Reagan" Democrats, like Clinton and Obama, who accept Reagan's agenda of low taxes, small government, less regulations, and high defense budgets, while cozying up to big banks and corporations. Read about it at thedailybeast.com

Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Egyptian military was "restoring democracy" in leading the July 3 coup which removed President Mohamed Morsi and suspended the Egyptian constitution after ongoing public protests. A spokesman of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood asked "Does Secretary Kerry accept Defense Secretary Hagel to step in and remove (U.S. President Barack) Obama if large protests take place in America?"

Recalls against two Colorado Democrats were on September 10th.  State Sens. Morse and Giron were recalled for the supposed "malfeasance" of making their communities safer by requiring background checks for all gun sales - an idea supported by more than 90% of Americans and 80% of Coloradans. Donate to the rapid response fund at http://www.dlcc.org/recalls

Tell Congress: Oppose the Republican plan to cripple the USPS.  The postal service doesn't need new bureaucracy, or even to cut jobs and services. What it needs is an end to the disastrous pre-funding mandate, which requires the postal service to guarantee retiree healthcare and pension benefits for 75 years, something that no other government agency or private company is forced to do. Go to: http://act.credoaction.com/sign

Schuette reversed his position! Bill Schuette tried to bypass the Michigan Constitution and put big banks before retired firefighters, cops, and other retirees in Detroit. Schuette admitted he was wrong, but he still needs to explain why he fast-tracked efforts to bypass the Michigan Constitution and defend Snyder's scheme to put big banks before retirees. See Mark Totten's press release

The No Cuts Pledge.  The Chained CPI, the Social Security benefit cut proposal that would mean thousands of dollars less for everyone, is still alive in the House. This week, House Republicans announced that they were including it in their "menu" of demands in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. But Representatives Alan Grayson (D, FL-9) and Mark Takano (D, CA-41) are recruiting members of Congress to a letter stating: "We will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need." Click here to tell your Congressman to: take-the-no-cuts-to-social-security-pledge

Michigan Senate Democrats ONE MICHIGAN TOUR came to the Kilgour Scottish Center Tuesday July 9. Present were Senators Morris Hood of Detroit, Rebekah Warren of Washtenaw County, Jim Ananich of Flint, and Vincent Gregory of Farmington. With 9 more Democratic Senators, Democrats can control the Michigan State Senate after 2014. More information at http://senatedems.org

Read: What happens when the GOP controls all levels of state government by Kathleen Gray in the Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com

Mark Totten has decided to run for Michigan Attorney General. He is a MSU law professor and a former federal prosecutor. See his website at www.MarkTotten.com.


U.S. intelligence agencies have been mining data from the three major phone companies and nine Internet companies, gaining access to at least the patterns of all telephone calls and Internet traffic. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old contractor with the NSA, said: "I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."  President Obama defended the programs as essential to combating terrorist threats. "They may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism, nobody has listened to the content of people's phone calls."  He also said: "I don't welcome leaks, there's a reason these programs are classified."


Sign the petition urging the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cease issuing gene patents
The Supreme Court may soon decide if the breast cancer gene patents are invalid. Most of the federal government thinks they should be, while the United States Patent and Trademark Office is one of the only agencies that disagrees—but it has the power to make a difference, which is why we need to change its stance. Sign the petition at: https://www.aclu.org


Mark Jacobs: Officials Turn Blind Eye to Detroit's Growing Homeless Crisis
Mayoral candidates, business leaders and policy wonks on Mackinac Island are all quick to expound on how Detroit can once again be a great American city. But for all their sage advice on economic revitalization, once again there’s barely a peep on how to solve the city’s mounting homeless crisis, which has swelled to approximately 20,000 people.
See full article: http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles


Rick Snyder is the nation’s 7th most vulnerable governor for good reason. Michigan’s Rick Snyder posed as a moderate and won easily. Snyder’s demeanor and rhetoric promised that he’d govern in a way that favored business but didn’t purposely assault working families. As soon as he got into office, we found out that having an alleged moderate with no actual political base was the same as having a Tea Party rally running our state. Republicans taxed pensions while eliminating the $600 per child tax deduction, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the homestead property tax credit to pay for huge tax cuts for business. While continually cutting funding to education and local governments, he’s twice signed Emergency Manager Laws that impose “shock doctrine” governance on people who have suffered the most from globalization. And he’s tried to deliver a fatal blow to the unions who created Michigan’s middle class. See full post in eclectablog.   5/30/2013