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Tim Greimel, the outgoing leader of the Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives, put it this way: “I’ve talked to thousands of voters, and never had a single one say we’ve needed more money and less accountability and less transparency in politics.” I have no doubt that’s true. But one man believes that’s exactly what we need: State Senator Dave Robertson, a Genesee County Republican who chairs the committee on Elections and Government Reform. Over the last two years, Robertson has...

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Donald Trump has selected five people for his cabinet. His most recent choice is Republican Rep. Tom Price, R-GA, as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Though Price has served as Georgia's 6th District congressman since 2004, most of his childhood and young adulthood was spent in Michigan. Price was born in Lansing, Michigan and graduated from Dearborn High School, according to Congress' Biographical Directory. He also pursued post-secondary education in Michigan. Price received two...

flickr user Satya Murthy / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The holidays can be a happy time, but gathering family members around the Thanksgiving table can also resurrect tensions and old resentments.

AUCHTOON.COM

Earlier this week I was pulling into work when a replay of a Renee Montagne interview with the great Mel Brooks came up on Michigan Radio. I took the the opportunity to sit in the car and listen to the entire thing. It was good timing all around. Like always, he made me laugh out loud, but he also gave me some perspective. Brooks has made a brilliant career out of finding the humor in the absurdity, the cruelty, the hypocrisy of life. As such, I could quote a thousand Mel Brooks lines that...

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea One of my favorite movies from last year was The Big Short . It brilliantly explained many of the complex factors that set in motion the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. It also captured the arrogance of the age. But the movie got one thing wrong. It suggested that only a few insiders understood what was really happening, when in fact many professionals and academics knew as early as 2003 that a crash was coming.

JOHN AUCHTER / WWW.AUCHTOON.COM

Like most of us, I've pretty much run out of things to say about the election. Any thoughts — from salient points to outraged rants — have been expressed. I see many (cartoonists, commentators, Facebook posters) are settling now for "wow, what a messed up election season this has been" reflections. And that's certainly understandable. But I figured the most honest way for me to summarize would be to have one last go with Mr. Trump. He showed up again in Michigan this week, and I really,...

Map showing the top 100 travel patterns based on trips taken in 2010.
RTA of Southeast Michigan

In the November election, voters in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties must vote on whether to approve a tax that would fund new transportation between the four counties. When you walk into the voting booth, this is the language you will see on your ballot . Some of you may already know exactly how you're voting, but for those of you looking for more information about the proposal, we've got you covered. What transportation is being proposed The Regional Transit Authority of...

Courtesy Vadon / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

At last night's Presidential debate, Donald Trump once again highlighted his concerns about voter fraud. Trump on whether he will accept election results: "I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now." https://t.co/hSrLM40cd0 — ABC News (@ABC) October 20, 2016 When Trump was asked whether he would accept the election's results, he said, "I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now." And Trump isn't the only one concerned about voter fraud. Michigan...

John Auchter / WWW.AUCHTOON.COM

A common question these days is, "How did it come to this? How did we end up with these presidential candidates?" The simplest answer is, "It's our fault." Would a curious, engaged, and active electorate have generated the current tickets? Probably not.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Who else thought when you first heard Basket of Deplorables : "That's the perfect name for a punk rock band"? Well I definitely did, and it got me thinking. Punk rock was in general a reaction to what rock and roll had become by the mid-1970s. It had more or less bypassed its original audience: the young and the disaffected. Radio stations had become categorized, playlists were standardized, and established acts were given every advantage over the new and different. There were people who...

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Telling the wife of your boss at a dinner party that she is a racist is not a career enhancing move. Turns out, people don't like to be called racist — even if they are. Let me explain.

Courtesy of UICA, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

Few things are as polarizing in American society as the debate between gun control advocates and gun rights activists. These arguments often play out in national and state legislatures, with many gun control advocates feeling the National Rifle Association has undue influence over politicians. Michigan Radio’s Vincent Duffy hosted a panel discussion on the role that guns play in politics and elections at our latest Issues & Ale event.

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

We check in with Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team for a roundup of the past week’s political news. Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark talk about the large pool of money the state house and senate are at odds over for Detroit Schools. They also discuss “rebuttable presumption” and whether or not petition signatures that are more than 180 days old should be counted.

candicemiller.house.gov

Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller surprised many last May when she announced she would retire from Congress. But she surprised even more folks in March when she announced she would run for Macomb County public works commissioner. She will challenge Anthony Marrocco , the longtime county public works commissioner, this fall. Miller joined Zoe Clark on Stateside to explain why she decided to leave Washington to run for office as a county public works commissioner.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The United States could be on the brink of electing its first woman president. It’s a glass ceiling that has waited a long time to be broken. But why has it taken us so long to reach this point? Nancy L. Cohen asks this very question in her new book Breakthrough: The Making of America's First Woman President .

“As Americans, we like to think of ourselves as exceptional, but in the case of women’s political leadership, we’re exceptionally backward,” says Cohen. “More than 50...

Twitter user @khakibluesocks

Earlier this week we asked you to send us selfies that show how you're feeling about this year's elections. How are you feeling about the election this year? Tell us with a selfie #electionfeels https://t.co/MlVRiHVYdC pic.twitter.com/zmLlX0ACr3 — Stateside Radio (@StatesideRadio) January 25, 2016 Click through the slideshow above to see the different #electionfeels that everyone has. As they came in we thought it was interesting that these are all pretty similar looking expressions--but we...

More than half a million people voted absentee in this week's primary election
Lars Plougmann

Millennials are the largest generation in America, making up an entire third of the population. They’re also the least likely to vote. A report from Tufts University says that less than 20% of people age 18 to 29 voted in the 2014 election. Andrew Koehlinger wants to do something about that. He’s the project director for VoteSpotter , an app that seeks to get younger voters engaged in the politics.

Tracy Samilton

It's the way of politics. GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz delivered a well-received speech before a packed crowd at the Livingston County GOP Lincoln Dinner in Howell, Michigan on Wednesday. But most people will only hear about the joke he made at Joe Biden's expense.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress.
PBS NewsHour / screenshot from YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his much anticipated speech to Congress today. He made his case against a potential nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran by major powers, including the United States. Watch the speech here .

I’m so old I can remember when the California presidential primary, which takes place at the beginning of June, often played a major role in choosing both parties’ nominees. These days, the contests start nearly two years before the election, and tend to be decided by the end of March, but there’s no reason that might not be different next year.

Lauri Rantala / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Snyder has long said he's wanted e-cigarettes treated more like tobacco products under the law . In his veto, Snyder said House Bill 4997, Senate Bills 667 and 668 would have kept e-cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products from being regulated as tobacco products under Michigan law.

Free Press

Yesterday, terrorists walked into an editorial meeting at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and started shooting. Twelve people died. The whole world finds this horrific attempt at media intimidation in Paris unacceptable, but there remains an acceptable form of intimidating the media that we operate under every day. If you're a fan of West Wing , Borgen , or any of Armando Iannucci's movies and shows such as In the Loop or Veep , you know what I'm talking about. Watching the...

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI).
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

The 114th Congress begins today. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) joined us from Capitol Hill. Listen to our conversation with him below.

Twenty years ago, radio in Michigan was dominated by WJR-AM, which had the strongest signal around. You could get it nearly anywhere in the state. The station’s signature personality was the legendary J.P. McCarthy, who was an amazing interviewer. Politically, I suspect he was conservative, but it was hard to tell; he interviewed politicians of all flavors with decency, courtesy and wit. But then, J.P. suddenly died. Today, he has been succeeded by the sort of ideological slashers who have given talk radio a bad name.

John Pollack says it's important to tell true analogies from false ones.
user: RCB / Flickr

We use analogies every day. Yet we rarely think about them. They're just part of our vocabulary and our speech. But for John Pollack, analogies are not something to be ignored. Pollack is the author of the new book Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connection, Spark Innovation and Sell Our Greatest Ideas . He believes analogies often have big consequences on how we view the world.

For example, Pollack says there are a lot of analogies that ring true that actually turn out not to be true.

Pollack mentions the case of the "domino theory" President Eisenhower used in 1954. The analogy convinced Americans that if they didn't intervene in Vietnam, democratic governments across Southeast Asia would topple like dominoes. While the analogy translated something complex and far away into everyday language, it falsified the situation: W hen U.S. forces withdrew from Hanoi in defeat, t he neighboring countries didn't topple like dominoes.

Television remote control
user ppdigital / morguefile

Thursday is the day we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. This week is all about the political ads inundating the state. We talked about how ads are used to make the case for a candidate, the flood of ads on television, and whether voters are paying attention or tuning out. Here's our conversation:

Hillary Clinton speaks in Louisville.
User: UMWomen / Flickr

We'd like to believe that women, after all of these years, are treated equally in politics, but, as we know, that's not always the case. A recent Detroit News column by writer Laura Berman has some examples of what she calls "a continuing snark campaign" that happens when women candidates run. Berman’s column is titled " Candidate might dispute notion that it helps to be female ." She talks about how women candidates are often subtly undermined.

Both major political parties have their state conventions this week. Republicans are meeting in Novi; Democrats in Lansing. There’s always an element of the high school reunion about these conventions; people, including the press, look forward to them in part because they get to see old friends. However, there are also squabbles. Most of this year’s focus has been on the Republican gathering, where Tea Party insurgents are attempting to throw Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley off the ticket. Democrats, however, have their own struggle behind the scenes. In case you are new to this, these conventions actually nominate most of each party’s candidates for statewide office.

State AG Bill Schuette wants to make sure no one can vote straight-ticket this November.
Theresa Thompson / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The curtain is closing on baby boomers, as the so-called "millennial generation" is taking up a larger share of the electorate. This voting block surpasses seniors who are eligible to vote. But many m illennials are not politically engaged. “We feel that as one voice, as a younger person, we don’t have a lot of say in politics and I think that also drives their decision to remain out of the discussion as well,” said Connor Walby, a millennial and the campaign manager for State Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey. Walby also said the negative messages in politics that are seen on social media affect millennials' decision to vote as well. “With our generation and having Twitter and Facebook, we are blasted with a lot of the 24 hour news cycle. And with that you also get a lot of the negative news coverage,” Walby said. “I think a lot of our generation is pretty sick and tired of some of the policies that have been put in place and they are just sick of the politicians and the political atmosphere in general.”

Congressman John Conyers.
Photography Courtesy of www.conyers.house.gov

DETROIT (AP) - Longtime Congressman John Conyers has joined a federal lawsuit taking aim at the requirement that petition collectors be registered voters. Conyers joined the suit Thursday, two days after Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett determined he doesn't have enough signatures to appear on the Aug. 5 Democratic primary ballot. The suit was filed against Garrett and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson by the ACLU on behalf of two petition circulators and others. The signatures they gathered weren't counted because they hadn't complied with state voter registration requirements. Conyers first was elected to the House in 1964. He represents Michigan's 13th district, including Detroit and several suburbs. The ACLU also asked the court to order Garrett and Johnson to stop enforcing the law the group deems unconstitutional. Johnson's office declined comment.

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