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Donald Trump

Was last year’s Trump-wave a one-time deal? This past Tuesday’s election results are a hint at what might be in store for Election 2018.

Democrats pretty much ran the table last week in Virginia and New Jersey so Republicans have to face some tough political truths. That President Donald Trump has a very low approval rating. That voters upset with him were motivated to get out and vote. And, that it’s tough in mid-terms to be the party that controls the White House and Congress.

President Donald Trump
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This week’s elections are over, and Republicans did badly. GOP leaders are now saying openly that they need to pass a tax bill or face losing the House of Representatives next year.

Well, a year can be a long time in politics.

Thirty-five years ago, in Ronald Reagan’s first mid-term election, Democrats made huge gains, and the experts predicted Reagan might be a one-term president. Instead, two years later, he won 49 of the 50 states.

So you never can tell. But I am more interested in what President Trump’s tax bill would mean for all of us. So I turned to Economics Professor Charles Ballard at Michigan State, a man who for many years has specialized in the Michigan economy.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Okay, let's get this out of the way. The first five reasons that come to mind demonstrating why the President is the opposite of what his wife is advocating:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General will not be joining some of his fellow state attorneys general in challenging President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare subsidies.

The White House plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
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Congress is investigating ways Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 election, especially through social media.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify at a hearing on Nov. 1. The House Intelligence Committee will do the same sometime this month.

Now, an exclusive report from CNN puts Michigan at the center of this investigation – with Russian trolls and Facebook ads.

marada / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Republicans met on Mackinac Island this weekend for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team, were there and they joined Stateside today to dig into what happened on the island.

FoxNFL / YouTube

Sports and politics entered a tense situation this weekend as the president denounced athletes who take a knee during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice.

At a rally in Alabama, the president said this to the crowd:

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!”

Michigan Republicans have packed their bags - and their hangovers - and returned home after a weekend of politics and partying on Mackinac Island.

There was a lot of celebrating over the GOP sweep in 2016, including President Trump winning Michigan, the first Republican to do so in 28 years.

S(c)huette and Trump

Sep 18, 2017

Apparently, President Donald Trump and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agree: Spelling counts in their “winning” strategy.

Schuette announced this past week that he’s running for Governor in 2018 and Trump tweeted, and then had to retweet, a message of support.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette picked up a big endorsement for his campaign for governor.

A presidential tweet:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump

"Attorney General Bill Shuette will be a fantastic Governor for the great State of Michigan. I am bringing back your jobs and Bill will help!"

The president did misspell Schuette’s name.

JVALASIMAGES / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Last Friday, President Trump was asked about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). It’s the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. They're widely known as "DREAMers."

"We love the DREAMers," President Trump said. "We love everybody."

Sasha Kimel / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and unless Congress passes legislation before March 2018, nearly 800,000 undocumented young people could be at risk of deportation.

The administration’s announcement Tuesday does not come as a shock. Trump often bashed the program throughout his campaign, although he seemed to soften that stance slightly once in office.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates may jump in Michigan next year, depending on a decision by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has threatened to end Cost Sharing Reduction payments.  The federal government offers those subsidies to offset the cost of insurance policies that cover low income residents.  

State insurance officials say Michiganders buying health insurance through the marketplace will see rates rise between 16% and 59% next year.

Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Phoenix in October 2016.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There’s an old saying that if you put a frog in a pot of water and gradually increase the temperature one degree at a time, the frog won’t notice or hop out before it is cooked.

Scientists say this isn’t really true for frogs, but it may well be true, at least intellectually, for people.

Certainly, we can become desensitized to about any form of outrageousness.

Consider what we are living through now.

Bob Mical / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0


America has now seen back-to-back weekends with white supremacist marches. First in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one counter-protester was killed, then last Saturday in Boston, where a small "Free Speech Rally" was dwarfed by more than 10,000 counter-protesters.

After Charlottesville, President Donald Trump declared there was blame “on many sides," then later doubled down, declaring there were “fine people” on both sides.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Don’t buy the White House spin: President Donald Trump didn’t abandon his two panels of corporate CEOs. They abandoned him.

Equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists with counter-protestors, as the president did this week, will do that.

Within hours of his comments, leading CEOs – including General Motors’ Mary Barra – worked the phones to look for a way out, preferably without incurring the wrath of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

The answer: hang together to avoid hanging separately. What’s he gonna do? Denounce en masse the corporate CEOs he wooed to his business forums?

Although General Motors CEO Mary Barra wasn't among the business leaders that quit President Trump's advisory councils before they disbanded, Howes says he believes she was leaning in that direction.
Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The businessman president is losing big business.

Donald Trump's promise to turn to America's business leaders for advice and counsel has collapsed.

His refusal to lay complete blame for the weekend violence in Charlottesville led to a revolt by CEOs in his business advisory groups.

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

On the afternoon that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, my seventh grade math teacher decided the best thing he could do was to ignore it.

He reasoned that what was going on in the nation had nothing to do with his job, which was to teach math to a classroom of Michigan kids, and so he carried on, or tried to, ignoring that some of the students were crying and few could focus.

Donald Trump tweet
@realDonaldTrump Twitter

As violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, some of Michigan's lawmakers took to social media.  

flooded fields
Michigan Agribusiness Association

Farmers and ranchers in 14 Michigan counties are eligible for emergency loans due to widespread damage amid severe storms and flash flooding in June.

The update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes after President Donald Trump last week made a disaster declaration for four Michigan counties.

The Statue of Liberty
Celso Flores / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You never know, but if President Trump’s sweeping new immigration policy proposals had always been in place, I probably wouldn’t be here. Most likely, you wouldn’t either.

My paternal ancestors supposedly came from Great Britain centuries ago, but my maternal ones came from Bavaria to Michigan in the 1880s. They didn’t speak English and had no special skills, so that would have been that.

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President Trump has made no secret of his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“You know, I said from the beginning: Let Obamacare implode,” Trump said late last week after the Senate failed to repeal the ACA.

But is the president letting Obamacare implode, or is he making it implode?

Trump threatened on Twitter to end the cost-sharing reduction subsidies – money that helps poorer Americans buy health insurance on the ACA exchanges.

President Donald Trump
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The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced Tuesday that it won a 30-day extension to publish proposed health insurance rate hikes, citing "uncertainty" over whether insurers will be reimbursed for providing required financial assistance to low-income consumers who purchase insurance through the individual marketplace.

President William McKinley had a wife to whom he was extremely devoted, but who had a nervous condition that caused her to suffer from frequent seizures, sometimes at state dinners. When this happened, his solution was to throw a napkin over her face, carry on as though everything was normal, and then remove it when the seizure was past.

Forty years ago, I was in a special, high-pressure graduate program at the University of Michigan designed to make trained journalists out of otherwise hapless intellectuals like myself in a year and a half. It was an amazingly successful program.

Many of my classmates went on to jobs in senior management in places like both the New York and Los Angeles Times and the former International Herald Tribune.

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

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that the government “will not accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve in United States military.

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

Hard to imagine, but man first walked on the moon exactly 48 years ago today. I think most of us thought we’d have had colonies there by now, but of course we don’t.

That was a long time ago, but here’s something you may find even harder to believe. Six months ago, we woke up in a nation where Barack Obama was still president.

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore / wikimedia commons - CC BY-SA 3.0

The Trump administration is expected to release a NAFTA negotiation plan soon, which could have a large effect on Michigan's economy. NAFTA is opposed by many American workers, who say the plan has taken U.S. jobs to Mexico.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, says Trump's NAFTA plan should reflect the promises made during the campaign. In several states, including Michigan, Trump said he would pull the United States out of NAFTA. He has since decided to renegotiate.

Joan Larsen faces a tangled path to a plum spot on a federal appeals court. The only thing standing in her way is Michigan’s two U.S. Senators.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Congress is taking a step toward fully restoring funding for a program to clean up pollution in the Great Lakes region.

Federal agencies use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) resources to target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

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