Michigan Policast for Monday, December 16, 2019In this episode:
- Empty charter schools, racism at Paw Paw Schools
- Changes to Title IX
- Michigan budget deal
- Sinclair Broadcasting changes business model, drops political analysts
- Governor Whitmer for Vice President?
- Larry Inman gets a mistrial
- Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin on Trump's Impeachment
- Report: Federal government wasted millions of dollars on charter schools that never opened
- Report: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought
- Things didn’t go well when Betsy DeVos was confronted with her department’s charter school fraud
- Report: Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride
- Report: Still Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter School Program Results in a Pileup of Fraud and Waste
- Michigan spends $1B on charter schools but fails to hold them accountable (an older article from 2014)
Of the more than 250 schools receiving grant money, at least 109, 42 percent, either never opened or closed. The amount of money wasted on these defunct charters totals $20,272,078. Despite this enormous waste, Burris and Ravitch note with alarm, DeVos’ department in 2018 gave Michigan yet another grant of $47,222,222 to start up or expand even more charters. Source
- ACLU COMMENDS FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO RACIALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT IN PAW PAW PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- Department of Education opens investigation into Paw Paw Public Schools
- ACLU discrimination complaint against Paw Paw Schools (pdf)
- Dept. of Education investigating racial discrimination claims at Paw Paw schools
- Betsy DeVos wants to change campus sexual assault policies. Slotkin has plan to stop her.
- DeVos’ Proposed Changes to Title IX, Explained
- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposes controversial changes to campus sexual misconduct rules, narrowing definition of sexual harassment
- More Title IX Lawsuits by Accusers and Accused
- Democratic Bill Aims To Block Title IX Rule Changes Pushed By Trump Administration
- Background & Summary of the Education Department’s Proposed Title IX Regulation (Dept of Ed pdf)
“I cannot understand why Secretary DeVos continues to move forward with proposed changes to Title IX that make it harder for victims to come forward with a successful claim,” Slotkin wrote in a statement. “I have done everything I can think of to appeal to Secretary DeVos to change course: I've submitted a formal comment on the rules and sent letters opposing her proposed changes, I've sent Freedom of Information requests, and met with her personally, all with the goal of reversing course.” Source
- Congrats on budget, Michigan. It does little to fix state’s biggest problems.
- Whitmer, Republicans reach supplemental budget deal
- Policy changes clinch Michigan budget deal
.@SenMikeShirkey says funding shouldn't be restored for @PureMichigan - 'those who benefit the most from Pure Michigan should be the ones that primarily fund it,' #PureMichigan #MiBudgetClick To Tweet .@SenMikeShirkey & @LeeChatfield 'may resume' road funding talks in the future http://bit.ly/2YS9rpe @jonathanoosting @rbeggin #FTDR #ShirkeyFeelsNoTimeframeClick To Tweet
The supplementals contain funding requested by Whitmer, including funding for new prison officers, tether replacements for parolees, the implementation of the Medicaid expansion work requirement, the implementation of no-fault auto insurance reform, 2020 Census activities and the independent citizens redistricting commission. Source
- Sinclair drops Boris Epshteyn and other political analysts
- Sinclair TV drops pro-Trump commentator Boris Epshteyn and says it will add investigative journalism
- Zurawik: Sinclair taking Boris Epshteyn off the air is a good thing, but I am not buying the spin that comes with it
- As print and digital newsrooms struggle, local broadcast stations are making money ‘hand over fist’
You don’t showcase someone like Epshteyn and cozy up to someone like Trump for the last three years, then all of sudden join the ranks of serious and respected journalists seeking truth without fear or favor with one announcement. Even in today’s topsy-turvy, short-memory, social-media-driven world of ever-shrinking media standards, you can’t that easily get rid of the stink of behaving like a partisan operation in the service of a politician waging a war on journalists and the very notion of truth. Source
- Here are the 15 people with the best shot at the VP nomination
- Told you so: Columnist floats Whitmer as Biden VP
- Whitmer not interested in serving on 2020 presidential ticket
- Mistrial declared on bribery, extortion charges against Michigan lawmaker
- Rep. Larry Inman Discusses What’s Next Following Hung Jury, Not Guilty Verdict
- ‘Nothing’s changed’ in Michigan House for lawmaker whose bribery, extortion charges resulted in mistrial
- House Democrats brace for some defections among moderates on impeachment of Trump
- 2 Michigan congresswomen are undecided on Trump impeachment vote
- Impeachment tests 1st term House Dems like Michigan's Slotkin, Stevens
- Michigan Democrat in swing district still undecided on whether to support articles of impeachment
'some decisions leaders are asked to make are controversial and difficult ... but the leader has to make it because they know it’s the right thing to do ... I am comfortable doing that because my world is national security.' ~@RepSlotkin https://wapo.st/2PToaMN #impeachmentClick To Tweet
Democrats expect that the half-dozen Democrats with national security backgrounds who endorsed the inquiry so strongly in a September op-ed in The Washington Post will vote to impeach Trump, even though some of their districts are among the most competitive. source
Greta Thunberg 0:04
My name is Greta Thunberg. I'm 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I want you to panic. How do you respond to the fact that basically nothing is being done about this? without feeling the slightest bit of anger? I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet, you will come to us young people for hope. How are you?
Walt Sorg 0:32
It's 16. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize named Time magazine's Person of the Year and in the process destroyed Donald Trump in a Twitter of any war on all a ray of hope and what otherwise is a grave moment in our national dialogue a week that is one for the history books.
Jerry Nadler 0:48
The question now is on article one of the resolution impeaching President Donald J. Trump for abusing his powers.
Mr. Chairman, there are 23 ayes and 17 Nos
Jerry Nadler 0:58
The article is agreed to. The question now is an article to have the resolution impeaching President Donald J. Trump for obstructing Congress.
Mr. Chairman, there are 23 ayes and 17 Nos
Jerry Nadler 1:10
The article is agreed to. The resolution as amended is ordered reported favorably to the House.
Walt Sorg 1:15
This is the Michigan Policast, we're all about Michigan politics and policy and the national issues that impact our president peninsulas. I'm Walt Sorg with the House of Representatives poised to make Donald Trump just the third president to be impeached. All eyes are on two Michigan members of Congress remain undecided as the week begins, We'll weigh the options for Democrats Haley Stevens and Alyssa Slotkin
Christine Barry 1:35
I'm Christine Barry. The long battle over Michigan's budget has paused with compromise on most issues, but still nothing on fixing the damn roads. What will it take to actually end Michigan's ranking as the nation's pothole capital?
Amy Kerr Hardin 1:49
I'm Amy Kerr Hardin A new report shows massive fraud and abuse and federal funding for charter schools with Betsy DeVos' Michigan the worst offender. There's a new civil rights investigation at one Michigan School District, and new legislation inspired by Betsy divorces proposed weakening of protections for sexual assault victims on college campuses.
Christine Barry 2:10
In our quick take segment, a major right wing broadcaster says it's mending its ways. The great mentioned our lists Gretchen Whitmer as a possible vice presidential candidate, Representative Larry Inman and gets a second chance. The Supreme Court upholds a form of legalized sexual assault targeting pregnant women. And sports betting is coming to Michigan.
Walt Sorg 2:31
And we'll wrap up with a two minute easy to understand summary of Donald Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors. compliments of judiciary committee member Eric Swalwell, but let's be good at home with the mess that is public education. Amy thanks to the relentless campaigning of our good buddy best state of Michigan has more charter schools in any state. And according to a new report the most fraud involving charter school operators What's going on?
Amy Kerr Hardin 2:55
Yeah, Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy, DeVos has no shame. She's been A champion of what are known as ghost schools, and those are charters that received funding through the federal charter school program, but either never opened or quickly shut down. 35% of those in the program either don't exist or which at best are a Potemkin ruse. between 2006 and 2014 537. Goes schools bilked taxpayers out of $45.5 million. And naturally, here in Michigan were number one was 72 fake schools costing $7.7 million. Then and another Michigan Public School issue with national implications involving investigation of discrimination at Paw Paw public schools, the ACLU has compelled an examination by the US Department of Education civil rights division into what is termed a quote, pervasive, racially hostile environment towards Native American students. This is an important test case for districts that openly flaunt clearly racist mascots. In this case, it's the Paw Paw Redskins, and the district has tolerated physical assaults and intimidation of those who stand in protest of the racist imagery. The big takeaway, if the school district is found in violation of title six of Civil Rights Act, they could lose their federal funding. And that's a harbinger for many, many public schools and colleges across the country that have offensive mascot names.
Walt Sorg 4:24
So major with just Betsy DeVos, it seems like just when it gets bad, she can make it even worse, as if she hasn't done enough damage to K 12 education. She's also doing her best to make sexual assault on college campuses a little less threatening to the perpetrators. And Alyssa slot given the Congresswoman from the Lansing area whose district includes Larry Nasser, his former base of operations at Michigan State University is taking direct aim at devices plan. Christine what's going on there.
Christine Barry 4:50
Here's the basics of it. Title Nine sets policies on sex discrimination and assaults at educational institutions that are receiving federal funds and Nine focuses on higher ed, but it also applies to secondary and elementary schools. Betsy DeVos says Title Nine now goes too far in favoring the accuser rather than the accused. Under President Obama, the guidelines held that harassment was unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. That was the definition of harassment that educational institutions were supposed to act on. Betsy DeVos wants to change that to unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive, that it denies a person access to the school's education program or activity. So it's a much higher standard there.
Now Elissa Slotkin and other Democrats have been trying to convince DeVos not to go that far and it hasn't worked out. So she's putting forward some legislation to try to say, No, you can't, you can't do this. They want to handle it legislatively. Because what this does is it raises the legal standard for what constitutes sexual harassment. It makes it harder for accusers to report, and the colleges and universities would have to respond to fewer claims. So devices proposal provides what's called rape shield protection such as prohibiting questions about the accused sexual history. It also allows cross-examination of the accuser by anyone, the accused person chooses. So that's not a neutral party, it can be very intimidating. schools could push both the accused and the accuser into mediation. And then once that mediation is started, you can't go back to a formal complaint process. So the accuser would be stuck in that mediation agreement, and in many cases, schools would not be responsible for addressing sexual harassment unless there was actual knowledge of the harassment by three specific types of employees such as a title nine coordinator, or a particular kind of teacher and a K 12. School and so on. And schools have to ignore harassment that occurs outside of school activity, including most off-campus. and online harassment, there just won't be as much done to combat sexual harassment and education.
Now DeVos wants to push this through by the end of the year. It's unclear when it will go through. And it's not clear if Slotkin's legislation will go anywhere either. I'll have more links about this on the website. It's important to note that a lot of this information comes from the National Women's Law Center, which is an advocacy group for people who are victims of this a sexual assault survivors. But I will have all the information on the website so that you can look it up and read it for yourself and see exactly what is in DeVos' proposed changes because it really does shift things in favor of the accused.
Walt Sorg 7:43
This whole subject brings to mind the fact that the Trump administration even though we're all enthralled with the impeachment fight right now, the Trump administration is making major major changes in every aspect of our government. They're going to have lasting impact and they go Far beyond whether or not Donald Trump as a crook, it goes to the environment, it goes to women's rights, it goes to education, it goes to the regulation and inspection of food and everything else that the government does to keep us safe and to make our country a little bit better. And it's really kind of frightening, that regardless of the debate in the center, which of course is going to result in as acquittal, we're still going to have to deal with another year when they can make a lot of changes like this administratively, and as long as they've got mitch mcconnell in their bag, they can do pretty much anything they want administratively
Amy Kerr Hardin 8:31
DeVos' Title Nine proposal is kind of an all or nothing do or die sort of thing. Just like the me too movement, there are degrees of enforcement for Title Nine that title nine coordinators. And in the past there, they have over enforced small violations that it's, you know, a matter of interpretation as to whether it was actually a violation at all. For example, this young woman that was on a campus I can't recall which one she was studying for her final exams, and so It was springtime, and she had a window open. And she saw this couple kissing outside. And she yelled at them, Hey, I hit it first. And they filed a complaint and it was treated. She was treated as if she had sexually, I mean, physically sexually assaulted someone. So what we need is degrees.
Christine Barry 9:16
I mean, I think so you're never going to be able to take out the human judgment when it comes to evaluating any kind of case. I mean, I think we can all agree on that. And we can all agree that both the accuser and the accused should have proper due process and these investigations, but some of this really does go cross the line in terms of you know, you can't act on it unless the specific types of people have actual knowledge of their harassment that's, that's not going to protect women.
Walt Sorg 9:48
Other development in the war on women. The US Supreme Court has declined to review Kentucky's extreme anti-abortion law allowing the measure to standard to the law, doctors must conduct an ultra Describe the fetus in great detail and play the sound of its heartbeat before performing an abortion. In early pregnancies, they will be forced to insert a transvaginal probe. The Supreme Court's refusal to consider the legality of this law indicates that the liberal justices don't trust the conservative majority will affirm the constitutional rights to abortion providers and patients. And to me, this just sends a signal to the right to life movement in Michigan that while they still have control of the Michigan legislature, they may even try even more extreme measures in anticipation of the legislature flipping in the next election.
Amy Kerr Hardin 10:33
Michigan Republicans have already tried to pass the transvaginal probe law twice, and it never really got anywhere because the negative pushback on it, but now that this has happened, some it's probably going to happen.
Christine Barry 10:47
You know, you've got to be a sick perv to try to legislate a Transvaginal probe on somebody. You really do. I mean, what is going on in your mind that you think that's appropriate to put in legislation that's disgusting.
Amy Kerr Hardin 11:00
It's not medically necessary most of the time. Sometimes it is and that's that's the call for the doctor and the patient
Walt Sorg 11:06
but your women you don't have a right to control your body. That's what goes man.
well Michigan has a state budget sort of but it's pretty much a kick the can down the pothole-filled road. Among other things. It does nothing about fixing those damn roads are restoring the luster to our embattled k 12 education system. Christine, what half the legislature and governor wrought.
Christine Barry 11:35
basically just damnation to Michigan is what they wrought. It's just not a good thing. But here's what happened. They did get a supplemental deal. 13 million for roads and bridges with the GOP leaders saying well, we might talk about fix the damn road talks later. They may resume those talks later. I don't know if you remember but Mike Shirkey said long ago that he feels no timeframe on fixing the roads since he controls The Senate I don't know when that would happen. But for now we have $13 million for roads and bridges. We have 127 million in education-related programs plus the 31 million for literacy coaches that Governor Whitmer wanted. private colleges get 38 million, mostly federal funds and a point 5% increase in funding. That's all of higher at that point. 5% is all of higher ed.
Early Childhood Education received much less than what was needed. nothing much happened with the environment, although the specific pieces are all much less than what Whitmer proposed. And in Medicaid they get, we got about less than half. So a little less than half of what Whitmer proposed, and the work required requirements were kept. But we did not get Whitmer's proposal for workforce and training support to the recipients who are required to comply with the work requirements. As part of this deal. The governor did agree to language for this budget. Only the You would not use those State Administrative board authority to transfer anything but that was for this budget only. And Hb 5177 passed both houses. And that requires lawmakers to send a budget to the governor by July 1, but there's no enforcement provision. So, as I am happy to point out the legislators that repeatedly called governor Whitmer untrustworthy, they're basically saying trust us.
Walt Sorg 13:23
They also managed to pass legislation to legalize sports betting and online gambling in Michigan, once again, going to the easy way out to raise money. I think they only did this after they made some changes to assure the governor that it wouldn't take money out of the school aid fund. To me, it's kind of a cop-out really on what really needs to be done. That's general taxation. But sin taxes are always a lot more fun because they're easy. They're, they're considered voluntary taxes. So legislators don't feel nearly as bad about passing them.
Christine Barry 13:52
There are a lot of people, even democrats who don't want to pass taxes, but you look at the numbers and you can see that this budget just doesn't work. Don't know, I don't think I've ever been so depressed about budget. And part of it is because it's their illegally gerrymandered districts that allow us, you know, like, like what happened in 2018. Democrats won house races 52 to 47%. statewide. But the republicans have six more seats in the senate statewide, we want 50 48%. But they have six more seats. Because of this gerrymandering and this minority to control of the state. It's just given us the shaft and now it's got to stop and I'm just like, again, I say thank you for proposal two
Walt Sorg 14:34
it's going to be especially depressing for fixing the roads because I've been saying all along, we really are probably gonna have to have a ballot proposal to get it done. But for a petition drive time is pretty much run out because of the calendar for getting something on the 2020 ballot, and the time needed to collect the signatures really, you needed to have started yesterday, because the deadline for a constitutional amendment to get your signatures in is in July. That gives you your six months to collect your 500 thousand signatures, which trust me is a really big job. And you've got even less time if you want to do a legislative initiative or pass a bill using the ballot proposal. I believe the deadline for that is in April. So they really needed to have started a month or two ago. So it looks like this whole thing is going to be pushed off till there's a new legislature.
Amy Kerr Hardin 15:19
I'm curious as to whether there's any polling indicating that a ballot proposal would well that we could get enough signatures to begin with and that also that it would be voted up in whatever election
Walt Sorg 15:30
It depends on what you put in. And of course, the polling on a graduated income tax has been pretty strong over the last few years, and that it would have a good chance of passing. The key is having a ballot proposal but as simple and as something that people can believe is actually going to do the job. They've been lied to so many times about fixes for the roads, partial packages that were promises, the panacea that really weren't that a panacea that they're very skeptical. And the last ballot proposal we had on transportation had so much other Crap thrown into it to get it through the legislature get the two-thirds vote or the chamber that it fell at 20 because people couldn't figure out what the heck was in it, they just thought it was going to be a huge shell game.
Christine Barry 16:10
Part of the problem is the people, you know, the public themselves, I mean, they just aren't tuned into at the actual costs are, when you explain to them why the roads are bad, which includes more than one thing, it's not just heavy trucks. They say things like, well, I don't accept that they should be able to do this, they should be able to do that. I think the most recent number I saw I saw was that our roads cost drivers about $628 a year on average in repairs. And I just wonder if I gave somebody $628? Would that be enough for them to read up on it? And then make an opinion rather than make their opinion based on what they feel they should be paying? So I mean, that's not a new problem.
Walt Sorg 16:53
If I look at the comments on social media, on every newspaper story about transportation, you always see the same questions. Well, we're already You pay more in gas taxes, we're already paying more and registration fees. What's happened to all of that money? Well, the answer is it's gone into the roads, it just wasn't enough to fix the problem.
Christine Barry 17:09
Yeah. And and another thing that's happened that, you know, it's more indirect is, is term limits. You know, you don't have people there looking at the long term picture anymore.
Walt Sorg 17:22
And just scratch your head also on the pod last week, there's a lack of courage in the legislature,
Christine Barry 17:27
and even even challenged people go back into when term limits began and look for anything significant that's happened since we had term limits. We haven't fixed anything since we've got had term limits. The whole thing is a nuanced problem. I mean, that's that's what politics is all about nuance and courage. And, you know, it's it's hard for people to understand, but you might not like to do it, but it really is in the best interests. You might not want to pay more in taxes, you might not want to
Amy Kerr Hardin 17:55
Yeah grown-ups pay their taxes.
Walt Sorg 18:02
Okay, let's do some quick takes what's going on in the world around us? Amy, we've talked before about the odious right wing propaganda disguised as news on TV stations owned by the massive Sinclair broadcasting operation. It appears that sinclairs decided that pimping for Donald Trump may not be good for business.
Amy Kerr Hardin 18:21
Yes, indeed, maybe just maybe moose and squirrel will save the day the evil villain Boris Epstein. He's the spokesperson for Sinclair broadcasting is being shown the door. Boris known for his far right vitriolic and mandatory commentaries for affiliate stations will and those stations will no longer have a platform for conspiracy theories and not so subtle hate speech on local TV networks, which include much of Michigan and all of Northwest Michigan where I live, they say that they're going to do this better remains to be seen, but they're claiming that they're going to go back to refocus on solid real local journalism. not holding my breath.
Christine Barry 19:01
So can I ask what are some examples of the programming that they're going to be dropping?
Amy Kerr Hardin 19:05
It's actually just commentary mostly from Boris Epstein. And it's very far right it's it's exactly what you would expect out of maybe Fox News. And a lot of the affiliates were so horrified by it, that they were running these mandatory things that like 2am when no one would watch them so um, that's what's getting dropped. I've only seen one from a local affiliate but I don't turn on the TV too often. So it's it wasn't playing very well appear. I'm pretty sure even though this is a conservative area, you know, by and large
Walt Sorg 19:35
and the Sinclair influence on outside Michigan is pretty huge. And the Flint Saginaw Bay City Market, they have both the NBC and Fox stations, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo Battle Creek, they've got the CBS station and up in your neck of the woods. They have both the ABC and NBC stations. That is a lot of influence.
Well, most of our national political attention is on the democratic race for president the Washington posters issued its first rankings for potential VP candidates on the Democratic side. And when I read it, I was thinking, My God could Gretchen Whitmer be the next Selina Meyer? They've got her in the top 10 as a potential vice presidential candidate. What you think?
Amy Kerr Hardin 20:15
Yes, she came in at number nine. I don't want to lose her, though. But I'd love to see him, you know, also in Washington. Yeah. And there's there was another poll out this week that's somewhat related. They compared Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders has all of his support down in the younger demographic, and it just totally, you know, tapers off in the over 60 crowd, and Biden is just the opposite. So that's going to be problematic, too. They're really going to have to think hard. If the, if it's one of those as to who they're going to have as the running mate. That's going to be critical.
Christine Barry 20:49
But what would Gretchen Whitmer bring to the ticket that somebody else would not?
Walt Sorg 20:54
It depends who's who she's running with. When you look at this list, the post came up with the Top 15 or the top 14 at least there's only two white men on the list. And they're ranked pretty low Pete Buttigieg in a tie for fourth, and then you go all the way down to the tie for 13th with the Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, everyone else on the list is either a woman and or a person of color.
Christine Barry 21:24
I think this would be if that were to happen, and I don't think it will. But if, if governor Whitmer had been selected as a VP candidate, I think it would be a greater loss for Michigan then it would be a gain for the country. And the reason is, she's just such a strong player in Lansing. We need her here and I love garland Gilchrist but I'm not confident that he has enough experience dealing with the legislature and Lansing yet. I hope she doesn't go anywhere.
Walt Sorg 21:52
I agree with you. I'm not sure exactly what she brings politically to the ticket other than just a solid individual, who'd actually be a pretty good Vice President and But in terms of the politics of it, she does bring that Midwest thing to it the Midwest vibe. But I'm convinced that the ticket inevitably is going to have at least one woman on it and or one one person of color on it. And so for Gretchen Whitmer to be the vice presidential candidate, you don't want to have to have a minority candidate as the presidential candidate. And right now, it doesn't appear that that's gonna happen. Cory Booker is on fumes and Kamala Harris was gone.
Christine Barry 22:29
And I thought we needed somebody who would be stronger in the south as well. I don't know how governor Whitmer would play in the south. I was kind of thinking, you know, Julian Castro or something.
Walt Sorg 22:42
Well, here's the list that they came up with in order from one on down. The most likely they say is Kamala Harris then Stacey Abrams, Julian Castro, somebody from the south, who would bring both Texas and Florida into play. Then Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg at a tie for fourth according to their rankings, follow by Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick Elizabeth Warren, then Governor Whitmer. Then governor Catherine Cortez masto of Nevada, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island others somebody I've never even heard the name before. Time with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania jack Shapiro. And just for giggles, they put Chris Coons and at 15th. The other thing of the column that I thought was really interesting was one person was speculating now that Trump is a Florida resident, he might replaced Mike Pence for vice president as his running mate with one of his kids.
Christine Barry 23:42
He had he has the audacity to do it for sure. But that's great.
Walt Sorg 23:47
I would love to see Don juniors the candidate for Vice President, what fun that would be. But then again, I laughed when they talked about Donald Trump as a candidate for President.
Amy Kerr Hardin 23:58
I remember when he wrote escalator and my husband and I were watching that and then I'm like, Oh, what a joke that guy such a clown.
Walt Sorg 24:05
I actually mocked up a bumper sticker. Trump Pailin. 2016. America needs a good laugh. Well, the joke was on me.
Christine Barry 24:15
Yeah, me too. I did not expect him to win at all. That was that was quite the bitch slap right in the face.
Walt Sorg 24:23
Hey, Christine, our good friend Larry Inman. Get a break from a federal grand jury instead of going to prison. He's going back to work in the legislature. What the heck happened there?
Christine Barry 24:33
This guy has like nine lives, right. So yeah, there was a mistrial declared the deliberations the jury went into deliberation about 130 on Monday, came out at 5pm on Tuesday and told the judge they could not reach a conclusion on the bribery and extortion charges. They were pretty much split down the middle. They did say he was not guilty on making the false state meant to an FBI agent. I suspect they Just believe that opioid addiction defense that he had, the prosecutors are currently seeking a new trial date on the extortion and bribery charges. Of course, the defense attorney is asking prosecutors to leave him alone. And they've asked Lee Chatfield to let Inman back into his house office and let him communicate with a staff and get his assignments back. Sheffield's office has already responded by saying nothing has changed, his behavior was inappropriate, and that's why he was removed from the caucus and the committee. That's where it said it's pretty straightforward. Although one thing I would note if if they believed his defense that he wasn't lying to the FBI because he was addicted at the time, we have to keep in mind that he was also casting votes at the time that he was addicted to these drugs.
Walt Sorg 25:45
Well, that's legal.
Christine Barry 25:46
I'm sure it is.
Walt Sorg 25:47
I actually remember some legislators from the deep past who were guilty of the same offense.
Amy Kerr Hardin 25:52
Well, in the meantime, 100 and fourth really doesn't have effective representation anymore. So I still wish you would step down I think that the only reason he didn't step down before wasn't because he was in love with his job. It was more because he felt that that would help with his defense.
Walt Sorg 26:07
I think he needs the paycheck too
Amy Kerr Hardin 26:08
maybe retirement age and then he was a banker. He's a retired banker. I imagine he's got a decent pension out there somewhere.
Walt Sorg 26:16
Okay, we put this off long enough this Wednesday, it's 99% certain that Donald john Trump will become the third president in history to be impeached. The only question seems to be how many Democrats will vote against impeachment. As record our little coffee klatch on Sunday, freshman representatives, Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stephens remain officially undecided. Slotkin went on fox news and was asked if she was worried that a yes vote would be the end of a very short political career.
Elissa Slotkin 26:43
As soon as I came out and supportive and an inquiry, there were people saying, you know, that's the end of your political career. And I just have to say, I mean, maybe it's because I'm a former CIA officer. I did three tours in Iraq. Sometimes you have to make calls that aren't based on a pole or on some political consultant and If this is the end of my political career, at least I'm doing what I think is right. And I'm basing my decisions on integrity. That is the most I can do. I literally have not made up my mind because for me, we've had like 400 page reports come out, we've had a ton of stuff come forward. I also wanted to, frankly, look back on the history. What did the documents look like for Nixon for Clinton? What did it look like in the past when we've done this so that I can put it into context? That is what I was trying to do as an intelligence officer. I'm just going to do that.
Walt Sorg 27:28
Okay, ladies, what do you think they should do and what will they do?
Amy Kerr Hardin 27:33
They should perform their constitutional duty?
Christine Barry 27:36
Well, I think I think Elissa Slotkin said it best when she said even though her district was overwhelmingly, or overall, not supportive of impeachment leaders have to do what they think is right. And she comes from a security background and that's she's going to vote her conscience. So if she looks at the charges, and just sticks to that and doesn't allow her feelings or her feelings about Trump basically to come into play. She will vote her conscience and I kind of think that that's going to be a yes vote for impeachment. Hayley Stevens, I don't know. She's not a conservative Democrat. She doesn't have the national security background. And, you know, she won that district. And I know she's a targeted Democrat. I know the democrats are planning on losing. I think I heard a dozen or so votes. And I don't know that Haley would be one of them, though. What do you think, Amy?
Amy Kerr Hardin 28:29
I am not entirely sure. I feel that they should, you know, just look at the facts and vote that way. But I understand politics is involved. I find it bothers similar and I see Pontins saying that impeachment is a political process. It's a constitutional process. Sure that has, you know, there are policy, political aspects to it as there is with anything to do with government. But nonetheless, it is it's a constitutional duty and they they should look at it that way.
Walt Sorg 28:56
I think purely from a political standpoint, their best bet is to vote in favor. of impeachment, they're never going to get the Trump the true Trump voters anyway. They want their seats narrowly. And the people that put them over the top are people that are basically independents who had a tendency to vote Republican, but could be persuaded to vote for a democrat and under the right circumstances. If they vote against impeachment, they're going to lose a lot of their base. And I think that guarantees that they won't get reelected. I think politically, they've got a better chance if they go for impeachment. But bottom line is they're going to do what they think is right, Sherrod Brown said over the weekend and an interview I saw that basically, a politician who's not worried about the next election is generally a better politician.
Christine Barry 29:37
That's true. I mean, it's about governance. It's not just about, you know, politics. And I really think that Elissa Slotkin is going to look at that Ukraine situation. And just yeah, I mean, she called she was one of the ones who called for the inquiry. So I think that she's going to support the impeachment. Haley Stephens, I think in her heart, both believes that the impeachment should she should vote yes, but I just I don't know because I feel like I don't know Haley Stevens well enough,
Walt Sorg 30:07
as the two of them consider their decision, they will likely spend a lot of time on the basics of the charges, Slotkin, so she will be making up her mind on Monday evening, after she holds a town hall over in Southeast Michigan. We had God knows how many hours of debate and both the intelligence and judiciary committees over those facts over the last couple of weeks. To close today. I think it's useful to blow past all the political rhetoric and focus on the basics. We got the most concise summary of why Donald Trump is a crook. In a brief two minute exchange between California congressman Eric's Swalwell, and the majority counsel of the Intelligence Committee, Daniel Goldman,
Eric Swalwell 30:42
Mr. Goldman, who sent Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to smear job by
Daniel Goldman 30:47
Eric Swalwell 30:48
who fired the anti corruption ambassador in Ukraine. Maria avantage,
Daniel Goldman 30:53
Eric Swalwell 30:54
who told Ambassador sunlen and Ambassador Volker to route to work with Rudy Giuliani. On Ukraine,
Daniel Goldman 31:01
Eric Swalwell 31:03
who told Vice President Pence to not go to President solinsky inauguration,
Daniel Goldman 31:07
Eric Swalwell 31:09
who ordered his own Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, to withhold critical military assistance for Ukraine,
Daniel Goldman 31:16
Eric Swalwell 31:17
who refused to meet with President solinsky in the Oval Office,
Daniel Goldman 31:21
Eric Swalwell 31:23
who ignored on July 25, his own National Security Council's anti corruption talking points.
Daniel Goldman 31:30
Eric Swalwell 31:31
who asked President solinsky for a favor,
Daniel Goldman 31:34
Eric Swalwell 31:36
who personally asked President solinsky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden,
Daniel Goldman 31:41
Eric Swalwell 31:42
who stood on the White House lawn and confirmed that he wanted Ukraine to investigate Vice President Biden,
Daniel Goldman 31:49
Eric Swalwell 31:50
who stood on that same lawn and said that China should also investigate Vice President Biden,
Daniel Goldman 31:55
Eric Swalwell 31:57
as to anything that we do not know in this scenario. castigation who has blocked us from knowing it.
Daniel Goldman 32:03
President Trump in the White House.
Eric Swalwell 32:05
So as it relates to President Trump, is he an incidental player or a central player in this scheme?
Daniel Goldman 32:12
President Trump is the central player in this scheme.
Eric Swalwell 32:16
There's a reason that no one has said, What did the President know? And when did he know it? From the evidence that you have presented Mr. Goldman and the in the intelligence committees findings? We know one thing, and one thing is clear, as it related to this scheme, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump knew everything. I yield back.
Walt Sorg 32:38
And that's the Michigan Policast. For this week, we welcome your comments, suggestions, criticisms and Haiku poems. You can contact us on the Facebook, at Twitter or at our email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Barry 32:50
we've got oodles of links, videos, tweets, snarky comments and memes about all of the proceeding on our website, Michiganpolicast.com
Amy Kerr Hardin 32:57
and we'll be back next week with our pre Santa Claus patch Until then, thanks for listening.
He's a race baiting, Zena phobic, religious big. I think he's a kook. I think he's crazy. I think he's unfit for office. He doesn't represent my party. He's a jackass. At the end of the day, he would be the most flawed nominee in the history of the Republican Party. Donald Trump this most unelectable republican I've seen in my lifetime. He would be a terrible commander in chief. He doesn't have the temperament or judgment. He's not fit to be president united states. We will get slaughtered as a party. If Donald Trump is our nominee, and quite frankly, we would deserve it. Email how you make America great again, till Donald Trump to go to hell.
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