2020 DNC, Whitmer wins in court, USPS under attack. Arnold Weinfeld on the demographics of suburbs.

August 24, 2020

Michigan Policast for Wednesday, August 24, 2020

  In this episode:

  • The Democratic Convention
  • Governor Whitmer's week: EPGA, COVID, Unemployment, Flint
  • Arnold Weinfeld on the changing demographics of America's suburbs
  • Political Notes – USPS, petition drives
  • Political ad of the week
  • Transcript



Jump to:

The Democratic Convention

Joe Biden accepts the nomination

John Lewis Tribute

The National Anthem to open the Democratic National Convention

Scenes from a touching episode of M*A*S*H*





Governor Whitmer's week: EPGA, COVID, Unemployment, Flint


The majority rejected the legislature’s arguments that the 1945 law oversteps the separation of powers between the legislature and the executive branch, and further concluded that it would be “entirely pointless” to rule that Whitmer violated the 1976 law, as the governor “had the authority to continue the very same state of emergency and issue the very same (executive orders) under the EPGA.” ~Source





“We find it more than a bit disconcerting that the very governmental body that delegated authority to governors to confront public emergencies — and holds and has held the exclusive power to change it — steps forward 75 years later to now assert that it unconstitutionally delegated unconstrained authority,” the majority opinion added. ~Source



Arnold Weinfeld on the changing demographics of America's suburbs

Immigration, as been noted, is increasingly suburban as the last census in 2010. More than half of all immigrants resided in the suburbs, that trend of immigrants moving to the suburbs, or schools, quite frankly, is continuing. ~@ArnoldWeinfeld @IPPSRClick To Tweet
The racial and ethnic transformation of the suburbs has been going on for longer than a decade. There is a black middle class and they have chosen to move to more upscale suburbs. ~@ArnoldWeinfeld @IPPSRClick To Tweet
Between 2000-2010 it's been noted that whites comprise less than 10% of the growth of the suburban populations, while minorities constituted far greater than that. ~@ArnoldWeinfeld @IPPSRClick To Tweet
The suburbs are really a greater reflection. The country as a whole in many respects, and the growing inequality, income inequality gap between rich and poor. ~@ArnoldWeinfeld @IPPSRClick To Tweet


Political Notes – USPS, petition drives





Political ad of the week

2020 DNC YouTube Playlist



Walt Sorg  00:00

The presenting underwriter of the Michigan Policast is Progress Michigan, providing a strong, credible voice that holds public officials in government accountable and assists in the promotion of progressive ideas.


Joe Biden  00:15

The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long, too much anger. Too much fear too much division here and now I give you my word. If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I'll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It's time for us for we the people to come together


Walt Sorg  00:41

a call for unity, competence and decency. After four years of bitter division and chaos, the democrats lay out a virtual message for building back better with an undercurrent of saving our democratic system is the Michigan Policast. We're all about Michigan policy and politics and the national currents impacting our pleasant peninsulas, I'm Walt Sorg and Rhode Island may have its calamari were the paczki the capital of the world.


Christine Barry  01:05

I'll take paczkis any day or calamari. calamari is too chewy. I'm Christine Barry. In addition to slicing and dicing our impressions of the first ever online national political convention, we have a lot of new political developments in the fight against COVID-19 in Michigan, an expensive end to the Snyder administration's Flint Water disaster and the multi-front battle for voting rights.


Walt Sorg  01:29

Later in the podcast, I'll be talking with Michigan State University's Arnold Weinfeld, about the transformation of America's suburbs and why Donald Trump is appealing to the suburbs of the 1950s and the 1960s, not the suburbs of the 2020s. We begin though with the national political convention that was unlike any other


Braden Harrington  01:48

Hi, my name is Braden Harrington and I'm 13 years old. And without Joe Biden I only talking to you today. About a few months ago. I met him in New Hampshire. He's told me that we were members of the same club. We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became Vice President


Walt Sorg  02:23

He stole the show.


Christine Barry  02:24

He did.


Walt Sorg  02:26

It summed up the convention theme for me. And that is Joe Biden is a man with a heart. Someone whose empathy for the pain of others is what sets him apart from the empathy free Donald Trump.


Christine Barry  02:37

Well, it was clearly joe biden's convention, every speech praising Biden's competence, decency, empathy and kindness, and every speech contrastin Biden's record of achievement with Trump's incompetence. But even as it was Biden's convention, he shared the spotlight. Braden Harrington was just one of the many quote unquote regular people who are highlighted. Biden's name was officially put in into nomination by an elevator operator. And a woman from Arizona, Kristin Urquiza summed up this week's indictment of Trump as she talked about her father's death from COVID-19.


Kristin Urquiza  03:11

My dad was a healthy 65 year old. His only pre existing condition was trusting Donald Trump. And for that he paid with his life.


Walt Sorg  03:22

The speakers who dominated two nights of the convention were the two most popular political figures in the country. Michelle and Barack Obama, both painted a dire picture of America's future if Trump gets a second term.


Michelle Obama  03:36

If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can. And they will if we don't make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden, like our lives depend on it


Barack Obama  03:54

This President, and those in power, those who benefit from keeping things the way they are They are counting on your cynicism. They know they can't win you over with their policies. So they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote does not matter. That is how they win. That is how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life and the lives of the people you love. That's how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That's how a democracy withers until it's no democracy at all. And we cannot let that happen. Do not let them take away your power.


Walt Sorg  04:37

It was a pretty remarkable convention. I thought just in the way I think the Democratic Party did a superb job of taking the new reality of COVID-19 and turning it into a very concise but still interesting convention where they got their message across.


Christine Barry  04:54

And it was messaging at a lot of different levels. You know, earlier we mentioned quote unquote, regular People there. There weren't very many people, even well known people who I wouldn't have thought of as as regular Joe Biden has always struck me as a down to Earth authentic person. And I thought Kamala Harris did a really good job talking about her history, her her speech, let us get to know her. And it was somewhat reminiscent of Barack Obama's speech and how we got to know him. They strike me as authentic people. And then when you have all of the other people who are involved, I think I saw a statistic 287 speakers on camera. 49 live speakers, so many people participated, that there was a message just in the accessibility there. In terms of people at the convention.


Walt Sorg  05:48

one of the things I noticed that hasn't been pointed out but I thought it was really fascinating was the choice of the four people who hosted the convention each night, the masters of ceremonies, all four women One was an African American Kerry Washington, one was Hispanic and two Caucasian. So you have four women, which I think really says a lot about where the Biden campaign is targeting. Its those suburban women. Another thing that was really interesting, the speeches that conventions historically have always been long and dull. At this convention, according to some stats compiled through axios, the average speech length was two minutes and 30 seconds. Only four speakers talk for more than 10 minutes. That would be the to Obama's plus Kamala Harris. And of course, Joe Biden. And Biden was the only one who spoke for more than 20 minutes. So they really kept it moving. They made a good television rather than pandering really to the crowd of delegates. You know, it always used to be in the past that they were singing to the choir. This time the choir was singing to us.


Christine Barry  06:51

I really enjoyed it, it it again, it's definitely shorter when you aren't dealing with stage logistics and audience response for sure, but They really just cut right to it. And I don't know about you Walt, but I think there were a lot more calls to action in this convention than we had seen in the past. I think it was Michelle Obama saying, Go right now and request your absentee ballot. So many of them have said go right now and vote Hillary Clinton I think was another one that said go vote it can't be should have would have could have this time. So there was this sense of urgency and calls to action and Jocelyn Benson said make a plan to vote I think she was on with the Secretary of State of California,


Jocelyn Benson  07:34

there is absolutely zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee. Millions of Americans have been voting absentee for decades. Donald Trump, his family, his staff, they all vote by mail. In fact, in states like Colorado, Utah and Oregon, voters have been voting by mail for years. republicans and democrats agree it is safe.


Walt Sorg  07:57

It's part of a good exposure from Michigan to Michigan got a lot of exposure the thing, Gary Peters got to announce the vote standing in front of a couple of automobiles made in Michigan with a Detroit skyline in the background, which was kind of a cameo on his part. But the governor was featured on the first night, although quite honestly, I think her speech one was pretty mundane. And secondly kind of disappeared into the ether because she was on as the same note as Michelle Obama, you're not going to win that battle. But still, she had the opportunity to begin a week long of talking about Donald Trump and how he's botched the COVID-19 situation.


Gretchen Whitmer  08:30

We took this pandemic seriously in Michigan. We listened to medical experts, we planned and with a lot of work from the autoworkers and too little help from the White House. we executed our plan. We saved thousands of lives. Just imagine if we had a national strategy. So everyone who needs a test gets one for free. So everyone has access to a safe vaccine. So our kids and educators have the resources they need to safely Get back to school.


Walt Sorg  09:01

A couple of criticisms of the governor's presentation. First of all, she gave a speech, which is not the thing that works in its format like this. Other people who were more effective, didn't give speeches, they had conversations with the viewers, they talked to the viewers and she was standing at a podium over the union hall here in Lansing is where she shot her video. And it was more speech like and then of course, she made a rookie error in the warm up, she dropped an F bomb to an open mic just before she went on. Still, it was the kind of thing you just don't do, because it's kind of distracting from your overall message. On the plus side, though, as a result of that, she got a whole big gift basket from the folks Discovery Channel for Shark Week.


Christine Barry  09:40

I didn't think it was an error. I thought she knew exactly what she was doing. It was funny, and it was genuine and authentic Whitmer, you know, just like her leather jacket. You know, it's another example of how women in politics are changing. You know, you could have Jennifer Granholm get away with that that would not have worked for Jennifer Granholm certainly would have worked for Hillary Clinton. But for governor Whitmer, who is following other women but also blazing her own path. It worked for her I thought,


Walt Sorg  10:14

alright, if it is basically you don't like it, fuck it. Yeah. And that's the way she warms up. It's one way that she gets loose. I know from years of doing talk radio that you're very careful with the mic in the room. But at the same time, there's that line where you are trying to get loose and trying to get ready and overcome the tension. And that's one way some people do it. Also, we should point out state representative Mari manoogian was part of the keynote address, a very unusual keynote address because it involves 17 people all giving different parts of the Democratic message, all in all I think very, very, very successful convention for the Democrats. And I'm fascinated to see what the republicans come up with. What I've seen so far is it's basically going to be the Donald Trump family, talking about what a great person Donald Trump is. Now. I get the Feeling out, he's not going to be inviting his sister, given what came out over the weekend, with her thoughts about him, and certainly not going to invite as nice is nice, Mary. But the rest of the family will be there. And we'll have to suffer through watching Don Jr. and Melania will be giving Michelle's speech, I guess, again, that is the other thing, too, that we're going to have to suffer through as the President and the First Lady are both giving their speeches from the White House, which is basically against the law, but that's never about the past.


Christine Barry  11:28

It's an interesting contrast for sure. At least what we know with rnc convention is going to be even Tiffany is speaking, which I think is kind of surprising to me. I think it's, you know, if your niece and your sister are out after you bring in all the kids, I guess, but you know what I mentioned that I felt like the Democratic Convention was full of regular people. And I look at the speakers lined up for the Republican convention and I don't see any of them as approachable or genuine or authentic, really with the democrats there were only a couple of people who seem larger than life.


Walt Sorg  12:07

It's gonna be an interesting night to when the keynote address comes from the my pillow guy in the national anthem sung by Kid Rock,


Christine Barry  12:14

Jesus Christ.


Walt Sorg  12:16

The other thing that it is quite significant, though, are the people who are not coming to the convention in any form. Mitch McConnell can't make it which in the zoom era means he doesn't want to because with the zoom being the major form communication, you can make it from anywhere that's got internet. Mitt Romney is not going to be there. The previous candidate, the widow of john mccain, will not be there. The only living republican former president of the United States will not be there. And in fact, it's probably going to be voting to knock this current president out of office. And there's no love lost between the Bush family and the Trump family. And you contrast that with the people that were there for Joe Biden, including a bunch of Republicans which pissed off the left wing of the party, but It was a good move. Because joe biden's messages I could unite America. And you can't unite America, and at the same time turned your back on reasonable conservatives on the other side.


Christine Barry  13:11

Yeah, I agree. This is too important of a time, I think to say that Republicans, moderate Republicans wouldn't be people we would embrace people we would listen to. And Joe Biden's long career in politics has made him you know, many friends has built in many relationships with people who are just comfortable working with him and willing to say, Look, I'm still a member of this party, but Trump is not my guy. You know, and they represent a real section of the Democratic Party as well who are center or just a little bit center right. But who believe in things like strong public schools and, you know, not privatizing the social safety net of the country and that's why they're democrats or they're, you know, labor Democrats. Whatever, but they're moderates. So I think it was important to have those voices there and those voices are going to be needed to win this election. And we have to win a big Walt, it has to be a complete repudiation of the Trump tenure. It has to be. It can't just be beating him, which I will also take, admittedly, but it needs to be crushing him so that the entire world knows that the United States is not Donald Trump.


Walt Sorg  14:27

I think one final note, from my perspective on the convention is it was really significant that the same night that John Kasich endorsed Joe Biden for president, Bernie Sanders was on the stage doing the same thing. If you can get those two people on the same program on the same night. That's uniting America,


Christine Barry  14:45

you know Walt, before I go, I just have a question. Do you know if john James is speaking at the RNC?


Walt Sorg  14:51



Christine Barry  14:54

Well, I was looking at the diversity of the convention and You know, there are some black people who could speak and I didn't see them there. So I just wondered.


Christine Barry  15:09

Governor Whitmer his emergency powers won again in the courts this week, the Court of Appeals upholding an earlier ruling that the governor was within her legal authority to extend the state of emergency without the involvement of the legislature. A Court of Appeals voted two to one that the state of emergency, the extension of the state of emergency and her related executive orders fall within the scope of the Emergency Powers of Governor Act, also known as EPGA. And they further held that the EPGA is constitutionally sound. Only one judge dissented, and that was Jonathan Tukel. The ruling will undoubtedly be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, legislative leaders who filed the lawsuit are focusing more on the petition drive to repeal the emergency powers act and if they get sufficient signatures, lawmakers can enact the repeal and the governor will not be able to veto their action. Governor Whitmer spoke out sharply against the petition drive noting the shady tactics employed by some of the paid petition circulators that they've hired to collect signatures.


Gretchen Whitmer  16:12

This effort to repeal the 1945 Act is very dangerous. And they're using unscrupulous measures to try to collect signatures when you see them out and about collecting signatures, they might tell you that it's actually an effort to support me. They have encouraged people to do things that are not legal in terms of signing other people's names. I think that there are a lot of concerns, but the biggest concern is us. If these powers weren't in effect, right now, we would look a heck of a lot more like Florida, and Florida is in a crisis.


Walt Sorg  16:46

Now one thing I'm going to say that the governor probably won't like is I think she really kind of asked for it with this petition drive in the way that she is dealt with the legislature on the response to the covid 19 pandemic, basically from day one. She has been very dismissive towards the legislature. And almost I think her opponents would say arrogant in dealing with with the legislature saying, I don't care what you think, I'm not going to talk to you. I'm just going to do what I think is right. And the reaction from the legislative leaders has been well, we'll show you who's in charge. And she really kind of egged him on by being so totally dismissive. She she's shown in other instances that when she works with the legislature, she can get results. They're doing it on the budget, they did it on the auto insurance reform, and they've done it on some other issues. But on this one, she just basically told the legislature, you're irrelevant. I'm not going to talk with you. It's a lesson she could have learned and should have learned really from Bill Milliken, who we've talked about a couple of times in recent weeks on the pod as a result of his passing. If he had done something like this, he would have done it in consultation with the Democratic leaders of the legislature even though they didn't have any direct impact on the outcome, but he would have had the courtesy of talking with them and saying, This is what I'm intending Do what are your thoughts, and then go ahead and do what he thought was right. She just went ahead and said, I don't care what you think I'm doing it.


Christine Barry  18:08

So here's where I'm going to disagree with you. Because I think she did try to work with them. She went to them and ask them for an extension. And they said now and then and only then did she fall back on the emergency powers act, to extend it because it was what she thought was in the best interest of the people of Michigan. And on top of that, she's dealing with people who have said, She's batshit crazy. You know, she acts like a queen, the republicans have had this campaign against her very, very hostile, I think toward her, and very coordinated by the republican comms team, just attacking her left and right before we had this pandemic. So is she arrogant, it didn't come across to me as arrogance. It came across to me as strength. Maybe this is a gender thing Walt, where we're just going to see it. differently because of that, you know, maybe you're looking at things that I'm not seeing, I don't know. But I don't think it's arrogant. I think it's very arrogant of Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield to go out there and say, you know, we need to get businesses back to work. And she's not listening to us. She's not paying attention to what's really going on. And it's the economy that's important. When people are still dying from this disease. I think the legislators leaders have been very arrogant towards her very dismissive towards her and hostile. So this, to me is just tit for tat. And it might not be productive. It might have got us here, just like you said, but I don't think that it's necessarily governor Whitmer as the one who egged it on.


Walt Sorg  19:46

I think my perspective is more as someone who worked for the legislature for 10 years and was very protective of the legislature's prerogatives as a co equal branch of government. I don't think it's basically is gender basis. I'd like to think at least that I feel the same way. If it was a man who was governor right now and do it and acting in the same way. So I'll defend myself on that point. But who knows?


Christine Barry  20:09

You don't often hear men being called arrogant when they stand up to something. And so that's kind of where that came from. I think you're right, though, that the legislature needs to be protective of its position as an equal branch, but they are still doing the work of the legislature. And they have been one of the leading voices saying, hey, we've got a dictator. We have a government strictly run by Governor Whitmer. And they're kind of diminishing their own role by the saying, you know, we demand some participation in this process. And oh, by the way, we're totally ineffective at everything else because governor Whitmer is doing everything


Walt Sorg  20:49

One area where she is working cooperatively with a political opponent is with the White House on unemployment benefits. The president signed that strange executive order, basically diversity FEMA money into temporary unemployment benefits of $300 a week. It's only gonna last three to four weeks. But you did apply successfully to FEMA to make Michigan's unemployed eligible for that money. It probably won't mean more than 900 to 1200 bucks additional for the unemployed, but when you're unemployed, that's still gonna be a lot of money.


Christine Barry  21:21

A lot of money but not enough. And Governor Whitmer joined with Attorney General Dana Nestle and announcing a massive settlement in the Flint Water lawsuit in discussing the $600 million agreement on msnbc. Nessel basically described it as clean up on aisle two.


Dana Nessel  21:39

Well, obviously myself and our current governor, Governor Whitmer inherited these cases from the previous administrations. And I think what we saw during that time period was an absolute travesty. And the governor and I were determined when we got into office to do everything we could to make things right by the residents of the city of Flint, and we think that This settlement which is the largest in our state's history, will go a long way towards making those state residents whole. And really it encompasses a lot more than just the $600 million. When all is said and done, it's probably going to be over a billion dollars that the state pays for all kinds of things, early intervention programs for children, health care programs, programs for seniors.


Christine Barry  22:24

still pending our class action lawsuits against the engineering firms involved in the decision to switch the water supply and against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its part and covering up the lead contamination. And as you heard it will probably end up costing us over a billion dollars.


Walt Sorg  22:46

Donald Trump's latest racist appeal is aimed at what may be the decisive electorate in this election suburban women but he talks of suburban housewives, seemingly harkening back to the days of madman's Betty Draper or the beavers. June cleaver or Wilma Flintstone fictional white women who greeted their husbands at the door with an apron wearing pearls and holding a martini for their man, Arnold Weinfeld is the Assistant Director of Michigan State University's Institute of Public Policy and social research. He says those images of suburban women are decades of date.


Arnold Weinfeld  23:19

While while there's just no question that today's suburbs no longer look at all, like the lily white places that the President or others may think they are from the 1950s and the 1960s. There are several trends that have been taking place, especially over the last decade that have been noted by demographers such as William Frye at Brookings and Richard Florida, whose name might sound familiar to some of your listeners, who now writes for Bloomberg citylab. You know, the fact of the matter is, is that over the last decade or more, one of the first trends that has impacted suburban growth is immigration. immigration, as been noted, is increasingly suburban as the last census in 2010. More than half half of all immigrants resided in the suburbs, that trend of immigrants moving to the suburbs, or schools, quite frankly, is continuing. The second trend that that we've seen is is quite honestly is been going on for longer than a decade. And that is the racial and ethnic transformation of the of the suburbs. So when you look at the statistics between 1970 and 2000, the share of African Americans for instance, living in suburban Atlanta increased from 27% to 78%. in the suburbs of Washington, DC it rose from 25% to 82%. And these trends have continued to accelerate across the country. Not only is it the result of gentrification as as we've come to understand that terms. In other words, lower income African Americans being pushed out of those parts of cities that are being redeveloped and become too expensive. But, you know, there is a black middle class and that black middle class has chosen to move to more upscale suburbs. And when we think of Michigan, we have an example, you know, that I'd like to point to, and that is the city of Southfield after the riots in Detroit over the next couple of decades. It wasn't just whites that fled the city. It was middle class blacks, and one of the places they move to was Southfield. And when you look at the demographic shift in the city of Southfield over the last few decades, you you note that you might remember Maxine Berman, former legislator, Maxine Berman represented Southfield for many, many years a white Jewish female. Well once Maxine left we have seen nothing but African Americans represent Southfield. We have an African American Congresswoman, from Southfield in the Michigan delegation. So, right here in our own state, we've certainly seen that occurring. And what we've got is a trend that some are calling melting pot suburbs, where minorities now constitute 35% or more of the population. As a matter of fact, between 2000 – 2010 it's been noted that whites comprise less than 10% of the growth of suburban population, while minorities constituted far greater than that.


Walt Sorg  26:41

So would you say that the the shift in voting patterns that we saw during the 2018 election, which are much more democratic in the suburbs is not an anomaly but rather an ongoing trend?


Arnold Weinfeld  26:54

Well, that's hard to say, because, you know, the president actually won the suburbs by four percentage points in total. 2016 election. I think what appoints to the wall is the political power of the suburbs. And, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that while on the one hand, I've talked, just talked about the changing demographics in many of the suburbs and how they no longer look, much like the June cleaver, Leave it to Beaver suburbs that many folks of our generation boomers in particular, or even older Americans might might have in mind. Still, there is the fact that on the other side of the coin, 10 of the priciest zip codes in America are all in the suburbs. And even when we think of our again, our own suburbs here in Michigan, you know, some of the priciest zip codes reside in Oakland County, in this state and the like so, so you've got an interesting picture of the suburbs are really a greater reflection. The country as a whole in many respects, and the growing inequality, income inequality gap between rich and poor.  So if nothing else, I think the suburbs have increased in political power over the course of time. And it'll be interesting to see what happens in this upcoming election, certainly, you know, 2018, the strength of the suburbs and in creating a Democratic Congress, all of those that came out to vote, we'll have to see if that happens, again,


Walt Sorg  28:30

part of the transformation of the servers by census it was because it was a lower cost of living in the cities, people could get more for their money. That obviously is shifting now home in Bloomfield Hills is going to cost you a lot more than a home in downtown Detroit. Is this likely to be sort of like a juggling act where it's going back and forth and back and forth part because of the cost of living?


Arnold Weinfeld  28:54

I think cost of living has is one factor. Schools are another factor. There it is. It's multi dimensional, you know, that certainly we've got suburbs that are thriving and successful in the fastest growing most affluence. And then there are others that are facing growing poverty and mounting economic issues. And in some cases, even economic decline those suburbs, for instance, that have been able to adapt to 21st century industries and technologies and find places where the jobs are those suburbs that have medical industry, those suburbs that even have University. So Ed's and meds again, continues to play an important role in the growth of the suburb. So I think toggling back and forth isn't a bad analysis, but I think we have to remember that much like growth and decline anywhere. It's never any one thing.


Walt Sorg  29:51

What about the significance of the growth of the internet having broadband available, especially in the suburbs, where every server has got really good internet for certain For white collar workers, that could make a difference in where they locate.


Arnold Weinfeld  30:03

It can but I would remind your audience that for as much as we like to think there is good broadband access and connectivity in suburbs or in denser communities. I've been involved in broadband issues since I was with the Municipal League and had to go through the rewrite of the Michigan telecom act back in 2006. It was, and it's just not the case. There are pockets. Whether it's here in the city of Lansing, or if we want to consider an area such as bath Township, just north of East Lansing, which has become a lot denser. There are pockets, many pockets, even in this region that have poor internet connection. It really is a question of location, location, location, and you've got to be careful because you might be moving into a new subdivision In a suburban area, and just like you're checking on the schools and everything else, you better check on your broadband connection


Walt Sorg  31:07

Arnold Weinfeld thanks so much for joining us this morning.


Arnold Weinfeld  31:10

Well, my pleasure anytime. Thank you.


Christine Barry  31:16

Time for this week's political notes. First, the Battle of the post office. Senator Gary Peters led hearings in Washington on the slowdown of mail service, seemingly winning a promise from the new Postmaster General to give absentee ballots top priority this fall and to get them delivered on time. But he was skeptical of those promises.


Gary Peters  31:37

When mail is delayed, it has a dramatic impact on people's lives. Elections are certainly critical, but this is about everyday events. And the evidence is clear. I've heard from our postal workers or mail or letter carriers who are on the ground that are saying these policies are slowing mail down it's frustrating them


Christine Barry  31:54

and at the same time Attorney General Dana Nestle joined with other state attorneys general in a lawsuit to guarantee The ballots do in fact get delivered on time. The basis of the lawsuit is that the changes made by Postmaster General are both procedurally and substantively unlawful. There is a procedure that has to be followed when you change post office operations in a way that affects nationwide mail service and the procedures were not followed. There was no public input, didn't go before the Postal Regulatory Commission and so on. There are 13 other states in this lawsuit all from different they're all different parts of the US except for Hawaii. And there's and no Alaska which is weird because Alaska will suffer significant effects because digital wants to get rid of the subsidies that support USPS delivery to Alaska. And there's no Arizona or the other states that have huge native reservations or, or big expanses of land. So it's it's really interesting, sinister chipping away of the post office.


Walt Sorg  32:56

Yeah, and it's kind of crazy to politically the post office is possibly The most popular federal program outside of Social Security and Medicare, it has a 91% approval rating and polling and why somebody would want to take on something that's got 91% approval is just insane. But the President is fixated on winning the election, by hook or by crook, and by crook seems to be the only way that you can pull it off.


Christine Barry  33:21

You know, one of the reasons why this election and and getting Joe Biden in office is so important is that the Postmaster General isn't going to stop there. He has plans to begin a broad reimagining of the post office cost would increase standards would decrease the agency would use geography based pricing and this is all to happen after the election. The equal access that we have to the post office such as it is now it's not perfect. That's going to go away


Walt Sorg  33:50

to statewide petition drives are in the news environmentalist, led by the Michigan Environmental Council are launching a drive this week to provide constitutional protections for the Natural Resources Trust Fund, established in 1984. The fund receives all oil, gas and other mineral lease and royalty payments from state and managed public lands up to a constitutional trigger of a half billion dollars. These funds are reserved for the acquisition and development of public recreation lands since the trigger was reached in 2011. only interested in earnings on the balance are available for grants to propose projects. They basically want to get rid of the maximum so they can use the money more and more for protecting and expanding public lands and preserving them in perpetuity. The petition to amend the Elliott Larson civil rights act to expand protections to the LGBTQ plus community is resumed. They're collecting signatures again after the COVID-19 for suspension, fair and equal. Michigan has added a $100,000 donation from business leaders for Michigan for their campaign. The petition drive is supported by a broad coalition of businesses, labor organizations and nonprofits. It's still a long shot that they'll get there. signatures in time for the current legislative session, which is where they'd like to see their petition approved.


Christine Barry  35:05

And now, the political attack ad of the week. It goes to the Democratic National Committee for the four day online infomercial, also called the Democratic National Convention. Four years ago in a campaign speech outside of Lansing candidate Donald Trump asked a simple question,



what do you have to lose? By trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? I say it again. What do you have to lose? Look, why do you have to lose? What the hell do you have to lose?


Christine Barry  35:43

Well, in all week, long speakers at the DNC provided some answers.


Barack Obama  35:47

I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did help for the sake of our country. Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, but he never did. For close to four years now he has shown no interest in putting in the work. no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends. no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves. Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job, because he can't


Tammy Duckworth  36:32

they have a coward in chief who won't stand up to Vladimir Putin read his daily intelligence briefings or even publicly admonished adversaries for reportedly putting bounties on our troops heads. As President Joe Biden would never let tyrants manipulate him like a puppet. He would never pervert our military to stroke his own ego.


Hillary Clinton  36:54

Remember back in 2016 when Trump asked what do you have to lose? Well, now we know Our healthcare, our jobs, our loved ones, our leadership in the world and even our post office.


John Kasich  37:08

I'm a lifelong Republican. But that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. Many of us can imagine for more years going down this path, and that's why I'm asking you to join with me in choosing a better way forward.


John Kerry  37:24

Donald Trump inherited a growing economy and a more peaceful world. And like everything else he inherited, he bankrupted it. When this president goes overseas, it isn't a goodwill mission. It's a blooper reel.


Bernie Sanders  37:37

If Donald Trump is reelected, all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy.


Michelle Obama  37:43

Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us? It is what it is.


Walt Sorg  38:04

Wait a minute, what was it that Michelle said


Donald Trump  38:07

it is what it is?


Walt Sorg  38:09

Okay. But in the spirit of Joe Biden, we conclude this week's pod on a high note,


Joe Biden  38:14

I will ban American president. I'll work hard for those who didn't support me as hard for them as I did. For those who did vote for me. That's the job of a president to represent all of us, not just our base or our party. This is not a partisan moment. This must be an American moment. Someone with a cause for hope and light and love, hope for our future. Light to see our way forward and love for one another. America is just a collection of clashing interests of red states and blue states are so much bigger than that. We're so much better than that.


Braden Harrington  38:53

I'm just a regular kid. And in a short amount of time, Joe Biden, made me more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life, Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. kids like me are counting on you to elect someone. We can all look up to someone who cares. Someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We're counting on you to elect Joe Biden.


Christine Barry  39:22

And that's a wrap for our post convention podcast. For more information on today's subjects, head on over to our website, MichiganPolicast.com, and this week, I'm going to have extra videos in there including and I'm dating myself, the wonderful, wonderful cut of Winchester in mash with the stuttering patient. So I don't know if you've ever seen that. Walt, that was one of my favorite shows back in the day, but it's wonderful and it's kind of a shout out to Braden.


Walt Sorg  39:52

One other video we didn't talk about it during the pod was tremendous was the tribute to john lewis. It was absolutely fantastic. As always, your comments are always welcome.


Donald Trump  40:03

What do you have to lose


Walt Sorg  40:06

Email us at mipolicast@gmail.com or reach out to us on our Facebook page or on Twitter.


Walt Sorg  40:13

Thanks for sticking this in your ear. Michigan Policast is a production of Michigan Citizens for a Better Tomorrow.

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One comment on “2020 DNC, Whitmer wins in court, USPS under attack. Arnold Weinfeld on the demographics of suburbs.

  1. Reduces credibility when someone is trying to say that only blacks have represented Southfield since Maxine Berman: Jeremy Moss. If I know this, not living in Oakland County, it’s hard not to discount everything else Mr Weinfeld says.

    Otherwise, as always, enjoy your podcast.