Michigan Policast for Monday, November 16, 2020In this episode:
Note: This episode was recorded Sunday morning, prior to Governor Whitmer's COVID announcement. We've included information from her announcement.
- Segment one: COVID COVID COVID!!!!
- Segment two: Chris Mitchell from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association
- Segment three: Trump won't go! Losers, lawsuits, and lies
- Segment four: Democratic fight club – left v center
- Segment five: Katie Fahey of People.org
- Segment six: Political notes
- Segment seven: Campaign ad of the week
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: COVID’s deadliest days in Michigan loom ahead | Bridge Michigan
- Whitmer warns ‘quick action' may be needed to stop COVID-19 spread
- COVID-19 is raging in western Michigan as hospitals are near capacity
- What happens when Michigan hospitals reach capacity?
- Covid-19: Pandemic Shatters More Records in U.S., as States and Cities Tighten Restrictions – The New York Times
- ‘Catastrophic’ lack of hospital beds in Upper Midwest as coronavirus cases surge – The Washington Post
- COVID Alert App
- Gov. Whitmer expected to announce closing of high schools, colleges, in-person dining, casinos, movie theaters
- Michigan hospitals plead with residents to mask up, ditch holiday plans
- MDHHS issues three-week epidemic order to save lives, protect frontline heroes during fall COVID-19 surge
- Gatherings and Face Mask Order
- COVID-19 Safe Social Pods
Tonight, @MichiganHHS issued an emergency order that enacts a three-week pause, targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities to curb our state’s rising #COVID19 infection rates. pic.twitter.com/yEc0enVPBX
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) November 16, 2020
Mike, as a member of the medical community you claim you are working with, we don’t see you. One phone call with our CMOs does not constitute working with us. We have told you we are in trouble but you decided that the pandemic was a good time to take a vacation.
— Rob Casalou (@CasalouRob) November 15, 2020
As pandemic worsens, Michigan lawmakers should step up or step aside https://t.co/avPKuPiD8f
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) November 15, 2020
“I’ve never seen Mother Nature be defeated and this is part of that process,” says Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on Michigan’s case surge during Friday @wjrradio interview.
— Mark Cavitt (@MarkCavitt) November 13, 2020
You KNOW I stand with Governor Whitmer, I'm hoping Big Gretch locks us down again because Covid-19 is out of control here in Michigan and our GOP majority legislature is heartless and USELESS. MASK UP MICHIGAN. -art by me #maskup #maskupmichigan #biggretch #wearamask pic.twitter.com/bGRUrISIx1
— L.Chenault (@LacyChenault) November 15, 2020
This would be correct. Legislative Republicans have put out a “plan” that isn’t based in public health fact. The GOP has the gavel—they could pass this legislation literally any time we are in session, since they have the majority. https://t.co/hogghGb59l
— Mari Manoogian (@MariManoogian) November 15, 2020
- Michigan hospitals plead with residents to mask up, ditch holiday plans | Bridge Michigan
- As COVID-19 cases rise, are Michigan health care providers ready?
- Michigan's free MI COVID Alert app sends coronavirus exposure alerts
MHA CEO Brian Peters has released a statement in support of the actions taken by the @GovWhitmer administration and the @MichiganHHS three-week epidemic emergency order. #maskupmichgian 😷 https://t.co/Y218vWjqEr pic.twitter.com/yVCKcPrfQP
— MHA (@MIHospitalAssoc) November 15, 2020
— Melissa Nann Burke (@nannburke) November 13, 2020
- GOP senators ask Benson for election audit before certification
- Ingham, Washtenaw and Wayne counties targeted by election lawsuit
- Trump files federal lawsuit to delay certification of Michigan election results – mlive.com
- How five lawsuits seek to halt certifying Michigan's election results
- Whenever Trump loses, he baselessly claims it was rigged – The Washington Post
- Internet sleuths are trying to prove dead people voted in Michigan
- Meet Michigan’s ‘dead’ voters. They’re quite alive, despite false fraud claims | Bridge Michigan
- Trust Index: Fact-checking claims regarding Michigan’s 2020 election
- Nearly 80% of Americans say Biden won White House, ignoring Trump's refusal to concede: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters
- Michigan AG to Big League Politics: Take down misleading videos
- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Victory Speeches | C-SPAN.org
- Nessel charges man who filled out daughter's ballot as part of election crackdown
Sen. Bernie Sanders on the lack of a transition from the Trump administration: “Trump will have the distinction of doing more than any person in the history of this country in undermining American democracy” https://t.co/292Tmyeknk pic.twitter.com/JilTrIHWFw
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 15, 2020
The Republican slide towards autocracy started in 1963.
It only accelerated and morphed into full-throated Fascism under Trump.
It won't stop when he's gone. It will just grow another, more dangerous head.
We only get one warning.https://t.co/lcxDpdyTzf
— Monty 🇺🇸Hamilton's Battery🇺🇸 Boa (@MontyBoa99) November 15, 2020
On Wednesday night, Trump claimed on Twitter that “nobody wants to report that Pennsylvania and Michigan didn’t allow our Poll Watchers and/or Vote Observers to Watch or Observe. This is responsible for hundreds of thousands of votes that should not be allowed to count. Therefore, I easily win both states. Report the News!” ~Source
Pres. Trump stonewalling President-elect Biden's transition not only breaks with tradition, but also endangers national security, numerous former government officials and experts said. https://t.co/CmcSbp2wH7
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 15, 2020
- Elissa Slotkin Braces for a Democratic Civil War
- Elissa Slotkin Is Sounding the Alarm. Will Democrats Listen?
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ends truce by warning ‘incompetent’ Democratic party
- AOC, House progressives warn Biden on corporate hires
- Republicans challenge Michigan’s redistricting commission in court | Democracy in America | The Economist
- Voters Not Politicians statement on appeal in Daunt v. Benson to dismantle voter-approved redistricting commission – Voters Not Politicians
- Where Democrats will be locked out of power in redistricting battles next year – The Washington Post
- Maybe voting is actually GOOD?! – with special guest Kim Murphy-Kovalick from Voters Not Politicians
- Katie Fahey on LinkedIn
— Katie Fahey 👍✌ (@KTeaFahey) November 10, 2020
Election day is over — it’s time to get back to work! Please donate to The People to support us in creating a more accountable government. Donate here: https://t.co/oRpksWkFoR#democracy #unitedstates #election2020 #citizen pic.twitter.com/H2oYhQO9oq
— The People (@ThePeopleOrg) November 13, 2020
Note: At one point when discussing John James I mention Joe Biden as his opponent. I meant to say Gary Peters. ^cb
- John James establishes joint legal fund with RNC ⋆ Michigan Advance
- Here Are The Republicans To Defeat In 2022 | Crooks and Liars
- AG – AG Nessel Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Gov. Whitmer, DNR to Shut Down Enbridge's Line 5
- Whitmer – Gov. Whitmer, Michigan Legislators Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Barriers to Licensure for Servicemembers, Veterans, and Dependents
- Summons and complaint – State of Michigan v Enbridge
- Enbridge 1953 Easement with State of Michigan
- Whitmer to revoke Enbridge oil pipeline easement in Straits of Mackinac
Walt Sorg 00:00
The presenting underwriter of the Michigan Policast is Progress Michigan providing a strong credible voice that holds public officials and government accountable and assist in the promotion of progressive ideas.
Gretchen Whitmer 00:12
This is the worst week of covered we've ever had. And two weeks from now, we are going to see our numbers continue to decline without significant action by the people across our state,
Walt Sorg 00:23
thanks to the leadership failure of he who shall not be named or reelected. COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are soaring in every state in the nation. 49 of 50 states have reported increased infections over the last week, we take a deep dive into what that means for our state and our politics talking with Chris Mitchell from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association in just a few moments, live on tape from the Four Seasons landscaping company. This is the Michigan Policast. We're all about Michigan politics and policy in the national stories impacting our pleasant peninsulas. I am Walt Sorg.
Christine Barry 00:58
And I am Christine Barry. The governor and the Attorney General pull the rug out from under Enbridge Line 5, but the fat lady ain't singing quite yet for the controversial link between peninsula's legislators apparently aren't concerned with our skyrocketing COVID 19 pandemic. They've left town after doing nothing to slow the spread. And we haven't forgotten about the presidential transition, or the looming debate among Democrats between pragmatic progressives and the purists.
Walt Sorg 01:26
And later in the panel talk with my friend and former partner voters, not politicians founder Katie Fahey, about the upcoming round of gerrymandering across America. Let's begin though with the pandemic. Christine safe to say shits gonna get serious legislators say they want to be a part of the solution in Michigan. But
Gretchen Whitmer 01:43
this has been a long, hard, stressful time for all of us. And I also know that the legislature showed some interest in having a seat at the table. However, I have been asking members of the legislature for some thoughtful partnership here to bring our numbers down, I would encourage you as members of the press to ask if they've got some plans to bring because I've been asking and the one great tool that we know makes a difference in terms of a masked mandate they have taken off the table.
Christine Barry 02:15
And the governor makes it clear she's not tightening restrictions just yet. But it is more than just a possibility.
Gretchen Whitmer 02:21
I have been very clear all along that I put the health and welfare of the people front and center and listen to the best scientists that we have, which are the best in the world. And we'll make decisions to keep people safe. But if you want to ask the legislature if they've got some additional actions they're willing or interested in taking I I too, would be interested in the answer because I've not gotten one night when I've asked the question. This has been a long, hard, stressful time for all of us. And I also know that the legislature showed some interest in having a seat at the table. However, I have been asking members of the legislature for some thoughtful partnership here to bring our numbers down.
Walt Sorg 03:01
The governor is between a rock and a hard place right now. She has good she knows what needs to be done. The question is will the people of the State of Michigan do it, it's a matter of voluntary compliance. And there are people out there who simply refuse to wear a mask because it infringes on their freedom. Although I would speculate that having a ventilator on or dying is a much bigger infringement on your freedom.
Christine Barry 03:22
And I don't understand why it's such a burden to put on a mask just to be on the safe side. It doesn't it you know, it doesn't hurt that much to put on a mask for most people, people who can't medically wear one clearly, that's a different situation. But so many people say show me the science where this helps show me the science. They don't mean show me the science they mean show me the science that fits my ridiculous worldview. There might not be any science that does that because your worldview is just messed up. I don't get that I think it's a kind of a selfish thing. It's not an infringement on Liberty at all, in my view. But more importantly, Walt, this, this lack of action by the legislature who complained and complained for months that they weren't part of the solution that Governor Whitmer had rolled out. They wanted to be part of it. Finally, the Supreme Court comes in cuts her off at the knees say that we hope she'll work together with the legislature and then what happens the legislature leaves town they say oh, there's no time sensitive work to be done. She says come to the table. They say okay, we'll come to the table but we're going to rule out lockdowns and masks. So I don't know what they're bringing to the table. You know, if they think that there's a tax cut or something that's going to make COVID go away. But they're, they're a one trick pony. And that trick when it comes to COVID is to do nothing.
Walt Sorg 04:50
And the reason they want to do nothing is because it's not popular. There are no easy solutions to this problem. What has to be done is a 100% compliance with wearing masks. And a shutdown of the most dangerous types of businesses. That means shutting down the bars severely restricted if not shutting down indoor dining across the state of Michigan, things like bowling and large meetings and weddings and funerals anywhere where people congregate in confined spaces. And that's got to be stopped. None of that is popular. None of its fun. None of it is something that any of us wants to do. But it has to be done. The legislature says it wants to be part of the solution. But the reality is it doesn't have the balls to make the hard decisions that need to be made. This is a cowardice on the part of the legislature, they would just assume that the governor take all the political heat for what's going to come down. And there's going to be more I would venture to say in the next few days, we're going to be hearing more from the governor. And it's going to be stuff we don't want to hear other than if we want to stay healthy.
Christine Barry 05:47
Well, you know, she's the only grown up in the room. And, you know, you're talking about how there's no political courage to do the right thing on the part of the legislature. It's more than that. They insult us with what they do. They insult us. Mike Shirkey said the other day, that Mother Nature can't be beaten. You know, this is part of Mother Nature. COVID-19, this kind of spread this pandemic. This is not part of Mother Nature. You know, a tornado is Mother Nature. This pandemic human behavior plays a part here, and there are things we can do to slow this down to stop it. It's not Mother Nature. And I you know, this herd immunity that he wants to develop is what they're just trying to force on us by not taking precautions. And by modeling this really bad behavior, going out to Super spreader events, not wearing masks not distancing at all. It's, it's, it's an insult.
Walt Sorg 06:43
It's important to that we get out of our silo. We are not alone in this. Everybody across the nation is going through it right now. And it's not just Southeast Michigan in the state of Michigan, where it was the first time it was Southeast Michigan, and to a lesser extent it was Lansing and a little bit of Ann Arbor, because that's where the population was. But now it's the entire state, in fact, on a per capita basis, the very worst part of the pandemics in the Upper Peninsula where very few people live, but an awful lot of people are getting sick. And it's not just Michigan in fact, Michigan is doing better in the Midwest than most of our neighbors. Other states are reinstating partial lockdowns from border to border of the United States and then include states run by Republicans, Democrats and independence. in Chicago. The mayor's issued a new stay at home order that is in place for 30 days. In both Wisconsin and Ohio. The governors are taking action. democrat Tony ivers and Republican Mike dewine are pretty much on the same page.
Tony Ivers 07:39
Each day this virus goes unchecked is a setback for our economic recovery. Our buyers, restaurants, small businesses, families and farmers will continue to suffer if we don't take action right now. So tonight, I've signed Executive Order 94 advising wisconsinites to stay home to save lives. We must get back to the basics of fighting this virus, just like we did last spring and it starts at home. It's not safe to go out. It's not safe to have others over. It's just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet. So please, please cancel the happy hours. The dinner parties sleep overs, playdates at your home.
Mike DeWine 08:27
We know that masks work, they are the easiest, most cost effective way to limit the spread of COVID 19. Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment that is as safe as can be, which means all customers must wear a mask. Our mask order was issued on July 23. And in fact says just that.
Walt Sorg 08:55
We are joined by Chris Mitchell, the executive vice president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Chris so you guys are right in the middle of all of this. First of all, how prepared right now are Michigan's hospital systems to deal with these record setting levels of cases and hospitalizations?
Chris Mitchell 09:12
Well, hi, Walt, and thank you very much for letting me join you this afternoon. What I would tell you is Michigan hospitals are more prepared to treat a second surge of COVID 19 patients than in the spring and that includes areas of testing, PPE, treatment methodologies and therapeutics. However, just like everyone else, we're very concerned as COVID-19 cases trend upwards in all regions of the state this time and hospitalizations have surged by over 100% during the last two weeks, in fact that just got the data today and we are well over 3000 hospitalized patients within the state of Michigan. This concerning jump puts our entire health system as Risk of another capacity crisis like we experienced earlier in the year in Southeast Michigan,
Walt Sorg 10:05
and it was in Southeast Michigan the latter time, but now it is statewide. I know in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, Detroit, and Arbor. We've certainly got excellent capacity but you get outside of the main urban areas. And it's a different story how what's the risk right now for Northern Michigan for the up?
Chris Mitchell 10:25
Well, the capacity of a hospital is dependent on a variety of different variables. All hospitals no matter where they're located, have surge plan can tactics that allow the facility or health system to increase capacity, up to 120 or 130%. Examples of those tactics within those plans allow for changes in capacity, which include delaying non emergency procedures, and reconfiguring or constructing medical units and reassigning staff. And we saw some of that in Southeast Michigan when the state opened up the TCF Center and the suburban showplace. So we remain confident that we'll be able to surge up to meet the capacity needs. I mean, with that being said, a number of our hospitals are concerned about staffing, right, not just physical beds, or, or space. And that's really the key determining factor of any hospitals capacity. We know health care workers all throughout the state have been serving on the front lines and dealing with this pandemic for months, and are not only suffering burnout, but now they're testing positive not from treating COVID positive patients but from community spread things like picking up your kids from school, local social gatherings, and things of that nature.
Walt Sorg 11:57
A couple of issues. First of all the non essential admissions and procedures in hospitals, a lot of people interpreted that last time of the spring is meaning don't go to the hospital unless you've got COVID. And that's certainly not what you're trying to tell them.
Chris Mitchell 12:11
Yeah, we are certainly not into any sort of case where people should delay emergency care. There are many tactics being put in place, such as moving these procedures from an to an outpatient setting and relocating staff there. But the healthcare community remains as prepared as ever and as safe as ever for anybody who's experiencing a medical emergency or needs medical care.
Walt Sorg 12:40
What's the situation with PPE for the health care workers?
Chris Mitchell 12:45
Well, you know, hospitals are in a much better situation now than they were several months ago regarding PPE than they were in the spring when the pandemic began, a big part of that is the supply chain in Asia, they were facing, really the brunt of the pandemic at the same time. So that created really a perfect storm, where it was difficult for us to acquire the PPE. But much like everything else over the past few months, hospitals have increased their PPE inventories to account for a second surge. They've also made critical revisions to their supply chains. So they're not as reliant on international vendors and now have solid relationships with domestic vendors that can help supplement the existing suppliers. And hospitals also have a better sense on the rate which they burned through PPE, which we refer to as the PPE burn rate, and what their daily needs look like. And the state has been a key partner in in purchasing PPE, and preparing a statewide stockpile, that hospitals can rely upon in case of emergency. And in fact, the state has recently shipped out a number of N95 masks just as an example. And we remain closely in contact with them to ensure that we have all the PPE that hospitals we need.
Walt Sorg 14:14
What about the testing capacity? I know the sparrow system in Lansing has announced that beginning in the next few days, you're going to need a note from your doctor before you can get tested before it was all comers were taken on. Is it that way across the state?
Chris Mitchell 14:27
Yeah, what what we're seeing is while the number of cases are going up, the number of suspect suspected cases are also going up. So the demand from testing related to all of that has gone up as well. And so what we're seeing across the state is that our members are running through a lot more testing supplies than they typically do. And I will tell you we're in contact with both Senator Stabenow and Peters and and reaching out to the federal government to try to ensure that all our members have the testimony supplies that they need. But it is a real problem currently,
Walt Sorg 15:03
while your members are handling the current crisis and the surgeon cases, they're also getting ready to be the dispensers of the vaccine when it's ready, they need very specialized refrigeration. So they're going to have to do it. Are they going to be able to handle that as well?
Chris Mitchell 15:17
The distribution plans regarding a COVID 19 vaccine are still in development. But we're working closely with both the state and federal officials to make sure that process is streamlined as possible once the vaccine is ready. I assure you that our hospital to be more than prepared and equipped to manage the distribution of the healthcare, the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly on the front end, because there's going to be a lot of work to get all these frontline workers and nurses and first first responders vaccinated in a timely manner.
Walt Sorg 15:54
In the spring treatment had a choke point, which was the availability of ventilators, which became a crisis for a while. Are we looking at the same sort of thing with refrigeration equipment necessary for the vaccine? Or do we have that under control?
Chris Mitchell 16:08
I think we're much more prepared this time, obviously, at the first wave of the pandemic, the needs that we would need, the needs that were that manifests itself weren't as obvious. And I would say, Now, we know a vaccine is coming, we have a timetable of when we should expect the vaccine. And that gives us ample time to secure the proper storage equipment, we will need to safely store and then distribute the vaccine.
Walt Sorg 16:45
I suspect your message to our listeners is pretty much the same as the governor's is really simple. Protect our health care workers do everything you can on your part. If we had 95% mass compliance, and people actually did stay socially distance, could we conquer this thing?
Chris Mitchell 17:02
Well, I mean, I, you know, I'm not a physician. But I'll say this. We're all looking today, at a number of different factors. I think one, we all know this pandemics been going on for most of 2020. And we know individuals are are tired. They're they're exhausted at trying to deal with these guidelines, they miss their loved ones. But we also at the same time see the number of cases rising exponentially, not just here, but across the country and really, in many parts of the world. And the one thing we do know is that the only way to slow this down is to have some sort of intervention and mitigation strategies and as tired as folks are hearing about it, but it's it's simple. We all need to wear masks, we all need to avoid large crowds. We all need to be mindful when we're in social gatherings, and we've got to wash our hands. And by doing those things, we can clearly slow down this virus. We've done it before. And we can certainly do it again.
Walt Sorg 18:08
One last question on resources before we end and that is on the most important resource, which is people. How are the hospitals doing and maintaining staffing, keeping their staff healthy so they can continue to help us?
Chris Mitchell 18:21
Well, I think I mentioned before, we're seeing more and more hospital staff become COVID positive. And as I mentioned, it's not because they're treating more COVID patients, it's from community spread. And so the best thing everybody can do to ensure that our health care workers can still continue to provide the world class care that they do is to practice the things that I mentioned earlier, wearing masks, avoiding social avoiding big crowds, being mindful during social gatherings. What I will say is our healthcare workforce, they're truly heroes. They are resilient. But I will tell you that anybody doing anything as critical as they have over the past months, we are seeing some dip in morale, so to speak, and and and we just have to, we just have to come together as people and do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus.
Walt Sorg 19:26
Chris Mitchell from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Godspeed in your efforts and Godspeed to your members, trying to keep everybody healthy. Thanks so much for joining us.
Chris Mitchell 19:35
Oh yes. Thank you again for having me. Good to talk to you.
Joe Biden 19:37
You think it's an embarrassment? Now, how can I say this … I think it will not help presidents legacy. I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far that they are hopeful that United States democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and endure. But I think at the end of the day, you know, it's all going to come to fruition on January 20. And between now and then, my hope and expectation is that the American people are, do know, do understand that there has been a transition.
Walt Sorg 20:39
So that's what Joe Biden has to say right now all about all he can do is talk because the government under Donald Trump refuses to give him any ability to act in any way. They won't even let him continue the transition by talking with federal agencies, because some idiot bureaucrat in the government services administration refuses to sign the paper that says it looks like you won the election. Why won't she sign it? Because Donald Trump continues this fiction that he's maintaining strictly for purposes of lining his own pockets by keeping the sheep in line. He's maintaining this fiction that he actually won the election. He keeps calling it fixed, rigged and everything else. The fact remains if Donald Trump lost Bigley, as they say you lost in a landslide. Four years ago, 306 electoral votes for Donald Trump was a landslide. Well, just so happens 306 electoral votes is what Joe Biden's getting this time. And this time, Joe Biden actually won the popular vote as well, he got more five and a half million more votes than Donald Trump. It's over Donald admitted, and stop trying to get people to give you money for your legal defense fund that's actually going to go to other purposes like paying off campaign debt, stop trying to fleece these people that have been funding you. It's just one more grift for you. It's got to stop in the nation's public interest. Republicans are telling you this former administration officials are telling you this, certainly democrats are telling you this, you are making the nation less safe by being a petulant child.
Christine Barry 22:04
And I 100% agree with that. And going back to what Joe Biden said, It truly is embarrassing on so many different levels. I think that most of the world who, you know, that is friendly towards us understands that this President is an aberration. And our democracy is very strong. Our election system is very strong. But it's still an embarrassment. It's still something that can be used against us. You know, one of the things I wanted to mention was all of these these cases that they're filing, these things that they're saying and this pretend evidence that they're drumming up for this PR campaign to build this narrative about election scandals and cheating and and rigged election, that narrative is not going to go away for a long time, even though it's based on garbage, because now they have legal documents in place that even if cases get thrown out, these legal documents still exist. And this feeling that Trump's followers have that this election was rigged, that's going to still exist, and that when Trump is finally out of office, and Joe Biden is in there going to be more and more angry, there's going to be lasting effects from this in our own country out tell you something else to add just as an example, when you look at all of these ridiculous documents being filed people, some of these attorneys will come on come right out and say, Look, we're just trying to gather more evidence, you know, this might not stand on its own, but we're trying to get more evidence and you read some of these affidavits. And they're just ridiculous, like the one that was, you know, most of the military ballots that were coming in were for Biden. And you know, that's really suspicious, because military usually votes Republican. These kinds of affidavits. They exist now they were created now. And the reason that this matters is that, let's say for example, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to somebody, I don't know who it would be, let's say every clerk in the state for information that Ruth Johnson directed them to cheat on the elections back in whatever years she was in office. There's no such evidence that exists for that. But I but I submitted a FOIA legal document for it. Now somebody else comes along and they FOIA that document. And now it's being used as evidence to further a conspiracy theory. That's just an example I thought of off the top of my head. But all of these documents that are being created are just going to now they exist, they're going to be there to continue to fuel these conspiracy theories. And also, I'll tell you, I have no problem with people getting audits, asking for audits for elections, asking for recounts if they're deserved. But I do have a big problem with people just making stuff up because they don't like to lose.
Walt Sorg 24:53
And they're also ignorant about how the system works because every election is audited. That's how the system works. After you vote, they had announced the preliminary vote count. And then those results are audited county by county by their county board of canvassers. And then those results are audited by the State Board of canvassers. So there's lots of checks in there. And even on election night, if mistakes are found, they're quickly repaired. But the conspiracy theory folks look on these mistakes that were maybe in place for five minutes to say, See, there's proof. This is all a problem. But it all starts at the top because there is a sizable portion of our electorate who only believe information that comes from Donald Trump and his hyper conservative echo machine, which used to be Fox News. Apparently, they're no longer a part of it. Now. It's OAN. And it is Breitbart. Sometimes it is Alex Jones, and people like that, who is rush limbaugh, who could keep feeding these horrible conspiracies and there are some, some opinion people on Fox who are continuing to feed it as well, most notably sean hannity, who, when he's not kissing the President's ass is promoting his conspiracy theories.
Christine Barry 26:03
Tucker Carlson, oh, my God
Walt Sorg 26:05
and Tucker Carlson. And most of all is an idiot Rudy Giuliani, who apparently went insane about 15 years ago, and dementia is sudden, and should be disbarred. What is telling though is when these guys go into court when their wares go into court, they refuse to repeat the claims. they file their affidavits. And then the judge says, Do you have evidence that this is true based on what the affidavits say? And the lawyer say, No, we don't have any proof. We're just investigating. Because they know if they tell the judge a lie, they can lose their license to practice law. And that's a step that they won't take even on behalf of Donald Trump. And so far in Michigan, every one of these lawsuits has been pure Bs and our attorney general Dana Nestle has been knocking them down one by one and she is not she's totally unimpressed with everything she has seen so far in court.
Dana Nessel 26:51
So many of these lawsuits are so frivolous, so lacking in merits, or any factual reality, that I think normally an attorney would be sanctioned for having filed these lawsuits, and might even be disciplined might even be held in contempt in some sort, for having brought them. But what I will say is that the Trump administration has a spotless record and that they have lost every single case that has been heard thus far. And I believe that they'll continue on in their losing streak as long as they continue to file the kind of baseless claims that they are now making here in our state.
Walt Sorg 27:32
So the Attorney General's right. It's all bullshit. And she's happy no, for these cases are being thrown out of court before they even have much in the way of an evidentiary hearing. All they do is they have a hearing on motions before the court. And the court says, Have you got anything and the the the lawyers for Trump say, well, actually not, Your Honor. And the judge says, well, what's your problem? Why are you here? And they say, well, we just wanted to see and see how you're doing. And they leave. And that's the end of that case. But like you say, it's on the record now that the case has been filed. And that's enough for these under uninformed conspiracy theory nutjobs that are out there to continue arguing. There was a demonstration Saturday in Lansing outside the state capitol, another one of the never ending demonstrations we have here in town. And it was about 500 people, all of them, Trump people, none of them wearing masks, of course, all of them wearing red, white and blue, because that shows you're a patriot and you love America if you weren't red, white, and blue. And they simply don't believe anybody. And that's a big problem. We've gotten society right now. And the reason they don't believe anybody is because for the last four years, they're fuher Donald Trump has told them don't believe anybody except me. Whatever you see, whatever you hear, don't believe it. Believe what you hear and see from me. Don't believe the FBI don't believe the CIA don't believe the courts. Don't believe the news media except for a couple of few that I endorse. Don't believe your neighbors don't believe what you see in front of your eyes. Don't believe anything you see on social media that is not totally supportive of what I say, only believe me and my idiot sons.
Christine Barry 29:00
And at the same time, he did a really good job creating an enemy for people to be afraid of. And it could be an enemy that's like, like a China, it could be an enemy of like socialists, which you know, all of these things are trumped up and fabricated. But it was always Trump saying they're not coming for me. They're coming for you and I'm protecting you. I'm the only thing standing between you and this big, bad, horrible thing over here. And he was really good at telling that story. And unfortunately, many people bought into that. One of the jobs of an American president is to heal the country. You know, you when you go into office like Joe Biden will be soon, like George W. Bush, his when he ran against Al Gore. One of the first things he said was I'm a uniter, not a divider. Now I don't think that was true, but he at least tried it out. That's what you're supposed to To do, Trump never did that.
Walt Sorg 30:01
And more importantly, that's what al gore said, when he could see to the election that he very well could have continued to contest, because al gore stepped aside in the in the interest of what it was better for the nation just has every losing candidate in a presidential election going back for my entire life, at least every one of them has done the same thing when it was clear they were not going to win the election. And that is they've gracefully conceded the election and pledged their full support to the incoming president, regardless of whether it was a change in party or not. They said for the good of the nation, I hope you succeed.
Christine Barry 30:35
Yeah, that's what being loyal opposition is all about. And you try to unite the country behind the new president on your way in and on your way out. This is just one more area in the presidency where where Trump is a complete failure.
Walt Sorg 30:50
And what's so sad is this whole thing about the election being rigged and everything because Trump can't possibly believe he lost. This is this is a repeat performance from him. Every time he has lost an election or not even wandered by as much as he thought he would win it by he said the same thing. It's impossible that I lost the election must have been rigged.
Donald Trump 31:08
Somebody just came up, you actually won Iowa. And if the Republican Party had any guts, they would have terminated Cruz from that election, because honestly, he cheated like a dog. And I would have won Ohio. Had I not been given a dirty poll, saying that Florida was tougher than I thought.
Chris Wallace 31:26
Are you saying you're not prepared now?
Donald Trump 31:29
That I will tell you what the time I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election? If I win, is it amazing the way they say this no voter fraud. Folks, it's a rigged system. And it's a rigged election. Believe me, if you look at voter registration, you look at the dead people that are registered to vote who vote three to 5 million illegal vote wasn't to find out. But it could very well be that much California, the same person votes many times you probably heard about that. They always like to say, Oh, that's a conspiracy theory, not a conspiracy theory, folks,
Chris Wallace 32:11
can you give a direct answer you will accept the election
Donald Trump 32:13
We'll have to see, look, you have to see Oh, I'm not going to just say yes, we're gonna win this election. The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged elections,
will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transfer of power after the election
Donald Trump 32:30
Well, we're gonna have to see what happens if I see 10s of thousands of ballots being manipulated. I can't go along with that. And I'll tell you, why does that from a common sense, does that mean? It means you have a fraudulent election, we were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,
Walt Sorg 32:48
such garbage consistent, if nothing else, he is consistent.
Christine Barry 32:52
And, you know, I've got to say I really am not happy with the media for starting to ask that question in the first place. Like, will you know, will you accept the results of the election? I don't believe that's an appropriate question. You don't have a choice.
Walt Sorg 33:05
I'm looking forward to the Secret Service, dragging him out kicking and screaming on Inauguration Day. And I'm really curious to see if he shows up at the inauguration. That's another American tradition that has never been broken. The only time that the previous President hasn't shown up at the inauguration was if they were dead.
Christine Barry 33:22
Well, I'm sure that Mike Pence will be there. He seems to be kind of shying away from this. All of this conspiracy talk. But
Walt Sorg 33:29
he's been he's been kind of hidden away. It's going to be interesting to see how the two of them behave during the upcoming runoff elections in Georgia. How visible will they be? How visible will everybody else be? I think the only person who probably won't be campaigning a lot in Georgia will be Joe Biden and his statements gonna be I don't have time for politics. Right now we have a pandemic. And that's much more important than an election, although the election is very important. But you'll have Kamala Harris down there. I wouldn't be surprised. But Barack Obama moves in with the Carter family for a few weeks, and just continues to campaign full time down there. And you're going to have the incredible Stacey Abrams working her butt off there before she runs for governor again in a couple of years in Georgia. So it's going to be an interesting time in Georgia. And what's at stake down there with the control the central Texas control of the Senate, which is kind of nice. And it would be fun to see mitch mcconnell have to kind of eat it. But what's at stake is whether or not the Biden ministration is going to get anything done. Mitch McConnell gladly calls himself the Grim Reaper, meaning that when legislation gets to his desk, he kills it. And he's done that with about 400 bills that have come out of the House of Representatives over the last couple of years. And they'll continue to do that if people want gridlock for two more years reelect Purdue and lafleur. And we'll have two more years of gridlock. Joe Biden will be stuck with a cabinet that's approved by mitch mcconnell for the most part because McConnell will have the votes and if people are worried that the Congress will go overboard on Super liberal things, if Democrats have a 5050 control through the Vice President's tie breaking vote. Remember, you still got Joe Manchin in the senate from West Virginia who is kind of a democrat light all by himself with his one vote. He can stop democrats from doing anything he wants to stop them from doing. And if he thinks they're moving too far to the left, he's not going to be bashful about doing it, because Joe Manchin, one is a pretty consistent, moderate to conservative. And secondly, Joe Manchin would like to get reelected. So I think you'll see Joe Manchin as really being sort of like john roberts has been on the Supreme Court, sort of the swing vote on a lot of issues. He will make the determination ultimately, what gets passed more than anybody else in the Senate. If democrats are in the majority.
Christine Barry 35:39
Oh, look at it would barely be a majority. It'd be 5050 with the vice president breaking the tie. And look at when you talk about what's at stake in Georgia. Look at lafleur she's a Loon. I mean, she's like QAnon Loon.
Walt Sorg 35:56
You know, just queueing on no question about it. She is so bad. She owns a W NBA basketball team. And her players all supported Joe Biden and supported her opponent, and are supporting Reverend Warnock. Now, what I find intriguing about the the GA raised the top of the ticket in the election, you have an African American is very well known and very popular. You've got Reverend Warnock, who is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King's church in Atlanta. And on top of that, you've got Stacey Abrams out there who may be the best political organizer in the country right now. And that makes for a very potent combination, it's gonna be a matter of who could gin up the most energy, and who could come up with the most negative ads that are convincing?
Christine Barry 36:36
Well, as important as it is to keep an eye on Trump and the things that he's saying, and the division that he's selling. The battle ahead of us now is definitely Georgia. And we need to also be engaged with that and do what we can to help. I don't know what that means, if you can, you know, make some phone calls, that's easy to do now from your home, if you can send them some money, whatever you can do to help our two candidates, we need to get them elected.
Walt Sorg 37:03
I want to take a moment to talk about these so called tensions between the AOC wing of the party and the Biden wing of the party, basically, the Uber progressives against the pragmatic progressives, which is the way I like to position the thing, what I see with the AOC wing is their problem isn't so much their policy, because most of their policies, when you break them down piece by piece and pull the American people on them are pretty darn popular. People want to get rid of fracking, they want to reform the police, they want to see some controls on local policing. So, so many African Americans aren't getting shot and killed by the police. So we had better community relations. What they're really bad at is packaging and marketing their ideas and branding. Remember, way back many, many weeks ago, when this first defund the police thing came up Christine, I said, it's a really good idea. And it's a really lousy brand. that's proven to be very true. I hate to say it, but I was right for once. And it doesn't happen often. But it does happen occasionally. But look, Pete, people want that to happen. But defunding the police First of all, isn't really not an accurate description of what they're trying to do. what they're trying to do is redirect resources into public safety in a way that makes more sense from a cost effectiveness standpoint. And also from a social policy standpoint. That's what is that defending the police, it is reforming the police. But they came up with a stupid name. And then the green New Deal. They blew that on the launch by inadvertently leaking a draft memo that talked about banning cows and airplane travel and cow farts and things that the Republicans could ridicule. When they had nothing to do with the green New Deal. The green new deal was all about things that people support that's attacking climate change. And that is moving more and more towards renewable energy sources, and also towards more economic justice in the country. Those are all popular things, but the brand is bad. And they've got to learn how to brand they really need to hire frank luntz get him away from the republicans and have him assist them with branding. And they could make some progress. But they're too damn stubborn to understand that people actually don't look past the brand some time into the policy, they think the policy will sell itself. Well, that's not how it works in politics, you've got to sell the brand first.
Christine Barry 39:14
Well it's not how it works in America at all. I mean, look at what was on the ballot for us to get this turnout at all. I mean, with Joe Biden had to put together a huge coalition that in many ways is, you know, very fragile. I mean, he had to bring the left in to bring in the center. He brought in Republicans, there are a lot of people who had to come together to defeat Donald Trump. And a lot of that is because so many people in America have I live in this safety bubble of disengagement and all they hear are things like banning cow farts and airplanes and the things that you just said. So you have to penetrate that bubble and That's, that's not politics, that's just people being too busy living their lives. I agree with what you're saying, I think that that's exactly what it is, is messaging. But it's also a matter of understanding that politics is the art of the possible, right. And that progress is quite often made in inches, you have to be able to work with people, not just go in and make your case and draw your line in the sand and say, that's it. And I really like the squad. I like what they stand for. I like their passion and everything. But I do think that, and I just use them as an example, because they seem to be the face of the left. But I would like to see them be more understanding of where the center came from. Joe Biden promises to be a president for all of America, and the squad and the liberal wing have to understand that a lot of America is in the center.
Walt Sorg 40:54
It was one of the big mistakes that Hillary Clinton made during the 2016 campaign, when she was talking about the coal industry, she basically went from, we've got coal right now. And down the road, we've got to get rid of coal. So she went from step a to step F, and skip steps B, C, D, and E. And those were the steps that directly impacted the people whose income right now depends on those coal mines. Well, what about us, you're forgetting about us, you need to lead your way through that thing, which is what Joe Biden's done a better job of when he talks about fracking, he says fracking is a transitional energy source. And in the interim, we're going to create jobs that help these people transition into jobs that actually paid better than what they're getting now and are safer than what they're getting now. Because we're going to have this massive growth in the renewable energy industry, which by all measures is one of the fastest growing industries in America. But most people don't realize it because it's still pretty nascent in the development of its economic development. And but he walks people through those steps to so that they understand along the way, well, you haven't forgotten me, as you make this progress, I'm going to be a part of this progress rather than a victim of it.
Christine Barry 42:02
And that was Hillary's problem, because she hadn't forgotten them either. You know, once that whole, we're going to ban coal thing came out, she could never get past that to say, no, here is what the actual plan is, which involves the retraining and the all of the steps in between to move you from this job that you have here to this more sustainable, cleaner job that you will have here. And and Trump comes out of nowhere and makes up this fiction of clean coal, and says, but I've got your back.
Walt Sorg 42:32
And also to win elections, you have to be somewhere near the center. The Ultra liberals will not want to concede that they want to be purists. But the reality is we are a very diverse, multicultural, multi political philosophy society. And you've got to be closer to the middle. One person who understands that who's won a couple of elections now in a republican dominated district is Elyssa Slotkin. She realizes that all the time. And she also realizes you've got to talk about issues that matter to people and relate those issues to the people, which is what she's doing right now on this pissing match between the Biden incoming administration and the Trump administration, which refuses to provide any cooperation. She says that is pure, unadulterated bullshit, it's got to stop. But here is for the best interest of the nation. It's not just about winning a political battle,
Elissa Slotkin 43:19
a period of transition on its own is always always a very sort of vulnerable moment on national security fronts. our adversaries, other countries in the world are thinking about how to hedge their bets. They're trying to get a good deal now or wait for a better deal later on whatever they're working on with the United States. It's an opportune time when we're faced inward, to get away with stuff stuff that, you know, should be concerning to all of us. And then I think, frankly, more important than that, it's just what it means if we're going to erode our democracy like this, if this is going to become normal, that when a president, you know, doesn't win an election, he's going to try and stay in office. So I think the precedent it sends to all the kids watching to all people who sort of think that this is normal is a really dangerous thing right now.
Christine Barry 44:07
Well, it's a census year, meaning that all the congressional and state legislative district maps are being redrawn in every state. Michigan has taken the process away from the legislature and turned it over to the independent citizens redistricting commission. Republicans are still trying to kill the Commission and the courts, but they lost another round in the court of appeals.
Walt Sorg 44:27
The Court of Appeals basically threw them out and Republicans immediately announced they were going to repeal the whole thing and keep fighting it. But given the change in control of the Michigan Supreme Court, they are doomed at the state level. There's no way they can win at the state level. They couldn't have won it before with the republican controlled Supreme Court. Now with Democrats having a four three majority on Michigan Supreme Court, they absolutely have no chance at all. But while Michigan is pretty well in good shape, pending any action, of course by the US Supreme Court overturned the redistricting commission. But for now we're in pretty good shape. Across the nation though gerrymandering continues almost unabated. Joining us as the person who led the drive to end gerrymandering in Michigan. And now as founding director of the people.org, she is running a national nonprofit, assisting grassroots reform groups nationwide. She's my good friend, Katie Fahey. Katie, the problem appears to be fixed in Michigan, but across the nation, there's gonna be a whole lot of gerrymandering going on right after the census data comes out. How bad is it?
Katie Fahey 45:30
It's very bad. Unfortunately, we still see that about half of the states in our country all have their legislature still drawing the lines. And in about 19 states, you have a single party legislature, so either all democrats or all Republicans, which means that they're very likely to be looking out for their own interest, which will then impact the next 10 years worth of elections.
Walt Sorg 45:52
Now, one thing we learned, even with sport control is a lot of times if legislators are doing the drawing, their primary interest is in protecting themselves and their colleagues.
Katie Fahey 46:01
You see a lot of incumbent gerrymanders. So people who are in office, if any candidates who maybe had a different type of agenda, maybe more progressive or maybe even more conservative, they're likely looking at where do those folks live? And also, where are the demographics moving to make sure that they will be able to have the most present message and when the primaries coming up, that people are looking for change in that party?
Walt Sorg 46:25
With the people.org, you've worked with a lot of organizations that are trying to reform the system modeled after Michigan and perhaps California and Arizona? What success did you have during this last cycle?
Katie Fahey 46:37
Well, unfortunately, not as much as we had hoped. But one huge success is in Virginia, Virginia is actually the first state to have their legislature on their own change the law to start, including citizens in the drawing process. Really interesting. You know, Republicans were previously in control, and they were really worried about now it doesn't look like we're going to be able to keep control. So let's try and get rid of gerrymandering. And the democrats were excited because they weren't sure if they're going to win control. And then it flipped. The Democrats actually, at the very end, tried to kill the bill. But people of Virginia had fought for this a long time and ended up passing, unfortunately saw in Missouri, which is a state that passed reform in 2018. Their legislature put it up, put a bill up again, I'm confusing voters, trying to make it sound like it was campaign finance reform, but then also it would move who was going to draw the lines to government appointees, and it just barely passed. And then there were several ballot initiatives that actually ended up getting kicked off of the ballot in the courts for very technical reasons, if they didn't fill out, basically, an affidavit correctly, or they, you know, didn't follow the process, absolutely to a tee and how they could get people gathering those signatures, stuff that's never happened before. There's never been ruled on before. And yet, throughout the will of the voters, the last minute
Walt Sorg 47:59
the last time the US Supreme Court ruled on the issue of independent commissions, having the responsibility delegated from the legislature was Arizona case several years ago. Since that time, two of the people who supported the five, four ruling have left and been replaced by which were conservative members of the court. Are you concerned that the court that you've got that you don't have enough critical mass to keep the court from turning that ruling over?
Katie Fahey 48:24
It's 2020. So who knows what's gonna happen? a precedent would tell us that, although that could be a possibility in the future that, you know, the case was ruled on not too long ago. And so there might not be an appetite to overturn a ruling that they just looked at. One of the other things that adds a little bit of hope, I guess is that when they ruled on saying that basically, it's not the Supreme Court's job to decide what's a partisan gerrymander or not? They cited the ability for states to be able to draw their own lines, I decided Michigan as an example where citizens can bring up Chin up use the petitioning process. So it's definitely not out of the realm of possibilities. But I do think that hopefully, the court wouldn't want to revisit it because they've revisited it or since they visited it. So recently,
Walt Sorg 49:13
of course, you've been paying attention to your baby, the Michigan independent citizens redistricting commission, which is just getting started now. You're still a Michigan resident, of course. Are you happy with what voters not politicians have wrought?
Katie Fahey 49:26
I am so far I think it's been really exciting. I think one of the things that stands out is just how real and genuine the commissioners are. Even the new ones that have been added SM had needed to step down. Almost all of them saying that this really felt like a calling to do their civic duty that they wanted to make sure that this process could be done fairly so that the people of Michigan could support it and have trust in it. A lot of them also mentioning that hyper partisanship is destroying our democracy right now. And so being able to make sure that this process is done in a way that non partisan was really important to them. And I've seen a lot of people on that commission to listening to each other, wanting to get input, making sure that all voices are heard. And I think that's what we were really hoping for, you know, they might be a random group of citizens who haven't redistricted before and didn't know each other before. But I think they're really making a good go at it so far.
Walt Sorg 50:23
The opposition argued during the 2018 campaign that this system of having random selection of Commissioners could result in a commission of deadheads people who just weren't up to the task. Apparently, that hasn't happened.
Katie Fahey 50:36
No I don't think so. And even if you look at the different careers, I think there's lots of levels of experience. We had lawyer just got added, I believe, you have people who had community roles and leadership, you have people who've been parents and who have lived in different parts of the state for years. I think that's one of the coolest parts about this commission is that for the first time, these lines might actually be drawn based on how do we make sure communities in Michigan are kept together so that their legislators can represent that whole community, not just part of that communities, in our state capitol and in Washington, DC. And that's, I think one of the biggest perspectives or seeing something that I think is really great is the commission is already starting to try and hire more help. So that where they might have deficiencies that can make sure that, you know, they're following everything that legally needs to be done. And they're being very organized about the process. And they're hiring executive directors. So it's all really positive.
Walt Sorg 51:33
I've been rather fascinated by the relative lack of coverage of the Commission, since it's gone into effect, the last big coverage guy was when it was selected. And since then, has been pretty quiet. I've personally watched all the commission meetings, of course, I'm interested. But for the most part, there's not been a whole lot of public interest yet. Do you think that picks up when the public hearings start?
Katie Fahey 51:54
I do think it will pick up once the public hearing start. I really, I also feel kind of bad for all the political reporters out there right now, between the election and COVID. And the amount of decisions that have been being made, I think it's probably hard to vie for attention right now. The other big boost, I think, will be once we actually have the census data, that data should be coming out in the beginning of the year. And I think once we're talking with real numbers or my smart interest, all that being said, I really do hope that especially local media outlets and media outlets across Michigan continue to cover this because it is unique in the fact that this is the first time ever Michigan residents can participate in this process. But of course, they need to know that they actually can participate.
Walt Sorg 52:38
The legislative majority has been very resistant to this process from the beginning in Michigan have tried to derail it as best they can. But written into the amendment or a whole lot of safeguards to prevent the legislature from doing that. Are you confident they're gonna work?
Katie Fahey 52:53
so far I am. Yeah, I think you know, one of the unfortunate things for Missouri, as we were talking about earlier, is they didn't have that protection of being able to think of all the ways that their legislator can undermine it. And so far from budgeting, even though that was definitely an issue, the Commission's being able, well, the governor and the Secretary of State have been able to be successful and advocating for appropriate funding for the commitment and keeping their direct responsibilities in the Secretary of State's office. You know, I do think the one concern I would have is that if we don't get enough public awareness, that the only folks giving testimony ends up being lobbyists or partisans, but I don't think voters not politicians will let that happen. And I think even seeing that and thousand people applied to be on this commission basically highlights that as well.
Walt Sorg 53:37
Yeah, it was they you just use civil service pay scales. And that's pretty comparable, comparable positions. Katie Fahey from the people.org, the founder of voters, not politicians, and my dear friend, thanks so much for joining us.
Katie Fahey 53:49
Thanks for having me.
Christine Barry 53:51
Okay, let's talk about a few political notes here. First of all, john James is finally taking a position on something he believes him so what did yeah on himself he believes he was robbed of the election by imaginary voter fraud. As a result, he has established a joint legal fund with the RNC and he refuses to concede to Gary Peters. And his, his basis for this is just basically everything Trump's been saying. So James is concerned about election cheating, and that there is a he says that there is credible evidence to warrant an investigation. He has not released that evidence. But his faithful bro Stu Sandler has been retweeting a lot of accusations. And I guess that's what they're going to try to take to court.
Walt Sorg 54:41
so far. Nobody is saying these things under oath when they say it under oath. I'll take it seriously. Until they do, I won't. And you can be assured they're not going to say it under oath because they simply don't want to be found guilty of perjury in court because you know, it's all bull. They know it's all phony. And for the lawyers They don't want to lose their legal licenses as well. But this is part of a bigger campaign on the part of Republicans, they're already looking at the 2022. In terms of the Senate races, there are 34 Senate seats up for reelection in 2022. Of course, only 12 of them are Democrats, and those are all in blue states. 22 are republicans fiber in states that Biden won. And republican Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania is not running again. Basically, it's the reverse of 2018. with Democrats run defense everywhere. And it's going to be a very, very competitive election more and more and more money. The only good news for Michigan is neither one of our seats is up for reelection in 2022. We don't have to worry about that. We can just watch them all spend a lot of money on the governor's race instead.
Christine Barry 55:45
You know, before we move on, one thing that really burns me about john James here is that he has described himself as just a black guy from Detroit. And he has said that if Joe Biden helped black people, then he would have never had to get into the race. And he talks a lot about his Detroit background and everything. And yet his fight now for the Senate is based on Detroit black voters cheating. It cuts me the wrong way. I think it should be. I think it should be an insult to Detroit as well.
Walt Sorg 56:17
He's it's also an insult to a longtime public servant who has served both to serve the state under both parties and has a spotless reputation for honesty. The guy's name is Chris Thomas, he was head for years of the state elections office, he came out of retirement at the request of the Secretary of State to kind of supervise the trade elections, because they have had problems in Detroit in the past. So they kind of put Chris Thomas in charge. And he's the best, he's the absolute best. And there is nobody in the state who knows anything about elections on either side, Republican or Democrat who would say anything about Chris Thomas, other than he is the best. And to say that Detroit has open fraud and violated the rules and counting the votes is a direct insult to his integrity, which is absolutely unwarranted. ask anybody, Republican, Democrat or independent, who knows Chris Thomas, who knows anything about state government, and they'll tell you the same thing.
Christine Barry 57:08
And again, it's concentrated in the black areas. It's really not going after white areas.
Walt Sorg 57:15
Yeah, black people, black people cheat. they always have.
Christine Barry 57:19
So there you go,
Walt Sorg 57:19
right. Yeah, there you go. It's those white folks were totally honest. We would never cheat. Although the only documented case of widespread voter fraud in a federal election in the last four years was in North Carolina, and then involved a white Republican candidate harvesting votes and creating an artificial when it was so bad that the republican state elections commission refused to certify as vote, and ultimately they had a new special election the Republicans won the special election because they're do better in specials than they do in generals. But the fact remains that he tried to cheat that's the only case they've had of widespread cheating. And it was in fact a Republican.
Christine Barry 57:58
Well, we had cheating here with Thad McCotter, remember, he says just signing his own petitions to get on the ballot is not quite election fraud.
Walt Sorg 58:08
But I was glad to see you. Well, we we have minor league fraud here on petition drives more than anything else. A good news for the environmental movement. They've got a big win, thanks to Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Nessel. The attorney general has filed a lawsuit and County Circuit Court on behalf of the governor and the DNR to shut down line five. And this one's really serious. They basically want to terminate their easement. The charge is in the documents that basically Enbridge has violated the terms of their easement, including their duty to exercise due care for protecting public and private rights. So termination of the easement is appropriate and provides another reason to shut down line five, this is pending before Judge James Jamos in Ingham County Circuit Court, and no doubt will be appealed all the way up to the Michigan Supreme Court, where once again, we'll probably learn that elections have consequences.
Christine Barry 59:00
You know, and I think this is appropriate when you talk about public trust, Enbridge's failure to communicate with the state to disclose their problems that really play into this. I think I mean, it took them three years to disclose the fact that the protective coating over their lines had been damaged. And there was just exposed steel. And that's just one example. there be a bunch of them. So it's an interesting, new approach. I think I'm kind of surprised they didn't take that approach before.
Walt Sorg 59:31
Also this week, some really good news for veterans. Christine.
Christine Barry 59:35
Yeah, this is awesome. So governor Whitmer teamed up with legislature legislators in both parties to provide some help in regards to licensure. And and what this is, is there's two bills in the house in the Senate, each sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat. And what this would do is offer some license reciprocity for service members to have licenses in other states. So these are licenses for like health care like skilled trades. One of the examples they provided was the wife of an active duty member who had moved to four different states. And each time they moved into a new state, she had to renew her license so that she could do the same job as a pharmacist that she had been doing in the other state, you know, these fees add up. So there's a lot of relief offered in these bills, including exemptions for fees waivers for licensing and that kind of thing. They're in committee right now, hopefully, this is something that both sides will get on board with, and we'll get this into law.
Walt Sorg 1:00:35
You know, it's interesting, this has been done for years. For lawyers, there's always been reciprocity between states on licensing of attorneys, my brother went through it, but actually, when you move from Washington, DC to New Hampshire, he had reciprocity. So he didn't have to take the bar exam, again, because he had been a lawyer for five years, and was eligible in Maryland, Virginia in DC, they said, hey, that's good enough for us. You could be a lawyer here in New Hampshire as well. And that's the sort of thing that can go across other lines. For crying out loud, we licensed the damnedest things in Michigan, people who repair watches, we licensed people who cut hair, we licensed besides therapists, we license all sorts of people who probably don't need to be licensed. But at the same time, there needs to be some controls as our good friend, the barber and also is demonstrated in the not too distant past. But still, why should a barber who's already licensed them and doing good work in Illinois, be penalized for moving to Michigan, by doing it this way, they're more likely to move to Michigan, especially when they realize if they move to Michigan, they can find low cost housing and water.
Christine Barry 1:01:37
I mean, I think this is great, as long as the, you know, people coming here to engage in these services, understand the Michigan regulations, and they can show that they can comply with them. Who cares where they I mean, pharmacy, this pharmacist that they made, they used as an example was working for the same company in all four states, and still had to go through this procedure. So I think this is great. I hope it works out. I hope they get it through the process quickly.
Walt Sorg 1:02:08
Okay, and before we wrap up today, it's time to go back to one of our favorite segments from programs past. And that is the attack ad of the week. You don't see it in the rundown, because I didn't put it in there. We got a really good one this week. And it comes to us from our good folks at the Meidas touch. And it is aim is surprise surprise at the election that is coming up in Georgia. It's interesting in Georgia that both of the Republican candidates have something very much in common. They both are guilty of insider trading, involving the pandemic. They both got inside information as members of the United States Senate on what to expect from the pandemic before it was available to the general public. Because Donald Trump didn't want to panic. He just kept it to himself. And as a result, they made massive stock trades and millions of dollars in stock trades to enrich themselves. Well, that did not escape the notice of the Meidas touch, as they talk about senator Laffer and her ability to line your own pockets on the pandemic.
The Meidas Touch PAC 1:03:05
One senator in particular, irks me, a senator Kelly Loeffler, not elected but appointed just a couple months ago, records show Leffler and her husband whose company owns the US stock exchange sold stock valued between 1.3 and $3.1 million. Kelly Loeffler bought and sold stock shortly after a classified briefing on the virus. They knew the market was going to tank and they sold based on that inside information. Some of the holding she shed were an energy automotive retail and airlines look way it's not just what she sold, but it's actually what she bought and bought things like Amazon Citrix systems company that obviously was going to do well during a shutdown while still reassuring citizens that the US was prepared. We have Americans across the country who have seen their 401 K's plummet were you trading on inside information about what was coming, folks. This woman is knee deep in the swamp and she just got there.
Christine Barry 1:04:05
Well, that's a wrap for this week's ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead podcast. Head on over to our website, MichiganPolicast.com for more information on this week's topics, links, tweets, photos, campaign ads.
Walt Sorg 1:04:18
you know we saw we've got a campaign going on in Georgia it's kind of fun to follow with even though we're not directly involved we have a lot of Michiganders are going to participate remotely. You can email us at MIPolicast@gmail.com reach out through the Michigan Policast page on Facebook or on the Twitter machine. And until next week. Thank you so much for giving us a time to be in your ear. We'll be back in your ear in about seven days by the Michigan Podcast is a production of Michigan Citizens for a Better Tomorrow.