Author: Chad Selweski

Obamacare in a ‘death spiral?’ GOP and Berniecrats can only hope

In this era when facts seem to be viewed as an affliction, not a cure, the greatest flaw in assessing the relative stability of the Obamacare program centers on realizing that we have 50 separate marketplaces, in each state, plus distinct market forces at work within sections of many states. When diagnosing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), no monolithic conclusion exists. There is good and bad, healthy and worrisome. On the right, conservative congressional Republicans crassly claim that Obamacare is caught in the clutches of a “death spiral.” On the left, Bernie Sanders loyalists eagerly see ACA shortcomings as...

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Anti-gerrymandering plan is complete overhaul of redistricting process

The anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal put forward by the group Voters Not Politicians would go beyond putting an end to district boundaries with squiggly lines to emphasize competitive elections and “communities of interest.” The petition drive, which is aimed at the 2018 state ballot, would offer a constitutional amendment that casts aside Michigan’s long-held, court-imposed standards that cities and counties cannot be sliced up – within obvious limitations — when creating congressional and legislative district maps. That could mean even less emphasis on square, compact districts than under the current system, which is controlled by the Legislature. Instead, the Voters...

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My trip to Detroit’s Twilight Zone

This is an excerpt of a column I wrote on July 14 for Dome Magazine.   Take a long walk, or a street car ride, along the vaunted section of Woodward Avenue known as Detroit’s downtown/Midtown renaissance area and you will be dismayed – perhaps even stunned – by what truly lies within this section of resurrection. During a recent visit when I served as tour guide for an out-of-town couple, I found myself in a central core of the rebounding city that amounted to a twilight zone, an expensive playground for suburban whites. The Woodward corridor has become...

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Trump presides over the political ‘Age of Disruption’

Leave it to a Republican lobbyist, working for a bipartisan firm, to lay out in detail how President Donald Trump has taken advantage of America’s “Age of Disruption.” Lifelong Republican Bruce Mehlman has crafted a document that explains the nation’s cultural anxiety that lifted Trump to the presidency in 2016, the endless itch for change in Washington among voters, and the surprising strength Trump enjoys among Republicans amidst an onslaught of investigations and legal challenges. “The forces that set the stage for Donald Trump’s election are long-term, structural and global,” Mehlman told The Washington Post. “Much like Uber, Trump...

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Another Michigan low point: 36th in budget stability

Over the past decade or so, Michigan’s national ranking compared to other states has shrunk precipitously in median income, poverty rates, college-degree attainment and wage growth – along with several other categories. Now comes a new study that puts Michigan at 36th among the 50 states in the financial stability of our state government. The conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University in suburban Washington finds that we lag behind most of the country in a broad measurement of factors that could be best summarized as state budget health – short term and long term. The study ranks each...

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