News from Michigan:
1. It seems that two Republican (and perhaps Christianist?) candidates for Michigan Secretary of State are trying to "out conservative" the other. Michigan House Representative Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc) has promised to stop transgendered folks from being able to change their genders on Michigan drivers' licenses. From the Michigan Messenger:
"""I will make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance. It’s a social values issue. If you are born a male, you should be known as a male. Same as with a female, she should be known as a female"
And, also battling for the conservative vote is state Senator Michelle McManus (R) who introduced a bill in the Senate to eliminate no-fault divorces in cases where there are children involved. Ms. McManus would further involve the government in the lives of its citizens. Is there a slippery slope here? Will she next propose to regulate marriage as only between two fertile opposite sex couples? Or, will she propose to completely eliminate divorce? Doesn't she know what the Bible says about divorce?
2. Governor Jennifer Granholm has proposed opening current State Health Care Plans to all local governments, school districts, and universities. (Hat tip: WizardKitten)
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today issued Executive Directive 2010-1 that clears the way for local units of government and other public entities such as school districts and universities to participate in state of Michigan health-care benefit plans offered to state employees. The action is part of a series of government reforms proposed by the governor in January. "A state health-care benefit plan recently negotiated with a number of state employee groups reduces the state's cost of providing health-care coverage to every newly hired state employee by 21.3 percent," Granholm said. "By offering other public employers and their employees the option of participating in this new state health-care benefit plan, we are in essence allowing them to reduce their costs, too, which will benefit all Michigan taxpayers."
The executive directive gives the director of the Department of Management and Budget (DMB) and the director of the Office of the State Employer (OSE) until June 30, 2010, to identify and remove any barriers to participation in the state's health-care benefit plans by local units of government and other public entities.
Local units of government include cities, villages, townships and counties. Other public entities include school districts and public colleges and universities.
All the state's health-care benefit plans would be open to participation, including the state's PPO plan, health maintenance organization plans, prescription drug coverage programs, dental-care plans and vision-care plans.
This is an idea that has merit and is a whole lot less controversial than forcing public sector employees to give up hard fought for benefits.
3. What she said: WizardKitten -- "Michigan Legislature Passes Burden of Raising Revenue Down to Local Communities" AND "Dillon Working on a "Cuts Only" Budget"
Four years after the State of California approved the use of medical marijuana they commissioned studies to prove or disprove the claims that marijuana has medicinal uses. Some results are in and ABC News has the story:
The first U.S. clinical trials in more than two decades on the medical benefits of marijuana confirm pot is effective in reducing muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and pain caused by certain neurological injuries or illnesses, according to a report issued Wednesday. Igor Grant, a psychiatrist who directs the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, said the five studies funded by the state involved volunteers who were randomly given real marijuana or placebos to determine if the herb provided relief not seen from traditional medicines.
"There is good evidence now that cannabinoids may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment," Grant said at a news conference where he presented the findings.
So, aside from anecdotal evidence we continue to find scientific proof to support the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Heroes Among Us
Did anyone else catch this report from Rachel Maddow about the lying hypocrite Glenn Beck? Watch. Its great reporting.