By Jack Lessenberry
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Every weekday, Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry offers up his perspective on the latest political news in Michigan.
||CleanCandidates without voters in Michigan races||When you’ve paid attention to politics for a long time, you gradually begin to think you’ve seen it all, or at least some of us did before the rise of Donald Trump. But one thing we’ve never seen before is so many candidates running so hard for atto||9/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPoliticians just want to be elected||Recently, I said in passing that I had never run for any office, and later I realized this was not strictly true. I have twice been elected to the board of the prestigious Historical Society of Michigan , and am now its president. However, I don’t get a||9/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat we still owe our Vietnam veterans||There’s been a fair amount of excitement over Ken Burns’ new documentary series, this one an 18-hour blockbuster on the Vietnam War. Burns, who grew up in Ann Arbor, long ago became America’s tribal storyteller, the man who helps us find out who we||9/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanToday's legislators don't seem to care||I’ve been talking to legislators and congressmen for a long time, and know something about lawmakers in the past as well. There are some ways in which I think today’s lot are generally better. For example, they are better educated and drink less. More||9/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJust shut Line 5 down||Earlier this week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette officially confirmed what everybody knew: He is running for governor, or more exactly, for the Republican nomination next year. When he made his announcement, he said a version of what all||9/15/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDetroit needs to embrace the metropolitan dream||Toledo, Ohio isn’t in Michigan, but should be. I’m not just saying this because of the famous and farcical 1835 Toledo “War,” that ended up establishing that the city belonged to Ohio, with Michigan getting the western Upper Peninsula as compensat||9/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIs Congress broken?||Three years ago, David Trott , a lawyer and a multi-millionaire player in the mortgage business, decided to run for Congress. He spent at least three and a half million dollars of his own money to win a seat representing a group of mostly middle-class,||9/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAmazon to Detroit? Probably not||Amazon, the huge online retailer that sells everything from cookbooks to caskets, plans to build a second huge headquarters somewhere in America, and Detroit wants it -- badly. Sandy Baruah, the CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, is part of||9/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNuclear Fears||When I was in elementary school a national magazine did an article on what would happen if a hydrogen bomb were dropped on Detroit. I don’t remember all the details, except that windows would have been broken in Lansing, and where I lived would have bee||9/8/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBaffled over Canada's bridge decision||No matter how bizarre your fantasies, reality is sometimes crazier. Nobody could have written a script for what’s happened in national politics. Nobody ever thought we’d be in some kind of nuclear standoff with North Korea. And few if any expected the||9/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnother Immigrant Story||As you almost certainly know, President Donald Trump said yesterday that his administration would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Currently, the DACA program is allowing something like 800,000 young, undocumented Americans||9/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLessenberry on DACA, MSU lawsuit, Little Caesar's Arena, and a new invasive plant||President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he'll end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA , program in six months. Gov. Rick Snyder issued a statement opposing the move and urged Congress to act quickly to clarify the status of so||9/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPost-Labor Day worries||If you talk to someone in Governor Snyder’s administration, you might get the impression that Michigan’s workforce had a lot to celebrate on Labor Day. Last month, unemployment fell to an astounding 3.7%. Frankly, I never thought during the Great||9/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDetroit still has some heavy lifting to do||Earlier this week, I was asked to speak to all the incoming students at Wayne State University. Among many other things, I told them truthfully that I thought they were very lucky to be going to college in Detroit, which has become one of the most||9/1/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMichigan's education failures spell future disaster||We got the latest results from our statewide education tests earlier this week, and here are the highlights — without the jargon. Johnny mostly can’t read as well as he should, and neither can Susie, although she’s doing a little better. Both are do||8/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWayne Bradley is clinging to a vision of the Republican party that no longer exists||What do you do when the group you’ve belonged to your entire life no longer represents your values? This has often been a problem in the melting pot that is America. Children upset parents by rejecting traditional customs, like arranged marriage. But it||8/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLessenberry on Michigan's disaster response plan, Snyder's possible pardon of Iraqi immigrants||As people in Texas and Louisiana struggle to deal with the impact of Harvey , the storm is also generating new conversations about how to deal with flooding in other parts of the country. Mid-Michigan is still recovering from floods in late June , and||8/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKeeping his word||More than two years ago, in one of state politics’ more sordid recent episodes, State Senator Virgil Smith Jr . was arrested after he shot up his ex-wife’s Mercedes. According to prosecutors, the Detroit Democrat was “alcohol dependent” at the tim||8/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAre we becoming desensitized to Trump's outrageousness?||There’s an old saying that if you put a frog in a pot of water and gradually increase the temperature one degree at a time, the frog won’t notice or hop out before it is cooked. Scientists say this isn’t really true for frogs, but it may well be tru||8/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCitizens vs. Taxpayers||I had lunch yesterday with Mark Bernstein, the University of Michigan trustee who flirted with a run for governor next year before deciding not to. He is smart, funny, and I think genuinely committed to making the university and this state a better place.||8/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
A little left of Center
-- but tries hard not to be.
Food for thought in 3 minutes
Jack employs a matter of fact, common sense approach to his essays. He explores multiple aspects of mostly local (Michigan) issues and does not pander to any particular brand of politics. His comments are always well researched never fail to get me thinking.
Great example talk-radio and podcasting. Many Thanks to Jack and Michigan Radio for quality media in this age of overload.
Worth your time
Every Michigan resident should give Jack a listen. Even if you don't always line up with his personal politics, his reporting is fair and he looks at anyone with suspicion or ire if they deserve it.