Jack Lessenberry Daily interviews and essays about politics and current events with newspaper columnist Jack Lessenberry.
Jack Lessenberry

Jack Lessenberry

From Michigan Radio

Daily interviews and essays about politics and current events with newspaper columnist Jack Lessenberry.More from Jack Lessenberry »

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Bernie is bowing out of the Women's Convention. What does that mean for progressive men?

Whatever you think of his policies, Senator Bernie Sanders did something politically smart. Sanders, who had been scheduled to open the first-ever Women's Convention in Detroit next week, announced that he wouldn't be able to attend after all. "I want to apologize to the organizers," the senator from Vermont said, "but given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico," he felt his leadership was needed there next weekend instead.

Bernie is bowing out of the Women's Convention. What does that mean for progressive men?

We should be thinking a lot more about our relationship with China

Someone once wrote that if you keep a diary and look back at what you wrote 20 years ago, you often find the stuff you thought was peripheral actually turned out to have been the most important. For example, you may have filled pages mooning over a now-forgotten Ralph or Susie, and just noted in passing a job that began your professional career. News is like that too. We don't always see what's most important. Most of us, so far as I can tell, are so focused on the daily clown show in Washington

Can a young high achiever change the Democratic party?

Jocelyn Benson announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state yesterday. She has actually been running for the job for many months, though not as long as Bill Schuette has been running for governor; he is, after all, almost a quarter century older.

Lessenberry on auto insurance debate, Flint water, and GM donation to Henry Ford Museum

Michigan legislators are debating auto insurance this week. One proposal would let people choose different levels of coverage – dropping the mandatory open-ended catastrophic medical coverage that's in place now. Another plan would prohibit the use of zip codes and credit histories to set rates. Everyone – with the possible exception of the insurance companies – seems to agree rates are too high. Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry if he

Lessenberry on auto insurance debate, Flint water, and GM donation to Henry Ford Museum

Why Amazon HQ2 probably won't be in Detroit

As you may know, Amazon is looking for another city in which to build a vast new headquarters that could mean billions in investment and up to 50,000 jobs. Not surprisingly, just about every city wants that. But the place where it might make the most difference for the local economy is, of course, Detroit. Dan Gilbert, the Quicken Loans czar who many regard as Detroit's capitalist savior, is heading a task force that will submit a bid in the next two days to the giant mail order retailer. Mayor

Licensing journalists is a bad idea

I think I can say that I have some professional credibility as a journalist. I have a master's degree from a major university, a national Emmy award, work in all forms of media, and am in charge of journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit. Yet legally, I have the same standing as a journalist as a high school dropout who writes a blog in his grandmother's basement, and that is exactly the way it is supposed to be. Plumbers are licensed by the state. So are doctors, lawyers, and every

What did he know, and when did he know it?

Senator Howard Baker uttered his immortal words one summer 44 years ago when Rick Snyder was about to become a high school sophomore. "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" Thirteen months later, we had enough of the answer to force Richard Nixon to resign the presidency, ending a long national nightmare we thought we'd never see repeated.

Campus protests against right-wing speakers are counterproductive

Peter McPherson, one of the best presidents Michigan State has had in recent years, told me once that when he was a student at MSU, there was a controversy over whether to allow a Communist to speak on campus. This was back in the early sixties, we were at the height of the Cold War, and the administration didn't want to allow a perceived enemy of America to speak. Eventually the Communist did get to speak... and the students who went found him mind-numbingly boring.

The Republican Party left him

I took a trip back in time yesterday, sort of, to Plymouth, Michigan – a tidy, mostly gentrified Wayne County town 26 miles and at least that many light years from the city of Detroit. I turned on Main Street, and stopped in the law office of John Stewart, who has practiced there for more than 30 years. When I looked around, I expected to see Atticus Finch, or Jimmy Stewart, the folksy yet brilliant country lawyer from Anatomy of a Murder. The offices were in what had been a comfy private home

Lessenberry on Flint water crisis criminal prosecutions and new degree studying medicinal marijuana

The criminal prosecutions in the Flint Water crisis are just starting to make their way into the courts. This week, the state's medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells , was supposed to begin a preliminary exam to determine if her case would go to trial, but prosecutors said they're adding charges including involuntary manslaughter . That pushed the exam back to next month. There are 13 defendants who have not pleaded guilty. Only one has actually begun an exam. Morning Edition host Doug Tribou asks

Lessenberry on Flint water crisis criminal prosecutions and new degree studying medicinal marijuana

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