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Saturday, January 30, 2010

iPAD vs. Stone



Question Time Part Two

The last clip shown on the Rachel Maddow Show's continuation of coverage from Countdown of today's historic televised question and answer period with the Republican Members of the House of Representatives reminded me immediately of The American President. Yes, the movie. In fact, hmmmmm, check out the speech........ didn't President Obama just say those same things today?


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Friday, January 29, 2010

Question Time




President Barack Obama just literally "schooled" the Republican House Members at their two-day retreat in Baltimore, MD. The President accepted an invitation to speak and stuck around for an answer and question period. All in all, it was an incredible 86 minutes of viewing.

It was an American version of the British Parliament 's Question Time with the Prime Minister facing the Loyal Opposition's questions without the PM's backing parties sitting in the chamber. President Obama listened patiently to the criticism burdened question prefaces, then each brief "question" and really really ..... there's no words. No president has ever raised the bar of discourse so high. Will the Republicans look up and see how awfully they treated the President of the United States, a guest at their meeting? President Obama's "performance" was brilliant. He was incredibly patient with each House Member and did not let them get away with inaccurate information or propaganda.

Please head here or here to watch the C-Span footage for yourself. The Question and Answer session is the most revealing. The President could have answered many more questions if the Ladies and Gentlemen would have asked direct questions rather than spouting critiques and/or Republican talking points before each "question". Our discourse must become more civil.......

UPDATE: Hey. I wrote this before watching the iTune podcast of Keith Olbermann's Countdown. Wow!

Here's One You Won't See In The U.S.A

H/T to Joe.My.God. fellow reader Dave.





Twingo Advert



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WTF?

I can't believe this political campaign ad.  There are two doctors vying for the post of Orleans Parish Coroner and one of them gets accused of selling body parts........(H/T to Talking Points Memo)






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What She Said!

Wizardkitten is once again leading other Michigan bloggers with news of interest and importance.  I just the other day took a swipe at the Michigan Legislature for their failure to raise taxes for education.  Only a quick mention was made about Michigan's horrible roads.  Well, it seems the Michigan Chamber of Commerce also believes the legislature should do something about the funding for Michigan's bridges, highways, and byways.  The anti-tax folks there seem to at least support improving roads.  Not so much for education and the health of the poor and disadvantaged.

It is rather sad that Michigan had to cancel or postpone a number of road and bridge repair projects, as well as new road construction, just because the State legislature sits on their hands and does nothing about fixing what needs to be fixed............



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Your Moment of Zen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What She Said!

Many thanks to wizardkitten for this article about the 10th Congressional District's representative in Washington, D.C. --- Candice Miller (R-10).  It seems that Candy is complaining about the size of Michigan's portion of the Stimulus Package's high-speed rail funding.

Look, Candice, you don't get to bitch about something you didn't work for or vote for in your capacity as the gerrymandered carpetbagging "elected for life" uber-partisan lock-step Republican hack Representative from Michigan's 10th Congressional District.

Next?



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In The Name of Reform

Yep.  Nothing really changes with the politicians in Lansing.  Teachers and other public service employees are vilified because over the course of many years they have earned health insurance benefits that now the politicians say Michigan cannot afford to pay.  Raise the money to do so.  Simple.

Slashing employee wages and benefits is not Public Education REFORM.

The Detroit Free Press takes a swipe at Senator Mike Bishop for his lame plans.

"Bishop has demonstrated that he is more interested in placating traditional Republican constituencies and scapegoating public employees than in advancing the reform discussion."





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Saving Michigan By Whatever Means Necessary



Yes.  I am an opinionated blowhard expat.  I live thousands of miles away from the community where I was born and had lived in for over 50 years.  It was in Port Huron where I was educated, employed, and emeritus.  I still care.  I still have hope that Michigan can be a leader again.  But, that requires change and courage.

What can be done?

Let Michigan produce the best educated children in the United States.  We used to do a lot of things well and uniquely Michigan.  Let's get ahead of the nation again in the production of windmills and other green energy technologies.  Let's lead somewhere.  I challenge the Legislators to look back at all those wonderful Michigan Week booklets.  Do any of them still say we make great furniture, if not the best?  Do they still brag about our firsts, our bests, our domination in the market place with produce or products?  Look back at the oldest additions and the newest.  Then, Ladies and Gentlemen, may we still brag about something?  And, what have we done lately?

May, I offer a few ideas?

1.  Invest in public education.  Every expansion of K-12 education programs and higher education grants and programs will be an economic stimulus for every Michigan community.  Legislate lower class sizes, more school nurses, more school counselors -- create a few more jobs that help to ensure that Michigan children are receiving the best education possible.  Build better science labs. 
Put together the best support system and facilities.  Just do something to really improve education.  Michigan lawmakers should consider targeted tax increases to pay for public education improvements.  The State of Oregon was just now successful in doing just this.

Michiganders must realize that public education is the one of the more important government programs that exists.  Unfortunately, it has been under attack by those seeking political power, those seeking to break public school employee unions, those seeking to redistribute public tax dollars into the pockets of private for-profit corporations in the guise of "education reform", and those seeking some sick revenge against second grade teacher Miss Spinster because she hit their knuckles with a ruler for not paying attention in class.  Educating Michigan's children should be a priority mission where cost is somewhat of an afterthought.  Public education must not be seen as a business that can make cut after cut to produce a cheaper and still acceptable product.  Education should be seen as an investment.  The future will show the results of a sincere effort to pay for what must be done.  And, yes, listen to the teachers.  We know the importance of early childhood education, small class sizes, school nurses, school counselors, school librarians and media techs, and on and on......

Michigan will fail if it fails her children.

2.  Change the compensation and benefits for future public school employees (K-12 and Higher Education), including principals and other administrators, through a State-Wide Wage & Benefits law.  In fact, if the State of Michigan pays out a pension for a public service employee, perhaps, all new public service hires should be paid the same if they are not already being paid the same as are groups like the State Police, Judges, and State workers.  Yep, it will take a new law to allow the State of Michigan to take the power to negotiate wages and benefits for newly hired teachers, bus drivers, school administrators, etc. from the local school boards of education.  Local school boards could still negotiate the "extra duty pay" that Student Council sponsors, coaches, and other teachers receive for work outside of the school day.  Should a teacher from Memphis make more money than the teacher from Menominee for the same work?  Why does the Grosse Point teacher with 20 kindergartners get paid more money than the teacher with 20 kindergartners in Grand Rapids?

At the same time salaries and benifits are equalized from Petosky to Port Huron for all newly hired folks, the new hires could be enrolled in an entirely new retirement system or none at all, if wages were significantly higher and some form of retirement savings accounts are established.  This new system should make pensions more portable.

3.  Invest in children's health.  Spend the money for more school nurses.  Spend the money for more early health screenings through the local health departments.  Expand community health services for children and young adults.  Expand, not cut, Medicaid.

4.  Harness the wind and water resources for electrical energy production.  Find the funds or propose to the voters a special tax to provide the funds for the State of Michigan to produce green energy.  Use State land for wind farms and use whatever lake access needed for more farms.  Use the abundant and available fast flowing waterways for hydroelectric power production.  State land along the coasts of Michigan may prove to be prime areas for wind generated power.  The winds at the northern mouth of the St. Clair River could have incredible power production.  The waters that flow under the Blue Water Bridges have a strong current and if harnessed could also contribute to energy production.

The State of Michigan's investment in these renewable energy production projects would provide short and long term jobs and would sell electrical energy to the power companies and to communities.  The State should maintain control of the power generating and keep all of the profits for the people of Michigan.  I don't want to hear the pols bitch and say these jobs and facilities should be privatized.  The resources belong to all the people of Michigan and no corporation, foreign or domestic, should profit from them.

5.  Reform the State Legislature.  They won't do it, so maybe a petition drive to place the appropriate language before the voters will work.  What's appropriate?  No health care for life and no pensions.  Serving the public as a lawmaker was never meant to be a profession providing health care for life after only 6 years of service and a life-long pension after a few years "work" that is greater than that of a public service employee that serves the State for 30 years.  Make the legislature part-time and term limit every office.  And, I think Mr. Heidemann is right --- we ONLY need a unicameral legislature.  If we examine only the last 8 years in Michigan politics and governance it is plain to see that the two chamber system doesn't really produce any legislation that helps the people of Michigan.  The budget debacle and the business tax fight are great examples of why we need to eliminate some of the hoops that have to be jumped through to get anything done in the Michigan Legislature.  Really.  Do you call what they do in Lansing "governing"?

6 - 10 TBA

Do I really have to have a ten-point-plan?  What matters is that we need more voices with more ideas that may help.  My MEA buddies will be really upset with my radical ideas.  Unfortunately, some of them are only out to perpetuate a system that keeps them in a power position in the union.  (Gee, maybe if I am a good union boy or girl I can grow up to lead the MEA then get a great job in an administrative position in the MEA or MESSA when I retire from teaching..........)  We don't have to get rid of the unions.  We shouldn't.  They give each public service employee a voice and a route for redress if their employment contracts are violated.

And, really....shouldn't we be more concerned with Saving Michigan By Whatever Means Necessary?

Oh......and, please do something about the roads!



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LMAO

This is cute.  H/T to AMERICAbog.



PCCB - Le duo des chats



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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Time Is Now

.....according to General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1993 - 1997):

"As a nation built on the principal of equality, we should recognize and welcome change that will build a stronger more cohesive military. It is time to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow our military leaders to create policy that holds our service members to a single standard of conduct and discipline."

Any questions?

H/T to Box Turtle Bulletin



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More Andre Bauer

Comedian Stephen Colbert makes some great points about South Carolina and its pathetic Lt. Governor Andre Bauer.  Watch it here.

Really, Lt. Governor Bauer, what the hell were you thinking?  Do you really claim to be a devote Christian?



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State of the Union



Just for fun.  H/T to Joe.My.God.



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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LMAO

H/T to Joe.My.God.

NSFW




BETTER OFF TED - FUNNY, REALLY VULGAR OUTTAKES



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F-ing the Same Horse

Go to this link to see a clip from the Daily Show.  Jon takes on Andre Bauer and thanks South Carolina for providing America with such folks as Lt. Governor Andre "Let them starve so they don't breed" Bauer and Governor Mark "Non-hiker of the Appalachian Trail" Sanford.



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WTF?

First, I never really bothered to read anything about the whole ACORN controversy. I figured from the get-go that the hidden video crap was just that -- crazy republican AV propaganda. So, I never saw this photograph. Who is he, James O'Keefe, kidding and, who was stupid enough to give this guy a moment of their time?

Second, James O'Keefe has been arrested with other conspirators seeking to tamper with the phones in the offices of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. What new and contrived controversy sent this idiot on such a felonious mission?

And, third, note to the Congress ---- Pass.The.Damn.Bill.






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Christianist Watch

Republican Lt. Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina is a jerk.  His words speak volumes about his attitudes towards the poor and disadvantaged.  He literal says to not feed the hungry because they will BREED.



Rachel Maddow- Another embarrassment for South Carolina



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Monday, January 25, 2010

Truth or Consequences

This video illustrates one of the common lies used by homophobes to oppress LGBT folks. It doesn't seem sinful to any of them to lie in the name of Jesus. That is so very sad. And, so very morally and ethically wrong and evil.


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Pass.The.Damn.Bill.

Harold Ford is a carpetbagging dink.



Gov. Rendell's Advice On Health Care Reform Fight: Make Republicans Filibuster



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Music Video Monday


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

LMAO, eh?



A Message From Transport Canada



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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wheatland, Wyoming IS a Place For Hate



Wow.

Simple story.  Haters won't allow an anti-HATE program to continue because they --  Wheatland, Wyoming parents and school officials -- HATE one of the program sponsors.



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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Great PSA

from France:



Aides Graffiti



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Monday, January 18, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

LMAO



Learn to Speak Tea Bag



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Christianist Opportunism



Whether it is the destruction of a small poor island nation, the events of 9/11, or the disaster that was New Orleans --- Pat Robertson has to come out and say something stupid. As for the earthquake in Haiti, Robertson says:

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heal of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."

Robertson said that "ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted Haiti with its neighbor, the Dominican Republic."


So, here we have this so-called man-of-God with his own wild stories of Biblical Judgment. I just wish he would STFU.

I smell a fund-raising letter here sometime soon. Yep, send $25, $50, or $100 or this could be you...........


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Liars Like Giuliani



Countdown - Lawrence O'Donnell blisters Rudy Giuliani for his terror-mongering lies



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More Interesting Ideas

The big banks do it.  Why not you?  "Walk Away From Your Mortgage!" --NYTimes


Gaining more and more support is the Huffington Post idea to Move Your Money away from the big banks to local and stable banks.  Check it out.


And, of course, I support the Don't Ask, Don't Give Campaign.  The DNC needs to learn not to take anyone for granted.



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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Here are some interesting excerpts from President Barack Obama's remarks on Strengthening Intelligence and Aviation Security given today.  The full transcript may be found here.

"... am less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer.  For ultimately, the buck stops with me.  As President, I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people.  And when the system fails, it is my responsibility. 

Over the past two weeks, we've been reminded again of the challenge we face in protecting our country against a foe that is bent on our destruction.  And while passions and politics can often obscure the hard work before us, let's be clear about what this moment demands.  We are at war.  We are at war against al Qaeda, a far-reaching network of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, and that is plotting to strike us again.  And we will do whatever it takes to defeat them.

And we've made progress.  Al Qaeda's leadership is hunkered down.  We have worked closely with partners, including Yemen, to inflict major blows against al Qaeda leaders.  And we have disrupted plots at home and abroad, and saved American lives.

And we know that the vast majority of Muslims reject al Qaeda.  But it is clear that al Qaeda increasingly seeks to recruit individuals without known terrorist affiliations not just in the Middle East, but in Africa and other places, to do their bidding.  That's why I've directed my national security team to develop a strategy that addresses the unique challenges posed by lone recruits.
...

Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.  That is exactly what our adversaries want, and so long as I am President, we will never hand them that victory.  We will define the character of our country, not some band of small men intent on killing innocent men, women and children.

And in this cause, every one of us -- every American, every elected official -- can do our part.  Instead of giving into cynicism and division, let's move forward with the confidence and optimism and unity that defines us as a people.  For now is not a time for partisanship, it's a time for citizenship -- a time to come together and work together with the seriousness of purpose that our national security demands.

That's what it means to be strong in the face of violent extremism.  That's how we will prevail in this fight.  And that's how we will protect our country and pass it -- safer and stronger -- to the next generation."






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Ben Padnos: Hero



I can truly appreciate someone that once lived in Michigan and still cares deeply about what goes on there. Ben Padnos is a former Michigander that just got a little more involved in Michigan politics.

From the Grand Rapids News via MLive:

"...critical of U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra says he created www.petehoekstra.comHoekstra based a fundraising appeal on an attempted airliner bombing.

Ben Padnos, a 35-year-old California Internet sales and marketing entrepreneur who grew up in Holland, told MLive.com he was outraged after the Holland Republican used the Dec. 25 attack to seek donations for his gubernatorial campaign.

"This was a letter to raise money off the backs of people who almost died," said Padnos, an Internet expert who said he registered the domain name on Dec. 30.

Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, should have been sophisticated enough to secure the domain name "petehoekstra.com," Padnos said

"My point was be careful where you're throwing stones," said Padnos, who said he believes Hoekstra's attacks on the Obama Administration were unwarranted."


Good Luck with the website, Ben!



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What She Said!

Oh, Good Grief!

The teabaggers are coming to Detroit to protest during the 2010 Auto Show.  Good Luck with that...........

From WizardKitten,

"...Face it people, as tough as things are now, it would have been FAR WORSE if these companies had been liquidated - but you teabaggers go ahead and bring your wacky signs that protest saving thousands of Michigan jobs.

It will be an honor to tie them to the next Michigan politician who embraces your movement for political gain."

Yes.  I want to see the pictures of any mindless Republican that goes out on that cold cold morning to protest the saving of Michigan jobs.  I want to see the now typical hate-filled signs that the teabaggers carry.  Let's have the art to show the people of Michigan and the rest of the world what Republicans believe and support.



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Hey Hoekstra and Miller!

Pay Attention:


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Mental Health Break

H/T to Joe.My.God



Symphony of Science - 'The Unbroken Thread'



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