Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Democracy Film Series Continues Tonight in Mt. Pleasant With Timely Film About Enron

The trial of Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling began yesterday in Houston. This evening at CMU's Park Library Auditorium at 7 p.m., the Democracy Film Series continues with the film "Bigger Than Enron. The Frontline special on PBS provides details of how one of President George W. Bush's most ardent Texas supporters rose to prominence and wound up presiding over the largest corporate scandal in history that cheated investors and company employees out of billions of dollars. It is this evening, Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Park Library. You can catch the movie and still get home in time to watch the State of the Union speech at 9 p.m. Here is one of the latest stories about the Enron trial.

Thank Debbie And Other Dems For Standing With Us Against Alito

Sen. Debbie Stabenow worked really hard to block the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court and we owe her a debt of gratitude and our thanks. Although the 55 member Republican majority in the U.S. Senate was determined to rubber stamp President Bush's choice, Sen. Stabenow stood by her convictions that Alito was the wrong choice for America.

As you've probably heard, last night the attempt to filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination was defeated. This morning, the full Senate voted to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Twenty-four Democrats, including our own Sen. Stabenow, and one independent voted for a filibuster--doing everything in their power to prevent Samuel Alito from replacing Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

We should encourage more senators to show this kind of courage by thanking those who stand up for our values. I just took 5 minutes to write a quick note of appreciation to the senators who supported the filibuster. You can do the same at:


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Last Week for Recipes

The Isabella County Democratic Party Cookbook is nearing completion and there is just one more week before it is finalized and ready to go to press. Local, regional and national Democrats have all contributed to the effort.

Now in the final week  with more than 200 recipes the ICDP Cookbook is beginning to look both impressive and delicious. We were initially concerned about not having enough recipes. Now we are concerned that Democrats who really ought to have a recipe or two in there are not yet represented. But there is still a little time, but it is running out. By meeting our deadline we will be able to get the very best price on our printing costs.

Thanks again for all those who have contributed especially those with multiple entries and many thanks to those very busy elected officials, including two former presidents, whose recipes will grace our publication. Recipes or questions can be sent to mbarker25@chartermi.net.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Encourage Kerry Filibuster - The most important thing you may do in your life this year

Nothing less than our democracy is at stake. We urge you to join with others oppossed to the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. You worked hard to encourage Senators Levin and Stabenow to vote against Alito and they will. Now it is time to ask them to fight again to save our country by joining the filibuster against Alito led by Sen. John Kerry.

Please go to this site and sign the petition to stop Alito and then urge one of our other Democratic Senators to change their minds about the filibuster they are currently not in favor of. Could Bush nominate someone worse than Alito? That seems to be the argument for not doing as much as they can to oppose Alito. Of course Bush could nominate someone worse, but let history record when Bush tried, our Democrats did everything they could to stop him.

Our Senators need to know we stand behind them. Let them know. Yes, more phone calls are needed too. The numbers you need are here: http://democrats.com/alito-48

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Granholm Scores A+ on State of the State Address

Gov. Jennifer Granholm did what she had to do and more in delivering her re-election year State of the State Address on Wednesday night.

The well-crafted speech that "spoke to the people" instead of the legislature presented an upbeat note using every arrow in a speechmaker's quiver. The pacing, the gestures, the happy face, the serious face, the pregnant pause, the dramatic assertiveness and expressive confidence were all a marked contrast to the pitifully written and poorly delivered Republican response by committee.

Jobs, health care and education were the key topics. But there was also strong support, even a threat to Republicans who control the legislature that if they don't raise the minimum wage, "the voters of Michigan surely will." Democrats, of course, are circulating petitions to not only raise the minimum wage, but also doing it with a Consitutional Amendment and a built-in cost of living increase.

As expected Republicans sat on their hands while Democrats in the audience cheered when the Governor spoke of new initiatives to create a new pension plan for folks who can't get one now and for a new health insurance plan to cover more than a half million other poor working people currently not covered by health insurance.

The speech cast the Governor as the promoter in chief of all that is best about Michigan and in a clear stab at Michigan Republicans who have cast Detroit as a villain unfairly draining dollars out of the rest of the state, Granholm made it clear where she stands. "The only seperation we should have between Detroit and Michigan is a comma, period," she declared with emphasis on the last word.

Just a few days ago, Granholm was in Isabella County, doing a preview of parts of her speech about her efforts to diversify Michigan's economy. But she made it clear Wednesday that Michigan's future will rely on Michigan's expertise in putting America behind the wheel and exploiting that expertise into other areas.

But more than just the content of the speech, it was the way it was delivered that makes it clear that anyone on the same stage with her is going to have their work cut out for them. She is quite simply an excellent speaker, a dynamic and engaging personality. Put her together with a good speech and she has no competition on either side of the aisle. The Republicans will need an A++ effort to beat her and they simply do not have a candidate of that caliber.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sen. Stabenow and Senate Dems Say No to Alito

Many local Democrats have written called and e-mailed our two U.S. Senators to let them know just how strongly we felt about opposing the nomination of Samuel Alito to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Now comes word that the efforts of so many of our ICDP members especially local Dem activist Bob Busch have given our Democratic Senators the support they needed to voice their total opposition to the Alito nomination.

Daily Kos has the full details including this quote from Sen. Stabenow:

"Judge Alito has spent 15 years siding with the powerful at the expense of the rights of individuals. He is the wrong choice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, where he could be making decisions impacting the rights of our children and grandchildren for the next 20 to 30 years," said Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Can We Save The Environment From Bush?

First there was the Clean Sky initiative that actually produced more air pollution and then it was the Healthy Forests initiative that destroyed more forests. Then it was scores of executive orders which have turned back the clock 30 years on most of the environmental measures we have taken to provide a healthy environment for ourselves and our grand kids.

It's hard to tell just how far Bush will go to reward his big industry buddies at the expense of the rest of us. Our friends at a national coalition of environmental groups tell us the Bush administration has overturned the landmark Roadless Area Conservation Rule, leaving nearly 60 million acres of our last remaining pristine forests at risk from damaging logging, mining, and drilling operations.

We need your help to stop the Bush administration from selling off our roadless forests to the highest bidder. Will you join the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have already signed the Citizens' Petition to Protect Our Roadless Areas? The nation’s largest and most influential conservation organization are planning to file the Citizens’ Petition next week, so please sign the petition by Monday, January 30th.

Our roadless forests allow us to enjoy nature and wildlife, provide us with sources of clean drinking water, and contain habitat for many endangered plants and animals. Without the Roadless Rule, national treasures like the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and California's Sierra Nevada region are at risk from logging, mining, drilling, and road-building.

Wal-Mart Humor You Might Enjoy

In the past few weeks I've had no less than a half dozen folks recommend I take a look at this parody of Garth Brooks singing an anti-Wal-Mart ditty. It is amazing to me that there are so many talented people out there, animators, song writers, musicians and a singer who sounds almost exactly like Garth, to make such a production possible.

It's funny, well done and as they say in the business, it has good production values.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The death of downtown...

The Morning Sun has an article about our local businesses going under.

Apparantly it has nothing to do with big box stores moving in:
With close to a dozen local stores in recent months either closing or with their doors already shuttered, it might seem like Mt. Pleasant is a tough place to do business.

And that appearance would be right.

Sort of.

Recently the SB Party Store (formerly known as Tuma's Country Gourmet), the Burger King on West Remus and Lincoln roads, Rooster's Restaurant, and Ethnic Creations have closed.

The Pickwick Office Supplies, Skateboard Shop, Chloe's and Martin's, all in downtown Mt. Pleasant, have closed or are in the process of selling their stock and turning the lights out for the final time.

Someplace Special in downtown Mt. Pleasant is selling off it's stock and will close in a move to consolidate with its sister location on South Mission Street, which will remain open under the same ownership.

Other stores and restaurants also are modifying hours or services in response to a sluggish local economy.
Come on Sponseller (who later says that it's the economy, not the big box stores). This is all about the big box stores moving in.

My cousin told me how his mom loved Wal-Mart. I asked him if it was the low wages or the gutting of downtown that she loved so much. Wal-Mart is the reason for our dying community, no matter how many crappy jobs come in.

But, our biggest problem is not Wal-Mart, but their enablers in Union Township. The community around Mt Pleasant is one hell hole of box stores and Apartment suburbia. Hello, Union Township? Check out this department at the University. They have students who learn about planning, specifically land use planning, you know the type of thing a community does.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Molly called for it...

Rep.'s Barney Frank and David Obey deliver.

Some House Democrats seek election public funds:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Public financing of elections for the U.S. House of Representatives, not lobbying reform, is the best way to end ethic scandals, a top Democrat said on Friday.

'You can talk all you want about nibbling at the margins about ethics and House rules and all the rest, but unless we deal with the nexus between politics and money, damned little is actually going to change over time,' Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin said in a telephone interview.

Please let this pass.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Don't be afraid to be a Democrat...

Molly Ivins says.

Now is the time that leaders emerge:

I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone. This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.


If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.

What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.

The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF?


Oh come on, people -- get a grip on the concept of leadership. Look at this war -- from the lies that led us into it, to the lies they continue to dump on us daily.

You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.

Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.

Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."

Friday, January 20, 2006

Granholm Wows Dems in Mount Pleasant

"What a dynamo." "I loved her energy." "I am so glad I didn't miss her, she is terrific."

Those were just a few of the comments we heard Friday afternoon after Gov. Jennifer Granholm met with several hundred Mid-Michigan Democrats at the Holiday Inn.

Even County Commissioner David Ling, who has been teaching communications at CMU for more decades than he cares to remember, was blown away with the Granholm performance. "I just wish more people could see what we saw today," Dr. Ling said.

It was as much a performance as it was a speech that Isabella Democrats and our friends from nearby counties were impressed with. Most of them had never seen the Governor do her thing before. Even holding two microphones, Granholm was full of dramatic movement and gestures as she spoke about her efforts to diversify Michigan's economy and create jobs, both short term and long term.

One of the highlights of the Governor's speech was her interaction with 8-year-old second grader, Emily, the granddaughter of union activist Caroline Ross. The Governor had Emily raise her hand to recite a pledge that she would go on to college. Young Emily came back to get the Governor's autograph. We bet she won't forget the day she met the Governor.

The entire speech and more were videotaped for ICDP-TV and will be shown soon on Public Access TV, Charter Cable Channel 3 in Gratiot, Clare and Isabella Counties. We will also make the tape available to any other Democrats who would like to show the video in other parts of the state on public access.

Dave Ling was right. Everybody should see this one.

What Can I Do To Stop The War?

Many of our local anti-war activists have held rallies, candle-light vigils, written Congress and the White House, stood with Cindy and more and yet the war in Iraq wages on despite calls for withdrawal from many quarters.

Local Democrats have asked with not a little frustration, is there something else we should be doing. Those of you who have read or seen variations of the Greek play 'Lysistrata," know the concept of women working together to end war is a notion that didn't start yesterday.

Now a national movement called Code Pink is working in that old tradition by getting both prominent and ordinary women to step forward and sign on in solidarity against the war in Iraq. Distinguished women from Nobel Prize winners and nominees to prominent entertainers have all added their names to the growing movement that is gearing up for large scale demonstrations all over the globe on March 8.

Code Pink is seeking to get 100,000 signatures by March 8 to present to Congress and the White House. This time men are asked to join the movement too. March 8 is also International Women's Day. For more information about Code Pink click here. To add your name to the growing list of more than 25,000 other signers, add your name here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ICDP-TV Wal-Mart Discussion To Debut on Friday

The first production of ICDP-TV will go on the air in just a few days. The controversial meeting where CM-Life claimed we were "rallying against Wal-Mart" can be seen in it's entirety on Charter Cable's Channel 3 for the first time on Friday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.

Don't worry if you can't catch "The Impact of the Walmartization of Mount Pleasant," on Friday afternoon because the ICDP-TV production can also be seen later that same evening at 8 p.m. If you happen to be out of town on Friday, no worries. Public access TV plays locally produced TV shows many times to give local viewers plenty of opportunities to watch. The same program will also be aired on Monday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. and also on Friday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. and at 8 p.m. It will also be aired finally on Monday, Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.

For those of you who missed the Jan. 5 ICDP meeting, it featured a local panel of Democratic Party leaders who discussed the local plans that Wal-Mart has for Mt. Pleasant and despite what CM-Life claimed in it's Jan. 11 edition, we did not take any formal stand or vote in opposition to Wal-Mart's plans for Mt. Pleasant. Of course, we may want to consider that sometime in the future. It was an interesting discussion of a local issue that hasn't had much public airing.

Just a little recap, you can see the Wal-Mart discussion on the next two Fridays at 1 and 8 p.m. and the next two Mondays at 5 p.m. If you don't get Charter Cable, ask one of your Democratic friends to tape it for you, we will also have a limited number of DVD's available that you may borrow by e-mailing isabellademocrats@gmail.com and asking for the Wal-Mart DVD.

What's next for ICDP-TV? We just finished the final edit of the 4th Congressional District Democratic Party Dinner that was held on Saturday, Jan. 14. Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer and Michigan House Democratic Party Leader Dianne Byrum were the keynote speakers, but Congressional Candidate Mike Huckleberry also did a great job of addressing the audience too. We also had some pre-dinner comments that were caught on tape from two Democratic candidates running to unseat Republican State Attorney General Mike Cox. We will let you know as soon as we know when the second production of ICDP-TV will be on the air. It's local TV by the people and for the people.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Time to fight against Alito...

The time stand and fight for our rights is now. This the time to raise hell. The only phone number you need is:


Ask for Levin, ask for Stabenow. Tell them we need to filibuster Alito. Remind them what John Paul Jones, the Naval Hero of the Revolution, said:

"Give Me a Fast Ship for I Intend To Go In Harms Way."

Here's what Steve Gilliard tells:

The people who need a different America, soldiers, Wal Mart employees, don't get the time to call Congress. We do. So keep in mind, if you do nothing, the people who catch it in the neck isn't you, but someone who's already struggling and doesn't need another burden. You aren't just fighting for yourself. Every time you read about Wal Mart, and get pissed, remember, you're not just protecting your rights, but a lot of people who have no voice. That's why we do this, not just to vent your anger and express your frustration. America has left a lot of people behind, and if no one else want to think of them, it is our moral duty to do so.
We need to get out there and do our part.


Carl Levin: 202-224-6221
Debbie Stabenow: 202-224-4822

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Democrats Have a Great Night in Mt. Pleasant

The food, the speakers and the comraderie of Democrats from 14 counties of the Fourth Congressional District combined to make a great Saturday night out. It was the first annual dinner of the district committee and chair Julie Nelson and a cadre of volunteers helped make the event a marvelous success.

One of the biggest surprises of the evening was the presence of two impressive Democratic candidates getting ready to take on Mike Cox for attorney general. Both Alexander Lipsey and Scott Bowen got to introduce themselves to our part of the state.

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer was his usually feisty self and House Democratic Caucus Leader Dianne Byrum gave a rousing speech to get the troops fired up for 2006.

One of the highlights of the evening was Montcalm County's favorite son, Mike Huckleberry, who will be taking on Dave Camp to represent us in Congress. It was the first major speech for Mike in 2006 and he touched on issues of major concerns to Democrats.

Folks in Isabella, Gratiot and Clare counties who have cable TV will be able to see it all on public access Channel 3 as soon as we can put the final finishes on the raw footage shot by ICDP-TV crews during the interview. We have a new TV star in our midst too, since CMU Dem Andy Leavitt, took his first shot at interviewing Democrats for ICDP-TV.

Friday, January 13, 2006

What is ICDP-TV?

ICDP-TV is television for the people, by the people and of the people, especially if those people are Democrats.

The Isabella County Democratic Party (ICDP) now has a team of five trained TV producers who have undergone six hours of training on the creation of television for public access. The Mid-Michigan Area Cable Consortium, which coordinates public, educational, and government access in Isabella, Clare and Gratiot Counties provided the training.

The equipment and editing facilities we use are all provided through the franchise fees paid by Charter cable subscribers in 12 communities in those three counties. All of our productions can be seen in the three counties and on other public access channels if the programs are requested. E-mail lists are only one way to communicate with our constituents. TV is another way. The first completed production of the Wal-Mart discussion will air next week. Check back for details.

Here's One Solution To Make Wal-Mart Pay Fair Share of Associates Health Care

Leave it to my friends and family in Maryland to come up with a solution to burdening taxpayers with subsidized health care costs from Wal-Mart's poorly paid employees. The Democratically controlled legislature in Annapolis has passed a law that requires Wal-Mart to pony up.

Of course, the Republican governor vetoed the measure, but it didn't matter. There were still enough good Democrat votes in both the Maryland House and Senate to override.

Here's the story from my old friends at the Baltimore Sun.

And yes, even CNN has the story. See it here.

Now, what are the chances of the Republican controlled Michigan legislature doing the same thing?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

How Could CM Life Get It So Wrong?

Anyone who picked up the Wednesday edition of the CMU newspaper, CM Life, might be wondering what the local Democratic Party has been smoking at their meetings. CM Life senior reporter Jen Marckini blessed us with her presence at last Thursday's ICDP meeting and folks who attended are scratching their heads about whether they were at the same meeting she was.

The CM Life story was either a misunderstanding or a deliberate attempt to cause confusion and right now it is unclear which. But it is a lesson in how the press can get things wrong, especially if they put themselves into a position where they are covering something they are unfamiliar with. The CM Life story is titled, "Local Dems rally against Wal-Mart."

Frankly, I didn't see much news value in attending that particular meeting and perhaps she didn't either which led her to the path she chose to complete her story. Ms. Marckini called the Governors office, the Union Township Supervisors Office, the President of CMU's Office and Sen. Cropsey's office all based on her assumption that the ICDP is oppossed to Wal-Mart. Too bad that assumption was wrong.

Fortunately we have the whole thing on video which will be shown on public access Channel 3 where the public can make up its own mind what happened. From our view we were discussing a vital local public issue which has had inadequate public discusssion. Of course, many of us spoke of our concerns about Wal-Mart and there weren't many kind words said about the retail giant.

What the student journalist obviously didn't understand is the process by which local parties take votes on issues when they feel they are important. She didn't know the local history of our party and that in the last year only a few things reached the point of a vote. She didn't understand we have a history of discussing controversial issues and we welcome all points of view.

Based on what she thought she heard --- we , the local Dems -- are oppossed to Wal-Mart. We have had an apology from Dominic Adams, the top editor of the paper and we will get space to write a guest column response. We actually do admire what most of the young CMU journalists try to do with their limited experience. We hope this has been a really good lesson for CM Life.
It certainly has been a good lesson for us. The next time we see a reporter at our meetings we need to educate them about what we are doing and give them some background.

We've heard several Dems suggest we should never allow reporters at our meetings again as a result of this experience. Republicans might take that approach. Democrats do not. We have nothing to hide and I believe the tape will show that. We'll let you know when we expect it to air.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Republicans Want Americans to Believe Everyone Does It, But It's Another Republican Lie

The Republican spin machine is still alive and well and spinning wildy now as more Republican heads are about to fall. With the aid of the Republican controlled media, they want America to believe that it isn't just Republicans who have sold out America to their crony capitalist buddies.

But the Abramhoff mess is a Republican mess, a Republican scandal, and key Republicans selling out America for power and greed. Our Democratic Party Chair laid all the cards on the table Sunday for CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Howard Dean told Blitzer this is a Republican scandal and that only Republicans were involved.

Dean had obviously done his homework and Blitzer was buying the Republispin that everyone does it. You can check out the whole conversation here and see the video too. It's well worth a few minutes of your valuable time to see Blitzer sputtering.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dow Fined For Secret Dioxin Testing in Midland

State regulators have caught the Dow Chemical Co. violating their state license to operate their chemical plant in Midland and slapped a $70,000 fine on them for failure to comply with state regulations that requires the company to let state regulators know when and how they are running any tests to monitor pollutants from the plant.

The latest setback for Dow is the second in a recent weeks that also saw Gov. Granholm defeat a Republican measure that would have helped to get Dow off the hook for dioxin contamination along the river that runs into the Saginaw Bay.

The Midland Daily News reported Monday that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality had issued the fine because the company had secretly begun testing for dioxin without informing the DEQ as required by the license for the plant.

The huge chemical company that has spent millions on lobbying the state legislature to do its bidding claimed it didn't know its state license had such a requirement. Imagine that!!

This is the same company that also initially denied that the dioxin contamination along the Tittibawasee River came from the Midland plant and must have come from somebody else. It wasn't until the DEQ showed them the chemical fingerprints, that Dow finally agreed it must be from the Dow plant in recent decades. Surprisingly, Dow still has many supporters in Midland. I am guessing most of them make over $100,000 a year and work for Dow. When things get tough, they just might have to lay off one or more of those folks to pay for the next set of fines. You just know these won't be the last.

Film On Iraq War Fraud at CMU Tuesday Night

The Democracy Film Series resumes again on Tuesday night with a film narrated by Julian Bond, a documentary about how Americans came to be deceived about the need to go to war against Iraq. Although it covers some of the same ground covered by Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9-1-1," there is much new information in "Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear, and the Selling of American Empire."

The film will be shown at the Park Library Auditorium on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p. m. This showing is free and open to the public. The CMU Democrats are one of the producers of the film series.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

You Gotta Love REAL Democrats

If you've ever heard feisty Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick of Detroit speak you would know that she doesn't mince words and that she doesn't take the Bush administration BS kindly. She obviously has a New York sister, if not in the flesh, certainly in spirit, in New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter who gave this week's Democratic Party radio message.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Under Republican control, America has been "put up for sale to the highest bidder" and its government has been transformed into an "engine of patronage, not one of responsible policy," a Democratic congresswoman said Saturday in the party's weekly radio address.

"As Americans, we have a right to expect that our government will be defined by the integrity of its office holders," said Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York. "And yet today, we are suffering the consequences of what may be the worst corruption in the history of our Congress."

Check out the rest of the CNN story here.

Democrats: GOP selling U.S. to 'highest bidder'

Some good news...

It's winter time, and although the sun came out yesterday, it's real dreary around here. Staying positive and keeping focused on our goal is essential to survival. So we need to celebrate some good news when we can.

They are connecting new trails in Gratiot County:

Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail were out in force Friday to witness the official purchase of about five miles of property that will connect the trail from Alma to Riverdale and the rest of the 29-mile biking and hiking trail to Greenville.

The 'linear park' will include Alma, Elwell, Riverdale, Vestaburg, Cedar Lake, Edmore, McBride, Stanton, Sidney and Greenville.

People in the Gratiot County area raised $380,000 to pay for the five-mile stretch of land, purchased from the CSX Railroad. Volunteers were on hand to witness the closing ceremony of the 'Let's Get Connected' rails to trails campaign.
Sometimes we get all wrapped up in "punks in DC are doing this", or "those idiots in Lansing", that kind of crap will drive you nuts. It's hard to wade through, especially when you are in your own insular world of the office, house, usually both are mutually exclusive, but in some cases, not so. Yet, we march on.

Making the community better one step at a time is our goal. So let's celebrate with our neighbors, and work for the future.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Camp to not give back Abramoff tainted money

The sun has it wrong with the headline "Camp set to donate $500".

Dave Camp is refusing to give back the money clearly influensed by Abramoff's lobbying.

From the same article:

The Choctaws gave Camp a total of $6,500 in 2000 and 2004, all while using Abramoff as a lobbyist. Since firing him, the Tribe has continued to be a generous political donor, but hasn't given Camp anything.

The Tigua Tribe's giving appears closely related to its relationship with Abramoff. The Tribe made just $7,250 worth of political donations during the 2000 election. Then it hired Abramoff.

In the 2002 campaign, while Abramoff was being paid by the Tiguas, the Texas Tribe's giving jumped to $160,000, including a $2,000 gift to Camp. Then the band fired Abramoff after learning the lobbyist had worked for a competing Tribe to shut down the Tiguas' Speaking Rock Casino.

In the 2004 campaign, the cash-strapped Tiguas gave nothing. They have given no donations during the 2006 campaign, either.

That smell stinketh. $8500 worth of stinketh.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Morning Sun

This looks fishy...

The Morning Sun: "'Dave never had any interaction with Jack Abramoff,' Eastman said."

Monday, January 02, 2006

What's So Bad About Wal-Mart Tripling It's Presence in Mt. Pleasant?

Construction on a new Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Sam's Club are anticipated in Mt. Pleasant this year. Wal-Mart is expecting to see about 23,000 vehicles coming daily to the site off of Bluegrass Road and a majority of local shoppers in our area are expected to be customers.

We will take a look at the implications of the new big box stores and the junior box stores expected to follow at a special panel discussion on Thursday night. It's our regular First Thursday of the month ICDP meeting and, as usual, we will be tackling another issue in need of discussion. This time the issue hits close to home with implications on local businesses, employment and, of course, shopping. But there are also many other implications.

Some folks are mad and some are glad and we'll take a look at why that is. Should we be concerned about what is happening? What should we do? What can we do? Come to the meeting at the Isabella County Office Building on Thursday and we'll talk about it. It's on the second floor and starts at 7 p.m. Take a look at our previous posts on the topic below.