Friday, March 31, 2006

Far Right Christians Feeling Persecuted and Tom DeLay is Thier Martyr

There is little doubt that Democrats need to reach out to moderate Republicans and Christians who share our values of caring, peace and justice, but it is a waste of time to think that far right evangelicals can understand they are being lied to and manipulated by thier cynical religious and political champions.

Dana Millbanks of the Washington Post does a remarkable job of exposing the hypocracy of political and religious leaders dedicated to maintaining the power of the corporate elites and their cronies in this story that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sen. Cropsey Thinks Taxpayers Should Pay To Fix His Church's Septic System

Leave it to our wacko right wing state senator to come up with some new outrage. Now Sen. Alan Cropsey wants taxpayers to foot the bill for his church's outdated sewage disposal system. I am not making this up. Our state senator has added $50,000 to the state budget so that the Grove Bible Church in rural Clinton County can update the system it put in place 30 years ago to meet new state standards. Sen. Cropsey is a member of the church's board. He claims the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is being unkind to his church, but DEQ folks note all they are doing is enforcing the law. Here's the full story.

Residents of Michigan's 33rd Senate district consisting of Clinton, Ionia, Montcalm and Isabella Counties have taken a lot of crap from this state senator, but we sure as hell don't want to pay for it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't Forget --We Won on Minimum Wage

Despite the clever maneuvering by the Republithugs in the state legislature on passing a minimum wage increase, the fact remains it never would have happened if Democrats across the state did not make a huge effort both informing people and getting them to sign minimum wage petitions. The entire process raised expectations and public support for an increase in the minimum wage and only when the groundswell of public support became obvious, even to Republican pollsters, did the increase happen.

So all those folks who participated in garnering signatures and signing them should take a second and enjoy the victory that we collectively achieved. For those Democrats who forget that unions continue to work hard for the ordinary people, the minimum wage would not have happened without our Michigan unions too. When the Democratic Party reminds itself that we are the party of the people and when we work together, we can accomplish great things for the people. In October when people begin to see that increase in their paychecks, we need to remind them -- Democrats made it happen.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 I spoke too soon...

Minimum Wage ballot initiative dead.

Long live the Minimum Wage ballot initiative.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I've been Amwayed...

(cross posted from

I will probably be Amwayed especially since my name is in the url for this download.

But, for those who still need reminding of where DeVos is coming from, please send them this little movie.

Actually this is a rough draft, it took me about 30min, it was the first project I did with windows movie maker. I plan on making a bunch more of these, too.

See it here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ballot Proposal: Don't speak too soon Mr. Kilar...

I spoke to Alan Kilar at the Peace Rally on Sunday. He mentioned how the state legislature raising the minimum wage was a "brilliant move", but, was it?

This is from MichiganLiberal's wizardkitten:

The bill doesn't say anything about "hikes." It just says the proposal establishes the rate. It also does not say that the bill's rate shall be null and void if the proposal passes.

Here is the specific language on the bill-

Notwithstanding subsection (1), if a ballot proposal that establishes a minimum wage is approved by the majority of electors voting on the question at the general election on November 7, 2006, the minimum wage shall be as established in the ballot proposal.

Here is the petition language in the ballot proposal-


So, according to wizardkitten, (and Mark Brewer and unions) the proposal doesn't set the rate, just the floor. So by voting for the proposal, we will just enshrine in the constitution the parts we want (inflation increases, etc.) and not drop the minimum wage.

So the Rethugs in the legislature tried to get cute, and once again, their incompetence made them fail.

Wizardkitten you make me purrrr...

Cookbooks Coming Early

We just got word from our cookbook publisher that 400 copies of the ICDP Cookbook have been shipped and should arrive here midweek. We weren’t expecting them until mid-April. With more than 200 recipes from prominent and rank and file Dems, this book that sells for just $10 will be a great gift and collectors item. There’s some memorable stuff in the front of the book about our local party including what it means to be a Democrat in Isabella County along with some wonderful excerpts from the Governor’s State of the Union Speech. If you haven’t already purchased or reserved a copy before they go on sale to the general public, contact Mary Barker at Democrats get first choice on these books.

Griffin Forum Tackles Affirmative Action

Right after the meeting to form a local group to oppose the Ward Connerly anti-affirmative action ballot proposal next Wednesday, folks can walk across the street to CMU’s Park Library and catch an interesting panel discussion on the cynically named Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. One of the most contentious statewide ballot proposals in recent Michigan history will be debated March 29 at the Spring Griffin Policy Forum at Central Michigan University. "Affirmative Action/Racial Preferences: Should They Be Banned?" will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in CMU's Park Library Auditorium. Catch one meeting or both for a fascinating and very important evening for the future of Michigan. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 29.

Affirmative Action Coalition Forming

Folks in Isabella County are gearing up to fight the California amendment to end affirmative action in Michigan and they are looking for help and leadership. On the ballot in November, thanks to a bunch of right wing California billionaires, is the misleadingly labeled Michigan Civil Rights Initiative designed to fool people. An organizational meeting to launch an Isabella County branch of One United Michigan is scheduled for Wednesday, March 29 at CMU’s Bovee University Center in the Maroon Room from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Iraq Protest In Mount Pleasant Draws Larger Crowds

Anti-war protests in Mt. Pleasant last summer only had 20 or 30 dedicated folks coming out to demonstrate against the war. But on Sunday on a cool, but sunny day almost 100 people and at least 3 dogs and countless kids turned out to register their discontent with the Bush administration's pursuit of the unjust and what international scholars call an illegal war in Iraq.

It was a nice mix of folks who came out to hear readings from Mark Twain and Martin Luther King about the madness and fulitility of war and speeches by local clergy and activists including City Commissoner Jim Moreno. The event was one of 20 protests scheduled in Michigan to mark the third anniversary of the war. More than 400 anti-war events were scheduled on Sunday across the country.

Reporters from the Morning Sun and CM Life were on hand to report on the Mount Pleasant event. To see the Morning Sun story by Mark Ranzenberger click here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mount Pleasant Rally for Peace on Sunday March 19

Isabella Peacemakers will rally for peace at 3:00 pm, Sunday afternoon, March 19, the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Folks will gather at the Town Center, at the intersection of Broadway and Main Street. Signs are welcome. There will be a couple of impromptu speeches, including one written by Mark Twain. (He did not much like war, either.) Besides Democrats, we expect individuals from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Great Lakes Humanist Society, St John's Episcopal Church, the Lutherans, the Methodists and the Pine River Friends' Meeting. This is one of 250 such demonstrations from coast to coast sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, long noted for their efforts for peace. People from all churches, and also those who do not go to any church are invited to take part in the demonstration. The number of such demonstrations is growing rapidly, as the idea catches on in city after city. There are thirteen such demonstrations in Michigan, with more expected to come. Folks may see what other towns and cities are holding peace rallies and register online at the AFSC site .

Sen. Carl Levin on Channel 3 Tonight and Tomorrow

U.S. Senator Carl Levin was in Mount Pleasant last month as part of a 10-city tour of Michigan to discuss Medicare Part D. ICDP-TV crews were there to record the town hall meeting at the Isabella County Senior Center where Sen. Levin got an earful of complaints and concerns about the Republican-backed privatized prescription drug program, which does more to subsidize drug companies than seniors. Now you can catch the entire discussion with Sen. Levin on Charter cable Channel 3 in Clare, Gratiot and Isabella Counties. The program is scheduled for this evening, Friday, March 10 at 8 p.m. and again tomorrow morning, Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m. Reruns of the same show may be seen next week on Tuesday at 9 a.m. and on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ICDP-TV has also completed editing the filming of Attorney General Candidate Amos Williams. Schedules for that ICDP-TV production have not yet been finalized.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Hidden Story Behind the Bush India Visit

Our local Republican Congressman, an avid supporter of the President’s free trade policies and Dow Chemical are all smiles about President Bush’s trip to India. From the press reports you hear, most folks must think everyone in India will welcome the new interest by America in India. Think again. Dow Chemical bought out Union Carbide, but such sales include both assets and liabilities and although Dow reminds folks that what happened in Bhopal was not their fault, effigies of George Bush are being burned there. Here’s something you won’t see on Fox News.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oakland County Republicans (with DeVos) to buy signatures...

How Republican Business is Done.

L Brooks Patterson of Oakland County is going to buy signatures in order to cripple Michigan. He is putting together a ballot iniative to repeal the SBT.

Here's what the goal is:
The campaign's goal is to collect at least 340,000 signatures, which is nearly 100,000 more than what is needed to send the measure to the Legislature. If the Legislature approves the initiative, it would become law, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm would not have an opportunity to veto it. If lawmakers do not approve the measure, it would go on the November ballot to be decided by voters.So this is seriuos. Granholm wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Our only hope would be with the voters.
Of course, the only way they will be able to get the signatures needed:
Patterson's campaign is contracting with a California firm, National Petition Management, to gather the signatures over the next 90 days.
This is the way Republican's think they can get things done, we'll just use cash. Who needs hard work?