Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gubernatorial debates begin Monday

Voters will soon have the opportunity to see Jennifer and her opponent together on the same stage.

From Grand Rapids NBC affiliate WOOD TV8:

WOOD TV8 will host the second debate at 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 10, and be available to all NBC stations in Michigan. WOOD TV8 anchor Suzanne Geha will moderate the debate, which will include panelists from WOOD TV8, Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV, and the Detroit Free Press.

The first debate is set for Monday, October 2. The 8 p.m. debate, moderated by Tim Skubick, will be held at WKAR in East Lansing and be available to all Michigan Public TV stations and all Fox stations.

On Thursday, October 12, Granholm and DeVos will make a joint appearance and deliver remarks at a luncheon sponsored by Detroit's Economic Club and the Michigan Chronicle.

The third and final debate will be Monday, October 16 from the studios of WXYZ in Detroit. Chuck Stokes will be the debate moderator, which will be available to all CBS and ABC affiliates in the state.

There is a form on the web page where you can submit questions to be asked at the October 10 debate.

Stabenow's Torture Vote

So we are all pissed about Stabenow's vote. She voted for torture. She took the weak stance.

She took the calculated stance. You know Bouchard was just waiting to make the "Stabenow is weak on terror" commercial. The Republican Nation Campaign office, aka the White House, wanted it this way.

Stabenow calculated (most likely correctly) that this heinous bill will not make through the courts. It is an awful bill. So she held her nose and voted yes, because she didn't want to help her opposition. Makes you crazy, eh?

But, here's the thing...

We are not strong enough to make her pay for her vote. The grassroot Democrats in this state are not organized enough, we are not a bloc to contend with, yet.

So go ahead, make her explain herself. She will probably give you some bs security answer. But, she knows that it's easier to explain to you than it is to with stand a barrage from the RNC and Bouchard about how "weak" she is.

We need to be stronger to make her pay for this.

More about Torture vote

Yesterday, I noted that Debbie Stabenow had shocked many of us by voting for Bush’s “Torture” bill. I thought you might be interested in seeing what Hillary Clinton said on the floor of the Senate before she voted against the bill:

"By allowing this Administration to further stretch the definition of what is and is not torture," Hillary said, "we lower our moral standards to those whom we despise, undermine the values of our flag wherever it flies, put our troops in danger, and jeopardize our moral strength in a conflict that cannot be won simply with military might."

It would be interesting to see Stabenow’s justification for her “yes” vote. By the way, Hillary mentioned the flag that Stabenow loves so much that she is willing to sacrifice freedom to speech to protect. It would seem she has desecrated it far more than any flag-burning protester.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Stabenow votes for torture

In case you haven’t heard, Debbie Stabenow voted for Bush’s centerpiece legislation in his war on terror (which is actually a war on American values). In his original version of the bill, Bush not only wanted prisoners to be tried only by military tribunals, but wanted to prevent them from seeing any evidence against them if it was classified. (In the Bush administration, almost everything is classified.) This would have allowed a jury to see evidence, but the defendant and his attorney would not be allowed to see it, even in a case where the death penalty was possible. This would have set aside 1000 years of Western law.

In presenting this bill, Bush used a ploy that has become standard practice over the past few years: make an outrageous proposal, fight tooth and nail to keep your proposal, but eventually give in and accept what appears to be a compromise even though what comes out of the compromise is what you really wanted in the first place. This is what we witnessed over the past couple of weeks as three “courageous” Republican senators wrestled the administration into a compromise. Curiously, the national media falls for this ploy every time.

What was the compromise? Bush can “interpret” (translation- set aside) Article 3 by simply saying that the prisoners of war don’t qualify for it. He can define what constitutes torture, and the Americans who are the torturers are also granted immunity from future prosecution. He can also define who is our enemy, and has the authority to “capture” and imprison anyone who (he says) is supporting terrorists even if that person is on American soil and has never left the country.

So whoever he deems to be an enemy can now legally be plucked off the street, held without charges being made, can be tortured (the bill states that even if evidence gained through torture is not allowed in court, the torturer can testify that “this is what he said” in court–so what is said about the evidence is allowed even if the evidence itself is not), and tried in a military –not civilian–court where his legal rights are greatly curtailed.

This is the bill that Stabenow voted for. Here is my letter to her:

Senator Stabenow,

I am extremely disappointed that you saw fit to vote for a bill that enables the President to not only torture, but also strip people of the most basic right of Western law that dates back to the Magna Carta: habeas corpus. The President can now define the third article of the Geneva Accords any way he wishes: your vote aided him in his quest to rewrite these long-standing agreements between nations.

Until the Bush administration, this was a nation of laws. He has taken upon himself the right to disregard and violate the common trust that people place in our government. This bill not only approves of his torturing of prisoners of war–an astounding thought in and of itself for a nation that has been a leader in prosecuting war criminals–but gives a free pass to the torturers. And you voted for it.

I will vote for your re-election this time because you have done good work for Michigan, and, frankly, because we need a Democrat in your seat. But your record becomes more troubling with each passing year. In addition to this latest vote that allows the President to disregard a bedrock law of civilized nations, you voted for a bankruptcy bill that benefits lenders while relegating decent, hard-working families to a lifetime of indebtedness. And you had no qualms about disregarding the First Amendment to the Constitution and making the American flag a holy object (only a sacred object can be desecrated): you chose personal feelings over a basic right of free speech.

My confidence in your judgment has been shaken, and I wonder what other democratic principles you will be willing to disregard in the future if they conflict with your desire for re-election or conflict with your personal feelings. As a long-time supporter, I am saddened that I can no longer automatically assume that you will be on the side of human rights and fundamental principles of justice.

As the saying goes, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” With this vote, not only did you do nothing to stop the evil that has stained the soul of our nation, but by your vote of affirmation you have shown that you have somehow lost your way in the moral morass that we know as politics.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Voter registration deadline is October 9!

Just a friendly reminder: the voter registration deadline in Michigan is Monday, October 9! Registration forms are available at the ICDP office, the city and county clerk's offices, and online.

Also, be sure to apply for an absentee ballot if you need one!

If this is your first time voting, you must do one of the following in person: 1) Register to vote at the clerk's office; 2) Request an absentee ballot in person; or 3) Vote at your voting place on Election Day.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Camp Rates Zero on Veterans Issues

Our Congressman in Michigan's Fourth Congresional District likes to figuratively wrap himself in the flag, just like our president. But when it comes to casting votes for those who are maimed by a senseless war that had nothing to do with 9/11 , Dave Camp shows he doesn't care about our veterans. The Disabled Veterans of America(DAV) ratings on issues that matter to those who have been put in harms way gives high marks to Democrats in Michigan. Congressman like Dave Camp, who pay lip service to helping our vets gets a zero rating from the DAV. Check out the ratings of the rest of our Washington delegation from Michigan here.

Dave Camp takes good care of the rich and powerful, but those who come home missing a leg or worse, get the YOYO from Rubber Stamp Camp. (You're On Your Own).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Morning Sun News Editor on DeVos and his Creationist views

Check out today’s Opinion section of the Morning Sun (Friday, 22 Sept). This week, DeVos let slip to an AP reporter that he supports teaching Intelligent Design (another word for Creationism) in schools.

In the article, Eric Baerren, the news editor of the Morning Sun, gives his opinion about what that might mean to Michigan’s schools and science industries–and to the future of scientific ventures such as stem cell research–if DeVos is elected governor.

You can find the article at

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dave Camp - Champion of the Tobacco Industry

While Dave "Rubber Stamp Camp" is busy approving trade agreements that help to ruin our local sugar beet industry, he is at least working hard to save one crop -- tobacco. Perhaps there is a farmer or two who grows tobacco in Michigan's 4th Congressional District, but the tobacco drying sheds are well hidden in these parts if there are any.

So one wonders who our Congressman represents when he has become the number one beneficiary among all our Michigan federal elected officials this year with $8,500 in donations from the tobacco industry. Here's the link. It seems the tobacco industry still wants to make money selling an addictive product that kills and maims and especially to our children.

So after 16 years in Congress, our rubber stamp of a Congressman, has done well for himself and his family, but has forgotten who he represents. Perhaps he should just move to Virginia or the Carolinas where tobacco sheds dot the countryside and fields are full of golden stalks this time of year.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Torture Bill Causes Outrage Fatigue

I think I am coming down with a case of outrage fatigue and I suspect many other Democrats are feeling the same way.

I really can't believe what George Bush is doing to our country and after each new fiasco, blunder, ignorant move, outrageous new measure or snafu, I feel outraged. But George Bush will be the very first and, I hope, the last president to lobby Congress in favor of torture.

Eliminating Social Security, lying us into war on our grandkids credit card, allowing corporate lobbyists to write laws that favor the rich and powerful all pale by comparison to a president who avoided his war time duty who loves the idea of torture.

Torture is not a family value. A president promoting torture in MY country? That is totally outrageous. But so are most of George Bush's other policies that have turned the world against us including our allies of just a few years ago.

Torture as national policy is so appalling that even the former kiss-ass Secretary of State Colin Powell couldn't keep quiet.

But I am so tired of being outraged, I am emotionally exhausted. And our local Congressman, Rubber Stamp Camp, will, of course, do what he has been told and again vote lock step with the other Republican rubber stamps to give this morally bankrupt president everything he wants.

Perhaps we need a new slogan. Stop the Outrages, Vote Democratic.

Friday, September 15, 2006

DeVos Race Baiting Robo-call Misfires in Isabella County

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)

Some Democrats who have heard about it are laughing about it. Others think it is incredibly incompetent, while others think the neanderthals who now control the Republican campaign aparatus have sunk to a new low.

The buzz is about an automated phone call that dialed into the home of one of our favorite Isabella County Commissioners, David Ling. This is how the call went, according to Dr. Ling:

"Have you heard the Governors negative campaign against Dick DeVos. I’m an Asian American and I’m offended. Why can’t a politician run a campaign without race baiting? How do I explain this to my children. Asian Americans are attacked today to help Granholm’s re-election, but who will it be tomorrow? Please call Granholm’s office and ask her to stop this race baiting."
Commissioner Ling, is actually the long time chairman of the local county governing body and is not at all amused.

"I recieved this call because my name suggested that I might be an Asian American. I talked to the state Democratic Party today, and they are aware of these messages, and that they are aimed at a targeted audience. This reminds me of the days when Richard Nixon first ran for House in California and people got unidentified messages saying his opponent was a Communist. One wonders how low the State Republicans are prepared to take this campaign," said the recently retired CMU professor.

David, of course, is not Asian American as most Isabella Countians who see his familiar face often at meetings and on the local public access channel at various meetings realize.

Friday, September 08, 2006

More about the coming Leadup to 9/11

From People for the American Way“
“The Path to 9/11” troubles us not only because of its politically motivated errors and fabrications, but also because of the insidious message it sends about how the Constitution supposedly got in the way of preventing the attacks on 9/11.“

“Specifically, the “docudrama” reportedly portrays Clinton administration officials reining in CIA operatives ready to strike Osama bin Laden because those officials are hog-tied by legal restraints. That is entirely fabricated by the author and its implication is that 9/11 was made possible by weak people following outmoded laws. The corollary is an endorsement of the Bush administration’s legislative and PR effort to scare the nation and Congress into rewriting and severely restricting our freedoms and legal standards.“
This is serious stuff, folk. The American public is not given to much reading and deliberation, so the producers of this miniseries are hoping to take advantage of our collective ignorance to once again scare the public into supporting the loss of our freedoms to gain security (?).

WJRT in Flint is passing along the Disney spiel that this is a docudrama that raises issues for further discussion, and that a disclaimer will be presented that states (in so many words) that some parts are fact and some are fiction, and leaves it to the viewer to tell which is which.

If you haven’t written or called your local station, do it right away. This thing airs in the next few days. The person to contact at WJRT is:

Sara Jo Gallock
Program and Marketing Director
WJRT-TV abc12
(810) 257-2827
(810) 257-2833

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Contact your local ABC TV affiliate, and soon!

If you listen to one of several ABC affiliates in your area, you might be interested in this letter I have just sent to WJRT, in Flint. Please contact them (email and phone numbers are usually listed on their websites).

As a viewer of WJRT (I live in Mt. Pleasant), I am urging you NOT to televise the docudrama title The Path to 9/11, or, if you televise it, indicate that this is a docudrama and not an actual historical documentary.

By all indications from the media, this mini-series, sponsored by ABC’s parent, Disney, and written by a conservative “think tank,” politicizes this horrific attack on this country, turning it into a conservative Republican revision of history. As I’m sure you are aware by now, although it states that it is based on the 9/11 Commisssion report, it is filled with mistakes, distortions, and outright lies according to members of the Commisssion. It is, in fact, a piece of political propaganda and not a recounting of historical events.

The current administration in Washington has a history of sending press releases to news media disguised as news stories, complete with fictitious “reporters.” Now they have gone one step farther, presenting a political fiction as a documentary. It is no coincidence that this is being released this year shortly before midterm elections that do not seem to bode well for the administration. Since they have not convinced the country that they have made the nation safer, and the “imminent danger” scare tactic has become ineffective, the administration and its supporters have adopted another tactic: “It wasn’t our fault. It was Clinton’s fault.”

I hope WJRT will think several times before airing this without frequent reminders that this is a work of fiction. To do less would be to effectively become part of the government’s propaganda machine. To present it as a legitimate documentary could be in violation of licensing laws and regulations of the FCC. Your station, and ABC, are holders of a public trust, so don’t violate that trust.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ABC whitewashing Bush in lead up to 9/11

This is from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), a strong, articulate Congresswoman who, as the saying goes, speaks truth to power. Read it, then sign the petition to urge ABC to make it clear to the audience that this was written as a way to whitewash Bush in his ineptitude in preventing the disaster of 9/11.

As Congress gets back in session this week after a five week recess, I wanted to let you all know that I have been following a story concerning ABC Television’s plan to air a so called "Docudrama" on 9/11 written by a right wing activist.

On September 10 and 11, ABC Television is planning to run an inaccurate film, The Path to 9/11, depicting the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks. The film was written by an avowed conservative activists and it largely places the blame for failing to prevent the attacks on the Clinton administration while whitewashing the failures of the Bush administration.

Reviews of the film have shown it to be full inaccuracies. According to researchers at Think Progress, the film’s distorted version of history is inconsistent with the 9/11 Commission Report, upon which it claims to be based.*

The events leading up to September 11, 2001 are too important and too tragic for us let anyone play politics with the facts. So, please join me in calling on ABC to make it clear to viewers that this is a docudrama, not a documentary account of the events and political decisions that preceded the attacks. Sign our petition today urging the network to run explicit disclaimers throughout the airing of The Path to 9/11 stating that it is nothing more than a docudrama:

The American people need to know that those behind this film and the incendiary claims it advances are questionable in their impartiality and accuracy. So please sign our petition today:

Distorting the public’s knowledge about what led to September 11th by airing a film with so many inaccuracies makes it harder to learn from our mistakes and endangers our nation. I am disappointed that ABC has done just that – and done it at a time when partisan, vitriolic comments from top Republicans are undermining Democratic attempts to have a serious, non-partisan discussion about how we can better improve America’s security.

So please join me asking ABC to come clean on The Path to 9/11 . Sign our petition today:

Thank you again for all you do to protect our Democracy.

In Solidarity,

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter

Williams at ICDP Annual Picnic Tomorrow Night, Thursday, Sept. 7

Amos Williams was considered a long shot. Tim Skubick wrote him off. But he won the hearts and minds of activist Democrats across the state. He is arguably the best speaker the Michigan Democratic Party has to offer. He has offered hope and encouragement to real Democrats from the UP to the Ohio Border and Amos Williams electrified state convention delegates in Detroit ten days ago when he was nominated by acclimation. On Thursday night Michigan’s next Attorney General will be our featured speaker at the ICDP Annual Funraiser Picnic. There is no cost for this event, but folks are encouraged to bring a dish to pass. Drinks and hot dogs will top off the potluck offerings from party members at the 5 to 8 p.m. event at Mount Pleasant’s Chipp-A-Waters Park. Need to find the park? Click here. Bring a friend, come from near and far. Get to meet all of our other local and statewide candidates and especially our candidates for Congress Mike Huckleberry and State Senate Candidate, Nancy White. If you can only make one party event this year, this is the one. Come early, come late. Just come. You will remember why you are a Democrat.