Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Death of Dennis Kucinich’s Brother and Personal Compassion in Politics

It was discovered by some today who recognized the name, that Dennis Kucinich’s brother was found dead this morning in his Cuyahoga County home. Not much is known about the man, but that he was only 52 years old.

Coming from a family like Dennis Kucinich’s, a home where perhaps the passion of politics and national concern was socialized into the offspring's psyche, we can only imagine that he was a good man. A Billy Carter style brother? Did he live a tad on the wild side, valuing beer and argued to be an embarrassment to his successful brother? Billy died at age 51.

It is hard to know what Perry was like. There is not much news on the channels that show concern for the short big eared politician’s brother. It is hard to say now, but what is evident is that the media will not cover it. Instead they hint or report that there was no “foul play” involved in the sad occurrence. There was no salute for the man and the terrible time he currently is enduring. And this is a man who devoted his whole life to progressive Roosevelt style administration, who seemed scarcely admired or recognized by the mass media on this unfortunate day.

It seems today that it is all a race to just beat the ignorance that controls the executive branch today. We loose touch with the simple personal lives of honest bureaucrats who are going through a tough time. Instead we consternate on the dramatic sexual lives and Freudian mix-ups of politicians, the inconsistencies, moral judgements, and so fourth. The media wants to convict them of “foul play” in a tabloid dimension. So many candidates run behind the cross, but when it comes to just saying “hey, this was a sad occurrence for Dennis,” we all turn our heads and just go for the winner.

Watching the beautiful Robin Meade on CNN, and hearing no mention of the death of Kucinich’s brother was discouraging. Even more discouraging was that it was covered on the scrolling ribbon of FOX NEWS. And that text was sure to note only that there was no “foul play” discovered. Union workers in their jobs show compassion for one another in their work place, American politics should too, lets show some compassion here also.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Michigan and Miles Per Gallon

Today the average mileage per gallon for an American vehicle is only 20mpg. How will we deal with this statistic in the future as gas price averages continue to rise? The Big Three have clearly missed out on what American consumers will need on into the future. We will see consumer behavior modifications among the middle class and below. That is, that people will drive less and when it comes to choosing a new car they will buy one from a foreign owned auto maker. Even though the Clinton years were great and gas prices were low, the Big Three made the mistake of building huge inefficient SUVs as a trendy choice (not a rational choice) for the American consumer. And because Michigan has never invested in any useful means of mass transit systems, people here suffer the only source they have as means of getting around. Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw were all designed around the understanding that independently people can purchase a car and get around on their own. Well, look at those cities now, they are decimated economically. And when profits for the Big Three were low they outsourced plants and jobs elsewhere. When auto makers complain about the cost of union wages and the expenditures of health insurance, it’s only an excuse to poor organizational marketing and the failure to predict future consumer needs. This is why Michigan suffers high unemployment, poverty, and social inequality. New technologies and legislative mandates need to be sought out at the state level to establish mass transit systems in our impoverished cities as well as efficient vehicle standards. This will enable the working poor to be transported to their work environments, as well as put pressures on the remaining Big Three to make cars new market pleading for cars that get better gas mileage. It is my hope that future bureaucrats in this state will consider such a change for a new Michigan.


-Andrew Thibodeau

Monday, December 10, 2007

Michigan Must Heed Al Gore's Nobel Message

"We also need a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store carbon dioxide." - from Al Gore speech accepting Nobel Prize on Dec. 10, 2007


Seven coal-fired power plants are being planned in Michigan in the next decade or less, some of them within a few years. Unless action is taken by Michigan or federal officials, the "markets" will be do nothing to alleviate the harm to Michigan and our planet and global warming will become incrementally worse.

The Michigan Sierra Club along with its national organization is working vigorously to change how coal-fired power plants are regulated and most particularly how we go about the process of deciding what our state and national energy policies should be.

Anne Woiwide, the director and chief lobbyist for the Michigan Sierra Club in Lansing, told our Democracy Matters TV show viewers that those seven coal fired plants are not needed. What is needed is a real energy conservation effort along with an effort to move quickly towards alternative and renewable energy sources including wind and solar energy.

For those readers who are not located in Isabella, Gratiot, Clare, Midland or Grand Traverse Counties in Michigan or do not have access to cable television and the public access TV channel in those areas, we have uploaded Democracy Matters #7 to Google Video. Links are to the left on this page.

For those who do not have access to either local public access or Google Video, the ICDP is offering DVD's at nominal cost of Democracy Matters #7 where Anne Wooiwode and Murray Borrello, the director of environmental studies at Alma College discuss the Michigan concerns with global warming.

For our local cable TV viewers, Democracy Matters #7 can be seen on Charter Cable Channel 3 on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and again on Friday at 8:14 p.m. and on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Next week, ICDP-TV presents Democracy Matters #8, "What You Can Do About Global Warming." Air times are the same as this week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

For more information about getting a DVD or having Democracy Matters shown on your local public access channel e-mail jbarker@isabellademocrats.org

Michigan has a major role to play in saving our planet and each of us needs to know more about how, when and what needs to be done.

For more information we also recommend this site on coal-fired power plants from the national Sierra Club and this site from our Michigan Sierra Club and their efforts.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sorting Out Bush, Cheney Lies on Iran

He said what now?

Why are most Americans like me scratching their heads when our idiot president makes another pronouncement about Iran? The man is allegedly our President, but each time we hear GW about Iran, it doesn't jive with what we thought we heard him say earlier. The latest revelations about the newest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program makes it clear the Bush administration knew some time ago what they were telling the public wasn't the truth. It's now obvious that the truth is a moving target in the Bush administration.

Of course, we've been saying Bush lies here on the Dispatch for some time, but the NIE revelations should now make it obvious even to the 24 percent of Americans who remain Bush true believers that they have been lied to. But nothing seems to shake that crazy faith in a man who deserves no benefit of a doubt.

Helping us to sort through the Iran lies now comes Keith Olberman with this gem of a piece of writing that says what most of us have been thinking for a long time. NPR's Corey Flintoff provides a more detailed time line of what happened when on this mess.

So what did George Bush know and when did he know it and why should we not try him and his vice president for crimes against the American people and the rest of the world?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Brave Fourth District Democrats Given Rare Treat - To See a Democratic Congressman

It was a historic event, but there was already a winter storm watch posted. Most of us went anyway and were glad we did. It was the first time that Democrats from Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District joined with Democrats from the Fifth Congressional District to jointly hold a party fund raiser.

But Fourth District Dems have been misrepresented in Washington by Republican Dave Camp for so long they have forgotten what a Congressman who cared more about the people than corporations sounded like.

Fifth District Democrats have had Dale Kildee as their Congressman for many years and most Fourth District Dems have never met him or gotten to hear him speak at any length. Some of us have seen him at other state party gatherings and are aware he has been a long-time Democratic Congressman, but until Saturday night’s gathering we had no idea why people speak of him in almost saintly terms.

Kildee’s appearance at the fund rasier made the harrowing drive back home worthwhile. It was fascinating to watch a Washington veteran talk genuinely about what makes Democrats different from Republicans and to listen to the reminder that Democrats brought us Social Security and saved Social Security from being privatized. The Congressman from the Fifth district that includes all of Genesee County and Tuscola County and parts of Bay and Saginaw Counties spoke from the heart about caring about America in moral terms in tending to citizen needs and making government work for the people.

Compare that to Dave Camp who speaks in moral terms about saving the unborn, but refuses to provide poor children with decent health care. Kildee thinks children should have health care no matter how poor they are. Kildee also spoke of human dignity for every individual while Rubber Stamp Camp voted in favor of torture.

When he finished speaking, Kildee was greeted with very warm applause. He’s an old man and probably should retire and make room for a new generation of Democrats, but I can see now why they want to hold onto that gem of a Congressman over in the Fifth Congressional District.

We’ve been stuck over here for 16 years with a Congressman who represents big business and not the rest of us – a Congressman who votes against veterans while claiming to support them – a Congressman who believes women have no right to choose what happens to their own bodies and a Congressman who has helped an idiot President run our country into bankruptcy.

Yup, we need a change all right. The drive was slow coming back from Saginaw County on a stormy Saturday night. We ran through near white-out conditions at times, but going slowly and cautiously, despite a bit of skidding, we made it home, happy that we got a glimpse at a real Congressman.

Democracy Matters TV Show Tackles Global Warming This Week

While my two friends Scott and JT have been busy posting here on the Dispatch, the new media, about coal-fired power plants (those carbon dioxide spewing, planet destroying monstrosities), we have also been busy with the old media, and the message is similar. The new media has not YET replaced the old media in ALL segments of the population. Scott and JT do a great job of representing the new media and we do our best to remind folks that the old media still has something to offer, especially if it is ICDP-TV and not Fox, etc.

Democracy Matters #7 and our second ICDP-TV show of the fall season explores global warming from an international and Michigan perspective. For those Democrats who haven't yet heard that some creative folks in Isabella County can actually produce a television show as good or better than anything you can see on mainstream television with no budget at all, then perhaps you should tune in to Charter Cable Channel 3 in Clare, Gratiot or Isabella County.

Special guests for this show that begins airing on Tuesday, Dec. 4 are Anne Woiwode, the director of the Michigan Sierra Club and Murray Borrello, the director of environmental studies at Alma College. Dr. John Dinse, a recently retired political science professor from Central Michigan University, plays a more active role in this show as both host and participant in a lively discussion that also includes our own in-house expert on climate change, Dr. Charles Novitski, a CMU professor who teaches a fascinating 597 course on science policy with a very strong global warming segment. Regular panelist, Eric Welsby, who ran for state legislature last year, has another good show where he presents his down-to-earth look at another major issue.

The point of producing a local television show and our own half-hour panel discussion show, of course, is to think globally and act locally using resources that we already have to help to educate our local public that has been misled by the mainstream media.

The new media is doing an admirable job of informing the public, but has not yet reached ALL of the people, in fact, many of our Democrats don't even know what a blog is. But we now keep hearing that many more of our channel surfing friends are discovering Democracy Matters and all we've been doing for the past year.

We take some small amount of pride in knowing that people are watching. New folks are discovering us every week and they want to see more. We are working to bring more. But we are hoping to engage more volunteers to help. It's a lot of work to produce, edit, publicize and air Democracy Matters and not every smart intelligent person is willing to appear in front of the camera or work behind the scenes to make it all happen. Thank goodness we have been blessed to have so many great guests like Anne and Murray, Mark Brewer, Wesley Clark, and many others who don't think we are crazy for asking them to appear on our show. We can't afford to pay guests or staff.

But we are now producing a TV show that's pretty good. Some people tell us it's the best show on public access TV in our region. But the level of quality of most of those shows is not very high, so we are not sure how to take that comment.

But the only way you can judge is to watch and let us know what you think. So give it a try this coming Tuesday night, Dec. 4 at 8:30 p.m. on Cable Channel 3 in Isabella, Clare or Gratiot Counties and e-mail us at admin@isabellademocrats and give us your comments. If you miss the Tuesday night showing you can catch us on Friday or Saturday night. Check the MAC3-TV schedule here.

For those who don't have cable TV, we are now uploading all of our shows to Google Video. Links to shows are on the left side of this blog under the names of our party officers. Democracy Matters #1 through 6 are already there and we will have #7 uploaded some time next week after we are done taping and editing Democracy Matters #8.

For those who prefer watching our shows on DVD, we have also made a few DVD copies and are making those available for a nominal price. You can also stop by and check out our office lending library and snag a DVD for free. Just e-mail us for details at admin@isabellademocrats.org or stop by the office.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bush’s Resumé

This is from Skip Bleeker. What makes this scary is that it is all true. 

<><><><>
Subject: Resume for executive position

This individual seeks an executive position. He will be
available next January, and is willing to relocate.

RESUME

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520


EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Law Enforcement:
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for
driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine,
and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record
has been 'lost' and is not available.

Military:
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I
refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug
use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat
duty in Vietnam.

College:
I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.
I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in
the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil
company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly
after I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a
sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my
father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay),
I was elected governor of Texas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:
- I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and
oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden
city in America.
- I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune
of billions in borrowed money.
- I set the record for the most executions by any
governor in American history.
- With the help of my brother, the governor of
Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became
President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
- I am the first President in US history to enter
office with a criminal record.
- I invaded and occupied two countries at a
continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
- I spent the US surplus and effectively bankrupted
the US Treasury.
- I shattered the record for the largest annual
deficit in US history.
- I set an economic record for most private
bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
- I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in
a 12-month period.
- I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in
the history of the US stock market. In my first year in office, over
2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every
month.
- I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the
richest of any administration in US history. My 'poorest
millionaire,' Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
- I set the record for most campaign fundraising
trips by a US President.
- I am the all-time US and world record-holder for
receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
- My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one
of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate
bankruptcy fraud in US History, Enron.
- My political party used Enron private jets and
corporate attorneys to assure my success with the US Supreme Court
during my election decision.
- I have protected my friends at Enron and
Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and
money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has
been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I
presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to
intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
- I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S.
history.
- I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted
criminals to be awarded government contracts.
- I appointed more convicted criminals to
administration than any President in U..S. history.
- I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the
largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
- I've broken more international treaties than any
President in U.S. history.
- I am the first President in U.S. . history to have
the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
- I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
- I refused to allow inspector's access to U.S.
'prisoners of war' detainees and thereby have refused to abide by
the Geneva Convention.
- I am the first President in history to refuse
United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
- I set the record for fewest numbers of press
conferences of any President since the advent of television.
- I set the all-time record for most days on vacation
in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August,
I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
- I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S.
after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made
the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of
diplomacy in world history.
- I have set the all-time record for most people
worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million
people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.
- I am the first President in U.S. history to order
an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a
sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the
majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.
- I have cut health care benefits for war veterans
and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their
families in wartime.
- In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our
reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British
friends.
- I am the first President in history to have a
majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat
to world peace and security.
- I am supporting development of a nuclear 'Tactical
Bunker Buster,' a WMD.
- I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring
Osama Bin Laden to justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:
-All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now
in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
- All records of SEC investigations into my insider
trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and
unavailable for public view.
- All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my
Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed
in secrecy and unavailable for public review.