Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Republicans are still Republicans even at the state level

Michigan House Speaker Craig M. DeRoche recently spoke out about proposal 5 on the Michigan Ballot. He says it is unfair and that it will take money away from his and other townships. He said this proposal is wrong for education because schools would get funding even if they have poor test scores. This guy truly has no idea what the hell he is talking about, the reason most schools have poor test scores is that they are under funded. DeRoche states “I'm for education and I'm for the children." Sure doesn't sound like it. DeRoche, "We could no longer ask about student achievement. They would get the money anyway. We wouldn't be able to ask what we are getting for our tax dollars." What a douche!


Something must be done about Health Care

Check out what the New York Times has to say about health care costs:

“Since 2000, the cost of family coverage has risen 87 percent while consumer prices are up 18 percent and the pay of workers has increased 20 percent, the survey noted. That is without counting the cost of deductibles and other out-of-pocket payments, which have also been rising.”

Costs have risen 87%! That is insane! Why don't people march in the streets over this? (Oh yeah I forgot, they are all to sick to do that since they can't afford medical care.)

I just don't eve know what to say. We pay a huge amount of money and what do we get for it? There are millions of people with out health insurance, millions more that have it but still have to pay a large sum of money out of their pocket when they get sick, and we still don't have a stroke medication that doesn't have a 10% chance of killing you if you take it.

NY Times Article (requires you to sign up for free)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Chaney is staying the course in his message

In a Fox "News" interview Dicky Chaney states that the insurgents are doing their damnest (they are even watching the polls) to make The Democrats win this Nov. He said they are very sophisticated users of the Internet and use it to stay informed of the election coverage. Oh did I mention that he said “we're on the right course,” in Iraq?

He goes on to say "I think the economy is in great shape." The reason the economy is in such great shape he states, is that it is because of the policies the administration has put into place and The President's Tax Cuts.

Yes, Fox "News" is once again showing off their stellar interviewing skills. All these interviews really are is a long commercial for the GOP. Fox “News” never asks any kind of hard questions of The Republicans. Bah, it's all very annoying.

Sorry, I don't have a link to the video, go to Foxnews.com it's there somewhere.

Fox "News"

So Hannity and Colmes has an interview on right now as I write this with The President. It's just more of the same, Hannity throws Bush a softball and he bashes the Democrats with it. How can this be considered reporting? All he is doing is setting up The President so he can bad mouth The Dems.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Did Tim Walberg receive illegal campaign contributions?

Timmy Walberg may have illegally accepted campaign donations. Oooops. Joe Schwarz, Michigan's 7th district representative (at least for now), filed a Federal Election Commission claim that the Club for Growth donated over the maximum amount allowed by law to Tim Walberg's Campaign, and his campaign accepted it, knowing it was over the allowed amount.

Yep, this guy sounds like a modern Republican.

We shall see what the FEC says.


Daily Telegram Backs DeVos

And people wonder why I don't read the Telegram. Their reasoning being that Granholm did not do enough to the economy, even while admitting that there was little to nothing that she could do.

By the way, they also came out against Proposal 5.

Sorry no link to the article, the Daily Telegram isn't exactly on top of technology.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

GOP: Granholm Responsible for Crime Spree

I've talked a lot about my dislike of Tim Walberg a lot here, but I also don't like the Republicans' candidate for our Governor either (I read that he already owns DeVosforpresident.com, yikes).

The Republicans are sending out a mailing in the Mitten state claiming that our Democratic Gov., Jennifer Granholm, is ultimately responsible for the deaths of three people. Patrick Selepak was mistakenly paroled because proper protocols were not followed. Granholm order an investigation; parole workers were fired, rules were clarified, and the Corrections Department has started a reorganization.

The GOP's reasoning for blaming Granholm is that it happened while she was in office? At least that is what I get out of this article. Anyways this sounds like the Republicans are getting desperate.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Surprise, Drug Cos and Big Oil give more to Republicans

File this one under DUH. Of the money that Drug companies, Oil Companies, and Electric utilities, donate to political candidates, most of the money goes to Republicans.

Check out what Ken Johnson, a senior VP of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said: "All elections are important, but this one is probably more important than most, because of the threats to the Medicare drug benefit"

Poor drug companies, they wouldn't be able to rip off the US government if the Democrats take over congress.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Michigan's Proposal 5

Proposal 5 on the Michigan ballot will increase funding for schools by about $565 million a year. It calls for annual school funding to increase equal to the rate of inflation. It is designed to help not only k-12 schools, but also public universities and even community colleges. Not only that but it states that school districts only have to pay so much into it's employees (not just teachers) pension funds, where the rest would be covered by the state. All in All this sounds like a big step in the correct direction. It would help to equalize the amount of money each school gets per kid (right now some school may only be getting something like $1300 per student while other schools could get $3000).

Right now I am wondering where this so called liberal media is because The Daily Telegram (Adrian's paper), The Detroit Free Press, The Lansing State Journal, The Michigan Catholic Conference, The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and I'm sure a bunch more entities are opposing this bill. Google it, there are all sorts of articles in papers and newsletters against it.

There arguments against it are all over the place, most of them you can tell come from people who have spent very little time in public schools. The biggest argument seems to be that no where in the proposal does it come out and say that this will help education (That must mean it will be BAD for schools right?). Another argument is that the teachers are just trying to pad their accounts. Do any of these people know any teachers? Teachers get paid so little money it's not funny. Get this, they say that since there is no mention of improving test scores it won't make schools better. Oh yeah, they said this bill will take money away from emergency services. And this one just has to make you laugh, they say schools are over funded as they are. Clearly the people making these arguments are education experts to be able to make the case that funding schools is bad for education.

By the way, the school I went to college at, Michigan State University, gets so little money, it can hardly be called a public school. It got lessthan 30% of it's funding through state funds; and that was while I was there 2 years ago, before funding for schools has been cut more.

Here is a link to the Daily Telegram article, I couldn't get any of the other newspapers sites to work.


How health care can help

I think would of the best ways to assure a Democrat winning The Presidency in 2008 is for the Democrats make some real progress on health care when they take control of congress after the election. If the Dems pass a bill reducing the cost of health care, or giving health care to any one (on Al Franken today, Howard Dean suggested giving health care to every one under 25) with little increase in taxes for most Americans in congress, it will be huge. Now of course The President can still veto the bill, even this would be great for Dems. If that happens they can campaign on the fact that the Dems tried to make the health care situation better for America and the Republican President vetoed it. I really think if the Democrats really want to make it into office in 2008 they need to make a big push on fixing health care in the US.

Where have all the moderate Republican's gone?

I came across an interesting opinion article in the Washington Post. In it, Joe Schwarz talks about being voted off the Ballot in my home district, Michigan's 7th congressional district. He talks about how he feels his party is moving to far to the right, much farther than most of American is. He looks at this district as somewhat of a microcosm of American politics as a whole in this regard. He talks about how different, some times polar opposite, than he is of the candidate his party replaced him with on this year's ballot. This is not good for the country that a reasonable man like Schwarz is discarded by his party.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We must stop Walberg

Does any one notice a pattern in some of my posts? I really don't like Tim Walberg!

Here are just a few of the great quotes Walberg made at the Michigan 7th district debates.

Question: In order to combat the debt, what would you do and what programs might you defund?
“Eliminate the Dept. of Education”
Question: Do Americans have a right to universal health care?
"Absolutely not. It's not a right, it's an opportunity we have."
Question: Do you support a withdrawal from Iraq? If not, what future course do you see?"We too easily forget 9/11" [Audience begins booing], "We too easily forget the bombing of the USS Cole"
This guy still believes that Iraq has been linked to 9/11? This guy doesn't even keep up with the news, even The President has admitted that there is no link. See, this is why it is important for Democrats to win not only the most seats they can, but the correct seats.

Check out this great blog I just found out about and where I got the Quotes from the Debate.

Beyond the All district strategy

This entry is building on ideas put forth in my Beyond the All State Strategy: The All District Strategy which you can check out here.

I think it is important for the Democrats to win as many seats as they can in congress, but I also think it is important what seats they win. The Democrats not only need to focus on seats they think they have the best chances of winning, but also the seats that pose the most threat to the Democrats. Meaning they need to focus on winning the seats where the Republican candidate will actively work against them if elected over the Democrat. There are some candidates that are so against certain issues they will work against letting them pass.

Let's take Tim Walberg, the Republican candidate in my district. He is ahead in the polls and is heavily out spending his opponent Sharon Renier. Walberg is an uber right-winger. He is against abortion, anti gay marriage, for private school vouchers (meaning that money would be taken away from public schools and given to people who choose to go to private schools), anti stem-cell research (not just federal funding of stem-cell research, all stem-cell research), anti-gun control, and I'm sure anti a lot of other things that make a lot of sense. This guy isn't just anti any of those things, he is VERY AGAINST those things. He is for school vouchers because his children were home schooled (so therefore he wants to take money away from public schools). Do you really think this guy would work with Democrats?

A moderate Republican getting elected is much better than a candidate that is far right. A district like mine it seems would be very important to win. The representative we have now is John Schwarz, a moderate Republican, but he got replaced on the ballet by Walberg. So if the Democrats lose this seat they will be replacing a moderate with a uber right-winger, a move in wrong direction.

Politics in the country has moved way to far left, and The Democrats need to focus on winning seats that will help at least move the country more to the center if not tip the scales a little the opposite way. Letting super-righties win will not help.

Walberg hasn't won yet, so I am still very hopeful!

Midterm Election spending to hit 2.6 billion dollars

This midterm election race will be the most expensive on the books in American History, with a conservative estimated cost of $2.6 billion. This really tells you how screwed up our system is. Think of what could be done with that money. Think of all the medicine that could have been bought for those that can't afford it. Think of how many jobs that represents that are no longer there. Two point six BILLION dollars! That is a lot of money!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bushes mad at former Chief of staff for telling the truth

What does this tell you about the White House? President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush are both mad at Andrew Card for telling the truth to Bob Woodward in his book State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III. How sad is this, that when someone in The Administration tells the truth, The President gets mad at them?

In Woodward's book, Card states he resigned because he was concerned that Iraq would be seen as another Vietnam. He goes on to say that he twice tried to get The President to dismiss Donald Rumsfeld, the second time with the help of First Lady Laura Bush. Damn that Andrew Card for telling the truth, damn him to hell!

It is just so sad that nobody is allowed to disagree with The President, or even tell the truth anymore. This is truly a sad time for our country. I often wonder how history will view this span of time from 2001 through 2008.


Believers are a bit more liberal than most seem to think

Here's some interesting stats that come from a new Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion survey:

31% of Americans believe that God is deeply involved in our daily lives and world events and that God is angry and can punish the unfaithful or ungodly.
Of those Americans:
23% believe abortion is always wrong
76% believe that the Government should protect the Environment better
57% believe that the Government should redistribute wealth more evenly
32% trust President Bush “a lot”

23% of Americans believe God is deeply involved in our daily lives and world events and is mainly positive and less-willing to punish
Of those Americans:
17% believe abortion is always wrong
81% believe that the Government should protect the Environment better
53% believe that the Government should redistribute wealth more evenly
23% trust President Bush “a lot”

16% of Americans believe God is not very active in the day-to-day world but is unhappy with the current state of the world
Of those Americans:
5% believe abortion is always wrong
89% believe that the Government should protect the Environment better
59% believe that the Government should redistribute wealth more evenly
12% trust President Bush “a lot”

24% of Americans believe God is not very active in the day-to-day world and is not angry and that God is a cosmic force that sets the laws of nature in motion
Of those Americans:
1.5% believe abortion is always wrong
87% believe that the Government should protect the Environment better
63% believe that the Government should redistribute wealth more evenly
9.3% trust President Bush “a lot”

Hmm these are some pretty interesting stats. It when you look at just these numbers it seems that even the people that the Republicans think they have a reading on are pretty liberal when it comes to abortion, the environment, and the distribution of wealth.

There are more issues that the survey looks at such as prayer in school and the justification of the Iraq war that not surprisingly the Republicans seem to fair a little better.


Free Press? What's that?

According to a new international index, the US is 53rd in the world for having a free press. It is tied for that spot with Croatia, Botswana and Tonga. In 2002 the US was 17th, but since the Bush administration has has made it unpatriotic to disagree with them, the US has been steadily declining.


Democrat's to raise Federal minimum wage, trys to catch up to Michigan's

I know this isn't new news, but I found an article that says that one of the first things a Democratic congress would do is raise the minimum wage. That isn't the interesting part, the interesting part is what they would raise it to, $7.25 an hour. I know what you are saying, that's a pretty good, $2.10 more an hour. But the interesting thing is that Michigan has already passed a bill that raises our minimum wage over a two year period to $7.40, fifteen cents more than the proposed fedreal minimum wage. The first leg of the minimum wage has already gone into effect, making the minimum wage $6.95 at the time of this writing. This time, good for Michigan.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Remember Net Neutrality?

Remember Net Neutrality? Well it those who are opposed to it (AT&T and the Bells, and Comcast, and the other cablies) may have a harder fight when (I guess I should say if too, but really...) The Democrats take both houses of congress.

Also the Dems need to pass some laws stating if these companies are going to have services (High Speed Internet, HD television, etc) in some ares they have to have them in all areas. Right now smaller towns (like where I live) don't get the same service that towns just a few miles away.

There also needs to be laws getting rid of the monopolies these companies have over service. When I complain to Comcast right now they know I can't go anywhere else. They are the only game in town for true high speed Internet, they know we can not get AT&T's video service over the phone lines like bigger cities can. So when I complain, even to supervisors I get an assurance that my problem will be handled, but it never is. I have been told on two occasions that we would be getting free pay-per-view coupons in the mail since our digital cable isn't what we signed up for (it isn't even digital; it is the same channels, the same picture quality the same everything only now we have a box that sits there and does nothing), and they said that the service would work as advertised with in two weeks. The service still has yet to work, and we have never gotten our coupons. We have called many many times, and emailed about these issues almost as many times and still nothing has been done. We have called the 1-800 numbers, talked to the local representatives, talked to district representatives and representatives from the main office about the issue. It has been over two months and it still does not work as we have be told it would. They keep telling us that we are still in our free trial period so we shouldn't worry about not having the service they told us we would have. They also told us that the time that we do not have the service still counts toward the free trial period even though we have nothing to try. They say the service will start anytime now. I'll still waiting.


More good news for Michigan

Ford is losing all sorts of money and will not make a profit untill 2009, and that's only if things go as planned. Ford lost $5.8 billion in the third quarter.


Health care is making me sick

It's 2006 and I swear sometimes it feels like we are still in the 1930s (not that I would personally know what it was like in 1930, but you get my point). Check out these stats:

  • Total US health care spending in 2004 was 1.9 trillion dollars or 16% of the GDP!
  • Employer health insurance premiums in 2005 increased by 9.2 %, almost three times the rate of inflation for the fifth year in a row.
  • Average 2005 employer cost for a single employee was $4000.
  • Average 2005 employer cost for a family of 4 was almost $11,000.
  • We spend 4.3 times the amount we spend on national defense for health care.
  • Health care costs are a leading contributor to bankruptcy
  • The percentage of people who have employer sponsored health insurance fell from 65 to 61 percent in the years 2001-2004, or about 5 million fewer jobs have health care coverage.
  • The number of people paying a quarter of their income or more rose from 11.6 million in 2000 to 14.3 million in 2004.
  • Still no cure for cancer, AIDs, Parkinson's, and numerous other diseases.

What the hell are we paying all this money for? To many people don't have health insurance. Many who do have high deductibles and co-pays. Others have their claims denied when they need them the most.

This is a crime.

More info:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hannity says Dems shouldn't vote

Get this, Sean Hannity thinks that Democrats should stay home on Nov. 7. He says that Democrats should not vote because they are uninformed, and that Republicans are informed; he goes on to say Democrat's vote makes no difference. He states "After all, your vote won't change who occupies the White House," and therefore "your vote doesn't matter anyway."

"Your candidates have absolutely no ideas how to win the war on terrorism... Your candidates have no idea how to keep this economy strong... They have no ideas except more tax-and-spend policies and rescinding the tax cuts that every American family has benefited from. They have no idea how to protect the border -- only solution they have there is to give us amnesty. They support open borders."

Here's a transcript and a recording of his his radio show where he made the commits.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What a clean campaign this has been

The Republicans should start their own ad agency, they clearly know how to make a good ad. In one ad a group called America's PAC says that Democrats don't like black babies. What the hell does that mean? They say that Dems support abortion laws that are recriminating against African Americans. In another ad, the same group tries to link Dems to a white supremacist! It's not over yet, another includes the following

Man 1: "If you make a little mistake with one of your ‘hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked."
Man 2: "That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed."
Man 1: "Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican."

These guys really know what it's like to be African American don't they?

Then there is there is the congressional candidate that that sent out letters to Hispanics saying that immigrants, even legal ones, could go to jail if they vote in next month's elections.

I tell you, these guys really know how to campaign don't they?


Thursday, October 19, 2006


Sometimes I don't get why Americans don't revolt and protest like citizens of other countries. They take to the streets, loot, and burn cars, when their leader admits that he lied to them. Americans get lied to over and over and over again in the same day by their leaders. Where's the outrage?

The problem in the US is that we have given up. We have lost all hope in the system. As Americans we get the impression that even when we do speak out and protest, no one listens. We make protest movies, write books, march in the streets but nothing changes. When we do get to confront those in power, we don't get straight answers. So really what is the point of taking to the streets? No one will hear us and now if we speak out against the President, he can declare us an illegal enemy combatant and throw us into jail for the rest of our lives with out a trial.

Politicians go out and promise all sorts of things, but when they get into office what happens to all the things they promised us? The American people have gotten accustomed to to being let down by those in the government.

It really is no wonder voter turn out is so low. How may times have you heard the phrase lesser of two evils when it comes to voting? I don't know about you, but I hear it just about every two years. Politicians get so wrapped up in running for the job, then when they get it they don't know how to do it.

Our systems is broken and even though those of us who realize it are calling for change, little seems to be getting better.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When the Democrats take control of Congress

When the Democrats take control of Congress, they must start to lay the way for a Democratic President in 2008. So how do they do that?

One of the most important things they must do is to make the Administration come up with an acceptable plan to get us out of Iraq. I don't what to go into detail about this, it just must be done.

The most important thing that must be done domestically is they need to work to lower health care costs and lay the ground work for some sort of universal health care. Why is this issue so important? If health care costs are lowered it will help to get the ball rolling on fixing many more issues. It will help American manufacturers be more competitive in a global marketplace. It will help many many employers to lower their costs, make a profit, and stay in business. This would largely help the American economy which needs all the help it can get right now. This would also greatly help education. By lowering health care costs, you are effectively giving more money to schools. Which again would help the economy by providing more qualified workers and giving schools more money to spend on other things. Once the health care problem is addressed then I think we can really start to work on some of the other issues this country is facing.

If the Democrats work and work hard on these issues and stay out for trouble this will help to get a Democrat into the White House next election.

Labor in China Vs. US Companies

Here are a few interesting tidbits I found out. China is trying to pass laws that allow unions to have more power and to improve working conditions in China. Sounds great doesn't it? But guess what? American companies are opposing it.

Also Wal-Mart, is unionized in China. Wal-Mart allows unions in China, but not the US. Hmmmmm.

Check out the links
(NY times requires a free registration)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beyond the 50 State Strategy: All District Strategy

I think it is great the the Democrats finally are going to take on a 50 state strategy, but what I really wish they would take on is an all district strategy. For some reason a lot of rural areas and smaller towns tend to be Republican, and it seems like the Democrats are just fine with that.

Let's take my congressional district. The two candidates on the ballot for the House are: ultra right-winger Tim Walberg, a former (and very horrible) Congressmen at the state level, and Sharon Renier, a paralegal and organic farmer. I haven't seen a single sign anywhere in the district with Sharon's name on it. Nobody has come to the door saying anything about her. On the other hand there are signs all over about Walberg (with his backwards campaign slogan “Commonsense Conservative” on them). Someone has also came to our front door handing out literature on him. Oh yeah, there is a TV commercial for him too. It's not that Tim Walberg is the favorite here, his campaign is just out spending the Democrats' by an insane margin, 45 to 1. In a recent article Sharon's campaign states that they will be doing all of these things in the weeks heading up to the election, but every poll right now has Walberg ahead by a comfortable margin.

It is not a good thing that Joe Schwarz, a moderate Republican (he believes in stem cell research and lower health care costs) who is our district's representative, got voted off the ballet in the primary for this uber right-winger Walberg (against stem cell research, very pro-life, anti-gay rights, I could go on and on).

Come on Democrats, you can not just concede these areas. A lot of times these are the areas that need help the most.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Great American Scapegoat

I think it is very interesting that Bill Clinton is getting so much attention lately. If you listen to what the Republican spin machine is spitting out, Bill Clinton must be the devil himself. He has been blamed for both 9/11 and now North Korea. And now the Republican congress is calling for in investigation of Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger about a case that been over for almost a year and a half.

Why this sudden interest in Clinton? Was is because of his appearance on Fox News? That might be part of it, but I think a very very small part. So what could it be then? The reason seams pretty clear to me, the Republicans need to get the attention away from them since it seems like everything that have touched in the last six years has went wrong.

This isn't just about the need for a scapegoat. American politics have made a move to the right since Mr. W. Bush has come to office. Most American's though aren't as right leaning as Carl Rove has thought that they were. So when it comes to the important issues they know that they aren't in line the way that most American's think. So they have to skirt the issues. They have to bring the conversation back to the things the that Republicans think they have the upper hand in, morals and the war on terror (goes to should how truly out of touch they are with the American people that think they have the upper hand in those areas).

And why not Clinton? He was a president that was well liked by most people, the economy booming, we had a surplus instead of massive debt; times were good when he was the president. I mean come on isn't it just easier to blame the last guy for everything?

Really, though why should this surprise anyone? The executive branch hasn't even come clean when they were caught in the act. Man up, admit that you have been wrong in the past and that things need to change Mr. President. If you do, people will respect you more; your approval ratings won't go up, but you'll be a bigger man for it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wal-Mart says go out and vote

I read a few interesting articles today, they aren't new but they are worth mentioning. It seems that Wal-Mart now is interested in if their employees vote. It has started a campaign to get it's 1.3 million employees to vote. I think this is a great thing, because according to the numbers, the demographics that work at Wal-Mart are largely Democrat voters. It sorta seems odd that a company that has donated about $710,000 so far this cycle to the Republicans and only about $290,000 to the Democrats. It seems that Wal-Mart is hedging it's bets a bit, but it looks clear by these numbers alone what side they are on.

Check out these two articles.
This one is about the 2004 election, but it is an interesting article about how Wal-Mart differs from even other discount stores.
Also check this out, a really good show from Frontline entitled Is Wal-Mart good for America? You can actaully watch the whole episode online.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Michigan's Economy

The Michigan Economy.

Right now Michigan does not have a very good economy, and that affects me directly since I live and work here. The Economy as a whole in the good ol' USA isn't perfect but it's actually not that bad right now considering........ Well, considering a lot of things. (The war machine right now just might be propping up the economy right now.) The thing is though the the Michigan Economy is worst off than a lot of states. Michigan's unemployment rate went up, and we lost 17,000 pay roll jobs this year. Payroll jobs, we aren't even counting hourly jobs. The state's unemployment rate is seven percent, while the national unemployment rate is only at four point eight percent.

Detroit isn't called the motor city for nothin'. Michigan is heavily dependent on the auto industry. There are a lot of people in Michigan that directly work for one of the big three auto makers. As many people or more work for suppliers to the big 3, and even more that work in an industry that is somehow related to the auto industry in ways that most people wouldn't think have anything to do with cars. All in all if the bottom falls out of the big three even a little, Michigan suffers.

So I know what you are saying, this sounds like a Michigan problem and therefore the governor should handle it. Well unfortunately there is only so much the Governor can do. You see the auto industry is't just in the state that looks like a mitten, it's all over the country. So therefore even if Michigan was perfect, and it far from is, that wouldn't solve the whole problem. Therefore at least some of these issues need to be addressed nationally. Hmmm, that might be a problem. Even since the a certain fateful day in September 2001 the only thing that is discussed nationally is how we are going to get attacked again and that the Democrats are not able to stop it. Every time some one tries to talk about what is happening on the home front (there was one time the Executive Branch tried to talk about something that will happen here in the year 2018, but that didn't go to well), those in power somehow are able to steer the conversation back to how there are bad people trying to get us.

Well then, maybe someone in Detroit should ask the President to come on down and have a little chit chat to see if anything can be done. Hey, guess what someone did ask him. Well then this issue should be taken care of right away then. And guess what, we got a date to sit down and have talks, this is fantastic! Waite a minute just got a call. Well it seems like The President needs to postpone our meeting. Ok, no problem he said postpone not cancel and he set a new date, so this will get taken care of. Oh wait just a second, got another call. It seems he has to postpone again. Well, can we just set a time pretty soon? After the midterm elections? What should that matter? Let's just get this issue done and out of the way with; can't we?

"General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other auto manufacturers were once the symbol of American prosperity; in recent years, they have become representative of the challenges posed by the global economy. It is in everyone's best interest to develop new partnerships and a strategy for success in the global economy. This must be a priority."

Holy crap that's interesting, I wonder where that came from? A Senator from Indiana? Damn this must be more important than just Michigan. Well those are the words that came from Senator Evan Bayh (D). He lost almost 100,000 manufacturing jobs in his home state over the past five years, and I don't even remember a motor city in Indiana. Crap! This sorta seems like a major issue.

I can't be the only one who has heard of these issues can I? Ah, thankfully no. But when Mr. President was asked about the issue he said the way to fix is was for American automakers to make “a product that's relevant.” What the hell does that mean? Is he putting down American cars? Well damn that sounds like a pretty bold statement if I've ever heard one. It also sounds like he is saying he doesn't really care about the automakers' problems, and if they do have a problem it's theirs and their's alone.

So what is the problem with the auto industry? Well to name one, health care. The cost of health care is over $1,500 per vehicle, GM spent an insanely high $5.6billion last year total! Five point six million dollars for only 1.1 million people? Good god, no wonder they are in trouble. Check this out GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner, said, "When I joined GM 28 years ago, I did it because I love cars and trucks. I had no idea I'd wind up working as a health care administrator." What does that tell you about GM's outrageous health care costs? So what does this mean then? Well it means that GM has some huge costs to cover before it can ever make a profit or even break even. That mean GM has to sell more cars to make up those costs. Ahh there in lies one of the great quagmires of this whole health care thing, since the costs per vehicle for just health care is so high, that means the cost of a new car has to be high. Since the cost of a car is so high fewer people are buying American cars. In Michigan, sales rates fell four point six percent so far this year.

You see other car manufacturers don't have this issue, workers that make cars in Japan get their health care paid for by the government. Even non Big 3 cars that are assembled in the US have large portions of them made in that company's country of origin, where again, the cost of health care is paid for by a party other than the company.

So this is just a GM thing right? WRONG! Ford has major health care issues as well, and to a lesser extent so does Chrysler (although it has the added befit of Daimler helping it to stay dry).

Ok, so health care is a big problem for American Automakers, what else? Well oddly enough, the high price of gas is causing people to buy fewer cars and the cars that they do by have a much lower profit margin then the cars the people were buying even a year ago. You see people are spending more and more on gas (even though right now gas prices are lower than they were a month ago don't be surprised if and when they go back up) and so they are spending less money and saving less money. I know what you are saying to yourself right now, if gas prices are so high people should buy more new fuel efficient cars not less. Well that would seem logical, but if some one is spending what it would cost for payment on a new car in gas to get to work, they don't have that money for a payment any more. It's not like they can drive less, they have to drive to get to work. Not to mention the cost of insuring a new car.

Well crap, right now the US Automakers have got a few pretty big hurtles in their way. But not every thing in Michigan has to do with the auto industry does it? Well, no not directly, but indirectly, that's a different story. Let me give you a few examples.

Let's take what I do for a living, I make commercials, promotional videos, all sorts of other random videos for companies. I work both for myself and as freelancer working for other production companies that need my help. Well the major company that I freelance for used to do a lot of work for GM dealerships, not any more. It used to do the Ford President's Awards every year, well guess what? Ford stopped doing that this year. It also used to do all the videos for the Ford 100, again another program axed.

What about a restaurant across for a Visteon plant that just cut back it's workforce. This little restaurant used to make a lot of money serving lunch to the workers of that plant. Now there is fewer workers, what does that mean for the restaurant? Now maybe you can see how this affects the whole state, and really the whole country.

Ok, so what else seems to be the problem in Michigan? Well this might sound familiar, but health care once again. One third of the money the state spends is on health care for state employees and Medicare. I wonder if there is a pattern here? I see another problem with this picture, remember how I said that unemployment went up in Michigan? Well that means the money coming in form income taxes went down. Hmm now let's think about this. My guess is that the cost of health care isn't going to be going down anytime soon, in fact it seems to go up every year. And if Michigan getting less money on income taxes, yet the state has to spend more money on health care....

So what the state has to pay health care how does that effect the economy? Well it's actually pretty simple economics, if the state has to spend more money on health care it is spending less money on something else. Right now I have a friend that is trying to get job as a teacher in Michigan, and guess what, it isn't easy. The roads in Michigan are notoriously bad, but since the state has to spend more money on health care, it doesn't have all the money it needs to keep the roads up. If it could spend more money on the roads it would mean more people would be needed, and there fore more jobs.

Now here is something else interesting I found out. More college-educated young adults are leaving the state each year than are coming in. So, even if Michigan's economy wasn't in the toilet the perception sure seems to be there.

There is a lot more that I could say about the Michigan economy, but quiet frankly it's all starting to depress me. I'm sorry I didn't back up all of my claims as well as I could/should have, but like I said this isn't the most happy subject to be writing about. Some day I will try to come back and revisit this topic.

Michigan Department of Labor & Economy Growth
University of Michigan
Washington Post
Michigan Economic Update
Boston Globe
Senator Evan Bayh Press Release

Friday, October 06, 2006

Random First Post

I decided to start a blog for a few reasons. First one, I need a place to vent when stuff pisses me off. Secondly, I need to get my creative juices flowing again. I am a filmmaker who right now is making his way by doing industrial videos, commercials, training videos, and various other videos that creatively are not very exciting. I need to flex my creative muscles because like any other muscle if they are not given a good work out they begin to weaken.

Ok, so as for the things that piss me off, I will try to keep it to my political ramblings that affect more people than just myself, because really how many people really care what I had for lunch or what TV show I watched last night? My guess is that more people care about what is going on in this country than any of my personal crap. I am not saying that my opinion is any more important than any one else's, like I said before I just needed a place to vent.

Now I know that right now it is not politically correct to speak out about the government (this is becoming less of an issue right now, thankfully, since the approval ratings for most of those in the government is way down right now), but I felt I had to do it even if nobody reads or agrees with it. This country is the greatest country on earth and it is time it started acting like it.

When I sat down to write this I struggled to figure out what the first thing I should write about would be. I thought about writing about my thoughts on the war, or maybe my thoughts on how the rest of the world views the United States right now. I thought about writing about how the country could be one of the greatest sources of good in the world but how our leadership repeatedly lead us in the other direction. I almost wrote on the state of education in this country.

I guess I will write about this whole Mark Foley deal. What an ugly situation all around, but that seems to be what is dominating the news right now so.... I doubt I will be able to bring anything new to the table but here goes. It's not cool to take advantage of someone who works for you. It's not cool to cover something up for political gain. It's not cool to try and make this a gay issue. It is not cool to try and blame this on someone else. Let's tackle this issues one by one.

1.It's not cool to take advantage of someone who works for you. Now I know people are going to say “that's exactly what Clinton did.” Not really, but it is a more valid argument than most of the other arguments out there. Clinton was with a consenting adult. The important differences here are the CONSENTING and the ADULT parts. Both parties knew what they were doing and were both willing participants when Monica and Bill were goin' at it. Not so with the Foley case. One of the pages said they were freaked out (or something to that matter, I am to lazy to go and look up the exact words) about the emails. Secondly both were adults in the case of Monica and Billy boy.

2.It's not cool to cover something up for political gain. There were people that knew this was going on and that the pages didn't like it, yet the only thing that was done, is that he was told to stop. Now I realize that this was not the first thing covered up for political gain, in fact I can think of a lot of things just in the last 5 or so years. I know that it will happen again, but come on, can these guys just cut back at least?

3.It's not cool to try and make this a gay issue. Those silly right-wingers are trying to make is sound like the Democrats are gay bashing. I don't even know what to say here, but thanks spin doctors.

4.It's not cool to try and blame this on some one else. The guy screwed up live with it. The people who knew about it and did nothing screwed up deal with it. Trying to say that the democrats somehow masterminded this thing is wrong and giving the Democrats a whole lot of credit. I also think it's pretty funny that Bill O'Reilly said that Foley was a Democrat in a lower third on his show. It case you haven't seen the screen cap you can check it out here.

That's all I have to say about that subject. I really don't want to revisit the issue even though I am sure that this will most likely dominate the air waves until Nov 2. If this turns out that it was more than emails and IMs then this is a very serious issue, but right now I just don't want to hear about it any more until they actually come up with some more facts. I only bring it up as an example of how in need of repair the system is.

So there we go, my first blog entry. I guess it went pretty well. I don't know how often I will update this or when I will or well really anything about what will happen to this blog past this posting, so umm yeah. Any way some time I will explain the name of the blog and I'll tell you a little more about the motivations behind it. Where my political beliefs fall and probably a few other things to put my random ramblings into context.

Until next time,

Oh, and by the way, I am a horrible speller and I try to get the grammar right but some times I don't always hit the mark. So when you see miss spellings and bad grammar I am sorry I try my best.