Monday, May 30, 2011

Obama's "Chicken or Egg" Immigration Policy


The Obama administration has been criticized for its alleged lack of action on the immigration front.  Republicans has accused the president of playing politics when it comes to the tens of millions of illegal immigrants in this country.  The race is on for the Democrats to find a way to make democrats out of them...Republicans can count, and they would rather have them on the first bus back to Tijuana....

However, Obama's ICE is a lot colder than President Bush's ever was.

For now, the Obama administration is focusing on prosecuting employers who hire illegal immigrants.  The illegal immigrants themselves were the target of the Bush immigration policy.

The question for the day is which comes first--the employer's interest in securing low cost workers, or does the availability of low cost immigrant work lead to the work itself?

Take a look at this piece in the New York Times, and let us know where you stand:

Obama Administration Cracks Down on Illegal Immigrants’ Employers -

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nolan Finley to Detroit's rescue...NOT!

Detroit News editorial director Nolan Finley has Detroit's problems all figured out.....NOT!

In an editorial published on May 26,2011 in the Detroit News, Finley suggests that Bing should have five Detroit City Council members in Bing's back pocket. What a reveal!

He even goes as far to suggest that the protections against back room deals...through his call for a so-called "waiver" of the Open Meetings Act forfeited for Bing and what has been called Council's "fickle five", so that Detroit's future can be ordained by surreptitious imperial fiat.  What desperation!

Say what you want about Gary Brown, and at times I have been part of the chorus questioning his motives, Councilman Gary Brown has stepped up to the plate by his published statement that the votes are there to override Bing's expected veto of the city council's budget cuts.

Despite her constant voting for contracts which violate Detroit's Privitization Ordinance, Maryann Mahhafery would have a reason now to be proud of Suanteel Jenkins....Councilman Tate is the weakest link, but Council President Pugh has found his "sea legs" and appears to be settling in regarding his role of protecting Detroit's residents from Mayor Bing's version of voodoo economics...Councilman Spivey's insightful probing has illustrated that he is not a "go along to get along" seat on the council....Councilman Kenneth Cockrel is always hard to gauge, but Councilpersons JoAnne Watson, Brenda Jones, and Kwame Kenyatta are firmly grounded when it comes to advocating for the most vulnerable of Detroit's residents.

On June 6, 2011, Detroit City Council will vote on whether to override Mayor Bing's anticipated veto of council's budget.  More than anything else, it will actually be a referendum on Bing's insistence on "blended governance", which some believe to based on his past personal failure as a "businessman" and his willingness to advance the interest of ghost masters from other parts of the state.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bing Needs a New Bogeyman


Detroit's Mayor Bing is at it again...scaring people and demonizing others.

Mayor Bing is counting on the public to not check his  submitted budget.  He has so many vacant positions in his budget that millions of dollars can be "reprogrammed" as he, or the departments, sees fit. 

His negotiating style is "my way or the highway!"  He is actually upset that Council out-cut him!

Mayor Bing knows very well that Council cut millions of dollars in vacant positions in both the police and fire departments.

First it was city workers, then their unions, then the pension board...and now it is City Council. Mayor Bing is upset that City Council cut even deeper then he did....stole his thunder, like when City Council negotiated the pension boards giving up the $60 million....with Council's $50 million in additional cuts, Mayor Bing  seems to always need to find a bogeyman, and that bogeyman is now the Detroit City Council

The unions have been asking for years that the city bid out the health care package, but Bing is wedded to Blue Cross Blue Shield due to their moving thousands of employees to Detroit...he does not want to upset BCBS by bidding out the health care because BCBS may move their operation out of Detroit.

It is important to remember that the majority of the cuts City Council made for police and fire are for vacant positions.

There are more than 500 Detroit police officers riding a desk instead of a squad car.  If the city hired clerks to do those jobs, think of how safer Detroit would be with an extra 500 officers on the streets every single day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Will GOP Raise "Cain" For Presidency?

To Call Cain's Candidacy A Long Shot May Be Gracious

Political newbie Herman Cain announced his candidacy to be the Republican Party's nominee for president of the United States. Despite his complete lack of elective experience, Cain believes he has what it takes to beat more mainstream GOP stalwarts to go toe to toe with President Obama.
Cain is the third leg in a political menage a trios---the GOP conditionally loves the Tea Party, which loves Cain's conservative rhetoric. He is not so much loved by Democratic and independent women, who find his position on abortion and Planned Parenthood to be nothing short of vile vitriol.

Cain has a way with words that seem to excite his base, which seem to think that his business credentials will make up for his lack of real-time political acumen. He certainly will have a hard time putting together the funds to off Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Palenty, Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman, or,  for that matter, some of the junior league candidates such as Michelle Bachmann, Jon Bolton, or the quitter from Wasilla, Sarah Palin.

It won't be too long before reality sets in....the real question for Cain is whether political reality will set in or how long will it take for Cain to be relegated to nothing more a footnote in the annals of American political theater trivia?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Gingrich Goes For the Gusto


Newt Gingrich has made it official: He is in it to win it.

Announcing that he will run for president is not the surprise associated with the announcement, The real surprise is how much forgiveness Gingrich is banking on receiving from the American public and particularly the Republican Party's conservative wing.

Gingrich is and has been full of ideas, some of which have been pretty darn good. The issue is that they were good for the past. The present is a whole new world that seemingly has passed him least from a political vantage point.  Yet old ideas die hard, as has many of his Georgian ways.

Many will question whether he has the moral rectitude to present himself as a man who would be a realistic presidential role model. His personal life is certain to be highly scrutinized. On his third marriage (he married his girlfriend, McCain style), the real question is can he be rehabilitated as a politician while being what some would call a habitual bad husband. With all due respect to Tina Turner, his marital record proves that love, or better yet, the lack of it, has everything to do with it.

Known as the guy who shut down the government, Gingrich is sure to be raked over the coals for not fessing up to the hypocrisy of his campaign of condemnation targeting Bill Clinton's infidelity while he was doing the same thing at the same time with a congressional aide.  Later on he blamed his wandering ways on the weight of his job as speaker of the house; makes you wonder what the power of the presidency might portend.

Gingrich has spent a great deal of time building up a donor base and putting together a national campaign infrastructure.  Heck, he's even been known to hang out with Rev. Al.  At the end of the day, his announcement may really be more Trumponian (to be full of oneself's grandiloquent bluster---yes that is my new synonym for 2011).

Let's follow the money.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

We Don't Need Jesse Jackson to Get Justice


It has been reported that Jesse Jackson is on his way to set up shop in Benton Harbor so that he can better position his legal fight against the emergency financial manager law, Public Act 4. As an American, he is free to do so, but as a Michiganian, I say, "We got it covered."

Do those who oppose this tyrannical bastard of legislation require Jackson's presence to highlight the unconstitutionality of Public Act 4?


Is there no advocacy organization in Michigan that can take on this abominable take over of our right to elect our own representatives?


Where, oh where, are the usual suspects when you need them? We have yet to see legal action taken by the Michigan office of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan State Office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, etc.  

FYI, everyone: The City of Detroit's pension boards have already filed a lawsuit.  From their website:

"On April 18, 2011, the General Retirement System of the City of Detroit and the Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit (the Retirement Systems ), along with several individual active and retired City employees and pension participants, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan challenging the constitutionality of Section 19(1)(m) of Public Act 4 of 2011, commonly known as the emergency financial manager legislation (the Act). The lawsuit challenges only Section 19(1)(m) of the Act."

Here's the link:

While I agree this is fight is a civil rights issue as well, I believe we have the local resources necessary to stop this voiding of our right to taxation with representation.  Sure we need all the legal help we can get and that can be evidenced by the filing of amicus briefs to the pension boards' lawsuit.

So to Michigan advocates, I say:

Let's get cracking, and say thanks, but no thanks, to Jackson.

What do you think? 

Same-Sex, More Costs, Bigger Deficit?


Michigan's Attorney General has filed a lawsuit to stop Michigan's Civil Service Commission from going ahead with providing health care and other state employee benefits to persons living in the home of employees without benefit of those persons enjoying the title of spouse or legal dependent.

In fact, the Civil Service ruling allows for same-sex partners, their dependents/or and other non-related house-mates to receive these benefits. Attorney General Bill Schuette believes the commission exceeded its authority by extending the associated benefits. One union covering many of the employees, UAW Local 6000, believes that the benefits are a result of the collective bargaining process and should be allowed.

Michigan voters in 2004 passed a state-wide initiative defining marriage as a union between man and woman, which then prompted the Supreme Court to rule that benefits for the same-sex significant others was not allowable under that initiative. That prompted a change in contract language that broadened the definition of eligibility for these benefits. The Civil Service then ruled that based on the language change, the benefits were  allowable, which is what the fight now is about.

The AG's office says the Civil Service Commission has authority to set wages but not to establish eligibility for benefits. Another of its arguments is that since relatives and other siblings in the home are not eligible to receive those same benefits, it violates the Michigan Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

Extending these benefits at this time clearly has a negative impact on the state's deficit. What pot of money can be shifted to offset these new costs? If the Civil Service does not prevail, is that yet another attack on a union's ability to negotiate contract terms?

Snyder sends a clear message when giving a billion dollar tax cut to business, while at the same time taxing the pensions of younger retirees. The administration says we cannot afford these benefits because it will cost the state about $8 million we don't have, but gives a tax break to the business special interest lobby while attacking vulnerable seniors with a new tax many of them cannot afford.

Can we afford it? Is it legal? Are we playing catch-up to other states that recognize same sex marriages? Is this a slippery-slope scenario? Is this yet another attack on the collective bargaining process?

Do you even care?

Friday, May 6, 2011

These Republicans Get It!

California's Orange County Republican Party's executive committee has laid the hammer down (sort of) on Marilyn Davenport, a committee member who sent an email out depicting President Obama as a baby chimpanzee.  They censured her, which was less than demanded but more than expected.

Apparently, the OCRP did not buy either one of her two apologies.  As best said in one of the comments to her actions, she played the usual "I'm not a racist" card and exposed herself by saying that she thought it was a joke. Her mea culpa included a reference to being an imperfect Christian lady.  Step back and think about that.....she actually also used the "God" card.

The group issued this statement:

"The Republican Party of Orange County condemns racism in any form, and this censure is consistent with that position."

Scott Baugh, chair of the Orange County Republican Party, went even further and asked for her resignation in a statement published on their official website:
OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh calls for resignation of member as a result of racist email.

April 18, 2011

Citing the grossly insensitive and racist email forwarded by OCGOP Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport, Scott Baugh called on her to apologize and to step down from her elected Central Committee position. Baugh does not believe her half-hearted apology after the incident reflected the magnitude of the offense.

"It's just highly inappropriate, it's a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee," Baugh said. "It undermines everything we are doing to reach out to ethnic communities. Furthermore, it is simply wrong"

When was the last time you heard or saw the Republican Party use the word "racism" in any admonition of a party member?

Is Ms. Davenport's behavior representative of her Tea Part activism?  Is she too smart by half?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Say Hello To The "Deather" Movement

Conspirators Have Closed The Loop!

At first, it was the birthers, who did not believe that President Obama was born in America.

Now we have the omega element; those who do not believe that Osama bin Laden died in Pakistan.

What a world we live in.

Of course, the president's decision to not release the photos of bin Laden's head shot will now stoke the "deathers" to new heights of suspicion, feigned outrage, and out right delusional claims that Obama did not kill Osama.

All we need now is for Donald Trump to demand the Navy Seals' digital recordings so that he can authenticate them. The next thing you know, these folk will demand interviews with the Seals who participated in the mission, regardless of whether such identification would put our brave soldiers, their families, and others at risk of direct retaliation by Al-Qaeda.

The president's refusal to satisfy the blood-lust of the "deathers" was yet another gutsy call.  We are not like those who parade our soldiers through the street or who release videos of  beheadings, murders, and other torturous behavior. America has more class than that.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It Took An Obama To Nail An Osama


I waited for all the hoopla to die down before weighing in on what Osama bin Laden's death means for President Obama, so here goes...

The right man was in the captain's chair at the right time. His actions belie a, a steeliness, that many would have you believe is limited to professorial paralysis.  In billiards, "if you study long, you study wrong."  His aim was as steady as was his resolve was to keep a campaign promise to hunt Osama down wherever he would be found. In the right guy, those traits can lead to greatness.

This will be a hard act to follow.  Political capital from this success will be short-lived. There are so many other hurdles to overcome (jobs, jobs, and jobs) that 14 months from now, this will be a footnote he dare not beat the electorate over the head with when heading into November 2012.

My mother used to say "One kind act does not a saint make."  A week from now, the birthers may devolve into a conspiracy conversation with themselves about whether Osama was really buried at sea or brought back to lie the secret bowels of the Smithsonian.  Or, others will want to credit every actor in this play except the lead, relegating President Obama to nothing more than  being a bit player lucky to be in the right place at the right time Wait for it....

To get back on point, it's hard to find fault with the flawlessness of the moment, but it is just that...a moment, one we gloriously inhale for as long as our lungs will hold, only to eventually realize that what goes in that way must surely come out someway.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Detroit Saved By Immigrants?


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks that the city of Detroit should repopulate itself with immigrants.

And just which immigrants is he referring to?

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing can't create enough jobs for Detroiters already here, let alone create jobs for incoming immigrants.

A great deal has been said regarding the how incoming immigrants could create small businesses in Detroit.  Unless the incoming immigrants are bringing their own money, they would have to access available pools of capital that some would say are shut off to "regular" Detroiters.  That then would imply that some sort of banking and loan preference would be afforded to new immigrants to Detroit, sort of like a financial affirmative action plan.  OH OH!

Some Detroiters are concerned that this may be a way to balance the city if there was something magical about creating a safe, clean, and inviting city with an influx of new immigrants.

How do you feel about that?