A blog that I post on whenever I see something that makes me want to go off on a Republican (Libertarian every once in a while) rant. I will cover stories from all over the nation and world, but I will try to cover as many stories about my home state of Michigan as I can (I'll also talk a lot about Texas, because Texas is awesome!).
Well, yesterday the city of Detroit finally received some well-deserved justice. Former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers (wife of the Congressman John Conyers), was sentenced to serve 37 months in a federal prison after she plead guilty to accepting bribes.
Her plea was for taking bribes to support a contract with Synagro, a sludge processing company; however, the trial of her former aide, Sam Riddle, also exposed a series of other payoffs. Because of that, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn was going to increase Conyers’ sentence. He had originally planned on 3 years, then wanted to move up to 4-5 years, but Conyers protested and claimed she was a victim of an overzealous media out to get her. She wanted to take back her guilty plea, but the judge wouldn’t allow it. Instead, he backed down on the sentencing and went back to 3 years (37 months).
And when reporters went to talk to Conyers, again courtesy of FOX 2 Detroit:
Conyers absolutely deserved this (in fact, she probably deserved the full 5 years). She plead guilty to the charge, and then when she saw that she as going to get a REAL punishment, she tried to back out of it. If she wasn’t guilty, she never should have plead guilty the first time. Detroit deserved some justice yesterday, and I am happy to see Monica Conyers going to jail. Her crooked ways and the ways of those like her (Kwame Kilpatrick, for one) are purely disgusting, and not what Detroit needs. Hopefully, this, along with the sentencing of Kwame Kilpatrick, mark the road to recovery for Detroit politics and an end to corruption in Detroit.
The Michigan State of the State address is about to begin. I will be live blogging the event, giving my analysis (so my apologies for any spelling errors – I’ll fix them eventually).
Alright, she’s entering the chamber (I’m not sure if this is the House or Senate – probably House since it’s bigger).
Oh – my roommate (Democrat) just about made me die of laughter – he said, “Where is she?” I said, “Right there.” And he goes, “Oh, I thought that was a dude.”
Alright – she’s making her way up to the podium – about half the room is still clapping – probably the Democrats. There’s Lt. Governor John Cherry up in his chair.
There’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R) and Speaker of the House Andy Dillon (D).
She’s saying welcome and thank you. She’s welcoming and congratulating the new representatives.
She’s now welcoming Supreme Court Justice Dianne Hathaway, elected this year. And she’s congratulating the longest serving president of the State Board of Education.
Now thanking the servicemen and women from Michigan as well as the first responders.
We just gave a moment of silence for those who lost their lives defending this country and state overseas.
“I will not sugar-coat the crisis facing this state. … Our auto companies fought for their very existence, and as the bottom fell out of the national economy” Michigan “went from bad to worse.” She’s absolutely right about that. “Any honest assessment of our state’s economy must recognize that things are likely to get worse before they get better. … Things will get better … because Michigan citizens are resilient … because our battle plan is focused on the three things that matter most: fighting for more good paying jobs in Michigan, educating and training people to fill those good paying jobs, and protecting out people.”
“This is not time for pet projects or special interests.”
Now talking about Michigan now having “a friend in the White House who now shares our agenda. I say this based on pragmatism, not upon partisanship.” BULL CRAP!
She’s talking about him being focused on energy jobs, education, and protecting people. COME ON Madame Governor, the Republicans are interested in all of those things too!
“We’ve made many tough choices in our budget.” True, but you could have done a lot more to fix the state, but you didn’t, and that’s why we’re as bad as we are now.
“I have a veto pen, and I will use it. … The President’s economic plan is a one-time opportunity.” Really? Because so far, I count THREE bailout bills. What’s to stop three more?
She’s saying that our problems will be here after the economic stimulus money is gone. Lt. Governor Cherry will be in charge of downsizing government, reducing number of departments from 18 to 8.
Something about we can’t have “9-5 government in a 24/7 world.” Good point there – I’ll give her that one.
Her and Cherry are reducing salaries of all elected state officials in Michigan by 10%. That’s a good move – I COMMEND HER on that, but I don’t really see how she can directly do that.
“Already, I’ve cut more than any other Governor in Michigan.”
She’s saying that a national survey showed that MI has done more to cut spending than other state in the country. I’d like to see the details of the survey, but if it’s all true, I commend her on that.
She’s cutting funding for the state fair – because it’s not essential to government. GOOD CALL!
Talking about preserving our wetlands.
Talking about reducing corrections spending. We’re going to close 3 more facilities in the coming months. Reinvest in more law enforcement on the street. More law enforcement is good, but I’m not too keen on closing 3 facilities – that means more criminals on the streets, since our prisons are already TOO FULL!
Funding for roads, bridges, and transit systems – um, we’ve needed that for the past FEW years!
We can focus on jobs when we spend within our means.
We need to diversify, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing our number one industry, the auto industry. When pundits and ill-informed politicians take cheap shots at the auto industry and its workers, we (she’s saying this) will defend the auto industry.
Talking about the green auto industry being great.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost since 2000. “These losses have fueled our determination to bring new industry to Michigan.” Good – we can’t JUST depend on the auto industry anymore.
Talking about film and TV project coming to Michigan after the tax breaks to film companies.
Three major announcements:
Wonderstruck Animation Studios – $86 million in Detroit.
Stardock Systems (digital gaming) – build in Plymouth
Motown Motion Pictures – $54 million in Pontiac (former GM plant)
Motown MP alone will create 3,600 jobs. That’s great news – especially for the Pontiac area.
“But our success with the film industry is not an isolated example.” Talking about renewable energy industry – solar panel production companies are building here in Michigan.
Just like the auto industry “it creates all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people.” And that’s a good thing – I am VERY enthusiastic about renewable energy, as long as it’s not expensively forced on the people.
She’s talking about wind turbines (and wind power is something I have always been really excited about – that and nuclear power).
Jobs for manufacturers and engineers – for solar panels and electric car batteries.
She’s getting really intense about this. “The fact that these jobs are in Michigan is no accident.”
We bring them here by beating out other states and countries.
We passed incentives to make sure those batteries are made in Michigan. Within weeks of passage, GM said that they’d make batteries for the Volt automobile will be made here in Michigan. 5 million electric car batteries to be made a year, creating 14,000 jobs.
She’s saying that we want electric cars researched and designed here as well as all kinds of renewable energy companies.
She set a goal for becoming more dependent on renewable energy.
3 wind turbine manufactures to expand in Michigan.
Unisolar to build solar panel factory in Battle Creek.
HSC – $1 billion for solar panel expansion
Dow-Corning – more solar panels.
Great Lakes Turbine to build in Monroe (where my roommate’s from!)
“We all know that we need more jobs – a lot more.” I agree with you there.
President Obama has demanded more use of renewable energy. This will increase jobs in Michigan.
“By 2020, Michigan will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity by 45%. … We’ll do it through increased renewable energy and gains in energy efficiency.” Sounds like a good idea to me, but I think 45% is high. I have no problem with it as long as it doesn’t jack up prices. But if it makes energy unaffordable, don’t do it.
Instead of importing coal, we’ll spend energy money on Michigan wind turbines and solar panels and energy efficiency devices, all installed by Michigan workers.
Ask Legislatures to allow for Michigan homeowners to become entrepreneurs by installing solar panels on roofs and selling money back to power company. Sounds good to me – it’s giving people the choice to do this, and enables people to eventually make that money back.
Asking utility companies to invest in energy efficient products. Good.
Unlike the coal we buy right now, the money that we will spend on energy efficiency will create jobs in Michigan.
Create Michigan Energy Corps – creating jobs and turning natural resources into renewable fuels and weatherizing houses.
Saying that we’ll need less coal power plants here in Michigan.
I’m kinda mad that she hasn’t said anything about more nuclear here in Michigan.
Talking about how she’ll bring new jobs to Michigan – that she’s gone all over the world to get jobs. Yeah, well you haven’t been too successful so far. You can go places to bring jobs here, but that doesn’t matter until you bring some here.
Saying she’ll require (I think it was universities) to buy Michigan. I have a problem with that though, because she wants a tuition freeze in order for universities to get stimulus money. How can they do that if you FORCE them to buy Michigan-made (more expensive at times).
Saying people should buy Michigan products. Buy everything from Ford to Faygo.
Talking about the Michigan $4,000 putting college in the reach of all students. Um, $4,000 really doesn’t do that much.
Michigan will be the first state to replicate the Kalamazoo promise on a large scale. Something about free education, and I missed the rest.
#2 in the country for well qualified teachers in the classroom. How are we #2 with the Detroit Public School system?
No Worker Left Behind: Talking about free college tuition – $5,000 per year for 2 years. Training people for jobs, such as nurses, electricians, computer technicians. 52,000 people. Helping us to remake Michigan.
Added more resources to the unemployment system – THAT’s what we need – to allow more people to rely on welfare!
Asking universities and colleges to freeze tuition for the next year. The problem with that is, what if THEY can’t afford it?
Give people 90 days without the fear of foreclosure. That’s absolutely insane. If people buy a house that they can’t afford, then they should lose it.
Talking about asking auto insurance companies to freeze rates on auto insurance. Sure, if they want to, but don’t make it mandatory.
She’s saying we’ll use every administrative tool to ensure that affordable rates are given to consumers. That should be up to the companies, not the government.
Saying that we shouldn’t strip people of health coverage in order to reduce spending. We shouldn’t HAVE state sponsored health care! She’s saying we should protect those whom people of faith often call “the least of these.” Well, people of faith need to step up and help the poor. That’s their duty as good Christians (as it is my duty), NOT the governments. When did Jesus ever say that the government should help the poor? He didn’t! He said his followers should – that’s why it makes me angry when people give that as a reason that Jesus would be a Democrat!
And wouldn’t “the least of these” refer to the unborn babies as well? I don’t see you protecting them, Madame Governor!
“Is it harder to balance the state budget or the budget of a family who went from 2 paychecks to 1?” Talking about the harships of family being much greater than the hardships of politicians as leaders.
She’s now giving an example of a guy on unemployment who used No Worker Left Behind to go to a university and now he’s working for Dow Corning.
Sorry – my news station just stopped covering it – ABC needed to go back to “regular scheduled programming.”
OK – I’m back.
Talking about hope and strength. “We together will build a better Michigan. God bless you all, and God bless the great state of Michigan.”
Tim Skubik is on now – saying that “Doom and Gloom” only got 2 paragraphs. He’s right – I think she could’ve shown that things are bad more than she did instead of just saying, “This is what we WILL do,” since she’s been saying that for YEARS now.
She never really said exactly how much she wanted to cut out of the government. I will commend her for some of her pro-energy efficient plans, but I think she may wind up driving up costs at a time that we can’t afford it. Allowing people to sell back energy from solar panels is a GOOD thing, because it gives individuals the choice to do it, instead of mandating it.
And now Mike Bishop’s response:
He’s saying that “we all want what’s best for our state.”
“Each one of us has felt the effects of this economy.”
Saying that the Governor wants to use federal funds to fix the state, but a quick infusion of money “will never be the antidote. … You can’t increase spending and debt and somehow hope to resolve a serious budget crisis.” The Republicans will submit a plan in the next 45 days for instant stimulus – it incentives job providers instead of increasing spending.
The House must pass Senate Bill 1. Get rid of the 22% business surcharge.
Talking about manufacturing complexes and other companies coming in due to tax cuts, proving that business tax cuts DO work.
The second part of the plan would bring property taxes in line with home values. Third, a tax credit for purchases of new homes will be created. This would spur the housing market. And he’s absolutely right – that was one of the things my parents looked into was the huge jump in taxes we would’ve payed if we moved this past summer.
Review each item in the state budget and find savings – good!
We must “be certain that state resources are used efficiently.” Absolutely!
Talking about opportunities coming with adversity – leaders need to rise up and “take the reins that will lead us back to prosperity. … Time for us to fix Michigan. … Thank you … God bless you, our families, and our great state of Michigan.”
Alright – I’m off to a meeting – I’ll spell check this and finish my analysis when I get back.
Yesterday, 2 cousins from Eastpointe, Michigan, both high school freshmen, were arrested for throwing rocks on cars driving along I-94 in Saint Clair Shores. The teens claimed that they did it because they were bored of playing video games. In all, 16 cars were damaged, and in addition to probably paying for the damage, the teens have been charged as juveniles with malicious destruction of property. Here’s a FOX 2 video report on the incident:
Now, these teens should have known better. And they did know better. Freshmen in high school aren’t stupid. If you drop a rock on a car, that’s going to shatter the windshield if it hits it (as it did) or put a dent in the metal. What happens when your windshield shatters? Somebody could die. And people have died in the past.
750.377a Willful and malicious destruction of property; personalty.
(1) A person who willfully and maliciously destroys or injures the personal property of another person is guilty of a crime as follows:
(a) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or 3 times the amount of the destruction or injury, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(i) The amount of the destruction or injury is $20,000.00 or more.
(b) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the amount of the destruction or injury, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(i) The amount of the destruction or injury is $1,000.00 or more but less than $20,000.00.
(c) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or 3 times the amount of the destruction or injury, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(i) The amount of the destruction or injury is $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.
(d) If the amount of the destruction or injury is less than $200.00, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the amount of the destruction or injury, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.
I’m guessing that most of the damage is going to fall under subsection (c), meaning that the teenagers could face up to 1 year in prison or a fine of $2,000 (since I’m guessing that most of the repairs won’t be more than a few hundred dollars).
Personally, I’d be locking both of them up for 16 years (as long as all the damage was over $200 for each car). They knew better, and they need to pay, in both a criminal and civil court (civil court would be where the teens would have to pay for the damage, probably around $500/windshield if it’s totally busted, so they’re looking at a few thousand dollars depending on what all was done to the different cars).
Make an example out of these teens to show that you don’t play around with dangerous stuff like this.
Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) leaves the court after hearing the guilty verdict.
Well, the jury of 8 women and 4 men has deliberated and has come back to find Senator Stevens (R-AK) guilty on all 7 counts of making false statements (lying on U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms for 1999-2006).
Before entering the courtroom, Stevens told reporters, “Put this down. I am not stepping down. I’m going to run through, and I’m going to win this election.” After hearing the verdict, he allegedly told his wife, Catherine, “It’s not over yet.”
Patti Higgins, the chairwoman of the Alaska Democratic Party released a statement, saying, “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway and lied to Alaskans about it. Alaskans deserve better from their public officials. It’s time for us to elect an ethical and honest senator who will move this state forward.”
Judge Emmet Sullivan has not yet set a date for sentencing, but said that it would be after February. He will then face up to 5 years in prison for each charge; however, it is not expected that he will receive that harsh of a sentence. Senator Stevens is expected to appeal the verdict, and I honestly think he’ll win his appeal. I’m surprised that the prosecution was able to pull off a comeback after making numerous mistakes, including a typo in their indictment where their evidence clearly contradicted their accusation.
President Bush could also pardon Senator Stevens.
Although I think he’ll (unfortunately) win his court battle, I think he has lost his chances at retaining his Senate seat. Say hello to Senator Mark Begich. Now, if by some weird chance he does win, and then is removed, or the Senate expels him before the election, or he resigns (right – like that’ll happen), Governor Palin would replace him (if he left before Inauguration Day. If she won the VP seat and he left after that, the new Governor would appoint the next Senator).
I’m sad to see Senator Stevens go like this, but he was a crook, and he got caught, and it’s time for him to go now.
Alright, we’re moments away from the beginning of the debate. As always, I’ll be watching CNN, who will have a focus group (undecided voters in Ohio) with a tracking rating of how people like what they’re hearing (broken up by men and women). WordPress just added an option to add polls, so I’ll see if I can get that working after the debate is over and post a poll about who won.
Tonight’s debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer (CBS’s Face the Nation).
We’re about 2 minutes away.
Schieffer: Why is your plan better than your opponents?
McCain: Thanks to everybody, my prayers go out to Nancy Reagan. “Americans are hurting and angry.” They’re innocent victims of greed. “They have every reason to be angry.” We have to have a short term fix and long term fixes. Short term fix: Fannie and Freddie cause the sub-prime lending situation, that caused the housing market to collapse. We need to reverse the decline in home ownership. People need to know that they can stay in there homes. Let’s take $300 billion of the $750 billion and buy mortgages so that people can stay in their homes. What about people who could already afford to stay in their homes? It’ll drive home value down if there are abandoned houses. I didn’t like the answer (because I’m staunchly against any of the bailout), but it’ll go over well with voters, and the focus group liked it.
Obama: I think this’ll take some time to work itself out. We need an economic package for the middle class. The fundamentals of the economy were weak before this crisis (it depends what you’re defining fundamentals of the economy as). Tax cut for people making less than $200,000. Buying mortgages could be a bailout to banks, so I disagree with McCain there, but we do need to help homeowners. Need to fix energy and health care.
McCain: Obama had an encounter with a plumber, Joe (somebody)Wurzelbacher. Joe wants to buy the business that he’s worked in, and he looked at Obama’s plan, and he saw that he’d be put in a higher tax bracket, and that’d cause him to not be able to employ people. Joe, I’ll not only help you buy that business and keep your taxes low, and provide a way for you to provide health care to your employees. You want to increase people’s taxes, like Joe the plumber’s. And he’s right there – he’ll kill small businesses if he raises taxes. The focus group liked that.
Obama: McCain wants to give tax breaks to some of the wealthiest companies, including oil companies. I want to give tax cuts to 95% of Americans. Income tax, capital gains tax. THAT’S A LIE ABOUT CAPITAL GAINS!!! He wants to take capital gains taxes back to levels before Clinton lowered them! I want to give small businesses tax breaks. He lies here – 11.5% of Americans don’t even PAY income taxes, because they don’t make enough money!
McCain: Obama says, “We need to spread the wealth around.” “I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around.” Why would you want to raise taxes?
Obama: I want to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. Not true! I want to cut taxes for Joe the plumber before he was able to make $250,000. I want to give families with kids going to college a break. I’d prefer that nobody pay taxes, but we have to pay for the core of the economy to remain strong.
McCain: Companies will go overseas if we raise our business tax rates. “Of all times in America, we need to cut taxes and encourage business, not spread the wealth around.” Great answer – McCain actually did better with the focus group there than McCain, and that surprised me.
Schieffer: Talking about reducing the budget deficit. Won’t some of the programs you’re proposing have to be trimmed or eliminated?
Obama: If the $750 billion works as it’s supposed to, taxpayers will get their money back. I have been a strong proponent of pay-as-you-go. Some of the cuts we’ll need are subsidies to insurance companies. “It’s just a giveaway.” I’ll go through the federal budget line-by-line, and eliminate what’s unnecessary. We need to invest in the American people. We need to prevent diseases when they’re young, so they won’t spend as much Medicare money. The same with college – they’ll drive up the economy. He’s getting very high ratings right now – he’s appealing to the average American people.
McCain: Back to home-ownership. During the depression, we bought homes and home values went back up. This was a plan that Senator Clinton proposed. We need to become energy independent. I need an across-the-board spending freeze. I oppose subsidies for ethanol. Sorry – got interrupted there. I will veto earmarks. Senator Obama put in an earmark for a projector in a planetarium in his hometown.
Obama: An across-the-board spending freeze is a hatchet, and we need a scalpel. Senator McCain talks about earmarks, but they account for 0.5% of the federal budget. Eliminating them will help, but it won’t solve the problem. When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus, and now we have a deficit. Pursuing Bush-esque budgets will worsen the situation, and McCain voted for Bush’s budgets, 4 out of 5 times.
McCain: I will give a new direction to this economy. I’m not President Bush. If he wanted to oppose him, he should’ve run 4 years ago. Mayor Bloomberg just put in a spending freeze in New York, so it can be done. I’ll eliminate spending. Obama voted for the last 2 budgets that Bush proposed (the only 2 that came up since he’s been in office!). I have fought against spending and special interest. When have you stood up to your party? He’s getting good ratings, and I really think that he’s appealing to American people.
Obama: The first major bill I voted on was against tort reform. I support charter schools. I support clean coal technology. I have a history of reaching across the aisle. If I mistaken your policies for President Bush’s policies, it’s because on the core economic issues, taxes, spending, etc…, you’ve been a supporter of President Bush. You’re been against him on stuff like torture, and I commend that, but for the majority, you want 8 more years of the same thing.
McCain: It’s been clear that I’ve disagreed with Bush and my party: climate change, opposition to earmarks, torture, conduct of the War in Iraq, Medicare prescription drugs, HMO patients’ bill of rights. I have stood up to my party’s leadership.
Schieffer: Both of you promised to take the high road, but both campaigns have turned nasty.
McCain: This has been a very tough campaign. If Obama had responded to my request to do town hall meetings, like he originally said, the tone of this campaign could’ve been better. The tone of this campaign has taken a nasty turn. I apologize for some of the negativity that has come out of my campaign. I hope OBama will repudiate the remarks made by Congressman John Lewis. Obama didn’t keep his word about taking public financing. He’s getting high ratings from men here, but average ratings from women.
Obama: 2/3 of the American people think McCain’s running a negative campaign, versus 1/3 of the American people thinking that of mine. 100% of your ads have been negative (BULL CRAP!). There’s nothing wrong with having a vigorous debate like we’re having now, but not having town hall meetings doesn’t justify the ads that have come out from your campaign and 527s. I don’t mind being attacked for 3 weeks, but we can’t afford 4 more years of failed economic policies. He’s actually getting negative ratings from women, and average from men here. He’s really attacking McCain during a question about negativity in campaigns, and I think he’s really making himself look bad here.
McCain: If you turn on the television, every other ad was an attack ad on my health care policy, saying that I oppose federal funding for stem cells. I don’t. Obama is spending unprecedented amounts of money in negative attack ads on me. Of course we’re talking about Joe the plumber and restoring jobs to America. That’s what my campaign is all about. Again, I didn’t hear a repudiation of Congressman Lewis.
Obama: Lewis, made a statement with what he was troubled with hearing some of the rallies that your running mate was holding. People were yelling “terrorist” and “kill him,” and your running mate didn’t stop them. I do think that he gave a good comparison between what’s happening now and the civil right’s movement. What the Americans want is for us to focus on the challenges that we have now. We have serious differences on health care. When people bring up me being with terrorists, that’s not the issues.
McCain: Whenever you have big rallies, you’ll have fringe people, and that’s not appropriate. But for the majority of people, they’re not saying anything negative. These people are the most patriotic people in this nation (veterans and wives of veterans). There’ve been thingsat your rallies that I’m not happy with either. I have always repudiated out of line statements, and I will continue to do that, but we cannot stand for the things that have been going on. I haven’t.
Schieffer: Do you take issue with that?
Obama: What I think is most important is that we recognize that in order to solve 2 wars, a financial crisis, creating jobs, then we all need to be able to work together. “We need to disagree without being disagreeable. What we can’t do is try to characterize each other as bad people.”
McCain: We need to know the full extent of Obama’s relationships with Ayers and ACORN. If there’s nothing there, I don’t care about it, but we need to know what all went on there.
Obama: Mr. Ayers has become the centerpiece of McCain’s campaign. Bill Ayers is a professor in Chicago. 40 years ago, he engaged in despicable acts. “I have … condemned those acts.” I served on a school board with him 10 years ago. “Mr. Ayers is not involved in my campaign … and he will not advise me in the White House.” ACORN: Apparently, they were paying people to get people registered to vote. The only thing I did with them was represent them with some thing in Illinois – I didn’t catch it all. I associate with Warren Buffet on economics. On foreign policy, it’s Joe Biden or Dick Lugar, or General Jim Jones. “Those are the people who have shaped my ideas and will be surrounding me in the White House.”
McCain: While you and Ayers were on that board, you gave money to ACORN, and you launched your campaign from Ayers living room. In 2001, he said he’d wished he’d have bombed more. We need to know all the details here. And my (not McCain) view is that with Ayers – it’s no big deal if Obama’s honest. With ACORN, there are some serious problems there – ACORN has supported Obama, and Obama has supported ACORN, and ACORN has shown to have some serious legal problems.
Schieffer: Why is your running mate better than his?
Obama: He’s been there a while – he knows what he’s doing, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Biden has never forgotten where he came from. He fights for the little guy. He has always been fighting for working families. “After 8 years of failed policies [we] will have to reprioritize … give tax cuts to small businesses … and individuals who are struggling.” We need to become energy independent, and make sure that our kids afford can go to college. Biden has always been on the right side of the issues.
McCain: Palin is a reformer. She took on the old governor, who was part of her party. She’s given money back to taxpayers and cut the size of the government. “She is a reformer through and through, and it’s time that we have that breath of fresh air and sweep out” the old politics of Washington. “She understand special needs families, and understands that autism is on the rise.” She has united people all over America, and I’m proud of her.
Schieffer: Is she qualified to be President?
Obama: That’ll be up to the American people to decide. Her work on special needs kids has been commendable. He didn’t answer the question! If we have an across-the-board spending freeze, special needs kids will suffer.
McCain (on Biden): Biden is experienced, but he’s had some bad foreign policy ideas, such as dividing Iraq into different countries, and we’ve seen Iraq become united as one country. Every time Obama says we need to spend more. Why can’t we have transparency of these government organizations.
Schieffer: Energy and climate control. Presidents have said that we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Give us a number of how much you believe we can reduce foreign oil during your first term.
McCain: We can eliminate our dependence on Middle East countries and Venezuela. Canadian oil is fine. We need nuclear power plants, and that’ll be how we eliminate those 2 sources of foreign oil. We need wind, tide, solar, gas, clean coal. He’s getting huge ratings, and for good reason – it’s a good energy plan. Especially the nuclear part!!!!
Obama: In 10 years, we can reduce our dependence so we don’t have to import oil from the Middle East or Venezuela. “Nothing is more important than us borrowing … money from China and sending it to Venezuela.” We need to expand domestic production, by telling oil companies, “Use them or lose them” in terms of oil fields being leased here in the U.S. We need to drill offshore, but that won’t solve the problem. We need wind, solar, biofuel. We need efficient cars built here in America, not in Japan. And he’s got good ideas too, but I WISH he would’ve said he wants nuclear power – nuclear power is safe (we use it on subs) and VERY efficient. NAFTA didn’t have enforceable environmental agreements, and we should’ve included those. When it comes to South Korea, we have an agreement with them, and they’re sending more cars here than we are to them. That’s not free trade.
McCain: “Obama said, ‘We will look at offshore drilling.’ Did you catch that? ‘Look at.'” We need to do more than look at it, we need to do it. AGREED! Our businesses are paying money into Columbia, but because of previous agreements, they’re getting their goods into here for free. We need a free trade agreement with Columbia, which Obama has opposed. Obama hasn’t even travelled down there, and he doesn’t understand Columbia.
Obama: I understand it. Labor leaders have been persecuted, and we need to stand for human rights. Workers who are trying to organize for rights shouldn’t be persecuted, and that’s why I supported a free trade agreement with Peru. When I talked about automakers, they’re getting hammered right now, not only because of gas prices, but with the financial crisis. People can’t get car loans, so we need to get loan guarantees. We need more efficient cars and cars of the future. That’ll help create new jobs. He’s getting VERY high ratings – he’s maxed out with women, and men are rating him high too.
McCain: Obama doesn’t want a free trade agreement with our best ally in the region, but wants to sit down with Hugo Chavez without preconditions. Jobs and businesses will be created if we open up those markets. Obama wants to restrict trade and raise taxes, and the last President who did that was Hoover. We went from a deep recession to a depression. I won’t let that happen.
Schieffer: Would you first lower health care costs, instead of providing more health care?
Obama: We need to do both. My plan will allow you to keep your plan if you have health insurance. We will lower costs so that cost savings are brought back to you. If you don’t have insurance, you can buy into the same kind of federal pool that federal employees enjoy. Insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate against people with preconditions. Drugs will be lower, and we need to look at preventative care. This will require more money up front, but will lower costs in the long run. VERY high ratings at the end there.
McCain: Premiums and copays are going up, and health care costs are going up and inflicting pain on Americans. We need walk in clinics and community health care centers. We need nutrition and physical fitness programs in schools to keep kids healthy. I want to give all American families a $5,000 tax credit. Under Obama’s plan, if you have employees and they have kids, if you don’t have a health care plan, Obama will fine you. I still haven’t heard what that fine will be.
Obama: Your fine will be $0. I exempt small businesses for the requirement that large businesses have to provide health care. Well, Senator Obama, what do you consider a small business??? The average family is paying higher premiums because of the uninsured. I’ll give small businesses a 50% credit so they can afford it. If not, you can buy into the plan I have. McCain will give you the tax credit, but what will happen to older folks who can’t afford the health care plan? McCain will tax the health care benefits you have from your employer, the first time in history this has ever happened. Insurers right now are restricted statewide. Those rules would be stripped away, and you’d see companies excluding people.
McCain: People like Joe are rich, because Obama said about him that we need to “spread the wealth,” so he’s rich enough that he would be fined. Under my plan, people will be able to go across the country, giving them the chance to choose their futures. “Senator Government–Senator Obama wants government to do the job.” Senator Obama and the Democrats have been in charge the last 2 years, and things have gotten worse.
Obama: Under McCain’s plan, there’s a strong risk that you will lose your health care from your employer. All I want to do is lower costs.
Schieffer: Could either of you nominate a Supreme Court Justice who disagrees with your view on Roe v. Wade.
McCain: I have never had a litmus test. I think the Court decided incorrectly there, but I’m a Federalist – it should be left up to the states. We need to nominate people based on qualifications, not if I agree with their ideology. There should be no litmus test. These nominees should be picked based on qualifications, who adhere to the Constitution, not people who legislate from the bench. (But people who stick to the Constitution would oppose Roe v. Wade). I’ll have no litmus test.
Obama: I’d agree that we shouldn’t have a litmus test. Fairness and justice should be given to the American people. It’s very likely that one of us will be making 1 or more appointments, and Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance. I support the decision in Roe v. Wade. I believe that women are in the best position to make this decision. The Constitution has privacy built into it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum or popular vote. “I will look for those judges who have an outstanding record … intellect.” McCain and I disagreed when the S.C. made it harder for some woman to bring suit for equal pay for women. The Court said that she waited too long. If a woman is being treated unfairly, the Court needs to stand up if nobody will.
McCain: You can’t waive the statute of limitation 20 to 30 years. Senator Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide medical attention to babies who were not successfully aborted (essentially passive infanticide). Then he voted present on the floor. He did the same with partial birth abortion. Men are liking this, but women not so much.
Obama: That’s not true. There was a bill put forward that said that you need life saving treatment that would undermine Roe v. Wade, but there was a law alreay on the books. On partial birth abortion: I’m supportive of a ban on late term abortions as long as there’s an exception for the safety of the woman’s life. Both men and women are rating him a bit above average now. Surely there is some common ground, when both sides can come together and prevent unintended pregnancies. Communicate that sex shouldn’t be engaged in carelessly. Adoption choices should be out there. Those things are now in the Democratic platform, for the first time ever.
McCain: “Health of the mother” has been stretched to mean almost anything (such as mental health in some cases). Cindy and I are adoptive parents. We need to promote adoption and protect the rights of the unborn.
Schieffer: A question about education and national security – I missed what all it was.
Obama: No nation has had a bad economy and a good military. Education is a huge part of this. We need better pay for teachers. We need college to be more affordable. We’ll offer an exchange of community/military service with money for college. We can’t do this just in schools. Parents need to show responsibility too – encourage thirst for knowledge. And he’s absolutely right here. It starts at home. People rated him as high as they could.
McCain: Choice and competition among schools are some of the key elements – New York and New Orleans – where we find bad teachers another line of work. We need to give parents a choice in sending kids to good schools. Charter schools are one option.
Schieffer: Should the federal government play a larger role?
Obama: The states need to be in control, but the federal government needs to step in and help struggling local school districts. Bush did this with No Child Left Behind, “but unfortunately, he left the money behind.” That was a good line. McCain and I agree on charter schools. I think we need to encourage competition between schools. Bad teachers need to be replaced. “Our kids need to have the best future.” We disagree on vouchers, and we disagree on college accessibility. McCain doesn’t have programs that help college groups. (That’s because he’ll simplify the tax code to make finding tax credits for college easier to find).
McCain: Vouchers need to be provided, because parents WANT vouchers. They wanted to chose the schools where their children go (this was in Washington, D.C.). As far as NCLB, it had its flaws and problems, but it’s the first time we looked at this from the national perspective. Head Start is a great program. It’s not doing what it should do, so we need to reform it and fund it. We can’t just give more money, we need to reform it too. We need transparency, rewards, and funding. We’ll find and spend money to find the cause of autism, but to have a situation that the most expensive education is in America means that we also need reform. We can’t throw money at a problem without reform. Vouchers work.
Obama: On vouchers in D.C. The D.C. school system is in terrible shape. The superintendent there is doing a great job (McCain interjected that she supports vouchers). There’s not proof that vouchers solve the problem. We need a President who will tackle this head on.
McCain: Obama said that because there’s not enough vouchers, we shouldn’t have any. That’s wrong.
Schieffer: Closing statements.
McCain: Thank you. We need a new direction. “We cannot be satisfied with what we’ve been doing for the last 8 years.” I’ve been a reformer. I’ve opposed my party. I’ve been a good steward of your tax dollars. We need to make health care and education affordable to all. We need to stop this wild spending. All of these promises made tonight will be made based on whether you trust us or not. I ask you to examine both my record as well as my proposals for this country. I’ve put my country first. “It’s been a great honor of my life, and I’ve been proud to serve, and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to serve again. I’ll be honored, and humbled.”
Obama: Washington has been unwilling to address the problems. We cannot adopt the policies of the last 8 years. We need change. You’ve invited me into your homes. “Our brighter days are still ahead, but we have to invest in the American people.” College needs to be more affordable. Wages need to be higher, and we need to grow the middle class. “It’s not gonna be easy. It’s not gonna be quick.” Republicans and Democrats will have to come together. “If you give me the … honor of being President, I will work tireously and honorably to ensure the future of our children.”
Bob Schieffer: As my mother would say: “Go vote now. It’ll make you feel big and strong.”
McCain/Obama: Thank you (to each other).
Alright, overall, I think this was BY FAR the best debate we had. I commend Bob Schieffer. He was by far the best moderator we had.
Overall, I think McCain won this won. This is the first time I’ve called a debate (other than the VP debate, where I called Biden the winner), and I think McCain won. He was VERY strong toward the beginning. I think Obama was weak at the beginning, but picked it up toward the end, but overall, I think that McCain was the winner.
Again, I think McCain was definitely stronger here. I think Obama was too weak. This was definitely the debate McCain needed, but I’m not sure that it’ll be enough for him to recover.
Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Smith ruled in a suit filed by the Ohio Republican Party filed in September. He ruled that Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (Dem) must adhere to the Help America Vote Act by matching newly registered voters’ information against the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and/or Social Security Administration databases. She must alo tell the Board of Elections which voters’s registration info doesn’t match the databases. Brunner was also ordered to establish a process by which county election boards could do the sameSmith wrote in his ruling (unfortunately I can’t get the whole thing), “Plaintiffs assert, and the court agrees, that it is hard to imagine a public interest more compelling than safeguarding the legitimacy of the election of the president of the United States.”
Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine told reporters, “For some reason, Jennifer Brunner does not want these new registrations checked. Her refusal to comply with federal law raises serious concerns about her ability to objectively oversee this election.”
Meanwhile, Brunner is appealing the ruling (the appeal was filed by Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers (Dem) on Brunner’s behalf), saying that this ruling will inhibit voters from casting absentee ballots at the Board of Elections, since parties could get lists of voters who don’t match up with the databases and challenge the validity of those votes. Brunner told reporters, “My office will do everything within its power to ensure that the state’s 88 county boards of elections can continue to allow early voting to proceed and to assist them with their preparation to ensure a smooth election for the voters of Ohio.”
With all of the stuff that’s going on with ACORN, I say that this is a great ruling. I want everybody to be able to vote, but people should only be voting once (that’s not what the NAACP will say about voters in Detroit – they want all African Americans to be able to vote, even the dead ones!). There’s no reason that this should keep any LEGAL voters from voting. It’s a good ruling, and I hope it’s upheld by the next court. Unfortunately, the deadline to challenge absentee ballots is coming up soon, so there fraudulent votes may make it through, and that’s a shame.
So, today I heard that the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan was putting out advertisements claiming that Michigan’s Supreme Court is rated worst in the nation, citing a “study by the University of Chicago Law School.” The PWA, as well as Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly, has come out in opposition to Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, who is up for reelection this year (against Diane Hathaway and Robert Roddis), placing much of the blame on that rating on him.
This study is terribly out of date. Although it was released in 2008, it looks back on the Court from 1998-2000. At that point, Justices Robert Young, Jr. and Stephen Markman weren’t on the bench. James Brickley and Patricia Boyle were both on the bench during part of that time. The Chief Justices during that period were Elizabeth Weaver and Conrad Mallet, Jr. (both liberals)(sorry – I thought I changed that, but apparently I forgot to. Weaver was considered a Republican, but later began becoming more and more liberal and now would be described as a moderate with liberal leanings. Mallet was a liberal. Thanks to Independent for Hathaway for pointing out my mistake.). Taylor didn’t even become Chief Justice until 2005! So how PWA and Kelly can blame Taylor is beyond me. The court hardly had the same makeup back then as it does now, and this DEFINITELY cannot be blamed on Justice Taylor, because he wasn’t Chief Justice back then!
This is just another example of lies from liberals in Michigan. It is CRUCIAL that we reelect Cliff Taylor so that we can continue to have the great Supreme Court that we have now.
This is happening live. Kwame Kilpatrick is about to plead guilty, and he’s expected to resign as Mayor of Detroit.
The judge (supposed to be Judge David Groner, but I never saw anything that said anything today confirming that’s who the judge was) is now informing him of what right’s he is giving up (trial by jury, being assumed innocent until proven guilty, being able to testify, being able to cross examine witnesses, appeal this case).
He has just said that he will waive those rights and plead guilty.
He has just said that he is pleased with the job his lawyers have done.
He has just said that he is ready to plead guilty today, saying, “I’m here,” implying that he wants this done as soon as possible.
They’re now showing the courtroom around him and wow, there are a LOT of people there.
Kwame Kilpatrick has just reentered. The court is now officially in session.
Judge: “Mr. Kilpatrick, on the dates of October 11, 2004, at a civil deposition in the City of Detroit … and on August 29th … in the Wayne County Circuit Court, did you do something wrong that causes you to plead guilty today.”
Kilpatrick: “Yes, I lied under oath … regarding information that was relevant to claims made by [the police officers]. … I lied under oath … for the lawsuit.”
“The Court is satisfied and will accept the plea for the 2 counts of obstruction of justice.”
The Judge is now setting a sentencing date of October 28 at 2:00 P.M. The judge has now gone on to another case for Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick is to plead no contest to charge 1 and charge 2 will be dismissed (I’m not sure what charges these are for now), and he is to tender a letter of resignation no later than September 18, surrender his law license, as well as 120 (I think that’s what he said) days in jail.
The judge is saying the charges are: public officer assaulting/obstruction. So this was the case where he shoved the cop off the porch. He’s pleading no contest to charge 1. He will be convicted of this charge, and at the sentencing hearing, the 2nd charge will be dropped.
The judge is now making sure that Kilpatrick understands the rights that he’s giving up, just like he did with the perjury charges.
The prosecutor now gave the factual basis for the case, and the judge accepted the plea.
The sentencing date for that will be the same as for the perjury charges.
The judge is commending all lawyers on both sides of the case, including Prosecutor Kym Worthy, saying that he’s glad we could settle this today.
And they’re done. Kilpatrick is now hugging somebody – I think it’s his wife, but it might be his sister. Kilpatrick is now leaving the court room. Kilpatrick has left the court room.
Well, that’s honestly something I didn’t expect I would see. I figured it’d go to trial. I’m glad to see that Kwame finally gave in. They were saying something about pleading “No contest” and the possibility of a civil suit, so we’ll see what happens.
This is developing news coming out of Detroit right now. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had been expected to plead guilty to charges in the original text message scandal case at 5:15 P.M. EDT today before Judge Edward Ewell Jr., the presiding judge of the Criminal Division of Wayne County Circuit Court. Apparently the details of the plea deal hadn’t been completely ironed out by 5:15, so the decision was made to postpone the court appearance until 9:00 A.M. tomorrow, where he’ll appear in front of Judge David Groner.
At this point in time, I have to say that this has not been confirmed. All that we know for sure is that Kilpatrick will be in court tomorrow morning. One of Kilpatrick’s defense lawyers, Joseph Niskar, told reporters, “I can tell you it’s a not a bond motion. We’ll see.” He specifically did not answer the question of whether or not Kilpatrick will be taking a guilty plea.
After reporters headed over to the Wayne County court due to rumors that a plea deal was to be made around 5:00, Maria Miler, a spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told reporters, “We believed a plea was imminent. … We believe it may take place [Thursday].”
Kilpatrick’s attorney, James Thomas, told reporters, “It is apparent that they are close” to a plea deal. Thomas had been at forfeiture hearings that Governor Jennifer Granholm had been holding today to possibly remove Kilpatrick from office.
Now, I fail to see why a guilty plea is even being offered here. It’s CLEAR that he perjured before. I see no reason that we should let him off easy. I say take it to court and if he pleads guilty, then he pleads guilty, but I wouldn’t be offering a plea bargain here. I think there’s enough evidence to avoid this. Of course, I don’t know ALL of the facts, but just from what’s been released, I don’t think any jury could find REASONABLE doubt to not find him guilty. Then again, weirder things have happened in Detroit.
I’ll keep you updated as anything more develops (and if I get time, I’ll try to get some transcripts from today’s hearing by Governor Granholm).
You know, every blogger at on point or another sees a story unfolding before him/her and thinks, “This is gonna make an incredible blog post,” and the news interview I saw today was exactly that. Watch the following interview between WDIV’s (NBC-4) Devin Scillian and former Councilwoman turned Mayoral candidate turned Mayoral aide:
I haven’t seen that much bull crap since – heck – I can’t figure out when I’ve seen that much bull crap.
That interview was so hilarious (yet sad) that I called my grandma (a hard-core liberal, but anti-Kwame advocate) halfway through the interview and said, “Grandma, turn on Channel 4. Sharon McPhail’s making an idiot out of herself.”
Let’s look at some of what McPhail said:
Arguing that Windsor is “across the street” and should be treated as part of this country! Come on – he broke the terms of his bond. There’s no way that you can say he was justified in going to Windsor. (3:45)
Saying that a “bar member means nothing.” Bull crap – he should’ve known better. He DID know better. If you can’t tell the legal difference between Windsor and Detroit, you shouldn’t have passed the bar.
On to my favorite part, the exchange about this being the media’s fault:
Scillian: “Detroit is being splattered all over the headlines in very bad terms. We’ve got a mayor whose spent the night in jail, the first time in 300 years that this city’s been in existence that that’s happened.”
McPhail: “Here’s a thought: stop printing those headlines.”
Scillian: “Ignore the truth?”
McPhail: “No, I didn’t say ignore the truth, I said, “stop printing the headlines.’ I would really love it if people stopped ignoring the truth.”
Scillian: “I’m confused. Are you blaming the messenger?”
McPhail: “You are, and that’s exactly the point. … you do not have to take the position that everybody else is wrong and you are right, because usually that’s not true.”
Now, I’ve been one to criticize the media, and say they need to be put in their place every once in a while, but this was just crazy.
Arguing that the cops intentionally went to the mayor’s sister’s house to serve the subpoena on Ferguson. They saw the vehicle, and hoped he was there. Even IF they did it knowing whose house it was, that’s not illegal.
Scillian: “Sharon McPhail, it is always an experience talking to you.”
What a cocky, stubborn idiot. I mean, the level of support for the mayor there is just incredibly sad. Even after all he’s done, she supports him! And her arguments are just incredibly stupid as well. She really has come a long way from once running against the mayor. The way she defends him, she’s acting like she’s sleeping with him too!
So, hopefully that provided you non-Detroiters some entertainment. For you Detroiters, I’m sorry that you have to live with that. I pray that this ends for you soon (hopefully our Governor will act on this – there’s a hearing coming up, I THINK next week).