Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Six O'Clock News - We Have A Deal Edition

Rainy gray make me so sleepy...

  • Stimulus deal is reached. States won't be stimulated as much as they need, but perhaps a lovely dinner beforehand will make up for some of that. Michigan looked to receive upwards of $5B out of the Senate version; the Detroit News had a breakdown on Michigan's take of the bill as it stood this morning. Look for some of those numbers to change when all the details get hashed out.

    Although the bill contains what the News calls "state budget aid", we won't use the money to aid the budget, and I'm all confused when I hear this next statement from the state budget office:

    "The stimulus is one-time money over two years to kick-start the economy and create jobs, not to patch together a budget and not make hard choices," said Leslee Fritz, spokeswoman for the state budget office. She would not reveal details of the upcoming budget.

    "This is a tough budget. It will not be a popular budget," she added.

    But we have "state budget aid". Hmmm. Anyway, unpopular budget will debut tomorrow. Will have details when they come out. Have a feeling the states themselves probably don't know yet how they will be allowed to apply this money to their issues.

  • Twittergate keeps rolling on, long after the thrill of tweeting has gone. Today it was announced that the Pentagon is not so happy with Turtle Twitter Pete, and will be reviewing its policies in the wake of this national security incident. And, "Mr. Transparent" reveals that maybe he wasn't being so accurate, and that he has memory issues. Dig faster, Congressman Hoekstra.

    Hoekstra later told reporters that his posts might not have been accurate. When asked if they were, he said he didn't remember.

    "You don't know it's the exact time," Hoekstra said of his Twitter posts. "You don't know whether I sent that the minute I got in the car, whether it's halfway to the embassy or after I got that."

    Geez, Twitter Pete, I'm thinking that doesn't bode well for any other high responsibility jobs that you might be interested in...

  • Speaking of people that probably shouldn't be allowed anywhere near any sort of seat of power, Don Williamson, who stepped down as Flint mayor over "health issues", finds that somehow he still has the energy to run for governor. I'm thinking that he should team up with Brooks and form the "Crazy Old Geezer" Party, but only if the limit their debates to debating each other. You'd almost pay money to see that.

  • Michigan House Republicans find more ways for the state to spend money on their pet projects:

    House Bill 4179 (Mandate study of illegal alien costs )
    Introduced by Rep. Paul Opsommer (R) on February 6, 2009, to require the state auditor general to conduct a study that estimates the cost of state payments made to illegal immigrants and the cost of state services used by illegal immigrants, and that discovers any state remedies to recover these costs from the federal government.

    And this comes after Dave Agema introduced four or five (I lost count) bills denying illegals any kind of anything, so I'm not sure why, exactly, we would need a study at that point, but you know how those Republicans are when they become obsessed...

  • Meanwhile, on the sane side of the aisle, House Democrats get a big cheer.

    House Bill 4192 (Prohibit gender identity/sexual orientation discrimination )
    Introduced by Rep. Rebekah Warren (D) on February 6, 2009, to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the characteristics that define membership in a group against whom it is a crime to discriminate under the Michigan civil rights law. This would make it a crime to deny employment, housing, use of public accommodations, public services, and educational facilities to another person on the basis of a perception that the person has a particular sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Rep. Warren rocks.

  • Props to WOOD TV, who rescinded an offer to air the anti-gay "Speechless" program after the AFA refused to answer whether or not they would accept a different time slot for the controversial program. Activism works, folks, thanks for letting your voice be heard.

    "We made a gesture of the 2-3 p.m. Saturday time period. It's been 24 hours and we had no response," Kniowski said. "Our station is being bombarded with calls and messages, and we find ourselves in the middle of someone else's fight. Ours was a fair offer and we are removing ourselves from this matter."

    Look for Glenn to cry about being censored next, and use this incident for fund raising. Whaddayawanna bet. Hang tough, WOOD.

  • The wind turbines in Ubly will be powering Dow's corporate headquarters for the next year. The deal makes Dow Corning the "single largest private purchaser of the alternative energy (in Michigan, I assume?) and eliminates the emission of 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the environment". Awesome news.

    Off to make some coffee...