Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Olympic Valentine's Day News

Olympic snowboarders from around the world trained right here in Gaylord - and they loved it. Check it out.

Love letters to the Legislature on this Valentine's Day:

  • According to the Livingston Daily, Granholm has told legislators to "put up or shut up" (their words) on the budget, and get it done by July 1st. Don't like what she offered, then show us your plan. Since Bishop's plan might be unconstitutional and doesn't contain any real reform, and Dillon doesn't have a plan that anyone has seen - what are the odds these two clowns get anything substantial done this year? The LD editorial board also urged the Legislature to take up the governor's challenge and not use the election year as an excuse.

    Just a note here to consider. The punditry who say this can't be done in an election year are simply giving lawmakers a free pass to not do their jobs. Next year, the excuse will be, "We're too new and don't know what we're doing yet!". The year after that, it's another election year. And on it goes. Sorry, but the excuses aren't going over with the public anymore. This current batch of lawmakers is as seasoned as they come, and if they can't get anything done - we should throw the whole damn lot of them out and start over anyway. So not joking about that.

  • Derek Melot at the LSJ picks up on Andy Dillon's backstabbing routine, and tells the world something that has been pretty evident to anyone that has been really paying attention for the past three years:

    But Dillon, you see, isn't a serious guy. He can't even get rid of the ridiculous perks for state legislators. While Dillon poses for the cameras, it's Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop - and the disciplined Senate Republican caucus behind him - who really runs the Michigan House.

    And he takes a shot at the House Democrats for good measure:

    Read Dillon's quote and asked which approach she preferred, Rep. Joan Bauer, D-Lansing, said, "The way to deal with this budget deficit is a combination of reductions, reforms and revenue. I feel that we have to look at all of those together." Score one for the governor - though it doesn't seem to matter.

    The House Democratic Caucus seems content with Dillon's little act, while the opportunity for real reform slips away.

    Granholm smacked a home run with this budget proposal - and Merlot noticed that it's the House doesn't measure up to the challenge. Not exactly an invitation to continue to elect Democrats this fall, is it? House members that think all the blame will fall on Granholm as they skate by got another think a comin'.

  • Want more proof? Even Jack Lessenberry applauds the governor's budget - and he doesn't like her one bit. He turns the attention to Bishop and the Republicans, as he wonders if they will put ideology before the state. I think we know the answer to that one, and that was a message that should have been shaped since the beginning of '07. An excellent framing opportunity lost.

  • Peter Luke takes a look at the Lansing-bashing campaign tactics that are quickly becoming the hallmark of this year, and comes up with the one perfect sentence that current lawmakers need to learn if they are to get back in anyone's good graces:

    Public trust is regained by reaching complex political agreements that make a difference in the lives of the public.

    Amen. The public doesn't really expect a pony on their doorstep in an instant, but what they do expect is a good faith effort from the people that they have employed to run the government.

  • One final item: Know that we are not alone in the Dysfunctional State Lawmaker category. In a recent Gail Collins column in the NYT, we didn't even make mention. New York, California, Illinois, and other states have a higher profile when it comes to local malfeasance of office. Why? None of our lawmakers have been arrested yet.

    Of course, we got many irritated comments from residents of Illinois, most of whom were offended by the suggestion that New York was even in their league. (“Are you kidding? It’s Illinois in a walk.”) They demanded, rather haughtily, to know how many ex-governors of New York had passed through the penal system in recent years. “We have almost four,” one reader bragged, counting the Blagojeviches before they’re hatched.

    When you go read that article for some real entertaining state shenanigans, you realize: Heck, Michigan lawmakers can't even do that right.

    Hugs and kisses to our lawmakers today. I'm hoping that you prove all the nay-sayers (including myself) wrong this year, but as you can probably tell, I have severe doubts about that. Show some effort, for the good of this state, please. Or the beatings will continue.