Friday, May 27, 2011

At Your Farmers Market: Produce and Petitions

Asparagus Forest. Michigan asparagus is so darn good that someone actually stole 250 pounds of it from a farmer up in Colfax Township. Can't stand the stuff myself.

Looking for some fresh produce while you sign a petition to recall the governor? Check out this list of events and find a location near you! Plenty on tap for this holiday weekend. In the Grand Rapids area:

Kent County Recall Rick Snyder will have volunteers at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market from 8-noon on Saturday, May 28. We will be at either end of the market, all of our volunteers will have clipboards and will be ready to take your signature.

Come sign the Recall Rick, and get some veggies and plants from local farmers at the same time.

We hope to see you there!

After three days of stories about how the Republicans screwed over the schools, the poor, the seniors and the cities in record time this year, I decided the least I can do is give the Snyder recall effort a little publicity.

Generally, I don't like recalls. I didn't like it when they tried it against Granholm (over closing one prison, remember that? How quaint that was!), I didn't like it when they tried it against Dem House members - but the smarmy faces and self-serving statements of our current crop of yahoos finally got to me today. After hearing Snyder's whiny voice bring up the past...

“It’s a new day in Michigan,” Snyder said. “We’re leaving gridlock and negativity in the past. Michigan has not been well served by the annual budget dramas that have taken government to the brink of shutdown.

... I finally snapped.

That's enough.

First of all, in 2007, it was the Republicans who dragged their feet the entire year on three separate budget issues (mid-year deficit, MBT, and regular budget work) and then ended up taking it down to the last minute - all in the name of political gain. In 2009, Mike Bishop decided he was going to just say no to everything, and in the end shut the government down on purpose. I have the documentation on all of it.

Gridlock? Negativity? Dude, I lived it, and I remember exactly which party was dishing out the gridlock and negativity, and it wasn't the Governor (that you once accused of "happy talk") and it wasn't the D side of the aisle (although they had difficulty with forward motion at times) - it was YOUR party that was hell-bent on obstruction. Republicans were the ones providing the drama, even if the media wants to forget all about that now.

So stuff it. After passing the biggest cut in K-12 history, after slashing funding for universities and including language to appease the anti-gay and anti-choice crowd, after raising taxes on the working poor and seniors to give your business pals yet another tax cut, after passing provisions that target unions, after cutting payments to disabled people, after throwing 12,600 families off of assistance immediately with no warning, after taking the clothes off of the backs of poor children...

But several lamentable provisions will stand in the Human Services budget, including eliminating the back-to-school clothing allowance for 124,000 children whose families receive some form of assistance.

The selfishness and cold, uncaring politics that drove the excising of this allowance from the budget should be long remembered by voters. There are some elements of our Legislature who do not appreciate (or maybe even understand) the distinction between austerity and cruelty.

... I've had enough of your bullshit. "Shared sacrifice" is nowhere to be found. And I'm going to go sign that petition with glee, you over-privileged schmuck.

Do I think the recall will succeed? No. They need 1-in-10 Michiganders to sign it, and I don't see that happening. They would need millions of dollars to pull something like that off. But I do see a lot of legislators being targeted - and I sure hope some of those happen. That threshold is a lot lower.

The arrogance of the Republicans has been astounding, and maybe it's time to bring the party back to reality. They are not acting with "bipartisanship" (ha - remember that promise?) and they are not acting in accordance with the wishes of the majority of our citizens. They aren't listening at all. Time for a smackdown, or, at least keep the idea in the news. Even if this does fail, it serves to remind folks that there are a lot of unhappy people out here, and maybe we get the House back in '12.

Might not be much left to save by then, but at least we can stop the bleeding.

UPDATE 5/28: Petition signed. Four people with clipboards and a line at each when I was there, so they are collecting a lot of signatures. And the conversations were intense - there are some very unhappy people out here. Education was a big topic, "trickle-down doesn't work", rich getting richer, etc. etc. and so on.

This keeps up, and we will have another wave election next year.