Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

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Ice skating on Christmas Eve, Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A very Merry Christmas to one and all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunrise on Lake Michigan

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... from a puddle jumper at 13,000 feet. 


Feels good to be home.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Catnip 12/17/12: Memorial

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Makeshift memorial that sprung up at Ogawa Plaza. It's been rainy and cold here, so I'm not sure if it survived the weekend or not, but the times I walked by people were still adding flowers and thoughts...

Had some time this morning, so here are some stories:


Connecticut Ban on 30-Round Gun Magazines Failed After Pressure From NRA A proposal in March 2011, written in response to the shooting of Gabby Giffords, would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state. Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates, said Robert Crook, head of the Hartford- based Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation. “The legislators got swamped by NRA emails,” said Betty Gallo, who lobbied on behalf of the legislation for Southport- based Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “They were scared of the NRA and the political backlash.”

What would ‘meaningful action’ on gun control look like? Advocacy groups and think tanks have worked through a number of proposals they think could reduce gun violence in the United States. Here are a few that have received the most serious consideration.

25 Statistics That Reveal Everything You Need To Know About The U.S. Firearms Industry Tragedies such as these have raised serious questions about a firearms industry growing larger and more powerful everyday. Today, it's easier for most Americans to access guns than it is to find mental health treatment. Such realities have set in motion a conversation about the nation's gun control laws, and the powerful industry such rules would regulate. So how big is the gun economy really?

The 6 craziest state gun laws It's worth noting that at the state level, gun laws have been getting laxer, not more stringent, in recent years, and at times preposterously so. Here is a sampling of the most lenient state gun laws in the country, to give a sense of exactly how lax the current legal regime is.

Michigan Effort Shows G.O.P. Sway in State Contests Yet much of the groundwork for the quick victory was laid months and years before by a loose network of donors, strategists and conservative political groups that has sought to win Republican control of legislatures around the country and limit unions’ political power. Their bet: that money invested in local elections would yield concrete policy victories that could not be had in Washington.

Dukakis seen as possible Senate replacement if Kerry tapped for State The Democratic primary for Kerry’s seat will be intense and Patrick is expected to tap someone as an interim replacement who would promise not to run in the special election. “He’ll most likely appoint a placeholder. A lot of people speculating that’s Mike Dukakis,” said Jim Spencer, president of the Campaign Network, a Boston-based political consulting group. “That’s the most obvious choice. Everybody thinks it’s Dukakis.”

Eye in the sky: Berkeley considers banning surveillance drones City leaders on Tuesday will consider a proposal to declare the air here a "No Drone Zone" to prevent law enforcement from using small unmanned aircraft to spy on residents. The proposal by Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission comes a week after Alameda County Supervisors tabled a proposal by the Sheriff's Office to spend a $31,646 grant on a surveillance drone. The supervisors and the sheriff came under pressure by privacy advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Solidarity

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We may lose this fight, but we WILL win the war. 

 Stand strong, Michigan.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

My Representative


House Democrat Brandon Dillon speaks for this taxpaying landowner from Grand Rapids. So proud of the fightin' 75th.

Sorry I haven't been able to be bloggy about the tragedy in Michigan. Had yet another schedule change that keeps me tied up in the day and pretty tired by the time I get home at night - but believe me when I say that I'm doing what I can to get the details of this on the air, will do so again on Tuesday, and I'm certainly with you in spirit. Yell real loud for me, OK?

Solidarity. Progress will win in the end. It always does.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Parade Cat

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They managed to slip in Oakland's Holiday Parade in-between rainstorms yesterday. Parade Cat inspects the bagpipe band marching past at 14th and Broadway.
 
Yes, this cat sat and enjoyed the parade, shying from trucks but watching intently as bands and children marched by, chasing the occasional soap bubble. 

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Tried to get some of the landmarks in. Bugs in front of City Hall... 

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Cat in the Hat and the FOX. The sky wasn't very cooperative. 


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Temperature 61 and the tropical rain returned soon after... Merry Xmas!