Michigan Monday: Everywhere and Nowhere

Old maps = beautiful artwork

Old maps = beautiful artwork

There is a lot I could cover today. I mean, there is a race for the governor’s mansion that could shape the state for the next four years. There is a battle for the United States Senate seat currently held by the retiring Carl Levin that could influence the entire nation. Or I could talk about sports – specifically the debacle in Ann Arbor on Saturday and the victories of the Tigers and Lions on Sunday. So, maybe I will talk about them all while not going to in-depth on any of them. Continue reading

Bullets to start the week – 9/22

2130468466_a1efc9545e_zIn place of this week’s “Michigan Monday”, the bullets below are several links from the many stories saved in “article ideas” bookmark. I can’t quite make a full story out of them, but they are interesting and worth sharing. So, I once again present – Bullets to Start the Week.

Hate Congress? Blame Yourself – Go anyplace where politics is being discussed and you are sure to hear the grumblings about Washington, specifically Congress. “We need to throw them all out of office” is the oft-repeated sentiment that gathers lots of support whenever it is uttered. The problem is, we don’t. We re-elected our representatives by staggering margins. Whether it is through apathy or ignorance, we don’t follow through on our convictions when it comes to politics. We seem to all agree that Congress is broken, yet we don’t seem all that inclined to fix it. Continue reading

Freedom Friday: Scotland and Independence

You expect me to write about Scotland, freedom, and independence and NOT use a picture from Braveheart...come!

You expect me to write about Scotland, freedom, and independence but NOT use a picture from Braveheart…come on man! Yup, it’s cliche…but it feels so right.

The notions of freedom and independence are interesting. The two concepts seemed uniquely joined together….and in many instances they are. As Americans, it’s hard for us to understand having one without the other. We gained our freedom by fighting for independence – pretty simple. Today’s world has changed quite a bit from that of 1776 though. Indeed, yesterday served as yet another example of just how different things are. The people of Scotland could have gained their independence without any weapons or bloodshed. But the people of Scotland felt they had freedom without independence. Continue reading

Thursday’s on the Trail: Kansas…

Konza2It has been buried in the news lately, what with the Middle East proving once again that it is horrible mess, but what is happening in Kansas could serve as a major political shake-up for the United States. Current U.S. Senator Pat Roberts survived a primary scare against radiologist Milton Wolf only to see his Democratic opponent seek to drop out of the race. That would seem like a formula for certain re-election, right? Well, it looks like Kansas voters have other ideas.

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“Last Week Tonight” Today: Student Loans

A while ago I floated the idea of doing a recap of the HBO show “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”. I thought today might be the best day to institute that idea considering the subject matter he covered Sunday night. WARNING – graphic language (which you should have known since it is on HBO)

Yes, this directly relates to what I posted last week…albeit with A LOT more swearing. John Oliver somewhat glances the bigger picture with his direct shot at for-profit colleges. He scored a direct hit on the absurdly low hanging fruit that are for profit colleges are though. Continue reading

Michigan Monday: The great escape

Autumn is beginning to descend upon Michigan

Autumn is beginning to descend upon Michigan

So, I am sitting here writing this after watching the Detroit Lions dismantle the New York Giants and I have a feeling of hope for the beleaguered franchise. Mike Tirico just said it was the largest opening week margin of victory for the team since the year I was born. This, of course, come son the heels of complete dejection following the Wolverines loss in South Bend – a defeat that was emotionally strange for me. Michigan actually out-gained the Fighting Irish (or the Golden Monkeys as my son has taken to calling them) and they actually seemed to play competent football…for most of the game. They just couldn’t put it all together. Maybe Notre Dame is just a really good team this year and Michigan isn’t as bad as the score indicated. Or maybe Michigan will be looking for a new coach this off-season. That’s why we watch the games I guess.

Tonight’s post will be light on politics – and by “light” I mean it’s basically eschewed in tonight’s column. Instead, I am going to focus on the fact that those living in the Great Lakes State are entering the very best season to be a Michigander – Autumn. Continue reading

You’re either in or you’re out

I love Ocean’s Eleven. I loved 12 and 13 too. Heck, I would have loved for it to go all the way to 21. I never thought I would be using a line from the movie in a conversation about foreign affairs. It fits though.

I had thought about going with something my Dad used to say when I was younger – “shit or get off the pot” – but figured Google might have a problem with me cussing in a blog post title. I think that it is rather appropriate for our foreign policy too. President Obama’s half-measures aren’t working, plain and simple. Just go ahead and look at the front page of any major media website. We are not in Iraq…except that we are. We are pulling our troops out of Afghanistan anymore….except for those that aren’t being pulled out. And who knows what the hell we are doing in regards to Russia and the Ukraine.

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Mike Rowe on Labor

Ready_for_a_Dirty_Job

Mike Rowe has become a champion for the skilled labor force in America

One of the best TV shows of the last decade was Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, hosted by the highly entertaining Mike Rowe. Through the show, Mike essentially became the voice of the blue-collar workforce. More than just blue-collar though, Rowe’s shows highlighted the self-made business people in our nation and those who work to make our nation what it is. These people aren’t sitting behind desks and computer screens 40 hours a week, they are truly working to make this nation great again. They do everything from building our roads and bridges to making sure we have food to put on our table. Continue reading

Bullets to start the week – 8/25

2130468466_a1efc9545e_zIn place of this week’s “Michigan Monday”, the bullets below are several links from the many stories saved in “article ideas” bookmark. I can’t quite make a full story out of them, but they are interesting and worth sharing. So, I once again present – Bullets to Start the Week…with a bit of a Michigan flair.

Detroit, the right’s perfect pinata – I have written about this before but the idea that the only people to blame for Detroit’s downfall are members of the Democratic Party is straight up insane. Yes, the majority of the elected officials within the Motor City in the past 70 years are/were Democrats. But Republicans and Independents were the ones who moved out of the city. Business leaders (who more often than not lean to the GOP) were the ones who shipped the jobs to the south or overseas. While the elected officials do shoulder a lot of the blame, the Big Three should carry quite a bit of it too. And you know what, the GOP is to blame for not appealing to the citizens of the city. They could have helped but they would rather stand on the sidelines and wag their finger saying “I told you so”. Maybe instead, they should start coming up with real solutions…like the one below (segue alert). Continue reading

Executive power – The Veto

6236338333_f9b8e6e08e_zAcross the Midwest the governors faces are heating up. Some of the most notable races in the U.S. are happening right here in our backyard. However, the governor making all the news isn’t running for re-election or even from the Midwest. Governor Rick Perry of Texas has been indicted because he vetoed a bill. Of course, that isn’t the whole story…but its close. Continue reading