Tag Archives: Michigan

Michigan Monday: More on football

Alternatively titled “Moron Football”moron-origin1

Well, today is a bit of a deviation from the usual politics and policy talk that is routine here. Instead, I am going to focus on the University of Michigan football team. To put it bluntly, this entire organization seems to be run by complete morons – specifically Athletic Director Dave Brandon and Head Coach Brady Hoke. Now, I don’t have the “hot takez” like you will see on the innumerable message boards related to this matter…I am just a lifelong fan of Michigan. Continue reading

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

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

Michigan Monday: Detroit is not the next Ferguson, except it could be

DetroitPoliceHQ1300BeaubeinDetroit’s police chief stated Monday that the Motor City will not be the next Ferguson. He pointed to a (supposed) strong relationship between the community and the police as the main reasoning behind this declaration.

You have community members standing here with the police today. This is the Detroit Police Department and community relationship. We have community police officers… I’m not going to let the media take this thing and spin it to suggest we’re on the brink of civil unrest.

I am not suggesting that either. While Detroit is probably not the next Ferguson…but it could be another Ferguson. Detroit is not alone though, many cities throughout Michigan and the nation could see something similar occur if the wrong situations explode.

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Hoosier Tuesday: Evansville’s role model

Evansvilleskyline

For starters – someone needs to upload a new picture of the Evansville skyline to Wikipedia. Casino Aztar is now Tropicana Evansville and has been for quite a while.

Yesterday I posted an article about how a group from Evansville trekked north to Grand Rapids, Michigan to look at how that city has grown and redeveloped their downtown. Grand Rapids is a nice model to base the cities goals on, but there are some significant differences to note…and some of them are rather substantial.

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Michigan Monday: Grand example

GrdowntownGrowing up in West Michigan, Grand Rapids was always somewhat of a destination for us. They had shopping malls and cool restaurants, plus my cousins lived there. But the area we frequented was 28th Street. We never went downtown, there just wasn’t anything to. That changed a bit as I grew older. In college, I went to a concert at Van Andel and went to a show at DeVos Hall as well. I also learned quickly that the BOB (Big Old Building) housed several good restaurants. As an adult I had the chance to stay downtown a couple of times with my family, each time seeing something new and different in downtown G.R. We experienced the new public museum (it opened in 1994 but was new to us), the children’s museum and walked along the riverfront. what once was a boring and rather desolate downtown had sprung to life.

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Thursdays on the Trail: Primary offers no suprises

1900_New_York_polling_placeTuesday served as the “way too late” primary day for several states in the union, including the Midwestern states of Michigan and Kansas. Things played out as expected in Michigan – Rep. Justin Amash won his primary battle and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio lost his. Because of how the districts have been drawn up in the Great Lakes States, the vast majority of those who won their primaries on Tuesday will be victorious in November including Amash and Dave Trott (the man who just demolished Bentivolio at the polls). The big races in Michigan will be those that did not fall prey to the partisan redistricting, i.e. the U.S. Senate and Governors races, where Rep. Gary Peters is running against Terri Lynn Land to see who fills the seat left by retiring Sen. Carl Levin and Governor Rick Snyder aims to keep his seat from challenger Mark Schauer.

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Michigan Monday: A Stupid Day for a Primary

I guess it closer to November...

I guess it could be closer to November…

We are quickly approaching the day that the state of Michigan holds its primary elections. In fact, said elections take place a week from tomorrow on August 5th. That gives the winners in each race just three months – 13 weeks exactly – to make their pitch to the general public. Thirteen weeks to ask their current or future constituents to make a choice while they have given 8 months to the small subsection of their constituency that votes in a primary to decide their fate. That doesn’t seem just a little screwed up? Continue reading

Michigan Monday: Amash speaks, we should listen

8486719503_77bba4569d_zThis blog has made no bones about our admiration of Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI 3). So, when he speaks to The Grand Rapids Press/MLive at their candidate forum, it should probably be what we cover for the day.

Congressman Justin Amash spoke at the candidate forum in Grand Rapids where he was asked questions about his opponent (“not credible” – his answer and mine) and about his fights with the GOP Leadership. This is where I come to a crossroads (despite the admiration)…and where Amash just speeds on through. He basically lays the blame for a dysfunctional Congress at the feet of Speaker John Boehner. My problem there is that I like John Boehner…and at some point, we have to stop blaming the parent for the behavior of the children.

Man, I hate the term “establishment” for so many reasons and I hate that Amash has to go there. I get it, it’s a hot-button talking point. He is running in a primary against a guy he can paint as “establishment”. But he, of all people, should be rising above that. No, I don’t know what other broad paint brush word he should use because broad paint brushes are stupid (unless you actually have to paint, then they come in handy…although I prefer paint pads when possible). Once again, the fact is that the Republican Party is fractured and this “establishment” crap only serves as a way to widen that fissure.

However, the strength of the GOP is secondary to the job that Congress is doing (a shitty one). I think, at this point, more Americans approve of death than they do of the job that Congress is doing/not doing. This is where Amash makes a great point. “If only we had more Republicans, everything would be good…but that’s not the truth, that’s not the reality” he states in the above clip. And it’s true. It is not about a party, it is about the people. We can have a boatload of Republicans and be even worse off than we are now if they are not principled and truly representative of the people’s interests.

I say this as a member of the Republican Party – just because you have an R next to your name on the ballot does NOT make you the best choice. I may not always agree with the way Amash votes on things and that is alright (for one, I don’t live in his district, or even Michigan anymore for that matter). But I have immense respect for that fact that he seems to be highly principled and is always willing to explain why he voted a certain way even when it is not popular among his peers.

The truth is, if the Republican Party listened a little more to what the people really want (and run complete idiots in some races) then electing Republicans wouldn’t be the struggle that it is. There will be some areas that never elect a Republican. That is just the way the demographics fall. People believe different things in the nation and it’s part of what makes out nation (sometimes despite our leaders) great.

The United States needs more people on Capitol Hill like Justin Amash. I am not saying that they need to have his political ideology. I am saying we need men and women who stand up for what is right even when it is not popular, people who have the best interest of their constituents – and by extension, our nation – at heart when they serve  in the United States Congress.

A perfect picture to explain Americans...all different but all the same.

A perfect picture to explain our great nation. We are all different but all the same.

Michigan Monday: Immigration Destination

Immigrant-children-ellis-islandLast week we discussed the immigration issue, or at least part of it. Immigration though is often thought of as a problem for states like Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. That’s a very short-sighted view of the issue. Immigration is a national issue, something that can certainly affect people in Michigan. No further proof is needed when the federal government is looking at housing immigrants at Michigan facilities.

Wolverine Human Services, a private company in Southeast Michigan with campuses which handle at-risk youth and adults, is the potential landing spot for the immigrants in question. The company itself would be compensated by the federal government rather than the state. The question is though, would taking on these immigrants harm their overall mission which is to provide help to the people of Michigan?

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