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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 At The Northern Michigan Democrat

The Northern Michigan Democrat had 3,033 views in 2012 and I'm very appreciative of all who visit the site - thankyou !
2013 will be a crucial year as we prepare for 2014 elections. Kudos to the Alcona Progressive Alliance, located in Harrisville, for the great work they're doing. They will begin a Progressive oriented local newspaper soon so stay tuned for that. The next election in Alcona County is going to be the school millage election. It's not a county wide election but one taking in four Districts. Regardless as to how Alcona votes it may still pass because of the number of voters in Alpena. The State of Michigan has forced this election by not supporting education and instead robbing the children of this generation to finance and give away money to businesses. If you haven't already joined the Michigan Democratic party for 2013 please do so on line or come to the Alcona County Democratic Party meeting the last Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm, at the EMS station on M-72.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The White House Phone Number


This is the phone number to the White House. When you call you'll speak to someone who will record your message to President Obama. I called and I was finished in less than four minutes. Take a moment to write down what you want to say or your "talking points" then call - you'll feel glad you did and if you do I'll feel good about writing this. Talk about the thing(s) that push your buttons - this is one way of getting your voice into the oval office.
I called and said I am opposed to ANY cuts to Social Security and Medicare and to NOT change the way the cost of living is calculated for seniors.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GOP's war on Women ... and Native Americans

US House votes not to re-authorise domestic violence funding bill

Violence Against Women Act (Vawa) passes Senate but is not renewed after Republicans take issue with new provisions
The bipartisan Violence Against Women Act included new provisions that add protections for undocumented immigrants. ( Photograph: AP/J Scott Applewhite ).
A bill that would extend funding for domestic violence programs has failed to be reauthorized for the first time since it was signed in 1994.
The Violence Against Women Act (Vawa) provides financing to programs that work to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as well as offer support to victims. The bill was approved for reauthorization by the Senate in April, but failed to make it through the House before the year-end congressional deadline.
The bill was successfully reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, but House Republicans took issue with provisions added to the 2012 legislation that attempted to expand protections for undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and members of the LGBT community who are victims of domestic violence.
Advocates suggested additions to the bill based on researched trends in domestic violence and worked with both sides of the House and Senate to draft a bill they hoped would make it through Congress before the end of the year.
Kiersten Stewart, director of public policy and advocacy, Futures Without Violence, told the Guardian: "The Senate bill was already very much a bipartisan compromise, it seems very unfortunate that the House chose to fight the provision."
Stewart said domestic violence in Native Americans "is at absolute epidemic proportions" and that complications with federal and tribal jurisdiction gives perpetrators little accountability. Vawa provisions would allow tribes to prosecute minor cases of domestic violence and enforce restraining orders.
"What Native American women experience is every bit as horrific as what many women around the world in lesser developed countries experience," said Stewart.
Existing laws allow for victims of violence to receive immigration visas and the reauthorized bill would recapture visas that weren't used in the first years of the program because people didn't understand how it worked. "The requests for those visas is already higher than the amount of visas there are and the requirements to prevent any form of fraud are already very, very high," said Stewart.
The new provisions for members of the LGBT community would allow programs to receive funding regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of victims.
Stewart said the additional provisions were modest and was optimistic that the new congress would pass the reauthorized bill in early 2013.
Democrat Pat Leahy and Republican Mike Crapo co-wrote the bill reauthorized in 2011 which included the provisions that add protections for undocumented immigrants, the LGBT community and Native Americans. Provisions that expand dating violence programs and programs on campus were also included in the reauthorized bill.
In February, Republican senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he supported the programs funded by the existing bill, but not the new additions. "The substitute creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing the focus on helping victims, period," Grassley said.
Vawa will continue to receive funding through March like other discretionary programs because of a continuing resolution signed by Barack Obama in September. These programs are waiting to see how funds will be allocated with the new budget deal.
Currently, Vawa programs receive $412m annually from the US Department of Justice. Vawa programs to help victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence also receive $187m annually through the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Hold onto your ... "Seats" in 2013 !

We all breathed a sigh of relief when the crazies lost the general election in November 2012 but before we can allow ourselves to feel even remotely relaxed it's my unfortunate task to inform you that we have a rough political year ahead of us.
LOCAL - There is an Alcona County school millage election in February ( I will write more about this in a few days ) which is critical for Alcona schools  - including students and school employees - everybody has skin in this game.
STATE - Michigan is still controlled by the NAZI Party ( MNP a.k.a. Michigan Republican Party and Der Furher ( a.k.a. Governor Snyder ) has signed a plethora of bills into law which range from bizarre & crazy to the execution of Democracy and the internment of civil liberties. This is the year that the Michigan Democratic Party REALLLLY needs to get it's act together and begin to field candidates worthy of the office they are running for. The clock is ticking and so there will be an opportunity to take out two problem children in 2014 - Moolenaar & Pettalia. In Northern Michigan we need to be asking some hard questions of the MDP & ourselves and establich a cross-regional dialogue between County Party's. There is something wrong with Northern Michigan politics that only Northern Michigan politicians can fix ( are you listening Mark Brewer ? ).
NATIONAL - Where to begin ? The Republicans were on the ropes and instead of pretty much finishing them off  Obama spanked them and gave them candy. My hair is on fire over this ! I would never want Obama to negotiate my union contract and I am seriously upset about the other things he will be "negotiating" in the months ahead. 'Nuff said for now - I'm just sayin' that if you thought 2012 was a nail biter then you'd better hitch up yer britches !
Feel free to respond and let me know what you're thinking - all COMMENTS are welcome !