The WeekEnder: July 20-22, 2007

With exactly eighteen months until the end of one of the most diatrous Presidencies in American history, I welcome you to the fourth installment of The WeekEnder! The WeekEnder is a weekly series that will provide a hodgepodge of information to fill your soul, make you laugh, make you cry, and inspire you.

  • Congressional Dems support students
  • State court to voters: you need ID
  • Oops - forgot about that
  • A pricier alternative
  • Achieving your goals
  • Who needs work when you can vacation?
  • Tim Ryan, champion of students
  • Arnold Bennett dispenses some advice
  • Cows and Enron
  • Not a victim to what's popular

Good news: Congress passes relief for students

Thank you Democrats in Congress!

On Wednesday, July 11th, the House passed the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, and the Senate has now followed suit. The bill will provide the single largest increase in college aid since the GI bill in 1944. The legislation invests about $18 billion dollars over the next five years in reducing college costs, helping millions of students and families. It comes at no new cost to taxpayers, and is funded by cutting excess subsidies paid by the federal government to lenders in the student loan industry.
It's great to see a majority in Congress that actually cares about students!

Bad news: Michigan Supreme Court moves to disenfranchise voters

In case you needed a reminder of where Republicans stand when it comes to election reform:

The high court split along party lines in a 5-2 decision, with Republican justices voting to uphold the ID requirement and Democrats dissenting.
The Michigan Democratic Party is weighing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Having a driver's license is a luxury not a right," said Pete Vargas, chairman of the Lansing school board's Chicano/Latino Advisory Committee. "Voting is a right."
City Commission candidate forgets about debate
Well, at least he's honest.

Second Ward residents hoping for a rip-roaring debate among the four candidates for their City Commission seat were disappointed Thursday.

Only two candidates -- David LaGrand and Ruth Kelly -- showed up at Clancy Street Ministries for the 90-minute televised forum, and both went out of their way to be polite to each other and the no-shows.

Contacted at home afterward, candidate Michael Booker said, "I just plain forgot about it." (emphasis added)

Blog highlight of the week: How much more do you want to pay?
I don't know anyone who loves paying taxes. But as former Michigan House candidate Dan Scripps reminds us, taxes are preferable to the alternative:

The choice in the ongoing budget debate is not whether our costs will go up, but how. Are we willing to pay a modest increase in taxes that all of us share in to build our future and get Michigan moving again, or are we going to pass the buck to make the skills we know we need to compete that much more expensive to obtain? How our representatives answer that question will tell the citizens of this state much about where our priorities are and whether we care more about our children's future than our present situation.
Link of the week: 43Things
So what do you want to do with your life?

Recently (i.e. less than 24 hours ago!) I discovered 43things.com. Create an account on 43Things, and you will be able to list things you would like to do during the course of your life (i.e. get married, write a book, visit a certain place). You can also see how many other people want to do the same thing, and hear from people who have done it.

Photo of the Week: Senators On Vacation
This photo won me $25 on a recent contest on Michigan Liberal:

Video of the Week: Tim Ryan speaks out for ordinary Americans
You go Congressman Ryan:

Quote of the week: Arnold Bennett
"The best cure for worry, depression, melancholy, brooding, is to go deliberately forth and try to lift with one's sympathy the gloom of somebody else."

Joke of the Week: Economics explained
Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

Communism: You have two cows. You must take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

Enron Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt-equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred through an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The Enron annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

Final thought
I don’t care about Harry Potter. There, I said it.

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