The dream shall never die. Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-2009

It is the glory and the greatness of our tradition to speak for those who have no voice.

-Edward M. Kennedy

What a life Ted Kennedy lived.

Though he was a member of one of the nation's most well-known families - one that included an inspiring President - Ted Kennedy did so much in is own right. From Daily Kos:
Kennedy was a liberal fighter in the old mold. The plethora of legislation he helped pass made life better for children, for the poor, for African-Americans, for immigrants, for workers. He didn't just give lip service to the rights of workers, he stood in their corner.
As his son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, said recently:
"He is the penultimate senator. I don't need to exaggerate when I talk about my father. That's the amazing thing. He breaks all the records himself."
I offer my condolences to the entire Kennedy family following the passings of both Ted and his sister Eunice earlier this month.

Thank you, Senator Kennedy.

We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.


Bits of Tid: August 25, 2009

  • For those of you who don't know (since it has been a while since I explained it), Bits of Tid is my semi-regular compilation of news and other items. The name comes from reversing the syllables in 'Tidbits' and sticking 'of' in between.
  • Mention that the public option is just that - an option - and people are much more supportive of it.
  • It's a start: Attorney General Holder has appointed a special investigator to look at detainee abuse.
  • Barack Obama's vacation reading list includes five books totaling more than 2,300 pages.
  • A group of local Republican leaders in Illinois
    held a meeting and prepared to recite the pledge. Oops. There was no flag in the room for them to face while reciting. What to do?

    Why, call on a fellow named Gene to come to the rescue. Gene was wearing a shirt decked out in an American flag pattern. He came forward, and the group of assembled Republicans pledged allegiance to his shirt.
  • Tigers' magic number: 35. Ironically they've scored fewer runs than three of the other four teams in the AL Central, but they've also allowed the fewest runs. Possible proof that defense wins championships?
  • Yesterday was my 18th - and, for now, final - first day of school. Where has the time gone?


Late-summer joke roundup

It was opening night at the Orpheum and the Claude the Amazing Hypnotist was topping the bill. People came from miles around to see the famed hypnotist do his stuff. As Claude took to the stage, he announced, "Unlike most stage hypnotists who invite two or three people up onto the stage to be put into a trance, I intend to hypnotize each and every member of the audience."

The excitement was almost electric as Claude withdrew a beautiful antique pocket watch from his coat. "I want you each to keep your eye on this antique watch. It's a very special watch. Its been in my family for six generations."

He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, "Watch the watch, watch the watch, watch the watch.... "

The crowd became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth, light gleaming off its polished surface. Hundreds of pairs of eyes followed the swaying watch, until suddenly it slipped from the hypnotist's fingers and fell to the floor, breaking into a hundred pieces.

"Crap!" said the hypnotist.

It took three weeks to clean up the theater.

You Ever Wonder Why...
  • Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
  • Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?
  • Why you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?
  • Why "abbreviated" is such a long word?
  • Why doctors call what they do "practice"? And...
  • Why is it that to stop Windows, you have to click on "Start"?
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
  • Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
  • When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?
  • Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  • You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why - don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
  • Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
  • Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Seven year old Susie approached her mother one morning and asked, "Mommie how old are you?" To which her mother responded, "Now Susie, that is not a question you should ask a woman."

Susie then replied, "Well, how much do you weigh?" Once again her mother said, "Susie that is another question you never ask a woman."

Perplexed, Susie was sitting on the steps when her best friend eight year old Anna came by. "Why so sad?" Anna asked. Susie replied, "I asked my mother how old she was, and how much she weighed, but she wouldn't tell me."

Immediately, the ever worldly Anna put her hands on her hips, lilted to one side and advised Susie to get her mother's drivers license out of her purse and she could get all the answers.

Triumphantly, Susie marched into the kitchen where her mother was preparing dinner and announced, "I saw your driver's license, and know you are 35 years old." She continued with, "And I know you weigh 135 pounds."

Susie's mother sighed and admitted to her age and weight.

Finally Susie exclaimed, "And...I know why you and Daddy got a divorce." Puzzled by this remark her mother asked, "How do you know this?"

Susie waved the license in the air, and replied:

"It says right here you got an "F" in sex!!"


The OTHER problem with our healthcare system...

...Terminology! From a couple of emails:

  • Benign: What you be after you be eight. 
  • Bacteria: Door to the cafeteria. 
  • Barium: What doctors do when patients die. 
  • Cesarean Section: A neighborhood in Rome. 
  • Catscan: Searching for Kitty. 
  • Cauterize: Made eye contact with her. 
  • Colic: A sheep dog. 
  • Coma: A punctuation mark. 
  • D&C: Where Washington is. 
  • Dilate: To live long. 
  • Enema: Not a friend. 
  • Fester: Quicker than someone else. 
  • Fibula: A small lie. 
  • G.I. Series: World Series of military baseball. 
  • Hangnail: What you hang your coat on. 
  • Impotent: Distinguished, well known. 
  • Labor Pain: Getting hurt at work.
  • Medical Staff: A Doctor's cane. 
  • Morbid: A higher offer than I bid. 
  • Nitrates: Cheaper than day rates. 
  • Node: I knew it. 
  • Outpatient: A person who has fainted. 
  • Pap Smear: A fatherhood test. 
  • Pelvis: Second cousin to Elvis. 
  • Post Operative: A letter carrier. 
  • Recovery Room: Place to do upholstery. 
  • Rectum: Damn near killed him. 
  • Secretion: Hiding something. 
  • Seizure: Roman emperor. 
  • Tablet: A small table. 
  • Terminal Illness: Getting sick at the airport. 
  • Tumor: More than one. 
  • Urine: Opposite of mine. 
  • Varicose: Near by/close by.


Bits of Tid: August 18, 2009

  • I call bull feces on rumors that the White House is willing to do away with the public option.
  • Dancing With... Tom DeLay? Yuck.
  • With apologies to Lou Gehrig, this man may be "the luckiest man on the face of the earth" after falling to said earth without a parachute - and surviving!
  • Speaking of baseball, Aubrey Huff is a Tiger.
  • Big announcement forthcoming.


Bits of Tid: August 16, 2009

  • I'm back at CMU! I still have a week until classes begin, but that doesn't mean I can't start studying in my air-conditioned hall! This winter, when you think Michigan is too cold, remember days like today!
  • The President in The New York Times:
    OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.
  • Conan O'Brien:
    "This is a weird story. Someone recently tried to sell an Xbox that was autographed by Sarah Palin for $1.1 million. Yeah. Unfortunately, the Palin Xbox kept quitting in the middle of every game."
  • Tigers' magic number: 44. Meanwhile, the Lions are on pace to go 4-0 in the preseason - just like they did last year!
  • Robert Gibbs:


Bits of Tid: August 11, 2009

  • No, Sarah Palin. We won't have any 'death panels' deciding whether to kill your son or anyone else. Nor will the giovernment ration care - let's leave that up to some private insurers.
  • Need to be amused? Here's Barack Obama's Facebook page - not his real one, but a satirical one.
  • Headline from The Onion: "GOP Warns Healthcare Bill Would Only Inflate Costs of Defeating Obama in 2012."
  • Check out Blogging for Michigan's Twitter Michigan directory.
  • Did you know that every three seconds, someone needs blood? If you're eligible to donate blood, please do so when you get a chance. Michiganians, find an MCBC or Red Cross blood drive near you. Whether or not you can donate, you can also volunteer at a blood bank or blood drive. Whose life will you save?


Michigan Senate GOP leader condones mob violence

Eric at Michigan Liberal informs us about a rather telling interview with Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.

"I would suggest that everybody go back and read the Declaration of Independence," Bishop told Frank Beckmann this morning on WJR AM-760 in Detroit. "The kind of reaction that you're getting from the public out there was envisioned by our forefathers. And it's our responsibility to let the public know and to let our elected officials know how we feel about things."

The Declaration of Independence, of course, asserted U.S. independence from the British government. While Bishop didn't go so far as to endorse overthrowing the current administration, he said it is testing the limits of power envisioned by our founders.

He goes on:

While Bishop took exception to the "angry mob" characterization, he did say such a scene could replicate itself if Governor Granholm moves forward with a proposal she's floated in closed-door sessions to increase taxes on beer, cigarettes and soda pop.


"If she's going to rely on a proposal that includes tax increases she needs to let the public know that so that we can speak out, and if we turn into an 'angry mob,' so be it.

That's right. Mike Bishop - who wants to be Michigan's top law enforcement official next year - is suggesting that this mob violence "was envisioned by our forefathers."

This kind of violence has been condoned and carried out by many people, but what's different this time is that the person condoning this behavior sets policy in the Senate. Under his 'leadership' of the State Senate, important legislation that would help our state has stalled, even while Michigan lawmakers are paid some of the highest legislative salaries in the nation.

As one commenter on Michigan Liberal asked:

Where in the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, or anywhere in our Constitution does it say mob rule is among our democratic priniciples? Indeed, it seems I remember something about the Supreme Court saying that with rights come responsibilities.

The First Amendment allow us to "assemble peaceably" - keyword: PEACEABLY - but I cannot find any justification from the Founding Fathers for the kind of mob violence which Mike Bishop condones.

It also reminds us that the mob 'demonstrators' do not have anything valuable to add to the healthcare debate. Their concerns are not legitimate - it is because of this that they are acting up. The more violent they act, the more they prove that they do not have a valid point to make.


Bits of Tid: August 7, 2009

  • This week is Single Working Women's Week. Today is Purple Heart Day, Professional Speakers Day, and Lighthouse Day, and Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day.
  • Exodus 20:16:
    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
    Hey conservatives, that's a Commandment! How about following it?
  • Speaking of which: healthcarefactcheck.com.
  • Tigers' magic number: 53.
  • Say hello to our newest Justice!



The economy - and what politicians do about it - is widely expected to be the #1 issue in next year's election for Governor. But just as important in any election is another issue that gets far less attention: Trust.

Trust is always important for a number of reasons. When we vote, we trust that those for whom we vote will do the best they can if elected. Politicians aren't perfect; they're humans like the rest of us. But we should expect them to do their best, even when we disagree with them.

Trust is even more important now in an age when many governors - including Mark Sanford, Sarah Palin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rod Blagojevich, and Eliot Spitzer - have humiliated themselves and their states. Local pols Kwame Kilpatrick and Monica Conyers have done likewise in Detroit.

If you think Michigan needs more embarrassment on the national stage, I suggest you support Mike Cox, who had an affair and blasted others for exposing the affair. Or you can get behind Pete Hoekstra, whose record in Congress stretches from opposing working families who have been hit by this economy to being hypocritical about the CIA to having an entire blog dedicated to his crazy tweets. Or how about Mike Bouchard, who was caught in a "pay-to-play" scheme in which he rewarded a company that contributed to his 2006 Senate campaign?

But if you think our lovely though beleaguered state deserves better, then I highly recommend supporting John Cherry.

How many people in Lansing know as much about working families - and the challenges they face - as John Cherry? Here's a guy who worked for Sen. Gary Corbin and served as political director for AFSCME before being elected to the state House in 1982 and 1984. He then won election to the Senate four times in a row, eventually becoming Senate Democratic Leader.

Then, in 2002, Attorney General Jennifer Granholm asked him to be her runningmate in that fall's election. The rest is history.

Or is it?

See, when you've been in Lansing as long as Cherry has, and when you've held a post like that of Senate party leader, getting caught up in the politicking of Lansing can cause you to forget the people whom you are supposed to serve. Not Cherry. From last year:

Republicans credit Cherry with keeping a level head, having a long-range perspective and improving relations after talks got rocky and legislative leaders sniped at each other in the media.

And as Alan Cropsey - yes, Alan Cropsey - said:

"This lieutenant governor has done a terrific job... Obviously, we disagree politically. But I have found him to be a very good guy to work with."

Ed Sarpolus of EPIC-MRA said that "Cherry's respected by both business and labor" after Granholm chose him as her running mate.

A level-headed, respected consensus-builder whom even Republicans say "has done a terrific job?" Good chance he'll be the same as Governor. Really important, even when - no, especially when - few people on the other side are willing to cooperate.

But why just 'trust' people's words? (Thanks everyone, I'm here all night. Try the veal.)

  • The Detroit News named Cherry one of "Michigan's Most Effective Lawmakers."
  • His colleagues elected him Chair of the National Lieutenant Governor's Association in 2006.
  • During the 2002 and 2006 campaigns, the Posthumus and DeVos campaigns could not find any sort of scandal about Cherry with which to try to topple him and Granholm. Yes, it's true that people vote the top of the ticket - in Presidential and even more so in gubernatorial elections. But if there was something scandalous about Cherry, then why didn't they bring it up?

Oh, and one more thing. U-M Alum:

MSU Alum:

Need I say more? :-)

Maybe not. But I will note that that picture of Cherry - featured prominently on the bio section of his campaign website - was taken at CMU. More reason to trust him!


Bits of Tid: August 4, 2009

  • It's also Coast Guard Day and Chocolate Chip Day.
  • And it's Primary Election Day in certain cities and towns in Michigan. Let me remind you that one vote really can make a difference. I won re-election as precinct delegate last year by a single vote!
  • No one should pretend that things are all rosy for the automakers yet. But 'Cash for Clunkers' sure has helped their sales.
  • The American Football League is no more.
  • Tigers' magic number: 56.
  • Oh well.


Bits of Tid: August 3, 2009


Things to celebrate in August

August is:

  • American Adventures Month
  • American Indian Heritage Month
  • Black Business Month
  • Cataract Awareness Month
  • Children's Eye Health & Safety Month
  • Children's Vision & Learning Month
  • Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
  • Golf Month
  • Happiness Happens Month
  • Motorsports Awareness Month
  • National Immunization Awareness Month
  • National Inventor's Month
  • National Panini Month
  • National Water Quality Month
  • National Win With Civility Month
  • Neurosurgery Outreach Month
  • Psoriasis Awareness Month
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
  • What Will Be Your Legacy Month
Celebrate wisely!

Bits of Tid: August 2, 2009

  • Darn. The Palin divorce rumor appears to be just that - a rumor. But maybe she ought to get a divorce. McCain, Gingrich, Giuliani, Ensign, Vitter, Limbaugh - she'd fit in well with the GOP. And we've only had one divorcee President - Ronald Reagan.
  • Money is running out for the Cash for Clunkers program, but Congress is expected to approve more money for it. As Gov. Granholm said:
    "Michigan is probably disproportionately affected positively, but since we've been disproportionately affected negatively by the economy, I think it's actual, it's sweet justice."
  • If I'm a little too crazy for you, blame my brother.
  • If Democrats don't take a stand and ban the 'music' of the Jonas Brothers, then I'm voting Republican in 2012! ;-)
  • Tigers' magic number: 58.