Snyder recall effort fizzles; focus must shift to winning in 2011 and 2012

No surprise here.

Two newspapers report an effort to recall Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is fizzling.The Detroit Free Press on Wednesday cited an e-mail from campaign spokesman Tom Bryant saying "the recall effort will be coming to an end."

Organizers tell The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus the effort will fall short of making the February ballot.

The Associated Press called numbers listed on the group's state finance registration but didn't reach anyone actively involved in the recall effort.

We can debate until the cows come home about whether or not it was worth it to try to recall him. Everyone knew the odds were stacked - only two states have ever recalled a governor. But since we all know that this recall campaign is done with, there is no reason - none - to waste time looking behind and asking, 'What if...?'

What needs to happen now is that those who were involved in the effort to recall Snyder need to continue - rather, expand - their efforts to keep this progressive movement going. Sure, not all of us Democrats/liberals/progressives were on the same page when it came to recalling Snyder. But we ARE on the same page in opposing the emergency manager law, efforts to make Michigan a Work-for-Less state, and the many other fronts in their War on People.

So if you live in Michigan, get involved in the fight to repeal the EFM law. Write/call your elected officials. Donate to a favorite candidate before the Friday night deadline (if I could find a full-time job, I certainly would make a contribution or two!). Volunteer for candidates running in this November's elections. Help make the Democratic Party more progressive by taking part in Engage Michigan.

In addition to local races in 2011, there's a plethora of activity on the 2012 ballot with races for President, US Senate, US House, State House, State Supreme Court, countywide offices, county commissions, and so much more. In addition to the likely EFM referendum, we'll probably see another ballot initiative or two.

Hanging together is so much more fun than hanging separately.


Tom McMillin seeks to violate the Constitution of the United States; should he be expelled?

Michigan Messenger reports that conservative state representative Tom McMillin has introduced a bill that would ignore federal law and allow incandescent light bulbs to be manufactured in the state of Michigan.

McMillin's bill claims:

An incandescent lightbulb that is manufactured in this state without the inclusion of parts, other than generic or insignificant parts, imported from outside of this state and that remains within this state has not entered into interstate commerce and is not subject to congressional authority to regulate interstate commerce.

First of all: How does one define "generic or insignificant parts?"

Second - and more importantly - McMillin is attempting to supersede a federal law, the Energy Independence and Security Act, which phases out incandescent light bulbs.

McMillin's bill is bad enough in that it would undermine America and our energy security.

What makes it worse, however, is that McMillin is openly violating his oath to "support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state" as required by Michigan's own Constitution.

Article VI of the Constitution of the United States is clear:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

So, by merely proposing this bill, Tom McMillin is violating the oath of office provided for under Michigan's Constitution by failing to uphold the United States Constitution and instead seeking to violate it.

Tom McMillin is breaking the law.

For the sake of the rule of law, Tom McMillin needs to be expelled from the Michigan House of Representatives.

Not that they'd do that to a fellow Republican, but you know they would try that if a Democrat did this.


Never forget.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. - John 14:27

These past ten years have been unlike any decade in American history. Of course, the road hasn't exactly been smooth. We have been through a LOT - two wars, two recessions, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and countless scandals affecting corporate, governmental, and even religious entities. My grandfather died in 2004.

Nonetheless, we have also had some bright moments. Shortly after September 11, we learned about the heroism of our police, firefighters, and troops. The election of our current President was one of the most inspiring moments of my lifetime. I graduated from high school in 2005 and from college in 2010.

People have been asking what we have learned in the past decade. If there's anything these past ten years have taught me, it's that Helen Keller was right:

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.

And - most importantly - that overcoming of suffering begins with us.

After September 11, most of us felt a wide range of emotions: Sadness, confusion, fear, anger, hopelessness.

No two of us humans are alike, which is why we all reacted in our own unique ways. So many people, including myself, turned to prayer. Others gave money, blood, and time to help those who had been affected (though being in high school, I was only able to give a dollar or two). Unfortunately, some reacted in all the wrong ways, including taking out their fears on Muslims and Arabs.

There are many things I wish were different about the past decade, one of which is that I wish more people would have learned about viewpoints other than their own. That includes religious viewpoints.

We see the hostility all the time: Islam equated with terrorism, Christianity equated with intolerance, Catholic priests stereotyped as pedophiles, atheists accused of having no morals, religion as a whole being blamed for the world's problems.

Perhaps some of that is because the attackers ten years ago tried to usurp the name of God to justify their hatred. But it would seem to me that, whether these "bastards" (as Carl Levin called them) had been Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, or whatever, they still would have committed these atrocities.

Either way, we all need to understand that there is NOTHING inherently violent about any of the world's religions. All are based on tolerance, love, and peace.

We all need to understand that there is NOTHING about not believing in God that makes one any less tolerant, loving, or peaceful than the Pope.

We need tolerance.

We need love.

We need peace.

Tolerance, love, and peace are the best responses to whatever challenges - natural or man-made - we as humans face.

For those of you who do believe in prayer, I offer this Catholic prayer for all those who died on that horrible day 10 years ago, and all of the troops and innocent civilians who have died in the ensuing wars:

Eternal rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord,
And Let Perpetual Light shine upon them.
May their souls, and all the souls of the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.