A moment in the day in the life of a dog

We call this the “In and Out Game”. Our dog and our cat both play it.

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The “reasonable” Republican dilemma

It has got to be tough being a moderate, reasonable Republican these days. Sitting here watching the skabillionth Republican primary debate, the only person that is even close to being reasonable is Jon Huntsman and he doesn’t have a prayer of getting the nomination.

I think we’re going to begin seeing a LOT more things like this piece by a moderate Republican named Jeff Wartman: Why I’m leaving the Republican Party…and Endorsing President Obama..

I’m leaving the Republican Party. No longer can I say with a clear conscience that the Republican Party is focused on solving problems will benefit average Americans.…
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My op-ed in the Muskegon Chronicle: “Emergency manager law an assault on democracy”

Earlier this week, the Muskegon Chronicle published an op-ed by Steve Gunn, the conservative Communications Director of the anti-teachers union Education Action Group. In his op-ed he places the blame for the financial catastrophes happening in Michigan cities and school districts at the feet of unionized public employees.

The people who hate the [Emergency Manager] law want you to believe it’s an attack on middle class Michigan residents. The fact is that the law supports middle class residents by giving local governments the resources they need to meet their commitments to the public.

This fight really pits the vast middle class against the very small but extremely powerful public service labor unions.[…]

That means local municipal workers may keep getting their annual raises and reimbursement for unused sick days while vital government services are cut.

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I was born a poor blah child

By now you’ve likely heard about Rick Santorum‘s offensive statement to a group of supporters in Iowa.

“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money,” Santorum begins. “I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families.”Santorum did not elaborate on why he singled out blacks who rely on federal assistance. The voters here didn’t seem to care.

Here’s the video:

Santorum is now denying he said “black people”. According to him, what he really said was (I still cannot believe this) “blah people”.…

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Major win for rape victims – Obama admin updates definition of rape

Today the Obama administration announced that it is updating the formal definition of rape. This move will help many rape victims who were previously unaccounted for achieve justice against their perpetrators and will more accurately reflect the extent of the problem of sexual crimes in our country.

Attorney General Eric Holder today announced revisions to the Uniform Crime Report’s (UCR) definition of rape, which will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide. The new definition is more inclusive, better reflects state criminal codes and focuses on the various forms of sexual penetration understood to be rape. The new definition of rape is: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The definition is used by the FBI to collect information from local law enforcement agencies about reported rapes.…
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Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris shuts down city radio station

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris shuttered the city’s only radio station this week, citing “efficient use of the city’s resources”.

Two Benton Harbor city commissioners threatened the city’s emergency manager with a lawsuit Wednesday after he shuttered the city’s radio station.

The low-power FM radio station WBHC-LP 96.5, which is broadcast out of City Hall, shut down Jan. 1. […]

[Commissioner Juanita Henry] Henry said Wednesday night the radio station, which played music and had programs hosted by Commissioners Muhammad, Henry and Dennis Knowles, was not a burden on the city’s budget, but had its own funding.

The radio station gave the Benton Harbor residents what they always ask for – a communication link between citizens and city officials, Henry said.

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Benton Harbor still deep in the red. Is the magic of an Emergency Manager simply not enough?

Joe Harris has been on the job as Emergency Manager in Benton Harbor for over a year and a half now. However, a recent report indicates the success he is credited for at “turning Benton Harbor around” may not be based in fact. Michigan Radio has this important story.

The State Treasurer’s office is reviewing an independent audit of Benton Harbor’s finances for the 2011 fiscal year. The audit shows the city still spent more money than it made during its first year under a state appointed emergency manager.

The audit shows Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris cut the yearly operating deficit by about $126,000 from when elected city leaders were governing.

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Governor Rick Snyder sued by ACLU and the Oakland County Democratic Party

[UPDATE: I have corrected this post to indicate that the Oakland County Democrats are the ones suing Governor Snyder over the redistricting there, not the Michigan Democratic Party as I initially (and incorrectly) wrote.]

Governor Rick Snyder is facing two impending lawsuits. One is from the ACLU over new law prohibiting health insurance benefits for to same-sex partners of public employees. The other is from the Michigan Oakland County Democratic Party over a recent redistricting of Oakland County.

The ACLU’s suit challenges the new ban on same-sex partner benefits as “wrong, discriminatory, and unconstitutional” because its impact is limited only to same-sexcouples.…

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