Category Archives: Governors

California Throws Education Under the Bus

Written by: BlueDog89

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently proposed to cut more than $1 billion from higher education. Photo courtesy Associated Press.

Student activists and teachers unions in California are organizing statewide protests in opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to cut $1.4 billion from public colleges and universities.

Protesters at a demonstration at Modesto Junior College. Photo courtesy Turlock Journal.

California’s public education system is racked by threats of spending cuts due to the state’s fiscal crises, which include a deficit that has ballooned to more than $25 billion.

The California State University System is facing possible budget cuts of $500 million. The University of California would also face a $500 million cut under Brown’s budget proposal.

Brown has proposed cutting $400 million from the state’s community colleges, and raising tuition by 38 percent.

Modesto Junior College (MJC) administrators recently informed faculty members that jobs may be cut as the college attempts to shed $8 million from its budget.

MJC President Gaither Loewenstein answered questions about the budget cuts in a Q&A forum with students last week. He confirmed that the entire communications department, including majors in journalism, television and radio, would be cut in his budget reduction proposal.

Modesto Junior College President Gaither Loewensteinaddresses concerns over $8 million budget cut proposal. Photo courtesy Turlock Journal.

Other programs to end are culinary arts, communication graphics, architecture, engineering, industrial technology, dental assisting and all foreign languages, except Spanish and sign language.

The MJC West Campus library would close and be used as a learning resource center. Coach stipends would end, but competitive sports would continue.

Additional faculty and management employees would lose their jobs under Loewenstein’s budget proposal. Those layoffs would be effective June 30.
Reductions in salary or benefits for employees are not included in the proposal, which have yet to be negotiated.

Many students fear losing their favorite instructors, like anthropology professor James Todd. According to anthropology major and campus President of the Anthropology Club Priscilla Peralta, the department will be crippled with the layoff of Professor Todd. “Anthropology is a much needed discipline and should continue to be offered to the fullest extent,” said Peralta.

Loewenstein said that the decision to target specific programs rather than split the cuts across the board was intended to leave the college with fewer strong programs instead of making the entire college mediocre.

Californians need to step up, get involved with their schools, and reach out to school administrators and congressional representatives about this issue.

Ms. Peralta urges those who support her cause to send a personal message to Modesto Junior College President Gaither Loewenstein via email at loewensteing@mjc.edu.

In addition to getting personally involved with the schools in your community, education advocates encourage citizens to express their concerns to Gov. Brown. He may be reached via phone at 916.445.2841 or log on to his website to post a comment http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php.

Read more:

Read more:

Read more:

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Anthropology, California, Civil Protest, Economy, Education, Governors, Students, Teachers, Unions, United States

Extremist Group Demands Governors Resign

Posted by: Bluedog89

CNN~A domestic extremist group has sent letters to more than 30 U.S. governors demanding they resign, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said in an intelligence note.

The note, dated Monday, said the letters told the governors to vacate their posts within three days.

The FBI and DHS said there do not appear to be credible or immediate threats of violence attached to the letters.

The group behind the letters has a “Restore America Plan” that calls for the removal of any governor who fails to comply, the intelligence note said.

While DHS has no information that the removal refers to a specific plan for violence, “law enforcement should be aware that this could be interpreted as a justification for violence or other criminal actions,” the note said.

Other steps in the group’s plan include “establishing bogus courts, calling of ‘de jure’ grand juries, and issuing so-called ‘legal orders’ to gain control of the state,” the note said.

States that have acknowledged receiving the letters include Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Maine, Colorado, Rhode Island, Michigan, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio and Nevada.

Officials in Pennsylvania and Illinois did not say whether they had received a letter. Officials in Maryland and Idaho said the governors’ offices there did not receive such a letter.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons received one letter Monday and three more Wednesday, including one by fax, said his chief of staff, Robin Reedy. The group behind the letters does not believe there should be a federal government, Reedy said.

The letters were not handwritten but did have some handwritten signatures, Reedy said Thursday.

The office had been warned in advance to be on the lookout for the letter, she said.

Gibbons’ office stepped up security at the Nevada Capitol in Carson City after receiving the letters.

Everyone had to enter through one entrance, and an X-ray machine and metal detector were brought in.

Boulders were placed in front of the Capitol so vehicles could not drive close to the building.

The governor hadn’t seen the letters because he had been in Las Vegas for a few days, Reedy said.

More @

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arkansas, Barack Obama, Birthers, Civil Protest, CNN, Conservative, Creepy right-wing antics, FBI, Florida, Georgia, Gov. Bobby Jindal - Louisiana, Gov. Rick Perry - Texas, Governors, Homeland Security, Iowa, Law, Maine, Mark Sandford-South Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pres. Barack Obama, Tea Party Protestors, Texas, United States, Wisconsin

Georgia Attorney General Faces Impeachment Threat

Posted by: Bluedog89

Georgia Attorney General refuses to sign a multi-state lawsuit blocking the new health care bill. Now Georgia lawmakers are calling for his impeachment. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)

HP~Georgia lawmakers reacted to Wednesday’s news that their Attorney General, Democrat Thurbert Baker, would not sign on to a multi-state lawsuit to block the health care bill in his state by filing papers to have him impeached.

The blog Peach Pundit reports that the resolution to impeach Baker, also a candidate for Georgia governor, now has at least 30 signatures and is still going forward.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, petitioned Baker to sign on to the joint lawsuit filed by more than a dozen attorneys general across the country earlier this week that seeks to shield states from the effects of the new health bill, including the so-called “individual mandate,” which forces most people to buy insurance.

“I cannot justify a decision to initiate expensive and time-consuming litigation that I believe has no legal merit,” Baker wrote in a two-page response to Gov. Perdue. “In short, this litigation is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process.”

On Thursday Gov. Perdue said he would appoint a “special attorney general” to sign on to the lawsuit challenging the health care bill since Baker would not do it himself, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Perdue made the announcement a day after state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat running for governor, told Perdue, a Republican, he would not pursue a lawsuit.

Though the impeachment process appears to be in motion, some see it as a futile distraction that will not succeed because the threshold for impeachment is so high. It requires a vote of one-half of the State House and two-thirds of the State Senate.

More @

9 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Courts, Democrats, Georgia, Governors, Health, Health Care Reform, Law, News, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Republicans, States, Supreme Court, United States

States To Sue Over Health Care Bill

Posted by: Bluedog89

CNN~Several states plan to file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new health care reform bill, Florida’s attorney general announced this week.

Bill McCollum, the Republican attorney general up for reelection under fellow Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, told a news conference that the lawsuit would be filed once President Obama signs the health care bill into law. He said he’ll be joined by his counterparts in Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

All of the attorneys general in the states mentioned by McCollum are Republican, but McCollum said the lawsuit would be about the law and not politics.

On Monday, Virginia’s Republican attorney general said his state would file a lawsuit challenging the health care bill. It was unclear if Virginia would join the other states or proceed on its own.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on Sunday night, and President Obama signed it into law on Tuesday.

McCollum said the lawsuit would challenge the bill’s provision requiring people to purchase health insurance, along with provisions that will force state government to spend more on health care services.

“This is a tax or a penalty on just living, and that’s unconstitutional,” he said of the mandate to purchase health coverage. “There’s no provision in the Constitution of the United States giving Congress the power to do that.”

McCollum also said that portions of the bill would force states to spend money they don’t have, which he called a violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.*

“There’s no way we can do what’s required in this bill and still provide for education, for foster care, for the incarceration of prisoners, all the other things that are in this bill,” he said.

McCollum said he expected the lawsuit to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Later Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration expected to win any lawsuits filed against the health care bill.

*The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, restates the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by the constitution of the United States are reserved to the states or the people. However, there are clauses in which the federal government have intervened on behalf of the states.

More @

5 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Charlie Crist R-FL, Congress, Courts, Democrats, Florida, Health Care Reform, Law, Pennsylvania, Politics, Republicans, Senate, South Carolina, Supreme Court, Texas, United States, Virginia, Washington

First Lady Michelle Obama Takes Let’s Move! Initiative to Jackson, Mississippi

Posted by: Audiegrl

Let’s Move! Mississippi

First Lady Michelle Obama, right, applauds the students of Brinkley Middle School in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 3, 2010, before speaking about her healthy schools campaign, Lets Move. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The First Lady traveled to Jackson, Mississippi today to spend time with students, officials and experts discussing a deeply important issue, not just as a First Lady, but as a mother. And that’s childhood obesity. Alongside Governor Barbour and Mississippi’s First Lady, Mrs. Obama toured Pecan Park Elementary school’s walking trail — just one example of the creative work happening across the state to make sure kids stay healthy and active.

Later at Brinkley Middle School, the First Lady discussed state and nationwide efforts to meet these challenges, emphasizing an important goal of the Let’s Move! initiative:

We are trying to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation. That’s a big goal — because we want kids born today to grow up healthy and at a good weight when they reach adulthood. So that’s the goal. And reaching this goal, it’s an ambitious goal to talk about doing anything in a generation. It’s a hard thing. But that’s why we started Let’s Move!, because this initiative is asking everyone in the country to do their part to reach this goal. Everyone has got to do their part.

So, do your part and Let’s Move towards a healthier future. Learn more at LetsMove.gov and stay connected on Facebook. The First Lady’s transcript can be found here.


First Lady Michelle Obama visits Pecan Park Elementary

WLBT~”We love you,” students cheered upon the arrival of First Lady Michelle Obama to Pecan Park Elementary. It’s an inner city school that has been aggressively pursuing fitness and healthy nutrition goals.

I high-fived her, and she high-fived me. She told me great job because I was jump roping very good,” said second grader Vivian Coleman. She was proud of her interaction with Mrs. Obama, while Keunte Sibley was excited about the photograph he made with the first lady.

I’m going to frame it and put it on Facebook,” Keunte said.

For Mrs. Obama, her flats were made for walking on a playground that has continued to expand to meet the needs of more than 500 students.

Pecan Park’s principal guided the tour for Mrs. Obama, Governor Haley Barbour and First Lady Marsha Barbour. “The playground area was not enough to provide everybody the exercise they needed, and we jumped on the bandwagon with ‘Let’s Go Walking, Mississippi’,” Quon said.

First Lady Michelle Obama, right, confers with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, left, and his wife Marsha Barbour as they tour the walking trail and playground at Pecan Park Elementary School in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Obama will visit two schools in Jackson to promote health and physical activity. Pecan Park principal Wanda Quon, and two students accompanied the Barbours and the First Lady on a walk along the track. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A similar program to “Let’s Go Walking” was the purpose of the first lady’s visit. She’s promoting the “Let’s Move” campaign.

These programs are not just about fitness. They also tout healthy nutrition. “We talked a little bit about our garden because she has a garden at the White House. She shared how they’ve just harvested the first vegetables from her garden,” Quon said.

Mrs. Obama’s visit was brief, but both Quon and the students said her message will last a long time. “I have to say, it was very, very ,very great!” Vivian said.

After she leaves, the impact will still be here,” Quon said.

For more information about the two programs, click on the following links:

Check out Let’s Go Walking Mississippi

Check out Let’s Move!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Note: The first nine photos in this gallery are from Brinkley Middle School, and the remaining eleven are from Pecan Park Elementary School. Photo credit: Greg Jenson/The Clarion-Ledger Staff Photographer.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

7 Comments

Filed under Childhood Obesity, Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors, Health, Obama Administration, Students

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host the Annual Governors Ball At the White House

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

The nation’s governors and their spouses gathered at the White House on Sunday night for the Governors’ Ball hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle. The ball is a annual black-tie event held in the State Dining Room. President Obama in the evenings first toast, praised the nation’s state leaders for “helping to right the ship” during the economic crisis in the United States the past couple of years. President Obama began his toast by joked “This is not too stiff of an affair, because last year, Ed Rendell led a conga line. We still have photographs that we may use.” He also added, “to our spouses and families who make extraordinary sacrifices…Michelle is starting to clink already,” as he glanced and smiled playfully at his wife.

Each of you in your own respective states saw how brutal it was on so many families — hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs every month, home foreclosures, small businesses having to shut down unable to make payroll and people not sure about the future,” President Obama said. “It is worth this organization taking some extraordinary credit for helping to right the ship.”

He attributed the success of a portion of the recovery efforts to the governors and their willingness to work across state and party lines for the good of the people.

The annual Governors’ Ball is seen as an opportunity for the leaders of each of the 50 states to get together in a non-working environment, allowing them to get to know one another on a personal level.

Gov. Douglas (R-Vermont) also delivered a toast, despite the president prematurely ushering the ceremony to the first course, only to renege on the announcement, “Dinner is served.”


For all the foodie details out there, please check out the excellent behind the scenes coverage of the ball from our friends at Obama Foodorama, they’ve got ‘all the juice‘ on the dinner menu, wines, place settings, linens, and flower arrangements. Check them out here

The seating arrangement according to the pool report:

“Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was seated to the right of FLOTUS. Neither he nor any other guest was seen measuring drapes, though of course the pool can only attest to the 10 minutes it was in the room.

In the back row: Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida – well beyond hugging range – at Table 3 with Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mike Beebe of Arkansas, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of Calif. sat beside Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle, with Interior Sect. Salazar two seats to Arnold’s right, and the two governors clicked glasses at the toasts.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who got a shoutout from Obama during his pre-toast remarks, was in a striking emerald jacket at Table 12 with FLOTUS and Pawlenty.

Also spotted, at separate tables: Gov. David Paterson of NY, Gov. Bill Richardson of NM. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were seated together.

Vice President Biden was at the table in the middle, with a head-on view of the lectern.

Apologies to the many other VIPs. Presumably, all the governors in town for the NGA were at the dinner, but no attendance list was available. I can report that Texas’ chief executive, Rick Perry, nine days from the primary and never a fan of the NGA anyway, was home campaigning today.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Culture, Dancing, Entertainment, Fashion, Government, Governor's Ball 2010, Governors, History, Hollywood, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, States, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts the White House Governors Ball Talent Preview

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. First lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

Today the First Lady gave a group of Washington, DC music students a special preview of the 2010 Governors’ Ball performance. Grammy Award Winning artist, Harry Connick Jr. spend time talking to students and closed out the event with a song, joined by a few residents from the New Orleans Musicians’ Village. The Musician’s Village was conceived by New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to rebuild homes for many of New Orleans cherished but displaced artists, those who have defined the city’s culture and created the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.



Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

1 Comment

Filed under Artists, Change, Children, Culture, Dancing, Education, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, Musicals, New Orleans, LA, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women