Michigan

The Straw Man March – The Left’s Obsession With Victimhood.

It’s a cameo of the Clinton administration right down to the ever charming Janet Napolitano waging warfare on ‘armed Christian militia groups’. Democrats all over the country are suddenly ‘in fear for the lives of themselves and their families’. What crap! Every time anyone, anytime calls them on their stuff they fall back on racism, or fear of the supposed militant right in this country. Then with the connivance of the statist, left wing lap dog press they attempt to link the entire patriot movement to every fancied incident they can create.


Janet Napolitano

If that Christian Militia in Michigan was indeed plotting some insane campaign of terror against local police departments as part of a campaign against the government, then they were as stupid as they were inept. No patriot or group of patriots is actively plotting against the US Government, and most particularly if they were, they sure as hell wouldn’t start with the local police or Sheriff’s deputies.

There are parts of this story that just aren’t meeting the smell test… like so much of what the left does, they aren’t very good story tellers. They are too accustomed to their lies being given a gold plated pass by their goofball base and the statist press which has been carrying their water for so long.

The facts are that they can no longer depend on an ‘opinion lock’ by controlling the airwaves and the press, which they have done for so many years. The ‘new media’ has put a screeching halt to that. That’s why the American Patriot Movement has been so successful. It is a bottom up grassroots movement completely independent of the traditional Republican establishment. In fact, it has more or less dragged the ‘old boy’ network along behind it, kicking and screaming most of the way, but coming along nonetheless.

The left knows it’s in real trouble with this movement gaining strength by the day as more and more Americans, and many of them self-identified Democrats, have come to the understanding that they’ve not only been sold a bill of goods, but that they, their families and their fortunes have been sold down the river on a raft of polyanna promises with no substance.

We have a radical left wing assault on our country, and it’s not the militias and other red herrings being thrown out there by the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano that we have to be concerned with… they are the war against America. Barack Hussein Obama’s White House and every Democrat lawmaker who supported him and turned their backs on their constituents and the American Constitution are guilty of de facto treason against the American people.

There is your ‘plot’ against the country, the rule of law and the people of this country. We need to be ever mindful of the left’s real goals and that as we march forward to November that the left, for all their bluster and bravado, are justifiably worried and will stop at nothing to hold power. We literally have to be prepared for anything.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2010

Useful Tools for Tea Party Activists

On the Mackinac Center for Public Policy website - three important items that answer the questions Tea Party activists have been asking, “what next?” and “what else can we do?”

Pasted below is the first, “Tea Party Activists have Attitude.” Also check out “Ten Minute Tea Party Activist” and “Candidate Quesionnaire for Tea Party Activists.”

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Tea Party Activists have Attitude

Samuel Adams, widely believed to be the instigator of the Boston Tea Party, once said that it didn’t take an activist majority to prevail, “but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

Setting brushfires requires attitude, especially during a time described by Adams, “when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, (and) our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

The following describes an attitude that, if widespread, would vastly improve the incentives of lawmakers to honor the principles of limited government.

1. Tea Party activists aren’t impressed that their politician is a “nice guy.”

Being likeable isn’t needed for a person to succeed in America. An insufferable jerk can build a billion-dollar corporation from scratch, employ thousands, save the whales and cure cancer.

What he can’t do is win an election. To gain votes in a democracy a candidate must be likeable. The reason political campaigns feature photos of the candidate’s family and pets is not because they want voters to assume that he or she has a responsible record on taxes and spending.

Therefore, the last thing that should ever impress a Tea Party activist is a politician who’s a “nice guy.” Simply put: They’re all nice guys, so get over it and ignore it. Hold them accountable for their deeds rather than their smile. The Tea Parties were a reaction against a lot of very nice guys doing very bad things.

2. Tea Party activists don’t presume virtue in party labels.

Political parties are extensions of the politicians that they elect. They are mere instruments to gain power, not virtuous machines that exercise that power in noble ways.

Example: During the term of President Bill Clinton the budget actually had a brief surplus, while spending soared under President George W. Bush. Likewise, while Michigan Republican lawmakers boasted of their collective resistance to the $1.4 billion income and business tax hikes passed in 2007, most of them voted for most of the increased spending it funded.

There are countless other examples. An experienced patriot treats the promises of politicians and political parties with equal (and substantial) skepticism. Use political parties only as tools toward your ends, not theirs. Your loyalty is too valuable to sell so cheaply.

3. Tea Party activists really know their own lawmakers’ voting records.

If the “nice guys” aren’t a reliable source for a full and accurate picture of their records, and the party label doesn’t do it either, then experienced patriots need to find this information on their own.

At the state level, two free tools make this much easier in Michigan. The first is MichiganVotes.org, which provides a plain-English description for every vote cast by every member of the Michigan Legislature since 2001. The second is Michigan Capitol Confidential, a periodical that gives more details on votes involving concerns regarding limited government.

An experienced patriot should use both of these tools, and compare how his or her lawmaker measures up by asking these critical questions:

  • Does the lawmaker always vote with their party, no matter what?
  • If there are a handful of dissenting votes for or against the limited government side of an issue, which side does he or she tend to fall on?
  • Do most of the bills he or she introduces expand the size of government, or reduce it?

4. Tea Party activists follow the money.

Is your lawmaker getting financial support from those whose values do not match up with your own? It’s not hard to find out. For most past and current Michigan legislators, go to the “Search Voting Record” tab on the MichiganVotes.org homepage, choose a representative or senator and click “search.” A link to a list of the legislator’s campaign contributors appears below his or her photo. For members of Congress find this information at OpenSecrets.org. (Go to “Politicians and Elections,” “Donor Lookup.”)

5. Tea Party activists know they don’t have to get elected to change the world.

They understand that electing a handful of virtuous lawmakers won’t solve the problem either, because what needs to change are the incentives operating on the entire political establishment. Here’s how Milton Friedman described it:

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

More often than not the most important effect of an election is who gets defeated, not who gets elected. When a politician loses for “doing the wrong thing” the incentives change for all of them.

6. Tea party activists don’t “repress their feelings” regarding fiscal malpractice.

Having discovered the real records of elected officials in their own area and elsewhere (see Items No. 3 and 4), Tea Party activists share this knowledge widely with friends, family, colleagues, internet contacts, etc., letting all and sundry know how their lawmakers are behaving, and sharing their feelings regarding the ones who are misbehaving.

7. Tea Party activists focus on what unites them, not things that may divide. Those uniting things are:

  • Grievance: Chronic fiscal irresponsibility, now become acute fiscal extremism.
  • Target: A self-serving, self-perpetuating political class that no longer represents the will of the people.
  • Goal: Restore genuine representative, limited government by changing the incentives on elected officials.

See also: “Ten-Minute Tea Party Activist” and “Candidate Questionnaire for Tea Party Activists.”

 

 

Chicken Little or Nostradamus

Saturday morning, I turned on “Bulls and Bears” on the Fox News Channel and I heard one of the strangest stock investments to make for the next four years. Believe it or not, this guy said that the economy was going to be so bad that the best investment he could come up with was Molson Coors Brewing Company. In other words, his message was to keep plenty of booze handy because this is going to be an economy that will drive even the most ardent teetotalers to drinking.

Now, I will admit that like a lot of others, I do see a light at the end of the economic tunnel with Barack Obama being elected. However, I also hear the sounds of a locomotive coming from that general direction. For Obama’s sake and for our country’s sake, I would prefer that the economy be in a boom. Sadly, I don’t see it happening.

Last night, I was reading on the causes of the Great Depression and there is a real possibility that we could get a miniature version of a depression. In looking at the signs and the symptoms of the Great Depression, I couldn’t help but notice how each of the signs and symptoms are going to create an even worse economic crisis. All four of them adversely affected the business community and ultimately affected the American public. Consider them the four horsemen of the economic apocalypse: Tight credit (pestilence), stock market dives (war), price destabilization (famine), and tax increases (death).

The first thing that happened was a tightening in the credit market. Back in the 1920’s, lending was such a fast and loose practice that there was speculation on the part of investors to make money off of debt. The end result was a deflation in debt caused by liquidation that ultimately tightened the credit market.

Compared to today, we are now in a state where the economy is seeing a tightening credit market. It’s harder to get loans because the banks are trying to get their balance sheets in order after the collapse of the subprime loan market.

The second thing that happened was the fall of the stock market. In 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 68.90 points, or a drop of 23 percent. It wouldn’t be until 1954 until the full drop was recovered. This was the kind of equity crunch that firms had difficulties with for years.

Back on May 19 of this year, the market closed for the last time over 13,000. Since then, the market has dropped from 13,028.16 to 8,943.81 for a total percentage drop of 31.4 percent. Granted it was over a period of almost six months, but it’s been enough to drive down stock prices and create tightening of equity.

The reason that these first two items, debt and the stock market, is because of the importance the two of them have in the life of a business. In order for firms to expand, they need to have cash. To generate cash, aside from sales and profits, they need to be able to acquire loans or to generate a higher stock price. As this environment is now and may be for the next four years, it will be harder for firms to generate more money.

The first is the possible increased tightening of the credit market. President-elect Obama has proposed loan forgiveness and a freeze on foreclosures. This will create an environment where a loan officer may as well take his paid vacation time because the banks won’t lend unless under threat of the government to commit financial suicide.

The second is that the Democrats want to take over 401(k) funds from individuals who have them. By the government taking over the 401(k)’s, it will create less incentive to buy stock. Instead of allowing for your retirement to be the result of successful investing yielding in high rates of return, the rate of return is a fixed four percent per year before inflation. If inflation above four percent, you actually lose the inflation-adjusted value necessary to retire more comfortably.

By comparison, if someone had opened a 401(k) fund and invested in the Dow Jones Industrials Index Fund on October 20, 1987, your value would have increased by 314.3 percent. In other words, that would be an average gain of almost 15 percent per year or 3.75 times the rate of return of the government’s 401(k) rate of return. Sadly, the government is the only entity that can make bad business decisions and still stay in business all these years later.

The third of these problems was price destabilization. Because of the deflation of debt and the stock market crash, prices wildly deflated as a result of the United States loaning gold to Germany to industrialize in order to pay France who needed the money to pay debt to the United Kingdom and the United States. This was in response to the early 1920’s hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic.

However, the current situation could be increased inflation due to higher energy prices from the proposals of Obama, a contraction of oil supply by OPEC, and the desire to implement cap-and-trade programs that have the goal of reducing global warming, but will have the effect of reducing industry.

Inflation will be further fueled by record-high deficit spending by the next Congress when it convenes in January. With the bailouts being proposed, a second stimulus package in the works, increases in government spending for programs, fighting two wars, and an economy that is providing less tax revenue, a deficit of $1 trillion will probably become a reality before the mid-term elections if not by this year.

The increases in regulations and the increases in wages that will result from the increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 (the inflation-adjusted figure of the original minimum wage is less than $4) that Obama and the Democrats want will result in increased job losses and reduced production. When you have fewer goods in the marketplace, the price has nowhere to go but up.

Finally, there is the last of these: increased taxes. Following the prior three things happening to the economy, Herbert Hoover and the Republican Congress in 1930 enacted the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act that raised taxes on imported goods (tariffs) to record levels despite the pleas and protests of over 1,000 economists and a number of business executives including Henry Ford who called it “economic stupidity”.

Despite these pleas and protests, Hoover signed Smoot-Hawley in to law and the goods imported from Europe alone decreased by half of what they were before the act. Also, there was a backlash where a number of other nations increased their tariffs on American goods.

The other tax increase was in 1932 with a Democrat-led Congress and Hoover. This time, it raised the top marginal tax rate was raised from 25 percent on those making $100,000 or more to a top rate of 63 percent on those making $1,000,000 or more (by comparison, the rate on $100,000 to $149,999 was raised to 56 percent). On top of that, the corporate tax rate was increased from 12 to 13.75 percent (an increase of almost 15 percent).

The end result was a jump in the unemployment rate from 7.8 percent in 1930 to 25.1 percent in 1933. It would not be until 1943 when the unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent.

By comparison, President-elect Barack Obama is proposing an increase in the capital gains tax from 15 percent now to anywhere from 20-28 percent (which would make buying in to the stock market a less desirable proposition), closing corporate tax loopholes that will ultimately increase the tax burden on corporate America (a tax rate that is already the second highest in the world), and raising the top effective income tax rates from 33 and 35 percent now back to the Clinton-era levels of 36 and 39.6.

What makes matters worse is that high taxes at the state level have devastated the state of Michigan perhaps more so than any other economy. Along with Oregon, the state has one of the two highest unemployment rates of any state in the country because of high tax burdens.

I bring up Michigan because of the incompetence of Governor Jennifer “Jenny No Jobs” Granholm who was right behind Obama during his Friday press conference. Granholm has done more to drive jobs away from her home state as governor. It was because of a bad Republican year in 2006 that she was able to get reelected, but her political career will officially end when she leaves office because of how damaged she has left Michigan with tax increase after tax increase.

As it stands now, the unemployment rate under “Jenny No Jobs” rose to 8.7 percent in September, more than two full percentage points higher than the unemployment rate above the national unemployment rate for October. Overall, the Granholm administration in Michigan has cost the state 143,000 jobs since she took the helm in 2003 (an average of more than 21,000 jobs a year).

What’s scary is that Obama is embracing Granholm’s high tax, no jobs approach to economics. This is why Obama’s economic policies will fail Americans. It will not provide jobs, sustainable growth, or stable prices. Instead, it will provide unemployment, higher taxes, more regulations, and more big government.

I may be Chicken Little or Nostradamus depending on the outcome. For the time being, I will be monitoring not whether or not those who voted for Obama will have buyer’s remorse, but when.

 

In MI...McCain Up 46-43 In Local Poll

John McCain has a slight 3-point lead in Michigan over Barack Obama (46-43) according to the Inside Michigan Politics Poll conducted by Lansing-based Marketing Resources Group  and released Tuesday Sept. 23, 2008.  The poll surveyed 600 likely voters Sept. 15-19 and has a MOE of 4.1 percent.

Key findings in the poll (from MRG's release):

  • Obama enjoys strong support among women (+2%), young voters (+16%), African Americans (+89%) and in Metropolitian Detroit (+9%).
  • McCain remains strong among blue-collar men (+10%), white males (+29%), conservatives (+62%) and in West Michigan (+12%) and in Flint/Sagnaw/Bay City Area (+8%).
  • McCain's Fav/Unfav ratio is +14 (Down from +27 in March).
  • Obama's Fav/Unfav ratio is +10 (Down from +24 in March).

More info on Marketing Resources Group here and Inside Michigan Politics here.

(Truth In Advertising Alert: I am Communiction Director for MI GOP)

 

Palin: Hockey mom and married to steelworker

I learned two things from watching Sarah Palin.

First she is a hockey mom. That plpays in New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Second, her husband is a member of the Steelworkers' union. That plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

 

Michigan Ballot Proposal Exposed

Michigan residents are set to vote on a proposal to amend the State’s Constitution with the goal of streamlining the State Government. The ballot measure proposed by Reform Michigan Government Now is championed as a non-partisan proposal designed to reduce the members of the legislative branch, reduce the number of judges on both the appellate and supreme courts, as well as reducing the benefits paid to government officials.

This proposal has overwhelming public support with a recent poll indicating that 70 percent of Michigan voters are in favor of it, with Republicans showing moderately more support than Democrats. On the surface this would seem to make sense as Republicans are generally more likely to support the downsizing of government. Unfortunately for the residents of Michigan, this measure was not adopted for that purpose, as the Detroit Free Press recently uncovered a power point presentation shows the ballot measure was actually designed for the purpose of allowing Democrats to control all branches of the State Government, as well as the redistricting process.

The overhaul of Michigan's political structure contained in a proposed constitutional amendment targeted for the November election was designed to allow Democrats control of all branches of state government and the redistricting process, according to a presentation that surfaced today

The documents contained in a PowerPoint document outline the difficulties state Democrats have experienced for decades in gaining control of the legislative, judicial and executive branches simultaneously and promotes a "government reform" ballot proposal as the best means to "changing the structural obstacles to Democratic control."

The very first page of this presentation has a heading which reads “Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats”. It goes on from there to describe exactly what is necessary to ensure Democratic control of the branches by means of amending the State Constitution in their favor. It lists the redistricting process as crucial to allowing Democrats to gain control of the legislative branch, citing the Supreme Courts ability to overturn redistricting proposals passed by the House, Senate and Governor. The group notes that it is very unlikely Democrats would be able win a majority in any of the three branches of government via the election process, so their solution would be to simply remove the Republican majority via “reform”.

As is noted in the proposal, “Redistricting reform by itself will not be approved by the voters”. “To succeed, redistricting reform must be part of a larger, popular state government reform proposal”. Under the heading of “Reforming the Judicial Branch”, the group details why it is necessary to reduce the number of Judges on both the appellate as well as the Supreme Court. It states:

  • Reducing the number of Supreme Court Justices from seven to five; two GOP Justices eliminated
  • Reduce the Court of Appeals from 28 to 20 judges, most of them Engler appointees.

Towards the end the group outlines the cost associated with pushing the ballot initiative and having it pass in November. It concludes “If the proposal passes, it will reduce the cost and increase the prospects of winning the State Legislature every cycle”.

The entire ballot initiative is presented to the people under false pretenses, with Michigan voters believing they are actually voting to reform and streamline their State Government. The expressed purpose of the ballot measure however is simply a power grab by Democrats hoping to take over the State Government through deception.

Crossposted at Constitutionally Right

MI-PRES: MI GOP Memo: McCain can win Michigan

(I thought this was interesting, so I posted it. I'll let someone else decide to promote it)

To:                   Michigan Republicans

From:              Chuck Yob

Date:               June 3, 2008

RE:                  McCain Positioned to Win Michigan

CC:                  Jennifer Hallowell

__________________________________________________________

McCain Positioned to Win Michigan

The Michigan Republican State Committee Meeting this weekend will give Michigan Republicans an excellent opportunity to evaluate the status of the General Election campaign and specifically our nominee for President.

Let's face it.  The national tide is against us and 2008 is shaping up to be a very challenging year for Republicans across the country.  Bush-fatigue, a difficult economy, and other factors have combined to form a tough environment for our party.    

But Michigan is shaping up to be a very bright spot for the McCain campaign and ultimately could be the state that holds the White House for Republicans and elects John McCain the next President of the United States.  Michigan is one of the first states in the country where the McCain campaign invested advertising resources for the General Election and it is quickly turning into one of the top targeted states in the country.

the significance of today's hearings

Today the DNC rules and bylaws committee (streaming live at CNN and the Washington Post) meets to determine how and even if to seat delegations from Florida and Michigan. What's the significance for GOP supporters?

Well, there's no possible seating of the delegation that could result in a lead in the state delegates for Hillary. But she is petitioning today to have the tally from the two states included in the national popular vote tally. If she is successful in doing so - with Barack receiving zero votes in Michigan - then she will indeed overtake the popular vote lead nationally. This will give her a stronger argument that she should be the party's nominee, and there's an outside chance that she could eventually sway enough superdelegates to win the nomination.

Obviously, if Clinton is the nominee instead of Obama, the face of the entire general election is changed.  While the Clinton name inspires almost irrational levels of antipathy in certain states,  she is a more competitive opponent than Obama in Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

But assuming that the committee meeting today does not result in Hillary overtaking the nomination, its ruling still impacts the general election. The complications of the primaries have hurt the Democratic Party's standing in both states. The DNC has the difficult task of coming up with a solution that satisfies voters in the two states involved without further widening the growing gulf between Hillary and Obama supporters. If the DNC fails to do the former, they effectively forfeit the two states' combined 44 electoral votes to McCain. If the DNC fails to do the latter - i.e., if the DNC approves a plan in which either Obama or Clinton appears robbed of their rightful votes, it will only further the animosity between the Obama and Clinton camps. The end result will be that many Democratic voters will be even more adamant in their refusal to vote for any other than their own preferred candidate in November. A reduced Democratic turnout in November would help Republican candidates across the board.

And finally, even if, somehow, the DNC finds a solution today which satisfies the states of Florida and Michigan and the campaigns and supporters of both Clinton and Obama, the DNC still faces the difficult prospect of reconciling the members of the two candidates' camps - so deeply divided in what has been a long, difficult, and emotional battle over the voting rights of the two states.

So while the GOP and its candidate is not ostensibly affected by the outcome of today's hearings, there are both short-term and long-term ramifications for this election, and many Republican voters, myself included, will be curious to see the committee's rulings today.

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