Bethlehem Sees Largest Turnout Since 2000
BETHLEHEM, West Bank - Holiday spirit returned to Bethlehem on Saturday for the first time in six years as thousands of foreigners and local people packed the town of Jesus' birth for Christmas Eve celebrations.
Lining the streets on a crisp, windy day, pilgrims gathered in Manger Square near the Church of the Nativity _ built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born _ to watch a procession of marching bands, bagpipe players and boy scout troops.
They also watched Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the top Roman Catholic official in the Holy Land, enter town for the Christmas celebrations.
Whipping winds blew the hats off boy scouts and police officers and knocked down metal security barriers. Yet the streets were packed with visitors excited about spending the holiday in one of Christianity's holiest sites.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Police nab wrong man — Co-workers verify alibi; authorities drop charges of intended robbery; suspected gunman still sought
Police concluded they had arrested the wrong man for an attempted robbery Green Oak Township and released him Thursday from the county jail.
We all remember the Richard Jewell situation, and we all know that major arrests are always front page news. Good to see the Argus make sure readers see that charges are dropped by placing this on the cover and not on page 8A.
Now I'm still waiting for Nicholas Kristof and Fox Butterfield of the New York Slimes issue corrections about their bald faced lies against gun owners.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Vandals strike hunting club
Owners of the Big Bear Hunt Club in Cohoctah Township are offering a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for causing more than $1,000 in damage to their deer blinds and ladders last month.
Co-owner John Herronen said this is the second consecutive year the club has had to deal with destroyed hunting equipment at the site, located off Byron Road between Steinacker and Gannon roads. The most recent incident was Nov. 13, Herronen said.
Paper plates attributing the vandalism to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as well as saying "Bambi Killers," were also left at the scene both times, Herronen said.
Go back to Ann Arbor. Better yet, go to jail.
Apparently there's been a pattern of this over in Cohoctah. Most likely, it's the same people that are doing that. I hope they catch them and throw them in a cell with a buck during rutting season to teach them a lesson about how Bambi really is.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Court orders anti-affirmative action proposal on ballot
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the secretary of state to place a proposal that would ban some affirmative action programs on the November 2006 ballot.
The appeals court issued the order because it said the Board of State Canvassers failed to follow a previous court mandate. The four-member elections panel deadlocked on a motion to comply with the court order last week.
The Judge laid the smackdown on the board of canvassasers for their games playing on holding this up.
I'm going on a limb and expect this to pass easily 2-1. The major question is who the added turnout will benefit.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.
Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.
CBS and the NY and LA Slimes as I call them are obvious for the left, and the Washington Times and Brit Hume are known conservatives so that does not surprise me.
The most centrist outlet proved to be the "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer." CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown" and ABC's "Good Morning America" were a close second and third.
Lehrer's rating sure surprised me. I haven't watched CNN since Pat Buchanan and Bill Press were on crossfire so I can't comment on Aaron Brown. Charlie Gibson? I have to wonder about that. I remember some strong biased anti-2nd amendment statements from him on a Peter Jennings hit piece on the NRA.
The fourth most centrist outlet was "Special Report With Brit Hume" on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC's "World News Tonight" and NBC's "Nightly News" to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.
NBC and ABC are to the right of CBS, but still left. Then there's the "State News" which makes the NY Slimes look only slightly leftist....
More than half of the respondents didn't recognize the names of potential challengers to Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who faces re-election next year.
Bouchard, a former state senator, is the best-known GOP candidate. But 56 percent of respondents did not recognize his name, according to the poll conducted Dec. 11-15 by EPIC/MRA of Lansing. Sixty-one percent of respondents did not recognize Butler's name and 75 percent did not recognize Zandstra's name
It's still way early.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Senate rejects extension of Patriot Act
12/16/2005, 1:50 p.m. ET
By JESSE J. HOLLAND
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.
In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.
Now while most of the democrats' votes outside of Russ Feingold (The ONLY Senator to oppose this the first time) were for strictly partisan reasons, kudos to most of them for doing the right thing this time, five years too late. Same goes for Larry Craig who as a board member of the NRA, should know better about giving up freedoms for perceived security. This mess created by President Bush, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Ashcroft, and 98 other senators. Was all of the Patriot Act? No, but the provisions for sneak and peak, judge shopping, and requiring to prove your innocence ("Affirmative Defense") for asset forfeitures is unacceptable.
The Patriot Act's ugly head will likely make a return, probably under a new name. The Patriot Act itself was not the first incarnation of that horrible act. Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, Orrin Hatch, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden, Mike DeWine, Kit Bond, Harry Reid, Herb Kohl, and former Congressman Bill McCollum pushed for this back in 2000 (S. 486) under a bipartisan effort to take away our constitutional rights with secret searches. Then, it was in the name of the "War on Drugs" and in Clinton's case, a War on guns and the 2nd Amendment. That's just in Clinton's character as while he was most known for Lewinsky, people forget about his brutal railroading of Billy Dale (found innocent) with trumped up fraud charges in the travel office.
There's plenty of blame to go around here. The individuals who pushed for this in 2000 deserve blame. The 99 senators who voted for it. All but about 30 house representatives who voted for it. John Ashcroft deserves special blame for this, and the buck stops with President Bush who signed it. The worst culprit is John Ashcroft. He spoke against this when Clinton was president, but when he was AG, he pushed for it.
This is not new, and I expect future presidents to push for a comeback of these Patriot Act type provisions for their pet cause. This will be around long after Bush leaves office.
For all those people who say we need to give up our constitutional rights in the name of the "War on Terror", "War on Drugs", "Public Health", "Public Safety", or any other excuse, I give this quote by Ben Franklin.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty, nor safety"
Good riddance to the Patriot Act.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The left is starting early in their battle to win congress. This is the earliest I remember getting a campaign call. So who is "American Family Voices", other than being a frontgroup for every left-wing talking point out there?
Their office is in Washington DC.
American Family Voices
888 16th Street
NW Suite 303 \
Washington, DC 20006
Board of Directors
Hispanic Strategy Network
Formerly with the UN Foundation
IEM Message Management, LLC
Leo Hindery, Jr.
InterMedia Partners, L.P.
Victoria Duffy Hopper
Woodland Venture Management
I recognized David Wilhelm's name as the DNC chair during Clinton's administration, but was not aware of the others until looking them up. Stealth PAC's is a left-leaning site, but surprisingly has a good report on them. Byron York of the National Review has a good article on them as well.
Mike Lux worked for Clinton (for four years), Joe Biden (who is running in 2008), Paul Simon (the senator, not the singer), several "progressive" groups, the far left radicals at the People for the unAmerican Way, and was the president of the 527 group "Mainstreet USA".
Phyllis Cuttino is a director of the AFSCME Union (who funds AFV). She was with the "Better World Campaign" which was created by Former CNN boss Ted Turner to support the United Nations, and is also a staffer for legendary gun grabber Dianne Feinstein.
Joe Velasquez is a DNC Staffer, and was a director of the AFL-CIO. He also worked for Bill Clinton.
James Carville and Joe Lockhart are tied to AFV, although they are not on the board of directors.
The main question I have is who is funding them, and the answer is union leadership. AFSCME, IBEW (electrical workers), UFCW (Food/commercial workers), and Intl assoc of Machinests are those given. It wouldn't surprise me if George Soros was in there as well between the UN, Feinstein, and Clinton connections there.
There's one thing I don't understand. Why the hell are they calling me? I'm a GOP precinct delegate who has been on the primary ballot twice. That's public information. They know who I am.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
My only complaint is that I wish the format called for more time in the answers as I prefer details over soundbytes, and that can't be done in 90 second answers.
Questions and Answers:
McCain's torture bill - Zandstra supports it saying torture speaks about the country. Bouchard and Butler both said they opposed torture. Bouchard spoke about the interrogation tactics used by cops and supports using those techniques.
MCRI (Michigan Civil Rights iniatitive) - Zandstra supports it, Butler and Bouchard oppose it.
Illegal Immigration - Bouchard - No Amnesty, remove illegals, protect borders and punish businesses hiring illegals. Zandstra - "We have the technology to stop illegals, but do not have the political will to do so(referring to congress)" Butler - Seal borders, illegal immigration is a national security issue, increase legal immigration.
Kelo/Eminent Domain - All support overturning it. Butler mentioned judges. Zandstra called Kelo socialist.
Gay Marriage/civil unions/gay adoption - Butler opposes all three. Bouchard opposed gay marriage and did not mention the other two. Zandstra opposes all three.
CAFTA - Zandstra supports it, and spend much time defending it. Butler supports Free/fair trade and opposed CAFTA. Bouchard hinted being against CAFTA and mentioned currency manipulation. Zandstra's defense of CAFTA stated that it increases exports(including cars) by reducing tariffs on American manufactured goods.
Economy - Bouchard stated we should cut taxes and spending. Zandstra mentioned 76% of Michigan's economy being manufacturing based, and due to the current tax structure, there 22% added costs in overhead to all which is manufactured. He mentioned up between Gary IN and Chicago and saw what happened with the collapse of the steel industry, and the social costs as well as economic costs due to the collapse. Zandstra supports balanced budgets, tort reform, and supports ending the current income tax and tax structure. Butler opposes a sales tax and supports cutting spending.
How Stabenow can be beaten: - Bouchard mentioned his track record as a state senator and winning votes in Oakland County as sheriff. Butler mentioned starting with nothing and building what he had, as well as gaining votes in Wayne County. Zandstra mentioned that he's solid on social issues, but that the economy is the biggest issue in this race, and that he understands the economic issues to improve Michigan's economy.
Bouchard emphasized national security from his experience as Sheriff, and fiscal responsibility.
Butler emphasised his real world experience growing up in Detroit and said that he's Debbie Stabenow's worst nightmare due to winning votes in Wayne County.
Zandstra stated that principals win elections, and that the county a candidate is from does not matter. He stated that he understands what needs to be done and emphasized his economic background.
AP Story on Candidate Forum
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Oakland County To Host GOP U.S. Senate Debate
The 9th Congressional District Republican Party said today, it will be hosting a forum featuring all three GOP Republican U.S. Senate candidates — Oakland County Sheriff Michael BOUCHARD, Rev. Keith BUTLER and Rev. Jerry ZANDSTRA — next week.
The event, which is being dubbed the Showdown in Motown, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 1100 Lone Pine Road (at the corner of Telegraph Road) in Bloomfield Hills.
According to the agenda, at 7:00 p.m., local GOP activists from across the 9th congressional district will enjoy holiday treats during their annual Christmas/Hanukkah party. The Senatorial candidates will mix and mingle during the informal party to gauge support and to recruit volunteers from the party faithful.
Republican National Committeeman for Michigan and Republican National Committee Vice Chairman Chuck YOB will serve as the moderator during the forum. Questions will be offered by Republican activists in the audience.
Tickets for the event are $15 per person or $20 per family and will be available for purchase at the door.
I'll cough up $15.00 and drive 45 miles to see this. This should be good.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
NOVI --Baby Jesus will sleep in peace in the front yard of a Novi family after all.
In the face of a deluge of support for the Samona family on Web sites and reaction from people throughout Metro Detroit, the United States and abroad, the homeowners association that sought to ban the nativity scene backed off.
"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or distress this confusion has caused you and your family," said a letter from homeowner association manager Dean Williams to homeowners Betty and Frank Samona.
The change of heart came after The Detroit News published a front-page story about the plight of the Samonas and their son Joe, who were ordered by the subdivision management group to remove the holiday display.
"As a demonstration of our regret over this incident, we would ask you to please accept a holiday gift basket as a token of our remorse, in the spirit of this holiday season," the letter said.
"We hope you understand that, on occasion, mistakes in proper intrepretation are made and we have learned from this mistake."
I still wouldn't want to live in a homeowners' association since I don't care much for busybodies, it is good to see them back off over this. Merry Christmas to the Samona family.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
It's My Party . . .
By DICK ARMEY
November 29, 2005; Page A18
In all my years in politics, I've never sensed such anger and frustration from our volunteers -- those who do the hard work of door-to-door mobilization that Republican candidates depend on to get elected. Across the nation, wherever I go to speak with them, their refrain is the same: "I can't tell a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats." Our base rightly expects Republicans to govern by the principles -- lower taxes, less government and more freedom -- that got them elected. Today, with Republicans controlling both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, there is a widening credibility gap between their political rhetoric and their public policies.
What will happen to Republicans if these freedom-loving, grassroots activists don't show up for work next fall? The elections earlier this month may be an indication of the answer.
Colorado Governor Bill Owens, once the future presidential nominee of choice among smaller-government conservatives, teamed up with liberal Democrats in the legislature to expand the state budget by billions of dollars and grab taxpayers' refunds for years to come. The Democrat big spenders got what they wanted, but it has left the Republican Party fractured and effectively ended Gov. Owens' future as a Republican leader. Here is one of Armey's Axioms: Make a deal with the devil and you're the junior partner.
At the national level, where President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress are presiding over the largest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society, things are no better. Our political base expects elected leaders to cut both tax rates and spending, because they know that the real tax burden is reflected in the overall size of government.
Instead, we have embarrassing spectacles like the 2005 highway bill. Costing $295 billion, it is 35% larger than the last transportation bill, fueled by 6,371 earmarks doled out to favored political constituencies. By comparison, the 1987 highway bill was vetoed by Ronald Reagan for containing relatively few (152) earmarks. Overall, even excluding defense and homeland security spending, the growth rate of discretionary spending adjusted for inflation is at a 40-year high.
* * *
All of our leaders are complicit in this spending spree. President Bush has yet to veto a single spending bill. The House leadership refuses to reign in appropriators, claiming, as one of them preposterously put it, that "there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget."
I have always believed that good policy is good politics for Republicans. Reagan won against an incumbent president in 1980, declaring in his first inaugural address that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." I beat an incumbent Democrat in 1984, against the dire predications of my party's political experts, on an aggressive agenda of smaller government and Social Security reform based on large personal retirement accounts. In 1994, Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, running on the "Contract with America," a clearly articulated public policy agenda based on smaller, smarter government.
Conversely, when we let politics define our agenda, we get in trouble. The highway bill is one example, where the criterion of choice was politics. An even better example was 2003's expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs. This was an explicitly political effort to take health care "off the table" for the 2004 elections. I said at that time, on this page, that the proposed legislation was "a case where bad politics has produced a bad policy proposal." I predicted that the deal was "bad news for senior citizens and possibly even worse political news for the Republican Party." Here is another one of Armey's Axioms: You can't get your finger on the problem if you've got it in the wind.
Bad policy is bad politics. The 2003 expansion of Medicare enacted by Republicans has dramatically increased the financial pressures on an already broken program, and it has become a political albatross around the necks of Republicans who voted for it.
As the party of smaller government, Republicans will always have a more difficult job governing than Democrats do. Government naturally wants to expand. It is always easier for politicians when both you and your political base truly believe that there is a new government program to solve any problem, real or imagined. We will always have to work harder and be more entrepreneurial than our political opponents when it comes to implementing reforms.
To succeed in the future, the Republican Party must get back to basics. We need, in effect, another Republican takeover of Congress, reaffirming a commitment to less government, lower taxes and more freedom. As in 1994, this revolution will be driven by the young Turks of the party -- the brave backbenchers more inspired by Reagan than the possibility of a glowing editorial on the pages of the New York Times. Indeed, this is already happening.
A serious effort to slow the growth of the federal budget is being driven by a small group of House Republicans led by Reps. Mike Pence, Jeff Flake and Jeb Hensarling. Against their own leadership's wishes, this brave group and others from the Republican Study Committee gathered outside the Cannon House office building in September to kick off "Operation Offset," a modest proposal to pay for the extraordinary costs associated with Hurricane Katrina with savings from other parts of the budget. Top on the list: cuts in highway pork and a suspension of the soon-to-be-implemented expansion of Medicare.
It would have been easier not to have overspent in the first place, but the Republican Congress must reestablish its credibility as the party of spending restraint and fiscal responsibility.
Likewise, the Republican Congress must make the most important elements of the Bush tax cuts permanent, particularly repeal of the death tax, lower income tax rates and dividend tax relief. These proposals deserve substantial credit for the current strength of the American economy. Success would represent real steps toward our ultimate goal of tax reform and a simple, fair and flat income tax.
While prospects for retirement security seem unlikely before 2006, I'm counting on able legislative entrepreneurs like Sen. Jim DeMint to drag his colleagues, kicking and screaming, into a serious, adult debate about the most important policy challenge facing our generation. Personally, I've never quite understood the bed wetters' fears when it comes to Personal Retirement Accounts. How could you possibly lose by saving future retirees -- our children and grandchildren -- from another broken government promise?
None of this will be easy. The good news for Republicans willing to do this heavy lifting is that the "ideas" of the left are bankrupt. Notice that the brightest liberal politicians, like Hillary Clinton, always move toward our policy ground as they prepare to run for national office. Why would Republicans want to act like them when they act like us in order to win?
One final Armey Axiom: When we act like us, we win. When we act like them, we lose.
Mr. Armey, House Majority Leader from 1995 to 2003, is chairman of FreedomWorks, a national grassroots advocacy organization.
NOVI -- The multicolored nativity scene on the Samona family's front yard is under attack.
The Samonas' neighborhood association has ordered the Novi family to remove its seven-piece plastic display or face possible fines of $25 to $100 per week.
The family isn't budging and neither are its three wise men. The Samonas have vowed not only to keep the display, but also are threatening to enhance it."If you take this out, it's not Christmas anymore," said Joe Samona, 16, as he reached down and scooped baby Jesus from the creche on his parents' front lawn.
That's just wrong.
Note to self, call an attorney before signing on the dotted line. Some of the restrictions on homeowners' associations are legendary. My parents made the smartest decision of all - not living in a subdivision which has one.
The democrat leaning EPIC/MRA polling firm released a poll on the Senate Race.
Currently, it is anyone's race for the primary. Their margin of error is 5%, so this is a very rough estimate.
With brief bio
Bouchard - 35
Zandstra - 35
Butler - 23
Against Stabenow so far
Stabenow - 56
Bouchard - 36
Stabenow - 57
Zandstra - 33
Stabenow - 56
Butler - 36
The Oakland Press Reports on another poll, this one by Strategic Vision which is a GOP polling firm. Their numbers shows this:
23 - Bouchard
19 - Butler
17 - Zandstra
Before anyone presses the panic button, Stabenow was trailing Abraham by similar margins at this point in 2000. This is still very early, and a very winnable race once it becomes campaign mode.
That said, there has been a downward trend for Butler. What's happened to Butler is surprising to me since he had all the momentum early, and most of the endorsements. Zandstra came on strong after the Mackinac Conference. Bouchard has the early name advantage being Oakland County Sheriff.
The primary election is not until August, so there is sample time for candidates to make up for lost ground and gain the undecided votes necessary to win the primary, and use that momentum to take out Stabenow.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Under Matt Millen's leadership, the Lions have had seasons of 2-15, 3-13, 5-11, and 6-10. This year, they are 4-7. During Millen's leadership, they went 0-8 on the road for three straight seasons. The won loss record of Millen rivals the atrocious Darryl Rogers years.
If I was the Lions owner, this would be my plan:
Until there are fundamental changes with the team, I'm not optimistic about the Lions, and it doesn't matter who is coaching them. I wish Bill Ford would sell the team. That's been the one constant of bad Lions teams. One playoff win in team history under Bill Ford's leadership.
That's also a reason why I haven't been to a game since Sterling Sharpe's infamous wide open TD catch in the playoff game. They haven;t shown me anything.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
With Thanksgiving tomorrow, here's a great story to share. I'm a turkey hunter, and wild turkey is one of my favorite meals. Maybe we'll have a longer season after more stories like this piece from the Wall Street Journal via Chicago Tribune.
One for 'The Birds': Wild turkeys attack people
In April, Will Millington was riding his dirt bike down a narrow trail in Norman, Okla., when he stopped before a flock of wild turkeys. The hens scattered, but two toms flared their feathers and stalked toward him. Then they suddenly leapt in the air, beat Mr. Millington with their wings and tried to scratch him with the sharp spurs on the backs of their legs.
Mr. Millington frantically revved his bike's motor. Thirty yards down the trail he looked back. "They were running after me," says the 46-year-old property manager. "That was kind of spooky."
As Americans prepare to eat some 46 million domestic turkeys slaughtered for Thanksgiving, their wild cousins are fighting back. The explosion of the wild-turkey population to nearly seven million from just 30,000 in the 1930s has put a growing number of humans in the face of angry gobblers.
The more they are around us, the less they are afraid.
Wild-turkey flocks have a pecking order. If they live around humans, some of the dominant toms may begin to include people in that order — at a level below themselves, says Jim Cardoza, a turkey expert at the Massachusetts wildlife agency. Wild turkeys "get used to people and incorporate them into their view of society," he says. Some behavior, such as putting out bird food and slinking quietly away, can encourage these lordly males to think that humans are a subservient life form, believes Mr. Cardoza.
Biologist James Earl Kennamer, senior vice president of the National Wild Turkey Federation, an Edgefield, S.C., hunters' group, has studied wild turkeys for 40 years. "When they think you're one of them, they'll fight you to show who's dominant," he says. "If you turn your back, they'll take it to mean they're dominant."
Tom turkeys in suburban woods can be 4 feet tall, weigh 25 pounds and run 20 miles per hour for short bursts. Mr. Cardoza advises people to show the birds who's boss. One tip is to carry an umbrella to poke at the turkey. Ms. Huckery tells people to "get your broom and swat the turkey away." Other tips for discouraging turkeys include spraying them with a garden hose, yelling and banging pots and pans, and having a dog in the backyard.
I disagree. I think you all should fatten them up with good bird feed, and send them to my hunting area in the fall and spring so I can get a good Thanksgiving meal!!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Washtenaw County is shaping up as a key battleground for control of the state Legislature in the 2006 election.
At least two of the four state House seats represented in the county will have strong candidates from both major political parties, and a third in Democratic-heavy Ann Arbor will be open for the first time in six years because of term limits.
Ann Arbor City Councilman Leigh Greden, D-3rd Ward, and Rebekah Warren, former head of MARAL Pro-Choice Michigan, have declared their intentions to run for the 53rd District state House seat being vacated by Chris Kolb, D-Ann Arbor,
The Ann Arbor centered 53rd district is solid democrat. Chris Kolb is termed out and will be replaced. The real fight is in the primary there.
The 52nd District was a pickup for the democrats in 2004. Gene DeRossett was termed out in 2004, and had a close fight in a slightly democrat leaning district in 2002 against Pam Bynes who is the current representative. County Commissioner Mark Ouimet (R) from heavily democrat Scio Twp could give Byrnes a strong challenge. This district covers most of the county. The rural parts are Republican, while the Scio, Ann Arbor Twp, and Ann Arbor City portions are democrat. It went 54% for John Kerry, so Byrnes will be tough to beat.
The 55th District should be a close contest. Kathy Angerer defeated libertarian Republican Matt Milosch in a populist district some of the more Republican parts of Monroe County, as well as part of Washtenaw. There is a clash of conservative Republicans, "Dingell Democrats", and "Ann Arbor Democrats" in this district. It went 50.22% for John Kerry. The Monroe Part was 52.66% for Bush, Washtenaw 54.83% for Kerry due to Pittsfield Township near Ann Arbor and Ypsi. Milosch may want a rematch.
The 17th Senate District is a tough open seat. Bev Hammerstrom is termed out. This district went 50.89% for Bush, and covers all of Monroe County, as well as parts of Jackson (Leoni Township, Grass Lake, Norvell and Summitt Townships) and Washtenaw County (Saline, York, Milan, Manchester, Lodi Twp, Bridgewater Twp, and Pittsfield Townships). Former Reps Randy Richardville and Gene DeRossett would be strong candidates. The democrats may be running Robert Schockman, Bedford Township Clerk.
It'll be interesting to see who runs. These all (outside of Kolb's district) should be strongly contested races.
Primaries draw challengers
GOP congressmen face opposition from within party
Two area Republican representatives to Congress will likely face primary election opposition next year.
Both Joe Schwarz and Mike Rogers already have opponents from within the conservative wing of their party ready to oppose them for the GOP nomination. The first-term Schwarz is considered more vulnerable than Rogers, who is in his third term in Congress.
The moderate Schwarz survived an open-seat party primary with five bona-fide conservative candidates in 2004. He then went on to beat first-time Democratic candidate Sharon Renier with 58 percent of the vote in the 7th Congressional District, which includes western and northern Washtenaw County and sprawls across much of central southern Michigan
I'm not a fan of Mr. Schwarz. This goes back to his days in the state senate where he was a frequent critic of gun owners, pro-lifers, and tax hawks. I can respect honest disagreement, but when I'm told that I'm a "bubba who straps on and packs a 9mm" because I support the right of law abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols or that I am a "zealot" because I am pro-life, well I'll be supporting his primary challenger. I will give Schwarz credit for some honesty where he said that he "didn't give a shit" (exact quote) if he got the votes of pro-lifers and 2nd amendment supporters. That much is obvious by his mouth. In the 2002 primary debate in his gubenatorial campaign, he stated that he was not opposed to tax increases. He also brought up his anti-gun views there.
I will concede that Schwarz hasn't been terrible as a congressman, even surprisingly supporting the gun lawsuit ban, but I have to look at a 16+ year record over two years. He is unrepentantly anti-gun. He was one of the anti-conceal carry leaders. He is also pro-abortion and ran on that in the 2002 gubenatoral primary. Add the tax support, and it's three strikes and yer out.
In the 2004 Primary. Joe Schwarz took advantage of a six way primary where each all of the conservative groups split endorsements. The Chamber's choice was Clark Bisbee, who was unacceptable to gun owners and a weak campaigner. Right to Life also supported Bisbee, but the membership did not accept their endorsement. Many of the gun owners supported Gene DeRossett(although I believe the NRA was neutral), but business did not like him since he was more pro-union. Tim Walberg had a large number of religious conservatives backing him, but little financial backing. Paul DeWeese was strongly pro-life and a doctor who had a practice in Eaton County. Brad Smith was the congressman's son who was backed by Club for Growth. All except Smith were former or current representatives.
The results showed in the split. Combine Smith's votes with any other and he wins. Walberg and anyone except DeWeese wins.
Bisbee - 14.02% - 10301 votes
DeRossett - 11.41% - 8379 votes
DeWeese - 6.65% - 4886 votes
Schwarz - 27.82% - 20440 votes
Smith - 22.44% - 16488 votes
Walberg - 17.66% - 12978 votes
Democrat Sharon Renier was a sacrificial lamb opponent, so there was little contest. 3rd Parties did gain 5% of the vote in the general election, which is much higher than normal.
I'm not surprised that Walberg wants a rematch. Schwarz is prepared for one as well. Club for Growth is already involved, and I expect gun groups to jump in as well. Schwarz is much tougher as an incumbent, but I think conservatives have a shot here - as long as it is a one on one primary, and not a three way race.
Good luck to Walberg.
Friday, November 18, 2005
While I'm currently in Howell, I'm a Brighton native and BHS alumnus so my home team will always be the Bulldogs.
I would like to wish the Brighton Bulldogs the best of luck in their game tomorrow against perennial rival Rockford.
While the Bulldogs are a perennial playoff team (10 in a row), this time they are in the state semifinals, and this team has gone further in the playoffs than any Bulldogs team has gone before. They get a rematch with Rockford, and the winner goes on to Ford Field for the state title.
Good luck, and go Dogs.
After seeing Mike Ramsey's Veterans Day cartoon (SN 11/11), I felt compelled to write to you.
I am a soldier currently stationed at Baghdad Central Correctional Facility, better known as Abu Ghraib. Comparing us to the Nazis who ran torture camps is patently offensive to us and to everyone who has ever worn an American military uniform.
We are here fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi people, and part of that is keeping those who would destroy that freedom locked up so they cannot kill American soldiers, or innocent civilians.
We do not torture the people here. In fact, the detainees here are treated much better than they would be in an American prison. They all have access to lawyers and are tried for their crimes under Iraqi law, by Iraqi judges.
So, Ramsey I suggest in the future you draw what you know something about. Like being a sheltered, rich college liberal in East Lansing, for starters.
East Lansing resident
Rob also posted on what really goes on at Abu Gharaib. I encourage everyone to read it.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
LAKE ORION, Mich. (AP) — A former CIA agent who has criticized the disclosure of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity said Tuesday he is planning to run as a Democrat for the 8th Congressional District.
Jim Marcinkowski, deputy city attorney for Royal Oak, would face U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, in the 2006 general election if he wins in the Democratic primary. Marcinkowski said he is planning to run for Congress, but has not yet filed necessary paperwork.
Marcinkowski, 50, of Lake Orion, said he was Plame's classmate at the CIA, where he went on to be an operations officer in Washington from 1985-89.
"The Valerie Plame exposure was certainly personal for me ... but more important is that it is indicative of how this White House is conducting foreign affairs," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a very important issue to national security."
Jim, you're not running against Bush. You're running against Mike Rogers. Why should the people of the 8th district vote for you over Mike Rogers? I don't care about President Bush since he's not running again.
"Mike starts with a particularly large money advantage, but his money advantage will be offset by his positions on the issues," Marcinkowski said. "It's going to be money versus message."
We'll be waiting for your message, Jim.
This is a district that's becoming more and more republican. It's not a gimme district, but the odds are certainly in the GOP's favor. It went 53.71% for Bush, and Rogers took it with 61.08% of the vote against a low funded, but spirited challenge by Bob Alexander.
The 8th district consists of all or parts of five counties. Ingham County is a democrat stronghold. Shiawassee County is marginal GOP. Livingston and Clinton County are GOP strongholds, as is the portion of Oakland County in this district. I took the two party% from the Orion Township precincts, so both the Bush and Kerry %'s are slightly inflated. These numbers are close however.
Municipality Bush, Kerry, Bush% Kerry%
TOTAL 191658, 161634, 53.71%, 45.30%
Clinton 21989, 15483, 58.16%, 40.95%
Ingham 54734, 76877, 41.14%, 57.78%
Livingston 58860, 33991, 62.79%, 36.26%
Antrim Twp 680 432 60.82%, 38.64%
Bennington Twp 1106 712 60.24%, 38.78%
Burns Twp 1054 688 59.85%, 39.07%
Durand 773 914 45.10%, 53.33%
Laingsburg 327 279 53.26%, 45.44%
Perry 584 432 57.03%, 42.19%
Perry Twp 1255 908 57.60%, 41.67%
Sciota Twp 535 425 55.04%, 43.72%
Shiawasse Twp 804 719 52.21%, 46.69%
Vernon Twp (pt) 1374 1329 50.39%, 48.73%
Woodhill Twp 1258 905 57.55%, 41.40%
Addison Twp 2403 1113 67.53%, 31.24%
Brandon Twp 4852 3030 60.70%, 37.91%
Clarkston 322 252 55.52%, 43.45%
Groveland Twp 1988 1204 61.76%, 37.04%
Holly Twp 2813 2442 52.73%, 46.77%
Independence Twp 12199 6847 63.50%, 35.64%
Oxford Twp 6155 3557 62.63%, 36.20%
Rose Twp 2139 1337 60.70%, 37.94%
Springfield Twp 4946 2710 63.99%, 35.06%
Orion Twp (Part) 8505 5048 62.75%, 37.25% (of two party vote)
My early predictions have this being another 60-40 race. Marcinkowski seems to be a one issue candidate. He also plays right into the hands of Mike Rogers. Rogers was an FBI agent. He's on the intelligence committee. National Security is his strongpoint and is what Marcinkowski is running on. He also seems to be running against Bush and not Rogers. This may work in East Lansing, but will cost him votes in the deep red areas. Bush won big everywhere outside Ingham County, and ran ahead of most republicans in Shiawassee. Rogers won Ingham County in 2002, and almost won it in 2004, despite a strong anti-Bush view there. Bush hatred may get him the East Lansing, Lansing, and Okemos vote, but that's about it.
We'll see what happens here. Mike should be safe as long as he isn't complacent. He should run this race just as he did in 2002. Ran like he was down 10%, while winning with 68%
Monday, November 14, 2005
So this nasty cartoon ran in Michigan State University's campus rag. Tomorrow from 1-3 Young Americans for Freedom and MSU's College Republicans will be demonstrating against the State News.
I thought even the "Snooze" had limits.
If anyone's in the Lansing area during that time, I encourage you to make it and show your distaste for this trash being paid for by tax money and tuition money.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Ballot count draws scrutiny
Tally takes place amid reports of vote mishandling; mayoral win likely to stand, Detroit officials say.
Top-level representatives of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and challenger Freman Hendrix stood watch Saturday as the official canvass of more than 220,000 votes cast in last week's mayoral election began amid new reports of mishandling of ballots by city poll workers.
On Friday, city officials found that one election worker had taken home two electronic devices that store vote tallies and those votes weren't tallied on election night. In addition, some results weren't tabulated correctly because of a computer programming error.
Some city workers also failed to subtract dummy votes that are cast -- 20 in each precinct -- to ensure voting equipment works properly.
Less than 3,000 votes were affected by the errors, Chesney said. She said election workers have many ways, including an examination of the original ballots, to check the final tallies.
No irregularities had been discovered with absentee ballots, Chesney said.
On Election Day, the FBI obtained a court order to preserve absentee ballots and other records for investigation. Earlier, a Wayne County circuit judge handed supervision of the election to state Bureau of Elections director Chris Thomas and Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett. The court also appointed two prominent Detroiters, Charlie Williams and Elliott Hall, as monitors. The orders came in a lawsuit challenging City Clerk Jackie Currie's handling of Detroit's August primary. Currie was cited for contempt of court after she disobeyed a court order not to distribute absentee ballot applications.
On Oct. 30, a Detroit News report outlined how legally incapacitated people were voting, that people had voted who listed addresses at vacant lots and in abandoned buildings and that a significant percentage of Detroit's voter rolls were inaccurate. The story raised questions about how Currie manages absentee voter ballots.
Just another day in Detroit elections. The Free Press also had a story on this.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
From MSU's State News
With Virg Bernero's election as Lansing's new mayor on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Tony Benavides, an empty seat will be left by the Democrat in the state Senate.
State Rep. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said she is looking to fill his spot.
"I think that I have a contribution to make in the state Senate," Whitmer said. "We need to have a strong voice for the people within Ingham County, which includes MSU."
It is not known whether a special election will be held to fill the vacated seat or if it will remain unfilled until the general election in November 2006. Bernero will be sworn in as Lansing's mayor in January.
The district went 59.01% for Kerry, although Paul DeWeese held Bernero to 53.36% in 2002, which was strongly democrat in the Lansing area due to an anti-Engler vote by state workers. Anything can happen in a special election, so I hope we contest it and not give Whitmer or anyone else a free pass. Whoever runs needs to make big inroads in Lansing itself as well as Meridian Twp(Okemos/Haslett) while racking up big wins outcounty.
The first Number is Bush votes. The second is Kerry Votes. The third is Bush%, last is Kerry %.
Alaiedon 1088 838 56.08% 43.20%
Aurelius 1222 771 60.83% 38.38%
Delhi 6831 6105 52.25% 46.70%
E. Lansing 5119 12647 28.40% 70.16%
Ingham Twp 734 463 60.66% 38.26%
Lansing City 16101 32102 33.03% 65.86%
Lansing Twp 1707 2436 40.76% 58.17%
Leroy Twp 1103 674 61.28% 37.44%
Locke Twp 657 361 63.97% 35.15%
Meridian twp 9589 12378 43.25% 55.83%
Onondaga 768 568 56.60% 41.86%
Wheatfield 624 375 62.09% 37.31%
White Oak 378 247 59.62% 38.96%
Williamston 1065 869 54.48% 44.45%
Wmstown. Twp 1824 1373 56.56% 42.57%
Total 48810 72207 39.89% 59.01%
The expected candidate for the democrats is rich leftist Gretchen "Liquor Tax" Whitmer (D-BlueCross). There may be others however.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
| You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need. |
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18-year-old write-in candidate elected Hillsdale mayor
11/9/2005, 8:30 a.m. ET
The Associated Press
HILLSDALE, Mich. (AP) — An 18-year-old high school student has been elected mayor after mounting a write-in campaign to oust the 51-year-old incumbent.
With all the votes counted, Michael Sessions had 732 votes to 668 for Mayor Doug Ingles, according to unofficial figures posted on the city's Web site.
A cheer went up in the Sessions home when the results were announced over the radio. The Hillsdale High School student lives with his parents and 13-year-old sister Sarah.
Congratulations, and good luck. State Rep Chris Ward won his first race at 18. John Engler was 21 when he first won.
MEASURES: Voters take stand against guns, recruiting at schools
Cecilia M. Vega, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
San Francisco voters took a stand Tuesday against military recruitment on public school campuses, voted to keep firehouses open and approved the nation's toughest ban on handguns by making it illegal for city residents to possess them.
Proposition H, which requires city residents who already own guns to turn them in to police by April 1, was winning 58 percent to 42 percent with 98 percent of precincts counted.
The measure also makes it illegal to buy, sell, distribute and manufacture firearms and ammunition in the city.
Since this is in San Francisco, I figured this would pass, and am surprised it wasn't 80-20.
I'm actually glad this passed. While I'd certainly vote against it (and also refuse to turn my gun in to the government) if I lived there, this can wake up gun owners across the country to the fact that the gun grabbers and hoplophobes are still active, and that we need to stay vigilant. Join the NRA. Join the Second Amendment Foundation. Join groups like SAFR on the state level. (MCRGO however has been worthless since they changed leadership in 2002).
In a shocking come from behind win, Mayor Navigator apparently defeats challenger Freman Hendrix 53%-47% 117,354 to 103,446. Expect another population drop in the city, and some more urban spawl.
However in good news, Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie probably gets sent back to the private sector. She loses to Math teacher Janice Winfrey 53-47% This is a big win for fair elections. Good luck to Winfrey as clerk. I hope she cleans house and hires a bunch of new people.
Over in Lansing, State Senator Virg Bernero soundly defeats incumbent Tony Benevides, 12,925 to 8,052. Lansing also has a new city clerk as well as Chris Swope defeats Debbie Miner by a similar margin. The Bernero win opens up special election next year.
In Williamston, Republicans Michelle Hyne and Brian O'Connell win. Congratulations to them.
Closer to home:
The Byron Schools bond issue failed. 1467 to 523. The Morrice Schools bond issue failed 562-387. The Dexter Library proposal and bond both passed narrowly. 1438-1317 and 1434-1313.
The winners in Howell (9.4% turnout) were Paul Rogers, Scott Niblock, and Dawn Cooper. The winners in Brighton (18% turnout) were Kate Lawrence, James Muzzin, Ricci Bandkau, and John Tunis.
Lastly, in a smacktown to the arrogant (exception to Murphy and Slaton) Brighton Township Board of trustees, the poorly written Brighton Township tree ordinance was defeated 2418 to 1465.
Monday, November 07, 2005
New Jersey and Virginia both have their gubenatorial and state elections. If megabucks ultraleftist Jon Corzine wins in Jersey, he gets to appoint his own replacement in the senate. If Lt Governor Tim Kaine beats AG Jerry Kilgore in Virginia, watch Mark Warner in 2008.
California and Ohio have votes on several referendum issues including redistricting which may have national impact. Partisanwise, it's best that California's passes, and Ohio's fails. Personally, I'd like to see national redistricting reform, or we are going to have major redistricting battles every single time a state government switches power. That may not be popular here in Michigan, but Mark Brewer would burn us in a minute on this if the dems take all branches of state government.
The City of San Francisco gets to vote on a Chicago-style total handgun ban.
In our own state, we have two significant mayorial elections. Over in Detroit, Mayor Navigator, also known as Kwame Kilpatrick, has a very difficult re-election battle against Deputy Mayor Freman Hendrix. Needless to say in 96% democrat Detroit, both are democrats. Mayor Navigator was trailing in the polls all year, but has tightened them up at the end. While a Kwame victory would help the republicans (since it's almost a universal feeling outside of Detroit that he absolutely sucks), it's bad for the city, and the state of Michigan, so I'm hoping the voters of Detroit toss Mayor Navigator out on his arse.
Lansing has an interesting race as well that hasn't drawn much coverage outside of their local media. State Senator Virg Bernero has a good chance at ousting current mayor Tony Benevides. Both are democrats. Since Lansing is 65% democrat and Bernero is more moderate (For a democrat) on economic issues, he's probably the best we can get for Lansing mayor, and I hope he wins. It has statewide implications, as it opens up a state senate district if Virg Bernero wins. While it is a very difficult district, anything can happen in special elections. If a state rep runs and wins Bernero's seat, that opens up another seat in another special election, where anything can happen.
Over in Williamston, the Republicans are running a slate. Hyne, O'Connell, Moody and
Over in East Lansing, Kevin Beard and John Fournier are challenging the current jokers on the council. I don't care what party they are, as they can't be more anti-student than the incumbents.
Close to home in Livingston County, we have many local races on the ballot. There are three major races. The one with the most coverage has been the Tree Ordinance in Brighton Township.
Should the Charter Township of Brighton adopt Ordinance No. 227, Article 11 of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled “Land Clearing/Tree Preservation”?
The Livingston County GOP's statement is below. I agree with it (and seconded its motion) 100%
"Whereas the Livingston County Republican Committee, while not opposed to reasonable environmental protections, has found the Brighton Township Land Clearing/Tree Preservation Ordinance #227 a representation of irresponsible and intrusive government and an assault upon individual property rights,
Therefore, be it resolved that the Livingston County Republican Committee urges Brighton Township to vote NO on November 8th."
The Howell City Council (Mayor is unopposed) nonpartisan elections are tomorrow. There are three openings. My votes will be going to Debi Drick (Both Jay and Debi Drick are good people) and Paul Rogers. Dawn Cooper is too liberal(Gave money to Bob Alexander and Geoff Fieger's gubenatorial campaign), and the others I do not have enough information on to make an informed decision, so I will be leaving one blank. I'll also leave the Board of Review spots blank, since I do not know anything about the individuals there. The blanks are partially my fault for not finding out more about the individuals, but I am active enough where more candidates should make an effort to try and earn my vote. I don't blindly vote, even in partisan elections, let alone a non-partisan race. While I always show up at the polls, If I don't have the information, I leave it blank or write in someone.
Brighton's City Council elections are tomorrow. Sue Walters-Steinaker and Ricci Bandkau are both republicans.
There are several bond and millage issues across the county. While none of the Livingston County based schools are up, several other districts have territory in the county. Dexter schools have a library millage and bond issue. Byron and Morrice schools has a bond proposal. Linden Schools have a Headlee Override.
I don't know enough about these to have an informed opinion on them, although my guard is sure up with the number of mills asked by Byron schools.
More information on the Livingston Races are found here.
The Polling Locations are below.
Brighton Charter Township
Precinct 1 Brighton Township Hall, 4363 Buno Rd., Brighton
Precincts 2, 4 & 9 Hilton Elementary, 9600 Hilton Rd., Brighton
Precincts 3 & 8 Spencer Elementary, 10639 Spencer Rd., Brighton
Precinct 5 VFW Hall, 10590 E. Grand River, Brighton
Precinct 6 Brighton Twp. Fire Hall, 1580 S. Old US-23, Brighton
Precinct 7 Hartland Farms Middle School, 687 Taylor Rd., Brighton
Cohoctah Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
Precinct 1 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville
Conway Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
Precinct 1 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville
Conway Township (Morrice Area Schools Registered Voters)
Precinct 1 Antrim Township Hall, 12014 S. Bancroft Rd., Morrice
Deerfield Township (Byron Area Schools Registered Voters)
Precinct 2 Cohoctah Township Hall, 10518 Antcliff Rd., Fowlerville
Deerfield Township (Linden Community Schools Registered Voters)
Precincts 1 & 2 Deerfield Township Hall, 4492 Center Rd., Linden
Green Oak Township (South Lyon Community Schools Registered Voters)
Precincts 1 & 3 Fellowship Baptist Church, 10774 Nine Mile, Whitmore Lake
Precincts 4 & 6 Brummer School, 9919 N. Rushton Rd., South Lyon
Precinct 5 Green Oak Township Hall, 10001 Silver Lake Rd., Brighton
Precinct 7 Green Oak Fire Station #82, 11411 Grand River, Brighton
Hamburg Township (Dexter District Library Registered Voters)
Precinct 4 Hamburg Township Hall, 10405 Merrill Rd., Hamburg
Tyrone Township (Linden Community Schools Registered Voters)
Precinct 1 Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church, 10235 White Lake Rd., Fenton
Precinct 4 Fenton Church of the Nazarene, 11075 Runyan Lake Rd., Fenton
Precinct 1 Brighton District Library, 100 Library Dr., Brighton
Precinct 2 Brighton City Council Chambers, 200 N. First St., Brighton
Precincts 3 & 4 Brighton Education Community Center (BECC) Building, 125 S. Church St., Brighton
Precincts 1 & 2 Howell Recreation Center, 925 W. Grand River, Howell
Precinct 3 Howell City Hall (second level), 611 E. Grand River, Howell
Don't forget to vote.
Friday, November 04, 2005
In breaking news, tonight at the GOP meeting, the Livingston County GOP passed a resolution opposing the Brighton Township tree ordinance. This is bad leglislation that deserves to be defeated on November 8.
This ordinance is flawed and is intrusive on property rights. I'm not opposed to tree ordinances if they are grounded in science and isn't just big government. Genoa Township has had a tree ordinance for 20 years. This one in Brighton Township on the other hand is unacceptable for the reasons given by CARE for Brighton.
And in a shamless plug, I was the individual who seconded the motion and helped push this through. So blame me, democrats. :)
Previous posts on Tree Ordinance
September 29th Post
July 26th Post
I also added Macomb County to the profile list. I'm currently working on Oakland off and on, and should finish that by next week.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Sen. Biden stumps in Kentucky
SAYS DEMOCRATS NEED TO TAKE BACK 'RED STATES' IN 2008
NEWPORT - If Democrats are to retake the White House and Congress, they must be more active in and win states like Kentucky, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden said.
The Delaware Democrat, feeling out a possible 2008 presidential run, used Northern Kentucky as a testing ground Saturday in two fund-raisers for the state Democratic Party.
"We have to turn (Kentucky) back into a blue state," Biden said. "We've got to be competitive in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida. ... If we can't be competitive in all those states, we can't unite this country."
And Biden will do it? "Banning guns is an idea whose time has come" (AP: 11/18/93) Biden? Bring it on. Then there is this classic quote from the same article.
"If I'm the nominee, Republicans will be sorry," said Biden, a Roman Catholic who ran for president in 1988. "The next Republican that tells me I'm not religious I'm going to shove my rosary beads down their throat."
Well, Joey. I'll tell you that you aren't religious. You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion. Period. End of Story.
From the Argus
Lawmaker faces election challenge — House hopeful questions GOP congressman's conservative credentials
By Dan Meisler
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
The business manager of a Green Oak Township church plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, in the August 2006 Republican primary election.
Patrick Flynn, 46, said Rogers has joined moderate Republicans and embraced the philosophy of attracting social liberals to the party, threatening the GOP's platform of traditional moral values.
"Their goal is to bring social liberals into the party," Flynn said. "That's not pro-life or pro-family."
Flynn's proof for that allegation is Rogers' participation in helping bring Christine Todd Whitman to Michigan for a speech in May. Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush, was promoting a book calling on moderates to exert more influence in the GOP.
I've met Patrick Flynn twice, and he seems like a good guy. He's an Irish Catholic like I am. He also has a good grasp of the issues, and isn't a "typical politician". I certainly can not question Patrick's guts, since he is going to take a lot of initial heat from this.
I also happen to know Mike Rogers. While like Patrick I disagree with him having the event with Whitman, his voting record is good on most of the issues that matter to me. I'm pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, support lower taxes, and oppose McCain/Feingold. Congressman Mike's been very good on those issues voting wise. When push comes to shove, I can count on him. Mike's also given me a straight answer on questions every time I've asked him something.
On a competency level, Mike's staff in Michigan does an excellent job. There is very little turnover at his office, and most of them have been there for years. That says a lot about a congressman. It will hurt our county and our state losing that. Unless things change dramatically and Mike turns pro-abortion, anti-gun, or pro-tax, my vote stays with Mike.
That said, while I disagree with Patrick's decision to primary Congressman Mike, I'm glad he's active, and I hope he stays active. I know Patrick has posted here before, and I invite him to respond to my comments here.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Anuzis Confirms Bouchard Bid
State GOP chair Saul ANUZIS confirms an earlier MIRS report that Oakland County Sheriff Mike BOUCHARD will get into the GOP U.S. Senate primary next week joining two other hopefuls.
“This shows how vulnerable Democrat Debbie STABENOW (D-Lansing) is,” Anuzis told WJR radio on Friday morning.
He said he had conversations with Bouchard this week about his candidacy. The chair came away from those talks with the impression Bouchard would jump in. The sheriff has been busy lining up financial support and had a private dinner with a key supporter on Thursday night. All the signals from his fund raising efforts appear to be positive according to Anuzis.
Bouchard will join the Rev. Keith BUTLER and west Michigan candidate Jerry ZANDSTRA in the three-person race.
Bouchard dropped out of the contest for undisclosed medical reasons earlier this year, but if all the legal hurdles can be overcome, he will issue a statement from his physician giving him a clean bill of health for the contest.
Another party source says the Bouchard announcement could come “early next week.”
Could Bouchard win? In his favor have been easy wins in Oakland County as sheriff and state senator. The 361,092 votes were more than John Kerry (who won Oakland) received.
2004 - Oakland County Sheriff
REP - MICHAEL J. BOUCHARD - 361,092 - 60.24%
DEM - MARK D. MITCHELL - 238,368 - 39.76%
His last State Senatorial race was in 1998 in what was then the 13th district. He defeated Jeffrey Jenks 57,752 to 29,411 in a district which also went for Spence Abraham, Al Gore, and John Kerry. It's more democrat today than it was then. Part of that was due to Bouchard's pull. Part of that was due to Geoffrey Fieger leading the ticket for the democrats, and John Engler leading the ticket for the GOP. Part of that was most likely a weak opponent for Bouchard. Ferndale is not supposed to be close.
The district has been redistricted since 98. The most democrat areas (Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, and Hazel Park) are now in the Gilda Jacobs district, while most of the rest of the district is in Shirley Johnson's(Bouchard's replacement) district.
I compared Bouchard 98 to 2000's senate race, and Bush in 2004. Spence Abraham ran ahead of Bush in 2000 in Oakland County as he's an Auburn Hills native.
District as a whole
(1998) Bouchard - 57752 - 64.37%, Jenks - 29411 - 32.78%
(2000) Abraham - 61804 - 49.52%, Stabenow - 58609 - 46.96%
(2004) Bush - 65922 - 47.64%, Kerry - 70948 - 51.27%
Bouchard - 6533 - 74.58%, Jenks - 2030 - 23.17%
Abraham - 6848 - 57.94%, Stabenow - 4718 - 39.92%
Bush - 6772 - 54.70%, Kerry - 5508 - 44.49%
Bouchard - 1604 - 80.28%, Jenks - 363 - 18.17%
Abraham - 1822 - 69.78%, Stabenow - 752 - 28.80%
Bush - 1802 - 64.89%, Kerry - 951 - 34.25%
Both Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham are wealthy areas which have treaded less Republican and more democrat due to social issues.
Bouchard - 3321 - 67.19%, Jenks - 1469 - 29.72%
Abraham - 3171 - 48.10%, Stabenow - 3144 - 47.69%
Bush - 3584 - 50.24%, Kerry - 3471 - 48.65%
Bouchard - 2916 - 48.00%, Jenks - 3002 - 49.42%
Abraham - 3068 - 32.94%, Stabenow - 5796 - 62.23%
Bush - 3456 - 30.71%, Kerry - 7637 - 67.87%
Bouchard - 2048 - 47.41%, Jenks - 2061 - 47.71%
Abraham - 2204 - 35.25%, Stabenow - 3706 - 59.27%
Bush - 2780 - 38.20%, Kerry - 4412 - 60.62%
Bouchard - 1420 - 42.50%, Jenks - 1867 - 55.88%
Abraham - 1164 - 28.53%, Stabenow - 2806 - 68.77%
Bush - 1236 - 28.53%, Kerry - 3068 - 70.82%
Bouchard - 4568 - 59.97%, Jenks - 3092 - 38.18%
Abraham - 5034 - 42.00%, Stabenow - 6408 - 53.46%
Bush - 5934 - 43.79%, Kerry - 7443 - 54.92%
Bouchard - 704 - 55.39%, Jenks - 546 - 42.96%
Abraham - 601 - 38.13%, Stabenow - 922 - 58.50%
Bush - 658 - 36.23%, Kerry - 1140 - 62.78%
Bouchard - 14482 - 61.52%, Jenks - 8161 - 34.67%
Abraham - 15045 - 47.13%, Stabenow - 15606 - 48.88%
Bush - 15529 - 44.26%, Kerry - 19143 - 54.57%
Bouchard - 19868 - 72.60%, Jenks - 6820 - 24.92%
Abraham - 22847 - 59.12%, Stabenow - 38.17%
Bush - 24171 - 56.52%, Kerry - 42.50%
ASSUMING Bouchard's health is in good shape, the two question are this. Can Bouchard take back Oakland for the GOP? Can Bouchard win Central Oakland County's socially liberal swing votes without alienating the base and also the more socially conservative swing voters in Macomb County and Northern Michigan? Mike Cox was able to pull it off in his Attorney General race.
As for the primary, the big question is how Bouchard affects Butler. Both are from Oakland County, and I suspect much of the Bouchard votes are would-be Butler votes in other cases. The big winner in this might actually be Jerry Zandstra if West Michigan votes as a block, and if the Detroit area splits the vote between Bouchard and Butler.
I don't know where Bouchard stands on the issues. That is something I'll look forward to seeing. This should be an interesting primary.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The results for Miers were
17% - Support and trust President Bush
9% - Support as she's the best that can get past the senate
2% - Against, Right Wing Extremist
26% - Against, unqualified
19% - Against, not conservative enough
28% - Undecided. (Where I stood)
While some democrats read and post here, this is a GOP based board, and the lack of support here shows that the activist wing of the party was unimpressed to say the least. Even though it's an unscientific poll, a 47%-26% against vote says that there was much uncertainty at best in this choice. About 6-7% of the votes in the Presidential 2008 poll were democrat, and I expected a similar number here.
I added a new poll on the US Senate Race. Rumors have Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard jumping back in. Another rumor has Congressman Pete Hoekstra running. I added both of those in as well to make the poll more interesting.
Bush abandons push for Miers nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under withering attack from conservatives, President Bush abandoned his push to put loyalist Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and promised a quick replacement Thursday. Democrats accused him of bowing to the "radical right wing of the Republican Party."
The White House said Miers had withdrawn because of senators' demands to see internal documents related to her role as counsel to the president. But politics played a larger role: Bush's conservative backers had doubts about her ideological purity, and Democrats had little incentive to help the nominee or the embattled GOP president.
1. I thought they should have waiting until the hearings. What bothers me is that Miers did not have a chance to defend herself. She wasn't my first choice, and I certainly had doubts after that Washington Post reprint of one of her speeches, but I was going to wait and give her the same courtesy I gave John Roberts. The risk with an unknown is that it would be either David Souter, or it could be the next Alex Kozinski.
2. The democrats played this smart by keeping their traps shut outside of talking about questions. This makes the withdraw infighting and not partisan politics.
3. The right caused Bush to blink. Now Bush has two options here. He can say screw the right and pick Al Gonzales or another liberal, or he can pick someone like Alex Kozinski and damn the torpedos. I have no idea who it'll be. I hope it's not Al Gonzales. I'll push for the borking of that gun grabber myself.
There are many qualified picks which President Buch can choose. Judge Alex Kozinski would be my first choice. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan would be another good pick for the country, although it would give Granholm the pick of a Supreme Court judge here in Michigan.
Once again, it's wait and see.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Daschle Aims to Stay Engaged
Former Senate minority leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) isn't running for president in 2008 -- yet. "It interests me," Daschle acknowledged. "I don't have any plans to run, but I am going to keep my options open."
Tom Daschle lost his South Dakota Senate seat last year. Will the former top Senate Democrat seek the White House in 2008? (File photo)Daschle would not commit to a national race in an interview Friday at his new office at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C. But he gave every indication that he has been thinking long and hard about a run for the White House.
Being out of the Senate, Daschle said, has given him a broader perspective on issues. "It is not uncommon for a candidate running for president to cite a bill by its cosponsored name," he said, perhaps in a subtle shot at Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D), who was accused by his detractors of constantly speaking in Senate-ese during the 2004 campaign. "That doesn't mean a thing to someone in Aberdeen, South Dakota," Daschle added
This could make things interesting in 08. I don't expect Daschle to be a threat for the nomination (compared to Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner, or Bill Richardson), but anything can happen.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
There are rumors the Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard will be back in the senate race after dropping out earlier due to health concerns. He was the original choice of the establishment, so it will be interesting to see what happens in this race if he jumps back in. There's also a rumor that Congressman Pete Hoekstra may jump in as well.
I will comment more on Hoekstra or Bouchard if either of them jump in.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Of the Michigan Representative, all of the Republicans voted for this, as did democrats John Dingell and Bart Stupak. Joe Schwarz and Fred Upton were surprises. I'm a frequent critic of both of them (And Stupak) on 2nd Amendment issues, but they came through for us today, and credit needs to be given where it is due.
President Bush indicated that he will sign this. This is the biggest victory for Michigan gun owners since the passage of conceal carry in 2000. This is the biggest federal victory since at least 1986.
The NRA's press release
HISTORIC VICTORY FOR NRA
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES THE “PROTECTION OF LAWFUL COMMERCE IN ARMS ACT”
Thursday, October 20, 2005
(Fairfax, VA) - Today the United States House of Representatives passed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (S. 397) by a bipartisan vote of 283-144. The legislation now moves to President Bush’s desk for his expected signature.
Commenting on the passage of this landmark legislation, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, “This is an historic victory for the NRA. Freedom, truth and justice prevailed, and today S. 397 is one step closer to becoming the law of the land. No other industry is forced to defend themselves when a violent criminal they do not know, have never met and cannot control, misuses a legal non-defective product. American firearms manufacturers will now receive the same fair treatment."
The “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” seeks to end predatory and baseless lawsuits initiated nationwide by the gun control lobby. These lawsuits sought to bankrupt a lawful, highly regulated industry by holding the manufacturers and retailers responsible for the unforeseeable acts of criminals. S. 397 passed the Senate in late July with a bipartisan vote of 65-31.
Joining LaPierre in commenting on this victory, NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox added, “Our judicial system has been exploited for politics and Congress put a stop to that. Passage of the 'Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act' would not have been possible without the support of the 257 House co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. We appreciate the tireless efforts of Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Rick Boucher and the Republican members of House leadership who worked to move the bill in this chamber.
"We are a safer country today because Congress passed this critical legislation and acted to save American icons like Remington, Ruger, Winchester and Smith & Wesson from politically motivated lawsuits. Our men and women in uniform abroad and at home now will not have to rely on France, China or Germany to supply their firearms,” Cox added.
During Senate debate earlier this year, the Pentagon stated its concern over the consequences if the American firearms industry was litigated into extinction. The Department of Defense stated that it “strongly supports” S. 397 citing, “that passage of S. 397 would help safeguard our national security by limiting unnecessary lawsuits against an industry that plays a critical role in meeting the procurement needs of our men and women in uniform.”
“I would like to thank our members who played a pivotal role in making this bill a reality. Together, we have saved the American firearms industry and protected the sanctity of the Second Amendment,” concluded LaPierre.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Cranston Mayor and Republican Steve Laffey is challenging RINO Lincoln Chafee in the Rhode Island primary. Chafee has threatened to jump parties and did not even vote for President Bush in 2004. The NRSC has gotten involved in the primary, and are not only supporting Chafee, but they are running TV attack ads against Laffey. They are even bragging about this on their website.
We have tough senate races across the country. Santorum has a tough defense, and there are possibilities to win in New Jersey, Florida, Nebraska, Washington, West Virginia and right here in Michigan. These are all expensive races, so why is the NRSC spending Republican money to attack another Republican running against someone who did not even vote for President Bush? Someone explain that to me.
It's time for Liddy Dole and her NRSC campaign managers to step aside, and let someone competent take over. With friends like the NRSC, who needs enemies. If you don't like the idea of Republicans like Steve Laffey being attacked by a supposed Republican Organization, let them know.
Ronald Reagan Republican Center
425 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
And if you would like to replace a RINO in the senate with a moderate, as well as send the NRSC bums a message, donate to Laffey's campaign what you would donate to the NRSC. Then email a copy of the donation to the NRSC's email address.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
From the WSJ
MIDLAND, Mich.--Among the people recently mentioned as potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees, Maura Corrigan and Robert Young were relatively unknown. But both are noteworthy representatives of what may be the finest court in the nation.
For the past six years, the Michigan Supreme Court has been a leader in attempting to restore a proper balance between the judiciary, the legislature and the people. The bloc that constitutes the court's frequent majority--Justices Clifford Taylor, Stephen Markman, Corrigan, Young and, often, Elizabeth Weaver--has consistently refused to substitute its policy preferences for those of the legislature. Importantly, the court's other justices, Michael Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly, have joined the majority in key cases. But the court's "judicial restraint" has not implied passivity. All of the justices have been willing to rule out-of-bounds legislation that encroaches on individual rights protected by the state constitution.
One major SCOTUS decision that brought scorn from both the left and the right was the Kelo case involving eminent domain. Years ago, Michigan had it's own case on this. The City of Detroit demolished a Polish neighborhood to put in a General Motors plant (now closed down). This was allowed by the court back then. Recently, The Michigan Supreme Court overruled Poletown.
Kelo has touched off a political and legal storm. Strikingly, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously held a year ago, in Wayne County v. Hathcock, that courts were constitutionally required to determine independently whether a taking involved a public use. The court further ruled that equating economic development with a "public use" would "render impotent our constitutional limitations on the government's power of eminent domain." Justice Young explained that, "after all, if one's ownership of private property is forever subject to the government's determination that another private party would put one's land to better use, then the ownership of real property is perpetually threatened by the expansion plans of any large discount retailer, 'megastore,' or the like."
Markman, Taylor, Young, and Corrigan are model justices that should be the model of which judges should follow.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Geoffrey Fieger sued Attorney General Mike Cox the same day he announced his plan to challenge the incumbent in 2006.
Fieger, a trial lawyer who won the 1998 Democratic nomination for governor, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Cox, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman, accusing them of conspiring to retaliate against him and deprive him of his free speech rights.
What's the big deal? This....
Since March, Cox's office has been investigating a $450,000 television ad campaign that urged viewers to "vote no" against Markman in last year's Supreme Court race. Markman easily won re-election. But it was not until June — seven months after the election — that Fieger, a multimillionaire, filed papers in Oakland County acknowledging he paid for the anti-Markman ads.
That's BIGTIME illegal.
The type of independent expenditure report Fieger made is supposed to be filed months earlier than when he submitted the paperwork, county clerks say.
That's an understatement. I treasured several campaigns. In candidate committees, as well as ballot committees, we have 3 filing dates, an Annual in January, a pre-election report, and post election report. Going from memory, I believe the pre-election is due 10 days before the election(primary or general), and the post election is due 10 days after the primary or general.
Now I'm sure Fieger avoided this because his name is poison with the general public, and didn't want people to know that he spend $450K(which may be illegal as well, I'm not sure what the judicial donation limit is).
In short, this lawsuit is a giant pile of crap. I wouldn't expect anything less from Mr. Fieger. Cox should turn around and bust his sorry ass for this frivolous lawsuit.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
From the AP
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — Geoffrey Fieger, the lawyer who gained fame defending Jack Kevorkian and later won the 1998 Democratic nomination for governor, said Tuesday he plans a run next year for state attorney general.
Fieger, known for his flamboyant courtroom style and outspokenness, notably in his former role as Kevorkian's attorney, unexpectedly won the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary largely based on his popularity in Detroit. But Gov. John Engler easily beat Fieger, 62 percent to 38 percent, on the Republican's stroll to a third term.
The good news is that anyone could defeat Fieger. In 1998, he lost every single county in the state except Wayne County. This guy even lost the city of Ann Arbor, mostly due to being a braying jackass and anti-religious bigot. He called Orthodox Rabbis "closer to the Nazis than they realize", Cardinal Adam Maida a "nut", and Jesus Christ a "goofball that got nailed to the cross".
This is potential disaster for the democrats. I don't expect him to be their nominee because it's a convention system instead of a primary for the AG race. That said, anything can happen.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Their top picks so far.
1. - George Allen - Allen holds steady at #1, despite falling from the spotlight in recent weeks. The Jockey hears some are encouraging Allen to bid farewell to the Senate in 2006 and launch a "Listening Tour" that would effectively be the foundation for his 2008 campaign and a prime opportunity to remind people he was once a popular southern governor. Given the success of senators in presidential races, the Jockey thinks Allen ought to be listening.
1 and 2. - Hillary Clinton - The Jockey thinks if Hillary isn't careful she'll have to change her voter registration to "Republican". The insanely ambitious NY Senator continues to move right while taking timely jabs at the President in order to please her peeps to the left. Her recent move to break up the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of Katrina may look transparent to some and certainly smells a bit like opportunism. Nevertheless, until someone takes a shot at the 800-pound gorilla, she will remain the heavy favorite. (Get it? Heavy favorite? The 800-pound gorilla? Come on, stay with us folks.)
They have a top 10 and "others receiving votes" list on their site which shows momentum, and it's worth checking out.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Delphi Files for Bankruptcy
Saturday, October 8, 2005
By MICHAEL ELLIS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
Delphi Corp., the nation’s largest automotive parts supplier and employer of 14,700 in Michigan, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy Saturday after months of negotiations with General Motors Corp. and the UAW failed to produce a deal to stop the financially strapped company from bleeding money.
The bankruptcy, the largest ever in Michigan, will result in the closure, sale or consolidation of a "substantial segment" of Delphi's U.S. plants, threatening the livelihood of thousands of workers, while dealing another blow the to state's economy already struggling with a high unemployment rate.
And unfortunately, it's not just Delphi itself and GM which are hurt by this.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller suppliers do business with Delphi’s U.S. plants, and they could see much of their work reduced or eliminated.
This will affect Michigan's entire economy. We need some business reforms here fast.
Michigan City, IN - After a Michigan City middle school student found a bullet on-board his bus, he thought he might get a thank you. Instead, Henry Hernandez’s family says he was nearly kicked out of school.
Tuesday morning while riding to school, 14-year-old Hernandez found a bullet on the floor of his bus.
He thought he did the right thing by turning it in.
I thought he did to. Apparently not:
Hernandez’s parents say that Michigan City schools originally wanted to expel their son, but instead settled on a three-day suspension. A court hearing Thursday added another five days in an after-school detention program. But, his parents say he shouldn't be punished at all.
Hernandez explains, "I tried to do something right but then it came out as a suspension."
Unfortunatly, Mr. Hernandez has learned a harsh lesson. Do not trust school authorities. I can't believe how much things have changed in the time I left high school, which is less than 10 years ago. I also believe I was real lucky that I had some good admins for the most part when I was in school. I could have had a real joker like the Michigan City admins.
Thank God I was out of school before Columbine. I think that changed everything.