Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hamburg update and Open Carry clash in Lansing

I've been tied up in a bunch of stuff, so I haven't updated this.

First, Hamburg had an election. It was surprisingly fairly uneventful, and that's a good thing. Jim Neilson won in a low turnout 1700 to 1000 to 650. Jim's done a good job staying out of the news, so that probably made things much easier than I expected. Hopefully things stay quiet in Hamburg. It's in Livingston County, not the democrat run city of Detroit. We expect better in Livingston County.

The other issue comes from earlier this month. I know I'm going to get some flack from both sides for this, so let me get this out of the way. I'm not speaking for SAFR-PAC. I'm speaking for only myself. I also support the current legality of open carry in Michigan, even though I personally do not open carry. I support the right to own AR-15s, also known as "evil black rifles" in some books.  Laws and bills outlawing this need to be fought until they are destroyed for good. Open carry isn't my thing personally, because I don't want you, or more importantly, the bad guys, to know if I am carrying or not. It's nobody's business. Sometimes I carry. Sometimes I don't. There are two things important for everybody who supports freedom and the 2nd Amendment. First, we either all hang together or we lose it all. Secondly, fight smart.

I've been active in the 2nd Amendment movement for 12 years and have followed this issue for 18 years. I remember when it wasn't cool to be pro-gun. Now politicians try to tell us they are. Some are pro-gun. Some are pro-gun when it is convenient. Some are anti and want to hide it. Some are anti. Some don't care about the issue at all, outside of votes. That last group is probably the largest in Lansing. It's not personal for most politicians, but they want the votes.  I remember when it was us against the whole establishment. I remember how close we were to losing our rights in the mid 90's, and once again after Columbine. That gives me a different perspective than much of the new generation and new areas of fight on firearms issues. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.

Open Carry is a relatively new matter in Michigan. People, including cops, are being educated on this issue. It's a work in progress. Many people, otherwise pro-gun are uncomfortable with open carry. This was shown in Lansing. There was a planned open carry meeting at the Lansing Ponderosa. It's being heavily discussed on MGO and other websites. Apparently, it was not controversial...until someone walked in with an AR-15, an "evil black rifle." While I give this an A for enthusiasm, I give it an F- for tactics. It was really f'ing stupid, and hope this does not cost us big. I know for a fact this isn't going over well in the legislature with even friendly staffers and reps giving a "What the hell's going on?" type of phone calls. I haven't talked to our county reps on this yet, but I will soon. I can't speak for them, but I think I know them well enough where I doubt they were impressed by this (at least tactically), and they aren't anti-gun individuals. I wouldn't be shocked if there is fallout for this. There is discussion on some gun bills at least behind the scenes and I think our odds of getting them passed is lower today than it was then.That's from two different sources which I trust. No, I'm not revealing them.  

Right now, I'd say if there was a straight up national vote in the house or senate on outlawing AR's and other "evil black rifles" (EBR's) altogether, it would be real close. As recently as 2003-2004, a ban passed the senate as an amendment to the reduction of frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers. People forget that. I don't. That's just for EBR's in the home, let alone someone carrying one on the streets. I'm Irish by blood, and inherited their long memories. Six months is an eternity in politics, let alone six or seven years, let alone 12.

As far as open carry, if I decide to carry my pistol openly in Brighton, I may get a couple of looks, or may get no reaction whatsoever.With my hair and look, I could also probably pass for a cop outside of uniform depending on what I wear. I do know if I carry my shotgun, let alone an EBR, I'll bet money that I'm going to be having a run in from Brighton PD, make the front page of the Argus, and not be painted in a favorable light, and this is in a generally pro-gun county. Some things are for the home. Lansing is a very anti-2a area. If I was at this Lansing Ponderosa, was unaware of the open carry meeting, and saw the EBR, I'd be nervous, have my guard up in a major way, keeping a close eye on that entire room, and would be making my way to the exit (Pistol no, Shotgun, rifle outside of hunting season - yeah). If it was the firing range, I wouldn't have my guard up. If I was at the owner's home, same deal. If it was hunting season and in the area, I wouldn't blink an eye depending on what was being hunted (.223 good for varmints, too weak for deer).This got a WTF reaction from me followed by "oh shit". I'm not anti-gun by any stretch of the imagination, and don't think that this should be banned, strictly on what I call "lawcreep" grounds. We have too many laws in this state and country, and giving this up will open the door for giving up more in laws later. That's unacceptable. Period, and I opposes ANY new anti rights legislation for that reason. That aside, it's not me you are trying to convince.


Yes, Open Carry is legal, but is that going to be still the case with more events like this? I highly doubt it. In fact it would not surprise me to see something like that as a cost for new otherwise pro-gun legislation. SAFR's been steadfast at opposing rights for some, not for all legislation, but other groups are much more quicker to support a bargaining chip, the same ones who would endorse a Joe Schwarz if you get my drift.

Don't give them the opening.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Republican Liberty Caucus event Feb 27

I got this sent to me. February 27th, the Republican Liberty Caucus will be having their annual convention.

From the RLC


It’s time to elect some more liberty-focused Republicans to the Michigan legislature in 2010! The Michigan chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus will hold its annual convention at Andiamo Italian Restaurant in Novi on February 27 from 4:30 to 6:00pm.
The Convention will feature former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and State Representative Justin Amash.
The RLC will also hold its annual business meeting to elect officers for 2010-2012. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.
We are asking for a small $10 entry fee for non-RLC members. In order to vote or run for an officer position, you must be a dues-paying member of the RLC ($30 annually; $20 for students). Learn more or join at http://www.RLC.org/.
See you there!

Gary Johnson was the last Republican governor of New Mexico and left due to term limits. His name has been rumored as a candidate for 2012 Presidency.Governors usually win, especially against Senators. Justin Amash, candidate for the 3rd district congress, will also be there. 

I haven't made any endorsements for 2012 or the 3rd yet. I do support however a lot of what the RLC stands for and would like to see it more active. I'm going to try and make this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

MI-03 - Terri Lynn Land not running for Congress (Nor is Zandstra)

There's a lot of speculation going on with the open 3rd district race. So far, the only announced candidate is State Rep. Justin Amash. Some speculation centered on Terri Lynn Land, but that was shot down quickly.From Grand Rapids Press


Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is not going to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Vern Ehlers, a spokesman said today. "Right now, she's focused on being part of Mike Bouchard's team for governor," spokesperson Matt Golden said.
Land, a Kent County Republican, who is term-limited as Secretary of State, committed last fall to being Oakland County Sheriff's gubernatorial running mate.


Also according to the Western  Right blog, Jerry Zandstra is not running either. State Rep Dave Agema endorsed his colleague Amash.

Three names I keep hearing are Ken Sikkema, Mark Jansen, and Bill Hardiman. Hardiman got a LOT of establishment support when he ran for State Senate in 2002, but will that transfer to Congress.since a lot of people have their eye on this spot.

Interestingly, there's already a poll from John Yob. Thanks to John for releasing this. From Grand Rapids Press


GOP strategist John Yob did a quick telephone poll of 1,230 likely GOP primary voters Tuesday evening when it became apparent U.S. Rep. Vern Ehlers would resign his seat. Here's what his "snapshot" of the "starting gate" showed: Possible candidate: (Voters) Percentage
Bill Hardiman: (229) 19%
Ken Sikkema: (163) 13%
Terri Lynn Land: (151) 12%
Dave Hildenbrand: (129) 10%
Mark Jansen: (90) 8%
Justin Amash: (81) 7%
Brian Calley: (67) 5%
Kevin Green: (33) 3%
Jerry Zandstra: (27) 2%
Undecided: (252) 20%


Terri Land and Jerry Zandstra can be taken off the list. Dave Hildenbrand has announced for Hardiman's old State Senate seat, the 29th. Dave's a sharp guy, going back to his days with Posthumus. He's got a tough district, but if anyone can win there, he can. Does he switch races by finishing fourth in Yob's poll? I think it depends on who jumps in.

Interestingly, nobody from Ionia County was in the poll. I'd watch for geography to factor in this race. Ionia and Barry Counties, Grand Rapids itself. Eastern burbs (Kentwood, Lowell), Western Burbs (Grandville, Wyoming, Walker), and the Northern and Southern more rural areas. I'll almost bet money that the democrat running will be from Grand Rapids itself.

It'll be interesting to watch.

Connecticut residing Goldman Sachs man Bob Bowman for Michigan Governor? Riiiiight.

 Who is Bob Bowman? He was treasurer for Jim Blanchard, the governor most famous for flying a MSP helicopter and raising income taxes 38% during the "last one to leave turn out the lights" years. (sound familiar?) That's his claim to fame.

Other than that, he works for Major League Baseball, and used to work for Goldman Sachs.Goldman Sachs. There's a vote for confidence, after what they have done the last four years with their buddies Obama, Schumer, and Bush.

He's begin recruited because he's rich. One problem for him. He lives in Connecticut. What would someone in Connecticut get about Michigan? A vacation home in Harbor Springs on Little Traverse Bay doesn't cut it. This guy doesn't understand real Michigan. His only Michigan ties are working for Blanchard and his big money vacation home in Harbor Springs he uses as his primary address, to probably avoid the high property taxes through the homestead exemption.

Bowman told Tim Skubick that Harbor Springs was his home.If it was, why does his campaign donations say Westport Connecticut? NOTHING on the online campaign finance database comes back as Harbor Springs.

Newsmeat under name Bob Bowman - $2000 to John Edwards.(Yes, that John Edwards)

A lot of Michigan donations here but Westport is his home listed.

You have to go back to 1988 to find a Michigan address under the donor files. East Lansing. 

Under the State of Michigan files, he uses a Westport address and donated. I won't post that verbatim, as his address is listed, and I don't post addresses here unless its an office address. $2000 to state committee. Bob Bowman is a carpetbagger from Westport, Connecticutt.

What's Westport Connecticut? It's a rich town on the Long Island Sound with a $1.2 million median price.Median income, almost $200,000. Democrats for working families, huh? Riiiiight. 

We don't need a Blanchard/Goldman Sachs crony from Connecticut buying the election in our great state. Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin were both Goldman Sachs guys in charge of the US treasury. Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson is the chief of staff to Tim Geithner. Goldman Sachs is tight with the AIG bailout.

Say Yes to Michigan. Say no to Goldman Sachs cronies.  Say no to Blanchard jr. Say no to Michigan Governor's living in Connecticut. Say no to Bob Bowman.

Strike one - Blanchard's treasurer and 38% tax increase
Strike two - Carpetbagger from Connecticut
Strike three - Goldman Sachs

Yer out!

Graholm, Democrats, and fiscal liberal Republicans want to raise taxes again

Here we go again.From Peter Luke


LANSING -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm today endorsed taxing the sale of most personal services, reducing the sales tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent, and using the proceeds to cut business taxes and bolster funding for K-12 schools. The tax overhaul provides the foundation of the fiscal 2011 budget plan that Granholm presented to lawmakers in the Capitol this morning. The blueprint closes an estimated $1.6 billion gap in revenues and expenditures.

...

Additional revenue from the tax would finance a phaseout of the $600 million, 2007 surcharge to the Michigan Business Tax and provide an immediate $500 million for the state school aid fund.
The base would continue to exclude business-purchased services, health care and education such as college tuition. It presumably would include services such as entertainment, car repair, dry cleaning and could include accounting, legal and insurance.
Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, has a bill to expand the base and reduce the sales tax rate to 5 percent. The key for Granholm and supporters of the idea will be to identify what services will be taxed and then protect the list from an expected lobbying onslaught from interests seeking carve-outs. A 2007 sales tax expansion collapsed, and was replaced by the MBT surcharge, because it was riddled with loopholes. Ski tickets were taxed; golfing fees were not.
"As this gets more serious, we're going to have more people coming in and saying it shouldn't include us," Meadows said. "It's better to have everybody in (the base) so no one feels jealous about who gets out."
Another flashpoint will be Republican resistance to a tax plan that generates net new revenue for government services and education. Any tax overhaul, said Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Township, also has to come after passage of reforms, such as his proposal to make every public employee in the state contribute at least 20 percent toward of the cost of health insurance.
The Business Leader's plan is revenue neutral overall in that every dime of additional sales tax revenue pays for eliminating the MBT surcharge and cutting a key MBT rate on business revenue.
But the business community is split over the idea.
Michael Johnston, head of legislative affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said every business in the state would benefit from BLM's plan. "We compete on the basis of cost with the lowest cost location in the world," he said. "Our tax policy, if it's going to be successful in creating jobs, has to understand that dynamic."
Richard Studley, president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said business tax reduction should be paid for through meaningful reductions in the size of state government, not "overly complicated, meaningless tax shifts. The problem isn't the method of taxation, it's that we're losing taxpayers."


Now why did I put that title up to include liberal republicans? It's because of this. Business Leaders of Michigan. I heard a lot of touting of them up at last years Mackinac Conference. I discussed there proposals when it came out back in 09. Some of it was good. Some of it was horrible.  The sales tax was horrible, and Granholm had a point asking where the support was from them when she pushed a lower 2 cent services tax. These people want it higher.

BOTH are wrong. Damn wrong. I'll be making some phone calls. We need to call our reps and let them know that new taxes are unacceptable, and that we control the Republican Party, not Business Leaders of Michigan. When Business Leaders of Michigan are right, we will support them. When they are wrong, we don't.

This is a tax increase. Period. 1/2 a cent off the sales tax and 5.5 cents increased on things that aren't taxed, so bigger businesses don't have to pay a surcharge. While I agree that the surcharge has to go, the solution isn't increasing taxes on everybody. The solution is less government, more freedom, real reform, less gimmicks, and tightening of the belts.

There's also this from The Detroit News


Gov. Jennifer Granholm today proposed cutting the sales tax, extending the levy to some services and using the extra revenue to ratchet down business taxes over two years and stave off a $400 million reduction in public school funding. She also called for using a tax credit to reinstate the $4,000 Promise scholarships for college students while requiring graduates to work in Michigan at least one year to be eligible. Further, she would slap a 3 percent tax on physicians' profits to help finance Medicaid health care for the poor and a surcharge on airport rental cars to fund the Pure Michigan tourism promotion.
Granholm also proposes maintaining public school and higher education spending and revenue sharing at current levels. She also would not cut trooper numbers.
The Doctor's tax proposal is back!  Rent a car tax to fund commercials. This budget is a shell game and gimmicks, just like every other one  I've seen for the last eight years.

This is like most Granholm budgets, unacceptable.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Denise Ilitch not running for governor

She was leading in one of the hypothetical polls based on that last name of hers, but decided not to run.

From WWJ 950


In a statement, Ilitch said she was "humbled" that so many people encouraged her to consider a run, but she said the one missing piece of a campaign was time.

"Through a methodical planning process, I saw that the message, resources, and many key endorsements would be there, but concluded that the compressed election year calendar would not allow me to run the kind of campaign for Governor I believe Michigan needs at this time," the statement said.  "And that stubborn fact is the one and only reason why I am not running for Governor today."

Campaigns take a lot of time, there's no doubt about that, although I don't see how the compressed schedule is different than any other year. 

Right now, the following are in or likely in.


GOP:
Mike Bouchard
Mike Cox
Tom George
Pete Hoekstra
Bruce Nichols
Tim Rujan
Rick Snyder


DEM:
Virg Bernero
Andy Dillon
Alma Smith


Bob Bowman has talked about it. The dems are waiting on him.

Bernero jumps in for governor, 3rd District (MI-03) opens?

Some major news in the works.

First, in a surprise to few, Lansing Mayor and former State Senator/State Rep Virg Bernero is running for governor. That makes things interesting. Virg is unknown outside of the Lansing area, but that won't be the case for long. He has a lot of detractors and supporters. One thing I will respect about Virg is that he doesn't mince words much and isn't afraid of speaking his mind. I think he's a real threat to win, much more than any of the names mentioned by the democrats so far. Andy Dillon, Denise Ilitch, Alma Smith, Bob "I don't live in Michigan" Bowman. Virg will work hard and if he loses, it won't be because of lazy campaigning. The GOP is going to have to bring it, no matter who the nominee is on either side, but especially if it's Virg, because he'll be bringing it. I guarantee people will know who he is by the time the primary ends.

Secondly, Justin Amash, a state rep from Kent County has announced he is running for the 3rd Congressional District. From Mlive


ustin Amash, 29, a first-term Republican state representative from Kentwood, announced on his Facebook page minutes ago that he will seek the 3rd District Congressional seat held by Vern Ehlers.

He set up a Web site that touts his record of supporting limited government.

Ehlers, 76, said he would announce Wednesday whether he will seek a ninth term. The district includes Barry, Ionia and all but a sliver of Kent counties.

If Ehlers does run again, he has plenty of cash on hand ($489,645) and raised a healthy $133,786 in the past quarter. The district remains solidly Republican, although the Grand Rapids population base leans Democratic.

Amash's Web site says fellow state representatives Dave Agema, R-Grandville, Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, and Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, all have endorsed his Congressional bid.

Thirdly, speculation is that Vern Ehlers is retiring. That would fit Amash's announcement. Expect a primary. From Hotline



Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI 03) will announce his retirement at a 10 a.m. presser tomorrow morning, according to a MI-based source.
A press release from Ehler's office says the presser "follow[s] speculation about his plans to continue serving" in the House. Several GOP sources tell Hotline OnCall his wife had a heart attack last week, further lending credence to speculation he will step aside.
The 2/10 announcement will come a day after state Rep. Justin Amash (R) announced a primary challenge to Ehlers.
This Grand Rapids-based seat, under the right circumstances, is a potential pickup opportunity for Dems. In the '08 Dem wave, and with the GOP virtually conceding MI, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) eked out a 49%-49% win over Pres. Obama. But in much better times for the GOP in '04, George W. Bush won a comfortable 59-40% win over Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). The current enviro., both nationally and in MI, indicate that GOPers should be in a much safer place to hold this open seat. Ehlers, meanwhile, has never won with less than 61%.
Besides Amash, a GOP source names state Sen. Bill Hardiman (R) as a potential candidate. Hardiman, an African-American, represents a Grand Rapids-based seat in the Legislature, and was former mayor of Kentwood.

This seat should stay ours, but I am a little concerned about it. There's my recent update of the 3rd district.

Assuming this is now an open district, the keys are what kind of a primary we're going to have, and who the democrats are going to throw out for this. I think the good news for us and this district is that the 29th District state senate seat is opening up, since I expect the top democrat candidates to run for that instead because it's an easier district. I think Steve Pestka, Michael Sak, Roy Schmidt, George Heartwell, and Robert Dean could make things more difficult in keeping this seat if there is a divided primary. One on one, I'm not worried. A five on one Joe Schwarz special from 2004 worries me, especially if the democrat is pro-life. (if not, our odds of winning double)

There's a lot of people I can see running for this seat. Some I prefer to others. Justin Amash and Bill Hardiman are mentioned, but I'd watch for former Lt Governor Dick Posthumus, Jerry Zandstra, one of the Glenn Steils, Ken Sikkema, Mark Jansen, Brian Calley, Gary Newell, Kevin Green, or Tom Pearce to make a run, along with a possible countywide officer from Kent County. With Bouchard's early polling numbers, would Terri Lynn Land drop her Lt Governor bid for a Congressional run? (I'm probably going to hear about that comment later. Pure speculation, nothing more.) If the primary looks like it may be divisive, look for that "safe choice" to be recruited. I expect that to be either Land or Posthumus. If either of them run, I think they would be the favorites. If not, this will be wide open for the taking and I haven't followed all the ins and outs of Kent County politics to make a good guess.

This one will be quite interesting.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Asian carp. No halfway jobs are acceptable.

The only thing worse than doing nothing to stop this invasive species is a halfway job like this.

From the Argus


Federal officials said Monday they are attacking Asian carp on all fronts and preparing to spend $78.5 million to do it.



Plans include intermittent lock closures, which could begin by the end of April, and adding more crews to hunt down and destroy Asian carp before large numbers of them can make it into the Great Lakes.
The battery of techniques they plan to use includes sonar equipment, electro-shocking, netting, and expedited testing for carp DNA.
They'll spend $3 million to make the ugly, voracious fish attractive as fish fillets. They will also expand research on carp-specific poisons, sound barriers to deter the fish and methods to disrupt their spawning. A number of federal agencies issued a 46-page report with short and long-term plans for fighting carp as a White House summit with Great Lakes governors was under way.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm said she and other Great Lakes governors insisted Monday during a summit at the White house that Chicago-area locks must be closed quickly, even if short-term, to deal with carp.
Although federal officials included intermittent lock closures—as much as three weeks per month—as a potential solution, that is not enough, said Granholm. "I think there's enough DNA evidence now to shut them down," said Granholm, who added that she does not support the idea of part-time lock closures.

The entire Michigan delegation united on this issue. That alone tells you how big of a deal this is. Just about everyone is on board except Obama not wanting to hurt his big money buddies in the concrete jungle of Chicago. 

Intermittent lock closures are a joke. If you have a squirrel getting in your bird feeder, you don't take the baffle off of the feeder one week a month. The squirrel will get through. It's what they do. If you want to keep deer out, you don't put up a five foot fence. They will jump it. For once I agree with Granholm. Close this down, get rid of the bottomfeeders, and then open it up.

How big of deal is this? Gigantic. This up to 100lb fish gets 40% of its bodyweight each day. This will starve out the fish in our great lakes. Trout. Salmon. Perch.Whitefish. Walleye. This is a $4Billion dollar industry, and these carp are a major threat to that economy. I don't want to lose our fishing to a damn carp of all things.

Not only are the Great Lakes at risk, but so are the inland waters. Most, if not all of the rivers and streams in Michigan are connected to the Great Lakes. In Livingston County, the Huron River eventually flows to Lake Erie. The Red Cedar and Looking Glass Rivers flows eventually via the Grand River to Lake Michigan. The Shiawassee River flows eventually into Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. The carp likely wouldn't go this far inland with the dams, but they could cause some problems flowing upstream in those rivers near the coast. That'll hurt the economy even more.

Take em out of the Illinois Waterway.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rick Snyder Super Bowl Political Ad

I just caught the Rick Snyder ad. It's slick. I'll take a look at the plan on his site and see if he actually has details for a change beyond platitudes and company line talk "Reinvent" etc.

Apparently it did its job of getting noticed considering how many people are looking at my archives and the two Rick Snyder posts there. Obviously, I'm not a supporter of Mr. Snyder.

I do not support Rick Snyder, and these two posts explain why. I wasn't happy with Gateway's products, the outsourcing of jobs from America to other counties during his tenure at Gateway, nor his vague politician answers to questions. I was not impressed.

We need a reformer as governor, but I don't see it from Mr. Snyder. It's the same center-left style of Lansing in-crowd who have run Lansing the last eight years  - both parties. Those fee increases and spending increase from  2002-2006 were supported by Rick Johnson and Ken Sikkema and 1/3 of the Republicans as much as it was by Granholm and the democrats.The problem is the self appointed elitist mindset that is evident by the powers that be. Snyder may or may not have that mindset, but his circle of supporters with the Center for Michigan (which support tax increases) do.

March 2009 post on Snyder

August 09 - Outsourcing at Gateway

Right Michigan also has a lot of archives and posts on Rick Snyder as well.

Snyder so far has struck me as more of the same with a different gimmick.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

House just voted to raise debt 1.9 Trillion. Gary Peters was for it before being against it.

A round of Bronx Cheers and boo birds go to the US House today. They voted 217-212 to raise the debt ceiling nearly $2 Trillion more dollars. Obama will sign this, proving that he is no fiscal conservative.

From the AP


The House on Thursday voted to allow the government to go $1.9 trillion deeper in debt — or about $6,000 more for every U.S. resident. The measure, approved 217-212, would raise the cap on federal borrowing to $14.3 trillion. That's enough to keep Congress from having to vote again before the November elections on an issue that is feeding a sense among voters that the government is spending too much and putting future generations under a mountain of debt to do it.
Already, the accumulated debt amounts to roughly $40,000 per person. And the debt is increasingly held by foreign nations such as China.
Passage of the bill would send it to President Barack Obama, who will sign it to avoid a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations.
"I can't think of a more reckless or irresponsible act. Defaulting is not an option," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. "If the United States defaults, investors will lose confidence that the U.S. will honor its debts in the future.
Democrats barely passed it through the Senate last week over a unanimous "no" vote from GOP members present.

And we have this half-arsed measure.


To help win passage, Democrats are also adopting — in a vote later Thursday afternoon — budget rules designed to curb a spiraling upward annual deficit — projected by Obama to hit a record $1.56 trillion for the budget year ending Sept. 30. The new rules would require future spending increases or tax cuts to be paid for with either cuts to other programs or equivalent tax increases.

Pay as you go, as this is referred to, is overrated. It doesn't do much. We don't need a pay as you go program. We need government to spend less money than it takes in period. 



If the rules are broken, the White House budget office would force automatic cuts to programs like Medicare, farm subsidies and unemployment insurance. Current rules lack such teeth and have commonly been waived over the past few years at a cost of almost $1 trillion.
Most other benefit programs — including Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps — would be exempt from such cuts, and Republicans said that the rules lack teeth.
"In place of real fiscal discipline, it offers a phony pay-as-you-go rule that is more loopholes and exceptions and does nothing to tackle our government's long-term structural deficit," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas.
Skeptics say lawmakers also will find ways around the new rules fairly easily. Congress, for example, can declare some spending an "emergency" — a likely scenario for votes later this month to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

In other words, the supposed safeguards are smoke and mirrors. It was thrown in because this is unpopular, and those who voted for it can pat themselves on the back and say they are watching the spending. In reality, they are doing jack.

"We don't have a choice," said Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn. "We are on an unsustainable march toward a fiscal Armageddon." Obama's budget projects the government's debt doubling to $26 trillion over the next decade. It offers few solutions for seriously closing the gap other than promising to appoint a bipartisan commission to come up with a plan to address the problem.

Commissions. Another joke. How about passing a budget that spends less money than it takes in. Period. That's it. It's not hard. All it takes is discipline, hard works, and balls. That's something that congress lacks, and that Obama never had.  

Thomas has the roll call vote. 217 yes votes. All democrats. 212 nays. 175 Republican and 37 democrat. 5 didn't vote, 2 democrats and 3 republicans.

Of the Michigan delegation.

District 1 - Stupak - Y
District 2 - Hoekstra - N
District 3 - Ehlers - N
District 4 - Camp - N
District 5 - Kildee - Y
District 6 - Upton - N
District 7 - Schauer - N
District 8 - Rogers - N
District 9 - Peters - N
District 10 - Miller - N
District 11 - McCotter - N
District 12 - Levin - Y
District 13 - Kilpatrick - Y
District 14 - Conyers - Y
District 15 - Dingell - Y

Mark Schauer and Gary Peters voted no. Feeling the heat from the populace? Or are you being chameleons? In reality, the no vote from Gary Peters was crap. Schauer's wasn't, and give credit where it is due. Peters however was for it before he was against it. Here's the procedure vote to consider the resolution in the first place. Peters voted yes to consider this, and then voted no for the final vote to make himself  look good.

If you're for big spending and debt, at least have the "Peter" to be for it both times it is up. At least Dingell is honest about his spending. Gary Peters is just a coward and I hope the voters of the 9th District send him home for his waste of money.