Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Latest Michigan Poll - Anybody's game

There's a new poll from Glengarriff Group for the Detroit News and WDIV. It has rather interesting crosstabs.

The polls has this:
Obama - 47.5
Romney - 45

What really caught my attention is this.

This is all about turnout," said pollster Richard Czuba. "If Democrats turn out their voters, they win. If Republicans turn out more, they win. It's a pretty simple equation, as difficult as campaigns are."Romney leads Oakland County by 8.9 percent and Macomb County by 16 percent. Obama is up by 15.7 percent in Wayne County. That number does not include the city of Detroit where Obama owns nearly all votes.

IF, and that's a BIG IF -  IF either the Macomb or Oakland crosstab is accurate, we're in good shape. If BOTH Macomb and Oakland are accurate, (Wayne won't be accurate then) blowout win for Romney. How often do I predict blowouts?  I don't. Personally I think Macomb and Oakland's crosstabs are a little too good to be true, but I don't think Non Detroit Wayne County is a 16 pt deficit either. When Bush won Macomb by 1.5% and lost Oakland by 0.5%, he lost non-Detroit Wayne County by about 10.5%. The crosstabs don't make sense if Obama is supposed to be up by 2-3% I know Wayne outside of Detroit is getting bluer, but Mitt's not underperforming Kerry Downriver if he's up in Macomb 16%. He'll do better than Bush in the GP's and that NW corner of Northville, Plymouth and maybe Canton if he's up 8-9% in Oakland. Those areas are all similar to Novi, less so Canton. I expect Romney to underperform Bush in the airport areas (government unions and demographics) and Redford (Demographics).

An Oakland lead of 8.9% or Macomb lead by 16% is very significant. Here's the 04 and 08 results.


2008 GOP Dem Total GOP% Dem% Difference Diff
Macomb 187663 223784 419216 44.77% 53.38% -36121 -8.62%
Oakland  276956 372566 659068 42.02% 56.53% -95610 -14.51%
Detroit 8888 325534 335635 2.65% 96.99% -316646 -94.34%
Wayne 210964 334551 554691 38.03% 60.31% -123587 -22.28%
State 2048639 2872579 5001766 40.96% 57.43% -823940 -16.47%








2004 GOP Dem Total GOP% Dem% Difference Diff
Macomb 202166 196160 402410 50.24% 48.75% 6006 1.49%
Oakland  316633 319387 641977 49.32% 49.75% -2754 -0.43%
Detroit 19343 305528 325961 5.93% 93.73% -286185 -87.80%
Wayne 238407 294519 538767 44.25% 54.67% -56112 -10.41%
State 2313736 2479166 4839227 47.81% 51.23% -165430 -3.42%

For argument purposes, I'll use the 04 statewide votespreads with 08 Detroit votespread. That means there will be about a 200,000 vote deficit that needs to be made up. 2008 is an aberration. McCain quit, in a wave year and KO'ed the ground game for the GOP while Obama's ground game was at its height. 2010 is an aberration as well. I'm using 08 Detroit numbers because of race.

16pts in Macomb would be about 57-41-2 for Romney. Incredible numbers. That would be about a 64,385 vote spread. It would wipe out about 30% of the estimate without anything else.

8.9% in Oakland would be about  53.9-45-1.1. That would be about a 57,136 vote spread. It would wipe out over 25% of the estimate without anything else.

Keep in mind counties aren't in vacuums. Our own Livingston County closely mirrors Western and Northern Oakland County. It is consistently about 13.5% more Republican than Oakland County as a whole.

Snyder - Oakland - 60.10, Livingston 75.05 +15
McCain - Oakland - 41.94, Livingston 55.64 +13.7
DeVos - Oakland - 44.62, Livingston 57.05 +12.5
Bush 04 - Oakland - 49.32, Livingston 62.79 +13.5
Posthumus - Oakland - 48.30, Livingston 61.86 +13.5
Bush 00 - Oakland - 48.10, Livingston 59.14 +11

That is remarkably consistent. If Oakland is polling at 53.9% Romney, expect Livingston to poll at about 67.4%. The target to win statewide in Livingston County is usually between 63-64%. The spread in Livingston would likely be about 33,000 votes instead of 25,000. That extra 8,000 helps. St Clair and Monroe Counties tend to go in the same direction as Macomb County. Downriver has some similarities to Southern Macomb County. They lean democrat, but by how much? If that Macomb number really is 16%, Obama can kiss at least the southern half of Downriver goodbye, and probably Allen Park and maybe even places like Garden City as well in Wayne County.

Do I think these crosstabs are right? I have a hard time seeing Macomb go +16% for anybody, and +9 in Oakland is tough to believe as well. So is Romney being closer to McCain numbers than Bush numbers in Non-Detroit Wayne County. No way. 10% loss in Wayne County? I can see that with an improvement in Grosse Pointe, Plymouth, Northville and maybe Livonia, along with decreases in Redford, Belleville, Van Buren Twp, and Westland. I can also see 3% wins in Macomb and Oakland more likely. 5% win in either o those places will be good and give us a chance. 9% and 16% will signal a likely blowout IMO.

I'll have to see it to believe the poll crosstabs, but I think it's plausible. We can only control what we can control - but we CAN control what we can control. This will be won or lost with the ground game.  Polls are at best a scientific educated guess. No more and no less. Take it for what it is and not what it isn't (set in stone). 

Republicans and conservatives need to GOTV, work the polls, and control the things we can control.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barack Obama enables outsourcing of auto industry (Chrysler)

I'll start out with saying this. I'm from a Ford family. I own and drive Fords. Always have, and probably always will. I'll also never own a foreign car. That includes foreign cars built here as profits go overseas. That also includes Big 3 cars built outside the US. Ford Fusion's in Mexico to me is the same as a Toyota. When my parents took advantage of cash for clunkers (mostly helped foreign cars) Fusions were out. No Mexican cars allowed. This goes beyond partisan politics here. I root for the Big 3 to do well - as long as the jobs stay in the US, particularly Michigan.

One of the biggest myths that gives Obama a good chance to hang on to win in Michigan (not if I have anything to say about it) and  Ohio is that he supposedly saves the auto industry. Bullshit. Romney wrote an editorial calling for reorganization and the NY Times editors gave it the headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Here's the little secret. GM and Chrysler DID go bankrupt - even after the Bush and Obama bailouts. I'm going to repeat that. GM and Chrysler DID go bankrupt. They went to bankruptcy reorganization. Obama and Romney both aren't far apart on that. Romney supported loan guarantees, similar to Chrysler in 1979.  As a Big 3 supporter and owner, they could have been better on this, but they could have worse, like Bob Corker, Gary Ackerman, Michael Cupano, Richard Shelby, and Henry Waxman. Shelby I understand because his state had foreign car plants. I don't like it, but I understand it. Corker I don't get his deal with Saturn being from his state. Nissan has plants in Tennessee, so that's also an influence. With the dems, it's the progressive movement's religious jihad against the Automobile Industry in the name of global warming going back to Al Gore's push to ban the internal combustion engine. John Dingell, hardly a conservative, was pushed off of commerce chair because he supports the auto industry.

The industry will survive, but it isn't what it was. At least 50,000 direct jobs were cut, not counting the suppliers. The Hummer was agreed to be sold to China. Saturn is gone. Pontiac is gone.

I'm not going to say that Romney is as good as Joe Knollenberg, Thad McCotter, or John Dingell when it comes to the domestic auto industry, but he's not a Corker. Obama isn't as bad as Waxman, but he's not Dingell - however there's one real nasty part of Obama's team and its reorganization demands regarding Chrysler. Obama put Chrysler under. foreign control and ownership - to a company that has never been able to break through in the US. Fiat.

From 2009 - Forbes.

Chrysler must become friends with Fiat pronto.
The U.S. government has threatened to suspend federal aid for Chrysler unless it secures a deal with the Italian carmaker within 30 days, senior administration officials told Forbes.

The repercussion of Obama forcing Chrysler to go to Fiat  is right here.

From Bloomberg news.
Fiat SpA (F) Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne set a target two and a half years ago to sell 6 million cars annually by 2014, a goal that analysts and industry observers at the time deemed impossible to achieve. They were right.
Marchionne, who runs both the Italian automaker and Chrysler Group LLC, has said he will revise his forecasts when the two companies announce third-quarter results tomorrow. Analysts estimate his sales target will need to come down by 15 billion euros ($19 billion).
“Marchionne was too optimistic in 2010,” said Giuseppe Berta, a professor at Bocconi University in Milan who has written several books on Fiat and has worked as a company historian. “Fiat and Chrysler can’t grow by self-propulsion to the famous 6 million-car target.” 

And here's the devil in the details.

Fiat’s problems are bigger than many rivals’ because its troubled home country accounts for half its sales in the region. Its plants in Italy, where car sales are on pace to plunge this year to the lowest level in more than three decades, are running at 50 percent of capacity, far below the 80 percent threshold typically considered profitable.
To counter the severe slump in European sales, Marchionne is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America. The Italian government is evaluating tax rebates on export goods to help Fiat. Marchionne may announce details of his plan as soon as Oct. 30, the people said.
“This makes sense on multiple levels” as it will boost plant utilization and would cap “Chrysler’s own potential, limiting the likely cost to Fiat shareholders of buying out the Chrysler minorities,” Stuart Pearson, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London, said in a note to investors today. “However we see no quick answers, and fear debt could surprise negatively first,” said Pearson, who rates the stock underweight with a target price at 3.90 euros.
Jeeps built in Europe to be imported here? Jeeps outsourced? You got to be kidding me. That's an American icon. Keep in mind that it was Obama's demand that Chrysler goes to Fiat.

Romney's getting heat for his comments and ad about outsourcing, but Bloomberg's story here shows that he's not off the mark. GM and Chrysler DID go bankrupt under Obama, and Chrysler WAS put under foreign control with outsourcing, and Chrysler's manufacturing may very well go to Europe, if not necessarily China.  

If the Peter Principle in Chief Obama wins a second term thanks to being lucky that reorganization happened when he was CEO (so he can portray himself as the hero he isn't), he's not going to have to worry about this anymore. I expect Marchionne to announce the outsourcing to be official November 10th or so, no matter who wins. Election cover.




Friday, October 26, 2012

This election will be won or lost with the ground game

This election I expect to be razor thin. I don't know how accurate the polls have been. Right now, voting has begun in several states. Absentees are out. Early voting is going on as well in some places. Who's winning? We don't know and we won't know until starting 11 days from now. National polls, if you believe them are starting to favor Romney. State polls for electoral votes, if you believe them, are still favoring Obama. Keep in mind that polling is, when done right, a snapshot in time of an accurate sample of the state's electorate. Some are disputing the R/D weight of the electorate based on a 2008 measurement. Some think due to racial demographics that the weights are more accurate than some would like to believe.

I think Michigan is in play, but if today was the election, Obama would take it by 3-4. That's TODAY, not necessarily November 6. I think a lot of the blame falls on our so called leader and liberal supposed republican Rick Snyder. Don't blame me, I voted for Mike Cox. People are still sore on Rick Snyder for his pension tax and his gas tax proposal. He vetoed election protection bills. He's also against the 2/3rds that would stop people like Snyder from enacting his gas tax proposal. This clown, who ran as a businessman, is making things tougher for Romney. The only good thing I'll say about Snyder is that he appointed Zahra to the Supreme Court and his push against the SEIU and MEA. However, with Romney's similar style in presentation to Snyder, it's not helping him here.

As for Romney, I'll say this. He's not Obama. That was enough for my vote. It buys us time until we get someone better (that's why we have primaries and time to build a farm club of governors like Mike Pence).  A worst case Romney presidency would be better than what we've seen with Obama. If Romney wins, at worst, we'll see this:

  • Better Supreme Court picks than Kagan and Sotomayor
  • Eric Holder - Janet Reno protege and Fast and Furious boss - gone from Attorney General
  • Tim Geithner - Goldman Sachs guy and AIG buddy - gone as Treasury Secretary
  • Hillary Clinton - Gone as Secretary of State
  • Steven Chu - Foe of domestic energy development - gone as Energy Secretary
  • Kathleen Sebelius -  Staunchly pro-abortion including late term abortion, and opponent of religious freedom - gone as Health and Human Services Secretary. 
  • Janet Napoliantano - Gone as Homeland Security 
  • Barack Obama - Record setting debt - Gone as the Peter Principle in Chief. 
  • Green Energy scams, cronyism, and waste - Gone

If that's the worst case scenario - I'll take it. I'm not expecting Mitt to be the next Thomas Jefferson, or the next Mike Pence, but I'll even take George W Bush with his fiscal headaches (Obama is worse) than what's there now. I think Mitt will be better than Bush on fiscal issues (although no Pence or even Engler), and hopefully won't get in our way on social issues (but he won't be Joe Schwarz or even McCain). 

Back to the polls. Regarding the poll variance and predictions, the message I have is this. Control what you can control. Anything else is a guessing game. The dems are going to control what they control - up into including cheating. From Project Veritas





That's Patrick Moran. His dad is Jim Moran, controversial congresscritter from Northern Virginia. Jim Moran is known for plenty of shenanigans, and it apparently runs in the family. The question for us is this -  If the urban democrat machines go back to their Chicago or Tweed roots, what are we going to do about it?

The majority of people don't like politics. They are above politics. However, politics isn't above any of us. If we don't dictate politics, politics will dictate to us. During the last 11 days, there's actually a lot of things we can do.

1. Vote against Obama and that means Romney. That's the easiest part. (For those wanting other candidates, that's why we have primaries.)

2. Yard Signs - Finally, more signs are in. While I'm a strong vocal critic both publicly and privately of the sign policy this year, they are coming in. They are available at your local victory center. For those here in Livingston County, you can pick them up next to the Howell area Hungry Howies near the Great Escape. Grand River just east of Chilson in Genoa Township.

3. Volunteer work - There's a big push going on now. Last minute phones (I don't do that and understand why people won't), lit drops, doors, and other last minute campaign stuff.

4. Poll watching and challenging - If you want to stop the Patrick Moran shenanigans, there's a way we can help. Poll challenging and poll watching on election day. Anyone can be a poll watcher. Poll challengers have more powers (and must follow strict rules - do not talk to the voters). If you are interested in being a challenger, contact state party at 517-487-5413. They will give you necessary training needed. The more (good) challengers we have out there, the better the chances of everyone being on their best behavior. If you are a challenger, don't forget to vote absentee.

It's the ground game that will win this election, whether it be for defeating Obama, or whether we'll be stuck with the Peter Principle in Chief for another four years. There's things we can't control, but we can control what we can control. We have to make sure we can control what we can control.

Protect freedom. Defeat Obama.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Vote Yes on Proposal 5 (2/3rd to raise taxes)

There's a lot of disinformation out there regarding proposal 5 by its opponents. The government class knows that tax increases are unpopular, and also know that without the disinformation, voters will easily approve the measure. This is the text of Proposal 5
PROPOSAL 12-5 A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT This proposal would: Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation. This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution. Should this proposal be approved? YES __ NO ____
What the government class is saying is that you can't cut taxes if proposal 2 passes. That's an absolute crock of bullshit. I repeat. Bullshit. If Proposal 2 passes, it would take 2/3 to raise taxes, but a simple majority to lower them. What this would do, is limit the "replacement" taxes (like MBT for SBT), tax shifts, Granholm's taxes, Blanchard's taxes, and Snyder's pension tax, push for the gas tax. What this would require is instead of bailouts, actual structural reform that has long been needed. Vote NO on 2,3, and 4. YES on 5. There's arguments either way on 1 and 6. I went reluctant yes on 1, and reluctant no on 6.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WALLY Train to Nowhere still somehow around

The Train to Nowhere is still being pushed. This waste of money has being talked about for years and has been pushed since 2007. It was a waste of money then, and is now.

From the Argus

Growing ridership on rail lines in other states indicates the proposed Washtenaw and Livingston Line communter train between Howell and Ann Arbor is primed for success, Michael Benham said.
Benham, rail coordinator for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, which oversees WALLY, will bring that message to two upcoming programs in the county.
He's slated to discuss WALLY on Oct. 31 for a Livingston County Department of Planning event, and again Nov. 13 for the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Good Morning Livingston series.
The most recent project development came in August, when a $640,000 federal grant to help pinpoint costs of the rail project was announced, Benham said.
He said there has been a "reawakening of interest" in WALLY in the county since announcement of the grant, which will be used to complete preliminary engineering and station design.

They later compare this to a project in Nashville. There's a big difference between Nashville and the Ann Arbor/Livingston County corridor.  I'll just state the obvious.

Population of Nashville - 600,000

Ann Arbor - 114,000
Northfield Township - 8200
Hamburg Township - 21,000
Genoa Township - about 20,000
Howell - 9500

Nashville has four times the population of the areas affected heavily from the Train to Nowhere. It's also a helluva lot more dense in population than all of these areas except possibly (and I'm being generous) Ann Arbor and Howell. In addition, the Ann Arbor train station isn't downtown, but Plymouth Road. Downtown  Ann Arbor isn't covered except by a shuttle. The Genoa Station would be in the most rural part of the township. All that's there is Vic and Bob's Party Store. The Northfield Station would be in an industrial spread out part of the township away from downtown Whitmore Lake - which isn't that bad to begin with. .

People would have to drive to use the train. This is like one of those Solyndra Green Jobs Charlie Foxtrots.

And there's this:


WALLY has been estimated to cost $32 million. The Livingston County Board of Commissioners said early on that it would not financially support rail operations. Genoa Township officials have declined funding as well.
Hamburg Township officials have expressed interest in investing at least a nominal amount of money in the railway effort.
The city of Howell supports the project, both in spirit and in dollars. The city contributed money for project planning when WALLY was first being evaluated as well as later for station design work.<.

Kudos to the County Commissioners for saying no. I wrote this back in 2007 back when the startup costs were estimated at 3 million.

In order to cover the estimated operation costs from regular commuters - you need 408,334 a month - 1814 commuters a day (including weekends, so weekend warriors are very important). That leaves 2.9 million in debt from startup costs which can be paid for over a few years with good profit.


In order for this to pay for itself, the ridership would need to cover salaries, parking, security, maintenance, infrastructure, and everything else. This area doesn't have the population to cover a mass rail project. We aren't the big city. We shouldn't try to be.

Monday, October 08, 2012

More last minute 2012 - Absentee ballot is in, Romney not quitting, school board, proposals, judges

Back on the 25th of September, I thought we were done and going to get our asses kicked across the board like 1996. Not quite the 2008 levels, but bad. I was hearing a few things, and it wasn't good. I posted a blistering comment that asked if Romney was in or out.

From what I have heard, there were some conflicting camps. I know Romney has some campaign staff with strong MI ties. Others were yesmen to the overrated Karl Rove (Crossroads) and wanted to follow the lead of the Superpacs and follow a McCain and coward out. The last thing ANY campaign should do is follow the lead of a republican presidential campaign which lost Indiana at the same time Mitch Daniels won by 17%. When you quit states and don't compete, you have to run the table to win - and the other side plans accordingly.

Personally in the age of Direct TV, Cable, internet, TIVO, new media, cell phones, and high absentee voting, I'd be running campaigns a lot different these days than the old days. Part of it is in some ways going back to the real old small town days, at least in regards to signs.

The site 270 to win lists what their opinion are battle states, red states, and blue states. They list as follows:

Obama - 237, Romney 191, Up for grabs 110

Florida - 29
Ohio - 18
North Carolina - 15
Virginia - 13
Wisconsin - 10
Colorado - 9
Iowa - 6
Nevada - 6
New Hampshire - 4

That leaves little room for error. North Carolina and Florida are musts. Always have been and will be. That makes it 237-235. Obama's going all in for Virginia and Ohio. If he gets both, then Romney needs all of the rest. Good luck with that. Gore nearly did it in 2000, but most candidates don't run the table. If Romney gets both Ohio and Virginia (and NC and Florida), then Obama would have to run the table. Not going to likely happen.

If Obama and Romney split Ohio and Virginia, then those small states will make the difference. Whoever has Ohio has the easier road.

Romney Ohio not Virginia - 253, 17 to go from Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Nevada/Iowa (6), and New Hampshire (4). Wisconsin and Colorado are the biggest keys there. 

If Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or New Mexico becomes up for grabs in the last week (as John Kerry had to campaign in Michigan in the last week), it could make things easier. If Michigan flips, so does Ohio, Florida, and possibly even Pennsylvania. Too many similar demographics. If Romney upsets Obama in Michigan or Pennsylvania, the election will be over.


I don't like the timeline for the move made by the Romney camp with absentees out last week (both my parents and I have ours from Genoa and Green Oak) because 34% of the vote is usually cast before election day. It's cutting it real close. However, I'm glad it's not later than it was. I'm probably turning my in tomorrow. I think Romney's camp started made a big move last week, similar to what I saw two weeks before the election in 04. The differences between 04 and now are this. Bush and Kerry made a bunch of moves in 04 with the big one two weeks out. Romney didn't make many if any moves before the last week. Romney's move was a big one, but he needs another one because he's climbing out of a bigger hole than Bush did in 04. In addition, Bush's opponent was a traitor. Obama's incompetent, arrogant, and the Peter Principle in Chief, but he wasn't with "The New Soldier" and call soldiers war criminals and Genghis Kahn like John Kerry did.  The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth won that election for Bush in 04. They won it by their ads and the Kerry senate speech.

It looks like Romney isn't going to coward out like McCain's campaign did. Paul Ryan just visited Oakland University. MIGOP just bought a bunch of signs now and I'm seeing them up at houses, some of which I haven't seen signs before, like in 04. It's a start. We know have a chance, which wasn't the case on September 25th.

That debate was huge. Obama looked like the arrogant, incompetent, smirking nose up in the air, jackass that he is. The Peter Principle in Chief. Romney stopped trying to worry about saying something that could offend people and just started being himself. He ran as a competent businessman. The big issue this year is the economy and jobs. Real jobs, not the fools gold green jobs that rich white progressives on the coasts try and push on real America. Obama's failed there, but of course it's never his fault. He always blames someone else and fails to man up.

The momentum is there. Mitt needs to go out and win this now instead of playing not to lose and prevent (from winning) defense.

My final decisions on the 2012 proposals.

1. Reluctant yes. I don't like either option between the new law and the old law. The new law is less worse than the old law.
2/3/4 - HELL NO.
5 - HELL YES
6 - Reluctant No. I signed the petition (for turnout reasons), and I don't support tax money for a new bridge right now, but it's not something I think that needs to be put in the Constitution. I'm tempted to stick it to Rick Snyder, but don't want to use the Constitution to do that.

For school board:

Howell - Mike Moloney, Deb McCormick, Pat Howle

Brighton - Nick Fiani and Keith Van Hentenryk

Judges:
Supreme Court - Stephen Markman, Brian Zahra, Colleen O'Brien. Big no to Bridget Mary McCormack who has never been a judge at any level.

Probate - I'm keeping this one quiet because I deal with estate planning which is in probate court. It's better for my clients this way unless a candidate which is running would be absolutely terrible and needs to be defeated. Both Miriam Cavanaugh (not the same family/spelling as the Supreme Court Justice) and Lori Marran have their strengths and backgrounds. Cavanaugh is an assistant prosecutor who works mostly in juvenile cases. Juvenile cases are usually handled in probate court in Livingston County. Marran is a referee and works heavily in family law. That's also a probate related area. I think both can do a good job as judge. My choice here is a vote for, and not a vote against. Perform your due diligence, do your research, and make your decision.

The other judicial races here are uncontested. Carol Sue Reader on the District Level and Mike Hatty on the Circuit Level.

Green Oak's getting the blank voting treatment from me outside of the non-incumbent trustee, Tuthill. I'm skipping those races. They are unopposed so it doesn't matter, but I'm tired of all the millages on the ballot here.



Friday, October 05, 2012

2/3 to raise taxes - Vote YES on proposition 5

The Argus has a story on Prop 5.

A two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes in the state Legislature isn't such a super idea, according to foes, which include the governor as well as major businesses and municipal groups.

Yet Proposal 5 backers said it's only common sense.

"People of all political backgrounds — Republicans, Democrats, Independents — have come to us and said this just makes sense," said Lana Theis of the Michigan Alliance For Prosperity, which placed the issue on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

Opponents, including the normally tax-averse Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said the measure would do more harm than good.

"We take pride in having a long history of advocating for tax relief, but this is simply the wrong proposal," said Jim Holcomb, the chamber's senior vice president of business advocacy.

Tax issues are always contentious, and most tax-relief and restructuring packages tend to pass by a simple majority vote in the Legislature, not the harder-to-come-by two-thirds margin, Holcomb said. "It ties the hands of the Legislature. If this were in place, you'd have never have gotten rid of the (Michigan Business Tax)."

Gov. Rick Snyder sounded a similar concern in statements and a video posted at michigan.gov/snyder.

I often agree with the Chamber, but I disagree with them here. I think of the reasons they oppose this is due to their support for the gas tax increase. Some of their members are the roadbuilders. The other thing is this. If 2/3 was enacted, the MBT could have very well be gone. It doesn't take 2/3 to pass a tax cut or decrease. However, that damn pension tax would not have been enacted, nor would the Granholm taxes. As far as Snyder goes, his opposition to this is another reason to support it. He just came out supporting the gas tax increase. Voting for prop 5 is a good way to tell him that we're in charge, and he's not.

"I think you could eliminate a tax rather easily. But the question becomes, what do you replace it with and would that qualify as a new tax?" Lupner asked.
Replace it with reduced spending. Government doesn't have our trust. It hasn't earned it. Vote yes on proposition five.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Last minute stuff

That first debate was big. Romney needed to make a move. He needed to call out Obama point by point on his bullshit. He did that. Is it too late? That's the question and we won't know the answer of that until the results of the election - which already started - are in. This is the first momentum I've seen go his way since Ryan was picked.

Kudos to MRP as well. State Party came through with Romney/Ryan sign shipments to the local victory centers. I think campaigns lately have been about a week or two behind schedule. Absentees are out now and people are making their final decisions.34% of the vote is likely to be in before election day. All that stuff that people say should be ready 30 days before the election now needs to be pushed back to 45 days. That includes signs.

One thing concerning me is the Supreme Court. MRP last election was on top of things with the signs for Justices Mary Beth Kelly and Bob Young. I don't see anything out for Justice Markman, Justice Zahra, and Judge O'Brien. I've seen signs for one of the dems, although not the Hollywood favorite Professor McCormack. Those need to be out ASAP, especially for Zahra who I think may have some trouble due to last name bias. He's an experienced judge and deserves to be retained. He also needs some help this campaign, and right now I'm not seeing anything outside of a couple of TV ads.

Markman, Zahra, O'Brien.

 


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Dumb and dumber at it again (Feds micromanaging schools)

This may be one of the biggest money wasting items I've seen since the stimulus package. Only the nanny state thinks of this stuff.

From Todd Starnes at Fox News

A Florida school district is considering a plan to install surveillance cameras on cafeteria trash cans to monitor what kids are throwing away – after they discovered that students were tossing out their federally-mandated fruit and vegetables. The Lake County School Board said more than $75,000 worth of vegetables have been thrown in the garbage. The veggies and fresh fruit are party of the Obama administration’s policy to force schools to provide healthy produce in lunch rooms.

“It’s fairly specific recipe of what they would like us to serve,” Lake County School Board member Tod Howard told Fox News. “Unfortunately, much of it has to do with fresh fruit and vegetables and it seems to be going into the trash. And that’s not okay.” So Howard suggested the district attach security cameras to the trash cans to monitor exactly what is being thrown away. “It will also give us documentation so that we can go back to the federal government and say here’s what we are finding,” he said. “We do know there’s an issue.”

School districts across the nation are furious with the Obama administration’s orders. Some students have staged strikes while others have launched petition drives urging the federal government to change their policy. But Lake County is believed to be the first to actually videotape kids tossing their veggies – and that has some parents upset.
Dumb - Cameras used for surveillance to make sure kids are eating the vegetables. How much do they cost? How is this going to be enforced? Is it possible to enforce? Etc. In Howard's defense, he SAYS that it's for evidence to tell the feds that the policy doesn't work.
Howard called those concerns “conspiracy theories” and said they were not going to force kids to eat their vegetables.
“I don’t want anybody to be on camera at all,” he told Fox News. “This would be aimed directly into the trash can. By no means would any of our students be in the picture.” He said the cameras were meant to give the school district evidence they need to push back against the federal guidelines.
Surveillance cameras aren't needed for that. Take a picture of the trash bin and send it to the dipsticks at the federal government. While I'll take Howard at his word here, the feds may just tell them to do exactly what Howard said he doesn't want to happen in the era of Obamacare. That leads to dumber.

Dumber - The Feds. What the Hell are they doing involved in what should be local decisions in the first place?  We have school boards. They work for our local communities. We hire and fire them as voters, and also vote with our feet. While local school boards have their issues, they are a hell of a lot more qualified than some federal bureaucrat in DC. I thought "No child left behind" from Bush and Kennedy was bad and this is even worse. Whether the kids eat or do not eat their vegetables are not the feds business. It's mom's business, not the Peter Principle in Chief's business.

Outside of the eyes of the parents, whether kids eat their vegetables or not will be their decision. The nannies don't want to hear that, but that's just the way it was, is, and will be unless you have armed guards patrolling the lunchrooms enforcing that policy under criminal penalties. That's quite possible in the future as lines between public schools and prisons are blurring some in the post Columbine era of "zero tolerance." .

The federal government is neither smart enough, nor trustworthy enough to be involved in local school matters. 

Election has officially started in Michigan (also debates)

It may not be November 6th, but the election has started. Ballots are out in some communities. My parents have their absentee ballots. I haven't checked my PO Box yet, but am expecting mine anytime.

AV voting is about 34% of the vote (August primary 2012). Campaigns neglect AV work at their peril. Santorum lost the primary largely due to AV voters in the February primary. AV voting might have made the difference in 2002 for Granholm. I'd have to check that, but the dems cleaned up AV votes that year. It was closer since then.

Debates are coming up. I've already made up my mind for the Presidential race. Lesser of two evils. Again. I'm voting Romney because he sucks less. Obama's the worst at least since Carter and has shattered all the records involving the national debt and budget deficits, not to mention his energy policy and love for $4 gas. Romney can't be worse than Obama.

I'm not a big fan of presidential debates, and oftentimes the winner is the opposite of who I think won the debate. Usually I think both suck. I realized eventually that the debates aren't made for folks like me. They are for non political people. I don't like talking points, and that's what 'debates' are all about. I'm the person who usually responds with "How" or  "Give me specifics" when I hear a talking point. If I'm watching at home, I usually respond with "Bullshit" if the comment is exactly that. Another one of my favorites is "What kind of a question is that?" in response to questions that are frankly worthless. I don't know who is going to win the debate. Usually I think both candidates lose because they don't go in enough detail. What Romney needs to do is first and foremost, stop playing not to lose, push his plan, and explain his plan. Give people a reason to vote for him besides Obama sucking.

Talk is cheap. We have four years of an Obama regime. Before that, he served part of a term as a US Senator and State Senator. Despite his weak qualifications and lack of experience, there's enough there for us to know what he's about. Four more years will be more of the same, and more of the same cabinet.

Romney was Governor of Massachusetts. Before that, he was a businessman and was the main guy with the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Don't look at what they say. They are politicians. Look at what they have done outside of running their mouths.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Eight felonies for dishonesty? And you want to be state rep? (HD-01)

From the Argus/Gannett


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Brian Banks is asking residents of Michigan’s 1st House District to trust him with their votes.


His campaign Web site says they can “bank on Banks” — an eight-time felon convicted of writing bad checks and credit card fraud between 1998 and 2004.
Banks, 35, insists he has turned his life around.
Banks said he received a GED, graduated from college, earned a master’s degree and a law degree, and is working on a doctorate.
“Yes, I’ve made many poor decisions, and yes, I have a record, but that’s exactly what it is, my past,” Banks, a Detroit Democrat, said last week. “I would ask them to look at what I’ve accomplished professionally and academically, since my poor decisions.”
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The last conviction was 8 years ago.  All the crimes are fraud related.

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Among Banks’ endorsements is one from Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, but the sheriff was not aware of the felony convictions when he gave Banks the endorsement, spokesman Dennis Niemiec said.

“He’s shocked,” Niemiec said. “He was led to believe he was a practicing attorney, which would have required him to pass a character and fitness” examination.
Banks said he graduated from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University but has not been admitted to the bar.

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Unauthorized practice of law is also a crime. Banks should have been real clear that he is NOT an attorney. If you don't pass the bar, you are not an attorney. 

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In April 1999, he was arrested in Troy and later pleaded guilty to three counts of credit card fraud and another count of check fraud. In August 1999, Southfield police arrested Banks for passing bad checks, leading to another guilty plea.
In December 2003, he was found guilty of passing bad checks in Grosse Pointe Woods. In June 2005, he pleaded guilty to passing bad checks in Charlotte, southwest of Lansing.
“It’s one thing for Bert Johnson to fall in with a bad group, but it was only once,” said Bill Ballenger, editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter. “This looks like a pattern.”

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I'd let a one time thing pass. Hell, if it was just drug possession and he cleaned that up, I'd be less worried. If it was aggravated assault or even assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, there may in fact be an understandable reason for it. These are dishonesty crimes. Fraud. As an attorney, possibly the worst thing one can do outside of being a sex offender in regards to risking a law license is to commit fraud. This isn't even Bert Johnson who was 19 and did one bad thing and learned from it. I did a helluva lot of dumb stuff at 19 myself (although I wasn't a thief), and was lucky enough not to get caught.  Banks was 28. At 28, it was long past time to grow up. I was back in school going for a law degree.

Hopefully, Banks did turn his life around, but right now, I can't trust his decision making with any financial ramifications. There's a choice though.

With no incumbent running, Banks narrowly beat four other Democrats in the primary. He now faces Republican Dan Schulte, a Grosse Pointe Shores city councilman, on Nov. 6 in a district that experts say tilts sharply Democratic — about 70 percent.


If people can get past the damn straight ticket lever and think for themselves, there's a choice. Dan Schulte. I'm sure Schulte will win the Grosse Pointe portion. Hopefully, Detroit stays home. This is likely a safe D district, but if there's any chance a seat like this isn't safe, this is the year.