Friday, January 31, 2014

Executive Order - The problem is 50 years in the making

There's a lot of debate about the overuse of Obama and executive orders. This brings back the Clinton years and Paul Begala's quote "stroke of the pen, law of the land, pretty cool." The problem with this is two fold. One is easy abuse of power. The presidency wasn't meant to be a king, or even a prime minister. The presidency is meant to be a glorified executive director. Another problem is an increasing quasi-legislative role of the presidency.

Some say "we need to elect someone to lead us." I don't. I don't need, nor want, a leader. I'm perfectly capable of leading myself. I'm electing an employee, an executive director who is supposed to be a good caretaker of a limited executive branch. I don't care if the person there is Obama, Bush, or someone I would support that wouldn't be a lesser of two evils. I'd vote for a Mike Pence in a minute, but I'd still want to see a limited power executive branch. 


SCOTUS is probably going to make some determination's to the limits of executive orders.That said, this is a problem going back way before Obama, and way before Bill Clinton for that matter. Many branches of the Executive Branch are notorious for abusing their power. EPA. BATFE. TSA. HHS. IRS. That's the fault of the executive branch, but also the fault of Congress. They created the departments and gave broad regulatory powers to these departments.

Congress gave the executive order powers by broad regulation matters. We're paying for that now. Some of those departments like the BATF(E) and TSA should be eliminated. Gone. Othes should be severely limited.


Don't like the executive orders? Then take the power away from the executive branch.

Another LT Governor Challenger?

Found this in the Detroit News

Another Republican wants Calley's job

The number of would-be Republican convention challengers for Lt. Gov. Brian Calley could double. Lapeer attorney Todd Courser has been emailing supporters with a survey about whether he should run.
It is an interesting development given that fellow tea party advocate Wes Nakagiri announced months ago he’ll battle to replace Calley as the junior partner in Gov. Rick Snyder’s virtually certain re-election bid. A year ago, Courser came close to wresting party leadership away from Bobby Schostak.
It appears the possible dual threats to Calley have sparked suspicions of GOP infighting over delegate selection for the summer 2014 convention. Courser and tea partiers are leery of efforts — real or imagined — from the party mainliners to weed out potential delegates who wouldn’t support Calley.
“If those who are in leadership in the party are using their official position to recruit pro-Calley and suppress anti-Calley, isn’t that the party leadership getting involved in primaries?” Courser wondered this week in a Facebook post. “Isn’t this the party picking winners and losers in elections that are supposed to open and fair for all Republicans?”
Stay tuned.

Wes Nakagiri is currently challenging Calley. Todd Courser isn't backing Nakagiri because Nakagiri endorsed Schostak.

I am staying neutral in the Lt Governor race at this time. It is as of now a two way race between Brian Calley and Wes Nakagiri and there is no campaign finance committee for Courser regarding Lt Governor. Those who 'might' run are not candidates. As one of my more famous or infamous quotes within the party goes, "if you're not in, you're out." Therefore, I don't consider this getting involved in this race as Courser isn't as of now running. On the same note, while I won't endorse in the Lt Governor race, some things need to be said about Todd Courser. 

He ran for State Rep in 2008. He lost in the primary.

He ran for State Senate in 2010. He lost in the primary.

He ran for State Board of Education in 2012 - He lost in the general. 

He ran for State Party Chair. He lost.

I don't know if he's won a party leadership position in Lapeer, but I've heard he's never been an officer there. 

Courser is 0-4. I don't know all the ins and outs of each race, but there's a reason one goes 0-4, and he Courser doesn't live in a safe democrat area where 0-4 is excusable simply based on demographics. There's a reason why I voted for Schostak at the convention where we voted for State Party Chair. 0-3 was the biggest reason. If Courser runs for governor and wants our votes at the convention, he needs to explain to us how putting "0-4" on the ballot would help us win.

Talking about principles is just that. Talk. Principles aren't worth anything unless they can be enacted in action. 



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of the Union Address

The State of the Union Address is tonight. I'll be skipping it. I have more important things to do tonight, like watch the Michigan State game.

I can't believe a word that the Peter Principle in Chief says anyway. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thoughts on the RNC's rule changes for 2016

I'm always skeptical of DC based organizations. There's been some griping about the changes, but I think the rules aren't going to change that much overall.

From The Hill:

The new 2016 rules will make it much harder for states to cut in line in the nomination process and will help Republicans avoid a repeat of a drawn out, bloody primary many believe damaged Mitt Romney's chances in 2012 of defeating President (Peter Principle in Chief) Obama.
...
"I'm really proud of you for this debate," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said following the vote, to a standing ovation from the committee. "This is a historic day for our party, and I thank you all for what you've done. … We will all have a much better process in 2016."
The new rules will help protect early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — from others who want to rush up to the front, and allow the party to hold an earlier convention, as they look to unite and raise more money for the general election.
The four designated early states will be required to hold their contests in February. States that vote between March 1 and March 14 will be required to award their delegates proportionally, weakening their impact, while states with primaries after that will assign their delegates in a winner-take-all contest, making them much more consequential in the delegate count and adding an incentive to wait.
The states that break those guidelines will face increased penalties compared to previous years. The committee passed a rule drastically shrinking the number of delegates that state would get at the party's nominating convention. States with 30 delegates or more would be cut down to just nine delegates plus the RNC's committee members, and states with less than 30 delegates would be cut down to 6 delegates plus their committeemen. 

This isn't going to be a cure all for the establishment's woes. This isn't going to be the boogeyman like Blackwell's wing thinks.


Virginia Committeeman Morton Blackwell and a half-dozen RNC members from state parties where the party's libertarian wing has wrested control fought hard against a series of changes to stretch the primary process out. Their fear is that a shorter primary season stymies the possibility a lightly funded movement conservative could win the nomination and unfairly benefits cash-flush, establishment candidates.  
 
The problem to be blunt was piss poor candidates, and the coronation attempts, along with some awful strategic blunders. If these rules were in affect in 2012, it would not have changed a thing. A long drawn out primary battle when candidates bash the hell out of each other leads to re-elections of people like the Peter Principle in Chief that's there now.
 
1. Romney. He lost to McCain in 2008 - in a Republican primary. That ALONE should have disqualified him. We all know how 'popular' McCain was among Republicans. Romney was the establishment choice in 08 and lost. He lost again. Did you really expect different for the general this time? People didn't trust him. The one time he caught on was when he didn't listen to his consultants and actually was himself in the first debate. The other times, he was tentative and followed the advice of bad consultants giving the same politicalspeak.

2. Why the Hell do you have hostile folks moderate the debates? We all know the media has a leftist bias. Why let them moderate the debates? MSNBC? CNN? POLITICO? George Stephanopoulos who was obsessed with banning contraception (a non issue since it wasn't going to happen)? Anderson Cooper? You're setting the candidates up for a gotcha. This is the era of the internet. You can set debates up with more than just the supposed "mainstream" media these days and get people to see it.

3. Part of the problem was there was no strong Romney alternative. This was far before New Hampshire. Bachmann, Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, and others all had their turn as the "not Romney" until the media and Romney machine went after them. (and not Obama)  In addition, you had a lot of conservatives join in trashing the "not Romneys" trying to clear the way for someone who wasn't running (Sarah Palin). Santorum was the best of the lot when Pawlenty dropped out early, and he lost bad in 2006. 

If you want to stop the coronation for the media favorite in 2016, it's going to take a strong credible candidate who can set up a good ground game. Organization, time, and groundwork. Set the stage in 2015, and have the campaign ready for 2016. Door knocks, signs, campaign visits, and a good presence in the communities you are targeting. Then use the primary work to carry over to the general. 
 
However, it all starts with the most important thing. The right candidate. Party leaders need to let primary voters pick the best candidate and not push their pet candidate with a coronation. Stop being afraid of Sharron Angle. That type of thinking would have stopped Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio. They aren't 100% perfect, but damn well better than Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist. 
 


L Brooks Patterson, Oakland County, and Detroit

L Brooks Patterson is who he is. There's times he says something that is dead on and other times where I'd give him an earful if I lived in Oakland County. We don't have County Executives here in Livingston County, which I think is a good thing. If I lived in Oakland, I'd vote for L Brooks in that position of County Executive. As a 2nd Amendment guy, I wouldn't want him as my state rep, but he's in the spot he needs to be.


L Brooks made some comments about Detroit again

Patterson also is quoted as saying “Before you go to Detroit, you get your gas out here (Oakland). You don’t, do not, under any circumstances, stop in Detroit at a gas station! That’s just a call for a carjacking.”
The article was written by Paige Williams, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and GQ magazine. She described Patterson giving her “an extended tour of his empire” in a chauffeured minivan this past fall. She interviewed him as they rode along.
In answer to a question as to how Detroit might fix its financial problems, Patterson was quoted as saying: “I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.’ ”

From WWJ

“Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I’m called a Detroit basher,” he said. ”The truth hurts, you know? Tough s***.”

In his defense, his job is to work for Oakland County, not Detroit, and not Wayne County. Oakland County is competing with Detroit, Suburban Wayne County, Macomb County, and to a lesser extent Livingston, Washtenaw, Lapeer, and St Clair Counties. There's a reason why Oakland has its reputation compared to Wayne and even Macomb Counties. Oakland County is at least locally Republican (and when that changes to Democrat, Detroit and Wayne County style government will move north)

Now I wouldn't trade Livingston for Oakland County. Our taxes are lower and there's a more rural atmosphere and culture here. However, if you compare the locally Republican Oakland County compared to Detroit and Wayne County, it's no comparison when it comes to competence.

Wayne County - Democrat. Corrupt. Ficano, McNamara, Granholm, Kwame, Duggan, and company are all from the same machine. High taxes. High crime. Unbalanced budget. Poor services. Incompetence.

Oakland County - Locally Republican for now. They are at a crossroads. If it flips to democrat, Wayne County will move north. If they get their McNamara, then some of these people are going to really miss L Brooks.

As far as Detroit's comeback, as long as they keep voting 97-3 Democrat, it's not going to happen because the people that screwed up will still be in control. An Ed McNamara protege isn't going to fix things. He's just Kwame with a different skin color. Downtown isn't bad, but downtowns, yuppies, hipsters, and lofts don't save cities. It's the neighborhoods that need to be fixed. Until the crime decreases, services are better, taxes are lowered (much higher than Grosse Pointe), schools are better, and insurance costs are lower, the problems are going to be there. Families aren't going to settle there and send their kids to unsafe schools. People will still be voting with their feet to Oakland and Macomb Counties - and hopefully not bring Detroit politics with them.


Regarding the Agema stuff - stop running your mouths to the press

This will be my one and only comment here on the whole Dave Agema situation which AGAIN made the papers today.

The number one thing to remember about Dave Agema is this. He's an RNC Committeeman. It's an inside baseball position. He's not a Governor. He's not a Senator. He's not a Congressman. He's no longer a state legislator. He's not even a party spokesman or a press secretary. He's an inside baseball position with a vote on the RNC. If you don't like what he's said, he's not going to impact that in his position. How many people can name their RNC committeemen and committeewomen? Not many.

Why does this stay in the news? Because people have been airing party related grievances to the press, which is a real dumbassed thing to do. Everytime that's been said, the original Agema comments which started the uproar get another airing which compounds the problem.

Again, this is over an inside baseball position. No more, no less.

In addition, every time someone runs their mouth to the press regarding Agema, more people, particularly tea party activists and social conservatives defend him. Do they agree with him? Some do, but not necessarily. They see "party elites" and the newspapers attacking him, so they will defend him because of the people that attack him. Every single time he's attacked, he'll be defended by them. It's not about WHAT he said or what people claimed he said, but WHO is against him. The view of many tea partiers and other conservative activists is this. If he resigns, the party elites (viewed as the problem by them) win. That's the biggest problem in the eyes of many. They are currently circling the wagons for him.

Worse, when people like Dennis Lennox lead the charge for resignation, it's the pot calling the kettle black. Agema SAYS controversial things. Lennox DOES controversial things, one of which was vandalizing Mark Grebner's wikipedia page calling him a homosexual. That was apparently a $1500 lesson he had to learn. He was also run out of Cheboygan County politics for a reason.

The longer this stuff stays in the news, the worse this is for the party. The best thing for the party is for this to leave the news and to get back to real issues besides someone's mouth. If you want Agema gone, wait until the convention vote for RNC Committeeman and run someone better. That's how to handle this.

My own stance is this.

A. In the convention vote between Dave Agema vs Saul Anuzis, I voted for Saul Anuzis. It was a pro-Saul vote, not an anti Dave Agema vote.  I've known Saul for years. I've met Agema, but I don't really know him.

B.When the time comes to vote on RNC Committeeman, I'll make my decision when I see who is running. 

C. People running their mouths calling for resignations keeps this in the news and does more harm than good. 

Until that period comes, I have more important things to deal with. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Updates

It's been a busy month with work, so I haven't had the time to update this site as much. A few things in the news.

Yesterday was the State of the State address. Here's the speech

Locally, the Argus is stirring up stuff with Brighton Schools again over the board's choice for president. Nick Fiani.

A school board member with the least amount of experience among his peers will lead the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education.
The board, on a 5-2 vote, selected Nick Fiani to serve as president at its Monday meeting. Outgoing Vice President Bill Anderson and Beth Minert voted no.
Despite serving only a year on the board, Fiani, 26, said he’s ready.
“I think I’m experienced and have the knowledge I need to lead the board and district,” Fiani said.
Fiani said the district has become more fiscally responsible, and he said this can be “attributed to my presence on the board.”

Many people don't know this, but Brighton Schools was in very real danger of  getting an emergency manager. They had deficits in a row and were not fixing the problem in an adequate manner. It took newer board members like Nick Fiani and John Conely along with Superintendent Greg Gray to stop that from happening. Some progress is being made, and they are starting to work their way out of danger. There's a lot of work still to be done. The MEA can't stand Nick Fiani and have a target on his back. Nick's got a tough job ahead of him, but he's a smart guy who is confident, able to adapt, and is very good with numbers.

Also, within the party, the campaign between Brian Calley and Wes Nakagiri is heating up. Both sides have been calling current precinct delegates and recruiting people to vote for their people to go to state convention to vote for their candidate. The state convention that elects Lt Gov will be after the August primary, where precinct delegates are elected. I'm concerned about the unintended consequences and fallout from this race from a party related standpoint. It has nothing to do with Wes and Brian themselves, nor their direct campaigns. They are running for office and have campaigns to run. The best chance they have is by influencing the voting pool, and that's what they are doing. If I was running for Lt Governor, AG, Secretary of State, and University Trustee, I'd be doing the same thing Wes and Brian's people are doing.

The concern I have is the party leadership fallout. Precinct delegates elect 1/2 of the executive committee for a county party, and the state delegates that elect district and state party leadership, as well as (eventually) RNC Committee members. I have seen some very cliquish sounding speeches (from a resident of another country, not Livingston) recently regarding party leadership talk.When I hear talk about "takeovers" and "purges", I have a real problem with that. In my experience 99% of the "takeover" pushers are also incompetents that do not know what they are doing, regardless of intention. The precinct delegates I hope win are those who are hard working and thoughtful independent thinkers who use facts and make independent decisions instead of falling into clique thinking that will get us in major trouble. These votes will affect us long after the Lt Governor race is decided. These will affect the structure going into 2014, a rare open seat for President.

 As far as Wes Nakagiri vs Brian Calley, I am staying neutral in this. Publicly and privately. I personally haven't made my decision outside of voting for the hardest working candidate that has the least amount of shenanigans from their camp. Run your election, and tell me why you should get my vote. Tell me how you would help the ticket send Mark Schauer back to Battle Creek. Schauer has a 14 year record. It's bad. He's the type that will talk moderate and vote far leftist because he does what he's told by leadership. Cap and Trade. Banning CPL in cars. Obamacare. Partial Birth Abortion. Public funding for abortions. Granholm's tax increases. Anybody but Schauer.