Thursday, June 25, 2009

Terri Land not running for governor. Bouchard receives her endorsement

Nick at Right Michigan breaks the story

This I didn't expect, but I have been wondering why Land was not as active as I thought she would be. I think what is more interesting though is who she endorsed. Bouchard, from the other side of the state. I think the big winner here is Pete Hoekstra.

We have running:
Mike Bouchard - Oakland County Sheriff
Mike Cox - AG, Wayne County
Rick Snyder - Ann Arbor businessman
Pete Hoekstra - Congressman from Holland
Tom George - State Senator from Kalamazoo

In my opinion, Land dropping out eliminated of one of the two strongest West MI candidates in the race. I don't think Tom George is all that well known outside of the Kalamazoo area, political junkies, and maybe Battle Creek as well. He may be a stronger candidate down the road, but I think he'll be going for Upton's Congressional position depending on redistricting, or Lt Governor.

As for the Bouchard endorsement, I think Land is running for Lt Governor. Does this help Bouchard? Some. I think it helps Hoekstra more. I think what is interesting is that despite some political ties, Land did not endorse Snyder. That tells me that there is either a major issue disagreement, or a question of an issue like experience. I don't think Snyder's going anywhere anyway.

I like Bouchard, but my concern for Bouchard is if can he win. I think he should have beaten Stabenow, not lose by 15%. If this was a 4-5% loss, I'd be less concerned because of the 2006 disaster, but DeVos ran better than Bouchard. Part of that was Stabenow being more popular than Granholm, but there's no way in hell we should be losing statewide races by 15%+. That only usually happens with no shows (McCain), quitters (McCain), and Sacrificial lambs (Levin's opponents).

I don't think that was all Bouchard's fault, but I didn't see as many specifics as I wanted to see in his last campaign. I hope that changes. The campaign in 06 was more on the line of Bouchard being a good guy and the sheriff. I agree with that, but we needed to see more. I hope we see more in the primary.

Still undecided in 2010.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There goes my first choice for President in 2012

Almost anyone following politics knows the news, so I don't need to rehash it here. Mark Sanford's in big trouble.

Now I've heard there are some bigtime beauties in Argentina but Mark, what the hell are you thinking? Married for 20 years, four kids, in good shape as SC Governor, and a darkhorse right now for the presidency, and you blew it by literally disappearing out of state and country for some action. For that cost, she better rate an 11 out of 10.

Damn. Maybe Mike Pence will run.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bachmann, the Census, and ACORN

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is causing a stir regarding her refusal to answer many of the questions on the 2010 census.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told the Washington Times that she and her family will not be fully filling out the 2010 census forms.

Bachmann, a Republican, said her family will only be indicating the number of people in the household, because "the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."

Bachmann believes the upcoming census to be "very intricate" and "very personal" and expresses concerns about ACORN's involvement in the data collection. The community organizing program came under scrunity after charges of voter registration fraud during the 2008 presidential elections.

"I think what the threat of ACORN would be deluding the ballot box and the effectiveness of our vote," she said. "They will be in charge of going door to door and collecting data from the American public, this is very concerning."

Bachmann also expressed frustration at the president's backing for ACORN, saying he has supplied $8.4 billion to ACORN since he has come into office, a number that far surpasses the $53 million given in the past 15 years.

First off, the shady organization ACORN should be put under investigation as an organization for voter fraud. Many of their employees and/or associates have been convicted of voter fraud in the past regarding registration. They need to be far away from the census which should not be politicized. By law, the census is required to be non-partisan.

As far as refusing to answer questions on the census, well that is against the law, and the census is one of the issues that is specifically enumerated to the federal government. The law states:

Whoever, being over eighteen years of age, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

It's a $100 fine. It's a $500 fine for a "false answer." In other words, it's a traffic ticket financially. I'm not sure however if it is considered a civil infraction of eqivalent, or a misdemeanor without doing more research. Exceptions are made for religious purposes. Those questions can be refused an answer. Now, I need to check and see HOW I can answer them.

Census 2010 has its website out. - It is something we all need to keep an eye on to make sure that this doesn't become a nightmare due to the shady and unsavory characters of ACORN. So far, little is known except that Gary Locke appointed former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial as chair of the advisory commission. "New Orleans Mayor" automaticaly gets my guard up a bit. That's not exactly the most cleanly run city in this country. It's right there with Obama's Chicago and Boss Daley when it comes to corruption. By law, the census is supposed to be non-partisan, so a close eye needs to be kept here.

There is no long form for the census this year.
The 2010 Census will be a short-form only census and will count all residents living in the United States as well as ask for name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure – taking just minutes to complete.

However, the American Community Survey replaced it, and is required by law. Heads up there. This replaces the long form and is what likely strongly concerns Bachmann.

Now as far as I'm concerned, name and number of people in the household, is the only thing that SHOULD be asked. The rest is none of their damn business. I'd like to see government stop classifying people by race. If we ever are going to get past race in this country, it starts with that. Start treating people as individuals. The one that pisses me off through is income (ACS Survey). That one I will do whatever legally possible to give an answer that does not lie or give them what they want to see.

The purpose of these surveys and census information outside of counting people and redistricting information is for government programs. This is used for determining government funding - most of which shouldn't be the job of the federal government to begin with outside of federal infastructure (Interstate Freeways, US Highways). The more that hampers this, the better. Most of this stuff should be a state and local issue, not the domain of Washington DC.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's past time for Hamburg Township's government to start acting like men

One thing Livingston County is known for is Republican government. While I'm not a big fan of government in general, for the most part it is run well. We don't have the taxes of our neighboring counties. The quality of life here is better than our neighboring counties. The government is less intrusive than our neighboring counties. We also seem to tend to have less clusterbleeps than our neighboring counties. All of those neighboring counties are dominated by democrats outside of Somewhat Republican leaning Jackson County (which we barely border), Competitive Shiawassee County, or slightly democrat leaning Oakland County. Ingham, Washtenaw, and Genesee County are all democrat.

The main exception to the rule, outside of school boards which have more democrats on them, is Hamburg Township. Hamburg Township's government is an embarassment to my county, and my party. Right now as of today, I would not vote for the incumbents on that board, in any of the cliques. I would be voting for non-incumbent related primary challengers, 3rd party candidates, or as a last resort, write in Mark Dantonio. I don't know his politics, but he conducts himself with a lot more class and professionalism than the individuals collectively running Hamburg Township. Lucky for them, I'm in Green Oak Township next door, so I don't have to make that decision.

The Argus has the lastest in this clusterbleep. It was another bitchfest at the the township meeting.

The Hamburg Township Board of Trustees asked Clerk Matt Skiba to resign during Tuesday night's meeting in response to the clerk taking over control of township building alarm codes against board orders.

The board also approved a vote of no confidence in Skiba as clerk, after Trustee Bill Hahn told Skiba he had lost all faith in him.

"I, personally, don't believe or trust anything you do or say," Hahn said. "You're just not capable of working with this board."

Skiba did not resign and gave no comment on the issue other than a "no" vote on the request.

The resignation request came after Skiba.....

What's this, a no-confidence vote? That's not for the board to give. Matt Skiba, love him, hate him, or in-between, does not work for the board. Why should he resign because a half-dozen people don't like him. He does not answer to the board and is not an employee of the board. He answers, as does the board, to the taxpayers of Hamburg Township. THEY are the boss. This isn't Canada where the no-confidence vote leads to a new election. Now it is no secret that several on the board and influential powers there have been trying to kick out Skiba since he won the primary in August 08 defeating an incumbent, so this is taken with a grain of salt and with the respect it deserves.

Township Supervisor Pat Hohl said the board appointed Rand-azzo to take back security of its buildings because there were 15 active, unnamed codes that would allow entrance into the buildings under Skiba's control.

Tuesday, the board also voted to have Skiba turn over control of all duplicate keys to township buildings. Hohl made an address to the public to "apologize for the embarrassment."

Sorry Pat, you're contributing to the embarassment as much as Skiba, or the entire board is for that matter. I know some are worse than others there, but right now frankly - who cares. The average citizen in Hamburg knows about as much on the board as I do. Some, but not everything. We all DO know that it's collectively an embarassment to the township, the county, the state, and my political party. I'm tired of it making the news. I've seen comparisons of this to Monica Conyers and the Detroit City Council. That is not a compliment. I'm tired of seeing that. I'm tired of the county and my political party being embarrassed. I don't give a rat's arse who is to blame anymore.

Meanwhile, Skiba took more heat from the board for a letter he wrote concerning a recall petition against him and then posted on the township Web site.

On the other side of things, that ain't smart. Recall campaigns, both for and against, are considered political campaigns and are just like election campaigns for all intents and purposes. This shouldn't be discussed either way during township meetings.

This damn bickering has been going on in some form for over two years. It did not change with the primary election where the incumbents were tossed out. It should have. As a political party, we almost lost some spots in Hamburg to the democrats. Hamburg isn't all that Republican to begin with compared to the other townships in the county like Genoa. It's time for them to man up, stop bitching at each other and games playing, and do their jobs. I've had to work with people I didn't like. I've worked with people with different philosophies. We manned up and got the job done. I did what I had to do and left when things outside of my control made it no longer a place to which I wanted to be associated. If I was able to do that at 22 and 23 years old back in the day, these individuals in their 40's, 50's, and 60's should be able to do the same thing.

Now if these individuals are unable to man up and work with each other to get the job done, then there is an easy way to settle this like men, and make it a fundraiser at the same time. Get an octogon from the UFC, set it up at legendary Zukey Lake Tavern, and have township mixed marshall arts to determine the winner. Let's get it on! At least that would be entertaining. Winner stays on the board. Loser goes home and no longer runs for any township office. I'll volunteer to be the ref. Yes, I'm joking....maybe... It wouldn't be any more of a joke than the current situation happens to be at this time.

So Hamburg Township government, stop giving us all in Livingston County a bad name.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The GOP's biggest obstacle to a comeback, idiot senators

First of all, I want to get this out of the way. I'm not on board yet for the 2012 Sarah Palin for president campaign. I'm still undecided, and while I like Palin, she's not my first choice among potential candidates. That aside, Palin is a big draw for the grassroots, and that rubs some insiders in the beltway the wrong way. There was a whole bunch of yapping back and forth about a big NRCC fundraiser where she attended.

This lead to a sneering catfight from DC's The Hill that reminded me from a scene from the movie Ghostbusters. From the mayor's office scene - Is this true? Yes it's true. This man has no dick.

From the Hill

Several GOP senators offered searing criticism of the Alaska governor when asked in recent interviews whether she could pose a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012.

“She has to hunker down and govern and show she’s not a joke,” said a GOP lawmaker who represents one of the southern battlegrounds of the 2012 election.

First of all, if you don't sign your name to your statement, it's a joke. This reminds me of the anyonomous coward state rep here last year over the tax increase who was all pissed off that he was being pressured by the GOP to reject the tax increase. That's why I thought of the scene from Ghostbusters. If you can't put your name behind it, then it is worthless. It's cowardly.

We'll find out in 2010 about Palin's ability to govern as decided by her constituents back home. My money on this statement was Graham, and he's a joke as far as I'm concerned.

One GOP senator questioned whether Palin has enough gravitas for voters to trust her in tough economic times.

“If the economy implodes, I don’t see her as having much of a chance,” said the lawmaker, who noted that Palin’s national political ambitions have caused her political troubles at home. “She has also taken on water up there in Alaska.”

Sounds like wishful thinking.

Sadly, the democrats had the best quote here.

Meanwhile, Democratic strategists delighted over the confusion caused by the spat.

“Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the NRCC-NRSC dinner planning meetings,” quipped a senior House Democratic political aide.

Right now we have an economy in the crapper. We have record deficits and spending. We have massive big government power grabs by Obama's goons, and you people are all bent out of shape with Palin? Do your jobs for once and try and put up some spirited opposition and alternative plans.

Once again, the US Senate, democrat and republican alike, shows the worst the government has to offer, and Obama can be tossed in that category as well. He was a senator.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bouchard is in for Governor

Nick at Right Michigan posted this. The announcement was yesterday.

I like Bouchard, but I am concerned after what happened in his race against Stabenow who should have been defeated. Now Bouchard didn't get a lot of help which was a travesty, I am skeptical about backing someone that Stabenow got 57% against.

Personally, I'd like to see Bouchard run against Gary Peters instead.

Gas Tax push continues

The Argus story today gave Mike Craine (road commission) a bully pulpit to parrot the talking points of the Lansing elite in its support to increase the gas tax. This is just what I want to hear as the prices are going up to $3 a gallon once again.

Livingston County’s top road official said the county will eventually have to “dis-invest,” rather than reinvest, in local roads unless action is taken to increase the state gas tax and vehicle registration rates.

In the coming weeks, state legislators will debate incremental increases to the state’s 19-cent-a-gallon gas tax and registration fees, which are now the primary recommendations to generate $1.8 billion in road funding over the next five years.

First of all. DAMNIT - GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. We do not have a 19-cent-a-gallon state gas tax. I repeat. We do not have a 19-cent-a-gallon state gas tax. I repeat this one more time for everyone in the cheap seats to hear. We do not have a 19-cent-a-gallon state gas tax. Capice? This, convieniently, and in my opinion, intentionally, does not mention the 6% sales tax.

So at $2.85 a gallon, what I paid today, we have the raw price, plus the federal 18.5 cents federal tax, then the 6% sales tax, then the 19 cent surcharge.

$2.85 - 0.19 = 2.66 - about .17 = 2.49 - about 19 cents in federal tax = a $2.30 raw price (including markups and all that).

$0.55 cents a gallon total tax at the pump. $0.36 cents in state tax. That makes us number one in the country in the highest gas tax, upending Wisconsin's $0.32 cents a gallon.

Then the Argus is back as it again....

State gas tax and fee increases are currently the only answers to boost funding for Michigan’s often crumbling roads, said Livingston County Road Commission Managing Director Mike Craine.

“They’re the only available answer, but it’s not been a good idea to talk about a tax increase since 1983,” Craine said.

An 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax is also charged at the pump.

Craine said the county continues to see the greatest declines statewide in revenue from overall fuel taxes, and income from registration fees has become stagnant despite the county’s tremendous growth during the past two decades.

Once again, this whole thing is based on the false premise that only the gas tax pays for the roads. That's it. Until SOMEBODY gives me a plan that is not based on that false premise, I'm not even going to listen to it.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Amateur Hour. Brian Deese as GM boss? Even I'm more qualified than this guy.

I have about as much faith in this guy than I did of Gary Bettman when he was first named NHL commissioner. Gary Bettman has been a disaster for the NHL. Bettman was a lawyer who was the VP for the NBA and had no hockey experience whatsoever.

Now who is Brian Deese? He's a 31 year old Yale law student whose work experience includes work at two political think tanks and hosting of a radio show.

From Foxnews:
Deese grew up in a Boston suburb, the son of a political science professor at Boston College. He moved to Vermont and attended Middlebury College, where he studied political science and also took time to host a campus radio show called "Bedknobs and Beatniks," described in one write-up as "a format of music, news, discussion and banter."

He graduated college in 2000 and then it was onto a pair of non-profit think tanks: the Center for Global Development and the Center for American Progress.

Eventually Deese went to Yale for a law degree, but a few credits short of graduating, he went "on leave" to work on Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, quickly becoming her top economic policy staffer.

Last summer, Deese moved to the Obama campaign as a deputy economic policy director and, just before this current gig, he served on Obama's transition team as an economic adviser.

Great. We're about the same age, and I'm more qualified than this guy. At least I have the degree and some business experience. However, there is no way I am qualified for this job. Put Iacocca in charge. We don't have time for this much of a learning curve.

This isn't a startup business. This isn't another think tank. This isn't even a law firm. If it was any of those three, I wouldn't bat an eye about Deese's qualifications. The first has a bit of trial and error, and the last two he is qualified or would be with a shorter learning curve. However, we're putting an almost lawyer who worked at a think tank in charge of General Motors, once the biggest company in the world.

Has Deese ever dealt with a payroll? Does he have any business expereince? Accounting experience? Does he know how the factories and dealerships work? Does he understand franchise contracts? Does he understand supplier contracts? Labor contracts? For the most part, I doubt it. He's going to be the one telling all these auto executives what to do? How's he going to answer all their questions? All Deese is going to know is the yesman company line, that being Obama.

For this type of a job, we need someone with a doctorate degree from the school of hard knocks, like Iacocca. However, I don't think he's the yesman that Barack Obama wants running the show.

Does Deese even drive an American car?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Hummer to soon be a foreign truck?

Well, I won't be buying one of these anytime soon. If true, Hummer is no longer an American car company.

From the AP?

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. took a key step toward its downsizing on Tuesday, striking a tentative deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese manufacturer, while also revealing that it has potential buyers for its Saturn and Saab brands.

GM has an agreement to sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. of China, said a person briefed on the deal.

The Detroit automaker announced Tuesday morning that it had a memorandum of understanding to sell the brand of rugged SUVs, but it didn't identify the buyer. A formal announcement of the buyer was to be made Tuesday afternoon, said the person briefed on the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been made public.

Sichuan Tengzhong deals in road construction, plastics, resins and other industrial products, but Hummer would be its first step into the automotive business.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Government's war on the auto industry

Right now, the biggest enemy to our auto industry is the government. First of all, I titled this "Government's war on the auto industry." I did not title this the Obama Chicago Mob war on the auto industry, or even the democrat war on the auto industry. They are some of the biggest villans, but they are one of many.

The first Bush was not a friend of the industry. Clinton was not either. He signed NAFTA and GATT. Ross Perot warned us of a giant sucking sound of jobs with the passage of those two trade agreements. He was right. Al Gore wanted to outlaw the internal combustable engine. Bush basically sat on his hands and then bailed out Wall Street along with his parters McCain and Obama on this. Both McCain and Obama lectured us about manufacturing and threw the auto industry under the bus. Obama was the only reason I voted for McCain. Only reason.

Right now the auto industry is double flanked by a significant number of pols in both parties. On the Democrat side, our industry's best ally is John Dingell. Dingell did his best, but the CULT of global warming, knocked him out for a radical in Henry Waxman. They also knocked out Joe Knollenberg, one of the two best friends of the industry on the Republican side. The other one is being targetted. Thad McCotter. McCotter is one of the few true friends of the auto industry left.

The Republicans have their own jerks. McCain was one. Bob Corker and Richard Shelby the party switcher is another. Corker got his wish with a GM bankruptcy. Guess what. Saturn's gone. Where's Saturn based? Spring Hill, TN. Great job standing up for your state, son. With "friends" like those two, we don't need any enemies. I hope both of these individuals get a nice primary challenge when they are next up for election.

The doubleflank is the global warming left like Pelosi, Waxman, Gore and Obama and anti-UAW right like Corker, Bush, and Shelby. One wants to punish the industry because they want cars banned except for the rich elite, and the other wants to unionbust at the cost of the entire company. I have mixed views on unions but I damn well don't want to see my industry destroyed.

The biggest threat is this cult of global warming. This global warming cult based on temperature data of 150 years (1860-today - and keep in mind we are coming out of a 500 year mini ige age from around 1300-1850), a microsecond of time by earth standards that is billions of years old. I'm not going to debate global warming here, except that any 150 year data set is worthless). It may exist. It may not. I'm not convinced that it is a problem even if it does exist, and I damn well am not buying any doomsday crap based on what we breathe out - CO2.

Regardless of the truth of fiction of global warming, I have a hard time with supporting government regulation over every aspect of our lives, and the rapid destruction and dismantling of our state's industry that built the middle class in our country.

What we have today and in the future was a long time coming. Many dominoes have fallen so far in the government war on the auto industry. Unless you've tuned out the news, today GM, once the largest company in the world, has filed for bankruptcy. Some of you here reading may not care. You will, when this affects your state, and your city, and it will. Believe me, it will.

Plants are closing, in Michigan and elsewhere. These people need to find work. They have families. Many are moving away to find work. Some are going on welfare. Many will take early retirement and look for other work. Dealers will close. Suppliers will close. The ripple effect will follow. Schools will have lower enrollment. Less money. Less tax money is collected because of lost jobs and at the local and state levels, relocation. The much ballyhooed services industry is losing money too. Auto workers and their families won't be spending as much money on tourism and luxuries.

In the Chrysler case, the government forced it to go under a large part of foreign ownership because Obama likes the Fiat. With its bankruptcy, so far, they are losing 25% of its dealerships. That's a lot of jobs. The UAW and the Government combined owned 65%.

In the case of General Motors, to begin with, 2100 dealers will be closed or placed on standby, as will 14 plants, seven in Michigan, including the Lake Orion plant which hits close to home in this family. GM's also off the NYSE and Dow.

This is supposed to "save" the industry? Thousands of dealers, dozens of plants, God knows how many suppliers, and all that this supports? What about the Mexico or foreign plants? GM's plant closings alone will cost 21,000 jobs.

All of that is subject to change by the courts as well. It could be worse.

Now as for the government dicates, here's a question. When has big government run anything top notch? Look at the US Senate. You will not find a bigger group of jokes on the face of the earth. From Levin and Stabenow doing nothing for Michigan, to Durbin, Obama, McCain, (formerly) Ted Stevens, Robert Byrd the pork king, Corker, Shelby, Specter, Feinstein, Boxer, Biden, and 1/2 of Obama's cabinent that came from that joke of a political body. Now the government and Obama want even higher CAFE standards, and are pushing the Big 3 away from what they do best. Trucks and SUV's.

Some of the inside stories I have heard are leaking what the Obama people have been yapping about. I am paraphrasing this to protect this individual who doesn't want his name out there. People with 30 years of auto experience in both foreign and domestic cars are being dictated to by government bureaucrats from Obama's admin, people with no manufacturing experience, no auto industry experience, no business experience, no finance experience, and no engineering experience. Big government at work.

One was telling the auto industry to make a car that was electric and liquid natural gas with enough combined fuel to go 500 miles to reduce the number of gas stations. They were quoting BTU's (energy measurement) of natural gas and battery life that they had looked up by some advocacy group.

This was nearly impossible based on the laws of physics due to the size of the car needed for that. Common sense. The number of batteries and natural gas tank would be gigantic. We'd have to drive busses. The individual mentioned the laws of phyics, and the Obama bureaucrat said that they needed to tell Congress to change that law or use an executive order. Good luck with that.

Lastly, I'm hearing a lot of preaching by Granholm and the others in both parties about diversifying the economy. Yeah, I support that. Who doesn't. However, diversifying the economy should not mean that we throw manufacturing under the bus. We need to protect our manufacturing. We need to keep these jobs home, not in China. We need to stop throwing our blue collar heritage, culture, and manufacturing under the bus. The next person who runs his mouth about these jobs not coming back needs to be forced to drink soup for a week.

When it comes to the auto industry, the government has failed this country. It has failed with big regulations, trade agreements, micromanagement, and its jihad with the cult of global warming. The best thing the government can do is reduce the regulations, enact fair trade agreements so our manufacturing isn't dead, stop the heavy taxes and red tape, and work for energy independence in a proper fashion, by an all of the above policy including drilling and refining, as well as nuclear technology.

Who cares about the possibility of global warming if your state is being turned into an economic depresssion. It's time to put Michigan first.