Saturday, June 27, 2009

Republicans Pass Largest Tax in History

No, this is not a typographical error. You see, when your party is not in power, it is your responsibility to be the party of opposition, the party of obstruction. Make no mistake, if Henry Waxman's HR2454, the "Cap and Tax" bill makes it through the Senate, it will quickly and easily prove to be the largest tax increase ever.

So, why do I say the Republicans passed this bill? Because they failed to do their job. They failed to, as a solid caucus, obstruct this enormous scam on the American people. The bill passed with one vote over the simple majority needed, 219-212. Eight "Republicans" voted for the bill. Forty-four Democrats joined the opposition and voted "NO." But the loyal opposition failed to do their job.

Who are the "Cap and Tax Eight?" Thanks to Michelle Malkin, you can find them here.

If you have any doubts as to whether this is a huge tax increase, you only need to read this article to be convinced.

Want to do something about it? Go to and grade each of these members of Congress. Tell them what you think of them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Future of Health Care in America: A Roundtable Discussion

The Obama administration is pushing hard and fast to enact legislation to Nationalize Health Care in America. If you live in the greater Grand Rapids area, you may want to attend the free Health Care Roundtable to be held on July 1st from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Here is the agenda:

Location: Western Michigan University - Grand Ballroom B
200 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

8:00 am Opening Remarks
                  Lauren Chrissos, Vice President of the Heartland Institute

8:05 am A Primer on Consumer Driven Health Care
                  Michael Raupp, Consultant
                  Jim Gilbert, Creative Benefit Systems
                  Dominic Siciliano, Agent Alliance

8:45 am Protecting the Doctor to Patient Relationship
                 Mark O'Brien, MD

9:15 am How Consumer Driven Health Care Can Save Big Bucks
                 Jim Porterfield, Health Care/HSA Policy Analyst
                 Robert L. Hughes, Advantage Benefits Group

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Public Option: How Legislation in Washington
                    Will Affect Your Health Care
                    Greg Scandlen, Consumers for Health Care Choices

11:00 am An Update from the Front Lines
                    The Hon. Jack Hoogendyk, Former Michigan State Representative
                    Jack McHugh, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
                    Scott Hagerstrom, Americans for Prosperity

11:55 am Closing Remarks

There is no registration fee for this event which includes a continental breakfast.
Please RSVP to Robin Knox, Project Manager for Consumers for Health Care Choices at 312-377-4000

Another Great Liberal Idea: Free Tax Filing Software

Local, state and federal tax filing requirements get more confusing and time consuming every year. Not to worry! State Senator Switalski has introduced a bill, SB643, that would mandate the state of Michigan to give free tax filing software to individual taxpayers.

I guess the good Senator doesn't know that tax filing software is already available free of charge, or at a very low price, (thanks to free market-capitalistic competition).

Levin's $4 million for Tiger Stadium: Spend it Anyway

I quote Crain's Detroit Business from June 10, 2009:

Levin's Tiger Stadium earmark still could be spent

(AP) "A $3.8 million federal earmark intended to help save Tiger Stadium may end up being spent even if nothing is left of the stadium." Read the entire article here.

Below, is an archive of the brief opinion I wrote back in July of last year:

The Detroit Tigers moved to Comerica Park in April 2000. Since that time, the city of Detroit and those interested in preserving the old Tiger Stadium have been looking for private donors to keep the stadium standing. Toward the end, not even Earnie Harwell was able to save the stadium from the wrecking ball. The simple message here is that if private investors can find no value in an historic old ballpark after nine years of trying, then maybe it has no value. Ah, but wait! Senator Levin and his colleague Senator Stabenow have come to the rescue, with $4 million of YOUR money. When I first heard about this, I planned to write a story about it. Then I discovered a great article from Dan Calabrese of the North Star Writers Group. I thought he said what I intended to say, only better. So, with his permission, I present it to you in its entirety.

If Deficits Are So Bad, Why a Federal Earmark for Tiger Stadium?
North Star Writers Group
By Dan Calabrese

Lots of people love venerable Tiger Stadium. Few love it more than I do. I attended hundreds of Detroit Tigers games there - from the day in 1975 when I saw Hank Aaron just miss a home run as a Milwaukee Brewer, to the day in 1999 when Todd Jones, the Tigers´ closer then and now, struck out Carlos Beltran to finish off the Kansas City Royals and close the door on Tiger Stadium's tenure as home of my favorite team.

But just because people love it doesn't mean it's a priority of the nation to preserve it. Don't try telling that, however, to our spend-happy Congress, particularly Michigan's two Democratic U.S. Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

Levin and Stabenow, proud as your cat showing you the mouse she just caught, have announced that they've secured a $4 million federal earmark to pay for the preservation of 96-year-old Tiger Stadium's playing field, as well as a small portion of the grandstand area behind home plate. The full Senate still needs to vote on the earmark, and it still has to pass the House and survive conference.

But even if it never gets any farther than it's already gotten, this needs to be called out for what it is - a completely irresponsible waste of federal money.

It's been known for some time that Tiger Stadium preservationists, fronted by beloved former broadcaster Ernie Harwell, were running out of time and options to raise the money they needed for the partial preservation. Letting the entire ballpark continue to stand was out of the question. The City of Detroit had already let Tiger Stadium twist in the wind for the nine years since the Tigers left it for shiny new Comerica Park, and even in a city famous for letting its historic buildings sit and rot, consensus had emerged that it was time to let go, and let the wrecking ball swing.

Harwell and his group were given a June deadline, and then got an extension into August, to raise the funds necessary to keep the grandstand standing and the playing field intact. Everyone seems to love the idea, but no one was stepping forward with private funds. It seemed quite reasonable to assume that, come August, the entire stadium would come down absent the emergence of a private donor.

When I clicked my Tigers news link last weekend and saw a headline announcing that they had secured the money, I thought to myself, "I wonder who's forking it over?" Then I saw where they're getting it, and I thought, "Oh. I am."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lords and Ladies, Revisited

About six weeks ago, I sent out a letter about Obama's plan to "reform" health care. In that letter, I asked this question: "Have you ever noticed that there is a tendency by the Lords and Ladies of Congress to apply certain laws and regulations on the serfs (the people) but exempting themselves?"

I went on to opine that perhaps we should send letters to Congress insisting that they go first with signing up for a new National Health Care plan.

Ted KennedyWell, it didn't take a genius to figure it out, but as reported in the Wall Street Journal by John Fund, "wait till you hear about the version of the Obama plan prepared by Senator Edward Kennedy, which would specifically exempt Members of Congress from many of its provisions." You can read the entire article in the Journal here. Let me issue the same challenge to all of you that I gave you six weeks ago...

Why not send a note to your member of Congress, Lady Speaker Pelosi, and Lord Leader Reid suggesting this idea. Tell Congress, "you think it such a great idea, give up your own gold-plated plan and sign up for National Health Care!"
      Pelosi                                                                                                            Reid
    E-mail the Speaker                                                                                                          E-mail Senator Reid

As always, I welcome your feedback. Feel free to post a comment or send me an e-mail.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hagerstrom and Hoogendyk on "Get Your Justice Live" Radio Show

Americans for Prosperity Michigan Chapter Advisory Board Member Jack Hoogendyk and AFP-Michigan State Director Scott Hagerstrom joined the Get Your Justice Live program Wednesday June 17, 2009 and they brought a multitude of fresh issues to the national audience. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process.

Click here for the issues and to listen to the archive.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Keeping the Lights on in Detroit: Difficult Under Union Stewardship

Seems the Detroit Public Lighting Department can't keep the street lights burning. (Why do they have their own Lighting Department in the first place?)

Kudos to new Mayor, Dave Bing for suggesting a sensible, cost-saving reform. Unfortunately, he has a union to fight with...

Read the complete story from the Free Press here.

Who Says They Don't Make Good Cars in America?

In April of 2003, I purchased a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan for $7,000. It already had 80,000 miles on it. Today, June 13, 2009, as demonstrated by the photo on the left, I passed 300,000 miles on the odometer.

I am proud to own an American original. This vehicle was originally designed by American engineers back when Lee Iacocca ran Chrysler. It was built by American auto makers in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Has this vehicle been perfect? Of course not. But I can tell you, when taking into consideration, ride, comfort, passenger capacity, ease of maintenance, gas mileage and LONGEVITY, there is no finer automobile on the road. Am I ready to trade my Dodge under the coming "cash for clunkers" program? Not on your life! I am going to keep driving it until the wheels fall off, or until I get to 400,000, whichever comes first.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cap-and-Trade (Tax). It's Time to Act!

Cap and Tax Top Ten List

1. Cap and Trade Is a Massive Energy Tax

2. It Will Not Make a Substantive Impact on the Environment

3. It Will Kill Jobs

4. It Will Cause Electricity Bills and Gas Prices to Sharply Increase

5. It Will Outsource Manufacturing Jobs and Hurt Free Trade

6. It Will Make You Choose Between Energy, Groceries, Clothing, and Haircuts

7. It Will Be Highly Susceptible to Fraud and Corruption

8. It Will Hurt Senior Citizens, the Poor, and the Unemployed the Worst

9. It Will Cost American Families Over $3,000 a Year

10. President Obama Admitted "Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket" Under a Cap-and-Trade Program (January 2008)

Want to know more? Click here.

Sign the online petition today!

What if Every Candidate Stood for These Things?

The Republican party seems to be in total disarray. Core conservative voters have lost faith in the party. Debate continues on what "Republicans" should stand for, fight for, run on. Should we go right? Move to the center? Be a big tent party? Should we be more like Reagan or Ford?

What if we returned to our roots and adopted, once again, some simple, fundamental tenets that the majority would readily agree with us on? What if every Republican candidate for office adopted these tenets and not only ran on them, but actually governed under them?

I submit for your consideration ten things we can all believe and embrace. I wish I could say I did all the work to put them together, but I did not. They were assembled by a man I greatly respect, Michael Farris, the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College. This is arguably the finest college in the nation for turning out right thinking young men and women who believe and articulate the Biblical World View on politics and government.

I will start with my own short summation of each of Dr. Farris' a ten points: a pledge, if you will. Beneath that is a link to Dr. Farris' writings on each point. I welcome your feedback, as I am sure Dr. Farris would.


I Believe and Pledge to Stand For:

The Right to Life. The Creator gave life: Human life must be protected.

Freedom of Religion and Conscience. God gave liberty: Liberty must be preserved.

The Right to Bear Arms. We have a God-given right to ownership: Property and the means to protect it is a fundamental right.

The Consent of the Governed. Governmental power is granted by the consent of the governed for the purpose of securing the above rights.

The Necessity of Public Virtue. Preservation of public virtue is key to preservation of public liberty.

Traditional Marriage. Marriage is a sacred obligation and is crucial to a strong society.

Parental Rights. The right of parents to raise, nurture and educate their children is fundamental.

Economic Freedom. Free Market Capitalism is the best economic system for providing equal opportunity for economic advancement.

Limited Government. Man is not free unless government is limited.

National Defense and Foreign Policy. A just and civil society is worth defending against all aggression.


Please take a few moments to link to Dr. Farris's full article. It is worth the time to read and understand. You will also find a link there to sign on as a supporter of these principles.