Monday, October 31, 2011

Hermain Cain: Prepared for the "High-tech Lynching"

from the Washington Examiner May 5, 2011...But wouldn't liberals and Democrats still find a racially-based way to attack Cain? They certainly found a way to attack Clarence Thomas, the black, conservative Supreme Court justice.

"They're going to come after me more viciously than they would a white candidate," Cain responded. "You're right. Clarence Thomas. And so, to use Clarence Thomas as an example, I'm ready for the same high-tech lynching that he went through -- for the good of this country." Cain smiled broadly. "I'm ready for the same high-tech lynching."

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Herman Cain: "A black man who knows his place."

Here is the most racist remark I think I have ever heard uttered, without challenge on national TV. It was said on MSNBC Friday afternoon.

"One of the things about Herman Cain is, I think that he makes that white Republican base of the party feel okay, feel like they are not racist because they can like this guy. I think he is giving that base a free pass. And I think they like him because they think he's a black man who knows his place. I know that's harsh, but that's how it sure seems to me." Watch the video here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

American Laws for American Courts

When a judge rules on a case, he uses the Constitution as his measuring stick for justice, right? That's the way it always has been, and that's the way it should be. Unfortunately, courts are beginning to use international law to adjudicate cases.

Dave Agema has introduced HB 4769, a bill to limit the application and enforcement by a court, arbitrator, or administrative body of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights; to provide for modification or voiding of certain contractual provisions or agreements that would result in a violation of constitutional rights; and to require a court, arbitrator, or administrative body to take certain actions to prevent violation of constitutional rights. His bill has 41 co-sponsors!

Chairman John Walsh
What is this bill really about? Just look who is strongly opposed to the bill. The Council on American and Islamic Relations and the Arab American Anti-discrimination Committee. They have called Agema's bill "anti-Sharia law". Well, if the courts are drifting into using Sharia law to make judgements, than maybe Agema is on to something. Read the language of the bill here. The bill has been sitting in Chairman John Walsh's Judiciary Committee since June. Please contact him and ask him to move this bill.

Poll Says: Pass Right to Work!

A poll done by "the polling company (tm), inc/Woman Trend on behalf of Americans for Prosperity - Michigan, in a survey of 600 voters across Michigan shows:
  1. Do you support a proposal to build a bridge funded by Michigan and Canadian governments? Total support = 31% Total oppose = 49%
  2. Do you support or oppose giving workers the right not to be forced to join a union? Total support = 71% Total oppose = 20%
  3. Do you support or oppose an increase in the gas tax here in Michigan? Total support = 13% Total oppose = 80%
These three answers are just the "topline" data. There were other questions asked and the poll was done scientifcally to get an accurate cross section of men and women, conservatives and liberals, and all parts of the state. Bottom line: the people of Michigan generally are opposed to a government built bridge, strongly in favor of a Right to Work bill, and very strongly opposed to an increase in gas taxes. Get more details on the poll here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Taxpayer-Funded Insurance for Domestic Partners Should End

Should a private employer be allowed to provide insurance for his employees, his employee's family, his employee's dog? Of course! A private business owner should be free to provide whatever benefits to his employees that he likes. But, should a public employer be allowed to do the same? That is a different issue. Any expenditure by a public employer is made with public funds, i.e. your tax dollars.
Representative Dave Agema introduced HB 4770-4771 with that concept in mind. Public employers have started to provide insurance benefits to "domestic partners" of their employees. Is that appropriate? Is there a line that should be drawn between what may be reasonable and what may not be? The entire Republican House caucus plus one Democrat agree that it is not appropriate. HB 4770-4771 was passed with 64 votes and is now languishing in the Senate.

Senator Mark Jansen
As a limited government conservative, I believe government should stay out of the affairs of a private business. But, as a legislator, I always believed that we who were responsible for spending tax dollars, should be looking for ways to limit public spending. It is appropriate for those who are responsible for the annual state budget to oversee how public funds are spent.

Please contact Senator Mark Jansen and ask him to move these bills out or his committee to the Senate Floor

Bridge Proposal Defeated in Senate Committee. What's Next?

From the neighborhoods in Delray, one can see the Ambassador Bridge and the RenCen. A number of homes and businesses would be displaced by the bridge project, Sen. Virgil Smith said. (Elizabeth Conley/The Detroit News)
On Thursday, October 20, two votes were taken in the Senate Economic Development Committee in an attempt to push legislation to create a new bridge authority out of committee and on to the Senate floor for a full vote. The first proposal to receive a vote was a revision of the original bill. It included millions in "community benefits" for the neighborhood that was to be affected by the construction of the new bridge. Billed as a way to compensate displaced property owners, the bill actually included a number of goodies such as subsidized housing, new parks, and subsidies to local businesses. The cost might have exceeded $100 million. All five Republicans on the committee voted NO, while the two Democrats voted YES.

The second vote in committee was on the original version of the bill, which did not include the community benefits. On that vote three Republicans voted in favor, two opposed, and the two Democrats "passed." This was their way of saying they wanted to benefits but were unwilling to vote against the bridge. Because the bill only received three YES votes, it failed.

Much pressure was brought upon lawmakers before the vote by several groups including you, the grass roots readers of Core Principles. Over 500 of you called and emailed to let your voices be heard. You proved that grass roots activism still works.

What's next? The Senate could reintroduce another version of the bill with elements in it that will lure more Republicans and Democrats to support it. There is even talk of an "end-around" by the governor who could find a way to accomplish this project using an executive order. This would not require any legislative action.

You need to continue to lobby your legislators and the governor not to move forward with this costly project. Here are some facts:
  • It will require $2.2 billion in new state and federal spending
  • Over $550 million in new debt to Canada
  • $100 million in new "community benefits" may be included
  • An Authority would be created, with the ability to bond, issue debt, and tax
  • Hundreds of parcels would be seized under eminent domain
  • New roads and exit ramps would need to be built
  • A bailout of the project down the road, if traffic and toll projections don't pan out
Thank you for participating in citizen government. Please don't rest now. Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Read a background story from the Detroit News here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Detroit-Windsor Bridge: Yes, It IS a Government-Run Project

New approaches for second Ambassador bridge span are already completed with private funds
Here are a couple of quotes from the Windsor Star article of October 22 on the bridge project. It demonstrates that it is a government-run project. Regardless the propaganda and rhetoric coming from either side, one fact remains clear. In a limited-government philosophy, the government should never engage in a project when the private sector can do it because the private sector will ALWAYS do it either faster, or cheaper, or better, or all three combined.

When you hear "government-backed" or "publicly owned" you are hearing the exact opposite of privately backed or privately owned.

Windsor Star October 22, 2011:
Canada's federal government expressed dismay Friday over the rejection to construct the proposed $1-billion government-backed Windsor-Detroit bridge, by a handful of politicians who serve on a committee in the Michigan senate.

Federal transportation minister Denis Lebel has already spoken with Michigan's Gov. Rick Snyder and confirmed the bridge project remains a top priority for the state's leader despite the setback, Butler said.

"The Government of Canada remains fully committed to building a new publicly owned crossing between Windsor and Detroit and will continue to work with the governments of Michigan and the U.S. to jointly examine other options for delivering the new crossing."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ineptocracy: Ever Heard of it?

A new word for Webster's Dictionary!

Ineptocracy (in-ept-o-cra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Thanks to "Stan K" for sending this along.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Farrington Introduces Bill to Hold Back Aggresive Regulations by State Government

Rep. Jeff Farrington
State Representative Jeff Farrington has introduced a bill to prohibit a state department or agency from promulgating rules more stringent than required by applicable federal standards. The bill also requires systematic review of existing rules, establishes that agency bulletins, interpretative statements, etc. do not have the force of law, and more. It passed the House in June and has been sitting idle in the Senate.

This is good legislation. It curtails the power of government and, if passed, will help promote jobs in Michigan. Companies considering relocation want to know how stringent the regs will be. If they know that the state could promulgate rules that are more stringent than federal regs, they are less likely to locate in Michigan. 

Contact Rep. Farrington to thank him for his work to limit government. And while you are at it, please ask Senator Mike Kowall to take the bill up in his Economic Development Committee. Senator Kowall is a solid, limited-government conservative. I am sure he will take it up.

McMillin Passes "Right to Light" Bill in the House

Rep. Tom McMillin
The “Right to Light” bill, House Bill 4815, was approved by the House last week. McMillin introduced this bill for two reasons; to protect the freedom to choose our own light bulbs, and to provide the opportunity for job growth in Michigan. This legislation allows incandescent light bulbs to be manufactured and sold in Michigan without Federal interference (because the interstate commerce clause wouldn't apply).

A federal law passed in 2007 will soon ban the usage of the normal incandescent light bulbs and require the use of other bulbs like the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs (the curly-cue ones). The federal ban eliminating the use of regular light bulbs is set to be phased in from 2012 to 2014 - with the 100 watt light bulb banned starting January 1 of next year. The cost of the new, mandated bulbs will require consumers to buy the more costly CFL bulbs, at $3 or $4 per bulb.

The Federal government should not be dictating what kind of light bulbs we use in our homes. If the state Senate passes this bill and the governor signs it, we'll at least have a chance of keeping our choices, including the good old incandescent light bulb. If we can protect our freedom and create jobs in the process, it will be a double-win for Michigan.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Call NOW! Stop the Bridge to Canada

Your immediate action is required! The Senate Economic Development Committee is set to vote this afternoon on a bill to build a taxpayer funded bridge from Detroit to Canada. The new substitute being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Richardville creates an authority to craft a "public-private agreement" for construction of the bridge. The bill now includes paying "community benefits" to neighborhoods in Detroit. This was apparently a deal that was brokered with Detroit legislators to gain their support.

You need to contact by phone or email, before 1:30 this afternoon, Senators Kowall, (chair), Hildenbrand, Nofs, Emmons and Hansen and ask them to vote NO on this bill. 

Why would the state create an authority (which can tax the citizens) and enter into a public contract to build a bridge when there is a private developer who has already started the construction of a new bridge? And why would the state build a bridge that we currently don't even need? 

Please call the above Senators now. By clicking on their name, you will find their phone number and email address. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Freedom to Garden Act Makes Sense

You wouldn't think legislation is required to give home and property owners the right to raise a few fruits and vegetables on their own property, would you? Apparently, it is. Rep. Paul Opsommer's Freedom to Garden Act will be discussed in the Agriculture Committee tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Room 307 of the House Office Building. The bill is pretty straightforward. You can read it here.

I generally like any bill that starts with the word "Freedom".

Bridge to Canada: The Plot Thickens

As reported in Capitol Confidential: "MIRS has reported that all 12 Democrats in the state senate — only four of whom are from Detroit — will vote “yes” on a controversial Detroit-Windsor bridge, but only if the deal includes a wish list of “community benefits” being written by Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit." Read the full story here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gov. Snyder’s 'Exchange' an Obamacare Trojan Horse?

As reported in the Mackinac Center publication Capitol Confidential, Gov. Rick Snyder has recommended creating a state health insurance “exchange,” and to promote the concept he's using the reassuring language of the comparatively modest version identified with the conservative Heritage Foundation. Gov. Snyder's administration, however, is steadily advancing toward creating a full blown state “Obamacare exchange,” which is not really an exchange as originally envisioned, but rather the agency through which the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will distribute its subsidies and impose its restrictions and mandates. Read the entire article here.

Michigan Health Care Exchange: Would It Entrench Obamacare?

Cato Institute health care policy expert Michael Cannon testified recently before the Missouri Senate’s Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges on why that state should not create an Obamacare exchange. His arguments apply just as much to Michigan. In the article recently published in the Mackinac Center's Capitol Confidential, which you can read in its entirety here, he lays out six compelling arguments for avoiding the creation of a health care exchange.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Who Should Build the Next Bridge to Canada, and When?

The battle lines are being drawn in the ongoing debate about when, where and by whom the bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario should be built. The Snyder administration is pushing a bridge that would be built under the auspices of a state bridge authority. The Moroun family, which owns and operates the Ambassador bridge wants to build a second span with their own money, next to the current bridge.

A couple of observations: my understanding of an "authority", at least at the local level is one that has the power to undertake public activities; the ability to enter into contracts; the right to sue and be sued; and the ability to collect taxes and determine a budget. 

I got a post card in the mail today from "The Fund for Michigan Jobs", whoever they are, that said in bold letters, the bridge "WILL NOT cost Michigan taxpayers", and it will be paid for with "private not public funds." That does not square with statements in the Senate Fiscal agency's own analysis document. That analysis speaks extensively about public-private partnerships. It also states, "Any costs associated with the administration of eminent domain proceedings, professional fees, administrative costs, planning costs, or procurement costs related to a bridge project, or certain highway maintenance and repair costs, would be paid from the Department's existing State or Federal revenue."

Now, I may not be the sharpest knife in the pencil box, but aren't the taxpayers also known as the "public?" And, where does "state and federal revenue" come from? Wouldn't that be the taxpayers?

Professor Gary Wolfram
Even if the current bill, as written insulates the taxpayers from any obligation, future legislatures, as Professor Gary Wolfram, from Hillsdale College points out, can change that and put taxpayers on the hook by a simple majority vote. And there is a precedent. They did it back in the 50's with another bridge...the Mackinac Bridge. Read about it here.

At the end of the day, would you rather "trust the government" or let a private owner take the risk to succeed or fail with his own money?

Senate Bill 410 could be up for a vote in the State Senate next week. Perhaps you should contact your state Senator and offer your opinion.

Anti-bullying Legislation. Here is what it is REALLY About

The fight for "anti-bullying" legislation continues. The latest event was the attempt by Senate Democrats to add amendatory language to the charter school legislation on Thursday. Democrats want the phrases "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" added to the list of protected classes in the anti-bullying legislation. This has been going on for at least six years. Now, state Senators are trying to stage a sit-in at the Capitol to make their point.

Back when I was in the House, my colleague John Moolenaar and I offered an amendment to an anti-bullying bill to strip out such language. We changed it to say, in essence, ALL students should be protected from bullying, for ANY reason. Incidentally, one liberal writer was less than charitable in his objection to our amendment. In his tirade against us, he suggested that, "it might be a useful educational experience if some very large human being were to grab a couple Michigan state representatives, namely, John Moolenaar and Jack Hoogendyk, twist their arms painfully behind their back and smash their faces into the harsh stone of the Capitol building."

Why is the militant left so adamant about including these two "classes" in the legislation? It's all about ENUMERATION. You see, if a law is passed that enumerates these classes for special protection, a precedent is set. That enumeration can then be used in court cases. Cross dressers, among others, will then be a protected class and the precedent set in this amendment could be cited for providing that protection in any number of other situations.

Conservatives should stand firm and only allow for anti-bullying legislation that protects everyone without specific enumeration.

Genetski is On The Right Track

State Rep. Bob Genetski has offered HB 5000, to create a commission to study how our public universities are run. Quoting from the language of the bill, "The commission shall analyze the operation and governance structure of the state universities; analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the constitutional requirement for separate governing boards for each state university; review the higher education governance structures utilized by other states; and make any recommendations to the governor and the legislature it considers appropriate concerning the restructuring of the manner in which the state universities are governed in this state."

This is a great idea. Predictably, university management and their lobbyists are objecting. “He's trying to dismantle higher education,” said Michael Boulus, executive director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, in a story in Mlive.

This is so typical. Those who are on the public dole don't want any oversight. But those same people want more regulation of the private sector. It's ironic really. Think about it; if your tax dollars are being spent on government-run programs, why would you not want more oversight of how your dollars are being used?

Back in 2003, I was on the House Higher Education appropriations sub-committee. We were responsible for recommending how the $1.7 billion that was being given to the 15 public universities would be doled out. Each year, the fifteen presidents would sit in front of the committee and beg for more money, but then they would remind us that according to the state constitution, they were autonomous and we could not regulate how they spent the money.

Michigan has 15 public universities, all heavily subsidized by your tax dollars. Have you noticed how they compete against each other for more students, how they put up huge billboards and open campuses in each other's back yards?

I think it is high time for some independent oversight and recommendations for how to make universities more efficient. Kudos to Bob Genetski for stepping up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is State Government Forcing You to Report Your Childrens' Height and Weight?

The governor seems poised to ask you to have your child's Body Mass Index (BMI) put on a state registry. Apparently, some in government don't trust parents to teach their children healthy diet and exercise habits. Granted, many parents fail to provide this basic instruction, but the question is, is that the role of government?

Pediatrician Meg Edison doesn't think so. Here is her appeal to you to get involved, while there is still time. You have until tomorrow morning to appeal to the legislature to act to hold this up.

Governor Snyder has recently proposed a plan, unprecedented in our country, to have doctors report the Body Mass Index (BMI) of children into a state database, claiming it will be voluntary and anonymous. As a pediatrician, I believe this is a violation of our Hippocratic Oath on patient confidentiality. On a practical level, the claims of "voluntary" and "anonymous" are at odds with the facts.

This reporting will not be voluntary, anonymous, or confidential. The MCIR system (Michigan Care Improvement Registry, formerly Michigan Childhood Immunization Registry) was initially created to track childhood immunizations, but has since crept into tracking newborn hearing screens, newborn metabolic screens and now lead screening for Medicaid patients as well as expanding to cover adults.  

Snyder is proposing a "rule change" which bypasses the legislature to allow doctors to report BMI into the MCIR. Data is entered without parental consent, families have to ask to "opt-out" at which point the state will be notified in writing of this request--far from voluntary. This will ask doctors to report BMI on specific children with potential to track the BMI, the doctor's recommendations and compliance--far from anonymous. MCIR is accessible to all doctors, nurses, many office staff, schools, daycare providers, and health insurance providers irrespective of whether the child is a student or patient of those looking at the record--far from confidential.   

Governor Snyder has already indicated his desire to expand this program to cover adults as well. Unless we speak up, Michigan will be the first to do this, by executive order. 

Perhaps most disappointing is the silent approval by the Michigan State Medical Society and the overt approval by the Michigan Academy of Pediatrics on this issue. (Rest assured that the silent majority of practicing doctors are not represented by the vocal minority of administrative doctors in these organizations on this issue.) 

Please contact your representatives and senators today! Many lawmakers are uniformed and do not even have the rule change in hand. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) is made up of Senators Pappageorge, (C ) Meekhoff, Marleau, Hunter, Johnson & Reps Olson, (C ) Rendon, Horn, Constan, Bryrum. The committee has a hearing this Thursday, October 6, 9:00 a.m., 426 State Capitol Building.

Thank you, Meg Edison, M.D.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tea Party Scorecard: The Standard Bearers? Agema, McMillin and Franz

The Mackinac Center for Public policy has released a new "Tea Party Scorecard." This is the toughest measuring stick in Lansing. It scores legislators on no less than 36 votes. View it here. Congratulations to Representatives T Dave Agema, Tom McMillin and Ray Franz, tied for first at 92%. How did your State Rep. and State Senator do?

Hoekstra Comments on Death of Anwar Al-Awlaki


U. S. military took out this American-born Al Qaida terrorist. He was an advisor to the Ft. Hood shooter and the "underwear bomber." Get more details in this Newsmax interview with Peter Hoekstra.