Weekly Musing 6-9-13
Michigan’s U.S. Senate Race
As the Democrats cleared the field and united behind liberal Congressman Gary Peters, Michigan Republicans are still looking for a standard bearer.
This week former SOS Terri Lynn Land announced her intention to become a candidate for the Republican nomination July 1st. I had a chance to talk with Terri and she is committed to getting in the race and hopes to rally the party, donors and ultimately Michigan’s voters behind her candidacy. I encouraged her to make her case and believe that if she can put together the right team, raise the money necessary, she can be a very strong candidate.
At the same time, Dr. Rob Steele sent out an email expressing his desire to get a better feel for the landscape. Rob has been making calls to some party leaders and is well like amongst the grassroots for his previous efforts and willingness to serve. As a practicing physician, he has both a time and financial challenge he will have to overcome to be a viable candidate.
As I shared with many of you who called and emailed me this week, it is my intention to give Terri and possibly Rob enough time to build an effective campaign. Reality is it’s still early. Traditionally candidates emerge by our fall Mackinac Conference and others may not emerge until the end of the year. There may ultimately be an opportunity to get behind a “consensus” candidate. But at this stage lets encourage those interested in running to build their campaign, raise some money and see who ultimately emerges heading into our primary.
If you support Terri’s efforts and candidacy, get behind her NOW! Let her know of your support and write her a check. Having run for Secretary of State and Governor/Lt. Governor before, she understands the challenges and most of you should be able to decide if she’s the right choice for Michigan. If you are willing to support Rob Steele…do the same. He needs to know what to realistically expect and make a difficult decision based on the kind of support he can garner.
I would be comfortable with either candidate. As for now, I’m going to keep my powder dry and see if either emerges with a campaign that can win Michigan. We are in a unique position to send Washington a conservative voice from Michigan, I’d hate to see us miss that chance.
New RNC National Committeewoman
As our current National Committeewoman Terri Lynn Land formally announces her candidacy for the U.S. Senate on July 1st and relinquishes her role as National Committeewoman, Michigan Republicans have a chance to put another leader in the field on behalf of our team.
The National Committee spots are virtually full-time, volunteer positions that require a tremendous commitment (as does a race for U.S. Senate). We will need every leader, volunteer, activists and Republican out there to win this U.S. Senate seat, re-elect our Governor, Congressmen, State Senate and House. There will be hundreds of Republicans running and we will need a strong woman to join State Chairman Bobby Schostak and National Committeeman Dave Agema on the road, supporting our candidate, raising money and delivering a conservative, Republican message to the voters of Michigan.
The State Committee will get to fill this vacancy. It’s not to early to start looking for a replacement. We need EVERY possible leader and spokesperson out there making our case. This is an opportunity to grow our team!
We have a tremendous amount of upcoming events, picnics, radio shows and candidates to support. Bobby and Dave are on everyone’s invite list and they’ll need help to replace and now supplement Terri’s voice as she runs for the Senate.
Conservative reformers should fix the rigged game
Many conservative reformers advocate a package of policies to aid middle-class families. This is dangerous territory because the Left can always out-Santa Claus the Right. Any conservative “gifts” to the middle class should be consistent with the message that Big Government isn’t their friend.
So, here’s one: abolish the payroll tax — totally and permanently. It’s a tax on employment. It’s a tax on someone’s first dollar. And it’s specious to say that it funds Social Security and Medicare — both entitlements are funded on the margin by general revenues. So give up the charade and abolish a regressive federal tax.
This reflects the heart of conservative reform: Level the playing field by getting government out of the game.
How America Lost Its Way
Why is it getting harder to do business in America? Part of the answer is excessively complex legislation. A prime example is the 848-page Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of July 2010 (otherwise known as the Dodd-Frank Act), which, among other things, required that regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies and issue 22 periodic reports. Comparable in its complexity is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (906 pages), which is also in the process of spawning thousands of pages of regulation. You don’t have to be opposed to tighter financial regulation or universal health care to recognize that something is wrong with laws so elaborate that almost no one affected has the time or the will to read them.
Who benefits from the growth of complex and cumbersome regulation? The answer is: lawyers, not forgetting lobbyists and compliance departments. For complexity is not the friend of the little man. It is the friend of the deep pocket. It is the friend of cronyism.
The All-Seeing State – The inevitable corruption of the permanent bureaucracy
So we know the IRS is corrupt. What happens then when an ambitious government understands it can yoke that corruption to its political needs? What’s striking as the revelations multiply and metastasize is that at no point does any IRS official appear to have raised objections. If any of them understood that what they were doing was wrong, they kept it to themselves. When Nixon tried to sic the IRS on a few powerful political enemies, the IRS told him to take a hike. When Obama’s courtiers tried to sic the IRS on thousands of ordinary American citizens, the agency went along, and very enthusiastically. This is a scale of depravity hitherto unknown to the tax authorities of the United States, and for that reason alone they should be disarmed and disbanded — and rebuilt from scratch with far more circumscribed powers.
Republican National Committee Hires Senior Facebook Engineer As Chief Technology Officer
The Republican National Committee has hired a senior Facebook engineer with a decade of experience in Silicon Valley to fill its newly created position of chief technology officer, The Huffington Post has learned.
Andy Barkett, 32, an engineering manager at Facebook and a California native, will head RNC efforts to make the party more competitive in the digital realm, the RNC confirmed Thursday evening. One source called the decision to hire Barkett “a relatively speedy development.” Barkett will split his time between Silicon Valley and Washington, sources said.
At Facebook, Barkett “was in charge of dozens of engineers on six production engineering teams responsible for thousands of servers and scaling systems in mobile infrastructure, messaging, advertisements, newsfeeds, platforms, and payments,” according to the RNC.
He also is “an angel investor for multiple start-ups,” the RNC said.
GOP whip Kevin McCarthy woos right with Heritage hire Mike Franc
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy — the man charged with counting those votes — is moving to beef up GOP leadership’s credibility with the right by hiring Mike Franc, The Heritage Foundation’s vice president of congressional relations.
The strategy: Franc’s close, personal relationships with conservative lawmakers combined with strong policy chops and the imprimatur of the Heritage brand will serve as a stamp of approval for a GOP agenda that’s been stymied.
GOP governors endure early trials, gird for 2014
And in Michigan, Snyder is the Midwestern foursome’s most vulnerable.
He inflamed the state’s shrinking labor vote in December when he reversed course to sign legislation stripping unions of their ability to force employees to pay dues. Even so, Snyder’s job approval has risen since the he signed the bill, a reflection of improving jobs numbers. Unemployment hit 11 percent in 2011 and was 8.4 percent in April.
Only Democrat Mark Schauer, a former U.S. House member from conservative western Michigan, has said he plans to challenge him.
Born Free – IRS’s deliberate attack on Liberty
The notion that a scandal isn’t a scandal unless the president is personally involved is short-sighted. The point is not to indict the president, or some White House apparatchik, personally. The point is to indict the spirit of the Obama administration and of big government liberalism. The point is to defeat the president’s broad project to restore faith in big government and to convince Americans to accept and embrace dependency on government.
Exposing the bureaucratic arrogance that lies beneath the claims of governmental benevolence, lifting the veil on the liberal yearning for domination and mastery that lies behind the expressions of sympathy and concern—these would be the real benefits of laying bare what happened at the IRS. As Evelyn Waugh once said about an attempt at oppression by the British Labour party, “There we have the progressive cat, a great brute of an animal, clear out of the bag.” The IRS scandal is the progressive cat, clear out of the bag.
An IRS Political Timeline
President Obama spent months in 2010 warning Americans about the ‘threat’ to democracy posed by conservative groups, right at the time the IRS began targeting these groups.
The IRS Can’t Plead Incompetence
Everyone agrees the Internal Revenue Service is, under current governmental structures, the proper agency to determine the legitimacy of applications for tax-exempt status. Everyone agrees the IRS has the duty to scrutinize each request, making sure that the organization meets relevant criteria. Everyone agrees groups requesting tax-exempt status must back up their requests with truthful answers and honest information.
… 93-year-old Johnnie Mac Walters, head of the IRS almost 40 years ago, in the Nixon era. Mr. Dykes quoted Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, who told him the IRS wouldn’t do what Nixon asked: “It didn’t happen, not because the White House didn’t want it to happen, but because people like Johnnie Walters said ‘no.'”
That was the IRS doing its job—attempting to be above politics, refusing to act as the muscle for a political agenda.
Man—those were the days.
Tragedy of Detroit Shows ‘Big Unit America’ Is Out of Gas
Detroit, once one of the nation’s most vibrant cities, faces imminent bankruptcy. That’s the headline from the report last month of emergency fiscal manager Kevyn Orr, issued 45 days after he was appointed this spring by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to take over the city’s government.
“The path Detroit has followed for more than 40 years is unsustainable,” Orr said, “and only a complete restructuring of the city’s finances and operations will allow Detroit to regain its footing and return to a path of prosperity.”
The police department, his report says, “is in disarray.” Nearly one-quarter of fire department operations could be “largely inoperational” on any given day. The city-owned electric grid “has been a disaster,” and the city’s water system, which serves a region with 4 million people, “has a history of dysfunction.”
The city’s 78,000 vacant structures and 60,000 vacant land parcels “present an ongoing public safety and public health concern.”
It’s a tragic situation that could be regarded as just the fault of corrupt public officials.
The Chinese have arrived In Michigan
Snyder is seeking foreign direct investment in our state and wants to export our agricultural products, technology know how and other goods and services around the globe. He understands, Michigan is two beautiful peninsulas – we are not an island in this global, knowledge economy where ideas and jobs can and do move around the globe effortlessly.
As the report, “U.S.-China Economic relations in the next ten years,” spells out, over the course of next decade this important economic relationship has the potential to create enormous economic opportunities and millions of jobs, as well as public good, globally.
The summit – Barack Obama and Xi Jinping have a chance to recast this century’s most important bilateral relationship
CHINA’S president, Xi Jinping, is unlikely to quote Thucydides when he meets his American counterpart, Barack Obama, at a summit in California on June 7th and 8th. But the spirit of the Greek historian will hover over the Sunnylands ranch. Chinese policy wonks are struck by his argument that it was the Spartans’ fear of the growing power of Athens that made war inevitable. Their insistence that China wants a “peaceful rise” is intended to calm such worries in America.
The ploy is not working. China’s relations with America have deteriorated in recent years, raising the spectre of conflict in East Asia. Buoyed up by its own economic success and Western stagnation, China has been asserting its claims in the region more aggressively, sending the neighbours scuttling back to the American security umbrella. Barack Obama’s response has been a “pivot” towards Asia. In the absence of trust, both sides will build up their military strength and responsible defensive behaviour could spiral into conflict.
China v the US: how the superpowers compare
As Barack Obama prepares for the ‘no-necktie summit’ with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California, we decided to look at the two superpowers and compare data such as health, wealth and environmental development – an inherently tricky task given the countries’ markedly different systems. Can it be done? Join the debate here …
Congratulations to Congressman John Dingell
Love him or hate him, Michigan’s John Dingell reached a milestone that will probably never be surpassed again.
I’ve known John Dingell for well over 20 years. Although there are many issues I disagree with him on, I have always found him to be a thoughtful, intelligent, engaging and civil public servant. A man of character and integrity. However, make no mistake about it, he’s a pro-labor, generally liberal, partisan Democrats who’s worth fighting on the issues…but I have a great deal of respect for the man and his service to our state and country.
After 57 years in U.S. House, Dingell says there’s still more to do
U.S. Rep. John Dingell Jr. is poised to add another accomplishment in a career filled with legislative achievements — one that experts and colleagues say will cement his place in America’s political history.
On Friday, the Dearborn Democrat becomes the longest-serving member of Congress with nearly 57 and a half years of service, surpassing the record set by West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, who served in the House and Senate. Unlike Byrd, Dingell never left the House and is dubbed the dean of the chamber.
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