Weekly Musing 5-4-14

Weekly Musing 5-4-14

Saul Anuzis

 

WashingtonLiberty

Reading Burke in Sydney: Tony Abbott’s Sensible Conservatism – A Great Read

Conservatives, traditionally speaking, are essentially anti-doctrinaire and opposed to programmatic laundry lists. Like Tories of old, and unlike Tea Partiers today, they prefer flexibility and adaptability to rigid consistency and purity of dogma. As Samuel Huntington observed in an important article in the American Political Science Review in 1957, the antithesis of conservatism is not simply left-liberalism or even socialism. It is radicalism, which is best defined in terms of one’s attitude toward change. For conservatives, temperament should always trump ideology, and the single best test of temperament is a person’s attitude toward change. Although conservatism accepts the need for change, the onus of proof is always on those who advocate for it.

 

“Again, in striking contrast, Tea Party Republicans and many conservatives inside and outside the Beltway place more stress on classical liberalism as a rigid political ideology, à la John Stuart Mill and the Enlightenment, and less emphasis on the more classical conservative virtues of prudence, stability and measured change, à la Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton. This perhaps also helps explain why Tea Party Republicans exhibit a far deeper hostility toward the state than, say, Australian or indeed most Western conservatives.”

 

“America needs to believe in itself the way others still believe in it.”

 

http://nationalinterest.org/article/reading-burke-sydney-tony-abbotts-sensible-conservatism-10302?page=show

 

HillaryObama

A big Electoral College advantage for the Democrats is looming

If the 2016 presidential vote is evenly split between the parties, which one is more likely to win the Electoral College and therefore the presidency?  I estimate that the Democrats’ chances of winning the Electoral College vote are between 83 and 89 percent, giving them a significant advantage.  This argument contrasts with those who are cautious of a Democratic advantage, such as Jonathan Bernstein and Harry Enten.  The reason I predict such a significant advantage is because of ongoing, long-term trends altering the electoral outlook in a number of key swing states.

 

To make predictions for 2016, I analyzed how the popular vote margin (the Democratic minus the Republican percentage of the vote) compared to the national vote in every state from 1992 through 2012.  I examined the states individually to detect any long-term trends.  For example, while Oklahoma was already significantly more Republican than the nation in 1992, it steadily became even more Republican over time.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/28/a-big-electoral-college-advantage-for-the-democrats-is-looming/?wprss=rss_national&wp_login_redirect=0

 

 

Why Democrats Shouldn’t Be Celebrating

There seemed to be a pop-the-champagne mood among Democrats after the Obama administration’s announcement that 8 million Americans had signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats, desperate for good news, became euphoric at the suggestion that perhaps they had turned the corner on Obamacare, moving from it being a likely political liability to an asset, and that maybe the 2014 midterm elections might not be so bad. The fact that 8 million is less than 3 percent of the 313.9 million people in the United States seemed lost in the shuffle.

 

My impression at the time was that this sounded a bit too much like whistling past the graveyard. Now an array of new polling from a variety of sources suggests that Democrats have no reason to be encouraged at this point. Things still look pretty awful for the party. Especially meaningful to consider is that—no matter how bad the national poll numbers appear for Democrats—eight of their nine most vulnerable Senate seats this year are in states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. Further, nine of the most competitive 11 Senate seats in both parties are in Romney states; the numbers in these states will likely be considerably worse than the national numbers.

An April 24-27 national poll for ABC News and The Washington Post gave Democrats a single-point advantage on the generic congressional ballot test, 45 percent to 44 percent. But given the lower turnout numbers in midterm elections, the likely-voter screen is far more relevant. And there, Republicans led by 5 points, 49 percent to 44 percent. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken at virtually the same time put the two parties dead even at 45 percent among all registered voters; presumably among likely voters, Republicans would have pulled ahead by a similar lead. This would suggest a very difficult environment for Democratic House and Senate candidates, particularly those in states and districts that lean heavily Republican to begin with.

 

http://www.nationaljournal.com/the-cook-report/why-democrats-shouldn-t-be-celebrating-20140501

 

 

The Minimal Class Divide in American Politics

How deep is the class divide in American politics today? According to some scholars and pundits, it is very deep indeed. In a recent post on the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog, Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University, the author of Unequal Democracy and a highly regarded public opinion scholar, presented evidence from a multi-nation public opinion survey that showed the relationship between income and support for cuts in government spending was considerably stronger in the U.S. than in other industrial democracies. Because of the disproportionate political influence wielded by upper-income citizens in the U.S., Bartels argued that their strong support for spending cuts has had a powerful influence on elite attitudes and ultimately on government policies.

 

Bartels’ findings were cited by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, one of the nation’s most influential liberal pundits, as evidence that the United States has become a “class-ridden” society in which income has a powerful influence on political attitudes and behavior. But is this really true? Before accepting results from one study as authoritative, we should examine evidence from other recent national surveys on the impact of social class on political attitudes and behavior in the U.S. to see if they show a similar pattern.

 

For this article, I analyzed data from the 2012 American National Election Study, the most recent edition of one of the most widely used and respected academic surveys of the American electorate. The 2012 ANES surveyed a representative national sample of more than 4,000 voters in person and via the Internet before and after the November general election. Respondents were questioned about their social characteristics and opinions on a wide range of policy issues as well as their voting decisions.

 

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/the-minimal-class-divide-in-american-politics/

 

 

Why Democrats Should Avoid the ‘R’ Word

From time to time, we all read something where suddenly words jump out from the page, grabbing our attention. This happened to me the other day while reading a memo from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville, along with two of their colleagues who work for the Democracy Corps, Erica Seifert and Fredrica Mayer.

 

This piece was based on a bipartisan poll conducted last month by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for National Public Radio with the Democracy Corps, Resurgent Republic, and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund. Democracy Corps is a 15-year-old organization, started by Greenberg and Carville, and it has effectively become the survey research and message development arm of the House Democratic leaders, providing high-quality research in the form of national polls, surveys of competitive congressional districts, and focus groups among key groups. For tax reasons, all results have to be publicly released, thus giving outsiders a look over the shoulder at some of the highest quality research out there. Resurgent Republic is a new GOP version of the Democracy Corps, started by Republican pollster Whit Ayres.

One of the most useful things that the Democracy Corps does in its polling, like other high-quality pollsters for both sides, is to test various messages for each party, ascertaining which ones are more salient than others. Sometimes messages may sound good, particularly to folks inside the Beltway, but when actually tested with real voters, the response isn’t always as anticipated.

 

The key phrase in the Greenberg/Carville memo was, “As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of ‘the recovery.’ ” The full paragraph went like this:

Democrats have to be hard-hitting and focused on the economy. As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of “the recovery.” That message was tested in the bipartisan poll we conducted for NPR, and it lost to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove. The Democratic message missed how much trouble people are in, and doesn’t convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face. That framework gets in the way of a direct economic message.

 

Technically speaking, the recession lasted 18 months, starting in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of when business cycles and recessions begin and end. That 18-month duration is not quite twice as long as the 11.1-month average length of economic retraction in the 11 business cycles since 1945. From a political perspective, what a cross section of American voters think of the economy matters more than a panel of the top economists. Last month’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 57 percent of Americans believe we are still in a recession; just 41 percent say we are not, with pessimism just gradually diminishing over the last few years. It is what average people think that’s important, not what economists say.

But back to the Greenberg/Carville memo. If voters flip out at the mere suggestion that a recovery is underway, that reaction is very telling. In fact, it may help explain why nonconservative voters are so down on President Obama and, inferentially, his party. Sure, the Affordable Care Act is an element, but maybe it isn’t all of the equation.

 

All of this came up in the context of framing an economic-policy debate question, putting forward the case from each side of the aisle.

 

The Democratic candidate says: The economy is recovering, but not for regular hardworking people. Incomes of CEOs and the top 1 percent are soaring, but in the real economy, people are working harder at jobs that don’t pay enough to live on. We have got to do something. We must raise the minimum wage, help people afford job training and college, build a 21st-century infrastructure, and stop unfair trade agreements that wipe out American jobs.

The Republican candidate says: The Obama administration has had six years to get this economy going and its policies haven’t worked. Monthly wages are going down, and there are not enough good-paying jobs to create opportunities for struggling families. We need to start making things in America again, and stop excessive regulations that are hurting the economy. It’s time to produce more energy here at home, and educate people for the jobs of the 21st century.

 

Each paragraph sums up rather nicely the argument that each side makes, with the Republican argument edging out the Democratic by 2 points, 48 percent to 46 percent (which is within the 3.18 percentage point margin of error for the survey of 950 voters).

 

My thought has long been that back in 2009 and 2010, even though many Americans may have been sympathetic to the idea that changes should be made in our health care system, the public wanted the focus at that time to be on job creation and the economy, which polling at the time indicated was absolutely the case. To the extent that Washington seemed obsessed with health care, voters wanted the government’s focus on jobs, and this rubbed them raw. To this day, Americans don’t think the economy has been effectively dealt with. Thus, maybe Democrats should avoid the “R” word.

 

http://www.nationaljournal.com/off-to-the-races/why-democrats-should-avoid-the-r-word-20140428

 

ChinaUSflags

Obamanomics at work:  China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power this year

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.

 

The world’s rich countries still account for 50 per cent of global GDP while containing only 17 per cent of the world’s population.

 

Having compared the actual cost of living in different countries, the report also found that the four most expensive countries to live in are Switzerland, Norway, Bermuda and Australia, with the cheapest being Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and Ethiopia.

 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30MsUHjtN

 

 

The Unhappy Truth About Ukraine

For now, there’s nothing that can or will be done to stop Russia from playing ugly games with its non-NATO neighbors. But in the long term, Moscow can be made to regret its folly.

 

The reality that no one in the West can bear to face is that there is nothing that can be done to stop the growing control of Russia and Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine. President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and a few half-hearted Europeans can threaten and bloviate, but President Putin is obviously untroubled by this noise. All Obama and his minions are doing is underlining who holds the cards, and it isn’t Washington.

 

In the short run, Russia has the power to do as it pleases on its borders. But, and here’s the good news, the United States and the West have the real power over the long run—if only Western nations would unite strategically and take the decisions that could reverse the tide over time. Russia is counting on continued Western lack of resolve and banking on avoiding the pain of its “conquests.” It will not be easy for Putin to absorb the poverty-stricken and indigestible eastern Ukraine, even if Russian-speakers make up a majority of inhabitants. These Russian-speakers likely will discover a future unhappier than their past.

 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/02/the-unhappy-truth-about-ukraine.html

 

 

Former GOP party chair Saul Anuzis pondered Congressional run

Saul Anuzis and his bride sat around the kitchen table. It was not a pretty sight. On one hand the former state GOP chair knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to run for Congress.

 

But the data was irrefutable: 4 kids in college, a hefty home mortgage, and the normal costs of staying alive.

 

The math did not add up. They could not afford it.

So he did what any self-respecting Michigander would do. He bought three daily lottery tickets for a dollar apiece. If he hit the jackpot, he’d run. If not, he’d be left to ponder what might have been.

 

Nowadays the former Michigan Republican Party chair ponders.

 

Mr. Anuzis, had he run for the 8th Congressional seat, might have made it interesting in that some of his views would most certainly have angered the far right of his beloved party.

 

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/05/tim_skubick_former_gop_party_c.html

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

26 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Switzerland

There’s just something about stunning images in a far away land that just make you want to pack your bags, book a ticket, and see in person. With Switzerland and these shots, it’s going to be hard to do anything but just that.

 

http://airows.com/26-photos-that-will-make-you-want-to-visit-switzerland/#zVpVlWpbaqogpDof.01

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

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Why National Popular Vote Makes Sense

Here is a memo I wrote to Republican leaders and activists in 2010 that describes why I think the National Popular Vote makes sense.

With an open mind…read it…I think you’ll be surprised.

gop-elephant

TO:            Michigan Republicans & Conservative Activists

FROM:      Saul Anuzis, Former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party

RE:            National Popular Vote

DATE:       March 29, 2010

I support the National Popular Vote Bill, which would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states—and I’m asking you to seriously consider this proposal.

As the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, I am asking you to consider a bipartisan, truly representative and fairer process to elect the President of the United States—OUR President.

Currently, the Michigan Senate is considering SB 598. The same bill passed the Michigan House earlier with strong bipartisan support.

The National Popular Vote does not abolish the Electoral College. Instead, it uses the state’s existing authority to change how the Electoral College is chosen, namely from the current state-by-state count to the popular vote of the people in all 50 states.

This would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

The shortcomings of the current system stem from the winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state).

Because of the winner-take-all rule, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation’s 56 presidential elections. As an example of a near miss, a shift of fewer than 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush, despite his nationwide lead of 3,500,000 votes.

This is a state rights issue. We the people—in every state—have the right to decide how and who is elected President.

The U.S. Constitution gives the states exclusive and plenary control over the manner of awarding their electoral votes. The winner-take-all rule is not in the Constitution. It was not the Founders’ choice and was used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789.

Under the National Popular Vote, all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). The bill would replace the current state-by-state system of awarding electoral votes with a system guaranteeing the Presidency to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states.

As of today, 29 legislative chambers in 19 states have passed the National Popular Vote Bill. The most recent poll of Michigan voters found that 73% or our citizens supported this concept. A 2007 national poll showed 72% support nationwide for a national popular vote for the President.

The National Popular Vote Bill has passed in states having almost a quarter (23%) of the electoral votes necessary to bring this into effect. Those states include Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington.

This proposal would guarantee that every vote matters, every state is relevant, every town and community would have the same value to each candidate for President in every presidential election.

More importantly, this bill would insure that every Michigan vote matters, that every effort is relevant and that Michigan and issues important to Michigan stay in the forefront. Candidates would battle for every vote in Michigan!

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, John McCain determined that Michigan’s 17 Electoral votes were out of reach. Senator McCain’s staff announced to the world that campaign activities would cease in Michigan, so resources could be targeted to the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Candidate McCain abandoned conservatives in Michigan and made it difficult to win seats for U.S. Congress and the Michigan Legislature. With National Popular Vote, the McCain campaign would have fought for every Republican vote in Michigan right up until Election Day. Republicans—up and down our ticket—would have benefited from National Popular Vote in 2008, just as they would in 2012.

As a conservative and a Republican, there are several other political aspects that I think are important to consider.

I believe we are a ‘center-right’ nation. A national vote system would give our center-right coalition a greater voice in electing the President. Rather than having to campaign in battleground states only, every one of our coalition’s members would matter. Nationwide turnout, regardless of the impact on individual states, would matter. Our voices and issues move and affect voters nationally and candidates would have to take them into greater consideration.

Moving away from the current system also helps reduce the incentive and value of voter fraud. Today, small changes in a particular state could have determinative effects on the Electoral College vote. By moving away from the state-by-state system, we diminish the role any one group, city or ‘machine’ could play to swing a state’s Electoral College votes. We insure that the will of the people is heard.

In The Federalist Papers No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, in arguing for an Electoral College that reflected a ‘national perspective, said: “Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

Today, conservatives in many states have little voice. Presidential campaigns concentrate their efforts in the 12-18 battleground states, depending on the year. Under a National Popular Vote, conservative turnout in California, New York and small states like Vermont would matter. This would provide for a great incentive to organize our ‘natural’ and often times ‘silent’ majority in EVERY state.

Obviously, the left has a similar scenario and perspective about the national electorate. They believe that they have a better organizational base, a broader appeal and would/should be the majority party and movement in America. I am confident that the conservatives across this country are under-represented and under-counted election after election.

The bottom line is that the National Popular Vote Bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. I believe that is both right and fair.

For more information go to:

http://nationalpopularvote.com/

Or e-mail me at:

sanuzis@gmail.com

Thank you for your time and consideration. Keep the faith!

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 4-27-14

 

Weekly Musing 4-27-14

Saul Anuzis

 

ObamaWaveBye

Time left until Obama leaves office

Less than 1,000 days…998!

 

It can’t come fast enough!  Follow it here.

 

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?p0=263&iso=20170120T00&msg=Time%20left%20until%20Obama%20leaves%20office

 

 

PopeSaints

A Double Canonization for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Pope Francis on Sunday will preside over a pomp-filled ceremony to declare Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII saints—an event that commemorates the legacies of two of the Catholic Church’s most popular popes, both instrumental in shaping the current pontiff’s groundbreaking reign.

The rite in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, canonizing two of the Catholic Church’s most popular popes, is likely to be a history-making event, given the strong possibility that Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last year, will also be in attendance. That would mark the first time in the church’s 2,000-year history that two popes would honor the memory of two previous ones.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304788404579523802070217962?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304788404579523802070217962.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_hp_RightTopStories

 

 

The High Cost of Liberalism

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

 

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land (“open space”) on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

 

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

 

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

 

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was “visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another.”

 

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of “open space,” and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/22/_the_high_cost_of_liberalism_122363.html

 

 

U.S. Senate:  Poll Shows Tight Senate Races in Four Southern States

Four Senate races in the South that will most likely determine control of Congress appear very close, with Republicans benefiting from more partisan intensity but a Democratic incumbent, once seen as highly vulnerable, holding a surprising edge, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

 

The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas — states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/upshot/poll-shows-tight-senate-races-in-four-southern-states.html

 

 

Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote

For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. And he’s been showing up in some unexpected — for a Republican — venues, including historically black colleges.

 

It’s stirred an unusual degree of curiosity about the freshman Kentucky senator — and 2016 GOP presidential prospect — among the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting bloc.

 

“He’s a different voice in the arena that we don’t traditionally hear,” says Lorraine Miller, acting head of the NAACP, who expects to invite Paul to speak at the organization’s July national conference in Las Vegas.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/04/21/304545422/rand-paul-bids-to-loosen-democratic-hold-on-african-american-vote?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=politics&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews

 

 

The Republican demographic problem is just going to keep getting worse

The math isn’t complicated.  Winning 27 percent of the Hispanic vote and six percent of the African American vote — as Romney did in 2012 — makes it hard to win a majority of the overall vote when those groups represent 10 percent and 13 percent of the electorate, respectively. If Hispanics grow to 20 percent of the electorate by 2024 or 2028 and the Republican presidential nominee performs roughly equivalent to Romney’s 2012 showing, it will be impossible — or damn close to impossible — for that GOP nominee to win a national majority.

 

And, it’s not just the raw numbers that should concern Republicans. It’s where the under 20 minority populations live that could prove politically problematic going forward….

 

…The concentration of young minority population in the Southwest and South means that states like Texas and Arizona as well as Georgia and South Carolina — all of which have been conservative redoubts at the presidential level for decades could be in real jeopardy for the party in the medium and long term.

 

Republicans have a demographic problem. And it is going to get way, way worse unless they find a way to improve their numbers among Hispanics.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/22/the-republican-demographic-problem-is-just-going-to-keep-getting-worse/

 

DemSix

The left’s secret club plans for 2014, 2016 Some of the country’s biggest Democratic donors — including Tom Steyer and Jonathan Soros — are huddling behind closed doors next week in Chicago with union bigwigs and progressive superstars like Bill de Blasio to plan how to pull their party — and the country — to the left.

 

The setting is the annual spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive club of wealthy liberals that’s the closest thing the left has to the vaunted Koch brothers’ political network.

 

The DA, as the liberal group is known to insiders, is increasing its ranks of rich donors for the first time in years and is gearing up to spend huge sums on political data, voter registration, ground organizing and advertising to influence the 2014 midterms and 2016 presidential elections. Potentially more significant, the groups’ donors also could play an important role in determining whether the post-Barack Obama Democratic Party embraces the rising tide of progressive populism or hews to a more cautious, centrist course — in other words, whether the Hillary Clinton wing or Elizabeth Warren wing will seize the reins.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/democrats-democracy-alliance-liberal-donors-105972.html?hp=t1

 

 

Why Democrats Are the Party of Inequality

The Democratic Party is the party of inequality. They are the political faction that has a vested interest in inequality, because they depend on appeals to guilt and envy. To upper-middle-class elites, they promise to alleviate any spiritual discomfort caused by contemplating their relative good fortune, by the easy expedient of voting to spend a little extra money on welfare handouts—preferably the money of somebody just a little bit richer than them—rather than doing anything that would actually help the city’s poor find jobs and housing and transportation. For the poor, they promise to take the rich down a notch and distribute some of the loot.

 

This is the Democratic agenda across the board. It’s no coincidence that the division of the big northern cities into class societies coincides exactly with the War on Poverty, which has merely ameliorated the effects of poverty, at the cost of making it a permanent way of life. If “our American answer to poverty is not to make the poor more secure in their poverty but to reach down and to help them lift themselves out of the ruts of poverty and move with the large majority along the high road of hope and prosperity,” as Lyndon Johnson declared 50 years ago, then his War on Poverty has proven itself an indisputable failure.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/21/why-democrats-are-the-party-of-inequality/

 

 

DeROCHE: Not just clemency, but smarter sentencing

Over the past several decades, Congress has passed disproportionate mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses that infringe upon the moral and constitutional duties of judges to ensure fair and equitable justice. As the head of a faith-based organization guided by the Christian values of redemption and transformation, I am called to advocate for a system that values compassion and mercy as necessary policy counterweights to justice.

Justice is giving someone what they deserve, based on the harm they have caused, whereas mercy is extending leniency that is undeserved. Clemency was designed to be an instrument of mercy, while lawmaking is an exercise of justice.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/24/deroche-not-just-clemency-but-smarter-sentencing/?page=all#pagebreak

 

AnuzisOTR

Anuzis on “Off the Record” – Off the Record | April 18, 2014 | #4343 Watch Off The Record this week to see my interview on various challenges within the Republican Party and a discussion of some of the technology advances we have made going into the 2014 and 2016 elections.  There’s a short “after the show” clip that some will find interesting:)

 

http://wkar.org/post/record-april-18-2014-4343

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

The Top 25 Best Cities In The World According To Travelers. How Many Have You Visited?

The expert travelers at Trip Advisor came together to compile their list of the best rated cities in the world to visit. I suddenly have a lot of plane tickets to purchase.

 

http://news.distractify.com/culture/trip-advisor-top-cities/?v=1

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

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Weekly Musing 4-19-14 Wishing You and Your Family a Happy & Blessed Easter

Weekly Musing 4-19-14 (a day early:)

Saul Anuzis

 

 

Happy Easter!

Cross

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'” (John 11:25-26)

 

AnuzisOTR

Anuzis on “Off the Record” – Off the Record | April 18, 2014 | #4343 Watch Off The Record this week to see my interview on various challenges within the Republican Party and a discussion of some of the technology advances we have made going into the 2014 and 2016 elections.  There’s a short “after the show” clip that some will find interesting:)

 

http://wkar.org/post/record-april-18-2014-4343

 

 

NEW Facebook Page…

I’m heading over to a new Facebook page…PLEASE join me there… I started a new Facebook page to get around my “friend” limit…and play more politics-:) I’m going to slowly move off the “personal” page and only engage on this new page.  Join me & “like” here: https://www.facebook.com/SaulAnuzis

 

 

8 Infuriating Facts To Remember On Tax Day – If you’re a Democrat…

Ignore this – You Voted For It.

Happy Tax Day, America! It’s not every day that you either get to write a big fat check to Uncle Sam or discover that you’d been loaning him money interest-free for the last year. But have no fear: at least your hard-earned money has been spent on vital projects essential to America’s well-being. Projects like studying shrimp running on treadmills (seriously, you paid for that), or Bridges to Nowhere. Super important stuff like that.

 

In honor of tax day, here are 8 facts that will make you even angrier than you already are about the state of the U.S. tax system.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/15/8-infuriating-facts-to-remember-on-tax-day/

 

ObamaFrown

Coalition of the Disappointed  Obama fires up racial and gender resentments to get out the vote

You can tell it’s an election year because so many non-crises are suddenly urgent priorities. Real median household income is still lower than it was in 2007, the smallest share of Americans is working since 1978, and the Russians are marching west, but Democrats are training fire on race, gender and the grievances of identity politics.

 

“We have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don’t vote at the same rates,” President Obama said at a Houston fundraiser the other day. He means that the Obama Democrats are now what they call the “coalition of the ascendent,” made up of minorities, young people, single women and affluent, college-educated cultural liberals. The problem is that this year they may be a coalition of the disappointed, so Democrats are trying to scare them to the polls with pseudo-controversies…

 

…Transparent cynicism is the lifeblood of politics, but it’s nonetheless notable that the only way Democrats think they can win is by dividing the electorate into blocs and inflaming racial and other tensions. Governing so far to the left has polarized U.S. politics, and now the party of the government status quo is deliberately deepening the national divide because they think that is the only way to save the at-risk population that is the Senate Democratic majority.

All this is more than a country mile away from the era of political comity that Mr. Obama promised in 2008. America’s largest problems don’t have an ethnicity or gender, and most of them could be ameliorated with faster economic growth that would benefit everyone. Sadly, the liberal strategy of cultivating resentment will only get worse as the year drags on.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579501572356272540?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303663604579501572356272540.html

 

 

New Hampshire Republicans Get a Preview of 2016

Here in a state where presidential politics are never far from anyone’s mind, three Republicans who are considering a run for the White House — Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor — pitched their views on Saturday for how conservatives can retake power in Washington.

It was an unusually early event for such an overt discussion of 2016, even by today’s accelerated electoral calendar. Not only is the next presidential election still more than two and a half years away, most states have not even held their primary elections for the midterm elections this year.

 

The event was the Freedom Summit, a gathering of several hundred put together by two of the most influential groups on the right, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Citizens United. And what unfolded on stage in a conference center next to the regional airport was a display of today’s Republican Party in all its dynamism, division and sometimes strange spectacle.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/us/politics/new-hampshire-republicans-get-a-preview-of-2016.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

 

 

Why Republicans feel so good about the 2014 midterms, in 1 chart

Talk to any Republican strategist these days about the November midterm elections and you will get a response very much like this: “It’s still early, but I like where we are. A lot.” That semi-guarded, we’re-not-spiking-the-football-but-we-think-we-will-be-spiking-it-in-November mentality is based on one simple calculation: That midterm elections are almost always a battle between the two parties’ bases — and while the GOP is super-activated heading into the fall, the Democratic base is most decidedly not.

 

Here’s that argument made in a single chart created by Neil Newhouse, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies, a prominent Republican polling firm.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/14/why-republicans-feel-so-good-about-the-2014-midterms-in-1-chart/

 

Is the Republican Presidential Vote Inefficiently Distributed? – A great discussion.

Even if whites are, in fact, moving toward Republicans, they are primarily moving toward Republicans in already-red Southern states and in Greater Appalachia — states like West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas, which were largely settled by Scots-Irish immigrants and their descendants. Cohn looked at competitive states’ Partisan Voting Index (how a state votes relative to the national popular vote) in 2000 and again in 2012 and concluded that almost all of the movement in competitive states has been toward Democrats. You can see the basis for Cohn’s argument in the table below from his article.

 

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/is-the-republican-presidential-vote-inefficiently-distributed/

 

ObamaHandOverMouth

Why Aren’t Public Officials Held to Account for Lying? If a private citizen can be sentenced to 10 years in prison for making false and misleading statements on broadcast television, why, Mr. Humphries asks, can government officials lie with impunity?

 

No one was forced to buy Mr. Trudeau’s book, he notes. When “shipping and handling” are added in, people who bought it were only out about $30.

People who don’t buy an Obamacare policy could be fined hundreds, in some cases thousands of dollars.

Chiefly because of Obamacare, health insurance premiums for policies bought outside the Obamacare exchanges this year are 39 percent higher, on average, for individuals, and 56 percent higher for families, according to a study by eHealthinsurance, a private online insurance exchange.

 

“The court said Mr. Trudeau owes $37 million in damages,” Mr. Humphries said. “That’s nothing compared to Obamacare. The (Healthcare.gov) website cost almost a billion dollars, and it’s a complete disaster.”

 

It was chiefly the concept of equal protection of the laws — the idea that the rules should apply to the rulers as well as the ruled — that made our government different from most others in the history of the world.

 

The laws which protect us from con men like Kevin Trudeau should be applied as well to government officials who abuse their authority.

 

Because prosecutors have too much discretion, which too many abuse because they have “sovereign immunity,” our criminal justice system has become a “crime,” said University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds. At a minimum, prosecutors should be subject to civil damages for misconduct, he said.

So should all other government officials — especially at the IRS, where politically motivated misconduct can ruin lives and swing elections, as we’ve seen in the targeting of Tea Party groups.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/13/why_arent_public_officials_held_to_account_for_lying_122266.html

 

 

‘The Next America’ presents challenges, opportunities for politicians

The America of today bears little resemblance to the country of 50 years ago. It is older. It is less white. And those two demographic trends will only accelerate over the next 50 years.

 

“Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era,” writes Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center.”The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.”

 

Taylor’s conclusions come in an essay titled “The Next America” that details the massive shifts currently roiling the county — and what they will mean for its politics going forward. (Taylor has also authored a book by the same name.)

 

While neither of Taylor’s broadest conclusions — we are getting older and less white — are ground-breaking, he explores the depth, rate and impact of these changes in a way that truly drives home a single basic point: We are through the demographic looking glass.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-next-america-is-already-having-an-impact-on-politics-but-its-effects-will-grow-over-time/2014/04/13/66d72e3e-c311-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html?hpid=z3

 

 

Cynical Race-Baiting Will Fail to Save the Democrats

Rather than champion issues of genuine concern to ethnic minorities in this country, many Democrat leaders in Washington D.C. today are content to treat those they claim to be fighting for as nothing more than ignorant, hapless and incapable of surviving in our society without the help of the federal government.

 

What makes the comments of Pelosi and Israel particularly reprehensible is that they offer no evidence of such scurrilous accusations. Such scare tactics have worked in the past to mobilize voters to support Democrats against Republicans allegedly waging a “war on women” or “disenfranchising the vote” by requiring all legally eligible voters to produce identification to prevent fraud.

This November I predict the American voters will render judgment on Democrat attempts to divide the country on racial lines in a cynical attempt to cling to power. We were promised by Democrats years ago that they would heal old wounds and bring us closer together. By seeking to exploit our ugly past with racial bigotry for political advantage, Democrats should be prepared to have their proverbial chickens come home to roost—the American people are tired of craven political leaders who seek to divide us and will elect new ones who will lead the country celebrating the strength of our ethnic diversity rather than seek to exploit it for their own personal benefit.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/14/cynical-race-baiting-will-fail-to-save-the-democrats.html

 

Putin Fist

Playing Putin’s Game – A very good and interesting analysis.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of Vladimir Putin’s Crimean Gambit, now threatening to become a Donbas Gambit, it reminds us that the United States still has some unfinished business in Europe. Putin’s dramatic move into Crimea, and his subsequent sporting with Ukraine like a cat playing with a wounded mouse, is devastating to liberal aspirations about the kind of Europe, and world, we would like to live in. It affronts our moral and political sensibilities, and it raises the specter of a serious and unfavorable shift in the regional balance of power. But so far, Western leaders have signally failed to develop an effective response to this, to them, an utterly unexpected and shocking challenge.

 

Since the end of the Cold War, when the Soviet Union, successor state to the old Tsarist empire, fell apart, the former Russian empire has been divided into eleven separate republics. The closest parallel, an ominous one to many of these states, would be to what happened the last time the Russian state collapsed, in 1917-1919. Then as in 1990, the former empire splintered into a collection of separate republics. Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Central Asian states and the Baltic republics set out on an independent existence. Then, as Lenin and his heirs consolidated power in Moscow, the various breakaway republics returned (in some cases more willingly than others) to the fold. By 1939, when Soviet troops invaded the Baltic Republics, from Central Asia to the Baltic Sea, almost all of the far-flung dominions of the Romanovs were once more under a single flag. Only Poland and Finland were able to resist incorporation into the Soviet Union, and the Poles were forced into the Warsaw Pact.

 

Lenin and Stalin were able to rebuild the tsarist empire first because they succeeded in creating a strong state in Russia, second because many of the breakaway states were divided and weak, and finally because a permissive international environment posed few effective barriers to the reassertion of Moscow’s power.

 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/04/15/playing-putins-game/

 

 

A Thoughtful Discussion:  Can National Popular Vote end the voting wars?

One of the most pernicious outcomes of the intense political struggle between Democrats and Republicans is the parties’ breathtaking capacity to game our voting rules. Nothing makes voters more cynical than seeing political leaders seemingly supporting or opposing election laws based solely on their partisan impact — from redistricting reform to fights over whether to allow early voting. ­

 

But a reform win in New York could foreshadow a cease-fire in the voting wars. On April 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making New York the 10th state to pass the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact for president. Overwhelming majorities of both Republicans and Democrats approved the bill, which seeks to guarantee election of the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

 

We don’t need a constitutional amendment to achieve this goal. The Constitution gives each state power over how to allocate its electoral votes and the ability to enter into binding interstate compacts. The Founding Fathers gave states freedom to structure how to select the president — and national popular vote embodies that tradition.

 

It can only go into effect after adoption in jurisdictions that collectively hold a majority of electoral votes. Right now, the supporting states together have 165 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate the national popular vote. Once states with at least 105 more electoral votes pass it, we will hold a presidential election in which, for the first time in U.S. history, every vote in every state will count equally. The candidate with the most votes will always win.

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/04/17/can-national-popular-vote-end-the-voting-wars/

 

 

Attention Michigan Republicans

The Michigan GOP has launched their new Team Dashboard that allows activists and volunteers to help from the privacy of your homes.

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re only willing to identify your closest friends and families…and/or add a few neighbors…EVERY id you make HELPS!!!

 

Anyone can sign up and help…do as little or as much as works for you…again, just id the 10 closest people to you…those you know best here in Michigan and the conservative movement and Republicans win!

 

Please check out the MIGOP Team Dashboard, it’s easy, it’s of GREAT value and EVERY single id helps make a difference for our state…and our country.

 

Thanks for your help and consideration on this project.

 

www.migop.org/2014

 

 

Michigan Precinct Delegate -MaximizeYourVoice.org

For those of you who care…and want to help make a difference should consider filing for precinct delegate.

 

Citizen’s For Traditional Values is one of the leading conservative voices in Michigan helping good folks to get involved in politics…I hope you’ll take a look.

 

http://youtu.be/zvmrHb4t92c

 

 

The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience

This incredible collection of moments represents the joy, innocence, despair, curiosity, and undying perseverance within all of us. No matter where we’re from, these are the emotions that unite us – it’s what makes us human. We set out to capture this spirit in 60 incredible photographs, and I truly hope you enjoy.

 

http://news.distractify.com/people/complex-humans/?v=1&utm_content=buffereb48b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

 

*****************************************

Just for fun…

 

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Democrat in 2014 Written by Allen West on April 18, 2014          Read more at:  http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/top-10-reasons-vote-democrat-2014%e2%80%a8%e2%80%a8/

 

I can only take credit for #10, but thought you’d get a kick out of this.

10. I’ll vote Democrat because I can’t wait for college football season to be delayed or cancelled because the student athletes are union employees.

 

9. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe oil company’s profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

 

8. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

 

7. I’ll vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

 

6. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that get police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.

 

5. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.

 

4. I’ll vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the Social Security from those who paid into it.

 

3. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe that businesses should NOT be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

 

2. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

And the Number One reason I’ll vote Democrat is:

 

1. I’ll vote Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, fish or frog.

 

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 4-13-14

Weekly Musing 4-13-14

Saul Anuzis

 

ObamaFrown

Much has been said about what Obama should do to destroy the Russian economy. To me the plan for Russia is simple: 1) Ban their use of coal 2) Mandate that Russia goes on Obamacare 3) Don’t allow any drilling on Russian public land 4) Have the EPA pass rulings on Russian business 5) R-define the full time Russian work week to 30 hours 6) Raise the Russian minimum wage 7) Mandate overtime pay for government employees 8) Demand the Russian Government pay free Welfare benefits to un-qualified Citizens and Illegal immigrants I could go on but I guarantee these measures would bring the Russia economy to its knees.

 

What makes me think I heard of this before?

 

Ranny

RIP Ranny Riecker

A class act who did much for our Republican Party, Michigan and our country.  Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

 

http://www.mackinac.org/19953

 

Land

Michigan may be the GOP’s best answer to the ‘war on women’

Land is delighted to have Democrats raising the subject of “preventive” or other health care. It is one topic of about $5 million of Michigan ads by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. In one, a woman addresses Land’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters:

 

“My name is Julie Boonstra and five years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia. I found out that I only have a 20 percent chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor and a great health-care plan. I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received the letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare.”

 

Another ad features a woman who believes Obamacare is waging a war on her: “We have five kids. . . . Our health insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare. . . . This new plan is not affordable at all. My husband is working a lot more hours just to pay for these new increases. I’m frustrated that government has caused this huge problem for our family.”

 

“We,” says Land, her Michigan chauvinism undiminished by this city’s collapse, “are the state that created the middle class.” High wages for autoworkers — higher than the companies could sustain — and employee discounts for cars enabled people to buy homes, then cottages and boats at nearby lakes. Now Obamacare — many Michiganders have had health plans canceled — is fueling middle-class insecurity.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-michigan-may-offer-the-gops-best-answer-to-the-so-called-war-on-women/2014/04/11/59817de0-c0d0-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html

 

 

Newt: Sebelius’ term was a disaster

Sadly her term as secretary of Health and Human Services was a disaster.

 

Americans should be able to expect that people who enter high public office will see their job as a public duty and will view faithfully serving the public and administering the laws as their solemn obligation.

Sebelius ran her office in a secretive and extraordinarily partisan manner that frequently ignored, violated and changed the law at whim.

 

Perhaps her approach merely mirrored the attitude of the Obama White House, but as the Senate-confirmed head of a major department of the American government, Sebelius must be held to a different standard than White House staff.

 

The White House staff is there to serve the President. Their positions are inherently personal and political. If the Obama White House is often arrogant, aloof, secretive and largely isolated from the Congress, it is because that is the President’s style. And that is his right.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/11/opinion/gingrich-sebelius-right-to-resign/index.html

 

Kemp

Note to Republicans: Channel Jack Kemp

It might seem a curious moment for a Jack Kemp revival. Many remember him as an evangelist for supply-side economics and its drastic tax cutting — exactly the approach some Republicans say needs to be replaced with a fresh agenda that grapples with joblessness and stagnant wages.

 

But there was another side to Kemp, a self-described “bleeding-heart conservative” who preached the gospel of upward mobility, economic opportunity, cultural diversity and racial justice. This Kemp personified the big-tent Republicanism that has gone into hibernation in the Obama years and that some Republicans think is crucial to the party’s success in the 2016 presidential election, when voters will want to hear a more positive message.

 

It is one thing, of course, to emphasize reaching beyond the Republican base, and quite another to connect with other voters, which Kemp was successful in doing. “I watched him interact in poor communities with so clearly a love of people, and a fierce idea of equality,” said Senator Cory A. Booker of New Jersey, a Democratic protégé of Kemp’s, in an interview last week, recalling how Kemp’s “compassion, engagement and comfort” shone through when he talked to African-Americans and Latinos.

 

That ease was partly the consequence of Kemp’s years as a professional quarterback — the tense fourth-quarter huddles and locker-room camaraderie, not to mention his role as one of the few white leaders of a boycott of the American Football League’s All-Star game in 1965, when it was scheduled in New Orleans, a segregated city at the time.

 

Those experiences gave Kemp a street-level credibility rare for politicians in either party, though Mr. Ryan, for one, has been visiting inner cities, accompanied by Bob Woodson, a civil rights activist who worked closely with Kemp.

 

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/sunday-review/note-to-republicans-channel-jack-kemp.html?referrer

 

 

The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus

As the illuminating timeline accompanying the Camp letter shows, Ms. Lerner’s focus on shutting down Crossroads GPS came only after Obama adviser David Axelrod listed Crossroads among “front groups for foreign-controlled companies”; only after Senate Democrats Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer and others demanded the IRS investigate Crossroads; only after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a website to “expose donors” of Crossroads; and only after Obama’s campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about Crossroads.

 

The information in Mr. Camp’s letter shows that Ms. Lerner sprang to action following a January 2013 meeting with Democracy 21, a campaign-finance outfit petitioning for a crackdown on Crossroads and the liberal big-dollar Priorities USA. (She never touched Priorities, run by former Obama aides.) The Camp outline suggests cause and effect, and that’s new.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303603904579493831524666494?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303603904579493831524666494.html

 

 

Can Clever Campaigns Save the Democrats in 2014?

Recently I attended a briefing at the Democratic National Committee intended to impress reporters with the newfangled technology the party plans to use to change the midterm-election landscape. Staffers pulled up a slide cheekily showing the file the party’s voter database has archived of one Reinhold R. Priebus of Wisconsin—the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Despite the entry listing his “likely party” as Republican, with 100 percent certainty, Priebus had thrice been contacted by Democratic campaigns, it said.

 

Files like these, and the databases into which they could be compiled, would be Democrats’ edge in upcoming elections, the officials hosting the briefing insisted. Through precision targeting and data, campaigns from the local to the congressional to the state level could figure out which voters to talk to and deploy volunteers and staff to cajole them from their homes to vote. State-of-the-art technology would tap into people’s Facebook networks or point them to the correct polling place. Modeling would predict within a narrow range how the election would turn out and dispatch monitors for a possible recount. The tools all had code names: Explorer, Airwolf, Project Ivy.

 

The briefing inspired a spate of coverage about all the fancy new ways Democrats hoped to engineer their way to electoral victory. For proof, the party pointed to the narrow victory of Terry McAuliffe, elected governor of Virginia in November 2013. (As for the Democratic candidate who fell to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by a 22-point margin that same day, the DNC said her campaign was not “structured to take advantage of” the tools.) And yet, a few weeks later, the shoe was on the other foot. Last month, it was Republicans who were doing a victory lap after their candidate triumphed in a closely watched Florida special congressional election. The newly minted congressman owed his win, Republicans announced afterward, to a shiny new data-and-voter-file integration system—codename: Honeybadger.

 

In short, claims that one party or the other has built up a tactical advantage based on the latest in campaign science are always to be taken with a grain of salt. Political scientists have trouble detecting major effects on elections from even the most intensive campaign efforts. Party committees’ boasts about their tactical arsenals are probably largely for the benefit of their donors, who must be reassured their money is going somewhere useful. (Why else would they reveal techniques that surely would be all the more effective if they caught opponents unawares?) As it happens, the DNC is more than $10 million in debt.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/can-clever-campaigns-save-the-democrats-in-2014/360414/

 

Putin Fist

Can Putin’s Ukrainian Strategy Be Countered?

Putin is in a far better position than many Western policymakers and pundits seem to realize. And turning the tables on him won’t be easy.

 

The dust has settled a bit following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the seizure of the Crimea, and it’s now possible to discern the new landscape and to start thinking seriously about what the US and the EU should do next. The next steps won’t be easy; from a Western point of view the options are not great. The usual cheerleaders and White House boosters have been banging on about Putin falling into a trap, but it’s the West that was caught. Whether by design or by luck, Vladimir Putin has American and European leaders in an uncomfortable spot.

 

This is partly because in one sense, the West “won” the lion’s share of Ukraine. This was the point that the administration’s press acolytes were quick to point to as proof that our “smart diplomacy” still had the upper hand, but the cost of this “success” will be high. Russia sliced off Crimea, but has so far refrained from any more land grabs; that leaves the EU and the US holding the bag for the rest of the country. The weak and corrupt Ukrainian state, its inexperienced revolutionary leaders, its failing economy and its deeply divided population now turn to the West with hopes high and hands out. The West has two choices and neither one is particularly pleasant. Option one: it can turn its back on Ukraine while the country flounders further, turns bitter at western failure and inevitably slips into orbit around Moscow.  Option two: it can embark on an expensive, difficult and quite possibly doomed exercise in nation-building, with Putin able to deploy a formidable array of policy tools against us whenever and however he chooses. Quite possibly, option two will turn out to be a longer, more humiliating, more painful and more expensive way of getting the same ultimate result as option one.

 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2014/04/06/can-putins-ukrainian-strategy-be-countered/

 

 

So You Think You’re Smarter Than A CIA Agent

For the past three years, Rich and 3,000 other average people have been quietly making probability estimates about everything from Venezuelan gas subsidies to North Korean politics as part of the Good Judgment Project, an experiment put together by three well-known psychologists and some people inside the intelligence community.

 

According to one report, the predictions made by the Good Judgment Project are often better even than intelligence analysts with access to classified information, and many of the people involved in the project have been astonished by its success at making accurate predictions.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/04/02/297839429/-so-you-think-youre-smarter-than-a-cia-agent

 

 

Did readers actually read a story about reading?

The story in question — about how scanning and skimming our way through the Internet appears to be messing with how we read deeper, longer works — went viral earlier this week, with insane numbers of page views, a gazillion tweets, and even a starring role in Craig Ferguson’s late-night TV monologue.

Though there were many chants of “me, too” about the story on Twitter, there were also many jokes that took this form: “I skimmed it.”

 

So we decided to actually test this. The good folks at Chartbeat, which tracks how people read digital content, performed an analysis and found that 25 percent of readers stopped reading this story before they even reached the article text. A smaller percentage of other readers dropped off somewhere toward the middle. And 31 percent made it all the way through. I have a lollipop for all of them.

 

As the writer, should I be happy about those numbers or deeply, deeply sad? I asked Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat’s chief data scientist. Then I held my breath.

“Anytime I talk to journalists they always ask that question,” Schwartz said.

 

Not an answer. This felt not good.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/04/11/did-readers-actually-read-a-story-about-reading/

 

 

Awesome!!!  Ukraine – via Sand Art

This is really worth watching…a powerful story & performance.

 

http://youtu.be/518XP8prwZo

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Weekly Musing 4-6-14

Weekly Musing 4-6-14

Saul Anuzis

 

Rogers-Camp

 

Republican lose two POWER-HOUSES in Congress

With the retirement of Dave Camp and Mike Rogers, Michigan loses two of the most powerful and most respected members of Congress.

 

First…we have to say “thanks” for their service, commitment and sacrifice on behalf of our state and our country.

 

Many ignore, if not completely miss the sacrifices and commitment members of Congress make in order to serve.  Yes, it’s an honor.  Yes, it’s one of the coolest jobs I could imagine.  And yes, it’s a job many of us would love to have, but don’t want to admit it…let alone go out and earn it.

 

Serving in Congress…they are the best of times and the worst of times…as most serve to the best of their ability with only our best interest in mind.  Both Camp and Rogers epitomize such public service.

 

Second…we literally will now have an opportunity to elect the next generation of leaders that will represent Michigan and our country.  Choose wisely my friends.

 

Saul Anuzis

MI-8: I’m Out…but would have been Honored

I, as most, was surprised and stunned by Congressman Roger’s announcement that he wouldn’t run for re-election.  I seriously considered running for Congress and have to admit, was pleasantly surprised at the support and encouragement I received from friends in and out of state.

 

I do consider the opportunity to serve in Congress as one of the greatest honors anyone can have.  Just having considered the possibility helped restore my commitment to freedom, liberty and America!

 

My decision wasn’t too complicated…in the end, I just personally couldn’t afford to take on the challenge.  I have three sons in college, a mortgage, debt and family obligations that superseded my desire to serve.

 

By the way, not complaining, no excuses…just reality.

 

Again, thanks to so many who encouraged me along the way.  In the end, unfortunately, it all came down to money.  I did buy a lottery ticket…just in case.  But lady luck and providence clearly led me in a different direction.

 

Now we much ALL choose wisely!

 

 

Dave Camp won’t seek reelection

Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, the chairman of the prestigious Ways and Means Committee, will not run for reelection in November, the veteran GOP lawmaker announced on Monday.

 

Camp was first elected in 1990, in a class that also included Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

 

“Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life,” Camp said in a statement released by the Ways and Means Committee. “I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me. Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration.”

 

Camp, 60, said he will spend the remainder of this 113th Congress on efforts to “grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services.”

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/dave-camp-michigan-reelection-105220.html

 

 

Candidates emerge, as others decide to sit out Michigan congressional races Several Michigan politicians are still mulling a run for Congress while others have bowed out less than three weeks before the filing deadline.

 

In the 8th Congressional District, former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis decided not to run for the unexpected open seat created by the retirement announcement of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Howell.

 

For the Democrats, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero also ended his short-lived consideration for office.

 

“So much is broken about Washington that it is tempting for me to contemplate a future trying to fix it,” Bernero posted on his Facebook page. “But my heart and my creative energies are committed to Lansing and its continued growth.”

 

The decision a week ago by Rogers not to seek re-election for a seat he’s held since 2001 prompted plenty of politicians on both sides of the aisle to consider a run for Congress. The 8th Congressional District includes Ingham, Livingston and northern Oakland counties.

 

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140405/POLITICS03/304050028/Candidates-emerge-others-decide-sit-out-Michigan-congressional-races

 

 

The Demographics Behind the Democrats’ 2014 Troubles

Early national polling is supporting the prevailing view in Washington that Democrats are in trouble in the 2014 midterm elections. While Democrats are more popular than the GOP among the general public, the party faces a number of challenges in November.

 

First, there’s an enthusiasm gap. Typically, but not always, Republicans vote at higher rates than Democrats in congressional elections. And at this early stage, that seems likely to happen again, perhaps at an even greater rate than usual. One telling indicator came in December, when the Pew Research Center found that Republicans are much more optimistic about their party’s electoral prospects than Democrats are. Fully 55% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters expect the GOP to do better in 2014 than the party has in recent elections, while only 43% of Democrats expressed such confidence.Recent national surveys of registered voters by the Pew Research Center, the Washington Post/ABC News and the New York Times/CBS News show congressional voting intentions about even. But if these polls were narrowed to likely voters, they might find a strong GOP lead. It could be a replay of 2010, when Pew’s final congressional poll of registered voters showed a one-point Democratic lead, but among likely voters Republicans held a six-point advantage, which was about their margin of victory when they retook the House.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303779504579467401487094782

 

 

 

Anticipating November, Democrats act desperately

If you’re a Democratic strategist, this seems to be the motto operandi. If you’re a Republican strategist, you’re thinking: Better dumb that down.

 

There now, if everyone is equally offended, we can proceed.

 

First, let’s dispense with Democrats, as voters are likely to do this November for countless reasons. Chief among them is the recent debut of the Democratic “strategy” of hurling “pocketbook” legislation at Republicans that has no chance of passing.

 

This is not exactly a paradigm-shifting strategy. Minimum-wage debates are sort of like funeral suits. You keep them handy for those glum times when respect for dying ideas must be paid. Giving strategists their due, the bills are catchy, using as they do the poll-tested word “fairness” in their titles. (For some reason, I have an irresistible urge to enlist Phil Dunphy from “Modern Family” to say: “Geniuses.” )

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-democrats-get-desperate-ahead-of-november-elections/2014/04/01/4f26433a-b9dc-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html

 

 

Obama’s Top-and-Bottom Coalition Shows Signs of Strain

So coalitions don’t last forever, and change composition over time. John Kennedy’s Democratic coalition united white Southerners and northern Catholics. Half a century later, Republican Mitt Romney carried white Southerners and white Catholics by wide margins.

 

Barack Obama’s Democratic Party is a top-and-bottom coalition, with affluent gentry liberals and blacks, single women, recent Hispanic immigrants and young voters — all groups of little political heft in Kennedy’s day.

 

Now in the sixth year of the Obama presidency, with his job approval stuck below 50 percent, there are signs of strain. And choices made earlier, when Democrats held congressional supermajorities, are starting to prove troublesome.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/01/obamas_top-and-bottom_coalition_shows_signs_of_strain_122126.html

 

Dynasty Isn’t Just for Monarchies Anymore

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush may not agree on much, but they surely recognize they need each other in 2016. Only the nomination of both for president by their respective parties makes the dynasty issue go away.

 

While Clinton has long led her party’s 2016 presidential wish list, the ascension of Jeb Bush up the GOP board is more recent. But make no mistake: Many top Republicans would love him to run, as reported by the Washington Post and discussed on the Sunday shows over the weekend. I have heard the same thing for months from the highest levels of the GOP, which is part of the reason why Bush now occupies the top spot on our University of Virginia Center for Politics Crystal Ball rankings of the 2016 Republican contenders (Clinton obviously tops our Democratic rankings).

 

The very idea that just two alternating families would occupy the White House for 28 of the 36 years between 1989 and 2025 would have been abhorrent to America’s founding fathers. They weren’t enthusiastic supporters of participatory democracy, but they knew a monarchial line when they saw one, and started a revolution to end it on these shores. The presidency was never supposed to be a household inheritance.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/dynasty-its-not-just-for-monarchies-anymore-105205.html#ixzz2xawT3800

 

 

8 cities make cut for GOP convention

Eight cities, including three from Ohio and nominal front-runner Las Vegas, have made the cut in the ongoing contest to hold the GOP’s 2016 nominating convention.

 

“Congratulations to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix for moving on to the next phase,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted Thursday.

 

The cities will present their case to the RNC’s site selection committee in Washington on Monday.

By mid-March, the selection committee will choose which cities will get site visits; the visits will take place in late spring.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/8-cities-gop-convention-2016-104034.html

 

 

Supreme Court strikes down overall limits on political contributions

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Wednesday that limits on the total amount of money individuals can give to candidates, political parties and political action committees are unconstitutional.

The ruling removes the cap on contributions, which was set at $123,200 for 2014, but does not change limits on individual contributions for president or Congress, currently set at $2,600 per election.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/02/high-court-voids-overall-contribution-limits/%3chttp:/email.foxnews.com/t?r=5&c=26219&l=35&ctl=4DEDF:ADE59453F42A069511857E6CE312B7B6&

 

 

This Is What Happens When A Kid Leaves Traditional Education – AWESOME!

Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. Not only was he home schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.

 

Education is often considered the foundation for creating a well rounded and productive society, but this belief usually stems from being sure that those coming out of the education system are able to keep the cogs of society turning in order to maintain profit margins of large companies in a system that requires constant growth. Instead of having creative and out-of-the-box-thinking people, the current style of education creates more submissive, obedient and trained graduates so the current system is always maintained.

 

What this means is that standard education is focused less on each individual and their growth and more on creating a supply of worker bees that can go out into the world and follow within the confines the system sets out. Sir Ken Robinson gave a famous TED talk in 2007 where he discussed his beliefs about how education kills creativity. This TED talk is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time and  has inspired many to re-think the way we are educating our children. Since traditional education is still taking its time with adjusting, many are turning to homeschooling as a solution as it allows children to explore education much like Logan did.

 

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/01/07/this-is-what-happens-when-a-kid-leaves-traditional-education/

 

 

The Left’s ‘Wars’ – On children, on young adults and on basic American principles.

The midterm elections are just over seven months away and the left has unleashed its usual rhetoric about the Republican “war on women.” It’s baseless political pandering of the worst kind, but not something the Republicans can ignore, as it will no doubt be furthered by a mainstream media that is biased, gullible or both.

 

While Republicans are debunking this trope, they would do well to highlight some of the left’s “wars.”

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303779504579465751189702072

 

 

A Catastrophe Like No Other  The president tries to put a good face on ObamaCare.

Put aside the numbers for a moment, and the daily argument.

 

“Seven point one million people have signed up!”

“But six million people lost their coverage and were forced onto the exchanges! That’s no triumph, it’s a manipulation. And how many of the 7.1 million have paid?”

 

“We can’t say, but 7.1 million is a big number and redeems the program.”

 

“Is it a real number?”

 

“Your lack of trust betrays a dark and conspiratorial right-wing mindset.”

 

As I say, put aside the argument, step back and view the thing at a distance. Support it or not, you cannot look at ObamaCare and call it anything but a huge, historic mess. It is also utterly unique in the annals of American lawmaking and government administration.

Its biggest proponent in Congress, the Democratic speaker of the House, literally said—blithely, mindlessly, but in a way forthcomingly—that we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. It is a cliché to note this. But really, Nancy Pelosi’s statement was a historic admission that she was fighting hard for something she herself didn’t understand, but she had every confidence regulators and bureaucratic interpreters would tell her in time what she’d done. This is how we make laws now…

 

…There’s a brute test of a policy: If you knew then what you know now, would you do it? I will never forget a conversation in 2006 or thereabouts with a passionate and eloquent supporter of the decision to go into Iraq. We had been having this conversation for years, he a stalwart who would highlight every optimistic sign, every good glimmering. He argued always for the rightness of the administration’s decision. I would share my disquiet, my doubts, finally my skepticism. One night over dinner I asked him, in passing, “If we had it to do over again, should we have gone in? would you support it?”

 

And he said, “Of course not!”

 

Which told me everything.

 

There are very, very few Democrats who would do ObamaCare over again. Some would do something different, but they wouldn’t do this. The cost of the blunder has been too high in terms of policy and politics.

 

They, and the president, are trying to put a good face on it.

 

Republicans of all people should not go for the happy face. They cannot run only on ObamaCare this year and later, because it’s not the only problem in America. But it’s a problem, a big one, and needs to be hard and shrewdly fought.

 

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579479700454846082

 

 

Russia, the Big Picture

The American leadership class has taken on a certain ship-of-fools aspect when it comes to Russia. They are missing the essential story.

 

So the other night I was walking from a gathering when a writer and academic, a smart, nice man, turned to me and said, softly, “How do you think Reagan would view what is going on? How do you think he’d see all this?” And I surprised myself by answering.

* * *

I said that what people don’t understand about Reagan is that his self-conceptualization in the first 40 years of his life, meaning the years in which you really become yourself, was as an artist. Not a political leader or an economist, not a geo-strategist, but an artist. I saw this when I went through his papers at the Reagan Library. As a boy and young man he was a short story writer, a drawer of pictures, then an actor. He acted in college, went into broadcasting and then went on to act professionally. He paid close attention to script, character, the shape of the story. He came to maturity and middle age in Hollywood, which was full of craftsmen and artists, and he respected them and was one of them.

 

He cared about politics and came to see himself as a leader when he was immersed in Screen Actors Guild politics, and later led that union.

 

http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2014/04/02/russia-the-big-picture/

 

 

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share

My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

 

Please share.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

 

On Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

 

 

On Twitter at:

@sanuzis

 

 

My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:

http://thatssaulfolks.com/

 

 

Thanks again for all you do!

Posted in Blog | 2 Comments

Weekly Musing 3-30-13

Weekly Musing 3-30-14

Saul Anuzis

Snyder6

RGA Michigan Ad: The Schauer is Over

Michigan’s race for Governor is on it’s way!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJut_fYHRJU&feature=youtu.be

Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers, key House Republican, won’t run for reelection

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a key congressional voice on national security, announced Friday that he will not run for reelection this year.

The Michigan Republican made the announcement on Detroit’s WJR radio station, saying he will host a syndicated radio program that will talk about national security issues and other news of the day.

 

“I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after,” Rogers said in a statement. “The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re- election to Congress in 2014.”

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/28/politics/rogers-no-reelection/index.html

 

Mike Rogers wants to ‘move the needle on the 2016 elections’

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) surprised his colleagues Friday by announcing plans not to run for reelection, and to quit and instead to host a nationally syndicated radio program.

 

Rogers discussed his decision Friday with The Washington Post. A partial transcript — edited for length and clarity — appears below.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/28/mike-rogers-wants-to-move-the-needle-on-the-2016-elections/

Saul Anuzis

Anuzis for Congress – Maybe???  What do you think?

Posted on March 28, 2014 by saulfolks

Anuzis for Congress – Maybe?

 

First, I thank Mike Rogers for his service to our state, our republic and our party. In the coming days, I will be looking at this congressional seat and time is short.

 

It’s a sprint…to make a decision, to prepare a campaign and to run in what will clearly be a contested primary. It’s safe to say, it’s a wide open seat that Republicans have to hold!

 

So why maybe me?

 

I’ve thought about this before, so here are my thoughts.

 

I come from an immigrant working class family that grew up in the city of Detroit. I worked as a Teamster, paying my way through the commuter campus of the University of Michigan in Dearborn. I spend my career as a staffer in the state legislature and a small businessman/entrepreneur over the last 25 years. Some of which could be considered successful and others that didn’t end up so successful. I’ve made some money and I’ve lost some money. I have a mortgage, carry credit card debt, struggle to help pay for my 4 sons way through college and yes, I cut my own lawn (kids help) and shovel our snow:) To paraphrase the old tv sports show, I’ve been part of and lived through the “joys of victory and the agony of defeat”.

 

No Harvard, no elected office, no big business successes and no unique, super cool stories that make me someone special. Rather, I’m a pretty average guy who’s been blessed with a great family and great life…having been through some of the best of times and some of the worst of times.

 

Having said that, this is a unique time in Michigan’s political history where we have a real opportunity to hold this Congressional seat for Republicans and a constitutional conservative. I am going to take a few weeks and seriously explore the opportunities, options and the kind of support I can put together. Given the initial response from so many of you, I owe it to myself to serious explore my options.

 

So why maybe me? My family found its share of the American Dream in an auto factory in Detroit. I believe in American Exceptionalism and believe that our best days are yet before us. I share in the concept of helping create an Opportunity Society of all, where we take the best the free market has to offer and encourage rather than guarantee the real pursuit of happiness.

 

I support an efficient, yet limited government that provides a safety net for those who can’t help themselves, but does not create a welfare society as a way of life.

 

I want to foster economic growth by limiting over burdensome rules and regulations, flattening, lowering and simplifying our tax code. I support moving towards a flat tax or fair tax – one that is fair, transparent and accountable.

 

I believe in peace through strength. We have a role and responsibility to defend our country and our way of life. We should deal with our enemies and their threats with everything we’ve got. But I oppose the concept of nation building or the idea that America should be the world’s policeman. If and when needed, we get in, do the job and get out. I believe in real Homeland security not long term international engagements.

 

Liberty and individual freedom are the foundations of our society and our country. I vehemently oppose President Obama’s policies that are attempting to create a “European social democratic” state or a “nanny state” that reminds me too much of Orwell’s great books. From Obamacare to the domestic use of drones, to over intrusive domestic spying and “random” pat downs of citizens in our airports, I believe our government has gone too far.

 

We are a constitutional Republic, with certain inalienable rights that our Founders spelled out in our Constitutions, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. A foundation where we the people, lend our God given rights and authority to our government and our representatives to form and oversee a more perfect union. These “First Principles” as they have often been called are much maligned and forgotten by too many who seek and currently do represent us.

 

It might sound quaint, but I draw a lot of inspiration from my time as a Boy Scout, from cub-scout to troop leader, and still hold to this simple truth: a good life is one based on serving God, family, country and community.

 

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, what we have to do is fairly simple but not necessarily easy. So I will humbly go forward to see if there is any reasonable opportunity for me to do my part to help restore the American Dream.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

ON THE ISSUES

Let me attempt to be as direct and short as possible in laying out my general position on the issues. Please don’t interpret my omission or inclusion of any issue as anything more than trying to address questions that have been raised. As always, feel free to write or call me and I’ll let you know where I stand on any issue.

 

My parents passed on and instilled a work ethic that served me well starting a small business, serving as State Chairman and raising a family. I hope to take advantage of those values in this next quest.

 

I want to be a voice for the average American family, I want my kids to have a shot at the American Dream just like I did, and I want every family to be able to earn a good living, build a nice life for themselves, and live free– that’s the way America should be.

National Security: I believe in “peace through strength”. I think America is in a unique position in the world and should play a leadership role. However, I don’t believe we should serve as the world’s “policemen” nor do I feel we have an obligation for “nation building”. The other countries of the world have an obligation to pay their fair share of any joint defense and unless it serves our defensive strategic interests, we should stay out of every disagreement around the world.

 

Taxes: I support a move towards a consumption tax that would replace all other forms of income and corporate taxes. The “Fair Tax” proposal offers a realistic road map towards getting to a more transparent and fairer tax system across the board.

As an interim step, I would support a flatter and lower tax rate across the board that allow Americans to keep more of what they make. I believe EVERY American should pay something and have “skin in the game”. I would support a cap of some $25,000 annually for all deductions to insure tax shelters and other tax loopholes aren’t used to allow some not to pay their fair share.

 

Jobs: I’m a proponent of lowering the tax rates, reducing over burdensome regulation and allowing America’s entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. A simpler and fairer tax code, a rationale regulatory system, a Right to Work environment and fair trade policies would allow American job providers to invest the trillions that are sitting on the side lines, waiting for sound government policies.

 

Too big to fail means they are too big. Government has a role and in certain circumstances can provide critical assistance. But you can’t have capitalism and free markets on the way up and socialism on the way down.

 

Bailing out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street is bad policy.   Crony Capitalism as exemplified by the Obama Administration is wrong.

 

Healthcare: I support the repeal of Obamacare. We need a patient based, market oriented healthcare system that allows the patient and the doctor to make the right choices under each circumstance. Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines, Health Care Savings Accounts, Tort Reform and transparency in costs and services are critical.

Social Issues: I am pro-life. I support traditional marriage. I do believe we have to be more tolerant of those who have chosen an alternative lifestyle that we may not agree with or believe is contrary to our faith or beliefs. I also believe we need to respect the right of every American to practice their religion and therefore the respect for Traditional Marriage, exceptions from Obamacare and other mandates due to religious objections should be respected and protected.

 

Energy: I believe in an “All the Above” policy where we take advantage of EVERY source of energy that is available to us. There is no reason that America can’t become energy self-sufficient or at least drastically less reliant on some of the friendlier places in the world for our energy needs. Too much of our foreign policy is dictated by our energy policy and too many of our children have died for a barrel of oil. We have the technology and resources right here, in our hemisphere.

 

I support eliminating subsidies, leveling the regulatory rules and regulations, creating a level playing field for all energy producers in our tax code and encouraging innovation and research for more renewable and cleaner energy.

 

National Popular Vote: There appears to be a tremendous amount of confusion on this proposal. It does not eliminate the Electoral College, rather it replaces the current winner take all system by state to a national popular vote to determine how electors from each state shall be chosen for the Electoral College.

 

This insures that every vote, in every state counts. Today, only battle ground or swing state matter under the current rules, making states like Ohio and Florida relevant and 4 out of 5 voters “fly over” spectators in the process. Simply put, I want our votes to count, I want every vote to count equally.

 

Domestic Spying & Drones: I oppose the over-reaching efforts of our government to spy on our citizens without a warrant, probably cause or due process. The idea that a drone could be used to kill an American citizen, without a trial of his or her peers is outrageous and unacceptable.

 

10th Amendment Project: I would like to see us undertake a project in Washington to give back all the rights and responsibilities NOT granted under the Constitution back to the state to administer. State and local governments are closer to the people and tend to be more responsive and responsible to its citizens.

I would support any program that is given back to the states with block grant funding of federal funds to reduce the size of our federal government.

 

http://thatssaulfolks.com/2014/03/28/anuzis-for-congress-maybe/

 

The invisible primary: GOP preps as Chris Christie stumbles Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spent the past year getting battered over immigration reform — and building a presidential-level political operation with heavy investments in digital and data analytics. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has already visited New York City four times this year, pushing into big-money turf once dominated by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has gamed out his 2016 options with a small team of longtime advisers, while Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has met with prominent conservatives, urging him to consider the race.

 

The Republican presidential field is aflutter with behind-the-scenes activity even at this preliminary stage, giving early shape to a race that has been defined in public by a handful of outsized media personalities, including Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

 

Christie’s “Bridgegate” stumbles have now thrown the race wide open: Strategists for likely and potential candidates all see the Garden State Republican as deeply and perhaps fatally compromised. Reform-minded Republican governors are eyeing the race more eagerly, thanks to the void opened by the Fort Lee traffic scandal. Others in the field, like Rubio, could find their nuts-and-bolts preparatory work all the more valuable in view of Christie’s woes.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/2016-republican-hopefuls-chris-christie-105028.html

 

 

Yes Justice Kagan, We Have Rights

The complete and utter change in the American system of governance was on display during the Hobby Lobby/ObamaCare Supreme Court hearing.  Our Constitution, at one time, devised a system of limited government powers.  People, on the other hand, had rights.  For Justice Elena Kagan, however, it would appear that government has the right and We The People are of limited power.

 

Today we live in a world of omni-present government – whether in the form of the NSA listening in on us, government mandates, regulations, taxes, or government programs.  Of course, we didn’t start out that way as a country. According to Harlow Giles Unger in his book Lion of Liberty, Patrick Henry:

“Settlers isolated in the hamlets and woods of New England had lived free of almost all government authority for more than 150 years.  They had cleared the land, felled great forests, built homes and churches, planted their fields, hunted, fished and fought off Indian marauders on their own, cooperating with each other, collectively governing themselves, electing their militia commanders and church pastors and turning to assemblies of elders to mediate occasional disputes . . . Like Patrick Henry, they had lived in freedom, without government intrusion in their lives and saw little need for it.”

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/03/27/yes-justice-kagan-we-have-rights/

 

 

GOP opinion may surprise you

To sum up, actual GOP voters are more pro-immigration, more pro-internationalist and more pro-gay marriage than you would imagine listening to some loud GOP voices. When you consider how willing they are to accept gay marriage and cater to religious employers who may not share their views, Republicans are a whole lot more “tolerant” than the mainstream media would have you believe. Lawmakers and candidates should keep all this in mind and remember that it is voters, not talk show hosts, whose views matter the most.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/03/26/gop-opinion-may-surprise-you/

 

 

Republicans and Blacks – I wish it were that easy?

Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to “reach out” is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson — that is, people tied irrevocably to the Democrats.

 

Voters who want what the Democrats offer can get it from the Democrats. Why should they vote for Republicans who act like make-believe Democrats?

Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats — if they will use that advantage. But an advantage that you don’t use might as well not exist.

 

The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers’ unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students.

 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/03/25/republicans_and_blacks_122041.html

 

 

 

GOP Field Hasn’t Been This Split in 40 Years

1976, the first year in which both the Republican and Democratic nominations were decided completely by voters and not by party leaders.

It’s rare.

 

In surveys conducted from January through March of the preceding midterm election year (so for the 2012 election, we’re looking at polls from Jan. 1 through March 31 of 2010), the Republican atop the polls has always averaged at least 23 percent of the vote.

But not this year. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a presidential aspirant in 2008, leads current polling with 14.8 percent. Even if we include Democratic nomination contests, 14.8 percent basically ties for the lowest leader on record (right near the 15 percent Mario Cuomo had in 1992).

 

The table below shows the top five potential candidates by election year according to polling averages from the first three months of the preceding midterm year. Some candidates were only included in some of the nomination polls conducted during that period. (For some early years, we have only one or two polls. The years left blank for either party represent cycles when there was no polling data.)

 

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/a-historically-divided-republican-field-for-2016/

 

The “No Obamacare Horror Stories” Fairy Tale For many, suffering under Obamacare is all too real. 

There are plenty of [Obamacare] horror stories being told.  All of them are untrue,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not long ago on the floor of the Senate.

 

Four years after the president signed the measure into law, there are, of course, many real stories of hardship under Obamacare. An extensive list of which is included at the end of this article. But when Reid made those remarks, he wasn’t repeating words carelessly dashed off by some 20-something staffer. Rather, he was repeating a meme that has become common among those who economist Thomas Sowell dubs “the Anointed,” intellectuals whose belief in their own superior knowledge and virtue leads to their misperception that they are an anointed elite more qualified to make decisions for the rest of us in order to lead humanity to a better life.

 

The Anointed’s “no horror stories” meme arose when leftist pundits found potential holes in the story of Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient featured in ads run by Americans for Prosperity. While Boonstra did lose her policy due to Obamacare, she has kept her physicians and the new policy she found doesn’t yet appear to cost her any more money.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2014/03/24/the-no-obamacare-horror-stories-fairy-tale/

 

 

Paul Ryan was right — poverty is a cultural problem

A year from now, there surely will be conferences marking the 50th anniversary of what is now known as the Moynihan Report, a.k.a. “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” In March 1965, Moynihan, then 37 and assistant secretary of labor, wrote that “the center of the tangle of pathology” in inner cities — this was five months before the Watts riots — was the fact that 23.6 percent of black children were born to single women, compared with just 3.07 percent of white children. He was accused of racism, blaming the victims, etc.

 

Forty-nine years later, 41 percent of all American children are born out of wedlock; almost half of all first births are to unmarried women, as are 54 percent and 72 percent of all Hispanic and black births, respectively. Is there anyone not blinkered by ideology or invincibly ignorant of social science who disagrees with this:

 

The family is the primary transmitter of social capital — the values and character traits that enable people to seize opportunities. Family structure is a primary predictor of an individual’s life chances, and family disintegration is the principal cause of the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-the-lefts-half-century-of-denial-over-poverty/2014/03/21/1aeaff4e-b049-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html

 

 

Hobby Lobby and How Left and Right Flipped on Religious Freedom

Liberals have come a long way since 1993, when they helped pass—and Bill Clinton signed—the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Back then, they were willing to endorse the principle that the government must have a compelling interest in making a person act contrary to her religious conscience—and even then, government must use the least coercive means to further that interest.

 

Whatever the First Amendment implications of the Hobby Lobby case, it is impossible to argue the contraception mandate meets that test. Large swathes of the American public are already exempt from the mandate, so how compelling could the government interest be? Second, there are ways to make birth control more accessible to women without making religious people pay for it.

 

Several things have changed in the last twenty-one years. First, the issue that helped give rise to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was the sacramental use of peyote by a Native American church. The Supreme Court upheld an Oregon law forbidding peyote, with conservative Antonin Scalia writing the majority opinion and liberal Harry Blackmun of Roe v. Wade fame authoring the dissent.

Note that both the specific freedom in question and the plaintiff in the case were likely to arouse liberal sympathies. Not so traditionalist Catholics who don’t want to subsidize contraception or evangelicals who don’t want to photograph a same-sex wedding. (One could argue these different circumstances play a role in conservatives taking a different position too.)

 

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/hobby-lobby-how-left-right-flipped-religious-freedom-10132

 

 

President Obama talks Sanctions and Saul Anuzis says US should be aware of Putin’s Ploy

See my interview with the Washington Times.

 

http://p.washingtontimes.com/video/staff-exclusives/president-obama-talks-sanctions-and-saul-anuzis/

 

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

The United States has been developing, almost by default, a strategy not of disengagement but of indirect engagement. Between 1989 and 2008, the U.S. strategy has been the use of U.S. troops as the default for dealing with foreign issues. From Panama to Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States followed a policy of direct and early involvement of U.S. military forces. However, this was not the U.S. strategy from 1914 to 1989. Then, the strategy was to provide political support to allies, followed by economic and military aid, followed by advisers and limited forces, and in some cases pre-positioned forces. The United States kept its main force in reserve for circumstances in which (as in 1917 and 1942 and, to a lesser degree, in Korea and Vietnam) allies could not contain the potential hegemon. Main force was the last resort.

This was primarily a strategy of maintaining the balance of power. The containment of the Soviet Union involved creating an alliance system comprising countries at risk of Soviet attack. Containment was a balance of power strategy that did not seek the capitulation of the Soviet Union as much as increasing the risks of offensive action using allied countries as the first barrier. The threat of full U.S. intervention, potentially including nuclear weapons, coupled with the alliance structure, constrained Soviet risk-taking.

 

Because the current Russian Federation is much weaker than the Soviet Union was at its height and because the general geographic principle in the region remains the same, a somewhat analogous balance of power strategy is likely to emerge after the events in Ukraine. Similar to the containment policy of 1945-1989, again in principle if not in detail, it would combine economy of force and finance and limit the development of Russia as a hegemonic power while exposing the United States to limited and controlled risk.

 

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/estonia-azerbaijan-american-strategy-after-ukraine?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20140325&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_content=readmore

PutinMissile

‘This Is the Last Territorial Demand I Have to Make in Europe’

Vladimir Putin all but said the above yesterday, after annexing the Crimea — and promising to let alone the rest of the Ukraine. If we just insert Ukraine and Russia for Czechoslovakia and Germany, the following speech could easily be Putin’s:

(Berlin 1938 Moscow 2014)

 

Now I have tried during this time also gradually to bring about good and enduring relations with other nations.

We have given guarantees for the States in the West. We have guaranteed to all contiguous neighbors the inviolability of their territory so far as Germany Russia is concerned.

 

That is not a phrase — that is our sacred will.

 

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/373605/last-territorial-demand-i-have-make-europe-victor-davis-hanson

 

 

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