Diary

MI Morning Update 9-25-2008

40 Days Until Election Day

September 25, 2008

WALBERG ON AUTO PACKAGE AND OFFSHORE DRILLING… Congressman Walberg said: “Today’s bill is a victory for Michigan and for the American economy. This legislation will allow a new generation of innovative, fuel-efficient automobiles to be made in Michigan and brings an end to outdated bans on offshore drilling.”

LEVIN STILL DUCKING DEBATES…. Jack Hoogendyk is still waiting for Carl Levin to answer WGVU and other outlet’s requests for a televised debate…Jack’s organized a communications plan to force Levin’s hand. Read more here…http://www.jackformichigan.org/newsletters/2008/8/13/are-you-ready-for-the-big-levin-hoogendyk-debate.html

WISCONSIN CHALLENGE…we have been informed: In honor of the U of M  Wolverines vs. U of W Badgers Football Game this weekend a one day, head to head challenge has been issued for this Saturday. This is a head to head competition based on total % of goal for both doors and phones (which is the more even competition) and of course we will be looking at the total volume of contacts as well. In full disclosure some of the MSU fans in Michigan have offered to take bubble sheets from Wisconsin to help. Michigan you need to pull together on this.

ALL HANDS ON DECK…we need to fill our Victory Centers and crank up our calls. Michigan (UM & MSU…CMU, FSU, WSU, Western and all the others) can easily team up and beat the Wisconsin GOP…let do it!

FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY DEBATE….last night Democrat Chairman Mark Brewer and I debated the presidential issues facing America and where the Republicans and Democrats differ on the issues. We had a great crowd that was clearly motivated and interested in our country’s future!

MAJORITY MAKERS…COLLEGE REPUBLICANS…Tara Robishaw and Brandon Sprague of Saginaw Valley State University CR’s are helping lead the way this weekend by organizing teams to help knock on doors and make calls on behalf of Republican candidates this weekend. College Republicans statewide are joining our effort and making a difference. For more information contact Anthony Markwort at [email protected]

UM COLLLEGE REPUBLICAN TAILGATE…is being planned for the UM vs MSU game on October 25th. Join the College Republicans and friends on Elbel Field. For more information contact Kelly Mason at [email protected]

RUMORSCONTINUE…HILLARY TO REPLACE BIDEN ON THE TICKET…some party activists and insiders are discussing the possibility of Biden "developing health problems" and stepping aside so that Hillary can become Obama’s running mate.  America would probably view this as a cynical ploy, but I’m sure the liberal media would be all over justifying and pushing this visionary "team for change".  Let’s watch how this develops.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED…we are opening up new Victory Centers daily and need more and more volunteers to make phone calls, knock on doors and put up lawn signs.  The response has been overwhelming, but Michigan will be the key battleground state and we need EVERY person willing to help in anyway they can.  Thanks again for all you do!  For more info click here.

http://www.migop.org/inner.asp?z=113

R.I.P. JIM WILLOUHGBY…long time Oakland County GOP activist Jim Willoughby passed away yesterday. Please keep Jim’s family in your prayers.


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Financial Crisis Suspends Campaign

By LAURA MECKLER, ELIZABETH HOLMES and CHRISTOPHER COOPER

Republican Sen. John McCain said he would suspend campaigning to help tackle a $700 billion bailout proposal and called on Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama to postpone their debate Friday, as the roiling U.S. financial crisis took center stage in the presidential campaign.

Democrats dismissed the moves as political gimmickry, and Sen. Obama replied that the debate should go forward as planned. "Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time…It’s not necessary for us to think we can only do one thing and suspend everything else," Sen. Obama said.

But by day’s end, the two men had agreed to issue a joint statement calling for bipartisan cooperation for swift action, and both agreed to come to the White House Thursday for a summit meeting with President George W. Bush and congressional leaders to try to achieve that goal. In recent days, both candidates have converged in their positions on the bailout, pushing for similar provisions, such as limits on executive pay at firms that take the help.

McCain steps up in maverick style

Stephen Dinan and Christina Bellantoni

Democrats had dared Sen. John McCain to show leadership on the Wall Street crisis and he stepped up. He put his campaign on hold Wednesday and challenged Sen. Barack Obama to postpone Friday’s debate, which Democrats had hoped to turn into a forum on failed Republican economic policies.

Less than a month after he canceled the first night of the Republican National Convention, Mr. McCain again flashed his signature maverick style, declaring President Bush’s proposed $700 billion bailout dead and, as he’s done so often in the past, said he could help broker a bipartisan deal to cut through the political clutter.

Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama refused to cancel the debate, but Wednesday night accepted an invitation from President Bush to a bipartisan summit on the economic bailout package that also will include Mr. McCain and other top members of Congress and the administration.

House To Launch Investigation Into Rep. Rangel

WASHINGTON (CBS) ? CBS 2 has learned the House of Representatives will conduct an inquiry into Rep. Charles Rangel, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The ethics committee of Congress announced they established a subcommittee to investigate Rangel, who has already been in plenty of hot water recently.

One stunning part of the determination is that the committee decided to investigate his use of congressional stationery in three separate years to seek donors for a public policy institute in his name at City College.

The committee will also investigate Rangel’s use of four rent-stabilized apartments leased in the Lenox Terrace apartment complex in Harlem, the financing of the beachfront villa leased in the Dominican Republic, and his questionable storage of a late-model Mercedes Benz in the house garage.

Avoid the next calamity

Gary Andres

World financial markets are in an economic fetal position. A senior administration official laid out the harsh realities. The system is choking, he said; normal buying and selling activities of financial instruments ceased. Last week, no one was lending; no one was borrowing. Investors were paying the U.S. government (instead of vice versa) just to hold their money as a safe investment. As a result, government securities yields dropped into negative territory for the first time since around the Great Depression. Clogged capitalism caused American finance to do a face plant.

It’s getting ugly on Capitol Hill too. Lawmakers face a tough choice. To paraphrase Robert J. Samuelson, Congress can dawdle and invite financial panic or act quickly and create a financial or even political monster. Some say fast action is required to pull our economic bacon from the fire – kind of gives new meaning to putting lipstick on a pig.

Washington’s response to the current economic storm opens a window on how the system works – or doesn’t. It reveals some dirty little secrets about the limits of Congressional policy making and regulatory oversight. But it also raises another question: Can Washington learn from this crisis? Especially when it comes to other issues – like energy independence – where the costs and answers are better understood and the consequences of inaction equally devastating. Do we have to live by gun-to-the-head legislative politics to produce needed reforms?

Good Intentions Paved The Road To Subprime-Stoked Meltdown

For those looking for a real start to today’s financial meltdown and government rescue, you need to go back — way back — to 1977, and the Jimmy Carter presidency.

t was then, for the best and purest of reasons, that well-meaning Democratic members of Congress brought the Community Reinvestment Act into being.

The main idea, as the late Democratic Sen. William Proxmire said on the Senate floor in 1977, was "to eliminate the practice of redlining by lending institutions.

That term — "redlining" — seems quaint today. But in the 1970s, it was widely seen as the cause of housing disparities between white and black Americans.

The redlining theory went thus: Banks set up shop in low-income areas, took deposits, then lent the funds to richer areas — leaving poor and minority communities starved of housing and capital.

Obama, McCain to attend economic bailout talks

LIZ SIDOTI – ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) – John McCain and Barack Obama say presidential politics should have no role in the government’s efforts to save the crippled financial system. Yet, each is playing his own politics toward the same goals _ showing leadership during crisis, getting credit for any solutions, and, ultimately, winning the presidency.

The latest example: a debate over whether the candidates should debate Friday.

McCain called for his Democratic rival to agree to a postponement until Congress agrees on a $700 billion government plan to rescue banks from enormous debt, saying, "We are running out of time."

Obama rebuffed his GOP rival, saying the next president needs to "deal with more than one thing at once."

International doubts

The Bush administration’s attempts to address the economic crisis by proposing a $700 billion bailout for troubled financial institutions has received tepid reviews by the international community. Doubts persist about the viability of the plan and the overall well-being of the U.S. economy.

There is an increasing decline in confidence in America’s ability to remain true to its guiding principles of free enterprise, fair play and law and order. "The reason why foreigners invest the money in the U.S. is because it’s the fairest economy in the world," said the president of Merk Investments, Axel Merk. He questioned the tendency to abruptly change course in difficult moments. If "the financial institutions’ rules change by the minute, why on earth should you have your money in the U.S. if you are a foreigner?" Mr. Merk asked.

Despite President Bush’s attempt to reassure world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday, many remain deeply concerned. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the situation is "the most serious economic crisis that the world has experienced since the 1930s." A joint statement by finance ministers and central- bank governors from G7 countries applauded the rescue package and promised to take whatever actions necessary to help. However, France, Germany and Japan have indicated they will not take the same extreme measures as Washington. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said that the credit crisis required "global solutions … not a knee-jerk reaction."

The Audacity of Slander

By David Catron

Barack Obama would have you believe that John McCain has gone through a sudden and shocking metamorphosis. According to the Illinois Senator, the "once-principled" Republican presidential nominee has by some mysterious alchemy become a pathological liar, a shameless purveyor of "dishonest smears." This theme has featured prominently in Obama’s recent campaign ads, one of which describes McCain’s campaign as "truly vile," and it has been dutifully repeated by his surrogates in newspapers, on TV talk shows, and in the left-wing blogosphere.

Obama’s decision to pursue this line of attack demonstrates considerable audacity, of course, but it will probably backfire. First, as Karl Rove recently pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, the dishonesty charge is "one of the last things the voters will believe about John McCain." Moreover, just as his comments about Sarah Palin’s lack of experience highlighted the scantiness of his own resume, Obama’s aggressive questioning of McCain’s honor invites examination of his own probity. And the Democrat presidential nominee is no stranger to prevarication. He routinely lies about McCain’s positions on a wide variety of issues, including health care, Social Security, and the mortgage crisis.

Among the most brazen of Obama’s whoppers are those he repeatedly tells about McCain’s health care reform program. Obama has, for example, consistently peddled the claim that McCain wants to impose a stealth tax increase on American workers via their health insurance: "He wants to tax your health benefits. Apparently, Senator McCain doesn’t think it’s enough that your health premiums have doubled, he thinks you should have to pay taxes on them too. That’s a $3.6 trillion tax increase on middle class families." This is a deliberate distortion of McCain’s proposal to eliminate the perverse tax incentives and inequities associated with our current system of employer-based health insurance, a system that has been decried by health care experts of all political persuasions

Biden’s Coal Slaw

The classic definition of a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, and specialists like Joe Biden can work wonders with the form. On Tuesday Barack Obama’s running mate blew an easy question about coal, revealing volumes about liberal energy politics.

Working the rope line in Maumee, Ohio, the Senator was asked by an environmentalist why he and Mr. Obama support "clean coal." "We’re not supporting clean coal," Mr. Biden responded. Then, riffing on China’s breakneck construction of new coal plants, he continued, "No coal plants here in America. Build them, if they’re going to build them, over there."

Coal happens to be the indispensable workhorse of the U.S. power system, providing about 50% of the country’s electricity. Many Democrats nonetheless despise coal — because of pollution before the era of scrubbers, but especially now because of carbon emissions. Al Gore favors an outright moratorium on coal-fired power in the name of climate change. Meanwhile, any scheme to tax and regulate carbon — like the cap-and-trade program backed by Mr. Obama and John McCain — would hit coal first and hardest, effectively banishing it from the U.S. energy mix.

Dems paid for failed ballot measure

Tim Martin • Associated Press

The Michigan Democratic Party provided nearly all the $1.4 million spent supporting a failed ballot proposal that would have rewritten several sections of the state constitution, according to campaign finance reports submitted Wednesday.

The Reform Michigan Government Now proposal won’t be on the November ballot because courts ruled it unconstitutional. The proposal would have changed the structure of state courts and how state lawmaker districts are drawn, among numerous other changes.

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer defended the spending and said the issues raised during the campaign won’t go away.

"If we would have had fair courts, it would have been on the ballot and it would have passed," he said.