Diary

MI Morning Update 9-26-2008

39 Days Until Election Day

September 26, 2008

MORNING UPDATE:

WALL STREET BAILOUTS…lets remember it’s government policies that facilitated this crisis. Easy money at low interest rates by the fed, encouraging “no money down” home ownership with sub-prime lending or reverse mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allowed to buy up these crazy loans and resell them to investors, government granted oligopoly of Moodys and Fitch credit rating service which blew it, asleep bank regulators who allow 30 or 40 to 1 leverage for regulated banks (while most hedge fund and private equity folks are fine-unregulated), and government bailouts which protected these bad business decisions. Wall Street and D.C. both share the blame … “main street” shouldn’t be stuck with the bill?!?

Socializing economic risks come at a great cost to the American economy by misallocating capital, inviting political manipulation, and putting taxpayers on the hook for possibly a trillion dollars.

We cannot have capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down. We cannot have a welfare state for Wall Street….at main street’s expense.

MELTZER PLAN…if they’re going to do something, then what they ought to do is make loans, which the financial institutions have to repay with interest. And if you think — that’s an idea which the Chileans have used in a bigger crisis than this for them in 1982, and it worked for them. People paid back the loans. They weren’t allowed to pay dividends until they repaid the loans. They weren’t allowed to take bonuses until they repaid the loans. I think that’s the way — if we’re going to do this, then that’s the way we should do it.

OR THE SWEDISH MODEL…we have alternatives http://tinyurl.com/4rs383

MICHIGAN MATTERS…taped "Michigan Matters" with Carol Cain, which will air this weekend. "Michigan Matters" airs Saturday on CBS Detroit at 11 a.m. and is repeated on Sunday on CW 50 at 11:00 a.m. Dem Chair Mark Brewer and I talk about the issue facing Michigan and the race for the presidency.

DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMAN RANGLE UNDER INVESTIGATION… In a statement the House Ethics committee said it will determine whether Rangel "violated the Code of Official Conduct, or any law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct applicable to his conduct in theperformance of his duties." The culture of corruption.

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!

VOUNTEER YOUTH EFFORT…CALLING ALL COLLEGE REPUBLICANS…The Michigan Republican Party launched its "Brain Drain Express" in a coordinated effort to stem Michigan’s loss of human resources. The MIGOP Youth Counts! Initiative, the parent program of the express, is a logistical support tool for state-wide GOP efforts. The program seeks to do three things. It seeks to raise awareness that under current Democrat leadership in the Michigan house and the governor’s office, the state continue to lose its most valuable natural resource; college graduates. It also delivers critical volunteers to candidates who are running to stem Michigan’s Brain Drain as well as provides networking opportunities to politically and public policy minded teenagers, college students, and young adults across the state.

Every weekend from now until the election Michigan students will be picked up from campuses across Michigan and transported to state house districts where they are needed most. The Brain Drain Express will be making stops in cities across the state; from Escanaba to Saint Joseph. At each stop students will get a chance to see a little more of the state they call home as well as campaign for candidates who don’t want to see them leave. For more information please contract Program Director Anthony Markwort at mailto:[email protected]

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


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The Tyranny of Good Intentions

By Alex Castellanos

It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. There are also no conservatives in economic meltdowns. In the face of another Great Depression, Democrat and Republican leadership is indistinguishable: Both are aggressively socialist. Beyond Wall Street and Washington, Americans are rightly furious. It is not just the shocking new tax liability, however, driving Americans over the edge.

In an ever-more-competitive global economy, we are choosing to load ourselves with more debt and regulation. We will pay for this in the form of lower growth.

And it’s Republicans who are bringing back the Era of Big Government. The New Deal set off a trend of higher taxes and more government that only got worse. Similarly, this generation will find it difficult to explain why the same paternal state we called upon to rescue Wall Street can’t bend down a little lower to provide government-paid health care, energy subsidies, and every imaginable social service.

Close Contests in Four Key States

By Chris Cillizza
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer

The presidential race between John McCain and Barack Obama in four key battleground states remains remarkably stable despite a month of politically significant developments, with the Illinois senator running ahead of or even with his Republican rival according to polling conducted by Quinnipiac University for washingtonpost.com and the Wall Street Journal.

In Colorado, Obama takes 49 percent to 45 percent for McCain while in Michigan Obama stands at 48 percent as compared to 44 percent for McCain. The contest in Minnesota, once considered a lock for Obama, is also quite close with Obama at 47 percent and McCain 45 percent. Only in Wisconsin does Obama have an edge — 49 percent to 42 percent — outside the statistical margin of error for the poll.

Those results are remarkably similar to data from July Quinnipiac polls in each of the four states and suggest that despite the massive media coverage surrounding the two parties’ national nominating conventions as well as the vice presidential selections — especially that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, which many presumed would alter the campaign’s dynamic — little has changed in the race for the White House.

McCain Says There ‘Never Was A Deal’ On Wall Street Bailout

WASHINGTON (AFP)–Republican White House hopeful Sen. John McCain denied Thursday there ever had been any deal in place between Congress and the White House on a $700-billion Wall Street bailout plan.

McCain said on ABC News after talks at the White House that also included his Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama that he still hoped to go to the scheduled presidential debate Friday night in Mississippi.

But his senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt accused Obama of putting himself before his country, by continuing to run campaign ads while the high-stakes political drama over the economic crisis was playing out.

McCain said he knew going into the White House meeting called by President Bush that there was no deal, after having said Wednesday the debate should be canceled if a bailout wasn’t secured.

Obama grant being probed

BY CHRIS FUSCO AND DAVE MCKINNEY

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Debate still questionable

By David Catron

Liz Sidoti / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The prospect John McCain and Barack Obama would meet tonight for their first presidential debate was questionable at best as progress appeared to dissolve between Congress and the Bush administration on a $700 billion financial industry bailout.

McCain didn’t plan to participate in the debate unless there was a consensus. Obama still wants the face-off to go on, arguing that Americans need to hear from the candidates. The Democrat was scheduled to travel today to the debate site in Oxford, Miss.

"I believe that it’s very possible that we can get an agreement in time for me to fly to Mississippi," McCain said late Thursday. "I understand how important this debate is and I’m very hopeful. But I also have to put the country first."

Last Words: Deal or No Deal?

By Kate Phillips

Today’s events have been nearly as dizzying as yesterday’s. Both presidential candidates have now finished their meetings at the White House with President Bush, Congressional leaders and financial officials, but neither candidate made a statement against that stately backdrop.

So far, no deals on the $700 billion government plan to bail out the nation’s financial institutions. And while we have the sense there will be a debate tomorrow night, nothing is certain yet. In an interview on ABC News, Senator John McCain held out the possibility that he would still attend the debate, although his campaign had made no formal plans.

“I’m hopeful,’’ said Mr. McCain Thursday night on ABC. “I’m very hopeful that we can. I believe it’s very possible that we could get an agreement in time for me to fly to Mississippi.’’

Dubious Claims in Obama’s Ads Against McCain, Despite Vow of Truth

By JIM RUTENBERG and JULIE BOSMAN

ROANOKE, Va. — Two weeks ago, Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign gleefully publicized a spate of news reports about misleading and untruthful statements in the advertisements of his rival, Senator John McCain. Asked by a voter in New Hampshire if he would respond in kind, Mr. Obama said, “I just have a different philosophy, I’m going to respond with the truth,” adding, “I’m not going to start making up lies about John McCain.”

Yet as Mr. McCain’s misleading advertisements became fodder on shows like “The View” and “Saturday Night Live,” Mr. Obama began his own run of advertisements on radio and television that have matched the dubious nature of Mr. McCain’s more questionable spots.

A radio advertisement running in Wisconsin and other contested states misleadingly reports that Mr. McCain “has stood in the way of” federal financing for stem cell research; Mr. McCain did once oppose such federally supported research but broke with President Bush to consistently support it starting in 2001 (his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, does not support it).

Schools face subtraction problem with fewer kids

By Dave Murray and Kym Reinstadler
The Grand Rapids Press

A combination of fewer jobs and fewer babies adds up to fewer students for about two-thirds of the region’s schools — a lot fewer for some of the largest districts.

Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Holland and West Ottawa reported losing a collective 1,370 students in Wednesday’s annual state head count, representing a drain of about $10 million from those districts’ coffers.

Grand Rapids schools would not release an exact count Wednesday, but preliminary tallies indicated a drop of about 700 students, which is 200 less than administrators projected to lose.

"It’s the economy," Grand Rapids Board of Education President Catherine Mueller said. "It’s not just us, it’s the whole state. We’ve all heard about the layoffs, and that’s happened in places like Grand Rapids and Holland, too. People have to go where they can get work."

GOP wants to drop Mich. biz taxes, cap film credit

By DAVID EGGERT
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican-controlled Senate committee on Thursday voted to phase out a surcharge on Michigan business taxes over three years and to cap new tax breaks used to attract moviemakers to the state.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm immediately opposed any effort to rein in the film incentives.

"Let’s give film a chance," spokesman Liz Boyd said.

The governor was more open to changes in the new Michigan Business Tax if lawmakers also enact sentencing reforms to cut spending in the Department of Corrections.

The GOP has resisted her past prison proposals, though administration officials and legislators are talking with the Council of State Governments to find ways to trim corrections costs, which total $2 billion a year.

Michigan House jumpstarts property tax debate

By TIM MARTIN
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Members of the state House tried to convince voters Thursday they are ready to tackle property tax relief.

The House unanimously advanced a plan that would let voters help determine Michigan’s property tax policy through a constitutional amendment. The proposal would aim to prevent property tax increases in the year after a property’s assessed value falls. When property values increase, taxable values would climb the next year by similar percentages.

The proposal sailed through the House even though no analysis was available to determine the possible tax revenue implications for the state and local governments. Both Republicans and Democrats in the 110-member chamber are trying to win votes this November by claiming to ease the property tax burden and prevent more home foreclosures.