Diary

MI Morning Update 12-9-08

694 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY

December 9, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“Tactical campaign battlefield operative and practiced strategist; tireless and effective communicator; accomplished fundraiser; indefatigable optimist and bold leader; these are all terms used to describe Saul, and they are all reasons why we hope you will select Saul to be the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

-MI Republican Congressional Delegation

MORNING UPDATE:

MI REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ENDORSES ANUZIS FOR RNC CHAIR…yup, all 9 members of the Michigan Republican Congressional Delegation threw their unanimous support behind my bid for RNC Chairman. I can’t tell you how honored I am to have these state and national leaders express their support for my efforts. Se their letter of endorsement here, which was sent to the entire membership of the RNC last evening.

http://blog.anuzisforchair.com/2008/12/mi-gop-congressional-delegation-supports-saul-anuzis-for-rnc-chair/

This follows the near unanimous support of the Michigan Republican State Committee, which endorsed me this last weekend.

Thanks to all of those Michigan Republicans who have joined in my effort to help turn our party and our country around. The comeback starts now!

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

The following stories and more are available at my
Articles of Interest online.

Deal to Rescue American Automakers Is Moving Ahead

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

WASHINGTON — The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders said Monday that they were close to agreeing on the terms of a $15 billion government rescue of the American automobile industry that would be directed by one or more appointees of President Bush and would impose expansive federal oversight of the auto companies.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she hoped that Mr. Bush’s appointee — or car czar, as the position has come to be known — would not need to be replaced by President-elect Barack Obama, raising the prospect that the outgoing and incoming administrations would cooperate in selecting someone.

The president’s designee would disburse the short-term emergency loans to General Motors and Chrysler, which are at risk of financial collapse, and would directly supervise the reorganization plans that the auto manufacturers have agreed to carry out in exchange for government aid. The government also could receive warrants that would give it equity stakes in the companies.

Deal could give U.S. big stake in GM, Chrysler

BY JUSTIN HYDE and TODD SPANGLER • FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

WASHINGTON — Call it the deal Detroit can’t refuse.

In return for three months of redemption and about $15 billion, congressional Democrats and the Bush administration were honing a pact Monday night that would put the industry’s future under government scrutiny and perhaps grant Washington a majority stake in either General Motors Corp. or Chrysler LLC.

Michigan lawmakers said while a draft from congressional Democrats needed tweaks, they were hopeful a bill could pass Congress in the next few days, forestalling an economic calamity that would eliminate 400,000 jobs in the state and 3.3 million nationwide, according to one study.

The draft “represents great progress,” said Michigan Sen. Carl Levin. “It’s not a done deal in terms of a draft bill, and it’s far from a done deal in terms of passage.”

GM says it “disappointed” and “betrayed” consumers

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Corp on Monday unveiled an unusually frank advertisement acknowledging it had “disappointed” and sometimes even “betrayed” American consumers as it lobbies to clinch the federal aid it needs to stay afloat into next month.

The print advertisement marked a sharp break from GM’s public stance of just several weeks ago when it sought to justify its bid for a U.S. government on the grounds that the credit crisis had undermined its business in ways executives could never have foreseen.

It also came as Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, who has led the automaker since 2000, faces new pressure to step aside as GM seeks up to $18 billion in federal funding.

Obama Stimulus Plan Lacks Creativity

By DAVID BROOKS

The 1980s and 1990s made up the era of the great dispersal. Forty-three million people moved every year, and basically they moved outward — from inner-ring suburbs to far-flung exurbs on the metro fringe. For example, the population of metropolitan Pittsburgh declined by 8 percent in those years, but the developed land area of the Pittsburgh area sprawled outward by 43 percent.

If you asked people in that age of go-go suburbia what they wanted in their new housing developments, they often said they wanted a golf course. But the culture has changed. If you ask people today what they want, they’re more likely to say coffee shops, hiking trails and community centers.

People overshot the mark. They moved to the exurbs because they wanted space and order. But once there, they found that they were missing community and social bonds. So in the past years there has been a new trend. Meeting places are popping up across the suburban landscape.

Just $15B left in first $350B of gov’t bailout

Jeannine Aversa / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The government has just $15 billion left to spend from the first $350 billion pot of financial bailout money, the Treasury Department announced Monday.

The department said $335 billion has been allocated from the first half of the $700 billion program, which was enacted on Oct. 3. The information was contained in a report to Congress.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who is overseeing the program, is weighing tapping the second $350 billion. The main goal of the program is aimed at getting financial institutions to lend money more freely again, which would help revive the economy.

Top former Fannie, Freddie excutives to testify

Alan Zibel / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are poised to trade barbs Tuesday about who deserves most of the blame for the collapse and government takeover of mortgage finance titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The two companies, which were seized by federal regulators in September, have become highly charged political targets in the debate over what caused the U.S. housing crisis and the resulting financial fallout.

Four former top executives are scheduled to be grilled at the hearing, which is being led by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, starting at 10 a.m. EST. But there are doubts about whether the hearing will produce any solid conclusions or will just devolve into partisan bickering.

Now Democrats, too, must own the war


By JAMES KIRCHICK

In a recent interview, President George W. Bush was asked what he hoped would become of his legacy. “I’d like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace,” he said. The president might also have noted that there hasn’t been a terrorist attack on this country since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an achievement that will likely redound to his benefit once history is written.

The president’s adversaries, however, view both of these legacies in a dramatically different fashion. In the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the president’s admirers see the displacement of dictatorial regimes and the slow but steady installation of democratic ones. Regarding Afghanistan, however, the president’s critics perceive an utterly botched if noble effort. And with Iraq, they see a war predicated on “lies” in order to exact revenge against the man who tried to assassinate Bush’s father, attempt to steal Iraqi oil and enact the lofty theories of neoconservative ideology.

As for “keeping the country safe,” the president’s detractors dispute the premise. They allege that, in attempting to prevent another terrorist attack, the Bush administration instituted a range of policies — from the unnecessary Iraq war to illegal wiretapping and torture — that have made America so unpopular around the world that we’re in greater danger than ever.


The Meaning of Mumbai

By Thomas Sowell

Will the horrors unleashed by Islamic terrorists in Mumbai cause any second thoughts by those who are so anxious to start weakening the American security systems currently in place, including government interceptions of international phone calls and the holding of terrorists at Guantanamo?

Maybe. But never underestimate partisan blindness in Washington or in the mainstream media where, if the Bush administration did it, then it must be wrong.

Contrary to some of the more mawkish notions of what a government is supposed to be, its top job is the protection of the people. Nobody on 9/11 would have thought that we would see nothing comparable again in this country for seven long years.

Obama’s Team of Conformists

Much has been written about the “team of rivals” Barack Obama has assembled to shape his administration’s foreign policy. Politically speaking, maybe there’s something to this. Policy-wise, the differences are about as clear as those between tap and bottled water.

Here’s a blind taste test. “A political dialogue with Iran should not be deferred until such a time as the deep differences over Iranian nuclear ambitions and its invidious involvement with regional conflicts has been resolved.”

Was this candidate Obama, urging talks with Tehran without preconditions? Not at all: It is the recommendation of a 2004 Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored task force on Iran, led by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his erstwhile protege, Robert Gates.

GR Democrat Proposal: No jail for criminals if they say “sorry”

By Nick De Leeuw

We’re still watching and waiting to see what whether or not the Democrats in Congress are going to sacrifice millions of Michigan jobs to protect the give-away cash they secured for their special interest friends in the financial services sector and in the meantime, we’re learning shocking things about our economy right here at home.

It turns out that the recession everyone’s facing nationwide has been going on here in Michigan for years and that, get this, it isn’t ONLY the auto industry! I know, I know, you’ve listened to the Granholm-Cherry administration and you’ve read your local op-ed columns and you’ve listened to NPR and you were convinced that the only reason Michigan was lagging behind the rest of the country was because of the Big 3 but fancy new numbers that were just released are telling you to officially hold your horses. Michigan’s economy is in the tank across the board, across job sectors and across the state. The Ivory Tower:

Every county in Michigan with a population of more than 20,000 saw a decline in real household income since 2000, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data released today…