Diary

MI Morning Update: Stimulus Scam - RNC Tech Summit - Gov. Haley Barbour to Speak at MI GOP Convention

628 Days until Election Day

February 12, 2009

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"I think the American people deserve to know that legislation that would comprise an amount equal to the entire discretionary budget of the United States of America is being crafted without a single House Republican in the room."

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

MORNING UPDATE:

STIMULUS SCAM…President Obama says that "economists from across the political spectrum agree" on the need for massive government spending to stimulate the economy. In fact, many economists disagree. Hundreds of them, including Nobel laureates and other prominent scholars, have signed a statement that the Cato Institute has placed in major newspapers across the United States.

RNC TECH SUMMIT…Chairman Michael Steele has asked me to head up the transition Team’s effort on bringing new technologies and tactics to the RNC.  We are in the process or reviewing and analyzing the current operation.  We also called for a Tech Summit where we are bringing interested parties together to share ideas, make suggestions and present their perspectives of what and how we could do more.  If you’re interested, join us.  For more details click here.

If you can’t attend in person please send thoughts via e-mail to [email protected] and put "Tech Summit" in the subject line or call 202-863-8728.

An on-line discussion will be held.

We will also provide internet streaming video.

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR…to kick off our state convention Friday night.  We will also have WJR’s Frank Beckmann there who will discuss "what media bias".  All Friday night!  For more information see the next paragraph.

MRP STATE CONVENTION…Just a quick note to let you know that the Michigan Republican’s website has been updated with State Convention information.   For your reference in directing potential delegates to the site, the address is: http://www.migop.org/event.asp.

CPAC 2009 Timeless Principles, New Challenges…Register today for the largest gathering of conservative grassroots activists in the country! The American Conservative Union Foundation is pleased to invite you to participate in the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives. The 36th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will be held on February 26-28, 2009.

 

 

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

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

 

 

Stimulate First, Ask Questions Later

With the stimulus bill, Obama chose urgency over transparency.

By John Dickerson

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, at 6:32 PM ET

For President Obama to get a stimulus bill, something had to give. You can have urgency or transparency or a thorough think about things. But you can’t have all three. Forced to choose, Obama chose the fierce urgency of now.

The president heralded a deal reached Wednesday in the House and Senate on a stimulus bill, but the process wasn’t pretty. Creating legislation often isn’t. Instead of finding a Lego piece that fits, lawmakers get a larger one and bite it in half. Never mind the jagged edges.

Runaway Stimulus

By George Will

WASHINGTON — The president, convinced that the only thing America has to fear is an insufficiency of fear, has warned that "disaster" and "catastrophe" are the certain alternatives to swift passage of the stimulus legislation. One marvels at his certitude more than one envies his custody of this adventure.

Certitude of one flavor or another is never entirely out of fashion in Washington. Thirty years ago, some conservatives were certain that their tax cuts would be so stimulative that they would be completely self-financing. Today, some liberals are certain that the spending they favor — on green jobs, infrastructure and everything else — will completely pay for itself. For liberals, "stimulus spending" is a classification that no longer classifies: All spending is, they are certain, necessarily stimulative.

Geithner Can’t Find Gun, Let Alone Silver Bullet

David Reilly

Feb. 11

That’s it? That’s all Geithner had to offer?

It is amazing that this far into the financial crisis, we are still stumbling along, still so reluctant to tackle the problems facing the financial system and the economy.

Rather than offer the kind of comprehensive solution he had promised, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner yesterday served up a plan for banks and the financial system that was long on platitudes and short on specifics.

Stimulus has perks for Michigan

$789-billion measure will help Michigan, senators say

BY JUSTIN HYDE • FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF • February 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — The compromise on a $789-billion economic stimulus package reached Wednesday between congressional Democrats and key Senate Republicans curbs several ideas that could have helped Michigan, but Democrats said the deal was desperately needed to fight an economic downward spiral.

The plan , which could get a vote by the U.S. House as soon as today, would not extend Medicaid benefits to unemployed workers, pares back proposed tax breaks for buying a new vehicle and has much less money for repairing and updating schools than what the House had agreed upon.

But many features directly helping Michigan survived.

Obama to Big 3: Craft plan that works

Deb Price / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Thursday, February 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — Nearly an hour of heavy questioning had ticked by and, finally, a reporter asked what probably all the reporters were wondering.

What, exactly, was the brick-size wooden box with the red button on top, on the table in front of President Barack Obama?

"If any of you really got me mad, I would press it," Obama said with a mischievous laugh.

Pelosi has eye on automakers

Democrat met with experts for industry update as GM, Chrysler prepare viability plans.

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Thursday, February 12, 2009

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is keeping close tabs on the efforts of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to file restructuring plans by Tuesday.

"The February 17th proposal from autos is critical and they must take it seriously," said her spokesman Drew Hammill.

Last Wednesday, Pelosi, D-Calif., held a meeting with a number of top auto industry analysts to get an assessment of the state of the struggling auto industry. Auto sales fell 37 percent in January amid the struggling economy and are projected to remain sharply lower throughout 2009.

Senator aims for secretary of state

Charlie Cain / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LANSING — State Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Fawn River Township, announced Wednesday he’ll seek the 2010 Republican nomination for secretary of state to replace Terri Lynn Land.

Land, a fellow Republican, is term limited and can’t seek re-election.

Brown, 54, was elected to the Michigan House in 1998 and to the Senate in 2002 and again in 2006.

State budget, slash and burn version

Barb Arrigo
February 11, 2009

Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s 2009-10 budget gets unveiled at 11 a.m. Thursday. (For the true wonks among you, the budget director’s presentation to the joint legislative committee should be available online here on HouseTV.)

We already know the governor plans to close three prisons to save money in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. It will be interesting to see where else she chooses to go in order to close the $1.6-billion budget gap the state is facing. I expect she will cut back per-pupil spending for K-12 schools. She may try to hold higher-ed funding steady, as part of her request to the community colleges and universities to hold tuition steady, but that hardly seems possible. Almost everywhere, I expect there will be some real blood on the floor from cutbacks.

You can bet, then, that lawmakers’ first question will be how much Michigan can expect to get from what looks like the compromise version of the stimulus that emerged from Congress this afternoon. Whatever their favorite cause — or yours — it’s almost sure to be hurt in this budget.

Panel meets on pay cut for top elected officials

First session in four years will review Granholm’s request to cut salaries 10% amid economic crunch.

Charlie Cain / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LANSING — An obscure state pay panel convenes today for the first time in more than four years, to consider a 10 percent pay cut for top elected officials amid souring economic conditions.

The seven-member State Officers Compensation Commission has been asked by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to chop her salary from $177,000 to $159,300 and reduce by 10 percent the salaries of the lieutenant governor (currently $123,900), state lawmakers ($79,650) and Supreme Court justices ($164,610).

On a 108-1 vote this month, the House approved a resolution endorsing the pay reductions. The legislative version, now before the Senate, does not call for the 10 percent cut for justices but added the offices of secretary of state and attorney general into the plan.

State prison, health funds face ax

Those areas expected to receive largest cuts among proposed reductions when gov unveils budget today.

Mark Hornbeck and Gary Heinlein / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LANSING — Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s state budget blueprint, to be unveiled today, cuts spending in nearly all areas of state government next year, with some of the deepest reductions coming in prisons and community health programs, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Education lobbyists say they expect the proposal will spare per-pupil aid to schools, but may cut money for programs, such as transportation, school administration and teacher training.

"There are deep cuts in Corrections and community health, but those aren’t the only departments affected," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, who is familiar with the governor’s proposal. "Every cut being made is hard. They’re not putting in any new programs."