Diary

MI Morning Update 2-17-09

623 Days until Election Day

February 17, 2009

MORNING UPDATE:

DISAPPOINTMENT…STIMULUS BILL…some have expressed frustration, while others anger…maybe it’s really just disappointment.
It is “disappointing” that Obama allowed a bill to be voted on before any member or the American people had had time to read it in violation of his New Hampshire pledge that all bills would have five days on the internet.
 
It is even more disappointing that apparently the Democrats were leaking parts of the bill to lobbyists before the elected members had seen them.
 
It is “disappointing” that the bill includes clear pork barrel spending like Reid’ railroad, Pelosi’s mouse and Obeys $2 billion for his sons organization.
 
It is “disappointing “ that Obama would try to politicize the census by taking it out of Commerce and putting it under the most partisan chief of staff since HR Haldemann and Nixon.
 
It is “disappointing” that the democrats consistently took out pro-jobs provisions in conference to make room for spending by politicians and bureaucrats.
Maybe it’s just that the American people expected more…change…and now we’re disappointed?!?

STIMULUS WATCH…STATE BY STATE…here is a great web site that should be very helpful and following where all the money that is suppose to “create jobs” is really going. You want to talk about a disappointing list…check it out, state by state and city by city. http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_state

STABENOW WATCH…Right Michigan asks…” What did Senator Stabenow know and when?” Are the Democrats on the verge of another “ethics crisis”? Is this pattern of behavior more than a pattern of behavior? http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2009/2/16/134455/493

TWITTER…anyone can follow my daily activities and impressions throughout the day by joining and following along. Twitter.com is another social networking site most easily described as a type of instant messaging – but with tons of people. You can follow the ‘tweets’ of others – and they follow you and what you write. The catch is that your posts are limited to 140 characters. But for many, that’s enough to say the important things. To follow me click here. To follow the Michigan Republicans, click here.

FACEBOOK...is a great "social networking" tool that many Republicans are using. This is particularly popular with College Republicans, TeenAge Republicans and Young Republicans. If you would like to become a "friend" join me here. To join the Michigan Republicans, you can join here.

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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REST OF THE STORY:

No Further Commentary Today

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

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



"Urgent" Stimulus on Hold for Obama’s Weekend Off

By BRENDAN SCOTT IN ALBANY and ANA MARIA ALAYA IN NY, AP

After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway.

Obama arrived at his home in Chicago on Friday, and treated wife Michelle to a Valentine’s Day dinner downtown last night. The couple was spotted leaving upscale Table Fifty-Two, which specializes in Southern cuisine, with the first lady toting what appeared to be a doggie bag.

The president plans to spend the Presidents’ Day weekend in the Windy City, and is not expected to sign the bill until Tuesday, when he travels to Denver to discuss his economic plan.

Bill’s tax cuts underwhelm analysts

Donald Lambro

When the Tax Policy Center graded 17 key tax-cut provisions in President Obama’s economic-stimulus bill last week, 10 received a C or D grade and none merited an A.

The tax-policy analysis group, sponsored jointly by the liberal Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, said its scores were an attempt to evaluate whether the bill’s tax credits and other tax incentives will boost the economy and deliver the biggest "bang for the buck."

Many of the tax provisions in President Obama’s two-year, $787 billion stimulus plan were found wanting, either because the stimulative effects were small, came too late to have an impact on the recession, or went to people who did not need them.


The Madoff Bill

By Dennis Prager

I write this column without any illusion that it will reverse America’s current movement toward socialism. Rather I am writing it primarily so that future generations will not be able to say that the radical and destructive nature of the Obama/Democratic Party’s so-called stimulus plan was unknown at the time. I am writing this so that my children will know that their father vigorously opposed it and why.

How radical — in fact, revolutionary — is the $789 billion stimulus plan? It is, in the words of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., "the largest change in domestic policy since the 1930s."

It is, as Robert Rector, identified by the Times of London as "one of the architects of Clinton’s 1996 reform bill," "a welfare spendathon that would amount to the largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history."


GM to seek more federal aid

Restructuring plans due today lack critical concessions

Robert Snell, David Shepardson and Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. will ask for billions more in federal aid today when it submits a restructuring plan to the U.S. Treasury Department outlining cuts that will dramatically shrink the iconic but troubled American automaker.

But GM’s recovery plan and one from Chrysler LLC, due today as a condition of a $17.4 billion federal loan package, are not expected to include key money-saving concessions from the United Auto Workers and bondholders.

Despite long negotiations over the weekend and Monday, neither automaker was expected to reach agreements by today’s deadline, sources said. The loan terms call for GM and Chrysler to restructure their payments into a UAW-run retiree health care trust and to reduce their unsecured public debt by two-thirds.


Ford-UAW talks progress; may be basis for GM, Chrysler pacts

By FREE PRESS STAFF

Talks between the UAW and Ford Motor Co. on a deal to help the struggling automaker progressed over the weekend and any plan that is reached between the two sides could serve as the basis for a similar pact with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, people familiar with the talks at Ford told the Free Press.

The UAW has been bargaining in Dearborn with Ford over the past six weeks, but the talks have escalated in recent days, as union discussions with GM hit an impasse Friday and then resumed Sunday, the people said. They did not want to be named because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

“They’re going to use that as the basis for agreements at GM and Chrysler,” one person familiar with the Ford talks told the Free Press. He believed a deal between the two sides was imminent.


Don’t Believe the Stimulus Scaremongers

By AMAR BHIDé

Our ignorance of what causes economic ailments — and how to treat them — is profound. Downturns and financial crises are not regular occurrences, and because economies are always evolving, they tend to be idiosyncratic, singular events.

After decades of diligent research, scholars still argue about what caused the Great Depression — excessive consumption, investment, stock-market speculation and borrowing in the Roaring ’20s, Smoot-Hawley protectionism, or excessively tight monetary policy? Nor do we know how we got out of it: Some credit the New Deal while others say that that FDR’s policies prolonged the Depression.

Similarly, there is no consensus about why huge public-spending projects and a zero-interest-rate policy failed to pull the Japanese out of a prolonged slump.


Obama is Big on Symbolism

By Jack Kelly

At the battle of Asculum in 279 BC, the Greek king Pyrrhus defeated a Roman legion, but at frightful cost to his own troops. When sycophantic courtiers congratulated him on his "great victory," Pyrrhus responded: "one more such victory, and we shall be undone."

President Obama plans to celebrate his Asculum — passage of the (at least) $787 billion "stimulus" bill — with a signing ceremony in Denver Tuesday. Sycophantic courtiers in the news media hailed this as a great victory for the president, but it comes at the cost of the illusion Mr. Obama represents a change from the corrupt old ways of Washington.

Candidate Obama promised a new openness in government. But the biggest spending bill ever was drafted behind closed doors. Candidate Obama pledged to weaken the influence of lobbyists. But lobbyists received copies of the "stimulus" bill before lawmakers did. Candidate Obama pledged a bipartisan approach to government. But not a single Republican in the House, and only three in the Senate, voted for it.


The GOP, Atwitter About the Digital Possibilities

By Jose Antonio Vargas

Eight years of the Bush presidency created and strengthened the netroots, the liberal blogosphere. The conservative blogosphere, the so-called rightroots, appears poised to benefit the same way from the Obama administration.

But for that energy to galvanize a fully formed political movement — in the way bloggers, MeetUp and MoveOn helped reinvigorate the Democratic Party — the GOP must remake itself online and harness grass-roots support.

Such was the overarching theme of Friday’s Technology Summit, hosted by the Republican National Committee.



STAFFERS GET SECRET RAISES AMID ‘FREEZE’

ALBANY – Gov. Paterson has secretly granted raises of as much as 46 percent to more than a dozen staffers at a time when he has asked 130,000 state workers to give up 3 percent pay hikes because of the state’s fiscal crisis, The Post has learned.

The startling pay hikes, costing about $250,000 annually, were granted after the governor’s "emergency" declaration in August of a looming fiscal crisis that required the state to cut spending and impose a "hard" hiring freeze.

One raise was approved as recently as last month – when Paterson claimed the budget deficit had reached an unprecedented $15.5 billion.