MI Morning Update 2-20-09

620 Days until Election Day

February 20, 2009


FINAL COMMENTARY…BYE BYE…MAYBE NOT SO FAST…I can’t thank the Michigan Republicans and all our friends throughout the state who gave me this opportunity to serve as your Chairman. We had some challenging times over the last four years, but I think the effort each and everyone of you put in to help build our party and support our candidates made a difference.

I’m not sure where I will land, but I’m looking forward to continuing my activities with conservatives and Republicans nationwide. I have put together a blog that I’ll be posting to regularly, so you can still follow along. www.thatssaulfolks.com
Thanks again for all you do and your friendship!

COMMENTARY & ARTICLES COMING TO AN END…today will be my last “Articles of Interest” and collection of top political clips. I am in the process of creating my own private webpage where I will continue to post regular commentaries and share articles of interest…but not daily and no compilation of clips. A special thanks to Bob Wolfer, George Blichar, Brian Began, Jessica Aspiras, and all those who made the articles what they were. I hope to have an address by tomorrow…still called “That’s Saul, Folks!”.

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.



Check…out…our…online Articles of Interest………News…you…can…use………



No Further Commentary Today


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

Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

By Michelle Malkin

There’s something in the air. It’s the smell of roasted pork. President Obama heralded the signing of the trillion-dollar "stimulus" bill in Denver and promoted his massive mortgage entitlement expansion in Mesa, Ariz., at tightly controlled campaign events. But outside the Secret Service perimeters, a raucous grassroots rebellion against Beltway spending binges has caught fire. The new Boston Tea Party is here, baby, and it’s doused in barbecue sauce.

The first revolt took place on Presidents Day in Smurf-blue Seattle, where mom-blogger Keli Carender hastily organized a downtown demonstration to oppose what they called the "stimulus rip-off." A motley band of nearly 100 protesters — moms and their kids, college students, libertarians, taxpayer groups, GOP activists — raised their voices and dined on pulled pork (donated by yours truly). They assailed both the substance of the overstuffed stimulus package and the short-circuited, nontransparent process by which it was passed.

Some wore pig noses. Others waved Old Glory and "Don’t Tread on Me" flags. Their handmade signs read: "Say No to Generational Theft"; "Obama’$ Porkulu$ Wear$ Lip$tick"; and "I don’t want to pay for the SwindleUs! I’m only 10 years old!" The event was peaceful, save for an unhinged city-dweller who showed his tolerance by barging onto the speakers’ stage and giving a Nazi salute.

Auto bankruptcy changes offered


WASHINGTON — It’s not the kind of new chapter in the history of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC that executives have in mind, but two bankruptcy experts unveiled a plan Thursday for a "Chapter 10" bankruptcy tailor-made for automakers.

While it’s just an idea, at least one prominent member of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has raised the possibility of changing federal law to allow automakers into bankruptcy while minimizing the damage to the rest of the economy.

"Chapter 11 for a ‘too big to fail’ company, such as a Big Three automaker, could be disastrous for the country," said George Kuney, a law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, and San Francisco bankruptcy attorney Michael St. James, in a paper for the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal.

Housing plan leaves out critical pieces

Victoria McGrane / Politico.com

President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to stabilize the housing market leaves out critical pieces that may determine whether the administration can halt the growing mortgage crisis, critics say.

Potentially, the most gaping hole in the housing plan could be the lack of an aggressive attempt to encourage principal write-downs on homes that have lost much of their value.

And there’s the threat that the nation’s economic woes will mount to such a scale that the plan would be worthless.

"There is no loan modification plan that will work in the long run if unemployment spirals out of control," a senior Treasury adviser said in a background briefing, stressing the housing plan’s links to the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Obama signed Tuesday.

Mr. President, Keep the Airwaves Free


Dear President Obama:

I have a straightforward question, which I hope you will answer in a straightforward way: Is it your intention to censor talk radio through a variety of contrivances, such as "local content," "diversity of ownership," and "public interest" rules — all of which are designed to appeal to populist sentiments but, as you know, are the death knell of talk radio and the AM band?

You have singled me out directly, admonishing members of Congress not to listen to my show. Bill Clinton has since chimed in, complaining about the lack of balance on radio. And a number of members of your party, in and out of Congress, are forming a chorus of advocates for government control over radio content. This is both chilling and ominous.

As a former president of the Harvard Law Review and a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, you are more familiar than most with the purpose of the Bill of Rights: to protect the citizen from the possible excesses of the federal government. The First Amendment says, in part, that "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." The government is explicitly prohibited from playing a role in refereeing among those who speak or seek to speak. We are, after all, dealing with political speech — which, as the Framers understood, cannot be left to the government to police.

Jackson bar owners lament Governor Jennifer Granholm’s plan to double liquor license fees

by Chris Gautz | Jackson Citizen Patriot

Local bar owners are not happy with what Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to serve up in 2010 — a doubling of their annual liquor license renewal fees.

Granholm is seeking to raise the fees — which haven’t been increased since 1976 — as a way to help solve the state’s massive budget deficit.

"It’s a 100 percent tax increase," said Jeff Veach, owner of Veach’s Office Bar in downtown Jackson.

Lance Binoniemi, executive director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, said the cost of the license fees depend on the establishment and what types of permits they have. Permits for an average bar can range from about $700 to $1,000 annually, he said.

Barbour to speak at Michigan Republican convention

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will be in Michigan this Friday night to speak at the state Republican Party convention.

Barbour spokesman Laura Hipp says the governor is not traveling at public expense. The convention is Friday and Saturday in Lansing.

Barbour was chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1993 to 1997 and often travels to other states to speak to party gatherings or on behalf of Republican candidates.

Headed for another budget meltdown?

Phil Power

I hate to tell you this, but as of now, resolving the state’s budget deficit looks as though it’s going to be just as much of a mess as it was back in 2007, when Michigan was shut down for a few hours and our legislative leaders were reduced to attempting to tax the bronzing of baby shoes, and negotiating by text messaging.

The problem lies in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, when Michigan will be facing a $1.5 billion deficit in the $9 billion general fund (give or take a few hundred million).

Whatever anyone tells you, nobody yet knows in detail what all the Obamabucks from Washington will really mean for Michigan, although lots of lawmakers are hoping the stimulus plan will give them a way to wriggle out of some tough decisions.

Grading Bailout?: Student Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes


Prof. Marshall Grossman has come to expect complaints whenever he returns graded papers in his English classes at the University of Maryland.

“Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark,” Professor Grossman said. “Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”

He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement.

“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”

Auto industry aid request balloons to $39B

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and Chrysler said Tuesday their request for federal aid ballooned to a staggering $39 billion — only months after receiving billions in loans — in new plans that envision massive job losses and intense restructuring to survive a deepening recession.

General Motors Corp. presented a survival plan that calls for cutting a total of 47,000 jobs globally and closing five more U.S. factories, a move that represents the largest work force reduction announced by a U.S. company in the economic meltdown. Chrysler LLC said it will cut 3,000 more jobs and stop producing three vehicle models.

The grim reports came as the United Auto Workers union said it had reached a tentative agreement with GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. on contract changes. Concessions with the union and debt-holders were a condition of the government bailout.