Pardon Me?

Things that make you go hmm..  Many times over. [Former?] Thugmaster K wants “to go home.”  He says he doesn’t…

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They Called Him ‘Biff’

Its pronounced ‘Haaaavahd’

Not just spending time away from his well compensated position, but also Buffy his ‘gal,’ and those precious (and most certainly precocious) offspring, Brian ‘BIFF’ Calley polished up his business credentials and possibly pushed about in a game of polo.

Splendid.

So do you like game shows?  Family Feud now has a new champion possible, as long as at least one of the topics on the board is “things a rich Harvard douchebag might say”

Like ..

“I don’t take financial advice from a man who uses a pine tree air freshener hanging from the mirror of his Porsche”

Show us “pine tree!”

Ding ding ding

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You do know that whole “The Wall”- thing could’ve stopped all of this (or at the very least significantly reduced it).

So in the latest distraction in our 24-hour News Cycle World, the latest “outrage” is coming from a surprising source?

And just whom that might be, you may ask yourself?

{Click below to learn the answer}

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Pardon Me?

Things that make you go hmm..  Many times over.

[Former?] Thugmaster K wants “to go home.”  He says he doesn’t like prison, and is now praying for a pardon from the president. He is a changed man:

Our country has always been the land of 2nd Chances! I am hoping, confidently expecting, that I will have the opportunity to boldly move into the next season of my life; outside of these prison walls. Also, that I will have the opportunity to help someone else get off the floor of despair, failure, brokenness and calamity…then walk courageously, confidently, and powerfully into their own new season, their own destiny.

By God’s grace, I have received a pardon from Him, through Christ Jesus. I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States as well.

Changed.

“White Jesus” notwithstanding, change carries with it some personal responsibility, yes?  Just a couple months ago, we saw how he is willing to own up to his former life as a corruptotician.  From Click on Detroit

Kilpatrick was also ordered to pay  $1,637,087 in restitution. He told the court in February that he doesn’t believe he should have to pay because it’s impossible to calculate the amount of money he took from taxpayers.

No comment necessary.

Other than even the folks out West aren’t writing scripts as good as this.

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The Michigan Connection

As you know, these pages have been primarily for Michigan based political discussion and opinion.

I thought this might be an opportune time to offer some credit to an unlikely recipient of praise for anything ‘diplomatic.’ The strange path to regained world prominence continues with a historic effort by Donald Trump’s administration and possibly bolstered by a former Detroit (among others) basketball player.

The effort by our president and his team in Singapore appears to have borne fruit.  Removing the nuclear threat from North Korea is now a very real possibility, and even better, the possibility of continued human rights abuses by that regime will be lessened as economic growth and wealth realization appeals to its leadership.

Kim Jong Un, who came to power following the death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011, an heir to a dictatorship has always had a taste for western luxury.  A private yacht akin to a Disney ride, and port turned into a private resort. Former Piston Dennis Rodman described it as a Seven Star Party:

“He’s got 50 to 60 around him all the time – just normal people, drinking cocktails and laughing the whole time. …If you drink a bottle of tequila, it’s the best tequila .. Everything you want, he has the best.”

And Rodman was laughed at by many folks (including myself) for his attempt at personal diplomacy.

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Sunday Sermon – Not My Fault

The Word of God – through which the Holy Spirit will be guiding our hearts and minds today – is recorded in our reading from Genesis. (3:8-15)

It is a familiar story to all of us, as it speaks to the origin of mankind. In this story, the only fruit in the Garden of Eden that is forbidden is that which hangs from the tree in the midst of the garden, but Adam and Eve eat from it anyway. So, God first approaches man and asks if he has eaten the forbidden fruit and man responds, “well, the woman gave it to me.” In other words, “it’s not my fault.” God then turns to the woman and asks, “what have you done?” And woman responds, “well, the serpent deceived me.” And again she was saying, “it’s not my fault.”

King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes “There is nothing new under the sun,” but many in the modern world may disagree. They consider the modern world more advanced, more sophisticated. We have devices and technology un-imagined years ago. But has the world – or the people in it – really changed? Are people innately different now than years ago? Has human nature fundamentally changed because we have cars and space shuttles, televisions and computers? Have we learned anything about ourselves from those who lived long ago?

Motivational speaker Travis Robertson writes: consider the statements below and see if any of them resonate with you:

  • It’s not my fault that I’m overweight. My parents were overweight and it runs in the family.
  • It’s not my fault that I have anger issues. My dad physically abused me when I was a kid.
  • It’s not my fault that I lie a lot. I had to in order to survive growing up.
  • It’s not my fault that I lost my job. My company was mismanaged and went out of business.
  • It’s not my fault that I’m addicted to pain pills. I am in constant pain after the accident.
  • It’s not my fault that I..

…well you get the idea.

He goes on to say that all of these things may in fact be true. Many things that happen to us may not be our fault. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where things happen to us that are outside of our control. Kids are abused and abandoned. They grow up in terrible environments with terrible parents. People are permanently injured in accidents that weren’t their fault. Lives are altered sometimes through no fault of our own.

But here’s the reality: just because something isn’t our fault, that doesn’t mean it’s not our responsibility.

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Michigan Right to Life Endorsements

Michigan Right to Life has just issued its endorsements for the 2018 primary.  RTL swings a significant number of Michigan primary voters, so its endorsements will decide some races.

RTL will recommend all candidates if they are all pro-life, but if there is a serious non-pro-life candidate, they will pick one pro-life candidate to endorse.  Their noteworthy endorsements are listed below.

Governor:  All Republican candidates meet criteria.
US Senate: John James solely endorsed.  Sandy Pensler is not endorsed.

Congress:
All Republican incumbents are endorsed except for Fred Upton.  Notably, Upton was endorsed in 2012, 2014, and 2016 despite a past pro-abortion record.
9. Candius Stearns
11. All five Republican candidates are endorsed.

State Senate: All Republican incumbents are endorsed.
8. Both Lucido and Goike
10. All are endorsed
12. McCready and Tedder are endorsed (not Molnar or Whitney).
14. No endorsement of Ruth Johnson.
15. Jim Runestad solely endorsed.
19. Both Bizon and Callton are endorsed.
21. Both LaSata and Pagel are endorsed.
22. Lana Theis solely endorsed.
24. Both Barrett and Roberts are endorsed.  Roberts has not been endorsed in past cycles.
26. Nesbitt, Genetski, and Wickstra all endorsed.
29. Chris Afendoulis solely endorsed.
30. Victory, Garcia, DeBoer, Haveman all endorsed.
31. Glenn and Daley both endorsed. Luczak (D) solely endorsed.
33. Rick Outman solely endorsed.
34. Bumstead and Hughes both endorsed.
35. Franz, Vanderwall, and Rendon endorsed (not Urka).
38. Carey, McBroom both endorsed.

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The MSP has some ‘splaining to do

The Backstory

MCL 28.425e(5)(m) mandates that by January 1st of each year, the Michigan State Police must issue a report containing “A list of expenditures made by the department of state police from money received under this act, regardless of purpose.”

Emphasis mine.

Up to this point, the expenditures reported on the annual reports (https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1878_1591_3503_4654-77621–,00.html) were aggregated into categories. It’s not a list of expenditures, but up until this point, no one has called them on it.

So we (Michigan Open Carry) filed a FOIA request for the list of expenditures for FY16 last fall. One of the key factors is the fact that out of a reported take of $8,020,921 (and this is excluding fingerprinting fees), $5,425,305 was spent on “Support systems utilized by the CPL unit” – or just over 2/3 of their non-fingerprinting CPL revenues.

What?

To make things short, in responding to our request, the MSP basically pointed us towards the FY16 annual report. Clearly not what we wanted.

So we appealed, with a subsequent response of, well, nothing.

Time to initiate a litigatory beatdown.

Lawsuit

In March of this year, we filed suit.

At this point, by way of the discovery process, we can start getting a bit intrusive (read our discovery request here).

When we got our discovery documents (Part 1 and Part 2), we realized something interesting – the revenue numbers they claimed were short of what they would have actually recieved based on the number of applications.

The Shenanigans

And by short, I’m talking millions of dollars.

Even with the most conservative estimate (based strictly on the amount they received prior to PA 3 of 2015 going into effect on December 1st 2015), the MSP is under reporting almost $3.5m of revenue, though we estimate that figure to be closer to $5.3m. Again, keep in mind this isn’t taking into account fingerprinting fees.

But the fun doesn’t stop there.

The discovery we received also seems to indicate their actual expenses were closer to $1.8m, not the $8,020,921 reported (isn’t it magical how their publicly reported expenses match exactly with their publicly reported revenues?).

I certainly can’t think of a reason why these numbers would be mis-reported. When asked (prior to us getting discovery), the MSP punted with a lame response of “The fees are set by the legislature”.

Yeah, good luck weaseling out of this now.

For our most recent release (and it goes into slightly more detail about the revenues and expenses post discovery acquisition), take a look here.

To view all court filings (which also include the actual FOIA request and appeal), follow along here. I update that index as filings come in.

I do highly recommend reading our Response to the Motion for Summary Disposition. It’s a work of art.

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Prevailing Wage Repealed.

Let this soak in for a few days.

From MLIVE:

LANSING, MI – The Michigan House joined the Senate in voting to repeal prevailing wage Wednesday afternoon, officially unraveling a law that had guaranteed union-level wages on public construction sites for half a century.

And the most ‘progressive left’ Republican governor since Bill Milliken cannot even veto it.

More later.

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Michigan AG: Comparing Leonard and Schuitmaker

The race for the Republican nomination for Attorney General will be decided at the Michigan Republican Convention on August 25 in Lansing.  Two candidates are competing for the nomination.  Tom Leonard was a prosecutor who was elected to the Michigan state house in 2012 and became speaker in 2016.  Tonya Schuitmaker is a lawyer, state representative (2004-2010) and state senator (2010-2018).

Republican delegates who want to nominate the right person need to know the records of the two candidates.  Both have voting records, which can be researched at MichiganVotes.org.  The following summarizes their records on issues of importance to conservatives.

Gas Tax Increase  Both Leonard and Tonya opposed Proposal 1, which would have increased taxes by 2 billion dollars to pay for roads and other transportation projects.  Leonard and Tonya both supported a smaller gas tax increase for roads.

Amazon Tax  Leonard opposed the ‘Amazon Tax’ to force consumers to pay sales tax on out-of-state internet purchases.  Tonya supported this tax increase.

Income Tax Cut  Leonard supported and led an effort to cut the state income tax, which narrowly failed in the state house.  The state senate did not vote on the bill.

Medicaid Expansion  Both Leonard and Tonya opposed Medicaid expansion, which was part of the implementation of Obamacare.

Pension Reform  Both Leonard and Tonya supported reforming school employee pensions.  Leonard led the effort to make sure that the bill passed.

Business Subsidies  The Mackinac Center recently released an index to rate how often a legislator has voted to support taxpayer supported business subsidies.  Leonard supported 70.1% of subsidies, while Tonya supported 76.9% of subsidies.

Hollywood Subsidies  Both Leonard and Tonya voted to end subsidies for Hollywood movie studios.

FoxConn Subsidies  Leonard opposed subsidies for FoxConn, a Taiwanese company.  Tonya supported the subsidies.

Electric Choice  Leonard and Tonya both voted for a bill to impose more regulation on electricity generation and limit choice of electricity providers.

Auto Insurance  Leonard supported a bill to reform auto insurance to provide more choices and reduce rates.  The bill failed in the state house and was not taken up in the state senate.

Speed Limits  Both Leonard and Tonya voted for a small increase in freeway speed limits.

Common Core  Leonard opposed the implementation of Common Core education standards.  The state senate passed Common Core with an (unrecorded) voice vote, but Tonya indicated her support for Common Core.  Neither chamber has voted on Common Core repeal legislation this session.

Constitutional Carry  Leonard voted for constitutional carry, and made sure the bill was voted on as speaker.  The state senate has not taken up the bill.

Official English  Leonard supported making English the official language of Michigan.  Tonya was one of only two Republicans to oppose official English in 2006.

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