Cronyism

So, now what?

And what does this mean when it comes to other campaign “promises” made to The American People like tax reform, the wall, bringing back American business and removing illegal aliens?

It really shouldn’t have been difficult.

Not at all.

All you had to do was to fulfill the promise that you made when running for Congress and REPEAL Obamacare.

It was not as if this day wasn’t coming?

After sneaking Obamacare through in literally the dead of night, the democrats learned a valuable lesson on stupidity and the resulting payback from it when they lost the House.

Give us the Senate, chimed in republicans and we’ll repeal it.

After numerous attempts to do so we are told that they cannot do it.

Give us the White House and we’ll repeal it.

So, after gaining majorities the House, Senate and the White House, everything was in place for a quick (and ridiculously easy) repeal.

Or so we thought.

{Oh, I‘ve got more below}

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Michigan Gun Owners Beware!

Big Brother Is Watching

There has been an interesting development in the case of two individuals who were arrested for open carry in the anteroom of the Dearborn, Michigan Police Department Headquarters. Two men from central Michigan were arrested for entering the anteroom of the Dearborn Police Department Headquarters building while carrying, and filming themselves while doing so. They were reportedly using open carry to protest what they believed was a bogus traffic stop which they were subjected to earlier in Dearborn.

James Baker and Brandon Vreeland have been abandoned by Michigan’s open carry movement, probably due to the allegation that they were using open carry to protest something entirely unrelated to Second Amendment rights, but it does not appear that their actions actually violated any Michigan law. At least one of the two was wearing ‘body armor’, which added to the provocative nature of their actions. Carry in police stations is actually not prohibited by Michigan law, and it is a violation of Michigan law to prohibit firearms in a police station outside of secured areas.

Fun side note: When I was a kid in the 1960’s, I used to shoot small bore rifle matches in the basement shooting range of this very building, which was even then the DPD police station. How times have changed!

Now we have a remarkable discovery from Nicholas Somberg (P80416), the defense attorney for Brandon Vreeland of Jackson: The Dearborn Police secretly monitored the two ‘Second Amendment activists’ and essentially ambushed both men as they were filming themselves walking into the Dearborn Police headquarters.

Here is the interesting development, as reported by the Detroit Free Press:

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It took you this long to figure it out, eh?

So, will this be the swan song for Snydercaid?

Like we didn’t see this coming?

And by “we” I mean real conservatives, not the bland neo-con, conservative wanna-bees around election season who revert back to their true selves the day after the general.

Thanks to the number-crunchers over at the SFA along with President Trump, Gov. Snyder’s signature achievement (Snydercaid), is in jeopardy of closing up shop due to its costs, and someone who had the foresight to include a weakness in the legislation which can be exploited when it grew into an ever-growing percentage of the budget.

What’s even worse (also on page 6 in the SFA link above):

“The new Federal law would increase GF/GP (General Fund/General Purpose) costs sufficiently to trigger this provision by the end of FY 2019-20. Thus, assuming no changes to the statute, the Healthy Michigan Plan would terminate.

If the State opted to continue the program (which would require Legislative action and a gubernatorial signature to change the statute), the GF/GP costs would increase significantly in subsequent years as noted above. Obviously, if the Federal legislation is enacted, the decision on whether to change the statute to continue the HMP would be impacted by the fiscal considerations outlined above.”

Gov. Snyder knew that this day was coming. He even went to Washington to personally lobby on its behalf.

But when you act like a wishy-washy, mealy mouth wimp who will not take a stand, people remember things like that.

Speaking of “never forgetting”

 

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Lets Throw More Money Away!

Commission to taxpayers - "Gird your loins."

About that blue ribbon report on education?

Governor RINO-Burger’s newly formed ’21st Century Education Commission’ has performed as expected. One theme seems to stand out.  In the end, all will be well if we follow some not-so-surprising advice from the best socialist minds around. – Free college. Preschool for every child. No more grade levels.

A report released last week from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office offered lofty goals designed to overhaul Michigan’s public education system. The state needs to offer free community college, expand preschool access, and restructure K-12 public schools, the report suggested. District leaders in northwest Michigan agreed, but they’ll need more clarity on the details.

Sure.  why not?

Government employees shilling for expansion of government?  But wait!  More clarity?

“My first question would be if it’s free, who’s paying for it?” asked Sander Scott, superintendent at Glen Lake Community Schools. “That’s what any taxpayer would say. There’ll be a cost to be able to offer these things. … The state is really struggling to fund its public schools so adding more is interesting.”

Yes, “interesting.”
The state is struggling to accurately provide (yes, “accurately.” ‘Adequately’ is a word I would use if it was called for) funding that provides for the best education for our declining youth.  As opined previously, dumping nearly an additional $billion bones into the Detroit school system last year was a seriously flawed legislative act.
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Impunity In A One Party State

Very Bad Judgment Is Not A Bar To Judicial Tenure In The Peoples Republic Of Ann Arbor

A Washtenaw County 22nd Circuit Court judge is demonstrating the supreme impunity immunity enjoyed by the liberal elites in a modern one party state: Ann Arbor. Washtenaw County Trial Judge Carol A. Kuhnke has just dodged all legal consequences for possessing prescription narcotics not prescribed to her; narcotics which were used by her adopted son in his fatal overdose last year.

At this point, you probably have some sympathy for Judge Kuhnke. Opioid addiction is sweeping our country and there are a lot of tragedies occurring which parents simply cannot prevent. But there are twists to Judge Kuhnke’s story which sets it far apart from the typical overdose tragedy.

Judge Kuhnke’s curious story began on November 25th of last year when her son was found dead from oxycodone toxicity, but only got its first airing in the press yesterday. Young John Kuhnke allegedly broke into a locked tool chest where Judge Kuhnke was storing both drugs and alcohol. The drugs included oxycodone, hydrocodone, trazodone, dexmethylphenidate, and tramadol. All nasty items. These drugs were originally prescribed to John Kuhnke, Judge Kuhnke, her wife Elizabeth Janovic, Janovic’s parents, and the Kuhnke/Janovic’s next door neighbor. John Kuhnke is alleged to have stolen ten prescription pill vials from the broken tool chest and taken some of the next door neighbor’s oxycodone pills to a friend’s house where he overdosed and died.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Detective Craig Raisanen requested warrant for Judge Kuhnke and her wife Elizabeth Janovic from the Washtenaw Prosecutor’s Office for possession of up to 25 grams of Schedule II narcotics prescribed in another person’s name [MCL 333.7403(2)(a)(v)]. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor asked AG Schuette to appoint a special prosecutor and that special prosecutor then decided that charges “would not be appropriate”. The Special Prosecutor appointed was Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt, who happens to serve in the county immediately north of Washtenaw. He fobbed the case off on the Judicial Tenure Commission, and it now appears that they too will take no action.

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The Price of Political Failure

The Detroit News launched a hit piece on Michael G. Ford, the CEO of the Regional Transportation Authority of Southeastern Michigan this morning. Reporters Robert Snell and Christine MacDonald breathlessly review Mr. Ford’s expense accounting and employment contract details over the 33 months since he was appointed CEO of the RTA.

The closest they get to finding any real improprieties is Mr. Ford’s car allowance and mileage reimbursement, but that does not stop them from reporting salacious details of hotel room charges and his very generous employment contract. No illegality or budget overruns are found, but the tone of the article is supremely negative. Mr. Ford’s contract happens to be up for renewal and the RTA Board tabled a $ 16,300 raise for him two weeks ago.

A special meeting of the RTA Board of Directors was held this morning, including a closed session. Public bodies operating under the Open Meetings Act are only allowed to close meetings when deliberating personnel matters and contracts. It is not much of a leap to speculate that Mr. Ford is today’s main course at the RTA Board meeting.

The Detroit News duo filed an FOIA request for Mr. Ford’s contract details and expense reimbursements shortly after Paul Hillegonds, Governor Rick Snyder’s appointee to the RTA Board, began reviewing Mr. Ford’s expenses. Coincidence? Hardly.

What is going on here?

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Dan Gilbert Begging For Taxpayer Money Capture – Detroit News Says Please Give.

Imagine if all industries were subsidized with capture process.

Set the example, right?

Cronyism is still alive and well, and Detroit interests still have their hands out. And maybe it’s not JUST the developers? Detroit’s high taxes, and expensive operating environment has created impediments to natural growth.

Years after Dan Gilbert took money from taxpayers to move his employees into Detroit where they would pay a new income tax, and endure travel challenges, he want to see more of the bottom of the taxpayer purse through capture strategies. And he has cheerleaders.

The Detroit News has opined in favor of taking money from Michigan families and giving it to big developers to subsidize otherwise unprofitable real estate projects. The News wrote:

“In Detroit and other older Michigan cities, rents are still not high enough to fully offset construction costs without incentive packages.”

If the News extended the same logic to its own situation, we might see something like this in a future editorial:

“In Detroit and other old two-newspaper towns, subscription and ad rates are still not high enough to fully offset continuing operations without incentive packages.  If we were to get subsidies captured from the taxes paid from our employees, our success would be guaranteed, and [those] taxes would increase!”

Just think of the page rent decreases it could offset!

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Absolvendi Officium

"Public-Private Partnerships" Are bad business for government.

SB 97 passed 32-4 last Friday.

Seriously flawed in it’s very concept, the bill grants private operators the ability to operate as-if they are the chartering government itself, sans the payback at the voting booth.  Contracts could extend far beyond term limitations, and the ‘authorities’ created would be of a new design.

It will place those who fail to pay the private concern as immediately liable for fees as-if it were a government entity. It also brings back the spectre of eminent domain, and abuse of authority.

It also grants special rights to those who profit from such projects as described in the bill from paying property, sales or use taxes taxes.

Read it here.

Tell me I am wrong.

Please.

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Michigan’s Tax Charade

No Michigan Tax Deal Is Ever Worth The Paper It Is Written On

Since our devious Governor and his RINO caucus pulled out all the stops to quash the HB 4001 decrements in the state income tax last Thursday, it has dawned on Michigan politicians that the optics of the SB 111 – 115 Dan Gilbertville tax breaks just got real ugly. You can’t hand $ 1.8 billion of state revenue over to politically connected developers after stiffing the public at large without gruesome consequences. This is going to decrement some Senators’ campaign finance committee balances.

No one should fault Speaker Leonard for putting HB 4001 up for a losing vote. Bottling up and fiddling legislation behind closed doors until a winning margin is assured is not an exemplar of government transparency. Brits and Europeans may regard such shifty back room shenanigans as the hallmark of sophisticated political process, but here in America constituents want to know exactly how they are being represented. Thursday’s vote told us more about the RINOs in the Michigan House than years of deceitful political media articles and reports.

Thank you Speaker Leonard for fostering genuine political transparency.  Long overdue in Michigan.

It now appears that killing both tax reductions was the plan all along. Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Municipal League just launched a trial balloon to gut the Proposal A constitutional amendment of 1994. Proposal A limited the tax depredations of government employees acting through their local units of government, a popular activity in Michigan’s more leftward big cities and counties. The sales tax was increased 50%, but property owners got some constitutionally protected tax relief in return.

Local government employees and their Democratic political puppets want to renege on the 1994 Proposal A tax deal. Well, not entirely. Just the constitutionally protected property tax relief. No one is offering to restore the 4% sales tax rate. What was it JFK said about negotiating with the Soviets? “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” Public employees and their subservient Democratic politicians have a lot of gall claiming that President Trump is a Russian stooge and a neo communist tyrant to boot.

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Just in case anyone is wondering why Michigan Taxpayers are getting screwed over (again)…

And what ever happened to that whole “I-BELIEVE-government-must-practice-fiscal-responsibility-and-allow-individuals-to-keep-more-of-the-money-they-earn.” mantra?

All I’ve got to say here is: “Beware of bipartisanship”.

{More below the fold}

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