Government Incompetence

Greasing The Monkeys

Apparently there is never enough choice choking regulation for some in our legislature.

car-repairWithout written permission to spend less, your auto repair bill will cost you more.

Incredibly, that first line above was a last minute ‘fix’ in HB4344.  Prior to it being added as an amendment by Pete Petallia, there was no wiggle room for any aftermarket part that wasn’t subjected to the extremes set up by the automakers to make their parts competitive.  The section of HB4344 addressing this:

House Bill No. 4344 as amended May 31, 2016

1  original warranty, or during the first 5 years of the vehicle  manufacturer’s original warranty, whichever is less, the motor  vehicle repair facility shall replace the major component part, and  a person that is an owner or operator of the motor vehicle repair facility shall ensure that the major component part is replaced, with 1 of the following:

(a) A new original equipment manufacturer part.

(b) A used or recycled original equipment manufacturer part.

(c) A part that meets any applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards established under 49 CFR 571, and meets the standards for parts recognized as OEM comparable quality as verified by the Certified Automotive Parts Association, NSFInternational, or another nationally recognized automotive parts testing agency.

(d) A part that does not meet subdivision (a), (b), or (c), if the facility is directed by the owner of the motor vehicle in writing to install that part.]

Michigan Capitol Confidential might be thanked for bringing this up originally.

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Democratic Socialism Comes to Southeast Michigan

RTA Funding Could Buy All Their New Riders New Cars, And Pay For Their Fuel and Insurance To Boot!

RTA Transit Map aThe new Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is out today with their transportation master plan to soak taxpayers in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties for another $ 3.3 billion in property taxes over a 20 year period.Michael Ford Smiling RTA CEO Michael Ford released the regional mass transit plan RTA will submit to voters on November 8th under PA 387 of 2012. A 1.2 mill property tax increase and $ 1.7 billion in new Federal & State subsidies will provide four new bus rapid transit lines, 11 cross county connector lines, one regional rail line, and some extended/intensified local service.

Let’s have some fun by subjecting the new RTA regional mass transit plan to some real, pre Common Core, mathematics.

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If we can convince you that smoking is good and get you to eat for breakfast what we want you to, then we can definitely get you to support this.

Take a good look at the picture below.

Edward Bernays Image

He’s going to factor heavily in this post (and more importantly, what YOU can do to protect your pocketbook).

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Same As It Ever Was

Why would we expect anything else from the party of Clinton?

Flint Water ImageDemocrats have been screaming about Republican leadership’s failure on the Flint water issue.

While we have no overreaching love for the governerd, who brought us expansion of Obamacare, lost our insurer of last resort, broke the law for his ‘roads’ funding boondoggle, and still hands out money like its not his own, it was not Rick Snyder who put lead in the pipes of Flint.  He took credit for the failure of his bureaucracy to properly assess a fast developing public health issue, but he surely did not cause the problem.

Was it the bureaucracy itself?  Yes.  Decades of poor decision making by those who have by hook or crook made their life’s work to be the decimation of ‘Buick City.’  Poor planning and perhaps a little power mongering graft?  From Reuters:

“Henderson’s lawsuit alleged that Mayor Karen Weaver ordered her assistant and a volunteer to redirect donors from a local fund set up to help families affected by the water crisis to her political action committee instead.

The lawsuit charged that the city employee was “specifically directed” to instruct people “step-by-step” to donate to the mayor’s “Karenabout Flint” fund through its website, rather than the Charity Safe Water/Safe Homes fund through the city’s website.

Sure thing.

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Because giving them even more money has always solved Detroit’s problems.

Hold onto your wallets because the fun is set to begin again tomorrow.

Last week the Michigan House, in response to the temper tantrum thrown by the Detroit Federation of Teachers (which to be fair, was in response to the gross ineptitude of one Judge Steven Rhodes), passed yet another in a long line of “life preservers” to the failed Detroit Public School district.

Despite having been “locked out” by administration (seriously, that is what the DFT was using as a speaking point on every local talking head show last weekend), things went back to normal by Wednesday.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of how calling in sick en masse is somehow the equivalent of being “locked out” from your place of employment…but I digress.

Unlike the bailout proposed by the Michigan Senate, the House package is about $200-million lighter than the Senate’s, and is choked so full of poison-pill provisions that it is guaranteed to cause even more problems.

 

Bus roll over

“Not to worry! With a little elbow grease and some friendly verbal persuasion, we’ll have you upright and humming along the road in no time,” our relentlessly positive Gov Snyder allegedly remarked about the latest DPS bailout.

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Blowback

When A Devious, All Too Clever Plan Goes Awry

Rhodes Image 1aRetired U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven W. Rhodes got just a bit too clever in his latest ploy to stampede the Michigan Legislature. He is trying to ram a $ 720 million bail out for the Detroit Public Schools through the Legislature, but wound up creating a labor relations firestorm. He even managed to grievously damage the prospects of the bail out in the Legislature. As always, it is the DPS students who are suffering the fallout.

Judge Rhodes, the DPS ‘transition manager’, sent out an email on Saturday telling all and sundry that DPS would have no money to pay teachers after June 30th. He urged Michigan lawmakers to “act thoughtfully, but with the urgency that this situation demands”. The Detroit News later reported:

Rhodes, who warned over the weekend the district would run out of money June 30 and stop making payroll for employees who get paid over the summer, urged employees, parents and others Monday to press lawmakers to pass the rescue plan.

Rosen ImageThis is a reprise of the successful panic tactics he and his buddy U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen developed to force acceptance of the phony Detroit bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment. This effort, celebrated by Michigan’s nitwit media, left a smoking, $ 491 million crater in Detroit’s post bankruptcy finances. Mayor Duggan has been reduced to chiseling money from demolition contracts. Don’t forget that the $ 720 million bail out plan also turns total, absolute DPS control over to Mayor Duggan and his crack team of demolition contract negotiators. Out of the frying pan and into the fire we go.

This is how Michigan’s devious elites now get what they want, when they want, from an embarrassingly slow and cantankerous constitutional government process which they despise.

Whoopee Ti Yi Yo, Git Along Little Dogies

Some boys goes up the trail for pleasure,
But that’s where you get it most awfully wrong;
For you haven’t any idea the trouble they give us
While we go driving them all along.

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Forensic Audit – Now!

Rhodes Image 1aRetired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes, now the Detroit Public Schools’ ‘Transition Manager’, just let another financial whopper out of the bag. Detroit Public Schools received about $30 million in U.S. Department of Education reimbursements for the pensions of grant-funded employees, but failed to forward those federal funds to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. So DPS owes MPSERS $ 30 million dollars, give or take. They are ‘negotiating’.

DPS officials knew of this funds misappropriation in December 2015. Judge Rhodes knew “in March 2016”. Before or after the Michigan Legislature got suckered into passing HB 5296 and HB 5385, the DPS emergency bailout and purported financial review commission?  HB 5296, the $ 48.7 million emergency DPS bailout, cleared the Michigan House on 17 March and the Michigan Senate on 24 March. Governor Snyder signed it as Public Act 54 on 12 April.

Did anyone in Lansing know that 60% of the PA 54 DPS bailout was headed straight to the MPSERS?

If so, why did they not share this little detail with the rest of the Legislature and the public prior to the passage of HB 5296?

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Irony

i·ro·ny (ī′rə-nē, ī′ər-) Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

Lansing City Hall & Court ComplexMichigan House Speaker Cotter just lost a round in the Courser/Gamrat felony criminal case preliminaries. Ingham County District Court 54-A Judge Hugh B. Clarke Jr. ruled Friday it would be “patently unfair” for Gamrat’s and Courser’s attorneys to not have an opportunity to question Cotter in their defense:Judge Hugh Clarke, Jr.

“Without answers to these questions, the Court cannot adequately balance the rights of the Defendants against the right of the Speaker to be free from being compelled to testify,” the order states.

“To make this decision, the Court believes an in camera hearing with counsel for the Defendants, Speaker Cotter and his attorney is warranted. This procedure would allow the court to properly balance the interests of the Defendants against the privilege sought to be accorded Speaker Cotter.”

Speaker Cotter has been claiming immunity under Public Act 27 of 1984 in Judge Clarke’s courtroom:

“AN ACT to provide immunity from civil action to members of the legislature of this state for acts done pursuant to duty as legislators; to prohibit members of the legislature of this state from being made parties to contested cases or other administrative proceedings for acts done pursuant to duty as legislators; and to provide for certain exemptions from subpoenas.”

Specifically Speaker Cotter is claiming immunity from a subpoena ad testificandum under the third section of PA 27 of 1984

MCL 4.553
Subpoena as to statements made by legislator
Sec. 3.
A member of the legislature shall not be subject to a subpoena for any matter involving statements made by the legislator pursuant to his or her duty as a legislator.

The issue here will be that the legal action against Courser and Gamrat in Ingham County District Court 54-A is a criminal action, specifically a felony action, not a civil action. Speaker Cotter is claiming immunity under a statute which pertains to civil actions, not criminal actions.  Michigan’s legislators have no constitutional or statutory relief from subpoenae in felony matters.

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Bad Optics = Serious Political Jeopardy

Proper Prior Political Planning Prevents..............

Snyder ImageOur zillionaire Governor is hitting up the Michigan Treasury for $ 1.5 million to cover the cost of really excellent lawyers who are mounting his criminal defense in the Flint water fiasco. Yesterday, he suggested that the two MDEQ employees criminally charged in the Flint water fiasco will no longer receive State paid legal representation. The State had been paying for outside counsel for Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby since AG Schuette stripped them of direct state assistant AG legal counsel in February.

Apparently, the distinction here is actually being criminally charged. Snyder hasn’t been, but Busch and Prysby just got charged.. AG Schuette could not resist piling on with the same common law misconduct in office felony charge used against Courser and Gamrat, but the actual substance of the statutory charges here are lying and tampering with evidence.

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April 15th, A Day That Lives In Infamy

The Ship RMS Titanic Sank This Day in 1912

RMS Titanic Image 2The RMS Titanic broke in half and sank at 02:20 AM zulu on this day in 1912. Should never have happened, but metallurgists of the day didn’t understand the adverse effect of phosphorous upon the ductile to brittle transition temperature of steel.  Today the Titanic rests at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean at Latitude 41° 43′ 57″ North, Longitude 49° 56′ 49″ West, over 12,000 feet underwater.  1,514 men, women and children perished, only 710 survived.  May they all rest in peace.  The last Titanic survivor died in 2009.  Not the worst maritime disaster in history, but the one seared into the conscience of the English speaking world.

Most of us, however, associate April 15th with the annual deadline for filing your U.S. and Michigan personal income taxes. Just how much money is extracted in personal income taxes on this fateful day?

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