Michigan Politics

Michigan Political considerations.

The Good, the Bad, & the Unattractive.

Bill Schuette begins the issues ramp up for 2018.

A partial ‘wish’ list by Bill Schuette in a recent editorial is a decent start to his gubernatorial bid.

Schuette, in preparation to take on a half dozen or more GOP contenders is capably using his AG pulpit to advance certain ideals that will probably be embraced by conservatives and GOP activists across Michigan.  Schuette, already enjoying a lead built on 30 or so years of campaigning for governor leaves little to question on 4(3?) key issues.  In today’s editorial on the Detroit News page:

First: Financial disclosure

Michigan is one of only three states that does not require disclosure of personal financial information by elected state officials. This common sense reform would provide new information to help prevent conflicts of interest in government decision-making.

We already require financial transparency from federal officials, so it is not a stretch to include state elected officials, from the governor’s office to the state legislature. I have both sponsored financial disclosure bills as a state legislator and complied with federal disclosure requirements while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is not that difficult.

Personally, I don’t care how much you are worth.

But there are tells in the way your investments are made.  Add to this the cronyist environment that takes taxpayer money and pipes it through political process toward certain ‘investments,’ and a sickening reality becomes clear.

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It’s About Time already

Michigan lawmakers look to plug the big gaping hole in government liability.

1997 was actually a good year for Michigan.

It could have been better however.  It was the year that Governor Engler signed off on pension plan changes for state employees, but not including the school retirement system. For those it did affect, It adjusted the way in which pensions are funded from defined outcomes at high risk for taxpayers, to defined contribution with real ownership to the recipients.

It also saved the state billions in the last 2 decades. 

The change to the Michigan State Employees’ Retirement System saved the state an estimated $2.3 billion to $4.3 billion in unfunded state employee pension liability from 1997 to 2010, according to the report, authored by public pension expert Rick Dreyfuss.

Seven years later we are still benefiting (no pun intended) from this change.

This 20 year anniversary could well produce the finishing touch and allow Michigan to move toward a predictable liability scenario for good.  School employees somehow remained outside of the course correction in 1997.  House Bill 4647 and Senate Bill 0401 being nearly identical, provide the mechanism for the fix to that problem that has been long overdue.

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Fear

There is no better way to control human activity.

The Islamists continue with their version of winning.

For years we have endured the growing personal invasions into our privacy in our communications and our travels.  The latter compounded by the rampant moronity of overpaid security guards with “authoritah” feeling up little old ladies, the handicapped, and little kids to avoid the appearance of racial or ethnic ‘bias.’

Our way of life has changed, and our liberty has been indeed exchanged for a modicum of security.  Ironically, at the same time admitting more of the problem into our communities; the very ideology that has destroyed nations, slaughtered innocents, and subjugated women and men for 1400 years.

Because we are enlightened, and ‘compassionate.’  And now Michigan, somehow appears to recognize it is at risk, missing that particular ‘irony’ even while it embraces the potential for more of the same.

It should come as no surprise that the Mackinac Bridge authority has determined “Nous sommes Français”.

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State of the (19th Century) Art

"And it will benefit dozens of Detroiters..."

As if last year’s defeat of the RTA tax hasn’t discouraged Penske and the rest of the pro RTA tax crowd (not to fear…it’ll be back on the ballot in less than two years), they now find themselves in the sights of the (Not So) Pure Michigan crowd!

Hmmmmm, WHY hasn’t the republican legislature repealed the law authorizing this shakedown yet?

Anyway…just a little something to bring a smile to you this afternoon.

Submitted w/o any further comment

Some of the language isn’t exactly SFW, so turn down your speakers for about a minute.

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Corruption or Incompetence?

Oakland Macomb Sewer Interceptor Costs Now At $ 335 Million And Climbing, Cue The Lawsuits

The City of Sterling Heights announced on their FakeBook page Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against Macomb County over their $ 22.2 million portion of the cost for reconstructing the collapsed Oakland Macomb sewer interceptor (OMI), as apportioned by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District (MIDDD). Sterling Heights believes that the Macomb County Wastewater Disposal District (MCWDD) “did nothing to abate the conditions that likely caused the December [24th] 2016 collapse”. Sterling Heights believes their contract with the MCWDD covers the operation and maintenance of the OMI interceptor.  This may be a little tricky to prove, since the OMI is actually run by the Oakland Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District (OMIDDD), an entity independent of and superior to the MCWDD.

Sterling Heights’ contention is that proper maintenance on the OMI by the MCWDD would have prevented its collapse. Maybe. The OMIDDD has already spent $ 170 million on rehabilitation of the OMI since they bought it in 2009. Supposedly the entire 21 mile length was examined and rehabilitated. That rehabilitation effort ended just months before its December 2016 collapse. That collapse suggests that the OMIDDD rehabilitation didn’t do much good. Anyone care to speculate why? Your choices are corruption or incompetence, or both.

This is now a Michigan wide story because our state government will be providing at least $ 5 million of the $ 75 million repair costs for the December OMI collapse. The much debated $ 3 million legislative grant and another $ 2 million from MDEQ.  That $ 75 million is just the current estimate, for the currently acknowledged deterioration of the OMI. Given the Granholm Administration’s role in suckering Oakland and Macomb counties into the OMI purchase, the State of Michigan probably has a lot more responsibility.

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Addicted.

Is it truly too late for American individualism?

What just happened should scare the hell out of us.

Healthcare has officially become an entitlement.   You have whole communities full of government junkies and melted away personal responsibility. Elected bureaucracy remains the pusher of socialized (welfare) medicine, and you cannot put enough locks on the safe to keep it out.

Preexisting conditions will remain a mandate on insurers. Even with added penalties for lapses in coverage going forward, accepting, and maintaining responsibility for oneself and one’s family has apparently been cemented as a function of government.

The most humble beginnings

It started simple enough decades ago, with the accepted forms of ‘insurance;’ Social security, Medicare, and for the emergency needs of poverty stricken folks, medicaid.  Soon, it was forcing insurance providers to include pregnancy protection for men, and autism support for parents who won’t stay at home with their own children.

Michigan in total, has added 655,635 to it’s medical welfare rolls as of last Monday.  This taxpayer funded boondoggle known as “Healthy Michigan” was enacted under a ‘Republican’ controlled legislature, and signed into law by a ‘Republican’ governor. And it is sufficiently generous.  The thought of taxpayers providing insurance welfare for those who are 33% above poverty thresholds is maddening.

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Score another win for crony capitalism.

When will you little people ever learn! I GET want I want to get. Thanks to the Michigan republicans…

 

And we cannot get broad-based tax relief…why?

Submitted without further comment.

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And THIS is what we get when the republican party controls the House, Senate & White House???

If Pres. Trump fails to veto this, I easily see him a being a one and done president.

Perhaps yesterday’s coverage of the May Day “celebrations” touched something inside of Congressional republicans?

Perhaps the were “channeling their inner Obama™”?

Whatever the reason, sometime over the past few days, Congressional republicans clearly demonstrated some severe cognitive dissonance with the American Voter (to say nothing about the election results from last November).

More below…

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Sunday Sermon April 30, 2017

Hope: Lost and Found

Luke 24:13-35

Years ago, the producers of Sesame Street faced a dilemma. Will Lee, the actor who played Mr. Hooper, passed away, and the producers had to decide how to communicate the concept of death to the 10 million children who watched the show.

Child psychologists suggested they NOT say, “Mr. Hooper got sick and died,” because children get sick and they didn’t want them to think that they would automatically die. They also suggested NOT to say, “Mr. Hooper got old and died,” because little children think of their parents as being old.

The PBS execs wanted them to avoid religious issues and NOT say, “Mr. Hooper died and went to Heaven.”

So the show’s producers decided to say just a few basics: He’s gone, he won’t be back, and he’ll be missed. And they decided to use Big Bird to gently set the matter before the children. The show was aired on Thanksgiving Day so parents could watch it with their children.

Big Bird came out and said he had a picture for Mr. Hooper and he couldn’t wait to see him.

One of the cast said, “Big Bird, remember, we told you that Mr. Hooper died.”

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