Republicans

Calley’s Next Big Announcement!

What will the next over-hyped roll out of critical information be???

So Brian Calley has not yet come out and said if he was running for Governor ..US Senate ..Muffin man.

He used the build up, the excitement, the hype! ..To announce a legislative effort.  The May 30 announcement at the Detroit Crony Club’s Mackinac Leadership conference brought us news that The conservative boy wonder wants to spearhead efforts for a part time legislature.

Mackinac Island — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is spearheading a petition drive and potential 2018 ballot proposal to make the Michigan legislature part-time and cut legislator pay, the Portland Republican announced Tuesday.”

Ballot proposal hmm?

While the idea of a part time legislature is a great idea, it is not entirely original, it does not set him apart from ‘the pack’ as Schuette beat him to the punch, and the timing is hilarious.  Political opportunism on the back of good policy is a part of Calley’s past.  He used RTW promises to get a hand picked supreme court nominee (who lost) and now after a decade of service in Lansing, and NOW it’s apparently time to ‘pull the trigger’ on this ‘necessary‘ reform.

Classic.

The announcement however, left open the speculation of whether Calley would be pursuing higher office.  His website hints at yet another big news event, telling us to come back June 1st.  Obviously, Calley has a string of announcements planned all the way to the GOP leadership conference.  Keeping us in suspense will keep us engaged with (presumably) his next campaign bid!

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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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Setting the wrong priorities.

 

Some of the groups that I used to participate in when I had a little more free time, also involved some light maintenance and grounds keeping work. Those groups had an American Flag onsite and I would usually get chastised by other members (along with some neighbors) whenever I neglected to lower the flag to half-staff.

To Lansing’s credit, they eventually implemented a system in which they would notify anyone when the word came out to, which made this job a lot easier.

I’m no longer responsible for those duties, but still receive the messages and will pass the word along to those who are.

If anyone has been responsible for this, this has been, IMHO, overused over the past several years.

From my reading about it, it has gone from originally recognizing the passing former Presidents and major tragedies in our history (i.e. Pearl Harbor & 9/11) to literally anyone who catches the eye of the Governor while scanning the morning paper.

The last I’ve heard, there was talk of creating some specific criteria on when to order flags to half staff to honor significant events, but nothing has come of it yet.

Now here is where our story continues…

{More after the fold}

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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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Congress Abandons Responsibility with Trumpcare 2.0

Rep. Tom MacArthur (AP)

Earlier this month, Rep. Tom MacArthur presented an amendment to the American Health Care Act to secure broad Republican support. And this week, Rep. Mark Meadows declared the Freedom Caucus’ support. But conservatives in the party should not be fooled: MacArthur’s replacement plan, “Trumpcare 2.0,” is a Trojan Horse. It comes as a gift, filled with options for states to opt out of some Obamacare rules. But it leaves the Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — comfortably in place while Congress gets to grandstand.

While MacArthur’s plan may seem to have some constructive changes at first glance, the proposed measures would keep the worst parts of the ACA. One of the key provisions would shift the responsibility for decisions on healthcare standards to the state level. That means states could choose to opt out of the rules on “essential benefits” and “community ratings” by getting a federal waiver.

But there’s a catch. The default for states will be the same as it is now—keeping the ACA’s federal standards. Nobody wants to be the bad guy and take away popular rules. But Congress made this mess, so they need to clean it up. Representatives like Rep. Amash fought the last version of Trumpcare, and they can do it again.

The proposed provisions include a waiver program that lets states opt out of “essential benefits” — the ACA’s federally-mandated services healthcare providers must offer. That includes a laundry list of items individuals have to pay for, like maternity care and substance abuse care — even if they’ll never use either service.

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New Michigan Commemorative License Plates

Buy TWO and put one on the front to show that you like higher taxes!

The newest fundraising license plates being issued by the Secretary of State are out!

Celebrating the most recent progressive era of Republicanism in Lansing, the official Budget Year Commemorative Series is now waiting to adorn your vehicle.  From the more modest budget of $48 Billion to the latest greatest manifestation of politics unhinged, you too can let folks know how you love those high gas taxes, expansion of Obamacare in Michigan, and a full blown explosion of cronyism!

Each plate series carries the Snyder-Calley forward budget for each service year, along with the total taxpayer dollars spent to provide such things as school bailouts, constituent payola, medical welfare, and so-much-more!  The special plate fee is peanuts compared to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims premiums, the registration price hike, or the continued overcharging for income taxes!

Be sure to order extras for the kids!  (cause they’ll be paying for it long after you are gone)  For each plate sold, the Secretary of State will contribute $50 to the ‘Sanctuary State Fund,’  or a secret slush fund for the next couple of Senate leaders.

Exclusive License Plate series with budgetary increases shown below the fold.

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