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By JGillman, Section News
Just kicking back and appreciating the theft unanimously approved early this year in the state senate, and nearly as much in the state house.
Once upon a time, the insurer of last resort (yeah Michiganians have had a cant-deny-preexisting insurer for several decades already)was owned by you and I. (since 1939) As recently as a few years ago, it even carried a balance sheet of about $6,000,000,000.00 including over $3,000,000,000.00 cash reserves. The BCBS board tried to use those reserves in for-profit ventures, (a great way to pass off cash to private partners) and were stopped by then attorney general Mike Cox. In 2008, Cox kept BCBS of MI in check.
But things are different now. This time no one stepped in to stop the transference of a GREAT BIG PILE OF MONEY away from Michigan citizens. And the great big Obamacare boondoggle helped them do it. Now that they aren't owned by you and I, its time to make some real cash!
"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan shows a projected savings of tens of millions of dollars next year by terminating 25 individual health plans that were noncompliant with the Affordable Care Act.Note that a loss means a growth in cash reserves over the same period.
Enjoy the song.
By JGillman, Section News
How does one make money off of a "self funded" campaign for congress?
He pads the expenses with his own services.
The ivory tower reports Foreclosure Don David Trott has heavily invested in his own campaign to become a US congressman.
"An Oakland County lawyer has raised nearly $650,000 in a month on the campaign trail -- including more than $200,000 from himself -- far outdistancing the Republican congressman he hopes to unseat."The tactic to show strong funding early on is designed to convince other potential supporters of the seriousness, and personal input as a dedication to the campaign.
However, Trott isn't really leaving himself as exposed as those whom he has made his living off of for so many years. Risk is for losers, right? Get a few Daddy war-BUCKS from Cronyist liberal Illitch family, some Devos dollars, and bill yourself heavily so that an amended filing pays you for your time. The story continues:
".. Trott contributed more than $105,000 in in-kind services -- including research, consulting and legal fees -- as well as putting $102,600 of his own money into the campaign, according to FEC records.Holy cow! If that is what he bills himself, what will he possibly cost taxpayers!
It seems that the "more than $105,000" number can be considered a debt of the campaign with a little modification of the paperwork. Add that to his personal $102,600 cash infusion, and he could make a little ka-ching for his troubles as long as there are others filling the coffers.
Gotta love financial shenanigans.
(13 comments) Comments >>
Actually, I don't know a lot about this guy David Trott.
He's announced he will be challenging Kerry Bentivolio in the CD11 Republican primary. He apparently believes he can serve the district and the country better than the current incumbent, and I'm OK with a challenge on who can be the better conservative. I've said it before, I LIKE primaries.
"Crazy thought for a staunch conservative, right? Perhaps. But not if one has had the philosophical disagreements still within the framework of that conservatism. Not if those disagreements extend into Republican governance. Not if any particular conservative part of the constituency still feels his or her best representation is not being made."I say "bring it on!"
But Dave? Make sure you really have a reason, please.
If you feel its just your turn Mr Trott? Stay home. If you feel that several hundred thousand dollars in Michigan political campaigns over the last several years has earned you the seat, I disagree. If you think however, that Kerry Bentivolio's record of defending the constitution is lacking, and you can make a case for it, do it here.
(1 comment) Comments >>
The futile exercise of responsible governance in today's America requires no further example than Detroit.
Detroit, the once beautiful jewel of Michigan, tortured with decades of progressivism, Cronyism, and corruption, just cannot stop failing. Somehow, in the midst of a bankruptcy, preceded by the spending of 15 or so billion dollars as yet unearned, and the jail sentences of ONLY a few of the officials responsible, the city still must do stupid things, like build water play fountains it cannot afford.
Or make work. From Fox2:
"They served up free ice cold bottled water and delicious grilled hot dogs. The T-shirts looked good reading "Palmer Park Splash Park" and the ribbon cutting went well. Just one little glitch at the new park, there was no water! A water main break dried up the splash park for its grand opening!So maybe, just maybe, the money spent on the splash park could have been spent towards that 100 year old water system first?
Continued below the fold.
(6 comments, 370 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
For about 5 years the Pavlovian expectation of a cigarette followed every meal.
In about 11 months, I celebrate my 20th anniversary of being tobacco free. In the first 5 years of that, it was a fight to stay off the nicotine, and the body and mind played tricks to try and get me puffing again. Stress, the after dinner reach for a pack, drive time, all of those things I thought of as pleasurable for so long, reached up from the depths often, in order to regain its hold over me. Its hold from a time when I was its slave, and it was my benevolent master.
As long as I fed it, the habit made me relax for a time, and I was allowed to live in my skin.
Some folks have compared tobacco addiction to that of heroin, or other narcotics. Others, to its oft used partner, alcohol. Though I have never experienced the withdrawal effects of those, I believe I understand them as a result of having had been a smoker for well over a decade. The 'habit' was more than that. It was an unchangeable lifestyle; a daily thing that demanded my attention, or the consequences would be hellish.
There is a drug that is worse however.
And it won't be your body or mind reminding you how bad its going to be without it. It will be active little monsters who also get a high from it, and want you hooked for as long as it takes for THEM to live THEIR lives.
(12 comments, 793 words in story) Full Story
King's privilege right?
ALG President Bill Wilson today sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee today questioning Michigan CD6 Fred Upton's use of taxpayer paid franked mail to tout his political rating by the NRA to his constituents. The letter suggests Upton could well afford to campaign on his own dime without the use of taxpayer dollars:
"To be clear, if Mr. Upton had chosen to write about specific legislation mentioning key organizations who supported or opposed it as part of his rationale to his constituents as to why he voted a certain way, that would be inside the lines. However, putting out what can only be called a "campaign" piece using taxpayer funds is repugnant.Sense of entitlement, indeed.
Once bitten by the entitlement bug, its hard to shake I suppose. Stamps for Christmas cards, or pictures of hunting folk carrying guns to posture for support. All paid for with the sweat from taxpayer brows. Upton for his part, has defended his actions already, claiming the money he DIDN'T spend shows he is a fiscal hawk."
"Again this year, I will be returning money to the treasury that I could spend," Upton said."Oh.
Then there is nothing to see here. Move along.
Sometimes overpaid, overly powerful, over egoed individuals can cartoon themselves in a single line. Mary Sue Coleman's comment during a discussion on consolidation just struck me as humorous. from the Ivory Tower:
"We are market driven," Coleman said. "If we are offering a degree that nobody wants, we drop it."Uhh yeah, but Mary sue? If you eliminate ALL "Non Market" elements from the program, could you still say that?
Right. I thought so. But the chuckles don't stop there. WSU president Allan Gilmour says there's not much "clamor" for consolidation.
"The alternative (to autonomous universities) is a czar, a commission in Lansing," he said, adding he didn't think any of the business leaders in the audience would want politicians running their companies.
Oh heavens no. Not politicians. In fact I agree.
But Mr Gilmour? They pay to play. WE pay to play. So maybe you ought to swear off public assistance entirely and for the benefit of M.S. Coleman and yourself become TRULY autonomous, so that you can attain TRUE market status.
Ask your economics departments how that will work for you.
And carry a laugh prompt card for use as necessary.
(5 comments) Comments >>
Its coercive socialism on some form of stimulant.
Over the next few weeks we'll look at the different things big labor wants to protect for its use, and those laws and protections it wants to overturn to make Michigan more vulnerable to the whims of a few elite thugs running today's organized labor in this once great state. Sadly some really good people who are skilled in their trades and those in education get caught up in the back and forth, and frankly I cannot blame them for being a little concerned where they will be when the dust settles.
I can tell you there are many who ought not be in those fields however. And those are the ones who are concerned about the push for RTW, or Right-To-Work legislation by tea party types, constitutionalists, and right minded thinkers all over.
The weak among the organized masses are afraid. The organizers know it, and are ready with their own editorial template to counter common sense and promote further, the tenets of mediocrity.
As seen below the line
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External FeedsMetro/State News RSS from The Detroit News
+ Craig: Cushingberry tried twice to elude police, was given preferential treatment
+ Detroit police arrest man suspected of burning women with blowtorch
+ Fouts rips video as 'scurrilous,' defends Chicago trip with secretary
+ Wind, winter weather hammer state from Mackinac Bridge to southeast Mich.
+ Detroit Cass Tech QB Campbell expected to be released from custody Friday
+ New water rates range from -16% to +14%; see change by community
+ Detroit's bankruptcy gets controversial turn in new Honda ad
+ Royal Oak Twp., Highland Park in financial emergency, review panels find
+ Grosse Ile Twp. leads list of Michigan's 10 safest cities
+ Wayne Co. sex crimes backlog grows after funding feud idles Internet Crime Unit
+ Judge upholds 41-60 year sentence of man guilty in Detroit firefighter's death
+ Detroit man robbed, shot in alley on west side
+ Fire at Detroit motel forces evacuation of guests
+ Survivors recount Syrian war toll at Bloomfield Hills event
+ Blacks slain in Michigan at 3rd-highest rate in US
Politics RSS from The Detroit News
+ Apologetic Agema admits errors but won't resign
+ Snyder: Reform 'dumb' rules to allow more immigrants to work in Detroit
+ GOP leaders shorten presidential nominating season
+ Dems: Another 12,600 Michiganians lose extended jobless benefits
+ Mike Huckabee's comments on birth control gift for Dems
+ Granholm to co-chair pro-Clinton PAC for president
+ Republican panel approves tougher penalties for unauthorized early primary states
+ Michigan seeks visas to lure immigrants to Detroit
+ Peters raises $1M-plus for third straight quarter in Senate bid
+ Bill would let lawyers opt out of Michigan state bar
+ Michigan lawmakers launch more bills against sex trade
+ Balanced budget amendment initiative gets a jumpstart
+ Feds subpoena Christie's campaign, GOP
+ Poll: At Obama's 5-year point, few see a turnaround
+ Obama to release 2015 budget March 4
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