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    Tag: Washington

    Getting Health Care Policy Right

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:07:31 AM EST
    Tags: Greg MacMaster, Michigan, ACA, Health Care, Expansion, Welfare, Higher Taxes, Snyder, Cowardly Republicans, Obama, Tyranny, Washington, Lansing, IRS (all tags)

    State Representative Greg MacMaster (R-105) has provided a little insight to the past year's health care debate, and his participation in the process.

    "Bait and switch," a term he uses to describe the promises and ultimate product, is no stranger to any government program designed to help so many.  He writes:

    "In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the United States leads the world in health care research and disease treatment.

    For the 85% of Americans that have health insurance, the access they have to cutting edge, life saving technologies is among the very best in the world.

    But not every American has insurance, with upwards of 49 million being uninsured, according to the 2010 Census.

    The question for policy makers in Lansing and in Washington should be what to do to help the 15% gain access to the quality care that the rest of us have.

    Unfortunately, Washington and Lansing's answer has been to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    In 2010, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the widely unpopular and flawed Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Among the provisions of this act is enticing Michigan to put an additional 300,000 citizens on Medicaid with the promise that the federal government would pay for taxpayers' additional costs.

    When the expansion was first voted on in the House, I supported it. This wasn't really Obamacare, we were told. This was Michigan getting its fair share back from Washington.

    It initially seemed like a good deal for Michigan taxpayers, who receive back only $0.80 for every tax dollar they send to Washington.

    But there was more to the bill.

    Continued below the fold

    (5 comments, 734 words in story) Full Story

    The District Method - History and Explanation

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:20:27 PM EST
    Tags: 2012 Presidential Election (by congressional district), Electoral College, 3 USC 1 & 7, quadrennial presidential elections, states vs. people balance, small states vs. large states balance, popular support vs. distributed support, U. S. Constitution Article 2 1 clauses 2 thru 4, U. S. Constitution Amendment XII, original intention, Congressional District Method, Maine, Nebraska, Pennsylvania (pending), Ohio (pending), Virginia (pending), Wisconsin (pending), Michigan (pending), Florida (pending), potentially North Carolina and Nevada, National Popular Vote is constitutionally irrelevant, Maryland (wants out), New Jersey (wants out), Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Vermont, California, New York (not interested), Pennsylvania (not interested), Guarantee Clause, U. S. Constitution Article 4 4 clause 1, Massachusetts Variant, Maine Variant, New York Variant, Virginia Variant, Electoral District Method, Tennessee Variant (all tags)

    You may have heard of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an initiative being advanced by a Soros-funded group that intends to bypass the Constitution and obviate the Electoral College, handing the quadrennial presidential elections to whomever wins the plurality of the nationwide popular vote.  This article isn't the place to go into the details of the initiative (the link provides a usable starting point for further research), but suffice it that triggering the compact will realize something that has been a strategic objective of the progressives for quite some time.

    However, America is not a democracy; rather, the United States are a republic.  And that distinction isn't one of mere semantics.  In a republic, the voice of the people is more indirect the more non-local the matter is.  When it comes to elections, I can think of none more non-local than the presidential election.  Among the checks and balances the Founding Fathers included in the Constitution was the balance of the voice of the people with the voice of the states, thus the use of the Electoral College to elect the president every four years.

    (8 comments, 1832 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    The NPVIC Will Rear It's Head . . . Again

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:53:30 PM EST
    Tags: Electoral College, 3 USC 1 & 7, quadrennial presidential elections, states vs. people balance, small states vs. large states balance, popular support vs. distributed support, U. S. Constitution Article 2 1 clauses 2 thru 4, U. S. Constitution Amendment XII, original intention, Massachusetts Method, Maine, Nebraska, Pennsylvania (pending), Ohio (pending), Virginia (pending), Wisconsin (pending), Michigan (pending), Florida (pending), potentially North Carolina, National Popular Vote is constitutionally irrelevant, Maryland (wants out), New Jersey (wants out), Illinois, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Vermont, California, New York (not interested), Pennsylvania (not interested) (all tags)

    Today, for those paying attention, was a very important day in the timeline of the 2012 Presidential Election.  Today, on the first Monday following the second Wednesday of December, at such place and time as determined by the local legislature, the duly appointed and elected Presidential Electors met in their respective jurisdictions and cast their votes for President and Vice President of the United States - at least one of whom must not reside in the same jurisdiction as they do.  Though the 51 jurisdictions do not appear to have reported yet, 27 of them are expected to cast their votes one way, and 24 of them are expected to cast their votes the other way.

    And yet, for the past 41 days, perhaps because even as recently as the day before Election Day eleven states (at a total of 146 electoral votes) were considered to be in the "tossup" column, there has been considerable behind-the-scenes debate about a potential "reform" to the way that some states apportion their electoral votes, a reform that, had it been in place during this election, may have significantly impacted the outcome.  Actually, instead of "reform" I should be referring to this as a "back to the basics" approach to the Electoral College.

    (1949 words in story) Full Story

    Busses Have Consequences

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    Tags: Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, scorched earth tactics, Barry Goldwater, Pat Buchanan, Reagan's Eleventh Commandment (all tags)

    I remember well a certain story told about Chuck Yob and the 1992 Republican National Convention.  During the 1992 Republican Presidential Primary Campaign, Pat Buchanan had finished better than expected in state primaries (frequently a strong second), even though President Bush, sr., had won every single statewide contest.  Nevertheless, Buchanan's campaign wanted to use their "victories" as a reason to exert some influence over the national platform, obtain some delegate seats, and receive a few favorable speaking slots.

    That year, Yob was the chairman of the credentials committee, and during one of their meetings was invited into a side room into a conference with Rich Bond (then the RNC Chairman) and President Bush.  Bay Buchanan, Pat Buchanan's sister and campaign manager, was expected to be making an appearance at the meeting, and the president had some instructions for what he thought needed to be done.

    What Bush wanted Yob to do was to let Buchanan lay out her entire case, put all her cards on the table.  After that, he was to spend the next 5 hours picking apart all of her arguments, and keep her in that room arguing her case for the rest of the afternoon.  And then, at 4 o'clock, he was to give up and let Buchanan have whatever she was still asking for.  She'd take the story back to her people that they'd fought all day with the establishment, and at least got them to give ground on what really mattered.  The story that would go back to the Bush supporters that they'd negotiated all day with the challenger's team, and finally given them their way on some positions that really didn't matter . . . for the good of the party.

    I think that there is a lesson taught here that really should have been applied to the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Campaign . . . and the 2012 Republican National Convention (especially when viewed in light of the 1964 campaign).

    (66 comments, 1582 words in story) Full Story

    The WRONG Business

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:15:10 PM EST
    Tags: Auotmobiles, Cars, Perambulators, Government Motors, Stabenow, Heat Miser, Michigan, Rebate, Payoff, Jobs, and more Jobs, $7500, Suckers, Washington, Electric, Pedestrians, Green, Carbon Footie, Clunkers (all tags)

    Folks, I have to tell you, we are in the wrong business.  To heck with any kind of advancements in technology, going backward is where it's at.

    In the as yet unfinished fight to produce vehicles that are 'green' and have little carbon footprint, our automakers have been encouraged by the administration to produce a slew of not-ready-for-prime-time electric cars that not only cost too much, but go about 40 miles tops, with engines that might be better suited towards kitchen blenders or hand held power tools.  Michigan automakers have really gone to he!! in a hand basket.

    I hold nothing against the volt, really.  It serves the purpose of salving eco guilt for some, and might even have a future, but the failed efforts of the government to convince enough buyers through rebates and credits of $7,000.00 are a perfect example of why we do not let government types choose which products are best for us.  The credits failed so miserably, that makers of the Chevy Volt are worried about the expiration of those credits after today.

    I would be too.  But..

    (7 comments, 602 words in story) Full Story

    Obama's Volt 281... 2011 Dodge Charger 3,263

    By steve, Section News
    Posted on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 07:54:47 PM EST
    Tags: Green, Washington, The Big Three (all tags)

    "GM sells just 281 Chevy Volts in February, Nissan only moves 67 Leafs."

    Peruse Chevrolet's February sales release, and you'll notice one number that's blatantly missing: how many Chevy Volts were sold. The number - a very modest 281 - is available in the company's detailed data (PDF), but it apparently isn't something that GM wants to highlight. Keeping the number quiet is understandable, since it's lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January.

    The Autoblog-Green writer continues the article by desperately asking "why" the Volt and Leaf are selling so poorly. The answer is really simple. Everyone who wants a Volt (and can afford a Volt) has a Volt.

    Obama, in his green zeal (and complete lack of understanding of business, economics and history) has seriously overestimated the demand for EV's.

    Please click over to MCT for links and pictures (Right Michigan doesn't like the newer HTML formatting)

    (13 comments) Comments >>

    Just when you thought it was safe to spend

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:14:54 PM EST
    Tags: Washington, Michigan, Schools, Tobacco Settlement, Money, Granholm (all tags)

    the Taxpayer's money...

    Remember all of those wonderful scholarships that once upon a time had funding through 'promises' and 'pledges' and earmarked tobacco cash?  

    Oh My.. THOSE were the days.

    $300 Million dollars a year dedicated to whatever the state wanted to do.  Completely fungible money, paid for by the health issues that state's attorneys argued cost the taxpayer in the first place.  $300 Million to pay for Johnnie and Suzie's college tuition once, and later, maybe 4100 million for a state police post that was not needed.  Gosh happy days, and dollar signs in the eyes of anyone who thought they could tap into the 'free money' promised by the settlement with big tobacco about 12 years ago.  Money so stable, that even spending it ahead of time was not out of the question.

    Umm  Folks?  Put the credit card down for a minute.  We seem to have hit a snag. It seems the agreement by attorney's general of several states, (GUESS WHO OUR AG AT THE TIME WAS? - Haha fooled you .. it wasnt YET the drooling over those funds JG to the right.) and some tobacco concerns represents an illegal compact between states, which is seen as unconstitutional.

    The background: The case was brought by the Competitive Enterprise Institute on behalf of a tobacco company, S&M Brands, a tobacco retailer and a cigarette consumer. The group sued the Louisiana Attorney General in 2005, claiming, among other things, that the Louisiana legislation which effected the terms of the 1998 settlement represented an illegal "compact" among states.

    Though this challenge is presented as 'unlikely' to succeed, the CEI is right.  The rule of law is on their side, which provides a troubling aspect of cure.

    How is this made right? How are damaged parties repaired?  What.. Is Michigan's liability after 12 years and $3.6Billion dollars worth of spending later?

    (1 comment) Comments >>

    Commission needed

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 07:29:10 AM EST
    Tags: Washington, Michigan, Schools, Tobacco Settlement, Money, DPS, Detroit, Bobb (all tags)

    You know, one like they have in Washington DC because the 160,000 congressional staffers cannot handle their bosses so well.  A couple of old school legislators who might have personally laid the groundwork for the ongoing failures we are seeing..  Except in THIS case, maybe its the legislators and school administrators not handling the school unions.. or SOMETHING so well.

    Detroit schools apparently have some gaping holes to fill, and they would like to do it with money that the state doesn't have yet. So to make ALL schools feel like they have failed as badly as the best laid liberal plans in Detroit, they have proposed using $400,000,000.00 in [future] tobacco settlement money to plug a couple hundred million of that leak. From the Detroit news:

    Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit, sponsored the legislation in response to a request by Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager of the Detroit Public Schools.

    In an interview Monday with The Detroit News Editorial Board, Bobb said the district was asking for money from the state's settlement with tobacco companies to alleviate DPS' $327 million deficit. In return for the aid, DPS and other districts would implement reforms based on the federal Race to the Top initiative.

    b-but.. Wouldn't that be 'borrowing'?  And isn't a d-deficit against our constitution?

    (2 comments, 487 words in story) Full Story

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