Cronyism

Did we just dodge another huge bullet here?

While I don’t agree with Oakland County Exec. L. Brooks Patterson on some things (okay…most things), kind of like a stopped clock, he finally got something right for a change.

According to The Detroit News, during his annual address to Oakland County last night, County Exec. Patterson came out whole-heartedly and unequivocally against the RTA Tax v 2.0.

 

Why should ANYONE be made to pay for something that they will not use?

No, the ballot proposal hasn’t officially been announced for the ‘18 General yet. My snitches tell me that they are still working out on how to best polish this heaping, steaming pile of bull droppings, without much success.

Good luck on that.

Citing the lack of hard facts from what those pulling the levers behind the scenes will actually do with the monies collected, much like one of the laundry-list of problems with the last proposal, County Exec. Patterson said this,

“… I can’t do it. I won’t do it,” he said to a standing ovation. “And I will never, ever betray the public trust I respect and represent.”

I should stress that County Exec. Patterson received a standing ovation from those in attendance during that particular portion of his speech.

This isn’t something that you get when, according to RTA tax supporters, people overwhelming support your plan.

Pay us so that we can placate the mass transit snowflakes by driving around town empty.

This should (hopefully, anyway), have some affect here in Macomb, where Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is also having some serious difficulty signing off on this.

And did I mention that the roads here in Southeastern Michigan look like the 107th used them for light target practice?

Fixing them takes money, too.

I’m not going to add anything more at this time due to the fact that my considerable folder on these con-artists just got a little bit bigger, and I’d like to keep my powder dry…just in case.

I will be adding more when this story unfolds.

Stay tuned.

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)

What Is Going On Here?

Governor Snyder is attempting to resuscitate his reputation by benevolently raising your taxes.

Our ace Governor is not going quietly into the night as his governorship slides into the twilight zone. He launched two tax proposals last week which he touted as environmental initiatives. Neither raises enough funds to even remotely achieve his stated environmental objectives, unless the taxes he proposed skyrocket in the future. Both proposals are actually designed to expand our hopelessly inept (and periodically corrupt) bureaucracy. The environmental angle is just eyewash to sell higher taxes to the gullible. And those tax rates he proposes will skyrocket – bet on it.

First up is an increase in the current landfill tipping tax from $ 0.36 per ton to $ 4.75 per ton. Snyder claims this tax increase will raise $ 79 million for recycling programs. It won’t. The incremental revenue will be something less than $ 70.7 million, because 769,000 tons of solid waste from other states with lower tipping taxes will no longer be land filled in Michigan (pdf). Michigan landfills will suffer a 4.5% volume drop, which will be consequential. They will either curtail operations (read: lay off workers), cut workers’ wages or raises, and/or adjust tipping fees. Local units of government, which also collect revenue from their landfills, will suffer revenue losses as well. Environmentalists will applaud, but the trash is just being diverted to different land fills. There is no environmental benefit to playing musical chairs with garbage.

Governor Snyder implies in his press release that his proposed tipping tax increase will diminish Michigan’s solid waste imports from his Canadian buddies; the ones who are building his bridge. It won’t. Ontario landfill tipping fees start at $ 75 CAD per metric ton ($ 55 USD per short ton). Comparable Michigan landfill tipping fees are in the low $ 30 USD range. Snyder would have to raise the Michigan tipping tax by $ 25 USD, not the $ 4.39 he proposes, to materially reduce Canadian solid waste exports to Michigan. Keep in mind that the Canadians will ignore their transportation costs; they need to feed tolls to that fancy new bridge as cross border truck traffic otherwise declines.  Our Canadian neighbors didn’t pay for the Gordie Howe Bridge out of the goodness of their hearts.  It was cheaper politically than opening land fills.

A tipping tax which would actually impact Canadian trash exports would wipe out Michigan land fills and their workers. And all of our solid waste would be exported to other states, making Michigan many new friends across the Midwest. Yet tipping tax proponents will imply that the tipping tax increase will curtail Canadian trash exports to Michigan.

It won’t.

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

Meet the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.”

Meet the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

…featuring, Gretchen Whitmer, Shri Thanedar, Abdul El-Sayed…

What?!?

We’re you expecting the likes of Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris or Chevy Chase.

Okay, I’ll give you that second lot wouldn’t been much more funnier.

Even though that quaint concept of “Rule of Law” comes into play here (with that whole proposing legislation and eventually signing it into law thing), it’s not as if that first group can’t provide us with some laughs as well.

{The hilarity ensues after the fold}

You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(0)

The Wages of Sin

Pucker Up Michigan Taxpayers, Larry Nassar Will Cost You More Than $ 180 Million

Some 144 155 victims of MSU Sports Medicine doctor Lawrence Gerard Nassar are making victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing in the Ingham County Circuit Court. From the tenor of their coverage, our depraved media are – for once – siding with the victims of crime rather than the criminals. Kiddie diddling is probably the last moral taboo acknowledged across our entire society.

What our media has not mentioned is the cost of Dr. Nassar’s crimes and who is going to pay for them. MSU is now facing over 140 civil lawsuits, along with the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and Dr. Nassar. Just one such suit has been settled, by USA Gymnastics, reportedly for upwards of $ 1.25 million. Its particulars are concealed from the public by a Non Disclosure Agreement, a legal device made famous by Harvey Weinstein’s defense lawyers. The plaintiff in the settled suit, McKayla Maroney, still has a lawsuit pending against the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and Dr. Nassar. Dr. Nassar is the only defendant who will not pay much. His few remaining assets after paying off his lawyers will almost certainly be shielded when his wife divorces him.

MSU has set aside $ 10 million to counsel women and girls who say Larry Nassar abused them. This ‘Healing Assistance Fund’ will be available to “MSU health clinic patients and student-athletes whom Nassar abused, as well as the parents of these victims” according to MSU. The sanctimonious leftists who run MSU have the utter gall to still be billing some of Dr. Nassar’s victims for their ‘treatment’, but that is not what this fund is for.  This fund is actually intended as a legal settlement fund

This fund is ridiculously inadequate. MSU management must think that USOC and USAG will bear the brunt of the Nassar settlements, or their hot shot lawyer Patrick Fitzgerald’s sovereign immunity defense will work.  MSU has not one, but two, high dollar white shoe law firms lined up to attack Dr. Nassar’s victims.  They won’t succeed. Dr. Nassar was an MSU employee. USOC and USAG made referrals to Dr. Nassar, but MSU was his employer and should have been providing proper supervision.  They didn’t.

Each of those lawsuits against MSU will settle out for $ 1 million or more. McKayla Maroney’s first settlement sets the standard. And the antics of MSU’s Board members should provide the plaintiffs with healthy increments in their final settlements.  Those white shoe lawyers need to have a talk with their idiot clients.

Who is going to pay?

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(1)

Mo Money

Eight years of tax increases.

Michigan taxpayers shelled out an extra $32.6 billion in state taxes over the last eight years.

Money collected in state tax revenue per Cap Con and their associated graphic:

The eight year total increase in taxes amounts to an aggregate of roughly $3,400 for every legal man, woman and child in the state of Michigan.

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(0)

Opportunity

Coming soon - Some great lemonade?

Call me the eternal optimist.

Folks need to look at recent events with a little different perspective.  At least the folks who hold ALL the power right now.  There are good outcomes that are possible if the GOP collectively gets its head straight.

Our federal spending is bloated, and perpetually deficit ridden.  Federal government shutdowns provide an insight into what is truly important to the general population, and leadership.  It can also be used as a character test of those who claim certain positions (ie: being against Obamacare, cutting welfare, illegal immigration cost) during voting events.

There is nothing that holds the GOP held Senate to the 60 vote limitation used to provide cover for the shut down.  Democrats, if ever they hold power again, would sidestep the rule so fast it would make the obamacare passage mechanics look amateurish to accomplish their stated goals of totalitarian socialism.

Military, ports, courts, borders, and federal highway systems are primary needs.  State welfare subsidies,housing, education, federal property ownership, environmental interference, business manipulation (cronyism), and personal medical insurance practices are not.

Start with the federal defunding of California, and make Michigan a close next.

If GOP ideas are good, put them in place and let the results speak for themselves.  If some legislators express an inordinate amount of fear about blowback, then we know where our weak sisters are, and they can be replaced ..now.

The #SchumerShutdown is the time to move forward and demonstrate the inadequacy of the Democrat philosophy to provide a constitutionally based operating plan that offers maximum state and individual benefit in the longer term.

It is an opportunity that ought not be missed.

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

Rewarding stupidity.

Come and meet the news boss…same as the old boss.

OPM.

Isn’t it grand to not be responsible for money.

Large sums of money, even.

Money that you would’ve thought SOMEONE would’ve learned their lesson after having their fat pulled out of the fire multiple times in the past.

Same characters played by different actors.

{This week’s stupidity players are revealed below the fold}

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(1)

House Speaker Tom Leonard Can Kill Senate Bill 97 If His Funders Let Him

All of us who have been following the saga of Senate Bill 97 (SB97) are beyond disgusted. It’s one of the most egregious legislative power-grabs in recent memory. According to MichiganVotes.org, the measure if passed would give “state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements for building hospital and transportation businesses” and would allow private operators to “benefit from tax exemptions and its governmental partner’s power to impose property taxes, borrow, take private property using eminent domain and more.” This is as anti-free market as it gets.

The bill predictably sailed through the Senate without much debate and discussion. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, known for his lack of spine and principle, fast tracked it last year. The Senate committeemembers who approved SB97 were all bought off by the hospital and transportation industries that will make a killing off the legislation, and all but four Senators voted to approve it during the full Senate vote. Sens. Colbeck, Hune, Emmons and Shirkey were the only hold-outs.

The House committee that approved SB97 was similarly bought off by the monied interests that will benefit from the bill. This is how the Lansing swamp operates. Right now, the fate of SB97 is in the hands of House GOP leadership. House Speaker Tom Leonard has the reputation of being a staunch conservative. He is running for Attorney General right now off of his conservative bona fides.

To his credit, Leonard is no Arlan Meekhof. He seems far more fair-minded than his predecessors, but who is funding Leonard and the rest of the House GOP leadership?

You Betcha! (10)Nuh Uh.(1)

Now, how do you suppose HIS name got there???

Politics and corruption are practically synonymous here in Southeastern Michigan.

Recent names (for most readers here, anyways) include such notables like Coleman Young (the first), Kwame Kilpatrick, The (almost) entire Conyers Family, etc.

Excluding VERY rare circumstances, they have been allowed to go pretty much unchecked by state and local officials since there apparently is some “unwritten” rule prohibiting county prosecutors and Attorneys General from investigating fellow politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

No, I don’t get it either.

Fortunately, this hasn’t stopped the Feds though from doing the job that local and state officials have been reticent to do.

I’ve honestly lost track of the number of investigations on Coleman Young (the first). Kwame Kilpatrick will be a guest of the Texas Penal system for at least two-and-a-half decades (obviously pending the outcome of another appeal attempt). Monica Conyers got to relax for several months after spending some quality time in Camp Cupcake. John Conyers got caught literally with his pants down around his ankles.

And then there is this guy???

Now, who is it you may ask?

{Continued below the fold}

You Betcha! (10)Nuh Uh.(1)