Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reagan was right, and so was Rep. Joe Wilson !

As Ronald Reagan famously once said "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ' I'm from the government and I'm here to help' ". Well, President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are pounding on the door and telling us the government is here to help "reform" health care. Ronald Reagan was right, we should all be "terrified".
Now I'm certainly no expert on the health care industry or the insurance industry that enables most of us to afford that care when we need it. And I do agree it's currently too complex and too costly, but anyone who thinks that allowing the government to essentially take over the health care industry is going to increase its efficiency and reduce the cost needs to stop kidding themselves. That is not "reform". Does anyone honestly believe President Obama's claim that we can extend health care insurance to approximately 30 million uninsured people and "reduce" health care costs at the same time? I don't, and I don't think most taxpayers do either.
Ronald Reagan believed in individualism, entrepreneurialism and the power of the American spirit to solve our countries problems and meet its challenges. He also believed in allowing market forces to drive the demand for new products and services, while encouraging competition among private companies to keep down costs to the consumer, making them affordable to more people. He believed that government should play a very minor role in the marketplace and that its main responsibility was to get out of the way of small businesses so they could grow and prosper. He viewed government as more of an impediment to business than a promoter of it.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, believes in the power of government programs and bureaucrats to solve our problems for us, all funded by the U.S. taxpayer of course. Socialism is defined as "a system of ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by the society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of the society or community sharing in the work and the products."
Barack Obama's plan is government run health care or "socialized medicine". There is no way private health insurance will survive in competition with a "public option", and if it is approved, and President Obama will have gotten the "single-payer" health care system he has said he favors.
This is where "we the people" need to step in and tell our elected representatives in Congress how we feel. We need to research, debate and discuss ideas on real reform, and voice our opinions. We should demand that Congress listen to us and our ideas on reform, not just allow the liberal congressional leadership and the President to take-over our health care.
And as one of my blue-collar co-workers at Ford said to me; If Congress is so confident in the quality of care and cost savings of the "public option" coverage they are advocating for the rest of America, why aren't they willing to give up their current coverage and join us?

There is hope, but much work to be done !

Luckily, Detroit is changing. I honestly believe that the "new leadership" that is emerging, led by Mayor Dave Bing and DPS emergency financial manager Robert Bobb,and City Councilmember Gary Brown have an opportunity to change the direction of the once great city. But first this new leadership must challenge some of the established powerbrokers in the city like the entrenched Democrat party and the powerful unions, primarily the UAW, the MEA and AFSCME.

Unfortunately, the only way for leaders to make the changes necessary is to make some very tough choices. This will require sacrifice by the remaining taxpayers living in Detroit. One way that I've heard suggested to reduce the spending to match the reduced revenue, is to dramatically "shrink" the area that requires city services.This could be done by demolishing abandoned buildings and clearing vacant property within the city to create a "green-belt" running through the city with a bike path and connected urban parks.I heard several intriguing ideas like this recently when I participated in a forum hosted by an organization called "The Center for Michigan" and co-sponsored locally by the Macomb Daily and Macomb Community College. The objective was to brainstorm and come up with a new vision for the state and a "new public agenda".

One theme that also came up repeatedly was to reduce the influence and control that the unions have in the state, so that Michigan's businesses are able to compete nationally and globally. Everyone agrees that in order for our economy to recover, we need to attract businesses and jobs to the state. But with the unions supporting Democrats, and Democrats supporting unions, we are caught in a "death spiral".

We need to completely change our attitudes about how we attract businesses and bring those much needed jobs and the tax revenue they will provide, to Michigan. Taxpayers have made a start in Detroit by running the criminal former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick out of town, but they need to follow the lead of reformers like Robert Bobb to finish the job of eliminating the rampant waste, abuse and corruption that has ruined Detroit and that is threatening all of S.E. Michigan.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Detroit bound flight targeted with explosive device

While Christians were celebrating the birth of Christ and praying for Peace on Earth, a terrorist from Nigeria eerily reminiscent of Richard Reid (the "Shoe Bomber"),and identified by a U.S. government official as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was attempting to blow another American airliner filled with innocent passengers out of the sky.
The suspect, identified as a Nigerian national, claimed to have extremist ties and said the explosive device "was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used," said a federal security bulletin.

This is not the first terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Barack Hussein Obama took office.
President Barack Hussein Obama, whose father was Kenyan, has encouraged "dialogue" with countries that have vowed to destroy us. It will be interesting to see his reaction to this attempted terrorist attack here in Detroit, home of the largest Muslim population in the United States.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ford; Rising from the Wreckage

The "Detroit 3" domestic auto makers have all "survived" what was arguably the worst year in their collective history. Chrysler and General Motors declared bankruptcy. Chrysler was basically told by the Obama administration to merge with foreign automaker Fiat. GM now has the Obama administration sitting on their Board and "advising" them how to run their business and telling them what products they can and cannot build.

The only domestic automaker to avoid some level of government control is Ford Motor Company. Ford had the forsight to line up $23.5 billion in private financing in 2006, before the mortgage/banking collapse that dried up commercial credit. While Chrysler and GM tried to avoid bankruptcy by seeking government guaranteed loans, Ford was able to "ride out the storm" and avoid the "pact with the devil" that both GM and Chrysler entered into with the Obama Administration. The downside to Ford not filing bankruptcy is that their 2 domestic competitors were able to shed BILLIONS of dollars in debt that Ford is still carrying and will have to pay off.

The irony for GM and Chrysler was the fact that after accepting the conditional government loans, they had to file for bankruptcy after all, prompting alot of people, including myself, to say "They should have just declared bankruptcy without accepting a dime from the government" They'd be much better off.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ford: An American Icon

Ford stock rose above $10.00 per share today for the first time in over 4 years ! This is indicative of several positive things that are taking place; First of all, Ford Motor Company is building world class products. Ford has been steadily improving the quality of their vehicles for several years running and the consumers, as well as investors, are taking notice.

Secondly, the credit crunch that was created by the banking/mortgage crisis is easing, allowing more consumers to buy or lease a vehicle. The pent-up demand is bringing consumers back to the showrooms, and many car buyers are opting for the only American car company that did not borrow from the government (read "taxpayers") to survive the economic downturn, Ford Motor Company.

Ford is an American icon, one of the last remaining symbols of the true American entrepeneurial spirit. Undoubtedly some consumers are making a political statement when they pull into a Ford dealership. Not only are they looking for a quality vehicle, they want to send a message to Ford's competitors; I support free market capitalism, not government controlled socialism, and that's what they see at G.M. ("Government Motors")and foreign controlled Chrysler.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Voters want better, more accountable government.

It is a common misconception that voters simply “voted for a ‘change’” when they voted for Barack Obama for President in 2008. I would submit that voters voted for a more accountable government. Voters had actually begun to express their dissatisfaction with our elected officials in Washington much earlier, in the mid-term Congressional elections of 2006, and they continued to express their dissatisfaction with the “status quo” by electing a President of the opposing party in 2008. Barack Obama’s timing just happened to be perfect. He came along with his mantra of "change"”, offering comforting sounding themes, at a time when many voters had become disillusioned with government, fatigued after 7 years of war and nervous about the slowing economy.

His Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, offered “change” in leadership, but to the frustrated and “Bush fatigued” voters, McCain was too much like Bush. As ironic as that may seem considering McCain’s moderate reputation and his “Maverick” history of differing with his party leadership, he still represented “the past” in most voters minds, especially the millions of new voters Obama attracted to the polls. Voters wanted to look to a new future, a future of new ideas, and Barack Obama offered a fundamental change in direction, a “new approach” and hopefully better, not "bigger", government. “Hope” if you will, was summarized by his campaign theme of “Yes we can !”
It is now stunning to see how quickly that "hope” has seemed to fade, ( http://www.abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/obamas-approval-ratings-low-economy-health-care/story?id=9342510&ros=true ) and Americans have continued to voice their unhappiness, not only with the performance of their elected representatives, but with the direction of the country as a whole. Voters seem to have realized that “change” for change’s sake is not what they wanted, or what America needs ! Last summer, Americans of every political stripe across the country attended townhalls held by their Congressmen and Senators, they rallied at “Tea Parties” to voice their concerns, and they have been speaking out by writing letters to the editor and calling their elected representatives in Lansing and Washington to voice their opinions and concerns.

This, in my opinion, is the “silver-lining” in our current situation. The crisis we have suffered through has the potential to make us a better, stronger country. It has mobilized and energized millions of Americans to vote, speak out and become active in our government at every level.

We are witnessing a historic time in our country. Yes, it is a time of “change”, but the change is not yet finished. In a sense the most important part of the change has just begun, the return of the American people’s participation in their government. The Founding Fathers envisioned a country governed by “We the people …”, and as President Abraham Lincoln reminded us in his Gettysburg Address during our nation’s most trying time, the Civil War, our constitution created a government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people”. I have confidence in the ability of “We the people” to not only survive the current crisis, but for our country to emerge a stronger, better democracy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is Detroit finally headed in the "right" direction ?

Since the race riots of 1967 and the narrow election of Coleman Young as Mayor in 1973, Detroit has been on a steady downward spiral. The city has had few bright spots, losing most of it's white residents who fled the crime and declining schools, and being recognized as "the murder capitol of America" for much of the last 3 decades.
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took the city to new lows in the six-plus years he was the city's self proclaimed "Hip-Hop Mayor". He used his 17 "personal security" detail members to shuttle him around to hip-hop clubs and his girlfriend's condos on the taxpayers dime, and then he fired Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown when Brown initiated an investigation of Kilpatrick's misuse of the police Dept. and taxpayers dollars.

But although Kilpatrick was able to fool the majority of the voters of Detroit and get re-elected to a second term, he wasn't able to fool tough as nails Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Worthy brought Kilpatrick up on charges for some of the many felonies he had committed while in office, and after assaulting a police officer who was trying to serve a subpoena on his friend and partner in crime Bobby Ferguson, Kilpatrick's reign of criminal and immoral behaviour ended in disgrace as he resigned and served 120 days in jail.

There now seems to be some hope for the city of Detroit. Former City Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. served as "interim-mayor" until an election could be held, and then he returned to his position as City Council President after being defeated by Dave Bing, who served the remainder of Kilpatrick's second term. Bing was then elected to a full term in the regularly scheduled election. He, along with Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb, who was appointed by Gov. Granholm, and new City Council members, including Gary Brown, finally have a real chance to institute some meaningful reforms in Detroit and begin to turn the city around after over 3 decades of racial division, corruption and decline.

Thanks to the fearless, hard work of Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy, D.P.S. Emergency Financial Manager Bobb, Detroit Police Internal Affairs Chief Brown, Mayor Bing and others, Detroit may at long last be poised to make a "comeback."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Evil will be defeated, not ignored !

The Taliban will meet justice ... Attacking the United States of America is not a good idea.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

President Obama hopes to bring a terrorist to a courthouse or prison near you !

My wife is from Springfield New Jersey, just outside of New York City. The first time I visited her there, she took me into "the city", as they call New York, and one of the first place's she took me to was the World Trade Center. We still have the pictures from the top floor observation deck. It was a spectacular view of New York City, looking down on the Empire State Building !

My wife's parents still live in the same house where she grew up, less than 20 miles from Manhattan, where the Twin Towers once stood. You can see the Manhattan skyline from the top of the hill behind her parents house, and my father-in-law watched the towers burn and collapse from that hill on 9-11. The terrorist attack was "personal" for the people of New York and neighboring New Jersey. They lost neighbors, friends, and some lost family.

Now Barack Obama wants to bring the terrorists responsible for masterminding the attack to the United States for a trial, and give them all of the rights and protections of our legal system. I spoke with my wife's childhood friend Lori Wuest (Smith) on the phone the other night. She still lives in Springfield, and she told me that people in the New York area are furious the President is trying to score political points by holding a "show trial" in New York, and allowing these terrorists access to our courts and the media coverage.

Personally, I believe the Bush administration position was correct; the terrorists should be treated as "enemy combatants" and tried in military courts. They should be kept at our base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and tried by military tribunal, by military officers. But instead, President Obama has said he will close the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Naval Base, and bring the terrorists to America to be held and tried. They have even been considering several sites in Michigan as possible detention centers for terrorists currently held at "GITMO". Khalid Sheikh Mohammed must be laughing to himself as he anticipates the fine legal protections he will be afforded in America and the mockery he will be able to make of our justice system, not to mention the access to the liberal mainstream media he will have. It was reported that when he was first apprehended and questioned, he said " I will talk after I get to New York and get a lawyer". Now President Obama is granting his wish.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Sheikh_Mohammed

The attacks of 9-11 were very personal for the people in the New York metro area, and now President Obama is going to bring the terrorists to New York, to a courthouse just a few blocks from ground zero, and make it "personal" for them again. It will be a media circus that puts the O.J. trial to shame. Then, if his administration decides to imprison them in Michigan, it will become personal for us in Michigan as well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Voters are mad as hell ...

Voters are sick and tired of politicians, and it looks like incumbents are going to "pay the price" next November. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/15/AR2009111502906.html All signs point to a major turnover in Congress next year, and with Democrats holding a large majority, they will suffer the most from voters anger. I'm expecting the Senate Majority leader, Herry Reid, to be thrown out, as well as a few Democrat Committee Chairmen, like Connecticut's Chris Dodd.

Voters want to elect candidates with real solutions, not partisan candidates whose only difference is their party affiliation. I think if Ross Perot's party, "United We Stand", were still active, its candidates would have a field day next November. Voters are angry in a way that I have not seen in a long time, maybe in my entire adult lifetime of following politics. The "Republican Revolution" of 1994 saw the Republicans gain 54 seats in the House of Representatives and 8 seats in the Senate, not counting the switch of Alabama Senator Shelby. The election of 2010 could bring change on a similar scale.

The Republicans need 41 seats to regain the majority in the House, and they should get somewhere in that neighborhood. The Senate is probably "out of reach", but they should be able to significantly close the gap. I expect the Senate Democrats to hold on to a slim majority after the election, but if they lose the majority in the House, their ability to move legislation that President Obama supports will be severely limited. We can only hope.

It is now up to the people of the country to decide; do we want a socialist state controlled by government, funded by the working taxpayers, with government providing for everyone else. Or do we want to return to the principles envisioned by our founding fathers of liberty, freedom and personal responsibility. We'll find out on November 2nd, 2010.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Democrats say " Trust Government with your money "

Just as Democrats are trying to convince voters that it will save them money if they let the government take over the entire health care system, the Associated Press has released the following story;
"Medicare paid $47B in suspect claims
By Hope Yen The Associated Press Published: Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.

WASHINGTON | The government paid more than $47 billion in questionable Medicare claims, including medical treatment showing little relation to a patient’s condition, wasting taxpayer dollars at a rate nearly three times the previous year.

On the WebGovernment anti-fraud page: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov

Excerpts of a new federal report, obtained by The Associated Press, show a dramatic increase in improper payments in the $440 billion Medicare program that has been cited by government auditors as a high risk for fraud and waste for 20 years."

It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out that if we put the government in charge of the entire health care industry, there will be a huge increase in the waste and abuse of the system, costing taxpayers tens of billions, possibly more, in additional wasted tax dollars. Working people who currently have health care will lose, and only the 10% who currently do not have health care insurance will benefit. But that is how socialism works, take from the productive and give to the non-productive. President Obama likes to call it "spreading the wealth around ...".

President Obama also likes to tell people that "if you like your current health care insurance, you'll be able to keep it ..." The only problem is, that's not true. A Macomb Daily survey conducted last month showed that 23 out of 43 companies it surveyed would choose to pay the government fine rather than continue to provide employees with coverage if there is a "government option" available. The Macomb Daily wrote "... the results of a small survey of local business owners conducted by The Macomb Daily, in conjunction with the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce, found the majority of respondents would pay the penalty and dump their health insurance benefits for employees."

Hopefully people are paying attention. If you've been wondering why Obama is attempting to "change" so much so fast, that is why. He wants to get Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to pass his Socialist legislative agenda before the public wakes up and says "Stop. We didn't elect you to turn our country into a Socialist state." The Democrat's may succeed in getting alot of Obama's socialist programs passed, but there will be a huge price for them to pay next year at the polls. It's beginning to look more and more like the conservatives will re-take control of the House of Representatives, and they will make large gains at the state level as well.

Here in Michigan it's all but assured that voters will elect a Republican Governor to replace Democrat Jennifer Granholm and her "Deputy", John Cherry. The Republicans look poised to make substantial gains in the legislature as well, with an outside chance of regaining the majority. The voters are not in a good mood, and they appear ready to take it out on the "majority party" in next years elections !

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Republicans have excellent choices in 2010 primary !

Last Monday, I attended a "Meet the Candidates" dinner that featured all of the Republican candidates for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. It was sponsored by the 10th Congressional Leadership Committee and M.C.'d by 10th District U.S. Congresswoman Candice S. Miller.I always enjoy talking to my friend, Candice's Chief of Staff, Jamie Roe. The event was held at the Palazzo Grande Banquet and Event Center (http://thepalazzogrande.com/) in Shelby Twp.

It was an excellent opportunity to not only hear the candidates speak, but to see them all together on the same stage, and to get a sense of the type of person they are. It was also a chance to meet and talk to them personally. I had met several before, such as Secretary of State candidates Anne Norlander and Michelle McManus,and Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cox, but I had not had an opportunity to meet the Attorney General candidates, state Sen. Mike Bishop or Judge Bill Schuette.
I admire Senator Bishop for the excellent job he is doing in the budget negotiations to stifle Governor Granholm's attempts to force a tax increase.

In the crowded Governors race, there are several excellent Republican candidates. I think Michael Bouchard, an ex-Senate Majority Leader is a strong candidate, especially with running mate Terri Lynne Land. Congressman Pete Hoekstra is an intriguing candidate, with an excellent grasp of the issues.

But I have chosen to support Mike Cox, the current Attorney General. There are several things I like about Mike, including the fact that he has a military background. But the thing that really tips the balance as far as I'm concerned, is the fact that he is a fighter. In 2006/07, Attorney General Cox was willing to come out in support of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (Prop. 2) when almost every other elected official in the state was afraid to. I was working on Jennifer Gratz and Ward Connerly's effort, serving as the Macomb County Chairman for State Campaign Manager Doug Tietz. It wasn't the "politically-correct" thing to do at the time, but Mike Cox did what he knew was right. He stood up for the principle of "equal treatment before the law". His rulings as Attorney General kept U.of M. President Mary Sue Coleman from ignoring the will of Michigan's voters.

Attorney General Cox also did what he felt was right when he investigated the alleged party at the Manoogian Mansion and various allegations against former Mayor Kwame Kiulpatrick's office. Cox was tasked with investigating "criminal" wrong doing by the Mayor's office. I'm sure Mike Coxpersonally has no respect for Kilpatrick and is a far from Kilpatrick politically as he could be ... But he was not responsible for reporting the gross mis-management of the city by former Mayor Kilpatrick, which was the responsibility of the voters to rectify. (Unfortunately, they did the opposite and re-elected Kilpatrick to a second term.) The voters ignorance, or apathy, should not be blamed on Attorney General Cox. His report merely stated what the investigation had found, accurately I believe, that he had found no credible evidence or witnesses to substantiate the rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion. The wild rumors are just what Cox's report suggests they are; "urban legend". http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1607,7-164-34739_34811-70702--,00.html Mike Cox believes in treating everyone in Michigan, even Kwame Kilpatrick, equally before the law. He proved it in 2006-'07 by standing up for the Prop. 2 ballot initiative (MCRI)to ban racial preferences in the state!

Michigan voters are fortunate to have such a selection of excellent candidates for statewide offices next year in the 2010 elections. I have decided to support Mike Cox for Governor, Mike Bishop for Attorney General, and Michelle McManus for Secretary of State, although I would feel comfortable with any of the Republican candidates if elected !

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Republicans must continue to stand for "personal responsibility"

I remember when I was young, asking my parents what the difference was between Republicans and Democrats. I was given a simplistic, and I would realize later, inaccurate answer that Republicans "were for the wealthy" and Democrats "were for the working man". It was very obvious to me, even as a kid, that we were not wealthy, so I just assumed "we must be Democrats ...". But I also remember my Dad and Grandfather talking about various politicians and saying that they "voted for the man, not the party". My Grandfather (on my dad's side) was a conservative, and he told me he had voted for many Democrats that were conservative.

But I didn't pay much attention to politics during or immediately after High School, and I was pretty much unaware of what my "political views" were, until I enlisted in the Army when I was 22. At that point I began paying much more attention to things that were important to being successful, setting my priorities, and being more responsible. The experience of serving in the military really made me grow up and take responsibility for my behaviour, which up until then I had not been doing.

While in the Army, I voted for the first time in the Presidential election of 1984, when Ronald Reagan was running for re-election. Reagan was largely responsible for helping rebuild our armed forces and restoring our country's pride in our military. I was proud to have served in the military with Reagan as my Commander-in-Chief, and that experience shaped and influenced my future political beliefs. I now also consider my conservative belief that every person must take personal responsibility for their actions and accept the consequences of their choices, to be a primary reason why I usually vote Republican.

When someone asks me "Are you a Republican ?", I usually answer "No, I'm a conservative, but I usually vote Republican". I don't want the Republican Party to think they can take my vote for granted. They have to continue to earn my support. I am a believer in a strong national defense and I am a fiscal conservative. I also believe that there should be a "moral element" to political leadership. The conservative belief in personal responsibility is probably the biggest difference between Republicans and the liberals in the Democrat party, and one of the most important.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The party's over for Democrats


Did you hear that big "thud" last Tuesday ? It was Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrat party hitting the ground. I hope they enjoyed the last 2-3 Yrs., because the next few are going to be real rough for the liberals. Think of it this way; a person who likes to spend money gets the limit raised on their credit cards at about the same time as their employer reduces their hours. But they disregard the reduced income and go on a wild spending spree, and for a while they are having big fun, thinking about all of the exciting vacations they can go on and new "toys" they can buy.

Then the credit card bills start coming in, and the smaller paychecks start to dampen the party. So the person gets the limit on their credit cards raised again and takes out a second mortgage on their house, figuring they'll just pay it off "when the overtime comes back". Pretty soon this person's family starts to worry that "the spending is out of control", and that "we can't keep spending money we don't have." That is the exact position that President Obama and the Democrat party find themselves in today.

The party didn't last as long as "party" hosts Reid and Pelosi would have liked. Heck, they didn't even get to take over the health care system yet and their guests, the taxpayers, are starting to abandon the party. Those independent "guests" that have to work in the morning realize there is going to be a bad hangover from all of the irresponsible spending, and somebody is going to have to clean up the mess the liberals made.

Sure, it sounded fun when Barack was talking about all of the cool things we could do, but then when the bills started coming in and the unemployment numbers kept rising, they realized they couldn't keep spending. Their children and grandchildren are going to be left holding the bill for the Democrats spending spree. Voters said "enough" last Tuesday when they voted Democrat Governor Jon Corzine out of office in New Jersey and Virginia returned a Republican, Rob McDonnell, to the Governors office. The real "house cleaning" will take place next fall when every member of the U.S. House must stand for re-election. It promises to be a real awakening for free-spending Democrats !

Monday, November 2, 2009

Macomb County is Brandenburg Country !

Michigan's 11th State Senate District includes most of Macomb County, everything from M-59 North, plus Harrison Twp. and Mt. Clemens. http://www.senate.michigan.gov/2003/11.pdf That's alot of territory for a Senate candidate to cover, but former State Representative Jack Brandenburg can cover alot of ground ! Not only has Brandenburg started his campaign for the State Senate over a year in advance of the general election, he is campaigning out of a fully outfitted RV that serves as a "mobile campaign center" and allows him to stay on the road for days at a time ! When Jack is on the Western side of the district, or in the "Northern tier" of Townships in the County, he can just "plug in" and spend the night on the road, and get right back on the campaign trail first thing in the morning !

Jack has a reputation as one of the hardest working campaigners in S.E. Michigan, and he is living up to that reputation with his campaign to succeed Alan Sanborn in the 11th Senate District. Jack's desire to return to Lansing is rooted in his belief that government spending is out of control in Michigan, and he wants to take his business experience that he has gained in 30 yrs. of running Blue Water Industrial Supply in Mt. Clemens, and put it to use for the taxpayers in Lansing.

Jack likens his campaign style to a football team that is not flashy, but gets the job done by doing the hard work neccesary to drive the ball down the field 3 or 4yards at a time. Jack played football until he was 38 yrs old,including a stint with the Pontiac Arrows. He knows what it takes to "win the game in the trenches". I've seen Jack on the campaign trail, and I know that NOBODY is going to outwork Jack Brandenburg, and I think the voters of Northern Macomb County will appreciate that kind of work ethic !

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tuesday is a turning point ...

The backlash begins Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 ! That is the day that average, hard working, tax-paying Americans begin to take their country back ! Virginia and New Jersey appear ready to replace Democrat Governors with Republican fiscal conservatives. In the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace Rep. John McHugh, who was named secretary of the Army, it now appears to be moving to the Conservative party candidate in the race, Doug Hoffman. If these races go the way the latest polls indicate they are trending, it will be a "watershed" election, the "beginning of the end" of the Democrat's brief time as the majority party in Congress.

I have been predicting for at least 6 months that the Republican's have a good shot at picking up the 40 seats needed in the 2010 congressional-elections to regain control of the House of Representatives. A sweep on Tuesday in the bellwether "off-year" elections would be a good start towards regaining the majority in the House next year.

It's a classic case of the party that was out of power regaining the majority and over-reaching once back in power. Obama tried to change too much the first 6-8 months of his administration, and it appears to have backfired. His smooth campaign rhetoric had reassured voters, but his radical socialist agenda once in office has snapped them back to their senses. Voters are now paying closer attention to Obama's "actions" instead of his words. And they are scared. Scared for our country, it's traditions and our values.

Tuesday they will begin the process of trying to undo the significant damage that socialist Barrack Hussein Obama has done in less than a year in office. It's amazing how much damage the Democrat's have been able to do in such a short amount of time, thanks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid. But Tuesday is just the beginning. Republicans must produce good candidates next year in the congressional elections and then govern responsibly to regain the public's trust.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ford workers about to throw away public "goodwill"

Ford Motor Co. is currently in the process of trying to get their 41,000 UAW members to ratify "modifications" to the labor contract they agreed to in 2007. Ford and the UAW agreed to modifications to this contract once already this year, before the bankruptcy filings of Chrysler and GM, and now they are asking for additional "modifications" to keep Ford "cost-competitive" with their domestic competitors. While UAW President Ron Gettlefinger is strongly recommending that Ford UAW members approve this contract modification, some militant UAW officials are campaigning against it. As of this moment, several locals have rejected the proposal by large margins. I'm afraid that the "herd-mentality" is taking over.

When you take a close look at the extenuating circumstances that led to this point, it is understandable that Ford Motor Company has asked the union membership to agree to additional changes in the contract. No one could have predicted the bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors, let alone anticipated the conditions imposed by the court when they emerged from bankruptcy. I think it is completely understandable that the company now wants the UAW represented membership to approve additional changes in the contract to keep Ford Motor Co. "cost-competitive" with it's domestic rivals, and UAW leadership is correct to recommend a "Yes vote".

Ford is currently carrying billions of dollars of debt that Chrysler and GM do not have, due to their "quick-rinse" trip through bankruptcy earlier this year. While there are advantages and disadvantages to going through bankruptcy, the elimination of debt gives a company an undeniable cost advantage over its competitors. While Ford management understands this, along with the long term implications, Ford's UAW membership DOES NOT seem to understand this, and seems willing to let Ford return to the struggle of trying to compete with companies that enjoy a lower labor-cost advantage.

In addition to the labor-cost issues, there is the less talked about "public-perception" problem that may actually end up doing more damage to Ford in the long run. Ford was just beginning to establish a separate identity from Chrysler and GM and gain market share because of it.It wasn't just due to the fact that Ford did not take government money, Ford was also looked at as "different" than the other 2 UAW represented auto companies because we seemed to be able to understand the need for Ford to keep it's labor costs competitive with the competition.
But now, if this contract modification is defeated, much of that identity and goodwill may be lost.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Dangerous Radical in the White House

Conservatives have been warning the country about Barack Hussein Obama since he began his campaign for the Oval Office. And there were plenty of "Red Flags"; Not only was Obama rated the most "Liberal" of all 100 U.S. Senators by an independent organization,( http://www.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/ ), there were serious questions that needed to be asked about who influenced him and those he associated with.

It was not "just" his controversial, racist preacher of more than 20 yrs., the now infamous Reverend Jeremiah Wright. There was also the early influence of famed Chicago "Community Organizer" Saul Alinsky, who is credited with influencing such liberal icons as Cesar Chavez and more recently Jesse Jackson. There were the radical friends like Bill Ayers formerly of the Weather Underground, labeled a "Domestic-Terrorist group" by the FBI who had bombed buildings including the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon in the 1960's. Ayers and his wife, fellow Weather Underground terrorist Bernadine Dohrn held a "meet-and-greet at their home for Obama when he was running for the Illinois State Senate.

Critics of Obama like myself warned of his radical agenda. But warnings of his Socialist tendencies were dismissed by the mainstream media as "alarmist". The major media outlets downplayed the controversial past of Obama, including his family history, to help assure his election to the Oval Office.Why ? Without this cooperative complicity by the media, it is doubtful that the American public would have elected such an extreme liberal with a socialist agenda to the highest office in the land.

We must vote take our country back, starting at the local level, then in the Congressional elections next year, and finally in 2012 when we replace Socialist Barrck Hussein Obama as President. Yes we will !

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ford; Independent, American and determined to stay that way !

Ford's UAW members are currently voting on modifications to the contract that they ratified in 2007. Why is it necessary to "modify" a contract that has already been modified ? Because the other 2 domestic automakers, who are Ford's primary competitors, declared bankruptcy earlier this year. When in bankruptcy, they were able to shed billions of dollars in debt and reduce their future labor costs by freezing new hire wages.

In order for Ford to remain cost-competitive, we must agree to the labor cost reductions that Chrysler and General Motors were able to achieve when they went through bankruptcy. Oh sure, we could resist these competitive modifications, but we would be putting ourselves right back in the position we were in 5 years ago with Toyota and Honda.

The UAW leadership did not serve us well by not allowing modifications to our benefits package to keep us "cost-competitive" with the Japanese "transplants". The UAW challenged the Japanese to "build vehicles here if they wanted to sell them here". Well, they built a few assembly plants here and then beat us at our own game !

I think what we (the UAW) should have done was to look at how the transplants made themselves more cost effective than us, and "evolved" to remain competitive here in the North American market. Trade policy is a major factor in our relative inability to compete overseas, but here in our own market it was due to our refusal to recognize what made our labor costs higher than our competitors. The UAW leadership refused to change the "30 and out" lifetime pensions it had negotiated. 401k type retirement plans are MUCH more cost effective and would have allowed the domestic auto companies to significantly reduce their "legacy costs".

Fortunately at Ford it is not to late to recover, but we cannot allow this opportunity to slip past. We must ratify these relatively minor modifications to remain competitive in the long-term. Our future depends on it !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There is finally hope for Detroit !

On November 3rd, Detroit will be able to finish putting together its new leadership team to lead the turnaround of the city. It began when Dave Bing and interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. were running to finish the term of jailed former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. I said at the time that electing Dave Bing would be a "two-fer" for the city, it would not only install a fine man into the Mayors office, it would also return a fine public servant to City Council as the Council President, replacing the national disgrace, Monica Conyers.

Bing has since begun the difficult task of getting Detroit turned around while finishing disgraced former Mayor Kilpatrick's term, and is now running for a full term of his own. Cockrel is attempting to be re-elected to Council, hopefully as it's President. With Monica Conyers now in jail and several of other incumbent council members not finishing in the top 18 qualifiers in the primary, and some just choosing not to run for re-election, Detroiter's have a real chance to put the entire Kilpatrick/Conyers era behind them.

But, if they make some of the same mistakes that resulted in poor leadership on the council, like voting for a candidate based on "name recognition" rather than integrity and proven good judgement, then they could end up right back in the same situation. It appears that one such case is Council candidate Charles Pugh. He was the leading "vote getter" in the August Primary and has been leading most polls for Council since, slightly ahead of current Council President and former interim Mayor, Kenneth Cockrel Jr. I think that replacing veteran Councilman Cockrel as President with novice Pugh, based almost entirely on Pugh's "name-recognition" would be a huge mistake, especially in light of the revelation that Pugh has lost his home to forclosure.

Pugh has made several poor financial decisions leading up to his run for office, such as quitting both of his jobs without having prepared himself financially. He is now losing his home to forclosure due to his poor financial decisions. This is exactly the kind of irresponsible behavior that has gotten Detroit into the financial mess that it currently finds itself in and the city should not elect an irresponsible individual like Pugh to lead council and preside over it's budget ! I strongly urge the readers of this blog to support Kenneth Cockrel for Detroit City Council in any way possible in these last 10 days leading up to the election !

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Off Year" elections indicative of voter's mood.

This year may be an "off year" in politics, but there are still some important elections in 2 weeks. Locally, Sterling Hts. will have a chance to elect a conservative newcomer, David Magliulo, to the Mayor's office, if they remove 16 yr incumbent and former union boss, Dick Notte. And in Troy voters will have a chance to elect 3 strong conservatives to the city council; incumbent Wade Fleming, and newcomers Doug Tietz and Carmen Johnson, to keep city spending under control .

Nationally, there are 2 bellwether elections for Governor. In New Jersey, conservative Chris Christie is challenging liberal-Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine . And in Virginia, where there is no incumbent due to term limits, conservative Robert McDonnell is running against liberal Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. These races may indicate the mood of voters moving into the 2010 election cycle, and early signs indicate that voters are not happy with the direction Obama and Congress are taking the country.

Polls show that several prominant Democrats may be in trouble in next year's elections, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid trails Nevada State Republican Chairwoman Sue Lowden, 50% - 40%, and even trails GOP hopeful Danny Tarkanian by 7 pts., 50% - 43%. Not a good sign for Democrats heading into 2010 with President Obama pushing a liberal agenda. All-in-all, it looks like a rough year to be a Democrat, in Michigan and elsewhere !