What's New in Michigan Politics?

Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Comments

    No comments yet.

      Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


      Do a majority of Michiganders approve of Congressman Fred Upton's Plan to "Assault" the Environmental Protection Agency?

      A Coming Assault on the E.P.A.--N.Y. Times Editorial, December 24, 2010

      Published: December 24, 2010 Republicans in the next Congress are obviously set on limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate a wide range of air pollutants — even if it means denying the agency money to run its programs and chaining its administrator, Lisa Jackson, to the witness stand. Fred Upton, who will become the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says he plans to call Ms. Jackson so often for questioning that he’ll guarantee her a permanent parking space on Capitol Hill. It is equally plain that Ms. Jackson has no intention of abandoning her agenda or her defense of one of the most successful of America’s landmark environmental statutes. What is not clear is where the White House stands and whether it is prepared to resist industry’s standard litany that E.P.A. is as an out-of-control agency threatening jobs with unnecessary rules.

      President Obama’s political advisers have shown little enthusiasm for environmental issues. Mr. Obama himself ceded leadership on the climate-change issue to Congress, which ended up doing nothing. On the other hand, his chief environmental adviser is Carol Browner, herself a former E.P.A. administrator whose aggressive clean-air initiatives in the Clinton years would never have prevailed without Oval Office support.

      Which is just what Ms. Jackson will need in the months ahead. On her plate is: a proposed rule reducing pollutants like sulfur dioxide, the acid rain gas, from power plants east of the Mississippi River; a first-of-its-kind rule limiting toxic pollutants like mercury, which the agency has been ducking for years; and, most problematic, proposals imposing new “performance standards” on power plants to limit greenhouse gases.

      Taken together, these and other pending rules should lead to a dramatically less polluting fleet of power plants, a process already set in motion by the rapid decline in natural gas prices. That has encouraged industry to retire dirtier coal-burning facilities. Everyone will benefit: citizens from cleaner air, lakes and fish from reduced mercury deposits, the atmosphere from lower greenhouse gases.

      Some important players in industry are ready for change. In a recent letter in The Wall Street Journal, a group of powerful utilities including Pacific Gas and Electric and New Jersey’s Public Service said that industry had had plenty of time to prepare, that pollution could be reduced in cost-effective ways and that newer and cleaner plants will create jobs, not destroy them.

      But this is hardly a universal view in industry and in Congress. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the Clean Air Act gives the E.P.A. not just the right but the obligation to regulate greenhouse gases, the Senate tried to subvert that authority once. Senator John Rockefeller IV, a Democrat who represents West Virginia coal interests, will surely try again.

      Ms. Jackson will have to be tactically smart, lest overreaching on one rule brings the whole house down. She has already delayed new air-quality standards for ozone. She says she needs more scientific evidence to set precise limits. Historically, clean-air rules are almost always litigated, so having sound science on her side is essential.

      But she won’t get far without Mr. Obama’s backing. Ms. Browner could remind the president that it was after a dispiriting Republican midterm victory that President Bill Clinton found his feet on environmental issues. In 1995, the Newt Gingrich crowd came to town promising to overturn a whole body of environmental law. Mr. Clinton rose up, not only winning the big battles, but eventually compiling a sterling record. Mr. Obama should emulate him. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/opinion/25sat1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

      Fred Upton vs. the Environmental Protection Agency

      Do you support Michigan Congressman Fred Upton's plan to "assault" the E.P.A.?

      See results without voting

      11-1-10Newsweek--Jonathan Alter's Nightmare Coming True?

      "Why the Midterms Matter"

      "...do you know the GOP agenda? In brief repeal health-care reform, so if you lose your job and your kid gets sick, you may have to sell the house; repeal financial reform, so Wall Street scammers and predatory lenders can return to doing everything they did before they wrecked the ceonomy; maintain corporate-welfare subsidies that move jobs overseas; reduce spending by slashing education funding and ending all clean-energy projects aimed at curbing dependence on Middle East oil. Of course, thse polkcies won't cut the deficit. Republicans insist on extending $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy and leaving the defense budget untouched. Entitlements would be "reviewed regularyy," the GOP leadership says, which is code for doing nothing....."

      Outside Money Floods Michigan Campaigns

      Outside money

      In Michigan's three most competitive congressional races this year, groups other than the candidates' campaigns spent nearly $18 million in all -- or almost $3 to every $2 spent by the candidates themselves.

      Upper Peninsula and much of northern Lower Peninsula

      Dan Benishek, Republican (winner)

      Spent himself: $1.3 million

      Spent on his behalf: $3.3 million

      Gary McDowell, Democrat

      Spent himself: $790,649

      Spent on his behalf: $1.5 million

      Tim Walberg, Republican (winner)

      Spent himself: $1.6 million

      Spent on his behalf: nearly $4.5 million

      Mark Schauer, Democrat

      Spent himself: $3.3 million

      Spent on his behalf: more than $4.7 million

      Gary Peters, Democrat (winner)

      Spent himself: $3.4 million

      Spent on his behalf: $860,518

      Andrew (Rocky) Raczkowski, Republican

      Spent himself: $1.8 million

      Spent on his behalf: $3.1 million



      Read more: Big spenders rise up to infuse elections, influence politics | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101204/NEWS15/12040414/Big-spenders-rise-up-to-infuse-elections-influence-politics#ixzz179QtfiEz

      Halloween is Governor Granholm's Favorite Holiday

      Turns out Halloween is one of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's favorite days of the year.


      She revealed to capital reporters at a farewell dinner that she's gone to great lengths with home decorations and costumes as governor. The dinner conversation was off the record, but this tale is allowed: This year, the first family and groundskeeper went all out decorating the governor's residence in Lansing, including a fake coffin that required trick-or-treaters to stick their hands in holes and feel yucky stuff inside.

      Granholm stood motionless off to the side, dressed as a scary clown. Hidden under the coffin was her 13-year-old son, Jack. When teenage tricksters showed up (not little kids), Jack would grab their legs, they'd scream and run and the governor would come "alive" and chase them down the driveway.

      The governor is an avid runner, though she could not run for re-election under term limits.



      Read more: Poli-Bites: Poli-Bites: And you thought midterm elections were frightening | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101128/COL05/11280544/Poli-Bites-And-you-thought-midterm-elections-were-frightening#ixzz16abTlaNg

      11-20-10FreePress--Walberg Makes "Top Ten Scariest Republicans Heading to Washington"

      Accolades roll in for Tim Walberg. He was named one of the "Ten Scariest Rep;ublicans Heading to Washington" by Right Wing Watch. The organization mostly finds Walberg scary because he's a righty, but focuses on accusations of his ties to "birthers (the fringe folks who question whether President Obama was born in the U.S..)

      Probable Effects of GOP Sweep Nov. 2

      Michigan voters gave the GOP control of the House of Representatives, the Governor's office, Attorney General, Secretary of State plus two Supreme Court seats. This will have profound effects on Michigan. Among them are:

      1. Pressure on employment, pay, health care and other benefits for teachers and state, county and city employees.

      2. Pressure to make Michigan a right-to-work state, despite Snyder's campaign statement that this was not a priority issue for him. GOP conservatives are likely to try to change Snyder's mind on this issue.

      3. Increased support for charter schools and watering down public school teacher tenure rights..

      4. Complete GOP control of the congressional and state re-districting process will advantage GOP candidates in 2012 and beyond..

      5. Union organizing will not benefit from a federal card count recognition bill. Instead, there will be efforts in Congress to require elections for union recognition in all situations even in those which are uncontested. Pressure on the budget of the National Labor Relations Board budget is likely.

      6. There will be pressures in Michigan and in Washington to weaken environmental protections in the oil, mining, timber, chemical and electric power industries. Cap and trade and other climate legislation are now D.O.A.

      7. Pressures to ban embryonic stem cell research and impose limits on abortions are likely.

      8. GOP pressures in Congress for additional free trade pacts which won't help the dismal jobs picture in Michigan.

      9. Adopting rational measures required to increase employment and recover from the recession will be more difficult.

      10, Repeal of military "don't ask, don't tell" policy by Congress will be more difficult.

      11. Comprehensive immigration reform is probably D.O.A.

      What will be the effect of the 2010 GOP Sweep in Michigan and in Washington?

      The Republicans' capture of the three statewide elective offices (governor, attorney general and secretary of state), the state house of representatives and state senate plus two seats on the Michigan supreme court combined with the GOP's capture of the U.S. House of Representatives and gains in the Senate will have profound effects for Michigan. Some of the effects may be positive, but many are likely to prove to be negative.Although Rick Snyder portrayed himself as and may actually be, a moderate, he will not be able to ignore his more conservative colleagues in the state house and senate and the attorney general's office.

      Some of the likely downsides from the state and national election may include--failure to take action on important environmental issues such as the pollution resulting from natural gas "fracking;" climate change, pipeline safety, and other water and air pollution issues; continued participation by Michigan's attorney general in the lawsuit seeking to invalidate the federal health care reform bill; and perhaps of greatest immediate concern, several hundred thousand unemployed Michiganders whose unemployment benefits will soon run out with no additional extensions in sight. Sadly, we will not have the good offices and expertise of Jocelyn Benson as secretary of state. This means we will have to watch Ruth Johnson's actions on voting rights and procedures to assure she isn't up to voter suppression tactics. Finally, the brief period of a Democrat majority on the Michigan supreme court came to an end on November 2 with the election of two John Englerite conservatives to the court which will bring more decisions catering to business interests and less concern for the rights of ordinary citizens.

      One of the biggest downsides for Democrats from the election is that the Republican's will be in the driver's seat for redistricting. This will give them a huge advantage in 2012 and future elections.

      On the bright side, Rick Snyder promised to "reinvent Michigan," and he actually may be able to make some headway in that direction if he can get cooperation from some of the Democrats in the state house and senate. Good luck to him in these efforts. But I'm not holding my breath. Snyder's appointment of three old Engler hands as his transition team doesn't inspire confidence that he'll govern as a moderate in the footsteps of William Milliken who endorsed him for governor.

      11-13-10-NYTimes Letters--Reagan Economist Knocks Preliminary Deficit Commission Proposal

      Re “Some Fiscal Reality” (editorial, Nov. 11):

      The current federal budget deficit was caused mainly by unnecessary wars and related military spending, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and large tax cuts and bailouts for the rich, all stemming from the Bush administration.

      Now a bipartisan commission proposes that we solve the long-term deficit “problem” by cutting back Social Security, Medicare and other social welfare programs. Thus the poor, the sick and the elderly would pay for the tax breaks and bailouts for the already wealthy.

      The Republicans have made it clear that they have only one economic goal: making the rich richer. Are there no Democrats left with any backbone?

      Robert Ortner
      Short Hills, N.J., Nov. 12, 2010

      The writer was chief economist and under secretary of commerce during the Reagan administration and is the author of “Voodoo Deficits.”

      11-6-10Free Press--GOP Threatens Unemployment Aid

      Newly empowered republicans are demanding spending cuts of $5 billion to $6 billion a month as a condition for extending emergency unemployment benefits that otherwise will start expiring Dec. 1 for millions of workers who've been without jobs for half a year or longer.

      Up to 2 million people could lose the benefits--which averate $310 a month nationwide--during the holiday season and up to 5 million by the end of February if a still-Democratic-controlled Congress doesn't act in a post-election lame-duck session to extend them.

      A letter from Katrina van den Heuvel

      Dear Nation Reader,

      There's no disguising it—the results of the midterm elections were, with few exceptions, grim, as candidates who are intent on rolling back decades of economic and social progress were swept into office.

      But this is no time to despair.  It is time to stand and fight for a real debate about ideas and for small-d democracy.  The Nation is committed to that work, and to ensuring that our truth-telling journalists lift their ideas into our country's all-too narrow debate.

      Stay on top of the election fallout by subscribing to The Nation now.

      • We will continue to expose abuses of power and investigate corruption wherever they may lurk--in Washington, Wall Street or Wasilla.
      • We will find choke points to block dangerous GOP initiatives.
      • We will renew our efforts to cover sweet victories--new initiatives, organizing triumphs, new leaders and fresh vision.
      • We will continue to support talented, passionate reporters eager to do the hard work of breaking and interpreting news.

      But we need more subscribers to move forward many of our exciting new initiatives online and in print.  Unlike most magazines that rely on corporate advertising support, at The Nation subscriptions are our lifeblood.

      We can't allow cynical politicians and greedy lobbyists to determine our nation's affairs away from the glare of the spotlight.  The best way you can help is to subscribe to The Nation today.  This is a time for conviction, not caution.

      Sincerely,

      Katrina vanden Heuvel

      A Letter from Public Citizen



      Okay, we’ve all had a couple of days to let the election results sink in. Whatever you’re feeling—despair, fear, anger—our only choice is to channel ALL of that into vigilance and action.

      Right now—not next week, not next year, but right now—We, the People must renew our commitment to band together as an unbreakable movement of citizens who will not allow the incoming Congress to roll back our rights, sell us out to corporate predators, or dismantle our democracy.

      You usually hear from us—Allison, Anna, Glenn and Rick—about actions you can take to counteract runaway corporate power, shift to sustainable energy, fix flawed trade models, or remind the government who it’s supposed to work for.

      Today, we’re writing to ask you to take another kind of action that is every bit as important: Join Public Citizen.

      The work we have to do together over the next two years will not be easy. Public Citizen knows “not easy.” We’ve been through Nixon. We’ve been through Reagan. We’ve been through Bush. Both of them.

      We’ve never stopped winning battles, big and small, in the fight against government infirmity and corporate greed. Why? Because regular Americans like you join Public Citizen and make us a force for progress.

      Please join Public Citizen today. Membership starts at just $20 and includes our award-winning newspaper, Public Citizen News.

      If you’re already a member, please consider making an additional contribution of $35, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford.

      You’ve heard it before, but there IS strength in numbers. The membership of Public Citizen is proof. Could there be a more critical moment to join together and increase our power?

      Join us!

      Allison Fisher, Anna White, Glenn Simpson & Rick Claypool
      Public Citizen’s Online Action Team

      P.S. Give the people you care about the opportunity to join the movement that we’re building together at Public Citizen. Forward this email to 5 or more friends and family members today!

      To get regular e-alerts about opportunities for activism and other ways to help with Public Citizen's work, sign up for the Public Citizen Action Network. If you do not want to receive future emails from Public Citizen, go to http://action.citizen.org/unsubscribe.jsp.

      © 2010 Public Citizen | Take Action

      More by this Author


      Comments 12 comments

      SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Pretty fair piece of reporting. For the sake of your state, I hope he is able to do a good job.


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      Thanks for your comment. I do, too. [I almost, but not quite, voted for Snyder.]


      eovery profile image

      eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      I like your 'tache. It must have taken a while to grow.

      I hope things state looking up in Michigan. You guys need some businesses to come in, and quit driving them out.

      Keep on hubbing!


      HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I hope the Republicans are actually going to meet President Obama in his effort to compromise and not do as Sen. McConnell wants and simply obstruct. The politics of simply defeating Obama for victory's sake is evil. There are a plethora of issues to address which you listed very well in your Hub. I hope your leaders in Michigan rise to the challenge and I hope the same for all the states and the country as a whole.


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      Me, too. Thanks for your comment. McConnell seems to be ready to run the country's economy on the rocks if it will defeat Obama in 2012.


      yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 6 years ago from California

      I also feel they will not really be "working together" on issues, but if they do, I'd feel grateful. We need more independents in office since I feel they are more open to compromise!


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      I agree that we need more cooperation among our representatives. And we need more "independents" in the sense that they are willing to vote their in accordance with their own belief in the public interest even though it may be contrary to their own party line. I'm not a big supporter of minority parties. Historically, our two party system until recently has served the country well.


      Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

      Ralph, I'm going to cry tears of happiness. When looking at how Michigan is doing, I know this was necessary. Cities are bankrupt, unemployment is one of the highest in the country and then there is Detroit.

      Democrat's have been in charge on the state for years, and that is what they've accomplished. The Republican's are far from perfect, but maybe they can help. H


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      We have no way to go but up. Thanks for your comment.

      However, as is not uncommon, you don't have your facts quite right. Michigan suffered for 12 years under Republican governor John Engler and a very right wing Michigan Supreme Court. The we had Democrat Granholm for 8 years who did her best but was dealt a bad hand by George Bush, Republicans in the state legislature and short sighted managers who ran the American suto companies off the road.


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      NYTimes Letters 11-13-10 Reagan Economist Knocks Tentative Proposals From Deficit Commission

      Re “Some Fiscal Reality” (editorial, Nov. 11):

      The current federal budget deficit was caused mainly by unnecessary wars and related military spending, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and large tax cuts and bailouts for the rich, all stemming from the Bush administration.

      Now a bipartisan commission proposes that we solve the long-term deficit “problem” by cutting back Social Security, Medicare and other social welfare programs. Thus the poor, the sick and the elderly would pay for the tax breaks and bailouts for the already wealthy.

      The Republicans have made it clear that they have only one economic goal: making the rich richer. Are there no Democrats left with any backbone?

      Robert Ortner

      Short Hills, N.J., Nov. 12, 2010

      The writer was chief economist and under secretary of commerce during the Reagan administration and is the author of “Voodoo Deficits.”


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      Senate Republicans have blocked legislation allowing taxes to rise on Jan. 1 on people earning more than $1 million.

      The vote was 53-37, seven short of the 60 needed to advance the measure.

      Read more: GOP blocks bill to raise taxes on $1M-plus income | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101204/NEWS15/10120...


      Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

      State debt crises loom--

      “It seems to me that crying wolf is probably a good thing to do at this point,” said Felix Rohatyn, the financier who helped save New York City from bankruptcy in the 1970s....

      Some of the same people who warned of the looming subprime crisis two years ago are ringing alarm bells again. Their message: Not just small towns or dying Rust Belt cities, but also large states like Illinois and California are increasingly at risk.

      Municipal bankruptcies or defaults have been extremely rare — no state has defaulted since the Great Depression, and only a handful of cities have declared bankruptcy or are considering doing so.

      But the finances of some state and local governments are so distressed that some analysts say they are reminded of the run-up to the subprime mortgage meltdown or of the debt crisis hitting nations in Europe.

      Analysts fear that at some point — no one knows when — investors could balk at lending to the weakest states, setting off a crisis that could spread to the stronger ones, much as the turmoil in Europe has spread from country to country.

      Mr. Rohatyn warned that while municipal bankruptcies were rare, they appeared increasingly possible. And the imbalances are so large in some places that the federal government will probably have to step in at some point, he said, even if that seems unlikely in the current political climate.

      “I don’t like to play the scared rabbit, but I just don’t see where the end of this is,” he added.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/us/politics/05st...

        Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

        0 of 8192 characters used
        Post Comment

        No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


        Click to Rate This Article
        working