Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Good Cop: Barack Obama
Bad Cop: Rev. Jeremiah Wright

I could be wrong. Or maybe I've become a conspiracy theorist. It just seems to me that the interplay between Barack Obama and his pastor (excuse me - make that former pastor) could possibly be one of the smartest and riskiest political ploys ever.

While the commentators I've heard on the radio and television are busy talking about Reverend Wright's treacherous undermining of Obama's campaign, I'm thinking to myself that this may be a devious and clever plot between the two of them. You know, the "wink, wink, nod, nod" type of plot.

Think about it a minute. Reverend Wright gets to continue his outrageous anti-American rhetoric, enjoying every minute of his brush with fame. Meanwhile, Barack Obama gets to simultaneously condemn and excuse his old friend. While Obama is reaping the benefits of taking the conciliatory middle road, Obama's core message (and life's work) is still given more media attention than money can buy.

OK, I could be wrong about this. Or maybe I've watched too many episodes of Law and Order, but this is a scenario that makes a lot of sense to me.

An Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Poverty

"One doesn't tackle poverty, like a football player. One shows the way of escape and provides sufficient role models along with capital and moral land educational structures that serve as ladders so people who want to climb out of the hole can do so."

Maybe this isn't the most polite title for a blog, but it does get attention. Cal Thomas wrote a great article outlining a plan that John McCain can use. Read about project HOPEFUL here. (Gotta love the acronym).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Great Ethanol Hoax

If you're like me you are angry about rising gas prices. And if you're really like me you aren't sure exactly who to be angry with. I listen to people talk about the rising price of fuel, food and a general sticker shock at everything they want to purchase. The price of gas is up at the gas station and the price of milk is up at the grocery store. Mainly they blame politicians for inaction, along with greedy farmers and Big Oil for high prices. And many of them are asking for more corn-based ethanol to help lower prices at the pump.

We have allowed the environmental activists (mainly in the Democratic Party) to essentially block any moves our nation wants to make while looking for a path to energy independence. We know how to get oil from places like Alaska, Wyoming and the Dakotas, but legislation to allow drilling has been blocked. We know oil is available offshore, but we are not allowed to drill due to potential environmental impact even though other nations are drilling for the same oil just a few short miles away. We have even allowed these activists to stop the building of new oil refineries.

Nuclear power could help reduce our energy demands, but again environmentalist activists have blocked the building of new nuclear plants. They've also slowed the building of wind farms through environmental impact studies to see if the wind farms will kill migrating bird. Or maybe even block Ted Kennedy's oceanfront view.

And although we have enough coal to handle our energy needs for decades, the same roadblocks slow the development of coal-based technology.

So that leaves ethanol (also known as "bio-fuel"). Ethanol may well be the biggest con game of them all. Ethanol is 20% less efficient than gasoline. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce enough ethanol to fill the average gas tank. It also takes 450 pounds of corn to feed one person for a year. Ethanol is too corrosive to be shipped by pipeline so it must be trucked to distribution points. Worse yet, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel., coal, oil or natural gas to produce one gallon of ethanol.

To produce enough ethanol to replace the gas we currently consume it would take approximately 482 million acres of cropland. The total cropland in the United States is 434 and that includes cropland used for all food and fiber.

Ethanol would not survive in a free market. Instead we subsidize the production with our hard earned tax dollars.

So, next time you're upset with the skyrocketing price of nearly everything, take a look in a mirror. It's voters. . . . you and I. . . . who need to elect the people who will stop this nonsense and make the decisions that need to be made.

Mitt's Humor

Three months after suspending his Republican Presidential bid, Mitt Romney, not particularly known for his sense of humor, made a surprise appearance at the recent Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner. Mitt delivered a Top Ten list poking fun at himself and his image. . . and threw a few barbs at Hillary Clinton and Al Gore.

Here, in reverse order, are Mitt's reasons for dropping out of the race:

No. 10 There weren't as many Osmonds as I thought.
No. 9 I got tired of the corkscrew landings of my campaign plane while under fire.
No. 8 As a lifelong hunter, I didn't want to miss the start of varmint season.
No. 7 There wasn't room for two Christian leaders in the Presidential race.
No. 6 I was upset that no one had bothered to check my passport files.
No. 5 I'd rather get fat, grow a beard and try for the Nobel prize.
No. 4 I got tired of wearing a dark suit and tie and I wanted to kick back in a light colored suit and tie.
No. 3 When my wife realized I couldn't win the GOP nomination my fundraising dried up.
No. 2 I took a bad fall at a campaign rally and broke my hair.
No. 1 My campaign relied on a flawed campaign strategy that as Utah goes, so goes the Nation.

Good Luck Sir!

He Should Have Stopped At 20. . . . . .

Democratic North Carolinians vote in one week and CBS News planned to host a debate last Sunday between the two front runners. It didn't happen. According to a press release from the North Carolina Democratic Party "We regret to inform you that the proposed Democratic Presidential Debate. . . . has been cancelled due to time constraints and logistical issues associated with such a large national event. There were also growing concerns about what another debate would do to party unity."

The "real" story is probably CBS News' take on things:

"Hillary Clinton had accepted the invitation but Barack Obama's campaign had not. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer earlier this month, Obama voiced skepticism about participating in too many debates. "I will tell you, after the 21st debate." Obama told the paper (in advance of the 21st debate). . . . . North Carolinians have had ample 0pportunity to watch these debates. . . . I don't know that they are ending up being more informative than the kind of town hall meetings we've scheduled."

After the last debate, I'm guessing Obama wished he had stopped at 20.

But does it make sense strategically? Obama may be setting himself up for a fall. Remember John Kerry in 2004 - He won the nomination easily with the media buying his "war hero" story. No tough questions, other than ABC's Charlie Gibson who did ask Kerry some tough questions. Once Kerry won the nomination, questions that should have been asked much earlier were finally asked. And the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ultimately did the media's job for them. If Obama succeeds in avoiding the touch questions now, someone will end up asking them in fall.

And then the fun begins in earnest.

An Anxious Nation Exhales!

Michael Bloomberg (Mayor, New York City):

"I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not - and will not - be a candidate for President".

Phew! After holding our collective breath we can finally relax secure in the knowledge that our fun-filled three man race will carry on without additional candidates. Or should I say baggage?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dave Barry's April 15th

A day like today requires a little bit of levity, so here's my contribution (via Dave Barry). . . . . .

Caution: Put your coffee down before reading. Definitely do not read while swallowing any liquids.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Operation Chaos

While accusing conservatives of convoluted conspiracies usually involving Vice-President Dick Cheney as the mastermind behind all sorts of hare-brained schemes it seems the Democrats are relying on Maxwell Smart as their campaign manager of choice.

Who could have predicted the chaos and weekly drama that has ensnarled the Democratic Presidential campaign process? Hillary under imaginary fire in Bosnia. Barack Obama showing his true elite brand of snobbery in San Francisco. Primary fights in Michigan and Florida. And who could forget the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Operation Chaos seems to be going off without a hitch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sorry Michelle - This is MY pie!

"someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more." - Michelle Obama

Hey Michelle - I have a few questions for you:

Why can't I keep the pie I baked?
Do I get to choose who I share my pie with?
If I paid for the ingredients and put all the effort into it. . . . .
Why can't I donate (voluntarily) a pie if I feel I can afford it?
What if I don't have pie to spare?

And most importantly - how does your husband feel about pie-sharing?

Introducing the new Federal Dept. of Light Bulbs

How many congressmen does it take to change a light bulb? 400. That's right - 400 congressmen recently voted to outlaw incandescent light bulbs and require Americans to use "energy-efficient" light bulbs. The ban, which goes into effect in 2014 was included in the 2007 energy bill passed by 314 from the House of Representatives and 86 U.S. Senators.

Interesting - America has joined Cuba and Venezuela as the only countries on the planet outlawing traditional light bulbs. Would someone please show me where the Constitution authorizes such a move?

Arizona Congressman John Shadegg (a Republican of course) has introduced a bill every year since 1995 called the "Enumerated Powers Act". This Act would require that "each act of Congress...contain a concise and definite statement of the Constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act." Unfortunately, the first year he introduced his "limited powers" bill it had 103 co-sponsors. The same bill this year? Only 38.

Does Congress really need to force a struggling family to give up their fifty-cent lightbulb in favor of a $3 version?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Do Something!

You hear it every night on the news. Somewhere in America there is a flood, hurricane or interest rates are rising or houses are being foreclosed. And someone asks, "what is the federal government going to do?" There is an expectation that our tax dollars should be used to bail out people who spent too much on a house or perhaps to stimulate an economy that naturally has ups and downs.

A new survey by Rasmussen Reports shows 63% of Americans feel that "the federal government is not doing enough to address the troubled U.S. economy." Only 19% hold the opposite opinion.

The media has fed citizens the idea that government should "do something" - and citizens (yes, that means voters!) believe it. Even though most have no clue what "something" should be. And fewer still appear to realize that doing "something" will cost money and that money comes from us, the taxpayers.

The media would do us all a favor by doing their share - educating their viewers. Educate them to understand that smaller government is more efficient and that wasteful spending is exactly what it says - "wasteful". Educate the viewers that individuals are better equipped to determine how their money should be spent than government.

Notes from the Trail

By Chairman Saulius “Saul” Anuzis

It’s only spring and it seems Democrats are in full campaign mode. Republicans in the Legislature have fought Governor Granholm’s proposed budget increases daily, while House Democrats are again looking to spend more than Michigan can afford. Democrats must think we are made of money, only setting budgets that demand more tax hikes—this year. Granholm and the Democrats who control the Michigan House refuse to enact sensible, Republican sponsored, reforms that will help eliminate state deficits without tax increases.

National Democrats continue to deprive Michigan voters of their place in the presidential nomination selection process by refusing to campaign in Michigan or agree on a plan for a “do-over” Democrat primary. Democrat state lawmakers could not unite on the issue while House and Senate Republicans waited for them to clean up the mess they made.

While the governor has demanded to raise our taxes, she failed to pay her own! The IRS says the Granholm-Cherry Inaugural committee of 2003 owes the government $19,535 in federal taxes and late charges that it failed to pay. How’s that for a double standard?

Michigan had the distinct honor of hosting Vice President Dick Cheney last month. It was a great event on behalf of 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg.

The MRP is proud to announce that our Political, Candidate & Party Assistance team have been hitting the road with their "Unity Road Show." So far the team has been supported in: Saginaw, Alpena, Macomb, Grand Traverse, Ottawa, Oakland, Genesee, Kent, and Cass Counties. More dates and locations to be announced soon!

Remember to visit for up-to-date-news and events.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ah. . . . . Let's Salute Lt. Clinton

As if imagining being fired on by snipers in Bosnia isn't embarrassing enough, it appears Hillary also imagined trying to join the Army. . . . or was it the Marines? Well, of course to the best of anyone's knowledge it wasn't either one, but still. Come on Hillary - are you really that insecure? or is it desperate? deluded maybe?

Oh, that's right. The delusion was that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Puzzling - apparently when Hillary was born in 1947 her parents couldn't settle on a name for their new baby. So they waited until May of 1953 (when Hillary's namesake scaled Mt. Everest) before they found the perfect name for their daughter. Wonder what they called her before they named her? And how did they manage to enroll her in kindergarten?

Sr. Edmund Hillary would be so proud.

Suspicious Minds

I confess. Sometimes I have a suspicious mind. Here's an excellent example: I recently read an article naming the five worst Presidents in American history. The article seemed very non-partisan to me - both Republican and Democrat Presidents were included in the list.

The worst President in American history was Jimmy Carter. . . . . . . . can't say that I find much to disagree with there! Fast forward to the present - in the past few days President Carter, although he declined to endorse either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, certainly with a wink, a nod, and careful parsing of his words clearly indicated that he would like Barack Obama as our next Presidents.

And this is where my suspicious mind gets kicked into gear. Could it be that Jimmy Carter realizes that the only way to get his name off the top of the worst-president-in-American-history list is to be replaced by a future President? Can't say I disagree with him on this one. Barack Obama would have a great chance of knocking Jimmy off the top of the list.

Could be Jimmy's smarter than I thought!

Tough Decisions

One of our county commissioners, Ed Berghorst wrote this guest editorial in the Holland Sentinel explaining the fiscal challenges Ottawa County faces in the future. Personally, I appreciate Ed's easily understood explanation. Thank you Ed!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One Call I Hope I Get!

Pete Hoekstra plans to do another series of "telephone townhall meetings". From the feedback we've received in our office I can say that they were very popular and well received! For more information read this article.

Destroying Detroit

I can't possibly add anything to this article!