Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roy Moore for Governor!

Judge Roy Moore is running for Governor of Alabama.

Moore for governor – and why

Roy Moore for Governor

Moore spoke at Western in February 2005 to an audience of about 600 people. His speech was one of the best the College Republicans have hosted. He displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution.

Anyone who wants to elect a real conservative who does more than talk should support Moore.

Waste of Money

Dedication of downtown gateway columns set for Friday

About half of the $650,000 price tag for the work came from a Michigan Department of Transportation grant, with another $100,000 from WMU and $25,000 from K-College.

Other donors included the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation. The city of Kalamazoo provided engineering services for the project.
Apparently these organizations' finances aren't as bad off as they claim.

Movie Montage

Just for fun...

Lovely Killer Girls with Guns

Saturday, May 30, 2009


This update focuses on civil liberties. The Department of Homeland Security issued a report smearing conservatives as "right-wing extremists". This follows a similar report in Missouri that was withdrawn. Gun and ammunition sales remain high as the Obama administration has supported a treaty that would require drastic gun control.

William Jasper: Homeland Security: Everyone's a Threat
Chuck Baldwin: DHS Report Says "Disgruntled Military Veterans" Might Be "Rightwing Extremists"
William Jasper: New DHS Domestic Terrorism Report Targets Millions of Americans
WorldNetDaily: Homeland Security on guard for 'right-wing extremists'

John Snyder: Gun-Grabbers Undermine U.S. Sovereignty
AWR Hawkins: Treaty Endangers Second Amendment and U.S. Sovereignty
Chuck Baldwin: Obama Positioning For Backdoor Gun Control By Treaty
Ann Coulter: Let's All Surrender Our Weapons--You First!

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

New sheriff Richard Fuller seeks Kalamazoo County Jail expansion

Oshtemo to fight truck-route ruling, explore city status

The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners sets arena discussions for June 2

Former state Rep. Lorence Wenke files to run for state Senate

Kalamazoo College expects $1 million shortfall, possible cuts

Western Michigan University program offers hope for grown foster children

Howard Dean touts Obama health-care plan in Kalamazoo speech

Friday, May 29, 2009

Forum of Discontent

The County government is busy dreaming up new ways to spend money it doesn't have. Its latest scheme is a new arena in downtown Kalamazoo funded by a tax increase.

The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners sets arena discussions for June 2

KALAMAZOO -- The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners is expected to begin public discussion June 2 on the possible construction of a downtown Kalamazoo arena and proposals for new hospitality taxes to finance it.

Officials say the development of the arena -- a subject of privately financed studies for more than five years -- is far from a done deal because of uncertainty about costs, financing, users and project partners.

But preliminary studies have been encouraging, said Kalamazoo County Board Chairman David Buskirk.
Who would use the arena?

Speculation rose in 2006 when Kalamazoo-based Greenleaf Holdings LLC announced that it was purchasing the Wings Stadium complex and the Kalamazoo Wings. Earlier downtown-arena feasibility studies indicated that the project would require booking commitments by one or more users, and speculation was the K-Wings could play there.

Such a move could free the Wings Stadium property at Interstate 94 and Sprinkle Road for other development. Also, arena traffic might benefit the downtown Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, which is owned by Greenleaf.

In addition, Greenleaf's development of a new downtown office building for primary tenant Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, a law firm, resulted in the legal group transferring ownership of its West Michigan Avenue office building and several other nearby properties to DTI.
Certainly such a wonderful plan would generate nothing but profits.

He said the county could consider putting a proposal for new restaurant, bar and rental-car surcharges, plus a rise in the county's hotel tax, on the November ballot for voters to decide.
Or not.

According to an October 2008 preliminary feasibility draft, one plan calls for developing a 7,000-to- 8,000-seat, multipurpose arena with a estimated construction cost of about $40 million. The proposed location is a 9-acre site at the west end of the Arcadia Creek development, bounded by Westnedge Avenue on the west, Michigan Avenue on the south, Rose Street on the east and Kalamazoo Avenue on the north.

"The choices are: It's not feasible; or it's feasible and there's support for it; or it's feasible but we don't support it," said Kenneth Nacci, president of Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., which spearheads central-city development.

Officials said project funding wouldn't come from a property-tax increase or general-fund dollars from the county or city of Kalamazoo.

Instead, Kalamazoo County Administrator Peter Battani said, the funding largely could be generated by a new 1 percent county sales tax on car rentals and food and drinks sold at restaurants and bars. Currently there is no local food and beverage tax for restaurants and bars.

Also, the county's current 5 percent tax on hotel rooms, used to promote tourism, could be increased to generate revenue for an arena.
Taxes on tourism are popular with local governments because they generate less public opposition since their constituents don't pay them directly. Of course, the taxes hurt local businesses and their employees.

County commissioners have until Aug. 11 to decide whether to place a countywide tax request for new surcharges on the November ballot. Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the arena project, and how to proceed with soliciting public feedback, at their June 2 meeting.

"Ultimately, if we're going to go forward with it, the people of the community will have to pay for it in their bills," Battani said. "I would love to see an arena downtown.
But we need to proceed very deliberately and very carefully, and thoroughly review it and hear from the public."
He would love to make us pay for it.

Development catalysts sought

A downtown arena is one of seven "transformative" development projects proposed by DKI under a 10-year plan that the Kalamazoo City Commission adopted last week.

Others include creating a downtown life-sciences campus, a new mixed-use development along the Kalamazoo River and expanded two-way traffic downtown.

Nacci said those projects could spur other downtown development.

"An arena for the sake of an arena is not the right thinking," Nacci said. "It has to be something that satisfies the Southwest region. An entertainment venue like an arena has to be able to position itself to spin off things like restaurants and residential opportunities. It has to be the driver that makes other things feasible."
So the plan is to tax restaurants, putting a few out of business, to create restaurants?

Buskirk said a temporary authority or committee could be formed this summer to get public feedback on the project and more closely examine funding options. Later, if the arena was built, a permanent arena authority could be created to operate it.

Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena was developed and operates under an authority, and a similar independent board now runs the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport.
Is Van Andel funded by taxes? The Grand Rapids metro area is three times as large as Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce President Steward Sandstrom said the chamber would consider new taxes on hotel, restaurant and rental-car fees to pay for an arena. But he cautioned that the plan must not raise prices to levels that would hurt the county's tourism trade.
Change happens on the margin, Steward.

Potential arena users

Western Michigan University could be a prime user of an arena.

"The university is very interested and has been a part of the discussion," said Robert Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach. "A possibility might be that WMU athletic teams would play games in an arena ... but absolutely no decisions have been made other than the university is clear it would not own, operate or manage such a facility."
At least they got that right. Moving WMU sports to downtown would make no sense. WMU is about one mile from downtown, which would make to difference to people who drive to games. If they aren't going out to eat downtown, it's because they don't like downtown. But it would be too far for WMU students to walk to the games.

Government never ceases looking for ways to get bigger.

Governor Candidate Forum

Governor hopefuls offer preview of '10 race

Mackinac Island -- In the first preview of next year's race for governor, some of the candidates argued at a debate Thursday night about raising taxes, the need for a part-time Legislature, whether prisoners should be released to curb the state budget and what Michigan needs to start generating jobs again.


Of all the candidates only one, Cox, would sign a no-tax pledge.

Land said she could not say she would not raise taxes as governor, but acknowledged changes are needed in the way the state raises revenue. "We have to do something," she said. "We need to create jobs."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mike Cox Runs for Governor

Attorney General Cox joins field for governor

The field for the 2010 governor's race continues to take shape, as Attorney General Mike Cox officially jumped into the fray on Wednesday, saying, "I'm mad as hell about what's happening to Michigan."

While it's still early, political pundits say the GOP primary is boiling down to Cox against U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Holland, who announced his entry into the contest in March.

"No one other than Cox and Hoekstra appear to be really serious about this," said Bill Ballenger, editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter.

Ann Arbor businessmen Rick Snyder and David Brandon could be factors if they're willing to spend millions of dollars building up name identification. It's highly unlikely both would get in.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who is running third among Republicans in the polls, also could be a formidable candidate. She has formed an exploratory committee but has not committed to run, and some doubt she will partly because she and Hoekstra would be fighting over the same west Michigan base.


In the Republican primary, Hoekstra leads Cox by a point, 27 percent to 26 percent, and Land is running third at 19 percent in the News poll of 400 voters taken May 18-21 by EPIC/MRA. No one else cracks 2 percent.

Mike Cox joins governor's race saying he plans to cut $2 billion in taxes

Attorney General Mike Cox has a simple formula for fixing Michigan: Cut, then cut some more.

In announcing his candidacy for governor in 2010 Wednesday, Cox underlined his plan to cut $2 billion in taxes, including $1.3 billion from the Michigan Business Tax and repeal of $700 million in personal income tax increases approved in 2007.

Cox insisted that increased revenues stimulated by the tax cuts would help Michigan close a projected 2010 budget deficit of $1.6 billion.


In an exclusive interview with The Press, Cox:

• Rejected Granholm's proposal to change Michigan's flat 19-cent levy on each gallon of gas to a fixed percentage of the wholesale price. It would raise more money as gas prices rise.

"I wouldn't do that," Cox said.

Cox proposed that part of Michigan's 6 percent tax on gasoline be allocated for roads instead.

• Pushed for more nuclear and coal plants.

"I think we ought to aim to be the energy capital of America," Cox said.

"Nuclear is one way we could be more competitive in the long run. In the long run, that's a way to diversify our economy."

He noted he backs a $2 billion, 800 megawatt Consumers Energy "clean coal" operation in Essexville.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guilty by Ann Coulter

Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America
by Ann Coulter

Guilty is Ann Coulter's seventh book, and her most recent bestseller. This book is loosely organized around the theme of liberal 'victims' and covers a number of recent political controversies.

The first chapter outlines Coulter's thesis. Victimhood has become bizarrely fashionable in contemporary America. People can achieve a higher social status the worse off they are, or are perceived to be. This has led to the bizarre spectacle of people fabricating hardships to make themselves appear worse off.

In earlier times, success and achievement was admired. Today's victims would simply have been seen as losers or worse. People would better backgrounds and achievements, not worse.

Liberalism is not only part of the cause of this phenomenon, but it has exploited it for its own agenda. There are certainly real victims who deserve our sympathy. But liberals laud 'victims' who are not only phony, but actually create real victims in largely unrecognized ways. Liberals use victims to advance their political agenda and stifle debate, as Coulter previously showed in Godless.

Coulter cites a number of examples, including a string of phony 'hate crimes' on college campuses that were actually committed by the purported 'victims' themselves. Such controversies are trumpeted by the media. The media also has very different standards for homosexuals, lauding those whose politics they like while outing and attacking those with whom they disagree.

The second chapter of Guilty received the most media attention, and for good reason, as it is the most significant. Its topic is single motherhood.

By 'single mother', Coulter specifies women who choose to have children out of Wedlock. Coulter details the evidence that single motherhood is terrible for children. Around 60-70% of prison inmates, juvenile murders, rapists, "teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers" come from single mothers. The primary cause of poverty is single motherhood, but government welfare programs have actually encouraged both. The alternative to single motherhood, aside from monogamy, is adoption. Adopted kids don't have the same list of social problems.

Liberals have glamorized single motherhood in movies and television. Dan Quayle was severely attacked for criticizing Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock. (Coulter doesn't mention that the child soon disappeared from the show. Apparently even taking care of a fictional child was too much work. After Quayle was safely out of office, there were a string of 'Dan Quayle was right' articles in the media.)

Coulter cites feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich, who has explicitly advocated single motherhood and attacked the family. She also cites a string out court decisions weakening the family. Courts broke up adoptive families in favor of lowlife unwed fathers who suddenly wanted their biological children years after conception, and they did it in the name of 'the interests of the child'. Incredibly, in 1989, the Supreme Court came within one vote of ruling that adulterers would have rights to children conceived under adultery.

Coulter advocates returning to the standard that worked, and that liberal judges dismantled. Namely, unwed fathers have no right to their children, and unwed mothers have no right to child support. Instead, rewarding single motherhood has led to lots more of it.

Coulter makes a powerful and compelling case for socially discouraging single motherhood rather than rewarding it with praise.

The rest of the book is less important, but still entertaining. Coulter debunks a number of liberal myths, particularly those created or promoted by the liberal media. One of the biggest is the 'Republican attack machine', which essentially doesn't exist. The only real 'attack machine' is the media. When liberals attack each other, they often do so by purporting to fear what the 'Republican attack machine' will say about their opponent. Coulter covers the media treatment of Obama during the campaign, particularly his political alliances with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. She tells the truth about the Swift Boat Veterans and the media's attacks on them.

Coulter documents the phenomenon of Republicans who seek fame and fortune by denouncing their party. She considers the case of former Bush spokesmen Scott McClellan. She shows how presidential biographies treat Republicans and democrats, including one by former southwest Michigan congressman and Reagan budget director David Stockman attacking Reagan. (Years later Stockman's former aide and current 6th district congressman would run for office as a 'Reagan Republican'.) She reviews the raft of books by Bush administration officials and bureaucrats attacking Bush.

One point that Coulter fails to make is that most, if not all of the turncoats were not movement conservatives, they were just hacks who were working for Bush because it was the best job they could get at the time. When a better opportunity came along, they took it and denounced him. Hiring conservatives who actually believe in something would do a lot to ameliorate this problem.

Coulter contrasts the media's treatment of Republican and democrat 'sex scandals' and claims of privacy. The media investigated every detail of Sarah Palin's family life. The media had earlier managed to unseal the divorce records of both of Barack Obama's opponents in his 2004 senate race. The media did the best it could to cover up John Edwards' affair. It created a phony controversy over George Allen's 'macaca' statement while ignoring real anti-Semitic flyers made by his opponent, Jim Webb.

Coulter reviews the many serious scandals of the Clinton administration with the phony scandals of the Bush administration. Finally, Coulter documents the media fawning over liberals for everything from 'beauty' and 'eloquence' to 'courage'.

Critics of the liberal media will never run out of material. But Coulter makes her points persuasively and effectively. Guilty is well worth reading.

If Democrats Had Any Brains...
Godless: A Review

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jack Hoogendyk at Campaign for Liberty

The Congressional Water Grab

Michigan, through its Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is one of only two states in the Union that regulates wetlands with a state agency rather than through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This has been a problem because the state guidelines are much more strict than the federal guidelines. Additionally, the DEQ has proven to be arbitrary and capricious in its decision making and has often caused long, unnecessary delays in approving permits.

While the concerns about over-regulation by a state agency are valid, they may be rendered "moot" by recent efforts in Congress. U.S. Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a bill, S787, which was sponsored by 23 other members (all Democrats including Levin and Stabenow.) Senate Bill S787 is entitled, "To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States." Notice they start the description with the words "pollution control." That makes it sound caring and good, doesn't it?


Read it all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Obama's Awful Auto Plan

Barack Obama's plan to destroy America's automakers, and Michigan with them, deserves mention.

Obama to Government Motors: 'Let's Roll'

Karen DeCoster's article above provides a good overview of what the government has done to the automakers. After being strangled for decades by government regulations and government-backed union rules, GM and Chrysler were on the verge of bankruptcy. Rather than allow this to occur, and let the companies be restructured more efficiently, the government stepped in with a taxpayer-funded 'bailout'. But later, the government decided to allow a bankruptcy anyways, only to rig the proceedings so that the government and UAW union would take over the companies, rather than the bondholders who rightfully owned them.

Obama's Emission Policy Kills 800 more Americans a Year

Now, Obama is mandating higher CAFE standards, just two years after they were increased before. They mandate that the average fuel economy of all models produced by an automaker be above a certain number of miles per gallon. Since government cannot magically change the laws of physics, this will mean that cars and trucks that fall below the average will need to be priced so high that most people can't afford to buy them, or discontinued altogether.

This will force people into smaller, lighter cars, which are also less safe. The main way of increasing the fuel economy of an existing model is to reduce the weight by making panels thinner. This will also make cars less safe. CAFE standards have been shown to kill more than a thousand people each year. Obama's new standards may kill an additional 800 people per year.

Liberals love arbitrary government mandates. Don't you conservatives believe the free market can do anything? Why not mandate that cars all get 40 miles per gallon? Conservatives don't believe that the free market can do anything, we believe that it is the best way to distinguish between what can be done, and what can't, and achieve the good things that can be done.

Liberals love to cite the moon landing, but there is a long history of arbitrary government mandates that were trumpeted when announced and quietly repealed years later when people realized how irrational they were. California provides several excellent examples: California’s Potemkin Environmentalism

This mandate is also terrible for the domestic automakers. For years, American automakers have lost over a thousand dollars per car sold. They managed to stay in business thanks to sales of trucks and SUVs. Presumably they kept making cars so they could meet the CAFE standards. Obama's new rules will end the vehicles that made Detroit money and make the ones that were already losing money much worse.

The automakers will never make money again as long as they are controlled by the government. Government-run businesses can't make money even when they are monopolies like AMTRAK and the Post Office. The automakers will require a never-ending string of billion-dollar bailouts to stay in business. When they don't have to satisfy the customer to survive, vehicle quality and service will decline. That means sales will decline further, requiring bigger bailouts.

If you need a car that can hold your whole family and isn't a death trap, you had best get shopping. Or don't buy American.

Obama Screws Michigan
Big Three Bailout?
CAFE Carnage


This update focuses on sovereignty. Global elitists are trying to create a world currency. They are also trying to integrate the US and European Union (EU).

William Jasper: Dumping the Dollar for Global Currency
William Jasper: U.S., Russia "Reset" the Convergence Agenda
James Perloff: EU-U.S. Integration: Unattractive Union
William Jasper: Global Fusion: The G20, IMF, and World Government
William Jasper: Somali Pirates : An Excuse to Ratify LOST?
William Jasper: “Conspiracy Theorists” Not So Crazy After All
Thomas Kilgannon: Will Obama (Inter)Nationalize the Banks?
Jerome Corsi: Canada joins Transatlantic Union effort
Joseph Farah: Out of chaos, a new world order

More information:
United Nations: Eagle Forum: United Nations
North American Union: Eagle Forum Stop SPP
Trans-Texas Corridor: Corridor Watch

Tom George's Health Care Plan

State Sen. Tom George's plan would revamp health care: Governor hopeful seeks to make coverage affordable for more

KALAMAZOO -- State Sen. Tom George is spearheading an ambitious, comprehensive overhaul of Michigan health care that would include creation of two new programs for the uninsured -- one that would expand Medicaid to the working poor and another for middle-class families.
More government programs.

George, a Texas Township Republican who is running for governor, said Monday that the programs would be subsidized by an increase in the hospital-bed tax, an annual assessment paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield and a tax paid by insurers on all of their health claims.
Higher taxes.

One of two physicians in the Michigan Legislature, George said the plan would be a step toward universal health-care coverage without going to a one-payer system and would incorporate strategies promoting healthier lifestyles that could reduce health-care costs.
Government regulation of personal behavior.

"We're ripe for reform," George said, pointing out that more than 1.2 million Michigan residents lack health insurance. "If more people have access (to health insurance), it would lead to a healthier Michigan."

George also is pushing for changes in regulations of individual policies purchased by Michigan residents, which is one of the most contentious areas of health insurance. Those policies can be difficult and expensive to obtain for the people who need them most.

George chaired a bipartisan Senate task force to consider ways to make health insurance more affordable and accessible. The task force's work led to four bills that were introduced in the Senate last week, with George as the lead sponsor.

One bill would create a program called MI Access that would cover households with incomes of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which is about $20,000 for a single adult and $40,000 for a family of four. It would dovetail with MI Child, which provides health insurance for children from low- and moderate-income families. George estimates that up to half of the uninsured adults in Michigan would be eligible for MI Access.

The premiums would be capped at 5 percent of income, and George said they would be lower for people who have healthy lifestyles, such as nonsmokers and those who are not overweight.
Government monitoring of personal behavior.

MI Access would qualify for federal Medicaid dollars, George said, "money that Michigan is now leaving on the table."
More federal control.

The other program, MI Coverage, would cover uninsured families with incomes of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guideline -- about $60,000 for a family of four.

MI Coverage would offer a "stripped-down" policy for a monthly premium of $50 to $60, George said. It would provide some doctor visits, prescription coverage and hospitalization. As with MI Access, George said, the premiums costs would be lower for those with healthy lifestyles.

State funding for the program would come from an increase in the state hospital-bed tax; a tax of up to 1.8 percent on insurance claims, which would be paid by insurers; and an assessment paid by Blue Cross in exchange for allowing the insurer to keep its nonprofit status even as the state enacts reforms that lessen the company's burden as the insurer of last resort.
Higher taxes, higher taxes, higher taxes.

The other two bills are specifically designed to help level the playing field between Blue Cross and other insurers.

One bill would require insurance companies to renew polices of individual policyholders even if they get sick. It also would limit policy cancellations for technical reasons and shorten the period in which companies may exclude coverage.
More regulation, higher premiums for policyholders.

Currently, companies other than Blue Cross can refuse to cover an individual for any conditions that existed within a year of buying a policy; that period would be shortened to six months, the same as Blue Cross.

The other bill would create a reinsurance pool to reimburse insurance companies for individual claims of more than $25,000, which would lower the incentive for insurance companies to send their most expensive clients to Blue Cross. The pool would be financed by a fee on all individual policies.
Higher taxes.

Insurance is part of the problem with health care: Our Crazy Health-Insurance System

Monday, May 18, 2009

Schuitmaker for Senate

Schuitmaker announces plans to run for state Senate

PORTAGE -- State Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker said Monday she intends to run in 2010 for the 20th District state Senate seat currently held by state Sen. Tom George.

The 20th District covers all of Kalamazoo County, including Antwerp and Paw Paw townships in Van Buren County. George cannot seek for re-election in 2010 because of term limits and said he is planning a run for governor.

Schuitmaker is the second Republican to indicate interest in the 20th District. Former state Rep. Lorence Wenke recently told the Kalamazoo Gazette he is thinking about running for the seat.

Schuitmaker, R-Antwerp Township, was first elected to the Michigan House in 2004. She represents the 80th District, covering Van Buren County, the city of Otsego and the townships of Otsego and Watson in Allegan County. She is currently Republican assistant minority floor leader and minority vice chair of the House.

Schuitmaker said she planned to file paperwork Monday to form a campaign committee and "will be taking the next year to meet with the residents of the greater Kalamazoo Valley as we work together to develop creative solutions and ideas to make Michigan better."

" The economic indicators in Michigan are not positive," she said in a statement announcing her Senate plans.

"Michigan, with its abundance of natural resources, universities and talented workforce, has been leading the nation for far too long in unemployment, decreased property values, crumbling infrastructure, and students who leave after graduating from our universities."

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This update focuses on the economy. Bailouts and government regulations continue. Government monetary policy bears much blame for the present crisis.

Tim Carney: Pro-Liberty vs Pro-Business
William Hoar: Printing and Spending Our Way to Prosperity
Charles Scaliger: The New GM: Government Made
James Perloff: Our Monetary Mayhem Began With the Fed
Charles Scaliger: Creating "Wealth": The Fed Shows No Reserve
Steve Sailer: Thomas Woods’ Meltdown And The Diversity Depression
Gary North: Is George Soros an Austrian?
Phyllis Schlafly: Will the Real Secretary Geithner Please Stand Up?
Don Devine: Transformational Obama Budget

See also:
The Recession Reader
The Bailout Reader

Huntsman to China

Jon Huntsman, the Republican governor of Utah, has been appointed by President Obama as ambassador to China. He recently toured Michigan for a round of fundraising events.

Reports: Utah GOP Gov. Huntsman to resign, become Obama’s China ambassador
Utah GOP governor is Obama's pick as China envoy

With the selection, Obama may have sidelined a potentially formidable moderate Republican from the 2012 presidential field. For Huntsman, it's a chance to burnish his credentials and position himself as a viable hopeful - perhaps for 2016 if Obama is seen as a strong candidate for a second term in 2012.
What terrible analysis.

Huntsman recently made headlines for encouraging his party to swing in a more moderate direction if it wants to bounce back from the 2008 elections, angering some conservatives.
Why would any conservative not want people like Obama ambassador Huntsman running the party?

He has drawn the most attention for stating he favors civil unions for gay couples even though he backed a state constitutional amendment passed in 2004 that prohibited same-sex marriage.

Huntsman's comments on civil unions drew the ire of conservatives in Utah and elsewhere. Officials in Michigan last month canceled a GOP county fundraiser where Huntsman was to speak, saying he had abandoned important party principles.
Previous: Huntsman Event

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Portage mayor to lead new Western Michigan University department

Kalamazoo County transit officials say tax levy could be lower in future years

City Commission panel needs more time for Kalamazoo gay-rights ordinance

Room and board rates increase

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wenke Supports Hate Crimes Law

Rep. Robert Jones seeks broader, tougher hate-crime law

LANSING -- A Kalamazoo lawmaker is looking to expand Michigan's hate-crime legislation and impose steeper penalties when crimes target a victim's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or military status.

A bill authored by state Rep. Robert Jones, D-Kalamazoo, to give "law enforcement and prosecutors more tools to deal with hate crimes" was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

A similar bill was approved by the Democrat-controlled House in the last legislative session, but it failed to pass the Senate, which is majority Republican. Jones and then-state Rep. Lorence Wenke, R-Comstock Township, were co-sponsors for that bill.
More confirmation that the real target of this legislation is speech.

AFAM officials also contend the bill could be used to prosecute as accessories "pastors and others who speak out against the homosexual agenda ... any time a violent crime is committed against an individual who's involved in homosexual behavior or cross-dressing."

Jones called that charge untrue.

"What family doesn't have someone with a disability or an ancestry of different national origins, ethnicity, race or religions, members with different veteran's status or sexual orientation?" Jones said. "All hate crime is wrong, and if we cannot say that or we want to exclude someone, I'm not for that."

Locally, the Kalamazoo Alliance for Equality says studies show that 40 percent of transgender people report experiencing physical abuse or violence, 80 percent say they have been verbally abused or harassed, and nearly half claim they regularly feel unsafe.
Why mention 'verbal harassment', which is just speech they don't like, unless the goal of the law is to ban it.

Gazette on Wenke
Wenke for Senate in Kalamazoo
Robert Jones Attacks Free Speech

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walberg for Congress?

Tim Walberg may seek to reclaim Michigan's 7th congressional district.

Michigan Democrat Fights His District’s Freshman Curse

Freshman House Democrat Mark Schauer hopes his 2010 race breaks a negative streak in the congressional politics of Michigan’s 7th District. His two immediate predecessors lasted just two years in office before they were ousted by voters.

The good news for Schauer — the former leader of the state Senate’s Democratic minority — is that both of those one-term wonders were Republicans.

Joe Schwarz, a GOP moderate, won an open-seat race after defeating a crowded field of conservative rivals in the 2004 Republican primary. In 2006, he lost a one-on-one primary race with former state Rep. Tim Walberg, one of his 2004 primary opponents. But Walberg’s bruising challenge, backed by attacks against Schwarz by the conservative group Club for Growth, left such hard feelings that Walberg only narrowly defeated a little-known and underfinanced Democratic nominee.

That outcome set him up for his 2008 loss, by just more than 2 percentage points, to the better-known and experienced Schauer, who rode a national tide running in favor of the Democrats and portrayed Walberg as too conservative and too much a supporter of Bush’s unpopular administration.

The not-so-good news for Schauer is that he could face a 2010 rematch bid by Walberg in a district that, while no longer the Republican stronghold it once was, can hardly be described as safely Democratic.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Race for Governor

The race for Governor of Michigan is already well underway. Some candidates have declared, others are 'exploring', and others are still rumors. Let's take a look at the state of the race.

On the democrat side, Lieutanant Governor John Cherry appears to be well-positioned to receive the nomination. Other potential candidates include former Flint mayor Don Williamson, MSU Trustee George Perless, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, and Macomb County Sherriff Warren Evans.

The race on the Republican side is more wide open.

Attorney General Mike Cox was the first to open an exploratory committee. He was narrowly elected in 2002 and reelected by a wider margin in 2006, in a bad year for Republicans. Cox is a populist conservative and former prosecutor who has taken conservative stances on a wide range of issues. He has issued opinions as attorney general ending driver liscences for illegal aliens, requiring identification to vote, expanding gun rights, and more. He was the only top Republican official in Michigan to endorse the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative in 2006 to end racial preferrences. Cox is from the east side of the state (Wayne County) and could do better there than other candidates.

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land won fairly easy election victories in 2002 and 2006. She was previously the Kent County Clerk. She is generally seen as a capable manager as Secretary of State. Land is generally considered conservative, but has not taken many specific positions on the issues in the relatively nonideological positions that she has held. Land strangely interpreted an opinion issued by Cox on drivers licences for illegals that required the legislature to pass an emergency bill to avoid cutting of licences for legal noncitizens. Land did not take a position on the MCRI in 2006. Land's base is West Michigan, where she will compete with Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra has served in Congress for 16 years representing the Holland/Muskegon area and has won easy victories in the most Republican district in Michigan. He is considered a conservative, with a 90% rating from the American Conservative Union. However, he alienated some conservatives with his vote for the 700 billion dollar bailout in 2008. His service in an unpopular Congress, particularly during the Bush years, may prove a liability. Hoekstra's base is West Michigan, where he will compete with Land and Senator Tom George.

State Senator Tom George has represented the 20th Senate district, covering Kalamazoo and part of Van Buren Counties, since 2002. He previously was a state representative 2000-2002. George is widely regarded as a capable legislator and is considered a moderate conservative. He may have turned off some conservatives with his support for a sales tax increase in 2007, smoking ban, and mandating the HPV drug Gardasil for teenage girls. George will need to expand beyond his base in Kalamazoo to win the primary.

Businessman Rick Snyder has never previously held or sought elective office. His positions on most issues are unknown. He has donated to a number of Republicans, but also supported Democrat congressman John Dingell and the group that supported human embryo destruction in the 2008 election. Snyder is believed to be planning to self-fund his campaign. Self-funding candidates usually lose, as in 2004, when 24 of 25 candidates who spent more than million dollars of their own money lost, and the one who won beat one of the other 24. Self-funding businessman Dick DeVos lost the Michigan gubernatorial race in a landslide in 2006. Snyder does not have a geographical base in Michigan.
Snyder who? I'll tell you, but you're probably not going to like it...
A few notes on Rick Snyder's various (and varied) responses

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is considering running, but has not announced yet. Bouchard has been Sheriff for several terms, usually winning comfortably. Before that he was a state senator. He was the Republican nominee for US Senate in 2006, losing to Debbie Stabenow by a wide margin. Bouchard is generally considered conservative. He opposed the MCRI in 2006. Bouchard's base is Oakland County, and he may compete with Mike Cox for support on the east side of the state.

Prominent Republicans who have announced that they will not run include businessman and 2006 nominee Dick DeVos and Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson.

Early polls have shown Cox and Hoekstra with the best numbers among Republicans. Cox polls the best among several top Republican candidates who lead Cherry in the general election race.


This update focuses on liberalism. We continue to learn more about Barack Obama's origins and goals. Some congressional liberals recently traveled to Cuba and fawned over Fidel Castro.

Bettina Esser: Howard Zinn's Revisionist History Text
Humberto Fontova: Why Did Congressional Black Caucus Overlook Racism in Cuba?
Rowan Scarborough: The Great Left Smear Machine
Michelle Malkin: CBC: Congressional Bootlickers for Castro
Phyllis Schlafly: Obama's 'New World Order'
Ann Coulter: Gondon Gekko is a Democrat
Ann Coulter: Are 'Hope' and 'Change' Still Tax-Deductible?
WorldNetDaily: Why leftists love tyrants and terrorists
Steve Sailer: The “Obama Bear Market” And Why He Triggered It
Phyllis Schlafly: How a Community Organizer Became President
Brian Farmer: The Employee Free Choice Act Is a Deception

Much information on liberal individuals and organizations can be found at David Horowitz's Discover the Network site.

Gazette on Wenke

Here is the Gazette on Wenke. The comments so far aren't flattering.

Former Michigan State Representative Lorence Wenke may run for State Senate seat

GALESBURG -- Local businessman and former Republican state Rep. Lorence Wenke has designs on becoming a Michigan senator.

But Wenke told the Kalamazoo Gazette on Friday that he will wait until 2010 to run when term-limited Sen. Tom George, R-Texas Township, completes his final term representing the 20th District.

Wenke had considered running this year for the 19th District state Senate seat, which opened after Democrat Mark Schauer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. But a run would have required Wenke to move from his Comstock Township home to a residence in the district, which covers Calhoun County and most of Jackson County.

"It's not the right time for me to run over there. I would have to move to the district and, quite frankly, my wife of 42 years said she was willing to move, but I can tell it would not be a happy event," he said.

Wenke would have had to declare by Tuesday his intention to run for 19th District state Senate seat, which has been under Democratic control. Former state Rep. Mike Nofs, a Republican, announced last month he will run for the seat.

As a homeowner in Kalamazoo County, there are no residency issues with Wenke running in the 20th District, which represents all of the county plus a small part of Van Buren County. The 63-year-old owner of Wenke Greenhouses, who represented the 63rd District until term limits ended his tenure in 2008, said he still has much to contribute as a public servant.

Wenke said Friday that in a time when Michigan's economy is struggling, his experience as a business leader is what the state needs.

Wenke for Senate in Kalamazoo
Wenke for Senate?

Friday, May 08, 2009

More College Articles

Hat tip to LRC:

Students Go to Owe U
Students Learn More
Club Med U.

Previous articles:
Colleges Flunk Economics Test as Harvard Model Destroys Budgets
End the University as We Know It
The Problem with Graduate Education

Wenke for Senate in Kalamazoo

From MIRS:

Wenke Going For Senate . . . Next Year
"The odds are getting better that former Rep. Mike NOFS (R-Battle Creek) won't have a primary for the 19th Senate District special election."

"If I lose the Republican nomination over my support for our gay family members, I would consider it to be an honor."-- Former Rep. Lorence WENKE, who said today he was running for the 20th Senate District in Kalamazoo in 2010.


Yes, it's going to be that kind of campaign.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wenke for Senate?

From Gongwer:

Former Rep. Lorence Wenke said he will decide in the next day if he will run in the special election for the 19th Senate seat, but if he decides not to seek that Senate seat he is definitely considering a run for the chamber in the 2010 election.


Wenke does not live in the district. He lives in Kalamazoo County.

Election Results

In the election Tuesday, the transportation millage passed fairly easily, and the library millage passed very easily. Election Magic has returns. See also these Gazette articles.

Election results by school district/municipality
Newcomers win seats on Portage library board; incumbent unseated
After November defeat, transportation tax passes easily in Kalamazoo County
Kalamazoo, Portage schools get new trustees: Ervin Armstrong and Randy Van Antwerp
Renewal of Kalamazoo Public Library tax passes easily

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Taxes on the Ballot

Tuesday, May 5 is election day. Across Michigan, there will be elections for local offices and tax proposals. The most prominent is the Detroit mayoral runoff between Dave Bing and Ken Cockrell.

In Kalamazoo County, there will be a countywide millage on the ballot to fund the bus system. The money would go to the Car-a-Van system and three low-ridership bus routes in Portage. The bulk of the bus system is expected to be funded by a millage in the city of Kalamazoo in November.

This proposal is scaled down from the massive transportation proposal that was soundly defeated last November. That proposal would have made funding for the bus system entirely countywide.

However, the current proposal would still force people, particularly in outlying parts of the county, to pay for services that they don't use. As such, it should be defeated.

Also on the ballot will be a renewal of the millage for the Kalamazoo Public Libraries. KPL is aggressively promoting renewal, with "Library Champion" signs sprouting up around town.

There will also be school board and library board positions on the ballot. The Gazette provides brief profiles of some of the races.
Southwest Michigan voters to cast ballots on transit tax, school board races
In Kalamazoo school board race, a former teacher and a volunteer compete graciously
Portage school board candidates have similar views but come from different backgrounds
9 candidates run for 3 Portage library seats in May 5 election

The 2009 Election Preview has been updated.

Future Tax Hikes?
They Won't Take NO for an Answer
Tax Eaters Are Never Full
The bus routes have been saved
Ax the bus tax
Bus Tax: The Facts
Tax increase for busing?

Huntsman Event

Utah Gov. Huntsman tells Kalamazoo County Republicans that Michigan can lead nation again

KALAMAZOO -- Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Saturday brought his own "Yes We Can" message to area Republicans who say they're concerned that Michigan is "leading the way," but in the wrong directions.

Huntsman, already floated as a potential 2012 GOP presidential contender, made little mention here of positions that may distance him from some conservative Republicans -- such as his support for civil unions for gay couples.

Instead, he focused most of his remarks painting a picture of a better Michigan -- under a Republican governor -- and rebuilding the GOP nationally on ideas it can articulate to American voters.

"I feel a sense of destiny in this state," Huntsman told about 65 Republicans attending a fundraiser at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in downtown Kalamazoo to help finance a permanent Kalamazoo County GOP headquarters. "You led this nation in the Industrial Revolution. And in the 1990s, remember when everybody wanted to be like Michigan?

POLITICAL UPDATE--Environmentalism

This update focuses on environmentalism. Belief in the global warming scam continues to decline. Congress may soon consider a 'cap and trade' plan to raise taxes and damage the economy. Environmentalists continue to hamper energy production.

Floy Lilley: Out With Windmills – In With Nuclear
Warren Mass: The High Cost of Cap and Trade
Ernest Istook: Green Jobs or Gangrene?
Terry Easton: Cap and Trade: A New Disaster Waiting to Happen in 2009
Ed Hiserodt: A Cooling Trend Toward Global Warming
Chris Horner: Is Our President a 'Carbon Communist'?
Michelle Malkin: The Shut Up and Swallow Congress
Warren Mass: Cap and Trade: A Huge, Regressive Tax
Phyllis Schlafly: Global Warming Is Running Out of Hot Air
William Hoar: Trying to Turn CO2 Into Au
Ed Hiserodt: Wind vs. Nuclear Power: Which Is Safer?

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Colleges Flunk Economics Test

Colleges Flunk Economics Test as Harvard Model Destroys Budgets

Another long article on the plight of colleges.

Kalamazoo College is featured extensively in the article.


“Pell serves the neediest students, but our middle-class families need help too right now,” says Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, president of Kalamazoo College, a liberal arts school in Michigan.


Kalamazoo College, with 1,340 students, has told professors to increase class sizes so it can boost tuition revenue.


At Kalamazoo College, the main cafeteria, which the school renovated as part of $14.5 million in spending on the student center last year, lets students pick among pizza, hamburgers, grilled vegetables, make-your-own salads and a dozen other choices.


Kalamazoo College, 240 miles to the east, is scrambling to slash $2.8 million in costs. It needs to compensate for the 28 percent decline in its $157 million endowment and the expected increase in financial aid it will have to dole out next year.

On this sunny March day, Kalamazoo’s tree-lined campus is bustling with people walking to class and studying on the lawn. Students, mainly from Michigan, and faculty mostly know each other by first name. Classes range from 1 person in an upper- level Italian course to 40 in some introductory classes. For the small classes and personal attention, students pay $38,166 a year, including room and board.

Saving Money

Saving money is a campus-wide affair. On this day, about 40 students, professors and staff gather in a wood-paneled conference room. The group calls out suggestions, and students write them on easels lined with blank white paper: Dorm hall lights shouldn’t be on 24/7; videoconferencing instead of travel; rent classrooms to companies.

While those ideas will help, the only savior for a school like Kalamazoo is more paying students. Last year, it had six fewer than anticipated, which means it will lose about $1 million over four years, says Jeffrey Haus, a professor of religion and history who’s on the admissions committee.

“They’re asking us to increase the size of attendance,” Haus says. “Larger classes work against the mission of a small liberal arts college.”

Amanda West, a first-year Kalamazoo student from Los Angeles, says she might transfer to a bigger school that costs less and offers more.

“I’m worried that my experience here won’t be as rich as it could be,” she says.