Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fraudulent Writing

This is an incredibly disturbing article about the rampant fraud in university paper writing.

The Shadow Scholar
The man who writes your students' papers tells his story

Three notes:
The author writes on all subjects in the humanities and social "sciences", but apparently not at all in math and science.
Students from public schools come to college barely or not at all literate.
If this author can write passing work in these subjects, including at the graduate level, without taking any classes in them, what does it say about the need for classes in these subjects?

POLITICAL UPDATE--Airport Security

This update focuses on airport security. Protests have mounted against the ridiculous and intrusive procedures of the TSA.

Gary North: TSA: Thou Shalt Acquiesce
Thomas Sowell: Airport "Security"?
Ann Coulter: Strange Men Grope Nancy Pelosi Or The Terrorists Have Won
Ann Coulter: Napolitano: The Ball's In My Court Now
Will Grigg: Daedalus Shrugged

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weaver Censured

Recently resigned Michigan Supreme Court justice Betty Weaver was censured by the court for secretly recording deliberations without the other justices' consent. The recordings were used in malicious attacks against Justice Robert Young, who was reelected this month.

Weaver was censured not just by Republicans Corrigan, Markman, and Young, but also democrats Kelly and Cavanaugh. Democrat Hathaway opposed censure, while democrat Alton Davis did not vote, perhaps due to conflict of interest. Davis was Weaver's handpicked successor in a secret deal with governor Granholm.

This demonstrates once again that the problems on the Michigan Supreme Court were not due to partisanship, as often alleged in the media. They were due to Weaver. Good riddance.

Down With Upton

FreedomWorks has a website opposing Fred Upton as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

They also have an extensive list of his votes.

You asked for it! A much, much longer list of Upton’s many, many votes for bigger and more intrusive government.

Over 11000 people have signed a petition against Upton.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

National Conservatives Finally Notice Fred Upton

There has been controversy on the right in recent weeks over the prospect of Congressman Fred Upton assuming the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next year.

Republicans debate whether Congressman Fred Upton is conservative enough to lead House Energy and Commerce Committee
Critics Challenge Choosing Upton as Energy Chair
Nov. 17, 2010 - Gov plan to scramble your cell phone (AUDIO)
Conservatives burn over Fred Upton's light bulb law
Democrats Want GOP Victory to Mark the End, Not the Beginning
Caller Defends Rep. Upton and His Stupid Stance on Lightbulbs

Human Events: Upton Too Liberal on Energy and Commerce
Just Say No to Fred Upton
Upton's Duck and Weave
Fred Upton, Thomas Edison and Whirlpool
Upton Relied On Industry-Crushing Environmentalists
Examiner Editorial: Upton is wrong choice for Energy and Commerce

Upton has been trying to win over folks on the right without much success.
Transparency According to Carol Browner: "Put nothing in writing, ever"
Reduce out-of-control spending now

Many commentators on the right have cited a long string of bad votes by Upton, most notoriously his legislation to ban the incandescent lightbulb by 2012. They have asked how Upton could possibly keep getting reelected with this record.

The short answer: because people in this district don't know his record. Upton is certainly a hard worker with good constituent service who comes across as friendly, likable representative. He works the district hard and regularly appears on all the local media outlets.

And the local media loves him back. The Gazette in particular endorses him every two years and extols his 'moderate' record. Consequently, the local media does not report on his voting record. Oh, an occasional vote may be mentioned here or there, but they are often buried and always quickly forgotten. Upton almost never mentions his nonconservative votes in the district (with occasional exceptions such as the auto bailout), but he highlights his conservative stances such as opposing Obamacare and cap-and-trade, so many local Republicans think that his record is more conservative than it actually is.

Probably the most prominent media outlet to regularly report on Upton's voting record is... this blog.
Fred Upton's Ten Worst Votes
Upton's Light Bulb Ban

As for national conservatives who wonder how Upton keeps getting elected, where were they four months ago when Upton was fending off the toughest primary challenge of his career? Former state rep. Jack Hoogendyk racked up 43% against Upton on a shoestring budget with only radio ads for advertisement. Practically no national conservatives mentioned the race. Jack's total was, as far as this blog remembers, the highest percentage of any unsuccessful challenge to a Republican congressional incumbent this cycle. The only House incumbent to lose a primary challenge this cycle was Rep. Bob Inglis, who was savaged by Glenn Beck for statements attacking conservatives.

Meanwhile, Fred Upton's voting record always seems to get more conservative when he faces conservative scrutiny. His most conservative year according to the American Conservative Union was 2002, when he faced a primary challenge from Dale Shugars. Upton's voting record has been similarly good this year, far better than the 44% he got in 2008. It would be nice if Upton would start voting consistently conservative, but history doesn't suggest that this is likely.


This update focuses on the culture war.

James Fulford: The Fulford File: Mormons and Migration
Phyllis Schlafly: Judges Get Their Comeuppance
Pat Buchanan: Tea Party's Winning Hand
Steve Sailer: How Obama Could Earn Re-Election—Abolish Quotas!
Phyllis Schlafly: Government Trampling on Constitutional Rights of Parents
Gary North: Lose Your Government Chains
Steve Sailer: “Can HBD Trump PC?” Steve Sailer’s Address To the H.L. Mencken Club
Thomas Sowell: The Multicultural Cult
Phyllis Schlafly: Marriage Is the Key to Spending Cuts

POLITICAL UPDATES are archived here.

Local News

Local news around Kalamazoo.

Air Zoo expansion to consolidate exhibits
Air Zoo plans 50,000-square-foot addition for exhibits, aircraft and library
Six seek to replace Margaret O'Brien on Portage City Council
Opinions mixed on backyard chickens in Portage
Dean hopeful for WMU med school stresses communication
WMU Med school dean candidate here Thursday: Says Kalamazoo has "all the pieces in place"
Republicans debate whether Congressman Fred Upton is conservative enough to lead House Energy and Commerce Committee
Western Michigan University growing enrollment, jobs, despite funding erosion
Kalamazoo College launches 'transformational' campaign to raise more than $100 million
Local GOP lawmakers James "Jase" Bolger, Tonya Schuitmaker get leadership posts in Legislature

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Analysis: Governor

Republican Rick Snyder trounced democrat Virg Bernero in the race for Michigan governor. Snyder won 58.1% to Bernero's 39.9%. Snyder won all but five counties (Wayne, Genesse, Washtenaw, Ingham, Gogebic) and he was within 5% in the last four of these. He topped out at 79.1% in Ottowa, 76.7% in Missaukee, and 75% in Livingston County. See county-by-county results here:
NY Times: Michigan election results

Snyder benefited from a national anti-democrat tide and an even stronger such tide in Michigan after eight years of misrule under Granholm and company.

Virg Bernero's anti-business demagoguery looked like more of the same. Rick Snyder appealed to the public as someone from the business world who could create jobs. He was rather vague about the specifics of what it would mean to "reinvent Michigan". Snyder wisely avoided debates as much as possible, which would have played to Bernero's strength, but he held his own in their one debate.

Four years ago, dubious charges of outsourcing and anti-rich class warfare helped Jennifer Granholm defeat Dick DeVos. Four years and no jobs later, voters weren't falling for the same trick again.

Snyder was fortunate to face a weak opponent. Bernero had little name recognition and struggled to raise money. Trailing badly in the polls, he saw potential donors send their money to other more winnable races.

Snyder self-funded his campaign, at least for the primary, but smartly avoided spending too much. He spent enough to get out his message, but not so much that he alienated voters. He avoid the trap that Meg Whitman, Linda McMahon, and many previous self-funders fell into.

Did Snyder's moderation help the Republican ticket? This blog thinks so, but not for the reason one might think. The conventional line from moderates is that Republicans should nominate moderates to appeal to centrist voters. This blog has argued, citing substantial evidence, that Republicans win by nominating conservatives and motivating their base to turn out. This is what happened nationally thanks to the Tea Party movement, as well as in Michigan. Instead, Snyder helped Republicans because democrats were not motivated to turn out to vote against someone so bland and unthreatening.

This blog has not been a big fan of Snyder, due to his vagueness and some liberal positions. But the unexpectedly large Republican majorities in the legislature should help to check Snyder's more liberal impulses.

Analysis: Michigan

Republicans in Michigan won a victory of epic proportions in the November election. They won everything. Well, almost every race that they seriously contested.

NY Times: Michigan election results
Statewide offices, ballot proposals, courts, university boards
U.S. House of Representatives races
State Senate races
State House races

Rick Snyder won the governor's race 58.1% to 39.9% over Virg Bernero. This race is analyzed in more detail in a separate post.
Analysis: Governor

Bill Scheutte won the Attorney General race 52.6% to 43.5% over David Leyton. Scheutte's campaign seemed to focus on saying that Leyton is a bad prosecutor.

Ruth Johnson won the Secretary of State race 50.7% to 45.2% over Jocelyn Benson. Benson is a radical leftist supported by George Soros. She would have been the next Jennifer Granholm, but she was stopped this time. Johnson won with the support of the Tea Party after she exposed the Fake Tea Party voter fraud by democrat party officials, one of whom was employed by Benson.

Republicans won both Supreme Court races. Challenger Mary Beth Kelly got 30% and incumbent Robert Young won 28%, outpacing democrat incumbent Alton Davis with 19% and Denise Morris with 17%. Libertarian Rob Roddis got 6%. Young triumphed over a smear campaign engineered by democrat party boss Mark Brewer that falsely claimed he slept on the bench. Davis was the beneficiary of a backroom deal with Jennifer Granholm engineered by renegade moderate Republican Elizabeth Weaver. Republicans have reclaimed a 4-3 majority on the court. This sets Young up to become the Chief Justice next year. This will also protect the rule of law against liberal activists and the market against greedy trial lawyers. It should also protect a Republican redistricting plan.

Republicans swept the education board races. This follows democrat sweeps in 2006 and 2008. These races were somewhat closer. In the closest, Dr. Richard Zeile won second place for State Board of Ed over democrat Elizabeth bauer by 17000 votes. Conservative Mitch Lyons won the seat of moderate Don Nugent at the Republican convention.

Proposal 1, the constitutional convention, lost 67% to 33%. This proposal will come up again in 2026. Proposal 2, banning felons from office, won 75% to 25%.

Republicans picked up two seats in Congress.
1st district (northern Michigan) Tea Party Republican Dan Benishek won 51.9% to 40.9% over Gary McDowell. Northern Michigan swung heavily to Republicans, as did the demographically similar "Northland" (northern Wisconsin and Minnesota) where Republicans picked up two seats in northern Wisconsin and one in the Iron Range of Minnesota. Republican Michigander has a detailed breakdown of the vote in northern Michigan.
A Closer Look at Northern Michigan's results

3rd district (Kent County) Tea Party libertarian Republican Justin Amash won 59.7% to 37.5% over democrat Pat Miles. Amash is a constitutionalist in the mold of Ron Paul. He easily held off a credible challenge by Miles. A hundred or so local RINOs endorsed Miles, claiming Amash is too conservative. Amash is a huge improvement over retiring moderate Vern Ehlers.

6th district (Kalamazoo, St. Joseph) 24-year incumbent Fred Upton racked up another easy reelection, again defeating Don Cooney. He won 62%, up from 59% in 2008. Third party candidates for the Constitution and Libertarian parties won 2% each.

7th district (Calhoun, Jackson) Staunch conservative Tim Walberg won a rematch 50.1% to 45.4% with democrat congressman Mark Schauer, who defeated him 49% to 46% in 2008. Walberg has an ACU rating of 98%. This seat has changed hands each of the last four elections.

9th District (Oakland County) Democrat congressman Gary Peters won a narrow reelection 49.8% to 47.2% over Rocky Raczkowski. Rocky was far from the best possible candidate for this district, and he had to win an ugly Republican primary over Paul Welday. Peters shouldn't celebrate too much, though, as it is likely that his seat will be cut to pieces in redistricting.

Republicans held geriatric democrats Dale Kildee and John Dingell to the mid-50s in the 5th and 15th districts, bu thiey never really had a chance in districts so packed with democrats. There will now be three staunch conservatives (Benishek, Amash, Walberg) in Michigan's delegation, up from zero presently.

Republicans picked up four seats in the state senate. Shockingly, they won three of them by double digits. Tory Rocca won 54% in central Macomb, David Robertson won 55% in western Genesse, Mike Green won 59% in The Thumb, and Tom Casperson won 56% in the UP. Most of supposedly competitive open seats were similarly lopsided. Tea Party Republican Patrick Colbeck won 52% to 41% in Western Wayne, Tonya Schuitmaker won 58% in Kalamazoo, David Hildenbrand won only 52% to 46% in Grand Rapids, and Geoff Hansen won 58% in Muskegon. Republicans now have a 26-12 majority, which is more than two-thirds.

Republicans picked up a shocking 20 seats in the state house, winning a 63-47 majority. They defeated nine democrat incumbents, winning back five of the nine seats they lost in 2008 and narrowly missing the other four. They won five seats in the 1st congressional district in northern Michigan. The seats won were in Northville/Plymouth, south Wayne, St. Claire Shores, northeast Macomb, western Washtenaw, west Monroe, east Monroe, Lenauwee, west Jackson, east Jackson, Montcalm, Sanlilac/Port Huron, Tuscola, Muskegon suburbs, northwest LP shoreline, northcentral LP, Alpena area, Mackinaw area, southern UP, and western UP.

Conservative Jase Bolger will be the next speaker of the Michigan House. Moderate-conservative Randy Richardville will be the next Senate majority leader. Conservatives in the legislature may check Rick Snyder's more liberal impulses. There is a chance of moving major legislation such as right-to-work. Republicans will control redistricting and can draw maps favorable to themselves for the next decade.

Along with power comes responsibility, of course. They must avoid the mistakes that led to the loss of their house majority in 2006. Voters will expect results, and if Republicans can't deliver, they will soon find themselves out of work.

Analysis: Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo County Republicans cleaned up in the November election, at least outside of the city and township of Kalamazoo. There was a stark divide between those two jurisdictions ("the Kalamazoos") and the rest of the county (ROC). Turnout was fairly low, typically 30-50% in conservative areas and 15-35% in liberal areas. The results cited in this analysis are available at Election Magic.

Rick Snyder racked up 59.4% of the vote in Kalamazoo County. In the Kalamazoos, Snyder won only K Township 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11 (all but 9 narrowly) and Kalamazoo City 16, 17, 18, 25 (all narrowly). In the ROC, Snyder lost only Cooper 5 and Oshtemo 5. Republicans swept every other statewide race in Kalamazoo, though by smaller margins. Congressman Fred Upton got 57.8% in Kalamazoo County against Don Cooney. Upton won K Township 6, 7, 9, 11 and Kalamazoo 6, 17, 25 while losing Cooper 5 and Oshtemo 5.

In the state senate race, Tonya Schuitmaker racked up 58% against Bobby Hopewell. Robert Jones got about 2000 absentee votes, or 2.5%, which did not affect the outcome. He would have lost had he not died before the election. Tonya won K Township 9 while losing Comstock 3, Cooper 5, Oshtemo 5, and Portage 1, 2, 7. Tom George won this seat with 57% in 2002 and 52% in 2006.

In the 61st district, Margaret O'Brien beat Thomas Batten with 61.6% of the vote. This is the sort of margins Republicans won in this district in the '90s, before it dropped to the high 50s (early 2000s) and low 50s (2006, 2008). The only precinct in Kalamazoo Township that Margaret won was #9. The only other precincts that she lost were Oshtemo 4 (townhouses, apartments), 5 (low-rent apartments) and Portage 2 (trailer park).

In the 60th district, Jeff Fernandez lost to Sean McCann, who got 63.3% of the vote. Jeff won Cooper 1-4, and lost every other precinct. He did improve on the Republicans who ran against Robert Jones, who won 70% (2006) and 75% (2008). There was never any reason to think that this district was winnable, yet somehow every two years local Republicans delude themselves into thinking it is and waste money on it. Jeff Fernandez would be well-served to run for Kalamazoo City Commission, where he would have a real chance of winning and doing some good.

In the 63rd district, future state house speaker Jase Bolger won every Kalamazoo County precinct in his district except Comstock 3. He also won all of his precincts in Calhoun County.

Republicans picked up two seats in districts 10 and 12 on the Kalamazoo County Commission, winning a 10-7 majority. Here are the results of contested races.
7. (Milwood) Kai Phillips 33.8%, David Buskirk 66.2%
9. (northern Portage) Nasim Ansari 59.1% Chuck Vliek 40.9%
10. (central Portage) Phil Stinchcomb 56.4% Michael Quinn 43.6%
11. (Texas) Tim Rogowski 66.8% Barbara Hammon 33.2%
12. (Oshtemo) Brandt Iden 53.5% Scott McCormick 46.5%
13. (Alamo/Cooper) Deb Buchholz 67.2% Harvey Hanna 32.8%
15. (Comstock) Ann Niewenhuis 61.9% Leroy Crabtree 38.1%
16. (Pavillion/Climax) John Gisler 54.7% Thomas Post 35.2% George Henderson 10.1%
17. (Schoolcraft/Brady) David Maturen 68.7% Jerry Rudolph 31.3%

In past election cycles, this blog has been critical of Republicans who refused to campaign for their seats and lost them to the democrats. Thankfully, this trend was reversed this time. Tonya worked very hard, and Margaret worked hard even when she didn't have to. Stinchcomb worked hard for his win. Iden didn't work as hard as he should have. Democrats will come for this seat again in the future.

In other local races, conservatives in Allegan County failed to unseat a Granholm-appointed judge a second time after beating him in 2008. Allegan voters said no to a new jail for a second time, and by a larger margin. A Republican beat the only democrat on the Allegan County commission.

The Calhoun County commission went from 6-1 democrat to 5-2 Republican. The Cass County Commission went from 8-7 Republican to 12-3 Republican and David Taylor, father of Kalamazoo County commissioner John Taylor lost his reelection. The VanBuren County commission went from 5-2 Republican (in 2009) to 7-0 Republican.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Preview

Today is election day.

Here are previous election previews:
2010 Election Preview
Michigan Senate Races
Kalamazoo County Commission Races

Here are links to election results:
Election Results

Classic Post: Why Voting is Rational

Top US Senate races for conservatives (non-incumbent):
1. AK Joe Miller
2. UT Mike Lee
3. KY Rand Paul
4. NV Sharron Angle
5. CO Ken Buck
6. WI Ron Johnson
7. PA Pat Toomey
8. FL Marco Rubio
9. DE Christine O'Donnell
10. WV John Raese

Top Governor races for conservatives:
1. CO Tom Tancredo
2. FL Rick Scott
3. MN Tom Emmer
4. SC Nikki Haley
5. GA Nathan Deal
6. IL Bill Brady
7. ME Paul LePage
8. AK Sean Parnell
9. NV Brian Sandoval
10. NY Carl Paladino

Selected House races of interest to conservatives:
MI Justin Amash
MI Tim Walberg
MI Dan Benishek
MI Rocky Raczkowski
OR Arthur Robinson
PA Lou Barletta
FL Allen West
SC Tim Scott
CA Van Tran
AZ Jesse Kelly

Top Michigan Senate races for conservatives
1. David Robertson
2. Tom Casperson
3. Patrick Colbeck
4. Mike Green
5. Dave Hildenbrand

Local races of interest:
20. Schuitmaker/Hopewell
61. O'Brien/Batten
60. Fernandez/McCann
63. Bolger/Morgan
80. Nesbitt/Erdmann
Allegan Judge: Ballergeon v. Marks

County Commission:
Phil Stinchcomb
John Gisler
Brandt Iden
Nasim Ansari

Other selected elections of interest:
Kansas SOS: Kris Kobach
SC AG: Alan Wilson
AZ Civil Rights Initiative
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Rename 'Rhode Island' HELL NO!

Monday, November 01, 2010