Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Does Detroit Need Immigration?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not content with imposing a nanny state on New York City, has weighed in with his solution to Detroit's problems.

Having read reports of Detroit's dramatic population loss (about 25% over the past decade), Bloomberg's solution is simple. Immigration!

Mayor Bloomberg: Detroit Needs Final Solution
Snyder sees immigrants as a key to state's economy

Governor Snyder apparently thinks this is a swell idea, too.

Neither Bloomberg nor Snyder seem to have addressed the most basic question. Why is Detroit losing population? They make it sound as if it were some unknowable force of nature causing Detroit to lose people.

In fact, people are fleeing Detroit because of high crime, social disfunction, high taxes, and low human capital. Anyone who can afford to leave does.

Bloomberg and Snyder seem not to understand that the whole point of immigration is to move someplace better than where you are now. Why would anyone in their right mind choose Detroit as the place to start a business? Why didn't Bloomberg and Snyder move their businesses to Detroit if it is so full of opportunity?

Instead, what Bloomberg and Snyder seem to want for Detroit is colonization, where more advanced outsiders share the blessings of civilization with the benighted native population. But colonization can only work when the colonists have political control. Imperialist Europeans are in short supply these days, anyways.

The flipside to Snyder's belief that immigration is the key to turning around Michigan's economy is apparently that existing Michigan residents are a bunch of lazy bums. While that may be true in Detroit, it is a slander against Michiganders generally.

The reason for Michigan's economic depression is dysfunctional political structures (both government and unions). Some of Snyder's other initiatives are positive reforms, but so far they have mostly been marginal changes, with tax reform being the big exception.

It is true that some immigrants come to America, start businesses, and create jobs. You know what those immigrants have in common? They aren't from the Third World. The three examples Snyder cites were Dutch, Armenian, and Canadian. Michiganders who oppose more immigration aren't upset about Canadian immigration (well, other than Granholm).

Meanwhile, most of America's immigrants continue to come from the Third World, particularly Latin American, particularly Mexico. Why didn't Snyder cite all the big Mexican-founded corporations in Michigan? Wait, there aren't any?

Conyers in Big Trouble

Others in the media have finally noticed that John Conyers is in big trouble due to redistricting.

John Conyers at mercy of redistricting

The new district that he resides in contains only 20% of his current constituents. While the district is still black-majority, that now includes the suburbs of Southfield and Oak Park which could be less sympathetic to Conyers.

The Conyers brand took a big hit when his wife Monica Conyers went to prison for corruption during her stint on the Detroit city council.

Conyers is now in his 80s, and hasn't had a tough race since he ran for Mayor of Detroit in 1993.

The Politico article lists a bunch of potential candidates, including:
  • Senator Bert Johnson (who has announced that he is running)
  • Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence (who was the democrats' token black candidate for lieutenant governor last year)
  • Attorney and 1998 gubernatorial nominee Geoffrey Feiger
  • Congressman Gary Peters
I had previously concluded that Peters' best chance of staying in Congress is the run against Conyers.

Conyers' best chance of staying in Congress is to run in the new 13th district, in which Hansen Clarke currently resides. The article mentions the possibility of two switching districts. While this probably would benefit both, neither would be safe. Conyers could still be challenged, and Clarke just won a 2010 primary challenge against Carolyn Kilpatrick.

Western's Bookstore Monopoly

Western has announced that it will purchase University Bookstore and the property that it sits on.

Western Michigan University to purchase University Bookstore, property for $1.9 million

For decades Western has had two bookstores--the university owned WMU Bookstore and the privately owned University Bookstore. Now that competition will be eliminated. Thankfully, there is competition from internet book sales. However, this does not apply to custom editions of books and coursepacks.

Will already outrageous textbook prices go even higher?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Government Controls All Guns

That's the message of a gun "buy-back" like the one in Bronson Park yesterday. Government cannot "buy back what it didn't sell in the first place.

Another absurd cliche is getting gun "off the street", as if they were just sitting there waiting to be used by criminals.

This won't make anyone safer, but it does try to stigmatize gun ownership.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Michigan Redistricting: Alternative State House Map

The legislative portion of Michigan redistricting is finished, assuming Governor Snyder signs the maps passed by the legislature. I have highly praised the congressional and state senate maps. The state house map is another story.

I proposed my own state house map in four parts here:

Michigan Redistricting: State House Part I: Wayne County
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part II: Oakland and Genesee
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part III: Macomb and the Thumb
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part IV: The Rest of the State

The Republican state house map was quite a bit different. Part of this was due to the desire to protect existing districts. This led to districts being distributed differently in the Thumb, south-central Michigan, and the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

Even on these terms, though, some parts of the map still perplex me. I decided to take another crack at the state house map. This time, I started with the Republican map and made changes in particular areas. Since my first map, Dave’s Redistricting App has added some election data for Michigan, allowing for more precise analysis.

I. Wayne County

I don’t know what Republicans were thinking in Wayne County. Currently Wayne has three Republicans. Two are strengthened under the new map. There is one more district containing the majority of Canton and Van Buren that is winnable.

The existing map has 23 districts in Wayne County. Due to population loss, the ideal number of Wayne districts is about 20.3 districts. I drew exactly 20 to avoid a county break, but the new map has about 20.3 and has a district overlapping parts of Monroe and south Wayne. This allows the Detroit districts to be slightly underpopulated, which makes it easier to maintain ten black-majority districts.

Here is the new Republican map.

Here is my alternative map.

There are several missed opportunities in the new map.

1. The district based in the Grosse Pointes was Republican until 2008. Demographics are tough here, as Harper Woods has rapidly become half-black and the district needs to gain population. The Grosse Pointes are a real “community of interest”, and should not be split as they are in the new map.

The only way to maintain a competitive district is to stretch it down to River Rouge and Ecorse, which are 20% Republican instead of 3% in Detroit. Admittedly, this is pushing it a bit, but the district has only one city break and the lines could be cleaned up by splitting a few precincts. This district is no better than a tossup (53.1% GOP average in 2006), but at least the GOP would have a chance here.

Now this would eliminate one of the black-majority districts, but it can be replaced by a district (11) that stretches from Inkster through north Dearborn Heights to western Detroit.

15. The Dearborn district was Republican until 2004. The west half of the city is fairly Republican, while the east half is heavily Muslim, and swung against Republicans after 9/11. It is possible to draw a fairly Republican district by combining west Dearborn with Allen Park and southern Dearborn Heights. This had a 54.2% GOP average in 2006.

21. Canton has the population to be its own district. This would be an improvement on the existing district, as it would lose democratic Van Buren. Canton had a 56.6% GOP average in 2006.

This necessitates some changes to district 20, based in Plymouth/Northville. It can take a corner of Livonia and the less democratic precincts of Westland and be just as Republican as in the new map.

Rating: SR/LR/TU/LD/SD
Old……. 1 / 1 / 0 / 2 / 19
GOP…… 2 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 16
ME:…… 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 14

The alternative Wayne map would mean three more winnable districts than in the new map. It also complies better with the Apol standards than the GOP map. It breaks only five jurisdictions outside Detroit (Dearborn three ways), while the GOP map breaks six. Their map breaks Detroit seven ways, while mine breaks it only five ways.

II. Macomb County

Macomb currently has about 8.7 districts. Due to population growth, it is entitled to about 9.3 districts. The Republicans chose to slightly underpopulate the Macomb districts so that the Thumb districts would not be disrupted. Thus Macomb gets about 9.6 districts, with one containing Chesterfield and New Baltimore in Macomb and a chunk of St. Clair.

That said, the GOP made major changes to several districts that have worked well for them the past decade. The Macomb delegation in the state house was 5R-4D all decade except for two districts that flipped in 2008 and flipped back in 2010.

Here is the GOP map.

Here is my alternative map.

In the GOP map, the St. Clair Shores/Harrison district, which was Republican except in 2008 was split, with St. Clair Shores being stuck with Eastpointe in a safe D district. Sterling Heights is split east/west instead of north/south. The ‘east’ district (25) includes a chunk of Warren and I rate it as a tossup. The north Warren/south Sterling Heights district was held by a Republican in the 90’s, so it was winnable at least back then.

My map packs all the most democrat areas into three districts. The St. Clair Shores/Harrison district is maintained, with one precinct from Clinton added for population. The Sterling Heights break is a little awkward because I wanted to put the most democrat precincts in with heavily Republican Shelby.

1. Lean R 54.3% [St. Clair Shores, Harrison district]
2. Safe D 39.8% [S Warren, Eastpointe, Center Line]
3. Safe D 48.1% [N Warren]
4. Safe D 42.7% [Roseville, SE Clinton, Mount Clemens]
5. Safe R (new) 57.7% [E Shelby, S/E Sterling Heights]
6. Lean R(-) 55.3% [Sterling Heights, Utica]
7. Lean R(+++) 54.9% [W Clinton, Fraser]
8. Safe R 59.6% [Macomb, Ray, Lenox]
9. Safe R 63.6% [W Shelby, Washington, northern tier]
10. Lean R 58.4% [Chesterfield, New Baltimore, central St. Clair]

Rating: SR/LR/TU/LD/SD
Old……. 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 4
GOP…… 4 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 4
ME:…… 3 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 3

My Macomb map complies better with the Apol standards. The GOP map breaks five jurisdictions, including a triple break of Warren. My alternative map breaks only four, including a triple break of Clinton.

III. Genesee County

Genesee County currently has five districts. Due to population loss, it is now entitled to about 4.6. Both my map and the GOP map have a district that overlaps Genesee and Oakland Counties. Our Oakland maps are similar and should lead to the same partisan outcome, but mine avoids breaking Waterford.

My initial Genesee map was far from ideal. The initial version of the GOP map was pretty good, but it was amended to something that appears worse.

Here are my calculations using the 2006 average. District 1 is whichever one contains Grand Blanc (Paul Scott’s home). District two is the other winnable district.

Existing map:
51. Lean R 55.5% [Grand Blanc, Fenton, Mundy, Atlas, Argentine]

My initial map:
1. Tossup 52.5% [Grand Blanc, Fenton, Mundy]
2. Lean R 56.9% [E Genesee, Brandon, Oxford]

GOP initial map:
1. Safe R 57% [Grand Blanc, Atlas, Fenton city, NW Oakland]
2. Tossup 52.9% [W Genesee, Fenton twp.]

GOP final map:
1. Lean D 49.6% [Grand Blanc, Mundy, Burton]
2. Safe R 57.8% [W Genesee, Fenton, NW Oakland]

My alternative map:
1. Safe R 59.7% [Grand Blanc, Atlas, Brandon, Oxford]
2. Tossup 53.7% [SW Genesee]

The only downside to my map is that Paul Scott and Bradford Jacobsen are put in the same district. But Scott is put in a lean D district in the final GOP map, and Jacobsen could move to an open safe district under my plan.

Here are the overall ratings.

Rating: SR/LR/TU/LD/SD
Old....... 35 / 18 / 12 / 4 / 41
New...... 45 / 14 / 8 / 5 / 38
ME:...... 44 / 18 / 10 / 3 / 35

Previous articles on Michigan redistricting:
Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible Congressional Maps
Michigan Redistricting: Two Possible State Senate Maps
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part I: Wayne County
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part II: Oakland and Genesee
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part III: Macomb and the Thumb
Michigan Redistricting: State House Part IV: The Rest of the State
Michigan Redistricting: Analysis of Democrats State Senate Plan
Michigan Redistricting: Official Republican State Senate Map Released
Michigan Redistricting: Official Republican State House Map Released
Michigan Redistricting: Republican State Senate Map Passed
Michigan Redistricting: Republican State House Map Passed
Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Sailer on MCRI

Steve Sailer discusses the outrageous 6th circuit ruling on the MCRI.

By the way, where are all the liberals who complained about overturning 'democracy' regarding the emergency financial manager bill?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Michigan Redistricting: Congressional Map Passed

The state legislature has passed the Republican plan for redistricting Michigan congressional districts. The plan has been analyzed at several other sites, as congressional plans attract more attention than legislative ones.

Michigan Redistricting Maps
Redistricting: Hail To the Michigan GOP?

Here are brief district descriptions.

1. Benishek (R) Upper Peninsula, northern lower peninsula.
2. Huizinga (R) West Michigan coast, Walker, Grandville, Wyoming, Kentwood.
3. Amash (R) Kent excluding Grand Rapids suburbs, Ionia, Barry, Calhoun.
4. Camp (R) Central lower peninsula.
5. Kildee (D) Genesee, Saginaw area, west Tuscola, Bay, Arenac, Iosco.
6. Upton (R) Southwest Michigan.
7. Walberg (R) South-central Michigan.
8. Rogers (R) Livington, north Oakland, Ingham.
9. Levin (D) and Peters (D) south Macomb, Royal Oak, Bloomfield.
10. Miller (R) North Macomb, St. Clair, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer, east Tuscola.
11. McCotter (R) Northwest Wayne, Southwest Oakland, Troy.
12. Dingell (D) Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Downriver, Dearborn.
13. Clarke (D) south, west Detroit, Redford, Westland, Romulus, Dearborn Heights.
14. Conyers (D) north Detroit, Grosse Pointes, Southfield, Oak Park, Farmington, Pontiac.

Republican Michigander has written more detailed district descriptions. He also compiled election results in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections and a recent congressional election broken down by jurisdiction.

Congressional District 1 - Redistricted (MI-01)
Congressional District 2 - Redistricted (MI-02)
Congressional District 3 - Redistricted (MI-03)
Congressional District 4 - Redistricted (MI-04)
Congressional District 5 - Redistricted (MI-05)
Congressional District 6 - Redistricted (MI-06)
Congressional District 7 - Redistricted (MI-07)
Congressional District 8 - Redistricted (MI-08)
Congressional District 9 - Redistricting (MI-09)
Congressional District 10 - Redistricted (MI-10)
Congressional District 11 - Redistricted (MI-11)
Congressional District 12 - Redistricted (MI-12)
Congressional District 13 - Redistricted (MI-13)
Congressional District 14 - Redistricted (MI-14)

Here are more vote totals from 2008 and the average of the governor, secretary of state, and attorney general races from 2006. (via Ryan_in_SEPA at Red Racing Horses)

District (Color) McCain/Obama DRA Average (GOP/Democrat)

MI-1 (Navy Blue) 48.4/49.8 55/45
MI-2 (Dark Green) 50.3/48.1 63.4/36.6
MI-3 (Purple) 48.7/49.6 60.6/39.4
MI-4 (Red) 48.6/49.7 58/42
MI-5 (Yellow) 35.4/63 56.2/43.8
MI-6 (Teal) 45.2/53.1 56/44
MI-7 (Gray) 47.4/50.9 57.1/42.9
MI-8 (Brown) 46.6/52 59.7/40.3
MI-9 (Blue) 40.2/58 50/49.6
MI-10 (Pink) 50.1/48.1 60.1/39.9
MI-11 (Lime) 48.3/50.2 61.2/38.8
MI-12 (Light Blue) 31.4/66.9 42.3/57.7
MI-13 (Tan) 15.7/83.2 25.8/74.2
MI-14 (Olive) 18.5/80.8 70.6/29.4

Many observers have detailed the basic features of the map. Gary Peters' district is carved into four pieces. Most of the Republican districts get safer. Thad McCotter is the big winner, with his district getting about four points more Republican. All the other incumbents get about one point safer, except for Amash, who loses one point.
  • Benishek adds the Grand Traverse area and loses areas north of Bay City
  • Huizinga loses a couple northern counties and takes some Grand Rapids suburbs from Amash
  • Amash takes Calhoun from Walberg
  • Camp takes Clinton and south Schiawassee back from Rogers (he had them in the 90s)
  • Upton adds north Allegan, a heavily Republican area
  • Walberg loses Calhoun (including Mark Schauer's base) and takes Monroe from Dingell
  • Rogers takes some of north Oakland from Peters
  • Miller takes the majority of Tuscola from Kildee and loses a chunk of Sterling Heights
  • McCotter loses Redford, Westland, and Van Buren and adds Waterford and Troy
The districts are all safe for their current incumbents.

Nonetheless, there are some issues that have either gone unremarked or misunderstood.

3. Some commenters have speculated that the legislature was trying to weaken Amash. I would have preferred that Huizinga take part of Grand Rapids rather than the suburbs. Nonetheless, this district is not vulnerable in the general election and is the second or third most Republican in Michigan.

Some have also speculated that they may have wanted to weaken Amash for a primary challenge by former secretary of state Terri Land. I would be very skeptical of this, as Amash has not voiced any complaints about the map. Of the area Amash lost, he did well in Wyoming, Walker, and Grandville in the primary. Kentwood was dominated by Bill Hardimann, who was mayor there before he was a state senator.

Calhoun County may have something of a reputation for moderation, but this is exaggerated. Much of this has to do with longtime state senator Joe Schwarz. But it has also voted for state reps Jerry VanderRoest and Jase Bolger, who are hardly moderates.

Nonetheless, Amash won almost all areas of the district over two credible primary opponents. The only way he would have a chance of losing a primary is if Right to Life didn't endorse him. Some folks were miffed when he voted present on defunding Planned Parenthood. (He supports defunding them but didn't like singling out an organization.) As long as Amash has the support of the Devos family, I can't see Right to Life abandoning him.

6. People keep saying that the sixth district would be vulnerable as an open seat. I don't agree. Their opinion seems to follow from Presidential election results. People don't realize that John McCain publicly pulled his campaign out of Michigan, which netted him the votes of some upset independents and joiners who wanted to be on the winning side.

While the sixth has occasionally gone democrat at the top of the ticket, this doesn't hold in downballot races. The district has all Republican state senators. Moreover this has been true for many decades, with term limits ensuring frequent turnovers. Only the Kalamazoo seat has been close, and it has still leaned Republican.

There is one solidly democrat state representative in Kalamazoo and seven Republicans. Again, it has stayed this way for many decades. Only two of the Republican districts have even had close races in 2008. Only one county commission has had a democrat majority (Kalamazoo, 2006-2010).

9. Commentators have discussed the options for Gary Peters. The consensus (which is correct) is that he would have no chance against Sander Levin. Actually, he might not have an easy time even if Levin retired. The new district 9 is based in south Macomb, which likes a particular type of democrat. Macomb democrats are white, blue collar, pro-union, pro-gun, and often pro-life. Peters doesn't fit the bill.

The other widely discussed option is running in McCotter's district. But this district has basically no democrat areas left. Peters would lose here.

Oddly the option that seems clearly the best shot for Peters does not seem to have been mentioned anywhere. He could run against John Conyers in the new 14th district. He would certainly take some flack for running in a black-majority district, but that hardly makes it unwinnable. Due to clever line-drawing, Conyers has only about 20% of his old constituents. Part of that black majority is Pontiac, which is currently in Peters' district. Southfield is full of middle-class blacks who fled Detroit, and probably wouldn't be thrilled with Conyers.

Conyers is 82 and hasn't had a remotely competitive race (primary or general) in decades. His wife Monica is in state prison for corruption when she was on the Detroit city council. I suspect that he may be vulnerable to a strong primary challenge.

11. Thad McCotter is currently running for president, and nobody seems quite sure why. The best guess I've heard is that he is hoping to get a talk show. People seem to think that McCotter will not run for reelection, though I don't know that this is certain.

If he doesn't the seat will be open. Some commenters assume that term-limited state rep. Marty Knollenberg is a shoo-in for the nomination. True, he is the son of Congressman Joe Knollenberg, who was defeated by Peters in 2008. But Knollenberg has had Republican detractors on both the left and the right. He was primaried by liberal Republican former state rep. Pat Godchaux in 2006. She got about 30%.

I would expect a tough fight for the nomination for this seat. A top candidate for conservatives and the Tea Party if he chose to run would be Senator Pat Colbeck of Canton.

Michigan House to Vote on E-Verify

From Fox News Latino (!!)

Dave Agema's bill to mandate E-Verify in Michigan may be coming to a vote soon in the state house. E-Verify is a federal program for employers to easily verify whether their employees are in the country legally.

Rick Snyder has been an open borders type, so it isn't clear whether he would sign this. The Farm Bureau opposes having to hire people who are in this country legally.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Michigan Redistricting: Legislative Maps Passed

The Michigan legislature has passed the Republican legislative redistricting plans on mostly party-line votes. I have previously analyzed the Republican proposals, but the plans have been amended since then. I posted updated analyses on the political group blog Red Racing Horses, which is the conservative counterpart to the old Swing State Project.

The only changes to the senate plan were in Wayne County, where the Republicans agreed to the democrats' plan. This has no partisan impact, but it made the districts a little more compact and friendly for their incumbents. Two Detroit senators voted for the final map.

I have to report that I made one mistake in my senate analysis. The district containing Saginaw County (32) dropped Gratiot and added Western Genesee. I had assumed that this made the district worse, but running the numbers showed that it actually got a bit better. This district is still a tossup.

The house plan changed in S Wayne, fixing one of the problems I mentioned. The break on Canton was changed. Most significantly, the map was redrawn in Genesee. I don't much like the new Genesee map, and I think the first one was better.

In addition to the problems I mentioned before, I noticed that it is possible to draw tossup/lean R districts based in the Grosse Pointes, W Dearborn, and Canton. I don't know what the GOP was thinking in its Wayne County map.

Well, it's all over now, assuming Rick Snyder signs the maps.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Ann Coulter in Kalamazoo

Ann Coulter recently spoke in Kalamazoo.

Ann Coulter dishes up dirt on liberals during visit to Kalamazoo


KALAMAZOO - Author and political commentator Ann Coulter didn't take long to set the tone for her 50-minute discussion Saturday at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites.
"It's so good to be back in Michigan, which I've discovered is Native American for 'No more Granholm,'" said Coulter, who was in Kalamazoo to promote her new book, "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America."

About 50 people paid $50 each to attend a breakfast with Coulter, and about 300 attended book-signing that did not charge admission.

From the onset at the book-signing, Coulter made punchlines out of President Barack Obama, Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, Kwame Kilpatrick, Osama bin Laden and others.
Her candid observations were delivered similar to the routine of a standup comedian and yielded the same results from a partisan and appreciative audience.

Coulter, 49, condemned America's involvement in Libya and Afghanistan. Of the latter, she said it's a terrible country with no natural resources, no oil and 70 percent of its people are illiterate.

"There are more goats in Afghanistan than there are flush toilets," she said. "If Obama is so interested in getting rid of dictators, why doesn't he start with (U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security) Janet Napolitano?"

Coulter, a University of Michigan law school alumna, kept the mood light and the audience laughing by dishing out more observations and opinions.

She said contrary to what Obama has said, the killing Osama bin Laden is not the end of terrorism.

"No more than killing Kenny Rogers would be the end of country music," she said. "(Al-Qaida) has vowed revenge and they're really ticked off at us. What were they before, just moody?"

Regarding the care that terrorist prisoners receive at Guantanamo Bay, Coulter said health coverage, exercise, eight hours of sleep and three meals daily shows the prisoners are living better than many free Americans do. Coulter said she's been treated worse at Holiday Inn Express.

Looking ahead to presidential elections next year and in the future, Coulter said the Republicans boast "a strong farm team," led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Coulter made no secret her support for Christie as a Republican candidate for president next year.

His only flaw, she said, is that "he's too normal to run for president." Coulter also acknowledged Mitt Romney as a viable candidate.

Coulter's Kalamazoo appearance - the fourth of five stops in Michigan this week - was sponsored by Americans For Prosperity. Its deputy state director, Annie Patnaude, said Coulter's views are consistent with ideals supported by the Lansing-based group, including a smaller and financially responsible government.

Battle Creek resident J.D. Davis, 67, said he was impressed with Coulter's presentation and appreciated her humorous spin.

"I appreciate her strong conservative principles and straight talk," he said. "I've always wondered why Congress doesn't stand up to the president ... I have respect for the president's position but the laws that govern the people should be the same laws that govern the president as well."

Davis said he is frustrated that high-profile elected positions, including president, are filled by people who have made a career out of being self-serving politicians.
"That's why I'd vote for a guy like (chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City) Herman Cain. He's just a regular guy, a smart businessman who would make a good president because he's not a politician," Davis said.

Kim Robbins, 43, also from Battle Creek, said she is tired of politicians who say one thing when they run for office and do another once they're elected. Robbins said she shared many of the same views on the world and politics as those expressed by Coulter.

"A lot of decisions made right now will have an impact on my kids 10, 20, 30 years form now, and I don't think a lot of (politicians) look that far forward," Robbins said.

"I try to have open-minded discussions with my oldest kids about Democrats and Republicans, why they make the decisions they do and what they stand for ... it's important because my kids will be the next generation impacted by what happens under Obama and the next president."

Questioning Ann Coulter

I missed this one at the time of Ann Coulter's appearance at Western more than five years ago. (See the February 2006 archive for our coverage at the time.) Julie Mack provides some of the usual liberal sniveling.

From the archives: Julie Mack's take on Ann Coulter's 2006 appearance at Western Michigan University

Regarding Coulter's alledgedly disrespectful treatment of questioners, none of their questions were worth a serious response. See this comment by Chris.
I was there that night working the event. Not every question was "heartfelt," including one question I had to yank the mic away from. And the 20 uniformed police officers operating metal detectors outside the room were required because some not-so-nice students didn't like Pat Buchanan nimbly picking their arguments apart the year before. But you are right, she is pretty tough, that is her shtick. I think it's popular because liberals in general are so disdainful of conservatives (especially on a college campus) that it's refreshing when some conservatives see another refuse to be browbeaten into apologizing for their very existence. On an individual level, she's pretty nice. She even said I had a nice tie...
I concur that Coulter is one of the nicest people that I have ever met.


A 6th district federal appeals court panel has struck down the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which bans racial discrimination.

Thankfully, Attorney General Schuette will fight this ruling.

There are a couple facts the media conveniently declines to mention. The two judges in the majority, R. Guy Cole Jr. and Martha Craig Daughtrey, are both Clinton appointees. (The third judge is a Reagan/Bush 43 appointee.

Second, the group that filed this lawsuit, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) is a front group for the communist Revolutionary Workers League. See the post below for documentation.