Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is announcing his retirement today, which means the awful Russ Feingold could come back to inflict more damage on our national security. Continue reading
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) is shown this afternoon in the dining room of the Executive Mansion in Madison. He is holding one of the six pens he used to sign the first bill to take back power from greedy public employee unions. Continue reading
Andrea LaFontaine, left, quit her job on Saturday as a waitress at the Country Kitchen Restaurant. She started there at 13, and kept the job while working her way through college and graduate school. She will have her MA in August.
Andrea, 23, starts her new job at noon today when she is sworn in as the youngest member of the Michigan House of Representatives. She rode the GOP wave and defeated the Democratic incumbent. She was motivated to run because so many young people have left Michigan in search of jobs. Continue reading
New York has lost two seats and it is likely there will be some combination of the districts of Democratic Reps. Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Gary Ackerman. The last time New York had 27 House seats was in the early 1820s, when the chamber had 181 seats. The two upstate districts with the heaviest population losses are in the western part of the state and are represented by Democratic Reps. Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter. With a Democratic Governor and state Assembly and a GOP Senate, expect each party to lose a district.
Yesterday’s release of the Census Bureau data allows the 2012 Congressional reapportionment process to begin. Drawing the new maps will be the subject of considerable speculation for the next six months. The GOP will gain at least six seats, and they are practically assured of pickups in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah. Also, several vulnerable Republicans will see favorable territory added to their districts.
The liberal Huffingtom Post
does not agree with this assessment. Their current headline article is “Reapportionment Not Necessarily Good News for Republicans” by Robert Creamer. He is the same author who wrote their analysis explaining why Democrats would keep control of the House. Continue reading
Posted in 2012 Election, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington
The Next RNC Chairman
Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R-MO) was narrowly defeated in the 2008 GOP gubernatorial primary. She deferred to Sen-elect Roy Blunt this year, but is now exploring a 2012 campaign.
Members of the Republican National Committee face a difficult decision in January when Chairman Michael Steele’s term expires. Former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis was defeated by Steele last time, but is now the first candidate to challenge his renomination. He is expected to have the support of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and his letter to RNC members was posted today: Continue reading
by Rick Snyder
Editorial Note: Rick Snyder, an Ann Arbor businessman, hopes to be his state’s answer to Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). Snyder won Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary last night. He is now the front runner and is expected to move into the Governor’s Mansion next January. He calls himself “The Job Creator” on his web site, and as CEO of the computer company Gateway, he raised $200 million in venture capital funds. Continue reading
After 51 years in production, General Motors this week produced its last big block V8 engine. These were the power plants for the high performance cars – Corvette, Camaro, Impala SS, GTO, Firebird, and numerous heavy duty pickups. The autos were at first called muscle cars, and over five million big blocks were built at six GM plants.
The engine design was updated many times since 1958, and its versatility and power was the reason it stayed in production. According to “Car and Driver” magazine, “The only people who could possibly be happy at the death of the big blocks are ones who haven’t owned or experienced one. If you wanted an engine that could pull your house trailer up Pike’s Peak, this was it.”
Unfortunately, they were also beasts at the fuel pump. The future now belongs to small displacement V6 turbo engines which will meet the new fuel economy requirements. Times do change but that in no way makes the accomplishments of the big blocks any less impressive.
Today the two extra cylinders in a V8 are considered a waste of gasoline, and this is apparent in the current Corvette which is rated at 16 city and 19 highway mpg.
That will change. By 2016, automobiles manufactured in the United States will have to operate at 35.5 miles per gallon. Europe already has a 40 mpg standard. The new requirements will cost Americans an average of $1300 a vehicle.
The increased CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) will also mean an increase in automobile accident fatalities. This is because manufacturers will meet the new fuel standards by building smaller cars and trucks with lighter but more fragile material. This will protect motorists less during automobile accidents.
The National Academy of Sciences estimates the increased motorist deaths from small cars at 1,300 to 2,600/year. That is far higher than our casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and it is on the magnitude of the Vietnam War.
The major reason for increasing the CAFE standards is to reduce greenhouse gases. According to the Heritage Foundation, cars and trucks subject to the increase CAFÉ standards generate only 1.5% of greenhouse gases. The new standards will decrease greenhouse gases by only one half of one percent.
The city of Detroit has declined steadily since 1964, the year Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) was first elected. Many factors are involved but Conyers anti-business attitudes are among them. Detroit desperately needs jobs, but they are represented by a lawmaker who is an aggressive enemy of the business community. The Congressman is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and was the first member of the Black Caucus to endorse Obama.
Conyers devoted a large amount of time to the Obama campaign. Rep. Conyers was the author of 35 articles of impeachment against former President Bush. Even Speaker Pelosi thought this was too extreme, and Conyers downgraded it to a censure to include Dick Chenery. Conyers describes himself as a good friend of filmmaker Michael Moore, and he has just formed a Caucus to stop Obama’s Afghan surge. He calls our nations flag officers “clowns.”
Conyers is also the author of “Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush”, a 486-page Judiciary Committee report detailing alleged abuses during the Bush administration. In January of 2009, Conyers introduced a bill to set up a “truth commission” panel to investigate Bush but it has gone no where.
The most important election on Tuesday for conservatives is not in VA, NJ or NY-23. It is electing Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to a four year term with a City Council that will undo decades of liberal damage. Detroit and Atlanta both saw tremendous white flight in the 1960s and ’70s, and both cities had 70% black populations.
The key difference is that business friendly Atlanta was revitalized with the addition of 1,100 companies from around the world. Low state taxes, right to work laws, and the absence of burdensome regulations led to $70 billion in private investment which generated over 1 million new jobs. Detroit never recovered from the 1967 riots and it became America’s murder capital.
Mayor Bing knows the auto industry did not kill Detroit. It was a City Hall at war with its business community and middle class. Bing wants to follow Atlanta’s example and he serves without a salary. His first targets are the public employee unions and the bloated city bureaucracy. Small business owners have told the Mayor it takes 7 years to acquire all of the permits necessary to open a store in Detroit, and most residents have to head to the suburbs for shopping. The next challenge is a school system with an 80% dropout rate.
Detroit is also our stolen car capitol. Garbage is piled up along the streets as bulk pick ups have been reduced from every month to every 3 months. The city has lost over one million residents and the situation is well beyond blight. Entire neighborhoods have been abandoned. They are now littered with burned houses, stolen cars, graffiti, dope dealing, and rampant prostitution.
Bing has already fired thousands of public employees during his five months on the job. His “turn around team” has 150 recommendations that will help solve the city’s $300 million deficit, and he has already implemented 24 of them. Detroit has not had a Mayor similar to Dave Bing since the 1950s. His election will be a huge setback for the liberal establishment, and a tremendous boost for the long suffering residents of Motown.
‘Fastest Dying Cities’ Meet for a Lively Talk by Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal
Last year, Forbes.com used long-term trends of unemployment, population loss and economic output to devise a list of “America’s Fastest Dying Cities.” The cities include Cleveland, Dayton, Canton and Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit and Flint, MI; Buffalo, Scranton, Springfield, MA and Charleston, WV. They all realize manufacturing is not going to come back to save them.
These cities have natural resources, hardworking people, underutilized infrastructure, and land for expansion, but you can see the decline everywhere and the housing markets and crime are awful. What they also have in common is rejecting the obvious path to a turnaround. All of them are over-taxed and over-regulated with a one party political system which has led to heavy patronage and incompetence in local government. They all have several common denominators. Among them bad local political choices, lack of regional cooperation, and no vision to diversify 20-30 years ago. They are also controlled by unions which promoted policies destroying manufacturing jobs. Decades of anti-business policies have resulted in a migration of good jobs.
The companies that stayed in these cities saw their market share evaporate, as their ability to fend off foreign or non-union competitors waned. Union workforces became increasingly less productive as measured against hourly throughput. Now the laws of economics are holding true. Union leaders horribly failed their membership by not emphasizing productivity.
The leaders of these dying cities are meeting now but their problems have been around for a long time. For example, Detroit never recovered from its 1967 riots. I hope they will look at themselves to come up with an answer but I am skeptical.
This letter was published in Forbes: “I’ve lived in Flint, MI my entire life and I just recently began working at a GM factory. With the exception of a few people my co-workers are the laziest and most negative people I’ve ever seen. From what I’ve heard from the GM workers all my life and what I’ve recently seen first hand, the workers themselves have played NO SMALL PART in what’s happened to the automotive industry here.”
These observations were supported in a letter I received from Norina Mooney of California’s Silicon Valley; “As a member of the SEIU labor union I agree with you. Most union workers are lazy. They are complacent in their jobs but they know they will never be fired. I work for a government agency and I am the exception to the rule. Most workers do not go out of their way to do anything. I makes me so irritated but I guess I was placed there for a reason.”
Posted in Economic Policy, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Tagged Buffalo, Canton, Charleston, Cleveland, Dayton, Detroit, Flint, rust belt, Scranton, Springfield, Youngstown