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MI Morning Update 10-20-08

Hoogendyk and Levin Face Off in 1st Debate - Obama Buy Election - Palin Rocks SNL

 15 Days until Election Day

 October 20, 2008

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a
humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy
is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy.
Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

–  John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare under JFK and
author of "Excellence." 

MORNING UPDATE:

HOOGENDYK v LEVIN DEBATE ON PBS…the streaming on WKAR didn’t come on until 7:12pm…but what Michigan saw, was classic Jack.  He talked about "core principles" and did a great job of laying out the contrast between himself and Carl Levin.  There is NO doubt why Carl Levin has dodged debating Jack Hoogendyk, who was direct, well informed, and clearly better represented the people of Michigan.

Carl Levin backs the Wall Street bailout, believes in global warming, justifies seniority, supports stem cell research, supports medical marijuana, supports universal healthcare (Hillarycare), and didn’t support regulating Freddie and Fannie.

The debate will be available online Monday afternoon at www.wgvu.org

FINAL HOOGENDYK v LEVIN DEBATE… October 20th, at noon. This event will be hosted by the Detroit Economic Club at the Detroit Marriott. The Detroit Economic Club has made tickets available — you can find out more about that here. Although this debate will not be televised, it will be streamed to WXYZ-TV/Channel 7’s website.  See campaign info at http://www.jackformichigan.org/.

OBAMA BUYING THE ELECTION…Obama has raised $150 MILLION in September and has bought up "all" the available TV ad time.  This is unbelievable, could you image if any Republican had raised anywhere near the money that Obama did…what kind of beating we would have taken for being the party of "big money" etc.

OBAMA’S AMERICA…so what has Obama promised us…1) take away the right to a secret ballot to join a union (card check)  2) redistribution of wealth (Joe Plumber)  3) single payer universal health insurance (socialized medicine) 4) anything goes when it comes to winning elections (ACORN) 5) no checks and balances (Democrat controlled Congress) and 6) increased government spending and MORE taxes.

PALIN KNOCKS ‘EM DEAD ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE…on what many thought was a high risk move, Governor Palin did a great job on SNL and showed some class.

DON’T BE FOOLED…IT’S CLOSER THAN THE PRESS IS PITCHING…GRASSROOTS VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED…as we reorganize Victory Centers and Call Centers around the state, volunteers continue to make calls, knock on doors, and make contributions to fight for Republican candidates up and down the ticket.  Please check this link for a Victory Center near you.  We need you now, more than ever.

MICHIGAN YOUTH MAKING A DIFFERENCE!…COLLEGE REPUBLICANS STATEWIDE JOIN "TEAM BRAIN DRAIN"…our Michigan Youth Counts! effort, designed to stop Michigan’s "brain drain" was in Macomb County this weekend helping several key state and local candidates. "Team Brain Drain" made over 2000 calls, knocked over 1,600 doors, and worked 110+ man hours this weekend for our Republican candidates. Next week, "Team Brain Drain" will be in Battle Creek and St. Joe.  For more information please contact Program Director Anthony Markwort at: amarkwort@migop.org.

 

 

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.

 

 

 

In debate tonight, Levin and Hoogendyk clash over bailout

By CHRIS CHRISTOFF • FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU CHIEF • October 19, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS — A reminder: There really is a race for U.S. Senate this year in Michigan.

Today, it came alive as Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and his long-shot Republican challenger, Jack Hoogendyk, engaged in a sometimes pointed debate that showed their sharp differences on the Iraq war, the government bailout of Wall Street, taxes, global warming, federal earmarks and health insurance.

Levin, 74, defended his nearly 30 years in the Senate, even defending his push for much-maligned federal earmarks to pay for federal projects in Michigan. He blamed President George W. Bush’s policies for wreaking economic havoc and prolonging the war in Iraq.

Michigan’s US Senate hopefuls offer sharp contrast

by The Associated Press
Sunday October 19, 2008, 11:04 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and Republican opponent Jack Hoogendyk clashed on who is to blame for the nation’s economic struggles and how to fix them in a Sunday debate.

Levin laid much of the blame on the outgoing Republican administration of President Bush, who the long-time senator said hasn’t done anything to help save manufacturing jobs.

"The policies of this administration have failed," Levin said during the debate at a Grand Valley State University television studio. "They failed Michigan and they failed the nation. … What we must do is change course."

House Dem candidates again getting Stryker’s help

by Kathy Barks Hoffman | The Associated Press
Monday October 20, 2008, 6:15 AM

LANSING – Michigan Democrats running for state House seats look likely to broaden their 58-52 majority on Nov. 4.

A major reason is the influence of Jon Stryker and the Coalition for Progress. In 2006, the Kalamazoo billionaire’s campaign contributions helped at least four Democrats win state House seats and played a role in at least 10 House and Senate contests.

This year, the coalition Stryker founded is spending big money in at least eight districts to help Democrats increase their edge in the state House. And Stryker is the person making it all possible.

Knollenberg-Peters race gains major buzz

Democrat providing a big challenge for incumbent in 9th District

BY KATHLEEN GRAY • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • October 20, 2008

Jeremy Tomkinson has voted for Joe Knollenberg, the veteran Oakland County Republican congressman, in the past.

But the 35-year-old owner of the Beauty Salon in Birmingham isn’t sure he’ll stick with Knollenberg this year. Ten of Tomkinson’s best customers are leaving the state for other jobs, taking with them about $75,000 in revenue to his business. Tomkinson already has decided to vote for Democrat Barack Obama for president.

"He’s a very personable person," Tomkinson of Beverly Hills said of Knollenberg, "but I’ve been intrigued by Gary Peters and what he’s been saying.

GM-Chrysler push for quick deal

By Sharon Silke Carty and Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

DETROIT – Negotiators hope to finalize a merger agreement between General Motors (GM) and Chrysler before the presidential election and are lobbying for government financial assistance to help clinch the deal, says a source who has been briefed on the talks.
They are pointing to the impact on the U.S. economy if either company were to fail, compared with the viability of a merged colossus that would control 36% of the U.S. auto market. Those are the chief selling points in asking for government help, says the source, who did not want to be identified because talks are not public.

Cerberus Capital Management, which controls Chrysler, has been pushing to make GMAC, GM’s financing arm, a significant part of the deal. Cerberus already owns more than 50% of GMAC but wants it all. The source says that’s been a sticking point because GM has said it won’t give up its stake.

GM Lacks Investors to Fund Deal With Chrysler

By JOHN D. STOLL and JEFFREY MCCRACKEN

General Motors Corp.’s hopes of buying longtime rival Chrysler LLC are floundering because the auto maker remains unable to secure the financing necessary for the deal, say people familiar with the matter.

In recent days GM, its lenders, and Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management, have been trying to woo investors with a pitch about the transaction. That pitch touts a combined GM-Chrysler as delivering cost savings of up to $10 billion, an immediate boost in revenue and an increase in cash available to the merged firm. Outside money is needed to fund the cost-cutting — especially buyouts and severance packages …

 

McCain rips Obama tax plan in Toledo

Gordon Trowbridge / Detroit News Washington Bureau

TOLEDO — "Joe the Plumber" was absent, but never far from the thoughts of John McCain on Sunday in the suddenly famous worker’s hometown.

McCain rallied several thousand supporters here Sunday as he has on the campaign trail since Wednesday’s final presidential debate — by invoking the Ohio plumber as a symbol of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s tax plan, a plan McCain all but labeled socialism.

"I’m not going to redistribute your wealth," McCain said as he pressed his argument that Obama’s promise of a tax cut for 95 percent of families would in fact raise taxes on "hard-working Americans" to pay for tax credits to low-income families that already pay no income taxes.

‘Spreading the Wealth’ as Both Accusation and Prescription

By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: October 19, 2008

TOLEDO, Ohio – In any other year, it would seem routine. Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, is spending the final weeks before the election painting his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, as a quasi socialist who wants "to redistribute wealth" and whose tax cuts are a "government giveaway."

But it can be a complicated argument in this topsy-turvy year of financial collapse, when the government, from the Republican president on down, has seemed to be in the giveaway business and the wealth-spreading business an awful lot of late.

There have been taxpayer-financed bailouts of individual businesses and broader interventions like the $700 billion bailout of the financial system – which both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama supported – not to mention the Bush administration’s move to buy a $250 billion stake in the nation’s banks. In the wake of the financial crisis, everyone seems to like some state-directed form of wealth redistribution, including Mr. McCain, who wants to use taxpayer money to buy distressed mortgages and sell them back to homeowners at more affordable rates.

Joe the Plumber Paves Way for Tax Offensive

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

The most important political contribution of Ronald Reagan to the American political dialogue was his ability to move the issue of taxes from its economic populist cast into a populist, blue-collar issue. But under Bush, the issue switched back to one of class warfare, as an increasing number of Americans paid no taxes at all and the rates on those who did pay them were lowered. Now a chance encounter with Joe the Plumber has afforded the Republicans the chance to use taxes as a blue-collar issue.

The opening Joe provided, as McCain skillfully exploited in the third presidential debate, gives the Republican ticket its first shot at victory since its candidate punted on the bailout bill — the terrible, pork-laden corporate giveaway that Congress passed and Bush signed. Now McCain finally has an issue. Obama’s tax plans and spending programs have emerged as the key point of difference between the campaigns. And the Democrat’s comment to Joe that he saw his tax policy as a "way to spread the wealth around" underscores the motive behind his program: to redistribute income. Obama might as well have told Joe, "I want to take the hard-earned money you make fixing pipes and give it to other people."

 

Has North Korea’s Leader Died?

The Sankei newspaper said there was speculation within Japan that the announcement could be about Kim’s death or a change in government brought about by a coup.

The 66-year-old Kim disappeared from public view in mid-August and failed appear on two important national holidays, leading to speculation that he was seriously ill.

United States and South Korean officials said he had suffered a stroke and had undergone brain surgery, but North Korea has denied that he is unwell.

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