719 Days until Election Day
November 12, 2008
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"This has been a good year for opening up the American dream. Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin proved that young women can dream big and have an exciting future.
President-elect Obama proved that every African-American has a chance to rise.
Senator John McCain reminded all of us that America is built on the courage of heroes and the examples of selfless men and women who endure the unendurable and suffer the unimaginable for love of freedom and love of America.
There was much to learn this year if you were willing to open your eyes, ears, and mind to the possibilities."
-Newt Gingrich, Veteran's Day Comments
VETERANS DAY: Yesterday we celebrated Veteran's Day and remembered the men and women who served our country and protected our freedoms. I had a chance to talk to an Air Force officer and two cadets who were so proud of our country and the opportunity they had to serve our citizens. It's really too bad most of us only remember those who protect us once a year. Once again, thanks to all our veterans!
REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION...today I head out to the Republican Governors Association as we prepare for 2010. I think our party's future will come from the various states, not Washington DC. It's our Governors who come up with the creative programs and policies that affect America's main streets...and connects with the voters. I think our Republican Governors represent the best of what our country has to offer, and our goal should be to help elect a Republican Governor in Michigan in 2010!
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TODAY'S TOP STORIES
The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.
Chamber to Reconvene To Vote on Bailout Funds
By Lori Montgomery and Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 12, 2008; Page D01
The House will convene next week to vote on a plan to provide emergency cash to the nation's battered automobile industry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, but a federal bailout for Detroit faces an uphill battle in the Senate and an uncertain fate at the White House.
In a written statement, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that the failure of one of the car companies "would have a devastating impact on our economy" and that Congress must "provide emergency and limited financial assistance" by adding the industry to the Treasury Department's $700 billion economic rescue program, which was designed to stabilize the U.S. banking system.
Pelosi did not spell out details of the proposal but designated House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a key architect of the Treasury program, to work with lawmakers in both chambers to craft the measure. Congressional Democrats -- and Michigan Republicans -- are pressing to carve $25 billion out of the Treasury program as a bridge loan to help the car companies survive an economic crisis that analysts say has pushed the industry to the brink of collapse.
Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:51pm EST
By Soyoung Kim
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp shares plummeted to a 65-year low on Tuesday, extending recent steep declines on concerns the automaker might run desperately short of cash by early next year.
The shares of other automakers and parts suppliers also declined across the board amid increasing concerns about whether the industry could survive a deep downturn in U.S. auto sales.
Credit analysts at JPMorgan said on Tuesday that GM has several options to improve liquidity, but added the No. 1 U.S. automaker's short-term survival will require the help of the government, the company's suppliers, or both.
Environmental activists smell blood in the water.
And why not? Last year they were successful at getting Congress to act on their behalf and increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy guidelines, despite those regulations having done nothing in 30 years to save fuel. Now they want any federal aid to the automakers to be awarded only if California and some other states are granted the right to set their own tailpipe emissions.
Automakers and some members of Congress rightly have resisted this action for some time because it would create a patchwork of guidelines that would require companies to build vehicles to meet rules for specific states, not one universal U.S. market.
If Michigan doesn't change the amount of money it spends on transportation, a state task force reports, it is in danger not only of crumbling roads and bridges and lost jobs, but of losing up to $1 billion annually in federal highway funding. The task force recommends a significant increase in transportation funding -- and it's got it right.
The group, appointed under a state law adopted last year, was charged with looking into reforms in the way the state pays for transportation. It concluded that doing nothing, which could result in the loss of federal matching funds, is unacceptable.
The state currently spends about $3.5 billion annually from various sources for transportation needs, plus additional local and county spending. Just to keep up with the predicted demand for maintenance and some needed improvements in the state infrastructure, the report concludes, will require the expenditure of more than $7 billion annually. Ideally, the task force argues, the state would spend more than $14 billion
11/12/2008, 6:13 a.m. EST
The Associated Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Transportation has directed county road commissions to cut back on snow plowing and salting of secondary roads as part of a cost-cutting effort.
The Detroit News reports Wednesday that the directive means road commissions would give high priority to freeways, but would limit less-traveled secondary roads to a single plowing and salting.
MDOT spokesman Bill Shreck says it's basically an effort to reduce overtime as officials also face high salt and fuel prices. He says if a storm is severe, crews will be sent out on overtime to ensure safety.
In last week's election, 105 of the 110 seats went to the candidates with more money than their rivals.
Gary Heinlein / Detroit News Lansing Bureau
LANSING -- The Michigan Campaign Finance Network says spending in the 110 state House races decided last week topped $15 million, lead by an Oakland County contest in which the two major party candidates spent more than $800,000 for a job paying under $80,000 a year.
Lisa Brown, the Democratic Party and the Michigan Coalition for Progress spent a combined $622,000 to win the vacant House seat, which previously was held by a Republican.
Her GOP opponent, Amy Peterman, raised $169,000 and got $21,000 in help from the GOP. The Coalition for Progress, backed by $3.8 million from Kalamazoo billionaire Jon Stryker, spent $193,000 on Brown's behalf.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Let me first say that we conservatives should be gracious in defeat because it's the right thing to do. That does not mean, however, that we should for one minute abandon the vigorous pursuit of our ideas. The left never does, and we cannot afford to.
We mustn't be sucked in to demands for bipartisanship from those who wouldn't practice it if their lives depended on it, lest we continue down the perilous path of unilaterally surrendering our ideas in the misguided hope that getting along is our highest aspiration.
Remember in 2001, after liberals had already bludgeoned President Bush for 36 days and accused him of stealing an election they had tried to steal, when they demanded he show bipartisanship? That is, those who lost insisted that those who won reach out to them. They said Mr. Bush didn't have a mandate and should voluntarily dilute his conservative policy proposals in the interest of getting along.
By JEFFREY RESSNER | 11/11/08 8:28 PM EST
Making his first public comment a week after he lost the election to Barack Obama, John McCain joked with "The Tonight Show" host Jay Leno that his defeat was "all the press' fault" and that he's "ready to go again" in 2012.
McCain's appearance, which was tied to Veteran's Day and follows two days of televised interviews with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was to air later Tuesday night on NBC stations.
In keeping with the Veteran's Day creed of remaining a "good soldier," McCain refused to place any blame for his loss on Palin and offered several familiar refrains about his running mate and the campaign.
Jon Ward (Contact)
Originally published 12:42 p.m., November 11, 2008, updated 01:29 p.m., November 11, 2008
The Obama transition team's top official and the White House Tuesday denounced media reports stating that Mr. Bush, in a meeting with Mr. Obama Monday at the White House, had withheld support for a second stimulus and help for automakers until Democrats agree to approve a trade deal with Colombia.
"While the topic of Colombia came up, there was no quid pro quo in the conversation," said John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff under President Clinton who is overseeing the Obama transition.
"The president did not try to link the issue of Colombia to an economic recovery package," he said.
Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:13am EST
By Guy Faulconbridge
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro will visit Russia next year, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, in a new sign that Moscow is reviving a Cold War-era trade and military alliance.
Moscow also repeated calls for Washington to lift the economic embargo imposed on the Caribbean island in 1962 when Castro's brother, Communist revolutionary Fidel Castro, was in power.
"Next year we await ... Raul Castro in our country and this will be yet another contribution to the development of ties," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque in Moscow.