701 Days until Election Day
December 1, 2008
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"The wind of history is blowing in our sails again ... At this time of crisis the world of imperialism is starting to die. We are standing on the threshold of political and social shifts."
- Gennady Zyuganov, Russia's Communist Party's annual congress Nov. 29, 2008
STATE SENATE SPECIAL ELECTION...with the election of State Senator Mark Shauer to Congress, there will be a special election called in Michigan. This will be a great opportunity for Michigan Republicans to take an extra seat in the Senate. Right now, the only announced Republican candidate is Representative Mike Nofs...so keep tabs as things develop, we'll keep you in the loop.
FACEBOOK...is a great "social networking" tool that many Republicans are using. This is particularly popular with College Republicans, Teenage Republicans and Young Republicans. If you would like to become a "friend" join me here.
TWITTER...Twitter.com is another social networking site most easily described as a type of instant messaging - but with tons of people. You can follow the 'tweets' of others - and they follow you and what you write. The catch is that your posts are limited to 140 characters. But for many, that's enough to say the important things. To follow me go to: http://twitter.com/sanuzis.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS, COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:
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TODAY'S TOP STORIES
The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.
Loan requests may target pay, brandsPlans due to Congress Tuesday
Christine Tierney and David Shepardson / The Detroit News
The heads of Detroit's automakers will be making the most important pitches of their careers this week when they return to Washington to ask Congress a second time for $25 billion in emergency loans.
Teams of executives at General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC worked through the Thanksgiving weekend drafting plans outlining deeper cuts and new or accelerated environmental initiatives by the Tuesday deadline set by congressional leaders.
Weak auto sales due out the same day are likely to underscore the urgency of their pleas for bridge financing to keep their companies going through the next few perilous months. Industry analysts predict sales fell in November to 25-year lows.
BY MARK PHELAN • FREE PRESS COLUMNIST • December 1, 2008
All right, Congress. You are revisiting federal aid to Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. this week. You want a plan to set the U.S. auto industry on the road to long-term health and sustained profits.
A short lame-duck session of Congress is not the time to think big thoughts and make big plans. The Detroit Three's immediate crisis was caused by the financial meltdown, but the long-term problems arise not only from the companies' choices but also from our national failure to create meaningful energy and health-care policies.
In a near-depression, a $25-billion loan isn't a solution; it's a patch on a leaky tire. Create a carefully crafted, far-reaching strategy with the Obama administration early next year. That long-term solution should include the following:
There is such a thing as a profitable car maker in this country.
The men from Detroit will jet into Washington tomorrow -- presumably going commercial this time -- to make another pitch for a taxpayer rescue. Meanwhile, in the other American auto industry you rarely read about, car makers are gaining market share and adjusting amid the sales slump, without seeking a cent from the government.
These are the 12 "foreign," or so-called transplant, producers making cars across America's South and Midwest. Toyota, BMW, Kia and others now make 54% of the cars Americans buy. The internationals also employ some 113,000 Americans, compared with 239,000 at U.S.-owned carmakers, and several times that number indirectly.
By George Will
WASHINGTON -- Early in what became the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes was asked if anything similar had ever happened. "Yes," he replied, "it was called the Dark Ages and it lasted 400 years." It did take 25 years, until November 1954, for the Dow to return to the peak it reached in September 1929. So caution is sensible concerning calls for a new New Deal.
The assumption is that the New Deal vanquished the Depression. Intelligent, informed people differ about why the Depression lasted so long. But people whose recipe for recovery today is another New Deal should remember that America's biggest industrial collapse occurred in 1937, eight years after the 1929 stock market crash and nearly five years into the New Deal. In 1939, after a decade of frantic federal spending -- President Herbert Hoover increased it more than 50 percent between 1929 and the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt -- unemployment was 17.2 percent.
Cobo expansion, smoking ban among hot issues
BY CHRIS CHRISTOFF • FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU CHIEF • December 1, 2008
LANSING -- State lawmakers and Gov. Jennifer Granholm face yet another budget deficit and more potentially clamorous issues as the Legislature begins its lame-duck session this week.
All involved want to avoid the partisan warfare that erupted during last year's budget crisis, which precipitated a partial-day shutdown of state government and left lawmakers from both parties and the governor with black eyes.
"I will not stay any longer if it becomes a race to see how many political issues can be thrown on the table and how much damage can be done," Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said last week.
By MELANIE TROTTMAN
WASHINGTON -- While Washington debates how much unions are to blame for Detroit auto makers' woes, a broader face-off is brewing between labor and employers.
The stakes in the struggle went up Tuesday, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it will spend about $10 million in the coming months to fight legislation that would allow workers to organize without a secret ballot vote. Such "card check" organization drives are a top priority of union leaders, who want President-elect Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress to enact legislation easing union-organizing rules.
by Amile Wilson
November 26, 2008
In 2005, I was involved in an inner-party election that was every bit as vitriolic as the most recent presidential election, but that time it was Republicans fighting Republicans. Ever since, I have tried to remain neutral on party leadership elections. But this year, the chatter is so great surrounding the RNC chairman election that I have decided to endorse someone for chairman. So here goes: Saul Anuzis of Michigan.
A Harley-riding, blue-collar, first-generation American currently chairs the Michigan Republican Party and is one of the best, most forward-thinking men I have had the pleasure of knowing in my years in politics.
Saul left college to run campaigns and eventually left politics to start a media company that he has turned into quite a successful business. A self-made businessman and a bit of a wily prankster, Saul has run extremely effective ground campaigns for Republicans in Michigan and has made direct efforts to incorporate youth and bring new ideas into the leadership of the party.
Presidential campaigning never seems to end in Iowa.
Nor does the discussion over just what the Republican Party needs to do to get back on a winning track.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa GOP caucuses earlier this year, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, just elected in 2007, paid visits to the state a few days ago. Huckabee was here to peddle a new book, "Do The Right Thing," and Jindal to talk to a dinner for the Iowa Family Policy Center, a leading group of the state's social conservatives.
By David Shribman
HANOVER, N.H. -- Yes, Vanessa, there was a political revolution this month, and it didn't affect only the presidency. It also reached into the treasurer's office in Grafton County, a mostly rural rectangle covering 1,747 square miles of mountains, lakes and forests in the north country near the Vermont border.
At the heart of this revolution wasn't only Barack Obama. Don't overlook Vanessa V. Sievers, a 20-year-old Dartmouth College junior from Montana.
By JEN DIMASCIO | 11/30/08 11:46 AM EST
On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama is expected to tap the Republican-appointed Defense Secretary Robert Gates for a new term in his administration and Democratic New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for secretary of state.
The announcements would seem to suggest that Obama will be surrounded by powerful, competing voices in the next term as he mulls his plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
But an exchange between Clinton and Gates at the defense secretary's December 2006 confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee hints that Gates and Clinton may be like-minded in how deferential the president ought to be to his military leaders when it comes to moving the troops.