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MI Morning Update – New MI Legislature to be Sworn in – MI Budget Potentially $1.4 Billion in Debt – Sen. Stabenow to Senate Energy and Natural Resourcs

664 Days until Election Day

January 14, 2008

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"We have to be both internationalists and realists. We can rebuild our alliances and restore our moral authority, and reestablish our leadership in the world."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a 2007 speech


MORNING UPDATE:

44 NEW STATE REPS TAKE THEIR SEATS…today, 44 new members will be sworn into office.  Out of 110 member, almost half are fresh faces with a new perspective on the role state government should play.  This is a great opportunity for some common sense leadership in a time of crisis.  Republicans stand ready to work!

POTENTIAL $1.4 BILLION GENERAL FUND DEFICIT…for fiscal year 2009-2010, which will require serious cuts, restructuring and addressing some of the long term structural reforms Republicans have been pushing for.  Or are the Democrats going to try and raise taxes…again???

STABENOW ON SENATE ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES…an interesting appointment that will significantly impact Michigan.  As Michigan expands it’s research and development of alternative energy and fuel jobs, we’ll get a chance to see how the junior senator from Michigan will perform.

 

 

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

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

 

 

 

Cherry: I’ll run on Granholm’s record

Lt. Gov. John Cherry said Gov. Jennifer Granholm has laid a strong groundwork for the state’s future, and he’ll be happy to run on the Democratic governor’s record.

"I think she’s got a strong record," he told the Free Press editorial board Tuesday.

He cited Granholm’s efforts to maintain education funding in difficult economic times, moving the state’s economy toward producing alternative energy and protecting the Great Lakes as things he would continue if he won the governor’s job.

New Legislature meeting for first time today

The 2009-10 Michigan Legislature will convene for the first time at noon today.

It includes 46 new members in the state House. The 110-seat chamber is led by Democrats who padded their advantage in last November’s election. Republicans are the majority party in the 38-seat state Senate.

All but one of last year’s members return to the Senate. Democrat Mark Schauer of Battle Creek was elected to Congress and his state Senate seat is vacant.

 

Gov: School aid cash safe

Granholm says K-12 aid won’t be cut this year; Republicans say nothing is off the table.

Mark Hornbeck

LANSING — Aid to public schools will not be cut this year and other areas of spending may be spared despite continuing state budget woes, Gov. Jennifer Granholm promised Tuesday.

But her fiscal declarations were immediately challenged by legislative Republicans, who say the state needs to begin chipping away at its long-term deficit — and reminded Granholm she can’t balance the budget by herself.

"For this year, we are not going to pro-rate K-12," the governor said during a news conference at the Capitol. "But all bets are off for next year."

Granholm: State needs Obama aid to weather economic ‘free fall’

Federal action is essential to help economy and hurting residents

Gov. Jennifer Granholm

Last week, Michigan’s economic experts gathered to make an official forecast of fiscal conditions for the year ahead. Their prognosis was grim as they determined that the nation’s economy is in "free fall."

The experts agreed that these national challenges, combined with the auto industry’s restructuring, will continue to hit Michigan hard.

That means Michigan families will face continued job losses and financial hardships while the state struggles to provide needed services with less revenue. Despite already making more than $130 million in cuts this year, we face an additional budget deficit of more than $1 billion that must be addressed.

Perhaps Michigan’s Anuzis, Dawson should duel for top GOP job

When it comes to the six Republicans competing for lead dog of the GOP leadership, all are on point: They love Ronald Reagan, are pro-life, advocate small government, and promise more diversity and fewer taxes.

They are also, with one exception, locked and loaded — armed in Second Amendment solidarity. During a 90-minute debate a week ago at the National Press Club, only Michael Steele confessed to owning no guns.

Can true conservatives trust a man who doesn’t pack heat, perchance to kill a moose?

The others admitted to owning several weapons, including Katon Dawson, the South Carolina Republican chairman, who said he had too many to count.

Bush says he leaves with ‘good, solid record’

Ben Feller

WASHINGTON — Gathering his Cabinet together one last time, President George W. Bush declared his administration had achieved "a good, solid" record and gave thanks to both his closest aides and Americans across the country.

"I tell people I leave town with a great sense of accomplishment and my head held high," Bush told a small pool of reporters Tuesday at the end of his final meeting with his top advisers. Before the media were allowed in, a burst of applause could be heard from the Cabinet Room.

A day after his final news conference, and a day before his farewell address, Bush used the occasion to again define his legacy in his own terms.

 

Obama’s early stumbles

Readers ask, Camille dishes: On Democratic woes, the Weather Underground, Kanye West, Freud, alleged gay genes and "the long sleep."

By Camille Paglia

Dear Camille,

When Obama is reading off a teleprompter or in a scripted environment like a debate (where the game is to plug in your prepared sound bites regardless of the question), he comes across as a magnificent and inspiring speaker. But there were several times during the campaign where he appeared to trip all over himself when off script.

Now in his comments about the Blagojevich mess, he comes across badly and makes it look like we are in for another four (or eight) years of people having to carefully parse every word. Do you get that same impression to any extent, and if so, does it cause you concern?

Clinton Vows to Use Cabinet Position to Push for Climate Treaty

Secretary of State nominee and Senate Foreign Relations Chair both call global warming a ‘security threat.’

By Jeff Poor

Change we can all believe in? How about the same song and dance, but just a different day?

In opening remarks at her confirmation hearing on Jan. 13, President-elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations committee she would use the office to shape foreign policy that would fight climate change

"You Mr. Chairman [Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.] were among the very first in a growing chorus from both parties to recognize that climate change is an unambiguous security threat," Clinton said. "At the extreme it threatens our very existence. But well before that point, it could well incite new wars of an old kind over basic resources – like food, water and arable land."

Democrats must provide ethical government

There are those who regard politics as sport and those who see it as an adjunct to government. They frame things very differently.

When New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson exited as commerce secretary nominee, the sports fans saw a dropped ball by an otherwise flawless player, Barack Obama. The good government crowd deemed it a save.

We can all find the entertainment value in politics, but the bottom line must be what’s right for the country. That means we keep our eyes on the governing part.

Obama says to expect years of trillion-dollar deficits as the United States tries to spend its way out of a deep recession or worse. Those outlays may be necessary, but they should also scare the wits out of us.

 

Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Tuesday that 61 former detainees from its military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release from custody.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed as "returning to the fight" and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Morrell declined to provide details such as the identity of the former detainees, why and where they were released or what actions they have taken since leaving U.S. custody.

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