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MI Morning Update 1-23-09

655 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY

January 23, 2009

"Taxpayers deserve a refund!"
-Attorney General Mike Cox

MORNING UPDATE

Cox calls for state tax refund…Attorney General Mike Cox says the state is overcharging taxpayers, and more than $700 million should be refunded to them to help with car, house and other payments. He said when the state raised income and business taxes in October 2007, it was sold as a means to deal with an economic crisis. And yet, he noted, the state ended the last two fiscal years with surpluses, including $712 million for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

 MRP STATE CONVENTION…Just a quick note to let you know that the Michigan Republican’s website has been updated with State Convention information.  I’ve included the information below, but for your reference in directing potential delegates to the site, the address is: http://www.migop.org/event.asp

CPAC 2009 Timeless Principles, New Challenges…Register today for the largest gathering of conservative grassroots activists in the country! The American Conservative Union Foundation is pleased to invite you to participate in the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives. The 36th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will be held on February 26-28, 2009

TRACK RNC RACE FOR CHAIRMAN…here is a basic tracking site that allows you to follow who has publicly committed to various candidates for RNC Chair:
http://www.rncchair.com/

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FOR THE LATEST NEWS,
COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:

Check…out…our…online
Articles of Interest………News…you…can…use………

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THE REST OF THE STORY:

2009 MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN
STATE CONVENTION
February 20 & 21, 2009 | Lansing Center 
Click here for driving directions
Click here for hotel information / reservations  

Tentative Schedule of Events | *Subject to Change*                

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CAUCUSES
Date:
Friday, February 20, 2009

Times: 6:00pm – 7:45pm | Districts 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 14
            8:00pm – 9:45pm | Districts 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15

Location: Various rooms | Lansing Center, Lansing

Purpose: Election of congressional district officers / executive committee members
               Election of state committee members
 
GENERAL SESSION
Date:
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Exhibit Halls A, B & C | Lansing Center , Lansing

Purpose: Election of state party leadership
                       State Chair / Co-Chair
                       Administrative Vice Chair
                       Coalitions Vice Chair
                       Ethnic Vice Chair
                       Grassroots Vice Chair
                       Outreach Vice Chair
                       Youth Vice Chair
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
convention@migop.org OR 517-487-5413

TWITTER…anyone can follow my daily activities and impressions throughout the day by joining and following along. 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

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.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

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


Two Faces of Obamamania

By Michael Gerson

WASHINGTON — This inaugural week included a massive achievement in American racial history, an outpouring of civic participation and a gracious executive transition on both sides. But amid the celebration one could detect double standards all around.

If the outcome had been different in November, would John McCain’s inaugural coverage have been quite as worshipful as President Obama’s — during which the "shiver" up the leg of journalists finally became full-fledged convulsions? Why were the biblical references in Obama’s inaugural speech not considered a coded assault on the Constitution, as George W. Bush’s allegedly were? And I can only imagine the cascades of hilarity and derision that would have come had Bush messed up the inaugural oath, no matter the cause.

But an aggrieved sense of victimhood is not attractive from any political perspective. And so, in honor of the "era of responsibility," I put aside such childish things.


The World Won’t Buy Unlimited U.S. Debt

By PETER SCHIFF

Barack Obama has spoken often of sacrifice. And as recently as a week ago, he said that to stave off the deepening recession Americans should be prepared to face "trillion dollar deficits for years to come."

But apart from a stirring call for volunteerism in his inaugural address, the only specific sacrifices the president has outlined thus far include lower taxes, millions of federally funded jobs, expanded corporate bailouts, and direct stimulus checks to consumers. Could this be described as sacrificial?

What he might have said was that the nations funding the majority of America’s public debt — most notably the Chinese, Japanese and the Saudis — need to be prepared to sacrifice. They have to fund America’s annual trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future. These creditor nations, who already own trillions of dollars of U.S. government debt, are the only entities capable of underwriting the spending that Mr. Obama envisions and that U.S. citizens demand.

Obama Reverses Key Bush Security Policies

By SCOTT SHANE, MARK MAZZETTI and HELENE COOPER

WASHINGTON — President Obama reversed the most disputed counterterrorism policies of the Bush administration on Thursday, declaring that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” in the fight against Al Qaeda. But Mr. Obama postponed for months decisions on complex questions the United States has been grappling with since the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Mr. Obama signed executive orders closing the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year; ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret prisons; and requiring all interrogations to follow the noncoercive methods of the Army Field Manual.

“We intend to win this fight,” he said. “We are going to win it on our own terms.”


Cox: State taxpayers deserve $700M surplus refund

Tax relief stimulates economy, forces Lansing to diet

Mike Cox

Fifteen months ago, Michigan taxpayers and businesses were punished with $1.4 billion in new taxes — the Michigan Business Tax, the 22 percent business tax surcharge and a higher state income tax. Since taxes went up, Michigan’s unemployment rate has also increased — it’s now 10.6 percent, the worst in the nation. But the tax revenue keeps pouring in.

Now we find out the state of Michigan is overcharging taxpayers. While families and workers are struggling to make ends meet, state government brought in an extra $712 million this past year on the heels of a $350 million surplus the year before.

Just think: That $712 million surplus means Michigan created the most notorious business tax in the nation, gouged workers and job creators, and badly damaged our reputation with companies looking to expand or relocate, all for no reason.


Don’t ban clean coal’s growth in Michigan

By MIKE COX

Extremists are pushing Gov. Jennifer Granholm to block construction of any new clean coal plants. But it is always a huge mistake for state government to start picking winners and losers. A moratorium on clean coal would be bad environmental and energy policy.

More than 60% of Michigan’s power is generated by coal. Blocking new clean coal plants would cause businesses to either use older power plants or import more power from other states. Our state’s energy costs are already the highest among the Midwest. This would further disadvantage business and hurt our jobs climate even more.

Michigan has the potential to insert itself at the center of a clean energy revolution — electric cars, hybrids, new battery technology, clean coal, nuclear power, fuel cells, solar power and wind. Gov. Granholm is to be commended for signing an energy package that encourages development of renewable energy sources.


An early Obama test: unions vs. business

By Scot Lehigh

THE EARLY DAYS of any new administration are carefully planned theater. What comes later is a better test of a new president’s skill, for that’s when he must start to navigate the jagged reefs that lurk just beneath the surface bonhomie.

One issue that could soon test President Obama is card check – or, as it’s also known, the Employee Free Choice Act. Passage of that legislation, which Obama supported as a presidential candidate, is a key goal of the unions.

Labor is hoping for action this spring – and that’s got some other Obama allies worried.

It’s Not Their Money

What is it with American bankers and their sense of entitlement?

After losing billions, taking billions from taxpayers and avoiding disaster only by selling itself to Bank of America, Merrill Lynch was still ready to give a multimillion-dollar “performance” bonus to its chief executive, John Thain. It refrained only after a storm of protest that reached from Main Street to Capitol Hill.

As it turns out, the outrage was not enough to stop the flow of money to other executives. According to a report in The Financial Times on Thursday, Merrill granted $3 billion to $4 billion in bonuses in December — part of a total compensation budget of $15 billion for the year that was just slightly less than that of 2007.


Don’t be Bullied into Obama Suport

By Christine M. Flowers
Philadelphia Daily News

AT THE risk of sounding like I’ve been sucking on sour grapes for the past few days, let me say something that, for me at least, needs to be said:

We non-Obama voters shouldn’t be bullied into supporting our new president.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention, allow me to explain.

It’s become common since the election to hear people say "even if you didn’t vote for him, even if you don’t agree with his policies, we as Americans should all support Barack Obama." The implication: If we love this country, we want its leader to succeed. You know, the old "If we don’t hang together, we shall all hang separately."

Court rejects Franken bid to stop recount lawsuit

By PATRICK CONDON Associated Press Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A three-judge panel has refused Democrat Al Franken’s request to block a lawsuit over the Minnesota Senate recount outcome.

Franken came out on top of Republican Norm Coleman by 225 votes in the recount. But Coleman is contesting the result.

The dismissal means the trial on Coleman’s lawsuit starts Monday.

Coleman argues that the recount process was flawed. He says votes were double-counted in some precincts and that more absentee ballots should be admitted.

GM hits a snag in cutting debts

BY JUSTIN HYDE • FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

General Motors Corp.’s attempts to cut its debt as required by the government’s $13.4-billion loan hit a serious roadblock after one of the world’s largest bond investors pulled out of talks with the automaker, an analyst said Thursday.

The decision by Pacific Investment Management Co., known as PIMCO, raises questions about whether the Obama administration will have to recast the goals of the loan agreement and increases the chances some analysts have forecast that the automaker might have to ask a bankruptcy court for help in cutting its debts.

As part of its federal loan deal, GM has to outline a strategy by Feb. 17 for reducing about $27.5 billion in debt by two-thirds. To accomplish that, GM had been negotiating with a committee of bondholders and the UAW, which must consider taking half of the money it’s due for retiree health care costs as GM stock.

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