653 Days until Election Day
January 25, 2009
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
– President Barack Obama
SUNDAY MORNING NEWS SHOWS…here is POLITICO’s rundown of today’s shows.
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. http://www.cpac.org/.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS, COMMENTARY & INFORMATION:
Check…out…our…online Articles of Interest………News…you…can…use………
THE REST OF THE STORY:
POLITICO’s THE SHOWS – from Matt Mackowiak:
NBC: National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), roundtable with the New York Times’ Tom Friedman, The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, and NPR’s Michele Norris.
ABC: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), roundtable with ABC’s Sam Donaldson, Carly Fiorina, the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, ABC’s Cokie Roberts, ABC’s George Will.
CBS: Vice President Joe Biden.
Fox: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), roundtable with the Fox News All Stars with Fox’s Brit Hume, NPR’s Mara Liasson, NPR’s Juan Williams and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol.
CNN: Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC), former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), former DoD U/S Doug Feith and Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Swift (Gitmo detainee defender).
TODAY’S TOP STORIES
The following stories and more are available at my Articles of Interest online.
Michigan students have grim view of future
Survey finds children lack hope and motivation to learn
Michigan’s funk is infecting its children. More than half the high school students interviewed in the latest Your Child survey have a bleak view of life after graduation, using words such as "hard," "stressful" and "scary" to describe the future.
The students say they are most worried about failing in the real world, according to the survey conducted by EPIC-MRA of Lansing.
"We are doing a very poor job of instilling hope in our children," says Margaret Trimer-Hartley, executive director of Your Child, a volunteer organization dedicated to raising college attendance in Michigan. "We are asking these kids to graduate from high school and go to college, but that’s a much harder sell when they have such a grim view of what lies ahead."
Abortion policy reversed
Obama strikes down a ban on giving federal money to international groups that do operation, provide info on it.
Matthew Lee and Liz Sidot / Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information — an inflammatory policy that has bounced in and out of law for a quarter-century.
Obama’s move, the latest in an aggressive first week of reversing contentious Bush policies, was warmly welcomed by liberal groups and denounced by abortion rights foes.
The ban has been a political football between Democratic and Republican administrations since GOP President Ronald Reagan first adopted it 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush reinstituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.
The Gay Community is Losing Friends
By Debra Saunders
I voted against Proposition 22, the same-sex marriage ban, in 2000. I figured that if same-sex couples want to marry, why not let them? I believe in marriage. I don’t want gay people to feel marginalized. But 61 percent of California voters thought otherwise.
In November, Proposition 8, a follow-up same-sex marriage ban, was on the ballot. This time, I was so conflicted, I punted. I did not vote either way. I’m not proud of my nonvote, but as I watch the fallout from Prop. 8’s 52 percent victory, I’ve seen things that are forcing me out of my closet.
A slow burn has been building since 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided that he could flout the state marriage laws and authorize same-sex weddings in City Hall.
Obama urged to uphold EPA rule
Michigan AG, auto dealers want new administration to reject Calif. emissions limits.
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Opposition is emerging to the possibility of President Barack Obama reversing a Bush administration decision not to grant California and 13 other states the right to impose their own vehicle tailpipe emissions limits.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and the National Automobile Dealers Association on Friday urged Obama not to take action. Their separate requests came two days after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols formally asked the Obama administration to grant the state a waiver under the Clean Air Act to impose a 30 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions by 2016. Thirteen other states have adopted the California rules.
The NADA said in a report Friday that the California rules would force automakers to ration deliveries of larger vehicles to comply with the requirements and that could lead to some customers buying vehicles in adjacent states without the rules. The rules "will distort the auto market and (do) nothing to decrease greenhouse gases or improve fuel economy on a national basis," the report said.
Mich. delegation presses Obama to help state
David Shepardson / The Detroit News
WASHINGTON — Michigan’s congressional delegation asked President Barack Obama on Friday to further boost funding for advanced technology automobiles and parts, as well as for the state’s unemployed.
The letter, which was signed by Michigan’s two senators and 15 House members, urged Obama to back another $25 billion in low-cost government loans to retool factories to make advanced technology vehicles and components.
Congress approved $25 billion for the program in September. Obama in August backed $50 billion in loans for the program. The Energy Department hasn’t awarded any funds, and more than 70 companies have applied for loans.
Responsibility includes taming entitlement spending
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Days before becoming responsible, in the eyes of a public fixated on the presidency, for almost everything, Barack Obama vowed to convene a "fiscal responsibility summit." It will consider the economy’s long-term problems, one of which is the growing cost of entitlements in an aging nation that is caught in the tightening grip of an iron law of welfare states: Graying means paying.
Presumably the president’s summit will help chart a path toward what has been called a "grand bargain." This Big Bang will aim to create a new universe of domestic policy by, among other things, making the entitlement menu — particularly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which are more than 40 percent of federal spending — manageable. Obama spoke of his summit a day after the House of Representatives, evidently believing that the nation is so flush that there is no need for restraint, voted to make matters worse by enriching that menu.
By a vote of 289-139, with 40 Republicans joining the majority, the House, in the process of reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, doubled the funding, transforming it through "mission creep." SCHIP’s purpose, when it was enacted by a Republican-controlled Congress in 1997, was to subsidize state governments as they subsidize health care for families too affluent to be eligible for Medicaid but not affluent enough to afford health insurance. Because any measure acquires momentum when it is identified as for "the children," SCHIP was said to be for "poor children" or children of "the working poor."
Obama to GOP lawmakers: ‘I won’
President says he’ll listen to Republican ideas on stimulus, but makes clear who holds the trump card.
Charles Babington / Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sought to dampen Republicans’ complaints about the Democrats’ massive economic revival package Friday with an offer to listen carefully to their ideas, too. But he gave no guarantees he’d accept any — and made a point of reminding them who won the November election.
Obama promised to meet with congressional Republicans on their turf early next week after they and Democratic leaders thrashed out emergency tax-and-spending plans to revive the failing economy in a get-together at the White House on Friday. The House could vote on the $825 billion proposal the Democrats have worked out with Obama soon after the meeting at the Capitol.
With Democrats controlling the House, Senate and White House — and some economists calling for even more spending to stimulate the economy — it was far from certain the Republicans would be able to achieve any of their goals, which center on less spending and more tax cuts. Obama said Congress appears on target to have a bill at his desk by mid-February, and no Republican leaders disagreed.
The ugly side of the inauguration
Ironic that on Inauguration Day, when President Barack Obama told Americans it was time to take personal responsibility and "grow up" as a country, some of his supporters behaved like spoiled children in booing George W. Bush.
And, sadly, neither Obama nor any leader in the public spotlight that day seized the moment to admonish the boorish behavior.
It would have been nice had Obama had the presence of mind in his inaugural speech to not only allude to scripture in saying it’s time to put away "childish things" but to also have told the boo-birds that their behavior was inappropriate and the embodiment of those "childish things."
A 9/11 family member chides the new President for closing Guantanamo terror camp
By Michael Burke
Sunday, January 25th 2009, 4:00 AM
With his shameful order to close Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has perfectly filled the stereotype of the classic clueless ultra-Liberal – the one who can generate great passion for the rights of the guilty defendant and none for the innocent victim.
With a single stroke of the pen, Obama has delayed justice for the victims of 9/11, and in essence granted a reprieve for Al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11.
America does not honor our "rule of law and the rights of man" as he put in his inauguration speech by such an action. Instead, this nation abdicated its duty to justice.
Fear Hath No Shelf-Life: Our Torture Dilemma
by Robert D. Kaplan
The torture debate is critical not only because it gets us to the core of our values, but because the danger to American cities is not from tanks and armies, but from individuals and their intentions. Saving thousands of American lives may come down to the gifts of a talented interrogator and the tools at his or her disposal. Remember that usually only in the movies does a prisoner spill the beans on an upcoming plot. As interrogators will tell you, information about terrorist activities tends to come in fragments that are assembled from scores of interrogations, even as the truth is distilled-accidentally almost-from a spewing forth of lies and subtle evasions. The front line of our defense against al-Qaeda and its offshoots is painstaking, tedious work that rewards those best able to fill in the blank spaces from a shattered jigsaw puzzle.
Interrogators, because they deal with a single combatant face to face for hours at a time, often develop more sympathy for the enemy than any one else in our security establishment. After all, the combatant, because he has a real face, becomes human to them. Such sympathy is necessary if they are to do their jobs well. "To defeat the enemy you first have to love them-that is, their culture," an army special forces lieutenant colonel told me years ago in Afghanistan.