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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,837

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Column: In which I praise Mitt (but explain why I won’t vote for him)

While it is fashionable these days to engage in vitriol and vilification of the political “other side,” I am having a hard time thinking of Willard Mitt Romney as truly evil. Really.

Sure, I cringe when I think about having a private equity guy in the White House. I know enough about that business to realize that it can be creative and helpful or deeply cold-blooded and destructive. Romney’s work at Bain Capital apparently included plenty of both kinds of deals. That makes me uncomfortable. But it’s a big jump from knowing that to believing that one can divine what’s in a man’s soul. People are complicated, Romney more so than most.

Along with his shortcomings, Romney has some very good qualities – as a candidate and as a person – that make him by far the best Republican in the presidential field. None of those qualities make me want to vote for him in the fall, for reasons I will explain shortly. But even so, it’s worth noting some of them:

-- Romney is no ideologue: Like Ronald Reagan, Romney has a strong pragmatic streak. As governor of Massachusetts, he was willing to pair spending cuts with revenue increases by raising fees and closing loopholes in the state tax code. That does not endear him to Tea Party activists. But a “cuts only” approach to fixing the Massachusetts budget would have been a nonstarter. Mitt chose to get things done.

More here: http://www.northstarwriters.com/2012/01/24/in-which-i-praise-mitt-but-explain-why-i-won%E2%80%99t-vote-for-him/#more-9746

Newt just had his "Dean scream" moment and is too stupid to realize it

So, John King gives Newt the chance to give his side of the story after another network dropped a bombshell -- that was a GIFT to Newt. Newt could have taken the opportunity to answer the charges in a dignified way and move on. Instead, Newt acted like an ass. And the SC Republicans loved him for it. Says something, eh?

Also: Once the bravado of the moment passes, Newt will find that he has given a week or more to what could have been a one-day story about his second divorce. Tactically, he screwed up in order to satisfy his ego and vent. That stuff may play well with South Carolina Republicans. Independents, however, will remember it as a tantrum. What an idiot.

Re: Newt - What I say when a Republican says: "But BILL CLINTON (insert infidelity comment here)"

My response:

"Bill Clinton is not Jesus Christ. Bill Clinton has no power to wash away the sins of the Republicans. Newt owns his own behavior no matter what Bill Clinton did or did not do."

The Case Against Liberal Despair (Daily Beast)

In the latest installment of our ‘Op-Vid: Campaign 2012’ video series, Michelle Goldberg issues a reality check and a history lesson to those liberal activists who now despair electoral politics, Obama and the squalid compromises of governing.

Video here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2012/01/15/the-case-against-liberal-despair.html

Children are our future? Michigan Dems act like they really believe that (Free college tuition)

Michigan Senate Democrats are swinging for the fences. The Dems want to offer tuition-free higher education to qualified young people who graduate from the state’s K-12 system – and they want to pay for that by repealing corporate tax breaks.

At first blush, that might sound like a hippy-dippy fantasy dreamed up in the tents of the Occupy Detroit movement. It also could be the best thing that ever happened to free enterprise and entrepreneurship in this state since Henry Ford learned to use a wrench.

Under the proposal, called Michigan 2020, Michigan high school graduates would be eligible to receive a grant for tuition and other costs at one of Michigan’s public community colleges or universities. The price tag for the plan, which is based loosely on the Kalamazoo Promise program, is estimated to be about $1.8 billion per year. That money, the backers say, could come from closing “the loopholes that allow companies to avoid paying taxes.”

In an announcing of the plan, Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement, “It’s time for us to be bold and there’s no better place for us to start than by giving each and every child in Michigan the chance to compete in the 21st Century job market.”

More here: http://www.northstarwriters.com/2012/01/18/children-are-our-future-michigan-dems-act-like-they-really-believe-that/#more-9683

You're Fired!


GOP World: New state (of Michigan) tax rules good for business -- Some residents will pay more

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers pushed through a series of far-reaching tax changes in 2011 that will hand businesses drastically lower tax bills while raising the amounts low-income workers and retirees will pay as new laws take effect.

Many companies will see significantly lower tax bills or pay no business taxes at all in 2012, thanks to a switch from the Michigan Business Tax to a new 6 percent corporate income tax that kicks in Sunday and falls mostly on large corporations with shareholders. Businesses can expect to pay $1.1 billion less in taxes this year and $1.7 billion less in 2013, according to estimates. Two-thirds of companies will pay no state income tax at all.

If the changes work as Snyder hopes they do, they could balance the tax burden more fairly between younger workers and retirees while helping to create jobs and push down Michigan's stubbornly high unemployment rate that in November finally dipped below double digits for the first time in three years.

Some worry the tax changes may simply take money from public education and state programs that $2 billion in annual business taxes paid for in the past, a move critics say could leave students with fewer educational opportunities and force cuts to everything from prisons to food and hospital inspections.

Full story here: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20120102/NEWS04/201020321/New-state-tax-rules-good-business

2008 Iowa Caucus Victory Speech: Promises Kept


Column: Drug testing welfare recipients would ‘solve’ a nonexistent problem

Determined to keep Michigan on the frontlines of the nation’s divisive, unnecessary culture wars, Republicans in the state government have found another way to single out a group unpopular with their base. Fresh off their success in banning domestic partnership benefits for public employees – a move seen as a victory against the “gay agenda” – they’re now focusing on welfare recipients.

House Bill 5223, introduced last month by Rep. Jeff Farrington, R-Utica, would require applicants for cash assistance to pass a drug test. Those who failed or refused the tests would be deemed automatically ineligible. Those who passed could receive welfare payments if they met all of the other requirements, but the cost of the tests would be deducted from any benefits received.

A similar plan is under consideration by the Michigan Department of Human Services. In that case, actual tests would be administered only to those who failed a “screening” process of some kind.

The ostensible reason for either policy is that we would save money. The thinking goes like this: Because everybody knows welfare recipients are heavy drug users, widespread screening would be a good way to reduce the number of people on assistance. Such a plan also would, in theory, provide a powerful incentive for those on the dole to get clean and stay that way, enhancing their employment prospects.

More here: http://www.northstarwriters.com/2012/01/04/drug-testing-welfare-recipients-would-%E2%80%98solve%E2%80%99-a-nonexistent-problem/
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