Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Links: It's All About Money

While The Curmudgeon balances his checkbook as he awaits his Social Security check, the big-time candidates are counting their blessings by the millions...compliments of well-heeled friends who like to write big checks.

Quote of the Day

For the government to just ban all travel, I'm not much interest in that. You've got to put it into perspective... We're talking about one person that's died (of Ebola in the U.S.) and we want to close down the world travel system. It doesn't look like that kind of problem.
We've got 5,000 people who die from tuberculosis every year, so you have a much greater chance of getting tuberculosis by flying an airplane (than of getting Ebola). You don't put a ban on everybody who has a cough.
A travel ban is politically motivated rather than something done for medical purposes.
Ron Paul, M.D., in an interview with the right-wing online publication NewsmaxHis son, Sen. Rand Paul, is calling for an air-travel ban of people originating in West Africa as are most right-wing politicians.

The Comeback State?

Michigan continues to lag behind the rest of the nation in the Obama recovery. Despite all those GOP-Trickle Down changes that were going to jump-start our economy, the latest numbers show Michigan's unemployment rate is 6th highest in the nation. 
Most of Michigan's job growth
is because auto sales are up
Right-to-work (for less), huge business tax cuts, decreased regulation of air and water polluters – all of this was supposed to drive us forward. Instead, Michigan's 7.2% unemployment rate is 22% higher than the national rate of 5.9%, according to the latest numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And the BLS reports that over the last 12 months, Michigan has added just 32,000 jobs even though the U.S. economy grew by about 2.6-million jobs. In other words, just 1.3% of all new jobs in the last year were a part of the Michigan Comeback.

Who's Buying Whom: Your Guide to Campaign Finance

The race for Governor will end up costing $30-million this year, with Michigan television stations ever so grateful since most of the money comes from outside sources ... and they can jack up the rates for ads that aren't candidate-paid.
It won't break the record. Amway billionaire Dick DeVos (a big spender in this cycle) wasted $37-million of his network-marketing fortune in an effort to topple Jennifer Granholm.
mLive's Jonathan Oosting has an excellent summary of who is spending big. For Mark Schauer, most of his support comes from working-class people, funneled through their unions. For Rick Snyder, most of his support is coming from very wealthy individuals including the DeVos family, Koch brothers, Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, and New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Totten Slams Schuette for Illegal Contract

Bill Schuette is supposed to be the state's lawyer, making sure that the state does things legally. Like in awarding multi-million-dollar contract extensions.
In the case of J&B Medical Supply Company he dropped the ball. The company received a $390,598
extension without the required competitive bidding. That is illegal. And Schuette voted, with the Governor, to do it.
"Bill Schuette would rather be Governor Snyder's lapdog than the people's watchdog," Totten said.
It is, of course, a pure coincidence that the night before the contract was illegally extended, J&B's owner hosted a ritzy fundraiser for Governor Snyder that added around $75,000 to the Gov's campaign kitty. How convenient.
Speaking of convenient, the folks at J&B Medical Supply were kind enough to have a video produced about the fundraiser which (also conveniently) has been posted to YouTube by the Michigan Democratic Party.

Should Supreme Court Campaign Money Be Secret?

It's not often when candidates receive a one-question survey from an interest group, but several members of the 2011-2012 Judicial Selection Task Force (including its co-chairs, retired Justice Marilyn Kelly and Senior Judge James L. Ryan) sent a single question to this year's candidates for Michigan Supreme Court:
Do you support the recommendation of the nonpartisan Michigan Judicial Selection Task Force that individual contributors to the cost of all Supreme Court campaign advertising be publicly identified?
Guess what: the candidates nominated by the Democratic Party answered with an unequivocal "yes." The current justices (both appointed by Rick Snyder) answered with equivocation. Read the full responses here.

Mike Bishop: Matty Maroun's Bitch

The one-time state Senate Obstructionist-in-Chief was well known as the chief waterboy for the owner of the Detroit-to-Windsor Ambassador Bridge, Matty Maroun. Back when he was Senate Republican Leader, Mike Bishop successfully fended off efforts by Gov. Snyder to get legislative approval of a second international bridge. The bridge was supported by damn near everyone who wasn't on Maroun's large payroll including the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, UAW, city leaders, county leaders and most Democrats.
Columnist Jack Lessenberry's commentary on the situation back then was headlined "Leadership for Sale".
Now Bishop wants to be Maroun's voice in Congress, continuing to fight against a publicly owned international bridge (paid for by Canada) which supporters say is vital to Michigan's economic health. Snyder went around the Legislature to get the bridge approved, but funding for building the needed U.S. Customs Center on the Detroit side of the new bridge has stalled.
From the Lansing State Journal:
If elected, Bishop said he wouldn't support federal funding of the customs center.
The Moroun family, which owns the Ambassador Bridge, opposes the government plan and has donated at least $13,000 to Bishop’s primary campaign. Bishop formerly provided legal counsel for CenTra Inc., the Moroun company that operates the bridge, and for Central Transport International, the family’s trucking company.
Bishop said he supported a second bridge privately funded by Manuel “Matty” Moroun, the family’s patriarch. “He’s got the funds to do it. He wants to create jobs,” Bishop said. “I firmly believe that we ought to let them continue that process privately to build that bridge.”

Well, Duh!

This falls into the "I already knew that but couldn't prove it" category:
Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot ... and most of America knows it. (Sorry, Al Franken...). He also is a liar (at the heart of another Franken book!).
Rushbo: You love him or you hate him, but you
probably don't believe him
The proof comes from a new survey from the Pew Foundation which found that Limbaugh is the least trusted national source for news out there ... and CNN is the most trusted. (Running just behind Limbaugh in the "don't trust" column is ... surprise! ... Fox News.)
Which just goes to prove that lying, bluster, racism, misogyny and greed can make you real wealthy ... but telling it straight makes you the second-to-last cable news network (behind only Al Jazeera America, which The Curmudgeon finds to be the best choice for actual news).
Politifact, incidentally, reports that a whopping 82% of every "fact" they check from Limbaugh proves to be bullshit.

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