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    Tag: Bureaucracy

    Tell The Feds To Stuff It

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 02:02:26 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Institute for Justice, Tom McMillin, HB-5081, Seizures, IRS, Cash, Bureaucracy, Congress, Cowards (all tags)

    Due process is a critical component and a guarantee afforded by the United States Constitution.

    Of course, current events have shown that the constitution has has limited support from the cowards in congress. (Hint: the word is IMPEACHMENT) Inaction and a lack of oversight by congress into the executive operations has allowed the federal buraeucracy to operate with impunity. Adding to this, property forfeiture under the guise of criminal deterrence has been the source of income for local law enforcement that sells its soul to the justice department. From a Detroit News Editorial

    "Since the U.S. Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture Fund was established in 1986, the federal government has used property forfeiture to deter criminal activity and to incentivize local governments to cooperate with federal anti-drug and anti-terrorism efforts. Under the 2001 Patriot Act, Congress expanded civil forfeiture to include cash transactions, requiring banks to report deposits of more than $10,000 to detect terror-related money-laundering schemes.

    But this instrument also has been used to harass law-abiding Americans, particularly business owners who regularly deposit cash of $7,000 to $9,000. The businesses are often seen as trying to skirt the $10,000 bank reporting requirement.

    Unfortunately innocent business owners have been paying the price for such over zealous efforts.

    Continued below the fold.

    (4 comments, 433 words in story) Full Story

    Putting Us In Jeopardy

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:46:20 PM EST
    Tags: Michigan, HB4111, Obamacare, Pass It To See Whats In it, Grants, Secrecy, Classified Results, Bureaucracy, Losing Freedoms, False Choices, Primarying Recruitment (all tags)

    "I'll take Obamacare for $31 million, Alex"

    Answer: "the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law"

    ...  Think think think

    Question: What is malfeasance?

    .. Cha-ching!

    I wonder if our state senators are as willing to face primaries and an angered base like our reps?

    As for Reagan's "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally -- not a 20 percent traitor", allow this image to put the proper perspective on it.

    (4 comments) Comments >>

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Pass It To See What Is In It

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:52:14 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, HB4111, Obamacare, Pass It To See Whats In it, Grants, Secrecy, Classified Results, Bureaucracy, Losing Freedoms, False Choices, Primarying Recruitment (all tags)

    Oh for Pete's sake.

    We've been here before, except our Republicans were actually fighting the unknown aspects of the new socialism coming from Washington.  Now our governor is acting as a conduit of liberties being taken from us, and there are even willing accomplices which we had not expected. This never should have been allowed out of committee, and it it wasn't for the compromised position that Jase Bolger put himself in (Roy Schmidt), it wouldn't even be coming up for a vote.

    This was posted on Facebook.  It is reportedly a discussion between Norm Hughes and Michigan State Representative Martin Howrylak:

    Martin Howrylak: Norm - I voted against this in committee today and intend to vote against it on the floor tomorrow.

    Norm Hughes: Thank you for voting against it, Martin. You are a patriot! The Governor will go across the aisle and get his votes from Democrats. Please work on your colleagues. Thanks

    Martin Howrylak: Norm - This thing is going to pass big time. I am standing up for principle on this one. Also, the feds will not let the legislature review the grant document. They say it is classified. My congressman is working to help us get the document released. Can you imagine this? We are supposed to vote on accepting a grant that nobody has had access to. I am flabbergasted that I am the only one asking for this. Quite frustrating.

    Norm Hughes: Mike Shirkey is in the same boat. Unbelievable. Gotta pass it to see what is in it? Martin I held highly classified positions in the Federal Government and I cannot imagine WHAT in a health care grant could possibly be classified. Maybe a fillibuster is in order.

    OK, tie it up, because we need to get to the bottom of this first.

    How can a grant be classified?  And how could ANYONE even think of voting for something without reviewing it completely?

    If this is true, we have a bigger problem than just this one item of malfeasance. Every damned one of those legislators better have a grasp on what they are loading up on Michiganders.  As it is, we will spend the next year recruiting candidates up and down the state especially for primaries of non term limited cretins who vote for this thing without understanding what you are actually taking from us.

    I have independently verified there is a communication rift between the feds and our legislators with regard to this.  This from one who will likely vote FOR the measure:

    "We have requested from HHS a copy of the federal docs for review and our requests have been ignored."
    Isn't that special?

    CALL NOW!! quid est consequentia segnitiae?

    (10 comments) Comments >>

    Oh Christmas Tree!

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:26:43 AM EST
    Tags: Government, Michigan, Christmas Trees, Growers, Taxes, Gowth in Government, Bureaucracy, Short Sighted (all tags)

    The righty blogosphere just about blew up recently when the Obama administration attempted to assess a $0.15 per Christmas tree tax on ol Tannenbaum.  A day after announcing the plan, the department of agriculture reversed course, partly because of the negative attention received on the subject.

    If nothing else, the entire affair reveals the mindset of the folks who occupy government at all levels. There is no doubt in their minds that a business owner cannot survive without their interference. But in this case as with so many others, such butchery cannot go forward without at least a part of the herd leading it to slaughter.

    "A majority of Christmas tree growers nationally, including those in Michigan, favored the program, said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Howell-based Michigan Christmas Tree Association."

    A majority?  Consensus?

    As with any other business 'association' there are multiple agendas always going on.  There is the agenda of larger sized business interests, the smaller ones, and apparently the short sighted association management itself.  Certainly creating what amounts to a Christmas tree 'czar' position within the federal government.


    More below ~

    (3 comments, 563 words in story) Full Story

    No Sleep Button

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 01:00:50 PM EST
    Tags: Congress, Michigan, Business, Super Committee, Dave Camp, Fred Upton, Taxes, Debt, Bureaucracy (all tags)

    You cannot shut this off.

    Hi Dave, Hi Fred, Have you recognized yet, that you have an impossible task?  Have you noticed that "increasing revenues" seems to be impossible? Does it seem hopeless?

    It ought to.

    Obviously, as two of six members tasked with the overwhelming task of reigning in an upwardly spiraling debt situation, you hold a great deal of responsibility.  And with only 11 days till the collapse of your hopes to accomplish this without crushing business, and raising taxes on those making over a dollar a year, the realization that there is nothing of which you are aware that will solve this problem, must keep you awake at night.

    Therein lays the problem.

    You both don't know, because you have failed to listen in the last couple of years, as the good folks who have marched, protested, changed the face of the congress you occupy, have told you how.  It is not a part of your understanding.  were you asleep?  You didn't listen to those folks in 2008 when you had an opportunity to say no to the use of taxpayer funds to prop up businesses that needed to fail.  You didn't listen to good Republicans who now mourn the loss of moral authority with regard to improper payoffs to corporate supporters and masters, which BTW has given the current president cover for his own abuse of our treasury.

    And you didn't listen when the majority of the country once again said "NO!" to raising the debt ceiling once again in a way that serves only to feed the beast which will ultimately consume us.

    ~ Below for more ~

    (6 comments, 1543 words in story) Full Story

    Former DEQ Director applauds reigning-in of DEQ bureaucracy

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Fri May 15, 2009 at 12:14:36 PM EST
    Tags: DEQ, bureaucracy, regulation, red tape, Lansing (all tags)

    Four years ago Russ Harding began advocating what he called a "No-More-Stringent" law.  A former director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (the hated DEQ), Harding understood the damage being done to Michigan industry, job makers and families when unelected bureaucrats imposed rules and standards on businesses that exceeded those imposed by already stringent federal regulations.

    "Michigan's economy is dragging, and the state is losing jobs," Harding wrote in 2005.  "Almost no one has called publicly for reducing the damage caused to our economic climate (and to effective regulatory practices) by Michigan's unnecessarily burdensome environmental regulations..."

    It may have taken more than 1,500 days but someone finally paid attention. Republican state Senator Jud Gilbert recently introduced Senate Bill 434 in an effort to "limit state regulation promulgation authority."  Harding, not surprisingly, is a fan.

    "Many environmental regulations that have serious impact on Michigan businesses and households are made in the cubicle of some state bureaucrat who is unaccountable to Michigan residents," he said yesterday.  "Important environmental and other regulatory policies should be made by elected officials who are ultimately accountable to voters."

    Amen and preach!

    SB 434 could help ease overbearing bureaucratic burdens on job makers in policy areas ranging from agriculture and air emissions to property rights and wetland permitting.  

    Beyond the immediately tangible benefits there's a much deeper value in this sort of legislation.  By drawing back the power of the unelected bureaucracy and shifting the ability to regulate in excess of federal standards squarely onto the shoulders of legislators selected by the voters, SB 434 actually strengthens the Democratic process.

    "Requiring legislative approval before state agencies can promulgate regulations that are more stringent than federal requirements is a step toward curbing the current practice of regulation without representation," Harding added. "Many states that Michigan competes with for jobs have already instituted this common sense reform."

    Of course, there's the jobs issue, too.  And the intrinsic personal joy I derive from knowing that anything might curb the power of the DEQ.

    (4 comments) Comments >>

    Ivory Tower: 'Russians finish second; Americans second to last'

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:53:35 AM EST
    Tags: propoganda, bureaucracy, Granholm, Cherry, Ann Arbor News, MSM, media bias, tourism, Jeff Daniels, Pure Michigan (all tags)

    Tax revenues in Lansing are currently coming in monthly at $100 million less than expenditures.  I said monthly.  As in, every month.  

    As bad news goes, that's pretty rotten... for taxpayers.  It means that in spite of 2007's record-shattering $1.5 billion Democratic tax hike, state spending is still so bat-crap crazy that the government can't pay its bills.

    According to the Associated Press its only going to get worse, too.

    Republicans, who said the 2009 and 2010 pay raises should be frozen, said there must be more urgency in dealing with a shortfall that could reach $1 billion in the budget year that started in October if revenues continue coming in $100 million a month less than anticipated. The state also is facing a potential $1.4 billion deficit in the next budget year.

    Granholm plans to use $313 million of federal stimulus money to balance this year's budget.

    Thank goodness for the House Republican minority.  Seriously.  They were at the state Capitol yesterday making a radical suggestion... cut costs!  On top of suggesting a 5% across the board spending cut in each state department, the conservatives are suggesting that while elected officials look to give back 10% of their own salaries next year, its time to ask the rest of the bureaucrats to do the right thing and give back 5% of theirs, too.

    There are currently 52,000 state employees and according to Lansing insider publication MIRS, 72 of them actually make more money than any member of the legislature.  We're talking six figures.

    I can't speak for every state employee.  Heaven knows there are probably thousands who work hard and are dramatically under-compensated for their time, skills and efforts.  I am saying, though, that in all of my years in and around the Capitol dome I've only met a few of them.  

    Now, raise your hand if you've lost a job completely or had to give back part of your salary in the private sector.  (Why are so many of you raising BOTH hands?  You don't get extra credit for that extra hand.)

    And, lets be honest, when the choice is between lay offs and a 5% pay cut, giving back a little bit of that bureaucratic cash suddenly looks a little more inviting.  Don't' believe me?  Ask our friend at the Ann Arbor News.  They learned yesterday that their paper is going "buh-bye" while the Saginaw News, Flint Journal and Bay City Times dramatically scale back their own operations.

    Folks at papers in Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids got off relatively "easy" with pay cuts.

    More and more readers are turning to the internet, blogs and the new media to get their news and information.  Its no wonder after the partisan sham that was Election 2008.  All but the staunchest far-left whacko will admit that the mainstream media was and continues to be solidly in the tank for Democrats at just about all levels and they're starting to pay a steep price for their political hackery... they've lost the public's trust.

    Just so happens you can find exhibit 8,304,284,111 in this morning's Ivory Tower.  

    Everyone understands that the FREEP is the state's "liberal newspaper."  (As if any of them aren't.)  But wow.  

    If reporter Ellen Creager and the editor responsible for her headlines try to carry any more water for the Granholm - Cherry administration ahead of the 2010 elections they're going to throw out their backs and give themselves a hernia.

    Check this out... Ellen's headline this morning reads: "State tourism outlook: Thumbs-up?"

    Really?  Awesome!  Maybe I was wrong about Jeff Daniels all this time. Except, no, I made a mistake and I actually read Ellen's column.

    Michigan tourism is likely to drop slightly this year, but travel experts say they are seeing promising signs that things are starting to look up for the state's third-largest industry.

    A new analysis by Michigan State University, released Monday, said tourism is expected to drop 3% to 4% this year after sinking 6% last year. But one of the authors, Donald Holecek, warned against "irrational pessimism," saying that even if business travel stays in the doldrums, leisure travel should hold up well.

    OK, let me get this straight.... Tourism was down 6% last year despite "Pure Michigan's" incessant advertisements here IN-STATE.  Tourism is expected to be down 4% THIS year.  It is MARCH.  There are still more than 9 months and a week ahead of us.  There are ZERO estimates for when or even if tourism will actually pick up again but based on the numbers we do have we know it won't be any time in the near future.

    I'm missing the "thumbs-up."

    Is it where one member of the panel... one... says we shouldn't be pessimistic? What did all of the other members say?  They didn't make the report.  Nothing they uttered was printed.

    That couldn't possibly be because their statements didn't fit the pro-Granholm-Cherry media template at the Ivory Tower, could it?


    And then these guys wonder why no one reads them anymore.

    Reminds me of the classic Cold War account of an experimental car race in the Soviet Union.  The morning after the race the headlines in Moscow told readers:  "Russian car finishes second; Americans second to last"

    Yeah, sure, only two automobiles competed in the race, but for some reason that part of the story was never printed.

    (1 comment) Comments >>

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