Monthly Archives: September 2013

Michigan Monday: Gov. Rick Snyder on DC Dysfunction

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View of the Big Sable Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan – Ludington, MI

Michigan Monday is yet another new series we will be running at The MidWest Wing. It may focus on one topic or several, but the common theme will be always be the Great Lakes State.

Last week Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was in Washington to talk with Congress about cyber-security (he was a top executive at Gateway Computers in a previous life).  While there, he commented extensively on the DC dysfunction we are seeing from both parties on Capitol Hill and the White House.

“The best answer isn’t to do it through press releases [and] press conferences,” he said. “Shouldn’t people just go two miles one way or another or meet in between and sit in a room and talk about it? …. And keep talking till you get an answer.”

“It would clearly require more than one meeting,” he added. “How have we solved other problems in the world or business problems or family problems? That’s how you do it: you talk to people.”

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Why the GOP is losing: Healthcare

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I decided to start a series discussing areas where I think the Republican Party can really make some inroads to the undecided/independent (and even some soft Democratic) voters. The first topic we are covering is Healthcare…because why not. 

Obamacare. A derisive moniker started by Republicans has grown to be embraced by the media and even many Democrats. The real name, of course, is something much more official sounding – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or just the Affordable Care Act…because I guess it needed another yet another name). Right now – and truthfully ever since its inception – it has been one of the largest roadblocks to progress on Capitol Hill.

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Republican infighting: The self-hating GOP

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Another week, another story about Republican infighting. Recently Politico ran a story about a former John McCain adviser apologizing for his role in helping to create the current state of GOP “assininity“. By introducing Sarah Palin to the mainstream (via her nomination as John McCain’s running mate in 2008) he feels that he had a large hand in creating the Republican “freak show” we now see in Washington. Apparently these declarations were said out of frustration with the possibility of a government shutdown occurring due to the combination of the debt ceiling approaching and the opening date for Obamacare.

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A look back at the actions we’ve taken as a nation since 9/11

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History will show that United States response to 9/11 was very militaristic.

September 11th is a day of remembrance for the thousands of innocent lives lost at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the passengers of United Airline Flight 93.  It’s hard to believe it’s been twelve years since our lives were forever changed by the worst terrorist attack on native American soil, and further reflection reveals how emotional our response as a nation to these attacks were.  Republicans and Democrats came together and showed signs of bipartisanship as we dealt with something that we all thought we were immune to.  President Bush showed signs of leadership and purpose after a rocky start to his presidency, and offered comfort to those at Ground Zero along with American citizens.

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The Comedian in Chief

Much has been made President’s Obama rhetoric last year in the midst of a campaign against Gov. Mitt Romney. Most the focus has been centered on the president’s “red line” on Syria, but less attention has been given to the president’s choice of words during the third and final debate with the former Massachusetts governor. The words in question are instructional in understanding the president’s understanding of foreign policy, diplomacy, and foresight.

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Can racism in America be cracked? – from my column at IVN.us

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(EDITOR’S NOTE – this story was originally published on 8/29 in my column at IVN – The MidWest Wing Report)

A quick glimpse through the Drudge Report the other night brought up quite a few articles focused on racial issues. While I know that Matt Drudge lives for controversy, I still had to wonder whether this was indicative of our nation as a whole. I am always hesitant to write about racial incidents given my background (white, middle-income, small town/suburban). What in the world do I know about it? I grew up in a relatively homogeneous community, and I live in one today. Still, I am concerned.

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Healthcare and retirement: Who wants to step up to the plate?

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There is an ongoing debate regarding the providers, costs, and basic rights to healthcare and retirement in the United States. Companies are either passing more of the cost of healthcare to its workers, reducing hours so they don’t have to pay for healthcare, or eliminate healthcare entirely. Saving for retirement is now almost exclusively the responsibility of each individual, who has to deduct a significant portion of a paycheck to a 401(k) that will essentially be gambled with on Wall Street. Despite the continued reduction in private sector healthcare and retirement benefits, there are many companies and individuals in favor of further reduction and even the elimination of these benefits. What I find to be particularly troubling is many of these people also believe the government should not offer healthcare and retirement programs. If it shouldn’t be the private sector’s responsibility to provide these benefits, and having the government provide them is some kind of “socialist agenda”, then how are individuals supposed to pay for healthcare and plan for retirement?

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Labor Day is a reminder of what was…and what should be

Labor-Day-A-Tribute-to-the-American-Worker-359x292 Recently the United States celebrated the unofficial end of summer with the Labor Day holiday. Labor Day is when when the workers of America are to be celebrated. However, as the years have gone by, the workers and the work they are doing have changed. Fewer Americans are laboring in blue-collar jobs, in manufacturing and the “skilled” trades.  More and more are operating in retail or occupying offices, sitting in front of computers (including yours truly). Continue reading