Monthly Archives: November 2013

MidWest Wednesday: A meeting on Tax Reform

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A Midwestern sunset

Last week, the House (Republican) leadership, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH 8), met with Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI 4) about the proposed tax reform package he had intended to roll out this year. Seeing as there are only a matter of weeks left in 2013 (and even fewer when you begin to talk about the House being in session) this tax package has an increasingly diminishing chance of seeing the light of day this year causing its author has backtracked on his pledge to release it in 2013. The Government shutdown, as well as the Republican fascination with voting every three hours to defund the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), robbed Rep. Camp of the precious time he intended to use for tax reform discussion with his Ways & Means colleagues.

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Hoosier Tuesday: Political posturing

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Autumn in the hills of Southwest Indiana

Where are the adults?

Last week, the soap opera that is the State Board of Education became even more dramatic (I didn’t that that was possible, but once again, politicians continue to trump themselves in stupid moves). Glenda Ritz, who has been a staple in the Hoosier Tuesday columns, decided that rather than continuing with the State Board of Education meeting she would just walk out. Reminder, this is a meeting she was leading and she decided to take her proverbial ball and go home.

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Michigan Monday: The politics of Courts

A Michigan lake in autumn

A Michigan lake in autumn

Politics in the Courtroom

Michigan lawmakers are moving the Court of Claims from the Ingham County Circuit Court to a panel of Appeals Court judges appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court. The Court of Claims handles lawsuits filed against Michigan lawmakers and the state government as a whole.

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Thursdays on the Trail: Governors – the 30,000 ft view

Chubb Road - Lyons Township, Michigan

Chubb Road – Lyons Township, Michigan

Throughout the duration of this column, most of the attention has been paid to the Senate and House seats up for grabs in 2014. As far as impact within the Midwest, they pale in comparison to the Governorships though. In 2014, three-quarters (9 of 12) of the Governors could change. Two-thirds (8 of 12) of the Governors are eligible for re-election with Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE) being the only one who is not.

The potential for the political landscape in the Midwest to change is incredible. The chances it actually does are a bit less though.

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MidWest Wednesday: What IS the Midwest?

In a deviation from the norm, lets take a look at the root of our name. Just what is the Midwest? I had this debate with some people on Twitter this morning. I also remember having it with co-workers a decade ago. Most every place of authority* agrees (to most extents) as to what states comprise the Midwest. Today though, the discussion was what comprises the western boarder of the Midwest. Is it the Mississippi River, Is it the Missouri River, or is it somewhere else?

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Hoosier Tuesday: Avoiding actual issues

Pine Hills Nature Preserve - Montgomery County, Indiana

Pine Hills Nature Preserve – Montgomery County, Indiana

Social issues taking away from actual issues

Gay marriage. It is a topic that we tend to avoid here as it falls under the “social issues” umbrella. However, the topic is a major one within the Hoosier State right now. Groups on both sides of the issue are pumping money into the state to fight for their cause. Continue reading

Michigan Monday: Saying thank you to our veterans

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Maple Grove Cemetery – Mason, Michigan

A very heartfelt thank you to all of our veterans. If it were not for your service, we would not be the country the world continues to look to when in crisis. Because of you, freedom lives on.

In-state tuition for all veterans

On Friday it was announced that all of Michigan’s public universities, fifteen in all, would offer in-state tuition to all veterans. This means that a veteran from Georgia would pay the same tuition as someone from Escanaba or Kalamazoo.

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A 2nd Amendment Plea

AR15 Giveaway 5The group “Iowa Gun Owners” recently sent out an email announcing that a young man from Dubuque won their most recent “giveaway” program. This kid, Timothy (at left), won an AR-15. This is the gun that has received so much coverage regarding its controversy.

A pro-gun group holds a giveaway and of course, it gives away an AR-15. Not a Ruger shotgun. Not a Colt revolver. Not a Winchester rifle. Nope, an M16…err AR-15! The pro-gun group wants to throw it in the faces of every single anti-gun activist out there by giving away the very gun that they are trying to ban.

And this is why pro-gun groups receive so much backlash, because they are stupid in their PR. The whole mantra of doing something “because we can”. The “law allows it (for now) and so nobody can stop us” line of thinking.

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Thursdays on the Trail: Fighting against insurgency

Looking east from the base of Chimney Rock - Nebraska

Looking east from the base of Chimney Rock – Nebraska

GOP seeks to limit insurgency in Senate

Republican Senators have had enough from the far right wing and are looking to fight back. After a disastrous 2012 election saw the GOP lose seats it was thought to be able to pick up, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has decided to become more more involved in the primaries leading up to 2014. This news, coupled with the fact that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is facing a primary challenger, is likely not just coincidental.

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