Monthly Archives: January 2014

Thursdays on the Trail: on Amash and Sasse


Enough snow to shut down southern roads?

Amash’s challenger seems to be of the “non” variety

As has been covered in detail here at The MidWest Wing, Michigan’s 3rd District Congressman Justin Amash is facing a primary foe. Challenger Brian Ellis has essentially decided upon the brilliant tactic of coming at Amash from the Right. Because attack a Libertarian on the right seems like a such a winning strategy, Ellis has decided to bolster his chances of winning by tossing the Constitution aside.

He’s got his explanations for why he’s voted, but I don’t really care. I’m a businessman, I look at the bottom line. If something is unconstitutional, we have a court system that looks at that.

Well, I mean, it’s not as if defending the Constitution is part of the job requirement for Members of Congress or anything….oh, wait.

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MidWest Wednesday: myRA is a lot of nothing


State of the Union 2014

State of the Union 2014

Yesterday, President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union Address (so, I am sorry, the MidWest Wednesday has a bit of a broader focus today). It was, by most accounts, a pretty bland affair. I watched while unpacking so I did not pay full attention but it seemed as though he just rehashed points we have heard time and again. 

There was something new though that caught my ear – the myRA (he had a bit of trouble spitting that one out). Continue reading

Hoosier Tuesday: The Indiana Way

IN RoadmapThe idea of state elitism is one that has always intrigued me. It goes beyond state pride, just think about the people who brag about being from California, Texas or New York. Having been a Hoosier for five years now, I realize that sometimes we fall into that trap as well. I was reminded of this when I saw that Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) released a “roadmap” for the U.S. Senate called The Indiana Way

Now, this is not to say that Coats’s plan is a bad one…just that titling it The Indiana Way is a bit pretentious (and yes, I fall into this trap as much as anyone…just look at how often I say that we do things better in the Midwest than in other parts of the country). Looking at his ten-point plan one could take the word “Indiana” and substitute Michigan, Ohio, Iowa or any other Midwestern state and much of the same would ring true. Continue reading

Michigan Monday: Minimum wage efforts

Lake Michigan in the winter – St. Joseph, Michigan

A push is underway in Michigan to raise the minimum wage…by a significant amount. Michigan’s minimum wage sits at $7.40 (which is higher than the $7.25 federal mandated minimum wage). While there is legislation that has been drafted that would raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2016, a coalition is pushing for a ballot initiative (i.e. one of those “Prop A” or “Prop 3” things you see signs for but are never explained when you have to vote in November). The coalition has not released its ideal number yet, but in looking at the picketers in the picture for MLive’s story, it seems they want to more than double the current minimum to $15. Continue reading

Hoosier Tuesday: From the archives – Tax breaks/credits ruin the free market

Editor’s note: This article has been sitting in “drafts” for quite a while so I thought it was time it saw the light of day

It is nearly impossible to hear a candidate or elected official out there talk about ways to improve our economy without hearing them say something about the need to increase tax breaks or increase tax credits for specific businesses, or industries, or business owners. It is a great talking point, it is something people generally think is a good idea and makes sense. I mean if I know the economy sucks and people aren’t creating new jobs out there, and someone comes along and says “Hey, we’re going to give manufacturers of  widgets a tax credit to expand operations because widgets are a great product and the future of manufacturing,” I would probably say great, that should help the economy. WRONG. It is a temporary band-aid for a problem that could very well be long-term or prominent.

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This is CNN?

Recently, CNN’s Jake Tapper caused quite the controversy when his interview with Lone Survivor author Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (and Mark Wahlberg, who plays Luttrell in the movie adaptation) went awry. The problem, as so often occurs these days, is that Tapper’s question was not worded correctly (whether on purpose or not is up to you to decide) and from there everything spun out of control.

(video embedded below)

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Thursdays on the Trail: House races are non-contests

The road to re-election for Midwest Representatives should be about as bumpy as this road...

The road to re-election for Midwest Representatives should be about as bumpy as this…

Now that the redistricting cycle (2012) has passed, the U.S. House races throughout the Midwest should be rather tame. As most states legislatures felt it was more important to play partisan politics with House districts rather than let democracy run its course (probably best saved for another discussion), the biggest threats that most incumbents face will be in primary races rather than in the general election. There are still a handful of competitive districts spread throughout the Midwest though.

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MidWest Wednesday: Could one retirement lead to another?

U. S. Representative Tom Latham (R-IA 3)

U. S. Representative Tom Latham (R-IA 3)

Recently, Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA 3) announced that he would not seek re-election to his post in the U.S. House of Representatives. While not earth-shattering news, it did hit close to home for me. I served on the Congressman’s district staff for several years and worked on his campaign while I lived in Iowa. He will leave having represented about two-thirds of Iowa (geographically).

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Hoosier Tuesday: Government gets a delayed start on the New Year

Indiana winters can provide some beautiful scenery...when it is warm enough to breathe outside

Indiana winters can provide some beautiful scenery…when it is warm enough to breathe outside

The Polar Vortex (how cool is that name by the way – it sounds like a sports team) has created a bit of havoc with the Hoosier state. Gov. Mike Pence shutdown all government activities on Monday and Indy Mayor Greg Ballard made it illegal to be out on the roads Monday (except in case of emergency). Fun times in Indiana folks!

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