Monthly Archives: July 2014

Thursdays on the Trail: A message of moving foward

Elephas_maximus_(Bandipur)For quite some time I/we have stated here that the Republican Party in order to be successful moving forward needs a message about moving forward. And, in some ways, they have. It’s easy to see that in states like Indiana and Michigan, Ohio and Iowa. Republicans are leading their states forward, making them better places to work, live and raise a family. Somehow, it seems that Republicans inside the beltway haven’t gotten this message though. Congressional job approval is on par with death and eating dirt three times a day. So it’s interesting that the man who helped orchestrate the GOP reign in DC has something to say on the matter. Continue reading

MidWest Wednesday: Apparently, HHS doesn’t have phones

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.comThere used to be a time people could be counted on to reliably communicate. Today there exists a myriad of ways to get in contact with someone – a phone call, an email, a text message, etc etc etc… Strange then, that it seems as though Indiana Governor Mike Pence had to hear from the press, not the federal government itself, that the Department of Health and Human Services had placed almost 250 immigrant children in the Hoosier State throughout the first six months of this year. Continue reading

Michigan Monday: A Stupid Day for a Primary

I guess it closer to November...

I guess it could be closer to November…

We are quickly approaching the day that the state of Michigan holds its primary elections. In fact, said elections take place a week from tomorrow on August 5th. That gives the winners in each race just three months – 13 weeks exactly – to make their pitch to the general public. Thirteen weeks to ask their current or future constituents to make a choice while they have given 8 months to the small subsection of their constituency that votes in a primary to decide their fate. That doesn’t seem just a little screwed up? Continue reading

Thursdays on the Trail: Top 2 gains support

Sycamore_trail_Hoosier_National_ForestEditor’s note: This is a day late – I am sorry

This week, New York Senator Charles Schumer (a Democrat), came out in favor of the “Top Two Primary” system (I will just refer to it as Top 2 going forward) such as the one used in California. Given the pairing of Schumer AND California you would think this would be something that gives Democrats a political edge….and you would be wrong. The fact is that a Top 2 is system that gives the people the political edge. You know, something that politics in this nation is supposed to do. Continue reading

MidWest Monday: American liar

Michael-MooreMichael Moore, the popular “documentary” film maker/blatant lair from Flint made the news recently. It turns out the anti-capitalist hater of the rich turns out to be exceedingly wealthy. Raise your hand if you are shocked by this (don’t raise your hand, it’s not shocking at all). His net worth is around $50 million, not exactly the “everyman” he likes to portray himself as. All of this is coming to light again as Moore files for divorce from his wife of 22 years.

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Michigan Monday: Amash speaks, we should listen

8486719503_77bba4569d_zThis blog has made no bones about our admiration of Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI 3). So, when he speaks to The Grand Rapids Press/MLive at their candidate forum, it should probably be what we cover for the day.

Congressman Justin Amash spoke at the candidate forum in Grand Rapids where he was asked questions about his opponent (“not credible” – his answer and mine) and about his fights with the GOP Leadership. This is where I come to a crossroads (despite the admiration)…and where Amash just speeds on through. He basically lays the blame for a dysfunctional Congress at the feet of Speaker John Boehner. My problem there is that I like John Boehner…and at some point, we have to stop blaming the parent for the behavior of the children.

Man, I hate the term “establishment” for so many reasons and I hate that Amash has to go there. I get it, it’s a hot-button talking point. He is running in a primary against a guy he can paint as “establishment”. But he, of all people, should be rising above that. No, I don’t know what other broad paint brush word he should use because broad paint brushes are stupid (unless you actually have to paint, then they come in handy…although I prefer paint pads when possible). Once again, the fact is that the Republican Party is fractured and this “establishment” crap only serves as a way to widen that fissure.

However, the strength of the GOP is secondary to the job that Congress is doing (a shitty one). I think, at this point, more Americans approve of death than they do of the job that Congress is doing/not doing. This is where Amash makes a great point. “If only we had more Republicans, everything would be good…but that’s not the truth, that’s not the reality” he states in the above clip. And it’s true. It is not about a party, it is about the people. We can have a boatload of Republicans and be even worse off than we are now if they are not principled and truly representative of the people’s interests.

I say this as a member of the Republican Party – just because you have an R next to your name on the ballot does NOT make you the best choice. I may not always agree with the way Amash votes on things and that is alright (for one, I don’t live in his district, or even Michigan anymore for that matter). But I have immense respect for that fact that he seems to be highly principled and is always willing to explain why he voted a certain way even when it is not popular among his peers.

The truth is, if the Republican Party listened a little more to what the people really want (and run complete idiots in some races) then electing Republicans wouldn’t be the struggle that it is. There will be some areas that never elect a Republican. That is just the way the demographics fall. People believe different things in the nation and it’s part of what makes out nation (sometimes despite our leaders) great.

The United States needs more people on Capitol Hill like Justin Amash. I am not saying that they need to have his political ideology. I am saying we need men and women who stand up for what is right even when it is not popular, people who have the best interest of their constituents – and by extension, our nation – at heart when they serve  in the United States Congress.

A perfect picture to explain Americans...all different but all the same.

A perfect picture to explain our great nation. We are all different but all the same.

Thursdays on the Trail: Remote campaigning

In looking through freelance opportunities, I noticed a distinct trend. When it comes to working remotely or telecommuting, it seems that the Democrats have an extreme edge. Now, it is possible that I am just looking in the wrong places and that Republican/Conservative telecommuting jobs are aplenty. Alas, that is likely not the case. It just seems that the Left seems to be more willing to open their ideas on the virtual workplace than the Right does.

How does this tie into campaigning? Simple. Campaign jobs – especially in today’s highly connected world – don’t necessitate that the staff all work in the same office. Phone calls can be made from anywhere thanks to pre-paid cell phones and VOIP systems. Letters to the editor can certainly be written from anywhere as well (you just need to have a nice local person attach their name to it). The only thing that cannot be done from afar is doorknocking. I’m afraid until we can figure out teleportation, that one stays local.

I know that some firms do these very things for candidates, yet they are still bound by brick and mortar. If I wanted to help out a candidate in Iowa or Michigan, the only way I could would be through donating money. That shouldn’t be the end of it though. By ignoring people who can’t donate money but can give their time, these campaigns could be even more successful.

While I love to think that the job of a Senator or Representative is only to represent their constituents, the reality is that the votes they cast and decisions they make affect all of us…regardless of where we live.

Michigan Monday: Immigration Destination

Immigrant-children-ellis-islandLast week we discussed the immigration issue, or at least part of it. Immigration though is often thought of as a problem for states like Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. That’s a very short-sighted view of the issue. Immigration is a national issue, something that can certainly affect people in Michigan. No further proof is needed when the federal government is looking at housing immigrants at Michigan facilities.

Wolverine Human Services, a private company in Southeast Michigan with campuses which handle at-risk youth and adults, is the potential landing spot for the immigrants in question. The company itself would be compensated by the federal government rather than the state. The question is though, would taking on these immigrants harm their overall mission which is to provide help to the people of Michigan?

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The latest crisis – Immigration

The border between the United States and Mexico is ground zero for the latest crisis in America

The border between the United States and Mexico is ground zero for the latest crisis in America

It seems that over the past year our federal government has gone from one scandal/crisis to another…not exactly a ringing endorsement for President Obama’s legacy. However, this isn’t the problem of one man, it shows failure all across the federal spectrum. And while laying blame is the hallmark of politics, figuring out how to solve each crisis is vastly more important. The crisis du jour is now immigration, specifically in regards to our southern border. Continue reading

MidWest Wednesday: Establishment and Iowa

Iowa_capitolThe Republican Part of Iowa  (RPI) recently replaced their Chairman, ousting Danny Carroll by a vote of 14-2. Of course this is another “establishment vs insurgent” line played up by the media with “forces loyal to Gov. Terry Branstad” seizing control of the party. The Chairmanship of RPI has been a bit tumultuous the past several years with Ron/Rand Paul supporters warring with those who identify more with Branstad and Senator Chuck Grassley. Continue reading