Monday, June 16, 2008

Champion of the Middle Class?

Mike Rogers -- never one to leave a thought unexpressed when an audience is present -- characterization of Barack Obama's economic policies:
"This guy is completely out of touch with the average Michigan family," said Rogers, a Brighton Republican.

Rogers also said that Obama's energy policy proposals would increase taxes on coal & natural gas, and "lead to higher gasoline prices."

Oh, really?

Let's quickly review just how "in touch" Mr. Rogers is with the average Michigan family:

He voted against health care for children of working families

He voted against extending unemployment benefits for families who are weathering Michigan's painful jobless rate.

He has an "energy indpendence bill" with perks for the oil, coal and gas industries, a goofy cartoon on his website, and zippo for controlling skyrocketing gas prices...

... oh, and he's voted against outlawing gasoline price gouging.

Got kids going to college, or in college already? Not only did Mr. Rogers restrict their voting rights, but he also voted against increasing Pell grants, reducing interest rates on Stafford loans and other programs to help middle class families afford a college education.

So the next time you hear Mr. Rogers --

or, more likely, read something his spokeswriter Sylvia Warner has typed up --
be sure to ask exactly what it is that he's been doing to support the average Michigan family.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Courage of his convictions?

Mike Rogers has held firm on his opposition to extending unemployment benefits for hard-hit states...

... sort of.

In yesterday's House vote (234-137), the

Republicans split, with 49 voting in favor and 137 against the extension.

All six of Michigan's House Democrats voted for the extension. Eight of its nine Republicans did as well. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, did not vote.

[emphasis added]

Now, Mr. Rogers votes with the Republican majority 93.2% of the time. He's missed very few votes since arriving in Washington eight years ago (just 1.5% of the votes this session).

One has to wonder why this vote scared him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

He Works Hard for the Money

Seems as though Mr. Rogers' Energy Independence Plan (a/k/a the Special Interests Bonanza Plan) didn't get the kind of notice our attention-lovin' Congressman had hoped for, so he's found something else to scare you:

Chinese hackers.

Yes, that's right: for all of you Michiganders with the cash and the free time to head over to the Beijing Olympics, Mr. Rogers is verrrry concerned that Chinese cyberbandits will hack your laptop, cell phone or Blackberry. As soon as he and his colleagues were briefed on this, Rogers piped up, happy to share his opinions with WHMI and USA Today among others.

Make no mistake -- cyberattacks are real. They're costly and potentially disastrous. But is this really the topic that should be commanding the majority of Mike Rogers' time and attention?

Considering that a year ago DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff was questioned by Congress on the risks posed by cyberattackers, Rogers was conspicuously silent on this topic until a reporter called him this week for a quote.

Hey, Mr. Rogers! If you're so worried about our national security, why not work on filling all those vacancies at DHS, securing our container ports, or cleaning up the airline passenger watch list?

Oh, I forgot -- you're not on the Homeland Security Committee.

Perhaps you could get the attention you crave by supporting our active-duty service members, instead of voting against them.

You could support unemployed workers in hard-hit states like Michigan, instead of voting against them.

Or even -- this is really zany -- come up with a workable plan for energy independence instead of a marginal animated video, a few slogans and plenty o' taxpayer cash for oil and gas producers.

I shouldn't be so hard on Mr. Rogers, though. He has to hustle for the attention -- the poor guy "only" raised $770, 575 by the end of Q1 (61% of it from PACs).
Mike Rogers sure is working hard for the money. Too bad he's not working for us.