Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
“Reps. Blunt and Rogers have made it clear they are siding with Big Oil and saying no to millions of new jobs and no to making America a global leader on clean energy,” said League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinksi. “Why do they seem to have such little faith in American ingenuity and know-how?”
Monday, April 20, 2009
"Why is it I had to go all the way to Moscow to hear a good idea on turning the economy around?" Rogers said.
Over the last year, as you know, Russia has pursued a divisive policy to re-exert its Soviet-era sphere of influence. During this time, Russia invaded Georgia, intimidated other nations from joining NATO, and threatened to target Eastern Europe with nuclear missiles should the proposed European missile defense sites be built. Further, amidst a global economic crisis, Russia has disrupted shipments of natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years. Most recently, Russia used financial incentives to persuade Kyrgyzstan to deny the U.S. access to its Manas military base in order to support coalition operations in Afghanistan.Does Mr. Rogers really think that this is a country we should emulate?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
“Republicans and Democrats have spent recklessly in the past, but now the problem is worse than ever,”
said. “The federal deficit has ballooned to more than a trillion dollars. It is irresponsible and will ensure that our children and grandchildren have a huge debt to pay to countries like Rogers .” China
Rogers, who also will address a Lansing “Tea Party” today organized to protest out-of-control spending and taxation, highlighted the long history of poor spending decisions made in Washington. “For too long, we have watched as our money was wasted on bridges to nowhere, a hippie museum in
New York, or an indoor rainforest in Iowa,” said. “We need an open, honest debate about how much money Rogers Washingtonshould take in taxes, how much money should borrow in our name and just how that money will be spent.” Washington
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The bill doesn't give the FDA power to ban existing tobacco products but gives the agency power to restrict sales on safety grounds. The FDA also would be able to stop companies from touting their brands as "low tar" and "mild" and restrict advertising to plain black-and-white ads. Health advocates say advertising restrictions are a key tool to keeping tobacco products away from children and young adults.
No prize for guessing how Mike Rogers voted... he was one of the 112 members who thought the FDA had no business regulating tobacco.
This isn't about partisanship. Michigan Republicans Vern Ehlers and Dave Camp said yes in the final vote on the FDA bill... [skip] And Mike Rogers could have backed the FDA bill as a step in the right direction, once it was clear his own alternative would not pass.
The picture is even more grim for Michigan's kids. Our state is ranked 47th out of 50 in protecting children from tobacco. 18% of our high school students smoke. Smoking-related health care costs Michigan $3.4 billion each year. And the tobacco industry is spending $415.9 million in marketing right here in Michigan.
Why would any responsible adult think that all this was worth protecting?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
As Americans become more incensed with government run amok in Washington, they are becoming more eager for a credible, energized alternative.
House Republicans will work with reform-minded GOP governors and state legislators to fight Washington bureaucracy and inefficiency.
Democrats have controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives for three months now, and from their actions, a discomforting narrative has emerged.
With the exception of two weeks ago, Democratic support has been between 40% and 42% in every weekly generic ballot poll conducted in 2009. Also, with the exception of two weeks ago, Republican support has been in the 37% to 39% every week since the beginning of February.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Congress has been racing to wrap things up before Easter recess... apparently, chocolate bunnies are a powerful bipartisan motivator.
The $3 trillion+ budget passed both houses in a party-line vote and moved on to conference committee. The vote tallies came as no suprise, and Republican House members knew that they ran zero risk in voting against it. In a vain attempt to be relevant, though, House Majority leader Boehner came up with an alternative budget (optimistically titled, The Road to Recovery) which was roundly mocked for both its lack of numbers and its quaint faith in tax cuts. It died a quiet death, not even getting much respect from its own party. In an interesting aside, Glenn Thrush noted that:
Defectors: About twice as many Republicans (38 or 20 percent of their conference) voted against the GOP alternative budget -- than Democrats (20 or 8 percent) who nixed their party's spending plan
With no traction on the budget, Republican reps have turned their energies to grumbling about the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation proposal.
Cap and trade of carbon dioxide emissions is a major component of the proposal. In a nutshell, this is a market-based way to control pollution. A cap (maximum limit) is set for emissions, then sources (manufacturers, utilities, etc.) are given a specific emissions allowance. Each source can design its own plan to stay within its specific allowance, such as investing in better pollution controls and increasing efficiency. Sources that don't "spend" their entire allowance can sell the extra to other less-efficient sources. The EPA lists the benefits of this approach:
- Strict limits on emissions yielding dramatic pollution reductions;
- High levels of compliance, transparency, and complete accountability;
- Regulatory certainty and flexibility for sources;
- Incentives for early pollution reduction and innovations in control technologies;
- Compatibility with state and local programs;
- Significant, widespread, and guaranteed human health and environmental benefits;
- Efficient use of government resources, and
- More benefits at less cost.
This isn't just some pointy-headed academic theory -- cap and trade has successfully reduced levels of several types of pollutants for over a decade.
Meme alert: Mike Rogers has decided to get cranky about cap-and-trade, or as he prefers to call it, "cap and tax."
Always fond of the fact-free policy statement, Mr. Rogers has been sounding the alarm about carbon cap and trade. He's been busy warning that it will "devastate jobs in manufacturing states like Michigan" and be "economic suicide." [Note to Mr. Rogers: Michigan has lost 600,000 auto jobs over the last 8 years, when carbon cap-and-trade was nowhere in sight.]
If you're up for it, there's even a Mike Rogers video with his oh-so-gloomy predictions and misleading "statistics"... just keep in mind that consumers already pay every time "they put food in the refrigerator to keep it cold" or "turn on the computer to help kids with their homework." What's wrong with providing the same electrical capacity with less pollution? And wouldn't this market-based solution to reduce greenhouse gases actually promote clean energy job growth? Funny, but Mr. Rogers used to think that was a good idea. He even included it in his super-duper Energy Independence cartoon.
Word in the Neighborhood is that Mr. Rogers will hold a joint "town hall" style meeting with State Reps. Bill Rogers and Cindy Denby during Easter recess. If this actually happens, we'll be sure to ask Mike Rogers about his change of heart on clean energy policy and job growth.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Well, a good idea popped up on Capitol Hill recently: the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act -- and unlike the bank bailout, it will cost taxpayers just $3 per person in 2010 and result in practical benefits for communities across America.
The GIVE Act (H.R.1388), known as the Serve America Act (S 227) in the Senate, will expand AmeriCorps and other national service programs from 75,000 positions to 250,000 participants over the next eight years. Currently focused on college-age volunteers, opportunities would include veterans and Americans over 55, as well as middle and high school students. A Congressional Research Service summary of the bill is here.
The bills passed in both the House (321 - 105)and the Senate (79-19) with overwhelming bipartisan support. Twenty-two Republican Senators, including conservatives like Kit Bond, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Orrin Hatch and Judd Gregg, lent their support. In the House, every member of the Michigan Republican delegation -- with the exception of Pete Hoekstra -- supported the bill.
In an unsurprising about-face, Mike Rogers and Thad McCotter decided that they enjoy being the Party of No, and flip-flopped to join Pete Hoekstra in voting against the final version of the bill. As with the budget, Mr. Rogers was for it before he was against it...
(5) The effect on the Nation, on those who serve, and on the families of those who serve, if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service.
(6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.
prohibits organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing.
Bottom line: Mr. Rogers would rather spout off about cap-and-trade policy than work on practical approaches to tough issues like unemployment, rising college costs, resources for veterans and seniors, and service to country.