Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jobs for Michigan?

A quick review of Mr. Rogers' fundraising for the first quarter of 2010 shows that he's been pretty busy: taking in just over a million dollars ($1,018,397 to be precise) and spending only $319,151.

Where did the money go? Well, $40,000 went to the Michigan Republican Party. There are also operating expenses, like website development, payroll services, e-commerce vendors, fundraising and direct-response firms... We could talk for hours about the role of money in politics, but like it or not, these types of expenses are pretty standard for a Congressional campaign.

What's not so standard? A Congressman from the state with the nation's highest unemployment rate spends quite a bit on out-of-state businesses.

Mr. Rogers has hired a Wisconsin web developer, an Illinois payroll company, a New Hampshire direct mail/telemarketer and a California software vendor to assist his re-election campaign.

It's a little hard to believe that there are no Michigan businesses providing these services.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Opposite World

Mr. Rogers was in full bloviation mode this week, pontificating about the "failure" of the Obama administration to have prevented the Times Square bomber before he acted.

Thought police, anyone?

If Mr. Rogers ever bothered to talk to people in his district (other than the ones who pay for the privilege), I would love to ask him a few questions:

1.) Apparently, the 53 hours and 20 minutes that elapsed from incident to arrest in this case was not good enough for FBI Guy Mike Rogers. Remind me, Mr. Rogers, where Osama bin Laden is being held in custody? Oh, wait -- he still hasn't been captured, nearly a decade after 9/11. Hmm... you've been serving on the House Intel Committee since you first went to Washington a decade ago. Coincidence?

2.) In that MSNBC interview, you referred to a "pattern" of "successful" bombing attempts by Faizal Shahzad (Times Square Bomber) and Umar Abdulmutallab (Underwear Bomber). Why would you define as "successful" two bombers who failed to set off their bombs? No deaths or injuries resulted from their failed attempts; both men were apprehended, taken into custody and provided significant amounts of actionable intelligence after interrogation. I personally think this is outstanding; it's not clear why you are so critical of the efforts of professional law enforcement personnel.

3.) You've been railing about the dangers of a law-enforcement approach to anti-terrorism policy, wailing about the Scary Terrorists, and bailing on taking even a shred of responsibility for your decade of inaction on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. I defer to Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan for summing up the irresponsibility of this type of behavior:
Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda. Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill. They will, however, be dismantled and destroyed, by our military, our intelligence services and our law enforcement community. And the notion that America's counterterrorism professionals and America's system of justice are unable to handle these murderous miscreants is absurd.
What have you done for us lately, Mr. Rogers?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Qu'est-ce Que C'est

It's not often that Mr. Rogers brings to mind a Talking Heads song, but after reading today's LSJ piece these lines from Psycho Killer sprang to mind:
You start a conversation you can't even finish it.
You're talkin' a lot, but you're not sayin' anything.
According to the LSJ, Mr. Rogers spent $172,764 on mass communications to two million contacts. This translates to being the 94th highest spender in the House, roughly in the top fifth for mass communications expenditures.

Given that there are only about 707,179 people in MI-08, you have to wonder who the other ~1.29 million folks are...

You also have to ask why he is still spending money on printed mailings, why his emails are so cookie-cutter, and how much it could possibly cost to have a telephone town hall.

It would be cheaper for Mr. Rogers to buy a plane ticket every few months and actually come home to talk -- in person -- with the people he represents.