The Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the cash-strapped Detroit Public Schools district will not have to reimburse taxpayers for $259 million it collected over the course of three years without voter approval.
The Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the cash-strapped Detroit Public Schools district will not have to reimburse taxpayers for $259 million it collected over the course of three years without voter approval.
Posted By Roug at 8:58 PM
At the federal level there were more than 100 new commissions, departments, councils, organizations, or other bureaucracies created by the recently passed health care reform. All of these departments will need to be staffed and housed.
In addition to these bureaucracies it has also been revealed that the IRS will have to hire an additional 16,000 agents to make certain that citizens conform to the new health care regulations.
Now it is Michigan's turn to step forward. Governor Jennifer Granholm today signed an executive order creating two additional state bureaucracies to help administer the reforms on the state's end; the Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council and the Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance.
The new Health Insurance Reform Coordinating Council that Granholm's executive order created will be headed by state community health director Janet Olszewski and include seven members from other state agencies. The council's discussions will involve representatives from outside groups that play a role in health care.The HIRCC appears to be little more than an assembled council that will get together every so often to discuss operational issues and in the process accomplish very little. It will probably cost very little as the people involved already have their noses in the state trough. However, while these noses are at the council meeting they will not be snuffling about the offices for which they were originally hired and will distracted from their primary duties.
The order also creates an Office of Health Insurance Consumer Assistance within the state agency that oversees insurance companies and state banks. The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation also will be in charge of setting up an insurance exchange to allow individuals and small businesses to buy health care coverage.
Posted By Roug at 8:58 PM
[...] the Detroit Public Schools district is suing a group of former employees and the companies to which they paid more than $57 million over four years for allegedly doing little or no work.Rochelle Riley in the Freep.
Posted By Roug at 1:01 PM
Fred Phelps, that upstanding leader of the Westboro Baptist Church and perpetual Democratic candidate for public office, has been awarded $16,510 in court cost reimbursements after defending himself from a lawsuit brought against his church by the grieving father of a fallen soldier after Phelps and company picketed his son's funeral.
A man should be able to bury his son without the disrespectful clatter of Fred Phelps in the background and certainly should not be burdened with the legal costs of Phelps.
A fund has been set up to help with the costs.
h/t Ace and Jawa Report
Posted By Roug at 10:33 AM
It was absurd, after all, for people to have accused Bart Stupak of selling out an entire pro-life political career for a tow truck and a fence. Bart would never sell out for such frivolity. Bart knows Bart, and he says NO WAY!
But, just one short day after changing course on that long held moral campaign against abortion, Stupak submitted earmark requests that topped a half billion dollars.
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.He was joined by the other ten members of the AAAC (Almost Anti-Abortion Coalition) in requesting a total of $3.4 billion in earmarks.
Posted By Roug at 12:39 AM
It goes with the territory. If you're going to plead for money through phone and mail solicitations and otherwise badger the crap out of people who work too hard for their money only to be rewarded right about dinner time by a Republican looking for a painful donation, don't get too analytical when you're caught wasting that donated change on a few leather leavened welts.
I want to see anger at the top. I want to see an egg fry on Michael Steele's forehead.
I don't want to see or hear anything else out of the top brass at the Republican National Committee over the next few days since it was just reported that the committee reimbursed nearly $2000 for entertainment at a bondage themed strip club in California last month. Mom didn't donate part of her Social Security so some pervert could drink $89 cocktails while getting his rocks polished by Misty or Cherri.
Michael Steele had the proper reaction by blowing a gasket when he learned of the expense. He did the right thing by demanding that whoever made the charges would repay the committee and then be summarily shot at dawn.
However, it was alluded to earlier today by someone from the RNC that the DNC has been guilty of similar events in the past and didn't receive nearly as much scrutiny. I cannot attest to the truth or falsity of that claim, but I don't give a rat's ass about any of that and I doubt that Mom cares much either.
The RNC is supposed to act according to standards that are higher than those held by the DNC. Otherwise what's the point of all those $1000 suits at the convention and all those perfect manicures?
If the RNC wants to get to the bottom of this and fire a few people I will hesitantly bite my tongue, but if it chooses to engage in silly relativism they can expect to get hung up on whenever they phone my residence looking for whatever I can spare.
I don't expect Republicans to be just the same as Democrats, and if they do, I don't want that to be the justification.
Posted By Roug at 11:26 PM
Jennifer Granholm is perhaps years away from that point in time when school districts in her adopted state will be able to afford new Michigan history books lauding her Gubernatorial legacy. She has, after all, presided over a state mired in a recession through nearly all of her years on the Michigan throne and consequently the districts are broke.
Certainly this cannot be her legacy. She knows a lot better.
It would not be fair to blame all of Michigan's many problems on Granholm though some have tried to do so.
She is certainly not to blamed for Michigan's long history of adversarial relations between big labor and big business. She is not the person who sat in the business boardrooms negotiating suicidal labor pacts with unionized industry. She is also not to be blamed for all of the crazy regulations that have been placed on our major industry by denizens of the DC swamp. She did not put into place all of the burdensome regulations and taxes that have made Michigan a difficult place for businesses to relocate to, expand in, or in which to be born.
Yet, during her many years in office she has in philosophy and in practice encouraged a continuation of all the economical negatives that predated her reign. She has consistently come down on the side of expanding regulations and greater taxation that has served to cripple business and job growth.
If Michigan's economy were an orchestra she would be the conductor coaxing ever more discordant screeching from the string section. Granholm is a believer in big government's ability to mold an economy into one that is at once robust and socially conscious. After seven bumbling years in her quest to achieve these goals she is left to ponder how her legacy will be perceived in the future.
"I know that I won't be able to cut the ribbon on the new economy that we are building the foundation for. But I hope people see at least that we are moving Michigan into entirely new ground," she told the Michigan Public Radio Network on Friday. "It's not anything that anyone could come in and wave a wand for and do overnight."As the governor so patronizingly points out, we lowly and one-dimensional citizens cannot see the solid foundation on which she has built this state's economy because all we plebs can see is that pesky unemployment rate. (And perhaps plummeting income, declining property values, blight, closed prisons, laid off policemen, stricken schools, and an occasion outbound U-Haul.)
The Democratic governor said she hopes the move to more businesses connected to alternative energy, homeland security and defense and biotechnology will allow the state to rebuild its shattered economy. Michigan has been in a slump for the past decade, and took an especially heavy hit last year as the domestic auto industry dramatically downsized.
The state unemployment rate of 14.1 percent is well above the national average.
"I know people don't see the steps that I see or the planks of this new foundation that have been laid, because of course the unemployment rate is still so high," Granholm said. "You're not going to be able to see the full benefit of it by the time we leave office. ... But I believe that will occur."
Posted By Roug at 6:55 PM
"Maybe you can look (state employees) in the eye and tell them their jobs aren't worth what we negotiated, but I can't do that," said Sen. Michael Prusi, the Senate's top-ranked Democrat.Well, maybe he shouldn't be in the Michigan State Senate.
Posted By Roug at 10:28 AM
cross posted at Right Michigan
The first effigy hanging I ever witnessed was during my college years. It did not take place within the progressive bubble of CMU's journalism department but rather hung by the side of M-33 in rural Oscoda County but a few miles from where then Gov. William Milliken had pledged to bury thousands of cattle tainted with PBB.
It was not a popular decision with the locals who feared illness and birth defects if PBB from the rotting carcasses ever leached into the groundwater. Energetic activists took the time to erect a makeshift gallows from which they hung a stuffed life size cloth replica of the governor. A rock and roll band played on in the background.
It was all for naught. The cattle were indeed buried. Thankfully, Milliken was never hanged. The band, I think, played wedding gigs for a couple of years despite how unpopular punk was with the in-laws.
Much is being made the last couple of days over the death threats and harassment being hurled at people like Bart Stupak. One such threat contained a drawing of a gallows with Bart's name written on it.
A call to his office went like this:
"Congressman Stupak, you are one big piece of human [bleep.] And think about this, there are millions of people across the country who wish you ill. And all of those thoughts projected on you will materialize into something that's not very good for you. We don't have to do anything but sit back and wish. Go to hell, you piece of [bleep.]"Another:
"Stupak you're a low life baby murdering scumbag pile of steaming crap. Bleep. You're a [unintelligible] punk, Stupak. That's what you are. You and your family is scum. You ought to fill your pockets with lead and jump in the Potomac. Punk. That's what you are, Stupak. You're a piece of crap. We hate your guts here in real [unintellibible] America. We despise you and every punk like you, Stupak. Get out of office. Get off our property."Pleasant? No.
Posted By Roug at 10:47 AM
A nonprofit run by Kwame Kilpatrick's family paid more than $100,000 to a consulting firm formed by Christine Beatty after she resigned as his chief of staff.
Posted By Roug at 10:04 AM
The head of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation offered his resignation to Gov. Jennifer Granholm after last week’s embarrassing disclosure that his agency approved a tax break for a convicted embezzler.
Posted By Roug at 11:55 AM
John Dingell on Monday, prior to the health care vote:
We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you're going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.That would include, I suppose, the hiring of the additional 16,000 IRS agents necessary to properly cower the American public into health care submission.
Posted By Roug at 10:58 AM
Unions say Michigan can't afford to lose more state workers.
Posted By Roug at 12:03 PM
Oh, politicians and the press were up in arms over the racial, cultural and sexcentric taunts leveled at members of Congress who supported the health care bill. There were cries of nigger, spitting, jeers of "baby killer", and the generic taunts of anti-gay judgment mongers.
Except I don't believe a lot of it. First of all, in all the camera coverage of those representatives who have leveled accusations of racial slurs, there has not been one verified charge. This is not to say that some cretin didn't belittle the congressmen out of reach of the camera, but until it can be proven and unlike the press, I will not accept it as fact. There were too many cameras around. There were too many microphones. There were too many witnesses who heard nothing. Believing these charges based on the sole comments of Alinski soldiers demands a naivete that I will not casually assume.
The baby killer comment was not leveled at Bart Stupak but at the bill a rudderless Stupak limpwristedly accepted. Who should we believe, Stupak, who has the convenient opportunity to deflect criticism by playing the victim, or Rep. Randy Neugebauer who is the sole owner of the words he inappropriately yelled? We should never allow someone other than the speaker of words to define the intent behind those words.
However, the most implausible suffering felt this weekend by anyone was by Barney Frank.
Also targeted over the weekend was Rep. Barney Frank, the openly gay congressman from Massachusetts. Protesters used common anti-gay slurs against him.Frank has a pretty tough skin no doubt thickened by the uncomfortable disclosure that a one time lover was running an escort service out of the Frank's congressional office.
"It doesn't hurt me, but it was sad to see this level of vituperation," Frank said Monday.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," called the racial and anti-gay remarks to Democratic members of Congress "reprehensible."
Posted By Roug at 11:35 AM
Or, at least it would if its legitimacy as a terrorist detainment camp were recognized. Oh well, at least Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan didn't have to choke down any of that horrible lemon rice pilaf.
Without a location outside the United States for sending prisoners, the administration must resort to turning the suspects over to foreign governments, bringing them to the U.S. or even killing them.Odd that the killing of a terrorist is okay by leftist standards, but capturing him and giving him three squares a day, a Koran, and a prayer mat in Cuba is unacceptable.
In one case last year, U.S. special operations forces killed an Al Qaeda-linked suspect named Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in a helicopter attack in southern Somalia rather than trying to capture him, a U.S. official said. Officials had debated trying to take him alive but decided against doing so in part because of uncertainty over where to hold him, the official added.
Posted By Roug at 1:05 PM
As it has been predicted for months all over the internet, Bart Stupak folded up like a cheap accordion on the health care bill.
He loves this bill. And, what's not to like?
It has everything that a big government trial lawyer likes, while at the same time it ignores many needed changes that would positively impact insurance reform.
It gives the government more power over the lives of everyday individuals in exchange for the mere promise that everything will get better. Never mind that there has never been a successful implementation of socialized medicine in the history of mankind. On the bright side, our bureaucrats are a lot smarter than the ones of previous generations.
This bill rebukes insurance companies while paying them off. It vilifies pharmaceutical giants while managing to get many of them on board. It refuses to address tort reform and leaves in place restrictions on competition. This bill does very little to contain costs...it simply puts a cap on payments to health care providers. In effect it places arbitrary price controls over a very important aspect of our lives...gas lines anyone?
This bill falsely promises a contribution toward a balanced budget while it specifically puts high cost portions of reform off the books, uses double dipping accounting methods, includes one of the largest tax increases in history which itself will contribute to a sluggish economy and reduced tax receipts, sloughs off huge cost increases to the states, and still needs ten years of tax collection in addition to these accounting slights of hand to get the bill below a trillion dollars.
Bart Stupak champions himself a pro-life Democrat, but he also champions himself a pro-union, pro-environmentalist, pro-government socialist who believes that big government provides the best solutions to all things icky in life. In other words, he cannot be trusted to do what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Something had to give, and as was predicted over and over again, it was his tentative support of pro-life issues that gave way to his yearning for a Euro-style socialist state.
I am pro-life and make no bones about it. However, I am not a one issue voter, and I know a number of people who are conservative but who voted for Stupak because of their belief in his stance on abortion. Today I say to those people and the millions like them that you own this bill. This is your baby.
Tom Casperson ran against Bart Stupak this last year. He is staunchly pro life, yet his campaign was an afterthought to so many pro-life voters who simply became used to blackening the box next to Stupak's name because of all the Right To Life endorsements he has received through the years.
Right to Life was duped, just as the one-issue Right to Life helped to dupe thousands of voters in Bart's district.
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "We are deeply disappointed and dismayed that Rep. Bart Stupak (D) approved of a compromise in the form of an executive order. With the compromise, some prolife U.S. House Democrats supported the health care bill."Meanwhile, what should we learn from a socialism pandering big government progressive foolishly endorsed over and over again by Right to Life?
Lawmakers who voted for this bill voted to require federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortion and voting to undermine longstanding prolife policies. This was a key, defining vote.
The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says.
The question of Rep. Bart Stupak's endorsement is one for the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee. As stated above, this vote was scored as a pro-abortion vote and will certainly be a defining factor in present and future endorsements.
Posted By Roug at 10:53 AM
I am beyond frustrated over the upcoming vote on health care and the methods being used by nanny minded socialists to close the deal. We have fuzzy accounting, underhanded political maneuverings, obfuscations, payoffs, and a an outright disregard for what is desired by the people who will actually have to pay for this monstrosity.
A few moments ago I heard a newscast that regurgitated the results of a study conducted by the CBO on this monstrosity. Once that finely adjusted machine produces a number or an analysis it is too often perceived to be the final answer.
Of course, that is not the way that the Congressional Budget Office works. The CBO produces projections based on the parameters and information it is given. It is not allowed to make assumptions because these are supplied within the parameters. If the CBO does not receive plausible parameters it will still issue an answer that is based on what it has received.
Bruce at QandO:
Again, remember – the CBO’s scoring assumes absolutely no changes in the bill, revenue streams or projected spending over those 10 years. That’s absolute nonsense on a saltine cracker and we all know that. There is no way those revenue streams remain constant, there’s no way the spending on health care – if this is enacted – won’t be increased as the bill is built upon and despite the CBO’s guess for the following 10 years in which it says it will continue to “save” money, there’s very little to support that premise. In fact, the most telling line in the whole CBO report is this one:The parameters supplied are too ridiculous to be plausible but the CBO must do the best that it can with what it is given.Our analysis indicates that H.R. 3590, as passed by the Senate, would reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law—with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of gross domestic product (GDP).3 The imprecision of that calculation reflects the even greater degree of uncertainty that attends to it, compared with CBO’s 10-year budget estimates.
The Slaughter solution attempts to allow the House to pass the Senate bill, plus a bill amending it, with a single vote. The senators would then vote only on the amendatory bill. But this means that no single bill will have passed both houses in the same form. As the Supreme Court wrote in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), a bill containing the "exact text" must be approved by one house; the other house must approve "precisely the same text."What of obfuscations?
These constitutional rules set forth in Article I are not mere exercises in formalism. They ensure the democratic accountability of our representatives. Under Section 7, no bill can become law unless it is put up for public vote by both houses of Congress, and under Section 5 "the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question . . . shall be entered on the Journal." These requirements enable the people to evaluate whether their representatives are promoting their interests and the public good. Democratic leaders have not announced whether they will pursue the Slaughter solution. But the very purpose of it is to enable members of the House to vote for something without appearing to do so. The Constitution was drafted to prevent that.
Posted By Roug at 12:39 PM
For the record, our illustrious governor and the leadership at the MEDC is not going to let the discomfort of a simple misunderstanding hold it back. They are working on several other exciting opportunities both here in Michigan and around the globe.
One such opportunity arrived by email just this week.
LAGOS, NIGERIAArrangements for a formal ceremony to introduce leaders of the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC) will be made as soon as someone in Lagos finally picks up the phone.
MS. JENNIFER GRANHOLM
GOVERNOR--STATE OF MICHIGAN
LANSING, MI 48913
MR. D GREGORY (GREG) MAIN
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
MICHIGAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
300 N. WASHINGTON SQUARE
LANSING, MI 48913
DEAR MADAM AND SIR:
CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE NIGERIAN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $47,500,000.00 (FORTY SEVEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS. THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT, EXECUTED COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS (5) AGO BY A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENSE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA APEX BANK.
WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVERSEAS AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS CIVIL SERVANTS, WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE A FOREIGN ACCOUNT; THAT IS WHY WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS: 70% FOR US, 25% FOR YOU AND 5% FOR LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER.
THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. I AM AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC). IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:
(A) YOUR BANKER'S NAME, TELEPHONE, ACCOUNT AND FAX NUMBERS.
(B) YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS -- FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND EASY COMMUNICATION.
(C) YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER STAMPED AND SIGNED.
ALTERNATIVELY WE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH THE TEXT OF WHAT TO TYPE INTO YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER, ALONG WITH A BREAKDOWN EXPLAINING, COMPREHENSIVELY WHAT WE REQUIRE OF YOU. THE BUSINESS WILL TAKE US THIRTY (30) WORKING DAYS TO ACCOMPLISH.
PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.
Posted By Roug at 11:05 AM
Michigan is the Comedy of Errors.
Under the wise leadership of Jennifer Granholm the state has determined the best way to flee its decade long depression is to make it more difficult for viable businesses to survive through punitive taxation and heightened regulations, in favor of making multimillion dollar tax credit deals with other companies who are willing to expand here, relocate here, or start up here.
Taking money away from struggling businesses to be used as a lure to attract speculative ventures is a tactic often questioned by naysayers such as the Rougman and his Mom. Many of the jobs promised by such deals are very slow to be created, some are never realized, while there are also measurable job losses as a result of increased taxation and regulation placed on existing employers and consumers.
Another potential problem with any large grant or credit is the possibility of fraud. That is why due diligence has to be maintained at the state's end of the bargain to make certain that rare money resources aren't wasted on fly-by-night scam artists.
Michigan and its control freak, socialism loving Governor have entered into a tax credit deal with a start up company represented by a man currently on parole with three felony convictions under his belt including both embezzlement and fraud.
LANSING — A convicted embezzler has snagged a $9.1-million tax credit from the state for a company it says will use renewable energy to provide electricity, clean drinking water, sanitation and Internet service to developing countries.There is no way on Earth that Michigan officials can catch every criminal that tries to sidle up to the public trough for a little nourishment, besides, most of them were elected to be there. However this guy was publicly exposed as being a convicted criminal on the same day that Granholm walked with him on stage.
RASCO CEO Richard A. Short shared the stage Tuesday with Gov. Jennifer Granholm as she introduced the leaders of companies awarded tax credits. Short spoke briefly.
Posted By Roug at 3:47 PM
Beyond the immediate fallout from the boycott -- such as a sharp decline in the sale of snack foods -- the story raises questions about how employers are to reconcile their drug policies with laws regarding the use of marijuana, particularly medical marijuana.At the risk of sounding callous, is it really any surprise that the first casualty of a marijuana supporters' boycott would be in the munchie aisle?
Posted By Roug at 2:48 PM
One can assume that Monica Conyers did not qualify to receive unemployment compensation when she quit her job at the Detroit City Council last June after admitting guilt in the midst of a bribery investigation. Bummer.
When Conyers left her job on the council she was knocking down in the neighborhood of $81,000 a year. Of course this does not include any under the table loot (estimated to be in the $50,000 range) she received through a networking model promoted in a self-help book co-authored by Tony Soprano and Sam Riddle.
Less than nine months after voluntarily leaving her office and admitting her guilt, she is appealing the process through which she was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison. The appeal will be conducted by attorneys paid for by the taxpayers because Ms. Conyers now claims to be destitute.
For the record, Ms. Conyers' husband receives an annual compensation of $174,000 for his stellar work in the US Congress.
Perhaps Ms. Conyers blew all her well earned money during her months of salary deprivation, and rumors are that she really likes her some gaudy jewelry. I have a hard time believing however that Ms. Conyers would be unable to sell some of the valuable items she acquired through her years on the take in order to defend herself from accusations that she acquired valuable items through her years on the take.
I have no problem with taxpayer money being paid to attorneys who represent indigent defendants or those incapable of funding a reasonable defense. I do have a problem with well paid government bureaucrats receiving borrowed Chinese money on the taxpayer dime so that they can protect assets plausibly collected through schemes that victimized the taxpayers to begin with.
Once Ms. Conyers sells all her stuff I would be more inclined to chip in a little bit and after almost twenty years of marriage with her beloved hubby, I'm not against her selling some of John's shit either. After all, it wouldn't be the first time she sold something that didn't technically belong to her.
Posted By Roug at 1:31 PM
Nextgen ethanol might very well become a viable component of an energy cocktail that helps solve tomorrow's energy problems. Today it is not, and its forced consumption by Americans under the guise of beneficial environmentalism and oil independence are great leaps in logic that border on fraud. There simply isn't enough corn adaptable acreage in America to significantly impact our oil importation, and purported substantive environmental benefits are becoming less rosy by the day.
Wow, who could have possibly guessed that when government busybodies shoved their emotional noses into an economic equation in which they had no expertise or business, that the unfortunate results of their intrusion might be counter to their own arguments for implementation?
The corn ethanol industry in the United States today has primarily degenerated into a massive welfare program for large corn and ethanol producers. While there are still advancements being made in the ethanol industry, most of these advancements are being made with biomasses other than corn.
Corn ethanol is not efficient. On a per acre basis, corn produces a marginal energy benefit and some scientists point out that when the processes of planting, harvesting, and transporting ethanol are added to the equation, the usage of corn ethanol results in a net energy deficit.
Corn ethanol is also a huge user of water with an estimate of the expending of 1,700 gallons of water per one gallon of fuel produced.
Corn ethanol has also served to change the food delivery chain. Acreage that was once used to produce corn for food is now being diverted for usage in our gas tanks. This has not only made corn based foods more costly for consumers, it has also impacted the costs of wheat, barley, oats, etc., as fewer acres are being dedicated to these crops in favor of higher priced corn. Iowa, our largest corn producing state, has gone from being a huge exporter of corn into a net importer of corn because of all of the ethanol production taking place there. Corn from Illinois, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and elsewhere now travels to Iowa to be turned into fuel instead of traveling on trains and ships to food processors elsewhere. This has contributed greatly to a world food shortage by weakening supplies and making foodstuffs more expensive to countries that can not afford higher prices.
In addition, studies are now beginning to show that the expanded production and usage of corn ethanol might have a net negative impact on CO2 levels.
From the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) via Watts Up With That:
In the March 2010 issue of BioScience, researchers present a sophisticated new analysis of the effects of boosting use of maize-derived ethanol on greenhouse gas emissions. The study, conducted by Thomas W. Hertel of Purdue University and five co-authors, focuses on how mandated increases in production of the biofuel in the United States will trigger land-use changes domestically and elsewhere. In response to the increased demand for maize, farmers convert additional land to crops, and this conversion can boost carbon dioxide emissions.If ethanol was a viable alternative to gasoline, ADM and their inbred cousins would pursue its production on the basis of its viability alone. Economics would dictate a substantial private investment in anticipation of lucrative returns on that investment. That has not occurred. Indeed, the only thing keeping the ethanol industry alive today is the taxpayer subsidies lavished on corn growers and nearly bankrupt ethanol producers.
The analysis combines ecological data with a global economic commodity and trade model to project the effects of US maize ethanol production on carbon dioxide emissions resulting from land-use changes in 18 regions across the globe. The researchers' main conclusion is stark: These indirect, market-mediated effects on greenhouse gas emissions "are enough to cancel out the benefits the corn ethanol has on global warming."
A push by industry to increase the amount of ethanol blended with regular gasoline got a boost today from Underwriters Laboratory.The ethanol industry wants more of your tax dollars to support it. And why not, we keep electing people who make it possible.
UL, as it's called, has approved the use of a dispenser to pump up to 25 percent ethanol blends into cars and trucks. Currently, gasoline sold in the United States is 10 percent ethanol. Industry groups want that number increased to 15 percent or higher, citing the possibility of new jobs at places like the POET plant in Caro.
The Renewable Fuels Association calls the certification "an important step forward" that will "help expand the use of ethanol."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to approve a 15 percent ethanol blend standard sometime this year, according to Robert White, an RFA director.
What it comes down to is: How much ethanol is safe for use in gas-powered engines, how does the continued use of corn-based ethanol affect food prices and what does the driving public think?
Posted By Roug at 11:45 AM
Detroit union members are not the most adept at keeping up with current events. Heck, lets throw history and economics in there as well. Detroit is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, and this is before you throw in the Detroit Public Schools.
Revenue streams into Detroit are decreasing. Fewer businesses and fewer taxpaying citizens means lower sales receipts, lower property values, lower income taxes and a higher percentage of people who must depend on government services. The government unions have existed in a bubble for too long and are finally suffering from some of the negative consequences of their own selfish behavior.
Detroit cannot choke its dwindling businesses with more taxation as it will help to drive what little is left out of the city. That leaves city expenses as the most likely portion of the budget that can be addressed. That was not always the case.
Past generations of city managers had no difficulty in taxing businesses and residents in an ever increasing spiral of confiscation. As costs of business rose, employers looked outside the city and the state (another entity of taxing genius) for expansion and relocation.
While the economy crumbled around them, city unions continued to hammer out more and more unsustainable deals with a city machinery that was too short sighted to see the iceberg in the mist. Holding hands in a death march, unions and city management arrived at this point in history with union attitudes besmirched by the memories of how things used to be--when they could count on entrenched politicians and bureaucrats for unrestrained salary increases for the paltry cost of maintaining a well greased turnstile in front of the voting precinct.
Cold reality is now setting in with the recognition that businessman Dave Bing is not going to govern like his predecessors. Bing, unlike those before him, knows what is necessary to create a job and to balance a budget. He has witnessed the damage first hand that unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy can do to a local economy. In the operation of his businesses he had to deal with all things Detroit.
Now Bing is faced with the task of balancing the Detroit city budget.
Bing is asking all city workers to take a 10 percent pay cut in the form of 26 furlough days, and also has discussed the need for additional benefit cuts.In what has to be a case of unintended irony, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will be addressing the Detroit City Council at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Wednesday, the building named after one of the most corrupt and union pandering mayors in the history of the solar system.
Frustrated with months of unproductive negotiations, Bing last month accused AFSCME of purposefully delaying the process. "Either they can't read, they can't add or they can't comprehend," he said. "It has to be one of the three."
“Bing’s doing nothing but union-busting," Catherine Phillips, AFSME's chief negotiator, told the Citizen. "I’ve been telling the press for a month that we’re willing to give up 26 furlough days but nothing else. However, our international union’s research and economics expert just told us only 13 furlough days are necessary, with agreements to mandatory generic drugs and the elimination of coverage for fertility drugs and Viagra.”I applaud Catherine Phillips for speaking out for the past month on a problem that took decades to metastasize into the grotesque mass it is today. That leaves her and her membership with only a couple hundred months of silence to answer for.
Posted By Roug at 1:04 PM
cross posted at Right Michigan
"Oh, it doesn't bother me one bit. I love it."
That is my response to a question asked by MSU labor and industrial relations professor Richard Block.
"The question of compensation is always a difficult one. What is the right amount?"Like I said, it doesn't bother me. But, it is still worth documenting for the sheer chance of enjoying a delicious future irony.
"Levels of compensation are a function of the responsibility of the person, the culture of the organization as well as what other local officials are getting."
"It may not bother the membership, and the membership is paying the bills, so why should it bother us?"
Lansing teachers got a half-percent pay increase last fall and took a hit on health care to help the cash-strapped school district.Districts are struggling and they are making all the possible adjustments that they can. This includes attempting to rein in the compensation of teachers, though most of the non-teachers I know would still be thrilled with the prospect of a 1/2 percent pay increase.
After two years without a contract, Leslie teachers settled last fall for a 50 percent cut in so-called step increases, or annual raises for increasing seniority.
And some staffers and officials of the Michigan Education Association got pay boosts last year ranging from 6.8 percent for the mailroom coordinator to nearly 15 percent for President Iris Salters.Which must explain why the MEA got itself one of the best mail room coordinators on the face of the planet (for a paltry $64K plus bennies.)
At a time when local teachers' unions are struggling to maintain salary and benefits and the union's statewide membership is declining, many MEA negotiators and executive director Luigi Battaglieri also got hefty pay increases.
That's the cost of doing business, said Doug Pratt, MEA director of communications.
"Do we compensate our officers well? Do we compensate our managers well? Yes," he said.
"We believe in attracting and recruiting the best possible candidates."
Posted By Roug at 12:23 PM
I bristle when left wing lunatics try to control my behavior. I believe that individuals should have the choice to monitor their own salt intake, to smoke if they like, to run their own noncriminal businesses without the long arm of regulators getting their noses in the way, to fry their food, and to drive a gas guzzler.
Each and every one of these behaviors might or might not be damaging to those who engage in them, but as individual members of a country based on freedom, we not only should be allowed to make them for ourselves, but we must be allowed to make them for ourselves.
This cuts both ways. If I want to express myself in a way that is not popular with a certain element in this country, so what?
There is a bit of a ruckus developing these days over the singing of the National Anthem in Chicago before Blackhawks' games. There is a tradition that goes back some twenty five years that during the National Anthem fans in the crowd cheer, and clap, and celebrate the anthem in a way that is not done at any other venue.
There was a segment on Fox News this morning where they interviewed people on both sides of this issue, one person who loves the celebration surrounding the singing of the National Anthem in Chicago (Jeffrey Bartl), and another (Rob Otto) who said such celebrations are against the law. A recent article at Mlive written by Otto criticized Chicago's celebration saying "...it makes my skin crawl every time I hear it."
I can understand how a person would find the celebration annoying. My parents hate any music at church that isn't sung out of the hymnal in true a capella. Dad refuses to sing altogether as Mom mouths the words while staring at him in disgust.
I am a huge Red Wings fan, and watching the National Anthem being celebrated in Chicago doesn't make my skin crawl, it sends a chill down my spine, even on television. To see 20,000 people standing and cheering and celebrating the National Anthem of the greatest country on Earth is nothing less then spectacular as far as I'm concerned.
No one I know agrees with everything going on in this country today. No one. Yet, for a minute or two before the dropping of the puck, thousands madly celebrate our country, most of them sober, most of the respectful, and most of them believing that America is the greatest country ever conceived.
Ya, I know that some of the people there have already sucked down a couple too many beers by the time the game has started, and a few others scream and yell out of no consideration at all over our great country...they simply like to yell and scream.
I don't care. I've seen the spectacle and I've watched the appreciation of America being unashamedly expressed by a vast majority of the thousands on hand. The thrill I feel is no less important than the skin crawling felt by others. And, just for the record, I'm not going to sing out of the hymnal either, I don't care how much Mom stares.
Posted By Roug at 10:15 AM
Funny thing that, when faced with a stint in prison, Monica Conyers finally took the time to consider her children.
Were her thoughts on her children when she begged for "loot," when she squeezed businessmen, and when she shoved her city even farther down a rat hole? Was she thinking about her children when she turned city council chambers into a circus? Was it her children she had in mind when she threw punches at hotel bars or created other public relations disasters? I really don't think so.
In fact, in her role as a public servant she should have considered more than just her own children, she should have been considering all the children that live within Detroit. She did neither. While her children may have innocently gained the benefits of a few thousand of their mother's illegally obtained dollars, did the children from her city gain by its extortion? Did they benefit as businesses fled, as neighbors boarded up their homes, as whole neighborhoods turned feral?
I'm sick and tired of politicians victimizing those whom they are supposed to represent. This one cries for her children's welfare after she alone endangered it, yet she doesn't cry a tear for the children of other parents whom she helped to victimize.
Monica Conyers should have asked that very important question before she took office. She should have ample time now to consider it anew.
Posted By Roug at 4:29 PM
This time it is in Somalia.
From the USA Today:
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Up to half the food aid intended for the millions of hungry people in Somalia is being diverted to corrupt contractors, radical Islamic militants and local U.N. workers, according to a U.N. Security Council report.Somalia is a cesspool of Islamism. Its economy is incapable of supporting itself and it must therefore beg foreign entities to feed its masses--to which, admirably, the UN has tried to step to the plate.
The report blames the problem on improper food distribution in the Horn of Africa nation, which has been plagued by fighting and humanitarian suffering for nearly two decades, according to a U.N. diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been released.
Posted By Roug at 9:11 AM
If you love the efficiency of the post office, or of Amtrak, or of any other highly taxpayer subsidized enterprise that competes with the private sector on a daily basis, you are absolutely going to love the latest proposal by Michigan gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero on Tuesday proposed having Michigan follow the lead of North Dakota and open a state-owned bank that could make low-interest loans to businesses and college students.Expletive deleted.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate said the state bank also could ease the foreclosure crisis by buying down mortgage portfolios held by smaller banks in Michigan and partner with other private banks on economic development projects.
"Hundreds of job-creating projects are still on hold because Michigan businesses and entrepreneurs cannot get bank financing. We can break the credit crunch and beat Wall Street at their own game by keeping our money right here in Michigan and investing it to retool our economy and create jobs," Bernero said in a release.
Posted By Roug at 5:44 PM
Bart Stupak once again finds himself reluctantly at the center of a political storm. The umpteen term liberal democrat from Northern Michigan would love to pull the trigger on Barack Obama's health care plan, but he is hesitant to do so if passage of the bill would allow for public money to be used to fund abortion.
He is being pressured on both sides. The liberal wing of his party would love to have all the bells and whistles the bill would provide including long waits for medical treatment, a rationing of services, a stunting of medical advances, and the delicious irony of pro-lifers helping to foot the bill on abortion procedures. Many of those who oppose abortion voted for Bart Stupak solely because of his hard line rhetoric against the procedures.
Honestly, I don't trust Bart Stupak any farther than I can throw him. While he has continued to remain adamant that taxpayer funded abortion should continue to remain illegal, he is hinting that certain language within the bill would be enough to secure his vote and the votes of 10-15 democratic lawmakers for whom he has become an unofficial spokesman.
This is not a good sign.
"I'm more optimistic than I was a week ago," Stupak told The Associated Press between meetings with constituents in his northern Michigan district, including a crowded town hall gathering where opinions on health care and the abortion issue were plentiful and varied.But what about the remainder of the bill? Does Stupak have no concerns with the economic calamity this bill portends?
"The president says he doesn't want to expand or restrict current law (on abortion). Neither do I," Stupak said. "That's never been our position. So is there some language that we can agree on that hits both points — we don't restrict, we don't expand abortion rights? I think we can get there."
Posted By Roug at 10:31 AM
The BBC is astounded:
A conservative US state senator who has regularly voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in office has confessed he is gay.I don't get it.
Posted By Roug at 9:32 PM
is 46-57 months. If the judge is to agree with this recommendation Ms. Conyers will serve within a stone's throw of the maximum allowed as a condition of her guilty plea.
I think it would be incomplete to think of her crime as being wrapped around the illegal collection of some $60,000 or $70,000 in various shake downs. It would be more fitting to define it as her one small part in a multi-generational larceny that took a once proud city and removed from it its viability and with it, its self esteem.
I'll let others decide if this is justice for Conyers, but the city of Detroit, if it is ever to receive justice, would need a lot more jail time to be served by thousands if not tens of thousands of corrupted public officials, businessmen, teachers, and other various thugs that absconded with the peoples' trust, money, and futures through much of the past five decades.
Many of the guilty lay moldering in the grave while many of their victims still live within a crime riddled and service starved city incapable of raising the bare revenues needed to haul its own waste. It would be justice, I suppose, to think of Conyers as having suffered the fate of her own actions--yet this justice benefits few souls still living among those mean streets.
What she did is already done, and who she did it to is already a victim. Forty six to fifty seven months might very well be justice for Monica Conyers, but her city and her victims, deserve her to receive a whole lot more.
Posted By Roug at 9:31 PM
I had planned to leave my humble abode on Friday morning for a weekend that would provide the perfect mix of orthodontia and fun.
At the last moment I left on Thursday afternoon and was unable to properly notify my loyal readers. (Sorry, Mom.)
I had an unexpected thrill while I was away. (No, Mom, you can continue reading.)
Living in northern Michigan, I am able to hear coyotes quite often. Coyote territory includes most if not all of North America. Despite this, most Americans rarely if ever see them. Personally, I have never seen a single coyote in my life when I wasn't behind the wheel of a car either near or after dark. This typically makes for quick glimpses of the elusive animals rather than an opportunity to really watch them.
That all changed on Friday morning when this beautiful animal sauntered into the yard behind a friend's house. He was in no hurry.
Isn't he beautiful?
As for my first day back, I have a lot of running around to do today but should be online later this afternoon/evening to do some posting.
Posted By Roug at 9:57 AM
cross posted at Right Michigan
Despite some of my better efforts as a child, it was hard for me to avoid looking at the collection plate in church as it passed from hand to hand. I loved to take wadded bills from my parents so that I could be the one that dropped the crumpled green. Later, when I was a teen and had just gotten my first job, I felt it an important right of passage to do what the adults did and present my tithe--it was even cheaper than smoking!
Some offerings were given beneath furtively cupped hands as if to conceal the transactions. (Who could be really sure...maybe that was a wad of ones.) Other more distracted givers would plop that money in without a concern over who might be watching--and believe me, I knew who was holding out. More established church veterans had specially printed envelopes provided to them by the church in which to stuff their tithes and offerings, making it easier for both the church and churchgoer to track charitable contributions. I hated those things.
As I remember it, there were no high fives or chest bumps as the plate got a bit heavier. The usher didn't ring a bell every time a particularly generous effort was made. There were no chants of "We're number one!" or "Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!" Big givers were not issued a plaque and given a special seat in the front pew, besides everyone knows that the choice seats are in the very back. On the contrary, offerings were collected while hymns were sung or special music was played as if the offertory process itself needed shrouding within a larger distraction.
Much philanthropy these days, however, is not quite so personal.
Viable political candidates not only have to be in the news, but they must also be seen as motivated, caring, wise, and good stewards of the people's money. This combination of attributes is a tough pose to present on any given day, and the opportunity to strike them all at one moment is too good an opportunity to let go unspent.
In October of last year, Michigan Sen. Gretchen Whitmer was running for Attorney General. She had a lot to gain by being in the public spotlight, and what better way to garner some positive attention than donating her October expense account stipend to a worthy charity?
“I will continue to donate my expense account each month until we finally get some action on common-sense reforms in Lansing,” said Whitmer. “Hopefully my colleagues will do the same so we can start restoring some public confidence and begin fixing what’s seriously broken in this town.”Amen to all of that. We needed some serious reform in Lansing.
“Despite my efforts, the Senate Republicans continue to ignore any reforms to help offset their devastating budget cuts,” said Sen. Whitmer. “Our neighborhoods and communities throughout Michigan have taken huge hits over the years and I cannot in good conscience sit back while police officers and fire fighters are pulled off our streets.”December's was directed to Home Repair Services of Grand Rapids.
With this donation, Gretchen Whitmer continues her push for a wide-ranging government reform plan that includes cutting legislative perks and pay, ending automatic lifetime health benefits for lawmakers, closing the ‘bonuses for politicians’ loophole, and demanding that candidates and lawmakers disclose their income and assets.Ms. Whitmer was still dissatisfied with the pace of reforms in January.
“It’s about time lawmakers share in the sacrifice and hopefully actions like mine will help people hang on to their homes and make other politicians take notice,” Whitmer said. “It’s a shame that Lansing isn’t moving faster to help real people.”
LANSING – Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) today released the following statement in response to Sen. Mike Bishop’s proposals to end lifetime health care benefits that only impact future legislators, not current ones:The next day and for reasons that we all can respect, Whitmer dropped out of the race for Attorney General. At the time she ended her candidacy she was considered one of the front runners for the democrat nomination.
“Apparently for Mike Bishop, ‘reform Michigan government’ means ‘reform everybody but me.’ If Sen. Bishop is serious about reforming government, he must make sure that these reforms also impact himself and all current legislators. The Senate must lead by example and we must not give ourselves a free pass on this important issue. I urge the people of Michigan to hold Sen. Bishop accountable and demand that he include himself in any government reform.”
Posted By Roug at 8:50 AM
If Mike Prusi was stone cold broke and was having trouble paying his bills, would he offer his employees a 3% raise?
The problem with Michigan bureaucrats, other than the fact that so many of them are abjectly stupid, is that they spend taxpayer money as if it grew in a garden. It has no meaning to them.
They do not answer to the taxpayers that still remain in this state. They answer instead to the well cemented union employees that have better pay and benefits than their struggling counterparts that work in the private sector.
But Senate Minority Leader Mike Prusi, D-Ishpeming, led the opposition, saying state employees have already given large concessions and are working harder, with fewer employees.Prusi cries about union employee sacrifices like they've stormed the beaches of Normandy. Hey, I know they've made sacrifices. So what? To even live in Michigan these days means you have sacrificed. Everyone here has made sacrifices.
“When is enough enough? I think now is enough,” Prusi said.
Posted By Roug at 6:50 PM
The IAEA says that it cannot confirm that the Iranian nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Wow, that was a tough call.
The IAEA's main purpose over the past few years has been to monitor the Iranian nuclear program. Led for years by Mohamed ElBaradei, Iran was able to rope-a-dope the international body through tactics of intermittent feigned compliance, periodic defiance, stalls, negotiation, and an occasional taunt.
The Bush administration never cared much for ElBaradei's style of buddying up to the mullahs while hoping that the terrorist state they controlled would miraculously drop its nuclear program out of a newly discovered love for mankind. Firmly supported by Russia, China, and France, for his efforts, in 2005 he shared the Nobel Prize with the IAEA.
Despite the wonderful cash and prizes, nothing has changed. Years later we are still faced with an Iran that is inching closer to a deliverable weapon powerful enough to set the Middle East on fire.
From the Christian Science Monitor via Jihad Watch:
Istanbul, Turkey - The UN's top nuclear official on Monday said the Islamic Republic was not providing the "necessary cooperation" to guarantee that the Iran nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.It does not take a genius to figure out that the biggest obstacle between Iran and a deliverable nuclear weapon is nothing more than time. Yet, each and every stalling tactic that Iran has employed has been swallowed by an impotent international community too afraid to appear heavy handed.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assessment comes as Iran has been stepping up uranium enrichment levels and expanding its nuclear fuel cycle plans in recent weeks, moves that have prompted President Barack Obama to warn of tougher sanctions against Iran.
"The agency continues...to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, but we cannot confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities because Iran has not provided the agency with the necessary cooperation," Yukiya Amano, the new IAEA chief, told the agency's governing board at the start of its meeting in Vienna this week.
Posted By Roug at 10:25 PM
I've had just about all of the Bernstein family I can take. You know, "call Sam," and all that.
Sam Bernstein has himself a quaint little ambulance chasing law firm down in Farmington Hills that inundates the Michigan airwaves with advertising. His three children are also attorneys at the firm.
When I was a kid I was taught that good friends would always be there for you, and as a good friend you should be there for them too. Later in life I learned that good friends don't let friends drive drunk. Now, thanks to Sam Bernstein, I've learned that good friends will tell a friend who is injured to go find himself a lawyer.
Now, I find out that it isn't bad enough that I have to watch the Bernstein clan on every Red Wings telecast, it appears for the next several weeks at least I'll also have to watch Richard Bernstein, the youngest son, as he mounts a campaign for Michigan attorney general.
Sorry Richard, I'm sure you are a nice guy, but there is no way on Earth I'm going to support a shameless ambulance chaser in the attorney general's office. Your firm is already making a mark on the Michigan business climate by helping to drive up insurance rates for everyone and making it more expensive to do business here in Michigan when our state needs exactly the opposite influence. Besides, you bug me during hockey.
It hurt me to have had to say it. Now, who can I sue?
Posted By Roug at 12:16 AM
I am from Michigan. This means that I drive on the same crappy roads through much of the year that the rest of you Michiganders do.
Michigan drivers have always had to travel on roads where conditions vary between heaved, potholed, and blockaded for repair. It simply goes with the territory of living in a state where heavy road traffic is channeled onto surfaces that must also withstand a four season onslaught that includes snow, salt, freeze, thaw, rain, sun, rinse, and repeat.
Birgit Klohs, president of the Grand Rapids-based economic development group The Right Place Inc., says the state of Michigan roads makes it difficult to attract business.Third world? Methinks Ms. Klohs hasn't done her fair share of traveling in third world nations lately.
“You bring a company in, you put them in a car and the first thing they do is hit potholes,” Klohs said. “We drive roads that are Third World, and that’s supposed to be the impression they have of us?”
The Michigan DOT Asset Management program encompasses all the physical transportation assets in the state, including more than 9,700 miles of road, 5,679 bridges, 450,000 signs, 4,025 traffic lights, 8 million linear feet of guardrails, 83 rest areas, 13 travel information centers, 85 roadside parks, 27 scenic turnouts, and more. The program is built around five major functions: policy goals and objectives; information and date collection; planning and programming; program delivery; and monitoring and reporting.Like I said, I know a rough road when I ride on one and Michigan has its fair share. I'm not even averse to paying road taxes if those taxes actually go to repairing roads at a price that doesn't require the taxpayer get shaken down by Jenny's union supporters.
Steudel said the program begins with setting a broad policy about the current condition of the asset and then setting a goal for where you want that asset to be within a specific time frame. For Michigan, the goal was to increase the condition of all its roads and highways, moving from 65 percent of state roads in good condition in 1997 to 90 percent in 2007. Pavement preservation was the primary tool for achieving that goal.
The department met its 90 percent goal and improved to 92 percent in 2008. A similar goal-driven asset management process is now underway for the state’s bridges.
Michigan has a statewide Transportation Asset Management Council, which brings together all the agencies in the state that have jurisdiction over roads. Its purpose is to broaden the use of transportation asset management throughout the state and ensure that groups are working together, sharing methodology, collecting the same data, and speaking the same language.
Other state DOTs are developing asset management programs as well.
Posted By Roug at 10:15 AM