patpolitics

Isn’t This Government Interference With The “Free Market?”

Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder just signed a bill that would prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to its consumers:

House Bill 5606, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, also prohibits auto manufacturers from dictating fees franchised dealers can charge customers. The legislation allows individual auto dealers to make the business decision whether to charge the transaction fee.

Snyder said direct sales of new vehicles is already banned in the state. This law will explicitly require all automakers to sell through a network of franchised dealers.

Earlier today General Motors urged the governor to sign the bill.

Snyder, who has boasted of making Michigan more hospitable for entrepreneurs, brings Michigan into a growing number of states that have raised obstacles to the California-based electric car company.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Tesla has fought battles in several states with franchised auto dealers who want to block the electric car company from selling its vehicles directly to consumers. Dealers say they’re concerned that if Tesla is allowed to bypass the dealer-franchise system, other auto makers will seek to do so as well, undermining their investments. Tesla officials counter that since the company has never sold through franchised dealers, laws governing relations between auto makers and retailers shouldn’t apply to its business.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds a bit like…socialism…does it not?

Like many in his party, Governor Snyder has repeated the mantra that government should get out-of-the-way of the free market.

Except when it comes to Tesla, which happens to produce an electric car.

GM strongly supported this bill, of course, since Tesla represents competition. Snyder (and the state legislature before him) did whatever it took to squash competition, no?

“Let Detroit go bankrupt” was the oft-repeated mantra a few years ago after President Obama intervened to save the auto industry in 2009.  Yet, these same people who argued against government intervention to stop the industry from crumbling (and thereby destroying the state of Michigan), are now the same ones passing laws that are literally intervening in the free market process!

I get the feeling there won’t be marching in the streets over this latest action.

This anti-Tesla law is just the latest in a long line of episodes featuring how the well-connected dictate public policy–exactly as we’ve witnessed in Washington for many years.

patpop2

Monday Music Minute–Laura Rain and The Caesars

A couple of weeks ago on WSGW’s First Day, I played a portion of a fantastic and soulful track called “Closer” by Detroit-based Laura Rain and The Caesars.

laurarain.net

laurarain.net

Unfortunately, I’m unable to locate the title track of Laura’s new album in mp3 mode or on youtube. Here’s the link to her website so you can hear it for yourself. It’s worth four minutes of your time. Trust me!

In the meantime, here’s a track from Laura’s previous album, Electrified. “Sunset” should provide you with a good example of Ms. Rain’s powerful voice.

For additional info, visit her facebook, twitter, and her iTunes pages.

Enjoy!

Ebola Fear Creating Dumb Policy

EbolaFearClick the link below to hear today’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day show. I talked about how America’s collective freak-out over the Ebola virus is leading us down the path to poor policy solutions. But that’s been the game, of late.

“Pat Political Point” on Ebola & Fear. From the 10/19/14 edition of WSGW’s “First Day.”

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So, did you see the story where a teacher in the state of Maine has been put on a 21 day leave of absence because she attended an education conference in Dallas?

Dallas, of course, is where three cases of Ebola have occurred. All of the cases happened in the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. The first case is, of course, the man who contracted the virus from Liberia, and later died at that hospital. The other two were nurses who cared for that man, and later contracted it.

The teacher from Maine did not enter that hospital. The teacher from Maine attended a conference that was located almost 10 miles away from that hospital. If the city of Dallas used this school district’s rationale, no one child or teacher would attend school for the 21 day incubation period.

I suppose that means everyone should stay away from Dallas, then.

This is just part of the Ebola hysteria that’s overtaking this country. And now, politics are getting involved.  It is an election year, after all, and the party out of power (the Republicans) is trying to cash-in on Ebola. I’m not critical over Republicans by using Ebola for political purposes. The game of politics is a rough sport, and just about everything is fair game, I suppose. Plus, the party that occupies the White House understands that whenever there’s a failure in the federal government system, it’s the White House that first has to answer for that failure.

I get that.

What I don’t understand is why Republicans and conservatives alike believe banning flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. To be fair, there are also some reactionary Democrats demanding the Obama administration to institute a travel ban to those countries.

But the only problem with the travel ban is that while it might make us–here in America–feel better, it doesn’t really solve anything. It could make things worse, actually.

For starters, never mind that there are no direct flights between those countries and the U.S., as Republican Congressman Dennis Ross–who’s sponsoring a travel ban bill–had to painfully learn while doing a TV interview on Friday. ]

NO DIRECT FLIGHTS!

But the congressman is pushing forward with his bill, apparently, because why let logic get in the way of fear and emotion!

Remember how I talked about fear a few weeks ago, and how the main point of fear is to conquer us. That’s what is happening in this instance.

Yes, Ebola is deadly and is totally not cool. As a hypochondriac, I know I don’t want to get infected. In fact, I’ve always wanted to wear a hazmat suit whenever I’m on a plane! We should also be taking this virus seriously, which is why we must contain it here in this country by ensuring those possibly infected don’t get on planes or on cruise ships.

That being said, fear of Ebola shouldn’t result in creating dumb policy.

The National Review’s Marc Siegel illustrates this point perfectly. After listing reasons why the travel ban probably won’t work, Siegel appears to give up and concedes that a travel ban must be intituted if only to calm our fears:

I’m not convinced medically — I don’t believe that a travel ban against the Ebola-afflicted countries in West Africa will be particularly effective, it may even be counterproductive, and it certainly isn’t coming from the strongest side of what being an American means. But as fear of Ebola and fear of our leaders’ ineptitude grows, I think we must have a ban to patch our battered national psyche.

So, since we can’t control our fear of Ebola, we’ll end up passing a bill that hurts rather than helps to solve this current epidemic. That’s bad policy created simply due to fear. Sadly, that’s usually what happens in this country all too often.

The Patriot Act quickly ran through Congress and was signed into law by President Bush, and it wasn’t until years later that we learned how our civil liberties had eroded all in the name of fear.

There are people in power fighting to pass a bill that would be counterproductive to the Ebola fight, but they’re willing to do it, anyway, because…well…just because.

Yet, these same people who are freaking out over Ebola spreading throughout the U.S. had no problem blocking President Obama’s choice for Surgeon General.

Why don’t they want a general in charge to fight the spread of Ebola?

Why do they instead want a czar? I thought czars were bad?

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/ebola-travel-ban_n_5997726.html

Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks–Week 7

Click on the link to hear the audio of this week’s “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” from WSGW’s First Day on WSGW. The transcript is below the break.

Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks Week 7–WSGW’s “First Day.”

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It’s time for the most anticipated and the most prestigious three minutes in Sunday News-Talk radio across this great land. That’s right, it’s time for “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” on WSGW’s First Day!

FansLet’s get to this week’s picks!

Wait.

I’m being told we must review my Week 6 picks first.

Really? Can’t we just pretend last week didn’t happen?

Very well.

I told you the New York Giants would outscore the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday Night Football. The G-Men didn’t even score a point!

I told you Tampa Bay would trounce Baltimore. I got that completely wrong as Joe Flacco and his Ravens trounced the hapless Bucs.

And I told you the Detroit Lions would go down in flames at Minnesota, but the Detroit Defense decided to stifle the Vikings for a 17-3 win.

So, that makes it two straight winless weeks for “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” as I’ve been perfectly pathetic!

I’ve got lots of work ahead of me to chip away and this awful 6-12 record. Let’s get to work right now!

Here are my Week 7 “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks!”

Let’s begin with tonight’s game featuring the Denver Broncos hosting the San Francisco 49ers. This DenverBroncoswould a great game if San Fran’s defense didn’t have key injuries. Still, head coach Jim Harbaugh is producing victories as those key players continue to heal. Producing a win in Denver with Peyton Manning at quarterback is a tall task. Manning is just two touchdown passes from tying Brett Favre for most TD passes in history. He’ll probably tie Favre tonight, but I think San Fran keeps it close thanks to their D and a ball control offense led by RB Frank Gore.

Give Me the Broncos OVER The 49ers–27-21!

In southern California, the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs meet-up for a mid-season AFC ChargersWest showdown. The Chargers are playing great football, thanks in part to an MVP-like performance by QB Philip Rivers. He’s the first quarterback to post a rating of 120 or higher in five straight games. But Rivers has help as the underrated Chargers defense is a key reason why San Diego is tied for the league’s best record. The Chiefs might win this game in K.C., but I don’t logically see how they steal one in SoCal. Plus, the Chargers have won 11 of their last 13 against the Chiefs.

Give Me The Chargers OVER the Chiefs–30-17!

Lions-vs-saints

And finally, your Detroit Lions will try to go 5-2 later this afternoon when they host the New Orleans Saints at Ford Field. The Lions offense hasn’t been running on all cylinders, mostly due to injuries. WR Calvin Johnson will miss another game with that high ankle sprain. The injury bug has hit other players on the offense, although the Lions will get RB Reggie Bush back. However, the defense has played better than most expected, but they face a tougher test with Drew Brees and the Saints offense. It’s an offense that could be without TE Jimmy Graham, which hurts their ability to put points on the board. I can’t get a feel for this game, but I’m leaning towards the Saints because Brees is the better quarterback. Oh, let’s just make a guess.

Give Me the Saints OVER the Lions–24-20!

And that’s the Week 7 edition of “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” on WSGW!!!

Best Question Of The Day

We failed to spend money to prepare our public hospitals for any type of disease outbreak, and history will levy blame on those who are responsible for that crime.

But Tina Dupuy has the “Tweet Of The Day” for this blog:

pat@wsgw.com

Can’t Change Ineffective Education Policies, But We Can Ban Yoga Pants!

A school district in Michigan is following the lead of other districts across the nation of banning its students from donning leggings or yoga pants:

Leggings and yoga pants are no longer welcome at Niles High School and New Tech High School this year, unless they’re covered by a long shirt or skirt.

 

It’s the biggest change to the school’s dress code in the past few years.

 

“Fashion changes,” explains interim superintendent, Dr. Michael Lindley. “When we wrote the policy, I had never heard of leggings.”

 

Not everyone is a fan of the new rule, and not everyone is following it.

The superintendent says he’s “never heard of leggings?”  Guess he was asleep during the 80′s:

80s

I could only think about how 80′s fashion had made a comeback as leggings reappeared in modern fashion.

Why do I get a feeling these bans are being instituted because there are certain older males who can’t handle looking at girls wearing yoga pants. That’s usually what this is all about.

Where does it end? Are cheerleader outfits next? Tight shirts? Tight jeans? Baggy jeans? Tennis shoes?

If we survived the legging fashion in the 80′s (thankfully, most 80′s fashion didn’t survive past that decade ), we probably can survive in the Teens. We get too worked-up over the smallest things, most of the times.

Also, for some reason, yoga pants are totally unacceptable, but schools have zero issue with girls volleyball uniforms!

pat@wsgw.com