Detroit Free Press: Hoekstra criticizes Bush for division

For once, Pete Hoekstra goes after his fellow Republican instead of trying to place all of the blame on the Democrats.

A key Republican member of Michigan's congressional delegation criticized President George W. Bush on Tuesday for not developing better relations among Democrats, saying they could have come in handy with the administration facing almost daily pressure on a growing number of fronts.

"This is a relationship business," Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Holland Republican, told the Free Press on Tuesday after he said on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" that Bush has never appreciated the importance of relationships with the opposition party."

It's too late," he said. "This is the stuff you do when you're riding at 80%" favorability ratings.

A CBS/New York Times poll taken this month showed Bush's favorability rating at 30%.


Double dose of bad news for McCain

First there's this:

For the first time, favorite son Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "no longer has a double digit lead as the top choice for President among Arizona Republicans," according to a new Rocky Mountain Poll.

Rudy Guiliani is now within nine points of Senator McCain and has "made major gains in just the past two months. As of this week, McCain leads Guiliani by only 34 to 25 percent, but more important is the dynamic surge in Guiliani’s appeal rising to 25 percent from only 13 percent in January while McCain sank from 40 percent to only 34 percent."

"The surge in support for Guiliani seems to be fueled by retired Republicans and Republicans most likely to vote in a primary election. Among retirees, Guiliani leads McCain by 36 to 21 percent and among likely voters who call themselves Republicans, Guiliani leads McCain by a 32 to 21 percent margin."
It's bad enough when (1) only 1/3 of the Republicans who know you best - those in your own home state which you've represented in the Senate for two decades - support your campaign and (2) you're losing ground to the 'pro-abortion' Rudy. But then comes this:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "said his presidential campaign would not meet its fundraising goals this quarter, and his campaign advisers acknowledged that" former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) "may wind up raising more," according to The Hotline.

"Some Republicans estimate that Romney, whose network of friends, business contacts and party donors is expansive, could accumulate more than $30 or even $35 million this quarter. McCain is not likely to raise in excess of $30M, according to Republicans outside his campaign who have been given the unofficial estimate." The deadline for campaigns to report their earnings to the FEC is March 31.
Wow Mr. McCain, your fellow Republicans are starting to like a 'baby-killer' and your fellow flip-flopper (who used to be a 'baby-killer' when it was convenient) more than they like you. I guess that's not surprising given that you were actually in Vietnam, and your party's attacks on 'Nam vets Kerry and Cleland show that that's a big no-no in their book.

Washington Post: Eyebrows raised in Mich. over prosecutor's firing

This is from the Washington Post:

In the aftermath of the surprise firing of U.S. Attorney Margaret M. Chiara, questions outnumber answers. Was she dismissed for political reasons? For poor performance? To make way for someone else? Western Michigan's legal community does not know what to think.

The Justice Department initially announced that the reasons were "performance-related," an explanation at odds with the current consensus in Grand Rapids. The chief federal judge firmly disputed it, as did Chiara, who said she was told her resignation was needed to clear the way for a political favorite.

Some defense lawyers speculate that Chiara, who once trained to be a nun, fell out of favor with the Bush administration over her personal opposition to the death penalty. The administration has pursued capital punishment in several states, including Michigan, that have no state death penalty or rarely use it.

Amid the competing theories, most everyone seems to agree that Chiara's forced resignation after five years, in the middle of a presidential term, is puzzling and that the administration's handling of the firing and its aftermath did a disservice to the 63-year-old career lawyer.


Relay for Life

I have joined Team RFoC at CMU for Relay for Life 2007. (RFoC means Real Food on Campus, the dining commons where I work.) The team goal is $5,000, and we're just over 1/3 of the way there. I have set a personal fundraising goal of $100 and am more than halfway there. I could use your support, so please check out my donation page.

If you are also participating and would like to publicize your RFL page, feel free to do so by replying to this note.

Now let's get rid of cancer once and for all!

Best wishes to Elizabeth Edwards

Each of the Democratic presidential candidates has released statements surrounding the recent news that Elizabeth Edwards's cancer has spread to her bones.

Joe Biden:

“I am truly sorry to learn that Elizabeth Edwards has had a recurrence of her cancer. However, I am pleased to hear that Elizabeth and John are optimistic and moving forward. Elizabeth, John and their children are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Hillary Clinton:

"Elizabeth is a wonderful, strong individual and my thoughts and prayers are with her, John, and their children during this difficult time. I admire her optimism and strength in the face of adversity, and I look forward to seeing them both on the campaign trail."
Chris Dodd:
"Jackie and I wish Elizabeth, John and the entire Edwards family the best during this difficult time and throughout Elizabeth's treatment process. Our prayers are with all of them."
Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of Dennis Kucinich:
Dennis and I wish Elizabeth and John Edwards and their family the very best as Mrs. Edwards continues her courageous battle with cancer.

She has shown true strength and dignity in addressing this disease. We admire her courage and her spirit.

We are confident that Mrs. Edwards will continue to play a vigorous role in this campaign.

I look forward to seeing her on the campaign trail as she and I and our husbands all work towards our visions for building a better America.

Barack Obama:
"Today, Michelle and I join every American in sending our thoughts and prayers to Elizabeth and John and the entire Edwards family. We all admire Elizabeth’s strength and determination and the deep love they so obviously share."
Bill Richardson:
“Barbara and I send our thoughts and prayers to Elizabeth and John as they deal with this latest challenge. Elizabeth has been an inspiration and role model to all of us with her courageous and very public fight against breast cancer.

I am hopeful and optimistic that Elizabeth will continue to win her fight. In the meantime, we should all redouble our commitment to supporting efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.”

A Final Four you can bank on


FUN FACT: All of the #1 seeds have made it to the Elite Eight. If they all reach the Final Four, that will be the first time that has ever happened.

How's your bracket looking?


Republicans: Gonzales will - or at least should - resign

Going... Going... (almost) Gone-zales?

From the latest Evans-Novak Political Report: "It is impossible to find a Republican on Capitol Hill who believes either that Alberto Gonzales will survive as attorney general or that he should survive. That typifies the poor congressional relations of the Bush Administration that are rooted in arrogance."

"President Bush's gesture of phoning Gonzales to reaffirm his support is just that -- a gesture. His press conference last night to challenge the Democrats was a means of political positioning. As President Bush announced that Gonzales would appear on the Hill to testify, he was in fact throwing him to the wolves. At best, he has a few months left in office. Only a few Republicans on Capitol Hill have called for Gonzales's resignation so far, but the others are doing almost nothing to defend him."
Meanwhile, TrueMajority is offering Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream for a year if you can guess the day, hour, and minute at which Gonzo quits. I say 9:17 AM next Friday.


Fired US attorneys led nation in convictions

Sounds like the GOP ain't all that tough on crime after all.

Every day, the explanations for the firings of the eight U.S. attorneys are becoming less about competence and more about corruption. Some new statistics show that the prosecutors were in fact leading the nation in output:

  • Six ranked in the top third of all U.S. attorneys for prosecutions, filing a combined 106,188 last year alone
  • Five ranked in the top third for convictions, achieving 98,939
  • Three were among the top five in the number of immigration prosecutions (including Carol Lam, whose firing was attributed to immigration by Karl
Now these were some busy folks. It is almost a wonder that the fired U.S. attorneys had the time to take the phone calls notifying them of their dismissals.

Got your Elite Eight right here




Ohio State


May they rest in peace.

Here are the names of each of the innocent troops from Michigan who have given their lives in Iraq. Please keep their families, as well as those who are currently serving in Iraq and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.

AdrianFox, Bradley C.1st Sergeant20-Apr-2004

Akron, Tuscola Co.Hartman, David A.Sergeant 1st Class17-Jul-2004

AlansonPaton, Justin T.Private 1st Class17-Feb-2007

Ann ArborHoward II, Curtis T.Staff Sergeant22-Feb-2006

Ann ArborKim, Minhee Lance Corporal01-Nov-2006

Atlantic MineChristensen, Thomas W.Staff Sergeant25-Dec-2003

Battle CreekDickinson II, Michael AStaff Sergeant17-Jul-2006

Bay CityAlex, EugeneStaff Sergeant02-Sep-2006

Bay CityVan Slyke, Bufford "Kenny"Private 1st Class28-Feb-2007

BrightonDaul, Andrew P.Specialist19-Dec-2006

CaledoniaBucklin, Brock L.Specialist30-May-2006

CalumetJohnson, Paul J.Staff Sergeant20-Oct-2003

CantonBlumberg, Trevor A.Sergeant14-Sep-2003

Cedar SpringsBrown, Timothy D.Specialist04-Nov-2005

CentrevilleMorris, Brian LeeStaff Sergeant21-Aug-2005

ChelseaCollinsworth, Clifford R.Lance Corporal21-Oct-2006

ClimaxLittle, Jason T.Lance Corporal07-Jan-2006

Clinton TownshipKlein, AllanLance Corporal26-Jan-2005

ClioSather, Scott DouglasStaff Sergeant08-Apr-2003

ConcordWheeler, Donald L.Specialist13-Oct-2003

DansvilleNorris, Curtis L.Sergeant23-Dec-2006

DavisburgPeterson, Justin D.Captain01-Oct-2006

DetroitJack, Edward E.Lieutenant Commander29-Jan-2005

DetroitGentry, Lewis J.Staff Sergeant26-Oct-2005

E. LansingReynolds, Sean C.Sergeant03-May-2003

East LansingButler, Adrian J.Specialist27-Jul-2005

Eaton RapidsNealey, Troy D.Lance Corporal29-Oct-2006

FlintPedersen, Michael FrancisSergeant02-Apr-2003

FlintBrassfield, Artimus D.Specialist24-Oct-2003

FlintMiller II, Lowell T.Captain31-Aug-2005

FlushingYoumans, Joshua V.Sergeant01-Mar-2006

FowlervilleKilpela, Andrew J.Lance Corporal10-Jun-2005

FreeportCarver, Dane O.Specialist26-Dec-2005

GainesTrevithick, Richard K.Specialist14-Apr-2004

Garden CityBurgess, BryanSergeant09-Nov-2006

GladwinWentz, Brad A.Sergeant20-May-2005

Grand RapidsFester, Gregory J.Major30-Aug-2005

Grand RapidsFloyd, Al'KailaSergeant13-Jul-2006

Grand RapidsVollmer, Chad J.Sergeant23-Dec-2006

Grand RapidsStout, Brandon L.Specialist21-Jan-2007

GregoryHanks, Michael WayneLance Corporal17-Nov-2004

Grosse Pointe ParkMcCloud, Joseph TraneMajor03-Dec-2006

GwinnHattamer, Stephen C.Staff Sergeant25-Dec-2003

HardwoodPriestap, James D.Sergeant 1st Class23-Nov-2006

Hazel ParkDearing, John Wilson "J.W."Private 1st Class21-Nov-2005

HemlockReppuhn, Justin D.Lance Corporal11-Nov-2004

HesperiaSamson Jr., Dennis K.Specialist24-Jul-2006

HillsdaleJagger, Aaron1st Sergeant09-Aug-2006

HowellAlgrim, Wilson A.Private 1st Class23-Dec-2006

HudsonvilleHerrema, Richard J.Sergeant 1st Class25-Apr-2006

JacksonBeeler, Brent E.Lance Corporal07-Dec-2006

KalamazooWebber, Matthew A.Sergeant27-Apr-2006

La SalleMiller Jr., Dennis J.Private 1st Class10-Nov-2004

LaingsburgCassidy, Paul J.Captain13-Jul-2003

Lake OdessaYates III, NyleCorporal16-Mar-2006

Lake OrionPlouhar, Raymond J.Staff Sergeant26-Jun-2006

LansingFrank, Stephen W.Captain29-Apr-2005

LansingSmith, Justin S.1st Lieutenant07-Nov-2005

LansingDarga, Paul J.Chief Petty Officer22-Aug-2006

Lathrup VillageManoukian, Nicholas J.Lance Corporal21-Oct-2006

LawtonCastillo, Luis J.Lance Corporal19-Jan-2007

Lincoln ParkFrank, Craig S.Sergeant17-Jul-2004

LowellElandt, Aaron C.Sergeant30-May-2004

LuzerneWright, Jason G.Private 1st Class08-Dec-2003

MerrillPorras, Ralph N.Sergeant03-Sep-2006

MidlandGoward, Richard AllenSpecialist14-Apr-2003

MilfordKidd, Mark D.Corporal25-Jan-2007

Millington/FlintYost, Anthony R. C.Master Sergeant19-Nov-2005

MonroeGreer, Nicholas J.Private 1st Class07-Oct-2005

Mount ClemensLehto, Jason A.Staff Sergeant28-Dec-2004

Mount PleasantEllsworth, Justin M.Lance Corporal13-Nov-2004

Mundy TownshipPetriken, Brett J.Staff Sergeant26-May-2003

MuskegonCardinal, Anthony O.Corporal25-Dec-2005

North AdamsHodshire, Michael PaulSergeant30-Oct-2005

NoviDreasky, Duane J.Sergeant10-Jul-2006

OntonagonCherava, Nicholas O.Corporal06-Oct-2005

OtsegoPayne, William L.Master Sergeant16-May-2003

OvidKieffer, Ricky A.Staff Sergeant15-Mar-2005

Paw PawDeRoo, Gabriel G.Sergeant20-Aug-2006

PentwaterRobbins, Todd JamesSergeant03-Apr-2003

PetoskeyLindemuth, Michael B.Corporal13-Apr-2005

Port HuronVasquez, Mark D.Staff Sergeant08-Nov-2003

PortlandHuhn, David A.Lance Corporal01-Dec-2005

Rapid RiverMicks, Joseph P.Corporal08-Jul-2006

RochesterHoward II, Walter B.Corporal02-Feb-2006

Rochester HillsMalson, Adam1st Lieutenant19-Feb-2005

SaginawDavis, Donald N.Staff Sergeant24-Aug-2004

SaginawJackson II, William SamuelStaff Sergeant11-Nov-2006

SaginawMejia II, Bobby Private23-Dec-2006

Saint JohnsNelson, Andrew H.Private 1st Class25-Dec-2006

Saint LouisRosas, Richard H.Private 1st Class25-May-2004

Sand CreekBrazee, Joshua T.Specialist23-May-2005

SanfordBurgess, Ryan J.Lance Corporal21-Dec-2006

ShelbyWitteveen, BrettPrivate 1st Class19-Feb-2007

Shelby TownshipBarbret, Mark A.Private 1st Class14-Oct-2004

Shelby TownshipHill, Tarryl B.Private 1st Class07-Feb-2007

Shiawassee CountyMorr, Allan A.Private 1st Class22-Feb-2006

SilverwoodMiller, Nicholas A.Lance Corporal28-Dec-2006

South HavenSummers, Vincent E.Staff Sergeant15-Oct-2005

SouthfieldGrimes, SeanCaptain04-Mar-2005

StanwoodShilling, Bradley N.Specialist18-Nov-2006

Swartz CreekWebb, Brandon JLance Corporal20-Jun-2006

Swartz CreekStevens, Randy LeeSpecialist16-Apr-2005

Swartz CreekMeyer, Jason MichaelPrivate 1st Class08-Apr-2003

TaylorMcGeogh, Holly J.Private 1st Class31-Jan-2004

TemperanceGarza Jr., Juan GuadalupePrivate 1st Class08-Apr-2003

Traverse CityAkers, Spencer C.Sergeant08-Dec-2005

Tuscola CountyDrier, Charles A. "Chuck"Sergeant24-May-2005

Union CityWatson, Craig N.Lance Corporal01-Dec-2005

Union LakeHarting III, Ralph J. "Jay"Captain29-Apr-2005

Union LakeNave, Kevin GerardMajor26-Mar-2003

VassarEsckelson, Christopher E.Corporal28-Dec-2006

WarrenKim, In C.Corporal07-Dec-2004

WarrenMarku, GentianCorporal25-Nov-2004

WaterfordBushart, Damian S.Private 1st Class22-Nov-2003

WaterfordWaits, Andrew K.Specialist13-Apr-2006

WebbervilleMcCoy, Gregory W. G.Staff Sergeant09-Nov-2006

White CloudDerks, Brian K.Specialist13-Aug-2005

White LakeKolasa, Alexander J.Corporal31-May-2006

WyomingBlodgett, Nicholas H.Private 1st Class21-Jul-2004

WyomingBurri, Eric T.Specialist07-Jun-2005

WyomingSmith, Ross A.Corporal09-Feb-2006

YpsilantiMcCune, Donald R.Specialist05-Aug-2004

YpsilantiBloomfield II, Gerald M.Major02-Nov-2005

YpsilantiKoehler, Gary A.Corporal01-Nov-2006