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Preview: Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood



The people of Michigan's 8th Congressional District deserve better than Mike Rogers. Here is where the change begins.



Updated: 2017-09-25T13:24:49.650-04:00

 



Save Our Ship

2012-01-23T10:19:06.560-05:00

Earlier this month, the world watched in horror as the Costa Concordia cruise ship veered off course and capsized after hitting a rock. The multimillion-dollar ship was huge and impressive; no one had thought to question its safety before the accident. The captain, who had absolute control, chose to ignore reality.

With Steve Israel at the helm this cycle, the DCCC's resemblance to the Costa Concordia is getting stronger by the minute.

A quick glance at the Red to Blue 2012 list shows that the D-Trip is once again tying its own shoelaces together, ignoring viable candidates who stand up for their beliefs.

Down With Tyranny talked with Joshua Grossman at Progressive Kick, who defines "swing district" in a very different way: as "an assessment of the district itself, not the strength of the incumbent in the district." Grossman pointed out that only 154 seats have been rated as Strong Dem -- well short of the 218 seats needed for a majority.

Progressive Kick included MI-08's own Lance Enderle in its list of swing districts to watch:
Other excellent targets on the list include Charlie Upton (MI-6), Mike Rogers (MI-8) and Frank Guinta (NH-1), being challenged by, respectively, progressives John Waltz, Lance Enderle and Carol Shea-Porter, independent-minded grassroots Democrats whom Steve Israel fears.
Keep MI-08 from running aground in 2012 -- steer us away from those treacherous Rogers reefs and support Lance Enderle.



Job Killer on the Loose!

2010-09-28T08:53:27.002-04:00

Mike Rogers really enjoys talking about "defending" small business from the "job-killing" actions taken by the oogey-boogey Democrats:"Health Bill's Taxes, Regulations [sic] Kills Jobs""EPA 'Cap and Trade' Regulations are Job-Killers""Job Killer Health Bill By-the-Numbers"and, of course, the tanning tax that "kills jobs, hurts women and college students."Leaving aside the healthy dose of hyperbole -- and the fact that Michigan has lost roughly 860,000 jobs since Mr. Rogers first went to Washington in 2000 -- you'd think that he would be willing to support a bill that supports small business.Well, you'd be wrong.Mr. Rogers voted AGAINST the Small Business Lending Funding Act of 2010 (H.R. 539). The House concurred in the Senate amendment to H.R. 5297, to create the Small Business Lending Fund Program to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to make capital investments in eligible institutions in order to increase the availability of credit for small businesses and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for small business job creation, by a yea-and-nay vote of 237 yeas to 187 nays, Roll No. 539. [emphasis added]While it's a safe bet that Mr. Rogers will come up with some emotion-filled excuse for saying no, the fact is that America's small businesses in a tough situation. At a Federal Reserve meeting in July 2010, Fed Governor Elizabeth A. Duke discussed the importance of support for small business in a larger context: Finding solutions to small business financing issues is not only an important component of the economic recovery, it is also important to the restoration of communities that have been hard-hit by foreclosures and job losses.In other words, when small businesses get a little help with financing, they can hire more people.When you see Mr. Rogers,* be sure to ask him why he voted against small business owners and private sector job creation.*Just kidding! You won't be seeing Mr. Rogers in the district this fall unless you pay for the privilege. He's too busy to talk to actual voters... or his opponent, Lance Enderle.[...]



Do's and Don'ts

2010-09-21T08:07:10.889-04:00

As we get closer to election time (six weeks from today!), it's worth remembering what Mr. Rogers has -- and hasn't -- been doing in Washington.

On the "Do" side, Mike Rogers has been:
On the "Don't" side, Mike Rogers said no to
Seems to me that Mr. Rogers has been in Washington a little too long -- after ten years, he thinks his job is to represent special interests instead of Michigan interests.

Want a representative who will actually represent us?

Vote for Lance Enderle on November 2nd.






Not So Funny

2010-08-05T17:42:20.264-04:00

The Neighborhood knows that Mr. Rogers shows up on Fox and MSNBC with great regularity. Once the camera light comes on, he starts in with the scary, drama-filled and highly conditional phrases (See Iran, evidence-based medicine, tanning salons).

Mr. Rogers' latest rant: advocating the death penalty for alleged Wikileaker Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.

That's right -- the guy who kept his mouth firmly shut when the Vice President of the United States and assorted other turd blossoms deliberately exposed the identity of a covert CIA operations officer as political payback is now baying for the blood of someone who leaked information about the not-so-great inside story of the Afghan War.

Thanks to Mr. Rogers' penchant for drama, residents of MI-08 can also see their congressman on Comedy Central.

Too bad there's nothing funny about a hyper-partisan, hypocritical representative.



Do the Write Thing

2010-07-31T20:27:26.970-04:00

The Neighborhood is pretty excited about Tuesday's primary! On August 3rd, the voters of MI-08 have a chance to make history by writing in Lance Enderle as the Democratic candidate for Congress.Long story short, the original candidate quit in June -- too late to have his name removed from the ballot.Lance registered to run as a write-in, because he believes that After a long dark decade of living in "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", the good people of Michigan's 8th District deserve much better than this.They must have a REAL choice at the ballot box on November 2ndLearn more at Daily Kos (please rec both posts) and Lance's website.Donate to Lance's campaign -- he's not taking any PAC money.Promote his Facebook page to your friends.And definitely do the write thing on August 2nd: write in Lance Enderle![...]



Reflexive Response

2010-07-20T17:01:44.562-04:00

Far from being idle in DeeCee, Mr. Rogers has been busy saying "no" to some pretty common-sense bills, and his knee-jerk opposition is just, well, jerky.

Mr. Rogers voted against the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act, which pretty much does what it says: extends authorization for the national flood insurance program and identifies "priorities essential to reform and ongoing stable functioning of the program."

Perhaps Mr. Rogers needs a peek at FEMA's list of 2010 flood disaster declarations, which sadly is a long one, to reinforce the importance of the federal flood insurance program.

Michiganders are lucky to have escaped the severe flooding that affected nineteen states and Puerto Rico so far this year, but that doesn't mean we think more efficient federal flood insurance is a bad idea...

Mr. Rogers also voted against the Telework Improvements Act, which would
set standards for federal employees working remotely. It would require the head of each federal agency to establish and implement a policy that would allow employees to work remotely as much as possible without diminishing agency operations or performance.
My guess for his no vote: he can't understand why anyone would want to work from home instead of on Capitol Hill. (The dinners! The happy hours! The PAC money!) We all know that Mr. Rogers is none too fond of being in Michigan, since he has to pretend he likes talking with constituents.

The bottom line: Mike Rogers doesn't represent anyone but himself.

If you'd like someone to represent you for a change, write in Lance Enderle for Congress on the August 3rd primary ballot August 3rd.

We'll all be glad we did!



Rogers: tax worse than cancer and mustard gas

2010-07-02T08:43:57.457-04:00

(image)
The Rogers Newsletter, AKA the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, carried a Mike Rogers press release today entitled “U.S. Rep. Rogers: Get your tan now” about the 10 percent tax on tanning beds that went into effect on July 1 as part of the historic health care insurance reform passed last March.

The Brighton Republican says “the 10 percent tax "kills jobs, hurts women (and) college students." Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Rogers about the harm caused by tanning beds to women and college students, as well as men and non-college students.

In fact, experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, “moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas."

The good news is they will now have health care to treat the cancer, and people can no longer be denied health care coverage because of the pre-existing condition of cancer.



Tan-mageddon!

2010-07-02T08:51:06.553-04:00

Summer is in full swing, so Mr. Rogers has shifted his Doom'n'Gloom pronouncements from health care to tanning salons.That's right: the new health care reform bill included a 10% tax on tanning salons, which went into effect yesterday. The tax is expected to raise $2.7 billion over the next decade.Mr. Rogers promptly sent out a press release screaming that the tax would "kill[s] jobs, hurt[s] women (and) college students.""In Michigan, where we've lost more jobs than any other state and led the nation in unemployment for more than four years, this tax is another job-killing burden on small businesses," Rogers said."The tax targets a service provided by mostly small entrepreneurs, many of them women, and it unfairly hits working women and college students, who make up the majority of tanning customers," he added.Awww! Mr. Rogers is sticking up for working women and college students! (Do you feel all warm and fuzzy yet?)Funny, but Mr. Rogers didn't worry about college students when he compromised their voting rights or voted to keep big banks skimming the student loan process.Come to think of it, he hasn't shown too much concern for workers, small business owners or women's health, either...Mr. Rogers' drama aside, will the new tax hurt the tanning industry? An ABC news report finds that no one thinks a few extra dollars is going to come between diehard tanners and their bronzing. Legislators in favor of the new tax cited health concerns. The industry itself, however, couldn't be healthier.This is just another example of Mr. Rogers' Olympic-level ability to bring the tears and sell the trauma from a piece of legislation he doesn't like.Mike Rogers has been in Washington for ten years now -- and our state has lost nearly 800,000 jobs. The next time he starts in on the "job-killing" rant, let's ask him exactly what he's done to grow jobs in Michigan. Want a REAL representative in 2010? Write in Lance Enderle for Congress on August 3rd, and let the sun shine in![...]



Where's the Representation?

2010-06-25T10:43:30.215-04:00

It's been a busy week for Mr. Rogers! Immediately sharing his thoughts on Gen. McChrystal's Rolling Stone interview with MSNBC and the Press & Argus, Mr. Rogers intoned “you can’t have military commanders out there working against the policy of presidents, even if they’re wrong. “That’s my job,” the Brighton Republican and Army veteran saidNow, you may have thought that Mr. Rogers' job was to represent his constituents in Washington. Oh, you big silly!In addition to working against the policies of the President of the United States of America, Mr. Rogers has many serious responsibilities in DeeCee. For example, on Wednesday he co-hosted the first Capitol Hill Family Game Night to educate families on “how to enjoy video games and online media in ways that are safer, healthier and more balanced.”Don't worry -- Mr. Rogers is working on lots of other crucial issues, too: * he wrote a letter to MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo imploring him to stay in Michigan * he continues to run his cash-raising machine with a string of foodie fundraisers * he voted against H.R. 5175, which would prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections * last but not least, he voted against H.R. 4213, which extended unemployment benefits and provided tax relief for individuals and businesses. Got all that? Michigan has led the nation in unemployment since April 2006 (as of last month, we slipped to Number 2, behind Nevada). We've lost nearly 800,000 jobs since Mr. Rogers first went off to Washington. Given Michigan's devastated economy, why does Mr. Rogers think it's more important to work against the President, fight government transparency, screw over the unemployed and keep video games safe for families?The bad news: this is just more proof that Mike Rogers doesn't give a rat's patootie about MI-08. The good news: you have a choice this year! East Lansing educator Lance Enderle has filed to be the write-in candidate for the Democratic nomination in the August 3rd primary. Write him in, and see the difference a REAL representative can make![...]



Breakfast of (Fundraising) Champions

2010-06-16T09:40:36.879-04:00

A major shout-out to That's My Congress for today's post, "Mike Rogers Breakfasts With Lobbyists"
Michigan’s Mike Rogers doesn’t live like you and I do. While we get up and pour ourselves a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast, Congressman Rogers goes out to eat his breakfast. Rogers doesn’t go to just any old place for his bacon and eggs either. [skip]

An invitation sent out by the Mike Rogers re-election campaign asks individuals attending the breakfast to come with at between 500 and 1,000 dollars to give to Rogers. Political Action Committees seeking some attention from Rogers are being charged between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars.

Where I come from, we don’t charge people thousands of dollars for the privilege of sitting at our breakfast table. Of course, where I come from, no one sits on a powerful congressional committee that has influence over government regulations. Mike Rogers does have that kind of position, and it seems that he’s willing to take a good deal of money from lobbyists in order to keep his hold on power secure.



Pick a Side

2010-06-15T18:21:26.344-04:00

Here in The Neighborhood, we know that Mr. Rogers is a superduper awesome fundraiser.

Did you know that he's been working just as hard to protect American jobs?

Well, as long as the jobs belong to American Republican Representatives, anyway.

Since becoming Incumbent Retention Chair for the NRCC in 2009, Mr. Rogers has working hard to protect GOP incumbents, meeting weekly with party leaders and individual members.

[Wouldn't it be great if Mr. Rogers spent this kind of time focusing on jobs for his constituents?]

All that hard work paid off, I guess.

At a PAC briefing yesterday, Mr. Rogers was
telling attendees that the committee's work had already shielded a substantial group of members from facing any serious challenge in 2010.

"A year and a half ago, I was giving you the names of 30 members and you know what? It worked," Rogers said, according to a source familiar with his remarks. "We feel strongly at this point that only nine incumbents need your help to withstand the attacks by the DCCC and their allies."

Gee, Mr. R., that's epic!

Maybe now that you've fixed the jobs situation for Republican politicians -- not to mention Tom Izzo -- you could pay a wee bit of attention to the job situation for the people who live in your district.




Because a Million Just Isn't Enough...

2010-06-13T10:16:14.586-04:00

Mike Rogers just can't stop raising money for his campaign, even though he no longer has an opponent.Yesterday, Mr. Rogers wined and dined (literally) at his luncheon for the telecom industry at the Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar. The restaurant, where the main floor is a bustling, upscale casual bistro inspired by the neighborhood enotecas found throughout Italyand the second floor Avenue Lounge is an airy, elegant, modern space, and is perfect for large cocktail parties, fundraisers, product launches, and personal events up to 125 guests.has been named Washington's Best Wine Bar (2010) and was the runner-up for Best Charcuterie Plate (2009).Did I mention the ticket prices for this little get-together?Contribution Information: $2,000 PAC Co-Host; $1,000 Individual Co-Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 IndividualIt's such a relief to know that Mr. Rogers isn't slumming it.[...]



Jobs for Michigan?

2010-05-11T16:59:30.619-04:00

A quick review of Mr. Rogers' fundraising for the first quarter of 2010 shows that he's been pretty busy: taking in just over a million dollars ($1,018,397 to be precise) and spending only $319,151. Where did the money go? Well, $40,000 went to the Michigan Republican Party. There are also operating expenses, like website development, payroll services, e-commerce vendors, fundraising and direct-response firms... We could talk for hours about the role of money in politics, but like it or not, these types of expenses are pretty standard for a Congressional campaign.What's not so standard? A Congressman from the state with the nation's highest unemployment rate spends quite a bit on out-of-state businesses. Mr. Rogers has hired a Wisconsin web developer, an Illinois payroll company, a New Hampshire direct mail/telemarketer and a California software vendor to assist his re-election campaign. It's a little hard to believe that there are no Michigan businesses providing these services.[...]



Opposite World

2010-05-05T09:53:59.039-04:00

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

Thought police, anyone?

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

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

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

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



Qu'est-ce Que C'est

2010-05-04T15:15:46.306-04:00

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

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

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

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








Party On

2010-04-27T08:55:10.554-04:00

It's no wonder Mr. Rogers is so seldom home in the 8th District! He's been busy in Washington, D.C. raising money for his campaign. Thanks to all those Happy Hours, Ladies Nights and Five Guys Lunches, his campaign war chest is filling up nicely -- in the first quarter of 2010, he's taken in over $1 million in total receipts... with more than half of it coming from PACs. Speaking of PACs, Mr. Rogers is also busy tending to his own personal PAC, the MIKE R Fund ("Majority Initiative to Keep Electing Republicans"). MIKE R Fund has helped support such Congressional luminaries as Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-SC) and the Republican Parties of Iowa and Louisiana.Throw in his responsibilities as incumbent retention chair for the NRCC, and you can totally understand why Mr. Rogers can only talk to people who are willing to pay for the privilege.UPDATE: Yesterday's Huffpost Hill also picked up the Five Guys lunch story, albeit in terms a bit less delicate than we Neighborhoodies prefer:12:00 pm: Looking to evacuate both his guests' wallets and bowels,Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) hosts a "Five Guys Lunch" [National Republican Congressional Committee, 310 First Street SE].[...]



The Company You Keep

2010-04-22T11:14:59.704-04:00

(image) Remember Mark Foley? He was the GOP representative who, among other things, exchanged sexually explicit instant messages with teenage Congressional pages and later resigned amid questions about coverups by the House Republican leadership.

Mr. Foley's scandal reached the 8th Congressional District when CNN ran film of Mike Rogers accompanying Mr. Foley to the White House. Both men were involved in GOP leadership and served as deputy majority whips. Mr. Rogers' assertion that he didn't socialize with Foley was weakened when it surfaced that the two men, both prodigious money-raising guys, often co-hosted fundraisers for fellow GOP incumbents and held a fundraising event at Mr. Foley's home.

Old news, you say.

Well, it turns out that Mr. Foley re-emerged last month, attending a Palm Beach political luncheon where Mitt Romney was the guest speaker.

Mr. Romney, ginning up for a possible Presidential run in 2012, has long had a pal in Mike Rogers.

Mike, Mitt, and Mark -- keep your eye on these guys during the coming year. Their paths will no doubt continue to intersect in some interesting ways.





Prioritie$

2010-04-21T16:50:11.604-04:00

Mr. Rogers hasn't been around much lately, since he's so busy with raising record-breaking amounts of money for Republican Congressional candidates. For over a year now, he's been working on the NRCC Patriot Program and there's no question that Mr. Rogers is really, really good at raking in the moola.So good, in fact, that even when he was home this week the only people he talked to were the ones who paid $30 to attend the Howell Chamber of Commerce program (Chamber members got a slight discount).Aside from coffee and muffins, what did they get for $30?They got Mike Rogers in full oogedy-boogedy mode, warning of "bad omens for small business." The health care reform bill (which Rogers voted against twice) will make employers "nervous." Not sure where Mr. Rogers has been, other than NRCC pep rallies -- because if he was here in the 8th Congressional District he would know that according to his own Energy & Commerce Committee, 15,100 small businesses would receive tax credits to provide employee health care coverage. Mr. Rogers was also in a tizzy over proposed bank regulatory reforms, worrying that they would "inhibit access to capital." According to a 2009 report by the Federal Reserve, small businesses were already looking at the worst credit crunch in history. Credit cards, a traditional small business tool, are no longer as helpful, since the companies have raised their rates -- and small businesses weren't included in the credit card reform legislation passed last year.Turning his gaze to the wider world, Mr. Rogers shared his thoughts on the "pretty frightening" situation in Iran, and He said fear of a nuclear threat only compounds the worries of small-business owners, and that the country needs a stronger stance on the issue on the worldwide stage.Gee.I'm willing to bet that if you went door-to-door on Main Street in Brighton or Grand River in Howell, and asked small business owners what was on their Top 10 List of Stuff to Worry About, Iran's nuclear threat wouldn't be on it. Probably not even on their Top 100 List, to be honest.Basically, the whole breakfast was just another episode of Rogers Kabuki Theater: he strikes a heroic pose, says the same scary things about Iran, pushes the same tired health policy ideas and pretends he hasn't been hanging around Washington for the past decade. It's great value for your entertainment dollar, if you like that sort of thing. If you would prefer a Representative who actually wants to represent you, please visit Democratic Congressional challenger Kande Ngalamulume's campaign website. You'll see what a real 8th District Congressman looks like.[...]



The CBO says health care bill will cut the budget deficit and cover the uninsured

2010-03-19T07:49:09.496-04:00

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its preliminary analysis on the compromise health insurance reform bill today, and it shows simply that Republicans and teabaggers have been lying for an entire year.

Here’s what the CBO says the bill does:
It cuts the deficit: It cuts the deficit by $130 billion in the first 10 years (2010 - 2019), and it cuts the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years.

It reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year-while improving benefits and lowering costs for seniors. It also extends Medicare's solvency by at least nine years. It expands health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans Helps guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered. It is fully paid for - costs $940 billion over a decade. (Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill's cost is paid for by reducing health care costs).

More importantly, here’s what it will do for the residents of the 8th Congressional District. Despite those benefits, you can rest assure of two things: the lies from Republicans will continue, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers will vote against it.


+ Improve coverage for 505,000 residents with health insurance.
+ Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 150,000 families and 15,100 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
+ Improve Medicare for 90,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
+ Extend coverage to 20,000 uninsured residents.
+ Guarantee that 8,100 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
+ Protect 1,700 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
+ Allow 63,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents' insurance plans.
+ Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 10 community health centers.
+ Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $29 million annually.



Hell: Freezing Over Yet Again!

2010-02-22T07:37:09.262-05:00

Over the years,The Neighborhood has seen some pretty conservative folks call out Mike Rogers on issues of national security, fiscal responsibility and earmarks.

Well, it's happening again -- and this time, it's close to home.

Leon Drolet, leader of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and close pal of Mr. Perks the pig, recently posted his take on the latest Club for Growth RePork Card.
Congratulations to Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland) for earning the only 'A' grade of all 15 Michigan congress members.

Thaddeous McCotter (R-Livonia) earned a 'B+' and Vern Ehlers (R-Grand Rapids) received a 'B-'. The only other sorta passing-ish grade went to Mike Rogers (R-Howell) who received a D+.
We know that Mr. Rogers was for the earmarks before he was against them (ahem!)... nice to see that the conservatives are admitting it, too.




A Load of Crepes

2010-02-14T16:37:35.945-05:00

(image) After years of laboring on behalf of Republican Congressional candidates (first as a record-setting RNCC Finance Chair, Deputy Majority Whip, campaign contributions from his MIKE R Fund, and most recently as NRCC Incumbent Retention Chairman), Mike Rogers finally got a little local shout-out for his efforts in maintaining and expanding the GOP presence in the House.

The Press & Argus story describes Mr. Rogers as an "enforcer" for the NRCC; he's already been dubbed "Top Cop" by Roll Call and "a powerhouse fundraiser" by Politico.

Here in the Neighborhood, we've known about his strong-arm efforts on behalf of the party for quite a while. Regular readers know that Mr. Rogers is willing to give 110% when it comes to retaining jobs for his GOP colleagues: one-on-one meetings with at-risk incumbents to develop individualized campaign goals, weekly meetings with GOP leadership, weekly meetings with NRCC directors, and keeping close tabs on Patriot Program members, right down to the level of call time, volunteer recruitment and local press.

How local, you ask? Well, Mr. Rogers has carved out time to be the headliner at next month's "Pancakes and Politics" fundraiser hosted by the Macomb County Republican Party ("Aggressive - Visible - Organized").

I can't help but wish that Mr. Rogers was willing to spend this kind of time and energy on the at-risk workers right here in his own district.




Job Losses?

2010-01-28T09:11:42.018-05:00

Mike Rogers' response to President Obama's State of the Union address?"While Michigan families can certainly appreciate the President focusing on getting America back to work, he unfortunately continues to advance policies that will cost more jobs. His plans to create a massive new energy tax and have the government run America's health care system from Washington, D.C., are both job killers." -- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton.Job killers? Seriously? Has Mike Rogers not noticed that his state has been hemorrhaging jobs since he was first elected a decade ago?It's hard to see how Mr. Rogers' takeaway from the speech focused on an "energy tax" and a purported "government-run" health care system. If he had been paying attention to the President, instead of sitting on his hands and looking for John Boehner's approval, Mr. Rogers might have heard some serious bipartisan points:Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95% of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food, and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. [skip]So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit – one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment; and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment.[skip]President Obama also spoke plainly to the Republicans.From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument – that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts for wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, and maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is, that's what we did for eight years. That's what helped lead us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. And we cannot do it again. [skip]if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions.So how about it, Mr. Rogers? Step up and work for your country -- not just for your party. If you can't put your politics aside for the good of the nation, then the only job loss that should make local headlines in 2010 is you own.[...]



Hot 'n' Bothered

2010-01-05T17:44:40.302-05:00

Today's Press & Argus led with a drama-filled header: "Rogers rips health-care measures"

Oh, my.

We know that Mr. Rogers doesn't trust evidence-based medicine. He's had his fact-free rant against health care reform on Teh YooToob, while at the same time enjoying comprehensive -- not to mention convenient -- health care coverage at taxpayer's expense.

A closer look shows that Mr. Rogers has managed to have his health care tab picked up by taxpayers for most of his adult life, thanks to the U.S. Army, the FBI, the Michigan Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. His one foray into the private sector came via his family's business, so it's unlikely that he was getting squeezed on his premiums.

Compare Mr. Rogers' situation with that of a Michigan family purchasing the cheapest available Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan. (Seriously. click that link and read the details.)

Today, Mr. Rogers continued his oogy-boogy hand-waving about the dangers of health care reform.
"I said 'Oh, my gosh, they just sentenced to death 36,000 American women,'" he said.
Rogers also said that the legislation wouldn't go into effect until 2013 -- but Congress.org outlines some of the specific changes that will occur within the next year.
Some of the most significant changes would extend existing programs and rules in order to immediately reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Others would end unpopular practices in the private insurance industry.
Adding to the pile of silly, Rogers trotted out his "ideas" for reforming health care that we've all heard before. He also wailed about the terrible impact on businesses, an argument neatly refuted this summer by that radical magazine, BusinessWeek.

With all due respect to the Livingston Press & Argus, it would be great if their reporters fact-checked a few items before publishing Mr. Rogers' rants verbatim.



Who You Gonna Call?

2009-12-17T08:27:32.443-05:00

Mike Rogers is quite upset about the recent decision to move some Guantanamo detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois.How upset, you ask?Well, perhaps Dr. Peter Venkman and his colleagues best describe Mr. Rogers' anguish.Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"? [skip]Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria.Mr. Rogers hasn't risen to quite the same level of drama... but he's close:Obama's decision was criticized by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, who called it a "dangerous gamble.""Terrorists with one mission in life, to kill Americans and destroy America, do not belong in state prisons, no matter whether it is Michigan, Kansas, Illinois or any other state," Rogers said.Apparently Mr. Rogers has no confidence in federal law enforcement and corrections personnel. Nor does he seem to know that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, there are already 216 international terrorists and 139 domestic terrorists housed in maximum security facilities, some of whom have been there since the 1990s. Fred Kaplan of Slate Magazine wrote about these prisoners back in the springtime, and he could have been talking about Mr. Rogers (or his heart-palpitatin' colleague Pete Hoekstra) when he wrote this:Maybe these people don't understand what life is like in these "supermax" prisons. Take ADX Florence, the supermax in Colorado—"the Alcatraz of the Rockies"—that serves as the home to Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "blind sheikh" who organized the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the Sept. 11 plotters; Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber; Theodore Kaczynski, the "Unabomber"; and Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City bombing, to name a few.These are all truly dangerous people, but it's not as if they run into one another in the lunch line or the yard. There is no lunch line; there is no yard. Most of the prisoners are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. For one hour, they're taken to another concrete room, indoors, to exercise, by themselves. Their only windows face the sky, so they have no way of knowing even where they are within the prison. Phone calls to the outside world are banned. Finally, the prison is crammed with cameras and motion detectors. Compartments are separated by 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors; the place is surrounded by 12-foot-high razor-wire fences; the area between the wire and the walls is further secured by laser beams and attack dogs.Got that? Mr. Rogers has spent nearly a decade on the House Intel Committee; he's also a former FBI agent. You;d think that his national security expertise would outweigh his political concerns. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Rogers' main contribution to our nation's security? That would be his tireless efforts to predict doooooooom in front of any available microphone or tv camera. He pitched a fit about Mirandizing terrorists -- and pretty much called the Director of the FBI and General David Petraeus liars. He blamed Congress for not paying attention to Iran's nuclear buildup, conveniently forgetting that he is IN Congress and has been on the House Intel Committee since[...]



Rogers continues to deny the fact that global warming is a fact on behalf of Big Oil masters

2009-12-07T10:40:17.613-05:00

After some nine years of Mike Rogers in Congress, the only thing we know for sure about the Brighton Republican is that he toes the GOP line until its no longer popular to dos so. His press release on the stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia that critics have dubiously claimed undermine the scientific consensus on climate change is just one more example.Rogers backed every single Bush position until the approval ratings of the worst president in U.S. history plunged like a rock, and Rogers abandoned him like a rat from a sinking ship. Now, he has sunk to the role of just criticizing and blocking every solution to the problems his party created. His press release printed almost verbatim in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus is parroting the rightwing lie that global warming is a hoax. “He joined fellow congressional Republicans who raised questions about leaked e-mails from the researchers.”First, they were not “leaked e-mails” they were stolen. Global warming deniers are basically taking one word out of context among 13 years of personal emails to prove their point. They ignore all the data from other agencies, like NASA, to make their case. For years, thousands of scientists working at climate research centers throughout the world have carefully and rigorously reached a consensus on the extent of climate change, the urgency of the problem, and the role of human activity in causing it. A few distorted e-mail exchanges do not change that consensus. In fact, last month Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, supported that claim: "There's nothing in the e-mails that shows that global warming is a hoax. ... There's no funding by nefarious groups. There's no politics in any of these things; nobody from the [United Nations] telling people what to do. There's nothing hidden, no manipulation. It's just scientists talking about science, and they're talking relatively openly as people in private e-mails generally are freer with their thoughts than they would be in a public forum. The few quotes that are being pulled out [are out] of context. People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way." Rogers is a very good friend of big oil, and, in fact, he voted against ending taxpayer-funded subsidies for Big Oil and creating a Strategic Energy and Renewables Reserve. Is it any surprise he is a global warming denier? The right-wing groups leading the charge in attacking the science are the same old Big Oil-backed naysayers and their allies in Congress -like Rogers- who have been attacking climate science and fighting clean energy for decades. The U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency have identified climate change as a threat to our national security and have developed specific efforts to combat climate change. The real indicator is the results of global warming. How to you ignore or lie that away? According to a recent article by the Associated Press, “Since 1997 climate change has worsened and accelerated – beyond some of the grimmest of warnings made back then.” The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half. Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa. Species now in trouble because of changing climate include, not just th[...]