Saturday, November 17, 2007

Knollenberg Helps Bush Sustain Veto of Health and Human Services Bill

George Bush sends a big thank you to Joe Knollenberg, helping him save face at the expense of our nation's workers, veterans and children. I guess Joe decided, our country - and Michigan - didn't need the critical funding that bill would have provided for these domestic programs provided for in H.R. 3043
  • $3.4 billion for state unemployment insurance and employment services
  • $340 million to strengthen mine safety protections
  • $183 million to enforce wage and hour laws
  • $37 billion for school districts across America
  • $16.4 billion to lower the costs of student loans
  • $2 billion for affordable, high-quality child care for low-income families
  • $7 billion for Head Start programs
  • $2.2 billion for community health centers
  • Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Eccentric: The Strange saga of the 9th District U.S. House Race

    This article appeared in the 11/15 edition of the Birmingham, Troy and West Bloomfield Eccentrics. There is one factual correction in regard to the web site that my brother complained about, the e-mails I sent went to my personal e-mail list and it was an invitation to a protest at the Republican debate in Dearborn on October 9. Otherwise, it's kind of amusing and reads like a soap opera. However, I'm glad Greg Kowalski focused on the issues and the fact that Knollenberg has a 33% approval rating and Gary Peters' robust fundraising efforts and his endorsement by the entire Michigan Congressional delegation.

    Trent Wiseup's Outburst Covered on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann

    Knollenberg Under Attack by Catholics

    Now Joe is under attack from a group called Catholics United, who don't think Joe's vote on SCHIP is a pro-life position that they support. Finally, Joe is being held accountable by pro-life voters.

    CLICK HERE to listen to the ad that is currently running

    Press Release from Catholics United:
    October 11, 2007

    Chris Korzen
    (202) 903-0856

    Washington, DC - Catholics United will launch a radio advertising campaign targeting ten members of Congress whose opposition to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) have compromised their pro-life voting records.

    The ads, which feature a mother urging her Congressional Representative to support SCHIP, will primarily air on Christian and talk radio stations from Monday Oct. 15 to Wednesday, Oct. 17 as Congress approaches a critical Oct. 18 vote to override President Bush’s veto of bipartisan SCHIP legislation.

    “Building a true culture of life requires public policies that promote the welfare of the most vulnerable,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “At the heart of the Christian faith is a deep and abiding concern for the need of others. Pro-life Christians who serve in Congress should honor this commitment by supporting health care for poor children.”

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Guest Opinion: By John Ashcraft: Blogger Has a Right to Question Congressman

    GUEST OPINION Blogger has a right to question congressman

    Enough already with the complaints about Bruce Fealk "ambushing" Congressman Joe Knollenberg.

    His approach may be disagreeable, but he has a right to hold his U.S. Representative accountable for his decisions and he's been left no other way to do that.

    Knollenberg is notorious for snubbing constituents who want to discuss important issues (unless they share his views). His actions better represent the positions of the radical right than his Oakland County constituents.

    In his most recent encounter with Fealk, Knollenberg was only asked to explain when he would represent the views of his district and vote to end the war in Iraq or support the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
    Keith Olbermann of MSNBC Covers Wisecup's Outburst

    Rather than answer Fealk's fair questions, Knollenberg walked away and turned loose his chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, who ripped into Fealk like a pit-bull.

    True to form, the media have framed the whole episode as an example of political activism gone too far. But, Bruce Fealk is just an American citizen who deserves representation.

    Yes, he's a member of, but he hasn't been hired by that or any other group. He's acting on his own accord.

    In contrast, Wisecup is on Knollenberg's staff. In fact, he is the chief of Knollenberg's staff. Furthermore, in the video of the confrontation, Wisecup told Fealk he spoke for the Congressman when he said Fealk was Un-American, that he wanted to lose in Iraq and that he wasn't a citizen. Why wasn't that the story?

    "Congressman attacks constituent for asking policy questions," seems like a pretty good headline to me.

    I agree that politics has gone too far lately. But the offense is not that of a constituent who is forced to use desperate means to hold his representative accountable.

    It's the abusive personal attacks that are loosed on anyone who doesn't tow the party line.And this is part of a broad pattern that extends from big shots like John Kerry to little children as we saw with 12- year-old Graeme Frost, who dared to advocate for SCHIP.

    By holding our leaders accountable for not doing their jobs, Bruce Fealk also exposed the media's failure to do its job. So it makes sense that the media and the politicians don't like him.ÊBut the rest of us should praise him, not vilify him.Ê

    John Ashcraft of Troy considers himself to be a liberal, a lay person and a Christian
    Click here for the rest of the story

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Joe Screws the Middle Class Again

    Joe Knollenberg voted against middle-class taxpayers again by voting against a bill that will protect middle income taxpayers from a tax that was meant to only affect wealthy people.

    CLICK HERE to read the entire article

    The AMT was created in 1969 to ensure that a very small number of wealthy people could not use tax breaks or deductions to avoid paying any taxes. But it was never indexed for inflation, and every year the AMT draws in more middle-income taxpayers. This year some 4 million people were subject to the tax.

    What is certain is that if Congress and the White House do not reach acompromise by the end of the year, anywhere from 21 million to 25 million middle-income taxpayers will be hit by the AMT, costing them as much as $2,000 in extra taxes.

    But anti-tax Republicans said the AMT was a mistake and thus offsets were unneeded. "What absolute lunacy," said Rep. David Dreier, R-California, "paying for a tax that was never intended."

    Democrats argued that 23 million people in danger of getting hit by the AMT would be protected by tax changes affecting some 50,000 people earning carried interest.

    Joe Says He Supports Veterans. Another Lie

    Joe Knollenberg voted against H.R. 3043 which would have provided the following for veterans. Looks like another case where what Joe says and what he does don't match up.

    • $231 million for Veterans' Employment and Training programs to assist returning veterans to find and train for jobs
    • $23.6 million for the Homeless Veterans' Program. $10 million for those veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), for their rehabilitation, hospital care and long-term support.
    • $3.4 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    Here's what Joe says on his web site: CLICK HERE to read the rest of Joe's web site on Veterans issues.

    Our most vulnerable veterans are those that were disabled during their tenure in the military. The government will always have a duty to care for these men and women. Recently, Congressman Knollenberg has strongly advocated for an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the benefits of disabled veterans.
    Currently disabled veterans do not automatically receive a COLA for their benefits. Congressman Knollenberg supports an annual automatic increase for disabled veterans in order to keep their benefits relevant and their purchasing power equal to the cost-of-living.

    Guess What, Joe? 69% Support Higher Mileage Requirements

    Joe Knollenberg says that raising CAFE standards, higher mileage for our cars and trucks would ruin the domestic auto industry. The people say, give us higher mileage.

    Give us more m.p.g., voters say
    November 10, 2007
    Voters aren't buying the arguments Detroit automakers are using against tougher fuel economy standards in Congress, with 69% supporting a 35 mile-per-gallon rule by 2020 in a nationwide poll released Friday.
    The survey of 1,000 voters this month by the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency and the National Environmental Trust came as Congressional leaders consider fuel provisions in an energy bill that could come up for a vote as soon as next week.

    The pollsters said national security worries, such as depending on terrorism-linked regimes for oil, were overwhelming every argument automakers had made against tougher standards.

    CLICK HERE for the rest for the rest of the story.

    SCHIP covered on PBS Puts a Human Face on the Lack of Funding

    While President Bush and Republicans like Joe Knollenberg try to explain away why they won't vote to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program real children with real health problems go without health care coverage and some will die.

    CLICK HERE to watch NOW on PBS report on the crisis in children's health care.

    I hope everyone in Joe Knollenberg's office will watch this report. I know you're watching this blog, so make good use of your time.