Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Tax Hike Fails, Dunkin Donuts Realizes A Mistake With Rachel Ray’s Keffiyeh And UK Calls It’s Own Flag Racist

Got three really good ones today. They may not be attention grabbing headlines at the Washington Post or New York Times, but they do need some attention since very often it is just as necessary to learn what is going on behind-the-secnes as it is to learn the up-front stories.

First, let’s take a look at Michigan, particularly their recent tax-hike and how it has faired. Not to well according to the Wall Street Journal:

Officials in Lansing reported this month that the state faces a revenue shortfall between $350 million and $550 million next budget year. This is a major embarrassment for Governor Jennifer Granholm, the second-term Democrat who shut down the state government last year until the Legislature approved Michigan’s biggest tax hike in a generation. Her tax plan raised the state income tax rate to 4.35% from 3.9%, and increased the state’s tax on gross business receipts by 22%. Ms. Granholm argued that these new taxes would raise some $1.3 billion in new revenue that could be “invested” in social spending and new businesses and lead to a Michigan renaissance.

Not quite. Six months later one-third of the expected revenues have vanished as the state’s economy continues to struggle. Income tax collections are falling behind estimates, as are property tax receipts and those from the state’s transaction tax on home sales.

Michigan is now in the 18th month of a state-wide recession, and the unemployment rate of 6.9% remains far above the national rate of 5%. Ms. Granholm blames the nationwide mortgage meltdown and higher energy prices for the job losses and disappearing revenues, but this Great Lakes state is in its own unique hole. Nearby Illinois (5.4% jobless rate) and even Ohio (5.6%) are doing better.

Leon Drolet, the head of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, complains that “we are witnessing the Detroit-ification of Michigan.” By that he means that the same high tax and spend policies that have hollowed out the Motor City are now infecting many other areas of the state.

This is more evidence that lower taxes increase government revenues while higher taxes decrease government revenues. Yet the liberal Dems still insist on raising taxes to “raise more government revenue.” Unfortunately, reality steps in throws things the other way.

Michigan is the example of what will happen to all of America if a Dem gets into the White and has a Dem controlled Congress to rubber stamp all sorts of new economy-crushing tax hikes.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Granholm’s Tax Warning
Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook
May 28, 2008


Michelle Malkin has a piece about Dunkin Donuts and their spokesperson, Rachel Ray. Apparently, Rachel unwittingly wore a keffiyeh while posing for a Dunkin Donuts ad.

Here is what Michelle had to say at TownHall.com:

[I]t was with some dismay that I learned last week that Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman Rachael Ray, the ubiquitous TV hostess, posed for one of the company’s ads in what appeared to be a black-and-white keffiyeh.

The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not so ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities and left-wing icons.

And why is this so bad? Read on:

Three years ago, pop singer Ricky Martin donned a traditional red-checked keffiyeh with the phrase “Jerusalem is ours” inscribed in Arabic. Apologizing for his obliviousness, Martin said: “I had no idea that the keffiyeh scarf presented to me contained language referring to Jerusalem, and I apologize to anyone who might think I was endorsing its message.” Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Spain’s Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Hollywood darlings Colin Farrell, Sienna Miller and Kirsten Dunst, and rapper Kanye West have all been photographed in endless variations on the distinctive hate couture. So has Meghan McCain, daughter of the GOP presidential candidate, who really ought to know better given that her dad positions himself as the candidate best equipped to “confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”

The scarves are staples at anti-Israel rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley. Balenciaga made them chic on the runway. British retailer Topshop sold them stamped with skull prints. Urban Outfitters turned the keffiyehs into a youth trend a few years ago and marketed them as “anti-war scarves.” Which brings us to Rachael Ray.

Ray hawked Urban Outfitters scarves on her website before appearing in the Dunkin’ Donuts ad. If she (or whichever stylist is dressing her) wasn’t aware of the jihad scarf controversy before she posed for the Dunkin’ campaign, she should have been. Urban Outfitters initially pulled the keffiyeh merchandise and apologized when Jewish customers protested, but reintroduced them with different names and colors in several global markets. This is the same company that marketed a bigotry-laced “Everyone loves a Jewish girl” T-shirt stamped with dollar signs and shopping bags. Most recently, the company halted sales of a violence-promoting T-shirt last week depicting a young Palestinian boy in a keffiyeh carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, over the word “Victimized.” The T-shirt also featured the Palestinian flag, a map of the Palestinian territories and a small white dove.

Fortunately, Dunkin Donuts got the message and pulled the ad. It’s too bad that other retailers and outlets don’t have the integrity that Dunkin Donuts has.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Rachael Ray, Dunkin’ Donuts And The Keffiyeh Kerfuffle
Michelle Malkin
TownHall.com
May 28, 2008


And finally, we have more evidence that Mark Steyn was right on the mark with his book America Alone. This little news item comes out of the United Kingdom and should be a little more than eye-opening:

A teenage motorist was told to remove an England flag from his car by a police officer because it could be offensive to immigrants.

Ben Smith, 18, was driving back home to Ingram Road in Melksham on Thursday evening after filling up with petrol, when the officer stopped him on a routine patrol.

He checked the tax disc and tyres on his Vauxhall Corsa but when he noticed the flag of St George on the parcel shelf he told Mr Smith to take it down.

Mr Smith, who works for G Plan Upholsterers on Hampton Park West, said: “He saw the flag and said it was racist towards immigrants and if I refused to take it down I would get a £30 fine.

“I laughed because I thought he was joking, but then I realised he was serious so I had to take it down straight away. I thought it was silly – it’s my country and I want to show my support for my country.”

Anyone still not understand as to why the Islamists are going to win in Europe?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Motorist Told Flag Could Be Racist
Charley Morgan
Wiltshire News
May 23rd, 2008

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