West Michigan Can Wind Up With Even Worse Than “Crazy Pete”

West Michigan is on the front lines of the culture wars, including the types of areas which banned the Harry Potter books for promoting witchcraft. For years the area has been represented in Congress by Pete Hoekstra (often known as Crazy Pete). Among the low lights of Hoekstra’s career have been discredited claims of finding WMD in Iraq, divulging secrets on Twitter, and resorting to scare tactics which have been criticized by several former national security officials. Hoekstra has become sufficiently crazy to now have potential for to seek higher office as a Republican and he has decided to give up his seat in hopes of becoming governor. If that prospect isn’t scary enough, a Republican who sounds even crazier than Crazy Pete has announced plans to run for his seat.

Jay Riemersma has announced plans to run for Hoekstra’s seat. Riemersma, a former tight end for the University of Michigan and the Buffalo Bills, should have stuck with sports rather than entering politics. He is one Michigan man I will never support. CNN’s Political Ticker summarizes his views:

Since retiring from professional sports, Riemersma has been working for the conservative Family Research Council and coaching high school football. In November 2008, he penned a letter to the editor in the Holland Sentinal entitled “How could Christians vote for Obama?”

In the article, he said that “faith should permeate every aspect of our lives” and said any Christian who chose to support Barack Obama’s presidential bid did so “from a lack of understanding.”

“Too many Christians shroud their God-given light with misguided intentions and uninformed choices,” Riemersma wrote. “Moving forward to the next election, I implore all Christians to base their vote not on a political party or a polished politician, but rather on Biblical principle.”

Former Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr, often considered the Democrat on Bo Schembechler’s staff, will be appearing at receptions for Riemersma in Holland and Grand Haven on Thursday. Apparently Carr is placing loyalty to team above principle.

Some Democrats have felt they have a chance to take Hoekstra’s seat once he steps down, noting that George Bush won 60 percent of the vote in 2004 in this Congressional district but John McCain won just 50.8 percent of the vote in 2008. I fear that Riemersma is just the type who might get out the vote in West Michigan and will likely do better than McCain, especially with Obama not on the ballot.

Today’s Top Record Release

We Move Cover

Congratulations to Sachal Vasandani, who I previously noted was performing here in Michigan at the Detroit International Jazz Festival, on the release of his second album today. More information is available at Mack Avenue Records.

Over Seven Out of Ten Doctors Recommend Including A Public Option


The average American might be totally confused about what the public option means but doctors who experience the differences between private insurance and public plans such as Medicare have a clear opinion.

Those of us who work with both types of plans realize that Medicare provides financing of health care for our patients more efficiently than private plans and meddles less in their care.  This poll from The New England Journal of Medicine and reported by NPR found that 63 percent of doctors support a combination of public and private options. Another 1o percent prefer a public-only option, or a single payer system. I bet that if there was an active push in Washington for Medicare for All, an even larger percentage of doctors would support it.

In July the American Medical Association endorsed the House health care plan which includes a public option. It remains uncertain if a plan with a public option can pass in the Senate.