Michigan GOP Lawmaker Gets it Right, Twice this Year

broken clockMichigan GOP House member Tom McMillin (R-45) is a bit of a loose cannon to say the least, but every once in a while, he’s solidly on target. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. We must charitably give him that.

Example of a clever idea: Earlier this year, McMillin, tongue-in-cheek, introduced a HB 4610 — a proposal that would require mandatory drug testing for corporate big wigs, including presidents, executive officers, business owners and their managerial staff, if the business received any state funding as a loan, grant or in project assistance. McMillan wanted the business leaders to pee in a cup. His bill went to the Commerce Committee to quietly die.

McMillin is a bit twitchy about big brother too, and somewhat over-the-top about it.  Yet, that quote from Catch-22: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” may very well apply here. 

Example of a bad idea: Last March, he along with fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, introduced a half-baked law to restrict unmanned drones in the state of Michigan. While it’s obvious where these legislators were headed with the idea, the proposal was so over-reaching and poorly researched that it would have completely destroyed a vital new technology which is destined to be helpfully employed in critical endeavors such as: search and rescue missions, 911 mapping, forest fire detection, monitoring invasive species, higher education research, among myriad other valid applications. This bill too, remains safely lodged in committee.

Mosquito drones are simply not spying on Michigan citizens. We should not flatter ourselves by imagining we are in any way that personally interesting to the government.

Yet… “they” are actually watching, but only because there’s a much cheaper and easier way to do it — through the NSA, in a mass data-dump from our phones and computers. Just because we are individually a tiny blip of insignificant data to the NSA, does not suggest that it’s not dead-wrong for them to collect information about our activities. Those officials should be hung-out to dry for their illegal spying. We must demand accountability from our leaders. And look who’s leading the charge in Michigan…

McMillin, all by himself, and with a very good idea this time:

He just introduced House Resolution 205. It is a call for the U.S. Congress and the Attorney General to prosecute the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, for lying to Congress about the NSA’s collection of data on U.S. citizens. It reads:

Whereas, On March 12, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress while under oath. In response to a question from the Senate Intelligence Committee about whether the National Security Agency (NSA) collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” Director Clapper responded, “no, or at least “not willingly.” Since then, security leaks have revealed that the NSA gathers information on phone calls made by roughly 150 million U.S. citizens; and

Whereas, Our nation was founded and has thrived by maintaining a system of checks and balances that help prevent abuses of power and retain public confidence in our government. The ability of Congress to oversee the executive branch’s implementation of our nation’s laws is one of fundamental checks in our democratic system; and

Whereas, Effective congressional and public oversight cannot occur if the information presented to Congress cannot be trusted. This trust is particularly important in the realm of national security where Congress, by necessity, must accept many things simply based on the word of our intelligence officials. Lying under oath should not be tolerated and allowed to go unpunished”

Even though this resolution will die a lonely death like the one on drug testing CEOs, it still needed to be said.

McMillin —  a very reliable broken clock.

Amy Kerr Hardin

 

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