Thursday, March 14, 2013

Michigan needs a new referendum to suspend PA 436.

Emergency Manager Information (click here)

Public Act 4 of 2011, the Local Government and School District Financial Accountability Act, was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on March 16th, 2011. PA 4 is currently suspended, pending the outcome of a referendum placed on the November 2012 ballot. The Attorney General issued an official opinion on August 6, 2012, stating that during the suspension of PA 4, PA 72 of 1990 is reinstated. There are currently five local governmental units and three school district that are in receivership and have an appointed Emergency Manager (EM).

Public Act 4 of 2011 replaced the original bill PA (Public Act) 72 of 1990. PA72 was then replaced with PA 436 of 2012. Got that? Three separate bills. The one of most interest to me is PA72. 

There is an interesting aspect to the other two bills, PA4 and PA436 which defies democracy as well as application to the current economic conditions. To begin, would an Emergency Manager be the prudent thing to do in the middle of the greatest recession since the Great Depression? 

No. There would be widespread application for Emergency Managers (EMS)with a huge economic downturn such as that. So, to apply EMS to a city when the economics are already altered by outside forces is opportunistic. 

Opportunistic has been the case across the board with Republicans in relation to the Great Recession. They pounced on the opportunity to destroy public programs they oppose ideologically. The best example is the current attack on SSI and Medicare. Had the Clinton Surplus been applied to the gap in SSI and Medicare funding; the USA would not even be having the dialogue about these Earned Benefits today. But, rebate checks, tax cuts and two wars later the Earned Benefits of the American people are being toyed with and justified by 'economic conditions.' Not improving economic conditions, simply economic conditions and the national debt and deficit. Opportunistic. Plain and simple.

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 (click here)

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed several bills that strengthen communities and protect taxpayers.

"These new laws recognize the vital importance of financially stable, economically vibrant communities to Michigan's future," Snyder said. "They also respect the needs of citizens and taxpayers by delivering greater oversight and efficiency. Our reinvention of government is delivering meaningful reforms that will keep Michigan on the path to prosperity."

Senate Bill 865, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Pavlov, creates the tools needed to effectively address financial emergencies in local governments and school districts. If an independent review team finds a situation of financial emergency and the governor concurs, local units have four choices: a consent agreement, an emergency manager, a neutral evaluation process or Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings. This strengthens the current financial manager law to handle severe financial stress in some municipalities, but also takes into account voters' concerns regarding the previous emergency manager law expressed during the November election. The bill is now Public Act 436 of 2012.

What really intrigues me about this mess Snyder has created. Michigan has a lot of corruption. I could into it, but, there is not enough time. Snyder is corrupt. He robbed the brain trust of Michigan for his personal vulture capitalist requirements. That aside. 

What really intrigues me about this assault on democracy by Snyder is not either of his bills, but, the original one from 1990.

Sec. 2.
The legislature hereby determines that the public health and welfare of the citizens of this state would be adversely affected by the insolvency of units of local government, including certain school districts, and that the survival of units of local government is vitally necessary to the interests of the people of this state to provide necessary governmental services.

All that is true. If there are 'units' of government in any city that are insolvent or causing insolvency that has to corrected. But, the original law is shunned by Snyder. He wants control of the entire city.

It is most troubling there are so many minorities in these cities. We know in the USA, the African American communities are the hardest hit by economic downturns. They have their unemployment rates increase and their wealth plummet. In all honesty, how can a city dependent on property taxes ever stabilize and rebuild when they are the most PREDICTABLY effected cities in the country due to their high minority residency? So, the appropriate nature of all this reeks of corruption. Not compassion. Not any kind of emergency, but, lacking sincere leadership and intervention.

141.1212 Preliminary review by state treasurer; conditions; notice; meeting with local government; informing governor of serious financial problem. (click here)

This page of the PA 72 lists all the reasons an emergency manager could be applied to UNITS of a government. It is a fairly straight forward and understandably this was not a draconian law intended to destroy democracy or remove a city from the map. It really wasn't designed that way.

The intent throughout every reason to apply an EMS is EARLY intervention. All the dynamics of each and every provision when realized how early it can be applied is to prevent tragedy. All these provisions can be applied to a UNIT of government in the early stages of financial instability. When applied at an early stage the entire government is not effected, but, only whatever UNIT of that government was causing the threat to the entire city's financial balance.

We all know the economics of Michigan have been very bad for a long time. And it is only reasonable to believe cities with larger minority populations were hit the worst in Michigan. It is a standard throughout the country. Michigan is no different. So, therefore, if the entire state is experiencing financial turmoil and ruin does PA 72 apply? No. It would not apply and it is why previous to Snyder it was not in application. 

PA 72 is a UNIT law. It is not intended for a city with overwhelming financial problems. So, to assault a democratically elected City Council and Mayor and the authority they would have to correct the course of their city over time as the entire state recovered, or in the case of 2008 the entire nation, is unconstitutional. The law doesn't apply.

PA 72, if still in force and used out of context, would be racism. The root of the problem does not belong to the city or UNITS of the city alone, it is a greater problem the entire of the USA faces. Even today. That is why previous to Snyder's EMS Dreamscape this law was not being used. In application of an entire city it removes sovereign authority of local government to respond to their own recovery.

It places FAUX priorities on the city's assets. I propose that is what PA 436 does. It removes the sovereign authority of the local government to respond to changing economic conditions AND INSTEAD places the city assets (which are necessary to build on in a recovery) on the auction block. Instead of stopping the financial failure of the city, it guarantees it.

PA 72 was intended to be benevolent as a necessary measure to prevent the financial failure of the entire of a city. It was early intervention and it could be said it was an early intervention law because cities with larger minority populations lose their financial footing easier and quicker than other cities. They lose their footing on a nation wide basis. That is a fact, so the Michigan PA 72 law was a way of identifying a slippery slope and stopped it.

PA 436 removes sovereign authority of cities struggling to recover but unable to at the same rate as other cities in the State of Michigan and since 2008 the nation of the USA.

Sovereign local authorities are the best places to decide what will enhance a city's economic recovery. LOCAL ECONOMIES, PEOPLE. So, to completely disarm a city from authority and sell off its' assets to simply pay bills when it has suffered the same dynamic as the entire country is unconstitutional. A law that destroys the ability of a city to recover is unconstitutional. A State cannot pass laws that destroys cities. it can't do that and get away with it.

PA 436 needs to be challenged in a court of law ASAP and another referendum to end the law immediately drawn up to suspend this one as well. All this needs to be done and the EMS from Atlanta can go home without a paycheck.

PA 72 will be reinstated as soon as the new referendum is drawn up and on the ballot. PA 72 cannot be applied to an entire city because it is a unit law. Therefore, Detroit and all the other cities can have their sovereign local governments back to do what every other city in the nation is doing. Every other city in the nation is sending lobbyists to DC to find money and make it work.

Shame on you, Bill O'Reilly

You embarked on an egotistic trip with the change in schedule by Ed Schultz. He is not fired, sir. He is moving his time slot to the weekend. Did you know Ed's wife recently was declared cancer free after a rigorous fight for her life? That sort of reality provides a reassessment of one's time and now much time a couple might have together. I think Ed Schultz was very insulted tonight by Bill O'Reilly.

There is NO comparison between the two 8 o'clock shows. The audiences are completely different so there is not reason to believe the Bill O'Reilly ego has a reason for elevating his status. The people that watch Ed, don't watch Bill O'Reilly. 

This is a lie, Mr. O'Reilly. A lie. Ed Shultz is not fired. That speaks to the difference in the audience between the two shows. Those that watch the No Spin Zone are either delusional by age or by choice. If by choice, it is that 'feel good feeling' that reigns supreme in their lives. Facts in their lives have absolutely nothing to do with it.

The No Spin Zone is a lie. This proves it.

Is there something wrong with this picture? I don't think so.

The recovery is happening. There is still unemployed and underemployed.

No more cuts and the US Post Office needs to be re-established to deliver mail. 

Republicans are as wrong as they can be if they don't listen to the recommendations of President Obama. They are as wrong as they can be if they shut down the government to accumulate some kind of savings in a demonstration of power. There is nothing like a government that causes pay losses to the very citizens the government relies on to do it's business. Every hour an employee does not earn income they lose retirement funds in their 401 Retirement Accounts. 

That is about as underhanded and a dirty trick as it comes from a Republican Party that wants to promote private investment accounts for retirement. 

If the Republicans don't like the results of the cuts so far, they need to deal it and stop bellyaching.

President Obama and the Democrats are getting it done. Today is the third bill regarding gun control that was voted out of committee in the Senate. The Democrats are conducting the country's business. The Republicans can't get past their own lack of moral content to satisfy their money donors. The Republican Party serves very few citizens in the USA.

Updated: 03/14/2013 4:25 pm EDT

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama (click here) made a plea to Republican senators in their private meeting Thursday to ease up on their filibusters of his nominees, but he appears to have gotten a cool reception.
"The president made the pitch that it would be useful to his administration if nominees were more quickly confirmed," said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) after the president spent more than an hour chatting with the GOP caucus as part of his "charm offensive."
But it seems that Republicans will not relent on bogging down nominees, and also do not agree they are obstructing Obama's picks....
This is the answer to governing by the Senate Republicans. In three months there has been 28 legislative days in the USA Congress.

113th Congress 1st Session (click here)

People are dropping like flies in gun violence in the USA and there are only 28 legislative days in the last two and a half months. That is both houses.

This is the House Schedule.

There is a fundamental difference between the models used by Democrats and Republicans in regard to National Defense of the USA.

Democrats believe the USA should have a Department of Defense along with collaboration with allies while Republicans believe in the Department of War, self contained and overwhelming power. The Republican model robs the USA populous of it's dignity and economy, the Democratic model does not and relies on strong and sovereign allies.

The Republican model of The Department of War is unattainable and destroys the promise of America to it's own citizens. It is PROVEN it cannot deliver freedom to other nations. PROVEN. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan and the list is long. Japan was a success because of FDR and economic revitalization in war retribution.

The Bush/Cheney Administration tried to harness the image of the alliances of WWII and it's demonstration of that greatness, but, at the same time disregarded the fact it was developed and lead by FDR. That was FDR. So, if the Republicans are going to seek to epitomize the glory of WWII, they have to also embrace FDR and his leadership of this nation. They can't simply isolate the glory of war in WWII as propaganda without realizing what made the victory so sweet and the man that lead it.

That picture is of FDR, Churchill and Stalin. That is Joseph Stalin. The Allies could not have been victorious without Joseph Stalin and the greatness of the Russian military. 

Got that?

We didn't park missiles at the borders of Russia even when Joseph Stalin lead the nation. 


Joseph Stalin was a revolutionary in Russia. If the USA could accept him as an ally realizing he was a Bolshevik revolutionary and took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917 then I think the USA STILL has a long way to go to reverse the idiocy of the Military Industrial Complex and the Atoms for Peace propaganda instilled in the USA Mind Speak by General - President Eisenhower.

It is non-proliferation and 'leading from behind.' The major problem with the military industrial complex is that it defines it's purpose by killing and destruction. It has it's own life.

What has incurred in Libya, Mali and Algeria is CORRECT. The leadership of France to maintain sovereign nations in North Africa to prevent the development and domination of networks of criminals that seek to destroy Europe IS THE PLACE for the USA.

The USA is an ally and NOT an invader. Nor should the USA seek to occupy and nation build. That is not where our military does the greatest good to bring about peace.

The war into Afghanistan was grossly mismanaged and allowed the criminals of al Qaeda to escape. Afghanistan was never stabilized after al Qaeda was driven from the country, after the Taliban disappeared and the nation was returned to it's old leadership. Afghanistan was abandoned for Cheney's oil dreams and the Cabal of Rumsfeld.

The USA military industrial complex has become a huge economic burden with returns that provide out of balance power to the USA to simply march into a country and kill without conscience.

And that was conscience and not conscious. Conscious is the state of mind of alertness that allows the awareness of conscience.

The people of the USA have a hideous and disastrous military that breeds nuclear proliferation, suspicion of it's intent and overwhelming force FOR WHAT EXACTLY?

We can no longer be the world's Superpower in a way that destabilizes world peace and endangers the very lives of our children as a HUMAN RESOURCE for wars to secure natural resources of other nations. Heck, even the countries of NATO have to be worried if another "W" were ever to sit in the Oval Office again.

The favorite complaint about Russia and China is their prisons. I am sure no one wants to go there, but, the USA is no beacon of compassion within it's prison populations and the revolving door of recidivism either. Can foreign prisons be better in their human rights directives? Sure. But, don't preach when the USA uses rendition and foreign prisons for it's own methods. The use of foreign prisons sanctions the very practices that exist there. So, don't. Don't even go there.

I am happy for everyone.

Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.  Luca Bruno, AP

Pope Francis comes from a more than interesting heritage in South America. He has a sincere understanding of the poverty so many Catholics live in. He embraces democracy.

I look forward to his work within the faith.

5:30a.m. EDT March 14, 2013
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis (click here) opened his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch.
The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, entered the St. Mary Major basilica through a side entrance just after 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) and left about 30 minutes later. He had told a crowd of some 100,000 people packed in rain-soaked St. Peter's Square just after his election that he intended to pray Friday to the Madonna "that she may watch over all of Rome."
He told cardinals he would also call on retired Pope Benedict XVI on Friday and celebrate an inaugural Mass in the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals on Wednesday elected him leader of the 1.2 million-strong church in an unusually quick conclave....

St. Francis
Feastday: October 4
Patron and Animals, Merchants & Ecology (click here)
1181 - 1226
Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181.

In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or apologetic because he'd been gone, Pietro was furious because she'd had his new son baptized Giovanni after John the Baptist. The last thing Pietro wanted in his son was aman of God -- he wanted a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would reflect his infatuation with France. So he renamed his son Francesco -- which is the equivalent of calling him Frenchman.