This is excellent. The full interview hasn’t appeared online yet, but CNN has been running clips from it today. This is how journalism should be done. I’ve always been impressed with Poppy Harlow as a fair, hard-hitting interviewer.
Go here to see the video, for some damn reason, my version of WordPress doesn’t like MSNBC’s embedded code. (curses under his breath)
This morning on Morning
Joke Joe, Rev. Sharpton asked an excellent question, which prompted Governor Snyder to reveal how he feels about our right to elect our local leaders.
Rev. Al: …how do you deal with the fact that the “customers” as Kevin called them, feel disenfranchised. I mean, you made a unilateral decision. Their elected officials have really been, their power has been taken away and it undermines peoples right to vote because the only one who voted for Kevin was you. And this is something that is very disturbing that you have governors undermine the will of voters. There was s referendum last year that was opposed to this kind of action, you did it anyway.
Gov. Snyder: Reverend, if you look at it, the old law went away but we put in a new one that really was responsive to the issues that came up during that process. If you look at it, I’m also the elected official. I was elected by the people of Michigan, so there is an elected official responsible for this process and I think that is critically important.
Rev. Al: But what about the local elected officials, what about if I’m in Detroit, Rev. Charles Williams and others are raising this. In all due respect, and I voted for a city council and a mayor to represent me during this financial crisis. Now you bring in someone unelected, like in Pontiac, we had someone on the show who talked about an emergency manager came and sold the Silverdome for a half a million dollars that had been valued at several million dollars, over 200…I mean, Kevin has no one to answer to in the local constituency. That’s undemocratic. (emphasis mine)
Gov. Snyder: Blah, blah, blah….(my words)
If you want to know the details of what is happening in Michigan, go over to Eclectablog.com and spend some time in the archives, because Chris Savage has been all over this for many years and has the facts to back him up.
Now that I got that out of the way, Governor Snyder’s response to Reverend Al’s first question is an admission that he thinks he was elected dictator of Michigan. How else can it be interpreted? He said, “I’m also the elected official”, which translates as, I have authority over local officials and I have the power to invalidate their elections. I am a supreme elected official, I take precedent over those peons.
But let’s back up a little. He said prior to that, in regards to the referendum that we in Michigan overturned on November 6th, 2012, that the law “went away”, as if it just got lost on its way to Lansing. The people of Michigan made their voices heard, but Snyder ignored us and the Republican’s abused their control of the Michigan legislature and passed a new one. They slipped some money into this one, which they claim under Michigan’s laws makes it immune from a referendum.
It’s not just the goal of the law that’s offensive. House Republicans, stinging from a voter referendum last month that overturned the previous emergency financial manager act, have arrogantly inserted an almost $6 million appropriation into the new emergency financial manager law. By adding an appropriation, Republicans hope to make the law immune to another voter referendum.
It’s just one more example of the dirty tricks that Koch-financed Republicans across the country are pulling to privatize states and sell them off to their corporate buddies like the Koch brothers.
This has to change NOW!
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
If you are concerned at all about Republican overreach, you must go read this post by Eclectablog (Chris Savage) and then click over to the full article in The Nation magazine. If you haven’t bookmarked his blog yet, you should do that right now. Chris is one of the hardest working humans alive, who is fighting for liberals and progressives in Michigan and the country. He is top notch, top shelf and top dog in my book. Here is a snippet from his wonderful piece, but GO….read the whole thing.
What are the qualifications for such a powerful office and the six-figure salary that accompanies it? Not much: PA 4 requires “a minimum of 5 years’ experience and demonstrable expertise in business, financial, or local or state budgetary matters.” Last year the state held a pair of two-day training sessions for EMs, both run primarily by companies that provide outsourcing services to municipalities and school districts. Yet PA 4 made the emergency manager the single most powerful person in the city.
Results were swift. In April the Benton Harbor EM, Joe Harris, decreed: “Absent prior express written authorization and approval by the Emergency Manager”—himself—“no City Board, Commission or Authority shall take any action for or on behalf of the City whatsoever other than: i) Call a meeting to order, ii) Approve of meeting minutes, iii) Adjourn a meeting.” The move in effect abolished Benton Harbor’s elected City Commission and replaced it with an unelected bureaucrat, perhaps the first time this has happened in US history.
There is a town hall meeting this Saturday in Ann Arbor (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) that everyone who cares about democracy in Michigan should be at. Here are some details, courtesy of Eclectablog, the best source for Michigan political news around.
Washtenaw Community Members Host Town Hall to Discuss Emergency Manager Law
Ann Arbor, Michigan, June 25, 2011 – The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT) is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the statewide initiative to repeal Public Act 4.
The event will take place at the Ann Arbor Community Center, located at 625 N. Main Street, Saturday, June 25th from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
Featured speakers include:
Chris Savage (Blogger, http://eclectablog.com) – MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show picked up Savage’s PA-4 coverage bringing it to national attention.
Brandon Jessup (CEO, Michigan Forward) – Michigan Forward is a Detroit think-tank that launched the campaign to repeal PA-4. For more information please visit: www.michiganforward.org
David Bates, Ypsilanti Public Schools, President of the Board of Education
Public Act 4 is a new state law that gives controversial powers to emergency managers appointed by the governor to municipalities placed in the receivership of the state.
EM has broad authority to sell public assets, close schools, shred public contracts and agreements, and dissolve governments and remove elected officials.
PA-4 gained national attention when MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show covered the appointment of Emergency Manager Joe Harris to Benton Harbor in mid-April.
The appointment of emergency managers is anticipated in several Washtenaw County municipalities and school districts. On May 3rd, 2011, the City Council of Ypsilanti issued a formal resolution against PA-4
Michigan Forward and a number of statewide coalitions announced an effort to repeal the law on Saturday, June 18th. The Washtenaw County Community Action Team is leading the repeal effort in Washtenaw County.
The Town Hall will provide a forum to educate interested community members and organizations on the implications of the law for Washtenaw County communities, the effort to repeal PA-4, and the opportunity to begin discussing alternatives for Washtenaw County and Michigan communities.
About The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT):
WCAT is a coalition of local unionists, activists, students, workers and community members working together to defend and advocate for working people at the local, state and national level.
Visit our Facebook Page: Washtenaw Community Action Team (Community Organization)
For more information visit us our Facebook Event Page:
Washtenaw Community Town Hall: Repeal Emergency Managers! (Event)
Washtenaw Community Action Team
E-mail: adamwarner68 [at] gmail [period] com
And here is a Youtube clip that will fill you in on some details of the effort.
Regardless of what the noise machines of Fox News, MSNBC and to some extent, CNN are saying, President Obama and the Democratic Party are sitting pretty for the 2012 election. The reason why I am smiling is because the American people, with the exception of the extremes on either end, are very perceptive. Sure, the pundits will try to be dramatic and say things so they get asked back on those cable networks…controversy sells, bold pronouncements sell (see Howard Dean) and polls, with all their flawed methodologies, give lazy reporters easy stories. So in the next year and a half, the talking heads on cable TV and broadcast networks will try to make the race close, it’s just best for them, but when push comes to shove and we get to November 6, 2012, President Obama and the Democratic Party are going to win big.
People will say, but what about the unemployment rate, what about the lack of jobs? And those are valid questions. Whereas the media wants to blame all of the country’s problems on POTUS, whether he inherited them or whether they were actually caused by an obstinate Republican Party that has blocked all attempts at fixing it…well the American people, after the campaigns and many speeches, debates, etc. will know the truth. The President has fought hard against a unified front of Republicans intent on thwarting him at every turn and the idiots in the faux-left intent on proving that they were right in opposing Obama all along. Despite those forces arrayed against him, the President has accomplished more than any president since FDR. Go here for the many accomplishments and remember, he was up against a GOP that won’t work with him on anything, except maybe the extension of the tax cuts for the rich, a deal with the devil that the President had to make to get more stimulus, an unemployment extension and keep the economy growing. It was another one of those “Republicans holding the country hostage” situations and I’m sorry folks, you have to compromise in our democracy. There is no way around it. If you haven’t read Milt Shook’s piece at PCTC (Please Cut The Crap), you need to. You should bookmark his site too, he has a lot of great insights into how to win elections.
I’m sure my post will provoke the “Obama Derangement Syndrome” folks on both the left and the right to blow a microchip, but that’s fine, maybe it will jar lose whatever it is that is causing their derangement. It always amazes me how the media created narrative that constantly tries to paint President Obama as incompetent or unqualified (racism is part of it) is so far from what the general public really feels. IF he were incompetent and unqualified, would he have a personal approval rating of 75%, according to a recent CNN poll? Regular readers know how I feel about polls in general, I have a master’s degree in communications research so I’ve studied it a bit. I won’t go there in this post except to say that polls can be useful to gauge general attitudes, but horse race polls between fictional, possible candidates so far out from an election are just an exercise in futility. They get predictive when you get close to an election, and of course Nate Silver is “The Man” when it comes to that. But the number that says 75% of people like President Obama personally, says to me that people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and to listen to him when he speaks. It’s why whenever he gives a major speech or makes an appearance throughout America, he is very well received and people believe him. That is a very powerful sentiment to have going into an election. As long as he tells it like it is, explains the situation and presents what he has tried to do and will try to do, with no help from the GOP, he will swing that blame and anger back to where it belongs.
So I recommend to all you fellow liberals and supporters of President Obama to not get upset when the forces arrayed against him tell us that they are making headway, that’s part of their strategy…to use the bandwagon effect, everyone get on board. Ignore them, keep smiling, keep telling them about the President’s many accomplishments and the Republicans very obvious hatred of middle and working class folks, seniors, students, children, minorities and anyone who doesn’t fit within their Ayn Randian world, where market forces will make everything just peachy. Stay positive, encourage your like minded friends to help, get involved and fight back against the tide that has shown its ugly face in Republican governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and the “Ricks” Scott, Perry and Snyder. Since the VAST majority of the voters in America don’t pay attention AT ALL to those bloviators, their impact is only felt within a small range. It’s like a big choir preaching to each other, while the rest of America goes on with their lives.
But we can’t get complacent, they are some sneaky bastards who will lie, cheat and steal to get the power that benefits their rich friends. We can’t rest on our laurels, we must put up the good fight and build on the momentum that has started in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Florida. The consequences of elections matter and if we really care about people, we have to fight with all our might.
Joy Reid at The Reid Report sees a pattern in Andrew Breitbart’s victims.
And you may have heard the criticism from some in the gay community about this guy who was discharged under DADT during the process of changing the law. Well, it turns out he wanted to get out.
If you missed this great essay on Clarence Thomas and the original “Weinergate”, go check it out. I wonder who made that cool photo?
I came across this great article about our friend Cornel West and his insults towards our fabulous first lady, Michelle Obama.
For those people playing games with statistics and unemployment rates, trying to predict the 2012 election, they really shouldn’t underestimate President Barack Obama. Trying to bend statistics to do what you want may be fun, but you have to wonder if people believe that everything happens according to the way they’ve happened in the past. Are they trying to force a pattern on everything, thus, making it easier to understand? Dana Houle at Rooted Cosmopolitan breaks down the latest numbers game.
I usually try to ignore anything Sarah Palin, she is playing the country like a cheap violin. But her history lessons are getting pretty funny, I hope she keeps going, she may have enough to write a book, “American: Only In The Mind Of Sarah Palin”.
Enjoy your Saturday, I’m going to fire up my new push mower and work on the riding mower, it needs a good sharpening and greasing.
From Eclectablog, reposted in full.
A press release from Heartland Revolution, who have faced rather ridiculous and farcical accusations that they are somehow allied with Whirlpool or other corporate entities in Benton Harbor:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Contact: Joe PalmerHeartland Revolution
Heartland Revolution would like to commend all the groups which took part in the “Take Back Democracy” protest at Southwest Michigan’s Grand Floral Parade Saturday. Further, we would like to clarify a couple of points made in the press release issued by Save Benton Harbor on Friday.
The movement to rescue democracy in Benton Harbor and in Michigan has begun with action against Michigan’s Public Act 4, better known as the Emergency Manager law. A recall petition has been filed against the bill’s sponsor, Representative Al Pscholka who represents the Benton Harbor area. The influence of corporations on Mr. Pscholka’s career and his actions thus far in the Michigan House are unmistakable, and Heartland Revolution is resolute in its belief that the fight to rescue democracy and the fight against widespread corporate control of government are one in the same. We will work to repeal PA 4, and simultaneously we will work to recall elected officials who condone and enable undemocratic legislation written by and for powerful corporations.
Right now democracy is facing a threat unseen on this continent since the days of British control of the American colonies. For the last thirty years, corporations have gained unprecedented access to government and now have the ability to sway policy that affects all Americans. Due to this nefarious influence, we are seeing legislation that taxes senior pensions while giving the proceeds to corporations and individuals are being appointed to take over towns eliminating elected officials, not to mention widespread attacks on workers’ rights.
Many organizations and individuals are making this movement possible. There isn’t one lone leader of this charge to restore democracy. As Mary Alice Adams, a Benton Harbor resident, put it best, “we are all in the same boat.” Heartland Revolution has worked with, and will continue to work with, anyone that is willing to end this assault on democracy.
Considering the many issues faced by Benton Harbor and, equally important, the wider implications of the EFM Law on Michigan and, really, the entire country, it is imperative that the various groups find a way to work together and all pull the rope in the same direction. Attacking Heartland Revolution with these truly absurd accusations is a step backward, not forward.