Photos by Extreme Liberal
What is going on in my home State of Michigan is nothing short of outrageous. There really are no adjectives strong enough to describe it, unless you lace them with profanity, which I’m containing myself from doing right now. The national treasure, Rachel Maddow, has thankfully been following this issue and bringing the only national spotlight to this atrocity that I’m aware of. The blogs and Twitter are on fire. When you attack people’s basic rights to representation and put in place a corporate structure for that community – where the assets (land, parks, utilities) are up for auction to the highest bidder, or lowest bidder in some cases, then you are going to cause a backlash. People are rising up and taking action. This will not stand!
Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly has the Rachel Maddow clip from Friday night that has been making the rounds and Steve has plucked some of Rachel’s great reporting from it…(emphasis mine)
We talked a month ago about the remarkable power grab underway in Michigan, where newly-elected Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is now exercising his power to unilaterally fire elected officials, dissolve entire local governments, and impose local dictators “Emergency Managers” without any input from voters. One of the proponents of this new policy called it “financial martial law” — and that was intended to be a defense of the scheme.
I hope readers will take a few minutes to watch this segment, but there was something Rachel said towards the end of the story that stood out for me: “What is new here is that this state has decided that local elections, locally elected officials are a problem that has to be done away with, that democracy is in the way of fixing problems in the United States now, of making things more efficient, particularly in poor places. Not that democracy is the way we fix problems but that democracy is the problem and it therefore needs to be sidestepped for efficiency sake, for our own good. Governor knows best.
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Here in Michigan, we have been fighting a battle with our wingnut Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican state legislature as he sticks it to the poor, seniors, children, women…you know, all the people Republicans hate so much. That is a lot of voters that were thrown under the bus and I firmly believe that Michigan will swing back to the Democratic Party in the next election cycle. As we all know, there are consequences for your actions. I’ve never seen people so fired up in my state, it is very much like Wisconsin, which gets most of the attention. Check out this post from PoliticusUSA about the protests in Michigan yesterday, they have some great photos and video, here is a snippet from the story…
In the largest protest yet against Gov. Rick Snyder’s war on the American dream, 10,000 patriots have gathered in Lansing, Michigan so that their collective cries for freedom can’t be ignored.
Teamsters Nation reports, “This is what solidarity looks like: a huge crowd of 10,000 people, including Teamsters, teachers and construction workers, on the Statehouse lawn right now in Lansing.”
According to Al Young of Teamsters Joint Council 43 organizer, “It’s a nice sunny day for a rally. We had an opening prayer and we’ll hear from 10 speakers or more. We’re going to have a break this afternoon so people can visit their legislators. We’ve got Teamsters, teachers, building trades workers and people not affiliated with unions here to show their support. There are about 60-65 buses that brought everyone in. Everyone here is united!”
The protesters are speaking out against Gov. Rick Snyder’s imposition of financial martial law in the state through a budget bill gives businesses a $1.7 billion tax cut while slashing $900 million from education, taxes pensions. Snyder intends to raise taxes on and cut vital services for the poor and middle class. Snyder implemented the first phase of his agenda last month by cutting unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks.
The backlash of the Tea Party on Republicans hasn’t really been felt yet. As everyone knows, the midterm elections bring out the hard core of both parties. With the Tea Party in the mix in 2010 and with the effort by the “Benedict Arnolds” on the left to get people to sit out the election, we ended up with a whole bunch of crazies elected to office and they are coming out of the woodwork. Shit, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) alone was a huge gift from the soundbite gods.
I’m confident that Democrats will win big in 2012. There is going to be a lot of ups and downs alone the way, but I’ve never felt better about a coming election than 2012.
It was so awesome to be amongst the thousands of protesters in Lansing today. I have to say with all sincerity, liberals and progressives are the kind people in our country. I’m not saying there aren’t any kind Republicans…misguided as they may be, but whenever I get a chance to hang with fellow democrats and independents at these sort of events, I’m always blown away at how polite and nice people are. They are genuinely concerned for their fellow humans and I didn’t experience a single rude person. Whatever the case, progressives and liberals are great people. Here are a couple of photos from the event, if I get ambitious later, after work, I’ll put up a clip or two. Peace, Love and Understanding…
Be there if you can, Michiganders. We have to show the vile Republicans in Lansing that we are going to be all over them like “spider monkeys”…(Talladega Nights reference).
UPDATE: If I had time, this is the sign I would make. H/T to my boss.
I’ve posted about this before and I don’t think I’m going to stop until the entire country knows what is going on in the State of Michigan. Our newly elected governor Rick Snyder is proposing – and more than likely will get his way – to pass some of the most anti-democratic legislation that has ever been seen. No hyperbole here, either. This is scary shit that even Republicans should be concerned about. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly did an excellent post explaining what is going on in my state…(emphasis is mine)
Recent developments in Michigan and its new Republican administration are so astounding, I literally didn’t believe the reports when they first came out. And yet, shocking though they may be, those reports are true and represent a genuine assault on a credible system of government.
Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country — and almost no one is talking about it.
Snyder’s law gives the state government the power not only to break up unions, but to dissolve entire local governments and place appointed “Emergency Managers” in their stead. But that’s not all — whole cities could be eliminated if Emergency Managers and the governor choose to do so. And Snyder can fire elected officials unilaterally, without any input from voters. It doesn’t get much more anti-Democratic than that.
Except it does. The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers — or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That’s right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.
You might be thinking, “C’mon, that can’t be right.” I’m afraid it is. Michigan’s new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply take over those municipalities if he believes he should.
And once Snyder does take over these local governments, by virtue of his own whims, he can impose a local dictator — called an “Emergency Manager” — who will have the authority to undo collective bargaining agreements, scrap contracts, and even undo the results of elections.
And if that weren’t quite enough, the local dictator, at the behest of the new Republican governor or a designated corporate ally, can even “disincorporate or dissolve” an entire municipal government — effectively making a local government disappear — without any input from the public whatsoever.
I’m completely serious.
And by the way, the Tea Party crowd — those folks who worry about excessive government overreach and power-grabs — thinks all of this is just great.
One of the Republican state lawmakers who supports this effort characterized the plan as “financial martial law” — and as far as he’s concerned, that’s not a criticism, that’s a defense for this little scheme.
I’m storming the capitol tomorrow (Wednesday March 16) in Lansing along with a lot of other folks. We are not going to stand for it and every person who values democracy should be standing right next to us.
Check out these signs sent from some family members and fellow NEA/MEA members minutes ago from Lansing, Michigan where they are protesting similar cuts as Wisconsin’s wingnut Republican governor. Democracy in action. And of course because a lot of them are teachers, the signs are even spelled right. Enjoy…I’m sure there will be more.