Tag Archives: michigan

Clint Eastwood: Spokesman For The New Detroit

Much ado has been made about the Super Bowl Clint Eastwood/Chrysler commercial, expressing the theme that Detroit, and America at large, is making a comeback. In some conservative circles, “Dirty Harry” has been criticized as shilling for President Obama.

But after reading this article by Mara Gay of The Daily, I’m convinced that the tough-guy libertarian may be the ideal spokesman for Motor City. Facing huge cutbacks in the city police force, abysmally poor response times to calls for service, and a general lack of police effectiveness, the residents of Detroit- which purportedly has the nation’s second-highest per capita murder rate- are arming themselves in record numbers- and self-defense shootings are up 79% year-over-year, and 2200% above the national average.

The article, while clearly left-biased (it describes armed citizens as “vigilantes”), illustrates a major shift in public thinking in Detroit: People are realizing they must provide for their own protection. The city police department, with its long history of mismanagement, is even more of a failure today than it ever has been. Even as the department faces multi-million-dollar budget shortfalls, the city paid over $6 million for a former casino building (VIDEO) to convert into a new police headquarters; and DPD is rolling out a “virtual precinct” program which directs calls for crimes reported after-the-fact during evening and overnight hours to an officer at headquarters to take a report. Translation: If you come home after work to find your house has been burglarized, DPD will take a report and get around to investigating it sometime. It’s no wonder foreclosed houses are selling (or not) for as little as $50 in Detroit.

Those who can afford to move out of Detroit have already done so, and those who can’t are at the end of their rope. Big-government, predominantly-Democrat Detroiters are now fully realizing that their city government can’t even provide essential services, and so they are forced to become self-sufficient.

Stated another way: Residents of one of the most liberal cities in the nation are getting the harshest “wake-up call” one can receive on the failings of big-government liberalism as a theory of governance: The promise of greater safety, which is the most-effective and most-often used means of convincing the public to give up their money and their liberties, is now a broken promise in Detroit. The usual socialist responses to such a crisis are unavailable: Raising taxes isn’t an option, because there’s nothing left to tax; begging for money from the state government isn’t an option, because the state is broke; harsher gun control laws would be opposed, because people across the political spectrum are buying and carrying guns; and more stringent enforcement isn’t a possibility, because Wayne County Jail has no room to house convicts.

As Detroiters begin to cope with the “new normal” of self-reliance, they’ll also ask questions about the condition of the city’s police force. They’ll want to know how it could get to be so bad. The answers to these questions- corrupt Democrat politicians, incompetent management, greedy and self-serving public sector unions, short-sighted liberal policies, overspending and overtaxing- can’t be concealed behind socialist rhetoric any longer. The city government has run out of excuses and other people’s money, and there’s no room in the budget to hire Robocop.

Big changes in self-defense thinking are nothing new for Detroit: The Sweet Trials of 1925-1926, which took place in Detroit, were the first occasion in our nation’s history in which an African-American successfully claimed self-defense in court.

Maybe the star of Gran Torino is a good spokesman for Detroit after all.

The Motor City Plunges Off the Greek-Style Debt Cliff

Detroit, Michigan has long been known as the motor city due to it’s being the home of the big-three auto-makers ever since the first mass-produced automobiles rolled off the assembly line of Ford Motor Company.  As the population of America increased and the demand for more automobiles skyrocketed, along with it came massive doses of wealth and prosperity for the Motor City and it’s home state of Michigan.

Fast forward to the year 2012, and we see the city of Detroit facing Greece-style austerity measures due to a $200-$300-$400 million dollar hole in it’s operating budget. (Depending on who’s numbers you believe)  Government services have been slashed, workers laid off and now we see that Detroit May Close Half of it’s Schools. “According to the Detroit News, Detroit Public Schools considered filing for bankruptcy in 2009 but declined.  In the past year alone, debt in the district has increased by more than $100 million, brought on by a ‘mix of revenue declines in property taxes, reduced state aid, declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge’ this past fall.” That was almost exactly a year ago, and apparently the Detroit Labor Unions are still bankrupting the Motor City today.   Add to that past crop of debt-caused austerity measures, the current reports that the State of Michigan will be forced to appoint another emergency manager with broad powers to cut spending” if city employee unions and the bureaucrats do not reach a deal on major concessions proving that Detroit’s debt problems can no longer be ignored.  How can a school system that is millions of dollars in debt, while facing declining enrollment and revenues, justify the above-mentioned “unplanned staffing surge”?  UNIONS.

Mike Shedlock sums  up the situation as follows, regarding the supposed deals to save Detroit announced by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:

Deal Reached?
Mayor Bing is taking his script straight from Greece where a deal has been “close” for days, weeks, and now months.

What’s Best for Detroit?
The best thing for Detroit would be if there is no deal, or the state rejects the deal.
Unions are the problem and the solution is to get rid of them entirely. That will not happen under Bing, but it could happen in a state takeover.
Bing is not interested in what’s best for Detroit taxpayers nor is he interested is what’s best for Detroit school children where shockingly only 25% graduate high schools. Rather, Bing is out to save as much of the status quo as he can, including his own job of course.

Collective Bargaining has Morally and Fiscally Bankrupted Detroit Schools.

In the ultimate example of Mayor Bing proving to be nothing more than a big spending and tax increase [Democrat] denier of reality, last week Bing began firing 1000 of the city’s 11,300 public employees, has proposed a 10% cut in payments to vendors, and wants to double the 1% tax on corporations.  He proposes all of this while largely remaining silent about the real culprit that is driving the Motor City off of the debt cliff: Public Unions lavish salaries, pensions and benefits packages.

NOTE:  The Detroit Public School System is controlled by a Big Labor Union, resulting in over half of Detroit’s adults being deemed illiterate.

Update: Detroit makes top 10 list of America’s most miserable cities. (again)

 

The Reporter Who Confonted Biden About His "Rape" Reference Is Now Under Investigation

Do you remember Jason Mattera, the reporter who confronted Vice President Joe Biden for his claims that “rape will go up” if President Obama’s “Job’s Bill” isn’t passed?  (here’s a reminder of it below)

Well, it turns out that Biden’s camp is so upset about it that they’ve asked for Jason Mattera to be investigated to see if he broke any rules in capturing the Vice President off guard.  It kind of makes me think of the “pay to play” policy that this administration has been accused of, only in reverse.  You see, if you get on the Obama administration’s good side, then nice things can happen for you, but if you get on their bad side, then they (seem to) seek punishment or retribution.  This does not bode well, my friends.

Hat tip to Red State for bringing this story to my attention on Twitter. (and subsequently, their website)

What do you guys think?  Do you think the reporter had it coming?  Or is it a sign of bad things when confronting a politician can get you in trouble like this?  I know that some anchors on CNN had very harsh words for Jason Mattera “deceiving” the Vice President.  What’s your take?

Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or on Twitter.

 

Michigan Economy Edges Down in June

COMERICA BANK LOGO / Comerica logo. (PRNewsFoto/Comerica Bank)DALLAS, Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Comerica Bank’s Michigan Economic Activity Index edged down one point in June, to a level of 86.  The June index level is 15 points, or 21 percent, above the cyclical index low of 71.  Year-to-date, the index has averaged 88 points, three points above the average for all of 2010.

“The Michigan index gave back the small gains it made over the first three months of the year, finishing the second quarter at the same level as 2010 year-end,” said Robert Dye, Chief Economist at Comerica Bank.  “Weak motor vehicle sales, and weak vehicle production in the wake of the Japan earthquake, along with weak growth in nonfarm payrolls, held the index down in June. A third quarter rebound in the state’s auto sector should provide lift to the index in coming months.  However, downside risk to the broader U.S. economy and to the Euro-Zone economies remains elevated. The rapid decline in consumer confidence in August is particularly threatening to the auto sector. The good news is that there is ample pent-up demand for new cars, which would be unleashed in the presence of moderate job creation, stable gasoline prices and low interest rates.”

The Michigan Economic Activity Index equally weighs nine, seasonally-adjusted coincident indicators of real economic activity.  These indicators reflect activity in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors as well as job growth and consumer outlays.  A complete Index history is available upon request.

Comerica Bank is the commercial banking subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Michigan and Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, and Florida, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

To receive this Index directly to your email inbox, go to www.comerica.com/econsubscribe to subscribe.

SOURCE Comerica Bank

CONTACT: Media, Robert Dye, +1-214-462-6839, [email protected], Data, Meaghan Derrick, +1-214-462-6815, [email protected], both of Comerica Bank

 

Appeals Court Forces Michigan to Restart Racist Policies

Racism sucks

The activist group By Any Means Necessary has succeeded in returning racist college admission policies and state government hiring and contracting terms to Michigan. By Any Means Necessary pursued the lawsuit to overturn Proposal 2 knows as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which bans the use of race and gender preferences in state admission and hiring practices. On Friday, a federal appeals court overturned Proposal 2, saying the voter-approved measure harms minorities and is unconstitutional.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will make a formal request for a rehearing with the appeals court, which should keep Proposal 2 in place for the time being.

“MCRI embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law,” Schuette said. “Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law.”

The 2006 law forced the University of Michigan and other state schools to revise their admission policies. A voter-approved ban was also added to the Michigan Constitution.. In a 2-1, 59-page decision, the judges ruled that the law (and popular Constutional change both violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The decision would force the return of policies that discriminate in-favor of certain groups in order to achieve a certain ratio of students, employees and contractors. An argument using the 14th amendment could also be positioned to show that the groups not being discriminated for, are being discriminated against – reverse-discrimination.

Proposal 2 has withstood legal challenges before. In 2008, a federal judge in Detroit upheld the law, saying it was race-neutral.

Indeed, a law that would choose to the acceptance of a college applicant or prospective employee is biased. Forcing students and hiring policies to explicitly select candidates based on their merits would be as non-racists, non-sexist, as is possible.

Jennifer Gratz, who headed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative ballot proposal, expects this new ruling to be overturned because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that initiatives that ban racaial preferences are constitutional.

“To me, this is the epitome of an activist court. These justices held onto this ruling for years and released it the day before the holiday weekend. They were hoping they would catch people off guard and not make the news,” said, Gratz, director of the American Civil Rights Institute, a California-based group that advocates against affirmative action.

Michigan Education Reform- Did They Go Too Far, or Not Far Enough?

Recently, the State House in Michigan passed an education reform plan which would make it easier to fire under-performing teachers. In addition, it made the tenure process more difficult and reduced protections based on seniority. The bill is now headed to the senate, controlled by Republicans, and teachers’ unions are getting ready for a fight. “Those bills, frankly, are a travesty,” said Doug Pratt, spokesman for the Michigan Education Association “We are looking forward to working with the Senate to pass real tenure reform, not just attacks on educators and their bargaining rights and their ability to do their jobs.”
Those who support the bill see it differently, “We want to ensure that we have the best-quality teachers in the classroom to give our children the best opportunity for success,” said Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Brighton, who wrote one of the bills.
Both Republicans and Democrats agree that reform had to be undertaken, but disagreed on how far to go and what shape the reforms should take. Recently, Michigan school districts had been criticized for allowing bad teachers to move to other districts, or to buy them out, rather than fire them. Firing a teacher in Michigan had simply become too complicated or lengthy. For example, a firing could take over a year in some cases.
Although some Democrats voted for the legislation, many think the issue should be considered more delicately. They propose teacher evaluations and accountability by principals before tenure is addressed. They would also like more clarity in how an ineffective teacher is defined. I spoke with an educator in Michigan who had an interesting point on this. If the state uses test scores to determine the quality of a teacher, it would act as a disincentive for taking on the challenging students in a school. That is certainly something that needs to be considered.
She also suggested that another root cause of poor teachers isn’t being addressed, and that is teacher education at the college level. She suggested that teaching students need to have more classroom experience to ensure that they are going into the right field. As it is now, a teacher may graduate with such burdensome student loans that they have to be a teacher, even if they come to realize it’s not the right career path for him or her. If they’d learned this earlier on, it would make for a much easier transition into another field.
The lack of parental involvement is something else that needs to be considered. Due to a lack of involvement or family issues, many students are not performing as well as they could in school, and the teacher is not to blame for this. Parents must bear some responsibility for their child’s education.
We’ll be waiting with bated breath to see how the Michigan Senate votes!

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