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Michigan is under siege. Is Anybody Watching?

Right now, [Michigan] Gov. [Rick] Snyder is pushing a bill that would give himself, Gov. Snyder and his administration, the power to declare any town or school district to be in a financial emergency. If a town was declared by the governor and his administration to be in a financial emergency they would get to put somebody in charge of that town, and they want to give that emergency manager that they just put in charge of the town the power to, “reject, modify, or terminate any contracts that the town may have entered in to, including any collective bargaining agreements.”
Rachel Maddow, 3/9/11


If I had been watching anyone but Rachel Maddow last night I never would have believed what I heard.  Rachel, so far, isn't given to exaggeration or hyperbole.  She does her homework.  She has a staff who work tirelessly to get things right.  But I heard what I heard, and what I heard is that Michigan's governor is on his way to one-upping Wisconsin's Governor big time.  He not only wants to kill the unions, he wants to take over whole villages and towns and give them to his own private Genghises of Nottingham.

Rachel:  “What year was your town founded? Does it say so like on the town border as you drive into your town? Does it say what year your town was founded? What did your town’s founding fathers and founding mothers have to go through to incorporate your town? Republicans in Michigan want to be able to unilaterally abolish your town and disincorporate it. Regardless of what you as resident of that town think about it. You don’t even have the right to express an opinion about it through your locally elected officials who represent you, because the Republicans in Michigan say they reserve the right to dismiss your measly elected officials and to do what they want instead because they know best.”

Rachel also had this to say about the proposed bill--the same bill that no one in Michigan seems to think is such a much:This emergency person also gets the power under the bill to suspend or dismiss elected officials. Think about that for a second. Doesn’t matter who you voted for in Michigan. Doesn’t matter who you elected. Your elected local government can be dismissed at will. The emergency person sent in by the Rick Snyder administration could recommend that a school district be absorbed into another school district. That emergency person is also granted power specifically to disincorporate or dissolve entire city governments.”

And this:  “The version of this bill that passed the Republican controlled Michigan House said it was fine for this emergency power to declare a fiscal emergency invoking all of these extreme powers, it was fine for that power to be held by a corporation. So swaths of Michigan could at the governor’s disposal be handed over to the discretion of a company. You still want your town to exist? Take it up with this board of directors of this corporation that will be overseeing your future now, or rather don’t take it up with them. Frankly, they’re not interested.”
And then there was this from Rachel, who would not lie:  “The power to overrule and suspend elected government justified by a financial emergency. Oh, and how do you know you’re in a financial emergency, because the governor tells you, you’re in a financial emergency, or a company he hires to do so, does that instead. The Senate version of the bill in Michigan says it has to be humans declaring your fiscal emergency. The House bill says a firm can do that just as well.

This is about a lot of things. This is not about a budget. This is using or fabricating crisis to push for an agenda you’d never be able to sell under normal circumstances, and so you have to convince everyone that these are not normal circumstances. These are desperate circumstances and your desperate measures are there for somehow required. What this is has a name. It is called Shock Doctrine.”
 
My God. if it becomes as far-reaching as Rachel suggests (and as the Detroit newspapers report, though without any real sense of  panic),  this is gigantic news on the battle front.  This is war, Genghis Khan style. (Sorry, Genghis)  Power-hungry hordes are coming to take over our towns and villages, not with cross-bows and sabers but with the mighty pen struck to the mighty bill.  Our home-grown Genghises came for us not by your typical marauding and force, but by convincing more than half of us dumb schleps that the solution to all our problems requires nothing more than a check-mark next to the R on your ballot.



My thanks to Sarah Jones at PoliticusUsa.com for a great post about Snyder and for the transcription of the most pertinent of Maddow's words about the Republican attack on Michigan.

We have to keep this stuff going.  We have to know our enemies and understand their strategies.  They are ruthless and conniving and laser-beamed on their goals to take over the states and then the entire country.  They bear watching every minute of every day.  We can only do that with millions of eyes upon them and with millions of voices shouting to my country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty--This is WRONG!

Pass it on.

ADDENDUM:  click here for HB-4214, passed by Michigan Senate 3/9/2011.

 

(cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)

Our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan.

 

Eric B over at Michigan Liberal has great stuff on the subject, too.

Good info Ramona, I haven't been watching Michigan or what is happening there legislatively or politically. I believe that many people in the nation are finally mobilized to take action and believe the people of Michigan will be as active as those in Wisconsin. My husband remembers Michigan as a politically active place in the 70's when he was there, he is convinced the people of Michigan will take some action of their own.

I do wonder if these actions by Republicans will spell the near end of the TBag, Know-nothing movement. It is interesting to watch legislators who claim to be on the side of the every man, screw the every man to gain some sort of political leverage.

Keep us informed, it certainly isn't being covered out here. Thanks for a beautiful piece of writing!

t.

IDK we should be careful about this fight I live in a City under a current EFM and I watched this legislation and the way it was brought about now i  Believe its missing one thing its a good bill being the repubs can get anything passed. Our City is ready to file Bankruptcy this month but the county and the region dont want us to because it hurts everyones rating our unions love them but they have pushing hard and not give in an inch so the city was on a continual decline without this new law its basically bankruptcy with out filing for it. Now there may be stinking EFM's out there but ours are ok and those 100 or soo efm being trained are the mayors of the current cities. BTW our Police Union Members just voted to dissolve their union and this is a dem community actually all cities under EFM are dem ran, so we should be careful because people agree this is the right law even I yes the efm has the power to cut the pay of our officials but cities under efm dont make anything anyways and The only real problem with this legislation is that the even gets paid well thats the only tree to bark up

Thanks for your perspective, Michigander.  There may be times when the government has to intervene in order to same a school system or a community, but this is a whole different thing.  This is a government takeover of the entire state (if they choose to do it), with no recourse.  Once this bill is voted in, they can simply decide a community or school system is failing and send their troops in to dismantle everything, including the local government or school board.

Can I ask what city you live in?  I would like to follow up on this and see how well it worked for you.

Naomi Klein was on Democracy Now! talking about it outraged about it:

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/9/naomi_klein_on_anti_union_bills

Crisis=opportunity for disaster economics, now Disaster Anything!

Here's the wiki link to, The Melian Dialogue ...

url : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melian_dialogue

The Athenian conquest of Melos was ironic because the Athenians wanted to prove their strength but got their power by destroying the weakest and most defenseless nations in the Peloponnese. 

Just substitute the following :

  • Athenian with GOPer's
  • Melos with Democrats, liberals, progressives
  • nations with teacher's union
  • Peloponnese with the State of Wisconsin

History is just repeating itself. As far as GOPer's are concerned, wrong is right and there's not much to stand in their way so they're advancing as far and as fast as they can, hoping by the time they're stripped of their powers they'll have made enough changes a lot will be permanent simply because the opposite won't have enough time to fix what they managed to screwed up.

While I understand the plight of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and others states caught up in the GOPer political whirlwind, they had their chance this past November and this is the fruits of that election. If they're not happy, then they need to take issue with the State governors and Legislatures, which the GOPer's are banking they won't, so the public ends up giving the GOPer's a proxy approval for their actions. The public has been played for fools and the GOPer's know they can't be stopped for at least two years and they hope by then all will be forgotten and forgiven.

Hard but sobering facts.

This. Nice analogy Beetle.

With the way the two party system works. Bad cop/goodcop, worse/less worse

 Two years from now you'll have a choice..... One that'll kiss you, but the results will still be the same..

DRAFT BERNIE SANDERS   

Obama doesn't need to go to Wisconsin now, we'll only see it as an opportunistic ploy.

He feels our pain? Only if the Republicans swing and we duck.

The interesting concept in the dialogue is how the Athenians considered justice. One can only expect Justice when both Party's have equal power. The debacle in Wisconsin clearly shows the GOPer's hold the majority of power so they are able to take what they wish and the only option for Democrats is to give what is asked.

Yeah, we've been through this before.  Some people never learn.  When you group the states that found themselves with Republican Governors and say about them "they had their chance last November",  you're forgetting that millions of voters in those states didn't vote Republican.  There were plenty of us (but not enough) who voted against those guys, fat lot of good it did us.  So no finger-waggling, except at the voters who put them in--and they don't really care what you or I think.

We weren't played for fools  We know what was coming.  In Michigan Virg Bernero was our candidate and he would have made a fine Governor, but he had so little money compared to Snyder there was no contest.  The best lost because the worst threw money around like it was confetti.  Bernero's supporters had no money, either, comparatively speaking.  So he lost and Snyder (who wouldn't debate and just sat back and pretended he was Mr. Nice Guy) has now positioned himself to become Benevolent Dictator (or not so benevolent, depending on our attitudes) and all we can do is say, "Told you so".

Ramona, as to your reference to The Shock Doctrine ...

Where's the News?

Since Egypt has fallen into political disarray, has anyone taken notice all MSM resources, both print nd web, are focused intently on the situation on the ground there while the rest of the world is slowing dissolving under the weight of their own destructive powers. As Nomi Klein so aptly put in her book, The Shock Doctrine, redirect the attention of the public to some other trivial issue away from what you're doing so when their attention is back and focused, the changes have already been approved and implemented and there's nothing they can do. I wonder what kind of mischief the GOper's were able to gum up because everyone's attention was distracted?

Would it be okay to put a comment in this thread about a rally in Lansing, MI this next Wednesday?  If not, delete away.

From Michael Moore...

Michael Moore
 
Big protest next Wed at noon in Lansing against MI law 2 nullify elections, disband unions, appoint corps 2 run towns. More insane than WI!
Click on the MMFlint to get his twiiter thingie. 
Click on http://www.michaelmoore.com/ to get to his website where you can find information for rallies nationwide.   http://twitter.com/search?q=%23MadNation

Of course it's okay, Flower.  I hope people will see it here, though.  I'll try and post about it before Wednesday.  Is MM going to be there?

It sure would be a real boost if he was, but I don't know if it is in the works or not.  I follow him on my twitter account and he's very efficient at posting his activities.  We'll find out soon. Smile

Wisconsin's gotten the most attention lately.  But in addition to it and Michigan, Ohio is under siege.  Idaho is under siege.  Indiana is under siege.  Florida is under siege.  Whole lotta stuff that is being pushed very aggressively in state legislatures by the GOP, seeking to strike while they think the iron is hot following their huge wins at the polls in November. 

Yup, that's why we've got to keep this thing going.  If they win this after all the fuss there's no stopping them.

I don't think people are getting it... For example, a Google news search of "Michigan" doesn't currently show this issue in the results 'til page 5, and Yahoo news offers TOTALLY bogus perspective. (Yahoo article by Michael Thompson.)  Other outlets are reporting that the Michigan protesters are out to support their neighbors in Wisconsin, and the majority of the few sources that are reporting real information on the subject are still failing to mention that new officials won't actually have to be people, but can legally be corporations! It's getting buried deep, and my suspicion is that it's no accident. Thanks Mike and Rachael, for bringing this to my attention, and to the author here, and to everyone else who's spreading the word, since apparently we can't rely on most media to reveal this unprecidened and downright creepy injustice!!

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