#rsrh Michigan passes critical union bargaining reform law.

One of the few nice things about the Wisconsin idiocy that the Democrats perpetrated is that it blinded everyone, including the Democrats, to a whole slew of critical union reform bills in various state legislatures.  The latest one comes to us from Michigan, where the Republican-controlled legislature has approved – and the Republican governor will soon sign – a bill giving specifically-appointed emergency financial managers broad powers for staving off bankruptcy for school districts and towns in near-terminal fiscal shape (there’s a good deal of that going on in Michigan right now).  This explicitly includes allowing districts and towns to break unsustainable union contracts (and there’s a lot of those in Michigan right now, too).

Reaction?  Well, as I noted before this wasn’t on anybody’s radar, so they got about 3,000 protesters today to yell and whine about this.  Which is pretty… mediocre, actually.  Oh, well, you have to take into account the faux-populist limitations of the unions: I mean, it’s not like they’re Tea Partiers or anything.

Moe Lane


Rick Snyder’s (R, MI) good budgetary fortune.

Ignore everything written in this Washington Post divide-and-conquer attempt targeting new Michigan governor Rick Snyder: there is no adversarial relationship between the governor and his Republican colleagues. In fact, it would not surprise me in the slightest if Rick Snyder makes a point of ending each day by thanking God for Chris Christie, John Kasich, and – most assuredly – Scott Walker. If they didn’t exist, Snyder would be the target of a lot more media attention right now.

And it’d be very hostile media attention, mostly because of the budget proposal that Governor Snyder revealed last week. It is a fascinating proposal; which is to say, it is an exercise in raw political courage even by the currently-high standards of state Republican organizations. Elimination of state Earned Income Credits. Lifetime cap on welfare benefits. The current corporate tax break system largely ripped out and replaced with a flat tax. Cuts to education and police services, not to mention local municipalities. And – this is the one that is going to cause Snyder problems with the GOP – the imposition of state taxes on public and private employee pensions. This last one is actually pretty standard, but it is still a new tax… on senior citizens.

Oh, and $180,000,000 in concessions from unions. Governor Snyder will be happy to let them work out how they can come up with the money for that. And just as long as it’s understood that this is independent of public sector unions paying for more of their healthcare plans. Continue reading Rick Snyder’s (R, MI) good budgetary fortune.

The *true* John Conyers scandal.

Background: back over Thanksgiving weekend John Conyers III (the son of Rep. John Conyers) reported a theft of computers and concert tickets from the car that he was using.  The problem?  John Conyers III was using the car unlawfully: it was leased to his father’s Congressional office as an official vehicle, and Conyers was not using it in an official capacity.  And it wasn’t anything like an one-time event, either: John Conyers III also got a speeding ticket on the car back in September.  The behavior was so egregious that Rep. Conyers isn’t even trying to fight it: he’s just swiftly reimbursing the government as comprehensively as possible before the 112th Congress gets sworn in.

None of this is the true scandal.  The true scandal is that we’re only hearing about this now.  Rep. Conyers – who is, by the way, still the JUDICIARY CHAIR – has a history of abusing official resources.  His wife is in jail for bribery.  There is thus zero excuse for the media not to jump on this with both feet… and if the man had an R after his name, they would have.  Then again, if Rep. Conyers had had an R after his name the media would have destroyed him years ago.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I think that the new Ethics Committee leadership should look into this – and that they should not give this the same wrist slap in 2011 that their Democratic counterparts did in 2007.  I am tired of Democratic politicians thinking that they can get a pass on not even having to care about propriety; I am even more tired of them having any practical justification for thinking that way.

Oil spill update.

So, let us recap: an unexpected leak has dumped highly alarming amounts of crude oil into the water, taxing the resources of local authorities.  Wildlife and wetland areas are already affected, and there’s no sign of swift relief.  The governor of the state primarily involved – a state that frankly cannot afford more bad things happening to it – is screaming for the relevant federal authorities to get out of neutral and actually help, and screaming largely in vain.  And, of course, nobody’s quite sure how much crude has leaked, and how culpable the oil company is in the leak, and whether the same federal authorities that aren’t helping now are responsible for missing the conditions that caused the original leak.

Michigan can’t just seem to catch a break. Continue reading Oil spill update.

Gov. Granholm (D, MI) called to call out the National Guard.

Amusing Internet fact: once upon a time, many members of the Online Left was actually despondent that the Constitution forbid Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm from running for President (she isn’t a born citizen*).  This would be before the breakdown of… well, show me a part of Michigan that hasn’t broken down by now.  Latest example comes from the city of Flint (via theblogprof):

Shootings have become so widespread in the city that two former state representatives are talking about calling in the National Guard to help calm violence on Flint’s streets.

Former state representative Vera Rison said Tuesday that help is needed immediately, and during a meeting of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners today, Brenda Clack quizzed Sheriff Robert Pickell about the potential for getting help from guardsmen as well.

Continue reading Gov. Granholm (D, MI) called to call out the National Guard.

Bart Stupak (D, MI-01) cuts and runs.

(Via The Business Insider) No question mark on this: Marc Armbinder’s first mention has been expanded upon here, and CBS News is now reporting it as well.  This should surprise nobody: we’ve been expecting this announcement since Wednesday.  Particularly since the Tea Party folks are going to – justifiably – claim at least the assist on this scalp*.

So… Stupak betrays the pro-life movement and his district, then quits rather than face the wrath of either.  And don’t weep for him: he’ll segue right into the comfortable life of a DC lobbyist, which means that he’ll probably get a pay raise and will certainly enjoy the remainder of his term, free from the nagging terror beginning to fill the lives of his Democratic colleagues.  Because you cannot trust a ‘conservative’ Democrat.

Either side.

Moe Lane

PS: The Dan Benishek saga teaches us why we support as many candidates as we can, as much as we can, in as many districts as we can.  Three months ago this seat was deemed safe for the DemocratsNow it’s a pickup. Continue reading Bart Stupak (D, MI-01) cuts and runs.

The slow-motion collapse of Democratic Detroit.

This cannot be sugar-coated, and I have no desire to even try.

Retailers Head for Exits in Detroit

There was a time early in the decade when downtown Detroit was sprouting new cafes and shops, and residents began to nurture hopes of a rebound. But lately, they are finding it increasingly tough to buy groceries or get a cup of fresh-roast coffee as the 11th largest U.S. city struggles with the recession and the auto-industry crisis.

No national grocery chain operates a store here. A lack of outlets that sell fresh produce and meat has led the United Food and Commercial Workers union and a community group to think about building a grocery store of its own.


The city’s 22.8% unemployment rate is among the highest in the U.S.; 30% of residents are on food stamps.

Continue reading The slow-motion collapse of Democratic Detroit.

Obama yanking Granholm out of Michigan?

I note with some interest (via a post from The Other McCain) that there are some Democrats still out there that are apparently seriously contemplating supporting the nomination of Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Supreme Court.

Granholm seen as possible fresh face

DETROIT, May 17 (UPI) — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm would provide a fresh perspective to the U.S. Supreme Court if she is nominated by President Barack Obama, analysts say.

Yes, I suppose that the Governor would provide a ‘fresh perspective’ to the Supreme Court. To the best of my knowledge, no sitting Justice there has managed to almost double an entire state’s unemployment rate in five short years. Particularly when the national unemployment rate was trending downward for most of that time:

Michigan/USA Unemployment Rate

Or is it just a case of testing to destruction The Peter Principle once and for all? If so, I give full credit to the Obama administration for seriously contemplating rescuing the people of Michigan from one of its primary (and no doubt, well-meaning) tormentors… but must it be the Supreme Court? Surely they have not filled all the slots at Fish & Game yet? My father-in-law would vehemently object to that particular suggestion, but sacrifices must sometimes be made.

Moe Lane

PS: Interestingly, this line of thought suggests that Rep Conyers hates Michigan, and wishes for it to suffer some more.

Crossposted to RedState.