FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
Haunting images of Detroit’s decline through past and present photos
01:42 pm

Once what was full of life and thriving, is now forgotten, abandoned and graffitied. These haunting images of a Detroit high school from when there were still students in the classrooms are composited with what the abandoned, decaying building looks like today.

The unions know what they’re fighting for in Michigan: their lives.

Images by Detroiturbex.
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley
01:42 pm
Soviet Michigan: Radical Republicans eliminate democracy

A shocking piece of investigative journalism from The Rachel Maddow Show has been percolating up the charts at reddit and elsewhere. Trust me, it’s absolutely worthy of your undivided attention for the next 16 minutes.

Here’s the gist of it: The Michigan constitution deliberately calls for an exceptionally slow process before bills can be signed into law. Of the 566 bills that have been signed into law in the past year—since all three branches of government came under the control of the Republicans—546 of them were passed under “immediate effect,” implying an emergency or timely necessity of some sort.

Chris Savage at Eclectablog explains why this is so disturbing:

“Immediate effect” can only occur if 2/3 of the members of the House vote for it. But Republicans do not HAVE 2/3 of the House. The entire reason that they have been avoiding using roll call votes is because they did not have the votes to make the laws immediate effect. In other words, over 96% of the laws passed by the Republicans since January 2011 have been illegal in their implementation.

Simply stated: Michigan Republicans are putting their radical laws into “immediate effect” in a blatant power grab, even though they don’t have enough votes to do so. Democracy? They don’t need your stinking democracy!

National treasure Rachel Maddow on why you should care:

The 2010 elections ushered in a lot of radicalized Republican legislatures and governors across the country and have done a lot of radical things. Scott Walker is famous for a reason.

But what`s happened in Michigan is the most radical thing Republicans have done anywhere in the country. They have eliminated democracy. They have eliminated voting rights at the local level in their state. They have tried to eliminate Democrats` voting rights in the state legislature.

Whether you`re on the left or you`re on the right or you`re in the center or if you don`t particularly care about politics, if all you care about is that we have a form of government in this country called democracy, we vote. If you care about the idea that we still use voting here, we still use democracy, if you care about the Constitution—frankly, Michigan ought to have a flashing red light siren on it right now.

And indeed since the original Maddow segment aired last week, both the media and the public have taken notice. What was little-known even in the state of Michigan is now becoming a major national story. If the furor grows loud enough, even Fox News will be obliged to tackle it—as opposed to simply ignoring it the way they normally would ignore something like this. But HOW will they report APPROVINGLY on THE SUBVERSION OF DEMOCRACY BY THE REPUBLICANS??? It will be interesting, amusing and probably alarming to hear how the Republican establishment will try to spin this in the coming week.

And what about the Tea party-types who got these “conservatives” into office? How do they feel about their candidates now? Cognitive dissonance R US!

At approx 12 and a half minutes in you get to see these wascally Republican clowns in action. By the end of this piece, my jaw had dropped to the floor. This story is nothing short of mind-blowing.

It occurred to me, though, where were the fucking Democrats when all this happened? Were they sleeping? Not there? I can see this happening a few times, sure, but at what point would you cry foul? After 2 or 3 dozen times? After maybe 300 bills passed by “immediate effect”? How many was too many? That’s a bit ridiculous, too. Michigan needs to toss these GOP brownshirts out pronto, sure, but after that, the state needs to look into getting some new Democrats.

I mean, Christ, this is like sending Hobbits to do battle with Orcs.

Maddow promises a follow-up segment on Monday’s program.

Posted by Richard Metzger
05:12 pm
Mega-rally: Large protests expected in Michigan tomorrow

Tomorrow a large rally to protest the policies of unpopular Michigan Governor Rick Synder will take place in Lansing. There was a protest held there earlier today attended by more than 1,000 pissed-off senior citizens whose pensions Gov. Snyder wants to tax. That was just the orchestra tuning up. Snyder’s outlandish budget proposal would give even a goon like Scott Walker pause. Synder’s plan would raise taxes on the working class by 31% while cutting taxes for corporations by 86%. WTF is right! Get on the bus!

Below, Michael Moore’s open letter to his fellow Michiganders:

Friends and neighbors,

The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.

What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries—and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue—has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.

Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.

In just 8 short weeks he has:

* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.

* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by—I kid you not—senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people—even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!

* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.

These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”

I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale—and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.

Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE—and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.

Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.

Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.

Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!


Posted by Richard Metzger
10:12 pm