Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced Tuesday night that he was demanding the establishment of an unelected financial control board to run the city of Detroit, with the power to tear up and rewrite union contracts and impose across-the-board cuts in spending, including the selloff of city assets.
Detroit would be the largest American city to be subjected to such a financial dictatorship since an Emergency Financial Control Board was imposed on New York City in the mid-1970s. The measures to be taken against city workers will be far more drastic than those of 35 years ago, however. Detroit’s crisis is the consequence of the long-term decline of the US auto industry, and of American capitalism as a whole.
The city has shrunk to barely one-third of its 1950s population—from two million to barely 700,000—and there are only two functioning auto plants in the “Motor City.” The majority of the city’s population is impoverished, and the official unemployment rate is over 30 percent. Vast sections of the city are abandoned, with weeds growing in empty lots. Neighborhoods have been ravaged by house fires and the deterioration of essential services like street lighting, garbage collection and fire protection.
Snyder made his announcement in a message to the Detroit City Council, after talks broke down between the governor and Mayor David Bing over the terms of a “consent agreement” under which the city would accept the financial control board in return for state assistance in avoiding bankruptcy. Snyder said he would ask the City Council to ratify the agreement before a March 27 deadline.The assault on American workers becomes more and more public. They don't even try to hide it any more.
It really is amazing how the Great Recession has been used to punish workers, to attack them and nothing has been done to uplift them.
But then workers didn't bankroll Barack's 2008 campaign, Wall St. did. And you apparently get what you pay for.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:
Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information.
In 24 years as a diplomat, Van Buren was posted around the world and speaks four languages. He called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People" was published last fall.
"There are protections within the government for freedom of expression and for whistleblowers," spokesman Mark C. Toner said. "The State Department has followed process and acted in accordance with the law."
Why did they finally take it down?
Because the press kept pointing to it.
Not because the State Dept lodged a complaint. Not because the State Dept did a damn thing. They've done nothing. The US Embassy in Baghdad gave an interview to Iraqi TV station Al Sumaria and they had a private e-mail exchange with a San Francisco LGBT group -- a private exchange that went public. Today they posted the following:
In other news, Al Rafidayn reports that KRG President Massoud Barzani has made clear that Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi is safe in the KRG and they will not hand him over to Baghdad. Nouri is targeting Iraqiya and that includes al-Hashemi. Nouri accuses the vice president of terrorism.
That ongoing crisis hasn't been resolved either (Barzani wants the three presidencies to resolve it -- that's Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Nouri). The State Dept's done nothing to help their either.
Since October of last year, the State Dept was supposed to be running the US mission in Iraq. Thus far, they're an abject failure.
the washington post
the los angeles times
david s. cloud