Saturday, June 7, 2014

Former Ficano aide sent to prison

A former aide to Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano has been sentenced to prison for his role in a corruption scandel.


A look at Detroit's corrupt political past

The Battle of Lansing And Everything After

Photo: Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals / AP

Dennis Sanders,  publisher of the center-right blog,  Big Tent Review, writes about the recent debate surrounding his home state of  Michigan’s new right-to-work legislation:

It’s been interesting to see what’s going on in my home state of Michigan.  As a kid, you learned how important the unions were in the state.  Most kids learned of the 1936-7 Sitdown Strike in Flint, Michganwhich happens to be my hometown.  It was that event where the United Autoworkers made a name for themselves and where the Detroit automakers had to get used to labor as a partner.  For the next 70 years, the American auto industry and the UAW were partners in building the modern Michigan.
My parents came to Michigan and became autoworkers.  My mother worked at AC and Dad worked at Buick.  Of course they were union members as was every hourly worker in every plant in the United States.  As a kid, I never did understand why every hourly worker were union members whether they liked it or not.  My Mom would say in effect that they benefit from all the hard work the union did, so of course they had to be members and they had to have money taken out of their paychecks for union dues.
The passage of right-to-work legislation in Michigan this week is not going to make a big difference in my home state.  Unions aren’t going away.  Michigan will still have to deal with job losses and all the problems that come with that loss.  Maybe new businesses will choose to plant themselves in the Wolverine State, but they might come for reasons other than right to work.
Source: Big Tent Revue. Read full article. (link)

Moving Michigan Into A Top Notch Global Market

In 2009, 70% of global growth came from developing and emerging market countries; Africa ranked third after China and India in terms of growth rates. Various companies from developing and emerging markets are increasingly the source of corporate leadership and business innovations. Developing and emerging markets are incubators for the companies growing from within.
Therefore, Michigan and in particular its urban environments must begin to invest in the benefits of whatever speed of broadband is under consideration.For example, telecommunications giant AT&T is investing $19 billion in wireless and broadband services. Investment translates into jobs as well as benefits to companies and consumers. Investment also benefits the entire telecoms sector because the trickle down to partners and suppliers is substantial. Investment empowers the new applications environment and benefits public policy, e.g. by enabling the creation of new platforms for innovation in areas such as healthcare, education and the environment.

However, in order to create a competitive, world-class knowledge economy we will need to develop a plan that includes substantial investment. We must remind our state lawmakers that the government’s job is to remove the barriers preventing investment in R&D and education by the private sector. At the same time, Michigan must cut through the tangle of red tape that makes it impossible to get anything done.

Why Urban Cities Like Detroit Must Accept Right-to-Work


When I left Detroit, Michigan I knew I was headed towards a state where job growth was constantly expanding. I took a 36 hour bus ride to Houston, Texas where I felt like I would move to the next phase of my life.
I did not make a mistake leaving Detroit. I had grown sick and tired of the debate and foolishness of the unions that were always obstructing progress in the Great Lake State. And when I look at Detroit, I see a city that has died already. I’m just waiting for Swanson to seal the deal in terms of the city.
However, Detroit may be resurrected because the State of Michigan is on the verge of becoming the 24th state in the country to become Right-To-Work. While unions and so-called civil rights leaders are protesting against the bill these are the same exact people who fail to realize that the time for unions are in the past. I will give the unions credit, they helped build the “middle-class” during an industrial age of economics in the United States. However, in the 21st century, we live in the technology age. Unions, in my opinion, have become political thugs in terms of obstructing necessary laws and policies that will help and enhance the current trend of business today. Business is global and move at the speed of a click of a button thanks to the Internet. So we have to do things differently.

Blacks, Detroit, & REAL Community Empowerment

Economics is the key to salvation in our community. We generate over $1 trillion in the Black American community as consumers. Detroit is the #1 seller of Cognac in the entire world. In other words, we drink more liquor here than anywhere else on Earth.
However, as we move into the summer months we have to begin to think out the box.
For example, if Detroit wants to come back as a world class city it will have to position itself as a family centered city. Detroit is NOT a family friendly city at all. In fact, it promotes so much government controlled programming that it is no wonder people move out to find better opportunities. 82% of the city are headed by single parents. No one here wants to be married or be in a relationship. Now it makes sense why poverty is astronomical in our community.
I keep telling our sisters that a woman cannot raise a boy. A man cannot raise a girl. While men and women who are single are and have raised their children and done a great job we still should support the notion of having BOTH parents raising their children. But they have to be the RIGHT parents to raise a child.
Interesting enough, Detroit talks about the housing boom that is taking place. Who are moving into these homes? And if they are for single families how would that equate into reducing poverty? While homeownership is important in our community it would be better if two parent families would own a home together.

Detroit Needs a Regime Change

Shikha Dalmia, a columnist (The Daily) argues that Detroit must be liberated from its moribund government if it is going to survive.

This is a time of high political drama in the Motor City as Detroiters debate whether a state takeover of its books is necessary to avert bankruptcy. But in the larger scheme of things, this is a minor issue. A takeover won’t cure the root cause of Detroit’s fiscal mess: a dysfunctional government that has killed growth and made the city a living hell. Fixing that will require radical solutions, such as the one that brilliant New York University economist Paul Romer is recommending for Third World countries in a similar trap: charter cities.
An Ernst & Young audit earlier this month found that, absent drastic action, Detroit will run out of cash by April. This is no surprise to anyone familiar with the city’s perennial budgetary shenanigans.
Detroit’s current mayor, Dave Bing, a well-meaning but politically clueless former basketball star, came to office in 2009 (after his predecessor was carted off to jail) promising to eliminate Detroit’s $300 million-plus accumulated deficit. But the deficit has grown, and Detroit is drowning in debt because Bing maxed out the city’s credit card, pushing Detroit’s credit rating into junk territory. The city has used up all its borrowed cash and, come spring, it will be flat broke, since it can’t borrow more.
Source: The Daily. Read full article. (link)

Detroit & The Urban Machine

I’m quite familiar with Detroit. I’ve been there many times. I was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and I can see that many Detroiters are familiar with my hometown, too, as evidenced by the license plates of the cars snaking their way along the roads leading to Cedar Point.
Ohio has a Rust Belt problem, too. On two occasions (2002 and 2004) I was the Republican candidate for state representative in a portion of Ohio’s Rust Belt, encompassing Lorain, Oberlin, parts of Elyria, and the vicinity. I didn’t win the elections, as one would expect in such Democrat bastions, but I had a chance to think long and hard about remedies for Rust Belt decay as I drew up my own economic development plans for the district I hoped to represent.
It would take a book to detail each facet of what I envisioned, and even my own blog, to date, contains only a fraction of my proposals, so I don’t plan to elaborate much within this thread (it’s already a wall of text, as it is), but my approach to urban renewal differs from most other approaches I’ve come across. My approach is different because my assessment of the causes of the decay are different. While I readily agree that Detroit’s economy must be diversified to counter the prevailing trend, I do not think that the auto industry is at the root of the decay at all.
Attitudes are at the root of the decay.

A man, a plan, Detroit


Detroit has had its share of bad ideas. Construct a nearly windowless convention center on the river? Check. Build an office complex that looks like a silo, isolating workers from the downtown? Done that.

So where do you place an idea of developing an investment district on the city’s East side? It involves an airport, an outlet to the river, rail lines, areas for industrial development and plenty of space for retail and residential growth. Kinda intriguing, yes?
It’s the kind of idea that, on paper, looks pretty feasible. That is why the dreams of builder Rodney M. Lockwood Jr. are interesting. Granted, he comes with some baggage (he came up with theCommonwealth of Belle Isle book/idea; more on that later). But he, like many business leaders in Metro Detroit, is investing his hours, money and expertise in an effort to reimagine what Detroit could be in the near future. And that’s not all bad.
Source: The Detroit Hub. Read article. (link)

RNC honors William "Bill" Brooks of Detroit, Michigan, a Republican Trailblazer

Sen. Rand Paul Speaks at Detroit Economic Club

Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush at the 1980 GOP National Convention #Detroit.

JC Watts speaking at the @MIGOP Black History Month Celebration

Detroit's Tragedy and How to Fix It

The key things about Detroit's bankruptcy are that it didn't happen overnight - and it didn't have to happen at all.

 Detroit's long, sad slide started in 1950, when the Motor City's population peaked at nearly 2 million people. Now it's around 700,000. The hollowing out of the city was on gut-wrenching display in two recent exhibits at the National Building Museum, featuring photographs by Camilo Jose Vergara and Andrew Moore.

 In fat times and lean, the city's pols and power-brokers chose to focus their energy, and the residents' tax dollars on gigantic, big-ticket development scams while ignoring the basics that let cities thrive -- or at least survive. Detroit's leaders poured money into a never-ending assembly line of sad-sack projects such as the Renaissance Center, the Fox Theater, Comerica Park, Poletown, the People Mover, and Ford Field. But unlike Pompei and other cities crushed by Nature's wrath or God's wrath, Detroit's destruction is completely man-made and thus can be reversed.

 The city that midwifed the Model T and the Cadillac, Bob Seger and Eminem, Ted Nugent and the Insane Clown Posse, still has tremendous assets in terms of infrastructure, location, and people. Like Buffalo, Cleveland, St. Louis, and other dead cities scattered across the map of the industrial Midwest like so many cigarette burns, Detroit can stage its own comeback by reducing crime and picking up garbage; by freeing kids, parents, and property values from an abysmal school system; and getting the government out of everything that isn't essential. In other words, Detroit's leaders only need to do what they should have been doing for the past 50 years. And the city's dwindling supply of residents needs to keep them honest this time. Because Detroit is finally out of next times.

Judge Greg Mathis - Conservatives Work to Fix U.S. Prisons

A recent column in D.C. based paper The National Journal titled Criminal-Justice Reform, Brought to You by CPAC describes in detail how prison reform became a key theme among conservatives at their yearly gathering in Washington last week. The Heritage Foundation, an ultra conservative think tank funded heavily by the liberal archenemy Koch brothers, is now aligned with a cause Democrats and minority grassroots organizations have long championed. Libertarian Senator Rand Paul is now a supporter of pending legislation in the United States Senate that amends mandatory minimum sentencing laws to give judges more flexibility and several Republican leaders have joined him to support similar reforms.

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