Emergency Financial Managers: A burgeoning industry

As I have written about recently, particularly in my piece The connection between Michigan’s EFM power grab, Rep. Fred Upton and Big Oil/Gas, my biggest concern about the use of Emergency Financial Managers (EFMs), particularly in areas where there are abundant natural (and other) resources to be exploited, is that they represent prime opportunities for businesses and corporations to use the economic crisis to line their own bank accounts and real estate portfolios with little regard with what’s good for the local community or the state.

These are reasonable fears. When you look at the training materials for the Emergency Financial Manager training session held in Michigan last February, you realize that this is indeed an industry.…

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Republicans blink on coupon program for Medicare

Looks like the Frank Luntz focus groups showed that old people don’t want coupons for health insurance. They want something easy to understand, reliable and non-risky. Apparently, the Republicans finally got a clue.

Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.

On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term.

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Wait. What?!

Here kitty, kitty, kitty.

Time to brush your teeth.

UPDATED: Did you notice the flavor of the toothpaste? “Poultry”. Mmmmmmm…

I’m just sayin’……

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Rep. Al Pscholka wants his day in court – errrr…on The Rachel Maddow Show

This should be fun. Al Pscholka is begging to be interviewed by Rachel Maddow.

The west Michigan lawmaker who sponsored emergency financial manager legislation that has been repeatedly pilloried by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow — especially for the way it has been applied in Benton Harbor — is asking Maddow to allow him to make a live appearance on her show to discuss the new law.

Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, said Maddow’s program has “chosen a highly selected and skewed interpretation” of the Fiscal Accountability Act “as well as the circumstances surrounding Benton Harbor’s financial trouble.”

“Your program has displayed a blatant disregard for the facts,” Pscholka said in the letter.

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Feedback needed

You’ve probably notices some changes to the blog this week. I apologize for the ads. However, I work very hard to make this site a good one and I’m trying to make a tiny bit of income from it in the process.

I have had a complaint about a Trojan virus activating when someone loaded the page, probably due to one of the ads. I have removed one of the ad companies but I can’t be sure it was the right one (I’m trying out several.) If any of you have any further issues with viruses, etc., please let me know right away.…

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Obama shows his strategic brilliance – is anyone noticing?

Presented with the conundrum of whether or not to show Osama bin Laden’s death photos, the administration is telegraphing loudly and obviously the fact that they are “in discussions” and not sure it’s the right thing to do. For two days now, administration spokespersons have said, in one form or another, that they are considering releasing photos but are weighing many factors.

So, why this appearance of hemming and hawing over a decision that seems like an obvious one? It’s clear that, to passify people around the world, both Obama-haters in the USA and those who are skeptical in other countries, the administration will have to release at least one photo, perhaps more.…

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Benton Harbor EFM Joe Harris to rescind City Commission’s “unconstitutionality” resolution

As I reported yesterday, the Benton Harbor City Commission passed a resolution, declaring the takeover of their city by Emergency Financial Manager Joseph L. Harris to be unconstitutional. Joe Harris doesn’t give a damn.

He’s going to rescind their resolution.

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joseph Harris tells [WSJM] that he plans to issue an order rescinding this week’s city commission vote on a resolution to declare Michigan’s emergency manager law unconstitutional. Harris says that the vote has no legal validity, and notes that it was in violation of his directive to the commission that it may not vote on anything, other than to open and close meetings, and approve minutes.…
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Intensity in the Situation Room

In case you thought President Obama wasn’t engaged or playing an active role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, check out this photo by White House photographer Pete Souza:

Check out President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s faces. I can’t even imagine how tense that room must have been.

I’m just sayin’……

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