Archive for detroit

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Part 2)

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I'm home after 10 days on the road to cover the American Federation of Teachers convention in Los Angeles and Netroots Nation '14 in Detroit. It was actually anything but a vacation, but I do thrive on the action, and there was plenty of that.

To recap the trip, all you need do is listen to the shows from the past week or so. (Find them here, here, here, here and my interview with the amazing Rev. Dr. William Barber is posted as a standalone interview here) Now that I'm back home, I have the luxury of sitting back and playing some of the interviews I taped but didn't yet have the chance to air.

Today, we heard from Dennis Black of the Detroit Peoples Water Board. On Friday afternoon, hundreds of Netroots Nation attendees, Detroit-based activists and others marched and rallied to protest the mass water shut-offs of over 15,000 households. The UN declared it's a human rights violation, which it is!

And this morning, an indication that our loud voices had an impact:

Detroit suspending water shut-offs for 15 days

Members of The People's Water Board Coalition protest Detroit's water shut-offs in Detroit on Friday. The shut-offs have sparked massive outrage in the community.

Members of The People's Water Board Coalition protest Detroit's water shut-offs in Detroit on Friday. The shut-offs have sparked massive outrage in the community. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Detroit: The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is suspending water shut-offs for 15 days starting Monday.

The department is facing criticism worldwide for mass shutoffs that have turned off water to 15,200 customers since March, but department spokesman Bill Johnson said the move is not a concession in the high-profile political fight.

Read more here.

Tomorrow, I'll talk a bit about the controversy over the location for NN15- Phoenix, AZ, and the announced boycott by Daily Kos. Stay tuned.

I had a lot of interviews scheduled for the live broadcasts. (When I get the time, I'll try to post some of them as standalones.) But sometimes the best opportunities come up by surprise, as when I looked up from my editing to see Sandra Fluke walking by. I asked her to sit down to chat for a few minutes, and she did. And I took a selfie!

Sandra Fluke

As we discussed, Sandra Fluke is running for the California State Senate seat vacated by Ted Lieu, who's running to fill Henry Waxman's congressional seat. Visit StandWithSandra.org to find out more!

The final interview I shared today was an in-depth conversation with John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation. The interview was better than my lousy selfie result!

Nichols 1

Tomorrow, more highlights from my summer vacation, plus @GottaLaff too! See you then, radio or not!

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Head of Detroit Civil Rights and Ethics Division possible victim of racial profiling (VIDEO)

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welcome to detroit

detroit portia roberson shopping while black

Detroit has its issues. In fact, Detroit has major issues. Take their mass water shut-off, for example:

A right-wing state and corporate push to cut off water is economic shock therapy at its most ruthless and racist, but resistance is growing.

Anyone notice the word "racist" in that quote? Hey, me too! Guess what? Here it comes again...

Portia Roberson is African American. Apparently, shopping while black is a no-no in Detroit.

Via Think Progress:

Portia Roberson is an attorney, a former prosecutor, and a former Obama Administration official who worked in the Justice Department and the White House. She currently heads the Civil Rights and Ethics Division for the city of Detroit. Yet, when she walked into a Talbots clothing store last Sunday to return some clothes and try on new ones, a member of the store’s staff looked at her and somehow saw a shoplifter.

Pretty ironic, considering she heads a civil rights agency.

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Here's what Ms. Roberson wrote on her Facebook page:

When I exit the fitting room, I'm confronted by two GP police officers who ask to search my bag and ask me if I have any merchandise in the bag. I tell them to go ahead and search and point out the items and the receipt. He (the officer) tells me it is clear that someone made a mistake and then takes my bag to the store manager to point out that everything that I have in my possession, I have purchased...

The manager’s explanation was that she had asked the police to do a walk around the store because it was so busy (four customers, including me) however I pointed out to her that after searching me, they left without searching anyone else.

She added that she felt "embarrassed" and "shaken." Or to put it another way, racially profiled and targeted.

Maybe she can take her case all the way to the Supreme Court, where they'll rule that Talbot's corporate religious beliefs justified their racist actions.

Video courtesy of WXYZ.

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V2V: Conversational Vehicles and a New Rumble Seat

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Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

Rumble seats were a glorious part of automobile history, what freeness of spirit they must have offered - part danger, part exhilaration - and now the high techie American automobile industry has been given the Fed green light to give our buggies voices that other cars will hear, understand and then tell the drivers whussup' after vibrating their seat.

It is called V2V technology.

Earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Administration announced the wrap of a study promoting the mandate of this technology in American vehicles going forward. Also according to CNET:

V2V communications use a variation of the 802.11 wireless network standard used by laptops and mobile phones, but instead link cars, which can share position and speed information with each other 10 times per second. That can let one car reliably detect when another in front is braking hard, for example.

I thought the reverse gear ass-cam with a live feed of your bumper was fantastic on new dashboards. Being such a huge improvement over your semi-Pinoted-Up best friend out in the icy parking lot in a blizzard going "NO! I said back YOUR way!!" "TO MY LEFT!!!" -- right before the crash, and all. I light up like the five year-old daughter of a handy father with no sons would when I am co-pilot with that technology on board, and suspect my dear friend Jessica [frequent pilot] has a fond laugh about my wide eyes at age 52.

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

This, however, is like when Pizza Hut figured out how to put more cheese in a pie some years back, it parallels Steve Jobs giving us the iLife ... vehicles that talk to each other are a raging safety uptick for a nation with life-threatening traffic (and drivers).[/caption]

And it's just plain cool. If cars had been able to chat, kvetch and theorize during Chris Christie's GWB Waterloo re-creation slash main scandal, we could have SO much more juicy juice detail for the post-mortem, liberals!

Another large GOP Loser might feel the need to get involved and make sure there's no funny business going on though, gawd forbid the female cars collective libido becomes a lethal distraction.

TJHerbie

 

Aren't fanatical anti-modern conservatives going to just HATE this?? It hits the non-sciencey aorta, deepest spying paranoia and that disturbing general dislike of change in any form.

From NBC.

Not only will cars be able to connect with cloud-based services, they will also be able to talk to other cars; with the smartphone in the driver's pocket; with the toll booth or traffic light up ahead; or with the electric charging station to determine when and how long it needs to be fully juiced up.

 

TJrumble-seat-300x232

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Chart of the Day- Detroit Vs. The World

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Disclaimer: I am an unabashed Detroit lover since 1978. Too many good times and good people not to love it.

Somehow I missed this chart a few days ago. As Detroit is parceled out bit by bit, even it's precious artwork doled out like trading cards, the U.S. Government is tossing cash at foreign countries like rose petals on a honeymoon bed.

Now I know that a lot of this "cash" that goes overseas is just a ruse because the countries in return just buy our weapons to stockpile (remember that military industrial complex?). So, I'm thinking that Detroit proper should look into investing in some tanks (they could use them instead of bulldozers to tear down buildings), and maybe some smallish rocket launchers (lots of Canadian geese to shoot at, then give them to food banks to feed the poor). You get the idea.

Maybe if Detroit promised to continue the boondoogle of money-weapons-money and back again that all these other countries are complicit in, just maybe the government would help to save one of our most important cities.

Chart via.

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Video Overnight Thread- Inside Fordlandia: Henry Ford's failed jungle city

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Beeeeezare. Via.

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Detroit proposes plan to turn to "Obamacare" to ease bankruptcy costs

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 chart obamacare repeal

Via Think Progress

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

So will the GOP blame thank Obama and his evil Marxist socialist Kenyan Muslim Affordable Care Act for helping Detroit cope with bankruptcy, financial martial law (see above video), and failed GOP state and national economic policies, erosion of public services, union busting, and deregulation? Will they admit their hypocrisy?

You can stop laughing now.

Via the New York Times:

As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.

Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.

Similar proposals that could shift public sector retirees into the new insurance markets, called exchanges, are already being planned or contemplated in places like Chicago; Sheboygan County, Wis.; and Stockton, Calif. [...]

[T]he health law’s guarantee of federal subsidies to help people with modest incomes afford coverage has made the new insurance markets tantalizing for local governments.

The downside: Policies bought through an exchange could be more expensive for retirees than public sector health plans. On the other hand, some could end up spending less on coverage bought through the online markets than they do now.

And because Michigan is under King Rick Snyder's control, it is one of the Republican states that opted out of expanding Medicaid. Way to go, Ricky!

what's the matter with michigan

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VIDEO: Rev. Al Sharpton files lawsuit against Michigan Emergency Management system (aka financial martial law)

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what's the matter with michigan

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MSNBC:

On Thursday, Michigan’s Public Act 36 comes into effect and Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr becomes Emergency Manager (EM), granting him an expansion of his authority over the city, including the ability to unilaterally override collective bargaining agreements. However, a group of activists which includes PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton is working to strip him of those powers entirely. Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, has filed a federal lawsuit contending that the Emergency Management system is unlawful.

King Ricky Snyder's response to protests over stomping all over democracy by undermining voters?

“The old law went away, but we put in a new law that really was responsive to the issues that came up during that process,. And if you look at it, I’m also the elected official. I was elected by the people of Michigan. So there is an elected official in charge of that process, and I think that’s critically important.... It's not about excluding people, it's about teamwork... solving problems together..."

Said the elected official who gets to remain in power as he pulls the plug on other elected officials' power.

Teamwork my ass.

We've covered this story often, including this from earlier this month: MI Dictator, er, Gov. Snyder declares financial emergency in Detroit, will appoint emergency manager to take over.

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