Patterico's Pontifications


Detroit Files for Bankruptcy – Updated

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Foreshadowing of things to come.

Update – Political hack State Judge halts bankruptcy as it dishonors Obama. I kid you not.


158 Responses to “Detroit Files for Bankruptcy – Updated”

  1. The MFM and the Left told me if I voted for Romney, Detroit would go bankrupt.

    JD (b50cac)

  2. So. Has Omini Consumer Products made an offer yet?

    Jcw46 (6106c6)

  3. But it’s the GOP’s fault, all those officials we’ve voted into office in Detroit over the past 40 years….

    Oh,there aren’t any….never mind…racists..

    The bhead (a7612c)

  4. Detroit’s still gonna have to pay off its student loans, though…

    Leviticus (b98400)

  5. At interest rates partially tied to the market. GASP!

    JD (b50cac)


    we’re next.

    redc1c4, who lives in Failifornia (403dff)

  7. I wonder if someone is buying public pension rights from government workers. And if so, I wonder how much is the discount, and how long the line to sell.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  8. Although, here in California, I think they get to take my house if need be to pay off the pensions. Thank God for the 13th Amendment though.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  9. Osama bin Laden is dead and so is Detroit.


    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  10. $13K per head. And make sure they pay up before they can leave, please.

    mojo (8096f2)

  11. I wonder if someone is buying public pension rights from government workers. And if so, I wonder how much is the discount, and how long the line to sell.

    I read yesterday that the emergency financial manager was only offering ten cents on the dollar to pension holders and other creditors.

    JVW (23867e)

  12. It would seem an appropriate time to call this newly-bankrupt city by its complete and accurate name …


    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  13. i’m having a tasty flax blueberry muffin for breakfast but not Detroit cause it too poor for tasty muffins

    cause of it made Bad Choices

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  14. And Moody’s just down graded Chicago’s bonds three pegs. The Dems spread misery everywhere they rule.

    Hoagie (3259ab)

  15. HA!

    i had two Carl’s Junior bacon biscuits, because BACONS!
    (that and i had to get up early %-)

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  16. Leviticus,

    Why do you say that? You may be right. I think student loans are excepted from discharge under 11 USC Section 523, but it looks like Section 523 doesn’t apply to a Chapter 9 case.

    Plus, wouldn’t Detroit’s obligation regarding school loans be as a guarantor or lender, not as a borrower?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. DRJ, I think Mr. Leviticus was making a joke there.

    Chuck Bartowski (25922b)

  18. have another cup of coffee DRJ: i believe that was snark, but i could be wrong…

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  19. I bet you’re right, Chuck. It went right past me.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  20. I don’t do snark well, red.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. DRJ – you did snark very well this week!

    JD (b50cac)

  22. Next on the list, the City of Brotherly Love. Completely dominated by one party — you know which one it is — it is run by political cronyism and completely dominated by the unions, the government employee unions, which have driven up pension costs, the teachers unions, which are bankrupting the public schools, and the construction trade unions, which have forced the cost of building up to the point where people who might want to build businesses in Philly choose the suburbs instead. Philadelphia has a very high wage tax rate, yet still requires massive state aid, and even then is running a huge deficit.

    The Detroit bankruptcy is the best news around for Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) and the Republicans controlling the state legislature. The voters outside of Philadelphia don’t want to see their taxes go up to pay for the impending bankruptcy of the cesspool on the Schuylkill.

    The Dana in Pennsylvania . . . but not Philadelphia (3e4784)

  23. On behalf of all white people, Chris Matthews wants to apologize for Detroit.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. and, on behalf of sane people everywhere (all 7 of us) i want to apologize for Chris Matthews…

    we wanted to keep him in the home, but the doctor said he was normal.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  25. Blue Social Model
    Gov pensioners go face-down
    Detroit goes teats-up

    Colonel Haiku (8cb0f3)

  26. It was indeed a joke, but not meant as snark.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  27. Kwame in prison
    Dave Bing throws up a prayer
    Does not draw iron

    Colonel Haiku (8cb0f3)

  28. Sometimes I need blogs that come with instructions, Leviticus.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  29. MoTown done beclowned
    Please Motor City MadMan
    put that dead dog down

    Colonel Haiku (cd6dde)

  30. rusty factories
    heartbeat of America
    too late for jump start

    Colonel Haiku (cd6dde)


    we’re next.

    Comment by redc1c4, who lives in Failifornia (403dff) — 7/19/2013 @ 8:42 am

    You do know that CALPERS is trying to force a new arrangement into its contract with all governmental entities contracting with it for pension plans, don’t you? It will allow CALPERS to file liens on all the assets of the governmental entity to collateralize the pension obligations of the associated employees.

    Yep, your town may go belly-up because it is paying two work forces – one that shows up and one ghost work force of retirees, but CALPERS will step and start selling off land, police cars, maintenance equipment, computers, buildings, etc. to make those pension payments.

    The especially sweet part is while you get whatever pittance you can squeeze out of your 401k to survive, you get to watch your former government worker neighbor jetting off on multiple vacations a year and buying new cars and toys on his CALPERS pension.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  32. I liked it Leviticus. It was clever and subtle commentary. And, don’t beat yourself up, DRJ. We all friends here.

    elissa (1d7424)

  33. As I was reading on various sites about the mess in Detroit, I came upon a pretty interesting “how this affects ordinary people” type of story. The author is almost assuredly a liberal, and wanted to give one of these wrenching stories about how unfair this is to the citizens of Detroit. Anyway, the piece centered around an 86-year-old woman who was likely to lose most of her $590 monthly pension that she received as a former city worker. It supplements her monthly $1100 Social Security check and according to her, manages to allow her to maintain a home and meet her basic expenses.

    But then you read more about her pension, and marvel at the details. It turns out this woman only worked for the city for 17 years, and fully retired a quarter-century ago when she was a mere 61 years old. How in the world did anyone ever think that this sort of generous package would be sustainable? Unless she was making something like $150,000 per year way back in 1988, I just can’t see qualifying for a pension of $7000 per year after only 17 years at work. Yet this is what this lady’s union negotiated with the city, and she gets to receive a pension for a period 50% longer than she actually worked.

    What’s amazing, frankly, is that it took this long for Detroit to collapse, though the U.S. taxpayer certainly helped keep the boat afloat a bit longer.

    JVW (23867e)

  34. money spending fools
    like there’s no tomorrow
    Bob sez “Like a Rock”

    Colonel Haiku (017a27)

  35. I think the piece also said that there are two-and-one-half times as many retirees receiving pensions from Detroit as there are current city workers.

    JVW (23867e)

  36. I don’t think the cause and effect here is understood. I don’t think it is understood by those in power. I don’t think it is understood by the man on the street.

    And I don’t see any reson to believe that it will ever be understood.

    It’s the anti-scientific method. We ignore the results of the failed experiment. We still hold to our erroneous hypothesis. Then we try again and again, each time surprised at the result.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  37. One by one they fall
    Dem governed short-sighted blighted
    yet they continue

    Colonel Haiku (4e5a95)

  38. Obama now sez
    meh “Trayvon could have been me”
    he was ch00mer too

    Colonel Haiku (4e5a95)

  39. This is wildly off-topic but there’s an article at Politico about Ted Cruz running for President in 2016. I like Cruz so that makes me happy, but the parenthetical section is what I find most interesting:

    So Cruz has a great delivery system — he’s got the perfect rhetorical combination of having a coherent worldview that he can transpose for voters into demotic, accessible language. One can see that even when he’s casually accusing Chuck Hagel of giving aid and comfort to the North Koreans — part of the reason he outrages his colleagues is that he already commands the Senate floor and the media. And what he is delivering is the perfect exemplification of the entire panoply of Republican base politics, or, if you prefer, tea party politics (Which, by the way, is merely another name for a reconsolidated umbrella coalition of all the deeply held beliefs of the GOP base over the past several decades — nothing new under the sun.)

    I never thought of it that way but I think Yeselson is right that the Tea Party umbrella unites many different interests. Thus, the Democrats — a party of coalitions — desperately need to attack the Tea Party because they recognize it is the Republican version of the source of the Democratic Party’s power.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  40. I will try to put up a post of Teh One talking about TM today. I have not seen it yet.

    JD (b50cac)

  41. Note that, despite recognizing Cruz’s great skill, Yeselson doesn’t like Cruz at all:

    Ted Cruz is everything that is dangerous and wrongheaded about the modern Republican Party — a politician whose cosmopolitan credentials are being used in the service of a radically anti-modernist, culturally and economically reactionary project.

    That’s another reason I like Cruz. His enemies fear him.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. hey Detroit City
    no mo ObamaCash from
    teh ObamaStash!?!?

    Colonel Haiku (5eaa1e)

  43. I never thought of it that way but I think Yeselson is right that the Tea Party umbrella unites many different interests. Thus, the Democrats — a party of coalitions — desperately need to attack the Tea Party because they recognize it is the Republican version of the source of the Democratic Party’s power.

    I think you are right, DRJ, but of course the Democrat coalition consists of interest groups who all want some giveaway from the government, while the Tea Party coalition is demanding that government do less for them and for the rest of the citizenry. That is why I am somewhat cynical as to our long-term outlook: the coalition demanding a tangible good will always be more popular than the coalition demanding to be left alone.

    JVW (23867e)

  44. JD teh won sez things may have been different if ” it would have been a white teen”

    Colonel Haiku (aa8ee9)

  45. Detroit’s population dropped by nearly 2.3 since the 1950s. It’s had bad politics and misgovernment since the 1960s (but I repeat myself)

    It got a somewhat good mayor (Dave Bing) in the end but that was hopeless and he almost voluntarily turned over power to an overseer because the overseer had some more power.

    Nothing works in Detroit except the Fire Department, because the Fire Department does not cost too much and if the Fire Department did not work, there would be no Detroit!

    Actually large sections of Detroit effectively no longer exist, and the city thinks things would be improved by tearing down buildings, but they have the money to do that anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. Comment by JVW (23867e) — 7/19/2013 @ 10:57 am

    I think the piece also said that there are two-and-one-half times as many retirees receiving pensions from Detroit as there are current city workers.

    Detroit’s population has shrunk by well over half.

    Why did it shrink?

    C R I M E

    Detroit I think has the highest murder rate in the country (unless New Orleans has regained the championship, but God sent Katrina for a reason)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  47. That’s very true, JVW, although the money can only last so long. Events — like Obama and the Democrats abandoning Detroit — may wake up some of those Democratic voters.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 7/19/2013 @ 9:26 am


    I think Wallace Muhammed first started out in Detroit, although he had to leave early.

    The black racists won.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  49. National Journal has a nice piece up with old photos which document what has been lost with the slow demise of Detroit. I love old photos.

    elissa (1d7424)

  50. The city doesn’t have the money to tear down the buildings.

    One idea I guess is turning parts of the city into a giant park.

    The key to the whole thing is the crime rate, especially the murder rate.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. I actually stayed in downtown Detroit a couple of years ago and actually loved it. Went to a Tigers game then did a mini-tour of some of the local bars. As elissa notes, there are some absolutely gorgeous buildings down there. We stayed close to Greektown, which had some very pretty churches. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how a city that had so much going for it could fail so badly. It’s really a sad story.

    JVW (23867e)

  52. Leviticus, I thought it was a very funny line.

    DRJ – I thought that you did a great job of snarking off of Leviticus’ joke … intentionally or not.

    SPQR (5dae5b)

  53. If Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit.

    SPQR (5dae5b)

  54. What can a city do when it finds its patron industry and its middle class moving out, leaving it a relic of extremes? Detroit is trying to do two things: Restore enough amenities of city life to recapture some of the middle class, and diversify its economic base so as to provide sustenance for every class. Both projects are difficult to accomplish once centrifugal motion has gathered force, and some of the realty interests are far from cooperative… But urban deterioration offers at least one advantage. Once a city core has become as run-down as Detroit’s, you can start to rebuild fairly cheaply.

    This paragraph was not written recently. It was written in The Reporter on Oct. 31, 1957.

    elissa (1d7424)

  55. Sadly, Obama is probably right that he could have been Trayvon. He skirted the law by underage drinking, pot smoking, and rolling a car while drag-racing. Trayvon and he would have gotten along fine.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  56. detroit has never recovered from the nightmare.

    mg (31009b)

  57. I had exactly the same reaction, DRJ. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, how oblivious our POTUS is to his own clay feet?

    Beldar (7626b1)

  58. Hey Mr. Potus, let’s have a debate!

    You say the African-American community is looking at this incident through a history that won’t go away. Do you teach your daughters that it is acceptable to criminally assault people for believing people are looking at them the wrong way? Is that what you mean?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 7/19/2013 @ 12:15 pm

    Trayvon and he would have gotten along fine.

    But he’d also have gotten along quite well with George Zimmerman.

    That’s what he did.

    And if met them both and they were enemies, he’d try to make peace, while preserving any and all fictions, and never revealing much, if any, disagreement with anyone’s perceptions..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  60. As a youth, Zimmerman was religious and interested in being a policeman. How would those qualities appeal to Obama?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  61. With apologies for any math errors in advance, but with a link so you can do it better, here are some stats from the FBI:

    Detroit (pop. 707k) had 386 murders (0.000546 per capita) in 2012, up from 344 in 2011.

    That per capita rate is almost three times as high as that of the second-place city (as ranked by total murders, not per capita), which you’ll not be surprised to learn is our POTUS’ adopted hometown: Chicago (pop. 2,708k) had 500 murders in 2012 (0.000185 per capita), up from 431 in 2011.

    As for my adopted hometown of the last 33 years — symbol of the wild west, as ethnically diverse as any city in America, swarming with youth, and with all the foreigners (legal and not) attracted by a booming economy, the nation’s leading port in foreign tonnage, and the relatively close border with Mexico: Houston (pop. 2,177k) had 217 murders (0.0000997 per capita) in 2012, up from 198 in 2011. I’d be the first to acknowledge that’s still way too high; but Houston per capital murder rate is about half of Chicago’s, and less than a fifth of Detroit’s.

    And New York (pop. 8,289k) had 419 murders (0.0000505 per capita) in 2012, down from 515 in 2011. Yes, if you’re counting the zeroes to the right of the decimal place, that’s four of them. If I’ve got my math right, then in terms of per capital murder rate, Detroit and New York are quite literally in different orders of magnitude.

    Beldar (7626b1)

  62. Bah — that’s a particularly unfortunate typo in that last sentence. Should be “per capita murder rate,” not “per capital murder rate.” Sorry for the confusion, my head swims when I have to do figures.

    Beldar (7626b1)

  63. Obama says he could have been Trayvon, thirty five years ago, eh ?
    Agreed !
    After all, he’s the same guy who once wrote, “I spent my last two years of high school in a daze.”
    from his autobiography Bill Ayers’ biography, Dreams From My Drunken, Bigamist Father

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  64. (I’m pretty sure the Houston stats also exclude the surrounding Houston SMSA in counties like Galveston, Montgomery, and Brazoria, which are home to over a million more mostly suburbanites and considerably lower crime rates.)

    Beldar (7626b1)

  65. The Colonel is on a roll
    While Detroit is on the dole
    They will survive
    O keeps them alive
    And all it costs is their soul.

    The Limerick Avenger (3e4784)

  66. “Obama says he could have been Trayvon, thirty five years ago, eh ?”

    ES – Which means his typical which grandparents or mother could have jumped out of a bush and shot him at any time. He must have grown up in constant fear.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. typical white

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. Obama now sez
    meh “Trayvon could have been me”
    he was ch00mer too

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (4e5a95) — 7/19/2013 @ 11:00 am

    That has to have been most folks’ first reaction. And maybe Obama even intended this as a moment of humble honesty about the errors in judgment he had to take responsibility for in order to become the success he is today.


    But the real similarity of these two men is that a huge segment of the population ignores the difficult facts about them in order to elevate them to a sainted stature. Trayvon had other people’s property, tools of burglary, was a street fighter, etc etc etc. And whose responsibility is it that he grew up this way? His parents, who have made this issue very lucrative, offer George’s community no apology for what they have made, and I’m sure the concept that they should have done a better job sounds outrageous. Similarly, as this country crumbles like Detroit, predictably, obviously, and avoidably, will the democrats ever acknowledge that they should have done things differently? No… they will convince themselves that collapse was actually brilliant. Obama heralding Cloward Piven. It’s our fault for not seeing how great he is.

    Surely George Zimmerman was racist for not seeing Trayvon’s core goodness as Trayvon was putting dents in George’s skull, just as the GOP is racist for seeing Obama’s historic administration only for the failure and scandal.

    Dustin (303dca)

  69. If I’ve got my math right, then in terms of per capital murder rate, Detroit and New York are quite literally in different orders of magnitude.

    Indeed, Beldar. According to your figures Detroit has a murder rate of 5.5 x 10^(-4) (i.e., 5.5 times ten to the power of negative four) while New York has a murder rate of 5.0 x 10^(-5). The numbers demonstrate that a resident of Detroit was ten times more likely to be murdered last year than a resident of New York. That is staggering.

    JVW (23867e)

  70. “It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good people who work,” the judge told assistant Attorney General Brian Devlin. “It’s also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy.”

    A judge throws out the bankruptcy, citing how it dishonors Obama.

    So if this stands up, Michigan is somehow required by law to pay for anything Detroit wants to buy. And how long before there isn’t a similar provision tucked into a federal law (if there isn’t already?). Neat trick.

    Second look at secession?

    Dustin (303dca)

  71. Comment by Beldar (7626b1) — 7/19/2013 @ 1:32 pm

    And New York (pop. 8,289k) had 419 murders (0.0000505 per capita) in 2012, down from 515 in 2011. Yes, if you’re counting the zeroes to the right of the decimal place, that’s four of them. If I’ve got my math right, then in terms of per capital murder rate, Detroit and New York are quite literally in different orders of magnitude.

    That’s why they want to get rid of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly very soon, so much so that Obama is considering nominating him to be Secretary of Homeland Security. (kicking him upstairs, so to speak)

    The only trouble is Obama is running into trouble from some of his own supporters (the ones who don’t understand what’s going on here)

    Raising the Wrong Profile By TA-NEHISI COATES

    “Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is,” said the president. “But if he’s not, I’d want to know about it.”

    There are some other things that the president should want to know about. Chief among them would be how his laudatory words for Kelly square with the commissioner’s practices and with the president’s deepest commitments.

    The N.Y.P.D.’s stop-and-frisk program has been well-covered in this newspaper and elsewhere….

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  72. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is really frustrating the people who want crime up.

    They started campaigning against “stop and frisk” and “stop and frisk” is actually down by 20% since a year ago, and yet the crime rate still keeps going down!!

    The police department has hit upon two new tactics:

    1) Start looking at Facebook pages and other social media, and investigate what looks like a crime, since criminals, especially in gangs, seem compelled to boast.

    2) Drill down geographically. Use smaller units of territory than before to compile crime statics.

    In neighborhoods with higher crime rates, it is often only a few streets or intersections that have a great deal of the crime (at least when crime is low)

    Then concentrate there.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  73. Dustin – And the connection of the municipal bankruptcy to the auto bailouts was what again?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  74. I think teh Won may have meant the promise of reaching exalted heights was denied to Trayvon.

    Colonel Haiku (01ad4d)

  75. He’s President Skittles !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  76. Although Motown thinks Teh Supremes Won will perform Miracles, they should resist Temptations and not have their collective hands tied in some Gordyan knot, cuz Teh Won’s papa was Mos Def a Rolling Stone.

    Colonel Haiku (8a1837)

  77. Dustin – And the connection of the municipal bankruptcy to the auto bailouts was what again?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 7/19/2013 @ 2:27 pm

    That is a very good question. I guess I am not faithful enough in my honoring of our president to have the answer. All I understand are simple things like ‘if you spend more than you have, you will run out of money’.

    Dustin (303dca)

  78. Is corruptocrat councilwoman Monica Conyers in or out of the slammer now?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  79. Heard on Fox 2 minutes ago – the Fed judge has no authority to issue such an order..

    EPWJ (6140f6)

  80. Actually, I would think that declaring bankrupty would be a way to honor this President !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  81. “If I had a city, it would look like Detroit.”

    – Barack 0bama

    Colonel Haiku (5eaa1e)

  82. “If I had a city, I wouldn’t know what it would look like.”

    -Stevie Wonder

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  83. Heard on Fox 2 minutes ago – the Fed judge has no authority to issue such an order..
    Comment by EPWJ (6140f6) — 7/19/2013 @ 3:07 pm

    Perhaps you miss-heard? I believe that they were saying a State Judge has no jurisdiction because bankruptcy (like this) is done in a Federal Court under federal law.

    At least this is what I read (do not get Fox News). dug into the issue with the help of Fox News legal specialist Courtney Vargas, who says filing the bankruptcy petition does not violate Michigan law.

    “The Michigan constitution states that accrued pensions benefits of public employees shall not be diminished or impaired,” she said. She added the argument pensioners are trying to make is that by filing for bankruptcy their benefits will be negatively affected and that the filing was done knowing that.

    Vargas believes that the argument doesn’t fly because federal law authorizes bankruptcy judges to alter the terms of a pension plan for municipal employees whose municipal employer is undergoing bankruptcy.

    BfC (a1cf00)

  84. She’s not a Federal Judge, she’s a State Circuit Court Judge, a Democrat (why am I not surprised), and was elected.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  85. daley, Monica was released on 16 May 13.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  86. She’s not a Federal Judge, she’s a State Circuit Court Judge, a Democrat (why am I not surprised), and was elected.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 7/19/2013 @ 3:20 pm

    That she’s elected is no surprise. The whole point of this is to get people to elect themselves other people’s money. Unionized employees with pensions so ridiculous no one could pay them will remember this when they go to the polls.

    Dustin (303dca)

  87. Thanks for the heads-up on the Dem judge, all.

    JD (b63a52)

  88. Maybe Judge Rosemarie is brown-nosing O for the Homeland Security job?

    Patricia (be0117)

  89. Maybe Judge Rosemarie is brown-nosing O for the Homeland Security job?

    Well, seeing as how that is apparently a stepping-stone to the presidency of the University of California system. . . .

    JVW (23867e)

  90. You can’t enjoin court access. A state court double cannot enjoin access to a federal court. If the bankruptcy judge is a crotchety old codger who does not suffer fools gladly, this lady could be in for some hurt. Her plaintiffs, too.

    nk (875f57)

  91. i was going to ask about that: once the case is filed, can it be recalled, or can the presiding BK judge say, “no, you need to be here.”, even if the filer says they changed their mind?

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  92. 51.The city doesn’t have the money to tear down the buildings.

    One idea I guess is turning parts of the city into a giant park.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 7/19/2013 @ 11:28 am

    I think “memorial” is a better term. To the evils of the progressive/trade unionist agenda. Sort of like a concentration camp.

    Never again!

    Steve57 (15e538)

  93. Or maybe a “forbidden zone” like in Planet of the Apes.

    Steve57 (15e538)

  94. I guess she even scribbled “this is to be sent to President Obama” on the bottom of her order!


    We are now officially living in a Personality Cult.

    Patricia (be0117)

  95. This judge is a complete mron.

    SPQR (768505)

  96. Or a giant prison colony.

    Since Hollywood is only good at sequels anymore, “Snake Plisken IV: Escape From Detroit.”

    Steve57 (15e538)

  97. No, Detroit was never a paradise.

    narciso (3fec35)

  98. Hollyweird isn’t even really good at sequels these days. see “The Lone Ranger”, as an example

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  99. 96. We are now officially living in a Personality Cult.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 7/19/2013 @ 5:35 pm

    That’s why I bought the gay-president issue of Newsweek with the Prom Queen wearing his rainbow halo on the cover and preserved it in plastic.

    To show my grandkids what one looks like since just as soon as this leaning tower of popsicle sticks of an administration collapses the MFM is going to try to bury the evidence.

    Steve57 (15e538)

  100. Well that wasn’t a sequel, I think they call it a ‘reimagining’

    narciso (3fec35)

  101. narciso, they should stick to sequels because they suck at reimagining.

    Just stick to what the dead script writers imagined and then reimagined for them already 20 years ago.

    Steve57 (15e538)

  102. They’re not good at the Western steampunk thing, Wild Wild West, stank on ice,

    narciso (3fec35)

  103. Whoa! There’s a Snake Plisken III? Nobody tells me anything.

    nk (875f57)

  104. once the case is filed, can it be recalled, or can the presiding BK judge say, “no, you need to be here.”, even if the filer says they changed their mind?

    A debtor should be able to voluntarily dismiss a voluntary bankruptcy but not if its creditors convert it into an involuntary bankruptcy? (In order to keep it from dissipating assets, and/or preferring some debts over others which seems to be what the plaintiffs want here.)

    nk (875f57)

  105. No, there isn’t ‘Escape from LA’ was bad enough, with the whole world gone dark, there isn’t room for another sequel, of course, they are ‘reimagining’ Robocop, as if OCP would really operate in Detroit, today.

    narciso (3fec35)

  106. Does the execrable former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm still have her show on the Al Gorezerra channel? It might be interesting (if infuriating) to see how she deflects blame from her party’s ideology.

    JVW (23867e)

  107. Can be dismissed “for good cause”.

    SPQR (768505)

  108. I just quickly Googled ex-Governor Granholm and found this awesome broadside.

    JVW (23867e)

  109. so granting special status to certain creditors (the union pensions) at the expense of others would *not* be a “good cause”?

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  110. There are ways a municipal debtor can effectively get a dismissal of its case (such as by failing to prosecute it), but I don’t think it has the power to voluntarily dismiss its case. Only the court can dismiss a Chapter 9 case.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  111. On the other hand, given how the Obama Administration manipulated the court and process during the Chrysler and GM proceedings, anything can happen here. The bankruptcy court has far less supervision and control over a debtor in a Chapter 9 case, as opposed to Chapter 11 proceeding like Chrysler and GM.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  112. A poster for your kid’s college dorm room:

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  113. Wow. Incredible, gary.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  114. Wow, gary, I so want to post this on my Facebook wall, but I am turning over a new leaf and trying to avoid politics on Facebook.

    JVW (23867e)

  115. 55. Nice find. I worked a couple days in Detroit 20 years ago. Today’s pictures seem little different-miles of vacant lots and litter.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  116. Moody’s just downgraded Chicago’s municipal debt. Cost to Chicago, $36 Billion.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  117. 15. Sorry Hoagie, I catch up reading backwards.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  118. Mediaite takes Melissa Harris-Perry to task for her inane comments on Detroit’s problems being exacerbated by — get this — a “government [that] is small enough to drown if your bathtub.” But within the Mediate article is an interesting figure. According to them, the costs for pension and health care for retired city workers come out to $561 per month for each current resident of Detroit. The average monthly income of Detroit residents is $1200, and that is before taxes. If those figures are true, it’s pretty easy to see that there is no feasible solution short of defaulting on pension obligations.

    JVW (23867e)

  119. Re the state judge’s order, I’ve only read a short description of it. I can’t yet tell the extent, if any, that it has substance beyond whether the POTUS has been dis’d. I’ve seen it suggested that it may depend on an issue of state law. I don’t practice in that area, but I’m reasonably sure there are at least some scenarios in a municipal bankruptcy in which state law ends up being very important in sorting things out.

    And it’s not uncommon for federal courts to sometimes send a request over to a state supreme court asking for a clarification of state law that is expected to resolve, in turn, the case pending in federal court where that issue has come up. It’s called “certifying the question.” I’m pretty sure that’s happened in bankruptcy-related cases too.

    But with respect to Detroit:

    I’m reasonably confident that the extent to which state law controls is itself an issue that is going to be decided in federal bankruptcy court. And it’s not uncommon for federal judges to take a more expansive view of the federal courts’ own powers than their state-judge counterparts do, or would prefer.

    In short it will be a federal bankruptcy judge (subject to further appellate review in the federal courts) who initially decides whether this state-court judge’s opinion is brilliant and dispositive, or whether instead it’s the judicial equivalent of a deliberate fart in church.

    These are hipshot impressions, but not wild guesses. But I’ll gladly defer to any who’ve done more research or otherwise know more.

    Beldar (7626b1)

  120. Shorter: Feds win in a battle over which court can enjoin the other.

    Beldar (7626b1)

  121. (Been there, done that, albeit not in bankruptcy court.)

    Beldar (7626b1)

  122. here is more better link for Mr. JVW’s melissa harris perry link thing

    I didn’t think she really held the screen in Sabrina but in melissa & joey she’s really taken it to the next level

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  123. We spent less money to rebuild Hiroshima too

    SteveG (794291)

  124. Mr G wrote:

    We spent less money to rebuild Hiroshima too

    Well, the demolition phase was accomplished fairly quickly, which helped with the whole project.

    The snarky Dana (3e4784)

  125. “dishonors”

    I see you used this word with respect to one JEF.

    I suspect the word doesn’t mean quite what you think it means.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  126. “It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good people who work,” the judge told assistant Attorney General Brian Devlin. “It’s also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy.”

    This then popped into my mind …

    I have some hostages, and they are tied up in a sack at the top of a flag pole. I’m going to blow them up at midnight, unless I get these three demands: ONE! I want a million dollars! TWO: I want a getaway car waiting for me! and THREE: I want the letter M stricken from the English language. See, you have to make one crazy demand, so if they catch you, you can plead insanity. Heh, heh, getaway car.” — Steve Martin

    Heh, heh, Dishonors Obama.

    There are multiple ways to play “Hot Potato”

    Neo (d1c681)

  127. it’s cheating good people who work

    Who in Detroit still has a job other than PubEmp’s?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  128. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    The city doesn’t have the money to tear down the buildings.

    Hey, firemen still need to train and practice . . . .

    The Dana with helpful suggestions (af9ec3)

  129. They could do it the same way Hiroshima did…..
    let everyone scrounge for what they want from the debris, but put everything else in neat piles for collection.
    That’s also the way Germany cleared the debris from its bombed-out cities.
    Everyone gets to work, and the city can set up a soup kitchen using the sale of scavenged material to finance it.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  130. These days anything like that would probably be considered unsafe.

    Besides this work is already being done.

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)

  131. It is common to say, when talking about guns and self-defense, that when life or death is a matter of seconds, the police are minutes away.
    In Detroit, it is quite commonly hours, and could – in the near future – be days away as the personnel of the city are pared back beneath the bone.

    Who knew that The Blue Social Model would produce Lord of the Flies.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  132. Even blue areas can only raise taxes so much.

    When it comes to budgets, paying debts and paying employees – as much as possible – takes priority over maintaining services

    Paul Krugman blames the market:

    The Wall Street Journal editorial is much better:

    After Detroit, Who’s Next?

    The police force has been cut 40% in the last 10 years. Response times are five times longer. 40% of streetlights are out. 70% of parks have ben closed since 2008.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  133. Many of those street-lights are not just “out” but are in-operable as the copper wiring has been stripped from them by thieves.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  134. It’s personal. Michael Barone reviews a new book Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff.

    “When people ask me why I moved from liberal to conservative, I have a one-word answer: Detroit. I grew up there, on a middle-class grid street in northwest Detroit and a curving street in affluent suburban Birmingham, and I got a job as an intern in the office of the mayor in the summer of 1967 when Detroit rioted. I was at the side of Mayor Jerome Cavanagh and occasionally Governor George Romney during the six days and nights in which 43 people, mostly innocent bystanders, died. I listened to the radio in the police commissioner’s office as commanders announced, shortly after sundown, that they were abandoning one square mile after another. The riot ended only after federal troops were called in and restored order. Cavanagh was bright, young, liberal, and charming. He had been elected in 1961 at age 33 with virtually unanimous support from blacks and with substantial support from white homeowners—then the majority of Detroit voters—and he was reelected by a wide margin in 1965. He and Martin Luther King, Jr., led a civil rights march of 100,000 down Woodward Avenue in June 1963. He was one of the first mayors to set up an antipoverty program and believed that city governments could do more than provide routine services; they could lift people, especially black people, out of poverty and into productive lives. Liberal policies promised to produce something like heaven. Instead they produced something more closely resembling hell. You can get an idea of what happened to Detroit by looking at some numbers. The Census counted 1,849,568 people in Detroit in 1950, including me. It counted 713,777 in 2010.”

    To get a feel for what this particular hell is like, you should read Charlie LeDuff’s Detroit: An American Autopsy. LeDuff is a reporter who left the New York Times for the Detroit News and left the News when an editor took all the good stuff out of a story on a local judge. He’s now a reporter for Fox 2 and you can get an idea of his personal style by watching his clips on YouTube. Detroit is a personal story for him: he grew up in the not-affluent suburb of Westland (named after a shopping center, as he notes) with a divorced mother who ran a florist shop on the east side of Detroit but who couldn’t keep her children from dire fates. A daughter who became a streetwalker and died violently left behind her own daughter who would overdose on heroin. Three of LeDuff’s brothers are working at just-above-minimum-wage jobs or not working at all (one pulled out a tooth with pliers). Charlie was lucky. He went into “the most natural thing for a man with no real talent. Journalism.”

    I checked out the book from the library today.

    elissa (7047a4)

  135. “You can get an idea of what happened to Detroit by looking at some numbers. The Census counted 1,849,568 people in Detroit in 1950, including me. It counted 713,777 in 2010.”

    Population 1960: 1,670,144 (3,537,709 urban area)

    Population 1970: 1,514,063

    Population 1980: 1,203,339

    Population 1990 1,028,000 (rounded off)

    Population 2000 951,000 (rounded off)

    Population of the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA:
    4,249,000 in 1990 4,453,000 in 2000.

    Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint 5,187,171 in 1990 and 5,456,426 in the year 2000 Census.

    (Various sources)

    Sammy Finkelman (16fe92)

  136. House in detroit available for sale for 41

    Hat tip Nate Silver.

    And the phrase “hat tip” itself I just read today goes back to San Francisco based cartoonist Jimmy Hatlo, who had a syndicated cartoon called “They’ll Do it Every Time” from 1929 till he died in December 1963. They were collected in some books.

    He wanted stories of things going wrong pr turning out to be a mistake.

    He would turn them into very intricately drawn cartoons and in a little box in the cartoon he would have “A Tip of the Hatlo Hat”

    A hat, obviuously, because that was the start of his last name

    And it would say something like this:

    “Thanx, and a Tip of the Hatlo hat to Robt. C. Lind, 3007 2nd Ave. E., Hibbing, Minnesota.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  137. Actual New York Times editiorial today about the Detroit bankruptcy:

    In the printed paper the subhead of the editiorial is: “City and state officials should resist the temptation to gut modest public pensions.”

    It’s the bondholders and the banks who should lose out. It goes into all kinds of things that caused the financial problems of Detroit, bit DOES NOT MENTION CRIME.

    It actually oraises the cutbacks in the police force.

    Although it seems to aalso say it undermined public safety. But still it talks like it’s an additional problem.

    In recent years, the city has tried to respond these challenges by raising taxes and severely cutting spending on vital services like police, fire and even streetlights. But its efforts have not been sufficient to pull it out of a downward spiral that in many ways exacerbated its decline by, for instance, undermining public safety.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


    The city undertook a controlled experiment in what happens if you are governed by a toxic combination of Great Society big spenders, race hustlers, crooks, public-sector unions, and ineffectual reformers. It spent and misgoverned itself into the ground. It tried to defy the axiom of the late economist Herb Stein that “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    The murder rate climbed from 13 per 100,000 residents in 1966 to 51 oer 100,000 in 1976.

    It was the city’s dysfunction that made it unappealing to the auto companies rather than the diminished state of the auto companies that made the city dysfunctional.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  139. NO

    Yoda (ee1de0)

  140. @137 I excerpted a review of Charlie Le Duff’s new book about returning to his hometown, Detroit: An American Autopsy. Based on the review I had gotten the book at the library on the day that Detroit declared bankruptcy.

    Well, I finished it late last night. I thought it was well written, edgy, personal, enlightening and very engaging. It’s also a sad reminder that despite the all the jokes and sarcasm and amid the political corruption and societal and physical decay there are still real people there in Detroit–stuck there– some very decent people just trying to survive.

    I recommend this book unreservedly to my fellow commenters here.

    elissa (f37308)

  141. there are still real people there in Detroit–stuck there– some very decent people just trying to survive.

    I sympathize with the small number of Detroiters who are sensible and politically reasonable. For the others? Not so much.

    BTW, at the rate things are going — meaning if the US becomes more and more like a Mexico or Argentina — anyone who is sensible and politically reasonable in America will increasingly feel like he or she is trapped in Detroit writ large.

    Mark (18fced)

  142. Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff.
    977.434 L

    12 holds on first copy returned of 14 copies

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  143. Half of Detroit property owners don’t pay taxes News analysis finds $246.5M in taxes went unpaid last year From The Detroit News February 21, 2013

    Detroit has the highest property taxes among big cities nationwide and relies on assessments that are seriously inflated. Many houses are assessed at more than 10 times their market price, according to new research from two Michigan professors.

    People don’t get services. Some voluntarily pay. the city can’t even afford to foreclose. Some owners buy back their property at auctions.

    Property taxes anyway are not based on ability to pay. It’s a tax easy to levy, though.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  144. War on Women Detroit !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  145. 137. 143

    Comment by elissa (f37308) — 7/24/2013 @ 6:55 am

    Charlie Le Duff’s new book about returning to his hometown, Detroit: An American Autopsy. Based on the review I had gotten the book at the library on the day that Detroit declared bankruptcy.

    Well, I finished it late last night….I recommend this book unreservedly to my fellow commenters here.

    He had an op-ed piece in the New York Times today:

    Come See Detroit, America’s Future

    There was a corpse that lay outside a woman’s window for six hours because of cutbacks at the morgue. The latest trend is to throw a murdered person into an abandoned house, and set it on fire. There are thousand s to choose from.

    About 2/3 of the city’s ambulances are broken on an average day. A 11-year old boy who was shot in the arm was taken to the hospital in a police car.

    He knows a policeman driving a squad car with 147,000 miles on the odometer, no air conditioning, no computer and holes in the floor. His bullet proof vest has expired. (do they expire?) In the meantime his pay has been cut 10%,

    He knows a fireman who died when the rood of an abandoned building collapsed on him. His homing alarm was broken, so the other firefighters couldn’t find him in time. The hydraulic ladders on fire trucks haven’t been inspected in years, and firefighters are not supposed to use them unless there is an “immediate threat to life.

    911 went down for 15 hours recently. When it is running the average wait time is 58 minutes.

    People voted with their feet, of course. Not only is there white flight, not only is there black flight, there is also dead flight. Even dead people are leaving the city. People routinely disinter their deceased and relocate them to the suburbs, because they don’t want to go into the city to visit the graves, or because of vandalism.

    The one thing the city does have is fresh water. It also has profitable auto companies, and more than $130 billion a year in trade with Canada crossing through the city, a world-class research university and, he hopes, eventually, a clean balance sheet.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  146. Rush Limbaugh caller about Detroit and other matters:

    He says one thing that caused flight was the defeat of a ballot proposal in 1970 that would have allowed people to use tax dollars to pay for their children’s religious educations. At that time Catholic schools were transitioning away from nuns who got no salary, and they shut down in Detroit, and the result was people left because the public schools were a disaster. Rush Limbaugh thinks everything in the world was happening to drive people out of the city in Detroit.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  147. Thanks for posting the link Sammy–that’s the guy and the book but I had not seen the NYT OP-ed.

    elissa (6f2038)

  148. I think the book is available on for $16 (with free shipping if you a total of $25 from Amazion itself)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  149. Sadly, from reading the comments on the NYT op ed it looks like quite a few people are still not willing to listen to Charlie or face the facts of the many causes and faults which contributed to Detroit’s long slow painful demise. Michael Moore apparently had them at hello “corporate greed” and they’ll never look beyond it for the truth.

    elissa (6f2038)

  150. Well it’s a paper propped up by a Mexican oligarch, who happens to be one of the richest men on the planet.

    narciso (3fec35)

  151. The Real Reason the Once Great City of Detroit Came to Ruin The politics of Mayor Coleman Young drove out the white and black middle class. by Steve Malanga, Op-ed in the Saturday/Sunday July 27/28, 2013 Wall Street Journal.

    The truth is that Detroit was a failed city long before it became insolvent, thanks to a virtual collapse of its municipal government during Young’s 1974-1994 reign as mayor. A radical trade unionist who ran as an antiestablishment candidate reaching out to disenfranchised black voters, Young lacked a plan except to go to war with the city’s major institutions and demand that the federal government save it with subsidies. Critics called it “tin-cup urbanism.”

    As the city’s government became increasingly less effective, whites and then middle-class blacks fled. “He left the city a fiscal and social wreck,” the eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson wrote in a 1998 article in The New Republic, “The Closing of the American City.”

    Young was right that Detroit needed reform to deal with problems sparked by the migration of poor Southern blacks into the city in the 1950s. He and others, white and black, criticized the political power structure in Detroit, and especially its police department, as racially insensitive. The 1967 riots, sparked by a police raid on an after-hours club in a black neighborhood, generated legitimate calls for change.

    Elected ostensibly as a reform mayor in 1973, however, Young made things worse. He divided the police department along racial lines, creating separate layoff lists of white and black officers. He and his handpicked police chief, William Hart, made clear that policing that resulted in too many arrests or citations in the black community would not be tolerated. “I wouldn’t write tickets for black kids,” one black officer told journalist Tamar Jacoby in her 1998 book “Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration.”

    When residents complained about a lack of law enforcement, Chief Hart called the protests “racism and sour grapes.” Mayor Young declared that “law and order was code for ‘Keep the n—–s in their place.'” Detroit became one of America’s most violent cities.

    He was eventually replaced, after 20 years, by a black Supreme Court justice elected with less than half of the black vote, but his efforts were blocked by Young’s allies, since the only office the opponents won was the mayoralty, and at that there was a recall effort. After one term, there was another bad mayor.

    I think you can blame campaign finance reform also for what happened to Detroit. It prevented any philanthropist (or perhaps people connected with a big corporation) from financing campaigns for ALL the offices in the Detroit government.

    Sammy Finkelman (fa9d06)

  152. The Closing of the American City (book review James Q. Wilson of 2 books) in the May 11, 1998 issue of the New Republic by

    …Most African Americans never riot and never loot. But a significant fraction of them remain deeply alienated from the American system; and many, out of a variety of motives, are ready to express that discontent whenever an incident—typically, a police encounter with an African American—sparks a flame.

    In her splendid book, Tamar Jacoby has written a detailed and troubling account of how that discontent has guided politics in New York City, Detroit, and Atlanta….

    …..In Detroit, Mayor Coleman Young rejected the integrationist goal in favor of a flamboyant, black-power style that won him loyal followers, but he left the city a fiscal and social wreck….

    …Some of those who followed in the footsteps of these mayors—Rudolph Giuliani in New York, Dennis Archer in Detroit, Andrew Young in Atlanta—tried to reclaim the integrationist goal by working with leaders of all races and trying to minimize racial claims from any group. Jacoby’s story stops well short of Giuliani or Archer, but it shows how Young, who brought impeccable civil rights credentials and extraordinary negotiating skills to the task of forging black-white alliances, still lost much of his support from black voters….

    …..white elites often chose to listen to the most angry (and therefore, they thought, the most “authentic”) African American leaders, ignoring the opinions of those who had a stake in preserving an orderly society….She reminds us that the New Detroit Committee, led by Max Fisher and Joe Hudson, devoted its lime to “ventilation”—that is, to listening endlessly not only to real complaints from serious people, but as much or more to empty bluster from self-anointed “leaders.”…..

    …..An even sadder story unfolded in Detroit. The massive riots in 1967 moved the city’s business leaders to organize a New Detroit Committee that not only listened to, but also spent money on, the street fighters. It was Lindsayism transplanted to Michigan, and even less effective there. Frank Ditto, who Ied a street gang and wrote newsletters urging that police officers be killed, got $250,000. Jacoby estimates that much of $10 million the Committee spent was for “thinly disguised riot insurance.” Little of the spending helped ordinary people.

    The Detroit Police Department had a sorry history. It was often heavily tainted by racism, and much in need of serious reform. But the real changes that occurred tended to make matters worse. Judge George Crockett, later a member of Congress, made a practice of releasing arrested blacks who came before him, on the grounds that “the law is [a] camouflage . . . for racism.” When Coleman Young, a tough union radical who detested Walter Reuther, became mayor in 1974, he made police reform his highest priority. Reform was needed, and Young did some useful things (such as abolishing some controversial police programs), but his real agenda was not to make the police better, it was to make the police blacker. (There, too, reforms were needed, since blacks had long been kept in all-black precincts and denied much chance of promotion.)

    Yet Young was not content with ending abuses. He ordered that police living outside Detroit (they were almost all white) be fired. He divided promotion lists into two parts, one white and one black, and directed that for every white promoted, a black had to be promoted as well. He insisted that the department be half black, and within a few years it was headed in that direction. Some of these gains were made by loosening or ignoring recruitment standards. Many applicants were allowed to take the same exam repeatedly until they passed, or were given the answers.

    Meanwhile the city’s crime rate shot upward. So did crime rates in almost all American cities, but the Detroit rate went up faster and higher. The murder rate rose by over 50 percent in just three years. Whites fled the city. A majority of blacks said they wanted out, too, though their suburban living choices were fewer. And when an all-black police unit was sent to control a black riot, the officers were ignored and assaulted as if they had been white. “The police,” whatever their color, were the enemy to restless youth.

    Already weakened by economic forces and population movements, Detroit collapsed under Young’s leadership. But his hold on his voters never wavered. He was a street fighter elected to be mayor; and by affirming black pride, he survived every challenge.


    Sammy Finkelman (fa9d06)

  153. Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle For Integration by Tamar Jacoby is available on for $2.12 and 1 cent used (plus shipping)

    From one review (from August 30, 2001)

    Detroit is shown as a failure in every regard and much of the blame goes directly to the city’s entrenched Mayor Coleman Young. He is limned as a racist/separatist who advanced the most radical elements of the “Black Power” movement. While spuriously claiming to have the best interests of their fellow black citizens at heart, Mayor Young and these thugs he countenanced made life a living hell for honest lower class back citizens. His open hostility to whites drove many business out of town leaving scores of unemployed poor black people behind with no way to reach the jobs in the suburbs. By declaring war on his own police department, he empowered criminals, and while a majority of perpetrators may have been black, so was a substantial majority of the victims. Sadly, even though Coleman Young’s near-eternal reign finally came to a close, Detroit still has not been able to put all its pieces back together, and long smoldering racial tensions remain strained.

    Sammy Finkelman (fa9d06)


    Chicago is interested too.

    “The Affordable Care Act does change the possibilities here dramatically,” said Neil Bomberg, a program director at the National League of Cities. “It offers a very high-quality, potentially very affordable way to get people into health care without the burden falling back onto the city and town.”

    But if large numbers of localities follow that course, it could amount to a significant cost shift to the federal government. Authors of the health care law expected at least some shifting of retirees into the new insurance exchanges, said Timothy S. Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely follows the law. “But if a lot of them do, especially big state and local programs,” he said, “that’s going to be a huge cost for the United States government, and it’s mandatory spending.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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