That is horrible.
Democracy-Fail in Michigan:
Michigan Emergency Manager Law Referendum Petitions Not CertifiedMichigan's Board of Canvassers deadlocked on a vote Thursday and failed to certify more than 200,000 signatures seeking a referendum on the state's emergency manager law, Public Act 4.
Despite a recommendation from Bureau of Elections staff that the board certify the petitions, Republicans on the board supported a challenge seeking to disqualify them over one section's font size. The board's two Democrats said the petitions should be certified.
The petitions seek to place a referendum on Public Act 4 on the state ballot in November. The effort's sponsors, a coalition called Stand Up For Democracy, hope voters will overturn the law, which allows state-appointed emergency managers significant power over financially distressed local municipalities and school districts.
If the referendum push succeeds, the current law would be suspended until the November vote. Michigan has emergency managers in four cities and three school districts, and the law informs provisions of a recent financial consent agreement between the state and the city of Detroit.
The state Bureau of Elections found the petition included 203,238 signatures, 40,000 more than the number needed to place the question on the November ballot.
But the conservative group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility challenged the petitions' validity, claiming the typeface used in their headings was too small.
A memo from Christopher M. Thomas, the secretary of the Board of State Canvassers, noted the previous challenges to type size and formatting of petitions had been unsuccessful if the substance of the petitions and the number of valid signatures was clear. Thomas found only one example of a successful challenge to a petition based on font size. "The applicable legal standard by which this petition should be measured is one of substantial compliance," he wrote.
But the board's Republicans chose to take a strict interpretation of the typeface code. According to the Detroit News, Board of Canvassers member Jeffrey Timmer works for the political consulting firm that pushed the font-size challenge.
Another board member, Julie Matuzak, a Democrat, works for one of the unions participating in the petition drive, the News also reports.
MLive reports crowd members shouted, "Shame! Shame!" following the vote. The question will now likely go to the state Court of Appeals.
Stand Up For Democracy attorney Herb Sanders noted the "substantial compliance" rule mentioned by Thomas, the Detroit News reports. The group also maintains that the petitions used the required 14-point font.
"If we are wrong, then the scientifically accepted formula for determining font size is wrong, if we are wrong then the Court of Appeals is wrong ... if we are wrong then Democracy is wrong," Sanders said.
People think I have got the power cause I've got the monkeys. Nope. I've got the power because I'll let the monkeys loose...
Deregulation of natural monopolies doesn't work.
How a thirty-year-old policy of deregulation is slowly killing America’s airline system—and taking down Cincinnati, Memphis, and St. Louis with it.
A study published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum in 2007 confirms that the pattern continued. Except for a period after 9/11, when airlines deeply discounted fares to attract panicked customers, real air prices have fallen more slowly since the elimination of the CAB than before. This contrast becomes even starker if one considers the continuous decline in service quality, with more overbooked planes flying to fewer places, long waits in hub airports, the lost ability to make last-minute changes in itineraries without paying exorbitant fares, and the slow strangulation of heartland cities that don’t happen to be hubs. Moreover, most if not all of the post-deregulation price declines have been due to factors that cannot be repeated, such as the busting of airline unions, the termination of pension plans, the delayed replacement of aging aircraft, the elimination of complimentary meals and checked baggage, and, finally, the diminution of seat sizes and legroom to a point approaching the limits of human endurance. (Eliminating seats altogether, however, remains an option.)
Going forward, all industry forecasts call for further consolidation and continually rising fares and fees, accompanied by declining service on all but the most heavily trafficked routes. From time to time, short-term fare wars may break out on particular routes, particularly if foolish investors bring a start-up airline to town. Periodic dips in energy prices may bring a temporary reprieve. But over time, experience has shown that nearly all start-ups are eventually crushed by incumbent carriers, which in turn, despite their increasing consolidation, heavy public subsidies, and reductions in vital service to major cities, remain unable to earn even their cost of capital over time. Nobody wins except a few fast-trading financiers flying in private jets.
This result would hardly surprise Charles Francis Adams, Louis Brandeis, and many other great Americans who struggled in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with how to harness the emergence of railroads, telephones, electrical power, and other networked industries to public purposes. They’d recognize the familiar boom-and-bust cycle of new entrants that occurred in the early period of airline deregulation and the subsequent trend toward consolidation, deteriorating service, and increasing price discrimination. What else would anyone who knows economic history expect of a natural monopoly that lacks the benefits of government regulation?
The airline business has always been a bad one. The best way to make money on an airline is hedging fuel prices, and that's risky as hell.
It's a bit like having sex with a jellyfish: once might an interesting experiment, twice would be perversion!
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
I find it so strange that there was a time I strongly disliked you, and now I agree with you on most things and you are one of the people on this board whose posts I most enjoy and look forward to.Originally Posted by Ben
one of the republican members who voted to uhold the challenge is involved with the group that raised the challenge.
No conflict to see here...
THis stuff is kinda disturbing, given it's suppoised to be the Land of the free and all that...