Tough nerds and tyrants

Tough Nerds and Tyrants

by digby

What the hell ...
Reporters have been told they will not be allowed to broadcast sound and images from the Tuesday release of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's budget plan.

Spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp says journalists can bring only pens, notepads and tape recorders to the afternoon briefing, where Kasich is to announce the first details of his state spending blueprint for the next two years. She says videos and photos will be prohibited and the audio may not be used for anything but checking accuracy.

Members of the Statehouse press corps registered complaints with the governor's office on the matter. They noted a lack of precedent for such limits on their ability to cover a governor's budget release. An invitation-only town hall meeting later Tuesday will be broadcast on government television.

No audio or footage, "invitation only" Townhalls? Excuse me?

Uhm, I hate to say anything uncivil, but there is something quite tyrannical going on in these United States right now. Get a load of this from McJoan:
Both chambers of the Michigan legislature have passed this bill. Under the governor's authority, local officials can be fired, city and locality contracts broken, city assets seized and sold, services eliminated, school districts—entire city governments—eliminated. All under the authority of a governor with no public participation or oversight.
“It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid,” said Michigan State AFL-CIO president Mark Gaffney. “In schools, the manager would decide academics or if you have athletics.”

“This is a takeover by the right wing and it’s an assault on democracy like I’ve never seen,“ Gaffney said.

Welcome to the new American dictatorship. Of course, Snyder's own budget will so starve cities that he can create the fiscal emergency in them that will allow him to declare the emergency and seize control. But that's just the beginning. His budget's tax plan slashes corporate taxes by 81 percent, and hikes taxes on the working poor.

You may remember Governor Snyder as the guy who charmed the entire Village press corps with his "one tough nerd" campaign. I guess being a "nerd" these days includes a proclivity for dictatorship.

Read McJoan's article for Rachel Maddow's segment on this and further details. I hate to be a broken record, but you will not find a better example of disaster capitalism than this. There is no reason for such drastic actions. It's not as if we're in a state of emergency like they are in Japan. And yet these people are rushing through draconian changes to basic democratic systems without much debate or discussion. And if people around the country don't wake up they are going to find that all this is a fait accompli.

Update: Oh, and there's this.