Sunday, March 13, 2011

Since I am up...

Well since I am up, and writing (or not writing the things I should be, as the case may have it), I thought I would do a wee blog and update my two readers (being generous, as I think there are no actual readers of this blog, rather I am just blathering into the ether).

As some who follow me on Facebook are likely aware, I have been having these obscene sleep needs the last couple of weekends. Last weekend, I slept well over 20 hours in the course of Saturday and Sunday. This weekend, I managed between Friday and Saturday to sleep 20 plus hours. And Tuesday of last week I realized there might be a problem. A real problem, considering I was watching the Michigan Senate take action on a controversial Emergency Financial Manager package. Surely, this was as riveting as the Michigan Senate has been in years, and yet I passed out. I awoke four hours later with a fever of 106.

So I called my general practice doctor, who directed me to go get an x-ray. I was not five minutes out of the x-ray office when she called me to inform me I had double pneumonia (meaning the fluid from such an infection was present in both lungs). I was directed to the local pharmacy where I picked up a script for Cipro.

For anyone who knows me, they know that I am not one who does well with slowing down -- even when I am sick. In fact, such limits serve to frustrate me. At the end of 2009 I was hospitalized for what turned out to be shingles on the optic nerve, but manifested as a severe headache which lasted nearly 6 weeks. While in the hospital, I actually did work on the computer, to the frustration of the doctors, nurses and my editorial staff. But, such is life for the Heywood. I hate slowing down. There is far too much to be done in this world, and I only have a finite time on the planet to accomplish it.

So, true to form I tried to work through the week on my usual schedule of 10 plus hours a day. I failed. On Thursday I actually slept to 1 pm, much to my frustration. I called my editor and apologized, and he chastised me, reminding me I had nothing to apologize for, afterall I was sick.

So anyway, that is why I have been unable/unwilling to update the blog. I used what energy I had to work. Damn paycheck and stuff. hahahaa.

So now I am gearing up for a week of protests at the capitol. Folks here are furious with Gov. Rick Snyder -- the self proclaimed "tough nerd" -- and his budget plan. Under the proposal, Snyder and his GOP allies in the legislature have to eliminate an estimated $1.4 billion from the budget. Not a pretty thing, when we have had consistent cuts to the budget for a decade. There is not much left but bone. That has not stopped Gov. Nerd from hacking the bone anyway, while giving business a nice big kiss.

With tongue.

He has proposed eliminating the state's Michigan Business Tax and associated surcharge of 22 percent. Yes that law is onerous at best, but eliminating the tax actually takes another $1.8 billion in revenue from the budget, shoving the state budget some $3.2 billion into deficit. Instead of continuing the tax as it stands now, the Gov has proposed a 6 percent flat tax on businesses, taxing retirement pensions (which currently are not taxed) extending the current higher income tax, eliminating the state's Earned Income Tax Credit and cutting all business related credits -- you know things like Brownfield credits which result in the redevelopment and repurposing of obsolete properties in the state.

The Tough Nerd has also proposed cutting K-12 funding, higher education funding, local revenue sharing and more. In short, the Nerd's budget really makes only one Michigan entity happy -- business. Everyone else, from schools to local government to the poor, well they are pretty much getting the pooch screwing.

Add on top of that the move by Republicans who control both chambers of the legislature to push a massive Emergency Financial Manager bill which will give pretty much unrestrained powers to one person, appointed by the governor, in managing the operations of local governments deemed to be in a financial crisis. The EFM can dissolve the elected body, dismiss collectively bargained contracts, eliminate any local law the EFM wants to, and if the EFM decides to, can dissolve the political entity altogether, forcing it to be absorbed by neighboring governments. Exciting, right?

All this adds up to a pissed of electorate, which in turn means protests. Now the question is, will the state actually deal with this in a way that voters can be heard (think Wisconsin protests times 4 or 5 to make that even be a consideration), or will the GOP continue as they see fit, the voters be damned? I guess we will see over the coming days and weeks...

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