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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michigan Turns to the GOP for Jobs During previous recessions, voters went for Democratic candidates. Not this year.

By MICHAEL BARONE

When I was growing up in Michigan, the political rules were pretty simple. About 40% of all voters were in union households with at least one union member—and they voted heavily Democratic. Others voted Republican, but by smaller percentages. The usual result was a close election, but in recession years like 1958, when thousands of United Auto Workers members were laid off by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, voters shifted toward the Democrats on the belief that more government spending would help them through tough times.

No more. This year there is no question that Michigan is in economic distress. It had the nation's highest unemployment rate for more than three years until it was overtaken by Nevada last May. Now it's No. 2. But unlike during earlier recessions, Michigan isn't trending Democratic. It's going the opposite way.Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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