The press introduction of Detroit’s emergency manager was today. For you out-of-towners, it’s the law in Michigan that whenever a unit of local government meets a certain threshold of financial distress, the governor may appoint an emergency manager who has special powers to clean up the mess. So far, this has been deployed infrequently, but Detroit is by far the biggest city to be EM’d.
This is by no means a surprise — it’s been in the works forever, with constant maneuvering to stave it off. The city council has been rattling sabers for at least that long, with the volume set to Screech for some members. One warned of civil unrest, for instance, and defended a protest tactic that’s popped up in the last couple days: Flying wedges of cars throttling freeways down to very slow speeds. Because there’s no tactic for getting the public on your side like making people late.
But finally today, the governor introduced the man for the job, a bankruptcy specialist from D.C. with deep Michigan roots, and held a press conference. I listened to it on the radio. Kevyn Orr came across as personable, highly qualified and — very important — optimistic. Such a change of pace, an upbeat attitude about this civic disaster. So I’m feeling good about this, even though this is going to be a bloody damn job and still likely to be impossible.
Oh, well. As the city motto says, “We hope for better things.”
Today’s Our Bloody Nation story comes from upstate New York, where a mass shooter shot a bunch of people and then fled, barricading himself before being shot and killed by police. The final victim:
A police robot equipped with a camera was ready, but its use may have been limited because the gunman’s hiding place was littered with debris.
So a tactical dog named Ape, equipped with a camera, went into the building first on Thursday, followed by agents with the State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Ape, a Czech German Shepherd, was shot in the chest just as he breached the doorway.
Ape didn’t make it. One of the women in our Lansing office has a Czech German Shepherd puppy, and boy, is that dog adorable. Of course, all puppies are adorable. Poor Ape.
I’ve been purposely avoiding all this Lean In crap, because I’ve lived through about nine million women’s-career-book publicity blitzes in my life, and I have a feeling this one won’t change anything. But I did think this column, taking issue with Sheryl Sandberg’s book, was very good.
All this talk about the new pope inspired me to seek out the craziest Catholic website I have EVer seen, Tradition in Action. I suggest you start at the Cultural section, but clear your calendar first. That thing is a serious wormhole.
You could be there all weekend. See you Monday, then. And beware the Ides of March.