Beware of ‘push polls’ pushing your buttons

A push poll is an interactive marketing technique, most commonly employed during political campaigning, in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of voters under the guise of conducting a poll.
When I was teaching high school journalism I briefly discussed “push polls” with my students during the run up to the local Gun Lake Tribe seeking federal approval to restore lands in Allegan County (Michigan) to their control and for future construction of their present casino.
Opponents hired a firm to create a push poll in an effort to demonstrate a significant lack of community of support for the Tribe.
Fast forward a decade or more and I answered the phone this afternoon and received a pre-recorded tele-poll which ostensibly was about the March Michigan Primary and November General Election and after running some standard demographic questions/answers (press 1-2-3-4) determining if I was leaning to the GOP or DNC candidates, one by one – up popped this PUSH statement – and this is KEY to the SPIN the PR companies Snyder hired are pushing… and I paraphrase “The Flint City Council voted in 2013 to authorize the State’s Emergency Manager to leave the City of Detroit’s water service and use the Flint River as its new source.” 
Then the pollster asked me to determine who, based on that information, I felt was mainly responsible for the Flint Water Crisis.  After explaining how the MDEQ failed to warn the City of Flint and how its Director resigned and how the EPA “did nothing” and it regional EPA administrator resigned my options were (as best I can recall) 1. Michigan MDEQ, 2. US EPA, 3. Flint City Council or 4. Detroit Water Authority. I believe I had the option of indicating I did not know.
But in any case, no option to select the State of Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon or Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley or even Governor Rick Snyder.
Now let me copy and paste from “Bridge” an online magazine from The Center for Michigan’s Truth Squad.

“The crisis timeline distributed to reporters (at Governor Snyder’s State of the State” address) and now available online states that in June 2013, “City of Flint decides to use the Flint River as a water source,” a phrasing similar to what the governor used in his State of the State speech, (“Flint began to use water from the Flint River as an interim source”) suggesting that the city, not the state, drove the interim decision to use the highly corrosive river water for city residents.

Here’s the problem with that: City officials did not make the decision to take water from the Flint River. There was never such a vote by the city council, which really didn’t have the power to make such a decision anyway, because the city was then under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager.

The council’s vote in March 2013 was to switch water supply from Detroit to a new pipeline through the Karegnondi Water Authority – but the pipeline wasn’t scheduled to be completed for at least three years. (And even that decision was given final approval not by the council, but by then-state Treasurer Andy Dillon, according to Snyder emails released Wednesday.)

Snyder also said that Detroit, after being informed of the Flint council vote, sent a “letter of termination” of water service. Actually, Detroit sent a letter giving Flint one year on its existing contract, but that didn’t mean Flint couldn’t get water from Detroit after that date. In fact, there was a flurry of negotiations between Detroit and Flint to sign a new contract that would carry Flint through until it could connect to the under-construction pipeline. That new contract was going to cost Flint more money.

This distinction is important to note because merely stating that Flint received a “letter of termination” makes it sound as if a thirsty Flint had no choice but to stick a straw in the Flint River. Flint could have elected then to sign a new contract with the the Detroit water system (indeed, Flint eventually reconnected to Detroit water after the situation in the city became a full-fledged, hair-on-fire crisis). Flint was disconnected from Detroit because it was cheaper to take water from the Flint River until the new pipeline was completed.”

That is the PUSH of the poll – as a poll participant, you are PUSHED in a direction to accept a belief or line of reasoning, from which point as a participant you base the answers to the remainder of the questions.
  1. Dishonest.
  2. Deliberately biased.
  3. Designed to deceive voters/participants.
And while I do not know who is managing the poll I received today it’s fair to assume it was one of two companies Governor Snyder hired recently which to me means that he is AN UTTERLY DISHONEST PERSON AND IS COMPLICIT IN DELIBERATELY DECEIVING MICHIGAN CITIZENS BY BLAMING ANY PERSON, ANY GROUP, ANY DEPARTMENT – AND NOT HIM.

Who approved switch to Flint River?

State’s answers draw fouls

To read the entire Truth Squad analysis at Bridge magazine go here –

Snyder hires two PR firms amid Flint crisis

For more on Governor Snyder’s decision to hire TWO public relations firms (Mercury Public Affairs of Washington, D.C., and Bill Nowling of Finn Partners, a New York firm with offices in Detroit)  you can go here –

Push poll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For more on Push Polls  go here – 
(Artwork credit goes to this link)

When It Comes To Assault Rifles, The Gun Industry Has A New Friend: The New York Times.

When It Comes To Assault Rifles, The Gun Industry Has A New Friend: The New York Times.

by mikethegunguy

There’s a video floating around that shows Rupert Neate, a reporter from The Guardian, being heaved out of the Shot Show because he walked up to the Smith & Wesson display and began asking a company employee about an assault rifle ban.  This conversation took place as a member of Smith & Wesson’s marketing team happily placed an assault rifle in Neate’s hands and kept referring to it as a “modern sporting rifle,” although to be fair the gun, known as the AR-15 Sporter, fires only an itty-bitty 22-caliber cartridge, as opposed to the more lethal 5.56 or .223 military calibers that most so-called modern sporting rifles use.

ar              This nonsense about how a remarkably-lethal weapon used by our armed forces has been transmogrified into a ‘sporting’ gun by the gun industry for the last twenty years has been going on since the imposition of the 10-yearassault weapons ban back in 1994.  The gun industry first reacted to the ban by claiming that ‘assault’ weapons were fully-automatic guns used only by the military; hence, any semi-automatic rifle deserved to be sold in the civilian market regardless of its design. And when the ban was not renewed in 2004, the industry went whole hog in trying to convince everyone that an AR-15 gun, as long as it didn’t fire more than one shot with each pull of the trigger, was no different from Grandpa’s old Remington or Winchester hunting rifle except it had a more modern look.

In arguing against any new attempt to impose a new assault weapons ban, the gun industry has …

mikethegunguy | January 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm |

Source: When It Comes To Assault Rifles, The Gun Industry Has A New Friend: The New York Times.

Democracy in Michigan Has Been Poisoned Along with Flint’s Drinking Water | Reblog by janresseger

Democracy in Michigan Has Been Poisoned Along with Flint’s Drinking Water

by janresseger

The problem in Flint, Michigan that now has a lead-poisoned water system; and in Highland Park, Michigan where the for-profit Leona Group, a charter management organization, was brought in by a state-appointed emergency manager to run the public schools but went broke instead; and in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, where the for-profit Mosaica Education, a charter management organization, was brought in by a state-appointed emergency manager to run the public schools but went broke instead, is that Michigan’s poorest cities and school districts can, under a 2012 law, be taken over by the state and operated by an emergency fiscal manager appointed by the governor. And the current governor does not have a background in public service, reports Amber Phillips of  the Washington Post: “Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), (was) a tech venture capitalist who was elected in 2010 on a platform to fix the state’s ‘disaster’ economy….”

Claire Groden, writing for Fortune, explains Michigan’s abrogation of democracy under the current governor: “(A)t the time that Flint flipped the switch in April 2014 to send the river’s highly corrosive water through lead pipes, the predominantly African-American city didn’t have a working local government… Five years ago Snyder signed legislation that expanded the reasons why the state could choose to appoint a municipal emergency manager, then granted those appointees almost complete power over their assigned municipalities. Under Public Act 4, as it was called, state-appointed emergency managers could break collective bargaining agreements, fire elected officials and determine their salaries, and privatize or sell public assets… Emergency management is a way to short-circuit democracy when a city faces financial insolvency, with the idea that a leader free from accountability to voters can make unpopular but necessary decisions.  But Michigan voters rejected that law in a state-wide referendum… A month later, the state legislature passed a replacement law that made minor adjustments and one major one: an appropriation banning a referendum on the new law.  That was 2012.  By 2013, six Michigan cities—and almost half of the state’s African-American population—were under emergency management.  In many of these cities, public services were pared down to the minimum.  Pontiac’s emergency manager whittled the city’s employees to around 10% of their previous number.” (Here is what happened in Pontiac.)

State emergency managers can override not only elected city councils but also be imposed on public school districts where they can overrule the elected local school board.  In Detroit, where the schools have been operated by an emergency fiscal manager for some years, neither have the bills been paid, nor have required contributions been made to the state teachers’ pension fund, nor have the school buildings been maintained, nor has class size been controlled.  Even the finances—the specific thing emergency fiscal managers are supposed to take care of—have been mismanaged. Short-term borrowing has been regularly turned into long-term obligations that now total $3.5 billion.

Emergency managers in Michigan are limited to terms of 18 months under the 2012 law, which might curtail the damage any one of them could possibly impose, but Governor Rick Snyder has found a way to skirt that provision of the law.  After an emergency manager has served for 17 months and twenty-nine days, that manager resigns and another is appointed.  Snyder has continued to shuffle around the same people.  Darnell Earley, the emergency manager responsible for the lead poisoning of Flint’s water, is currently serving as the emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools.

Here is a review from yesterday’s NY Times of what happened in Flint: “From 2011 to 2015, Flint was in state receivership…. Flint, led at the time by an emergency manager who was appointed by the state to help solve the city’s fiscal woes, switched water supplies in April 2014—in part to save money, which… amounted to $1 million to $2 million a year.” State agencies repeatedly lied about the poisoning of Flint’s water, but local leaders lacked the power to expose the statewide cover-up, and the children continued to drink contaminated water.  The ultimate result has neither saved Flint nor the state of Michigan any money. The Washington Post’s Phillips reports: “In October, the state paid $12 million to switch Flint back to Detroit’s water system.”  Unfortunately the failure over a period of many months to add anti-corrosives to the water leaves the system vulnerable to the continued leaching of lead into the water even after the switch back to Detroit’s system.

Austerity, not structural reform, has been the operating model for the emergency managers in Michigan’s poor cities and school districts. Fortune‘s Claire Groden explains: “Critics of the emergency manager law have long protested that the appointees cut services to realize short-term savings, with little eye to the long-term structural problems the cities face. ‘ The assertion is that these are cities that are running deficits because the elected governments are not capable of keeping spending under control.  The problem from my perspecteive is that these really are structural deficits… it’s almost impossible for anyone to solve these problems,’  says Peter Hammer, a law professor at Wayne State University…. Structural problems like the fact that 40% of Flint’s residents live in poverty—presenting an impossible tax base for the city to draw upon—go unanswered.”

Yesterday, Julie Bosman reported for the NY Times on the impact of years’ of emergency management of Detroit’s schools, where the teachers have been staging rolling sick-outs to try to bring attention to the conditions in the buildings where they work: “Detroit’s public schools are a daily shock to the senses, run down after years of neglect and mismanagement, while failing academically and teetering on the edge of financial collapse.  On Wednesday, teachers again protested the conditions, calling in sick en masse and forcing a shutdown of most of the city’s almost 100 schools… Things have become so bad, district officials say, that the Detroit public school system could be insolvent by April.”

The stories of Michigan’s poorest cities and school districts demonstrate our society’s willingness to impose austerity instead of addressing our collective failure through federal and state government to provide financial support when local communities and school districts, segregated by race and poverty, utterly lack the capacity to fund essential services. We are further willing to disenfranchise and disempower the citizens of these cities and school districts by destroying the democratic institutions designed to protect their votes and their voices.

Will Michigan find a way to restore democracy for its poorest citizens?

In a commentary published on Monday in the Detroit Free Press,Kary Moss, executive director of ACLU of Michigan, presses for the repeal of Michigan’s law that grants the governor power to impose appointed overseers on Michigan’s poorest cities and school districts: “Little has been said… about… a law that gives a political appointee unfettered power to make decisions that will affect a community, without democratic accountability.  This lack of checks and balances on government is a civil rights issue.  The law does not require that an emergency manager have any expertise outside the financial arena and, to that end, allowed him (in Flint) to elevate the financial bottom line above all else. It enabled a revolving door of emergency managers in Flint with no ties to that community and yet unfettered power to make decisions that affect them.”

This blog has covered the theft of democracy by Michigan’s emergency fiscal managers two other times this week, here and here.

Source: Democracy in Michigan Has Been Poisoned Along with Flint’s Drinking Water | janresseger

When the Water Turned Brown – The New York Times

At their home in Flint, Mich., Isaiah Loren, left, used baby wipes to clean a cut while his brother Jeremiah and he got ready for school. CreditBrittany Greeson for The New York Times

As every major decision was made over more than a year, officials at all levels of government acted in ways that contributed to the public health emergency in Flint, Mich.

Already this month, federal and state investigations have been announced, National Guard troops were distributing thousands of bottles of water and filters, and Mr. Snyder was calling for millions in state dollars to fix a situation he acknowledged was a “catastrophe.”

Yet interviews, documents and emails show that as every major decision was made over more than a year, officials at all levels of government acted in ways that contributed to the public health emergency and allowed it to persist for months. The government continued on its harmful course even after lead levels were found to be rising, and after pointed, detailed warnings came from a federal water expert, a Virginia Tech researcher and others.

For more than a year after an emergency manager — appointed by Mr. Snyder to oversee the city — approved a switch from the Detroit system to water from the Flint River to save money, workers assigned to manage the city’s water system failed to lower lead risks with a simple solution: adding chemicals to prevent old pipes from corroding and leaching metals like lead. Disagreements and miscommunication between state and local officials about what federal law requires of so-called corrosion control measures further delayed fixing the problem, the documents show.

See more of the story at this source: When the Water Turned Brown – The New York Times

Hey Kids, Don’t Go To College. – Reblog from “Save Maine Schools”

Hey Kids, Don’t Go To College.

by Emily Talmage

We know from Rex Tillerson of Exxon-Mobile and Jamie Meristotis of the Lumina Foundation that those at the top of the economic food chain view our children as products to be used by corporations to boost their bottom line.

(Sometimes they find those products to be defective, and that’s frustrating for them.)

We also know that there is big, huge, major money to be made in the student loan industry, and that if we could just get every kid to take to take out a loan, well then…


So what happens when you combine the agendas of the widget-makers with that of the student loan predators?

You get videos like this, which encourage students not to go to college – because that doesn’t always pay off and who needs all that literature and philosophy and history stuff anyway – but instead to get some type of secondary credential that better aligns with the “needs” of the workforce, which is apparently in peril because everything is so darn misaligned right now.
Check out the propaganda below that was shown to parents in the Westmoreland School District in Pennsylvania:



Then go take out a loan for your very first digital badge:


Emily Talmage | January 24, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

Source: Hey Kids, Don’t Go To College. – Save Maine Schools