[DETROIT.CBSLOCAL] There's still a 50-50 chance bankrupt, increasingly impoverished, reliably Democrat Detroit ... ruled by Democrats since 1962. A city whose Golden Age included the Ford and the Purple Gang... will file for bankruptcy.
That's according to Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who has detailed a plan for the city's financial future in a 134-page proposal to creditors.
Orr on Friday sat down in a closed-door meeting with about 150 creditors, bond holders and unions to discuss the city's fiscal situation, seeking concessions that would save Detroit millions of dollars in payments.
Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of his plan: Orr said, starting now, there will be a moratorium on debt payments for all unsecured funded debt. Creditors are being asked to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what's owed them. Underfunded pension claims would get less.
This latest comes as Detroit continues to spend more money than it takes in as revenue. The city's budget deficit could top $380 million by July 1, and Orr now estimates the city's long-term debt at $20 billion.
"This is not a jaded effort just to get to a bankruptcy filing," said Orr, addressing news hounds following Friday's meeting. "I sincerely want people to behave rationally and take this opportunity to work together."
As part of the proposal, Orr said he wants to invest $1.25 billion in the city for police and fire; and $500 million to fight blight.
The plan also includes sweeping changes to pension and health care benefits, which Orr said he'll discuss at a meeting with unions and pension leaders next Thursday.
The White House Friday defended the first familys upcoming weeklong trip to Africa, which could cost taxpayers up to $100 million, as great bang for our buck. Once again, defending the undefendable.
There will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa because when you travel to regions like Africa that dont get a lot of presidential attention, you tend to have very longstanding and long-running impact from the visit, said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to President Champ.
The Champs trip, at a time of sequestration budget cuts, will take them to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa from June 26 to July 3. Citing a confidential planning document, the Washington Post reported that the trip will cost between $60 million to $100 million.
The excursion will involve military cargo planes airlifting 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and three trucks to carry bulletproof glass panels to cover the windows where the first family is set to stay. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship with a fully staffed medical trauma center will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.
Fighter jets will fly in shifts to provide around-the-clock protection over the presidents airspace. The trip will reportedly involve hundreds of Secret Service agents. Long Street, here they come !
The president and FLOTUS also had planned to take a safari in Tanzania, which reportedly would have required a special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles in the event of a threat from wild animals. But the safari was canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.
Watch out for the baboons. While on the Island, be sure to take in the Coastal Artillery site that the "racist, apartheid" government used to defend Allied shipping during WWII. At last count some 12,000 South Africans were killed fighting Axis powers during WWII.
The president and FLOTUS also had planned to take a safari in Tanzania, which reportedly would have required a special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles in the event of a threat from wild animals.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.