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Michigan Senate to vote on “fetal tissue” bills for no good reason

Michigan Senate to vote on “fetal tissue” bills for no good reason

A crusade that will waste time and taxpayer money will do nothing but appease those who oppose legal abortion.

You’ve heard all the lies about Planned Parenthood — you know, the ones peddled in those deceptively edited videos that claimed Planned Parenthood sells baby parts?

Despite the fact that these allegations have been proven false in state after state, and the fact that Michigan’s Planned Parenthood clinics do not participate in the legal donation of fetal tissue for research and other medical purposes, Michigan legislators still plan to push through legislation that would make it a crime to profit from fetal tissue.…

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Bré’s story: Using her voice to empower others

Bré’s story: Using her voice to empower others

This transgender woman helps the community speak for themselves.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

Bré Anne Campbell doesn’t want to see another trans woman of color murdered. It’s a sobering problem across the country, but especially in Detroit, where Michigan’s lack of anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people often forces transgender women into the street economy because it’s the only job they can find. Then, of course, there are the random acts of violence against trans women that have nothing to do with their line of work.

So after the vicious murder in 2011 of Shelly Hilliard, who went by the name Treasure — she was dismembered and her body parts were strewn across the city — Campbell decided enough was enough.…

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Why we need to start talking about Dennis Hastert’s legacy

Why we need to start talking about Dennis Hastert’s legacy

Republicans want to forget the man who willed them their path to obstruction

Last week, the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in American history admitted to being a child molester — unless you believe Dennis Hastert’s lawyer’s claim that a “groin rub” is not abuse.

This event slipped into the torrent of history with almost no consideration or even the usual outrage that accompanies the obvious revelation that many of our most moralistic politicians lack basic morals.

We also rarely hear about the rule that Hastert made famous as Speaker — a gentleman’s agreement that the leadership would not bring forward any bill that doesn’t have majority support in the House Republican caucus.…

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Jay’s story: Falling in love with himself

Jay’s story: Falling in love with himself

Having embraced who he really is, this transgender man uses his voice to advocate for others.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

Until he came out as transgender at age 25, Jay Maddock felt trapped. He felt like a fraud for not presenting his authentic self to the world — or, for many of those years, even to himself.

It’s not that his childhood or adolescence were terrible. A lot of times were really good, growing up in a loving family. But Maddock would have what he calls “lost boy memories”: brief moments when his authentic self was trying to shine through.…

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SAVE THE DATE: Third annual Eclectablog fundraising party – May 17, 2016 at ABC Microbrewery

SAVE THE DATE: Third annual Eclectablog fundraising party – May 17, 2016 at ABC Microbrewery

Every day, every week, every month of the year, Eclectablog is here, championing progressive causes and holding those in power accountable for their actions. Day after day, the writers here at Eclectablog are providing essential analysis and advocacy, spreading word of the valuable work of progressive activists and groups, and holding elected officials’ feet to the fire.

In return, we come to you, our readers, and ask you to support what we do. Our model, where all regular contributors are paid for their superlative writing, is rare but it’s one that represents our progressive values.

We come to you asking for money as infrequently as possible and, once a year, we try to do something that’s fun.…

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The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

I’ve been writing lately about the attempt by the Snyder administration to continue the undemocratic takeover of local schools facing financial difficulties without having to use an Emergency Manager. Thanks to the Flint water catastrophe where the residents’ drinking water was contaminated with lead thanks to decisions made by Emergency Managers, that phrase has become (pardon the pun) toxic. As I have written (HERE and HERE), the individual put in charge of taking over the school districts is now called a “CEO”. And the CEO has all sorts of power:

  • Assume the financial and academic authority over multiple schools;
  • Assume the role of the locally elected school board for those schools they have been assigned;
  • Control all funds attributable to pupils at the school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Permanently close a school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Sell closed school buildings without the consent of the locally elected board; and
  • Convert schools into charter schools without the consent of the locally elected board.
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Michigan legislators more afraid of signs than guns in the State Capitol Building

Michigan legislators more afraid of signs than guns in the State Capitol Building

I have known for quite awhile that you can’t bring a sign into the State Capitol Building. You can’t miss the signs telling you to leave your signs behind when you enter the august edifice. What I did NOT know until recently is that bringing a gun into that same building is A-OK. Thankfully, sanity is prevailing, at least on the side of Democrats who have introduced legislation to prohibit firearms in the Capitol and allowing people to express their First Amendment rights by bringing in a sign

As it stands today you can openly carry a firearm, but not a sign, into the state capitol.…

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Michelle’s story: Building a support system

Michelle’s story: Building a support system

This transgender woman’s advocacy helped her lifelong dream come true.

This is part of a story series about the lives of transgender people. Read the introduction here.

When Michelle Fox-Phillips first realized she wanted to be a girl, she was only two or three years old. She and her male cousin were very close, like brothers, and one day they were taking a bath together.

Curious in the way most kids are, they tucked their tiny penises between their legs and said they were girls. It probably didn’t mean much to Fox-Phillips’ cousin, but it did to her.

“Something clicked in my brain, but I didn’t know what it was,” she says.…

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GUEST POST – Michigan: Say NO to discrimination and stand up for small businesses

GUEST POST – Michigan: Say NO to discrimination and stand up for small businesses

The following guest post was written by my friend Chris Armstrong, Partnerships and Government Affairs Director for Small Business Majority. Chris was the former student body president of University of Michigan and experienced first hand the corrosive impacts of anti-gay bigotry at the hands of former state Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell who stalked and harassed him during his time at U of M. Armstrong sued Shirvell and ended up winning a $4.5 million judgment against him.

You can learn more about Small Business Majority HERE.

Enjoy.
Around the country, we’re seeing a troubling trend of states passing laws that effectively legalize discrimination against LGBT people, sometimes known as religious exemption or religious freedom laws.…

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Ted Cruz is the ‘Generic’ Republican

Ted Cruz is the ‘Generic’ Republican

A new electoral map projection from Morning Consult shows Hillary Clinton crushing Ted Cruz and Donald Trump but getting crushed by John Kasich.

Here’s her versus Trump:

Cruz:

Kasich:

The logic behind this is that Kasich is supposed to be a stand-in for the “generic Republican” candidate, which makes some sense. He’s barely known and Hillary Clinton has several Air Force Ones filled with baggage.

Still, I have a hard time believing that a guy who got trounced in the Michigan and Wisconsin primaries will end up winning the state, especially after essentially stealing the nomination from both Trump and Cruz in a convention that would likely resemble the end of Reservoir Dogs.…

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More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

Earlier this month, I suggested that the Snyder administration has no intention of replacing a single water line in Flint where the drinking water was contaminated with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of Snyder’s appointed Emergency Managers and the ineptitude of his appointee at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Dan Wyant, a man with zero experience in managing water systems:

Amid all this non-action, the Snyder administration has started to warn municipalities that they should avoid “partial lead service line replacements”. […]

Add to this the fact that Flint water lead levels are beginning to drop as the phosphate added to the water for corrosion protection is building up a protective layer on the inside of water lines and it is starting to look as if the Snyder administration is simply waiting until lead levels have dropped enough for Flint residents to begin using their water again.…

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