Eclectablog

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Chris Savage is the owner of Eclectablog, your one-stop shop for progressive Michigan news and state & national political commentary.
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Pres. Obama takes action on immigration reform that Republicans say THEY should take but won’t

“Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands. No free and prosperous nation can by itself accommodate all those who seek a better life or flee persecution.”

- Ronald Reagan

Last night, President Obama announced the he is taking long-anticipated executive action to permit up to 5 million undocumented immigrants in our country to legally extend their stay and allowing them to, in his words, “come out of the shadows and get right with the law”.

Conservatives Republicans and others on the right preemptively lost their minds, calling this, among other things, “executive amnesty” (which one activist I know hilariously described as “what Wall Street bankers received when none of them went to prison for crashing our economy in 2007.”)

Ted Cruz says none of President Obama’s nominees should be confirmed now that he’s done this.…

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Constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law headed to federal court

Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh has found that a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law, Public Act 436, can move forward based on its disparate impact on African Americans in Michigan.

The suit alleges that PA 436 is unconstitutional based on nine specific causes:

  1. Denial of “substantive due process” by violating the right to vote of Michigan citizens living in municipalities controlled by Emergency Managers
  2. Violation of the Guarantee Clause which guarantees ” to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”
  3. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the denial of the “fundamental right to vote [which] has been denied, abridged, and/or diluted by PA 436 because governing authority is stripped from local elected officials and transferred to one unelected EM with no accountability to local citizens”
  4. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race
  5. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on wealth
  6. Violation of the Voting Rights Act
  7. Violation of the First Amendment by:
    1. Viewpoint discrimination which violates the First Amendment when it regulates speech based on substantive content
    2. Denial of Freedom of Speech
    3. Denial of the right to petition the government
  8. Violation of the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery
  9. Discrimination against localities with Emergency Manager appointed under previous laws

Every one of these was found to be invalid except for #4, the violation of the Equal Protection Clause by discrimination based on race.…

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UPDATED x2: According to incoming House Rep Todd Courser, House Speaker Jase Bolger is just too goddam liberal

Right before the election, a voter from Lapeer County reached out to me to tell me he had received a call from the campaign of far-right candidate Todd Courser. When he informed the caller he would be voting for Courser’s opponent, she asked him, “Would you change your vote if you knew that Margaret Guerrero DeLuca had faggots and blacks working for her?”

Some folks refused to believe this had actually transpired but, when you scratch beneath the surface of the sort of hateful person Todd Courser is, it’s no surprise and many folks in Lapeer had no problem believing something like this came from Courser’s campaign.…

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EVENT: TOMORROW Wayne State University hosts talk on “Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”

Tomorrow night, the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies will host its innaugural event, a presentation by Dr. David E. Kirkland titled “The Practice of Freedom – Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”.

The Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative is a newly-formed group and is headed up by the amazing Friend of the Blog Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University. The Collaborative was founded in September 2014 to honor the lifework and vision of Leonard Kaplan, an uncompromising advocate for the social and affective well-being of the “whole child” in America’s schools.…

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Keystone XL pipeline vote loses by 1 vote in the Senate for several VERY good reasons

Senate Democrats, in a very weird bid to help Democrat Mary Landrieu’s reelection bid, allowed a vote on the mythologized Keystone XL pipeline yesterday. It failed by one vote.

And that’s a very Good Thing.

As I have written about before, the much-touted job creation promised by the pipeline’s ignorant or lying proponents, is wildly inflated:

Let’s take the first Big Lie: that the Keystone XL will create a job bonanza in the U.S. When TransCanada began pitching this boondoggle and environmental-disaster-waiting-to-happen, the Big Oil trade group the America Oil Institute (it’s an “institute” — that’s kinda like a university!) claimed that it would create — not kidding here — “21,000 jobs today to 465,000 jobs by 2035″.…
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EVENT TONIGHT: Chelsea teachers to hold public forum in effort to secure contract

The teachers in the Chelsea Public Schools system have been working without a contract since June 30, 2014. Negotiations for a new contract began in the spring and continued throughout the spring and summer. However, the Chelsea Education Association (CEA) and the school board were unable to come to an agreement. As a next step, the CEA has requested a fact-finding process:

[T]he Chelsea Education Association requested that a third-party fact-finder be brought into the union’s negotiations with the Chelsea Board of Education. The school board is complying with the request.

Teachers have been working without a new contract since the school year started.

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Everything that’s wrong with the debate over marriage equality in one screenshot

I took this screenshot from the front page of The Detroit News this afternoon:
Click through for a larger version

That's what we call irony, kids. Irony, pure and simple.
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After slashing teacher benefits, firing staff, and outsourcing “nearly everything”, Flint schools face Emergency Management

Welcome to Michigan under Republican rule

Flint schools have been in financial trouble since 2011 when it first went into debt. In 2012, they eliminated 460 teachers and staff positions. In May of this year, they laid off 91 more teachers and staff and slashed benefits of the remaining teachers as an alternative to a 19% pay cut. Later in the summer, another 12 teachers and 8 administrators were fired. In the meantime, they have “closed and sold off buildings, eliminated staff and outsourced nearly everything except instructional and administrative positions.”

The result? An increased deficit that now leaves Flint schools $21.9 million in the hole and facing an Emergency Manager.…

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As Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban heads to Supreme Court, AG Schuette says married same-sex couples aren’t married

Evolution is tough for bigots. They struggle as the world around them changes and evolves and becomes better, more accepting of people who are different than them. Chauvinists struggled with the women’s suffrage movement in the early part of the 20th Century and then again during the fight for equality in the latter half of the 20th Century. Racists struggled with civil rights for non-white Americans. But, eventually, society turns toward the cause of justice and, though fights for equality are never completely won, American society largely moves inexorably in the right direction.

The rapid expansion of civil rights – including marriage equality – for the LGBT community is today’s societal pivot.…

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Michigan for-profit charter schools industry fires up its propaganda machine

In the wake of the blistering multi-day expose by the Detroit Free Press detailing the failures of for-profit charters in Michigan and the astonishing lack of transparency and accountability they enjoy, the charter school industry is ramping up its propaganda machine. Just in the past few days, there have been two op-eds in The Detroit News promoting their for-profit-with-tax-dollars model as something good for public schools in Michigan and something requiring no oversight.

On November 12th, conservative colunist Dennis Lennox promoted the idea of abolishing the state Board of Education, the last remaining bulwark fighting for charter school accountability in Michigan and one of the very few remaining state government level bodies which Democrats have a majority.…

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