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INTERVIEW: AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler – Has the “American Dream” become the “Impossible Dream”?

The American Dream, according to, is defined as: the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American, or, a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

I might suggest that, based on generational differences, the definition of the American Dream might be different from generation to generation. Clearly, though, at least in the world I live in, one has to wonder if it’s time to redefine what the American Dream is. I’m not suggesting that the ideas set forth at are necessarily wrong. At the same time, however, I am concerned that the way it’s defined doesn’t exactly fit into today’s model of what our communities are, what we seek for them to be, and more importantly, how we get there.…

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INTERVIEW: Bobby McKenzie – “Trott is a guy who has made foreclosing & evicting people as efficient as possible”

The election to replace Kerry Bentovolio in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, one of the most absurdly gerrymandered districts in our state, has been one of the most interesting races in the state this election cycle. Multi-millionaire “Foreclosure King” David Trott massively outspent Bentivolio to win the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Bobby McKenzie, a former Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Counterterrorism in the U.S. Department of State, beat two other candidates to face off against Trott.

I sat down with McKenzie late last week to discuss his campaign and the man he’s running against. Despite Trott having spent millions of his own dollars, money earned at the misery of others, the race is a statistical dead heat.…

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INTERVIEW: Lizz Winstead on standing up for women, from V to Shining V

A conversation with the co-founder of Lady Parts Justice on feminism, grassroots activism and using humor to drive serious change.

Lizz Winstead is a woman with a mission. If you’re lucky enough to talk with her one-on-one, there’s no missing her fiery determination. She’s serious about changing the landscape of reproductive laws across the country that hold women back — and she’s doing it in a hilarious, super-fun way.

That, in a nutshell, is Lady Parts Justice and the first annual V to Shining V Paloooza happening across the country on September 27. For a primer,
check out my previous post

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INTERVIEW: Rep. Dan Kildee on gamesmanship in Congress and leveling the playing field

Why the current Congress isn’t working for the people — and how Democrats can change that.

Do you miss “Schoolhouse Rock”? Me, too. And there’s no question that many members of the current U.S. House of Representatives, particularly Republicans, could benefit from a re-run, a refresher course on how legislating is actually supposed to work.

During the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) participated on a panel with Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41). The title was “A Fresh Perspective: Lessons From a Crazy Congress” and the three representatives shared their take on why Congress is so dysfunctional right now — and what Democrats are doing to drive positive change.…

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INTERVIEW: Pam Byrnes, Democrat for Michigan’s Congressional 7th District – “There’s a clear path to victory here”

All photos by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog

In August of last year, I sat down with Pam Byrnes, the sole Democratic candidate for Michigan’s hotly contested 7th Congressional District. In 2008, Democrat Mark Schauer defeated incumbent Republican Tim Walberg but, in 2010, Walberg won the seat back. Walberg, a former pastor and bible salesman is one of the more conservative members of Congress. He’s also one of the most hypocritical. While he complains bitterly about government spending and sneers at entitlement programs, he himself benefits handsomely from taxpayer-funded healthcare, a healthy federal salary, and he receives a monthly paycheck from the state of Michigan from his pension he earned as a state legislator.…

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REPOST – INTERVIEW: Lizz Winstead on her new book, politics, and douchebags ruining everything

“When you let creatives be creatives, magic can happen.”

Our 10-year Blogaversary party is coming up next week (details HERE), and my friend Lizz Winstead will be on hand to make us laugh and to tell about her exciting new project Lady Parts Justice. I thought it would be good to repost an interview I did with her in June of last year so that those of you who are unfamiliar with Lizz and her amazing work could get to know her.

I finished reading Lizz Winstead’s book Lizz Free or Die (purchase it HERE) a couple of months ago and, via Twitter, she agreed to an interview.…

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INTERVIEW – Former EAA teacher: “I really think that they are being dishonest with the public, teachers, and parents”

One of the recurring themes in the conversations that I have had with various teachers and administrators who work or have worked for the Education Achievement Authority is that when financial benefactors or members of our state government came to visit, the entire school transformed. Schedules were altered, often on the fly, to accommodate the visitors’ schedules. Kids ate lunch very early or very late, and as you’ll learn in this interview, teachers were reassigned from their normal classrooms to pose as teacher’s assistants for other teachers to give the appearance that large classrooms had multiple adults in them even though that was not normally the case.…

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INTERVIEW: Catching up with Tony Trupiano

“I truly believe that this is my destiny.”

Photo by Anne C. Savage

I first met Tony Trupiano shortly after he returned to the radio airwaves after an unsuccessful run to unseat Thad McCotter in Congress. Tony’s morning radio show, First Shift with Tony Trupiano was a progressive breath of fresh air amidst the plethora of right wing radio hosts. The show later changed to an evening radio program, Night Shift with Tony Trupiano until it ended several months ago when Tony threw his hat in the ring to run for the state House of Representatives in the 13th House District.…

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INTERVIEW: Josh Silver of Represent.Us, keynote speaker at next week’s Michigan Election Reform Conference

A week from today on Friday, April 4th, 2014 the Ann Arbor-based group Reclaim Our American Democracy (ROAD) is holding their 2014 Michigan Election Reform Conference at Cleary University in Ann Arbor. You can have a look at the brochure for this important event HERE (pdf). Registration is only $25, $10 for students and you may purchase a boxed lunch for $10 (deadline is Monday for ordering the lunch.) You may also register at the event for an additional $5. Click HERE to register.

The conference features an all-star cast of participants:

Yesterday I spoke with Josh Silver from Represent.Us about his organization and about his keynote speech.…

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INTERVIEW: A former EAA administrator who was fired without being told why speaks out (UPDATED)

Today’s interview is with a former EAA administrator who was fired by Chancellor Covington (though she was allowed to “resign”) but never given a reason why. In fact, after she collected unemployment for over a month, the EAA challenged her unemployment on the basis of “misconduct”. However, their accusation was found to be unsubstantiated and their claim was denied.

But this is more than just a story about an unwarranted firing. It shows how pressure is put on school administrators to perform without the needed resources, how some schools are shown distinct favoritism, and how the “dog and pony show” that is put on for visitors like Governor Rick Snyder and wealthy benefactors/investors is well-known and repudiated by the administrators at some schools.…

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