Recent Posts

Germany’s Spiegel op-ed explains the GOP to its readers and it ain’t pretty

Germany’s Spiegel op-ed explains the GOP to its readers and it ain’t pretty

I traveled to Europe in the waning days of the 2008 election and, in fact, wrote a piece for Huffington Post about my experience including watching the last presidential debate between at 3:00 a.m in a little hotel in Gemona, Italy.

My [business] trip started in Brussels, Belgium. My first clue that American politics reach firmly across the Atlantic ocean was in the pub where we had dinner. In the corner of dining room, a small television played. There, of course, were images of banks and stock markets and stern-faced commentators clearly discoursing on the collapse of some European bank or another.…
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Congressman Gary Peters to host community forum Thursday, December 29, 2011

From Congressman Gary Peters’ Facebook page:

If you live in or near Pontiac, I hope you can join me tomorrow (12/29/2011) at a community forum from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Bowen Center at 52 Bagley Street. Your thoughts and opinions are very important to me so I’d like to hear what’s on your mindas we move into the New Year.…
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Proof that Michigan’s Emergency Mgrs don’t work: 3 cities that had them in financial trouble again

One of the main points I have raised repeatedly since the passage of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law, Public Act 4, is that the imposition of an Emergency Manager (EM) does little, if anything, to solve the underlying problems that bring municipalities and school districts to the crisis point where an EM is deemed necessary.

With Joe Harris set to depart Benton Harbor sometime in the first few months of 2012, for example, what has he done that will prevent that town from simply returning to the same place it was when he entered the scene? The answer is, of course, little to nothing.…

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Don’t expect the UAW to help with the recall of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

In spring of 2012, Michigan Rising (formerly Fire Rick Snyder) will start a second recall attempt against Governor Rick Snyder. The first recall effort was done without the formal help of the unions or the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP). Considering a piece published last week in the Detroit Free Press, I think it’s safe to say that the UAW, at least, won’t be involved this time around, either. And with the direction of the MDP all but controlled by the UAW, the state level Dems will probably sit this one out, too.

A meeting between Gov. Rick Snyder and UAW President Bob King broke an impasse and paved the way to contracts that gave about 34,000 unionized state employees a greater voice in how the government is run, officials confirmed Monday.…
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Governor Rick Snyder appoints review team as latest step toward a Detroit Emergency Manager

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder took the next step toward placing Michigan’s largest city under the control of an Emergency Manager this afternoon, appointing a review team to go over Detroit’s finances.

A former Detroit police chief and a former Wayne State University president are among the members of a state-appointed team that will review Detroit’s finances under the emergency manager law. […]

The team has 60 days to report on Detroit’s finances after a preliminary review ordered by Dillon found evidence of financial stress.

The review could lead to appointment of an emergency manager to take control of the city.

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Newt Gingrich to the LGBTQ community: Vote for Obama

Yeah, well, at least Newt is honest about his position on LGBTQ rights:

Republican Presidential contender Newt Gingrich had one message for a gay Iowa man: Don’t bother with me, vote Obama.

Or so says a professor who met Gingrich at the Smokey Row coffee house in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.

“I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama,” Scott Arnold, an associate professor of writing at William Penn University told the paper.

“When you ask somebody a question and you expect them to support all Americans and have everyone’s general interest,” Arnold continued.

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Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwaanza/Festivus. Third party ads are gone.

Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwaanza/Festivus. Third party ads are gone.

I’ve gotten reports from some folks, including JM Ashby of Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog! Go!, that some anti-virus programs are causing false positives. I have pulled all the third party ads of this morning so you shouldn’t encounter any more of them and this will likely speed the site up a bit, as well.

Please consider making a donation instead if you like what you read at Eclectablog. You can do that here:

Thanks! And have a terrific holiday.

– Chris…

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First Lady Michelle Obama talks to children from Santa tracking station at NORAD

First Lady Michelle Obama talks to children from Santa tracking station at NORAD

This is awesome. First Lady Michelle Obama speaking to children from the Santa-tracking station at NORAD. Lots more after the jump.

Photo credit: Peter Souza

OPERATOR: You’re connected, ma’am.

MRS. OBAMA: Hello, this is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. How may I help you?

MRS. HARRIS: Hi, I have my daughter right here. She’d like to speak to you.

MRS. OBAMA: I would love to speak to her. Is her name Summer?

MRS. HARRIS: It sure is.

MRS. OBAMA: Okay, I’m ready for Summer.

MRS. HARRIS: Here she is.

SUMMER: Hello.

MRS. OBAMA: Hi, Summer? Is this Summer?

SUMMER: Can you tell me where Santa is?…

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More coverage of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law & its implications on The Rachel Maddow Show

A recap of sorts by Rachel Maddow tonight of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law and its impacts, particularly on Benton Harbor. A bunch of my photos from one of the early rallies are featured.

The bit at 5:15 is probably the most significant:

2011 is the year when the Republicans in the great state of Michigan decided that small “d” democracy is a problem in Michigan. It’s not the way Michigan solves its problems; democracy is itself a problem and it needs to be done away with in the name of efficiency.

What Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican legislature did in Michigan this year gets my vote as the single most radical thing in American politics in this fairly radical year.

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Does Justice Dept’s ruling on SC voter ID law bode well for repeal of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law?

This could signal an important foreshadowing of the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law and its disparate impact on African Americans.

The U.S. Department of Justice will block the voter ID provisions of an election law passed in South Carolina earlier this year because the state’s own statistics demonstrated that the photo identification requirement would have a much greater impact on non-white residents, DOJ said in a letter to the state on Friday.

The decision places the federal government squarely in opposition to the types of voter ID requirements that have swept through mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures.

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No, Speaker Boehner, it’s NOT “hard to do the right thing”

Keeping a tax break for the majority of Americans in place just like Republicans fought for on behalf of skabillionaires last year was, of course, “the right thing to do”. A clear no-brainer, barely worth the breath it takes to discuss it. One would have thought all those House Republicans that signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes would have bent over backwards to get this extension passed. Somehow, however, they managed to bend themselves into pretzels, instead, figuring out why it’s okay to raise takes on most Americans but not gajillionaires after signing the Norquist pledge.

But there’s one piece from yesterday’s massive and epic GOPfail that really stood out from me.…

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