Recent Posts

Eclectablog at Think Progress: Occupy Our Homes comes to Michigan

I have a piece published at Think Progress this morning that covers one of the next phases of the Occupy movement: Occupy Our Homes. I have a close friend who is one of the founders and organizers of the newly-formed group that is getting a LOT of attention.

On Tuesday this week, Occupy Our Homes held an event in Michigan.

On Tuesday of this week, as part of a National Day of Action for the Occupy movement, one couple in the Detroit suburb of Southgate, Michigan took a stand against attempts to throw them out of their home. Debbie and Robert Henry, with support and help from the friends, neighbors, community supporters, and allies from Occupy Detroit, announced that they would not comply with any efforts to foreclose on their home or to evict them.…
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Detroit Free Press Brian Dickerson: Emergency Mgr Law’s impacts not racially-motivated

Detroit Free Press Deputy Editorial Page Editor Brian Dickerson has an op-ed this morning titled What’s really driving state takeovers: It ain’t race. In his piece, he argues that the disparate impact of Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law on minority populations isn’t related to race but rather to the shrinking populations of the cities involved.

As the prospect of some sort of state-supervised receivership looms larger for Detroit, politicians who exploit racial division for fun and profit are fond of pointing out that all four of the Michigan cities currently under such supervision are predominantly African American. […]

It’s the same with the four cities in which Gov.

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Rick Perry’s homophobic anti-Obama video is overwhelmingly DISLIKED

Rick Perry’s homophobic anti-Obama video is overwhelmingly DISLIKED

By now, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about Rick Perry’s latest ad called “Strong”. In the ad, Perry accuses President Obama of waging a “War on Religion”.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.

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Muskegon Heights school board votes to ask for an Emergency Manager – UPDATED

Tonight, the school board of Muskegon Heights voted to ask the Snyder administration to assign an Emergency Manager to the district.

Muskegon Heights school officials will ask the state to appoint an emergency financial manager to take over operations of the district after Superintendent Dana Bryant retires at the end of this month.

The school board met Wednesday in a two-hour closed session with officials from the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, including Deputy Superintendent Marios Demetriou, whom Muskegon Heights will ask be given emergency financial manager authority.

Bryant’s retirement was termed “one of several cuts” made by the district. MAISD Superintendent Dave Sipka will serve as the district’s interim superintendent.

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Michigan’s Bill Schuette doesn’t join state AGs supporting Richard Cordray to head CFPB

In October, 37 attorneys general from across the country sent a letter to Congress (pdf) urging them to support the nomination of Richard Cordray to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This included ten Republican AGs. Not among them: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The letter gives Cordray and the fledgling bureau itself glowing reviews.

The undersigned state attorneys general write to express our support for the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). We believe he has the knowledge, experience and leadership skills to serve in this important position.
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Rep Conyers: US Atty General Holder ALREADY investigating impact of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law

My, my. THIS is interesting.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is reviewing whether the state of Michigan can legally appoint an emergency manager to oversee the Motor City’s finances, Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, said late today.

Conyers said he spoke to Holder about his request that the government move to block the law.

“(Holder) said, ‘I’ve got my lawyers working on it right now,’ ” Conyers said, adding he spoke to the attorney general about 4 p.m. today. “He’s trying to find out if my allegations of great constitutional concerns are valid. That’s what he’s got several hundred lawyers for.”

This could conceivably be the biggest news yet with regard to Michigan’s anti-democratic, disenfranchising Emergency Manager.…

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Eclectakids on the move – can you help out a budding filmmaker?

Eclectakids on the move – can you help out a budding filmmaker?

My son, Cameron, is working hard on his senior thesis film, Oculus, for his degree from Ithaca College in New York. In order to make the project happen, he’s doing what all film producers have to do for their projects: raise funding.

And that’s where YOU, my awesome readers, come in.

Here’s a note from the writer/director/producer/editor himself:

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, I’m currently in the middle of shooting my senior thesis film. It’s the capstone project for the cinema half of my major and will serve as the face of my film resume as I head off into the industry in the spring.

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Obama administration ramps up international efforts to protect the LGBT community

This is unlikely to get much fanfare but it’s big new for the fight to protect the LGBT community all over the world. It’s an Presidential Memorandum mandating that U.S. Government agencies step up their efforts to protect the rights and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people all over the world.

The memorandum directs agencies to:

  • Combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad.
  • Protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination.
  • Ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad.
  • Engage International Organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination.

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Flint’s new Emergency Manager starts off by violating the city charter, fires staffers, mayor & City Council

Buried in the lede of the news about Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown firing seven staffers and essentially firing the the Mayor and City Council, as well, is this little tidbit:

In his first orders as emergency manager, Michael Brown on Friday fired seven City Hall staffers — including the mayor’s second-in-command — and eliminated pay and benefits for the mayor and Flint City Council. […]

Although the roles of the city ombudsman and Civil Service Commission are mandated by the Flint City Charter, Brown’s order removing Purifoy and Parker cited state law that says an emergency manager can remove any local government appointee.

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s poll numbers sinking like a rock

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s poll numbers sinking like a rock

Today we get some unsurprising news: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s poll numbers are crashing.

Less than 20 percent of Michigan residents believe Gov. Rick Snyder is doing an excellent or good job running the state, a survey to be released Monday afternoon shows.

The Fall 2011 State of the State survey conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University found that only 19.3 percent of Michigan residents surveyed rated the governor’s performance as excellent or good, continuing a decline in popularity from 44.5 percent just after his election to 31.5 percent in the Spring, 2011 survey.

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US Government makes major investment in biofuels

The Obama administration is announcing this week that they are making an historic investment in biofuels by purchasing 450,000 gallons of drop-in biofuel made from waste cooking oil and from an algae-based system. The fuel is called “drop in” because it can be blended with the traditional fuels used now with no need for equipment modifications.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Announce Largest Ever Government Purchase of Biofuel
Biofuel Purchase Advances President Obama’s Energy Security Goals

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2011 — Today, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) signed a contract to purchase 450,000 gallons of advanced drop-in biofuel, the single largest purchase of biofuel in government history.

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