As a person who got her start in the civil rights movement by volunteering to work on Southern Christian Leadership voter registration campaign in Alabama, I know that those who oppose any curtailment of voting rights are not in the traditions of Martin Luther King and James Groppi.
As the widow of a man who after we married not only drove a bus, but became president of local 998 Amalgamated Transit Union, as a person who remembers that Martin Luther King was killed while he was working to organize sanitation workers, I know that anyone who works to curtail union rights is not in the tradition of Martin Luther King!
And as someone who is a member of a family that loves Wisconsin’s natural resources, I know, that if you endanger those resources, you are not standing with us.
You do not get arrested thirty plus times, you do not get assassinated, for being a photo-op do-gooder. Father James Groppi was more, and did more, and so he lives on. He believed in addressing the root causes of poverty, and those causes are backwards social policy. He believed in the tradition summarized by St. Thomas Aquinas that the “super-abundance of the rich belongs by natural right to the poor.” He believed, like Frederick Douglas, that “power concedes nothing without a demand: it never did and it never will."
In honor of the Packers’ season opener, here is an article about my boyfriend and how nice he is. Here is your reminder that, as of today, this goes back to being just a teeny bit of an Aaron Rodgers fan blog.
Here’s what I really don’t understand: If you ran into Aaron Rodgers in a hotel lobby, why wouldn’t you want to have a normal conversation with him? I would so much rather talk to him about anything for a couple minutes than Instagram him. He just wants you to be polite, guys. We have the nicest, smartest quarterback in the NFL. Be a little appreciative.
"He once told me, ‘If you don’t go into the military as a racist, you definitely leave as one.’"
A 53-year-old Mequon man was warned for disorderly conduct after being told the Thiensville restaurant at which he was dining ran out of fish for its all-you-can-eat fish fry last week.
According to the police report:
The man had already consumed 12 pieces of fish around 7:40 p.m. Friday when informed the restaurant had run out and could not substitute any other fish.
The man then refused to pay his bill. After the restaurant gave him eight more pieces of fish to go, he paid his bill.
The man returned to the restaurant on May 13 with a picket sign protesting the restaurant’s poor business practices. Officers provided the man with guidelines for his protest, which he violated. He was then told to leave or risk arrest. He left and said he would return the next day.
I mean, he was promised an all-you-can-eat fish fry. This man was only able to eat 20 pieces of fish.
Don’t eff with Wisconsin and our fish fry (noun).
Wisconsin voters: If you are at all worried about the bogus Voter ID law that is still being debated in court, please know that you can vote today as long as you are a Wisconsin resident.
I know many young voters who have moved and changed residency quite a bit in the past few years are worried about voting at the correct location. If you are a transient college student or apartment-dweller, you can register at your local polling place with proof of residence and ID, or you can vote at the last place where you were registered to vote. If you don’t know where that is, PLEASE use this link BEFORE YOU VOTE: http://www.canivote.org/
PLEASE vote today, even if you signed a recall petition.
Today in awesome things:
Lakefront BreweryInc. has introduced Wisconsinite, a new unfiltered Weiss-style beer made entirely of local, Wisconsin-grown ingredients.
The beer was created around a new native Wisconsin yeast strain envisioned by Lakefront president Russ Klisch and developed by Jeremy Kingof home brewing supplies distributor Northern Brewer. The new strain is believed be to the only North American-grown yeast in commercial use today as well as the first native brewing yeast from Wisconsin, according to Lakefront Brewery.
All products used in Wisconsinite come from local sources, including its water (Lake Michigan), malted barley (from the Milwaukee location of Malteroup), wheat (Chilton) and hops (Mazomanie).
Klisch hopes the distinct flavor of the new yeast will eventually create a new category of beer called Wisconsin Weiss. Because he believes the flavor is so distinct, he plans to forgo compensation to make it available to other brewers in order to perpetuate the new style.
The new yeast is available for purchase by home brewers through Northern Brewer in Milwaukee and Minnesota.
Related: How delicious does it look to garnish your beer with a cheese wedge? I think we can agree that it looks SO DELICIOUS, and might actually embody the idea of “treating yourself.”
Santorum’s social conservatism and his restrictive views on contraception and reproductive rights are less appealing to most Waukesha County Republicans, including Dave Bauer, 71.
“I don’t know how any woman could vote for him,” said Bauer, who favors Gingrich in the race.
Kelda Helen Roys and Chris Taylor, Wisconsin Democratic Representatives from Madison, discuss the state GOP’s recent attacks on women:
Roys says the fight transcends reproductive rights: “They are really, really passionate about taking away women’s opportunities generally.”
Agrees Taylor: “When you talk about rolling back access to birth control, you are really talking about rolling back access for women to the public forum, civic engagement and educational engagement.”
And Roys contends: “It is totally at odds with their fiscal conservatism. If you are going to have a world in which workers make a lot less, then you need two people in a household working. You can’t have big business continually putting downward pressure on wages and then not giving women access to control over their own reproduction so they can go out and work.”
Roys says all of this should help Democrats because the party has its biggest advantage with independent women voters who distrust Republicans on women’s health issues.
But “in times of economic scarcity and anxiety, you are more likely to have these kind of fear-based and fringe policies and ideas coming to the fore because people are anxious about their status in the world,” she says.
She says Republicans try to create an image that the women in their lives are trustworthy, not like those “other” women, and that their wives and family members will never need Planned Parenthood for cervical cancer screening or for an abortion: “They think there is some other kind of woman out there who is not as good as their wife.”
Roys and Taylor are guardedly optimistic about how this will all play out.
“I think Democrats have been way too timid in talking about these issues,” says Taylor. “I think they are winning issues” with the independent women voters pivotal to election outcomes. “If Democrats aren’t talking about this, they should be.”
Says Roys, “I think it is going to play a larger role (in recalls and fall elections) in part because it is a national pattern. People cannot believe what they are hearing” from presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, so the topic of women’s issues is generally more top-of-mind.
Roys faults Democrats as well. “The Republicans keep moving the goalposts” from abortion to contraception to sex education, ratcheting up the overall pressure, she says. “And Democrats have failed to stand up when they have had the chance. I don’t see us suddenly developing a backbone on this until we start electing more women.”
Dear Planned Parenthood Supporter,
As a parent of a teenager, I am stunned and outraged that the Assembly voted last week to end comprehensive sex education in Wisconsin.
As a parent, I know how important education is to my daughter, including sex education. My daughter, Kira, deserves to have good, evidence-based, comprehensive education on all topics in school so she can grow up to be a responsible adult who makes informed decisions.
My wife Linda passed away four years ago when Kira was thirteen. That loss was devastating to our family. In addition to becoming a single father, I became Kira’s primary sex education teacher. And despite our strong relationship and good communication, I was not foolish enough to think I could do this alone. Over the last four years I have reached out to Kira’s physician, her school teachers, guidance counselors, and Planned Parenthood. The help I have received is invaluable.
As a parent, I know my daughter has questions about her body and yes, about sex. Ending comprehensive sex education from schools will, despite my best efforts, leave some of those questions unanswered. I find it particularly concerning that Republican legislators went so far as to ban doctors from providing this information in the classroom and removed the requirement that a school must inform me of what they do, or do not, teach Kira. How will I, and parents like me, know what sex education is taking place in my daughter’s classroom? And if doctors are no longer allowed to provide this instruction and the curriculum no longer needs to be ‘medically accurate’ just what kind of information will Kira receive?
Why is taking away education on critical topics from Wisconsin teens, like my daughter, the priority of our state legislators? I ask you to join me in contacting Governor Walker and urging him to veto SB 237, and to keep comprehensive sex education in Wisconsin.
Paul Crumb, Monona
At this point, I’m more than used to my daily Planned Parenthood emails making me teary, but the picture of this dad in the pink “I Support Planned Parenthood” t-shirt was just next level. I’ve become fairly cynical about the extent to which Wisconsin government cares about my opinions, but you can bet that I signed that petition - and also that I am hiding behind a tissue right now.
"If you’re from Wisconsin, girls are raised to love football."
Breanne Weir, quoted in the “Field Notes” section of the NYTimes Style Section, talking about the love of football that she took with her when she moved to New York.
People talk a lot about how women pretend to like football to impress men. I don’t know, some of them probably do. But I’m from Wisconsin.
Wisconsin citizens gather in Madison to celebrate gathering over 1,000,000 signatures to recall “Governor” Scott Walker. It sure is nice to know that the days I spent in the freezing Wisconsin cold protesting and collecting constituent information was well worth it. This is what Democracy looks like.
This is the face of the new voter ID law. Ruth Frank has voted in every election since 1948, but next year, she could be turned away at the ballot box. Ruth has never had a driver’s lisence or a birth certificate, and because she lacks both, she has been unable to get a state identification card. She has lived in the same house for nearly her whole life and become a fixture in her small town, where she serves on the Village Board and donates her small salary to providing things like a swing set, flowers, a display for an old church bell and Christmas decorations for the community.
According to the newspaper, a record of Frank’s birth does exist with the state register of deeds in Madison. She could get a birth certificate for a fee, $20. But Frank said that fee amounted to a poll tax. There’s another problem. Frank’s maiden name of Wedepohl was misspelled by the physician who attended her home birth. To get the birth certificate amended, she could petition the court, a process that could take several weeks and cost at least $200, the newspaper said.
Now, she is a plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the law.
The real irony? Next year, Ruth hopes to run for reelection to the Village Board. Unless the new law is overturned, Ruth says, “I won’t be able to vote for myself.”
How could Wisconsin reach a threshold that was twice as high in less than half the time? Not by building a movement rooted only in liberal precincts of the state capitol city of Madison, as the governor and his amen corner keep claiming. And not by relying merely on Democrats.
To be successful, the recall drive against Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch had to attract support from independents and Republicans. And that is precisely what is happening.
In fact, the recall effort has a visible presence in conservative and Republican-leaning areas across Wisconsin.
The first counties to approach their goals for the entire recall drive have been rural ones — all of which send at least some Republicans to the legislature.
Indeed, a number of counties that backed Walker in 2010 are leading the pack when it comes to producing recall signatures.
In Columbia County, where Walker won 52 percent of the vote last year, more than 10,033 voters have signed recall petitions — well over 45 percent of the total gubernatorial turnout of 2010.
In Pierce County, where Walker got 53 percent of the vote last year, more than 4,700 voters have signed recall petitions — well over 25 percent of the total gubernatorial turnout of 2010.
In Oneida County, where Walker took 55 percent of the vote last year, almost 3,700 voters have signed recall petitions — well over 20 percent of the total gubernatorial turnout of 2010.
Governor Walker has done great harm to Milwaukee, to Madison, to Racine, Kenosha, Janesville, Beloit and other urban communities. But his combination of job-killing economic schemes and cuts to basic services and public education are doing the most damage far beyond Wisconsin’s big cities."
- John Nichols
points out that Walker’s policies, while popular with out-of-state donors, are taking a noticeable hit out of small local state budgets and dramatically impacting the way local government employees do their jobs. Milwaukee’s just used to it, I guess.
The October jobs figures for the United States were just released. Illinois led the nation in job creation, adding 30,000 new jobs.
And what about Wisconsin?
Under Walker, Wisconsin now leads the nation in job losses.
In fact, of the states that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics described as experiencing “statistically significant unemployment changes” in October, only one actually lost jobs: Wisconsin.
Wisconsin lost 9,700 jobs in October, almost all of them in the private sector."
John Nichols: Under Walker, Wisconsin is #1 Job Loser
As Scott Walker drew contrast to his approach to Wisconsin’s “budget crisis” and Illinois’ method of deficit reduction - fair tax policies and efforts to maintain public services - Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state while Illinois reported the highest gains. OH.