Wisconsin Recall: Hope Remains While the Company Is True

A few weeks ago I went with a friend to Miller Park a couple of hours before the start of a Brewers game to gather signatures to help Kathleen Vinehout get her name on the ballot for the May 8 recall primary. Being a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, I had never done anything like this before. It was like a brief, intense peek into a microcosm of Wisconsin. Unsurprisingly, most were drinking beer, eating brats and cheese, and generally in quite the festive, boisterous mood.

It was heartening to hear many ask specifically about Vinehout’s support for teachers. They perceived Walker’s attack on teachers as a serious affront and were only interested in helping candidates who would strongly support public education and teachers. Of course, there were a couple who had to yell “Support Walker” at the top of their lungs, but mostly people were quite pleasant.

I approached one young woman who said, “I’m a Walker supporter.”
Me: “No problem. Thanks anyway.”
She (seeming surprised): “Thanks for being so polite about it.”
Me (smiling): “Thanks for thanking me.”
Then we both giggled, almost conspiratorially, like we were doing something slightly subversive by being so painfully, explicitly polite. I can’t help but think that had we more time we could have had a good conversation about what was happening to our state. As it was, it was like catching a brief glimpse of an actual human being, beating heart and all, on the other side of a vast chasm.

This past week we were given a different kind of glimpse, this one into the chasm of Walker’s dark heart, not unlike his revealing and excruciatingly embarrassing tape-recorded phone call with blogger Ian Murphy posing as billionaire radical-right-winger David Koch, in which he talked about dropping the bomb on Wisconsin. On Thursday, another telling recorded conversation surfaced, this one from January 2011 with an actual billionaire donor, Diane Hendricks, who, it transpires, is Walker’s most generous backer to date (having donated $510,000 to Walker’s campaign so far) and owns the ABC Supply Company in Beloit, which paid not a dime in state corporate income tax from 2005 to 2008. This time Walker spoke of using a “divide and conquer” tactic. Alas, that “divide and conquer” thingy has been tried before, to disastrous effect.

A 1947 “Don’t Be a Sucker” film put out by the U.S. War Department warns against falling for the divide-and-conquer tactic: “In this country we have no ‘other people.’ We are American people. … Remember that when you hear this kind of talk. Somebody’s going to get something out of it, and it isn’t going to be you.

Very prescient. Clearly Walker’s billionaire backers get something out of all this bombing and dividing and conquering. And what are the people of Wisconsin getting? The worst job performance of any state in the nation. Slashed education funding. Drastically cut healthcare. And a severely divided state.

Not long after his conversation with Hendricks, Walker dropped his bomb on the state, blithely claiming that it was all to balance the budget. Check out the clear disconnect between what he told Hendricks and what he told us:

Walker has divided Wisconsin all right. To say he’s a “polarizing personality” is understatement. According to Jessica Van Egeren of the Cap Times,

His popularity among voters has hovered around 50 percent for months, suggesting his supporters will view the admission caught on the video without consternation while his detractors will see it as confirmation of everything they already oppose about him. Thus, it seems the video, while described as ‘shocking’ by Barrett’s campaign, will do little to sway most voters.

The Marquette poll [released last week] found only a small percentage of state voters, around 4 percent, remain undecided in the June election.

Phil Walzak, a Barrett spokesman, believes it’s those voters who the Walker video could potentially impact. And for them, he says, it won’t be because the video touches on Walker’s views on collective bargaining but rather because it provides a glimpse into Walker’s style.

“Even if this small percentage of voters isn’t moved by collective bargaining issues, they are moved by issues of trust,” Walzak says. “Walker tells us one thing, and billionaire donors another. I think that is a turnoff to voters who are undecided and in the middle right now. Something like this could be really big for them.” (emphasis added)

We are indeed severely divided. And by all accounts it’s going to be a perilously close race. Who knows who those 4 percent are and where they are? They could be anyone, anywhere. Now is not the time to politely avoid talk of politics. Now is the time to ask friends and neighbors and coworkers where they stand in the great divide. When the answer you hear sounds like it comes from one of the 4 percent, listen carefully. Have a real conversation. Those are the moments that could make or break this election.

I’m reminded of Galadriel’s words to the fellowship in The Lord of the Rings: “The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains, while the company is true.”

Photos courtesy of the Overpass Light Brigade, Raj Shukla, and John Pope. Video courtesy of Arthur Kohl-Riggs. Many thanks to all of you!

Wisconsin Set to Throw the Republicans Out

According to Andrew Feldman’s Christmas Eve opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Despite Democrats’ massive protests and their success at gathering recall signatures, most Wisconsinites did not appear to be in a ‘throw the Republicans out’ mood in 2011. If they had been, Supreme Court Justice David Prosser would be out of a job and Democrats would have won back the state Senate during the summer.”

First, not all of those who protested Walker’s draconian budget bill in February and March were Democrats. And it’s not only Democrats who are circulating recall Walker and Kleefisch petitions or signing them. Many of those who voted for Walker are more than disillusioned and disappointed. They’re furious—furious enough to work very hard on the recall effort. And the signatures are coming, not just from Madison and Milwaukee but from all over Wisconsin. Over 507,000 signatures were collected in the first 28 days—that’s 94 percent of the signatures needed (540,208) and 70 percent of the signatures hoped for (720,277)—in less than half the time allotted (60 days).

You may recall that voter turnout for the Prosser/Kloppenburg Supreme Court race was unprecedented. The outcome was perilously close and is still considered highly questionable. When the election began, Kloppenburg was not particularly well known, and she was trying to unseat the incumbent. Even if the dubious votes that Kathy Nickolaus miraculously discovered were indeed legitimate, the election can’t be dismissed as a failure for Democrats. We sure as hell gave Prosser a run for his money—a LOT of money, come to that. And I wonder how those who voted for Prosser in April feel about his bad behavior since then.

You can hardly call the recall elections of this past summer a Republican victory. The accomplishments of Democrats, progressives, and labor organizations this summer were truly remarkable. On August 10, 2011, John Nichols told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! that “Democrats and progressive groups, labor especially, took on six entrenched Republican incumbents in districts that were drawn to elect Republicans and that, in some cases, have elected Republicans steadily for more than a century. So, this fight was played out on the turf of conservative Republicans. With that reality, you saw two Democrats win.” Recall elections targeted six Republican senators and three Democratic senators. Democrats held on to all three senate seats and successfully recalled two Republican senators.

In August, Ian Millhiser pointed out how truly remarkable those achievements were:

All of the Republican state senators who were eligible for recall in [2011] were Republicans who held on in 2008 despite the fact that they had to stand for election during a Democratic wave. Likewise, all of the Republicans who were elected in 2010 only because they were fortunate enough to run during a Republican wave were immune from recall. Come 2012, however, all of this changes.

In 2011, we were only just getting started. Some of the battles we have already fought were at least as challenging as the ones that await us in 2012, if not more so. We set very high goals for ourselves, and that we didn’t attain everything we went after doesn’t mean that the victories we did achieve count for nothing. Our accomplishments thus far are formidable and cannot be dismissed or discounted.

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Feldman is quite correct that unseating Walker will be a daunting challenge. But don’t make the mistake of underestimating how angry Wisconsinites—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—are about Walker’s actions. Feldman is also right about the need for Democrats to “create a bold agenda that does nothing less than revive Wisconsin’s progressive tradition.” But for my part, I am inclined to believe that Wisconsin is indeed in a “throw the Republicans out” kind of mood.

A Wisconsin status check.

I’m going to do the impossible and give a status check on all of Wisconsin politics. It might help the out-of-stater who is perhaps just now turning his or her attention from Anthony Weiner’s umm… tweets…and back to really important stuff like what is happening in my state.

Wisconsin is hot again. Maybe too hot. Temps are in the 90’s in Madison and yesterday a protest evolved into civil disobedience around and within our Capitol Square where 200 people now sleep in a tent encampment called “Walkerville”. They are hunkering down – as stubborn badgers do in the wild – to protest a Wisconsin GOP budget that swaps public programs for privatization or turns them into a shadow of their former selves.

March for a fair budget - Walkerville Day 3

The budget first went through the state senate’s  joint finance committee where VDLF used civil disobedience, attempting to hamper the budget process with interruption. A majority of the protesters I’ve spoken with feel the same frustration, but frown on disruptive tactics in meetings.

The budget emerged with surprises like language that threatens craft brewers, weakens police and firefighter benefits, and disintegrates a network of broadband crucial to K-12,  to libraries, and to the UW system.  As the budget proceeds to the Assembly, then to the Senate, and to Walker’s desk the public is still learning about what’s tucked into it.  I heard that Dem. senators on the committee were at times given 5 minutes to read new insertions into the document before votes.

Here’s a vlog Mark Pocan uploaded today. He says the budget is not bad. It’s terrible:

Desperate times. Desperate measures: Enter Walkerville. Walkerville is part art installation, part protest, and part comedy. It feels like a protest version of Sesame Street with people writing their thoughts on a wall, singing on occasion, chanting protest statements, and using absurd theater like tonight’s mock boxing match between Scott Walker and a nurse. I love it. Today is day 4 of about 200 people sleeping in 100 tents, many of which must be taken down in the morning and put back up at night to appease business owners. I hear it’s not easy to sleep there. It might be the younger set’s spontaneous games of capture the flag or just the typical noise of downtown drunks leaving bars at 2AM. Walkerville does have a 14 day permit from the City of Madison, due in large part to Mayor Paul Soglin who cut his political teeth as a 60’s protest organizer. It probably also helps that Madison is a union town with Walker pressing on its last nerve.

 
Health Care Day in Walkerville

Walkerville - Night 2
 

Those images are from WI AFLCIO. WI AFLCIO has a nice flickr stream HERE, if you’d like to see more. And here is a brief video of Walkerville

Anger Grows Edgy Online: The net is on fire with angry comments tinged with violence after footage and photos of Capitol police forcefully arresting protesters and 2 reporters yesterday started circulating. I think that the anger is on both the anti-Walker and pro-Walker sides which gives me a sickly feeling.

Will the real candidate please stand up?: Republicans are getting ready to fight dirty in the summer recall elections with at least 3 fake Dem candidates. When I first learned this, I assumed it was pure rumor. It’s not. Former Republican Assembly candidate Isaac Weix is circulating papers to run in a race against the GOP’s Harsdorf in the 10th Senate District (close to Minneapolis-St. Paul). He makes no secret of his intentions to tank Dem Shelly Moore.  I have heard that the real Dem candidate Moore is the only union member and teacher in a set of 6 candidates set to run against WI GOP senators in July, and rumor has it, she needs the most funding help. Fake Dems are also being lined up to aid Republicans Kapanke and Hopper.

Recall Fuel: Candidates are already selected in all of a possible 9 recall senate districts and canvassing and calling already are ongoing BUT now these pushes have bumped up a few notches. Plans are flourishing in Walkerville and online to make trips to aid far-flung Dem senators in Wisconsin. The Government Accountability Board gained extra time to review challenges recall petitions filed against three Dem state Senators.“This means that all six of the elections against Republican state Senators are now set in stone for July 12, and that no recall elections against Democratic Senators will take place on that day. The recall elections against Democrats, if they happen at all, will take place on July 19 or later.” from Chris Bowers, staff at Daily Kos. Seek the G.A.B.’s site for official updates and recall rules.

Can I has vote?: Wisconsin has historically been the 2nd easiest U.S. state to vote in, and will now be the hardest state to vote in due to a GOP voter suppression bill. It extends the required voter residency period to 28 days from 10 and switches up absentee voting, and requires photo ID use, amongst other changes. Not all pieces of the bill take effect by July 12th, but Dems fear the changes are profound enough to cause confusion and cut voters out. For example, a photo ID is not required in July to vote, but many people will assume otherwise. And would you wager that a few GOP candidates will tell voters that the I.D. IS required on July 12?

Some people were a little upset about voter I.D. and protested on the day of its signing:

Recall Walker!: A recall push against Scott Walker was initiated last year by what looked to be 100 facebook pages. The PAC United Wisconsin emerged as the leader, gathering over 180,000 commitments now to sign against Walker when it is legal to do so in November of 2011. Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Mike Tate announced on June 3rd that the party supports the recall of Walker as well. (Did the party have any wiggle room in this matter?)

 
Kloppenburg Concedes with Parting Words On Election Integrity and Lack Thereof
She won by a couple hundred votes. Then she lost in short order by around 7,000. Whether the election was called by a Waukesha clerk who has a history of secretiveness and misplacinig votes or by the public, honestly, I’m not sure. But it is done. Prosser retains his seat as a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. More to read on that HERE if you’d like.

What about the “Budget Repair Bill” which became known as “Wisconsin Act 10”?:  Back in February and March, the bulk of street protest in Wisconsin was inspired by Wisconsin Act 10 which strips collective bargaining rights from most public employees. At this stage of the game, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi has voided Wisconsin Act 10 because its hasty passage by Republicans on March 9th violated open meetings law. Yesterday, Wisconsin’s Supreme court began hearing arguments about whether it should take up the matter. As I am no lawyer, I direct you to illusory tenant for ongoing updates on the bill’s life or death. As he sees it, “the only way the court can vacate Judge Sumi’s very conservative, very restrained reasoning is to find the provisions of the Open Meetings Law upon which Judge Sumi relied to be themselves violative of judge-made — or at least judge-inferred — constitutional law doctrine.”

There it is. What did I leave out? What did I get wrong? Comment away.

 

Judge Sumi plays by the rules. Wisconsin Republicans don’t.

“Wisconsin Republicans were struck down in a blaze of judicial glory” – Sarah Jones, Politicususa.

I wish Judge Maryann Sumi really was a fire-breathing liberal. However, I believe she just respects the Wisconsin constitution and the law.

I learned what I need to know about Wisconsin’s open meetings’ law from watching Peter Barca fire-breathe it on March 9th.  But Fitzgerald and his band of tone deaf Republicans couldn’t hear him. Worst case of selective hearing I’ve ever seen.

As you recall, the Dem14’s absence halted the “budget repair bill” because it was a fiscal bill and a quorum must be present to act on fiscal matters in Wisconsin’s senate. Then in a sudden turn of events, Fitz and the pack removed a portion of the larger bill and called it “non-fiscal”. The segmented portion stripped collective bargaining rights from public unions in Wisconsin.

Fitz waved the new bill by the Legislative Reference Bureau, [probably running by as fast as his short legs could carry him], he said he got their blessing, and called for a 6PM meeting with about 1 hour and 50 minutes notice:  less than even the 2 hours which may be used in the case of an “emergency”.

I think Fitzie fearing a loss of Republican votes does not  qualify as an emergency.

Now that Judge Sumi has ruled that Wisconsin Act 10 is dead for violation of the law, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments June 6 to determine whether they will consider the case.

I have a feeling they will consider it given the fact that our supreme court has a 5-4 conservative majority and one of them is a real turd.

The Tool has Another Tool

Meanwhile, Walker will continue to put the screws to teachers from the budget side forcing layoffs.

Walker’s budget requires a $500 per-pupil reduction in property tax authority, reducing the money available to the state’s 424 districts by 7 percent, or nearly $600 million, based on a study done by University of Wisconsin-Madison economics professor Andrew Reschovsky.

Walker is using this “tool” to weaken WEAC, Wisconsin’s teacher union. Fewer union teachers means less union dues to collect. Layoffs have begun in Oshkosh, and Kenosha. And where teacher contracts are renegotiated, Walker’s budget gutting looms large and results in reduced pay and benefits.

Reminds me of this oldie – Fitzgerald speaking with FOX on how removing union rights – specifically reducing dues collected – helps to weaken Obama’s base here in 2012.

 

Mass Transit Parasites

What the heck. Let’s flash back to March 9th just one more time. Immediately following the illegal committee vote and then floor vote by the assembled Senate [Dem14 being in Illinois] the Republican senators scurried to a City of Madison bus, ordering the paying riders off. The band of authoritarian mass transit parasites were whisked away.

Here’s some choice video of that episode:

They rumbled away in the rain on City of Madison property to some location closer to a mall [perhaps their native habitat?] to collect themselves. That weekend they jetted to D.C. for a fundraising dinner where, I presume, they also snorted cocaine and…. Whoa! Ha ha…Sorry. I made up the coke part.You have to admit it’s less absurd than the previous set of events and less criminal.

 

Sometimes I sign off with “Forward”.

About time that became, “Recall”.

 

 

 

I’m Madison as heck and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Are you ready for the deliciousness of Stephen Colbert’s “Madison as Ever” today? Click the image below to jump into what could be the best Colbert report on Wisconsin everrrr.

In “Madison as Ever” you learn:

Publishing a law in the Wisconsin State Journal is a final act to make it legally binding and –

“…Wisconsin’s Republicans defied the Constitution and published the law anyway. Just not in the State Journal. I believe it appeared on a Denny’s place mat”

Wisconsin Republicans in the Senate alerted the public to their “public” meeting when they “stapled a note to a barn cat and set it loose in Kenosha.”

Site of publication of Wisconsin Act 10.

Grab bag of Wisconsin Solidarity, News, and Views

Wisconsin Act 10 Stalls

Today 3/31 Judge Maryann  Sumi ordered that the law “has not been published within the meaning” of Wisconsin law and “is therefore not in effect.”’

Pictured: Dept. of Justice response to Judge Sumi.

And following Huebsch said, “given the most recent court action we will suspend the implementation of it at this time. DOA will continue to abide by the court orders, like the department has done all throughout this process.”

Wispolitics.com

I think that “A” on First Draft is feeling about the way I feel…

It’s so very very generous, to agree to sit down after somebody smacks you in the face with a bag of nickels and yells SIT DOWN MOTHERFRAKKER two dozen times. It’s such a kind concession to say yes, the law is the law, and in order that I might avoid actually getting arrested and/or frogmarched out of my offices (because Wisconsin Democrats have gigantic balls, unlike the Dems during the Bush years), I, Governor Deadeyes, will compromise by doing what I have to do anyway. More at First Draft

And to seek an attorney’s blogging on Dane County & Fitzwalkerstani legal drama, see illusory tenant

Emily Mills of Isthmus’ The Daily Page

Nice article. Just a bit – a selection of Mark Pocan’s quote:

There’s no way a person who is a non-sitting judge, whose name is ‘Kloppenburg,’ is supposed to beat a sitting incumbent Supreme Court Justice… it’s very possible with the interest right now, if people decide to motivate and get out the vote, that Kloppenburg wins. If that happens, that’s like the nuclear option for Walker. He at that point goes, ‘oh shit.’

More at Why the Kloppenburg Vote is Crucial

March 29 Protest of Governor Walker in Janesville

The artice from GazetteExtra says 100’s showed up for a protest of Governor Walker’s presence at a business dinner in Janesville. GazetteExtra did a pretty good write-up and also has a brief video, which is worth your time.

John Nichols and Sly of WTDY talked about the protest outside of the Forward Janesville dinner as well as the usual Wisconsin crisis stuff you’d expect. That’s archived right here at WTDY

On March 29, Joy Cardin featured the topic of Charter Schools vs. Public Schools in Wisconsin.

Joy spoke with Sarah Granofsky, Program Director for the Wisconsin Charter Schools Association for 30 minutes, and she then spoke with Dan Rossmiller, Director of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Judge Sumi begins to untangle the Fitzwalkerstan web

Notes and or tweets gleaned from today’s proceedings in Dane County Court. If you’d like a more conventional article, here is TPM.

This tweet sums up a lot. One of my favorites:

“Sinking in how Scott Fitzgerald & the Attorney General’s office consciously put Legislative Reference Bureau staff in potentially significant legal jeopardy. What assholes.” – from @gnarlytrombone

UppityWis.org used tweets from @ACLUMadison (always excellent tweets from them) to establish that the events that led up to the printing of Wisconin Act 10 on Friday March 25 were “troubling”:

“the LRB deputy cheif of staff, Cathlene Hanaman, who painted a troubling picture of what happened last Friday, including these points:

  • In here time at LRB, the LRB has never independently made-up a date of publication and has always gotten the date of publication from the Secretary of State.
  • That she saw the 3/18 TRO rescinding publication. She said that in compliance of that order, they removed the date of publication from all of their records.
  • Said that they got a letter from Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, requesting publication.
  • Sen. Fitzgerald then requested a meeting on Friday and after the meeting, LRB Miller agreed to publish act.
  • Asked if Fitzgerald was “insisting” the bill be published, Hanaman responded that “it was on the level of insisting.” Continue reading

When Disinformation Attacks: Wisconsin Act 10 AKA the “Budget Repair Bill”

Indeed.

Is Wisconsin Act 10 A.K.A. “the budget repair bill” the law of the land?

Depends on who you ask. I did do a survey of those answers, but first keep in mind that since Friday March 25, 2011 dezinformatsiya or disinformation is turning reality into a collective hunch* here.

Disinformation is false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately with intentions of turning genuine information useless.

When Scott Fitzgerald had the LRB print the bill and pronounce all work done, he propagated disinformation.

What a wonderful lever with which to launch a campaign of false-truth. And from there, implement it in clear violation of a court order.

Will this deflate people? Confuse them? Will people just throw in the towel?

They could. The judicial wheels can keep on grinding ahead and at the same time the Fitzwalkerstani powers control paychecks, positions, and jobs. If the Wisconsin Supreme Court may be stopped from touching the bill, and it stays in blue Dane County  the judge may be dismissed as “activist” and slandered in all ways known. The law could be locked in a progressive ghetto.

That’s what I see from my speculative soap box. But it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

Time to see what real people are saying in response to “Is Wisconsin Act 10 A.K.A. “the budget repair bill” the law of the land?”

Kathleen Falk, County Executive in Dane County: HELL NO

“A bill doesn’t become law just because five Republicans say so….

The Republican Attorney General, Republican legislative leaders and Governor Walker seem to view Continue reading

Peter Barca requests correspondence on budget repair bill publication under Open Records Law

(Fridays are supposed to be slow news days and I’m supposed to be out eating right now.)

Representative Peter Barca has requested any documents that pertain to the publication of the “budget repair bill” otherwise known as Wisconsin Act 10 – the bill which was to be blocked from publication and was published today.

Friends inform me [I know – not a great source for legal information] that if the publication is not carried out by the Secretary of State, it is not legal.

To be legally deemed “published” the bill must go to the Secretary of State. The SOS is under court order to not publish the bill right now.  The bill was merely printed by the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Much of the letter is below. Original Letter

Dear Mr. Mike Barman, Mr. Stephen R. Miller and Ms. Cathlene Hanaman, Continue reading

Breaking News: Today Madison streets department and firefighters file lawsuit, Law published despite restraining order

*Wisconsin Act 10 A.K.A. “the budget repair bill” was printed. Not legally “published”*
A tweet from WSJ reporter Mary Spicuzza:
Wis collective bargaining law published despite temporary restraining order
State laws are normally published by the Secretary of State, who faces a restraining order blocking him from doing so.
Info from weau.com:

Wisconsin Act 10 has been published instead by the Legislative Reference Bureau.

“It’s not immediately clear whether the publication has the force of law. But if legally published, the law takes effect Saturday… the Reference Bureau says it’s required to publish every new law within 10 working days after it’s signed by the governor. Gov. Scott Walker signed the collective bargaining measure March 11. Walker’s office says the administration will carry out the law as required.”

and from Uppity Wisconsin:

Today, the Madison streets department and firefighters filed the first lawsuit by any union in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that kills collectively bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public sector workers.

The lawsuit challenges the manner in which the vote was taken on the bill –that the bill contained fiscal elements, necessitating a 20 member quorum and that only 19 members were present when the vote was taken… more at Uppity

Court of Appeals Kicking Collective Bargaining Law up to Wisconsin Supreme Court

Comments still closed. Come on over to facebook and chat there. Thanks.

Here is the original appeal statement. (I’m no lawyer. illusory tenant is and con provide a more scholarly analysis. I’ll still try to do my best to summarize in layman’s terms.)

The most important bit of news is that the Governor’s “budget repair bill” will move on up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for review – likely adding even more fuel to the April 5th election and the campaigns of Joanne Kloppenburg and David Prosser.

The appeals court says that the central question is whether the Open Meetings Law should be considered to be upholding our rights under the state constitution which would mean that it is within the power of Dane County Judge Sumi, or really _any judge_, to take Continue reading

Solidarity Shopper: The Coupon Series by Michael Martin

This is a very good day. That’s because I found 5 Solidarity Shopper Coupons by Michael Martin on facebook!   HERE’s where I found all 5 of these little deal-breakers. Continue reading

We’re holding on. Wisconsin will be a People’s state again. The Capitol Building will reopen 8AM, Monday.

The videographer Matt Wisniewski has captured the elusive beauty and Solidarity that thousands have sheltered and tended here. This is a fragile fire that people across the state, the nation, and the world have watched and now call their own.

This has been the heart of Wisconsin’s Capitol building and the heart of my city. It is also the heart of a new fight to maintain Democracy in the face of a corporatist charge detonated here in November 2010. The soldiers in that charge are known by their yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and their red, white and blue WalMart shirts.

They’ve made a show of respect for “the constitution” Continue reading

Senator Grothman: Wisconsin’s Infamous Tea Party Troll

The always infuriating Republican State Senator Glen Grothman of Wisconsin’s 20th District talks with Dem. Representative Cory Mason on MSNBC’s The Last Word yesterday and calls protesters “slobs”.

He also uttered this bold lie: “The people that are staying overnight are making a mess of the Capitol”.  And he lied saying that a very small percentage of protesters are police officers or nurses.

[a LINK to footage at Crooks & Liars.]

We in Wisconsin are upset but not shocked. Continue reading

“Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Speech of Doom”

“Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget

Speech of Doom: What to

Expect From the Wisconsin

Address”

Actual headline. The regular press is sounding like one of us cantankerous Wisconsin bloggers who’s been Continue reading