Friday May 26, 2017

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Blue Jean Nation "Dismal is as dismal does" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 01 April 2017 14:50

politically-homelessPeople are starving for elections that are more empowering, but today's politicians and the journalists who report on them do not live up.


ALTOONA, WI - Read any run-of-the-mill news story about an upcoming election and you get a good idea why so many people find media coverage of politics unbearably exasperating. You also can see why fewer and fewer people see any reason to read what the reporters write and yet another reason why the companies employing them are slowly but surely going out of business.

The story treats the election like a horse race. It handicaps the race. It tells readers who is likely to win the election, but gives readers no useful information that would help them decide for themselves who should win the election.

The story quotes an “expert” or two — some campaign operative or other political industry insider — repeating for the umpteenth time the conventional wisdom that elections are all about money. They go on to say which candidates will have the most of it and are therefore worth paying attention to. Neither the reporters nor their sources seem to have learned a single thing from what just happened in the 2016 election. Their stock in trade is conventional wisdom, and they are sticking to it.

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi followed the pack for the duration of the 2016 presidential race, watching how the candidates campaigned and how the media covered the circus. He came away amazed by how the whole process “was dysfunctional and that people were turned off by it. The people who did campaigning for a living, both politicians and the press, were wrapped up in their own little world.”

Maybe those wrapped up in that little world are right about money being the only thing that matters in elections. Maybe they’re wrong. I happen to believe they are wrong. But here’s one thing I know for sure: If they’re right and elections are all about money, then the people can’t win. Some politician with the most money will win, but you won’t. Your own elected representatives will have no choice but to ignore your wishes because they will be busy catering to the wishes of their biggest donors.

Elections should be about what kind of society we want to live in and how we could create such a place together. Instead, we’re told by manipulative politicians that somebody living somewhere else is to blame for all our problems. We’re told somebody somewhere is getting something we’re not. We’re put at each other’s throats. And we’re told by cynical journalists that those politicians are all we’ve got to choose from because the odds are hopelessly stacked against any alternative no matter how inspiring that alternative might be.

To hell with that. People are starving for elections that are more empowering and for election coverage that is more nourishing. Satisfying these cravings will require a new politics. And a new journalism.

****

Find out more about the author and Blue Jean Nation at www.bluejeannation.com

 
“From Healthcare to Climate to Constitutional Crisis” Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 31 March 2017 10:31

climate_crisisWe discuss the demise of RyanCare, Trump’s dangerous executive order on climate change, LWV & the conservative campaign to call a Constitutional Convention, GOTV for Spring elections on Tuesday, April 4th, and more...


STATEWIDE - We conduct an autopsy of RyanCare while looking ahead to emerging threats and opportunities in the battle for the future of health care in America. The panel speculates on the future of Paul Ryan in the aftermath of his healthcare debacle.

We discuss Trump’s dangerous executive order reneging on our international obligations to fight climate change.

We welcome the executive director of Wisconsin League of Women Voters, Andrea Kaminski, to unpack the conservative campaign to call a Constitutional Convention.

We encourage listeners to participate in the upcoming public hearings on the state budget that start on Monday (see list of JFC public hearings below). This is GOTV (Get Out The Vote) weekend for Spring elections on Tuesday, April 4th. Citizen Action reminds you to vote for Tony Evers on Tuesday and get out and volunteer this weekend.

We close the podcast celebrating the arrival of an election opponent for controversial Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke in 2018.

LISTEN NOW - EPISODE #287
MP3 Download
Citizen Action Press Clips

Citizen Action of Wisconsin · 221 S 2nd St, suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204, United States

You can also keep up with Citizen Action of Wisconsin on Twitter or Facebook.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 April 2017 14:46
 
Sen. Chris Larson: 'Irresponsible Republican Bill Proposes Arming Teens' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 10:52

gun-control-debatesRepublicans are not willing to stand up to rich gun manufacturers looking for profits at any costs, even our kids’ safety.


MADISON - Republican legislators here have made a decision to blindly ignore public safety concerns by introducing legislation to put more handguns into the hands of teenagers; circumvent safety training for concealed carry; and open the door for more guns in school zones, school grounds, and even directly in our schools.

chris_larsonIn the wake of recent, tragic shootings that devastated several Wisconsin communities, this bill is a slap in the face to our neighbors that are demanding real solutions to our state’s gun violence public health crisis.

Wisconsin should be focusing on making our communities safer with laws that are both proven and have widespread public support. One such policy is having stronger background check laws, which has support from 85% of Wisconsin voters. In the 19 states and Washington, D.C., who have universal background checks, 47% fewer women are killed by their intimate partners, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the majority of Wisconsin voters – 65% – oppose allowing guns near our schools. With 26,252 gun-related deaths nationally in 2015, this proposal takes Wisconsin in the wrong direction. Republicans are rejecting common sense and logic by ignoring public safety and the needs of our community.

We have the solutions and public support to make our communities safer. Unfortunately, Republicans are not willing to stand up to rich gun manufacturers looking for profits at any costs, even our kids’ safety. Instead of fighting this public health crisis, Republicans in control of the Legislature are proposing to give guns to teens with no training – an idea that is unwarranted, absurd, and dangerous.

 
Rep. Peter Barca on 'Permitless Carry' Bill PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Peter Barca, Assembly Democratic Leader, District 64   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 10:36

guns-stopvAssembly Democratic Leader says allowing individuals to carry firearms without proper safety training, especially on school grounds, goes too far.


MADISON - Wisconsin Republican legislators have proposed a bill to allow individuals to carry firearms without proper safety training.

peter_barcaThe authors of the bill put forward extreme provisions that go beyond even constitutional carry by allowing guns in schools, secure mental health facilities and police stations, while placing the burden on these facilities to protect citizens. This will also create confusion and a lack of clarity on where weapons are allowed, which is troubling.

Law enforcement, school administrators, Democrats and Republicans have been long opposed to allowing guns on school grounds, yet this bill changes that safety presumption. Additionally, the authors have some explaining to do as to why they reduce the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor for illegally carrying in a school zone. This is a serious legal breach that should be treated as such.

Finally, when concealed carry was enacted, there was a clear bipartisan emphasis on proper training to make sure those with a concealed carry permit to understand the gravity and responsibilities of carrying a gun, especially in high risk facilities. Allowing anyone to carry a loaded, concealed firearm without a background check or safety training has implications almost certainly do not fully understand.

 
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