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Trump Should Repudiate Insults, Threats PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Laura Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Sunday, 20 November 2016 18:17

trump-need-apolThe first step toward healing must come from Trump. Then we can join in solidarity to repair it by attempting to be more tolerant of, and kinder to, each other.


HOWARD, WI - The overall psyche of our nation has been damaged by the rhetoric we have heard during this campaign. Now that it is over, we need to join in solidarity to repair it by attempting to be more tolerant of, and kinder to, each other.

I am deeply concerned about the unquestionably real atmosphere of intimidation and fear brought on by the election. I am particularly worried about the impact this has on our children and those most vulnerable to prejudice. The stories of children being bullied and immigrants being demoralized is both heartbreaking and unacceptable.

The first step to rectify the situation should come from President-elect Donald Trump. He needs to lead the way by immediately and unequivocally repudiating the outpouring of racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic insults, threats and attacks being associated with his name. Then every parent, employer, teacher and citizen must follow with zero tolerance of such behavior.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2016 13:54
 
Blue Jean Nation 'America’s one finger salute' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Thursday, 17 November 2016 17:28

screw-systemMedia pundits are over analyzing election results. Republicans showed there is nothing they will not do to get power. Democrats insisted on nominating exactly the wrong person and have written off large swaths of rural Wisconsin. We live in dangerous times.


ALTOONA, WI - What’s perhaps most shocking about the turn our country has taken is that so many were shocked. Media pundits and the professional operatives and party insiders they count on as sources have a habit of over analyzing elections and over complicating politics. What just happened is not that complicated.

Anti-establishment feelings are running sky high, making 2016 a change year and November 8 a change day. Donald Trump was seen as the change candidate. Hillary Clinton was seen as the stay the course, more of the same candidate. Clinton emphasized her experience and qualifications and readiness for the job. Trump talked of draining the swamp. If voters had been in a stay the course state of mind, Clinton is elected. A huge number were in no such mood. Tens of millions felt the urge to extend a middle finger to the powers that be. Trump was the biggest middle finger they could find.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2016 17:49
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We Owe Donald Trump Nothing But A Job PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive   
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 12:41

trump-rncIn January, Donald Trump will start his new government job. He can expect no more loyalty or support than President Obama received. It will be his job to win us over using only the dull tools we give to our President in a democracy.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 19:31
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Blue Jean Nation 'What we don’t need to get what we want' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Saturday, 12 November 2016 11:27

vetmarchMike says we can be better than the bullies, love our country, love thy neighbor. Failure can be a great teacher, and America is never finished.


ALTOONA, WI - We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished. It is always in the making. We can get to work making our country what we want it to be.

We don’t need hate to fuel us. We can follow the Golden Rule. We can love thy neighbor. We have love of country. We can lean on each other, look out for one another.

We don’t need to tear someone down to build ourselves up. That’s what bullies do. We can be better than bullies.

We don’t need greatness. We do need goodness, now more than ever.

We don’t need any unjust laws repealed in order for us to make change. When we make change, then those unjust laws will be repealed.

We don’t need what all that money buys the politicians. We don’t need pollsters to tell us what to think. We can think for ourselves. We don’t need speechwriters and teleprompters to put words in our mouths. We can speak for ourselves. We don’t need public relations firms and ad agencies to mold our images. We can just be who we are. We don’t need political professionals to do the work for us. We can do the work of citizenship. Not many of us have the time, but we can make the time.

We don’t need to be afraid of the dark. Darkness is no match for millions of people shining light.

We don’t need to fear failure. Failure can be a great teacher. Failure can be the key to success.

We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2016 12:21
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Wisconsin Democracy Campaign "What just happened???" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:37

trump-clinton-debateWhy Hillary Clinton lost, what we should do now, and how to share your thoughts on our website.


MADISON - I was on the local CBS affiliate last night when the news rolled in of Donald Trump’s improbable victory, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the meaning of this election.

matthew_rothschildMy first response was one of shock and horror:

Good night, America!

Then I put my analytical hat on to try to figure out why Hillary Clinton lost:

What happened??? 10 reasons why Donald Trump won

And finally, I gave some thought to what we should do now:

Where to from here?

Please feel free to share your own thoughts on these subjects on our website, or you can always email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director

***

P.S. If you’re in the Madison area tomorrow night, we’re having a post-mortem at Marigold’s Kitchen from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., 118 S. Pinckney St, right off the Capitol Square. Congressman Mark Pocan and former State Senator Dale Schultz will be speaking, as will Dana Schultz of Wisconsin Voices, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts, too. It’s a fundraiser--$100 donation per person (note your attendance at the fundraiser in the donate form's comment box). Hope to see you there.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53703-3689
608-255-4260 ~ www.wisdc.org
Join us on Facebook ~ Follow us on Twitter

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 16:05
 
Joining Hands and Respecting Difference PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 07 November 2016 16:28

hands-joinedSen. Kathleen Vinehout writes about the need for a divided state and nation to join hands with people whose beliefs are different from our own to the challenges we face.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2016 17:17
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Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Sunday, 06 November 2016 08:04

voteSTOUGHTON, WI - These are troubled times. The glass is half empty and democracy is draining out of America. In a democracy the main power is the power of our vote – to throw the bums out OR to vote in folks we hope do NOT become bums. But our vote is becoming meaningless because swindlers are on the loose in both parties, while the prosecutors and courts along with elected officials sit on the side lines wringing their hands or stuffing handfuls of money in their pockets. Money dominates state and national politics – big money that expects big profits from the winners.

If you are not depressed and outraged by the last year of this pathetic democratic circus, you are not paying attention. We have two main candidates for president consumed by the greed for power and money. Everyone is a fool but them. They apparently believe the public can always be conned if big lies are repeated often enough. Many US papers read like Pravda, full of lies, during the height of the USSR empire.

But I think Studs Terkel’s book Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times is right. We must live with hope for without it we will wither and die – emotionally, morally or physically. Only by fighting back can we sustain hope for the future. No fight – then maybe no future.

Most Americans have a great capability to say well that didn’t work, let’s try this. They hope things will be better for their kids and grandkids than they were for themselves.

Right now a couple of days before the election we can see that we have major candidates who are duds as leaders. We have an option on the ballot. We can start fresh with Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Will she win? Let me ask, would you have voted for Fighting Bob La Follette in 1924 or Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 if one of them was on the ballot as an independent next week? I would. They both fought against their own corrupt Republican Party though the Democratic Party was just as corrupt and controlled by Wall Streeters and corporations.

Many voters may have thought La Follette or Roosevelt would lose but vote for them they did. Would you be voting for Bernie Sanders as a Green Party candidate if he had chosen to join the Greens? I bet many of you would. Both Clinton and Trump are pro war. Obama was anti-war until he sat in the Oval Office. Sanders now says vote your fear of Trump by voting for Clinton. Then after she’s in the White House we’ll pressure her to change her policies which will be like pressuring a tiger to change its stripes.

If you wish to live by fear and false hope, the choice is yours.

But if you wish to make a positive statement on the direction America needs to go, then vote Green. Help build a third party that will hopefully in 2020 and beyond start actually building a new America rather talk about doing so for decades. Who knows America with a Green president may even stop all the illegal wars, killing, destruction, torture and spying Bush, Cheney and Obama became ‘so good at’ or should that be ‘so bad at”?

In this election November 8th, as in life, you can choose to do nothing, to go with the crowd or to fight back to protect your principles. The choice is yours, so please vote while you still HAVE the right to vote in this county.

 
How Vets Vote Will Determine Whether VA Healthcare is Privatized PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
Monday, 31 October 2016 10:43

veteransIt Depends on Whether Republicans Maintain Control of Both House & Senate! Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the VA, veterans are NOT.


STOUGHTON, WI - Within days over 22 million veterans will have the opportunity to vote in America. How veterans vote for Congressional candidates will be a key factor as to whether the House or Senate flips from Republican control to Democratic control.

Why? Because in 2014 over 54%, or nearly 12 million, vets voted. This is a far higher percentage than the number of non-vets who voted (41%). It is likely that the 12 million vets and their 12 million or more voting family members comprised over 26% of all the votes cast in 2014! Vets and their family members count big in American politics.

In 2014 6 out of 10 vets voted Republican. With the help of veterans, Republicans expanded their majority in the House and gained control of the Senate with the result bringing near political grid lock for the last two years.

What is stunning is that most of those Republican Congressional members are interested in PRIVATIZING the health care vets receive from VA hospitals across America.

Yet veterans themselves DO NOT WANT THEIR VA HEALTHCARE PRIVATIZED.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 November 2016 11:28
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Blue Jean Nation "An election without winners?" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Friday, 28 October 2016 14:18

sick-partiesThis election may end with both of the parties in splinters, leaving American politics more up in the air than it has been in living memory.


ALTOONA, WI - Someone will be elected. But it’s possible no one will win.

In a presidential election featuring the two most unpopular major party nominees ever, it looks increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton will become our next president. It’s just as likely that winning the White House will actually hurt the Democrats’ overall standing with the public.

Some hate Hillary. Some can’t stand Bill. Some don’t care for political dynasties and resent another Clinton presidency. Some despise Democrats in general. Some are turned off by how the Democratic establishment treated Bernie Sanders’ candidacy as an unwelcome intrusion and stacked the deck to assure Hillary got the party’s nomination. Some are just exasperated by the choice they were given, between two intensely disliked celebrities. Some are in an anti-establishment mood and see Hillary as the living embodiment of the political establishment. All will hold it against the Democrats for not showing any respect for these kinds of feelings.

There is a very real possibility either or both of the parties could splinter.

Today’s Republican Party has become an uneasy alliance of wealthy capitalists, the religious right and working-class whites. What these three factions want the party to be is very different, and keeping any of them satisfied without granting them their every wish is growing more challenging by the day. Lose any of them and the party’s governing majority across the country starts to crumble.

In cobbling together this fragile coalition of strangers, Republican leaders and right-wing media personalities created a monster that has gone on a rampage and is tearing their party limb from limb. Both Wall Street and Main Street Republicans have to be hoping and praying for Trump to lose. It will be hard enough to stitch the mangled body back together if Trump goes down to defeat. If Trump wins, it’s his party. That would be the death of it.

The Democratic Party has lost much of its blue-collar following and is now left with a composite of highly educated professionals, racial minorities and progressive populists. The party’s leadership clearly has cast its lot with the professional class, as evidenced by the favored status of corporate Democrats like the Clintons within the party, and has actively sought to snuff out populist impulses. The teens and twenty-somethings of the millennial generation — the party’s future — were outraged by what party insiders did to sabotage the Sanders campaign. Sanders won far more votes from millennials than Clinton and Trump combined, and these young voters will not soon forget how the skids were greased for Clinton. Minority voters are taken for granted, but young black millennials in particular appear to be increasingly questioning their elders’ loyalty to the Democrats. All of this leaves the Democratic Party vulnerable to upheaval or even disintegration as well.

All of this leaves American politics more up in the air than it has been in living memory.

— Mike McCabe

****

Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue Jeans in High Places: The Coming Makeover of American Politics. Mike wants to hear from you.
Blue Jean Nation, P.O. Box 70788, Madison, WI 53707
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 608-443-6086
http://www.BlueJeanNation.com/

Last Updated on Friday, 28 October 2016 14:36
 
A Crucial Vote You Haven’t Heard About PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 09:09

mta-madisonMADISON - For a while now, I’ve been trying to interest reporters in Wisconsin in one of the most under-covered story of the last year: the fact that we now have 78 communities – second only to Massachusetts – that have voted overwhelmingly that they want to amend the U.S. Constitution to proclaim that corporations aren’t persons and money isn’t speech.

On Nov. 8, Wisconsin citizens in 19 more communities can express themselves on this vital idea. Check it out here:

A crucial vote November 8 you haven’t heard about

In another promising development on the reform front, Assembly Democrats held a press conference last week laying out their ideas for redoing the disastrous campaign finance bill that passed last fall. We’ve added a couple of our own ideas, as you’ll see here:

Assembly Dems point way toward reform

Meanwhile, we keep reporting on the role of big money here in Wisconsin.

For instance, we discovered that outside groups – from the left and the right -- are outspending the candidates themselves by a long shot:

Special interest electioneering groups outspending legislative candidates

We also found out that an outside group that was created for Gov. Walker’s failed presidential run is still bringing in money, including $100,000 from one New York company:

Who’s still donating big bucks to Walker’s presidential support group?

And we noted that the vast majority of Republican legislators received a 100% on their report cards from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce:

WMC honors legislators in its pocket

I hope this info is useful – or at least mildly interesting – to you.

Talk to you soon.

****

Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-partisan nonprofit watchdog group now in it's third decade of working for clean, open and honest government and reforms that make people matter more than money in politics.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 203 South Paterson Street, Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703-3689, 608-255-4260, http://www.wisdc.org

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 09:35
 
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