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Lively Biden Takes It To Ryan in Debate

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Friday, 12 October 2012
in Our View

debate_stageDANVILLE, KY - The “Thriller in Manila”  it was not, but when Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden met across the table in a lively, combative debate Thursday, the VP was not about to let Ryan get away with any of the “malarkey” the Republican had been spreading about his President.

Biden, 69, took after the Republicans with far more aggression than President Barack Obama had displayed in his Denver debate, questioning and challenging the other party's ideas and opinions. Ryan, 42, was far more methodical and less demonstrative than Biden. Ryan spent part of the debate on the attack, but mostly he was on the defensive.

It was the sort of debate in which both candidates likely gratified their own supporters and left the other side shouting "liar" at the TV screen. Biden presented a relentless populist critique of GOP policies, while Ryan tried to shift the debate to an indictment of the Obama administration on the economy and foreign policy. The outcome was probably in the eye of the beholder, with activists on both sides hearing what they wanted to hear.

But there is no doubt Biden succeeded in energizing the Democratic base, a factor that was missing after the Denver debate and will become critical in the final weeks of this close campaign. A snap CNN-ORC International poll showed voters who watched Thursday's debate saw it as basically a statistical draw, while a similar poll had given GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney a clear debate victory in Denver.

The 90-minute debate moderated by Martha Raddatz of ABC News was divided between domestic and foreign policy issues. The moderator and candidates sat a few feet apart, a more intimate format that encouraged informality and interaction that often gave way to rapid-fire interruptions, especially on Biden's part.

On defense and security, Ryan talked in generalities, "We should always stand up for peace, for democracy and individual rights. And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts."

Biden responded: "With all due respect that's a bunch of malarkey. Not a single thing he said is accurate."

While Ryan characterized the Obama foreign policy as passive and "unraveling," Biden suggested the Republican ticket was too ready to go to war.

"The last thing America needs is to get into another ground war in the Middle East," Biden said.

Ryan seemed on the defensive over gaps in the details of the Romney tax plan and accusations it would help the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. At one point, Biden ridiculed him for attacking the stimulus plan while writing letters of support for constituents seeking stimulus funding.

Biden said Republicans would end Medicare as we know it. Ryan said they would save it from going bankrupt with market-based payout to the insurance companies.

At one point, Raddatz asked both Biden and Ryan how being Catholic would guide them in the job of Vice President. Ryan said his Catholic views would guide him on making abortion illegal for everyone, regardless of their religion, through the legislative process.  Biden felt his religious views should guide him in his own life, but he did not feel his job in government gave him the right to impose them on others.

In the end, it came down to an issue of trust, with Vice President Biden looking straight into the camera and offering a career record standing up for people and middle class values as evidence of where he stands. He contrasted his record with the Republicans, who just seemed to discover 100 per cent of the people in the last few weeks of the campaign. Ryan’s closing was more prepared, a restatement of the points he had been making throughout the campaign.

Both men will be in Wisconsin in the days following the debate. Biden has a campaign event planned in La Crosse Friday, his first post-debate event. Ryan goes to Ohio Friday, but will headline a fundraiser for Senate candidate Tommy Thompson Sunday, and hold a town-hall meeting Monday morning at Carroll University in Waukesha.

The next presidential debate is Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York.

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Where Has the New Moderate Mitt Been these Past Years?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 10 October 2012
in Our View

mitt_romneyGREEN BAY – It seems that Mitt Romney is constantly trying to refocus his campaign, yesterday it was on foreign policy, and today it’s on agriculture. It is all a continuation of the NEW “Moderate Mitt” that appeared in last week’s debate. But he still hasn’t offered any specific ideas to fill out his new positions.

For the past two years, Mitt Romney has reset his campaign over and over again, apparently to appeal to different voters as he goes along. Yesterday he tried out a new stand on foreign policy, and today he’s moving to agriculture, but neither speech offered any specific plans.

In trying to outline his agriculture policy, Romney dodged the details because he knows his plans would hurt rural Americans.

  1. He didn’t mention the wind production tax credit he opposes, risking thousands of jobs in Iowa and Colorado.
  2. He barely mentioned the Farm Bill, failing to say what should be in it or call on Republicans in Congress to pass it. That’s probably because his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, and their allies in Congress keep blocking it.

Earlier, Romney gave his seventh foreign policy speech, each one less specific than the last. He said he would go back to the same policies that weakened our standing in the world and drove us billions of dollars into debt under the Bush Administration.

  1. His speech was widely panned for lacking policy details and ignoring facts.
  2. Romney doubled down on an indefinite troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Romney’s constantly changing stands are just as dishonest as his debate performance, where the “New Mitt” appeared after nearly two years of the “Severely Conservative Mitt”  used to sell his candidacy to the Republican conservative base.

  1. He was dishonest about the size of his tax breaks for the wealthiest because they’re so big, he’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for them.
  1. He was dishonest about his health care plan because it would leave millions with preexisting conditions uninsured when they need coverage the most.
  2. He was dishonest about his Medicare plan because it would take away seniors’ guaranteed benefits and raise their health costs by thousands of dollars.
  3. He didn’t honestly lay out a specific plan for dealing with the deficit. Instead he said we should cut funding for Sesame Street.

It all makes one wonder “which Mitt” they would be voting for in November. When a candidate will not give you specifics, and keeps changing his beliefs to satisfy this voter block and that, can you trust them to be our President?

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More Facts Needed about Seniors and Obamacare

Posted by Nate Myszka
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on Sunday, 02 September 2012
in Wisconsin

There are lots of rumors about Obamacare. Many are aimed at scaring seniors, and it’s election time so we’re hearing even more. So what’s true?

Will “unelected bureaucrats” at the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB) “ration” my care? No – Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checker, says “The IPAB is forbidden from submitting ‘any recommendation to ration health care,’ as Section 3403 of the health care law states. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, coinsurance or co-payments.” Instead, it makes recommendations to bring costs under control when spending increases too much. Our elected Congress can overrule them anytime.

Is Obamacare doubling premiums, cutting Medicare, and reducing benefits? Again the answer is no, but you can check your own premium and benefits. Medicare’s actuary predicts premiums will rise only slightly in coming years, to $112.10 in 2014. And under Obamacare, Medicare’s budget still increases, but not as much as previously forecast. It does so by making Medicare more efficient and has actually extended Medicare’s life.

At the same time, Obamacare has added benefits to Medicare. Many preventive services are now available without co-pay or deductible so we can catch things early or prevent them altogether, saving money and lives. Seniors hitting the “donut hole” now get a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs.

We know it’s an election year, but seniors have paid into Medicare and they’ve earned the truth. If you come across more rumors, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 414-771-9511.

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Recall is the “Wisconsin Way”

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 30 May 2012
in Our View

vote-buttonGREEN BAY - I see even Scott Walker is running ads to “stop the recall madness”, saying there is a “right way and a wrong way” to do it and the current effort to recall him is not the “Wisconsin Way”. The ads appeal to the basic fairness of the people of Wisconsin.

Funny that I remember the same plea, “stop the recall madness”, being made against Scott Walker and his pals in the Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), as they pushed the recall “madness” to new heights down in Milwaukee County in 2002. Scott Walker got the job of Milwaukee County Executive and, eventually, Governor because of the “recall madness” and Walker's pals liked the act so well that they spread it throughout the county and state, ending the careers of many politicians along the way.

I helped in the recall movement, first lending aid to six Milwaukee County Supervisors who were the targets of recalls and then helping the Citizens for Responsible Leadership in the City of Franklin, a splinter group, replace five of the city's six aldermen and eventually its mayor. Those were heady times.

I have told many people over the the years that the current recall movement is a “dangerous thing”, and that “once you take it out of the box, it's pretty hard to put it back in”. Maybe it's run full circle now, coming back around to bite Scott Walker and his pals, who helped start it.

There is nothing wrong with the recall, and it is the essence of the “Wisconsin Way”. It is not impeachment, like the one against President Clinton, that most people are familiar with. Wisconsin's Constitution does not offer that option.

A recall is like a grand jury indictment, with the largest grand jury of all, all the people, getting to sign a petition to call a special election. The election itself is like the trial, with the largest jury of all, all the voters, getting to decide whether to remove the politician from office. It is the ultimate expression of “popular democracy”, with every citizen who shows up to vote getting an equal voice in the outcome, regardless of wealth or station.

The election next Tuesday, June 5th, is about Scott Walker and how he has chosen to represent us, nothing else. Don't let all the big money ads from his out of state donors confuse the issue. Scott Walker has been called to stand before all of us, down in the figurative city square, to be judged on his actions. We all get one vote in the verdict.

The only thing that is not the “Wisconsin Way”, is not to vote.

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Republicans Pull Out Big Guns And Dems Falter

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - You can  feel it in the air. You go on FaceBook and all your progressive friends are posting about their vacation plans, or new babies, or whatever. Except for a few “super activists”, you would think there was nothing special coming up in two weeks. Certainly not the election to finally oust Scott Walker from the Governor’s office, after a year and a half of shouting and crying, picketing and passing around recall petitions.

The Republicans, like the British in our first revolution,  pulled out their “big guns” last week and the colonists took to the hills. Scott Walker got his DWD Secretary to fish around for some report with positive job numbers on it, unverified or not, and used some of his $25 million in out of state cash to fill the air waves with TV and radio ads boasting that his first year in office was really a success after all. His allies, the local Chambers of Commerce, piped in with new ads of their own to cross verify his fiction. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who started the whole Wisconsin recall resurgence in 2002 by going after F. Thomas Ament and putting Scott Walker into office as Milwaukee County Executive, kicks in that they now oppose recalls, especially of Walker, unless a felony is proven.  Bang, the “polls” of  “likely voters” show Walker ahead with a 49% to 42% lead.

In one short week the progressive and democratic grassroots effort to recall Walker has been seemingly driven into disarray. Did everyone believe that the power structure would let go of the office of governor that easily, especially after they put all that money into putting their hand picked guy there in 2010.

The time has come to take a deep breath and remember what this recall is about. Walker and his high paid ad men pulled the oldest trick in the book. Throw out some numbers and divert the issue. Doesn’t matter that they can’t be verified, by the time they are the election will be over. Now we are talking about whose numbers are correct, not about why Walker needs to be recalled. I can hear them now, “a win-win“,  I’ve been in those meetings.

Democrats and progressives need to get back on the real issue if they are going to defeat Walker and the big money machine on June 5.  The power to recall was put into Wisconsin law to allow the people to directly oust any politician they want to. The politicians don’t like it, but it’s not impeachment. No high crimes or misdemeanors are required. It is the true test of a democracy, giving all of us collectively, the  power to hold a politician accountable.

Scott Walker got himself elected on false pretenses, like a job applicant who lies on his resume. Had he divulged his true plan for the office, the “bomb” he dropped in January 2011, or how he planned to accomplish it, prior to his election, he never could have won.  He knew that. So he talked about 250,000 jobs and cutting your taxes, and glossed over everything else.

Now we have seen what he has done with the office and it is time to give him the boot, just like that job applicant that sounded good on his fake resume but didn’t work out. Scott Walker has torn our little office apart and will say anything to keep his job. But his job was to represent all of us, and he has failed.

The recall is about Walker, and we can’t forget that. So Democrats and progressives need to get out of our little funk and get back in the fight. There are only two weeks left.

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Scott Walker Just Didn't Pass Probation

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Tuesday, 15 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - Have you ever hired someone? It's a lot of fun. You get to make that call, tell them they got the job. Ask if they can start next Monday. They are all happy and thankful. To me, it was the best part of being a manager.

scott-walkerUnfortunately, that's not always the end of the employe selection process. Sometimes, a lot of the claims the new employe made in the interview just don't pan out. Sometimes they lied, and job applicants almost always exaggerate. After a few weeks watching them on the job, you realize that you have made a mistake.

That's why the State of Wisconsin, as an employer, puts all new hires on a six month probationary period that each must pass before they are granted permanent status as an employe. Most employers, public and private, have similar policies. It's a pretty standard practice in the world of human resources.

We do not have a comparable practice for the political leaders we elect. We seem to forget that people running for mayor, senator, or Governor are just job applicants. We are the electors, and the job is to represent all of us as the managers of our government.

If we had a six month probationary period for Governor of Wisconsin, like other jobs, I would maintain that Scott Walker just did not pass it. Unlike the world of TV, however, we just don't have a Donald Trump that can say “you're fired”. Our process for this job is to wait a year after hire, gather nearly a million signatures to call a recall election, and then give the applicant a second chance to tell us why they should have the job.

The good part is that we now have Scott Walker's record on the job to consider as we remake our employe selection decision. Did Scott Walker represent all of us, or at least most of us, and effectively manage our government? I think that the answer is most certainly “No”!

Almost immediately after his hire, Scott Walker chose to promote his own visibility on the National Republican stage by implementing a whole score of divisive partisan policies that have torn Wisconsin apart. Rather than do the job he was elected to do, he has spent his time traveling around the country gathering funds for his own re-election and promoting his career as a “rock star” on Fox TV.

While he has been promoting himself in his “national reality show”, Wisconsin's economy has been the most stagnant in the nation. He has not paid nearly a billion dollars in previously promised support to our schools. He has “managed” his employes by blaming them for the state's problems and ignored the contractual promises made to them by his predecessors.

If you were his supervisor, what argument could you honestly make for keeping him on? Has he done his job? Has he told us how he would do better?

 

(Bob Kiefert is the former Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County and served in that capacity from 2002-2005 when Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.)

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One Reason Why Walker Economics Does Not Work for Wisconsin

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
in Our View

GREEN BAY - I sometimes wonder about some of my neighbors.

I see that down by the corner one of them has erected a “I Stand With Walker” sign. I guess they think they are making some sort of last stand, like the Texans at the Alamo.

Maybe they think Walker’s Republican agenda is better for business and they like to fantasize that they are the “rich people” who will benefit from it. By New York standards of course, there are maybe ten real “rich” people in the whole state. Come on, they would never even let you join their country club, if you could come up with the money, much less let your son date their daughter.

walker open for businessJust as President George W. Bush and his cronies led a raid on the National Treasury, Scott Walker has a plan to rob from the people here in Wisconsin and give to the out of state rich in multi-national corporations. Wisconsin is “Open for Business”, Walker says. Well, at least our wallets. Why do you think they are giving him all that money?

Here is why Walker’s economic plan cannot work. You can't cut the salaries of thousands of public employees who work for the State's largest employer and lay off thousands more and not take a huge hit on the local economy. I don't know why people can't seem to understand this. It's basic economics and the real reason why Walker has turned Wisconsin into the country's biggest job loser.

But then, I have yet to understand why some people seem to hate the government for trying to help them get a fair deal on health insurance.

Sometimes I wonder about my neighbors.

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Who Do You Trust in Republican Ad Blitz?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Thursday, 29 March 2012
in Our View

Wisconsin is really in silly season this week. What’s up with our right wing friends and neighbors?

The mail and TV ads around my house this week are full of charges made by Republicans against other Republicans as the April 3rd Presidential Primary approaches. Most of them seem to be coming from something called Restore Our Future. I didn’t know we had lost it, but these people evidently think so.

Restore Our Future thinks Rick Santorum is a “Washington Insider” who “joined with Hillary Clinton” to waste money and do other dubious liberal things.  I didn’t know Rick and Hillary where such pals. “Rick Santorum thinks letting felons vote is a good idea” , the ad goes on to say. Rick Santorum must be a scary guy.

I looked up www.restoreourfuture.com on the internet and found out they are a rather obvious front for Mitt Romney. Now, the ads on TV tell me that you cannot trust Mitt Romney.  He invented “RomneyCare”, whatever that is, and drove Massachusetts into “billions” of dollars of debt. Debt it seems is going to end the world as we know it. It certainly isn’t going to Restore Our Future.

Funny, as I remember, running up the government debt was a central theme of “Supply Side Economics” promoted by then Republican President Ronald Reagan in the eighties.  Both Republican Presidents Bush kept it up, and only Democratic President Bill Clinton did anything to reverse the trend in the late nineties. I guess those Republicans didn’t want to restore our future either.

On top of that, today’s news tells me that our right wing friends are hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Health Care Act, and that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will uphold the State’s new voter ID bill, fast. I thought they were against “activist judges”.  Maybe it is different now that they have a Republican majority in both courts?

If the Republicans don’t trust each other, why should the rest of us trust any of them? Maybe there isn’t a real Republican Party any more, just a bunch of special interest groups fighting it out for what’s left. The Christians pulling one way, big business another.  The only thing they seem to have in common is hate towards President Obama.

I would not call any of them Conservatives. Bob Taft from Ohio was a Conservative, and so was Barry Goldwater. They were honorable men. But where is the honor among these guys?

And I’m not even going to get started on Scott Walker. 

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Wisconsin is Number One in Job Loss Under Walker and the Republicans

Posted by Assembly Democrats
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on Thursday, 15 March 2012
in Wisconsin

This legislative session has been defined by lost opportunities, bad choices and an agenda that has hurt working families across Wisconsin. The most important issue by far is jobs for struggling families. Unfortunately, this has been Gov. Walker’s biggest shortcoming.

The United States has added jobs every month for 17 months now. All but six states added jobs last year. All Wisconsin’s neighboring states gained jobs during that time. This is all good news for our country and region.

However, we cannot share in that celebration here. Wisconsin lost 12,500 jobs. And not only was our state one of six that lost jobs – Wisconsin lost three times more jobs than Missouri, which had the second-highest job loss.

This is terrible news for our state and our struggling families. And an appropriate reaction would be to spend this last week while the legislature is still in session focusing like a laser on job creation.

Instead, the Republicans have chosen to focus on bills that are socially extreme, hurt public education and harm women’s health care. Democratic attempts to bring jobs bills promoting manufacturing, angel investment and technical college job training were shot down.

Gov. Walker pledged last fall to work in a bipartisan fashion on job creation. He said his top two priorities were venture capital and mining, and he failed on both accounts. Now he is blaming others for his failure to roll up his sleeves, work together and get the job done.

The legislative session is nearly over, and Republicans have shown no desire to devote any serious focus to job creation. In the strongest possible terms, I renew my call for a bipartisan process to select bills that will help put people back to work quickly.

It is never too late to work together with a laser focus on job creation, as we have wanted to do for the past year. We owe it to Wisconsin’s struggling families and small businesses to help them recover and give them long-term economic security.

By: Rep. Peter Barca

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There Is No Reason to Delay the Walker Recall Election

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Friday, 09 March 2012
in Our View

scott-walkerMADISON - On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, sent a letter to local election clerks around the state, to determine the most administratively convenient times for the recall elections targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The GAB was asking clerks to respond in time for the board’s upcoming meeting this Monday.

We need to go ahead with this recall election as soon as possible. There is no reason for any further delay.

Recall organizers collected nearly one million signatures of Wisconsin citizens demanding a recall election to remove Scott Walker from office. They waited for nearly two weeks after the first legal date to begin collecting them, and did so easily within the 60 days allowed by Wisconsin law. They filed their petitions at the appropriate place and in a timely manner.

Normally, and in any other recall around our State, the elected official targeted by a recall has 30 days to challenge the validity of the signatures. After all, you want to give the accused party the right to look at the petitions and challenge the validity of the names on it. That's only fair.

Walker, however, got his 30 days and did not challenge even one name. On top of that, he shopped around for a sympathetic judge in Waukesha County to issue an order that the GAB had to redo Walker's work for him. The GAB was to spend thousands, if not more, of our tax dollars to verify the validity of every name.

Walker's people did not identity one invalid signature. Is there any reason to believe that the GAB will find, after all the work, nearly 500,000 of them? If at least 541,000 of the one million signatures submitted, or 54%, are valid, then the recall election must go ahead anyway. Even Walker's most ardent supporters are not claiming evidence of a 46% rejection rate.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Walker and his cronies have been given nearly a year and a half to trample all over the Wisconsin Constitution, hold closed meetings, gerrymander the State, and pass election laws which deny thousands of citizens their right to vote. All the while, the citizens of this State have been waiting to exercise their right to throw him out of office.

It is time to stop the circus and have the election. There can be nothing to gain from further delay, except to feed Walker's apparent belief that the Koch Brother's money has placed him above the law and the people.

What's next? Maybe some legal maneuver to find a judge to rule that governors cannot be recalled after all?

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Get Rush Limbaugh Off Wisconsin Radio

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 07 March 2012
in Our View

rush-limbaugh-radio-showGREEN BAY – Conservative talking head Rush Limbaugh spent much of last week making ugly comments about college student Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute”, for having the guts to want to testify before Congress. Besides the ugly language, it did not seem to bother him that he did not know what he, or she, was talking about. He just seemed to want to bully a woman, a private citizen at that, to run up his ratings.

Rush Limbaugh makes a living making outrageous comments on the public airwaves. Normally, the rest of us don’t care what he says. He’s just trying to get attention, and to pay attention is to play into his hand. He is playing to a small group of people who want to listen to someone say on the air the ugly things they are too afraid to say themselves.

But this time he went too far, way over the line. Because this is the kind of thing that Joe McCarthy did, and you have to stand up to a bully right away or they will just keep coming.

You should not have to be a woman to be outraged. Women have been bullied by the s-word and “your parents would be ashamed” line for years and are especially sensitive to what Rush was doing. But the rest of us, who have wives and daughters and granddaughters should be equally upset. I want every woman in my life to feel free to speak their mind and not fear bullies like Rush Limbaugh.

Which gets us to the final point. I would not presume to tell anyone what to say, but below is a list of the radio stations that carry Rush Limbaugh’s show in Wisconsin. I urge everyone who shares my outrage to contact the one or two nearest you and tell them, in your own words, that you would not listen to their station or advertisements so long as they carry Rush Limbaugh’s show.

They use your public airwaves, and you have the right to let them know when you think someone goes way over the line.

Market Station Freq Air Time

Ashland            WATW-AM 1400            MoFr 11a2p

Eagle River            WERL-AM    950            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-FM     97.5            MoFr 11a2p

Green Bay            WTAQ-AM 1360            M-F 11a-2p

La Crosse            WIZM-AM 1410            M-F 11a-2p

Madison            WIBA-AM 1310            M-F 11a-2p

Menomonie            WMEQ-AM 880            MoFr 11a2p

Milwaukee            WISN-AM 1130            M-F 11a-2p

Oshkosh            WOSH-AM    1490            M-F 11a-2p

Park Falls            WPFP-AM      980            M-F 11a-2p

Rudolph            WSAU-FM 99.9            M-F 11a-2p

Sheboygan            WHBL-AM 1330            M-F 12p-3p

Shell Lake            WCSW-AM 940            MoFr 11a2p

Superior            WDSM-AM 710            M-F 11a-2p

Wausau            WSAU-AM 550            M-F 11a-2p

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Fight back against attacks on the Wisconsin Retirement System

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Thursday, 09 February 2012
in Our View

I am, among other things, a member of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). As a former state employee, I receive a pension from the same system as our educators and most county employees. It was no gift, we paid for it out of our salaries.

It follows then that I join with the WEAC to urge legislators to oppose a first strike on the WRS.

Urge your legislators to oppose AB 539, giving the UW System authority to create an optional retirement plan for new hires as an alternative to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), a proposal authored 15 years ago by former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.

This legislation is a first strike in what many fear will devolve into an all-out assault on our state’s nationally recognized pension plan that provides more than 572,000 of Wisconsin’s active and retired educators, police officers, firefighters and other public workers with modest financial security in their retirement years.

Legislation like AB 539 will slowly weaken the financial security of the state’s retirement fund, destabilize the retirement funds of active employees and current retirees, and could lead to increased contribution rates for employees and employers over time.

E-mail your legislators today and urge them to stand up for working families and their futures by opposing AB 539.

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Proud of Wisconsin Democracy

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 18 January 2012
in Our View

Yesterday, a grass roots coalition of Wisconsinites delivered recall petitions signed by over 1,900,000 Wisconsin citizens to recall Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, and their right-wing cronies in the state legislature. Included in the total was over one million to recall Walker alone.

Mike Tate, Chairperson of the State Democratic Party said “In Wisconsin, you have made a historic stand.”

We say it was more than that. It was truly a demonstration of what democracy looks like.

The signatures, on over a ton of paper, were delivered to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in Madison and should be easily sufficient to force a recall election this summer. Only a little over 540,000 signatures each are required to recall Walker and Kleefisch. Petitions sufficient to cause a recall of four other Republicans, including State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, were also delivered.

Walker and his cronies in Madison can be expected to exhaust every opportunity, legal and otherwise, to delay the recall election itself. They will argue that the unions were behind it, that a recall costs too much, is unneeded, that we should wait till the next election. They will run their countless TV ads saying their “reforms are working” and trying to scapegoat teachers and other government workers for the “budget deficit” they created on paper.

Ever since the Citizens United decision, big corporate money has flowed into our elections seeking to buy our votes. To imply some equivalency between this money and that provided by union sources is a joke. They create a false reality with their big money media and offer their prepaid candidates as a solution.

It is the greatest threat to democracy in our lifetime, and the recall effort provides a template on how to beat it.

Thousands of citizen volunteers, and I personally know a lot of them, got out and did the hard leg work to gather these signatures. They did not ask for anything for themselves except the knowledge that they would not go down quietly, that they would be heard.

This is what democracy looks like. That every citizen has an equal voice and an equal vote at the town hall meeting. That governments are created by the people to represent their interests and can be changed if they don't.

This is also the Wisconsin tradition of democracy. Scott Walker forgot this tradition at his own peril. And it makes us proud to be in Wisconsin this fine sunny morning.

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SOPA and PIPA

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 18 January 2012
in Our View

Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

We don't know exactly how the new legislation might affect the NEWi - Green Bay Progressive. But we have been around government long enough to know that most laws have unexpected consequences.

The Internet is the new great frontier where the average citizen can create a voice without a huge expenditure of start up money. As a general rule, laws of this type protect the big money establishment media and the lobbyists who create them. We can see little need to rush to their protection.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

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Scott Walker Christmas Ad Really Is Creepy!

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 December 2011
in Our View

MADISON - Wisconsin's temporary Gov. Scott Walker (R) released a new ad this week in an effort to soften his image leading into the upcoming fight to recall him. Opponents have nearly gathered the required number of signatures necessary to launch the recall election.

The ad, seen below, has Scott and his wife, Tonette, distributing food at a soup kitchen with their family before cutting to a shot of the family in their living room. They pretend to be concerned with "the less fortunate among us".

Had Walker shown any real concern during 2011 for the poor or other working people, rather than making them villains in his quest for power, the whole thing might ring true. As it is, the commercial ignores the irony that the policies Walker is pursuing as governor almost guarantee that more people will need the services of soup kitchens like the one he appears in during the ad. Walker's attempt to show that he cares about people enough to personally feed them is belied by the fact that he's killing jobs and taking away the rights of working families.

The ad just comes across as a creepy political ad. Watch it yourself below and see what you think. Who is he trying to kid?

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I Support Tammy Baldwin

Posted by Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D.
Dr. Steve Kagen, M.D. is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
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on Saturday, 24 December 2011
in Wisconsin

Everywhere I go, people ask me, “Can Tammy Baldwin win Herb Kohl’s Senate seat?”  The answer – with your help – Yes She Will !

I strongly support Tammy – she’s a hard worker, tough and cannot be bought. I had the honor of working with her and know she is always on our side.

Tammy has a steel spine, and even when the odds are against her, she never backs down. 
She always stands up for working class families.  No doubt about it, Tammy Baldwin is just like you and me.

She believes our children should be sent to school, not to unnecessary wars overseas.

Tammy believes health insurance companies should never again be allowed to discriminate against anyone because of pre-existing medical conditions.  She gets it – too many of our jobs have been shipped overseas.

Tammy is just like us… and she will always protect your job and your family.

But she cannot help us unless we help her – right now.

Tammy needs your help to keep on fighting for everyone in Wisconsin.  Please volunteer your time and contribute to her election now.

Join me in supporting Tammy.  Let’s work together and win this critical U.S. Senate race.  Click here to contribute securely online.

Please contribute  $250, $100, $50, $5 or whatever you can to elect Tammy. She is exactly the change we need.

Wisconsin can’t wait, and we can’t afford to sit this race out!  That’s why I humbly and respectfully ask you to join Tammy Baldwin today.

Thank you for your serious consideration.  Have a safe and healthy Holiday Season.

On Wisconsin!

Steve Kagen, M.D.
Member of Congress (Retired)

PS:  Send this message to all your family and friends.  Do it now.  We Can’t Wait.


Written by Steve Kagen, M.D. and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Here's to 2012!

Posted by Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 23 December 2011
in Wisconsin

'twas the night before Christmas, and all through the state, petitioners were stirring, because the recall can't wait...

The republicans were smugly snuggled, with Koch cash in their bed, while the rest of the state is all seeing red...

The volunteers in their recall t- shirts and the staff in winter hats weren't settling down for a let- up just yet...

For out in our communities there arose such a clatter because when Walker got in we knew something was the matter...

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but thousands of protesters with a resolve without fear.

No Walker! no Walker! No walker! They called...

And that wish will come true if we all keep resolve...

For there is no greater gift that we can give our great state,

Than a Democratic governor

Before it's too late!

 

Looking forward to working with you all in 2012!

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The last push has to start now...

Posted by Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter has not set their biography yet
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on Saturday, 10 December 2011
in Wisconsin

The RECALL is going well...but we are not there yet.  And you know as well as I do that the fight to end here is going to be harder with Christmas and worse weather coming.

I was wondering if all of us could take one cut turf in a highly democratic area in Green Bay and be responsible for it by next Thursday?  We are getting flyers together to drop at doors with office info if no one is there, so this would not be a waste of time if people aren't home.  Labor Temple, Teamsters, GBEA will all be on as potential places for folks to stop by and sign, too.

I know my family will being doing the turf with me...although they don't know that yet.

Please let me know if you can't do this or find someone else to do it.  Otherwise, we can get the turfs cut!

ALSO, there is a wierd thing happening with people unwilling to sign 'Clay-fish' recall.  NO!  I don't accept that from people...I till him she would be a clone of Walker and we have to make sure that she goes, too.

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I am getting madder by the minute....

Posted by Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter
Deb Stover, area resident & voter has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 08 December 2011
in Wisconsin

GREEN BAY - Unemployment up in Wisconsin, teachers and public workers villified, state torn apart, concealed carry with NO TRAINING, liquor available for purchase at 6 am, equal pay law overturned, teachers allowed to be fired for test scores. Education at all levels CUT! Stupid when we need re-training programs...  HE ran on creating 250,000 jobs out of that brown paper bag He needs to leave office with that brown paper bag over his head.  As soon as possible... He is such a tool! 

Four of us are going to work the mall area in Green Bay for signatures today.  I have collected sixty or so in the last two weeks...it has not been hard.  People want to sign.  My goal is 100 by the middle of next week.  I know two people who are trying to get 1000 just by themselves...

Many on this list are doing the same thing!  Re-energize yourselves folks!  Download a petition at wisdems.org today! Five signatures to turn in once you get it filled.

In green bay at the dem office-- 1061 W. Mason.  La Crosse friends-- I am sure that it is easy to find where to go...

Come help with paperwork...bring some treats for the staff and volunteers...donate to keep offices open!

WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER!  GRASSROOTS IS CRITICAL GOING INTO 2012.

We must get sanity back in Madison.  This is a middle of the road state--NOT what we are having thrust on us right now!

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Should the Wisconsin Capitol tree be Christmas tree?

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 30 November 2011
in Our View

GREEN BAY - State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Vandenbroek, has introduced a resolution to rename the Capitol Holiday Tree the Capitol Christmas Tree.

"It is what it is, it's a Christmas tree," Steineke said Tuesday. "I just think that in Wisconsin we called it a Christmas tree for 70 years. We call it a Christmas tree in Washington at the White House. I don't see any harm in calling it a Christmas tree in Madison, Wisconsin."

Sounds simple enough. Or is it?

What if you are not a Christian? Maybe you are a Native American and choose to practice your traditional beliefs. Or a Jew, or a Muslim? What if you just plain don’t believe in religion at all? Many estimate that up to 40% of Americans do not believe in the traditional concept of a god, though most choose to not to talk about it among believers.

Should the State use your tax dollars to ram someone else’s religion down your throat?

When I was with Milwaukee County, we set up a big tree in the courthouse and a variety of little trees in several departments, including Human Resources, at this time of year. The County Executive would come down and make a speech. Several employees would spend hours decorating the tree in our department, usually on a Friday afternoon. Everyone was nice.

But wouldn’t you rather they spent their time processing your job application? Or doing any other kind of real work?  If they wanted a Christmas tree, they were certainly free to set one up at home.

Every year, for our friends in the GOP like Rep. Steineke, the Christmas verses Holiday tree issue provides a perfect opportunity to pander to their base. Here we create another “issue” that sounds simple if you don’t really think about it.  "The governor believes a Christmas tree should be called a Christmas tree," Chris Schrimpf, Scott Walker's communications director, said in an email Tuesday.

But is it that “simple”, or does it only seem so if you believe that everyone should share your particular beliefs. Maybe Scotty and friends are just trying to give their supporters the impression that they are “standing up for them” in Madison. It is certainly easier than doing any real work, like creating more jobs in Wisconsin.

Yes, this is an issue that is not an issue. And the “it’s a tradition” argument has been used too often to support too many practices that should have been forgotten years ago.

Maybe we should just let all the practicing Christians have their Christmas trees at home. Religion is supposed to be an individual preference, isn’t it?

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