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Three Wisconsin precincts revise vote totals after caught padding Donald Trump’s numbers

Three Wisconsin precincts revise vote totals after caught padding Donald Trump’s numbers

By Bill Palmer | November 25, 2016

Even as Wisconsin officials say they’re preparing for a statewide recount of the 2016 vote totals after third party candidate Jill Stein raised enough funds to cover the cost of it, the nation is left to wonder whether it might result in Hillary Clinton being named the winner of the state. But before the recount has even begun, evidence of either gross negligence or foul play has been exposed in three Wisconsin precincts – which had resulted in quite a number of phantom votes given to Donald Trump – and the vote totals have been revised accordingly.

The story goes like this: after Wisconsin posted its voting totals, various internet users who looked at the numbers noticed the same discrepancy. Three precincts in Outagamie County were each claiming that more people had voted in the presidential race than had voted at all. That’s not possible, of course. So after it became a minor online controversy, those precincts each revised their totals. The result: more than a thousand imaginary votes for Donald Trump came off the board from those three precincts alone, as first noted by Dan Solomon of Fast Company.

Here’s the explanation which local officials offered to an ABC News affiliate to explain the discrepancy: “In order to give election returns to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office as quickly as possible the Chief Inspector added together the votes from the election machine tapes. An error was made while keying the numbers on the calculator during this process resulting in an incorrect number of votes reported on Election night.”

But for this to be believed, one would have to accept that the same honest error was made in three precincts – and that in all of them, Donald Trump was a huge beneficiary of that math error. Moreover, Hillary Clinton’s vote totals didn’t change at all in these three precincts. It was simply a matter of three precincts padding Donald Trump’s totals with imaginary votes that they now acknowledge never really existed. How many more Wisconsin precincts may have used the same method to boost Trump, with tallies that weren’t so immediately recognizable as being phony? The upcoming statewide recount should provide answers.

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What the Dem Party needs to do


By George Packer

Four decades ago, Watergate revealed the potential of the modern Presidency for abuse of power on a vast scale. It also showed that a strong democracy can overcome even the worst illness ravaging its body. When Richard Nixon used the instruments of government to destroy political opponents, hide financial misdoings, and deceive the public about the Vietnam War, he very nearly got away with it. What stopped his crime spree was democratic institutions: the press, which pursued the story from the original break-in all the way to the Oval Office; the courts, which exposed the extent of criminality and later ruled impartially against Nixon’s claims of executive privilege; and Congress, which held revelatory hearings, and whose House Judiciary Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to impeach the President. In crucial agencies of Nixon’s own Administration, including the F.B.I. (whose deputy director, Mark Felt, turned out to be Deep Throat, the Washington Post’s key source), officials fought the infection from inside. None of these institutions could have functioned without the vitalizing power of public opinion. Within months of reëlecting Nixon by the largest margin in history, Americans began to gather around the consensus that their President was a crook who had to go.

President Donald Trump should be given every chance to break his campaign promise to govern as an autocrat. But, until now, no one had ever won the office by pledging to ignore the rule of law and to jail his opponent. Trump has the temperament of a leader who doesn’t distinguish between his private desires and demons and the public interest. If he’s true to his word, he’ll ignore the Constitution, by imposing a religious test on immigrants and citizens alike. He’ll go after his critics in the press, with or without the benefit of libel law. He’ll force those below him in the chain of command to violate the code of military justice, by torturing terrorist suspects and killing their next of kin. He’ll turn federal prosecutors, agents, even judges if he can, into personal tools of grievance and revenge.

All the pieces are in place for the abuse of power, and it could happen quickly. There will be precious few checks on President Trump. His party, unlike Nixon’s, will control the legislative as well as the executive branch, along with two-thirds of governorships and statehouses. Trump’s advisers, such as Newt Gingrich, are already vowing to go after the federal employees’ union, and breaking it would give the President sweeping power to bend the bureaucracy to his will and whim. The Supreme Court will soon have a conservative majority. Although some federal courts will block flagrant violations of constitutional rights, Congress could try to impeach the most independent-minded judges, and Trump could replace them with loyalists.

But, beyond these partisan advantages, something deeper is working in Trump’s favor, something that he shrewdly read and exploited during the campaign. The democratic institutions that held Nixon to account have lost their strength since the nineteen-seventies—eroded from within by poor leaders and loss of nerve, undermined from without by popular distrust. Bipartisan congressional action on behalf of the public good sounds as quaint as antenna TV. The press is reviled, financially desperate, and undergoing a crisis of faith about the very efficacy of gathering facts. And public opinion? Strictly speaking, it no longer exists. “All right we are two nations,” John Dos Passos wrote, in his “U.S.A.” trilogy.

Among the institutions in decline are the political parties. This, too, was both intuited and accelerated by Trump. In succession, he crushed two party establishments and ended two dynasties. The Democratic Party claims half the country, but it’s hollowed out at the core. Hillary Clinton became the sixth Democratic Presidential candidate in the past seven elections to win the popular vote; yet during Barack Obama’s Presidency the Party lost both houses of Congress, fourteen governorships, and thirty state legislatures, comprising more than nine hundred seats. The Party’s leaders are all past the official retirement age, other than Obama, who has governed as the charismatic and enlightened head of an atrophying body. Did Democrats even notice? More than Republicans, they tend to turn out only when they’re inspired. The Party has allowed personality and demography to take the place of political organizing.

The immediate obstacle in Trump’s way will be New York’s Charles Schumer and his minority caucus of forty-eight senators. During Obama’s Presidency, Republican senators exploited ancient rules in order to put up massive resistance. Filibusters and holds became routine ways of taking budgets hostage and blocking appointments. Democratic senators can slow, though not stop, pieces of the Republican agenda if they find the nerve to behave like their nihilistic opponents, further damaging the institution for short-term gain. It would be ugly, but the alternative seems like a sucker’s game.

In the long run, the Democratic Party faces two choices. It can continue to collapse until it’s transformed into something new, like the nineteenth-century Whigs, forerunners of the Republican Party. Or it can rebuild itself from the ground up. Not every four years but continuously; not with celebrity endorsements but on school boards and town councils; not by creating more virtual echo chambers but by learning again how to talk and listen to other Americans, especially those who elected Trump because they felt ignored and left behind. President Trump is almost certain to betray them. The country will need an opposition capable of pointing that out.

(The New Yorker, 11/14/16)

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DeForest-Windsor Area Grassroots November 7, 2016 Meeting Notes

DeForest-Windsor Area Grassroots (DWAG)

November 7, 2016 Meeting Notes


Next meeting: Monday, November 14, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the DeForest Public Library, 203 Library Street, DeForest.  Much of this meeting is expected to be filled with commentary about the election, so come and vent if you wish.


Present at meeting: Karen Edson, John Scepanski, Ginny Brokish, Frank Dederich, Amy Lowery


Announcements            (Thanks to Karen for the Announcements.)

  • Thurs. Nov. 8th 6:00 pm Madison Central Library (201 W. Mifflin) Screening of Greg Palast’s new film:  The Best Democracy Money Can Buy— A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits.  Hosted by the IWW Social Action and Solidarity Committee.  Info?   Check out the Facebook event:
  • Fri. Nov. 11th 1:00 pm UW-Madison, Library Mall (800 block of State St.) No DAPL Rally and March to the US Bank on S. Pinckney & the Capitol Square, one of the major funders behind the Dakota Access Pipeline Project.  Speakers include: Art Shegonee, leading 1st Nation/Native American Rights activist, Founder & presenter at Call For Peace Drum & Dance Co.; Madison Alder Rebecca Kemble; Brandi Grayson, co-founder of Young, Gifted and Black Coalition; Carl Sack - TAA Executive Board; P.K. Hammel - Madison Action for Mining Alternatives and National Lawyers Guild; and Teddy Shibabaw, Organizer with Socialist Alternative. Info?  Check out the Facebook event:
  • Mon. Nov. 14th 4:00 pm UW-Madison, Union South – Varsity Hall (1308 W. Dayton) Protecting the Water Panel on the Importance of the Protest at Standing Rock!  Join American Indian Studies for a discussion with: Dave Archambault, Standing Rock Tribal Member & Columnist; Cody Two Bears, Tribal Council, Cannon Ball, ND; Terry Evanson, Retired Hydrogeologist; and Richard Monette, UW Professor of Law.
  • Thurs. Nov. 17th 6:30 pm Madison Central Library, Rm. 104 (201 W. Mifflin) An Election Postmortem - hosted by the Peregrine Forum.  Info? #608-284-9082.
  • Sat. Nov. 19th  6:15 pm James Reeb Unitarian-Universalist Congregation (2146 E. Johnson)  Free public screening of 13th – the new acclaimed documentary about the criminal justice system, followed by a discussion.  Info?  Check out the Facebook event:
  • Mon. Nov. 21st 8:00 pm High Noon Saloon (701 E. Washington Ave.) Madison WI Stands With Standing Rock!  Benefit concert to support the protest efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline and to defend our clean water and sacred earth.  Suggested minimum donation -  $10.00.  Info?  Checkout the Facebook event:   CANCEL MEETING TO ALLOW PARTICIPATION IN THIS EVENT????

End Announcements


We discussed the DWAG sign location lists.  It seems that there are several.  There are also several mailing lists and other lists.  We should try to combine our lists and maybe make them into a master database or spread sheet and look to the future to add to the list or modify and update it as needed.  If you have names and contact information for anyone who should be on the list, let Karen know or bring them to the next meeting.

Frank mentioned he had seen Frank Luntz “con” the 60 Minutes TV show recently.  Ginny said The View is pretty political sometimes.  The Devil’s Advocate radio show is going off the air on Mic 92.1 FM.

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The motto of our local progressives group in DeForest, Wisconsin is: “We Care”, but we have a second one equally important:    “Step In: Be There”.  So, here’s the challenge: We need to Step UP our Stepping In and Caring.

 It is a labor of love to support a candidate, go to hearings, study issues, provide educational workshops, contact our legislators until we are on a first name basis, put up signs, register people to vote, (after becoming deputy voter registrars), dialing at phone banks, participating in rallies and protests, writing letters to editors, posting on Facebook, tweeting the news, Voting on election day,  isn’t it?  That is what our group does, we are very unique.

  Or let’s begin by asking what, if any of the above have you done recently?  

Most people we encounter on the street, in the grocery store, shopping in malls, commuting, walking their dogs, over the dinner table, at sports events,  attending spiritual gatherings, will probably answer:  What? I don’t do those things. I barely vote, I don’t know who to vote for, haven’t any idea on the issues, why bother? 

My answer is, who do you think ‘the government’ is? 

Their answer:  Well, maybe we get to be when we vote, but then the guys we elect ‘go bad’ when they get to D.C.,  they get corrupted, they in-fight, they succumb to greed, our votes get miscounted, elections are stolen.  So, why bother? 

We entrap ourselves in this apathy, and we have done this so long, we have build a culture of separateness from our potential power in our own government. In the last few decades a sad identity has developed: We are absentee owners awash in disengagement. We are almost a  driverless population misunderstanding how much we are needed. 

Raising a nation is a labor of love, a ‘birthing’ process that, as parents soon discover, remains a process. For our national and local governments to work in our interests, they need nurturing input and require patience! We must “Be There” for the long haul to accomplish what is best for us all. 

We have an obligation to one another across the nation to Step UP and Step In wherever and whatever way we can, as constantly as Bernie has. Our nation needs us, our planet needs us, future generations need us. We must initiate a renewed and renewable energy force whose most powerful element is people-power: we must be active citizens as the ‘pilots’ of our government, insisting on ethical representation by those we elect.Imagine if even one third of the previously inactive voters stepped in and voted this year, and in future years: We would breathe new life into our nation’s governance, and make the national structure work in our best interests. Every little bit of energy helps push us forward. I urge all I meet to Step Up, Step In, keep on Stepping Up, You are needed!

You are more important than you can possibly imagine. We must have confidence, as Bernie has, that if we keep at it, a movement will catch on, we will be part of what really matters, we will grow our voices, our power. Our nation needs us to do this, so do our communities, so I must thank my local DeForest Area Progressives for steadily continuing to Step in and Step UP, we are a great role model in a small town, we are connecting to other progressive groups across the state and nation, and we are part of the change we wish!   You, too can Step Up and Step In! We need you! 

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White Supremacy

White Supremacy

Active McFarland


The fundamental conviction that black people are less human than whites is the great lie upon which we built our country. It made "good Christian" slave owners possible. It made lynching and torture not just acceptable, but appropriate. It made Jim Crow, poll taxes, literacy tests, and segregation logical and necessary.

Like our predecessors, we have tried to legislate the lie out of existence or declare it dead. But, we bury it alive, again and again.

Those who feign ignorance of its presence call it forth and feed it with their code words and their fear-mongering. Predictably, it rises from its premature grave, looking for prey. When it strikes, as it did in Charleston, they act shocked and grief-stricken…and they call it something else. They call it anything and everything but what it is – White Supremacy.

When signs reading “Black Lives Matter” are met with howls of “all lives matter”, that’s code wrapped in self-righteousness. Their visceral response to “Black Lives Matter” is “No, they don’t.”

South Carolina flies its flag. Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation to be a black child. Unarmed black people suffer summary execution on the streets of our cities and towns nearly every day. The great lie remains the truth for too many.

Read Stephens and the Charleston slaughterer below. They tell us their miserable, misbegotten truth. We cannot fight it if we refuse to believe it.

From an 1861 speech by Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America: "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal."

From the Charleston slaughterer’s white supremacy manifesto: 

"Anyone who thinks that White and black people look as different as we do on the outside, but are somehow magically the same on the inside, is delusional. How could our faces, skin, hair, and body structure all be different, but our brains be exactly the same? This is the nonsense we are led to believe. Negroes have lower Iqs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior."

"Say you were to witness a dog being beat by a man. You are almost surely going to feel very sorry for that dog. But then say you were to witness a dog biting a man. You will most likely not feel the same pity you felt for the dog for the man. Why? Because dogs are lower than men. This same analogy applies to black and White relations."

"Segregation was not a bad thing. It was a defensive measure. Segregation did not exist to hold back negroes. It existed to protect us from them. And I mean that in multiple ways. Not only did it protect us from having to interact with them, and from being physically harmed by them, but it protected us from being brought down to their level. Integration has done nothing but bring Whites down to level of brute animals. The best example of this is obviously our school system. "

Believe it. Then, vow to fight it.


Sheila Plotkin



Active McFarland: Exercising Democracy


A Grass Roots Organization made up of people from the McFarland area promoting democracy at all levels of Government

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Stoughton School District Admnistrator's letter to parents

Stoughton Area School District
 Administrative and Educational Services Center 320 North Street Stoughton, WI 53589-1733 (608) 877-5000

June 4, 2015


Dear families,


In recent weeks, you may have heard about or read about the state budget and how it could impact public education. Last month, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee proposed a budget bill that has huge ramifications for Stoughton Area School District (SASD) as well as public school districts across Wisconsin. The bill still has to be debated by the full legislature, but we wanted to give you a summary of the proposed changes and how we believe they could impact our schools and community if enacted:


Below the national average - This budget would drive Wisconsin under the national average in per pupil spending, according to Michael Griffith, a senior policy analyst for the Education Commission of the States. For the first time in history, the state budget will not provide for an increase per student in revenue limits (spending caps). Public school budgets are frozen in 2015-16 and will receive a $100 increase per student in a special aid in 2016-17.


Athletics and extracurriculars - Home-schooled students, private school and virtual charter school students who reside in our district but do not attend Stoughton schools nonetheless could participate in any extra-curricular or athletic team our district offers. The WIAA is a private, non-profit organization composed of both non-public schools and public schools like SASD. The WIAA has come out against this budget provision as an “alarming precedent and an unacceptable over-reach” by the state government.


Teacher licensing - The new law eliminates many standards for licensing teachers and, according to the SAA (School Administrators Alliance), “would position Wisconsin as having among the lowest entry standards for the teaching profession in the country.”


New graduation requirements - A school district could not grant a student a high school diploma unless he/she passes a 100-question civics assessment. Additionally, there is a provision allowing up to ½ of a student’s credits required for graduation to be obtained via a learning portfolio. There is no guidance around how this process will work.


‘Apples and oranges’ assessments - School districts will not all have to take the same state assessment. That means parents likely will not have the information to make an “apples to apples” comparison of school districts’ academic performance data and be able to make fully informed decisions about where they send their kids to school. The budget bill also proposes a controversial five-star “rating” system for schools based on their performance on these assessments instead of the current system identifying how well schools meet expectations.


State Aid - The Stoughton Area School District, and all public schools across the state, will have their state aid cut to allow for voucher expansion under this budget bill. Vouchers use public tax dollars to pay for a student’s private education, but studies have shown that voucher students perform no better than students in public schools, according to the School Administrators Alliance (SAA).


Cost of vouchers - In year one, 1% of students from SASD could receive vouchers to attend private religious or secular schools. SASD would lose aid in the amount of $7,210 for an elementary or middle school student and $7,856 for each high school student to pay the private school voucher. In the first year, this could cost SASD approximately $237,000. Each year, the maximum number of students allowed to attend a voucher school increases by an additional percent (e.g. in year two up to 2% of students) and the state aid payment that the district loses for each student will increase. After 10 years, there would be no limit on the number of vouchers offered to students in our school district.


Special education vouchers - Students receiving special education services could potentially attend a private school with a special education voucher. $12,000 per student would be cut from SASD’s state aid to fund each of these vouchers. Students enrolled in these private voucher schools would not be guaranteed the legal rights and protections afforded to them by federal law. There is no proposal to increase special education aid for public schools. The current budget proposal results in eight years without an increase in special education aid for public schools.


These are just some of the provisions in the 40-page budget bill advanced by the Joint Finance Committee. The bill must still pass through the legislature before it reaches Governor Walker, but as is, we fear the current proposal erodes local control of schools, undermines school accountability and does not adequately fund our public education system. The district and our Board of Education will be sharing these concerns with our state legislators and the Joint Finance Committee, (listed below) but we wanted to keep you informed about how this proposal directly affects Stoughton Schools.



Dr. Tim Onsager, District Administrator, Stoughton Area School District , (608) 877-5000


Senate District


13 Scott Fitzgerald (R - Juneau)

15 Janis Ringhand (D - Evansville)

16 Mark Miller (D - Monona)



38 Joel Kleefisch (R - Oconomowoc)

43 Andy Jorgensen (D - Milton)

45 Mark Spreitzer (D - Beloit)

46 Gary Hebl (D - Sun Prairie)

47 Robb Kahl (D - Monona)


Joint Finance Chairs

Senator Alberta Darling

Rep. John Nygren


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The Dems they are a -changin' ?

 MAY 9, 2015

The Dems they are a-changin’: How progressives upended the debate — and forced neoliberals to adapt

Neoliberal stalwarts like Cuomo, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel are moving left — here's why it's not a fluke



New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a timid man. But like most politicians, he is cautious. He’s taken some risks during his years in Albany — like when he muscled through same-sex marriage, or when he imposed a statewide ban on fracking. Even in these rare moments, though, he was careful and deliberate. He only gambled when he saw no better option. And that’s one of the reasons why his recent endorsement of a wage hike for fast-food workers is a genuinely big deal.

Writing in the New York Times, Cuomo, who usually bills himself as the consummate pro-business Democrat, declared that although he’d already signed a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour by the end of 2015, the fast-food industry’s wage floor was still not high enough. And because the state legislature wouldn’t cooperate, the governor continued, he was going to direct the state’s labor commissioner to impanel a “Wage Board,” which would ultimately recommend a new fast-food minimum wage. There would be no need for legislative approval.

Unlike his moves on marriage equality and fracking, Cuomo’s joining the growing movement to raise service industry wages came rather out of the blue. But when you situate the notoriously plutocrat-friendly governor’s announcement in the larger context of what’s happening within the Democratic Party right now, it doesn’t just make more sense — it also becomes quite telling. If even Andrew Cuomo has decided that spurning multinational corporations like McDonald’s by supporting the “Fight for $15” is in his self-interest, then the balance of power among Democrats has truly shifted in favor of the party’s activist, union base.

Of course, this is hardly to say the Democratic Party is now the social democraticorganization of lefties’ dreams. The minimum wage for fast-food workers is just one issue, and in terms of threatening the party’s wealthiest supporters, it’s relatively harmless (political donations from the fast-food industry overwhelmingly benefit Republicans). But Cuomo’s op-ed for the Times, while significant, isn’t the most important sign that the Democratic base is steering the party in a more left-wing direction. In fact, it’s not even the first or the most conspicuous; but those designations belong to Democrats whose respective names carry at least as much weight.

A political shift on this order is always a long time coming, so picking a start date is inevitably somewhat arbitrary. But if I had to point to one big, specific moment when it started looking like party elites would have to veer left to stay in the base’s favor, I’d go with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprisingly difficult reelection from earlier this year. As I wrote at the time, one of the main reasons why Emanuel had to fight off a left-wing primary challenger was because Chicago Democrats, especially African- and Latino-Americans, were angry over a first-term record they saw as too conservative on economics and education. Some even took to calling him “Mayor 1 Percent.”

After running an apologetic run-off campaign — in which the neoliberal Emanuel and his supporters tried to refashion him as a true progressive — the mayor ended up defeating his opponent, Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, with relative ease. But while Garcia, by most accounts, ran a disorganized and borderline incompetent campaign, simply forcing Emanuel into the run-off was itself a major victory. No incumbent Chicago mayor had ever had to do it before, and it was widely seen by expert observers as an “embarrassment” for President Obama’s former chief of staff. In retrospect, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’s unfortunate illness may have saved Emanuel’s career in electoral politics.

Chicago was the first sign that a new Democratic Party base — one comprised of more people of color as well as educated and single women — was exerting its influence. But former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign has been the most conspicuous. Because while Emanuel’s pivot to the left wasn’t so much about policy as public relations, Clinton’s campaign has thus far been characterized by her assuming new, more liberal policy positions. Despite having been a believer in the “tough on crime” policies of her husband, Clinton endorsed outfitting the nation’s law enforcement with body cameras, and spent her first big policy address calling for mass incarceration’s end.

However, if Clinton’s speech on criminal justice was an encouraging sign for the kind of Democratic base voters who support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, her address on immigration this week was, for reform advocates like the so-called DREAMers, a major success. As Vox’s immigration reporter Dara Lind argued in a post describing Clinton’s speech as “stunningly aggressive,” the onetime first lady not only “told activists exactly what they hoped they’d hear” but delivered an address that was “much better than they expected.” She not only promised to uphold and expand Obama’s recent, controversial executive actions; she also called on Congress to pass a reform bill that featured a “full and equal” path to citizenship.

Again: None of these recent examples are intended to prove that the Democratic Party’s left wing is now calling all the shots. There’s precious little doubt in my mind that Cuomo, Clinton and Emanuel will all take policy positions in the coming years that drive the base voters I’m talking about up the wall — most especially on issues involving Wall Street and financial regulation. Still, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to argue, as some of the more cynical and pessimistic members of the American left have done, that the Democratic Party is the same intransigently neoliberal beast as it was throughout the ’90s and early aughts.

Assuming you can find someone not currently under indictment, go ahead and talk to the folks in Albany and ask them what motivates Governor Cuomo. It ain’t the goodness of his heart.


Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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This is a common woman's voice for Mike McCabe!

I learned this poem forty years ago:

For all the world we didnt know we held in common

all along

the common woman is as common as the best of bread

and will rise

and will become strong -- I swear it to you

I swear it to you on my own head

I swear it to you on my common



-Judy Grahn

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clarification on "What's in Your Water" grant

I want to clarify a matter that was posted in the “notes” from DeForest Area Progressives (DAP) meetings that I routinely post on Twitter and Facebook.  The Village of DeForest provided a grant for about $1,400 to help put on a community education program called “What’s in Your Water” on April 11, 2015, at the DMB Windsor Neighborhood Center.  The grantee is the Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters.  The Friends in turn is subgranting or subcontracting with DAP.  The Friends are also participating in the program with a presentation on what their organization does.  It is a grand collaboration!  Go to the DAAP website, for details and the RSVP that you are coming.

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The Wisconsin Idea threatened

  • No politician is elected on the basis of a post secondary degree in the USA. The criteria is community service, activities in public office, and reputation earned in the process. Today, reputation is purchased more often than not via promoters who know their contributions to a candidate will garner them advantages during the term of the candidate. The potential of the candidate to be 'bought' is enhanced by the Supreme Court decision nicknamed: Citizens United. This decision reflects the Supreme Court's inclination to define a corporation as a person, and the 'speech' of that 'person' includes how it spends its money. Ensuring 'freedom of speech' to include 'freedom of expression by money-expenditures'. The definition of 'personhood' has become so convoluted, we are in deep trouble as to how influence can be purchased by 'corporate people'-- as a teacher, I've never had a corporate person ask for an education, nor have any of my nurse friends delivered a corporate baby, nor have any people in the funeral industry 'buried' a corporate person in their cemeteries..... and so forth..

    Scott Walker, however, has received millions of dollars from these questionable 'corporate persons'. Money buys influence and that influence flows both way as a matter of course.

    It is my opinion that if Scott Walker had completed his college education, he would have emerged better prepared to discern the ethics of this situation, better prepared to understand the Wisconsin Idea and respect it, better prepared to understand ecology, the delicate environment of his state, the rights of the voters to have better access to the vote instead of restricting voting, better able to see why societies are better when everyone does better. A lack of finishing education is a lack of availing oneself of a type of enrichment that can't help but enhance the opportunity to appreciate the value of all public education, protection of health of citizens, protection of local control to vital resources, equality of all citizens, respect for all voters.

    Instead, we have a governor lacking in common sense, weak enough to be shaped by those who contribute heartily to his campaigns, and who will expect his hearty cooperation to achieve advantages to their corporate bottom line, often not even in Wisconsin. A cutter of public programs serving to strengthen communities, health, studies of how to protect public health, air, water, soil, and providing for those who take those actions.

    The governor of Wisconsin is a traitor to the well-being of Wisconsin, his flawed educational exposure very likely contributed to the many failures he is hiding behind while being the puppet of corporate greed. This demonstrates a lack of education in the highest degree. We could say he has a post-graduate degree in mis-educationl

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