Filmmaker Robert Greenwald Tells Truthout How the Koch Brothers Endanger Democracy and Our Health . BuzzFlash at Truthout first got to know Robert Greenwald when he and Earl Katz, who is now chair of Public Interest Pictures, were trying to get a film about the theft of the 2000 presidential election, "Unprecedented," off the ground. That was over a decade ago (4/12)
NYT Unloads on Scott Walker: The Wages of Ideology. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is struggling to fight off a determined effort to replace him in an extraordinary recall election scheduled for June 5. The original reason more than 900,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to get him out of office was his signature on a bill that stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining rights (4/12)
Walker's snotty weak campaign start reflects his real personality. . The one benefit Scott Walker will see from the recall election, will be the dilution of protesters at his many stops throughout Wisconsin. It will be hard to keep up with him (4/12)
Mitt Romney's 'Women for Romney' surrogate is not for equal pay for women in Wisconsin. As he shakes the Etch A Sketch, Mitt Romney is trying hard to boost his appeal among women, after fully embracing the war on women just to keep up with Rick Santorum (4/12).
Walker flees Wisconsin people, Hides with Charlie Sykes. Even though everyone deserves to know exactly when Scott Walker first knew about the secret e-mail system run out of Walker's county executive office during his 2010 campaign for governor, don't look for a town hall question-and-answer session or a press conference on the topic (4/12).
Walker sends out conspiracy theory lackey to stall FBI “John Doe” investigation that continues to boil. It’s been pretty obvious that the database holding signatures of those who signed the Walker recall petition are becoming more about McCarthyistic techniques to make it a black list proving that the signatory is not a sucker for Walker (4/12)
Republican "War On Women" Is Not A Left-Wing Invention. The Dane County Democratic Party (web site) hosted a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at the Concourse Hotel in Madison featuring Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (4/12).
Paul Ryan's Cynical Catholic Claims. Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Graeme Zielinski in response to claims made by Paul Ryan to justify his radical budget (4/12).
Struggling Sean Duffy, Reid Ribble Tops in Waste of Taxpayer Dollars For two men who pound their chests as fiscal conservatives, Wisconsin Reps. Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble certainly can blow through hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money in no time flat. And, for seemingly no return (4/12).
Mitt Romney’s Campaign on Whether Romney Supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: ‘We’ll Get Back To You On That.’. On a press call this morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked if Mitt Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Their response to the question was, “We’ll get back to you on that.” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate released the following statement on the Romney campaign’s initial failure to take a position on pay equity for women (4/12).
No War on Women in Wisconsin?. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 202, essentially a reversal of Wisconsin's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (Act 20), into law on April 5, 2012, more than a month after the bill was passed (4/12).
Wendy's is the 6th Firm to Say It is No Longer a Member of ALEC. Wendy's International, the parent company of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburger, is the sixth corporation to say that it is no longer a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the past week (4/12).
George Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges for death of Trayvon Martin. Prosecutors Wednesday charged a neighborhood watch guard with second-degree murder in the killing of an unarmed US black teenager that sparked nationwide anger amid suspicions it was racially motivated (4/12).
John Mellencamp informs Gov. Scott Walker of his liberal beliefs. Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports collective bargaining and union powers and says Walker should be aware of that before using his song "Small Town" on the campaign trail (4/12)
4 Ways the Big Banks are Still Screwing Homeowners — And How They're Fighting Back. Here's how the banks are still doing exactly as they please when it comes to homes. But there's hope (4/12).
Meet the Rising Republican Star Who Would Love to Punch Hillary Clinton in the Face In case you haven't noticed, Wisconsin's been fraught with untenable political tumultuousness since one-man Human Centipede Scott Walker was elected governor. He's bullied teachers, attacked gay couples' hospital visitation rights, signed a repeal of Wisconsin's equal pay law, and rolled back sex education to an innocent time when kids thought storks brought babies (4/12).
Ryan's Recycled "Tipping Point" Scare Tactic Divides Americans, Hides Hypocrisy. . Have you seen the Paul Ryan headline yet? "Ryan says U.S. at financial and cultural 'tipping point'" Hmm, that late breaking headline sounds really familiar. Oh my gosh, here’s that same story as summarized so perfectly by Dana Milbank way back on March 20th (4/11).
For what you do, no bud for you. Bud Selig is the commissioner of major league baseball. The lords of the game pay him an enormous salary to do very little. Very little. Selig has a chair at the University of Wisconsin history Department. How did that happen? (4/11)
Republican "War On Women" Is Not A Left-Wing Invention. Right-wing media are claiming that a Republican "war on women" is "phony" and "invented" by the left to distract attention from issues such as the economy and gas prices. But Republicans throughout the country have indeed pushed a plethora of legislation during the past few years that would result in limiting women's reproductive rights, access to health care access, and access to equal pay; moreover, right-wing media themselves launched a bullying campaign against Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke after she testified in favor of expanded contraception coverage. (4/10).
GOP Panicking on John Doe Criminal Probe . One Wisconsin Now sent letters today to 9 current Wisconsin State Senators asking them to revoke their membership in the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Senators would join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and corporations like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Intuit and Kraft who earlier announced they've pulled their support. The letter also asks that the nine refund the tax dollars that were used to purchase ALEC memberships on their behalf (4/11).
What is going on? If you need to know what’s wrong with American conservatism in the early 21st century you have only to look at their view of the Girl Scouts. You would think that legislatures would want to honor the 100th anniversary of an organization like the Girl Scouts but empowering women isn’t exactly what the patriarchal GOP is about (4/11).
Russell gets new lawyer in Doe case. Timothy Russell, the former Scott Walker aide facing felony embezzlement charges, has a new lawyer with Republican leanings. The attorney is Dennis Krueger, a former state prosecutor who recently joined Milwaukee attorney Michael Maistelman's law office. Krueger pops up in court records as one of Russell's lawyers as of Friday, the same day another lawyer -- John Birdsall -- withdrew (4/11).
Democrats question legality of running as a 'fake' candidate. Undaunted by claims that running as a fake Democratic candidate in the recalls constitutes criminal election fraud, six such candidates filed paperwork Tuesday to run in the May 8 primary (4/11).
UWM professor predicts Scott Walker will be GOP's VP choice. UWM Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee is making a bold prediction for the Republican VP candidate: Scott Walker. (4/11).
Paul Ryan's Cynical Catholic Claims. Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Graeme Zielinski in response to claims made by Paul Ryan to justify his radical budget (4/11).
A little word game for the Fake Democratic Candidates... . Let’s see if the illegal and unethical electioneering by the Wisconsin Republican Party will stand up to a little test I came up with (4/11)
List of Bills Walker Signed Into Law Last Week. It's been well documented for some years now that abstinence based education *increases* the number of teen pregnancies AND that when you tell teenagers the truth about sex, as they do in Europe, not only do you get fewer pregnancy, you actually get fewer teenagers having sex in the first place (4/11).
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The future is ours to create
by Nichelle Nichols
I am running for School Board because I believe in our public schools and our responsibility to prepare all 27,000 of our students for college, work, and life after high school. As a Madison native, proud West High alumnus, and mother of one graduate and three sons still attending our public schools—my stake in our schools starts at home and spans two generations. While we have much to be proud of as a district, we have serious challenges that we cannot ignore.
I am the first to admit that our Madison schools are very different today than the schools I attended. They are far more diverse in racial and socio-economic composition, and the pressure for our students to compete in our 21st Century economy is even greater. As our demographics continue to shift, we are confronted with finding more effective ways of educating children who represent a rich and diverse range of ethnicities, cultures, and languages; a wide range of learning needs and readiness levels for school, and who are overwhelmingly minority and low income. Our educators are under immense pressure to perform in the classroom and move all students to academic proficiency, and the pressure on our district to do more with fewer resources is at an all time high with unprecedented budget cuts underway and even more anticipated.
As we seek and implement real solutions, we cannot do so in a spirit of denial or passivity, nor can we segment our racial achievement gap as a “minority issue.” It is a district issue which disproportionately impacts roughly half of our student body and ultimately impacts every student and family we serve. How we tackle the achievement gap will in many ways shape the course of our district and our community in the years ahead, and we need leaders at the Board level who take it seriously as a strategic priority—not treat it as an afterthought until the community raises the concern, or until the challenge reaches the staggering proportions we now see. I will be the leader who champions change for our children.
We cannot hide from the appalling graduation rates of Black and Latino students (48% and 57% respectively) or the fact that just 1% of Black and 13% of Latino high school seniors are academically ready for college. We cannot minimize the seriousness of the significant over-representation of students of color among those suspended, expelled and identified for special education. Our dismal graduation, college matriculation and school discipline rates for Black and Latino students put us on par with some of the lowest performing school systems in the country.
We cannot ignore that our District was recently cited by our state for disproportionately assigning Black children to special education and for providing inadequate educational opportunities for our most academically talented students.
Furthermore, we cannot overlook the fact that more middle-income parents are enrolling their children in private schools and neighboring districts instead of in our own schools. This year, 3,700 children are attending local private schools and more than 900 Madison children are enrolled in public schools outside of MMSD.
To further complicate matters, our teachers and school personnel are confronted with the unsettling transition from more than fifty-three years of collective bargaining to the unchartered territory of a new employee handbook. This process must be undertaken with a spirit of collaboration and regard for our employees while balancing the needs of our district to operate and get results with kids.
As a Board of Education member, my first three priorities will be to keep our district focused and accountable on eliminating the achievement gap; negotiating a fair and balanced
employee handbook that respects the dignity and professionalism of our teachers and staff; and ensuring that we provide the high quality, future-focused schools that all families want for their children and that will attract and retain middle income families in our district.
I will ensure that our educators are trained and are provided with the tools and support they need to successfully educate all students well, and are involved in the planning required to move our district forward.
I will work towards building a bridge between schools and community partners to better support and engage parents and students in and out of school, and to ensure that parents understand the critical role they play as stewards of their children’s education.
Finally, I will be that leader who is committed to ensuring that accountability and transparency are values that guide how we conduct business at every level of operation—from the Board room to the classroom—and that our Superintendent and our Board are accountable to our children, to our families, and to our community for working together to get the results we need.
I know we have what it takes as a district and as a community to keep our schools strong and competitive for all kids and families. The future is ours to create. Let’s do it together. Vote for me, Nichelle Nichols, on April 3.