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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

OPINION

Scott Walker's high-speed fail: Train service would have started now

Train cars are referred to as "rolling stock." Now, thanks to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who run this state, Wisconsin is thought of as a "laughingstock." Had Tom Barrett won the election for governor in 2010, right now, June 2013, would have seen the opening of Madison's high-speed rail station, connecting us to Milwaukee and Chicago immediately and the Twin Cities eventually. >More
 Scott Walker is not invincible: Democrats need to shake off their fatalism

Snap out of it, people. Two numbers make Scott Walker vulnerable: 50 and 44. The governor's approval ratings hover around 50%, which is weak for an incumbent. And Wisconsin ranks 44th among the states in job creation. Walker ran on jobs, promising to create 250,000 in four years. At the current pace we won't get half the way there in time for his reelection. >More
 The Wisconsin budget's private bail bond system spells the return of debtors' prison

Of all the measures included in the mammoth budget bill that was recently completed, none is more questionable than a provision that returns commercial bail bonds to Wisconsin. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called bail bondsmen "basically legal loan sharks" who "prey on the poorest communities." >More
 Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism dust-up just the latest in press infringement

The state's Republican-led budget committee may have done no greater favor for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism than voting to evict it from two tiny offices in UW-Madison's Vilas Hall. Since the early morning, back-room decision surfaced last week, the center has received the kind of national attention -- from media and political sources of all ideological stripes -- only winning a Pulitzer Prize might have generated. >More
 Republicans' budget a disaster for Wisconsin

State Republicans and lobbyists went into a back room to work out a budget deal this week, and guess who the big losers were? Yup. Ordinary Wisconsinites. The deal involved expanding school vouchers statewide, in exchange for a modest per-pupil spending increase for public school students. >More
 The UW tuition freeze is false populism

Why is it that the only thing state Republicans and Democrats can agree on is a bad idea? When the University of Wisconsin System was discovered to have a healthy, but not excessive, reserve account, legislators of both parties tripped over themselves calling for a tuition freeze that will last at least two years. When it comes to mindless pandering, we are all one party. >More
 The latest WEDC revelations help explain Wisconsin's poor performance

How much evidence do we need that Gov. Scott Walker's pro-corporate, anti-government rhetoric adds up to a whole lot of freebies for his cronies and absolutely nothing in terms of actually creating jobs? Not only is Wisconsin 44th in the nation for job creation, we are dead last in the Midwest. >More
 Keep the feds out of our schools!

Not everything worth doing should be done by the federal government. That may be the understatement of the millennium, but it's the key to understanding why the current push for "common core" standards in education is a bad idea. >More
 Right-wing groups have made Wisconsin their testing ground for school choice

Almost all conversation about schools is both highly personal and intensely local, as anyone who pays attention to Madison school news can attest. People get pretty worked up about issues like whether their neighbors are moving the kids out of the neighborhood school and whether our largely white, liberal community is neglecting the needs of African American and Latino youth. >More
 Good fun or good riddance? Two views of the Mifflin Street Block Party

It's spring, and you're 20 years old. You've just finished a busy semester. Final exams and papers are due in about a week. And soon you'll be packing up, leaving your friends and going home for the summer, back to a home that isn't really yours anymore. In fact, you don't really have a home. And you have no idea what you will do for the rest of your life or who you will spend it with. >More
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