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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

OPINION

Wisconsin's war on the poor

Walk into any Wisconsin convenience store during the day, and you're likely to come across a familiar scene. A thick, tattooed woman with a child in each arm plunks down $10 on Powerball tickets. A skeletal old man reeking of fortified wine spreads change out on the counter to try his luck at Megabucks millions. It is the Wisconsin state lottery, and it is state government's way of robbing the poor without having to use a gun. >More
 Wisconsin loses: The GOP budget shows its contempt for citizens

Reporters were jammed into a stuffy room in the Capitol on the afternoon of June 14, waiting for debate on a bill that would deprive public employees of their collective bargaining rights in the state budget. The hearing kept getting postponed. A heavily made-up Fox News reporter kept checking her hair and adjusting her microphone as 4 turned into 5. Finally, a reporter sitting beside me got a message that the Supreme Court had reversed the injunction on Scott Walker's original union-busting bill. It was now law. There was no need for the hearing. >More
 Goodbye to Bailey, and to Isthmus

The other day my wife, Linda, and I dug a hole on some land we own in Richland County and buried our dog Bailey. This was shortly after I decided to leave Isthmus, where I've worked for 25 years, to take a new job. The two events are not really related, but I'll likely always regard them as such, and not just because they happened around the same time. >More
 Defeating Walker and the GOP's agenda will require patient vigilance

We are Wisconsin and we are winning! I came up with that slogan for the March 5 rally at the state Capitol that featured Michael Moore. I believed it then. I still do. Optimism was easy to maintain back then, when the rallies were getting bigger week after week, despite the bitter cold. The national spotlight was on Madison. >More
 Mayor Sourpuss

On election night, April 5, I was covering Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg's non-victory party at the Edgewater Hotel. Around 10 p.m., the results of the Madison mayoral race flashed on a large-screen TV with no sound. Dave Cieslewicz was addressing his supporters, smiling and waving. Then there was Paul Soglin, standing glumly before a microphone, looking as though he had lost not just an election but a loved one. >More
 Brat or not? Or, How Johnsonville's links to politics make Bratfest questionable

Perhaps my strongest food memory of the protests so far is of the first night MSNBC host Ed Schultz set up a stage in the intersection of Pinckney and East Washington. People were there, in the crowd, handing out free brats. And they were good. We stood there, on national television, cheering and shouting, many of us brat-in-hand. It's only fair, then, that brats take center stage on Memorial Day weekend. >More
 Defending the Wisconsin budget repair bill

In the spirit of Bill Lueders' call to tone down "The Politics of Hate," let's take a moment to extend some peace and love -- or at least understanding -- to the most vilified person in our state, Gov. Scott Walker, and to the legislation that's stirred up the most hostility, the budget repair bill. >More
 How to destroy a school system

There is something horribly fascinating about watching Wisconsin Republicans discuss their plans for our state's school system. First, they swing the bloody ax: The biggest budget cuts to our public schools in state history, nearly $900 million. Kerchunk. >More
 Recall madness

In October of 1926, Manitowoc attorney I.J. Nash wrote a letter to the editor, urging his fellow citizens to reject a statewide constitutional amendment to allow the recall of public officials. Nash, the former Wisconsin state revisor of statutes, said such a constitutional provision would make Wisconsin the "laughingstock of the country." A recall proceeding, he warned, is "slow, conducted with passion, expensive, sets neighbor against neighbor... and convinces few that justice has been served." >More
 The politics of hate

The Republican Party of Dane County last week put out a press release condemning the recount, now taking place, of the April 5 state Supreme Court election. It demonstrates, though further evidence is hardly needed, how wildly unhinged from reality political claims have become. >More
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