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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


I am not the enemy: A Wisconsin teacher considers Walker's budget

I am a second-year teacher. I work in a rural school district in Wisconsin. Many of my students come from poor families. Some of them live in the trailer park near our school or down the street in the subsidized apartments. A significant percentage get free or reduced lunch. This winter, we provided snow pants and coats to children whose families couldn't afford them. The people who live here are hard workers and proud. >More
 Protests won't stop Walker's assault on Wisconsin's public employee unions

My editor called me a short while ago to discuss how Isthmus can cover the coming days of protests over Gov. Scott Walker's effort to break the back of the state's public employee unions. Of course we have to do so, as these are major news events; but my feeling is that these rallies are a colossal waste of everybody's time, and exactly the reaction Gov. Walker hopes to inspire. >More
 Marty Beil's politics of division

As the nation endeavors to usher in an era featuring a "new tone" in politics, AFSCME's Marty Beil thinks the old tone suits him just fine, thank you. In December, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker shocked his Democratic colleagues by voting against a last-minute attempt to ram through 19 public employee union contracts. Beil, the executive director of AFSCME Council 24, representing state workers, responded by calling Decker a "whore." >More
 Tim Cooley's exit reflects ongoing struggle over mayoral control

In government, bad news often comes on Friday afternoons, in hopes it will be lost in the weekend shuffle. So it was telling that as the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend began on Jan. 14, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's office released economic development director Tim Cooley's resignation letter -- a mere two weeks' notice. >More
 Why 4-K is a good idea

Mary was four years old when she entered the pre-kindergarten program in Marshall. Her parents were struggling with her behavior. She had a significant speech delay. She didn't like snuggling with them. She didn't want to read books. And she refused to let her parents touch her hair. "What are we doing wrong?" her parents wondered. >More
 Let's get even bolder

Gov. Scott Walker has promised to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin by the end of his first term, a bold pledge that requires a bold plan. So bold, in fact, that Walker has said a plan drafted by business interests last year called "Be Bold: The Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy" is not bold enough. >More
 The push to end free speech

For 220 years it has stood inviolate. Since George Washington's presidency, the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution has inspired the world as the written guarantee of Americans' personal freedoms. Now some folks think it's time to rewrite that dysfunctional scrap of paper. A nationwide coalition active here in Madison is working to affix a big fat asterisk on the First Amendment so as to deny its guarantee of free speech to those with whom coalition members disagree. >More
 Dreading the Scott Walker era

Over the holidays, I took my kids to the Governor's Mansion to meet Jim Doyle. It's not that I was ever a big Doyle fan. But when I got the annual holiday party invite, which I had ignored for years, I was suddenly motivated to RSVP. I wanted my daughters to get inside the building and see the leader of their state before the door slams shut on the era of even moderately progressive government in Wisconsin. >More
 2010 was a year of two-word messages and single-digit salutes

As we've all seen, music can perfectly capture the zeitgeist of an age. Bob Dylan's early folk songs represented a time of social upheaval; two decades later, heavy metal encapsulated the vulgar opulence of the 1980s. One of this year's most popular songs, as measured by YouTube plays, was an Internet-propelled ditty in which Cee Lo Green used an unambiguous two-word phrase to invite the listener to copulate. It was a crude yet apposite representation of our present state of politics. >More
 Madison needs to embrace the future with a different mindset

In the mid-1990s, the Common Council's finance committee met behind closed doors to consider the city's economic offer to keep the expanding medical software company Epic Systems in Madison. "The emphasis was on following our [subsidy] rules and practices," recalls one attendee, former Ald. Judy Olson. "There was no one there to advocate for the jobs we stood to lose." She says the city's leaders seemed to have no idea of Epic's immense potential. >More
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