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Middle Wisconsin News - October 2012

Middle Wisconsin News - October 2012

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Published by: Middle Wisconsin on Oct 01, 2012
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Information Technology Solutions
Middle Wisconsin
October 1, 2012
October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Feasting at Bob Fest . . . . . . 2
Working Wisconsin . . . . . . . 4
The 47 Percent . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Thinking Strategically . . . . . . 6
Child Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
 American Education . . . . . .10
Tax Pledge Cult . . . . . . . . . 11
Out With The Big . . . . . . . . .12
Spaceship Earth . . . . . . . . . 13
Wealth and Money . . . . . . . 14
Election Integrity . . . . . . . . . 16
Challenging the Myth . . . . . .19
Budget for All . . . . . . . . . . . .20
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
It is October in Wisconsin and the glorious colors of fall surround us. Seasonedveterans of the north woods still lose their breath at the beauty each autumn.Words cannot describe the gifts bestowed upon us by Mother Nature. Let us honor her by renewing our commitment to fairness and respect, and a growing under-standing that we are all members of the same human and natural communities. Letus care for one another and for our miraculous Spaceship Earth.
Middle Wisconsin Newswelcomes letters, articlesand essays on relevant top-ics. We ask that you limitsubmissions to 800 wordsand provide sources whenappropriate. Submissionsmay be edited for length,clarity and taste. Emailedsubmissions should be sentin plain text or MicrosoftWord attachments to:dave@middlewisconsin.org
Information Technology Solutions
How would you like to spend the day with Phil Donahue, Ed Garvey, Bill McKibben, JimHightower, Mahlon Mitchell, and John Nichols? We progressives did just that. We feastedon a day of fun, music and progressive talk in Madison for the 11
annual Fighting Bob Festin honor of Robert Lafollette. Master of Ceremonies Ed Garvey advised us take the big longview of the progressive movement. Walk the walk and plan to carry Bob Fest throughout thestate as well as neighboring states.
Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of 
The Capital Times
, challenged us to convince the uncon-vinced and to convert the unconverted. Ruth Conniff, co
chair of Bob Fest and the politicaleditor of 
The Progressive
reminded us that Democrats need Progressives to win.
Songs were led by The Ragin’ Grannies, Ken Lonnquist, Peter Leidy and Eric Schubring.The Singers who sing at the State Capitol each noon led us in song. On November 6, theywill make their 500
The progressive movement has become a way of life. Mahlon Mitchell reminded us of that.He talked of his commitment to the 3 C’s: community, coalitions and common sense.A new speaker for me was Buddy Roemer of Louisiana. He is a former four 
term congress-man and governor of Louisiana. He was a Democrat for 20 years and then a Republican for 20 years. He knows that both parties are “joined at the billfold.”
 Now in his retirement, he is directing the ReformProject.org to get special
interest money outof politics. The first step is campaign reform and full disclosure of money in politics. Thereshould be 48
hour reporting of contributions. There should be criminal consequences for  breaking this kind of law. Super Pacs need to be outlawed. There should be public funding of campaigns. He has many more helpful insights. Buddy Roemer reminded us that nothing in politics will change until elections are free again and the politicians are free to lead. Buddy believes that we will bring reform through the use of technology and by the power of the peo- ple. Learn more at ReformProject.org.
Jim Hightower appeared in his cowboy hat. He said, “No matter how cynical you get, it’simpossible to keep up” (with all the scandals). He told the story of the lobbyist who offeredthe Senator $200 for his vote. The next day the Senator voted against the lobbyist’s bill. Thelobbyist demanded, “Why did you vote against my bill?”
The Senator replied, “The other side offered me $400. You knew I was weak when I took your $200.” Hightower reminded us that the progressive fight is on the grass
roots level. Weneed to help President Obama win, so we can continue to fight progressive battles.
The Mayor of Madison, Paul Soglin, came to the podium. “Do you want a welcome
city speech or a content speech?” We yelled, “Content.” So Mayor Soglin said that two mis-takes the Democrats make: they take reactionary stands and they embrace a Republican agen-da.
Middle Wisconsin
October 1, 2012
Page 2
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
By Virginia Kirsch
“A quote from
Jus-tice LouisBrandeis
: "Wemay have democra-cy, or we may have wealth concentratedin the hands of afew, but we can'thave both." Add thatprofound quote toLaFollette, who ar-gued that "there istoo much power intoo few hands." Ican't think of a bet-ter way to start this,ourFighting BobFest #11than tospend some timethinking about those
two quotes.”
- - Ed Garvey 
A newcomer to Bob Fest was Mike Papantonio, an American attorney and radio talk showhost. He co
hosts Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F.Kennedy, Jr., and Sam Seder. He was very impressed with Bob Fest, the concept and the par-ticipants. He told us we don’t need a savior. We are IT. “The best of the best of the USAlook to Wisconsin for progressive action.” Comments such as this throughout the day encour-aged me greatly.
Another newcomer for me was Greg Palast. He is an award
winning reporter for BBC Tele-vision and the Guardian of London. His extraordinary reports have been front page news inEurope, yet blocked out of mainstream media in the United States. He talked of groups too big to fail, but not too big for jail. His new book is
 Billionaires and Ballot Bandits (how to steal an election).
 Next came Dr. Phil Donahue, the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show, which had a 26
year run on U.S. national television. He is a strong critic of war and is in demand as a speak-er across the country. He told wonderful stories of acceptance and diversity. “Keep on keep-ing on! Hold on to courage! Climb the Wall of Apathy and Get on the Road to Peace. Begrateful!”
Dr. Jill Stein, a 62
old internist from Massachusetts, is the Green Party’s 2012 presiden-tial candidate. She is a mother, physician, author and a pioneering environmental
health ad-vocate. She advocates a “Green New Deal,” modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s social programs. Her version would create 25 million jobs in clean energy, environmental and trans- portation fields. She advised us to stop voting our fears. Silence is not effective. Use your  politics of courage.
Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, author, and journalist, who has written on the impact of global warming. He has authored a dozen books about the environment. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 coun-tries since 2009. He is known as the planet’s “best green journalist.
He told us the good news that people are starting to fight back. “It is possible to stand upagainst corporations with passion, spirit and creativity.” But time is short. We need to domore.
The day ended with John Nichols, editor for The Capital Times. He also writes for The Na-tion magazine on national politics. This spirited speaker does not allow one to stay seated.During his speech we were standing and cheering. He truly gave us a Pep Talk for Wiscon-sin. He reviewed the successes of the past 19 months: 1. renewed a labor movement to fightagainst corporations, 2. inspired ALEC exposure, 3. inspired Ohio to overturn its union re- pression. In the last election, 61% of Ohioans voted to protect labor rights, 4. In the June 5election, a people’s movement removed a Republican Senator from the Wisconsin Senate, 5.On September 14, the judge struck down Gov. Walker’s anti
union law. He continued,“Democracy is a way of life. You don’t get to stop fighting.”
Middle Wisconsin
October 1, 2012
Page 3
© 2011Middle Wisconsin
BOB FEST Continued . . .

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