Preachers, especially those of a fundamentalist stripe, like to use the technique of “us and them” to convey a point. It fits so well with the black-and-white, good-and-evil world they inhabit while making their constituents feel superior or special.
Mike Huckabee, in his latest book, calls them residents of “bubbleville” or “bubbaville” to separate the wine drinkers from the beer drinkers or everyday folk from the eastern elites, as if such a division actually exists.
I agree Governor! Let’s Make Public Schools “Whole”
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“Our number one priority gotta to be make (sic) sure that we make K-12 schools, public education in the state, a priority to make sure they’re held whole,” said Governor Walker on April 23rd, as quoted by Wisconsin Radio Network.
I agree, Governor! Let’s make public schools “whole.”
In a recent late night session, the state’s budget writing committee took up public school funding. Many advocates expected a turnaround in the governor’s proposed funding for local schools. Instead folks got a big surprise: lots of changes asked for by private school lobbyists. Not so for public schools.
Last night was another of those "monster rears its head in the middle of the night" events in Wisconsin. The JFC has opened yet another chapter in their "Little Golden Book of Bad Ideas" and have created a new school funding monster.
Where to start? It's another one of those "we'll take away a gazillion dollars from the schools, then give some back so we'll look good" moments. Only the amount they give back is nearly impossible to determine. New school funding formulas confuse the issue. People with a bachelor's degree in - well, anything - get to be teachers. Expanded vouchers confuse the issue. And a new absolutely crazy idea to take over "failing" schools by a school czar in the Milwaukee County Government perhaps takes the cake as the worst idea to come out of the legislature yet. Wisconsin education is recently subject to a lot of give and take, but take seems to be winning by a landslide.
The new school takeover plan not only allows Milwaukee County to usurp power over schools, but it also potentially expands the scheme to "failing" schools in Racine and Madison. It seems the legislature is hell-bent to privatize schools at any cost, and to not even consider programs to improve what we already have. And the impact on the schools and taxpayers in the state? They don't really care.
If only the monster they were creating was as friendly as the one here. He actually cared about kids. Please note that there are two meetings in Milwaukee tonight to fight this - they're in the site calendar. If you want to know more, i've provided a link to a great blow-by-blow of this at Monologues of Dissent, as well as a link to the bill. Read 'em and weep.
Now that our governor has visited -- several - foreign countries, he is proclaiming himself the candidate with foreign policy experience. Unlike, say, Hillary Clinton who has never been out of the house much because she's a woman, after all.
In that light I would like to offer up a little mnemonic for Scott Walker. This will help him to remember what proper US Foreign Policy really is. As always, Tom Lehrer has a solution for everything.
Audit Affirms Complaints but also Satisfaction with Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
Last April I wrote about many complaints I received concerning rides to medical appointments for folks in BadgerCare and other Medicaid programs.
People complained drivers didn’t show up, rides were late, drivers didn’t arrive for the return trip home and – at least in one case – the heater did not work in a van taking an elderly woman for her dialysis appointment.
Often patients were told no drivers were available. But local transportation companies told me they were not getting enough business. Local drivers thought the St. Louis-based contractor, Medical Transportation Management, Inc. (MTM) favored a few large companies over small local ones. MTM is the statewide Non-Emergency Medical Transportation ‘broker’ the state hired to arrange rides for eligible patients.
As expected the US Supreme Court has rejected the lawsuit brought forth to halt the John Doe II investigation permanently. The state Supreme Court will now hand down rulings on the multiple suits before it on the John Doe probe. Rulings on these cases are expected this summer.
Separated at birth: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial writers and Sen. Ron Johnson. At least it looked that way reading Sunday's newspaper. Note the oddly similar constructions in the news pages and the editorial pages regarding former Sen. Russ Feingold's decision to run against Johnson next fall (boldfacing added):
1. News story: "Russ Feingold is a career politician," Johnson said in his speech. "He's addicted to it... ."
This morning Russ Feingold announced that he is running against Ron Johnson for US Senator. This isn't a big surprise since there have been indications over the last few month that he is running. Good luck to Russ in the upcoming election - you have the support of progressives throughout the state.
The Uppity Fund 2016 donation pool will be set up and running within the next few weeks, so you'll be able to donate to Russ and other progressive candidates right here.
A few minutes ago Judge Ismael Ozanne ruled that officer Matt Kenny will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Tony Robinson. Looking distinctly nervous during the press conference, Ozanne first spoke to the issue that racial discrimination is still a serious issue in law enforcement in this country, and discussed the events leading up to the shooting and the evidence that he used in coming to his decision.
This perhaps softened the blow of the decision in a community that has been very concerned about this shooting since it happened. There will certainly be marches and protests over the next several days, including a scheduled march tonight. Here at Uppity Wisconsin we ask you to please help to make these marches peaceful and respectful to all - there's no point in any escalation of violence in this truly sad case.
Greetings! You are cordially invited to a public deliberation on the future of UW-Extension on May 27 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at 212 River Dr., Wausau. We need your help to look ahead 10 to 15 years and answer the question: What will the next generation of Wisconsin residents need and want from University of Wisconsin-Extension? This is one of multiple public forums being held across the state. Your input, along with that of hundreds of other stakeholders, will be shared with UW-Extension and UW System leaders and will contribute to our long-range planning. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Connie Nikolai at 715-261-6368 or [email protected]
Citizens Invited to State Budget Town Hall Meeting
Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Representatives Chris Danou and Dana Wachs continue to host Town Hall Meetings across the 31st Senate District regarding the proposed 2015-17 State Budget. The Town Hall Meetings provide an opportunity for citizens to learn more about the proposed state budget and offer feedback to their legislators.
The lawmakers noted the budget will have significant impact on schools, roads, local services and natural resources. They urge the public to come, learn, and offer input related to the important decisions being made in Madison that will affect communities in western Wisconsin for years to come.
Sen. Vinehout and Rep. Danou will host the following Town Hall Meetings:
DATE TIME LOCATION
May 23 9:30am-11:30am Cochrane Village Hall
(Saturday) 101-103 5th Street – COCHRANE
(DIRECTIONS: Turn into Cochrane at 5th street off Hwy 35 right by the LaCrosse Milling area. Right across the tracks look for the second building on the right - that's the Village Hall.)
May 27 6:30pm-8:30pm Arcadia High School – Auditorium
(Wednesday) 756 Raider Drive – ARCADIA
June 2 6:30pm-8:30pm The Roger Marten Community Center
(Tuesday) 120 South Franklin Street – MONDOVI
Sen. Vinehout will be joined by Rep. Dana Wachs at two Town Hall Meetings in Eau Claire on May 26th.
DATE TIME LOCATION
May 26 11:30am-1:00pm LE Phillips Senior Center – Dining Room
(Tuesday) 1616 Bellinger Street – EAU CLAIRE
6:30pm-8:30pm LE Phillips Memorial Public Library – Eau Claire Room
WAVE Educational Fund & The Center for American Progress invite you to
New Approaches to Preventing Gun Violence
With Special Guest
James L. Santelle, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
Please RSVP as soon as possible; space is limited. Note, lunch will be provided, and there is no cost for your participation. You may register by clicking this link:
For more information, please contact Heidi Rose at (414) 351-9283 or email [email protected]
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Tripoli Shrine Center, 3000 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
Outgoing state Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate will preview the upcoming state Democratic Party convention, talk about the race to succeed him, and review the Scott Walker presidential effort.
Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost; $19 for program and buffet luncheon.
Pre-registration required: Contact The Madison Club at (608) 255-4861 or by email: [email protected]