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June 17, 2021

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Photos: The NRA Takes Nashville

Three days in the center of gun country celebrating the Second Amendment – we saw big rifles, small handguns, Presidential candidates and so much more. Here’s a selection of photos from myself and Jeanne Devon of our time at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting – this year in Nashville, Tennessee.      

NRA Leaders Speechify – Aloha Akhbar?!

For a weekend conference designed to celebrate and protect Americans’ second amendment rights, the Leadership Conference at the annual convention of the National Rifle Association sounded a whole lot more like a fire and brimstone tent revival to quash the political aspirations of future Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana “The leader of the vast left wing conspiracy will be announcing her candidacy,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, during an unscheduled moment with the press before the event started. Jindal described this event in vague terms as an unholy alliance between big business and the Hollywood elite….

Ryan: Wisconsin Death Grip

Disasters befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils…  —“Wisconsin Death Trip” Having one candidate wreck your state’s brand—a matter of which we Alaskans can speak with authority—can be chalked up as an aberration. But four, in the space of two years? That’s a pattern. That’s critical mass….

Postmortem: Wisconsin, Obama & Elections

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, ‘Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument, Persuade my heart to this false perjury? —”Love’s Labour’s Lost,” William Shakespeare Madison, WI—Was it the money? Was it a weak candidate? Was it the President’s and DNC’s indifference? With Karl Rove and national Republicans dancing in the end zone, the soul searching and recriminations among Wisconsin progressives are now in full swing. The bulk of national commentary—including from generally sympathetic outlets like MSNBC and the NY Times—has generally been useless. And since we can have for more impact on what we do than on…

ALEC v. the Middle Class

By Thomas Dewar The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed corporations. —Thomas Jefferson ALEC is a dating service for state legislators and corporations. —Ed Muir, AFT Who Is ALEC? If you really want to know who and what is behind something in government, follow the money. It’s not a coincidence that the recent assault on workers and their unions occurred simultaneously in different states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and others. Or that, closer to home, there is now a war on Alaska’s public schools. Funded…

Voices from the Flats – Things We Do for Free

Things We Do for Free: An Open Letter to Russ Feingold Dear Russ, Today is the 60th and final day of signature collection in the effort to recall Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. This day marks a milestone in a historic victory for all of us, and for me personally in a huge way. I’m a United Wisconsin coordinator for Dane County and a grassroots organizer for the Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition (SPARC), a local progressive group. And I just finished the hardest political work I’ve ever done or thought I’d do. Yesterday was the final day of signature…

Don’t Mourn: Anger is an Energy, and Wisconsin is Furious.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?  On the surface, there’s not much to be happy about in Wisconsin right now.  So what have those crafty corporatists been up to during the last few days? (photos at end of post) The republican majority called an Extraordinary Session in order to pass a reprehensible budget with as little interference as possible. This budget is so one sided, it may as well be a Teahadist fantasy come to life. The budget puts in motion a plan to award $2.3 billion in tax breaks for corporations over the next decade, strips $834 million from already…

May Day in Madison -Sí, se puede! From the Perspective of a Second Generation Italian American.

by Patrick DePula It’s been a cold spring here in Madison.  Just about every rally I’ve been a part of, it seems to have been freezing, snowing and/or raining.  Surprisingly, the weather looked promising for the May Day, or International Workers Day, rally that would begin with speakers in Brittingham Park, involve a March to the State Capitol, and end with additional speakers on the Capitol steps.  Seemed like a great day to load my son Sal into the bike trailer and set out on a bit of an adventure. Before leaving the house, I decided to wear my Italian National…

Rotundaville and Other Updates from the Cheddar Revolution

Madison, Winsonsin – It’s a community called Rotundaville. It boasts a medical clinic/dispensary manned by capable folks who know first aid, a food preparation/pantry area, a communal charging station for electronics, its own Facebook page, and even a family respite center. It’s a village unto its own that functions 24 hours per day, under the persistently glowing lights inside the capitol dome. And it is home to an eclectic group of dedicated volunteers who care for the sick, provide food, coordinate cleaning crews, and most importantly, occupy this normally staid symbol of Wisconsin State government in protest of Governor Scott…

Boots on the Ground – Scott Walker Cuts the Cheese

Wisconsin’s Walker Cuts the Cheese A most powerful stench sponsored by Koch Industries, et al. By ‘Anonymous Cheesehead’ On Friday, February 11 an e-mail from Governor Scott was sent to me and 382,780* State of Wisconsin employees outlining Walker’s plan to address the state’s “very serious and undeniable financial challenges” including how Wisconsin “face[s] of budget deficit of $136.7 million” in the current fiscal year. (*Full and part-time employee data retrieved from the US Census Bureau.) Despite Wisconsin Club for Growth’s TV and radio ads depicting state employees as having an unfair advantage and gliding through the recession without sacrifice,…