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Blue Jean Nation "Gators don’t drain swamps" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Monday, 02 January 2017 09:19

donald-trumpPresident-elect Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” during his campaign, but his cabinet picks represent a who's who of billionaires, conservatives, and Wall Street insiders.


ALTOONA, WI - America’s president-elect famously promised to “drain the swamp.” Surrounding himself with alligators is a curious way of going about making good on that promise. Alligators like swamps.

Donald Trump hasn’t made all of his appointments yet, but the cast of characters he’s pulled together so far has more wealth between them than the poorest one-third of American households. That’s 17 men and women who have more money than 43 million families combined.

There’s oil tycoon Rex Tillerson. Trump wants Exxon Mobil’s chief executive in charge of international diplomacy as Secretary of State.

The “king of bankruptcy” Wilbur Ross is being put in line to become Commerce secretary. If Trump gets his way, Ross’s deputy at Commerce will be Todd Ricketts, the billionaire son of the billionaire founder of the brokerage firm Ameritrade.

Linda McMahon, the billionaire co-founder of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is being tabbed to head the Small Business Administration. McMahon is Trump’s biggest single political donor, having given $7.5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, which was more than a third of the money collected by the political action committee.

Betsy DeVos, the daughter-in-law of the founder of the home care and beauty product distributor Amway Corporation (since renamed “Quixtar”), is Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education. DeVos’s brother, Erik Prince, started the shadowy soldier-for-hire company known as Blackwater. Her qualifications to oversee the nation’s schools pretty much begin and end with her family’s lavish spending to push taxpayer-funded subsidies for private and religious schools. Anyone paying careful attention to elections in Wisconsin should be familiar with DeVos’s political handiwork. Her front group known as the American Federation for Children has poured more than $5 million into Wisconsin just since 2010 to sway state legislative races and cement legislative majorities favoring privatization of education.

Then there’s Goldman Sachs.

Trump told South Carolina voters “I know the guys at Goldman Sachs” when he was trying to talk them out of supporting Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

That was then. This is now. Trump picked Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to head up his White House National Economic Council. His choice for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs. Trump’s chief strategist and White House counselor, Steve Bannon, started his career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker.

Quite a crew being put to work draining the swamp. Alligators all of them.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:43
 
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign 'Shortfall!!!' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 11:22

wis-democracy-campaignAs we approach the end of 2016, our friends at the Democracy Campaign need your support to continue their good work.


MADISON - I hope you had a nice holiday weekend.

I’m back at work today, going over our fundraising figures for 2016, and I had hoped that we’d be further along than we are in meeting our budget, but I see that we’re $10,000 shy.

So if you and our other faithful supporters could send us a tax-deductible gift right now, we’d be in a much better position at the start of 2017 to throw our energies into the urgent task of defending our democracy, which is in peril both here in Wisconsin and now in the country. Note: Walker has actually been telling Trump to do to the country what Walker did to Wisconsin!

With your support, we’ll expose the corruption, the power grabs, and the dangerous policies, and we’ll campaign for a real democracy, where everyone has an equal voice and an equal chance.

You can send your tax-deductible gift electronically when you click here or you can mail it in, as I usually do with my own donations. Our street address is 203 S. Paterson St, Suite 100, Madison WI 53703.

I look forward to hearing from you in the next few days, and to working with you in the year ahead.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

****

The Democracy Campaign is working for a real democracy that allows the common good to prevail over narrow interests. We specialize in tracking the money in state politics and work for campaign finance reform and other democracy reforms. WDC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and charitable contributions supporting our work are fully tax deductible.

 
Looking Back on 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 19 December 2016 22:07

trump-clinton-debateSen. Kathleen Vinehout hopes to find common ground on the issues of concern to Wisconsinites. For the residents of the 31st Senate District, most of were related to water. People were also frustrated with the negativity of the past election cycle.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 10:40
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Blue Jean Nation 'We are better than this' PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 13:54

Franklin Delano RooseveltFDR and the greatest generation of WWII had the courage to expect freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear for the whole world. Today's Americans are just afraid.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 14:30
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'Making friends with discomfort' Blue Jean Nation PDF Print E-mail
Commentary - Commentary
Written by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation   
Friday, 09 December 2016 13:32

trump-ryanThose alarmed by the actions of the radical right are going to have to warm up to agitation and provocation. American now stands at a crossroads.


ALTOONA, WI - Several decades ago three young students journeyed through dusty rural California in hopes of meeting famed migrant farm worker organizer Cesar Chavez. Once they found Chavez, they sat with him and asked, “Cesar, how do you organize? ” Chavez replied, “well, first you talk to one person, then you talk to another person, then you talk to another person….”

The students assumed Chavez misunderstood their question and clarified that they wanted to know how mass movements are built. Chavez repeated, “first you talk to one person, then you talk to another.”

The key to making change is as elementary as Chavez’s secret of organizing.

It comes down to discomfort.

Comfortable people don’t move. They stay where they are because they are comfortable where they are. To make them move, they have to be made uncomfortable.

It’s like the basic law of physics . . . and object at rest will remain at rest, unless some force makes it move. A corrupt political establishment will stay corrupt and a failing political system will keep failing us, unless some force makes the powers-that-be change their ways.

That force is discomfort.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 December 2016 14:06
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