You can almost always count on Republican presidential candidates to be united in their opposition to more taxes for the rich. But this time around, the 2012 field is standing lockstep behind a less traditional idea: the middle class pays too little in taxes.
Thanks to a strange convergence of conservative ideological trends since President Obama’s election, Republicans now are expected to protest the entire bottom half of taxpayers’ contributions as too stingy even while they proclaim Americans are “Taxed Enough Already.”
Hi, so I’m a sophomore at the utterly amazing Milwaukee High School of the Arts. At this school, we host about 1,000 students from all over the city — lots of us get reduced lunch and come from the not-so-well-off parts of the city, the vast majority of us are black and Hispanic — who all specialize in an art area. The art areas are dance, theatre, creative writing, music, and visual art. Everyone gets two hours of arts education. We are currently the best school in the Milwaukee Public School district yet we are so horribly under funded. The creative writing majors don’t have printing paper, the theatre majors need props, the music majors need strings for their instruments — and on top of that, we still have chalk boards up from the 1930’s, very few computers, and we don’t really have the privilege of having text books for our classes.
We entered the Glee Give a Note, in hopes of winning an unbelievable $50,000. The video was made by the students and is absolutely wonderful. It was made by the people I go to school with and I couldn’t be anymore proud to be a student at this school, which gives an outlet to art to people who may not have the outlet at home or anywhere else.
Voting started today and continues through November 7th. Just click this and press “vote.” You can vote once a day. And if you can, PLEASE spread this like wildfire. Reblogs are greatly appreciated. The students worked so hard on this video and we need this money. We just want others to care about the arts the way we do.
“Twenty to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, yet only 3 to 5 percent of the general population does the same. Shock was the first thing I felt when I heard this statistic, and then sadness that there are so many young people who are either thrown out of their homes or run away out of fear and despair because they are gay or transgender.”—
Special note to Milwaukeeans: Pathfinders is a phenomenal resource, and among the many services they offer are counseling, shelter, case management, and support programs for “runaway, throwaway, and homeless youth,” in addition to special housing services for LGBT young adults. It is one of my very favorite non-profit agencies in the city.
“Where do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”—Eleanor Roosevelt. She was born on this date in 1884.
“Scott Walker has spent his time in office grabbing political power and catering to corporate interests, not fighting for the middle class. Because of his actions, Scott Walker has rendered himself vulnerable to the one tool left for Wisconsin to hold him accountable — his recall.”—Mike Tate, Chair the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Tate will be on the Ed Schultz Show tonight to talk about the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s decision to throw its weight behind the effort to recall Scott Walker.
“There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.”—The New York Times, The Myth of Voter Fraud.
Until it was outlawed in 1989, “dwarf tossing” was a strange bar activity in Florida that involved drunk people throwing little people across taverns for fun. While it was outlawed because of obvious concerns about things like exploiting people and workplace safety, a Florida Republican now views this as “yet another example of government regulation getting in the way of job creation” and is trying to reinstate this activity.
“No baseball fan has to explain his mania to any other baseball fan. They are a fraternity. It is less easy, often it is hopeless, to try to explain it to anyone else. You grow technical, and you do not make sense. You grow sentimental, and you are deemed soft in the head. How, the benighted outsider asks you with no little condescension, can you grow sentimental about a cold-blooded professional sport?”—John Hutchens.
“This year there’s been a significant wave of new laws in states across the country that have the effect of cracking down on voting rights. It is the most significant rollback in voting rights in decades.”—Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice. After analyzing 19 laws that were passed and 2 executive orders that were issued in 14 states this year, the Brennan Center just released its outstanding study on these new voting restrictions.
“Milwaukee is a baseball town, by far the best in the major leagues. Baseball there is part of the civic personality, just as theaters are in New York, and motion pictures are in Los Angeles and culture used to be in Boston. It’s as personal a part of the town as beer. Under it and over it and beyond it is the impressive fact that everywhere you go people talk baseball. Baseball, like the weather, is part of the atmosphere. It serves to make going to a baseball game a real pleasure.”—Sports Illustrated article about baseball in Milwaukee, 1955.
Gov. Scott Walker’s chief spokesman has been granted immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation of the governor’s current and former aides, it was learned Friday.
Former Waukesha County Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the secret criminal probe, said he had granted immunity to three people, including Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Walker, in this part of the case. All three were given immunity several months ago, Nettesheim said.
Last year, Werwie joined Walker’s campaign after the September primary and stayed with it through the transition before joing the Walker administration in January.
“The Georgia pardon and parole board’s refusal to grant him clemency is appalling in light of developments after his conviction: reports about police misconduct, the recantation of testimony by a string of eyewitnesses and reports from other witnesses that another person had confessed to the crime. This case has attracted worldwide attention, but it is, in essence, no different from other capital cases. Across the country, the legal process for the death penalty has shown itself to be discriminatory, unjust and incapable of being fixed.”—The New York Times, A Grievous Wrong.
“If we really are a country that would rather kill potentially innocent people than accept the reality of doubt, I’m not sure we have much hope left.”—Emily Hauser for The Atlantic, Troy Davis and the Reality of Doubt.
Funding for Wisconsin Public Schools Slashed, While State Spending for Private Schools Increases
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has an outstanding piece on education funding and the influence of political donors.
Public schools in Wisconsin will have to make do with $800 million less from the state over the next two years, under the budget passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led Legislature. But state spending on programs that provide public dollars to private schools will see a net increase of nearly $17 million. And, for that, these private schools can thank Alice Walton [a resident of Texas] and her family.
Walton, the multi-billionaire heiress to father Sam Walton’s Walmart empire, was the largest individual contributor to successful state legislative candidates in the 2009-2010 election cycle that brought Republicans to power in Wisconsin…
But the Waltons’ contribution to the state’s choice program — which allocates tax dollars to private schools, most religiously affiliated — goes well beyond campaign contributions. The Walton Family Foundation is a major funder of School Choice Wisconsin, the state’s leading voucher advocate, and other state and national groups that play a role in school choice efforts in Wisconsin.
In just the past several months these efforts have produced major gains, including expanding school choice in Milwaukee and extending it to Racine. A vast and interconnected array of choice proponents, many from out of state, is changing the face of education in Wisconsin.
I absolutely recommend reading the entire article, which can be found here.
“It’s his vision and not a legislative compromise being crafted to garner some number of votes in the House and the Senate.”—Unnamed White House official, describing President Obama’s deficit plan. (via andrewgraham)