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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 52,919

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Milwaukee woman broke ground on gay marriage — in 1971


Donna Burkett made national news when she and the woman she loved applied for a marriage license in Milwaukee. Their trip to the courthouse was not this week, when the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Wisconsin and four other states that tried clinging to their bans.

It was back in 1971 and, as you might guess, it didn't go well. The two African-American women were trying to push open a door that would stay closed to gay and lesbian couples for decades more.

"I really didn't care what the law was. We knew what we wanted to do," Burkett said during an interview Monday at her downtown apartment. Burkett, then 25, and her partner at the time, Manonia Evans, 21, were turned away at the county clerk's office. They filed suit in federal court, seeking an order allowing them to marry. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 1972, citing a lawyer's failure to file written legal arguments.

They shouldn't even need to go to court, Burkett told a WTMJ television reporter at the time, adding, "It is already a given right through the Constitution." On Saturday, Burkett, 68, will receive an "everyday courage" award from the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center at its Big Night Out Cabaret at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to mark National Coming Out Day.

Wisconsin: Rightwing Groups Try to Stamp Out Local Union Contracts


A rightwing legal group is suing the school district, school board, and teacher’s union in Madison, Wisconsin, for honoring a labor contract negotiated before the state supreme court upheld Governor Scott Walker’s divisive Act 10 law, ending most collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

The plaintiff in the suit is blogger David Baska, who asserts that he is personally harmed, as a taxpayer, by a union contract that protects teachers’ wages, benefits, and working conditions. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), the legal arm of the rightwing Bradley Foundation, filed the suit, after successfully suing the school district of Kenosha, Wisconsin, on similar grounds.

Around the same time the suit was filed, Governor Scott Walker blasted his opponent, Mary Burke, for supporting the teachers' contract as a member of the Madison school board, instead of using Act 10 to hold down costs.

The lawsuits in Madison and Kenosha show how aggressive the coordinated rightwing assault on labor rights in Wisconsin has been.

More at the link. The Bradley Foundation makes the Koch brothers look like liberal crusaders.

Wisconsin: Walker and Burke to meet for debate in Eau Claire Oct. 10


The 2014 gubernatorial debates between Governor Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke will be held on October 10 at 7 p.m. in Eau Claire and on October 17 in Milwaukee, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation.


"Political debates provide excellent opportunities for voters to hear directly from the candidates, and I am looking forward to holding spirited and thoughtful discussions regarding the future of Wisconsin," said Governor Walker.

"Thank you to WBAF for hosting these important debates about the future of our state. I look forward to a robust discussion about the challenges we face, and how Wisconsin can do better," said Mary Burke.

The moderators and panelists were agreed to by the WBA members in each of the two media markets. In Eau Claire, the debate will be held on October 10 at 7 p.m. in the Mayo Auditorium. The moderator will be Jill Geisler. The panelists include Eau Claire's Own Keith Edwards, along with Judy Clark from WEAU, Mike Thompson from WKBT and Shawn Johnson from Wisconsin Public Radio. WBAF President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind will provide the opening and closing remarks. The debate will be an hour in length.

**WXOW will be live streaming the debate on wxow.com

Wisconsin: Cast your vote for Democrats on Tuesday, November 4!

from my email ...

Please share the following information with your friends, family and neighbors.

Vote for our local and state Democratic candidates and help save Wisconsin from another disastrous Walker term!

Check out the websites of our outstanding line-up of candidates:
• Mary Burke for Governor
• Susan Happ for Attorney General
• Dean DeBroux for State Senate
• Joe Majeski for Assembly
• Tammy Sternard for Sheriff

Do you have questions on our new Voter ID Law or how to register to vote in Wisconsin?

Click here for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's video guide to voting in Wisconsin.
Click here for the non-video version

Do you need a ride to the polls on election day? Call Garrett Cohn at 920-559-2557

How bad have the policies of Scott Walker been for the state of Wisconsin?

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature are obsessed with making women's healthcare decisions for them. (This includes everything from deciding who gets birth control to who gets cancer screenings). Yet Walker and his cohorts show no desire to regulate mens' healthcare decisions in the same way. Welcome to Scott Walker's version of the Republican War on Women!

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Are impeding women’s ability to make choices about their own general and reproductive health care

FACT: Scott Walker took office in 2011. Since then, at least 11 policy changes through 8 laws have been passed that limit women’s access to sex education, birth control, cancer screening, and abortion services.

FACT: The mandate of a medically unnecessary ultrasound in the first trimester requires an invasive transvaginal ultrasound to produce adequate images. (Senate Bill 206)

FACT: Walker Republican legislation reduces access to safe and legal abortion by forcing the closure of 50% of Wisconsin’s 4 abortion facilities, and criminalizing doctors who rely on best practice to care for their patients but do not have hospital admitting privileges.

FACT: Wisconsin is now ranked among the nine worst states for reproductive rights. Wisconsin shares the dubious distinction with Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas, Indiana and Kansas.

FACT: Restricting access to abortion makes abortion more dangerous and puts women’s health and lives at risk. Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature have cut funding to our local schools and have given our tax dollars to private, unaccountable, corporate-run schools.

FACT: Only 17% of voucher school students outperformed public schools, 37 % did significantly worse, and the remaining 46% were no better. Milwaukee voucher students perform WORSE in state tests than their public school peers. (Stanford University study) Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature voted to remove 87,000 Wisconsin families from BadgerCare. At the same time, they DID NOT vote to remove themselves from taxpayer funded healthcare (WHICH INCLUDES DENTAL & VISION CARE).

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Refusal to participate in the federal health care exchanges has driven up the cost of health care plans for individuals.

FACT: In Minnesota, where the state government created a state exchange, the premiums are as low as half as they are in Wisconsin. Read more...

Scott Walker and his Republican legislature gave out-of-state corporations REGULATORY POWER over Wisconsin towns and villages.

WALKER REPUBLICANS WANT: To bar local government control and decisions protecting air and water quality

FACT: Wisconsin is the nation’s No. 1 producer of sand used in fracking. There are currently at least 115 permitted or operational frac sand mines and processing plants in Wisconsin. A proposed Republican bill restricts local governments’ authority over roads and traffic and the use of explosives, as well as their ability to regulate air or water quality related to nonmetallic mines. The bill would also prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from establishing nonmetallic mining reclamation standards relating to water quality or air quality that are more restrictive than existing state laws. Read more...

Walker Republicans voted to give Scott Walker authority to sell any state asset, at any price, to any corporate entity or individual - WITHOUT BIDS! This includes the state capital.

WALKER REPUBLICANS: Want to sell publicly owned buildings and assets (like the Capitol building and University power plants) to private corporations and individuals

FACT: Walker Republicans authorized the sale or lease of any state owned heating, cooling or power plant, with or without the solicitation of competitive bids.

FACT: Selling heating plants to private interests could stick the state with higher costs when it buys back output from the plants. The sale of these facilities would saddle the state with higher day-to-day costs because the state would have to contract with the buyers of the plants to heat and cool University of Wisconsin campuses, prisons and health institutions. Read more...

Democratic challenger Mary Burke hits Scott Walker on his failed promise of job creation in Wisconsin

More examples of Gov. Walker's "trail of tears" for the people of Wisconsin and morw failures on job creation

Please spread the word and help the Democratic Party of Door County elect Wisconsin Democrats on November 4th.

Ready to volunteer to spread the word? Contact us today.
Call Garrett Cohn at 920-559-2557 or via email: gucohn@gmail.com

Thanks for your help!

Total lunar eclipse here right now. Too cool for school!

Been watching for the past 90 minutes. Best I've seen in my 66 years. Not a cloud in the sky.

The second in a rare set of four lunar eclipses will be visible across most of North America.


Viewing Guide: Watch Blood Moon During Total Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday
The second in a rare set of four lunar eclipses will be visible across most of North America.

There's a "blood moon" on the rise. This week the moon will disappear for the second time in 2014, in a total eclipse early Wednesday morning. Lunar eclipses happen when the sun, moon, and Earth are aligned just right for Earth's shadow to cover the moon—and turn it a ruddy hue.

"It's rare and an awesome spectacle to look at," says Ben Burress, an astronomer at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. "Cultures in the past often feared eclipses, thinking that something bad was happening," he says. "But now with those fears removed by scientific understanding of what's going on, that leaves only enjoyment."


The eclipse begins with the partial phase, when the moon enters Earth's dark shadow (also called the umbra shadow). That begins at 2:15 a.m. PDT (5:15 a.m. EDT). Then the umbral shadow will spread across the moon's disk, moving from left to right.

At 3:25 a.m. PDT (6:25 a.m. EDT) totality begins, when the moon is fully engulfed in the umbral shadow and turns a shade of orange red. The deepest or midpoint of the eclipse will be at 3:55 a.m. PDT, and totality continues until 4:24 a.m. PDT. The last phase of the partial eclipse ends at 5:34 a.m. PDT.

Can we stop pretending?

Wisconsin: Have Republicans limited early voting too?


Wisconsin Republicans: “Sure. Get voter ID info out. You need money for ads? WHAT?!”


The heads of the Legislature’s budget committee told the state elections agency late Friday to go ahead with a public information campaign to tell voters they need a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, to vote on Nov. 4. But they also canceled Tuesday’s meeting where the committee was to consider the Government Accountability Board’s request for the release of $460,800 to fund the public service announcements. GAB spokesman Reid Magney said Friday the agency will discuss on Monday whether it can move forward with the campaign without committee action.”

Go to the original article – HERE – to get more info. including Scott Fitzgerald’s quote about how some Republicans think “that’s a lot of money to spend on trying to inform people” given that the voter ID has been in the press a lot (and nevermind that some newspaper and TV coverage really don’t substitute for a professional public information campaign and nevermind that the original bill assumed that not only money but EIGHT MONTHS of time was needed for a focused informational campaign).

And since 1 in 5 “likely” and registered Wisconsin voters has no clue about this voter ID stuff (as measured by that recent Marquette U. poll) here’s some VOTER ID INFO:

For college students (from Common Cause)

For everybody (from League of Women Voters/ACLU)

Wisconsin: Walker increasingly surrenders his jobs hype in favor of misogyny


Philosophically, objectively and to some extent strategically, Walker -- the self-proclaimed Wisconsin tea-party original -- already has lost, and Democratic challenger Burke already has won. That's because Walker's "we're creating jobs" meme hasn't gained traction, thanks in part to Burke ads pointing out his dismal performance over the past four years. Those ads of course are accompanied by plenty of objective facts confirming that same dismal result.

So, Team Walker lately has downplayed the jobs issue in his advertising. Instead he is swiping themes from amazingly misogynistic GOP campaigns in other states. He continues to frequently run the "plagiarism" ad questioning Burke's ethics even while the ad unethically lies about her. New reports indicate we should expect to see another ad for Walker in which shopping for a wedding dress is a metaphor for choosing between candidates. Hey, it could have been about shopping for a jock strap, so no misogyny there! Meanwhile, a new Walker campaign ad has a well-known, female domestic-violence survivor portraying Walker as a champion of women under duress. The ad ignores the larger backdrop that Walker has worked hard in other ways to put women in duress by restricting access to birth control, fighting abortion rights and signing a repeal of the state's equal-pay law that would have brought women workers more in line with male salaries. And let's not forget Governor Ultrasound's eager signing into law that physically invasive, unnecessary and intentionally intimidating mandate.


Walker continues working to cement support among male voters -- especially misogynistic white males who like guns and who like earning higher pay than women for the same kind of work. Helping with the former voter type is a massive National Rifle Association ad campaign across the state to help sell those guys on Walker's gun-centric policies. The NRA ads endorse Walker, noting he has backed Wisconsin's lurch toward concealed-carry laws, castle-doctrine permissiveness to shoot pretty much anyone who seems threatening, and opposition to a 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.


As fellow blogger Jud Lounsbury noted earlier here at UppityWis, Walker said when running for governor four years ago that job creation was the overriding issue in Wisconsin and that he would be judged on that and pretty much that alone. Now, after making a hard ad run at portraying himself as successful in that effort -- a claim that has essentially failed beyond his hard-core base -- he's turning to misogyny and "defend your freedom" themes. Clearly Team Walker is intent on keeping men in the fold, while hoping to peel off a few more women voters here or there.
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