A step toward ending the pot war

Written by The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan Tuesday, 19 May 2015 08:34

Lives wasted. Billions spent. The decriminalization of marijuana isn't merely right-minded social policy. It's the fiscally conservative thing to do.

Legislation to make possession of up to 15 grams on par with a traffic ticket breezed through the Illinois Senate Criminal Law Committee earlier this month, on its way to the floor. Urban Democrats propelled it through the House this past week. But Republicans, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, and rural Democrats, are doing all they can to stall the march toward reasonable permissiveness. 

Rubio's race to embrace inequality

Written by Jim Patterson,
Special to WiG
Saturday, 09 May 2015 09:11

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is officially in the 2016 race for the GOP presidential nomination. The inevitable campaign book has also hit the market.

My copy of Rubio’s "American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone" arrived a few weeks ago. Rubio, in his first term in the U.S. Senate, is also author of The New York Times bestseller "An American Son."

Refuse faith-based discrimination

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 22:10

As religious leaders from bountiful and diverse faith communities, we are concerned with the recent flood of state-level religious refusal bills that have potentially harmful and unintended consequences for the people we serve.

As people of faith who have embraced God’s free will as a gift to us all, we have great respect for the religious freedom of all Americans.

Remaking politics by the seat of our pants

Written by Mike McCabe,
Saturday, 25 April 2015 06:39

American democracy is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Most Americans are feeling fed up with the Republicans and let down by the Democrats — with good reason. Both major parties are failing the country. Yet a third party isn’t the answer. Like it or not, America has a two-party system.

So how do we get regular people back in the driver’s seat of our government when both major parties are catering to a privileged few at the expense of everyone else.

Public Citizen: 'Fast-track' train went off the rails

Written by Lori Wallach Wednesday, 13 May 2015 07:33

The "fast track" train went off the rails. The U.S. Senate vote was supposed to generate momentum for fast track in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it’s in deep trouble, with almost every House Democrat and a significant bloc of GOP opposing it.

The only reason to upend the required procedures for a “revenue bill” and bring up fast track in the Senate first was to get a huge victory to build momentum in the House.

On the record:
Quotes from the news, May 7, 2015

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:07

“Something came over me emotionally, and I said ‘Well, I owe you an apology.’ I’ve never in a million years apologized for anything I’ve said. F**k anyone else who is offended. I don’t give a shit.”

— LOUIS C.K. telling Howard Stern that he apologized to Sarah Palin at February’s Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special for his nasty tweets about her.

Veterans for Peace: Withdraw Maryland National Guard from Baltimore

Written by Veterans for Peace Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:07

Veterans For Peace would like to extend our condolences to the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Black man who died in police custody from a fatal spinal cord injury. The loss of a child under any circumstance is tragic. However, losing a child to violence adds a deeper pain.

Veterans For Peace stands with the family and the people of Baltimore in their call for peace and non-violent change. As veterans who know war and the horror it brings, we know that violence only serves to cause more violence. Those who are most vulnerable are caught in the crossfire of violence, disrupting lives and destroying families. Violence is like a virus that escalates and spreads. It can easily spiral out of control into a dark morass of death. Knowing this, because we have participated in it, we call on all parties to take a step back and search for non-violent means to address the tensions in Baltimore and around the nation.

Fight against Walker budget cuts

Written by Jamakaya,
Friday, 24 April 2015 10:36

The state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is vetting Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts to the UW System, environmental protections and services for the elderly and disabled.

Supporting the Young, Gifted & Black Coalition in Madison

Written by Community Response Team Statement Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:14

In the aftermath of Paul Heenan’s shooting on Nov. 9, 2012, a group of residents from the Madison community, former and current law enforcement officers, representatives from social service agencies, mental health experts and academics formed a group that called itself the Community Response Team.

We were deeply shaken by the police culture, policy and training that led to the actions taken that night and that continued throughout the year. We worked tirelessly to examine the culture, motives, policies, management, and incentives that led, not only to Paul Heenan’s fatal shooting, but to the damaging and dysfunctional communication from the Madison Police Department to the community after his death.

The fruits of ‘divide-and-conquer’ politics

Written by Jamakaya,
Friday, 08 May 2015 09:01

Conservatives have turned middle and lower classes against themselves.

The right wing is on a roll in this country and most certainly in Wisconsin, where divide-and-conquer tactics are working effectively to alienate citizens from each other. 

Unlimited: The story of financing political campaigns in the post-Citizens United universe

Written by Bill Lueders. Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism Tuesday, 28 April 2015 18:56

Once upon a time in America, there were limits on how much people or groups could spend to influence an election. Now those limits are gone, as shown by the big-money apparatus forming to back Republican presidential aspirant Gov. Scott Walker.

Lessons of Lincoln’s death unlearned

Written by Jamakaya,
Thursday, 09 April 2015 14:09

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, a stunning series of events altered the course of American history.