Go Back To Africa

Go back to Africa…a little bit if vitriol that should never have survived into the 21st Century.

Go back to Africa…something I wouldn’t be writing about except it’s being re-voiced by supporters of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Go back to Africa…being said to people whose ancestors have been Americans for generations…in most cases far longer than the familial lines of the racists who are shouting it.

Go back to Africa…go back to what? these people are wholly Americans!

And the response in some of the videos I’ve seen have included Go back to Europe…which often leaves the racists sputtering and only able to shout back F*ck You! But that isn’t equal…not by a long shot…my ancestors came here voluntarily…could settle anywhere they wanted…and could return home if they desired. They weren’t torn from their families and communities and culture and sold to slavers. If they were lucky enough to survive the journey to America they were trapped under institutional slavery. So by no means does Go back to Europe carry the weight that Go back to Africa bears.

The only maybe benefit coming out of the Trump campaign is the nakedness of racism and xenophobia in America being exposed for all thinking people to see. That we aren’t a post racial society…we haven’t yet attained the land of the free and the home of the brave…not by a long shot.

Go Back To Africa…when someone says that: they OWN Slavery.

So How Many Muslims Are There In The USA?

This is just a prelude to something else that I am working on…but according to the CIA, the total estimated US population as of July 2015 is 321,368,864. They also estimate that the Muslim population in the USA as of 2007 is 0.6%…but let’s just err on the high side and say, oh, 1%. So at most 3,213,369 Muslims reside in our country…so I don’t think 10,000 more is going to tip the balance.

Whither MKE County: Pat Jursik Calls Out The Suburbs on Housing Discrimination

This is a surprisingly harsh assessment of the suburbs blatant disregard for equal housing…on top of the fact that they oppose regional public transportation at every turn…but County Supervisor Pat Jursik simply lays it on the line:

Supervisor Patricia Jursik today issued the following statement regarding the SEWRPC Regional Housing Plan:

“Ferguson, MO is the blueprint for the next phase of civil rights struggle: The Integration of the Outer Suburbs. This year, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, (SEWRPC) created a Regional Housing Plan with recommendations for affordable, workforce housing and attention to patterns of housing discrimination. The Milwaukee County Board adopted this plan, which is supported by good fact-finding and fully noticed public hearings.

“The subtle signs of racism are already being planted here in Southeastern Wisconsin as displayed by the actions of the Ozaukee County Board and Waukesha County Board, with the Ozaukee County Board outright rejecting the Housing Plan and Waukesha amending the plan to point of gutting it.

“Will the State of Wisconsin be pro-active in encouraging affordable housing in the outer suburbs now they have chosen to run Milwaukee County? My guess is probably not, since it is the local Milwaukee County Board that had been proactive on affordable housing and workforce alternatives.

“The one sign of hope is the recent trend of both singles and recently retired people in moving to the metropolitan area where there is diversity, creative cultural offerings, open-mindedness and youthful vigor.

“Violence is never an alternative, but blandness is not a good choice either and that seems to come with this display of prejudice. It comes with discriminatory housing where the “haves” wall-off the very workers needed in their local community businesses while failing to provide the transportation needed to get around these “walls””.

How The Affordable Care Act Works: Information Sources

This is NOT a news item or op ed piece or blog rant. Instead I am offering information on one of the most important changes to health insurance coverage in the history of the United States: just a short list of links to sites that offer information on the Affordable Care Act and how to enroll using the exchanges. Why? Because it’s obvious from some of the ‘conversations’ I’ve had on Facebook and seen on other sites, there is a great deal of confusion on how this works and what it means to all of us.

From the federal government: https://www.healthcare.gov/

From Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2013/09/23/understanding-the-healthcare-exchanges/

From Consumers Union: http://consumersunion.org/topic/health-care/

From Consumers Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/03/download-our-free-guides-to-health-care-reform-and-medicare/index.htm

From the Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/health-reform/

If you know anyone who is confused about the ACA or wants more information on what it is and how it is meant to work, please share this post or these links with them.

Wisconsin Voter Fraud and Voter ID

I would like to thank long time reader and active commenter, forgotmyscreenname, for providing a link to the recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about recent charges brought against 10 area residents for voter fraud. After having read the article, I wanted to follow up with a few comments here.

Over the past decade, our Republican elected officials have been foaming at the mouth over the amount of voter fraud in the state of Wisconsin. Even after Republican Wisconsin Attorney General J B Van Hollen found virtually none after intense inspection of the 2008 Presidential election. And after a small number of citizens were prosecuted in the last few years for double voting: one couple at their previous address and at their current address and another couple via absentee ballot and again in person when conservative talk radio convinced them their absentee ballots wouldn’t be counted.

Clearly these were illegal activities and the individuals were charged as such. I don’t remember the final outcomes for any of the parties but I doubt anything earth shattering happened to anyone of them. But the Voter ID measure as originally passed would NOT have prevented either of these cases. All of these voters were registered under their own legal names and if asked for voter id would probably have been able to produce valid id.

Now we come to the ten new charges filed last week:

Leonard Brown voted twice…once in West Milwaukee via absentee ballot and once in Milwaukee…would voter id have prevented this? probably not…once he was registered he could cast both ballots with proper id.

Chad Gigowski voted twice…in Milwaukee and Greefield…he used a driver’s license with an old address to register in Greenfield…so he had id.

Brittany Rainey was a felon…voter id wouldn’t prevent her from voting…some other mechanism would be needed to track felons ineligible to vote.

Brian Uecker voted in his old ward where he no longer lived…voter id wouldn’t have prevented this

Fozia Nawaz voted in Greenfield because it was easier…since she was able to register…I would expect she would have a valid id to show when casting her ballot.

Bill Di Giorgio from Germantown voted in Milwaukee…story doesn’t explain the how or why…but if he had a photo id with his name it is unlikely he would have been prevented from voting.

The other charges were related to felons applying for jobs as voter registrars or signing recall petitions multiple times or fraudulently signing recall petitions…has nothing to do with casting ballots. So actually these shouldn’t even be considered voter fraud since they had nothing to do with actually casting ballots.

So we ended up with 6 apparent occurrences of fraudulent voting…6 out of 3,000,000 votes cast in the 2012 Presidential Election…that isn’t statistically significant. I am not even sure my little hand held calculator would provide the percentage!

Yet Rick Esenberg, a lawyer and part time Marquette Law School professor, decides to roil the waters yet again by using these pitiful examples in a renewed call for voter id laws…Professor Esenberg, you should be embarrassed. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel should be far more embarrassed for repeating it.

What’s the Deal with Progressives and Sexism?

Two of my favorite liberal women talked with me about my earlier post: What’s the Deal with Progressives and Agism?

I was so tuned into the issue of agism in progressive politics, partly because I am of the generation of Americans being dissed, that I may have overlooked another issue entirely.

But it was pointed out that sexism is also involved and after having these discussions, I agree.

The one person being prominently called out as too old to run for president in 2016 is Hillary Clinton, a woman. As a 69 year old woman she would be too old to run for president? I don’t think so, but…!

Considering how little was made of (although it was briefly brought up) President Reagan’s age and Senator McCain’s age when they each ran for president, I can’t deny that there is a point. And if we had a retired US Congresswoman of the same age and stature as David Obey, would she have been urged to run for governor in the recall or mentioned as a candidate to replace Senator Kohl? Probably not.

(btw: it is my contention that the Secretary of State is the second hardest and second most stressful position in the US Govt…and Hillary Clinton has more than shown her mettle)

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge Wisconsin

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge Wisconsin

**Emerge Wisconsin Alumna, Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (Class of 2010) who was honored by Emerge America as an Emerge Trailblazer

**Nearly 40 Emerge Wisconsin Alumnae ran for office in 2012! The largest number of alumnae on the ballot in 1 year since our first class graduated in 2007!

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of Emerge
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Hawks Quindel Law Firm
222 East Erie Street, Suite 210, Milwaukee

Thank you to the following:
Katherine Charlton * Israel Ramon * Michele Sumara

Trailblazers: State Representative Barbara Toles, Emerge Advisor * State Representative Sandy Pasch, Emerge Advisor * State Representative Jon Richards * Jonathan Ward * State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Class of 2010

Hosts: Meg Andrietsch, Secretary of Democratic Party of Wisconsin * Ellen Bravo and Larry Miller * Michelle Bryant, Class of 2008 * Dorothy Dean * Gloria Dobbs, Class of 2011 * Jane Gellman * Ed Heinzelman * Linda Honold * Noelle Joers-Yanisch, Class of 2010 * Milwaukee County Board Superivosr Willie Johnson * Dr. Jay Larkey and Lois Malawsky * Martha Love * Sara Rogers, Emerge Advisor * Keith Saeger * Annie Wacker * Wauwatosa Alderman Greg, Mary and Sofia Walz-Chojnacki * Waukesha County Democratic Party

Sponsors: Emily Bell * Tammy Bockhorst, Class of 2012 * Karen Campbell * Dawn Caruss * Ann Jacobs * Anita Johnson * Zonia Lopez * Dorothy Mickleburgh * Gerry Miller * Margo Miller, Class of 2009 * Mary Mitchell * Martha Pincus * Dana Schultz * Jenissee Volpintesta, Class of 2009 * Claire Zautke, Class of 2012

Last Day to Apply to Emerge Wisconsin

From the email:

Last Tuesday was a great day for Democratic women in Wisconsin, where we sent Tammy Baldwin to the U.S. Senate, and elected several strong progressive women to the state legistature.

Our friends over at Emerge Wisconsin are looking for bright, self-motivated women who are committed to effective political leadership and are committed to run for elective office.

If you or anyone you know have been inspired by the election of U.S. Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin and are considering a career in public service, the time to get involved is now. Emerge Wisconsin is accepting applications for its 2013 class until midnight tomorrow, November 14. You can find more information by clicking here: http://www.emergewi.org/training/application
Maggie Brickerman, Executive Director
Democratic Party of Wisconsin

P.S. Last Tuesday, 21 Emerge Alumnae were on the ballot. I want to once again extend our thanks to these wonderful women, and hope you’ll consider joining them.

State Senate:
Nikiya Harris, ’11 (6th Senate District)
Senator Jessica King ’07 (18th Senate District)
Tanya Lohr ’12 (20th Senate District)

State Assembly:
Mary Arnold ’12 (37th Assembly District)
Carol Beals ’10 (49th Assembly District)
Representative Penny Bernard Schaber ’07 (57th Assembly District)
Representative Jill Billings ’11 (95th Assembly District)
Dianne Hesselbein ’09 (79th Assembly District)
La Tonya Johnson ’12 (17th Assembly District)
Melissa Lemke ’11 (62nd Assembly District)
Maureen May-Grimm ’12 (51st Assembly District)
Diane Odeen ’12 (30th Assembly District)
Kim Peterson ’12 (32nd Assembly District)
Melissa Sargent ’12 (48th Assembly District)
Sarah Ann Shanahan ’10 (50th Assembly District)
Judy Smriga ’11 (68th Assembly District)
Melissa Sorenson ’11 (41st Assembly District)
Mandy Wright ’12 (85th Assembly District)
Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, 10 (8th Assembly District)

County Clerk:
Ginny Dankmeyer ’12 (La Crosse)
Mary Schuch-Krebs ’08 (Kenosha)

Ignore the Binders, It’s the Real Truth Behind That Statement To Fear

Mitt Romney’s turn of phrase, Binders Full of Women, has become the meme from the second Presidential Debate. But all of the bloggers and wags and commenters have missed the real point buried in that statement.

Mr. Romney, after all of his years in college and business and running for governor, didn’t know any women qualified to assume posts in his cabinet. And Mr. Romney’s inner circle of advisers and confidantes didn’t know any women qualified to assume posts in his cabinet.

I can’t even fathom how someone who is supposedly so successful could be so entirely lacking in social, business or political contact with over half of the American population. This lack of understanding of women and culture and society underlies many of the misguided planks in his platform. This is truly one of the most frightful things about Mr. Romney and his campaign.