Wisconsin couple challenges state’s ban on same-sex marriage

This week a Milwaukee lesbian couple filed a lawsuit directly with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an effort to invalidate Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

According to the suit, Katherine Halopka-Ivery tried to transfer ownership of real estate in her name to the couple and Milwaukee County register of deeds officials refused to record the transfer unless the couple filed for a Wisconsin domestic partnership.

The suit contends that Wisconsin’s current law recognizing only different-sex marriages violates equal protection and due process, establishes a two-tiered regime that harms same-sex couples, and interferes with “fundamental rights regarding deeply personal choices about marriage and family life.”

It further contends there was no legitimate secular purpose for Wisconsin to ban same-sex marriage, only religious reasons.

Considering the success of other challenges to bans on same-sex marriage in other states, I’m hopeful this challenge will set our state on a course towards marriage equality.

VIDEO: Watch as guest on Hannity show calls Al Sharpton a “retard”

During a recent appearance by Gavin McInnes on the Hannity show, McInnes called Rev. Al Sharpton a “retard” and mocked Sharpton while acting as if he (McInnes) had Down Syndrome.

Watch for yourselves.

Thursday Music: John Mayall: Oh Pretty Woman

For Ruth Van G:

” Hammerin’ Hank ” knocks another one out of the park

Home run king Hank Aaron ( sorry Barry Bonds, but Hank will always be my home run king ) came under fire recently for saying that racism is alive and well in America. At an event marking the 40th anniversary of his record breaking 715th home run Aaron told USA Today, in apparent reference to the contemporary Republican Party, ” the biggest difference is back then, they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts. ”

Predictably the right-wingers went off their rockers and in short order the same kind of hate mail Aaron endured when he was chasing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record began pouring into the front office of the Atlanta Braves, where he’s a senior vice president. But was Aaron so far off with his remarks? Let’s take a look at what’s going on in just Wisconsin.

We have a GOP controlled legislature and governor in Wisconsin who seem determined to make voting more difficult. Governor Walker is prepared to call a special session this summer to pass a Voter ID law that will meet constitutional muster in the event the current GOP backed bill is struck down by the courts. Who do you think this bill will most disproportionately effect? The Black and Latino communities in Milwaukee, along with students and the elderly. I don’t have any doubt this is being done deliberately to suppress these voters.

Wisconsin ranks #1 in the entire country for it’s incarceration rate of black men, which is a truly disgraceful and tragic state of affairs. But is this a problem Governor Walker has spoken publicly about? Or Scott Fitzgerald? Or Paul Ryan or Ron Johnson? No. In fact, the only remarks anyone has offered came from alleged brainy wunderkind and social safety net beneficiary Paul Ryan, who could only manage to talk about the deplorable lack of a work ethic amongst ” men ” in our inner cities. Not a word about how America’s racist drug war has absolutely devastated minority communities across the country, including in cities like Milwaukee. Not a word about black men sent to prison at a far disproportionate rate to white men, about how difficult it is to get a job with a prison record, or about single mothers raising children on their own, most of them at poverty wages, while fathers spend time in prison. Not a single acknowledgement of the hardship, grief, and ongoing sense of loss and despair that these conditions of life must surely create; conditions most of us can’t imagine. Not a word about any of this from alleged brainy wunderkind, congressman,  and social safety net beneficiary Paul Ryan.

And now we find out that the WisGOP will be voting on a secession resolution at their annual convention next month. They want to be able to secede from the Union under extreme circumstances, whatever that means. Where have we heard this kind of talk before? Hmmmmmmm.

But Hank Aaron is the one who’s out of line for his remarks? He’s the one who’s out of line? I don’t think so. In fact, I think old  “Hammerin’ Hank ” just knocked another one out of the park.


April 21 – Drinking Liberally Milwaukee

From my email inbox comes news of April’s meeting of Drinking Liberally MKE.

Greetings and Salutations!

I’m happy to announce that State Representative Mandela Barnes will be joining us to talk about all the terrible things going on in state government–and most importantly, what we can do to stop it!

Come on out for good beer and a good time. As always, we’ll be in the back of the restaurant at 7pm, this coming Monday, April 21st!

Be there–or be square!


P.S. RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/280116168814430/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

Texas Republicans form “Boats ‘N Hoes” PAC

Stay classy, Texas Republicans!

Image courtesy Houston Chronicle

Image courtesy Houston Chronicle

My thoughts on the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks

My thoughts on the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to two New York-based hedge fund billionaires, as best summed up by Randy Bryce.

The Party of Lincoln?

I imagine some of you caught Bill Lueders’ article about the retirement of State Senator Dale Schultz (R – Richland Center) that was published yesterday at Urban Milwaukee titled ‘Say Goodbye to the Party of Lincoln’. Part of the article relates the story about the resolution passed at the Wisconsin Republican Party’s 6th Congressional District meeting. The resolution: ” affirmed Wisconsin’s right to secede from the union.”

As Schultz relates, one attendee objected: “Wait a minute, we’re the party of Abraham Lincoln” — who, as a matter of historical fact, was not a big fan of secession. Someone else then rose to criticize Lincoln.

Schultz, 60, a Republican who is stepping down after 32 years in the Legislature, most as a state senator, is dumbfounded: “Who’d have ever thought you’d be at a Republican function and have to defend Abraham Lincoln?”

Yes, who’d of ever thought indeed. But wait, Mr. Lueders’ article was reprinted this morning under an opposing opinion by professional GOP apologist, Christian Schneider. So, here’s the late breaking skinny on what really happened…it was late…nearly everyone had gone home…so the resolution passed with only 25 delegates still in attendance out of the original 822. But even then, it wasn’t Republicans who voted for the resolution, it was LIBERTARIANS! Just think, LIBERTARIANS are now hijacking the GOP following in the foot prints of the Tea Party!

Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District GOP passed a resolution asserting the state’s right to secede from the U.S. government. As caucus chairman Dan Feyen later pointed out, the resolution was the last one passed after three hours of debate on other resolutions and after most of the tired delegates had gone home. The 6th District GOP has 822 delegates, yet because of the thinned crowd, the resolution passed with only 25 delegates in support.

The truth is, the secession enthusiasts typically aren’t even Republicans. Generally, they are Libertarians whose influence on the party’s operations exposes a Faustian bargain the GOP has struck with its cousins further to the right.

. Libertarians can hold Republicans hostage by threatening to run third-party candidates, shaving a few points off the GOP advantage in any given race. Thus, the GOP is best off welcoming them in the fold.

But, as is the case when you make your party’s tent bigger, you’re bound to end up with more bearded ladies, lizard people and secessionists. Libertarianism has its benefits, and most Republicans subscribe to its insistence on smaller government and free markets. However, Libertarians aren’t motivated by the prospect of GOP electoral success.

So there you have it…the GOP is awash with Libertarian fever and would never never have thought about throwing Abraham Lincoln under the bus and suggest that Wisconsin has a right to secede from the union. It’s those pesky LIBERTARIANs. Maybe the Republican Party of Wisconsin should institute Voter ID at their gatherings instead of foisting it on the general electorate.

(note: I will duly click the sarcasm and snark buttons on this one!)

EMILY’s List puts Kelly Westlund “On the List”

From my email inbox comes news EMILY’s List has placed Democratic Congressional candidate Kelly Westlund, who’s running against “Struggling” Sean Duffy, “On the List.”

Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, put Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District candidate Kelly Westlund “On the List.”

“On the List” is a way to make sure that the EMILY’s List community, now more than three million members strong, can engage with and support promising candidates all across the country. By putting these women “On the List,” EMILY’s List is ensuring that they have access to this powerful network of supporters.

“Kelly Westlund is a strong progressive leader who has built a career fighting for positive change in her community,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “From supporting local farms and businesses to improving sustainability, Kelly has tackled community issues with forward thinking solutions. She will be a fresh voice for women and families in Congress and the EMILY’s List community – now more than three million members strong – is excited to support her campaign.”

Kelly Westlund is a small business owner and member of the Ashland City Council. As a small business owner, Westlund works to build strong local food system to support local family farms. Prior to that, Westlund served at a local nonprofit that focused on community and economic development through sustainable practices. Kelly Westlund grew up in a military family and traveled around the country, but made Northern Wisconsin her home after attending Northland College. She and her husband Caleb live in Ashland.

Scott Walker – Intimidated

Once again The Worley Dervish nails it.

I’d love to hear someone from Gov. Walker’s reelection campaign explain why he can’t be bothered to hold any public events to announce his reelection campaign, instead choosing carefully choreographed private events.

What exactly does Gov. Walker think he has to fear from interacting with the “unwashed masses?”

Blogging Blue’s “14 in ’14″

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