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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Event of the Week: Celebrate International Women’s Day

Plus Hero and Jerk of the Week

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The Mequon campus of MATC is hosting four of the state’s most accomplished women to celebrate International Women’s Day. The notable women are household names in Wisconsin, but it’s worthwhile to mention their achievements one more time. Vel Phillips is the first woman to serve on the Milwaukee Common Council, as judge in Milwaukee County, and as secretary of state in Wisconsin. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson is the first woman to serve on Wisconsin’s highest court and the first female chief justice. Congresswoman Gwen Moore rose from being a single mom who received welfare benefits while attending Marquette University to becoming the first African-American woman to represent Wisconsin in Congress. Ruth Zubrensky is a longtime, legendary champion for civil rights and justice for all.

The event, titled “Why We Celebrate Women and Their Successes,” will be held at MATC-Mequon, 5555 W. Highland Road, Mequon, on Friday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the lower level cafeteria, Room A131. It’s free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. Sponsors include Liberal Arts & Sciences, Student Services, and Local 212.

Event of the Week

Protest Scott Walker’s Fund-raiser With Jeb Bush

Is GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker palling around with terrorist sympathizers?

Hmmm…

On Monday, March 8, Walker will hold a fancy $250-a-head fund-raiser with Jeb Bush. While Bush is best known as being a former Florida governor and brother of George W. Bush, he also appears to have played a role in helping to give safe haven to accused anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch. In fact, Bosch was accused of being a terrorist and a “threat to national security” by the administration of Jeb’s father, the first President George Bush. Bosch was accused of helping to mastermind the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, which killed all 73 civilians on board. Later, Bosch was jailed in Florida, yet Jeb Bush actively advocated for his freedom. Bosch was released.

On Monday, March 8, from 4 to 6 p.m., a protest will be held in front of the Pfister Hotel, which is hosting the fund-raiser. The protest is organized by Peace Action Wisconsin, the National Lawyers Guild Milwaukee Chapter, and others. For more information, go to www.peaceactionwi.org.

Hero of the Week

Jason Babcock

The Next Door Foundation’s Books for Kids program collects new or gently used books for young readers in Milwaukee’s central city, with the belief that all kids, regardless of their family’s income, should have their own books and begin a lifelong love of reading as early as possible.

That goal was supported by the remarkable efforts of Wauwatosa East sophomore Jason Babcock, who collected 2,100 books for the program. The 16-year-old made that extra effort for an Eagle Scout project for Boy Scout Troop 47, sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa. The books will go to the foundation’s Early Head Start, Head Start, and Charter School programs.

Jerk of the Week

Rep. Paul Ryan

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (406 to 19) to remove the special exemption from antitrust laws that the health insurance industry currently enjoys. This vote was long overdue and almost all of the Republicans joined the Democrats in this vote—except for Rep. Paul Ryan and 18 of his fellow Republicans, including another local House member, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. Interestingly, this vote came at the same time, for example, that giant health insurer WellPoint was raising rates by 39% on individual health insurance plans in California and by 17% on some individual policies in Wisconsin.

It’s especially ironic that Ryan would support this anti-competitive antitrust exemption since he continually touts an extreme free-market approach to the health insurance issues. Could it be that his inconsistent vote was influenced by the insurance industry? After all, it has been Ryan’s largest campaign contributor over his entire political career. Paul Ryan’s new slogan should be “Do as I say, not as I vote.”