Issue of the Week: Women’s Reproductive Freedoms Threatened
here’s the bad news: Women’s reproductive rights are under attack by
politicians who are more extreme than their predecessors. For example,
Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have both
accepted the endorsement of the extremist Pro-Life Wisconsin. That means that
they have promised to oppose abortion in all cases—including when a woman has
been raped or is a victim of incest, or if her life is in danger—and also
oppose all forms of birth control, including condoms.
contrast, Pro-Life Wisconsin did not endorse the Republicans’ gubernatorial
candidate in 2006, Mark Green. And former governor Tommy Thompson, while
reliably anti-abortion, also supported family planning programs and
and Neumann are more radically right-wing than their Republican predecessors on
reproductive rights and, if elected, would have the power to undo hard-won
victories, such as the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Act, prescription
protection measures, and family planning coverage for men. The attack on
reproductive freedom may be a stealth one right now, but it should be on every
voter’s radar before the Nov. 2 election.
Event of the Week
Dryhootch Open House and
Grand Opening Celebration
a nonprofit peer-to-peer counseling organization for returned veterans
transitioning to civilian life, is launching its very own coffeehouse.
Celebrate the grand opening of the Dryhootch coffeehouse, at 1030 E. Brady St., and support combat
veterans and their families. On Saturday, Aug. 28, at 10:30 a.m., the grand
opening ceremony begins with greetings from Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Wisconsin
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Ken Black, Brig. Gen. Donald Dunbar,
Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Director Robert Beller and Dryhootch members. From
noon to 11 p.m., there will be free Palermo’s
Pizza for Dryhootch members (while supplies last) and music by Guitars for
Vets. On Sunday, Aug. 29, at 10:30 a.m., Chaplain Ray Stubbe will preside over
an ecumenical prayer service/blessing; later, Guitars for Vets will return. For
more information, go to dryhootch.org.
Hero of the Week
When Jim Fiste retired
from his career as an engineer, he never envisioned the role he would play for
children worldwide. But his post-retirement plans changed once he learned of
“Operation Christmas Child,” which collects and distributes toys and
necessities to children in need.
Fiste, the program’s
Milwaukee-area coordinator, organizes a year-round volunteer effort to get
items into the hands of children living in the world’s most adverse locations:
war zones, refugee camps and areas of natural disaster or extreme poverty.
Donors are asked to fill and decorate a standard-sized shoe box with gifts for
boys and girls in three different age brackets. Though the collection period is
the week before Thanksgiving, Fiste notes that the logistics require long-term
planning because gifts are shipped to often-volatile areas via oceangoing
To see recommended items
for sharing and a list of collection points, visit www.occmilw.org.
Jerk of the Week
GOP Senate Candidate Ron
you like your home mortgage tax deduction? Then you may not like what
Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson wants to do with it. In an interview
with a Madison TV station, Johnson said he’d consider “horse trading” it to
simplify the tax code. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, roughly a
third of Wisconsin taxpayers claim this
deduction; the average deduction is about $8,700, a significant chunk of change
for a homeowner. Johnson may want to reconsider his radical tax plan if he
doesn’t want to raise taxes on Wisconsin
comments come on the heels of other Johnson gaffes that have drawn national
attention, such as claiming that sunspots cause global warming (they don’t),
trees “suck down” carbon dioxide (pollution is good!), that Greenland was once
green (it wasn’t) and that he didn’t want to “second-guess” Bush administration
claims that Saddam Hussein had “nuclear weapons capabilities” (Saddam didn’t,
but Bush invaded anyway).