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Quote of the Week

Plus Heroes and Jerks of the Week

Jan. 21, 2009
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“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” —President Barack Obama, during his Inaugural Address

Heroes of the Week: Milwaukee School Board

The heroes of the week are the members of the Milwaukee School Board under the leadership of board President Peter Blewett. For years, the school board was split almost evenly on essentially one issue: the experiment with school vouchers. This split developed into two factions that then disagreed on many other school issues. But change may be coming. On Thursday, Jan. 15, the MPS Committee on Legislation, Rules and Policies held a meeting to discuss two important, complex issues—a recommendation to reform the state’s school funding formula and a major health care policy recommendation—that could easily have deteriorated into a fight between the two factions. Instead, the recommendations received unanimous support. Is President Barack Obama’s “we can all work together” approach to governing reaching down to the school board level?

Jerk of the Week: Mark Belling

While Mark Belling can usually be relied on to miss the larger picture, his defense of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s expressed desire to refuse federal stimulus dollars makes one wonder if the invective-spewing radio host is getting enough sleep. We understand Walker’s motive in sacrificing the communal good in order to keep the extreme wing of the Republican Party on his side in his 2010 gubernatorial dream and agree with Belling’s description of the county executive as a “hog in the back of the barn.” But the needed stimulus spending has been welcomed by economists across the political spectrum, even if word hasn’t filtered back to Belling, one of Walker’s staunchest partisans. Belling continues to disparage the supporters of the stimulus package, including the mayor and the Common Council, as “poverty pimps” and “political hustlers.” Sadly, this follows Belling’s pattern of pandering to the far-right fringes rather than engaging in reasoned debate about what is in the county’s best economic interest.

Photo of the Week
Entrance Sticker Migration, by Dhiraj Madura

"This shot was taken on the median facing south just in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum's Quadracci Pavilion on Lincoln Memorial Drive."

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