7 results for author: Mike McCabe


Make America America Again

Like nearly all Americans, I am the offspring of immigrants. The peasant farmers whose family name I inherited came from Ireland. They left a homeland savaged by famine, trading a grim reality of financial ruin and starvation for the promise of a new and better life. They were part of what might be described today as a massive caravan that took incalculable risk to make its way across a vast ocean seeking refuge and comfort from the Mother of Exiles.My immigrant ancestors settled first in New Jersey before journeying to northern Illinois and eventually Wisconsin. They made this land their home and passed down a way of life from generation to ...

TROTTING OUT THE WHIPPING BOY

For as long as there have been politicians, there have been whipping boys. Politicians need someone to punish for their own shortcomings.No one is better with the whip than Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. He is highly skilled in the use of divide-and-conquer tactics, a master at pitting one group of struggling and vulnerable people against another. It’s his favorite play, the governor’s political equivalent of Vince Lombardi’s Power Sweep or USC’s famed “Student Body Right.”Walker turns to this page in his playbook repeatedly, whenever he’s feeling the least bit threatened politically. He just did it again, proposing stricter ...

BLUE JEAN NATION REVIVAL

BLUE JEAN NATION REVIVALSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20NEENAH, WISCONSINBlue Jean Nation has no interest in holding just another boring political convention with endless speeches. What we’ve got in mind is more like a New England-style town hall meeting – only with a twist inspired by digital-age social media. A “town hall tweeting” you might say, complete with a hearing where everyone who attends is invited to give oral “tweestimony” on how to fix the broken political system in 140 characters or less, with the best statements tweeted out live on Blue Jean Nation’s Twitter account @bluejean_nation.In addition to tweestifying, there ...

SHOESTRING POLITICS

SHOESTRING POLITICSBy Blue Jean Nation and Mike McCabeBlue Jean Nation will be conducting a workshop called "Shoestring Politics: How to Win Without Being Rich or Mortgaging Your Soul" on Saturday, November 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Madison at the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups headquarters at 2850 World Dairy Drive ( map ).If you are active in a cause, advocating for an issue, engaged in grassroots activism, thinking of running for office or looking to help someone run for office, this workshop is for you.It is geared to building understanding of the Citizens United world and how to fight unconventionally on today’s political battlef...

ELEVEN STEPS TO A MORE OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT

ELEVEN STEPS TO A MORE OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENTBy Mike McCabeThose who call the shots in Wisconsin’s Capitol show themselves to be most comfortable working in the dark . They tried to butcher the state’s open meetings law, and only backed down when their action whipped up a public firestorm. They want to do away with the highly respected state audit office. They’re itching to turn a nationally acclaimed, politically independent elections and ethics watchdog agency into a lapdog .They must have a lot to hideWith open government laws under assault, it’s easy to focus entirely on condemning the attacks and seeking to prevent ...

Blue Jean Nation

American democracy is caught on the horns of a dilemma. Most Americans are feeling fed up with the Republicans and let down by the Democrats — with good reason — as both major parties are failing the country. Yet a third party isn't the answer. Like it or not, America has a two-party system.Ours was not set up as a parliamentary democracy, where competing factions can join forces and form coalition governments. We don't have fusion voting, or instant runoff voting, or proportional representation, or any of the mechanisms that would allow third parties or independent candidates to successfully compete in our elections and hold power in our ...

RE-PURPOSING GOVERNMENT

REPURPOSING GOVERNMENTThis commentary is a distillation of Mike McCabe’s keynote speech at the Wisconsin Grassroots Network festival in Mazomanie on March 28. It was first published as an opinion column by the online news site Wistopia on April 3. It is reprinted from the Blue Jean Nation website at: http://www.bluejeannation.com/commentary04-13-2015/It’s easy to be consumed by what or who we are against rather than what we are for. But if we are going to get Wisconsin and our nation out of the rut we are in politically, we cannot afford to dwell on what we hate. We need to be thinking and talking about what we love and what we hope ...