Elizabeth DiNovella

<span class="floatleft"><img src="http://www.progressive.org/images/staff/lizeditorweb.jpg" width="70"></span>Elizabeth DiNovella is Culture Editor of The Progressive. She writes about activism, politics, music, books, and film. She also produces Progressive Radio, a thirty-minute public affairs program hosted by Matthew Rothschild. Before working for The Progressive, DiNovella was the News and Public Affairs Director at WORT-FM, the community radio station of Madison, Wisconsin.<br>
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President Obama at Archbishop Romero’s Tomb

“I was honored to visit the cathedral this evening and pay my respects to Archbishop Romero, who remains an inspiration to people all around the world,” said President Obama. If Obama really wants to pay his respects to Archbishop Romero, he should close the military training facility at Fort Benning. Or better yet, stop conducting a covert war in Yemen.

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President Obama at Archbishop Romero’s Tomb

President Barack Obama took the extraordinary step of stopping by Archbishop Oscar Romero’s tomb at the end of his Latin America tour.
"Stop the Repression in Honduras"
The Archbishop was a fearless defender of the poor during El Salvador’s brutal civil war. He was assassinated by rightwing death squads a few weeks after asking President Carter to cut off military funding to his country, as the Salvadoran military was terrorizing its citizens.


Walker Signs Union-Busting Bill While Protesters Chant Shame

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held the bill signing ceremony in his office at the Capitol this afternoon. Protesters outside could be heard clearly as they shouted “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Walker signed the bill with confidence. He wore a red tie and dutifully gave out the pens he used to his political pals.
He began by thanking Majority Leader Fitzgerald for his leadership and singled out GOP representatives Suder, Ellis, Vos, and Darling. He touted the “courageous leadership” of the Republicans and said the bill was “good for the middle class for years to come.”


“Citizens Cheated Out of Democracy”

The voting happened so fast. Decades of labor law was undermined in ten quick seconds, as the Wisconsin Assembly voted 53-42 to strip workers of their right to collectively bargain.
Throughout the hearing, Democrat after Democrat got up and made impassioned pleas against the bill. (See my colleague Ruth Conniff’s piece about the day in the assembly.)


Prankster Ian Murphy Talks about Calling Walker

Prank caller Ian Murphy, who pretended to be rightwing billionaire (and Scott Walker supporter) David Koch, visited Madison this weekend and took in the protests. Murphy is a folk hero around here. His punking of the governor gave huge momentum to the burgeoning pro-democracy movement.

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Michael Moore Visits Madison

Another frigid Saturday, another huge rally at the Capitol in Madison.

Michael Moore showed up and addressed the crowd. He said that to make change we need “a little bit of Egypt, a little bit of Madison.”

Your message has aroused people in all 50 states, Moore said. That message is “We have had it!”

He also said “We are all Wisconsinites now,” which, coming from a Michigander, is pretty high praise.

Representative Tammy Baldwin also addressed the crowd and said she has never been so proud to be a Wisconsinite. (I think a lot of us feel that way these days.)


Slobs in the Wisconsin Capitol

Right now, the courts are deciding whether or not to continue the lockdown of the Wisconsin Capitol building. The current restrictions, put into the place earlier this week, have hindered the ability of protesters to enter the building.

“We are trying to keep some people out of the building,” State Sen. Glenn Grothman told MSNBC the other day. “Right now, the building is becoming a pigsty. People are staying overnight. The building smells.”


February 21 Update from Wisconsin’s Capitol

“They’re making history in Madison—that’s why I’m here,” said musician Tom Morello, as he kicked off the noon rally at Wisconsin’s capital.
We are one week into the showdown between workers and Governor Scott Walker. Despite the frigid temperatures (it feels like 14 degrees) and snowy skies, about 5000 people rallied outside the Capitol building at noon.


Wisconsin Protests Walker’s Attack on Workers

More than 10,000 people protested Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to end collective bargaining rights for state and local employees.

Wisconsinites were inspired by people in Egypt.

More cowbell, less Walker

Lots of young people at the rally

AFSCME and SEIU and WFT bussed people in from all over the state

Walker has threatened to call in the National Guard if there’s labor unrest. So this woman asks: “Do you want the National Guard to give your child chemo?”


Huffington Uncorks a New Wine

Back in 2008 at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City, Arianna Huffington was on a journalism panel entitled, “A New Media System? Or Old Wine in New Bottles?”
Huffington said that the bottles are definitely new, but it’s not entirely new wine. It’s a mixture. “There’s an awful amount of good that we want to keep from the old media: accuracy, fact checking, ferreting out the truth,” she said.


No Fracking Way to Balance a Budget

More than half of all states are getting a new governor this year, making this incoming class one of the largest in American history. The Republicans made huge gains in the states, with 18 new GOP governors taking office.
The Midwest took an especially hard hit, as most Great Lakes states now have Republicans in their governor’s mansions.
But in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the new GOP govs are being greeted with protests.


Friday is a National Call-in Day to Commerce Group

A mining company based in Wisconsin is suing the government of El Salvador for one hundred million dollars under the Central America Free Trade Agreement, also known as CAFTA.
The company is taking advantage of “foreign investor protections” in the free trade agreement. These protections for capital can undercut local environmental laws. And that’s the case in El Salvador.
Commerce Group, which is based in Milwaukee, owns the San Sebastian Gold Mine near the town of Santa Rose de Lima in eastern El Salvador.


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