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That was  Ed Garvey on Scott Walker. Ed Garvey ran for governor and senator back in the day and, for the past 10 years, he's been organizing Fighting Bob Fest, a progressive chatauqua. He's always lined up some terrific speakers.

This year it's at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, rather than the Sauk County fairgrounds. Bob Fest's video page has yet to be updated (it's got video from last spring's Fighting Bob North, right before the Prosser election debacle). If you want to hear live coverage, tune in WOJB or, if you're not local, try the live on-line streaming.

If you like WOJB, by the way, consider donating. The Lac Court Oreilles tribe runs ths station, and it is tops (better than WPR) in covering progressive events.

Today's schedule below the fold. Ellen Bravo currently speaking.  Those Kos people there, please feel free to update here and provide links to your Fighting Bob Fest diaries, if any. 2011 is another red-letter year for politics in Wisconsin!

Saturday schedule:

 Coliseum Doors open at 8:00am

 Program begins at 9:00am

9:15 AM                Welcome by Mayor Paul Soglin & Dave Zweifel
9:30 AM                Mike McCabe, WI Democracy Campaign
9:50 AM                Tony Schultz, farmer
10:10 AM               Ellen Bravo, Feminist activist, organizer, and author
10:30 AM               Raging Grannies
10:45 AM               Congressman Dave Obey
11:10 AM               Lunch & Breakouts
12:20 PM               Dr. Cornel West, Civil Rights Activist, author, professor
1:00 PM                Thom Hartmann, Author, Radio Host
1:30 PM                Greg Palast, Investigative Journalist BBC, best-selling author
1:50 PM                Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont
2:20 PM                Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin
2:40 PM                John Nichols, The Cap Times, The Nation, MSNBC
3:00 PM                Peter Leidy, Musician
3:15 PM                Jim Hightower, populist, author, activist, friend
3:45 PM                Closing--Ed Garvey
4:00 PM                Piper Road Spring Band--Music, Spotted Cow, Discussion

8:47 AM PT: Raging Grannies now performing.

8:57 AM PT: The Raging Grannies are singing about solidarity, dissing Paul Ryan's babyface, and so forth. Political filking, I guess.

A link to the Grannies' Wikipedia page:

9:01 AM PT: I missed much of farmer Tony Schultz' speech, but the tail end invoked Eugene Debs. That's enough to make a teabagger drop a stitch in her Gadsden flag!

You may recall Schultz' stirring speech from the March 12 gathering:

9:18 AM PT: Dave Obey is gettin' cranky! Talking about the Ryan budget. Shifts costs to families. Ryan uses that savings to cut corporation taxes. "Another Trojan horse maneuver to move billions of dollars up the income scale."

9:22 AM PT: "A mean-minded and thuggish performance by Scott Walker." Obey.

How have Wisconsin income tax rates changed . . . since 1969?" If Walker returned to 1969 rate, he could fund plenty.  Says Walker is assaulting "enlightened capitalism."  Does that make Walkerism benighted capitalism?

Now he's waling on "thuggish" voter suppression. "Abusive confrontation."

9:24 AM PT: God, I miss my old congressman! Could Sean Duffy give a speech like this? I doubt he would with a gun to his head, even.

9:31 AM PT: Obey: "comes from an eccentric, cruel and crackpot fascination with the policy of Ayn Rand."

Zing! Now he's quoting Ryan slobbering all over John Galt.

Obey: Rand stands for altruism = "evil." Quoting her at length in interview with Mike Wallace. A weak man is beyond and undeserving of love.

Walker, Ryan, Koch brothers and Tea Party embraced this dog-eat-dog credo. "We're engaged in a moral struggle"

Cites 1958 realigning election favoring Dems in Wisconsin, following recession. He's predicting a rout in 2012. I believe him, at least on the state level. He's been an accurate prognosticator in recent years.

9:42 AM PT: Obey is kicking GOP ass for gerrymandering his old district, WI-07 with WI-03 to keep Pat Kreitlow from beating Sean Duffy in that congressional race.

Obey can't say it, but I will: Assholes!

9:44 AM PT: Pat Kreitlow's campaign page. He could soooo logroll Sean Duffy!

10:29 AM PT: Whoops, just missed Cornell West, who seems to be getting tepid applause. Now a union guy/labor historian is talking. "Workers are the people who create wealth." Talking about the offshoring policies of Jeffery Immelt when CEO of General Electric. Immelt, of course, is one of Obama's.

Now a fireman from Madison: Mahlon Mitchell. [Edited to add link to his bio. Mahlon Mitchell is one kickass speaker!]

10:56 AM PT: Actually, West just spoke, to hearty applause. The subtext of his speech seemed to be, "WTF? We Americans need to get more pissed off and organize. Cf Egypt, South Africa, Libya . . . "

11:29 AM PT: Thom Hartmann: We're perverting the idea of freedom back to Calvinism. Publicly, since Reagan, but there have always been "royalists" with us, ever since Hobbes wrote the manual. Biggest applause line was a yawp at corporations to stop socializing their waste, their filth, their losses. "You like the fruits of America? Pay for it!"

Palast on now, talking about Fukushima.

11:57 AM PT: Abridged Greg Palast: "The Man sucks. Buy my shit."

Thom Hartmann had another good line about how all the GOP candidates are up there on the debate stage, saying, "Freedom means dying on the street, like a dog."

Sanders now speaking, introduced by Kathleen Falk, who primaried Peg "Hic!" Lautenschlager, lost, and handed WI to J.B. van Hollen.

12:00 PM PT: Sanders: 16% of our people are unemployed [ . . . ] even higher for minorities, women, blue-collar workers."

Really banging the gong for working-class justice.

12:23 PM PT: Sanders: create jobs by drafting workers to fix infrastructure. Rail is a badly lagging area, especially. China spends 90% of GDP on infrastructure, the U.S. only 2.2%

He's so right. Let me add that "shovel-ready" freeway expansion jobs ain't all it, though re-engineering thoroughfares would be worth it.

12:28 PM PT: Sanders finally openly criticizes "Obamer" about promoting Bush's trade policies.

Peroration is about defending Social Security.

12:44 PM PT: OMG . . . is that Tammy Baldwin speaking? She's really stiff and lackluster.

12:52 PM PT: Don't get me wrong . . . I love Tammy Baldwin, she speaks for me and she manages to be reassuring in her message. But she freakin' puts me to sleep. I think she and Barbara Lawton went to the same school of elocution.

Oo! Finally raises her voice, but it sounds forced. Still more exciting than Kohl, though.

12:55 PM PT: Mahlon Mitchell asks crowd to stand up and stretch, accuses Tammy of stealing a little of his thunder. (Just a little, I'm sure). Leading audience in chants. This is good, because the next guy, John Nichols, bless him, is a windy fucker.

1:41 PM PT: Nichols, fairly brief, sounding like the dad in A Christmas Story yelling at the Bumpus' hounds, calls for a recall, after enumerating the many reasons why we hate thee, Scott Walker.

Jim Hightower on the stump, now, thanking Wisconsin for the pushback against the "greedheads." His accent is reminding me of Molly Ivins' coinage: "greeed." Avarice so profound it requires an extra "e." Hightower is the third person to say "Bullshit" on the air, and each time, WOJB cuts out. WOJB? it's called "7-second loop."

2:14 PM PT: Pretty much ending, with a clever "Wreck of the Brothers Fitzgerald" by musician Peter Leidy

Originally posted to Badger State Progressive on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.


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