Mary Bottari

Projects Editor/VP

Mary Bottari is a Vice President of The Progressive, Inc., Editor of Special Projects and Investigations for The Progressive magazine, and the Deputy at the Center for Media and Democracy.

She is an experienced policy wonk and consumer advocate who has served as a senior analysist on trade.

When too-big-to-fail financial service institutions collapsed the global economy, like most Americans, Mary was steamed. When financial reform legislation started winding its way through Congress, Wall Street wizardry put too many of the policy debates out of reach of average Americans. Mary launched the Real Economy project at CMD, where she has worked hard to demystify complex issues (synthetic derivatives anyone?) and give average Americans a role in shaping the policy solutions being debated in Congress.

To engage the netroots, she launched the website. At BanksterUSA she gained a following for making complex banking issues simple and fun, and for poking fun at the big banks and government officials for their weak reform proposals and outrageous efforts to spin the financial crisis. When the big banks tried to tidy up their images with ridiculous PR campaigns she coined the term greedwashing and started giving big bank spinmeisters Golden Throne awards (yes that kind of throne) in commemoration of Merrill Lynch's $2 million bathroom redo.

Her project publishes the only monthly tally of the Total Wall Street Bailout Cost ($4.7 trillion with $2 trillion outstanding) in the SourceWatch wiki, CMD's flagship publication with over 6 million visitors a year. This work has been used by CNN, Bill Moyers Journal, MSNBC, and is featured in Dollars and Sense Magazine.

Prior to coming to CMD, Mary worked for ten years as senior analyst in Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch Division publishing many studies on financial services, health care policy, toxics regulation, food safety and the environment. She worked in politics for many years, in the Wisconsin Senate and in the U.S. Senate as press secretary to U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband John Nichols, of The Nation, and daughter.


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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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