Rashad Sultan Khan And The Democratic Convention



The words from the father of Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan brought tears to this household as he stood on the stage of the Democratic Convention.

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim-American Army captain who died in combat, delivered arguably the week’s most stinging critique against Trump. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country. Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy”

Simply so heartfelt.

The New Colossus – Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A might woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome, her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.  “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Madison City Clerk, Maribeth Witzel-Behl, Must Answer To Taxpayers Over Ruined Voting Tabulators

It appears that it takes more than one flooding incident to make an impression on Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.

It was reported that the downpour last week in one of this season’s harshest thunderstorms flooded the election equipment storage space where City of Madison ballot tabulators were placed.   As the damage from the water was evaluated it appears that the circuit boards of 17 tabulators were severely impacted.

Along with the equipment some of the ballots for the upcoming August Primary were also damaged to the point they need to be reprinted.

Due to the need for properly working machines for the primary the manufacturer will send loaner machines for the exact counting of one of our democracy’s most valued rights.    That is the good aspect to this otherwise sorry set of events.

Following the primary all the machines will be dismantled and checked for corrosion.  There were nearly a hundred voting machines at this storage facility.

Why this story is troubling goes beyond the heavy rain and the collapsed roof of the storage facility.   As WMTV (Channel 15) reported tonight this is the second time flood waters have impacted voting tabulators at this facility.

After the first time the machines were ruined by rainwater it would have seemed an evaluation would be in order  so to make sure the same problem did not happen again.  Clearly that thought process did not take place.

Taxpayers have a right to ask why that did not happen.  Members of the city council might want to find an answer as well.

Bonus Army Stabbed, Gassed, Camp Burned On Thursday, July 28th

On July 28, 1932 (the same day as this one) the Bonus Army (a rag-tag group of WWI soldiers who marched to Washington, D.C. to secure compensation) was fired on, gassed, stabbed with sabers, and had gasoline thrown on their encampment before it was set afire. President Hoover had ordered the first attack on a small group clustered on Pennsylvania Avenue but ordered General Macarthur not to cross the Anacostia Bridge where the larger array of soldiers were camped.  Dwight Eisenhower will be at his side.

It was the first time, but not the last, that the general disobeyed a direct command from a president. Hoover will watch the flames reach skyward from the White House.

Every presidential election—as summer heads to fall and the November balloting–I read this two-volume work. It is a most compelling read, with a rich narrative, a truly grand epic tale.  The book starts with the Bonus Army.

I first read it as a teenager and recall being in the back seat of Dad’s greenish Buick asking Mom how to pronounce “Chappaquiddick”.  In 1988 I read part of it at the Luxemburg home (Kewaunee County) of the state representative I was working with for his re-election. (We won.)  The last two elections I read large portions in the blue Adirondack chairs on our lawn. The book always makes me think and ponder about so much and leaves me hopeful for the future. 

It might be worth your time this election season, too.


Speakers Tonight (July 28) For Democratic Convention

Donald Trump is so upset that the Democratic National Convention is better staged and produced than the RNC’s failed effort, and that the television audience is so much larger this week than last, that he is now urging people not to tune into the last night of the convention.

What a piss-poor loser!

But the public is paying attention.

Tonight it will be Hillary Clinton’s turn to make the arena come to life.  And I bet the stage will be filled with people at the end of the night as opposed to no one wanting to be seen with Trump at the end of the GOP convention.

Here are some of tonight’s speakers.

• Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York

• Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado

• Representative Xavier Becerra of California

• Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio

• Chelsea Clinton

• Hillary Clinton

Nation’s Future In Sound Hands With Hillary Clinton

So many reasons to know our country is guided by seasoned and reasonable people—we just need to keep our eyes on the future.

Donald Trump is the dark force of human nature who seeks to lash out, play to our fears, and reject a unified way to a better land.  My reading of the larger story of this nation tells me that we are unique and highly capable of overcoming the ones who seek to separate us.   We stop and listen for a while to the loudest ones who shout and appeal for us to follow them, but then we stop and reflect and find the best path is to grab the hand of our fellow citizen and work as one.  After each unseemly attempt to steer the nation from our anchored place of democracy the people have always turned away and found the words and actions of our ancestors more worthy of our attention.  So it shall be again this year as we elect Hillary Clinton as our president.

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Thin-Skinned Donald Trump Has More Bad News

The reporting by the New York Times that the Democratic Convention is a much better packaged production than the GOP effort will undoubtedly cause unease in the childlike mind of Donald Trump.   Make no mistake this news will make Trump more bitter.  Add in the better messaging by the Democrats and the orange-skinned man may not even have enough energy to look for a fourth wife this summer.

Hillary Clinton has so far been putting on a better television show in Philadelphia than Donald Trump did in Cleveland.  

Expectations had it the other way around. Mr. Trump is the bona fide television sensation, a former maestro of a hit reality series, and he had promised to bring some ‘showbiz’ to the proceedings. Yet it’s Mrs. Clinton who has had the celebrities and musical acts that ‘Tonight Show’ bookers’ dreams are made of — Alicia Keys, Meryl Streep, Paul Simon, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Lena Dunham. It’s Mrs. Clinton who has had the more professionally produced show.

And at least for the first two nights, it’s Mrs. Clinton who has had the bigger ratings, by several million people.

And we all know the third night of the convention–prior to the release of the viewer numbers–was a massive home run!


TV Ratings Surge For Democratic Convention

President Obama’s prime time speech lifted the Democratic convention to its third straight night of ratings wins over the Republican convention last week — and now the Trump campaign is exhorting supporters not to watch the Democrats’ final night!

This is simply the most insane and unstable Republican nominee this nation has ever had to listen to during an election season.  Someone needs to shut him up.

CNN reports the surge in people watching the Democratic Convention continues as overnight Nielsen ratings indicate that Wednesday night’s DNC viewership was about 15% higher than last Wednesday night’s coverage of the RNC

It should be noted the Democratic ratings advantage has come as something of a surprise, given Donald Trump’s reputation as a ratings magnet.


Note To Republicans: “America Is Already Great. America Is Already Strong”

Last week I wrote from the heart about the dark side of politics.

I stated that after each unseemly attempt to steer the nation from our anchored place of democracy the people have always turned away and found the words and actions of our ancestors more worthy of our attention.

Last night at the Democratic Convention speaker after speaker lifted the banner about the greatness of our country, our ability to rise to the problems we face, the soundness of being united, and the enduring hope for the future based on the record of our past.

There is no doubt in my mind–and the polls I strongly suspect will bear out my thinking–that Donald Trump and all those ‘Debbie-Downer Republicans’ made a tremendous and politically fatal mistake by abandoning a hopeful, and optimistic message at their convention.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the words of President Obama rang not only in the convention arena but also throughout the land when he said “America is already great. America is already strong.”

You might recall that Donald Trump called our nation ‘a divided crime scene’.  There is no substance to the wild claims Trump makes as the facts do not bear him out.  Illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, but the only way for Trump to win is to sow fear and play to the uneducated angry white man.  Slogans play to that voting demographic but they do not play to the rest of the nation.

So it was so uplifting to see Americans and patriots head to the Democratic Convention podium–one after the other–and speak to the health, power, and prestige of our nation.  What a stark contrast the Democratic message is from the mean, racist, divided, and hate-filled speeches from Cleveland that the GOP presented.

One of my favorite living politicians is Vice-President Biden who lifted my spirits so much last night when stating  “We do not scare easy. We never bow, we never bend, we never break when confronted with crisis. We endure, we overcome, and we always, always, always move forward.”

It was quite clear that Democrats are the party front and center knowing full well about American exceptionalism.  Voters want an optimistic message about the country and Democratic leaders delivered it!