Sunrise In America With Solar Eclipse

Sunrise has never been so beautiful–or weird. Today dawn broke over the northeastern USA and Canada with a solar eclipse in progress. Here is what it looked like from Long Beach, New Jersey. And New York City.

Bipartisanship In Wisconsin!

There is truly an uplifting news story to comment on and something each citizen can smile about. It could even auger well for the future of our state.

Former Wisconsin governors Jim Doyle, a Democrat, and Scott Walker, a Republican have come together for the better health of our state. They have joined efforts to enlist their fellow citizens to get vaccinated so to stem the spread of COVID. Their commitment to having the state residents get vaccinated should be applauded.  

In the statewide public service announcement for UW Health System Walker suggests to Doyle that the two of them surprise the state by doing what Democrats and Republicans rarely do in Wisconsin, Agree on something!

“Let’s do a commercial together — reminding people in Wisconsin how important it is to be vaccinated,” Walker says to Doyle.

“That may be the best idea you’ve ever had,” Doyle responds.

While combatting the pandemic is mighty important, and it is most appropriate that these two men unite in this fashion, would it not be nice if we now took other steps to form more bipartisanship in the Badger State?

Perhaps it is time to turn to the former leaders of this state–in a bi-partisan fashion–and have them brainstorm about what might be done to again fashion a working center for state politics. Having a ‘vital center’ was once the backbone of governing and allowed for the state to advance.

Bring former Assembly Speakers Tom Loftus and John Gard, former governors Tommy Thompson and Tony Earl, and former state senators Dale Schultz and Tim Cullen along with others together to put forth a blueprint on how collegiality can again lead us in our politics.  Get the editors of our state papers engaged in writing articles and OP-ED pieces so as to then enlist the voters of the state to step up and also demand changes.

Our history shows what can happen when partisans place the common good ahead of everything else.  When Europe was starving after WWII it was Democratic President Harry Truman who turned to former Republican President Herbert Hoover to enlist his aid in formulating a plan to combat the human devastation in large parts of the world.  History shows us the rest of that success story.

The needs we have in Wisconsin are far less dire than those faced by Truman but the larger lesson should not be missed.  Working as colleagues in a fair and open-oriented process of governing will produce good policy, renew the electorate’s faith in government along with those elected to serve, and shine a light on Wisconsin as an example of how the values and ideals we share are still alive.

Now if that does not make for a genuine smile of hope I am not sure what will.

Strong Female Congresswoman Challenged For Being Honest, Anti-Muslim Bias in Democratic Party

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar made public a concern this week during a congressional hearing that has caused an uproar within the Democratic caucus. The incident underscores the bias within the elected class in Washington towards views that need to be heard but too often are marginalized.

It was during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Monday, when Omar, a Muslim woman elected from Minnesota, asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about an International Criminal Court probe of allegations against both the Taliban and the U.S. in Afghanistan and by Hamas and Israel in the most recent Middle East conflict.

Omar later shared the exchange in a tweet that read: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Late last night a dozen of her caucus colleagues put out a late-night statement criticizing her for comparing war crimes in the fashion she did. In response, Omar called her fellow House Democrats’ reaction ‘shameful’,

She is correct.

I find it lamentable that one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress needs to feel that her views and perspectives on issues which she has every right to speak out about, are to be curtailed and shaped so as to mollify the larger group. She has every right to express facts, lodge questions, foster dialogue, and seek analysis over war crimes as much as the Baptists and Catholics from all points of this nation do.

Calling out the abuses and addressing the headlines from the Middle East–whether they always make this nation’s front pages of newspapers or not–is essential. Omar is doing her work with diligence when making the comparisons and asking the questions.