Gunmakers, NRA, Unconscionable Clowns Within GOP Need To Be Held Accountable For 19 Dead School Children

We drove back into our driveway at about 8 P.M Tuesday evening. James took some food we picked up at a local restaurant into our home and I made my way to the front of the house. Our American flag was flying at full staff and so I took it all the way down, as is proper at such times, and then brought it back up to half-staff.

Once again, our nation is forced to reckon with yet one more dastardly mass shooting. Nineteen children were blown to pieces (as of this posting), along with a school teacher because our nation has knelt down to the gun lobby, NRA, and the most unconscionable clowns who reside below the curbside within the Republican Party.

We had been out for a long afternoon drive and outing celebrating our 22nd anniversary as a couple. Sirius radio from the 50s and 60s played throughout the day, and we dodged most of the sprinkles. Life was good.

In Middleton, I had switched to AM 780, WBBM Newsradio from Chicago, thinking some early primary election returns would be reported. Instead, President Biden was speaking. Before he had finished no more than a few words, and with only the gravity of his tone to alert me, made me reach my hand out and grab James’ forearm.

Something dire had occurred.

The second-deadliest shooting at an elementary, middle, or high school on record in the United States had occurred in Uvalde, Texas.

The school children, ranging from second through fourth-graders, were in that frame of mind that we all know so well. Only a couple more days of classes, than a summer break with vacations, friends, and county fairs. The last day of school was to be Thursday.

Then a gunman wearing body armor came into the classrooms and used his assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine to shred the bodies of boys and girls sitting at their desks. The carnage and images that some children witnessed will require therapy and counseling.

Adolfo Hernandez described to the media what his nephew, who was in the building at the time of the madness, witnessed.

“He actually witnessed his little friend get shot in the face. The friend, he said, “got shot in the nose and he just went down, and my nephew was devastated.”

From the White House, President Biden reacted as the bulk of the nation is doing.

“It’s just sick,” he said regarding the insanity of allowing weapons designed for the battlefield to be able to be purchased and used by anyone who can buy one.

“Where in God’s name is our backbone, the courage to do more and then stand up to the lobbies? It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

But Biden, as much as I appreciate him, did not come anywhere near to how a very large segment of the nation feels tonight.

Our national revulsion tonight is aimed at the greedy and soulless manufacturers and merchants of deadly guns, the callous and subhuman lobbyists of the National Rifle Association, and the dregs of the Republican Party who have no other skills than to ape the nonsense they hear from their puppet masters on FOX News and conservative politicians.

Investigators say the 18-year-old gunman was able to get his hands on a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, high-capacity magazines, and body armor.

It was also reported this evening on NPR that the NRA will hold its annual meeting in Houston starting on Friday. Not for the first time on this blog do I offer a way for the amoral members of that association to understand what they are doing to the nation.

We have long known the NRA is thy most dangerous lobbying group in America.  The bullshit response of ‘guns don’t kill, people kill’ gags the nation like rotten eggs left in a Texas car in mid-July.   Only the most severely uneducated rube or overly blind partisan would ever make such a stupid claim.

I think the top lobbyists and promoters of the NRA should be taken to this Texas school and once the bodies of the victims are removed have their noses rubbed in the mess that remains on the floor of the school.  Let them smell the results of the deranged policies they advocate.

Make those same NRA leaders attend every single funeral for the students.

Force the NRA to explain to the locals of Uvalde why gun interests are more important than the children of that community.

There is a great need in this nation to no longer allow the tail to wag the dog when it comes to gun control measures. There was a blood-letting today that will make the headlines, but the NRA is counting on most Americans to forget this horrible story by the time they finish their fifth beer on the couch Friday night. The NRA counts on not being mentioned again until another mass shooting.

And on, and on, it goes.

The NRA will continue to torpedo gun control legislation, and threaten politicians. The NRA will use the most base and clueless within the Republican Party to repeat and regurgitate the vile trite crap and use the echo chamber of conservative media to beat home the insane and factless talking points. We have seen this playbook all before.

Spring will turn to summer. Summer to fall. 2022 will blend into 2023. Folks, we have seen this bullshit before, mass shooting, after mass shooting.

More guns will continue to be sold, and countless rounds of ammunition will be bought.

Untold amounts of weapons will be fired.

And we all know that some of those will be fired into innocent kids, like what happened today.

We need to find our balls on this issue and stand up and demand from our legislators that they also find their own set!

The NRA needs to know they are no longer in charge. Our nation is too important to allow the games the NRA plays to continue.

If you think I am wrong, talk to a parent of a dead child in Uvalde.

No Glee To Be Had In Booing Of Speaker Robin Vos

No one can take any glee over the booing that Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos received this weekend during the Republican State Party Convention. While it can be easily framed into a partisan moment where the extreme excesses of Donald Trump’s base were on full display, it is the larger concern about our precarious democracy that matters far more.

It was a most unusual scene to have occurred at a gathering of a political party. The State Assembly leader was booed by convention-goers which made for a gripping moment on newscasts statewide.

What was most troubling, however, was that Vos did not wander off the page of Republican orthodoxy so to receive such a reaction. He did not suggest raising any tax or offering more regulatory control. He did not backtrack from school vouchers or hint at gun control measures.

No, Vos instead simply and plainly told the crowd there’s no pathway to decertifying the 2020 presidential election.

“We have no ability to decertify the election and go back, We need to focus on moving forward.”

And cue the loud boos that filled the convention floor.

It was so raucous that State Party Chairman Paul Farrow had to then inform the delegates to “let him talk” and “be respectful.”

After that display from the conservative crowd, it calls into question exactly who should be surveyed in our state about the need for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Maybe the UW System should not be first in line as a whipping boy about First Amendment rights.

While Vos did not deserve to be booed for stating a fact, he does need to own his share of the blame for stirring the pot of unreasoned anger in our state about the 2020 election. His use of former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to investigate that election has prolonged and needlessly exacerbated the Trump base of the party into continuing to think something nefarious occurred. In fact, as every examination of our state’s balloting proved, nothing illegal or sinister took place.

As evidenced from this weekend’s GOP convention no good comes when partisan attempts are used to strike at our political and electoral institutions. But over and over, across the nation, as The New York Times reported above the fold in their Sunday edition the partisan attacks on truth are far too often the new norm in state legislative races.

At least 357 sitting Republican legislators in closely contested battleground states have used the power of their office to discredit or try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The tally accounts for 44 percent of the Republican legislators in the nine states where the presidential race was most narrowly decided. In each of those states, the election was conducted without any evidence of widespread fraud, leaving election officials from both parties in agreement on the victory of Joseph Biden Jr.

Election and democracy experts say they see the rise of anti-democratic impulses in statehouses as a clear, new threat to the health of American democracy. State legislatures hold a unique position in the country’s democratic apparatus, wielding a constitutionally mandated power to set the “times, places and manner of holding elections.” Cheered on by Mr. Trump as he eyes another run for the White House in 2024, many state legislators have shown they see that power as license to exert greater control over the outcome of elections.

It undermines our democracy by playing to the ones who will use factless arguments to then spearhead spurious and dangerous reactions that strike at the heart of our political institutions.

After all that grim reality it would seem, then, for there to be no way this post could stay on theme but still somehow look upwards. And more oddly still, by using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the winds to lift our sails. But the following shows not only why we can have faith in reclaiming our democracy, but a lesson that McConnell can impart to Vos.

This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported McConnell’s pleasure over the fact the isolationist wing of the Republican Party was able to be reined in when the Ukraine aid package was put together and passed into law. He said that it was a personal victory for him.

Said McConnell: “I am interested in diminishing the number of my members who believe that America somehow can exist alone in the world.”

He added: “I think the fact that only 11, in the end, ended up voting against the package was an indication of success in convincing a larger number of our members that no matter what was being said by some on the outside that those views were simply incorrect.”

McConnell is most correct about international aid, and on the substance about the Wisconsin election not having been ‘stolen’ Vos is equally correct. What then is required from Vos going forward to combat the most unreasoned in his party, is what McConnell expertly administered in Congress to pass an aid package.

Leadership.

And so it goes.

When Will Legislative Bodies Deal With Gun Violence?

On May 9th the United States Senate passed bipartisan legislation aimed to extend security protections to immediate family members of Supreme Court justices. The release of a court draft about an abortion decision is expected this spring and has unleashed much fervor in the nation, including protests at the homes of justices. The legislation would provide security similar to protections now afforded to family members of some executive and legislative branch officials.

What is striking about this matter is that the bill had only been introduced a few days prior to the Senate vote. With swift moves, the bill rocketed through the legislative process and then received unanimous support on the floor. It awaits House action.

I have no issue with the legislation, finding it totally acceptable. I have always been concerned about protesting at the home of judges or politicians. It is unseemly. Given the social climate of increasing anger about almost every issue and a willingness to cross lines of proper behavior, there is no doubt about the bill’s necessity.

What we witnessed is the ability of the Senate to act with great dispatch when it wants to, moving with clarity and resolve. But when it comes to mass shootings in the nation after ‘thoughts and prayers’ and a few lines of outrage from members of congress, the dialogue moves to other matters, and then nothing more is said.

Or more importantly, done.

Saturday’s news about the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York contained more of the horrific narratives we have come to know all too well in our nation. For those keeping track, and what a sad statistic to even know, this was the 198th mass shooting so far this year in the United States.

An 18-year-old white man unleashed a volley of bullets at a predominately Black supermarket killing 10 people and injuring three others. The investigation has already demonstrated that this was a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.

Where Congress should jump into the matter is based on law enforcement reporting that the suspect, Payton Gendron, was investigated less than a year ago by state police after they received a report he’d made a threatening statement at his high school. He was reportedly taken into custody on June 8, 2021, and evaluated at a mental hospital. He was not charged. He was back on the streets in less than two days.

Gendron’s behavior and mental make-up should have sent red alarms up and disallowed him from buying guns, bullets, and body armor. But the laws in the states and at the national level were too lax to prevent what happened.

The suspect in the Buffalo shooting bought his assault weapon at a store in Endicott, N.Y., and said in an online manifesto that he also purchased a shotgun in Pennsylvania.

Gendron identified the firearm in his manifesto as a Bushmaster XM-15.

New York prohibits anyone under 21 from obtaining a handgun permit, but no permit is needed to buy a long gun. The state allows people to own long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, at age 16, and buy them at 18.

There are many creative minds within government and academia that surely could cultivate a plan worthy of passage where local law enforcement, and mental health providers, using government data systems could find a much more determined path forward to deal with these types of people who may become mass shooters. Clearly, the existing procedures that allow for someone like Gendron to be added to the background system are seriouly flawed. That is obvious as the type of person who made headlines Saturday is the very type that the FBI and DHS have been warning the American people about for the last several years.

Yet, the threat made by Gendron at his school was not recorded for gun background checks.

We know that the white ‘lone wolf’ has been described for years by federal agencies as one who will use extreme violence as a way to express his anger. We also know that these types are radicalized by extremist content found on some media sites and also on obscure and extremist sources online. Surely there is a mechanism we, as a nation, can find to rein in such sites and deprive troubled people of feeling emboldened.

In addition, given the political upside for members of Congress to look tough on terrorism, and make no mistake mass shootings are indeed terrorism, striking hard at online content which is often placed there by foreign intelligence and terrorist organizations is a winning hand. First with public safety, but also with applause from voters. It is imperative that those with a murderous and deeply racist mindset such as Gendron not find validation for their horrific views online.

The purpose of our collective search for workable ideas and then implementing them into laws is to stem the tide of gun violence. Given the national gun culture that has dwarfed reasoning the best we can hope for at this point is to look for narrow slices of action that legislative bodies can take.

But those legislative bodies must now step up and do the people’s business.

How many more mass shootings should the nation need to endure before the ones who took on the responsibility of public leadership does the work that the public requires.

And so it goes.

Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn Shown In Drag, Baptist Voters Will Kick Him Out Of House

The current base of the Republican Party is simply hard to take seriously. Without policy ideas and maturity among much of their elected class we are left to talking about their oddities, outlandish words, and behavior.

Such as today’s latest news about one of the creepier House members, North Carolina’s Madison Cawthorn. His own admitted lies about being invited to sex orgies in the nation’s Capital left some wondering just how much counseling it would take to unwind his spool of troubles.

Today, Twitter and other outlets are showing the real side of conservative Cawthorn as he dons lingerie in what appears to be a party setting. The photographs were obtained by POLITICO.

I could care less about the personal sex life of the wheelchair-bound Cawthorn, but it does rankle when he plays traditional Christian principles for a cheap partisan purpose while pushing his troubling narrative about a twisted brand of masculinity that damages young males, while also living his double life.

These types need to be called out pubically when they use their interpretation of the Bible along with conservative politics to undermine gay people or transgenders.

Voters in his Republican district, with a Baptist stripe wide and deep, have seven other options to choose from in the upcoming May 17th primary. His 15 seconds of embarrassing fame are about over.

And so it goes.

What Next After Tears And Standing Ovation For President Zelensky In War-Time Speech To Congress?

It was something our nation has not seen in a very long time. A powerful, moving, emotional, and dramatic presentation about the need for good to overcome evil in this world.

This morning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a most unusual and need I say rare wartime virtual speech urged Congress to stand more fully with his nation. After giving his thanks for the support from the United States thus far, he spoke for military items that have been urged for on this blog in recent weeks as the Russian military pounds and kills in Ukraine.

Zelensky urged for aid so to help close the sky over his country to Moscow’s weapons, asked that his defiant and strong-willed nation be provided more effective surface-to-air defenses, and made it known all American companies should quit doing business in Russia at once.

His words could not have been more plain and direct.

“In the darkest time for our country, for the whole of Europe, I call on you to do more.”

The address was heard by the entire Congress on a large screen in a theater-style auditorium under the Capitol. With the gravity of the hour upon the shoulders of freedom-loving people worldwide, Zelensky stated “we need you right now.”

The powerful words and image of a brave Churchillian-type figure brought tears to the eyes of some lawmakers and a resounding standing ovation. He concluded his historic address by speaking in English.

“To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

It was an address loaded with precision about the United States and this moment in time. We absolutely need to be mindful of not only what he said, but who we are.

Our nation remains a world leader, as our mission is clear and our strength undeniable. Our might comes not only with military hardware and trained members of the services but also with a firm set of principles and ideals that have global appeal.

With a dictator invading, killing, threatening, and blustering on the world stage it then demands that the standard-bearers for democracy and freedom do the part that history demands. Our ideals call us to stand up. We simply need to intervene in a far more powerful and effective manner with this madness in Ukraine.

So what happens now after the members of Congress head back to their offices?

“My hope is that what comes out of today’s discussion with President Zelensky and all of us working together in a bipartisan basis is to tighten the sanctions immediately, is to provide more armaments that they actually need to defend themselves … and give them a fighting chance to protect themselves,” said Sen. Rob Portman who is the co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus. 

This blog stands with the use of the warplanes from Poland for use in Ukraine. The rather sad spectacle of the Biden Administration rebuffing Poland’s offer to send MiG-29 jets to Ukraine via a U.S. military base in Germany was not this nation’s finest moment over the past weeks. Referring to the planes Zelensky today said, “You know they exist. You have them, but they are on earth, not in the Ukrainian sky.”

After the address, Biden correctly announced new military assistance for Ukraine that will include anti-aircraft defenses, drones, and other weaponry. The new aid will help provide 800 anti-aircraft systems to combat Russian planes; 9,000 anti-armor systems to help destroy Russian tanks and armored vehicles; 7,000 small arms such as machine guns and shotguns; and a total of 20 million rounds that includes artillery and mortar. 

While I strongly support President Biden, and find him an honorable leader, I am concerned about some reticence and foot-dragging with some aspects to Putin’s war of aggression. I want more resolve and impactful decisions that will hit hard on the ground in Ukraine.

I read a column this month in The New York Times which ended with a theme I have thought to be essential when talking about Ukraine.

Long before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt understood that America could not be indifferent to Britain’s fate, even with the odds so overwhelmingly against it. At a meeting in Britain in January 1941, his closest adviser, Harry Hopkins, used the words of the Book of Ruth to convey to Churchill the feelings the two Americans shared:

“Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” Then he added, “Even to the end.”

That is precisely how I feel today.

And so it goes.

Budget Process In Washington Is Broken, A Bi-Partisan Mess

Today news was reported that Congressional leaders reached an overarching agreement to boost military and non-defense budgets, paving the way for a comprehensive deal to fund the government into the fall.

Then Congress can wrangle over most likely another resolution to fund the government until some date that runs up to a national holiday. We have seen this chaotic scenario play out time, and time again. The process for the normal Congressional procedure with the appropriations process is simply no longer working.

Consider a fact that is shocking when you sit down and think about it.

Congress has managed to pass all its required appropriations measures on time only four times: in fiscal 1977 (the first full fiscal year under the current system), 1989, 1995, and 1997. So, this is clearly a problem that can not be tossed about in partisan terms, as both parties are to be faulted.

The accord announced today is a crucial breakthrough that’s expected to lead to the enactment of a sweeping 12-bill spending bundle in the next few weeks, following months of tense cross-party negotiations. Democrats are seeking to finally override the funding levels carried over from the spending package signed into law in the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, while Republicans are fighting for a military budget far above the less than 2 percent increase President Joe Biden requested.

While specific contentious policy debates may yet upend the talks, leaders in both parties applauded the framework agreement.

Let me offer a simple reminder of how the process is supposed to operate. I have to credit Mr. Winn, an engaging and determined teacher who knew the value of civics education, for pounding home each chapter in the textbook.

First, and foremost, there must be an orderly process, or the power players can triumph over the green-horns who may not know the intricacies of passing appropriations bills. Grasping that process matters is not just a trite phrase. It has meaning and consequences when not adhered to.

Second, the President is required to send to Congress a budget in February. It is actually a law that reads “On or after the first Monday in January but not later than the first Monday in February of each year, the President shall submit a budget of the United States Government for the following fiscal year.”

This year, just as a side note, President Biden did not follow 31 Code § 1105 and submit a budget. Over the past week, reporters have stated the rationale for missing the mark is due to Congress not yet finishing their work for the fiscal year 2022 appropriations–hence, how does one construct a budget without knowing which base of numbers to work from.

Let me press home again, the ongoing problem in Congress, as they have not passed regular 2022 appropriation bills. And to add frosting to that cake, those bills, had they passed on time, were supposed to be completed by September 2021.

Congress, in the days when Allen Drury wrote his Advise And Consent series of great reads, had a framework prepared for how to tax and spend by late spring from the appropriation committee. The two houses of Congress used that framework to craft and cajole over individual spending bills with everything completed by October 1st when the federal government’s new fiscal year starts.

Two current problems have weighed down this textbook chapter from my high school days. Congressional time seems to have taken on a more turtle-like pace, and the partisan dysfunction has rocketed beyond comprehension.

The number of days Congress works is a topic that does require attention.

In 2012, the House was in session for 153 days. During the 2010 midterm elections when Republicans took over the chamber, the House was in session 128 days. In 2008, they were here 119 days and in 2006, they were here a mere 104 days.

This year, 2022, Congress will meet for 112 days, including Committee Work Days, which is consistent with second-session years in the past. Over the last fifteen years, the House has been scheduled to meet for an average of 111 days during the second session of a Congress.

Is it just me, or could there be a remedy with the Congressional calendar to find time to make sure appropriations bills are sent through normal procedures and processes and finalized on time?

I understand the time commitment members of Congress face with a wide array of duties in the district. But, I feel confident in suggesting missing the glad-handing at the Friday night diner will be viewed with favor by voters it is means working in Washington on the nations’ business.

And so it goes.

Inflation Not Issue With Democrats’ Job And Revenue Generating Proposals

The news has lately been filled with stories about price increases from gasoline to beef. But just as many stories have been reported that airlines are selling tickets galore and sales are percolating at stores. This morning the lead story above the fold in The Wall Street Journal was titled Shoppers Increase Spending, Despite Inflation.

U.S. consumers withstood rising inflation to power a burst of shopping ahead of the holiday season, with big retailers reporting higher sales and expectations for a solid finish to the year.

Sales at U.S. retail stores, online sellers, and restaurants rose in October by a seasonally adjusted 1.7% from the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

While it is possible to track the reasons for inflation since the pandemic, the supply chain disruptions, and the unemployment numbers or as it has also been termed the “mass resignations’, it must be noted why we must not throw away the chance to advance our society with policies that have been long sought. We need to understand that these proposed initiatives are not inflation-inducing.

When it comes to the Build Back Better legislation some partisans who desire to undermine President Biden rather than listen to the strong support from the public, as polls show, have used the fear of inflation as their rhetorical tool. But the facts and logic are not on their side.

This week at the signing of the massive and much-needed infrastructure bill Republican Senator Rob Portman spoke words that did not make as much news coverage as they warranted. His message was clear. Investing in jobs and revenue-generating ideas is a path towards a strong US economy.

“It represents a long-term investment in our nation’s hard infrastructure assets that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and make us more efficient, more productive and more competitive against other countries like China. Importantly, economists agree that by investing over time in hard assets, it adds to the supply side of the economy, and will be counter-inflationary at a time of rising inflation. And it does all of this without raising taxes on the American economy as we are coming out of the pandemic. In contrast, the partisan tax and spend Build Back Better plan will increase inflation through massive stimulus spending and hurt the economy through massive tax increases.

While it is easy to locate the latest screed from the likes of GOP Senators Ted Cruz or Ron Johnson it obviously makes far more sense to listen to the words of economists and learned individuals. Such as Mark Zandi who for years has been read and heard in this nation about economic matters. He is now the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

The hair-on-fire discourse over high inflation is understandable, but it’s overdone. … My inflation outlook could be Pollyannish, but only if inflation expectations — what investors, businesses, consumers and economists think inflation will be in the future — rise. If there is a widespread view that inflation will remain high, workers will demand higher wages to compensate and businesses will ante up, believing they can pass along their higher costs to their customers. This vicious wage-price spiral was behind the persistently high inflation we suffered 30 years ago. But there is no evidence that this is happening today.

All of this refutes the notion that the government spending and tax breaks to support the economy through the pandemic, including the American Rescue Plan this past March, are somehow behind the higher inflation. These factors certainly gave a boost to demand last spring, but that faded when the Delta variant gained momentum this fall. There is also no good way to connect the dots between the Build Back Better agenda, which is currently being debated in Congress, and higher inflation. The legislation provides support for public infrastructure and various social programs, and longer term, it is designed to lift the economy’s growth potential, which will ease inflationary pressures.

The fact is that inflation fears are being used by Republicans to confuse a certain segment of the nation and undermine the sitting president. They are not interested in, or understanding of the popular support for housing programs, climate-change policies, and a plethora of other matters contained in the Build Back Better legislation.

Fear may get them a headline now, but the nation is deserving of progress that history will long record.

And so it goes.

Compromise In Washington Makes Stronger Bridges, Better Roads, Ports Near You

We know what happens when partisan gridlock ties up the governing process making Washington mostly useful as the tool for nighttime comedy writers.

But what happened when 19 Republican Senators joined the majority, or when 13 House Republicans linked votes with their Democratic colleagues on the same congressional bill?

On Monday President Joe Biden signed a truly impressive legislative measure to address infrastructure concerns in the nation. The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill matters for more than just needed physical improvements. Let me explain.

As a result of Congress earlier this year, and correctly so, pumping over a trillion dollars into the economy due to the pandemic, it might seem massive funding amounts are commonplace in headlines. While that is true, the significance of the new legislation and the dollars pumped into states and communities should not be overlooked. The infrastructure projects will impact each and every American.

There is the essential $110 billion to be spent on roads, bridges, and other major transportation projects. With the President’s signature, $66 billion in freight and passenger rail will be updated. It will direct $39 billion into public transit systems, which will assist local urban centers, such as Madison and Sun Prairie.

This blog has commented on the absolute need for expanding broadband, especially following the educational debacle in some parts of the nation that occurred with long-distance education due to COVID. So I am very pleased with the $65 billion into expanding broadband.

The reason we can applaud these items listed here, and a plethora of others in the measure, is due to the ability of members from both parties to move forward with the primary reason they were sent to Washington. To do the work of the public.

Over the many years when voters were asked what angers them about government, the primary reason can be summed up that the failure to compromise and get bills passed that impacts ‘the folks back home’ is the one that most rankles. 

The all-out ultra-partisanship has been building for decades, and this one glimmer of bipartisanship being sealed into a final package will not allow for everyone to see the light. To feel the art of the possible.

But to not stop and recognize the positive impact of working together on this measure will only allow the continuing rancor that consumes Washington to have won another day.

I can just see some conservative candidates challenge Republican incumbents who stood up and decided that government should act for better roads and bridges. How dare a member of the GOP work with the majority party! We have come to a place in our tribal politics when infrastructure is now viewed, by some, as Red or Blue. It was not so long ago that infrastructure bills were just common-sense measures where every state and congressional district proved to be lifted up and improved.

Every district will win with this funding measure too, but many of the Congressional Republicans will carp for their partisan ends. That is a sad place where our nation has landed.

For the rest of us, therefore, it is important to grasp the value of compromise and bipartisanship. We can see the fruit of such work.

And in the future, we will feel it too as we ride on smoother roads and walk through improved airports.

And so it goes.