Protester in a MAGA cheesehead at the Reopen Wisconsin rally at the Capitol on April 24, 2020 (photo by Luther Wu).

Wisconsin is a major front in the war on U.S. democracy

BY: - December 7, 2023

It was startling to read in The Washington Post this week that former President Donald Trump, following the lead of right-wing conspiracy theorists, has demanded that the Justice Department turn over “all documents” on John Nichols, whom the Post describes as “a liberal journalist in Wisconsin who rightwing media have suggested encouraged violence at the […]

Black children in a classroom sitting at table raising their hands

Why ‘color-blindness’ is dangerous

BY: - December 5, 2023

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that “separate but equal” schools and other public accommodations for Black and white people were  constitutional. The Plessy decision is also the first time the phrase “color-blind” was used in American political discourse by Justice Harlan in his dissent of the Plessy decision. Harlan […]

A child waves an American flag during a Fourth of July celebration with frontline workers and military families, Sunday, July 4, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

Hands off our national myth, er, story – the dynamic driving anti-wokeness

BY: - November 30, 2023

Legitimacy and the fear of losing it.   That’s at  the root of efforts to whitewash teaching that would otherwise tell stark, uncomfortable truths about U.S. history and the impacts that linger today.   I’m referring here to the legitimacy of American exceptionalism.   There are many who demand homogeneity even on what we agree is our national […]

Wisconsin barn

This Thanksgiving, consider the wellbeing of family farmers 

BY: - November 22, 2023

On Thanksgiving, families across America are gathering around tables to enjoy the season’s bounty. Yet, behind the scenes, a complex web of challenges threatens the agricultural foundation of this tradition. The recent one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill by Congress has brought temporary relief, but the call for a new, comprehensive five-year farm bill […]

Cheryl Maranto of North Shore Fair Maps | Wisconsin Examiner photo

Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case and the fight for democracy

BY: - November 22, 2023

Tuesday was a historic day in Wisconsin. As the state Supreme Court took up a long-awaited gerrymandering case, the Capitol was filled with a cacophonous din. In the rotunda, big screens broadcast the oral arguments from inside the Supreme Court chamber at high volume for public viewing. Simultaneously, on the other side of the marble […]

Village of Maple Bluff

Being ‘welcoming’ versus being ‘safe’ — soul searching in a Madison suburb

BY: - November 16, 2023

In the context of recent events in the statehouse, the U.S. Capitol and the escalating war in the Middle East, the decision by the Village of Maple Bluff to move Halloween trick-or-treating from Tuesday, Oct. 31, to Sunday, Oct. 29, was not exactly headline news. Still, residents of the Madison suburb packed a village board […]

Milwaukee residents gather to stand in solidarity with Palestinian residents, as the Israeli government conducts an assault on Gaza. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Conflict and agony in the Middle East

BY: - November 14, 2023

If you are progressive and conflicted about the Israeli-Hamas war, be comforted. Your discomfort could be a sign that you have not consigned yourself to a black-and-white, knee-jerk mindset for a problem with multiple layers of complexity. If you’ve been paying attention to the backlash that virtually any response to the conflict generates, you know […]

Wisconsin’s dangerous abortion restrictions threatened my life and will continue to harm women

BY: - November 13, 2023

Nearly a year and a half after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban went back into effect, it may be easy for some to forget the harm that the ban has been inflicting. But as anti-abortion lawmakers in our state continue to pass legislation to obstruct and stigmatize […]

finger pointing, people arguing

 Voters don’t agree with the GOP. Republicans don’t want to hear it.

BY: - November 10, 2023

Wisconsin Republicans passed a pair of  campus “free speech” bills through the Assembly this week, one of which gives students unfettered editorial control of campus newspapers, and another that sets new free speech standards and heaps fines and punishments on campuses if they violate them. As Baylor Spears reports, floor debate on both measures revolved […]

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, arrives for a briefing on Ukraine at the U.S. Capitol on September 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Tommy Tuberville is losing

BY: - November 7, 2023

Let’s remember the stakes of Tommy Tuberville’s months-long blockade of military promotions. The Pentagon in February announced a new policy to help service members get abortion services, months after the U.S. Supreme Court gave states like Alabama the green light to to impose draconian restrictions on the procedure. The policy gives members of the armed forces […]

Wisconsin Capitol - reflected in Park Bank

Robin Vos’ impeachment threats and the Republican hall of mirrors

BY: - November 3, 2023

The Republican clown caucus scored a victory Thursday when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos caved to pressure from election deniers and moved forward articles of impeachment against Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe.  Vos, who had previously said he didn’t plan to act on the impeachment threat, was apparently moved by a six-figure ad buy in […]

President Biden in Wisconsin

Tell me if you’ve heard this: Two senior citizens run for president 

BY: - November 1, 2023

At 70, I’ve slowed down some. Well, a lot.  And, yet, I could be president.  This is not hubris. Not “could” as in there is any remote possibility that I will ever be president or want to be. But, “could” in the sense that saddled with that job, it would not be beyond my physical […]