tl;dr – Daily headlines and comments from our newsletter

“too long; didn’t read” is our quick roundup of today’s top stories with commentary. Click “Newsletter” in our banner to subscribe and receive updates each weekday .

Friday, March 11, 2022

There are so many things going on in the world that can make us angry, divided, or just plain sad. We need to make time for the little victories and the little luxuries that allow us to be distracted for a while.

For your editor, it’s always been baseball. The working day is truly over once the first Leinie’s Summer Shandy is poured and the Brewers game airs on TV or when Bob Uecker’s voice plays on a phone app while the garden hammock sways from before backward. The prospect of not having this diversion was an insult on top of the many small injuries we all suffer on a daily basis. It’s of course nice to know that they’re going to play ball, after all.

And as you’ll read below, whether it’s someone in politics with what should be a volunteer service position on a state board, or people who are always working to undermine our elections and democracy itself, we need every moment of escape we can get.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

This daily greeting – dubbed tl;dr for “too long; didn’t read” – duplicating us. Sometimes it’s a brief summary of today’s newsletter content in case it’s a literal case of tl; dr for you. Other days it serves as editorial space, such as Wednesday’s take on the Legislative Assembly going on paid vacation for the next 10 months. Either way, we appreciate feedback and hope you feel free to share these views with your friends and group on social media.

Today, let’s sum up what’s below, as if the editor’s mother said, “Just tell me what’s going on.” Well, mom…

  • Tom Tiffany and Glenn Grothman would rather we continue to import Russian oil while it continues to slaughter Ukrainian women and children.
  • Republicans want the state Elections Commission to be more aggressive in stripping voters’ mail-in ballots for minor errors.
  • The Congress is preparing an aid program for Ukraine. For a time, it looked like it would be funded in part with money that had already been committed — but not yet sent — to states like Wisconsin as part of the US bailout. Governor Tony Evers and other governors have told Congress what they think of this idea, and this raid is no longer taking place.
  • There has rarely been a better time to serve your community, as 20 state legislators retire. It’s damn hard to run against an incumbent or wait for an incumbent from your party to quit.
  • And even if you’re busy, scroll down to see one of Milwaukee County Zoo’s new baby otters. CUTE ALERT! BABY OTTER!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

In case you didn’t know, your humble editor is a former Wisconsin lawmaker who served in the state Senate from 2007 to 2011. Sandwiched between two journalism careers, my time on Capitol Hill has left me given access that I could only dream of as a journalist.

It reinforced a view of people that was similar to my experience in writing. Some people wanted to be real journalists while others just wanted to act on TV. Some people are really into public service while others just want the power (and acting on TV). I quickly learned to appreciate worker bees and avoid drama queens and kings.

So I speak from experience when I make these statements about our current legislature. First, there is always enough credit for everyone. Responsible leaders seek the win-win. Others don’t want to govern so much as they want to govern, rejecting any input from the people who make up half of your state’s voters.

Second, there is no reason to send dozens of bills for vetoes. Send enough to make a point and stop wasting everyone’s time. And third, taking a taxpayer-funded 10-month vacation is wrong. If you want a part-time legislature, cut that salary by $50,000.

Believe me, ignoring this bipartisan view will eventually catch up with you.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Honestly, we’d like to edit the current Disney hit, “We’re not talking about Bruno”, and change the line to “We’re not talking about Ron Johnson”. There are many other news worthy of our times. But then he says or does something else that has a real impact on people’s lives.

On Monday, he said he would try to kill the Affordable Care Act if re-elected. He is therefore against health reform. On Tuesday, he meets protesting truckers in Washington, DC, because they are against pandemic protection measures. Over the past few weeks, we have learned that he is opposed to making child care affordable. It is against the fight for jobs come to his hometown of Oshkosh.

We already knew he was against impeaching former President Donald Trump for blackmailing the Ukrainian president while refusing his military support. It was against an independent investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress. And we know it is against independent elections in Wisconsin, after urging Republicans in the Legislative Assembly to take over Wisconsin’s bipartisan Election Commission.

He is even against keeping his own promise that, if elected to a second term, he would not stand for a third.

Sublime (spread Russian disinformation) to ridicule (saying Greenland was once green and only recently froze), Senator Johnson continues to show us that being against everything is no way to lead a country with big challenges that require finding ways to say yes to solutions. It’s not meant to be a side show. This is the United States Senate. So we’ll try again tomorrow for a day where we don’t have to start a daily news digest with some version of “Guess what Ron Johnson said this time.”

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