Eclipses Galore

Yesterday was the day of the eclipse. The moon eclipsed the sun. The man who currently occupies the presidency eclipsed the Speaker of the House. And the top generals apparently eclipsed Steve Bannon and the man who currently occupies the presidency! What a day.

This morning I noted that our local press apparently can't stay up late enough to cover the news in Wisconsin. The Journal Sentinel had not word one about Paul Ryan's fake town hall last night. (It's a fake event, in my view, when the audience is hand-picked by no-one-know-who and the questions are screened in advance, again by some anonymous folks, presumably at CNN.) The national press, however, went to town on it.

Politico notes that Ryan faces heat back home: "In this small southeast Wisconsin town on Lake Michigan [Racine], the speaker received the same kind of treatment as other congressional Republican facing unhappy crowds at town halls. In some ways his powerful position in Washington makes it worse because he controls the 240-strong House Republican majority." I'm not so sure about the "controls" part — and that's the crux of his problem.

The Washington Post focuses on Ryan's challenger Randy Bryce: "CNN’s town hall forum with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, at some risk of being overshadowed by the president’s speech on Afghanistan, has turned into a marketing opportunity for progressives. Randy Bryce, Ryan’s likely Democratic opponent in 2018, has purchased time for two 30-second spots that will run during the broadcast in the Republican’s district." The Post story includes video of both ads. Well worth a watch.

And a Dominican nun challenged Ryan on his approach to health care. Charlie Pierce at Esquire sharpens his already deadly pen. Here's the first paragraph:

While the president* was fastening on his Serious World Leader face Monday night, Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, was facing a carefully tailored audience at a CNN "town hall" in Racine. Because Ryan is the biggest fake to hit Congress since the King of the Cranks, Ignatius Donnelly, there was the usual nonsense and prevarication.... But my favorite moment came when Ryan was confronted by a Dominican nun who challenged him to square his zombie-eyed granny-starving with his Catholicism. What followed was pure Ryan, which is to say dishonest, cowardly, patronizing, and totally unmoored from either self-awareness or actual reality. Gaze in awe.

If you didn't watch and want to, you can see the whole thing on YouTube.


Back here in Wisconsin, the race for the Democratic nomination for governor is heating up. The Wisconsin State Journal has a page devoted to helping us keep track of who is in, who is thinking, and who is out. The list of "ins" is getting longer: Dana Wachs (Representative, Eau Claire) has entered the race as have Tony Evers (State Superintendent of Public Instruction), Mike McCabe (founder of Blue Jean Nation), and Andy Gronik (Democratic Businessman), plus the Don Quixote of candidates, Bob Harlow (software engineer). In the still-exploring category, we have former state Rep. Brett Hulsey, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout.

The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County is already gearing up to sponsor at least one candidate forum, possibly early next year. But you don't have to wait to hear what Senator Vinehout is thinking. She'll be speaking and answering questions at an event Grassroots North Shore is hosting on Wednesday, August 30, at Bay Shore Lutheran Church (1200 E Hampton Rd, Whitefish Bay) at 6:30 pm. Doors open at 6 pm. Please RSVP.

Finally, mark your calendars and save the dates for the Grassroots North Shore annual picnic on Sunday, September 17 from 4:30-7pm ( see more information and RSVP) and our annual fundraiser "Laugh 'Til It Dursts" with nationally renowned political comedian Will Durst on Thursday, September 21 from 7-9pm ( see more information, buy tickets and RSVP).



Wed Aug 23, 2017

Community Justice Council, 9:30am - 11am 
Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee
Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole. More information.

EXPO (Ex-Prisoners Organizing), 12pm - 2pm 
Milwaukee County Court House, 901 N 9th St, Milwaukee
EXPO to picket August 23 EXPO (Ex-Prisoners Organizing), which has been campaigning to close the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, is planning its next MSDF picket on Wed., August 23 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Coalition leaders will be getting voter pledge cards filled out, getting “close MSDF” petitions signed and handing out flyers about the #CLOSEmsdf Campaign.

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm 
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Invest Divest Youth Meeting, 5:15pm - 5:15pm 
All Peoples Church, 2600 N. 2nd St, Milwaukee
Join LIT (Leaders Igniting Transformation) and other youth and young adults from around Milwaukee as they come together for a night of proactive solutions to our current problems around policing, criminal justice, and funding youth priorities. It will be a night of youth performance, educational workshops including visual arts, and space for youth voice to be heard about their alternative solutions compared to the status quo. Dinner will be provided (pizza). More information.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 7pm 
Bar Louie, 5750 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale
Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Come drink a beverage or two of your choice and talk about Liberal stuff. More information.

Thu Aug 24, 2017

Mental Health Board Meeting, 8am 
Mental Health Complex, Conference Room 1045, 9455 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Milwaukee
Note change of location. Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Meeting. More information.


e Blood Drive, 2pm - 6pm 
Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale
Alderwoman Tomika Vukovic is sponsoring a blood drive and bone marrow registry to help maintain blood supplies, which are down this summer. All attempting donors will receive a voucher for admission to a select Brewers game in September. Appointments encouraged; refreshments provided. Schedule a blood donation or call the Blood Center at 877-232-4376. If you are 18-44 and willing to donate marrow to any patient in need, please visit

Abele Budget Listening Session, 5:30pm - 7:30pm 
Wilson Park Senior Center, 2601 W. Howard Ave., Milwaukee
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a listening session on the 2018 County Budget in order to solicit feedback and input from the community. More information.

Grass Roots South Shore Social, 6pm - 9pm 
Bender Park, 4503 E. Ryan Rd., Oak Creek
Come join members and friends of Grass Roots South Shore for a summer social. Come toast the summer among friends, and make some new ones. Appetizers and desserts to pass are welcome. There will also be live music and the Traveling Beer Garden.

Waukesha Writers Club, 6:30pm - 8pm 
336 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha
The "Letter to the Editor" section is one of the most widely read parts of the newspaper, offering a chance to reach a broad audience. Letters to our legislators are also an effective way to let them know what we expect of them. Working together gives us the opportunity to discuss the current issues, improve writing skills, develop persuasive techniques that target intended readers, and help each other with ideas and suggestions. Sponsored by ([email protected]).

Fri Aug 25, 2017

Unity March for Peace, 6pm - 7:30pm Zeidler Union Square Park, 301 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee 
Protest the NRA's Expo. The NRA has been amping up their fear-mongering and hate speech — often times mirroring the words of the Alt-Right —and now they are coming to Milwaukee for a three-day expo to recruit,t rain, and outfit civilian "commandos." We cannot stay silent. We cannot allow them to turn our neighborhoods into their battlefields! For more information, please call WAVE Educational Fund at 414-351-9283 or visit WAVE on Facebook.

Sat Aug 26, 2017

Community Brainstorming, 8am - 11am 
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee
Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum. Breakfast @ 8 am and Program @ 9 am. Program: Violence Prevention Panel (all from City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention): Reggie Moore, Director; David Muhammad, Program Manager; Deonte Lewis, Program Coordinator; Salma Abadin, Analyst; Sumaiyah Clark, ReCast Project Manager. Moderator: Roderick Rush, Chair Hon. Russell Stamper Sr. All Are Invited, Come and Participate. Details.

Sustainability Fair, 9am - 3pm 

Lapham Peak State Park, Delafield 
The Sustainability Fair is a gathering of organizations and businesses to inform and engage the citizens of Waukesha County about environmental sustainability. The Fair will include exhibits, presentations, and activities throughout the park targeting children through adults. The goal is to provide tools and information that make being sustainable approachable, fun and economical. Hosted by The Waukesha County Green Team.

Equal Pay and Women's Health Forum, 12pm - 2pm 
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy
The forum on Equal Pay and Women's Health will have as notable guests the great Congresswoman Gwen Moore, the 9to5 organization, State Representative Christine Sinicki and more. Our own Rob Hansen will be MC and moderator of Q and A for each presenter.

Sun Aug 27, 2017

Sunday Demonstration, 12pm - 1pm 
Cutler Park, Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha
What are you most concerned about? Social justice, democracy, the environment? Join us for a silent demonstration. We meet at Cutler Park in Waukesha on the sidewalk along Wisconsin Avenue near the Public Library. Bring a sign or use one of ours. Sponsored by Grassroots Waukesha.

Grassroots Waukesha Picnic and Annual Meeting, 4pm - 8pm 
Muskego County Park, shelter #4
Join us for a potluck picnic to celebrate the efforts of you, the oneswho are taking action to make a difference in our community. Activists, angels, healers, helpers, bridge-builders, volunteers, do-gooders,change agents, environmentalists, phone callers, and peace-and -justice-seekers deserve a celebration. Bring your main dish, something to pass, what you want to drink, mosquito repellant, and a folding chair (or sit at picnic tables). Park admission is $4 per car. We’ll provide paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, grills, charcoal, and grilling tools.

Mon Aug 28, 2017

March on Milwaukee 50th Anniversary to host 200 Nights of Freedom Kick-off at City Hall, 5:30pm - 8pm 
Milwaukee City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Milwaukee
The March on Milwaukee: 50th Anniversary Coordinating Committee is hosting the 200 Nights of Freedom Kick-Off in the Rotunda at City Hall. This event kicks off 200 Nights of Freedom, an initiative recognizing our local civil rights heroes from the Fair Housing Marches of 50 years ago. This campaign is re-igniting Milwaukee's simmering spirit of activism through 200 nights of public events, policy initiatives, digital dialogue, and other programming. Networking and socializing begins at 5:30 p.m. and the evening’s program will run from 6:00 - 8:00pm. Refreshments will be provided.

Tue Aug 29, 2017

Tim Burns Meet and Greet/Fundraiser, 5:30pm - 7pm 
The Wisconsin Club, Deutscher Room 900 West Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee
Although listed as a fundraiser, the Campaign says it is also a Meet and Greet.

Wed Aug 30, 2017

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm 
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Kathleen Vinehout Conversation, 6:30pm - 8pm 
Bay Shore Lutheran Church, 1200 E Hampton Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217, USA
Grassroots North Shore will host an event with Sen. Kathleen Vinehout who will discuss the state budget and other topics of importance to Wisconsin. Kathleen Vinehout is one of the state’s leading progressive voices. Don't miss this chance to hear her views and to participate in a far-reaching question and answer session. RSVP.

Thu Aug 31, 2017

ACLU Event on Racial Profiling, 6pm - 8pm 
Riverwest Public House Co-op, 815 E. Locust St, Milwaukee
An evening of information and justice-seeking as we hear about the ACLU's lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police over racial profiling/stop and frisk. Panelists include: David Crowley, Wisconsin State Representative for District 17, and plaintiff in the case Karyn Rotker, Race, Poverty, and Civil Liberties Attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin. The panel moderator is Jarrett English, Youth Organizer with the ACLU of Wisconsin. There will be time for Q&A, networking, and becoming a member of ACLU Milwaukee Chapter.

Sun Sep 3, 2017

UBLAC Mass Meeting, 2pm - 4pm 
Brown Deer United Methodist Church, 5736 W Brown Deer Rd, Milwaukee
UBLAC (Uplifting Black Liberation and Black Communities) welcomes you to attend its next Mass Meeting. This will be a space to continue to develop and foster relationships, connections, ideas, movement and resources. More information.

Mon Sep 4, 2017

Drinking Liberally Waukesha, 6:30pm - 9pm 
Clarke Irish Pub, 314 W. Main St., Waukesha
More information.


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