Daily Bread for 3.31.21

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 39.  Sunrise is 6:36 AM and sunset 7:20 PM, for 12h 44m 26s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 89.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower officially opens.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Shelley K. Mesch reports Alliant Energy proposes $515 million solar developments; MGE buys into wind farm:

Alliant Energy plans to buy and construct six more solar farms for $515 million to meet its goal of 1,000 megawatts of solar power in Wisconsin by 2023, the company announced Wednesday.

The six projects would add 414 megawatts — enough to power about 100,000 typical homes for a year — to the company’s grid, pending regulatory approval from the Public Service Commission.

With approval, Alliant would develop solar farms in Dodge, Grant, Green, Rock and Waushara counties and would purchase another plant — being developed by National Grid Renewables — in Dodge County.

Alliant requested approval last year to purchase six other projects under development by other companies totaling 675 megawatts in the state for about $900 million. That proposal is still awaiting the PSC’s response.

 AFP reports Antony Blinken says the US will ‘stand up for human rights everywhere’:

The United States will speak out about human rights everywhere including in allies and at home, secretary of state Antony Blinken has vowed, turning a page from Donald Trump as he bemoaned deteriorations around the world.

Presenting the state department’s first human rights report under President Joe Biden, the new top US diplomat took some of his most pointed, yet still veiled, swipes at the approach of the Trump administration.

“Some have argued that it’s not worth it for the US to speak up forcefully for human rights – or that we should highlight abuse only in select countries, and only in a way that directly advances our national interests,” Blinken told reporters in clear reference to Trump’s approach.

“But those people miss the point. Standing up for human rights everywhere is in America’s interests,” he said.

“And the Biden-Harris administration will stand against human rights abuses wherever they occur, regardless of whether the perpetrators are adversaries or partners.”

 Michael Gerson writes The GOP is facing a sickness deeper than the coronavirus:

All pandemic policy involves a trade-off between the level of deaths and the level of commercial interaction. But concerning covid, Republican governors tended to put a greater value on economic activity than preserving the lives of the elderly and vulnerable (and others) when compared with Democrat-led states. In doing so, they elevated their views above the sober judgment of experts.

How is this performance by many Republican governors not discrediting, even disqualifying? Does it not concern people in GOP-led states that, at a key moment in the crisis, they were nearly twice as likely to die of covid than their counterparts in Democrat-led states? Why does it not generate more outrage that many Republican governors are continuing these policies even as infections spread and virus mutations accumulate?

Realistically, this is because the economic benefits of covid irresponsibility are immediate and obvious to everyone. And even twice a very small risk is still a very small risk. But this reasoning requires us to abandon our social solidarity with the elderly and vulnerable, who bear a disproportionate cost in [South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. ] Noem’s vision of liberty. And I fear it indicates a wide streak of social Darwinian callousness in the American right.

Cashless, Contactless Smart Store for Masked Shoppers:

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