Sunday in Whitewater will see scattered afternoon thunderstorms with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:54 AM and sunset 8:05 PM, for 14h 10m 46s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated.
In Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal, the paper’s editorial board writes that Steve Nass and Co. make it harder to fight COVID. A portion of the editorial appears immediately below:
Here we go again: State lawmakers are needlessly complicating reasonable health rules that will help keep our schools and economy open.
Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, is insisting that universities seek approval from him and a handful of his skeptical colleagues for masking, vaccine and testing requirements on state campuses.
Never mind that University of Wisconsin System schools have adopted and adjusted similar rules for more than a year now, which helped control COVID-19 among students, staff and surrounding communities.
Never mind that UW System President Tommy Thompson — the former Republican governor who led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush — is insisting state universities need flexibility to adapt to changing health threats.
Nass and a handful of his fellow GOP lawmakers don’t want to hear any of that. They are bent on micromanaging public health policy at UW schools, which Thompson correctly warns would cripple sensible precautions as students return for fall classes next month.
Nass’ Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted 6-4 last week — without a formal meeting or public hearing — to require universities to submit plans for COVID-19 policies within 30 days. This came just as UW-Madison was announcing it will reinstate its indoor mask mandate for students, staff and visitors. UW-Milwaukee previously announced it was bringing back masks inside its buildings. In addition, UW-Milwaukee will require weekly testing for unvaccinated students and employees.
That’s similar to what many state and local governments, health facilities and private businesses are doing to protect against a highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. The delta variant is infecting more than 1,000 people a day in Wisconsin — especially the unvaccinated. It is even sickening some vaccinated people, though not as often or as severely.
Nass’s efforts will make the fight against COVID harder, but then Nass isn’t fighting COVID. He’s fighting, as he has for most of his political career, a long list of perceived human enemies: moderates, liberals, progressives, socialists, Marxists, Democrats of any kind, Republicans in Name Only, the college-educated, and ‘outspoken’ Black, Latino, or other minorities.
Nass is often listed as representing Whitewater, but his state senate district does not include the City of Whitewater, and he could never win an election in the city proper. When Nass travels into the city, he visits a place where a majority now does – and always will – reject his politics. When Whitewater’s school superintendent annually hosts Nass (among others) at a legislative breakfast, in Nass that administrator is hosting someone who makes his host look obsequious.
His right-wing politics is, like Nass himself, mostly low and dull: cruelty as a form of self-aggrandizement coupled with schadenfreude. Having read or listened to Nass for years, one can affirm that there’s not a word that he has said (or that has been written for him) that is elegant or elevated. His latest maneuver reeks of attention-seeking. As with others of his politics, Nass likely feeds on the outrage he produces in others. (For many of us, it’s not outrage, truly, but contempt that Nass evokes.)
He has been the area’s troll-king, although now a new generation of Trump-only-men has eclipsed him. Nass is not half so outrageous as he is plodding and predictable.
And so, and so, his present condition: a Troll-King in Autumn.