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Daily Bread for 8.7.22: Michelle Cottle Asks, and Answers, Why Ron Johnson Is Still Competitive

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will see scattered thunderstorms with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:53 AM and sunset 8:07 PM for 14h 13m 47s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 72.5% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1782, George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle. It is later renamed to the more poetic Purple Heart.


 Michelle Cottle asks Why Is Ron Johnson Still Competitive Despite, You Know, Everything? She succinctly describes Johnson’s liabilities, Mandela Barnes’s liabilities, and how Johnson will present himself to voters.

Johnson:

The Trump era has given us so many … let’s say, colorful … characters. But Mr. Johnson may be the senator who most fully embodies the detached-from-reality elements of MAGA-world — the guy most likely to spend his spare time fashioning tinfoil hats while cruising QAnon message boards. His irrational and irresponsible conspiracy mongering about matters such as the Covid vaccine, the integrity of the 2020 election and who was really behind the Jan. 6 riots (“agents provocateurs”? antifa? The FBI? Nancy Pelosi?) unsettled even some of his Republican colleagues.

Mr. Johnson has gotten so out there that his brand is suffering with the voters back home. His favorability numbers have been largely underwater for the past couple of years. A June survey from the Marquette Law School Poll showed 46 percent of Wisconsin voters with an “unfavorable” view of him versus 37 percent with a “favorable” one. (Sixteen percent responded either “Don’t know” or “Haven’t heard enough.”) He is considered perhaps the most vulnerable Republican incumbent on the midterm ballot, a tempting target for Democrats scrambling to keep control of the Senate.

Barnes: 

Of the Democratic pack, the lieutenant governor is seen as having the best potential to juice turnout in blue enclaves such as Milwaukee and Madison. He is also seen as the easiest for Republicans to define as a radical leftist. He has expressed support for defunding the police and praised the lefty Squad in the House. There is a photo of him holding up an “ABOLISH ICE” T-shirt. There is video from an event in July at which he called America’s founding “awful.” Last November, during a virtual forum for Senate candidates, he observed that America is the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth “because of forced labor on stolen land.”

Once the primaries are done, the Republicans’ attack on Mr. Barnes is expected to be swift and brutal.

How Johnson will run this race:

And, for all of Mr. Johnson’s inherent MAGAness, his paid media has been that of a more conventional Republican, hitting Democrats on inflation and public safety. Keeping the race focused on these policy areas — while steering clear of more exotic issues — is considered his key to victory.

Cottle observes that Johnson is gaffe prone (he is), but if the race remains close Johnson and independent PACs supporting him will by design say anything about Barnes to win to this race. It’s likely to be close all the way through. 

One can guess that progressive Barnes, like Sen. Sanders or Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, would not be a libertarian’s first choice for federal office. Johnson, however, would be no libertarian’s choice at all (one would write in a candidate rather than vote for Johnson, if Johnson were somehow the only candidate on the ballot). That MAGA Republicans cannot grasp this difference between candidates, or more precisely that they conflate progressive politics with threats to the constitutional order, is one reason that principled conservatives and libertarians are Never Trump.  

There’s nothing genuinely libertarian about Trumpism’s radical threat to liberal democracy, or its wall-building, child-caging, rights-abolishing, and trade-warring. 

Never means never. 


Wildfire rages in Washington state, town evacuated:

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Daily Bread for 8.6.22: Trump Campaigns for Trump and Michels, Against Kleefisch and Vos

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 91. Sunrise is 5:52 AM and sunset 8:08 PM for 14h 16m 10s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 62.5% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1945, after years of war, the United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. 


Donald J. Trump, elected president once while having lost the popular vote twice, made an appearance in Waukesha last night. He spoke for and about himself (of course!), touted Tim Michels, while deprecating Rebecca Kleefisch and Robin Vos. Shawn Johnson reports Donald Trump campaigns for Tim Michels, against Robin Vos at Waukesha rally:

Former President Donald Trump used a campaign stop in Waukesha to call Republican candidate for governor Tim Michels a “big-time” builder while attacking Michels’ Republican opponent Rebecca Kleefisch as the “hand-picked candidate of the failed establishment.”

Trump also suggested Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, — who has helped set the GOP agenda in Wisconsin for a decade — is a Democrat, urging people to vote for his primary opponent, Adam Steen. At one point in between, he even took a dig at Kleefisch’s husband.

It was the latest reminder that Trump remains fixated on politics in Wisconsin at all levels as he prepares for an all-but-certain run for president again in 2024. 

….

Trump called Kleefisch a political insider.

“She’s the handpicked candidate of the failed establishment, the RINOs and the Washington swamp,” Trump said, referring to the acronym for Republicans In Name Only. “Kleefisch complains about lobbyists, but her husband is one of the biggest lobbyists in a place called Madison,” Trump said, referring to Joel Kleefisch, the former state representative-turned-lobbyist who currently represents nine clients, according to state records.

Trump also attacked Vos, who has repeatedly angered Trump over his refusal to try to decertify President Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin, a step election law experts say is legally impossible.

“Adam Steen is running to defeat your RINO speaker of the house, Robin Vos,” Trump said.

Trump on Michels and on Vos’s opponent, Adam Steen:


Hippo Crushes Watermelon Like It’s Nobody’s Business:

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Film: Tuesday, August 9th, 1:00 PM @ Seniors in the Park, Downton Abbey: A New Era

Tuesday, August 9th at 1:00 PM, there will be a showing of Downton Abbey: A New Era @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:

(Romance/Drama/Comedy)

Rated PG; 2 hours, 4 minutes (2022).

All of the favorite characters and actors from the popular ITV/PBS series reunite as the Crawley family goes on a grand journey to the south of France to uncover Violet’s newly inherited villa. Meanwhile, back at Downton, the staff has to contend with a production company, making “motion pictures.”

One can find more information about Downton Abbey: A New Era at the Internet Movie Database.

Daily Bread for 8.5.22: 6 Sensible Takeaways as Job Growth Soared in July

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:51 AM and sunset 8:10 PM for 14h 18m 31s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 51.1% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay begins at Mobile Bay near Mobile, Alabama, as Admiral David Farragut leads a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and seals one of the last major Southern ports.


A new jobs report is out this morning, showing over a half-million (528,000) jobs added to the economy in July 2022. So is this simply great news (‘the economy’s strong’) or bad news (‘the hiring surge  may push the Federal Reserve to continue to raise rates to cool an overheating economy’)?

One month is only one month, yet a single development can hold more than one implication. The takeaways from the New York Times this morning seem sensible — they consider the large July job gains as suggestive of several meanings:

U.S. jobs report shows a gain of 528,000 in July.

U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said on Friday, an unexpectedly strong gain that shows the labor market is withstanding the economic impact of higher interest rates, at least so far.

The impressive performance — which brings the total employment back to its level of February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns — provides new evidence that the United States has not entered a recession.

….

Wage growth climbed rapidly in July, even as the Fed awaits a sustained slowdown.

Wage growth climbed more quickly than economists had expected in July, concerning news for the Federal Reserve at a time when officials are watching for signs of a sustained moderation in pay gains that could help to pave the way to lower inflation.

Average hourly earnings climbed by 5.2 percent in the year through July, more than the 4.9 percent forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, and its growth was revised higher in June.

….

Stocks tumble after the strong jobs report upends expectations for the Fed’s next move.

Stocks on Wall Street were poised to drop on Friday, after the far stronger than expected jobs report upended expectations that the Federal Reserve will be able to slow down its campaign to raise interest rates.

Futures for the S&P 500 pointed to a drop of about 0.8 percent when trading begins, a clear change in direction from the minutes before the release.

….

The jobs report suggests President Biden is right about a recession.

The strong jobs report was welcome news for President Biden, who has insisted in recent weeks that the United States is not in recession, even though it has suffered two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

But the report also defied even the president’s own optimistic expectations about the state of the labor market — and appeared to contradict the administration’s theory of where the economy is headed.

Mr. Biden has said for months that he expects job creation to slow soon, along with wage and price growth, as the economy transitions to a more stable state of slower growth and lower inflation.

….

Employment grew strongly across nearly all sectors.

Leisure and hospitality led the gains, adding 96,000 jobs, including 74,000 at food service and drinking establishments. The sector has been the slowest to recover its losses from the pandemic and remains 7.1 percent below its level in February 2020.

Professional and business services followed close behind, adding 89,000 jobs across management occupations, architecture and engineering services, and research and development. That sector, which suffered little during the pandemic, is now nearly a million jobs above where it stood before the last recession.

….

Gloomy about the economy and inflation, Americans remain upbeat about jobs.

Fifty-two percent of Americans say it is a good time to find a job right now, compared with just 11 percent who say it is a bad time, according to a survey conducted last month for The New York Times by the online research firm Momentive. (The rest say the situation is “mixed,” or didn’t answer the question.) Fifty-six percent say the job market is more favorable to employees than employers, and a majority think that these conditions will continue for at least six months.


 UK scientists are working on a new tool to edit your DNA and cure hereditary heart problems:

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Friday Catblogging: Fancy Feast Cat Food Creates Menu for Humans

Photo by Biel Morro on Unsplash

So, how closely do you want to understand your pets? For ailurophiles, a limited-time menu in Manhattan might bring them closer to their felines.  Amy Ratcliffe reports Fancy Feast Is Hosting a Pop-up Restaurant for Humans, with a Menu Inspired by Cat Food:

This one might hurt your brain a little. Fancy Feast, known for manufacturing cat food, is entering the world of food for humans. But Fancy Feast’s cat food inspires the company’s human food. Yes, you read that correctly. At a limited Italian pop-up in New York City, cat food enthusiasts can dine at Gatto Bianco by Fancy Feast and have human cuisine inspired by cat food. We first spotted this wild news at CNN, and we are still wrapping our heads around it.

You see, Fancy Feast has a line of cat food called Medleys. Some of the Medleys cat food flavors do sound tasty. The line includes wild salmon primavera, turkey florentine, beef ragu, and more recipes. You know you’ve wondered about the taste of cat food with appetizing names like these. And Fancy Feast has too. Fancy Feast’s human food at Gatto Bianco will pay homage to traditional Italian cuisine and take inspiration from the Medleys entrees. Michelin Star winning Italian chef Cesare Casella is working with Fancy Feast’s in-house chef Amanda Hassner on the menu.

….

Gatto Bianco will be open on August 11 and 12. They’re allowing only four reservations each evening for a complimentary tasting menu.

See, press release, Fancy Feast Introduces Gatto Bianco – an Italian Trattoria for Cat Lovers.

The dishes are not Fancy Feast cat food, but they are meant to suggest the best of a cat food cuisine on a person’s plate.

Clever.

Only in America.

Daily Bread for 8.4.22: Homeland Security Watchdog Needs Watching

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 84. Sunrise is 5:50 AM and sunset 8:11 PM for 14h 20m 52s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 39.7% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1914, in response to the German invasion of Belgium, Belgium and the British Empire declare war on Germany. The United States declares its neutrality.


Lisa Rein, Carol D. Leonnig, and Maria Sacchetti report Homeland Security watchdog previously accused of misleading investigators, report says:

The Homeland Security watchdog now under scrutiny for his handling of deleted Secret Service text messages from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol previously was accused of misleading federal investigators and running “afoul” of ethics regulations while he was in charge of a Justice Department inspector general field office in Tucson, according to a newly disclosed government report.

In the 2013 report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, which was never publicly released, investigators said they did “not believe” Joseph V. Cuffari’s explanation for why he failed to inform his supervisors — against federal rules — about his testimony in a lawsuit brought by a federal prisoner.

Separately, they found that Cuffari broke ethics rules by referring law firms to the prisoner’s family, including firms where some of his close friends worked. “We concluded Cuffari’s actions violated the [inspector general] manual’s prohibition on unethical conduct,” said the report, which also noted that he may have violated guidelines by using his government email to lobby for a position as inspector general for the Arizona National Guard, among other issues.

For a federal agent, failing to be truthful with investigators can lead to discipline, suspension and possible termination from federal service.

An internal team recommendedreferring Cuffari to the inspector general’s investigations unit for a deeper review of his actions, the report said — but he quickly retired and the following month joined the administration of then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) as a policy adviser for public safety.

When he was nominated five years later by President Donald Trump to become the Homeland Security watchdog, Cuffari told Senate lawmakers in a questionnaire that he had been fully truthful to investigators in their probe. Senators in both parties did not press him for details of the investigation before his confirmation by a voice vote in July 2019.

Only the ‘best people,’ and more of them if Trump returns to power. See How Trump could reimpose “Schedule F” in 2025 and 2024 GOP hopefuls back Trump’s plan to purge civil servants


 Volcano erupts near Iceland’s capital in seismic hot spot:

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Daily Bread for 8.3.22: Gableman’s a Fraud and Vos Is on the Menu

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be breezy and humid, with a few strong t-storms, and a high of 84. Sunrise is 5:49 AM and sunset 8:12 PM for 14h 23m 10s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 29.4% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1977, the Tandy Corporation announces the TRS-80, one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers.


For many years, Patrick Marley reported for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; recently he began reporting for the Washington Post. He’s written two big stories about Wisconsin politics since his recent arrival at the Post: Memo shows Wis. GOP lawyer [Glableman] privately opposed decertifying Biden’s 2020 win and Trump endorses challenger to Wisconsin GOP leader [Vos] who has probed 2020 election. (To my knowledge, Marley was the first to report on each of these developments.)

Of Gableman, Marley’s reporting reveals former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court as a barker with private doubts about his own circus: 

MADISON, Wis. — It was an extraordinary public statement from a former state Supreme Court justice hired by Republican lawmakers to probe the 2020 election: Wisconsin should take a “hard look” at canceling Joe Biden’s victory and revoking the state’s 10 electoral college votes.

The comment in March drew applause from a packed hearing room in the state Capitol and praise from former president Donald Trump, whose allies have called for throwing out the results in Wisconsin and other battleground states even though constitutional scholars have scoffed at the notion as absurd.

But a newly unearthed memo shows that the former justice, Michael Gableman, soon afterward offered a far different analysis in private.

“While decertification of the 2020 presidential election is theoretically possible, it is unprecedented and raises numerous substantial constitutional issues that would be difficult to resolve. Thus, the legal obstacles to its accomplishment render such an outcome a practical impossibility,” Gableman wrote to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

….

Gableman and a spokeswoman for Vos offered no comment on the memo.

For Gableman, mendacious in public still means mendacious. Knowing better in private reveals Gableman’s unsuitability as not only as a special counsel, but also as a member of the Wisconsin bar. Gableman merits an Office of Lawyer Regulation inquiry. 

Of Vos, Marley reports that Trump’s decided that cannibalism’s not taboo after all:

Former president Donald Trump turned on Wisconsin’s Republican House speaker Tuesday, endorsing his opponent in next week’s primary, even though the speaker has spent the last year probing how the 2020 election was conducted.

Trump and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos have had a stormy relationship. Vos has sought to overhaul the state’s voting systems and authorized the wide-ranging review of the 2020 election. But he has been steadfast in resisting a push from Trump’s allies to try to undo Trump’s loss to President Biden. Such a move is legally impossible, so Vos has said legislators shouldn’t try to do it.

Trump and Vos have talked regularly about the review of the 2020 election, with the pair discussing the issue last year on the former president’s private plane. Trump expressed frustration in a lengthy statement Tuesday about Vos using the photo of the two in his primary race.

Trump in his statement said that “Vos has tried to mislead his constituents, sending out mailers that feature a picture he took with me — trying to make voters believe am a Vos supporter, which I am not. He does not come close to supporting America First policies, and I do not come close to supporting him.”

Instead, Trump said he is backing Adam Steen, who has called for decertifying the election and labeled Vos a traitor for not doing more to investigate the 2020 election. Trump called Steen a “rising patriotic candidate.”

Gableman’s a fraud and Trump’s insatiable. 

Yes. 


James Webb Space Telescope delivers stunning Cartwheel Galaxy views:

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Daily Bread for 8.2.22: The Russian Economy’s Not “Bouncing Back” (and What That Means for Local Policymaking)

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:48 AM and sunset 8:13 PM for 14h 25m 26s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 20.5% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM

 On this day in 1932, the positron (antiparticle of the electron) is discovered by Carl D. Anderson.


Does a post about Russia’s economy have meaning for public policy is small towns like Whitewater? Oh, yes: in a local context, public policy that’s based on false assumptions (boosterism, toxic positivity) and bad data (or no data) leads to policy mistakes. In the international context, superficial press accounts of Russia’s experience with sanctions show what happens when reporters don’t think soundly or don’t assess evidence. 

It’s been half a year since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, and America and other liberal democracies have imposed strong sanctions on Russia. (This collection of liberal democracies was once called the Free World, and considering Russian and Chinese dictatorial ambitions, now would be a good time to bring back the term.) 

Merely concerning economics, without reference to military action, how’s Russia faring since her invasion? Headlines here and there (often posed as questions) imply Mother Russia is managing well, and perhaps ‘bouncing back’: Is Russia’s economy bouncing back from Western sanctions?, Smugglers’ secrets: How Russia can beat EU sanctions, and Russia is winning the economic war

Oh, brother: both a sound grasp of Russian economic life and a review of economists’ analyses leads to the same conclusion: the Russian economy is suffering and will continue to do so. The Motherland hasn’t bounced back; she’s having trouble walking. 

Of a sound grasp, consider: Russian is neither as economically independent of the West as the Soviet Union was, nor as robust as a modern, liberal democratic economy. As a solid initial assumption, Russia’s dependency and weakness would suggest trouble managing sanctions. 

Of an economic analysis (beyond a few clickbait headlines), consider: one finds evidence  that sanctions have been debilitating for Russia. A recently published study from Yale economists finds that Business Retreats and Sanctions Are Crippling the Russian Economy. 

From the abstract: 

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters into its fifth month, a common narrative has emerged that the unity of the world in standing up to Russia has somehow devolved into a “war of economic attrition which is taking its toll on the west”, given the supposed “resilience” and even “prosperity” of the Russian economy. This is simply untrue – and a reflection of widely held but factually incorrect misunderstandings over how the Russian economy is actually holding up amidst the exodus of over 1,000 global companies and international sanctions.

That these misunderstandings persist is not surprising. Since the invasion, the Kremlin’s economic releases have become increasingly cherry-picked, selectively tossing out unfavorable metrics while releasing only those that are more favorable. These Putin-selected statistics are then carelessly trumpeted across media and used by reams of well-meaning but careless experts in building out forecasts which are excessively, unrealistically favorable to the Kremlin.

Our team of experts, using private Russian language and unconventional data sources including high frequency consumer data, cross-channel checks, releases from Russia’s international trade partners, and data mining of complex shipping data, have released one of the first comprehensive economic analyses measuring Russian current economic activity five months into the invasion, and assessing Russia’s economic outlook.

From our analysis, it becomes clear: business retreats and sanctions are catastrophically crippling the Russian economy.

See Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey and Tian, Steven and Sokolowski, Franek and Wyrebkowski, Michal and Kasprowicz, Mateusz, Business Retreats and Sanctions Are Crippling the Russian Economy (July 19, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4167193 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4167193

A serious person begins with well-considered assumptions, thereafter adjusting those assumptions, if necessary, to experiences both physical (like economic data) and intellectual (as with new algorithms or paradigms).

New Haven, Palo Alto, or Whitewater: a person can think as clearly, and plan as well, in any of these communities. 


 Giant 3D Dog Leaps Between Billboards in Tokyo

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Daily Bread for 8.1.22: Two Postures, Two Results

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:47 AM and sunset 8:14 PM for 14h 27m 41s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 13% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM

 On this day in 1774, British scientist Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.


Different people in a community play different roles, in different ways, although this is hard for some to understand.

Not every resident is  — and in a free society need be — the same. For many years, and occasionally even now, people will ask why a libertarian blogger who writes about government is not a member of the government. They are serious when they ask; in asking, they assume there is one community role that everyone should hold if they wish to speak about the community.

How odd, that some who hold diversity as a value do not recognize diversity and individuality in community roles. 

And so, and so, while a libertarian may choose to write, and a choose to maintain a certain personal distance from events (all the better to see clearly), it does not mean that he or she cannot grasp how speaking, on camera particularly, is more or less effective depending on the atmosphere of the moment. Indeed, it may turn out that some of those libertarians are quite comfortable speaking, but choose against that role. It’s easier to assess an environment when one does not become the center of attention.

A simple truth, however cynical it sounds: the camera or an audience makes a huge difference. A confrontation off-camera is nowhere as meaningful to the public as a confrontation on-camera. It’s not simply that more people might see an on-camera confrontation; it’s that people perceive on-camera confrontations differently.

This brings me to a discussion of speaking in contentious political environments. When the atmosphere is hostile (but obviously not violent), for example, it’s better to lean toward others, to engage. That’s often uncomfortable, but it reaps rewards for presenter.

Consider the following two photographs, and imagine each person as an official speaking to the community before an agitated audience.  

A serious man at his desk: 

He is serious, entrenched behind his desk, waiting to deal with complaints. He’s already accepted he’ll receive a critical reception in which he needs a barrier between himself and others.

In response, one should start in a neutral tone and demeanor, assessing the strength of his responses. If he responds convincingly, then one engages in a dialogue, but there’s no more to be had. If, however, his responses are unconvincing, one can escalate argumentatively (always while controlled and avoiding overreach) knowing that this man offers only unpersuasive replies while locked into a defense physical position that makes him look either aloof or anxious. If he fails in his responses, he’s opened himself up by words and posture to others’ escalation.

Now consider a second photo.

The caption says she’s confident, and that’s an apt description. She’s subtly inviting in expression and boldly confident in posture. Her audience might be critical, but if it is, then she’s meeting them with sangfroid. Perhaps she was behind a desk, but then came forward when she thought that the discussion might become heated.

In response to her posture, one should reasonably begin and stay conversational in speech and relaxed in manner. A combination of neutral, straightforward, or even occasionally teasing and playful remarks might be in order, but no more. Deep sarcasm would be unsuited to the exchange. Her confidence in posture, if matched with confidence in replies (even replies that are unsatisfying to others), assures her something like a draw, at a minimum, in any confrontation. There is no chance, none whatever, that anger or hostility would carry the day with someone as confident as this woman appears.

When off-camera with people who are evidently excuse-making, wrong-headed, or indolent, how they position themselves or how others respond matter less. (Honestly, some officials in these settings could use more, not less, criticism.) 

In a public meeting, however, everyone is under the gaze of an audience and a camera. In that setting, demeanor and suitable responses to that demeanor matter a great deal. Not all, but much, can be won or lost by getting one’s public presentation right in address or in critical reply.


Planets, Perseids and Cygnus in Aug. 2022 skywatching guide:

 
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Daily Bread for 7.31.22: The Trails Before Us

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:46 AM and sunset 8:16 PM for 14h 32m 05s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 7.2% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress passes a resolution that the services of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”


The Trails Before Us from Fritz Bitsoie on Vimeo:


This Dog Gym Lets Pups Exercise Without Being in the Summer Heat:

 
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Daily Bread for 7.30.22: Velveeta Introduces ‘Cheese-Infused’ Martini

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 81. Sunrise is 5:45 AM and sunset 8:17 PM for 14h 32m 05s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 2.9% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1932, Walt Disney‘s Flowers and Trees premieres, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.


Velveeta’s getting attention for its recent abomination ‘cheese-infused’ martini, but it only counts as cheese-infused if one considers Velveeta a proper cheese. No, and no again. 


1932 Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees:

 
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Daily Bread for 7.29.22: Pence v. Trump in Wisconsin

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:44 AM and sunset 8:18 PM for 14h 34m 14s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 0.7% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1958, U.S. President Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


In the WISGOP gubernatorial primary, both Donald Trump and Tommy Thompson are backing Tim Michels. Mike Pence has now endorsed Rebecca Kleefisch. Deneen Smith reports on Pence’s July 27th endorsement:

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch announced she is being endorsed in the governor’s race by former Vice President Mike Pence.

Kleefisch shared the Pence endorsement on Twitter. Her post includes a statement from Pence calling her “the only candidate that will deliver a stronger and more prosperous Wisconsin.”

….

Kleefisch’s announcement comes the day after former President Donald Trump said he was coming to Waukesha to campaign for Tim Michels ahead of the primary. Michels is Kleefisch’s main rival in the Republican primary race, with the two roughly tied in the most recent polling by the Marquette University Law School Poll.

What to make of this? Public polling shows the race is close. Is Trump visiting Wisconsin because he thinks Michels needs a push, or because Trump thinks he’ll be able to take credit for a likely Michels win by appearing in Wisconsin before the primary?

Pence’s endorsement suggests Pence believes the race is close, and thinks the former lieutenant governor has a good prospect of winning. It’s hard to believe that Pence would risk an endorsement of someone he thought was a sure loser. (If Michels wins, Trump will spend days taking credit and deprecating Kleefisch, Walker, Pence, their children, and any pets they have: ‘They choked like dogs; even their dogs choked like dogs.’)  

I’ve thought this was Michels’s race to lose, and perhaps it still is. Nonetheless, both sides, it seems, think Michels could lose. And from that suspected possibility, we have Pence v. Trump. 


 Ukrainian missiles strike key bridge in Russian occupied Kherson:

 
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Friday Catblogging: Bobcats in Connecticut

Connecticut, parts go which are suburbs of New York City, isn’t a place presently associated with bobcats. That perception should change, as   Daniel Figueroa IV reports North America’s most common wildcat has a large, but nearly invisible, home in the Nutmeg state:

If you have, over the last few years, noticed a reduction in the number of deer, raccoons, rats, or other populace critters that hang around the woods and cities of Connecticut, bobcats could be behind it.

The bobcat, or Lynx rufus, is the most common wildcat in North America. And for the last 50 years, those signature tufted ears and furry cheeked felines have gone from near nonexistence in the Nutmeg State to an elusive ubiquity.

“We’re finding out a lot more about them and how they are such an amazing and adaptable animal,” Jason Hawley, a wildlife biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said. “We used to think they needed undisturbed habitat to persist. But through research over the years, we’re finding they’re incredibly adaptable and able to thrive during urban development, which is important because Connecticut development isn’t going anywhere.”

Since 2017, DEEP has used GPS collars and telemetry to track about 150 bobcats throughout the state. Hawley said Connecticut’s urban cores connected by streams and greenspaces have created routes for bobcats to find new hunting grounds. One has even been tracked between New Haven and Bridgeport, where it’s found a veritable feast in an abandoned Remington Arms munitions facility.

“It’s grown into thick, brushy, nasty stuff that you and I would look at and think ‘I don’t want to walk through that,'” Hawley said. “But for bobcat it’s like a little piece of heaven.”

They’re there. On a visit to Connecticut about five years ago, some friends and I saw a bobcat running by the side of the road in a village dating back to the Colonial era.

I’ve yet to see a bobcat in Whitewater, although I’d like to see some here.