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Daily Bread for 8.13.22: Pencils Made from… Old Newspapers

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will see scattered afternoon showers with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:58 AM and sunset 7:59 PM for 13h 58m 57s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 97.6% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1961, East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants’ attempts to escape to the West, and construction of the Berlin Wall is started. The day is known as Barbed Wire Sunday.


 Pencils Made From Old Newspapers Could Reduce Pollution:


LEGO Celebrates 90th Birthday With 94,000-Piece ‘Cake’: 

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Daily Bread for 8.12.22: Retention is a Dialogue

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will see afternoon showers with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:58 AM and sunset 8:00 PM for 14h 01m 29s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.6% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1981, the IBM Personal Computer is released. 

By Rama & Musée Bolo – File:IBM_PC-IMG_7271.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94784371


So, of the nation, William Frey writes that White and youth population losses contributed most to the nation’s growth slowdown, new census data reveals

The particular ethnicity of residents is not a concern for me (or for Frey, as he’s simply look at trends). The youth population (of any ethnicity) should always be a subject of attention. There are two problems for small, rural communities: if they have fewer young people or if among young people few wish to remain in town. There’s all much talk (and talk and talk) about growth, but many small towns have a problem even retaining talented young residents. Ambitious newcomers won’t readily come to a place that ambitious young residents are leaving.

(When I am writing about retention, it’s retention of residents, unless expressly mentioned otherwise. Public institutions may have their own troubles retaining workers, but those troubles matter far less than a community’s problems with loss among residents.) 

What does it take to retain residents, especially talented & productive younger ones?

It takes asking what they would like in their community and seeing how much of that the current generation can offer. 

Successful retention most certainly does not require — indeed, it suggests strongly against — relying solely on the current generation’s ideas about what Whitewater should be. The current generation has scads of ideas that they are sure the next generation would want. (Because, after all, who wouldn’t want what Whitewater’s current generation wants?)

I’m not young, so I’ll not offer theories on what young people want. One doesn’t have to be young, however, to see that an older person’s idea of what young people want is a poor substitute for a thorough survey of the younger generation’s hopes and expectations. 

Retention of residents, especially many talented younger ones, requires a dialogue, not a monologue. 


 The geometry of life: When mathematics meets synthetic biology

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Friday Catblogging: Stolen Bodega Cat Reunited with Owners

Some good news in difficult times. Melissa Klein reports Stolen bodega cat returned to its owners at Brooklyn deli:

It’s a purrfect ending to the tale of Boka, the stolen bodega cat.

A mysterious intermediary returned the feline to the Green Olives Deli & Grill in Park Slope a week after a catnapper grabbed the gray kitty outside the Seventh Avenue shop.

Abdulmajeed Albahri, one of three owners of the bodega, said he was reunited with Boka at 5 a.m. Saturday when he arrived an hour before the store opened for the day.

“He was waiting exactly in front of the doors,” Albahri said, adding he spent the next hour playing with the cat and giving him treats.

Video posted to the cat’s KediBoka Instagram account shows the kitty looking up expectantly as his owner opened the deli door to see him.

But how Boka came back is still not clear.

He went missing on July 29 when video captured a man dressed in khakis, a white shirt and a light blue hat lingering outside the store. He is seen scooping up the cat and spiriting him off.

Appeals to get Boka back, along with photos of the fiend, were posted to TikTok and Instagram. The cat’s disappearance also garnered wide media attention.

Daily Bread for 8.11.22: National Demographic Estimates Show Youth Population Decline

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 79. Sunrise is 5:57 AM and sunset 8:01 PM for 14h 03m 58s of daytime.  The moon is full with 99.7% of its visible disk illuminated. 

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets at 4:30 PM.

 On this day in 1919, the Packers are founded: “On this date the Green Bay Packers professional football team was founded during a meeting in the editorial rooms of Green Bay Press-Gazette. On this evening, a score or more of young athletes, called together by Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun, gathered in the editorial room on Cherry Street and organized a football team.”


Good data are hard to find. They exist, but in these fact-bending times, they’re often left in the brush while lies and lunacy stroll across the savannah. Good demographic information isn’t everything, but it is a better beginning than fantastical theories about ivermectin, election fraud, or a supposed deep state. They’re a solid starting point for examining a place (county, state, or city).  From that start, one then examines interactions beyond demography, and this examination, while more personal, itself requires a foundation of fact and theory derived therefrom. 

For today, some general (national) demographic data. William Frey examines the latest population estimates and writes that White and youth population losses contributed most to the nation’s growth slowdown, new census data revealsWhile losses of the White population may be culturally notable, the losses among youth are economically notable: 

Now, newly released Census Bureau estimates allow us to examine these shifts via specific race-ethnic and age groups. Unlike the 2020 census data, these estimates permit analyses of annual population change.[1] 

This report focuses on annual changes from July 2016 to July 2017 through July 2020 to July 2021. This period includes three years prior to the pandemic, one year with partial pandemic exposure (2019 to 2020), and one year with full pandemic exposure (2020 to 2021). This allows for an assessment of race-ethnic and age shifts before and during the pandemic. 

This is also a significant period because, as a previous report shows, the nation’s white population began to decline in 2016.[2] This initial white population loss occurred before the pandemic and is related to the aging of the white population, which has led to fewer births and more deaths—losses that are projected to continue. And as shown below, the pandemic has exacerbated this white population loss. 

The examination of age shifts shows a loss of young people under age 18 and those in their prime working ages (18 through 59). Moreover, when looking at age and race, it becomes clear that nonwhite Americans, especially Latino or Hispanic Americans, comprise larger shares of the population at all ages. 

This report also revisits earlier analyses of notable population declines in large metro areas and big cities. It shows that most of those declines are due to white population losses, both from the national white population decline as well as white population movement to smaller-sized places. 

While these trends are exaggerated in the prime pandemic year, it is plain to see that the nation is facing a long-term transition toward greater diversity and aging, both nationally and across large swaths of the country. 

The particular racial or ethic composition of a place matters as nothing compared with an overall population loss, especially among younger people. The former is an interesting cultural matter; the latter is a cause of relative or absolute economic decline. If you’re living in a town where young people want to move away, you’re living in a declining town. Significant population gains some small towns are getting from big-city émigrés have not happened for Whitewater. 

There are in Whitewater and other places those residents who think that life would be better with fewer people, or fewer people who are different from the residential majority. These are people who don’t understand that ghost town is an undesirable condition. 

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash


 ‘Firenado’ sparked by hot winds and wildfires burns in California

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Daily Bread for 8.10.22: Wisconsin’s August 9th Primary

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:56 AM and sunset 8:03 PM for 14h 06m 28s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 96.3% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 On this day in 1977, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) is arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.


Unofficial results of contested races below, in order from state to county —

 WISGOP Gubernatorial. Trump-endorsed Connecticut-homeowner Michels wins comfortably

Candidate Total Votes % Votes
Tim Michels (R) 326,571 47.2%
Rebecca Kleefisch (R) 291,013 42.0%
Timothy Ramthun (R) 41,647 6.0%
Kevin Nicholson (R) 24,842 3.6%
Adam Fischer (R) 8,155 1.2%

For Kleefisch, last of the Walker team, it’s the end of the road. Her dutiful service to Walker, and Walker’s partnership with  Trump on Foxconn, only got them, well, Trump’s endorsement of Michels.  

On to November, where Michels now sees that he’s going to need donor-class money to beat Evers, as Patrick Marley reports:

@michelsforgov has largely self-funded his campaign and said he wouldn’t accept donations of more than $500. After wining his primary tonight, his campaign manager said he would now accept donations of up to $20,000, the maximum allowed under Wisconsin law.

 Lieutenant Governor. Ben Baker reports Democrat Sara Rodriguez and Republican Roger Roth win lieutenant governor primaries to join governor tickets:

98.42% Est. Vote Counted
 
Choices Total Votes % Votes
Rodriguez (D) 353,818 76.5%
Her (D) 108,737 23.5%

….

99% Est. Vote Counted
 
Choices Total Votes % Votes
Roger Roth (R) 178,750 30.1%
Patrick Testin (R) 108,667 18.3%
Cindy Werner (R) 80,857 13.6%
Jonathan Wichmann (R) 79,245 13.4%
Will Martin (R) 54,752 9.2%
Kyle Yudes (R) 32,027 5.4%

  WISGOP Attorney General. Eric Toney defeats Adam Jarchow, with Karen Mueller as the biggest crackpot loon of all third-place candidate:  

98.65% Est. Vote Counted
 
Choices Total Votes % Votes
Eric Toney (R) 223,180 37.5%
Adam Jarchow (R) 219,720 36.9%
Karen Mueller (R) 152,302 25.6%

Isaac Yu reports of Mueller:

Mueller did unexpectedly well, capturing a quarter of the vote despite raising just $42,000 last quarter. She had entered the race on a promise to prosecute doctors who refused to prescribe the anti-parasite medication ivermectin for COVID-19 patients. Mueller appeared to be leading in three counties and very nearly took the Janesville-based Rock County.

 Speaker Vos Survives Trump’s Scorn. A close race, but Vos survives a challenge from Trump-endorsed Adam Steen, and now — now — Vos declares “Michael Gableman, the man he hired to investigate the 2020 presidential election, ‘an embarrassment.’ ” 

  31st Assembly District.  Whitewater is within the 31st District, and in that race, Ellen Schutt wins the WISGOP primary over Maryann Zimmerman and Jason Dean:

  Walworth County Sheriff.  Whitewater resident Dave Gerber defeats Craig Konopski in the WISGOP race for Walworth County Sheriff:


Raves in the wreckage: Party planners help rebuild Ukraine:

There is more than one way to help one’s country:

Before the war, Kyiv’s music scene and hipster vibes helped the Ukrainian capital earn the reputation of being “the new Berlin.” But Russia’s invasion has halted the city’s nightlife and put many creative young professionals out of work. Now a group of party-planners have turned their talent’s to hosting “clean-up” raves in Kyiv Oblast, taking volunteers into villages devastated by Russian attacks to help locals clean-up and restore their communities. Without aid from these volunteer groups, government efforts to rebuild homes and clean up communities would likely take years.

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Daily Bread for 8.9.22: The Alex Jones Verdict

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:55 AM and sunset 8:04 PM for 14h 08m 55s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 90.4% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets at 6 PM

 On this day in 1974, as a direct result of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office. Vice President Gerald Ford becomes president.


Alex Jones falsely stated that the parents of deceased children from the Sandy Hook school shooting were mere ‘crisis actors’ (as Jones contended no one died in the shooting), those statements caused the parents demonstrable injury, and he communicated these false statements to third parties. Therein lies the cause of action against Jones, resulting in compensatory and punitive damages against him.  

That civil case against Jones is the subject of the podcast embedded below. 

No society will be free of a few like Jones. A healthy society, however, teaches principles of reason so thoroughly that men of Jones’s ilk have few listeners. 

America is not so healthy as she should — and can — be. 


Pups Catch Waves at World Dog Surfing Championship:

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Daily Bread for 8.8.22: Yes, New York, Wisconsin Does Have Its Share of Crackpot Loons

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will see morning thunderstorms with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:54 AM and sunset 8:06 PM for 14h 11m 22s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 82% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 Whitewater’s School Board goes into closed session at 6:30 PM and meets in open session at 7 PM

 On this day in 1908, Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight:

Facing much skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a “bluffeur,” Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908, at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only 1 minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Blériot. In the following days, Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights, including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pioneering aircraft and pilots of the day.

The French public was thrilled by Wilbur’s feats and flocked to the field by the thousands, and the Wright brothers instantly became world-famous. Former doubters issued apologies and effusive praise. L’Aérophile editor Georges Besançon wrote that the flights “have completely dissipated all doubts. Not one of the former detractors of the Wrights dare question, today, the previous experiments of the men who were truly the first to fly …” Leading French aviation promoter Ernest Archdeacon wrote, “For a long time, the Wright brothers have been accused in Europe of bluff … They are today hallowed in France, and I feel an intense pleasure … to make amends.”

(Citations omitted.)


Reid Epstein of the New York Times writes of Wisconsin’s chronic problem with WISGOP election denial. Epstein’s In Wisconsin, G.O.P. Voters Demand the Impossible: Decertifying 2020 describes the Badger State’s unfortunate conspiracy theory and its fanatical adherents: 

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — When she started her campaign for governor of Wisconsin, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican, acknowledged that President Biden had been legitimately elected.

She soon backtracked. Eventually, she said the 2020 election had been “rigged” against former President Donald J. Trump. She sued the state’s election commission.

But she will still not entertain the false notion that the election can somehow be overturned, a fantasy that has taken hold among many of the state’s Republicans, egged on by one of her opponents, Tim Ramthun.

And for that, she is taking grief from voters in the closing days before Tuesday’s primary.

At a campaign stop here last week, one voter, Donette Erdmann, pressed Ms. Kleefisch on her endorsement from former Vice President Mike Pence, whom many of Mr. Trump’s most devoted supporters blame for not blocking the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021. “I was wondering if you’re going to resort to a RINO agenda or an awesome agenda,” Ms. Erdmann said, using a right-wing pejorative for disloyal Republicans.

Ms. Kleefisch’s startled answer — “don’t make your mind up based on what somebody else is doing,” she warned, defending her “awesome agenda” — was not enough.

“I’m going to go with Tim Ramthun,” Ms. Erdmann said afterward.

….

“Everybody that I’ve talked to voted for Trump,” said Cyndy Deeg, a food industry worker from Larsen, Wis. “He should be reinstated and resume the position, because he never surrendered it.”

One can guess that however many people Cyndy Deeg spoke with, it was 81,268,924 too few, as she somehow missed Joe Biden’s majority of the popular vote and 7,052,770 vote winning margin. 

Of conspiracy theories, how ’bout this: is it possible that Tim Ramthun’s campaign is truly a science project to study the spread of mass delusion among a group of Midwesterners? You know, I’m just asking, and perhaps we should all do our own research on the topic…


What has Curiosity learned about Mars in 10 years since landing?:

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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.

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