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Daily Bread for 2.25.21

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 39.  Sunrise is 6:34 AM and sunset 5:40 PM, for 11h 05m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 95.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Community Development Authority meets via audiovisual conferencing at 5:30 PM.

 On this day in 1933, America launches the USS Ranger, the first purpose-built aircraft carrier to be commissioned by the US Navy.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Molly Beck reports Tension is growing in the Wisconsin State Capitol as some Republican lawmakers refuse to wear face masks:

A year into the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin lawmakers are still debating face masks.

Republicans who control the state Legislature are pushing their colleagues to debate and vote on legislation in person but won’t require everyone to wear face masks — an environment Democrats are warning could put those who visit and work in the state Capitol at risk.

The inconsistent mask-wearing while the coronavirus pandemic persists is emerging as a flashpoint between Democratic lawmakers who want all members to wear face coverings at all times until everyone is vaccinated and some Republicans who refuse to wear them.

The tension spiked last week on the Senate chamber floor when Republican leaders of the state Senate refused to allow Democratic members to participate virtually and did not require the body to wear masks while sitting and bellowing together in one space.

….

Over the last two floor sessions in the state Senate, about 10 Republicans did not wear masks while participating in floor sessions — or about 30% of the chamber. Both Senate leaders and the chairman of the health committee were among them.

At one point, Democratic Sen. Chris Larson pointed out the Senate has a rule for male members to wear jackets but not face masks after Senate President Chris Kapenga asked him to change his attire.

“Just to be clear, we have a requirement for a jacket but we don’t have one for a mask — is that accurate?” Larson responded. “Correct,” Kapenga replied.\

Andrea Salcedo reports South Dakota AG pushed by critics to resign over new evidence in fatal car incident: ‘He knew what he hit and he lied’:

Days after South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg fatally struck a man while driving in September, detectives told the Republican official they had found a pair of broken reading glasses inside his Ford Taurus. They belonged to the man he killed.

That was a problem, detectives said, because Ravnsborg, 44, said he didn’t know he had hit a man until the following day, when he returned to the scene and found the body of Joseph Boever, 55, in a ditch.

“They’re Joe’s glasses, so that means his face came through your windshield,” one of the detectives said in an interview released by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety on Tuesday.

The interviews raise questions about the conduct of the state’s top law enforcement official in the Sept. 12 incident, giving fuel to a chorus of lawmakers demanding he leave office. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed two articles of impeachment against Ravnsborg, who has since been charged with three misdemeanors, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) called for his resignation.

But Ravnsborg said that he will not step down. “At no time has this issue impeded his ability to do the work of the office,” Mike Deaver, his private spokesman, said in a statement to the Argus Leader.

(If it should be true that a state attorney general can lie during an investigation without impediment to his job, then his job has no connection to law and justice.)

What’s Wrong With The Unemployment Rate?:

WISGOP Moves to Restrict Voting

Across America, Republicans are doing all they can to restrict voting access after Trump’s decisive loss in the presidential election. (Ceaseless lies won’t make up a 7-million-vote margin.)

The WISGOP is no exception to this trend. Molly Beck and Patrick Marley report Republican lawmakers seek to overhaul voting in Wisconsin, including new rules for absentee ballots:

The package of bills released Monday would put in place new rules for absentee voters, a voting group targeted by attorneys representing the former president who unsuccessfully sought to change the outcome of Wisconsin’s presidential contest that President Joe Biden won by just about 21,000 votes.

The effort, being led by Sen. Duey Stroebel of Saukville, would require absentee voters to provide an ID for every election, limit who can automatically receive absentee ballots for every election and create more paperwork for those who vote early in clerk’s offices.

The proposals would also put new limits on when voters are considered indefinitely confined because of age or disability. Under a long-standing law, confined voters do not have to show ID to receive absentee ballots and do not have to regularly reapply for ballots.

Daily Bread for 2.24.21

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 38.  Sunrise is 6:36 AM and sunset 5:39 PM, for 11h 02m 47s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 90.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater University Technology Park Board meets via audiovisual conferencing at 8:00 AM, and there will be a Lakes Drawdown Community Meeting via audiovisual conferencing at 5:30 PM.

 On this day in 1854, a Penny Red with perforations becomes the first perforated postage stamp to be officially issued for distribution.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Katie Shepherd report Critics slam Sen. Ron Johnson for unfounded claim that ‘fake Trump protesters’ led riots: ‘It’s disgraceful’:

As senators on Tuesday worked to unpack the security failures that allowed a pro-Trump mob to storm the Capitol last month, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)offered a wholly different take on what had happened: that “agent provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” were to blame.

Critics, including some within his party, promptly slammed Johnson over his unfounded suggestions that the Jan. 6 insurrection had been a “jovial” protest and that the rioters who stormed the Capitol were not supporters of PresidentDonald Trump.

“It’s disgraceful for a sitting Senator to spread disinformation so blatantly,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who has been an outspoken critic of Trump and his role in the insurrection, said Tuesday evening on Twitter. “It’s a disservice to the people he serves to continue lying to them like this. It’s dangerous and it must stop.”

….

Quoting an article published on a far-right website, Johnson claimed that the “great majority” of protesters had a “jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor” and blamed the violence that turned deadly on “plainclothes militants, agent provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and disciplined uniformed column of attackers.”

In fact, more than 200 rioters have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors, including many who have self-identified as Trump supporters and who have documented ties to far-right extremist groups. Federal officials have said there is no substantial evidence of left-wing provocation or that anti-fascist activists posed as Trump supporters during the riot.

(Like Joe McCarthy before him, Johnson would have spent his time as an unnoticed backbencher had he not spouted conspiracy theories and lies.)

Heather Long reports Millions of jobs probably aren’t coming back, even after the pandemic ends:

Millions of jobs that have been shortchanged or wiped out entirely by the coronavirus pandemic are unlikely to come back, economists warn, setting up a massive need for career changes and retraining in the United States.

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered permanent shifts in how and where people work. Businesses are planning for a future where more people are working from home, traveling less for business, or replacing workers with robots. All of these modifications mean many workers will not be able to do the same job they did before the pandemic, even after much of the U.S. population gets vaccinated against the deadly virus.

Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates raised eyebrows in November when he predicted that half of business travel and 30 percent of “days in the office” would go away forever. That forecast no longer seems far-fetched. In a report coming out later this week that was previewed to The Washington Post, the McKinsey Global Institute says that 20 percent of business travel won’t come back and about 20 percent of workers could end up working from home indefinitely. These shifts mean fewer jobs at hotels, restaurants and downtown shops, in addition to ongoing automation of office support roles and some factory jobs.

Elizabeth Ann, the first cloned black-footed ferret:

Ron Johnson Reads Lies about the Capitol Riot

In for a penny, in for a pound: Sen. Ron Johnson hopes someone will believe that the rioters who marched from a Trump rally to the Capitol on 1.6 weren’t Trump supporters at all. (Most likely, he does not expect rational people to believe this; he hopes to soothe the feelings of the irrational faction that already believes these lies, and that has never accepted the truth of Biden’s win or of Trump’s incitement of insurrection.)

Credit, of sorts, to Johnson: he’s in for a pound, as evidently dishonest as anyone in Congress.

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 2.22.21: 7 Points

Monday night’s school board meeting saw, among other items, athletic recognitions, a student report, live video from the middle school’s slot car club, a report on closing achievement gaps, outreach to homeless students, modifications to the district’s COVID-19 protocols, approval of the teachers’ contract,  and an update on the district’s budget.

The full agenda for the meeting is available. Update, 2.23.21: meeting video embedded.

A few remarks —

 1. Was there a live translation into Spanish? If I missed that option, then the error is mine. If the district did not provide translation, then the error is Central Office’s (the building with deficient public meeting space where administrators work). It does little good to offer translation only sporadically. It takes many meetings to make a service work, and gain popularity for it.

 2. The Middle School Slot Car Club. How could a person who believes in education not be inspired? Large numbers of students, of all backgrounds, enjoying a club in which they find, modify, and race small cars around a track. There were serious presentations during the 2.22 meeting, but no presentation was as enjoyable as live video of excited children enjoying and describing their club activity.

 3. Washington School’s Work on Closing Achievement Gaps. It’s a truism to say that people make history, but not in conditions of their own choosing. What matters fundamentally is how one addresses the conditions in which one finds oneself (and others). Here we are, all of us, and there are gaps across our community. What will we do? Addressing achievement gaps shapes history, so to speak, by striving to create a better future. The presentation is embedded below.

Download (PDF, 49KB)

 4. Homeless Outreach.  There are significant numbers of homeless students in the district. Their condition will neither be wished away nor ignored away. The presentation on district outreach efforts is embedded below.

Download (PDF, 1.01MB)

 5. Changes to COVID-19 Protocols.  The board unanimously approved changes to protocols, or new protocols, at the superintendent’s recommendation: not to close a building after three confirmed cases, a new quarantine policy after vaccinations begin, and reductions in email notifications about COVID-19 cases to once weekly.

6. Budget Planning. Embedded below is a presentation on the district’s budget planning. No district in the area has all it wants, and Whitewater Unified isn’t different. The district, however, is not facing a budgetary crisis, and can manage well enough.

These last years, too much has been spent on buildings, and too little on services, but existing plans are adequate to produce a reasonable budget.

Download (PDF, 63KB)

7. Asides:

COVID-19. It’s true, as a board member noted, that the board has tried different approaches during the course of the pandemic. (This has always been understandable: the early pandemic presented great uncertainties.)

Many in the community jumped quickly to a firm position on instructional policy, whatever side of this issue they were on. ‘Had to be open’ or ‘had to be closed,’ and in either case insistent that they knew the correct approach. These many people had every right to express a view, but they had no expertise whatever in epidemiology (and neither do I).

The best approach for commentary has been to withhold a comprehensive critique of district policy until after the pandemic abates.

Cats and Stoves.  Twain reportedly observed that 

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.”

How will this superintendent, these administrators, and the school board react to the experience of touching a hot stove?

One can begin to see the contour of the answer.

Daily Bread for 2.23.21

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 40.  Sunrise is 6:38 AM and sunset 5:37 PM, for 10h 59m 56s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 83.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Finance Committee meets via audiovisual conferencing at 4:30 PM.

 On this day in 1957, American inventor Walter Frederick Morrison sells the rights to his flying disc to the Wham-O toy company, which later renames it the “Frisbee.”

Recommended for reading in full — 

Sarah Hauer reports Activist investors who believe Kohl’s has ‘chronically underperformed’ are trying to take over the company’s board:

Kohl’s Corp. stock rose 6% Monday after a group of activist investors who say the retailer has “chronically underperformed” announced it was trying to take over the company’s board of directors.

The group of investors owns about 9.5% of Kohl’s shares and has become the Menomonee Falls retail chain’s largest shareholder.

The investor group said in a letter sent to shareholders Monday that it has nominated nine candidates to Kohl’s 12-person board for election at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.

Kohl’s stock closed Monday up 6.2%, at $55.97 a share.

The letter calls for electing the nine new members to the company’s board, arguing that current leadership has been slow to act in its efforts to overcome sluggish sales.

Mike McIntire reports Trump’s Tax Returns Aren’t the Only Crucial Records Prosecutors Will Get:

In addition to the tax returns, Mr. Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA, must also produce business records on which those returns are based and communications with the Trump Organization. Such material could provide important context and background to decisions that Mr. Trump or his accountants made when preparing to file taxes.

John D. Fort, a former chief of the I.R.S. criminal investigation division, said tax returns were a useful tool for uncovering leads, but could only be fully understood with additional financial information obtained elsewhere.

“It’s a very key personal financial document, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle,” said Mr. Fort, a C.P.A. and the director of investigations with Kostelanetz & Fink in Washington. “What you find in the return will need to be followed up on with interviews and subpoenas.”

 Jennifer Rubin writes Pundits are wrong. We don’t need a functional GOP:

It is no secret that modern conservatism, in large part a response to the Cold War, is ideologically spent. The Bulwark’s William Kristol got to the nub of it in a September post:

So perhaps we need to acknowledge that it has come to this: Real, existing conservatism as it exists in America in 2020 is an accomplice to, an apologist for, and an enabler of Trump’s nativist, populist, unconservative, and illiberal authoritarianism. …
[P]erhaps every political movement has a natural lifespan: Modern American conservatism was born in 1955, peaked in full flower in the 1980s, and then aged, mostly gracefully, for three decades. Until it could easily, if suddenly, be pushed aside in its dotage—forced, or induced, to surrender to its younger and stronger, if disreputable, distant relative.

If the Democratic Party were made up purely of devotees of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), one could see space for a center-right party. But contrary to GOP propaganda, that is not the case. A center-left nominee won the presidency. The Senate includes many moderate Democrats, including Warner, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania.

Perseverance Rover’s Descent and Touchdown on Mars (Official NASA Video):

The Power and Value of Open Enrollment

It’s beneficial in-and-of-itself that people should read, reflect, and commit themselves to ‘lifelong learning.’ Some years ago, the Whitewater Unified School District had a fine goal of inspiring students to become “engaged lifelong learners.”

Yet in smaller communities, without the money or numbers for plentiful schooling alternatives, government taxes for a school system, establishes rules requiring attendance, and after all this (and because of it, truly) then lobbies against alternatives. When a district says here and only here, it leverages parents’ high-cost of moving against their desire to seek what those parents consider a better educational option.

Our way or the highway is not a fitting slogan for an educational institution. Schools owe their communities more than whatever’s on local offer.  They owe their communities the best that competitive schooling demands.

Quality schooling means meeting standards beyond those of one’s locale, by learning from and sometimes competing against other ideas, places, and people. Growth through learning doesn’t simply come from within, it’s comes from without. It’s a matter of discovery and exchange.

Fortunately, our state does have process under law in which one may choose rather than passively and resignedly accept whatever is closest at hand. Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment policy is a realistic alternative to the local incumbent school system.

Alan Borsuk wrote a bit on this in the Friday’s Journal Sentinel. In Open enrollment has a big effect on Wisconsin’s education scene. It doesn’t get much attention, though, Borsuk writes

Open enrollment is actually the largest school choice program in Wisconsin. Since the late 1990s, it has allowed students in any district in Wisconsin to apply to go to public schools in any other district in the state. In general, students have to provide their own transportation, but otherwise the program comes with no extra costs. The receiving district gets most (but not all) of the public money that would otherwise go to the student’s home district. The receiving district can turn down a student for a few reasons, like not enough space, but it’s usually not hard for a student to get an open enrollment seat.

In fact, 65,266 students statewide open-enrolled in the 2019-20 school year, which is more students than the state’s four private school voucher programs combined. The open enrollment total for this year is not final yet – there are still students changing districts – but it will be higher than in prior years.

One big source of the increase appears to be the way the pandemic has spurred interest in virtual schools. (We’re talking about permanent virtual schools, not conventional schools that have gone virtual during the pandemic.)

This is all to the good of individuals and of society.

Improvement doesn’t come from local notables who insist that their ways should be copied, or public officials who praise their own work. It comes from striving for the best the nation offers, wherever one finds it, and sharing those experiences and ideas within one’s community.

Restricting opportunities, or pretending there’s nothing to be gained elsewhere, won’t improve Whitewater.

The path to improve the city runs across all the state and all the nation.

Daily Bread for 2.22.21

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 36.  Sunrise is 6:39 AM and sunset 5:36 PM, for 10h 57m 06s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 75.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Committee meets via audiovisual conferencing at 4:30 PM, and the Whitewater Unified School District Board meets via audiovisual conferencing at 7 PM.

 On this day in 1922, an ice storm of February 21-23 grips Wisconsin and the Midwest with “ice accumulations of 1-2″, with a few reports of around 4″, built up on trees, poles, and wires.”

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Mary Spicuzza and Dan Bice report Former Gov. Scott Walker, a frequent absentee voter, now backs limiting absentee ballots to nursing homes, military:

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker — who has voted absentee frequently in recent elections — now says absentee ballots should be limited to people in nursing homes or deployed in the military.

“I voted on Election Day this past Tuesday in person and would gladly do it in the future,” Walker said Saturday night. “Opponents of our photo ID law said it would hurt turnout, but that hasn’t been the case in recent elections.”

Walker, who served as governor from 2011 to 2019, voted absentee in six of the last eight elections, according to the state’s MyVote website.

For example, he voted absentee in the April, August and November 2020 elections, which were held as the coronavirus pandemic descended on Wisconsin and the rest of the country.

Ben Smith writes How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia:

The boom in independent journalism and criticism of the government has reached a level “unseen in our country since the end of the 1990s,” Denis Volkov, the deputy director of the Levada Center, a Russian public opinion research group, wrote recently.

Probiv [a Russian info tool] has been a crucial part of that revival. The practice was at the heart of a stunning revelation late last year by the international investigative collective Bellingcat, working with the Russian site The Insider and other partners, identifying the agents from a secret Russian spy unit who poisoned Mr. Navalny. A reporter spent “a few hundred euros worth of cryptocurrency” for a trove of data. Then, in a riveting piece of theater, Mr. Navalny, working with Bellingcat, called one of those agents, pretending to be a senior government official, and tricked him into a confession. When Mr. Navalny returned to Russia after his treatment in Germany, he was promptly jailed for a parole violation in a case he has called fabricated, and now faces transport to a penal colony.

The irony is delicious, of Mr. Putin seeing his own tools of corruption and surveillance turned against him by the underpaid police and intelligence officials who put the secrets up for sale. “Whatever Putin does keeps backfiring,” said Maria Pevchikh, who runs the investigative unit at Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

 Jackson Ryan reports NASA Perseverance rover: See ‘first of its kind’ footage from Mars descent on Monday:

Mission experts will present the latest update at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 22. A number of mission scientists and NASA staff have really been hyping this one up on Twitter, so we’re expecting to see some mind-blowing footage. And you don’t need to go anywhere — just press play on the link below:

Forced to close its doors, the Louvre takes the chance to spruce up:

Daily Bread for 2.21.21

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be cloudy with snow this afternoon and evening and a high of 32.  Sunrise is 6:41 AM and sunset 5:35 PM, for 10h 54m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 66.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1947, Edwin Land demonstrates the first “instant camera,” the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Cary Spivak reports Milwaukee thought it ousted a notorious central city landlord. Now, it appears Mohammed Rashaed is back:

Elijah Mohammed Rashaed, long known as one of Milwaukee’s most notorious landlords, is back in the business despite a three-year effort by the city to toss him out of it.

About a half-dozen tenants or their lawyers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they have recently talked to Rashaed about issues in their rental units even though the properties are owned by companies controlled by his children.

One tenant said she paid Rashaed $1,000, which he refunded after her Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee lawyer demanded the payback because the home she was going to rent had no heat.

“The specter of him still being involved in the background is there,” said Nicole Penegor, a Legal Aid lawyer, who was astonished to learn Rashaed was again active in the central-city landlord business.

….

The city sued Rashaed, charging his real estate empire was a public nuisance that exploited the poor. The city charged that Rashaed targeted individuals who have trouble finding a place to live because of “income limitations, criminal or eviction records, or need to move quickly.”

The lawsuit said that in 2017 there were 269 orders pending against properties owned by an array of Rashaed companies. The city demanded the Rashaed operation fix 1,007 building code violations.

In 2018, Milwaukee Circuit Judge Glenn Yamahiro appointed Ogden & Co. to manage Rashaed’s rental portfolio, stripping him of control of the more than 160 properties and the revenue generated by them.

Anton Troianovski reports China Censors the Internet. So Why Doesn’t Russia?:

But even as Mr. Putin faced the biggest protests in years last month, his government appeared unwilling — and, to some degree, unable — to block websites or take other drastic measures to limit the spread of digital dissent.

The hesitation has underscored the challenge Mr. Putin faces as he tries to blunt the political implications of cheap high-speed internet access reaching into the remote corners of the vast country while avoiding angering a populace that has fallen in love with Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.

“They’re afraid,” Dmitri Galushko, a Moscow telecommunications consultant, said of why the Kremlin hasn’t clamped down harder. “They’ve got all these weapons, but they don’t know how to use them.”

More broadly, the question of how to deal with the internet lays bare a dilemma for Mr. Putin’s Russia: whether to raise state repression to new heights and risk a public backlash or continue trying to manage public discontent by maintaining some semblance of an open society.

 Hannah Knowles reports United flight rained debris a mile wide near Denver after engine failure, officials say:

The United Airlines flight, Honolulu-bound with more than 200 passengers, returned to Denver International Airport shortly after takeoff Saturday afternoon following an engine failure, strewing debris at least a mile wide in yards and a park where children play, authorities said. Police in Broomfield, Colo. — about a half-hour drive north of Denver — sent out a “code red” urging about 1,400 people to check their yards for fallen wreckage.

How 40 Million Cork Wine Stoppers Are Harvested a Day:

Daily Bread for 2.20.21

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 24.  Sunrise is 6:42 AM and sunset 5:34 PM, for 10h 51m 29s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 57.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1950, in a six-hour speech delivered before the U.S. Senate, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed he had the names of 81 U.S. government officials actively engaged in Communist activities, including “one of our foreign ministers.”

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Sophie Carson reports 5% of Wisconsin residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19:

More than 300,000 Wisconsin residents have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, state data shows.

That’s about 5.4% of the population.

The number of fully vaccinated residents has jumped by 100,000 in just the last week.

Since second doses are scheduled three to four weeks after first doses, depending on the vaccine, the sudden bump is expected. It comes about three weeks after Wisconsin opened vaccine eligibility to anyone 65 and older and vaccinations increased statewide.

Thursday was the first day that vaccine providers administered more second doses than first doses, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, state Department of Health Services deputy secretary.

 Adam Rogan reports Schools Superintendent candidate Deborah Kerr’s campaign manager and legal counsel quit:

A campaign manager who has continually worked for Democrats and an attorney who has worked often worked with Gov. Tony Evers have both quit Deborah Kerr’s campaign for state superintendent.

The campaign manager, Brandon Savage, said in an email that he resigned Thursday.

“Based on the state of the race, my expertise would not be of any benefit for her moving forward. The campaign will require a different strategy — one that I cannot provide,” wrote Savage, who describes himself as a Democratic strategist. “I’m very pleased with having gotten the campaign to the point of winning the primary election in a seven-way race. But moving forward there will be a different team focused on April.”

Michael Maistelman, who was acting as legal counsel for Kerr, quit Friday. Maistelman has represented Gov. Tony Evers in a number of different roles since 2009.

Kerr, a Caledonia resident who previously was the Brown Deer School District’s superintendent, says she is a Democrat who voted for Joe Biden, although she is backed by Republicans including former Gov. Scott Walker.

 Tobi Thomas reports Dolphins have similar personality traits to humans, study finds:

Dolphins have developed a number of similar personality traits to humans, despite having evolved in vastly different environments, researchers have found.

A study, published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, looked at 134 male and female bottlenose dolphins from eight facilities across the world, with each dolphin’s personality being assessed by staff at the facilities. The results of the study found a convergence of certain personality traits, especially curiosity and sociability.

The study has aided researchers in understanding how certain human personality traits developed independently of immediate environments. These similarities were found despite dolphins having evolved in a completely different environment from primates, with the last common ancestor living about 95m years ago.

Dr Blake Morton, a psychology lecturer at the University of Hull and the lead author of the study, said this research was the first time the personality of dolphins had been studied in this way.

Morton said: “Dolphins were a great animal for this kind of study because, like primates, dolphins are intelligent and social. We reasoned that if factors such as intelligence and gregariousness contribute to personality, then dolphins should have similar personality traits to primates.”

He said: “Dolphins, like many primates, have brains that are considerably larger than what their bodies require for basic bodily functions; this excess of brain matter essentially powers their ability to be intelligent, and intelligent species are often very curious.”

See Perseverance’s first color images of Martian surface:

Tuesday, February 23rd, 1 PM @ Seniors in the Park, 21 Bridges

This Tuesday, February 23rd at 1 PM, there will be a showing of 21 Bridges @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:

(Action/Police/Crime/Thriller)
Rated R (Violence, language)

1 hour, 39 minutes (2019)

An embattled NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman)is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive conspiracy that links his fellow officers to a criminal empire. He then must decide who he is hunting, and who is actually hunting him. During the manhunt, Manhattan is completely locked down for the first time in its history, with no exit or entry to the island, including all 21 bridges.

This cops and robbers “ride-along” will leave you breathless!!

Masks are required and you must register for a seat either by calling, emailing or going online at https://schedulesplus.com/wwtr/kiosk. There will be a limit of 10 people for the time slot. No walk-ins.

One can find more information about 21 Bridges at the Internet Movie Database.

Daily Bread for 2.19.21

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 21.  Sunrise is 6:44 AM and sunset 5:32 PM, for 10h 48m 41s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 47.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1868, photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis is born near Whitewater.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Kelly Meyerhofer reports UW campuses planning for fall semester to be ‘as close to normal as possible:

Meeting the 75% benchmark would represent a significant change from how classes are currently being delivered.

At UW-Madison, 82% of classes this spring semester are fully online, according to System data. That’s up from 64% of classes delivered remotely last fall.

In fact, every single UW campus increased its share of online classes this semester from what schools offered last fall.

 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board writes Ron Johnson’s whitewash of the U.S. Capitol riot shows why Wisconsin’s senior senator has to go:

To hear Ron Johnson tell it, nothing much happened on Jan. 6 inside the U.S. Capitol.

Just a few bad apples got a little rowdy.

“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” the Oshkosh Republican told talk radio show host Jay Weber.

“I mean ‘armed,’ when you hear ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms?  … How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?”

Johnson’s grasp on reality has been tenuous for years, but even more so since he aligned himself lockstep with former President Donald Trump.

Since Trump left office, two kinds of Republicans have emerged:

Those who want to purge Trump and his cult of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists from the party and those, like Johnson, who long for the return of their would-be king.

From the week the votes were cast last November, Johnson helped spread Trump’s lie that the election was stolen, helped perpetuate the myth that voter fraud cost the former president the election. Johnson used the levers of government to spread the lie, calling a bogus Senate hearing to “investigate” election “irregularities.”

In fact, this election, held during a deadly pandemic, was the “most secure in American history,” according the nation’s lead cybersecurity agency.

See also U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson: Ambitious, Compromised, or Crackpot? and Ron Johnson: ‘No Enemies to the Right’?

 Tariq Panja reports Fake Doctors, Fake Documents: How a Russian Doping Lie Fell Apart (‘With investigators closing in, the high jumper Danil Lysenko needed a paper trail to support his story. Top Russian track officials provided it by creating a fake hospital’):

If the cover-up was to work, the high jumper Danil Lysenko realized far too late, he had better familiarize himself with the Moscow hospital where Russian track and field officials had insisted he had undergone a battery of medical tests.

The details mattered. The tests were the centerpiece of Russia’s explanation for why antidoping officials had been unable to locate Lysenko in the spring of 2018.

….

So in September 2018, fearing investigators were closing in on the truth, a nervous Lysenko sent an email to a top Russian track official, asking if he could provide photographs of the hospital, so at least the athlete would know how to describe it if anyone asked. Then, accompanied by the same official, he drove to the address listed on the hospital’s website. When the car stopped and Lysenko looked around, he was stunned.

There was no hospital. There wasn’t even a building. All he could see was a construction site.

This was going to be harder to explain.

See exactly where Perseverance landed in Mars’ Jezero Crater: