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Daily Bread for 5.9.24: A Reminder on Whitewater’s Fumbling & Stumbling Old Guard

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will see morning showers with a high of 59. Sunrise is 5:36 and sunset 8:05 for 14h 28m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 2.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1662, the figure who later became Mr. Punch makes his first recorded appearance in England.


FREE WHITEWATER has chronicled and critiqued the failed corporate welfare scheme that was the Wisconsin Foxconn project (links to many of those posts at the bottom of this post). Now, with Foxconn nothing more than a shell project vanished into the fog, there’s a genuine, private, multi-billion dollar Microsoft investment on that Wisconsin site: Microsoft AI center on site of Trump’s failed Foxconn deal? (‘The multibillion-dollar [private!] investment is expected to create 2,000 permanent jobs and 2,300 temporary union construction jobs’).

In Whitewater, an old guard of bankers, landlords, lobbyists, public relations men, etc., pushed Foxconn more than once. Any ordinary person of normal reasoning and sound basic knowledge would have seen Foxconn was a political scheme masquerading as a legitimate project. And yet, somehow, these same Whitewater types hold themselves out as experts on development policy. They backed a joke plan because they were — and are — unsuited to serious policy. See A Sham News Story on Foxconn. (The local business group was the ‘Greater’ Whitewater Committee.)

Trickle-down sloganeering is the best these local types have ever produced. It’s not a free market they want; small-town boosterism and cronyism haven’t uplifted household and individual incomes in this city. See A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA.

Some of these men, when at the Community Development Authority, let this city languish while promoting themselves. Even at the tail end of an economic boom, these gentlemen were walking around trying to figure out which end was up. See Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom.

Whitewater deserves better than this ilk. These men deserve an ongoing critique, and detailed review of their record, if they capture that institution again.

Here is the Foxconn scheme, that these local, old-guard Whitewater men touted, as succinctly described in a national story:

In 2018, when Foxconn, at Trump’s urging, announced plans to create 13,000 good-paying jobs in Mount Pleasant, Wis., he celebrated the company’s $10 billion venture as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Wielding a golden shovel, Trump touted the Foxconn flat-panel display factory as evidence of a broad manufacturing revival stirred by his 2017 tax cuts and tariffs on imported steel. “You know, 18 months ago, this was a field, and now it’s one of the most advanced places of any kind you’ll see anywhere in the world. It’s incredible,” Trump crowed.

The Foxconn facility was to have included dozens of buildings dotting a giant plot of land three times the size of New York’s Central Park. But the project accomplished little more than the destruction of 100 local homes and farms before the company drastically scaled back its ambitions.

In 2020, Wisconsin state officials denied the Taiwanese company special tax credits, saying it had abandoned its original commitment, employed fewer than 520 people and spent just $300 million. Local taxpayers were left with a tab of more than $500 million for site preparation.

By last summer, Foxconn had built four structures on one corner of the site, which were in sporadic use, according to locals. One large building that was originally billed as a manufacturing facility was being used as a warehouse, one former employee said. Foxconn at the time said it employed 1,000 people in Mount Pleasant building computer servers. The flat-panel display factory never materialized.


On Foxconn previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After AllFoxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn PlantFoxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent DomainFoxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition,  Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing PlansWISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad PolicyFoxconn RoundupFoxconn: The Roads to NowhereFoxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those HeadlinesFoxconn: On Shaky Ground, LiterallyFoxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a NapFoxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is, Foxconn Confirm Gov. Evers’s Claim of a Renegotiation DiscussionAmerica’s Best Know BetterDespite Denials, Foxconn’s Empty Buildings Are Still EmptyRight on Schedule – A Foxconn DelayFoxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment, Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed ThemFoxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair, It Shouldn’tFoxconn: Wrecking Ordinary Lives for NothingHey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!Foxconn: First In, Now OutFoxconn on the Same Day: Yes…um, just kidding, we mean noFoxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of SmokeFoxconn: Worse Than NothingFoxconn: State of Wisconsin Demands Accountability, Foreign Corporation Stalls, Foxconn Notices the NoticeableJournal Sentinel’s Rick Romell Reports the Obvious about Foxconn Project, Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year LaterFoxconn & UW-Madison: Two Yearsand Less Than One Percent Later…Accountability Comes Calling at FoxconnHighlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn AssessmentAfter Years of Promises, Foxconn Will Think of Something…by JulyFoxconn’s Venture Capital FundNew, More Realistic Deal Means 90% Reduction in Goals, Seth Meyers on One of Trump’s (and Walker’s) Biggest Scams, the Foxconn Deal, and Adding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far).

Daily Bread for 4.21.24: Revivals

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 56. Sunrise is 6:01 and sunset 7:45 for 13h 44m 04s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 94.4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1946, the U.S. Weather Bureau published a paper stating that the width of a tornado that struck the city of Timber Lake, South Dakota, was 4 miles (6.4 km), making it the widest tornado ever documented in history.


So, yes, America is experiencing a vinyl revival, the nostalgic and the curious embracing that dead-but-not-quite audio medium from yesteryear. Anita Snow reports Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave:

Special LP releases, live performances and at least one giant block party are scheduled around the U.S. Saturday as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day [4.20, of course] during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift’s latest album.

There were no announced Record Store Day specials for the arrival of Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” on Friday, but her fans always anxiously look forward to the new albums and accompanying collectible LPs.

In suburban strip malls and big city downtowns, indie record stores are often the first to recognize and promote emerging artists. Years before Swift was setting Grammy records and selling out concerts in Japan, Bull Moose Music in Portland, Maine, was giving away one of her autographed guitars in an enter-to-win contest.

So, is a vinyl comeback a favorable development, especially with the availability of lossless digital audio? The case against records seems strong, even if vinyl has devoted fans.

There are, however, worse possible revivals than vinyl. Imagine someone reckless enough or corrupt enough, for example, to revive a dinosaur (a slow, stupid, destructive animal that nature long ago discarded):


There are, by contrast, favorable revivals. Scientists are cloning ferrets to try to save the species:

Friday Catblogging: Stay Out of the Lion Enclosure

Embed from Getty Images Mary Walrath-Holdridge reports Man mauled to death after jumping into lion enclosure in India to take a selfie: A zoo-goer in India is dead after scaling a lion enclosure in hopes of taking a selfie, according to multiple reports. The man, 34-year-old Prahlad Gurjar of the Alwar District in northern India,…

Daily Bread for 2.19.24: Former WISGOP Chairman Says He Was Tricked (But He’s a Lawyer Who Signed False Documents)

 Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:45 and sunset 5:31 for 10h 46m 40s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 78.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater School Board will hold a legislative breakfast at 8 AM, and Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1954, the Soviet Politburo of the Soviet Union orders the transfer of the Crimean Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.


Anderson Cooper, Aliza Chasan, Sarah Koch, and Madeleine Carlisle report Former Wisconsin Republican Party chair says he was tricked by fake elector plan:

Former Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt was nominated to be an elector if former President Donald Trump won the state in 2020, but after Trump lost, Hitt and nine other Republican electors met at the state capitol and signed documents falsely claiming Trump won.

Hitt said lawyers told him the documents they were signing were meaningless unless Trump’s legal team won its lawsuit seeking to dismiss over 200,000 votes in two Democratic counties.

Hitt said he was advised that if a court ruled in Trump’s favor and he and the other Republicans did not meet and sign the documents on Dec. 14, 2020 — when the Democratic electors were required to meet to cast their votes for President Biden — he would be responsible for Trump forfeiting Wisconsin.

“It was not a safe time,” he said. “If my lawyer is right, and the whole reason Trump loses Wisconsin is because of me, I would be scared to death.”

….

But Hitt said he didn’t believe there had been widespread fraud in the state.

Hitt said he was advised by the state GOP’s outside legal counsel on Dec. 4, 2020, to gather the other Republican electors at the Capitol on Dec. 14 and, as a contingency, sign a document claiming they were “the duly elected and qualified Electors for President” for Wisconsin. 

“In case a court would overrule the election here in Wisconsin,” Hitt said he was told.

On the morning of Dec. 14, in a narrow 4-3 ruling, the state Supreme Court rejected the Trump campaign’s attempt to throw out votes cast in the two Democratic counties. Hitt said he and the other fake Wisconsin electors met anyway to sign documents falsely claiming Trump won, because he had been told the Trump campaign was still planning to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hitt is, himself, a lawyer. He signed false documents, and now relies on other lawyers’ opinions in place of his own. He signed false documents and now contends that he was afraid not to sign. (Instead: he was not courageous enough to decline.) 

Hitt is unfit for the law and should be disbarred. No person of good judgment, whether lawyer or non-lawyer, should have sympathy for him. 


Yulia Navalnaya: ‘I will continue the work of Alexei Navalny’:

 

Daily Bread for 8.16.23: Foxconn Bails on “Innovation Centers”… Of Course.

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 80. Sunrise is 6:03 AM and sunset 7:54 PM for 13h 51m 52s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1930, the first color sound cartoon, Fiddlesticks, is released by Ub Iwerks.…

Daily Bread for 7.7.23: Prioritization in a Small Town

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:24 AM and sunset 8:35 PM for 15h 11m 03s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 76.2% of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1832, during the Black Hawk War, General Atkinson leads his…

Daily Bread for 6.14.23: The Proposal to Use Whitewater’s $1.9 Million Single-Family Housing Fund to Subsidize Landlords and Non-Occupant Investors

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny, with a chance of late afternoon showers, and a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 19m 07s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 13.9% of its visible disk illuminated.   The city and school district’s Aquatic…

Daily Bread for 2.11.23: Foxconn Accused of Stealing from Its Own Wisconsin Employees

Good morning. Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 43. Sunrise is 6:56 AM and sunset 5:21 PM for 10h 25m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 70.9% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of “gerrymandering” for the first…

Friday Coyoteblogging: In Whitewater, People Won’t Feed Coyotes — Coyotes Will Feed on People

Embed from Getty Images I’ve warned Whitewater more than once about the probability of a coyote invasion. See Coyotes Begin War Against Humanity, Cat Defends Arizona Home Against Coyote, Coyotes abundant, troublesome in Rock County — GazetteXtra, Cat Defeats Three Coyotes in Combat, and Cat v. Coyote. (Ludicrously, Whitewater last year passed a ban against…

Daily Bread for 9.16.22: At Foxconn, Workers Are Bored and Go Home Early

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with high of 79. Sunrise is 6:36 AM and sunset 7:02 PM for 12h 25m 20s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 61.9% of its visible disk illuminated.   On this day in 1959, the first successful photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced in a…

Daily Bread for 7.20.22: Michels Keeps His Money, Discards His Views

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 86. Sunrise is 5:35 AM and sunset 8:27 PM for 14h 51m 54s of daytime.  The moon is in its third quarter with 50.1% of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1969, Apollo 11‘s crew successfully makes the first manned landing on…