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Conspiracy Theories

Daily Bread for 5.16.24: What Vos Wrought

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:29 and sunset 8:13 for 14h 43m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 59.8 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

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

On this day in 1842,  the first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail from Elm Grove, Missouri, with 100 pioneers.


Rich Kremer reports Dueling radio ads in southeastern Wisconsin call for, against recalling Robin Vos (‘Racine Recall Committee ad accuses Vos of blocking impeachment of top election official, while Wisconsinites for Liberty Foundation ad call recall organizers ‘out-of-state creeps’)

Conservative activists trying for a second time this year to remove Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos from office have launched a $50,000 ad campaign encouraging residents of Vos’ district to sign on to the effort. 

Meanwhile, a group aligned with the speaker is running radio ads calling recall organizers “radicals” and encouraging residents to reject the effort. 

The Racine Recall Committee’s latest radio ad accuses Vos of protecting Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe from impeachment and includes audio of him saying he would work to keep former President Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.

“Vos is bad for elections, bad for Wisconsin and bad for America,” the ad said. “If you live in his district in Racine County, sign the new recall petition.” 

Here’s that radio ad against Vos:

Vos brought this on Wisconsin and himself by advancing conspiracists like Michael Gableman.

Somewhere, possibly in Whitewater, there’s someone (albeit someone impossibly dense) who thinks Robin Vos is a shrewd man whose name is worth dropping now and again.

No, and no again.

How unfortunate that Mad magazine is no longer publishing; Vos would have been a contender for that publication’s cover.


Why Does NASA Want to Explore Jupiter’s Ocean Moon?:

Daily Bread for 5.13.24: Conspiracists of Thornapple, Wisconsin Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will see afternoon showers with a high of 74. Sunrise is 5:32 and sunset 8:09 for 14h 37m 24s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 31.7 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM, and the Planning Commission meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1862, the USS Planter, a steamer and gunship, steals through Confederate lines and is passed to the Union, by a southern slave, Robert Smalls, who later was officially appointed as captain, becoming the first black man to command a United States ship.


Molly Beck reports A small Wisconsin town eliminated its electronic voting machines, leading to a federal review:

A rural Wisconsin community’s decision to eliminate electronic voting machines has attracted the attention of federal investigators who are questioning how voters with disabilities cast ballots in the town of fewer than 1,000 people.

The vote by a small board overseeing the Town of Thornapple in Rusk County, population 711, to rely solely on hand counting paper ballots took place last year and caught the eye of state and federal officials after the April presidential primary election when advocates for voters with disabilities rang alarm bells.

The decision was made in June 2023, according to town supervisor Tom Zelm ? around the time of a discussion in the local newspaper over whether to abandon electronic voting machines and amid visits to the area by one of the nation’s most prominent purveyors of election conspiracy theories. Town officials would not tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exactly what prompted the vote, which could violate federal laws mandating accessible voting options, and have so far not responded to requests under the state’s public records law for minutes of the town board meeting during which the vote was taken.

But Thornapple voter and Rusk County Democratic Party chairwoman Erin Webster says she discovered the roots of the decision are in former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.

In a recording made by Webster of an April 2 telephone conversation with town supervisor Jack Zupan that was posted to YouTube, Zupan tells Webster that the board voted to remove the machines because “we believe that there was a stolen election and the computers have to go because they’re full of error.”

Here’s Webster’s recording of Thornapple Supervisor Jack Zupan talking about eliminating electronic voting machines:

Erin Webster writes of her recording: “I called my Supervisor Jack Zupan after I voted and there was no voting machine at my polling location. The County clerk told me it was legally required per Federal ADA guidelines. I wanted to know why the town would not have the electronic machines, so I called him. I realized immediately I should record what he was saying.”

Here’s Zupan’s unfounded, conspiracy-based position about the 2020 election:

0:02: well we made that decision and we’re going to stand with it so why was that
0:08 we believe that that that there was a stolen election and and the computers have to go

Zupan’s full remarks are an example of motivated reasoning.

Thornapple, Wisconsin has work to do. But then, on far different matters closer to home, so do we in Whitewater, Wisconsin.


Plane lands safely without landing gear after circling Australian airport for hours to burn off fuel:

Daily Bread for 5.5.24: WISGOP Hires Agitator as Executive Director (Of Course They Have)

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 67. Sunrise is 5:41 and sunset 8:01 for 14h 19m 30s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 9.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1862, troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.


The conservative populists, the overwhelming part of the WISGOP and the only faction of that party that counts electorally, decry every protest, disturbance, or conflict except their own. And so, and so, it is unsurprising that the Former Trump staffer who said to ‘fan the flame’ after 2020 loss [has been] hired to lead Wisconsin GOP:

The director of Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign in Wisconsin, who pushed allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked, has been hired to run the Republican Party of Wisconsin heading into the November election.

Andrew Iverson will serve as executive director of the Wisconsin GOP as it prepares to host the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July, the state party announced Friday. He takes over for Mark Jefferson, who left in February to serve as executive director of the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

Iverson, a graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College, most recently worked as regional political director for the Republican National Committee. He previously worked on campaigns in Wisconsin for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil. In 2020, Iverson was the state director for Trump Victory, a joint operation of the Trump campaign and the RNC.

….

Biden defeated Trump by nearly 21,000 votes in Wisconsin in 2020, a result that has withstood independent and partisan audits and reviews, as well as lawsuits and the recounts Trump requested.

“Here’s the drill: Comms is going to continue to fan the flame and get the word out about Democrats trying to steal this election. We’ll do whatever they need (inaudible) help with. Just be on standby in case there’s any stunts we need to pull,” Iverson said in the recording of a meeting two days after the November election that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Iverson’s past work for Trump, Johnson, and Steil is a résumé built on a trifecta of misfits, conspiracy theorists, and the character disordered. See The Local Press Conference that Was Neither Local Nor a Press Conference.


Cat misunderstands its job:

Daily Bread for 4.30.24: Another Product of Wisconsin’s Cottage Industry in Election Conspiracists

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 72. Sunrise is 5:48 and sunset 7:55 for 14h 07m 21s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.2 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first President of the United States.


One person can make a difference, for good or ill. For ill (where ill means filing lawsuits with bogus allegations of fraud), one such person would be Peter Bernegger. Alice Herman reports How one Wisconsin man plagued election offices and stoked mistrust (‘Peter Bernegger has brought at least 18 lawsuits against election clerks and offices over alleged fraud – now he faces criminal charges’):

Peter Bernegger has spent the last three and a half years bombarding local election offices in Wisconsin with litigation and accusations of fraud. He’s brought at least 18 lawsuits against election clerks and offices in state court, and on social media, he has relentlessly promoted his litigation and circulated false claims about election fraud in the swing state.

His campaign has recently landed him in legal trouble – Bernegger now faces criminal charges for allegedly falsifying a subpoena in connection with a lawsuit against the state’s top election office.

It’s an escalation for the 61-year-old activist from New London, Wisconsin, who according to court documents, interviews with election officials and emails obtained by the Guardian, has drained election offices of already-limited resources and stoked mistrust in the electoral process in his years-long quest to uncover election fraud.

In the universe of activists who dispute the results of the 2020 election and have spent years searching for evidence of widespread voter fraud, Bernegger’s star power is small. He has not served on a Trump campaign team, no high-powered conservative law firms have taken on his cases and his media appearances are mostly relegated to interviews with fringe podcasts on the rightwing YouTube alternative Rumble.

But his efforts prove that in a country where election offices are chronically underfunded and heavily scrutinized, a single, relatively unknown person can exercise an outsize, and detrimental, impact on election administration.

In response to a request for comment, Bernegger did not address the claims raised in this article except to call them “false and misleading” and potentially defamatory.

A few people have spent a great deal of time pushing election conspiracies in this state (Michael Gableman most infamously), that, as a consequence, have taken up a lot of others’ time. Bernegger is one of them.


3 zebras captured, 1 loose after escaping trailer in Washington State along I-90:

Daily Bread for 3.29.24: Recall Effort Accuses Vos of Support for the CCP

Good morning.

Good Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 54. Sunrise is 6:39 and sunset 7:18 for 12h 39m 25s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 84.2 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1973, the last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam.


The Party expresses its gratitude for the efforts of ‘tacit’ fellow travelers everywhere.

There is now a second recall effort underway against Comrade Speaker Robin Vos. Rich Kremer reports Second recall effort launched against Robin Vos (‘Campaign driven by same organizers behind first Vos recall attempt, which appears to have fallen short of required signatures’)

A second recall attempt has been launched against Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, the effort driven by the same organizers who appear to have fallen short of signatures in their first attempt to remove the powerful Republican from office. 

Burlington resident Matthew Snorek filed paperwork with the Wisconsin Elections Commission Wednesday. It states Vos “should be recalled for his tacit support of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a “lack of election integrity” and “flagrant disrespect for his own constituents by calling them ‘whack-jobs, morons and idiots.’”

The insults from Vos were directed at Snorek and others behind their first recall attempt, which started in January.

According to the WEC, signed petitions for the new recall effort would be due no later than May 28.

May 28th? Plenty of time! 


Against the Odds, the US Economy is Thriving:

Daily Bread for 3.28.24: Vos Catches on Years Too Late

Good morning.

 

Thursday in Whitewater will see scattered afternoon showers with a high of 52. Sunrise is 6:41 and sunset 7:17 for 12h 36m 31s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 90.7 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1979, a coolant leak at the Three Mile Island‘s Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania leads to the core overheating and a partial meltdown.


One could say better late than never, but Speaker Robin Vos’s better-late-than-never recognition of Michael Gableman’s misconduct comes only after years of conspiracy-mongering. Anya van Wagtendonk report Vos: Gableman, leader of failed 2020 election probe, should be ‘disbarred’ (‘Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, and fired him 14 months later’): 

Michael Gableman — the former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who led a pricey probe into the 2020 presidential election that turned up no evidence of wrongdoing — should be “disbarred,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in an interview that aired over the weekend.

Vos, who initiated that investigation, told WISN-TV’s “UpFront” program that hiring Gableman “is probably the single biggest embarrassment that I have ever had.”

“I hope eventually he gets disbarred,” Vos, R-Rochester, said. “He should not be an attorney. Anybody who thinks about hiring him, call me, because I will tell you what an awful decision that I made to hire him.”

Well, yes. Gableman should be disbarred. Vos did make an awful decision. 

The two deserve only each other. 

         


Runaway ostrich chased by South Korean police:

Daily Bread for 2.25.24: WISGOP Holdouts Admit the Truth About Crackpot Special Council Gableman

 Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 54. Sunrise is 6:35 and sunset 5:39 for 11h 03m 33s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1986, the People Power Revolution forces the president of the Philippines Ferdinand…

Daily Bread for 1.19.24: Wisconsin Assembly’s Queen of Crackpottery Comes Up Short (Yet Again)

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 11. Sunrise is 7:19 and sunset 4:51 for 9h 31m 26s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 66.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1983, the Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, is announced.


Credit where credit is due, including credit for recognizing that the attempts to impeach the Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe are baseless (where baseless properly excludes drunken delusions, chanting voices in one’s head, or congenital cognitive deficiency). Scott Bauer reports Wisconsin Republican leader derides GOP impeachment attempt targeting state’s top elections official:

In the Assembly, state Rep. Janel Brandtjen has introduced a resolution to impeach Wolfe. As of Thursday, it had just five co-sponsors in addition to Brandtjen. It would require 50 votes to pass.

Brandtjen tried in vain on Tuesday to be recognized to speak in an attempt to get a vote on her proposal. Brandtjen, who has endorsed discredited conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, accused Republican leaders of being “Administrator Wolfe’s PR team.”

During a news conference before Thursday’s session, Assembly Majority Leader Tyler August said Brandtjen’s proposal would not be voted on because it doesn’t have enough support to get out of committee or be approved by a majority of the Assembly.

“We have a process that has been utilized in this building for decades of how to bring a bill or a resolution to the floor,” August said. “And that’s the process that we’ll continue to use.”

August said if Brandtjen has enough support to bring the measure forward for a vote, she can.

“But the fact is she doesn’t,” August said. “Our caucus is focused on real things, not grifting and not making a big show for the cameras. And that’s all she’s interested in doing.”

Now, I’m not inclined to agree that the WISGOP is focused on real things, but it’s indisputable among non-lunatics that Brandtjen is focused on unreal things. A low bar, yes.

And yet, and yet, among the 5.8 million Wisconsinites, Brandtjen is not the state’s only crackpot, although she now seems to sit on the crackpottery throne. (Where Michael Gableman is these days I do not know, as Arkham Asylum is a fictional place. )  

By Mikel Janín / DC Comics – [1], Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54136917


Amish man, horses help pull SUV out of snow in Ethridge, Tennessee:

Daily Bread for 3.17.23: Offer and Acceptance (It’s Acceptance or Rejection that Matters)

Good morning. St. Patrick’s Day in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 34. Sunrise is 7:01 AM and sunset 7:04 PM for 12h 02m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 22.5% of its visible disk illuminated.  The City of Whitewater Common Council Whitewater Aquatic and Fitness Center Subcommittee meets at 10…

Daily Bread for 3.3.23: When Neither Sympathy Nor Empathy Are Present

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 41. Sunrise is 6:25 AM and sunset 5:47 PM for 11h 21m 28s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 85.8% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1931, the United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national…

Daily Bread for 3.2.23: The Late Pete Carril’s Approach Applied to Whitewater’s Politics

Good morning. Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 6:27 AM and sunset 5:46 PM for 11h 18m 34s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 79.4% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission will meet at 6 PM and there will be a Whitewater Aquatic and Fitness…