Daily Bread

Daily Bread for 5.7.24: Another Fine Public Servant (Mount Pleasant Edition)

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be rainy in the morning, partly sunny in the afternoon, with a high of 72. Sunrise is 5:39 and sunset 8:03 for 14h 24m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 0.3 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1864, the Army of the Potomac, under General Ulysses S. Grant, breaks off from the Battle of the Wilderness and continues south, presenting a threat to Lee’s army and the Confederate capital city of Richmond.

Henry Redman reports Mount Pleasant village president dumps waste from private pond on public land to avoid cost:

The village president of Mount Pleasant is facing public criticism for using a village-owned property slated to become a public  park as a dumping ground for the waste created by his homeowners association’s dredging of a pond in his neighborhood.

Residents who live near the property say the president, Dave DeGroot, has used his position to skirt permitting rules for dumping and to help him and his neighbors avoid a hefty price tag to haul the waste elsewhere. 


Neighbors of the village property say that if they had tons of muck to dispose of, they wouldn’t have the ability to dump it all on village-owned land. 

“Clearly it’s a cost factor,” Kathy Deverney, who also lives near the property, tells the Examiner. “Mr. DeGroot said, ‘Hey I know where we can dump it.’ If in fact they didn’t pay anything, can any association that has a pond that needs to be dredged can get a permit and go dump it on that land for free? Yeah, that’s irritating. He clearly took advantage of the system, undermined the people who work for him.” 

How many times, in towns across Wisconsin, has one heard repulsive self-dealers declare themselves public servants? How many times, in towns across Wisconsin, has one heard repulsive self-dealers reward themselves with participation trophies for their service (as though they were soldiers)? A better description: old-timers disclaiming conflicts of interest while advancing conflicted interests.

Whitewater has had, and still has, a few men like this.

From World Cats Black:

Daily Bread for 5.6.24: A Varied Bunting, a First for Birders in Wisconsin

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:40 and sunset 8:02 for 14h 21m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Equal Opportunities Commission meets at 5 PM.

On this day in 1915,  Babe Ruth, then a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, hits his first major league home run.

Paul Smith reports Varied bunting spotted in Grafton, first documented sighting in Wisconsin history:

GRAFTON – Birds were active about 6:35 a.m. Saturday as Bob Dohr of Pewaukee walked on a gravelly path atop the bluff at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve in Grafton.

A pair of northern cardinals, the brilliant red male and the tawny female, foraged near the trail. And nearby a smaller, darker bird but with a cardinal-like shape also showed.


What they at first thought could be an indigo bunting, a bright blue songbird that nests in Wisconsin, turned out to be a close (genetically) but distant (geographically) relative.

The men scrutinized images of the bird on their cameras, shook their heads at the improbability of the evidence but had no doubt what they were seeing.

It was a varied bunting, a species mostly found in Mexico.


The sighting was confirmed as the state’s first record of the species, said Mark Korducki of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. The organization is the official keeper of state bird records.

Moreover, it is the farthest north the species has ever been documented, according to eBird, an online bird reporting system run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Only two other varied bunting sightings, one along Lake Erie in southern Ontario and one in Pennsylvania, have been recorded in eastern North America.

There are yet new discoveries to be made in Wisconsin, and far beyond.

The Sun’s corona in exquisite detail:

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 5.4.24: The 2,000-Year-Old City of Mosaics

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:42 and sunset 8:00 for 14h 17m 08s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 17.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1776,  Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.

The 2,000-Year-Old City of Mosaics:

Dating back to the Byzantine era, Ravenna in Italy has been filled with a rich tapestry of mosaic craftsmanship, from the walls to the floors and the ceilings of its architectural marvels. From grand basilicas to intimate residences, Ravenna’s mosaic artistry portrays ancient civilizations through every shimmering tile and preserves the legacy of a city steeped in history and artistic brilliance. Experience these timeless artworks as Professor Daniele Torcellini offers insights into their historical context and artist Luca Barberini shows how mosaics can engage with contemporary issues.

Happy May the Fourth, Star Wars Fans:

Daily Bread for 5.3.24: National Employment & Inflation

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:44 and sunset 7:58 for 14h 14m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 26.3 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1957,  Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

National job creation slowed last month, with 175,000 additional jobs created. Additional jobs were created, but fewer than the month before. Is there a silver lining in this? Yes, quite possibly. Jeanna Smialek writes The Fed Is Looking for a Job Market Cool-Down. It Just Got One (‘Wage growth and hiring slowed in April, evidence of the job market slowdown that Federal Reserve officials have been waiting on’):

While inflation is the main thing determining when and how much borrowing costs can come down, Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, made it clear this week that central bankers are also watching what happens with hiring and pay.

Mr. Powell emphasized repeatedly this week that the Fed did not specifically target wage growth when setting policy, but he also suggested that pay gains might need to slow further for inflation to come down sufficiently and in a lasting way — which means that Friday’s numbers could be a welcome development.

“We don’t target wages; we target price inflation,” he said. When it comes to cooling the economy, he said, “part of that will probably be having wage increases move down incrementally toward levels that are more sustainable.”

Stock indexes picked up after the report, as investors welcomed the more moderate data as a sign that interest rates may not stay high for as long. Investors in assets like stocks tend to prefer low rates.

These are national job numbers (with implications for the national inflation rate). Overall, these favorable national figures (job creation, relatively low unemployment, and conditions that may cool inflation).

Locally, however, there is a stark truth about municipal economic & development policy: The only reason to return to the policies and leaders of the past would be if someone had no hope of either any possible growth or no hope for ameliorating any possible decline. That is, yesterday’s self-promoting mediocrities would be of value to Whitewater only if nothing anyone did would matter. See Whitewater’s Still Waiting for That Boom and Now is Whitewater’s Time to Seize an Improving National and State Economy.

Only hopelessness among many or the selfishness of a few would lead Whitewater to return to her economic past.

Semi-truck overturns, hits vehicle amid tornado supercell:

Daily Bread for 5.2.24: Did Trump’s Waukesha Visit Include a Mention of Whitewater? No

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:45 and sunset 7:57 for 14h 12m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 37.6 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 2000, President Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.

Mr. Trump was in Waukesha yesterday.

Did Trump’s Wednesday visit include a mention of Whitewater (as his 4.2.24 Green Bay visit did)?

No. (The Republican National Committee press release announcing Trump’s Waukesha visit, however, did include an express reference to Whitewater. There was, therefore, reason to be attentive to his remarks.)

For now, Wisconsin’s rising nativist sentiment hasn’t brought yet another false, mendacious use of Whitewater’s conditions.

So much the better for this community that Mr. Trump kept the city’s name out of his remarks.

The state & national distortions of last fall & winter would prove slight as against state and national distortions this fall.

May 2024 Skywatching Tips from NASA:

Daily Bread for 5.1.24: Will Trump’s Waukesha Visit Include a Mention of Whitewater?

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 70. Sunrise is 5:46 and sunset 7:56 for 14h 09m 50s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 48.6 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Lakes Advisory Committee meets at 4 PM and the Whitewater Common Council meets at 6 PM.

On this day in 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the Asiatic Squadron of the United States Navy destroys the Pacific Squadron of the Spanish Navy after a seven-hour battle. Spain loses all seven of its ships, and 381 Spanish sailors die. There are no American vessel losses or combat deaths.

So, one reads that Mr. Trump will be in Waukesha today. Trump mentioned Whitewater by name while in Green Bay on 4.2.24. If he’s going to keep Whitewater in the headlines, another Wisconsin visit would be a prime opportunity for him to do so.

Will it prove true that Trump again uses Wisconsin’s Rising Nativist Sentiment [to] Keep Whitewater in the News?

Let’s see what happens.

Relocating bees from a Washington, D.C. backyard:

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 4.29.24: Wisconsin’s Rising Nativist Sentiment Will Keep Whitewater in the News

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 69. Sunrise is 5:49 and sunset 7:54 for 14h 04m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 70.2 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1861, Maryland’s House of Delegates votes not to secede, but to remain in the Union.

A nativist position — immigrants out, migrants out, etc. — is easier to hold if one ignores the economic cost of anti-labor-market policies. ‘Get them out’ trips off the tongue; explaining the value of a free-labor market that has made America the most productive nation in all history takes longer. Rob Mentzer reports Central Wisconsin farmers: Immigration crackdown, trade war affect our business (‘Farmers say US trade, immigration policy choices have direct effects on Wisconsin businesses’):

On immigration, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has promised mass deportations of those living in the U.S. without legal status.

Those deportations, if carried out, would likely hit Wisconsin dairy farms hard. Dairy producers rely on immigrant labor, often from Mexico and South America, to operate. While many workers come here with legal status through temporary work visas, that is not the case for all of the workforce.

“It seems foolish to just pretend that foreign-born workers aren’t here and that we don’t need them,” said Hans Breitenmoser, whose dairy farm outside of Merrill has about 460 cows. “We need a means by which their presence here can be legal and sustainable, and also provide them with the dignity that they deserve.”

Recent public opinion polling has shown a turn in favor of the crackdown advocated by Trump. An April 25 survey by Axios and The Harris Poll found a majority of Americans said they would support mass deportations

In Wisconsin, the most recent Marquette Law School Poll found 30 percent of Wisconsinites said undocumented immigrants currently working in the U.S. should be deported — a figure that has nearly doubled in the last two years.

Closer to Whitewater: egg farmers, too, one can guess.

Whitewater, regrettably, may find herself under both a general and a specific immigration focus between now and November. The general focus will be simply as one Wisconsin city among many where an anti-immigration position gains adherents.

A specific focus, made possible because Whitewater’s officials themselves raised immigration as an issue, would name the city expressly in campaign literature and campaign stops. Whitewater has come to the attention of Mr. Trump (or, at least, his campaign aides):

“Does anybody know Whitewater after being inundated with Biden migrants? This tiny town now has a budget shortfall,” Trump said. “Their public schools are straining with hundreds of new migrant students who don’t speak a word of English.”

Earlier this year, Whitewater officials told WPR the influx of immigrants had strained city resources, but they were doing everything they could to help them become integrated into the community. Officials believe the migrants started arriving in early 2022, and didn’t arrive all at once.

Here’s the relationship between general polling and Whitewater as a specific reference: as statewide and national polls show increasing nativist sentiment, then Whitewater will likely be a convenient topic (however misused and falsely described) in statewide and national conversations this fall.

Drone video shows aftermath of deadly Oklahoma tornadoes:

Daily Bread for 4.28.24: Hundreds of Millions in Wisconsin Campaign Spending

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 67. Sunrise is 5:50 and sunset 7:53 for 14h 02m 20s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 79.6 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1947,   Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to demonstrate that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.

Robert D’Andrea reports Campaigns will spend ‘hundreds of millions’ in Wisconsin, party chairs say (‘Republican chair pledges to use all ‘things that are legal and on the books,’ including early voting’):

Political campaigns will likely spend hundreds of millions of dollars on elections in Wisconsin this year, agreed the state chairs of both major political parties at a forum in Madison on Thursday. 

Democrat Ben Wikler and Republican Brian Schimming would not commit to a specific dollar amount, but they agreed spending will be high for contests up and down the ballot. 

Wisconsin is a pivotal state in the presidential race. There are also competitive races for the U.S. Senate, two congressional seats and new state legislative districts

Could spending in Wisconsin indeed be in the hundreds of millions? Yes. Campaign spending in the 2022 Wisconsin gubernatorial race was $164 million, campaign spending in the 2022 U.S. Senate race was $205 million, and spending on 2022 Wisconsin legislative races totaled $41 million.

The World’s Oldest Hat Shop:

Daily Bread for 4.27.24: French Baker Invents the Crookie

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be windy with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:52 and sunset 7:52 for 13h 59m 47s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 88.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1667,  blind and impoverished, John Milton sells Paradise Lost to a printer for £10, so that it could be entered into the Stationers’ Register.

Ségolène Le Stradic reports on a pastry innovation in A Turbocharged Croissant Delights (and Disturbs) Paris (‘Stéphane Louvard married one of his signature croissants with a chocolate chip cookie to come up with the “crookie.” After a slow start, his creation took off after it became a TikTok phenomenon’):

All it took for the crookie to take shape was a baker looking for a diversion, his time-tested croissant recipe and a few cookies for inspiration. It took TikTok to make it go viral.

Stéphane Louvard created the crookie almost a year and a half ago when he came up with the idea of putting cookie dough into a croissant and then baking it again. But demand for his crookies has exploded in recent months after TikTok videos flaunted his creations. On one day in February, Mr. Louvard sold 2,300 of the pastries at his bakery in a bustling Paris neighborhood.

“The entire planet is talking about us. Someone told me he even made the trip from Madrid only to get a crookie — it’s crazy,” Mr. Louvard said as he prepared a baking tray of croissants, ready to be cut in half and stuffed with chocolate chip cookie dough.

The crookie — Mr. Louvard’s son Nicolas, a business school student, came up with the name — has not just taken social media by storm. It has also spread to other bakeries across France and around the world

I’d try one, but a pastry so heavy would call for a strong coffee accompaniment.

See the Crab Nebula and Cassiopeia A in amazing time-lapses that ‘span several decades’:

Daily Bread for 4.26.24: National Inflation Rate Stays Stubborn

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with evening showers and a high of 60. Sunrise is 5:53 and sunset 7:51 for 13h 57m 12s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 93.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1865,  Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Boothassassin of President Abraham Lincoln, in Virginia:

Asking that his hands be raised to his face so that he could see them, Booth uttered his last words, “Useless, useless,” and as dawn was breaking he died of asphyxiation as a result of his wounds

Jeanna Smialek and Ben Casselman report Stubborn Inflation Could Prod Fed to Keep Rates High for Longer:

The Federal Reserve’s most closely watched inflation measure remained stubborn in March, the latest evidence that price increases are not fading as quickly as policymakers would like, and another reason that interest rates may stay higher for longer.

Investors came into 2024 hopeful that Fed officials would cut rates substantially this year, but those hopes have been fading as inflation has shown much more staying power than expected. Wall Street increasingly sees lower rates coming much later in the year, if the Fed manages to cut them at all.

The latest Personal Consumption Expenditures index reading could keep the Fed on a cautious path as it considers when to lower borrowing costs.

The overall inflation index rose by 2.7 percent in the year through March, up from 2.5 percent in February and slightly more than economists had expected.


Investors are now betting that the Fed might make its first move in September or later, based on market pricing, and a small but growing share think that it may not manage to cut rates at all this year.

Massive fire burns at Oceanside Pier in California:

Daily Bread for 4.25.24: Wisconsin & Arizona Investigations into Fraudulent 2020 Presidential Electors

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 59. Sunrise is 5:55 and sunset 7:49 for 13h 54m 37s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 97.5 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater Community Development Authority will hold a housing roundtable at 9 AM.

On this day in 1898, the United States Congress declares that a state of war between the U.S. and Spain has existed since April 21, when an American naval blockade of the Spanish colony of Cuba began.

The Washington Post reports that in Arizona

Eighteen of former president Donald Trump’s associates and allies have been indicted in Arizona for their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results by trying to award the state’s electoral votes to Trump instead of Joe Biden, who won the state by 10,457 votes.

The group includes Trump’s final White House chief of staff and six aides or attorneys who worked on or supported his 2020 campaign. One is now advising his 2024 presidential campaign, and another is a senior official at the Republican National Committee. Also indicted were 11 Arizona Republicans who signed paperwork on Dec. 14, 2020, that falsely purported Trump was the rightful winner and then transmitted it to the federal government.

All defendants appear to have been charged under each count of the indictment. The charges are as follows: conspiracy, fraudulent schemes and artifices, fraudulent schemes and practices, and forgery. All are felonies, with the most serious being fraudulent schemes and artifices, which carries a standard sentence of five years in prison.

Wisconsin, too, had fraudulent presidential electors. In our state, an investigation into those electors is ongoing, although there has been a settlement in a lawsuit from two legitimate electors against the fraudulent ones. Patrick Marley reports that

Investigators for state Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) have interviewed Chesebro as a possible witness as part of an ongoing probe. Other details about the investigation have not been made public. Separately, [Atty. Kenneth] Chesebro, Trump attorney James Troupis and the 10 Wisconsin Republicans who posed as electors recently settled a lawsuit brought by two of the state’s legitimate electors. As part of the deals, they publicly released records about their efforts and withdrew their false filings from the National Archives. In addition, those who acted as electors agreed not to do so again this year or any time Trump is on the ballot. Troupis paid an unspecified amount of money to those who brought the suit.

Sky over Athens turns orange under Sahara sandstorm:

Daily Bread for 4.24.24: How Wisconsin’s Federal Representatives Voted on Foreign Aid

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 55. Sunrise is 5:56 and sunset 7:48 for 13h 52m 00s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.7 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1885, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley is hired by Nate Salsbury to be a part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

Over at the Washington Post, there are useful tables showing how members of the U.S. House and Senate voted on border measures, sanctions including a TikTok ban, Indo-Pacific aid, Ukraine aid, and Israel aid. (In the Senate, the aid packages and TikTok ban were within a single vote, up or down.)

Wisconsin House Delegation’s Votes:

Wisconsin Senate Delegation’s Votes:

Read full bill text for H.R. 8038 (sanctions, including TikTok ban), H.R. 8036 (Indo-Pacific), H.R. 8035 (Ukraine), H.R. 8034 (Israel), H.R. 3602 (border measures), and H.R 815 (the combined House bill on which the Senate then voted).

Coyote Spotted in New York’s Central Park:

FREE WHITEWATER has repeatedly warned the people of this beautiful city of the danger coyotes represent. Another reminder: if they can occupy Central Park, then they can occupy Whitewater. See Coyotes Begin War Against Humanity and In Whitewater, People Won’t Feed Coyotes — Coyotes Will Feed on People.