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History

The Public Health Crisis before the Public Health Crisis

Frontline’s Opioids, Inc. (full film): Pushing opioids. Bribing doctors. Making millions. FRONTLINE and the Financial Times investigate how Insys Therapeutics profited from a fentanyl-based painkiller up to 100 times stronger than heroin — and how some Wall Street investors looked the other way. Since 2007, communities like Whitewater have faced a Great Recession, an opioid…

An Example of Bottomless Ignorance in Walworth County

Some residents of Walworth County, Wisconsin object to public health measures to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. So hysterical is their opposition that one reads Opponents say county’s coronavirus safeguards are ‘like Russia’: Confronted by a raucous crowd of opponents fearing government intrusion, Walworth County Board members have backed away from a measure…

Boosterism, ’30s Style

Although the Roosevelt Administration was (whatever its other mistakes) candid about the economic conditions it faced, there was in the ’30s, as there has been over the 2010s in Wisconsin, a delusional impulse to happy talk – regardless of economic conditions – among some politicians and some business groups. Margaret Bourke-White‘s Kentucky Flood depicts the…

WISGOP Treasurer Brian Westrate ‘Well Understands’ Nothing

A horde of ignorant, but racially motivated, men infest the Wisconsin GOP.  Brian Westrate is a good example of playing to this bad condition: in an attempt to discourage racist Republicans from displaying Confederate banners at a protest, he erroneously (and outrageously) contended that he did “well understand that the Confederacy was more about states…

Every Completed Senate Impeachment Trial in American History Has Had New Witnesses

An analysis from the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington reveals that every impeachment trial completed in the Senate’s 231 year history has featured witnesses who had not testified in the House: Every impeachment trial completed in the Senate’s 231 year history has featured witnesses who had not testified in the House, according to…

But We Never Went Away…

Writing at NiemanLab, Joanne McNeil offers a prediction for 2020 in A return to blogs (finally? sort of?): One reason we might see a resurgence of blogs is the novelty. Tell someone you’re starting a new newsletter and they might complain about how many newsletters (or podcasts) they already subscribe to. But tell them you’re…