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 5.2.24: 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 4.22.24: Pollster Charles Franklin Discusses 2024 Candidates & Issues

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 64. Sunrise is 5:59 and sunset 7:46 for 13h 46m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.1 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater School Board goes into closed session shortly after 5:30 PM and returns to open session at 7 PM.

On this day in 1977, optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic.

Charles Franklin discusses voter views of Wisconsin issues & candidates:

AI and robotics demystify the workings of a fly’s wing:

Daily Bread for 2.11.24: Wisconsin’s Mike Gallagher Heads for the Exits

 Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 39. Sunrise is 6:56 and sunset 5:21 for 10h 24m 54s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 3.9% of its visible disk illuminated. 

On this day in 1979, the Iranian Revolution establishes an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

 Joe Schulz reports Green Bay Congressman Mike Gallagher will not seek reelection (‘Announcement comes less than a week after Gallagher voted against impeaching Homeland Security secretary’): 

After four terms in Congress, Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, announced Saturday that he will not seek reelection.

The announcement comes less than a week after Gallagher was one of only four Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against impeachingHomeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The vote failed 214-216.

Gallagher has faced backlash for his vote from other House Republicans, and local Republican Party chapters in his district. Some prominent figures on the right even called for Gallagher to face a primary challenge.

Well, yes, but Gallagher had already decided months ago not to challenge U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, so there has been ample evidence that his political ambitions were temperate rather than hot.

The Paul Ryan route is less contentious and more lucrative:

Paul Ryan was appointed to the Fox Corporation Board of Directors in March 2019 . He is a general partner of the private equity firm Solamere Capital, LLC and chair of the firm’s Executive Partner Group. He is Vice Chairman of Teneo Strategy LLC and also serves on the Advisory Boards of Robert Bosch Gmbh and Paradigm Operations L.P. and the Boards of Directors of Xactus (formerly UniversalCIS) and SHINE Medical Technologies, LLC. Mr. Ryan served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Executive Network Partnering Corporation from 2020 to 2022. He has been a Professor of the Practice, Political Science and Economics, at the University of Notre Dame since 2019. 

Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow:

Daily Bread for 1.11.24: Conservative Activists Launch Recall Effort Against Speaker Vos

 Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 31. Sunrise is 7:23 and sunset 4:41 for 9h 17m 56s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1964, Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., publishes the landmark report Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.

Anya Van Wagtendonk reports Recall effort launched against Vos (‘Conservative opponents of the powerful Assembly speaker hope to force a recall election in June’):

Conservative activists have launched a recall effort against Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, citing his criticisms of former President Donald Trump and what they describe as an insufficiently right-wing record.

Matthew Snorek, a resident of Union Grove in Racine County, filed the petition to the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Wednesday. Vos, R-Rochester, has represented parts of Racine County in the state Assembly since 2005.

In the complaint, Snorek alleges Vos “is blocking fair elections in WI” and pointed to Vos not contributing to efforts by a small bloc of right-wing Assembly members to impeach Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top election administrator. 

“Wisconsin must move ‘Forward’ without Robin Vos in power,” the complaint reads. 

 In a statement, Vos called the recall “a waste of time, resources and effort.”


Snorek’s petition will need to get about 7,000 signatures — calculated as a quarter of votes cast in Vos’ Assembly district in the 2022 gubernatorial race — in order to force a recall election. Organizers are aiming for an election date in June.

Mouse secretly filmed tidying man’s shed every night:

Daily Bread for 1.3.24: Hockey, Hayek, and Hope

 Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 34. Sunrise is 7:25 and sunset 4:33 for 9h 08m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 54.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets in closed session at 4:30 PM

On this day in 1777, General Washington defeats British General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton.

Whitewater has had significant political activity throughout 2023, and the local Spring Election awaits the city in April. 

There’s more than one way to think about these changes, but political, economic, and social dynamism is common across America. It’s not merely common, but felicitously a source of our national strength, making us the envy of other peoples around the world.

A few remarks about hockey and Friedrich Hayek (not usually associated) explain much of Whitewater’s recent politics. 

Consider ice hockey, starting with the rink on which that game is played.  

By Jecowa at English Wikipedia. Public Domain,

Odd, isn’t it? Circles and lines across a sheet of ice, on a rink where those markings and the players skating in competition would seem incomprehensible to someone unfamiliar with the game.

And yet, and yet, for a little bit of time and willingness, someone can learn about hockey and enjoy watching or playing a game. Indeed, without markings on the ice, and rules of the game, there would be no National Hockey League. A few people might be on a few rinks, but those few would never unite into a profitable professional association. 

As it turns out, local governments have their own version of rules from federal & state statutes, local ordinances, and local policies those communities adopt as binding. In Whitewater, relevant & material statutes, ordinances, and policies are compiled (in significant part) in the city’s Good Government Manual and the CDA Rules of Procedure.  

A key point that cannot be emphasized enough: these federal and state statutes, city ordinances, and local policies pre-date the current city administration. They are not a new development. They always should have been, and now are, being read and applied as they were meant to be applied. They were years ago lawfully drafted and adopted. If their application has seemed alien to some in Whitewater, then it is because some have unfortunately become unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the lawful rules and procedures for this very town. 

To do otherwise would be to expect the equivalent of a hockey game where players follow no rules or different rules, crashing into each other and the boards. 

And look, and look — this libertarian blogger is not a member of the government and never will be. This libertarian blogger has never represented the government and never will. It is right, however, to follow the rules properly established at federal, state, and local levels until they are lawfully revised. 

Deprecation of these rules does not advance this city; it perpetuates backwardness. 

This brings us to Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek. Hayek was an opponent of most state planning, and rightly so. He understood, however, that some level of preliminary planning (and this meant government planning) was necessary to make private success possible. His remarks on this point in The Road to Serfdom are oft-quoted:

Nor is “planning” a medicine which, taken in small doses, can produce the effects for which one might hope from its thoroughgoing application. Both competition and central direction become poor and inefficient tools if they are incomplete; they are alternative principles used to solve the same problem, and a mixture of the two means that neither will really work and that the result will be worse than if either system had been consistently relied upon. Or, to express it differently, planning and competition can be combined only by planning for competition but not by planning against competition.

It is of the utmost importance to the argument of this book for the reader to keep in mind that the planning against which all our criticism is directed is solely the planning against competition the planning which is to be substituted tuted for competition. This is the more important, as we cannot, within the scope of this book, enter into a discussion of the very necessary planning which is required to make competition as effective and beneficial as possible. But as in current usage “planning” has become almost synonymous with the former kind of planning, it will sometimes be inevitable for the sake of brevity to refer to it simply as planning, even though this means leaving to our opponents a very good word meriting a better fate.

(Emphasis added.) 

F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom 89 (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2 ed. 2007).

Government’s orderly planning, including the application of established policies, makes government responsible. It also leaves government in its proper, limited place. 

Hope for a better future is not only — and not principally — to be found within the walls of city hall. 312 W. Whitewater Street is merely one address in this city. Whitewater is a city of fifteen thousand, not fifteen. Whitewater’s many private needs will not be met through fights among government men or recriminations among them. 

The purpose of a well-regulated government, like a well-regulated militia, is (and must be) to protect the flourishing of private life. 

There is much that must be accomplished in this regard. See Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day, Something Transcendent, and in the MeantimeAn Oasis Strategy, The Community Space, People Bring Color. From Government, Failure is Both Loss and Distraction, and The Shape of Decline to Come (and How to Carry On).

Hope comes privately and stays privately. She’s more likely to arrive, and more likely to stay, in a city of rules-based limited government.

What’s Up: January 2024 Skywatching Tips from NASA:

Daily Bread for 12.13.23: Politics & News Avoidance

 Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 39. Sunrise is 7:17 and sunset 4:21 for 9h 03m 48s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Tech Park Board Executive Committee meets at 8 AM and the Landmarks Commission at 4:30 PM

 On this day in 1769, Dartmouth College is founded by the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock, with a royal charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal governor John Wentworth.

  An except from a new book describes the authors’ study on the relationship between news avoidance and politics. Benjamin Toff, Ruth Palmer, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen ask So who are the consistent news avoiders? (‘No single variable is more predictive of whether someone consistently avoids news than their level of interest in politics and civic affairs’): 

In general, consistent news avoidance tends to be more common among young people, women, and lower socioeconomic classes. There are also some important political divides regarding who avoids news. In the United States especially, it is much more common among people on the right ideologically. In most other parts of the world, it is more common on the left. But a bigger and more persistent gap lies along what the political scientists Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan call “the other divide”: the divide between people who are deeply involved in politics and rarely, if ever, avoid news consistently and those who are largely indifferent toward politics and avoid news far more often. To be clear, we are not suggesting that all or even most young people, women, or people of lower socioeconomic classes avoid news consistently. That is verifiably not the case. But if you do meet someone who consumes practically no news at all, there is a good chance they will fall into one or more of these categories.

Excerpt from Avoiding the News: Reluctant Audiences for Journalism by Benjamin Toff, Ruth Palmer, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. Copyright (c) 2023 Columbia University Press. 

Behold, a Leucistic American Badger

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Daily Bread for 7.2.23: Gerrymandered Speaker Complains About Minority Scholarship Program

Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 82. Sunrise is 5:21 AM and sunset 8:36 PM for 15h 15m 43s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.6% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Independence Holiday events continue today at the Cravath Lakefront: Wristband Sessions 12-4PM, 5-9PM Food Vendors…

Daily Bread for 6.26.23: It’s More than the Economy, and That Will Affect How People View the Economy

Good morning. Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 73. Sunrise is 5:18 AM and sunset 8:37 PM for 15h 19m 15s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 51.3% of its visible disk illuminated. The Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM. The Whitewater School Board goes into closed…