Daily Bread for 2.9.21

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 7.  Sunrise is 6:58 AM and sunset 5:19 PM, for 10h 21m 33s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets via audiovisual conferencing at 6 PM.

 On this day in 1950, Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy made the first of many baseless claims to have a list of 205 names of known communists working for the State Department.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Isiah Holmes reports Evers pushes for $165 million recreational cannabis market:

Cannabis is in Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed 2021-23 biennial budget, with the governor pushing legalization and regulation of the plant. If approved, Wisconsin would begin taxing cannabis similar to alcohol, joining 15 other states, including all of its neighbors, in legalizing a recreational market.

“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin,” said Evers, “just like we do already with alcohol, ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state.”

The governor added, “frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”

This marks the Evers administration’s second attempt at putting cannabis in the budget. Republicans in the legislature shot down the proposal for the 2019-21 budget. Since then, some within the GOP have introduced their own proposals to legalize medicinal cannabis, or reduce existing fines for possession.

(Note well: I don’t smoke and seldom drink, but would not stop others. Regulate cannabis like wine.)

Michael M. Grynbaum reports Lawsuits Take the Lead in Fight Against Disinformation:

In just a few weeks, lawsuits and legal threats from a pair of obscure election technology companies have achieved what years of advertising boycotts, public pressure campaigns and liberal outrage could not: curbing the flow of misinformation in right-wing media.

Fox Business canceled its highest rated show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” on Friday after its host was sued as part of a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit. On Tuesday, the pro-Trump cable channel Newsmax cut off a guest’s rant about rigged voting machines. Fox News, which seldom bows to critics, has run fact-checking segments to debunk its own anchors’ false claims about electoral fraud.

This is not the typical playbook for right-wing media, which prides itself on pugilism and delights in ignoring the liberals who have long complained about its content. But conservative outlets have rarely faced this level of direct assault on their economic lifeblood.

 Kari Paul writes Facebook bans misinformation about all vaccines after years of controversy:

Facebook has banned misinformation about all vaccines following years of harmful, unfounded health claims proliferating on its platform.

As part of its policy on Covid-19-related misinformation, Facebook will now remove posts with false claims about all vaccines, the company announced in a blogpost on Monday.

These new community guidelines apply to user-generated posts as well as paid advertisements, which were already banned from including such misinformation. Instagram users will face the same restrictions.

“We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules,” said Guy Rosen, who oversees content decisions. “We’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks.”

Groups on Facebook have been known to create echo chambers of misinformation and have fueled the rise of anti-vaccine communities and rhetoric. Under the new policy, groups where users repeatedly share banned content will be shut down.

Koala gets behind wheel of car after being rescued from Australian freeway:

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2 years ago

I’ve thought for some time that weed legalization, along with rural broadband, is the key to ameliorating Gerrymandering in Wisco-World. Weed is the mother of all wedgies. 75-85% of the state’s residents want it legal, and lots of them are not living in downtown MKE or MSN. Weed and rural broadband are areas of agreement on all political sides. The first party to embrace weed fully wins big!

Evers is heading in that direction, but the time for the Dems to have gone all-in was before the last election. They dipped their toes, but it was half-hearted. I understand that the newly departed Big Fitz was implacable, (as well as unconscionable), but the Dems could have made it a much bigger deal to fight him over it. It was a lost opportunity to compete in the low-density hustings.

Rural broadband, as a wedge issue, is likely to lose a lot of it’s leverage rather soon. The monopolistic hegemony of the rural phone companies is on the edge of becoming irrelevant. SpaceX, with their Low Earth Orbit Starlink constellation, has just (yesterday) opened up pre-registration for it’s service in WI. Elon has launched over 1000 internet satellites with beta testing showing a consistent 100-200Mb throughput. All this for $99/month, which is less than the TelCo charges for really bad wired service. If I was a planning guy for rural wired (or fiber) TelCo internet expansion, I would find another job. Starlink will soon be the only game in town (or the woods, in my case), particularly in the Driftless region of Wisco-World, where terrestrial wireless is difficult to do because of terrain.

Reply to  JOHN ADAMS
2 years ago

I was pondering the other day how WHITEwater seems to be the epicenter of political thick-headedness. Being represented by Steve Nass, and Ron Johnson, who is flying off the rails like a pickup truck on the Marquette interchange, and Big Fitz, as well as the commercial home of Robin Vos’ “affordable student housing” and the former district of F. Jim, is a track-record hard to beat.