Saturday in Whitewater will be increasingly cloudy with a high of fifty-eight. Sunrise is 6:50 AM and sunset 6:38 PM, for 11h 47m 58s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 80.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1957, the Packers dedicate a new stadium: “On this date, the Green Bay Packers dedicated City Stadium, now known as Lambeau Field, and defeated the Chicago Bears, 21-17. In the capacity crowd of 32,132 was Vice President Richard Nixon.”
Recommended for reading in full — Wisconsin DOT pays twice for work, analysis indicates Wisconsin lower Wisconsin job creation, Thomas Paine on Donald Trump, toxic waterways in North Carolina, and video telling about a dog and a shaky bridge —
Raquel Rutledge reports Investigation: Wisconsin DOT knowingly paid twice on stretch of roadwork for Zoo Interchange:
As a percentage of the nearly $200 million budget for rebuilding a chunk of Wisconsin’s busiest freeway, $404,250 might seem insignificant.
But what if the money were paid by Wisconsin taxpayers for work that was never done? And what if the state knew it when the bill was paid?
That’s what happened when contractors for the Milwaukee Zoo Interchange project double billed the state for 15,000 cubic yards of gravel, enough to help pave one lane of highway for five miles.
Although a project engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation discovered the discrepancy in advance, and alerted supervisors, those in charge insisted the contractor be paid the additional money anyway, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.
Joy Powers reports Analyst Finds Gov. Scott Walker May Have Cost Wisconsin 80,000 Jobs:
When Gov. Scott Walker mounted his first gubernatorial campaign he made a bold claim: that during his first term as governor he would create 250,000 jobs for Wisconsinites. He is just now nearing that figure after nearly two terms on the job.
Most economists believe that governors have a limited impact on how many jobs are created in a given state. That being said, local economist Bruce Thompson [professor emeritus at the Rader School of Business at the Milwaukee School of Engineering] believes Walker’s policies may have actually resulted in a loss of 80,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Thompson created an algorithm which essentially calculates how many jobs would have been created in Wisconsin, regardless of who was governor. He did this by using data from several states in the upper Midwest: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The data comes from labor reports from each state, collected since 1990.
(Job creation, often touted by the Walker Admin and WEDC, does not consider the quality of the jobs created. Nonetheless, it’s notable that even by a common Walker and WEDC metric, there’s reason to question claims of success.)
Clive Irving writes Thomas Paine Knew How to Deal With a Mad King Like Trump:
America has become careless with its democracy. So careless, it seems, that it is allowing the return of the very institution that it had to remove in the course of its birth as a free nation: an absolute monarchy.
We have a man in the White House with all the inclinations of an unhinged monarch who on a daily basis acts as though he is above the law. And, as though in a medieval court, he is surrounded by a conniving bunch of supplicants and robber barons.
It is a good time, therefore, to remember that the principles of American democracy were crafted as a response to the outrages of kingly powers, in the person of George III. One of the authors of those principles described the threat that had to be faced:
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; ‘tis dearness only that gives everything its value.”
Reading this, Washington, declared: “A few more of such flaming arguments will not leave numbers at a loss to decide on the propriety of separation.”
Rebecca Leber reports Two Weeks After Florence, We Still Don’t Know How Toxic Carolina Waterways Are:
Coal ash is toxic stuff. A combustion byproduct, it is a concentrated mix of heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, and other unpleasant materials typically held in landfills and ponds that have historically been monitored by little federal oversight. So far, the daily sampling the Waterkeeper Alliance, a water advocacy organization, has taken from three flood plains, and what Lisenby has seen—gray, soupy coal refuse turning the water into thick muck and the floating islands of coal ash—does not reconcile with the preliminary report from Duke Energy, one of the largest utilities in the country.
Duke Energy admitted that last week the floodwaters from Florence had breached at least one dam responsible for preventing one of its coal ash ponds at a retired Sutton coal plant in Wilmington from flowing into the Cape Fear River. Days later, Duke Energy announced that its own water sampling showed negligible impact to the river.
Duke claimed that the floating islands of coal ash—in some cases amounting to 180 dump trucks worth of ashy material—is relatively harmless. Even though Duke’s testing at the L.V. Sutton Power Station showed elevated levels of arsenic and heavy metals, they were all within state requirements. While the state is still waiting for its own lab results, activists have raised questions about the accuracy of Duke’s testing.