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Daily Bread for 4.17.19

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with thunderstorms and a high of sixty-one.  Sunrise is 6:08 AM and sunset 7:39 PM, for 13h 31m 05s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 94.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-ninth day.

 

On this day in 1970, the crew of Apollo 13 successfully returns to Earth despite an oxygen tank explosion during their mission.

Recommended for reading in full:

Shawn Regan writes 5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty:

Imagine if the government were responsible for looking after your best interests. All of your assets must be managed by bureaucrats on your behalf. A special bureau is even set up to oversee your affairs. Every important decision you make requires approval, and every approval comes with a mountain of regulations.

How well would this work? Just ask Native Americans.

The federal government is responsible for managing Indian affairs for the benefit of all Indians. But by all accounts the government has failed to live up to this responsibility. As a result, Native American reservations are among the poorest communities in the United States. Here’s how the government keeps Native Americans in poverty.

Indian lands are owned and managed by the federal government.

….

Nearly every aspect of economic development is controlled by federal agencies.

….

Reservations have a complex legal framework that hinders economic growth.

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Energy regulations make it difficult for tribes to develop their resources.

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The federal government has repeatedly mismanaged Indian assets.

Michael Kranish reports Inside the Russian effort to target Sanders supporters — and help elect Trump:

After Bernie Sanders lost his presidential primary race against Hillary Clinton in 2016, a Twitter account called Red Louisiana News reached out to his supporters to help sway the general election. “Conscious Bernie Sanders supporters already moving towards the best candidate Trump! #Feel the Bern #Vote Trump 2016,” the account tweeted.

The tweet was not actually from Louisiana, according to an analysis by Clemson University researchers. Instead, it was one of thousands of accounts identified as based in Russia, part of a cloaked effort to persuade supporters of the senator from Vermont to elect Trump. “Bernie Sanders says his message resonates with Republicans,” said another Russian tweet.

While much attention has focused on the question of whether the Trump campaign encouraged or conspired with Russia, the effort to target Sanders supporters has been a lesser-noted part of the story. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, in a case filed last year against 13 Russians accused of interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign, said workers at a St. Petersburg facility called the Internet Research Agency were instructed to write social media posts in opposition to Clinton but “to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

Trump threatened to close the border. Here’s what could happen if he did:

Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap

Trump declared that Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, but one of the world’s true wonders would not depend on empty buildings and it wouldn’t have a leader who needs a nap, but here we are.

Following his earlier examination on Foxconn’s habit of using empty buildings to dupe the gullible, Nilay Patel now reports Foxconn says empty buildings in Wisconsin are not empty (“While announcing another empty building”):

Well, here we are again.

Earlier this week, The Verge published a lengthy investigation into the many “innovation centers” Foxconn has announced in Wisconsin as part of its deal with President Trump to build a (status unknown) LCD manufacturing plant in the state. After spending 10 days on the ground, we simply reported the obvious: most of the “innovation centers” are empty, some of the buildings were never actually purchased, and no one in Wisconsin really seems to know what’s going on.

Today, Foxconn responded to that piece by… announcing another innovation center in Wisconsin, this one in Madison, the state’s capital. The building, which currently houses a bank, actually sits directly across the street from the Capitol building, and it will continue to house the bank because Foxconn did not announce when it would be moving in.

Here are some other things Foxconn did not announce: how much it had paid for the building, how many floors of the building it would occupy, how many people would work there, or what those people would be doing.

Foxconn’s executives must think that Wisconsinites are dimwitted children to persist in these feeble public-relations efforts.

As for Foxconn’s chairman, well, he’s following former Gov. Walker into a period of quiescence:

The seemingly always simmering Foxconn pot bubbled again Monday, this time with a report from Reuters that Terry Gou, the founder who built the firm into one of the world’s largest companies, will step down as chairman in the coming months.

Foxconn denied Gou will give up the chairman post, and said he will “continue to provide strategic direction and guidance.”

But the company’s statement acknowledged that Gou, 68, wants “to withdraw from daily operations” in favor of “a new generation of talent.”

In any event, the latest development may raise questions — again — about the future of Foxconn’s much-watched and heavily subsidized Wisconsin project.

Via Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou will reduce his role at the company, report says.

Oh dearie me.

If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then the departure of a leader here or there would not matter.  If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then there would be no need for shell buildings to dupe people.

As this vast project rests only on political schemes and cronyism, it’s doomed to fail.

It should be disappointing in a city of reasonable men and women that a few denizens of 312 W. Whitewater Street and 1221 Innovation Drive claimed otherwise.

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, and Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…Continue reading

Daily Bread for 4.16.19

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of sixty-four.  Sunrise is 6:10 AM and sunset 7:38 PM, for 13h 28m 20s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 88% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-eighth day.

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

On this day in 1917, Lenin returns from exile to Petrograd.

Recommended for reading in full:

Conservative Evangelical Michael Gerson writes The real threat to religious freedom is Trump:

So another norm of public decency falls, like a historical building demolished to make way for one of Donald Trump’s tasteless towers.

When the president of the United States goes after an American Muslim — in this case Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who came to the United States as a Somali refugee — using images of the 9/11 attacks, it is cruel, frightening and dangerous in new ways.

It is cruel because Trump essentially delivered his political rant while standing on desecrated graves. The images he employed not only included burning buildings but burning human beings, drafted into a sad and sordid political ploy. Is nothing sacred to Trump? When said aloud, the question sounds like an absurdity. Trump has never given the slightest indication of propriety, respect or reverence. His narcissism leaves no room to honor other people or to honor other gods. Both the living and the dead matter only as servants to the cause of Trump himself.

….

Could this have been a slip of the tongue? No, it wasn’t. Trump has a long history of animus — raw animus — against one of the Abrahamic faiths. He has said, “We’re having problems with the Muslims.” And: “There is a Muslim problem in the world.” And: “The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem.” And: “Islam hates us.”

The Koran, in Trump’s scholarly opinion, “teaches some very negative vibe.” He has claimed: “You have people coming out of mosques with hatred and death in their eyes.” He once called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” He has variously and publicly considered the closing of mosqueswarrantless searches and the creation of a national database to track Muslims. In Trump’s view, “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before.”

….

None of this requires us to believe that Omar is a wise or thoughtful public figure. She isn’t. She traffics in the worst anti-Semitic tropes. But Trump’s perception of religious liberty as freedom only for the faiths he prefers is a potential threat to every religious group. What if some future leader views Mormonism as incompatible with American democracy, or evangelical Protestantism? By what principle would Trump supporters be able to criticize discrimination against such groups?

Religious freedom is either rigorously equal, or it becomes an instrument of those in power to favor or disfavor religions of their choice. And those believers who are currently in favor may someday discover what disfavor is like.

How Astronomers Took The First Ever Image Of A Black Hole:

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An Answer to Trump: Welcome All

So Trump claims – absurdly – that America is full, and that contrary to the law he might send asylum seekers and migrants to sanctuary cities. Oakland’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, gave Trump the reply he deserved (and a reply that a just and well-ordered society should expect):

Trump:

….So interesting to see the Mayor of Oakland and other Sanctuary Cities NOT WANT our currently “detained immigrants” after release due to the ridiculous court ordered 20 day rule. If they don’t want to serve our Nation by taking care of them, why should other cities & towns?

 

Schaaf:

It’s time to stop fanning hate and division @realDonaldTrump – I’ve been consistent and clear: #Oakland welcomes all, no matter where you came from or how you got here.

 

 

Good for her.

Far from Oakland, in rural cities of the Midwest, one finds stagnation and brain drain. Rabid nativists in these rural places would rather see further decline than welcome productive migrants. These nativists spread easily debunked lies about the migrant population and risible claims about local superiority, while their own younger generation flees the area as what’s left slowly crumbles.

America’s future – her best days waiting yet ahead – rests with young immigrants.

Jennifer Rubin was right, broadly, about the economic conflict of our time: Trump vs. an America that works.Continue reading

New Construction and Old Repairs

One reads from Patty Murray of Wisconsin Public Radio that 1,054 of State’s Bridges Need Repair:

Wisconsin has 14,275 bridges. Of those, 1,054 — or 7.4 percent — have been deemed structurally deficient in a new report.

According to the report issued by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the state has identified necessary repairs on 1,955 bridges in Wisconsin at an estimated cost of $1.4 billion.

Wisconsin bridges are inspected at least once every two years, said Bill Oliva, chief of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation‘s Structural Development Section.

“Drivers do not need to be concerned about safety in that we have a very robust inspection program to identify those bridges that have a condition issue,” he said, adding that overall Wisconsin’s bridges are “above average.”

Still, the report indicated structurally deficient bridges need urgent repair. It also said most of the bridges that were identified as structurally deficient were built more than 60 years ago.

The report shows thousands of drivers cross a deficient bridge every day, but did indicate that the number of unsound bridges in the state has fallen over the last four years.

Neither Wisconsin nor any other place has unlimited resources, but in many places one finds local special interests that expect more for themselves even if limited resources must be diverted from maintenance to support their local desires.

Build, build, build ignores the need to repair, repair, repair.

In the race to the trough, local interests seldom see more than a few inches past their snouts.

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Daily Bread for 4.15.19

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-two.  Sunrise is 6:11 AM and sunset 7:37 PM, for 13h 25m 34s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 78.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-seventh day.

Whitewater’s Library Board meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson breaks baseball’s color barrier when he starts at first base with the Brooklyn Dodgers. (The Dodgers won the game, 5–3, over the Boston Braves).

Recommended for reading in full:

Glenn Kessler writes A guide to Democratic talking points not far off the mark:

(There are two keys to policy: to be right about conditions, and to offer effective solutions. Trump fails at both; that these Democratic candidates are mostly right on conditions makes them, by that alone, an order of magnitude superior to Trump’s end-to-end ignorance.)

  Dan Bice writes Ex-Gov. Scott Walker dumped from GOP event after clashing with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner:

Former Gov. Scott Walker might be regretting his decision to stay so politically active after his November defeat.

Unlike other ex-governors, Walker is keeping a high profile, tweeting regularly, giving speeches and even filling in on conservative talk radio.

But his comments during one of those talk-radio gigs resulted in his being unceremoniously dumped as a speaker at a recent Republican Party function after he hacked off the often-combustible U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Reached at a Sussex town hall last week, Sensenbrenner said the chairwoman of the GOP’s 5th District Congressional Caucus made the call to remove Walker from the list of speakers at its annual meeting on March 31. But Sensenbrenner said he had her back.

“I supported her disinviting him,” said Sensenbrenner, who was first elected to Congress in 1978.

(These two have a disagreement because Sensenbrenner is famously thin-skinned.  They’re both long-time politicians backing Trump, which is a softer way of saying neither man is worth a damn.)

On Twitter, Timothy Snyder, Levin Professor of History at Yale, writes Why we do think that Mr. Trump owes a debt to Mr. Putin? Here are fifty reasons. All of the facts are a matter of public record, and all of the sources can be found in my book The Road to Unfreedom”:

1/50 In 1984, Russian gangsters began to launder money by buying and selling apartment units in Trump Tower (, p. 220)

2/50 In 1986, Mr. Trump was courted by Soviet diplomats, who suggested that a bright future awaited him in Moscow (, p. 220).

3/50 In 1987, the Soviet state paid for Mr. Trump to visit Moscow, putting him up in a suite that was certainly bugged (, p. 220).

4/50 In 2006, Russians and other citizens of the former Soviet Union financed Trump SoHo, granting Mr. Trump 18% of the profits — although he put up no money himself (, p. 221).

(See the link for 46 more, and even worse, obligations Trump has to Russian interests.)

Why are Barns Traditionally Painted Red?Continue reading

Daily Bread for 4.14.19

Good morning.

Palm Sunday in Whitewater will see occasional snow showers with a high of thirty-eight.  Sunrise is 6:13 AM and sunset 7:36 PM, for 13h 22m 47s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 68.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-sixth day.

 

On this day in 1865, Pres. Lincoln is shot while attending a play in Washington.  Lincoln passed away the next day.

 

Recommended for reading in full:

Michael Brice-Saddler reports Company led by Trump nominee was rife with harassment, including groping and kissing, report says:

A federal workplace investigation found rampant sexual harassment and retaliation at AccuWeather, a federal contractor, including groping, touching and kissing of subordinates without consent. AccuWeather’s chief executive at the time of the allegations and investigation, Barry Myers, was tapped by President Trump to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The detailed results of the investigation, not previously reported, were compiled last year by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and obtained by The Washington Post. It determined that AccuWeather, under Myers, fostered a culture ripe for sexual harassment, turned a blind eye to allegations of egregious conduct and retaliated against those who complained.

According to the report, the investigation was prompted by a complaint filed Sept. 6, 2016, alleging a “hostile work environment and termination based on sexual orientation and sex.” Many other complaints from AccuWeather employees followed.

“Over two dozen witnesses spanning many different departments and in positions ranging from administrative support to senior management described unlawful sexual harassment that occurred at the company,” the report says. “This sexual harassment was so severe and pervasive, that some female employees resigned.”

The investigation, which began in March 2017, also found that AccuWeather was “aware” of the sexual harassment but took no action to correct it, despite the company’s claims that it was not privy to any harassing activity.

Quinta Jurecic writes Trump’s Unpardonable Challenge to the Constitution:

Now both CNN and The New York Timeshave reported that Trump also personally instructed then–Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to block asylum seekers, saying that if McAleenan faced jail time as a result of those actions, Trump would pardon him. The Times adds that Trump told McAleenan to go around then–Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who had refused to implement a ban on asylum on the grounds that it was illegal. Two days later, Nielsen was forced out; McAleenan was then appointed acting secretary in her place.

….

He swore an oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” and to the best of his ability, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is hard to see how asking an official to violate the law, and promising a pardon to mitigate the risk of doing so, is consistent with a defense of the Constitution—not to mention the similar obligation the Constitution places on the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Find the Fun in These Five Stories About Games:

Daily Bread for 4.13.19

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of fifty.  Sunrise is 6:15 AM and sunset 7:35 PM, for 13h 20m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 58.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-fifth day.

 

On this day in 1864, Wisconsinites fight at the Battle of Blair’s Landing, Louisiana:

This was the second and final day of the Battle of Blair’s Landing, in Red River Parish, Louisiana. During the fight, the 14th, 29th, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry regiments helped repulse Confederate troops who attacked Union transport ships headed upstream on the Red River Expedition.

 

Recommended for reading in full:

Andrew Kaczynski and Paul LeBlanc report Trump’s Fed pick Stephen Moore is a self-described ‘radical’ who said he’s not a ‘big believer in democracy’:

Stephen Moore, who President Donald Trump announced last month as his nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, has a history of advocating self-described “radical” views on the economy and government.

In speeches and radio interviews reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Moore advocated for eliminating the corporate and federal income taxes entirely, calling the 16th Amendment that created the income tax the “most evil” law passed in the 20th century.

Moore’s economic worldview envisions a slimmed down government and a rolled back social safety net. He has called for eliminating the Departments of Labor, Energy and Commerce, along with the IRS and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. He has questioned the need for both the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Education. He has said there’s no need for a federal minimum wage, called for privatizing the “Ponzi scheme” of Social Security and said those on government assistance lost their dignity and meaning.

In other interviews and appearances, Moore repeatedly said he believed capitalism was more important than democracy.

….

Speaking on the Thom Hartmann Show in 2010, Moore reiterated this belief, saying Hitler was democratically elected and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be better off as a democracy.

“I think capitalism, without free market capitalism, countries don’t get rich,” Moore said, when asked if capitalism was more important than democracy. “And so I would rather have a country that’s based on, you know, a free enterprise system of property rights and free exchange of free trade of low tax rates, than a country that state, there are a lot of democracies –.”

In a 2010 speech, Moore said he believed democracy meant that Democrats have an “intentional” plan to take voters off the income tax rolls and have them vote for expanding government.

(Moore’s a lightweight, jumping from claim to claim without thinking any of it through.  Serious, voluminous work on free markets emphasizes the importance of democratic rule-of-law conditions as a predicate, or in some cases a rapidly following consequence.  There just aren’t serious free-market thinkers who distinguish free-markets from a representative democratic order as an ongoing, desirable condition. Moore’s nomination is a bad joke. He doesn’t belong on the Federal Reserve; he belongs on the last barstool to the right.)

Star Wars: Episode IX – Teaser:

Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…

Not long ago, the executive director of the Whitewater Community Development Authority used meeting time to gush over the supply-chain possibilities Foxconn might present for Whitewater. The very idea is laughable; that his remarks were not met with peals of laughter shows how ignorant or confused the members of that public body truly are. See Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment.

Long before CDA executive director Dave Carlson’s remarks, the Foxconn Wisconsin project was a discredited and debunked fiasco.

There’s yet more confirmation of this plain truth in Josh Dzieza’s article, Foxconn is Confusing the Hell Out of Wisconsin:

For Foxconn watchers, the Milwaukee headquarters feels like a distillation of the whole ordeal. Foxconn did buy a building — it put signs up, and there are some people there with Foxconn lanyards — but it’s a significantly diminished version of what was promised and strangely secret for a project that began with such public fanfare.

It’s become something of a running joke. When I told people I’d been to the headquarters, they would often grin and ask what happened, before recounting their own experiences of getting turned away at the lobby. [Wisconsin state rep] Brostoff calls it a “ghost town, an empty storefront.” Matt Flynn, who ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and is trying to raise money for a suit claiming elements of the Foxconn contract are unconstitutional, calls it a “Potemkin office” and likens it to a flimsy stage set on a television Western. A local observer gave me a tip from his own attempts to discern what exactly is going on inside the headquarters: if you go to the top floor of a parking garage across the street at dusk, you can see into the Foxconn floors. I did so and saw that it looks like a normal office, and there were at least six people inside.

If there’s a showcase of innovations in the Milwaukee headquarters, as [Foxconn executive Louis] Woo had promised, Foxconn has made it extremely difficult to find.

Public records indicate that not much has been done with the space. Permits have been taken out for about $60,000 worth of renovations since Foxconn moved in, mostly to Baird’s floors, the ventilation system, and the elevator. When I called the architect at the head of the firm that sources said had won the redesign project and told him I was working on a story about Foxconn, he promptly hung up. Subsequent attempts to reach him were not returned.

….

Foxconn’s own plans for the space are amazingly vague. In September, it released a “sneak peek” video showing a sleek campus full of glass orbs and gardens patrolled by self-driving cars, but no officials I spoke to had seen an explanation of what any of the buildings were, and Foxconn declined to provide one to The Verge. When [Wisconsin state rep] Hintz pointed out that one of the fountain-fronted structures was actually just a photo of a city park in Bradford, England, Foxconn took the video down. A version remains on Mount Pleasant’s website, now bearing the disclaimer that the plans are “subject to change under future design circumstances.”

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, and Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally.… Continue reading

Friday Cat Blogging: Happy Cat Sanctuary

 

Chris Arsenault started rescuing cats in 2006 after his 24-year-old son Eric tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident caused by a stuck throttle. After this huge loss, Chris accidentally came across a cat colony of 30 sick and nursing kittens. Chris decided to remove all the kittens from the colony and nurse them back to health. It was then that Chris discovered his calling. “I wanted to do something good with my life,” says Chris. “This sanctuary is in memory of my son.” Since then, Happy Cat Sanctuary has grown into one of the most unique cat sanctuaries in the country. Happy Cat is a truly happy place where felines can live in safety, health and happiness, without the threat of being poisoned, shot at, neglected, or euthanized. “We have saved cats from terrible hoarding situations, from condemned homes, and even from gangs who try to trap them for use as bait in dog fighting rings,” says Chris.

See also https://www.happycatsanctuary.infoContinue reading

Daily Bread for 4.12.19

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of forty-five.  Sunrise is 6:16 AM and sunset 7:34 PM, for 13h 17m 12s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 46.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the eight hundred eighty-fourth day.

 

On this day in 1861, the Civil War begins as Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor.

 

Recommended for reading in full:

Colby Itkowitz Matt Zapotosky report Rosenstein defends Barr’s handling of Mueller report:

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein came to his boss’s defense Thursday, saying it was “bizarre” for anyone to claim Attorney General William P. Barr is “trying to mislead people” by not immediately releasing the special counsel’s report.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, his first since Robert S. Mueller III concluded the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Rosenstein tried to tamp down criticisms of Barr’s handling of the report and the time it is taking him to release it.

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” Rosenstein said in the interview.

Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller to lead the investigation after President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, helped Barr review the final report, which did not find that anyone on the Trump campaign conspired with Russians. However, Mueller declined to reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice. Barr and Rosenstein then decided they could not make a criminal case that the president obstructed justice.

Daniel Hemel sees The Tragedy of Rod Rosenstein:

But over the past two years—and especially in the past week—this success story has turned into a cautionary tale. Rosenstein’s refusal to recuse himself from the special counsel’s obstruction of justice probe—notwithstanding a conflict of interest so blatant as to be almost blinding—has done irreparable damage to his own reputation and perhaps to the department that until now has been his only professional home.

It is difficult to understand how Rosenstein ended up in such a compromised position. Perhaps he will one day write a reflective memoir—as his two nemeses, Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, already have. Until then, we can reconstruct the timeline easily enough, but we can only speculate as to Rosenstein’s motives at each step of the way.

….

The Russia probe was, among other things, a test of whether the department could conduct and conclude an impartial investigation of a sitting president by following its own special counsel rules. While it is too early to reach a final verdict on that question, the serious conflict of interest affecting the man who oversaw that inquiry casts a continuing shadow over the enterprise.

David Frum observes Trump’s ability to lead people like Rosenstein into moral compromises:

While discussing Barr and Rosenstein shares his view with on how Trump takes someone’s “moral weakness” and “grinds them into dust.”

Watch SpaceX Launch And Land the Falcon Heavy rocket:

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Trump’s Tax Returns

If Trump wanted his tax returns to remain private, then he should not have run for public office. So many men want to be private figures and public officials at the same time, opportunistically claiming one role or another as it suits them.

Small-town Whitewater has had a problem like this for years: tiny notables claim to avoid conflicts because, as they shuttle from public to private and back again, they’re wearing ‘different hats.’

The deeper problem for these few men is that all those hats sit on the same weak heads.

These local versions of wheeler-dealers should, at a minimum, be required to submit financial disclosure statements. This requirement should apply even if they were truly talented; as it is they have a talent mainly for unjustified self-promotion.

As for Trump, Susanne Craig and Jesse Drucker report on Donald Trump’s Tax Returns: What We Might Learn:

Mr. Trump is the first president in four decades to not publicly release his tax returns. The refusal — coupled with his continued ownership of a far-flung network of closely held businesses — has fanned suspicions that he has something to hide.

….

For starters, his recent returns could illuminate the sources of his income and any tax-avoidance strategies he may have used, but it would not fully decode the family’s personal and business finances.

Leaked pages of the president’s old tax returns and other financial documents already have shed light on his finances. They indicate that Mr. Trump most likely avoided paying income taxes for a number of years and that in other periods The New York Times found he participated in fraudulent tax schemes to minimize his tax bill. His federal ethics filings show hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding loans and a business network owned through a web of corporate entities.

The House Ways and Means Committee last week requested six years of Mr. Trump’s personal tax returns, along with the returns filed by one of his trusts and seven subsidiaries he controls. They also asked for records of any audits.

The returns would partly reveal the sources of the president’s income, and whether his businesses are profitable. They would show how much, if anything, Mr. Trump has been paying in taxes and might show whether he has been aggressive in reducing his tax bills. They will show whether Mr. Trump has personally donated to charity.

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