Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 34. Sunrise is 7:23 AM and sunset 4:43 PM for 9h 20m 10s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 75.7% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1969, the New York Jets of the American Football League defeat the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League to win Super Bowl III in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday denied Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ request to block a Dane County judge’s order directing him to sit for a deposition as part of a liberal watchdog group’s lawsuit seeking public records surrounding the GOP-ordered review of the 2020 election.
The depositions were ordered last week by Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn, who expressed confusion over how so few documents were produced from the first three months of former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s ongoing probe. Bailey-Rihn ordered Vos, R-Rochester, and his staff attorney Steve Fawcett to sit for depositions Wednesday.
The state’s high court issued a 4-3 decision Tuesday, with conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn joining liberal justices in finding that Vos’ request to prevent the depositions needed to be first filed as a petition for a supervisory writ in the court of appeals.
“This petition comes nowhere close to meeting these legal standards,” according to court documents. “Following the law here means the petition must be denied.”
Vos might have to sit for not merely this deposition, but others. It’s hard to be a deponent. The Speaker of the Assembly runs his show; a deponent answers questions, sometimes awkwardly and uncomfortably. (Vos may yet craft an excuse to postpone today’s deposition: he got lost, has the sniffles, or his dog ate his car keys.)
With one announcement, Ron Johnson set the course for the highest-profile statewide races this year — securing the Republican field in his re-election bid for U.S. Senate and pushing a top Republican into the governor’s race.
Former U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson had been waiting for Johnson to announce his 2022 intentions before deciding which statewide race to join. Now, after Johnson’s launch of a re-election campaign, Nicholson is expected in the coming days to enter the GOP primary race to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
“After losing 11 of the last 12 statewide elections in Wisconsin, we also need a conservative candidate who can win a general election in 2022. The stakes are too serious to keep playing the same broken record,” Nicholson tweeted Sunday following Johnson’s announcement.
And Madison businessman Eric Hovde, who poured millions into a 2012 unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday that he is “seriously considering” joining the Republican primary, which former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch has had largely to herself until now.
Entrances by Hovde and Nicholson, who has the backing of GOP mega-donor Richard Uihlein, could put a race already drawing record-breaking fundraising on pace to be one of the most expensive battles for governor in the country.
“If the GOP primary becomes a three-way race, it will likely quickly become one of the most costly in the country,” said Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center.
“The funding will need to emerge quickly because the primary is only seven months away and two of the prime candidates have not even officially entered the race.”
There wouldn’t be interest in a Republican gubernatorial primary if potential entrants thought former (eight-year) Lt. Gov. Kleefisch was a strong candidate. She’s running as Walker 2.0, but her problem is that Kleefisch 1.0 never really caught on. It was easy in 2021 to spend PAC money and sow school discord when she didn’t have any intra-party challengers. Her 0-4 showing in the Mequon-Thiensville School District recall reveals a lack of both strategy (what issues?) and tactics (how to fight on those issues?). SeeHow Mequon-Thiensville Residents Saved Their Schools. She’ll find it harder to carry on if GOP donors, who’ll be able to spend as much as they’d like, line up behind a primary challenger.
Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 8. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:41 PM for 9h 17m 11s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 58.8% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1883, the Newhall House Fire in Milwaukee claims seventy lives: “the Newhall House burned at the northwest corner of Broadway and Michigan Streets in Milwaukee. Rescued from the fire were The P.T. Barnum Lilliputian Show performers Tom Thumb and Commodore Nutt.”
A Wisconsin bikepacking route has earned top honors from Bikepacking.com, a website that publishes routes and information on bikepacking, essentially backpacking with a bike.
The route, the Wisconsin Waterfalls Loop, was awarded the best new weeklong route by the website. It beat out routes in New Mexico and Switzerland to win the award, which was determined by editors of the website based on originality/intent, quality of documentation, and which route they would like to ride most.
The 382-mile route loops around northern Wisconsin, passing 28 waterfalls along the way and is estimated to take six to eight days to complete. About 85% of the route is on unpaved roads.
The route begins in Cable, travels east through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, then turns north to the Wisconsin-Michigan border at Hurley. From there, it heads west to the Bayfield Peninsula, then south back to Cable.
In addition to waterfalls to see along the way, the route includes suggestions for restaurants, lodging (mainly campgrounds) and other points of interest, like old Civilian Conservation Corps camps.
Dave Schlabowske, who developed the route, said he always tries to include local restaurants, taverns, convenience stores and other unique stops in his routes because stopping at those places is part of what makes bikepacking in northern Wisconsin so great.
“It’s not just a backcountry experience,” he said.
Most of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ appointees to the boards overseeing Wisconsin’s higher education systems remain unconfirmed by the Republican-controlled state Senate, a move that could allow the GOP to quickly gain control of the boards if the party wins the governor’s race in November.
Five of Evers’ picks for the state technical college system board are unconfirmed, with three of them unable to serve because appointees of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker refuse to vacate their seats even though their terms expired last spring.
And while Evers’ seven unconfirmed appointees to the UW Board of Regents have been serving without the Senate’s stamp of approval, the Republican lawmaker chairing the committee charged with confirming them recently warned that some may be in trouble.
Evers, in a statement to the Wisconsin State Journal, said the individuals he appointed are doing everything that’s asked of them.
“The transfer of power is a part of our democracy, and it’s breathtaking, frankly, that Republicans have decided it’s more important to play politics than confirm appointments they know are qualified, dedicated people who want to serve our state,” he said. “It’s wrong-headed, it’s clearly political, and it’s affecting the work these boards are doing every day.”
Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton, who chairs the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, said he plans to “start moving on some” of the appointees after wrapping up hearings on some bills this month. But he also entertained the possibility of continuing to deny some appointees a vote over the next year or even booting some from their posts. Senate leadership ultimately makes those decisions, he said.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, told WisPolitics last week that Senate Republicans don’t plan to take up Evers’ remaining appointees to the boards overseeing the UW System and technical colleges.
Most recently, Fred Prehn, a Wausau dentist appointed by Walker to the Natural Resources Board, has refused to step down since his term expired May 1, denying Evers’ appointee Sandra Naas a seat and maintaining a 4-3 majority for Republican appointees.
Why leave, if a gerrymandered state Senate can defy the will of the voters as expressed in the last gubernatorial election?
Saturday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 27. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:39 PM for 9h 14m 26s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 38.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1973, in the Watergate scandal, the trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate begins.
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / (CC BY-SA)
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson appears poised to announce as early as next week that he’s running for reelection, according to two highly placed Republican sources.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has learned that in recent weeks Johnson reached out to potential staffers and advisers in preparation for the campaign.
High on Johnson’s to-do list: hiring a campaign manager and a general consultant.
Johnson has drawn out his decision-making for months even as a large field of Democrats assembled to take him on in the midterms. By running, the Oshkosh Republican will be breaking a past campaign pledge to serve only two terms.
“I’m not ready to say anything,” Johnson told CNN, which reported that Republicans were bullish about prospects that he would run again.
Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 11. Sunrise is 7:24 AM and sunset 4:38 PM for 9h 13m 08s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 27.9% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1901, Robert Marion “Fighting Bob” La Follette Sr. is inaugurated as governor after winning the November 6, 1900 election. La Follette was born in Dane County in 1855. A Wisconsin Law School graduate and three-term member of congress, La Follette was renowned for his oratorical style. He was the first Wisconsin-born individual to serve as governor.
U.S. financial markets are outperforming the world by the biggest margin in the 21st century, and with good reason: America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years notwithstanding the contrary media narrative contributing to dour public opinion.
Consider that real, or inflation adjusted, gross domestic product surged at an average annual rate of 5.03% in each of the first three quarters of 2021, and is poised to expand 5.6% for the year based on the average estimate of more than 80 economists surveyed Bloomberg. If that forecast proves accurate, it would be more than 2.8 times the average between 2000 and 2019 and double the average since 1976.
All of which makes Biden’s first year in the White House the standout among the seven previous presidents, based on 10 market and economic indicators given equal weight. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, no one comes close to matching Biden’s combination of No. 1 and No. 2 rankings for each of the measures:
Gross domestic product (1)
Profit growth (1)
S&P 500 performance (2)
Consumer credit (1)
Non-farm payrolls (2)
Manufacturing jobs (2)
Business productivity (2)
Dollar appreciation (2)
S&P 500 relative performance (2)
Per capita disposable income, which rose 1.08% this year, is the only comparable weakness for Biden, trailing Donald Trump’s 2.17%, George W. Bush’s 2.01%, Jimmy Carter’s 1.80% and Ronald Reagan’s 1.42%.
GDP growth in every incoming administration during the past four decades never exceeded 2.74% until 2021. Biden is now positioned to surpass Carter (5.01%) as the GDP champion of presidents since 1976. Much of the credit goes to The American Rescue Plan, which poured $66 billion into 36 million households and reduced the child poverty rate by 50%, helping the U.S. recover faster from the pandemic than most other nations.
The level of disposable personal income is a notable and critical national deficiency in an otherwise strong performance. Whitewater knows this well, as this city has been and remains a low-income community. There is no better measure of a society’s general prosperity than individual and household income.
While some of us have done well even through a Great Recession, opioid crisis, pandemic, and pandemic recession, it matters more that many of us are doing well than that a few of us have done well. (I have no personal concerns, so to speak; Whitewater has community concerns. Those community concerns cannot be met through boosterism or delusional positivity.)
This photo shows Wisconsin residents Brandon Nelson, left, and Abram Markofski, right, inside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. They both pleaded guilty to charges related to the attack on the Capitol and were sentenced to 24 months of probation. (Photo via US Department of Justice)
Four of six Wisconsin men charged in attack on nation’s Capitol have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, while two others’ cases are still moving through the court system.
One year after the attack on the US Capitol, four out of the six Wisconsinites charged in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection have taken plea deals, while the remaining two suspects’ cases are still underway.
Kevin Loftus of Eau Claire, Abram Markofski of La Crosse, David Charles Mish Jr. of West Allis, and Brandon Nelson of Madison had all faced charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct, but ended up pleading guilty to the lesser charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
Markofski and Nelson were each sentenced to 24 months of probation and $1,500 in fines and restitution. Charles received 30 days incarceration and a $500 restitution charge. Loftus’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.
The two remaining suspects’—Michael Fitzgerald of Janesville and Joshua Munn of Melrose—cases are still underway.
Fitzgerald faces the more serious charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer during civil disorder, as well as knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on May 5, 2021.
In the months since the attack, the overall divide in Congress between how Democrats and Republicans have responded to — and publicly remembered — these events has grown.
Every GOP lawmaker from Wisconsin opposed impeaching President Donald Trump over the events of Jan. 6, and every one opposed the creation of a bipartisan commission to look into the attack. Every Wisconsin Democrat supported both steps.
These Wisconsin men now join a line of domestic adversaries of America’s foundational principles: Tory sympathizers, Know Nothings, Confederates, Copperheads, Klansmen, and members of the Bund.
Tuesday, January 11th at 1 PM, there will be a showing of The French Dispatch @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin Community Building:
1 hour, 47 minutes
Rated R (nudity, language) (2021)
This homage to American journalism tells the tale of a Kansas-based newspaper located in a fictional French town, as it attempts to publish its final edition. It is told in three madcap storylines, enlisting a cast of International film stars, including Adrien Brody, Tilda Swindon, Frances McDormand, Timothee’ Chalamet, Owen Wilson, Henry Winkler, Willem Dafoe, Ed Norton, and Bill Murray. Written and directed by Wes Anderson.
There are two ways you can learn that sticking your head in a campfire will hurt you. One is that you can be told that doing so will, at a minimum, catch your hair on fire and, more likely, cause extensive burns that will almost certainly demand medical attention. The other way you can learn this is by sticking your head in a campfire.
In both cases, you get to the same point: You have learned that this is a bad idea. You have been immunized against sticking your head into fires in the future, if you will — your body will now be resistant to doing so. But you got to that point through two very, very different paths. Perhaps in one you simply got part of your hair scorched off. Isn’t it still the case that simply having someone explain the dangers to you would have been better than taking that risk at all?
I introduce this analogy to immunize you against the mind-bogglingly weird anti-vaccine argument offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in a recent radio interview, an argument so obviously flawed that I literally and involuntarily slapped my forehead when I heard it.
He began by describing his own coronavirus infection: He had it, he said, but without symptoms. “How do you explain that?” he asked in a mocking tone, as though he had single-handedly rebutted every medical expert with his unique anecdotal experience. As though Anthony S. Fauci scrambled to call together his team to evaluate this new evidence. The answer, of course, is that this can be explained by the fact that a large number of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic — so many, in fact, that I can spell “asymptomatic” without typos on the first try. Johnson isn’t a medical miracle. He’s just one of the lucky ones.
“Why do we assume that the body’s natural immune system isn’t the marvel that it is?” Johnson then continued. “Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease? There are certain things we have to do, but we have just made so many assumptions, and it’s all pointed toward everybody getting a vaccine.”
Let’s translate this into our campfire analogy. Johnson stuck his head into a campfire but, through unusual good luck, emerged with no visible damage at all. And his response is to say that the best way for people to learn about what can happen when you stick your head in a campfire is to stick their heads in campfires — and that to instead warn them about doing so is an affront to God.
Vaccination, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, lessens the likelihood of severe illness from a coronavirus infection. Even with the emergence of the omicron variant, it’s the unvaccinated who are more likely to be hospitalized. From June to November, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 163,000 covid-19 deaths could have been prevented had those who died simply been vaccinated.
That, of course, was the unstated other negative outcome of my campfire analogy. Sometimes you stick your head in a campfire and you don’t gain immunity against doing so in the future, because you are dead. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 825,000 people, all of whom were not as lucky with their infections as was Johnson.
If Johnson believes what he says, he’s a dunce. Perhaps, instead, he simply hopes those who listen to him are dunces. Either way, one can guess that Johnson is enjoying the frisson that likely comes to him from each absurd statement.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — In a case that exposed Silicon Valley’s culture of hubris and hype, Elizabeth Holmes was convicted Monday of duping investors into believing her startup Theranos had developed a revolutionary medical device that could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood.
A jury convicted Holmes, who was CEO throughout the company’s turbulent 15-year history, on two counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud after seven days of deliberation. The 37-year-old was acquitted on four other counts of fraud and conspiracy that alleged she deceived patients who paid for Theranos blood tests, too.
The verdict came after the eight men and four women on the jury spent three months sitting through a complex trial that featured reams of evidence and 32 witnesses — including Holmes herself. She now faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, although legal experts say she is unlikely to receive the maximum sentence.
The jury deadlocked on three remaining charges, which a federal judge anticipates dismissing as part of a mistrial ruling that could come as early as next week. The split verdicts are “a mixed bag for the prosecution, but it’s a loss for Elizabeth Holmes because she is going away to prison for at least a few years,” said David Ring, a lawyer who has followed the case closely.
How many of the factors that enabled Theranos to raise hundreds of millions of dollars without a workable technology have changed?
None. Investors are still looking for the next big thing, still looking for places to park their millions, still susceptible to superficially persuasive pitches by self-assured confidence schemers, still fearful of being left by the wayside as others pile in.
That’s human nature. The only difference is that the numbers next to the dollar signs are bigger.
In short, the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends. No self-governing society can survive such a threat by denying that it exists. Rather, survival depends on looking back and forward at the same time.
Whatever happens in Washington, in the months and years to come, Americans of all stripes who value their self-government must mobilize at every level — not simply once every four years but today and tomorrow and the next day — to win elections and help protect the basic functions of democracy. If people who believe in conspiracy theories can win, so can those who live in the reality-based world.
Above all, we should stop underestimating the threat facing the country. Countless times over the past six years, up to and including the events of Jan. 6, Mr. Trump and his allies openly projected their intent to do something outrageous or illegal or destructive. Every time, the common response was that they weren’t serious or that they would never succeed. How many times will we have to be proved wrong before we take it seriously? The sooner we do, the sooner we might hope to salvage a democracy that is in grave danger.
Successful candidates for office in Whitewater take an oath to defend the constitution and laws of the United States. Some who have taken this oath and now hold office, and some who seek to hold office and would be required to take the oath, have and do support the forces of insurrection. For this ilk, they lied from the moment they recited the oath, or they will smilingly lie if they should one day take this oath.
No one in Whitewater dares ask them about their dishonesty. These candidates receive or will receive questions about a hundred smaller matters before a single plain question about the constitutional affirmation they are required to make.
At a candidates’ forum, the sponsoring representatives will dare not ask plainly and specifically about this oath to the constitutional order that each and every officeholder must take. If by some accident they were to ask about the oath, they will do so in a way that allows candidates’ evasion, and there will be no follow-up.
Local office that is built upon mendacity in’t public service — it’s mere self-service.