Saturday, July 15, 2017

Amusing crossroads right here in Middleton, Wisconsin


29 amusing crossroads across the U.S.  (USA Today, 7/14/2017)
A few examples:  Steamboat Lane and Mark Twain Drive, Caesar Drive and Brutus Drive, Star Spangled Trail and Banner Circle.

In Middleton, we have Anderson and Cooper avenues.


As well as Columbus Drive and Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria courts.


Related post:
Al D'Onofiro's Middleton reminiscences: Columbus Drive.  (2/3/2017)

Short-term memory loss and The Glenn Grothman 24/7 Clown Show



Quoted in Grothman: Nobody On Capitol Hill Is Talking About Trump Jr. Russia Story.https://www.wpr.org/grothman-nobody-capitol-hill-talking-about-trump-jr-russia-story  (Wisconsin Public Radio, 7/13/2017)

Other Grothman posts:
Steady drip-drip-drip inside Glenn Grothman's head vs. steady drip-drip-drip of evidence Russian collusion.  (7/13/2017)
Glenn Grothman gives a big thumbs up to Pennsylvania's congressional districts.  (6/22/2017)
Glenn Grothman on the Paris Accord:  The blithering goes on.  (6/7/2017)
Dear Glenn Grothman, Not that anyone is listening to you.  (6/5/2017)
Oh, yeah, I just bet he does.   (6/1/2017)
It's bromance time for Glenn Grothman, sez Greg Gianforte seems like a good guy.  (5/26/2017)
Grothman dons his clown suit again.  (5/1/2017)
At Glenn Grothman's groan-inducing town hall.  (5/2/2017)
51 U.S. House members implore Trump to legalize LGBT discrimination.  (4/27/2017)
At KFIZ, everybody loves a clown.  (4/17/2017)
Wishful thinking: Glenn Grothman does a little Mick Jagger at the podium during Sheboygan listening session.  (4/11/2017).
What DO they think of Glenn Grothman on Capitol Hill?  (1/31/2017)
Not a Muslim ban, Glenn Grothman? The numbers indicate otherwise.  (1/31/2017)
On the other hand, some might say we do need Congressmen, but we can not have the wrong Congressmen.  (1/2/2017)
The conservative values of Glenn Grothman, straight shooter and exemplary public servant.  (10/30/2017)
GOP donor and Neenah realtor pens letter to editor, praises Glenn Grothman.  (10/28/2017)
Well, Glenn Grothman, looks as though Donald Trump and Paul Ryan won't accompany Mr. Gumpy on his outing.  (10/20/2016)
Meet the 3 Stooges who introduced Donald Trump at yesterday's rally in Green Bay.  (10/18/2016)
Likely to be other reasons why Trump and Glenn Grothman's relationship might be "less than perfect".  (10/13/2016)
Glenn Grothman raises GOP specter of black bogeyman Al Sharpton.  (7/14/2016)
Recommended reading from Glenn Grothman.  (3/3/2016)
Once again, Grothman does the blah blah blah.  (1/13/2016)
Tea Party alert: Glenn Grothman supports increase in federal gas tax.  (12/29/2015)
Glenn Grothman's moving service.  (11/16/2015)
Glenn Grothman: Still trying to get to 'yes' with Paul Ryan.  (10/18/2015) 
Dear Glenn Grothman, Breaking up is hard to do.  (10/17/2015) 
He's a guy, and has access to 'all machines that one would need'.  (9/29/2015) 
Meet the Members of the Republican Study Committee: Glenn Grothman (R-WI, 6th District).  (8/18/2015)
What about seeing the light, Representative Grothman?  (8/11/2015)
Glenn Grothman's gibberish in full flower.  (7/1/2015)
Rep. Glenn Grothman puts corporate personhood first.  (6/23/2015)
Glenn Grothman Finds His Voice in Washington, D.C. (6/19/2015)
Glenn Grothman goes seriously bland on us.  (5/12/2015)
Glenn Grothman's lips are zipped.  (4/9/2015)
Glenn Grothman Speaks the Language of the Godfather of states' rights.  (1/13/2015)
Glenn Grothman, Quiet Man.  (10/12/2014)
Tom Petri returns the favor to Glenn Grothman.  (9/5/2014)
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District primary: Less than 12% of voters paid attention.  (8/24/2014)
Hey guys and gals, Scott Walker is not 100% convinced that Glenn Grothman can win the 6th CD. (8/23/2014)
Career politician Glenn Grothman moves one step closer to Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District general election.  (8/22/2014)
To the tune of $692,000.   (8/14/2014)
Glenn Grothman:  A man without a mandate.  (8/14/2014)
Glenn Grothman to Tom Petri: Thank you for your 35 years of service.  (8/1/2014)
Duey Stroebel can't be bothered with fundraising, looks to buy seat instead.  (8/1/2014)
Clearly, "common-sense bills" and "Grothman" should never be used in the same sentence.(7/9/2014)
Two career politicians pledge limited service in the U.S. House of Representatives.  (7/8/2014)

University Avenue Phase 1 reconstruction project UPDATE: Finishing touches



City of Middleton current construction projects.


7/3/2017 update stars here.



Part 2 features a quick side glance at the new Chocolaterian Cafe, where Scott's Bakery used to conduct business.



6/4/2017 update, "Driving on the newly paved stretch of University Avenue, phase 1 reconstruction", starts here.


Video by Retiring Guy 

Audio from

T. C. Boyle’s New Novel Taps the Biosphere’s Erotic Potential.  (The New York Times, /11/11/2016)


5/26/2017 update, " University Avenue phase 1 reconstruction:  Asphalt paving completed, the videos", starts here.






5/16/2017 update, "University Avenue phase 1 reconstruction:  Curb, driveway aprons, and pedestrian islands poured", starts here.


Photos by Retiring Guy



5/6/2017 update, " Phase 1 pavement removal completed" starts here.


Photo and video by Retiring Guy





4/27/2017 update, "Stage 1 traffic shift now in place for reconstruction of University Avenue in Middleton", starts here.

New lane lines and other control devices for Stage 1 traffic shift are now in place.



Original 2/12/2017 post, "Crumbling infrastructure:  Reconstruction of University Avenue in Middleton begins next month", starts here.

Photo by Retiring Guy

Section of plan drawings that includes intersection of University and Park (partially shown above)


The green arrow points to the location of the crumbling infrastructure.

Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed in time for the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival parade on August 27, 2017.


Phase 2, from Park to Cayuga, will take place in 2018.
\

Zigzag patterns: wedding card, sport skirt



Purchased independently.

I bought the card at Metcalfe's yesterday.  My wife ordered the skirt online.   It arrived in the mail yesterday.

Friday, July 14, 2017

You don't even want to think about moving to any of these U.S. cities


Bottom line:  Avoid the West Coast.


39 Cities Where Most Americans Can’t Afford Their Homes.  (24/7 Wall Street, 7/14/2017)

Related post:
California Today: Why Does It Cost So Much to Live in California?  (The New York Times, 2/15/2017)
The research behind the story comes from a pair of economists who tried to figure out how much of a home’s cost comes from land-use regulation. The paper argues that most of the difference is caused by regulatory hurdles like design and environmental reviews that can add years to a project’s timeline and suppress the overall housing supply. The result is overpayment on a grand scale for the few homes that do get built. Their figures are theoretical, and people are sure to disagree with them.

New York City's battle against rats continues, this time with dry ice


Most likely familiar only to WKBW fans of a certain age.



Mayor Offers $32 Million Plan to Ice Some Rats. Hopefully.  (The New York Times, 7/13/2017)
Rats are a common complaint among New Yorkers, who logged more than 17,200 sightings via the 311 system last year, up from 12,600 in 2014, the mayor’s first year in office. Mr. de Blasio, who is running for re-election, said he had seen the vermin running around the public park outside Gracie Mansion. More than 10,000 complaints have come in so far this year.

The dry ice method of control.




Related post:
Rats in my Room, Fish in my Dish, Fly in my Eye, Goat in my Boat, Bear in my Hair, Snakes in my Cakes.  (7/6/2013)

UPDATE: David Wildstein, once a pal of Chris Christie, drank the Kool-Aid but avoids prison, gets probation


Photo credit: TPM

Quoted in [print edition headline] At Sentencing, Ex-Allly of Christie Says, 'I Willingly Drank the Kool-Aid'.  (The New York Times, 7/12/2017)

See what happens.



Original 1/11/2014 post, "The George Washington Bridge Scandal: Let's Go Back to September 2013", starts here.

From Retiring Guy's postcard collection

Bridge Jam's Cause a Mystery. (The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/2013)

Here are the facts as they are set forth in this article.
  1. Access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey (upper left section of postcard) reduced from 3 to 1.
  2. Fort Lee police and elected officials were not notified of the lane closures.
  3. No public announcement was made about the lane closures
  4. The official explanation:  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is conducting a traffic study.
  5. Some high-ranking Port Authority officials were not aware of this "study".
  6. The lane closures were in place from Monday morning to Thursday morning, September 9-12. 2013.
  7. Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye ordered the lanes reopened due to public safety concerns.
  8. The lane closures resulted in "total gridlock", as described by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
  9. Speculation arose that the lane closures might be retribution for Sokolich, a Democrat, not publicly endorsing Republican Governor Chris Christie in his re-elected bid.  (Quote:  Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the Christie campaign, said that any notion that Mr. Sokolich faced retribution for not endorsing the governor was "crazy.")

What's missing from this list is any reaction from Governor Christie himself.

Don't you think, based on the traffic nightmare that resulted, that any engaged leader in his right mind would have interceded, ordering an immediate end to the "study" and offering an apology to everyone who was inconvenienced?

But Chris Christie, as we have learned, is a different kind of leader, and Kate Zernike counts the way.  ("Stories Add Up as Bully Image Trails Christie", The New York Times, 12/24/2013)

Related posts:
Chris Christie & the I/Me/My's (Appearing with Word of the Day).  (1/11/2014)
"Refreshing Forcefulness": A Euphemism for "Misguided Bullying".  (1/9/2014)
The Chris Christie option:  No October surprise here.  (6/5/2013)
New Jersey's Gov. Christie does not love and value libraries. (5/20/2010)

Rhapsodizing over Trump: A fest of fawning white men UPDATE


Photo credits:  Wikipedia (Gary Cohn, H. R. McMaster)

Opined in The Trump Vision for America Abroad.  (The New York Times, 7/13/2017)

Related reading:  
Gary Cohn Leaves Goldman Sachs For Trump Administration With Over $100 Million Payday.  (Forbes, 1/24/2017)
Who is H. R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser?  (CNN, 5/16/2017)


Original 6/13/2017 post, "A fest of fawning white men at the White House", starts here.





All quoted from Trump’s Cabinet, With a Prod, Extols the ‘Blessing’ of Serving Him.  (The New York Times, 6/12/2017)
Seeking constant admiration, praise and approval is a symptom of a narcissistic personality.   So it went on Monday in the Cabinet Room of the White House, as Mr. Trump transformed a routine meeting of senior members of his government into a mood-boosting, ego-stroking display of support for himself and his agenda. While the president never explicitly asked to be praised, Mr. Pence set the worshipful tone, and Mr. Trump made it clear he liked what he heard.

Welcome to Trump's FDA: Facilitating Device Approval



Reported in F.D.A. Deal Would Relax Rules on Reporting Medical Device Problems.  (The New York Times, 7/11/2017)
But consumer advocates point to recent problems where initial reports of device malfunctions did not involve any injuries, but later evidence — sometimes additional devices showing flaws or reports indicating patients were harmed — began to surface. They pointed to cardiac defibrillators that ran out of batteries; the power morcellator, designed for laparoscopic surgery to remove uterine fibroids, which spread cancer through patients’ bodies; a type of breast implant that is linked to a rare cancer; and the superbug-bearing duodenoscope, whose design flaws made it virtually impossible to disinfect.

Wall Street Journal graphic found at The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Your Legal Options As A Victim of Uterine Cancer Accelerated By Power Morcellation Surgery.  (Greenberg and Bederman LLC)

Related reading:
Power morcellator overview.  (Recall Report)




Meet new EPA bureaucrat and Koch Brothers cadet Samantha Dravis



Photo credit:  LinkedIn

Reported in The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Teams.  (The New York Times, 7/11/2017)

Related reading:
Conservative Group Led By EPA Chief Pruitt Received Dark Money To Battle Environmental Regulations.  (Fast Company, 6/7/2017)
At least 40% of RLDF’s funding in 2014-15 came from dark money organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network, the Rule of Law Project, and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce–which has been described as a “secret bank” for Charles and David Koch, the billionaire libertarian brothers who own the energy behemoth Koch Industries.



Italicized text reported in Trump puts critic of renewable energy in charge of renewable energy office.  (Washington Post, 5/2/2017)

Included in graphic accompanying print version of The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Teams.  (The New York Times, 7/11/2017)

Related links:
ALEC exposed.
Mercatus Board of Directors


Photo credit:  LinkedIn

Yet Another Koch Cadet Hired to Push Fossil Fuels at Trump's Energy Department.  (DeSmogBlog, 7/9/2017)

Meet Mitch McConnell's biggest donors: #20


Photo credit:  ExcelinEd

Related links:
Upset Republicans donors:  Have we wasted our money?  (The Hill, 1/13/2016)
California investor William Oberndorf, who has given more than $1.5 million to Right to Rise [Jeb Bush superPAC; the answer is 'yes'], is one of the most prolific political donors in America. And he says that despite results to date, he has not given up on the value of super-PACs in the Republican presidential primaries. 


Mystery Billionaire Members Of "Stop Trump" Campaign Revealed.  (Zero Hedge, 3/21/2016) \
The filings show only one other family, the Ricketts clan of Omaha, Nebraska, that's a bigger funder of the stop-Trump campaign, having given $5 million since January. Other backers of the effort revealed in the filings were Paul Singer, the New York hedge-fund manager, who gave $1 million; and William Oberndorf, a San Francisco investor, who gave $500,000.

Source:  Updated list of McConnell's biggest donors.  (Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/11/2016)

The following are the biggest donors since Jan. 1, 2009, to four McConnell committees: McConnell’s own Senate campaign committee, his own PAC called Bluegrass Committee, a super PAC for his inside Kentucky political priorities called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, and his super PAC for holding the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate called Senate Leadership Fund.

Photo credit:  NextEra Energy

Related link:
Jeb Bush's rush through the revolving door.  (Politico, 9/18/2015)
And the parent company of Florida Power and Light, NextEra Energy, is now the largest corporate donor to Bush’s Right to Rise super PAC, contributing $1,025,000. (The company’s current CEO, James Robo, has also contributed $2,700 to Bush’s campaign.)



Related links:
AQR:  Who we are.
Top hedge fund manager:  Climate change isn't a danger.  (Fortune, 11/25/2015)


Photo credit:  J. W. Childs Associates

Related link:
J. W. Childs Associates:  Recipients.  (Open Secrets)
Exclusive: The Koch Brothers’ Million-Dollar Donor Club.  (Mother Jones, 9/6/2011)
Childs is the founder and CEO of private equity firm JW Childs Associates. In 2006, Boston Magazine placed the “notoriously media-shy” magnate—a.k.a. “the Republican ATM”—among the city’s wealthiest residents, reportedly worth $1.2 billion. Childs donated $750,000 to outside political expenditure groups in 2010. He’s also been involved in Florida wetlands conservation effort.



Related links:
Texas Billionaire Harold Simmons Dies; Called Obama 'Most Dangerous Man In America'.  (Forbes, 12/30/2013)
Superdonor's widow a GOP wild card.   (Politico, 12/31/2013)
But Santorum had better luck with another member of the Simmons family: Annette Simmons, the wife of the self-made former drugstore owner, who pumped $1.2 million into the Red White and Blue Fund super PAC that kept Santorum afloat in the hardest days of the race. 




Photo credit:  Forbes

Related link:
Here’s How Much Betsy DeVos And Her Family Paid To Back GOP Senators Who Will Support Her.  (HuffPost, 5/30/2017)
The DeVos family has long been embedded in the firmament of Republican Party politics as donors, party leaders and candidates. Richard DeVos Sr. is the founder of the multilevel marketing firm Amway (now Alticor) and owner of the Orlando Magic. A supporter of free market capitalism and a backer of the Christian Right, the elder DeVos was one of a select few to fund the rise of the New Right in the 1970s. His money helped fund the American Enterprise Institute and found the Heritage Foundation.



Related links:
Craig L. Duchossois donation recipients.  (Little Sis)
Richard L. Duchossois donation recipients.  (Little Sis)


Photo credit:  Blackstone

Related links;
Trump turns to CEOs amid White House turmoil.  (Politico, 4/13/2017)
The CEO of Blackstone Group, who has known Trump for years, has become so close to the president that the two sometimes talk several times a week, covering everything from Chinese trade to tax policy to immigration.
Firm run by Trump’s top adviser warned against Obamacare repeal.  (Raw Story, 5/25/2017)
In its SEC documents, Blackstone made specific projections about the potential adverse effects stemming from Trump’s health reform initiative.


Photo credit: Luxatic

Related links:
Leonard Blavatnik and Access Industries.  (Luxatic, 4/9/2015)
Leonard Blavatnik Buys a Castle in the Sky.  (New York, 11/8/2007) 


Photo credit:  Forbes

Related link:
The Atlantic interview.  (November 2008).

Photo credit:  Georgia Aquarium

Related links:
Major Donor Leading Trump's Inaugural Committee.  (NBC News, 11/11/2016)
Bernard Marcus is good for $5M.
Bernie Marcus: ObamaCare is a killer for any business.  (Fox News, 9/15/2015)



Related links:
Do Americans Want 'Shared Sacrifice? Big Oil Exec Says No.  (HuffPost, 12/18/2016)
Echoing Big Oil’s ProtestsConservative Senators Parrot Industry Talking Points.  (American Progress, 5/18/2011)


Photo credit:  Wikipedia


Related links:
Kenneth Griffin, Richest Man in Illinois, Endorses Marco Rubio.  (The New York Times, 12/9/2015)
Ken Griffin gives Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign record $20 million.  (Chicago Tribune, 5/17/2017)



Photo credit:  Forbes

Related links:
McNair gives another mil to McConnell super PAC.  Louisville Courier-Journal, 6/20/2016)
Texans owner Bob McNair donated $1 million to Donald Trump inaugural committee.  (Houston Chronicle, 4/20/2017)


Photo credit:  Ed Bosarge

Related links:
New stem cell legislation raises alarm.  (Politico, 5/2/2016)
Elizabeth Warren glasts drug aproval bill as 'extortion'.  (Boston.com, 11/28/2016)
Billionaires, Big Oil Flooded Mitch McConnell’s Super PAC In Campaign’s Final Weeks.  HuffPost, 12/8/2016)


Photo credit:  Stephens Private Equity

Related links:
Warren Stephens real-time net worth as of 6/28/2017:  $2.5B.  (Forbes)
Arkansas Billionaire Warren Stephens A Leading Stop-Trump Donor.  (Times-Record, 3/21/2016)
Warren Stephens talks about golf, business, Obamacare.  (Arkansas Times, 7/9/2013)



Related links:
Activist investor Paul Singer takes stake in Athenahealth, and shares surge.  (CNBC, 5/18/2017)
Athenahealth shares surged more than 18 percent Thursday after activist hedge-fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Associates disclosed a 9.2 percent stake in the company.

Paul Singer's Elliott Management raises $5 billion in 24 hours: letter.  (Reuters, 5/5/2017)
Singer, a conservative billionaire known for his pessimistic views on the financial markets, said in his pitch to investors, "We are at an extraordinary juncture in markets and in the prospects for trading and investing."


Related links:
One Nation.  (website)
One Nation.  (The Center for Media and Democracy SourceWatch.)
Rove’s ‘new’ group isn’t new, and that could be the point.  (Open Secrets, Center for Responsive Politics, 5/26 /2015)



Sheldon is also one of Scott Walker's biggest donors.  ($260,000)


Thin-skinned and deep-pocketed Sheldon will go to any lengths to get his way.....and get his message across.

Suspicions about his motives for paying a lavish $140 million for the newspaper last month are based on his reputation in Las Vegas as a figure comfortable with using his money in support of his numerous business and political concerns, said more than a dozen of the current and former Review-Journal staffers and local civic figures who have worked closely with him.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Howard Russell Buchanan (1937-2017) Warren High School class of 1955



1954 Dragon yearbook
Howard is in the 2nd row at far right


1967 Warren City Directory
  • Buchanan Orta (wid Howard R) cafeteria wkr County Sch Dept h1307 Pennsylvania av E
1983 Warren City Directory
  • [county section] Buchanan Doris rRt2 Bx 2264 Russell
  • [county section] Buchanan Howard rRt2 Bx 2264 Russell
The popularity of Howard is graphed here.  Let's look at Rebecca.


For the first time since before 1900, Rebecca dropped out of the top 200 in 2016.  In her prime, she spent 67 years (1940-2006) in the top 100, peaking at #10 for 2 years (1973-74).

The Daphne du Maurier novel was published in 1938.  Alfred Hitchcock's movie adaptation was released in 1940.



Other class of '55 members:
Carol Burgeson.  (6/9/2017)
Theoidore Huber.  (5/3/2017)
Mary Sperry.  (4/11/2017)
James Graziano.  (3/28/2017)
Lavonne Devore Saber.  (12/8/2016) 
Martin Gage.  (12/5/2016)
Sally Jean Nelson Kittner.  (11/15/2016)
Lester Nero.  (9/8/2016)
Cleo Stack Yaegle (10/24/2015
Carl Stranburg.  (1/30/2015)

GOP drumbeat is so insistent, so forceful, so effective, that even most Republican college graduates hate their lives


How's that for going overboard with a headline?

Whatever the case, the campaign is working.

The right’s fear of education: What I learned as a (former) conservative military man.  (Salon, 2/26/2015) 


(arrows added)

Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions.  (Pew Resaerch, 7/10/2017)