Saturday, November 18, 2017

As you already know, Donald Trump is a pants-on-fire category liar

Donald Trump's Pants on Fire claim about the estate tax, small businesses and farms.  (PolitiFact, 9/28/2017)
The estate tax was first established in 1916 to offset a decline in tariff revenue caused by the first World War, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Congress has tinkered with it many times throughout the years.

Policy Basics:  The Estate Tax.  (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/14/2017)
The federal estate tax is levied only on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds the exemption level, minus deductions, such as for charitable giving. Largely because of its generous exemption levels, only the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates pay any estate tax, and typically at fairly moderate rates. The tax also affects very few small farms and businesses.

Related post:
Tax relief for the very, very rich.  (11/18/2017)

Tax relief for the very, very rich

An elite group that, along with Mnuchin, includes 
  • President Trump
  • education secretary Betsy DeVos
  • commerce secreteary Wilbur Ross
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
  • transportation secretary Elaine Chao (wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) 
  • agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue
  • housing secretary Ben Carson
  • National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn

Mnuchin quoted in Only the Most Wealthy, Including Trump, Gin From Estate Tax's Repeal.  (The New York Times, 11/16/2017)
Republicans want to shrink the numbers further. In the Senate’s proposed tax bill, exempted income would temporarily double to $11 million per person [up from $5.49 million] — $22 million [up from $11 million] for a couple — during the next decade. If those rules had been imposed last year, the number of estates owing money under the tax would have been no more than 2,204 — fewer than 0.1 percent of the total.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Two videos taken during recent visit to Dane County landfill

Do I know how to have fun or what??!!

Dane County leads switch to selling gas made by manure and garbage.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 11/14/2017)
Multi-year contracts with utilities provided more short-term certainty about revenue levels than the county and others will have selling the gas at market prices. But Dane County officials say current natural gas prices and government subsidies are likely to mean more income as soon as the new equipment is up and running early in 2019. And without the limits imposed by the utility contracts, the door will open to greater production of renewable energy that does far less environmental damage than fossil fuel.

Janet Cannon Templeton (1926-2017) Warren High School class of 1944

1942 Dragon yearbook

Janet's high-school activities:

Assembly Plays  (2, 3, 4); Band (2, 3, 4);  Carnival (2, 3, 4); Dragon (2, 3, 4); Dragonette (4); Dramatic Club (2, 3, 4); Evening of Plays (2, 4); German Club (3, 4); Girls' Club (2, 3, 4); Junior Chamber of Commerce (2); Junior Play (3); Latin Club (2); Orchestra (2, 3, 4); Science Club (2, 4); Student Council (4); Spanish Club (4); Senior Play (4).

1967 Warren City Directory  
1983 Warren City Directory  

The popularity of Janet is graphed here.  Let's take a look at Ida

It was all downhill for Ida in the 20th century.  She peaked at #30 in 1900 and spent the next 30 years in the top 100.  Her decline accelerated during the 1960s.  She hit her sweet spot in the 1880s when she was the 7th most popular girl's name of the decade.  Although Anna, Emma, Elizabeth, and Margaret are still around, and even  Clara is making a comeback, Ida and her BFF Bertha are still 'old lady' names.

Other members of the class of '44:
Marjorie Eleda Larson Brenan.  (10/31/2017)
Charles Gray.  (8/6/2017)
Crissi Danos Verros.  (3/27/2017)
Barbara Chester.  (1/27/2017)
Raymond Elsholz.  (7/26/2016)
Barbara Berdine Graham.  (6/16/2016)
Grace Youug Strand.  (2/13/2016)
Mary Davis Christensen Spencer.  (9/27/2015)
Leonard Lucia.  (7/4/2015)
Mary Blackwell Bancroft.   (6/22/2015)
Kenneth Klenck.  (1/31/2015)
Dolores Nuhfer Anthony.  (9/21/2014)
Marjorie Christensen Anderson.  (10/6/2013)

The entwined relationship of Seattle and Amazon

Source:  Wikipedia

5 Lessons Seattle Can Teach Other Cities About Amazon. (The New York Times, 11/16/2017)
  1. History and geography still matter.  A maritime, export-based economy that has long looked more toward Asia and Alaska than to the rest of America was already here when Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, arrived in 1994.
  2. Amazon wil not be a predictable engine of change.   The message to HQ2 cities is clear: What you get now will probably not be what Amazon becomes.
  3. Amazon will magnify a city's charms and its warts.  “Any downturn in Amazon would hollow out the city like the Boeing bust did in the 1970s,” Mr. Martin said.
  4. New employees will not be like the old ones.   Here in Seattle, a city still defined by neighborhoods of single-family homes, about 8,000 new apartments are under construction within walking distance of the Amazon campus and are expected to be taken, the company says, mostly by employees. About 20 percent of the company’s 40,000 workers already do not take any motorized transportation at all — they walk or bike. And more than one in six live and work in the same ZIP code.
  5. New problems won't be like the old ones, either.  Over 11,000 people were homeless in King County on a one-night count this year. Home prices continued their dizzying upward spiral in 2017, nearly twice as fast as the second-fastest appreciating big city.

CES 2018 preview: Now you can party every day and rock all night at any age

CES 2018 Preview: Rocking Bed Does Exactly What You Think It Does and It’s Magnificent. (Nibletz, 11/17/2017)
Another Georgia startup.  The science behind Rocking Bed is actually pretty simple. The motion of a rocking bed will help keep the sleeper’s mind focused on a single stimulus, the rocking or the motion. In fact, this isn’t new science. Water beds that were popular in the 70’s and 80’s were trying to emulate this condition. Their science was flawed though because of unintended factors like the water temperature or just how full the bed itself was.

Of Kiss' 28 singles to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, only 2 reached the top 10.  The two versions of "Rock and Roll All Nite", both of which charted in 1975, are not among them.  The studio cut debuted at #96 for the week ending May 17, 1975, and spent 6 weeks on the chart, peaking at #68.  A live cut debuted 6 months later at #56, spending 14 weeks on the chart and peaking at #12.  (Close but no exploding cigar.) 

Other CES 2018 previews:
Pointivo.  (11/17/2017)
Jibo, the social robot, makes the cover of TIME.  (11/17/2017)

Driveless car is victim of human error

Source:  The Lakewood Scoop

How boring is that?  NBC10 Philadelphia sez, let's spice it up a bit.

Paragraph 3.  The driver reportedly got into an accident, but forgot to put the car in park after getting out. The driverless car then veered across a patch of grass and driveway before jumping a curb and slamming into the school building. The entire ordeal was caught on the school’s surveillance cameras.

Lakewood, New Jersey, July 18, 2008.

CES 2018 preview: Pointivo

That's a lotta roof!

Eureka Park Preview: Pointivo Is The Future Of 3D Modeling, Measurement and Intelligence, Now.  (Nibletz, 11/16/2017)
Pointivo is an Atlanta based startup that has created a 3D intelligence platform that uses computer vision, machine learning and proprietary algorithms to generate digital models for CAD, BIM and VR systems. It’s innovative technology and the most advanced of it’s kind. The best part, is that it uses imagery from any source, even your smartphone to provide accurate 3D intelligence.

Related reading:
How Pointivo went from idea to disruptive startup.  (Georgia Tech news center, 9/2/2016)
The company, co-founded by Dan Ciprari (MS MSE 2004) who serves as chief executive officer, has garnered a lot of attention, including funding grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and accolades such as being named a Technology Association of Georgia’s 2016 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Georgia and awarded the “Best in Show” at TAG’s annual Technology Summi

Other CES 2018 previews:
Jibo, the social robot, makes the cover of TIME.  (11/17/2017)

CES 2018 preview: Jibo, the social robot, makes the cover of TIME

Not such a big deal anymore, I'd guess.

Jibo, the First Social Robot for the Home, Named One of TIME's Best Inventions of 2017.  (Markets Insider, 11/16/2017)
On the other hand, the c|net review sez, "At $899, Jibo is not cheap, and he doesn't do a lot of what you'd expect." Jibo sets himself apart with a unique and expressive character, and he's designed to live wherever you spend the most time in the home, such as a living room or kitchen. He can answer a wide variety of questions, play the role of photographer at your next party, help you stay updated on a loved one's flight status, and control your smart home devices through an integration with IFTTT. He is perfect for gadget-loving tech enthusiasts, parents, busy professionals in the home, and kids who want a friend who can answer questions, dance on command and make them laugh.

Related reading:
Time magazine publisher cutting circulation, print issues for its iconic brands, report says.  (USA Today, 10/10/2017)
Time magazine, the company's flagship famed for its annual person-of-the-year selection, will have its weekly circulation reduced by one-third, to two million copies, the report said.

Running Out of TIME: The Slow, Sad Demise of a Great American Magazine.  (The Atlantic, 4/5/2013)
I can remember one offsite in Connecticut where we looked at financials that were showing steady declines in net income for the brand. By 2005 the magazine's circulation was just beneath 4 million subscribers and it averaged around 150,000 copies per week sold on the newsstand, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). Today Time averages less than 60,000 copies per issue on the newsstand, its subscriber base is down around 3.2 million, and ad dollars have taken a beating in print.

And dangerous in the wrong hands

Two accidentally shot in church while discussing church shootings.  (USA Today, 11/16/2017)

Meet Rebeckah Adcock, fox in the Department of Agriculture henhouse

An Open Door for Pesticide Lobbyists at the U.S.D.A.  (The New York Times, 11/13/2017)
In fact, interviews and visitor logs at the Agriculture Department showed that Ms. Adcock had already been meeting with lobbyists, including those from her former employer, the pesticide industry’s main trade group, CropLife America, and its members. CropLife pushes the agenda of pesticide makers in Washington, including easing rules related to safety standards and clean water. 
Ms. Adcock, who left the trade group in April, maintained contact with her former industry allies despite a signed ethics agreement promising to avoid for one year issues involving CropLife as well as matters that she had lobbied about in the two years before joining the government.

Related posts:
Chemical industry insider is now another fox inside the EPA henhouse .  (10/24/2017)
Get me rewrite UPDATE. Scott Pruitt: Americans deserve an expose of my deep ties to fossil-fuel industry.  (7/12/2017)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Monona, Wisconsin, it appears.

Featured on the soundtrack of The Graduate (top grossing film released in 1967), Simon & Garunkle's "Mrs. Robinson" debuted at #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending April 27, 1968.  It spent 13 weeks on the chart, 7 of them in the top 10 and 3 at #1.

Joe DiMaggio's lifetime baseball statistics

Notable achievements
  • American League Most Valuable Player:  1939, 1941, 1947.
  • American League batting crown:  1939, 1940
  • Lifetime batting average:  .325

UPDATE. Not just sustaining, family-supporting jobs, but sustaining family-supporting careers, Scott Walker proclaims!

Time to tweak the slides.

The top (gray-tinged) rectangle is a partial screenshot of Scott Walker 11/15/2017 online newsletter delivered via email.

Original 11/7/2017 post, "Funny, he tweets about Foxconn all the time", starts here.

repeatedly @ScottWalker

Scott Walker explains why he didn't mention Foxconn in campaign speech.  (, 11/7/2017)

Wherein some Walker blather is shared.

Climate change as a matter of fact in Wisconsin

Graphic and text found in Climate change is here: Wisconsin is seeing earlier springs, later falls, less snow and more floods.  (Capital Times, 11/15/2017)

Other climate change as a matter of fact posts:
Hampton Roads, Virginia.  (11/4/2017)
U.S. military bases.  (9/22/2017)
Georgia peach orchards.  (9/18/2017)
Northeast U.S. pine forests.  (8/29/2017)
Tangier Island, Virginia.  (8/25/2017)
South of the Arctic Circle in Alaska. (8/25/2017)
New Orleans.  (8/12/2017)
Kenya.  (7/23/2017)
Portugal.  (6/19/2017)
The Netherlands.  (6/19/2017)
Brazil.  (6/8/2017)
Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen.  (5/20/2017)
Madeline Island, Wisconsin.  (2/23/2017)
Mexico City.  (2/19/2017)
Kansas.  (1/29/2017)
Moose of Maine.  (1/21/2017)
Florida Keys.  (1/14/2017)
California wine country.  (1/11/2017)
Kaktovik, Alaska.  (12/20/2016)
Bolivia.  (7/11/2016)
Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park.  (7/7/2016)
Kiribati.  (7/6/2016)
Peru,  (5/21/2016)

The New York Public Library, book stacks, and football fields

Photo by Retiring Guy taken on Sunday, September 17, 2017

New York Public Library Unveils $317 Million Master Plan.  (The New York Times, 11/15/2017)

Wherein we learn....

Maybe Foxconn is considerting another way to relieve commuter traffic congestion

Driverless car lanes among options studied for Foxconn plant.  (ABC News, 11/14/2017)

Are Foxbots in Racine County's future?

Reported in Apple Manufacturer Foxconn to Fully Replace Humans With Robots.  (Futurism, 1/3/2017)

The key point here is that Foxconn is investing heavily in robotics.

Other Foxconn posts:

Reggie White:Green Bay Packers:: Foxconn:Wisconsin (Scott Walker analogy reveals his crazed desperation).  (8/10/2017)

Yesterday's mixed message

On the one hand....

And on the other hand.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet the shills for rent-to-own businesses

Reported in GOP resurrects bill exempting rent-to-own from consumer act.  (, 11/14/2017)

Related reading:
Group Concerned Weak Rent-to-Own Regulations May Get into State Budget.  (Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 6/22/2015)
Top recipients of rent-to-own industry contributions between January 2010 and December 2014 were
  1. Walker, $5,000 
  2. Sen. Terry Moulton, of Chippewa Falls, $3,381; 
  3. Rep. Warren Petryk, of Eleva, $1,750; 
  4. Rep. Kathy Bernier, of Chippewa Falls, $1,250; and 
  5. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, $400.

Like a swamp after an extended downpour, Donald Trump's Washington D.C. is flooding

The banking edition

Under Trump, Banking Watchdog Trades Its Bite for a Tamer Stance.  (The New York Times, 11/15/2017)

I'm sure our president would feel most comfortable hanging out with this group of white men as they sing his praises.

So apparently the threats and intimidation are just her imagination

She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced.  (The New York Times, 11/13/2017)
The battle over taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is becoming one of the world’s most ferocious policy brawls — a clash of science, politics and money in dozens of countries and cities. 
“The industry sees sugary-drink taxes as an existential threat,” said Dr. James Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, which tracks beverage tax initiatives. In the United States, the industry has spent at least $107 million at the state and local levels since 2009 to beat back soda taxes and beverage warning labels, a new study found. Compared to the domestic tactics, Dr. Krieger said, overseas, “it’s much dirtier, much more bare-knuckled.”

The Temptations scored their 13th top 10 single with "Just My Imagination", which debuted at #on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending February 6, 1971.  It spent 15 weeks on the charts, spending 2 weeks at #1.

Let's just hope this Scrabble-playing robot isn't programmed by Allan Simmons

Illustration and text found at Two ITRI Technologies Named CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honorees. (ITRI, 11/10/2017)

Related articles:
Scrabble Champion Banned From Professional Competition After Accusations Of Cheating.  (NPR, 11/14/2017)
Allan Simmons has been accused of cheating in a professional Scrabble Championship in June. The former British Scrabble champion has now been banned from professional competition after he was found to have peeked at the tiles he was drawing.

He Wrote The Book(s) On Scrabble. But Has He Been Playing By The Letter Of The Law? (NPR, 11/14/2017)
He has won the Scrabble national championship in the United Kingdom. Self-described as "the world's only scrabble consultant," he has penned or co-written a number of books on the game, including several authoritative reference works. And despite decades of high-level play, he showed few signs of slowing — maintaining a No. 5 ranking worldwide, according to one rating system.

UPDATE: St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church will say a little prayer for you (Dionne vs. Aretha)

'Companion piece' now labeled as 'prayer box'.

Photo by Retiring Guy

Dionne Warwick's original version of "I Say a Little Prayer" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #75 for the week ending October 21, 1967.  It spent 13 weeks on the chart, 6 of them in the top 10, peaking at #4 for 1 week.

Less than a year later, Aretha's version debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #82 for the week ending August 17, 1968.  It spent 11 weeks on the chart, peaking at #10 for 1 week.

Related reading:

Aretha Franklin accuses Dionne Warwick of 'libel'.  (Rolling Stone, 4/27/2017)

Music and Lyrics:  Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  (NPR Fresh Air, 5/5/2010)
GROSS: So, I thought we could close with another song. And this is a song that you wrote - that you didn't write for "Promises, Promises," but it's been interpolated into the new production. And the song is "I Say a Little Prayer." And I thought we'd use Aretha Franklin's 1968 recording of it. 
Mr. DAVID: A great record. 
GROSS: Yeah. Were you amazed to hear her record this? 
Mr. BACHARACH: It's a better record than the record we made. 
Mr. DAVID: Mm-hmm. We did, yeah. And we did a great record, but she topped it. Mr. 

4/24/2017 update, "St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church Little Free Library and its companion piece", starts here.

A close-up view so that the plaque is readable.

Apparently, the new co-librarian is a big fan of John Lescroart.

Joining the LFL is a little locked church....

...with a holder for a pen and index cards.   To write prayer requests?  (Note the slot below the cross in the above photo.

All photos by Retiring Guy

Other LFL posts:
Across the street from Weston Place.  (4/1/2017)
Seen yesterday while doing a lit drop for Hans Hilbert, candidate for Middleton mayor redux.  (3/29/2017)
Seen yesterday while doing a lit drop for Hans Hilbert, candidate for Middleton mayor.  (3/28/2017)
Nearly empty Little Free Library has since been replenished and includes 2 Bart Starr biographies.  (10/15/2016)
Taking Little Free Libraries to the next level.  (10/20/2015)
An attractively designed, little box of discards on Amherst Road.  (10/13/2015)
Kudos to this Little Free Library design on 13th Street in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  (7/27/2015)
The Chamber of Manitowoc County offers a Little Free Library.  (7/27/2015)
One of the most colorful little box of discards set-up I've encountered.  (7/10/2015)
Little box of discards with benches.  (5/6/2015)
Get me rewrite: Little boxes of discards have big appeal.  (5/1/2015)
Middleton little free library cleaned out; Independent bookseller suspected.  (12/19/2014)
Charter #5763.  (8/14/2014)
Charter #8443.  (7/25/2014)
Unchartered #2.  (7/24/2014)
Unchartered #1.  (7/21/2014)
Charter #5719.  (7/19/2014)
Charter #0657.  (7/18/2014)

Original 7/18/2014 post, "What's In Your Little Free Library?  (Charter #0657)", starts here.

At the intersection of Old Middleton Road and St. Dunstan's Drive.

Browsing from left to right.  (All paperbacks.)

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Good Night, Sweet Prince by Carole Berry
A Dying Light in Cordoba by Lindsey Davis
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
There Once was a Wood by Denise Fleming
Exploration into North America by Bill Asikinack and Kate Scarborough
Seven Little Rabbits by John Becker
Town and Country, January 2014  (magazine)
HGN Magazine, June 2014


WIGOP hypocrisy in action: 2015 Republican Party of Wisconsin resolutions (eminent domain abuse)

Greasing oil’s path.   As environmental concerns halted pipelines elsewhere, Wisconsin government leaders quietly made it easier to condemn private property for a potential Canadian oil line expansion (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,. 11/9/2017)
In 2015, Enbridge persuaded Wisconsin Republicans, who have long expressed vigorous support for private property rights, to change the state’s eminent domain law. The change makes it easier for the company to turn to the government to force property owners to allow construction crews to bury new pipes across their land.  [emphasis added]

Related reading:
Tiffany hypocritical on eminent domain.  (Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 6/14/2016)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Where are the good guys with guns when you need them?

They keep their eyes on their drivin' and their hands on the wheel.

Reported in Shots fired in traffic Tuesday strike car windshield, occupied home on North Side.  (, 11/14/2017)

Songwriter Paul Evans reached the top 10 with his first single, which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending September 12, 1959.  It spent 18 weeks on the chart and peaked at #9.

I hear tell that this is Roy Moore's favorite song of all time.

For many years, Roy Moore has been the talk of the town in Gadsden, Alabama

Quoted in Locals claim Moore hung out at mall, flirted with teen girls.  (New York Post, 11/13/2017)

Related posts:
"He's embarrassing": Roy Moore has plenty of detractors in his home state.  (11/11/2017)
Welcome to Trump's America, Marion County, Alabama, where the GOP chairman says that 32-year-old Roy Moore kissed a 14-year-old girl -- that's all, folks!  (11/11/2017)
UPDATE. This Roy Moore shout-out from a guy who received 16% of 2016 House primary vote against Paul Ryan.  (11/11/2017)
Welcome to Trump's America, Covington County, Alabama, where the GOP chairman thinks the latest about Roy Moore is fake news.  (11/11/2017)
Meet Roy Moore, President Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law.  (11/10/2017)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is very unhappy with this Roy Moore fundraising pitch.  (11/10/2017)
Welcome to Trump's America, Bibb County, Alabama, where the GOP chairman shrugs off the latest news about Roy Moore.  (11/10/2017)

It's open season on woodchucks in Wisconsin

Photo creditHinterland Who's Who

Wisconsin Woodchucks Lose Protected Status.  (Wisconsin Public Radio, 11/13/2017)
State Representative Andre Jacque authored the bill. He said his office fielded dozens of requests from sportsmen, homeowners and conservation groups to allow woodchuck hunting.

Geographic distribution of bill sponsors

 What they do in Nebraska

Law firm now hip-deep in state's hot-button issues

Reported in Michael Best & Friedrich quietly adds Foxconn as client.  (Milwaukee Business Journal, 11/13/2017)

See list of Scott Beightol's campaign contributions here -- 37 totaling $13,400.

Related reading:
Law firm knee deep in state's many hot-button issues.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 1/22/2012)
The news last month that a conservative Supreme Court justice had received two years of free legal service while fighting an ethics charge was just the latest indication of an increasingly cozy relationship between the Republican Party and one of Wisconsin's most prominent law firms. 
The state is going through a particularly litigious period in its history, with nearly every piece of major legislation facing some kind of legal challenge. 
As a result, the most influential three names in state politics, outside of Walker, Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald, just might be Michael Best & Friedrich. Collective bargaining. 
Mining. Redistricting. Recalls. Recounts. John Doe. Ethics charges. Michael Best & Friedrich has become the go-to law firm for all of the big issues facing Republicans.

Governor Walker Announces Appointments to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.  (Michael Best, 3/29/2017)

Other Foxconn posts:

Reggie White:Green Bay Packers:: Foxconn:Wisconsin (Scott Walker analogy reveals his crazed desperation).  (8/10/2017)

Hypocrisy alert: The free-market, individual responsiblity, limited government-lovin' MacIver Institute approves Wisconsin's $3 billion Foxconn dole

Read the complete swoon at Foxconn Deal Inked, Governor’s Race Begins In Earnest.  (MacIver Institute, the Free Market Voice of Wisconsin, 11/13/2017)

Other Foxconn posts:

November 2017
Scott Walker views his Foxconn deal through rose-colored glasses.  (11/13/2017) 

October 2017
Reggie White:Green Bay Packers:: Foxconn:Wisconsin (Scott Walker analogy reveals his crazed desperation).  (8/10/2017)