Saturday, December 15, 2018

Meet Reed O'Connor, activist judge who struck down Affordable Care Act



Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act. (Madison.com, 12/15/2018)

Related posts:
2018

OK, folks, here’s a headline offering more proof that 'Scott Walker' is synonymous with 'weasel'.  (9/21/2018)
Brad Schimel gets top billing in the Attorneys General Hall of Shame. (2/28/2018)

2017
Donald Trump delves into the intricate details of Obamacare replacement.  (2/18/2017)
With each passing day, Freedom Caucus crazies insure that GOP now has full ownership of Obamacare.  (2/15/2017)
All clamor and no counsel leading GOP to Obamacare repeal disaster.  (1/27/2017)
Translation: "What I mean is that we really don't have a plan."  (1/26/2017)
As GOP promises quick repeal, people start to warm up to Obamacare.  (1/26/2017)
Trump's America: Fayette County, West Virginia, where Obamacare is a lifeline.  (1/24/2017)
Donald Trump:  The man without a plan.  (1/14/2017)
Wisconsin State Assembly rep Joe Sanfelippo talks out of both sides of his mouth on Obamacare.  (1/13/2017)
UPDATE. Scott Walker in so many words: All told, it will take as many as 9 years to replace Obamacare.  (1/15/2017)

Yes, Harry, that's why it worked so well for him in the midterms



President Donald Trump's poll numbers are bad, but here's why he could win in 2020.  (CNN, 12/15/2018)

So much blather (The 2/1/2018 FiveThirtyEight navel-gazing edition)


SourceWhat happened to the Democratic wave? (highlight added)

Well, Nate and company, as it turned out.....THIS!


Jerald Armstrong (1942-2018) Warren High School class of 1960


Source:   Warren Times Observer

1960 Dragon yearbook

1967 Warren City Directory
 1983 Warren City Directory
  • Claton and Mildred are listed in the county section living at RD2 Pittsfield.

Jerald is a variant spelling of Gerald that never really took off.  Gerald spent 64 years (1908-09, 1910-1971) in the top 100, peaking at #19 in 1936, 1938, and 1939. Jerald spent a total of 79 years (1916-1994) in the top 1000, peaking at #223 in 1942.
.
  
Other class of 1960 obituaries
 2018
Ellen Kenny Lindell.  (11/18/2018)
Thomas Nasman.  (10/19/2018)
John Hedman.  (10/9/2018)
John Barr.  (6/14/2018)
Arthur Saxton.  (2/9/2018)

2017
Louis Musante.  (1/9/2018)
George W. Yaegle, Jr.  (12/1/2017)
Diana Lee Hagerman Smith. (6/5/2017)
Edward Grosch.  (6/3/2017)
Rita Fitzgerald Lindgren.  (5/25/2017)
Judy Charles Lobdell.  (5/2/2017)
James Johnson.  (3/6/2017)
William Ritchie.  (2/21/2017)

2016
Janice Carlson.  (5/9/2016)
William Irwin.  (3/18/2016)

2015
Patricia O'Neill.  (12/27/2015)
David Hollingshead.  (11/18/2015)
Marlene LeTrent Peterson.  (7/15/2015)
John Marymount.  (3/24/2015)
Kraig Werlin.  (2/1/2015)

2014
Mary Kays Frederick.  (12/9/2014)
Nancy Goodwill Bonavita.  (3/9/2014)
Mary Madeleine Graham Helmbrecht Haslett.  (1/6/2014)

CES 2018: Smart smoke detectors




CES 2019: Smartest New Smoke, Fire and CO Detectors. (CEPro, 12/14/2018)
For me, LifeDoor was a show-stopper at CES 2018, bringing to light the importance of shutting interior and exterior doors during a fire to thwart the spread of flames and related toxins. 
The stunningly simple device would be installed on existing doors, listening for the sound of smoke/CE alarms, and shutting the door as a response, via a simple spring-loaded coil. I named it a Best of CES 2018 – Sight Unseen winner. 
LifeDoor – the product and the company – was created by firefighter Joel Sellinger who has seen one too many fire-related catastrophes that could have been averted by the simple closing of a door.

$120 per door.  (Not yet available.)

From the National Fire Protection Association:  Trends and patterns of U.S. fire losses

Other 2019 CES posts:
AVidea Group Safe Zone Gunfire Detector.  (12/5/2018)
FADES auto-darkening eyewear.  (12/7/2018)
Estelle Costanza does not approve of this car porn. (12/12/2018)

UPDATE: Meet the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame Today's Game Era Committee



Photo credits:  Jerry Reinsdorf (Forbes), Pat Gillick (Lehigh Valley Live), Tony LaRussa (Twitter)

Tony La Russa takes ‘High Heat’ over Harold Baines Hall of Fame pick, gives it right back.  (San Jose Mercury News, 12/14/2018)
Baines is a different story. I have shied away from raging Hall of Fame controversies — save for Pete Rose, who belongs in the Hall with a plaque that tells his full story, warts and all. Beyond that, one voter’s Bill Mazeroski is another’s Phil Rizzuto. But Baines stunned me and many others. He was a wonderful player, but there simply is not enough there there for a Hall call. 
I’m being gentle, by the way.


Original 12/11/2018 post, "Baseball journeymen, rejoice!  There might be a place at Cooperstown for you, too!", starts here.

Photo credit:  Baseball Reference

Reported in Harold Baines, Lee Smith elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.  (ESPN, 12/10/2018)

Perhaps the Today's Game Era Committee was swayed by this recent video.

This video showcases former professional baseball all-star Harold Baines. Produced by 
Xavier Ross for the White Sox Contest 2018. Percy L Julian High School, Chicago, IL.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Scott Walker will never win another election in Wisconsin. Ever. (Chapter 2)


Headline from Capital Times, 12/14/2018

Chapter 1
Not after spending his last two months in office in an infantile snit.

Taxpayers will give a Fox Valley company up to $28 million over five years to keep a plant open under a deal Gov. Scott Walker announced Thursday using powers the Legislature recently voted to strip from his successor.

 Maybe the MacIver Foundation has an opening.

UPDATE: Madison Municipal Building remodeling completed


Exterior 
 Photos by Retiring Guy



Madison Municipal Building's 'breathtaking' $30 million makeover nearly done.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 9/9/2018)
The classic stone exterior, interior woodwork and other finishes are artfully restored. Contemporary work spaces and spacious meeting rooms with state-of-the-art technology await. Natural light pours through broad windows. After a two-year, $30.2 million renovation, the landmark Madison Municipal Building has been transformed from a neglected, worn, cluttered, diamond in the rough to a civic treasure for both employees and the public. 

Interior, first floor



South stairwell



Second floor

Unfortunately, I didn't have access to the large public meeting room on the 2nd floor, as it was in use.


10/1/2017 update starts here.


Photos by Retiring Guy


Rendering of proposed renovation
Source:  City of Madison
(Includes links to news articles)


Original 9/2/2015 post, "Then and Now:  U.S Post Office and Courthouse/Madison (WI) Municipal Building", starts here.

Then.  An undated linen postcard view.


Now.


About the building:

Other Madison Then and Now posts:
City-County Building.  (9/1/2015)
Veterans Administration Hospital. (8/27/2015)
The Red Gym:  When will the unobstructed view return?  ()7/22/2015)
UW-Madison College of Agriculture.  (7/22/2015)
Wisconsin State Historical Society.  (7/21/2015)
UW-Madison Memorial Union.  (7/21/2015)
240 West Gilman.  (9/6/2013)
North Carroll Street between West Johnson and West Gorham.  (9/5/2013)
East Mifflin & North Pinckney.  (8/30/2013)

Tommy James & the Shondells "Crimson and Clover" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending December 14, 1968


"Crimson & Clover"* had no competition among the 12 singles that debuted this week. And it went on to become one of the most popular songs of 1969, landing at #10 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles chart.

*Joe, you take the 'reins',  not the 'reigns'.

Related links:
Tommy James and Shondells
Moore confessions: My Crimson and Clover obsession.  (The Guardian, 8/14/2008)
Tommy James & The Shondells ‘Crimson & Clover’ | Classic Tracks.  (Sound on Sound, June 2010)



Related posts:
Aretha Franklin's two-sided hit single among the newcomers on Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 17, 1968.

Iron Butterfly makes its first appearance on Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 24, 1968.

Big Brother and the Holding Company makes its first two appearances on Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 31, 1968.

Fire! The Crazy World of Arthur Brown debuts with its only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. ( For the week ending September 7, 1968)

The Beatles "Hey Jude" debuts in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending September 14, 1968

Jimi Hendrix Experience: "All Along the Watchtower" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending September 21, 1968

Run for your lives, here come the Archies: Bang-shang-a-lang debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending September 28, 1968

"White Room" by Cream debuts as a national breakout on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending October 5, 1968

"Ride My See-Saw" by the Moody Blues debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending October 12, 1968.

"Love Child" by Diana Ross and the Supremes lead the pack of debut singles on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending October 19, 1968

Abraham, Martin & John, the last big hit by Dion, debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending October 26, 1968

Stevie Wonder outperforms Jackie Wilson: Two versions of 'For Once in my Life' debut on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending November 2, 1968

Booker T. and the MG's "Hang 'em High" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending November 9, 1968

"Hooked on a Feeling" by B. J. Thomas debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending November 16, 1968

Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending November 23, 1968

'Everyday People' by Sly and the Family Stone debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending November 30, 1968

"Going Up The Country" by Canned Heat debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending December 7, 1968

GET ME REWRITE: For tech giants, there's no escaping the ballooning cost of living


Source of list:  10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live InKiplinger, 3/19/2018
(listed 1 to 10 by percentage above U.S. average cost of living)


[Print headline]  Craving Talent and Growth, Tech Giants Go East.  (The New York Times, 12/13/2018)

And as for Austin.....

Source:  These 20 Cities' Cost Of Living Rose The Fastest In 2018.  (Forbes, 10/12/2018)

Oh well.

Point/counterpoint: Paying off credit card debt


Point

[emphasis added]

Reported in Wisconsin has one of the lowest credit card debt burdens in the country, study finds.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/13/2018)

Counterpoint
Financial stress is rising for low- and middle-income U.S. households.  (USA Today, 4/18/2018)
That also means that credit cards are likely to be used to help make ends meet, i.e., to accumulate more debt.  While wages for low- and middle-income Americans are rising, they're not keeping up with higher costs, like rent and utilities. That means these households aren't riding the hopeful trends lifting many families: unemployment tumbling to 4.1% today from 10% in 2009; debt levels close to record lows; climbing consumer confidence and spending.
Households with lowest and highest net worth have highest credit card debt.  (Cleveland.com, 9/28/2018)
All those rewards on travel and dining are really going to come in handy for those with lowest net worth.  Why would high-net-worth households carry so much credit card debt? Perhaps for one simple reason – because they can. Wealthier households are more likely to make more purchases and to pay off balances whenever they choose to do so.They may run purchases through their credit cards to get rewards or other perks even when they could afford to pay cash.

Assembly representative, drive-in restaurant owner, and former stock broker/investment advisor Michael Schraa picked to chair Corrections Committee


In Schraa's defense, his business is located just south of here, although he lives about 6 miles west of Oshkosh. (Not that His Vosness didn't have plenty of choices.)   

Then again, Schraa was a stock broker.


Speaker Vos Announces Assembly Standing Committees, Chairs. (Wisconsin State Assembly)

Related posts:
Jeremy Thiesfeldt UPDATE. Wisconsin legislature with no public school experience reappointed as Assembly Education Committee chair.  (12/14/2018)
Assembly representative and former Coca-Cola salesman Romaine Quinn picked to chair Science and Technology Committee.  (12/14/2018)

Assembly representative and former Coca-Cola salesman Romaine Quinn picked to chair Science and Technology Committee


Not that it matters.  He and his committee members will do only what His Vosness tells them what to do. 


Speaker Vos Announces Assembly Standing Committees, Chairs. (Wisconsin State Assembly)

Related post:
Jeremy Thiesfeldt UPDATE. Wisconsin legislature with no public school experience reappointed as Assembly Education Committee chair.  (12/14/2018)

Jeremy Thiesfeldt UPDATE. Wisconsin legislator with no public school experience reappointed as Assembly Education Committee chair



[Weird headlineStudent discipline bill heads off critics.  (Wisconsin State Journal. 1/1/2018)
Nicole Weigel, of Wisconsin Dells, told The Associated Press while she was waiting to address the committee that her 11-year-old son, Caleb, is autistic and that police have removed him from school at least twice, leaving him traumatized. In one instance, he barricaded himself in a bathroom and plugged up a toilet; in another he got agitated after a teacher refused to let him take a break when he became frustrated with a math problem, she said. 
“We need to be teaching kids to understand their feelings,” she said. “They don’t know how to handle them.” 


2/18/2018 update, "The Peter Principal in action", starts here.


Wisconsin legislator, school principal deletes tweet about guns, apologizes.  (Fond du Lac Reporter, 2/17/2018)

Related reading:
Flashback 30 Years: Guns Were in Schools ... and Nothing Happened.  (PJ Media, 2/15/2018)

Guns in America, By the Numbers.  (NRP, 1/5/2016)
According to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as many guns per capita in the United States as there were in 1968: more than 300 million guns in all.

2017 update, "Legislator with no public school experience continues to serve as chair of education committee:, starts here.

And he's supporting the private school voucher industry candidate for WI State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

In fact....

Reported in Republican lawmakers differ on state superintendent race.  (Madison.com, 1/20/2017)

Related posts:
With State Superintendent candidate John Humphries, it's surface over substance.  (1/20/2017) 

Meet John Humphries, your GOP/private school voucher industry candidate for WI State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  (1/19/2017)
Dodgeville School Board to John Humphries: Have we got a deal for you!! (1/5/2017)


Original 12/16/2014 post, "Meet Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee", starts here.

News release announcing appointment.

Photo credit:  Wisconsin State Legislature
Text from biography on Thiesfeldt's website


While every institution has its strengths, Martin Luther College is distinctive. We are the WELS* College of Ministry. We exist solely to train future pastors, teachers, and staff ministers for the public ministry in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. If you are considering service to the church in one of these capacities, then we are the college for you. [Emphasis added.]

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the most conservative and smallest of U.S. Lutheran Synods.

Thiesfeldt is in favor of repealing the Common Core standardsRepresentative Thiesfeldt Applauds Governor’s Request Seeks WI Repeal of Common Core Standards.

Thiesfeld is in favor of school choice and the expansion of the voucher programSchool Choice Works!

Related posts:
Environment? Forestry? Apparently, committee chair Jeff Mursau gets to take his pick.  (12/15/2014)
Meet Al Ott, Chairman of the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage.  (12/15/2014)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Trump's Pecker can't keep it up


"It" being the veil of lies and misinformation.


If it happens, Donald Trump owns the next government shutdown -- lock, stock and barrel



Playing by His Own Rules, Trump Flips the Shutdown Script.  (The New York Times, 12/12/2018)
It's so easy to manipulation a president with the emotional intelligence of a 6 year old. The trick in Washington has always been to make sure a government shutdown is pinned on the other guy. President Trump is the first to ever pin one on himself. 
In a new twist on the old game of shutdown politics dating to the 1990s, Mr. Trump was essentially goaded on Tuesday by Representative Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York into embracing ownership of a shutdown yet to come if Democrats do not accede to his request for $5 billion to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico.

U.S. News: Health care rankings


The top 10

The bottom 10


Health Care Rankings:  Measuring how well states are meeting citizens' health care needs.  (U.S. News)
Health care quality holds one-third of the weight in ranking the Best States for health care. Four metrics – Medicare quality, hospital readmissions, nursing home quality and preventable hospital admissions – contributed to the rankings. Though this subcategory’s rankings are determined by only four metrics, they offer a broad and multifaceted outlook on the state of health care in the nation. Health care quality is intrinsically linked to health care accessibility, and it contributes heavily to a state's population health, the other two subcategories used to determine the Best States for health care.

Gail Collins writes the obituary for Michael Avenatti's pipe dream candidacy for president


Or was it a wet dream ? (sense 2)


Democrats Have a Cornucopia of Candidates by Gail Collins. (The New York Times, 12/7/2018)

Avenateti's net worth is estimated to be $20 million.  Rick Scott used more than $50 million of his own money to buy a U.S. Senate seat.

Wisconsin 2018 election results: The cities of Dane County




Voters in four of the seven cities in Dane County -- Madison, Monona, Middleton, and Fitchburg -- gave Scott Walker a smaller percentage of votes than the overall county tally of 23.5%


The village of Dane County starts here.

Only one village --Shorewood Hills, population 2024 -- 'underperformed the county tally of 23.5% of the vote for Scott Walker.  The Village of Dane (population 1142), as opposed to the Town of Dane (population 1137), gave Tony Evers a 22-vote advantage (268-246), not quite enough to change the overall Town of Dane picture from red to blue.


Town's post starts here.


There is a patch of red in Dane County.  Scott Walker received 52.3% of the vote in the Town of Dane, the only municipality in the county that he won.  Walker received at least 40% of the vote in 16 of 35 Dane County towns.

Map of Dane County towns

Related link:
Wisconsin Towns Association

Related posts:
The Case of the Quadrennial Democrats:  2018 update of all 72 counties.
Wisconsin 2018 elections UPDATE:  Who won in the _______ district?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chapter 5. Scott Walker's shameful legacy: The black-white high-school graduation gap edition


Sources:  @ScottWalker, Wisconsin Public Radio

Related posts:
The first 3 chapters:  environment, transportation, corrections.
Chapter 4:  Wisconsin families can't afford basic necessities edition.  (12/12/2018)

Old wild men (The DNC edition)


Waiting for a miracle.


2020?  In a word, NO!



Chapter 4. Scott Walker's shameful legacy: The Wisconsin families can't afford basic necessities edition


What else would you expect 
from our heedlessly sloganeering, 
soon-to-be-ex governor.

The reality
WEAU, 8/28/2018
This is the second ALICE report released by the organization. ALICE stands for asset limited, income constrained, employed. 
The report says in Eau Claire County, there are 28 percent of households living at or below the ALICE threshold. In Chippewa County, that number is 26 percent. 
A household living at, or below, the threshold either does not meet the federal poverty level or is struggling to make ends meet.

"They are people that contribute to the community and doing everything but they're struggling because they don't earn enough," said Schoffelman. 
In Wisconsin, it takes $60,000 a year to afford basic necessities for a family of four.

A report released Wednesday by the United Way of Wisconsin found that 41 percent or 86,855 of 211,842 Dane County households are unable to make ends meet or cover basic living expenses, including housing, child care, food, transportation and health care. This nearly matches the overall state number of 42 percent or 960,131 of 2.3 million households detailed in the United Way ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Study.

“The basic cost of living is based on five drivers of a household budget, housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and for those households that have children, childcare.” said Charlene Mouille, United Way of Wisconsin executive director.
Related posts:
The first 3 chapters:  environment, transportation, corrections.