Saturday, May 28, 2022

Day 94 of Russia sanctions not working


Top headline:  TIME
Bottom headline: New York Times

New York Times excerpt:
As the central bank slashed interest rates again in an effort to prop up the economy, its chairwoman, Elvira Nabiullina, warned that the coming months would be “difficult for both companies and citizens” as the fallout on the Russian economy deepens more than three months into the invasion of Ukraine. 
The economic toll on Russia, though difficult to quantify, has spread widely, from its largest companies to its small shops and workers. 
Basic items, from paper to buttons, are in short supply. Prices of consumer goods have been soaring, with the inflation rate rising to 17.8 percent last month before dipping slightly. Sales in the lucrative energy sector, while still high, are projected to fall as European customers begin to pivot away from Russian oil. Airlines, cut off from Western manufacturers, are searching for spare parts. 

5/19/2022 update starts here
Top headline:  TIME
Bottom headline:  New York Times

NYT excerpt:

After sanctions hobbled production at its assembly plant in Kaliningrad, the Russian automaker Avtotor announced a lottery for free 10-acre plots of land — and the chance to buy seed potatoes — so employees could grow their own food in the westernmost fringe of the Russian empire during “the difficult economic situation.”   
In Moscow, shoppers complained that a kilogram of bananas had shot up to 100 rubles from 60, while in Irkutsk, an industrial city in Siberia, the price of tampons at a store doubled to $7. 
Banks have shortened receipts in response to a paper shortage. Clothing manufacturers said they were running out of buttons. “The economic prospects for Russia are especially gloomy,” the Bank of Finland said in an analysis this month. 
“By initiating a brutal war against Ukraine, Russia has chosen to become much poorer and less influential in economic terms.”

Construction of Pope Farm Elementary School, Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, the abridged version: From start to finish in 6 photos


August 23, 2019

October 28, 2019

February 6, 2020

April 12, 2020

June 15, 2020

August 15, 2020

Project location

Related posts:
Cardinal Row.  (5/4/2022)
Holiday Inn Express.  (5/5/2022)
Kestrel Apartments.  (5/6/2022)
Middleton Center phase 2.  (5/11/2022)'
NAPA Auto Parts.  (5/9/2022)
Oak Ridge Apartments.  (5/22/2022)
Trotta Apartments.  (5/23/2022)

GET ME REWRITE: Top Texas Republicans push for higher body counts in gun massacres


Table:  New York Times, 5/26/2022
Headline:  Louisiana Illuminator, 5/25/2022

New York Times excerpt:
In every country, people get into arguments, hold racist views or suffer from mental health issues. But in the U.S., it is easier for those people to pick up a gun and shoot someone. 
That reality is what allowed an 18-year-old to obtain an assault rifle and kill 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school classroom in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. And it is what makes the U.S. a global outlier when it comes to gun violence, with more gun deaths than any of its peers.

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Tom, Nevada resident and NRA gun nut drooler


HeadlineCNN, 5/28/2022

CNN excerpt
"It's not that guns are evil. Guns are tools that can be used for good or evil -- just like cars," said Dr. Elizabeth Tom, who traveled to Texas from Elko, Nevada, for the convention. "Many more people are killed in car wrecks, but nobody says that you have to have a waiting period in order to buy one or that all cars are evil because some people run over other people with them."

Ding-dong, in order to own and operate your car in Nevada you need a valid auto registration and driver's license to do so.  It's the law. 

Moreover, the number of people who died from gun injuries in 2020 is 45,222

The number of people who died in auto accidents in 2020 is 38,824.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Around Town Madison: Tripping hazard along Stricker's Pond trail


Photo by Retiring Guy

Approximate location

Other Around Town Madison posts:
Ashes to go.  (3/5/2022)

Return trip to Frederick's Hill in the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Dane County Wisconsin

Approaching the hill
Photos by Retiring Guy

Looking southeast toward the Madison Isthmus

Admiring a tree

Looking to the west toward the Misty Valley neighborhood

Looking to the northwest across the Town of Springfield

Looking to the northeast towards Waunakee

Descending the hill, going south

Original 9/26/2014 post starts here

Waunakee is in the far distance at left.

The houses on the right side of the photo are part of the Northlake Neighborhood in Middleton.

The construction crane and excavated earth seen beyond these houses is phase 2 of the Community of Bishops Bay development.   (City of Middleton, Waunakee School District)

Photo by Retiring Guy

Friends of Pheasant Branch

Wisconsin Population & Household Projections

GET ME REWRITE: North Carolina GOP U.S. Senator Richard Burr is bought and paid for by the NRA

New York Times, 5/25/2022

Related post:
Dear chickenshit Kevin Cramer, Stop your asinine blithering and start with background checks on gun sales. Best, Retiring Guy.  (5/27/2022)

GET ME REWRITE: Missouri GOP U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is bought and paid for by the NRA


New York Times, 5/25/2022

Related post:
Dear chickenshit Kevin Cramer, Stop your asinine blithering and start with background checks on gun sales. Best, Retiring Guy.  (5/27/2022)

Dear chickenshit Kevin Cramer, Stop your asinine blithering and start with background checks on gun sales. Best, Retiring Guy


Top headline:  New York Times, 2/26/2022
Bottom headline:  The Hill, 5/26/2022

New York Times excerpt:
The calculation behind Republicans’ steadfast opposition to any new gun regulations — even in the face of the kind of unthinkable massacre that occurred Tuesday at an elementary school in Texas — is a fairly simple one for Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. 
Asked Wednesday what the reaction would be from voters back home if he were to support any significant form of gun control, the first-term Republican had a straightforward answer: “Most would probably throw me out of office,” he said.

Original 5/7/2022 post, "For some disturbing GOP Senators, banning LGBTQ+ books isn't enough", starts here.

And Kevin Cramer is a pretty disturbing guy.

Headline:  Deadline, 5/6/2022
GOP Senators Roger Marshall (Kan.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Steve Daines (Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (N.D.) sent a letter to Charles Rivkin, Chairman of the TV Guidelines Ratings Board — the entity that manages and monitors the designations on programs such as TV-Y, TV-14, TV-MA, etc. 
The missive begins, “In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.”  [emphasis added]

From the American Psychiatric Association entry for gender dysphoria:  

Diverse gender expressions, much like diverse gender identities, are not indications of a mental disorder.

The day the music died @NRA: 6 of 7 performers drop out of Grand Ole Night of Freedom concert


At this time, Jacob Bryant is the only artist scheduled to perform.  Curious that he's the only one looking askance in the photo mash-up.

Poster:  etix (black highlight and lines added)
HeadlineThe Music Universe, 5/26/2022
Lee Greenwood, T Graham Brown and Danielle Peck are the latest artists to drop out of attending the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention in Houston this weekend. The trio follows Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart in pulling out of the “Grand Ole Night of Freedom” concert after the mass shooting that killed at least 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday (May 24th).  [emphasis added]

Related posts:
As you are already well aware, the NRA has no shame.  (5/27/2022)
NRA lead-in statement to annual meeting in Houston is enough to make anyone sick. (5/27/2022)

As you are already well aware, the NRA has no shame


This drivel, resembling a Trump-like Tweet -- Freedom! Firearms! the Second Amendment! -- is still posted at the NRA website as of 7:35 a.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022

Related post:
NRA lead-in statement to annual meeting in Houston is enough to make anyone sick.  (5/27/2022)

NRA lead-in statement to annual meeting in Houston is enough to make anyone sick


Related reading:

Even too much for them to stomach.

CMT, 5/26/2022

At this time, Lee Greenwood and T. Graham Brown have also dropped out.

On the flip side, based on this photo combo, only 10% of CEOs are persons of color, 5/26/2022
The typical compensation package for chief executives who run S&P 500 companies soared 17.1% last year, to a median $14.5 million, according to data analyzed for The Associated Press by Equilar. [emphasis added]
The gain towers over the 4.4% increase in wages and benefits netted by private-sector workers through 2021, which was the fastest on record going back to 2001. The raises for many rank-and-file workers also failed to keep up with inflation, which reached 7% at the end of last year.

According to a 4/15/2022 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of the nation's 117.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were $1,037 in the first quarter of 2022.  That translates to $53,924, a far cry from $14.5 million

Men:       $1,128/$58,656
Women:     $939/$48,828
Blacks:       $840/$43,680
Hispanics:  $799/$41,548
Asian:      $1,362/$70,824

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court is going down


Down 16% in less than a year.  Gee, I wonder why.

HeadlineWAOW, 5/25/2022
The Marquette Law School poll findings represent a dramatic change from how Americans viewed the court in March, the last time the survey was conducted. Then, 54% of respondents said they approved of the nine justices and 45% said they disapproved. Now, only 44% approve. 
Taken a week after the nation learned of a draft opinion authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito that showed the high court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, the survey underscores the deep opposition to the possible move. Days after the leak, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS showed that Americans remain broadly opposed to overturning the Roe decision, with 66% saying it should not be completely struck down.  [emphasis added]

"Going Down" opens side two of the 1972 release Jeff Beck Group, which debuted at #131 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart for the week ending May 13, 1972.  It spent 26 weeks on the chart, peaking at #19.

GET ME REWRITE: Ron Johnson's mouth will be his undoing in this election

RoJo must be feeling his oats after reading this headline.

Headline:  Wisconsin State Journal, 5/26/2022
"This is a society-wide problem, a society-wide sickness that is not going to be solved by some gun law, additional gun laws here in Washington, D.C.," the Oshkosh Republican told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto. 
Asked whether stiffer background checks could curb future school shootings, Johnson said people will always fall through the cracks. He added he believed some people shouldn't have guns but questioned how that determination might be made.  [Ron is not much of a reader.]
"The solution lies in stronger families, more supportive communities, I would argue renewed faith," he said. "We've lost that. We stopped teaching values in so many of our schools. Now we're teaching wokeness. We're indoctrinating our children with things like CRT, telling, you know, some children they're not equal to others and they're the cause of other people's problems."

5/15/2022 update starts here

His unfavorables are up 11 percentage points since September 2020.

At the same time, the number of respondents who replied that they "haven't heard enough" about Ron Johnson decreased from 27% in September 2020 to 14% in April 2022.  That's a drop of 13 percentage points.  

One might conclude that once most people learn enough about Ron Johnson, they don't like what they hear.

Related reading:

Combining the four surveys that Marquette has done over the past nine months, 35% of registered voters view Johnson favorably and 44% view him unfavorably — a net rating of minus 9. 
Johnson has received his highest “negatives” ever (the share of voters who view him unfavorably) in Marquette’s last four polls. 
Compared with his peak in popularity in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 — when his average favorability rating was plus 10 — the downturn is notable. 
“There’s such a striking decline, and it’s a decline that has been sustained through 2020, 2021 and now into 2022. So, it’s not a short-term fluctuation, but a strong trend,” said pollster Charles Franklin

GET ME REWRITE: Robin Vos, Kevin Nicholson screech from the same page of the GOP gun massacre songbook


Top headline:  Wisconsin State Journal, 5/26/2022
Bottom headlineMilwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/25/2022

Exhibit A of how sick the USA has become as a society

Massacre of children is a boon to gun stocks

Top headline:  Texas Tribune
Bottom headline:  New York Times
“The gun industry has perverse incentives,” said Dru Stevenson, a professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, “because sales and their stocks go up when there are events like this.”

Related posts: 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

You're kidding me! There's actually that many Sears stores still open?


Axios, 5/25/2022

Related series of posts:
What does Seritage have planned for the remaining portion of Sears at West Towne Mall?  (7/1/2020)

GET ME REWRITE: Tighty Whities at Chicago-based Thomas More Society all in to promote voter suppression in Wisconsin


Photo creditThomas More Society
HeadlineWisconsin State Journal, 5/25/2022
A conservative Chicago law firm that has been working with the Republican-appointed special counsel probing Wisconsin's 2020 election has filed another spate of lawsuits challenging another aspect of that election — ballot drop boxes — that has long raised the ire of Republicans, especially since their candidate for president lost. 
The Thomas More Society, however, isn't suing all the approximately 245 Wisconsin municipalities that used the absentee ballot drop boxes in November 2020, just the five largest and most Democratic-leaning: Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine.  [emphasis added]

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Putting St. Louis County Minnesota's current 7-day average of new Covid cases in perspective


St. Louis County currently has the 2nd highest percentage increase of new Covid cases among Minnesota's 87 counties during the past 14 days. 

Daily average of new Covid cases here has increased 275% during the past month. On the other hand, daily average of new Covid cases has decreased 80% since its January 2022 peak of 493.

Covid data:  New York Times (above and below)
Headline:  KBJR, 5/23/2022
The CDC recently designated St. Louis County’s COVID-19 spread as “high.” “This is not a decision that we make lightly, and is a short-term step which we feel is in the best interest of our staff, their families, and the public.” 
The City continues to track information, data, and recommendations from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, local hospitals, and St. Louis County and strongly encourages members of the public to follow CDC guidelines around high community spread of COVID-19.

Related posts:
Adams County WI.  (5/12/2022)
Aroostook County, ME.  (5/20/2022)
Barron County WI.  (5/16/2022)
Berkshire County MA.  (5/13/2022)
Dane County.  (5/18/2022 update)
Hampshire County MA.  (5/13/2022)
Kenosha County WI.  (5/17/2022)
La Crosse County WI.  (5/16/2022)
Milwaukee County.  (5/7/2022)
Monroe County WI.  (5/16/2022)
New York City.  (5/19/2022 update)
Orleans Parish LA.  (5/13/2022)
Racine County WI.  (5/17/2022)
Rusk County WI.  (5/16/2022)
Sawyer County WI.  (5/17/2022)
Shawano County WI.  (5/12/2022)
Vernon County WI.  (5/16/2022)
Warren County PA.  (5/17/2022)
Wisconsin.  (5/7/2022)

Construction of the Aviary at Middleton Market, Middleton WI, the abridged version: From start to finish in 6 photos


May 25, 2017

October 14, 2019

April 11, 2020

June 8, 2020

September 1, 2020

March 21, 2022

Project location

Related posts:
Cardinal Row.  (5/4/2022)
Holiday Inn Express.  (5/5/2022)
Kestrel Apartments.  (5/6/2022)
Middleton Center phase 2.  (5/11/2022)'
NAPA Auto Parts.  (5/9/2022)
Oak Ridge Apartments.  (5/22/2022)
Trotta Apartments.  (5/23/2022)