Saturday, March 25, 2023

This week in the cereal aisle: A big dose of sugar for Easter

Photo by Retiring Guy

POPSUGAR, 1/17/2020
Peeps Cereal is back and even more marshmallowy than before! Exactly one year after Kellogg's debuted the candy-inspired cereal for the first time, the brand announced that it's returning to store shelves, just in time for the Easter season. The sugary breakfast treat has gotten a bit of an upgrade since 2019, as it now features yellow chick-shaped and pink and blue bunny-shaped marshmallows, whereas last year's edition only had plain white marshmallow pieces.
Reese's Puffs Bunnies was introduced in 2017.

Other cereal aisle posts:

General MIlls limited edition dessert fest.  (11/30)
Kellogg's Family Size Cosmic Brownies.  (11/6)
Hocus Pocus 2.  (10/17)
General Mills Limited Edition L.O.L. Surprise Birthday Cake Cereal.  (10/12)And after a few minutes in milk, it looks like a bowl of barf.  (7/15)
Retiring Guy arrives late to Cheerios 80th birthday party.  (7/13)
Wheaties 100 Years of Champions limited edition collector series.  (4/27)

Limited Edition Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Apple Jacks Mashup,  (10/3)

This box wants to party with you.  (6/4)
Blueberry Cheerios.  (5/16)
Snap, crackle and redpop.  (2/26)
Kellogg's Honey Oat Frosted Flakes.  (2/19)
Kellogg's All Bran fights for shelf space.  (1/22)
Cheerios adds to its long list of flavors. (12/31)
General Mills offers two flavors of Dippin' Dots.  (11/28)
Kellogg's vanilla latte Frosted Mini-Wheats.  (10/1)
Nutter Butter.  (6/24)
Still a little bit of shelf space provided for boxes of Big Biscuit Shredded Wheat.  (4/3)
Chocolate Frosted Flakes.  (3/30)
It's just peachy, part 2 (with probiotics).  (3/26)
It's just peachy (Cheerios).  (3/25)
Snap, Crackle and Pop shrug off competition from Fancy Friends Cereal Treats.  (2/23)
Lucky Charms wants you to have a daily dose of yellow 5 and blue 1.  (3/9)
The takeover of Mom.  (3/1)
Hoopla over rainbow marshmallows added to Lucky Charms.  (2/22)
Kellogg's Donut Shop in your choice of flavors.  (2/14)
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the shredded wheat go down.  (2/6)
General Mills offers yet another flavor of Cheerios -- chocolate and peanut butter.  (1/30)
I suspect this special edition Cocoa Puffs isn't exactly flying off the shelves.  (1/16)
What's really going on with this General Mills blend.  (1/10)
Giant size bargains to kick off the new year.  (1/3)

Satisfy your craving for chocolate.  (12/22)
Pumpkin Spice runs amok.  (11/7)
Danger lurks.  (11/2)
Dan G. wets himself over Special K Blueberry with Lemon Clusters.  (9/20)
Limited Edition Mocha Crunch.  (7/16)
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows.  (2/1)
A marriage between General Mills and Girls Scouts of America.  (1/19)

Tiny Toast.  (6/21)

Attention junk food junkies

Photo by Retiring Guy
Headline:  Wisconsin State Journal, 3/7/2023
The bulk of food and drinks sold by four out of five global producers across three major markets are unhealthy, according to a survey, with Kraft Heinz Co. faring the worst. 
The analysis conducted by the World Action on Salt, Sugar & Health, an NGO, selected 2,346 products sold by Danone, Kellogg Co., Kraft Heinz, Nestle SA and Unilever Plc in Australia, France and Mexico. It ranked them on the basis of the most widely used standards — Health Star Rating, Nutri-Score and Warning Labels. Apart from Danone, all others sold a greater proportion of unhealthy food.

"Junk Food Junkie" by one-hit wonder Larry Groce debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 for the weekend ending January 10, 1976.  It spent 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #9.  It was Groce's only release to chart.

FiveThirtyEight evaluates the 2022 polling season and downgrades Trafalgar to a 'B' grade for its historically inaccurate and purposefully misleading polls

HeadlineNew York Magazine, 10/14/2022

Top headlineFiveThirtyEight, 3/19/2023
Bottom headline:  Slate, 11/10/2022

From FiveThirtyEight:
Meanwhile, the bottom of the list features quite a few Republican-affiliated pollsters that systematically overestimated the GOP in 2022: RRH Elections, InsiderAdvantage, co/efficient, Moore Information Group.14 But the most famous of these is probably Trafalgar Group, a pollster whose methods are notoriously opaque but that played a significant role in shaping the ultimately untrue narrative that a “red wave” was building with its 37 (!) qualifying pre-election polls. Trafalgar’s polls were quite accurate in 2020, when its Republican-leaning house effects helped it avoid the big polling miss that other firms experienced. As a result, it went into 2022 with an A- pollster rating. But its poor performance last cycle has knocked it down to a B — making it one of two pollsters to fall two notches in our ratings this year.
And they're still at it!  (And here.)

More from Trafalgar's polling fantasyland:
February 2023

January 2023
RULE #1: Never take a Trafalgar poll at face valve (RNC chair election edition).  (1/27)
Day 61 of Robert C. Cahaly's self-imposed exile.  (1/7)
FiveThirtyEight reports Trafalgar poll with a straight face.  (1/6)

December 2022

November 2022
And then there were those Trafalgar fantasy polls.  (11/21)
Since Election Day, we have been listening to 'The Sounds of Silence" by Robert C. Cahaly.  (11/16)
Looking forward to Trafalgar's first fantasy poll of the 2024 GOP presidential campaign shit show.  (11/16)

Madison WI east side housing project scaled down, receives plan commission approval

The project has been scaled down from the original 445 apartments in a cluster of 4 buildings ranging in height from 3 to 6 stories.  (See rendering in 10/23/2022 update.)

Photo by Retiring Guy
developer won major city approvals on Monday to demolish the historic Filene House near Tenney Park for a one- to five-story housing project with 331 units on the 1600 block of Sherman Avenue on Madison’s East Side. 
The city’s Plan Commission voted unanimously to approve Vermilion Development of Chicago’s demolition of the two-story, 47,000-square-foot Filene House, 1617 Sherman Ave., the first permanent location of the Credit Union National Association and dedicated by President Harry Truman in a speech that placed the credit union movement as a key component of the administration’s foreign policy. 
But the commission required historical documentation of the property to the standards of the Wisconsin Historical Society

10/23/2022 update, "Proposed $90 million, 455-unit housing project on Sherman Avenue in Madison WI receives decidedly cold shoulder", starts here.

Headline and renderingWisconsin State Journal, 10/26/2022)
The project would raze a two-story office building at 1617 Sherman Ave. to make way for 445 market-rate apartments that would offer many tenants a view of the Isthmus and Lake Mendota. 
But commission member Christian Harper called the development’s design “so in your face” that it was a “non-starter” for approval.

10/23/2022 update, "October 2022 site visit", starts here.

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

Original 10/11/2022 update starts here.

loopnet, Wisconsin State Journal (+ headline, excerpt)
Vermilion Development of Chicago is seeking to demolish a two-story, 46,952-square-foot office building at 1617 Sherman Ave. for the redevelopment that would offer four buildings ranging from three to six stories, the latter height to capture views of the lake and state Capitol. 
The proposal responds to the city’s desire for more infill housing and redeveloping existing properties, and the East Side site is attractive due to its proximity to the lake, Tenney Park, bike paths and public transit, Vermilion Managing Director Darrin Jolas said.

Covid Chronicles. Chapter 11: Working Remotely

Read chapter 10 here

Wednesday, March 25 

Welcome to the coronavirus workplace. Andy set up his desktop computer at the dining table. Fortunately, our modem is located just off the screen where JoAnna is working, which eliminated the need for an exceedingly long extension. I sit at my usual spot in the family room, blogging about the statistical aspects of the pandemic. I have found a few useful websites that track the number of cases for each state day by day. I know that Trump is eager to get back to his golf courses, but we are still weeks, if not months away from ‘flattening the curve’. 

Take a look at a couple of examples. 

Graphs source:  New York Times

 Although neither states’ numbers – New Jersey and Louisiana -- are anywhere near as bad as New York’s, they’re growing exponentially. In New Jersey, the American Dream Mall saw its planned opening turn into a nightmare. Such a dubious project anyway – a mammoth shopping mall/entertainment complex, a concept that seems to have played out at the nearly 30-year-old Mall of America. The owners are going to have quite the public relations challenge on their hands once it’s safe to gather in large groups again. 

 According to a Brookings study published a few days ago, the two areas of the U.S. that are prime candidates for a worst-case recession are Las Vegas and Orlando, both of them very depending on travel, tourism, and entertainment spending. As for Louisiana, where New Orleans is the epicenter, I wonder how many folks who attended Mardi Gras are still walking around infecting people. 

Speaking of Trump. Hillary hit the nail on the head. As self-absorbed as he is, he has no capacity of lead, whether it’s in government or business. His “success” lies on the foundation of daddy’s money.

Born to wealth and privilege, Trump is capacity to lead, whether it’s in government or business. His “success” lies on the foundation of his daddy’s money. Born to wealth and privilege, Trump is used to having things his way, to winning. And when he feels threatened or overshadowed (as he always does, in the latter case, when compared to Obama), he reacts like a 6 year old, which is the age at which his emotional development was stunted. He fumes, he taunts, he bullies, he lies. He embodies all of the worst characteristics of a provincial New Yorker taken to ultimate extreme: bombast, braggadocio, bluster, cocksureness, hubris – best exemplified an observation he made in early 2016. 
"I could stand In the middle Of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters" 
3/20/2020 headlineWashington Post

 In my estimation, Trump’s demand “to have the country opening up and raring to go” by Easter is most likely based on selfish concerns. His businesses are taking a hit, and his handwringing is a further sign that ‘conflict of interest’ has never been a concern during his presidency. On the contrary, being president is just another means to enhance his personal enrichment. 

Washington Post, February 7, 2020

 I could fill the page with similar headlines. Give Trump’s 2016 campaign strategists credit . They correctly read the mood of a particular subset of the electorate: white, older, rural, less educated, and economically struggling voters. Fortunately, it’s not a sustainable demographic. The 2018 midterm election and Joe Biden’s Democratic primary resurrection indicate that the 2020 presidential elections won’t be an instant replay of 2016. (As long as we have the opportunity to vote, he adds ominously.)

Read chapter 12 here

Nicholas Tomassoni (1935-2023) Warren High School class of 1953

 1953 Dragon yearbook

Donald Lewis Funeral Home

1967 Warren City Directory

1983 Warren City Directory
  • Tomassino Karen clerk Levinson Brothers h52 Drumcliffe Drive
  • Tomassino Nick & Karen employee Warren Car Company h52 Drumcliffe Drive 

The popularity of Nicholas as a baby name is graphed here.  Let's take a look at granddaughter Alexis.


Alexis debuted in 1943, the same year the Hollywood actress Alexis Smith made a name for herself co-starring with Errol Flynn in "Gentleman Jim".  She initially peaked in 1949, bottomed out in 1957, and then began an ascent into the upper echelon of baby name.  She spent 18 years in the top 20 (1993-2010), of them in the top 10 (1996-2003), peaking at #3 in 1999.  Since then she's been on an increasing steep downward trajectory.

Other class of '55 members (25):
Douglas Smith.  (12/27)

Roger Siggins.  (3/3)
David Swanson.  (1/2)


Rose Quiggle Barney.  (7/23)


James Rose.  (12/17)
Mary Sperry.  (4/11)
James Graziano.  (3/28)

Martin Gage . (12/5)
Lester Nero.  (9/8)

Cleo Stack Yaegle (10/24)

Friday, March 24, 2023

GET ME REWRITE: House GOP fights crime and inflation by overturning rules in water protections

Top headline:   NBC, 10/16/2022
Bottom headline:  AP, 3/9/2023

From the AP:
The House on Thursday voted to overturn the Biden administration’s protections for thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, advancing long-held Republican arguments that the regulations are an environmental overreach and burden to business.

Covid Chronicles. Chapter 10: Unemployment Insurance Claims Skyrocket

Read chapter 9 here

SourceNew York Times

Sunday, March 22 

According to an article in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (and confirmed by JoAnna when I asked her about it), the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division of the Department of Workforce Development receives 5,000 unemployment claims in a typical week. Last week, with restaurants, bars, shopping malls and many other business locations temporarily closing, the number skyrocketed to 45,700. Fortunately, the reporting system is automated, with verification built into the software program. Needless to say, none of the UI staff has been furloughed. In fact, employees have been transferred from other divisions to help with the processing overload, as UI has been inundated with questions and requests for help. (UI staff are able to work from home.) 

During Scott Walker‘s 8 years as governor, Republicans in the state legislature used their majorities to make it harder for the jobless to receive benefits. They see the program as promoting laziness and dependency — this from an all-white, mostly male group that didn’t schedule any floor sessions to take place after March 2020. (To insure they’d have plenty of time for their re-election campaigns leading up to November.)

In 2015, Wisconsin Republicans pushed through a law adding a few hurdles to receiving unemployment benefits: instituting a one-week waiting period for benefits, verifying four weekly job search sessions, stipulating that workers are both able to work and available to work, and requiring a drug test. (The last item was never implemented, as it requires permission from the federal government. Trump approved the request in 2019, but so far Democratic Governor Tony Evers has refused to implement it.) 

Thanks to Covid, the ‘availability’ provision means that anyone who needs to quarantine or contracts the disease isn’t eligible for unemployment. 

Once GOP legislators realized what a mess they created for themselves, they were more than happy to have Evers issue an emergency order waiving the work search and availability requirements. The legislature will have to act on eliminating the one-week delay. I’m not holding my breath on that action taking place.

Read chapter 11 here

On this day in 1946, Signe Nelson made a big splash in the Rockford newspaper


The 7 children of Herman "Pa" and Anna "Ma" Magnuson Nelson from left to right (in birth order, oldest to youngest):  Ford, Svea, Stella, Signe, Lila, Ruth, Carl (a.k.a Dad).

The photo was taken at a family gathering in 1976 in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

The legacy, presidential and otherwise, of Donald Trump: Antisemitism edition

Top headlineABC News, 10/17/2022
Bottom headline:    Boston Globe, 3/23/2023

From ABC News:
The comment led to other criticism, including from the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which called the post "more unabashed antisemitism from GOP leader Donald Trump." 
"His threat to Jewish Americans and his continued use of the antisemitic dual loyalty trope fuels hatred against Jews. We will not be threatened by Donald Trump and Jewish Americans will reject GOP bigotry this November," the council tweeted.
Related posts:
Trump virus/Trump legacy ("The testing bungle" episode).  (12/14/2021)

GET ME REWRITE: GOP fights crime and inflation by rolling back child labor laws

Top headline:   NBC, 10/16/2022
Bottom headline:  Aaron Ruper, 3/24/2023

From Aaron Ruper:
In Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders just signed a bill that will allow children as young as 14 to work without getting a work permit from the state. Before this, anyone under 16 had to apply for a work permit with the state’s Division of Labor. Getting rid of that requirement “restore[s] decision-making to parents concerning their children” and “streamline[s] this hiring process for children under 16,” according to the bill’s text. 
Applying for the work permit wasn’t exactly onerous on the parents or the state. It’s a one-page form that took a few days to process. However, the requirement meant the state at least was aware of how many children ages 14-15 were working and where they were working, and a parent had to sign the form. Now, all that is gone.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Iowa GOP shows off its cartoon conservative principles

There is so much that is wrong with the current state of Iowa.

Excerpts from Iowa Capital Dispatch, 3/13/2023

Iowa.  Playing catch-up with its neighbor.
Wisconsin GOP legislators thwarted in effort to shit on their #1 principle.  (7/3/2019)
Scott Walker's toxic legacy: "Power to the people" hypocrisy" (Taking away local control).  (1/12/2019)

In 2014, deep-red Richfield voters chose Walker by an 80-20 margin and this is the thanks they get.  (8/14/2018)
Clusterfuck Caucus UPDATE. The unintended consequences of intertwining GOP principles and hypocrisy.  (3/20/2018)
Wisconsin GOP continues to treat its cherished conservative principle like a pinata.  (2/23/2018)
Wisconsin GOP continues to tarnish its #1, most cherished governing principle.  (1/13/2018)

UPDATE. By now, you know that the GOP's favorite pastime is overruling its pesky principles.  (11/28/2017)
UPDATE: Wondering why Duey Stroebel is a champion of property tax relief? Take a look at where he lives.  (4/15/2017)
Wisconsin GOP: What they say and what they do are 2 different things.  (2/9/2017)
Wisconsin legislature back in session and GOP hypocrisy is already in full flower.  (1/27/2017)

UPDATE: Scott Walker and the abandoned GOP principle.  (12/21/2016)
Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo highlights GOP cartoon conservative principle.  (5/20/2016)
Suburban Milwaukee GOP state legislators freak out over locally issued ID card.  (3/23/2016)
Business as usual: Wisconsin GOP legislators vote for special interests, against local control and tenants' rights.  (3/9/2016)
The Wisconsin GOP Cartoon Conservative Principles Fest continues.  (2/10/2016)
Cartoon conservative principles in nonstop action: Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo lists more than 100 state provisions that restrict local control.  (2/10/2016)

The Christmas edition: Rep. Kremer accuses fire officials of 'relieving themselves'.  (12/23/2015)
Cartoon conservative principles on full display this week at the Wisconsin State Capitol.  (12/18/2015)
Once again, Wisconsin Republicans assert their cartoon conservative principle (2015 Assembly Bill 568).  (12/16/2015)
Out of (local) control: When it comes to anything resembling a train, Republicans just can't help themselves.  (12/1/2015) 
Scott Walker pays lip service to local control as he continues to sign bills to limit it.  (10/26/2015)
UPDATE: Let's follow the Shea money from Wingra Stone to Scott Walker.  (10/20/2015)
UPDATE.  Sorry, Tim Geoghegan, a total of $11,750 in donations is not a "bunch of bull".  (10/20/2015) 
Once again, Wisconsin Republicans violate their most precious principle.  (7/4/2015)
Cartoon conservative principles.  (5/6/2015)
The Usual Hypocrisy: What Scott Walker sez on his campaign website and what he does in the Governor's office are two different things.  (5/2/2015)
The "hits" to local control just keep on coming.  (2/28/2015)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board calls out Republican hypocrisy.  (2/17/2014)
And the hypocrisy just keeps on coming: Republicans can't even give lip service to their "Principles". (2/14/2014)
Yet another lesson in Republican hypocrisy.  (2/13/2014)

Your Wisconsin Republican Assembly hard at work promoting Governor Walker's jobs agenda (and GOP principles).  (11/15/2013)

GET ME REWRITE: Time to kick conventional wisdom in the ass

TopUSA Today, 3/13/2023

Related posts: