Saturday, April 8, 2023

Lily-white New Hampshire GOP has a death wish

Poll results:  Anselm
Headline: PBS New Hour

Population gains and losses in selected Wisconsin counties


"It's something a lot of cities are facing right now," said John Johnson, research fellow with the Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education at Marquette University Law School. 
"The really notable thing here is that these are numbers for the county, which includes the (Milwaukee County) suburbs as well," Johnson said, adding "It's not just people moving from Milwaukee to Shorewood or Tosa."

Counties mapped

GET ME REWRITE: Tennessee GOP fights crime and inflation by targeting LBGTQ rights

HeadlineWashington Post, 4/7/2023
As Republican lawmakers nationwide have pushed a historic wave of legislation targeting LGBTQ rights this year, Tennessee is in the vanguard of the movement after years of passing similar legislation and emerging as one of the most restrictive states in the nation on the issue. 
This week, Tennessee was set to become the first state to enforce wide-ranging restrictions on drag performances while nearly a dozen other states consider similar bills, before a federal judge temporarily blocked the law.

Related post:
Spring is here and Tennessee GOP racism is in full bloom.  (4/7/2023)

Covid Chronicles. Chapter 20: More political shenanigans leavened with jigsaw puzzles

Read chapter 19 here

Photo by Retiring Guy

Thursday, April 8 

Immediately after the 2018 gubernatorial election that stopped two-term Scott Walker in his tracks, Wisconsin legislative leaders – Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos – called a ‘lame-duck’ session to pass a series of bills limiting the powers of the Governor and Attorney General, both offices having just been flipped by the Democrats. Not content with this power grab, they also placed limits on early voting. The League of Women Voters, among other groups, challenged the laws in court. In June 2019, the case was heard by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who, of course, sided with the Republicans.

Headline:  Wisconsin State J0urnal (top). New York Times (bottom)

Now Fitzgerald and Vos are taking their despotism to the next level. Included in Wisconsin coronavirus relief bill is language that give the Joint Committee on Finance exclusive control of any budget cuts that need to be made as a result of anticipated revenue shortfalls. Joint Finance has 12 members, the appointments determined by who is is in the majority of each house of government. Thanks to gerrymandering after the 2010 census, Republicans have a 19-14 edge in the Senate and a gaping 63-36 margin in the Assembly. In other words, Fitzgerald and Vos each make 4 appointment to the committee, giving them an 8-4 advantage. 

Evers has said he will veto any such legislation. Fortunately, the GOP majorities aren’t large enough for them to overrule the governor without help from the Democrats. And that sure as hell isn’t going to happen. 

As far as government is concerned, Wisconsin is increasingly taking on the appearance of a banana republic. 

Doubly scary times. 

The weekend before last, “CBS Sunday Monday”, regular viewing for JoAnna, featured a segment on the popularity of jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic. "
"Do we still have any puzzles around?” she asked. 

She took up this leisure activity a few years ago. Whatever the reason, I can’t recall, although it might have happened during her first short stretch of retirement two years ago. Somehow it seems longer ago than that. 

“I think I might have donated them to the friends of the library book sale,” I replied. 

At some point, the half dozen or so boxes were stored away somewhere out of sight, at least until the next closet or garage decluttering. 

“It might be a challenge to find one in any store right now,” I added. “Especially with CBS promoting the activity.” 

We ran some errands the following day, one of our stops being Target, where JoAnna found a sparse selection of 1000-piece puzzles available. She limited her purchase to two, finishing the first one in about a week’s time. She’s taking a more leisurely approach to the second one. 

CBS Sunday Morning” reported that jigsaw puzzles became hugely popular during the Great Depression. I imagine that’s when they became a common item in the Luthgren family household. As I recall from my 2012 visit to Warren, Mom accumulated a large number of jigsaw puzzles, most of them ending up in storage in the front hall closet. All those hours she spent putting them together was likely accompanied by occasionally childhood reminiscing.

 This photo of Mom (holding the cat) and her sisters predates the Great Depression by a few years. Probably taken in 1927 or 1928, I’d guess.) Curious to learn more about this pastime, I learned that jigsaw puzzles became a fad of the well-to-do during the early years of the 20th century. No one else could afford to buy them, due to the costly and time-communing manufacturing process, i.e., hand-cutting. In 1908, a 500-piece puzzle cost $5, which translates to about $144 today, using an online inflation calculator. Most puzzles back then were made of wood. In 1930, the Tuck Company developed a process for die cutting cardboard puzzles, greatly reducing their cost. Just in time to meet a demand for cheap entertainment as a result of most everyone’s reduced circumstance. Here we are again, it seems.

How the largest municipalities in Ozaukee County voted in Wisconsin Supreme Court election

Number of votes shown in parentheses.

Welcome to the GOP: Party of batshit crazy

These are the results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between April 5-6, 2023. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 464 Democrats, 368 Republicans, and 120 independents. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents.

Full poll results here.

Related posts:

Trump remains a winner, according to Australia's United States Studies Centre.  (11/22)
GOP horse race to the presidential nomination: Just 620-some days left until the Republican National Convention.  (11/17)

Day 889 of GOP election denier hysteria (Trump Big Lie Clown Show Circus, Nevada edition)

Meet the stars of the
ATTACK Of the Clown Show zombies
Starring Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo
Headline:  Las Vegas Sun, 3/28/2023
In a statement, Lombardo spokeswoman Elizabeth Ray said by introducing the bill, the governor was making good on a promise of “common sense” election reform. 
Measures proposed in SB405, including voter ID, are practical, realistic, and supported by the majority of Nevadans — across party lines,” Ray wrote. “SB405 will help restore faith and timeliness in our election system, so that every Nevadan has confidence that our voting process is free and fair.” 
In response, Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, the majority whip in the Assembly, said the proposal was doing nothing but “emboldening election deniers.”

Colorado General Assembly
Rep. Dave Williams
HeadlineUSA Today, 4/46/2023
Similarly, election deniers were elevated to state GOP chair in Idaho, Kansas and Colorado, where former state Rep. Dave Williams, who insists Trump won in 2020, has promised to be a “wartime” leader. 
"Our party doesn't have a brand problem," Williams told supporters in March. "Our party has a problem with feckless leaders who are ashamed of you and ashamed of our conservative principles."

Adams Township clerk Stephanie Scott
HeadlineBridge Michigan, 4/4/2023
A small-town election clerk accused of stealing election equipment has become an unlikely hero among conspiracy theorists continuing to claim the 2020 contest was rigged against former President Donald Trump. 
Stephanie Scott, the Republican clerk of rural Adams Township in Hillsdale County, claimed she was trying to preserve election data to prove fraud. But some residents in the town of 2,200 are fed up with the drama and want to oust her through a recall at the May 2 election.

disgraced Surry County NC
election denier Timothy Dehaan
“In a written submission to the State Board in support of Mr. Hall’s complaint, Klein noted, “Faithful execution of the law by election officials is a keystone to our political system.” “If left unchecked,” Forestieri and DeHaan may have been the first of many board members throughout the state and across the political spectrum who “would undermine the credibility of our elections based upon their personal disagreements and own misinterpretation of the governing law they have sworn to support, maintain and defend.”

disgraced Surry County NC
election denier Jerry Forestieri
The State Board, in its motion to remove the members, found there were no irregularities in the 2022 general election or the March 7, 2023, special election in Surry County that would have affected any outcomes in those elections, according to its press release. The county board members based their refusal to certify their elections on court and State Board decisions they disagreed with. The State Board found Forestieri’s and DeHaan’s actions constituted “impermissible collateral attacks” on court decisions and directives from the State Board.

Congressional Primary candidate
Jeff "12 Percent" Buongiorno
Headline:  Los Angeles Times, 3/30/2023
The other presenter, former Florida congressional candidate Jeff Buongiorno, did not respond to The Times’ requests for comment. He said during the presentation that the information referenced came from copies, called forensic images, of production servers from three counties. He would name only one: Coffee County in Georgia. 
“We have multiple counties’ forensic images,” he said during the presentation. 
“We’re not going to name the counties.” Some of the images came from evidence in court cases, and he and Merritt obtained others on their own, Buongiorno said. 
Sometimes you have good Samaritans on the inside who care,” he said.

far-right whacko 
Joshua "No" Merritt
HeadlineLos Angeles Times, 3/30/2023
One of the [CPACpresenters, Joshua Merritt, acknowledged the criticism that followed the presentation. He told The Times he intended to pose questions through the presentation in hopes someone would watch the event and help answer them. 
“We’re just trying to do the right thing to make sure people have secure elections,” said Merritt, whose affidavit alleging possible foreign interference in the 2020 election was cited in suits Powell filed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. “And that’s been my only motivation behind it.”

Mike Lindell and Mark Finchem
Headline:  Governing, 3/27/2023
A couple of prominent election deniers are now talking about setting up their own voter databases — Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, and Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee last year for Arizona secretary of state. If they do get their efforts off the ground, it’s safe to say that Democrats won’t be rushing to join. Back in 2005, Kansas started a voter database sharing initiative called Interstate Crosscheck. Criticized by Democrats as a tool for targeting voters for arrest and riddled with security problems, the program officially shut down in 2019.

Texas State Sen. Bryan Hughes
Headline:  Governing, 3/27/2023
ERIC also sends information to states about eligible citizens who are not registered. Its critics say this is a distraction at best; at worst, they claim it’s an effort to pad the rolls with Democrats. They also say that it's too expensive. It costs a state $25,000 to join and then annual fees range from $15,000 to $74,000, depending on population size. 
“We do know, again, that the people running ERIC don’t share our worldview,” said Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who is sponsoring a bill to pull Texas out of ERIC, according to a recording obtained by the Texas Tribune.

Matt Braynard
Director Look Ahead America
Headline:  Governing, 3/27/2023
ERIC is in trouble because of a series of complaints lodged by conservatives who claim it’s tilted toward Democrats. Last year, the Gateway Pundit, a right-wing site, published a series of posts claiming that ERIC received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros and was sharing voter information with groups on the left. “They seem to be partnering with other 501(c)3s that seem to have a left-wing agenda,” says Matt Braynard, who directs Look Ahead America, a conservative group that combats election fraud.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
Headline:  Governing, 3/27/2023
In February, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose held a news conference in which he discussed ways the state was making elections more transparent and secure. One thing that’s indispensable, he suggested, was ERIC, or the Electronic Registration Information Center, a data-sharing effort among states. “It is one of the best fraud-fighting tools that we have,” LaRose said. “It’s a tool that has provided great benefit for us, and we’re going to continue to use it.” 
Well, that was then. On March 17, LaRose announced Ohio was quitting ERIC. It’s among a half-dozen Republican-controlled states that have left this year, including five just this month. As a result, election officials are worried that one of the most effective sources of voter information available to states — and a rare bipartisan success story over the past decade — has been undermined.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Appleton tips the scales in Janet Protasiewicz's favor in Outagamie County


CAVEAT: The population of Appleton is 75,000, of which 62,000 is in Outagamie County. The city spills into Calumet County to the southeast (12,000) and Winnebago County to the southwest (1,500).   

Curriously, the Calumet County Clerk has yet to report any numbers for the Appleton wards in that county -- Supreme Court and school board tallies. But I imagine the city's percentage wouldn't change all that much. Janet kicked butt in Appleton's 2 Winnebago County wards.

Related posts:
2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court primary election report: Counties where Dan Kelly received largest and smallest percentage of the vote.  (2/25/2023)
2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court primary election report: Counties where Janet Protasiewicz received largest and smallest percentage of the vote.  (2/25/2023)

Wisconsin Supreme Court election: A deeper dive into Jackson County

The city of Black River Falls and the Town of Brockway both punched well above their weight.  (Number in parentheses is the total number of votes.)

Demographics tell part of the story.

Source:  City Data (Town of Brockway)
Wikipedia (Black River Falls)

SourceMaps of the World (boxes added)

Source:  Wikipedia

Related posts:
2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court primary election report: Counties where Dan Kelly received largest and smallest percentage of the vote.  (2/25/2023)
2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court primary election report: Counties where Janet Protasiewicz received largest and smallest percentage of the vote.  (2/25/2023)

GET ME REWRITE: Second wind for "Mating" by Norman Rush

HeadlineNew York Times, 3/29/2023
“Mating,” published in 1991, usually finds its evangelists by word of mouth. For some, its plot points can be a tough sell: An unnamed graduate student in Botswana pursues an American anthropologist, Nelson Denoon, who is trying to form a matriarchal society in a desert village. Punctuating the book are extended dialogues on socialism and a laundry list of obscure words and Latin phrases most readers confess to having to look up. The story is told in the voice of the unnamed student, a 32-year-old woman. 
“Mating” was acclaimed in its time — it won the National Book Award — and is now in its 41st printing, having never gone out of print. And yet it has the air of a cult favorite.

As for Rush's other books, readers say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Source:  LINKcat

Apparently, most LINKcat libraries missed the bus.

Related posts:
Richard Anobile.  (3/18)
Russell Banks.  (1/11)
Ted Bell.  (2/8)
David Harris.  (2/8)
Paul Johnson.  (1/15)
Charles Simic.  (1/16)
Donald Spoto.  (2/18)
D. M. Thomas.  (3/31)
Fay Weldon.  (2/2)
Bill Zehme.  (4/1)

Roger Angell.  (5/24)
Melissa Bank.  (8/7)
Raymond Briggs.  (8/20)
Thomas Cahill. (11/16)
Philip K. Dick.  (11/20)
Bruce Duffy,  (3/13)
Todd Gitlin.  (2/8)
Rebecca Godfrey.  (11/11)
Ron Goulart.  (2/7)
Doris Grumbach.  (11/10)
Robert Hicks.  (3/8)
Thomas Hoving.  (12/19)
Maureen Howard.  (3/19)
Hilary Mantel.  (9/26)
Nancy Mitford.  (4/4)
P. J. O'Rourke.  (2/24)
Julie Powell.  (11/5)
Thomas Pynchon.  (12/17)
Dennis Smith.  (1/27)
Susie Steiner.  (7/27)
Larry Woiwode.  (5/19)

F. Lee Bailey.  (6/11)
Kim Chernin.  (1/10)
Angelo Codevilla.  (10/10)
Stephen Dunn.  (6/29)
James R. Flynn.  (1/30)
Larry Flynt.  (2/12)
Lucinda Franks.  (5/11)
Joseph Galloway.  (8/25)
Norman Golb.  (2/22)
Charles Grodin.  (5/20)
Maria Guarnascheilli, book editor.  (2/18)
James Gunn.  (2/21)
Tony Hendra.  (3/7)
Donald Kagan.  (8/20)
Hans Kung.  (4/9)
Lyn Macdonald.  (5/15)
Janet Malcolm.  (6/18)
Peter Manso,  (4/10)
Ved Mehta.  (1/12)
Marie Mongan.  (3/22)
Deborah Rhode.  (1/28)
James Ridgeway.  (2/16)
David Swensen.  (5/13)
Bryan Sykes.  (1/14)
Athan Theoharis.  (6/14/)
Ed Ward.  (5/16)
Michael Thomas.  (8/19)
Adam Zagajewski.  (3/27)

Ben Bova.  (12/17)
Clive Cussler.  (2/29)
Betty Dodson  (11/11)
Pete Hamill.  (8/6)
Shere Hite. (9/13)
A, E, Hotchner.  (2/18)
Roger Kahn.  (2/15)
Randall Kenan.  (9/29)
John Le Carre. (12/23/2020)
Johanna Lindsey.  (1/15)
Barry Lopez.  (12/29)
Alison Lurie.  (12/7)
Charlers Portis.  (2/19)
Julia Reed.  (9/8)
John Rothchild.  (1/22)
Gail Sheehy.  (9/3)
Jill Paton Walsh.  (11/29)
Charles Webb.  (6/30)

Warren Adler.  (4/23)
Kate Braverman.  (10/28)
Stephen Dixon.  (11/12)
Dan Jenkins.  (3/10)
Judith Krantz.  (6/27)
Paule Marshall.  (8/27)
Martin Mayer.  (8/3)
Wright Morris.  (7/25)
Toni Morrison.  (8/12)
Anthony Price.  (6/17)
John Simon.  (12/1)
Sol Stein.  (9/30)
Brad Watson.  (8/2)
Lonnie Wheeler.  (7/15)
Herman Wouk.  (5/20)

Neal Thompson.  (6/17)

Kit Reed.  (10/1)

E. M. Nathanson.  (4/10)




Clarence Thomas: Watch what he does, not what he says

Quote:  Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American (4/6/2023)
HeadlineProPublica, 4/6/2023
For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks. 
The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Related posts: