Saturday, September 2, 2023

What's the matter with Iowa? GOP in-your-face racism and homophobia

HeadlineDes Moines Register,  8/31/2023
Waverly Zhao wonders how students are supposed to understand freedom when books are taken away. 
The 2023 Johnston High School graduate, who is a person of color and part of the queer community, said she was deeply affected by books she read in school such as "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, a novel about a Black 16-year-old who saw a white police officer kill her friend, as well as dystopian novels about government oppression like "The Handmaid's Tale" and "1984." 
Yet Thomas' novel has been one of the most challenged books in the nation because of the way it discusses racism and police brutality, as well as its portrayal of sexuality, drug use, violence and profanity. 
An exclusive Des Moines Register investigation found it was also among the nine most challenged books in Iowa over the past three years, one of 60 books targeted in Iowa schools by conservative parents and lawmakers who contend they are not "age appropriate" for children. 
All of the nine most challenged books in Iowa told stories of LGBTQ people, people of color or both in some way. Zhao, one of several students across the Des Moines metro who organized against book removals in 2021, doesn't believe that's a coincidence.  [emphasis added]
Related posts:









What's the matter with Iowa? Health benefit plans mean you're screwed when it comes to pre-existing conditions.  (10/5)

GET ME REWRITE: Ron DeSantis turns tails and runs from Nevada

HeadlineRaw Story, 8/31/2023
Poll resultsReal Clear Politics
DeSantis, who launched his presidential campaign at the end of May, had door-knocking operations being paid for by the PAC in Nevada, North Carolina, California and Texas. All of those efforts have ceased operation, officials confirmed Wednesday. 
DeSantis' campaign has been hemorrhaging money, launching what seemed like a national campaign on day one with 250 field staffers at its peak. Most presidential campaigns focus on the early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

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Robin Vos: Continuing to hoodwink taxpayers (and practice the art of GOP hypocrisy)

HeadlineMilwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/31/2023
The contracts require the Legislature to pay for out-of-pocket costs that could come in addition to the fees for services. 
A spokeswoman for Vos did not respond to a request for comment
Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard said "The GOP will pay any price to retain their unfettered power and usurp the will of the majority." 
"Using a blank check written by Wisconsin taxpayers, Legislative Republicans have entered into contracts with three law firms to defend their gerrymandered maps," she said. "Again we see that they only care about their own special interests rather than the interests of Wisconsinites."

We have this white male menagerie to thank for the state's gerrymandered maps.

Meet the defenders of fair elections. 

Related posts:
Wisconsin Republicans commit more than $1.8 million in taxpayer funds to defend rigged maps.  (9/2)

GERRYMANDER CHRONICLES: Wisconsin Republicans commit more than $1.8 million in taxpayer funds to defend rigged maps

HeadlineWisconsin State Journal, 9/2/2023
Under three contracts signed last month by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, Wisconsin taxpayers will be on the hook for more than $1.8 million in fees to outside attorneys who have been hired to defend the state’s existing maps — considered some of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation. 
A contract with law firm Lehotsky Keller Cohn states total fees will not exceed $870,000, while a second, with Consovoy McCarthy and Lawfair, states that legal fees through Aug. 15, 2024, will not exceed $965,000. 
A third contract, with Bell Giftos St. John, charges $450 per hour for attorneys’ time and $150 per hour for work by paralegals. The contract does not include a pay limit. 
The contracts, first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, also require the Legislature to cover additional out-of-pocket costs.

Related posts:

Friday, September 1, 2023

Public plaza at Madison Yards in Madison WI taking shape (August 2023 construction site visit)

Photos by Retiring Guy

Whole Foods gets ready to open new store in Madison Yards

Photos by Retiring Guy

The new store will be located in Block 2 of the development.

Rendering of aerial view, with location of Whole Foods indicated by red arrow.

Rendering of store as seen from public plaza.

Related posts:

North Mendota Trail from Highland Way to Signature Road in Middleton WI (August 2023 completed construction site visit)

North Mendota Trail (Dane County Parks)

Screenshots and video by Retiring Guy

5/28/2023 update starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

4/14/2023 update starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

Arrow indicates location of trail construction.

Dane County (arrow added)

Original 9/30/2022 post starts here.

Looking east from Churchill Lane

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

Looking west from Churchill Lane

Waunakee Tribune, 7/31/2022
One day in the not-so-distant future, it will offer a safe bike and pedestrian path along Hwy. M all the way from Hwy. 113 in the Town of Westport west to the City of Middleton, connecting with paths north to Waunakee. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Middleton Mayor Gurdip Brar announced plans for the latest segment July 27, with the county board expected to approve $1 million for the half mile from Highland Way and Century Avenue east along Hwy. M just past Signature Drive near Bishops Bay.

Related post:
Construction of Century Avenue bike/pedestrian trail and bridge nearly complete.  (4/11/2022)

GET ME REWRITE: Restaurant opening in former Knoche's butcher shop moves at a snail's pace

Photo by Retiring Guy

Taigu, the Chinese restaurant going into Knoche’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop on Madison’s Far West Side, is a long way from opening. 
Hong Gao, who opened the original Taigu in Middleton in 2014, said her builders and architect have submitted drawings for the renovations to the city. 
“It has been two months, and we are still waiting for the government’s approval,” Hong said. “It is estimated that we will receive it in two weeks. After receiving it, they will start working.”

Original 10/14/2022 post, "End of an era:  Knoche's Market and Butcher Shop In Madison WI closes to make way for Taigu", starts here.

Photos by Retiring Guy

Steve Knoche put his 84-year-old butcher shop and grocery up for sale a month ago, knowing that finding someone to carry on the business was probably unrealistic. 
“We wish we could have stayed in business forever,” said Stephanie Knoche, who has owned the shop at 5372 Old Middleton Road with her husband for 25 years. She said the last day for Knoche’s Food Center will be Oct. 15.
Knoche's also served as a neighborhood grocery store.

Day 1035 of GOP election denier hysteria (Trump Big Lie Clown Show Circus, Arizona edition)

ATTACK Of the Clown Show zombies
starring abe hamadeh
HeadlineDemocracy Docket, 8/30/2023
On Wednesday Aug. 23, the Arizona Supreme Court sanctioned the petitioners — including election denier Abe Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee (RNC) — for their conduct in an election contest challenging the results of the 2022 election for Arizona attorney general. This order is the latest in a handful of actions that holds lawyers and parties who attempted to overturn valid election results accountable. 
During the 2022 midterm elections, Arizona was a troubling core of attempted election subversion where election deniers ran for key posts

Thursday, August 31, 2023

GET ME REWRITE: Meet the Stepford wives and daughters of Ozaukee County


Related post:

GOP crime dog whistle is its go-to coded racial appeal

Headline: New York Times, 8/31/2023

It's the GOP's go-to coded racial appeal.
Republican politicians often treat it as an established fact: Where they are in power, crime is low. Where Democrats are in power, crime is high. 
“Republican-run cities are doing very nicely because they arrest people when you have crimes,” Donald Trump told Tucker Carlson last week. 
“The cities and these left-wing states allowing criminals to run wild on our streets, that doesn’t work,” Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, said in March, citing New York in particular. 
But party rule does not drive crime. Consider DeSantis’s state, Florida. Its homicide rate was roughly 50 percent higher than New York’s in 2021. Florida’s two most populous cities, Jacksonville and Miami, each had a homicide rate more than double New York City’s last year, even though both had Republican mayors.

Related posts:
2022 election 'rising crime' dog whistle:  GOP election denier queen Janel Brandtjen wants to put more Black people in prison.  (10/9/2023)
Dear Esther Cepeda, That's not branding.  It's dog whistle politics.  Please call it what it is.  Best, Retiring Guy.  (11/20/2021)

Day 382 of aftermath of Michael Gableman 2020 election review: Disgraceful Wisconsin clown continues to spew election lies well after his use-by date

Headline New York Times, 8/31/2023
Ms. Wolfe did not attend the hearing, where a stream of critics told a Senate election oversight committee that she should be ousted. Among them was Michael J. Gableman, a conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice whom Republicans tasked with leading a 14-month investigation into the 2020 election results in the state. The review, which cost taxpayers $1.1 million, found no evidence of significant fraud. 
A majority of people in Wisconsin have doubts about the honesty of elections in this state,” he said at the hearing. “That's disgraceful.”

GET ME REWRITE: If it quacks like a duck, it must be Mitch McConnell's doctor

Headline:  New York Times, 8/31/2023
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferredwith his neurology team,” Dr. Brian P. Monahan said in a brief statement on his letterhead that was made public by Mr. McConnell’s office on Thursday afternoon. “After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.” 
Dr. Monahan said that “occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.” Mr. McConnell sustained a concussion this year after falling at a Washington hotel. 
Dr. Monahan did not say that he had examined Mr. McConnell, 81, whose increasingly frail appearance and recent string of medical incidents have alarmed his colleagues and raised questions about his ability to continue in his post.
Meet the Big Quack

Related post:
Mitch McConnell.  Screenshot and headline.   That's all folks!  (8/30/2023)

Madison Metro bus route redesign eliminates transfer points

Such as the West Transfer Point shown here.

Photos by Retiring Guy

What it used to look like.

Will the Transfer Points still be available? 
No. The West, East, and North Transfer Points will no longer be used. The location of the South Transfer Point will continue to be a place for riders to catch the bus, however, the structure will be replaced with standard Metro shelters.

Element Collective District, University Research Park development, Madison WI (August 2023 construction site visit)

Photos by Retiring G uy

7/20/2023 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

5/2/2023 update starts here

Photos and videos by Retiring Guy

3/19/2023 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

2/3/2023 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

1/2/2023 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

11/7/2022 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

10/15/2022 update starts here

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

9/27/2022 update starts here

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

9/16/2022 update starts here

Photo, close-up and video by Retiring Guy

8/13/2022 update starts here

View of construction site looking northwest
Photos by Retiring Guy

View of construction looking east

7/19/2022 starts here

View of construction looking north

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

Closer up

View of site looking east

6/11/2022 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

April 11 update starts here

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

3/13/2022 update starts here 

Photos by Retiring Guy

2/11/2022 update starts here

Photo and videos by Reiting Guy

1/9/2022 update starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

12/19/2021 update starts here

The latest episode of “ The Show” spotlights Aaron Olver, managing director at University Research Park in Madison. Olver describes ongoing construction at the corner of Mineral Point Road and Whitney Way, the need for more laboratory space for biotechnology companies, and other trends within one of the nation’s leading research parks.

12/1/2021 update starts here

Photo and video by Retiring Guy

Original 10/29/2021 post starts here

Photos and videos by Retiring Guy

Element District development will be divided into roughly three phases: 
Phase I is the selective clearing and preparation of land for construction, construction of two new public streets, Element Drive and Catalyst Way, the installation of stormwater management facilities, and associated grading; 
Phase II is the construction of the laboratory building, and 
Phase III is the construction of the Element Collective apartments, followed by the food hall, fitness facility, and in a future phase, the hotel.