My D8 and I just enjoyed an extended yours-truly's-birthday celebration consisting of two overnight stays (for her, since she was driving in from Madison--I don't mean to imply any funny business) at the Holiday Inn in Pewaukee and meals at the neighboring Thunder Bay Inn and Machine Shed restaurants. I was fully prepared to write a glowing review of all three establishments, not least because the Machine Shed has bizarrely good coffee. They sell multiple varieties of whole-bean coffee in their gift shop. My girlfriend asked about the coffee variety served in the restaurant, and a manager offered to sell us a pound of it as a special service, at a price based on the wholesale cost of the coffee.
Tonight, I learned from a cursory Google search that all three businesses are owned by the Heart of America Group, owned by the Machine Shed's founder, Michael Whalen. Simply click the link to gain an impression of the kind of policies they advocate through lobbying organization National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). I can't spend a dollar without it going to some cult (as in Shawano) or Koch brothers-affiliated climate-change deniers (as this week in Pewaukee). Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
At least we've identified a few solidly left-leaning restaurants and coffeehouses in Madison. So the Machine Shed's founder is bankrolling a climate change-denying lobbying organization? That reflects motives that would seem to be about as selfless as my becoming a millionaire so that I can lobby Washington to pass a law mandating that all Midwesterners read a coffee blog on a daily basis. The only reason those business are even there is because of the traffic on I-94 between Madison (and, by extension, Minneapolis) and Milwaukee. What are three words for that situation again, kids?