Today’s read is from Jack Hellner writing in the American Thinker. Here’s an excerpt:
It is sad that only 74% of registered voters believe that parents have more rights to choose major, life-changing medical surgery than school officials.
Who are the 26% of voters who believe the parents have no right to know?
In a normal world, the media would call the people who were in a significant minority the extremists and declare their policies controversial.
The problem is we live in a time where most journalists believe those of us who want parents to make decisions for their children, instead of the government, and who want limits on the abortions, like most of the world does, are the extremists and then they claim we are prejudiced.
Wisconsinites would see a net increase in taxes and fees of more than $108 million under Gov. Tony Evers’ budget, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Meanwhile, measures to improve tax collection efforts would generate another $34.1 million.
The memo shows the nearly $1.5 billion in tax reductions in his budget, including a 10 percent break for the middle class, would be overshadowed by proposed tax increases on manufacturers and investors.
The Children’s Wisconsin Foundation announced Thursday that it has decided not to host the 2023 Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk — a downtown tradition for 45 years.
“We recognize the importance this event has held for many families and made this decision with careful time and consideration. We know for many, Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was an opportunity to remember, honor and celebrate the care of a child and the healthcare journey,” the foundation wrote in a press release.
“As we look to the future, Children’s Wisconsin is transforming our health system to consider the whole child, including their physical, social and mental health and well-being. This focus on the whole child includes ensuring our fundraising events are engaging for kids and adults of ALL abilities.”
Instead of hosting the race, Children’s Wisconsin said that it was instead going to hear feedback about how it could create new and more inclusive events that could possibly replace the run in the future.
“During this year off, we are reaching out to our most steadfast supporters – participants like you – to help us collect ideas and feedback on how our events can be more representative of the communities we serve while also identifying what makes our events special and should be retained.”
The Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was created when legendary Marquette coach Al McGuire decided he wanted to do something for the kids of Children’s Wisconsin. McGuire would later approach Bill Dwyre, former sports editor of The Milwaukee Journal, and suggested the creation of a community event.
The end result was a race to benefit the hospital that started at Marquette’s campus and ran through downtown Milwaukee. The first event, called the JournAl’s Run, took place on Sept. 30, 1978. It cost $5 a person, $10 for families and $100 for corporations, but many more donations were made and the 3,500 registered runners raised $20,000.
The run was later renamed the Briggs & Al’s run and would become a fixture in the Milwaukee community for 45 years. During that time the event raised $22 million, according to the foundation.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Former President Donald Trump has reportedly said he wants to be hauled into court in handcuffs if he’s slapped with unprecedented charges in the “hush money” case involving porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump, 76, told advisers of his plan, saying that if he has to go through the ordeal of getting arrested and arraigned, he’d prefer making it a “spectacle,” the Guardian said Wednesday, citing unidentified sources close to him.
The ex-president — who’s seeking the Republican nomination for a third White House bid in 2024 — also wants to avoid any special treatment that could make him look weak, the sources reportedly said.
It’s unclear how serious Trump is about the plan, which could be stymied by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the Guardian said.
Trump’s lawyers are also adamantly opposed and have urged him to surrender quietly and be arraigned remotely if he’s indicted, the Guardian said.
The lawyers have reportedly pointed to Secret Service concerns about security, leading Trump to tell pals this past weekend that he didn’t care if he got shot because it would make him “a martyr.”
Trump also speculated that an attack on him could propel him back to the presidency, the Guardian said.
No ex-US president has ever been charged with a crime.
Leaked audio from a recent Chris Rock performance revealed the comedian comparing an arrest of former President Donald Trump to rapper Tupac, saying it’s only going to make him “more popular,” adding, “he’s just going to sell more records.”
“Are you guys really going to arrest Trump? Do you know this is only going to make him more popular? It’s like arresting Tupac, he’s just going to sell more records. Are you stupid?” Rock was heard saying in the leaked audio clip.
Rock also joked about allegations that Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels hush money, saying, “That’s romantic,” adding, “We’ve all been cheated on. Don’t you wish that the person that cheated on you paid off somebody so you wouldn’t find out?”
Chris Rock is not the only one who believes it would be “stupid” for Democrats to arrest their political rivals.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, said on Saturday that Trump will win reelection in a “landslide victory” if he is handcuffed and arrested.
Many others rallied around Trump following the news of his arrest prediction, with radio host Clay Travis declaring, “We now live in a banana republic.”
Children and teens in Utah would lose access to social media apps such as TikTok if they don’t have parental consent and face other restrictions under a first-in-the-nation law designed to shield young people from the addictive platforms.
Two laws signed by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox Thursday prohibit kids under 18 from using social media between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., require age verification for anyone who wants to use social media in the state and open the door to lawsuits on behalf of children claiming social media harmed them. Collectively, they seek to prevent children from being lured to apps by addictive features and from having ads promoted to them.
The companies are expected to sue before the laws take effect in March 2024.
The crusade against social media in Utah’s Republican-supermajority Legislature is the latest reflection of how politicians’ perceptions of technology companies has changed, including among typically pro-business Republicans.
Tech giants like Facebook and Google have enjoyed unbridled growth for over a decade, but amid concerns over user privacy, hate speech, misinformation and harmful effects on teens’ mental health, lawmakers have made Big Tech attacks a rallying cry on the campaign trail and begun trying to rein them in once in office. Utah’s law was signed on the same day TikTok’s CEO testified before Congress about, among other things, the platform’s effects on teenagers’ mental health.
But legislation has stalled on the federal level, pushing states to step in.
Outside of Utah, lawmakers in red states including Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Louisiana and blue states including New Jersey are advancing similar proposals.
An EF1 tornado caused significant damage to over a dozen buildings in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello Wednesday, less than 24 hours after a weaker tornado damaged mobile homes in the small coastal city of Carpinteria.
There were reports that at least one person was injured, as well as roofs ripped off buildings and cars destroyed in the heavily populated Montebello area.
It happened around 11 a.m. local time as a lone thunderstorm moved through. The tornado was estimated to have wind speeds up to 110 mph, making it the strongest to hit the Los Angeles metro since March 1983, according to the National Weather Service.
Seventeen structures were damaged, 11 significantly enough to be declared too dangerous to inhabit, according to the NWS.
The tornado primarily impacted an industrial warehouse-commercial business district. One building’s roof collapsed. Cars were damaged with windows destroyed.
The storm came on the heels of the latest atmospheric river to batter parts of California with rain and high winds. At least five people were killed during the storm.
It was the second time in less than 24 hours that a tornado caused damage in the region. The first was Tuesday evening in Santa Barbara County, when a tiny line of thunderstorms moved ashore.
If there’s one thing Joe Biden must do as Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal challenges, he must keep his mouth shut. The temptation to comment must be overwhelming, especially for the White House staff and those lined up to work on Biden’s 2024 campaign. Yet, for various reasons, the urge to offer a poorly timed jab from Joe, which usually falls flat, has to be tempered in these unprecedented times. While he may be an incompetent clown presiding over America’s precipitous decline, Joe Biden occupies the Oval Office and the powers and privileges of the bully pulpit. Even a lousy quip can have devastating consequences for him and his party in the long run regarding the potential arrest of Trump over the hush money scheme he had with former porn star Stormy Daniels.
The case is shoddy, the statute of limitations for the violations of the law being considered has expired, and the whole circus reeks of political bias. It’s unsurprising, and even legal analysts, who are not Trump supporters, know matchsticks support the case. Yet, and I had to admit this, should Biden continue this moment of Zen regarding Trump’s legal woes, it shows he’s doing something the former president is not: playing the long game.
Biden wants Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee. And the Donald’s call for protests if he’s arrested and the half-cocked social media post from him declaring that he was going to be placed in cuffs this week don’t help his case with voters who might want to vote for him again but are hesitant to gamble backing a man viewed to be unpredictable. In 2016, that worked since voters wanted change and were tired of the Clintons. In 2024, Trump is now a former president. He’s no outsider, and he can’t use the same playbook, though that’s what the Biden team is counting on, hence the silence over what the Manhattan district attorney’s office is going to do.
The question is whether Biden will remember to stick to the script of his handlers and not let slip a dig at Trump or any remarks that could be construed as influencing the investigation. There’s also a chance that Trump isn’t indicted in this investigation.
One thing Biden does have going is that the media knows the implications of his commenting on Trump’s legal issues, so you’d assume they’d avoid asking him questions about the troubles engulfing his predecessor. And while he’s mentally degraded, I do trust that Joe will be aware enough to know him commenting on such a matter behind the seal of the president of the United States.
—Matt Vespa, Townhall
It’s clear that Joe Biden and his family took massive amounts of money from communist China.
His open borders policies are dangerous and deadly.
He lies all the time.
Biden and his left-wing allies condemn America every chance they get.
Biden says you are “cruel” and “sinful” if you want to protect children from being exploited by the radical transgender movement.
Biden and the left are threatening free speech and waging war against religious liberty.
But for most of the country, it doesn’t seem like there’s any drama because the mainstream media and Hollywood aren’t upset about any of that.
Here’s what I suspect so many of us just don’t want to admit: We are in a very dramatic, consequential moment in American history. This is not the Eisenhower or Reagan years. Our constitutional Republic is in danger.
Anyone we nominate will in short order appear to be “stuck in drama” because the left will demonize them.
I don’t want to mince words here: The neo-Marxist left is a threat to freedom. It intends to force you to kneel and become a slave to its demands. That was obvious during COVID, when our free speech rights were restricted, when our churches were closed and when our jobs were threatened.
And if you resist the chains of neo-Marxist slavery, they will use every tactic possible to portray you and the candidates you support as “controversial,” “racist” and “extreme,” etc., etc.
But in reality, they are the extremists waging war against freedom and normalcy.
It’s no secret the vast majority of Republicans want to vote President Joe Biden out of office in the 2024 election. And who could blame them? With skyrocketing inflation, banks collapsing, a wide-open southern border, politically weaponized federal law enforcement agencies, ideological grooming of children, unchecked Chinese surveillance, federal interference in U.S. elections, and more, it’s completely understandable for millions of Americans to be on the lookout for potential candidates who could get the country on the right track.
While important, the 2024 GOP presidential primary — which has already attracted the attention of prominent conservative figures — doesn’t begin for several months. In the meantime, there are significant vehicles American restorationists could use to defeat leftist radicalism. Chief among them is state legislatures, but conservatives are squandering the opportunity to advance their legislative agenda while blue state lawmakers are successfully implanting radical new legislation that’s having a major impact on the cultural and political landscape of the country.
As of March 2023, Republicans have 22 state trifectas, in which they control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature. These GOP-led states have the ability to advance conservative legislation without fear of Democrats blocking it.
The most notable Republican to use this as a mechanism of advancing conservative priorities is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Since taking office, DeSantis has employed every tool at his disposal to wage war on the left’s institutional and cultural jihad by enacting strong, conservative policies.
Not every Republican-led state is using its power to fight leftists’ cultural revolution like Florida, however. In some instances, several so-called “red states” are even helping Democrats advance their radical agenda.
At a time when Biden’s lax immigration policies have led to a record number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, Idaho and Oklahoma Republicans apparently felt it necessary to further incentivize such lawbreaking by introducing legislation granting illegal aliens modified driver’s licenses. The Oklahoma bill — while introduced by a Republican — was reportedly “authored by Democrat immigration attorney Michael Brooks-Jimene, who is also on the board of a group supporting amnesty.” Meanwhile, the Idaho legislation (SB 1081) is so left-wing that it’s earned the support of the state’s ACLU chapter.
But it’s not just immigration where state Republicans are advancing Democrat priorities. As The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz reported, GOP governors in states such as South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Ohio have all helped further Democrats’ “green energy” scam.
Even more shocking is the surrender of Republican strongholds’ when it comes to protecting children from radical “trans the kids” activists. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled West Virginia legislature passed a bill banning sex change surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers for minors. Prior to the bill’s passage, however, Senate GOP leadership caved to outside pressure, adding a last-minute amendment allowing exceptions for gender dysphoric children deemed “at significant risk of suicide.”
Claims that barring these surgeries for minors will lead them to commit suicide is a faux talking point espoused by leftist adults seeking to impose their ideology on children.
Wyoming GOP Gov. Mark Gordon displayed similar cowardice earlier this week when he declined to sign legislation preventing boys from competing in girls’ sports.
The difference between Democrat and Republican legislative priorities could not be starker. While conservatives are justifiably outraged at the GOP’s weakness, it ultimately falls upon us to hold these incompetent politicos accountable.
Some of the most important cultural issues of our time are being debated in states throughout the country. Rather than worrying about a presidential primary that won’t take place for several months, American restorationists should direct their energy inward toward state legislatures and pressure elected Republicans to enact policies that stymie Biden’s radical agenda.
Despite all the media hype, there will be plenty of time between now and next year to decide who should be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. In the meantime, it’s paramount that conservatives everywhere keep our eye on the ball and use our federalist system to make red states great again.
—Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1980 a vocal critic of the violence during El Salvador’s civil conflict, Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating mass in San Salvador; he was canonized in 2018.
Today’s read is from Jeffrey H. Anderson, president of the American Main Street Initiative, a think tank for everyday Americans. He served as director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017 to 2021. Here’s an excerpt:
Recent responses to the Cochrane review suggest that there may be no cure for maskaholics. “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference.” Such was the verdict of a recent Cochrane review, a systematic assessment of all medical research on masks. How much should one trust this overarching study? Medical journals say that Cochrane reviews are “recognized worldwide as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare,” are the “best single source of highest-quality systematic reviews,” and are “regarded as the final word in the medical debate on a topic.”
The mask advocates’ grasping-at-straws response to this review has been that Cochrane doesn’t know what it’s doing (despite its “worldwide” reputation for providing “the highest standard” of medical research).
Supreme Court candidate Judge Janet Protasiewicz says she’s considering a lawsuit over accusations made by her former stepson alleging abuse during her first marriage and the use of the N-word decades ago.
The unverified accusations have run on the conservative website Wisconsin Right Now.
The Journal Sentinel didn’t publish the claims earlier because they originated from a single source with a checkered past and some inconsistencies in his story. The news organization is addressing them now that the candidate discussed the allegations on the record, misinformation about them has circulated widely on social media and a second individual has stepped forward with similar claims.
Protasiewicz, a liberal, is squaring off against former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, a conservative, in the April 4 election. The winner of the increasingly testy contest, marked by the influx of national money and outside TV ads, will determine the ideological direction of the state’s seven-member court.
“It’s an absolute lie, 100%. It smacks of some type of desperation by any media outlet that works to promote that,” Protasiewicz said during a meeting with reporters and editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Asked if she planned to sue, she responded: “My family and I have been discussing that, and right now my focus is on winning this election. On April 5, we’re going to pivot and make a decision about that.”
Protasiewicz said she plans to contact an attorney on that date. She did not specify if she is considering litigation against her former stepson, the right-wing website or both. Wisconsin Right Now has openly promoted the Kelly campaign in this race.
“These claims are completely false, devoid of proof, and are only being made by a bitter, discredited, drug-dealing felon who will say anything to get attention,” said Sam Roecker, spokesman for the Protasiewicz campaign.
Michael Madden, Protasiewicz’s former stepson, has been convicted of two drug-related felonies, including one for conspiring to distribute 220 pounds of marijuana.
Reached Wednesday, Madden said he had no fear of any litigation.
“I invite her to sue me,” said Madden, the original source for the claims. “I’m an eyewitness. That’s not secondhand information. It’s not hearsay.”
In response to the candidate and her campaign, he said he has not sold drugs in three decades and has a clean drug history.
In a joint statement, Jessica McBride and Jim Piwowarczyk of Wisconsin Right Now said Protasiewicz was trying to keep these “serious allegations” from being made public.
“Janet Protasiewicz’s threat to sue is a tactic to intimidate the news media into continuing to censor these stories, which voters have a right to know about and which she is desperate to hide,” McBride and Piwowarczyk wrote. “She said in the debate yesterday that voters have a right to know her ‘values.’ These questions directly speak to her values.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bills that would significantly increase the penalty for reckless driving in Wisconsin will be sent to Gov. Tony Evers after passage Wednesday in the state Senate and Assembly.
The first bill would increase the fine for reckless driving to as high as $400. The minimum penalty for reckless driving currently is $25.
The other bill will allow law enforcement officers to impound a vehicle if it’s used by a reckless driver who has previously been convicted of an offense.
Under current law, the penalty for reckless driving increases after the second offense if the second offense happens within four years. Under the new law, the four-year time period would be removed.
Evers said Wednesday he would sign both bills into law.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The City of Milwaukee will be suing automakers Kia and Hyundai over the damage inflicted by thefts of their vehicles, Milwaukee leaders announced Wednesday.
“It is my hope that not only do we curb the thefts but that the City of Milwaukee recovers some of the damages for police, fire, (Department of Public Works) and any other costs that we’ve had to incur as a result of the negligence of Kia and Hyundai,” Ald. Milele Coggs said at a news conference Wednesday in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Milwaukee.
Coggs said about two years ago she and Ald. Khalif Rainey started to highlight the automobile thefts and began asking the City Attorney’s Office to look at possible legal remedies.
Milwaukee City Attorney Tearman Spencer described the city as “ground zero” for the thefts that have hit cities across the nation. He said the city would be filing the lawsuit Wednesday.
“Today is the day that we will be filing, getting things moving,” Spencer said.
The city does not have a specific sum it is currently seeking in damages, he said.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), who chairs the House Administration Committee, has raised the possibility of Congress pulling federal funds away from local district attorneys if lawmakers determine that those DAs are using their prosecutorial powers to go after political foes.
“Often the federal government is funding and providing resources to prosecutors across the United States. The purpose of that is to make our cities safer,” Steil said in an interview with Just The News on Monday. “If we find out through this investigation that instead those are being used to weaponize DAs across the country with a purpose of grinding a political axe rather than making our communities safer, we’re going to have to go back into the funding model.”
Steil made those comments amid reports that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg may pursue felony charges against former President Donald Trump over a 2016 payment he allegedly facilitated to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to dissuade her from going public with claims that they had an affair. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has said Bragg’s office may argue the payment should have been classified as a campaign expense but was wrongly classified as a business expense by the Trump Organization, in violation of Section 175 of New York law, which can classify the falsification of business records as a Class E felony.
Turley has said the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has already declined to prosecute the payment to Daniels as an election law violation.
Bragg has yet to file charges, but Trump and other critics have already begun challenging the grounds for such a prosecution. Several critics have noted Bragg’s office has dismissed cases and lowered punishments for local criminal cases, including some robberies, while the office is now reportedly seeking to treat a campaign finance issue involving Trump as a felony.
“We continue to see DAs across the country engage in political behavior. That sure looks like it’s the case in this situation,” Steil told Just The News, referring to the case involving Bragg and Trump. “What we want our DAs to do is actually go and work in the judicial system in an unpolitical way to actually hold criminals accountable and put guilty criminals behind bars the way it used to work.”
—The Epoch Times
Twitter was flooded Wednesday with AI-generated deepfake photos of former President Donald Trump resisting arrest and trying to run from police ahead of his potential New York indictment this week.
The fabricated images — which had been viewed more than 4 million times — appear to show Trump yelling and fighting off at least five NYPD officers.
In others, he’s depicted breaking free from cops and bolting as Melania Trump and Donald Trump Jr. shout in protest of his arrest.
Many of the disturbingly realistic-looking images were shared widely by Twitter users, who falsely claimed they were legitimate.
The fakes come as a Manhattan grand jury is weighing whether to indict Trump in connection to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative group Bellingcat, tweeted out the deepfakes and said they were created with the artificial intelligence text-to-image generator Midjourney.
Another deepfake created by a Twitter user known as O’Keefe Reborn also claims to show a mugshot of Trump while others show him behind bars in an orange jumpsuit.
Trump has not been arrested.
The Manhattan grand jury didn’t reconvene Wednesday as scheduled due to a witness who was not available to appear, sources told The Post.
Three-out-of-four U.S. voters said they support requiring schools to have parental consent before assisting in a student’s gender-identity change, according to a new poll.
Nearly the same percentage of voters also support legislation requiring schools to tell parents whether their child wants to change their gender identity – with 71% in favor of this requirement, according to a poll published Tuesday by Parents Defending Education.
The group says it fights classroom indoctrination and promotes the restoration of a non-political education.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support requiring teachers or staff to inform parents if their child wants to use a different name or pronouns while at school at 86% to 69%. Black voters are also more likely to support this policy at 78%, compared to 77% of white voters, the poll show.
“The numbers speak for themselves: opposition to parental exclusion policies spans racial, political, and socioeconomic lines,” Parents Defending Education President and Founder Nicole Neily said.
“Education officials at the local, state, and federal level have demonstrated a callous disregard for parental rights, highlighting the need for both courts and policymakers to act, in order to end this egregious overreach.”
The poll, conducted from March 15-20 by CRC Research on behalf of Parents Defending Education with 1,600 registered voters, has a 2.45% margin of error.
—Just the News
Cuba on Wednesday slammed Miami authorities and baseball officials for allowing what it called “vile and organized” attacks against its players at the semi-final of the World Baseball Classic last week.
Sunday’s game pit the U.S. team against Cuba at LoanDepot stadium in Miami, a city that is home to the largest population of Cuban Americans in the United States, as well as many of the most vocal opponents to Cuba´s communist-run government.
Cuba´s foreign ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, hailed the performance and professionalism of the U.S. team, which beat the Cubans in a 14-2 blowout, but said hazing of its players had put Cuba at an unfair disadvantage.
“With the clear purpose of destabilizing our players, repeated acts of various kinds were carried out against them, against the delegation that accompanied them, and against fans in the stadium,” the statement said.
During the game, fans behind home plate repeatedly raised banners, including one that read “Down with the Dictatorship,” in reference to the administration of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Three times protesters ran out onto the field, disrupting play before being tackled by stadium security.
Cuba said players and their families were also attacked by people throwing objects at them and shouting vulgarities.
The Miami-Dade Police Department, which assists with security inside the stadium, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. LoanDepot Park could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cuba´s allegations.
Incredible as it may seem, less than one year ago, not a single state offered universal school choice to its citizens. That was then, this is now. Today, four states (Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, and Utah) have universal school choice laws on the books, with several more considering bills that would vastly expand education freedom.
Although there are many factors that have led to the school choice movement gaining more momentum than ever before, one should not discount the behavior of public school leaders and teacher union officials during the pandemic in moving public opinion decidedly in favor of school choice.
According to recent polling, school choice is more popular than ever before. And, more significantly, school choice is one of the rare issues that receives widespread support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents as well as across racial, socioeconomic, and even generational lines.
This month marks the three-year anniversary of the widespread shutdown of public schools throughout the country, under the guise of the pandemic. Of course, as most Americans witnessed with bewilderment, while most public schools refused to offer in-person learning throughout the duration of the pandemic, the overwhelming majority of private and charter schools remained open for in-person learning over the same period.
On top of this, as government-run schools refused to offer in-person learning and opted for inferior remote learning, droves of parents were absolutely shocked at the radical curriculum that the public schools were pushing on their children. From critical race theory to explicit sexual content, parents finally got a first-hand account of what public schools are up to these days.
Moreover, as the months went by and the public schools kept moving the reopening goalposts, parents became infuriated that their children were falling behind academically as well as becoming increasingly isolated, depressed, and dysfunctional after months of being stuck at home in front of a screen for eight hours per day.
Needless to say, most parents were at their wits end with the education industrial complex, which exists to serve adults, specifically teacher unions and public education bureaucrats, not students.
So, as would be expected, a major exodus from public schools began. While parents were pulling their children from failing public schools, they chose to enroll their kids in private, parochial, and charter schools. This trend was exacerbated when public schools refused to drop mask mandates and required vaccinations, even though the evidence showed that both of these policies were misguided at best and downright harmful to most children.
Yet, even as the writing was on the wall, public school officials and their partners in crime ignored the pleas by parents to address, or at least consider, their valid concerns. In fact, for the most part, these unaccountable bureaucrats doubled down on their position, berating parents for having the audacity to question their omnipotence over the education system.
In one classic example, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said during a debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
And so, this is where things stand today. Among the general population, school choice is a commonsense policy that places parents, not education bureaucrats, in charge of their children’s education. As we continue to see, education choice is being embraced in red states, which are offering parents education savings accounts so that they can choose whichever school their child should attend. Yet, most blue states remain obstinate, reluctant to heed the wishes of the parents who prodigiously advocate for more school choice.
Remember when the federal government told you masks were effective against COVID-19?
Yeah, they’re not.
Remember when the government told you vaccines will keep you from getting the virus?
Yeah, they don’t.
And remember when the federal government told you COVID didn’t come from a lab in Wuhan, China? Well, it did. Who says? The federal government.
The narrative laid out by the administrations of both former President Donald Trump and President Biden has rapidly fallen apart in the past couple of weeks.
The New York Times published a piece last week headlined “The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?” It was penned by Bret Stephens, an opinion columnist with the Times who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2013.
“The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous.”
“‘There is just no evidence that they’ — masks — ‘make any difference,’ he told the journalist Maryanne Demasi. ‘Full stop.’”
“But, wait, hold on. What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks? ‘Makes no difference — none of it,’ said Jefferson.”
“Mask mandates were a fool’s errand from the start,” Mr. Stephens wrote. “They may have created a false sense of safety — and thus permission to resume semi-normal life. They did almost nothing to advance safety itself. The Cochrane report ought to be the final nail in this particular coffin.”
Also this week, researchers examined the efficacy of local COVID-19 vaccine mandates implemented across the United States in 2021 and found they didn’t work.
“These mandates imposed severe restrictions on the lives of many citizens and business owners,” the researchers said in a study conducted by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “Yet, we find no evidence that the mandates were effective in their intended goals of reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths.”
“Most supporters of the mandates claim that the associated increase in vaccination rates, and its implied reduction in the spread of COVID-19, outweigh the cost of the disruptions. However, we find that the effects of the mandates on their intended outcomes are not statistically noticeable in any of the cities they were implemented in all empirical strategies used,” the report said.
So now we know that the government didn’t know a thing about COVID-19.
They told us things to make us do what they wanted us to do, but none of it was based in science.
And that should scare the hell out of you.
—Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1775 Patrick Henry, a major figure of the American Revolution, delivered the well-known speech featuring the phrase “give me liberty or give me death” at the second Virginia Convention, at St. John’s Church, Richmond.
BELOW: AI-generated deepfake photos of former President Donald Trump mentioned above.
Information is power, and extremely important during a critical election.
In the race for mayor in Franklin the campaign literature is out and the candidates have done interviews with the website Patch (congrats to them BTW for doing the articles).
Differences between the incumbent Mayor Steve Olson and his opponent, outgoing Franklin Alderman John Nelson are vast. Brochures and the Patch interviews are clear demonstrations.
Olson’s mailers are filled with QUANTITATIVE data and specific accomplishments. Take a look. The mayor as mayor has been very busy. Quite simply he has presided over the greatest period of growth in Franklin’s history.
1) PLATITUDES: A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement, a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound. a remark or statement that may be true but is boring and has no meaning. A platitude is a trite and obvious observation, in particular, one that’s expressed as if it were fresh and significant. Platitudes have been criticized as giving a false impression of wisdom
2) GLITTERING GENERALITIES: Propaganda statements that are designed to connect with audience members by speaking to the beliefs and/or values that are dear to them. The intent of this kind of statement is to create a favorable impression in the minds of message recipients. The goal is for those who receive the message to identify with the statement and whatever idea, product, service, or political candidate it is designed to promote.
Nelson talks about his experience, six years on the Franklin Common Council. So he’s certainly had opportunities. But try as I might, I’ve not been able to find any significant examples of note where he’s taken advantage. Case in point:
The alderman claims the process of putting together the annual budget, the most important task for Common Council members like Nelson, is flawed. OK. Serious accusation. So what’s he done about it?
Officially Nelson has been a part of the process for six years, albeit not an active participant but a passive one. He voted to approve the budget for five years…without ANY changes. He’s received an extensive comprehensive annual financial report five times …with NO questions. He’s authorized, then accepted a professional, independent audit five times…with NO questions. As mayor Olson returned review of the budget to the Common Council’s Finance Committee a few years ago. Nelson was on the Finance Committee for five years. He’s been on the Common Council for five budgets. Did he ever propose a change to the budget regardless of how small or large? The answer is no.
And that is the aldermanic legacy of Nelson. There is none. Because he’s done nothing. Nothing.
Check out his latest campaign piece. You will see seven (7) instances of Nelson saying “I will.” You won’t see any references of “I have (insert specific action taken and/or accomplished).
Nelson, like Joe Biden, has had time to make corrections, to offer and make good on promised solutions. Hasn’t done it. What makes anyone believe that suddenly he “will” get the job done?
In the only scheduled debate between the candidates, which was co-sponsored by WisPolitics.com and WISC-TV, Protasiewicz also said the large amount of money she received from abortion rights groups wouldn’t inform how she decides cases on abortion.
Liberals have largely framed the race as a referendum on abortion rights in Wisconsin, a topic that has galvanized Democrats since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June. Protasiewicz has derided the decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, and her campaign has aired several ads highlighting her abortion rights views. Democrats have filed a case challenging the state’s near-complete abortion ban, which the winning candidate will likely help determine on the court now controlled 4-3 by conservatives.
Kelly, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, has pitched himself as the candidate who would best preserve the rule of law, saying he would follow statutes and the state Constitution while Protasiewicz would legislate from the bench.
But Protasiewicz went after Kelly for receiving an endorsement from Wisconsin Right to Life, a group that says it endorses those “who have pledged to champion pro-life values and stand with Wisconsin Right to Life’s legislative strategy.”
In the latest legal fight against state restrictions since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, five women are suing the state of Texas after being denied abortions despite facing extremely dangerous medical complications.
“That’s absolutely not true once again,” Kelly said in response to Protasiewicz’s accusation that he pledged to uphold the anti-abortion group’s values. “So, this seems to be a pattern for you, Janet, just telling lies.”
Kelly said he only told the group that he would follow the law. Kelly has been quiet on the abortion issue in this campaign, but in a since-deleted 2012 blog post he described abortion as “a policy deadly to children.” He’s also provided legal counsel to Wisconsin Right to Life.
The candidates will face off on April 4 to replace retiring conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack. Protasiewicz has outraised and outspent Kelly in the election. But conservative groups have propped Kelly up with millions in hopes he protects the policies liberals are trying to overturn.
Protasiewicz defended her past sentences as a criminal court judge after conservatives aired many ads spotlighting cases in which she gave defendants no prison time or prison sentences they say were below the average.
“It’s interesting that a handful of cases have been cherry-picked and selected and twisted,” Protasiewicz said, adding that she “would not have been in homicide and sexual assault court for three years if the parties, the people, the community and the rest of my colleagues thought I wasn’t handing down sufficient sentences to take care of the community.”
Kelly said there wasn’t enough time in the campaign to probe every one of her cases. He said people making those ads picked out representative cases, calling the reasoning behind her decisions problematic.
Kelly said Protasiewicz didn’t hand down a sentence to somebody convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protasiewicz said her opponent was simplifying her reasoning, adding that the sentencing process is far more nuanced than he suggested.
—Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and his fellow Democrats worked Tuesday to keep the spotlight on abortion ahead of next month’s state Supreme Court election, resurrecting a bill that would repeal the state’s 1849 ban on the practice.
Democrats introduced the bill in June days before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Republicans who control the Legislature refused to take up the bill, and the overturning of Roe put Wisconsin’s abortion ban back in play.
Evers and other Democrats have been trying to keep the ban at the forefront of political discussion in the state in the hopes of persuading women to back the party’s candidates.
Democrats and abortion rights advocates have pinned their hopes on Kaul’s lawsuit, which appears destined to land before the state Supreme Court. If liberal-leaning candidate Janet Protasiewicz wins the April 4 election against conservative-leaning Dan Kelly, liberal justices would gain a one-vote majority and could overturn the ban. Protasiewicz has signaled repeatedly on the campaign trail that she supports abortion rights.
Evers called on Republicans to at least debate the bill that would repeal the abortion ban.
“We’ll keep fighting like hell every day until Republicans heed the will of the people, until every Wisconsinite has the right to make their own health care decisions, until we guarantee our kids and grandkids won’t grow up in a world where they have fewer rights than we did,” Evers said at a news conference.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a statement calling the news conference “a spectacle, with Governor Evers’ hypocrisy on full display.”
“Last week, Legislative Republicans introduced a bill that’s a reasonable middle ground to the divisive and opposing viewpoints on abortion (that would create rape and incest exceptions to Wisconsin’s ban and clarify that abortions that protect the health of the mother would be allowed). Governor Evers immediately said he would veto it,” Vos said. “Legislative Republicans have continued to say we’re willing to discuss and find consensus. Instead, Governor Evers issues an ultimatum of no negotiating.”
The head of Ascension Wisconsin is leaving his position amid a major leadership shakeup at the hospital system, after some of its Milwaukee hospitals came under fire for staffing shortages that doctors and others said were threatening patient care.
Bernie Sherry, a senior vice president of Ascension Health who has overseen the Wisconsin market since 2016, will be out of his role “later this spring,” according to a memo sent Tuesday to Ascension Wisconsin staff. A search is underway for his replacement.
Other Ascension Wisconsin leaders leaving their positions this week include: Monica Hilt, chief operating officer; Marcia Lysaght, chief nursing officer; Beth O’Laire, market chief human resources executive; and Caryn Kaufman, the director of communications.
In recent months, Ascension Wisconsin has cut services at some Milwaukee hospitals and struggled to keep staffing at proper levels, prompting protests from hospital workers, scrutiny from Milwaukee Common Council members and demands for answers from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
An Ascension Wisconsin spokesperson did not answer questions about the specific reasons for the departures or the terms on which hospital leadership is leaving.
Sherry was one of Ascension Wisconsin’s highest-paid executives. He received about $2 million in compensation in 2019, including about $850,000 in bonuses and incentive compensation, according to nonprofit tax filings.
The shakeup comes as Ascension has come under fire from health care professionals, patients and regulators for staffing and patient care concerns at Milwaukee-area hospitals.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee Magazine separately have reported on staffing shortages at Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee that have resulted in disruptions to patient care, long wait times in the emergency department, delayed surgeries and staff concerns about patient safety.
The Journal Sentinel’s reporting found that nurses at Columbia St. Mary’s were often assigned more patients than they considered realistic, or even safe. Without more help, nurses were at times slow to answer patients’ calls for help. Overstretched nurses spent less time with individual patients and worried they might miss something that could result in a medical emergency. The hospital was cited twice last year by state regulators for not having enough nurses or other staff on units.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentienl
FBI agents worked about 16,000 more hours during the pay period of the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, than they did during the pay period of the 2020 riots that hit Washington, D.C.
That’s according to documents obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project through the Freedom of Information Act.
Payroll records for FBI agents in the Washington, D.C., field office show they worked a total of 86,262 hours in the Jan 4, 2021, to Jan. 17, 2021, pay period, during which the Capitol riot occurred involving those opposing Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election in which Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump. Trump alleged irregularities and did not immediately concede the race.
By contrast, during the May 25, 2020, to June 7, 2020, pay period, when the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots were occurring in the District of Columbia, payroll records show that FBI agents worked a combined total of 70,367 hours.
—The Daily Signal
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has finally broken his silence on his much anticipated potential 2024 presidential run, giving an interview from the governor’s mansion in which he said that he has what it takes to be president and “I can beat Biden.”
DeSantis sat down with Piers Morgan in a wide-ranging interview, saying “stay tuned” when asked about the potential 2024 bid for the GOP nomination. Former President Donald Trump is currently the front-runner for that spot, as he endeavors to earn his second term.
“It was clear that the governor has had enough of Trump’s constant baiting and felt ready to take him on in what could end up being a ferocious battle for the White House,” Morgan said, writing about the interview for the New York Post.
“DeSantis slammed Trump over his character failings,” Morgan continued, “chaotic leadership style, and for his handling of the COVID pandemic — especially in keeping controversial health chief Dr. Anthony Fauci in his post helping to run the White House Coronavirus Taskforce.”
—The Post Millennial
Democrats’ attacks on people of faith as well as their erasing God “from just about every facet of our public lives,” is one of the main reasons former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says she chose to leave the Democratic Party, asserting that many of their policymakers “think that they [themselves] are God” as they attempt to “control us in every possible way.”
Gabbard, who formally announced her departure from the Democrat Party in October, joined Fox News’ Kayleigh McEnany, who served as former President Donald Trump’s press secretary, in lamenting how God was continually being “run out” of today’s society.
“It’s ironic to me that God, someone you can trust, is being run out of society,” McEnany said. [And] we know he was an integral part of our founding, mentioned in many of our founding documents.”
According to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey, 58% of likely voters believe the U.S. is on the wrong track, up two points from a week ago.
In the survey, for the week ending March 16, 36% of likely U.S. voters say the country is proceeding in the right direction, down three points from a week ago.
A year ago at this time, 29% said the U.S. was heading in the right direction, while 65% said it was on the wrong track.
National news is filled with reports of bank failures, high inflation, mass shootings, and border crossings. U.S. relations with Russia and China are at low points.
The national telephone survey of 1,660 likely voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from March 12-16. The margin of sampling error for the survey is plus/minus 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
A Virginia teacher who was shot and wounded by her 6-year-old student said it has changed her life and she has vivid memories and nightmares about that day.
“I just will never forget the look on his face that he gave me while he pointed the gun directly at me,” first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner said during an exclusive interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie about the student. “It’s changed me. It’s changed my life.”
She said she’s still in shock and can’t make sense of it, in a portion of the interview that aired Tuesday morning on “Today.”
“I’m not sure when the shock will ever go away because of just how surreal it was and the vivid memories I have of that day. I think about it daily. Sometimes I have nightmares,” she said.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Jan. 6 shooting, Zwerner said in a portion of the interview that she’s had a challenging recovery. She’s had four surgeries and has some days when she “can’t get up out of bed.” Other days she can go about her day.
“For going through what I’ve gone through, I try to stay positive. You know, try to have a positive outlook on what’s happened and where my future’s heading,” Zwerner said.
Zwerner was hospitalized for nearly two weeks after being shot in the chest and left hand as she taught her class at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia. The shooting rattled the military shipbuilding community and sent shock waves around the country, with many wondering how a child so young could get access to a gun and shoot his teacher.
In the moments after she was shot, Zwerner said the other first-graders in her class were screaming.
She knew she needed help. The fire alarm had gone off, heightening her awareness that she’d been shot.
She had trouble breathing. Her vision failed.
“I went to the office and I just passed out,” Zwerner said. “I thought I had died.”
Zwerner didn’t know it at the time, but her lung had collapsed. Doctors said the bullet could have killed her. She likely survived because she had put up her hands.
Zwerner intends to sue the district, according to a legal notice filed by her attorney.
Tickets to see Beyoncé in the U.S. are so expensive that some American fans are flying to Europe instead.
The number of American fans seeing concerts abroad was steadily increasing before the pandemic, but Ticketmaster’s recent controversies have highlighted the difficulties of the ticketing process domestically. With dynamic pricing jacking up the cost of concert tickets in the U.S. and young people increasingly spending money on experiences, seeing Beyoncé in Europe gives some fans more bang for their buck.
Mercedes Arielle, a content creator, is no stranger to the strategy. In 2018, she saw Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the “On the Run II Tour” in Paris, securing floor seats for $92 apiece. In her hometown, Dallas, the going rate for the same tickets was $900 higher.
This year, having witnessed the botched Taylor Swift “Eras Tour” rollout, Arielle said she had no desire to rely on Ticketmaster and the U.S. system.
Arielle paid less for her international flight, her hotel stay and a Beyoncé ticket in Stockholm than her hometown friends paid to see the same show in Dallas. Her VIP tickets to the Stockholm show were $366. Even her hotel is “essentially free” because of points and miles.
“Beyoncé is gonna sweat on me,” she said. “That’s how close I am.”
Frustration at Ticketmaster, which has been embroiled in controversy after the November sale for Swift’s “Eras Tour,” has reached a fever pitch in recent months.
Ticketmaster’s use of dynamic pricing, which adjusts prices based on demand, has been particularly contentious among U.S. concertgoers.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had dreamed of this moment, along with millions of fans throughout Japan and the United States: the two biggest stars on the planet, longtime teammates, facing each other at 60 feet, 6 inches, the world title at stake.
Of course, the count went full.
And then Ohtani got Trout to swing under a slider on the outside corner, sealing Japan’s 3-2 win Tuesday night and its first World Baseball Classic title since 2009.
“This is the best moment in my life,” Ohtani said through a translator.
Ohtani, the two-way star who has captivated fans across two continents, was voted MVP of the WBC after batting .435 with one homer, four doubles, eight RBIs and 10 walks while going 2-0 with a save and a 1.86 ERA on the mound, striking out 11 in 9 2/3 innings.
“I think every baseball fan wanted to see that. I’ve been answering questions about it for the last month-and a-half,” said Trout, Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels teammate since 2018.
“Did you think it was going to end in any other way?”
Watching the eighth and ninth innings unfold, Japan first baseman Kazuma Okamoto was in disbelief.
“I thought it was like a Manga,” he said through an interpreter, referring to a Japanese comic book.
U.S. manager Mark DeRosa savored the matchup — except for the ending.
“I just would have liked to have seen Mike hit a 500-foot homer,” he said.
The facts of life haven’t changed, but sex education is entirely different now from what you likely learned in school.
Sex ed in middle school now includes graphic lessons on anal sex, oral sex and masturbation, with stick figures to illustrate body positions. Supplemental reading in middle school libraries includes “Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff,” a book explaining foreplay and how to rub the clitoris to produce pleasure.
Massachusetts’ curriculum tells seventh graders how to use cling wrap as a dental dam around their teeth for safe oral sex.
A majority of states now require sex education be labeled as “comprehensive,” thanks to aggressive lobbying by activists. Planned Parenthood, the largest producer of sex ed curriculum for public schools, argues that children are entitled to know how to “experience different forms of sexual pleasure.”
Eugene, Oregon, high schoolers were recently assigned to write a sexual fantasy featuring massage oil, flavored syrup, a candle, music, feathers or a boa. How about teaching them math and English instead?
Sex ed is the most controversial issue in many school board elections. Contests are nominally nonpartisan, but generally, Republicans are demanding parental controls. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is becoming the poster child for adolescent promiscuity.
Expect this to be a defining issue in next year’s national elections.
In Iowa last week, former President Donald Trump warned the crowd that schools “are focused on sexualizing our children.”
Advocates for CSE argue that “how-to” information about sex keeps children safer. Don’t believe it. A review of 60 studies of sex education in U.S. schools, published in the scholarly journal Issues in Law and Medicine, found that comprehensive sex education more often resulted in more harm, including more unplanned pregnancies and STDs.
The backlash against extreme sex ed is exploding. Proponents insist they just want to provide information. Nonsense. When lessons include more than biology, someone’s values are being imposed.
Parents, it’s time to take control of what our kids are being taught.
—Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D, is a former Lt. Governor of New York State and author of Beating Obamacare
According to a 2019 article in The Wall Street Journal, in the 1980s half of all 16-year-olds were driving. But by 2020 it was just 25 percent.
Driving tests began getting stricter and more challenging in many states in the mid-1990s — though passing my test in a 1976 “Starship-Enterprise-sized” station wagon was no easy feat.
The cost of cars has risen and today’s teens are able to get around easily enough using ride-sharing services.
But the biggest reason is simply that many teens have zero desire to drive on their own — because the hunger to get out of the house and socialize is no longer a big incentive.
A study by Common Sense Media finds that teens are spending an average of 8 hours a day on social media apps.
They may think their online habits are enabling them to socialize with “friends,” but several studies, including a 2021 Journal of Adolescence study, see a clear correlation between the explosion in social media in 2012 and increasing isolation, depression and anxiety in teens.
Instead of becoming excited at age 16 that they can learn to drive a car and come and go freely, too many kids are content to sit alone in their rooms endlessly texting each other or consuming TikTok.
It’s too bad. Kids today don’t know how much fun, freedom and real social interaction they’re missing without cars.
Cruising the park in a 1972 VW Beetle with my friends is one of the best memories I have of my teen years.
I know the social media challenge is complex, but here’s a good start:
Hey, kids, the weather is breaking. Get your license, turn off our phones and go for a cruise in the park!
—Tom Purcell is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1972 the U.S. Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment—which stated, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex”—but it failed to be ratified by the requisite majority of 38 states before the deadline.
Today’s read is from Christopher Skeet, writing in the American Thinker. Here’s an excerpt:
Two decades ago, the Catholic Church was called out for tolerating and covering up sexual abuse of children by pedophile priests. And rightfully so.
But the rate of sexual abuse by priests doesn’t exceed the rate of sexual abuse by American males in general. In other words, our kids are in no more danger of being molested by a priest than they are by, let’s say, a plumber or an accountant.
Nowadays, we have an identical scandal in our public schools, the only difference being that teachers are 100 times more likely to sexually abuse children as are priests.
The predators themselves are simply that: predators. They belong in a cage or underground. It’s not our responsibility to persuade them to seek professional help. It’s our responsibility to protect ourselves, our fellow citizens, and especially our children from them.
They don’t believe in parental rights because they consider the nuclear family an oppressive structure. They believe they have exclusive rights to the molding of your child. No law, election result, court decision, or opinion poll will budge them.
Wisconsin voters had a chance to cast ballots in person starting Tuesday in the state’s high-stakes Supreme Court race, the same day the two candidates were meeting for their first and only debate two weeks before election day.
Both candidates were urging their supporters to vote early during the period that runs through April 2. Midday on Tuesday, Republican-backed Dan Kelly and Democratic-supported Janet Protasiewicz were debating in a race to decide majority control of the court with abortion access, legislative redistricting, voting rights and other issues at stake.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court came within one vote of overturning Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020. Whoever wins the April 4 election for a seat vacated by the retirement of a conservative justice will determine majority control of the court for at least the next two years, including leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County judge, is running as a staunch supporter of abortion rights. Wisconsin’s ban on nearly all abortions, which was enacted in 1849 — a year after statehood, is being challenged in court. The case is likely to be decided by the state Supreme Court later this year or next.
Kelly, a former state Supreme Court justice, has long ties to the Republican Party, having previously worked for Republicans, including advising fake electors who met in 2020 to try and cast the state’s electoral votes for Donald Trump even though he lost.
A group of 23 attorneys general led by Wisconsin’s Josh Kaul has penned letter to Kia and Hyundai car manufacturers urging them to more quickly fix the nationwide car theft epidemic plaguing its customers.
Although the move stops short of a lawsuit, the letter is the latest in a mounting series of legal actions and scrutiny circling the two car companies after thieves began exploiting a design flaw three years ago that made certain Kia and Hyundai models vulnerable to theft.
The city of Milwaukee may soon join in those legal actions. Common Council President José Pérez suggested Monday the council could authorize the city attorney to pursue legal action as early as Tuesday.
“It’s our hope that with (attorneys general) from around the country raising their voices, a bipartisan group, that this is going to spur further action,” Kaul said at a press conference at Milwaukee’s Police Administration Building.
In February, the two car companies announced they will provide a free software upgrade for the millions of vehicles they manufactured without an “engine immobilizer” – an anti-theft mechanism.
Kaul said that was a “significant positive development,” but the letter he and 22 other attorneys general signed onto called it “long overdue and still not enough.”
The letter identified three shortcomings of the two car companies: the upgrades will not be available for most of the affected car models until June; the companies have said the upgrade will not be available for some of the affected models but have not identified which those are; and the companies have not committed to providing direct notice to car owners about the upgrade.
The letter also points out that the two companies have arranged for physical anti-theft steering wheel locks to be distributed by local law enforcement agencies. But the letter argues “more needs to be done so that every current owner can obtain one of these devices at no cost as soon as possible – especially those owners whose cars are not compatible with the software upgrade you recently announced.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Barricades were erected on Monday around the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse ahead of an expected indictment of former President Trump over his alleged involvement in a hush-money payment scheme to porn star Stormy Daniels.
According to Politico, NYPD, Secret Service, and court officials also met to plan for the potential indictment.
The 45th president will reportedly be fingerprinted and get his mug shot taken but may not be handcuffed or “perp walked.”
On Saturday, Trump said he expected the indictment on Tuesday and called for protests.
“The far and away leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” he said on Truth Social. “Protest, take our nation back!”
As George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out, the case by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s office is a “made-for-TV” prosecution.
“Although it may be politically popular, the case is legally pathetic,” Turley argued. “Bragg is struggling to twist state laws to effectively prosecute a federal case long ago rejected by the Justice Department against Trump over his payment of ‘hush money’ to former stripper Stormy Daniels.”
The cast of “Ted Lasso” visited the White House on Monday to talk about mental health, but their appearance was upstaged by a reporter airing his grievances about White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre not calling on enough reporters in the room.
Pierre started to address a packed briefing room and introduce actor Jason Sudeikis and the cast of the show, when the reporter said, “Karine, before — before you begin. I would like to request that you call on everyone from across the room.
“You’ve been discriminating against me and discriminating against some people in the briefing room, and I’m saying that this is the U.S. This is not China. This is not Russia,” Simon Ateba, White House correspondent for Today News Africa, complained.
“What you are doing, you are making a mockery of the First Amendment. It’s been seven months. You’ve not called on me. You blow off my messages. I’m saying that that’s not right. That’s not right,” he said.
“No, no, no, no. Nope. That’s not — we’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this,” Jean-Pierre responded.
Other reporters in the briefing room scolded Ateba, yelling, “Decorum,” “Be respectful,” and “You’re being rude.”
“Are you ready? Are we going to behave?” the press secretary asked.
“It’s not about behaving,” Ateba said. “I’m saying that it is to respect the First Amendment.”
Germany’s Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach, who once claimed that COVID-19 vaccination is free of side effects, admitted last week that he was wrong, saying adverse reactions occur at a rate of one in 10,000 doses and can cause “severe disabilities.”
On Aug. 14, 2021, Lauterbach said on Twitter that the vaccines had “no side effects,” further questioning why some Germans refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
During an interview on March 12, Lauterbach was asked by anchor Christian Sievers about the claim he made in the summer of 2021, confronting the health minister with his previous tweet that stated the shots are virtually free of side effects.
Lauterbach responded that the tweet was “misguided” and an “exaggeration” he made at the time, noting that it “did not represent my true position.”
“I’ve always been aware of the numbers and they’ve remained relatively stable … one in 10,000 [are injured],” Lauterbach said. “Some say that it’s a lot, and some say it’s not so many.”
Lauterbach’s remark on vaccine adverse events came after the German network played a segment of several Germans who’ve been seriously injured after getting the shot, including a 17-year-old gymnast who previously competed in the German Artistic Gymnastics Championships before she was hospitalized for more than one year shortly after receiving the second dose of the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“What do you say to those who have been affected [by vaccine injuries]?” Sievers asked Lauterbach.
“What’s happened to these people is absolutely dismaying, and every single case is one too many,” Lauterbach responded. “I honestly feel very sorry for these people. There are severe disabilities, and some of them will be permanent.”
Steve Kirsch, executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, did not agree with Lauterbach, but he commended the health minister for making “progress” when comparing his latest remark to his previous comments regarding the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The true rate of serious adverse events is approximately 100 times greater than the figures Lauterbach cited—’closer to 1 in 100 doses’ and ‘For death, it is ~1 in 1,000 doses,’” Kirsch said on Twitter.
—The Epoch Times
Dollar Tree has pulled eggs from store shelves over prices skyrocketing, the company said.
Egg prices have increased by as much as 60% in the last year, prompting the popular discount store to pull eggs over not being able to make a profit, Reuters reported. The majority of merchandise at Dollar Tree sits at $1.25, though the store also has other items for $3 and $5.
“Our primary price point at Dollar Tree is $1.25. The cost of eggs is currently very high,” company spokesperson Randy Guiler said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Despite the eggs getting pulled, they will likely return to shelves when “costs are more in line with historical levels.”
If you ditched cereal boxes for uniform glass containers and opted for Plexiglas storage bins in your fridge, you may be engaging in classist, racist and sexist behaviors, one Chicago professor contends.
Dr. Jenna Drenten, an associate professor of marketing at Loyola University, argued Tuesday that the recent obsession with organizing kitchen and pantry spaces — a TikTok trend she dubbed “pantry porn” — is pushing societal standards that the average American cannot keep up with while tricking consumers into spending more money.
The “new minimalism” approach is just a thinly veiled excuse to entice people to buy more items — containers, labels and storage space — that give off the decluttered appearance of simple living, Drenten wrote for the Conversation.
“Storing spices in coordinated glass jars and color-coordinating dozens of sprinkles containers may seem trivial. But tidiness is tangled up with status, and messiness is loaded with assumptions about personal responsibility and respectability,” the professor stated.
“Cleanliness has historically been used as a cultural gatekeeping mechanism to reinforce status distinctions based on a vague understanding of ‘niceness’: nice people, with nice yards, in nice houses, make for nice neighborhoods.
“What lies beneath the surface of this anti-messiness, pro-niceness stance is a history of classist, racist and sexist social structures.”
According to Drenten’s research, the social media influencers who push pantry porn are “predominantly white women who demonstrate what it looks like to maintain a ‘nice’ home by creating a new status symbol: the perfectly organized, fully stocked pantry.”
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has already packed a month of madness into a single weekend.
Surprises and upsets defined the first two rounds of tournament play, sending some of college basketball’s biggest names packing – including Kansas, Purdue, Duke, Virginia and Kentucky – as Fairleigh Dickinson beat Purdue and Princeton topped Arizona and Missouri to write two of the top Cinderella stories in recent tournament history.
Amid this flurry of unpredictability, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Could the tournament have a first-time champion?
There has been a recent trend of first-time champions: Virginia did so in 2019 and Baylor in 2021. To find a new member of the national-champion club before that, you’d have to go back to the first of Florida’s back-to-back crowns in 2006.
The odds are rising that a newcomer will join this group early next month. Of the 16 teams still alive in the men’s bracket, 12 have never won it all: No. 1 Alabama, No. 1 Houston, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Xavier, No. 3 Kansas State, No. 3 Gonzaga, No. 4 Tennessee, No. 5 Miami, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 6 Creighton, No. 9 Florida Atlantic and No. 15 Princeton.
Seven teams in the Sweet 16 have never reached the Final Four: Alabama, Xavier, Tennessee, Miami, San Diego State, Creighton and Florida Atlantic.
We should all reconcile with the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci is never going away; too many people idolize the man. He’s become a cult-like figure for the COVID freaks on the Left, the male version of Hillary Clinton. Like herpes, you may not see Fauci daily, but he’ll say ‘hey’ every few years. PBS is doing a documentary about that man who got everything wrong about the coronavirus. In some segments posted on social media, Fauci is walking around DC with Mayor Muriel Bowser, trying to increase vaccine rates among black neighborhoods. They were met with skepticism. From Fox News:
In a clip from the program Fauci and Bowser are shown in June 2021 walking the streets of Ward 8 of Anacostia in southeast D.C. – a historical African-American neighborhood that Fauci called “disenfranchised” with low vaccination levels. At the time of the video, Fauci was the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
One man challenged the renowned doctor and the Democratic mayor by saying that “the people in America are not settled with the information that’s been given to us right now.”
“So, I’m not going to be lining up taking a shot on a vaccination for something that wasn’t clear in the first place,” he said.
He pressed Fauci and Bowser about the length of time it took to develop the vaccine and said, “Nine months is definitely not enough for nobody to be taking no vaccination that you all came up with.”
Bowser defended the vaccine by saying, “The only reason I’m talking to you right now, as close as we are, is that I’ve been vaccinated,” as she stood about six feet from the man on the front porch of his home.
“But if thousands of people like you don’t get vaccinated, you’re going to let this virus continue to percolate in this country and in this world,” Bowser said.
“[Your] campaign is about fear. It’s about inciting fear in people. You all attack people with fear. That’s what this pandemic is. It’s a fear, it’s fear, this pandemic. That’s all it is,” he said as Fauci and Bowser walked away.
Another woman also challenged the duo, saying, “I heard that [the vaccine] doesn’t cure it, and it doesn’t stop you from getting it.”
The pure comedic aspect surfaces when Fauci blames red states for not pushing vaccination, saying they will keep COVID around as new outbreaks occur. Sir, you’re in deep-blue DC, and people are skeptical of getting vaccinated.
The contradictory game he played to keep fear alive, which soon veered into the realm of science fiction, ran its course, and we don’t have to listen to him. That’s the beautiful thing about this country. If you don’t want the vaccine, don’t get it, and Fauci has zero power.
The scientific community treated this virus, which has a 99.8 percent survival rate, as some super Ebola. It wasn’t. They tried to keep fear alive regarding long Covid symptoms; no one cared because it’s not a real threat to the public. They torched their credibility to help Democrats, Joe Biden, and big pharma in 2020. Now, healthy Americans are dying all over the place from cardiac episodes. This spike in those “dying suddenly” from myocardia events in the 18-34 year demographic began two years. I wonder what could have spurred that?
—Matt Vespa, Townhall. The program “Dr. Fauci visits D.C. to battle vaccine hesitancy” airs tonight on PBS.
If you support a school system that won’t teach children to read, do math, learn the simplest events in history, or understand the most ordinary facts about the world we live in, you’re guilty of child abuse.
Maybe not sexual child abuse, but certainly academic child abuse, education child abuse, cultural and intellectual child abuse, cognitive and psychological child abuse. You’re guilty.
Look at the evidence. It’s the size of Texas. To flee from your guilt, you might try to deny the undeniable and believe the unbelievable — for example, that the Education Establishment cares about improving education. That’s funny because it doesn’t care even a little. For the people in that group, education is the enemy. Evidently, they want dumbing down and mediocrity. They have figured out that educated people are harder to control. Why take a chance? Surely, for them, less is more.
Is that difficult to accept? Certainly no more difficult than news such as this: in 23 high schools in West Baltimore in 2019, no graduating senior could pass the basic proficiency test in math or English. That’s crazy. QED: Public school education is collapsing faster than a snowman on Malibu Beach. Some 7,000 Baltimore students will not be able to advance in our economy. They will stay reliant on welfare and will have low self-esteem. That’s bad for the country.
The teachers’ unions and professors of education are guilty of undermining our public schools…and thereby undermining the country. Don’t help these irresponsible people.
If you side with corrupt unions and Marxist professors, you’re guilty of bad faith, of aiding and abetting. You deserve more blame than you’ve gotten so far.
Don’t you think the time has come to clean up this mess? Face the facts, wallow in guilt, plan now for a better future. Otherwise, you’re complicit.
The main thing to confront, to grapple with, is that public schools have been mediocre for many decades. You watched it happen but did nothing. You can look at the government’s official numbers, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and see that progress has flatlined. Why aren’t you demanding better?
Do you know that our country 100 years ago was almost universally literate? An eighth-grade education was probably more education than today’s college students receive. Goals have been set artificially low. You have to use such terms as “sabotage” and “malevolence.” Some powerful people want bad schools.
How do you suppress intelligence in children? Simple. You don’t teach much. Or if you do teach something, you muddle it. You disorient people by talking, for example, about morals and murals without ever defining the terms. Kids don’t know which is what.
There’s too much soft chatter and mushy jargon. We need some hard urgency. Save the schools by any means necessary. Let’s start by shouting the truth: the people in control of the public school are deliberately dumbing them down. Their choices make that clear.
Stop dreaming of a day where our Education Establishment will suddenly become benevolent and efficient. They say your kids are learning to read; it’s a lie. They claim there’s no longer any need for children to know basic information like continents and cities, no longer any need to multiply numbers or anything else you want to mention. Completely wrong. Children should learn these things. That’s what school is there for.
Don’t turn away from what has happened. There is a war against children and knowledge. Maybe we can still win this war.
Instead of conceding everything the commissars demand, start asking a question: why should we agree with that? Aren’t you cheating the kids in school when you take education away from them?
—Bruce Deitrick Price’s new novel is Art and Beauty.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – The U.S. federal prison on San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz Island, which had held some of the most dangerous civilian prisoners—including Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”—was closed this day in 1963.
And in 1980, in one of the most famous cliff-hangers in American television, season 3 of Dallas ended with the shooting of J.R. Ewing (played by Larry Hagman); the phrase “Who shot J.R.?” entered the lexicon of American popular culture.
THIS WEEKLY BLOG POSTED EVERY MONDAY PROMOTES A CULTURE OF LIFEDon’t miss our heartwarming closing story every week!
PRO-LIFE WISCONSIN STRONGLY OPPOSES LEGISLATION WEAKENING STATE ABORTION BAN Call or Email your State Legislators NOW!
On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and State Representative Donna Rozar (R-Marshfield) circulated for co-sponsorship companion legislation (LRB 2151/LRB 2432) that would severely weaken Wisconsin’s current law abortion ban, s. 940.04, by adding exceptions for abortion in the cases of sexual assault, incest, life and health of the mother, and lethal fetal anomaly.
It is incredibly disheartening that legislative Republicans are working to restore abortion to Wisconsin. The co-authors of this egregious legislation include Senators Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R-Appleton) and Jesse James (R-Altoona), and Representatives Amy Binsfeld (R-Sheboygan), Cindi Duchow (Town of Delafield), Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek), Angie Sapik (R-Lake Nebagamon), Ellen Schutt (R-Clinton), and Robin Vos (R-Rochester).
Fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) slammed the door shut on LRB 2151/LRB 2432 within several hours of its announcement, publicly stating that “(t)he bill will not be considered on the floor of the Senate.” We expect Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to continue pushing the legislation in the Wisconsin Assembly.
A vote to add more exceptions to Wisconsin’s abortion ban is a vote to kill more preborn babies. It is that simple. The fact is that legal abortion – the direct, intentional killing of a living preborn human being – is incapable of being justified. It is always and everywhere wrong, regardless of motivation or consequence.
Rape and incest are both criminal acts, and in our system of justice, we punish the criminal. We do not punish the victim, nor do we punish the criminal’s children. Abortion in the case of rape and incest serves only to cover the crimes of the perpetrator, facilitating sexual abuse and the sex trafficking industry. Women deserve better than abortion and all of the physical, emotional, and psychological difficulties that are proven to follow.
Concerning abortion in the case of lethal fetal anomaly, numerous women have brought their babies to term and cherished the brief but precious moments of their child’s life. These cases are heartbreaking. Yet when a mother is able to hold, name, and love her newborn baby, she often experiences bittersweet joy and immense healing. These babies are worthy of our love and protection.
Abortion, the intentional killing of a preborn baby, is never medically necessary to save the life or improve the health of the mother, as outlined by medical experts from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Medical operations such as the removal of an ectopic pregnancy, an anembryonic pregnancy, or a molar pregnancy are moral. Legally, such operations are not considered abortions because they are not intentional killing of a living preborn human being. The removal of such conditions has never been prosecuted in this country. There is, therefore, no need to provide a specific exception for such cases in laws prohibiting abortion.
If one wishes to address the mother’s life in pro-life legislation, there is a moral and effective way to do so. Pro-Life Wisconsin would like to replace the broad and undefined life-of-the-mother exception in s.940.04 with language requiring equal care for both mom and baby, granting the physician immunity if he or she follows the requirement.
With your help, Pro-Life Wisconsin will fight to defeat LRB 2151/LRB 2432.