The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM CST SUNDAY…
WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches.
WHERE…Portions of east central, south central and southeast Wisconsin.
IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Scattered blowing and drifting may be possible Saturday night in early Sunday morning with increasing winds, especially in open areas.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling.
TODAY: Snow showers early will become steadier snow in the afternoon. Snow in the evening will transition to snow showers overnight. High of 22. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected. “F”
SUNDAY: Sunshine and clouds mixed. High of 21. “F”
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.
Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Photo: Carol Grabins of Verona, WI took this in the winter of 2021 at Cave Point County Park in Door County, WI. The photo appears in the latest edition of Our Wisconsin magazine.
“Wintry trees stand as ballet dancers poised to show the world their grace, strength showing in how they remain so still in the seasonal gusts. Now that the leaves have fallen, they are so proud, as if their silvery-brown skin was their glory all along. I lift my head into the wind, eyes open for this softly lit day. Cold is good if you are warm inside, just the same as we love ice in the summer time.“ —Angela Abraham
Winter returned to SE Wisconsin this week. But not with avengeance. It was light. Fresh. Beautiful.
If you listened carefully you could hear the refrain across the entire area.
‘It’s so pretty.’
I’m no fan of this season. But I’m aware the change to this frosty time of the year brings great joy. And there’s music that goes along. That’s our focus this week. Let’s get rolling.
Lots of activities to enjoy outdoors in the winter. For me?
That’s my cup of tea.
However, that’s not our theme.
How about we hit the ice.
With our first selection you probably think Christmas even though technically it’s fitting prior to, at, and after Christmas.
Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee.
The guitarist is Norman Brown.
Interesting take by Brown with his featured guitar. Charlie Brown’s Christmas was the first time that jazz piano was used in animation. Composer Vince Guaraldi used to call himself a “reformed boogie-woogie piano player.” The guitar treatment of one of his classics is a fine diversion.
In 1974 famous R & B group Kool & the Gang recorded an instrumental that appeared in movies and became a regular selection performed in their concerts, “Summer Madness.”
A year later there was a bit of a sequel about the change of seasons that didn’t do as well.
Winter dreariness, the winter blues can be erased in mere seconds.
“The snow comes, white and glistening, erasing the troubles beneath, directing me toward a new and positive day. The coldness only crispens up my resolve to find love today. Perhaps in this swirling perfect whiteness that gives crystalline kisses, the coolness in the air will rejuvenate my soul, elevate my spirit and give me new reasons to step forward with confidence. It might be winter but there is beauty in it, clarity, the kind of thinking that lets me notice small details like how the trees though bare have the promise of spring within them.” —Angela Abraham
“Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.” Unknown
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner
From instrumentalist David Arkenstone…
“Snow brings a special quality with it—the power to stop life as you know it dead in its tracks.” Nancy Hatch Woodward
“…there’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody esle has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special.” Carol Rifka Brunt
In 1941 dance bandleader Claude Thornhill came up with what’s been called a “perfectly constructed composition/arrangement.”
Manhattan Transfer recorded and performed it decades later.
“Snowfall” is a track on Manhattan Transfer’s Christmas album and it’s a gem.
That’s it for this week.
Stay warm this weekend.
One of the greatest classical composers of all time wrote his most memorable works around 1718 -1720.
From their “Play” album this Australian/British string quartet demonstrates that winter can be pretty.
This week marked the anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducting its first class in 1986. Do you know (guess) who the honorees were? There were 10.
Before the answers a twin spin. In 1981 a Dutch pop act had a huge single of a medley of primarily Beatle songs. An album by the group had more medleys. We’ll hear one of the tracks, but first, my favorite member of the following group is on lead vocal…
Who were the first acts to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
There was a bunch.
Chuck Berry (who wrote and recorded “Rock and Roll Music”
Jerry Lee Lewis
Compare to the latest round of honorees at the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, November 5, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California:
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
Today’s read is from Alison Anderson who lives in Del Rio, Texas, with her husband, a Border Patrol agent of 15+ years, and their three young daughters.
The Weight of the Badge
A Border Patrol agent fills out paperwork while detaining a large group of illegal immigrants near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
January 24, 2023 Editor’s note: Some readers may find the following descriptions distressing.
My husband has held and desperately tried to breathe life back into the tiny body of an infant girl found drowned in the Rio Grande—looking into her big beautiful yet empty lifeless eyes and asking her to “Come on baby, breathe for me!” She was the same age as our own daughter at the time. She had later been found to have been brutalized and savagely abused—her body suspected to have been used as payment to cross the river.
It’s experiences like this one that create an immeasurable weight for our Border Patrol agents to carry. Those images don’t ever go away.
Or maybe it’s when agents like my husband are rushing to aid fellow law enforcement officers after hearing “Shots fired! Shots fired!” come over the radio. After a fleeing smuggler wrecks his vehicle and flees on foot, he fires at the officers who were in pursuit. Responding agents quickly send out “I love you” texts to their loved ones, knowing it very well could be their last communication with their families. On Christmas Eve, this was the reality for my family. I was the wife who was anxiously waiting hours before knowing if my husband was alright or not. He was with the K-9, actively searching the brush for the armed smugglers who shot at Texas state troopers, because under this administration there exists an overwhelming and unwavering amount of lawlessness from smugglers and criminal illegal aliens. All this while our agents continue to risk everything every single day.
Or maybe it’s when smuggling vehicles are rolling over at high rates of speed, after our agents have worked their third pursuit for the week, only this one has bodies and limbs scattered in the brush. The first responders can’t count how many people were in the vehicle but are instead left counting body parts. None of them are able to forget the smell of the blood that covered their uniforms that day.
Or maybe it’s finding the remains of a 32-year-old female in the brush. The smell of death only now faintly exists due to how long she’s been exposed to the elements. The agents can’t initially tell that it’s a female, but find an ID in a small crossbody bag near where critters had dragged off some of her lower extremities.
Or maybe it’s finding a 14-year-old girl who has been left for dead in the brush, savagely brutalized by the males in the group she illegally crossed into the United States with. Her face has been beaten to a point that she’s barely recognizable, and she’s left clinging to life, needing to be carried out of the brush.
Or maybe it’s finding a “family unit” with an infant and a 3-year-old, both sick with COVID-19, covered in scabies, and showing signs of heat-related illnesses. When agents ask the “parents,” they say the kids haven’t eaten in days. The children are terrified, sick, and starving, and need emergency hospital treatment—yet no one is charged with child endangerment or neglect.
Or maybe it’s the fact that agents were good enough to throw into the middle of 18,000-plus Haitians under the Del Rio Sector port of entry during a pandemic, with absolutely zero screening or vaccination requirements for contagious illnesses (including COVID-19) among the illegal immigrants. But after many agents contracted COVID-19, they were told to get the jab or get fired. There’s no better way to show your agents you care about their well-being like threatening their careers.
Or maybe it’s the fact that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can mislead endlessly, and even state the “border is secure,” and in the process discredit agents’ accounts of the realities of what’s happening along the southern border, creating such a great disrepute for our agents, at the same time dismantling years of hard work to continue the illusion that there’s no crisis.
Or maybe it’s the fact that there’s a massive fentanyl crisis happening, and, with the immeasurable amount of it pouring over our open border, agents have to be extremely cautious due to the deadly nature of fentanyl and how often they’re coming into contact with it.
Or maybe it’s knowing that even when they get a day in the field, and spend all day cutting for sign in 110 degrees and pushing groups through thick mesquite, sweating clean through their uniforms, with salt stains on their hats and backs, that they’ll later watch as group after group they catch are released and not deported as they should be. While those agents not in the field are left to process endlessly.
What Border Patrol agents have been forced to endure under the policies that this current administration has created to intentionally circumvent our immigration laws is a slap in the face of every single Border Patrol agent, past and present. Agents have been made to appear powerless in the eyes of those breaking our laws. Agents’ reputations and identities have been stolen from them by this administration.
A lot of Border Patrol agents are also combat veterans. My husband is one. These agents aren’t going to just come forward and say, “I want to talk about my feelings.” It’s important to understand that if an agent were to come forward seeking help, and state that they have some type of mental health issue(s), they get put on the “rubber gun squad” and have their law enforcement authority revoked.
It’s heartbreaking to know that some of the most hard-working and selfless agents in our nation can’t even get the basic fundamental help they need and deserve without jeopardizing their careers. Saying to agents that mental health assistance is offered and those agents being able to utilize that assistance without facing humiliation, judgment, or having their law enforcement authority revoked, are two very different things.
Border Patrol families are struggling with watching our beloved agents, our spouses, our brothers and sisters in green, succumb to the darkness that encompasses mental illness while enduring these horrendous, abusive, and demoralizing work conditions.
Our Border Patrol agents deserve better.
Our Border Patrol agents deserve to be allowed to do their jobs, enforce the law, and secure our border.
A proud Border Patrol wife
“The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences,” a special report from 2017 led by the Arizona Republic, won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. An article by the Las Cruces Sun-News, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, was part of the special report.
The Journal Sentinel spoke to more than a dozen current and former physicians, nurses and patients at Columbia St. Mary’s, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from Ascension, and concern about their status in the larger health care community. The Journal Sentinel also reviewed state and federal inspection records, and emails to Ascension Wisconsin employees.
The interviews and documents reveal Columbia St. Mary’s is reeling from staffing challenges that have caught the attention of regulators, and have resulted in disruptions to patient care, long wait times in the emergency department, delayed surgeries and staff concerns about patient safety.
All the while, physicians have been leaving the hospital “in droves,” some lured away by Ascension’s competitors in the Milwaukee area, according to one physician at Columbia St. Mary’s. The Journal Sentinel confirmed a list of more than 20 physicians who have left in the last year or so, though the list is not complete and the reasons for leaving not given.
The exodus of physicians, which includes primary care doctors, cardiologists, obstetrician-gynecologists and others, would be an added blow to the hospital if patients follow them.
Further, medical residents may be less likely to work for Ascension Wisconsin if they perceive instability and problems. “They can’t wait to get out,” the same physician told the Journal Sentinel.
Ascension Wisconsin declined an interview request with its leadership, but responded late Monday to questions sent by email last Thursday to a spokesperson.
“Hospitals across the U.S. are dealing with historic staffing challenges due to ongoing workforce shortages,” the email from director of communications Caryn Kaufman reads. “We are working diligently to mitigate these many challenges through strategies that include staffing bonuses, increased direct hiring, and new retention efforts.”
In its statement, Ascension Wisconsin said it is working to strengthen its workforce by “offering competitive compensation packages,” as well as “flexible staffing options, wellness initiatives and career growth and development opportunities.”
The shortages and departures, first reported by Milwaukee Magazine, have left some hospital workers demoralized and burned out.
“At this point, I’m at my wit’s end,” said one nurse. “I’m at a loss at what I can do in my position to improve the situation for patients.”
Another nurse said, “Every time I pick up (extra) shifts, I feel like I am dangling my nursing license from a fishing line.”
The shortage of nurses is exacerbated by a lack of support staff. Nurses interviewed by the Journal Sentinel said just one certified nursing assistant is routinely assigned to floors with 20 to 30 patients.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A story published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Thursday morning has raised questions about state Supreme Court candidate Judge Jennifer Dorow.
The family of a teen who died from fentanyl poisoning in his University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dorm in 2021 wants more answers from the Dorow family, especially the candidate’s son.
A student at UW-Milwaukee, Reddington was out with friends on the night of Nov. 3, 2021. He took what he thought was a Percocet, but it turned out to be 100% fentanyl.
Police gave Reddington four rounds of Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, but they couldn’t save him.
Spectrum News 1 first shared Reddington’s story nine months ago during a special report about “Fighting Fentanyl” in Wisconsin.
At the time, Reddington’s family said they had a pretty good idea about where the pill that killed him came from. However, it wasn’t until Thursday that those allegations were made public.
Remaining anonymous in a piece written by columnist Daniel Bice, two friends of Reddington told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the weeks leading up to his death Reddington bought prescription pills from Michael Dorow.
Michael Dorow, who is 19 years old, is the son of Waukesha Co. Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow, who is currently running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Reddington’s friends wonder if Michael Dorow gave Reddington the pill that killed him.
Michael Dorow has not been charged with any crime in the case, which is still under investigation by UW-Milwaukee police.
Meanwhile, Judge Jennifer Dorow has spoken out. Her campaign released a statement that called for “decency” in the election and stated that since her children aren’t running for office, they should be off limits.
“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a story this morning that mentions my son and another young man, who died tragically,” the statement read. “My heart aches for his parents. I am very sorry for their loss, and I pray that they somehow find comfort and peace. Every day at work, I see firsthand the devastating effects that illegal drugs have on our community.
“I love my current role as judge, and I’d be honored to be called justice, but the most important title to me will always be mom. Like every mother, I love my children more than anything in this world. I am shocked that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and some of my opponents think it’s ok to use my son for their own political ends.”
According to a Harvard/ Harris 2024 survey, six in ten respondents have doubts regarding Biden’s mental capabilities, with 65 percent believing that the 80-year-old is “too old” to run the country.
Nearly a quarter of those who say Biden is too old, are Democrats, while 87 percent were Republicans and 67 percent were Independents.
The poll also found that 61 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, while the majority, 56 percent, have an unfavorable view of Biden.
37 percent approve of how he has handled the crisis at the southern border, while 62 percent highly disapprove of his take on “fixing” the economy.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the bombshell revelations that multiple classified documents were found in Biden’s possession, American’s approval of the president slipped under the rocks even more.
A Quinnipiac University Poll found that 84 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats think Biden handled the classified documents inappropriately.
It also found that a whopping 71 percent of Americans view the matter as very serious, with 37 percent saying that Biden should face criminal charges.
President Biden claims that Republicans want to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but that’s just “not true,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Thursday.
“President Biden says my party, I, want to gut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s not true. Not even George Santos would make up a whopper like that, and the president knows that. He just believes that — he believes that the federal government is what made this country great. I don’t,” Kennedy told Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
Kennedy was referring to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who was caught lying about his background.
“I think ordinary people doing extraordinary things did, but he thinks that we ought to send all of our freedom and all of our money to Washington and let him make the decision, and so he’s happy to keep spending,” he said.
Kennedy said that Biden “is the only person in the Milky Way who thinks our country is headed in the right direction.”
Most living former presidents and vice presidents are asserting they turned over all materials with classified markings when they left office but won’t say if they will conduct fresh searches after documents with such markings were found at the homes of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
All of former President Barack Obama’s classified records were handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration upon leaving office and the Archives still maintains control of those records, an official with Obama’s office told The Epoch Times via email.
Representatives for former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and the late George H.W. Bush, as well as former Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Al Gore, told CNN that all the classified records from their administrations were also turned over when they left office.
A spokesperson for former Vice President Dick Cheney told the Associated Press that he didn’t take classified materials with him when he left office and that none have been found since.
—The Epoch Times
Continuing to craft a second generation of his policies, former President Donald Trump is proposing a dramatic change in the education sphere that would empower parents to elect and fire school principals.
“Our public schools have been taken over by the Radical Left maniacs,” Trump said in a video announcement released late Thursday night.
Trump said the first step in his plan to “save American education” and restore power to parents would be to cut federal funding for any school or program pushing Critical Race Theory, gender ideology or other “inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content to children.
He also outlined funding preferences and “favorable treatment” for all states and school districts that make the following education reforms:
• Abolish teacher tenure for grades K through 12 and adopt merit pay for high-performing ones.
• Cut the number of school administrators, including the “costly, divisive and unnecessary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion bureaucracy.”
• Adopt a Parental Bill of Rights that includes complete curriculum transparency and a form of universal school choice.
• Implement the direct election of school principals by the parents.
—Just the News
Every couple of years, the Gallup Organization surveys people around the world to see how many are seriously interested in permanently leaving their native countries. In 2011, only 18% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to move. But the most recent data suggests that figure has now surged to 37%.
Gallup also asks an important follow-up question: Where do these potential migrants most want to go? Not surprisingly, the United States tops the list. (Clearly, they haven’t gotten the leftist memo about what a “systemically racist country” America is.)
In all seriousness, this could be a huge problem. There are at least 650 million people living in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean today. If 37% of them decided to come here, that’s 240 million people.
The left insists that if we don’t want millions and millions of migrants “seeking a better life” coming to America then we have to solve “the root causes” of immigration in their own countries.
So, if we want to secure our border we have to spend who knows how much to fix Latin America to potentially stop 240 million people from flooding across our border.
Biden has done nothing to stop five million illegal aliens from crossing our border in the past two years. He’s all in on open borders and amnesty. There seems to be no number large enough that would compel this administration to get serious about border security.
The Newport News School Board in Virginia voted to remove its superintendent following a high-profile incident in which a 6-year-old student shot his teacher.
In a 5-1 vote, the board members ousted George Parker III and named Michele Mitchell as interim superintendent, according to NBC News.
The decision follows claims Wednesday from the injured teacher’s attorney that staff members warned school administrators several times that day that the student was armed and making threats against other students.
Abigail Zwerner, 25, sustained significant injuries on Jan. 6 of this year when the student shot her while she was teaching at Richneck Elementary School. The student shot the teacher once, inflicting wounds to her hand and chest as the bullet flew.
“On that day, over the course of a few hours, three different times – three times – school administration was warned by concerned teachers and employees that the boy had a gun on him at the school and was threatening people,” Zwerner’s lawyer, Diane Toscano, said. “But the administration could not be bothered.”
–Just the News
In 2018, in the midst of the #MeToo movement launched after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Hollywood celebrities eager to show their commitment to the cause donated millions to a new organization called Time’s Up. The organization raked in $22 million.
However, it didn’t take long for Time’s Up to be exposed as little other than a partisan outfit that attacked conservatives such as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh over outrageously fabricated sexual assault allegations, while later running cover for prominent Democrats such as Joe Biden and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, both of whom were more credibly accused of sexual assault.
In Biden’s case, a former Senate staffer named Tara Reade accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Rather than jump to her cause, Time’s Up offered up some half-hearted boilerplate that Reade’s allegations should not “go ignored” before effectively ignoring her. Indeed, it was later revealed that Time’s Up’s public relations firm, SKDKnickerbocker, was led by Anita Dunn, who was one of Biden’s campaign strategists.
Furthermore, Dunn had actually worked on providing “damage control advice” to Weinstein. Well, now time is up for Time’s Up, as the organization notified its board members, many of whom are woke Hollywood celebs, that it “will formally cease its operations by the end of January.” As with so many of the Left’s “philanthropic” causes, in the end it always seems to boil down to little other than a scheme to advance political power.
—The Patriot Post
If your evening routine includes a nightly glass of wine, it might be time to think twice about your nightcap. Increasingly, research now suggests that any amount of alcohol consumption can harm your health, causing increased incidence of cancer, heart disease, and more.
A 2019 study analyzed the absolute cancer risk associated with smoking cigarettes compared with those associated with drinking a single bottle of wine per week. The team behind the study found that drinking a weekly bottle of wine is linked with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1.0 percent in men and 1.4 percent in women. Put another way, the increase in absolute cancer risk for those who drink one bottle of wine per week was equal to smoking five cigarettes per week for men, and ten cigarettes per week for women.
Dating has never been easy, and with the majority of today’s communication taking place online, many singles say it’s becoming even trickier in 2023. When it comes to online dating, a new survey finds singles are leaving nothing to chance. In fact, many Americans think it’s perfectly fine to “stalk” their potential partners online.
The new poll of more than 1,000 singles, commissioned by the Thriving Center of Psychology, reveals that a majority of Americans (56%) say dating is harder now than in previous years. Recently, inflation has taken its toll on finding love. The survey finds 35 percent of respondents have gone on fewer dates because of inflation. Additionally, 26 percent say inflation is driving them to offer to split the bill more on dates — with one in three women now making the offer to pay for dinner.
The reason for recent difficulties in finding love could lie in the modern popularity of dating apps. The survey finds that 67 percent of respondents have used dating apps. Of those, 69 percent don’t like them, and 35 percent do not feel safe using them — including half of women. Moreover, over half of pet owners say the more dates they go on, the more they love their pets instead of humans. Unfortunately, you can’t date your pets.
Overall, three in four survey participants still find it hard to meet potential dates without looking online.
Given the uncertainty that comes with meeting a stranger from a dating app, is it alright to stalk a date online before going out with them? Shockingly, half of Americans (49%) say the answer is yes! In fact, 65 percent of women think it’s socially acceptable to “stalk” their date online. Thirty-eight percent of respondents admit to doing some research on an online date. Three in 10 singles spend over 20 minutes going through their date’s online history looking for juicy details.
However, 18 percent confess to going even further — running a background check on their date.
If his run of tough luck continues, Jay Leno will known as the comedy star who performs his own stunts.
Prepping for his return to the Strip in March, Leno is recovering from a fire in his garage in Los Angeles last November. He suffered second-degree burns over his upper body and part of his face while repairing the fuel line in a 1907 White Steam Car.
That’s the incident we know about. But there’s another mishap, this month, which Leno disclosed in a phone chat Thursday.
Referring to the November fire, I asked, “How are you doing, especially after the accident?”
“It’s so funny you should say that,” said Leno, headlining for Encore Theater for the first time on March 31, his first Vegas show since the November incident. “That was the first accident. OK? Then just last week, I got knocked off my motorcycle. So I’ve got a broken collarbone. I’ve got two broken ribs. I’ve got two cracked kneecaps.”
“Whoa,” I said. “Whoa, Sir.”
“But I’m OK!” Leno said. “I’m OK, I’m working. I’m working this weekend.”
Leno specified the accident happened nine days earlier (or, Jan. 17), again as he was working on a vintage vehicle. He was testing a 1940 Indian motorcycle and noticed the scent of leaking gas (fuel lines have been unkind to Leno recently).
“So I turned down a side street and cut through a parking lot, and unbeknownst to me, some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it,” Leno said. “So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clothesline me and, boom, knocked me off the bike.
“The bike kept going, and you know how that works out.”
Leno said he hadn’t said anything about the accident because of the massive amount of coverage from his November hospitalization and recovery.
—Las Vegas Review -Journal
María Branyas Morera has lived through two world wars, the Spanish civil war, the 1918 flu pandemic and Covid.
Now the California-born woman is the world’s oldest living person.
Branyas, 115, became the eldest known person alive after the death of 118-year-old Lucille Randon, the Guinness world records website confirmed last week. Randon died at her nursing home in the French town of Toulon on 17 January.
Branyas captured global headlines after she survived a bout of Covid in May 2020, when the pandemic made Spain one of the hardest-hit countries before the availability of vaccines. She was believed to be the oldest Covid survivor at one point, before Randon survived contracting the virus herself.
“Order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity and staying away from toxic people” is what Branyas credits with her longevity, according to the Guinness site.
“I think longevity is also about being lucky,” Branyas said, Guinness officials added. “Luck and good genetics.”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – The Paris accord ending the Vietnam War, America’s longest war to that time, was signed this day in 1973, providing for an exchange of prisoners and for the unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam
Today’s read is from Joe Fried, an Ohio-based CPA who has performed and reviewed hundreds of certified financial audits. He is the author of the new book, Debunked? It provides a comprehensive overview of irregularities that affected the 2020 election. Here’s the obligatory tease:
Many people, especially Republicans, oppose the idea of a national standard because they see this it as a “states rights” issue. On the other hand, most Democrats are eager to have a national standard— but their idea of a standard is more like a plan for election organized crime.
The (Dem) proposals are truly scary.
We can no longer allow some states to cheat by allowing non-citizens to votes, or by allowing political operatives to cast votes on behalf of unsuspecting residents.
That is why we need a national baseline of a few essential voting requirements, such as these:
Liberal Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz has outright stated that she believes Scott Walker’s Act 10 collective bargaining law was unconstitutional.
Although judges are forbidden by Wisconsin judicial ethics codes from announcing how they would rule on issues that could come before the state Supreme Court, Protasiewicz, who is running the most overtly partisan Supreme Court campaign in recent Wisconsin history, made her bias explicitly clear in an interview with The New York Times.
Protasiewicz is running against liberal Judge Everett Mitchell and conservatives Jennifer Dorow and Dan Kelly. The two top advance to the April election, which will decide control of the court.
(Reid) Epstein’s story, dated January 25, 2023, reads, “In an interview last week, Judge Protasiewicz argued that abortion should be ‘a woman’s right to choose’; said that Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011 law effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public employees was unconstitutional; and predicted that, if she won, the court would take up a case seeking to invalidate the Republican-drawn state legislative and congressional maps put in place last year.”
Protasiewicz had already prejudged any case of legislative redistricting maps, calling them “rigged.” She has made it clear she supports abortion and thought the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. She went even farther on Act 10.
Charles Geyh, a law professor at Indiana University whose specialty is judicial conduct and ethics, said, according to the Kenosha News, that Protasiewicz “may need to disqualify herself from any case concerning legislative redistricting.”
“A reasonable observer, knowing that she has prejudged the system as ‘rigged’ before the case begins, might reasonably doubt her impartiality,” he told the Kenosha News before her recent comments on Act 10 were reported.
The Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct makes it very clear that judges need to avoid even the appearance of bias. The Ethics code says justices must preserve the “independence of the judiciary” and “may not be swayed by partisan interests.”
The Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct says judicial candidates are prohibited “from making statements that commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court,” according to the Kenosha News article.
The state Supreme Court upheld Walker’s Act 10 in 2014, on a 5-2 decision authored by conservative Justice Michael Gableman. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the decision “found that collective bargaining over a contract with an employer is not a fundamental right for public employees under the constitution. Instead, it’s a benefit that lawmakers can extend or restrict as they see fit.”
—Wisconsin Right Now
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) reportedly has her eyes on a seat in the White House next to former President Trump.
According to former Trump aide Steven Bannon, Greene “sees herself on the shortlist” to be named Trump’s 2024 running mate as he rallies to take over the Oval Office once again.
“This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious- she’s not shy about that, nor should she be… she sees herself on the shortlist for Trump’s VP,” Bannon told NBC News, adding that when Greene “looks in the mirror, she sees a potential president smiling back.”
NBC reported that Greene has rebranded herself as a lawmaker who could potentially bridge the gap between the various factions of the Republican Party.
Although Trump, who announced his candidacy in November shortly after the midterm elections, has yet to name a running mate, an anonymous source said that Greene’s “whole vision is to be vice president.”
The Georgia Republican has stuck by Trump’s side through thick and thin, proving that she would make a loyal member of his team.
On Wednesday, Meta announced that former president Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated in the near future.
The decision comes two years after he was kicked off the platforms for violating their terms of service.
“Two years ago, we took action in what were extreme and highly unusual circumstances,” Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a statement. “We indefinitely suspended then-US President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts following his praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
He explained that while the company’s Oversight Board upheld the decision, they criticized the “open-ended nature” of the ban. In response, a time limit of two years was imposed, at which point the decision was to be re-evaluated.
Earlier this month, Meta conducted an assessment of the risks to public safety posed by potentially bringing Trump back onto the platforms and determined that “the risk has sufficiently receded.”
“As such,” Clegg explained, “we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
“In light of his violations, he now also faces heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol. In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation.”
—The Post Millennial
A Quinnipiac poll released on Dec. 14 showed Trump with a 31% approval rating, a figure lower than at any time during his presidency or since he left office. The poll also indicated that 57% of Americans believed Trump’s new presidential run a bad idea.
Nevertheless, a bevy of polls taken after the new year reveals that Trump has rapidly recovered and is increasing in viability.
A Morning Consult poll conducted Jan. 13-15 showed him leading DeSantis by 17 points — 48% to 31% in a theoretical Republican primary including both men among a selection of other likely candidates.
A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll conducted the following week expanded Trump’s lead over DeSantis to 20 points, with Trump beating the Florida governor 48% to 28% in a field of other likely contenders, and 55% to 45% in a one-on-one match.
An Emerson poll released on Jan. 24 showed Trump extending his lead over DeSantis still further, to 55% to 29% in a multicandidate Republican primary. The same percentage expects that he will be the party’s nominee regardless of the respondent’s personal preference.
Importantly, Emerson also showed Trump defeating Biden 44% to 41%, while the Morning Consult poll taken ten days earlier had Biden up by three points.
Trump seems energized. He promises “MANY GIANT RALLIES” on his Truth Social platform, and may soon return to Twitter, which restored his account after Elon Musk took over.
With the House in Republican hands — and with most of its Never Trumper members gone — congressional investigations of him will cease and be replaced by what may well be damning investigations of the Biden administration.
Meanwhile, DeSantis has remained mum on his future plans and shows no sign of building the national-level campaign infrastructure, grassroots fundraising networks, or personal staff he would need to challenge Trump for the nomination or defeat Biden.
It is still early days, but despite all the reversals, 2024 could be Trump’s to lose.
—Paul du Quenoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University.
On rare occasions, in an unintentional moment of honesty, a man with career political ambitions will tell you exactly what you can expect from him — and Biden did just that shortly after becoming a senator. During the 2008 election, The New York Times observed that Biden’s “weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything.” Recently, I came across a 1974 Biden interview, and it is very revealing.
Some people would describe such moments as gaffes — when a politician says something mind-numbingly stupid in any number of categories, from an unintentional truth to a BIG Lie, from the creepy or inappropriate to the unintelligible. Biden has a rich history across all four types of gaffes, and he knows it. “I am a gaffe machine,” he acknowledged ahead of the 2020 election.
In that PBS interview, Biden, who shamelessly described himself as being “like the token black or the token woman,” lamented the fact that he depends on “people who have money,” and “they always want something.” And over the last 50 years, Biden certainly has proven himself as a “giver.”
He said, “You run the risk of deciding whether or not you’re going to prostitute yourself to give the answer you know they want to hear in order to get funded to run for that office.”
He added: “I went to the big guys for the money. I was ready to prostitute myself in the manner in which I talk about it…” Apparently, the second-oldest profession is akin to the first! He insisted he was able to raise lots of money because he was “a 29-year-old oddball,” and “was able to have a national constituency to run for office because I was 29.”
Biden received funding from 25% of America’s billionaires, while Donald Trump received funding from less than 14% of them.
On top of that, Biden received a LOT of “dark money” despite his assertion that “dark money erodes public trust” and his faux effort to restrict it in campaigns.
And he’s still reaping the benefits — spending our most recent New Year’s Eve at the St. Croix villa of wealthy donors who, in return, were invited to Biden’s first 2023 state dinner.
Biden is not only an outstanding liar, he’s a political whore.
—Mark Alexander, The Patriot Post
Except for Alaska, every one of the 10 markets where consumers pay the highest prices for a gallon of gas was run by a Democrat in 2022, analysis of AAA data released Tuesday reveals.
At a national average of $3.45, the cost of a gallon of Regular gas on Tuesday was:
• Up 2 cents from Monday,
• Up 12 cents from a week earlier,
• Up 35 cents from a month ago, and
• Up 12 cents a year ago.
By region of the country, the nation’s 10 most expensive markets today are:
1. Hawaii ($4.94), Dem. Gov. Joshua Green
2. California ($4.44), Dem. Gov. Gavin Newsom
3. Washington ($4.06), Dem. Gov. Jay Inslee
4. Nevada ($3.95), GOP Gov. Joe Lombardo (GOP replacing Dem.)
5. Alaska ($3.72), GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy
6. Oregon ($3.71), Dem. Gov. Tina Kotek (replacing another Dem.)
7. Pennsylvania ($3.70), Dem. Gov. Josh Shapiro (replacing another Dem.)
8. Colorado ($3.65), Dem. Gov. Jared Polis
9. Washington, D.C. ($3.62) Dem. Mayor Muriel Bowser
10. Illinois ($3.56). Dem. Gov. J.B. Pritzker
Nevada had a Democrat governor in 2022, who was replaced by Republican Joe Lombardo earlier this month. In Alaska, Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy was governor in 2022, and remains so this year.
I happen to be one who believes that the escalating war in Ukraine is entirely Biden’s fault, that the current Ukraine government is completely corrupt, and that the entire thing, which has seen tens of thousands of Ukrainian deaths and the destruction of large swaths of that country, has become a profitable boondoggle for politicians and military contractors. Call me cynical or naïve, but that’s where I am. I also think the whole enterprise has taken on a truly hallucinatory quality, exacerbated by the news today: Putin is negotiating to buy abandoned American weapons from Afghanistan while Biden is sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. We will have armed both sides to the battle.
In August 2021, Biden abruptly ordered American troops to retreat from Afghanistan. Doing so wiped out almost 20 years of the American military effort, both blood and gold, led to the death of 13 American troops and untold numbers of Afghan citizens and saw Biden abandon around $90 billion in American weapons to the Taliban.
Those weapons, which should have been returned home to America as part of our arsenal in our defense, haven’t gone to waste. Some, surely, ended up in the hands of warlords in dangerous places, but it seems that many of them will end…in Putin’s hands.
Vladimir Putin is plotting to grab weapons seized by the Taliban during the US evacuation of Afghanistan, a so-called Kremlin insider claims.
In return, Putin wants US equipment snatched from Afghanistan by the Taliban to be handed over, according to Telegram channel General SVR, which claims to be fed information by a Kremlin insider.
The list of weapons potentially available to Putin is impressive:
It is thought Taliban fighters may have stolen as many as half a million US weapons and up to 50,000 vehicles. Estimates state 22,174 Humvees, 634 M1117s armored cars, 115 Maxx Pros trucks, and 549,118 machine guns, assault rifles and pistols were given over by the US.
We are facing a scenario in which American weapons will be turned on American allies.
Did I mention that Putin has nuclear weapons and, apparently, is terminally ill, something that might lead him to take risks he would once have avoided?
This cannot end well. There’s a surreal quality to a war that carries no benefit to America but that we’re nevertheless arming, especially because it seems we’ll soon be arming both sides of the war. Watching a decrepit fossil like Joe Biden leading us ever closer to Armageddon is one of the most unnerving things that’s happened in my lifetime.
—Andrea Widberg, The American Thinker
An asteroid estimated to be the size of a delivery truck is expected to fly by Earth on Thursday night. It’s one of the closest approaches recorded.
The asteroid, dubbed 2023 BU and about the size of a box truck, has no risk of hitting Earth, NASA said Wednesday. It’s expected to zip 2,200 miles above the southern tip of South America, approximately 10 times closer than some communication satellites.
Even if the asteroid did risk hitting Earth, it would “turn into a fireball and largely disintegrate harmlessly in the atmosphere, with some of the bigger debris potentially falling as small meteorites,” NASA said.
• The asteroid’s closest approach will be at 7:27 p.m. EST.
• It’s estimated to be between 11.5 feet and 28 feet across.
The Rhode Island Department of Health says it was not able “to definitively confirm or refute the presence of Santa” in a young girl’s home after she requested to have a partially eaten cookie and a couple of gnawed-on carrot sticks tested for DNA to see if Santa Claus is real.
The department tweeted on Monday that “we all agree that something magical may be at play.”
The department said it found no complete matches to anyone in the Combined DNA Index System but said there was a partial match “to a 1947 case centered around 34th Street in New York City,” referring to the movie “Miracle on 34th Street.” It said it would need more DNA samples “from other known Santa encounters to make a definitive match.”
The “good news” is that the lab did find the presence of DNA closely matching Rangifer tarandus, known as reindeer, when testing the carrots, the department said.
The girl, a Cumberland resident, had sent the cookie and carrot sticks to the town’s police department to ask if they can be tested for DNA, Chief Matthew Benson said on Friday. Benson forwarded the “evidence” to the state’s Department of Health-Forensic Sciences unit for analysis.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 2020, American basketball player Kobe Bryant—who was considered one of the sport’s greatest players, winning five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers—died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41.
And In 1988 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, a musical version of Gaston Leroux’s melodramatic novel, opened in New York City and went on to become the longest-running show in Broadway history.