TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Monday, January 23, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F

Tax season has officially begun.

Monday marks the first day the Internal Revenue Service will accept and process tax returns. If you’ve already completed your return either using tax software or working with a tax professional, the IRS will now be able to review your return.

The IRS said more than 168 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed this year “with the vast majority of those coming before the April 18 tax deadline.”

If your return contains no errors or red flags, your refund should be delivered within 21 days if you file electronically and opt to have the money directly deposited in your bank account, the IRS said. But it could take longer if the debt ceiling isn’t raised soon.

Taxes are due by April 18 since April 15 falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in Washington, D.C., is April 17.

Your employer is required to send you a W-2 by Jan. 31.

—USA TODAY

The man suspected of killing 10 people in a shooting barrage amid Lunar New Year festivities in Southern California shot himself to death in his van as law enforcement agents approached Sunday, authorities said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as Huu Can Tran, 72, during a news conference Sunday. Luna said Tran’s white van was spotted in Torrance, California, about 22 miles from the site of Saturday night’s attack at a Monterey Park dance studio.

When the officers got off their patrol car around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, they heard a gunshot from the van and called for help, Luna said.

“At 12:52 p.m., our sheriff’s SWAT team approached and cleared the van and determined the suspect sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene,” Luna said. “Investigators conducted a search of the vehicle and determined the male inside the van was the mass shooting suspect.’’

Luna said the van matched the description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene of a thwarted attack in Alhambra, California, close to where the Monterey Park mass shooting took place. He added there are no other suspects under consideration and the motive for the attack is still unclear.

—USA TODAY

Tony Dungy, who coached the Indianapolis Colts to a victory in Super Bowl XLI in 2007 and is now a football analyst for NBC, spoke at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Friday and said that the march was more important than the ongoing NFL playoffs.

“It is great to be here,” Dungy said. “Can’t tell you how much excitement [my wife] Lauren and I have to be here today–even though this march is taking place right at the biggest time of my profession, the NFL Playoffs. This is way, way, way more important.”

Dungy then went on to reflect on what happened when Buffalo Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after making a tackle during the Jan. 3 NFL Monday Night Football game.

“It is amazing me that God actually used football to shine some light on the subject of life for all of us,” Dungy told the crowd assembled on the Washington Mall for the March for Life.

“Three weeks ago, during a game in Cincinnati, something happened that impacted our entire country,” Dungy said. “A young man named Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills made a routine tackle and his heart stopped beating right on the field. It could have been tragic, but something miraculous happened. The team medical staff rushed out and they got Damar’s heart started again.

“But you know what, that wasn’t the miracle,” said Dungy. “The real miracle was the reaction to everyone to that. The announcers on the broadcast, what did they say? All we can do is pray. And all across the country, people started praying. Lauren and I, we were having dinner with friends of ours, and we stopped what we were doing and we prayed right there.”

—CNS News

The media’s “startling” change in the last week when it comes to coverage of President Joe Biden’s classified documents case shows they don’t want him to run again in 2024, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

“I think if you watch the news cycle, there’s a startling difference in the last week or two, particularly over the classified documents and perhaps over some of the corruption charges with Hunter Biden,” Paul said on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle.

“They’ve been steadfast in ignoring this, you know, for years and really not reporting on it at all,” he added.

The documents controversy has brought up competence and transparency concerns regarding Biden’s administration. This has led the White House to go on the offensive as the president tries to underscore his record before potentially launching a 2024 reelection campaign.

Paul explained that the fact that the media are reporting on it so heavily now, and not necessarily in a good light, indicates that even the Democrats and those in the legacy media are ready to look elsewhere for a candidate to represent them in the next presidential election.

“If I had to guess … if we were in the boardroom of some of these left-wing media outlets, what we’d be hearing is, ‘it’s time to sort of ease him out,’ make sure that he knows that he can’t run again, in case he’s rumbling that he might run again,” Paul told host Laura Ingraham.

—Washington Examiner

A bipartisan group of legislators is reviving a bill that would eliminate charging minors for prostitution by clarifying children cannot legally consent to sex with an adult.

Lawmakers are hoping that by codifying any child under the age of 18 will not be prosecuted, they will be encouraged to come forward as victims and report their abusers.

“We need to treat these kids as sexual assault victims,” said Sen. Jesse James, R-Altoona, who is a police officer in the Village of Cadott. “Otherwise we are feeding the narrative of the sex trafficker that they are the only ones who can protect them.”

The “safe harbor” bill was introduced in 2017 and again in 2019 and 2021, but has never gained approval by the full Legislature. Thirty other states and Washington D.C. have enacted similar legislation.

The new legislation is being sponsored by James, Rep. Jill Billings, D-LaCrosse, and Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay.

Billings has been working on the legislation since the beginning. This time, she’s cautiously optimistic there is legislative support but said with the turnover of the Legislature, there needs to be reeducation on the issue.

“Many people don’t understand the face of human trafficking,” Billings said.

Some elected officials have raised concerns passage of safe harbor legislation would legalize prostitution. Politifact has investigated such claims and given them a “Pants on Fire” rating.

Others have suggested the best thing to do is arrest children and have them work off the crime, Billings said.

“Children who are trafficked are dealing with sexual trauma and sometimes drug abuse,” Billings said. “I argue there is no other crime where we charge an individual who has the abuse rendered against them.”

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Biden and the White House communications team claim that they’re not going to address any of these questions (classified docs) because they don’t want to disrupt the work of the Justice Department or the work of the special counsel’s office.

At the same time, they claim they did absolutely nothing wrong and that everything is on the up and up and there was no mishandling of classified documents.

But let’s play this out logically, shall we?

If Joe Biden did absolutely nothing wrong, why does he have to read a prepared statement from his lawyers?

If Joe Biden did absolutely nothing wrong, why is he resistant to answering questions?

If Joe Biden did absolutely nothing wrong, why is his press secretary deflecting every benign innocuous question about the matter?

If Joe Biden did absolutely nothing wrong, why doesn’t he hold an open-ended press conference fielding every single question that any reporter might have about the matter?

If Joe Biden has the truth on his side, why should he be hesitant to answer every question any of us might have?

—Washington DC talk show host Larry O’Connor

Martin Luther King. Jr week produced some cringeworthy remarks from Biden when it comes to policing, notably how we need to retrain cops on the use of deadly force, transitioning away from “shoot to kill” to “shoot to stop”—whatever that means. That’s not going to happen. Also, it puts the lives of everyone in danger.

There’s a reason why police aim center mass when they do need to draw their service weapons: it’s the largest part of the body. Aiming for the leg or the arms can lead to collateral damage. Innocent bystanders would be put in danger if police targeted some of the narrowest parts of the human body, especially if there’s running and all sorts of movement, which reduce accuracy immensely.

Most in media have never experienced a police simulator—and they should. It gives you some of the dangerous situations police put themselves in and harrowing situations where you could be forced to shoot a young child aiming a gun at you.

Bodycam footage from past officer-involved shootings shows that what started as a peaceful situation devolves into bedlam. Some of the most cooperative people sometimes turn on a dime and can pull a gun. The average person armed with a knife, or any object, can cover 21 feet in roughly 1.5 seconds. That’s not a lot of wiggle room regarding reaction time.

The same people who have screwed around with cash bail and unleashed a deluge of violent crime want to be the ones who retrain cops on how to get themselves killed in the line of duty. Keep them away, and especially keep dementia man away from those conversations.

—Matt Vespa, Townhall

A cultural counter-offensive is gaining steam that, if successful, could halt the transgender juggernaut.

The public health sectors in the United Kingdom, France, Finland, and Sweden—not exactly Bible-belt countries—have published new directives urging “great caution” in blocking the puberties of children or performing body-altering surgeries precisely because of the paucity of good scientific information and the potential for serious harm.

The transgender movement has been propelled by stories of children celebrating their surgeries and worries about suicides. Now, young people who transitioned are increasingly returning to their born sex, a process known as “de-transitioning.” Their stories are often tragic and compelling.

Cases are being threatened or filed (by trial lawyers). If trial lawyers smell the scent of money, they could swarm the transgender medical community the way litigators did the tobacco and asbestos industries.

Conservative states have started enacting laws to protect children from being propagandized by transgender ideology and having medical and surgical transitions. Several states have banned biological boys competing against girls in sports. Some have required people to use the public restroom of their biological sex. Arkansas, Alabama, and Arizona have outlawed medical and surgical transitions in youth, with more such laws likely on the way.

Gender ideology is one of the direst cultural threats Western society faces. Not only are the bodies and minds of precious people—particularly children—at risk, but if all that matters ultimately are feelings, if we cast objective truth aside to accommodate deeply held personal desires, then the stability of civilization itself is at material risk.

The time has come for an intense but mutually respectful societal conversation that focuses not only on the causes of transgenderism and the potential benefits of transitioning such people, but also the many risks and alternatives that can care compassionately for suffering people while maintaining cultural equilibrium.

—Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy maligned the mysterious leaker of the draft court ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson case that overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday, after a months-long investigation, that it had been unable to identify who leaked the draft opinion indicating that the justices would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The leak prompted outrage among pro-abortion groups and even led to an assassination attempt on Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Kennedy decried the leaker, portraying them as believing their personal views trumped constitutional order.

“Here’s my message to the leaker. Congratulations, butthead. You almost got a member of the United States Supreme Court killed and his family,” he said.

“What a narcissist. You obviously think your personal politics are more important than that, the sanctity of the United States Supreme Court.”

“I don’t mean any disrespect to the chief justice. I was disappointed in his report,” he went on. “I think this is the chief justice’s way of saying we’re not going to find out who the leaker is. And if we do now, we’re not going to tell you. We will move on. I think that’s a mistake.”

—Just the News

Ten days after her death, friends, family and fans of Lisa Marie Presley gathered at Elvis Presley’s home Graceland to pay tribute to the daughter of the rock ‘n’ roll legend. Lisa Marie had long been a living link to Elvis for devoted fans of The King, who doted on his only child.

On the same lawn where earlier this month Lisa Marie performed a ceremonial cake cutting to mark what would have been her father’s 88th birthday, hundreds came together to say goodbye to her.

Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, 77, spoke briefly at the Sunday morning service. Holding back tears, she read some words prepared by one of Lisa Marie’s three surviving children.

“I have no idea how to put my mother into words,” Priscilla read. “Truth is, there are too many. Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world.”

She also shared thanks from the family for all the support in the wake of her daughter’s death.

“Our heart is broken, Lisa. We all love you,” Priscilla said.

Lisa Marie, 54, herself a singer, died Jan. 12 after an apparent cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California.

—USA TODAY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1986, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducted its first class, which included Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Elvis Presley.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says 'LONG LIVE ROCK'

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s