TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman addressed the media early Tuesday, Feb. 7 to discuss details about the Milwaukee officer who was shot and killed early Tuesday morning at 14th and Cleveland.

Officers report that around 1:16 a.m., police responded to reports of a robbery. Upon arrival, a struggle with the suspect reportedly ensued with an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the officer, leading to the death of the responding officer as well as the 19-year-old suspect.

The officer has not been identified, but Chief Norman said he had been on the force for four years.

The death of the suspect is still under investigation.

Norman spoke emotionally, “Milwaukee Police Department hearts are heavy. My heart is heavy. One of our finest, who put on that uniform and put on that badge and went into work last night and paid the ultimate sacrifice for protecting our community! Milwaukee, we need your prayers. We need your support.”

He added, “To the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department, I see you. I am proud of you. The work that you do does not go unnoticed, and at this time, our community needs you. This is a time to lean in and do the work that needs to be done in our community. The violence needs to stop! The violence needs to stop! Everyone has a role in community protection.”

Mayor Cavalier Johnson followed by urging the residents of Milwaukee to be engaged if they know of possible suspects to “Heed that call. Make sure you check up on your folks. If they are out there doing dirt, doing bad things, messing around with guns, that you hold them to account so that we don’t see this sort of activity happening in our city. Enough of this. Enough of it.”

The mayor added, “This officer should not be dead. This should not happen.”

—CBS 58, Milwaukee

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson will testify Thursday during a Republican-led hearing of the Congressional subcommittee investigating the alleged weaponization of the government against Republicans.

The Oshkosh Republican plans to speak about the “roadblocks” he faced from government agencies during his investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, that concluded in 2020 while Johnson was the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Johnson’s office told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, former Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently quit the Democratic Party, and former FBI special agent Nicole Parker will also testify during the hearing, according to CNN, which was first to report the developments.

“For years, Senator Johnson has warned the public about the coordination between government agencies, Democrat members of Congress, and the liberal media to suppress and censor the truth,” Johnson spokeswoman Corinne Day said in a statement. “The senator has witnessed firsthand the lengths these entities will go to obstruct and discredit anyone who attempts to provide transparency and facts that run counter to the left-wing agenda.”

She added: “He looks forward to providing his testimony and perspective before the House Select Committee.”

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

All of Milwaukee’s portion of West National Avenue is to eventually undergo major road work that could include cutting the number of traffic lanes in half to help combat reckless driving.

The project will replace the pavement and make other changes to all of West National Avenue within the Milwaukee city limits. That’s 2.6 miles between South First and South 39th streets.

That work could start by late 2025 and will likely take “a couple of years at least,” said City Engineer Kevin Muhs, of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works.

City officials, in a January 2020 announcement, said the National Avenue project would be paid for with $23.3 million in state funds and $1.4 million in matching local funds. But that cost estimate could change, and a final figure isn’t yet available.

West National Avenue within Milwaukee now has four traffic lanes. The road could end up with two lanes under a traffic analysis being conducted by city and state officials, Muhs said.

“We would like it to be one lane in each direction,” he said.

That would slow down traffic on what is one of Milwaukee’s worst streets for car crashes that cause injuries.

Based on the latest traffic analysis, DOT has agreed to narrow the avenue to two lanes east of South 33rd Street, Muhs said. DPW officials are still working to persuade state officials to also narrow the avenue to two lanes between South 33rd Street and South 39th Street, he said.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A majority of Democrats now think one term is plenty for President Joe Biden, despite his insistence that he plans to seek reelection in 2024.

That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that shows just 37% of Democrats say they want him to seek a second term, down from 52% in the weeks before last year’s midterm elections.

While Biden has trumpeted his legislative victories and ability to govern, the poll suggests relatively few U.S. adults give him high marks on either. Follow-up interviews with poll respondents suggest that many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a liability, with people focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger.

“I, honestly, think that he would be too old,” said Sarah Overman, 37, a Democrat who works in education in Raleigh, North Carolina. “We could use someone younger in the office.”

As the president gives his State of the Union address on Tuesday, he has a chance to confront fundamental doubts about his competence to govern. Biden has previously leaned heavily on his track record to say that he’s more than up to the task. When asked if he can handle the office’s responsibilities at his age, the president has often responded as if he’s accepting a dare: “Watch me.”

Overall, 41% approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, the poll shows, similar to ratings at the end of last year. A majority of Democrats still approve of the job Biden is doing as president, yet their appetite for a reelection campaign has slipped despite his electoral track record. Only 22% of U.S. adults overall say he should run again, down from 29% who said so before last year’s midterm elections.

The decline among Democrats saying Biden should run again for president appears concentrated among younger people. Among Democrats age 45 and over, 49% say Biden should run for reelection, nearly as many as the 58% who said that in October. But among those under age 45, 23% now say he should run for reelection, after 45% said that before the midterms.

Already the oldest president in U.S. history, Biden has been dogged by questions about his age as he would be 86 if he serves a full eight years as president.

—Associated Press

Some Democrats are leaking their disdain for Vice President Kamala Harris to the press, with a few political bigwigs arguing openly that Harris is a major liability for 2024.

Harris is struggling to “define her vice presidency. Even her allies are tired of waiting,” the New York Times headlined in an article Monday.

That’s because one of the few issues that some Democrats are in agreement on — whether they’re allies of the vice president or not — is that she is a disappointment at best, the Times reported.

“But the painful reality for Ms. Harris is that in private conversations over the last few months, dozens of Democrats in the White House, on Capitol Hill and around the nation — including some who helped put her on the party’s 2020 ticket — said she had not risen to the challenge of proving herself as a future leader of the party, much less the country.”

Even some Democrats who were supposed to be supporters of Harris “confided privately that they had lost hope in her,” according to the Times.

Democratic fundraiser John Morgan was one of the few voices to speak out on the record against Harris, arguing that her weakness as vice president will be “one of the most hard-hitting arguments against Biden.”

The argument only becomes stronger because of the president’s age, Morgan said.

“It doesn’t take a genius to say, ‘Look, with his age, we have to really think about this,’” he argued.

Morgan also took aim at Harris’ record of achievement as vice president.

“I can’t think of one thing she’s done except stay out of the way and stand beside him at certain ceremonies,” he said.

Harris has gained a reputation for flubbing speeches and speaking vaguely.

—Jeffrey Clark, FOX News

The Biden administration has faced criticism from Republicans over its handling of a Chinese spy balloon that entered U.S. airspace; now Republicans are weighing probing the matter, adding to their list of already pending investigations into the administration.

“NEWS: House Rs are discussing moving a resolution that’d criticize the Biden admin for inaction re. the Chinese surveillance balloon,” Politico reporter Olivia Beavers tweeted Saturday. “My leadership source says if they pull trigger, it’d likely hit the floor Tuesday.” As Beavers points out, the GOP’s announcement of another probe into the Biden administration would fall on Tuesday, the same day as the president’s State of the Union address.

Amid Republicans ostensibly calling for such an investigation, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Saturday that he would “be demanding answers and will hold the admin accountable for this embarrassing display of weakness.”

— Newsmax

The top U.S. general responsible for protecting North American skies said Monday that past incursions by Chinese balloons went undetected by the Pentagon, exposing what he characterized as a worrisome deficiency that must be addressed.

The Defense Department has acknowledged that the craft shot down Saturday off the South Carolina coast after a days-long journey across the U.S. mainland marked at least the fifth time in recent years that Beijing has breached the nation’s airspace using such technology. Officials informed lawmakers over the weekend that, dating back to Donald Trump’s presidency, there had been similar breaches near Texas, Florida, Hawaii and Guam.

“As NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America,” Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, who oversees the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters during a news briefing. “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out.”

—Washington Post

So, someone fell asleep at the switch? That’s probably not what happened, given the highly professionalized state that is our military, but not caring is another matter. Gen. VanHerck added, “It was my assessment that this balloon did not present a physical military threat to North America — this is under my NORAD hat — and therefore, I could not take immediate action because it was not demonstrating hostile act or hostile intent.”

Did he run this up the chain of command? It’s astonishing but it seems Biden, who wanted to shoot down the balloon, would have probably greenlit taking down the device before it hovered over Montana, at least one would hope. There is a slew of lingering questions now, especially since the Biden crew and their allies are peddling the narrative that Chinese spy balloons infiltrated US airspace under Trump. Ex-Trump officials have denied such breaches by Chinese spy devices, but let’s toy around with this for a second. If this were true, then did the brass refuse to update their commander in chief—Trump— on real-time security breaches?

There’s a House Armed Services Committee hearing on this later this morning.


Inflation and the war in Ukraine are top issues Americans told Fox News they would like to hear President Biden address during the State of the Union on Tuesday night.

“I would like you to explain to the American people why eggs are $6 a dozen,” said one man in Nashville. “It isn’t because of the bird flu, it’s because of other issues that your administration has not addressed.”

“I would like to hear him talk a lot about Ukraine, since I think it is so important to us,” said one man in Washington, D.C.

“I would also like to hear his thoughts about how he can work, at all, with the Republican House,” the Washingtonian continued.

Eighty-one percent of Americans see the U.S. as a “dysfunctional family that’s breaking apart,” up 10% from two years ago, according to a Fox News poll.

Meanwhile, ahead of the State of the Union, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said “many, many weeks” have gone into preparing Biden’s remarks.

“This is something that the president truly sees as a moment to speak to the American people,” Jean-Pierre said.

Mike, of Florida, said he probably won’t tune in.

“Nobody in politics pays my bills,” Mike said. “I get up and work every day, and no politician is going to help me out with that. I really don’t have a whole lot of faith in any of them.”

Biden will deliver the State of the Union at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.

—FOX News

Sunday’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards on CBS was a woke, weird mess with a surprising lack of opinions on U.S. politics.

As you may remember, when it came Donald Trump’s presidency, clueless celebrities typically had something negative to say whenever they were given a platform to do it.

But when it comes to President Joe Biden, he seems to get a pass, despite the challenges our country is facing under his administration.

If you watched the show and didn’t know anything about American politics, you wouldn’t even know he was president, as he was not mentioned by name even once.

In contrast, comedian Trevor Noah (who hosted the show for the third year in a row) could not resist the opportunity to make a cheap joke at Trump’s expense within the first 10 minutes of the show.


The death toll surged to more than 5,000 early Tuesday after a powerful, pre-dawn earthquake Monday and series of strong aftershocks collapsed thousands of buildings along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.8 quake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time in the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, about 20 miles from the city of Gaziantep. Scores of aftershocks followed, authorities said. Hours later, a 7.5 magnitude quake struck more than 60 miles away.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said the total number of deaths in Turkey had risen to 3,419, with another 20,534 people injured. That brought the number of people killed to 5,102, with another 1,602 people confirmed dead on the Syrian side of the border. In the country’s rebel-held northwest, groups that operate there said at least 450 people died, with many hundreds injured.

The region was already battered by 12 years of the Syrian civil war and the refugee crisis it has created.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least 11,000 people are injured and he declared seven days of national mourning. Later in the day, he spoke with President Joe Biden, who pledged U.S. assistance. The White House said that included sending two urban search and rescue teams.

An untold number were believed trapped under the rubble of thousands of collapsed buildings, and the injury and death toll was expected to rise as rescue workers dug through the wreckage. Thousands of survivors were left homeless in the cold rain and snow.


Harry Whittington, the man who former Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot while they were hunting quail on a Texas ranch 17 years ago, has died. He was 95.

Whittington died at his home Saturday in Austin, family friend Karl Rove said Monday.

Whittington and others were hunting with Cheney on the sprawling Armstrong Ranch in South Texas on Feb. 11, 2006, when Cheney, while aiming for a bird, struck Whittington, who was 78 at the time. The accident wasn’t publicly reported until the next day when the ranch owner called the local newspaper — the Corpus Christi Caller-Times — and told the paper what had happened.

Whittington was sprayed with birdshot pellets to his face, neck and chest and suffered a minor heart attack due to a pellet near his heart. When he left he hospital about a week after the accident, he said “accidents do and will happen,” and apologized to Cheney, saying he was “deeply sorry for everything” Cheney and his family had to deal with after the incident.

Cheney was criticized for breaking a cardinal rule of hunting — that someone holding a gun should make sure they know what they are firing at before pulling the trigger — and for not immediately going public with what happened.

In an interview with Fox News days after the accident, Cheney said it was “one of the worst days of my life at that moment.”

Cheney said the accident happened after Whittington had stepped out of the hunting party to get a downed bird in deep cover. Cheney said Whittington was dressed properly in orange and the upper part of his body was visible, but that he was standing in a gully with the sun behind him.

“You can’t blame anybody else,” Cheney said. “I’m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.”

—Associated Press

The late-night comedy shows ended 2022 with a unanimously liberal guest count and that trend continued until the very last day of January, a NewsBusters study has revealed.

MRC analysts found that from Labor Day through January 31, liberal guests outnumbered conservative guests 93 to 1. It was 99 percent liberal and/or Democrat. The one exception was My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell who Jimmy Kimmel put on to mock.

The study looked at the daily six late night comedy shows: ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and 2023 temp hosts. Fox’s Gutfeld! was not included.

MRC analysts divided guests into two categories: partisan officials and then journalists and celebrities.

When it came to the count of politicians, the count was 27 Democrats to 0 Republicans. Stephen Colbert led with ten, Noah was second with seven, Meyers was third at four, Fallon came in fourth with three, Kimmel placed fifth at two, and Corden was sixth and last with one.

Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke, and former First Lady Michelle Obama were the guests who appeared multiple times during the length of the study. Obama’s appearance on Colbert was split into multiple episodes and is counted as multiple appearances and was the only guest to appear three times.

As for journalists and celebrities, the results were 66 liberals to 1 conservative. Stephen Colbert was again the most partisan with 21. Trevor Noah and The Daily Show temp hosts came in second at 17 (11 for Noah, 1 for Leslie Jones, 2 for Wanda Sykes, 3 for D.L. Hughley). Meyers and Fallon tied for bronze with ten. Kimmel again placed fifth with seven and Corden was the least partisan with one.


One sibling rivalry will be on full display at Super Bowl 57.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce will face off against his older brother Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles, making NFL history as the first brothers to face off in a Super Bowl.

Ahead of the big game on Sunday, the pair sat down to record an episode of their joint podcast, “New Heights,” with their parents Ed and Donna Kelce as guests, who have had a front row seat to the matchup for decades.

“Who are you talking to first after the game? The winner or the loser?” Travis Kelce asked his dad. “Probably the loser,” he answered.

When asked for the reason why, Ed Kelce said, “Somebody’s gonna feel pretty crummy and I wanna be with him — initially.”

“I will be on the field for you, Travis. Jason will have his family on the field. So, no, I won’t be on the field for Jason,” his mom said.

The parents are making NFL history with both sons on the gridiron for the championship game as a petition has been circulating for Donna to do the coin flip before kickoff.

“There are so many legends and people that have that have their blood, sweat and tears on their field and for a mom that’s never played football — I don’t think that’s the right place for her to be,” she said.

“I think you’re discounting moms right here,” Jason Kelce said.

“I don’t know if I would be a distraction. Would I be a distraction out there for you for you guys?” she asked.

Jason said, simply, “No.”

Internally, she will be beaming with maternal pride on Sunday, saying she rooted for this moment.

“Absolutely. I want both of you guys to get into the Super Bowl,” she said. “Basically what it is, is I really wanted just pure joy. The first two Super Bowls, the ones that you [both] were in. It was like tense. We wanted you to win so badly. It meant so much to get that one under your belt,” Donna Kelce said of Jason Kelce’s 2017 win with the Eagles and Travis’ 2020 win with the Chiefs.

“This one is just going to be pure joy, pure fun,” she said. “How can it get any better than this? It’s going to be — the best day ever. Except for when … both you guys were born, it can’t get any better.”

—ABC News

Courtside seats 166 and 167 at the arena where the Los Angeles Lakers play their home games are pretty much as good as it gets.

The people occupying those chairs when LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record will have an up-close view, with their feet on the very hardwood where the history-making shot happens.

History, in this case, comes with a cost.

On Monday, those seats for Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder could have been had for $75,000 — each. Total price for the two seats with Ticketmaster fees: $181,500. And there’s no guarantee James will even break the record Tuesday; in fact, at his current scoring pace, he would be just shy of the mark when the Thunder game ends.

Which is why those same seats are even pricier Thursday for the Lakers’ next game against the Milwaukee Bucks — the two teams Abdul-Jabbar played for during his Hall of Fame career. For that game: $242,000, including the fees. But history suggests prices will come down; industry experts have long said extravagantly priced tickets rarely fetch the giant number listed.

—Associated Press

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1964, the musical British Invasion began when the Beatles landed in New York City, and two nights later, as Beatlemania stormed America, their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was watched by 73 million viewers.

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