NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Much of Wisconsin is forecasted to have a “long duration snow event” from Tuesday through Thursday, according to Taylor Patterson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

The snow will transition into mixed precipitation in southern parts of the state, including the Milwaukee area, on Wednesday, but will turn back into snow again Wednesday night into Thursday.

Here’s what we know so far.

When and where will the snow start?

The snow is expected to start statewide Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, Patterson said. It will move in from west to east.

How long will it snow?

Snowfall will be ongoing through Thursday in central and northern Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, a low-pressure system will move in from the south, which will bring another push of moisture and warmer temperatures. This will cause the snow to transition into mixed precipitation in southern Wisconsin, from around Sauk, Columbia, Dodge and Ozaukee counties and south, Patterson said.

The weather service is working on pinning down exact precipitation types, Patterson said, but freezing rain is a possibility.

Wednesday night into Thursday, temperatures will start to cool again, and the mixed precipitation will turn back into snow.

Too early to tell snow total amounts, but Wednesday night is expected to have the highest rates of precipitation

“There’s still a lot in play here as far as exact amounts and totals,” Patterson said.

The highest rates of snowfall or mixed precipitation are expected to occur on Wednesday night, she said.

When will the snow stop?

The snow is expected to taper off Thursday, according to Rebecca Hansen, meteorologist for the NWS in Sullivan.

–Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Wisconsin judge on Monday ruled that two Republican-backed measures can appear on the April ballot over the objections of criminal justice advocates who said elections officials had missed the state deadline.

One of the measures would add an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would make it harder for people accused of violent crimes to get out of jail on bail. The other is a non-binding advisory referendum that asks voters if they believe that able-bodied, childless welfare recipients should be required to look for work.

Dane County Circuit Judge Rhonda Lanford said the groups bringing the lawsuit had not met legal requirements for a court to intervene. If the decision is not overturned by a higher court, the ballot measures will go before voters on April 4.

The Republican-controlled Legislature hurried to approve the measures last month in what Democrats criticized as a ploy to boost conservative turnout for a pivotal state Supreme Court race. The April election will determine ideological control of Wisconsin’s highest court, which could have the final say on lawsuits challenging the state’s abortion ban and legislative maps that favor Republicans.

State law requires ballot questions to be “filed with the official or agency responsible for preparing the ballots” at least 70 days before the election, making the deadline Jan. 25. The Legislature sent the measures to the Wisconsin Election Commission on Jan. 19, but the commission did not file the measures with county election officials until Jan. 26.

Republicans have worked for years to enact the bail amendment. The Legislature approved it last year and again this year with bipartisan support. Constitutional amendments must pass the Legislature in two consecutive sessions before being put on the ballot.

Under the amendment, judges would be allowed to consider a defendant’s risk to public safety, including their criminal history, when setting bail. Currently, cash bail is set only as a means to ensure a defendant appears in court. Democratic opponents have argued the amendment could create further inequity in the criminal justice system by allowing wealthy defendants to more easily get out of jail.

—Wisconsin AP

A sanitation company based in Kieler, Wisconsin, paid over $1 million in fines after getting caught illegally employing over 100 children to work in dangerous jobs, a federal investigation found.

Packers Sanitation Services Inc. LTD (PSSI), one of the nation’s largest food sanitation services, placed 102 children between 13 to 17 years old in hazardous occupations, including cleaning dangerous equipment at meatpacking plants, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division.

Federal investigators found that — in addition to cleaning meat processing equipment, including back saws, brisket saws and head splitters — children worked with hazardous chemicals and were employed in overnight shifts at 13 meat processing facilities in eight U.S. states.

Adult employees charged with supervising the minor workers at PSSI “tried to derail [DOL] efforts to investigate their employment practices,” according to Wage and Hour regional administrator Michael Lazzeri.

At least three children employed by PSSI under these conditions suffered injuries, according to the DOL. PSSI was fined the maximum civil money penalty, $15,138, for each child employed in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The company paid $1.5 million on Feb. 16, according to the Labor Department.

“The Department of Labor has made it absolutely clear that violations of child labor laws will not be tolerated,” Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda said. “No child should ever be subjected to the conditions found in this investigation.”

—The Daily Caller

Presidential historian and New York Times best-selling author Craig Shirley says Joe Biden is on track to become the nation’s worst president in history.

“I ranked him among our five worst presidents in American history,” Shirley said on the Monday edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show.

That ranking was based off of a piece that Shirley wrote one year into Joe Biden’s presidency. Shirley said that now that it’s been two years since the president took office, he’s going to update the ranking.

“He’s actually going to become the worst president in American history,” Shirley said.

The 46th president has been getting a lot of backlash lately for inflation, the economy and unpopular foreign policy decisions.

Most recently, he got backlash for choosing to go to Ukraine instead of going to East Palestine, Ohio where people are dealing with the aftermath of the train derailment, resulting in toxic chemicals affecting the community.

Shirley, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan, accused Biden of trying to destroy American exceptionalism.

“Everything he does seems to be about destroying American exceptionalism, the American experiment and the American creed,” he stated. “I’ve come to the conclusion he’s doing it on purpose.”

—Just the News

A man arrested Monday in the weekend killing of a Catholic bishop that shocked Los Angeles religious and immigrant communities is the husband of the victim’s housekeeper and had done work at his home, authorities said.”

Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, 69, was fatally shot Saturday in the bedroom of his home in Hacienda Heights, an unincorporated community about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

A SWAT team arrested Carlos Medina, the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper, at their home in Torrance, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southwest of Hacienda Heights, Luna said.

The sheriff said detectives first linked Medina to the crime after finding surveillance video that showed his SUV in the driveway of O’Connell’s home at the time of the killing.

A caller told authorities that Medina, 65, was acting irrationally and had made comments about O’Connell “owing him money,” Luna said, adding that a motive in the killing remains under investigation.

He said detectives found no evidence of forced entry at the archdiocese-owned home and that Medina’s wife was cooperating with detectives. Detectives recovered weapons at Medina’s home and ballistic tests are pending, Luna said.

—Associated Press

Senator Bernie Sanders, the “independent” from Vermont who’s made a name for himself as an outspoken and hypocritical opponent of capitalism, is once again hitting the road to hawk his latest book — which is not free — at a series of in-person events — which are also not free.

Sanders was pressed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday about the dissonance between his stated opposition to supposedly evil capitalism and his book tour’s use of Ticketmaster to sell tickets at his events — for as much as $95 per ticket according to host Margaret Brennan — publicizing his newest book titled “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.”

Sanders claims that such business relationship decisions are made “totally” by his publisher — but isn’t that just another capitalist success story that he’s supposedly “angry” about?

Sure enough. A cursory review of Sanders’ upcoming events shows tickets from Ticketmaster ranging between $45 and $95 a pop and going closer to $115 with fees levied by Ticketmaster.

Clearly, he’s not actually that angry about capitalism — otherwise he’d probably not be enriching Ticketmaster by forcing his supporters to pay exorbitant fees to the company that has what sure seems to be a monopoly on ticket sales in America.

While Sanders said he’s not particularly happy about doing business with Ticketmaster, he wasn’t forced to sell his book to a publisher whose goal is to make money off of Sanders’ book. That’s capitalism, the thing Sanders doesn’t like.

If Sanders was serious, while claiming to not make a cent from such things, he could have self-published — seized the means of producing books, perhaps — and published his manuscript online for all to read for free. That would have actually circumvented, still not entirely though, the capitalist enterprises he demonizes and claims to stand against.

But, like most other liberal hypocrites, Americans are supposed to do as Sanders says — not as he does.


A 2016 Johns Hopkins study found more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year from medical errors, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

Another study reported higher figures and estimated numbers of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients at more than 400,000 per year.

This actual number could be larger still. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2012 that 86 percent of all hospital bedside mistakes are not reported because they were events “that staff did not perceive as reportable (61 percent) or as events that staff commonly report but did not report in this case (25 percent).”

More recently a report from the National Healthcare Safety Network published by Cambridge University Press in September 2021 found significant increases in the leading preventable causes of hospital death during the pandemic. For example, central line-associated bloodstream infections increased 97–148 percent in reported hospitals in several states in quarter three of 2020 compared to quarter three of 2019.

In 2016 authors of the Johns Hopkins study appealed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change how it collects data from death certificates to capture medical errors. As of 2022, the CDC still does not include medical errors as a cause of death in the national health statistics report.

Because medical errors are not “counted” as a leading cause of death, they aren’t getting the public health investment or attention they merit, experts say.

—The Epoch Times


One million, two million, 5.6 million. After a while, they’re just numbers.

Amid the outrage over Joe Biden’s deadly serious and fully intentional border catastrophe, we often get caught up in the sheer magnitude of the number of mostly unskilled illegal immigrants who have poured into our country since this president took office.

And let’s not forget the estimated 1.1 million “gotaways” who have escaped past the Border Patrol and into our country.

One number that’s much harder to quantify, though, is every bit as shocking: the monetary cost. Indeed, when was the last time you heard someone put a dollar amount on the cost that illegal immigration puts on the American taxpayer? The constant refrain from the open-borders crowd — that these poor souls are merely coming here to seek a better life — is meant to distract us from just that discussion. The Biden administration doesn’t want us talking about what The Heritage Foundation’s Erin Dwinell calls “the enormous toll on Americans that comes in the form of higher taxes, overloaded emergency rooms, increased crime in their communities, and overcrowded classrooms for their children.”

Thanks to Joe Biden, every state is now a border state. That’s because this administration is packing up and sending illegals all over the country, to every congressional district in the 50 states. As Dwinell continues: “Border communities have long been overwhelmed under these policies. The crisis now costs California $21.76 billion and Texas $8.88 billion annually in education, health care, law enforcement and criminal justice system costs, welfare expenditures, and more.” And on and on it goes.

—Douglas Andrews, The Patriot Post

What’s so enduringly remarkable about George Washington — whose birthday we celebrate this Wednesday — is that the undisputed leader of the American Revolution decided to not be an undisputed leader.

After overthrowing British control, Washington handed the fledgling country over to Constitutional republicans rather than taking a crown for himself.

He overthrew one system and created a better one.

Alas this is a lesson that, almost 250 years later, many ungrateful beneficiaries of Washington’s leadership have not learned.

We live in a time of broad institutional decay, as confidence in American institutions have reached all-time lows: government, news media, organized religion, higher education and on and on.

The only traditional institution that had enjoyed broad, bipartisan support was the military, but woke ideology has ended that. And the imagery of our military surrendering to the Taliban isn’t exactly Washington crossing the Delaware.

Only one institution enjoys overwhelming support, the one we all use every waking minute of the day: the Internet. This new institution has exposed the shortcomings of every other one, plunging us into a new era of destabilization and reform. Some of this is good — like sending Hollywood icon (and lifelong Democrat) Harvey Weinstein to jail — but most of it is bad.

See a society needs institutions to function. The police absolutely shouldn’t take innocent lives, but the deluge of social media content undermining the police has resulted in thousands of otherwise avoidable murders. So-called progressives have trained a generation to tear the system down, with no plan for a better one.

Implementing solutions is difficult. Causing mayhem is easy.

Now, there was no social media when President Bill Clinton created a program to save the treasured spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. That’s probably good for Clinton, because there’s no picture of him, some forest rangers, and a terrified owl prop to run with articles about all the owls this program has murdered.

And while Washington couldn’t have possibly foreseen the Internet, he did foresee his newly one democracy plunging into chaos when he wrote, “If the laws are to be so trampled upon with impunity, and a minority is to dictate to the majority, there is an end put at one stroke to republican government, and nothing but anarchy and confusion is to be expected thereafter.”

Happy birthday, General. Sorry about everything.

—Jared Whitley is a longtime D.C. and Utah politico and award-winning political writer, having worked in the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Bush White House and the defense industry

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1885 the Washington Monument was dedicated on the grounds of the Mall in Washington, D.C.

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