NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Friday, February 24, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


A parking structure at Bayshore mall in Glendale partially collapsed Thursday afternoon, damaging two cars but leading to no apparent injuries.

“We’re fairly confident there is no one in that space,” North Shore Fire Department Chief Robert Whitaker told reporters, as authorities were able to view security video and spoke with owners of the two damaged vehicles.

Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said: “I mean we certainly, certainly dodged a bullet on this one.”

It was 12:15 p.m. when fire department personnel were dispatched to the garage on the corner of West Silver Spring Drive and North Port Washington Road, Whitaker said.

Unclear was whether heavy snow overnight contributed to the collapse but Whitaker said he expected that weather played some role.

Overhead shots of the garage showed that the snow on the parking garage’s third floor had been compressed into one central area, the site of the collapse.

The fire chief indicated that cars may be trapped in the garage for a month or more. A portion of the third floor collapsed “like a pancake” onto the ramp between floors.

“Literally from the third floor down, it is a wide open hole,” he said. “The third floor is in the first floor right now.”

Milwaukee Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Williamson said the piece of concrete that fell from the third floor is approximately 20 feet long and 50 feet wide. He said crews believed the rest of the structure was sound and not compromised by the partial collapse.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee will host the first Republican presidential primary debate in August, according to the Republican National Committee.

The event will coincide with the RNC’s summer meeting.

So far, Milwaukee has been the only city chosen to host a debate. The event will be a precursor to the 2024 Republican National Convention in the city and a chance to bring even more national exposure to Milwaukee.

“The Standing Committee on Presidential Debates has been hard at work over the past two days reviewing RFPs from organizations interested in hosting primary debates,” Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel wrote in a memo obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The memo does not say where in Milwaukee the debate will be held.

Only two major candidates have come forward to announce their candidacy for the Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

The field could eventually include such names as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tony Earl, a Democrat who served one term as Wisconsin’s governor in the 1980s and later bemoaned the increasing partisanship in politics, has died. He was 86.

Earl, a champion of gay rights and a staunch environmentalist, died on Thursday “peacefully surrounded by family,” his daughter Julia Earl texted The Associated Press. Earl had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke earlier this week.

“A formidable leader and public servant, trusted colleague and mentor, and a good and loyal friend, Tony was well-liked and respected by so many,” Gov. Tony Evers said in reaction to his death.

Earl served only one term as governor, from 1983 to 1987, before being beaten by Republican Tommy Thompson who labeled him as “Tony the Taxer” because of tax hikes Earl signed in the opening months of his term. Thompson and Earl were friends for decades, despite their political rivalry.

“We both ran for Governor in 1986, but we didn’t run against each other,” Thompson said in a statement. “We often joked that I thought he should have been a Republican and he was sure I should have been a Democrat. What we both were was Wisconsinites first and foremost.”

Earl’s political career ended after he lost a Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate in 1988 to Herb Kohl, but he went on to become a leading advocate for campaign and election finance reforms and a champion of environmental causes.

“He never lost his ability to be good and nice and was never pompous,” said Jay Heck, the head of lobbying group Common Cause Wisconsin and a personal friend of Earl’s for decades. “That may have been one of his political failings. He was never mean enough to go after people others thought he should go after. … He was beloved by most Democrats and got along very well with Republicans.”

The sour economy proved to be tough for Earl to overcome during his time as governor. The unemployment rate was 12% when he took office. And the $1 billion budget deficit led to Earl’s pushing a tax increase through the Legislature, a move that hung over his tenure and ultimately fueled his defeat in 1986 by Thompson.

“From Day One, I was ‘Tony the Taxer,’” Earl told The Associated Press in 2013.

Earl attempted a comeback two years after losing reelection, running as a progressive Democrat for the U.S. Senate. One of his campaign slogans was, “What this nation needs is more Peace Corps and less Star Wars,” referring to the Republican-backed missile defense system proposed at the time.

But Earl’s campaign got cut off at the knees when Kohl, fresh off of purchasing the Milwaukee Bucks, joined the race late and poured more than $7 million of his own money into winning the Democratic primary and eventually the general election.

Earl never ran for office again. Instead, he set up shop in Madison as an attorney and became an outspoken advocate for good governance reforms.

—Wisconsin AP

Nearly three years since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and woke liberals pushing the need for a mask down people’s throats, Left-wing New York Times finally admits that wearing a face covering did nothing.

The article “The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?” by columnist Bret Stephens dives into studies conducted on the efficacy of masks.

After examining the studies closely, Stephens admitted that no hard evidence proves face coverings help decrease the spread of the virus.

“The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous,” Stephens wrote.

Jefferson, interviewed by journalist Maryanne Demasi, said that masks, not even the infamous N-95 masks, make no difference.

But what about all those “studies” done claiming that wearing a mask will “save lives,” giving politicians the power to mandate one to be in public?

“They were convinced by non-randomized studies, flawed observational studies,” Jefferson replied.

He continued to say that using masks combined with other preventive measures, such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, and air filtration, still makes no difference in how Covid spreads.


Voters are not buying into “woke” racial politics and anti-white attacks from liberals, according to a new survey on the simmering “it’s OK to be white” pushback.

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey shared with (Washington Examiner) Secrets, 72% agreed with the statement, “It’s OK to be white.” Even a majority of black people, 53%, agreed.

What’s more, when asked if voters agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Black people can be racist, too,” 79% agreed, including 66% of black people.

The survey appears to be a blow to the narrative in the liberal media and Hollywood that white people are the only racists and that being white is something people should be ashamed of.

The statement, “It’s OK to be white,” was first pushed on right-wing websites and then picked up in speeches by influencers. It has since been decried as a hate chant by the Anti-Defamation League.

The Rasmussen survey showed that most think nobody has the market on racism and that there is a lot more open-mindedness on the topic than the media would make you believe.

In its analysis, Rasmussen said:

“Fewer Democrats (39%) than Republicans (67%) or the unaffiliated (53%) strongly agree that ‘Black people can be racist, too.’ Still, even among Democrats, only 19% disagree with that statement.”

—Rasmussen Reports

The recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found an unprecedented wave of grief and sadness among teenage girls uncovered a stunning statistic: In 2021, nearly 20 percent said they had been victims of violent sexual behavior. More than one in 10 had been raped, they said.

While women of all ages have long endured a disproportionate number of sex assaults compared to men, a closer look at the CDC data reveals that the number of young girls forced into sex grew by nearly 200,000 in just two years.

The CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior survey is given to more than 17,000 U.S. high school students every other year. Based on the responses in 2019, an estimated 850,000 high school girls reported that they’d been raped. By 2021, that estimate soared to more than 1 million.

The agency’s chief medical officer, Dr. Debra Houry, said she was disheartened by the steep rise, but not surprised.

“Sexual violence has been a pervasive problem among girls for quite some time,” Houry said. “We aren’t making the progress we need to.”

The percentage of boys reporting they’d been raped 2021 has remained the same — 4 percent — since 2011.

While it is known that sexual assaults do occur in schools, most teens spent the majority of 2020 and 2021 at home because of the Covid pandemic.

And home is not always a safe haven for young people.

“A lot of sexual assault and sexual abuse occurs from people known to the youth, whether it be family or close relationships,” said Dr. Willough Jenkins, medical director of emergency and consultation liaison psychiatry at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. “The pandemic did not limit exposure to these people, but rather in some cases increased exposure due to lockdowns at home.”

The pandemic increased teenagers’ vulnerability to violence in other ways, too. Remote schooling tended to leave them isolated from their friends and trusted teachers or coaches with whom they may have been able to seek help or advice.

More than half of women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. The majority happens before age 25, Houry said.

—NBC News

A recent study by LawnStarter ranked 152 of America’s dirtiest cities, with Houston Texas at number one. Five of the top dirtiest cities are led by Democratic governors.

The 2023 study listed Houston, led by Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner, as America’s number one “dirtiest” city. The study considered four categories, including pollution, living conditions, infrastructure, and consumer satisfaction. Houston is ranked third in the nation on pollution, fourth on poor living conditions, 12th on infrastructure and 34th on consumer satisfaction.

Awarded the first place for the dirtiest cities in the U.S. All have Democrat Mayors: Houston, followed by Newark, New Jersey, San Bernardino, California, Detroit, and Jersey City, New Jersey

Critics have claimed that many of these cities these have “woke policies” regarding poor pollution and construction ordinances.

Republican Mayor Robert Dyer has the distinction leading America’s cleanest city. Virginia Beach Florida has held this distinction for 2 years in a row.

—One America News

Dr. Seuss fans might find their hearts growing three sizes this coming holiday season with the release of a sequel to the 1957 classic children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

The new book picks up one year after the original, and like the first, teaches a valuable lesson about the true spirit of the holiday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books announced Thursday.

The sequel entitled “How the Grinch Lost Christmas!” is not based on a newly discovered manuscript by Seuss — whose real name was Theodor Geisel — but was written and illustrated by an author and artist with previous experience in the Dr. Seuss universe.

“One of the most asked questions we receive from Seuss fans of all ages is ’What do you think happened to the Grinch after he stole Christmas?” said Alice Jonaitis, executive editor at Random House Children’s Books, in a statement.

The new book, scheduled for release Sept. 5, is written by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz. Heim has written Seuss-themed books like “If I Ran Your School” and “I Am the Cat in the Hat.” Ruiz has illustrated the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library books for more than two decades.

In the sequel, the Grinch wants to show how much he loves the holiday by winning Who-ville’s Christmas Crown with the most spectacular Christmas tree ever seen, according to Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

But when his plan goes awry, the Grinch turns into his old, cold-hearted self, until his friend Cindy-Lou Who, reminds him that Christmas is not all about winning.

—Associated Press


Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, “No Jail Janet” is now the liberal candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In fact, she was the leading vote-getter in this past Tuesday’s primary election.

The other candidate to make it through the primary was former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. Full disclosure: I appointed Justice Kelly to the high court during my time in office. He understands that justices and judges do not make the law, they merely uphold it.

In contrast, Judge Protasiewicz has repeatedly made statements about her views on abortion, redistricting, and union reforms. Judge Protasiewicz is telling us how she is going to rule on critical cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She wants to impose her radical viewpoint on the rest of us. Instead of the rule of law, she wants to invoke the Rule of Janet.

All of this should be concerning to anyone who cares about justice and freedom. What she has said about redrawing the boundaries of the congressional and legislative districts should raise red flags across the country.

Over the past two years, radical activists have proposed a variety of redistricting maps. The most partisan versions of gerrymandering could force Wisconsin to lose one or even two of the seats held by Republicans in Congress. This could be the difference in 2024 if the House majority is on the line.

This should serve as a wake-up call, as liberals currently have an advantage in the race. The recent headline in the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal says it all, “Liberal Janet Protasiewicz campaign flush with out-of-state money in Wisconsin Supreme Court race.” The huge financial advantage led to Judge Protasiewicz’s win in the primary election. For Mr. Kelly to win, he is going to need some real help.

We must focus on the issue of public safety. As mentioned, “No Jail Janet” has a real problem putting dangerous criminals behind bars.

A career criminal picked up a 15-year-old girl who had fled her group home, took her to a hotel, and raped her. She escaped and called the police.

Prosecutors got the criminal to plead guilty to two felonies that could have put him in prison for up to 35 years. Instead, “No Jail Judy” stayed the rapist’s sentence.

In another case, Judge Protasiewicz let off an offender who was charged with three felonies for having sexual contact with girls aged 7, 8 and 11. Even prosecutors in the soft-on-crime Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office recommended two years of prison and eight years of extended supervision.

Instead, “No Jail Judy” ignored the recommendations and gave the offender probation and credit for the 200 days he had served in jail.

Each of these examples, and many more like them, is evidence of unfitness for the court. When you add her openness to judicial activism, you can see how “No Jail Judy” could join with a new radical majority and force courts across the state to reduced or eliminate cash bail, change sentencing guidelines to favor offenders, and release violent criminals.

“No Jail Judy” can never become a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

—Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019

On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally made it to East Palestine, Ohio — almost three weeks since the train derailment there on February 3 that resulted in chemical contamination of the area. That was only after a huge public backlash to the lack of response by Buttigieg and the Biden team, and former President Donald Trump going to the site. Except for a tweet, Joe Biden hasn’t made any public statement on the disaster. Indeed, he went to Ukraine to give them millions instead and said Ukraine had captured his heart.

Trump came with water and supplies on Wednesday. He bought a ton of McDonald’s for first responders and residents in the area.

Buttigieg came with a hard hat and an attitude, at 7 a.m. in the morning.

Reporters tried to ask him questions but he blew them off and his press secretary got up in their faces. She said she didn’t want to have a conversation on camera for a public appearance with her boss, and that asking that she do so was “aggressive.”

Isn’t answering questions on camera part of the job of a press secretary? Especially when they need to answer up for how badly they have dealt with this. This is like rubbing salt into the wound when they wouldn’t respond.

CNN spoke to some of the residents and it was pretty clear that this is a day late and dollar-short appearance for Buttigieg. There may not be much that he can do to recover any semblance of credibility for the Biden administration in the area.

“What can [Pete Buttigieg] do on the ground today that would actually help you guys?” the residents were asked. “I think that for a lot of people, it’s a little — no matter what happens right now — is gonna seem very late on the federal response, this happened on the third of February,” one responded.

That’s the bottom line: the people in the area don’t believe they care at this point. If they cared they would have responded long before this, and not had to be shamed into it by Trump going there to show them how to respond.

—Nick Arama, RedState

President Joe Biden must fire Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

From the Southwest Airlines computer meltdown, to the Federal Aviation Administration’s unprecedented collapse of air travel (the first time since 9/11 that every plane was grounded), to the total failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Norfolk Southern Rail disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, Buttigieg has proven he is incapable of doing the job.

The woke personnel policies of the Biden administration took the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (a town of 103,000) and placed him in charge of the most complex transportation system in the world. It has been a hopeless mismatch of identity politics and the demands of the real world.

As Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote, “Our government is playing with our lives as it prefers diversity, equity, and inclusion over ensuring the best qualified employees are hired on the basis of racially and gender-blind competitive tests and experience.”

Sen. Marco Rubio was exactly right when he wrote President Biden demanding that Secretary Buttigieg be fired. Sen. Rubio rightfully pointed out that Buttigieg “has repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy” that has demonstrably harmed Americans.

As Rubio wrote, for his entire term, Buttigieg has prioritized putting in place woke social programs and ignored his core duties. He avoided addressing the East Palestine, Ohio, tragedy until he couldn’t anymore.

From my perspective, the East Palestine rail disaster is the final straw.

Fire Buttigieg now!

—Newt Gingrich

“The center pole of the American way of life is freedom, but liberty must be paired with respect for the rule of law or else we will descend into chaos.”—Greg Kelly

It can be quite overwhelming trying to understand all the problems that are currently besetting the United States. In Greg Kelly’s debut book, “Justice for All: How the Left Is Wrong About Law Enforcement,” he helps the reader to understand fully one issue: the cultural and racial issues that have plagued law enforcement in America.

Kelly has the experience to take a firsthand look at law enforcement. His current work is as a Newsmax TV anchor and WABC radio host. He was a Marine pilot, a news reporter, an embedded war correspondent, and a morning talk show host.

Perhaps most interestingly, he’s the son of former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the longest-serving commissioner in NYPD history.

Kelly’s book explores the key myths surrounding law enforcement in the United States:

Myth: The United States “overincarcerates” its population.

Kelly: The United States puts a lot of people in prison, but also has a high crime rate compared to other advanced nations.

The fact is that black criminals are responsible for a much bigger share of crime than you would assume, given the relatively small size of the black population in the United States. There’s no category of crime where blacks are underrepresented, though they are about at par when it comes to pornography offenses.

Myth: Property crimes don’t matter. That isn’t violence.

Kelly: There’s no connection between saving lives, black or white, and destroying property or stealing. It’s not either/or. Yes, life is more valuable than property, but property sustains life. Kelly says “there’s a reason why we call someone’s business or profession their livelihood.”

Kelly quotes Nikole Hannah-Jones, the brains behind what he calls “The New York Times hallucinatory 1619 Project.” When asked to offer her opinion on the ongoing riots, she said, “Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of the life is leached out of his body.” Kelly observes that radicals such as Hannah-Jones think violence is only the killing by police. Not only do leftist radicals not care about property, but they don’t necessarily think it’s bad when people hurt or kill other people—as long as it’s done by the right people.

Myth: Black crime is so high because of poverty.

Kelly: Kelly believes crime has a lot to do with the epidemic of fatherlessness among Black families. The United States leads the world in single-parent households, with the highest rate being among blacks, but the rate is rising among whites, too.

Myth: Antifa is a myth or fantasy cooked up by hardline conservatives overdosing on cable news coverage.

Kelly: America used to have a lot of anarchists roaming around throwing bombs and killing people. In 1901, a crazed anarchist even killed President William McKinley. The difference between the anarchist mayhem of the past and what we see today is that past political officials and members of the press didn’t deny the terror seen.

Myth: Black people are routinely murdered by the police. The police are corrupt and immoral and need to be defunded.

Kelly: This statistic is not true. The main purpose of the “defund the police” movement is not really to eliminate police; it’s just to change who the police are and whom they answer to. Progressives don’t like the idea that police aren’t under their control.

At the end of his book, Kelly has a picture of a tourist snapping a photo of an NYPD officer gifting a homeless man a pair of boots on a cold day. Kelly says that “this image exemplifies the spirit of service that animates police work.”

— Linda Wiegenfeld, The Epoch Times

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1975 U.S. Daylight saving time commenced two months early in response to the energy crisis.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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