NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F


Janet Protasiewicz has a major early spending lead over Dan Kelly in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, according to media tracking firm Medium Buying.

By early Monday afternoon, liberals had reserved over $7 million in ads between the primary and April 4 general election to boost Protasiewicz’s Wisconsin Supreme Court bid.

Between the primary and Monday, conservatives hadn’t run television ads to boost Kelly. But Fair Courts America, a group funded by GOP donor Richard Uihlein, committed to spending $866,000 on ads on Monday, according to Medium Buying.

Conservatives will almost certainly spend millions more to support Kelly, a former state Supreme Court justice. But at this point, Protasiewicz has more than a 7-to-1 ad spending advantage over Kelly in the general election.

The Protasiewicz (pronounced “pro-tuh-SAY-witz”) campaign committed to spending $6.5 million in ads, a spokesperson said, and A Better Wisconsin Together Political Fund committed to more than $500,000, according to Medium Buying.

Conservatives already have more work to do than liberals to unify their partisan camp, UW-Madison political science professor Barry Burden said, citing the scrappy primary dynamic between Kelly and fellow conservative Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow.

Combined with the ongoing need to unify, “being behind the eight ball on spending compared to Protasiewicz just puts them at a deeper disadvantage, and that has to be rectified pretty quickly if they’re going to be competitive,” Burden said.

—WI State Journal

Homicide clearance rates have decreased to their lowest level from 71 per cent in 1980 to around 50 per cent in 2020, according to analyses of FBI data by the Marshall Project and Murder Accountability Project.

America is now at risk of becoming the first developed nation where the majority of murders go uncleared, according to Thomas Hargrove, founder of the Murder Accountability Project, which tracks unsolved homicides in the US.

Although US police have solved more murders than in any year since 1997, because of the increasing number of homicides, the clearance rate has dramatically declined to a little below 50%.

Clearance rates are the metric used to determine how many homicides police solved according to FBI reports.

This comes after a substantial surge in homicides in some of America’s biggest cities, including Kansas City when it saw 15 murders for every 100,000 people in 2022.

Researchers found that the top five homicide hotspots were Detroit, Michigan, St Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Denver, Colorado, was the best performing of the 50 big cities in the study.

—The Daily Mail

It’s not a layup, but the Milwaukee Bucks are confident in their chances of hosting either the 2025 or 2026 NBA All-Star Game.

The team is currently crafting its proposal to the league which will include the number of hotels, restaurants, event spaces and other items needed to host a weekend of festivities.

It’s not the first time Milwaukee has taken this shot. The city was unsuccessful in 2018 when it bid for the event for 2022 and 2023.

“Since before (Fiserv Forum) opened we’ve been consistent in expressing our interest in hosting an All-Star Game,” said Michael Belot, senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks ventures and development. “The game gets booked years out. To this point we haven’t been awarded one, but we want to be steadfast in that interest.”

“But our building at the time that we did bid, Fiserv (Forum) was also very young,” said Marissa Werner, director of Sports Milwaukee, who is working with the Bucks on the pitch. “And now that the NBA has had the capability to see that it really is a world class venue.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during the All-Star weekend Feb. 17-19 in Salt Lake City, the league estimated it generated $280 million in economic impact for Utah.

An announcement regarding future NBA All-Star host cities will be made in the coming months, a league spokesperson said.

A lot has changed for Milwaukee since 2018 when Fiserv Forum opened to show the league the city has what it takes to handle the attention that will come with hosting the NBA All-Star Game and related weekend festivities.

Milwaukee was chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention which would have brought thousands of people to the area had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Bucks won the NBA Championship in 2021, the city was not only put on an international stage, but it also showed how it could handle the tens of thousands of fans who turned out, both inside and outside, the forum.

Then weeks after the NBA Finals, the Ryder Cup came to Whistling Straits and brought a national audience to Sheboygan.

In 2022, Fiserv Forum hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Later this year Milwaukee plans to host the USA Triathlon National Championships.

Next year, the Republican National Convention will come to Milwaukee.

In 2025, the NCAA tournament is coming back to Milwaukee and the US Women’s Open at Erin Hills plans to also come to Wisconsin.

“We kind of are the best hidden secret,” Werner said.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers is reviving a proposal to allow thousands of visitors and residents in 14 counties to indulge in Wisconsin’s favorite pastime until just before dawn during the Republicans’ national convention next year.

Under a measure included in Evers’ 2023-25 state budget plan, bars could stay open until 4 a.m. during mid-July 2024 when the Republican Party will host its national convention in Milwaukee to nominate its presidential candidate.

The proposal was first taken up by state lawmakers in 2020 when Democrats were expecting to host thousands of people in Milwaukee for their national convention. But the coronavirus pandemic canceled those plans and lawmakers never passed the legislation.

The new measure will allow bars and restaurants to stay open until 4 a.m. between July 15 and July 19, 2024, in 14 counties — Kenosha, Racine, Walworth, Rock, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson, Dane, Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac — if officials there pass a resolution allowing the later closing time and bar owners apply for an exception during the convention.

Currently, bars and restaurants must close at 2 a.m. on weekdays and 2:30 a.m. on weekends.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Bayshore will start removing vehicles this week from the mall’s Silver Spring parking garage after it partially collapsed Feb. 23, the mall announced Monday afternoon.

A temporary ramp connecting the first level to the second level is being installed by engineers, according to a news release from Bayshore.

The Bayshore management team, along with Bayshore Security, will escort the vehicle owner to their vehicle to confirm ownership, retrieve their key and officials will then drive their vehicle out of the parking garage, according to the release.

The parking structure, located near Trader Joe’s at 5600 N. Port Washington Road, partially collapsed on Thursday around 12:15 p.m., according to the North Shore Fire Department.

The collapse happened one day after the Milwaukee area received about 1.2 inches of snow and sleet, which meteorologists say is the liquid equivalent typically equating to 10 inches of snow.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) said on ‘Fox & Friends First’ Monday the American people want the truth about the origins of COVID after hearing repeated lies and “misinformation” from Dr. Anthony Fauci and officials. Van Drew, a former Democrat, said American taxpayer money was used to fund the research at a China lab where the virus is suspected to have leaked.

JEFF VAN DREW: We’re going to dig in the House of Representatives.The House really wants to know true answers. These are some of the things we talked about even during the campaign. It’s enough. People are tired. They want a government that tells them the truth. They want a government that works for them. We don’t work for the government. I hate to say it this way, but this is sick stuff.

[…] It’s been lie after lie, misinformation after misinformation. And it’s about time we crack this egg open and really find what’s actually going on. What’s most hurtful, not only did the Chinese and we and we know the real truth, poison the world and the United States, I mean, let’s just tell the truth. Hopefully it was an accident. But not only did they do this, but they lied about it. And we have an administration that doesn’t have the guts to go forward and get the truth out of them. And we paid for that part of it all. We paid for the damn lab.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that he couldn’t “confirm or deny” the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent conclusion that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from an accidental lab leak in China and added there was “no definitive answer.”

The WSJ first reported that the DOE concluded that coronavirus likely spread due to an accidental leak at a Chinese laboratory. The outlet cited a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.

—-FOX News

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm focused on cleaning state voter lists, has launched a new interactive tool for concerned citizens to monitor their states’ voter rolls. The database lists current voter roll errors in all 50 states’ voter lists including duplicate registrants, deceased voters or those who have moved out of state, and voters registered at commercial addresses.

Using PILF’s interactive map, users can click on each state to view a statistical breakdown of its voter roll errors with links to more information and a breakdown of PILF’s litigation pushing the state to clean its rolls.

According to the law firm, there are more than 317,000 dead registrants on state voter rolls across the country. Additionally, PILF’s tool reveals more than 54,000 same-address duplicate registrations and more than 449,000 interstate duplicates, meaning voters are registered in more than one state.

“We hope this interactive database will draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of errors in the voter rolls,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “Every error in the voter rolls is a vulnerability in our elections that can lead to fraud and abuse. Election officials must do their job and keep accurate voter rolls.”


Deceased Registrants as of 2018: 6,805

Interstate Duplicates: 39,834

2018 Duplicate Vote Credits: 1,828

2016 Duplicate Vote Credits: 2,066

Registrants Credited for Voting from Non-Residential Addresses in 2020: 800

—The Federalist

Heavy snow bookended the United States on Tuesday, with a late-season storm bringing a messy morning commute to the Northeast and California residents digging out, or in some cases simply stranded, after yet another storm.

While not a blockbuster storm by regional standards, the Northeast felt what could end up being the most significant snowfall of what has so far been a mild winter. The brunt of the storm hit Boston as the Tuesday morning commute commenced.

A winter storm warning covered parts of the Northeast, including Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, with heavy snow forecast through Tuesday afternoon.

Most of the nation’s flight cancellations or delays were concentrated in the Northeast early Tuesday. There were about 450 flight cancellations in the U.S. and over 500 delays, according to

—Associated Press

The Supreme Court is taking up a partisan legal fight over President Joe Biden’s plan to wipe away or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans.

The high court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, is hearing arguments on Tuesday in two challenges to the plan, which has so far been blocked by Republican-appointed judges on lower courts.

Arguments are scheduled to last two hours but likely will go much longer. The public can listen in on the court’s website.

Twenty-six million people have applied, and 16 million have been approved to have up to $20,000 in federal student loans forgiven, the Biden administration says. The program is estimated to cost $400 billion over 30 years.

Republican-led states and lawmakers in Congress, as well as conservative legal interests, are lined up against the plan as a clear violation of Biden’s executive authority. Democratic-led states and liberal interest groups are backing the Democratic administration in urging the court to allow the plan to take effect.

—-Associated Press

He’s back on top.

Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk regained his title as the richest person in the world Monday after he was stuck in second place the last two months, according to Bloomberg.

The eccentric billionaire’s net worth was $187.1 billion after Tesla stock shot up 5.5% Monday afternoon, edging out French businessman Bernard Arnault, whose fortune is at $185.3 billion, the financial outlet reported.

After Musk, 51, became the first person to ever lose a jaw dropping $200 billion entering 2023, shares in his electric car company reportedly helped him earn back richest title with about a 70% increase in Tesla stock price this year.

Musk, who owns Twitter and SpaceX, lost his wealthiest title in December to Arnault, who owns and runs LVMH, the world’s most massive luxury goods company.

He bought Twitter for a stunning $44 billion last year and has since cut more than half of the social media company’s staff, including another 200 employees in recent days.

—NY Post


We have another mini-freakout from a COVID test result. Yes, it’s from a medical professional still masking and getting endless doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Meet Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist who is also an intersectional feminist. She got infected and decided to go on a lengthy thread about her journey. She does not know where she picked up the pathogen, but it’s irrelevant. It’s an airborne virus whose prevalence peaks around the same time as cold and flu season. It’s something to behold because most don’t care anymore. There’s a reason why nations like Japan downgraded COVID. It’s no worse than the flu now, given the vast array of therapeutics.

What triggered this thread is beyond me, but if it’s due to the stigma some inflict on others for catching a highly contagious airborne virus with a 99.8 percent survival rate, I don’t know what to tell you other than you’re mentally ill:

We don’t need an explainer. Tens of millions of people got COVID and survived. I’m sure Dr. Gurdasani will, too, although everyone has different symptoms. We don’t need to hear about the data points about masking or COVID boosters, either. Masking did not work, and the COVID vaccine was probably unnecessary for those who had already recovered from the infection. This is a free country, so these matters are personal, but the government decided to make it a more prominent issue when they threatened to fire people who didn’t want to get the vaccine, which might be linked to myocardial episodes among young Americans. This age group didn’t have people dropping dead until two years ago. I wonder what drug was introduced during that period.

Liberals always had this holier-than-thou attitude about COVID until they all got it during the Omicron surge. Then, it was terrible to stigmatize people who got infected. It was a clown show, and for people who still freak out over their test results, all I can say is to get over it. Also, stop testing. Mask mandates are over—no one is wearing them. Occupancy limits are nixed as well. We’re back to normal. I suggest you get with the program as well. If not, that’s fine, but you lose your right to lecture, which I know can be difficult for the left that adheres to a strict regimen of didacticism.

Clay Travis

A woman who got SIX covid shots & always wore a mask for three years has tested positive for covid and this thread shows how many of these covid lunatics have lost their minds. Prior to covid if you got six shots to protect yourself from a virus and still got the virus, you’d sue the company that gave you the six shots for a virus you still got. When will people like this realize they are the idiots? Ever?

Dr. Deepti Gurdasani

I finally got infected and tested positive last Tue. It’s been a rough wk. Not sure where I picked it up- it was following a flight so may have been during the flight or at the airport (didn’t remove FFP3 at any point, except for ID) – or perhaps outdoors swimming. I don’t know.

—Matt Vespa, Townhall

Before President Joe Biden entered the White House, he consulted with several prominent historians about how to be a great commander in chief. Their answer: Grow government. Spend, spend, spend. Don’t worry about blowing up the debt.

It was the worst possible advice, and that meeting no doubt contributed to our economic calamity.

So, I wasn’t surprised to read about a poll of more than 100 of America’s most prominent academic historians who rated the greatest and the worst presidents. This is a farcical popularity contest that the Siena College Research Institute conducts every few years.

The results tell us much more about the leftward political leanings of historians than it does about presidential performance.

For example, the president ranked the highest in recent surveys has consistently been Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Others in the top five include Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington.

How is FDR a great president? Yes, he was the commander in chief of the military during World War II and deserved high marks for winning the war. But his domestic economic agenda was a failure of epic proportions. For the first eight years of the New Deal’s expansion of modern-day big government, the unemployment rate remained at about 10%, and the Great Depression went on and on.

Woodrow Wilson is also rated a near-great president. He raised the income tax from 7% to 70%, pulled America into a war we shouldn’t have fought, ran up the debt and ushered in the first disastrous era of “progressive” government. He is easily one of the five worst presidents of all time.

Biden was ranked 19th overall. So, the president who has raised the national debt into the stratosphere and has allowed inflation to surge to its highest level in 40 years is an above-average president? For what exactly? Uniting the country?

Speaking of economic failures, President Barack Obama lands in 11th place, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson is 8th best. His legacy was the catastrophic Vietnam War, the failed Great Society and the birth of the modern-day welfare state.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, defeated communism and launched a three-decade stretch of prosperity, is rated only the 18th-best national leader. Reagan barely beats out Biden!

Donald Trump is ranked as the next-to-last of all presidents. Trump cut taxes, deregulated, made America energy-independent, was tough on China and engineered Operation Warp Speed that saved millions of lives worldwide. For that, he’s near the bottom of the heap.

—-Stephen Moore is the chief economist for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1983 the final episode of the immensely popular TV series M*A*S*H aired and was watched by an estimated 106 million viewers.

One thought on “NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, February 28, 2023

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (03/06/2023) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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