NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


This year’s race for a seat on the state Supreme Court has already shattered national records with more than $18 million spent less than a week into the general election.

Democrats are pouring millions into liberal Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz’s campaign for the state’s highest court, seeing an opportunity for the first time in more than a decade to seize control of policymaking in the Badger State, as Republicans are unloading their coffers with a $1 million ad buy starting this week to support conservative former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly and defend the court’s 4-3 majority.

At least $8.8 million has been spent since the Feb. 21 primary election, putting the total spending tally from the start of the primary election race to Tuesday at $18 million — breaking the record of the country’s most expensive judicial race, previously set in 2004 in Illinois at $15 million, with five weeks still to go until the April 4 general election.

The stakes of this year’s state Supreme Court race range from how routine cases like criminal appeals are decided to watershed rulings, including deciding whether doctors may terminate pregnancies within the state’s boundaries and whether Republicans will continue to control the state Legislature by wide margins.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday proposed spending $3.8 billion on building projects in 28 counties around the state, with nearly half directed toward work across the University of Wisconsin System.

The plan will first go to the state building commission on March 23 for consideration, but it would ultimately need the approval of the Republican-controlled Legislature. Republicans slashed Evers’ spending proposals on building projects in each of his past two budgets.

Two years ago, Republicans approved spending $1.5 billion on building projects out of the $2.4 billion that Evers proposed. In 2019, Evers’ first budget, Republicans approved $1.9 billion out of $2.5 billion that Evers wanted.

Republican Rep. Mark Born, co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee, accused Evers of proposing “massive spending and unrealistic growth.” He said the Legislature’s plan, which is likely to be finalized in June, will prioritize projects that “ensure we’re in a strong position for the future.”

—WI Associated Press

A $45 million downtown Milwaukee soccer stadium that would house a professional minor league team would get $9.3 million in state funding under a new budget proposal from Gov. Tony Evers.

The 8,000-seat stadium would be part of the Iron District, a development that also would include an indoor concert venue and hotel on 11 acres west of North Sixth Street and south of West Michigan Street.

The stadium would house a professional soccer team that Kacmarcik Enterprises owner Jim Kacmarcik plans to bring to Milwaukee − which was first announced in May.

The team would play in the second-tier USL Championship League, which Kamarcik hopes to have operating by the 2025 season.

The stadium also would host Marquette University’s men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams as well as community events, recreational programs and other athletic uses. Those Marquette teams now play at the university’s Valley Fields facility, where they would continue to practice.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Chicago’s embattled Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot will soon be looking for a new job.

After finishing in third place on Tuesday, she’s been eliminated from the race as it moves on to a runoff election on April 4 that includes only the first- and second-place candidates after no one in the nine-candidate field received a majority of votes.

Tuesday’s outcome makes Lightfoot the first mayor of Chicago to lose a reelection bid in 40 years, likely not the kind of historic ending she hoped to have.

With more than 30 percent of the vote by the time Lightfoot conceded, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas locked up enough support to finish in first place.

Vallas will now face Cook County Board of Commissioners member Brandon Johnson who, with more than 20 percent of the vote, finished second on Tuesday.

Vallas, notably, received the endorsement of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and made addressing crime a central issue of his campaign.

“Out of control crime and a lack of public safety impacts everyone in Chicago,” Vallas’ website states. “No matter where you live, you’ve surely seen a change for the worse in the past few years,” it adds before asking Chicago residents to share their “crime story” with Vallas.


The latest Emerson College Polling national survey finds President Biden with a 44% job approval, consistent with his approval last month. The President’s job disapproval has increased two percentage points, from 48% to 50%.

While Biden’s approval has remained consistent among Democratic voters, at 77% approval in January and 78% in February, the share of Democratic voters who think Biden should be the 2024 nominee has jumped by 13 points since the January Emerson poll, from 58% to 71%. Less than a third (29%) of Democratic voters think someone else should be the Democratic nominee in 2024.

In the 2024 Republican Primary, President Donald Trump continues to hold 55% of the vote. This number reflects his standing in the January Emerson poll, as well as the June 2022 Emerson poll. A quarter of Republican primary voters (25%) support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the GOP nomination, a four point decrease since last month when he held 29% support. Former Vice President Mike Pence holds 8%, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley holds 5%. Both Pence and Haley have increased their support by two percentage points since last month.

Despite increased support within the Democratic Party, President Biden trails former President Trump in a hypothetical 2024 Presidential match-up, 42% to 46%; 7% would support someone else and 5% are undecided. This is similar to last month, when he trailed 41% to 44%. Against Governor DeSantis, Biden leads 44% to 40%; 9% would support someone else and 8% are undecided. Similarly, against Nikki Haley, the President leads 40% to 37%; while 12% would support someone else and 11% are undecided.

The economy remains the top issue for the plurality of US voters (41%), followed by healthcare (10%), immigration (10%), and “threats to democracy” (10%). Other issues of concern include crime (9%), education (6%), and abortion access (4%).

—Emerson College Polling

Former deputy national security advisor to President Trump, Victoria Coates, says that it’s not the job of Americans to fund the war in Ukraine.

“If the Treasury Department has a role to play here, it would be in supporting them developing a new clean economy,” Coates said on the Tuesday edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show.

“What I want to know is why it is the job of the United States taxpayer to put, as the president put it 10 days ago, something in the pockets of all Ukrainians?” she continued. “I mean, we’re doing enough in terms of creating a kind of welfare state dependency here at home.”

Coates pointed out that the role of the United States, particularly its military, shouldn’t be taking the sole responsibility of bearing other countries’ burdens.

“It’s not the job of the United States to do this in Ukraine,” she stated. “It’s the job of the United States if we choose to have one, to help with lethal military aid that we do best, but not to sort of shoulder the burdens of civil society in Ukraine.”

The former advisor and now current senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation noted that other countries aren’t doing a fraction of what the United States is doing for Ukraine.

“Given the fact that the Germans and the French are not doing anything close to this in terms of support is shameful,” said Coates. “This is not our job. This is Europe’s backyard. Europe needs to shoulder this burden.”

—Just the News

On a recent edition of his podcast program, Verdict With Ted Cruz, Senator Cruz (R-Texas) explained that President Joe Biden and his administration caused the ongoing war in Ukraine and added that if you want to stay out of World War III, then “don’t elect a spineless jellyfish like Joe Biden to be president.”

“The Biden White House, number one, caused the war,” said Cruz, “by waiving sanctions on Russia for Nord Stream 2, [and] waiving sanctions on Putin for Nord Stream 2,” which allowed Nord Stream 2 to be built.

“Ukraine and Poland were begging him, don’t let this pipeline be completed,” said Cruz on the Feb. 20 podcast. “If you do, Russia will invade Ukraine. Well, Biden ignored it. He went soft on Russia like he’s gone soft on China.”

“Biden personally, through his own political stupidity caused this war,” said the senator.

As for Biden’s behavior and judgment, Cruz said, “This is something Biden and most Democrats don’t understand. Weakness is provocative. The weaker Biden is, the worse our enemies get. Appeasement doesn’t work. And paradoxically the weaker you are, the greater you increase the chance of war.”

“You want to stay out of World War III?” said Cruz. “Don’t elect a spineless jellyfish like Joe Biden to be president, because our enemies view him as so weak that he sits there for eight days while a Chinese spy balloon conducts espionage on the United States and he does nothing.”

“That is not the action of a commander in chief who is soberly clear-eyed saying, what do we need to do to defend the nation?” added the Texas senator. “Shooting down a high school weather balloon is the equivalent of sounding the air raid alarm when you walk with Zelensky [in Kiev]. It’s made for TV — look how tough I am. I shot something down. It just doesn’t happen to be a Chinese spy balloon.

“The weaker Biden is, the more dangerous our enemies get,” said Cruz.

—CNS News

An overwhelmingly majority of Americans aged 17-24 are unfit for military service, according to a Department of Defense report.

The U.S. Armed Forces increasingly struggle to meet their recruiting targets for the nation’s volunteer military, an issue in part attributable to the ever shrinking pool of eligible recruits. A colossal 77% of Americans aged 17-24 are unfit for military service, the Pentagon has concluded, a figure which has risen 6% since 2017.

The DOD report, which was cited in a Feb. 16 congressional hearing, according to the Epoch Times, concluded that obesity was a driving factor in the eligibility decline. Obesity rates have increased consistently for decades and 42.9% of the U.S. adult population qualify as obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1999, that figure was more than 10 points lower.

The Times cited a PubMed study linking greater risk of obesity to the receipt of food assistance, especially through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Essentially, those receiving food assistance are more likely to consume unhealthy food and thereby become obese.

Separate from fitness for service, the military faces numerous other obstacles to recruiting younger soldiers, among them a perception that the military is engaging in left-wing social experiments.

—Just the News

The Department of Defense reminded members of the military that although jumping out of a plane with a parachute and an American flag in tow may seem patriotic to some, it is not acceptable.

In a memo sent to the public affairs offices of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard, the DOD provided clarification on a policy requiring all uniformed service members to show proper respect to the U.S. flag while at community events.

“In recent years, many sponsors of sporting events have instituted a tradition of requesting uniformed military members to unfurl and hold giant, horizontal U.S. flags during events as an expression of patriotism and love of the country,” the memo reads.

It continues to highlight other types of flag displays like military units marching in community parades while carrying large, horizontal U.S. flags and parachute demonstration teams using large U.S. flags attached to the jumper, resulting in the flag dragging on the ground when the jumper lands.

“While many, including military members, view these displays as inspiring and patriotic…uniformed service members may not participate directly in the unfurling, holding, and/or carrying of giant, horizontal U.S. flags that are not displayed during community outreach events,” the memo reads. “Similarly, DoD jump teams may not incorporate the U.S. flag in their public demonstrations if the flag cannot be caught reliably and handled respectfully by ground personnel during landings.”

Of course, the exception to displaying a flag horizontally is when the U.S. flag is used to cover a casket at a funeral, though it still cannot touch the ground.

The DOD did not immediately respond to questions concerning the memo.

—FOX News

The interim director of the Smithsonian’s new American Women’s History Museum understands DNA — well at least in a metaphorical sense.

Interim director Lisa Sasaki told The New York Times that “transgender women” — AKA men pretending to be women — will be included in the potential new museum which has already received millions in funding because its “inclusivity” defines what the homage to American women is all about.

“We have a job to build a museum that’s going to serve the public for a very, very long time,” Sasaki said. “From the DNA of this museum, there has been a desire to be inclusive.”

Ironically, the DNA of the actual Americans found in this new museum does not matter to Sasaki. They simply have to “identify” as a woman while having made some contribution to American society deemed historic by the powers that be with this museum.

Nonetheless, the museum has yet to receive congressional approval, but it has raised $55 million in donations from benefactors such as Melinda Gates, Bill Gates’ ex-wife, The Alice Walton Foundation, and more wealthy philanthropists.

—The Daily Wire

The Napoleon complex has been scientifically proven.

New research published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences suggests that people who are relatively short and unhappy about it may engage in antagonistic behaviors in an attempt to offset their height disadvantage.

The researchers found that shorter people and those who were unsatisfied with their height were more likely to exhibit signs of psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism.

“Shorter people, especially those who wish they were taller, are more characterized by traits that are likely to make them show-off, be confrontational and interested in power,” lead author Peter K. Jonason, of the University of Padua in Italy said. “These relationships may be best understood from an evolutionary framework, suggesting that when people cannot be physically formidable, they may then be psychologically formidable instead.”

—The NY Post

As part of Good News Network’s continuing coverage of city snowplow naming competitions, the results of Madison Wisconsin’s contest are in, and they are just hail-arious.

The city’s chief salting truck will be named “Saltimus Prime” after receiving a total of 1,630 votes.

A smaller, agile, bike path-plower will be named “Snowbi Wan Kenobi” after receiving 1,910 votes.

“Seymour Pavement,” is to be the name of the city’s loader/plow, while the Dual Wing Plow Truck will be dubbed “Dolly Plowton.”

It’s a joy and a shame, as some of the other entries were genius. For Game of Thrones fans, it was a pity that the salt truck didn’t receive enough votes for “Brine of Tarth.” Honorable mentions should certainly be given out for “KeaNo Freeze,” “Albert Brinestein,” and to the chemistry students who came up with “Snowdium Clearride.”

In 2021, GNN reported of a similar contest in Scotland, which included winners like, “You’re a Blizzard Harry,” Brinestone Ploughboy, Spreddie Van Halen, Mary Queen of Salt, and On Her Majesty’s Slippery Surface.

Minnesota’s DoT 2022 contest came up with some real zingers, the best of which most certainly must be “Clearopathra,” but “Scoop! There It Is,” ain’t bad either.

—Good News Network

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 15 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to 15 games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-104 on Tuesday night.

Jrue Holiday had 14 points and eight assists for the Bucks, who went 10-0 in February and have passed the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA.

Brook Lopez added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Khris Middleton had 18 points off the bench.

—Associated Press


One person who has refused to shut up regarding U.S. policy in Ukraine is former President Donald J. Trump.

All are free to hate Trump all they want and believe him wrong on every single subject. But those who do should do themselves a favor and mentally imagine Trump’s warning about us being on the brink of World War III coming from the mouth of FDR; Bill Clinton; Barack Obama; Churchill, or anyone else might actually respect.

There is no going back if we get this one wrong. Only literal Hell on Earth for millions.

For those who are not students of history or don’t believe such calamity is possible, I would suggest you look up World War I, the chain of seemingly insignificant miscalculations and events which led to the “Great War,” and the 21,000,000 dead as a result of those particular trip-wires being stepped upon.

As the new tripwires are being laid bare, Russia is being pushed into the arms of the People’s Republic of China. Just this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that China’s Xi Jinping would visit his nation, stressing that relations had reached “new frontiers” amid U.S. concerns that Beijing could provide material support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Of course, China supplying weapons to Russia would be yet another trip wire to World War III as it signals an escalation of the Ukraine war and a potential confrontation between Russia and China, and the U.S.-led NATO alliance on the other.

As to why it’s a “trip wire,” this past week, Ukrainian President Zelensky carelessly mentioned: “If China aligns itself with Russia, there will be a world war.”

What? There “will be” a World War.

In our new world order post-Trump, are we allowed to question the motivations or “leadership” ability of Zelensky?

If Russia does now reach a “new frontier” with China, the two adversaries of the United States would collectively combine the world’s largest land mass and natural gas supplies with the world’s largest population backed by a powerful economy and global military presence, which extends beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

It is right to condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine strongly. But it is also right to ask if we are slowly walking ourselves into World War III.

It is all well and good to be all in against Putin. But is the defense of Ukraine – or using Ukraine as an excuse to fight a proxy war against Russia – worth the escalating risk of losing millions of lives, the world’s economy, and destroying our planet’s climate?

Forget Trump’s correct warning regarding World War III. Tune out everything and every one and do what so many on the left and a number on the right don’t want you to do on this subject. That being to think for yourself. Think for yourself. What in the world is worth starting World War III?

—Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the book: The 56 – Liberty Lessons from those who risked all to sign The Declaration of Independence.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – 60 years ago today in 1961, the Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy, a service group that has sent more than 200,000 volunteers to 139 host countries around the world.

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