NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Friday, March 10, 2023
Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F
Snow is falling in parts of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. This snowfall will spread into portions of the interior Northeast today.
As of early Friday, around 8 inches of snow has fallen in parts of Wisconsin and northern Illinois, including near Plainville, Wisconsin, and Bull Valley, Illinois. Hudsonville, Michigan, measured 10 inches of snow early Friday.
Multiple states are under winter weather alerts: The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for parts of the southern Great Lakes and interior Northeast. These areas could see impacts to travel, with the worst conditions expected in locations under warnings, including Milwaukee.
Here’s how much snow to expect from this storm: Some additional snow will fall Friday in the Great Lakes region.
Snowfall in the Northeast will be light to moderate, with the most accumulations expected well to the west of Interstate 95 in southwestern New York and Pennsylvania.
Timing Out The Storm
Friday: Snow and gusty winds will continue over the Great Lakes. Travel could be hazardous in Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.
Parts of southern New York and central and northern Pennsylvania will also see snowfall develop during the day. Snow and rain will spread into much of New York and southern New England Friday night.
Saturday: The storm will conclude in the Northeast early in the day. That means there could be snow across the interior with rain or a mix of rain and snow near the coast. It’s possible some areas near the Interstate 95 corridor see rain change briefly to snow before coming to an end.
—The Weather Channel
The Democrat-constructed narrative of the Jan. 6 riot will continue to morph as more security footage from the Capitol emerges and people get to see that hundreds of protesters were let into the Capitol through a door left open and unguarded at times by police, says former Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).
In a wide-ranging interview on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show, Johnson cautioned that the Capitol riot narrative has so far been constructed of fragments from different partisans, starting with the second impeachment of Donald Trump and then the House Democrats’ Jan. 6 committee.
“We’re many years down the road here, and there’s still so many questions that remain unanswered,” Johnson said.
The latest fragment surfaced this week when Fox News host Tucker Carlson released video footage showing that the controversial Jan. 6 protester known as the “QAnon Shaman” was escorted by police through the Capitol without being arrested. The Capitol Police say they were in de-escalation mode and did not want to arrest him at the time of the riot.
“During the impeachment, I mean, that was a highly biased story, through those slickly edited videos by real professionals,” Johnson recalled. “And so now you got Tucker, just showing the other side of the story, part of the story. But there is still so much of the story that is not being told about January 6.”
Johnson and his staff were permitted long before Carlson to review hours of video footage from the Capitol riot, and he was the first member of the Senate to question why many protesters were able to enter the building without resistance through unlocked doors.
“We did uncover the fact that the West Terrace door was open from the inside,” Johnson said. “That has not been explained yet exactly why that happened. But more than 300 people entered that door without any violence.”
—Just the News
U.S. troops and veterans who helped to evacuate Afghans during President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal in 2021 recalled harrowing details while testifying during the first hearing of the GOP-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee’s investigation.
Among the witnesses was Tyler Vargas-Andrews, a Marine sergeant who watched 13 U.S. troops get killed by a suicide bomber.
Vargas-Andrews began his testimony by claiming he identified the suicide bomber but was denied permission to shoot him down, as Townhall reported previously, leaving him with an amputated leg and arm and the loss of his left kidney and parts of his intestines and colon.
“Plain and simple, we were ignored,” Vargas-Andrews said. “My body was overwhelmed by the trauma of the blast. My abdomen had been ripped open. Every inch of my exposed body except for my face took ball bearings and shrapnel.”
He and his sniper team were assigned to the Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate, where he processed thousands of Afghans fleeing their country while turning away thousands of others. He and his team also monitored the Taliban and other terrorist activity outside the gate.
However, during his emotional testimony, Vargas-Andrews said that the State Department was unwilling to help control the chaos. While recounting the event, he paused several times to choke back tears.
“People suffered from extreme malnutrition, dehydration, heat casualties, and infants were dying. Afghans brutalized and tortured by the Taliban flocked to us pleading for help,” Vargas-Andrews said. “Some Afghans turned away from HKIA and tried to kill themselves on the razor wire we used as a deterrent. They thought this was merciful compared to the Taliban torture they faced. As a result, countless Afghans were murdered by the Taliban 155 yards in front of our position day and night.”
President Joe Biden released his $6.8 trillion budget proposal Thursday afternoon and it’s full of tax hikes. The big spending proposal comes as government induced inflation still rages above 7 percent.
“We more than fully pay for these investments in our future by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share. We propose a billionaire minimum tax, requiring the wealthiest Americans to pay at least 25 percent on all of their income, including appreciated assets,” Biden states about the budget. “This Budget also proposes quadrupling the tax on corporate stock buybacks, so companies invest more in production to improve quality and lower prices, and less in buybacks that only benefit shareholders and CEOs.”
Americans For Tax Reform has a list of new taxes in Biden’s budget, which includes the highest personal income tax rate since 1986, a unconstitutional wealth tax on unrealized gains, highest capital gains tax since 1978, a $31 billion tax on American energy and much more. ATR also debunks Biden’s claim new taxes are only for “the rich.”
“President Biden’s ‘budget’ is dead on arrival. It’s a campaign wishlist of tax hikes and fuzzy math that would do nothing to help Hoosiers struggling with Biden’s inflation crisis,” Republican Senator Braun released in a statement.
“When President Biden touts ‘reducing the deficit’ he means borrowing slightly less money this year than we borrowed last year. We’re still on track to spend more than we bring in by over $1 trillion this year, just like last year. In Biden’s first year in office, he spent $2.7 trillion more than we took in. That’s about how much we spent fighting the War in Afghanistan for 20 years, added on top of our $31 trillion debt in just one year. And he still wants to dig the hole deeper.”
“We already have record tax revenue from Trump’s tax cuts. Now it’s time to cut wasteful spending. I did it in my own balanced budget without touching Social Security and Medicare – it can be done, D.C. just needs to grow a backbone,” he continued.
For the past year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been greeted with open arms by awards shows, film festivals and even the New York Stock Exchange. But when it comes to landing airtime on the most coveted telecast of all — the Oscars — the Ukrainian leader is being met with a cold shoulder.
For the second year in a row, the Academy has snubbed Zelenskyy, who was hoping to follow up his Berlin Film Festival (remote) appearance last month with a virtual spot on Sunday’s Oscar telecast on ABC. Sources say WME power agent Mike Simpson made a plea to the Academy to include the comedic actor-turned-politician but was shut down. The Academy declined comment.
Zelenskyy’s overtures to the Oscars comes as polls show Americans’ support for providing assistance to Ukraine has weakened.
Taxpayers spend at least $182 billion a year on illegal immigration, the cost of providing services to an estimated $15.5 million immigrants.
The bottom line for each taxpayer is a bill of $1,156, according to a new tally from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
“At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $182 billion to cover the costs incurred from the presence of more than 15.5 million illegal aliens, and about 5.4 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a cost burden of approximately $8,776 per illegal alien/citizen child,” said a new report from FAIR.
“Illegal aliens only contribute roughly $32 billion in taxes at the state, local, and federal levels. This means that the net fiscal cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers totals approximately $150.7 billion,” it said.
William Shatner isn’t just here to talk about “Star Trek,” though his time commanding the Starship Enterprise invariably comes up.
The sad thing is that the older a person gets the wiser they become and then they die with all that knowledge. And it’s gone. It’s not like I’m going to take my ideas or my clothing with me. Today, there’s a person going through some of my clothes in order to donate or sell them, because what am I going to do with all these suits that I’ve got? What am I going to do with all these thoughts? What am I going to do with 90 years of observations? The moths of extinction will eat my brain as they will my clothing and it will all disappear.
That’s sad. What about your legacy?
When Leonard Nimoy died a few years ago, his funeral was on a Sunday. His death was very sudden, and I had obligated myself to go to Mar-a-Lago for a Red Cross fundraiser. I was one of the celebrities raising money. That event was on Saturday night. I chose to keep my promise and go to Mar-a-Lago instead of the funeral, and I said to the audience, “People ask about a legacy. There’s no legacy. Statues are torn down. Graveyards are ransacked. Headstones are knocked over. No one remembers anyone. Who remembers Danny Kaye or Cary Grant? They were great stars. But they’re gone and no one cares.” But what does live on are good deeds. If you do a good deed, it reverberates to the end of time. It’s the butterfly effect thing. That’s why I have done this film.
Your decision not to attend Leonard Nimoy’s funeral was controversial. How did the backlash feel? Do you regret your decision?
Who cares? I know what I did was right. So it doesn’t matter. We’re criticized when we lift a finger. I don’t read that stuff. I try to not to indulge in the evil that’s out there.
Everyone thinks about dying, but actors actually get to act out what it’s like to die on stage or on film. Does that change your perspective on death?
There was a time when actors, and I include myself in this, would portray death by falling to the ground and your eyes would flicker and you’d slump around and then you’re dead. That’s not how you die. This is how you die [Shatner’s eyes go wide abruptly and his breath stops]. See? I’m dead. Ever put a dog down? When I have to put a dog down and I’m at the vet, I cup my dog’s head and I say, “I’m with you baby, I’m with you.” And the injection goes in and the dog looks at me with love, and that’s it. You don’t know they’re dead. That’s how you die. It’s abrupt. My wife’s brother walked out of the living room and into the bedroom. There was a thud. His wife walked in, and he was dead. Death comes anew to all of us.
In “Star Trek: Generations” you got to have some say in how Kirk died. In that scene, he approaches his last moments with wonder. Why was that something you pushed for?
I’m of the opinion that you die the way you live. I thought Kirk would die with a “Wow, look at that coming at me. There’s a guy with a scythe. Holy shit!” He’d seen all these weird aliens before. Here comes death and he meets it with awe and a sense of discovery.
You’ve been touring the country doing sold-out screenings of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” a movie that came out in 1982. Danny Kaye and Cary Grant aside, some of your movies are going to outlast you. Is that comforting?
They’ll be good for another 10 years, maybe five. I’ve made all these films that are popular, so I’m sure they’ll pop up every so often. But I don’t need validation from a film I made in 1982. I get pleasure in talking to you right now.
Do you like going to these “Star Trek” screenings and conventions and being in front of all those fans?
I don’t enjoy being tugged at, but I enjoy answering questions and being in front of thousands of people.
(At Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater tonight at 7:30 TONIGHT, following a screening of the classic film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, William Shatner takes to the stage to share fascinating and humorous behind-the-scenes stories from his storied career, including answering audience questions. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available, which include a post-show photo op with Mr. Shatner).
Robert Blake, a child actor who found fame in movies and TV shows but whose legacy was tarnished by suspicion over the unsolved murder of his second wife, died Thursday at age 89.
A statement sent to USA TODAY on behalf of his niece, Noreen Austin, said Blake died from heart disease, surrounded by family at home in Los Angeles.
Blake’s career spanned decades, and included memorable roles in the “Our Gang” shorts (which became known as “The Little Rascals”), the 1967 film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” and ABC’s 1970s cop show “Baretta,” for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe. But Blake’s devotion to acting was eclipsed by the 2001 death of Bonny Lee Bakley. The aspiring actress, then 44, was fatally shot outside of a restaurant while at dinner with her husband.
Smugness, deception, outright lies, and all manner of anti-scientific behavior are Anthony Fauci’s ultimate legacy.
Pretty soon, it seems to us, a lot of rats are going to be fleeing the Bad Ship Fauci.
We say this because (this week) on Capitol Hill we heard some devastating testimony from Anthony Fauci’s former colleague, Dr. Robert Redfield.
Redfield, the former CDC director, told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that he was intentionally excluded from early conference calls about the origins of COVID-19.
Why? “Because,” he says, “it was told to me that [Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins] wanted a single narrative and that I obviously had a different point of view.”
Just like Senator Tom Cotton, Dr. Redfield has been vindicated. And, though we didn’t take the slings and arrows that these men took, we might also claim vindication for having called out these liars, these disgraceful ChiCom toadies, nearly two years ago. Of course, all of this only goes to show that a lie can travel halfway around the globe — from Wuhan, China, to Washington, DC — before the truth can throw on his Carhartts.
House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan was in top form, cutting through complicated matters in clear and understandable language:
“Three years ago, if you thought it came from a lab, you got called a nutjob, you got censored on Twitter, you got blacklisted on Twitter,” Jordan said. “You were even called a crackpot by the very same scientists who in late January [2020, at the earliest stages of the pandemic] sent emails to Dr. Fauci and said it came from a lab. They called you crackpot. Is that right, Dr. Redfield?”
“I think the most upsetting thing to me,” Redfield responded, “was the Baltimore Sun calling me a racist because I said this came from a Wuhan lab.”
A couple of weeks ago, our Nate Jackson pondered whether any individual has done more damage to our nation than Anthony Fauci — especially when one considers not just the catastrophic human and financial costs but also the incalculable costs of a deeply eroded trust in our health institutions and our government generally.
This leads us to ponder: Why is it that Anthony Fauci is a free man, and this harmless guy is behind bars for 41 months?
— Douglas Andrews, The Patriot Post
The only thing I’m more sick of hearing about than Ukraine and the self-importance of a country where sheep cover their cars with sticker flags is how some trans activist is upset about everything. There are no groups of people more entitled than these two sets of narcissists.
You can’t read a news story about some pervert rapist or child molester without thinking, “What the hell is this?” The story either refers to the hairy monster in the mugshot as a “she” or “her,” or it is a non-stop third-person plural fest with “they” everywhere.
The argument is always, “It’s important to the transgender community that pronouns be respected!” Honestly, I don’t give a damn about the “transgender community” being respected, I care that reality is respected. If accurately referring to a monster drives them over the edge, good – think of the money saved by normal people in the form of taxes.
Cold? Yeah. But I prefer rapists and child molesters be fed feet-first into a wood chipper so they can discover how sensitive to their fragile psyche Satan is going to be for the rest of eternity.
The dirty little secret is most gay people are just as sick of these trans-crybabies as all non-leftist activists are. They know what men and women are, and they know what attention whores with low self-esteem and a desire to control people are too. They’re not stupid, they’re being pushed out.
Gay and women’s rights activists knocked down a lot of walls and won a lot of fights, now comes these insecure weirdos standing on top of the rubble like not only it was all done for them, but like they did it themselves.
Then you have the entitled Ukrainian nationals, starting with their President. They will not accept peace under any circumstances…because a continued war only costs them lives. To progressive leftists, individuals are disposable. They’ll clutch their pearls, they’ll say the words, but they won’t change what they’re doing. Civilian deaths are a photo-op.
Now Ukrainians are demanding everyone remotely tied to anything they don’t like is Russian and needs to be punished. Why? Why not? What’s the point of having power if you don’t abuse it? That could be the mantra of every leftist on the planet.
Now a group of Ukrainians want “Top Gun: Maverick” stripped of its Oscar nominations because they say it was, at least in part, funded with money from a Russian national.
Zelensky sanctions anyone who won’t kiss where his digested food exits his body if they have a Russian surname. The only thing he condemns harder is any government official who objects to giving him a signed blank check.
These two groups of people deserve each other – they’re both insufferable and have a common enemy in reality. Combine them so the rest of us can live in sanity and peace.
—Columnist Derek Hunter
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1969 James Earl Ray pled guilty to murdering American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.