NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, March 13, 202

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


The NCAA Tournament committee has taken notice of Marquette’s conference dominance this season.

After winning both the Big East championship in the last week of the regular season and the Big East tournament Saturday night, Marquette (28-6) is seeded No. 2 in the East region and will face No. 15 Vermont (23-10) in Columbus, Ohio, in the round of 64 of March Madness on Friday at 1:45 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised by CBS.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After holding off rival Minnesota on Jan. 3 at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin was 3-0 in the Big Ten and 11-2 overall.

Ranked in the top 15 of both major polls, the Badgers appeared capable of again surprising analysts who predicted Greg Gard’s team to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten.

Nine-plus weeks later, after finishing 9-11 in the Big Ten and going one-and-done in the league tournament thanks to an eight-point loss to Ohio State, the Badgers learned Sunday their overall resume wasn’t good enough to secure a berth in the 68-team NCAA Tournament.

The Badgers (17-14) instead settled for a No. 2 seeding in the 32-team National Invitation Tournament field. UW hosts Bradley (25-9) at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN. The winner meets either No. 3 Liberty (26-8) or Villanova (17-16) in the second round, with the date and site to be determined.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Aaron Rodgers may be coming to a final decision on whether he will play in 2023 amid rumors a deal between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets is imminent.

Rodgers was at a charity football event in California when he ran into Brandon Marshall, the host of the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast and gave a little insight into when he will make his decision.

“Stay Tuned,” the four-time NFL MVP told Marshall.

When asked how long the entire NFL world will have to wait, Rodgers replied, “Well, I think it won’t be long. There’s a time limit for all this.”

Rumors the Packers will trade Rodgers to the Jets have been getting hotter


All eyes are on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race.

The high-stakes election has liberal Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz facing off against conservative former Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly with the court’s 4-3 conservative majority hanging in the balance.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, Wisconsin reverted to a law from the 19th century banning abortion in nearly all cases — a policy at odds with the majority of Wisconsin voters, according to state polling.

Following the ruling, Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a lawsuit to overturn Wisconsin’s 1849 criminal abortion ban — a case that’s widely expected to end up before the state Supreme Court.

Protasiewicz is campaigning on restoring abortion access in Wisconsin.

“Everything we care about is on the line,” Protasiewicz said during a March 1 interview with WTMJ 620 host Steve Scaffidi. Protasiewicz said if Kelly is elected, Wisconsin’s criminal ban on abortions will stand.

Kelly has the backing of Wisconsin Right to Life, Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin. He called his opponent a “politician in a black robe.”

Kelly says the only conversations he has had with anti-abortion groups are about his plans to apply existing law to resolve cases in a way that’s consistent with the Constitution.

“My understanding is that their endorsement is, is their endorsement of my political, my judicial philosophy, not politics, right, not issues, but judicial philosophy, the role of the court and simply applying the law that already exists,” Kelly said March 1.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Oscar winners announced Sunday:

Best picture: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best actress: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best actor: Brendan Fraser, “The Whale”

Best supporting actor: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best supporting actress: Jamie Lee Curtis, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

—-Associated Press

After winning the Oscar for Best Actress, Michelle Yeoh — who earned her Academy Award in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — delivered an optimistic acceptance speech.

“Dream big and dreams do come true,” Yeoh said. “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities,” she added as she made history as the first Asian to win an Oscar for Best Actress.

Yeoh then declared, “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime,” to which the crowd responded with uproarious applause. “Never give up,” the 60-year-old actress added.

Well, that sounds an awful lot like a rebuttal to the now-infamous claim Don Lemon made on CNN that a woman is “past her prime” after her 40s in an attempt to criticize Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.


Former Vice President Mike Pence delivered his sharpest criticism yet of Donald Trump on Saturday, saying the former president put Pence’s family in danger and that history will hold him “accountable” over the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.

“President Trump was wrong,” Pence said in a speech at the annual Gridiron dinner, a gathering of senior Washington journalists and dignitaries. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day. And I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

Pence’s words came as Trump is facing investigations in Atlanta and Washington over Jan. 6.


A group of Russian wives and mothers have called on President Vladimir Putin to stop sending their husbands and sons “to the slaughter” by forcing them to join assault groups without adequate training or supplies.

In a video shared by the independent Russian Telegram channel SOTA, the women said their loved ones had been “forced to join assault groups” at the beginning of March despite having just four days training since their mobilization in September.

“My husband… is located on the line of contact with the enemy,” says one woman in the recording.

“Our mobilized [men] are being sent like lambs to the slaughter to storm fortified areas – five at a time, against 100 heavily armed enemy men,” she continued.

“They are prepared to serve their homeland but according to the specialization they’ve trained for, not as stormtroopers. We ask that you pull back our guys from the line of contact and provide the artillerymen with artillery and ammunition.”

Russia’s move to send hundreds of thousands to fight on the battlefields of Ukraine has generated dissent and protest and prompted many Russians – young men in particular – to flee the country.


The Texas Department of Public Safety is advising Texans to avoid visiting Mexico during spring break and for the foreseeable future due to ongoing threats of violence.

The state agency said it is “urging Texans to avoid traveling to Mexico during spring break, and beyond, due to the ongoing violence throughout that country.”

The advisory comes after the Mexican Gulf Cartel Grupo Escorpiones apologized for its members who kidnapped four Americans, two of whom died. The cartel said it turned over those responsible for the incident to law enforcement.

“Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity represent a significant safety threat to anyone who crosses into Mexico right now,” Texas Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said. “We have a duty to inform the public about safety, travel risks and threats. Based on the volatile nature of cartel activity and the violence we are seeing there; we are urging individuals to avoid travel to Mexico at this time.”

Officials said over the weekend that three Texas women traveled to Mexico at the end of February, but they have not been seen or heard from since.

—Just the News

New York City’s Police Department struggles to recruit new officers amid an ongoing crime wave through the Democrat-run state.

According to a report, NYPD officers are resigning at a record-breaking rate, with 239 officers leaving in January and February, a 36 percent increase from the 176 who resigned in the same period last year and a shocking 117 percent hike from the 110 in 2021.

A former Manhattan cop said that the NYPD needs to be “rebuilt from the ground up” and “unfixable in its current state.”

“It’s not just politics and poor pay,” the officer said. “Precinct cops are being forced to work an inhumane amount of overtime, including on their days off, while being penalized for minor uniform and administrative infractions. Meanwhile, precincts barely have enough personnel to meet the minimum required to safely answer 911 calls.”

Over 1,400 cops are projected to resign this year before qualifying for retirement, even more than last year’s record 1,297 early exits.

Murders and shootings in the city skyrocketed by 44 and 97 percent, the highest Manhattan has seen in recent years.


The IRS’s bewildering rule about self-reporting income from crimes has caused some Twitter users to mock the federal agency.

According to IRS Publication 525, taxpayers are legally required to report the value of whatever property they stole during the tax year.

“If you steal property, you must report its FMV (Fair Market Value) in your income in the year you steal it, unless in the same year you return it to its rightful owner,” the rule reads.

The same rule applies to bribery, drug deals and other income-earning crimes.

The IRS purportedly uses the information solely for tax purposes and does not hand over any evidence to law enforcement.

The only situation where law enforcement may have access to the information is through court orders.

“The IRS be like: Get money wherever you can, but I need my cut!” one Twitter user said.

“This is the best thing I’ve learned in a while,” an amused commentator wrote.

“Don’t forget to fill out a 1099 after a game of Monopoly,” another said facetiously.

Unsurprisingly, many Twitter users humorously pretended to be criminals themselves.

“Does anyone know if you can deduct costs for the getaway car, masks, etc?” one user said.

“In what section do you disclose that you are cheating on your tax return? Asking for a friend,” another asked.

Criminals who don’t report their income from stolen goods may be penalized. There were 370 tax fraud offenders sentenced in the 2021 fiscal year.

—FOX Business


The fairy tale version of this March Madness probably ends with Houston, the No. 1-ranked team for much of this season, cutting down nets in its home city with alum Jim Nantz calling his last Final Four on the 40th anniversary of Phi Slama Jama losing the NCAA Tournament final to North Carolina State.

Or perhaps it ends with Texas interim coach Rodney Terry delivering the Longhorns their first-ever national title, improbably proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s the man for the job by saving the season after former coach Chris Beard was fired due to an embarrassing domestic dispute in December.

Or maybe to make the story even better, it’s Marquette beating Texas, pitting coach Shaka Smart against the program he had to escape after arriving with so much hype in 2015 and delivering a string of disappointing seasons.

Then again, it could end with Purdue joining the first-time champions club and making its first Final Four since 1980 with 7-foot-4 Zach Edey bringing big man basketball to the masses. Or, in a year where the spotlight has been elsewhere, why not Gonzaga finally winning the whole thing in a year where the Bulldogs were written off early as title contenders?

Of course, the reality of the NCAA Tournament is that unpredictability and randomness usually trumps a perfect script. And this year in particular, we should all spend the next three weeks embracing the idea that our picks are useless and our brackets will likely need to be thrown in the trash.

Buckle up, America. On paper, this has the potential to be one of the craziest tournaments we’ve ever seen.

Why? Maybe because this has not been a dominant year for the big, traditional brands.

The entire point of the NCAA Tournament is reminding us how little we know about what’s going to happen, and often how irrelevant regular season results are in a single-elimination event played on neutral courts. That happens even when we go into the tournament with a few dominant teams who look clearly better than the rest.

But this year? Even the supposedly dominant teams come in with question marks.

Maybe at the end, we’ll realize that, indeed, the No. 1 seeds like Houston, Purdue and Alabama were actually the best teams all along. But the tournament never fails to show us how hilariously wrong our brackets are, which is even more likely to be the case this year.

—Dan Wolken, USA TODAY

It’s a strange time in the United States, where one political party is actively engaged in a series of actions to keep as many people as possible ignorant. Ignorant not of one particular event, study, or story, but of so many topics that reality itself” is what they’re ultimately attempting to obscure. It’s evil, honestly, and it begs the question “What are Democrats so afraid of?” The only answer is simple: an informed public.

I’ve known Tucker Carlson since we met back in 2008, and I never noticed the horns. Granted, I’ve never touched his head, but next time I see him I will pat it down since I need to know if I’m hanging out with the Devil, as I’ve been told by Democrats.

What was his sin? Providing more information to the American public on something Democrats do not want us to have more information on: January 6th. He played more video, un-Democrat-approved video, of people in the Capitol building. He exposed truth that contradicted what Democrats have gotten so much political mileage out of, thereby exposing them as liars, both by commission and omission.

Journalists upset over the public gaining access to more information, which used to be what they lived for.

To call the press the flying monkey army of the DNC is to insult fictional flying monkeys.

But it’s not just January 6th the left is circling the wagons to keep people ignorant of, it’s everything. Not a single Democrat asked any serious questions designed to gain information about the origins of COVID at a hearing this week. Those who bothered to show up did all they could to protect Tony Fauci’s reputation. Not a single Democrat expressed any concern for government bureaucrats pressuring social media companies to censor American citizens because they found what they were saying to be inconvenient or wrong. None gave a damn about the express violations of the First Amendment, not one.

It’s not that they do not care – indifference isn’t nefarious, and what Democrats are doing is evil – it’s that they benefit from the lies and ignorance.

Make up your own damn mind. I encourage you to flip on MSNBC every once in a while, if only to keep up with what the enemy is doing. Like visiting a zoo when you’re likely never going to run the risk of being trampled by an elephant, you should at least know what one looks like and is capable of. And when it comes to politics, Democrats are capable of anything. There is no bottom for them, no line they won’t cross. And the only way that works is with an ignorant public. Explains the schools in every left-wing stronghold in the country, doesn’t it?

—-Columnist Derek Hunter

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 2013 Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected pope of the Roman Catholic Church; taking the name Francis I, he succeeded Benedict XVI, who had resigned

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