NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Wisconsin banks don’t face the risks that brought down three banks in high-profile collapses last week, industry analysts said.

Two California-based banks — Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate Bank — and a New York-based bank, Signature Bank, collapsed last week, after their clients rushed to withdraw funds.

The now-shuttered banks worked closely with the tech industry, which has been hemorrhaging money in the last year. Silicon Valley Bank, which was the 16th largest bank in the United States, had an unusually large share of its money tied up in long-term government bonds that had lost value as interest rates rose.

Wisconsin banks have more diverse investments and less risky clients, analysts said.

At the close of markets Monday, Green Bay-based Associated Bank’s stock was down 10.5% since Thursday, when the depths of Silicon Valley Bank’s problems became apparent. Green Bay-based Nicolet Bank was down 9%.

Those declines pale in comparison to the drop in the stock prices of larger regional banks like Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank, which has lost almost 20% of its value.

Associated and Nicolet shares also started to bounce after sinking early Monday morning, posting end-ofthe-day declines 3.8% and 2.9%, respectively, while U.S. Bank’s stock fell 10%.

“I think this is temporary, just due to the nature of the news over the last three or four days,” Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, said of the drastic fall in stock prices.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aiming to increase the number of background checks to buy guns, promote better and more secure firearms storage and ensure U.S. law enforcement agencies are getting the most out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.

The Democratic president plans to unveil his latest efforts at curbing gun violence in a speech from Monterey Park, California, said a senior White House official, who discussed the order ahead of its signing on the condition of anonymity. In January, a gunman stormed a dance hall in the community near Los Angeles and shot 20 people, killing 11, following a Lunar New Year celebration.

Biden’s rhetoric has only grown stronger around guns — he routinely calls for banning so-called assault weapons in his speeches — and Democrats didn’t push such a vocal anti-gun platform even during the Obama administration, when Biden was vice president. But Biden has been emboldened by the midterms after his regular talk of gun control didn’t result in massive losses, and he’s expected to continue to push for strong changes as he inches toward a 2024 run, his aides say.

—Associated Bank

When the United States saw COVID-19 cases and deaths rise around this past Christmas and New Year’s, many Americans feared the country was in for a third winter wave.

But as quickly as both metrics went up, they also came down. Weekly cases and deaths in late winter 2022-23 are on par with what was seen in spring 2022, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, the Biden administration issued a bleak warning that as many as 100 million Americans could be infected during a COVID-19 wave in the fall and winter.

However, as the third anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the virus to be a global pandemic passes, it appears that the U.S. has survived its first winter without a massive COVID-19 surge.

Experts told ABC News that a combination of more immunity, better treatments, less severe infections and more people following mitigation measures likely played a role.

“We did not see a wave because we had a very high immunity due to infections and vaccinations,” Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, told ABC News. “Omicron and its subvariants did not spare anyone. Also, many of the infections were minor and not reported or did not end in a hospitalization.”

The lower number of hospitalizations and deaths is likely a good indication of a less severe season this year compared to previous years, he said.

“Even though infections this winter were high in the community, the hospitalizations were relatively stable compared to the past few years,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, told ABC News. “Many of us suspected that it wouldn’t last very long.”

Experts told ABC News that as winters have gone by, more immunity has built up in the population.

This means that even as mask mandates and other mitigation measures have been removed, everyday Americans are being more thoughtful about staying home when sick, about wearing a mask in public situations or testing before attending a gathering, the experts say.

—ABC News

Adolescents with autism are overrepresented in the youth transgender population, and some medical professionals attribute this to autism spectrum traits such as obsessive thinking, vulnerability to body image issues and a sense of social rejection and isolation during adolescence.

Dr. Susan Bradley, a Canadian psychiatrist who began working with gender dysphoric children in the 1970s, said she believed most of the children who sought gender transitions had high-functioning autism and were being exploited by the medical industry.

“When somebody happens to mention that, you know, they’re trans or they hear about trans kids and go online, even if all they do is say, ‘I wonder if I’m trans,’ a lot of these kids are automatically accepted. ‘Well, you must be trans if you’ve even thought about that.’ And for them, that is a very helpful reaction, because all of a sudden, they feel as though that explains all of the trouble all the way along,” Bradley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“They have early difficulty with social understanding and the feeling that they don’t fit in; they struggle to understand that they are different in a certain kind of way that other people don’t understand either, and they often feel left out in peer groups. Many of them don’t have a good friend. They’ll often say other kids tease them or leave them out,” she said. “These kids are even less well equipped than your average teen to manage strong feelings, and they just get totally disregulated at times. That’s why they become so much more vulnerable, they get suicidal, they get anxious, depressed, very down on themselves.”

—The Daily Caller

The Catholic Church is open to reviewing its thousand-year-old practice of celibacy, Pope Francis has suggested.

He said the ban was only ‘temporary’ and there was also ‘no contradiction’ for a priest to marry.

Celibacy was made a requirement by the Catholic Church in the 11th-century for financial reasons, as clergy without children were more likely to leave their wealth to the church.

The Vatican enforces the rule among priests – but there are growing calls to end the ban.

It comes after Germany’s Catholic Church voted for a resolution requesting that the Pope end the obligation for priests to be celibate.

In an interview with Argentine publication Infobae, Pope Francis, 86, said: ‘There is no contradiction for a priest to marry. Celibacy in the western Church is a temporary prescription.

‘It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever whether you like it or not. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.’

—-The Daily Mail


“Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.” That’s the title of the movie that dominated Sunday night’s Oscars. It also happens to be a perfect description of the disasters resulting from Biden Administration policies and neglect. The disasters are coming from all directions, all at once, all the time.

Intimidation and violence aimed at conservatives and Christians is growing.

Last week, federal Circuit Court Judge Kyle Duncan was shouted down and prevented from speaking at Stanford University Law School. Several university administrators were in the room at the time, and when the judge asked for a school official to restore order, he wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

Stanford’s dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Tirien Steinbauch, stepped up and proceeded to berate Judge Duncan instead of the fascists trying to silence him!

Conservative journalist Molly Hemingway tweeted that the protest against Judge Duncan was organized by the Stanford chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a “commie front organization whose ‘observer’ was arrested” during the Antifa riot against a law enforcement training facility in Georgia.

That was a Marxist-inspired attack, designed to destabilize society by attacking law enforcement. That’s what the Atlanta police chief said.

A few hours north of Stanford University, a rally supporting detransitioners, people leaving the transgender insanity and exposing the excesses of that delusion, was attacked by Antifa thugs.

Across the country in New York City, leftist thugs disrupted an event featuring conservative columnists Bethany Mandel and Karol Markowicz, and physically assaulted former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes.

This is the real fascism in America today. It’s not the right. It’s the left that is attacking innocent people, shutting down free speech and threatening our constitutional Republic.

—Gary Bauer

President Biden is known to spend time with his extended family (except for Hunter Biden’s illegitimate child — you know, the one the President and First Lady still refuse to acknowledge) during his frequent long-weekend trips to his properties in Delaware. How nice.

The president also, from time to time, has brought his children and grandchildren along with him on official travel. Such is the case this week as President Biden jets off to San Diego, California, to join Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom to finalize the AUKUS partnership and participate in a DNC reception.

On this trip, Biden brought along his granddaughter Natalie Biden, the eldest daughter of the president’s late son Beau. This we learned during a gaggle held by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre aboard Air Force One on the way from Washington to San Diego.

When asked why Natalie was tagging along, Jean-Pierre noted that “as you know, the president’s family tends to travel with him, pretty often, so that’s not uncommon” before explaining “Natalie is on spring break and so she joined her- she wanted to spend time with her ‘Pop,’ so she joined her ‘Pop’ on this trip.”

How nice for Natalie to have a spring break trip to San Diego aboard Air Force One. But that raised a follow-up question: When members of Biden’s extended family accompany him on official travel, does the president or a member of his family reimburse the federal government — taxpayers, that is — for his family members’ travel expenses?

“That’s a good question,” Jean-Pierre responded. She did not, however, have a good answer.

“I would have to look into how it works for members of the president’s family, I actually don’t know,” Jean-Pierre said. “I actually don’t know how that works,” she added.

So, Biden’s granddaughter flew on Air Force One and is traveling with the president to and from San Diego, official events, and a DNC fundraiser, and Karine Jean-Pierre doesn’t know whether Natalie’s cross-country spring break trip is being paid for by taxpayers who’ve been crushed by inflation and are having to slim down their own vacation plans?

—Spencer Brown, Townhall

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1964 in the first courtroom verdict to be televised in the United States, Jack Ruby was found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy

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