NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, March 20, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


After one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, the journey for the Marquette men’s basketball team ended in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

The second-seeded Golden Eagles struggled with the physicality of seventh-seeded Michigan State’s defense and suffered a 69-60 defeat on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.

MU (29-7) earned its first Big East regular-season and tournament championships and also won a NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 2013.

But after committing 16 turnovers – 11 in the second half – MU stopped playing earlier than it wanted.

—-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

(Tom) Izzo, the 68-year-old Hall of Fame coach (of Michigan State), reached his 15th regional semifinal and won his record 16th March Madness game with a lower-seeded team — one more than Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who retired after this season.

This one was particularly meaningful. Izzo became the face of a grieving school where three students were killed in a campus shooting on Feb. 13.

“It’s been a long year,” an emotional Izzo said in a courtside interview. “I’m just happy for our guys.”

—Associated Press

Kirsten Simms scored a goal and Cami Kronish had 31 saves to help Wisconsin beat top-seeded and defending NCAA champion Ohio State 1-0 Sunday, earning the Badgers their record seventh national title.

Simms, who hid behind Ohio State’s Lauren Bernard in front of the net, flicked a wrister into the goal to give Wisconsin the lead at 13:28 of the first period.

Wisconsin (29-10-2), which lost five consecutive games at one point in January, has won three of the last four national championships (2019, ’21 and ’23 — 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19). The Badgers have appeared in an NCAA-leading 14 of the last 17 Frozen Fours.

—Associated Press

Voters statewide will see a non-binding advisory referendum on the April 4 ballot asking if welfare recipients should be required to look for employment to receive benefits.

The Republicans backing the referendum say the question is necessary to address worker shortages across the state, but Democrats call it a political stunt to influence turnout in the critical Supreme Court race on the same ballot.

The referendum asks, “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded benefits?” Voters can respond yes or no.

This is one of three statewide referendum questions on the ballot, as well as Supreme Court candidates, other non-partisan races and a special election for an important state Senate seat in the Milwaukee suburbs. The other two referendum questions ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment giving judge’s more discretion when making bail decisions.

—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Former Vice President Mike Pence blasted the prospect of his former boss being indicted and arrested (this) week.

On Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday program, Pence said he was “taken aback” at the news former President Donald Trump could be indicted and arrested. Trump announced on Saturday morning he was expected to be arrested on Tuesday on charges relating to hush-money payments he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, during his first campaign for president.

“Well, like many Americans, I’m just, I’m taken aback,” Pence told host Matt Boyle. “You have a major crime wave in New York, especially in New York City. You have literally a Democratic party that’s literally dismantled the criminal justice system in that city, undercut the NYPD, and this is what the Manhattan DA says is their top priority?”

Pence stopped short of defending Trump but echoed his criticisms of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his pursuit of the former president, years after Bragg’s predecessor Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to bring charges in the same case.

Trump slammed Bragg’s office as “corrupt and highly political” in his Truth Social post on Saturday.

And several Republican officials came to Trump’s defense, saying the investigation is a clear “abuse of power.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised to open an investigation into Bragg’s office to determine whether federal funds have been diverted to the attempt to prosecute Trump.

“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy (R-CA) said in a tweet on Saturday. “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”

Pence kept the stream of attacks up in his radio appearance, raising the specter of one of Trump’s greatest grievances while he was in office.

“It reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call,” Pence said.

—Washington Examiner

Conservative Republicans see former President Trump’s possible arrest as further emboldening his base heading into the 2024 presidential election.

A grand jury in Manhattan has been soliciting testimony from witnesses, including disgraced former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who alleges he arranged payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they claimed to have had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump wrote Saturday on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday.


Reacting to Trump’s post, House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said Trump’s base has never been more energized.

“This is just a continuation of the disgraceful and unconstitutional pattern going back to the illegal Russian collusion hoax to attempt to silence and suppress the will of the voters who support President Trump and the America First Movement,” she said in a statement.

“What these corrupt Leftist prosecutors like Alvin Bragg and their Socialist allies fail to understand is that America First Patriots have never been so energized to exercise their constitutional rights to peacefully organize and VOTE at the ballot box to save our great republic,” she added.

Trump was impeached twice for actions during his term in office and acquitted both times. He was investigated and exonerated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia collusion probe. He was referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution last year by House Democrats’ Jan. 6 panel.

The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in connection with his handling of classified documents, and Attorney General Merrick Garland later appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter. A special grand jury has recommended perjury charges against unnamed witnesses in a Fulton County, Ga. probe centered around Trump’s actions following the 2020 election in the state.

Stefanik called the potential arrest of Trump “unAmerican” and said that the “radical Left has reached a dangerous new low of Third World countries.”

“Knowing they cannot beat President Trump at the ballot box, the Radical Left will now follow the lead of Socialist dictators and reportedly arrest President Trump, the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States,” she said.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Trump’s possible arrest is “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump.”

The speaker announced that he is “directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”

Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott applauded McCarthy’s response to the situation.

“@SpeakerMcCarthy is right, and I fully support his call for an investigation,” Scott wrote Saturday on Twitter. “No federal dollars should be used to prop up this radical, Soros-backed activist attorney or his gross political attacks.”

—Just the News

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blames America’s rampant fentanyl crisis on a “lack of love.”

During a news conference, Lopez Obrador claimed the deadly China-produced drug is taking over hundreds of thousands of American households because parents don’t hug their children enough.

“There’s lack disintegration of families; there is a lot of individualism, there is a lack of love, of brotherhood, of hugs and embraces,” Lopez Obrador said. “That is why they (U.S. officials) should be dedicating funds to address the causes.”

The president repeatedly said that people in his country don’t consume the drug, attributing it to Mexico’s close-knit family values. He also called U.S. drug policies a failure.

Lopez Obrador’s comments come after he threatened Republicans they won’t see a single vote from Mexican or Hispanic voters living in the U.S. after several GOP lawmakers vowed to take down the country’s dangerous drug cartels.


A CNN crew was robbed in San Francisco while reporting the city’s rampant crime problem.

CNN correspondent Kyung Lah detailed how the crew’s rental car was vandalized and their bags stolen, which contained their driver’s licenses and passports, while she was conducting an interview for the network.

“Got robbed. Again,” Lah said in a tweet. “[CNN producer Jason Kravarik] & I was at city hall in San Francisco to do an interview for @CNN. We had security to watch our rental car + crew car. Thieves did this in under 4 seconds. Security stopped the jerks from stealing other bags. But seriously- this is ridiculous.”

The photo posted to her tweet showed their car’s back window smashed in with glass everywhere, all happening within seconds.

Lah said that their security guard “tried to grab the crooks” but had to resort to just taking a photo of the license plate of the criminal’s getaway car.

“To the jerks who stole our stuff— I hope someone on this site sees your plate and you get caught,” Lah continued. “San Francisco is a beautiful city. This is our 3rd day here, and I’ve loved my time there. But if you do visit this city, know that even with hired security watching your car, it is not enough.”

Lah acknowledged the irony of the situation, saying that she and her co-worker were in “San Francisco doing a story about voter discontent bc of rampant street crime.”


Legislation moving in the Florida House would ban discussion of menstrual cycles and other human sexuality topics in elementary grades.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Stan McClain would restrict public school instruction on human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and related topics to grades 6 through 12. McClain confirmed at a recent committee meeting that discussions about menstrual cycles would also be restricted to those grades.

“So, if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in 5th grade or 4th grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?” asked state Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Democrat who taught in public schools and noted that girls as young as 10 can begin having periods.

“It would,” McClain responded.

—Associated Press

A mix of protesters and fans gathered in Miami on Sunday as Team Cuba began its World Baseball Classic semifinal game against the United States.

Jose Vilela fled Cuba for the U.S. when he was 14 years old after spending six months in a concentration camp. Like many of his compatriots, he settled in Miami’s Cuban neighborhood, Little Havana.

Vilela, now 68, paced Sunday afternoon outside loanDepot Park, the Miami Marlins’ home stadium, where the Cuban national baseball team later lost to the United States 14-2 in the World Baseball Classic semifinals.

For prideful expats eager to separate sports from politics, the country’s first ever baseball game in Miami was cause for celebration.

But for Vilela and hundreds of others, it was reason to protest the political oppression they escaped.

Vilela stalked the stadium Sunday, yelling outside for anyone associated with the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who embraced Soviet-style communism, to leave the community. That included many Cuban players who are technically government employees.

“We don’t want them here,” Vilela said. “None. People that work for the Castro family. We don’t want them. They can go any place they want. Go to New York. Go to California. Not Miami. I hope this is the last time they come here.”

Three protestors were escorted out of the ballpark after running onto the field during the game.

—The Associated Press

A pair of sleek stilettos or sky-high platform pumps can undoubtedly make you walk a little taller and feel a little more confident—not to mention kick any ensemble up a notch. But what happens if you wear high heels every day?

The problem with heels, experts say, is that they disrupt the natural form of your body. By putting your feet at an exaggerated angle, they pull your muscles and joints out of alignment, which can lead to a lot of concerning symptoms and conditions over time. According to Shoaib Malik, MD, a board-certified family physician at Prime Health of New Jersey, wearing high heels causes harm not only to your feet, but also your ankles, calves, knees, and back.

They say “beauty is pain,” but doctors unanimously agree that no footwear, no matter how stylish, is worth the discomfort, pain, and potential for deformity and injury that regular heel-wearing can cause. For these reasons, doctors recommend limiting how much time you spend in high heels.

“To minimize the negative effects of wearing high heels every day, it’s important to choose lower heels with good support,” Malik tells Best Life. “Wearing orthotic inserts or arch supports can help distribute weight more evenly and reduce pressure on your feet. Taking regular breaks from wearing high heels and stretching your feet and legs can also help alleviate any discomfort.”

If you wear high heels every day….

Your back might ache.

Your feet might hurt.

You may develop plantar fasciitis.

You could be more prone to injuries.

You may experience foot deformities.

—Best Life


If Democrats really wanted Donald Trump to fade away, as they claim, then they would stop persecuting him.

Maybe they are so blinded by hatred that they can’t see that every time they use the heavy hand of the law against the former president, they just cement his status as MAGA martyr.

Or maybe they are so terrified of running against Ron DeSantis in 2024, that they actually want to martyr Trump to ensure he wins the Republican presidential primary ready for a repeat contest with Joe Biden.

Whether or not Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg really is about to arrest Trump this week, as has been reported, over trumped-up hush-money charges relating to a one-time assignation 17 years ago with porn star Stormy Daniels, Friday’s leak from the court could not have come at a better time for Biden.

The story that the first former president in American history would be charged with a crime, fingerprinted, put in a holding cell and maybe even perp-walked to humiliate him before the world is a dream come true for salivating Trump-haters.

But, more significantly, the story took the spotlight off the bombshell bank records released the previous day by the House oversight committee, showing $1,065,000 had been funneled from a Chinese energy company, through Biden intimate Rob Walker, to four immediate family members of Joe Biden: his son Hunter, brother James, and Hallie Biden, the widow of his late son Beau, who also is Hunter’s former lover.

Also listed as a recipient of the Chinese money, which was doled out to the four Bidens in regular small increments between March 6 and May 18, 2017, was an as-yet unidentified family member, listed only on bank wires as “Biden.”

In anyone’s language, that is a huge story.

Even The New York Times had to cover it, although with a typical “Republicans pounce” angle, and “balanced” by a story about an “investigation” by House Democrats into a supposedly missing gift to Trump from the Japanese Prime Minister of a $3,000 golf driver and $500 putter.

So for the Democrats’ spin machine, it was time for a Trump scandal, always their tactic in a “break glass in case of emergency” moment like this, guaranteed to distract media attention, and keep voters in the dark about the real scandal swirling around Biden.

If a legal witch hunt is the Democrats’ plan to win in 2024, it just shows how desperate they are.

Why don’t they try winning elections the old-fashioned way, by presenting candidates and policies worthy of voters’ approval instead of perverting the justice system in the pursuit of power?

—Columnist Miranda Devine

Republicans have wonderful prospects for taking control of our nation’s White House and congressional leadership in 2024 thanks to favorable Senate seat alignments, growing public awareness of Democratic policy disasters, and a deep bench of excellent candidates.

With the House side majority looking quite secure, in the Senate, Democrats and Independents who caucus with them are expected to defend 23 seats, compared with 11 for Republicans . . . quite a reversal of competitive circumstances in 2022.

And unlike in the House, where members are up for re-election every two years, senators are up every six.

The deterioration of economic and social conditions in the country are painfully apparent to most everyone.

Included are general bipartisan dissatisfactions regarding the worst inflation and interest-rate hikes in nearly a half-century, a senseless war against oil and gas that has terminated recent energy independence, a 2022 record of nearly three million illegal southern border crossings accompanied by epidemic fentanyl trafficking deaths, and fear due to escalating out-of-control crime.

Now add soaring national debt, rapidly depleted Social Security and Medicare funding resources and a recent series of ominous major bank failures to this brief list as other compelling arguments for top leadership change.

Besides, polls indicate that with job approval in the tanks and frighteningly and embarrassingly doubtful cognitive capacity, even nearly two-thirds of Democrats don’t want Joe Biden to run for president again in 2024.

The big priority — beginning right now — is for the GOP Party and each of its candidate hopefuls to determine and be clear regarding what they will do to act upon these opportunities for the good of the country, and to get those messages out to a legitimately and responsibly skeptical public.

—Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1854, a meeting of Whigs, anti-Nebraska Democrats, and Free-Soilers in Ripon, Wisconsin, proposed the formation of what became the Republican Party in the United States.

One thought on “NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, March 20, 2023

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (03/27/2023) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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