NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Friday, March 24, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Wisconsinites would see a net increase in taxes and fees of more than $108 million under Gov. Tony Evers’ budget, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Meanwhile, measures to improve tax collection efforts would generate another $34.1 million.

The memo shows the nearly $1.5 billion in tax reductions in his budget, including a 10 percent break for the middle class, would be overshadowed by proposed tax increases on manufacturers and investors.


The Children’s Wisconsin Foundation announced Thursday that it has decided not to host the 2023 Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk — a downtown tradition for 45 years.

“We recognize the importance this event has held for many families and made this decision with careful time and consideration. We know for many, Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was an opportunity to remember, honor and celebrate the care of a child and the healthcare journey,” the foundation wrote in a press release.

“As we look to the future, Children’s Wisconsin is transforming our health system to consider the whole child, including their physical, social and mental health and well-being. This focus on the whole child includes ensuring our fundraising events are engaging for kids and adults of ALL abilities.”

Instead of hosting the race, Children’s Wisconsin said that it was instead going to hear feedback about how it could create new and more inclusive events that could possibly replace the run in the future.

“During this year off, we are reaching out to our most steadfast supporters – participants like you – to help us collect ideas and feedback on how our events can be more representative of the communities we serve while also identifying what makes our events special and should be retained.”

The Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was created when legendary Marquette coach Al McGuire decided he wanted to do something for the kids of Children’s Wisconsin. McGuire would later approach Bill Dwyre, former sports editor of The Milwaukee Journal, and suggested the creation of a community event.

The end result was a race to benefit the hospital that started at Marquette’s campus and ran through downtown Milwaukee. The first event, called the JournAl’s Run, took place on Sept. 30, 1978. It cost $5 a person, $10 for families and $100 for corporations, but many more donations were made and the 3,500 registered runners raised $20,000.

The run was later renamed the Briggs & Al’s run and would become a fixture in the Milwaukee community for 45 years. During that time the event raised $22 million, according to the foundation.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly said he wants to be hauled into court in handcuffs if he’s slapped with unprecedented charges in the “hush money” case involving porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump, 76, told advisers of his plan, saying that if he has to go through the ordeal of getting arrested and arraigned, he’d prefer making it a “spectacle,” the Guardian said Wednesday, citing unidentified sources close to him.

The ex-president — who’s seeking the Republican nomination for a third White House bid in 2024 — also wants to avoid any special treatment that could make him look weak, the sources reportedly said.

It’s unclear how serious Trump is about the plan, which could be stymied by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the Guardian said.

Trump’s lawyers are also adamantly opposed and have urged him to surrender quietly and be arraigned remotely if he’s indicted, the Guardian said.

The lawyers have reportedly pointed to Secret Service concerns about security, leading Trump to tell pals this past weekend that he didn’t care if he got shot because it would make him “a martyr.”

Trump also speculated that an attack on him could propel him back to the presidency, the Guardian said.

No ex-US president has ever been charged with a crime.

—NY Post

Leaked audio from a recent Chris Rock performance revealed the comedian comparing an arrest of former President Donald Trump to rapper Tupac, saying it’s only going to make him “more popular,” adding, “he’s just going to sell more records.”

“Are you guys really going to arrest Trump? Do you know this is only going to make him more popular? It’s like arresting Tupac, he’s just going to sell more records. Are you stupid?” Rock was heard saying in the leaked audio clip.

Rock also joked about allegations that Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels hush money, saying, “That’s romantic,” adding, “We’ve all been cheated on. Don’t you wish that the person that cheated on you paid off somebody so you wouldn’t find out?”

Chris Rock is not the only one who believes it would be “stupid” for Democrats to arrest their political rivals.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, said on Saturday that Trump will win reelection in a “landslide victory” if he is handcuffed and arrested.

Many others rallied around Trump following the news of his arrest prediction, with radio host Clay Travis declaring, “We now live in a banana republic.”

—Breitbart News

Children and teens in Utah would lose access to social media apps such as TikTok if they don’t have parental consent and face other restrictions under a first-in-the-nation law designed to shield young people from the addictive platforms.

Two laws signed by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox Thursday prohibit kids under 18 from using social media between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., require age verification for anyone who wants to use social media in the state and open the door to lawsuits on behalf of children claiming social media harmed them. Collectively, they seek to prevent children from being lured to apps by addictive features and from having ads promoted to them.

The companies are expected to sue before the laws take effect in March 2024.

The crusade against social media in Utah’s Republican-supermajority Legislature is the latest reflection of how politicians’ perceptions of technology companies has changed, including among typically pro-business Republicans.

Tech giants like Facebook and Google have enjoyed unbridled growth for over a decade, but amid concerns over user privacy, hate speech, misinformation and harmful effects on teens’ mental health, lawmakers have made Big Tech attacks a rallying cry on the campaign trail and begun trying to rein them in once in office. Utah’s law was signed on the same day TikTok’s CEO testified before Congress about, among other things, the platform’s effects on teenagers’ mental health.

But legislation has stalled on the federal level, pushing states to step in.

Outside of Utah, lawmakers in red states including Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Louisiana and blue states including New Jersey are advancing similar proposals.

—ABC News

An EF1 tornado caused significant damage to over a dozen buildings in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello Wednesday, less than 24 hours after a weaker tornado damaged mobile homes in the small coastal city of Carpinteria.

There were reports that at least one person was injured, as well as roofs ripped off buildings and cars destroyed in the heavily populated Montebello area.

It happened around 11 a.m. local time as a lone thunderstorm moved through. The tornado was estimated to have wind speeds up to 110 mph, making it the strongest to hit the Los Angeles metro since March 1983, according to the National Weather Service.

Seventeen structures were damaged, 11 significantly enough to be declared too dangerous to inhabit, according to the NWS.

The tornado primarily impacted an industrial warehouse-commercial business district. One building’s roof collapsed. Cars were damaged with windows destroyed.

The storm came on the heels of the latest atmospheric river to batter parts of California with rain and high winds. At least five people were killed during the storm.

It was the second time in less than 24 hours that a tornado caused damage in the region. The first was Tuesday evening in Santa Barbara County, when a tiny line of thunderstorms moved ashore.

—Weather Channel


If there’s one thing Joe Biden must do as Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal challenges, he must keep his mouth shut. The temptation to comment must be overwhelming, especially for the White House staff and those lined up to work on Biden’s 2024 campaign. Yet, for various reasons, the urge to offer a poorly timed jab from Joe, which usually falls flat, has to be tempered in these unprecedented times. While he may be an incompetent clown presiding over America’s precipitous decline, Joe Biden occupies the Oval Office and the powers and privileges of the bully pulpit. Even a lousy quip can have devastating consequences for him and his party in the long run regarding the potential arrest of Trump over the hush money scheme he had with former porn star Stormy Daniels.

The case is shoddy, the statute of limitations for the violations of the law being considered has expired, and the whole circus reeks of political bias. It’s unsurprising, and even legal analysts, who are not Trump supporters, know matchsticks support the case. Yet, and I had to admit this, should Biden continue this moment of Zen regarding Trump’s legal woes, it shows he’s doing something the former president is not: playing the long game.

Biden wants Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee. And the Donald’s call for protests if he’s arrested and the half-cocked social media post from him declaring that he was going to be placed in cuffs this week don’t help his case with voters who might want to vote for him again but are hesitant to gamble backing a man viewed to be unpredictable. In 2016, that worked since voters wanted change and were tired of the Clintons. In 2024, Trump is now a former president. He’s no outsider, and he can’t use the same playbook, though that’s what the Biden team is counting on, hence the silence over what the Manhattan district attorney’s office is going to do.

The question is whether Biden will remember to stick to the script of his handlers and not let slip a dig at Trump or any remarks that could be construed as influencing the investigation. There’s also a chance that Trump isn’t indicted in this investigation.

One thing Biden does have going is that the media knows the implications of his commenting on Trump’s legal issues, so you’d assume they’d avoid asking him questions about the troubles engulfing his predecessor. And while he’s mentally degraded, I do trust that Joe will be aware enough to know him commenting on such a matter behind the seal of the president of the United States.

—Matt Vespa, Townhall

It’s clear that Joe Biden and his family took massive amounts of money from communist China.

His open borders policies are dangerous and deadly.

He lies all the time.

Biden and his left-wing allies condemn America every chance they get.

Biden says you are “cruel” and “sinful” if you want to protect children from being exploited by the radical transgender movement.

Biden and the left are threatening free speech and waging war against religious liberty.

But for most of the country, it doesn’t seem like there’s any drama because the mainstream media and Hollywood aren’t upset about any of that.

Here’s what I suspect so many of us just don’t want to admit: We are in a very dramatic, consequential moment in American history. This is not the Eisenhower or Reagan years. Our constitutional Republic is in danger.

Anyone we nominate will in short order appear to be “stuck in drama” because the left will demonize them.

I don’t want to mince words here: The neo-Marxist left is a threat to freedom. It intends to force you to kneel and become a slave to its demands. That was obvious during COVID, when our free speech rights were restricted, when our churches were closed and when our jobs were threatened.

And if you resist the chains of neo-Marxist slavery, they will use every tactic possible to portray you and the candidates you support as “controversial,” “racist” and “extreme,” etc., etc.

But in reality, they are the extremists waging war against freedom and normalcy.

—Gary Bauer

It’s no secret the vast majority of Republicans want to vote President Joe Biden out of office in the 2024 election. And who could blame them? With skyrocketing inflation, banks collapsing, a wide-open southern border, politically weaponized federal law enforcement agencies, ideological grooming of children, unchecked Chinese surveillance, federal interference in U.S. elections, and more, it’s completely understandable for millions of Americans to be on the lookout for potential candidates who could get the country on the right track.

While important, the 2024 GOP presidential primary — which has already attracted the attention of prominent conservative figures — doesn’t begin for several months. In the meantime, there are significant vehicles American restorationists could use to defeat leftist radicalism. Chief among them is state legislatures, but conservatives are squandering the opportunity to advance their legislative agenda while blue state lawmakers are successfully implanting radical new legislation that’s having a major impact on the cultural and political landscape of the country.

As of March 2023, Republicans have 22 state trifectas, in which they control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature. These GOP-led states have the ability to advance conservative legislation without fear of Democrats blocking it.

The most notable Republican to use this as a mechanism of advancing conservative priorities is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Since taking office, DeSantis has employed every tool at his disposal to wage war on the left’s institutional and cultural jihad by enacting strong, conservative policies.

Not every Republican-led state is using its power to fight leftists’ cultural revolution like Florida, however. In some instances, several so-called “red states” are even helping Democrats advance their radical agenda.

At a time when Biden’s lax immigration policies have led to a record number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, Idaho and Oklahoma Republicans apparently felt it necessary to further incentivize such lawbreaking by introducing legislation granting illegal aliens modified driver’s licenses. The Oklahoma bill — while introduced by a Republican — was reportedly “authored by Democrat immigration attorney Michael Brooks-Jimene, who is also on the board of a group supporting amnesty.” Meanwhile, the Idaho legislation (SB 1081) is so left-wing that it’s earned the support of the state’s ACLU chapter.

But it’s not just immigration where state Republicans are advancing Democrat priorities. As The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz reported, GOP governors in states such as South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Ohio have all helped further Democrats’ “green energy” scam.

Even more shocking is the surrender of Republican strongholds’ when it comes to protecting children from radical “trans the kids” activists. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled West Virginia legislature passed a bill banning sex change surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers for minors. Prior to the bill’s passage, however, Senate GOP leadership caved to outside pressure, adding a last-minute amendment allowing exceptions for gender dysphoric children deemed “at significant risk of suicide.”

Claims that barring these surgeries for minors will lead them to commit suicide is a faux talking point espoused by leftist adults seeking to impose their ideology on children.

Wyoming GOP Gov. Mark Gordon displayed similar cowardice earlier this week when he declined to sign legislation preventing boys from competing in girls’ sports.

The difference between Democrat and Republican legislative priorities could not be starker. While conservatives are justifiably outraged at the GOP’s weakness, it ultimately falls upon us to hold these incompetent politicos accountable.

Some of the most important cultural issues of our time are being debated in states throughout the country. Rather than worrying about a presidential primary that won’t take place for several months, American restorationists should direct their energy inward toward state legislatures and pressure elected Republicans to enact policies that stymie Biden’s radical agenda.

Despite all the media hype, there will be plenty of time between now and next year to decide who should be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. In the meantime, it’s paramount that conservatives everywhere keep our eye on the ball and use our federalist system to make red states great again.

—Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1980 a vocal critic of the violence during El Salvador’s civil conflict, Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating mass in San Salvador; he was canonized in 2018.

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One thought on “NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Friday, March 24, 2023

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

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