Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F
The Milwaukee Bucks have fired head coach Mike Budenholzer, the team announced Thursday. The decision comes on the heels of Milwaukee’s embarrassing first-round defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat. Milwaukee, the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs, became the first No. 1 seed since the first round moved to a seven-game format to be eliminated in five or fewer games. The Bucks blew double-digit fourth-quarter leads in both Game 4 and 5 of their first-round series against the Heat. They were the sixth No. 1 seed to lose a first-round series in NBA history.
Budenholzer took over the Bucks before the 2018-19 season, and he immediately turned them into championship contenders. The Bucks were a No. 8 seed in the year before he arrived, under previous head coach Jason Kidd. They immediately jumped to No. 1 in his first season, where they remained in his second. The Bucks won the championship in 2021, Budenholzer’s third season, and may have won another last season if Khris Middleton had remained healthy in the playoffs. Instead, the Bucks have moved on after five years with Budenholzer at the helm.
Budenholzer is widely credited for creating the system that helped turn the Bucks into perennial contenders, an extension of his successful run as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks during the mid-2010s. When Milwaukee hired him, he prioritized 3-point shooting in order to space the floor properly around Giannis Antetokounmpo. The result was two MVP awards. He also instituted the drop-coverage scheme that made the Bucks one of the most consistently strong defensive teams in basketball, and in the process nearly turned Brook Lopez into a Defensive Player of the Year.
However, that scheme proved to be a double-edged sword. Budenholzer has widely been criticized for his inability to adjust in the postseason. Jimmy Butler carved up their drop-coverage in the first round, and other opposing stars have done the same through the years. Further, Budenholzer’s decision not to call timeouts at the end of regulation or overtime in Milwaukee’s season-ending loss to the Heat were ridiculed as they prevented the Bucks from putting up potential outcome-altering shots.
The Bucks posted the most combined regular-season and playoff wins of any team during Budenholzer’s tenure and had the league’s best regular-season record in three of his five seasons on the job. He posted a 271-120 regular-season record and 39-26 playoff mark in Milwaukee.
With a roster featuring two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Budenholzer’s Bucks soared to heights the franchise hadn’t reached since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was wearing a Milwaukee uniform in the early 1970s.
But with the notable exception of that 2021 championship season, the Bucks couldn’t match their regular-season success in the postseason.
The Bucks didn’t reach the NBA Finals during any of the three seasons in which they had the league’s No. 1 playoff seed.
—ESPN and Wisconsin AP
A Dane County judge is weighing a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that aims to block Wisconsin’s 19th-century abortion ban.
Circuit Court Judge Diane Schlipper heard arguments Thursday morning in the suit, which was filed by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“I will take this all under advisement,” Schlipper told attorneys at the close of Thursdsay’s hearing. “But I understand the importance of the timeliness of this, so with that, we will be adjourned.”
Kaul, a Democrat, is joined by Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board and Medical Examining Board Chair Dr. Sheldon Wasserman as fellow plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs contend Wisconsin should not enforce its 1849 law, which makes it a felony to perform an abortion unless the procedure is done to save a pregnant person’s life. They argue that law should be voided because it’s been out of use for so long, and because it conflicts with more recent state laws on abortion, including a 1985 law that criminalizes abortion only if it’s done after the point of fetal viability. That 1985 law also allows abortion after viability if it’s needed to “preserve the life or health of the woman, as determined by reasonable medical judgment of the woman’s attending physician.”
But Republican District Attorney Joel Urmanski — one of the three DAs being sued by the AG’s office —rejected the notion that Wisconsin’s abortion laws are in fundamental conflict with each other. Urmaksi argues Kaul’s interfering with prosecutorial discretion, and he’s asking for the case to be dismissed.
—WI Public Radio
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is reportedly in discussions with former President Donald Trump to moderate an alternative Republican candidate forum, as the the pair move on from the cable news network.
Trump has threatened to boycott the first Republican debate, which Fox News will host, amid increasingly frayed relations between him and the network. Carlson, meanwhile, is reportedly looking to build a media presence for himself in the aftermath of his firing and has approached Trump about the independent forum, the Washington Post reported, citing “people familiar with his thinking.”
While numerous outlets such as Newsmax and One America News have approached Carlson about joining their networks, he is reportedly looking for options that will permit him to express his voice through multiple mediums, such as through documentaries and live events.
Complicating matters is Carlson’s contract with Fox, which reportedly runs through the end of 2024. The former host is reportedly considering a deal to take less money that he may be owed in order to secure freedom to pursue other projects in time for the next presidential election.
An alternative debate would rank among most high-profile of projects for the media personality, though it may prove difficult to orchestrate. Trump, currently the runaway leader in the most primary polls, could conceivably lend credence to the prospect with his participation and draw his challengers to that stage.
—Just the News
Sen. Ron Johnson is throwing his support behind Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s investigation into whether Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson misrepresented the safety of their COVID-19 vaccines, saying the probe cannot come fast enough.
“Well, it’s about time,” the Wisconsin Republican said this week on the “Just The News, Not Noise” TV show. “I’m glad he’s doing it.”
Johnson said the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which he said was “touted by the FDA” in the lead-up to the emergency authorization to produce the vaccine, showed 35,000 deaths attributed to the vaccine.
“Twenty-five percent of those deaths are occurring either on the day of vaccination, or within one or two days — 35,000 deaths,” he said.
Johnson said the federal government and media outlets ignored the statistics and stories about severe — and potentially deadly — side-effects of the shots.
“I’ve been beside myself since … about March of 2021 as I started tracking the deaths when they were a couple thousand and just followed those right up to 35,000 deaths,” he said. “And there’s a collective silence on the part of our federal health agencies, the mainstream media, the Big Tech social media giants and, quite honestly, pretty much across the board.”
—Just the News
Behind the scenes: Biden’s close advisers say he’s mentally sharp. But even some of them concede his age has diminished his energy, significantly limiting his schedule.
Many White House officials say they’re amazed at Biden’s stamina — often adding the caveat: “for his age.”
Some White House officials say it’s difficult to schedule public or private events with the president in the morning, in the evening, or on weekends: The vast majority of Biden’s public events happen on weekdays, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Jen Psaki, who was Biden’s first White House press secretary, acknowledged this dynamic: She noted that the president’s remarks on the Silicon Valley Bank crisis must have been a high priority since he delivered them at 9:15 a.m.
“President Biden does nothing at 9 a.m.,” she said last month on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He is a night owl.”
Biden has said he takes his time in the mornings. “I’m up at 7, 7:15,” he told the “Smartless” podcast last November, adding that he works out from about 8 to 8:45 a.m.
By the numbers: A breakdown of Biden’s schedule so far in 2023 reveals how his staff tries to ensure he’s at his best:
Only four public events before 10 a.m.
Just a dozen public events after 6 p.m. — mostly dinners and receptions with foreign leaders or fundraisers.
12 full weekends with no public events.
In response to this reporting, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon sent a one-word reply: “False.”
“California’s economy is the envy of the world,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) boasted Monday, proclaiming May “Small Business Month” in the California – but, a new national survey of CEOs ranks the Golden State the worst state for business in 2023.
In his statement, Gov. Newsom said California has more small businesses of any other state and touted new DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives, but failed to mention that companies are fleeing to other states that are more business-friendly.
According to Chief Executive magazine’s 2023 “Best and Worst States for Business” survey, California ranks dead last:
“The Golden State’s anti-business policies have been chasing enterprises to elsewhere for many years, but California’s fiscal environment has gotten much worse over the last couple of years as Silicon Valley giants have been laying off hundreds of thousands of workers.”
Meanwhile, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s states ranks as the best state for business, followed by Florida under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Tennessee, led by Republican Gov. Bill Lee:
“Texas once again lands at the top of our poll of U.S. CEOs—as it has every year since Chief Executive began compiling the list in 2001. The state’s combination of business-friendly policies, growing cities, a rising professional class, and a direct appeal to CEOs who aren’t happy with California continues to keep Texas at the head of the class.”
What’s more, while eight of the ten top-rated states have Republican governors, nine of the bottom ten have a Democrat governor.
The kind of dust storm that suddenly darkened an Illinois highway on Monday and left seven people dead is becoming more common in parts of the U.S., a phenomenon that some researchers say is far worse than generally recognized.
The Illinois storm caused a 72-car pileup after high winds whipped dust from recently tilled farms into a cloud that caked the insides of cars. At least 37 people were hospitalized.
Such storms often lead to accidents, many of them fatal. There is no definitive tracking of dust storm prevalence nationally, but a March study published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society found 272 fatalities attributed to dust storms between 2007 and 2017.
“This problem is heavily underestimated, understudied and underreported,” said co-author of the study Daniel Tong, a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and an associate professor at George Mason University.
Dust storms are created when fast-moving winds kick up dirt and debris into the air, creating a dark swirling mass that can be difficult to see through or breath in. They become particularly dangerous over roadways and can obstruct a driver’s vision. The advice from authorities and car safety groups like AAA is to pull off the roadway entirely when this happens, turn off the lights to avoid having others follow you in the darkness, and buckle your seat belt until it passes.
“A dust storm is not only a weather phenomenon in the desert, it can happen anywhere in the country,” Tong said. “It can come from a farm, it can come from a school playground, even people’s backyards. If the land is not covered by vegetation and there’s a strong wind, that can be a dust storm.”
Marijuana may be driving a surge in schizophrenia cases among young men, a major Government-funded study suggests.
Researchers backed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated 30 percent of schizophrenia cases in men aged 21 to 30 are linked to cannabis addiction.
Overall across all age groups, the analysis of 6 million people found 15 percent of diagnoses in men and four percent in women could be attributed to the drug.
Dr Nora Volkow, NIDA director and co-author of the study, said the results called for ‘urgent action’ and demanded people think twice before smoking marijuana.
Schizophrenia cases have been rising in recent decades, linked to growing and aging populations. But the researchers warn it could become more common as marijuana becomes increasingly legal.
Marijuana can cause psychosis, impairing the way you think, make decisions, handle emotions, and interact with reality.
It can also interfere with brain development in young people.
—The Daily Mail
Joe Biden lies.
He has the beginnings of dementia.
Everything Fox News says about his incompetence and his horrible domestic and foreign policies is absolutely true.
Everyone knows America will be more prosperous and safe when he is no longer in the White House.
But Joe Biden isn’t leaving. He’s decided he can run for re-election in 2024 for one simple reason – the Republican Party nomination is in the pocket of Donald Trump.
I’m not a Never Trumper. I voted for him twice and I think he did a good job as president. But like everyone else with an un-MAGA-fogged brain, I’m worn out by his antics and personal legal troubles.
I get it. People love him. He got 75 million Republican votes in 2020.
But the Democrats have at least an equal number of voters, plus the biased and corrupt major media are solidly in Biden’s corner – especially if his opponent is Trump.
That means Biden can run for president again from his basement and no one but Republicans will complain.
Biden’s most fervent naptime prayer right now is, “Please, GOP, nominate Donald Trump.”
That’s because Old Joe knows Republicans have some great governors out there in Georgia, Texas, Virginia and, of course Florida, who are tanned, rested and ready.
Biden knows he couldn’t beat any of them. The only person he could beat in 2024 is Donald Trump, and he’s only in the race because Trump is.
Everyone paying attention knows by now that Hunter Biden fathered a child with a woman with whom he met in D.C. and had a month-long affair.
Hunter is a known pervert, according to the information and photographs on his laptop. The man is pond scum, an addict, a pedophile (some of the young girls he filmed himself with were clearly under-age), and a foreign agent.
He had an affair with his brother’s widow then next, with the then-D.C. stripper with whom he fathered the child in question, Navy, now four year old. Hunter has never laid eyes on the girl. He tried to deny she was his, but a DNA test proved that he is indeed the girl’s father. He and his despicable parents refuse to acknowledge her existence. They deny her as their grandchild!
Who does this? What kind of people do this? Grandchildren are one of life’s greatest blessings, whether they are expected or not, born into a marriage or not.
Evil people, that’s who the kind of people do this. The Bidens are truly immoral, malevolent people. To deny Hunter’s daughter a legitimate place in their family proves the corrosiveness of their character. These are poisonous people who are at this moment in time intent upon taking America down. They are not only incompetent but determined to advance their plan to “transform” American as founded. The destruction of the nuclear family is their primary goal. This was Obama’s agenda and it has been highly successful. It is apparently now acceptable to officially deny one’s own unwanted grandchild.
—Patricia McCarthy, American Thinker
Willie Nelson got an odd gift for his 90th birthday.
The country music legend learned he finally made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame cut.
Is there any sane argument against the singer/songwriter’s legendary status?
Did the Hall’s voters need another year of Nelson above ground to finally say, “It’s time?” Did they miss his decades-worth of essential songs, tours and collaborations?
And, by the way, isn’t he a country singer, not a rock ‘n’ roller?
Absurd. All of it.
Then again, absurdity rules this Hall, which officially opened its doors in 1995. The institution is meant to honor rock legends, but through the years it’s welcomed acts whose songs soar beyond the “rock” category.
Think this year’s nominees, including Nelson, Missy Elliott, Chaka Khan and “Soul Train’s” Don Cornelius. Do any of those names scream, “rock” to anyone?
—Christian Toto, Hollywood in Toto
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – 50 years ago today, in 1973, ridden by Ron Turcotte, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby in 1 minute 59 seconds and 40 milliseconds, the record which stands today. No horse could manage to run the Derby in under 2 minutes for another 30 years until Monarchos managed it in 2007.
The 1973 Kentucky Derby attracted a crowd of 134,476 to Churchill Downs, then the largest crowd in North American racing history. The bettors made the entry of Secretariat and Angle Light the 3–2 favorite, with Sham the second choice at 5–2.
On his way to a still-standing track record, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it, meaning he was still accelerating by the final quarter-mile of the race. Here’s what sports writer Mike Sullivan had to say.
“He [Secretariat] started in last place, which he tended to do. I was covering the second-place horse, which wound up being Sham. It looked like Sham’s race going into the last turn, I think. The thing you have to understand is that Sham was fast, a beautiful horse. He would have had the Triple Crown in another year. And it just didn’t seem like there could be anything faster than that.”
“Everybody was watching him. It was over, more or less. And all of a sudden there was this, like, just a disruption in the corner of your eye, in your peripheral vision. And then before you could make out what it was, here Secretariat came. And then Secretariat had passed him. No one had ever seen anything run like that—a lot of the old guys said the same thing. It was like he was some other animal out there.”
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