NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


A motorist shot and killed a St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy before fleeing into the woods and shooting himself on Saturday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said.

The shooting makes 2023 the deadliest year for law enforcement in Wisconsin since 2000.

Deputy Kaitie Leising, 29, had responded to a report of a drunken driver who had crashed into a ditch in the town of Glenwood, about 50 miles northwest of Eau Claire, about 6:15 p.m. Saturday, according to the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

The driver, Jeremiah D. Johnson, 34, refused Leising’s demands to take a field sobriety test for nearly 10 minutes before taking out a handgun and shooting the deputy, the DOJ said.

A vehicle of people who had stopped at the scene to help Johnson before Leising arrived gave her aid. She later died at a hospital.

After an hour-long search for Johnson in the woods, an officer saw Johnson shoot himself, the DOJ said. He died at the scene.

The killing comes exactly one month after the fatal shooting of two police officers in neighboring Barron County. On April 8, Officer Emily Breidenbach, 32, of the Chetek Police Department, and Officer Hunter Scheel, 23, of the Cameron Police Department, pulled over a vehicle driven by Glenn Douglas Perry, 50, of New Auburn, after they received a report of “concerning behavior,” according to the DCI.

The killings in Barron and St. Croix counties bring the number of law enforcement officers slain on duty this year to four. In February, a man shot and killed Milwaukee police Officer Peter Jerving after a robbery.

“It’s devastating to say the least,” said Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

“The fact we’re barely five months into the year is beyond alarming,” Palmer said. “A tragedy like this deeply impacts every officer that puts on a badge and the loved ones that watch them depart each day.”

—The WI State Journal

The Milwaukee Brewers are making the seventh inning last call once again.

A team spokesman confirmed that the Brewers are reverting to the practice of beer sales through the seventh inning, undoing the change that was made to move that cutoff to the eighth inning at American Family Field. The maneuver aimed to address the potential loss of concession sales from a sped-up fan experience, with game times down considerably thanks to new on-field rules.

The new mandate is effective immediately. (It started) Monday night when the Brewers hosted the Dodgers.

“This wasn’t related to any uptick in incidents, as the vast majority of fans have continued to be responsible and we haven’t seen anything to cause concern,” said Tyler Barnes, the Brewers senior vice president for communications.

“What we have experienced is that the sale of all concessions drops off precipitously in the later innings, and with the faster game times, the extra 15 to 20 minutes of sales has been materially insignificant.”

The advent of the pitch timer has shortened the average MLB game length to 2 hours and 39 minutes, a full 27 minutes shorter than last year’s average. It’s the shortest average game time since 1984.

—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Whether he’s looking back on the 2022 gubernatorial election or looking ahead to the 2024 presidential race, the advice Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has for his party is simple: “Better candidates win elections, period.”

The Rochester Republican is prepared to make the case to party activists that the GOP will fare better in 2024 with a nominee who’s not former President Donald Trump. He’ll be doing so as the party seeks to rebound from a losing streak — Republicans have lost 14 of the last 17 statewide elections in this battleground state.

The most significant recent blows to the party came in April, when liberal Judge Janet Protasiewicz defeated conservative former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, and last November, when Democratic Gov. Tony Evers fended off a challenge from Republican businessman Tim Michels.

“Look, I think (former Lt. Gov.) Rebecca Kleefisch would have been a better nominee. I think Tim Michels (who beat Kleefisch in the GOP primary) did fine; I have no complaints with the campaign that he ran. But I think that we need to do a better job connecting with people on what the issues are that they care about,” Vos said during a recent episode of the Cap Times’ Wedge Issues podcast. “We spent way too much time talking about the past, and that is a recipe for disaster.”

Vos said Republicans should have broadened their focus beyond crime and made more of an effort to articulate their vision for the state.

“We didn’t really talk about taxes. We didn’t really talk about, how do we deal with growing the economy? How about schools? I think we could have done a better job making the election about broader terms,” Vos said, arguing that those conversations helped Republicans flip three seats in the Assembly — and that the party needs to figure out how to replicate that success at the statewide level.

Nominating Trump — who won Wisconsin in 2016 and lost it in 2020, both by margins of some 20,000 votes — would be a “suicide mission” for Republicans, Vos said.

“The reason the kamikazes went to the battleship was to sink the battleship. They didn’t do a kamikaze mission to miss and then lose the war. And I feel like that’s what a Donald Trump candidacy would be — it’d be a kamikaze mission where we know how this is going to end. And it doesn’t take out the battleship, because Donald Trump doesn’t win,” Vos said.

—The Capital Times

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre Monday called for a boycott of Fox News after the network parted ways with popular former host Tucker Carlson.

“I’m with Tucker. Time to boycott Fox until they come to their senses and let the man speak,” Favre said via Twitter while resharing a clip from the Megyn Kelly Show.

In the clip, Kelly warned her viewers that the network was counting on the audience to return in spite of their furor over Carlson’s departure. Kelly, a former Fox News personality herself, appeared to be speaking to the mindset of network executives on how best to weather the sharp decline in ratings following the end of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“They are banking on you coming back to them. They’ve got a debate in August. You can’t resist. You’ll go. You’ll forgive everything. They’re banking on it,” she said. “DeSantis is likely to announce this month. You’re gonna turn on Fox News. You can’t go to CNN. You’re not gonna go to Newsmax. You’re not gonna go to digital media. You’re gonna tune in to the Fox News primetime, you lapdogs. It’s what you always do.”

“It’s how they have billions. That’s what’s happening here: keep him silent on the sidelines for as long as possible, unable to use his voice… and we will win in the end. Like we always do,” she continued.

Carlson has remained relatively quiet in the wake of his show’s end. The network, meanwhile, has filled his timeslot with a rotating series of hosts, with former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany currently holding the timeslot.

—Just the News

Tucker Carlson is out at 8 p.m. on Fox News Channel, and the network hopes that a host of blue-chip advertisers that for years avoided his controversial hour will soon come back in.

Since Carlson’s stunning exit last month, a timeslot that has been shunned by many Madison Avenue stalwarts seems as if it is being embraced. Procter & Gamble, one of the nation’s largest and most influential advertisers, has been running ads in “Fox News Tonight,” the network’s new 8 p.m. program, for female-skewing products like Venus razor blades by Gillette and Secret underarm deodorant. Also showing up in commercial breaks: Novo Nordisk’s trendy medication Ozempic, and Scotts Miracle-Gro.

“We have had over 40 new advertisers come into the hour since we launched the new program, including some of the largest in the country and, really, across all major categories,” says Jeff Collins, executive vice president of ad sales at Fox News Media, in an interview. “We have seen new advertisers come in, and new demand.”

Fox News has reason to generate new money in primetime. Its parent company, Fox Corp., recently agreed to pay a settlement of $787.5 million to ballot-technology firm Dominion Voting Systems, which alleged Fox News personalities had defamed the company by passing along conspiracy theories tied to the 2020 presidential election. The company faces another defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, another voting technology firm, which is seeking $2.7 billion in damages.


Biden’s overall job approval rating stands at 36 percent, down from 42 percent in February and about the same as the previous low of 37 percent in a Post-ABC poll conducted in early 2022. His disapproval stands at 56 percent, including 47 percent who disapprove “strongly.” Other recent polls have pegged Biden’s approval in the low 40s without a decline in recent months.

Biden’s approval rating is underwater among a slew of groups that supported him by wide margins in 2020. He stands at 26 percent approval among Americans under age 30, 42 percent among non-White adults, 41 percent among urban residents and 46 percent of those with no religious affiliation. Among independents who voted for Biden in 2020, 57 percent approve while 30 percent disapprove. Among independents who voted for Trump, 96 percent disapprove.

Biden’s overall approval ratings, however, are only part of a broader and largely negative assessment of him as a candidate for reelection.

Biden has presided over an economy that has included strong job growth and low unemployment but also high inflation. While inflation has declined in recent months, Americans across party lines continue to express concern about prices and rate the economy negatively overall. Markets remain sluggish in the face of concerns that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation will trigger a recession or additional bank failures.

Biden inherited from Trump an economy badly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, but the public sees the former president as a better economic steward than the incumbent. In the poll, by 54 percent to 36 percent, Americans say Trump did a better job handling the economy when he was president than Biden has done during his presidency so far.

Doubts about how well Biden would perform have risen since he ran in 2020. Today, 63 percent say he does not have the mental sharpness to serve effectively as president, up from 43 percent in 2020 and 54 percent a year ago. A similar 62 percent say Biden is not in good enough physical health to be effective.

Trump, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination, is no youngster. He would be 78 in January 2025 at the time of the next inauguration. But in contrast to Biden, most Americans (54 percent) say he is sufficiently sharp mentally to serve as president and 64 percent say he is physically fit enough to serve.

—Washington Post

Postal carriers have more worries than snow, rain or the gloom of night keeping them from their appointed rounds. They’re increasingly being robbed, often at gunpoint, from Maine to California.

Robberies of postal carriers have exploded, surging 78% to nearly 500 in 2022, according to data provided by U.S. Postal Inspection Service to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

Letter carriers are demanding action from the U.S. Postal Service.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers is outraged and angered by the assaults, armed robberies and even murders that America’s letter carriers increasingly face as they deliver the mail. These attacks are completely unacceptable,” said Paul Barner, the union’s executive vice president.

The Postal Service said it’s adapting and implementing new measures to address the robberies, which are taking a toll on letter carriers tasked with delivering about 162.1 million pieces of first-class mail each day.

“Every postal employee deserves to work in safety and to be free from targeting by criminals seeking to access the public’s mail,” said Michael Martel, spokesperson for the inspection service.

The robberies have more than quadrupled over a decade, the data show. Weapons were used in most of the 496 robberies, injuring 31 postal carriers, last year. One, Milwaukee letter carrier Aundre Cross, was shot to death, leading to three arrests.

“They definitely need some type of security,” said Cross’s friend, Jared Tangle. “They need someone watching their back, so they can do their jobs safely.”

Many of these criminals are becoming more sophisticated and organized. Some are targeting the special keys that carriers use to access collection boxes and to deliver mail in apartment buildings.

A case this January north of Boston was typical. A letter carrier in Peabody was on his route when a 20-year-old man told him, “Give me your keys” and “Hurry up or I’ll shoot you” while pointing a semi-automatic handgun at the carrier, law enforcement officials said. The assailant fled but was later arrested.

In March, a postal carrier was slashed with a machete in Lowell, Massachusetts. That assailant also was located and arrested.

Theft of mail carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, and possession, concealment or disposal of property carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, Martel said. Assault carries a sentence of up to 10 years for a first offense, and up to 25 years for a subsequent offense, he said. “We will continue to adapt to evolving security threats and implement expanded measures to safeguard our employees and preserve the security of the mail that our customers expect and deserve,” Partenheimer said.

—Associated Press

A new proposed federal rule would require airlines to pay cash to customers for “controllable” delays or cancellations.

On May 8, President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivered remarks on “holding airlines accountable.” The rule is being touted as a historic step toward ensuring passengers are adequately compensated for airline-caused snafus. But an industry group points out that severe weather and air-traffic control outages have lately been responsible for the lion’s share of the problems.

Biden told reporters that the European Union saw fewer travel disruptions after instituting a similar rule.

“This rule would, for the first time in U.S. history, propose to require airlines to compensate passengers and cover expenses such as meals, hotels, and rebooking in cases where the airline has caused a cancellation or significant delay,” he said.

However, an airline advocacy group, Airlines for America (A4A), told The Epoch Times in an email, “U.S. airlines have no incentive to delay or cancel a flight and do everything in their control to ensure flights depart and arrive on time.”

Weather is one of the most significant factors affecting flight schedules, and “extreme weather” caused more than half of the flight cancellations during 2022, according to the group. Thus far in 2023, air carriers were at fault in about one-third of cancellations, A4A noted, while weather caused 58 percent of cancellations and National Airspace System (NAS) system failures nixed 8 percent of flights.

—Epoch Times

The media outlet that has the most robustly positive perception among the American public is the one that is most explicitly and structurally apolitical: the Weather Channel. On pretty much everything else, the pattern is heavily saturated with partisanship — like most other things in America.

According to the new data, the Weather Channel is viewed with more trust than distrust by a 53-point margin among Americans. The next most-trusted outlet on net is PBS, which has a 30-point advantage on trustworthiness. But less than half of respondents overall said they found PBS trustworthy or very trustworthy.

Partisanship also comes into play with PBS. The Weather Channel is trusted by most Democrats and most Republicans. But PBS is viewed as trustworthy by two-thirds of Democrats and only one-third of Republicans.

PBS is tied with ABC News for second as the most-trusted outlet by Democrats. Among Republicans, second-place goes to Fox News, followed by the further-right cable channel Newsmax.

There’s a pattern that emerges from the data. Democrats are more likely to express trust in media outlets in general, with the party’s median level of trust at of 46 percent. (In other words, half of the outlets polled by YouGov come in above 46 percent among Democrats and half below.) Among Republicans, trust is lower; the median is 24 percent.

—The Washington Post


As Chicago’s violent crime wave continues with no end in sight, the Chicago Police Department is actually advising business owners to install bulletproof glass to protect themselves. How reassuring — and insane.

But, it’s no parody; it’s true:

As reported by Fox Business, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is advising business owners in Wicker Park, a neighborhood in the West Town community area of Chicago, and Humbolt Park — also on the city’s West Side — to install ArmorPlast, an “invisible shatterproof shield produced by a company called Riot Glass,” to protect themselves and their businesses from armed robbery, or worse.

Neither outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot nor incoming Mayor Brandon Johnson were available for comment.

According to Fox Business, CPD’s advice follows a string of burglaries in which thieves usually break in through side or front glass windows using rocks, bricks, or a crowbar, then enter the business to steal money, liquor, and other valuable items. How refreshing that the burglars don’t just shoot out the glass and walk brazenly into businesses, have their way, then stroll out.

The CPD told CBS News that they specifically recommended ArmorPlast in an alert to business owners, which founder Brad Campbell says can help keep thieves out.

We want to keep the bad guys outside the building —and that’s what the product does.

Why do I think that if a sufficient number of prime business targets in the area install the product, the bad guys would simply employ other, perhaps more violent, tactics to get what they want?

Here’s more, via Fox Business:

According to Chicago Police Department data, burglaries in the city are on pace to reach 2,253 this year, which would represent a 6% increase over 2022 numbers.

The rise in what some have called “smash and grabs” have employees in businesses throughout the city on edge, with some reporting being the target of multiple burglaries in recent months.

However, police response times are now slower, Jaradat said, meaning employees often have to fend for themselves in an emergency.

With violent crime soaring out of control in areas of Chicago — and virtually every other large Democrat-run city in the country — police departments must employ triage, of sorts, with an eye on “supply and demand” of officer resources, and a weighting of one crime vs. another. And, practically speaking, violent crime leads to more violent crime, to the point where police officers simply can’t keep up.

While police departments can continue recommending the “Band-Aids on windows” approach, crime rates across America will continue to rise until Democrat politicians remove revolving doors from jail cells and stop sending repeat offenders back to the streets to pick up where they left off. That observation is neither racist nor heavyhanded: it is reality.


The Epoch Times reported on April 23 the appalling case of a 41-year-old Georgia woman who has been rejected a kidney transplant, even though she is on dialysis and potentially facing death. The seriousness of her condition necessitates her undergoing dialysis three times per week to keep her life.

The reason for such a rejection? The woman, who has already had COVID-19, refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on religious and medical grounds.

Regardless of her acquired natural immunity, Doe, a mother of seven young children, has not obtained an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccinations, although serious issues associated with vaccinating someone with mRNA inoculation was one of the primary bases of her medical objections.

Similarly, here in Australia another mother has been denied the opportunity to receive a lifesaving organ transplant.

Vicki Derdarian, a mother of three, suffered from heart failure in 2020 and is now in desperate need of a lifesaving heart transplant. And yet, she has been turned away by Alfred Hospital in Melbourne because of vaccine mandates that are still enforced by the government of Victoria.

Dr Peter McCullough, one of the world’s most renowned cardiologists, agrees with her that “under no circumstances” should any heart transplant patient receive a COVID-19 vaccine because of the damage it can do to the heart.

“If Vicky’s heart sustains any more damage, it is almost certainly going to be lethal,” he says.

There is now enough evidence to show that the vaccinated can still catch and transmit the virus, and once infected, they are as likely to infect others as those who are unvaccinated.

Not only do these experimental vaccines not stop transmission, but also the protection provided against COVID-19 at best is considerably limited.

Therefore, according to Jayanta Bhattcharya, a professor of medicine, economics and health research and policy at Stanford University, from a medical perspective, all the necessary conditions for vaccine mandates are simply “not present.”

“If a vaccine fails to stop disease transmission, the idea that you need to vaccinate other people so that I’m protected is just false,” he says.

To make it worse, scientists have now discovered that mRNA vaccines, not COVID-19 infection itself, may cause brain and heart damage.

Over the last two years, there has been a sudden and unexplained surge of age-inappropriate deaths in at least 30 countries across the industrialized world, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

In his book, “Cause Unknown: The Epidemic of Sudden Deaths,” Ed Dowd hypothesizes that “the sudden deaths in young people in industrialized countries are due to mRNA vaccines.”

Given that these known health issues are seemingly caused by the mRNA vaccines, the decision to force those in need to undergo lifesaving organ transplants to receive such experimental vaccination is scientifically wrong and deeply immoral.

As can be seen, the denial of medical treatment to these two women in desperate need of lifesaving organ transplants is absolutely outrageous. It is an egregious violation of fundamental human rights.

Indeed, it is entirely unconscionable to deny any person a medical accommodation from an experimental vaccination, especially those who desperately need a lifesaving medical procedure.

—Augusto Zimmermann Ph.D. is professor and head of law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education in Perth

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1865 President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation declaring armed resistance in the South is virtually at an end; this is the commonly accepted end date of the American Civil War.

One thought on “NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Tuesday, May 9, 2023

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (05/15/2023) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s