NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, May 22, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


In a bittersweet ceremony, hundreds of Cardinal Stritch University graduates walked across the stage Sunday during the school’s last ever commencement. The pomp and circumstance comes just more than a month the private, Catholic university in Milwaukee announced it will close after 85 years.

Behind a black curtain in the Wisconsin Center lobby, around 240 graduates made final adjustments to their black gowns, honors sashes and mortar board caps before the ceremony. Some of them were adorned with personalized messages thanking inspiring teachers they had along the way.

When the students began their processional into the ballroom hundreds of family members and friends were waiting. Pockets of people screamed from different corners of the room when they saw their beaming grads walk toward the stage.

The graduating class was diverse, with a mix of Black, Hispanic, Asian and white students. In 2021, a quarter of the Stritch student body identified as Black and Hispanic.

A long line of flags from countries around the world were lined up near the stage, representing the home countries of the school’s international students.

Around 50 other schools in Wisconsin and beyond have made commitments to support Cardinal Stritch students looking to transfer. Formal “teach-out” agreements, which offer direct admission and similar tuition costs, have been signed by leaders of 15 colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia.

According to a statement from the university, an official closing date has not been announced, but Cardinal Stritch will be winding down operations beginning this week. Limited summer classes will run through Aug. 20. Staff will also be working to process transcript requests and other office tasks, but access to campus buildings will be restricted.

—WI Public Radio

As Wisconsin legislators debate a bill to raise local government funding, the possibility of “bankruptcy” for Milwaukee has been thrown around.

“I get asked, why is Milwaukee part of this plan? And I say because Milwaukee literally could go bankrupt and in my humble opinion that could hurt the state,” bill author Rep. Tony Kurtz, a Republican from Richland County, said on the Assembly floor Wednesday night just before most Republicans voted to pass the bill.

Can Milwaukee ‘go bankrupt’?

Legally, not at this point.

Federal law requires a state to authorize a municipality to declare bankruptcy, and Wisconsin doesn’t have a law like that on the books, according to the state Legislative Reference Bureau.

That means the state Legislature would have to enact legislation allowing the city to declare bankruptcy.

If we’re not actually talking about bankruptcy, what is the problem?

The primary concern is about massive service cuts that the city would have to make to meet its obligations. Those obligations include paying off its capital debts and addressing a huge spike in the amount it has to pay into its pension each year to ensure retirees get what they’re owed.

Rob Henken, president of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum, called the city’s fiscal situation the bleakest he has seen in the years he has been analyzing local government budgets.

“This is not necessarily about the city’s inability to pay off its debts and meet its liabilities but its inability to do those two things plus meet its fundamental service obligations to its citizens,” he said.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ex-Marine Daniel Penny insisted to The NY Post Saturday that the chokehold killing of Jordan Neely had nothing to do with race — and everything to do with a broken system “that so desperately failed us.”

In his first public comments since the caught-on-video May 1 tragedy on an F train, Penny was both soft-spoken and stoic about being at the center of a political and racial firestorm, as he faces criminal charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years.

“This had nothing to do with race,” said Penny, 24, sitting under a gazebo at Argyle Park in Babylon, not far from the Long Island beaches where he grew up surfing.

Dressed in black slacks, a blue zip-up jacket and beat-up Vans sneakers, Penny didn’t flinch when asked about Neely, a black, 30-year-old mentally ill homeless man.

“I judge a person based on their character. I’m not a white supremacist.

“I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit comical. Everybody who’s ever met me can tell you, I love all people, I love all cultures. You can tell by my past and all my travels and adventures around the world. I was actually planning a road trip through Africa before this happened.”

He is not a vigilante, Penny said. “I’m a normal guy.”

The confrontation on the train began after Neely allegedly began yelling at other straphangers and throwing trash. Penny said he could not go into detail about the events that then transpired because of his pending case, but he indicated it wasn’t like “anything I’d experienced before.”

Penny’s attorney Thomas Kenniff of the Manhattan law firm Raiser & Kenniff said that fellow F train passengers will back up his client’s account.

“I can tell you that the threats, the menacing, the terror that Jordan Neely introduced to that train has already been well documented. I don’t think it’s going to even be controverted. There are numerous witnesses from all different walks of life who have absolutely no motive to do anything other than to recount what actually happened. They are uniform in their recollection of events.”

—NY Post

Daniel Penny doesn’t deserve a plea deal after being charged with manslaughter in Jordan Neely’s subway chokehold death, Neely’s uncle said Sunday — as he called for the prosecution of the two men seen helping the ex-Marine hold his nephew down.

Christopher Neely made the comments the day after Penny, 24, in an exclusive interview, said that Jordan Neely’s death had nothing to do with race, while noting he did what he thought was right and would act the same way if he was put in a similar situation again.

“He needs to be prosecuted or he will do it again,” Christopher told The Post on Sunday. “It’s a smack in the face for Jordan’s family and the people of New York.”

Christopher said Penny shouldn’t be offered a plea deal by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has charged him with second-degree manslaughter for the caught-on-camera May 1 confrontation.

“I want this to go to trial,” Christopher said. “He has too much confidence in himself and has to be taught what he did was wrong.”

In his first public comments since the fatal encounter, Penny indicated what transpired wasn’t like “anything I’d experienced before.”

“You know, I live an authentic and genuine life,” Penny told The Post when asked if he would take action again if he were in a similar situation. “And I would — if there was a threat and danger in the present …”

Asked what he would say to the family of Jordan Neely, he replied, “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life.”

—NY Post

As President Joe Biden embarks on his reelection campaign, just 33% of American adults say they approve of his handling of the economy and only 24% say national economic conditions are in good shape, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the economy remains low in a time of high inflation, a difficult housing market and concerns about a potential U.S. government debt default. American opinion is also gloomy about Biden’s efforts on gun policy and immigration, with only 31% saying they approve of the president’s performance on those hot button issues. Overall, 40% say they approve of the way Biden is doing his job, similar to where his approval rating has stood for much of the past year and a half.

—Associated Press

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre received backlash over a statement she made that American children “belong to all of us” in the context of access to irreversible gender mutilation treatments and surgeries for kids.

Jean-Pierre made the remarks at the 34th annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards where she spoke with a reporter from Jezebel about restrictions on transgender medical treatments and surgeries.

“I’ve met a lot of parents of trans kids in the past couple of months who have told me these devastating stories, whether they’re in Texas or Oklahoma or wherever they are, saying how they now have to seriously consider leaving their state to protect their child. That’s something that we have to call out and continue to be very clear about. These are kids. These are our kids. They belong to all of us.”

Catholic activist organization Catholic Vote claimed that the Biden administration, spearheaded by our “devout Catholic” president, is working to “destroy the role of parents at every turn.” This is evident on the issues of abortion and transgenderism.

Eagle Forum, a conservative organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, came out against Biden and Jean-Pierre’s remarks.

“The White House Press Secretary has joined Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in reiterating the despicable lie that children don’t belong to parents, but instead to the community and state itself,” Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, said in a statement.

“It may sound radical, but it’s a closely held and common belief of the left. That’s why hack groups like the ACLU and URGE are working overtime across the country to completely erode and destroy parental involvement and consent from their kids, especially when it comes to transgender counseling and surgeries or underage girls being pressured into abortions.”

“This treachery is unconscionable, but it’s happening right now — don’t think your school is immune!” Martin added. When the government owns its people, there’s no room left for liberty. The Biden Administration needs to hear this message from We the Parents loud and clear: NO.”


Seattle residents in the 98118 zip code had to pick their mail up at the post office last week after the United States Postal Service paused delivery due to rising thefts.

“Mail delivery to less than 900 residents in parts of south Seattle was affected last week because of equipment security concerns. Improvements to the affected equipment were made, and all mail was delivered to the impacted residents,” Postal Service spokesperson Kim Frum told Fox News Digital.

The delivery pause was tied to thieves stealing a master key used by postal workers to open cluster mailboxes found in apartment buildings all throughout the city, KIRO 7 reported. Mail delivery resumed this past Tuesday.

While some residents received a notice from their apartment building of the pause, others said they learned through Facebook or by talking to neighbors. Residents had to go to the post office to pick up their mail. Some waited more than 45 minutes, only to be turned away when the post office closed at 5:00 p.m.

The United States Postal Service announced robberies of mail carriers are 50% higher than last year, KIRO 7 reported. Robberies have more than quadrupled in the last decade, with criminals targeting Arrow and Modified Arrow Lock (MAL) Keys, Fortune reported. USPS is currently in the process of replacing 49,000 of the arrow lock keys with electronic versions to deter criminals from robbing mail carriers.

—Breitbart News

Officials at a hospital in western Germany have expressed regret after it emerged that one of their surgeons got a cleaner to assist in a toe amputation.

Public broadcaster SWR reported that the incident at the Mainz University Hospital, which happened in 2020, didn’t result in any complications to the patient but the doctor has since been fired.

The hospital’s chief executive, Norbert Pfeiffer, said the surgeon wrongly decided to go ahead with the routine procedure even though no qualified assistant was available, SWR reported.

When the patient, who had received a local anesthetic, became restless the doctor asked a nearby cleaner to hold the man’s leg and pass surgical instruments, according to local daily Mainzer Allgemeine Zeitung. The paper reported that the cleaner had no medical experience.

The incident came to light after a hospital manager spotted the cleaner — bloody gauze pads in hand — in the operating theater, it reported.

“This should never have happened,” German news agency dpa quoted Pfeiffer as saying.

—Associated Press


Imagine literally being upset about your state government preventing you from physically removing the genitals from your minor child. It’s difficult to do, I know, because the very idea of butchering the body of a child is foreign to you, but there are a lot of people wildly upset by just that idea.

Then there are the wealthy white liberals who, as if it were a sexual fetish of theirs, demand they and their children, and by extension everyone’s children, be indoctrinated into the idea that they are responsible for things done by people who aren’t them that happened long before they were born. You really have to wonder what the hell is wrong with these people.

I know there are some adults who need to be humiliated sexually in order to enjoy themselves. I don’t really care what grown adults do in the privacy of their own homes, as long as who they do it with is of age and willing. I don’t have to explain their lives to God, they do.

Chris Hayes, the MSNBC personality most likely to be mistaken for Rachel Maddow from behind (or front, for that matter), is wildly upset that parents will not be allowed to remove the penises from little boys in the state of Florida. Imagine being upset by that.

Chrissy is very upset that parents can’t turn an outie into an innie on a 5-year-old, which tells you something about him.

Honestly, Jeffrey Epstein’s island is available, and it’s seen its share of sick things. It won’t judge you. Move there. But as long as you’re here, children will be protected from you making life altering decisions on their behalf before they understand the concept or while your Munchausen Syndrome remains undiagnosed.

Just imagine the world the left would love to construct – full of Target’s tucked-back bathing suits and binding tops (at least until they can be permanently disfigured through “gender affirming care”), white people flagellating themselves over what someone who may have looked like them did long ago (while ignoring the African tribes who ran the slave trade and supplied the captives), while black people are told they’ll never get ahead because of what happened centuries ago and taught to fear police (while nearly 10,000 of them are murdered by people who look like they do) and everyone drinks a Bud Light.

I don’t know what Hell is like, but that sure sounds like what would be in the box if they sold a kit to make it here on Earth, doesn’t it? The longer you think about it, the less you concern yourself with trying to figure out what is wrong with these people and the more you commit yourself to making sure they lose in any effort they make to impose their will on anyone.

—Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!) and author of the book, Outrage, INC.,

What was the biggest threat to America in the last seven years?

If you have swallowed the party line of the Democrats, it was the storming of the Capitol by dangerous Trump “insurrectionists” on Jan. 6, 2021.

Jan. 6, 2021 was definitely not a good day for America.

There were violent skirmishes with police outside the Capitol and a lot of window breaking and trespassing inside. Some police were hurt and their attackers have been charged accordingly.

But the unarmed mob — mostly middle-aged men and women in their finest MAGA gear, a few dozen rightwing nutjobs and a sprinkling of undercover government informants — killed no one and was hardly an existential threat to America.

Jan. 6 was a big deal, but it will never happen again. It was a one-off, a one-day national embarrassment that played out in front of the whole world. It’s over. Done.

But what is not over and done is actually the greatest threat to America since 2015 — the weaponization of the FBI and the CIA by Democrats to help the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump.

The details of that weaponization were reported this week in the long-awaited Durham Report.

In its 305 pages, special counsel John Durham confirms what we have known all along — that the FBI’s upper management was a corrupt gang of Obama/Hillary partisans who abused their powers to harm Trump politically.

They broke the law, lied to federal judges, hid information and did whatever it took to ensure that the FBI helped Hillary and hurt Trump before and after he was elected president.

The FBI bosses hated President Trump so much that they were willing to continue pushing an investigation into his supposed collusion with Russia for four years.

They kept the Russian collusion hoax alive — with the enthusiastic help of the dishonest or dumb Trump-deranged liberal media — even though they knew that the “Steele Dossier” was a pack of lies made up by the Clinton campaign.

Hillary knew what the FBI was doing, of course, but so did President Obama.

What the FBI did on the inside of government was far more harmful to the country than anything the “insurrectionist” Republicans did from the outside on 1/6.

—Michael Reagan

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1849 future U.S. president Abraham Lincoln was granted a patent for a boat-lifting device; he was the only U.S. president to have a patent.

And in 1992 American comedian Johnny Carson, considered by many to be the king of late-night television, made his final appearance as host of The Tonight Show.

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