Author Archives: Owen

Biden’s Lazy Campaign

It’s quite a contrast.

With just 39 days until the election, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are continuing to campaign in very different ways.

On Friday, the Commander-in-chief kept up his frenetic schedule, hosting four campaign events in three different states as Biden continued to lay low.

[…]

Trump’s jam-packed schedule is in striking contrast to Biden, who continues to law low in comparison.

Biden traveled from his home in Delaware to Washington on Friday to attend a ceremony at the US Capitol as late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state there.

But there was no in-person campaigning on the former vice president’s schedule.

 The 77-year-old has been cautious about the coronavirus pandemic, and spent months mostly hunkered down in his Delaware home.

While he has increased campaigning in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, his events are tightly scripted with only occasional interaction with voters.

West Bend School District Responds to Trump Mask Allegation

From the Washington County Insider.

There was recently a post on social media about face masks that claimed middle school students in the West Bend School District were being asked to remove some political masks and not others.

Superintendent Jen Wimmer was asked about the allegations regarding the masks and responded.

“We have been made aware of a person posting information on a local Facebook group page that alleges a staff member at Badger Middle School told a student to remove a face mask because it featured a political candidate. The Badger administrative team, supported by our Director of Human Resources, is conducting a thorough investigation.

As that investigation takes place, families and the community can be assured that the West Bend School District believes students have the right to exercise non offensive and non disruptive free speech. Supporting a political candidate or advocating for a group (i.e. BLM, Blue Lives, flag, military, etc. as Ms. Kellom notes) is allowed in our schools. There is no policy or practice that would discourage this (unless as part of that message it included offensive language or imagery).”

Support for BLM Riots Falls

When protests turn into rioting and wanton criminal violence, it’s going to turn a few people off. Americans have a very long history of protests – even boisterous protests. We love them. What we don’t love is people burning down our towns, accosting us in our cars and restaurants, and shooting cops.

Support for Black Lives Matter protests is falling across the country after months of unrest that has seen people killed, shops burned, and frequent clashes between activists and police.

A new poll shows that just 39 per cent of Americans now approve of the protests, down from 54 per cent in June, while 44 per cent of now disapprove of them.

University of Michigan political scientist Christian Davenport put the change down to ‘compassion fatigue’, as outrage over videos such as the one of George Floyd has faded, with people now wanting a return to their everyday lives.

The shift also appears to have been driven by perceptions of violence, with almost a third of Americans saying the protest are now ‘mostly or always violent’, up from 22 per cent three months ago.

Meanwhile the number of people who said the protests were ‘always peaceful’ fell from 27 per cent to 23 per cent, and the number who said they were ‘sometimes violent’ also fell, from 51 per cent to 47 per cent now.

Justice Department Builds Antitrust Case Against Google

This could have far-reaching implications.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is expected to bring an antitrust action against Google in coming weeks, focusing on its dominance in online search and whether it was used to stifle competition and hurt consumers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press Thursday.

The department also is examining Google’s online advertising practices, said the person, who could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Antitrust officials at the department briefed state attorneys general Thursday on the planned action against Google, seeking support from states across the country that share concerns about Google’s conduct.

The anticipated lawsuit against Google could be the government’s biggest legal offensive to protect competition since the groundbreaking case against Microsoft almost 20 years ago.

Lawmakers and consumer advocates accuse Google of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.

Woman Arrested for Recycling Condoms

At least they were washed?

Vietnamese police have seized more than 320,000 used condoms that were to be illegally resold to unsuspecting customers, local media report.

Footage showed dozens of bags that together weighed 360kg (794lbs) in a warehouse that was recently raided in the southern Binh Duong province.

A woman, who was believed to be the owner of the warehouse, was arrested.

The condoms were reportedly washed, reshaped with wooden dildos and then repackaged before being resold.

Florida AG Asks to Investigate Bloomberg

It certainly does appear that Bloomberg is attempting to but people’s votes.

Florida’s attorney general asked law enforcement officials on Wednesday to investigate recent fundraising efforts by billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg to pay off court fees and other fines so people with felony convictions can vote. The same effort has been championed by high profile figures, including the NBA megastar LeBron James.

The basis for an investigation was not immediately clear, but it came a day after Bloomberg announced he had raised $16m for the effort. The Republican attorney general, Ashley Moody, said she began reviewing the matter at the request of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, also a Republican. Her letter, addressed to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI, includes a Washington Post article that frames the $16m haul in the context of Bloomberg’s efforts to boost Joe Biden in the state. She also included several state and federal statutes making it clear that someone cannot pay someone for their vote.

“After preliminarily reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted. Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited,” she said in the brief letter.

Rioters in Louisville Shoot Police

I was in downtown Louisville a couple of years ago. It’s a nice city. And now it is being torn apart, police are being shot, and buildings are being torched. These aren’t protests. This isn’t justice. This is insurrection.

 

RIP Gale Sayers

RIP

Former Bears running back Gale Sayers, an all-purpose tailback who took the league by storm as a rookie in 1965, has died. He was 77.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Sayers’ passing.

On December 12, 1965, Sayers scored a single-game record six touchdowns in a game against the 49ers, with an 80-yard catch-and-run, four rushing touchdowns (including a 50-yarder), and an 85-yard punt return. He finished his rookie year with 22 touchdowns.

Sayers made it to the Hall of Fame despite playing only 68 regular-season games, due to knee injuries that shortened his career. As explained earlier this year, Sayers forever will be linked to Brian Piccolo, a teammate who died of cancer at 26. Their close friendship became the subject of Brian’s Song.

Biden Campaign Ignores Latino Voters

A Democrat taking an ethnic group for granted? Shocking, I know.

From the start of his campaign, Biden has mostly ignored Latino voters. Already enjoying overwhelming African American support, he chose to focus his campaign efforts in battleground states on winning back white working-class voters who had supported Obama but voted for Trump in 2016. Latino communities seemed to be barely an afterthought.

The result is what pundits have taken to calling Biden’s “Latino problem.” This kind of enthusiasm gap can be extremely dangerous to a candidate. Hillary Clinton learned this the hard way in 2016, when significant numbers of disaffected or unmotivated voters simply didn’t vote. Alarm bells should be ringing at Democratic headquarters.

Democratic strategists have said they hope to keep the pro-Trump Latino vote under 30 percent. The Trump campaign, however, is aiming to obtain more than 40 percent of the Latino vote. So far, the Trump campaign seems to have done far more door-to-door politicking to influence Latino voters in key states.

Charges Announced in Breonna Taylor Killing

Make no mistake… Louisville was going to burn irrespective of what the charges were or were not. On the merits, the charges appear to be appropriate.

One of three Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor was indicted by Kentucky  grand jury on Wednesday, following a six-month investigation into the case that sparked mass protests nationwide.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell read the grand jury’s decision in open court on Wednesday afternoon, charging fired detective Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid on the night of March 13.

Sgt Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, who were also present at the time of Taylor’s death, were not charged.

Bernie Sanders Launches Effort to Delegitimize Election

Here we go.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning to mount an aggressive campaign to counter potential attempts by President Donald Trump to delegitimize the results of the November election, warning that Democrats and Republicans alike must do “everything that we can to prevent that from happening.”

In a phone interview on Monday evening, Sanders said he would spend the next six weeks urging the country to prepare for a “nightmare scenario” in which Trump declares himself the winner of the election and refuses to step down even if he loses.

Notice that the only “acceptable” and “legitimate” outcome of the election is a Biden win. Anything else is being characterized as a Trump usurpation. And watch the media go right along with that characterization. People like Bernie are working hard to portray any Trump win as invalid and in doing so are undermining our Republic.

We Must Ignore the “Constitution” because PEOPLE ARE DYING

I was amused and disgusted by this letter to the editor in the Washington County Daily News criticizing my most recent column about the illegal mask mandate:

2. You right-wing constitutional proponents think that you are so righteous defending the Constitution against Evers’ “illegal” orders, but PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!

You, Trump, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Robin Vos, although you might have the “Constitution” on your side legally, are criminally negligent because you have no effective program to stop the pandemic.

So… people are dying so we should just ignore the Constitution and the law? That’s a very disturbing argument that quickly leads to totalitarianism. People like this really live in America.

Foreign Interference in Election

It’s been a long time since we took governance advice from the British royal family. I’m not about to start now.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced a backlash today for speaking out about the upcoming U.S. election and ‘effectively telling Americans to vote against Trump’ despite the British royal family’s strict political neutrality.

The Duke of Sussex told voters to ‘reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity’ while the Duchess called the presidential race the ‘most important election of our lifetime’ as the couple urged Americans to use their right to vote.

Speaking in a Time 100 video message, apparently filmed from the couple’s California home, Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote in the November 3 election – adding that he had never voted in the UK either where convention dictates that royals should keep well clear of politics.

Evers Extends Illegal Mask Mandate

And here it is

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers issued a new public health emergency on Tuesday to extend the statewide mask mandate by 60 days as cases of coronavirus accelerate around the state.

The move comes after infections among college-aged adults have skyrocketed now that campuses are open for the fall semester.

Overall, the state is seeing some of the highest rates of infection in the country. Nearly 7,000 positive tests were reported Thursday, Friday and Saturday — the most reported over any three-day period in Wisconsin. On Friday, a single-day record of 2,533 new cases was reported.

[…]

Evers issued the first health emergency in March and the second in July. That order expires on Monday and Republican legislative leaders haven’t said whether they will extend it and have made no moves to do so. Once it expires, so does the statewide mask mandate. The new mandate extends to Nov. 21.

Whither the GOP?

Lack of Diversity in Car Colors

Huh.

The vast majority of cars on the road around the world are painted in just a few colors. All of them are what people in the coatings industry call “achromatic.” That means they are colors that are not that colorful: white, black, gray and silver.

Thirty-nine percent of the cars in the world are white, according to data compiled in 2019 by coatings company BASF. Black, gray and silver together make up another 39% of cars on the road. That means nearly 80% of all vehicles are painted with achromatic lacquer.

The most popular chromatic color is blue — about 9% of cars come in that color, and just 7% of vehicles are painted red.

The reasons for this are varied, say some in the coatings industry. Risk averse dealers might choose to stock the most popular colors, thus limiting the overall supply of unusual hues. Risk averse consumers might worry about an odd color driving down resale value.

Activist Judge Extends Wisconsin Election

This has no basis in law. It’s just what the judge thought was “fair.” Do we really want judges just setting whatever rules they want and changing it on the fly? Our election laws have been in place for many years and have served Wisconsin well. Why change less than 6 weeks before the election?

U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a large portion of their requests, issuing a preliminary injunction that was expected to be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He put the ruling on hold for seven days to give the other side a chance to seek an emergency appeal.

Evers wants to extend illegal mask mandate

My column for the Washington County Daily News in online and in print. When it comes to the mask mandate, Governor Evers is wrong on the law and wrong on the science.

Governor Tony Evers’ illegal order that all Wisconsinites wear face masks is set to expire on September 28 and he covets an extension of his despotic rule. Any extension of the order would not only be the third intentionally illegal power grab by the governor through emergency declarations, but it would be an admission that his actions are not rooted in science or data. Evers’ emergency orders are about power — not people.

[…]

If you think that a governor creating a permanent state of emergency where he issues arbitrary orders at his sole discretion is an acceptable way to govern, then the governor should at least be able to explain why the order is necessary and will work. The evidence is clear that the current mask mandate has not had any impact on the spread of coronavirus.

The Times’ Racial Brush

Heh.

The Times claimed that only 112 of the 431 House of Representatives members are people of color. It lists Rep. Rashida Tlaib as a person of color, while listing Rep. Justin Amash as white.

Tlaib’s parents and Amash’s father came from Arab towns and neighborhoods in Israel. Amash’s mother came from Syria. They both have traditional Arab names.

How is Tlaib a person of color while Amash is white?

The Amash and Tlaib clans both have a sizable presence in Israel. They’re both Arabs, but, aside from Tlaib being a militant leftist while Amash is an ex-GOP Never Trumper, the only obvious difference is that Amash’s family was Christian while Tlaib’s family is Muslim.

The New York Times’ message is that Muslims are “people of color” and Christians aren’t. It doesn’t matter if their families might have lived some 20 minutes away from each other.

Arab Christians are white while Arab Muslims are a minority group.

Hey Look, Another Federal Government “Shut Down”

Sure. Cool. Why not?

After lengthy negotiations did not produce a bipartisan agreement with Republicans, House Democrats introduced their own proposal Monday afternoon funding government until Dec. 11, moving “full steam ahead” on a vote Tuesday, according to a senior Democratic aide.

The House will then send the political hot potato to the GOP-controlled Senate, although both chambers must ultimately pass identical legislation, which the president must also sign, in order to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Recognizing the lack of an agreement, a senior House Democratic aide warned that the bill “may get stuck in the Senate” after House passage, creating an impasse leading up to the deadline at the end of the month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin struck an informal agreement early this month on a “clean” continuing resolution – essentially agreeing to keep a stalemate over another phase of COVID-19 relief out of the negotiations in order to keep government open.

Second, also remember that the vast majority of federal spending will chug along unimpeded.
Finally, there is no doubt in my mind that the Democrats will force a shut down right before the election – especially with a SCOTUS pick on the table. Fine. Shut it down. I don’t know why we fund “non-essential” services anyway.

DNR Asks to Borrow More Money to Buy More Land

No. We do not need the taxpayers incurring even more debt just to shrink the property tax base and pay even higher tax rates. The state owns enough land. If they want to buy more, they can sell land they already own.

MADISON, WIS. (AP) — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are asking Gov. Tony Evers to renew the agency’s contentious land stewardship program for another decade and substantially increase its borrowing authority.

The DNR uses stewardship funding to purchase land for the state and help conservation organizations purchase land. Republicans have criticized the program for running up too much debt and taking too much property off tax rolls. Debt payments stood at nearly $83 million last year. Still, GOP legislators agreed to extend the program through mid-2022 and authorized it to borrow up to $33 million annually.