Boots & Sabers

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Category: Politics

Evers fails to act to stem rise in violent crime

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

Two facts have become very clear this election year. First, crime is a huge priority for Wisconsinites. Second, crime is not a priority at all for Gov. Tony Evers.

 

Since Tony Evers took office, crime — particularly violent crime — is way up in Wisconsin. Reviewing the crime statistics compiled by Wisconsin’s Department of Justice tells a tragic story. In comparing 2018 (the last year before Evers took office) to 2021 (the last full year), there were 82% more murders in Wisconsin, 16% more aggravated assaults, and 111% more vehicle thefts.

 

Even more tragic, while murders were up by 82%, arrests for murder were only up 15%. And while aggravated assaults were up by 16%, arrests for aggravated assaults were down by 4%. We have more violent crime, and we are arresting fewer of those violent criminals.

 

[…]

 

After the shootings in Milwaukee last week, Evers once again took to media outlets to express his sorrow and outrage. And once again he is not acting to make any changes to keep it from happening again. Evers’ lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, who is also running for U.S. Senate, tweeted about the need for gun control — the old hobby horse of totalitarians throughout modern history — without even bothering to give any specific policy prescriptions.

 

In each of Evers’ budgets, he failed to offer any policy initiatives to reduce crime. Instead, under the label of “criminal justice reform,” Evers proposed spending more money on education and training for crooks in jail. He campaigned on closing the juvenile facilities of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, but four years later, they remain open waiting for a better solution for Wisconsin’s young criminals. Evers is consistent in advocating to legalize marijuana as a means of reducing crime, but such policies are more about appeasing college kids and crusty hippies. Nowhere in Evers’ budgets is there anything designed to lock up more criminals, empower law enforcement, or compel district attorneys and judges to conduct themselves with the rigor and vigor that justice and victims deserve.

 

Safe behind the walls of his taxpayer-provided mansion with armed guards escorting him wherever he goes, Governor Evers has consistently demonstrated disinterest in the explosion in violent crime that is wrecking lives and destroying the quality of life in the state. Wisconsin needs a new governor who cares more about victims than criminals.

Regents Bring California Values to Wisconsin’s Flagship Campus

Disgraceful.

(Reuters) – Jennifer Mnookin, the longtime dean of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Officials announced her appointment Monday, saying she will take over the top administrative post at the state’s flagship public university on Aug. 4. Mnookin has led UCLA’s law school since 2015, during which time the school has expanded student financial aid, increased fundraising and student diversity, and added several academic centers.

Abort Democrat policies, not babies

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

The issue of abortion had been simmering on the back burner of the midterm election as the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After the egregious breach of trust and decorum when someone leaked the draft ruling, the issue may still be on the back burner, but it is boiling over.

 

While the leaked ruling is a draft and not the final version, it does indicate that the Supreme Court has decided to reverse and strongly reverse the terrible Roe v. Wade ruling in the same virtuous spirit as Brown v. Board of Education. Justice Samuel Alito’s draft is a masterpiece of legal reasoning written in a strident prose designed to firmly correct the court’s 50-year injustice.

 

When the Supreme Court issues its ruling, and assuming that it will be to reverse Roe, it will not make abortion illegal or legal in the United States. Such a ruling will simply divorce the federal courts from making that decision for anyone and restore the issue to the elected branches of state government to decide. Roe was a massive usurpation of rights and responsibilities left to states in our federal Constitution and hopefully Dobbs will return the issue to the appropriate public policy forum.

 

Several liberal states have already passed laws legalizing abortion up to the point of infanticide. Other states have been increasingly restricting abortions. In both cases, states have been acting to ensure that their state laws will reflect the will of the people should Roe ever be overturned.

 

In Wisconsin, attempts to change abortion laws for the better or the worse have failed to make it into law. Consequently, should the Dobbs decision reverse Roe, Wisconsin’s current abortion law passed in 1849 will be in effect. That law makes it a felony to conduct or assist in an abortion in all circumstances except in the case that the mother’s life is at risk. For those of us who ardently oppose killing babies, the Wisconsin law is ideal. In a politically divided state like Wisconsin, we are in the minority. Public opinion polls for years have shown that a majority of people support abortion very early in a pregnancy with steadily declining support for abortion as the pregnancy progresses with late-term abortions being opposed by a strong majority of people. Should Roe be overturned, abortion policy will no longer be a theoretical policy plank in a party platform and Wisconsin’s elected officials will be responsible for their positions. Earlier this year, the Republicans failed to advance a bill that would have revise Wisconsin’s abortion statute to make abortion legal up until the point that the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. The abortion abolitionists and the secretly pro-abortion wings of the Republican caucus united to bottle up the bill without a vote. It may be an untenable position for Republicans to hold in the long term in a politically divided state. For the sake of the babies, let us hope that they can hold it.

 

While abortion policy is critically important to the thousands of babies who are murdered in Wisconsin every year, it is not as powerful a political issue as those on either side of the issue would like to think it is. There is a sliver of the electorate for whom abortion is the most important, and sometimes only, issue that decides their vote. Polls and electoral results in Virginia and Ohio seem to indicate that the anti-abortion single-issue voters outnumber the pro-abortion single-issue voters by a smidge. But either way, these voters tend to be extremely reliable voters and abortion stances are already strongly divided along party lines. There are a few pro-abortion Republicans left, but there are almost no anti-abortion Democrats to be found anymore. In other words, these voters were already very likely to vote, and their votes were already baked into the political projections.

 

If anything, Democrats are desperately hoping that a vigorous debate about abortion will distract some voters from the fact that Democratic policies are ruining our country. Runaway inflation not seen since the early 1980s is destroying our quality of life and erasing the economic gains of the middle and lower classes. Gas prices are through the roof. There are shortages of necessities like baby formula. Rising housing prices and interest rates are robbing young families of the dream of home ownership at the same time as rent is rising. Criminals are gutting neighborhoods.

 

If Democrats are hoping that a reinvigorated debate about abortion will save them from an electoral correction for their disastrous policies, they are mistaken. At the end of the day, most people care far more about themselves than they do about tiny innocent unwanted babies, but that is why abortion exists in the first place.

 

Biden’s Not a Mind Reader

I don’t think the man can read his own mind at this point. But seriously… this is leading?

President Joe Biden on Friday lashed out at critics as he defended his administration’s actions to relieve the infant formula shortage that has panicked parents worried about feeding their babies.

 

‘If we’d been better mind readers, I guess we could have,’ Biden said when asked if his administration should have acted sooner.

 

Biden was speaking at an event on community policing and said he would only speak on that topic before – somewhat grumpily – conceding to talk about formula shortages.

 

‘I’ll answer the baby from the question because all of a sudden it’s on the front page of every newspaper,’ he said.

Bipartisan Effort Protects Babies In Senate

Good!

CNN — 

A key vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, a Democrat-led bill aimed at preserving access to abortion nationwide, failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

The vote comes as the US Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, as indicated by a leaked draft opinion.

The final tally was 49 to 51 with moderate Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joining with Republicans to vote against the measure and stop it from advancing.

Nursing Board President Resigns in Protest Over Evers’ Veto

To be fair, Evers does everything for political reasons irrespective of the underlying policy implications. He’s consistent like that.

The president of the Wisconsin Board of Nursing resigned to protest Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of legislation to allow registered nurses to be licensed as advanced practice nurses.

 

In his resignation letter, Dr. Peter Kallio wrote the “veto appeared politically motivated to appease a small group of doctors who want to dictate nursing practice and that, unfortunately, makes this Board of Nursing ineffective.” He accused Evers of “a pure disregard for our profession.”

 

His term was set to expire in July. Kallio also resigned from the Controlled Substances Board.

 

SB 394 would’ve allowed advanced practice nurse practitioners to issue prescription orders, among other things.

Abort Democrat policies, not babies

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

While abortion policy is critically important to the thousands of babies who are murdered in Wisconsin every year, it is not as powerful a political issue as those on either side of the issue would like to think it is. There is a sliver of the electorate for whom abortion is the most important, and sometimes only, issue that decides their vote. Polls and electoral results in Virginia and Ohio seem to indicate that the anti-abortion single-issue voters outnumber the pro-abortion single-issue voters by a smidge. But either way, these voters tend to be extremely reliable voters and abortion stances are already strongly divided along party lines. There are a few pro-abortion Republicans left, but there are almost no anti-abortion Democrats to be found anymore. In other words, these voters were already very likely to vote, and their votes were already baked into the political projections.

 

If anything, Democrats are desperately hoping that a vigorous debate about abortion will distract some voters from the fact that Democratic policies are ruining our country. Runaway inflation not seen since the early 1980s is destroying our quality of life and erasing the economic gains of the middle and lower classes. Gas prices are through the roof. There are shortages of necessities like baby formula. Rising housing prices and interest rates are robbing young families of the dream of home ownership at the same time as rent is rising. Criminals are gutting neighborhoods.

 

If Democrats are hoping that a reinvigorated debate about abortion will save them from an electoral correction for their disastrous policies, they are mistaken. At the end of the day, most people care far more about themselves than they do about tiny innocent unwanted babies, but that is why abortion exists in the first place.

Blake Drops Civil Right Lawsuit

Perhaps they realized how ridiculous it is? Nah… can’t be that.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Jacob Blake has dropped his federal civil rights lawsuit against the Wisconsin police officer who shot him during a domestic disturbance and left him paralyzed from the waist down.

 

Neither attorneys for Blake, whose August 2020 shooting sparked the protests in which Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and wounded a third, nor Kenosha Officer Rusten Sheskey indicated in their court filings why the lawsuit was being dropped, including whether a settlement had been reached.

 

A man who answered the phone at the office of Blake’s attorney, Patrick Salvi II, hung up when asked about the decision to drop the lawsuit, and Sheskey’s attorney, Kenneth Battle, had no immediate comment.

Taxpayers Pay $65 Billion to Subsidize Internet Service for Millions

That’s $65 billion we don’t have, BTW. And we wonder why inflation is through the roof and the stock market is collapsing.

Monday’s news come largely thanks to $65 billion set aside for high speed internet in the Bipartisan Infrastructure law. That money has helped fund the ACP and is also being directed towards parallel efforts to increase coverage areas and speeds.

 

[…]

 

Families are eligible for the ACP mostly based on income level. Any household making less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level — $55,500 for a family of four in the continental U.S. — is eligible. Households can also qualify if they participate in certain government programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.

In the fine print, participants are agreeing to allow the federal government’s Ministry of Truth to filter their internet to eliminate disinformation. Just kidding… they already do that.

Pro-Abortion Violence Erupts in Madison

Once again we see that it is the liberals who have such a strong propensity for violence when they don’t get their way. Antifa. BLM. Occupy Wall Street. Protests outside of justices’ homes. Attacking Senator Paul. The list goes on.

MADISON, Wis. — Madison police and the Fire Department are investigating a fire at an office building on the city’s north side that they said was arson.

Crews were called to the 2800 block of International Lane Sunday just after 6 a.m. and flames could be seen coming from the facility.

[…]

Officers and arson investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, but police confirmed at least one Molotov cocktail was thrown at the office during the incident.

Police confirmed that the office of Wisconsin Family Action was damaged in the incident. The group is a PAC that lobbies against abortion rights and gay marriage.

Evers bestows Office of Environmental Justice on Wisconsin

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

In the face of a contracting economy, high gas prices, the worst inflation in 40 years, raging violent crime, and a collapse of government education, Gov. Tony Evers has ordered the Department of Administration to create an Office of Environmental Justice. Wisconsin clearly has a governor with his finger on the pulse of what is important to the people of Wisconsin.

 

This was not Governor Evers’ first attempt at creating an OEJ. He put the creation of the office into his draft of the most recent state budget. The Legislature, seeing no reason to enlarge government with another expensive office full of environmental activists who would erode the state’s economy as they empty the taxpayers’ pockets, declined to put the OEJ into the final version of the budget that Evers signed into law. Not to be denied, Evers has now created the OEJ by executive order under the mistaken belief that the state Constitution grants the governor to do whatever he wants via executive order when he does not get his way in the Legislature. The key to understanding the OEJ, and how bad it will be for Wisconsin, is to understand that it is not about the environment. The mission of the OEJ is not to make sure that Wisconsin protects the environment. The OEJ is not a regulatory agency to ensure that the state has reasonably clean air and water. OEJ officials will not be helping to clean up industrial accidents. The key word in the Office of Environmental Justice is not “environmental.” The key word is “justice,” as Tony Evers and the woke left defines it. I invite the reader to take a moment and go read the executive order creating the OEJ. It is easy to find. It is Executive Order #161 and it is only three pages. As with all government proclamations, there are a series of “whereas” clauses that build the justification for the order being issued. Eight of the ten “whereas” clauses in Evers’ order are about racial or social equity.

 

Only one “whereas,” the sixth one, claims that there is an environmental issue that justifies the creation of a new government office. Meanwhile, the order is replete with phrases like, “promoting environmental equity,” “environmental justice movement,” “communities of color in urban ghettos,” and “right to equitable treatment.”

 

The goal of the OEJ is not to make sure that Wisconsin has a cleaner environment. The goal is to ensure that Wisconsin’s environmental regulations meet the racial and social “equity” standard of the woke left. In the nine directives for the OEJ detailed in the executive order, there is no mention of environmental goals. Instead, the new office is directed to do things like review the impact of state laws, regulations, and policy on equitable treatment, develop recommendations using the Wisconsin environmental equity tools, and “develop a framework and strategy for environmental justice work across the administration.”

 

The message from the Evers administration is clear. In Wisconsin, there will be one more state agency to harass and bully businesses and homeowners for any environmental transgressions, real or perceived. Except now, running afoul of the environmental regulatory apparatus could also be deemed racist, transphobic, or whatever violation of “equity” can be applied from the Office of Environmental Justice. Governor Evers continues to run roughshod over the legislative process to push the woke agenda through state government. Meanwhile he continues to nap while Wisconsinites are facing real economic and social hardships. One term in office is one too many for this governor.

West Bend Girls Soccer Teams Merge Due to Low Participation

Declining enrolment continues apace in the West Bend School District. Do they still have all of those same buildings as when they had 1,000 more kids? (hint: yes)

Despite being rivals in the past, West Bend East and West girls soccer combined this spring to form one co-op team.

 

This year the participation from both schools was low enough that the soccer teams could combine without having high numbers. There is precedent for such a move, as the girls golf team, girls swim and dive, boys swim and dive and snowboarding teams already function as co-ops.

 

“In fact, we were at the point where we would only be able to field a varsity team for each school,” said Erin Felber, the West athletic director. “This is not conducive to helping build a program and it isn’t safe for student-athletes to potentially have to play at the varsity level when they are not ready.”

Democrats Pour Money into State to Defend Evers

They’re nervous.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Democratic group is focusing its television advertising spending in the upper Midwest states of Michigan and Wisconsin where Democratic incumbent governors face tough reelection bids.

 

The Democratic Governors Association’s announced Wednesday that it is spending $75 million on ads in seven states, with $23 million going to help Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and $21 million for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

 

The spending in Wisconsin is more than triple the $6.2 million that the Republican Governors Association said two months ago it planned to spend in the state, at least initially. The RGA said it would spend $3.5 million in Michigan starting in mid-October.

Biden Gets a New Press Secretary

Seriously… 330 million people in this country. Why is it so hard to find reporters to cover politics who aren’t related to or sleeping with the people they are covering?

The new White House press secretary has been in a long-term relationship and shares a daughter with a prominent CNN correspondent, raising questions on whether the already ethical-challenged and scandal-scarred network can offer impartial coverage.

 

Karine Jean-Pierre, 44, who takes over from Jen Psaki on May 13 after serving as her deputy, is a partner of CNN’s national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, 55, and the pair share a seven-year-old daughter, Soleil.

 

And, while the trailblazing and historic nature of her appointment was being celebrated by many – Jean-Pierre is the first black woman and first openly gay person to do the job – others were alarmed by conflicts of interest.

FDA Limits Use of J&J Jab

Risks and rewards… perhaps we should let people choose their risk threshold and decide for themselves if they want to inject themselves with something.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it will restrict the use of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine after an investigation revealed that those who got the jab were at increased risk of developing life-threatening blood clots.

 

The agency is now only authorizing the pharmaceutical giant’s Janssen COVID vaccine to people 18 or older for whom other authorized or approved vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to those 18 years or older who otherwise would not get a COVID vaccine.

 

The decision comes following an investigation into reports of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) – a rare and potentially life-threatening disease that creates blood clots and creates low levels of blood platelets – from those who have received the vaccine.

Decline of Feinstein

There is no reason that voters have to accept an addled geriocracy. Feinstein was a force in her day, but the voters deserve an effective representative. Lookin’ at you to, Biden…

These days, however, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the trailblazing Democratic power broker who has served in the Senate for 30 years, is far from the towering presence she once was on the American political stage.

 

At 88, Feinstein sometimes struggles to recall the names of colleagues, frequently has little recollection of meetings or telephone conversations, and at times walks around in a state of befuddlement — including about why she is increasingly dogged by questions about whether she is fit to serve in the Senate representing the 40 million residents of California, according to half a dozen lawmakers and aides who spoke about the situation on the condition of anonymity.

 

On Capitol Hill, it is widely — though always privately — acknowledged that Feinstein suffers from acute short-term memory issues that on some days are ignorable, but on others raise concern among those who interact with her.

Evers bestows Office of Environmental Justice on Wisconsin

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

The key to understanding the OEJ, and how bad it will be for Wisconsin, is to understand that it is not about the environment. The mission of the OEJ is not to make sure that Wisconsin protects the environment. The OEJ is not a regulatory agency to ensure that the state has reasonably clean air and water. OEJ officials will not be helping to clean up industrial accidents. The key word in the Office of Environmental Justice is not “environmental.” The key word is “justice,” as Tony Evers and the woke left defines it. I invite the reader to take a moment and go read the executive order creating the OEJ. It is easy to find. It is Executive Order #161 and it is only three pages. As with all government proclamations, there are a series of “whereas” clauses that build the justification for the order being issued. Eight of the ten “whereas” clauses in Evers’ order are about racial or social equity.

 

Only one “whereas,” the sixth one, claims that there is an environmental issue that justifies the creation of a new government office. Meanwhile, the order is replete with phrases like, “promoting environmental equity,” “environmental justice movement,” “communities of color in urban ghettos,” and “right to equitable treatment.”

 

The goal of the OEJ is not to make sure that Wisconsin has a cleaner environment. The goal is to ensure that Wisconsin’s environmental regulations meet the racial and social “equity” standard of the woke left.

Tim Michels’ Residency Questioned

Good reporting from Wisconsin Right Now. There’s no doubt that Michels is a born Wisconsinite who lived in the state for many years. But if you get rich, buy homes on the coast, and live there, can you still be the governor of Wisconsin?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels left some key facts out of his campaign biography: Namely, a $17 million Long Island Sound home located in a Greenwich, Connecticut neighborhood. The home was purchased in October 2020 through an oddly named LLC that makes ownership hard to trace. However, we have uncovered a building permit buried in a tranche of public documents that lists the owners as Tim and Barbara Michels.

 

Furthermore, from 2013-2021, all three Michels children attended and graduated from high schools in Connecticut and New York City, Wisconsin Right Now has documented. They are not boarding schools, and the kids were extensively involved in high school sporting activities there.

 

The youngest son graduated from a Greenwich high school in 2021, where he was on the sailing team, skippering yachts. That’s just the start of the family’s extensive east coast lives over the past decade. Tim and Barbara Michels accumulated more than $30 million in homes in Connecticut and New York City, with some of the ownership hidden through LLCs.

 

Michels and his wife gave Weill Cornell Medicine in New York a large donation last year in honor of their daughter’s inspirational recovery from brain cancer. A story on that gift reveals, “By 2017, the family was living in the New York area…” That article describes the family as “natives of Wisconsin.”

The language of the story is a little inflammatory. I doubt that the use of LLCs to purchase the homes was an attempt to hide anything. It is common practice for wealthy people who buy multiple properties. And I also give allowance for the issues of residency are a bit more nuanced for people with a bit of money. There are legions of Wisconsin retirees who are officially residents of Florida or Arizona, but they still consider themselves to be Wisconsinites.

Still, those issues of nuance are not applicable when running for public office. You live here or you don’t. The fact that the Michels kids have built lives in another state seems to indicate that they live there. We can reasonable think that their parents do too – even if they live a more nomadic lifestyle between multiple homes. Even if the parents are still spending most of their time in Wisconsin, it is a valid issue for the voters to consider where Tim Michels’ mind is really focused when his family life is oriented on the East Coast.

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