Boots & Sabers

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Category: Politics

FBI Warns of Unrest During Inauguration

Given what we have come to know about the FBI lately, how much do you trust this agency anymore? Is this real or is it just another effort to rile up people to support Democrats? I give three-to-one odds that we don’t see anything more than a couple of nutters.

Wray said the FBI was receiving a “significant” amount of information that it was pushing out to other law enforcement agencies ahead of the inauguration. Information-sharing is critical before any significant public event like the inauguration, but the issue is receiving particular scrutiny because of signs law enforcement was unprepared for the violent, deadly surge at the Capitol by loyalists of President Donald Trump.

Federal officials have warned local law enforcement agencies that the riot at the Capitol is likely to inspire others with violent intentions.

“We’re looking at individuals who may have an eye towards repeating that same kind of violence that we saw last week,” Wray said, adding that since January 6, the FBI has identified over 200 suspects.

“We know who you are. If you’re out there, an FBI agent is coming to find you,” he added.

Biden Unveils Another Covid Relief Package as Economy Soars

The economy is rebounding. The only thing retarding it is Democratic governors who keep their states locked down. So if the economy is doing OK, why another relief package? Oh yeah, it’s another slush fund to transfer wealth from our grandchildren to Democrat constituencies – just like the “stimulus” package that Obama passed when he came into office. This spending is insane.

Biden unveiled the broad strokes of a rescue plan that includes items that will likely have some bipartisan support – like an additional $1,400 for Americans – boosting the total to the $2,000 per adult President Donald Trump demanded in December.

 

‘$600 is simply not enough if you still have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table,’ Biden observed.

 

But it also outlines loftier goals, like implementing a national $15 per hour minimum wage, a campaign promise the Democrat made.

 

[…]

 

$130 billion is specifically allocated to go toward schools.

 

[…]

Biden wants to see the approved $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit increased to $400.

Milwaukee Teachers Still Want Virtual Schooling Despite Vaccine

Did you really think that the vaccine would get Milwaukee teachers back into the classroom? Think again.

Milwaukee teachers are next on the list to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The school board will decide later this month if students will go back to class for the first time this school year.

Teacher vaccinations could be the deciding factor.

[…]

The state’s biggest school district has nearly 5,000 teachers.

They’ve been virtual since the start of the school year.

But just because teachers will soon be able to get the vaccine, doesn’t mean they all will.

“I’m suffering from a little anxiety about taking this vaccine because I don’t even take the flu shot,” Roosevelt Middle School teacher Rochell Wallace-Haley said.

She wants to go back to class but doesn’t want the vaccine.

“I would rather they give us the option to take the vaccine and still give us the option to go back in the building,” Wallace-Haley said. “We need to be back in the buildings ASAP. Parents are struggling, teachers are struggling, it’s hard and being a parent and a teacher, it’s even harder.”

The school board could consider a hybrid learning model.

It’s not about the kids. It never was.

Evers Calls Special Session to Fix Unemployment System

And the legislature rightfully balks.

The Democratic governor announced the effort to upgrade the system during his State of the State speech on Tuesday. He introduced a bill Wednesday that calls for the state Department of Workforce Development to conduct all transactions electronically and hands the agency $5.3 million to renovate and modernize the claims system. He also issued an executive order calling for lawmakers to take up the bill in a special session beginning at noon on Tuesday.

But Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly accused Evers of trying to shift blame. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Evers’ plan, which appears dead on arrival, is about politics, not policy.

“Governor Evers already has the funding and tools he needs to fix the problems,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu. “Now, instead of effectively using his resources, he’s scrambling to shift blame while people are still left waiting.”

The Republicans are right. Do you know what the tell is? How do you know that Evers is politicizing this instead of acting in good faith?

He called a special session. That’s the tell. The legislature is actually in session and could take up his proposals as part of their regular business. There isn’t any need for a special session. Yet Evers calls a special session because it gives him the cover to claim that he is “doing something” while the Republicans are “failing to act.” It is an attempt to shift blame.

It is also worth noting that we are TEN months removed from when this became an issue and Evers is just now getting around to thinking that he needs the legislature to do something? Is that the speed of government? (yes, it is)

State of Wisconsin Fails in Vaccine Distribution

Indeed:

The current status of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program is unacceptable. We are 40th in the country for distribution and you are holding back our local healthcare providers who are trying to save lives!

 

You have had months to design a vaccine distribution plan that would deploy vaccines quickly and efficiently. You have all of the tools and money you need at your disposal. Multiple entities have offered to help you distribute the vaccine! Our hospitals can do this for you, if you let them. Get out of the way!

 

Our people are waiting and hundreds of vaccines are sitting in storage while you figure out the politics of distribution rather than just getting the vaccine out to the people. What are you waiting for?

 

We have been in contact with our local community hospitals and have learned that they are ready to take next steps in vaccine distribution, but they are waiting on you and your department. They have vaccines – on hand – and want to vaccinate our citizens. But you are stopping them.

Candidate’s Residency Challenged

Well, this is interesting. From the Washington County Insider:

January 13, 2021 – Hartford, WI – The State Elections Commission will meet Friday, January 15, 2021 in Madison to determine whether Don Pridemore has filed valid paperwork to run for State Senate District 13,  the seat recently vacated by incoming Fifth District Congressman Scott Fitzgerald

The challenge by Steven Hepp, received Monday, January 11, 2021, questions Pridemore’s residence listed on his nomination paperwork. The address is 459 Abbot Avenue, Hartford. That address is also the primary residence of Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak and his wife Annemarie.

“Yes, that’s where I’m living with my wife Tina,” said Pridemore. “The mayor is the one renting it to me.”

Michalak also works on Pridemore’s campaign.

Go read the rest of the story for more detail. Essentially, Pridemore has a house out of the district and rents this place in the district where he spends most of his time. According to the Elections Commission:

Candidates must be a resident for one year within the state and a qualified elector of the district at the time of taking office.

Based on that, there shouldn’t be any problem. At the most, they would instruct Pridemore that he needs to be a resident if he wins. At the least, he may already qualify as a resident based on his primary residence being the rented property.

In any case, Pridemore is one of those conservatives with a backbone that the Senate needs right now. Let’s hope the Elections Commission isn’t tilting toward denying ballot access.

Trump Impeached

I see that in my absence that the rabidly vitriolic, vengeful, and venomous Speaker Pelosi and her cohort of malcontents have impeached Trump again for something that he didn’t do. So… not much has changed.

Mr Trump is accused of inciting a mob that stormed Congress last week after he repeated false claims of election fraud. Five people died.

The trial will be held after the president leaves office next Wednesday.

If Mr Trump is convicted, senators could also vote to bar him from ever holding public office again.

The trial follows Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives that formally charged – or impeached – the president with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the riot.

The Republican president has rejected responsibility for the violence. In a video released by the White House after the vote, he called on his supporters to remain peaceful, without mentioning his impeachment.

Notice how the BBC refuses to use his title? They use the titles of other people in the story.

Anyway, the storming of the capitol building has all of the hallmarks of a crowd whereby a contingent turned into a mob and did what mobs do. There was no planning and no actual effort to overthrow a government. It was contemptible, harmful to the body politic and the Trump cause, and, ultimately fruitless… but I understand it. I also understand that many of these same Democrats cheered when mobs sacked the Wisconsin Capitol for weeks after Act 10. I understand that these same Democrats protected Antifa and BLM when they looted private businesses, government buildings, and set up rebellious zones within cities. Their attack on Trump and conservatives is steeped of the zealotry of hypocrisy.

But we need to pull the lens back a bit. What happened in Washington and around the country is part of a bigger picture. We have a fractured America in which some want to continue in a relatively liberal and free Republic and some want a Marxist Regime. And there is a great swath of people in the middle who just want to go to work and be left alone. Politics are always an amplified projection of our culture. It’s not our politics that is broken. It is our culture.

 

Anti-Trump Vandalism in Neenah

Remember that our politics are a reflection of our culture, which is in decline. We saw it in Washington. We see it all around us.

NEENAH – An obscenity directed at President Donald Trump was spray-painted on the front walls of Peace Lutheran Church and Horace Mann Middle School late Wednesday or early Thursday.

 

Police are investigating the graffiti, which was done with orange paint and appears to be similar except the message at the school misspelled the president’s name as “Trup.”

 

Stuart Zuehls, community liaison officer for Neenah police, said investigators were reviewing surveillance video and canvassing the neighborhoods for leads.

 

“At this point it appears to be only at these two locations,” he told The Post-Crescent.

 

Zuehls encouraged the public to remain peaceful in the aftermath of the unrest and violence that erupted Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol.

Supporting the 2nd Amendment

So… who is opposed to the right to carry a weapon for personal defense now? Or the right to have a weapon to help cast off a tyrannical government? There sure are a lot of violent crazies out there.

 

Just wondering.

Evers’ Faillings

I was going to write something substantially similar to this, but Senator Stroebel beat me to it.

“Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers demonstrated his irresponsible priorities as a chief executive. While the state learned of his disastrous handling of the COVID-19 vaccination effort, Gov. Evers was busy rushing out a press statement defending the indefensible actions of convicted domestic abuser Jacob Blake.

 

“According to press reports, Gov. Evers’ plan – if he has one – to ensure frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens receive the COVID vaccine has resulted in Wisconsin being third worst in the region in terms of per capita vaccinations. Physicians and senior citizens have confirmed to the press and lawmakers that they are struggling to receive the vaccine even though they are the national priority to receive it.

 

“Just last month Gov. Evers was upset that Wisconsin ended up with fewer doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine than originally planned. Apparently he never had a good plan to distribute the doses received or the additional doses he was trying to secure.

 

“Instead of posturing and defending a convicted domestic abuser who armed himself and attempted to steal a vehicle with children in it, Gov. Evers should be fixing the COVID vaccine distribution problem in our state. It is sad that he learned nothing from his failure to adequately process the unemployment insurance claims of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin workers last year.”

Sen. Stroebel represents the 20th Senate District.

Democrats Poised to Seize Control of U.S. Senate

That’s disappointing. I guess we will see if there are any moderates in the Senate Democrat caucus to appease or if it’s 100% socialist 100% of the time.

The Democratic Party of US President-elect Joe Biden is on the verge of taking control of the Senate as results come in from two elections in Georgia.

 

Atlanta pastor Raphael Warnock is projected to have won one of the seats. The other is on a knife-edge.

 

If the Democrats win both, Mr Biden will have a much better chance of pushing through his legislative agenda.

Assembly returns to work in person

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. It begs the question: when will any of us go back to a relative normal? Here’s a part:

For those who decry the decline of consensus and collaboration in our elected bodies, making them virtual will only make it worse. Consider the people debating politics on social media as they retreat into their information silos and ideological fortresses and imagine them writing legislation that will govern your life. The results would be predictably bad. Some things just have to be done in person.

 

Furthermore, let us not pretend that any but the tiniest minority of our representatives are actually isolating at home. While the Democrats insist on doing their jobs virtually, most of them are continuing to go shopping, eat at restaurants, meet with friends and colleagues, spend time with their extended families, work in their businesses, and generally go about living their lives. They might be wearing masks and keeping their distance, but they are going about their lives like millions of other Wisconsinites. Their insistence on doing their jobs as elected representatives virtually is conveniently selective.

 

In his letter imploring Speaker Vos to keep the Assembly virtual, Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz conveniently neglects to provide any standard by which he and his colleagues would willingly attend in person. Presumably, the Democrats want to do their jobs virtually in perpetuity — or at least until they no longer need to posture that COVID19 is more dangerous than it is.

Wisconsin Legislative Republicans Propose COVID Response Package

It’s not a bad batch of ideas

The GOP proposals, unveiled as members of the Legislature were inaugurated Monday afternoon, would bar mandatory vaccinations, prevent local health officers from issuing coronavirus restrictions for more than two weeks without other approval, protect businesses from lawsuits seeking damages for COVID-19 exposure, temporarily relax restrictions for K-12 students seeking open enrollment at another school district and require two thirds approval by school boards in order for schools to offer virtual instruction.

 

Other measures would grant the GOP-led Legislature authority over how future federal aid dollars are spent — something Evers has adamantly opposed. And they would prohibit the Department of Health Services from limiting public gatherings at churches and allow residents at long-term care facilities one visitor.

 

“We can’t allow an unelected bureaucrat to rule over communities like a dictator, picking and choosing what businesses should fail or forcing schools to be virtual,” Vos said, in reference to efforts last year by DHS Secretary Andrea Palm to mitigate spread of the coronavirus.

I’ll dig a bit deeper as we get more details.

 

Madison Government Teachers Are a Disgrace

Absolutely disgraceful. They do not care about the kids at all. And it isn’t even close. 94% would rather sit on their butts and phone it in even though the risk to them and the kids is minimal. And yet… I bet they are all finding their way to Starbucks, grocery stores, and other places.

The Madison teachers union is signaling strong opposition to a return to in-person learning, even as local public health officials haven’t reported any school-linked COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths and as some private schools that have been open for in-person instruction since the beginning of the school year report few major pandemic-related problems.

 

The Madison School District has also refused to release many details about the experience of a subset of students who have been receiving care and academic help in school buildings since September — potentially crucial information ahead of a decision on whether there will be a broader return to classrooms this month.

 

[…]

 

According to the results of a survey of MTI members posted to a member’s public Facebook page, about 94% of the approximately 1,000 teachers who responded opposed returning for in-person classes in the third quarter. Sadlowski declined to release the full survey but said the results the member posted were accurate.

 

[…]

 

Separately, Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that since Sept. 1, it’s identified 22 clusters of coronavirus transmission and 121 cases linked to schools, including two clusters at schools in another county. None of the cases resulted in hospitalization or death, according to spokeswoman Sarah Mattes

These teachers clearly don’t believe that they are essential.

Noted.

Pushing for a Meat Tax

Oh, fer cryin’ out loud.

Organic and regular beef are just as environmentally damaging, they concluded — while organic chicken actually results in slightly more greenhouse emissions overall.

 

Based on their findings, the team propose that policy measures — ‘meat taxes’ — are needed to ‘close the gap between current market prices and the true costs of food.’

 

Such taxation, the team said, would call for a 40 per cent increase in regular beef’s cost, but only a 25 per cent rise for organic beef, which is already more expensive.

So we increase food insecurity for lower-income folks while funneling more money into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.

What is a COVID Death?

This tragic story helps illustrate the issue with COVID death statistics:

Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, who died while battling COVID-19, suffered a heart attack following a procedure, a hospital official said.

 

The 41-year-old was receiving treatment in the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport when he died Tuesday, the Monroe News-Star reported.

 

LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghali confirmed Letlow underwent an operation related to the virus and later went into cardiac arrest.

 

“It’s devastating to our entire team,” Ghali told the paper, adding that he “had no underlying conditions.”

We all saw the headlines when they came out. Things like, “Congressman-elect dies of COVID-19” and “Rising Republican Dies of COVID-19.” But was it?

We do not know the specifics of why he was undergoing heart surgery. They say it was related to his COVID illness, but how? What were they actually doing? And given the shock of the doctors, it seems that they did not think it was a high-risk surgery. Clearly it was the heart attack that killed him, but is the underlying COVID the real culprit? What a bit fat guy dies of a heart attack or diabetes, do we say that he was killed by obesity? No, so why label COVID as the problem here? If someone has a heart attack while driving and is decapitated in the crash, what killed her? It gets complicated. An argument could be made either way by rational people.

In the case of COVID, however, we have defaulted to classifying ANY death where COVID is present as a “COVID” death. We see the stats where this is happening. COVID deaths are increasing while it looks like we have virtually cured many other previously-deadly ailments. People who were shot, drowned, had heart attacks, strokes, etc. are all mixed in with the COVID death statistics. Sometimes, they are called a COVID death even if they do not have a firm diagnosis but the person had “COVID-like symptoms.” There is a distinct preference to label deaths as being caused by COVID if the slimmest of connection can be found.

The question is… why? Why have officials all across the country chosen to default to COVID when declaring the cause of death.

Hint… follow the money… follow the power.

Evers fights for more government with COVID-19 bill

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week. Thankfully, this bill is still dead.

Gov. Tony Evers is urging the Republican leadership of the Legislature to pass his self-styled “compromise” bill addressing the ongoing health concern precipitated by COVID-19. Setting aside, for a moment, that Evers’ bill is not a compromise (hint: compromise bills are rarely announced by only one side) and that Evers has actually taken the Legislature to court over the legality of bills passed in a so-called “lame duck” session, let us examine the priorities of the governor during the ongoing health concern.

 

Evers’ bill consists of 17 provisions. Seven of the provisions are designed to expand government and/or reduce the government’s accountability to the people. Eight of them would make waste, corruption, and graft easier with taxpayer money. And two of them are regulatory overreaches that will wreak havoc on citizens and the economy.

 

Given Evers’ background as an educrat, it is not surprising that his bill begins with the absolution of the government education establishment from the strictures of accountability. Under his bill, government schools would not be required to administer pupil assessments and the State Department of Public Instruction would not be required to publish the annual school and school district accountability report for the 2020-2021 school year. Evers seeks to remove any evidence of just how much government education failed the children of Wisconsin this school year.

 

Ominously, Evers seeks to allow any state entity to waive in-person requirements until June 30, 2021, “if enforcing the requirement would increase the public health risk.” You will take note of the fact that no objective standard is given for what constitutes an increase to the public health risk. While this may impact things like court proceedings, Evers’ likely target it to waive in-person requirements to obtain official state photo identification and the spring elections. With this provision in law, Evers could provide a massive gateway for illegal aliens to obtain official photo identification and force the upcoming elections to be conducted 100% by mail.

 

The bill also seeks to funnel unemployment insurance payments into the hands of people who do not need it. It would permanently allow people who are receiving federal Social Security disability payments to also receive unemployment payments. Under current law, someone who is receiving money because they cannot work due to a disability is not eligible for unemployment payments because they are already being compensated for not working. The bill would also completely waive the requirement to seek work in order to receive unemployment payments until July 3, 2021. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at 5% and employers are again struggling to find workers. Anyone who is able and willing to work can find a job. Evers should focus his attention on fixing the unemployment payment backlog that his administration has allowed to languish for the previous nine months.

 

Evers is also sure to take care of the state bureaucracy. His “COVID relief” bill would allow state government employees to take their annual leave even if they have not completed the required six-month probationary period. Evers would lavish additional funding on the Department of Health Services and the Department of Administration while expanding their powers. The DOA would be given arbitrary discretion to shift money around to fund unemployment payments and DHS would be given a grand mandate to operate COVID testing and treatment facilities in perpetuity. The Department of Revenue gets a nod too with the arbitrary discretion to distribute grants to small businesses. The arbitrary discretion of any government official is an invitation for corruption.

 

Most shockingly, Evers would completely prohibit any foreclosures or evictions until July 1, 2021. He would do so without providing any relief for the thousands of property owners, big and small, who would be forced to completely pay for the housing for people unable, or unwilling, to pay their mortgage or rent. Should this provision go into effect, it will force a wave of bankruptcies for small- and medium property owners and force the prices up for people who do pay their bills. While one might be willing to grant Governor Evers credit for trying to stick up for struggling families, this measure is so breathtakingly stupid and destructive that no such credit can be issued.

 

Governor Evers’ bill is a mishmash of bad ideas interspersed with measures clearly designed to unshackle the state bureaucracy. Its only redeeming quality is that it will never pass. True to his character, Governor Evers announced this bill after a series of insincere discussions with the legislative leadership designed to give him the cover of having negotiated something. He did so while giving the Legislature a ridiculous deadline of less than two weeks during the holiday season to pass it. Thankfully, the legislative leadership has signaled that they will not be bullied by a duplicitous governor offering nothing but a list of destructive decrees.

 

The fact that Governor Evers is devoid of good ideas does not release the legislative Republicans from their duty to convene and pass meaningful legislation to help Wisconsinites who continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 and our government overreaction to it. They should start with universal school choice to allow families to escape government schools that failed so badly during this time, liability protections for employers, and prohibit state taxpayers from paying to bail out local governments that enforced more restrictive COVID-19 measures that crippled their own local economies.

States Prioritize Vaccine Rollout

Interesting

FloridaTexas and Ohio are among the Republican-led states forgoing federal vaccination guidelines to prioritize the elderly ahead of frontline workers.

 

While medical workers and residents and staffers of long term care facilities are being prioritized for vaccines in virtually every state, local leaders are split on who gets the vaccine next.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say under the second tier of vaccinations grocery store employees, transit workers, and other frontline staffers should receive the shot at the same time as those who are 75 and older.

 

But in Florida, Texas, and Ohio shots are being offered to the elderly first and frontline workers are asked to wait.

 

‘We are not going to put young, healthy workers ahead of our elderly, vulnerable population,’ Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday, allowing people 65 years and older to jump ahead of essential workers.

I can see both sides. On the one hand, prioritizing the higher risk groups first makes the most sense to reduce the death count as quickly as possible. On the other hand, prioritizing frontline workers first gets those industries back to work faster. Given those considerations, I’d prioritize the most vulnerable first.

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