Archive for the ‘Wisconsin’ Category
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who through his political group has publicly committed to spending $50 million on gun-control politics in 2014 – has paid $150,000 to air a series of television ads targeting Clarke’s conservative pro-gun policies.
The money from Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC is more than what Clarke and Moews have spent on their entire campaigns combined.
Bloomberg spokesman Howard Wolfson told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that he decided to get involved in the sheriff’s race because it allowed him to shape policy on a local level.
“The issue of guns is one that (Bloomberg) cares an awful lot about and there’s a very clear contrast on that issue in this race,” Wolfson told the newspaper.
But Bloomberg isn’t the only person pumping cash into the primary.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee spent $400,000 on its own anti-Clarke ads.
Clarke, who is running as a Democrat but regularly aligns himself with conservative Republicans, spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in April. The NRA, who calls Clarke a “rising national star,” has come to Clarke’s defense, soliciting donations from its members on his behalf and buying online ads for his re-election bid. . . .
Despite a very closely divided state Senate in Wisconsin, Project Veritas did an undercover video that caused Republican Senate President Mike Ellis to not seek re-election this fall. From Fox 6 in Milwaukee:
In the video, recorded two weeks ago, Ellis talks about creating a super PAC to spend money attacking his Democratic opponent state Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber. Ellis said he did not pursue the idea after realizing it was illegal. . . .
I have two thoughts on this: 1) this shows James O’Keefe is willing to go after what he considers bad behavior even when it targets Republicans (which is something that he deserves points for) and 2) whether this is bad behavior depends on the timeline here: the amount of time between the discussion and the release of the video. If it is clear that Ellis wasn’t going to follow through on the discussion, I don’t see the problem. There are so many complicated laws even legislators can’t be expected to understand all the implications of them.
The question in the headline is rhetorical, of course.
In 2012, Al Gore warned of a continued lowering of Great Lakes water levels which would mean that by this coming July we should be able to walk directly from Muskegon to Milwaukee without getting our feet wet. Gore also eulogized Great Lakes winter ice:
Vanishing Great Lakes’ ice: http://t.co/CM1OVphv
— Al Gore (@algore) April 5, 2012
However, the results of the great cryogenics experiment of 2013/2014 should make Gore feel better:
Whew! Isn’t that great news, Al? … Al?
From the AP:
Water levels in the Great Lakes are expected to continue a steady recovery this year, courtesy of widespread ice cover that is slowing evaporation and snowfall that has approached record amounts in some cities, federal experts said Wednesday.
The siege of polar air that has gripped the region this winter has caused the most extensive freeze-over of the lakes since the record-setting year of 1979, when nearly 95 percent of their surface area solidified. On Tuesday, the ice cover reached its highest point since then – 91 percent, said George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
Gee, it’s almost as if these things are naturally cyclical.
On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations held a hearing to examine the already discredited U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) use of storefront operations.
The hearing focused on yet another ATF operation — “Operation Fearless” — that turned into a fiasco. The subcommittee members examined Milwaukee’s operation and other ATF undercover cases to see if storefront operations by that bureau possessed systemic problems, according to the House Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
The main witness at the hearing was the Deputy Director of the ATF, Thomas Brandom.
According to the facts as they are known, the ATF’s Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT) opened an undercover storefront they dubbed “Fearless Distributing” in a neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisc., in January 2012.
The ATF agents also created an attractive Facebook page, according to the committee. The undercover ATF agents then began selling everything from clothing to drug paraphernalia such as marijuana and hashish pipes.
In an effort to nab criminals and street gang members, the ATF agents who staffed the phony Milwaukee store put the word out on the streets that they were interested in purchasing firearms and illegal drugs.
While perhaps well intentioned, the undercover operation became a series of snafus such as the theft of firearms from a government vehicle parked on the street outside of the store, as well as an actual burglary of the ATF storefront.
There was also the questionable involvement of an allegedly mentally-challenged man in conducting firearms transactions and what one subcommittee member said was the “utter lack of management.”
“When I see allegations of police or military misconduct — well intentioned or not — I can always point to a lack of training and a lack of supervision. This operation, as much as Operation Fast & Furous, must be thoroughly investigated. Maybe there needs to be a special prosecutor appointed to probe these ATF operations,” said former police lieutenant and training advisor George Bruno.
According to the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., there were similar problems with ATF undercover operations in other U.S. cities that need to be investigated by his committee.
“We’ve come to learn, thanks in large part to diligent reporting by the Journal Sentinel, that the botched storefront operation in Milwaukee was not an isolated incident. The ATF lacked proper oversight, acted recklessly and took advantage of the mentally handicapped,” said Sensenbrenner in a press statement.
“Coming on the heels of Operation Fast and Furious, Congress continues to have serious concerns about the agency’s leadership. I expect Deputy Director Brandon to be forthright regarding the agency’s activities. I will continue to vigorously oversee the ATF until I am confident that the public knows the whole truth and that the agency’s mismanagement has been corrected,” said the lawmaker from Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Rep. Goodlatte said, “Over a year has passed since the botched ATF undercover operation in Milwaukee and many questions still remain about this and similar stings across the country. Why does ATF continue to use large amounts of taxpayer dollars in buyback programs when the Inspector General has found these programs lack oversight and are not effective in reducing crime?”
“In fact, these storefront operations have often increased crime in the very neighborhoods they were supposed to help,” he added.
So what if the federal government covers some of the costs of state parks? Can’t the state governments make up their own minds about whether they want to temporarily cover the difference? On top of all this, the House Republicans (and some Democrats) have already passed a spending bill for the nation’s parks, but Democrats in the Senate won’t allow a vote on it. Well, at least one governor has ignored Obama’s demands on closures. From The Hill newspaper:
Despite receiving a closure directive from the National Park Service, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has decided instead that parks partly funded by the federal government would stay open to the public.
In the wake of this week’s federal government shutdown, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also placed barricades by a boat launch on the Mississippi River because it was on federal land. Wisconsin’s natural resources agency reopened it.
State officials said they had legal authority to remove the barricades at the boat landing because of an agreement Wisconsin has had with the federal government since 1961.
“We respect the magnitude of the process the federal government has had to undertake to close its properties and certain activities on properties they own and manage,” Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp told department employees in an email obtained by The Hill. . . .
It is difficult for me to understand how recognizing that police won’t immediately be there when a victim is facing a criminal is controversial. Nor is it clear why advising that the most effective way to defend themselves when they face a criminal is with a gun is also controversial. But surely there is a huge difference between self-defense a criminal who is attacking a person and vigilantism? From Fox News:
A sheriff who released a radio ad urging Milwaukee-area residents to learn to handle firearms so they can defend themselves while waiting for police said Friday that law enforcement cutbacks have changed the way police can respond to crime.
In the 30-second commercial, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says personal safety is no longer a spectator sport.
“I need you in the game,” he says.
“With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option,” he adds. “You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. … Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.”
The ad has generated sharp criticism from other area officials and anti-violence advocates. The president of the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Roy Felber, said it sounds like a call to vigilantism. . . .
As the article says, this is the reason why people carry concealed handguns.
Police said an 49-year-old Appleton man was driving into town from the west, when his SUV passed a van – and the van started ramming the SUV from behind. The Appleton man called 911, and a dispatcher told him to wait in a parking lot for an officer.
In the meantime, the attackers followed the man – and police said the couple got out and started beating him and stabbing him with their vehicle keys. The man pulled his concealed gun, and the two backed off. . . . .
The SUV driver had a legal state concealed carry permit, and police say he will not be criminally charged.
Finally a news article that describes that a multiple victim public shootings occurred where permitted concealed handguns are banned
Credit goes to Michael Sears for this picture. A larger, clearer version of the picture is available at this link.
I have to give real credit to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. I have been covering these attacks for years, and I haven’t been able to the news media to write these types of news stories. Yet, finding out this fact has been probably the easiest fact to check out about these attacks. Sarif Durhams has this piece in the Journal Sentinel:
A sign on the door of the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield bans those entering from carrying concealed weapons. That means customers or employees who were following the law would be barred from having weapons. Radcliffe Haughton entered the salon Sunday and killed his wife and two other women and shot four others before killing himself. . . .
I hope that Mr. Durhams get the response that he deserves for writing this story (email@example.com).
It is bad enough that the University of Wisconsin rented out their central campus to the Obama campaign and forced all students who want to attend the event to enroll as participants and backers of Obama … but it seems like someone got shafted and it is the taxpayers.
According to the Daily Caller …
President Barack Obama paid a campaign-related visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Thursday, drawing complaints from several professors who criticized the mass disruption to classes.
Others were more concerned with the registration process for the event. To attend, students followed a link from the university website to the official Obama campaign website, and gave their names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Then they had to click a box that reads, “I’M IN!”
The campaign paid UW about $15,000 to use the venue. But the public university will pay the security costs of the event, which totaled $260,000 last time Obama came to the campus. <Source: Obama rally shuts down campus, requires students’ personal info | The Daily Caller>
Bottom line …
The Obama campaign is being subsidized by scarce public funds earmarked for education. How is that a good deal for the students? Perhaps the person who negotiated this deal should be fired for misuse of public funds.