Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Understanding history of Juneteenth; federal holiday since 2021 | FOX6 News Milwaukee

Former Pres. Donald Trump campaign event in Racine

Former President Donald Trump Wisconsin visit; Racine campaign event | FOX6 News Milwaukee

'I love Milwaukee': Takeaways from Donald Trump's Wisconsin campaign rally

From JSOnline:

Molly BeckRachel HaleHope Karnopp
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

RACINE – "I love Milwaukee."

That's how Donald Trump began a nearly 90-minute long speech in Racine just as news outlets reported the former president had planned to stay in Chicago during the Republican National Convention instead of the Wisconsin host city and a week after Trump stunned the Milwaukee community by calling the state's largest city "horrible" in comments made to U.S. House Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The rally began just as ABC7 Chicago and the New York Times reported Trump had initially planned to stay in Chicago during the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump will be formally declared the GOP presidential nominee.

A spokeswoman for Trump denied the reports but a police source told the Journal Sentinel law enforcement had been notified of daily trips planned by Trump from Chicago to Milwaukee during the convention, July 15-18.

“These lying people that say, 'Oh he doesn't like Milwaukee.' I love Milwaukee. I said you got to fix the crime, we all know that, you got to make sure the election is honest, but I'm the one that picked Milwaukee," Trump told the crowd

Rallygoers unfazed by Milwaukee 'horrible city' comment

Trump's rally in southeastern Wisconsin also comes less than a week after he called Milwaukee, a "horrible city," weeks before Milwaukee is set to host the Republican National Convention in July. That prompted backlash from state Democrats and Biden on social media. Racine is about 30 miles south of Milwaukee.

Republican members of Wisconsin's congressional delegations offered different accounts of what Trump was referring to, such as crime or elections. Trump has previously made false claims about illegal votes in Milwaukee, though late returns for Biden in 2020 were because of how the city processes its absentee ballots.

Those at the rally said the media had taken what Trump said out of context but mostly agreed that Trump was talking about crime, which they also saw as a problem in Milwaukee.

"It's the violence, and that's what he was referring to. Milwaukee is a beautiful city, if you go to the right place," said Kim Toutant from Racine, who was attending her first rally. "Every day, children are being shot in their own homes, sitting on their couch."

Buck Steiniger, who is from the Wausau area, thought people in northern Wisconsin weren't very concerned about crime in Milwaukee. "The people up there are like, 'Whatever happens down there, we're safe up here,'" he said.

Fellow rallygoer John Lazariciu said it was a case of the media trying to smear Trump, and said they don’t give the same attention to statements Biden makes.

“He mumbles gibberish on the world stage and the media, they cover for him,” Lazariciu said. “All the headlines on Trump from liberal media, it's easy for me to look past it, seeing how they've treated him for nine years now.”

Michael Boese of Edgerton said “It’s clear as day” Trump was referring to crime. 

“He was saying how bad the crime isn't in Milwaukee, it's horrible. Everyone knows it,” Boese said. “I like Milwaukee. I’m a Brewers fan, I go to the State Fair, but the crime is getting bad.”

Milwaukee had double-digit percentage drops in homicides (20%), car theft (23%) and property crime (13%) from 2022 to 2023, though those crimes were up compared to 2019.

Trump claims Biden immigration order is a plan to create new voters for Democrats

Thousands of immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens but are in the country illegally would be protected from deportation and be allowed to work while they seek permanent legal status under a new government program announced by President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Trump characterized the plan as a Democratic project to allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants to vote.

Biden plans to allow undocumented spouses and their children to apply for permanent resident status without leaving the country if they meet certain criteria.

To be eligible, immigrants must have resided in the United States for 10 years or more as of June 17, 2024, and be legally married to a U.S. citizen by that date. They cannot have been paroled and cannot pose a threat to public safety and national security. On average, those who are eligible for the program have resided in the United States for 23 years, officials said.

Under current law, many migrants seeking legal status must first depart the United States and wait to be processed abroad, which can take years. The new rule will allow them to stay in the United States and work for up to three years while they seek permanent legal status.

Nothing in the order allows them to vote unless they become citizens.

In Racine, Trump characterized the plan as "a direct attack on American democracy, and yet another example is how Biden and his communists are demolishing our constitutional system and replacing it with a corrupt and fascist regime."

Trump said the plan "will be ripped up and thrown out on the very first day that we're back in office."

"You know what they're trying to do? They're trying to sign these people up and register (to vote)," Trump said without evidence. "They're not citizens. They're not allowed to do it. It's illegal as hell."

Trump again falsely claims he 'did much better' in 2020 in Wisconsin than in 2016

During his speech, Trump repeated a familiar false claim that he performed better in Wisconsin in the 2020 presidential election, compared to the 2016 election. 

PolitiFact Wisconsin checked this claim in April, ahead of Trump's first rally in Green Bay. In 2020, Biden took 1,630,866 votes compared to Trump’s 1,610,184 in the state, so Trump lost by 20,682 votes. 

Trump did win the state in 2016, taking more than 22,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton. He netted 1,405,284 votes in Wisconsin in 2016.

While Trump picked up more raw votes in 2020, his performance was not better because he lost by about 20,000 votes.

Eric Hovde appears on stage with Trump

Trump-backed U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde appeared with Trump on stage as he challenges Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin, praising Trump’s immigration policies and criticizing rising prices under Biden.

“They’re crushing the working class,” Hovde said. “And how about the border? President Trump showed you the numbers … he had the border completely under control.”

Trump during his speech said Hovde was from the Racine area, but Hovde is a businessman from Madison, not southeast Wisconsin. Trump announced his endorsement of Hovde in April during his first Wisconsin visit of the campaign, in Green Bay. 

Biden allies blast Trump over Foxconn handling

Ahead of Trump’s rally, allies of Biden held a press conference in Racine to blast Trump over his handling of an unsuccessful economic development project from Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans in 2017 signed into law billions in taxpayer-funded incentives for Foxconn to build an LCD panel factory in Racine County with the promise of 13,000 jobs.

Trump held events at the White House to help move the project along and declared it would be the “eighth wonder of the world” during its groundbreaking in 2018. The project has not materialized. On Tuesday, Trump did not mention the massive project that was set to take place in the same county his rally was held.

“Trump's policies did not bring the promised jobs to Wisconsin. In fact, we lost jobs. A second term could be even more disastrous,” Democratic state Rep. Greta Neubauer of Racine said at the news conference at the local Democratic Party headquarters.

More:President Biden touts Microsoft's Racine County 'comeback project,' contrasts it with Foxconn failure

Rallygoer Gina Kocjas of Caledonia said she blames the fallout of Foxconn on Walker and the state Legislature.

“I don't blame Trump for that,” said Kocjas, who lives in Racine County.

She said Trump’s base in Racine won’t budge because of Foxxconn — or his convictions in the New York hush money case. 

“He has his base and he's getting more and more of a base. These convictions and all that don’t matter," Kocjas said.

Vivek Ramaswamy compares Trump's criminal charges to hurdles faced by the founding fathers

Former Republican presidential candidate and longshot Trump running mate contender Vivek Ramaswamy sought to compare Trump to the first president of the United States as a prelude to Trump's speech in Racine. 

In his remarks to the rally crowd, Ramaswamy compared the criminal charges Trump faces to turmoil during the country's founding. 

"They made those sacrifices in 1776 and I believe today it's a 1776 moment in 2024 and Donald Trump is the George Washington of our moment. That is what I believe. That is why I'm here today," he said.

Earlier this year, influential conservatives encouraged Trump to pick Ramaswamy as his running mate but other contenders have risen in Trump's eyes in recent weeks. 

Trump says he prefers Lake Michigan because of its lack of sharks

Trump spoke Tuesday along a harbor of Lake Michigan, which he described as "beautiful."

"Much better this, or sitting on the Pacific or the Atlantic, which has sharks," Trump said to laughter from the crowd. "I'll take the one without the sharks."

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

Molly Beck, Rachel Hale and Hope Karnopp can be reached at, and


Note: The Journal Times also has extensive coverage of the Trump rally, with many photos.  See it here:

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Minimal road restrictions expected for Trump's Tuesday visit, according to police

From The Journal

RACINE — There will be no full road closures Tuesday as former President Donald Trump visits Downtown Racine and businesses can expect to operate as usual, according to police.

Doors for the campaign event open at 11 a.m. at Festival Park, 5 Fifth St. Trump is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m., according to event organizers.

A protest also is planned to take place at Monument Square, according to Racine Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Kristi Wilcox.

Wilcox said while no streets will be fully closed, drivers should anticipate some traffic delays at intersections and parking restrictions throughout downtown.

Rotary Park Drive will be shut down between Fifth and Sixth streets, and Fifth Street from Lake Avenue to Festival Hall will be shut down, according to Wilcox

Access to the Lake Avenue ramp will be open from Lake Avenue but not from Fifth Street, Wilcox said.

Local law enforcement will be present to manage traffic flow, according to Wilcox.



Monday, June 17, 2024

Disorder In The Court - The Three Stooges

One of the Stooges' best.

Chicago's Lost 'L' Train to Milwaukee Wisconsin

Milwaukee a 'horrible' city? 'Trump denies comment he already acknowledged

From JSOnline:

Erik S. Hanley
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Did Donald Trump call Milwaukee a “horrible city?”

In a social media post he says no, after having already acknowledged the comment in an interview with a Milwaukee broadcast journalist and with Fox News.

In a post Saturday on Truth Social, the 45th president posted: “The Democrats are making up stories that I said Milwaukee is a ‘horrible city.’ This is false, a complete lie.”

But that came after an interview with Fox 6 in Milwaukee in which Trump didn't deny the remark and said he was commenting on crime and elections in Milwaukee. He made similar comments to Fox News.

The "horrible city" quote, first reported Thursday by Punchbowl News, was made before House Republicans in a morning meeting on Capitol Hill while discussing strategies for his campaign.

Republican congressmen in the room confirmed the comment to the Journal Sentinel with different takes on what Trump was talking about, but Trump in his social media post blamed Democrats, none of whom were in the room

“I picked Milwaukee, I know it well,” Trump said in his post. “It should therefore lead to my winning Wisconsin. But the Dems come out with this fake story, just like all of the others. It never ends. Don’t be duped. Who would say such a thing with that important State in the balance? Vote for Trump, Wisconsin, I will not let you down!!!”

Trump also referenced other news stories in his Truth post such as the Hunter Biden laptop case and alleged Russian collusion, calling both also lies and “disinformation.”



The Democrats are making up stories that I said Milwaukee is a “horrible city.” This is false, a complete lie, just like the Laptop from Hell was a lie, Russia, Russia, Russia, was a lie, and so much more. It’s called Disinformation, and that’s all they know how to do. I picked Milwaukee, I know it well. It should therefore lead to my winning Wisconsin. But the Dems come out with this fake story, just like all of the others. It never ends. Don’t be duped. Who would say such a thing with that important State in the balance? Vote for Trump, Wisconsin, I will not let you down!!!

The "horrible" comment spurred quick reaction from Democrats and others with close ties to Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson responded to the report: “Well, if Donald Trump wants to talk about things that he thinks are horrible, all of us lived through his presidency, so right back at you, buddy."

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers made a post on X saying to "add it to the list of things Donald Trump is wrong about."

Evers also posted on X June 14 saying "Milwaukee is a terrific city. Pass it on." This prompted others to share photos of themselves in Milwaukee, or of events in the city, with the same wording.

More:Democrats launch billboards in Milwaukee after Trump says it's a 'horrible city'

More:Here's how social media is reacting to Trump's 'horrible city' comment about Milwaukee

Republicans have put out differing accounts of what happened in that meeting.

“I was in the room,” U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil of the 1st Congressional District wrote on X. “President Trump did not say this. There is no better place than Wisconsin in July.”

He later clarified that Trump was having “a broad conversation about the challenges we face as a country, in particular the challenges that we’ve seen in Milwaukee.”

Others seemingly acknowledged the comment occurred, but attempted clarification as to what exactly Trump thought was “horrible.”

An aide to U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald of the 5th Congressional District told the Journal Sentinel the comments “were about election integrity.”

In contrast, U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden of the 3rd Congressional District shared on X that he thinks the comment was, “specifically referring to the crime rate in Milwaukee.”

Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Racine on Tuesday, June 18, at Racine Festival Park.

Contact Erik S. Hanley Like his Facebook page,The Redheadliner, and follow him on X@Redheadliner.


Thursday, June 13, 2024

Former Milwaukee substance abuse counselor gets 6 years for sexually exploiting patient

From JSOnline:

Chris Ramirez
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As a substance abuse counselor, George O. Ramsey III was in a position of trust with people who were desperate for help.

They came to him at their lowest point, often while struggling with addiction and habits they were trying to kick.

Prosecutors say he preyed on some of them.

And now, Ramsey, 64, will spend the next six years of his life behind bars.

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner handed down the sentence on Wednesday. Court records show Ramsey also must serve four years of extended supervision when he gets out of prison.

What were the allegations against George Ramsey III?

Ramsey initially was charged with three counts of felony sexual exploitation by a therapist and faced more than 37 years in prison.

Two of the allegations against Ramsey were logged in 2018 while he worked for Achievement Associates Clinic on West Fond du Lac Avenu

A third was reported March 1, 2021, at a clinic run by Ramsey, called New Beginnings Wellness Center on Sherman Boulevard. It was that case for which a Milwaukee County jury in April convicted him of sexually exploiting one of his patients -- a woman in her 80s whom he forced at gunpoint to perform a sex act on him.

How were the cases against him concluded?

The jury acquitted him of one of the charges.

The other count against Ramsey was dismissed midway through the trial when a witness essential to the case failed to testify.

Ramsey has 20 days to appeal the sentence.


Former President Donald Trump to hold rally in Racine next week

From The Journal

Former President Donald Trump will make his third trip to battleground state next week with a campaign event in Racine where he plans to discuss how President Joe Biden "has failed the great people of Wisconsin," according to his campaign.

Trump will hold a rally at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Racine Festival Park, where he will look to target Biden on issues ranging from the economy to border security and crime, topics the former president has highlighted in previous campaign stops.

"Bidenomics has created suffering for families in Wisconsin," Trump's campaign said in a statement announcing next week's visit.

With the economy and inflation a common talking point among voters, the Biden campaign has been touting his administration's efforts to forgive student loan debt and expand eligibility to overtime pay for salaried workers.

U.S. inflation eased in May for the second straight month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

All told, grocery costs remained unchanged, on average, from April to May, after falling by .2% the previous month. Food prices have increased by 1% over the last 12 months, but remain up about 20% compared with three years ago.

Gas prices have also dropped 3.6% nationally from April to May, but remain 2.2% higher than a year ago.

Trump and Biden appear to be in a neck-and-neck matchup in the battleground state, according to a Marquette Law School poll released in April.

The poll showed 51% of respondents — including both registered and likely voters — backed Trump, while 49% supported Biden, well within the poll's 4.8% margin of error.

Polling in early November found Biden receiving support from 50% of respondents, compared with 48% for Trump. In February, polling was deadlocked in Wisconsin with both candidates receiving 49%.

Trump previously held rallies in Green Bay in April and Waukesha last month.

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and several surrogates have made multiple trips to Wisconsin this year. Biden and Harris have each visited the state four times this year. First lady Jill Biden will make her fourth visit to the state with an event in Green Bay on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Internal Combustion

It was a lie. The movies. A lie. The car did not blow up. It did not explode five feet into the air. After the can of gasoline, after the lit book of matches, it went whoomp, a dull thump, and the Grand Am was on fire. Orange blue flames burning above the broken rear window, buzzing on the roofline. Churning swirls of oily soot. Black flowers unfolded upon a pale afternoon sky. The little girl sitting on the fire hydrant across the street was running now, running away down the street. I realized I had to leave, too. Time to go. The sirens already were in the distance. Go. It belched. Another thump. The windshield, I think, plopped out. Time to go. Stop watching it burn. Go! I got into my Chevy. It was running. I don’t remember doing that, leaving it running. Like a dream, really, like they say, a dream. No panic or fear. Just a clicking along. Just a ticking away. I drove around some blocks, around and around. Up and down. And then, finally, back to the Grand Am, where firemen were dousing it with water, not foam. Another movie lie. Water, nothing else. I cruised by. Almost, “Hi guys, how’s it goin’?” But no, just drive and gawk a little. Then home. Home to hide. Home to oblivion.


It was Saturday.

Mike tells me, “Long Legs, I got something for you, some information, something you wanna know.”

Saturday, the busiest day of the week. Saturday, when it is on all day long. The customers, the phones, the noise, the heat. The cars going up and down on the lifts like giant carousel rides. Saturday, when I am always sick.

Mike says, “Listen, I know who broke in, I know who hit the shop. Just some young punks sitting around smoking dope.”

My head hurt.

Mike says, “Idiots with nothing better to do than drive a goddamn car into the fire door.”

Christ, they drove into the wall. A few cinder blocks gave way and they crawled into the shop.

Mike says, “Not too bright, huh?”

The alarm system never went off, the motion detectors detected nothing, the police did not give a damn. They do not care about some two-bit break-in; they do not give a damn.

Mike says, “Playboy told me these dumb shits sit around drinking and brag. They’re too stupid to keep their mouths shut.”

Not a thing really worth anything stolen. A small TV, a few junk tools, some chemicals. Not a thing. That was not the point. That was not it.

Mike says, “Their car is parked next door.”

Jesus. It was on the street next to the shop. An old Pontiac. Rusted, cancerous. Sitting right there.

Mike says, “They were trying to get into a gang. Trying to prove themselves. Kings, I think, or Lovers. Who knows?”

I stared at the car. The phones ringing, the impact guns going off, the clerk yelling for me, I stared at it, sweating.



“. . . because it’s Saturday night. That’s some damn excuse: ‘It’s Saturday night.’”

She was talking. I snapped to. The music was very loud. Who was it? It was Saturday night. Or Sunday morning. Our living room. Hendrix.

“You don’t care for me, I don’t care about that.”

She was yelling now.

“. . . sick and tired of it! Do you hear me? Sick and tired of it! And sick of all your goddamned talk about the shop! Why don’t you marry the shop?”

“I have only one and burning desire.”

Why didn’t I? The rhythms of the shop I understood. The dark grace of machinery, the sheen of stainless steel, air compressors rattling, hiss of torches, even the smell of grease, all of it was natural to me, compatible. In my element. God in His heaven, I in mine.

But this, this . . .

“Let me stand next to your fire.”

I lit another one.



On the porch. From up here you could see the planes circling O’Hare at night. Round and round. Take-offs and landings. Now it was bright, sunny. Church bells. It was too hot. The clink of cubes. Like breaking glass. “Random gunfire,” the police said. Strafing. “Disputed turf.” AAA Board-up Service was first in the phone book, first on the scene. “They’re not aiming at you. Your shop just happens to be in the way.” Cop humor. Attitudes and threats. Over and over, attitudes and threats. Then one day, tag, you’re it. Bang. You’re in the way. A broken window. Or a hole in the chest. Used to sit at the corner of Bunky’s bar, watching traffic go by. Watching the circus parade on Fullerton Avenue. Then Mike, he says, “Stray bullet through that doorway hits you first.” Christ. Eduardo shows up on crutches. Leg in a cast. “They caught me in the lot after dark.” Baseball bats. Cartilage beaten and snapped, sinew torn, bone chips like broken glass. Never walk the same. Over and over. Watch ‘em rise and fall. One week Ferman’s the man, his ride getting everything, the works, no questions asked, just fix it, do it, my man, just do it. Next week Angel has Ferman’s wheels and wants it done his way. A look into his eyes tells you not to ask. Just do it, man. Count the money later. They always spared the shop, though. Till now. Didn’t crap their bed. We worked the cops’ cars and theirs. Kept the precinct happy, the Kings happy, the Lovers happy, kept everyone happy while we split the difference.

Till now.

Hot. Way too hot.

I needed some fuel.



Monday morning she did not look at me. I avoided the mirror, too. Very warm very early. Conducive to paranoia. Shaky. I remembered the old Pontiac, the smell of the burning interior. Did I tell her? She would know in any case. Secrets were impossible. All that remained between us was getting even, keeping score. And I had lost track.

Driving, I thought about the precinct’s watch commander. Irish name. We exchanged favors once. Flannigan? He released our truck and we did a free exhaust system on his Impala. A bargain. Our driver had been picked up on warrants. The $4,000 parts order never would have survived the impound lot. Brannigan? Maybe, if I was in trouble, maybe he could help.

The car’s hulk stood next to the shop. Blackened. All the glass gone. Tires melted, fused with the asphalt. I was trembling. Nauseous again. I felt obligated to walk by and look. How would an innocent man react? Who was watching?

It was gutted. Damp. Stunk. I walked into the shop.

The clerk asked, “You see it?”


“Fuck this neighborhood.”

He did not suspect.

Mike saw me. He followed me into the back room.

“Can you believe it?” he said. “Their car is fried. It’s beautiful! Beautiful!”

“Fuck this neighborhood,” I said, looking at the floor.

“They deserve it, Long Legs, they deserve it! I’m glad it happened. This kind of shit will keep them thinking straight. It’s good for them. And good for us.”

I looked up. His eyebrows were arched, he was smiling. He beamed at me. He suspected.

“It’s not good for anybody,” I said.

But he did not know.



The wreck was on the street for days. No hurry. The city was glutted with junkers. Calls to the precinct were referred to the alderman. Calls to the alderman were referred to the sanitation department. Calls to sanitation were not answered.

Not even vandals disturbed the Grand Am. It was a leper.

Mike made broad hints. I said nothing.

One morning as I arrived, I saw another burned out car. Across the street from the Grand Am lay a scorched Cutlass. Deeply dented, partially on the sidewalk, almost folded. Hit hard before burning. It was charred and hollow, a dark pool beneath it. A grotesque brother.

It was Playboy’s.

Mike came out of the shop as I got out of my car. He motioned toward the Oldsmobile. “Check it out, check it out.”

“What the hell?” I muttered.

Mike said, “Angel was here. Said the Lovers did that. They figured Playboy did the Poncho. Payback is a mother.”

“What? What are you talking about?” I felt lightheaded, floating away.

“The Grand Am belonged to Lovers. Angel says Playboy is a King. He’s the one who torched it, so they totaled his car. Totaled it.”

I looked from car to car.

“Uh,” Mike said, “there’s a cop up front for you.”

Floating away.

I walked to the front of the shop very slowly.

Watch Commander Tom Flaherty sat in the lobby. He nodded as I walked in. Then he got up and walked out to the sidewalk. I followed him. How would this happen?

In front of the shop, Watch Commander Tom Flaherty brought up the recent fire bombings. Said they did not bode well for the neighborhood. An escalation in the turf war. Things were hot and getting hotter. He was concerned for the shop’s safety and thought he would drop by. A friendly warning. We should keep our eyes open. The bangers were crazy and dangerous. We should be careful.

And did we have time to check the Impala for a leak?

“Of course,” I said, “of course.” I’d be sure to get it up in the air. Just like in the movies.

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