Saturday, July 6, 2024

Absentee ballot drop boxes reinstated, Wisconsin Supreme Court rules

Biden refuses to say whether he'd take independent cognitive test and make results public

From JSOnline:

Elizabeth BeyerMichael Collins

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden insisted Friday he doesn’t need a cognitive or neurological test and appeared to dismiss reports that he has suffered mental lapses.

In a 22-minute interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Biden refused to say whether he would be willing to take an independent cognitive or neurological exam and release the results to the public.

The job of the presidency and running for re-election are their own sort of cognitive test, he said.

“I have a cognitive test every day,” he said.

Biden did not directly address reports that claimed his mental lapses were increasing. “Can I run 110 flat? No," he said. "But I’m still in good shape.”

The interview was Biden's first with a television network since his disastrous debate with former President Donald Trump last week. During that faceoff, Biden spoke in a raspy voice and at times was unable to complete his thoughts or finish sentences. His performance has raised concerns among some Democrats that he will lose to Trump in November and is not mentally fit to serve another four years in office.

Pressed by Stephanopoulos on whether he would take a cognitive test or neurological assessment to reassure the American people of his ability to serve another term if he were reelected to the White House, Biden said Americans should watch him at work and on the campaign trail.

“So, the answer is no,” Stepanopoulos said.

“I’ve already done it,” Biden responded.


Thursday, July 4, 2024

Convair Model 118: The Car That Wanted to Fly

Texas police officer STOPS elderly woman from sending $40,000 to scammer!

Just Rolled In: Customer States Brand New Truck Runs Rough

'I screwed up': Joe Biden addresses debate performance with Milwaukee radio host

From JSOnline:

Lawrence Andrea
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden in a Milwaukee radio interview on Wednesday said he “screwed up” during the debate with former President Donald Trump last week — marking some of the first public comments from the president since the event.

“I had a bad night," Biden told Milwaukee radio host Earl Ingram in a pre-recorded interview set to air Thursday morning. "And the fact of the matter is that I screwed up. I made a mistake. That’s 90 minutes onstage, look at what I’ve done in 3.5 years.”

The comments, made during an interview with Ingram Wednesday, are among the first from the president following a shaky debate performance that highlighted questions about Biden's age and led some Democrats to call to replace him at the top of the ticket. Biden has said he plans to stay in the race.

About one minute of select clips from Biden's interview was provided to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Ingram, a longtime Biden supporter, told the Journal Sentinel he spoke with the president for 20 minutes. The full interview will air 8 a.m. Thursday on WAUK-AM(540).

During the interview, Biden also touted his efforts to engage minority communities and noted his work appointing Black judges, according to the short clips.

"I picked a Black woman to be my vice president. I've appointed the first Black woman to be a Supreme Court justice," Biden said. "I've appointed more Black judges, more Black women judges, than every other president in American history combined."

He attacked Trump for recent comments the presumptive Republican nominee made about Black workers.

"I'm sorry to get so worked up," Biden said. "But he is just — he's terrible things in the community, and he has about as much interest and concern for Black, minority communities as the man on the moon does."

Biden is set to visit Madison Friday.

The interview was recorded the same day Biden met with 24 Democratic governors from across the country as he sought to tamp down concerns from within the party about his place at the top of the ticket. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers was the only Democratic governor to miss the meeting.

"(Evers) didn’t attend the meeting because he’s focused on moving forward and winning Wisconsin," Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback wrote on X. "He supports President Biden - his comments in support of the president over the last week speak for themselves, and he looks forward to campaigning with the President on Friday."

Several governors after the meeting indicated they remained behind Biden.

“He has had out backs through COVID, through all of the recovery, all of the things that have happened,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told reporters. “The governors have his back.”

“A path to victory in November is the No. 1 priority,” Walz added. “And that’s the No. 1 priority of the president. So that’s what we’re trying to get done.”

Milwaukee is set to host the Republican National Convention starting July 15.

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed from Milwaukee.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Daily Dose of Internet: He Tried Paying with Fake Money

Biden ally Jim Clyburn seeks to reassure Milwaukee voters after debate struggles

From JSOnline:

Hope Karnopp
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn campaigned in Milwaukee Monday in support of President Joe Biden's reelection as many Democratic voters worry about the president's age and ability to inspire enthusiasm after a rough debate performance last week.

Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat whose endorsement of Biden in 2020 was instrumental to his campaign, met with faith leaders, voting rights activists and local officials for a roundtable discussion at Coffee Makes You Black, a Black-owned business and community space.

Clyburn, a top Biden ally, has stood behind the president after the debate, as have local officials like Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Clyburn has said he recognized "preparation overload" as soon as Biden answered the first debate question.

"Nothing is wrong with his brain. The people who looked at those answers from both (candidates) came to the conclusion that on substance, Joe Biden was the winner far and away," Clyburn said. "Joe Biden has never been a show horse, he's always been a work horse. Just the opposite is true with his opponent."

Clyburn said he has not spoken to Biden since the debate but will speak with him "in the next day or two" and tell him to "stay the course."

NBC News included Clyburn in a list of senior Democrats in Congress who have privately expressed concerns about Biden's viability, despite all publicly backing the president. A spokeswoman for Clyburn said any reports alleging Clyburn "has expressed anything other than firm support of President Biden are completely untrue."

Clyburn's visit comes days after Maryland Gov. Wes Moore visited Wisconsin with similar goals, including rallying Black voters in Milwaukee who have expressed little enthusiasm for a rematch of the 2020 election between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Like Moore, Clyburn and County Executive David Crowley sought to draw a contrast between what Biden has delivered for Black voters and Trump's tone during the debate, including his comment about undocumented immigrants taking "Black jobs" or "Hispanic jobs."

Crowley called out Trump's comment at the beginning of the roundtable, saying his "Black job" allowed him to open new pickleball courts for the county earlier in the morning. He also backed Biden during the roundtable conversation.

"The appearance does not matter when you look at the substance of what was being talked about," Crowley said. "There's a stark contrast related to governing under Trump and governing under Biden ... (Biden is) speaking to the future. He's speaking to the soul and spirit of America."

Leaders at the roundtable said voters need to understand the connection between Biden's presidency and policies that affect them, like reduced insulin costs and funding for construction projects and lead service line replacement.

In a statement, Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Matt Fisher suggested voters will instead be thinking about inflation and immigration. Republicans have also been taking steps to engage Black voters in Milwaukee, including opening a new office in the Harambee neighborhood to boost outreach.

“Jim Clyburn’s coronation of Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries opened the door to four years of rising prices and open border policies. This November, Wisconsinites will close that door and restore American prosperity and security," Fisher said.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis found that turnout among Black voters in Milwaukee has significantly lagged white voter turnout during presidential contests, with the exception of 2012 — when then-President Barack Obama's reelection bid triggered unprecedented levels of voting in the city.

Black voter turnout fell in 2016 to around 58%, and then again to around 51% in 2020. Black voters carry the voting power to deny Democratic victories if turnout in the city's Black neighborhoods is down. And voters interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this cycle didn't express broad enthusiasm for Biden.

Enthusiasm could be a key problem for Biden, according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll released before the debate last week. Biden and Trump were tied at 50% among registered voters in Wisconsin, but voter enthusiasm benefitted Trump.

"Here's a path for Joe Biden to lose this election pretty badly, is that he's failed to inspire his supporters," poll director Charles Franklin said. "They're unenthusiastic about him and his campaign, and they're much less likely to vote than those who are very enthusiastic, who overwhelmingly are for Trump."


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Dangerous currents in Great Lakes claim lives every summer. Here's what you need to know about them.

From JSOnline:

Siddhant Pusdekar
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wednesday night, Mohammad Hassan, a 17 year old Oak Creek Resident, drowned at Bender Park Beach. What should have been a pleasant evening out on the beach ended in tragedy.

Fatal drownings like the one that occurred yesterday are especially common in the summer. A spate of them occurred in 2021 when there were a shortage of lifeguards. Closed in 2020 after several fatalities, McKinley beach will reopen this year. Despite the added safety measures, the redesigned McKinley beach may not have many life guards this summer.

Since 2016, there have been an average of about 25-30 fatalities on the Great Lakes due to dangerous currents, according to Dave Benjamin, co-founder and executive director of Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Had Hassan checked the National Weather Services that night, he would have see a moderate swim risk warning. Nothing too concerning.

But that is when most deaths occur, Benjamin said, because the waters may appear safe.

Rip currents can be deadly and can catch people unaware. Here's what you need to know about them.

What are the dangerous currents on Lake Michigan?

Rip currents are most likely when the wind is blowing towards the shore and the waves appear chaotic.

When heavy winds blow waves toward the shore, the water needs to find a way back out. So it forms a fast flowing channel out and away from the shore. That is a rip current, JJ Wood a meteorologist with the National Weather Service explained.

There are some misconceptions about rip currents. People often call them rip tides, which gives the impression that they have something to do with tides. But they can occur even when there are no tides.

Another dangerous current to be wary of is a structural current. When the wind blows parallel to the shore, the current can take swimmers towards a jetty, or pier, where the water whirlpools around the structure before pushing away from the shore

Both types of currents can push you away from the shore very quickly.

What to do before you go to the beach

The National Weather Service tracks the wind and the waves for large areas of water and puts out a general beach hazard statement. But on the night of the June 27, the hazard level for the Milwaukee area was only moderate.

That is why Benjamin says the National Weather Service levels are not the best bet, because conditions at specific beaches can vary a lot. "The only way that you can get an accurate assessment of your local beach conditions is if you have lifeguards there," he said.

Life guards will put up flags of different colors depending on the safety level at the beach. Green for waves less that two feet, yellow for waves between two and four feet and red for waves above four feet. If your local beach has a life guard, the surest way to know the safety of the waters is to check those flags.

But many beaches do not have active life guards, updated beach hazard signage or public rescue equipment, Benjamin said. Even if a beach has active life guards they may not always be around.

In his work educating the public on water safety he recommends that "it's best to swim at a lifeguarded beach during lifeguard hours, otherwise your risk goes up exponentially."

What to do if you find yourself in a rip current

Swimming against a rip current can be very hard and the current can easily pull you away from the shore. What can you do if you get caught in a rip current?

It is also important to know your swimming ability. Even though a lot of people know how to swim, they may not best practices for swimming safety.

Instinctively you may want to swim back to shore, or you may have heard that you should swim parallel to the shore. But according to Benjamin, those solutions will only deplete your energy.

A 2021 video put out by the Great Lakes Surf Rescue project recommends a "flip, float and follow" strategy. That means getting on your back and floating with the current, while trying to regulate your breathing. Benjamin said this will help to reduce panic and conserve your energy before you swim parallel to the shore and find your way back or call for help.