Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...
HEROES OF THE WEEK
Mariam Al Mansouri
Portland police officers
Rats … yes, rats.
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“It is time for the world – especially Muslim communities – to explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology” of these groups. Their ideologies “will wilt and die if [they are] consistently exposed, confronted and refuted in the light of day. Today, I ask the world to join in this effort. Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone. For we will not succumb to threats. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”
Speaking at the United Nations Wednesday, President Barack Obama called on the international community to join a broad coalition “to dismantle this network of death” of extremist groups in the Middle East.
"Think of the things we're talking about here with the Khorasan group, with ISIS and the territory they've taken in Iraq, with the threat to airline travel internationally, with beheadings that we're seeing on camera. What happened to the days when the administration was able to say it felt confident that we had dealt a crippling blow to Al Qaeda and Islamic militants?"
In an exclusive interview with White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer questioned the administration's handling of terrorism.
"We've known about ISIS moving out of Syria, moving into Iraq for some time and the time to hit them was when they were on the move before they got themselves positioned in Iraq and had taken over cities and created an infrastructure, if you will, for their military. There ought not to be any illusion that this is going to be over in a hurry, just because we're striking them in Syria today."
Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed Barack Obama's air strikes in Syria as too late and not effective.
“The larger, harder question that we—the White House, Congress and the American people—must ask is whether the United States actually has the laser-focused will to take on ISIL. The group has shown its willingness to be absolutely ruthless in putting down its enemies—through co-option, mass murder, sexual violence, and religious cleansing —and consolidating its grip on power. This is not an organization that will go gently into that good night. It has the will to win. Do we?
“But it remains unclear whether America has the popular stamina to take on this group for what clearly will be a years-long struggle.”
Aki Peritz is a former CIA counterterrorism analyst and coauthor of Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns That Killed bin Laden and Devastated Al Qaeda.
"Eric has done a superb job.”
President Obama announcing the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder
"Eric Holder is the most divisive U.S. attorney general in modern history. By needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement, Attorney General Holder's legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any attorney general before him."
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country.”
Former IRS official Lois Lerner in an exclusive interview with Politico, her first since the IRS scandal broke 16 months ago. Lerner said, “Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did.”
“Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, she got these amazing ratings and bonuses. … And once she retired, she would have gone out with bells and whistles, and the IRS commissioner would have made a speech. … It went from that to: You’re under criminal investigation, and your career is ruined, in a week.”
Lois Lerner’s husband, Michael Miles, who sat to her right during the Politico interview.
“By taking the Fifth, Lois put a sign on her back: Kick me. To the average person, that sounds like, ‘Oh my God, she must be hiding something!’”
Paul Streckfus, editor of the EO Tax Journal, referring to Lois Lerner. Called to testify before the House Oversight Committee, Lerner decided to take the Fifth and read a defiant speech declaring her innocence — one that Republicans argued waived her rights. She says she’d do it again.
It was the salute seen around the world.
President Obama was caught on video saluting Marines with a coffee cup in his hand. Just call him Cappuccino-in-Chief.
The White House posted video to its Instagram account and soon unleashed a torrent of outrage. The Washington Times dubbed the moment “Semper Latte.”
I’m surprised he didn’t order the Marines to fetch him cream and sugar.
And President Obama’s lukewarm latte salute was a violation of protocol and common decency and a complete sign of disrespect.
Just remember, Mr. President – they are not baristas. They are Marines.
Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.”
“When I was 26 years old, I was taken to a club by my boss - the club owner was one of our legal clients. While we were in the building, the police showed up. I was never accused of having done anything wrong, but rather I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Paul Davis, a Democratic state representative running against Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback. In 1998, Davis was getting a lap dance at a strip club when cops raided it in search of drugs. Davis was not charged with any crime, but a police chief involved in the raid wrote afterward that he had been drinking and was found “in a somewhat compromising position … in a back room of the club.” Davis, who was unmarried at the time, identified himself as an attorney for the owner of the strip club after an officer ordered him at gunpoint to lie on the floor during the raid for methamphetamine. This news comes amid recent polling that shows Davis with a slight lead over Brownback, the former U.S. senator who is seeking a second term.
“I remember as a child referring to some of the older neighbors as crotchety and mean because they never let us get away with wrongdoing. We thought they should mind their own business, and I even remember some instances where their windows would be purposely broken. In retrospect, they were the very ones who kept us out of trouble, and obviously, they usually cared deeply about our welfare. The me-first mentality that has infected our society, along with the fear of retribution, has largely extinguished these kinds of neighbors in many cities today. Given the level of violence, one can hardly blame people for keeping their mouths shut, but we must also realize that if we don't nip bad behavior in the bud, it only grows, creating more intimidation, and the vicious cycle continues.
“Courage from the kitchen table, the pulpit, the classroom and the streets was prevalent when I was a child. Many people had no problem publicly denouncing deleterious behavior even if it made them temporarily unpopular. Fear of being called names or being proclaimed out of touch has paralyzed many in our inner cities, just as it has throughout the nation. We must realize that we are all in the same boat, and we can sink together in the quagmire of fractious accusations and hatred, or we can rise together to previously unexperienced heights if we learn from past mistakes and embrace the principles that created, in record time, the greatest nation in history.”
Ben S. Carson is professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and author of the new book "One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future"
“Every week, we’re seeing new and undeniable climate events, evidence that accelerated climate change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.
“None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact.
“The time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet ... is now.”
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio speaking at the UN
“The child Marc and I are waiting to bring into this world could grow up in a planet without elephants.” Chelsea Clinton before announcing a new commitment to stop the killing of African elephants and the trafficking of ivory. She said the African elephant crisis is not only a “moral” and “ecological disaster,” but also a “security threat,” as ivory is increasingly being used by the world’s most nefarious terror groups, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army and Boko Haram. She pleaded that “it’s in all of our interests” to stop the growing practice.
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
Reporters say White House sometimes demands changes to press-pool reports
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
Since winning the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama...
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
The Brewers are still in it. They've still got a chance.
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
'Baby Ben' calf catches attention
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...
HEROES OF THE WEEK
We're a bit tardy on this one...Nicholas Winton
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
Fayetteville School District
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“The law provides alternative ways for senior citizens to vote, safer ways for victims of violent crimes to vote, provides alternatives for people with disabilities, it even creates an alternative for people who have had their licenses revoked. I’d say we have responded to our opponents’ claims that the Voter ID law will be unduly burdensome.”
State Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R- Oconomowoc) on Wisconsin’s photo ID law
“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the United States then I of course would go back to the President and make a recommendation that we include the use of U.S. military ground forces. To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president."
Testifying on Capitol Hill Tuesday in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that although "we're not there yet," the United States may eventually need to deploy U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS if a coalition and airstrikes fail to get the job done against the terror army.
“Why don’t we be straight with the American people? There are boots on the ground. You may not want to call them boots on the ground, but the people that are there — the over 1,000 of our troops that are already there right now — their families actually consider them to be boots on the ground. I think ultimately, it is going to take some ground troops, absolutely. We’re at war with these guys. Let’s quit candy-coating it and let’s go in with everything that we’ve got and finish it this time.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) called on the White House to send ground troops to fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants. The House Foreign Affairs Committee member, appearing on MSNBC, took issue with President Barack Obama’s repeated refrain that there will be no boots on the ground in the Middle East.
“The bottom line is that much of the Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. There's no question that the West has the military might to thwart radical Islam's agenda. The question up for grabs is whether we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation.”
Dr. Walter Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
“Islamists cut our journalists' heads off, slaughter Christians in mass executions, burn churches to the ground and post it on YouTube, and a ‘Christian’ website is afraid to run a column condemning such atrocities? You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s this kind of cowardice that’ll cause us to lose our religious liberty and possibly our lives.
“Look folks, in case you’ve missed the ubiquitous memos … Islam means to kill us, and they’re not kidding. And yet, some amongst us won’t run a column condemning them lest Islam gets irate. Wow. How the mighty have fallen.
“Which brings me to this point: As long as the church can be cowed to roll up in the fetal position and wet their big Christian diaper when threatened, the more we court our own demise and the destruction of freedom lovers worldwide.”
Conservative columnist Doug Giles reacting to the decision by Charisma magazine’s website not to publish the column,” IT’S OFFICIAL: I’m Islamaphobic, Are You?” Giles then posted the column on his website.
“It’s not going to be a good year for Democrats by definition. The sixth year is always particularly bad for a president’s party.”
Former White House press secretary Jay Carney predicted last Sunday on CNN the November midterm elections are going to be tough for Democrats. There isn’t an outcome in November that people will say is great for Democrats, he said, except if they barely hold on to control of the Senate and don’t lose many House seats.
"It would be very important for Democrats to retain control of the Senate. Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate. It's really important."
Former House Speaker and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher
“So I decided when I left psychiatry never to use my authority. But let me just say as a layman, without invoking any expertise, Obama is clearly a narcissist in the non-scientific use of the word. He is so self-involved, you see it from his rise. I think he’s extremely self-involved. He sees himself in very world historical terms, which means A) because he’s an amateur, he doesn’t know very much, and B) because he’s a narcissist, he doesn’t listen.
“This is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials — I’d like to introduce my secretary of state. He once referred to ‘my intelligence community.’ And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military.’ For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon. He does have this sense of this all being a drama about him, and everybody else is just sort of part of the stage.”
Conservative columnist — and former psychiatrist — Charles Krauthammer
“Record ice in Antarctica is more proof that Obama is a failure. Despite claiming to control the weather with both his genius intellect and the power of his superhuman Nobel prize, it's been apparent he is not succeeding.
“And we’ve all noticed it for some time now.
“No matter the circumstances, every weather event is blamed on global warming in an attempt to cover up Obama's nefarious plot failure.
“Cold temperature? Global warming. Hot temperatures? Global warming? Snow? Global warming. Drought? Global warming. Hurricanes, tornadoes or the lack thereof? Global warming. There was even an attempt by a ditzy news anchor on CNN—is there any other kind on CNN?-- to blame a meteorite on global warming.”
John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
"In Washington political journalism the narrative gets set, and it gets set early and built on. And things that fight the narrative get harder to report out, I think, often because of laziness in media. I think that the media…has gotten very attached to the idea that Washington is so dysfunctional and that the country is so frustrated with it. There is a self-fulfilling part of that.”
Recently dumped Meet the Press moderator David Gregory moderated a panel for the No Labels Strategic Agenda conference in Washington on Wednesday and lectured his media colleagues
“We hear where she goes. We hear what she wears. We hear how much she makes. But what we don’t ever seem to hear about Hillary Clinton is what she would do as president. Her every move is reported, every speech covered as if it were a decree brought down from a mountaintop. But what does she want to do? There’s no doubt she’s running. No one goes to Iowa to watch corn grow or spend time with Sen. Tom Harkin.”
Derek Hunter, Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist
“Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most.
“The perception of critics is that Wasserman Schultz spends more energy tending to her own political ambitions than helping Democrats win. This includes using meetings with DNC donors to solicit contributions for her own PAC and campaign committee, traveling to uncompetitive districts to court House colleagues for her potential leadership bid and having DNC-paid staff focus on her personal political agenda.
“She’s become a liability to the DNC, and even to her own prospects, critics say.”
“Why would any woman defend an abusive tyrant like Ray Rice? Because society tells women every second of each day that we’re nothing in life without being someone’s wife or girlfriend. In fact, I would posit society holds married women with children at a higher regard than married women without children. Through movies, fairy tales, the prom, and some parents, girls are socialized at a very young age that they must find prince charming and that even settling for an abusive man is better than no man at all. There’s no place for the single woman at dinner parties or galas. This is part of the reason why abused women stay in relationships with their abusers. Because society frowns on single women.”
Crystal Wright is a communications consultant and editor and publisher of the new website, www.conservativeblackchick.com
“Oh, for heaven's sake, NFL, just take him back already. You know you want to. You know as well as I do that Ray Rice's indefinite ban from the game is indefinite only because you don't know how long it will take for this PR disaster to die down enough so you can reinstate him.
“Because if the league cared about doing the right thing, you would have done it after Rice was arrested for domestic violence in February. You wouldn't have needed to see a video of something you knew had happened in order to display shock.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Nafari Vanaski
“If the NFL doesn’t police themselves, then we will be looking more into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had hearings. Initially I wanted [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell] to lead the reform to initiate a zero-tolerance policy. But…if he lied? If he lied to the American people, then he has to step down, because he won’t have the force of authority to address these issues.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand last Sunday said there could be congressional hearings following the domestic violence incident between Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice and his wife.In an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the Democratic senator from New York said the “way the NFL handled this was awful, it was outrageous.” Rice was caught on camera appearing to beat his wife unconscious. Once the video surfaced, he was suspended indefinitely, but some reports indicate the National Football League was aware of the video before they copped to knowledge of it. Gillibrand was one of 16 women senators to send a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. urging a “zero-tolerance policy” for domestic violence.
Any sports commissioner does have certain responsibilities when a controversy engulfs his league:
1. A commissioner must carefully and with evidence explain what he is doing and why. He must announce his policy and sell it. Think of MLB Commissioner Bart Giamatti explaining his decision in 1989 to banish Pete Rose from baseball for gambling.
2. If mistakes have been made, a commissioner must explain them and take the blame. If the NFL had possession of the elevator video showing Ray Rice's attack before his two-game suspension was announced, as has been rumored, then Mr. Goodell must explain why he hadn't seen the tape before making his decision.
3. A commissioner must not surrender his authority to those who are critical of his actions. He must calmly inform the public about the matter as he understands it and look ahead.
4. The ultimate challenge for any commissioner is to retain the confidence of the fans and his employers. He must convey the sense that he is trying to do the best thing for the sport and the public.
Tough cases in the real world involve messy facts, sloppy processes and unattractive missteps. Because the cases often proceed slowly, the public, the media and all of us as fans have to practice patience and to trust the authorities to do what is correct. In most instances, the system works.
Fay Vincent in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. Vincent was commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989-1992.
“Whipping – we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances. I’ve had many welts on my legs. I’ve gotten beat with switches – and I don’t even like the term. When the media talks about it, ‘beating a child,’ … we called it ‘spanking’ or ‘whipping’ our kids. I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That’s a very fine line.”
Former NBA star Charles Barkley coming to the defense of Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson just days after the disgraced football player was indicted on charges of child abuse, claiming every black parent in the South whips their child. A Houston grand jury indicted Peterson last week for reckless or negligent injury to a child, concluding that his use of a leafless tree branch, or switch, to repeatedly hit his son back in May was “unreasonable discipline.” The four-year-old was left with numerous bruises and open wounds following the incident, which were documented with photographs.
“I want to watch some football! And I want to talk about football! If I want to see serious discussions about spanking and the psychological damage it causes I’ll watch Lifetime Channel or Oprah’s OWN.
“Listen, I understand that these stories were big and important and they were what everybody was talking about. ESPN had to cover the topics. But did we really have to get the tears and the emotion and the histrionics? Could we just discuss the issues and then the larger ramifications for the teams this weekend and the sport as a whole?
“No, because this is the world ESPN has made for itself.
“ESPN used to be about sports, but the self-important sports journalists who barely made it through journalism school and always had delusions of grandeur about the profession they chose can’t wait to inject controversial political, racial or ‘lifestyle’ issues into their work whenever they have the chance.”
Washington Free Beacon columnist Larry O’Connor
“It shouldn’t be a dominant news story (Ray Rice) across all media — for weeks. Almost no one has stopped to think of the effect the vortex of outrage has had on the victim, Janay, who married Rice after the incident. She not only got punched but gets to see that horrible night replayed everywhere, to hear people bray for the end of her husband’s career and to receive lectures from people who presume to know what’s best for her and her marriage.”
National Review editor Rich Lowry
“There is no greater font of hypocrisy on Earth than the sports media. While talking about Wes Welker and his initial four-game suspension for allegedly taking a drug (Molly)—the quick receiver was quick to deny—that could be found at any local rave, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said that he thought it might actually be good for Welker to not play football for the first four weeks of the season. Greenberg’s reasoning was that since Welker has suffered three concussions in the last year, serving a suspension for the first month of the season might actually be a saving grace since he probably shouldn’t be playing anyway. Who is Mike Greenberg, or any other media member to tell Wes Welker what to do with his life?
“Where do journalists, who routinely take enormous risks with their own lives to bring us the news, get off telling a football player that he would be better off not playing football? As unpleasant as concussions are, Welker is at worst risking a helmeted-head collision with a 220-pound safety--not of having his head lopped off by some lunatic with a butcher's knife.