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Editorial Roundup: Wisconsin

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. November 20, 2022.

Editorial: Be safe this season

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year for many people. There’s travel, shopping, family and friends to catch up with, and a ton of stress amid the (hopefully) happy memories people create. It’s a busy week for us, too, but we want to take a moment to remind people to be safe.

With so much travel taking place around the Thanksgiving holiday, the forecast is always closely watched. All things considered, it doesn’t look too bad for Wisconsin in late November. Temperatures will climb back into the upper 30s by midweek.

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The only chance of the flakes we saw last week arrives Thursday and it’s not expected to amount to anything. So while the Buffalo area continues to dig out from close to 6.5 feet of snow, the worst the Chippewa Valley has to be worried about is getting a little damp during a touch football game.

There’s more to safe travel than the weather, of course. Make sure you’re alert if you’re driving, especially if it’s a long distance. Inattention doesn’t require a cell phone. Distraction and fatigue are equally risky, and it only takes a second for something to go wrong. Make sure you’re paying attention if you’re behind the wheel. If you’re getting tired, take a break or have someone else drive for a while.

For those preparing big Thanksgiving Day meals, there’s a need for safety, too. Every year we hear about fires caused by grease from turkeys cooking. Remember, water won’t put out a grease fire. In fact, the fire will turn the water into steam, which carries burning oil droplets into the air and spreads the fire.

If the flareup is in the oven keep the door closed. It will run out of oxygen and smother itself. If it’s on a stovetop, put a lid over the container if you can. Otherwise, use a fire extinguisher that can put out grease fires. Checking the fire extinguisher beforehand — you do have one, right? — will tell you what kinds of fires it’s approved for.

Cooking can also lead to any number of minor mishaps. Know how to treat a minor burn or cut from a knife. Sharp knives are safer, since they’re less likely to slip. So checking them before starting in on the cooking is a good move.

The day after Thanksgiving warrants its own heads-up. Black Friday has lost a little of its luster over the past decade as companies begin their specials well in advance. That’s especially true online. But plenty of people will still head out to the stores to shop.

If you’re one of them, be patient. Delays and lines are pretty much guaranteed, and there’s not much anyone can do about that. Everyone has seen footage in years past of near riots at stores as they open. That’s not necessary, and we’d rather not have the Chippewa Valley in the national spotlight for that kind of behavior.

Parking lots require extra attention, since both drivers and pedestrians may well be distracted. Shoppers heading in and out are often focused on their purchases, and drivers are craning their necks to find an open space. That doesn’t absolve either side of the need to be aware of surroundings and where both cars and people are.

As we mentioned last week, we’ll be sending out the Thanksgiving paper early to give our press workers a bit of extra holiday time with their friends and families. Friday’s paper will be back on the normal schedule. And we hope they, like so many of you, will find the break a welcome refreshment as we head into the holiday season.

One last note: remember that this season isn’t so kind to some. People who have lost loved ones or are away from family can struggle at this time of year. This season is filled with fond memories for most people, and in many of those cases we’re able to reconnect with them in some way. When that’s not an option, it can be painful. A little kindness can go a long way, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Wisconsin State Journal. November 20, 2022.

Editorial: Trump era must end, but only GOP can do it

Wisconsin has suffered Donald Trump’s chaos and narcissism for far too long.

Get over him, Republicans. Your party is, or at least was, so much better without him.

Trump announced his third bid for the White House last week. Only the GOP, through its primary process, now has the power to pick someone else for the Republican nomination. Even if Trump stands little chance of winning the general election for president in 2024, given his poor record and soiled reputation, America can’t take that chance.

Trump declared himself a candidate just one week after most of his hand-picked hopefuls for U.S. Senate and governorships failed. Many of them were inexperienced celebrities in his mold. Republicans stumbled Nov. 8 in what should have been a big night for the GOP. The party out of power typically dominates the midterms. Inflation is high, and Democratic President Joe Biden’s popularity is low.

But not as low as Trump’s, who is repelling independent voters, energizing the left and ever so slowly — yet surely — turning off conservatives with his stale denials that he lost the 2020 election. He’s so stuck in the past. And all the evidence for years has proven that he did in fact lose by 7 million popular votes and 74 Electoral College votes.

The Republican Party used to have some discipline and dignity under Wisconsin leaders such as former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville. It tried to offer compelling ideas, not just rhetorical barbs. Trump trashed and chased Ryan and other reasonable Republicans out of office, including U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Both Ryan and Cheney are far more fiscally and socially conservative than the reckless and opulent Trump ever was.

The deadly January 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol led to Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment. Trump sat idle for hours while a mob he inspired terrorized Congress and chanted for Vice President Mike Pence’s hanging. A bipartisan majority of Congress voted to convict him (though not the two-thirds required to keep him out of office for good).

Trump mostly failed on the national and international stage. Yet his record in Wisconsin alone should have cost him all trust in the Badger State by now.

Trump’s snake-oil promise that Taiwanese manufacture Foxconn would create the “eighth wonder of the world” in Racine County predictably fell flat. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many Wisconsin Republicans need to relearn that lesson.

Trump launched reckless trade wars, creating havoc and lost sales for Wisconsin manufacturers and farmers overseas, and higher prices for consumers at home. He urged a boycott of iconic Wisconsin motorcycle company Harley-Davidson for making sensible business decisions. He tried to raid billions from the armed forces — including $8 million for the Wisconsin National Guard’s 115 Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison — to pay for his fake wall.

Worst of all was Trump’s lack of character, his juvenile behavior, his chronic lying and insults. The Republican Party, founded in Wisconsin on an anti-slavery platform that the Wisconsin State Journal championed, should never stand for any of that.

None of Trump’s antics mattered enough to most Republican leaders in Wisconsin for them to forcefully object when Trump was on top. But now that Trump has fallen, some are changing their tunes.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, called for Wisconsin Republicans to move past Trump in light of the party’s poor showing in the Nov. 8 election. Another positive sign was the Assembly GOP expelling from closed meetings the election-denying chair of their elections committee, Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls. They said she can’t be trusted. No kidding.

Vos, reelected speaker by his peers, should go further and remove Brandtjen, a gullible conspiracy theorist, from even sitting on this important committee.

Even U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, one of the earliest Trump supporters back in 2016, may have finally had enough, if based on nothing more than his own political survival. Fitzgerald supported Trump’s attempt to overturn a fair election on January 6, 2021 — even after the riot. Yet last week Fitzgerald declined to voice support for Trump’s third presidential bid.

Ultimately, Republican voters will decide Trump’s fate. We urge them to back other GOP candidates for the party’s presidential nomination, and to make their wishes clear to elected officials. The sad Trump era must finally end with no chance of him ever getting near the White House again.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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