Morning Headlines - Friday, Feb. 2, 2024

U.S. & World and Wisconsin headlines, and today's meme.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Feb. 2, 2024

U.S. and World Headlines

Trump Risks Backlash As MAGA World Zeroes In On Taylor Swift

Former President Trump’s supporters are going after Taylor Swift amid chatter about whether the superstar could wade into the 2024 election with a coveted endorsement for President Biden.

Conservatives in both traditional media and social media have been launching conspiracy theories against the pop superstar, something that ramped up after The New York Times reported that the Biden campaign was actively hoping for her endorsement.

Trump, who is usually not shy about speaking his opinion, so far has stayed out of the fray, though Rolling Stone reported this week that the former president’s allies are pledging a “holy war” against Swift, especially if she sides with Democrats in November.

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A Houthi Missile Was Just Seconds From Hitting A US Warship. The Navy Used Its ‘Last Line Of Defense’

A US warship’s destruction of an incoming Houthi missile in the Red Sea this week marks the first use in this conflict of an advanced weapons system dubbed the Navy’s “last line of defense.”

The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CWIS) was deployed by Navy destroyer the USS Gravely Tuesday night against what US officials said was a cruise missile that got as near as 1 mile to the ship – and therefore seconds from impact.

The automated Phalanx system features Gatling guns that can fire up to 4,500 20-millimeter rounds a minute, engaging projectiles or other targets at extremely close range.

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Fani Willis, The DA Who Charged Trump In Georgia, Subpoenaed By House GOP

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has subpoenaed District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, demanding documents from her office following allegations that Willis fired a whistleblower who tried to stop a top campaign aide from misusing federal funds.

The subpoena, obtained by NBC News, is part of a broader probe by Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Republicans into whether Willis used federal funds in conducting her more-than-two-year investigation into former President Donald Trump, who was indicted in Fulton County last year on charges that he attempted to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

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US Employers Added Surprisingly Robust 353,000 Jobs In January

The nation’s employers delivered a stunning burst of hiring to begin 2024, adding 353,000 jobs in January in the latest sign of the economy’s continuing ability to shrug off the highest interest rates in two decades.

Friday’s government report showed that last month’s job gain — roughly twice what economists had predicted — topped the December gain of 333,000, a figure that was itself revised sharply higher. The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%, just above a half-century low.

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30 Things Joe Biden Did As President You Might Have Missed

Joe Biden has been president now for three years, and you might think you’ve heard everything there is to know about his presidency.

You probably haven’t.

Most of the work of government doesn’t go viral on social media or become fodder for TV talking heads. Every president’s administration makes changes both significant and trivial that largely escape the public’s attention — yet many have long-lasting impact.

So we asked POLITICO’s newsroom, including the reporters who track the minutiae of government policy, to tell us about the major but under-the-radar changes made so far during Biden’s tenure that most of us might have missed.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Redistricting Experts Tell Wisconsin Supreme Court That Republican District Map Proposals Are Gerrymanders

Consultants hired by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to examine maps redrawing state legislative districts said Feb. 1 that plans submitted by the Republican Legislature and a conservative law firm are partisan gerrymanders, but they stopped short of declaring the other four maps constitutional.

Only the court can make the determination of whether any of those four plans from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, Democratic lawmakers and others are constitutional, wrote Jonathan Cervas, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and Bernard Grofman, of the University of California, Irvine.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Orders Pause On State's Presidential Ballot While It Weighs Phillips Case

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the state elections commission not to transmit the presidential primary ballot to county clerks as it ponders an attempt by Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips to get added as a candidate.

The order comes six days after Phillips asked the court to intervene and have his name added to the ballot in the battleground state after state Democratic leaders on a presidential selection committee did not include it. The only Democrat currently on the April 2 ballot is President Joe Biden.

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Attorney General Josh Kaul Takes Action To Protect Medication Abortion Access

Attorney General Josh Kaul today joined a multistate coalition of 24 attorneys general to protect access to medication abortion nationwide.

The coalition filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and Danco Laboratories LLC’s efforts to reverse a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that reinstated certain restrictions on the medication known as mifepristone after the FDA had determined those restrictions were medically unnecessary.

Because mifepristone, when used in combination with misoprostol, is the only medication approved by the FDA for abortion care, Attorney General Kaul and the coalition argue that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling would, if allowed to take effect, reinstate medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone. This would have dangerous consequences for reproductive health care outcomes, particularly for low-income and underserved communities.

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Northwoods Tourism Groups Ask State For Help As Warm Winter Hurts Local Businesses

A typical Wisconsin winter sees the seven-county Northwoods region come to life with visitors snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice fishing.

But not this year. On the first day of February, it was nearly 40 degrees in Minocqua and normally snow-covered trails were bare.

Krystal Westfahl, president of the Let’s Minocqua Visitors Bureau, said there’s very little snow on the ground in north-central Wisconsin, and none in the “foreseeable forecast.”

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Warm Temperatures End Frozen Road Declaration Statewide

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is ending the frozen road declaration for the entire state as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, February 3 and enacting Class II road restrictions for Zones 1 through 5. 

WisDOT and county highway personnel monitor temperature forecasts, along with frost tubes – liquid-filled devices under pavement – to help determine when roads are adequately frozen to accommodate heavier loads or thawed to lift declarations.

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Last Update: Feb 02, 2024 9:57 am CST

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