Morning Headlines - Friday, Jul. 29, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Friday, Jul. 29, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Biden Admin Quietly Approves Construction Of Trump's Border Barrier In Arizona

"Not another foot." Those were the words Joe Biden used as a mantra throughout his 2020 presidential campaign regarding the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. But on Thursday, the Biden administration approved a plan to complete a section of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona.

The plan includes filling four major gaps in the wall that continue to allow the Yuma area to be one of the busiest corridors for illegal immigration crossings.

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Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan May Come Sooner Than Expected

The timeline for a potential Chinese attempt to take Taiwan by force seems to be getting shorter.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Biden not to "play with fire" over Taiwan on Thursday, according to the Chinese readout of a call between the two leaders.

The Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to take control of the self-governing island, by force if necessary, and it reacts furiously to any gesture that seems to treat Taiwan as an independent state.

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Skyrocketing Rents Pain Tenants As Inflation Rises

Tens of millions of renters nationwide have faced skyrocketing prices in recent months as pent-up demand from the pandemic has collided with a shortage of supply -- a crunch that has especially squeezed low-income tenants who risk getting pushed out of the market altogether, economists said.

"It can create a cascading effect down price tiers," said Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow, an online real estate marketplace. "Maybe those middle-income prospective renters are boxed out from apartments and they end up crowding out lower-income renters from the most affordable rentals in the market."

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As Jan. 6 Probe Expands, Officials Worry DOJ Resources Are At A Breaking Point

It's the "most wide-ranging investigation" in Justice Department history: the unprecedented manhunt for hundreds of rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Donald Trump's behalf on Jan. 6, 2021, and the criminal inquiry into efforts to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

It's also a logistical nightmare.

As cases against Capitol rioters work their way through the court system and a federal grand jury hears testimony about Trump’s role in Jan. 6, some federal officials are raising concerns that it could bring the already stretched investigation of Jan. 6 to a breaking point.

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Inside The Secret Manchin-Schumer Deal: Dems Shocked, GOP Feels Betrayed

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) reached their agreement on a major tax and climate package Tuesday evening but kept it a closely-guard secret — giving Democrats just enough time to pass a $280 billion chips and science bill that Republicans would have otherwise blocked.

The announcement of the deal, which would raise $739 billion in new tax revenue, fund an array of new climate provisions and pay down $300 billion of the federal deficit, came as a complete surprise to their Senate colleagues.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin's 2022 Republican Primary For Attorney General

Former state legislator Adam Jarchow and Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney are leading candidates in the Republican primary for Wisconsin Attorney General, in which the pandemic and 2020 election stand out as issues.

The Attorney General has always been a partisan office, but Wisconsin voters have previously voted for a governor of one party and an AG of the other. But in the last decade, AG's across the country have become more active challenging state and federal laws, acting in concert with their political parties.

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No Indication Of MyVote Vulnerability

The Wisconsin Elections Commission issued the below statement following reports of unlawful and isolated attempts to obtain absentee ballots via MyVote, Wisconsin’s public facing online voter registration and information website:

There is no indication of any vulnerability with the MyVote application. The idea that absentee ballot requests made online, via MyVote, are more susceptible to fraud is false. The MyVote web application requires a person to provide the same information he or she would provide if the person made the ballot request through traditional mail or email. MyVote does not make it any easier to commit voter fraud than requesting a ballot through other methods.

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Wisconsin Man Sentenced To 7 Years For Distributing Child Pornography

Jake Blankenheim, 48, of Cross Plains, Wisconsin was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 7 years in federal prison, followed by 12 years of supervised release, for distributing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to this charge on April 15, 2022.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered Blankenheim’s online distribution of child pornography after receiving information that he shared photos of child pornography with an undercover officer on Gigatribe, an online peer-to-peer file sharing network. Agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home, where they located two computer hard drives containing additional files of child pornography. A forensic examination of those hard drives revealed that Blankenheim possessed over 3,000 photos and videos of child pornography, including files that depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers. The examination also revealed that he had traded and discussed child pornography on Gigatribe for several years.

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8 Republicans And 2 Democrats Compete In A Packed Race For Lieutenant Governor

The office of Wisconsin lieutenant governor has few official duties, but in this election cycle it is among the most hotly contested races.

Eight Republicans and two Democrats are running for lieutenant governor. The elected candidate's main role will be to be available to take over if the governor dies, resigns or is removed from office.

Previous lieutenant governors have used the office as political stepping stones: Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is in the race for governor and current Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is running for U.S. Senate.

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Kleefisch, Michels Spar Over Gas Tax In Radio Debate

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and construction exec Tim Michels sparred over Wisconsin’s gas tax with Michels saying “you can take it to the bank” that he will never raise gas taxes.

The two Republican gubernatorial candidates yesterday during a live event on conservative Dan O’Donnell’s WISN radio show said they oppose increasing the state’s gas tax. Michels said his opponent was being unfair and disingenuous in response to a question about his position on the gas tax after taking hits from Kleefisch campaign ads for leading groups that wanted to raise the 32.9 cent-per-gallon gas tax.

O’Donnell billed the event as a debate, but he did not ask all of the candidates the same questions. Candidates were allowed 30 seconds to respond if another candidate mentioned them in their answer.

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Last Update: Jul 29, 2022 6:17 am CDT

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