Morning Headlines - Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Biden Struggles To Get Off A Stage Again After Speech In Pittsburgh

President Joe Biden seemed to struggle getting off stage at a rally in Pittsburgh - just a month after a similar gaffe following a United Nations speech.

After finishing his speech, Biden, 79, was seen turning toward his right to exit the stage when he stopped to talk to his team, raising his hands in question.

Shortly after, he spun around and exited the stage on his left side.

He stopped in Pittsburgh to review the progress on the $25.3million reconstruction of the Fern Hollow Bridge. The bridge collapsed in January, injuring 10 and swallowing several cars.

The bridge's reconstruction is supposed to be done by the end of the year, a feat Biden highlighted as impressive.

'Normally, you’d be looking at two to five years to rebuild a bridge like that,' Biden said. 'By Christmas, God willing, I’m coming to walk over this sucker.'

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Kamala Harris Allies Leak Fresh Biden, Buttigieg Gripes To CNN

A new CNN report found that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is more popular with Democratic candidates on the campaign trail than Vice President Kamala Harris, but what it really reveals are a set of gripes that Harris' allies have when it comes to her utilization on the stump.

The report found that Buttigieg — the young, articulate military veteran who ran for president in 2020 following two terms as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana — has become the most requested surrogate on the campaign trail for Democratic candidates in the midterms apart from President Joe Biden. It's clear that, when presented with this information, Harris' allies had to come up with excuses as for why a comparative political novice is more sought after than a career politician with a much larger national profile.

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The Midwest Is America's Least Trusting Region

People in the Midwest are more distrustful of major American institutions than any other part of the country, according to new data from the Edelman Trust Barometer.

Midwesterners’ skepticism spares no one. Compared with the Northeast, South and West, the Midwest has the lowest levels of trust in every institution — the government, the media, business and nonprofits.

Strong feelings about corporate America may drive some of the region’s mistrust.

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SCOTUS Maintains Public Silence On Dobbs Opinion Leak Investigation

Almost five months after the Supreme Court suffered one of the worst breaches of confidentiality in its 233-year-old history, triggering a rare investigation into the inner workings of the high court, the public has been left in the dark.

Over the summer recess two justices suggested they expected to be updated about the status of the probe this fall, but no announcements have been made.

The lack of transparency comes as the leak of the draft of opinion in Dobbs that reversed Roe v. Wade spurred protests across the country as well as the arrest of a man charged with attempted murder after he was picked up near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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Social Media Platforms Brace For Midterm Elections Mayhem

A Facebook search for the words “election fraud” first delivers an article claiming that workers at a Pennsylvania children's museum are brainwashing children so they'll accept stolen elections.

Facebook's second suggestion? A link to an article from a site called MAGA Underground that says Democrats are plotting to rig next month's midterms. “You should still be mad as hell about the fraud that happened in 2020," the article insists.

With less than three weeks before the polls close, misinformation about voting and elections abounds on social media despite promises by tech companies to address a problem blamed for increasing polarization and distrust.

While platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube say they've expanded their work to detect and stop harmful claims that could suppress the vote or even lead to violent confrontations, a review of some of the sites shows they're still playing catchup with 2020, when then-President Donald Trump's lies about the election he lost to Joe Biden helped fuel an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Van Orden Holds Polling, Fundraising Advantage Over Pfaff In Wisconsin's 3rd District

Only weeks before the 2022 midterm election, Republican Derrick Van Orden continues to appear to be running ahead of Democrat Brad Pfaff in the race to represent Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District.

Polls have shown Van Orden with at least a 5-point lead — though only two have been conducted since the primary, and none since August. Despite the limited number of polls, the amount of money on the Republican side of the race is another indication of momentum for Van Orden.

Republicans have flooded airwaves in western and central Wisconsin media markets, spending nearly $2 million on advertising between Aug. 9 and Oct. 18.

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Toney Knocks Kaul On Task Force Handling Internet Crimes Against Children

Fond du Lac DA Eric Toney is charging Dem AG Josh Kaul has not worked hard enough to clear what he claims is a backlog of internet sex crimes against children.

Toney, without citing his source, said by September there was a backlog of over 1,000 child sex predator referrals at the DOJ’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He said he submitted an open records request to the DOJ last week to find out exactly how large the backlog is, if there is one.

“We’ve seen record violence, a drug epidemic across Wisconsin,” he said at a news conference outside the Department of Justice in Madison Wednesday. “And now we’re seeing something incredibly troubling; a backlog of child sex predator referrals at our Department of Justice that we’ve heard by September of this year, a number of over 1,000.”

DOJ’s ICAC handles crimes such as child pornography distribution, sexual assaults against children, soliciting child pornography, human trafficking and other heinous crimes.

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College Enrollment Across Wisconsin Down 3 Percent, According To New Report

Overall enrollment across Wisconsin colleges and universities fell around 3 percent this fall, according to preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Researchers say national enrollment declines have slowed to pre-pandemic, but they were surprised by the lack of a rebound.

The "Stay Informed" report from the Clearinghouse found fall enrollment across all public and private colleges in Wisconsin as of Sept. 29 was down 3.1 percent from the same time last year. While still a negative, this year's decline was less than the 4.1 percent drop in fall 2021.

Since 2020, college enrollment in the state has fallen by nearly 7.8 percent.

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Day 14 Wraps: Darrell Brooks Gives Opening Statement, Calls Witnesses

Prosecutors have rested their case in the Darrell Brooks homicide trial. On Thursday, Brooks also made his opening statement and began to call witnesses.

Brooks faces 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of felony reckless endangerment, for killing six people and injuring dozens more in the Waukesha parade attack.

Prosecutors argued Brooks turned his red SUV into the parade after fleeing a domestic incident. That's despite warnings from police to stop and officers opening fire on him, though no squad cars were pursuing him at the time. Brooks has pleaded not guilty to all 76 counts and is serving as his own defense.

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Tiffany Urges USPS To Reconsider Gordon Post Office Closure

Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reconsider its decision to close the Gordon Post Office, located at 9725 E. County Road Y, Gordon, WI 54838.

On October 17th, the USPS announced that it would be closing the Gordan Post Office “due to the loss of the current building lease.” As a result, the Gordon Post Office will be merging operations with the Solon Springs Post Office. This decision will require residents, including many senior citizens, to drive approximately 20 miles roundtrip to collect mail and conduct business with the postal service. Tiffany’s letter noted that, “Not only is this unacceptable, but it is unsafe during Wisconsin winters.”

“Efficient access to mail delivery by the USPS is important to all Americans, especially those living in rural communities,” said Congressman Tiffany. “The USPS must reconsider its decision and find a timely solution to the Gordan Post Office closure.”

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Last Update: Oct 21, 2022 6:19 am CDT

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