Morning Headlines - Monday, Dec. 12, 2022

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

Morning Headlines - Monday, Dec. 12, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

What The Jan. 6 Select Committee’s Final Report Will Look Like

The Jan. 6 select committee’s final report will begin with a voluminous executive summary describing former President Donald Trump’s culpability for his extensive and baseless effort to subvert the 2020 election, according to people briefed on its contents.

Drafts of the report, which the people briefed say have been circulating among committee members for weeks, include thousands of footnotes drawn from the panel’s interviews and research over the past 16 months into Trump’s activities in the frenzied final weeks that preceded Jan. 6, 2021 — when a mob of his supporters battered police and stormed the Capitol.

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Behind-The-Scenes Hunt Builds For McCarthy Speaker Alternative

Searches for a Speaker alternative to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) are slowly building momentum as he faces opposition that threatens to sink his bid.

On one side, McCarthy’s fiercest detractors are teasing that there are people interested in being a viable GOP consensus substitute for the current minority leader. On the other, members say preliminary conversations are happening among Republicans and Democrats about a possible contingency candidate if McCarthy cannot win the gavel after multiple ballots in the new GOP-majority House next month.

Neither side will name names, fearing that anyone mentioned as a candidate would get intense blowback.

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Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill Investigators Search For Cause Of Kansas Rupture

Federal and state environmental officials worked over the weekend to mitigate the fallout from last Wednesday's Keystone Pipeline rupture that leaked about 14,000 barrels of crude oil into a Kansas creek.

Officials hadn't yet determined the cause of the incident, TC Energy, the Canadian pipeline operator, said on Sunday.

The spill near Mill Creek, in Washington County, Kansas, had been "contained" by about 250 people working at the site, TC Energy said in a statement.

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Elon Musk Targets Dr. Anthony Fauci In Viral Tweet, Drawing Backlash

As Dr. Anthony Fauci prepares to step down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the end of the year, the leading immunologist faced derision on social media over the weekend from tech billionaire and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.

"My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci," Musk tweeted on Sunday. The jibe, shared largely without context, drew support from prominent conservatives such as right-wing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — whose account was reinstated with Musk's decision to end the platform's COVID-19 misinformation policy last month, and who has been criticized in the past for her own comments mocking the use of gender pronouns — as well as backlash.

While Musk's tweet acquired roughly half a million likes in its first few hours online, health experts like Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist and virology professor, defended Fauci's work at the forefront of U.S. pandemic mitigation efforts and urged Musk to remove the post.

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Iran Publicly Carries Out Second Protest-Related Execution

Iran has publicly executed a second man who was arrested during unrest linked with the country’s ongoing protests.

The judiciary’s news website announced early on  Monday that Majidreza Rahnavard, who was convicted of killing two members of security forces, was executed in an unidentified public location in Mashhad while a group of people looked on.

It published several images of the public execution, showing a man, whose hands were tied, hanged by the neck from a crane. Masked security forces were shown cordoning off the area, with a crowd of dozens watching behind barricades.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Sen. Baldwin Proposes Federal Travel Funding For Abortion Seekers

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced a bill that would provide federal funding grants to pay for travel-related expenses for people seeking abortions. But despite their support for the effort, abortion rights advocates say it's unlikely to get through Congress, where the House of Representatives is now controlled by Republicans.

The Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act would set up a grant program for $350 million per year for the next five years, distributing the funds through nonprofits and community organizations that assist abortion seekers.

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Wisconsin GOP Elects Schimming State Chair

The Wisconsin GOP’s Executive Committee today unanimously tapped Brian Schimming to become the next state chair.

Schimming replaces Paul Farrow, who decided against seeking a full two-year term so he can focus on his reelection bid as Waukesha County exec this spring.

The party said Schimming will be paid after the chair had been a voluntary position for years. Some had argued the party needed to make the switch to close the fundraising gap with the state Dem Party, which has a paid chair.

“It has been an honor working tirelessly with activists throughout Wisconsin all these years,” Schimming said. “And now I look forward to working side by side with the thousands of grassroots leaders in this state to win Wisconsin for the Republican presidential candidate and elect a conservative to the state Supreme Court. There’s not a moment to waste.”

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Timberlake To Step Down As DHS Secretary

State Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake is stepping down. Timberlake has headed DHS since January of 2021, when Governor Tony Evers appointed her to succeed Andrea Palm, who left to serve in the Biden administration. Like Palm, Timberlake served without ever having her nomination confirmed by the Republican controlled Wisconsin state Senate.

Evers announced Friday that Timberlake would leave the position January 2.

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The 2023 Agenda For Democrats In The Wisconsin Legislature

Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature will head into the 2023 session with even smaller minorities, but the leaders of the party in the Senate and Assembly say they still represent the majority of the state.

State Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison, is still getting used to her new office and her new position as the Democratic Minority Leader.

"It feels a bit like drinking from the fire hose, but also I'm really ready," she said.

With only 11 members, the Democrats are powerless to pass legislation, but Agard points to statewide wins by Gov. Tony Evers to show Democrats represent the values of the majority of Wisconsin.

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Trempealeau County Cocaine Traffickers Sentenced To Federal Prison

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Cristian Andre Vazquez Velez (Vazquez), 23, Independence, Wisconsin, and Michael Carmenatty Justiniano (Carmenatty), 41, Galesville, Wisconsin, were sentenced on December 8, 2022 by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley.  Vazquez, who pleaded guilty on August 30, 2022, was sentenced to 96 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.  Carmenatty, who pleaded guilty on August 16, 2022, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

In August 2020, law enforcement received information from multiple sources that several people sold cocaine at a barbershop and taverns in Arcadia, Wisconsin.  As their investigation continued, investigators learned that Mark Castro, Karlett Salazar, Carmenatty, and Vazquez received cocaine from someone in Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rican source-of-supply shipped half-kilogram quantities of cocaine at a time, via U.S. Mail, and hid the drugs inside radios, printers, or bedsheets.  In exchange for the cocaine, the above Wisconsin-based cocaine traffickers sent money and guns to Puerto Rico.

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Last Update: Dec 12, 2022 6:56 am CST

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