Morning Headlines - Monday, Oct. 23, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Monday, Oct. 23, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

GOP Speaker Chaos: 9 Republicans Will Battle For Top Post

The House GOP’s enormous speaker field is officially set, with nine Republicans seeking to somehow unify their splintered party after almost three weeks without a leader.

It’s the most crowded field since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s fall 19 days ago. The latest round of candidates includes current GOP leaders — like Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-La.) — as well as more surprising rank-and-file members like Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). Another last-minute addition, Rep. Gary Palme (R-Ala.), who serves as GOP policy chair, raised eyebrows on Sunday.

But it’s far from clear any of the current aspirants will be able to get the 217 votes needed to officially claim the speaker’s gavel. And as Republicans face the threat of another week of self-inflicted drama, their paralysis has left them drawing closer to a mid-November government funding deadline but unable to take up legislation to avert a shutdown.

“Any one of those, I think, could get very close to 217. But the question is which one of those can actually cross the finish line,” Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO, referring to candidates like Reps. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) and Johnson.

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How Each Speaker Candidate Voted In Overturning 2020 Election Results

With nine candidates in the running for Speaker, some Republicans are raising questions over whether their votes on overturning the 2020 election results should be a factor in electing the next leader.

The House has been in turmoil since eight Republicans joined forces with Democrats earlier this month to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his position. Since then, the House GOP has struggled to unite behind one candidate for the Speakership.

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Biden And Netanyahu Agree To Continue Flow Of Aid Into Gaza, White House Says

President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Sunday, the White House said in a statement. The two leaders discussed developments in Gaza and the surrounding region as well as the release of two American hostages, who were freed by Hamas on Friday.

The call came as the United Nations announced that 14 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were allowed to enter Gaza, and one day after the first trucks carrying aid were allowed into Gaza from Egypt to address the unprecedented humanitarian crisis caused by Israel's sealing off of the strip in the wake of Hamas fighters' bloody rampage on Oct. 7.

"The leaders affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza," said the White House readout of the call.

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Alex Jones Still Must Pay $1B Judgment: Judge

Right-wing provocateur and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay more than $1 billion in damages to families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, despite Jones' filing for bankruptcy, a federal bankruptcy court judge has ruled.

Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection in December after he was ordered to pay compensatory and punitive damages for repeatedly defaming the families by claiming for years that the 2012 killings of 20 students and six staff members was a hoax, staged with actors as part of a government plot to seize guns.

Bankruptcy often staves off legal judgments but not if they are the result of willful and malicious injury. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Lopez in Houston decided that standard was satisfied in Jones' case.

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Apple’s Refreshed iMac May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think

Gurman said that Apple is "planning a Mac-centered product launch around the end of this month" that could see the the release of a refreshed 24-inch ‌iMac‌ model, which is long overdue a hardware update. The current model launched in April 2021 and it is the only current-generation Mac left with the M1 chip. Gurman has repeatedly said that Apple's next iMac will skip the M2 and feature the M3 chip instead, but he declined to mention which chip the new machine will feature in this newsletter.

Gurman noted that Apple retail stores are now in short supply of the ‌iMac‌, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and many configurations now will not arrive until mid-November, in what he believes is "a clear sign that something is about to happen" regarding these three machines. He added that Apple has "made headway" on new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. While the current, M2 Pro and ‌M2‌ Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models launched in January, he thinks that an "additional update the same year would be unusual, but not inconceivable."

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Wisconsin Headlines

Voting Rights Groups Urge Vos To Change Protasiewicz Impeachment Stance

Several Wisconsin voting rights groups banded together against talk of impeachment around newly elected state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz on Saturday.

Group leaders at the 2023 Women’s Convention in Milwaukee renewed calls for Republican House Speaker Robin Vos to reconsider his stance.

"This is a perfect place to do it," Wisconsin Working Families Director Corinne Rosen said. "There's people here from all over the country and all over Wisconsin. Women that have come to join that are really looking for a representative democracy and are willing to fight for it."

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Evers Names Four New Appointees To Natural Resources Board

Governor Tony Evers has named four new appointees to the state Natural Resources Board. The Democratic governor moved quickly on Tuesday, after Republicans in the state Senate rejected four of his appointees to the panel which sets policy for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Evers new appointees are former DNR deputy secretary Todd Ambs, retired DNR employee Robin Schmidt, former state Senator Patty Schactner, and current Menominee Tribal land management director Douglas Cox.

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Lawmakers Debate Redistricting Bill During First Public Hearing On Iowa-Style System

GOP lawmakers in a hearing knocked Dems for not supporting a redistricting plan they say closely mirrors past Dem bills to create a new commission to draw Wisconsin’s political boundaries.

But Dems countered the GOP bill omits important provisions to ensure the maps are fair.

Co-author Sen. Dan Knodl in Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection noted Dems’ past support for similar bills, arguing the current bill would avoid the Legislature getting tangled up in litigation over new maps.

Knodl said he came into the Legislature when Democrats were in the majority.

“I’m very aware of how political winds can change,” the Germantown Republican said. “I think this is the moment that we, Democrats and Republicans, can come together, should come together, to take this divisive issue off the table and prove to the people of Wisconsin that we can govern effectively together.”

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Update: Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigation In Menasha, Wis.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer-involved critical incident that occurred in the City of Menasha, Wis. on the afternoon of Saturday, October 7, 2023.

At approximately 3:08 p.m., officers from the Menasha Police Department and the Fox Crossing Police Department responded to a domestic dispute on the 1100 block of Geneva Road in Menasha. Upon arrival, officers encountered a male subject armed with bladed weapons. One officer from the Menasha Police Department, Officer Derrick Rotta, over 4 years of law enforcement service, discharged his firearm during the incident and struck Kenneth R. Blevins, age 43. First aid was rendered; however, Mr. Blevins was pronounced deceased at the scene.

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Wisconsin Saw The Nation's Steepest Decline In Football Participation. Now Some Schools Are Getting Creative

It’s homecoming at Big Foot High School in Walworth County, and the stands are packed with parents and students gathered to watch their team crush Monroe High School.

The school’s cheerleaders and marching band are belting out familiar chants and melodies before the game. During half-time, people rush to grab concessions and the homecoming court is announced.

It’s mostly business as usual.

Except this year, the Friday night lights are shining down on the boys' varsity soccer team.

Big Foot’s homecoming football game and the two games leading up to it were canceled. The school only has six seniors on its football team, and key players got hurt.

District administrator Doug Parker said ideally, each class would have about 15 football players. But over the last several seasons, fewer kids are playing. It made canceling the game feel like the only safe option.

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Last Update: Oct 23, 2023 12:03 am CDT

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