Morning Headlines - Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

McConnell’s Frozen Moment Renews Questions About America’s Aged Leaders

It was an excruciating moment of powerlessness for one of Washington’s most powerful men.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s words dried up and he froze, standing silent and staring straight ahead for around 30 painful seconds in the middle of a press conference Wednesday – the second time he had endured such an uncomfortable on-camera ordeal since July. It is not clear whether it has happened more times away from the public’s gaze. But for a proud senator who has dominated the chamber for many years, the momentary loss of lucidity is embarrassing at the very least, and could become an increasing political problem.

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Hurricane Idalia Is Yet Another Test Of America's Aging Power Infrastructure

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, getting the power back on as quickly as possible will be one of the most pressing challenges — and any major delays will once again call into question the resilience of the country's aging electrical infrastructure.

Power outages can be one of the longest-lasting and dangerous results of major hurricanes, sometimes persisting well after any storm surge and high winds subside.

2021's Hurricane Ida, for example, knocked out power for more than a million residents across Louisiana and nearby states; full restoration took over two weeks.

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Charter’s Spectrum TV Could Lose 26 Disney Channels Including EPSN In Fee Fight

Charter’s Spectrum TV could lose the Disney suite of channels, including ESPN and ABC-owned local channels in select markets, unless the two companies agree to a new carriage pact. The blackout could begin as early as 5 p.m. ET today.

The potential blackout comes two days from the first full weekend of college football. Spectrum TV’s viewers are now seeing alerts posted on the Disney channels and both Spectrum TV and Disney have established web sites to communicate their positions to viewers.

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White House Warns GOP Biden Impeachment Will Backfire

The White House is warning House Republicans that a potential impeachment inquiry into President Biden will only backfire on an already fractured conference.

The possibility of an impeachment inquiry appears to be growing, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) giving signals recently that one could be launched as soon as September.

Republicans have hammered the White House over allegations of corruption in the form of the business and lobbying work of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, arguing the younger Biden used his ties to power to win business in Ukraine.

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Trump Overstated Net Worth By Up To $2.2 Billion, New York Attorney General Says

Former President Donald Trump overstated his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion each year between 2011 and 2021, the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James claims in a filing made public Wednesday.

The allegations were raised in an Aug. 4 filing seeking a partial summary judgment in the office's 2022 lawsuit accusing members of the Trump family and Trump Organization executives of orchestrating an extensive, fraudulent scheme related to valuations of property and Trump's personal financial statements.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Dems, Republicans Spar Over Legitimacy Of Confirmation Hearing For Elections Administrator Wolfe

Dems and Republicans in a confirmation hearing sparred over Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe’s role, with Dems arguing the Senate has no standing to act on her appointment.

Wolfe has become a target for Republicans due to gripes over the administration of the 2020 election and false claims of widespread fraud. Senate Republicans moved to put her future as the state’s top elections official before the body over the objections of Dems.

Sen. Mark Spreitzer at the opening of Tuesday’s Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection Committee hearing called a point of order that the committee not take up Wolfe’s confirmation, arguing there is no vacancy for her position.

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Backers Say Bills Will Prevent Wisconsin Candidates From Being Kicked Off The Ballot Arbitrarily

Bipartisan backers say pending legislation would prevent candidates from being kicked off the ballot arbitrarily.

To get on the ballot, Wisconsin residents need to submit a certain number of signatures from eligible voters who live in that district.

For statewide office, for instance, Wisconsin law says candidates must submit at least 2,000 valid signatures but may submit up to 4,000. But sponsors of Assembly Bill 330 and its counterpart in the state Senate say clarity in state law is needed. They cite cases like that of former Milwaukee School Board candidate Shandowlyon Hendricks Reaves, who ended up losing that District 1 race in April 2023.

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Webster, Wisconsin Schools Push LGBTQ Agenda

The Webster School District in Northwest Wisconsin is pushing the LGBTQ agenda. The school district is one of the largest in Wisconsin, but covers an area not densely populated.

In the fall of 2019, Steve McConkey was notified by a number of parents that the school had a transgender cheerleader. The students were told that they could not refer to the person as a boy or they would be disciplined.

McConkey, who operates a worldwide sports ministry called 4Winds, distributed a news release about the situation locally, unlike most of the news releases that go worldwide. The transgender cheerleader eventually graduated.

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Redistricting Plaintiffs Object To Republican Attempt To Boot Protasiewicz From Cases

Liberals argued in a legal filing that Republicans were trying to nullify the election of a Democratic-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court justice by asking her to recuse herself from hearing redistricting lawsuits that could result in drawing new legislative electoral maps.

Attorneys in two separate redistricting cases filed arguments on Aug. 29 objecting to the Republican-controlled Legislature’s request that Justice Janet Protasiewicz recuse herself. They argued that there was no legal or ethical obligation for Protasiewicz to step aside, despite her comments during the campaign that she thinks the current maps are “rigged” or because she accepted nearly $10 million from the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

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Sen. Baldwin Pressures Biden Administration For Wisconsin Tech Hub

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) is pressuring the Biden Administration to designate Wisconsin as a Tech Hub.

The title comes with money that, in theory, leads to more jobs and local industry.

Baldwin and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary Missy Hughes toured the Wisconsin Institutes of Medical Research Wednesday morning.

On its face, the tour served to highlight the tools and techniques being developed at the institutes to identify and treat certain cancers. But it also was meant to pressure the Biden Administration into choosing Wisconsin as a regional Tech Hub.

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Last Update: Aug 31, 2023 6:53 am CDT

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