U.S. and World Headlines
Eyeing Defense Spending Cuts, House GOP Targets Military ‘Wokeness’
Top House Republicans say the Pentagon’s budget will be on the table as Republicans seek to negotiate spending cuts in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling — and have placed a bullseye on “wokeness” in the military.
Exactly what that means remains somewhat unclear, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others in his caucus have pointed to programs including efforts to diversify the military, identify alternative fuels and other environmental initiatives.
“We’re going to cut money that’s being spent on wokeism, we’re going to cut legacy programs, we’re going to cut a lot of waste,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told The Hill on Wednesday.Read More
Biden And McCarthy Hold ‘First Good’ Meeting On Debt Ceiling, But ‘No Agreements, No Promises’
President Joe Biden met Wednesday with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in search of a path to lifting the nation’s debt ceiling — and averting the potential for an economic catastrophe.
They emerged from the hourlong session agreed on at least one thing: It could’ve gone worse.
“The president and I had a first good meeting — I shared my perspective with him, he shared his,” McCarthy told reporters afterward. “No agreements, no promises, except that we would continue this conversation.”
In a statement, the White House called the meeting a “frank and straightforward dialogue” that represented the first of many conversations.Read More
Congress Is Off To A Spectacularly Slow Start, And Members Fear It Won’t Get Better
The House, paralyzed for days, struggled to elect a speaker. The Senate is holding symbolic votes just to pass the time. America’s most powerful lawmakers have been twiddling their thumbs, unable to hold hearings because committees aren’t set up.
Welcome to the Seinfeld Congress. It’s a show about nothing.
One month in, the 118th Congress is off to a spectacularly sluggish start, frustrating some lawmakers and foreshadowing a messy two years of divided government in a presidential election cycle where very little is expected to get done.Read More
Brazilian Navy Says It Will Sink ‘Ghost’ Aircraft Carrier At High Sea
A decommissioned aircraft carrier from the 1960s that has been floating offshore for three months since Turkey refused it entry to be scrapped there will be sunk in the Atlantic Ocean in waters under Brazil’s jurisdiction, the Brazilian Navy said on Wednesday.
The 32,000-ton Sao Paulo carrier had been towed by a tug to Europe but did not get past the Gibraltar straits, and was returned across the Atlantic after Turkey decided it was an environmental hazard.
The Navy said in a statement that the ship is taking on water and is at risk of sinking, so it has not been allowed to dock at Brazilian ports.Read More
Punxsutawney Phil Prepares To Make Groundhog Day Prediction
It’s Groundhog Day and people are waiting to learn whether a furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town will predict an early spring or six more weeks of winter.
People will gather Thursday at Gobbler’s Knob as members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summon him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he has seen his shadow. According to folklore, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring comes early.
The “inner circle” is a group of local dignitaries who are responsible for planning the events, as well as feeding and caring for Phil himself.Read More
Lawsuit Seeks To Block Bail Measure, Welfare Question From Wisconsin's 2023 Ballot
A lawsuit filed Jan. 31 by Wisconsin criminal justice advocacy groups seeks to block two Republican-sponsored measures from appearing on the April 2023 ballot, arguing that they were not submitted on time to the correct elections officials.
One question is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow judges to consider more factors when setting bail for violent offenders. The other is an advisory referendum that asks voters if they believe that able-bodied, childless welfare recipients should be required to look for work.Read More
How Dobbs Made The Wisconsin Supreme Court Race One Of The Biggest Elections Of 2023
A pivotal race to decide the balance of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will determine the fate of abortion rights in the state — and could come down to two women judges with markedly different judicial philosophies and approaches.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ending almost 50 years of federal abortion protections gave states the last word on abortion access. And in many states, including Wisconsin, that means the state supreme court will have the final say. The state’s 19th-century abortion ban ground abortion services in Wisconsin to a halt after the Dobbs decision, and the procedure remains out of reach while the fate of the law is up in the air.Read More
Second Jury Finds Wisconsin Man Guilty In Wife’s Slaying
A jury found a Wisconsin man guilty Wednesday in a second trial for killing his wife with antifreeze and by suffocation in 1998.
The verdict of first-degree intentional homicide against Mark Jensen was announced in a Kenosha County courtroom.
Jensen, 63, first was convicted in 2008 in the slaying of Julie Jensen inside their Pleasant Prairie home.
Prosecutors alleged he began poisoning her with antifreeze in December 1998, drugged her with a sleeping medication and later suffocated her to death over a three-day period.Read More
Survey: Conservative UW System Students Say They've Felt Political Pressure In Class
A survey of more than 10,000 University of Wisconsin System undergraduate students shows stark differences in opinion on free speech when broken down by political affiliation, gender and race.
Students responded to questions on topics like the First Amendment, whether speech considered harmful should be reported, and whether speakers seen as offensive should be disinvited by campuses.
During a press conference prior to the survey's release, UW System President Jay Rothman said the system "can't be afraid of the truth and what the survey shows us."Read More
Wisconsin DMV’s Online Service Wins For Efficiency
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) continues to be recognized for its expanding online services. The ease and convenience of titling and registering a vehicle online though DMV’s eMV Public system garnered the state agency the highest regional award for Improvement Through Efficiencies from the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators (AAMVA).
“Recognition like this highlights the tremendous asset we have in our DMV as it provides customers convenient, innovative online options,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said.Read More