Morning Headlines - Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Credibility Crisis: Media ‘Fact-checkers’ Were Eager To Debunk COVID Lab Leak Theory, Had To Issue Corrections

The fact-checking industry helped mislead Americans by confidently dismissing the COVID lab leak theory in 2020, as several prominent outlets have since been forced to issue embarrassing corrections.

The theory that COVID originated from a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has now been embraced by FBI Director Christopher Wray and a bombshell report recently indicated that the U.S. Energy Department believes the virus likely started at the lab.

Back on March 21, 2020, USA Today published a fact-check titled, "Did the coronavirus originate in a Chinese laboratory?" which confidently stated that the lab leak theory was "false information" that was pushed by right-leaning outlets. It also called the notion that COVID began in a lab a "conspiracy" and insisted credible researchers believe the virus originated in nature.

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Congress Sends Biden A Measure To Stop ‘Woke’ 401(k)s

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a measure to block retirement account managers from considering environmental, social, and corporate governance principles (ESG) when evaluating investments in retirement plans.

The joint resolution measure, approved in a 50-46 vote, aims to overturn a Labor Department rule that currently allows fiduciaries to consider those factors. But it's set to be blocked when it arrives at the White House in what would be President Biden’s first veto since taking office.

The Wednesday afternoon vote was the highest-profile swipe yet from Republicans who are aiming to reverse a decades-long trend in Corporate America of taking factors like environmental impact into consideration when it comes to investment decisions in addition to just profits.

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In LGBTQ America, Bisexuals Are The ‘Invisible Majority’

Nearly three-fifths of LGBTQ adults in America identify as bisexual, according to a new Gallup poll, a finding that illustrates the extent of a population that some researchers have termed the “invisible majority” of the queer community.

Young Americans, and young women in particular, have widely rejected the notion of sexuality as a binary choice — straight versus gay — just as they have largely abandoned the either-or, boy-girl system of fixed gender.

One-fifth of Generation Z respondents identified as queer, Gallup found, one of the largest generational LGBTQ populations ever documented.

Two-thirds of young, queer adults polled consider themselves bisexual, meaning they are attracted to more than one gender. Most of them are women, who outnumber bisexual men 3 to 1, according to Gallup. Scholars say American society allows women more latitude than men in exploring sexual identity.

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Senators Are Considering Raising The Retirement Age To 70 And Are Looking At A $1.5T Investment Fund To Overhaul SS And Stop Funds Running Out By 2032

A group of bipartisan senators is quietly meeting to retool Social Security before funds run out in 2032.

On the table, according to Semafor, is gradually raising the retirement age to 70 and creating a $1.5 trillion sovereign wealth fund, which would invest in stocks.

That fund would be separate from the already existing Social Security Trust Fund. If it underperformed, Social Security would be shored up by increasing the maximum taxable income and payroll taxes.

Leading the efforts are Sens. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, and Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Semafor and The Hill newspaper reported that other Republicans involved are Sens. John Cornyn, Mitt Romney and Mike Rounds.

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The Enduring Gender Wage Gap

The gender pay gap – the difference between the earnings of men and women – has barely closed in the United States in the past two decades. In 2022, American women typically earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. That was about the same as in 2002, when they earned 80 cents to the dollar. The slow pace at which the gender pay gap has narrowed this century contrasts sharply with the progress in the preceding two decades: In 1982, women earned just 65 cents to each dollar earned by men.

There is no single explanation for why progress toward narrowing the pay gap has all but stalled in the 21st century.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Supreme Court Race: Protasiewicz, Kelly Spar Over Wisconsin's Abortion Law

In less than 5 weeks, voters across Wisconsin will choose between Janet Protasiewicz and Daniel Kelly for a seat on the state's highest court.

The race has become very political with the election outcome determining control of the court's ideology.

TMJ4's Charles Benson joined 620 WTMJ's Steve Scaffidi to interview both candidates on an issue getting a lot of attention.

The battle for the open seat is supposed to be a nonpartisan election, but try getting voters to believe that.

"Not at all," said Marquette Junior Sherlean Roberts, a Political Science student closely watching the race.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers To Consider Parole Transparency Bill

Wisconsin lawmakers were set to take public comments Wednesday on a Republican-authored bill that would force the state’s embattled parole commission to abide by open meetings laws and post its decisions online.

The Assembly Committee on State Affairs was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal. The committee wasn’t expected to vote on the bill but the forum offered stakeholders a chance to sound off on commission shortcomings.

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Wisconsin Republicans Push Tighter Budget, Downplay Surplus

Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders downplayed the state's record budget surplus Wednesday, even as Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has pushed for massive spending increases on K-12 education, tax cuts and funding for local governments.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos cautioned that much of the state's projected $7 billion surplus is one-time money that he said shouldn't be used to fund new programs or ongoing expenses. Evers has proposed a range of uses for the money, from subsidizing repairs at the Milwaukee Brewers' stadium to creating a three-month paid leave program for most workers.

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Wisconsin Court Candidate Won’t Hear Democrats’ Lawsuits

The Democrats’ choice in a high-stakes Wisconsin Supreme Court race said Wednesday that she would not hear cases brought by the Wisconsin Democratic Party because it has donated $2.5 million to her campaign.

But her Republican-backed opponent would not make a similar pledge for cases brought by the GOP.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz faces Dan Kelly in the April 4 election, with majority control of the state’s highest court at stake.

The court is expected to hear a challenge to Wisconsin’s 1849 law banning abortion, and liberals have promised to put a case before the court that would allow it to overturn Republican-drawn legislative districts.

Protasiewicz said she would not recuse herself from cases involving abortion or legislative redistricting, even though groups active on those issues are backing her campaign.

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Make Up Your Mind Already, Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers famously once told Packers fans that he had five letters for them: “R-E-L-A-X.”

Well, we have six letters for Rodgers: E-N-O-U-G-H.

Rodgers continues to hold the Jets, the Packers and the rest of the NFL hostage as he drags out his decision on whether and where to continue his football career.

The latest installment of “As Aaron Turns” came Wednesday, when he appeared on the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast.” If you, like me, have never heard of Marcus before, here is the description of his podcast from his website: A motivational destination for conversations with the brightest minds in athletics, business, mindset and spirituality.

That’s certainly a departure from “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers’ usual information vessel. On the podcast, Rodgers did not announce a decision. Instead, he kicked the can down the road again and then told everyone he is not seeking attention.

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Last Update: Mar 02, 2023 5:52 am CST

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