Morning Headlines - Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

GOP Aims Fire At Gaetz After McCarthy Ouster

House Republicans are aiming their fire at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) after the congressman staged a successful effort to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker, sharply criticizing the Florida Republican for teaming up with Democrats to boot the GOP leader and hurling personal insults his way.

Taking matters a step further, at least two GOP lawmakers have said Gaetz should be booted from the House Republican conference, an unlikely outcome that, nonetheless, underscores the raw frustration — and anger — with Gaetz among members of his party.

The amped-up rhetoric comes as the House GOP conference is being forced back into square one — electing a new Speaker — as the government shutdown clock ticks down to the fast-approaching Nov. 17 funding deadline.

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Can Biden Keep U.S. Aid Flowing To Ukraine Amid GOP Chaos In House?

The Biden administration is scrambling to find a way to keep U.S. weapons flowing to Ukraine in its war with Russia after the ouster of the Republican House speaker put future assistance to Kyiv in serious jeopardy.

The morning after the House ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker, President Joe Biden told aides he wanted to deliver a speech about Ukraine to make the case for why it was in America’s interest to provide further aid to Ukraine, a senior administration official said.

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Biden Administration Waives 26 Federal Laws To Allow Border Wall Construction

The Biden administration announced it waived 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow border wall construction on Wednesday, marking the administration’s first use of a sweeping executive power employed often during the Trump presidency.

The Department of Homeland Security posted the announcement on the U.S. Federal Registry with few details outlining the construction in Starr County, Texas, which is part of a busy Border Patrol sector seeing “high illegal entry.” According to government data, about 245,000 illegal entries have been recorded so far this fiscal year in the Rio Grande Valley Sector which contains 21 counties.

“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas,” Alejandro Mayorkas, the DHS secretary, stated in the notice.

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Powerball Jackpot Rises To Estimated $1.4 Billion After No Winners Wednesday

The Powerball jackpot rose to an estimated $1.4 billion after there were no winning tickets for the grand prize of roughly $1.2 billion from Wednesday night's drawing. The numbers that came up were 9, 35, 54, 63, 64 with a Powerball of 1.

The estimated jackpot for Saturday night's drawing would be the third-largest in Powerball history and fifth-biggest in U.S. lottery history.

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Gmail Is Now Getting Emoji Reactions: Here's How To Use Them

A thumbs-up here, kissy lips there, a cat face here -- emoji are seemingly everywhere. The colorful little images show up in text messages, Facebook, Instagram, even Slack. And now, emoji are coming to Gmail.

According to a new post on the Google support site, the feature is now rolling out gradually for Android device users and will come to iOS and web users in the next few months.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Top Wisconsin Senate Republican Calls On Assembly To Impeach Wolfe

The Republican president of the Wisconsin Senate on Oct. 4 called on the Assembly to impeach the presidential battleground state’s nonpartisan top elections official, who has remained in office while Democrats fight in court against a Senate vote to fire her.

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe’s actions “could rise to the level of corrupt conduct in office,” Senate President Chris Kapenga said in a letter urging Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to pursue impeachment.

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Evers Slams Republicans For ‘Idiotic’ Committee Vote To Reject Czarnezki As Elections Commissioner

GOP members of a Senate committee voted against confirming former Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki to the state Elections Commission after the Dem appointee abstained from a June vote to renominate Meagan Wolfe as the agency’s administrator.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection Chair Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, accused Czarnezki of a dereliction of duty in an attempt to deprive the Senate of its oversight role over who runs the agency.

Czarnezki’s nomination would have to be rejected by the full Senate before he could be removed from the six-member commission. Knodl told WisPolitics after the committee vote he hadn’t received any assurances from Senate GOP leaders the nomination would be put on the floor, but expected it to come up while the chamber is in session this month.

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Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers, Biosafety Advocates Join Forces On Pathogen Bill

Legislation banning a certain type of research on dangerous pathogens is bringing together an unlikely alliance of public health scientists, community activists and Republicans who spurned COVID-19 safety protocols.

For decades, the world’s leading scientists have debated the merits of experiments that make risky pathogens more dangerous — some of the most controversial are done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This year, Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers have weighed in, introducing state and federal bans on so-called "gain-of-function research on pandemic pathogens," citing devastation from the COVID-19 virus in their press releases. Several link the COVID-19 outbreak to gain-of-function research conducted at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. A recently declassified report said U.S. intelligence agencies found no direct evidence the virus came from a lab, but could not rule out either laboratory or wild origins.

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Republican Lawmakers Target Transgender Athletes In New Bill

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers proposed a new bill targeting transgender athletes.

Assembly Bill 377 would ban transgender athletes from participating on the teams they identify their gender with.

Assemblywoman Barbara Dittrich (R) co-authored this bill. She proposed a similar bill in 2021.

"There's a whole army of women in Wisconsin sports that are fed up with giving their titles and awards to those who are born biological males," said Dittrich.

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Restrictive Laws In Wisconsin Deny Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Voting Rights

For many Wisconsinites, casting their ballot is something they don't think twice about, but for others, it's a right they've been fighting to earn back for years.

In Wisconsin, nearly 63,000 residents are barred from voting due to the state's restrictive laws keeping residents with prior felony convictions from participating in elections.

The law currently requires that an individual is ineligible to vote in the state until they have successfully fulfilled their prison, parole, and probationary sentences. Wisconsin is one of 15 states with felony disenfranchisement laws and the last of a handful of states in the Midwest now that bordering states like Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota have joined the trend to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals.

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Last Update: Oct 05, 2023 6:09 am CDT

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