Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Taliban Kill IS Leader Behind Kabul Airport Bombing

The Islamic State group mastermind thought to have planned the devastating 2021 bombing at Kabul airport has been killed by Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, US officials say.

The bombing that August killed 170 civilians and 13 US soldiers as people were trying to flee the country as the Taliban took control.

The IS figure was killed weeks ago but it took time to confirm his death. US officials said they had determined through intelligence gathering and monitoring of the region that the leader had died, though they did not provide further details on how they had learned that he was responsible for the bombing.

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Biden Is Running For Reelection. What Are His Chances For 2024?

Perhaps no measure better captures the good, the bad and the ugly of Biden’s presidency than his approval rating. Americans were relatively high on Biden when he was elected, but that didn’t last long. He came into office with a 53 percent approval rating and 36 percent disapproval rating, and it wasn’t hard to understand why: Americans were largely unhappy with former President Donald Trump.

Just a few months after his inauguration, Biden signed into law the widely popular American Rescue Plan, a sweeping aid package that included help to states to help combat the coronavirus pandemic and $1,400 direct payments to certain Americans.

But goodwill is fragile in an increasingly polarized political environment, and Americans started to sour on Biden after only a few months.

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Inside Biden's Strategy To Repair Harris' Image

Top White House officials are rushing to the aid of Vice President Kamala Harris to try to shore up her underwhelming poll numbers heading into 2024.

Harris' numbers are even worse than President Biden's (approval in the high 30%s versus low 40%s). Officials believe that could make her a drag on the ticket as Biden begins a reelection campaign that likely will boil down to a few tight states.

There's zero chance Biden will replace her on the ticket — doing so would be an admission that he botched the most important decision he made as a candidate. So the White House and campaign team are working to give Harris a boost — which her allies feel is long overdue.

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Chief Justice Roberts Declines To Testify At Senate's Supreme Court Ethics Hearing

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday declined an invitation from a high-ranking Democratic senator to testify at a congressional hearing on ethics rules for members of the Supreme Court.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Roberts suggested that his participation could pose a threat to judicial independence.

“Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Chief Justice of the United States is exceedingly rare, as one might expect in light of separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence,” Roberts wrote.

Roberts included in his letter a statement of ethics principles and practices “to which all of the current Members of the Supreme Court subscribe.”

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Senate GOP Slams ‘Perverse’ Biden Rule Forcing People With Good Credit To Subsidize High-Risk Mortgages

Senate Republicans on Wednesday accused the Biden administration's Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) of playing politics with the U.S. housing market by forcing people with good credit to subsidize high-risk mortgages, and warned that doing so would put individual homebuyers and the entire market in danger.

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and a dozen other GOP senators issued this warning in a letter to FHFA Director Sandra Thompson that also demanded the details of how this policy decision was made, a possible sign that the legality of the move could be challenged.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Lemahieu Wants Lower Income Tax Rates For All Brackets In 2023 Budget

The leader of the Wisconsin Senate said April 25 that Republicans who control the Legislature remain in favor of cutting income taxes for all income earners, even if there is not enough support for his plan that would phase in a flat tax rate.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu told reporters that he had no “line in the sand” of what he would support, but wanted to pass something that would lower rates for everyone. LeMahieu said he thought there was enough support to pass the first two years of his plan, which cuts taxes for all brackets but does not fully implement a flat rate.

“Generally, both caucuses are supportive of reducing all taxes,” LeMahieu said of Senate and Assembly Republicans after testifying in support of his flat tax plan.

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Wisconsin Assembly Passes Limits For Unemployment Aid

Wisconsin residents looking for work would receive fewer unemployment benefits and face stricter qualification requirements under a package of Republican-authored bills passed on party-line votes Tuesday in the Assembly.

The seven measures follow a statewide April election in which more than three-quarters of voters supported a nonbinding ballot question saying they believe able-bodied adults should have to look for work to receive government assistance.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed nearly identical legislation in his first term, and it's likely he will do the same this time around if the Republican-controlled Senate passes the measures.

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Johnson Says He Doesn’t Trust FDA On Abortion Drug

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he has doubts about the FDA’s ability to avoid playing politics on approving an abortion drug because the pandemic has shown him it can’t.

The Oshkosh Republican at a Milwaukee Press Club-WisPolitics luncheon Monday also said his advocacy for those who have had negative COVID-19 vaccine side effects has led him to distrust federal health agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control. He charged federal agencies, medical research and medical journals have been corrupted by big pharma, and the FDA, CDC and National Institutes of Health “have not been honest with Americans.”

The FDA first approved mifepristone in 2000. It made changes in 2016, 2019 and 2021 to the drug’s safety program.

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Koch Groups, Wisconsin Manufacturers And Commerce, Hospitals Are Some Of The Biggest Lobbiers In The State

The Milwaukee Brewers quintupled their lobbying spending in the past decade, according to filings with the state.

The ballclub is just one of many organizations large and small that lobby in the state’s capital. Lobbying is the attempt to influence legislative or administrative action, according to the state.

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Aaron Rodgers Says His Goodbye To Green Bay, Via Instagram

Aaron Rodgers has said his goodbye to Green Bay, his home for 18 years. The four-time NFL MVP and 15-year starter for the Packers posted on Instagram Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m not sure it’s possible to fully express the gratitude that I have to the @packers, our incredible fans, the state of Wisconsin, the thousands of players that I crossed paths with, the incredible men and women who work for the organization, and the amazing people who I got to meet along the way, in one post with 10 pictures, but I hope you read this and feel my heart and soul, filled with love, joy, and peace about my time in green and gold,” Rodgers wrote.

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Last Update: Apr 26, 2023 6:19 am CDT

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