Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Trump Refusal To Sign Loyalty Pledge Puts RNC In Bind

Former President Trump’s refusal to sign the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) loyalty pledge is putting the organization in a bind as next week’s GOP primary debate approaches.

Trump said he wouldn’t sign the pledge last week and is expected to announce in the coming days whether he will attend the event.

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel must now navigate the thorny situation of appeasing Trump — both a ratings draw and the clear front-runner in the primary — while maintaining her control as head of the party.

“It’s a distinct possibility that the Republican nominee for president could simply decide to shun the RNC itself,” said Brian Seitchik, a Republican strategist and Trump campaign alum. “When a candidate refuses to play by the rules, it obviously weakens the RNC’s position.”

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Trump And Allies Face Racketeering Charges In Georgia — Here's What To Know About Sentencing For RICO Convictions

The grand jury indictment of former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants launched a legal journey that could end in at least five years of prison time if convicted under Georgia's racketeering statute.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is prosecuting a case that applies Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to all 19 defendants in the case, stemming from alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Many face election fraud and other charges in the case, too.

The use of the RICO statute, originally intended to take mob syndicates and gang leaders off the streets, may result in jail time.

These charges carry a sentence of 5 to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000 or three times the amount gained by the violation — whichever is greater — or both prison and a fine. However, it is not clear how closely the judge must adhere to the state's sentencing guidelines. 

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DOJ Sends Response To House GOP On Hunter Biden ‘Sweetheart’ Plea Deal

The Justice Department sent an "initial response" Monday to top House Republicans investigating the failed "sweetheart" plea deal Hunter Biden was offered, while declining to provide any information about the "ongoing investigation and prosecution" or any of the "ongoing negotiations" with counsel for President Biden’s son.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith are leading a joint-congressional investigation into the alleged politicization impacting the years-long federal investigation into Hunter Biden.

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Congress Moves Toward A Short-Term Funding Bill To Quell Fears Of A Shutdown

Speaker Kevin McCarthy told House Republicans on a conference call that he believes Congress will have to pass a short-term government funding bill to avoid a shutdown this fall, two sources with knowledge told NBC News.

The remarks reflect a growing recognition that Congress doesn't have enough time to reach a full-year funding deal before money runs out on Sept. 30. Lawmakers are on a month-long August recess and return in September, just a few weeks before the deadline.

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Milley To Visit Israel As U.S. Concerns Grow Over Israeli Military Crisis

Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will travel to Israel next week amid growing concerns inside the Biden administration about how the Netanyahu government's judicial overhaul is affecting the Israeli military, two Israeli officials told Axios.

Thousands of Israeli reservists have suspended their service over their opposition to the right-wing government's weakening of the country's Supreme Court. Milley's visit will enable the Biden administration to assess first-hand how deep the crisis inside the IDF goes, and whether it could have any implications for U.S. forces in the Middle East.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Biden Touts Economic Policies During Visit To Milwaukee Manufacturer

President Joe Biden in Milwaukee today credited his economic policies for bringing manufacturing jobs back to Wisconsin and improving infrastructure. 

Biden at the electric vehicle charger manufacturer Ingeteam argued “Bidenomics” are to credit for reducing inflation, increasing wages and bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. He also touted the nation’s and Wisconsin’s record low unemployment rates. 

And as Biden regularly does during appearances in Wisconsin, the president took a series of shots at U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson for his economic positions, saying the Oshkosh Republican is a fan of outsourcing. 

“He doesn’t think American workers should manufacture products that require a lot of labor,” Biden said.

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Foxconn To Sell Green Bay, Eau Claire Properties That Once Intended To Bring Hundreds Of Jobs

Foxconn Technology Group is looking to sell two properties that were once meant to become "innovation centers," employing hundreds of people.

After Foxconn announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in the village of Mount Pleasant, the company pledged to expand across the state with innovation centers in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Eau Claire and Racine.

At the time, the company said each innovation center would employ between 100 and 200 people, with the Milwaukee center employing around 500 people. But those plans were essentially put on hold in 2019.

Now, Foxconn says it’s turning its focus to the "ongoing business activities" in its Science and Technology Park in Mount Pleasant, rather than innovation centers.

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Attorney General Kaul Announces Office Of School Safety Funding Secured For 2023-2024 School Year

Attorney General Josh Kaul today is announcing that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS) has secured one-time funding to temporarily continue it’s current, lifesaving operations to keep Wisconsin kids safe. Since its inception in 2018, OSS has become a critical resource for students, teachers, school administrators, and educational communities across the state of Wisconsin by implementing practices proven to prevent violence in schools.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to keep our kids safe by preventing tragedy, and that’s exactly what these funds will help us continue to do,” said Attorney General Kaul. “It remains essential, however, for the state legislature to take action in the current legislative session. We must not allow critical Office of School Safety programs to be gutted at the end of 2024.”

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Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit To Stop Lac Du Flambeau Roadblocks

A federal judge on Aug. 15 dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a northern Wisconsin tribe from barricading roads on its reservation, saying the nontribal land owners who brought the action didn’t have a case under federal law.

The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has been locked in a heated dispute with the town of Lac du Flambeau and 21 nontribal land owners since January, when tribal leaders first set up barriers on four reservation roadways they said were being illegally used.

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Wisconsin GOP Chairman Named In Latest Georgia Trump Indictment

The 98-page Georgia election indictment charges former President Donald Trump with racketeering, violating oath of office, and other charges. Many familiar names were charged and mentioned throughout the document, including a well-known Wisconsinite, Brian Schimming.

“According to the indictment in Georgia, he was contacted by a Kenneth Chesebro, who apparently is one of the un-indicted co-conspirators in the case in Washington DC and a named co-conspirator in the RICO case in Georgia,” Wisconsin Attorney Lester Pines explained.

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brian Schimming is referenced twice in the lengthy document. However, he was not the chairman at the time.

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Last Update: Aug 16, 2023 10:31 am CDT

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