Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

House Conservatives Flirt With Shutdown: ‘So Be It’

Congress is racing the clock to fund the government ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline as the threat of a shutdown looms — but to some House conservatives, a shutdown isn’t much of a threat at all.

A handful of hard-line Republicans are brushing off — or even embracing — the possibility of a shutdown, arguing that bringing the government to a screeching halt is more acceptable than allowing the country to continue on its current spending trajectory.

“If a shutdown occurs, then so be it if they’re not gonna stick to what [Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)] agreed to, which is starting on a path of financial security, which we don’t have,” Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told The Hill in an interview.

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Hurricane Idalia Path And Timeline: When And Where Meteorologists Project The Storm Will Hit Florida

Idalia strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico early Wednesday but then weakened slightly back to a Category 3. Still, it was bringing a "catastrophic" storm surge and "destructive" winds as it headed for landfall in the morning along Florida's Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center warned.

The center emphasized that the "change in wind speed does not diminish the threat of catastrophic storm surge and damaging winds."

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Report: Hate Crimes Surged In Most Big Cities In 2022

Most of the nation's 10 largest cities had significant jumps in hate crimes last year, increases that averaged 22% to a record 1,889 cases, according to a new report.

It was the second straight year of increases in the big cities' overall average number of hate crimes — typically defined as violence stemming from victims' race, color, sexuality, religion or national origin.

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Fentanyl Is Killing Kids. State Lawmakers Are Searching For Answers

Fentanyl’s toll now includes a growing number of children.

Desperate to keep the deadly synthetic opioid out of the hands of kids, Texas lawmakers enacted Tucker’s Law this summer to launch an education campaign about its dangers in middle and high schools.

A world away politically, California lawmakers are considering Melanie’s Law, which would require schools to tackle opioid overdoses in their safety plans.

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Verizon Expands Unlimited Plans With Unlimited Ultimate Option — Here's What You Get

Verizon is expanding its unlimited data plans with a new offering that relaxes many of the remaining limits on coverage, especially if you travel internationally.

The Unlimited Ultimate plan launches this Thursday (August 31) as Verizon's highest-priced unlimited plan. Like the existing Unlimited Plus offering among the best Verizon phone plans, there's no cap on the amount of data you can use each month, and you have access to Verizon's fastest 5G coverage where available.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Republicans Revive Income Tax Cut After Evers Vetoed Similar Plan

Wisconsin Assembly Republicans on Aug. 29 proposed a nearly $3 billion tax cut targeting the middle class, but it’s unclear whether Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is on board after he vetoed a similar tax cut in July.

“We’re giving the governor a second chance to do the right thing,” Rep. Mark Born, co-chair of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee, said at a news conference announcing the plan.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Accuses Liberal Majority Of Staging A 'Coup'

The conservative chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday told the new liberal majority in a scathing email that they had staged a “coup” and conducted an “illegal experiment” when they voted to weaken her powers and fire the director of state courts.

It was just over 3 weeks ago that Judge Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in as the 7th judge on the state's highest court. Within days, the liberal-leaning majority justices voted to shift power away from the Chief Justice - a conservative - and oust the current court director for another pick.

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Senate Republicans Move Forward With Elections Commission Administrator's Confirmation Despite Controversy

Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate moved forward with the confirmation process for Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) Administrator Meagan Wolfe Tuesday despite disagreement over if Wolfe has been re-nominated for the job.

In June, WEC's six commissioners deadlocked and did not pass a motion to reappoint Wolfe to another four-year term. The three Republican commissioners voted in favor of Wolfe's nomination, while the three Democratic commissioners abstained from the vote despite voicing full support for Wolfe.

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Circuit Court Judge Hears Arguments About Making Ban On 'Ballot Spoiling' Permanent

A circuit court judge heard arguments Monday about whether to make Wisconsin's ban on "ballot spoiling" permanent.

The case of Nancy Kormanik vs. Wisconsin Elections Commission was resolved last October with a temporary ban on the practice, in which an absentee voter can request to have their ballot invalidated on or before election day in order to vote again or fix mistakes in their original vote.

The temporary order prohibited the elections commission from "advising, guiding, instructing, publishing, or otherwise communicating information related to spoiling absentee ballots and/or returning absentee ballots to electors" in ways not laid out by state law.

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Wisconsin Republicans Consider Bill To Weaken Oversight Of Roadside Zoos

Wisconsin zoos could escape state oversight if the operations earn accreditation from an organization that animal rights advocates have blasted for having what they argue are weak animal treatment standards under a Republican bill heard on Aug. 29.

Currently in Wisconsin, zoos that earn accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, or AZA, are exempt from state Department of Natural Resources license requirements. Under Sen. Van Wanggaard and Rep. Alex Dallman’s bill, zoos that earn accreditation from the Zoological Association of America, or ZAA, would also be exempt from license requirements.

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Last Update: Aug 30, 2023 7:04 am CDT

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