U.S. and World Headlines
Five Takeaways From Trump’s Arraignment
Former President Trump was arraigned on 37 criminal charges on Tuesday in Miami — a day that was at once extraordinary and mundane.
The extraordinary element was the nature of the event itself — the first-ever federal arraignment of a former president.
The charges against Trump pertain to his possession of sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Related charges, including one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, also carry the threat of significant prison time if convicted.
Trump pled not guilty to all charges.
A trial could, potentially, land in the middle of the GOP primary race in which Trump is the frontrunner.
The more mundane element was that the day proceeded largely as expected, with little new being learnt about the case and little drama at the court itself.
Here are the main takeaways.Read More
U.S. Announces $325 Million Weapons Package For Ukraine As Counteroffensive Gets Underway
The U.S. has approved another $325 million in weapons, including more armored vehicles, for Ukraine as the long-expected counteroffensive against Russia gets underway.
The package includes 15 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and 10 Stryker armored personnel carriers.
The U.S. has previously committed 109 Bradleys and 90 Strykers to Ukraine. The U.S. and allies trained Ukrainians on using the fighting vehicles in Germany as part of combined arms maneuver training ahead of the counteroffensive.Read More
Instant Pot And Pyrex Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy, But Vows To Continue Sales
The parent company of Instant Pot and Pyrex has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing "global macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges" that have affected its business.
In a release Monday, Instant Brands said it plans to keep operating while it restructures.
“In recent months, we have been working closely with all of our financial stakeholders to position the Company for its next phase of success,” said Ben Gadbois, Instant Brands’ president and CEO.
In addition to Instant Pot, launched in 2010, and Pyrex, launched in 1915, Instant Brands' portfolio of brands includes: Corelle, Snapware, the bakeware group CorningWare, Chicago Cutlery and the Visions cookware firm.Read More
Garth Brooks Controversy: Bud Light Drama Follows Super Bowl Walkout
Garth Brooks is a beloved country icon and performer with dozens of hits and millions of albums sold.
But he's had his share of controversy throughout his multi-decade career.
Most recently, Brooks drew backlash after he entered the fray about Bud Light and its partnership with transgender activist and TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.
Brooks is opening a bar in Nashville later this summer, The Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk, and spoke about his plans for the bar in an interview with Billboard, which include selling "every brand of beer."Read More
Biden’s Press Secretary Violated Hatch Act, Watchdog Says
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act for using the term “mega MAGA” from the briefing room podium, the US Office of the Special Counsel has determined, and has received a warning letter.
Jean-Pierre was found to be in violation of the Hatch Act, a law that is supposed to stop the federal government from affecting elections or going about its activities in a partisan manner, when she said “mega MAGA Republican officials who don’t believe in the rule of law,” according to a letter from OSC. The letter was addressed to Michael Chamberlain, a former Trump administration official and director of the “Protect the Public’s Trust” organization, after Chamberlain filed a complaint that Jean-Pierre used the phrase “mega MAGA Republican[s]” in an “an inappropriate attempt to influence the vote.”Read More
Republicans Delay Vote On UW System Budget After Promises To Cut Diversity Funds
Republican state lawmakers suspended a vote on funding for University of Wisconsin campuses late on June 13, just hours after a top GOP leader promised to slash the college system’s budget as part of an ongoing fight over diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, the state’s top Republican, told The Associated Press on June 14 that he expected the GOP-controlled Legislature’s budget-writing committee to cut all funding that the university system would use for diversity initiatives. He estimated the cuts would total $32 million.Read More
MI Budget Blog – More Budget Deals Announced
Conservative observers have gone from puzzled to troubled to alarmed at how the budget cycle is shaping up.
The historic budget surplus of $7 billion had given fiscal conservatives hope that tax cuts would be in the offing, perhaps a move to a transformational flat tax for all Wisconsinites. But it’s been nearly 2 months – an eternity in budget season – since we’ve heard a peep about tax cuts.
In the meantime the republican majorities in both houses have been headed down the path of big spending increases, continuing to fund programs that should be cut, and increasing funding for other programs that have traditionally been relatively easy for conservatives to hold the line on. Sure, the Republicans are not spending as much as Gov. Evers proposed overall but they have increased spending over what the governor requested in several areas.Read More
Oconto County Man Sentenced To Over 20 Years In Federal Prison For Producing Child Pornography
Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on June 9, 2023, Rocky R. Sonkowsky (age: 33) of Oconto County, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 260 months in federal prison by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach.
According to court records, in Summer 2021, while babysitting his girlfriend’s infant child and changing the child’s diaper, Sonkowsky sexually assaulted the child and captured 21 images of the abuse on his smartphone. The images were discovered when police began investigating Sonkowsky for his online activities, which included downloading child pornography and engaging in online communications with underage children.Read More
$50,000 Powerball Ticket Sold In Eau Claire
Luck has had it for the Chippewa Valley lately.
A $50,000 Powerball ticket was sold at the Texaco Drive Mega Holiday for the June 12 drawing. The player matched four of the five numbers, plus the Powerball. Those numbers are: 2-3-16-23-68 (7).
Last week, another winning ticket worth $50,000 was sold in Altoona. The Wisconsin Lottery says the odds of winning this size prize is 1:913,130.Read More
Proposed Wisconsin Alcohol Legislation Upsets Wedding Barn Owners
Republican state lawmakers held a public hearing at the capitol Tuesday over proposed legislation attempting to overhaul the state’s alcohol laws.
The changes would impact craft brewers, wineries, and distributors, who are speaking out in support. But there’s also opposition from wedding barn owners.
At Homestead Meadows, owner Steve Nagy has been hosting weddings in Outagamie County for more than 40 years, but says if a bill introduced last week by state Republicans becomes law, it would crush his business model. He was among the many to speak out during a committee hearing on the matter Tuesday afternoon in Madison.Read More