Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, May 24, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Black Lives Matter Is Headed For Insolvency After Plunging $8.5M Into The Red

 Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, a non-profit that grew out of the protest movement, is haemorrhaging cash, financial records show.

The group ran an $8.5 million deficit and saw the value of its investment accounts drop by nearly $10 million, with fundraising down 88% year-on-year.

Despite the financial woes, the organization still paid relatives of the founder and of a board member hundreds of thousands of dollars for services.

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America’s Home Improvement Boom Appears To Be Over

Americans turned into DIY fanatics during the pandemic, beautifying their apartments, homes and condos while they were stuck inside and tired of looking at the same drab interior every day.

But the Covid emergency is over, prices are (much) higher, consumers are growing fearful of a recession and people are spending less at Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Lowe’s on Tuesday lowered its profit and sales outlook for the year, saying consumers were spending less on home improvement. It comes on the heels of rival Home Depot also posting disappointing sales and a somber forecast last week.

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Target Customers Shocked After Company Features Pride Items By Satanist Partner: Devil Is 'Hope' And 'Love'

Target has found itself in hot water again over its gay pride collection, this time because of its partnership with a controversial designer.

The major retailer partnered with U.K.-based brand Abprallen to sell merchandise with pro-LGBTQ messages to celebrate Pride month. A search on Target's website finds some of the items.

While the company was already under a microscope over its "tuck-friendly" swimsuits, some social media users were angered to discover that Abprallen's designer Eric Carnell is also an outspoken Satanist whose brand features occult imagery and messages like "Satan respects pronouns" on brand apparel.

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Debt Ceiling: More Pressure On Biden To Use 14th Amendment As Economic Catastrophe Looms

President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Monday that they have made progress in negotiations on the debt ceiling — but remain far apart on some aspects of a deal as the country closes in on a catastrophic default.

“We reiterated once again that default is off the table and the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement,” Biden said in a statement following the Monday evening meeting.

Biden added that the talks were “productive,” with McCarthy saying, “I believe we can still get there.” McCarthy has dismissed White House proposals to cut into the deficit by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and closing loopholes for corporations.

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The Hill Rankings — The Top 10 GOP Candidates For 2024

The Republican Party primary field is growing bigger.

Sen Tim Scott (R-S.C.) made his candidacy official Monday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to launch his campaign Wednesday.

DeSantis’s entry into the race has been keenly anticipated in part because he is widely agreed to be the most serious rival to former President Trump.

Here are The Hill’s rankings of where the contenders stand right now.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Milwaukee Faces Bankruptcy, Police Cuts If Shared Revenue Plan Isn't Approved

Not reaching a deal on a massive bill increasing state aid to Wisconsin’s local governments will only increase the chances that Milwaukee runs out of money, forcing deep cuts to police and fire protection, while smaller communities around the state will also struggle to pay bills, state lawmakers were warned on May 23.

The urgent warnings came as Republican leaders who control the Senate and Assembly disagree on a key part of the plan — who determines whether the Milwaukee city and county can raise the local sales tax to pay for pension costs and emergency services.

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Marquette Poll Finds Decline In Approval Of How U.S. Supreme Court Does Its Job

A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey found a continuing decline in approval of the way the U.S. Supreme Court is doing its job.

The latest survey was conducted May 8-18, 2023, and interviewed 1,010 adults nationwide with a margin of error of +/-3.7 percentage points.

The survey, released Wednesday, showed 41% of adults approve while 59% disapprove. It is a 6 percentage-point decline from January, which found 47% approved and 53% disapproved of how the U.S. Supreme Court was doing its job.

However, it is an improvement since 2020. According to Marquette University, approval for the U.S. Supreme Court has swung back and forth since 2020.

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Van Orden Joins List Of People Banned From Russia

Russia recently announced it was banning "500 Americans" from entering the country. The list includes Wisconsin Congressman Derrick Van Orden (R).

"I think it's a good thing," Van Orden told 27 News. "I think it means that Vladimir Putin and the group of criminals around him who invaded Ukraine understand that there's people here in the United States Congress that are going to stand up to this naked international aggression. It's about time."

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Federal, State Law Permit Disability Discrimination In Wisconsin Voucher Schools

As an advocacy specialist at Disability Rights Wisconsin, Joanne Juhnke regularly finds herself on the phone with parents concerned about their children’s treatment at school.

Most complaints concern public schools, which enroll the majority of students. State funding for special education has shrunk, forcing districts to struggle to provide services, and disparate treatment of students with disabilities at public schools persists. But in public school, families have a state body to appeal to: the Department of Public Instruction.

DPI is far less helpful in disputes with private schools, which under state law can legally discriminate against students who need certain disability accommodations — or even kick them out. This applies even to private schools that receive taxpayer-funded tuition vouchers to educate students.

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Attorney General Kaul Sues Avid Telecom Over Illegal Robocalls

Attorney General Josh Kaul today sued Michael D. Lansky, LLC, which does business under the name Avid Telecom, its owner Michael Lansky, and its vice president Stacey S. Reeves, for allegedly initiating and facilitating billions of illegal robocalls to millions of people and violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and other federal and state telemarketing and consumer laws. Avid Telecom allegedly sent or transmitted more than 7.5 billion calls to telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry between December 2018 and January 2023 – approximately 157 million of those calls were to numbers in Wisconsin.

“Robocalls have been a nuisance for folks across the country, and in many cases, those calls were part of scams,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “People shouldn’t have to put up with those nuisance calls, and we’re taking action to fight them.”

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Last Update: May 24, 2023 5:52 am CDT

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