Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and today's daily meme.

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Two U.S. Inflation Rates: Bad And Worse

High prices are hitting hardest in some of the biggest Senate battlegrounds.

Democratic strategists have worried since the spring that pockets of high inflation, particularly in the West and the South, could complicate their efforts to hold the Senate — and new federal data will help validate those fears.

The Consumer Price Index climbed 8.3% over the past year, according to data released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's already awfully high, and it's even worse for scores of pivotal voters.

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What's At Stake In Supreme Court Battle Over Controversial Legal Theory About Who Controls Elections

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in its coming term on the legitimacy of a controversial legal theory about who oversees elections and whether that authority has limits.

The “independent state legislature" theory, backed by a group of conservative advocates, contends that state lawmakers have the ultimate power to regulate federal elections. That power of elected representatives, the theory's supporters argue, isn't subject to the traditional restrictions provided by state constitutions, state courts and governors' vetoes.

But the theory, if embraced by the justices in its most extreme application, could have a dramatic impact on how congressional maps are drawn, voting rules are written and more, according to election experts who spoke with ABC News.

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'Irreparable Harm': Justice Department Warns Against Further Delay In Trump Documents Probe

The Justice Department on Tuesday blasted efforts by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers to delay its investigation of classified documents seized at his Florida resort, while a magistrate judge unsealed some previously redacted information relating to the FBI's search of Trump's club.

"Plaintiff [Trump] has characterized the government’s criminal investigation as a 'document storage dispute' or an 'overdue library book scenario.' In doing so, Plaintiff has not addressed the potential harms that could result from mishandling classified information or the strict requirements imposed by law for handling such materials," the Justice Department said in a court filing urging U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to allow it to proceed for now with its criminal investigation into the over 100 classified documents the department says it took from Trump's home in Palm Beach, Florida.

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Democrats In Final Push To Mold Midterm Message

Against the odds, House Democrats gained a bit of steam through the long summer recess, notching some surprising political victories while tapping the energy of voters infuriated by the Supreme Court’s decision to quash abortion rights.

The party’s challenge now is to build on that momentum this month, using September’s short legislative window — the last before the midterms — to score eleventh-hour victories and polish a closing campaign argument they hope will prevent a GOP rout at the polls in November.

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Modeling The Future Of Religion In America

Since the 1990s, large numbers of Americans have left Christianity to join the growing ranks of U.S. adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” This accelerating trend is reshaping the U.S. religious landscape, leading many people to wonder what the future of religion in America might look like.

What if Christians keep leaving religion at the same rate observed in recent years? What if the pace of religious switching continues to accelerate? What if switching were to stop, but other demographic trends – such as migration, births and deaths – were to continue at current rates? To help answer such questions, Pew Research Center has modeled several hypothetical scenarios describing how the U.S. religious landscape might change over the next half century.

The Center estimates that in 2020, about 64% of Americans, including children, were Christian. People who are religiously unaffiliated, sometimes called religious “nones,” accounted for 30% of the U.S. population. Adherents of all other religions – including Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists – totaled about 6%.

Depending on whether religious switching continues at recent rates, speeds up or stops entirely, the projections show Christians of all ages shrinking from 64% to between a little more than half (54%) and just above one-third (35%) of all Americans by 2070. Over that same period, “nones” would rise from the current 30% to somewhere between 34% and 52% of the U.S. population.

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Wisconsin Headlines

John Leiber, Aaron Richardson On Their 2022 Run For State Treasurer Of Wisconsin

In the 2022 race for Wisconsin state treasurer, voters will choose between a Republican real estate attorney based in one Madison suburb and the Democratic mayor of a different Madison suburb.

John Leiber is the lawyer and Aaron Richardson is the mayor of Fitchburg. In their primary elections, Leiber trounced his opponent – the southeast regional director for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson – with 77% of the vote, while Richardson earned 38% of the vote while his opponents – a Wausau radiologist and an alderman from West Allis – who earned 36% and 25% respectively.

In the November general election – which is being greatly overshadowed by the statewide elections for governor and U.S. Senate – pits Leiber, 45, a Republican who has no interest in expanding the duties of treasurer, against Richardson, 46, a Democrat who hopes to grow the office's role by creating new programs.

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La Crosse Man Sentenced To 7 ½ Years For Distributing Fentanyl

Antoine Hardie, 37, La Crosse, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 7 ½ years in federal prison for distributing fentanyl. On May 17, 2022, Hardie pleaded guilty to possessing 40 or more grams of fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Hardie sold fentanyl to a confidential informant in La Crosse on five occasions between June 24, 2021 and September 17, 2021. A subsequent search of a storage shed associated with Hardie revealed 296 grams of fentanyl hidden in a child’s suitcase.

In selecting a 7 ½ year sentence, Judge Peterson noted the dangers of fentanyl, Hardie’s violent criminal history, and the need to protect the public. Hardie’s criminal history includes convictions for battery, witness intimidation, and burglary. In one case, he threatened to kill a victim and her family.

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DNR Releases Climate Action Report

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a climate action report highlighting agency accomplishments in 2021 related to climate change and environmental equity.

Wisconsin’s climate is changing, with far-ranging consequences for the people of Wisconsin, natural resources and major economic sectors. All communities are impacted by climate change. However, communities of color, tribal nations, and low-income communities are often the first and worst hit by pollution, industry shifts, extreme weather related to climate change and other environmental health hazards.

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. By working together we can make a real difference for Wisconsin’s climate resilience and the most vulnerable amongst us,” said DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole. “The DNR is committed to climate action and addressing the impacts of climate change on the state’s resources, communities and people is a top priority for the department.”

The climate action report summarizes strides the department has made in advancing equity, addressing greenhouse gas emissions, building community resilience and helping natural communities adapt to climate change.

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WisDOT Conducts Training Session On Automated Vehicles For Law Enforcement, First Responders

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation conducted a training session for law enforcement officers and first responders on Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV)Technology at the campus of Gateway Technical College in Racine Friday, September 9.

WisDOT presented the training in partnership with the city of Racine, Gateway Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory.​​

The training included a demonstration of the Racine Badger, the only fully automated vehicle operating on Wisconsin roads. Trainees received a demonstration and a chance to ride the Badger, which operates as a shuttle around the Gateway campus.

“We are focused on CAV because of its enormous potential to reduce crashes and fatalities on Wisconsin roads," Joel Nilsestuen, WisDOT Deputy Assistant Secretary, said. “Most crashes are due to one extent or another to human error, such as inattentive or impaired driving, speeding and other reckless behavior. By eliminating these kinds of errors, CAV may one day dramatically reduce the number of crashes, saving many lives in the process.“

Along with the Badger demonstration, members of the state's Traffic Incident Management training team and other law enforcement and first responders were trained on how CAV technology works, which Wisconsin laws apply to the vehicles, and how to approach them at traffic stops.

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UW System To Send Campus Free Speech Survey To Students This Fall

A campus free speech survey that spurred the resignation of a University of Wisconsin System chancellor will be sent to students at all state colleges this fall, according UW System President Jay Rothman.

The privately funded survey had been set to be emailed to students in April. A copy asked students what they know about First Amendment free speech rights, how much they value them and whether they've felt pressured by a professor to agree with a political or ideological opinion in class.

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Last Update: Sep 14, 2022 7:00 am CDT

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