Barbara Mikulski will not seek a sixth term in U.S. Senate

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 14:08

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Maryland, announced on March 2 that she will not seek re-election. Mikulski will complete her fifth term in office in January 2017.

“Because every day, I want to wake up thinking about you — the little guys and gals, the watermen, automobile workers, researchers, small business owners and families,” Mikulski said at a news conference in Maryland. “I want to give you 120 percent of my time with all of my energy focused on you and your futures. Because it’s always been about you, never about me. That’s what it takes to be a good senator by my expectations and by my standards.”

Duck Dynasty patriarch gives Roy Moore thumbs-up

Written by The AP Monday, 02 March 2015 07:58

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has a famous ally in his fight against same-sex marriages becoming accepted law.

Phil Robertson, patriarch of cable television’s “Duck Dynasty” series, said the chief justice is “spot on” in his opposition to a federal court ruling striking down Alabama’s constitutional amendment that limits marriage to heterosexual couples.

Blue and black or gold and white? Debate goes viral over colors in dress

Written by The AP Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:46

It's the dress that's beating the Internet black and blue. Or should that be gold and white?

Friends and co-workers worldwide are debating the true hues of a royal blue dress with black lace that, to many an eye, transforms in one photograph into gold and white. Experts are calling the photo a one-in-a-million shot that perfectly captures how people's brains perceive color and process contrast in dramatically different ways.

Obama administration: No quick fix if court kills health subsidies

Written by ALAN FRAM,
Associated Press
Saturday, 28 February 2015 06:21

President Barack Obama’s health secretary told Congress this week that she has no administrative actions available to fix the “massive damage to our health care system” that would result should the Supreme Court invalidate federal subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health care coverage.

The letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell continued the administration’s tough stance in its building confrontation with Republican lawmakers in advance of an expected Supreme Court decision in June.

Nebraska ban on same-sex marriage blocked

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 02 March 2015 11:04

A federal judge on March 2 blocked Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage. However, the decision will not go into effect for at least a week, providing the state time to file an appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal district judge said the ban bars same-sex couples from accessing rights and enjoying benefits available to heterosexual married couples, including medical and financial benefits.

Mining company closing office in northern Wisconsin

Written by SCOTT BAUER,
Associated Press writer
Sunday, 01 March 2015 12:20

The company looking to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin announced this past week that it was closing its office in Hurley, saying future investment was “unfeasible at this time,” a move that marks the end for now of the project near Lake Superior that sparked fierce debate and opposition from environmentalists and tribal members near the site.

Bill Williams, president of mining company Gogebic Taconite, released a statement announcing the decision.

Rand Paul wins straw poll, Scott Walker places 2nd

Written by The AP Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:32

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has won the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference's annual presidential preference straw poll. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker placed second.

Pollsters announced on Feb. 28 that Paul won 25.7 percent of the votes in the annual survey, giving Paul his third consecutive win in as many years.

Fill in the blank: Facebook adds new gender option for users

AP National Writer
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:32

Facebook users who don’t fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social media giant are now being given a rather big 59th option: fill in the blank.

“Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own,” said a Facebook announcement published online this morning and shared in advance with The Associated Press.

Protesters rally again against right-to-work bill

Written by The AP Monday, 02 March 2015 08:17

Thousands of Wisconsin union workers rallied at the Capitol Saturday to protest a "right-to-work" proposal that would outlaw the mandatory payment of union dues, but the crowd was much smaller than those in 2011 against Gov. Scott Walker's law stripping public sector unions of much of their power.

Speakers at the event jeered Walker's comment earlier in the week that fighting against protesters during the 2011 debates prepared him to battle terrorists as president. Walker has not yet announced his presidential campaign, but is expected to do so later this year.

Hollande says no climate deal if there is no climate fund

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 01 March 2015 04:25

French President Francois Hollande said this week that a landmark climate deal may not be reached in Paris in December if wealthy countries don’t commit adequate funds to help poor nations fight global warming.

“There will be no agreement concluded in Paris if the countries, the poorest countries, are not convinced that there will be a fund ... which would be made available to them,” Hollande said in Manila after he and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III launched an international appeal to back efforts to seal a climate change accord.

Medical pot proposal passes first test in conservative Utah

Written by The AP Saturday, 28 February 2015 19:36

A panel of Utah lawmakers has given initial approval to a medical marijuana proposal that would allow residents of the conservative state who have chronic and debilitating diseases to use certain edible products containing THC, the chemical responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects.

After a nearly two-hour debate, a Senate committee voted 3-2 earlier this week to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

Preparing for campaign, Clinton stresses bipartisanship

Written by The AP Friday, 27 February 2015 06:34

Not yet officially a candidate for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton is already trying to seize the mantle of problem-solver in a nation fed up with dysfunctional government. Republicans are ready to remind Clinton - and voters - of her past warnings of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

In her first speech in the U.S. this year, Clinton this week offered plenty of hints about her likely campaign messages. Among the themes: raising wages for workers who have yet to benefit from the nation's economic recovery, and rebuilding trust and cooperation in government.