Thursday in Whitewater will ee freezing rain with a high of thirty-six. Sunrise is 7:01 AM and sunset 5:16 PM, for 10h 15m 02s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 6% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder is born near Pepin, Wisconsin.
Recommended for reading in full:
Rick Romell reports For third straight year, Wisconsin ranks last in business startup activity:
Another year, another last-place ranking for Wisconsin on the business startup front.
For the third year running, Wisconsin has placed 50th among the 50 states in startup activity as measured by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the country’s leading entrepreneurship advocacy and research organizations.
Not only was Wisconsin last; the gap between Wisconsin and the next-lowest states widened significantly from 2016 and 2015. While other states are clustered with relatively small differences from one state to the next, Wisconsin stands as an outlier – on the low end.
(How very surprising, as by using a public-subsidies approach Gov. Walker insisted for each of his eight years that Wisconsin was open for business…)
After remaining all but mum for the past two years about news reports detailing its ties to Russia, the National Rifle Association finally spoke up this week. The gun group tried to distance itself from a 2015 trip to Moscow by top NRA officials that was arranged by Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty last year to acting as a Russian agent and participating in a conspiracy against the United States. But congressional investigators are challenging the NRA on what they think is a bogus cover story and stepping up investigations of the group.
The 2015 Moscow trip has drawn attention in particular because it appears to have been a key development in an influence campaign orchestrated by Butina and her handler, Russian official Alexander Torshin, to try to cultivate ties with American conservatives and Republicans—eventually including Donald Trump—and nudge them toward pro-Russia policies. Amid the mounting pressure, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre finally broke his silence on the matter, asserting through attorneys this week that he had opposed the trip and acted to distance the gun group from it.
But Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who is investigating the NRA as the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, has information contradicting the gun group’s claims that it had no “official” connection to the 2015 Moscow trip, sources told Mother Jones. Wyden is preparing a detailed report on the trip. And congressional investigators are homing in on David Keene, a former NRA president who was the trip’s primary organizer on the NRA side, according to people familiar with the matter.
Keene, a longtime conservative Republican figurehead and former opinion editor for the Washington Times, also sought an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the trip, according to reports this week, though one did not take place.