Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.
Amazon.com will start collecting sales tax from Wisconsin customers: Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes: "Amazon.com Inc.'s proposed Kenosha distribution center may be a year from opening, but the online retailer plans to begin collecting sales taxes from Wisconsin residents this fall. Amazon has told the state Department of Revenue it will obtain a Wisconsin seller's permit by Nov. 1 and will then begin collecting Wisconsin sales taxes on sales to state residents, said Laurel Patrick, the department's communications director. Those sales tax collections are tied to Amazon's plans 'to establish a physical presence in Wisconsin,' Patrick said Thursday. She's referring to the proposed distribution center, with just over 1 million square feet and 1,100 full-time employees, that Amazon plans to operate in Kenosha." Read more.
Paul Ryan is again in the forefront for the GOP: Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times writes: "Representative Paul D. Ryan may have temporarily receded into the Capitol shadows after his stinging vice-presidential defeat in November, but he remains a powerful presence among House Republicans, earning the respect of hard-line conservatives for his budget blueprint and the trust of anxious moderates for his pragmatism. Now, the impasse that has shuttered much of the government and steered the nation toward a default has offered the Wisconsin congressman a new opening to reassert himself — and suddenly a man who seemed in danger of being eclipsed as the face of his party has re-emerged as essential to its rescue." Read more.
Kochs and other conservatives split over strategy on health law: Eric Lipton of the New York Times reports: "Under attack for the government shutdown, some of the most vocal elements of the conservative wing of the Republican Party are publicly splintering, a sign of growing concerns among even hard-core conservatives that the defeat-health-care-at-any-cost strategy may have backfired. The dispute centers on the best way to oppose President Obama’s health care plan: to immediately try to bring it down by blocking any federal budget deal that includes funding for it, or to gradually build public opposition until Congress and the White House are controlled by elected officials willing to repeal the law. On Thursday, the divisions were on display as conservative groups like the Heritage Action for America said they would not fight a short-term increase in the debt ceiling while Americans for Prosperity insisted just a few days ago that any increase be tied to cuts in social programs." Read more.
Stocks soar on views US default threat easing: The Associated Press reports: "You can almost hear Wall Street exhaling. The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 300 points Thursday after Republican leaders and President Barack Obama took what investors saw as steps toward ending a 10-day budget standoff that has threatened to leave the U.S. unable to pay its bills. Wall Street's hopes for a deal drove the Dow to its biggest point rise this year and ended a three-week funk in stocks. They also injected some calm into the frazzled market for short-term government debt. Republican leaders said Thursday they would vote to extend the government's borrowing authority for six weeks. A spokesman for Obama said the president would 'likely' sign a bill to increase the nation's ability to borrow money so it can continue paying its bills." Read more.
New ad targets Sean Duffy for role in government shutdown: Glen Moberg of Wisconsin Public Radio News reports: "U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) is being targeted by a new ad that blames him and the Tea Party for the government shutdown. The ads are being paid for by the group Americans United for Change and are being run against ten Republicans nationwide, all of them in potential swing districts. Here’s an excerpt of audio from the ad: 'Sean Duffy's Tea Party shutdown can weaken the economy and devastate middle class families. Call Sean Duffy. Tell him to do his job. End the Tea Party shutdown of our government.' Duffy says he has tried to put distance between himself and at least one Tea Party favorite. 'When Ted Cruz was out there saying this is such a great strategy – defunding Obamacare – I was on MSNBC and other stations saying, "That's stupid."'" Read more.
Government shutdown puts Wisconsin farmers in tough position: Rich Kremer of Wisconsin Public Radio News reports: The partial government shutdown has made things difficult for farmers as they apply for loans or seek guidance on federal regulations. Farmers have a very close and complex relationship with the federal government: They get help with federal regulations, watch government commodity reports and depend on government loans to plant their crops and expand. But all of that stops during a shutdown. Joe Bragger runs a dairy farm near Independence and is building a new manure storage tank. 'We have some questions as to how far to go with that piping, do we need to put it in this fall, can we wait ‘til next year when we’re putting in the larger portion, the main storage area,' says Braggar. 'Those are the questions that we need to ask before our deadline runs out this fall.'" Read more.
Why Republicans are losing the shutdown blame game: Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post write: "The new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll not only contains a slew of bad news for the Republican Party but also an explanation for why the GOP is losing the blame game over the government shutdown. The answer is simple: The American public views the Republican party’s motives in the shutdown as overwhelmingly political. And looking political is the absolute worst thing that can happen to a political party. A single question in the NBC-WSJ poll captures that sentiment. Seven in 10 people agreed with the statement that Republicans are 'putting their own political agenda ahead of what is good for the country' while just 27 percent said that the GOP is 'demonstrating strong leadership and standing up for what they believe in.'" Read more.