Democrats Clinch the Senate - The Monday AM Quickie 11/14/22

While I admire Corey's pricipled and mature decisions around social media use, I will be on Twitter until it dies, posting away, if only to just hang around and see what happens. What's the worst they can do? (Don't answer that). – Jack

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Democrats Hold the Senate, With the House Still In the Air

That'll do it: NBC, CNN, and pretty much everyone else called the Nevada Senate race for Catherine Cortez-Mastro, cementing the Democrats' control of at least 50 seats in the upper house of the next Congress. That's basically the final nail in the coffin of the GOP's supposed Red Wave, because if Raphael Warnock wins his runoff against Hershel Walker early next month, the Democrats will have improved their majority in the Senate, not lost it.

Here's the bad news, though: the House still does not look good. There are around 19 undecided House races around the country that are still too close to call. Most of these are in crucial districts on the West in California and Arizona, but some are in New York's Cuomo-brutalized districts, which have swung wildly to the right this election cycle.

NBC News currently predicts that the GOP will have a 219 to 216 majority. Still, Senate control is essential: the Democrats will still be able to (hopefully) confirm Biden's judicary picks, if Manchin and Sinema play ball. But if Warnock wins, rather than having to convince both of them to come along, Biden can divide and conquer, because he only needs one of them to cooperate to get a justice confirmed. Now would be a great time for Alito or Thomas to ha ha ha ha just kidding we won't go there whoops.

As Elizabeth Warren wrote in the Times on Sunday, this is a good opportunity for the Democrats to really go on the offensive against a reeling Republican party, giving them the best possible shot at continuing this momentum and the GOP's apparent disarray into the next Presidential cycle. Speaking of which, Trump still might make some big announcement this week, so we'll see what happens there. One election ends, and another begins – there's never any rest in this stupid system.

Ukraine Retakes Kherson, Flagship City of the Russian Occupation

Ukrainian forces stormed into the Southern port city of Kherson this weekend, recapturing the largest metropolitan area that the Russian invaders had successfully occupied (not counting Mariupol, which they destroyed). The Times reports on the Russian's extrordinary efforts to absorb the city, suppressing Ukrainian identities and heritage through school curriculum and draconian punishment. It all failed, as Ukrainian forces were largely welcomed into the city in triumph and joy. And, of course, Russia committed more crimes on the way out: the Post reports that a Russian zookeeper has been kidnapping animals from the city and shipping them back to Russia.

Twitter Cuts Contractors Loose With No Support

Another day, another firing spree over at Elon Musk's very stable and functional website Twitter. This time, thousands of independent contractors working for the company, many of whom were in foreign countries, have been abruptly let go. Casey Newton over at Platformer (follow him if you're interested in this, his reporting has been excellent) reports that 4,400 of the 5,500 or so contractors working for the site have been abruptly dumped, in a move that is "expected to have significant impact to content moderation and the core infrastructure services that keep the site up and running." "People are stunned," Newton wrote. Later, Elon Musk tweeted this:

Crazy! How'd that happen! Elon then got into a public fight with one of his employees who said he was wrong.


  • Joe Biden's at the G20 Today Keep an eye on what he says and with his meeting with Xi Jiping, as Corey mentioned on Friday. He's in Bali, Indonesia, for what it's worth. Sounds nice. via CNN.
  • Mastriano Finally Concedes PA Gov Race Took him long enough! Turns out he didn't have the stones to really put his election-denying money where his election-denying mouth was. via Mastriano's Twitter.
  • AZ Gov. Race Seems Pretty Locked Up Kari Lake, craziest of the crazies, looks to be down for the count. via Dave Wasserman.
  • Istanbul Bombing Being Investigated as Terrorism The death toll is 6 dead and over 81 injured. via NYT.
  • DeSantis Overtakes Trump in One 2024 Poll I still wouldn't put money on his chances long-term, but it's certainly interesting. via Frank Luntz/YouGov


$13.9 million

Size of the grant that Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX Foundation gave to the Center for Effective Altruism, a wonky-philosophical philanthropy thingamajig that, surprise, has many FTX people on its board.


11/14 Sam and Emma host Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe, investigative reporters with the New York Times, to discuss their recent book When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm.


Democrats' Risky Strategy Worked BIG TIME

Man, I though this was going to backfire so hard, but I can't deny that it worked.

What The Media Got Wrong (And Right) About The Midterms with Dave Weigel

Dave's analysis is always appreciated!


“I’m really sorry, again, that we ended up here."

FTX Founder Samuel Bankman-Fried, in an apologetic tweet after he vaporized $32 billion in fake online money backed by hundreds of investors and other clients.

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