Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill - The Thursday AM Quickie 11/17/22

I can't say I'm thrilled about being caught in winter's frigid grasp, but the snow sure is pretty. – Corey

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Political Grab Bag and Post-Midterms Miscellany

There wasn't really a main story driving the news yesterday but there were a ton of significant political headlines.

  • The Senate passed a bill protecting same-sex marriage yesterday, 62-37, overcoming a filibuster and putting it "on a glide path to passage." Amazing! Now do abortion rights.
  • Republicans won the 218th House seat they needed to control the chamber. The Associated Press called one of the outstanding California races yesterday and projects the narrowest GOP House majority this century.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was reelected to his Republican Party leadership position yesterday, defeating challenger Sen. Rick Scott of Florida 37-10 in a secret ballot.
  • Rent control measures passed in Maine, California, and elsewhere; and many of the dozens of affordable housing construction proposals around the country also passed, the Associated Press reports. "Housing is a winning campaign issue. It's one that voters show up for," National Low Income Housing Coalition president Diane Yentel said.
  • Texas Republicans claim voting "irregularities" in Harris County led to Democrats to maintain their hold on county leadership, and now the Democratic district attorney, Kim Ogg, has called in state police to assist her with an investigation. According to the New York Times, Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott, who demanded the investigation, claims the problems included "insufficient paper ballots in Republican precincts" and "staffing problems." None of this should be taken at face value; as the Texas Tribune notes, "the clash is also the latest entry in a long series of political battles over how the state's most populous county runs its elections that ramped up in recent years after Republicans lost control of the county."
  • A judge in Florida ruled that Jan. 6, 2021 coup plotter Mike Flynn must testify before a grand jury in Georgia that's investigating Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The Florida judge's ruling, which affirmed that Flynn is a material witness, was necessary because Flynn does not reside in Georgia. Per the AP, Flynn is scheduled to testify next Tuesday, Nov. 22.
  • Ivanka Trump skipped her dad's 2024 announcement at Mar-a-Lago and says she won't be a part of the campaign. While saying in an Instagram post that she "will always be proud of many of our Administration's accomplishments" (like separating refugee children from their families?), she said that going forward, "I do not plan to be involved in politics." Her husband, Jared Kushner, "was present at the event along with Ivanka Trump's brother Eric Trump. Unlike his wife, Kushner has not publicly ruled out a return to politics," the Washington Post reports.
  • Even though Donald Trump invited QAnon influencers to his widely ignored kick-off speech, Vice News reports that many "rank-and-file QAnon supporters" were disappointed by his 2024 announcement, viewing his speech "as a tacit admission that the 2020 election wasn't stolen." As one Telegram user wrote, "I'm f**king done with this political sh*t show and WILL NEVER VOTE AGAIN!" Go with god, patriots.
  • Pennsylvania state House Republicans voted to impeach progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner for "misbehavior," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Republicans would still need to win over quite a few state Senate Democrats to remove him following a trial. Kranser wrote in response to the news that "history will harshly judge this anti-democratic authoritarian effort to erase Philly's votes – votes by Black, brown, and broke people in Philadelphia. And voters will have the last word."
  • Tribal leaders and their allies are seeking a House floor vote to seat a non-voting Cherokee Nation delegate, as required by an "overlooked" provision in a 200-year-old-treaty, before the new Congress convenes in January. Per the New York Times, "Should Ms. [Kim] Teehee join the ranks of the House, she would join a half-dozen delegates who are able to sit on committees and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor for final passage."

Poland: Missile Might've Been Ukraine's, But Russia Is to Blame

The full facts are not yet in, but here's the latest: Yesterday Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the missile that hit a village near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday, killing two farm workers, was "most likely" an "unfortunate accident." Specifically, he said it may have been a stray Ukrainian air defense missile fired during heavy Russian bombardment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meanwhile, said he had "no doubt that it was not our missile," but then added that if the projectile was Ukrainian, "then I want that evidence," and if the evidence implicates Ukraine, "then we need to apologize." To that end, Ukraine has requested "immediate access" to the blast site. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that even if the missile was fired from Ukraine in an attempt to knock incoming Russian missiles out of the air, "this is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility." Indeed, all of this death is unnecessary.

Most Depressing World Cup Ever Hasn't Even Started Yet

Qatar's $220 billion public relations campaign, otherwise known as the 2022 Qatar World Cup, kicks off on Sunday. Some players will be wearing black shirts as a symbol of mourning for migrant construction workers who died building facilities for the games. As the New York Times reports, the official death toll of workers involved in preparations for the games is 37, but human rights groups say the real number is in the thousands. Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that Qatar's "preventive security department" is arresting gay Qataris and promising them "safety from physical torture in exchange for helping the authorities to track down other LGBTQ+ people in the country." Gay soccer fans who choose to visit for the tournament will supposedly not be persecuted by the authorities -- but can such assurances be trusted? Organizers of the games apologized yesterday after some security guards in Doha got physical with a Dutch television crew during a live broadcast. The journalists waved their filming permits, but having all the right paperwork didn't stop them from getting manhandled.


  • At Egypt Climate Summit, Lula Vows to Protect the Amazon The leftist Brazilian president-elect said "all crimes in the forest, from illegal logging to mining, would be cracked down on 'without respite.'" via the Associated Press.
  • New School Instructors Go on Strike "Nearly 90 percent of the university's instructors are part-time, but the New School pays 2.3 times the national average on administration." via the New York Times.
  • Wrong-Way Driver Hits 22 Police Cadets on Training Run Five people were in critical condition after an SUV ran into a group of Los Angeles County sheriff's cadets. via the AP.
  • NASA Tests New Rocket for Manned Lunar Missions The Artemis I Space Launch System took off from the Kennedy Space Center yesterday, on a three-week trip to the moon and back; it was designed by Boeing, not SpaceX. via the Washington Post.


49 million

That's how many turkeys and other poultry have died due to avian flu across the U.S. this year, according to government statistics, helping to drive the average cost of a frozen Thanksgiving hen up 28 percent from last November.


11/17: Emma hosts Leslie Kern, professor of geography, environment, women's and gender studies at Mount Allison University, to discuss her recent book Gentrification Is Inevitable and Other Lies.


Right-Wing Losers Realize They've Made a Huge Mistake

"We wonder now if we were in an echo chamber." LOL.

Elon Musk Talks About Possible Twitter Bankruptcy and SpaceX Ads

And guess who pays for SpaceX to do business? Taxpayers. You!


"We still legislate around here. Maybe he thinks his money and his mouth insulate him from accountability. But I'm willing to test that out."

-- Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaking to Politico about the prospect of dragging obnoxious billionaire Elon Musk before Congress to answer questions about Saudi financing behind his Twitter acquisition, and perhaps other shenanigans such as his egregiously inflated pay at Tesla.

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CozyEarth: Go to this link here and enter the special promo code MAJORITY at checkout to SAVE thirty-five percent now.House GOP Renominates Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Party Leader The California Republican kept his power position by a vote of 188-31, though a final vote for House Speaker won't come until the new Congress convenes in January. via the Associated Press.

Control of House Comes Down to California Races Of the 14 uncalled House races, 10 as of yesterday were in California. via Politico.

Democrat Katie Hobbs Defeats MAGA Loon Kari Lake for Arizona Governor Lake, who has cast doubt on the results, relied on Trump advisers including former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell. via the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar Confirms GOP Tried to Recruit Him The conservative Democrat says a GOP lawmaker and "a couple folks on K Street" (consultants or lobbyists) tried to persuade him to beef up the likely GOP majority next year. via the Post.