👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ The author of the Trump dossier believes his report is 70-90% accurate. Christopher Steele’s reports were commissioned by Fusion GPS as opposition report and detail allegations that the Kremlin had personally compromising material on Trump, including sex tapes recorded during a 2013 trip to Moscow, as well as evidence that Trump and his associates actively colluded with Russian intelligence to influence the election. (The Guardian)
- RT registered in the US as a foreign agent, bowing to pressure from the Justice Department. Russia’s parliament voted to allow the Kremlin to brand foreign media outlets like CNN as “foreign agents” in retaliation. (NPR / The Guardian)
2/ Nearly 1.5 million people have signed up for an Affordable Care Act health care plan in the first two weeks of open enrollment, outpacing last year’s sign ups by nearly 500,000. The Trump administration cut the 2018 open enrollment period from 12 to 6 weeks, and reduced the ACA advertising budget by 90%. (Reuters)
3/ The Trump administration rejected 4,000 “late” DACA renewals despite some applications sitting in its mailbox at the October 5th deadline. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only counted applications it had marked as “received” before the deadline. USCIS did not honor the postmarked date. The plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Trump administration allege that many more DACA renewal applications arrived on time to USCIS mailboxes, but were rejected as late anyway. The US Postal Service has taken responsibility for an “unintentional temporary mail processing delay” in New York, Chicago, and two other states. (Vox / New York Times)
4/ A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration can’t withhold money from “sanctuary cities” for refusing to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration. Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department have argued that cities should hold foreign detainees until Immigration and Customs Enforcement can pick them up. (The Hill)
5/ Mitch McConnell proposed that Jeff Sessions could be run as a write-in candidate to replace Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race and reclaim his old seat. McConnell suggested that if Moore won the election, he could be sworn in but immediately subjected to an ethics investigation that would include his testifying under oath. Moore has made no public indication he plans to leave the race. (Wall Street Journal / CNN)
- poll/ Roy Moore trails Democrat Doug Jones by 12 points in the Alabama special Senate election. Jones leads Moore 51-to-39%. (Politico)
6/ Trump tweeted condolences about the wrong mass shooting. In the botched copy/paste job, Trump referenced the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas from nine days ago while offering condolences for the shooting at the Rancho Tehema Elementary School in northern California. Roughly nine hours later the tweet was deleted without explanation. (Vanity Fair / Fortune)
Trump just tweeted again about the church shooting in Sutherland Springs. The 1st tweet was the day of the event, 9 days ago. Is this his shooting tweet template? He forgot to change the location to today's shooting: California. pic.twitter.com/IToC7UXkyP— Shannon Ritenour (@ShannonRitenour) November 15, 2017
7/ The House passed a $700 billion defense policy bill that would authorize a military buildup beyond what Trump has proposed. The legislation, however, is tens of billions of dollars above the $549 billion spending cap. (Politico)
8/ Trump’s economic adviser was surprised when a room of CEOs said they don’t plan to increase investments if the GOP tax plan is passed. The White House argues that cutting the corporate tax rate would increase average household income by making it less expensive for companies to invest in assets like machines… which would allow workers to produce more stuff… which would allow businesses to pay their workers more… because they can sell more stuff… etc. (The Hill / Vox)
9/ A key Senate Republican said he would not support the GOP tax plan and another expressed reservations about the bill. Ron Johnson said he was opposed to both the Senate and House bills because neither “provide fair treatment.” Meanwhile, Susan Collins said she was concerned about Republicans changing the tax bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, calling it a “mistake.” Republicans can only lose two senators and still pass their tax plan in the Senate without Democratic votes. (Washington Post / Politico)
11/ Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Trump. The articles, introduced by five Democrats, accuse Trump of obstruction of justice, undermining the independence of the federal judiciary, and more. The effort faces long odds in the Republican-controlled House. (Associated Press)
poll/ In a hypothetical matchup, Joe Biden leads Trump by 11 points in the 2020 general election. 46% of voters said they’d vote for Biden compared to 35% who would choose to reelect Trump. While Biden has said he has “no plans” to run in 2020, he’s also said it would be “foolish” to rule it out completely. (Politico)
poll/ 52% of voters disapprove of the Republican tax plan while 25% approve of the plan. 61% believe the wealthy would mainly benefit from this tax plan. (Quinnipiac)
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