👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ The FCC announced plans to roll back net neutrality regulations, clearing the way for companies to charge more and slow or block access to some websites. Net neutrality rules are aimed at giving consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband providers from charging consumers more for certain content. The commission will vote December 14th on the new rules, which include a transparency provision requiring internet service providers to inform customers about their blocking and throttling practices. (New York Times / Reuters / Politico)
2/ Trump defended Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct with minors, saying that Moore “totally denies” the allegations. “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones,” Trump said. “I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on the military.” (New York Times / NPR)
- The Moore campaign: “We don’t believe these women.” (CNN)
3/ A federal judge blocked Trump’s executive order to cut funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities. US District Court Judge William Orrick said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. (CNN)
4/ A second federal judge halted Trump proposed transgender military ban, saying that active-duty service members are “already suffering harmful consequences” because of the his policy. The preliminary injunction issued by the judge goes further than the earlier ruling and prevents the administration from denying funding for sex-reassignment surgeries. (Washington Post)
5/ Nearly 60,000 Haitians living in the US must leave within 18 months now that the Trump administration has ended their Temporary Protected Status. Temporary status was granted to Haiti in 2010, after an earthquake devastated the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The Department of Homeland Security said that the “extraordinary conditions” justifying their status in the US “no longer exist.” Haitians with protected status are expected to leave by July 2019 or face deportation. (Los Angeles Times / New York Times / Washington Post)
6/ The Senate GOP tax plan would raise taxes on 50% of Americans by 2027, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said. Trump, meanwhile, touted the plan as a Christmas miracle, saying: “We’re going to give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas – hopefully that will be a great, big, beautiful Christmas present.” (Washington Post)
7/ Tax experts say the House GOP tax bill is full of loopholes for the wealthy. As written, hedge funds could take advantage of the new, lower 25% tax rate intended for small businesses, while private equity fund managers could sidestep a new tax on their earnings. (Bloomberg)
8/ Trump is shutting down his charitable foundation. The foundation admitted to violating federal rules on “self-dealing,” which prevents nonprofit leaders from funneling their charity’s money to themselves, their businesses, or their families. (NBC News)
9/ The Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County settled a lawsuit using money from the Trump Foundation. The golf club then reimbursed Trump’s charitable foundation the $158,000 used to settle the lawsuit. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating how the Donald J. Trump Foundation collects and disburses funds. The inquiry is ongoing. (Washington Post)
Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest. (ABC News)
Special Counsel Robert Mueller probes Jared Kushner’s contacts with foreign leaders. (Wall Street Journal)
Roman Beniaminov, a low-profile real estate exec turned pop star manager, knew about Russia’s “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. (The Daily Beast)
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