👋 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/ Texas Democrats plan to flee the state in an effort to block GOP-backed voting restrictions. The Texas lawmakers will head to D.C., risking arrest by leaving the state during the special legislative session. The move would be an attempt to become national symbols in the fight for voting rights, as Republicans in the state move ahead with a bill that would impose new limits on casting a ballot. (Texas Tribune / NBC News / New York Times)
2/ Trump lawyers might be penalized over a Michigan election lawsuit. The lawsuit alleging widespread fraud was voluntarily dropped after a judge in December found nothing but “speculation and conjecture.” (NBC News)
3/ Republicans are pushing to ban what they call “discrimination” against unvaccinated people. Legislation being introduced in states across the country would protect the civil rights of people who refuse to be vaccinated. (Axios)
4/ The EPA approved the use of toxic chemicals for fracking a decade ago, according to new files. The compounds can form PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. The EPA approvals in 2011 came despite the agency’s own concerns about toxicity. (New York Times)
5/ The FDA is expected to announce a new warning about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine related to a rare autoimmune disorder. About 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barré have been detected after 12.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. (Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ Biden backed Trump’s rejection of China’s claim to the South China Sea. The Biden administration on Sunday upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all of China’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea. Biden also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty. (Associated Press)
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