👋 Away Message: It's infrastructure week at WTF HQ! This will be the last edition of WTFJHT until May 31. WTF is taking a much needed break to retool ahead of what is shaping up to be a very consequential midterm cycle (we've also had a few unresolvable scheduling snafus/conflicts here, so I'm just going to take a mulligan on this one). In the mean time, we've built a little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding! I'm going to miss you. You'll hear from us again on Tuesday, May 31. Thanks for being here.
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1/ Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a Texas-style abortion ban into law, which prohibits abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue abortion providers to enforce the law. The “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act” takes effect immediately and prohibits abortions once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women even know that they’re pregnant. The Oklahoma Supreme Court denied an emergency request to temporarily halt the bill. The measure provides exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest. (CNN / Associated Press)
2/ The National Republican Senatorial Committee circulated a three-page memo of talking points urging GOP candidates to “be the compassionate consensus-builder” on abortion and attack Democrats for their “extreme and radical views on abortion.” The memo also recommended that Republican candidates “Forcefully refute Democrat lies regarding GOP positions on abortion and women’s health care.” (Axios / New York Times)
3/ J.D. Vance won Ohio’s Senate Republican primary with 32% support after a late endorsement by Trump. Prior to Trump’s endorsement, Vance was in third place in polls with about 10% support. Vance will face off against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a 10-term House member and 2020 presidential candidate, who won his party’s nomination with nearly 70% of the vote. Elsewhere, a Republican candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives – who told women to “enjoy” rape – lost his race to represent Michigan’s 74th district. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Axios / The Guardian / NPR / PBS NewsHour)
- A mole hunt, a secret website and Peter Thiel’s big risk: How J.D. Vance won his primary. “The former Trump critic leaned on a super PAC and his billionaire patron to put him in position for Trump’s all-important endorsement.” (Politico)
4/ Trump’s acting Homeland Security secretary changed and delayed an intelligence report about Russian interference in the 2020 election. According to a Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general report, Chad Wolf deviated from DHS standard review procedures and “rais[ed] objectivity concerns” by making changes to key a intelligence report that “appear to be based in part on political considerations.” A Sept. 2020 whistleblower claimed that Wolf had instructed DHS officials to “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference” and, instead, focus on information related to activities being carried out by China and Iran, which better supported Trump’s reelection bid. (CBS News / CNN)
5/ Trump Jr. met with the Jan. 6 committee. Trump Jr. texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows ideas for overturning the 2020 election before it was called. Ivanka, Jared Kushner, and Trump Jr.’s fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle have all sat for interviews with the committee. (CNN)
6/ A New York court denied Trump’s request to pause the $10,000 in daily fines while he appeals a contempt order. Trump was held in contempt after failing to comply with a subpoena from New York State Attorney General Letitia James in her civil fraud probe. (CNBC / CBS News)
7/ The Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit that they illegally misused nonprofit funds to enrich the Trump family. The District of Columbia alleged that the inaugural committee coordinated with members of the Trump family “to grossly overpay for event space” at the Trump hotel during his 2017 inauguration. The Trump Organization will pay $400,000 and the PIC will pay $350,000. (New York Times / CNBC / CNN)
8/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a percentage point and plans to shrink pandemic-era economic support to combat the highest inflation in 40 years – the most aggressive Fed tightening of monetary policy at one meeting in decades. The rate increase is also the sharpest since 2000 and the second of seven hikes forecast for this year. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that the central bank’s attempt to combat rapid inflation without causing a recession would be “very challenging; it’s not going to be easy.” The S&P 500, meanwhile, rose 3% – its best day in two years. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / CNBC / Bloomberg / Politico)
9/ The U.S. surpassed 1 million Covid-19 deaths – 27 months after the country’s first confirmed coronavirus case. (NBC News)
poll/ 50% of voters said Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, while 28% said it should be overturned, and 22% are undecided. 68% of Democrats and 52% of Independents say Roe should not be overturned, while 51% of Republicans say it should. 57% of voters said they hope the Supreme Court supports abortion rights, compared to 28% who hope the justices oppose them, and 15% that said they do not know or have no opinion. (Politico / The Hill)
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