👋 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/ Biden said that tackling inflation is his “top domestic priority” as the average price for a gallon of gas nationwide hit $4.37 – the highest price since 2000 when AAA started keeping track. The Consumer Price Index, which will be released Wednesday, is expected to report that inflation is running above 8% – its highest level in 40 years. Biden also accused Republicans of pursuing an “extreme” agenda that would raise taxes on working class voters and help the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. The GOP plan would require all Americans to pay some federal income taxes, ban debt ceiling increases, and require all federal programs to expire every five years, unless renewed by Congress. About half of Americans do not pay federal income taxes because they do not earn enough. “The bottom line is this: Americans have a choice right now between two paths reflecting two very different sets of values,” Biden said. “My plan attacks inflation and lowers the deficit […] The other path is the ultra MAGA plan.” (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / CNBC)
2/ A group of House and Senate Democrats are introducing legislation to tighten judicial ethics laws, which would require more disclosure, a Supreme Court code of conduct, and a judicial recusal process. The Supreme Court is the only court that doesn’t follow a judicial code of ethics. The bill comes following the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade, and news that the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas repeatedly urged White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to take steps to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Separately, Sen. Bob Casey, a self-described pro-life Democrat, said he would support legislation to codify Roe v. Wade into law. Wednesday’s procedural vote to open the debate on the bill to codify Roe, however, is still expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to proceed in the 50-50 Senate. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
3/ An administrative law judge in Georgia ruled that Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene can stay on the ballot despite claims by a group of voters that she engaged in insurrection due to her support for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. In his 19-page opinion, Judge Charles Beaudrot said the challengers failed to establish that Greene “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or [gave] aid or comfort to the enemies thereof under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.” The ruling allows Greene to stay on the ballot for the state’s 14th Congressional District May 24 primary. (ABC News / Associated Press)
4/ A federal judge dismissed Trump’s lawsuit seeking to reinstate his Twitter account, but Elon Musk nevertheless said he would reverse Trump’s permanent ban if his deal to buy the social network goes through. Twitter permanently suspended Trump in Jan. 2021 after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, citing the “risk of further incitement of violence.” Musk called the ban “a morally bad decision” that was “foolish in the extreme” because “It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.” It’s unclear if Trump would rejoin Twitter, but his advisers warned that rejoining would depress the value of his recently launched social media site, Truth Social, which has struggled to gain an audience. (Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / NPR)
5/ The Earth has a 50-50 chance of temporarily exceeding the 1.5 degrees Celsius of above preindustrial global warming threshold by 2026, a new report by the World Meteorological Organization finds. The annual average of global near-surface temperatures for any year over the next five years is forecast to be between 1.1 and 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than preindustrial levels – the average temperatures between the years 1850 and 1900. The United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office said there is a 93% chance that the world will set a record for hottest year by the end of 2026, and that there’s also a 93% chance that the five years from 2022 to 2026 will be the hottest on record. (Washington Post / USA Today / CBS News / PBS NewsHour)
poll/ 51% of voters express some confidence in the Supreme Court – down from 70% in Sept. 2020. (Yahoo News)
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