👋 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 Republican National Committee has reportedly recruited an “army” of trained operatives to contest votes in Democratic-majority polling places. The RNC plan, as outlined by Matthew Seifried, the RNC’s election integrity director for Michigan, calls for connecting poll workers directly with party attorneys and district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts. Steve Bannon previously called this the “precinct strategy,” which Trump recently endorsed. Nick Penniman, founder and CEO of the election watchdog group Issue One, said the strategy is designed to “create massive failure of certification” in Democratic precincts to justify intervention by GOP-controlled state legislatures to “throw the choosing of electors to state legislatures.” (Politico)
2/ The Supreme Court blocked Texas’ social media censorship law, which would have allowed Texans and the state’s attorney general to sue social media companies for taking down posts based on a user’s viewpoint. The court’s order isn’t the final ruling on the Texas’ law, which is currently pending before a federal appeals court and is expected to return to the Supreme Court. Under current U.S. law, online platforms are not responsible for what people post and a company’s policies over allowable content has long been considered a type of speech protected by the First Amendment. (New York Times / NPR / Axios)
3/ The Labor Department reported that U.S. job openings fell in April but remained close to record levels. Job openings declined by 455,000 to 11.4 million in April from March’s record high of 11.9 million. Some 4.4 million Americans quit or changed jobs in April, while employers hired 6.6 million people, and layoffs fell to an all-time low of 1.2 million. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, meanwhile, said she was “wrong” about “the path that inflation would take.” In 2021, Yellen projected that inflation would be a “small risk,” adding that she didn’t “anticipate that inflation is going to be a problem.” Inflation is currently running at a near-four-decade high. (Washington Post / CNBC / CNN / Wall Street Journal / The Hill / Bloomberg)
4/ The U.S. and Germany agreed to send Ukraine more advanced weapons to resist Russian forces. Biden, however, stressed that “we are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders.” Germany said it will supply Ukraine with anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems, while the U.S. said it will provide four medium-range rocket systems and ammunition. The Biden administration also plans to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones for battlefield use. The U.K. also asked the U.S. to sign off on a plan to send advanced, medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine. The Kremlin, meanwhile, accused the U.S. of “pouring fuel on the fire” and Western officials have worried that providing Kyiv with rockets that could strike inside Russia could provoke Putin into escalating the conflict. (NPR / NBC News / Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / Reuters / New York Times)
poll/ 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage. When first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, 27% of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage, and it wasn’t until 2011 that support reached the majority level. (Gallup)
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