👋 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 will establish a national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. The monument will consist of three protected sites in Illinois and Mississippi central to the story of Till’s life and death at age 14. In August 1955, two white men abducted, tortured, and killed Till, a Black teenage from Chicago, after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Till-Mobley insisted on an open coffin at his funeral, asserting that “the whole nation had to bear witness to this.” (New York Times / NPR / NBC News)
2/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested that Black people benefited from slavery by learning skills like “being a blacksmith,” which they applied to “doing things later in life.” The comment, said to a nearly all-White crowd of supporters, follows state’s new public school curriculum that middle school students should be taught that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” DeSantis said he “wasn’t involved” in writing the new curriculum standards, but credited “a lot of scholars” with creating “the most robust standards in African American history probably anywhere in the country.” (Washington Post / Yahoo News / New York Times)
3/ Alabama Republicans defied a Supreme Court order to create a second majority-Black district in the state. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the state’s previous district lines marginalized the state’s Black population in violation of the Voting Rights Act and ordered a second district with either a Black majority “or something quite close to it” to give Black voters an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice. Instead, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a new map with just one majority-Black seat and increased the share of Black voters in one of the state’s six majority-white congressional districts to about 40%, from about 30%. Additionally, the percentage of Black voters in the existing majority-Black district dropped to about 51% from about 55%. More than one-quarter of Alabama’s residents are Black. (NBC News / New York Times / CBS News / Reuters / Washington Post / CNN)
4/ The Justice Department sued Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott for building floating barriers in the Rio Grande. Abbott has argued that the new floating barrier of buoys is intended to deter migrants from crossing into the U.S. The Justice Department, however, said the large buoys “violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties.” Abbott, meanwhile, responded: “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.” (CNN / Politico / Associated Press / ABC News)
5/ Trump’s trial in the classified documents case is set for May 20, 2024. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected both Trump’s claim that a fair trial could only be held after the 2024 election and the Justice Department’s request to start as soon as December. The trial starts after nearly all the 2024 primaries have been completed, but before the Republican National Convention names an official nominee. Meaning if Trump won enough of those primaries, he could go to trial as the presumptive Republicans presidential nominee. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal / CNN / NBC News / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg)
poll/ 32% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Trump, while 66% have a favorable opinion of the former president. Last July, 24% viewed Trump unfavorably while 75% viewed him favorably. Overall, 63% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump. (Pew Research Center)
🚀 Well, That’s Fantastic.
One year old, the Inflation Reduction Act is already turbocharging clean energy technology. “The IRA is America’s most significant response to climate change, after decades of lobbying by oil, gas and coal interests stalled action, while carbon emissions climbed, creating a hotter, more dangerous world. Nearly 80 major clean energy manufacturing facilities have been announced, an investment equal to the previous seven years combined.” (Associated Press)
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