👋 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 world needs to invest $2.7 trillion a year to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius this century, according to a new report by Wood Mackenzie. While governments’ existing net zero pledges cover 88% of annual global emissions, no major country is currently on track to even meet their emissions targets by 2030 – let alone 2050 – likely putting the world on track to warm by 2.5C by 2050. Staying below 1.5C, however, is still possible but requires wind and solar to become the world’s main source of power twice as fast while decreasing dependency on fossil fuels from the current 80% to 50%. Demand for fossil fuels are expected to peak around 2030 and fall roughly 25% by 2050 from 2019 levels. (Axios / Reuters / Recharge News / Wood Mackenzie / NBC News)
- 🔥 Inside Exxon’s strategy to downplay climate change. Internal documents show what the oil giant said publicly was very different from how it approached the issue privately in the Tillerson era. (Wall Street Journal)
2/ A federal judge ruled – again – that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is illegal. Last year, the Biden administration attempted to preserve the program, which protects nearly 600,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportations, by codifying the policy into a federal regulation. The judge, however, didn’t order an immediate end to the program and current beneficiaries will be able to keep and renew their protection, but no new applications will be allowed. The Biden administration is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the case is likely to end up in the Supreme Court. (Associated Press / ABC News / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg)
3/ Kevin McCarthy dared his Republican colleagues to make good on their threats to remove him as speaker, saying “If you want to file the motion, file the fucking motion.” The House has passed one of 12 required appropriations bills ahead of a Sept. 30 government funding deadline. Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus has opposed a continuing resolution to keep the government temporarily funded unless it includes their policy demands. Members of the caucus have repeatedly threatened to bring the motion to vacate to the floor and force McCarthy out of the speakership if he doesn’t comply with their demands, like ordering an impeachment inquiry into Biden. The motion to vacate was a key part of McCarthy’s deal with the House Freedom Caucus to become speaker of the House after 14 failed rounds of voting. Under their agreement, a single member can call a vote to remove him. If it did come to the full floor, it would need just a simple majority to pass. McCarthy later said that he “showed frustration” in the meeting because he is “frustrated with some people in the conference.” (ABC News / Axios / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
4/ A Georgia judge rejected prosecutors’ plan to try all 19 defendants together in the 2020 election interference case in October. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said that Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell will stand trial beginning Oct. 23, while Trump and his 16 other co-defendants will move forward on their own schedule, with a trial date yet be announced. McAfee said the decision to split the case into multiple trials was an “absolute necessity,” given the complexity and the burden it would create for the state’s court system. “The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team,” McAfee wrote. (Washington Post / CNN / The Hill / Politico / USA Today / Associated Press / ABC News / NBC News / CNBC)
5/ Hunter Biden was indicted on three criminal counts related to his possession of a gun while using narcotics. Two counts are tied to Hunter Biden allegedly making false statements on a form indicating he was not using illegal drugs when he purchased a firearm in 2018, and a third count on illegally obtaining a firearm while addicted to drugs. Hunter Biden had previously reached a plea deal with David Weiss, who was appointed by Trump, to resolve the matter without charges, but that deal unexpectedly collapsed during a court hearing in July after U.S. Judge Maryellen Noreika expressed concern over the agreement and questioned the breadth of an immunity deal. Hunter Biden could theoretically face as much as 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000. (ABC News / Axios / CNN / NBC News / CNBC / New York Times)
poll/ 77% of Americans think there should be a maximum age limit for elected officials, including 76% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans. 45% said the maximum age limit should be 70, while 30% said the maximum age should be either 50 or 60, and 18% said 80 should be the limit. The median age of the Senate is 65, and in the House the median age is 57. (Axios)
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