We’re continuing last week’s theme of “more election rejection news than you can shake a stick at,” and as promised last week, the NNR is here to keep folks posted in the final days ahead of the midterms. Though I’m not in the business of reading tea leaves regarding what will happen in a particularly unpredictable election tomorrow, there’s still a lot of news to report.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I guess after six years I’m conceding that I’m a journalist, but I summarize news within my areas of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not an election!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
On the Election Rejection front, our circuses have circuses this week. Here’s what has happened:
- Election Rejection: Jan 6 Stuff. Remember those 8 contested emails I mentioned last week, which Trump’s lawyers were trying to block by appealing to the Ninth Circuit? There were some very interesting finds in those, so naturally Trump counsel accidentally forwarded them and they wound up published by Politico. (The most interesting thing to come out was indisputably the Trump attorneys’ belief that Clarence Thomas would forestall the 2020 election certification.) Meanwhile, the House panel is offering immunity to a Trump aide in exchange for testimony again, and we learned more about Oathkeeper threats after Jan 6 from the Stewart Rhodes ongoing trial.
- Insurrection Update: Various Trump Court Things. In light of Trump’s repeated hints that he’s about to run for President again, the DOJ is starting to think about how it will investigate a Presidential candidate–and the RNC is signaling that it won’t pay his legal fees anymore. Of course, none of this stopped Trump from deciding to sue the New York Attorney General, even though his attorneys advised against it because the legal brief is pretty much made of spite and wishes.
- Original Flavor Election Rejection. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest election rejection story is probably the election tomorrow. Prominent Democrats such as President Biden and former President Obama spent the week warning people that democracy itself might not survive if people keep voting in MAGA sociopaths. Honestly, it’s hard to take that as hyperbole when the GOP is already suing over swing state ballots and claiming the election was rigged. Just to add more fuel to fire, Putin’s staff went ahead and confirmed that Russia interferes in American elections on the regular, a judge in AZ had to order armed people away from ballot boxes, and many swing states are preparing for unprecedented threats of violence at polling locations. It’s likely to be a bumpy ride from here, folks.
The melange above makes the Biden Rebuilding front look quiet, but there’s still news on that front as well. Here’s what I have for you:
- Biden Miscellany.* The biggest news on the Biden front is that the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75 to combat inflation for the fourth time in a row–bringing us to six consecutive rate hikes this year, which improbably is not exaggeration. This represents the biggest rate hike in decades, and the new rate of between 3.75 and 4% hasn’t been seen since the Great Recession of 2008.
Your New Normal:
- Your Normally Scheduled Election. Amid all the weirdness and excessive spending of this year’s midterm election, it’s easy to lose track of the election itself. As I type this, over 41 million ballots have already been cast through early voting and absentee ballots, and in many places those ballots eclipse the total number cast in our last midterm election in 2018. Nonetheless, tomorrow will likely be an incredibly eventful day, especially with so many state referenda in play on topics like abortion, marijuana, and voting itself. If you are one of the many people planning to head to the polls tomorrow, you can find your polling place, double-check that you are registered, and read up on your ballot online before you go.
- Muskrat New Habitat (again). If you live on the Internet like my household does, you’ve probably watched the Elon Musk takeover train wreck–when the owner of Twitter is also the undisputed Twitter Main Character, it’s hard to look away. Suffice to say, he did indeed lay off thousands of people when he chaotically fired a full half of the company on Friday. Then over the weekend he claimed that his fleeing advertisers simply hate free speech, tried to hire a bunch of the staff back because apparently some of them weren’t supposed to be fired, and confirmed his ongoing plan to turn Twitter’s verification system into a status symbol. (Several people, including me, were very concerned that he planned to launch what is effectively a misinformation campaign on the day before a major election, but he did push back the rollout on that one until after the midterms.) Today, just to top everything off, he told everyone to vote Republican and started permanently banning verified accounts that were changing their account names in order to parody him.
- Recent Court Resilience. There’s a lot that is very concerning going on with SCOTUS right now, but this week they did decline to hear a challenge to the TSA’s authority to mandate masks on public transportation. Needless to say, this allows a very firmly-worded decision from the D.C. Circuit court to remain in place in that circuit instead, and these days we take that as a win.
So that’s all I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve this unusual cat transit method and a more functional government. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved news, and I hope you will be back as well–but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me new blends of herbal tea because we’re running low!