A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that they had reached a deal on a reconciliation bill to address climate change, drug pricing and corporate taxes, titled “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” And Republican senators are throwing a fit.
- Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) accused Manchin of pulling a “double cross” on Republicans Wednesday night during a Fox appearance.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who had tried to bully Democrats away from this exact outcome by threatening to hold the bipartisan CHIPs Act hostage, griped on Twitter that Democrats “want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs” with the legislation.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) complained about the “terrible deal,” saying, “I can’t believe that @Sen_JoeManchin is agreeing to a massive tax increase in the name of climate change when our economy is in a recession.”
Clarence Thomas Yeets Himself From Teaching Post
George Washington University Law School, where Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been an instructor since 2011, said on Wednesday Thomas had informed the school that he was “unavailable” to teach this fall.
- GW Law didn’t explain why Thomas suddenly pulled out. However, Politico notes that 11,300 people had signed a petition demanding that the conservative justice be removed from his teaching post over his role in dismantling Roe v. Wade.
- The school also didn’t say whether Thomas would be teaching any courses in the future. The announcement focused only on the fall semester.
“Why Exceptions for the Life of the Mother Have Disappeared” – The Atlantic
Eastman’s DOJ Troubles Ain’t Over
The Justice Department reported in a court filing on Wednesday that prosecutors obtained a second search warrant to search Trump coup architect John Eastman’s phone, which was seized by the FBI last month.
Oz Has Secret Condo In NJ–And It Gets Weirder Than That
The Daily Beast discovered that in addition to his lavish mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, GOP “Pennsylvania” Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz has another property in New Jersey that he hasn’t disclosed: A condo less than 10 minutes away from the mansion.
That on its own is probably not going to help Oz as he tries to convince Pennsylvanians that he definitely isn’t a Jersey carpetbagger who knows he isn’t likely to win a Senate race in his blue home state and is therefore using his in-laws’ address to run in a state where he thinks he’s got a better shot. But then there’s the fact that…
- The people who live in his condo are Turkish nationalists with ties to Armenian genocide denialists, the Daily Beast found. And Oz himself won’t call it “the Armenian genocide.”
Biden Tests Negative For COVID
White House physician Kevin O’Connor reported yesterday that Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, and will therefore no longer be isolating.
While speaking to reporters later on Wednesday, Biden credited vaccines as he compared his relatively mild experience with COVID to Trump’s full-blown medical crisis: “When my predecessor got COVID, he had to get helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was severely ill; thankfully, he recovered. When I got COVID, I worked from upstairs of the White House and the offices upstairs … for a five-day period.”
Biden Admin Offers Deal To Russia To Bring Back Brittney Griner
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the Biden administration had extended a “substantial proposal” to Russia to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, another American detainee, back to the U.S. Blinken didn’t provide details on the deal.
- The administration has offered a prisoner swap with convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, according to CNN and the New York Times.
- However, the Kremlin said on Thursday that there hasn’t been a concrete result in Russia’s negotiations with the U.S. on the detainees.
- Blinken also said he would discuss the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, which will be the first time the two officials speak since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
Food For Thought
And to that point:
Pandemic Buys You Deeply Regret
Vox has this excellent piece chronicling the tales of people who bought things during the pandemic that they now really wish they hadn’t (I will say I’m iffy about a dog being included in there, but at least it’s not one of those awful stories about a pandemic pet being returned).
I myself am glad to say I didn’t make a pandemic purchase that I now hate, but I did buy something that makes me hate myself: This very pretty, very dusty ukulele that forces me to remember a time when I was motivated to enrich myself by learning how to play an instrument but never got any further than watching a basic string tutorial on YouTube before I went back to binging Drag Race:
TPM readers, what shit did you buy during lockdown that you wish you hadn’t? Answer in the comments below!
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