Oklahoma GOP Holds COVID Funds Hostage To Block Gender-Affirming Care

INSIDE: Putin's Delusion ... SCOTUS ... Elon Musk
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Trans Kids In The Crosshairs Yet Again

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Tuesday signed off on the Republican-controlled state legislature’s restriction on giving federal pandemic relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to hospitals that offer gender-affirming care.

  • Under the provision, the state’s OU Health system won’t receive the funds if its Oklahoma Children’s Hospital continues to provide young transgender patients with gender-affirming treatment.
  • It’s an unprecedented line of attack in conservatives’ manufactured (and science-free) moral panic over transgender care to feed the MAGA base ahead of the midterms.

Arizona GOP Chair Repeatedly Invoked 5th Amendment In Front Of Jan. 6 Panel

Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward, a leader in Trump’s fake elector scheme in her state who was a fake elector herself, pleaded the Fifth and refused to answer “every substantive question” she was asked during her deposition with the House Jan. 6 Committee, an attorney for the committee said during a court hearing on Tuesday.

  • The hearing was part of the committee’s court battle with Ward over her phone records from Nov. 3, 2020 to Jan. 20, 2021.
  • Ward has also been subpoenaed in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 probe, as have the rest of her fellow sham electors in Arizona.

GOP Machine Flocks Behind Walker

With barely a month left before the midterms, Republicans seemingly have little choice but to stick by GOP Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker as their man even after an ex-girlfriend came forward with literal receipts and a “get well soon” card revealing that the self-proclaimed anti-abortion candidate had paid for her to get an abortion (Walker has denied her claims).

  • National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott (R-FL) declared on Tuesday that the Senate campaign arm stands with Walker, and he accused Democrats of targeting the ex-NFL star with a “smear machine.”
  • GOP chair Ronna McDaniel claimed it was all just “character assassination.”
  • Trump also (unsurprisingly) came to Walker’s defense on Tuesday.
  • And of course, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:
  • Meanwhile, Walker’s 23-year-old son, Christian Walker, continued to drag his father on social media on Tuesday:
  • Walker’s campaign and power brokers in Georgia had known about the abortion for months, Politico reports. They were reportedly just hoping it would never come out.

Putin Formalizes Illegal Annexations In Ukraine

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has signed laws that purportedly cement his illegal annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions in Ukraine after Russia’s legislature rubber-stamped fake “treaties” to absorb those areas.

  • But the Kremlin’s attempted land grab is looking even more bogus by the hour as Ukrainian troops successfully force the Russian military into retreat in the regions Putin now claims to own.

Key Analysis

“Annexations show the depth of Putin’s imperial delusion” – The Washington Post

Trump Turns To SCOTUS To Save His Hide

Trump is taking his fight over the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid to the Supreme Court, asking it to vacate the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that lifted Judge Aileen Cannon’s block on the documents.

SCOTUS Takes Aim At VRA

With a conservative majority eager to further slash the already-tattered Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Merrill v. Milligan redistricting case on Tuesday (check out our liveblog here).

Elon Musk Offers To Buy Twitter At Agreed-Upon Price

In a massive U-turn, Tesla CEO Elon Musk proposed to buy Twitter on Monday at the price of $54.20 per share, the amount he’d originally agreed to months ago before abruptly trying to worm his way out of the $44 billion deal. Musk was scheduled to go to trial this month in Twitter’s lawsuit against him in response to the billionaire, who had claimed the social media giant had misled him about spam bots, trying to backtrack on the deal.

Anyway:

How To Do An Epic Me Me

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