2022 Begins Her Goodbye Tour
Hey folks, it's December! Time to start playing whichever one of the 57 versions of "Last Christmas" is your favorite. It's also time to dive into some news: Domestically we've got a disappointing court case result, a Georgia Republican who didn't vote, and Trump's tax returns. Plus, protests in China are working!
[CW: Rape] A judge ruled a mistrial yesterday in the case against “That ‘70s Show” actor Danny Masterson, in which three women accused him of rape. A retrial is set to occur in March in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Masterson, who was facing 45 years to life in prison after being arrested in 2020, had pleaded not guilty on all three counts. The jury was unable to reach a decision, with jurors saying they voted seven times and couldn’t reach a consensus on any of the counts. Two jurors voted him guilty on the first count, four jurors voted him guilty on the second count, and five jurors voted him guilty on the third count. All three women alleged that the attacks took place between 2001 and 2003. All three were members of the Church of Scientology, as is Masterson, and they said the reason they didn’t go to authorities was because the church discouraged people from going to the police. One accuser said that in 2003, Masterson smothered her face with a pillow and choked her, and she thought he was going to kill her. Another, who had dated him, said he raped her in 2001 while she was asleep. Masterson claimed that all of these encounters were consensual. Read more.
ONE THING TO MENTION ON A DATE
"Did you hear? French baguettes have been added to the UN's list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage?" That's weird because when I see a baguette, I can’t keep my hands off of it."
Georgia’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan told CNN yesterday that he didn’t vote for Republican candidate Herschel Walker or Democrat Raphael Warnock in the Georgia Senate runoff. “It was the most disappointing ballot I’ve ever stared at in my entire life since I started voting,” he said, adding that he “walked out of that ballot box showing up to vote but not voting for either one of them.” I hesitate to applaud a politician not voting, and I can’t for the life of me wrap my head around both of those candidates being “equally bad,” but let’s hope this means his opinion will get some Georgia Republicans not to vote for Walker. Duncan has frequently criticized Trump and said that Republicans’ poor performance in the midterms was Trump’s fault, which makes him a centrist by today’s bizarre metric where any Republican who criticizes Trump at all "isn't that bad." Duncan wrote a CNN op-ed last month telling Walker that in order to get his vote, Walker would need to make three phone calls: One to Trump asking him not to campaign in the runoff, one to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to ask for his support, and one to DeSantis because of his increasing popularity. That’s quite a riddle but I’m just glad Walker got one less vote. Early voting in the runoff continues today and tomorrow. Election Day is on December 6. Read more.
The House has officially chosen Hakeem Jeffries to replace Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader, making him the first Black person to lead a party in Congress. According to CNN, he's also the first person born after the end of World War II to lead the House Democrats. Yeah, you read that right. In addition to Jeffries replacing Pelosi, Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts will replace Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland as the number-two ranking Democrat. The number-three ranking Democrat will be Pete Aguilar of California, who will replace South Carolina’s James Clyburn. While the Democrats are a whole lot more unified than the Republicans right now, Clyburn will now be running for the 4th spot, and an opponent stepped forward: David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Jeffries commented on the significance of the job he’s about to fulfill, telling a group of reporters that, “The best thing that we can do as a result of the seriousness and solemnity of the moment is lean in hard and do the best damn job that we can for people.” Well said. Read more.
"Is this like when you beg your parents to buy you the cool new shoes everyone has and then when you get them you’re disappointed?"
After years of prodding, the House Ways and Means Committee has finally gotten their hands on Trump’s tax returns. The committee, currently led by Democratic Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts, has received six years of Trump's records, and the records of many of his corporate entities. This comes as the result of a Supreme Court decision last week that forced the Treasury Department to hand over the goods. It still remains unclear whether anyone on the committee has actually seen the returns and how they’ll access them. Yesterday, a Democratic lawmaker said “I’m not sure yet if we will see his taxes then or if we are just going to be walked through them.” The lawmaker also said that there would be a meeting today where the committee would learn more about the process. At the meeting, House general counsel Doug Letter will go over section 6103 of the tax law. With a Republican takeover of the House looming in January, it’s not clear what the Democrats plan to do with the documents. Is this like when you beg your parents to buy you the cool new shoes everyone has and then when you get them you’re disappointed? Let’s hope not. Read more.
What Is Chelsea Clinton's News Diet?
Chelsea Clinton joins to discuss this moment of incredible energy around women’s political participation all across the world. First though: we ask what drove her to run two NYC marathons in a row. She also shares her news diet and the podcasts she starts the day with. Then, she discusses how this midterm election cycle reframes women’s role not only in protecting their own rights, but protecting democracy. Finally, Chelsea shares details of she and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Women’s Voices Summit this week in Little Rock, featuring national and global leaders to discuss topics including the maternal health crisis, reproductive rights, and Iranian’s women-led revolution.
Follow along with the Women’s Voices Summit on social media this Friday December 2 by following @clintonfoundation on Instagram and @clintonfdn on Twitter.
LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS
Long Distance Relationships
China: Three years after the first COVID case was recorded in Wuhan, China, cities in the country have announced that they are easing their Covid restrictions. This comes after last week saw a throng of unprecedented protests that called into question the Chinese Communist Party’s zero COVID policy, which enforced very strict lockdowns and more. Several Chinese cities including the northern city of Shijiazhuang, the southern city of Guangzhou, and the southwestern cities of Chengdu and Chongqing are easing their policies. This includes testing requirements and laws that limit movement around municipalities. Local reports also state that in Beijing, China’s capital, some people may no longer be forced to go to crowded quarantine centers, and will instead be allowed to isolate at home. On Monday, Beijing officials said access to apartments would no longer be blocked, a change that likely came about as a result of the deadly apartment fire in Urumqi that inspired the protests in the first place. Read more.
Japan: Japan's birthrate is at an all time low and it's being described as "a critical situation." From January to September of 2022, 599,636 babies were born -- a 4.9 percent decrease compared to last year's statistic. It is likely that the number of babies born in 2022 will be lower than last year's number of 811,000, which was already a record low. The birth rate has been decreasing since 1973, when the number reached 2.1 million. A government-commissioned panel has reported these numbers to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, stating that this trend poses the risk of diminishing Japan's strength. The Japanese government has tried to increase the number of births by paying subsidies for pregnancy, birth and childcare, but this has had little affect. I guess millennials not having kids isn't just a US thing. Read more.
We suggest placing your orders by December 12 to ensure holiday delivery!
Congrats @ginnyhogan_! Thank you (again) for your service. You made us laugh through the pain.
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