Cramm for 12/7/22
Georgia’s Senate seat is staying blue.
You know the drill by now, but for those of you who missed it: last month, the US headed to the polls in the 2022 midterms. Lots of people were paying attention to Georgia’s Senate race, where Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock was facing off against Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Problem, since Georgia has this thing where if nobody snags 50 percent of the votes, the top two candidates head to a runoff. And since Warnock got 49.45 percent of the votes and Walker got 48.49 percent of the votes, that’s exactly what happened.
Yesterday, Georgia headed back to the polls in its Senate runoff. Aaaand voted to re-elect Warnock. You read that right. Warnock got 51.4 percent of the vote, while Walker got 48.6 percent - a difference of about 100,000 votes.
This means both of Georgia’s Senate seats will remain blue. Whiiiiich is a big deal for a state that has only voted for a Democratic presidential candidate 3 times since 1980. But now, Georgia has been firmly positioned as a battleground state. Warnock’s win is also significant because it hands the Dems an even bigger Senate majority. Oh, and speaking of which: this is the first midterm election since 1934 where the prez’s party has not lost a single Senate seat. Yes, really.
Warnock’s win makes it even clearer: Georgia is now a battleground state.
WORLD: All eyes are on Germany. Recently, German officials arrested 25 suspected far-right extremists for plotting to overthrow the gov. Many were apparently members of a suspected far-right terrorist network in Germany that is influenced by QAnon (as in the conspiracy theory). Stay tuned. Meanwhile, meet Peruvian Prez Pedro Castillo. Earlier today, just hours before a scheduled impeachment vote, Castillo announced that he will dissolve Congress and install an emergency gov to rule by decree - a move that was immediately denounced as a coup attempt. In response, much of Castillo’s gov resigned. Tension, high. In other news, China is waving goodbye to some of its most controversial covid rules. This comes amid some of the biggest protests the country has seen in years.
WAR: Recently, the United Nations released a new report documenting 441 killings of civilians (including 28 children) along the Russian attack route toward Kyiv. The report said the total number of killings in the area was “likely considerably higher.” Meanwhile, Somalian forces and allied militias just recaptured a strategic town that al-Shabab (as in the terrorist group associated with al-Qaeda) had controlled for six years. Al-Shabab had reportedly used the town as a training base and logistics hub in its brutal war against Somalia’s gov. In other news, after a year-long blackout, it looks like Tigray’s capital has been reconnected to the Ethiopian power grid. Hint: Tigray has been deprived of lots of basic services since 2020, when Ethiopia's gov went to war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
BIZ: ICYMI, for the past few years, lots of people have been taking magnifying glasses to the Trump Organization (as in Donald Trump’s family biz). Well, fast forward to this week, and a Manhattan jury found two Trump Organization companies guilty on multiple charges of tax fraud and falsifying biz records connected to a 15 year tax scheme. Think: the scheme involved failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top execs. Trump himself was not charged in this case. Meanwhile, Juul Labs just settled more than 5,000 lawsuits over its vaping products. The biz has been accused of intentionally targeting teenagers, leading to what the US gov has called a youth e-cigarette epidemic.
WHAT TO KNOW
“Volodymyr Zelensky:” Time Magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year.
“There is no place for killer police robots in our city” - San Francisco’s supervisor after city officials voted against the use of those robots. Dystopia, averted.