MR Daily Review
1. Kansas voters overwhelmingly vote to protect abortion rights.
On the ballot in Kansas was a measure that would have stripped people of a state constitutional protection for abortion rights. The measure overwhelmingly failed as voters from across the political spectrum united to protect abortion with a margin of 58 to 41 in a state Trump won by a similar margin. The vote is one of the first significant signals that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe in Dobbs has galvanized voters. It’s an important sign for the future of post-Roe politics. Democrats have banked on doing nothing and letting the natural rage at the Supreme Court drive their voters. That’s a dumb political move that we’ve criticized a lot here, but if it works it will be on the back of turn out and crossover voting the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetime, minus this Kansas vote. It shows strong support for Roe crosses political lines. That could be a very powerful force moving forward but only time will tell.
2. Election deniers win GOP primaries, potentially shape elections in swing states.
At around midnight on election night Donald Trump began his campaign to contest the election. This became a multistate legal strategy bent on swaying election officials to his view of events, lending his tale of election fraud and ballot stuffing credibility at the hands of election officials. But officials Secretaries of State on down, for the most part, resisted this attempts, sent in the proper slate of electors, and voted to affirm them. Without these officials doing what they did an already contested election very easily could have been thrown to the Supreme Court to deal with the legal ambiguities alleged by the Trump campaign. Since that didn’t happen the Trump camp has taken to inserting themselves in elections on the behalf of people who openly claim the election was stolen and indicate they’d be on board with any future plans to contest an election. In Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, election deniers have put themselves in a position to influence the next one. It’s a very unfortunate development but definitely one worth watching as we march on towards 2022 and more importantly in this calculation, 2024.
3. Senate votes to add Finland and Sweden to NATO.
The Senate voted 95 to 1 to admit Finland and Sweden into NATO. The only Senator to oppose the measure was Josh Hawley. Currently all 30 members of NATO must also vote for the two countries to be added to the alliance. Twenty-two countries already have but President Erdogan of Turkey has threatened to block Finland and Sweden’s membership bid. The move broadly signals the rippling impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The question of whether or not countries should join NATO, or whether NATO should even still exist, has been widely discussed since the invasion. Here at Millennial Review we view NATO as a growing vestige of cold war era American empire. Its expansion makes sense for a lot of reasons, especially from an internal perspective of countries like Sweden and Finland, but broadly it makes the world less safe.
4. Pressure on Sinema to tank Schumer-Manchin bill.
One thing we’ve long said at Millennial Review is that if it weren’t for Manchin stopping the best parts of the Biden agenda, someone else would stop it. Perhaps around a dozen or so someone’s. In the early days of the “Manchin stops everything by himself” news-cycles, he was almost always joined in his opposition by Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who for a lot of reasons decided to lay lower as her numbers tanked with Arizona Democrats. But with the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s Manchin approved tax and climate bill allegedly poised to pass, the pressure is on Sinema to reclaim her mantle and kill the legislation. Particularly as it has tax increases which she long held was the red line in the sand for her during BBB negotiations. An open CSPAN livestream showed Senate deliberations in which a variety of Republican senators including Mitch McConnell spent a significant amount of time discussing something with Sinema. Perhaps an attempt to get her to kill the bill that the conservative establishment is up in arms about, specifically the betrayal at the hands of Joe Manchin it represents. Hopefully Sinema decides denying Democrats this win is bad for her brand, otherwise they’ll be absolutely empty handed heading into the midterms.
5. Alex Jones case completely falls apart as his lawyers accidentally disclose two years of text messages, to opposing counsel.
Yesterday we wrote about Alex Jones and his ongoing defamation damages trial. Today we’re talking about it again because his lawyers made perhaps one of the funniest legal blunders in recent memory. Jones’s attorneys placed two years worth of phone data, including all of his private text messages, in a drop box that was shared with the attorneys for the parent’s of Sandy Hook victims who have sued Alex Jones. The Sandy Hook Parents’ attorney then let Alex Jones’s attorneys know they must have received the messages by mistake. They didn’t respond prior to an important deadline, which allowed the Sandy Hook parent’s attorneys to use the text messages in open court. Directly contradicting Alex Jones and potentially indicating he perjured himself. The judge, opposing counsel, and most anyone watching can clearly see Alex Jones’s case tanking, and unfortunately for him this big blunder almost all but ensures what was going to be a judgment against him for millions of dollars almost certainly will actually be so.