Supercreator Review: You can exhale for now
Everything you need to know from the week of Oct 1, in 8 minutes.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello!
It’s Friday, Oct 8. A week from today we’ll be listening to new music from Adele. 🙌🏾 (More on the best-selling singer-songwriter below.) As we head into the weekend, here’s a quick recap of the week’s biggest stories:
Senate Democrats voted 50–48 on Thursday night to lift the debt ceiling by $480 billion, a move that will enable the US government to pay its bills until Dec. 3. Although no Republicans supported the measure, 11 GOP senators did vote with Democrats on a procedural motion to speed up the process by limiting a prolonged debate on the legislation. Moments after the extension passed, Schumer took a victory lap in the form of a floor speech that was pettier than it needed to be. It’s likely to play well with liberals who believe Democrats are too passive in their messaging against the GOP’s ruthless antics. But Senate Republicans thought the monologue was in poor taste and have already indicated that they’ll be less accommodating to Schumer’s overtures when negotiations resume on a long-term extension. This will be something to watch when this issue reclaims the news cycle in a couple of months. The legislation will now go to the House, which will interrupt its recess next Tuesday to vote for the bill before President Biden signs it into law. Then we’ll be able to exhale — until the holidays — at the fact that we avoided an unthinkable crisis.
A district judge paused on Wednesday a controversial Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks. The statute, which passed in May and went into effect in August, also pays a bounty to citizens who report people to the authorities for exercising their constitutional right to make private decisions about their reproductive health. Abortions have resumed in the state, but activists are worried that an appeals court will reinstate the law and marginalize people of color and with low incomes people from the safe and legal medical procedure. Texas lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott knew the law was vulnerable to scrutiny from lower courts and are banking on the conservative supermajority in the Supreme Court to uphold the order, which would effectively overturn the landmark case that protects a person’s choice whether or not to have an abortion. The US House of Representatives passed last week the Women’s Health Protection Act to federalize abortion rights in response to laws like Texas’s. But it’s likely to make it out of the Senate. So if this issue is a cause for you, then organize your friends and their friends to support pro-abortion candidates in next year’s midterms.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke returned to Congress on Wednesday to advocate for the Voting Rights Act. I felt a sense of déjà vu while watching Clarke, who oversees the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s probably because she was just on Capitol Hill in August to “sound the alarm” on the effort of Republican state legislatures to suppress voters of colors from future elections through anti-voter laws and partisan gerrymandering after the historic turnout in 2020 delivered the House, Senate and White House to Democrats. And almost a year later, Senate Democrats are running out of time to pass meaningful legislation to offset the worst aspects of these GOP shenanigans. That’s why reporters and activists are calling on President Joe Biden to lobby for voting rights (and police reform) with the same intensity he’s brought to the negotiations for his economic agenda. Meanwhile, instead of supporting an exception that would enable Democrats to vote for a bill the House has already passed to protect voters and future elections, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is reportedly roaming the halls of Capitol Hill in search of 10 Republicans to vote for his watered-down proposal as if his GOP is interested in making it easier for people who look like me to fire them from the federal government. Bless his heart.
In Case You Missed It
On Tuesday, I wrote about the debt ceiling:
In this context, the McConnell-led GOP’s strategy to win back the House and Senate by setting the government on fire, trapping the firefighters in the fire station, blaming the firefighters for the damage and hoping their voters will reward them for it is a case study in desperation. No matter how unified in their public defiance Republicans appear, they’re in a position of weakness and hoping they can force Democrats to a race to the bottom.
On Thursday, I wrote about why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not the victim in his company’s latest scandal:
[Zuckerberg’s] privilege enabled him to build unfathomable personal wealth and unmerited global influence in a media and political environment that gave him and his contemporaries the benefit of the doubt for more than a decade. And for goodness sake, his company is still incredibly popular with people who are unaware of or uninterested in the corporate mechanisms that facilitate the apps they’re addicted to or obsessed with. He decided to pursue growth over the collective well-being as if the two could be reconciled and that’s his prerogative. But he doesn’t get to spin the debate when the consequences of his choice come to light.