November 9th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Election Month Begins!

Election month in America got off to a rather unexpected start. It’s the day after the midterms and surprisingly, the House still hangs in the balance (though it leans towards a GOP edge) and less surprisingly, so does the Senate (which, at the moment, leans toward a Dem hold). Given surf conditions that include terrible inflation, a teetering economy, and a sitting president with historically weak approval numbers, the GOP expected Nazaré meets Jaws meets Mavericks. Instead, they got an ankle slapper, proving once again that American elections are never a shore thing. So far, the big stories of the night include a solid turnout among the young, consistent wins for choice, and a beached whale on the Mar-a-Lago shoreline. Here are five takeaways from the ‘red tsunami’ that didn’t materialize. And David Wallace-Wells in The New Yorker: The Midterm Elections Deliver a Stunning Return to the Status Quo. Yet again, Americans are divided in Fall.

+ “As of Wednesday morning, Sen. Raphael Warnock led Republican Herschel Walker by just over 35,000 votes with nearly all the votes counted, but neither candidate is expected to clear 50 percent.” In other words, we’re headed for another GA runoff that could decide the Senate. That Herschel Walker did this well and still has a chance to become Senator Walker is not a great reflection on the human race. The red wave didn’t happen. The dollar green wave headed for Georgia is a sure thing.

+ In one of the most watched (and most cringed at) Senate races, stroke recoverer and cargo pants standard bearer John Fetterman bested snake oil-selling TV doctor and PA carpet lagger Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race. In another closely watched race, Republican J.D. Vance defeated Tim Ryan in Ohio.

+ Maxwell Frost was elected as the first Gen Z member of Congress. And that was just one of many firsts. Meet the history-makers of the 2022 midterm elections. In a nice twist, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who resisted efforts by Trump to overturn election results in Georgia won re-election by a comfortable margin.

+ WaPo: Election deniers score big wins, but also suffer significant setbacks. Any wins for these traitors is a loss for America.

+ Vox: A mixed night for marijuana on the ballot. Basically, we got two tasty buds and three bags of shake.

+ As the final House and Senate races shake out, our attention will shift to 2024 (sorry) which will feature two very big questions. Will Biden be the candidate for Dems? And will the GOP finally drop their seditious, egomaniacal albatross or spend another election under the orange crush. The Atlantic’s David Frum on the GOP battle royale: Trump Lost the Midterms. DeSantis Won. “Republicans had a bad night yesterday. Their disappointment was very much Trump’s fault. Trump stuck them with bad candidates and bad issues: his own grievances about the election of 2020. That record should weaken Trump’s standing. But the weakening only matters if somebody uses it. For seven years, Donald Trump’s superpower has been the abjectness of his fellow Republicans. He would abuse and insult them; they might fight back for a round or two—but then crumple. Trump led his party from loss to loss.”



People can spin elections. It’s much harder to spin the economy and signs are grim. Meta announces huge job cuts affecting 11,000 employees. “The company has had a rocky year, squeezed by both the rise of TikTok and the public (and expensive) failure of its push into the metaverse.”

+ As bad as things are when it comes to old fashioned money, crypto is even worse. “The cryptocurrency world was rocked on Tuesday as one of the largest exchanges for digital currencies, seemingly on the verge of collapse, was bailed out by a major rival in a deal that underlined the perils of the industry’s volatility.” How bad was it? “FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was worth $16 billion earlier this week, saw his fortune gutted by 94% to $1 billion on Tuesday. It marks the biggest wealth collapse a billionaire has ever taken in a single day.”

+ In addition to a falling stock price, Tesla recalled over 40,000 cars to address a power steering flaw. (Maybe Elon can have some Twitter engineers come in and take a look.) Meanwhile, Elon just sold another $4 billion of Tesla stock. Imagine being on the board of a company that has a CEO who is selling stock, running another company, and turning off prospective buyers by the millions … and still not batting an eyelash. Oversight has become an oversight.

+ Not all business is bad. Someone in California scored a Powerball ticket worth $2 billion.


Runnin’ Up That Bill

While US social media and tech companies are sucking wind, TikTok continues to suck time and revenues. Much of that time is spent discovering new and old music. Now record labels want a bigger piece of the pie (and TikTok looks like it wants to become Spotify, too.)


Photo Sooth

Sometimes photos can tell a story better than words, and so it is when it comes to climate change. And it’s not a pretty picture. The NYT (Gift Article) with a remarkable collection of images. Ocean-Eaten Islands, Fire-Scarred Forests: Our Changing World in Pictures.


Extra, Extra

Suffering Withdrawals: The lack of a red wave was good news for Ukraine (which is a non-debatable yet wildly disturbing commentary). Another bit of good news out of that region is that “Russia announced Wednesday that it was withdrawing forces from Kherson, a key city in southern Ukraine, in what could turn out to be the most humiliating setback in President Vladimir Putin’s war.” In some bad news out of the region, Brittney Griner has been sent to a penal colony in Russia to serve her sentence for drug possession.

+ Trickle Down Energy Bills: “Bills will be high, but Europe will survive the winter: It’s bought enough oil and gas to get through the heating seasons. Much deeper costs will be borne by the world’s poorest countries, which have been shut out of the natural gas market by Europe’s suddenly ravenous demand.” Europe’s Energy Crunch Will Trigger Years of Shortages and Blackouts.

+ Mind Blowing: “The study tested a widely used mindfulness program that includes 2 1/2 hours of classes weekly and 45 minutes of daily practice at home. Participants were randomly assigned to the program or daily use of a generic drug sold under the brand name Lexapro for depression and anxiety.” Mindfulness worked as well for anxiety as drug in study. Meanwhile, the NYT buries the lede on this story. Antidepressants Don’t Work the Way Many People Think. “Some psychiatrists have also started to recommend nonpharmaceutical treatments to help people with depression. Dr. Hellerstein said that when he evaluates a new patient, he now pays more attention to habits, such as sleep, diet and exercise, and would often recommend behavioral changes, therapy or meditation before medication. There’s research suggesting that exercise also may help new connections grow in the brain, and in some studies exercise has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants at treating depression.” You can run, and in fact, that can help you hide.

+ Erred Mentality: “This is certainly an interesting twist: “A woman who recently settled a lawsuit in which she had claimed to have been sexually trafficked to Britain’s Prince Andrew and others by the financier Jeffrey Epstein has dropped a similar claim against noted American attorney Alan Dershowitz, saying she may have erred in accusing him.”


Bottom of the News

“The chair comes equipped with a french fry holster, dedicated dip holders, a burger ‘heat zone,’ and grease proof leather.” McDonald’s Created a Grease-Proof Gaming Chair. At long last, America has self-actualized.

+ Dozens of SAT tests have been lost after flying out of an El Paso UPS truck.

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