Today’s edition of quick hits.
* Addressing a prospective rail strike: “The House passed legislation Wednesday to avert a potentially catastrophic rail strike that President Joe Biden warned could threaten the U.S. economy just weeks before Christmas. The bill, which passed 290-137 with broad bipartisan support, now heads to the Senate, where both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have said lawmakers need to intervene this week.”
* The latest from the Fed: “Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said the central bank could slow its interest rate increases at its meeting next month — even as he emphasized that policymakers have more work to do to ensure that rapid price inflation will return to normal.”
* The latest scary DHS warning: In a terrorism advisory bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday raised concerns about potential threats to the LGBTQ, Jewish and migrant communities from violent extremists inside the United States.”
* Russia’s latest step in the wrong direction relates to the New START accord: “Russia’s unilateral postponement — citing “political reasons” — of a technical meeting with U.S. officials about the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty has called into question the future of the sole remaining strategic nuclear arms control treaty between Washington and Moscow, as Russia lashes out amid setbacks in its war on Ukraine.”
* China’s protests are far from over: “The demonstrations are the country’s largest and most ambitious in years, with some participants even calling for the country’s top leader, Xi Jinping, to step down. ... But if protesters in China hope to bring sweeping political change, they may find that they face hurdles beyond even their government’s fearsome reputation for quashing dissent — and still tougher odds than might be apparent on the surface.”
* I love this story: “A pair of right-wing provocateurs were sentenced Tuesday to spend 500 hours registering voters after pleading guilty to telecommunications fraud in connection with robocalls made before the 2020 election. Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were also sentenced to two years of probation and 12 hours a day of electronic monitoring for six months, according to prosecutors in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.”
* All is not well in Florida: “Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis put his weight behind dozens of conservative school board candidates across Florida during the midterms. Now they’re in office — and are purging some educational leaders who enforced Covid-19 mandates.”
* True: “New outlets are opening all the time. They rely on their communities to support them. The future of our democracy and the long-term health of our citizenry may well depend on it.”
* Something to look forward to: “The House Jan. 6 committee will release transcripts of interviews investigators conducted in the course of their investigation into the attack on the Capitol, the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, said Wednesday. ... The transcripts will be made public at the same time as the committee’s long-awaited report summarizing and detailing the probe, Thompson said, adding that he expects they would be released before the Christmas holiday.”
I’m off tomorrow, but I’ll see you again on Friday morning.