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 –> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


Well, it’s settled

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that former President Trump must hand over his tax returns to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee.  

Back story: Trump’s team has been trying to shield his tax returns for years. A lower court ruled in favor of the documents’ release, so Trump appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked their release while the court reviewed the case. Then on Tuesday, the court made its final ruling. 

Were there any public dissents among justices?: Nope, including the three justices Trump nominated.  

OK, but Republicans are taking over the House in January. Does that matter?: Yes! “While the order from the Supreme Court is a win for House Democrats, it’s unclear how useful it will be for them. It’s not clear how quickly the IRS would turn over the records, and House Republicans are expected to withdraw the request when they take over in January.”  

The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch has a helpful explainer on the significance of the ruling 

Some context to the ruling from law expert Steve Vladeck 


Former President Trump slammed the Supreme Court after its ruling to hand over his tax records.  

Trump wrote on Truth Social: “Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do! It is unprecedented to be handing over Tax Returns, & it creates terrible precedent for future Presidents. Has Joe Biden paid taxes on all of the money he made illegally from Hunter [Biden] & beyond.” 

It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. 

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill’s 12:30 Report will not publish tomorrow or Friday for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving and eat some extra pie for me, friends 😉 

🐘 In the GOP 

If your name’s not Ron or Don … :

“The 2024 election is almost two years away, but it’s already an open question whether anyone other than former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can become the GOP’s nominee.”  

Trump and DeSantis already have such an early lead: “The dynamic is so striking that some conservatives are talking of the contest as a two-horse race.”  

How the polling reflects this dynamic — and what this means for the GOP nomination, via The Hill’sNiall Stanage

In the White House 

One more student loan pause:  

The Biden administration extended the federal student loan payment pause and accrual of interest one more time. 

How long will it last?: June 2023 

When would the pause have expired without this extension?: Dec. 31 

Meanwhile: The Biden administration is fighting legal battles over its debt forgiveness plan.  

Biden tweeted: “I’m confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” President Biden said in a statement. “That’s why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term.” Watch Biden’s full explanation 

More on the legal challenges to the student loan forgiveness plan, via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano

📍 In Virginia 

Another horrific tragedy

A Walmart employee opened fire and killed six people in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday night.  

What about the shooter?: The shooter died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Were others injured?: Yes, the police chief said four others were taken to hospitals.  

From a local news outletHere’s what we know about the incident, via WAVY News 


From The New York Times

⚽️ World Cup tidbits 

Ok, this is pretty funny: At the last minute, Qatar decided it would ban alcohol at the World Cup. Well, that left sponsor Budweiser with *a lot* of extra beer. So, Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev decided to give the beer to whichever country wins the World Cup. Full story from Sports Illustrated’s Jelani Scott 

‘Peek Inside a $200-a-Night “Room” at the World Cup in Qatar’: The ads didn’t lie, but container life might not be for everyone. Full story from The New York Times 

‘Why Arabs and Muslims feel stung by coverage of the Qatar World Cup’From CNN’s Nadeen Ebrahim and Abbas Al Lawati 

‘Germany protests FIFA’s rainbow armband rule before World Cup match’From Axios’s Erin Doherty

🦠 Latest with COVID-19 

We’ll miss you, Uncle Tony!:

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci gave his last public press briefing on Tuesday before stepping down from his role at the end of the year.  

Photo of Fauci at the podium 

Throwback: C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted side-by-side photos of Fauci at the podium in 2022 versus 2001. Photos


Cases to date: 98.1 million 

Death toll: 1,073,115 

Current hospitalizations: 20,682 

Shots administered: 650 million 

Fully vaccinated: 68.7 percent of Americans 

CDC data here. 

🐥Notable tweets 

What a spectacular view

The Washington Post’s Christian Davenport tweeted, “My favorite shot released by NASA so far during the Artemis I mission is not of the Moon but of Earth, as Orion was 57,000 miles away and captured this pale blue dot hanging in the vastness of space. It rivals, IMO, the remarkable Earthrise photo taken during Apollo 8.” Photo 

^ Little tidbit for the scientific folks in the bunch: NASA’s Jim Free tweeted, “We’ve been incredibly efficient with our use of propellant on #Artemis I so far. As of Nov. 21, we’ve used a total of 3.7K lbs of propellant, 76 lbs less than expected. We have 2.1K lbs of margin available over what we planned for use, an increase of 201 lbs from expected values.” Photo 

Faithful Beth is back!

Axios’s Chelsea Cirruzzo tweeted a screenshot of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) well-loved vacuum.  

Grassley posted: “Been informed it’s too old to get repairs. With a little care I expect faithful Beth to clean Grassley home for a few more years.” Photo of faithful Beth 

On tap

The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Nantucket, Mass. Vice President Harris is in Los Angeles. 

It’s a quiet day before the holiday.

☕️ In lighter news 

Today is National Espresso Day! And also be prepared for Saturday, which is National Cake Day.

And to leave you in the Thanksgiving spirit, here’s a dog who insists on sharing his food with his best friend.  

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