Shutdown Averted: Biden Signs Bill to Keep Government Open - The Monday AM Quickie 10/2/23

I was bothered to learn that Bandcamp has been sold off again, providing yet more proof that our tech overlords are determined to ruin anything good that emerges on the internet. - Corey

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Did a House Democrat's Petty Crime Just Help Save America from a Recession?

Maybe it goes without saying, but this is really no way to run a country. Heading into the weekend, pretty much everyone in Washington, DC, expected that a handful of hard-right House Republicans would succeed in shutting down the government by today. But late on Saturday night, with just minutes to go before a deadline marking the lapse of federal funding, President Joe Biden signed a stopgap budget bill that will keep the government running for another 45 days. "It's good news for the American people because the government will not shut down and a needless crisis will have been averted saving millions, millions of Americans, needless pain," Biden said yesterday. "We shouldn't have gotten here in the first place. It's time to end governing by crisis." However, "I'm under no illusions," he added, saying the MAGA obstructionists will be "back again" to take more hostages.

The stopgap funding bill Democrats are touting as a win drops $20 billion in funding for Ukraine's war effort. Ukrainian officials are handling the news with bravado, per the Washington Post, saying "there is no threat to the supply of previously approved weapons and equipment... and, most importantly, there is bipartisan and bicameral support for Ukraine." The White House is counting on Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who dropped Ukraine aid to satisfy the Putin fans in his caucus, to come through in a future bill. But if creepy Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Trump lackeys get their way, McCarthy won't be speaker by the end of this week. "I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid," Gaetz told CNN yesterday, announcing his intent to seek a vote on McCarthy's removal. "Bring it on," responded McCarthy. He could keep his job with Democratic votes -- but Squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she has no intention of bailing out McCarthy, while Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal has been pushing for a formal power-sharing agreement in exchange for Democratic help.

A shutdown could have pushed America into a recession, so, however messy the details may be, this temporary deal should come as a relief. And some thanks may be owed to New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who is either a righteous risk-taker or, if you believe him, rather boneheaded. In the thick of negotiations on Saturday, when Democrats were seeking to delay a vote on the stopgap bill, Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building, prompting an evacuation. It's a misdemeanor crime in Washington, DC, to "willfully or knowingly" trigger a false fire alarm; Republicans are pushing for Bowman to be investigated, censured, or even expelled from Congress. For his part, Bowman says that in his rush to make a vote, he mistakenly thought the alarm would open the door in front of him. "I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote," his statement said. "It was the exact opposite." Whatever you say man. No harm no foul if you ask me.

Laphonza Butler Named to Fill Feinstein's Seat

The ailing, 90-year-old California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein died on Friday after the Quickie's deadline. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, she held meetings until about 6pm the night before, having cast her final floor vote last Thursday morning. Her body will lie in state at San Francisco City Hall this Wednesday. Politico reports that California Gov. Gavin Newsom will today name EMILY's List president Laphonza Butler, currently a registered voter in Maryland, to replace Feinstein. In doing so, Newsom will have fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman to the seat, but rejected a public appeal from the Congressional Black Caucus to pick progressive Rep. Barbara Lee, who has already announced her candidacy for the seat, along with Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff. Newsom is sure to take heat for this. Also yesterday, Newsom vetoed a bill to give unemployment benefits to striking workers, a decision, one union leader says, that "tips the scales further in favor of corporations and CEOs and punishes workers who exercise their fundamental right to strike"; this comes after a Saturday veto that denied workplace protections to housekeepers and nannies. For a guy who wants to be president one day, his instincts can be terrible.

Trumpdates: A Growing Fixation on Guns

  • Trump to Pop in to Manhattan Court Today for His Civil Fraud Trial He won't be there as a witness, at least not yet; for now, he's just trying to raise money off of the spectacle. via the New York Times.
  • First Guilty Plea Entered in Georgia Racketeering Case Bail bondsman Scott Hall agreed on Friday to testify against other defendants including Trump lawyer Sidney Powell about the 2020 coup plot. via the Washington Post.
  • Federal Prosecutors Took Note of Trump's Golden Glock Purchase "The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters' mistaken belief that he did so," says a Friday filing in the Jan. 6 case being heard in Washington, DC. via the Post.
  • California Republicans Cheer Trump's Call for Extrajudicial Killings Speaking at the state GOP convention in Anaheim, the American Duterte called for people who steal from stores to be "shot... shot!" via the Associated Press.


  • 'I Worry,' Biden Says, That Supreme Court Justices 'Don't Want to Uphold the Rule of Law' The ethically challenged court's new term begins today, with 12 new cases on the docket. via ProPublica.
  • Kosovo Investigating Russian Involvement in Deadly Ambush By Serb Gunmen Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic denied massing troops on the Kosovo border after a U.S. warning on Friday, saying "Serbia does not want war." via Al Jazeera and the Financial Times.
  • U.N. Human Rights Council Finds Systemic Racism, Abuse in U.S. Prisons The visiting United Nations experts "write that they were horrified to find majority-Black prison populations 'forced to labour in the fields (even picking cotton)' in 'the same soil worked by slaves before the Civil War.'" via the Washington Post.
  • Hundreds of Thousands Rally Against Right-Wing Rule in Poland Many people who joined the opposition rally in Warsaw see the upcoming Oct. 15 general election as "the last chance to save the country's hard-won democratic freedoms." via the New York Times.



That's how many Kaiser Permanente workers are set to join a three-day strike beginning Wednesday. According to the Washington Post, it could be the biggest healthcare strike in U.S. history. The unions involved are particularly concerned about short staffing and outsourcing.


10/2: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Randall Hansen, professor in political science at the University of Toronto, to discuss his recent book War, Work, and Want:How the OPEC Oil Crisis Caused Mass Migration and Revolution.


Fox Host Invites the WRONG Ukrainian to Bash Biden

I'm trying not to think about how much Brian Kilmeade gets paid.

The 'Irreparable Harm' the Supreme Court Causes

Sam and Emma interview Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law about his recent book, "The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic."


"He told me has been successful at everything in life, but he can't figure out how to die."

-- Jimmy Carter's son Chip, recounting a recent conversation with his dad to the Washington Post. The former Democratic president has been in hospice since February, when doctors told him he had a week to live. Instead, on Sunday, he celebrated his 99th birthday. Carter still watches the news, "Law and Order," and baseball on TV, and last month he made a drive-by appearance at the annual Plains, Georgia Peanut Festival.

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