Knives Come Out for McCarthy as Biden Impeachment Flops - The Friday AM Quickie 9/29/23

I'll be back Monday, by which time our wise and beneficent leaders should have sorted everything out, right?  - Corey

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House Insurrection Caucus Is About to F*ck Up Millions of People's Lives to Please Donald Trump

Unless there's some kind of miracle this weekend, the federal government is headed for a shutdown on Sunday, thanks to a small cadre of extreme-right House Republicans who'd be happy to see Donald Trump installed as president for life. The shutdown will "halt paychecks for many of the federal government's roughly 2 million employees, as well as 2 million active-duty military troops and reservists," delay Medicare benefits, gum up airports, damage national parks, harm 70 percent of small businesses nationwide and, eventually, starve the poor. Don't worry, though: there will be no interruption to student loan repayments. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose self-interested ineptidude helped get us here, could be ousted next week. The Washington Post reports that the MAGA die-hards have a a replacement in mind: Tea Party stalwart Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota. But Democrats, whose votes will decide McCarthy's fate, "have not yet decided if they'll protect McCarthy's speakership or wash their hands of him."

McCarthy's desperate gambit to appease the MAGA minions -- opening an impeachment process against President Joe Biden -- has so far been a total flop. There were nearly a dozen empty Republican seats at the first impeachment hearings yesterday, according to the New York Times. Hilariously, the GOP's own witness testified that they had no proof Biden committed any impeachable offense. New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, present for the hearing, criticized the witnesses for lacking first-hand knowledge and singled out a Republican colleague for presenting "a fabricated image" as evidence. But the lively Texas Democratic Rep.  Jasmine Crockett "may have stolen the show," HuffPost says. Republicans said "if" and "Hunter" so many times, Crocket said, that if "we were playing a drinking game, I would be drunk by now." While noting that the Republican case against Biden is basically nonexistent, she waved over her head the photographic proof that Trump had illegally placed national secrets "in the sh*tter."

Meanwhile in the Senate, crooked New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez made an "impassioned" and "obstinate" closed-door speech to the caucus yesterday in which he professed his innocence in the bribery case against him and refused to resign. Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman reportedly skipped the bull session, noting, "I'm not interested in some kind of explanation on why he has gold bars in his mattress." West Virginia coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin III, by contrast, called Menendez's performance "very compassionate." Game recognize game. Fettermen later said he may file a resolution to expel Menendez from the Senate. Godspeed.

Trumpdates: Fraud Trial Begins Next Week

  • Witness Tampering Strategy 'Under Growing Pressure' as Legal Defense Funds Run Dry Amid setbacks in his Georgia racketeering case, his New York civil fraud case, and sundry other legal travails, the bills from Trump's lawyers are becoming unsustainable. via the New York Times.
  • Georgia GOP Suspends State Sen. Seeking Impeachment for Prosecutor in Racketeering Case "The Georgia RINOs responded to my call to fight back against the Trump witch hunts by acting like children and throwing me out of the caucus," whines state Sen. Colton Moore, whose effort to remove Fulton County Fani Willis was described as "ill-conceived" by colleagues. via the Associated Press.
  • Trump Will Skip the Next Debate, Too Even fewer Republican primary voters watched Trump's speech in Michigan than Wednesday night's low-rated debate, but his seemingly impervious lead over the field was unaffected. via NBC News and the Washington Post.
  • Honoring John McCain, Joe Biden Decries 'MAGA Threat' to Democracy In an Arizona speech yesterday, Biden said nothing about Trump's criminal cases but did cast him as a wannabe dictator, and called out Republicans for their silence about Trump's death threat to Gen. Mark Milley. via NBC News.

Maybe This Is Why People Say the Economy Sucks

First, the good news: after staging 450 strikes over the past two years, California's fast food workers won a $20 minimum wage, the highest in the industry, guaranteed under a law signed yesterday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bad news, as Hollywood's striking writers demonstrated, is that $20 an hour still isn't enough to live on. The Los Angeles Times reports that one startup is seeking to capitalize on the cost-of-living crisis by renting "cozy" sleeping pods, "just big enough to fit a twin mattress," for $500 to $900 per month. Locker included! Meanwhile, "some of the state's most prominent liberal leaders," including Newsom, are challenging court rulings that limit their power to harass homeless people. The problem isn't limited to California, of course. The New York Times reports that Manhattan now has the largest income gap of any large county in the U.S., one worse than in many developing countries. "I make $22 an hour, and I still can't survive on my own in New York," one sanitation worker and public housing resident says, adding that several of his co-workers live in temporary shelters. Meanwhile in Florida, the Washington Post checks in one year after Hurricane Ian and finds that thousands of people who lost their homes in the storm remain displaced, haved moved from tents into motels. Things like this could explain why 70 percent of Americans in one poll this month say the economy is getting worse.


  • Feds Sue Tesla for Egregious Racial Abuse Black workers at Tesla's Fremont, California factory "regularly encountered graffiti, including variations of the N-word, swastikas, threats, and nooses, on desks and other equipment, in bathroom stalls, within elevators, and even on new vehicles rolling off the production line," the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says. via the Washington Post.
  • Shooter in MAGA Hat Injures 1 at New Mexico Protest A young man identified as Ryan Martinez attacked an Indigenous-led protest in Española against a Spanish conquistador statue. via the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe Reporter.
  • 'Panic' at Infowars as Bank Balance Falls from $2.5 million to $0 Alex Jones' lawyers told a federal bankruptcy judge that Axos Bank shut down Free Speech Systems' accounts following "unauthorized transactions." via the Associated Press.
  • Arizona Secretary of State Decision Pushes No Labels Closer to Disclosing Donors The centrist third party argued it isn't a real party and claims not to have a bank account, despite planning a $70 million spoiler campaign for 2024. via the AP.



That's how many adults were responsible for 60 percent of all challenges to school books nationwide, according to a Washington Post analysis of thousands of public records. Last year one of those self-appointed censors, Jennifer Petersen, carefully highlighted and excerpted 1,300 pages worth of passages she deemed sexually explicit from 73 school books kept in her basement.


9/29: It's Casual Friday! Sam speaks with Ryan Grim, DC Bureau Chief at The Intercept, to round up the week in news.


Striking UAW Worker Tells His Story

The workers have been doing a better job at that than the press.

Recognizing the Significance of Allende's Election

Sam speaks with Marian Schlotterbeck, author of "Beyond the Vanguard: Everyday Revolutionaries in Allende's Chile," about the 50th anniversary of the U.S. backed-coup.


"It's not just even that they invested in these companies and made dividends... It's that they were willing to have their brand literally branded into the flesh of people. This was because, at the time, the slave trade was seen as the way to build an empire and the way to make money to funnel money back into the royal pocketbook."

-- Brooke Newman, a historian at Virginia Commonwealth University, speaking to the Washington Post about new discoveries revealing the direct involvement of the British monarchy in the slave trade. Centuries-old records show African slaves transported through Cuba were branded with a mark representing the crown.

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