Pelosi to Step Down from Leadership - The Friday AM Quickie 11/18/22

Kari Lake is, as expected, refusing to concede that she lost the Arizona governor's race, but I refuse to concede that her performance is anything other than an audition for a place on Donald Trump's 2024 ticket. Have a nice weekend! Jack returns Monday. – Corey

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Overdue End of an Era: Pelosi Will Be Speaker No More

Drawing applause from the House floor yesterday, Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said in a speech that she would not seek reelection as House Speaker, declaring "the hour's come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus." Pelosi, who will keep her seat in Congress, has served as Democratic leader in the chamber since 2001 and won her first election as Speaker in 2007. Her achievement as the first woman elected to serve in either role should not be minimized, but the fact remains that she was frequently an enemy of Democratic party progressives and led efforts to prevent left-leaning Democrats from attaining power or advancing an agenda. Her favored successor as Democratic leader is New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who has also been no friend to the left. Jeffries describes himself as a progressive but last year said "there will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism."

It would've been nice if Pelosi had been defeated fair and square by a progressive leadership contender, but the reality is different. Pelosi's announcement comes mere weeks after a brutal hammer attack on her husband, Paul, in their San Francisco home, by a far-right conspiracy theorist who hoped to kidnap and torture her. And this horrific crime did play a role in her thinking. As the Los Angeles Times reports, "Pelsoi said last month's attack on her husband, Paul, was a factor in her decision, though the effect was to push her to remain in Congress, not leave.

"In an interview with a small group of reporters after her announcement, Pelosi said she didn't want to give her enemies the satisfaction of seeing her leave Congress after the attack."

And it's hard not to in some way admire that stubbornness. For all she did to undermine the left, Pelosi has been a top target of the right, which imagines her to be some kind of communist witch, and she always stood up to the onslaught. Her fighting spirit was caught on camera by her daughter Alexandra on Jan. 6, 2021, when Donald Trump attempted a coup d'etat and directed a violent mob to the Capitol. "I want to punch him out," Pelosi said. "I've been waiting for this. … I'm gonna punch him out, and I'm gonna go to jail, and I'm gonna be happy."

Hey, it's never too late pursue one's dreams. There will be plenty of time to catalogue Pelosi's failures as leader, but given the circumstances, it seems only gracious to allow that if her overriding ambition, in the twilight of her political career, is to sock Trump square in the nose, she should be cheered on toward achieving that goal. Go get 'im, Nancy! I'll chip in for your bail fund.

Midterms Miscellany

  • House GOP Targets: Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, IRS, FBI Democrats plan to deploy nonprofits to counter sham investigations next year by the narrow Republican majority. via NBC News and the New York Times.
  • MAGA Rep. Lauren Boebert Holds Narrowing Lead A full accounting of ballots is expected today, and Democrat Adam Frisch could still pull ahead, but an automatic recount now seems likely. via the Denver Post.
  • Los Angeles Mayor-Elect Karen Bass Will Join More Progressive City Council Rep. Bass says her goal in her first 100 days will be to find housing for some percentage of people living in the city's "most problematic" tent encampments. via the LA Times
  • GOP Megadonor Vows "Not a F*cking Nickel" for Trump At least five Republican megadonors are openly blaming Trump for the party's poor showing in the midterms. via HuffPost.

SpaceX Workers Sue Elon Musk as Vital Twitter Teams Bail

Twitter users were anticipating the imminent demise of the social networking site last night after critical engineering teams resigned en masse rather than accept new owner Elon Musk's "hardcore" new terms of employment. In a sign of desperation, Musk reportedly shut off employee access to company facilities until at least Nov. 21. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Musk's SpaceX, a contractor for NASA and the Pentagon, fired nine workers who raised concerns about the obnoxious billionaire's behavior, including alleged sexual harrassment. This week eight of those workers filed unfair-labor-practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, saying they were unjustly terminated. "SpaceX is Elon and Elon is SpaceX," an executive told workers who wrote a letter complaining about Musk's "harmful Twitter behavior." If that's the case, astronauts who trust their lives to SpaceX products should, like Twitter users and employees, be extremely concerned! Finally, a correction: Yesterday I said that Boeing, not SpaceX, built NASA's new Artemis I moon rocket. A reader wrote me to inform that while Boeing made one module for the craft, the European Space Agency built another; from what little digging I did subsequently, it seems many companies are involved in this massive endeavor, including a joint venture between Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Nevertheless, the historic Artemis launch is something Musk really can't claim credit for, as is his wont.


  • Trump Accountant Testifies, Takes the Fall in Fraud Trial "It was my own personal greed that led to this," former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg told a New York court, claiming the Trump family wasn't involved in long-running tax dodging schemes. via the Associated Press and the New York Times.
  • Little Progress Reported at Climate Talks in Egypt United Nations secretary general António Guterres cited "a breakdown in trust between north and south" for the failure to reach agreement on substantive issues at COP27. via the Guardian.
  • Senator Who Took Crypto Cash "Surprised and Disappointed" by FTX Implosion Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who took more than $20,000 in donations from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried this election cycle, still defends a cryptocurrency regulation bill she introduced based on his advice. via the Washington Post.
  • Workers Strike at More Than 100 Starbucks Stores in 25 States Starbucks Workers United organized walkouts and pickets yesterday, which coincided with Red Cup Day, an annual promotional event that's usually very busy (and understaffed). via the AP.


78 percent

That's how many pediatric hospital beds across the U.S. were full as of Wednesday, according to NBC News, citing "an unseasonally early surge of respiratory viruses among babies and toddlers, including RSV and the flu."


11/18: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Heather Digby Parton, contributing writer at and proprietor of the blog Hullabaloo, to round up the week in news. Then, they are joined by the legendary RM Brown!


Ron DeSantis Could Be 2024's Chris Christie

Sam explains why he expects Republicans to fall in line behind Trump sometime after Thanksgiving.

Ben Shapiro Has Homophobic Meltdown Over Marriage Equality

Regarding "male-male or female-female dyads": please calm down, fella.  


"I don't know if you know, but vampires are some cool people, are they not? But let me tell you something that I found out: a werewolf can kill a vampire. Did you know that? I never knew that. So, I don't want to be a vampire any more. I want to be a werewolf."

-- Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, speaking to supporters in McDonough, outside Atlanta, on Wednesday, about a movie he saw on television called "Fright Night, Freak Night, or some type of night." The point, he concluded, was that "we gotta have faith." Gothca.

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CozyEarth: Go to this link here and enter the special promo code MAJORITY at checkout to SAVE thirty-five percent now.House GOP Renominates Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Party Leader The California Republican kept his power position by a vote of 188-31, though a final vote for House Speaker won't come until the new Congress convenes in January. via the Associated Press.

Control of House Comes Down to California Races Of the 14 uncalled House races, 10 as of yesterday were in California. via Politico.

Democrat Katie Hobbs Defeats MAGA Loon Kari Lake for Arizona Governor Lake, who has cast doubt on the results, relied on Trump advisers including former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell. via the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar Confirms GOP Tried to Recruit Him The conservative Democrat says a GOP lawmaker and "a couple folks on K Street" (consultants or lobbyists) tried to persuade him to beef up the likely GOP majority next year. via the Post.