Will 'David Duke' Replace Kevin McCarthy? - The Wednesday AM Quickie 10/4/23

Try not to jump out of your skin if your phone and TV start flashing and beeping at the same time today, THIS IS ONLY A TEST. - Corey

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Friendless Loser Kevin McCarthy, Who Dared GOP Rivals to 'Bring It On,' Is House Speaker No More

Eight über-MAGA Republicans joined with basically the entire House Democratic caucus yesterday to vote a top GOP fundraiser out of leadership. Before the vote, Politico reports, allies of California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy were calling centrist Democrats and "begging" them to rescue his Speakership. But the Capitol Hill consensus seems to be that McCarthy "dug his own grave." His hopes for a bail-out from across the aisle weren't helped by a Sunday TV appearance in which he blamed Democrats for wanting to shut down the government, when of course McCarthy's team was to blame.

"Nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. Nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy," Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington State explained.

"This is someone who betrays his word on pretty much a daily basis," California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff added.

"He doesn't have any friends," California Rep. Brad Sherman confirmed.

McCarthy put on a brave face after losing his job, and confirmed he wouldn't run for speaker again. "I may have lost the vote today," he said. "But...I wouldn't change a thing." Well, maybe a few things.

As for creepy Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who led the charge to oust McCarthy, there is now talk of ejecting him from the GOP conference. Per the Washington Post, "scores of Republicans booed him or accused him of falsely portraying himself as a martyr" during yesterday's legislative "clusterf*ck." To fellow Republicans who accused him of sowing chaos, Gaetz responded, "Chaos is Speaker McCarthy." I know you are but what am I? California GOP Rep. Mike Garcia calls Gaetz a "Republican running with scissors." Others describe him as "a petulant child" who is "widely disliked" by colleagues but admired by Florida Panhandle voters for being a shameless Trump bootlicker. Gaetz claimed yesterday to have Trump's blessing for going after McCarthy, but Trump hasn't chimed in publicly except to lament GOP infighting, and NBC News reports that Trump's aides are mad at Gaetz for tying him to this mess.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack, who presided over the ouster vote, worried that members of his party might resort to physical violence. "There are people in there that have waged battle, literal battle, in combat, and it won't take much for some people to set them off," he warned. It didn't come to that, but then there's always next week, as Republicans still need to vote on a replacement.

Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolinia is now acting speaker; he was McCarthy's chosen successor. Among his first official acts yesterday was ordering former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her office. Majority Leader Steve Scalise's name keeps coming up as a potential speaker; the KKK-friendly Louisiana Republican, currently undergoing chemotherapy for blood cancer, once called himself "David Duke without the baggage." Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, another Trump lackey, might run, too. House Democrats plan to nominate New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, but he's "extremely unlikely" to win given the GOP majority. Per HuffPost, one Republican Senator "jokes that anyone willing to become House speaker right now would only do it 'because they hate themselves.'" Surely, more than a few members fit that description?

Gagged! Trump Deletes Post Attacking Court Clerk

NBC News and Politico have the play-by-play of events leading to the imposition of a limited gag order against Donald Trump yesterday by the judge in his New York civil fraud trial, Arthur Engoron. Trump shared on Truth Social a photograph of Engoron's law clerk, Allison Greenfield, posing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a public event. He called Greenfield "Schumer's girlfriend" and claimed she was running the case against him. Then, during a lunch break, he referred reporters to the post, saying: "You saw what was just put out about Schumer and the principal clerk? That is disgraceful." The trial's resumption was delayed as Trump's lawyer, Chris Kise, and Eric Trump, who is also a defendant, were called in to Engoron's chambers. Soon thereafter the offending post was removed. "While grumbling that he'd rather be on the campaign trail," the Associated Press observes, Trump "has used the waiting cameras in a courthouse hallway as a microphone for political messaging." But making further comments about Engoron's staff could result in a $1,000 fine or up to 30 days in jail, per the New York Times, "though the chances of that happening are slim," alas. Meanwhile in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that prosecutors in the Trump racketeering case have offered plea deals to several defendants. One defedant's acceptance of such a deal last week "may encourage other lower-level defendants to flip, particularly those who aren't personally wealthy, who have careers they want to maintain or who are older and don't want face the possibility of spending any of their golden years in prison."

FBI Looking Into Sexual Abuse at Amy Coney Barrett's Church

The Guardian reports that the FBI has opened an inquiry into abuse allegations involving Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's "secretive Christian sect," the South Bend, Indiana-based People of Praise. One woman interviewed by agents about sexual abuse was told her case was closed; a group called PoP Survivors is "urg[ing] the FBI to use their power to unearth the long-standing pattern of child sexual abuse and coverup" in the church. Meanwhile in Idaho, ProPublica and NBC News report that the abortion bans enabled by Coney Barrett and other conservative justices have led to a degredation in care for pregnant women and newborns. The court is hearing a disability rights case today. Yesterday, during oral arguments, even conservative justices "sounded skeptical" about arguments from payday lenders' lawyers that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional.


  • More Than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente Workers Set to Walk Out Today in Largest Healthcare Strike in U.S. History "They always praised us as healthcare heroes during the pandemic and now they're treating us like zeros by not bargaining in good faith," says intensive care unit secretary Henry Perez. via the Guardian and the Los Angeles Times.
  • Indian Police Raid 46 Journalists Linked to Left-Leaning Outlet Critical of Modi The raids, including two arrests, cited an "anti-terrorism" law that has been used to harass activists, journalists and critics of far-right Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. via the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
  • Defying Russia, Armenian Parliament Votes to Join International Criminal Court Calling the decision by Russia's historical ally "wrong," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explains "we would not want [Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin] to have to refuse visits to Armenia for some reason." via Al Jazeera.
  • Grimes Sues Elon Musk for the Right to See Their Children The Canadian musician and the obnoxious billionaire have at least three young kids: a son named X Æ A-12, a daughter named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, and another son named Techno Mechanicus. via NBC News.



That's how many people in Mexico have been "forcibly disappeared" since 1962, according to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances. As the Associated Press reports, the figure is likely an undercount.


10/4: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with Writers Guild of America member Greg Iwinski to discuss the agreement struck between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to end their strike. Then, they're joined by Moe Tkacik, investigations editor at the The American Prospect, to discuss her recent piece on the complaint levied against Amazon by the Federal Trade Commission.


Newsom's Controversial Senate Replacement

EMILY’s List junior staff were not her biggest fans.

Trump Should Be VERY Worried About His NY Trial

His people say he's making a tough face; to me it looks like pouting.


"I think they're doing the right thing. If they don't [strike], these companies are just going to keep doing whatever it is they want to do."

-- James Bryant, a vehicle inspector at a nonunion Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, speaking to NBC News about how he and his coworkers have been inspired to organize by the United Auto Workers strike. UAW President Shawn Fain calls the response from nonunion autoworkers "overwhelming."

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