Three Things: GOP House Caucus in Chaos

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I admit I debated using a header photo from the archives taken on a circus fairway. Accurate depiction, yes?

And yet when I ran across this photo of a LEGO dump I chose it instead, in part because of the chaos, in part because of the minifig bodies strewn throughout — and in part because of the leopard lying in wait in pile.

Any time now someone in the GOP caucus will complain about the mess they’re making and how it makes the GOP look bad.

Insert Adrian Bott’s now-classic “I never thought leopards would eat MY face” meme.

~ 3 ~

I wish I’d noted the exact time I took this screenshot in Google News; I think it was about 4:00 p.m. ET:

Here’s another screenshot taken at 6:45 p.m.:

What a bunch of clowns. Especially this guy:

At 4:53 p.m., Sahil Kapur summarized the situation on the dead bird app by the numbers:

They threw McCarthy overboard when he had 210 votes in the House majority to be speaker. Then they picked Scalise, who had 113 votes. He withdrew. Now they nominate Jordan, with 124 votes. (The magic number to win is 217.)

Nancy Mace (SC-01) objected to Steve Scalise (LA-01) because of his David Duke remarks; apparently in the GOP it’s okay if you’re a closeted racist, just don’t admit it out loud.

Nobody knew who six-term representative Austin Scott (GA-08) was.

Quite literally, CNN published an article with this headline,
Who is Austin Scott, the Georgia Republican who lost the GOP speakership nomination?

Everybody knows who Jim Can’t Dress Himself Jordan (OH-04) is but too few want to vote for him or he’d have been a cinch in the first round. It’s doubtful he’d swear to the criteria which was put to Scalise: publicly acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 election which Biden won/Trump lost.

And of course there’s the inconvenient obstruction Jordan as House Speaker would pose, as Liz Cheney posted on the dead bird app at 11:55 a.m. today:

Jim Jordan was involved in Trump’s conspiracy to steal the election and seize power; he urged that Pence refuse to count lawful electoral votes. If Rs nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They’ll lose the House majority and they’ll deserve to.

This isn’t governance but a goat rope.

~ 2 ~

The Democratic House caucus Democrats back House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08).

That’s it, that’s Thing 2.

Democrats NOT in disarray.

~ 1 ~

Passed on October 1, a continuing resolution extending the last federal budget runs through and expires on November 17 — just shy of five weeks from today.

The nonpartisan, non-profit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget published a table document outlining the budget items which will expire without a new budget and in some cases, budget items which have already expired in spite of the continuing resolution.

Childcare aid and nutrition programs for children may be part of the expired line items.

The longer the GOP dicks around with picking a speaker, the less time they will have to negotiate a new budget.

The media should be hammering on this point but nope. The threat of hungry children and families struggling to work and ensure their children have care just aren’t clickbait.

~ 0 ~

Stay behind the barrels, keep your hands inside the compartment. This is an open thread.

264 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    About goddamned time a media outlet got it right.

    Beer and peanuts tonight — perfect for the circus.

    ADDER — 12:33 P.M. ET SATURDAY 14-OCT-2023 —
    You can watch the annular solar eclipse in progress via NASA live stream at

    Cloudy skies here, will only catch it online.

    • BobBobCon says:

      There’s a crazy expectation among many in the press that Democrats are obligated to vote en masse for a GOP speaker in exchange for no concessions whatsoever, but it’s insane to expect any Republicans to cut a deal with Democrats involving any tradeoffs by Republicans.

      For all of their moaning about division and partisanship, they simply cannot bring themselves to suggest that the GOP needs to go even 10% of the way. It has to be capitulation by the Democrats to save a GOP caucus that can’t even negotiate within themselves.

    • David F. Snyder says:

      Just saw it live from my backyard through my solar-safe binoculars.
      “And all that is now and all that is gone
      And all that’s to come and everything under the sun is in tune (Everything) …”

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        My brother caught near-totality in Ashland OR, and our neighbor’s daughter was in full totality in San Antonio, and will be again on April 8 — pretty unheard of I’d guess. We’ll also be pretty close to totality here in ME in April.

        • Attygmgm says:

          A few years ago a total eclipse came to where I happened to be. Once I went through it, as short as it was, I understood why some people spend a lot of effort to go where they are happening. Don’t know if an annular would strike the same way, but I get it.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Either one works for me! I’ve been in one total already, so April will be my second one, but I think a total annular might be even more impressive because of the ring. The best location for that to happen, though, is where the eclipse occurs nearest to solar noon, such that the shadow is more circular. In Oregon where my brother is, it was pretty elongated so there wasn’t that nice, symmetrical circle of fire happening. I think where that ‘sweet spot’ occured today was offshore from Corpus Christi in the Gulf somewhere.

      • Matt___B says:

        I have eclipse filters for my binoculars too! Here in L.A. it seemed to be about 85% of a total eclipse, the crescent sun at 9:30 a.m.
        Saw the 2017 total eclipse in West Salem OR – that was in a word, awesome…

      • Fran of the North says:

        Spoken, behind a heart beat:

        “There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark.”

  2. Konny_2022 says:

    “The longer the GOP dicks around with picking a speaker, the less time they will have to negotiate a new budget.”

    The premise for this sentence is that the GOP would be interested in negotiating a new budget. My sense is they don’t care.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      The MAGA caucus already tried to kill the CR and Ukraine funding in the usual way, so they’re as happy as pigs in slop now. The so-called ‘moderates’ who will have to face competitive elections will need to cut a deal with the Ds to get anything done. Willie Brown in CA promised committee assignments and other perks to get himself back as Speaker of the Assembly in CA, he might be able to give Hakeem some pointers along with Pelosi.

      • chocolateislove says:

        And if shutting down the government also destroys the economy, then there is a good chance Biden gets the blame. And with the media right now, I’d take those odds, too. So I’d be surprised if Matt Gaetz sees any downside to this, especially since this keeps his face on the TV.

        We keep getting told that the MAGA caucus is not the majority of members in Congress. But if the “moderate” or “reasonable” Republicans are scared of being primaried and so go along with the MAGA nuts, what is the point of the “moderate” or “reasonable” Republican being in Congress? To stand in front of cameras and wring their hands over how bad this makes the GOP look? Do they seriously think that shaming the MAGA nuts is actually going to work?

        • Tom Christopher says:

          It IMHO is much more than the fear of being primaried. In many cases, it is the fear of being physically and virtually attacked by Trump/MAGA thugs…they fear for their lives, their children’s lives I suspect. None of this would have happened if the Senate had found Trump guilty and removed him from office (permanently). Me? I’ve been acquiring SPY PUT options that expire past the shutdown deadline. So, yes, the people voting Republican has caused this, but we are all going down with the ship.

    • Rayne says:

      The GOP cares about getting their oversized slice of the pie for their districts going into an election year.

      Do they care that hungry children eat? No. They just want to make sure they can tell their major donors, “Look, I earned your donation with this federal funding for your pet project/business.”

      • chocolateislove says:

        And yet those Republicans who want to keep their donors happy can’t find a way to neutralize the chaos agents who seem fine with burning it all down.

        Bless their hearts.

  3. BobBobCon says:

    I continue to wonder where the corporate lobbyists are, and where the reporting on them is.

    Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and for that matter Conagra and Caterpiller need a functioning budget process. I get how they have narrow legislative needs where they may prefer GOP control of the House, but they need a stable US economy even more,and the way things are going they’re not getting GOP control of the House either.

    Are they putting together a bloc of a dozen or two GOP reps who will open negotiations with Jeffries? Because while it may be OK from their perspective to wait a couple of weeks to see if the dust settles, lobbyists need a backup plan.

    These are fantastically wealthy corporations with lots of jobs to offer to soften the blow for anyone who loses an election. A lot of the House GOP is sick of serving anyways.

    Anytime Democrats offer a bill on health care or fossil fuels, the press is loaded with stories about lobbyists prowling Capitol Hill and flooding the airwaves. Where are those stories now? Are the lobbyists inactive? Or is the DC press just uninterested?

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Somehow, the concept “Lobbyists To The Rescue” doesn’t give me a shred of hope. Maybe I need to see a neurologist.

        But Bob is correct, something must be happening in that realm right now and the dearth of reporting on it is cause for wonder. One explanation may be that neither the lobbyists nor the non-koolaid-drinking GOP coterie want to call attention to their discrete tete a tetes for fear of the Gingrichist-mob firestorm that would be unleashed on them. Moderates hate being in the center of firestorms just slightly more than they hate drowning babies in bathtubs, iow.

    • Tech Support says:

      I think there is absolutely a bloc of GOP House members who are prepared to form a coalition with Democrats in order to have a functioning government. Here’s the thing though. Even they won’t vote for Jeffries. So the first thing you have to do is negotiate a framework where Jeffries permits enough Ds to vote for an R speaker to get the vote over the finish line.

      Here’s the thing though. You won’t find any GOP House member willing to take the speakership in a vote that is largely fueled by Democrats with a handful of Republican defectors. That hypothetical speaker would automatically be branded as Jeffries puppet. So you’ve still got to have a vote where a majority of the votes in favor come from Republicans.

      There simply aren’t enough GOP centrists to do it on their own. The fatigue and desperation aren’t close to the level necessary to reach that threshold.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        And just WHY should the Dems lift a finger for the GOP ? When you ponder this question think of this: “What would McConnell do ?”

        Exactly. He would do jack to help the Dems.

        The GOP has to be highlighted as the inept, selfish bastards that they are for the voters.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        The candidate for Speaker in this scenario would have to be a moderate Republican in a safe seat who would agree to screw over the MAGA types as hard as possible, and mainly put other moderate Rs in as committee heads, and also end the sad joke of Biden’s impeachment.

        Unfortunately, such a Republican Speaker candidate is probably a unicorn these days… and the Democrats should just sit tight until enough Republicans decide to split from the party in one form or another. Meanwhile, the Rs are giving them lots of quotable moments for attack ads.

      • emptywheel says:

        There are two on the record supporting such a notion: Don Bacon (because he’s among the most endangered GOPers) and Mike Rogers (because he gets a lot of clout from being Armed Services Chair).

        Some of the coalition discussions seem to be 15-week deals for Patrick McHenry to exercise power.

        But I’ve long though you could see a longer term power sharing deal with someone like Fred Upton in charge.

        • BobBobCon says:

          Jeffries has already floated the idea of a compromise based around a package of rules changes that would essentially mean whoever is speaker would lack the power to block legislation from going to the floor and stop amendments which have the backing of the majority of the House.

          What that would probably mean is gutting the radical right’s hold on the Rules Committee and placing it in the hands of reps from both parties who agree to allow votes when a majority wants them.

          In a case like that, whoever is Speaker matters a lot less. Funding bills would be likely to move when they have bipartisan support in the committees, and a push to start floor approval for impeachment would be likely to fail.

          There would no doubt be some GOP bills which advance, but pointless messaging bills which are DOA in the Senate would probably be reduced. And I think many lobbyists would love this scenario because it gives shifts power to the types who want to deal on bills, not block them.

          The radical right would probably freak out about this arrangement. But right now, at least, there seems to be lot of backing in the GOP for killing their veto power.

          I think most of the Capitol Hill press is stuck thinking that Paul Ryan’s arrangements with Mark Meadows are somehow written in stone, though.

        • ToldainDarkwater says:

          Thank you for pointing this out. This seems to me the most likely option, as it is the least humiliating option for any Republicans involved. My personal idea is that all it would take is 4 R representatives to change parties and it’s done. But I think this is a better path.

        • Frank Anon says:

          Why would anyone on the Republican side that didn’t have a hammerlock on their district both in extreme personal popularity as well as a minimum 2-1 Republican registration advantage even think of risking their seats to go along with a powershare? Of course there might be one or two Republican reps who think of their country first, a few like Bacon that need unaffiliated/independent votes to win, and a few that maybe have not announced their retirement yet that might create a coalition. But I see certain defeat and derangement for anyone else that goes over.

        • pasha says:

          I wholly agree with this sentiment, he was a decent Republican. Unfortunately, Upton retired, and I cannot stretch my imagination far enough to think House Republicans would elect a non-Representative. Any current Republican members you think could pull this off in lieu of Upton?

        • Rayne says:

          Upton was a kinder, gentler scumbag as a representative. He and then-CEO of Whirlpool John Fettig were investors in a luxury golf-real estate development Harbor Shores which attempted to weasel away beachfront property deeded to the children of Benton Harbor for use as Jean Klock Park. He abused his office by leaning on the National Park Service to ensure the property could be yanked away from a minority-majority community Benton Harbor for use by majority white and wealthy St. Joseph. Upton, Fettig, and other rich dirtbags like now-dead Aubrey McClendon had personal interest in the development because they intended to live in the development if they didn’t already have homes there. Fuck Upton. If selecting him is the best the GOP can do, there’s no bottom to the rot.

      • Stephen Calhoun says:

        The gerrymander comes back to bite the GQP in the ass. . . .which was inevitable given the rightward swing in safe districts. Ironically, the Qpublicans get a taste of a ‘tyranny of the minority.’

      • Shumidog says:

        My thought was to sub Steny Hoyer for Jeffries, unless he’s got some bad will we don’t know about. I doubt the Dems will trust the GOP now.

      • RitaRita says:

        I thought Austin Scott was more of a placeholder for the Return of McCarthy or there just to insure that Jordan wasn’t the only candidate.

        • Rayne says:

          That’s what it looks like if you don’t look at his committee assignments and the two USAF bases in his district.

          And ignore the fact his father is president of Southern Group, a lobbying firm.

  4. netjunki says:

    The photo is awesome, but minor nitpick those aren’t Lego they’re Playmobil. :-) I had both growing up as a kid and frequently did multimodal sorts of setups involving a mix of my Lego, Duplo, Playmobil, Brio and wooden blocks (because why wouldn’t you!).

    oh so much chaos… if only I could resist following it daily and spend my time in other pursuits.

    • Nutmeg Dem says:

      I have read a great deal on this, and it seems to be anyone’s guess how this will play out. I’m hoping for a D and R agreement on a Speaker but any R who signs on is likely to get a primary opponent, and primary voters always tend to be more right wing so there’s a good chance the incumbent R loses. I suspect the R’s will settle this when the external pressures from their donors , Fox, etc causes them to settle on a compromise pick.

      [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

      • emptywheel says:

        One thing Olivia Beavers quoted someone as saying is that if Jordan doesn’t stop trying to bully people, they can simply turn the election to Jeffries by not showing up.

        The closed door votes last week had 212 or fewer votes:

        Scalise won 113-99 (212, though Jake Sherman said some of these were delegates — those from America Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico caucus with Republicans, but their votes wouldn’t count for a Speaker’s race)

        The first Jordan vote, beating Austin Scott, was 124-81 (205 total)

        The second Jordan vote, against no one, was 152-55 (207 total)

        Unless 212 voting Republicans show up on Tuesday (and assuming every Democrat shows up), then Jeffries will win by default, without any Republicans voting for him. Presumably that would sink Gaetz’ career, but would also likely make things still more chaotic among the Republicans.

        • chocolateislove says:

          The childish petty part of me thinks that would be fucking hilarious. But in all seriousness, maybe that’s the way the “reasonable” “moderate” Republicans find a way to work with the Democrats without having to actually have a vote on record of working with the Democrats. Get a big enough block to just not show up. Cowardly, but effective.

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          I have no idea what Jeffries is doing behind the scenes, but time is actually on his side. He can work out legislative scenarios (Ukraine up or down vote, continuing resolution, etc), rules packages or compromises, etc and wait until some Republicans get desperate enough to come to him with a serious proposal or willingness to work on one. Whether it’s a matter of getting stuck in traffic, voting present, or overtly pushing compromise rules or Speaker, I don’t know. But a GOP Speaker needs to be able to have at least a strong majority of the Caucus and I don’t see anyone who could credibly be regarded by the Dems as an adequate compromise who would be able to get that.

    • Rayne says:

      When my kids were little I nearly maimed myself several times on the many small plastic toy bits left out on the floor, don’t care the brand. They’re all LEGO to me unless the part embedded in my foot left a brand label. In spite of being a LEGO robotics coach for a couple years, for that matter.

      • LadyHawke says:

        When I was a teen I babysat for a family with Legos, a shag rug, and no shoes allowed in the house – but they paid very well.

        • Rayne says:

          Yuck. That’s a horror script in the making. I used to get recommendations and pick up long-term babysitting jobs because I’d clean the house while watching the kids, no extra charge. Truth was I couldn’t stand the risk of getting sick or injured in houses like the one you described. Didn’t want to go home with food poisoning or flu from nasty kitchens or injured by toys which weren’t picked up. LEGO injuries would have been nasty. *shudder*

      • Peacerme says:

        Same!! Nothing worse than snagging one or more of those on bare feet.

        Except for this:

        45 gal Huge storage bucket full of all the Lego’s from every set ever bought at our house. (4 children). Hubby took it to the dump.

        (He was in the sauce at the time-now sober many years-but I am still pulling the George Constanza of chasing my amends from him on this one ; )

        • Rayne says:


          Good gravy, that hurts as bad as stepping on a double conical wheel or a 1×2 profile brick. You should make him look up the open market purchase price of replacement pieces, one piece a week, for the rest of his life. Could have financed retirement with that.

        • Peacerme says:

          Your response is validating. Exactly!!

          I have to say the serenity prayer on that one. At least once a week. (Especially as grandchildren come into the scene.

  5. Engprof733 says:

    I’m gonna just go ahead and ask a dumb question that I can’t find a definitive answer to and know the commentariat here will know.

    Is it 217 votes period no matter what, or is it half plus one of the votes cast.

    • ButteredToast says:

      Not a dumb question! It’s half of the representatives casting a vote plus one (so if people are absent from the floor or vote “present,” the number required to be elected goes down).

    • BobBobCon says:

      Majority of votes cast. The idea is that a speaker can be replaced in the event of some tragedy affecting the House overall and there are a bunch of reps missing.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Giuliani is pulling a Trumper tantrum, refusing to participate at all in that lawsuit. He will lose it and the damages will be considerable, but the plaintiffs seem unlikely to collect on it. The court already believes he is hiding assets and is likely to permanently attempt to evade paying any judgment. That’s an awful lot of financial and other pain he’s volunteering for. What could be in those documents he’s hiding other than information about his money?

        • Bugboy321 says:

          I’m betting he’s worried about revealing the source(s) of his money. I mean seriously, he got pranked by Borat, just how gullible is he?

        • emptywheel says:

          He put his NYC condo on the market at an award time. He’s keeping a FL residence, which under FL’s homestead exemptions, would be protected under bankruptcy. But he may not declare bankruptcy before Freeman and Moss get a claim on the proceeds of any sale of the NY property.

        • Steve_R_ says:

          Also, as an intentional tort, any bankruptcy filing by Rudy should not serve to discharge his obligation on the defamation judgment, which is now rather certain to be a large number. Never goes away–Fred Goldman continues to pursue collection against OJ to this day. Rudy may well do “fine,” but I suspect his net worth will never climb above $1.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Giuliani listed that apartment at 6.5 million $. Is it worth that much? I have no idea. But it hasn’t sold yet, which makes me wonder if there’s something going on with the asking price that’s geared toward cheating Freeman and Moss out of damages.

          Rudy may lack liquid assets, but he sure seems to have some solid ones. And I have to wonder how much he’s hiding.

    • IainUlysses says:

      What happens in a functional caucus is that they privately vote, trade, and negotiate. One candidate comes out with the most support inside the caucus, then they all go out and vote as a block and get to the 217.

      Sometimes there are additional candidates who go out and make a speech, but at the end of the day you’re supposed to support your caucus. Make your speech and your point, then withdraw and vote for the speaker.

      Looks like the GOP can’t do that anymore.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Looks like the GOP have atrophied to the level of Donald Trump, they look like him, they “negotiate” and make trade-offs as well as he does, and they prioritize governance over selfishness almost as well as he does.

        • BobBobCon says:

          I think part of the problem is that selfishness isn’t even in play.

          For 20 some years there’s been the fantasy that there are plenty of Republicans of good faith and if Democrats would just sit down with them with a bunch of half smokes from Ben’s Chili Bowl and share pictures of their kids and grandkids, they could hash out their differences.

          It’s not clear to me that the GOP even knows what they want, which might form a basis for negotiation.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          There doesn’t seem to be a “GOP” anymore, only a collection of factions, like the boutiques in what used to be a department store. Sometimes they coalesce, most often they don’t.

          European countries’ political systems are built to handle that, the US is not. But that serves their purpose, which is Not to govern, while excluding Democrats from governance.

  6. dopefish says:

    Sorry for this useless post, I just want to say that “goat roping” made me laugh out loud, so thanks for that!

      • emptywheel says:

        One of my best friends in high school roped calves — she was 5’3″ (though the point guard on the hoops team) and naturally baby bleach blonde, but she was good! Her dad, and later her brother, were professional cowboys for a time.

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          As I recall from my high school days in Idaho, over a half century ago, the derogatory use of “goat roper” was an unabashedly sexist use for guys who were pretend or incompetent cowboys, since goat roping was a girls event in the “Little Britches” rodeos. (Unabashed sexism was the norm in those days, even more than racism)

        • tmooretxk says:

          In Texas it refers to guys who wear boots & jeans, drive jacked up four wheel drive pickups, and never leave the pavement.

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          My grandfather was an actual cowboy–ran cattle on a shared grazing lease of open range, obtained his horses from the wild mustang herd, etc. He never wore a pair of tooled “cowboy boots”.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    For some nine months now, the Republicans have been in the majority in the House, with a Democratic Senate and President. What has been accomplished in that time period, legislatively? (Not asking facetiously, but for real, thank you.) And looking forward, other than a budget, what are we missing out on for the next year as a result of this disarray, except for partisan investigations? Would there be a chance for good, useful, substantive, legislation to go through?

    Just askin’ …

    • Rugger_9 says:

      They did send over to the Senate some DOA legislation the MAGA caucus wanted, McCarthy enumerated them while lying about the details. But, not very much beyond the kabuki items.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Almost every bill sent to the Senate had poison pill amendments involving social engineering or prevention of oversight (the NDAA amendment that made even calling the Military Religious Freedom Foundation a court martial offense) that has been a staple in the statehouses for some time now. Therefore, DOA either at the Senate or the WH.

    • Jim Luther says:

      A non-insignificant portion of GOP supporters, mostly in the evangelical and libertarian wings, actually prefer for the government to fail. They would see the inability to make Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments as a huge victory, and wish for these programs to simply fail and disappear. Although they can’t always remember which four, they frequently want four federal departments to vanish. They see the IRS and EPA as an unconstitutional trampling of individual rights.

      What I am getting at is that the fact that Congress is paralyzed is viewed positively by many. They actually believe that in an unregulated, free market both religion and individuals would thrive.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        This. Today’s right abhors government, most of all the good it does. If they can tar the entire concept of government with their own filthy brush, they will have succeeded in their project, which is undermining all faith citizens have in that potential for good.

        Their funders only stand to benefit from a breakdown of government. They will pay less in taxes, face fewer regulations, and be subject to far less scrutiny when they buy SCOTUS justices for sport and profit.

        The Christian right wants tax-free status for its schools, but more than that: to vacuum up those tax dollars for itself while dictating how everyone else lives. But they too are pawns in the billionaires’ game. Give ’em guns and pillory drag queens–that might work for now. It won’t forever.

      • P J Evans says:

        They want the programs, they just don’t believe they should be government-run. But when they’re challenged to do the same or better, with their church-run stuff, they fail every time.

      • David Brooks says:

        And gold. Remember, without government there is little to safeguard the actual value of the dollar.

        • EuroTark says:

          For as long as oil is traded in dollars, it will be fine. Which is why any oil producer thinking of trading in another currency gets persuaded to drop it.

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      Your comment made me think of a great organization, Clowns Without Borders, which “offers joy and laughter to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in situations of emergency.” —

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        My daughter’s brother in law was in that group a while back (not sure about now, will have to check) and the videos we got of their work were amazing. Daughter lives in Spain, her bro in law is a Brazillian expat living there. He was also in a group that used group drumming that way, a marching drum band with antics galore. I’ll have to go look it up.

        Laughter and music will save us, if anything can.

    • scroogemcduck says:

      Also, the point of clowns is to make fun of serious things and invite us to view the very idea of seriousness as a foolish notion.

      Republicans on the other hand are fools who demand to be taken very seriously.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        And a good fool can successfully ridicule those in power, while Republicans are on permanent political Jackass mode.

        • scroogemcduck says:

          Thanks for that. Jim Jordan as the Steve-O of politics makes sense. “What new way of hitting myself in the nuts will I go with today?”

  8. Thomas Paine says:

    Honestly, if Patrick McHenry could gavel the House in for two up or down votes on: 1) the Israel/Ukraine/Natural Disaster supplemental, and 2) the 2024 Omnibus Budget bill from the Senate, and then pass them both before Thanksgiving, the House could spend the next 13 months in total chaos and no one would know or care. No Permanent Speaker required.

    A bigger bunch of morons have never been assembled in one caucus or one meeting hall in America history.

      • wa_rickf says:

        Hasn’t George Washington University law professor and Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley effectively shut-down ol’ Joe’s impeachment inquiry?

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Great idea, Thomas Paine! But Patrick McHenry seems temperamentally disinclined toward any such constructive thinking, and perhaps constrained by the limits of his “office” from taking such a step.

      It would, however, be a great way for “moderate” Republicans to show their true colors.

      • David Brooks says:

        Oops.. meant to apply that to the “authoritarian preference for conquest” comment. Phone makes the context too narrow.

    • wa_rickf says:

      I submit that every Trump rally prior to the 2020 general election had a “bigger bunch” of morons and dipshits.

  9. Legonaut says:

    Took me a moment to “Where’s Waldo?” the leopard in the photo. The figures with empty heads are indeed apropos.

    I originally thought it’d take more than fifteen rounds of floor voting to get a Speaker. While that may yet come to pass, it looks like it’ll take more than fifteen days to get the first floor vote (now that they realize that’s a bad look and are trying to make the sausage off the floor). Goat rope indeed!

  10. Waffleses says:

    Thanks netjunki, for being THAT guy (or gal) so I don’t have to. ‘Cause I was gonna. Seriously, Rayne, educate yourself a little! ;)

    Just saw this article- “Trump’s Longtime CFO Lied, Under Oath, About Trump Tower Penthouse”

    Seems ol’ Alan claimed under oath that he never paid any attention to that piddly little penthouse’s valuation in all the documents he signed off on, but Forbes has years of back and forth emails of him insisting that they weren’t valuing it enough (presumably for their 400 wealthiest list) because it was 30k sq ft, by God! Narrator: It wasn’t.

    • RitaRita says:

      This wasn’t a good week for Trump in the civil fraud trial in NY.

      The Deutsche Bank loan officer who worked with Trump on his loans testified that the bank wasn’t relying on all of the properties for collateral, which is why it didn’t do its own appraisals. But it was relying on the properties’ contribution to Trump’s net worth calculation. And there was a loan covenant that required Trump to maintain his net worth at a certain level. I’m not aware if the defense was able to lay a glove on the banker.

      It would seem that this testimony goes a long way towards explaining why Trump was inflating his real property values. And it wasn’t just for his ego. (Of course, one can question whether Deutsche Bank was “negligent” in not doing its own appraisals. But that would be like a bank being criticized for inadequate safety measures after a bank robbery.)

      On the Weisselberg perjury issue, the judge called the parties into his chambers for a discussion. Since the judge in this case is the finder of fact, I don’t know how he can assess the CFO as credible.

    • emptywheel says:

      If you’re still on Xitter, I really recommend following Alexander. He’s doing play-by-plays of the evidence as it gets admitted. And since Forbes (and Bloomberg, via a reporter he knows well) have kept such good track of Trump’s valuation claims, he has receipts — in the case of this story, receipts that Tish James’ team had not yet gotten.

      • SteveBev says:

        There are some complexities involved in impeaching the witness with previous inconsistent statements. The common law rule prohibits the impeachment by a party of a witness they called. NY statute modifies this to some extent.
        And there are technical rules required by statute that previous inconsistent statements proffered for impeachment must be written and subscribed to by the witness, or on oath.
        However statements which do not satisfy those rules can nevertheless be put to the witness in an attempt to induce them to refresh their memory and recant. If this course of action is taken

        “ it is well settled that the common law rule [ which precludes the calling party impeaching their own witness] does not prohibit the calling party from contradicting the witness’s testimony by other proof where that testimony relates to a material issue in the action. Becker v. Koch, 104 N.Y. 394, 403 (1887). Although the necessary effect of the proof is to impeach the witness, permitting such contradiction is required as otherwise the calling party would be bound by the witness’s version of the acts on a material issue, an undesirable result.”

        • SteveBev says:

          Not necessarily, but there are procedural hoops. As I understand it, from the points discussed in the article, one such consideration it whether the AG was aware of the previous inconsistent statements which contradict the testimony, when the witness was called- the process disapproves of calling a witness with a view to impeaching their testimony: it would seem from the Forbes article that the evidence was not previously known to the AG – but clearly the matter is not entirely straightforward,

  11. Savage Librarian says:

    Already Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) has rescinded her vote for Jordan. She released a statement questioning Jordan’s independence. Reminds me of that letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams (31 March – 5 April 1776) in which she wrote, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency…Remember the Ladies…”

    And as Liz Cheney says, “If Rs nominate Jordan to be Speaker, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They’ll lose the House majority and they’ll deserve to.”

    Judging from the most recent results of local elections in my own community, I’d say that people are ready to come together to put the kibosh on corruption and deceitful politicians in government. Yes, I think people are coming around. I’m betting some former Trump voters might be singing something like this:

    “Eydie Gorme sings ‘How Can I Be So Wrong’ on The Hollywood Palace – 1967”

    “Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March – 5 April 1776”

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Edie Gorme! Abigail Adams! Together for the first time!

      Seriously, SL, I loved Edie Gorme when I was a kid. Something about her looks, her generous personality, plus her voice…couldn’t get enough of her. Thanks for shouting out a personal icon who seems forgotten by most.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    With Halloween coming, if you’re looking for a good fright night, I recommend the Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix.

  13. Tetman Callis says:

    Adam Kinzinger has a short video report on his Substack as to how the House GOP leadership is all knives out and slashing at each other. He raises the possibility that a majority of House members from both parties may be able to reach an agreement on a “consensus Speaker” — someone who is currently outside of the political power structure, so won’t be competing with any House members for any share of the party pie they are fighting over, but is familiar enough with the House to shepherd it along and get it back to taking care of business — sort of a “cat herder” or umpire who can be respected without being a threat.

    Here’s a denatured link to his Substack video: https://

    • Rugger_9 says:

      The problem is only a D fits those requirements and any GOP that votes for the D is primaried into the political wasteland.

        • Knowatall says:

          A ‘concensus’ speaker would require (a) knowledge of procedures (aka have experience in he House) and (b be able to negotiate in d faith. I doubt you’ll find a Republican that fits that bill (the bare minimum).

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Ken Buck? His recent insistence on grilling candidates as to whether the 2020 election was “stolen” has impressed me.

        • Purple Martin says:

          Plus, since he’s pretty much marking time until his CNN gig starts, no worries about being primaried in his Eastern Colorado House district (which, geographically and politically, is pretty much Western Kansas and Nebraska plus Douglas County—the most MAGA Denver exurb).

        • Rugger_9 says:

          The second part (voting for Fred) would still be a significant stumbling block. I don’t think any of the GOP would risk the wrath of their primary voters relative to the general election voters, even before accounting for the RWNM attacks sure to follow such a vote.

      • BobBobCon says:

        One thing to keep in mind is that the number of Republicans who have announced retirement, are headed in that direction, or are looking at ugly poll numbers is greater than the GOP margin the House.

        That doesn’t mean the turnover caucus will vote as a bloc, of course. But they don’t have the same incentives as most of the GOP caucus.

        They may simply miss key votes, which still makes the GOP’s job finding a majority that much harder.

  14. Hug h roonman says:

    Henceforth Jim Jordan should be known as “Yellow Armpit Stain” or “Gomer White”.

    (apologies to bmaz)

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      WRT “Gomer:”

      In my young adulthood I worked on a cattle ranch in the Santiam Valley of OR, and the herd was open-range for most of the year. During breeding season though, the “in season” cows and the lucky breeding bull were put in a reinforced pen where x-rated cattle porn videos could have been shot.

      All the cows had blue dye on their backs — which was “painted” there by a less-than-desirable bull whose chest and belly were caked with the dye, and whose penis had been surgically redirected to exit his hide to the left or right from its anatomically normal position.

      That guy was the “Gomer bull.” Given how the shit’s going down in DC, that seems an appropriate meme for Jordan.

  15. Lisboeta says:

    Granted, I am at a distance. But I find it hard to understand how the “Democrats in disarray” epithet came about. Unless it was pushed by the MSM which, today, is owned by a handful of oligarchs whose natural preference is for Republican policies?

    • Waffleses says:

      To a certain extent, they’ve always been known for it- “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” -Will Rogers, 1930ish (haven’t been able to find a specific date for this quote)

      Over the last at least 50 years, I think there’s been more tolerance for different viewpoints within the Democrats than there has been within the Republicans, accelerating even moreso in the last 30, ever since Newt Gingrich. That was when Rs really began their push to use language as a weapon, and their unified cries of “liberal media bias” began to get the media to both-side everything as a way to demonstrate that they weren’t liberals. Enter media conglomeration/corporatization, the rise of the 24 hour cable news cycle, and the ossification of “if it bleeds, it leads” as a journalistic (ha!) principle. At that point, especially in the face of Rs increasingly moving in lockstep, any sign of disagreement within the D caucus became a lightning rod for media attention.

      IMHO, of course.

    • Rayne says:

      I haven’t tracked it backwards to find the point of origin, but I suspect it was workshopped. It’s also a much easier frame to use — the alliteration and syllable count work perfectly, at least in English which is the primary language here.

      Try finding a word with the same meaning as “disarray” to use the same way with “Republican” or “GOP.” There isn’t a word pairing which works as well. That’s why “chaos” has been picked up by the media for pairing with “caucus” — alliteration, syllable count. Snappy, easy to use.

      • Lisboeta says:

        Is it just as simple as a lexical pairing? I don’t think so. Behind the “Democrats in disarray” slogan there’s a calculated campaign by Republicans/conservatives and their allies in the captive media. It’s been happening in Europe, too, and there’s no neat alliteration between the party name and the epithet applied.

        • Rayne says:

          Which is why I said I think the phrase was workshopped, like marketing slogans are developed with focus groups.

          It’s the next step beyond George Lakoff’s work on framing. Lakoff talks of the concept, but it’s the delivery of that concept to maximum emotional effect which communications consultants like Frank Luntz work on for the benefit of GOP. You may recall the phrase “death tax” as an example — not alliterative, but an extremely simple phrase which captures the GOP’s hate for taxes pairing it with death.

          The alliteration of “Democrats in disarray” does what an overwrought non-alliterative word can’t do. Not every effective marketing slogan or phrase will be highly charged emotionally; it may use other language devices.

        • Rayne says:

          As prone to oppositional defiance as the MAGA crowd are, I’m afraid they’d use that phrase as a marketing device.

        • Purple Martin says:

          MAGA Mayhem? Madness? Madhouse? Maelstrom?

          But, Right as Rayne, can’t think of any suitable R or G words.

        • Rayne says:

          I need to try Right as Rayne with my spouse and see if that’s persuasive next time I’m certain I’m right and he’s wrong. LOL

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Brining this up from a post below because I think I hit the mark, and I added a hyphen to make it more readable:

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Republican Racket

        Republican Rats’ Nest

        Republican Ruckus

        Republican Fracas

        MAGAt Malevolence

      • gruntfuttock says:

        You’re right, it is hard to find something that works.

        I thought of Republican pandemonium (which echoes Milton and the city of the fallen angels) but perhaps it’s a bit old-fashioned. I doubt it would catch on.

  16. Boatsail says:

    For the first time since our nations founding in 1789 we do not have a functioning legislative branch of government. We did it for 235 years and now it’s gone.

  17. MsJennyMD says:

    Thank you Rayne. Jordan’s approach seems to be “get ready to wrestle.” Sleeves rolled up looking for a fight.

    “I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart.” Boehner said of Jordan in a 2021 interview with CBS News.

    • MsJennyMD says:


      “My background [is] wrestling. We always say, ‘Never be overconfident, just be confident’ — so we can’t be overconfident. We’ve got to do the work.”
      Jim Jordan, FOX News 1year ago

    • Konny_2022 says:

      “In the authoritarian mindset, the legitimacy of power flows through conquest, not consent.”

      From an opinion by Amanda Marcotte, “House GOP in total chaos: So much for fascist order and discipline!” (published by Salon, Oct. 13, 2023).

  18. bloopie2 says:

    Perhaps OT, but does relate to the post: I see here a number of screen shots with white letters on a black background. That has often been considered harder to read, which is why most writing is the opposite, i.e., dark on white (like this blog). Curious, what’s up there?

    And as to the “unusually fraught and worrying time globally” comment, agree 100%. We don’t need clowns, we need a ringmaster.

    • Rayne says:

      Why are my settings on my personal device set to dark mode which appears as black background with white text?

      Because it’s MY fucking machine and MY eyeballs, that’s why.

    • Fancy Chicken says:

      It’s a Mac thing.

      You can adjust your settings so that when the sun goes down “dark mode” happens. It changes the background of Google News and other sites with glaring white backgrounds dark as well as shifting your background and sign on screen to a darker color scheme which is easier on your eyes at night if you’re not reading large blocks of script. Which those screenshots weren’t btw.

      I answer this as a courtesy as PC folks don’t know about the many nifty little features like this about Mac products which earns them cult like devotion.

      • bloopie2 says:

        I as a PC person did not know that, thank you. The screen shots are dramatic. And apologies, Rayne, to you; clearly that question was prying.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m on a PC. I have an autoimmune disorder which makes my eyes light sensitive. I use all kinds of tools to reduce the brightness of my display but the best settings for me when reading big blocks of text are Google and device dark settings on my PC and mobile devices.

          Don’t assume the content you’re receiving here is produced in a way to annoy you personally.

        • bloopie2 says:

          I definitely don’t assume that. A large part of my job involves understanding how things work, why they are different from other things, and in what way they are an improvement. And that is also a natural curiosity which sometimes gets the better of me in situations like this, questioning people about stuff that I really have no business butting into. It comes across wrong, as you have noted, and does get me in trouble. I have to tell myself, just stay away and let them do their thing, it will get done, and it will be fine.

          Anyhow, I think the “dark mode” screen shots came across as much more vivid; if I had any artistic sense at all, and some common sense to boot, I would have kept my mouth shut.

      • Lisboeta says:

        It’s not just a Mac thing. The Firefox browser also allows it. As my eyesight deteriorates, I find white on black much easier on the eyes. You do you. I’ll do me.

    • Purple Martin says:

      If we’re taking a poll, I’m team PC/Dark Mode, because white text on black background seems much easier on my eyes (even though it’s always been much harder for publishers to achieve on papyrus/parchment/paper, which is probably the reason for the widespread preference otherwise).

      But WordPress doesn’t seem to support it, or has anyone found how to get it on Emptywheel?

        • David F. Snyder says:

          Second thumbs up on Dark Reader. I read a lot on screen due to the nature of my work. Black background greatly eases eye strain for me. Even white text can be too much depending on the ambient light. Less blue more red in the text at the end of the day, for sleep health.

        • theartistvvv says:

          I’m old enuff to remember DOS. Everything was orange on black. It was a big thing when we could get green on black.

          It took a cuppla years before we got GUI’s.

          (Yes, I recall punch cards, also, before monitors.)

  19. harpie says:

    1] Prominent progressive members of Congress receive a security briefing from the Capitol Police amid a major uptick in threats against them

    […] The lawmakers, which included Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Summer Lee (D-Pa.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), make up some of the party’s left wing on foreign policy and have at times been critics of the Israeli government. […]

    2] 8:46 PM ET Politico reports security briefings for “Prominent progressive members”

    1] 10:09 AM ET Rep. Brian Mast [R, Fl 21] is interviewed before going into the GOP conference meeting, while wearing an IDF uniform. He says: “Tlaib has her flag, I got my uniform.”

    2] 8:40 PM ET MAST is interviewed [unsure of the outlet here] again, while STILL wearing the IDF uniform

    3] 9:32 PM ET Brandon Friedman:

    One of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen in politics. Mast:
    ** is not a dual citizen
    ** is not Jewish
    ** never actually served in the IDF (he spent a month volunteering to support the IDF) […]

    This is extremely unbecoming. Especially for an actual U.S. Army veteran

  20. Matt Foley says:

    Rand Paul pimping his book on Fox: “Covid killed 16 million people. That’s as much as a nuclear weapon can kill. We need to prevent this from happening again.”

    Hmm, if only there were things like masks and vaccines.

    • Rayne says:

      Or pandemic advance monitoring, like that put in place by the Obama adminstration, killed by the Trump administration with the help of John Bolton as NSA before it could detect and warn of SARS-CoV-2.

        • Matt Foley says:

          “This senseless loss of life could be prevented if Hamas would just lay down their arms.”
          –Hannity yesterday

          Oh, I get it now! Covid deaths aren’t bloody and violent enough to be worth preventing.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          “This senseless loss of governance could be prevented if Republicans would just lay down and give Democrats control of Congress.”

          – Not-Hannity Today

  21. Fraud Guy says:

    Instead of these constant adjournments, can the Democrats force a speaker vote the next time the House is gaveled in?

    • Purple Martin says:

      Hypothetically, that might be the one thing that would unite the Clowns With Flamethrowers Caucus enough for 217 to elect a Republican Speaker.

    • ButteredToast says:

      Yesterday, a Democratic Rep. (I think it was Jim McGovern) tried to ask a question and McHenry refused to recognize him before gaveling out. So my guess is that McHenry would just ignore it if a Democrat rose to ask for a Speaker vote at an inconvenient time for the Republicans.

  22. Purple Martin says:

    Open thread topic. Although never a Twitter/X user so not directly impacted, I’m an interested observer of the whole xitter thing’s impact on us all. So, found these two articles interesting (they seem sparked by recent reporting on an internal NPR report about the impact of NPR’s dropping from Twitter in April).

    The Neiman Foundation piece goes into considerable detail on the NPR numbers, with lots of sources linked. The Lawyers, Guns & Money posting concerns experience during this news week with BlueSky as an alternative (and to a lesser degree Mastodon), ending with a provocative-to-some Bluesky post:

    We probably have reached an inflection point some time this week: you’re missing out if you’re not on Twitter, and you’re missing out if you’re not on Bluesky—but it seems to me you’re now likely missing out on more if you’re not on Bluesky.


    • Matt Foley says:

      I got most of my MAGA news from Ron Filipkowki’s tweets. Then Elon required sign on to read them. I haven’t looked at dead bird since then. Don’t need to; Ron is now with Meidas Touch. That reminds me, PBS Frontline did an excellent report on dead bird recently.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s interesting that they left out Mastodon and Threads. You can’t get on bluesky without an invite – which makes it very limited. Do they also mention that it’s owned by one of the Twitter major shareholders?

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Some probably silly questions:
      – Why can’t we have a USGov controlled means of communicating instead of relying on corporate and not-controllable channels? Think of VOA or even NPR with moderated feedback? Should we be getting our disaster alerts filtered through musk’s paranoia-du-jour?

      – Why do so many organizations (governments, commercials, individuals) rely on platforms that are subject to the whims of their [un]stable geniuses?

      I understand that no one likes the idea of the big bad government being in charge of the lines of communications. But I (personally) trust this more. And it doesn’t have to be the only line – just one that is under the auspices of those who we elected.

    • Rayne says:

      Incredibly shallow assessment that Bluesky is the only alternative.

      – Bluesky has a business plan about which the public knows little; it’s not a true nonprofit but a public benefit LLC (who determines how the public benefits, let alone which part of the public? as an LLC it files nothing publicly about its finances);
      – its model doesn’t assure users their data will not be harvested for profit;
      – it has funding and management from sources which have compromised ethics when it comes to free speech online;
      – Dorsey is as problematic in his own way as Musk, having set up the former Twitter in a way which made it ripe for acquisition;
      – Bluesky still has not fully addressed concerns about moderation and racism;
      – it remains a closed network though it is more than two years old, limiting network effects of its users.

      Bluesky looks more like the intended corral for the center-left to left departing the dead bird app. Musk takes over the former Twitter, degrades the platform; Bluesky created by former Twit management is conveniently available just in time to catch the refugees (they didn’t plan on Threads). In this way both the right and the left can be identified and harvested because they self identify — even identifying their personal networks with invitations. What a nifty operation.

      Once upon a time I would have expected better analysis from folks with a JD, but the scales have fallen away from my eyes.

  23. FiestyBlueBird says:

    I haven’t been a regular Salon reader, nor was I familiar with Amanda Marcotte before reading this:

    I thought it was pretty good. Has similarities to Rayne’s post here and all the ensuing comments. That is, lots of clever snark, but moving on to recognizing how very serious this shit is.

    I liked the “behaving like a sackful of trapped weasels” as well as her take on “clowns” and then getting on with taking an adult look at the present and fascism past.

    Mitt Romney believes we’re screwed; our fate is an authoritarian government.

    Heather Cox Richardson believes we’re waking up in time; we’ll save our democracy.

    I’m not betting.

    Just picked up Greta Thunberg’s “The Climate Book,” where she mostly lets the experts write. But where she writes, all I can say is I am stunned by how well she writes — not just in style; I’m talking depth of understanding of the whole picture — at such a young age.

  24. Frank Anon says:

    I am starting to wonder what happens to the Republican Party, from a practical standpoint. What part (if any) of their coalition flips Democratic. Would it be the ultra MAGAs that decide to split off, and who provides the logistical heft to accomplish that? Do they find themselves with regional rumps, like the Southern Democrats of yore, uncomfortably colluding when the moment calls for it? Does anyone stand above the crowd in the next few years to express any kind of ideology that can be followed, and what happens after Trump leaves the scene, as he biologically must? What I don’t see is any opportunity the Republicans to coalesce ever again.

    • BobBobCon says:

      I think what is more likely than the far right flipping Democratic is a critical piece simply quitting.

      What has struck me in so much of the analysis by the DC pundit class is their inabilty to count votes, and to ask what happens if one key piece of the radical right gives up.

      The Ohio diner narrative is so stuck in their minds that they can’t ask what happens if a movement gets tired and disillusioned.

  25. klynn says:

    OT from a few days ago.

    Paul Ryan on Squawk Box: What Matt Gaetz and these 7 nihilists did was a total disgrace…

    And yet the man sits on the BoD of Fox.

    SMH. Same coin. Different side.

    • Rayne says:

      Coin — exactly. For Ryan this pays both ways. He collects whether or not the anarchic über fascist faction succeeds or doesn’t. Ryan is both inside creating spectacle (literally, as Fox BoD member) and outside the spectacle (as an observer at a distance safe and secure by his cis-het white male privilege).

  26. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “Nancy Mace (SC-01) objected to Steve Scalise (LA-01) because of his David Duke remarks; apparently in the GOP it’s okay if you’re a closeted racist, just don’t admit it out loud.”

    The same Nancy Mace who wore a “scarlet letter” shirt with no idea what the scarlet “A” represented? That Nancy Mace?

    And for more ridiculous theater, “Rep. Harriet Hageman was captured on video this week walking into a GOP forum holding a lasso.”

    Yeah, a real clown show.

  27. Zinsky123 says:

    I’m very late to the party on this thread, having been traveling, but I wanted to get back to the original point of the thread (I think). Josh Marshall had a great post over at TPM about how these ludicrous “Speaker votes” in the House reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of how the caucus process is supposed to work. You don’t get together as a majority caucus in one house of Congress and agree on who to put forward as your leader, only to vote for someone else (or not vote) when it gets to the full House floor. Republicans don’t seem to “get” that! We have one political party who either doesn’t understand how American democracy works or who are so immature and lack the self-control to govern responsibly.

    • Rayne says:

      That assumes what we see isn’t the result agreed to by the disparate GOP factions — that the inability to govern and thereby assess and spend taxes isn’t what the GOP collectively desires.

      • RitaRita says:

        If the House remains non-functioning long enough, the government will be forced to shut down. This certainly allows the Chaos Caucus to tell their supporters that they made good on their promise to shut down the government unless they got the spending cuts desired. I suspect that this is their strategy or, at least, a fall back strategy.

        The question is how many Republicans will play along.

    • Rayne says:

      Drives me nuts knowing the largest Ohio paper has rightly pilloried Jim Jordan like this, and for years now, but he still manages to keep a seat in Congress. Wish I could pick a favorite out of that collection of comic panels, but this one gets to the heart of the current problem with GOP House caucus:

      Even the GOP members who don’t support Jordan and his obstruction are still participating in the ongoing insurrection, complicit in their silence.

      • MsJennyMD says:

        Thanks Rayne. “Pinned” with OSU wrestler sitting on Jordan screams volumes.

        Voters rewarding bad behavior to a man who covered up sexual abusive behavior by Richard Strauss, doctor at OSU who sexually assaulted multiple wrestlers. In the official investigation, Jordan refused to co-operate. OSU denies covering up sex abuse scandal for years having paid $60 million in settlement money to 296 victims in damages.

        “He doesn’t deserve to be House speaker. He still has to answer for what happened to us.” Dunyasha Yetts, former wrestler

  28. c-i-v-i-l says:

    I don’t read much RW media, so I haven’t tracked with RW sites have turned against Trump, and I was surprised to discover that the Washington Examiner is among them. From an editorial this week: “What will it take for supporters of former President Donald Trump to realize the man is depraved and perhaps demented? In the past week, he has, on one front, given verbal aid to Hezbollah terrorists and, on another front, told a court he has no duty to “support” the Constitution. …” If only more RW sites joined them and more MSM were this blunt.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    CBS’s hagiography of David Brooks this morning should have been rated NC-17. He’s promoting a new book, of course, a “practical, heartfelt guide to the art of truly knowing another person,” called…How to Know a Person. Brooks calls it a home, um, self-improvement guide. He knows his audience and their pocketbooks. The only topic more widely read is diet books.

    To demonstrate his outreach to people with whom he has little in common, Brooks chatted with his fawning CBS interviewer on a street corner, in Georgetown, just your casual all-American venue. Unintentionally illuminating, it demonstrated how utterly false is Brooks’s approach to his subject, life, and writing. His notion of reaching out toward those with whom he disagrees seems closer to Get Out than Erma Bombeck.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      earl, I can’t thank you enough. You took away all my shame at sleeping in this morning. By doing so I managed to miss the David Brooks piece you described, which would surely have ruined my day, thereby rendering an earlier wake-up moot.

      Brooks is the definition of smarm. He is the arbiter of morals who ditched his first wife while never ceasing to tell the rest of us how to examine our own lives. He is the slightly better than mediocre writer but no better than mediocre thinker who has failed consistently up and up and up, like one of those ugly balloons that’s started to pucker but nonetheless rises due solely to the helium its mother pumped into it when it was young.

    • bloopie2 says:

      To its credit, NYT does have one article, showing up on my Google News front page today, about a 15-year old journalist who has been asking enough pointed questions at recent GOP presidential town halls that he was escorted out of the last one by police! (Sorry, don’t know how to do links here, search “Known for His Pointed Questions”.) A reading of that article provides some real hope for America’s future, while at the same time showing how spineless are those candidates,

      • theGeoguy says:

        LGM has a version: “15-year-old ejected from GOP forum for asking Ron DeSantis tough questions”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          LOL. Let me know when the NYT stops paying seven figures a year to David Brooks and curtails the prominence of its large stable of hard right wing commentators, whose extreme views are all that make Brooks seem centrist. Ditto the WaPo.

    • BobBobCon says:

      He’s really lazy and insulated. The Georgetown setting fits in perfectly with his complaints about spending so much on his airport meal which included pricey whiskey.

      In the narrowest sense he may spend plenty of time at his job flying around the country, but he spends so little time doing his job — talking to people outside his usual circle and thinking in any serious way.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      I hope he doesn’t come out with a self-narrated audio book of this – his smarmy voice makes me want to gag.

  30. BobBobCon says:

    The NY Times has a front page article about the fight which only quotes one Jordan opponent briefly and somehow doesn’t mention the looming OSU wrestler abuse case at all, and the concerns of a lot of members about defending Jordan’s conduct.

    The Times political desk happily offers anonymity to sources all the time on the thinnest of pretenses, but somehow can’t manage to dig at all for a more well rounded perspective. But that’s almost certainly because they have no sources outside of a few GOP leadership offices.

    Democrats would provide great intel if they were asked, in the same way that line cooks can give information about a reataurant that you could never get from the owner. But again, the Times has only the thinnest source network and no ability to incorporate more sources if they had them.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Hoping the Clooney documentary will drop very soon.

      Sports Illustrated has a rehash look at the OSU mess, just published yesterday:
      It’s pretty good, imo. It does present the Jordan supporters’ POV, but it’s nothing like a whitewash. And it’s SI, not exactly a hotbed of liberal propaganda.

      And there was the victims’ own PR earlier this week where they took him to the woodshed, complete with corroborating narratives of how he couldn’t have been unaware.

      Clooney knows what’s going down right now. My hope is that the film is in the can and they’re just negotiating HBO release details. Haven’t heard whether HBO is getting pushback from MAGA sources but I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • Rayne says:

        HBO *IS* MAGA. It’s now under control of a board which includes that right-wing asswipe John Malone. You already know what Malone does to media.

        Clooney’s film should have been out ahead of the 2022 mid-term elections. The WB-Discovery deal scuttled a lot of works for tax reasons, putting others on the back shelf. Clooney’s work has been caught up in that as well as the hard veer to the right at WB-Discovery; HBO won’t respond when asked about its status. IMdB says the film is still in production which is putting a good face on this mess.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          My view isn’t quite that bleak, although the delay in it’s release might seem to argue for your view (though more on its release timing below).

          But as Kafka points out in that Vox piece, Malone, while espousing a RW/libertarian POV and noting his drive-by-pimping Fox at one point, has very clearly distanced himself from Trumpism (for which Jordan is certainly a major field marshall) for the last 4 years.

          But more to the point, like WBD’s Zaslov, HBO’s Casey Bloys is a Democratic donor.

          Malone is a shitbag, without a doubt, but he doesn’t seem to have veto power over everything he *partly* controls, and even if he did, bringing out the OSU documentary right now would be in line with his expressed contention that Trumpism is doing more harm than good for the RW cause.

          HBO’s Bloys is the person who should be getting the heat for that film to be released, and he must know that it would be a huge moneymaker given the press it will receive, and is therefore a win-win for both HBO and his personal political outlook — and it could well earn Eva Orner another Oscar, and with that opening deadline being the end of the year why not release it now to make the most impact? Seems like a smart move in every direction to me, and politically compatible with all the players involved.

        • Rayne says:

          WB-Discovery killed off many in-production and pre-production projects from corporate level. Bloys was probably told to suck it up; Bloys also had to deal with the absolutely ridiculous rebranding of HBO to Max at the same time. Stupidest branding error I’ve seen in a long goddamned time.

          And Zaslav can get fucked. He’s as much a part of the problem as Malone.

        • Ithaqua0 says:

          Got to say, if I was Bloys, I’d be hanging on to that film hoping to God Jordan gets the Speakership, then release it afterwards. Lots more people will view it if it’s about the Speaker of the House, 2nd in line for the Presidency, than if it’s about some jerk member of the House – and it maximizes the damage to the Republicans; a real win-win.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Can’t agree that releasing it after Jordan gets the gavel (a middling longshot at this point anyway) rather than doing it now is smart in any way.

          First, it will open the platform up to “Why the fuck did you let this happen?” criticism (which is actually what’s visibly bubbling under the surface now); second, it would likely spark strident criticism from Strauss’ victims for the same reason; third, those two things, writ large on the global stage, will harm the HBO/MAX house brand more than any corporate-makeover/-ransacking ever could.

          And finally and most importantly, doing it now, while he’s struggling for votes and threatening his own members, will create actual goodwill in the remnant moderate faction, to the point that a coalition partnership with the House Dems may actually have a fighting chance of salvaging the second half of the 118th session.

    • BobBobCon says:

      The NY Times is capable of producing thoughtful, well sourced profiles and I’m glad they published that.

      I can only hope their entire DC crew and their editors read it. It would be helpful if they keep that in mind the next time Trump and the GOP launches a BS attack on Judge Chutkin and rebut it right in the headline, instead of slipping an obligatory demurral in the 32nd graf.

        • BobBobCon says:

          There are a few others, like Savage, who have a brain and a spine, but their DC editors like Carolyn Ryan and Patrick Healy did their best to make sure as few of them as possible were ever hired.

          The crazy thing from a pure business perspective is the good reporters provide such better copy than the hacks. Who wants to read thousand word threadbare rationalizations for uninteresting conservatives?

          But the execs at the Times have talked themselves into thinking beat sweeteners for dumb Republicans is somehow better than real reporting.

  31. tinaotinao says:

    Noonish 10/13/2023

    As the triplet Titans of climate destruction, senseless war, and poisonous chemicals rage on
    can we not accurately assess the nightmare we find civilization
    swimming with head barely above the changes in?
    I do not hate Jewish people
    but see through the propagandized hate
    that keeps the weapon, fossil fuel and chemical makers fat,
    the oppressed violently alive.
    When will Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism
    learn domination is not what the original word taught?
    The comfort the Titans offer and slide into us is not everlasting
    but a sucking destructive cycle.
    The price our children’s blood, tiny bones and tumors.
    We can no longer go to our makers with their veil upon our eyes.
    You do know what Titans do?
    They eat their own while dancing greedily on.
    I pray we the people of the whole can steer our governments
    back to caring for all and not just the Titans.

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