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Matt Gaetz Has No Idea What He’ll Do After Expelling Kevin McCarthy

The far-right representative admitted he doesn’t know what happens to the House speaker position next.

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After months of threatening, Representative Matt Gaetz finally filed a motion to vacate Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. But Gaetz has no clue what happens next.

Gaetz introduced the resolution late Monday, following weeks of trading increasingly heated barbs with McCarthy over spending bills. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on the motion.

But when asked Tuesday by his fellow Republicans what his plan is and who would replace McCarthy, Gaetz had no answer, CNN’s Melanie Zanona reported. “Gaetz said there’d need to be a new speaker’s election that plays out and didn’t name anyone he had in mind for the job.”

If Gaetz does manage to force a new vote for speaker, his not having a candidate in mind could drag things out even longer, sending the House spiraling further into chaos than it already is. The natural successor to McCarthy would be House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who is out getting treatment for multiple myeloma. Majority Whip Tom Emmer and conference chair Elise Stefanik would also be obvious choices, but they have both taken themselves out of the running.

Still, Gaetz is no stranger to forcing Congress (and the rest of us) to sit through round after round of agonizing votes for House speaker. He was one of the last holdouts in January, resulting in 15 votes before McCarthy finally won the gavel.

It’s unclear if Republicans will band together to save McCarthy. He has grown increasingly unpopular among the farthest-right flank of his party, particularly due to the repeated deals he struck with Democrats on the federal budget.

But Republicans are definitely starting to sour on Gaetz. House Republicans are reportedly planning a motion to expel him from the chamber, depending on whether the Ethics Committee finds him guilty of sexual misconduct and illegal drug use, among other things.

John Kelly Confirms Trump’s Most Vile Comments About the Military

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has verified all the horrid things Donald Trump said about veterans and service members.

Donald Trump
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Former White House chief of staff John Kelly has confirmed that Donald Trump called disabled veterans “suckers” and “losers.”

The Atlantic published a story in 2020 recounting Trump’s visit to France two years earlier to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. Several senior staff members told the magazine that Trump refused to visit the graves of American soldiers buried near Paris because the cemetery is “filled with losers.” Trump also said that 1,800 U.S. Marines who died in the Belleau Wood were “suckers” for getting killed.

The White House denied the story at the time, but Kelly confirmed the details in a Monday evening interview with CNN. “What can I add that has not already been said?” he said, when asked if he wanted to comment on his former boss.

“A person that thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.’ A person that did not want to be seen in the presence of military amputees because ‘it doesn’t look good for me.’ A person who demonstrated open contempt for a Gold Star family—for all Gold Star families—on TV during the 2016 campaign, and rants that our most precious heroes who gave their lives in America’s defense are ‘losers’ and wouldn’t visit their graves in France.”

Kelly’s comments also confirm other stories that the Trump White House previously denied. One story is that during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2017, amid the graves of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump asked Kelly, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

They were standing in front of Kelly’s son’s grave at the time.

Kelly’s statement on CNN also confirms the story that, during a 2017 visit to France, Trump said he didn’t want any wounded veterans in a military parade he was trying to have planned for himself. “It doesn’t look good for me,” he said.

Kelly decried Trump’s recent attacks on newly retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. Kelly was furious that Trump suggested that Milley “should lose his life for treason—in expectation that someone will take action.”

Trump is “a person that has no idea what America stands for and has no idea what America is all about.… A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law,” Kelly said. “There is nothing more that can be said.”

“God help us.”

Cornered Trump Launches Panicked, Racist Attack as $100 Million Fraud Trial Begins

Donald Trump is absolutely losing it.

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Donald Trump’s fraud trial began Monday in New York, and the former president is handling it about as well as can be expected—which is to say, terribly.

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump and the Trump Organization in September 2022 for business fraud. She accused him and his associates of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets, and is seeking a penalty of $250 million. State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron issued a partial summary judgment last week ruling that Trump committed business fraud and ordering all his New York business certificates be canceled. This makes it nearly impossible to do business in New York and could effectively kill the Trump Organization as it exists today.

Monday’s trial is to determine how much Trump owes New York in damages. He has spent the whole day accusing James, who is Black, of being racist against him and accusing Engoron of being a Democratic operative.


Speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, Trump said, “They’re trying to damage me so I don’t do as well as I’m doing in the election. Our country has gone to hell.”

He also repeated that the trial is “the single greatest witch hunt of all time,” one of his favorite phrases, and one that he used multiple times on Truth Social throughout the day, as well.

At midday, Trump accused Engoron of having “already made up his mind.”

“It’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “He’s a Democrat judge, he’s an operative, and it’s ridiculous.”

The lawsuit alleges that Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan was three times its actual size and worth $327 million. No New York City apartment has ever sold for that much, James said.

He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million. In reality, it’s worth about a tenth of that amount. Trump’s valuation was based on the property’s potential for residential development, but the terms of its deed prevent the land from ever being used that way.

Michigan Republicans’ Plan to Overturn Voting Rights Is Sinister

Michigan Republicans are moving to gut voting rights in the state, before the next election.

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A man votes in the 2022 midterm election in Lansing, Michigan.

Michigan Republicans have filed a lawsuit trying to overturn two major voting rights measures passed by voters, directly overruling the will of their constituents.

Great Lakes State residents voted in 2018 and 2022 to approve constitutional amendments that would dramatically expand voting access, guaranteeing same-day voter registration, nine days of early voting, and absentee voting, among other rights. Both measures passed with at least 60 percent support, and the state legislature has since passed laws to implement the new policies.

But 11 Republicans—two senators and nine representatives—sued Thursday to overturn those policies. The lawsuit also wants to permanently prohibit future citizen-led petition initiatives from being used to affect state election laws.

The lawmakers’ argument is based on the “independent state legislature theory,” a right-wing theory. At its most extreme, the theory would give legislatures unreviewable authority, blocking state courts, state constitutions, and governors from intervening regarding election law. “Granting this claim would nullify democratic guarantees embedded in virtually all state constitutions since the founding era, and never questioned until the past few years,” Simon Lazarus wrote for The New Republic in November.

The Michigan Republicans argued that the citizen-led petitions unconstitutionally impinge on the state government’s ability to set election laws. Donald Trump and his allies also relied on the independent state legislature theory in their effort to overturn the 2020 election. But the Supreme Court ruled against the theory in June, determining that state legislatures cannot have virtually unchecked power over federal elections.

However, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that state courts do not have “free rein” that exceeds “the ordinary bounds of judicial review,” meaning state courts could interpret the ruling differently.

UCLA law professor Richard Hasen warned that Roberts’s words were “going to create mischief” by giving people an opening to seek favorable rulings from lower court judges.

“This is a time bomb waiting to explode,” he told NPR.

Republicans Are Really Trying to Compare Jamaal Bowman to January 6 Rioters

Republicans’ latest attack on Jamaal Bowman is insane, even for them.

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Representative Jamaal Bowman

Republicans are continuing their campaign to downplay the January 6 insurrection, this time by comparing the violent riot to Representative Jamaal Bowman pulling a fire alarm.

On Saturday, while Congress was in session and moving to a vote on a bill that would prevent a government shutdown, Bowman pulled the fire alarm in Cannon House, an office building connected to the Capitol building by a tunnel. Bowman has since apologized and said it was an accident.

But still, Republicans have pounced—accusing the New York representative of basically committing an insurrection.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called for Bowman to be punished like the January 6 insurrectionists, and remarked on the precedent of “how other people were treated when they come in and wanted to change the course of what was happening in the building.”

Donald Trump also called for Bowman to be jailed for his “egregious act” of pulling the alarm. In a post on Truth Social, the former president said that Bowman should be charged with “‘Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,’ the same as used against our J-6 prisoners.”

“Actually,” Trump wrote, “his act may have been worse.”

The comparison seems distinctly detached from reality. Trump faces the same charge as many of the rioters he called to the Capitol on January 6: obstruction of an official proceeding. (That doesn’t include the other 90 criminal counts Trump is facing.)

Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis also took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday afternoon to say she planned to introduce a resolution to expel Bowman. “This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school,” she said in a post.

Fox News has eagerly fomented an entire news cycle about the incident, speaking to multiple Republican lawmakers about it.

“It’s not just the act of pulling a fire alarm,” Malliotakis said on Fox. “It was during an official proceeding. That is the same thing that they have gone after those individuals who walked into the Capitol on January 6th.”

Republican Representative Mike Lawler told Fox News that the event was “absolutely outrageous” and “potentially criminal.” He went so far as to say that Bowman should “strongly consider resigning.”

But despite Republicans’ best efforts to push this new attack, the two cases are extremely different.

For one, Bowman has apologized and insisted that he accidentally pulled the alarm when a door that normally opened was suddenly locked.

“I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused,” Bowman said.

But more importantly, a fire alarm is nowhere near the same as an armed insurrection.

House Republicans Finally Realize That Matt Gaetz Is a Raging Jerk

Republican lawmakers are so fed up with Matt Gaetz they’re looking to expel him.

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Representative Matt Gaetz

House Republicans are planning a motion to expel Matt Gaetz from the chamber, even as he continues to threaten to expel Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.

The House GOP will move to expel Gaetz if the Ethics Committee finds him guilty, Fox News reported Sunday. Earlier this year, committee investigators reopened a probe into the Florida Republican for allegations of sexual misconduct, illegal drug use, and other wrongdoings.

Gaetz’s repeated threats to move to vacate McCarthy are apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. “No one can stand him at this point,” a House Republican, speaking anonymously, told Fox. “A smart guy without morals.”

Over the past few weeks, Gaetz repeatedly threatened to vacate McCarthy as House speaker unless the federal budget was slashed dramatically. Now that a continuing resolution has been passed to keep the government open, Gaetz has once again renewed this threat (although it remains to be seen if he’ll follow through or just keep holding it over McCarthy’s head).

McCarthy told CNN on Sunday that he thought Gaetz’s animosity toward him was personal. “I’ll survive. You know, this is personal with Matt,” McCarthy said “He’s more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something.”

“So be it, bring it on. Let’s get over with it, and let’s start governing.”

McCarthy also told Fox on Monday that he thought Gaetz’s anger had ramped up because McCarthy refused to step in and block the Ethics Committee investigation.

The feud between Gaetz and McCarthy has grown incredibly heated in recent weeks. In mid-September, McCarthy snapped at Gaetz during a closed-door party meeting, and told him to put up or shut up.

“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the fucking motion,” McCarthy reportedly said.

The two lawmakers reportedly got into another fight in a party meeting just last week.

Trump Goes on Bizarre Rant on His Preferred Method of Violent Death

He’s probably the only U.S. president ever even to have a preferred method of violent death.

Donald Trump
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Former President Donald Trump went on a bizarre rant on Sunday evening, ranking his preferred forms of violent death.

The Republican presidential candidate was speaking at a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday evening, when he randomly pitched the scenario of being stuck on a sinking battery-powered boat in the ocean. Getting into incredible detail, he claimed he would rather be electrocuted than eaten by a shark.

“I will take electrocution every single time,” he said, slurring his words. “Do we agree? I will take electrocution.”

In addition to his existential comments—perhaps fueled by the mounting legal cases against him—Trump also mentioned the Obama administration in his speech, as if Barack Obama were the current president.

On Monday morning, Trump visited New York to attend yet another trial against him related to claims that he, his organization, and his adult children have defrauded insurers and lenders. Trump has already been found liable for inflating his net worth by billions of dollars. Soon we’ll learn how much he’ll have to pay.

Bankman-Fried Considered Paying Trump to Not Run for President

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, debated paying Donald Trump a hefty sum to not run in 2024.

Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, considered paying Donald Trump $5 billion not to run for president in 2024, a new book reveals.

Bankman-Fried, referred to as SBF, founded FTX in 2019. The crypto exchange rapidly accumulated value, making him a billionaire, only to crash spectacularly in 2022. The Securities and Exchange Commission has since charged SBF with multiple counts of fraud. But before that, SBF was a massive political donor—and apparently had no qualms about wielding that influence.

In a new book about SBF, author Michael Lewis describes how the crypto bro believed he could solve existential issues, including threats to U.S. democracy. “He saw [Donald] Trump trying to undermine the democracy, and he thought, ‘Trump … belongs on the list of existential risks,’” Lewis told 60 Minutes, in an interview that aired Sunday.

SBF offered to pay Trump not to run for president in 2024. Trump’s team allegedly told him it would cost $5 billion, although it is unclear whether that amount came from Trump himself.

“The question Sam had was not just, ‘Is $5 billion enough to pay Trump not to run?’ but ‘Was it legal?’” Lewis explained.

To try to counter Trump, SBF also met with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in 2022 to identify supposedly pro-democracy Republican candidates, and donated millions of dollars to support them. Neither McConnell nor Trump responded to 60 Minutes’ request to confirm Lewis’s reporting.

It’s unclear whether paying Trump not to run is illegal. PBS reported in 2016 that it depends on how the money is exchanged, for instance whether it’s routed through external parties (illegal) or just an offer to help pay off debt from an unwinnable campaign (feels wrong but does happen).

But SBF should have checked himself before working with McConnell too. The Kentucky Republican may say he is pro-democracy, but he gladly backed every terrible policy Trump pushed while in office. McConnell also took advantage of Trump to stack the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, there was no guarantee that Trump, McConnell, or any of the Republicans SBF backed would act in good faith. They might have just taken his money and run—straight into power.

Newsom Needs to Find Someone to Replace Dianne Feinstein ASAP

Here are some names who could take over the California Senate seat.

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Senator Dianne Feinstein passed away Thursday at the age of 90, after a decades-long political career. Her passing has only added fuel to long-burning fires of speculation over who might succeed her as California senator.

Feinstein was first elected to represent the Golden State in the Senate in 1992, and her career since then has been marked by highs and lows of equal significance. As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, for example, Feinstein led the investigation and publishing of the Torture Report, which detailed the CIA’s long history of horrific interrogation tactics before, during, and after September 11.

But in recent years, her insistence on remaining in office amid growing health issues marred her legacy. Earlier this year, the senator went missing from Congress for nearly three months after a particularly nasty bout of shingles. That illness led to her contracting Ramsay Hunt syndrome as well as encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can cause lasting memory and language problems, as well as bouts of confusion. After returning to the Hill, there were several instances where Feinstein seemed lost, including during votes in committee. She was hospitalized anew in August.

So what happens next? All eyes are on California Governor Gavin Newsom, who gets to appoint someone to take over for Feinstein through the end of 2024.

It’s critical that Newsom appoints someone sooner rather than later. Feinstein’s absence leaves the Judiciary Committee with a 10–10 split across party lines, virtually guaranteeing a block on President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees. A spokesperson for Newsom said Friday that he did not have any information on when or how Newsom would replace Feinstein.

Newsom has repeatedly made public promises to appoint a Black woman to the seat. But he also vowed earlier this month that he would not select any of the California Democrats who are already running for the seat in 2024, saying he didn’t want to “tip” the results of the election.

That announcement was a huge blow to one of the most prominent progressives and Black Democratic politicians in the state: Representative Barbara Lee. Lee publicly fired back at Newsom at the time, saying that “the idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.”

Newsom’s decision to take all 2024 candidates out of the equation also rules out Lee’s competitors: Representatives Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.

Naturally, Newsom doesn’t have to actually keep his promise about appointing a Black woman. In 2021, when Kamala Harris resigned from her Senate seat to become vice president, Newsom appointed Alex Padilla, who became the state’s first Latino senator.

But assuming he does stick to his word, there are still some options. Names that have been floated include Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who is less than a year into her first term, or San Francisco Mayor London Breed, though Breed is publicly supporting Lee’s 2024 campaign. Some political insiders have mentioned Bay Area Transit Board member Lateefah Simon, though she is already running to succeed Lee in a campaign that has drawn decent support.

Other contenders include Shirley Weber, California’s secretary of state; Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles county supervisor; Angela Glover Blackwell, a civil rights lawyer in Oakland. No one knows if Newsom favors any of these potential candidates yet, but behind the scenes, the race to make a decision is likely already on.

“In the Shitter”: Democratic Rep. Reads Out Entire List of Trump Crimes

Representative Jasmine Crockett used Republicans’ Biden impeachment farce to remind everyone of Donald Trump’s 91 counts.

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Representative Jasmine Crockett delivered an epic takedown on Thursday of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden when she read out a long list of criminal charges against Donald Trump.

House Republicans held their first hearing on Biden’s alleged corruption. They have for months accused him of wrongdoing, but they have yet to provide any actual evidence. Crockett took a moment to remind them of someone who has actually done wrong.

“When we start talking about things that look like evidence, they wanna act like they blind. They don’t know what this is,” she said, holding up photos from the indictment against Trump for hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. “These are our national secrets, looks like in the shitter to me.”

“When we’re talking about somebody that’s committed high crimes, it’s at least indictments. Let’s say 32 counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets,” Crockett said, proceeding to list out all the things Trump has been indicted for.

“I will tell you what the president has been guilty of,” she thundered. “He has unfortunately been guilty of loving his child unconditionally.”

“Until [Republicans] find some evidence, we need to get back to the people’s work, which means keeping this government open!”

At another point in the hearing, Crockett highlighted Trump’s business dealings with China—something Republicans accuse first son Hunter Biden of doing. She also reminded Republicans that even though they keep accusing Biden of crimes, “repeating the same lies will not somehow turn them into truths.”