Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Kevin McCarthy & the Speakership, Day 4

Still no sign in sight of anyone electing a Speaker of the House. I wonder if anyone’s thinking of starting votes to move to a plurality vote instead of a majority vote, yet? I haven’t heard anything about it yet, but some folks must be eyeing the idea by now, right? Currently, a candidate needs to get a majority to vote for them. That’s the magic 218 number you keep hearing about. Moving to a plurality vote would mean that a candidate would just need to get more votes than the other person to win.

🤡 8:45am, PT: File this under “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” – Matt Gaetz said on Fox News this morning, “I assure you that if Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives.”

📰 A little non-Speaker of the House news before we get going this morning…

🤡 All right, when we last left our intrepid adventurers, McCarthy had just lost his 11th vote for Speaker of the House, but there were claims of a “deal” swirling, in which McCarthy had found ways to capitulate even further to the Insurrection Caucus. Which, somewhat hilariously, still had not gotten him the votes he needs to snag the Speakership. If said deal even exists – reports on that conflict, at best. Unless they get the votes together to recess or whatever, I assume we have more meaningless Speakership votes ahead today. There’s also rumors going around that Representatives-elect are going to have to cancel weekend plans because there may be votes over the weekend, but some members of Congress are already heading home so that will affect the number of votes McCarthy needs. But the folks who went home were voting for McCarthy, so not much help there.

🤡 10am, PT: They gaveled in and swung right into a 12th vote. McCarthy’s not gonna win, but so far six of the hardliners have changed their votes to McCarthy, apparently based on whatever “deal” McCarthy made. Also, Matt Gaetz nominated Jim Jordan while bashing McCarthy, was roundly booed, and a bunch of Republicans stormed out of the room to go cool off on the balcony. One pool reporter said at least some of them were cussing Gaetz out when they went out. If we get lucky we might get a fist fight today!

  • Update, 10:25am, PT – No Speaker. Thirteen of the previous “No” votes flipped to McCarthy, along with Spartz, who’d been voting “Present.” Biggs, Boebert, Crane, Gaetz, Good, Harris and Rosendale stuck with “No.” (Link.)
  • Thirteenth vote TBD.

🤡 11:40am PT: The House is running a 13th vote. Not sure anything has changed, but it would be hilarious (in an awful way) if the flippers flipped back for this vote.

  • Update, 12:40pm, PT – No speaker, but McCarthy picked up another flipped vote. Now they’re voting to adjourn… Until 10pm ET? Stalling, I guess, until more McCarthy voters can get back in town?
  • The House is adjourned until 10pm ET tonight. Apparently they expect to run a 14th vote tonight.

🤡 7:10pm, PT: The House is back in session and we’re heading into a 14th vote. It seems like there may have been some movement amongst the handful of Insurrectionist hold-outs who were refusing to vote for McCarthy. Matt Gaetz, alleged sex trafficker, referred to McCarthy as “Speaker designate” on TV earlier, and he’s been chumming around with a McCarthy aide. We might some movement in the votes.

Screencap from C-Span - several Republicans surround Matt Gaetz in an intense conversation.
This is apparently all coming down to Matt Gaetz.

🤡 8:05pm, PT: Kinda looks like Gaetz might have deliberately fucked over McCarthy on this vote. I think they thought they had Gaetz in the bag, and he voted “Present” at the last second. McCarthy strode back to him for a heated conversation, and some guy got grabbed (by the face!) and pulled off the floor.

  • “Some guy” was apparently Mike Rogers of Alabama?
A heated conversation between Gaetz and McCarthy, surrounded by onlookers.
Gaetz and McCarthy in heated conversation.

🤡 8:15 pm, PT: No Speaker. We did almost get a fight though, I think! The clown show is heating up.

  • Someone made a motion to adjourn. Voice vote was challenged, so they’re going to a regular vote to adjourn until noon on Monday.
  • The vote to adjourn did not pass.

🤡 8:36 pm, PT: Big flurry of activity just as the vote to adjourn was ending in a yes, and suddenly Republicans were changing their votes. I think they might have got Gaetz (or someone else, I suppose) to change their vote, and they want to try again.

  • Twitter says CNN is reporting that Gaetz will change his vote, and the Republicans had a chant of “One more time” going for a couple of minutes.

🤡 8:47 pm, PT: Rolling straight into the 15th vote. Lots of excitement on the floor. They sure seem to think they’ve got the votes this time.

  • So, by what I’m seeing from various reporters on Twitter, while McCarthy and Gaetz were having their little confrontation, Trump called Marjorie Taylor Greene, and possibly also Biggs and Gaetz? Or Greene took her phone to them? Then Greene had a little chat with Gaetz, and that seems to have been what set off the sudden flurry of activity to avert adjourning and run another vote.
Screencap of SwiftOnSecurity thread reading in all caps, "HOLY SHIT NICOLAS CAGE JUST CAME OUT OF A TRAPDOOR IN THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE

☝️ I mean, at this point, I wouldn’t even be surprised if that actually did happen.

🤡 9:30pm, PT: And McCarthy’s got it this time. He’s Speaker of the House – in name, at least. In practice, the Insurrectionist Caucus will be running the show. Once it’s official, McCarthy will swear folks in, and they’ll vote on House rules on Monday. G’night, y’all, and good luck. The next two years are going to be a goddamn mess.


Photo Credit: Kevin McCarthy at a Trump rally in 2020, by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Kevin McCarthy & the Speakership, Day 3

Brace yourselves, folks. We’ve got another day ahead of voting, public humiliation for Kevin McCarthy, and jeering the House Republicans.

🤡 9:20am PT: To get started, here’s the list of demands the Insurrection Caucus – the “Freedom” Caucus, that is – wants from McCarthy. Or at least, those are the demands they wanted yesterday, and if/when McCarthy capitulates to them all, I think that still won’t get him the votes he needs. And that may all be moot anyway, as that article was posted at 5 a.m. and just an hour ago the Republicans had a “secret” meeting, so who knows what they’ve gotten themselves into by now.

📰 But before those crazy kids in Congress get into it, here’s a quick peek at some other news:

🤡 9:50am PT: There was apparently some talk of just straight-up adjourning for the day, but that didn’t happen and the House is on to the 7th vote for Speaker. Matt Gaetz, alleged sex trafficker, put in a vote for Trump. Update, 9:55am PT – That went fast. No Speaker.

🤡 11am PT: They’re firing up an eighth vote. Nothing appears to have changed as far as I can tell, so I don’t expect anyone’s going to win this time around, either. Update, 12pm PT – I don’t think it’s “official” yet, but no Speaker this round, either.

🤡 12:40pm PT: While I was puttering away at work, the House rolled directly into a 9th vote for Speaker. This one doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, either, obviously. I’m starting to wonder what the Insurrection Caucus’ end game here is. They don’t seem to want anything beyond the Speaker’s power and fancy committee seats for themselves, which I think McCarthy’s already caved on. There’s a very real possibility that they actually are only in this to break things and cause a rolling shit show for as long as they can. That would fit their general mindset. Update, 2:16pm PT – No surprise, no Speaker. Although one of the Republicans who was voting for McCarthy had to leave for a doctor appointment and won’t be in tomorrow, either, so that means if they run another vote, someone only needs to hit 217 for the time being.

🤡 2:20pm PT: We’re heading into a 10th vote. Rumor has it they didn’t have the votes to adjourn. Meanwhile, the claims that McCarthy is close to a deal with the Insurrectionist Caucus are intensifying. As far as I can tell, he’s already given them basically everything. I assume at this point that he’s promised to let them each punch him in the balls once a day for the length of his term. Update, 2:30pm PT – And, nope, no Speaker this round.

🤡 There are no details on this “deal” yet, but it seems like all it will do is reduce the number of people voting against McCarthy, but not so much as to get him elected? In the meantime, it sounds like they’re gonna go for an 11th vote after they finish tallying McCarthy’s latest loss on vote 10.

💭 Because both of those are still hot Republican trash? Liz Cheney is staunchly anti-choice, a warhawk, and loved Trump’s policies even if she wasn’t a fan of Trump, and Adam Kinzinger is anti-global warming legislation, anti-ACA, and blamed China for COVID-19. And that’s just the stuff I spotted during a cursory Google. Besides, why are the Democrats the ones who have to cave? Why don’t a handful of Republicans vote for Hakeem Jeffries?

🤡 3:20pm PT: Yep, they’re going for an 11th vote. I assume they’re either stalling to nail down the details on this “deal” or they just can’t scrape together the votes to adjourn. Update, 4:25pm PT – Vote failed, of course. No Speaker yet. No word on what might happen next, either.

📰 Jake Sherman, formerly of NBC News and MSNBC News and founder of Punchbowl News, is reporting that a “deal” has been reached amongst the Republicans and they’re going to push ahead to elect a Speaker tonight. We’ll see.

  • There’s a few details emerging on this deal. McCarthy is apparently giving the literal House away to the House Freedom Caucus. Assuming this reporting is accurate, we’re talking guarantees of committee postings, a seat at the head of the table for House rules, promises on the upcoming budget fights, basically all the goodies. The HFC would pretty much be in charge of the House for this session.
  • Worth noting: This “deal” doesn’t seem to get McCarthy to the 218 he needs to win the Speakership. Unless they’re counting on enough people being out tomorrow that he can squeak in somehow? But no, they’re claiming they want to do this tonight, so… Maybe they think they’re going to exhaust people to the point where they leave and McCarthy slips in at a lower vote count? No idea, y’all. 🤷

🤡 5pm, PT: Okay, they’re currently trying to adjourn for the night. A voice vote didn’t sort it out, so they’re going to a regular vote.

🤡 All right, the House managed to dredge up the votes to adjourn while I was sorting out my end-of-day stuff. Back at ‘er again tomorrow, folks.


Photo Credit: Kevin McCarthy at a Trump rally in 2020, by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Kevin McCarthy & the Speakership, & whatever else manages to happen today

We can apparently expect more clown shows in the House today, so that should be fun. They do say laughing is good for your health.

🤡 Apparently we’re going to go ahead and start off with Kevin McCarthy losing yet another vote for Speaker of the House. This is the fourth round of voting, and the fourth time he’s lost. You can watch the voting and House shenanigans here on YouTube.

📰 Before we get too caught up in all that drama, a couple of bits of non-Speaker of the House news:

🤡 And it’s official: McCarthy just lost his fourth vote. A fifth is expected.

Screencap of tweet by Greg Sargent on Jan. 4 2023, reading, "So McCarthy wants Dem support? Dems should make this the condition for *starting* talks:
*permanent disabling of debt limit
*no Holman Rule defunding investigations of Trump
*no BS hearings designed to fake-discredit 1/6 findings
*support for Tillis/Sinema-type border plan"

💭 I keep seeing things like the above tweet about how House Democrats should make a deal with McCarthy to get him elected Speaker and like, why would you do that. No deal will be honored. McCarthy will screw you the hot second he gets the gavel. Obviously. OBVIOUSLY. You can’t trust these GOP loons for anything. WHAT FUCKING FOOLS THINK THIS WEST WING BULLSHIT WILL WORK. Ohmigawd, this idiocy is embarrassing.

🤡 And McCarthy just lost a fifth vote. OMG.

🤡 They’re going to try a sixth time, lol, lmao. Update: Sixth vote also failed to produce a Speaker.

🤡 The House is taking a break until 8pm ET, presumably so the Republicans can go yell at each other some more.

🍊 Meanwhile, yesterday, Trump called House members to try to get them to vote for McCarthy and not only did it not work, like, at all, but those House members spent part of their mornings ragging on Trump while they voted for even trying.

🤡 I figured this would happen – the House came back into session at 8pm and immediately voted to adjourn for the day. (Barely.) They’ll be back in tomorrow at noon. If you’re curious, Vox has a run-down of the ways this phenomenal mess could end. McCarthy could come up with some sort of deal that gets him the votes he needs, they hit a stalemate and nothing moves forward (which is not exactly an end, per se, I mean they have to get a Congress together at some point, some way), McCarthy gives up and these idgits manage to rally behind some other jackass (probably most likely, I think), or the Democrats make a deal with “moderate” Republicans and manage to elect some kind of “unity candidate” that no one really wants.


Photo Credit: Kevin McCarthy at a Trump rally in 2020, by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Kevin McCarthy, good hydration, George Santos, more

I’ve been on vacation since just before Christmas and have enjoyed thoroughly ignoring the news in favor of books, TV, and a new video game, Cozy Grove.

(FYI: Cozy Grove came out last year, but it’s new to me. It’s extremely cute and soothing and chill and if you’re looking for something to noodle about with that won’t stress you out, this is a great game.)

Alas, I am back to work today. So here’s some news.

🤡 So the GOP is voting for the Speaker of the House today, and Kevin McCarthy, known turd, wants the job real super bad, but he can’t seem to get the votes together. That’s thanks to the fact that he is a known turd, and also the House Freedom Caucus, which boasts such trail-blazing GOP luminaries as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan. The House Freedom Caucus were made up of the Tea Party chuds that got voted in after Obama won the presidency, if you don’t remember, and have since been bolstered by the wide variety of Nazis, white supremacists, grifters, and other trash that the GOP’s descent into rightwing terrorism has blown into Congress. At any rate, the HFC bent McCarthy over a barrel and forced him to cough up a whole bunch of concessions to their will, and still won’t vote for him, which, LOL, LMAO, oh my god. The HFC are apparently floating alternatives that include Donald Trump and Steve Scalise. This is going to be a complete clown show.

🚰 Hey, you should probably make sure you’re drinking enough water and staying hydrated through the day. Turns out that well-hydrated adults are way healthier.

💩 So, George Santos, eh? Jesus, this guy. I’m actually almost impressed at the amount of bullshit-slinging this guy got away with for so long. But it turns out he committed crimes in Brazil and Brazil is coming after him.

🤡 NBC News: “Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is poised to lose the first vote for speaker, likely sending the House to a second ballot after more than five Republicans opposed his nomination.” This is the first time since 1923 that the vote for House Speaker has gone to a second ballot. LOL, LOL.

🤡 10:45 a.m.: For the first vote, the final total was 211 votes for Hakeem Jefferies, the House Minority Leader, I.E., the Democrat, and 202 for Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader – the Republican. I am dying over here. Someone has to get to 218 votes to win, so no winner yet.

🏛️ If they ever get around to electing a Speaker of the House so they can swear new Reps in, someone’s apparently planning to swear on a Superman comic, which, depending on the context, is kind of awesome. You could pick worse ideals to try to live up to. I always thought I’d pick a Terry Pratchett book to swear in on, but I couldn’t decide which one. Probably a Granny Weatherwax or Vimes book.

🤡 Checking back in at 1:50 p.m., and apparently McCarthy has managed to lose a third vote while I was busy working. LOL

🤡 Welp, the House has given up for the day – they’ve voted to adjourn. No Speaker was elected. They’ll reconvene and try again tomorrow at noon EST. I bet a lot of people are in for a stressful night as the GOP haggles for votes and whatnot. LOL

🏛️ In other Congressional news, the House Republicans plan to limit the ability of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate lawmakers. Assuming they ever manage to elect a Speaker, that is.

📽️ And to wrap up on a fun note, ever since Glass Onion, the sequel to Knives Out, hit Netflix, the Internet has been clamoring for a Benoit Blanc/Muppets crossover. They clamored so hard that director/creator Rian Johnson heard them, but had to turn them down on the idea. However, author Kelly Knox suggested a holiday special, and…

Guys, if we get a Benoit Blanc/Muppets holiday special crossover, I may die of squee. On a related note, if you haven’t seen Glass Onion (or Knives Out) yet, you should absolutely do that ASAP, it was excellent.


Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Happy New Year

I’m not doing resolutions this year – just ain’t feeling it. Also, I’m still technically on vacation until tomorrow, so here’s a quick list of the links I saved up.

  1. Ars Technica: Twitter rival Mastodon rejects funding to preserve nonprofit status
  2. NPR: House Democrats release Trump’s tax returns
  3. The Verge: Bring back personal blogging
  4. CTV News: A 15-tonne meteorite crashed in Africa. Now 2 new minerals have been found in it
  5. Engadget: Twitter sued for not paying San Francisco office rent
  6. ProPublica: Porn, Piracy, Fraud: What Lurks Inside Google’s Black Box Ad Empire
  7. Vox: Will 2023 be the year Donald Trump is indicted?
  8. CNN: ‘This made us all unemployable’: Trump White House aides respond to January 6 in angry text exchange