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:
- Biden’s announced an expansion of Pandemic-era border controls, which I don’t love, but it came with some legal pathways for those folks who are affected to still get in, which, I guess.
- Putin has announced a cease fire with Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas, which apparently happens Jan. 6 and 7. We’ll see if he honors the cease fire. I bet he doesn’t. Update: Ukraine didn’t take the bait. Matt Tait has a pretty good take on the situation.
- There’s rumors that David Tenant isn’t playing a new Doctor with an old face, as some have wondered, but an actual return of the tenth Doctor, which is interesting, considering how haggard he looks. My interest is definitely peaked. I also noticed in the recent trailer that Ncuti Gatwa, as the upcoming 15th Doctor, when he demands “Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here,” appears to be standing in that “Edge of Consciousness” mental space that 13 was standing in with all the old Doctors when the Master took over her regeneration.
- Have you seen the trailer for Renfield? Because it looks delightful.
- California’s in some pretty serious trouble with all these winter rainstorms. Flooding videos keep popping up on my TikTok and man, it looks hella bad out there. And all this rain still isn’t even going to end their drought. JFC.
🤡 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)