FTX Is A Bigger Mess Than You Could Possibly Imagine

INSIDE: Dan Savage ... Kevin McCarthy ... Samuel Alito
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 8: Chief Executive Officer of FTX Trading Limited Sam Bankman-Fried speaks during a House Committee on Financial Services | Full Committee Hearing titled Digital Assets and the Future of Fin... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 8: Chief Executive Officer of FTX Trading Limited Sam Bankman-Fried speaks during a House Committee on Financial Services | Full Committee Hearing titled Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Dude Is Still Talking To The Press!

The new CEO of the bankrupt crypto-exchange FTX is in that position precisely because he has long experience guiding companies as they make their way through the bankruptcy process. His name is John J. Ray, and he served in a similar role after Enron’s implosion. So when he says this, you take notice:

Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.

Perhaps the only thing more unbelievable than the utter lack of financial controls at FTX is that founder Sam Bankman-Fried is still talking to the press, as recently as Friday when he emailed the Wall Street Journal.

The Great Unraveling

America’s slow-motion civil war grinds on:

Colorado Springs: A 22-year-old man is the suspected gunman in a Saturday night shooting at a gay bar that left five dead and 25 injured.

New York City: Two men, ages 22 and 21, were arrested at Penn Station Saturday in connection with a probe into threats against the Jewish community. “Searches of the suspects, their belongings, and a residence turned up a Glock semiautomatic handgun, a large hunting knife, and a swastika armband,” two senior law enforcement sources told NBC News.

North Carolina: A 42-year-old man was arrested for threatening to kill a FBI agent and vowing to execute members of a fact-checking organization if they didn’t leave MAGA World alone.

Meanwhile, the Texas legislature is preparing an all-out war on trans people’s existence.

Behind Closed Doors Isn’t Good Enough

Dan Savage with a deeply moving response to the Colorado Springs gay bar shooting.

Undisguised Payback Time

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is vowing to strip committee assignments from Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (CA), Eric Swalwell (CA), and Ilhan Omar (MN).

Republicans promised payback after House Democrats stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments at the beginning of the current Congress. The move is also inextricably bound up with McCarthy’s current wooing of Greene to secure the speakership. Fun times.

Supreme Court Bombshell

The NYT blew things up Saturday with its exhaustive report outlining (i) a long-running stealth lobbying campaign of Supreme Court justices by abortion foes; and relatedly (ii) all but pointed the finger at Justice Samuel Alito for allegedly revealing to abortion foes in advance the ruling in the majority decision he authored in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case.

The Times report comes as Chief Justice John Roberts continues to oversee an opaque internal investigation into the leak earlier this year of a draft of Alito’s majority opinion in the Dobbs case.

Two leading Democrats sent a letter Sunday to Roberts demanding answers about the new revelations and continuing to press their case for the Supreme Court to be bound by ethics guidelines.

OneLove Is Too Much For FIFA

Seven European national teams are bending to pressure from FIFA and won’t wear rainbow armbands for LGBTQ rights during the World Cup. Organizers were threatening violators with on-the-field penalties if they wore the OneLove armbands.

Kanye. Elon. Trump.

Twitter impresario Elon Musk reinstated Ye and invited Trump back, and that’s really all you need to know about the weekend’s Twitter drama.

The GOP minority on the House Judiciary Committee, ahem, saw this coming last month.

Coming Up This Week

With the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a short week, but there’s a lot going on:

Monday, Nov. 21: Closing arguments wrap up in the seditious conspiracy trial of the Oath Keepers. The jury should begin deliberations this week.

Tuesday, Nov. 22:

~ The Mar-a-Lago documents case goes to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for oral arguments. The Justice Department is asking the appeals court to stop the special master review of the documents seized by the FBI and let it resume its investigation unfettered by premature interference by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.

~ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mike Flynn are finally set to testify in the Georgia state grand jury investigation of 2020 election meddling.


Therano founder Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In Case You Missed It

Explosive residue confirms Nord Stream sabotage.


The Biden administration has endorsed a theory of legal immunity for MBS that he is using to shield himself from a lawsuit by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and by the rights group Khashoggi founded.

Who Cares What Bill Barr Says?

If you’re intrigued by Bill Barr’s long-running psychodrama over Trump, I’m sorry I can’t help you.

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