Kevin McCarthy’s Putrid Gift To Mike Johnson

INSIDE: Donald Trump ... Mike Gallagher ... Stephen Miller
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) (C) shakes hands with former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) after McCarthy voted for him as the House of Representatives holds an election fo... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) (C) shakes hands with former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) after McCarthy voted for him as the House of Representatives holds an election for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. After a contentious nominating period that has seen four candidates over a three-week period, the House GOP conference selected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as their most recent nominee to succeed former Speaker McCarthy (R-CA), who was ousted on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Thanks, Kev

In his craven quest for the House speakership last year, Kevin McCarthy was willing to give up anything, including changing the rules to allow any one member to bring up a discharge petition to oust the speaker. It cost him dearly, and now it’s putting his successor in a similar bind.

The House GOP leadership is making noises that it might try to change the rule back and take some of the pressure off Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who is currently being held over a barrel on Ukraine aid by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). But it’s not clear if there’s enough support among Republican members, each of whom is empowered by the McCarthy capitulation, for it to happen.

McCarthy, so weakened by what he was willing to concede for his own ambition, held the gavel a mere nine months before he was bounced by the likes of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). For his part, Johnson could be looking at an ouster attempt soon after he brings Ukraine aid to a vote.

Speaker Puts His Job On The Line For Ukraine Aid

The speaker Wednesday finally released the text of the package of foreign aid bills that includes desperately needed aid for Ukraine. A floor vote on the package could come as soon as Saturday and seems likely to lead to a move by far-right GOPers to oust him from the speakership.

Gaetz called Johnson’s decision to move forward on Ukraine aid an “abject surrender”:

The package’s prospects are highly uncertain, but Johnson’s apparent willingness to put everything on the line to get it passed is a glimmer of hope for Ukraine, which hasn’t had much positive news coming out of Washington in the months the aid bill has been stymied by Republicans on the Hill.

Jury Selection Resumes In Hush Money Case

TPM’s Josh Kovensky is back in the Manhattan courthouse this morning for the resumption of jury selection in the Trump hush money case, which sat in recess Wednesday. Among the new developments:

  • Prosecutors filed a list of prior bad acts by Trump that they intend to use on cross examination if Trump testifies in his own defense.
  • Norm Eisen explores the likelihood of a prison sentence for Trump if he is convicted.
  • Trump may have violated the gag order yet again, with a social media post targeting prospective jurors:

Don’t Sleep On The State-Level Fake Elector Probes

The NYT catches us up on the fake elector criminal cases in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada plus the ongoing criminal investigations in Wisconsin and Arizona.

The Price Of Service

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) hinted this week that death threats may be behind his early resignation decision: “This is more just me wanting to prioritize being with my family,” he told reporters on the Hill. “I signed up for the death threats and the late-night swatting, but they did not. And for a young family, I would say this job is really hard.”

Arizona GOPers Dig In To Defend Civil War Abortion Ban

Quite a scene in Arizona yesterday, as state House Republicans once again blocked an effort to repeal a newly revived Civil War-era abortion ban, as TPM’s Kate Riga reports:

Rep. David Livingston (R-AZ) turned to the galleries, stuffed with a mix of pro- and anti-abortion rights protesters, and applauded his supporters, raising his fists in triumph. Majority Whip Teresa Martinez (R-AZ) mouthed “we got you” and did a thumbs up. Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci (R-AZ) grinned and accepted a handshake on his way out of the chamber. 

“They were posing for their far-right base,” scoffed Assistant Minority Leader Oscar De Los Santos (D-AZ), calling TPM from the House floor minutes after the last procedural vote failed. 

In the state Senate, a similar repeal effort is making progress with the help of crossover Republicans, so this could come up again in the House for vote.

Senate Dems Deep Six Mayorkas Impeachment

The bogus House GOP impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was quickly dismissed Wednesday by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

As The Saying Goes …

Fuck around and “you’re about to find out very soon” … eventually … almost there … wait for it … any minute now …

2024 Ephemera

  • WaPo: Trump takes aim at a remaining House Republican who voted to impeach him
  • LOL: The Trump campaign is asking down-ballot candidates who use his name, image and likeness in fundraising appeals to cough up at least 5 percent of the proceeds to his campaign.
  • FL-Sen: Sen. Rick Scott (R) is in the grips of an abortion anxiety spiral

What A Total Weirdo

Also, who pronounces “dynasty” as “din-asty”?

Antisemitism Watch

Antisemitic threats in the U.S. have soared since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, FBI Director Chris Wray told Jewish leaders. “So to be more specific, between Oct. 7 and Jan. 30 of this year, we opened over three times more anti-Jewish hate crime investigations than in the four months before Oct. 7,” Wray said.

Sign O’ The Times

WaPo: Red states threaten librarians with prison — as blue states work to protect them

A Good Old-Fashioned Heist

Nine people, including an Air Canada employee, have been arrested in connection with last year’s heist of more than $14.5 million in gold bars from a warehouse at the Toronto airport.

Vulcan Makes Himself Known

Just one of the incredible shots of this week’s eruption of Mount Ruang in Indonesia:

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