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  1. An Episode from Left Wing Populism <- According to The New York Times: House Republicans vote to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. AOC did not like the process and picked-up the microphone: ---> I want to remind the ranter up there a few things: a) A Bernie Sanders fanatic went after Republican Congressmen playing baseball as well, not only Democrats were victims of political violence. Jan 6th was major is true, but also then the mob wanted both Republicans and Conservatives. https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/homepage2/james-hodgkinson-profile/index.html b) Then she says about someone threatened her life, that was Paul Gosar with the video 1 year ago or so, a few days ago she was chatting with the same Gosar in the chambers politics. c) The last part about "Jewish lasers", if she was referring to Marjorie Taylor Green she is right. She should study Marjorie Green Taylor, because as far as it goes with the agitation she is starting to play Taylor's tactics, at a lower scale is true, for now is my opinion.
  2. Kevin McCarthy lost a 3rd vote in a showdown with Republican hardliners. Republicans are facing a leadership drama as they take control of the House. Updates: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/live-updates/new-congress-live-updates/?id=95854349 --> Jim Jordan won enough votes to deny McCarthy the speakership. ---> House votes to adjourn until the next day.
  3. House Republicans are now planning on forming a new select committee to investigate the Department of Justice and the FBI, including their “ongoing criminal investigations,” setting up a showdown with the Biden administration and law enforcement agencies over their criminal probes, particularly those into former President Donald Trump. The new expanded committee proposal is a result of one of the key concessions House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made to his populist (I added this word) opposition to secure the gavel. The proposal is included in the House rules package, which establishes the rules and committees for the 118th Congress. If the proposal passes, McCarthy would be able to select 13 lawmakers to serve on the subcommittee, five of whom would be chosen in consultation with House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries. ABC News Was the FBI good in the Republican book when they announced the decision to investigate Hillary Clinton? Remember that moment? Trumpists were thanking the FBI like they were Santa Claus. Not saying I disagree with the decision of the FBI, politicians do need to be investigated, but if I were a conspiracy theorist, definitely the timing was very suspicious. I will dismiss it as a coincidence and just stick at pointing out the hypocrisy: If Trump says FBI is bad, is bad. If tomorrow Trump wakes up liking the FBI, FBI is good. And everyone follows.
  4. Via Reason.com - A leading Libertarian Source: The massive power of federal government attracts frauds. When George Santos was elected to Congress to represent Long Island, New York, the media narrative at the time was that he was the first openly gay Republican elected to the House of Representatives as a non-incumbent. It was a minor story in the news cycle, which focused more generally on how voters rejected the fringier and Trumpian candidates the Republican Party put forward in November. But now Santos is getting all sorts of national press coverage, because it turns out huge chunks of his biography—including his education and past employment—are complete fabrications. Earlier this month, after investigating Santos' background, The New York Times reported that it could not verify much of the information he had told voters. Santos publicly admitted some of his lies in an interview over Christmas weekend with the New York Post. He has not worked for Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, as he has claimed. (He was apparently working as a call center employee for Dish Network during that time). He also never graduated from Baruch College in New York City, as he had claimed. It's not clear at this point how much of Santos' background is actually true. Is he even gay? He was once married to a woman, The Daily Beast reports, but divorced her in 2019 just prior to his first (failed) run for Congress in 2020. This, of course, doesn't mean he's not gay. (He recently married his male partner). But it is a bit unusual. The misleading claims even turned comical when he admitted to the New York Post that he's Catholic and not Jewish, as he had claimed. "I never claimed to be Jewish," he explained. "I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was 'Jew-ish.'" It sounds like something a character from Seinfeld or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia might say when they're caught in a lie. Reason's Jesse Walker tweeted a memory of Harry Shearer telling a similar joke in the 1990s. While the whole scandal is hilarious, it is also deeply distressing. Democrats are demanding that Santos resign for his lies or that Congress somehow refuse to seat him, but, really, is anybody in U.S. national politics in a position to seize the moral high ground here? Sen. Elizabeth Warren? President Joe Biden? The scandal is not that Santos lied. The scandal is that Santos lied about so many things that we can't even be certain of who Santos is. And that does call into question whether Santos' campaign platform accurately represents him. But isn't that somewhat true of all politicians? Ultimately, we get to know our representatives by how they act once they're actually in Congress—what they vote for or against, what bills they introduce, and even whether they show up to do their job. On the campaign trail, politicians promise whatever they think will be necessary to swing the election in their favor. They could completely lie about who they are to impress voters. They could make promises to pass laws or create policies they have no intention of keeping or don't have the authority to keep. They can change their minds entirely once they get into office. Remember when Barack Obama campaigned for president promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? It is unfortunate that the truths about Santos didn't come out prior to his election. There are also some financial discrepancies in Santos' stated finances as part of his campaign run. Where did all his money come from if his job history is a lie? That may be what gets him in legal hot water. Otherwise, Santos presumably has a seat in Congress for two years unless he decides to resign over the scandal. At the moment, he is adamant that he will serve his term. There is no mechanism for his voters to recall him (or any other member of Congress). The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can't refuse to seat him as long as he meets the constitutional requirements and was legally elected. There is accountability for Santos in the form of the 2024 election. If it turns out that he is this weird con artist, presumably his behavior in office will follow suit. Certainly the press will watch his actions closely. What is the moral of the story here? Well, first of all, political parties need to do a better job investigating their opposition. Apparently the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did pick up some discrepancies about Santos' finances and the animal rescue charity he claimed to have connections to, but it didn't research his employment and educational background. Instead, the committee focused on his ties to Trump, claims of election fraud, and positions against abortion, which to be fair, did turn out to be a winning political argument elsewhere in the country. But the report took a lot of stuff about Santos at face value that it shouldn't have. As for the rest of us, it's a reminder that the tremendous power and wealth accorded to those in the federal government attracts many of the worst sorts of people. For those reasons, it's important to restrain the amount of power the federal government has. Santos is an anomaly not in his way of saying whatever will get him elected but in his willingness to take it much further than anybody else. Or so we think. --- Update: Since then, Federal Prosecutors have opened an investigation into George:
  5. Agroup of 13 Republican members of the incoming House of Representatives have sent a letter to their colleagues in the Senate warning them against supporting an omnibus spending bill this week. Representative Chip Roy shared the letter to Twitter on Monday as the Senate works to pass the bill designed to fund the federal government and prevent a potential shutdown. In their letter, the lawmakers threaten to oppose any GOP senator who supports the bill, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has touted the legislation. The signatories included 10 current members of the House and three newly elected members who will take their seats next month. Roy, a Texas Republican, was one of those signing the letter. The strongly worded letter may be the opening salvo in a potential Republican civil war as the party prepares for its House majority when the new Congress meets on January 3. If the omnibus spending bill passes before the Friday shutdown deadline, it will be achieved while Democrats are still in control of the House and President Joe Biden's party is hoping senators will approve the measure before the new Congress meets. There have already been divisions among House Republicans about the election of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as speaker. McCarthy said this week that GOP senators shouldn't vote for the omnibus spending bill. The 13 House Republicans urged their Senate colleagues not to pass the spending bill during the lame duck session just days before members of Congress head home for the holidays. "Senate Republicans have the 41 votes necessary to stop this and should do so now and show the Americans who elected you that they weren't wrong in doing so," the 13 Republicans wrote. If just 10 Senate Republicans vote in favor of the spending bill, it will pass. "The American people did not elect us—any of us—to continue the status quo in Washington, as this bill will undoubtably [sic] do," the letter said. The Republicans warn that their Senate colleagues would be giving up an important point of leverage—"the power of the purse"—that could be used to address the Biden administration's "purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders." The letter goes on to suggest that the 13 House Republicans will refuse to cooperate with GOP senators who support the omnibus spending bill. "[W]e are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill—including the Republican leader," the letter said. "We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators," they wrote. The letter concludes: "Kill this terrible bill or there is no point in pretending we are a united party, and we must prepare for a new political reality." McConnell has expressed support for the bill and emphasized what Republicans have managed to achieve in the bipartisan plan. He said on Monday that Republicans had flipped Biden's position on military spending "on its head" and that the bill "provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline and a substantial real-dollar cut to the nondefense, non-veterans baseline." "The bipartisan bill that our colleagues have negotiated equips our armed forces with the resources they need while cutting nondefense, non-veterans spending in real dollars," McConnell said. "This is a strong outcome for Republicans, and much more importantly, it's the outcome that our nation's security needs," he said. Failure to pass the spending bill could lead to a partial government shutdown as early as Saturday. https://www.newsweek.com/republicans-brink-civil-war-house-gop-threatens-senate-colleagues-1768298
  6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Under Investigation By House Ethics Committee. The statement, which did not provide many details about the inquiry, said that the panel will announce its course of action after its organizational meeting in the next Congress, sometime in 2023. A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez said that she was confident that the case would be dismissed. “The Congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously, refusing any donations from lobbyists, corporations, or other special interests,” the spokesperson said in a statement. The nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics forwarded its inquiry into Ocasio-Cortez to the House ethics panel in June, according to the report. Typically, when that office forwards an investigation, it is because the office has reason to believe an ethics law was broken.  Wednesday’s statement, attributed to acting Chair Susan Wild (D-Penns.) and Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-Miss.), says the disclosure of the investigation “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.” via Forbes which will have updates here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zacheverson/2022/12/07/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-is-under-investigation-by-house-ethics-committee/?sh=16057feb622c
  7. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was elected by his colleagues on Wednesday to serve as minority leader. Why it matters: He is the first new Democratic leader in two decades and the first Black leader of a party in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has led the caucus since 2003, announced her retirement from leadership earlier this month. "This is a moment of transition," Jeffries, 52, a lawyer and former state legislator first elected to Congress in 2012, said in a sit-down with reporters on Tuesday night. "And we stand on the shoulders of giants." The big picture: Assistant Leader Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) are expected to be his Nos. 2 and 3. The trio has been planning their ascent for years. House Majority Leader Hoyer (D-Md.), like Pelosi, is stepping down to serve as a rank-and-file member, while Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) is running for assistant leader, the No. 4 role. What they're saying: Jeffries said Tuesday that his aim for Democrats in the minority is to "find common ground with Republicans to get things done that can make life better for everyday Americans whenever possible." But, he added, "We are also prepared to oppose their extremism where we must." Jeffries did not shy away from criticizing his likely GOP counterpart, Kevin McCarthy, and noted he's had "more interaction" with McCarthy's deputy, Steve Scalise. But, he said, "I have an open mind about being able to engage with Kevin McCarthy, for the good of the country." He also expressed confidence he can keep his diverse and often fractious caucus unified: "There's nothing more unifying than being in the minority and having a clear-eyed objective and goal of getting back into the majority." https://www.axios.com/2022/11/30/hakeem-jeffries-house-democratic-leader-election
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