The Five Scariest Words I’ve Heard This Week…

Here’s a phrase that should send shivers down just about anyone’s spine: Vice-President Marjorie Taylor Green.

Don’t laugh. Well, not too much, anyway. She’s serious about this.

NBC News says, MTG wants to be Trump’s running mate in 2024.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is angling to be Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024, according to two people who have spoken to the firebrand second-term congresswoman about her ambitions.

“This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be,” said Steve Bannon, the former top Trump aide who hosts the War Room podcast, where Greene has been a guest.

“She sees herself on the short list for Trump’s VP. Paraphrasing Cokie Roberts, when MTG looks in the mirror she sees a potential president smiling back,” he added, referencing Roberts, the late political reporter who worked for NPR, ABC News and other outlets.

A second source who has advised Greene said her “whole vision is to be vice president.” The source, who has ties to Trump but spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said he also believes Greene would be on Trump’s short list.

This ambition explains a few things she’s said and done lately, such as distancing herself from the “Q-Anon” conspiracy. Speaking to Howard Kurtz on FOX News, she claimed that “like a lot of people” she “had easily gotten sucked into some things I had seen on the internet.”

Snopes notes that this is similar to an earlier remark she’d made about her following Q-Anon.

Back in 2021 when she was stripped of her House committee assignments, she said her past comments about QAnon “do not represent me” and she was “was allowed to believe things that weren’t true […].” She added that she regretted that she “would ask questions about them and talk about them.”

[She was “allowed” to? Who do you go to to get permission to believe in crazy conspiracy theories?]

She has also bound herself tightly to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is rewarding her help in recruiting representatives to vote for his Speakership by giving her a place on two choice committee seats. “I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy told a friend, according to the New York Times. “I will always take care of her.” And taking care of her means assignments to high-profile, powerful committees – the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Two years is a long time, and loyalty among Republicans is highly volatile, but if McCarthy, trump and Green can maintain their bonds until the election, don’t be surprised if you hear Greene’s name floated for the Vice Presidency.

…and Domestic

A man with very short cropped black hair, wearing glasses, a black jacket, grey t-shirt and khaki pants is being arrested by two heavily armed police officers wearing bulletproof vests over their uniform tops.

We were reminded again yesterday of the growing threat domestic terrorism poses. From the AP:

A failed Republican state legislative candidate who authorities say was angry over losing the election last November and made baseless claims that the election was “rigged” against him was arrested Monday in connection with a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico’s largest city.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina held a news conference Monday evening hours after SWAT officers arrested Solomon Pena at his home.

The AP also noted:

Police said Pena, an election denier, had approached county and state lawmakers after his loss claiming the contest had been rigged against him despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022. The shootings began shortly after those conversations.

The shootings began Dec. 4, when eight rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Days later, state Rep. Javier Martinez’s home was targeted. On Dec. 11, more than a dozen rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, police said.

The final related shooting, targeting state Sen. Linda Lopez’s home, unfolded in the midnight hour of Jan. 3. Police said more than a dozen shots were fired, including three that Lopez said passed through the bedroom of her sleeping 10-year-old daughter.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the shootings, but four families have been traumatized, or perhaps I should say four more as they are hardly alone.

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Isn’t There Something About a Right to Bare Arms?

Ok, yes, bad joke and hardly original, but this story deserves any ridicule it can get.

The Missouri House of Representatives decided today that they needed a tighter dress code for women, and women only. It seems that women having bare arms was a problem for some legislators.

The changes were spearheaded by state Rep. Ann Kelley (R), a co-sponsor who was among the Republicans seeking to require women to wear a blazer when in the chamber. She was met by swift opposition from Democrats who called it “ridiculous.”

The state House eventually approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets, but still requires women’s arms to be concealed

Just to add to the silliness, at one point, the Representative who made the proposal agreed the discussion was ridiculous:

“You know what it feels like in this room to have a bunch of men in this room looking at your top to decide whether it’s appropriate or not?” said state Rep. Ashley Aune, a Democrat, adding that the entire debate was “ridiculous.”

At this point, Kelley appeared to have grown frustrated. She then retorted that it was indeed “ridiculous” that her colleagues were engaging in such a head debate over her proposed changes.

“Lady, you’re right, it is ridiculous,” Kelley said. “It is absolutely ridiculous that we have to talk about it on the House floor in the House chamber. Why should we even talk about something like this?”

Aune responded by pointing out that it was Kelley’s proposal that started the debate.

Right On Cue

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I expected trump would be demanding searches at Pres. Biden’s home over news that documents had been found in a locked closet in an office he used from 2017-2019, and according to The Hill, he’s fired his first salvo:

Trump himself sounded a similar theme on social media.

“When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?,” he asked on Truth Social.

In the same article, The Hill also notes that the House of Representatives has formed an investigatory committee on the “Weaponization of the FBI” and predict that it will be used to investigate the Biden document situation as well.

The panel, which is in essence looking into what Trump calls “the Deep State” and what his critics say is a conspiratorial fiction, was created on a straight party-line vote. The panel is sure to probe deeper into the Biden documents.

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Lying Liar Lies Some More

I’m beginning to wonder if George Santos, the Pinocchio of the House of Representatives, has ever been caught doing or saying anything honest.

According to CNBC, one of his fund-raising tactics for both his 2020 and 2022 Congressional campaigns was to have someone from his staff call wealthy donors and impersonate Dan Meyer, who is Kevin McCarthy’s Cheif of Staff.

CNBC also reported that the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan watchdog group, has filed a complaint with the FEC with questions about how Santos was able to loan his own campaign $705,000 when he only has a middle-class income. Among the CLC’s concerns are the possibilities that he

…violated federal campaign finance laws by engaging in a straw donor scheme to knowingly and willfully conceal the true sources of $705,000 that Santos purported to loan to his campaign; deliberately reporting false disbursement figures on FEC disclosure reports, among many other reporting violations; and illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, including rent on a house that Santos lived in during the campaign.

In addition, there are concerns that because he has been concealing the sources of his donations that he may have taken donations from corporations or foreign nationals, both of which are illegal for Federal candidates.

Given the sheer number of other lies Santos has told, it’s appropriate that his finances should be given a very close look, as it seems that politicians lie about money more than anything, except maybe sex.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

As you’ve likely heard by now, former President Trump has been under investigation for having removed several classified documents from the White House as he was leaving in 2020 and may be facing serious legal consequences because of them.

He was asked to return them by the National Archives and, when he failed to return all of them, the FBI searched his home at Mar-a-Lago to try to find the rest. He has spent the last several months bitterly complaining that the documents are his (they aren’t) and must be returned immediately (they won’t be.) He’s said that he declassified them (but left no record of his having told anyone about it, which is an important step.) He also filed a suit to try to stop the investigation, but the suit was dismissed by the District Court.

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A Taste of Things to Come

Several Representatives watching as Rep. Hudson (R-NC) pulls Rep. Rogers (R-AL) back - with his hand on Rep. Rogers face - from confronting Rep. Gaetz (R-FL) after he votes "Present" on the 14th attempt to elect a House Speaker.

If you’ve been awake at all this week, you’ve almost certainly heard about the colossal mess the Republicans have made of the House Speaker election. Sadly, this photo from earlier this evening, showing Rep. Hudson (R-NC) pulling Rep. Rogers (R-AL) back from Rep. Gaetz (R-FL), is about as good of a representation as any of what we can expect from the 118th Congress.

After 15 rounds of voting, the House appears to have finally elected a Speaker of the House, and – surprise! (not) – it’s Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has been super transparent about his desire to be Speaker for at least the last 2 years, if not longer, and the Freedom Caucus of the House has used that desperation to great effect. pushing McCarty to make a large number of often significant concessions to buy their votes. Unfortunately, it’s not just McCarthy who will be paying that bill. It may be a bit before we know exactly how much he’s truly given up and how much it will cost us, but it’s not going to be cheap.

Now, let’s see if they can get a rules package passed so they can actually start doing things.