…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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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.