A Republican who served as the vice chairman of the powerful House and Ways and Means Committee blasted Kevin McCarthy after he lost the chairmanship to a congressman with far less seniority, apparently as part of a large set of deals the new Speaker of the House made to finally win the gavel. The 71-year old Republican congressman might choose to retire, which would narrow McCarthy’s majority even more.
Rep. Buchanan “exploded after losing Ways & Means to a McCarthy ally, fueling anxiety that he could retire out of pique—and that McCarthy’s favor trading has eroded his narrow margin of support.”
The chairmanship ultimately went to “the 42-year-old Speaker’s pet Jason Smith, potentially reducing Kevin McCarthy’s margin of error from four votes to three to pass critical partisan legislation,” Puck reports.
In an glimpse into how chairmanships are awarded, Puck also reveals fundraising plays a critical role, at least on the Republican side of the House.
“It couldn’t have been a surprise that Buchanan, who is independently wealthy and a key donor whisperer, isn’t taking the snub lightly. ‘Vern put out more money in fundraising than anyone else, and he wanted that job,’ said a source. Another noted that the congressman had raised more than $4.1 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee and threw together a last minute fundraiser at his house—at McCarthy’s request—for Anna Paulina Luna, with special guest Newt Gingrich. ‘But Smith is a McCarthy crony,’ this person said.”
Buchanan was so angered he “proceeded to chew out McCarthy’s deputy chief of staff for floor operations, John Leganski. It was shocking to see such fury from Buchanan, who’s known for being mild mannered. Indeed, I heard that the tirade was so heated that the Speaker’s security detail stepped in with a light touch. (McCarthy’s spokesperson Matt Sparks disputed this detail saying, ‘at no point did anyone have to step in.’ A spokesperson for Buchanan declined to comment.)”
According to Florida Politics, “The Ways and Means results were a surprise to many in [Buchanan’s] orbit. Buchanan had seniority on the panel over all other Republican members. And while there were reports McCarthy had encouraged Smith to run because he felt Buchanan had more loyalty to Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Buchanan’s political team always believed McCarthy could support the Florida lawmaker, the only Sunshine State Representative seeking a full committee gavel this Congress.”
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‘Chutzpah’: Biden Blasts Johnson ‘Taking Credit’ for $30 Million Project He Voted Against
Speaking in Pueblo, Colorado to promote his highly-successful “Bidenomics” fiscal program, President Joe Biden on Wednesday blasted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson for “taking credit” for a major federally-funded infrastructure project despite having voted against the legislation that made it happen.
“All across America,” the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun wrote in August, “the success of Bidenomics is well beyond debate.” They also quoted former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, who “wrote in an essay last month, Bidenomics ‘is turning out to be the most successful set of economic policies the United States has witnessed in a half-century.'”
President Biden traveled to Colorado and spoke to voters in the district represented by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
“The company that Biden visited, CS Wind, is on the home turf of Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has described the president’s climate policies as ‘a massive failure,'” The Associated Press reported.
“’Did you all know that you’re part of a massive failure?’ Biden said to the workers and local officials gathered for his speech as he touted hundreds of new jobs fueled by tax incentives for clean energy initiatives. ‘None of that sounds like a massive failure to me. How about you?'”
At one point, President Biden targeted Speaker Johnson and Florida Republican Vern Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
“The new Republican Speaker of the House, along with Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan just visited Sarasota, Florida yesterday to tour the construction of a new terminal at that airport. It’s going to create thousands of jobs over time. The project is funded with nearly $30 million from the bipartisan recession law. It’s going to generate more than $30 million for Florida, multiple times times over and guess what? Both the Speaker and the Congressman voted against the law. And spoke against the law. But now they’re down there taking credit for it being built.”
“As my mother would say, ‘God love ’em,'” the President continued. “As one of my friends back home would say, ‘that’s real chutzpah.'”
Watch the President below or at this link.
Biden: The new Republican Speaker with Vern Buchanan just visited Sarasota to tour the construction of a new terminal. Both of them voted against the law but now they’re down there taking credit for it.. pic.twitter.com/KS5fyVg5Xj
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 29, 2023
Speaker Mike Johnson to Be Keynote Speaker at Hardline Christian Nationalist Lawmakers’ Gala
Last week, Christian nationalist religious-right activist and former Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert announced that House Speaker Mike Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming National Association of Christian Lawmakers gala that is being held at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC on Dec. 5.
The National Association of Christian Lawmakers, as its name suggests, is a far-right Christian nationalist organization founded by Rapert in 2019 that seeks to spread its far-right “biblical worldview” across the nation and “take authority” over every level of government.
Rapert, who last week was appointed to the state library board by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a hardline anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ activist who has declared that no Christian can ever vote for a Democrat because Democrats have “been enlisted to further the antichrist cult in our country.”
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert attempts to topple the “LGBTQ cult” that has allegedly taken over the country: “Let go of our reins of government in this nation! You will not drag us into your pit!” pic.twitter.com/2F2UXrKzYC
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 25, 2023
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert is sick of all “the idiots in the country that want to make you think that a man’s gotta be able to go up and slobber all over another man and hug and kiss him and pretend like they’re married.” pic.twitter.com/pYRmZvy7eo
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 7, 2023
Former Arkansas state senator and founder of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers Jason Rapert declares that Christians “must take authority” over government: “Do you think that America is gonna be free with a bunch of drag queens running this place?” pic.twitter.com/cUp6pyr4XF
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 2, 2023
“This is what the NACL does every day all across this country,” Rapert bragged. “We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality.” https://t.co/frIHtEAF05 pic.twitter.com/USWXPyFxiq
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 22, 2023
Christian nationalist Jason Rapert has high hopes for the 2024 presidential election: “My hope is that the people of this nation will reelect Jesus to be on the throne here again in our country.” pic.twitter.com/lCrNGFt8A0
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) May 5, 2023
When the National Association of Christian Lawmakers held a meeting earlier this year, participants used it as an opportunity to discuss plans to strip public libraries of their funding, convince states to designate June as “Christian History Month,” and defend the practice of imposing “the death penalty for sodomy.”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is reprinted here by permission.
‘How Fascists Act’: Trump Slammed for Demanding Biden Weaponize Government to Help Him
Overnight, amid a flurry of social media posts, Donald Trump demanded President Joe Biden weaponize the federal government to “come down hard” on a news media outlet to benefit the indicted ex-president’s 2024 political campaign. While attacking the press is part of Trump’s regular tactics, this time he’s getting widely criticized for his thinly-veiled threat he will do what he’s demanding of Biden if he retakes the White House.
The First Amendment is clear, and numerous rulings have shown the federal government cannot censor or dictate how or what the free press reports. It can, and has, asked for coverage of a story, and can direct a news outlet’s attention to an issue, but it cannot stop the media from reporting on a presidential candidate.
And yet, that’s exactly what Donald Trump demanded President Joe Biden do.
“MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” Trump claimed very late Tuesday night. “Brian Roberts, its Chairman and CEO, is a slimeball who has been able to get away with these constant attacks for years. It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country.”
“Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity. Much more to come, watch!” Trump wrote.
Critics immediate focused on the fact that MSNBC is a cable news outlet that does not use what Trump called the “free government approved airwaves” (which are not free, broadcasters pay licensing fees.)
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has written several books on Trump, called it “a perfect example of Donald’s appalling ignorance.”
Also pointing to Trump’s false claim of MSNBC using “free government approved airwaves,” former New York Times media reporter Bill Carter noted Trump’s “ignorance is worse than the puerile name-calling.”
“He’s ranting mindlessly,” Carter observed, noting Trump “has several cable nets that are full-time propaganda channels for him.”
But the larger concern expressed was not that Trump does not understand the difference between broadcast and cable TV, but that he does not understand the U.S. Constitution.
“Thank goodness for the First Amendment, which gives the American people, the private sector and the free press the right to tell the former President to shove it,” wrote U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). “If Trump is going to say or do stupid stuff, or authoritarian crazy stuff, the press has the right to expose it.”
Former Obama Administration senior advisor and campaign chief strategist David Axelrod wrote, “I think we owe it to Trump to take his words seriously. He would use the power of government to punish media outlets who do critical reporting about him. Where are those who speak reflexively about fidelity to the Constitution but apparently have not read it?”
Former CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter responded to Axelrod’s post, writing: “Slight revise: Trump repeatedly did use the power of government to punish media outlets, and he can’t wait to do it again.”
Politico White House Bureau Chief Jonathan Lemire, who is also an MSNBC host, wrote: “Trump again threatening to use the power of the government against media he believes is being critical of him: ‘More to come, watch!'”
Gen Z speaker, writer, podcaster, and organizer Victor Shi noted Trump is calling for “MSNBC — which does NOT use free government-approved airwaves — to be dismantled by the government. Joe Biden does not say this about Fox, because he values democracy. Trump does NOT.”
Shi, adding other Trump overnight posts to his commentary, observed: “So, over the span of one night, Donald Trump called for the government to shutdown MSNBC because they don’t cover him ‘favorably’ & called for Obamacare to be gutted AGAIN. This isn’t how leaders [in a] democracy behave. This is how fascists act—& we must be alarmed.”
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