Tag Archives: House Speaker

Don’t get ahead of yourself, Mr. Speaker

Kevin McCarthy, the newly installed speaker of the U.S. House, no doubt is feeling smug this morning as he begins his first week in Congress’s most powerful political office.

I mean, the Republican congressman was able to take the gavel after 15 votes among his colleagues in the House. He set a record for the number of tries he needed to cross the finish line. Is this the beginning of a new era in Congress? I doubt it … seriously!

Therefore, I feel compelled to warn the speaker against getting too far ahead of himself as he seeks to organize the legislative chamber. He gave away a lot — too much, in my view — to the right-wing radical wing of the Republican Party House conference to attain the office he coveted.

The most startling concession allows just one House member to call for a vote to remove the speaker. What, then, could happen if McCarthy pisses off one of the House members who held out until the last minute to approve his nomination? Could they call for a vote within the House to boot him?

Moreover, it should be obvious to Speaker McCarthy that voters sent a clear message to Congress in the November 2022 midterm election: They want Congress to govern, not obstruct; voters aren’t interested in these “investigations” into Hunter Biden’s laptop. Maybe most GOPers have such an interest, but they don’t comprise the bulk of the voting population.

I couldn’t help but think of the classic definition of insanity as McCarthy kept bringing the speakership up for a vote time and again. It is that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

To be fair, Speaker McCarthy eventually got the “different result” he sought … but it was on the 15th try.

Wow! What a sh** show!


How can he govern?

For the life of me I am trying to grasp how in the name of good government Kevin McCarthy can hope to function as speaker of the House when he keeps capitulating to the right-wing nut job caucus of the Republican congressional conference.

I mean, holy yellow-belly coward, the dude is making deal after deal with MAGA lovers who don’t trust him as far as they can throw him.

And he still can’t get enough votes to be selected as House speaker!

He’s gone through 13 failed attempts at garnering the needed 218 votes to become speaker. Each time it goes to the floor for a vote he gives something else away.

He’s promised to put the election deniers on key committees, he has agreed to let a single House member call for a vote to remove the speaker, he is promising to open up investigations into every Democrat within spitting distance of Capitol Hill.

If he is able to be elected speaker, McCarthy is likely to learn in short order — as in immediately — that the prize he has coveted for years ain’t worth the effort.

The late Texan, former VP John Nance Garner, once said the vice presidency “ain’t worth a bucket of warm piss.” If he is able to seize the gavel as House speaker — and that remains an open question — I intend to wait for a similar description from McCarthy about the office he fought like hell to inherit.


Have they lost their mind?

Has the right-wing, nut job, MAGA-worshiping wing of the congressional Republican conference lost what passes for its collective mind?

They have denied the U.S. House of Representatives the ability to organize under the leadership of a new speaker. They have rendered the people’s House a legislative body in name only. Except that it doesn’t legislate a damn thing. It cannot function without a speaker.

The GOP nut job cabal continues to deny the party’s congressional leader Kevin McCarthy the job he says he deserves. That’s a highly debatable point. The point of this blog, though, is to underscore the low-brow idiocy that is driving this impasse.

I guess I should point out that the fellow elected from my congressional district — the 3rd District of Texas, Keth Self — is among those who are blocking the selection of a speaker. Nice going, dude!

The MAGA lovers think nothing of the consequence of having a House that is not functioning. The Senate is ready to go. The president is set to propose legislation.

The House is set to, um, do nothing. If American voters delivered any sort of message in the 2022 midterm election is that they want Congress to get to work. The nation is tired of the posturing, preening and prancing of right-wingers intent on making spectacles of themselves and embarrassing their political foes.

The only embarrassment belongs to the right-wing nut jobs.


Chaos in the House

I must admit to some joy in watching U.S. House Republicans stumble over themselves trying to nominate a speaker of their legislative body.

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy failed three times to get the required 218 votes to win election as speaker. He is being stymied by the right-wing nutjob caucus within the Republican conference. They think he’s too accommodating to Democrats. That makes me laugh out loud.

I don’t know who will emerge from the tumult in the House. It doesn’t matter too much to me at this point. My mind is occupied with more pressing concerns closer to home … such as the health challenge facing my bride.

I just had to take a moment to chuckle, snort and giggle at the sight of congressional Republicans try to find someone to lead the body.

Now I will turn back to the thing that matters more than anything else on Planet Earth: my bride’s well-being.


C’mon, Mr. POTUS, you’ve been impeached

I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, Mr. President, but let me be as crystal clear as I possibly can.

The House of Representatives has impeached you on two counts: one for abuse of power, the other for obstructing Congress.

I watched the vote happen this past week in real time. So did millions of other Americans. One former Republican voted to impeach you; two Democrats bolted on one count, three of them voted “no” on the other one.

Still, the impeachment stands for the record. It stands for history. You’re going to your grave eventually “impeached president,” or words to that effect, on your obituary.

I don’t get this strategy you and your legal team are employing, suggesting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to send over the impeachment articles immediately to the Senate means you aren’t actually impeached. Of course you are!

It’s a silly game designed to confuse everyone. I trust your lawyers know better, but then again they work for you and are obligated to do your bidding while they represent you in this matter.

Your lawyers are citing the arguments of a Harvard law professor who says that until articles are submitted to the Senate, there is technically no impeachment. What the heck does that mean? The articles are going to the Senate, Mr. President. The speaker simply wants some clarity on the nature of the trial the Senate plans to conduct before she sends ’em over. The Senate will get them in due course. I want them sent over sooner rather than later, too.

How about ending this idiotic game-playing? Let’s get down to brass tacks: Your task is to persuade us — including me — that you really didn’t ask Ukraine for political dirt on Joe Biden and that your blanket order to deny cooperation with congressional subpoenas aren’t impeachable offenses. I believe they are.

You’ve been impeached, Mr. President.

So … with that I wish you a Merry Christmas.

We’ll see you on the other side.

Yes, on House impeachment inquiry vote!

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking the correct course in its decision to call for a vote of its members on whether to proceed with its inquiry on impeaching Donald J. Trump.

The courts have ruled that the impeachment process is legal. They have said the House is on solid legal footing, despite what the president and his allies have alleged.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had dug in against staging a vote. However, with sufficient votes to support the inquiry and likely enough votes to impeach the president when that vote comes due, the speaker has decided to put the House’s officials imprimatur on the inquiry.

So it will be done Thursday.

Republicans have declared that an inquiry without an official vote somehow was less than legitimate. They are wrong. The House, though, plans to settle that issue once and for all as it proceeds toward all-but-certain impeachment possibly by the end of the year.

Let’s call the roll, shall we?

Mr. Ryan is moving to Washington

I don’t know exactly why this is such a big deal, why the media are making hay about it, but it kinda/sorta is a big deal.

Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is moving from his beloved hometown of Janesville, Wis., to Washington, D.C. Yep, he’s moving his family — all of ’em — to the nation’s capital city.

Why is it a big deal?

Here’s my take. Ryan made quite a big splash about how he loved getting out of Washington, how he cherished his time away from The Beltway, how he wanted to commune with the home folks to get a feel of what the rest of Middle America was thinking.

He’s now out of office. He left the speakership and the House of Representatives at the end of 2018. Maybe he’s had all the Middle America perspective he can stand.

Let’s remember, too, that Ryan ran for vice president in 2012 on the Republican ticket led by now U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. Indeed, I recall vividly during that campaign how Ryan espoused the virtues of going home, of how he wanted to spend as much time as possible away from the halls of power.

To be fair, Ryan is not selling his Janesville home. He and his wife will rent a house in the D.C. ‘burbs in Maryland. He plans to return home to Janesville. His foundation will be based back “home.”

It’s just that when a national politician makes a lot of noise about spending time away from the Center of the Political Universe, only to return to it, well … it does make me scratch my noggin.

No, Mr. POTUS, Pelosi isn’t ‘bad for the country’; you are!

Mr. President, I cannot let you get away with this nonsense you spouted on CBS News.

Your belief that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “very bad for the country” is laughable on its face. Except that it ain’t funny.

What’s “funny,” and my laughter is of the derisive kind, is that you say these things with a straight face. You, sir, are the one who is “bad for the country.” I hate saying that about the president of the United States, but I feel as though I must.

Speaker Pelosi is performing just as she did when he held the post the first time. You weren’t around Washington back then. You were still slapping your name on high-rise buildings and “firing” people on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Pelosi was controlling her Democratic Party congressional caucus. She was helping ensure that President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act legislation got passed by the House and eventually by the Senate. She was doing her job as a legislative leader.

She is displaying her strong hand once again in this silly battle over The Wall and whether we should pay for it. Your ridiculous campaign promise that Mexico would pay for it has been exposed for what it is: utter nonsense. Yet you make these idiotic pledges anyway.

You call Pelosi “rigid”? No, sir. She is standing behind her principles and is holding her caucus firm in its resistance to building The Wall. You contend you are ready to declare a “national emergency” where none exists on our southern border. You are prompting a legal challenge. You are intent on putting our military personnel to work as wall builders. Haven’t you heard your fellow Republicans urge you to resist this measure, that you are courting disaster?

That, Mr. President, represents a public policy that is “very bad for the country.”

Rep. Jordan seeks to follow Speaker Hastert; oh, the irony

This cannot possibly be happening. But it is.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan wants to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives. The current speaker, Paul Ryan, isn’t running for re-election. Ryan has endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as his successor, according to The Hill.

That hasn’t dissuaded the young Freedom Caucus co-founder, Jordan, from joining the speaker fray in the fight to become the person who is second in line to presidential succession.

But … this is a richly ironic candidacy. It has nothing to do with Jordan’s legislative record. It has everything to do with, um, sex!

Jordan has been accused by several former Ohio State University wrestlers of looking the other way while these athletes were being sexually abused by a team doctor. Jordan denies the accusations categorically. Still, they are mounting up, much like the women who accused a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice of abusing them when they were much younger.

The irony? It goes like this: A former U.S. House speaker, Dennis Hastert, pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to the abuse of young boys he coached many years ago in an Illinois high school. Hastert wasn’t charged specifically with sexual abuse, as the statute of limitations had expired. He did admit to doing so, however, during his sentencing.

I just find it strange, weird and oh, so ironic that Jordan would seek the same office once held by someone who also got himself into deep doo-doo over a sexual abuse matter.

You also can bet the farm that Democrats are going to use Rep. Jordan’s own set of (alleged) troubles against him as they seek to re-capture control of the House of Representatives in this fall’s midterm election.

Another ‘Me Too’ congressman hits the road

Blake Farenthold, a Republican congressman from Corpus Christi, has quit. Good deal. Hit the road, dude!

This means Congress’s ranks of men accused of sexual harassment has thinned by one more.

Farenthold, though, is a bit of a special case. He isn’t your garden-variety sexual harasser. He happens to be someone who bilked taxpayers out of $84,000 to settle a harassment claim. You see, the money came from that mysterious fund that enables lawmakers to use the fund — which is public money — to pay off those who accuse them of personal misbehavior.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Farenthold has pledged to pay the money back. He hasn’t done so just yet. Hey, I thought this guy took out a personal to reimburse the fund. Isn’t that what was reported when the allegations came forth in the first place and when Farenthold announced his intention to retire at the end of his current term.

He’s thought differently about that. I won’t say “better,” because of the statement he issued when he announced his resignation effective immediately. “While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it’s time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve,” Farenthold said.

Here’s a thought as this fellow begins his search for “new ways to serve”: Don’t harass anyone — sexually or otherwise.

Oh, and how about lobbying Congress to get rid of the fund?