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🇺🇸 McCarthy Marching Out

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The Flag

Good morning, and happy Friday. Santiago Daniel Peña García started scribbling on walls before he turned one. Rather than stop him, his mother encouraged his hobby and allowed the habit to flourish. Now, at age four, Santiago paints every day and has even created his own version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night."

Plus, a group of tourists fell in a Venice canal when their gondola capsized after they reportedly ignored orders to stop taking selfies.

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CONGRESS

McCarthy Marching Out

On Wednesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who served as House speaker for less than a year before his ouster in October, said he would retire from Congress at the end of the year. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, McCarthy said he would “serve America in new ways.”

Reporting from the Right: Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy leaving Congress at end of year: 'Leaving the House but not the fight' (Washington Examiner)

Reporting from the Left: Kevin McCarthy Says He Will Retire From Congress This Month (Huff Post)

From The Flag: McCarthy’s journey as a speaker began and ended contentiously. Additionally, as a notable figure within the Republican party, his departure from Congress is significant, especially at a time when Republicans hold a narrow majority in the House. McCarthy’s announcement was the top story in most major news outlets on Wednesday afternoon. Here’s how both sides are reacting to the announcement.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

House GOP’s Majority Grows Slimmer

  • In his bitterness against how he was treated by his own party, McCarthy is leaving the House GOP in a more precarious state.

  • McCarthy’s departure will create major consequences in how the House GOP operates, especially considering his role as a fundraiser.

  • “House Republicans are grappling with the announcement…narrowing the GOP's already-slim majority in the lower chamber following an expulsion and a series of departures planned for next year.”

Kevin McCarthy Screws Republicans on His Way Out, Dan McLaughlin, National Review: “Kevin McCarthy is undoubtedly bitter at how he was treated by his own caucus — or, rather, by eight members of it, who outvoted 210 others — and I do not blame him one bit for that. I’m not surprised or disappointed that he will retire from Congress as a result. But resigning in the middle of his term is a shabby thing to do. His constituents elected him to serve a two-year term. His party, with the expulsion of George Santos, will be down to just 220 Republicans, the slimmest of majorities, at least until a special election in February. Kevin McCarthy is undoubtedly bitter at how he was treated by his own caucus — or, rather, by eight members of it, who outvoted 210 others — and I do not blame him one bit for that. I’m not surprised or disappointed that he will retire from Congress as a result. But resigning in the middle of his term is a shabby thing to do. His constituents elected him to serve a two-year term. His party, with the expulsion of George Santos, will be down to just 220 Republicans, the slimmest of majorities, at least until a special election in February.”

McCarthy Heads for the Revolving Door, Bradley Devlin, The American Conservative: “Three days after his removal as Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California told members of the media, ‘I’m not resigning. I’m staying, so don’t worry. We’re going to keep the majority…I’m going to help the people I got here, and we’re going to expand it.’ One might ponder why the majority in the House was so slim to begin with. Maybe it had something to do with McCarthy’s money men spending exorbitant amounts of cash in GOP primaries to damage America First candidates who suggested a change in Republican congressional leadership was necessary. One also wonders who McCarthy was trying to impress with this CV—its placement in the chosen newspaper of the establishment and financial center-right should provide some insight. Surprisingly, McCarthy left the strongest point on his resume out of his editorial: He’s a talented fundraiser. But for those who read the Wall Street Journal and might consider hiring McCarthy as a lobbyist for their cause, they already know that. They’ve been signing checks for McCarthy for years.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: House Republicans react to Kevin McCarthy retiring from Congress: 'Hopefully no one dies', Rachel Schilke, Washington Examiner

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Not A Great Ending for McCarthy

  • McCarthy will leave Congress with a legacy, although it’s not a particularly impressive one.

  • “The former speaker’s decision to leave his seat a year early could affect control of the House, the legislative agenda, and his party’s efforts to keep its majority in the 2024 election.”

  • “in 2010, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan wrote a book called "Young Guns" about the GOP's future. Things didn't go as planned for the trio.”

Kevin McCarthy calls it quits, will exit Congress this month, Steve Benen, MSNBC: “But as the former House speaker prepares to walk away from Capitol Hill altogether, it’s also worth appreciating just how badly the last year has gone for the longtime Republican congressman. …. McCarthy picked fights he couldn’t win. He failed to count well. He pushed vulnerable members to cast difficult votes for no benefit. He directed his conference to focus on foolish trivialities. He lied to and about Democrats, whose support he eventually needed. He never learned the value of making plans, preferring instead to “wing it” in the hopes of surviving the day, becoming a chess player who only thought one move at a time. Perhaps most importantly, McCarthy re-embraced Donald Trump, effectively positioning the former president as a party leader adjacent to the speaker’s office, thereby allowing a MAGA vision to steer his conference — only to see Trump abandon him when McCarthy needed him most. To the extent that the Californian will have a legacy, it’s not an impressive one”

McCarthy’s Exit May Create Even More Headaches for the Tiny G.O.P. Majority, Robert Jimison, The New York Times: “It will shrink Republican’s already razor thin majority in the house as they face a number of issues in the coming months that will require near-unanimous support. The departure of Mr. McCarthy, who was his party’s strongest fund-raiser in the House and spent two election cycles helping to build the Republican majority, also could put a dent in the G.O.P.’s ability to rake in campaign cash, although he has said he wants to continue to play a role in politics. … More than three dozen incumbents from both parties in both chambers have said they will not seek re-election. If even a handful more House Republicans leave in the coming months, it could wipe away their majority before a single vote is cast in the 2024 election. Another Republican, Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio, has announced that he will leave Congress in several months to become the president of Youngstown State University, though he has not said precisely when.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Kevin McCarthy’s resignation and the final ‘Young Guns’ chapter Steve Benen, MSNBC

FLAG THIS

Republicans Mixed

Following McCarthy’s ouster from the speakership, a poll found Republicans had mixed opinions regarding the removal of McCarthy.

The Associated Press-NORC poll found that 25 percent of Republicans approved of the decision to remove McCarthy, while 30 percent disapproved and 42 percent neither approved nor disapproved (The Hill).

Do you believe McCarthy's departure from Congress will help or hurt House Republicans?

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Capital of Taiwan, Setting Boundaries, Moon Conspiracy Reality

On This Day in 1949: As they steadily lose ground to the communist forces of Mao Zedong, Chinese Nationalist leaders depart for the island of Taiwan, where they established their new capital. This action marked the beginning of the “two Chinas” scenario that left mainland China under communist control and vexed U.S. diplomacy for the next 30 years.

Today I learned an Oxford University physicist claimed that for the moon landing conspiracy to be true, around 411,000 people would’ve needed to keep it secret. He also suggests the hoax would’ve broken down in 3.68 years.

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