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  • 🇺🇸 Scalise's Uneasy Realities

🇺🇸 Scalise's Uneasy Realities

Plus, a mosquito delay.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Friday. Washington D.C.’s ‘Weed Warrior’ volunteers are keeping hundreds of species of invasive shrubs, vines, and climbers from taking over native ecosystems.

Plus, a flight from Guadalajara to Mexico City was delayed for more than 2 hours due to a mosquito infestation aboard the plane.

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Scalise’s Uneasy Realities

Late Thursday Evening, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) dropped out of the race for Speaker of the House. As such, parts of this story are slightly dated given Scalises’s decision, though many of the sentiments from these sources remain relevant as far as the Republican’s efforts to select a new Speaker.

Initially, On Wednesday, House Republicans voted 113-99 to nominate Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House, in a loss for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the other contender.

Reporting from the Right: Steve Scalise drops out of House speaker race: 'What this country needs' (Washington Examiner)

Reporting from the Left: Steve Scalise drops out of speaker’s race as House GOP faces leadership crisis (CNN)

From The Flag: Jordan previously said he would support “anyone who can get 217 votes,” including Scalise, but support from other House Republicans was unclear. Likely in anticipation of a “messy” confirmation process, Scalise withdrew himself from consideration. Here’s what both sides were saying about the uphill battle for Scalise before he dropped out of the running.


House Republicans Need to Get Their Act Together

  • Performative politics needs to stop and Republicans need to get it together because very real issues need to be addressed in Congress.

  • Scalise was expected to get a bigger majority within his party, but his smaller majority indicates the math isn’t in his favor and he will face greater than expected resistance on the House floor.

  • The disagreements within House Republicans are going to need to be resolved “in house,” because Democrats are not going to help Scalise.

The Time for Performance Nonsense Has Passed Jim Geraghty, National Review: “Dear House Republicans: There’s no time for sitting around bickering about who gets to lead the chamber, or the usual camera-hogging fundraising stunts, shenanigans… As the vote to depose Kevin McCarthy demonstrated, House Republicans cannot count on House Democrats to make the responsible choice to maintain order — and it’s not the job of Democrats to save Republicans from their own internal divisions, anyway. The majority party — even if it only controls the chamber by a narrow margin — is responsible for accumulating the votes for a majority. There’s work to be done. In ordinary circumstances, the House would have already passed a resolution standing with the people of Israel. … The White House and certain members of Congress want $2 billion in supplementary funding for Israel, replenishing Israel’s stockpile of interceptors for its Iron Dome missile defense system, artillery shells, and other munitions. There’s also widespread desire on Capitol Hill to pass some sort of funding bill to boost border-security and immigration-enforcement measures. Even Democrats want to look like they’re doing something on this issue.”

The Hitchhiker's Guide to why Scalise's speaker math may never work and the push to resurrect McCarthy Chad Pergram, FOX News: “It is hard to understate the problems House Speaker-designate Steve Scalise, R-La., may face to eventually win the speakership. ‘I don’t think he’s going to get it,’ said one senior House Republican member to Fox. ‘He came in so low.’ Senior House leadership sources were utterly shocked and dismayed Wednesday night at the resistance by rank-and-file Republicans to potentially electing House Speaker-designate Steve Scalise, R-La., as speaker after he won the GOP conference nod behind closed doors on a secret ballot. Scalise continued to work individually with Republicans to gain their support. But there is a long way to go. In fact, the fight could take days. …the endorsement after the vote by Jim Jordan apparently did very little. In fact, Jordan’s effect in boosting Scalise was so paltry that it underscored two things: Jordan has very little juice and overall, there is very little excitement among House Republicans for either Scalise or Jordan.…. As it stands now, there's more opposition to Scalise's speakership than there was opposition to McCarthy. In essence, the House appears in a worse position than it was.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Democrats won't throw Scalise a lifeline as GOP defections mount Cami Mondeaux, Washington Examiner


Republicans and Scalise Are a Mess, but He Has an Opportunity

  • Scalise may attempt to hide behind his affable personality, but that cannot cover up his dangerous values and disregard for the truth.

  • Should Scalise become Speaker, he should actually work with Democrats instead of making the compromise McCarthy did with ultra-right Republicans that led to his removal.

  • The current gridlock Republicans have found themselves is a monster of their own making, due to years of congressional gerrymandering.

The Republican narrative is the only thing that ever matters to Steve Scalise Jarvis DeBerry, MSNBC: “I’ve never seen [Scalise’s] characteristic affability serve as anything but a cover for harmful policies or as a deflection for a political scandal. And though he’s had Democrats come forward to vouch for him and declare their friendship, I’ve never seen those friendships translate into policies that help those Democrats’ voters. The same politician who shrugs at the erosion of democracy similarly shrugs as Louisiana’s coast, which is home (or close to home) to all his constituents, dissolves into the Gulf of Mexico. Scalise knows as well as anybody that the oil and gas industry is largely responsible both for destroying Louisiana’s wetlands and for an ever-warming climate. Scalise was one of two Republicans under consideration for speaker Wednesday. The other, Jordan, whose Trump sycophancy is legendary… But on the issues that matter, Scalise is no different from Jordan. Even if he gives the appearance that he is.”

Steve Scalise can avoid repeating Kevin McCarthy’s mistakes The Editorial Board, Washington Post: “The danger for Mr. Scalise — indeed for the country — is that he might promise too much to the ultra-right in pursuit of the speakership. … This concession doomed Mr. McCarthy, who had to operate in constant fear that a few extremists could depose him, which, indeed, they eventually did. …necessary compromise is the model the next speaker should follow in the coming weeks. He will face the same fundamental situation as his predecessor: governing alongside a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president. The country would benefit if the next speaker worked more closely with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) than Mr. McCarthy did. Mr. Jeffries, in turn, should be open to protecting the speaker’s office from assault by radical House right-wingers. If enough House Democrats declined to vote in a future leadership challenge, the voting math would change and the handful of Republicans who ousted Mr. McCarthy would be sidelined. In exchange, Democrats should seek not a pound of flesh but realistic concessions to the minority.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: House Republicans are good at one thing and one thing only Hayes Brown, MSNBC


Scalise’s Uphill Battle and Ultimate Withdrawal

Before Scalise withdrew on Thursday, at least 16 Republicans came forward in withholding their support for Scalise. As it’s unlikely that Democrats would have voted for him — stating that they will vote in support of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries — Scalise would have needed 217 of the total 221 sitting Republican members of the House. Evidently, the 16 holdouts brought him well below the necessary total (Washington Post).

Ultimatley, apparently realizing the math wasn’t in his favor, Scalise withdrew himself from the running for the House’s Speakership.

With Scalise having dropped out, do you feel confident House Republicans will be able to select a new Speaker within the next week?

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Captain Kirk Goes to Space, Cheese for Grilling, Booze Bribes

William Shatner as James Kirk from the television program Star Trek.

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Today I learned that it used to be common for politicians to bribe voters with booze. It was called "swilling the planters with bumbo".

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