Crooked Media - What A Day: The best is debt to come

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) losing her mind over the debt ceiling deal

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Congress this week.

  • After far too many painstaking months of brinkmanship and hostage demands from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the deal he reached with President Biden finally advanced in the House of Representatives. First, on Tuesday night, the House Rules Committee narrowly passed rules of debate (the procedural motion that will allow members to vote on a final bill) on a 7-6 vote. Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) defected,  joining all of the committee’s four Democrats in opposition. 

  • Second, the agreement to lift the nation’s debt limit (with a considerable list of right-wing strings attached) cleared its second major procedural hurdle on Wednesday, when the vote to start debate on the bill passed 241-187. McCarthy sounded extremely confident that the next vote, which will happen on Wednesday night, will succeed, insisting “It’s going to become law.” Okay Kevin, whatever you say. 

  • Members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus have already made a big show of their opposition to the deal, which they say does not go far enough in hurting the poor cutting federal spending, which, I cannot stress enough, they do not actually care about. The GOP’s ultra-right flank is actually mad that defense spending did not increase enough. That’s right, $886 billion for defense in 2024 (the only area of the budget to get more than a one percent increase) simply isn’t enough because…China is building up its military?

Despite GOP infighting, preliminary counts suggest that the deal has enough support to pass in the House. Here’s why.

  • Republicans led by McCarthy got Biden to agree to additional work-requirements for able-bodied Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients, but Biden got McCarthy to agree to reduce those requirements  for more vulnerable recipients such as veterans and homeless people. Add it all up and the Congressional Budget Office projects that the number of people eligible for SNAP will actually increase by almost 80,000 Americans. Work requirements for food assistance and other government aid were first put into place under the now-maligned “Welfare Reform” in 1996 (thanks, Bill Clinton). 

  • Even if the agreement passes in the House of Representatives, it still faces delays in the Senate, unless Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer can convince their members to expedite a final vote on it. Emerging from a Senate GOP lunch to discuss the debt ceiling on Wednesday, which Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said, “I’m just relieved nobody stabbed each other in there.” Sounds like everything is going great!

It’s worth noting that many progressives on the other side of the aisle are not happy with the deal, either. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released a statement saying that the best thing about the deal was that it could have been “much worse” and was a significant improvement from the original GOP proposal, but because of the cuts to non-defense spending, the IRS, and other areas, he “cannot vote for this bill.” Sanders called the bill “unnecessary” and underscored that Biden “has the authority and the ability to eliminate the debt ceiling today by invoking the 14th Amendment.” Nevertheless, the bill will likely pass, and the rest of us are tasked with making sure the damage is undone and Democrats never let themselves concede ransoms to the GOP again—for real this time. [singing] “I’m proud to be an American…”

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Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder and leader of the Wagner mercenary group, announced on Wednesday that he has asked prosecutors to investigate whether senior Russian defense officials have committed crimes during or before the war in Ukraine. The former restaurateur who last week jokingly referred to himself as “Putin’s butcher” is a bit of an unpredictable figure, and this development is the most overt public challenge to Putin’s top military officials including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. Prigozhin has spent months insulting the two men at the top of the Russian war effort and accusing them of deception, questioning their allegiance to the (horrible, evil) cause. The Wagner group is on the front lines of the Russian assault on Ukraine, particularly in the eastern city of Bakhmut, and Prigozhin has repeatedly slammed senior Kremlin officials for blocking media coverage of him and his private army.

DOJ special counsel Jack Smith is investigating disgraced former president Trump’s firing of Christopher Krebs, the Republican cybersecurity official who issued a statement calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” 


An audio recording of a summer 2021 meeting in which Trump references holding onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran has been obtained by federal prosecutors. This admission flies in the face of his argument that he declassified everything. 


Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) kicked off his first major presidential campaign event in Iowa and used the occasion to bash disgraced former president Donald Trump for his “[decision] to move left” on some issues. Lol. 


Govs. Glenn Younkin (R-VA) and Henry McMaster (R-SC) signed executive orders that will send members of the Virginia and South Carolina National Guard to the southern border to support a Republican crackdown at the border led by Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX). 


That ‘70s Show actor Danny Masterson was found guilty of two out of three counts of rape on Wednesday in his retrial. Prosecutors said Masterson forcibly raped three women in his home between 2001 and 2003, and used his position in the Church of Scientology to avoid consequences for the past two decades. (All three women were also members of the church at the time.)


Eighty-three year old Al Pacino is expecting a baby with his 29-year-old girlfriend. Okay! Gross!


Donald Trump’s on-again-off-again little bitch boy Chris Christie will reportedly announce his candidacy for president next Tuesday

Another GOP failson, former Vice President Mike Pence, will also be announcing his presidential campaign next week.

Meta said on Wednesday that it would remove news content from Facebook in California —the company’s home turf—if the state passes the California Journalism Preservation Act. The proposed bill would require online platforms to pay a “journalism usage fee” to news outlets whose work appears on the platforms, a corrective measure aimed at reversing the precipitous decline in local news. Meta spokesperson Andy Stone derisively called the payment structure a “slush fund” that would primarily benefit “big, out-of-state media companies under the guise of aiding California publishers.” The company has been fighting similar battles over compensation for news publishers at the federal and international level for some time now. Facebook infamously refused to go dark in the face of an international consensus concluded that the platform fueled the 2018 genocide, but when Australia floated a law similar to the one being considered in California, it was lights out the next day. 


Crooked Media political contributor and resident Big Tech expert Max Fisher, who has reported on Facebook extensively, had this to say: “Facebook has repeatedly refused to so much as throttle its algorithm when its platform is demonstrably contributing to an ongoing genocide, but it showed in Australia in 2021, and is likely to show again soon in California, that it will hit the off button without hesitation when the one thing it does care about gets threatened: money. The company is perfectly willing to shut off citizens from vital, life-saving services in the process of coercing whole populations to protect its bottom line.”

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that two statewide abortion bans are unconstitutional because they violate the inherent right of pregnant patients to terminate pregnancies to save their own lives. 


Twitter is now worth only 33 percent of what CEO Elon Musk and his investors paid for it less than one year ago. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a business genius. 

Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana. The Land of 10,000 Lakes is using its one-seat Democratic majority in the state legislature to run laps around other blue states and enact a robust progressive agenda.

. . . . . .

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