1/29/22…    14,739.74

1/22/22…    14,734.23 6/27/13…    15,000.00


(THE DOW JONES INDEX: 1/29/22… 34,725.47; 1/22/22… 34,265.37; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)



LESSON for January 29, 2022 – “BIG MACS on the SENATE FLOOR (ONE: LET the HOUSE DAWG EAT)!”


The two “Big Macs” of the House and Senate are struttin’ proud and high on the hog (as might be alternately applied to their porcine... POTbelly Representatives and Senatorial curs, not excluding their favorite Democrats, the useful SineManchonistas, idiots and just plain plotters) – their exploits, despite their perhaps temporary status as Minority Leaders on their respective floors garnering a happy from an otherwise-troubled Master Drumpf.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) should be dancing in the aisles to celebrate the Senate’s rejection of President Biden’s “social” infrastructure scheme and a voting rights bill named after the late Rep. John Lewis... who probably would not want to have had his name attached to such failed legislation except for the fact that their own hubris and folly hurt them personally.  Not in the sense that they are, in any way, in any risk of losing their own seats in the upcoming 2022 elections (now only nine months distant) or... more confrontative to Republicans... to primary challenges beforehand, but they have lost some of their mojo with their own parties and, should either the Trump or RINO elephants capture the House and Senate, their previously assumed doggie dream-elevations to Majority Leader and Speaker might be at risk from subversive spiders weaving webs of treachery to trap them.

And now, to complicate matters, old (83) white Steven Breyer has acceded to the anguished cries from liberal Democrats to retire before McCarthy (or somebody) takes over the leadership of the Senate and does a Garland on his putative replacement.  With President Joe seemingly about to honor his promise to consider only a black female Justice (his list of prospects recently swelling from four to thirteen... but no longer including either Vice President Kamala Harris or ex-First Lady Michelle Obama), the politicians are making the usual promises to give the nominees a fair shake before confirming (the fifty Democrats plus Harris as the tiebreaker) or rejecting (the fifty Republicans – perhaps with the exception of a handful as might have deals they may wish to cut with Biden to gin up a posture of bipartisanship) with the Veep casting her critical, deciding vote thumbs up.

McConnell, in particular, was openly frosty in his commitment to a fair hearing and vote, warning Joe against a “leftist” nominee and all but snarling that he’d never (but for the math – unless he can coax the SineManchin rebels into switching parties, a possible but unlikely scenario, as below) countenance putting a n****r b***h on the Court without, oh, coldcocking a Democrat in the cloakroom and rushing an impersonator into the chamber to bark “Nix Nix!”

And there the matter squats until Biden voices his choice... sometime, he asserts, around the end of February or the beginning of March.  Other issues, meanwhile, will continue to persist... a rapidly rising inflation rate which can has also kicked back at least a month as the Federal Reserve deliberates raising interest rates which, the partisans say, will either help or hurt their cause (although a subsatantial slice of liberals and concervatives seem to have no idea what that cause is and won’t until something happens to shine a light upon it).  Then there is the welcome or unwelcome “problem” of falling unemployment (the unwelcomeness being a shortage of workers to take those jobs at sub-survival wages as complicate the supply chain or, as in the case of healthcare workers, first responders and some retail clerks), may kill them by plague bug or bullet.  Crime is exploding, and while the Big O is starting to peter out in all but the more vaxxine-refusenikg localities, a new, more dangerous and more communicable virus is ever a possibility.  Perennial problems exist: climate change as has been evident across the frozen East these last weeks, racial and religious strife, exotic technological developments that, while welcomed by some, will... as in the case of the communications cartel’s 5G upgrades as may crash airplanes while the wipeout of older 3G phones used by millions of poor, black, elderly and tech-unsavvy Americans floundering in the meta-dark (Don Jones hasn’t heard much about this, due to other distractions, but that’ll change)... be damned by many.  And then there are the Russians... and the possibility of nuclear war.

That’s quite a full plate for POTUS, for the politicians already looking forward to November, and for the House and Senate leadership.  Still, there seems to be no shortage of Joneses who want those jobs.

So let’s shine a light upon the two Big Macs who, despite the workload, would mightily like to replace America’s octogenarian Speaker Pelosi (who announced, just now, that she’ll seek another term) and Chuck (rhymes with f***’d) Schumer, fresh off the scene of an epic string of electoral disasters despite his alleged pro-Democratic majority (including Manchin and Sinema, the two left-leaning Independents - Angus King of Maine and Socialist Bernie - plus, of course, tiebreaker Kamalala)...




Kevin Owen McCarthy (born January 26, 1965) served as House Majority Leader under speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan from 2014 to 2019.  After Republicans lost their majority in the 2018 midterm elections, and Speaker Paul Ryan retired, McCarthy was elected minority leader in January 2019, making him the first California Republican to hold the post. As majority leader he was second-in-command to the Speaker; as minority leader, he is the leader of the House Republicans. (Wiki)


Minority Leader McCarthy has been behaving somewhat adversely, of late, for such an experienced, focused and self-protective politician… while McConnell was wielding the filibuster as a cudgel to slap down the hated President Joe and rouse the spirits of the base (somewhat dismayed by all the legal slings and arrows being slung and shot at their beloved, mistreated Real President Trump), Kevin recently embarked on a lonely crusade to overturn the so-called “proxy vote” that has allowed diseased politicians to entrust trusted colleagues with their proxy yeas or neas since the dawn of the pandemic.

According to Steve Benen of MSNBC: “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spent much of 2021 making strange and unfortunate decisions, but his litigation against proxy voting has long been one of the most curious.” 

As NBC News now reports, as of this morning, the issue is no more.

“The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to House rules allowing proxy voting, a system adopted during the Covid pandemic. McCarthy asked the high court last September to overturn the proxy voting rules, which allow lawmakers to cast votes through a colleague so that they don't need to be physically present in the House chamber.”  (See Attachment One)

Actually, the Trump Court didn’t merely vote down Kevin’s Kaper, they deemed the argument so ridiculous that they refused to even hear it – which Politico called “a final nail in the coffin to House Republican opposition to the chamber’s absentee voting procedures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.”  (Attachment Two)


MSNBC’s Benen, a producer for the Rachel Maddow show and author of political tell-all “The Imposters” (a particularly prescient title, given the subsequent 2020 electoral imposture ferreted out by the House Select Subcommittee on the Capitol riots) recorded that, “as the Covid-19 crisis started taking a severe national toll in 2020, House Democratic leaders came up with a temporary fix intended to limit lawmakers' exposure.”  (To the plague, presumably, not the scrutiny of voters.)  Congressional sickos could reach an agreement with like-minded colleagues, who in turn would agree to vote twice – once on their own and once on the behalf plaguee. “The system,” Benen explains, “ensured that many representatives could participate in the legislative process during a pandemic without endangering themselves or their colleagues.”

Republicans were outraged — or at least pretended to be outraged in public.  The measure led McCarthy and 20 other GOP House members to file a federal lawsuit in May 2020, challenging the constitutionality of proxy voting.


It would hardly be the first occasion on which McCarthy would be slapped down by members of his own tribe.  Seven months and change after the filing, three days before the Capitol riot, Mister Minority, according to CNN, made the rounds of the Republican members of Congress and secured the support of “at least a dozen Senate Republicans, including four incoming freshmen” (CNN) to attempt to pressure electors and Vice President Pence to overturn Biden’s victory and re-elect The President, “even as other top congressional Republicans (were) raising alarms that the push could cause lasting damage to a pillar of democracy.”

McCarthy’s support of the scheme (which morphed into the march on the Capitol which Djonald Unseated had called for, addressed, briefly led and then deserted to watch the outcome on television) was called “a stark contrast from the position of many prominent Republicans — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and the former House speaker, Paul Ryan -- who have publicly and privately raised major concerns” about the effort CNN said was “doomed to fail” but failed, itself, to forecast what a spectacular and deadly disaster the “stop the steal” insurrection would become. 

"Kevin McCarthy's part of the team," said Rep. Mo Brooks, (R-Al), adding that the President’s good dog had pledged his undying... literally, the Minority Leader escaped the will and the wrath of “the people” three days later, hiding behind a phalanx of policemen, five of whom were to die from suicide or murder as a consequence of the revolt as he frantically dialed his master.  “Speaking to the President from inside the besieged Capitol, McCarthy pressed Trump to call off his supporters and engaged in a heated disagreement about who comprised the crowd,” according to CNN’s autopsy a month later.  “Trump's comment about the would-be insurrectionists caring more about the election results than McCarthy did was first mentioned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington state, in a town hall earlier this week, and was confirmed to CNN by Herrera Beutler and other Republicans briefed on the conversation.”

Tommy Tuberville, a Republican Senator seconded Brooks on that “team” thing, adding that McCarthy has "told that to the President of the United States" as well as Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

"If you want to unite this nation, you start with having integrity in your election," McCarthy had said.  (See Attachment Three)

If House Dog Mac is a fine, fine fellow and/or “part of the team”, there are some members of the “team”... Mister Trump might call them Republicans In Name Only (RINOs)... who believe that all the “integrity” in the world can’t save a bungler dog who still won’t stop doing his business on the House floor.  And, to make matters worse, Kev’s a somewhat vengeful fellow whose predilection for payback, at least, is bipartisan – a useful trait for Ol’ 45, still keeping a majority of the (barely) minority party in line from his exile in Mar-a-Lago, but troublesome inasmuch it is widely assumed that Trump, should he regain the White House with Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, will not expend very much political capital in saving McCarthy from deposition (in both senses of the word), as long as the deposer is also loyal to Djonald.

If nothing else, Washington has learned that loyalty, to Ol’ 45, is a one-way street.

CNN, last week, reported that the House Republican leader had cast off his “typically sunny demeanor” and delivered a stern warning to the wobblies among participants in a December GOP conference: “Quit trying to hold your vote for speaker over my head.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Ok) told the newsies that McCarthy had said: 'If any of you come to me and tell me that you're not going to vote for me unless I do something, I'm going to do exactly the opposite, even if I agree with you,'". A second Republican member told CNN McCarthy punctuated his threat with: "I mean it."

While similar in tone and intent to the threats of primary challenge, gerrymandering or euthanasia of pet projects that the former President is wont to fulminate, the effect of McCarthy’s venom is considerably diluted by common knowledge that he is, at best, a messenger and lackey who has obediently carried out the dictates of His Master’s Voice since his brief unhappy rebellion at the height of Trump’s much larger Jan. 6th rebellion, as explicated in the book ”Landslide” by Michael Wolff.

(For those who haven’t heard... then lame duck POTUS exclaimed “They look like Democrats!” to aide Mark Meadows while the boys with nooses were coming after Kevin.  Meadows himself has now written a book “poking McCarthy in the eye.”

MSMBC’s Benet has also reported on the Minority Leader’s latest bloviation... on the heels of his refusal to comply with the Riot Probers’ request for details about his conversations with the Trump White House and the former president in the days leading up to and during the Capitol insurgency (which refusal, if forwarded to the Department of Justice as was the matter of Stephen Bannon and a few others, might lead from Kevin’s removal from the House of Representatives to the House of Detention)... a series of warnings that he intends to expel disfavoured Democrats like Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff (Ca) and Ilhan Omar (Mn) from their committee assignments should the ‘Pubs garner enough seats in the November midterms. 

Stripping the Congresspersons from their committees is, in and of itself, far from unprecedented – when criminal or, at least, distasteful conduct is alleged.  Benet notes several incidents of a Democratic hammer coming down on Republicans... several strippings for corruption, another (former Rep. Steve King of Iowa) for espousal of white supremecy and two Q-types, Paul Gosar (Az) and the ubiquitous, iniquitous Marjorit Taylor Greene of Georgia for advocating the murder of Democratic “colleagues” (Gosar by sword, Greene by gunfire... See Attachment Five)  And, if turncoat RINO Liz Cheney (R- sort of- Wy) had her way, the moping, groping Jordan (above) would be added to the list.  As it developed, she had to be content with merely reiterating Bidenian profanities to General Mark Milley (See The Hill, Attachment Six).

But de-committee-tizing partisan enemies for partisan enmity is seen as a zero-sum excersize that will certainly be avenged, then re-avenged and on and on until nobody’s left to do the nation’s business.  Kevin, according to The Hill, has attempted to justify himself by alleging Omar to be anti-Israel, Swalwell to have been a Chinese spy and Schiff a Russian double-agent (in the 2016 Steele dossier incident and for leading the charge in the failed Trump impeachments – also explicated in The Hill, See Attachment Seven).


Don’t cry for poor, maligned Adam, however.  Like Ol’ 45 and Kevin himself (who raised $72M during 2021 according to the Trump-friendly Breitbart News, Attachment Seven), Schiff has pivoted with the criticism of his past and present, exploiting McCarthy’s... well... McCarthy-ism to raise money, spamming Americans (usually, but not always, Democrats) with his pity party and appeals for funds to make the trauma go away.  Kevin McCarthy is a singularly weak leader, and as a result, he is being led around by the most extreme elements of his Party, like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar who want revenge because of their justified removal,” poor Adam sobs, tin cup in hand.  “If Kevin is this craven now, imagine what will happen in 2024. Kevin will do whatever Donald Trump demands of him. No matter how unethical. And if Trump wants him to overturn the election — which we were able to stop in 2020 — Kevin will do it.

“That’s why I need your help to fight back against Hannity and McCarthy’s lies about me, and attempts to remove me from my committee assignments as revenge for holding Donald Trump accountable. Can you help me fight back?”  Kev and Adam... birds of a (green) feather!

As Jimmie J. J. Walker, “Good Times” actor turned insurance pitchman croaks:  Mmmmunnney!”


“Details matter,” Benet contends, “(i)f Swalwell, Omar, and Schiff had talked up political violence, then the parallels would exist and McCarthy's position would be justifiable.”

But he argues that what McCarthy is recommending is an entirely new standard: “If one party doesn't like another party's members, the majority can punish them and start unilaterally reshuffling committee assignments.”

Benet’s conclusion: “McCarthy's game will not end well.”


And, apparently, the Washington Post (See Attachment Nine) has decided to hasten that end by advocating Big Mac be subpoenaed by the House Committee, indicted by the DOJ, tried, convicted and sentenced to a Federal prison where his only meal will be those infamous green baloney sandwiches.

“His behavior amounts to a dereliction of his oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” the Bezos Broadside concluded.  Bad dog!  “In his quest to become the next GOP House speaker, Mr. McCarthy has instead thrown in his lot with the enemies of democracy.”

Ears pricked to the WashPost dog whistle, the Committee duly and formally subpoenaed McCarthy almost exactly one year to the date, citing the contention of Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, (D-Ms) that the House Dawg had apparantly been chewing on the wrong slippers.

"It appears that you had one or more conversations with the president during this period, including a conversation on or about January 11th... It appears that you may have also discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th amendment," Thompson wrote. "It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump's immediate resignation from office."  (See Attachment Ten – redlining added)

And Politico, the Washington Post (Twice!) and Forbes (Attachments Eleven, A through D) also noted the subpoena, as follows...


Back in August, Politico (Attachment Eleven A) noted McCarthy’s threats against private telecommunications companies that complied with the House’s Jan. 6 investigators, warning that “a Republican majority will not forget,” accusing Schiff, Thompson and Pelosi of “attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data,” which forfeiture of information would “put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.”

Big Mac said that, if the likes of Apple, A.T&T and Verizon complied with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they would be in violation of federal law and subject to “losing their ability to operate in the United States,” he howled, heedless that shutting down America’s phones, Internet and other devices existant and on the drawing board would cancel Don Jones’ messages to Mom on Valentines’ Day (or, in a more sinister vein, the Chinese New Year). “If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”


Two recent WashPost missives, one by Amber Phillips on January 10th, (see Attachment Eleven B) and the other by Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger two days later (Eleven C) addressed the issue of whether, how and what information the Committee could glean by subpoena-ing McCarthy (presuming that he complied or, if not, whether he could be locked up and perhaps tortured into spilling the kibble on his master)

“Other than understanding the level of President Donald Trump’s involvement in the riot at the Capitol,” Phillips contended, “the congressional committee investigating Jan. 6 most wants to know whether and how Republican members of Congress at the highest levels aided and abetted the attack.”

After detailing several complicated and probably fruitless legal strategies that the Minority Leader could hurl back at the Prober-ers, Phillips decided that his best strategy was to stall, delay and hope for a G.O.P. sweep of the House in November.

“Republican lawmakers could still win by tying things up in court for the next year.”

Alemany and Hamburger concurred with Phillips that delay was McCarthy’s best, and possibly last resort... and today’s developments regarding a re-elected Trump pardon of indicted, convicted and or incarcerated Capitol rioters augur an alternative path should the G.O.P. fail to take control of the House and cancel the Committee.

Meanwhile, the House Big Mac must endure the slings and arrows of Liz Cheney (but hopefully not the itchy trigger finger of her father).

“I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” the Posties reported that Cheney told CNN. “He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened. He has an obligation to come forward and we’ll get to the truth.”

McCarthy on Wednesday described the committee’s request for information as an “abuse of power.”

“As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” he said in the statement.

Finally, a day later, the business journal Forbes reported that Trump’s former SecPress Kayleigh McEnany had consented to, and had actually already debriefed the Committee – dishing dirt on who knows whom.  They reiterated Kevins angry outburst at the phone companies and added that the committee’s dragnet had, dating back into 2021, subpoenaed dozens more former Trump Administration officials earlier in the investigation, but was now opting for voluntarily requests, “asking Trump allies like Fox News host Sean Hannity and Rep. Jim Jordan (above) to submit information, though Jordan said he will not comply with the request.”


There have been way, way too many comments from the Peanut Galleries of America to include even a tiny fraction of them... as usual, those to pro-Trump, pro-McCarthy media organs tend to be laudatory, those to left-leaning rags excoriatory.  But we can’t leave Don Jones hanging without a small sampling of indictatory letters to the Los Angeles Times (Attachment Twelve) in which the poxy vopuli called Kevin a poster boy for the first law of dictatorial government”, added “You can’t shame someone who has no sense of shame,” and, predicting that “McCarthy will never be speaker of the House,” envisioned his replacement by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the current House minority whip, to get Trump’s blessing if ‘Pubs were to Take Back America in Novembre. “He lurks in the corners like a reptile waiting to strike its oblivious prey,” declared the correspondent and besides, having already taken one left-wing bullet for the cause, would be uniquely sensitive to an attack from the other direction should he antagonize Djonald Unforgiving. 

Now, consequently, we have to give the House Dog his say in the interest of fairness, which interesting statements  came in the form of a reply tweet to President Joe’s post-voter suppression and infrastructure drubbings, such as elicited the plaintive cry: “What do Republicans stand for?” reproduced in Newsweek (Attachment Thirteen) and answered by some of said pachyderms.

Although Newsweek mainly borrowed from answers Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Ks) provided to questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper citing inflation, the plague, “getting children back into school” and...“like, you know, foreign relations...bolstering our military... using all of the other tools in our toolboxes... engaging in trade, all of those things,” McCarthy did, finally given his day, tick off a few well-worn, patriotic tropes of his own in twittering his reply to POTUS... “the constitution... safe streets... food… a secure border” and, of course... where would politicians be without them: “...the children”.

“That's what Republicans stand for. That's what I stand for," squealed Ernst and the Big Mac, presumably yapped his concurrence, as follows...


Kevin McCarthy


I heard President Biden ask repeatedly: “What are Republicans for?” I'll happily answer. Republicans are for: - The Constitution - Kids in schools - Safe streets and a secure border - An economy that keeps food on the shelves - Holding Biden’s failed administration accountable

10:33 AM · Jan 23, 2022·Twitter for iPhone


Next week, the Senate and its Big Mac on the floor, the estimable Mitch McConnell...




JANUARY 22 – JANUARY 28, 2022



Saturday, January 22, 2022


Infected:  70,495,874

Dead:  865,968

Dow:  34,265.37





President Joe seeks a “hard reset” going into his second year after drubbing in the Senate – he’ll leave his White House basement plague bubble and go out into the streets to talk to people.

   “Experts” say that Putins sabre rattling is due to his unpopularity. This does not extend to his Triple Axel with China and Iran to hold war games off the coast of India.

   Blacktivists say youth crime is caused by poverty and the solution is more handouts.  Two NYC cops are shot in Harlem during a “domestic disturbance”, new Mayor Adams bemoans the “flow of guns”.  Houston cop killed at traffic stop.  Two murders at Minneapolis funeral.  Stray bullet kills English astrophysicist in Atlanta.

   Brian Laundrie’s notebook publicized – yes, he does say he killed pretty Gabby.




Sunday, January 16, 2022


Infected:  70,700,678

Dead:  866,540




2022 political season kicks off; Texas primary is the canary in the coal mine, according to vote anti-suppressors.  Trump candidates lining up to mug RINOs but the Bern stands alone in supporting primary challengers to SineManchin. 

   Right flexes might in DC with March For Life as SCOTUS debates euthanizing Roe v. Wade (which 60% of Americans support) and an anti-vaxxing rally featuring RFK Junior, who says that even under Hitler you could “hide in the attic like Anne Frank.”  Haters call the gathering “Covidchella”.

   UK agrees with the colonists – Russia wants to conquer Ukraine.  Western diplomats in mad rush to get out of Kyev. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Ks) mocks President Joe’s “doctrine of appeasement”, adds that as Soviet socialism expands, democracy constricts. 




Monday, January 24, 2022


Infected:  71,708,189

Dead:  868,503

Dow:  34,364.50




Tax filing begins.  IRS cancels unemployment and plague extensions for filing.

   Sara Palin, in NYC for defmation suit against the Times, gets it and then goes on a tour of Italian restaurants, infecting numerous Italians and Americans, too.  Twenty Olympians arrive in China – and also get it.  NFL semifinals set as the old guys (both Brady and Rodgers) lose and ponder retirement and th franchises find a new sponsor, Captain Morgan (Rhodes?).

   Parents running out of store-bought baby formula and complain that their babies spit up powedered formula.  Panic and hoarding are endemic.  (Hint: breast milk?)  Fed will raise interest rates “soon” citing inflation... the Dow bounces up and down in fear and/or anticipation.




Tuesday, January 25, 2022


Infected: 72,171,208                      Dead:  871,937

Dow:  34,297.73




Capitol riot committee alleges that Mike Lindell advised President Trump to enact a January 15, 2021 “marshall law”.  (Did he mean “marshmallow” law – soft, like his patented pillows?)  Last Thursday, CNN alleged Trump/Giuliani plot to tweak the 2020 race with fake electors. 


   Russian invasion still on hold while 8,500 US troops make ready to deploy& proxies stir the pot... NoKo firing more missiles, Iran-backed Yemanis fire their missiles at U.S. base.  Forbes reports disgraced General Michael Flynn op-eds a pro-Russian editorial for a Trumpish paper, MSNBC’s Joy Reid on the talkshow circuit avers that Russkis just luuuuv Tucker Carlson for breaking news like that of President Joe calling other Foxy Acey Deucey (the junior one) a “stupid son of a bitch.”  Slovakians say they are developing a flying car.

   31 states now report plague to be leveling off, although infections, hospitalizations and deaths keep rising.  Just as the Big O is waning, Pfizer and Moderna are both developing an Omicron-specific vaccine while squabbling state and local judges, hands untied by SCOTUS alternately vet or veto vaxx and masking mandates.




Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Infected: 72,909,527                     

Dead:  876,060

Dow:  33,168.09







Brutal weather heads east with temperatures in minus 40’s, wind chills minus 60 in the upper Midwest.  Chicago’s coldest winter day in 22 years at -15° and still going down.  Snow rises from the plains to create blizzards north, ice south and it’ll all converge on the northeast by the weekend – the buzzword “bomb cyclone” is revived.

   It’s a day of leavetakings.  Jeopardy trans-champ Amy Schneider muffs the question of the largest English-speaking nation that ends in “h” (Bangladesh) and exits after 40 wins.  New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton retires after 16 years.  Elton John gets it and puts his tour on hiatus.  And the mike drop: 83 year old SCOTUS Justice Breyer faces reality (and potential Republican election coups) and announces his retirement.

   President Joe threatens “personal sanctions” against Mad Vlad who snickers... what – barred from Disneyland? Yahoo pollsters say 62 percent of Republicans agree that Putin is stronger than Biden, four disagree and the rest are too afraid to answer.




Thursday, January 27, 2022


Infected: 73,427,335

Dead:  878,421

Dow:  34,301.71






It’s International Holocaust Day.  98 year old Auschwitz survivor goes on TikTok to tell denialist millenials stories about Auschwitz.  Spotify, meanwhile, cancels Neil Young for hating on plague refusenik Joe Rogan and a McMinn County, Tennessee school board bans the anti-Nazi graphic novel “Maus” for containing “inappropriate words” and nude, starving Auschwitz skeleton prisoners stoking lust and fear in young folk also being targeted by cybercriminals exploiting the current Cryptocurrency craze Pro-American hackers shut down the trains in Belarus and, in retaliation or just for kicks, pro-Russian and alt-right POTheads are both plotting US electoral mischief.

   Liberals plan to hold President Joe to his promise to nominate a black woman to the next SCOTUS vacancy.  An interesting choice is VP Harris, who would be both black and Asian and give Biden a more pliable running mate in ’24.  Next in line is Chicago jurist Katanji Jackson – after her come the wild cards: Oprah?  Whoopi?  Serena?

   Biden also rounding up NATO allies to help Ukraine.  Germany says they will not provide any weapons, but will provide... helmets?  (That’s all... preferably spiked!)




Friday, January 28,  2022


Infected:  74,966,546

Dead:  882,294

Dow:  34,725.47



The snow that blankets the East Coast called, merely, an “appetizer” for the real stuff coming this weekend.

   President Joe promises to nominate a black female replacement for Steven Breyer by March.  Mitchy promises to veto any “radical leftist”; SecPress Psaki says doing so would “obliterate” his credibility.  (And, of course, it would be called racism or sexism or both.)  Then, the Bidens announce the acquisition of a cat named “Willow”... color and gender unknown.

   Biden goes to Pittsburgh to talk about infrastructure – half an hour later, a bridge collapses, injuring ten.  Coincidence?  What would Q say?

   Also in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberg retires after 18 years, seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady (22 years) pondering.  Tom Super, President of the National Chicken Council (his real name), denies that the supply-chain crisis will lead to a shortage of wings for the SuperBowl (at least Buffalo is out).

   Thousand of NYC cops attend funeral of officer shot in Harlem as second cop dies and complaints about crime cause state and local officials nationwide to rethink their anti-police policies enacted after the Floyd case.




It was an eventful week, but not particularly moving for the Joneses... up or down.  Seems like the world is just watching and waiting – on war in Ukraine, on the plague, the Olympics, the Superbowl (and Tom Brady), interest rate hikes, the new SCOTUS justice... the list goes on and on.  Perhaps decisions will be start coming next week.










(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)


See a further explanation of categories here



























Wages (hourly, per capita)


1350 points





1,515.21  26.61


Median Income (yearly)







675.44   35,691


*Unempl. (BLS – in millions









*Official (DC – in millions)







623.19      6,256


*Unofficl. (DC – in millions)







509.48    11,376


Workforce Participtn.
















In 156,131 Out  99,813 Total: 255,944 61.00


WP %  (ycharts)*







152.98  61.90





Total Inflation







951.22     +0.5









266.88     +0.5









225.62      -0.5


Medical Costs







282.77     +0.3 nc









283.32     +0.4






Dow Jones Index







370.46  34,725.47


Home (Sales) 














     Sales (M):  6.18 Valuations (K):  358.0


Debt (Personal)







264.00    63,945












Revenue (trilns.)







346.88       4,057


Expenditures (tr.)







217.34       6,894


National Debt tr.)







307.72    29,884


Aggregate Debt (tr.)







366.10    86,357













Foreign Debt (tr.)







269.03   7,793


Exports (in billions)







199.00  224.2


Imports (bl.)







109.00  304.2


Trade Deficit (bl.)







83.70    80.2








World Affairs








While Ukraine smolders and Americans flee, US/China escalate pre-Olympic air wars, flights 98% down as navies race to recover sunken F (not N)-95 fighter jet full of secret spy gear.  Ukes dust off bomb shelters, war planners debate whether Lootin’ Putin will use the Beijing games as a cover for invasion or hold off for fear of antagonizing China.










NoKo keeps firing off missiles to nowhere, whining “pay attention to Me!” Iranian-backed Yemeni terrorists launch missiles, but upon U.S. Mideast bases. ISIS prison riot in Syria “contained” – some prisoners killed, others escape.  American power grids called “at risk” from both Russian saboteurs and alt-right extremists, but not from pro-West (a.k.a. “good” terrorist/hackers scorching infrastructure in Bad Belarus.










Arizona Democrats censure Sinema (but not harshly enough to make her switch parties and fulfill Mitchy’s dreams).  Creative TX vote suppressors will make voters provide same ID they did when registering – even if it was fifty years ago.  President Joe channels Marx lite: says capitalism should be working for the people, not people working for capitalism.  New Gotham Mayor Adams wants to be paid in crypto.










VISA announces profits up 27% and the Dow gains more than 500 points in best day of 2022 to wrap up wild week.  (CNBC). Settlement occurs after Fed says it won’t consider interest rate changes until March.  Intel building a $22M chip factory in Ohio to counter Chinese hegemony.  Worst inflation this week: Maxwell House coffee, bacon and Velveeta. 










3 cops shot in Houston, two die (suspect caught after siege and standoff), 2 killed in Harlem, more gunned down in St. Louis, Milwaukee and Washington DC.  Six month old infant is third child killed in Atlanta this year – suspect also arrested.  Seven more are busted for murder of 8 year old in Chicago.

















The operative word for eastern USA: “cold!”  (Miami dips to record low 29° and citrus crop freezes.)  Boston gets thirty inches of snow.


Natural/Unnatural Disaster








Rare California wildfires spurred by winds up to 160 mph.  Three firemen killed in Baltimore blaze.  IRS predicts delays due to its funding being held up in the Senate.  Louisiana chemical plant explodes – 6 injured.






Science, Tech, Education








TV psychologists say kids find mask mandates “annoying” but school closings worse.  Slovakians claim to be developing flying “Jetson” cars.


Equality (econ/social)








Billie J. Farrell becomes first woman Commander of historic ship the U.S.S. Constitution. 























- 104.16






- 104.06

Actress Goldie Hawn pens USA Today editorial to the effect that American children are so traumatized by the plague that they will never function effectively again.  (DJI – Tell it to the Syrians!)


Dr. Fauci optimistic that pandemic will eventually gentle down to endemic status as the Big O goes into a “lull”.  Squabbling state and local judges issue confused mask/vaxx mandates. NFL promises free spiffy N95 masks for Super Sunday (and you’d better wear them!).  TV psychologists say kids find mask mandates “annoying” but school closings worse.  Plague self-test kits pile up in warehouses because too many of the workers who process them got it.  Boston hospital refuses heart transplant to refusenik.  Moderna testing an Omicron-specific vaccine just as the Big O is starting to shrink.  “Bad Ass Two”, the new “stealth Omicron” still minimal in U.S. but becoming dominant in the U.K. and Denmark... still not deemed worthy of a Greek letter of its own.



Freedom and Justice








Old criminal or civil cases soldier on: Arbury (haters?), Rittenhouse (hero or Nazi), Chauvin (Federal hate) and three colluding cops (local) plus new cases for old faces: Prince Andrew v. Ten Thousand Teenagers, disgraced attorney Avenetti v. Stormy.  Sarah Palin sues NY Times for libeling her as a refusenik... then gets it and celebrates by super spreading at Gotham Italian restaurants.  San Jose legislates mandatory insurance for gun buyers.











Cultural incidents








TransJeopardist Amy Schneider win streak stopped at 40.  Hollywood insiders predict Idris Elba the next Bond.  Wife of Jerry Falwell Jr. admits to having had sex with the pool boy.  Boston’s Big Papi Ortiz elected to MLB Hall of Fame; dopers Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, Schilling rejected.  Dolly Parton turns 76, co-writes thriller with author James Patterson.


Miscellaneous incidents








As stranded plague ships roam the seas, running out of food, fuel and water, a Crystal Cruiser escapes to Bermuda to dodge fuel bills.  RIP to yet another fashionista: Thierry Mugler, to guitarist Don Wilson (Ventures), and to Peter Robbins (the voice of TV’s “Charlie Brown”).













The Don Jones Index for the week of January 22nd through January 28th, 2022 was UP 5.51 points.



The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at or:




House Republicans were so outraged by proxy voting, they literally made a federal case out of it. Fortunately, the Supreme Court didn't care.


By Steve Benen Jan. 24, 2022, 12:35 PM EST


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spent much of 2021 making strange and unfortunate decisions, but his litigation against proxy voting has long been one of the most curious. As NBC News reported, as of yesterday, the case is no more.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to House rules allowing proxy voting, a system adopted during the Covid pandemic. McCarthy asked the high court last September to overturn the proxy voting rules, which allow lawmakers to cast votes through a colleague so that they don't need to be physically present in the House chamber.

Let's recap how we arrived at this point. As regular readers may recall, as the Covid-19 crisis started taking a severe national toll in 2020, House Democratic leaders came up with a temporary fix intended to limit lawmakers' exposure. Under the plan, lawmakers who hoped to avoid the floor of the Capitol — because they were experiencing symptoms, because someone in their household was ill, etc. — could cast votes by proxy.

It wasn't complicated: Members could reach an agreement with like-minded colleagues, who in turn would agree to vote on their behalf. The system ensured that many representatives could participate in the legislative process during a pandemic without endangering themselves or their colleagues.

For reasons I've never fully understood, Republicans were outraged — or at least pretended to be outraged in public. It led McCarthy and 20 other GOP House members to file a federal lawsuit in May 2020, challenging the constitutionality of proxy voting.

A district court rejected the case, concluding that it wasn't up to the judiciary to intervene in how the legislative branch established its own procedural rules. Last summer, a federal appeals court unanimously agreed and threw out the case. Even a Trump-appointed appellate judge concluded that the case deserved to be rejected.

The House minority leader decided to keep fighting anyway, though as of this morning, the would-be House Speaker appears to have run out of options.

That's just as well. Not only was the case misguided, it was also ironic: While GOP leaders cried foul when Democrats created the proxy system, many Republican members have since embraced the model with some enthusiasm.


Proxy votes block, poxy gloats?  Has the G.O.P.P. Gone Pro-Pandemic?  See more from the Boss Lady at MSNBC...

MADDOWBLOGMonday's Mini-Report, 1.24.22

MADDOWBLOGMonday's Campaign Round-Up, 1.24.22


Indeed, though the system was intended to address the Covid-19 crisis, some Republicans haven't just accepted the proxy rules, they've also abused them, voting by proxy while appearing at events such as the Conservative Political Action Conference. McCarthy and other GOP leaders — the ones who literally made a federal case out of the temporary model — said very little when their own members started taking advantage of the system.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik went so far as to say at a press conference last week, "We believe in in-person voting. When Republicans win back the House, that's what we are committed to." What the New York congresswoman neglected to mention is that she recently voted by proxy in order to attend a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago.

As for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when the proxy system was first created, it was designed to be temporary, with the Speaker in a position to extend the emergency authority every 45 days.

Last month, Pelosi extended proxy voting through at least Feb. 13.



ATTACHMENT TWO – From Politico



The decision marks the final nail in the coffin for challenges to the chamber’s absentee voting procedures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.


By KATHERINE TULLY-MCMANUS  01/24/2022 09:58 AM EST  Updated: 01/24/2022 05:11 PM EST


The Supreme Court will not take up Kevin McCarthy’s lawsuit challenging proxy voting rules in the House, a final nail in the coffin to House Republican opposition to the chamber’s absentee voting procedures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit, filed by Minority Leader McCarthy and fellow House Republicans in May 2020, calls the House’s pandemic proxy voting process “unconstitutional,” and has been rejected twice before. The Supreme Court’s decision to not take up the lawsuit, which the court issued without explanation Monday, means a July 2021 lower court ruling that quashed the challenge will stand.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously agreed that the courts did not have jurisdiction under the Constitution to weigh in on the House’s rules and procedures. That decision upheld an earlier ruling by a Federal District Court.

The lawsuit aimed to invalidate the proxy voting system, put in place in the earliest weeks of the Covid pandemic. It marked the first time in history members of Congress have been allowed to cast votes in the House without being physically present.

"Members of Congress should show up to work on behalf of their constituents, just as they have since our nation was founded,” McCarthy spokesperson Mark Bednar said in a statement following the court's announcement. "We can't rely on a separate branch of government to make Congress do their jobs as intended by the Constitution, and if Republicans earn back the majority, proxy voting will be eliminated on Day One."

To vote by proxy, lawmakers must sign a letter with the House clerk that allows another member to vote at their direction and on their behalf. Proxy letters state: “I am unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency.”

In practice, the proxy privilege has been widely used by members of both sides of the aisle, often for non-pandemic reasons. McCarthy isn't the only top House Republican who has repeatedly vowed to kill the practice if they take control of the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.

"We believe in in-person voting. When Republicans win back the House, that's what we are committed to," GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said at a press conference with House GOP leaders in the Capitol on Thursday. She has maintained her opposition to the practice, but voted by proxy in the weeks after giving birth to her first child last year.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is the last rank-and-file lawmaker on McCarthy's lawsuit after more than 150 Republicans removed their names — many have themselves voted by proxy as the pandemic has dragged into another calendar year. Roy told POLITICO in December that the removal of names didn’t impact the constitutional argument he and McCarthy are trying to make, but acknowledged that having plaintiffs who used the proxy voting process could have hurt the party’s argument.

Roy said in a statement Monday that while "I believe strongly that Congress should indeed police itself," the court should get involved in the proxy voting question.

"This case raises the important question of the Constitutionality of roughly 18,000 proxy votes cast by Members of Congress. We as members of this body have the duty and responsibility to our Constitution not to circumvent it, especially for mere personal convenience," Roy said. "Furthermore, the legislative process cannot properly be performed by proxy; we have a moral duty to the Americans we represent to actually show up for work and deliberate the issues affecting them in person."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is using the high court's denial to take up the proxy voting challenge to bolster the House's case in another GOP lawsuit challenging the mask mandate in the House chamber. In the mask lawsuit, brought by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Pelosi leaned on the lower court rulings in the McCarthy proxy voting case to support their defense against the suit.

Now, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold proxy voting gives their position in the mask lawsuit even more weight, according to a "notice of supplemental authority" filed on behalf of defendants Pelosi, House Sergeant at Arms William J. Walker and House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor.






By Manu Raju, CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent  Updated 8:04 PM ET, Sun January 3, 2021


(CNN)The top House Republican has quietly blessed an effort by conservative lawmakers to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory when a joint session of Congress meets later this week, even as other top congressional Republicans are raising alarms that the push could cause lasting damage to a pillar of democracy.

The conservatives said on Sunday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been supportive of their plans, a stark contrast from the position of many prominent Republicans — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and the former House speaker, Paul Ryan -- who have publicly and privately raised major concerns about an effort that is doomed to fail but is bound to sow distrust over the sanctity of US elections.

The internecine fight, which will play out on Wednesday when a joint session of Congress meets to affirm Biden's Electoral College win, has turned into a loyalty test of sorts to President Donald Trump who has launched an unprecedented campaign to subvert the will of voters by making unsubstantiated claims of a rigged election that have been rejected by courts across the country.

McCarthy, who has yet to acknowledge Biden's victory and has said little publicly about the challenge, has joined two GOP conference calls in recent days during which the January 6 battle has been a subject of debate, including one on Saturday night and another on New Year's Day.

On the New Year's Day call, some members pressed McCarthy to specify his position, according to a person with knowledge of the call.

On Sunday, several of those conservatives said there's little doubt where McCarthy stands.

"Kevin McCarthy's part of the team," said Rep. Mo Brooks, Republican from Alabama who is leading the charge, adding that the California Republican has "told that to the President of the United States" as well as Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

Asked if McCarthy had discouraged the effort at all, Jordan told CNN on Sunday: "Kevin's been great. Kevin's been fine. Kevin's been great on this whole process."

Asked for comment, a McCarthy spokesman referred a reporter to comments the GOP leader made Saturday night on Fox News where he welcomed an audit into the election results, something that 11 GOP senators called for on Saturday before agreeing on whether to vote to affirm Biden's win.

"If you want to unite this nation, you start with having integrity in your election," McCarthy said. "There are questions out there. ... What's wrong with bringing the information back so people have all the information to make those decisions?"

Yet with GOP court challenges failing across the country, states certifying the results and the Electoral College voting to make Biden's win official, some of McCarthy's deputies and many Senate Republicans say joining Trump to mount a baseless campaign against the election will only hurt faith in democracy.

On the New Year's Day call, Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, made clear her distaste for the push, multiple sources told CNN.

Cheney told House Republicans that voting on the election is more consequential than any other vote -- including votes to authorize war, according to two sources. She also argued that nothing in the Constitution supports the notion that Congress can substitute its views for voters in those states selecting the next President.

In a 21-page memo sent to Republicans on Sunday, Cheney argued that objecting to the Electoral College count is unconstitutional and sets an "exceptionally dangerous precedent."

"As you will see, there is substantial reason for concern about the precedent Congressional objections will set here. By objecting to electoral slates, members are unavoidably asserting that Congress has the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts," she wrote. "Such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent, threatening to steal states' explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the President and bestowing it instead on Congress. This is directly at odds with the Constitution's clear text and our core beliefs as Republicans."

Also on Sunday, a group of seven other House Republicans said in a joint statement that they also do not support their colleagues objecting to the certification of Electoral College votes this week because it is the responsibility of the states to choose electors, not Congress. They did not dismiss allegations of voter fraud, but pointed to "the narrow role" Congress has in the presidential election process.

"We must respect the states' authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states," wrote the group, which included Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Tom McClintock of California and Chip Roy of Texas and Rep.-elect Nancy Mace of South Carolina.

While the effort is certain to fail, it's bound to put Republicans in a difficult spot. If one senator joins with a House member to object to a state's electoral count, each chamber must debate the merits of the objection for up to two hours before casting a vote on whether to affirm the objection. The objections are certain to fail in both chambers, even though they could win the backing of a majority of House Republicans.

Cheney's argument has been echoed by a number of top Republicans, including McConnell and his deputies, as well as the party's 2012 presidential nominee, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.

Ryan sided with his 2012 runningmate Sunday. "Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden's victory strike at the foundation of our republic," the former speaker said in a statement. "It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy."

Others made clear they want their colleagues to drop the effort.

"I like to come up with plans that have a chance of being successful," said Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Trump ally who just won reelection in Alaska, said he would "listen to" the arguments, but is "very dubious."

Yet at least a dozen Senate Republicans, including four incoming freshmen, are indicating they plan to vote against certifying the election results, arguing instead there needs to a commission to probe potential voter fraud, even as courts have turned back dozens of challenges by Trump and his allies about the election results since November 3.

Sen. Roger Marshall, the new freshman Republican from Kansas, defended the effort.

"I had to make a decision of the heart," Marshall said of his decision to join the effort. "And this is a decision of the heart to follow through on some of these irregularities."

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the incoming Alabama freshman who also is part of the effort, claimed he had "not lately" spoken to Trump about the challenge and said "no," he hadn't spoken with McConnell, either. He declined to address criticism he's received from the effort, which is opposed by the senior Alabama senator, Republican Richard Shelby.

"I'm on the other side of that," Shelby said when asked if he would join Tuberville. "It's time to move on."

Trump's staunchest defenders are plotting to object to six states' election results, something that could extend floor debate through the day on Wednesday and into Thursday.

But even after Trump loses the votes, his closest allies say he still shouldn't concede the race where the result has been clear for nearly two months.

"Absolutely not," Brooks said when asked if Trump should concede after the joint session affirms Biden's victory. "There's no question at all in my mind that, if we were to only count lawful votes cast by eligible American citizens, Donald Trump won the Electoral College. Under those circumstances you should never concede because you didn't lose. It was stolen."



Kevin McCarthy's path to speakership enters final but treacherous leg

By Michael Warren and Melanie Zanona, CNN Updated 8:25 AM ET, Fri January 21, 2022


(CNN)Kevin McCarthy was done being nice. The House Republican leader cast off his typically sunny demeanor during a December 8 meeting of the GOP conference to deliver a stern warning to his most raucous members: Quit trying to hold your vote for speaker over my head.

"He said, 'If any of you come to me and tell me that you're not going to vote for me unless I do something, I'm going to do exactly the opposite, even if I agree with you,'" said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who was there at the time. A second Republican member told CNN McCarthy punctuated his threat with, "I mean it."

Further driving home his point was an edgy warning that the House GOP steering committee -- which determines committee assignments -- will take into consideration those fomenting internal dissent and attacking their fellow Republicans.

McCarthy's tough talk has taken some by surprise. The eight-term California Republican built a reputation in House leadership not as an arm-twister or dictator but as a friendly backslapper increasingly tolerant of his party's most hardline members. Now, with less than a year before the 2022 elections and the expectation that Republicans could win back the House, McCarthy is feeling the heat and laying down the law. 

It all goes to illustrate the narrow path McCarthy is walking as he strives to knit together the warring factions of the GOP in his quest to win back the majority, and with it, the coveted speaker's gavel -- a mission that has been years in the making. The 56-year-old is perhaps closer than ever to fulfilling his lifelong dream, armed with a massive war chest, a favorable political environment and valuable lessons from his previous missteps. But the final leg of McCarthy's journey to the pinnacle of power could prove to be the most treacherous.

He must balance the desires of a populist and emboldened right-flank with the needs of moderate and swing-district Republicans to build a majority coalition -- an increasingly tough task, as exemplified by the recent retirement announcement of centrist Rep. John Katko of New York. He must ensure Republican infighting doesn't distract from a struggling Biden presidency. And he must parry with the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack, which just last week requested to speak with McCarthy about his knowledge. (McCarthy quickly and publicly refused.)

Hanging over all of McCarthy's moves is former President Donald Trump, the undisputed leader of the Republican Party to whom much of the House conference remains fiercely devoted and whose opinions of people can turn on a dime. And while no one has said they would challenge McCarthy for speaker -- and few in the conference believe anyone could pose a serious threat -- there is no shortage of ambitious politicians waiting in the wings should McCarthy stumble.

So McCarthy is getting serious, starting, for anyone who had previously missed it, with that pre-Christmas meeting.

"He shifted from friendly mode to 'stop f***ing around and hurting the conference' mode," said the second GOP House member.

CNN spoke with more than two dozen Republicans, including current and former House members, Capitol Hill aides and political figures from California. From those conversations, a picture emerges of McCarthy as a hard-working political animal, dedicated to the members he oversees but sometimes struggling to lead a vocal right wing that has grown increasingly extreme.

The shift in the balance of power within the House GOP conference -- from institutionalists like John Boehner to conservative rabble-rousers like Jim Jordan -- is reflected in McCarthy's own evolution from young establishment Republican to dedicated Trump ally.

What has remained consistent is McCarthy's willingness to be what House Republicans want him to be -- one of his greatest strengths, yet a trait that could also prove to be a weakness threatening his ascent to the speaker's podium.

The House conference McCarthy built

McCarthy has been preparing for this moment for quite some time. Even as minority leader in the California State Assembly back in the early 2000s, the Bakersfield native was known for his popularity with colleagues.

"He spent the evenings in Sacramento socializing with his members," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political strategist who was a top aide to then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"Nobody didn't like Kevin," said Jim Brulte, the former Republican leader in the state senate.

But McCarthy was an ambitious strategist, too, and it showed after he was elected to Congress and teamed up with Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia, then the chief majority whip, and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the ranking GOP member on the Budget Committee. McCarthy's role in the group -- the "Young Guns," as people started calling them -- was to focus on recruiting candidates and expanding the map of winnable seats. He was tireless even when his peers were feeling down, as friends recall it.

Stutzman remembers running into McCarthy in an airport lounge in Denver not long after Barack Obama was first elected to the White House and the Republican Party was at its lowest point in decades.

"He's got folder after folder of districts that he thinks can be pickups, and he's already out looking for candidates to run," Stutzman said.

It was in this strategic role that McCarthy emerged as an early champion of a novel idea for regular Republicans -- co-opting the burgeoning tea party movement and bringing them under the GOP tent. He recognized the movement's political power and how its followers' supposed commitment to reining in government spending dovetailed with the vision he and the Young Guns had for the GOP.

"He brought in that energy, he brought in that creativity, he brought in that willingness to say, 'Hey, let's start something,'" Cantor said.

It worked, at least in terms of statistical analysis. The strategy has helped bring McCarthy and his Republicans just a handful of seats shy of the majority, in a conference that he can legitimately claim to have built himself. Nearly 85% of sitting House Republicans came into Congress after McCarthy, and many of those were recruited to run by him. He has been a dogged fundraiser for members across the party. That's generated a great deal of personal loyalty to McCarthy among the rank-and-file.

"He'll know your dog's name, your kids name, their birthday," Cole said. "His attention to detail of building a personal relationship is really quite exceptional."

Allies praise him as a consensus-builder with a keen awareness for where the team wants to go.

"He's very congenial and tries to take in everybody's opinions and ideas to come to consensus, and I think that's good leadership," said Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri.

"I'd take a bullet for the guy," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

Rep. Dave Joyce, a moderate Ohio Republican, said McCarthy made for a "sh*tty" whip when he served in the House majority because he was too "nice" to always play the role of enforcer.

"I think he's much better at where he's at now, being able to be Big Picture, get people to consensus," Joyce said. "He does a tremendous job of bringing everybody to the table."

But to critics, McCarthy seems more like a weathervane, shifting with his most vocal members and operating without a core philosophy.

One example that critics point to is how McCarthy -- once a champion for Silicon Valley -- has made battling major tech firms a top priority if Republicans win the House, echoing a prominent rallying cry on the right.

Anti Big-Tech

Mark Bednar, a spokesman for McCarthy, told CNN the leader hasn't changed but that Big Tech firms need real accountability for "deplatforming conservatives and censoring ideas the left and media didn't agree with."

A second example is how McCarthy went from condemning Trump for being responsible for the January 6 riot to cozying up with the former President weeks later.

And in another sign of his evolving attitudes, McCarthy once praised Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois as the future of the party. But after Kinzinger voted to impeach Trump and agreed to serve on the select committee investigating the Capitol riot, McCarthy now derides the Illinois lawmaker as a "Pelosi Republican."

"The inmates are running the asylum now, and he just constantly looks scared," said one former House Republican leadership aide, echoing the views of multiple former top aides familiar with the dynamics of the GOP conference.

The tea party element McCarthy coopted has now evolved into a powerful and contrary faction within his conference. And that is partly what brings the would-be speaker to his current set of challenges.

Hurdles on the track to becoming speaker

As House Republicans have become more conservative, more populist and more committed to Trump's vision for the party, McCarthy's leadership has reflected the shifting priorities of the conference.

Frequently, that has meant acceding to the influence of the Freedom Caucus, the far-right faction of around 44 pro-Trump Republicans that includes Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

As they have done for years, the Freedom Caucus' members stir up confrontation with outrageous rhetoric designed more for driving engagement online and in cable news than for any legislative purpose. But their loud megaphones within conservative media and their support, both implicit and explicit, from Trump give them a significant sway.

Despite countless controversies with the group's most extreme members using violent or bigoted language, frequently toward their own colleagues, McCarthy has largely resisted calls from both inside and outside the conference to exert discipline on Freedom Caucus members.

"I think he's been careful to court the right of his conference," said Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania. "And part of the reason he's not gone after the Taylor Greenes and the Boeberts and the Gosars is because he's concerned about his flank."

People familiar with the dynamics of the House GOP conference say McCarthy derives much of his own power from staying in the favor of the Freedom Caucus and its founder and spiritual leader, Jim Jordan.

Jordan unsuccessfully challenged McCarthy in 2018 for minority leader. Instead of ex-communicating Jordan into the political wilderness, where McCarthy would have less control over him, McCarthy made a strategic decision to push the Ohio Republican for a coveted top spot on the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

"When picking Jim for Oversight, I thought he was crazy. I told him that," Joyce said. "But he said, 'Bring people in.' "

When asked whether he thought the risky move paid off for McCarthy, Joyce didn't hesitate: "Oh yes. Jim has been a tremendous team player."

But maintaining support across the conference also requires McCarthy to placate the smaller and less vocal wing of moderates and institutionalists, who have sometimes privately expressed frustration with McCarthy's deference to the party's hardliners and warned that trying to please too many different people can backfire.  How do you please a Gaetz or a MTG??  Toss them a mouse??  - DJI

The balancing act has put him in difficult positions, leading him in May to withdraw his support from the anti-Trump Rep. Liz Cheney as conference chairwoman just months after reasserting his confidence in her. Ousting the Wyoming Republican pleased the Freedom Caucus, but his decision to back as her successor Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, once an ideological moderate, typified why many on the right remain suspicious of McCarthy.

"He gets beat up from time to time. In fact, he gets beat up a lot," said Rep. Randy Weber of Texas, a member of the Freedom Caucus. "There's some concessions you have to make up here, that's just the nature of the beast. It's not easy."

But others in the conference have instead sought to test the boundaries of what McCarthy will accept from his members, leaving him with the difficult task of keeping his troops in line while staying in their good graces.

Greene, for instance, spent much of her first year in office making incendiary statements and engaging in conspiracy theories, not stopping even after the Democratic majority voted to strip her of her committee assignments in February. McCarthy has condemned Greene's most outrageous comments, including her comparison of the House's masking rules to Nazi Germany. But he also objected to Greene's removal from committees and has promised to restore her assignments if Republicans win the majority.


For a truly demonic portrait of Q-Anon Congressthings, slither down this viper-hole...


Weber recalled how he was in the car with McCarthy when the GOP leader got into a heated phone call with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer over Greene's committee assignments, and threatened to return the fire on Democrats if he's in charge of the House next Congress.

"I said to (McCarthy), 'I've never heard you cuss before. I'm disappointed. What took you so long?' " Weber said.

But despite McCarthy's defense of Greene, in November, she joined Rep. Matt Gaetz's podcast to say that McCarthy did not have "the full support to be speaker" and started laying out a list of demands in exchange for her vote for speaker.

Her statement echoed sentiments from Freedom Caucus members in 2015 who helped sink McCarthy's previous bid for speaker following Boehner's resignation. Despite being next in line, McCarthy quickly discovered he did not have enough support from the conference's most conservative members. He withdrew at the last minute, paving the way for Ryan to ascend to the speakership. But the episode also taught McCarthy a valuable lesson.

The day after Greene's Thanksgiving appearance on Gaetz's show last fall, McCarthy called up the Georgia congresswoman in part to smooth things over but also to rein her in.

Yet just as quickly as McCarthy put one fire out, another emerged. Days later, Greene and Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina engaged in a high-profile and personal spat over social media. This time, McCarthy hauled each congresswoman in his office for separate meetings to tell them each to "stop it."

The talking-to didn't seem to work. After her meeting, Greene told CNN that both she and Trump may back a primary challenge to Mace in 2022. Following her own meeting with McCarthy, Mace had this to say when asked about Greene's threat: "All I can say about Marjorie Taylor Greene is bless her f***ing heart."

Balancing hardliners and 'majority makers'

As the midterms approach, McCarthy will face pressure not just to curb the infighting but to cave to the right wing's demands for a harder line should Republicans win a majority. Greene, Gaetz and their cohorts in the conference have been pushing for a GOP majority to commit to investigating the 2020 election and launch impeaching proceedings into Biden. There are also persistent calls from that wing to boot anti-Trump Republicans Cheney and Kinzinger from the conference.

McCarthy was able to quell those calls for now, asking the group to hold off on their effort so the GOP doesn't distract from its messaging around the one-year anniversary of Biden's inauguration. But the issue is almost certain to bubble back up.

In the meantime, McCarthy risks being outflanked on the issue. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee who is said to have future leadership ambitions, recently came out in support of removing Cheney and Kinzinger from the conference.

Appeasing his right wing could run hard up against McCarthy's other mission for 2022: keeping the "majority makers" in swing districts happy and putting moderate incumbents and candidates in position to win in districts where Trump is not popular.

Katko's retirement typifies the struggle McCarthy faces. Hailing from a Democratic-leaning district around Syracuse, Katko had defied expectations for several elections. But his vote to impeach Trump last year, plus his work to find a compromise on investigating January 6 and his vote for the White House's infrastructure bill, drew the ire of Trump and the conference's right wing.

McCarthy declined to heed conservative calls to boot Katko from his top committee spot, but he didn't vocally defend Katko, either. McCarthy also opposed the bipartisan commission on January 6 even though he had deputized Katko to strike a deal on the proposal, which surprised and upset the New York Republican, according to sources familiar with his thinking.

"He didn't have a whole lot of choices there," said Mullin, recalling McCarthy's handling of the situation. "I don't know if there is such a thing as a win or a right solution in that circumstance. And he handled it the best way that the conference needed."

The encroachment of the January 6 committee on McCarthy raises even more potential problems for him on his journey to be speaker. Even if the GOP leader is not subpoenaed, any details in the final report from the committee on McCarthy's conversations with Trump could be damaging and distracting as the party tries to make its case against Biden in the midterm elections.

But McCarthy's swift dismissal of the committee's interest reveals how he sees no advantages in cooperating. In fact, a standoff with the committee could strengthen McCarthy's position within the conference and, just as importantly, with Trump.

"I think if you remember what Kevin's job is, it's to lead the members in the conference," said Cantor. "There are an overwhelming majority of the members of the conference who have constituents that are very loyal and look to Donald Trump as a leader."

"Kevin is someone who leads by understanding the needs of his members," Cantor added. "The key to being a successful leader is understanding the fabric of the conference."






Kevin McCarthy is making plans to use future power to punish House Democrats he doesn't like. This GOP scheme will not end well.


Jan. 11, 2022, 8:41 AM EST  By Steve Benen


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is so confident that he'll be Speaker of the House next year that he's already making plans for how to wield power in 2023. As NBC News reported, one of the California Republican's top priorities is using committee assignments to retaliate against Democrats.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday that if Republicans win control of House in the midterm elections and put him in charge, he would remove some high-profile Democratic members from their committee roles.... McCarthy named Reps. Eric Swalwell California; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; and Adam Schiff of California as Democrats he'd remove from their committee assignments.

To remove these Democratic lawmakers from their panels would require a majority of the House, but if Republicans control the chamber, that shouldn't be much of a problem.

At least, it shouldn't be much of a procedural problem.

As GOP leaders start measuring the drapes ahead of the midterm elections, it's worth taking stock of how we arrived at this point.

Exactly three years ago this week, following a lengthy list of racist incidents, House Republicans agreed to strip then-Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments. McCarthy said at the time that his conference simply could not "tolerate" the Iowan's racism any longer.

A standard was set: King had just wondered aloud about why "white supremacist" had become "offensive," and the GOP rightfully said the congressman had crossed a line.

That same year, two House Republicans faced felony corruption charges, at which point House Republican leaders stripped them of their committee assignments. It was evidence of another standard: Members indicted by the Justice Department won't serve on congressional panels.

Last year, meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene faced related punishment. As we've discussed, the Georgia Republican was already well known for supporting the deranged QAnon conspiracy theory, and that alone should've been a disqualifier in a mature political party in a healthy democracy, but just a month into her congressional career, an avalanche of new revelations come to the fore: In late January, the public learned of Greene's record of dismissing 9/11 and school massacres as hoaxes. And harassing at least one survivor of a school shooting. And targeting religious minorities. And peddling bizarre claims about fire-causing space lasers.

Perhaps most importantly, in 2018 and 2019, the Georgia Republican expressed support for violence against Democratic elected officials. This included an instance in which she liked a social-media comment about removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from office by way of "a bullet to the head."

By this point, House Republicans had already assigned Greene to the Budget and Education committees. In the aftermath of the revelations, McCarthy reportedly proposed removing the extremist lawmaker from one of the panels. For Democrats, this wasn't nearly good enough: They brought a measure to the floor stripping Greene of all of her committee assignments, and it passed — with 11 GOP votes.

Ten months later, House Democrats stripped Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of his committee assignments for also crossing a line with violent speech: The Arizonan released an animated video that depicted him killing one of his Democratic colleagues and attacking President Joe Biden. This resolution also passed — this time, with two Republican votes.

Just as McCarthy had set a standard with Steve King, Democrats had created a similar standard with Taylor Greene and Gosar: Members who endorse the rhetoric of political violence will lose their committee assignments.

According to the would-be House Speaker, his retaliatory plans are part of a tit-for-tat dynamic: Democrats removed some Republicans from their committees, so the GOP feels justified in removing some Democrats from their committees.

But the details matter: If Swalwell, Omar, and Schiff had talked up political violence, then the parallels would exist and McCarthy's position would be justifiable.

But what the House Republican leader is recommending is an entirely new standard: If one party doesn't like another party's members, the majority can punish them and start unilaterally reshuffling committee assignments.

McCarthy's game will not end well.






BY CRISTINA MARCOS - 01/10/22 02:58 PM EST 3,949


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview published Monday that he would move to prevent a number of prominent Democrats from serving on committees if Republicans win the House in this year's midterm elections.

McCarthy singled out Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), lawmakers he'd previously identified as potential targets.

McCarthy had previously threatened to retaliate against Democrats for their votes in the last year to remove Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from committees for invoking political violence in their rhetoric.

But in a Breitbart interview published Monday, McCarthy was more declarative that Republicans would not let those members serve on committees if they take control of the House.

“Never in the history [of Congress] have you had the majority tell the minority who can be on committee. But this new standard which these Democrats have voted for — if Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the private sector, there is no reason why he should be given one to be on Intel or Homeland Security. He will not be serving there,” McCarthy said.

Ilhan Omar should not be serving on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy added. “This is a new level of what the Democrats have done.”

McCarthy had also previously singled out Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.) as a Democrat Republicans might prevent from serving on committees, but she was not mentioned in the interview published Monday.  However, McCarthy confirmed that he would act to prevent Schiff and Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee as well as Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Schiff chairs the Intelligence panel, while Waters leads the House Financial Services Committee.

After Democrats — as well as GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) — voted in November to strip Gosar of his committee assignments for posting an anime video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), McCarthy warned that some lawmakers "will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future."

Omar has faced some bipartisan pushback for her vocal criticism of Israel, such as previously saying that "Israel has hypnotized the world" and that the pro-Israel lobby "says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

Republicans have also seized on a report from Axios in late 2020 that a suspected Chinese intelligence operative cultivated ties with Swalwell, who cut off contact with her several years ago after federal authorities alerted him to their concerns. Swalwell has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Republicans nevertheless forced a procedural vote last year to remove Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee, which failed along party lines.

Schiff, meanwhile, has long been a top GOP target after he played a leading role in Democrats' first impeachment inquiry against former President Trump in 2019.

McCarthy pointed to Schiff's past calls to investigate claims in the infamous 2016 dossier that alleged Trump had ties to the Russian government. Federal investigations have found contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russians, but many of the sources and salacious allegations in the dossier have since been discredited.

“You look at Adam Schiff — he should not be serving on Intel when he has openly, knowingly now used a fake dossier, lied to the American public in the process and doesn’t have any ill will [and] says he wants to continue to do it,” McCarthy said.

Schiff, for his part, defended his past efforts to investigate allegations related to the Russian government's efforts to boost Trump in the 2016 election.

·         McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 'illegitimate' Jan. 6 probe

·         McCarthy dodges, deflects Jan. 6 questions

“The top line there of Russian help and Trump willingness to accept it and make use of it proved all too accurate,” Schiff said on “Meet the Press” in November.

Schiff later on Monday sought to raise campaign funds off of McCarthy's latest threat.

"This is yet another reason why a Republican majority must never happen. McCarthy knows that I will never shy away from my committee oversight responsibilities. That I will always stand up to him, and expose his duplicity to the American people," Schiff wrote in an email to supporters.

This story was updated at 5:27 p.m.


ATTACHMENT SEVEN – Also from The Hill



BY MYCHAEL SCHNELL - 01/06/22 03:04 PM EST


Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) confirmed in a new interview that she told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) during the Jan. 6 riot “Get away from me, you f---ing did this,” as the lawmakers were being escorted away from the protesters who had stormed the Capitol building.

Cheney confirmed the interaction during an interview with The New York Times’s Michael Barbaro for “The Daily” podcast that was published on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack. Asked by Barbaro if the confrontation, first reported in the book “I Alone Can Fix It,” was true, Cheney said “yeah,” before detailing her thoughts during the expletive-ridden interaction.

“I was in the aisle, on the aisle and he [Jordan] came over to me, you know, and basically said, we need to get the ladies away from the aisle. And, you know, I had watched for the months since the election what was going on and the lies that have been told to people,” Cheney told Barbaro.

“And, you know, it was both that I, you know, certainly didn’t need his help, and secondly, I thought clearly that the lie that they had been spreading and telling people had absolutely contributed to what we were living through at that moment,” she added.

Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker first reported on the interaction in their book. It reportedly came to light during a phone call between Cheney and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“That f---ing guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Cheney told Milley, according to the book. “While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.’ I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You f---ing did this.’ ”

The Hill has reached out to Jordan for comment.

Cheney’s confirmation of the interaction came on the one-year anniversary of the deadly attacks. The U.S. recognized the solemn anniversary with a number of events on Thursday, including addresses from President Biden and Vice President Harris and a conversation with historians on Capitol Hill “to establish and preserve the narrative of Jan. 6.”

·         Reps ask Capitol Police Board for information on 'insider threat...

·         Romney participating in fundraiser for Liz Cheney

Jordan, a close ally of former President Trump, was one of the nearly 150 GOP lawmakers to object to the counting of Electoral College votes from certain states in an effort to contest the 2020 presidential election.

Cheney, on the other hand, has been a vocal critic of Trump and the role he played in inciting the violent mob that overtook the Capitol. She is one of the only two Republicans to sit on the House select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack.

She was present on the House floor for a moment of silence on Thursday along with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, where the Republican side of the chamber stood almost entirely empty.







By JACOB BLISS  12 Jan 2022  


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) raised a record $72.4 million for the House GOP conference in 2021 during off-year fundraising efforts in a quest to take back the majority in the House.

In the fourth fundraising quarter of 2021 alone, McCarthy raised $11.75 million, and to date, has transferred $25.3 million to the House Republican’s campaign efforts at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

As the country turns the page on 2021 and heads into the election year, McCarthy said the “contrast couldn’t be starker” between Democrats and Republicans. He added, “Democrats are retiring and running for the exits at a historic pace, Republican candidates and voters are rallying behind our mission to take back the House.”  

“I want to thank our contributors for their generosity and support,” McCarthy continued. “Working together, I’m confident we will fire Pelosi and convincingly elect a Republican majority in the People’s House.” 

After the record haul, McCarthy said his message to the voters is clear: “You deserve a Congress that listens and institutes policies to improve your quality of life — and when Republicans regain the House majority, we will deliver exactly that.”

Additionally, McCarthy, looking to take back the House in the midterms and “fire” Pelosi as the Speaker, explained to Breitbart News the consequences of Democrats’ control of Congress in an exclusive long-form video interview.

During the interview, he explained his “Commitment to America” and detailed what he plans to do in the majority, noting that majorities are earned, not given. McCarthy stated that, while there are droves of Democrats retiring, the Republicans only need to net five seats in order to take back the majority.

“Any time you have an election that has contrast, clear contrast—like, if Republicans were trusted with the majority, what would you do?” McCarthy said. “We’ll come out with a Commitment to America. What we’ve been doing for the last year is all the members are on task forces. We’ve been working on policy.”

McCarthy also gave credit to Breitbart News’ Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle and to the news organization for being the only outlet that took his vision from 2020 seriously, when he sat down with Breitbart News in 2019 to discuss flipping seats and possibly the House, while pollsters and professional pundits said he would lose seats at the time.

But, as history shows, in the end, Republicans flipped 15 seats back from Democrat control, which led to “the closest majority the Democrats have had in more than 100 years.”





By Editorial Board  January 13, 2022 at 4:06 p.m. EST


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is a key witness to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. So it makes sense that the House committee investigating the riot would want to interview him. But Mr. McCarthy declared on Wednesday that he will not cooperate, calling the investigation an illegitimate abuse of power designed to damage Democrats’ political opponents.

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This is the man who boasted in 2015 that House Republicans had employed their Benghazi investigation to wound Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton — who, by the way, testified voluntarily for 11 hours before the GOP’s show trial, which produced no evidence of wrongdoing by the then-secretary of state in connection with the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya that killed four Americans.

The Jan. 6 probe, by contrast, is of vastly more consequence. It represents the country’s best chance to compile an authoritative account of how and why a sitting president tried to overturn a free and fair election and, when he failed, spurred a mob to attack Congress as it counted electoral college votes. This review is indispensable not only for history but also to bolster the nation’s democratic procedures against another attempt to subvert them, which could come as early as 2024.

No patriotic American should oppose such a probe. Yet, from the beginning, the minority leader has sought to impede any reasonable inquiry. First, he pushed to scuttle a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission. After Republicans killed that proposal, Democrats empaneled a special committee of House lawmakers. Mr. McCarthy tried to pack it with pro-Trump sycophants who would have obstructed its work.  He now argues that, because Democrats balked at his efforts to sabotage the committee, it is illegitimate.

Greg Sargent: McCarthy’s coverup for Trump may be hiding knowledge of possible crimes

Mr. McCarthy likely has direct knowledge of then-president Donald Trump’s state of mind on and around Jan. 6, as well as details of Mr. Trump’s weeks-long effort before the attack to overturn the 2020 election results. Indeed, the minority leader spoke with Mr. Trump during the riot, and reports suggest that Mr. Trump ignored Mr. McCarthy’s pleas for help. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” he reportedly said.

It is doubtful that Mr. McCarthy’s testimony would be flattering to Mr. Trump, which might jeopardize the minority leader’s chances of becoming speaker, should Republicans regain their House majority this fall. But subpoenaing Mr. McCarthy is more than justified; indeed, the minority leader is such an important witness, it would be a poor investigation if the committee failed to compel his testimony. “He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened,” committee vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Wednesday. “He has an obligation to come forward, and we’ll get to the truth.”

Subpoenaing the minority leader would be unprecedented, but his behavior amounts to a dereliction of his oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In his quest to become the next GOP House speaker, Mr. McCarthy has instead thrown in his lot with the enemies of democracy.







By Daniel Uria


Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol on Wednesday issued a subpoena to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

In its letter to McCarthy, R-Calif., the committee said that he was reportedly in communication with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former President Donald Trump ahead of the events of Jan. 6. The panel said he allegedly advised them about plans to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

"We also must learn about how the president's plan for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election," Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote. "For example, in advance of Jan. 6, you reportedly explained to Mark Meadows and the former president that objections to the certification of the electoral votes on January 6th 'was doomed to fail.'"

The House last month recommended contempt charges for Meadows after he refused to comply with the committee.

RELATED:  Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump speechwriter, operatives who helped with rally

The panel notes that McCarthy "acknowledged speaking directly with" Trump while the riots were underway and said the Republican leader may have information about Trump's "state of mind and decisions" in the aftermath of Jan. 6.

"It appears that you had one or more conversations with the president during this period, including a conversation on or about January 11th ... It appears that you may have also discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th amendment," Thompson wrote. "It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump's immediate resignation from office."

Thompson also cited reports of a "very heated conversation" between McCarthy and Trump in which he "urged the president to 'get help' to the Capitol."

RELATED:  Justice Department announces creation of domestic terrorism task force

Earlier this month, Thompson said the committee received "significant testimony that leads us to believe that the White House had been told to do something," to quell the rioters.

McCarthy is the third sitting Republican lawmaker subpoenaed by the committee along with Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Both Perry and Jordan have said they will not voluntarily cooperate with the committee's investigation.

RELATED:  Biden calls for change to filibuster rules in Atlanta trip

McCarthy was originally supposed to select five Republicans to serve on the committee but withdrew all of his choices after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vetoed the nominations of Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.  

He referenced the decision in a statement Wednesday night, calling the committee "illegitimate," accusing it of seeking to "damage its political opponents" rather than investigate the events of Jan. 6 and adding he will not cooperate with the requests.

"The committee has demanded testimony from staffers who applied for First Amendment permits. It has subpoenaed the call records of private citizens and their financial records from banks while demanding secrecy not supported by law. It has lied about the contents of documents it has received. It has held individuals in contempt of Congress for exercising their Constitutional right to avail themselves of judicial proceedings. And now it wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. I have nothing else to add," McCarthy said.




ATTACHMENT ELEVEN (A) – From Politico…



Congressional committees have routinely subpoenaed data from private companies, but the House minority leader says a future GOP majority “will not forget.”


By MYAH WARD   08/31/2021 07:02 PM EDT  Updated: 08/31/2021 08:56 PM EDT


Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday threatened to use a future GOP majority to punish companies that comply with the House’s Jan. 6 investigators, warning that “a Republican majority will not forget.”

McCarthy called out Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for what he called “attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data.” He asserted that such a forfeiture of information would “put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.”

The select panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection took its first step in obtaining phone records on Monday, asking an array of telecommunications companies to save records relevant to the attack — a request that could include records from some lawmakers. More than 30 companies, including Apple, AT&T and Verizon, received a request for records from April 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021.

“The Select Committee is investigating the violent attack on the Capitol and attempt to overturn the results of last year’s election,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement, responding to McCarthy's threat. “We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people. The committee’s efforts won’t be deterred by those who want to whitewash or cover up the events of January 6th, or obstruct our investigation.”

On the substance of McCarthy’s complaint, congressional committees have routinely used subpoena power to obtain data from private companies, including phone records, emails and other communications. The Jan. 6 committee has not identified whose communications it is seeking, but it has made clear that members of Congress are among the potential targets, which would be a departure from past practices — one that members of the panel have said they believe is warranted in this case.

The Democratic-led committee’s investigators are looking for a fuller picture of the communications between then-President Donald Trump and members of Congress during the attack. McCarthy is among the Republicans known to have spoken with Trump on Jan. 6.

Republicans have already slammed the investigation’s interest in phone records as an “authoritarian” overreach by Democrats. Though two anti-Trump Republican lawmakers, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, sit on the select panel, most of the party voted against the committee’s creation, and GOP senators filibustered a bill that would have formed an independent commission to investigate the Capitol insurrection.

“If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,” McCarthy said in Tuesday’s statement. “If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”

Schiff said on Tuesday that McCarthy’s threat was “premised on a falsehood.”

“He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared,” Schiff said on MSNBC. “They didn’t want this commission and this select committee to go forward. They certainly didn’t want it to go forward as it is on a bipartisan basis, and they don’t want the country to know exactly what they were involved in.

“And Kevin McCarthy lives to do whatever Trump wants. But he is trying to threaten these companies, and it shows yet again why this man, Kevin McCarthy, can never be allowed to go anywhere near the speaker’s office.”





By Amber Phillips   January 10, 2022|  Updated today at 9:40 a.m. EST


Other than understanding the level of President Donald Trump’s involvement in the riot at the Capitol, the congressional committee investigating Jan. 6 most wants to know whether and how Republican members of Congress at the highest levels aided and abetted the attack.

But the committee is going to have to fight to get that information. It’s very rare for a committee in Congress to try to force members to testify.

Here’s what’s happening and how the committee can try to compel Republican members of Congress to talk to it about Jan. 6.

Whom the committee wants to talk to

Committee members do much of their work in private. We know they’ve at least asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)  and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Scott Perry (Pa.) to talk to them about conversations they’ve had either with Trump on the day of the attack, and/or about any conversations they had with Trump allies leading up to Jan. 6. McCarthy in particular had conversations with Trump during the riot.

All three have refused to cooperate. On Wednesday, McCarthy accused the committee of vague “abuse of power.”

This week, Jordan called the request “an outrageous abuse.” Last month, Perry said he wouldn’t participate and called the committee “illegitimate.”

The committee has said it’s looking at its options.

What are those options?

The next, obvious step would be to subpoena those lawmakers. A subpoena is a legally binding request, and you can to go jail for ignoring one. Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon is facing trial this summer for just that; former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows could face charges, too.

But members of Congress are different. It’s an open question whether the committee can subpoena its colleagues. For all the fighting between parties on Capitol Hill, it’s almost unheard of for Congress to force its colleagues to testify. (With the exception of the Ethics Committee, which exists solely to police fellow House lawmakers.)

“I can’t, off the top of my head, recall a case in which a committee other than the Ethics Committee has subpoenaed a member of the House, ever,” said Stanley Brand, a congressional ethics expert who is representing former deputy White House chief of staff Dan Scavino before the committee.

The committee is trying to figure this out. “I don’t know what the precedent is, to be honest,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) told my colleagues last summer.

Mike Stern is a former lawyer for the nonpartisan House counsel office, and he thinks the House can subpoena its own members, given that the Ethics Committee does it regularly.

The panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), has repeatedly said that if the committee can do it, there would be “no reluctance to subpoena” members of Congress, despite how unprecedented it would be.

That raises the question of what happens if these lawmakers ignore a subpoena. Stern said the tools Congress has are the same it uses to pressure Trump allies to talk: Congress could hold them in contempt and ask the Justice Department to consider prosecuting them. The committee seems willing to travel down that road, as unprecedented as it might be.

How members of Congress could fight back

There are a few legal options that could be open to these Republican members of Congress, but they’re pretty narrow, and exist mostly to just delay things. “It’s sort of like they have 10 issues and are going to throw them up against the wall and see if any will stick,” Stern said. “It’s not likely that one will stick, but you never know.”

These lawmakers could go to court to fight a subpoena by arguing that such a request is politically motivated. Maybe that could gain traction in court given that the committee is made up of mostly Democrats. (There are just two Republicans on it after Republicans refused to participate in an investigation aimed at Trump and Jan. 6.)

Jordan’s letter to the committee seemed to hint at this: “The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts,” he said, using Trump-like phrasing. Same with McCarthy: “It is not serving any legislative purpose,” he said in his statement.

But Brand said that would be a novel legal argument, and thus risky. “No court has recognized partisanship as a reason in and of itself” to let someone sidestep a subpoena, he said.

Another long-shot idea is for these lawmakers to pull out the Constitution and argue that they are immune from being questioned about their work as lawmakers. That’s the “speech and debate clause.” But it specifically protects lawmakers from questioning in venues outside of Congress. The Jan. 6 committee was set up by Congress and made up of members of Congress.

Lawmakers could also argue that the committee, in subpoenaing members of Congress, creates a slippery-slope situation. “What would stop a committee from subpoenaing members of the opposite party to obtain a political advantage?” asked Brand, summarizing a potential argument. “That is why the Ethics Committee is evenly split — to prevent abuse of the minority by the majority.”

Committee members argue that they’re focused on a very narrow, legislative purpose: Find out why the attack on the Capitol happened and what laws Congress can pass to prevent it from ever happening again.

Time is not on the committee’s side

Republican lawmakers could still win by tying things up in court for the next year.

The committee is racing to put together its findings on the Jan. 6 attack and Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss. They want that out before the November midterm elections, when control of Congress is up for grabs, and before Republicans could win back the House and disband the committee.

If the committee senses it’s running out of time — or just doesn’t want to deal with the political drama of subpoenaing a member of Congress — it could skip talking to these lawmakers altogether, and go around them and try to get their phone records or other related documents. The committee hasn’t managed to talk to Meadows, but it did manage to get revealing text messages from him.

McCarthy warned telecommunications companies that they would be violating federal law if they handed over lawmakers’ phone records. But no legal expert we talked to could figure out what federal law he was referring to. More likely, it was an empty threat.

Stern said that if these lawmakers’ phone companies are subpoenaed to hand over phone records, they probably would. But Brand pointed out that phone records don’t share the contents of the call, just that a call took place. So the committee would be better served by talking to McCarthy about what he said to Trump as rioters stormed the capitol, rather than knowing that call took place.

Lawmakers could tie up records’ requests in court, too. (Possibly by using their campaign funds for legal fees.) Trump’s doing that right now as the committee tries to get documents related to Jan. 6. It took Congress years to get Trump’s tax returns, and by then he was out of office.

This post has been updated with the latest news.


And (C) – Also From WashPost



House Jan. 6 committee will consider subpoena to Kevin McCarthy after he refuses to cooperate


By Jacqueline Alemany and Tom Hamburger January 12, 2022|Updated January 13, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. EST


The leaders of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol said Thursday that they will consider issuing a subpoena to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after he refused to cooperate with the inquiry.

McCarthy on Wednesday rejected a request to voluntarily provide information about his communications with President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Both the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), and the vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.), said Thursday the panel would now consider issuing a subpoena to McCarthy and other lawmakers — an option that raises complex legal and practical issues already under discussion.

Cheney accused McCarthy of trying to cover up what happened Jan. 6.

“I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” Cheney told CNN. “He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened. He has an obligation to come forward and we’ll get to the truth.”

In a letter sent to McCarthy on Wednesday Thompson said the panel is interested in his correspondence with Meadows ahead of the attack, along with McCarthy’s communications with Trump during and after the riot. Details of those conversations could provide the committee with further insight into Trump’s state of mind at the time, Thompson wrote.

“We also must learn about how the President’s plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election,” Thompson wrote. “For example, in advance of January 6th, you reportedly explained to Mark Meadows and the former President that objections to the certification of the electoral votes on January 6th ‘was doomed to fail.’”

McCarthy responded by saying he will not cooperate, arguing in a statement that its “only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents.”

McCarthy criticized the committee for wanting “to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. I have nothing else to add.”

The letter came on the same day that the committee interviewed former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, a source with knowledge of her testimony confirmed to The Washington Post. McEnany was subpoenaed in November, with the committee noting that she was with Trump at times during the attack on Jan. 6.

McCarthy is the latest Republican House member whose cooperation has been requested by the panel. Letters were sent recently to Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Both have said they do not intend to cooperate.

The committee is now actively considering how best to get members to comply with its requests, including by issuing subpoenas.

“If we can get the necessary authorities and assurances that go with it, we’ll do it,” Thompson said in a Washington Post Live interview last week of the requests to Jordan and Perry. “Both those individuals are important and have been implicated into this illegal activity that occurred on January 6.”

In his letter Wednesday, Thompson cited McCarthy’s conversation with Trump on Jan. 11, during which McCarthy “may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th Amendment,” Thompson wrote. “It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump’s immediate resignation from office.”

The committee also mentioned various news reports that further detailed McCarthy’s conversations with Trump on and after Jan. 6, including a conversation with Trump in which he “admitted ‘some degree of responsibility’ for January 6th in his one-on-one conversations with you,” Thompson wrote.

Conversations with Trump’s legal team, Jordan and others about McCarthy’s “continued objections to the electoral votes from multiple states late in the evening of January 6th and into the morning of January 7th” are also of interest to the committee, Thompson wrote.

The request from the committee also revealed a text message from Fox News host Laura Ingraham to Meadows in which she wrote that Trump would be “well advised” to discourage “protest at state capit[o]ls esp with weapons … given how hot the situation is.”

Thompson’s letter cited public statements by McCarthy expressing concern that Trump’s false claims of a “stolen election” raised the specter of violence, and he asked whether McCarthy “received FBI briefings regarding potential violence immediately following January 6th” — and whether he communicated those concerns about violence to Trump or White House staff.

The letter to McCarthy underlines Thompson’s determination to question members of Congress with knowledge of Jan. 6, and it seems likely that similar letters to other members will be forthcoming.

The reaction among House Republicans to those entreaties so far has not been positive. Jordan wrote to Thompson last week that the committee’s request “is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core constitutional principles and would serve to further erode legislative norms.”

McCarthy on Wednesday described the committee’s request for information as an “abuse of power.”

“As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” he said in the statement.






Nicholas Reimann  Updated Jan 12, 2022, 05:21pm EST


The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is seeking the cooperation of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying in a statement that he has knowledge of the riot’s "facts, circumstances, and causes."

McCarthy was asked to voluntarily submit information to the committee, and has not been issued a subpoena, which would require him to comply under threat of criminal contempt charges.

The committee claims McCarthy had direct communication with former President Donald Trump on and immediately after January 6, 2021, and at one point discussed with Trump “the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th Amendment,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a letter to the congressman.

McCarthy warned former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows before January 6, 2021, that plans to object to the election results were "doomed to fail," according to the committee.

McCarthy vocally condemned the attack as it was underway, telling CBS News he called Trump and told him “this has to stop.”

McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

“We also must learn about how the President’s plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election,” Thompson, the committee’s chair, wrote in the letter.


The committee subpoenaed dozens of former Trump Administration officials earlier in the investigation, but has opted for voluntarily requests recently, asking Trump allies like Fox News host Sean Hannity and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to submit information, though Jordan said he will not comply with the request. McCarthy has repeatedly criticized the committee’s investigation, claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was “playing politics” through her appointments to the committee. He also warned telecommunications companies against complying with lawmakers’ requests for records last year, saying “a Republican majority will not forget” if the GOP takes control of Congress in the midterms... potentially sending Don Jones’ lines of communications back to “Ernestine”... (one, ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy)... at the switchboard for closure and satisfaction.  (More at Attachment 11A, above, and a shout-out to Lily Tomlin)

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared virtually before the January 6 committee on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. McEnany was subpoenaed as part of the investigation.



Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller Among Trump Officials Subpoenaed By House Jan. 6 Committee (Forbes)

Jan. 6 Committee Asks Sean Hannity To Cooperate With Capitol Riot Investigation (Forbes)







JAN. 21, 2022 3 AM PT


To the editor:  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), about whom columnist Robin Abcarian writes so tellingly, is a poster boy for the first law of dictatorial government.

That law is that the first loyalty is not to good government, to a constitution or to the people, but rather to the “dear leader” — in this case former President Trump. It is now evident that not just McCarthy but also the entire Republican Party has adopted this practice and is no longer a political party in the American tradition.

We should understand these facts if we are to save our democracy come voting time.

A.   T., Palm Desert


To the editor:  McCarthy will never be speaker of the House. He committed the cardinal sin of speaking against the former Oval Office occupant and then sought atonement.

The problem is that the former occupant has a long memory and never forgives a slight. Indeed, he obsesses about how he can get revenge.

If — and here I don’t concede anything — the party out of power is restored in 2022, look for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the current House minority whip, to get the blessing. He lurks in the corners like a reptile waiting to strike its oblivious prey. 

McCarthy, with his blind ambition, doesn’t see the danger.

   V. M., Rancho Palos Verdes


To the editor: My thanks to Abcarian for calling out McCarthy as a spineless liar. But what’s the point? You can’t shame someone who has no sense of shame.

He and a majority of his Republican colleagues have embraced former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s world of “alternative facts.” They are making voting harder for people they don’t like, and making sure the votes are counted by people they do like.

Mc carthy’s test of loyalty and competence.  Passed?

I believe American democracy is in for a rough patch.

   V. B., Indio





'What are Republicans for?' Kevin McCarthy Responds to Joe Biden Over 3 Days Later



At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden acknowledged that major legislation had stalled and lamented the GOP's effort to block his agenda.

Biden conceded he would have to pare back his Build Back Better plan, but said he was confident he could get "big chunks" of the spending package signed into law before the midterm elections later this year.

Biden also criticized Republicans for uniting against his proposals. "I did not anticipate that there'd be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn't get anything done," he said. "Think about this: What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they're for."

On Sunday, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy provided an answer to the question in a tweet posted about 11 a.m. ET.  

"I heard President Biden ask repeatedly: 'What are Republicans for?' I'll happily answer," McCarthy wrote.

The Constitution, kids in schools, safe streets, a secure border were among the things he listed. McCarthy also wrote that Republicans were for "an economy that keeps food on the shelves" and "holding Biden's failed administration accountable."  (See below)

Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst also offered an answer during an appearance on CNN earlier this week.

"Generally speaking, I understand the politics; midterms tend to be referenda on the people who are running the country," host Jake Tapper said. "But what are three things that Republicans will do if you recapture the Senate in the midterms?"

Republicans "stand for a strong, free and prosperous nation," Ernst replied.


·         Biden Admits Major Legislation Has Stalled, Blames GOP for Blocking Agenda

·         Trump Says People 'Almost Romanticizing' His Time in Office

·         As White House Frets About Roe v. Wade, March for Life Feels Time Has Come

·         Donald Trump Slams Jan. 6 Panel for Ivanka Ask: 'They'll Go After Children'


"So, one, we need to tackle the issue of inflation," she said. "Biden is facing a 40-year high with the inflation rate, and Iowans and all Americans are feeling those pressures. So, alleviating those pressures on our families would be job, number one."

Ernst also lis