Insurrection II: No Speaker, No Cry
Now playing: A long, boring sequel to Jan. 6 starring the Freedom Caucus, Republicans gear-up for new anti-trans legislation and a 'Stranger Things' star comes out as gay
Yay! We made it to Friday! Thanks for rising up with me this January 6, 2023.
Two years to the day after the insurrection, there’s a new coup underway: An attempt, so far successful, to stop the orderly transition of power. This time, the insurrectionists are not wielding weapons, just votes. And once again, the efforts to stop them have fallen short, as we watch live on TV. Some people compared what happened on that horrible day in 2021 to a film; If this were just a movie, and not our reality, it would bomb at the box office.
Here now the news:
HERE WE GO AGAIN, AND AGAIN: Negotiations lasted late into the night Thursday after the 11th vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to elect a speaker ended roughly the same as the previous 10 ballots, the Washington Blade reported. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) keeps failing to capture the gavel by about 20 votes in his Republican Conference. The House adjourned after 8 p.m. and is set to reconvene today at noon EST.
TUCKER’S TAKE: The smarmy Fox News host told his cable TV audience what’s really happening is “accountability” and teaching McCarthy a lesson. If you’d like to read what he said or watch video of him saying it, well, you can try Google. You didn’t really think I was going to give him clicks, did you?
MATT GAETZ IS TALKING: The Florida Republican who, at last report is still under investigation for sex trafficking, told Fox’s Laura Ingraham “President Trump is wrong” to support McCarthy and vowed he would never vote for the wanna-be Speaker. Earlier Thursday, Rep. Gaetz was spotted on the House floor bending the ear of none other than Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) :
WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN? As CNBC reports, the GOP’s inability to elect a Speaker has effectively paralyzed the legislative branch of the government, leaving Congress incapable of passing legislation and representatives unable to offer formal services to constituents. Let’s say the stalemate drags on for a few more days, or weeks. CNBC says that could lead to House staff members losing pay and benefits. And a long delay could be especially dangerous if the nation were to face a major catastrophe that needed quick congressional votes or to approve emergency spending, as it did following the Sept. 11th attacks or during COVID-19.
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE ON THE WARPATH: On Day 3 of the House Being Held Hostage Crisis, Democrats once again re-nominated Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker, which they have done unanimously all 11 times, even though they have fewer representatives and wouldn’t be able to secure the Speakership without Republicans crossing the aisle. Well, that even remote possibility prompted MTG to launch a Twitter video attack:
McCARTHY MEME-A-MANIA: If somehow you haven’t seen the many, many, many memes mocking McCarthy and the House stalemate, here’s a link to one site with some of the best ones, like this classic (Thanks, Rusty Wolfe!)
The site also includes the video, Ode to McCarthy from @miguelifornia and @MagaMemeWizard, from which I screen-grabbed the image of the California Republican appearing to be wiping away tears, atop today’s newsletter.
Mayor Pete > Secretary Pete > Senator Pete?
IT’S A GOOD QUESTION: LGBTQNation asks, “Will Pete Buttigieg run for Senate now that Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is retiring?” Charlotte Clymer, who also has a wonderful Substack, weighed-in on Twitter:
Well, in our one-on-one interview Wednesday, the man himself told me (and he also told NBC News) the answer is no. But consider:
The Buttigiegs left Indiana for Michigan last summer, buying property near husband Chasten’s hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, not far from his parents, given that the family recently expanded with the adoption of their twins.
A report in Politico last month said that Buttigieg’s allies in D.C. have established a dark money group and a PAC called Win the Era Action Fund with an eye toward future campaigns. We shall see, won’t we?
Flawed Research = Fake News
FLORIDA PROFESSOR GIVEN “F” BY HIS OWN UNIVERSITY: A medical school faculty task force at the University of Florida found that State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who is also a professor of medicine there, relied upon flawed analysis when he discouraged young men from receiving the Coronavirus vaccine. As the Washington Post reports, Ladapo claimed the vaccine posed an unusually high risk of cardiac-related death. The report by the task force says Ladapo may have violated university research integrity rules, but he is not being investigated further.
“They Were Trying to Kill Me”
FLORIDA FAMILY ON TRIAL: The Florida father, mother and son accused of beating a gay man so badly last year that it left him blinded is getting their day in court, reports The Advocate.
“NYT DECLARES WAR ON LGBTQ PEOPLE:” So says Parker Molloy in her latest Substack column, The Present Age, following the hire of anti-LGBTQ opinion writer David French. Parker makes it clear, she’s not calling for French to be fired. What Parker is calling for is for The Times to #HireTrans. She lays out the facts: “NYT’s columnist roster is absolutely loaded with anti-trans voices with absolutely zero balance. For all the focus the paper keeps putting on ‘the trans debate,’ it doesn’t seem particularly interested in actually involving trans people in said ‘debate’ outside of the stray ‘Look! Here’s a trans person writing a ‘guest essay’ for us!’ token piece they like to throw out there a couple of times a year.
“Meanwhile,” she continues, “their columnists will fire out half-informed pieces criticizing trans people and unnamed ‘trans activists’ on the regular. (See: Pamela Paul’s tendency to hyperfocus on trans people, often going to extreme lengths trying — and often failing — to make a coherent point).”
SPEAKING OF GUEST ESSAYS: Meet Iszac Henig, transgender man and Ivy League athlete now swimming on the Yale University men’s team.
Henig’s personal op-ed in Thursday’s New York Times is a moving testament to competing authentically and living your truth. Bravo, sir.
VICTORY FOR TRANSPHOBES: Politico reports a federal judge on Thursday sided with West Virginia’s law that restricts transgender girls from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
NEXT TARGET: TRANS HEALTHCARE FOR ADULTS Orion Rummler of The 19th News reports lawmakers in at least eight states have anti-transgender bills ready to go when state legislative sessions convene this month. While the anti-trans bills in most states focus on banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, others have proposed banning trans healthcare for adults, according to data from the Equality Federation, a coalition of state LGBTQ+ organizations, and a review of state bills by The 19th.
Oklahoma Republican State Senator David Bullard’s Senate Bill 129 would ban all gender reassignment surgeries for people under 26 years old, the Los Angeles Blade reports.
TEXAS-SIZED ‘DON’T SAY GAY OR TRANS’ BILL: The Advocate reports a lawmaker in Texas introduced his worse version of Florida’s controversial law. State Rep. Jared Patterson’s bill, HB 1155, requires schools to disclose all information related to students' mental health information to parents, which exposes children to being forced out of the closet by school officials. It also adds language to the state’s education code to restrict the instruction of topics on sexual orientation and gender identity. Unlike Florida's version, Patterson’s bill would extend the prohibition of discussion through 8th grade.
A FIRST IN RURAL UTAH: The state supreme court in Utah ruled in May 2021 that transgender citizens can change their name and gender marker on birth certificates. Next week, it’s believed Aly Scarlett Wilkinson will be the first resident of Sanpete County to have her authentic name and gender recognized by the state. Judge Mandy Larsen will officiate at the hearing that will also be available to be viewed over the internet and via phone. Wilkinson, 33, came out to her immediate family two months ago. “Everyone who has a significant role in my life knows,” she said. Congratulations, Aly!
STRANGER THINGS STAR COMES OUT: Noah Schnapp, who plays the closeted gay teenager Will Byers on Netflix’s smash science fiction series Stranger Things, has come out as gay on TikTok, the Los Angeles Blade reports.
I WANT MY WEHO-TV: Deadline reports MTV is launching a new reality series titled The Real Friends of WeHo that will follow the lives of celebrity stylist Brad Goreski, choreographer and singer Todrick Hall, actor Curtis Hamilton, CEO of Buttah Skincare Dorión Renaud, TV host and business owner Jaymes Vaughan and digital entrepreneur Joey Zauzig. The show premieres Friday, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT following RuPaul’s Drag Race.
LET’S GO CRUISING: The San Francisco Chronicle reports Buena Vista Park is at the heart of a Gay Cruising Renaissance.
LGBTQ+ ACTORS OF TOMORROW: The Los Angeles Times reports on ActNow, an affirming acting class which is part of Rainbow Entertainment — a queer and trans production company led by out trans actress Rain Valdez. She’s created a rare communal space for LGBTQ+ talent, where they can grow as performers without judgment, says the paper.
‘OFFICE SPACE’ INSPIRES IDIOT: The New York Times reports software engineer Ermenildo Valdez Castro, 28, of Tacoma, Wash. must have been really impressed by the movie OfficeSpace, in which downsized disgruntled employees devise a plan to wreak vengence and earn a fortune by stealing from the company using a computer program. Castro is charged with siphoning more than $300,000 from his employer by introducing what prosecutors called a “series of malicious software edits” that wired money into his personal account. Of course, in the movie [SPOILER ALERT!] the office burns to the ground, destroying the evidence. In Castro’s case, however, he allegedly kept a record of the illicit transactions in a file on his company laptop. He named the file “OfficeSpace Project.”
Thanks for reading and for subscribing! I’ll be back on Monday, and until then, may your news be good news.
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