Mexico City (AFP) - Mexican journalist Julio Cesar Zubillaga shudders when his young daughter asks him why "they" want to kill him.He spoke up after a fellow reporter's murder and quickly felt the consequences: death threats and a gun attack on the office where his paper is printed.His experience highlights southern Mexico's status as among the most dangerous regions in a country that is one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists. Zubillaga helped prepare the corpse of Pablo Morrugares, a journalist with digital newspaper PM Noticias, after gunmen killed both him and the policeman ...
Far-fetched plan to make Trump Speaker of the House would give him 'tremendous power' over 2024 election: analysis
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) warned that Republicans might make Donald Trump Speaker of the House if they take back the majority in next year's election, and it might be time to take that threat seriously.
The idea is becoming increasingly popular in the MAGA universe, and the twice-impeached one-term president has discussed the possibility with Gaetz and other right-wing lawmakers, and New Republic columnist Matt Ford theorized some of the alarming possibilities of putting Trump in control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"One reason for concern is that Trump would wield tremendous power over the legislative process," Ford wrote. "His presidency suggests that he might not be inclined to use that power in the public interest. For the last fifty years, lawmakers from both parties have centralized legislative power within the speaker’s office. As a result, Trump would effectively decide whether bills that keep the government open or raise the debt ceiling reach the House floor. He forced a government shutdown during his own term and called on GOP lawmakers to not lift the debt ceiling earlier this year. It’s not hard to imagine Trump instigating for a prolonged shutdown or even a national default if he thinks it will help him and hurt [President Joe] Biden."
The most urgent concern, however, is the speaker currently has the power to effectively decide the outcome of the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is widely expected to be a candidate.
"Consider how this process might play out after the 2024 election if Biden defeats Trump to win re-election," Ford wrote. "What if Speaker Trump, claiming once again that the election was stolen from him, simply refuses to convene that session? There is no other mechanism to count the Electoral College votes, and without a count, the rest of the process breaks down."
"The current terms of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would expire at noon on January 20, 2025," he concluded. "Under the Twentieth Amendment, control of the executive branch would then pass to the acting president for as long as the House refuses to count the electoral votes or until the next election is held in 2028. And under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the acting president in this scenario would be Speaker Donald Trump."
Land Use Attorney Thomas Galvin has been unanimously chosen to fill the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors vacancy in the district. The board is under intense scrutiny after review of the Arizona Senate's involvement in certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
"Galvin joins the board at a time of intense scrutiny in the fallout of Senate's review of the 2020 election results. He believes the County’s election was fair and he knows President [Joe] Biden won in the county, state and country," Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said Thursday. "The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is comprised of four Republicans and one Democrat who all deny former President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election."
"I think there's something in the drinking water out there for Republicans," Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough quipped. "I think what it may be, in part, if you look at the person who’s ahead in the republican race for governor, just full on crazy. You look at the person who's involved in the senate race, full on crazy. What are they - they kicked out Cindy McCain..."
"Completely off the cliff and they see their state turning blue," added Eugene Robinson. "That’s what they see happening in Maricopa County - they’re going blue and you know bluer and that takes the state of Arizona."
Scarborough added, "And what they’re thinking is, 'Man, those democrats in Washington are going so far left, this is our time to reclaim the state.' That’s what they're thinking. 'Our people are so crazy on this Trump' - it’s not even right. These Trumpsters are crazy."
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There are some bitter feeling in the Senate GOP Caucus after GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) put together a deal to prevent the federal government from defaulting on loans.
McConnell linked extending the debt ceiling with an issue to prevent cuts Medicare and that reportedly has resulted in enough GOP support to prevent a catastrophic default.
"Let’s get this out of the way -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will get the 10 Republicans he needs to help end debate on this debt-limit process bill. Democrats will supply the rest of the votes needed, and then the Senate can move toward actually raising the debt limit," Punchbowl News reported Thursday. "Here’s a whip list of 10 GOP senators on the record who’ll vote for cloture: McConnell, Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota; John Cornyn of Texas; Roger Wicker of Mississippi; Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia; Roy Blunt of Missouri; Susan Collins of Maine; Rob Portman of Ohio; and Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina."
The process has been complicated by Donald Trump, who has urged Republicans to risk default to block unrelated policy proposals championed by President Joe Biden.
"Mitch McConnell just folded on the Debt Ceiling, a total victory for the Democrats—didn’t use it to kill the $5 Trillion Dollar (real number!) Build Back Worse Bill that will essentially change the fabric of our Country forever," Trump said in a Wednesday statement. "The Dems would have folded completely if Mitch properly played his hand, and if not, the Debt Ceiling scenario would be far less destructive than the Bill that will get passed. He has all the cards to win, but not the 'guts' to play them."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close Trump ally, reportedly lashed out at McConnell for taking actions to prevent a collapse of the economy.
"Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, berated him, as did several other GOP senators attending the session. Graham doesn’t like the decision by McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to attach the debt-limit process provisions to an underlying bill delaying Medicare sequestration cuts scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1," Punchbowl reported.