Rapper Ice Cube is kicking off his weekend by absolutely destroying Elon Musk in a Twitter meme battle.
Musk, who spends most of his time trolling on his Twitter account, shared a meme Thursday poking fun at Ice Cube’s age. The photo was relatively tame compared to the transphobic and antisemitic content Musk usually posts.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 14, 2023
Ice Cube hit back that evening.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 14, 2023
To call Musk’s reign at Twitter a dumpster fire is an understatement. The company is now worth a fraction of what he paid for it, and is staffed by a skeleton team. Musk renamed the platform “X,” trashing its unique and instantly recognizable brand.
Musk has allowed Nazis and the Taliban back on Twitter, and hate speech has flourished under his watch. But rather than do something about it, he is attacking the groups trying to hold him accountable.
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When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ordered the launch of an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, he did so without holding a vote first, despite previously criticizing his predecessor for doing something similar. And many of his Republican colleagues followed in his hypocritical steps.
McCarthy had slammed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi for impeaching Donald Trump in 2019 without first holding a vote. But he still opened the inquiry Tuesday without a vote and without any evidence. He said that Pelosi’s actions “changed the precedent”—but there are a few key differences between the two.
As Pelosi explained on MSNBC Thursday, Democrats actually looked into the facts before moving forward with impeachment. Republicans, on the other hand, have “had eight months of investigation, [and] come up with nothing.”
Another major difference is that in 2019, the House voted to formalize the impeachment a month later. It is unlikely that will happen this time around, since multiple Republicans are not on board with McCarthy’s plan.
Still, like McCarthy, several Republicans have pulled a similar 180, bashing Pelosi in 2019 for moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry into Trump without a vote, while supporting the same exact thing when it comes to Biden. Here is a list of some of the biggest hypocrites.
Representative Jim Jordan repeatedly slammed Pelosi’s October 2019 impeachment inquiry as a “sham.” Even after the House voted on the impeachment, Jordan, then the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, tweeted, “Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a sham process.”
As recently as Sunday evening, Jordan insisted on having a vote before opening an impeachment inquiry into Biden. But after McCarthy announced the inquiry, Jordan suddenly changed tune.
“You don’t need [a vote] to move forward. There’s all kinds of evidence that warrants moving to this phase,” he told Fox & Friends Wednesday.
Jordan chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee and will play a key role in the impeachment inquiry.
House Oversight Chair James Comer has spearheaded the months-long, fruitless investigation into Biden. He said he was “very happy” about the impeachment inquiry.
“I think we’ve proven a lot of things that I think no one knew when we started this investigation,” he said, despite having proven nothing.
But in 2019, he accused Pelosi of “partisan politics” for launching the impeachment inquiry without a vote.
Representative Matt Gaetz has repeatedly called for Biden to be impeached, not just investigated. Since the impeachment investigation was launched, he has urged Congress to move faster and accused McCarthy of only doing “the right thing when he has a political gun to his head.”
But when Pelosi launched the first Trump impeachment inquiry, Gaetz said it was “deeply troubling” that the measure didn’t have enough support to pass a vote.
He also said the Republican Party isn’t “against transparency; what we’re against is this notion that like it’s, ‘Impeach first, investigate later.’” This comment is highly ironic considering Republicans are launching the impeachment inquiry in order to try to find evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing.
Representative Ken Buck was one of the loudest anti-impeachment voices in the Republican Party, accusing McCarthy of using impeachment talk to distract from spending bills. But he appeared to change his mind after the inquiry was announced.
“I think it’s a good move,” Buck told Politico. “We have to focus on spending, we have to make sure the government doesn’t shut down.… I think taking this off the table and not having a distraction is a good move.”
In comparison, in 2019, Buck accused Democrats of “conducting an impeachment inquiry without due process, fairness, or transparency.”
Representative Andy Biggs is one of McCarthy’s loudest critics, even having campaigned against him for House speaker in January. But he praised the impeachment inquiry in a statement.
“I’ve long called for the impeachment of President Joe Biden. An impeachment inquiry steers us in a better direction to accomplish that, but more work remains to be done,” he said. “House Republicans cannot lose focus with this inquiry and slow walk bringing impeachment articles to the House Floor.”
But in 2019, he called Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry “a sham and a fraud.”
“If she is intent on launching impeachment proceedings, then she should immediately put an impeachment resolution on the House floor for the tell-all vote,” Biggs said. “Speaker Pelosi’s failure to do so is a continuation of the hoax that Democrats have perpetrated on the American people for the past three years. She is trying to have this both ways.”
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blew up in a closed-door meeting with Republicans on Thursday—essentially daring the farthest-right members of his party to try to take away his gavel.
Some far-right Republicans have suggested removing McCarthy as the Senate approaches a vote on an appropriations bill that doesn’t include all their priorities. In the meeting on Thursday, McCarthy challenged the members of his party to try.
“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the fucking motion,” McCarthy said, according to Politico reporter Olivia Beavers.
It’s likely one of the Republicans catching McCarthy’s heat is far-right Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, who publicly called for McCarthy’s removal as speaker earlier this week. Gaetz was one of the last holdouts when McCarthy was first elected House speaker, and now he is asking Democrats to join his efforts to oust McCarthy.
Gaetz has also criticized McCarthy’s call for an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden, saying that the House speaker doesn’t intend to actually impeach the president. “He’s throwing impeachment out like an ill-cast lure,” Gaetz said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.
Lashing out is becoming more common for McCarthy, who also snapped during an interview on CNN on Wednesday about how he rushed through the impeachment inquiry without having enough votes.
Some Republicans have admitted that McCarthy likely ordered the launch of an impeachment inquiry into Biden on Monday—despite not having found any evidence of wrongdoing by the president, and without the support of his full party—in an effort to unite House Republicans.
Republican Senator Mike Rounds said it “wouldn’t surprise” him if McCarthy had launched the impeachment inquiry to help keep House Republicans together on appropriations issues. The federal government will partially shut down if Congress can’t get its act together and pass an appropriations bill by the end of the month.
Gaetz, for his part, responded to McCarthy’s expletive-ridden remarks with one of his own:
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) September 14, 2023
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Ron DeSantis has a new strategy for tackling the immigration crisis: killing alleged cartel members on sight.
The Florida governor laid out the policy during a Wednesday night interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity.
“We’re using lethal force against the cartels. If they’re bringing fentanyl in, breaking into our country, we’re going to leave them stone cold dead at the border,” DeSantis said, prompting cheers from the audience. “Trust me, they will get the message.”
DeSantis gets a round of applause from Hannity’s studio audience when he promises extrajudicial killings at the border pic.twitter.com/LWBjYMubik
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 14, 2023
DeSantis has used the phrase “stone cold dead” before when discussing the border. The DeSantis-aligned super PAC Never Back Down has even made the phrase the focus of a campaign ad.
It’s not clear how DeSantis plans to identify these supposed cartel members before executing them. He tried to clarify the plan a bit during a Tuesday night interview with CBS, saying, “There’s not going to be authorization to just shoot somebody like that, but when somebody’s got a backpack on and they’re breaking through the wall, you know, that’s hostile intent and you have every right to take action under those circumstances.”
He said that only people who “appeared” to be members of drug cartels would be targets of deadly force. But he offered no details on what makes someone “appear” to be a cartel member.
Republicans argue that the influx of migrants at the southern U.S. border is primarily members of cartels sneaking dangerous drugs into the country. But immigration authorities say that nearly all drugs smuggled into the United States are brought in by people who can legally cross the border, NPR reported in August. More than half of the drug mules are U.S. citizens. Almost none are migrants seeking asylum.
Critics have also pointed out that DeSantis’s plan is a violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, which prohibits government officials from committing extrajudicial killings. DeSantis should know this, having served as a military lawyer. But considering the allegations made about him during his time working at Guantánamo Bay, maybe he doesn’t care.
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Mitt Romney revealed that “almost without exception” Republicans feel exactly the same way he does about Donald Trump. In fact, they’ve even laughed at him behind his back.
In a new biography of the Utah senator by McKay Coppins, an excerpt of which was published in The Atlantic, Romney revealed that his biggest surprise when he was elected to the Senate was that many of his Republican colleagues shared his view of the former president.
Romney recalled one senior senator who said, “[Trump] has none of the qualities you would want in a president, and all of the qualities you wouldn’t.”
While publicly they presented as loyal party members, behind closed doors, Senate members would ridicule Trump for his stupidity.
Romney recalled that Trump stopped by a weekly Senate luncheon in March 2019. This was just two days after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe ended without proving that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Trump’s arrival was met with a standing ovation from the senators, but after Trump made his rambling remarks and departed the room, the Republican caucus burst out laughing.
Besides viewing Trump as a laughingstock, according to Romney, some Republicans privately agree on another major thing: that Trump was guilty.
In his biography, Romney recalls a January 2020 conversation he had with then–Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during a break in the Senate impeachment proceedings against Trump.
“They nailed him,” McConnell said to Romney as he passed.
Caught off-guard, Romney tried to be diplomatic and responded along party lines. “Well, the defense will say that Trump was just investigating corruption by the Bidens,” he told McConnell.
“If you believe that,” McConnell replied, “I’ve got a bridge I can sell you.” The biography clarified that McConnell did not remember this conversation and denied that this was his thinking at the time.
Romney attributed some of the two-faced behavior of his colleagues to their fear of violent retribution from their voter base. Coppins wrote that “after January 6, a new, more existential brand of cowardice had emerged.”
According to Romney, one senator wanted to vote for Trump’s second impeachment but feared for his family’s safety if he did.
Romney was the only member of his party to vote to convict Trump in the 2020 impeachment trial.
How does the Utah senator account for the rest of his party’s behavior? “A very large portion of my party really doesn’t believe in the Constitution,” Romney said.
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Republicans insist that Joe and Hunter Biden are stonewalling the investigation into their supposed crimes. But the GOP actually passed up on a chance to discuss Hunter’s financial records.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer has spearheaded the investigation into the Bidens, alleging for months with zero proof that the president and his son are guilty of corruption. During a Tuesday interview with Newsmax, Comer said that he had requested Hunter Biden’s bank records but never got a response. The Kentucky Republican said he anticipated a court battle to access the documents.
But as it turns out, that is not strictly true. The Oversight Committee requested more than a decade’s worth of Hunter Biden’s bank records on February 8. And the very next day, Hunter Biden’s legal team responded.
“On February 9, we wrote back to you and, while pointing out the concerns about the motive and improper basis for your requests, I specifically said, ‘I would offer to sit with you and your staff, including the ranking member and his staff, to see whether Mr. Biden has information that may inform some legitimate legislative purpose and be helpful to the Committee,’” Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell said Tuesday in a letter, which was shared with The New Republic.
“You never responded to that offer.”
The February letter, which was also shared with TNR, didn’t promise to hand over years of Hunter Biden’s financial records, as Republicans requested, but it did offer a chance to meet directly with his legal team.
The letter also argues that the Oversight Committee is overreaching in its investigation of Hunter Biden because he is a private citizen. Lowell points out that congressional investigations are supposed to be directly related to legislative duties.
“Whether you think Mr. Biden acted properly or not, and whether you think his private business dealings and associations are inappropriate or not, his behavior is that of a private citizen, not a public official,” Lowell wrote in February. “That his father was a Senator, Vice President, or now President is not an endorsement of your choice to make every aspect of Mr. Biden’s personal life your political weapon.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into the president on Tuesday, citing his alleged involvement in his son’s business dealings. Republicans know—and have even admitted—they have no evidence of Biden committing crimes, but they are content to use his relationship with his son to try to discredit him.
More on James Comer’s Biden “Investigation”
It’s no wonder dating is so hard right now: A new survey shows that women have far more normal red flags than men.
The survey, which was conducted by Change Research, found that women and transgender and nonbinary people lean far more liberal than men do. This political divide results in many more ways that potential dates can give women the ick.
Change Research polled 1,033 people aged 18–34 in the last week of August and found that 64 percent of women are politically left of center, as are 86 percent of trans and nonbinary people. In comparison, just 39 percent of men identify as liberal or progressive.
These divisions in political beliefs naturally affect how people choose to spend their free time. It also affects how they view potential partners. For 76 percent of women, it’s a huge red flag if a date identifies as a MAGA Republican. It’s also a red flag for more than half of women if someone identifies as conservative.
Other major red flags for women include listening to Joe Rogan, refusing to see the Barbie movie, saying “All Lives Matter,” and believing that there are only two genders.
In comparison, a quarter of men say listening to Joe Rogan is a green flag. Nearly a third of men say that saying “All Lives Matter” is a green flag, and 46 percent of men say that believing there are only two genders is also preferable.
— Populism Updates (@PopulismUpdates) September 12, 2023
It would be easy to brush these statistics off as women having too many standards. But maybe a better way to look at the data is that women really want to date people who care about their rights and well-being.
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Mitt Romney announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term in the Senate and will leave office in January 2025.
The Utah senator cited his age as a primary factor in his decision to resign. If he served a second term, he would be in his eighties by the time it ended.
“Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”
Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was the only member of his party to vote twice to convict Donald Trump during the former president’s impeachment trials.
But his legacy will be marked by a history of remarkable flip-flopping. He was a vehement Trump critic, speaking out against Trump in 2016. Romney swore he would never accept a Trump endorsement—only to accept one during his Senate campaign in 2018.
He also gave a powerful speech on the Senate floor about the importance of the truth in the wake of the January 6 attack. But Romney also gladly backed the ultraconservative policies that Trump pushed while in office.
Romney had promised in 2012 to repeal Obamacare, only to take credit for it three years later. He tried to get rid of Obamacare again in 2019, despite Senate leadership saying they were uninterested in reopening that can of worms.
Romney supported the Republican-controlled Senate’s decision to block Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016, saying it was “consistent with history” to wait until after a presidential election. But after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, Romney helped the Senate rush through the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett.
It’s commendable that Romney is stepping down and making room for younger generations, especially as questions swirl about whether Mitch McConnell and Dianne Feinstein are still fit for office. But it’s a shame that he wasn’t consistent with his morals.
This story has been updated.
Kevin McCarthy was called out Wednesday for not having the votes to launch an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, and he did not respond well.
The House speaker launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden on Tuesday, after months of the GOP insisting that the president is guilty of corruption and influence peddling overseas. Republicans have yet to produce any actual evidence of their claims.
McCarthy ordered House Republicans to proceed with the inquiry, despite promising less than two weeks ago that he would not open the probe without a vote. When CNN’s Manu Raju asked him about that, McCarthy lashed out.
“You told Breitbart 12 days ago that you had the votes, so what changed?” Raju asked.
“You know what’s interesting to me?” McCarthy snapped back. “I just laid out to you a lot of allegations … so you don’t care about any of the answers.”
Raju: You told Breitbart 12 days ago you had the votes. What changed? pic.twitter.com/c1gXifTsO0
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 13, 2023
McCarthy accused Raju of not caring about whether Biden or his son, Hunter, had committed crimes. Typically, an impeachment inquiry would occur because there was already proof of crimes committed, not as a way to try and find that evidence.
The California Republican also attacked Nancy Pelosi for impeaching Donald Trump the first time without first holding a vote. McCarthy had similarly criticized Pelosi for doing so in 2019, so you would think that he would want to avoid copying her.
Another major difference is that a month after Pelosi opened the impeachment inquiry into Trump, the House voted to formalize the impeachment. It was unlikely the House would have backed McCarthy’s impeachment inquiry, though, as multiple Republicans said they were not on board with his plan.
Donald Trump privately met with Marjorie Taylor Greene to discuss what a “painful” impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden would look like.
These talks happened just ahead of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s announcement Tuesday of a formal impeachment inquiry of the president.
Trump and Greene caught up on their plan for getting Biden impeached over dinner at his private Bedminster, New Jersey, club on Sunday.
“I did brief him on the strategy that I want to see laid out with impeachment,” Greene told The New York Times. Greene added that she told Trump she wants the impeachment inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.”
Greene is one of several Republican lawmakers that Trump has been privately meeting with to discuss Biden’s impeachment.
Trump has also spoken with Representative Elise Stefanik on a weekly basis as well as conservative House Freedom Caucus members pushing for impeachment.
House Republicans argue that as vice president, Biden made decisions to benefit and profit from his son’s business dealings. But despite months-long investigations, they have yet to provide any actual evidence of Biden’s supposed crimes.
“Biden is a Stone Cold Crook—You don’t need a long INQUIRY to prove it, it’s already proven.” Trump wrote on Truth Social in August. “Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION. THEY DID IT TO US!”
Trump himself was impeached twice during his presidency and has been criminally charged four times this year.
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