Having heard Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speak with integrity, anyone in their right mind would support him for Speaker. Alas, “right minds” are elsewhere…

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After yesterday’s vote, I, like probably every Democrat in America, heaved a huge sigh of relief. I felt a brief moment of almost giddiness that there were a handful of TWENTY rational Republicans who would save our nation from a 15-month-long paralysis of legislative work, weaponization and impeachment circuses, destruction of government institutions, and vicious cuts aimed at the vulnerable and working class in this nation. There were more voting against Jordan than had been against McCarthy in his initial round of voting!!!

I was exhausted. I took a nap.

When I woke up, I felt uneasy. I googled to see who was on the list of TWENTY. I wanted to see which Republicans voted against Jordan and who they voted for. I wanted to see the possibilities for a consensus speaker.

Here is the list from CNN:

1. Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska voted for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

2. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon voted for McCarthy

3. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito of New York voted for former Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York

4. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida voted for Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana

5. Rep. Jake Ellzey of Texas voted for Rep. Mike Garcia of California

6. Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York voted for Zeldin

7. Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida voted for McCarthy

8. Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas voted for Scalise

9. Rep. Kay Granger of Texas voted for Scalise

10. Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania voted for Scalise

11. Rep. Jennifer Kiggans of Virginia voted for McCarthy

12. Rep. Nick LaLota of New York voted for Zeldin

13. Rep. Mike Lawler of New York voted for McCarthy

14. Rep. John Rutherford of Florida voted for Scalise

15. Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho voted for Scalise

16. Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas voted for Scalise

17. Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado voted for Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota

18. Rep. John James of Michigan voted for Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma

19. Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California voted for McCarthy

20. Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana voted for Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky

If you are a constituent of any of these, and you believe they are looking for sanity, please show your support and urge them to hold the line.

Who are the twenty Republicans looking at instead of Jordan? McCarthy got 6 votes, Scalise got 7, Lee Zeldin of NY, who lost his last race for the House (in a district that includes the Hamptons with a median family income of over $125,000), got 3 all from the NY delegation, with Mike Garcia, Tom Emmer, Tom Cole, and Tom Massie getting one each.

Thirteen of these votes are pure “FU” votes to stick it back to Jordan for leading the party into this circus.

To get a reading on who, of Zeldin and the others, might be the most amenable to a working bipartisan speakership, I turned to the data at Voteview. Voteview is a database that has analyzed the voting records of members of Congress and classified them along an ideology metric from liberal to conservative based on their voting records in the current Congress. You can see graphics supporting these conclusions on my substack.

I read the data as Cole being the most amenable to bipartisanship. At this point, all of the alternative nominees in the circus voted for Jordan. To get a reading on Zeldin, I have to go back into the data for the 117th Congress, but given the district Zeldin represented, you might have an inkling of what I expect the result to be.

The bigger question is, where are those who cast the votes against Jordan on the ideological scale?

What I can glean from this is that the less doctrinaire conservatives, whom I have dubbed “remnants” in my Substack analysis of the fracturing of the FRG (Former Republican Party) are not yet showing any evidence of coalescing around a consensus candidate that would work with Democrats in a bid for sanity. The 10 with the least conservative Voteview ideological rankings voted for McCarthy, Scalese or Zeldin. Also interesting was that not a single one of the Republicans who had bruited around extending McHenry’s powers nominated him.

As we wait for the wheel to turn, I will be working with the Voteview database to try to pull out other insights.



Lewis, Jeffrey B., Keith Poole, Howard Rosenthal, Adam Boche, Aaron Rudkin, and Luke Sonnet (2021). Voteview: Congressional Roll-Call Votes Database.


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Dr, Richardson ~ every day you give us these elegant missives that keep us apprised of the most pressing conversations and events changing our lives. As a fellow writer, the process of delivering such exquisite clarity without the bells and whistles is extremely challenging work, not to mention gut-wrenching and maddening as you deftly wade through the details of suffering and chaos to bring us the lede. Every. Single. Day. I am in constant awe of your grace and fortitude under such pressure, and beyond grateful for everything about you and the support you have that bolsters you (beautiful landscapes + Buddy). Please keep self-care high on your list. Your flame is the light I seek every day.

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There has never been a time in US history before now when the US government was seriously impaired while facing a hugely important foreign crisis that has every possibility spiraling into a conflict with enormous possible negatives. Never before.

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What a sad day, and sad week it's been. Mild relief that Jordan did not become Speaker today, but the news has been just horrifying since the Hamas attack 11 days ago. I can't even imagine how terrible life has become for those caught up in the misery of the Middle East region. I've stepped back from reading my Substack subscriptions for my own mental health these past few days since a few hundred people at my level were laid off last weekend by the company I work for. I just don't have the emotional bandwidth right now.

I appreciate Dr. Heather for continuing to write these LFAAs.

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Thoughts and prayers always sounds sounds so hollow, but with todays news, both I. The Middle East and the chaos and terror with the speaker fiasco, I’m on my knees praying with some fierce thoughts and entreaties ...

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Thank you. Your astute summaries, enlightening, if not uplifting. Praying for Biden’s safety as well as his success in calming the Middle Eastern waters. Re the Jordan mess in congress, praying that saner minds will prevail. I shudder to imagine how things will be if he gets the speakership.😱

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Well, my spineless, useless, self-enriching representative, Chuck Fleischmann, TN-3 (he has only received notoriety for enriching himself with health care stock purchases with votes in Congress that correspond remarkably close to specific purchases he makes), was one of the 200 who voted for Jordan, after voting for Scalise previously.

Chuckles has distinguished himself by doing nothing of distinction while in Congress; he is a “company” man who keeps his head down and votes/says exactly what he is told to say by the GOP. He has held no town halls for more than a decade, and I have seen video of him literally running from constituents who try to ask him questions. 🙄

He got this email from me last night:.

“You voted for an insurrectionist as Speaker of the House.

Let me repeat that.

You. voted. for. an. insurrectionist. for. Speaker. Of. the. House.

You voted for an insurrectionist to be 2nd in line to the Presidency.

Just letting you know that we all know this about you.

You do not support democracy. Please retire.”

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“ a twice-impeached former president with more than 90 pending felony charges.”

No one can claim that Trump isn't exceptional.

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IF you have the time today, watch and listen to the speeches priorr to the votes for the speaker of the house. My recommendation is CSPAN. It is the only way to get an understanding of what is going on with the floor. The networks are paid to talk and I have seen at times the interruption of key government officials like Nancy Pelosi during a speech to say “what Nancy is saying”.

Their are quite a few diamonds in the rough, and one is Mikie Sherrill. She is Navy academy Grad, flown combat helicopter and a mother of four. She speaks all the time locally when she really doesn’t have to.

But Gaetz gets the camera.

As for Ukraine, the Abrams and mid range missles are game changers but with Putin talking with China, we might be seeing new technology coming their way. Technology that China is wanting to test out. Not like the missle systems going to Hamas with 30% falling upon themselves and quite possibly the hospital yesterday.

Peace to all, we sure can use it.


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Again, Jordan is an embarrassment to Ohio. The Ohioans who voted for him are an embarrassment. Well, actually, Jordan is an embarrassment to the whole country.

If you are of the mind, say some prayers for Biden as he heads to Israel.

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Weaponizing Jim Jordan is lock step with Trump on the BIE LIE on the 2020 presidential election, the 1/6 insidious conspiracy, finding Trump unimpeachable, and other MAGA nonsense.

Short of the 217 votes needed to be speaker, he is personally threatening ‘moderate’ Republicans with being ‘primaried,’ if they don’t support him.

I personally find Jordan despicable and recall his role in the Hillary Clinton Benghazi charade. I find it unimaginable that Jordan, as speaker, could/would act responsibly in supporting legislation related to continuing funding of the United States government after November 15th, financing our commitments to Ukraine, and other essential actions that could gain Senate assent and President Biden’s signature.

In brief, Jordan as speaker would bring Trump’s presidential campaign on to the floor of the House.

If not Jordan, who? Dunno.

Personally I believe that George Santos has the unique character that would make him an excellent Republican House speaker. He has all of the negative qualities that should make him a shoo in. And he has only been indicted 31 times (so far), far below Trump’s nearly 100 indictments.

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Thank you, Dr. Richardson. Hooray for Ukraine using long range missiles on "military" targets; showing the world how lawful countries respect the lives on non-combatants. So opposite from Putin whose only concern is for himself and his aggrandizement.

Great response from Pete Aguilar. He said exactly what needed to be said of lowlife Jordan. Congratulations to the 20 Adult, Republican Congress persons who put country ahead of party and voted against Jordan. It's also heartening to note Hakeem Jeffries got more votes than dimwitted Jordan.

The attack on the hospital in Gaza was disgusting, those poor people, patients and medical staff. Whether the explosion was erroneous or deliberate, of Israeli or Palestinian origin it is unforgivable.

Looking at maps of Israel and Palestine I can't understand the stupidity of the way Palestine was split with Gaza a small portion of land and the rest of Palestine miles away through Israel to the North East. Whoever was responsible for drawing the borders in 1947 to 1949 were stupid beyond redemption . Israelis deserved a land of their own, they have been abused and disbursed for centuries for no reason other than their success in business and prosperity. But Palestinians should have been given a secure undivided area in which to live peacefully. Between the hatred for Jews and the stupidity of the UN these wars were predictable from the onset. If the Muslim nations had not immediately and frequently attacked Israel they could have lived prosperously and peacefully side by side. Had the UN set up two adjacent Nations without separating the Palestinians, they could have had a better start. And if Netanyahu were a decent man dedicated to Israel and not himself, things could have been better. The best we can hope for now is the Israelis will kill all Hamas leadership and return to governing Israel, with no further conflict.

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Thank you, Heather, for leading with news from Ukraine. Events in the Middle East and the Keystone Kops show by House Republicans have diverted attention away from that important situation. I'm glad to see that our support is enabling Ukraine to keep Russian forces on their back feet. It is critical that that help continue. Which brings us to...

It was with a sigh of relief that I learned that Jim Jordan failed to attain the House speakership on the first vote, and that the second vote has been postponed. As Jordan negotiates for the votes of holdouts, he weakens his presumed eventual leadership, (See McCarthy, Kevin) and may yet fail altogether. Indications of evolving independent backbones in a few House Republicans are encouraging.

Meanwhile, from Senate Republican leadership, a deafening silence. Is that merely to avoid another embarrassing public brain-fade from Mitch McConnell?

It seems the Republican train, with its yellow-haired engineer, is rushing full-throttle backward into the looming 2024 election.

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I'm struck by the ironic feeling that the Ukraine-Russia conflict is now the most conventional sequence of events amongst the current darlings of the press; that also includes Gaza and the US House of Representatives. And then there's His Orangeness, who would like us all to believe that none of these things would be happening were he "in charge"...

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I think it's also notable that every Ohio republican congress critter voted 'for' Jordan.

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