The House of Representatives finally has a new Speaker after a several week marathon of infighting among Republican factions. It would appear that the principle of exhaustion combined with growing alarm at the public outrage at the dysfunction of the House Republican caucus won out.

Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana was an unlikely figure to finally unite the entire Republican House membership, but he did secure all 220 Republican votes for the Speaker’s gavel, with all the 213 Democrats voting for their Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The big question looming over the outcome is what happened behind closed doors to convince the 50 mainstream and moderate conservative Republicans in the House to vote for Johnson, who was one of former President Trump’s strongeest supporters in claiming victory in 2020 and has a long resume of championing Christian fundamentalist causes as a lawyer, and then as a new Member of the House (he was elected for the first time in 2016).

What will be the impact on whatever deal he had to strike to win the gavel on continued funding for Ukraine (Johnson consistently voted against Ukraine aid)? As Speaker, Johnson has control over what legislation comes to a vote in the House, who sits on conference committees to resolve conflicts with Senate legislation, and other unilateral powers. And, of course, he is second in line of succession to the President.

The formal swearing in ceremony featured a lengthy speech by Minority Leader Jeffries, which underscored the damage done by the recent gridlock and the need to find areas of bipartisan support. Johnson returned the sentiments, vowing to find areas of common ground across the aisle, despite strong philosophical differences. Both Jeffries and Johnson cited the sage words of President Abraham Lincoln. It was noteworthy that on several occasions during Johnson’s acceptance speech before the formal swearing in that he received a standing ovation from all House members–Republicans and Democrats.

Is that a sign that the weeks of chaos brought the House to a point of no return and that there will be a genuine effort to find areas of national interest that transcend the partisan and intramural battle lines? That remains to be seen. For the moment, the durability of the Constitutional system has been once again demonstrated through adversity. And perhaps that is the best that can be expected for the moment.

This entry was posted in Current Affairs, government, Harper, Policy, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Lars says:

    I doubt MAGA Mike will be able to erase his past and that past is a gift to the Democrats and if he changes his mind, his fellow extremist will turn on him rather soon. Next year, there will be quite a few Republican House members who will be seriously tagged for voting for him. But we will see if he can rise from obscurity to leadership, which would require a lot of shape shifting. I do have some serious doubts.

    • Fred says:

      LOL. A year from now it will be hard for people to remember who their congressman is, but maybe the left can pry a few more million out of Cenk Unger. He helped give NY AOC, who has done wonders in her role. I can only imagine who he’ll help elect in ’24.

  2. drifter says:

    Define “chaos”. All that happened here is what happened here. Nothing outside the ordinary course except that we hadn’t seen the ordinary course play out in this manner for more than 100 years. But still the ordinary course.

  3. rick says:

    Do not the same 7 or 8, or however many brought down McCarthy, reps have MAGA Mike’s balls in the same vise as they had McCarthy’s? Do you think Gaetz & Co. are going to reward alot of reaching across the aisle and, you know, governing, as opposed to performance trolling? Do you really think Johnson has it in him to be a statesman?

    • F&L says:

      Speaking of 7.


      So Oct 7 was in addition to being the date of the recent Gaza attack, it was the date that the US attacked Afghanistan. Scrolling down to sports and 1916:
      Georgia Tech shuts out Cumberland, 222-0, in most lopsided college football game.

      I mention because many reports say that Hamas took 222 hostages. And it was a lopsided attack and – historically lopsided at that. But even more interesting is that the 222 nd day of most years (75% anyway) is August 10. In ancient Roman accounts it is recorded that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed twice but fell on the date 10th of Loos, which was their Aug 10 and refers to the zodiacal lion. Roughly 500 years apart in the same day. We’re not overly shocked because that sort of fighting often happened in August, historically, but same day is interesting.

      • Fred says:


        Was that when Pompey Magnus March through with 5 of the Republic’s legions and looked into the holy of holies or some other year?

        Also interesting is Queen Rania insisting that Israel has one of the mightiest militaries on earth but Hamas doesn’t have one at all. They aren’t terrorists either, which makes one wonder who fired off all those rockets, killed all those Israelis, and took a couple hundred victims back to Gaza with them.

        • F&L says:

          Pompey was BC not AD.
          Jerusalem fell the 2nd time in 66 AD. Ist time much earlier attacked by Nebuchadnezzar – 586 BC.

          Actually Trajan had to finish the job started in 66 AD in the early 2nd century. He demolished it and scattered the remaining Jews after the disastrous religious fanatic Bar Kochba rebellion and the suicide at Masada.

          As my old boss at the gas station told me in my youth:

          “You know the problem with them people like Hitler, Stalin and Mao?”

          “Uh, no, what was the problem?”

          “They tried to be nice guys.”

          He had just hired me. I got the message.

    • morongobill says:

      Judging by the democrats all joining in standing ovations during his acceptance speech, I’d say he might be able to get 7 or 8 democrat votes if needed to help pass the swamp’s work.

    • ked says:

      statesman? no way.
      wrath of god? way.

      • rick says:

        At whom is this wrath directed?

        • ked says:

          he’s an Old Testament kinda theocrat wearing the New as camouflage… to make himself feel the Love of Jesus while smiting.
          so, wrath for anyone & everyone who isn’t with his program, on his team. God selected him to work His will. if & when something goes south (even further south than Louisiana), he’ll play the (Re)Born Again card.

  4. Fred says:

    “he is second in line of succession to the President”

    I suspect he would be much preferred in that role than a number of other members of the house, or SWMBO; well, she who is first in line anyway.

    • ked says:

      she’s harmless.
      he’s dedicated to the destruction of the American Experiment.
      get used to that… or celebrate it… that’s what’s going down.
      {I am amazed, though I suppose I shouldn’t be, by the ignorance of intelligent Americans about the long term plan christian dominionists have pursued. they’ve moved a piece into 3rd place, & have a veto over the functioning of Congress. enjoy!}

      • Stefan says:

        Religious political movements. It is the way of things internationally these days in Africa, Middle East, Israel, the US. All cut from the same cloth.

      • Fred says:

        Barack Obama, Christian dominionist! Or was that Catholic Nancy Pelosi and her favorite president, Catholic Joe Biden? Surely you don’t think a barely elected speaker whose party doesn’t control the Senate or white house is going to accomplish anything of note? As to “American experiment “, the country is a federal republic and not an academic exercise.

        • F&L says:

          I prefer reversing the letters in “Barack Obama” – it’s a minuet with variations. One is “Am a Bok Scarab!” There I’ve taken the liberty of using the C as a sybillant soft c and changing to S.

          Another, in the key of F sharp is: “Ah, Ma B Oks Arab!” Or Carob. Or “A Mob oks Arab.” etc. The rascal hasn’t an e for scare. Oh well. I need to get Chat GpT to help me with the video which uses an archival Don Rickles routine where he says to Clint Eastwood: “You know something Clint?” No,what? “I never liked you,” but with ex President Obama substituted for Clint Eastwood and the dialogue adjusted accordingly.

          • F&L says:

            Ok, age has told me to finally open the (x)th seal and reveal the true occult name of former President Barack Hussein Obama.

            First, observe that the erroneous spelling “Hussein” is a misdirection intended to obscure the correct “Who’s Sane?” Or “Who is sane?”

            Recall BAR is Browning Automatic Rifle.

            Ack is clearly AK – what purpose does the C serve? Ok, it can be a soft C or S when it makes “Ack” into Ask. Noted.

            Obama is phonetically Oh Bomb Ma.

            So we’ve a choice:
            Browning Automatic Rifle? AK? (Pause) Who’s Sane? Oh Bomb Ma!

            The only alternative is:
            Browning Automatic Rifle? Ask who is sane – Oh Bomb Ma.

            In other words a lowdown hitman looking over his weapons collection and sending the B-52s after wondering to himself if he’s lost his mind.

        • ked says:

          Fred, they’ve accomplished quite a lot since I watched Billy Graham faith-healing on early AM TV in Alexandria VA when I was in the 3rd grade. at least he evolved (his son… not so much).
          making those comparisons indicates (to me at least) that one has not closely studied or had personal interaction with the committed theocrats of the fundy / evangelical bent in America. how fortunate for you. I, on the other hand “live amongst them”… & observed closely since that 3rd grade study. their hate, corruption, greed, lies, intolerance, racism, ignorance, righteousness & will-to-power as the foundation for THEIR New World Order. end-times eschatology is the least of it (fodder for the rubes). they don’t hide the agenda in the least… but it is so easy to avert one’s eyes… since decoding the meaning behind their phrasing is dicey & time consuming. it’s why they need so many Liberty Universities (that & making a $) to capture not only souls but language (nominally English … w/ a twist) but not to worry… they’ll come for you, eventually. even if you are one. that’s how religious extremism in the West works.

          speaking of the 3rd grade, that “we’re a federal republic!” crap wears thin. it’s worth a dive into our Founding Architects imperfect thoughts & the context of those Enlightened times. also, it helps to distinguish formal structure from operational process. please let the gop know they don’t need to gerrymander every voting district in the nation & make exercise of the franchise itself painful. we can now simply return to 18th Century morality like Speaker Mike suggests. maybe America WAS greater … before it was America.

          I’m reminded of the latest cause celebre we in the other DS (deep south) face; Mothers Against Libraries. top-down gop / christianist political action against that greatest of threats in America today… Librarians doing their jobs. thank God those mothers aren’t interested in school shootings. what a fun bunch as vanguard of post-modern civilization.

          • Fred says:


            “Librarians doing their jobs”

            Like LGBTQ+ grooming. Yeah, those mothers against grooming are fundies, which is why the Fairfax County school board covered for the rapist while moving him to another school and had the cops arrest the rape victims father. Biden sure showed his stripes there. School shootings? Why is that transgender Nashville shooter’s manifesto still secret? The normies can’t be trusted to find out what was going on.

          • TTG says:


            The Fairfax fiasco had nothing to do with library books or the MAGA church ladies book banning campaigns. As for the Nashville shooter’s manifesto, it’s the school’s students and parents of the students and the victims who are fighting the release. What happened to parent’s rights? I thought that was a big thing to the MAGa crowd.

          • Fred says:


            Fairfax wasn’t a fiasco, it was coving up a crime and moving the rapist to another school which enabled the rapist to commit another. Your take on the nashville killer’s work doesn’t seem to fit the facts.

            “After the shooting, Nashville Police Chief John Drake spoke to reporters, revealing the existence of the manifesto. Drake also revealed that there was a map detailing the specifics of the plan of attack.”

            Motivation? Why we can’t release that or the public would find out about it and maybe that would hurt the LGBTQ+ narrative.

            ““What I was told is, her manifesto was a blueprint on total destruction, and it was so, so detailed at the level of what she had planned,” ”


          • TTG says:


            The decision to release the manifesto is in a Tennessee court. A hundred of the 112 families of the students want it to remain private as do the Covenant School and even the Nashville Police. The Tennessee House Republican Caucus, the National Police Association and other advocacy groups want it released. It’s still in the courts.

            I don’t know of any other case in which a shooter’s manifesto was withheld. Most are online so the public gets hold of them quickly. Even the Unabomber sent his manifesto to the press. I’d just as soon see it released.

          • Keith Harbaugh says:

            “Librarians doing their jobs.”

            You might want to consider the current president of the American Library Association:
            An avowed Marxist lesbian:
            Think she doesn’t let her views influence what books she thinks do and do not belong in libraries?

            For contrast, the current president of the American Medical Association is a Jewish male homosexual:

            He divides his time among clinical practice, teaching, research, and directing a $560-million statewide health philanthropy.

            For the past decade, Dr. Ehrenfeld has advocated on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals
            as chair of the Massachusetts Committee on LGBT Health,
            chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital LGBT Employee Resource Group,
            as a member of the Board Committee on Quality at Fenway Community Health Center, and
            as a member of the Association of American Medical College’s LGBTI Liaison Group.
            He co-founded the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health.

            Since there is such a documented focus here on the health of homosexuals,
            I wonder if there are any comparative dollar figures on the health care costs of the average homosexual versus the average heterosexual.
            I.e., to what extent does homosexuality impose a financial burden on the general population?
            And should the general population subsidize this lifestyle choice?
            Or are these questions we must not ask?

          • ked says:

            Fred, I’ll be sure to pay much closer attention to the cross-dressing librarian threat when the associated schoolchild murder rate approaches
            that of schoolchildren… in schools.

          • Glenn Fisher says:

            Love to see which titles were on the list of “banned” books, because all of the examples I’ve seen were pulled from middle school libraries, not from the general populace.

            Call me kooky but I’m pretty sure if I can buy it on Amazon or download it to Kindle it ain’t “banned”…

  5. F&L says:

    MJ might be as depicted. But he also might be a CIA insertion and his entire wiki bio a fabricated legend which he dutifully acted out awaiting the phone call

    “Hello, who is it?”

    “Jack of Diamonds.”

    “Ok, thanks.”

    • F&L says:

      TTG – Mentioned here is Ms Jilian Turner of Brora in Sutherland’s “canoe club,” so I thought you might not want to overlook it just in case. I’ve not included the photo of the sheep nor the map showing Cromarty Firth and the layout of Balintore and Nigg. Maybe a BLS movement will arise – Britain’s Loneliest Sheep. Baa baa black sheep have you any wool? It’s a very interesting article for an American because the sheep doesn’t have a name and there’s no nursery school of children sending postcards to First Lady Jill Biden to say please please send some marines in a helicopter to save our sheep.
      Britain’s ‘loneliest sheep’ stranded at foot of cliff for over two years
      Calls are being made to rescue the animal, which is marooned on a beach in the Scottish Highlands.
      Britain’s “loneliest sheep” has been spotted on a beach at the foot of a cliff in the Scottish Highlands, where it has been marooned for more than two years.
      Efforts are being made to stage a rescue attempt, and a drone will now be launched to check on the sheep’s welfare.
      Jillian Turner first spotted the sheep two years ago during a paddling trip from Balintore to Nigg. Ms Turner, of Brora, in Sutherland, assumed the sheep would manage to make its way up the cliff. However, when her canoe club took the same journey again recently, she was horrified to see the sheep had remained in the same place.
      “She called out on our approach and once again followed the group along the shore, jumping from rock to rock, calling to us the whole way,” she said.
      “Her fleece on the first occasion was a normal year’s growth, however on the recent trip, the fleece was huge and touching the ground at the back.”
      She added: “The poor ewe has been on her own for at least two years – for a flock animal that has to be torture, and she seemed desperate to make contact with us on the two occasions we’ve gone past her.
      “It is heart-rending. We honestly thought she might make its way back up that first year.” (more at link)
      Quiz section. See link below.
      1- Who can find the prisoner of war story? 2- Which story is about a military “Op?” 3- Which story is a thinly veiled threat to hit American bases? 4- Why is the unnamed stranded sheep on the Firth of Comarty the fifth most important story in the world today, beating out “US Strikes Iran-linked sites in Syria?”
      5- Are UK residents normally expected to eat bread baked with urine? 6- Did JK Rowling give Stephen King one of Harry Potter’s magic wands?


      • TTG says:


        I want to find out what happened to the lonely sheep. Did the canoe club mount a rescue operation? Please enlighten me if you can, because I’ll be damned if I sign up for any of these online news services. I’m too cheap and too electronically paranoid.


        The BBC and several other outlets carried the story. Seems the RSPCA is monitoring the situation but feels the sheep has plenty of forage and a rescue would be dangerous at this time. This situation calls for a bunch of hardy lads to plot a rescue at a late night pub session and have a go at it. Now is the time for the foolhardy to rise to the occasion.



        • F&L says:

          Agent TTG.
          Not as of this morning they haven’t. However, your mission, should you decide to accept it is to explain to the Israelis that gentle giant Lloyd Austin has sent all that THAAD, Patriot AA, Aegis and huge assets to their area not at all necessarily for the reasons that they might think. You can allow them ten minutes before explaining to them if they don’t figure it out on their own, that those weapons are just as capable of shooting down Israeli missiles headed for Iran as they are of shooting down Iranian missiles headed their way. As always if you are caught we will pretend we know nothing.

        • F&L says:

          Thanks for the update. The Guardian changed canoe to kayak. Jillian Turner’s kayak club. Turner reversed is a stuck birdie obstacle: Wren Rut. Jillian must be a reference to Joe Biden’s wife, Doctor Jill. Jillian – Jail Lin or Ill Jain. That’s not nice, Jains are very peaceful vegetarians, why is Lin in prison?

          TTG – I’m afraid we’ve encountered a Wren Rut. Alert the Wrens!

  6. optimax says:

    The sheep is rescued. All is right with the world.


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