The Mistake That Still Haunts Kim Kardashian. Tabs, Tues., Nov. 29, 2022

Republican donors are bailing on Donald Trump … for now. (The Economist)

Meanwhile, elected Republicans are willing to ignore blatant white supremacy and anti-semitism in their ranks if it gains them power. No, this isn’t an article from 1992. (Popular Info)

United Furniture Industries fired thousands over text and email just before Thanksgiving. Pre-reformed Scrooge was a better boss. (The Daily Beast)

A record number of fir trees in Oregon and Washington are dying in what researchers have called a “Firmaggedon.” Yeah, I know that sounds goofy AF. They’re scientists not branding experts. (Oregonian)

Killer whales in the Columbia River! (Also the Oregonian)

Have Americans finally realized the only good billionaires are fictional superheroes with Bat Caves or armored suits? (Salon)

Rick Caruso spent $104 million on his failed campaign for Los Angeles mayor. Put in perspective, that is about 366 times the annual salary of the job he tried to buy. Columnist Gustavo Arellano notes that Caruso’s $104 million is also “a year’s rent for 1,375 people at the most affordable apartment at his luxury 8500 Burton development. The $6,300 a month for those units is way above L.A.’s $1,532 median rent. If Caruso wanted to stretch out his cash, he could put up 5,690 people for a year at that median price — not the 30,000 people he promised to house in 30 days, but something.” (Los Angeles Times)

The outdoor dining shed is a lingering reminder of the pandemic that is likely to endure. Have you eaten in one of those things? I feel as if I missed that whole scene. (Curbed)

Washington state spends millions sending children with disabilities to an “obscure network of private schools.” The results are horrible. (Seattle Times)

What’s next for two-time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? We wouldn’t mind an album of holiday standards. (The Nation)

When women venture capitalists fund women entrepreneurs, future male investors keep their distance. Grrr. (Forbes)

Good news regarding my dream of self-driving cars. (Forbes)

Model Ireland Baldwin fell in love with the Oregon coast. Who can blame her? (Eater)

Some fun background from Adam Ragusea on my favorite holiday drink. I look forward to trying the recipe from the video, but I can’t wait three weeks, though. I’m drinking it tonight.

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Nancy Pelosi to step down as top U.S. Democrat after Republicans take House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leaves her office to announce her decision about her future at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. on November 17, 2022.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the trailblazing first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said on November 17 that she will step down as party leader when Republicans take control of the chamber in January.

“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Ms. Pelosi said in an emotional speech on the House floor. “The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.”

The 82-year-old Ms. Pelosi’s departure from party leadership marks the end of an era in Washington and comes after Republicans secured a slim House majority in last week’s midterm elections. Democrats retained Senate control.

Democratic President Joe Biden hailed Ms. Pelosi as a “fierce defender of democracy” and the “most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history.”

“Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.

“History will also note her fierceness and resolve to protect our democracy from the violent, deadly insurrection of January 6,” when supporters of Republican former president Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol, he said.

Elected to Congress in 1987, Ms. Pelosi first became speaker in 2007. Known for keeping a tight grip on party ranks, she presided over both impeachments of Trump during her second stint in the role.

Currently second in the presidential line of succession, after Vice President Kamala Harris, Ms. Pelosi said last week that a decision on her future would be influenced by the brutal attack on her husband in the runup to the November 8 midterms.

Paul Pelosi, who is also 82, was left hospitalised with serious injuries after an intruder — possibly looking for the speaker — broke into their California home and attacked him with a hammer.

Ms. Pelosi said she would continue to represent her San Francisco district in the next Congress and praised Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in the midterm contest.

“Last week, the American people spoke and their voices were raised in defense of liberty, of the rule of law and of democracy itself,” she said. “The people stood in the breach and repelled the assault on democracy.”


With Ms. Pelosi stepping down from leadership, and fellow octogenarians Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, the number two and three Democrats, signalling they will do the same, the party is on the cusp of a generational shift in power.

New York lawmaker Hakeem Jeffries, 52, who is expected to become Democratic minority leader in the next House, called Ms. Pelosi the “G.O.A.T” — a sports reference to the Greatest of All Time.

“Thank you for all that you have done for America,” Mr. Jeffries said.

Her announcement met with a far different reaction on the Republican side. “The Pelosi era is over. Good riddance!” tweeted Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert.

Kevin McCarthy, a 57-year-old Republican lawmaker from California, is lobbying to take over the speaker’s gavel from Ms. Pelosi in the Republican-majority House.

Mr. McCarthy won a party leadership vote by secret ballot Tuesday but potential far-right defections could yet complicate his path when the House’s 435 newly elected members — Democrats and Republicans — choose a new speaker in January.

On Thursday, House Republicans signalled they would wield their new power to make the president’s life more difficult — announcing plans to investigate Mr. Biden and the business connections of his family, particularly those of his son Hunter.

“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” said Jim Comer, a Republican lawmaker from Kentucky.

With inflation surging and Mr. Biden’s popularity ratings cratering, Republicans had hoped to see a “red wave” wash over America in the midterms, giving them control of both chambers of Congress and hence a block over most of Mr. Biden’s legislative plans.

But instead, Democratic voters — galvanised by the Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights and wary of Trump-endorsed candidates who openly rejected the result of the 2020 presidential election — turned out in force.

Mr. Biden’s party secured an unassailable majority in the Senate with 50 seats plus Ms. Harris’ tie-breaking vote, and a runoff in Georgia next month could yet see the Democrats improve their majority in the upper house.

The Senate oversees the confirmation of federal judges and cabinet members, and having the 100-seat body in his corner will be a major boon for Mr. Biden.

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Wonkette Weekend Chat: How Freaking Scary Are Republicans?

A QAnon MAGA conspiracy theorist wanted to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi but settled for beating her elderly husband with a hammer. This is today’s GOP and it’s freaking scary. Robyn and I will do our best to make sense of this garbage fire. But fascism is coming for us and we’re all hiding in the spooky abandoned house.

This week’s Wonkette chat is live at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. Like, share, subscribe, pitch us some dollars for doughnuts on Patreon.

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US rushes to assess new threats to lawmakers after Pelosi assault

Law enforcement officials across the country are scrambling to assess the threats of physical attacks on politicians or election officials in the coming days, according to two local officials and two other people familiar with the matter.

The growing anxiety comes just one day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was violently attacked in his San Francisco home. The alleged perpetrator, David DePape, reportedly entered the house attempting to locate the speaker, who at the time was in Washington D.C. The resulting attack sent shockwaves through California and the nation’s capital and raised difficult questions about the rise of threats against politicians and the precautions being taken to protect them.

Now, law enforcement officials are left trying to grasp whether there could be other threats to high-profile people involved in politics — and the scale of those threats — especially in the lead up to the elections on Nov. 8.

The increasing anxiety among local law enforcement comes just one day after the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Capitol Police and the National Counterterrorism Center issued an intelligence bulletin, first reported by POLITICO, outlining how violent extremists could pose a threat to the midterms, including to election workers.

“There have been a significant number of recent violent attacks motivated by political rhetoric and sociopolitical narratives promoted on extremist forums. The attack on Mr. Pelosi is just another on a growing list,” said John Cohen, the former counterterrorism chief at DHS. “These people are troubled, angry people who try to justify violence to express their anger. They are consuming content online put there by domestic and foreign threat actors.”

One person with direct knowledge of the law enforcement conversations said that groups and organizations, including local law enforcement that specialize in domestic threats, have been pressing the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for more briefings to discuss the current climate, which they say is unparalleled in the danger posed to lawmakers. Their concerns have only grown as the midterms have neared. But there have only been a handful of briefings in recent weeks — many of which focused primarily on cyber threats related to the midterm elections.

“It is unclear to what extent these threats to physical violence have grown in recent weeks as we get closer to the midterms,” the person said. “It would be useful to know about these kinds of things, especially for local law enforcement.”

Spokespeople for the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI said their agencies “regularly” share information with and brief local law enforcement on threats.

Cohen said the traditional U.S. intelligence methodologies don’t always pick up on the kinds of domestic threats posed by those like DePape.

“The people who become attackers don’t communicate in the typical manner,” he said. “They don’t associate with terrorist organizations or extremist groups. It’s not that they aren’t on the radar, it’s that we’re looking at the right radar screen.”

2021 Brookings Institution study conducted after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol found conservative websites and political leaders, especially at the state and local level, “now regularly use violent rhetoric and demonize their political opponents” and that “incendiary rhetoric from political leaders against their political opponents” does not “fade away after they are given.”

Federal agents are helping investigate the attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband, Paul, which took place at his home in the early hours of Friday morning and left him with a fractured skull.

The FBI confirmed to POLITICO that its San Francisco office is participating in a joint investigation into the attack alongside the San Francisco Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

The investigating agencies are currently working to determine both the chronology and motive of the attack. “The FBI is providing resources such as investigators and forensic analysis from our Evidence Response Team,” the FBI spokesperson said.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats had long warned that Pelosi, as the subject of unrelenting Republican attack ads and internet conspiracy theorists, was in particular danger. But there was also a larger concern that the modern political and media climates had created a situation in which lawmakers writ large were being increasingly targeted.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Capitol Police investigated almost 10,000 threats to members last year, which was more than twice the number than in 2018, the last midterm cycle.

“It’s pretty frightening since Jan. 6,” said chief deputy whip Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.). “I have had to have additional security measures at my own home. Of course, what we all worry about is that this sort of behavior typically can be ‘contagious.’ Terrible.”

“Of course, our biggest concern is with the welfare of Paul at this point,” Kildee said.

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