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First Gen Z Member of Congress Says He Can’t Find an Apartment Due to Bad Credit

Representative-elect Maxwell Frost said he was denied an apartment in Washington, D.C., due to his “really bad” credit.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Representative-elect Maxwell Frost

On Thursday, Representative-elect Maxwell Frost, who will become the first Gen Z member of Congress, said he was denied an apartment in Washington, D.C., due to his “really bad” credit. He also lost his application fee.

Such an outcome is familiar to many. After all, housing nationwide seems to only get increasingly expensive, as landlords and rental companies enjoy the mountain of fees they rake in from renters desperate to find a home.

The ridiculousness of it all is only heightened while individuals elected to serve in the nation’s capital can’t even afford to live there.

Like Frost, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a member who, upon arriving in D.C. in 2018, had trouble finding housing before receiving her congressional salary of $174,000.

Frost explained that his credit worsened after he ran up debt while campaigning over the past year and a half, noting he did not make enough money driving for Uber.

“It isn’t magic that we won our very difficult race,” Frost wrote. “I quit my full time job cause I knew that to win at 25 yrs old, I’d need to be a full time candidate. 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. It’s not sustainable or right but it’s what we had to do.”

The amount of money a candidate has is important—particularly if you are a challenger like Frost or Ocasio-Cortez, whose races required all the more time and effort to win.

How difficult it is for someone to get involved in a country’s politics tells you something about said country. Especially if that country purports to be a “representative democracy.” Frost offers yet another example of how America really does not encourage working people—who perhaps need the most advocacy in halls of power—to get involved.

Full List of 169 Republicans Who Voted Against Protecting Same-Sex Marriage

The Respect for Marriage Act seeks to protect same-sex and interracial marriage. 169 Republicans voted against.

Maria Belen Perez Gabilondo/AFP/Getty Images

Here are the representatives who voted Thursday against the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriage. All 169 are Republicans.

  1. Robert Aderholt
  2. Rick Allen
  3. Mark Amodei
  4. Jodey Arrington
  5. Brian Babin
  6. Jim Baird
  7. Troy Balderson
  8. Jim Banks
  9. Andy Barr
  10. Cliff Bentz
  11. Jack Berman
  12. Stephanie Bice
  13. Andy Biggs
  14. Gus Bilirakis
  15. Dan Bishop
  16. Lauren Boebert
  17. Mike Bost
  18. Mo Brooks
  19. Vern Buchanan
  20. Ken Buck
  21. Larry Bucshon
  22. Ted Budd
  23. Tim Burchett
  24. Michael Burgess
  25. Jerry Carl
  26. Buddy Carter
  27. John Carter
  28. Madison Cawthorn
  29. Stave Chabot
  30. Ben Cline
  31. Michael Cloud
  32. Andrew Clyde
  33. Tom Cole
  34. James Comer
  35. Connie Conway
  36. Rick Crawford
  37. Dan Crenshaw
  38. Warren Davidson
  39. Scott DesJarlais
  40. Mario Diaz-Balart
  41. Byron Donalds
  42. Jeff Duncan
  43. Neal Dunn
  44. Jake Ellzey
  45. Ron Estes
  46. Pat Fallon
  47. Randy Feenstra
  48. Drew Ferguson
  49. Brad Finstad
  50. Michelle Fischbach
  51. Scott Fitzgerald
  52. Chuck Fleischmann
  53. Mike Flood
  54. Mayra Flores
  55. Virginia Foxx
  56. Scott Franklin
  57. Russ Fulcher
  58. Matt Gaetz
  59. Bob Gibbs
  60. Louie Gohmert
  61. Bob Good
  62. Lance Gooden
  63. Paul Gosar
  64. Kay Granger
  65. Garret Graves
  66. Sam Graves
  67. Mark Green
  68. Marjorie Taylor Greene
  69. Morgan Griffith
  70. Glenn Grothman
  71. Michael Guest
  72. Brett Guthrie
  73. Andy Harris
  74. Diana Harshbarger
  75. Vicky Hartzler
  76. Kevin Hern
  77. Yvette Herrell
  78. Jody Hice
  79. Clay Higgins
  80. French Hill
  81. Richard Hudson
  82. Bill Huizenga
  83. Ronny Jackson
  84. Bill Johnson
  85. Dusty Johnson
  86. Mike Johnson
  87. Jim Jordan
  88. David Joyce
  89. Fred Keller
  90. Mike Kelly
  91. Trent Kelly
  92. Young Kim
  93. David Kustoff
  94. Darin LaHood
  95. Doug LaMalfa
  96. Doug Lamborn
  97. Bob Latta
  98. Jake LaTurner
  99. Debbie Lesko
  100. Julia Letlow
  101. Billy Long
  102. Barry Loudermilk
  103. Frank Lucas
  104. Blaine Luetkemeyer
  105. Tracey Mann
  106. Thomas Massie
  107. Brian Mast
  108. Kevin McCarthy
  109. Michael McCaul
  110. Lisa McClain
  111. Tom McClintock
  112. Patrick McHenry
  113. David McKinley
  114. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
  115. Dan Meuser
  116. Carol Miller
  117. Mary Miller
  118. John Moolenaar
  119. Alex Mooney
  120. Barry Moore
  121. Markwayne Mullin
  122. Greg Murphy
  123. Troy Nehls
  124. Ralph Norman
  125. Steven Palazzo
  126. Gary Palmer
  127. Greg Pence
  128. Scott Perry
  129. August Pfluger
  130. Bill Posey
  131. Guy Reschenthaler
  132. Hal Rogers
  133. Mike Rogers
  134. John Rose
  135. Matt Rosendale
  136. David Rouzer
  137. Chip Roy
  138. John Rutherford
  139. Maria Salazar
  140. Steve Scalise
  141. David Schweikert
  142. Austin Scott
  143. Joe Sempolinski
  144. Pete Sessions
  145. Adrian Smith
  146. Chris Smith
  147. Jason Smith
  148. Lloyd Smucker
  149. Victoria Sparts
  150. Pete Stauber
  151. Michelle Steel
  152. Greg Steube
  153. Van Taylor
  154. Claudia Tenney
  155. Glenn Thompson
  156. Tom Tiffany
  157. William Timmons
  158. Jefferson Van Drew
  159. Beth Van Duyne
  160. Tim Walberg
  161. Randy Weber
  162. Daniel Webster
  163. Brad Wenstrup
  164. Bruce Westerman
  165. Roger Williams
  166. Joe Wilson
  167. Rob Wittman
  168. Steve Womack
  169. Rudy Yakym

Freedom-Loving Conservatives Are Mad that Brittney Griner Is No Longer in Russian Jail

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian jail, and the far right is upset about it.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday morning, the Biden administration announced that Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner would be released from Russian detainment, in a one-for-one prisoner swap with former Russian military officer and arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Afterward, the right wing wasted no time inciting outrage about the freeing of an American detained in Russia for 294 days.

Some weren’t even trying to feign logic and were instead outright racist and homophobic:

Prisoner swaps do not lend themselves well to “ideal” scenarios. But there are basic facts here that these outrage-drivers simply have no interest in. They act as if Biden unhesitatingly made the deal and has not been trying to rescue other American detainees, like former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. But according to a senior U.S. official, Whelan is being treated as an espionage case. The Russian government gave the U.S. a choice over who to free: “one [Griner] or none.”

Meanwhile, Paul Whelan’s family is sharing much more grace than the right-wingers fomenting outrage over their loved one, acknowledging both the good news of Griner’s release and still the urgency to free Whelan:

Griner’s wife,  Cherelle, said they both are committed to working to help free those left behind in Russian detention, including Whelan:

But right-wingers have no interest in nuance or the facts undergirding such a difficult situation.

In the meantime, Griner’s restored freedom warrants rejoicing. And an urge to support all who are imprisoned—especially those on inane charges like less than a gram of cannabis oil—ought to be maintained. As Dave Zirin wrote, “There is no politics more basic than solidarity with the imprisoned.”

House Passes Respect for Marriage Act Protecting Same-Sex Marriage

The House voted 258–169 to protect same-sex and interracial marriage.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted 258–169 Thursday to approve a historic bill enshrining the right to marriage equality.

The Respect for Marriage Act will now go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The bill, which applies to both same-sex and interracial marriage, would require that two people be considered married so long as their marriage was legal in the state in which it was performed. The act also repeals a 1996 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, which has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2015.

Many civil rights activists have warned that after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, same-sex marriage may be next on the chopping block.

During debate beforehand, Republicans accused Democrats of overreacting, insisting that the 2015 Supreme Court ruling ensuring equal marriage would continue to stand. Two Republican representatives, Vicky Hartzler and Bob Good, went so far as to claim the bill discriminated against religious institutions—despite being backed by most major religious organizations—and threatened heterosexual marriage.

The Senate voted 61–36 last week to pass the bill.

The act had already passed the House over the summer, although 156 voted against it—including a shockingly hypocritical “nay” vote from Representative Glenn Thompson, who attended his son’s same-sex wedding just a week later. Thompson again voted no on Thursday.

Critics of the bill say, though, that it does not go far enough with LGBTQ protections. Part of the amendment says that religious organizations do not have to marry same-sex couples, which would allow groups to continue to be homophobic, and the bill does not require all states to actually issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Don’t Do Today’s Wordle

New York Times employees have embarked on a 24-hour walkout after the paper of record failed to meet union demands.

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Over one thousand New York Times employees have embarked on a 24-hour walkout, the first protest of its kind at the nation’s paper of record in more than four decades.

Members of the NewsGuild of New York had been negotiating with management for nearly two years. Finally, the union reached a tipping point, announcing last week that more than 1,100 union members would walk out at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning, unless a deal was made. As can be seen, no agreement was reached.

While there has been no updated contract since March 2021, staff also have not received raises in more than two years. This, while inflation and rent have both rocketed.

Negotiations had been ongoing this week, with 12 hours of bargaining on Tuesday. On Wednesday, The New York Times union guild said management “backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits,” but they still were short on other priorities, including pay increases and health care contributions.

The union has said some major desks will be short 90 percent of their workforce on Thursday, with some departments being essentially empty. Consequently, numerous desks will be run by managers—if at all—as employees picket outside the New York Times building.

Meanwhile, the company has directed members to work in advance of the strike in order to complete assignments.

Further, employees who walk out will not be paid. CNN retrieved an internal memo sent to employees by the Times’ human resources department, reading that striking employees “will not be paid by the company for the duration of the strike” and that they “cannot use vacation or personal days to account for this time” unless it was approved before last Friday. The union has  argued that this is a walkout, not a strike, since it is for limited duration.

New York Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told the Associated Press that the Times had “solid plans in place” to continue business, including relying on international reporters and other nonunion journalists.

Thursday will reveal what a hollower New York Times looks like—and whether it really can continue business as usual, even for 24 hours.

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Released From Russian Prison

Griner was released by the Russian government and is coming home, 10 months after her arrest.

EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released by the Russian government and is coming home.

She was released Thursday in a one-for-one prisoner swap with Viktor Bout, a former Russian military officer who was serving a 25-year sentence in the United States for conspiring to kill Americans, exporting missiles, and conspiring to help a terrorist organization. The Russian government has sought his release for a decade, since his 2012 sentencing in New York.

Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February on drug-smuggling charges. She testified that she inadvertently packed cannabis oil in her luggage and in August was sentenced to nine years in prison.

President Biden spoke Thursday morning shortly after 8:30 a.m. from the White House in the company of Griner’s wife, Cherelle. From NBC’s Peter Alexander:

Cherelle said, “The most important emotion I have right now is sincere gratitude for President Biden and his entire administration.” Biden said: “Britney is an incomparable athlete. She endured mistreatment and a show trial in Russia with characteristic grit and integrity.” Biden said he’d been working for her release since July and mentioned Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine still detained in Russia on espionage charges. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported Thursday morning that the Biden administration pushed hard for Whelan’s release after four years in prison, but Russia wouldn’t budge.

Biden will surely take some heat from the right wing for releasing Bout, who had a long record of arms dealing and supporting terrorist groups like Colombia’s FARC before he was convicted. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted Bout, said at the time of his sentencing: “Viktor Bout has been international arms-trafficking enemy number one for many years, arming some of the most violent conflicts around the globe.”

But make no mistake. This is a great day—obviously for Brittney and Cherelle, for the Biden team, for the United States, and for justice.

Manchin’s Last-Ditch Attempt to Save His Pipeline Deal is Unlikely to Work

Senator Joe Manchin isn’t giving up on his fight for permitting reform, even after it was removed from the annual defense spending bill.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Senator Joe Manchin

The final text of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, was released Tuesday, and absent was Senator Joe Manchin’s so-called “Dirty Deal,” a set of provisions he was promised in exchange for his support for the Inflation Reduction Act (a bill he massively watered down).

Now Manchin is trying yet again to include his provisions, this time as an amendment to the annual defense spending bill. Manchin released his amendment Wednesday, with various concessions to try to appeal to Republican support instead of members of his own party. Nevertheless, he seems unlikely to garner enough support.

The bill would weaken environmental review processes and fast-track the permitting process for energy projects, including pipelines and fossil fuel infrastructure.

Manchin’s bill seeks to clear the path for the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, a West Virginia project opposed by several community and environmental groups, facing lawsuits in state and federal courts, and even invalidated by an appeals court.

Federal agencies would be called to proceed in issuing permits and leases, superseding citizen challenges and clearing the path for the legally and communally opposed fossil fuel project.

But the effort failed for a second time Tuesday, after Manchin previously attempted to attach the bill to the September continuing resolution that avoided a government shutdown.

Manchin’s provisions were not all inherently bad. They sought to promote construction of new electrical transmission lines, which are urgently needed in order to reach net-zero emissions. And to be fair, opposition to energy infrastructure projects can be rooted in Nimby-esque rationales; expedited permitting can help push forward the construction of urgently needed green infrastructure.

But Manchin’s approach, foregrounded by his thirst for a natural gas pipeline, did not capture  those potential benefits. Democrats don’t have to trash the entire bill, but they also ought not leave the fight for permitting reform to the most conservative Democrat in Congress.

After Losing Georgia, Republicans Are Suddenly Interested in Early Voting

After Raphael Warnock’s victory, Republicans may be rethinking their years of attacks on early voting.

Michael Kovac/WireImage
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) and Senator Lindsey Graham

After Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s loss in Georgia Tuesday night, some Republicans are conceding that maybe attacking methods of voting isn’t a good way to, well, get votes.

On his program Tuesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity looked to Republicans including House leader Kevin McCarthy and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for insight as to why “Republicans have been unwilling, for whatever reason … to vot[e] early and vot[e] by mail.”

“Republicans in the past, we had an advantage because we would vote early, we would vote by mail, and we put that away,” McCarthy said.

Gingrich, an election denialist who had previously suggested arresting election workers after the 2020 election, told Hannity that “you have to play the game by the rules that are existing,” encouraging Republicans to vote early and by mail.

On Wednesday, Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott also suggested that their party could improve on its early and mail-in voting stances. Fomenting distrust in such practices “has to change because we need to bank votes like they do,” said Graham.

The reason Republicans haven’t been voting early or by mail is because Donald Trump—and his followers—all discouraged it. From January to September 2020, Trump attacked mail-in voting over 100 times, according to The Washington Post. And Republican politicians, officials, and media followed suit, leading to 18 states passing legislation that made mail-in voting harder this year.

Georgia Republicans themselves sought to block early voting from beginning on November 26.

Hannity too has shared Project Veritas videos peddling mail-voting conspiracies to his millions of followers on Twitter and has hosted segments attacking mail-in and early voting practices, sowing doubt in the integrity of such methods.

Unfortunately, Republicans still can’t outright say, “It’s good to make voting easier for people,” in the same way they can’t outright denounce Trump.

“There were many in 2020 saying, ‘Don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early,’” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Tuesday on Fox News. “And we have to stop that and understand that if Democrats are getting ballots in for a month, we can’t expect to get it all done in one day.”

An RNC spokesperson later said that McDaniel apparently wasn’t talking about Trump, who has been the loudest voice on the matter and called to ban early voting when he announced his 2024 candidacy last month.

Paul Gosar Deletes Tweet Supporting Trump’s Call to Terminate the U.S. Constitution

Republican Representative Paul Gosar announced on Twitter that he agrees with Donald Trump, and then backtracked an hour later.

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Republican Representative Paul Gosar

Republican Representative Paul Gosar on Wednesday endorsed Donald Trump’s call to terminate the U.S. Constitution and overturn the 2020 election—and then deleted the post an hour later.

In his latest effort to reverse his loss, Trump demanded over the weekend to terminate the Constitution, baselessly citing “WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION” on Truth Social. Republicans have been horrifically slow to condemn him, and Gosar went a step further and publicly agreed with him on Twitter.

A few Republicans have spoken out against Trump’s demand, but they are mostly all moderates or already vocal critics of the former president. Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the only Republicans on the House January 6 investigative committee, were explicit and forceful with their condemnations, but they are both outgoing members of Congress.

Although the Republican Party at large seems to be turning on Trump, he still holds significant sway in Congress and among the American public. Anyone seen as going against him risks losing the support—and provoking the wrath—of his rabid fan base.

The list of his outrageous behavior in just the past few months continues to grow, and yet Republicans are loath to criticize him lest they lose his favor.

What Democrats Can Do With 51 Seats in the Senate

With Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia, Democrats can now do a whole lot more in the Senate.

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

With Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia, Democrats have officially secured 51 seats and an outright majority in the U.S. Senate.

Warnock beat MAGA Republican Herschel Walker on Tuesday night with, coincidentally, almost 51 percent of the vote. His win means that Democrats now have an outright 51–49 majority in the Senate, instead of a 50–50 split with a tiebreak.

And that one-seat difference is huge: “It’s big. It’s significant. We can breathe a sigh of relief,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told a press conference on Wednesday. “It gives us … just a great feeling, enthusiasm, unity, encouragement.”

Crucially, the Senate now has a rock-solid majority to block certain measures by the House of Representatives. Republicans eked out control of the chamber during the midterms and have already promised a raft of somewhat petty moves, such as investigating Hunter Biden and impeaching members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

The Senate, which tries impeachment cases, can acquit anyone put forward. It can also block unnecessary investigations or legislation.

House Republicans have previously indicated they have some traditionally conservative plans, such as supporting tax cuts and reducing government spending. But they have also pledged to ban trans women from playing in women’s sports and to seek to restrict abortion access.

Democrats also now hold the majority of votes in Senate committees, which means investigations and legislation will move much more quickly. The Senate will also be able to approve presidential nominees, including for judges, more easily.

And last, the party no longer has to be fully unified to achieve its goals. Before, if a single senator—usually Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin—broke ranks, it could tank a bill or nomination. But now Democrats have a little more wiggle room.

Most legislation in the Senate requires a 60-vote minimum to pass, though, so Democrats will still need to negotiate with Republicans in order to get bills through.

With the 2024 election cycle already approaching, it’s hugely important for Democrats to leverage their newfound power, even if it seems slim, and pass major legislation. The more they are able to accomplish in the next two years, the better positioned they will be to hold onto the Senate and maybe even retake the House.