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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Roasts Kevin McCarthy and His Sad “Boy Math”

AOC has had enough of the House speaker’s antics as Republicans push us toward a government shutdown.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used “boy math” to epically troll Kevin McCarthy over the looming Republican-created government shutdown.

Boy math is a phrase used on social media to joke about the way heterosexual men stereotypically rationalize or misvalue numbers or prices. Some examples of boy math include “how 5’10” measures 6’,” “having a 70inch tv but no dining table,” and “being afraid of gold diggers when you only have 3 pairs of socks to your name.”

Ocasio-Cortez joined the trend with a hilarious tweet Tuesday night.

Congress is just days away from its September 30 deadline to pass a spending bill—and House Republicans are in shambles. The farthest-right wing of the party is threatening to shut down the government unless federal spending is slashed dramatically. The House failed last week to even begin debating on the Defense Department appropriations bill, when five Republicans broke from their party to block a procedural rule to begin debating the appropriations measure.

The Senate advanced a short-term funding bill late Tuesday that would keep the government open into November. But given the House’s chaos, it’s unclear whether the measure would even pass the second chamber.

This is the second Democratic representative to take hilarious aim at McCarthy over the shutdown. Angie Craig introduced the “My Constituents Cannot Afford Rebellious Tantrums, Handle Your Shutdown Act,” or the “MCCARTHY Shutdown Act,” last week.

The bill would temporarily block the paychecks of Congress members during a government shutdown. Currently, shutdowns do not affect pay for lawmakers, but they stop pay for all other federal employees.

This Stunning Court Ruling Could Destroy the Trump Organization

Donald Trump has been found liable for fraud—and the Trump Organization is going to suffer for it.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

A New York state Supreme Court judge judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed business fraud and ordered that all his New York business certificates be canceled. This makes it nearly impossible to do business in New York and could effectively kill the Trump Organization as it exists today.

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump and the Trump Organization in September 2022 for business fraud. She is seeking a penalty of $250 million. Judge Arthur Engoron issued a partial summary judgment on Tuesday that determined the thrust of James’s case is true and that a trial is not necessary to find Trump liable.

Engoron ruled that the business certificates for “any entity controlled or beneficially owned” by Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, longtime Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, and Trump Organization executive Jeffrey McConney must be canceled.

He gave the men 10 days to come up with three potential independent candidates to handle the dissolution of all related businesses.

Engoron also fined Trump’s lawyers $7,500 each for repeating arguments he had previously dismissed.

“Defendants’ conduct in reiterating these frivolous arguments is egregious,” he said in his ruling. “We are way beyond the point of ‘sophisticated counsel should have known better’; we are at the point of intentional and blatant disregard of controlling authority and law of the case. This Court emphatically rejected these arguments, as did the First Department. Defendants’ repetition of them here is indefensible.”

The case was set to go to trial on Monday. It likely still will, but only so Engoron can determine the extent of the damages that Trump and his co-defendants owe.

Trump’s lawyers had previously asked Engoron to issue a summary judgment in their favor dismissing many of the charges against him. They cited a June appeals court ruling that said some of the claims against Trump might be too old to be tried. Obviously, it didn’t work.

James found that Trump had dramatically inflated his net worth, by as much as $3.6 billion in one year. Her lawsuit accused Trump of lying about the value of various real estate assets, including skyscrapers and golf courses, allowing him and his associates to get benefits such as favorable loan terms and lower insurance premiums.

Trump claimed his Trump Tower apartment in Manhattan was three times its actual size and worth $327 million. No New York City apartment has ever sold for that much, James said.

He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million. In reality, it’s worth about a tenth of that amount. His valuation was based on the property’s potential for residential development, but the terms of its deed prevent the land from ever being used that way.

This is the second lawsuit this month that Trump has lost through a summary judgment. In early September, a federal judge ruled that Trump is liable for defaming E. Jean Carroll in 2019 and owes her monetary damages, which will be set at a trial that begins in January.

This story has been corrected to note the judge’s correct title.

“Unconstitutionally Vague”: Federal Judge Smacks Down Texas’s Drag Ban

This is a major setback for those in Texas waging war against drag performers.

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Austin, Texas, drag queen Brigitte speaks after a court hearing for Texas’s anti-drag law, S.B. 12, at the Bob Casey United States Courthouse on August 29 in Houston.

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas’s drag ban law is unconstitutional, and permanently blocked all state officials from enforcing the measure.

Governor Greg Abbott signed the extreme law in June, making Texas the fourth Republican-led state to enact such a law. The measure was written so broadly that opponents worried it would create a host of unforeseen issues beyond just targeting drag shows.

Judge David Hittner ruled that the law was “unconstitutionally vague,” “unconstitutionally overbroad,” and discriminatory.

“Not all people will like or condone certain performances. This is no different than a person’s opinion on certain comedy or genres of music, but that alone does not strip First Amendment protection,” he said in his ruling.

“However, in addition to the pure entertainment value there are often political, social, and cultural messages involved in drag performances.”

The law criminalized any performances that occurred or could have occurred in front of a minor if they are of a sexual nature. Performers could be charged with a misdemeanor (and face up to one year in jail, a $4,000 fine, or both), while any business that hosted the show would face a $10,000 fine. The bill’s sponsor stripped out any specific references to drag, but opponents argued the vaguely worded legislation was still targeting LGBTQ people.

A group of lawyers previously told The Dallas Morning News that the vague wording could also restrict performances by artists such as Madonna and Miley Cyrus, bachelorette parties, cheerleading, and could even criminalize sexual conduct between consenting 17-year-olds (17 is the age of consent in Texas).

Hittner also referred to a recent federal case that banned a drag performance. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, best known for trying to ban the abortion pill mifepristone, ruled last week that West Texas A&M University had not violated the First Amendment by prohibiting students from hosting a drag show earlier this year.

In a letter to the student body, the university president compared drag shows to “blackface.” “Drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminates against womanhood,” Walter Wendler wrote. “Drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent.”

In Tuesday’s ruling, in the politest legalese possible, Hittner told Kacsmaryk he could stuff it: “The president’s sentiment reinforces this Court’s opinion that while some people may find a performance offensive or morally objectionable, it does not mean the performance is not expressive or given First Amendment protection.”

What Biden Just Did for the UAW Is a Big Freaking Deal

Biden visited the United Auto Workers picket line—and what he said there is huge.

Joe Biden addresses striking members of the United Auto Workers union at a picket line outside a General Motors Service Parts Operations plant in Belleville, Michigan, on September 26.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday became the first sitting U.S. president to ever visit a picket line, when he joined striking members of the United Auto Workers Union in Michigan.

“I’ve marched a lot of UAW picket lines when I was a senator, since 1973, but I’ll tell you what: This is the first time I’ve done it as president,” Biden said in a brief address to the workers gathered outside General Motors’ Willow Run Redistribution Center in Belleville, who have been striking since September 15.

“Folks, stick with it because you deserve the significant raise you need and other benefits,” Biden said. He also voiced his support for the striking workers and called upon the Big Three automakers—Ford, GM, and Stellantis—to “step up.”

“UAW, you saved the auto industry back in 2008 and before,” Biden said. “You made a lot of sacrifices, you gave up a lot, and the companies were in trouble, and now they’re doing incredibly well, and you should be doing incredibly well too.”

When Biden was asked whether striking workers should receive the 40 percent wage increase they are demanding, he said, “Yes.”

Biden was greeted at the Detroit Metro Airport earlier in the day by UAW President Shawn Fain and Representatives Debbie Dingell, Rashida Tlaib, and Shri Thanedar, as well as Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Biden’s arrival at the UAW picket line is a startling kicker to nearly four decades of declining union membership.

Fain thanked the president for his visit on Tuesday.

“Thank you for coming to stand up with us in our generation’s defining moment,” Fain said to the rallying workers. “We know the president will do right by the working class, and when we do right by the working class, you can leave the rest to us because we’re going to take care of this business.”

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is also planning his own visit to Michigan on Wednesday—but he is set to speak at a nonunion supplier, 50 miles away from striking workers, where he plans to blame the electric vehicle transition for the strike, according to state Senator Mallory McMorrow.

The Sick, Racist Message Behind Why Trump Chose That Particular Gun Store

Donald Trump tried to purchase a gun at the Palmetto State Armory in South Carolina. That matters more than you think.

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During a campaign trip to South Carolina, Donald Trump took some time to visit the gun store that sold weapons to the racist Jacksonville, Florida, mass shooter.

Trump visited Palmetto State Armory on Monday, where he admired a handgun engraved and decorated in his honor. He repeatedly said he wanted to buy a gun there—which would be a violation of federal law given his many indictments.

A lot of the media has focused on whether Trump actually purchased a gun and violated the law, but less attention has been paid to Trump’s decision to visit Palmetto State Armory, as opposed to any other gun store in South Carolina.

In late August, a white man opened fire in a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black Jacksonville neighborhood, killing three people, all of whom were Black. The shooter, who then killed himself, used a Glock handgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, at least one of which was painted with a swastika. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the shooter “hated Black people” and acted alone.

At least one of the guns came from Palmetto State Armory, a store in Summerville, South Carolina. The Jacksonville sheriff’s office shared photos of the firearms used in the attack on its Facebook page. One of the guns is clearly engraved with the Palmetto State Armory logo. The shooter had also drawn swastikas on the gun.

When the Jacksonville shooting happened, Trump did not issue any statement on the tragedy. But you could argue that this campaign stop is a kind of tacit statement. He put the spotlight on Palmetto State Armory, praised its inventory, and tried to offer it business.

Palmetto State Armory has openly embraced far-right ideology. In 2020, it began marketing its products using imagery and language associated with the “boogaloo,” slang for racist violence and even a call for full-on race war. It has also come to mean war to topple the government.

The Jacksonville shooter shouldn’t have been able to buy the guns in the first place. He was held in Florida state custody in 2017 for mental health issues, disqualifying him from owning a gun under a statute called the Baker Act.

With so many eyeballs on Trump, Palmetto State Armory would never have gotten away with selling him a gun. But as Philadephia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch pointed out, the store “could sell an AR-15 to a young, mentally troubled white supremacist.”

Supreme Court Delivers Knockout Blow to Alabama GOP in One-Sentence Ruling

The Supreme Court is surprisingly holding the line on voting rights.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall after the oral argument of the Merrill v. Milligan case at the Supreme Court on October 4, 2022

The Supreme Court on Tuesday slapped down Alabama Republicans’ latest attempt to use a congressional district map that only includes one majority-Black district, delivering a major blow in just one sentence.

This is the Supreme Court’s second such ruling in three months. Earlier this summer, the court struck down a similar GOP-drawn congressional map and ordered Alabama to add a second majority-Black district. But Alabama Republicans dug in their heels and approved a similarly problematic congressional map, and asked the Supreme Court to block lower court rulings invalidating it.

And the Supreme Court refused.

“The application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied,” the Supreme Court said in a terse statement. There were no noted dissents.

Alabama must now accept a map that has at least two majority-Black districts.

The Supreme Court shocked everyone in June when it ruled 5–4 that Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama discriminated against Black voters under the Voting Rights Act. The justices ordered Alabama to redraw the map to include at least two majority-Black districts.

Alabama repeatedly tried to redraw districts in a way that keeps the status quo and dilutes Black votes. The federal appeals court that struck down the latest map appointed a special master to oversee the redistricting.

“We have no reason to believe that allowing the Legislature still another opportunity to draw yet another map will yield a map that includes an additional opportunity district,” the three-judge panel said at the time. “We are disturbed by the evidence that the State delayed remedial proceedings but ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy.”

Alabama has until October 1 to finalize a new map to ensure that there is enough time to prepare for the 2024 election, according to Republican Secretary of State Wes Allen. State officials will need to reassign voters and print and distribute ballots.

More than a quarter of Alabama residents are Black, but currently only one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts is majority-Black. Black voters are scattered throughout the other districts, dramatically reducing their ability to elect their preferred candidates. As a result of the racial gerrymandering, the state only has one Black representative.

The Supreme Court’s ruling—and the outcome of the new map in Alabama—could have bigger implications across the South, and even help Democrats retake the House in 2024. Several other states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia, are facing legal challenges to their racially gerrymandered districts. Those states could see a very different map in the coming election.

Cassidy Hutchinson Casually Destroys Matt Gaetz Over Bizarre Rumor He Started

The former White House aide dragged Matt Gaetz on live television.

Cassidy Hutchinson
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson delivered a truly sick burn to Representative Matt Gaetz after he tried to claim the two of them had dated.

Hutchinson worked as the top assistant to Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, and she eventually became a star witness for the House January 6 investigative committee. She has dropped multiple bombshells about the Trump administration in recent weeks from her new book, Enough.

In a Monday night interview on MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow read a few excerpts from the book that detail how Gaetz aggressively pursued Hutchinson. One line describes how he stroked her face while talking to her. Another passage says he tried so hard to hook up with her during a trip to Camp David that Representative Kevin McCarthy actually told Gaetz to “get a life.” Hutchinson also alleges elsewhere in the book that Gaetz groped her on two different occasions.

Gaetz denied Hutchinson’s claims in a statement to Maddow, but he said the pair “did date … for a few weeks years ago when we were both single.”

“Matt Gaetz, in my opinion, is somebody that I personally do not hold in high regard in terms of trust,” Hutchinson said. “I will say, on behalf of myself, I never dated Matt Gaetz. I have much higher standards in men. And Matt, frankly, is a very unserious politician.”

“We see that today, with the ruckus that he is causing on Capitol Hill with the spending negotiations.”

Gaetz, a key Trump ally, is also one of the main opponents of passing a clean continuing resolution that will keep the government open and functioning. Instead, he keeps threatening to remove McCarthy from the speakership.

Hutchinson’s book also describes a chilling interaction with Rudy Giuliani. She accuses Giuliani of groping her just before Trump’s speech on January 6.

Republican Case Against Biden Beautifully Goes Up in Flames on Fox News

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko completely dismissed one of Republicans’ main “Biden corruption” arguments.

Dmytro Larin/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday completely—and hilariously—destroyed one of Republicans’ main arguments to prove that Joe Biden is corrupt.

Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden, after months of insisting that the president is guilty of criminal wrongdoing. The GOP has yet to produce any actual evidence of their claims. But one of their main talking points is that Poroshenko fired former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin after Biden pressured him to do so.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade played Poroshenko a clip of Shokin saying Biden wanted him fired because he had been investigating the oil company Burisma Holdings while Hunter Biden served on the board.

“First of all, this is [a] completely crazy person,” Poroshenko replied without hesitation, referring to Shokin. “This is something wrong with him. Second, there is not one single word of truth.”

“Please do not use such a person like Shokin to undermine the trust we feel” from both U.S. parties, he continued.

Poroshenko added that Shokin was fired because “he played very dirty games.”

Shokin was fired in 2016 for corruption. Three years later, Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani started a conspiracy theory that the Biden family accepted a $10 million bribe to remove Shokin to stop a probe into Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma. This claim has been repeatedly debunked by the owner of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, as well as Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas. And now, the former Ukrainian president himself.

Menendez’s Amazing Defense for All Those Envelopes of Cash: I’m Cuban

Senator Bob Menendez has an impossibly hilarious explanation for all those gold bars and cash that police found.

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New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez has an insanely lame excuse for the $480,000 in cash federal investigators discovered at his home.

Last week, Menendez and his wife were indicted on federal bribery charges. The indictment accuses Menendez of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and “luxury vehicle and home furnishings.”

In exchange for the bribes, Menendez, who is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, agreed to use his power to boost three New Jersey businessmen and benefit the government of Egypt, according to the indictment.

At a press conference Monday morning, Menendez said that the $480,000 investigators discovered in his house was money he’d withdrawn in case of an emergency.

“For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies,” Menedez said, making no mention of the gold bars that were also discovered in his home and are worth an additional estimated $155,000.

Menendez said that he was compelled to do this because of his family’s history “facing confiscation in Cuba.” It’s unclear to which family Menendez—who was born in New York City in 1954, a full five years before the Castros came to power—is referring.

“This may seem old-fashioned, but these were monies drawn from my personal account based on the income I have lawfully derived over those 30 years,” Menendez added. Menendez’s excuse doesn’t seem “old-fashioned,” it just seems like a lie.

In his press conference remarks, Menendez made it clear he had no intention of resigning, and so far, no Democratic senators have publicly called for him to step down.

While some right-wing fanatics have speculated that this indictment was drummed up to create the illusion of an impartial Department of Justice, it’s doubtful that Menendez, who was previously indicted on similar charges in 2015, will get off scot-free this time.

Spineless Brian Kemp on Why He’ll Still Back Donald Trump in 2024

Georgia’s Republican governor stood up to Trump for all of two seconds.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, one of the few Republicans to repeatedly condemn Donald Trump’s claim of 2020 election fraud, has caved and said he will back the former president in 2024.

Kemp has held the line that the Georgia presidential election was valid, despite repeated Trump attacks. He was also one of the few Republicans to back the legitimacy of the indictment against Trump for trying to overturn the state’s election. But in an interview published Sunday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp finally broke.

“It has nothing to do with being a coward,” Kemp insisted, on why he’d back Trump if he is the Republican nominee in 2024. “It has everything to do with winning and reversing the ridiculous, obscene positions of Joe Biden and this administration that literally, in a lot of ways, are destroying our country.”

“Despite all of his other trials and tribulations, [Trump] would still be a lot better than Biden,” Kemp said. “And the people serving in the administration would be a lot better than Joe Biden.”

Kemp hinted last month that he would back whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination, tweeting, “2024 is too important for political games.” But this is the first time he has openly expressed support for Trump.

This shift likely does have personal reasons, though. Trump has already gone after Kemp’s position. In 2021, he got former Senator David Perdue to run against Kemp for governor. Perdue is a loyal MAGA Republican who has backed Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

Kemp was reelected in a landslide, but Perdue’s campaign shows just a fraction of how far Trump is willing to go to get revenge on people who oppose him. If Trump is the nominee, his already outsize influence in the Republican Party will only grow—and Kemp could be in big trouble if he doesn’t fall in line.