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Shutdown Coming. GOP Response: Let’s Reignite the Gas Stove Issue!

Amid everything going on, Republicans have decided their priority is saving gas stoves.

gas stove burner
Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The United States is a little more than one week away from a government shutdown, and Republicans are responding by … talking about gas stoves.

The House Committee on Small Business is holding a hearing this week on the effects of supposedly “burdensome” energy regulations, part of the GOP’s ongoing insistence that Democrats are unfairly trying to ban gas stoves. Republican Representative Roger Williams lashed out Tuesday at his own party for its mismatched priorities.

“It’s almost embarrassing that we’re going to have a hearing tomorrow on gas stoves and ceiling fans when we’ve got everything happening in this world,” Williams said on Fox Business.

The House managed to pass a continuing resolution in September to keep the government open. That deal ultimately resulted in Kevin McCarthy getting ousted as speaker.

His successor, Mike Johnson, said Tuesday that he has a plan to keep the government funded, but Republicans are once again struggling to come together. Their inability to agree on a budget is what brought the U.S. to the brink of a shutdown multiple times this year alone.

Congress has 11 days to figure out the budget. If it hasn’t passed a solution by 12:01 a.m. on November 18, then the government will shut down.

If this exact situation seems familiar, that’s because it has somehow already happened. In May, as the country hurtled toward a national default, the House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee held a hearing on … gas stoves. During the hearing, Democratic Representative Jared Moskowitz called out Republicans on their weird priorities.

“I got it, I get the bravado. We can pry your gas stoves from your cold, dead hands,” Moskowitz deadpanned during the hearing. “I have a six-burner, double-oven range. It sits on legs. I mean, I miss her, right now, as we’re talking about it.”

“You might own a small business, and you are worried about how you’re going to pay your employees if we default. The good news for you today is that, if you have to shut your business because the country defaults, your gas stove will still be there.”

Virginia Republican Candidate Joked About Unsolved Rapes During His Tenure

Danny Diggs is running for Virginia state Senate in what could be one of the closest races.

Danny Diggs

The Republican candidate in one of Virginia’s closest state Senate races once joked about how many rape cases he failed to solve while working as a sheriff.

Danny Diggs faces off Tuesday against Democratic incumbent Monty Mason. Diggs served as a county sheriff from 1999 until the end of 2022. And by his own admission, he didn’t have the best track record when it came to sexual assault cases.

During his sheriff retirement speech in January, Diggs spoke about how special it was to meet people years after he had helped solve their issues.

“It must have been 30 years ago.… We solved a rape case,” Diggs said. “The lady saw me a few years ago, and it had been 30 years, and she remembered me and remembered that we had solved her case and how much that meant to her. How she was able to get her life together and move on.”

Diggs then asked his successor, Sheriff Ron Montgomery, “Was that the only one we ever solved?”

The two men laughed as Diggs said, “We don’t want to get into that!”

Diggs’s joke is horrifying, as it shows how little regard he has for certain types of crime. Most rape cases in Virginia go unsolved. A 2019 study found that fewer than 20 percent of sexual assault cases in the state end with an arrest. Diggs’s callous comment is a sign that he is a part of that problem.

But Diggs’s disregard for sexual rights and autonomy goes further. In a September interview with conservative podcaster John Fredericks, Diggs said he wanted to crack down on “crime” by jailing doctors who perform abortions.

“You can’t have doctors doing illegal abortions with no sanctions!” Diggs said, accusing Mason and other state Democrats of being soft on crime.

Abortion is currently legal in Virginia up to 26 weeks and six days, although the state has tried to limit access. For instance, minors who need an abortion have to get permission from their parents or guardians first.

Virginia is currently the last southeastern state to allow abortion access, after state Republicans implemented cruel bans in the Carolinas and Florida. Tuesday’s election will determine which party has control of the state legislature and will thus shape the future of reproductive freedom in Virginia.

More on the election:

Marjorie Taylor Greene Shockingly Admits the Truth About Republicans

The ads basically write themselves.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene made an eyebrow-raising confession on CNN, admitting that Republicans are more focused on TV hits and social media chatter than actually working for the people.

“Republican voters across the country are sick and tired of Republicans because they never do anything to hold this government accountable,” Greene told CNN’s Manu Raju on Monday.

“I feel like many of the American people that think that Republicans in Congress completely fail them, I feel the same way. And I’m a Republican member of Congress,” Greene added.

It’s increasingly unclear that the Georgia representative has her own ducks in a row, however.

Despite a looming government shutdown, Greene has spent weeks trying to censure Representative Rashida Tlaib—the only Palestinian member of Congress—after the Michigan Democrat spoke at a peaceful Jewish-led protest in D.C. last month that called for a cease-fire in Gaza.

In her original censure resolution, Greene accused Tlaib of “antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the United States Capitol Complex”—but Republicans couldn’t get behind that language, especially the part about rejiggering the definition of an insurrection.

Representative Chip Roy snubbed the disciplinary measure as a “feckless” resolution that included “legally and factually unverified claims, including the claim of leading an ‘insurrection.’” When 23 Republicans voted to table the bid, Greene went full meltdown on the caucus, attacking former allies who voted to table it.

This week, though, Greene is back with a revised censure resolution that is slated to hit the floor for another House vote sometime this week, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, other House Republicans say they’re planning to spend the week chipping away at full-year spending bills unlikely to pass in the Senate, reported Reuters. The government shutdown begins November 17.

Michael Cohen Reveals Old Trump Documents That Show Exactly How He Operates

“He does the same thing over and over and over,” complained the former Donald Trump attorney.

Michael Cohen
Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Michael Cohen says his former boss Donald Trump’s brilliant strategy for his litany of lawsuits is simply to recycle old insults.

Trump has launched countless volleys of insults at everyone involved in his legal issues, from the prosecutors to the judges and courtroom staff. He has earned himself several fines and gag orders in the process. Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, explained the thought process behind the vitriolic onslaught in a Monday night interview.

“What Donald always does is, he uses the same play,” Cohen told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki, noting how it was easy to guess what Trump’s next move would be. “He does the same thing over and over and over.”

Cohen then held up a piece of paper he said he found in a drawer. Someone had written on the paper, “Obama reps is using lightweight New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman to target political enemies.”

“All you have to do is just remove Eric Schneiderman’s name from it, put it into Letitia James or put it into Jack Smith or put it into anyone. It’s the same language over and over,” Cohen said. “He thinks that it was beneficial to him then, which we all know it wasn’t.… It didn’t work there, and it’s not gonna work here.”

Psaki pointed out that MSNBC has not had a chance to verify the document yet, but Cohen maintained that it illustrated his point.

“Donald thinks everybody else is stupid,” Cohen said. “He thinks he’s more devious; it’s just not so.”

Trump took the witness stand Monday in his New York business fraud trial. Throughout five hours of testimony, he tried to talk his way out of taking accountability, but he just ended up talking himself into more trouble.

John Fetterman Grossly Pretends He Can’t Understand Pro-Palestine Protester

The Pennsylvania senator made a terrible attempt at a joke.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator John Fetterman’s response to a protester calling for a cease-fire in Gaza left a lot to be desired.

Fetterman spoke at a Get Out the Vote rally for Democratic candidates in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on Sunday. Right as he took the stage, a protester shouted, “Four thousand-plus dead children in Palestine, 9,000-plus dead civilians!”

“Get off the stage! Get off the stage! I don’t care,” he called out at Fetterman.

Most of the audience booed, and the Pennsylvania senator replied, “The joke is on you. I had a stroke. I can’t fully understand what you’re saying.”

Police then escorted the protester out, as he shouted at Fetterman to “go home.” Another protester yelled, “Free Palestine. Cease-fire now!” before leaving as well.

Fetterman, alongside the vast majority of the U.S. government, has not called for a cease-fire in Gaza. Gaza’s ministry of health announced Monday that more than 10,000 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s ongoing retaliation to Hamas’s October 7 attack.

Normally a darling of younger voters and internet users for his quippy reactions, Fetterman’s response this time leaves a bad taste in the mouth. He spent the second half of his campaign and a fair amount of his term fending off rumors that he is mentally and physically incapable of holding office. He can’t have it both ways and use his stroke recovery as an excuse to ignore comments he doesn’t like.

So far, Dick Durbin is the only senator to call for a cease-fire—a comment that he sought to temper hours later, as if calling for peace is a controversial stance. A total of 24 members of Congress have also called for a cease-fire. President Joe Biden has only called for a “humanitarian pause.”

The U.S. government’s refusal to call for an outright cease-fire is starting to alienate voters, particularly Muslim and Arab Americans. And it may cost Democrats in upcoming elections, both on Tuesday and in 2024.

Bingo: Trump Admits Intent to “Induce Lending” With Financial Statements

This is the very crux of the New York attorney general’s case against the Trump Organization.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Donald Trump got caught red-handed during his $250 million New York bank fraud trial on Monday when lawyers for the New York attorney general’s office revealed Trump had long ago signed financial documents with the clear intent that they would be used to curry favor with banks.

After being shown a loan agreement he had signed with Deutsche Bank in 2012, Trump agreed that his faulty financial statements were intended to induce banks to lend money.

While it might not sound like much, the admission is key to the New York attorney general’s case, which hopes to prove that Trump deceived banks and insurers by massively overvaluing his net worth. Trump essentially admitted on the stand that these financial documents were produced with the express intent to induce lending. The Trump Organization was likely able to secure loans at far lower interest rates due to all the overinflated valuations.

Hours before, Trump had thrown the responsibility of the financial statements onto his accountants while simultaneously claiming he could have conjured any number he desired for the net worth assessment.

“I’d like to go back to the statement of financial condition, it says Donald J. Trump was responsible for designing and implementing internal controls relative to the presentation of these statements. What did you do on this?” asked lawyers for the attorney general’s office.

“Accountants,” Trump said, according to Inner City Press. “They charged me a lot of money for this, a lot of money. I could have just put a number down. But I got expensive lawyers.”

Much of Trump’s chaotic and boisterous time on the stand was spent by lawyers highlighting incongruous deeds and assessments for the former president’s various international properties, including a development deed for Mar-a-Lago, which restricts the status of Trump’s primary residence to a club.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron already decided that New York Attorney General Letitia James had proved that Trump and his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, committed fraud. At stake is a sizable chunk of Trump’s real estate empire, which he has described as his greatest accomplishment, notwithstanding his family.

Trump Struggles to Explain Inflated Mar-a-Lago Valuation in Fraud Trial

This is one of the biggest points in the fraud trial against the Trump Organization.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Trump minced words during a pivotal moment of his New York bank fraud trial on Monday, claiming that the language used in Mar-a-Lago’s deed from 2002 wasn’t binding.

The “deed of development rights” outlines that “the Club and Trump intend to forever extinguish their right to develop or use the Property for any purpose other than club use”—but according to Trump, that doesn’t mean the language is legally binding.

“‘Intend’ doesn’t mean we will do it,” he specified.

The trial, which has already determined that Trump and his two sons committed fraud, hinges on whether the former president defrauded banks by overestimating the value of Mar-a-Lago as well as a handful of other properties in New York and around the world.

According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Trump’s valuation of the Florida property, which was at times as high as $739 million, violated deed restrictions as the overinflated estimate was on the basis that it could be sold as a private residence.

His continued residence at the estate, which he has listed as his official residence since decamping from the White House in 2021, also breaches the property contract, according to the attorney general office’s lawyers.

As it stands, the deed prevents the construction of new buildings and any renovations to the property that would make Mar-a-Lago habitable for a single family, MSNBC reported.

Trump insisted that nothing had been done to the property in that regard but did admit that he received tax benefits due to the estate’s status as a club rather than a residential property.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the counterparty to the deed easement, will likely have a different legal position as to whether Trump can just change his mind on the binding nature of the legal document, according to NBC News’s Lisa Rubin.

“I don’t mind leaving it as a club. In fact, if somebody wanted it, smartest thing to do, have a club and have one member and that would be the member that lives in the club. But it’s much more valuable—and we’ll show that in two weeks or five weeks or nine weeks or whenever this thing goes—that its biggest value is using it as a club,” Trump said.

Trump’s Fraud Trial Defense Falls Apart as He Claims He Was President in 2021

Donald Trump really will say anything to avoid blame.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump took the stand Monday in his New York business fraud trial and proceeded to say anything and everything to avoid shouldering responsibility.

Trump, who is accused of fraudulently inflating the value of his real estate assets, tried to use a defense that the presiding judge had already dismissed as “worthless.” Trump then decided that a solid option was to seemingly admit involvement in the fraud.

But the clearest demonstration of Trump’s (lack of) strategy came when Kevin Wallace, a lawyer from the New York attorney general’s office, asked him if he had received copies of the Trump Organization’s financial statements in 2021.

I was so busy in the White House with China, Russia, and keeping the country safe,” Trump said.

“You were not the president in 2021,” Wallace reminded him.

Trump left office in January 2021, despite efforts to stay in power. This is a basic fact that Trump should know.

Instead, he is grasping for any excuse to avoid being held accountable during the trial. Unfortunately for Trump, the trial is really just to set damages. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron already determined in September that Trump committed fraud. Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.

The lawsuit, brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that 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. He also valued Mar-a-Lago at $739 million, about 10 times its actual worth.

Judge Threatens to Throw Trump out of Court for Blabbering Too Much

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has had enough of Donald Trump using the witness stand to go on weird rants.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s rants and tangents might work on the campaign trail, but they aren’t doing him any favors in his New York bank fraud trial.

Moments after the former president took the stand for the first time in the $250 million trial, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron was caught in a loop, imploring Trump’s legal counsel to “control” the unruly witness while becoming increasingly irate himself.

“I beseech you to control him, if you can,” Engoron said, warning Trump attorney Christopher Kise that if the lawyers can’t control Trump, he will. “I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”

Engoron also threatened that Trump’s lack of cooperation could be met with judgmental consequences.

“Mr. Kise, can you control your witness because I am considering drawing a negative inference on any question he might be asked?” Engoron said.

Kise refused.

Throughout his early morning testimony, Trump skirted and dodged direct questioning, at one point trying to bait the judge by misquoting Engoron’s cited appraisal of Mar-a-Lago and at another point throwing himself a little pity party, bemoaning that the judge will rule against him “because he always rules against me.”

Trump also took a moment to announce what his lawyers had in the works, exclaiming that “as this crazy trial goes along” they will call bankers to “explain what the process is.”

“In addition to the answers being nonresponsive, they’re repetitive. We don’t have time to waste. We have one day with this witness,” Engoron said.

Oops! Trump Appears to Dig His Own Grave in Fraud Trial Testimony

Donald Trump has admitted to being personally involved in key parts of the Trump Organization’s financials.

Donald Trump
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Donald Trump seemed unable Monday to stop exposing the extent of his involvement with his company’s business fraud.

Trump took the stand in the civil fraud trial, in which he and his associates are accused of gaining more than $100 million by fraudulently inflating the value of their real estate assets. Trump immediately revealed he was involved in the wrongdoing.

First, Trump admitted that he looked at the documents stating the value of his different properties.

“I would look at them, I would see them, and I would maybe on occasion have some suggestions,” he said.

He then admitted he had lowered the value of Seven Springs, a property in Westchester County, New York. “I thought it was high,” he explained, essentially again revealing his close involvement in financial statements.

When asked about an amount that was changed on a 2017 document, Trump said he had “probably” requested the change because he felt that value was too high.

Trump’s repeated admissions are not a good look for the former president, to put it mildly. They show he was aware of the Trump Organization’s fraudulent practices, and it’ll be much harder for him to pin all the fraud on someone else. New York Times reporter Jonah Bromwich suggested that Trump seemed not to realize that his statements are “damning.”

The trial is really just to set damages in the case. Presiding Judge Arthur Engoron determined in September that Trump committed fraud. Engoron ordered that all Trump’s New York business certificates be canceled, making it nearly impossible to do business in the state and effectively killing the Trump Organization.