Kevin's Not Here

Look at him dance like a horse.

Sorry there was no Tabs yesterday, but it’s been a rough week for anyone trying to write jokes that can compete with Kevin McCarthy. The 118th Congress is currently stuck in a bootloader crash loop, as the Republican majority “leader” continues to get rolled by Matt Gaetz and nineteen other members of the Insurrection Caucus. McCarthy doesn’t have enough votes to either be elected Speaker or put the House in recess, so Congress can do nothing but take the same failing Speaker vote over and over in a legislative version of the infamous “Kristen Schaal is a horse” bit. Semafor speculated about the ways this could end, but none of them seem plausible. However it ends, it’s already clear that we’ll see this same process play out again on the next debt ceiling vote in the rarely seen “first as farce, then as tragedy” reverse-Marx.1 

What do the holdouts want? Merely a package of House rules changes that effectively hand all of the Speaker’s power to them. Is that too much to ask? Perhaps, but they are fully committed to the bit. The last time the Speaker election took more than one vote was a hundred years ago in 1923, when it took a total of nine votes, and the only other time was 1855, when the 34th Congress took “two months and 133 ballots” to elect a Speaker. Did anything important happen after that? I don’t know, probably not.

Meanwhile the B-plot of the new Congress is lonely liar George Santos, surrounded by a radioactive embarrassment cloud so toxic it repels even ghouls like Paul Gosar, long thought to be entirely shameproof. In the Washington Post, Dan Zak and Ben Terris pointed out that Santos is literally Jay Gatsby’s congressman. I’ve stopped expecting reality to have any subtlety at all, so this is extremely good, to me. Santos is also wanted for fraud in Brazil.

Today in Inventions:Non-binary DDR5 RAM is finally coming to market,” and Jordan Peterson is furious. Speaking of Professor Meatcoma, he’s currently promoting a “Twitter suit” custom made for him by a tailor who appears to specialize in ugly suits for clowns. A Canadian startup invented a self-driving baby stroller. AI buggy? You bet it is. Before you freak out, The Guardian reports that “sensors on the handle ensure it is being held at all times when it is carrying an infant, to comply with safety regulations.” It’s only self-driving when empty, so it can only hurt other people’s children. And who among us hasn’t woken up at 3am plagued by the most urgent question of our time: “can home gadgets run the future of money?” Heatbit finally has an answer:

One of the prominent developers behind the bitcoin blockchain said he has asked the FBI to assist him in recovering $3.6 million worth of the digital coin that was stolen from his storage wallets on New Year’s Eve.

Happy fourteenth birthday Bitcoin! You were a giant mistake and the world would be better without you.

Shadow Assignment Editor:

Medium pivots to Mastodon. Do not open this cursèd spreadsheet. “Dogue–pronounced like vogue–is a San Francisco eatery just for dogs. And on Sundays, it offers a $75 tasting menu.” Shopify plans to make selling your purchase data to advertisers its main business. “I lived bitch.” —Jeremy Renner.

Congressional Update: as I hit send, McCarthy is losing the sixth Speaker vote. Ex-congressman and smug libertarian Justin Amash, disliked by both Republicans and Democrats, has offered his services, and political prediction markets are currently running 50/50 on the next Speaker being either Steve Scalise or a potted ficus.

Today’s Song: White Stripes, “The Air Near My Fingers”

Today in Tabs is brought to you by 7200 earmarks, five hundred tons of fentanyl, and Joe Biden’s open borders policy. Join us in the Discord (Kevin’s not here):

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