McCarthy says Gaetz ousted him as Speaker to thwart sex trafficking probe – National & International News – WED 10Apr2024


McCarthy says Gaetz ousted him as Speaker to thwart sex trafficking probe. 

Year-on-year inflation up in March to 3.5%. 

France enhancing Olympics security after ISIS threats.



McCarthy says Gaetz ousted him as Speaker to thwart sex trafficking probe

Last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) filed a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Greene filed her motion after Johnson worked with Democrats to pass a federal budget and avert a government shutdown. Greene did not specify a date when she would call a vote to vacate, and she and Johnson are reportedly meeting today

The move echoed the events that originally saw former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (who Johnson replaced) lose his gavel on Oct. 3, 2023. That time the motion was filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). McCarthy, who resigned from Congress altogether in December, was speaking at a D.C. event when he leveled a serious charge against Gaetz:

I’ll give you the truth why I’m not speaker. It’s because one person, a member of Congress, wanted me to stop an ethics complaint because he slept with a 17-year-old, an ethics complaint that started before I ever became speaker. And that’s illegal and I’m not gonna get in the middle of it. Now, did he do it or not? I don’t know. But ethics was looking at it. There’s other people in jail because of it. And he wanted me to influence it. And then you know what? So, they come out and say- because I kept government open. I’d do it all over again.

(You can see the 39-second video clip of these remarks by clicking here and scrolling down to the player).

Gaetz fired back, saying, “Kevin is a liar. Which, actually, is why he isn’t Speaker. Just ask any of the 224 people who voted to remove him.” It’s worth noting that Gaetz also opposed McCarthy’s original bid to become Speaker in January of 2023.

Whether or not McCarthy or Gaetz (or either of them) is being truthful, that House Ethics Committee investigation against Gaetz is still in progress. The chief witness against Gaetz is his former friend Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty in 2021 to charges of sex trafficking and is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence. Greenberg claims to have witnessed Gaetz having sex with an underaged girl while a member of Congress. Gaetz has been in office since 2017.

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Related: McCarthy on Johnson ouster – “I don’t think they could do it again”.


Year-on-year inflation up in March to 3.5%

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main government entity tracking inflation, year-on-year inflation was up 3.5% March 2024 (compared to prices in March 2023), up from 3.2% in February (compared to February 2023). Rises in housing and gasoline prices since the beginning of the year have been some of the biggest overall drivers. Individual metrics compared to March 2023 found some of the biggest jumps in auto insurance (up 22.2%); domestic services (up 10.9%); baby food and formula (up 9.9%); and outpatient hospital services (up 8.3%).

The new numbers have cooled hopes that the Federal Reserve might start to cut its interest rates. This is the only tool in the Fed’s tool chest, aimed at slowing the pace of borrowing and growth. However, the Fed cannot address what many economists now acknowledge as a significant driver of the price increases that most affect consumers – “greedflation”, basically corporate price-gouging.

For decades, the government allowed major industries to create monopolies, or cartels, through mergers and acquisitions. In this environment, corporations can price-gouge without losing market share. The Biden administration, through the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, has taken legal action targeting anticompetitive practices and blocking harmful mergers and acquisitions in key industries.

The White House hasn’t done a great job of touting its successes in this arena, possibly because these actions are technical, complex and take time (sometimes years) before consumers see the benefit. Despite aggressive antitrust action, spearheaded by FTC chair Lina Khan, it’s also difficult to undo the damage done by decades of lax government oversight in a single administration.



France enhancing Olympics security after ISIS threats

The Summer Olympics will take place in Paris in July and August of this year. Emboldened by its deadly attack on a Moscow rock concert, which killed over 140 people, ISIS’ online media channels have called for similar attacks at mass gatherings in France, both before and during the Olympics. France expects up to 500,000 spectators to attend the summer games.

In 2015, ten ISIS sympathizers carried out a mass shooting spree in Paris, killing 130. Until the recent event in Moscow, the Paris attack was ISIS’ deadliest attack on European soil. French authorities are not taking the threats lightly. The country has raised its threat level, and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin says he “considerably strengthened security” during a recent major soccer match in Paris.

Governments across Europe have been beefing up security around sporting events and other mass gatherings in response to the threats.

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