🌊 Mom and Dad… It’s a Speaker

Storms clobber California, author who faked her death, and House Speaker election recap

Winter may be starting to feel bleak, but just remember that we're nearly 2 months from the start of daylight savings — when the sun sets past 7 pm again — and nearly 6 months from Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Does it get any better at that? Yes, because 7/11 is both the start of Shark Week and a free Slurpee day. Happy Monday!

In today's edition:

  • Storms clobber Cali

  • Author who faked her death

  • House Speaker election recap

🔑 Key Stories

Record Rains Drench California

A series of “atmospheric rivers" continue to pour record amounts of rain on California

  • Atmospheric rivers are flowing and dense regions of atmosphere that carry water vapor. Since Christmas, a series of them has struck northern and central California

  • San Francisco just received over 10 inches of rain in a 10-day period — its wettest since 1871; much of the state has received 15+ inches since Christmas

  • As of Sunday morning, the storms had left 500,000+ people without power and killed at least 2. They come after years of drought, which had left much of California facing water shortages

Dig Deeper

  • Weather services expect above-average rainfall to continue at least through the next couple of weeks. California's governor is asking President Biden to make an emergency declaration to support California's response to the damage 

McCarthy Voted Speaker

Kevin McCarthy was voted Speaker of the House after a record 15 rounds of voting

  • The speaker — the House of Representatives’ top official — is responsible for setting the House’s legislative agenda and second-in-line for the presidency, after the vice president

  • The majority party typically elects the speaker in a single vote. But McCarthy, a Republican from California who was already the top Republican in the House, hadn’t received enough party support

  • On Friday, after 15 rounds of voting and concessions within the party, he was named speaker

Dig Deeper

  • We break down exactly what happened in today’s Wrap. Read that below!

Brazilian Government Buildings Stormed

On Sunday, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed Brazil’s presidential palace, Congress building, and Supreme Court in Brasília, Brazil's capital

  • Bolsonaro is Brazil’s former president. Last October, he narrowly lost reelection to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), who took office last week

  • Some Bolsonaro supporters don’t accept his loss and stormed the buildings in protest. Many called for military intervention to remove Lula and/or reinstate Bolsonaro 

  • Lula, who was not in the capital at the time of the storming, returned late Sunday night. Police have arrested 1200+

Dig Deeper

  • Security forces have now taken control of the buildings. Lula blamed Bolsonaro for encouraging those who stormed the buildings. Bolsonaro, who was in Florida at the time, denies any involvement with the events and criticized the events on Twitter Sunday night

Biden Makes First Border Visit

President Biden visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since becoming president

  • Between October 2021 and September 2022, a record 2.8M migrants were detained for illegally crossing the border. Last week, amid a further surge, Biden announced that unlawful Cuban, Haitian, and Nicaraguan migrants — whose arrival numbers have been climbing — will now be deported to Mexico

  • Following up on that, on Sunday he visited El Paso, Texas, one of the cities receiving the most migrants

  • “They need a lot of resources. We're going to get it for them,” Biden told reporters

Dig Deeper

  • Roca is heading to El Paso tomorrow to learn more about the situation for ourselves. Stay tuned for that content soon!

El Chapo's Son Fallout

Violence has killed 29+ people in Mexico since the arrest of El Chapo’s son last Thursday, prompting the country to pause sending him to the US

  • El Chapo, the former leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, is serving a life sentence in the US. His son, Ovidio Guzman, is a leader of the same cartel

  • Last Thursday, Mexican police arrested Guzman, sparking his cartel to conduct attacks that resulted in 29 deaths. A day later, a Mexican judge paused plans to send him to the US to face trial

  • Guzman was arrested in 2019 but was released to avoid further violence after a similar wave of attacks

Dig Deeper

  • The arrest comes days before President Biden visits Mexico City to attend the North American Leaders Summit. Analysts say the timing is unlikely a coincidence, and a way for Mexico's president to show the US he has control of Mexico's cartels, who the US accuses of funneling illegal drugs into the country

How do you Pronounce LMNT?

Together with LMNT

The correct answer is "element," and it's the electrolyte we recommend Roca Riders hydrate with for post-holiday season recovery and to start the New Year off right

  • Electrolytes are essential minerals that facilitate vital bodily functions, including the conduction of nerve impulses, hormonal regulation, nutrient absorption, and fluid balance

  • LMNT electrolytes contain just what you need – the salts – without all the other harmful additives. Just mix it with water and it’s perfect for hydrating, be it after a workout or night out

  • Other popular electrolyte drinks contain as much as 36 grams of sugar. 36 GRAMS! LMNT contains none – NONE!

  • Everyone from NBA, NFL, and NHL players to Navy Seals, moms, and dads drink it

  • You can try it totally risk-free. If you don’t like it, they’ll give you your money back – no questions asked. You have nothing to lose

Dig Deeper

  • Right now LMNT is offering Roca Riders a free sample pack with any purchase. That’s 8 single servings FREE with any LMNT order. This is a great way to try all 8 flavors or share LMNT with a salty friend

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Chuckie, crawl aside: The latest horror film to star a scary doll M3GAN raked in $45M at the global box office in its weekend debut

  • The Writing Dead: A romance author faked her death over 2 years ago, but resurrected herself this week. Her fans, who mourned her death and held fundraisers in her honor, are having mixed reactions

  • It's a.... car-meleon: BMW unveiled a new concept car that can change colors based on your mood and weather

Wildcard

  • X marks the spot: An old map that some believe indicates the location of Nazi soldier riches has sparked an amateur treasure hunt in the Netherlands

  • Avengers Laser Tag: Actor Don Cheadle said that Marvel offered him his 6-movie deal when he was at his child's laser tag party. They gave him 2 hours to decide

  • Com-et me, bro: A comet that last passed Earth 50,000 years ago may be visible to the naked eye when it soars past Earth in the coming weeks

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

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See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Last week was supposed to be Kevin McCarthy’s week. It was anything but...

On Tuesday, a new Congress convened after November’s midterm elections. The Republican Party had taken control of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, for the first time in 5 years.

That meant Republicans would hold the majority to vote one of its members to the House’s leadership position, the Speaker of the House.

The Speaker is one of the government's most powerful roles, second-in-line to the presidency after the Vice President. The Speaker largely decides how the House prioritizes its time, from passing new legislation to funding the government.

McCarthy entered the new Congress as the most likely candidate to win the job. A Republican Congressman from California, McCarthy had been in Republican House leadership for years, most recently as House Minority Leader. He has long been positioning himself to become Speaker.

The Speaker’s election is usually ceremonial: A new Congress must elect and swear in the Speaker before any other business can proceed, and it’s usually quick and done in one ballot.

But not this year.

For the first time in 100 years, no Speaker was elected on the first ballot, as McCarthy faced a rebellion from those in his own party.

While Republicans had won control of the House, the margin was thin – 9 seats – and Republicans representing a further-right faction of the party realized they held outsized influence.

If all 434 House members voted, McCarthy needed a majority – 218 votes – to win. His Republican party held 222 seats, while the Democrats held 212. That meant McCarthy could only lose 4 Republicans and still win.

But on the first ballot, 20 Republicans refused to vote for him.

Many were members of the House Freedom Caucus, generally considered the farthest-right Republican bloc in the House. Some didn’t like McCarthy personally; others said he did not give conservative viewpoints enough of a platform in the House or its agenda.

Given a chance to try to dictate how the Speaker might run the House, they banded together to refuse McCarthy the majority votes until he made concessions.

That meant lots of tense negotiations, and lots of votes.

Per the rules, until a majority goes to one candidate, voting continues. McCarthy tried hard to win over the remaining Republicans, but after 14 votes and repeated concessions, he still couldn’t get enough support.

The breakthrough finally came late Friday night – 4 days, 15 ballots, and several concessions later.

McCarthy agreed to hold votes on key conservative bills, including congressional term limits and border security, and to appoint Freedom Caucus members to influential leadership positions – as well as several other concessions.

One of the most controversial concessions allows any single member of Congress to trigger a vote of no confidence in McCarthy, or any future Speaker. Critics say that rule would make the Speaker job purely ceremonial and weaken McCarthy’s or any Speaker’s ability to govern.

McCarthy and his allies say the concessions will unite the Republicans and make him more effective in legislating.

The prolonged election is largely seen as evidence of a widening division in the Republican party between moderates and conservatives; and the initial signs of one of the most challenging Congresses any Speaker has managed.

Time will tell if the concessions are enough to keep McCarthy in charge, or if another fight is soon in his future.

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Better Italian dish? 🍝

Spaghetti: 60%Ravioli: 40%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Qs!

🧠 Final Thoughts

2 highlights from yesterday: The Bills returning their first kickoff after the Damar Hamlin tragedy for a touchdown, and baboons assaulting Roca co-founder Max Frost’s car in the soon-to-be-disclosed African country where he is traveling for the next Roca Roadtrip.

We hope you all had great weekends. See you here for more tomorrow!

Max and Max