Angry Mom: Thanks, Joe “2022 Will Be an Electoral Bloodbath” Manchin [UPDATE-2]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. Updates at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

I have no choice but to warn you I write this as one hella angry mom. I want to put some people in time out badly.

First, a caveat and an ear-boxing:

The GOP is worthless. They have systematically refused to govern during a time of crisis. What the GOP has done instead has exponentially increased risk to America – Making America Great at Stupidity – and to the rest of the world with its anti-science, anti-vaccine, anti-mask propaganda.

They’ve fought every single damned effort to offer aid to the country. Their congressional voting record documents this for posterity as well as in state legislatures. They resist rational science-based efforts to stem the pandemic because of weak sauce excuses like “muh freedum!” which means protecting the unconstitutional right to increase others’ risk of sickness, disability, death, and loss of business.

They’re not a political party with a reasoned platform based on a sound ideology with which the country can identify. Instead it’s an organization intent on maintaining a grip on power by aggregating Know-Nothings, Do-Nothings, and Stop-Everythings, which includes stopping this country from realizing a more perfect union.

If the GOP was a sane and legitimate political party I wouldn’t have had to write this post.

That said, Senator Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden have screwed up in a big way, a couple times over. They need to be schooled for this.

~ ~ ~

Joe Manchin appeared on fucking Fox News yesterday to say he wasn’t going to support the Build Back Better Act which has already been passed in the House.

If that wasn’t a deliberate in-your-face “Fuck You!” to Biden, the Senate Democrats, his West Virginia constituents, and the entire country, I don’t know what is.

Not NBC, not CBS, not ABC. Not NPR, not even a local West Virginia news station.

He went to Fox Home of Demoralizatsiya News.

And he was able to do so because Schumer and Biden allowed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (a.k.a. Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework – BIF) to be delinked from passage of the BBB, putting the BIF first and BBB second in order to obtain Manchin’s support.

Except the BIF is the only thing Manchin wanted to the benefit of his corporate overlords. BBB gives money to those people he doesn’t trust, like most of the constituents of his state, the second poorest state in the country.

Can’t have that.

Ask Adam Jentleson about it. He does a better job in this Twitter thread explaining how this negotiation was fucked up all to hell.

Don’t ask the progressive House Dems about this situation; you should already have been able to hear them warning before this all went down that Manchin couldn’t be trusted. Their fury is righteous.

And I absolutely mean righteous because there’s no goddamned way in hell someone like Ady Barkan, who has fought so vigorously for American’s health care, should have to worry about services he needs as he fights a mortal illness.

There’s also no way that the roughly 10% of Americans who are diabetics should have to continue to worry about coming up with $1000 per month to pay for insulin which costs a few bucks to make. They should be rejoicing about a $35 month price instead, but no – Manchin fucked them over, and Chuck and Joe failed to see the fucking coming at us.

Don’t get me started on the other fuck-ups like the Child Tax Credit, about which one tweeter wrote, “2022 will be a Electoral bloodbath” (sic).

Imagine this happening to a household which has had reduced hours, wage cuts, or has been on minimum wage, or dealing with unpaid time off due to COVID over the last year. Just do the simple math of two young parents trying to manage this on 40 hours a week at prevailing local minimum wage.

People have to pay bills NOW, and in January, and in February, in spite of work disruptions and increased cost of daycare and other childcare expenses…they can’t just float everything until this is fixed or the credit is paid out after they file 2022 tax returns.

Also extremely unhelpful is Biden’s persistent refusal to use his executive power to forgive student loans in part or in whole.

Parents of young children with student loans are doubly screwed by the failures of both the White House and the Senate Leader. And yet there’s head scratching about Biden’s weak approval rating going into 2022 especially with younger voters.

Why the hell should Millennials and Gen Z turn out to vote when they can do the math and they know the Democratic Party hasn’t delivered for them – especially as they go into another COVID hurricane thanks to Omicron?

~ ~ ~

Look, the BBB is an economic stimulus package. Every single household saddled with burdens BBB could alleviate would be able to participate more fully in the economy.

Some of that “economic anxiety” the media hyped up as one reason behind Trump’s election in 2016 could be partially relieved.

Forgiving student loans is likewise an economic stimulus targeted at a segment of the population which is most likely to spend income immediately, locally, and on goods and services which propel our economy.

This is what Joe Manchin failed to recognize and couldn’t explain to his constituents AND his corporate overlords because he’s a selfish dumb ass.

The BBB is economic stimulus — this is the justification for Schumer and Biden to approach moderate GOP members like Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) to obtain their votes (Collins owes women this, big time).

Other people have been explaining it quite capably:

Yet Manchin refuses to accept the assist.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs downgraded its estimates of U.S. economic growth yesterday.

Which leads me to ask one rather important question, given Manchin’s announcement on goddamned Fox News and Goldman Sachs’ downgrade on a Sunday.

Who knew about Manchin’s decision and shorted the market?

Heaven help you if you did, Manchin.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 2:50 PM 20-DEC-2021 —

Thanks to Kendall Brown for saving us a click so we didn’t have to read all the revolting Manchin-sympathetic journalism to get to this bit:

I’m even more convinced something shady happened than I was before if Manchin is going to blame incivility by the White House as a reason to walk away from the BBB.

Who didn’t know Manchin was the hold up? We all of us knew it, it wasn’t a surprise. The White House naming him as the lone Democratic holdout only confirmed what we’d known and what the House progressive caucus was worried about — that a single Democrat would be the sole reason the bill would fail, and look, it was one of the two senators most-likely-to-DINO-tank-a-bill.

Doesn’t he make enough from his other investments to take care of his family if he’s so worried about them being included in harassment because he’d rather tank the entire BBB and hurt Americans in the process? Maybe sell your Maserati, Manchin, and buy a couple security people.

Jesus Christ, what a whiny baby he is.

Rep. Jayapal is now looking at executive action as a Plan B to realizing key components in the BBB.

What a pity Manchin didn’t take a hint from all the feedback he got from average Americans to simply agree to pass the bill and be a hero instead of self owning by appearing to flip flop on his demands throughout the course of the negotiations in full sight of the public who could see he was the bottlenecking gatekeeper.

He looks even more weak and pathetic having to go to yet another sympathetic outlet to make his non-existent case.

UPDATE-2 — 11:50 AM 21-DEC-2021 —

There have been rumbles over the last 24 hours about the BBB possibly being revamped if not revived or resuscitated. But Manchin’s homies have also taken issue with his position on BBB:

The West Virginia Dems had done a fair amount of organizing recently which showed up in polling about the BBB:

Hard to get around these numbers which show bipartisan support among constituents for BBB.

116 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Disclosure: The BBB meant that my spouse, an insulin-dependent diabetic, wouldn’t have to pay $1000 a month for insulin while in the Medicare donut. He’d only pay $35 a month under the BBB, which would be a blessing since his other necessary meds run more than $600 a month.

    At 65 he’s semi-retired because of health care costs; as long as health care expenses particularly medications are so high, he won’t be able to fully retire.

    We have savings we can use, but I can’t imagine how younger people especially families are dealing with this apart from rationing medication and health care.

    What Manchin has done may mean death for some Americans who aren’t eligible for Medicare or other public support. Just infuriating how one person the rest of this country didn’t vote for has been allowed to wield this axe.

    • JMNY says:

      My dad is in the same boat regarding insulin. He’s on Medicare, semi-retired with a fixed income (he quit his part-time job because he’s in Missouri and his company did absolutely ZILCH to protect their workers from COVID) and yet still has to spend hundreds of dollars on a drug that should cost a few bucks. It’s utterly maddening. I’m sorry you and your spouse are going through that.

      • Rayne says:

        It’s just so bloody frustrating. And to hear so many morons complaining about people not wanting to work? This is a big chunk of the workforce — something like +2 million workers at/near retirement age — simply stepping away because the risks were too steep to remain employed to pay their medical bills. They’ll tighten their belts and choke it out at home.

        Many will come back to work if we ever get COVID under control, but without BBB aid there might not be enough to keep them going until then.

  2. MB says:

    Manchin’s only use by identifying as a Democrat is that allows Kamala Harris to break ties on legislation he deigns to vote for. Other than that, he simply acts as a Stealth Democrat beholden to GOP and big business while pretending to be a nice guy. If that’s not the very definition of hypocrisy, then I don’t know what is.

  3. Greg Hunter says:

    While I get the anger I am a convinced we are crazy for “investing” in a huge military to the detriment of our populace as Ike so eloquently predicted, I am concerned with the huge amount of debt we have plus unfunded pension liabilities that I understand why Biden doesn’t write it off. Explain to me how that write off doesn’t risk an overburdened debt system and I will buy into it?

    In addition ole Manchin could jump ship and we will lose any shot at keeping the a SCOTUS seat and approving Judiciary nominees.

    Just my take on things.

    • Rayne says:

      Go read Bharat Ramamurti’s thread on the benefits of student debt cancellation. You’re expecting some of these folks to make a choice right now of paying their student loans, their childcare provider, or buy insulin and yet you’re worried about an “overburdened debt system” which didn’t flinch when it absorbed Trump’s tax credit?

      The same “overburdened debt system” which also didn’t flinch coughing up tens of billions more for defense spending than Biden asked for?

      Bah. Weak sauce argument.

      Manchin could do what Lieberman did — that’s the more likely scenario. He wouldn’t win his state as a weak GOP.

    • P J Evans says:

      Congress never seems to have problems increasing the DOD budget, even when they don’t know where the money is going. It’s a major part of the budget, and almost as big as all of BBB. And a lot of it goes to stuff that doesn’t work/has been under development for years with no visible progress.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s not a problem for a government that issues its own currency and debt. The money will be recycled promptly into basic commodities and into keeping families whole. The bigger issues are its value as a priority and as a model for future government conduct. Banks would hate it for that reason, because it benefits families over them. The argument is straight out of William Jennings Bryan and Robber Baron days from 150 years ago.

      • P J Evans says:

        Immediate benefit (money to banks) instead of longer-term benefit (money to people, going into stores before getting to banks).

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      What is the 10 year bond rate? Like 1.5% up from a steady 0% over the last few years? We’re fine. We should be borrowing a fuck-ton of money and investing it into our society.

      • Sonso says:

        This. Although two logical steps is one too many for the conservative (hive) mind. Since even the most obvious steps to general betterment aren’t going to happen legislatively, Prayapal is correct in advocating for executive action (yesterday, I might add).

  4. Dopeyo says:

    Are there any 2 R senators who could be persuaded to cross the aisle and vote for BBB? What would it take to bring Murkowski and Collins to jesus?
    BBB and voting rights hang in the balance, and with them, our 2-party democracy, I fear.
    Asking for my kids…..

    • gmoke says:

      Murkowski has some sand but Collins only has a wrinkled brow of concern. Depending on Susan Collins is depending on a thin, but extremely self-righteous, reed.

  5. Peterr says:

    Senator Joe Manchin says that he can’t explain the Build Back Better bill to West Virginians.

    I think this says less about BBB or West Virginians, and much more about Joe Manchin.

    If your basic assumptions are “anything addressing climate change is evil” and “ordinary West Virginians can’t be trusted with more money,” then yeah, I can see where extolling the virtues of BBB would be tough.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Manchin can only get a dozen or two onto his yacht in the Potomac at one time, and most of them aren’t from West Virginia, and it seems to so exhaust his powers of explanation that he has nothing left for constituents.

    • dude says:

      My read of Manchin has always been that he simply aspires to be a latter day Robert Byrd and , in so doing, elevate the profile of West Virginia as important. I know that probably sounds more insulting to West Virginians that it does to Manchin (and I apologize to my many friends there), but I really do think Manchin has no greater ambition to be spoken of in the same breath and reverence in W Va as Byrd.

        • Theodora30 says:

          Manchin said he had his reasons — reasons he clearly wanted to keep private — and that the people he was negotiating with, make that stringing along, were well aware of them. He is now freaked out that after he violated their trust they are telling the media that Manchin objected to extending the child tax credits because he thinks parents will use the money to buy drugs. He also objected to the paid leave because people will use it to go hunting. Clearly he has utter disdain for the people of WVa that he represents. (NBC says they have confirmed that report.)
          The media needs to put a spotlight on this telling fact even though it angers Manchin and hurts he feelings.

    • Leoghann says:

      “What Senator Manchin meant to say” is that he can’t explain BBB to West Virginians in a way that they wouldn’t give him hell for not voting for it.

      Extra points if you remember where the quote came from.

    • What Constitution? says:

      What I find most revealing in Manchin’s statement that he “can’t explain the Build Back Better bill to West Virginians” is how utterly demeaning that statement is to his constituents in West Virginia. He isn’t saying that he personally doesn’t understand the bill, he’s saying his constituents aren’t smart enough to do so. Think about that. Manchin should be confronted over the sheer insensitivity of his justification.

      Once went to a banquet where an awardee started his acceptance speech with a joke about West Virginia that went something like this: “The only thing ever invented in West Virginia was the toothbrush — which I know must be true because if it had been invented in another state it would be called a “teethbrush”. Nobody laughed. But Manchin believes his state is so full of morons that he’s unable to communicate the substance of this bill to get through their limited capacities to understand things like medical care, starving, child safety, environmental protection, and certainly not that offsetting spending commitments with rational tax code revenue enhancements makes sense. That’s all on Manchin, it’s not on his constituents.

  6. Hug h says:

    I’ve been an Independent Voter my entire life (mostly because I agree with George Washington on the inherent dangers of Political Parties, see Washington’s chillingly prescient Farewell Address). That said over time I’ve increasingly voted almost exclusively for Democratic Candidates as the formerly grand old party has completed its descent into a full blown white nationalist “Krischin” cult lead by a transparently obvious pathological orange conman.

    Lately I’ve had this sinking feeling about Democratic Party Leadership’s inability to rise to the seriousness of the current occasion. Case in point- Nancy Pelosi’s statement last week in support of allowing members of Congress to continue to own Individual Stocks. As a Retired Investment Professional I’m completely dismayed by the flat footedness of her position.

    Beginning almost two decades ago Investment Professionals (in almost any capacity) were severely restricted from trading individual securities and for good reason. Members of Congress are no different. The reality is this, Elected Officials SHOULD be allowed to own individual securities ONLY via Managed Investments, ETF’s or other vehicles over which they have no influence, control or discretion. That Nancy Pelosi doesn’t clearly see (or worse, selfishly chooses to ignore) the conflict of interest inherent in members of Congress being allowed to have discretion over ownership of Individual Securities is… astonishing.

    I’m not sure of the right path forward, but our Democracy hangs in the balance and DemocratIc Leadership seems incapable or unwilling of rising to the occasion.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t like any elected official owning stock when they are in a position to regulate the corporations issuing the stock. It’s a fundamental conflict of interest.

      That said, I disagree with two points: first, Pelosi handled the issue poorly and it looks bad because she’s wealthy. But she’s defending people who are essentially her employees because they, unlike the average American, must maintain two residences to do their jobs, and it’s fucking expensive to live in the DC area. What we pay them isn’t enough for two residences especially if they have a family, especially if their primary in-district home is in an urban/suburban area. How do we fix this? It has to be done at the same time we regulate the investments they are permitted to hold.

      IMO, we seize the old U.S. Post Office in DC which had become the Trump Hotel and turn it and another building or two into dorms for members of Congress — for starters. Second, we establish 2-3 index funds in which they can transfer their investments, and we make those same index funds available to the public through a U.S. Postal Bank. Nothing fancy, no bells or whistles, no day trading. They have to eat the same dogfood they create for average Americans who can’t afford to bank through commercial banks.

      • P J Evans says:

        Sounds good to me. I’ve thought for years that providing apts for Congress would be good – especially if the delegations are scattered through the building[s], instead being close together.

  7. mospeck says:

    Don’t forget manchin’s daughter is epi pen All Star girl. GOP is going all in with the transnational crooks and the putin man. But from their team’s perspective it is rather logical, since they care only about the $ moola boola $ and rock star persona power, and just don’t give a flying fuck about the regular joe and the world in general.
    manchin nogoodnick extraordinaire, undercover agent/poster boy for putin and his transnational oligarchs.
    Still, bet against the manchin man and going all in on the kids.

    vladman, have you ever felt your perfect teeth meet Chicago concrete? btw goodluck with your 35% vax rate and the Sputnick V up against the omicron and sending the tanks into the Ukraine.. goodluck with confidence and don’t see how you’re gonna stop the train. just go ask the dust for any answers.
    Note vid Cf7b7Leqg00 does not show up on the great goog. What a shocker.

    • Sonso says:

      And don’t forget that Russia is a hot-bed of tuberculosis (highest rate in the world). That the infection in Russia isn’t a front page story is another cover for authoritarian dysfunction. The Ukraine invasion will be another pretext to hide the health crisis in Russia.

  8. earlofhuntingon says:

    The economics of college and grad school today are completely lopsided compared to when Joe Biden went to school. When he went to the private Syracuse University School of Law, he could work summers and pay tuition and fees with the proceeds. The same labor today would about pay for textbooks and the mandatory, online “supplements,” that were unheard of in Joe’s day. His undergrad at Delaware was virtually free.

    A guy who fought so hard in 2005 to turn bankruptcy law on its head – to reward credit card companies and punish students and other family borrowers – should know what student loan forgiveness means. Biden would not be rewarding the irresponsible – who already have a lot more skin in the game that he or Joe Manchin does. He would not be giving a freebie to those who hadn’t earned it, or be giving away money to the rich. The vast majority of borrowers, for example, are poor and middle income.

    Biden would be making an investment in youth, families, and the future, which is the whole point of his and his party’s legislative program. He would be prioritizing people ahead of banks – which inexplicably have been given high-profit, risk-free business in administering student loans. As Rayne points out, “forgiveness” would be a massive boon to an economy still reeling from Covid – and about to do so again. The money would be immediately recycled into payments for rent, food, and transportation – and credit card companies, Joe’s favorite donors from his legislative days. It would take one of the monkeys off the backs of young people and give them hope for a future that the GOP and unresponsive Dems are rapidly turning into a mud.

  9. bawiggans says:

    It was evident from the moment that Joe Biden was declared the winner that the person who would hold the most power in determining the legislative production of the new administration would be Joe Manchin. Sho ‘nough, he spent the last year hamming it up, doing his phony Hamlet number and, give it up, he did manage to snooker Biden and Schumer into giving him his only real interest, the infrastructure bill. Now, he’s strangled the rest of his own party’s legislative agenda with everyone watching, on Fox no less. (I know that there are varieties of human that enjoy provoking impotent rage in others and I don’t actually know if he is one of those or if he is another kind that just doesn’t care). Anyway, he’s still got everyone’s attention and I am curious as to what he will do for a second act. Maybe he will just drop some new hints after a bit that he might be open to this or that piece of the old BBB, see if Joe and Chuck are still biting. That could be amusing. Or maybe a switch of parties would be a hoot, but then he’d get swallowed by the black hole, Republican Senate caucus and never be seen again. Oh, oh, I know, open an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run. How about that? What to do, what to do…?

    • P J Evans says:

      It wasn’t evident before the end of January. The media haven’t been helping us – they’ve been increasing the size of Manchin’s ego.

      • bawiggans says:

        It was evident as soon as the Georgia senate races were decided and the Democrats had only 50 seats. Manchin was always going to be the weak link for the party. He had been making ominous noises for quite a while before the election. Sinema was a bit more difficult to figure ahead of time, but she, too, presented as a possible joker in the deck. Interesting that neither of them has been willing to explain the noble causes they fight for.

  10. JMNY says:

    Something that’s bothered me since Manchin started voicing his opposition to infrastructure and voting reform: When those Koch brother operatives and McConnell’s aides were recorded on a phone call a few months back discussing how to torpedo infrastructure and voting rights bills, and lamenting that the bills were too popular, across party lines, to kill them with negative messaging, the Koch operatives said they’d have to go “under the dome” and use their contacts in Congress. They must have been talking about Manchin. All the Republicans were already in obstruction mode, and Manchin (and possibly Sinema) were the only “swingable” votes.

    What makes me the most nervous about this is that it points to the possibility that Manchin, who will have a difficult time winning re-election again with a (D) by his name in a state that’s already very red and getting more so by the day, might have already decided to jump ship from the Democratic Party. He may not go full Republican, but he could be an Independent and caucus with whichever party seems to offer him the most clout going forward. All this is just my own conjecture, but it’s felt to me for a while that his reactions to criticism of his positions (“the progressives are being mean and have unreasonable demands,” “Bernie hurt my feelings writing an op-ed in my local paper” etc.) have all looked like he’s building a case for leaving the “extremist Democratic Party” based on drummed up outrage about how there’s no room anymore for “moderates” or bipartisanship, and dribble like that. I think that if he does ultimately switch party affiliation, it will have been decided months ago, but he’ll pretend it was a recent decision driven by the response to him ostensibly voting his conscience. I hope I’m wrong, because we still need him for voting rights, judicial confirmations, control of the chamber, etc. I wish I could trust that he’s not that deeply corrupted, but it’s getting hard. In any case, thanks for this post. It’s nice to that read so many of my own thoughts and feelings are shared on a site I appreciate so much.

    • John B. says:

      yep, I agree…in fact he made some noises in that direction in his most recent statement, wondering if there was still a home for “moderates” like him in the Democratic party…which is why everyone has been handling him with kid gloves…

        • MB says:

          Calling Manchin a “moderate” is pernicious mis-labelling. At best, he’s a “conservative Democrat”. He seems to me to be more in the mold of a stereotypical pre-2010 GOP politician. He’s worried about his constituents using gov’t stimulus money to go on hunting trips and to buy drugs – that’s straight out of Ronald Reagan’s 1980s playbook, denigration of “welfare queens”…

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Will Bunch on the necessity of eliminating student loan debt – and of Biden keeping his campaign promises to cut it back.

    The Netherlands is in the process of doing just that, reversing its experiment with student debt and reverting to direct grants. A small example of sanity. The UK, on the other hand, more dominated by the City, is doing the opposite.

    Student debt is, in fact, a massive subsidy for banks – who add no value in administering loans for exorbitant fees – and a needless yoke on the shoulders of tomorrow. The massive growth in student debt parallels the equally massive cutbacks by GOP legislatures in their support for higher education – starting with Reagan’s 1960s California – in an effort to privatize public education, to muzzle so-called radical students, and to force their noses onto the business and military grindstone. Lewis Powell even wrote a memo about it, in the days before rightwing billionaires organized their own think tanks.

    • Out of Nowhere says:

      Love Bunch but he’s simply wrong on the student debt issue. Unless the high cost of education is addressed first, this issue is certain to recur (in fact, will grow with the encouragement of Washington) as today’s and tomorrow’s students continue to borrow to a fare-thee-we’ll. There are a number of collateral issues associated with this that will exacerbate the societal divide. And, what do we do with a generation that now will have learned that leverage has no risk? I’ve read some writings that even suggest this debt forgiveness should have no income tax consequences piling bad policy upon bad policy.

      • bmaz says:

        What, did you cut and paste this out of a Joe Manchin fuck the common people statement?

        And, what do we do with a generation that now will have learned that leverage has no risk? I’ve read some writings that even suggest this debt forgiveness should have no income tax consequences piling bad policy upon bad policy.

        What a load of holier than thou crap.

        • Out of Nowhere says:

          That’s a silly response to a serious issue and degrades the opportunity for an interesting exchange. If that’s your best then I overestimated you.

    • Out of Nowhere says:

      Love Bunch but he’s simply wrong on the student debt issue. Unless the high cost of education is addressed first, this issue is certain to recur (in fact, will grow with the encouragement of Washington) as today’s and tomorrow’s students continue to borrow to a fare-thee-well. There are a number of collateral issues associated with this that will exacerbate the societal divide. And, what do we do with a generation that now will have learned that leverage has no risk? I’ve read some writings that even suggest this debt forgiveness should have no income tax consequences piling bad policy upon bad policy.

      • P J Evans says:

        So people who can’t get out from under an incredibly high debt should have no recourse whatsoever?
        F that.

        • Out of Nowhere says:

          Never said they can’t get out from under the debt. I only said the proposalto forgive it is not a workable answer. There are a number of intermediate solutions but outright forgiveness is the wrong way through it.

  12. BobCon says:

    As always, it’s important to add in the role of the press, which never called BBB the insulin bill, or the family support bill, or anything positive, simply the $X trillion bill, often in concert with their endless drumming on inflation.

    The NY Times’ utter failure in response to Trump’s blatant antisemitic rant this weekend, including his antisemitic attack on the Times itself, is ominous.

    He is always testing the resolve of his enemies, and the Times wrote nothing. He literally tried to kill the press corps by blatantly violating Covid protocols at the White House, and found them no more upset than by the later news that Biden would spend weekends out of DC in Delaware.

    He has tested whether the Times will wake up to his fanning the flames of antisemitism and promoting attacks on the Times itself, and reinforced that their state of denial is intact.

    He needs them in the coming years to always run interference for him. As the 1/6 Committee reports more and more chilling news, and prosecutions continue, he needs the Time to minimize, to write off justice as partisanship, and always muddy the waters. As vaccination continues, he needs the Times to constantly write off the accomplishments, and as gas prices fall he needs the Times to pretend it hasn’t happened.

    He aimed his arrow of antisemitism straight at AG Sulzberger’s heart to see if the institution would shrink away, and found that yes, indeed, they will continue to be in the palm of his hand, as they always have.

  13. OldTulsaDude says:

    Manchin’s constituents are the people of ruby-red West Virginia- and they watch Fox, not CBS. It is miraculous that as a Democrat he still has a seat. I prefer Manchin right now to having McConnell back as majority leader .

    • P J Evans says:

      Schumer could help by taking him off all the committees having to do with energy, coal, and health and welfare. Since it’s now obvious he’s only interested in his own welfare.

  14. madwand says:

    Back a few months ago, commentators were urging Dems to decouple BIF from BBB as the only chance of meeting deadlines mostly imposed by the press in order to avoid the whole thing from being voted down. Some were even apoplectic over it. Told my brother at the time that when they do that then the progressive agenda will be torpedoed. I’m not prescient and I’m not the only one who thought that, but obviously there were a few progressives prior to and after the decoupling who had real concerns and rightly so. My son told me of a graph where millennials and Gen Z support for Biden has tanked over college debt, which probably accounts for some of his poor ratings and regaining their trust is right now problematic. Future prospects for Democrats may be going drastically downhill among the young as AOC warned this morning on Morning Joe. It’s not that they will go Republican, they just won’t vote, and so much for coalitions where promises aren’t kept.

    Manchin going to Fox rather than any other outlet just shows where his elite influence is coming from. Pretty well made it clear with that move. Now commentators are starting to urge further accommodation with Manchin in an attempt to salvage anything, just like they did before decoupling. IMHO if they are going to separate out parts of the bill to accommodate Manchin they can do it after they bring the whole bill to the floor and let the ax fall where it will. Make Manchin vote it down and be accountable is the only way. Accommodation in this case has already failed, doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result, ie accommodating Manchin further is a fools game.

    Its also very possible that Democrats don’t have the votes for the voting reforms legislation, in this case Sinema may vote no to kill it while Manchin supports some of it. At any rate it’s dicey and time for Democrats to roll the dice.

    • dude says:

      “Make Manchin vote it down and be accountable is the only way. “—-I agree that he should be made to vote against the whole bill. If I were vindictive, I would then take every part of the bill Manchin objects to and bring to the floor piece-at-a-time to make him vote against each part too. That would be a glorious waste of the Democrats’ time and wouldn’t help the country much, but it would isolate Manchin further and show him for what he is.

  15. Peterr says:

    Politico has a piece up on what may come next: “Reeling liberals ready to ditch Manchin as rest of Dems hope for a deal.” Plenty of facepalm moments here, especially after the long ride — the really long ride — that Joe has taken the whole Democratic party on over the last year.

    A couple of quotes:

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated Monday that she was not abandoning Biden’s bill, which narrowly passed the House just before Thanksgiving. Manchin could be moved, she argued.

    “We will not let this opportunity pass and we will make that case,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at an event in San Francisco. “I have confidence that Sen. Manchin cares about our country, and at some point very soon, we can take up the legislation. I’m not deterred at all.”

    Manchin could be moved? Manchin cares about our country? I think Nancy is assuming facts not in evidence.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed in a letter to his caucus Monday that he would still hold a floor vote on a version of the House-passed social spending bill, despite Manchin’s blatant opposition.

    And I’ll bet it was a sternly worded letter.

    Not all Democrats were so quick to write off Manchin. They compared his Sunday outburst to a press conference he held last month to warn he might not support the final bill, depicting the latest twist as less than a final word.

    As my mom was fond of saying to me and my siblings when we were kids, “Which part of ‘no’ do you not understand?” Going on Fox to do this was putting that “no” in all caps, italics, and bold.

    Unless a sitting GOP senator from a state with a Democratic governor suddenly dies, Long Ride Joe will continue to jerk around his gullible colleagues, especially over anything related to climate or giving money/benefits to poor people.

  16. Judy says:

    It appears Senator Manchin didn’t appreciate being called out by the White House for being the hold up in passing the bill
    It seems he doesn’t think his constituents can be trusted to make good decisions with extra money from the child tax credit.

  17. OldTulsaDude says:

    A good friend with Sicilian roots once said his mother taught him there is what is right, then there is what is real and real is what you have to deal with. Same with politics.

  18. SaltinWound says:

    I don’t think keeping the bills coupled would have gotten Manchin to vote for BBB. That’s why they were uncoupled. The alternative was getting nothing passed. There was no magic strategy.

    • bmaz says:

      Maybe, but undoubtedly not. But it sure as hell would have flushed Manchin out earlier, and that would have been extremely valuable. The alternative was not “getting nothing passed”, the alternative was to have it all known far earlier.

      And, this is beyond critical because the Senate leadership, read the Democrats, had two, and only two, chances at using the 51 vote reconciliation process this year. They used one, but now Manchin has jerked them off to where they left the second opportunity unused. This was an intentional move by Manchin, and it most certainly was not harmless as you suggest.

      • graham firchlis says:

        The “year” in question is a fiscal one, not calendar. As I understand the parliamentarian an additional reconciliation bill, such as BBB, is an option until FY2021 expires in September 2022. Dems will have two more for FY2022, before end of term.

        Deep breaths, BBB is far from dead. I’ll have more to say in a bit but my booster awaits, first things first.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, sure. The all powerful Dems are going to jam through TWO reconciliation bills after September 2002. What are you smoking? You do understand when Congresses start and stop, right?

          • graham firchlis says:

            Not a fortune teller, no idea what next fall will bring.

            I simply pointed out facts, the proximal of which is that reconciliation 2.0 will sustain until the end of FY2021 – September 2022. Manchin hasn’t made it disappear.

  19. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. I called Manchin’s office yesterday and left a message stating as a public servant he was elected to improve people’s live.

    Manchin states, “If I can’t go home and explain it (BBB) to the people of WV, I can’t vote for it.” However, he voted for a military budget over 700 billion dollars. Explain that to the people of WV.

    “Politics isn’t about BIG money or power games; it’s about the improvement of people’s lives.” Paul Wellstone

    • madwand says:

      You may say that politics is the art of making people happy, but I prefer a working definition of politics in America, “as elites mobilizing motivating or manipulating lower class energies for upper class priorities.” Elites can’t all by themselves vote in their priorities, so they have to have rubes. Political narratives enable them to gain support with the population at large for their priorities and rubes are used to bolster these priorities. For instance, the opposition to abortion is a political narrative created in the 70s that mobilizes and motivates the right to oppose abortion and also to be part of the overall Republican narrative. We are seeing it come to fruition now in laws such as Texas. We have to realize it is not about abortion, it’s about power. Whether or not these people realize they were manipulated into this opposition can be debated.

      Joe Manchin, part of the political class, whether he realizes it or not is a rube of elites (Kochs perhaps) who don’t want to pay for BBB so have an interest in killing it. As the owner of a coal business in WV Manchin may even have a vested interest in killing it. Regardless his appearance on the Fox venue to me indicates he has caved in to powerful people on the right who oppose BBB.

      Regardless we are in a “what are we going to do now moment”. Let’s put the complete bills on the floor and flush out the likes of Joe Manchin, force him to vote no, and any others who might be lurking.

    • Solo says:

      Sen. Paul Wellstone! Thank you for calling back the voice, Jenny! Many progressives like him are now working with that same steady eye on the people – ALL the people and not some of them. The Senator from Minnesota whose plane was crashed about 70 miles from my home, the Senator who always reminded us: “We all do better when we all do better.”

    • Solo says:

      Sen. Paul Wellstone! Thank you for calling back the voice, Jenny! The Senator from Minnesota whose plane was crashed about 70 miles from my home, the Senator who always reminded us: “We all do better when we all do better.”

  20. Jonf says:

    Manchin seems to have really torn up the Democratic Party. Someone said he may become an independent. Should he use that to caucus with the republicans he will give McConnell the chance to select another Republican to the Supreme Court and or to refuse to allow a vote should one retire. Plus whatever the Dems want would then be gone forever. Is this a real concern?

    Manchin has pointed to at least two other issues that I have not seen discussed. The first is using money for drugs. How real is that? The second is inflation. I know the Dems say it is all paid for but does that mean you can thereby stop inflation. It doesn’t seem so to me. Pay for it all you want and prices could still go up. It all depends on demand for the product or service, no?

    Finally instead of throwing him out is there another deal to be made here? I don’t like the current state of affairs any better than others but I don’t think we have gone far enough down this road. BBB is far too important to simply give up on or shout at Manchin over. Does the man have a point?

    • Rayne says:

      The poor will definitely use money on drugs — like their insulin, their other diabetes medications, their cholesterol-reducing medications, their cancer therapies, whatever drugs are used to treat black lung, their anti-anxiety and depression meds, so on.

      Yeah, the poor are going to use money on drugs. Maybe they’d need fewer drugs if they weren’t so stressed out about money.

      The inflation question is bullshit. It’s a right-wing talking point. Because of short-term spikes in prices due to supply disruptions which people naively/stupidly throw money at, there’s the appearance of inflation, but it’s not long term. Manchin also conveniently ignores the record-breaking profits corporations are bringing in even as they whine about labor shortages and supply chain problems. In other words, so-called inflation is really price gouging and as a member of Congress Manchin should be investigating that instead of using it to piss on his constituents and the country.

      The point Manchin has is on the top of his head. Fuck him.

      EDIT: Ah jeebus, I’m wrong — the drugs on which poor West Virginians will spend their money are called Food, Utilities, Shelter. I must try these some time soon.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        With bells on. Propaganda 101, the KUBARK manual, for example, calls for smearing your opponents. Illicit sex is often the first choice, especially with minors, regardless of whether it’s true. (If it’s partly true, exaggerate the hell out of it.) Next on the list is drug abuse or dealing, which also has a strong racist component. Manchin only steals from the best.

        • Jonf says:

          Always possible he is just lying about all of it. If so he can go to hell but only after he approves something and passes voting rights.

      • Jonf says:

        It is definitely not only poor people, and maybe not much at all. I know a real family banked the money and spent it on drugs and he is pretty well off. He nearly killed himself and has been laid up for a month and lost his job. And now it appears his family. And some allegedly take days off for hunting trips. So there is that. I have no idea what the incidence is but our friend seems to think it important. Might be nice to find out rather than scream at Manchin. It might help get him to yes. Or take his advice and limit the payments to working people.

        yeah I’ve heard all about inflation and it is going to disappear like a rainbow or something. Meanwhile the fed, who also believed that bullshit, is now planning as many a four rate hikes next year after the market went nuts based on most recent wholesale data. ( you can look it up) Wonder how that affects Joe Sixpack. The zero rate we have now is best. And low inflation. Convince Joe and we all win or say screw you joe, ……

        So let’s keep on making fun of ole Joe until he bolts to the other side and we get another Republican Supreme and, oh yeah, fuck voting rights. Fat chance of Dems holding congress if the voting rights passed in Trump states holds up.But that’s pessimistic since Joe B is so popular right?

        • bmaz says:

          Screw that. You are seriously going to roll in here and pitch that drugs and hunting nonsense? And then shit on Biden because the GOP is blocking voting rights reform? Are you getting paid for this garbage?

          • Jonf says:

            Drugs and hunting are real, how real I don’t know but that story is about a neighbor. Would it hurt to find out the incidence and present it to Manchin or better to say screw you. It is not limited to poor people if at all. And could we not help him out by restricting it just a little.

            Voting rights could be passed with a simple majority if everyone was on board. You don’t really expect the republicans to supply ten votes do you? Maybe you do. Well here’s an idea get Collins to vote for BBB and kill the filibuster. Or have a real conversation with Manchin.

            I like Joe B and think he is becoming the bad end of a joke with his approval ratings. I am rather fed up with several so called progressives in the House, as much a Manchin.

            • bmaz says:

              So, you have proven that you do not have jack, and are just blithely regurgitating nonsense and socio-economically bigoted talking points. Again, are you paid for this tripe?

              • Jonf says:

                Your nonsense could kill BBB. And unlike your tripe I am not paid for this. Just my opinion, kick me outta here if you don’t like and can’t stand the heat.

                • bmaz says:

                  Lol, I have never been paid one cent for anything here. Never. But, hey, thanks for the Manchin cheering. It is really swell.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Anecdotal history is an oxymoron. Reminds me of George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven: “I know a guy who knows a guy.”

          Rayne has pointed out numerous times the facts about drug abuse in poor states, about which Joe Manchin has done fuck all. It has got nothing to do with governmental subsidies to families and more to do with governmental neglect and employer abuse.

        • Rayne says:

          You think a few cases is the entirety of the state of West Virginia? And you’re blaming a drug abuser for Manchin’s perception, an addict who has most likely become addicted by using Sacklers’ toxic bullshit, which, by the way, Manchin should be addressing as a senator like his cohort.

          This household also takes days off to go hunting. The week of opening day here in Michigan it’s damned hard to find people working in some industries because they take vacation to go into the woods for firearm season.

          You reek of bias and a gross inability to do the math. The problem is that two more Democratic senators weren’t elected in 2018 and 2020, not that Manchin is on the bubble and might take offense like Joe Lieberman did in 2009-2010.

          • Jonf says:

            I reek of bias and gross inability to do math. you say. Nice. That was my best class in college. I have a few choice words for you but I will hold them for now.

            • Rayne says:

              Don’t pants yourself any further. It doesn’t take theoretical math let alone calculus to grasp how challenging it is to pass bills through a Senate when the “majority” holds only 48 out of 100 seats, must rely on two Independent senators to get to 50, and the VP is needed to break a tie.

              All of that gives Manchin as well as Sinema too much power. Don’t even need a calculator for that math.

          • Jonf says:

            As a young man I lived in upstate NY and worked in a local factory. Many of us took off the first day of deer season to try and bag one. Company didn’t like it much but that’s the way it was around there.

              • Geoguy says:

                I grew up in that part of NY, Appalachia according to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). A foot of snow was followed the next day by 3 feet of wind. I wonder how Manchin’s disdain for his constituents squares with his spouse installed as the federal co-governor of the ARC.

                • P J Evans says:

                  I think that there may be (or *should* be) some hints to him that that job might disappear if he doesn’t get with the Ds on this.

          • P J Evans says:

            I suspect any hunting that people are doing in WV is to put food on the table, and they’re probably getting rabbits and squirrels.

            • Rayne says:

              Does it matter whether it’s venison or rodents when it’s subsistence? And if they’re hunting rabbits and squirrels for dinner I seriously doubt they’re just not showing up at work because damn, they got themselves BBB cash in the bank.

              • P J Evans says:

                AFAIK people who take time off work to go hunting are people who can afford the time off. If you’re that poor, you’re lucky if you can get a job you can keep.

                • Rayne says:

                  And vice versa — if you’re working poor, you don’t want to risk a job by taking a “hunting trip.”

                  Manchin’s been hanging with the soft-handed slack-assed crowd far too long and needs to be forced into retirement. I sure hope WV Dems have someone in the pipeline for the future primary.

                  • bmaz says:

                    If WV Dems have an alternative, I’ve sure never heard of it. This is like Sinema, there is no real AZ Dem pipeline to tap to magically primary her, not that have the juice to actually take her out anyway. Gallego is effectively it. Greg Stanton….maybe. I know both and they aren’t going there anytime soon. Internet screams to primary Manchin and Sinema are not even worth the electrons used to utter them, not yet anyway.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Internet screams to primary Manchin and Sinema are not even worth the electrons used to utter them, not yet anyway.

                      No, this is what state and local Democratic Party apparatus should take to heart — they need to know their pipeline problem is hurting the nation. That I have to explain this to you, a Democratic voter in AZ, means the message *still* isn’t getting to through to key portions of the party.

                      I worry, too, that Maricopa Dems are still dealing with problems after one of their own set fire to their offices last year; funny how a certain academic who insisted Democrats help fund rebuilding of NC GOP offices after they were torched in Oct 2016 failed to utter a peep about Maricopa Dems’ office in July last year.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Meh, Dems here have been arguing this forever, but by and large the candidates are just not there. The CDs and LDs have been building, but candidates truly capable of statewide run are extremely few. And Katie Hobbs, who “was” one of them has torpedoed her career with a discrimination suit against her which she had to basically admit and settle.

                      But, for now, there simply is no way to leverage the threat of primary in 2024 against Sinema, that is folly.

            • Jonf says:

              Yep I hunted them little critters and gave them to a friend for their dinner. Not so much rabbits but lots of squirrels.

          • P J Evans says:

            Apparently Manchin got ONE phone call about a grandmother whose daughter is an addict and spends money on drugs rather than her kid. And that was enough for him to decide to tank a bill that would help everyone in the country. Which says he’s woefully stupid. (What the grandmother needs is legal aid to get custody of the kid and CTC for her. Not being told to suck it up.)

  21. sand says:

    Great piece. The idea that the people of WV would want or need Joe Manchin to explain things to them is ludicrous. He’s the one that needs to listen and understand.

  22. Geoguy says:

    Manchin is a big stake holder in a coal brokerage business, Enersystems. He probably doesn’t like extending the excise tax on coal to continue funding the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund which is part of BBB.

  23. madwand says:

    Here’s an article showing the concern of WV coal miners suffering from black lung and how it relates to the BBB.

    “The labor union noted that the bill includes an extension of a fund that provides benefits to coal miners suffering from black lung disease, which expires at the end of the year. The UMWA also touted tax incentives that encourage manufacturers to build facilities in coalfields that would employ thousands of miners who lost their jobs. ”

    Apparently Joe wants to throw his own workers under the bus also.

  24. Savage Librarian says:

    Joe Foe

    Joe Foe was a man
    who thought he was a loner,
    But he knew it couldn’t last,
    He left his home in
    Fairmont, West Virginia,
    For a DC yacht without a mast.

    Get back, get back,
    Get back to where you once belonged,
    Get back, get back,
    Get back to where you once belonged,
    Get back, Joe Foe.

    Get Back (Remastered 2009)

  25. graham firchlis says:

    BBB is far from dead. It isn’t even written. The Senate parliamentarian is just starting a slog through 80+ Byrd Rule objections, mostly crap but there will be some rewrites, while the payfors are still in flux.

    And then there’s Joe Manchin. What does he want?

    None of what he’s claimed. The reasons don’t make sense, because they don’t make sense. He isn’t openly talking about what he wants because it’s embarrassing, and he’s angry because he’s being forced to be open about what in the good old days was handled quietly.

    He wants to line his pockets and those of his financial backers. BBB reduces some domestic fossil fuel subsidies, a small percentage of what the IMF has estimated to be US$650B per annum. He wants it back. Give it to him.

    BBB seeks to invest US$555B in non-hydro renewable over 10 years. The consequence will be reduced demand for fossil fuels, falling especially heavily on coal and thus on Joe Manchin. He wants a carve-out, an old fashioned earmark, that will make him whole. Give it to him, buried in plausable deniability legalese. When he has the security he needs, he’ll be happy and tractable.

    Senator Sinema wants to be Senator Sinema. Give her every assurance. No support for, and active state discouragement of, any primary from the left. Lots of DCCC cash on top of her own fundraising, and every endorsement she wants. Fluff, fluff, nicey nice. When she gets the security she needs, she’ll be happy and tractable.

    FWIW I think they’re both repugnant, but sometimes you just eat the sausage; best not to fret over every scrap of ingredient. I feel confident BBB will pass into law, close to the current framework, and fairly soon. The bill won’t solve everything but it turns the corner on economic equitability, and that is a big fucking deal.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, you clearly do not know squat about Kyrsten. Also, assuming she runs again, it is not until 2024, so nobody has leverage over her at all right now. The DCCC is for congressional races, not Senate, and won’t be giving her a dime. The “state” cannot, and will not, promise her anything. There is no way to promise endorsements, that is silly. As for a challenge from the left in 2024, there will absolutely be one, if not more, doing just that. The bad news is that the only one, at least as of now, that could do it is Ruben Gallego. If Ruben decides to do it, he would never say so before mid 2023. If he does decide to take on Sinema, he would get absolutely tons of support. So everything you just said as to Sinema is ridiculous.

      • graham firchlis says:

        DSCC to be sure, a typo.

        Whoever wins the D primary also has to win the general. Sinema can, she’s proven that, if she isn’t forced to tack left in the primary. Can Gallego? With the same certitude?

        If Sinema isn’t running she’s doing a great immitation, voluminous fundraising and relentless reinvention as a maverickish sortacentrist. Absent evidence to the contrary, and there isn’t any, prudent to assume she will and deal with it.

        As to endorsements, they are common currency and traded all the time. Maybe not in AZ….

        The Senate election map for 2022 is actually favorable for Democrats. We could net +2. 2024 is much less so and we’ll need to hold every seat, even the ones with shitstains.

        Attacking viable Ds from the left in marginal electorates is just poor practical politics.

        For a recent example see Bernie x Hillary = President Trump. Bad bad bad practical politics, with an all bad practical outcome.

        • bmaz says:

          Listen, you continue to not know squat about AZ or Kyrsten. No, she is not that prolific of a fundraiser at all, and most of it comes from out of state. She is a pariah in the state Democratic Party here, and, in fact has a better favorability with Republicans than she does Democrats. You continue to blow poo when you are beyond uninformed as to the politics here. You have no idea if she is running again, and there have been whispers out of her office that she may not. And, yes, at this point Ruben would be a far superior candidate. Sinema might could right her sinking ship and recover sufficiently to eek out reelection, but it is very far from a given. She early on was very personable and a tireless campaigner, she is none of that now. But, hey, thanks of the uninformed generalities from afar.

          • graham firchlis says:

            Just Arizona, not the dark side of the moon. Good clear objective outsider emotionally uninvolved view from here, IMHO. The rest of us in the West have kept a sharp eye on Arizona since Goldwater days, lest the states rights rot spread our way. Invite the devil to dance, and here the Republican Party is.

            Still have a keen interest in AZ, family and friends. Expect Sinema to tack left a bit, and try to straddle some sort of middle. She’ll vote for the “new and improved” BBB next year, and claim credit for it all. By spring 2023 it will be old news.

            If you have a viable general election candidate, by all means run them and godspeed. Just don’t fuck it up.

            Stay safe, bmaz, you and yours and everyone here. Winter is coming, life imitates art, and even the flu vaccines aren’t working. Best wishes, mind the snowbirds.

    • Rayne says:

      BBB is far from dead. It isn’t even written.

      Right…that’s why Rep. Jayapal wanted Manchin to go through the bill, line by unwritten line.

      He wants a carve-out

      No, some of his overlords want protection for their carbon-producing businesses which are already going the way of the horse-and-carriage industry. If anything specific to address this is added to BBB, it should be the means to wind down coal OR seize the industry, because fuck them.

      Lots of DCCC cash

      Really, you need to do something about your pants falling like that. We do occasionally have minors wander through here.

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