I finally got around to reading Manchin’s idiotic, delusional, and self-serving editorial, and it appears Manchin’s main problem is he doesn’t understand the difference between partisan legislation and a partisan vote. When he says he will not vote for partisan legislation, what he really means is not what is in the bill, what he means is he will not vote for anything that doesn’t end with a “bipartisan” vote. Please note that bipartisan, in this context, does not mean legislation that both parties will embrace like a bill to prevent puppy torture, but instead it means 50% democrats and 10% Republicans voting together.
In other words, he doesn’t give a shit what the text of the bill actually says, or what it does, or what the outcomes will be. All he cares is that some Republicans vote with the Democrats. For whatever reason, he seems to think that that will “heal the country” and bring the country back together.
It’s insane for a number of reasons. First, the main point of passing a bill is because of WHAT IS IN THE GOD DAMNED THING AND WHAT IT DOES, not to hold each other’s dicks during the vote and express how much you love each other. Second, this effectively blocks EVERYTHING Joe Biden and the Democrats propose, because all the Republicans have to do is say no, and Manchin will then decide the bill is not bipartisan, and he can’t support it, thus removing any culpability from the Republicans and shifting all the blame to himself. Third, it doesn’t matter if a bill actually passes with a bipartisan majority, because if after it passes, Trump says he doesn’t like it, the right wing puke funnel and all the Trump idiots will scream bloody murder about it for so long that in five years all people will remember is Nancy Pelosi rode in on a broom and executed puppies in the name of woke socialism.
A while back I wrote the following, and it still holds true:
I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.
Joe Manchin has decided he will not vote for anything that does NOT end with a bipartisan vote count and simultaneously given the Republicans an excuse for Never voting for anything Biden, the Democrats, or the country wants.
In short, Joe Manchin is an idiot and needs to be reined in, and probably has pissed away the opportunity to help the state of West Virginia with any filthy lucre because why should they? We can’t count on him, why would they send projects here? Send it to Murkowski or someone who might vote with the Dems to get to fifty.
[T]hus removing any culpability from the Republicans and shifting all the blame to
I volunteer to travel to WV and transplant your Willow tree if you will run for Senate.
ps I’ll campaign too.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Terminal Senate Brain. I don’t think anyone who isn’t in it can appreciate the cult some of them have around their own importance, their own transcendent wisdom. For all their blather about “the Founders”, they think they’re smarter than Madison.
I forget which reporter was saying on the Nicolle Wallace program that Manchin is covering for at least 10 Dem Senators who have no interest in killing the filibuster, but the person nodding along as he said it was Claire McCaskill.
I’ve always wondered why Murkowski hasn’t either flipped D or shown favoritism toward Dem legislation, especially with how GOP has screwed her (denying her a Republican Senate nomination). After winning a write-in reelection campaign, she clearly has her own power base in Alaska and also appears to have a brain. So let her be the center of attention.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@jackmac: committee assignments and chairmanships. Again, I think you have to be one of them to understand it, but even if Murkowski were willing to flip– and I doubt she is– Schumer would almost certainly have to find some Dems willing to be demoted to recognize her seniority. (I think I have that language right)
Also, party identification runs deep for some people. Remember on 1/6 when she said she didn’t want to be a member of a party that would cause that, but then seemed genuinely confused when people asked if that meant she was going to quit the party. Her father was a Republican Senator, she took his seat when he was elected governor. Jim Jeffords son stopped speaking to him for a while after he flipped. IIRC, Lincoln Chaffee wouldn’t officially leave the party till his own father died, even if he had pretty much stopped voting with the Rs by then.
This why we cannot have nice things… such as a functioning democracy.
Lord Fartdaddy (Formerly, Mumphrey, Smedley Darlington Mingobat, et al.)
I am glad to have him in the Senate, because without him, McConnell would be running the show. But I so much want to get enough Democrats in there that his Hamlet routine would be irrelevant. At this point, I’m reduced to hoping that a few of their oldies die before any of ours do. That’s the only hope there is.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I’d like to know who these 10 Dem senators are. I’d really like to know WTF they think is going to happen when the GOP gains complete control over the federal government again and fair elections cease to be a thing. Do they want the Democratic Party to be a controlled opposition party?
With the Republican-held state legislatures making it harder to vote and throwing even the legitimacy of our elections into doubt, what makes people believe the Democrats can even pick up seats in the Senate (and House) in the midterms?
On the contrary. Manchin doesn’t want to be the guy who decides all of this stuff himself , so he has elected to say ‘I have no choice, no matter what my personal preferences, because the filibuster and bipartisanship are non-negotiables, so I will have to vote against everything’, thus evading all personal responsibility, at least in his own mind. Which is the only place where it matters, to him.
Man, how nice would it be to get such a well-paying job and not do jack shit and be terrible at the tiny amount you actually do and still keep your job with 100% security. I’m not a violent person but I’d love to see Manchin get kicked in the junk a few times.
Does Manchin remember how his negotiating with McConnell on the 1/6 investigation went, or is he so badly demented that he can’t hold short-term memories?
“Joe Manchin has decided he will not vote for anything that does end with a bipartisan vote count and simultaneously given the Republicans an excuse for ever voting for anything”. Should that ‘does’ be a doesn’t?
I say we offer her the chair of the energy committee, replacing whoever that might happen to be now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
He’s the new Susan Collins.
I was browsing the comments at the WV site where he posted his op-ed. It was about as you’d expect. One of the RWNJs made the point that every seat for Washington positions in WV is held by the GQP except for Manchin’s.
WV Congressional Delegation has a CPVI of R+22, a R+20 and a R+27 House district.
It’s unreasonable to expect that Manchin will be with the Democrats very often. Him voting for Team D for leadership is good and appropriate. Maybe that’s the best we can expect, and maybe we should be happy when he does vote with the rest of the 50.
Maybe we should just ignore him otherwise??
You and J R and a few others are the only ones who might have an effect on him – he’s said that he relishes outside-the-state attacks… :-/
Some guy once had a slogan “More and Better Democrats”. More is more important right now…
@MomSense: I second that motion. Send me the link to Cole’s ActBlue page.
I, for one, am looking forward to Joe Manchin running as a Republican against Joe Manchin the Democrat.
Steve Bannon is courting Manchin:
That last paragraph. When I started hearing words like “earmarks” being uttered again, I assumed that Manchin would be listening. He can certainly see every “Robert Byrd” this and “Robert Byrd” that in his state. He would want to cement his legacy and the Majority Leader would be willing to pay his price in pork for his vote to kill the filibuster and pass these bills.
But no. Can Manchin not see what is plainly in front of his face, or will he not see?
More has always been more important. Better ends up being a distraction.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): say that there are 10 Dem Senators that would prefer to leave open the possibility that we may return to a functioning Democracy and have a small fondness for the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and still naively believe that there could still be, one day, a place for the filibuster, but modified back to the classic sense.
You could probably note that it would likely be amongst the older folks, say King, Feinstein and perhaps even someone like Coons or Kaine who still believe in working across the aisle as opportunity allows…Sinema would make 5, Manchin himself 6… so maybe there are more, I wouldn’t rule it out depending upon the context….
The other part of this equation is who has the ear of Joe Manchin, his daughter (and her own transgressions) or Joe’s donators or Joe’s constituents… so to say that he’s in a bubble is very much true, especially so with our courtier class perpetuating the illusion that “nothing has changed here”, whereas the rest of us are very much aware of how much has.
I don’t think it matters what Manchin does. He only won his 2018 election because the Republican running was horrible and it was a 3 way race. Some RWNJ ran and siphoned off enough votes for Manchin to win by 1%. Joe ain’t going to be that lucky in 2024 no matter what the prophets in his head tell him.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Yup, the definition of “better” becomes problematic rather quickly, especially in the age of “everyone I follow on twitter agrees! So how can I be wrong?”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@kindness: Joe Manchin is old, quite wealthy and apparently doesn’t even believe racism or climate change exist, much less that they’re existential threats to our Republic and humanity in general. Joe Manchin will be fine whatever happens in 2024. The rest of us better hope 2022 makes his seat irrelevant in 2024.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I still think Manchin should hire Tonya Harding as his spokesperson.
Maybe someone should tell him to switch to the Republican party which will then allow him to vote with the Democrats in good conscience.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: If there are enough, a few defecting on any give issue ends up not being a problem. Sixty-seven would be nice.
Manchin isn’t going to budge, and it doesn’t sound like Sinema will either, and others have said upthread, those two are just the ones who are willing to say so.
As I fumble toward the acceptance phase, I’m starting to think about what is possible, like changing the filibuster rules so Republicans don’t have to just secretly text “nyah nyah cloture bitchez” but have to actually stand up, talk and take a fucking public stand. Manchin expressed openness toward putting more teeth in the filibuster rules like that at one point, IIRC. I think it’s possibly important because most people don’t have a clue who’s gumming up the works.
Or maybe flip the cloture rules so that the minority party has to field 40 senators who will register a no vote on short notice, in person, and then fuck with the calendar so they miss fundraisers, etc. There have to be some fucking advantages to holding the chamber.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@piratedan: King is on record, just yesterday, saying he thinks the filibuster is good, but Democracy is more important. Leahy has a reputation as an “institutionalist”, what I call a Senate cultist, Feinstein too. I would bet those quiet Manchinites include Kelly, Casey, Hickenlooper, Tester, Hassan and Shaheen. Maybe a few others who don’t want to have to vote on say, gun safety or emissions standards– Peters and Stabenow.
Someone needs to wake up Dianne Feinstein so she can give Manchin a hug and tell him what a good job he is doing.
Isn’t Manchin retiring in 2024? If so, he doesn’t even have the excuse about re-election concerns.
His daughter is a corrupt pharma exec. Maybe he’s corrupt, too – isn’t WV said to be one of the most corrupt states in the country?
If he is corrupt, then his obstructionism is easily explained: he’s making money off it somehow. (Or a promise of future money.)
At any rate, the only way left is around him. I’m not sure how, since Sinema seems to be someone who ran for Senator for the status, rather than from any concept of public service. So we have two useless appendages in a caucus that has no room for them, no way around them, and no one willing to shiv either or both of them.
Manchin is a corrupt, feckless coward…
Whose vote, unfortunately, is needed by the current Dem caucus.
We’re not going to get a better Dem in WV, so let’s focus on getting them elsewhere.
@Alison Rose: I’m not a violent person but I’d love to see Manchin get kicked in the junk
a few timesover and over and over. Bonus points for flogging him with Mitch McConnell’s face.
The word for Manchin is “craven.” Although I suppose it’s possible that he’s being willfully obtuse on this.
BUT: he is a Democrat and supports a Democrat as Majority Leader, so I do not wish any ill upon him. More intelligence and courage: that I do wish for him.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Ah, there’s the rub. With Republicans throwing up barriers everywhere and even the ability to outright choose the winner if they don’t like the results, where are we going to be able to elect better Dems in 2022 without passing voting rights legislation?
Postcard from the return trip, because Manchin is boring and pisses me off.
My preferred route from LA/OC to Santa Cruz is I-5 north to Lost Hills, CA-46 over the Gabilan range to Paso Robles, and then US-101 north through the Salinas valley to Watsonville, through the usual neighborhoods to Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz. CA has never managed to build a proper road to Santa Cruz from the south, so people have been trudging through the same neighborhoods since I first did it 35 years ago. There are numerous other routes of roughly equal distance/time to get there, but I find the 46 to be a pretty easy drive, and Lost Hills is almost perfectly midway, so it’s an ideal gas/bio/food stop. Leaving late afternoon toward LA puts you on the tail end of the weekend return traffic to LA. Basically you time everything to LA traffic, even when you’re 300 miles away. On the way up, I try to leave around 4AM to get through LA while everyone is asleep. I have opinions about these things because part of my career has been visiting other universities in-state. We have 10 UCs, 26 CSUs, and 115-ish community colleges. I’ve been to almost all of them and very few are near airports, so I’ve driven a hell of a lot of the tucked away corners of the state.
Heading south from Santa Cruz, the 101 through Salinas Valley takes you through one of the other major food growing regions of CA. This is a narrower, somewhat less flat valley to the west of the massive central valley. It’s the setting for Steinbeck novels. Pinnacles National Park is in the range between the two valleys. This valley used to be where most of your leafy greens came from and probably still do, but there’s a lot of grapes there now as well. These valleys are formed by the Pacific plate diving under the North American plate causing uplift parallel to that fault, which is also parallel to the coastline formed by the same forces. Weather comes across the Pacific nice and low since there’s nothing to go over, hits the colder water off the coast as the current here flows from north to south, pulling cold water down from Alaska vs the east coast where warm water is pulled north from the Gulf and loses some temperature, hits the coastal range which pushes the air up, cooling it more, and because cold air can’t hold as much water as warm air, forces some rain out of it. That erodes the coastal ranges depositing material into the Salinas valley. The Gabilan range is higher, pushes the air higher squeezing a bit more rain out of it, some of it eroding that range back into the Salinas valley, and some eroding that range into the Central/San Joaquin Valley. Weather then goes a bit further east, hits the Sierra Nevadas which is much higher yet, squeezing most of whats left to deposit back into the central valley. The next set of valleys include Death Valley and various high and low desert areas, any moisture wrung out by the three mountain ranges to the west, which created these wonderful growing regions – temperate thanks to the Pacific Ocean heat and ability of valleys to retain their own low-level weather, flat as Florida, and in the case of the Central Valley, simply massive – as large as many states.
These are highly labor intensive operations. Nearly half of all farmworkers in the US are in CA. We don’t grow the kinds of crops that lend themselves to big fuck off farm equipment. This cuts both ways, we could grow highly automated crops, but we probably can’t compete with the rest of the country on that, but we have roughly a million farmworkers, and if you want to grow grapes at scale, we have the workforce to do it even though they grow just fine elsewhere in the US. So these workers are the backbone of the towns and cities in these valleys. Most farm workers are Mexican/central american, and lots are undocumented. But if you find yourself in Yuba City and various other parts of the northern Central Valley, you might notice a large Sikh/Pakistani community – one that’s been here for a century. The mix of Sikh and latino cultures is very uniquely Californian and is absolutely joyful.
Many/most farmworkers don’t own a car. About ⅔ of farmworkers are employed by growers, and the rest are freelance/migratory. Lots of car sharing/carpooling. But you’ll also notice the raiteros – these white/light green or light blue repurposed school buses often with a pair of port-a-potties strapped to the back which bring farm workers to the fields they are working – and there are tons of them driving around at sunup. Farms here can be massive, but also disjointed. Because we have so many different crops here, we often don’t get the kind of consolidation that you find in the midwest or Texas. You’ll have a few hundred acres of 20 different crops all in one area, that may all be owned by one grower, but have different harvest times, different needs for tending, etc. They set up and tear down irrigation systems. Some crops need to be covered. Some get tented. Grapes need to be tied, trees need to be pruned. This is all done by hand. I can’t fathom how much labor is needed to prune a few million almond trees or tens of millions of grape vines, or how you even organize such a task. We have a whole subindustry centered around temporarily importing most of the honeybees in the US to pollinate all of this, get them trucked to CA in late winter, and then returned home for spring pollination elsewhere. Years ago you’d also normally see ICE/INS showing up at the fields, driving around the towns, but I haven’t seen that in some time. If it’s happening, they’re better at hiding it.
So driving south through the Salinas Valley you see all of this at work. Homemade rolling harvesting platforms, that serve to protect workers from the sun, carry water, and collect and organize the harvested crops. They’re all different. Lots of towns along the 101. Trucks carrying cows and chickens, people hauling horses. At the right time of day, a semi carrying loose lettuce, or onions, or garlic from the fields to a packager, the garlic trucks trailing this cloud of paper being blown off the cloves.
Just before you get to Paso Robles you can’t help but see the first sign of change in industry as San Ardo’s agriculture gives way to a small oil patch. A field of pumpjacks surrounded by a tangle of oil and gas pipelines. All of the growth industry replaced by extraction. The green goes away, it’s dirty and dusty, and looks old and in decline. Just beyond we turn east aiming for a pass in the Gabilan range to head fo the central valley. We could take 101 all the way to LA, but it’ll take us out toward the coast, through a ton of coastal cities and winding around the coastal ranges. It’s a nice drive, but quite a bit longer and slower. We’re headed to I-5 which is much faster. The 101 is much more fun when you’re off to see a rocket launch, which is not today.
Though we’re about to do about 50 miles of no towns or even gas stations, there’s quite a bit of traffic. A bit farther east is Fresno, with about a million people. 7 million people live in the Central Valley. It’d be the 14th largest state all on its own. So even though so much of CA feels remote, it’s often on the way to a population center, which we have zillions of. We see more of a shift from crops to ranching – lots of cattle, but nothing is green. We’re really struggling with lack of rain, but even so, there’s a canal here. We’re close to Parkfield – a very seismically active area along the San Andreas and its here where we cross the fault. As we enter the Central Valley, we’re greeted first with almond trees – millions of them – and after a few miles of driving past them, we reach the Lost Hills oilfield. One of the more productive fields in CA and more productive now than when it was discovered a century ago, it still seems old and in decline. We’re in the southern end of the central valley and the least populous side of it – most of the big activity is north of us and farther to the east. We roll into a small dust storm. Not enough crops here to hold the soil in place. Legit tumbleweeds blowing across the road. The fences catch the low rollers but it’s just windy enough to send them over the hood of the car. Thankfully I could care less about the paint on my car. We cross the main California aqueduct – an artificial river in the middle of nowhere. We pull in for gas and food and the dust storm is still blowing. Thankfully everyone has masks on them these days, and you really kind of need it. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten gas in a dust storm, and this one isn’t that bad, but it always reminds me of the opening scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I want to yell ‘Are we the first?!’ when we walk into McDonalds, but nobody would get the joke. You’re thankful to get a break in the driving, but it’s not the most pleasant space to step into. But you definitely feel like you’ve gone somewhere, so you don’t mind the adventure. Gas is $4.70/gal. If it weren’t for the dust, I could probably still see the pumpjacks. McDonalds needs workers here. Starting pay is $18/hr. That’s barely competitive with farmwork, way less than oil field work, and well, almost nobody lives out here for this to be a local job. So it’s really a problem with having a decent bit of commerce somewhere that workers don’t live. They don’t feed locals – just the millions of people that go from LA to places north. Even so, the staff is good. I prepare myself for the next part of the drive. This first half was easy – polite drivers, easy roads. The next quarter is also easy, but the last quarter is always kind of tough.
I-5 is the transportation backbone of CA, and yet, almost nobody lives along it here. Where the 101 had lots of little towns, the population corridor of the Central Valley is really CA-99 off to the east. That’s where Bakersfield and Fresno are. The 5 winds up along the west side of the valley, with towns a little drive east, but very few right on the road. I-5 through the valley is pretty simple, there’s a truck lane that goes 65, and car lane that goes 80. If you want to do 75 or 90, you just create headaches for everyone. CHP understands this. They aren’t interested in cars doing 80. They’re looking for the ones creating headaches. Earlier in the day there would have been a lot of trucks hauling produce or cattle or whatever, but it’s getting dark, so its about 40% Amazon trucks. Most long haul trucks are pulling over for the day, having hit their peak hours, so it’s really notable just how many of these trucks are Amazon.
As you roll further south along the 5, you hit one of the two most notable smell zones between LA and SF. There’s an industrial dairy farm right along the freeway. There are loads of them in this area south of Bakersfield. CA is the largest dairy state, with 20% of the nations dairy cows. There’s thousands of them just like this one, it’s just this one is by the interstate. It’s usually windy down here so you rarely get to escape the smell. The other smell zone is Harris Ranch north of where we got on the freeway. They’re a beef producing ranch. Just a bit further we mere with CA-99, so now all the traffic headed for LA is together on one road. Driving behavior changes here from polite road-trip mode to LA mode. We’re about to hit The Grapevine, also known as the Tejon pass, a 4000′ pass between the Tehachapi Mountains and the countless transverse ranges that separate the Central Valley from LA. Just before the pass, distribution centers appear – relatively new. Goods brought into the port of LA/LB are hauled here to be resorted into trucks headed around the US. There’s even more to the east of LA. There’s a massive Ikea one we pass.
The Grapevine is usually stressful. The grades are steep, so the loaded trucks struggle to climb it at 15 MPH, but if you have a nice car, you can climb it 3 lanes over at 90. There’s enough truck traffic that they take 2 lanes – and so you have all of the cars doing anywhere from 40 to 90 trying to occupy two of their own lanes, with a truck periodically taking on of those as they try to maintain momentum on the climb while passing two slower trucks at once. People can sense they’re almost home, so they race to get there, but there are plenty of folks towing boats, RVs, race cars or desert offroaders to weave around. There’s really no way to navigate the 4 lanes of traffic easily, so you stay on your toes for this 25 mile stretch. Everyone is following closer. People passing a few lanes to your right when they see a gap. The challenges repeat on the climb down as the trucks try to manage their speed and brakes. We can smell a truck burning up their brakes on the way down, and give them plenty of space. Santa Clarita is hardly LA, but it might as well be. Everyone has been to Six Flags here, and it’s a good stopping point for a lot of people heading north to gas up and get food.
We have two routes to get home – stay on I-5 or get on I-405 which bends around the other side of downtown LA, past UCLA, Long Beach. We live right about where the two freeways converge back again in southern Orange County. But the 405 is undergoing a lot of construction. In recent years, CalTrans has changed their approach here. Rather than less disruptive road widening that keeps roads mostly open, they’re going for a faster but more disruptive approach of destroying and rebuilding overpasses and the 405 is going through that right now, so overnight they shut most of the freeway down, drop bridges, clean up, and reopen by morning. We’re going to avoid that. The 5 in LA is odd. It intersects with tons of other freeways but in places is only 2 lanes each way, which seems absurd for downtown LA. But it’s old, and widening is practically impossible now, so you just deal with the slowdowns. Down by where I live where it’s less populous it’ll be 13 lanes each way. One upside to the 5 is fewer trucks – the ports are over off the 405, as is LAX. At its best driving across LA is 45 minutes – it’s just that huge. And we don’t really differentiate between LA and the adjoining non-LA communities that seamlessly blend into it. Just before we get home we notice I-5 headed north is completely closed. Not a single car and there are police blocking the onramps. No clue what that was about. Maybe OJ is back in town. Just the day before, I-5 had all lanes closed due to an accident not much farther up. Even at 4:30AM traffic finds a way to exist here. But in the end, an easy drive all things considered. Learned a bit more about where we live. Saw some things. Ate some dust. Waved to some future meals. Felt good about how our son is doing.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): Show up at the fucking polls. Stand in line if necessary. Vote.
Agreed. Don’t give him the oxygen. Better to rail against aging, and against hurricanes and gravity.
Now to read your travelogue. Future meals. Ouch.
Breyer is using the same sort of excuse for not retiring from the Supreme Court — it would smack of partisanship and the court needs to stay above all of that. It is tragic to think that a guy who is smart enough to be on the Supreme Court cannot look at the world around him outside of the court and see what is going on. Hasn’t he seen Republicans campaign on abortion and gun-friendly judges? Not to mention what is going on inside of the court — decisions so twisted and incoherent that anyone with a brain can see the overt partisanship. Breyer was there for the worst SC decision in history, Bush v Gore in 2000. He doesn’t think that was partisan? He may not be as idiotic as Manchin, but he’s at least as delusional.
@Elizabelle: Was thinking of the crops, not the livestock. Yes, I wave at fields of broccoli sometimes. I wave at farmworkers too.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: who are these 10 unnamed Dems against the We The People Act? Specifically what provisions? Let’s not give up?. Split it up into separate bills and make them all own their votes. Let’s get as much done as we can. Does someone have some nefarious hold on Manchin because what he says doesn’t make a lot of sense?
@Martin: 405 carpool lane!
A very pithy and accurate observation.
I disagree. I remember all those times in 2009 where there were something like 257 nominal Dems in the House, and Pelosi had to sweat to get 218 votes for practically everything. Hell, she needed 8 GOP votes to pass cap-and-trade (which died in the Senate, of course).
Seriously, Pelosi’s passing important bills with bigger majorities now than she did back then, and right now she only barely has a majority.
I have been waiting for John to weigh in on Manchin. John has been generally supportive of Manchin and what he has to do to be elected in WV, but now Manchin has gone too far for even sophisticated political observers of realpolitik.
However, I don’t think Manchin’s stated reasons are the entire story, and perhaps not even the most important part. It is the abdication of responsibility that drives him. He is a coward. He is in a position that can make huge changes to the country in the near future — and he is too faint-hearted to take on that responsibility.
As I understand West by God would benefit greatly with passage of the bill, particularly the coal miners of the state. Also if any state needs road and bridge repair WVA has to be in the top 5. Broad band access is piss poor in WVA listed as one the 5 lowest with internet speed. It sad that he is so ignorant of the reason for the 60 vote rule how it came to be and how it has been used for mainly racial issues until recently relatively speaking. McConnell weaponized the use of it since Harry Reid changed for federal judges sans the Supreme Court.
On a side note being an avid WVA trout fishermen, fly rod only barbless hooks, do you have any good trout streams near you. The turtle you recently rescued most likely inhabited a trout stream.
@Cacti: since there aren’t going to be any votes, we actually don’t need him or any Senators for that matter. Doesn’t matter what the house does. If we wanted his votes to matter, assassinating judges would be a good place to start. Unfortunately that’s not the kind of party activism the Dems go for.
@Betty Cracker: Manchin has gotten wobbly whenever reforming it like that has come up. He’s dug in more since the original time it came up when he seemed open to maybe doing the talking one
FYI. The headline: USPS Projects Continuing Mail Delays, Setting Targets Well Below Historical Standards .
*That would be prior to the new Biden appointees being seated.
It’s fairly simple. You’re either trying to give Manchin the (minimum) benefit of the (maximum) doubt, or else you’re not.
If you are, then if he has any good intentions at all, then he has no understanding of the effect and reception of his words.
If you are not, then you are driven back to what I have pointed out before, which is that his words are those of a fool. At that point, it comes down to the radical unpredictability of fools. You can never have any idea what they will do, because you cannot know how they perceive reality.
@Edmund Dantes: Well, that figures. May he die of crotch the minute we no longer need his vote on nominations he deigns to entertain.
We need to go all in on investigating Heather Bresch, Manchin’s asshole daughter who,as CEO of Mylan, raised the price of epi pens by 461%.
Mike in NC
I hate this asshole more and more each day.
J R in WV
I think this sentence needs altered to read more like this:
Additionally, I think that anything that 65% of Americans favor and support is bipartisan, whether Republicans in congress support it or not.
Otherwise, well done Cole.
Manchin is a corrupt idiot who can’t tell the difference between bipartisan majority support for legislation in the electorate at large and support from 10 right-wing fascists in the Senate, which is not the same thing as bipartisan support at all. Cole’s tire rims and anthrax reference is still amazing good commentary!
Shorter Joe Manchin:
“I insist on giving Mitch McConnell veto power over every legislative item on Biden’s agenda. Because REASONS….”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I worked directly with Murkowski and her staff when I was working for NOAA on fisheries issues in Alaska. She is a die hard Republican of the old mold. She doesn’t want to become a Democrat. She wants to turn back the clock to a time with Republicans were generally sane
She is also Senator for life in Alaska. She is impervious to challenge from the right or left. Especially with Alaska’s new ranked choice voting primary.
Zero chance she caucuses with the Dems. Best you can hope for is once and a while she gives a vote to the Dems on things she cares about.
Liberal Redneck Trae Crowder has some thoughts on Manchin:
Good points, as always.
Does someone have some nefarious hold on Manchin because what he says doesn’t make a lot of sense?
Have seen four separate twitter remarks today by reporters or political strategists saying that they have spent time interacting directly with Manchin at one time or another, and he’s pretty much an idiot. “Moron” say two of them.
I also think that Manchin is no liberal. I think he probably has a good handle on the preferences of the people who vote for him, and what makes them tick. I suspect that he does understand, to some extent, the almost-certain results of his decisions, and that he’s fine with that outcome, and is deliberately acting to create it.
@mdblanche: I see what you did there. Too bad this site doesn’t have an ‘upvote’ button.
Also Beau: https://youtu.be/etSd4nE0xnE
Sorry for the naked link, but this stupid site keeps covering the link button with “copy paste… ” when I try to highlight a word for the link.
Thinking about 2022 is scary. The Senate map is really good for the blue team, but who knows if that will matter with the new voting laws. I’m just hoping that Stacey Abrams can somehow work her magic and get elected governor of Georgia, pulling Warnock along with her. She might just be able to get people so fired up that they will stand in hours-long lines to vote for her.
@debbie: That captures it perfectly!
@NotMax: I live down in our valley, four miles away, and I just got a bill intended for our county health department for their Xerox lease.
I need to be more careful looking at the addressee before I open mail that arrives at our house.
Same 5 digit zipcode but not the same nine digit zip code.
“We’re fixated on timely delivery. No one said anything about accurate delivery.”
I don’t think they’ve tried bribing, uh, helping out West Virginia for Manchin yet.
Speaking of not getting it, when the GOP in the Senate voted down the Jan 6th commission, Manchin put out a statement saying in part
As if the seditious caucus cares about ‘living with’ their decision! Risible penalty he comes up with.
And crucially, Joe saw a critically important piece of legislation go down in flames in the Senate, and then sets the same impossible bar for voting rights to pass? I think there’s more here than not getting it.
Joe Manchin is a fucking moron or he plays dumb. How else can you explain the idiot arguments he makes. He doesn’t even try to come up with something that resembles a reasonable argument. Fuck that guy… sadly we’re stuck with him.
@Docamous: I had not seen that before, but it can be true.
@Anya: I think Joe Manchin is genuinely dumb, but he’s dumb in a particular, self-righteous, posturing way that makes it impossible to educate him. He’s become a member of his own one-person cult and he’ll go to his grave believing that he was justified by his own righteousness.
@RaflW: I so agree with this. He might be deliberately clueless or he could have been put into a position of having to opt for cluelessness over a worse for him alternative.
Well, one thing we now know. West Virginia will continue to be a bumfuck economic backwater with the worst infrastructure of all 50 of the states. Because Capato and Manchin want it that way. At this moment they have a once in a century chance to bring home the bacon and transform their state. But no. We can’t do that because…REASONS.
I really wonder what would happen if Biden had a meeting with Manchin and Capito. Something needs to give.
@Martin: Thanx for the education. CA can be an amazing land.
Run for office, any office. If I have to move to vote for you, I’ll fuckin’ do it.
One of the things for growers is that crops change during the year of course and watering needs change as well. On top of that we don’t have a large excess of water so ways have been found to irrigate with far less waste. One of them is drip irrigation taken to modern ends. Rather than just a hole for water to drip out every so often there are small “emitters” built into the lines, which can be easily taken up and recycled, which give much better irrigation without waste. Some day I’ll tell you how I know about this, even though my thumb is not even close to green.
Very nice. Sounds a lot like my past where I’d drive up in the afternoon to work an evening pro sports event in SF, San Jose, Sacramento, etc and then drive back late at night. On night, on 99 I passed a CHP parked by the side of the road, about 2 am. Woman officer, she looked like she wasn’t moving, it just didn’t look right. I stopped, as I’d seen no other cars for quite a while. Walked back, she was finishing up paperwork. Glad not to find otherwise. But at that time of night there is so little traffic, it’s amazing how much there is during the day. Also at the time I lived where the 5 hit the SF valley so I didn’t have that 45-60 min drive across town. Normally I now drive 101, mainly because the traffic is less and I’m not in a hurry. That or I take the train. Costs about the same, takes a lot longer but is easy.
Joe Manchin has been playing this game for a long time. He’s 73, soon to be 74 and he’s been in WV state or federal government since 1982. He’s used to the way things have been for a long, long time in WV and he’s playing the same game he always has. It’s just that he’s now, due to the numbers game, important and he knows it. He’s going to play the game he’s always played but with the added power from the numbers he’s trying to play both sides of the coin. He’s the only democrat in state or federal government for WV, he’s the odd ball and he’s likely not to remain in power without doing what he’s doing. He’s voted straight democrat every time since Biden took office. I’d say no matter what we think, he plays the game not too badly. Now I’m having a hard time typing that because he talks a not very democratic line, but so far he votes the right way. He may think that if push comes to shove he’ll vote to abolish the filibuster but I’d bet he’s going to try to talk some repubs into going along with that so it doesn’t look like they are getting it shoved down their throats, like they will do to us. I don’t think it will work and it will backfire on him but I’d bet that’s his game.
I thought that was that jack off a few years ago that bought it up and jacked up the price. Did it get jacked up again?
Manchin is an embarrassment. Not just for his position, but for the ludicrous “reasoning” behind it.
He probably can’t safely switch parties unless he’s ready to retire — he’d likely, or at least might, lose a GOP primary to some Trump-worshipping nutjob. If that is true, then the Democrats should simply shun him. That could be risky, because he just might switch parties. (He doesn’t seem too bright.) Then, he could be an ultra-bipartisan Republican and vote with the Democrats occasionally. You know, like on the “For the People Act” he refuses to support now.
How could Schumer possibly reign him in? Manchin is settled in for another five years. A threat to primary him is an empty threat because as people keep saying, a real Democrat couldn’t win election in WV, and Manchin could retaliate against the threat by coming out the closet and formally switching to R. Either way, the party hands the seat to the GOP. Divest him of his committee assignments? Go ahead – free up his time to run for WV governor again. None of these options end well for the dem party.
J R in WV
You can cure ignorance with education, but there is no cure for stupid.
Also, too — Manchin is most likely owned and operated by old Italian Mafia mob bosses, who are themselves pretty stupid. So no wonder he acts the way he does.
First thing he did after becoming Governor of WV was impose personnel rules that made it nearly impossible to hire the best candidate for technical positions of any sort.
We had to ask in our interview with candidates what was the minimum salary an applicant would accept to take an open position — then the personnel office would approve an offer several thousand dollars lower than that minimum.
So all the competent applicants went elsewhere for their next job.
Great job, Joe!