Joe Manchin can whine and moan about $3.5 trillion all he wants, but I wish someone would ask him and the rest of the budget tightwads how, exactly, their corporate overlords think we’re going to pay for the massive numbers of long-term COVID casualties that being created daily in the red states. Of course, we have plenty of tots and pears, as well as GoFundMes, but at the end of the day, a 50 year-old MAGA hat with a goatee and a COVID-induced stroke can’t really pull himself up by his bootstraps if he can’t move his arms and legs very well.
The financial fallout from DeathSantis and Abbotoir is going to be massive. There will be a rash of medical bankruptcies, since a lot of these folks are uninsured. Many of them are double-income couples where one of them died, or, worse yet, where one died and one is a long hauler. Then there are the parents who both transitioned beyond this earthly realm, leaving a quiverfull of kids for someone else to raise.
Finally, let’s not forget the maskless kids in schools. One study from Iran showed that 48% of kids hospitalized with COVID were experiencing long-haul symptoms 3 months after their illness. We really don’t know how many healthy children will become chronically ill to own the libs, but there will be some.
Is this going to be like a war, where we just pretend that the money we spend on it doesn’t really go into the deficit because of freedom and bombs go boom? Are these unvaxxed COVIDiots going to get special treatment because they’re mostly white and mostly live in the South? I’m eager to hear how our budget hawks think we’re going to address this issue, other than pretending they’re surprised when the obvious bill comes due.
hells littlest angel
Perhaps Texas will take the Covid orphans. I hear they really, really care about life there.
The Moar You Know
But they aren’t. COVID survivors/long haulers/orphans are every race, creed and from every part of this country. We may get eventually total MORE of them from the South, but just by way of example, one huge population of those folks that no one is talking about is out in California farm country and almost all of that population are Hispanic.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
Yeah every “fiscal conservative” who advocated a no precaution/wide open Covid response for the sake of the economy should have been asked this question from the beginning of the pandemic.
I assume most of the long haulers with serious health problems will end up on SSDI. I also assume that it will do nothing to change their attitudes about all the “moochers” out there on welfare.
Mai Naem mobile
They’re just expendable lives to these RW beancounters. They’ll ofcourse take advantage of the situation by sending more money to the red states and then whine about the “other” people taking advantage of welfare, social security and disability benefits. Ofcourse they’ll try and privatize everything so that their campaign donors can make $$$ out of it. There is no downside to any crisis for the GOP.
My son and daughter in law live in Denmark and she’s pregnant. Denmark was recommending pregnant women not get the vaccine, but she looked into it and followed the US guidance instead and they visited Chicago and got the vaccine easily – they had to get J and J because of the one dose and we found one on a phone in about 30 seconds. I bet she’s glad she did.
Well, Social Security will help the orphans. As it should. We better get some new tax revenue to cover that :)
They could just start enforcing existing tax laws against rich people. This “only enforce against poor people” doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would be popular too. Get tough on white collar crime. They’re scofflaws.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
@Kay: I read an account from a NICU nurse about pregnant women with COVID on ECMO being kept alive long enough to deliver their extremely premature babies. Horrific.
@The Moar You Know: Good point, but I’m sure they’ll write the COVID Long Haul Benefit Act in a way that will make it more difficult for brown long haulers to get benefits.
Mike in NC
There has to be some wingnut billionaire with property in Texas or Florida or wherever, who would be eager to open up a Confederate theme park filled with all of the terrible monuments that have been taken down. The obvious name of it would be Dixieland. It would probably be a big money maker, too, as sad as that is to speculate.
This link is very informative about how Covid progresses during hospitalization. It’s from an RT in an ICU. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-08-26/pandemic-covid-19-stages-vaccination-intensive-care-respiratory-therapist
@Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix:
I read a good tweet along the lines of: now that we are getting rid of confederate statues, let’s do confederate statutes next.
One of the things that really drives me nuts with guys like Manchin is that they seem to think that opposing a seemingly large number (devoid of any context, i.e., without even considering whether it’s just how much things might cost) is an admirable goal in and of itself. But no one ever presses him for actual details. Just keep asking him “why”? Ask him what he would cut specifically, and then ask him why he would do it, in the context of why he would deprive constituents (locally or nationally, as far as things dems want) of specific things. For example, something along the lines of “why do you oppose funding for rebuilding dilapidated bridges that the U.S. army corps of engineers has deemed unsafe?” And when he hems and haws, just keep asking the question until he answers.
He and others get away with this because the press (and by extension we) let him. Nobody ever presses these guys on why. The chucktodds of the world just sagely nod as if they completely understand why 3.5T, or 2T, or 1B, or whatever the number is, is just “too much” for us to ask of our own government.
@Mike in NC:
Has coddling the losers and insisting that they didn’t really lose ever worked? Did it work with Donald Trump? It’s a bad plan.
@Mike in NC: Outside of Budapest, and artist did something similar with Soviet-era statues and monuments. It was a hot barren hilltop, and the path was shaped like infinity 8. It was so great to see them just sitting without other context. It brought home the authoritarian message. I don’t know if it would work like that here. Of course, I would have something like Lee’s horse being covered by Grant’s
The Hungarian site had a little gift shop, where, being from Boston, I was happy to purchase some red socks. With hammer and sickle.
@condorcet runner-up: Correct me if I’m wrong, but also the numbers like $3.5 trillion are OVER 10 YEARS. Yes it sounds huge if you think it’s going to all be spent in the next year. But it’s $350 billion per year for 10 years. Sure a huge number but not so breathtaking.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
@Mike in NC: Jesusland!
Manchin doesn’t care. He’s getting his money from the Koch network and screw everyone else.
Manchin isn’t really a Democrat. He just poses as one. He won’t win re-election. He only won last time by 1% in a 3 way race.
They’ll think about the Covid long term effects like they think about climate change. ‘That’s not from Covid’.
Agree. His job is to delay in the hopes that D’s lose the senate and none of it ever happens. That’s his whole role.
They don’t think society should do a damn thing. Their tough luck. Let them panhandle.
@Eunicecycle: that’s exactly right, and precisely my point. the number just gets thrown around without any context, and moreover, without any consideration of whether or not this is simply how much things cost. it’s a massive bill, and dems should be proudly going back to every community touting how it affects their constituents and each way it does so. somehow the loudest voices that get amplified are the manchins and sinemas of the party, and the rest of us are like, well if these people are going to hold it all up, they’d better have some good reasons.
but their reasons are always just a more polite “because fuck you that’s why.” and they’re never challenged on it, even within their own party.
@Baud: I think the answer to WHO will pay is technically “Underpants Gnome.”
@kindness: Manchin is up in 2024 — it will be as good a year as possible (for democrats) as it is a presidential year.
And although Manchin is a pain in the butt during negotiation phase, he has voted with the Biden position 100% of the time so far. The W.V. alternative means no majority in the Senate.
@Kay: I believe in karma. Honestly I think with what Republicans are throwing down in Texas and other red states, I will bet that Democrats not only hold the Senate in 2022 but take more seats so that Manchin and Kyrstin can kiss all our asses
@Immanentize: I don’t hate Joe but realistically he won’t win again. Prepare for that.
He can stop anything he wants at any time since we aren’t getting any GOP votes. I don’t see a reason for him to play games.
@kindness: You seem to be repeating yourself.
@Kay: Gee, I guess the fetal deaths will be good news for Texas bounty hunters \\
@Baud: Which is why it sure would be nice to pick up a couple of Senate seats next year.
@hells littlest angel:
If their forced-birth vigilante law stands, they won’t be able to take covid orphans. Google ‘Romanian Orphan Tragedy’.
PS For the I hAte hoW it HAppenEd!!11! crowd–
A commercial flight with over 200 Westerners, including US citizens, just left Kabul airport.
As many seats as possible.
The only reason they’re guaranteed coverage after they have covid is because Democrats passed new laws that mandate it. That would be the laws they went absolutely insane over and fought for a decade. Barely survived their opposition. Just free riding on the work of others that they did their best to destroy.
They all owe a debt to Obama. He’s done more for Trump supporters health care than any Republican ever did. By a mile.
I bet Biden made them ride coach.
Change the child labor laws so that the orphans can work in the bars that needed to stay open. Let the wisconsin tavern league figure out what to do about it since it was vitally important to keep mixing brandy old fashioneds during the industry.
You’re saying arrogance and stupidity can have consequences. Hmm.
Who’s paying for it? We all are via the already passed American Rescue Plan Act:
There are things to help normal people in the Build Back Better Plan Act (the “reconciliation” plan), but I don’t see specific COVID-19 related provisions (but of course the lawmakers can put in such provisions).
On the individual level, individuals will have to figure out what to do. It was ever thus. :-(
@Baud: Are more than two really in play? Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where else?
I haven’t looked at the map.
I suspect the H1N1 flu version of this is why my grandfather was adopted a hundred years ago.
@Immanentize: As SC said this morning, where are all the antiwar people to have Biden’s back on this? Crickets.
@Baud: I suspect he’s using the one-man-filibuster show to build No Labels donor cred for the sweet lobbying gig to come. I know he’s in his 70s and rich, but there’s never enough moolah. Remember that recording some outfit got a while back of a No Labels Zoom call with Manchin and a bunch of fat cat donors?
At the time, I was hopeful about some of the stuff he said about filibuster reform (sweet summer child that I was). But I was also struck by the casual corruption when Manchin asked the donors to lean on retiring GOP senators who would soon become their employees to influence votes. He was certainly plugged into that ecosystem by the sound of it.
Speaking of bounced “centrists,” Heidi Heitkamp is covering herself in similar glory these days.
@Baud: The contractor part is going to have a lot of impact.
@Betty Cracker: Heitkamp is certainly covering herself in something.
Or, better, ask him what specific things he thinks are necessary/desirable and have him tally up the costs for those. Let’s see what number we end up with then. (Pipe dream, I know.)
@zhena gogolia: This is where we find out who was really antiwar and who is just a reflexive contrarian or someone who wants to make “left” attacks on Democrats. If it wasn’t obvious already.
FWIW, I don’t think it’s just the moolah. I think they also like travelling in those social circles.
@Kirk Spencer: As they say, that’s gonna leave a mark.
I wonder if local law enforcement, who get huge amounts of do-re-mi from the feds, can be considered “contractors?”
Can you speak up? I can’t hear you over the din of all of Biden’s drones.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@kindness: I got the impression this is really the Biden admin’s plan along. Infrastructure polls very well in a Red States so it was saved for after Biden’s Honeymoon so it would just linger, forcing rural conservatives between getting it done now, be labeled as RINOS by the hard right, or spend years spewing nonsense about why their state can’t have something it desperately needs and slowly piss of their voters.
It’s very clear from what I have seen Biden is looking at the long term and not winning the news cycle and the Media can’t deal with it.
‘The future is so bright, I have to wear shades’ – actually if i really try to think about this, I would be crying.
Re: Manchin — if he manages to get 10 Republicans on board with a pared back voting law that will include, I assume: universal voter ID (broadly defined — not narrowly limited), vote by mail requirements, clear rules regarding when vote counts can be cut off (I would think it would be easy to say that the military member ‘received by’ date should be the federal election standard for all), auditable paper trail, and voter safety at polling sites would all be in there. Whether a re-authorization for section 5 for pre-clearance of all jurisdictions (my wish and once supported by Manchin) will make it is unlikely.
@Baud: Just the emphasis on drones from the Greenwald types was clearly identifiable as a bad-faith way to find the one area where Obama was a bigger warmonger than Bush, once they completely ignored all drone activity under Trump.
@Immanentize: Ohio. Very much in play. We have a good candidate in Tim Ryan. He’s doing a Sherrod Brown-lite campaigning ( because nobody else can be Sherrod!)
Now would be a really good time to uncap the Social Security wage base.
@Eunicecycle: OK, some here know my deep previous dislike for Ryan. But he seems to have pulled his head out of the Seth Moulton sewer and really moved toward his constituents. People can change for the better, even if power is their motivation.
So I will open my mind to consider Ryan again.
/s/ Dago Red
@burnspbesq: It is always a good time for that.
@kindness: Joe Manchin beat his Republican opponent in 2018 by 3.3%. A Libertarian candidate came in 3rd with 4%. I would not count Manchin out in 2024.
Manchin may not matter so much after the midterms. Democrats have a good shot at flipping open seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Democrats Hassan (NH), Cortez-Masto (NV), Warnock (GA), and Kelly (AZ) face tough reelection races, as will Republican Rubio (FL). I like our chances to come out of the midterms with 52 or more Democratic Senators. For one thing, Democrats are fairly unified, while Republicans seem to have a lot of intra-party stress.
@Immanentize: Right. He is learning, as GWB would say.
@Betty Cracker: Anyone who has inherited securities benefitted from the stepped up basis rule. Where’s Joe “let’s means test it” Manchin when you need him?
Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall in Paxton’s office?
Hmm. A suit against Texas wouldn’t be described as an enforcement action, I think. We’ll see.
This is an excellent summary of possible problems. But I have not seen any good analysis of potential numbers or costs.
Fortunately we have a robust social safety net to deal with this.
And of course many of the right wing nutjobs who are anti vaxx are also opposed to any programs that would help anyone in financial distress because of Covid.
These numbers out of Mississippi make me want to cry.
@Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix:
Imagine if this was in Texas and some “good denizen” decided to bring a case against the woman’s husband because of reasoning that she decided not to be vaccinated in order to terminate her baby. It’s not far fetched. People will do all kinds of shit for money.
ETA: #69 – yes!
@Immanentize: Impossible! I’ve been told by the press that those people in Afghanistan were completely abandoned, and will never get out. *rolleyes* Idiots, as if the Biden administration is going to tell them everything they’re doing behind the scenes to help those people leave.
I say let Manchin get a lower number as long as he agrees to a higher corporate tax rate and fully funding the IRS to go after the trillions in shady tax tactics by the 1%. We lose some welfare benefits for people who need them but we stop this crap where the wealthy go tax-free.
As far as messaging, we have to talk about the wealth that will be generated by Build Back America. How come when the GOP talks tax cuts, they always get away with claiming how much common folk wealth will flow from the savings afforded to the upper crust–the so-called job creators? Our turn!
No doubt someone has argued that “dynamic scoring” be applied to Democratic initiatives for once. I just haven’t seen it because, need I say it, our media is mostly a corporate arm.
@rikyrah: my husband has cousins in Mississippi. A few weeks ago we were zooming with them and some other cousins when the subject of masks came up. One of the Mississippi cousins, a long time IT engineer so not unintelligent, said, “Well Dr. Fauci himself said masks don’t work.” There was dead silence when one of the other cousins pointed out that he said that 18 months ago and very shortly afterwards started recommending them. The Mississippi cousin literally waved it away. Of course they’re not vaccinated.
I know. Not that hard.
Good numbers for estimating don’t exist. All we have are lousy numbers: the lifetime costs of a patient’s treatment for a traumatic brain injury are estimated to run from $85,000 to $3 million. (Northwestern U)
I have a post ready to go up at 2:15 for the LIVE press conference.
I hope you legal eagles will be around for the post!
@topclimber: I’m still clinging to the hope that Manchin is just posturing, but the ridiculous new No Labels push poll on his proposed “spending pause” makes me think that’s a pipedream.
@Betty Cracker: S&M (and others) will get their pound of flesh. Not everything that should be in the final bill will be in the final bill. We should accept that, take the win, set it as the new baseline, and build the perception for the need for new legislation from there.
The legislature is starting to work again. We need to remember that it’s not pretty, but it can be made to creak and shudder and move forward.
tl;dr – Take the win and keep going.
@rikyrah: If I multiply
300 (stand-in for 300 million dollars a day) * 365 days * 20 (years), I get 13,140,000
then you multiply that times 1 million you get:
Am I wrong, or is that 13 trillion and change?
If we divide that by 2 because we are looking at a 10-year plan, we get:
So for 10 years we would be spending less on our own country, for our own people, than we did for Afghanistan.
Now tell me why I’m wrong. :-)
@Kay: I am so glad that they did! This has been very tough on pregnant women especially.
@condorcet runner-up: No one asks pointedly “What part of the government would you like to see cut?”
If he were to ever answer that question, he could be hammered into the ground with whatever the answer was.
@kindness: I say fuck him sideways; he’s just inflicting damage to us at this point.
@Starfish: One doesn’t be able to be a senator for multiple terms without being able to answer questions like that.
“We can’t afford to do everything – the economy can’t take it, taxes would be too high, inflation would be too high. It would kill the good coal mining jobs we have here in West Virginia! We have to make tough choices – everyone knows that – and I’m willing to do that no matter what the pointy-headed ivory tower socialists in New York City say. I’m fighting every day for West Virginia values!!11”
Doesn’t mean it’s true. It doesn’t have to be true to fit in the echo-chamber that these memes live in.
Manchin seems primarily motivated by attention, getting far too much because of the senate’s effective “tie.” Does he actually give two shits about policy and budgets, or is it simply stamping his loafer-clad feet for the glory of the cameras and lights?
@WaterGirl: I have a fa-fa-faculty meeting then. But maybe I will do that onlive to watch.
@p.a.: Most orphans in the US are not in group homes. The ones that are in group homes are often teens and tweens in foster care who are complex in some way.
The youngest and healthiest children will be scooped up by people willing to adopt. They will go to family members first if family members are willing.
Among the right-wingers, the number, ethnic diversity, and disabilities of their children are signs of religiosity. Look at both Amy Coney Barrett’s kids.
There will be people who adopt children because they see adoption as their calling. I knew some people like this growing up. They had a number of children with big disabilities who had suffered neglect. They did not have much money, but they did the best they could in a state with possibly the weakest social safety net.
@Immanentize: My experience with faculty meetings:
blah, blah, blah, the dean does what he wants anyway.
edit: the Merick Garland post is up.
We need a Balloon Juice desk fundraiser for poor, book-stackin’ Steve.
@mrmoshpotato: If you look closely, you can just see the edge of his shorts in that photo. whew!
@Another Scott: I’m fully prepared to take the win if we get one. That push poll is worrisome though, especially since there seems to be a coordinated media campaign associated with it. Sounds like Manchin might want more than the pound of flesh everyone who pays attention fully expected him to exact — sounds like he’s angling for an arm, a leg or maybe even a torso. Oh well. We shall see!
a thousand flouncing lurkers was fidelio
@mrmoshpotato: We could probably pick up one of those wooden folding TV tray tables pretty cheaply; he could hide it away between uses.
@Starfish: Many foster parents would like to adopt their kids, but can not afford the legal loops they would have to jump through, my parents had to fight for years to adopt my little brother. His father was violently abusive and horrifically neglectful and it still took a long time to have his parental rights ended..My grandmother was approved as a foster parent but would have been rejected if she had tried to adopt her two foster daughters (children of two severely alcoholic parents and affected by fetal alcohol syndrome.) Many children in foster care are siblings, most states rightly do not want to separate siblings, but many foster parents have a hard time taking on three or four children who may all have emotional and physical issues. Many foster children basically try to reject you before you get the chance to reject them, and who could blame them.
@cain: My daughter (fully vaccinated) found out she was pregnant the same week she got covid…we wait to see how the baby is…
I like that you called them S&M.
Sort of describes what they do to the country…..
@EmbraceYourInnerCrone: Really late to the thread, but I am sorry to hear that. That’s a long time to wait and wonder, probably best to assume the best, if you can do that.