Earlier, Olivia Nuzzi tweeted out a selectively edited statement from the White House. It was both deceptive in how she barbered it and the way she screen grabbed it, she made it look like it was an official White House release when it was actually the opening remarks from a press briefing by Jeff Zients and the rest of the COVID advisory team. In this case disinformation and agitprop wasn’t laundered through the news media. Rather, it was created by a reporter so she could stoke outrage in exchange for clicks.
Here’s the link where you can find it.
And here’s the actual statement, which was actually just the opening remarks of a press briefing from Jeff Zients (emphasis mine on what Nuzzi deliberately chose to leave out):
11:06 A.M. EST
MR. ZIENTS: Good morning. And thanks for joining us.
Today, Dr. Walensky will give an overview of the state of the pandemic and on new practices that will help keep schools open, and Dr. Fauci will provide an update on the latest science and the importance of boosters.
But before we start, I want to talk about how we should think about this moment.
As we’ve explained in prior briefings, the Omicron variant is more transmissible and our medical experts anticipate it will lead to a rise in cases.
But unlike last winter, we now have the power to protect ourselves.
Our vaccines work against Omicron, especially for people who get booster shots when they are eligible. If you are vaccinated, you could test positive. But if you do get COVID, your case will likely be asymptomatic or mild.
We are intent on not letting Omicron disrupt work and school for the vaccinated. You’ve done the right thing, and we will get through this.
For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.
So, our message to every American is clear: There is action you can take to protect yourself and your family. Wear a mask in public indoor settings. Get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get a booster shot when you’re eligible.
We are prepared to confront this new challenge. We have plenty of vaccines and booster shots available at convenient locations and for no cost. There is clear guidance on masking to help slow the spread. And we have emergency medical teams to respond to surges as necessary.
So, this is not a moment to panic because we know how to protect people and we have the tools to do it. But we need the American people to do their part to protect themselves, their children, and their communities.
The more people get vaccinated, the less severe this Omicron outbreak will be. One hundred sixty thousand unvaccinated people have already needlessly lost their lives just since June, and this number will continue to go up until the unvaccinated take action.
So, I’ll say it once more: Get vaccinated.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Dr. Walensky.
What this statement is not, despite Nuzzi’s efforts, is a big Biden Fuck You to the unvaccinated. Rather, it is a tough, but accurate statement to the unvaccinated followed by information about what the unvaccinated can do to get themselves vaccinated and protected combined with a call to Americans to get their civic virtue in gear and do the right thing for themselves and their fellow Americans.
I have no idea why Nuzzi decided she needed to stir the shit this morning and frankly I don’t care. But that’s what she decided to do rather than accurately report that once again the Biden administration’s COVID team dispensed some tough love followed by effective and easily achievable suggestions to Americans who are unvaccinated as the Omicron variant drives a winter surge of COVID-19.
The only thing she got right in her tweet was the link to the actual transcript of the briefing. Which, of course, the people she was looking to agitate would never bother to click on and check the statement for themselves.
Update at 11:50 AM EST
I think we have found Nuzzi’s motive:
Publishing insiders say that Nuzzi and Politico’s Lizza have struggled to come up with the kind of scoops or access that make political blockbusters jump off the shelves — especially with the public appetite for Washington drama on the wane.
We’re told that while the pair are plenty well-sourced on the Trump side of the saga, senior figures on the Biden team “don’t trust” Nuzzi in particular, and the couple have struggled to tease out prime information because of it.
Hell hath no fury…
PS: Before anyone else bitches about typos, I have recently converted my MacBook workstation set up to standing. My back feels so much better, thanks for asking! But, after two weeks with the new setup, this necessitated getting a bluetooth keyboard that is positioned well below shoulder level, as trying to type at that level was causing shoulder issues. The keyboard arrived yesterday. I’m still getting used to it. So while I already know I can’t spell, but I appreciate everyone letting me know just in case I was unaware, until I get a handle on the new keyboard layout, there will likely be more typos than usual.
PPS: I saw Chetan’s excellent question in the comments of my post last night and I will try to answer it in a post tonight.
As we get older, it is always more difficult to adjust to new things.
If you like your old Mac keyboard, they do make USB extension cords so you can place it wherever you want. In case the bluetooth doesn’t work out.
Adam L Silverman
@JustRuss: I have a MacBook Pro.
Before anyone else bitches…
We are a patient group here.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Personally, I refuse to purchase political insider “tell-all” books, and that includes access journalists.
If a story wasn’t worth telling at a time contemporaneous with policy decisions, it isn’t worth learning now.
God the media miss Trump’s WH so much they can taste it. It was the best gig on earth. Just sit back and watch the DMs from backbiting staffers — and perhaps occasionally the big man himself (I’m looking at you, Haberman!) — roll in.
Stupid Biden with his stupid staff and their stupid professionalism. Makes you wonder why you got into journalism in the first place.
I don’t think this incident is going to help build trust – in anything it underscores that that the White House was right when it comes to not trusting. It seems particularly egregious that they create this as it puts lives at risk. This is a remarkable example of shit journalism that fellow journalists should rebuke.
I haven’t trusted Olivia Nuzzi in a long time. She’s not an honest player.
In other news:
Truthfully I don’t care if Biden is finally beginning to talk tough love to the Unvax’ed. Its far overdue at this point. What he said is true. Severe illness and death? Thats no secret. The unvax’ed are much more likely to suffer severe illness and death
Maybe they’re looking in the wrong places. The Congressional coronavirus investigation published a report, maybe they could find some stories in there.
Maybe they could do a series on climate change, and what the costs would be, over time, of failing to act to limit it.
Maybe they could do a series on all the ways the GOP has been working on rigging elections at the state level, and to what extent the Dems’ proposed legislation would counteract their approaches.
Maybe they could do a series on people whose lives will be hurt by the failure of BBB.
Maybe they could do a series on the rising tide of violence, threats, and harassment against local public officials, teachers, doctors and nurses.
Lots of good stories to be written out there, just not much of the “here’s the dirt on the Administration” type of story. (Maybe there just isn’t much dirt to find on this Administration. Maybe it’s full of people who just want to do their freakin’ jobs, and do them well.)
I will never judge you for typos, grammar etc. because I’m as guilty of them as anyone.
When people like Nuzzi and Lizza start losing access… that’s when they start fighting back in passive aggressive ways against the people not taking their phone calls.
And so we get selectively edited stuff, and slanted stuff, etc.
Since it is an Open Thread, Dan Pfeiffer has some (imo) wise words:
“Every Democrat — myself included — did a miserable job of managing expectations and leveling with our most loyal activists, volunteers, and donors. My guess is that a lot of Democratic leaders knew where we were likely to end up on BBB and voting rights; passing either by the end of the year was a very long shot. But that is not the impression they gave. People were repeatedly told that “failure was not an option” and victory was right around the corner. Senate Democratic leaders announced a $3.5 trillion version of Biden’s Jobs and Climate even though they knew Manchin and Sinema were not on board with a plan that big. I am sympathetic to the desire to create momentum and know the difficulties of dealing with Sinema and Manchin, but raising expectations without acknowledging the very real obstacles to progress makes failure all the more costly. Democrats are equally furious and depressed because they think the party is failing to do something easy as opposed to trying to do something nearly impossible. Too many people are promising results on legislation like voting rights and immigration without articulating a plausible path to success.
If we were straight about the situation, the public would be more understanding of the defeats and appreciative of the willingness to take on tough fights when the odds are long. This failure puts President Biden in the position of being judged, not for his successes, but for his failures. And it lets the Republicans off the hook for their unanimous opposition to popular, necessary policies.
If we continue to raise expectations because we are afraid to tell people the hard truths about politics, we will end up distracting them from the existential threat facing our country. Millions of Americans fought like hell in 2020 because of the danger that is Donald Trump, but that danger is not gone. The Republicans are waiting in the wings to seize power through unscrupulous means and not give it back for decades. The fight is far from over.
Politics is hard. Progress is never a straight line, but we would all be better off if we reckoned with our political reality and treated the voters like adults. Maybe that will be my New Year’s resolution.”
@germy: Me either.
@nonrev: Yes, indeed.
A tune that’s been getting a workout in my head lately: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jX3I5OPWwgc
Anyone who is complaining about Biden’s messaging rather than sounding the alarm about the GOP, et al.’s, active sabotage of the government’s response to the pandemic is an accomplice to the destruction.
@Adam L Silverman:
There may be a dongle in your future.
I used to point out typos and then realized it’s kind of a dick thing to do, especially on a blog, so not gonna happen from me anymore (and I’m sorry to those I did it to in the past). Unless it’s one that makes for an accidental funny, in which case I’ll be offering kudos to the (mis)typist.
This shouldn’t be the case, but I think we need to check the actual statement anytime it comes through the DC press corpse. It’s very easy to get outraged, only to discover that the real statement has been completely twisted to make a better story. If we had a functioning news media, getting caught doing that kind of thing would get people fired and run out of the profession. That news media figures can completely distort the meaning of statements like these and misrepresent their context with no negative repercussions shows how far off the rails the media has become.
West of the Rockies
I find Nuzzi’s perma-pout to be irksome, her dubious journalistic integrity more so.
@Adam L Silverman:
I sympathize. Both the back and the typing.
The back more than the typing. But still, in this day and age, and your work, typing is somewhat important. I have had my share (and seemingly others share as well) of back disasters and they are less than fun. Now typing, that is another issue altogether. I think nature has a hand in typing being as I need someone to blame for dyslexia, which I usually type as lesdixyea, given as I seem to be affected with it.
Anyway I hope everything gets better, but I warn you, if you are lesdixyic, it does seem to get worse with age…..
Best of health to you.
@germy: Holy cow; that tweet from Nuzzi in 2020…
Must be nice to have had a life where nothing really, truly bad has ever happened to you, Nuzzi.
I wasn’t offended by the clipped version. It was accurate and firm.
Also, too, this kind of reminds of how Hillary’s “deplorable” speech was actually a plea for empathy for Trump voters who she believed weren’t racist.
@germy: I doubt she need worry about the first part.
@Baud: I call it the Two Baskets speech, precisely because people ignored the other part.
Oh my God, I’m so excited to have been given an opening to post this:
The Guys Who Named the Dongle
I’m sure when she’s 77 she’ll be writing book after book about every little thing that didn’t go her way.
More to the point, this isn’t a failure of Biden’s messaging. This is a deliberate decision by a media figure to distort what some of Biden’s people said. It’s impossible to communicate in a way that can’t be willfully misconstrued by people acting in bad faith. Anyone who complains about messaging while ignoring that the problem in this case was deliberate media distortion isn’t worth listening to.
Exactly. For all the MAGAts officially declared the press as the enemy or “fake news”, the media ate it up because it was exciting and good for clicks. And easy – the White House leaked like a sieve. Now they have to manufacture clickbait in order to trend on Twitter. It’s work, I tell you.
It’s time to get out some very tiny violins for poor Joe Manchin:
In an interview with radio host Hoppy Kercheval on West Virginia MetroNews on Tuesday, Manchin blamed the White House for his opposition to Build Back Better.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Wyatt Salamanca: LOL. He won’t tell because he doesn’t want to admit its all about him blocking popular stuff because of his business interests.
I’m not going to attempt to predict Manchin, but usually when the “staff” is blamed, it’s an attempt at a walk back.
I like this messaging (and visuals) from U.S. Fish and Wildlife:
It’s not just your opinion. I concur with you. These are wise words by Dan.
There really isn’t much to do about the conservative side, other than decisively beat them at the ballot box. They aren’t about learning or new, or realistic. The mass of conservatives are supporting something that existed badly decades ago, and has never really gone away. It’s political pouting, the result of never actually maturing past the stage of yelling and stomping their feet so they get a few more cookies.
@lowtechcyclist: Ugh, actually have to type out nuance and put together some journalism? Why when it so much easier to try and get clicks from controversy with a mere tweet.
Thanks. This has made my morning.
When I think about this little device, I change the lyrics in this song to be about Dongle Love.
I’m not sure that Nuzzi did Biden and the White House a disservice with this creative editing. I have the impression that the vast majority of vaccinated people have grown fed up with the whining of the unvaccinated and is result of prolonging the COVID crisis. Hearing a little tough talk to the whiners may just be what most people want.
What’s wrong with a big ol’ “fuck you” to the unvaccinated? Here, I’ll start:
FUCK YOU, UNVACCINATED ASSHOLES
@Nicole: OTOH, front-pagers get a lot more visibility and often move on to bigger and better things over time. (ABL has over 1/4M followers on Twitter.) Suggestions for fixing typos given here are generally an honest effort at helping. Being defensive – or worse – about them isn’t a good look, IMHO.
That is sick.
@lowtechcyclist: These are excellent suggestions. Is there a way to get them in front of Nuzzi/Lizza?
I feel hopeless about getting him off the stage. I think as long as this bullshit dance continues it harms Biden, and if Biden isn’t more popular that’s going to impact every single midterm race.
They have to extricate themselves from the Joe Manchin show. I don’t know how they do it. We’ve created a monster. I’m pissed at Schumer for not being the public face of this. This is HIS fucking shit show. Come get it.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
I agree with both of you. See my post above this one.
In the navy we would say someone who has acted like Manchin just did had stepped on his dick. With golf spikes. He tried to play a game way, way above his pay grade. And failed. Hence the stepping part. The problem is that his pouting has effected millions of people and many of them are somewhat pissed about it.
Those are nice words for bull and shit.
@Ruckus: I’m all for hope and optimism, playing every card, not giving up, going big etc. I just wish people would acknowledge how hard some of this stuff is rather than pretending it’s easy.
Apparently, the guy was pro-Pinochet.
We have to stop wrestling with the pig. We know how this goes.
How do you deal with this many pouting children who think that everything they desire is the only way, when what they want is to see everyone else die in a fire?
During the Battle of the Bulge in WW2, Field Marshall Montgomery gave a public presentation describing how the battle was progressing. Most of those present felt it was accurate and reasonably fair, although a bit self-aggrandizing and too critical of American leadership in some respects. The Nazi propagandists edited the speech to include only the worst bits and broadcast it to American troops, presenting it as a BBC broadcast, and managed to generate considerable friction between the Allies.
In short, Ms. Nuzzi is in good company.
Also, too, unlike Trump, apparently that guy conceded gracefully.
I don’t want to dive too deep into what, at the end of the day, is tea-leaf reading/tip-of-iceburg approaches to understanding this political situation.
Esp. given the very fresh evidence in this post that too many in our news media are not honest brokers.
And I acknowledge I’m risking playing into that, with this comment. And yet, two things do jump out at me:
These acts feel of some small import, moreso than the face value of this war of words.
It is my belief that the Democrats have been misplaying this from the start. When Manchin says he cannot “explain” this to his voters, he’s not talking programs; he’s talking costs. $2 plus TRILLION dollars! That’s all many people hear. Most of them probably don’t even realize that the costs are spread over ten years. They don’t know that the Pentagon spends 3 times that much every year. All most of have heard is $2 trillion plus. That sounds like a hell of a lot of money. And that’s what the Republicans will shout about – those Tax and Spend Democrats.
Also, when it became clear that Manchin and Sinema were wild cards, then they had to rethink the omnibus nature of the bill. If, as people insist, many of the disparate parts of the bill are popular, then propose bills regulating drug prices or expanding health insurance or continuing the child tax credit or expanding health care, etc. and then force the Republicans to vote against them.
Harry Truman won in 1948 by running against the “do nothing” Republican Congress. The Democrats only hope in 2022 is to run against the “do nothing” Republican Party. Also, too the anti-democratic Republican Party.
Another reason I’m glad Biden is president.
Sane foreign policy.
@Nicole: It can’t be that nice.
Look at what a miserable thief of everyone’s time and oxygen she ended up being…
Indeed. What a fucking crybaby.
I really wish Bernie would go on that speaking tour of West Virginia to explain to the good citizens of that state just what the things were that Manchin killed. That might cut through some of the bullshit.
The overwhelming majority of the White House Press Corps would prefer Trump the totalitarian as President over Biden simply because he’s so much more exciting and unpredictable. Biden may believe in the rule of law as well as checks and balances, but he’s just too damn boring for the assholes assigned to the White House beat.
Your first graph is spot on. Normal people do not think in numbers that large, they have no reference to that much money or even numbers that big. But in any nation this size, a ten year program is going to cost a bit. And the costs should be discussed in a way that far more people can understand, like per person costs per year over time, especially in relation to income structure.
@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:
I think it’s because he thinks it’ll go to them there strappin’ bucks in their cadillacs. He’s already trotted out the old canard about subsidizing peoples’ drug habits with taxpayer mobey. (Or HE doesn’t, but his voters DO – which is ultimately a distinction sans practical difference).
It really is race. It is always, always, always about race. Especially when it ain’t.
@germy: Christ, what an asshole.
Thankfully she really got rightfully dragged in the replies.
Most likely, yes.
I know, right? They might actually have to do some work. The horror!
I suppose one could respond to one of their tweets with items from the list, but they would of course be dismissive, if they even bothered to reply.
Yep. Look at the vax sitch. They refuse to protect other people, then call it freedom. It isn’t freedom. It is selfishness. A refusal to acknowledge that the decisions I make affect other people and their freedoms.
It is at best childish stupidity – more often it is depraved indifference. Either way, it is the distilled essence of modern conservatism. The idea that the world begins and ends with me. Or else.
@Woodrow/asim: I agree the “staff-driven” thing is bullshit. There’s no way Psaki would issue such a scathing statement without Biden’s explicit consent. Also, Manchin may be dumber than a sack of glass hammers, but even he must realize the “staff-driven” thing plays into the constant Fox News bullshit about Biden being a doddering old fool who doesn’t really run the country.
I’ll repeat something from the earlier thread:
“You should get vaccinated against this deadly virus.”
“Not gonna vax.”
”There’s a much stronger chance you’ll die if you catch this highly contageous and deadly virus if you’re not vaccinated.”
“Not gonna vax.”
”The likelihood of death is clearly much much greater than those of serious side effects from the vaccine.”
“Not gonna vax.”
“We’d like you to stay alive for the well being of your children and loved ones.”
“Not gonna vax.”
“Okay. Fine. Die then.”
“WHY ARE YOU BEING SO MEAN TO ME?!?”
@Kay: Did you read Schumer’s “dear colleagues” letter? I don’t think you’ll be impressed.
@Subsole: I suspect that Manchin’s comments may really be a reflection of what Manchin thinks about his constituents, who are mostly white. Of course, most of Manchin’s constituents think he’s talking about nonwhites. It’s remarkable the contempt that most conservative pols seem to have for their own people. I guess it comes from seeing the gargantuan volumes of bullshit they’ll consume and still keep asking for more.
@UncleEbeneezer: I disagree. I am much worse at typos than you are.
Guffaw. I’m SURE I won’t be :)
I’m glad he’s at work though- I wondered where he got off to.
Shrerrod Brown represents a Trumpy state. He didn’t have any problem explaining BBB to voters. In fact, he had a nice little piece in our local paper last week promoting the bill- in a 65% Trump county.
Manchin’s excuses don’t hold up. Everyone has problems and if his problem is he can’t explain policy to voters maybe he should be in a different line of work.
@germy: For real.
It baffles me people have forgotren the last 4 years already.
I appreciate not having to worry that Preznit Stumbledick the Stupid will tweet us into world wars 3, 4, and 5 simultaneously because he read the wrong meme.
What else would he be qualified for?
I feel like I have a different read on Manchin than others. I think he’s like an ordinary flim flammer. A cheat.
I think the vanity is part of that. You can be just as vain and slick in West Virginia as in New York. The geography doesn’t define him. I don’t know how to break this to people but there’s nothing inherently honest about Appalachia. That is just movies and children’s books.
@Wyatt Salamanca: So he’s actually going with They Know What They Did, huh.
@Kay: As our esteemed blogfather said:
If Manchin is too damn stupid to explain it, he surely has the money and connections to find someone who CAN.
@Kay: He’s not a very good flim flammer. I don’t get why he doesn’t go the Byrd route and see this as a golden opportunity to load WV up with federal largesse. He didn’t even seem to try, instead went on this idiotic tack about inflation. Did the Dem leadership not give him that option?
James E Powell
I’m sure we can all go back over the last year and change some things – messaging & otherwise – but this about not having the votes. It’s always about not having the votes. Cf. Undesirable Modifications to the ACA.
We do need to change the narrative from Biden v Manchin & Sinema to Biden & Democrats v Republicans who want people to die from COVID, but I’m not sure how to do that now. The press/media have decided they want Biden to go down and they want Trump back or if not him, then DeSantis.
That explains part of the media’s obsession with Trump voters. The fetishization of the peasantry. The idealization of the unlettered wisdom of the humble rabble, as a sort of counterpoint to their own deep feelings of inadequacy and insecurity stemming from the perceived effeteness of their station and its tasks.
They need the folk of the hill and plain to be honest, homespun, and have the mystical common-sense wisdom that just naturally comes with shoveling pig shit. Or pouring iron in the steelworks. They NEED a Noble White Savage. Someone to tell them that they’re allright. They’re one of the good ‘uns. Heck, they can even come to the barbecue.
They want us to be at once too sly to fool, and too innocent to question. It’s actually pretty damned patronizing of them, now I ponder it. I wish they’d go buy some therapy and stop subjecting the rest of us to these assholes’ malicious whims.
@lowtechcyclist: Let’s put them together like real celebrity couples. Luzza.
Adam thanks as always for your analysis.
Have you seen this article by Brynne Tannehill? I’ve been trying to find pieces that get specific about post-coup scenarios and this is the closest I’ve found yet.
Sleepwalking Toward a Post Democracy America
WaPo: Manchin’s private offer to Biden included pre-k, climate money, Obamacare — but excluded child benefit.
(I’d link but the app made me install an update, so screw it.)
James E Powell
He’s against all the policies. But he doesn’t want to say so plainly, so he spouts bullshit. Every word he has said and will say about BBB is bullshit.
He’s going to switch parties after the midterms. People say this won’t happen, but he is making “they are pushing me” & “I don’t agree with this party” statements at least once a week. Those are not idle remarks.
We need to move on from Manchin-mania and start attacking Republicans across the board.
@James E Powell: I will still be surprised if he switches parties. First, he instantly would lose all his power. Second, he voted to impeach trump twice, so he’s already not welcome there (although McConnell will lie to him about that). Third, as a Democrat he’s a peacock; as a Republican he’s a mud hen.
As much as I dislike people demanding stuff that Biden and the Democrats “must do,” I’m going to indulge myself in saying what I wish they would do.
Manchin said on WV radio today that he never intended to vote for the BBB. He’s been “negotiating” in bad faith the whole time, apparently just to be a peacock.
But we still need his vote. Well, carrots haven’t worked. I hope Biden takes the gloves off. He’s already angry enough to do it and Manchin has given him the weapon to use: he’s been negotiating in bad faith. He lied to Biden to his face. OK. That destroys Manchin as a legislator. Why would anyone, in either party, trust another word he says? If Biden pushes that charge he could do serious, permanent damage to Manchin. Plus, as the President of the United States, he could use his power to make Manchin’s life quite uncomfortable.
Unless Manchin walks it back and votes for the bill–the whole bill.
Anyhoo, that’s just my wishful thinking talking. Because I think it’s possible that Manchin has just deep-sixed the whole of America just for his petty ego. And I don’t know how we come back from that. (dooooooom!)
@Baud: That’s also a reason to do that kind of remark through an intermediary. It allows face saving “misunderstandings.”
Gin & Tonic
@Baud: @germy: WRT to the Chilean election:
Well, here’s a nice thing: Sen. Jon Ossoff and his wife became parents last Friday to a baby girl, Eva Beth. It’s pleasant to be purely happy for people in their joy.
And just learned that my brother is headed home from the hospital within the hour! If he continues to test negative for Covid, he’ll be able to spend Christmas with nephew and family after all! That news also makes me very happy.
@Hoodie: What’s pretty clear to me is that conservatives no longer give a shit about building up their local constituencies. They’re such a cult nowadays that they are more bought into making everyone not super wealthy suffer, and that’s it. They’ll bend a bit when there’s a natural disaster (see the GQP Kentucky Congressional delegation), but federal largesse isn’t sufficiently appreciated back home (because the voters are part of the sadomasochistic cult) while showering any largesse to be had on the super wealthy is both appreciated and acceptable to the cult.
Manchin marinates in that stew, by choice.
Think about money from his direction.
He has a bit of money. He’s made his money from the dirtiest possible thing to burn for profit – coal. How is he going to continue to be in the coal business when there’s little to no coal left in WV?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@James E Powell:
I am a broken record on this but the big thing about the upper end of republican politics is money. And how they can keep the most of it. TFG is their mascot, not for his success, he’s a business disaster, but in his concepts that money is absolutely everything and the poor are poor because they have no idea how to steal all that money or are black and deserve nothing. He’d be their leader if he was capable of much of anything except bullshit. He’s not.
So that leaves the rest of us who do not believe the crap he does to make a better country. And it’s harder because a significant percentage of this country believes his/their financial/racist crap. It’s just far more difficult to achieve because a significant percentage of the people that believe what TFG does actually vote for themselves to be screwed rather than a dime should go to anyone that doesn’t.
I think his petty ego allowed him to do this but I think he’s doing it for the power he thinks he has. That he’s hurt himself as much as anyone else is testament to his obvious misreading/misunderstanding of his place in the scheme of politics
I should have added to my comment at #100 that there are democrats that are not as bad but are in the same vein as republicans, and Manchin is one of them.
Because it’s seen as benefitting primarily women, along with child care subsidies and parental leave.
The US is really backward on women, and lurching more backward every day!
More and more I think it’s why we can’t get just ordinary “quality of life” stuff for families- they’re “too female”. Icky. Remember the ridiculous “debate” we had over whether home health care aides have real jobs? No. They do not. Hardhats only! Manly work.
You watch- parental leave and child care subsidies will never, ever pass. It’s “womens work” so not valued.
Woosh! Poor kids go right under the bus!
So much for that principle.
It’s funny because I actually think the CTC is important to Biden. He’s (rightfully) proud of such a massive reduction in child poverty, because he’s a genuine humanitarian.
@Emerald: If people want to shout at me or whatever that’s fine, but the delay or even failure of the BBB is not the end of American democracy.
@Kay: If I had to choose between CTC and climate I’d choose climate, too.
It’s certainly better than not getting the choice at all and getting no CTC and nothing for climate.
@Kay: Nah. Manchin truly thinks that West Virginians are dumber that Ohioans. Seems pretty simple to me.
@guachi: We are getting clean power initiatives, in the Infrastructure bill and by the actions of Executive departments such as Energy, Agriculture, and Transportation. That is on top of state local, and private sector action.
The 2018 UN IPCC report called for a carbon neutral world economy by 2050. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The Child Tax Credit and universal pre-K are investments in human capital that can make a more capable society. I’d put them before additional clean power legislation.
But we don’t neccesarily have to play one interest against another. People seem to want to, but I’m not giving up on any until we have to.
@germy: Very glad Boric won in Chile, but horrified that a supporter of that fascist butcher Pinochet could get 44%.
James E Powell
Agree, but my take on their allegiance to Trump is slightly different. The rich are dependent upon their alliance with the ignorant, hateful bigots who vote Republican. There is diversity within that group: fundies, gun nuts, white supremacists, etc., with some overlaps, but they are united by their hatred of the rest of us. The rich are glued to Trump because those voters are glued to Trump. No one has ever animated & motivated those voters like he has.
We cannot hope to change them, we have to outwork and outvote them. It is truly an uphill battle, but we do not have any other choice.
James E Powell
Agree completely. We need to win the midterms. Winning elections is all that matters. Negativity. Screaming that Biden betrayed us. Fighting with each other. None of that wins elections.
There is no messaging gimmick, no magic bullet. Only elections.
@Kay: That’s an abbreviation that I haven’t seen. Is CTC the child tax credit?
I was happy to see the White House calling out the unvaccinated.
Only people outraged were the GOP idiots and the crazy Biden can do no good looking for it and trying to act like they were talking about those unvaccinated through no fault of their own versus the ones that choose to be unvaccinated.
But mah freedums!
@James E Powell:
I think we are a lot closer in our views of TFG than you think.
A lot of the rich are just more successful versions of him. Partially because they don’t say openly what he does. But his crudeness and overt racism is what makes him attractive to those supporters with a lot less money. He is them, with the ability to con/borrow far more money than them.
For what it’s worth, I also liked the truncated version. Those assholes need to get what they asked for, and hard.
@Chief Oshkosh: much simpler explanation. Manchin is an extremely conservative and corrupt person who never had any real affiliation with the Democratic party.
I want to see his daughter’s operation hit with subpoenas from three different agencies by the end of the week.
@Subsole: This is one of the most brilliant comments about media perfidy that I have read. You went deep. Thank you.
@Bobby Thomson: Sold it off for several large bags some time ago, almost immediately after which the business shut down
When can we expect her retraction? ⌚
They resent the competence of 46 and his Administration
@guachi: I think (if I may aspire to be Kay’s Anger Manager, here) that the point is…
WHY THE FUCK SHOULD WE HAVE TO CHOOSE AT ALL BETWEEN CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CHILD TAX CREDIT?! THIS IS A FUCKING CONSTRUCT OF FLAT-OUT MISOGYNY!
And sadly, all too many men on the right AND the left see nothing wrong with telling women they have to take a back seat. Again. And again. And FUCKING AGAIN.
Well, Jayapal did exactly that this evening on the RMS show. She’s very good at upbeat realism. gotta hand it to her.
J R in WV
Manchin’s daughter’s small pharma company was sold out to Big Pharma a couple of years ago, which shut it down as soon as was humanly possible. There’s nothing left to subpoena so far as I can tell. She took the money and ran.
But his wife is co-chair of the Appalachian Commission, an organization intended to rebuild the economies of the Appalachian states with investments. She rakes in something like $170,000/year in the job, plus controls with her co-chair something like several billion dollars of Federal spending annually.