Class War

David Brooks Actually Right About Thing, Wants To Build Back Better Too

Finally, the man gets his stopped clock moment.

They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but I honestly cannot recall a time when the New York Times's David Brooks has been right about anything. I have yet to recover from the time he thought gabagool and other Italian meats were beyond the ken of those without college degrees. I mean, I will be the first to admit that I have encountered people who have only ever seen Italian-American people on TV (and are sometimes a little weird about it), but that's geography. I'm pretty sure that regardless of their education level, they understood the concept of "ham." They might even know what capicola is, given that they actually do sell it everywhere and not just New York City.

But I digress! David Brooks is actually right this time. Sort of. He's about the most right David Brooks is capable of being. Brooks published a column yesterday about the Build Back Better reconciliation bill titled "This Is Why We Need to Spend $4 Trillion." It seems fair to say that if David Brooks, a man who cannot figure out how to politely say "It's ham" to a friend bewildered by sub shop options, can figure out that this bill is actually necessary, anyone ought to be able to.

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Congress

Oh Good, Now We Know What Joe Manchin Wants, Maybe. And It's AWFUL.

Dok is Mad About A Thing.

One of the recurring mysteries getting in the way of progress on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill is that nobody really knows what exactly the the two Democratic holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, are holding out for. They've both been extremely coy about not saying in public what top-line amount of spending they could vote for, other than "Not $3.5 trillion over 10 years."

Now, last night, Manchin did release that screed about the "fiscal insanity" of spending lots of money on social programs while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for it, but even that wasn't terribly specific about changes he might want to make to the reconciliation package beyond insisting Congress should wait and see whether poor people stop being poor, and also we should means-test any new benefits to make sure the middle class won't support the bill since it's frozen out of getting any help.

As for Sinema, she's been even less clear. Asked whether the rest of the Democratic caucus knows where she is, she hilariously said "I'm clearly right in front of the elevator" because she's the second coming of goddamn John "turn left at Greenland" Lennon.

Today, however, Politico reports it has dredged up a copy of a July 28 document that it says Manchin has been handing to Senate colleagues who want to know what his own position on reconciliation might be, if he'd be so kind. It's a brief outline of some fairly radical changes he'd like to make to Biden's first-term agenda, like slashing most of it. Look at this shit, would you just LOOK AT IT:

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Congress

Dems Keep Dithering Over Debt Limit, Even Though Nobody Gives Two Sh*ts About It

Why? WHYYYYYY?

Senate Republicans' game of chicken with a government shutdown and a possible default on the federal debt continues today; if a stopgap funding bill isn't passed by the end of Thursday, the government will shut down, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress yesterday that if the federal debt limit isn't increased, the government will be all out of money to pay its bills on about October 18. Monday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have averted both crises, and then yesterday, they did so again.

The shutdown is probably the easier to avoid; all Democrats have to do is remove the provision suspending the debt limit, and enough Republicans in the Senate will vote for the bill. But the debt limit, an arbitrary restriction on the government's ability to borrow to pay for spending it's already done, is harder, because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell not only won't allow any Republicans to vote to raise it; he also won't agree to let Democrats pass it with 50 votes plus VP Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote.

So instead, Democrats will probably have to pass the debt limit using the budget reconciliation process, which as we've discussed before, they can do with a stand-alone bill and just 51 votes in the Senate. (Let's stop your objection in its tracks. Reconciliation can be used three times a year, once for taxing, once for spending, and once for the debt limit. Using reconciliation for the debt limit doesn't use up the "tax and spend" reconciliations which would be used to pass Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda.)

Unfortunately, as Politico reports, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer keeps saying he won't do that, at least not yet. Why? Honestly, we don't effing know. WHY NOT, CHUCK?

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Abortion

Deranged Person Says Eliminating Roe Will 'Empower' Women, Is Also Mississippi Attorney General

Wow, bet not voting would really make women carefree!

The US Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on Mississippi's abortion law on December 1, in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, unless of course the Court's refusal to block Texas's abortion law already did that. Last Friday, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in an interview with the Catholic TV network EWTN that if the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, were to overturn Roe, it would actually "empower" women. You see, every woman who wants to "have it all" can have a baby and a career, and women who only want a career can also have a baby and a career, which is clearly a bonus.

The Mississippi Free Press watched so we wouldn't have to. Fitch was positively brimming with excellent news for all women, whether they want control over their own bodies or not:

Think about this: the lives that will be touched, the babies that will be saved, the mothers that will get the chance to really redirect their lives. [...] And they have all these opportunities that they didn't have 50 years ago. Fifty years ago, professional women, they really wanted you to make a choice. Now you don't have to. Now you have the opportunity to be whatever you want to be.

Unless what you want to be is no longer pregnant, but Fitch just said you can have whatever you want, so you clearly wouldn't want that. Instead, she explained, "You have the option in life to really achieve your dream and goals, and you can have those beautiful children as well."

Guess that covers all the options: having children and a career, or just having children. What an amazing modern world Mississippi is opening up for the mothers of tomorrow!

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