Your infuriating Joe Manchin Sunday shows rundown
Last week, rather than negotiating with the Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Joe Manchin wrote a public "Dear Diary" for everyone (behind a paywall) in
The Wall Street Journal. The idiotic op-ed had Manchin asking to "hit the pause button" on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, without giving many specifics about what he really wants. So, the Sunday shows, as they always do, invited Manchin on to
give him attention further elaborate on his op-ed. Clearly, Manchin was not expecting the anchors to actually push him to explain himself.
On CNN's "State of The Union," after confirming Manchin would be a "no" vote on the reconciliation bill, Dana Bash asked the next logical question...which apparently Manchin never was prepared to answer.
BASH: [A]re you saying it's the price tag, it's the timeline? Both?
MANCHIN: It's the urgency. Do we have the urgency to do what they're wanting to do in such a quick period of time?
BASH: But can you be specific? OK, let's just -- let's talk about the dollar sign. [...] Do you have a specific number in mind?
MANCHIN: Here's a number you should be getting to. First of all, I have agreed to get onto the reconciliation, because that's the time for us to make financial adjustments and changes. [...]
BASH: So, what's the number?
MANCHIN: And bottom line is, what's -- the number would be what's going to be competitive in our tax code.
Bash kept pushing Manchin to answer the elusive "what do you want" question, while Manchin kept saying meaningless folksy things like "I have always said if I can't explain it, I can't vote for it."
BASH: And I'm -- again, I want to get to that, but just because this is -- this is the thing that people consume. Do you have a ceiling?
MANCHIN: I -- my ceiling is this, the need of the American people, and for us to basically take in consideration inflation.
Manchin knows the price is too high but when asked what the number should be, it's just word salad.
Bash then brought up Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's correct criticisms of his objections, like these for instance:
Fossil fuel corps & dark money is destroying our democracy, country, & planet. All day our community has been pull… https://t.co/XEGaU8CXnJ— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1630614510.0
In response, Manchin was condescending and quite frankly kinda sexist!
BASH: Is it true that you have weekly meetings with Exxon and other lobbyists for fossil fuels?
MANCHIN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And you ask them if they have ever -- no, they don't -- weekly meetings, I don't...
BASH: It's just false?
MANCHIN: I keep my door open for everybody. It's totally false. And those types of superlatives, it's just awful. Continue to divide, divide, divide. I don't know that young lady that well. I really don't. I have met her one time, I think, between sets here. But that's it. So, we have not had any conversations. She just speculating and saying things because she wants to ...
First, "I keep my door open for everybody" is as much bullshit when Manchin says it as it is when Marco Rubio said it's fine for him to take money from the NRA if they want to " buy into [his] agenda." Second, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of Congress, not your daughter or your grandchild. Keep your patronizing "young lady" descriptor and give her the respect she's earned as an elected official.
On NBC's "Meet The Press," Manchin's bullshit was so weak he made Chuck Todd seem like a journalist (barely). When Manchin tried to criticize how the mostly paid-for reconciliation bill would be paid for, Todd actually called him out:
TODD: They want to pay for about $2 trillion, deficit spend with dynamic scoring. Look, the infrastructure bill that you helped facilitate has dynamic scoring, which some would argue is deficit spending until we see if the economic growth --
MANCHIN: We could've paid for that very easily without any of the --
TODD: But we didn't pay for it.
MANCHIN: -- dynamic scoring. But because you know what? They wouldn't go for it. They wouldn't basically let allow us to move in that direction because --
TODD: So why is it okay to do that, and you don't want to do this one?
MANCHIN:-- we're still going to do some dynamic scoring and all that. But let's be responsible and reasonable about it.
So dynamic scoring and inflation worries are not an issue when it comes to HIS pet projects. Cool.
On ABC's "This Week" -- yes really he was on ALL THE SHOWS -- George Stephanopoulos called out Manchin's moving of the goalposts on the price tag he's willing to support.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in January, you proposed spending $4 trillion on infrastructure. So what changed?
MANCHIN: Well, you're talking about -- it was about $4.5 trillion they had, talking about. Is that what you're talking about, with the president's...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, you were saying...
MANCHIN: ... Build Back Better plan?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You said about...
MANCHIN: Having both of those put together, and I said from day one, these are two completely different categories.
Fun fact: a key component of the reconciliation bill would lower drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies. This would give the government greater insight into how pharmaceutical executives set prices. Why are we bringing this up right now? Oh no reason.
Fuck Joe Manchin.
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It's your Sunday show rundown!
Republicans went on the Sunday shows this weekend. It didn't go well.
Take Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's appearance on CBS's "Face The Nation."
mentioned a few days ago, Hutchinson has been trying to back off the rakes he stepped on when he signed a bill banning mask mandates in his state. He appeared on Sunday shows numerous times, always playing politics with a virus that doesn't give a damn about politics.
So we're having a hard time with his mea culpas:
HUTCHINSON: [W]e're pushing the vaccines out, but those under 12 cannot get vaccinated in the schools. And so I realized that we needed to have more options for our local school districts to protect those children. And so I asked the legislature to redo the law that prohibited those requirements or those options for the school districts to protect the children. And so it was an error to sign that law. I admit that. Thank goodness if the legislature did not act this week, which they didn't, the court stepped in and held that as unconstitutional. And now we have that local flexibility for schools to make their decision to protect the children based upon the unique circumstances of their district.
"Thank goodness a separate branch of government overrode my and my legislature's reckless idiocy" is not a thing you should hear from elected leaders. Especially when many of the same conditions that exist now existed in April when he signed the law. Children under 12 have never been authorized to take the vaccine and medical experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that we needed to not ease up too early on restrictions in our race to vaccinate people.
Anyway, here's GOP Senator Rick Scott of Florida on "Fox News Sunday." His solution for how we stop the spread of Covid-19 is apparently let's do nothing and pray for the best.
SCOTT: Here's what I think government ought to do, give us good information. I mean here's what's been frustrating about this. This -- this -- since COVID started it's been all political. Just give us good information. Americans are smart. They'll make good decisions for their families. […] Here's what I believe we ought to do at every level of government. Let's be honest.
And who has been making up vaccine bullshit, you lightweight Voldemort? Who made mask-wearing political, you jaundiced Skeletor? Last I checked, the only ones that have been purposely dishonest about this pandemic have been GOP assclowns and their associated media organs.
Scott provided this analogy that perhaps inadvertently revealed the intellectual maturity of the modern GOP:
SCOTT: But, you know, get -- let people make their choices. This is -- you know, this is not a country where we need people telling us what to do. I love my mom. I hate her telling me what to do.
All right then.
Host Bret Baier also brought up the GOP's opposition to the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Scott tried to concern troll about the deficit, the way Republicans do every time there's a Democratic administration, but never care about when they're in charge.
Baier wasn't having it:
BAIER: Senator, you're talking a lot about the deficit and debt. A number of Republicans are. But it wasn't that way under the Trump administration. In fact, if you look at the numbers, the debt went up at the end of fiscal 2020, $26.9 trillion. The Trump administration and Republicans added $6.7 trillion to the debt. That was since President Obama's last budget, a 33 percent increase. Understanding COVID had a big role in that, but there's not a great track record for Republicans recently to tout themselves as deficit debt hawks and now to be doing it here.
When even Fox News is letting its audience know a GOP talking point is hypocritical, you know its bad.
Dana Bash similarly called out Louisiana GOP Senator Bill Cassidy on CNN's "State of the Union" this weekend while pointing out their bad faith opposition to infrastructure:
Dana Bash to Sen. Bill Cassidy: "Do you think it's a bit rich that under President Trump the national debt climbed… https://t.co/1VtSGoKgRe— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1628428447.0
And then there was Maria Bartiromo on Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures" eviscerating GOP Senator Kevin Cramer for supporting the bipartisan bill.
Republicans getting undone by the monsters they created? You hate to see it.
Let's just try to steer clear while they implode.
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We're sure this will happen again.
There is a special kind of torture in watching Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures."
Hosted by Maria Bartiromo, the Melissa Rivers to Jeanine Pirro's Joan Rivers, except for how they're not actually related, it's named to make you think it's about the stock market, but instead is a breeding ground and hangout for the worst assholes in GOP politics. Whether you are an insurrection-agitating former president or a congressman under investigation for underage sex trafficking or a disgraced former mayor of New York, Bartiromo will gladly let you into her conservative Mos Eisley Cantina to spread disinformation and bullshit.
Normally we don't include it in the Sunday show rundown because it barely ever qualifies as a legitimate news show, but sometimes a sonic boom of stupidity or scumbaggery happens there that cannot be ignored.
Enter Lindsey Graham, GOP senator of South Carolina and political remora.
Graham seemingly just can't decide if he's in the group of Republicans who wants a bipartisan infrastructure deal, and appeared to issue a veiled threat to Democrats, while proposing an idea to his own colleagues:
Lindsey Graham says Republicans should leave DC to prevent Senate Democrats from passing an infrastructure bill via… https://t.co/NL1vDoYGuH— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1626619600.0
GRAHAM: If for some reason, they pass the budget resolution to bring that [$3.5 trillion] bill to the floor of the United States Senate … You gotta have a quorum to pass a bill in the Senate. I would leave before I'd let that happen. So, to my Republican colleagues, we may learn something from our Democratic friends in Texas when it comes to avoiding a $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend package. Leave town.
They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," but there are some key differences between Texas Democratic state senators and Graham's proposed stunt, despite how wide-eyed excited Bartiromo was by Graham's idea. Texas Democrats are trying to stop voter suppression bills during a special session GOP Governor Greg Abbott called because he couldn't get away with it in regular session. Graham's proposed stunt is trying to deny passing a BIPARTISAN infrastructure bill because, despite Democrats saying from the beginning that they would be doing a separate reconciliation bill, he can't get his way. Texas Democrats are fighting FOR the voting rights of their constituents while Graham's proposal is AGAINST a plan for jobs for his.
Texas Democrats might eventually lose their fight, but Graham's proposal would meet a similar fate.
There's historical precedent. Republicans tried this during a 1988 debate over campaign finance reform. As detailed The Washington Post at the time:
Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) was carried feet first into the Senate chamber by Capitol Police early today as Democrats ordered the arrest of absent senators in a dramatic filibuster showdown over a Democratic bill on spending in senatorial campaigns. [...] Republicans called the Democrats' bluff by ordering a series of quorum calls and then vanishing, leaving only Minority Whip Alan K. Simpson (Wyo.) to hold the floor. Democrats were unable to muster a quorum on their own and, in a highly unusual move, voted to have the sergeant at arms arrest absent senators in a move to keep the Senate in session until a quorum of at least 51 senators could be obtained.
Shortly after midnight, a posse led by Sergeant at Arms [...] marched through the Capitol in pursuit of Republican senators, who apparently had gone into hiding [...] the posse combed the Senate office buildings and found Packwood, who, as he noted after he was deposited on the Senate floor, "did not come fully voluntarily."
Within minutes, one of the absent Democrats, presidential candidate Paul Simon (Ill.), arrived and the Democrats had their quorum. Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) said he regretted the arrest but said he had no alternative and congratulated Packwood "on the fine spirit with which he accepted the inevitable."
While we wish we could do this reconciliation bill in a civil way, we'd be lying if we said the thought of Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley dragged feet first into the Senate chamber to watch Vice President Kamala Harris gavel passage of this bill wasn't an exciting prospect.
On second thought, Lindsey, go for it!
It certainly would be sight to behold.
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It's kind of a running theme.
While billionaires were launching themselves into space to demonstrate wealth inequality and a nest of insurrectionist fuckbonnets gathered in Texas for CPAC this weekend, the Sunday shows kept chugging along.
On "Fox News Sunday," Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott was questioned by Chris Wallace about his and the Texas legislature's priorities. Wallace pointed out their utter waste of taxpayer money on a special session to pass laws to suppress voters and scratch the right's weird culture war itches:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells Chris Wallace that power grid problems in Texas are mainly a paperwork issue that has… https://t.co/SqKPkFI16H— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1626010278.0
WALLACE: Governor, let me ask you about the special session in general because some Democrats say -- and this is the word they use -- that you are using it to pander to Trump supporters on the far right of the Republican Party.
I want to put up some of the key agenda items: voting reform [...]. Border security, social media censorship, transgender student athletes, critical race theory, abortion.
And your critics point out that what isn't on the agenda for the special session is the electrical grid in Texas, which broke down during the deep freeze last winter. A hundred -- more than 150 people were killed, more than four million Texans lost their power during that.
And the question is, why wouldn't you address an issue like that that affects people's everyday lives?
Abbott first tried to blame Texas Democrats for Texas Republicans' prioritizing of Fox News programming/GOP red meat over actual things of substance. But it was his newest excuse really takes the cake:
ABBOTT: I must point out, Chris, one very important thing that most people do not know, and that is, what was the main cause of the power grid failure in the wintertime, and it's nothing that anybody knows. The main cause of the power grid failure of the state of Texas actually was a failure by the power generators in Texas to file a simple document with ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
It was a clerical error! Well, I'm sure the families of those lost will be comforted to know their loved ones died because someone didn't put the cover sheet on the TPS report. As opposed to a completely deregulated, stand-alone power grid failing because capitalism incentivizes profits and Texas is run by idiots.
But not all the ridiculousness came from Texas Republicans on Sunday. Take CBS "Face The Nation" host John Dickerson.
While interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci about vaccinations and the Delta variant, he blamed the hesitancy of some to take the vaccines not on misinformation or political opportunists or conspiracy quacks, but on us failing to understand how to get the correct information to morons.
DICKERSON: Let's start with the Delta variant, it seems to be making the case for vaccination more clear than ever with those who are being seriously affected coming from the population of those who are unvaccinated. That would seem to make a clear case, is it that the facts are not getting to people or is it the people delivering the message to those who are unvaccinated that that needs to change?
Fauci, like an exasperated scientist trying to explain climate change to Greg Abbott, responded with tired confusion at the dissonance.
FAUCI: So you're talking about something that's life-saving. So the idea of why some people, for whatever reasons and we know some of them are ideological, we know when you look geographically in the situations where you have under-vaccinated states where you have 30 percent or less of the people vaccinated, I mean, we've really got to get beyond that and we've got to put those kinds of differences aside and say this is a public health issue.
Dickerson again made excuses for idiots.
DICKERSON: You say the facts are hitting people between the eyes. Is it possible that people are a little scared, a little nervous, and the more facts they hear, they don't hear evidence? What they hear is you're a dummy for not getting this and that. Potentially people feel insulted when -- when the evidence is presented as if it should be clearly obvious to any normal person and that all that does is put them back in their corner.
This is the end result of glorifying anti-intellectualism and saying the opinions of your drunk uncle on Facebook are just as valid as actual professionals. If you get insulted by having TOO MANY facts, the problem is not the messengers.
On CNN's "State Of The Union," they showed Fauci video of CPAC idiots cheering unvaccinated people. It was clear he was fresh out of fucks to give to Jake Tapper.
FAUCI: It's horrifying. I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it's a good thing for people not to try and save their lives. I mean, if you just unpack that for a second, Jake, it's almost frightening to say, hey, guess what, we don't want you to do something to save your life. Yay. Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don't get that. I mean, I -- and I don't think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about? I don't understand that, Jake.
One of the two major political parties is a death cult.
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