Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Last Call For Sinema Verite', Con't

Democratic (for now) Sen. Kyrsten Sinema really wants you to know she's friends with senators in the other party but she's a Democrat. No really. Arizona Maverick!

Sinema laid out some of her thinking, explaining that she generally supports adding paid leave to the Democrats’ social spending bill but not raising tax rates on corporations and some high-income earners, saying she “will not support tax policies that have a negative impact on our economic climate.” And, unlike her colleague Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), she views the bill’s climate provisions as the “most important part of what is under discussion.”

Yet, even after an extended interview, the first-term Democrat holds onto the air of mystery that’s become a signature part of her political brand. Sinema won’t say she’s running for reelection, nor will she respond to Rep. Ruben Gallego’s (D-Ariz.) flirtations with a primary challenge.

And even though she’s quietly informed Democrats for weeks that she’s supportive of Biden’s social spending and climate bill and publicly signaled she wants to clinch a deal, she still won’t explicitly say she’ll back it — even after the House passed her infrastructure legislation.

“If you're in the middle of negotiating things that are delicate or difficult ... doing it in good faith directly with each other is the best way to get to an outcome,” Sinema said just a few minutes after returning from Biden’s signing ceremony. “I'm still in the process of negotiating the second provision of the president's agenda … and I don't negotiate in the press.”

However, she will criticize her party for its complicity in setting unachievable, sky-high expectations, just like the Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare under former President Donald Trump. A $3.5 trillion social spending bill, sweeping elections reform, a $15 minimum wage and changes to the filibuster rules were always a long shot with Sinema and Manchin as the definitive Democratic votes in the Senate.

You’re either honest or you’re not honest. So just tell the truth and be honest and deliver that which you can deliver,” Sinema said. “There's this growing trend of people in both political parties who promise things that cannot be delivered, in order to get the short-term political gain. And I believe that it damages the long-term health of our democracy.”
Sure. It's her Republican friends like Mitch McConnell who make sure Dems can't deliver, and you're doing everything you can to make sure they maintain that power, but Dems overpromising is why  America's in trouble.

Jesus, this woman is obnoxious as, well, a Republican.

Here's the kicker though:

There are some signs that Sinema’s approach could pay off politically too, provided she survives a primary. A September poll from OH Predictive Insights found she had a 40 percent favorability rating among Republicans, a contrast to fellow Arizonan Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. The same poll found that 73 percent of Republicans viewed Kelly unfavorably.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a prospective successor to McConnell, went as far as to say he “would be surprised if Republicans tried to unseat her” in 2024 if she runs.

Sinema sometimes even serves as a go-between with Republicans for her Democratic colleagues, capitalizing on the years she spent in both the House and Senate cultivating relationships with the GOP. She insists those relationships are not transactional but instead reflect the fact that “I’m a human who has friends.”

This is news. Assuming Sinema either survives a Democratic primary in 2024 or runs as an independent, the GOP might just take a dive and let her win.

That, of course, is what happened in Connecticut in 2006, when Senator Joe Lieberman, running for reelection and still a big supporter of George W. Bush's war in Iraq, lost the Democratic primary and then ran as an independent: The Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, all but disappeared, spending only $38,001 on the race (Lieberman and Democratic nominee Ned Lamont each spent millions). In Arizona three years from now, Republicans might well decide to save their money and nod-and-wink to their voters that they should support Sinema, too. (Expect her to make frequent appearances on Fox News during the general election capmaign.)

Why not? On the one thing Republicans really care about -- pampering rich people -- Sinema is in complete agreement with their party. And if she runs indie and they need her in order to attain a Senate majority, I'm sure she'll agree to caucus with them once she's safely reelected. Just don't ask her during the campaign whether she might do that -- she'll undoubtedly say it's a rude question and she's entitled to her privacy.
Unless Dems have a larger majority, a tall order given trends, Sinema will be an independent in 2024. 

And odds are good she'll be siding with the GOP if reelected.

Infrastructure, Weak, Con't

Who could have guessed that Republican voters are suddenly completely against the infrastructure bill?

Our latest POLITICO/Morning Consult survey found 50% support overall for the legislation. That’s down from 58% when Morning Consult first asked the question in mid-August, shortly after the Senate passed the bill.

While support among Democrats (roughly 80%) and independents (45 to 50%) has remained relatively steady, there’s been a striking drop among Republicans. In mid-August, 40% of Republicans supported the bill; now, just 22% do. GOP support dropped 10 points over the past two weeks, when Morning Consult surveyed voters after the House approved the bill.
Gosh, what happened in the last two weeks?

Oh, right.

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday denounced Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republicans over the passage of President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill through the lower chamber.

The U.S. House passed Biden's infrastructure bill late Friday in a 228-206 vote largely along party lines. 13 Republican representatives broke with the party to vote in favor of the bill.

At least one said their rationale was mostly to hit back against progressive Democrats, six of whom voted against it.

"Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate gave Biden and Democrats a victory on the 'Non-Infrastructure' Bill," Trump said in a statement. "Where only 11% of the money being wasted goes to real infrastructure."

"How all of those Republican Senators that voted thinking that helping the Democrats is such a wonderful thing to do, so politically correct. They just don't get it!," he continued.
So yeah, that was ten days ago.  FOX News has been attacking the bill since it passed the House and made it very clear the money is being "wasted" on "Democrat special interests" and that the 13 Republicans who voted for the bill must be destroyed.
In the days and months ahead, expect every awful, racist, demonstrably false, ridiculous and mind-numbingly terrible charge to be flung at this bill. Just like Obamacare. Just like everything else the Democrats do to save the country.

Insurrection Investigation, Con't

Another day, another Jon Karl tidbit kept from voters until well after the 2020 and 2021 elections as our Republic faced mortal peril in the form of Trump's coup attempt. It wasn't just his "brain trust" pressuring VP Mike Pence to sent the electoral count to the states (and a Trump win), it wasn't just the January 6th insurrection, it was also drafting the US Armed Forces to step in and intervene in the damn election too.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, some of Donald Trump's closest allies embarked on an unprecedented effort to get the Department of Defense to chase down outlandish voter fraud conspiracy theories in hopes of helping Trump retain power, ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl writes in his new book.

In "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," scheduled to be released today, Karl reports that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump attorney Sidney Powell tried to enlist a Pentagon official to help overturn the election.

According to the book, Flynn -- who had just received an unconditional pardon from President Trump after pleading guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe -- made a frantic phone call to a senior Trump intelligence official named Ezra Cohen (sometimes referred to as Ezra Cohen-Watnick), who previously worked under Flynn at both the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Council.

"Where are you?" Flynn asked the DoD official, who said he was traveling in the Middle East.

"Flynn told him to cut his trip short and get back to the United States immediately because there were big things about to happen," according to the book. Karl writes that Flynn told Cohen, "We need you," and told the DoD official that "there was going to be an epic showdown over the election results."

Flynn, according to the book, urged Cohen that "he needed to get orders signed, that ballots needed to be seized, and that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to stop Democrats from stealing the election."

"As Flynn ranted about the election fight, [Cohen] felt his old boss sounded manic," Karl writes in the book. "He didn't sound like the same guy he had worked for."

"Sir, the election is over," Cohen told Flynn, according to the book. "It's time to move on."

Flynn, according to Karl, fired back: "You're a quitter! This is not over! Don't be a quitter!"

Karl writes that after a heated few minutes, Flynn hung up the phone -- and that was the last time the two men talked.
So it seems in addition to everything else, Jon Karl was sitting on evidence of a seditious conspiracy involving Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and Trump's Middle East pointman at the Pentagon, Ezra Cohen. 

And Karl didn't think it prudent to inform the American people that this was going on, months earlier?

These people are absolute ghouls.


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