Thursday, July 28, 2022

Last Call For Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

Ed Kilgore depressingly reminds us that a lot can and probably still will go wrong with the Democratic budget reconciliation process over the Inflation Reduction Act.

Democrats are understandably excited by the unexpected reemergence of the left-for-dead FY 2022 budget reconciliation bill (formerly Build Back Better, now known as the Inflation Reduction Act). Just when it looked like holdout Joe Manchin was going to object to anything other than a very narrow health-care bill, if even that, he and Chuck Schumer suddenly unveiled a bigger package including energy investments and tax provisions in addition to the expected Medicare prescription-drug-price negotiation powers and a temporary extension of Obamacare subsidies. Looks like Senate Democrats wrong-footed Mitch McConnell for once, giving the White House an unexpected and much-needed win and providing a tonic for dispirited Democratic troops in the home stretch of the midterm election cycle.

Or not.

Before anyone can take the Manchin-Schumer deal to the bank, there are some other fractious Democrats beyond the West Virginian who will need to sign off. First and foremost is Manchin’s long-time partner in obstruction, the senior senator from Arizona. As Axios puts it: “Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has spent the summer out of the spotlight. That’s now going to change.” And while Manchin’s little red wagons in the yearlong struggle over reconciliation have been anti-inflation measures and propitiating fossil-fuel interests, Sinema has had other priorities:

“We do not have a comment, as she will need to review the text,” a Sinema spokesperson said in the hours after news broke of Manchin’s stunning reversal.

One of the first signs Sinema wasn’t consulted on the Schumer-Manchin agreement was that it included some $14 billion in new revenue from taxing carried interest, which she has indicated she opposes

Between the lines: Sinema was on record last December supporting the 15% corporate tax rate, which will raise an estimated $313 billion to fund the Democrats’ climate priorities.

But that was before inflation took off and the constant chatter about a potential recession subsumed Washington.


While Sinema may not want to personally kill this heaven-sent deal herself, it would be surprising if she doesn’t take at least a pound of flesh in concessions to show her corporate friends she is still a major player.
Kilgore also notes that Democratic Blue Dog Rep. Josh Gottheimer and his merry crew could kill the bill too over SALT deduction talks, that COVID could prevent all 50 Dems from being present to clear the Senate (or all House Dems from being present), and who knows what Manchin or The Squad may end up doing...or god forbid, Joe Biden. He does get a say too, you know.

No, this bill has a long road, and while I think it will pass, I also think it's going to have tens of billions in cuts from where we are now.

Whether enough remains to get it over the finish line is anyone's guess.  This one is still up in the air, folks. Keep that in Mind until Biden signs it.

Climate Of Emergency, Local Edition

Here in Kentucky, massive flash flooding over the last 24 hours has trapped hundreds of residents in the eastern part of the state as emergency crews are working to rescue people from rapidly rising floodwaters.

Several people in Southeastern Kentucky reported being trapped inside their homes early Thursday by rising waters as “catastrophic” flash flooding hit the region. “We are dealing with a catastrophic and historic flash flooding situation in parts of the region,” WYMT anchor Steve Hensley said on Twitter.

“I’ve never seen water come off the hill behind my house like this. There are people trapped and homes and roads flooded. A flash flood emergency continues for several counties. I pray nobody has lost their life. I’m afraid the devastation we will see after daybreak will be significant.” 

There is flooding reported in several southeastern Kentucky counties, including Breathitt, Floyd, Perry, Knott, Leslie, Pike and Magoffin.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed a state of emergency Thursday morning in response to severe flooding late Wednesday and early Thursday in Eastern Kentucky.

Beshear called last night and early this morning “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events in Kentucky‘s history.” At a 9:30 a.m. presser he called the situation “dynamic,” and said that in most places the rising waters had not even crested yet. Beshear said that the administration expects loss of life to occur because of the flooding. ‘

Todd Depriest, mayor of Jenkins in Letcher County, said the water came up quickly in and around town Thursday morning, preventing people from getting out.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, there were still people trapped in the upper floors of their houses in an area just outside the city, he said. ”I’ve never seen it do this,” said DePriest, who has lived in Jenkins for 54 years. “Been a rough one.” 

DePriest said he had not heard of any injuries or deaths in the Jenkins area, though he had heard a report of a car being swept away with someone in it.

Kentucky's has a number of extreme weather events, ice storms, tornadoes, and now flash flooding, in just the last six months. Expect more of this, more often, as the era of climate change continues. Even if Democrats pass the climate change funding provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer came to an agreement on yesterday, we're still trillions behind in carbon reduction.

Extreme weather that destroys lives will be a function of the rest of our lifetimes.

Forawrd Off The Cliff

America has a long history of third parties handing elections over to Republicans, with Ralph Nader getting enough votes in Florida in 2000 to cost Al Gore the state and the country, and Jill Stein, the Russian operative Green Party candidate and her successful sabotage of Hillary Clinton in enough states to give Trump the win in 2016. Here and now, it's time for a new generation of Horseshoe Theory "alternatives" to prepare for dirty tricks against Dems in 2024, and they're getting a head start in 2022 with names like Andrew Yang, and Christie Todd Whitman.

Dozens of former Republican and Democratic officials announced on Wednesday a new national political third party to appeal to millions of voters they say are dismayed with what they see as America's dysfunctional two-party system.

The new party, called Forward and whose creation was first reported by Reuters, will initially be co-chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey. They hope the party will become a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties that dominate U.S. politics, founding members told Reuters.

Party leaders will hold a series of events in two dozen cities this autumn to roll out its platform and attract support. They will host an official launch in Houston on Sept. 24 and the party's first national convention in a major U.S. city next summer.

The new party is being formed by a merger of three political groups that have emerged in recent years as a reaction to America's increasingly polarized and gridlocked political system. The leaders cited a Gallup poll last year showing a record two-thirds of Americans believe a third party is needed.

The merger involves the Renew America Movement, formed in 2021 by dozens of former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump; the Forward Party, founded by Yang, who left the Democratic Party in 2021 and became an independent; and the Serve America Movement, a group of Democrats, Republicans and independents whose executive director is former Republican congressman David Jolly.

Two pillars of the new party's platform are to "reinvigorate a fair, flourishing economy" and to "give Americans more choices in elections, more confidence in a government that works, and more say in our future."

The party, which is centrist, has no specific policies yet. It will say at its Thursday launch: "How will we solve the big issues facing America? Not Left. Not Right. Forward."


No actual policies yet, other than putting a Republican fascist in the White House, that is. I'm hoping these idiots will run out of money before they can peel enough support away from Biden to assure even a Trump win, never mind DeSantis or another competent fascist getting the nod. 

Sadly, I'm betting there will be billions of bucks thrown down the pit over the next couple of years to drive a wedge in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas to ensure that Democratic votes are split, allowing a plurality (and not a majority!) of Republicans to win those states in 2024.

Trump may not have to try to steal the Electoral College this time in order to win thanks to these assholes.

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