In the flow of news this Thursday afternoon, here’s a potpourri post of politics and an oddity of what makes the nowadays weird as shit — and a future-looking narrow hope right now.
If Republicans weren’t bad enough — Democrats have their own asshole stopper in putting the Build Back Better on hard hold (Wonkette this morning):
Earlier this week, Axios reported that Manchin has been telling Senate colleagues not only that the bill sneakily hides the 10-year cost of the expanded CTC (roughly $1.4 trillion over 10 years), but also that he fears it may be driving inflation, what with all those families finally being able to put food on the table or even get their growing kiddos shoes that fit.
Frankly, that’s bullshit anyway — the spending simply isn’t enough to have an effect on inflation. And Manchin’s apparently not at all interested in what sorts of benefits result from making sure 40 million lower and middle-class families have a few extra thousand dollars a year to spend on things that make the economy go, to say nothing of the measurably better outcomes for kids who aren’t living in poverty.
Frankly, he just doesn’t think people deserve help the way big corporations do.
Last week, the Washington Post notes, Manchin said at an event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, “If we keep sending checks, it’s going to be hard to stop the checks.”
Imagine saying something like that about Social Security and surviving politically. Yes, that’s the point: To make sure kids have a chance to get a better chance in life.
Manchin and his nutcase shitheel sister in shittiness, Kyrsten Sinema, make me sick to my bowels. A couple of asshats who love being in charge, even if being in charge is putting the hurt on millions of people. Assholes!
Anyway, tweet/pix of the day:
Climate change creates some surreal images https://t.co/rRGVhMqhJR
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) December 16, 2021
Beyond the contrasting beauty of white floating in ruins of brown, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection/riot/coup at the US Capitol may be turning the legal and public corner in the ongoing epic tale (CNN this afternoon):
The scale of the evidence coming to light this week is remarkable. But daily bombshells about what happened on January 6 often have the effect of diminishing the shock value of Trump-related outrages.
And voters have pressing concerns like the rising cost of living and a pandemic that will shortly drag into a third year. Yet this week’s developments are important not just because they chart the staggering breadth of Trump’s election conspiracy.
They are also exposing the lies on which his future political prospects are built — and on which multiple Republican-run states have passed laws that make it harder to vote and easier to steal future elections.
Further coup-business note — Charles P. Pierce at Esquire today lauds the chess-game mover at the head of the House select committee, and indicates more good shit should be coming:
And while we’re on the subject, while so many people are experiencing holiday crushes on Liz Cheney, we should not overlook that committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson is playing this like a grandmaster. (And part of Thompson’s shrewdness is letting Cheney run point the way she has.)
I freely confess that I knew nothing about Thompson except that he was a Democrat from Mississippi. But the way he’s played this so far reminds me of how everyone discovered Sam Ervin after he’d gaveled the Senate Watergate Committee into session. (Thompson, of course, doesn’t have the historic baggage that Ervin had.)
He has been circumspect, but dogged in his pursuit of witnesses, and he’s proven to have a deft hand at getting helpful information out into the media.
He has them on the run, and it shows.
In a same-like manner, Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post this morning performed a hip-hip-hooray for Joe Biden despite all the negative media coverage:
Nervous Democrats would do well to keep in mind the media’s predilection for premature, hysterical pronouncements — whether about covid-19 or Biden’s political future.
Given that Biden has a 50-50 Senate and an obstructionist, unhinged GOP at his throat, the conventional wisdom about this president’s woes might be a bit off, to put it mildly.
On the polling front, Biden’s honeymoon is certainly over, but is an approval rating hovering around 49-percent or 48-percent really a sign of a presidency in collapse? Even polling averages that factor in outliers show that Biden’s standing has certainly improved significantly since late November.
Maybe the highly polarized electorate still reeling from a pandemic isn’t quite as negative about this presidency as the political media.
The Biden administration has not always provided a sharp, easily accessible message to explain its accomplishments. Its assumption that an impressive laundry list of social programs would be well received is misplaced. But if the administration pivots to an inflation-cutting (i.e. cutting costs for families) and pro-work message, Biden has time for a course-correction, especially if he deploys his most articulate surrogates.
Biden’s presidency is a work in progress with significant bumps and distractions along the way. BBB has still not passed, nor has voting rights reform. Inflation remains a real threat. The administration has made little progress on immigration.
But considering Biden’s narrow margins in Congress, a hostile Supreme Court, recalcitrant GOP governors sabotaging his vaccination efforts and an antidemocratic GOP, he deserves more credit than he has received.
Moreover, the return of a decent, empathetic and informed president is something all Americans should cheer.
Politics is peanuts.
So we’ll switch again to the weather’s climate and more beauty of nature being pissed:
The extraordinary wind, dust, and fire storm across much of the Great Plains yesterday brought conditions reminiscent of the vast and extremely intense dust storms that occurred repeatedly during the #DustBowl era–and this remarkable image captures that quite well. #KSwx #OKwx https://t.co/EDD4dCJ1er
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) December 17, 2021
Nutshell story via the Guardian this afternoon:
At least five people died as a powerful and extremely unusual storm system swept across the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm temperatures, spawning hurricane-force winds and possible tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.
“To have this number of damaging wind storms at one time would be unusual any time of year,” said Brian Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, Nebraska.
“But to have this happen in December is really abnormal.”
The storm system came after a slew of tornadoes last weekend that cut through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky, killing more than 85 people.
Return to the coup genre of art-artistic objects:
Yet once again, here we are…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée [Exploding Raphaelesque Head],’ found here)