ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Hurry Up And Wait

[ Posted Friday, October 1st, 2021 – 16:49 UTC ]

Reconciliation is a truly warm and forgiving word. It means coming back together after a period of being apart or at odds. Couples reconcile after time spent apart (for whatever reason). Friends achieve reconciliation by burying hatchets and shrugging off long-carried grudges. It means coming back together, no matter what the circumstances.

The fact that it means something more technical in the parliamentarian terminology of the U.S. Senate is mere coincidence. A budget reconciliation bill is one that amends the original budget for that year with new realities. The two bills are reconciled to each other, merged into becoming the actual budget for that year.

But if the current budget reconciliation bill under negotiation is ever written and passed into law, it will come about because of the reconciliation of two factions of the Democratic Party with each other. The first faction consists of Senators Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and a very small handful of House Democrats. They are often misleadingly called "centrists" or (even worse) "moderates," but they are in fact corporatists, plain and simple. They used to be called a few other misleading labels back in the Clinton era (as we discussed earlier this week, and as Paul Krugman also later pointed out), but at heart they are just pro-big-business -- especially big business that they personally profit from (either directly or indirectly in the form of mountains of campaign cash). The second faction in the Democratic Party is, essentially, the entire rest of the party. This consists of all the progressives and moderates and centrists (the real ones, not the bought-and-paid-for corporate shills). Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer are all in this group, as are Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The second group consists of 95-plus percent of the party. This is not an equal reconciliation; it will be the reconciliation of a tiny handful of corporatists with all the other Democrats. But, due to the almost-non-existent majority in the Senate, this reconciliation must happen if Joe Biden is going to get anything at all done as president.

Which leaves us where we've been all week: waiting for something to happen -- perpetually checking our watches during a performance of Waiting For Godot, wondering when the whole thing is going to be over. Political journalists have been essentially writing the same story all week: "Negotiations Continue, No Breakthrough Yet."

One thing has changed, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blew through the self-imposed deadline (twice!) that her own corporatists had forced her into agreeing to a month ago. This is good news, because this deadline was always artificial to begin with. Now we are back to where we all were before the House corporatists took this hostage -- on two tracks to (hopefully) ultimate success for both bills which comprise the lion's share of President Joe Biden's economic agenda.

There are two bills, with acronyms that admittedly not everyone uses. The first is the bipartisan infrastructure bill which already passed the Senate and has been awaiting action in the House ever since. This is known (by some) as the "Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework," or "BIF." At first this worked, but is now somewhat of a misnomer (it's no longer just a framework, it is an actual fleshed-out bill). The second part, which has yet to pass either house in any form, is the budget reconciliation bill whose original price tag was going to average $350 billion a year over ten years. This is becoming known by Biden's preferred term: "Build Back Better," or just "B.B.B."

The BIF is a done deal. The House cannot change a word of it, or else it would have to survive another Senate vote. It is also a done deal in the sense that once the B.B.B. has passed the Senate, every House Democrat (and possibly even dozens of House Republicans) will then vote for the BIF and put it on President Biden's desk for his signature. The progressive faction in the Democratic Party was never actually opposed to anything contained within it; their only complaint was that it was far too small (less than $600 billion, when Biden had asked for closer to $2 trillion). This complaint is the heart of the standoff, in fact, because when the BIF was being put together, progressives were told that all the things that the BIF left out would be included in the B.B.B. Which is precisely what they are now demanding -- that that promise be kept.

The biggest two sticking points for the B.B.B. are named Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (Note: we refuse to use either portmanteau mashup of their two names, but we have to admit we do like "Sinemin" better...). It's tough to say which one is going to be the bigger hurdle in the end. Manchin has drawn a line in the sand at $1.5 trillion, which is less than half of the $3.5 trillion Biden wants. But he has also expressed willingness to raise many of the taxes Democrats are proposing to raise (in Manchin's memo to Schumer, he agreed to: a corporate tax rate of 25 percent -- a number he announced months ago, in fact; a new corporate domestic minimum tax at 15 percent; revoking the Trump tax cut to the earners in the highest bracket, moving it back up to 39.6 percent; and a raise in the capital gains tax rate to 28 percent). Manchin did also state that: "Any revenue exceeding $1.5 [trillion] shall be used for deficit reduction," but that's likely to be a nonstarter with all the other Democrats (who would much prefer to use all the money raised for the new programs in the bill). But at least Manchin finally is making his "asks" known. These should all really be seen as his opening bid, and not the final compromise he's going to have to eventually agree to (if the B.B.B. bill has any chance of passage).

Sinema, on the other hand, is almost impossible to read. She insists on "not negotiating in the press," which to her means "refusing to seriously answer any question from any reporter, period." So nobody has any clue what Sinema really wants out of the negotiations. Which, obviously, is frustrating. The only hint as to Sinema's "asks" is another nonstarter: no tax hikes on either corporations or high-income earners, period. Since those are the cornerstones of how the B.B.B. will raise enough money to be revenue-neutral (and not add anything to the deficit or national debt), Democrats are not going to give in to this demand. If they did, either there wouldn't be a bill at all, or much of it would be deficit spending. Sinema also seems to be opposed to saving hundreds of billions of dollars by allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs (but more on that later in the talking points).

Here's a succinct rundown of where we are all at right now (from one of the flood of process stories from the past week):

By refusing to help pass the infrastructure bill, progressives helped secure more space for negotiations on the reconciliation framework. The reconciliation bill is the Biden and Democratic Party agenda: It's made up of all the climate provisions, economic infrastructure and tax reforms designed to secure our decarbonized future and rebalance our political economy after decades of upward skew.

The centrists are the ones who oppose passing this agenda. For that framework, Manchin seems to be insisting on a top line of $1.5 trillion -- less than half the $3.5 trillion target Biden wants -- as well as making its welfare benefits less universal via means testing and its climate change provisions more friendly to fossil fuel interests. And it's still unclear what Sinema wants.

Progressives have been pointing out that Joe Manchin, a few days before President Biden was sworn into office, said the following in response to a local journalist's question: "The most important thing? Do infrastructure. Spend $2, $3, $4 trillion over a 10-year period on infrastructure. A lot of people have lost their jobs and those jobs aren't coming back. They need a place to work." The BIF and the B.B.B. together would equal about $4 trillion -- but now Manchin is against what he was calling for back then.

Manchin has turned a deaf ear to all of the progressive complaints. He released a statement midweek that called the $3.5 trillion amount "fiscal insanity," even though he himself had called for precisely that amount back in January. And when asked directly about liberal complaints, he had this to say: "I've never been a liberal in any way, shape or form. I don't fault any of them who believe that they're much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless 'em.... For them to get theirs -- elect more liberals."

Sinema, meanwhile, seems to be in a contest with Ted Cruz for the "Most Hated Senator" prize. In the middle of the week, here's what she was doing, just to rub everyone's face in how bought-and-sold she truly is:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., is scheduled to hold a fundraiser with business lobbying groups that [are] eager to defeat President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion spending bill, according to a leaked invitation published by The New York Times.

Sinema, a corporate-friendly first-termer who has rejected the bill's price tag and reportedly opposes drug pricing reform and tax increases on the wealthy and corporations that would help pay for the Biden package, will meet with business groups that have criticized the proposed tax increases. In an invitation emblazoned with Sinema's campaign logo, the groups invited members to an "undisclosed location" for 45 minutes on Tuesday to write checks between $1,000 and $5,800 to Sinema's campaign.

This has led to patience among other congressional Democrats growing very thin. Here is Representative Katie Porter, from an MSNBC interview this week:

"I was elected to create a strong and stable and globally competitive economy," Porter continued, adding that if Sinema and Manchin "really believe" the infrastructure bill alone will accomplish this, "they owe it to the American people to say that."

Stressing that it's impossible to negotiate until centrists say what they want, Porter added:

I was not elected to read the mind of Kyrsten Sinema. Thank goodness, because I have no idea what she's thinking.

That last barb got a bit of buzz. But it's more important that Porter brought this debate back to what it's really all about: people.

The reconciliation bill is the heart of the Biden and Democratic Party agenda. It would invest in our people in all kinds of ways, providing social and economic infrastructure -- child care, health care, education, paid leave -- that would help and empower millions struggling to reach or remain in the middle class. As Jonathan Cohn puts it, all this would "alter everyday life in the same way that the core pieces of the New Deal and Great Society did."

. . .

But ultimately, all of this remains as vague as it is distressing. And Sinema, if anything, has been even vaguer.

At the end of the day, what's at issue is whether Democrats will rise to all of these monumental challenges. So Porter is right: If Sinema and Manchin truly believe the infrastructure bill alone -- or that bill paired with a reconciliation bill that's been effectively gutted -- is enough to meet those challenges, then they should damn well tell their voters and the American people that they think this.

And then they should feel compelled to justify it.

So far, they have avoided having to do this. And while the negotiations continue, it's doubtful that they will ever come out and try to justify their positions. But they really do owe it to their constituents (and the rest of us) to make their case.

One positive thing in all this horse-trading is that President Biden is getting much more involved in the process. He even paid a visit to the Capitol today, to encourage progress. But what he isn't really doing is leaning on either faction, or (as Ronald Reagan used to say) "taking them out to the woodshed" for some attitude adjustment. Biden has a different style, and a whole lot of patience. And Biden is specifically not leaning on the progressives, because his goals and theirs align almost perfectly. Why should he lean on them when they are doing exactly what he wants?

Of course the media was much more interested in two other political stories this week, because they both came with built-in media catnip. They had drama! And brinksmanship! And conflict! Impending disaster! Saved at the last minute!

In the end, however, the federal government did not shut down as a continuing resolution to keep funding everything was passed in the final hours of the last day of September. The debt ceiling will likely also be a mere footnote when all the dust settles, but the media at least knows how to cover these stories (since they have happened so frequently over the past few decades). We personally can say we didn't ever get distracted by this sideshow, since the main event has always been the BIF and the B.B.B. bills.

Two other amusing footnotes and then we can move on to this week's awards: Matthew Dowd has announced that he is running for lieutenant governor in Texas... as a Democrat. He's always been pretty moderate for a Republican, but it still was rather jarring to read.

And finally, one for the "GOP Idiots" file (which is bulging at the seams). Lauren Boebert proved once again what a mental midget she truly is this week, by announcing she was introducing some articles to the House. She put out a media-friendly image with her announcement. The only problem was, it read (you just cannot make stuff like this up, folks): "IMEACH BIDEN." Um... "imeach"? Sure, Lauren... you go right ahead and imeach him to your heart's content, OK?

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have two Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the big one. First, a collective award to all the progressives who held firm and did exactly what they promised they would all along: refuse to vote for the BIF before the B.B.B. had passed the Senate. Led by Representative Pramila Jayapal, they held together and resisted the pressure brought to bear against them.

Senator Dianne Feinstein actually did something we heartily approve of (a rare event, as regular readers will know), but we're going to cover it in the talking points segment, so we'll just move along for now.

We have three winners of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award this week, who all told their own heart-wrenching tales in public, for a very good reason:

Three members of Congress on Thursday shared their personal and, at times, painful stories of abortion, in an emotional hearing that came amid an intensifying battle over a Texas law that is the most restrictive in the nation.

Two of the lawmakers said they were teenagers when they decided to terminate their pregnancies. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) described her decision in the mid-1960s to have a "back-alley abortion" in Mexico at age 16, describing herself as "one of the lucky ones" because many other women and girls at the time died of unsafe abortions.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) said she decided to have an abortion after she was raped at age 17 by a man she met on a church trip. Bush said that while the staff at the abortion clinic treated the White girls with respect, they spoke "like trash" to her and another young Black girl.

"To all the Black women and girls who have had abortions and will have abortions, we have nothing to be ashamed of," Bush said. "We live in a society that has failed to legislate love and justice for us. So we deserve better. We demand better. We are worthy of better. That's why I'm here to tell my story."

And Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said she decided to have an abortion knowing that she could not go through another high-risk pregnancy after having her first child, who weighed less than two pounds at birth.

Also speaking at Thursday's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on abortion rights was longtime feminist activist Gloria Steinem. She spoke about her own abortion and warned that if other states follow Texas's lead, "we will be very close to turning back the clock to the days of the 1950s, when one in three women had an illegal and a dangerous abortion."

Abortion-rights supporters fear the greatest threat to Roe v. Wade since the 1973 decision guaranteeing a woman's right to an abortion, as the conservative Supreme Court is poised to decide on some of the most restrictive laws in the nation. The court begins its new term Monday.

In other words, a very appropriate time to tell such stories. But it must take just a near-unimaginable amount of courage to do so, especially knowing that your words are being broadcast nationwide as you speak them.

So for their bravery and for their commitment to women's healthcare for all, we have to hand them each a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Congratulate Representative Cori Bush on her House contact page, Representative Pramila Jayapal on her House contact page, and Representative Barbara Lee on her House contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Sigh. Here we go again.

In fact, we don't even feel the need to reiterate. So, short and sweet: Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are once again the winners of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. The reason? "See above."

[Contact Senator Joe Manchin on his Senate contact page, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema on her Senate contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 636 (10/1/21)

Another mixed bag this week. And yet again, we've included a somewhat-longer-than-a-talking-point excerpt from an article, because what it has to say is so important. So without further ado, let's get to this week's talking points.

 

1
   GOP setting the country on fire

This is an extended excerpt from an excellent article in the Washington Post written by Paul Waldman. It lays out the case against the Republican death-cult-of-personality better than anything we've read in a while. This stuff needs to be said, folks. Because we have truly entered uncharted waters (emphasis in original).

Senate Republicans just filibustered a bill to keep the government running and suspend the debt ceiling so the United States does not default on its obligations. Judging them by their actions, there's every reason to believe they'd be perfectly happy to allow either or both outcomes, plunging the country into crisis and potential economic catastrophe.

Their entire party seems determined to make sure that a pandemic that has killed nearly 700,000 Americans will go on as long as possible.

In the states and the courts, they've set the stage to overturn Roe v. Wade, a spectacularly unpopular outcome that will snatch reproductive rights from tens of millions of American women. They've embraced lunatic conspiracy theories and are determined to overturn any election result that doesn't go their way.

And in their immensely influential media outfits, naked white supremacism is now nightly fare.

In 2017, it was a scandal when then-President Donald Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the Charlottesville rally where neo-Nazis chanted "You will not replace us!" But in 2021, "Great Replacement" theory -- which posits a conspiracy to replace White people with dark-skinned immigrants -- has become standard conservative rhetoric.

Let there be no misunderstanding: The Great Replacement is an idea created by white supremacists and promoted for years by white supremacists. Today you can hear it invoked on Fox News.

 

2
   Eastman memo? What Eastman memo?

Astoundingly, broadcast television news media is so jaded and numb to anything to do with Donald Trump that this story disappeared entirely even though it was proof of an attempt at stealing the presidential election for Trump -- not through a mob of insurrectionists, mind you, but through nakedly political maneuvers. Thankfully, it didn't take place as outlined, but the fact that it existed should shock every American loyal to the Constitution. That is, if they ever hear about it.

"There was a bombshell revelation from a recent book on the final days of the Trump administration, that one of his legal advisors -- John Eastman -- wrote up a memo outlining 'how to run a coup in six easy steps.' It was a detailed plan for how Vice President Mike Pence was supposed to subvert the Constitution and install Donald Trump by hook or by crook. This outline, if it had become reality, would have been the most naked power grab in all of American history. So you'd think television news would have covered it extensively. You'd be wrong about that. According to a media-watchdog study, there was precisely zero mention of the memo on the three major broadcast networks, either on their evening news program or their 'news-lite' morning news shows. Zero! Not one mention of a complex plot to steal a presidential election! Only one of the Sunday political long-form talk shows even bothered to mention it (NBC's Meet The Press, to their credit). Have we really become this numb and jaded to a sitting president actively plotting a coup? Is that really how far the news media has fallen? That's almost as shocking as the memo itself."

 

3
   Corporate Democrats attempting to kill the number one idea people want

This was interesting, and needs to be pointed out.

"A handful of Democrats in both the House and the Senate who have been bought by big Pharma money have been stridently working to kill off the idea of bringing the cost of prescription drugs down the way every other civilized country on Earth does it -- by using the purchasing power of the federal government to set acceptable prices for prescription drugs. A recent poll asked respondents about 20 of the Democrats' new policy ideas contained within the two bills they are trying to pass. You know what scored number one out of all of these ideas? 'Have the federal government directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare.' Healthcare issues swept the top four issues, as a matter of fact. The next three were: increase spending to prepare for future epidemics and pandemics; increase spending on long-term healthcare for seniors, and expand home healthcare services; and add dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare. Those were the top four out of 20 choices. And yet there are a tiny fraction of Democrats in Congress who are deaf to the calls from their own constituents to lower prescription drug prices and who are working very hard to make sure that this -- the most popular item on the list -- doesn't make it into the final bill. We need to increase the pressure on these drug company shills to do the right thing even if it does mean all that lovely campaign cash dries up. Because the people have spoken, quite clearly."

 

4
   Mandates work!

This is another one where the media's actions are just bizarre and confusing for most.

"Vaccine mandates work. They have worked great in the past, they are beginning to work just as designed for the COVID pandemic, and they will work in the future when all schoolchildren will be required to be vaccinated against COVID the same way they are now required to be vaccinated against mumps and the measles. The media has for some reason been fixated on the tiny proportion of workers who have been fired -- at places like hospitals, no less! -- for refusing to get vaccinated. But well over 95 percent of workers have complied -- thousands of them at the last minute, due to the mandate. The predicted staffing crisis at hospitals just did not materialize. A few hundred people got fired, while tens of thousands did not -- because they got vaccinated. This is precisely the way it is supposed to work, and I for one look forward to more and more businesses mandating vaccines and more and more public gatherings doing the same. I am beyond caring about the sensibilities of those whose refusal to get their shots is impacting everyone's ability to get back to normal. You know what I say? Let's beat COVID once and for all! And vaccine mandates are a big part of making that happen."

 

5
   Vax or test to fly

As previously mentioned, Senator Dianne Feinstein is actually doing something good.

"Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill that every Democrat should immediately get behind. She has introduced a bill that would require proof of vaccination, proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 for every person getting on a commercial airplane. As she points out, this really needs to be instituted before the holiday travel season is upon us. This doesn't even go as far as some would like, with the testing and recovery loopholes, but it sure would be a big step in the right direction. I don't know about you, but I want to feel safe on an airplane again. Before Thanksgiving rolls around, too."

 

6
   Owning the libs from the graveyard

The data have been crunched. The proof is undeniable.

"There is one real indication of how hard COVID is hitting any one particular area in this country: did they vote for Donald Trump or did they vote for Joe Biden? This divide transcends and dwarfs all other demographic divides on the pandemic, in fact. Want some facts and figures? Here you go: since the beginning of July, the bluest counties (from how they voted in the 2020 election) have a rate of 9 COVID deaths per 100,000 people. The reddest counties have a per-capita death rate of 47 deaths -- more than five times higher. You can measure the same divide by looking at urban (Democratic) versus rural (Republican) populations as well. Since the start of the pandemic, 1 in 434 rural Americans died from COVID. Urban areas are doing much better, at only 1 death in 513 people. In mid-September, urban areas had a seven-day average death rate of 0.41 people per 100,000 residents. In rural areas, that rate was 0.85 -- more than twice as high. The head of the National Rural Health Association was blunt about what is happening out in the hinterlands: 'There is a national disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to COVID in rural America. We've turned many rural communities into kill boxes. And there's no movement towards addressing what we're seeing in many of these communities, either among the public or among governing officials.' That's because, to them, the whole thing is political, not a medical emergency. So I guess more and more rural Republicans will get to 'own the libs'... from the graveyard."

 

7
   Corey gets cancelled

Too, too appropriate.

"It seems that high-ranking Trump confidante Corey Lewandowski became Corey Stewed-and-tipsy at a recent fundraiser. After consuming copious amounts of alcohol, he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman he was seated next to. She fled from his grabby hands, only to have Lewandowski hunt her down later in another room. In a statement the woman accused the top Trump toady of assault: 'He repeatedly touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful.' In other words, all things Donald Trump himself has been accused of doing by multiple women. A further statement from her lawyer gave details: Lewandowski, repeatedly using expletives, 'remarked on the size of his genitalia, described his sexual performance and showed [her] his hotel room key.' Now that the story is out, Republicans who had been using Lewandowski as a campaign consultant have dropped him like a hot potato. Funny thing, though, absolutely none of the people who have kicked Corey to the curb have uttered a peep about Trump doing the same thing over and over again. I guess consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, or something. It also makes me wonder -- where are all the Republican voices bemoaning the cancelling of Corey Lewandowski?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

79 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Hurry Up And Wait”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Nice one about no one moaning about the cancelling of Lewandowski.

    But wait. Why is it a 'nice one'? Does anyone really expect the Republicans to be consistent or honest about this topic?

    Ditto about the networks' disinterest in the Eastman memo, and the GOP's becoming an explicitly white-supremacist political party.

    Talking points are for arguing. But no one's arguing about these things. Everyone, both Dems and Repubs, knows the Republicans are just plain awful on the questions of powerful men assaulting women - staging semi-legal coups to defeat majority rule in elections - promoting the white race as the natural ruling group in the U.S.

    Are the talking points for talking - that is, for actually arguing with the conservative opposition, who rather proudly take ownership of these positions these days - or just for making liberals feel good about themselves?

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    bengahtzee!!!

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    TP 6

    Yep, serves them right. I saw this on the Interwebs,

    #Covidiots, Thank you for playing the natural selection game!

  4. [4] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Republicans, their media henchmen and women, and Manchin are all shrieking about the top-line number of $3.5 trillion for 'human infrastructure' bill. But they are 100% opposed to reducing the military budget by one cent. Why is no one pointing out that:
    1) With no 'boots on the ground' in Iraq nor Afghanistan, why does the Pentagon need MORE money, not less?
    2) Sen. Sanders proposed infrastructure spending is $3.5 billion over multiple years. The military budget is $7 TRILLION over 10 years - assuming that the military-industrial complex doesn't continue successfully scaring hesitant Democrats with the 'weak on defense' propaganda.
    3) The Pentagon's budget is not even the total $$ that weapons manufactures get from the trough of the American taxpayer: the CIA has billions of deadly drones of its own, which we the public are not even ALLOWED to know the true cost.

  5. [5] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Thank you for talking points #4 and #6. The pandemic has NOT ended. But, as you point out, 'the media' needs 'breaking news' instead of providing vital updates, facts and figures to remind their viewers and readers that the virus is still circulating.

    An additional talking point, which I have not seen any Democrat utter, is the huge cost to the public purse of Medicare and Medicaid of each person hospitalized. Since Republicans tend to be older and a majority of voters in the South, surely there is a prime opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of those who refuse a FREE vaccine and then cost the taxpayer thousands or even millions. Many of these are likely voters who regurgitate the 'fiscal conservative' hogwash of the GOP.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    While you are right that at least 95% of Deathocrats are in the group with Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Sanders and AOC, that IS the corporate faction of the party.

    I seem to remember you even giving Pelosi a MIDOTW award for raising corporate money for Deathocrats. She did not get that award for raising money from small donors.

    Manchin and Sinema are just the convenient foils used to let the corporate Deathocrats pretend they are not corporate Deathocrats.

    I demand a retraction of your false 95% claim.

    GET REAL.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TP's 5 and 6-
    So mandates work and people should not be allowed to fly without proof of a vaccination, negative covid test or recovery from covid.

    So let's get citizens to mandate that candidates run small donor campaigns to earn our votes and to prove they are vaccinated, have a negative big money test or have recovered from selling out to the big money interests.

    Let's let them know their lies will no longer fly.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Of course the false progressives are doing exactly what Biden wants. So are Manchin and Sinema.

    Biden wants to do and is doing what Deathocrats have done for decades- pretend to be for popular ideas while just not being able to actually acchieve them so they can run on the same false promises in the next election.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!

  9. [9] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    So when are we going to start talking about the Republican Virus. We should call out the republican governors for what they truly are; domestic terrorists. They are killing their own citizens. We should call out the marines and Lock Them Up!

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    SF Bear-
    Hopefully at the same time we start talking about the Deathocrat Virus that enables the Repubikiller Virus by offering only the false alternative embodied by Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Bernie and AOC.

    We should call up the citizens and throw them out instead of locking them in by voting for them.

    Talking about only one is either ignoring reality or being dishonest.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    italyrusty (4)-
    The same point I made recently recently about military spending reductions.

    The reason no one is pointing it out is that it makes sense. (I am, after all, considered to be no one here.)

  12. [12] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Donald Trump is now pushing for investigations for voter fraud in states where he actually won the presidential vote in 2020. While some may see this as merely Trump wanting to keep his claims of voter fraud in the headlines any way he can, I have other thoughts as to why he is doing this.

    My first reaction to hearing this was that Trump was doing this to see just how far he can make Republican governors go to please him…a narcissistic masturbatory exercise to feed his ego. And while the other reasons I stated may very well play some part in why Trump is doing this, I think that it plays a far bigger role — it keeps us from taking a look at whether Trump and the GOP actually DID commit voter fraud during the 2020 election.

    In 2016, the Republican Party got busted for buying votes in NC. They tricked occupants of a poor housing project into believing that they were going to be part of a pilot program aiming to help get more people voting. They were told that they would be paid a decent sum of money for their participation. I am just going to give a general summary of what happened to keep it short: The residents signed requests for absentee ballots to be mailed to them. When they arrived, the staff read out each list of possible candidates and said they would fill in the boxes for the resident and just had them sign their absentee ballot and said that they would mail it in for them.

    No one at the housing project called this in to be investigated…it seemed on the up and up to them. The ONLY reason that this voter fraud got busted was because someone saw that this housing project went from having 2 or 3 absentee ballot requests per election year to suddenly having 30-40 requests in 2016. Pretty much every registered voter living in the complex suddenly needed an absentee ballot…which was just a little too odd to ignore.

    Had this occurred in 2020, when COVID caused millions to seek mail-in ballots, this scam would not have been viewed as suspicious and they would have gotten away with it!!! I’m guessing that this fact was not lost on the Republican Party when it became clear that a large portion of voters would be seeking a way to vote safely and avoid the threat of COVID-19. IF anyone believes that the GOP wouldn’t attempt this fraud again since the only reason they got caught the first time is no longer a threat to them…you do not pay attention!

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Projection, I'm not being fooled by projection! Projection, you thought you could put something over me ...

    There's a song in there, somewhere ...

    Oh, yeah...this one!
    Deception

  14. [14] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [13]

    Not bad. We've got a Repug crime wave going on regarding voting rights, for sure.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Did you say crime wave?

    Oh, have I got a song for that!

    CrimeWave

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I see what I did there ...

    The song in [13] should have been this one.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Say, will you be spinning some tunes tomorrow night?

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy/liz/russ,

    while it's highly probable that some of the local republicans (and democrats too, mind you) tampered with the absentee ballot process, i believe it's much more likely that donald's method of cheating (not much of a presumption that he did in fact cheat) came through the voting machine companies.

    prior to the election donald actively discouraged his base from voting absentee, and after the election he accused dominion voting systems of rigging the votes against him. maybe that's just donald being donald. but to me the only way those two pieces of evidence make sense together (if at all) is that he'd paid them to rig the votes in his favor, and was mad at them for not rigging the votes enough.

    JL

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @liz[17],

    maybe

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I hope so, Joshua!

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua[18],

    Well, that's a pretty big charge to say that Republicans AND Dems tampered with voting.

    I really think that 'projection' is all on Republicans. Not ALL Republicans, mind you, but, a lot of them!

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    just a bit cynical about it.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [17]

    I expect to, unless my taxes client shows up late in the day.

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    My condolences upon the damned Yankees edging Tampa Bay and the cursed Red Sox for beating Washington.

    Your Toronto Blue Jay's won today but finished a game out of the playoffs.

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, so sad ... I kind of lost track of the Blue Jays. I don't know any of them anymore ... next year!

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, it's that oh so fun time again as we welcome everyone once again to the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party where we leave politics far behind for a few hours and play some favourite tunes and get to know some new ones.

    Speaking of which, Loverboy is up first with a song I hadn't heard before the other day when I listened to it for the first time on one of my favourite facebook pages, Vancouver Rock Groups from the 60's to the 80's. Which is precisely where I'd like to go if ever I could fire up the ole Delorean and travel back in time. :)

    Take Me To The Top

    I'm told it's an amazing song to have sex to. Ahem. What!?

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, my all-time favourite Loverboy tune is this one ... mostly because I love, love, love to let loose and belt it out at the top of my lungs, such as they are. It's one of those instant mood enhancers!

    Turn Me Loose

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, whatd'ya say we Raise A Little Hell with a fun Vancouver band, Trooper!

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and on a free-association from a character in 'damn yankees' may i just refer back to the kinks?

    https://youtu.be/6CzrYXcXweI

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, wait a minute!

    3 dressed up as a 9

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You should never tell your mother that she's too old.

    Two For The Show

  33. [33] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Fooey on all this Trash Rock and Roll Devil Worship Music!

    As Board Mother failed to decree a theme for this evening, let's try a little Bluegrass, Deliverance style.

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, MtnCaddy is in the building!

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    not a huge fan of most music this side of the millenium, but here's a guy whose work i kinda dig. it's just a coincidence that the title of passenger's work is also a number that relates to the most successful sports franchise in history.

    https://youtu.be/l4WKh5UqtXc

    yes, THAT many.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    More Vancouver with Bryan Adams ...

    Cuts Like A Knife

    Byran co-wrote this song with his writing partner, Jim Vallance, PRiSM's original drummer etc. and principal songwriter for PRiSM's phenomenal debut album, the first debut album by a Canadian artist to achieve platinum status in Canada! And, that's not Bryan Adams' only connection to PRiSM ...

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You like to rub it in, Joshua. Heh. I like Passenger!

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay...maybe we could pick it up at tiny bit, with Fugue, from Trilogy/Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  40. [40] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    My folks, especially my Ma (rest her soul) were Classical Music Snobs. But my Dad, a Librarian, saw that Rock had it's claws on my soul, so he brought home albums from people like ELP, Chicago, Yes and Frank Zappa.

    I'm a yuge Progressive Rock fan. Here's a Yes tune, Siberia Khatru.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    'Thank-you! Good night!'

    The Kid Is Hot Tonight

  42. [42] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And here's a sensitive ballad of requited love (as it sort of turned out) love, namely Frank Zappa's The Illinois Enema Bandit.

  43. [43] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Back to Yes, with a 3:17 killer acoustic song featuring Steve Howe, The Clap.

  44. [44] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I thought Steve Howe was the best rock guitarist for decades, until a sweet gal from Kentucky introduced me to Steve Vai. Here's Bad Horsie and For the Love of God.

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  46. [46] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, Elizabeth, your fiendish plan to introduce me to at least one kicking Canuck rock song every Sunday has once again blessed me. You can go, now.

  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I'm up at 0600 tomorrow so I'm outta here. G'Nite, Elizabeth! G'Nite poet! G'Nite John Boy...

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy[40],

    ELP?

    lol, i know what the P is next to on the keyboard, but it's still pretty funny.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I actually like Crazy Train. Imagine that ... :)

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have ELP's first album! Well, on cd but, still ...

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No, I lie ... not ELP ... Crosby, Stills and Nash! Heh.

  53. [53] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    and just in case anyone didn't get the reference...

    https://youtu.be/mJ4Hy_BGgRM?t=130

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can't sleep.

    I like to rock ...

    April Wine

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can't you see that I'm your girl and enough is enough!

    Enough is Enough - April Wine

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It doesn't get much better than this ...

    Triumph - Lay It On The Line

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me try April Wine's Enough is Enough, again ...

    Can't you see that I'm your girl and enough is enough!!!

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    G'nite Caddy!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Voodoo Thing - Colin James

    Next Sunday night, I shall play some brand spanking new Colin James!

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and brand new Nick Walsh and Famous Underground ... not to be missed!

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Have a great rest of the night and take good care, everyone!

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One more before I go ... Caddy, I know you'll love the Headpins ...

    One More Time

  68. [68] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yepper, Elizabeth, the Headpins are pretty good. Are these mostly Canadian artists? ALL Canadian, so (for future reference) I know that what you post is a Canuck All-Star mixtape?

    I grew up in Hockey town and after making the playoffs for 20-some years in a row and winning a couple titles, my Redwing have been Deadwings of late. Hopefully the rebuild will start paying dividends this season. Are you a hockey fan?

  69. [69] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Colin James, huh?

    Not to get an early start on next Sunday, but sometimes a fella just can't help but have the Blues.

  70. [70] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    "He who does not have ovaries shall not make laws for those who do."

    Fallopians 10:4

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [69]

    (Now that's a favorite number haha)

    I'd like to suggest "Blues" as next Sunday's Dance Party theme.

    Whaddaya say, Miss Canada? Whoops, I meant Ms. Canada.

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, that is a wonderful idea!

    It'll be our very own CW Bluesfest!!!!

    I can't wait!

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I used to be a really, really, really big hockey fan. My favourite player was Bobby Clarke, the toothless terror of the Philadelpia Flyers, born in Flin Flon, Manitoba ... I once made a poster size picture collage of him, with pictures from all kinds of hockey magazines. Of course, I was boucing off the walls when the Flyers won the cup - '74 and '75, if memory serves.

    Once met him and his mates after a game at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Flyers lost. But, I got most of their autographs after the game and I made a little note underneath Bobby Clarke's sig - 'Don't bug him after he's just lost a game.' Heh.

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Funnily enough, I lost interest when fighting took away too much from the game. :)

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Caddy ... yes, all my tunes last night were pure Canadian. I'll let you know when they're not. Heh.

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [70],

    Very nice.

    Abortion: Safe, Legal ... and RARE!

  77. [77] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    but not so rare that rapists can prevent their victims from getting one.

  78. [78] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Not just that though. "Safe legal and rare" made a good sound byte a quarter century ago, but as endless state restrictions have shown, it matters HOW they become rare. Rare because most women don't need or want one would be great. Rare because there are so many obstacles that most give up would be less great.

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Agree 100 percent, Joshua.

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