One month to the day that Democrats in the House of Representatives passed “the largest expansion of the social safety net in decades,” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Sunday morning declared on Fox News he will now not support the Democrats’ Build Back Better bill that would have provided child care support for parents, protected the environment with climate change actions, expanded Medicare, lowered the cost of prescription drugs – like capping insulin at $35 – provided for universal pre-K, and created affordable housing, among many other programs Democrats, including President Joe Biden, ran on.
“I’ve always said this, Bret,” Manchin said less than a week before Christmas to Fox news host Bret Baier, “if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, then I can’t vote for it. I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”
“This is a no,” he told Fox News viewers.
Manchin has spent months wheeling and dealing, reconstructing the Build Back Better legislation while slashing the cost – and the benefits – and even managing to get the House Progressive Caucus to agree to vote for President Biden’s infrastructure package. The two bills from the start were supposed to be linked so those who opposed one would find a way to vote for both. Manchin effectively managed to sever that deal.
Outrage on the left was swift and massive.
“BREAKING,” tweeted former NY State prosecutor Tristan Snell. “Man with Maserati and yacht against child tax credit, maternity leave, child care, and $35 insulin.”
Sawyer Hackett, the former deputy national press secretary to Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, now the co-host of Our America podcast called Manchin’s move “one of the most stunning betrayals of a sitting president by a member of his own party in history.”
“Manchin just shoved a knife in the back of a flailing Biden presidency less than a year away from the midterms.”
Democrats put Manchin in charge of negotiating infrastructure.
We cut the proposed $6T BBB bill to $3.5T (he said he’d support $4T).
We cut out taxes on rich, paid leave, tuition free college, prescription drugs.
We caved to him at every turn—and he still tanked the bill.
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) December 19, 2021
Voting rights expert and Mother Jones writer Ari Berman:
Joe Manchin represents .5% of US population but is killing Build Back Better supported by 70% of Americans
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) December 19, 2021
Hugo Lowell of The Guardian noted that “Senate Dem Joe Manchin accepted more than $1.5m from Republican and corporate interests opposed to Build Back Better as of September, Guardian US reported this month.”
Progressives were absolutely right to insist on the linkage of the infrastructure bill and BBB. They got played.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 19, 2021
“It’s notable he made this announcement on Fox during a congressional recess, not at a party lunch or at a news conference on Capitol Hill,” said Punchbowl News’ Max Cohen.
“This is devastating on climate change. the US almost certainly won’t get another chance like this this decade,” wrote Vox senior reporter Rebecca Leber. “Whatever you do don’t call this the moderate approach.”
More people will die in the next 10-30 years because Manchin killed Build Back Better. The original BBB proposal had ambitious policies to end coal pollution.
This is not hyperbole.
— Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) December 19, 2021
“Don’t forget: this isn’t just about Joe Manchin,” MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan tweeted. “It’s about the dark money and billionaires and coal interests behind him, which keep winning at ours and the planet’s expense. Manchin is a living breathing reminder that America is often more oligarchic than it is democratic.”
Political satirist Jeremy Newberger:
Senator Joe Manchin might as well have made his BBB beheading tape from the Mar-A-Lago omelette station.
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) December 19, 2021
“Joe Manchin is a lying liar who lies,” wrote Jennifer Taub, law professor and author of “Big Dirty Money.”
— Josie Glausiusz ג’וסי גלאזיוס جوسي غلاوسيوز (@josiegz) December 19, 2021
Former Bernie Sanders Deputy Campaign Manager:
Joe Manchin didn’t kill the bill . . . He killed the planet. https://t.co/8wIzgw4GAG
— Ari Rabin-Havt (@AriRabinHavt) December 19, 2021
Mississippi Free Press senior reporter Ashton Pittman:
Joe Manchin's decision he announced on Fox News today means childhood poverty will effectively double again once the expanded child tax credit expires. https://t.co/5iOmfQLGKU
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) December 19, 2021
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Garland’s ‘Beautiful Chess Move’ Praised as Judge Sets Expedited Schedule to Unseal Warrant
A federal judge has given Donald Trump until Friday at 3 PM ET to oppose the Dept. of Justice’s request to unseal the search warrant FBI agents used to enter Mar-a-Lago and confiscate possibly thousands of items including classified documents.
Many are cheering the Attorney General Merrick Garland who frequently has been the target of frustration on the left for appearing to not be acting expeditiously against Trump.
In what some have called a “beautiful chess move,” Attorney General Garland announced Thursday afternoon he has asked a federal judge to unseal the search warrant after Trump and his allies expressed outrage over the FBI’s Monday raid, and have been spreading agents planted evidence, a conspiracy theory that first appeared on social media but quickly made it to Fox News’ airwaves.
Many on the right have demanded Garland have the warrant unsealed.
Should Trump not oppose the unsealing the American people will likely be able to see what laws DOJ believes the former president violated.
Noted attorney Ken White on Twitter wrote: “By the way Trump could file something TODAY saying he doesn’t oppose unsealing the warrant and it would be public probably by tomorrow. Or he could just release his copy.”
The fact that the former president has not released his copy of the search warrant, which “is his right” as Garland noted Thursday, makes it more likely he will oppose DOJ’s motion to unseal.
One important note for those expecting an avalanche of information should the federal judge unseal the warrant.
“DOJ has asked to unseal the warrant and ‘Attachments A & B.’ Best I can tell from examples of recent federal search warrants, these attachments will describe the ‘property to be searched’ and the ‘particular items to be seized’ but will NOT include the affidavit of probable cause,” writes Harvard Law professor of criminal law and procedure Andrew Crespo.
“The government is not yet seeking to release what is known as the affidavit in support of the warrant,” The New York Times confirms, “a document that lays out all sorts of telling details about the larger investigation of Mr. Trump — chief among them the reasons prosecutors believed there was probable cause that evidence of a crime could be found at Mar-a-Lago.”
Many online are cheering Attorney General Garland’s decision to go head to head with Trump.
The Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo writes, “merrick garland is out here playing 5d chess while trump & his team play checkers.”
USA Today opinion columnist Michael J. Stern summed up Garland’s action today:
“Merrick Garland to Trump: I’m going to let the world see the gobs of evidence we have that led to the search warrant…unless you object…in which case you will be signaling to the world that you have gobs to hide.”
This article has been updated with reporting from The New York Times.
‘It’s So Gross’: NY Times Blasted for Negative Reporting on Biden by ‘Blindered Horse-Race Analysts’
After President Joe Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate were closing an exceptional week of success after success on Saturday, pulling into a Senate vote that would transform the U.S. response to climate change, combat inflation, lower Medicare prescription drug prices and the federal deficit, and increase the energy supply, The New York Times published an article attacking the American president, depicting him as weak and ineffective, while speaking primarily, almost entirely, only to Republican pollsters, strategists, and politicians.
Critics, journalists, and even some New York Times readers are calling out the paper of record, and its top reporters.
“In Senate Battle, Democrats Defy Biden’s Low Standing (for Now)” was the title of the Saturday article that essentially was a megaphone for the MAGA crowd, published in the Times’ politics section.
The article’s subhead made clear what readers could expect: “’The billion-dollar question,’ as one Republican pollster put it, is whether Democratic candidates in crucial Senate races can continue to outpace the president’s unpopularity.”
“In a Senate split 50-50,” wrote the Times’ Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman, “Democrats on the campaign trail and in Congress have zero margin for error as the party tries to navigate a hostile political environment defined chiefly by President Biden’s albatross-like approval ratings,”
Rather than describe historic legislation as productive for the American people, and literally, a massive undertaking that will have positive global effects, the Times reporters opted to frame the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a partisan, political scheme.
“In Washington, Senate Democrats are racing to bolster their position, pressing for a vote as soon as Sunday on a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”
Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, latched onto the Times article and reporters.
“The only context that matters to these blindered horse-race analysts is Biden’s approval rating. The lies, the conspiracy theories, the threat to democracy,” he noted, presumably referring to Trump, “are irrelevant.”
Soledad O’Brien, the well-known former CNN anchor who now is chair of the Starfish Media Group, which she founded, and host of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” and is a frequent critic of the media offered her thoughts:
“It’s so gross,” she responded.
“And it gets worse,” Froomkin added. “Look who they quote: Republican pollster, anonymous Republican strategists, dude who runs Republican Super PAC, Mitch McConnell, one Dem pollster, Republican strategist, Republican Senate candidate, Republican Senate candidate, Republican strategist…”
Indeed, Haberman and Goldmacher quote “Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster,” “Republican strategists involved in Senate races, granted anonymity to speak candidly,” “Steven Law, who leads the main Senate Republican super PAC,” “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader,” “Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster,” “Corry Bliss, a veteran Republican strategist,” Joe O’Dea, a GOP candidate, GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, “Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist advising a super PAC supporting Mr. Masters,” and “Christina Freundlich, a Democratic consultant.”
That’s seven Republicans, an unknown number of unnamed anonymous GOP strategists, and two Democrats.
In a negative article about President Joe Biden, The New York Times didn’t include any quotes from President Joe Biden or the White House. Not even anonymous ones.
The Times almost entirely ignored Biden’s accomplishments from the past week chocked full of wins.
Here’s how Haberman and Goldmacher served up those facts:
“With a strong job report on Friday, long-stalled legislation moving and gas prices on the decline — albeit from record highs — it is possible that Mr. Biden’s support could tick upward.”
By contrast, on Sunday the Associated Press reported on Biden’s “legacy-defining wins,” including noting that a “summer lawmaking blitz has sent bipartisan bills addressing gun violence and boosting the nation’s high-tech manufacturing sector to Biden’s desk, and the president is now on the cusp of securing what he called the ‘final piece’ of his economic agenda with Senate passage of a Democrats-only climate and prescription drug deal once thought dead.”
That economic agenda is what the Times called “a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”
A CNN opinion piece Friday noted “Joe Biden sure is suddenly notching up an impressive string of victories. And they’re not minor. In fact, Biden is on a roll when it comes to both domestic and foreign policy.”
Over a week ago, NBC News’ senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur noted, “If this deal passes,” referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, which did pass on Sunday, “Biden will have inked wins on: Drug pricing, Climate/ACA $$, Higher taxes on corporations, $1.9T Covid rescue plan, $1.2T infrastructure law, New gun law, Chips/China bill, KBJ on SCOTUS, 73+ lower court judges, VAWA re-up, Postal reform.”
He adds: “This is not a trivial agenda.”
That list did not include all the wins Biden had last week before the IRA passed, including: 528,000 jobs added in July, unemployment at a 50-year low (3.5%), the killing of terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, CHIPS Act passage, PACT Act passage to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits, and gas prices dropping daily.
Meanwhile, others continued to blast the Times’ reporting.
“Hard to believe this kind of bad, ‘conventional wisdom’ reporting is still happening, where they’re saying Biden is ‘albatross’ around Dem candidates’ necks and it’s all…a mystery….” tweeted Michelangelo Signorile, a veteran journalist, SiriusXM Progress host, and writer of books and a Substack newsletter.
Some New York Times readers in the paper’s own comments section were equally critical.
“Times pundits fail to distinguish between ‘job approval’ polls versus the relative popularity of the two parties’ agendas,” wrote Baxter Jones. “Republican candidates have no agenda beyond tax cuts for their big contributors, banning all abortions, voter suppression, and abolishing Obamacare with no clue of how to replace it. Oh, and climate change denial.”
Another reader wrote: “Nothing about abortion or extremism? No Democrats to quote? I hope there will be a follow up from a Democratic perspective.”
“Wow!” wrote yet another reader. “I can’t believe the premise of this article is so simplistic. Nothing is happening in this election other than how popular Joe Biden is. No mention of the anti-choice crowd and the shellacking they took in Kansas. Or how voter registration has vastly increased across the country since the Dobbs decision. (And one of the authors is a woman, presumably of liberal bent.)”
“No mention of the fact that the recent legislation passed (and passing, as I write this on Saturday night) by the Democrats is wildly popular with wide swaths of the populace, and even more popular with narrow swaths such as veterans,” they continued.
“If all you have to do to control the congress is lambast the incumbent president, then we should start doing that the moment another Republican gets into the White House. Whence all this ‘hate Joe Biden,’ stuff. Populism, or right-wing radio with nothing else to sell? I hope most Americans are smarter than that.”
TikTok Influencer Ignites Backlash After Posting Homophobic and Racist Rant Attacking Home Depot Workers
Amanda Marie, an influencer with around 14,000 followers on TikTok, is getting some backlash after she posting a video describing how she harassed a Home Depot employee while using homophobic language and telling him to “go back to your country,” Boing Boing reports.
The video shows Marie telling a Black employee that she’s going to get him fired. She then goes to her car and recounts the incident from her perspective, saying, “I said, ‘I’m not leaving.’ … I then turned around and said, ‘If you’re going to be rude, go back to your country. Go back to your country!’ ‘Cause he wasn’t from here.”
“So I turn around, and I say, ‘Go back to your motherf***ing country and learn some f***ing manners before you come here,'” she said.
She also tried to claim the homophobic slur “fag,” which she allegedly used against one of the employees, is not seen as an offensive term back in New York.
As Boing Boing points out, she deleted the video from her various platforms after the backlash.
Watch the video below.
And she was proud enough to post this herself? pic.twitter.com/3jH572ymKY
— 🥀_Imposter_🕸️ (@Imposter_Edits) August 1, 2022
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