The “New” Joe Manchin?

No, it’s not the Senator from West Virginia I’m talking about here. It’s actually another Democrat from a red and turning redder state that is going to be on the ballot in 2024. I’m talking about Jon Tester (D-MT) from Montana.

Tester is emerging according to The Hill, as the new Joe Manchin. Well, they didn’t put it that way, I did. They say he’s going to be the key vote coming up for most of Biden’s agenda for the second half. He’s been voting more and more with Republicans, Just recently, he voted to block a Biden administration’s EPA rule that would give more federal jurisdiction to the government over streams and wetlands. If you’ll remember, Obama tried the same thing, going so far as to declare mud puddles as “wetlands”. Tester also voted against Biden’s move to tell financial planners that they could go ahead and use environmental, social, and governmental factors in deciding where to invest YOUR money. Currently, most financial planners are “fiduciaries” and they have to do what’s best for the investor, regardless what it does to the environment, society, or the government. The investor comes first. Biden wants to change that.

So, why is Jon Tester moving right so quickly? Pretty simple really. Montana has taken a rather hard turn to the right in the last election. Jon Tester, as a Democrat, needs to be able to show Montanans that he is conservative enough to represent them in the US Senate. He’s done a pretty fair job at winning reelection so far, seeing how he’s now the 25th Senator in terms of seniority. And he’s currently chairing a couple of rather important committees, which gives him a mouthpiece to speak on the issues.

Tester’s last election was a 15,000 vote romp over Montana State Auditor, Matt Rosendale. In fact, it was the first time in three elections for the US Senate that Tester crossed the 50% threshold. This in spite of the fact that during Trump’s term in office, Tester was known to vote against Trump appointees include Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. However, Tester announced back in late February that he would be seeking a fourth term, and knew that he had better start positioning himself more to the center. That’s exactly what he had been doing over the last year, becoming a more centrist Democrat with Manchin and then Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

Whether or not the Democrats are going to be able to hold the Senate in 2024 is going to be centered around Tester’s ability to win reelection. Republicans have targeted Tester, Sinema, and Manchin, knowing that if they could flip all three seats, and win the White House, they would most likely be in charge of the federal government’s three branches, Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. That is a rare occasion and has only happened five times since the beginning of the 20th century for either party. The last time it happened was 2004 to 2007 during George W. Bush’s reign as president. Prior to that you have to go back to the 1960’s when Democrats held all three branches throughout most of the decade (until Richard Nixon’s election in 1968).

So, what does all of this mean for the rest of this year and next year? I think it means that you’re probably going to see Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, and Jon Tester all deciding their votes on a case by case basis. All three are going to have to rely on Republicans to win their reelection in 2024. West Virginia Representative, Alex Mooney has already said he’d be taking on Manchin for his job. In Arizona, Ruben Gallego, currently a Representative in the House, has announced he will try and keep Sinema’s seat in Democrat hands as she runs for reelection as an independent. Interestingly enough in Arizona, there are far more Republicans than Democrats still today. And there are more Independents than Democrats as well. So, Sinema may just be able to swing enough from the GOP to win reelection.

And in Montana, Rosendale, who now is in the House, and Representative Ryan Zinke are toying with the idea of taking on Tester, though neither has committed to it at this point. Tester is the only announced candidate for US Senate in Montana as of today.

Any way you look at it, the three “democrats/independents” in Tester, Manchin, and Sinema could make this an interesting run up to not just the Senate elections, but the presidential run up as well!

Carry on world….you’re dismissed!

Saving Social Security?

There is a bi-partisan move afoot in our nation’s capital. Both Republicans and Democrats are getting together to try and save Social Security. Now, a lot of this is because of what Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that Social Security and Medicare cuts were off the table when it came to the deep spending cuts Republicans are looking for in order to pass a debt ceiling limit. And some folks can point to the State of the Union Speech where Biden felt he got the GOP to agree to leave Social Security alone. Actually, I don’t think either of those things were the cog that got them moving.

It was the debt limit.

See, if the House doesn’t go along with the Senate and approve raising the debt ceiling by June, the country basically comes to a halt. We already are in the bind, where we’ve passed the allowable debt ceiling, but the Treasury folks say they can most likely play a numbers game and get us through till June. But after that, if there is no deal, there is default on the debt. That’s something no one in Congress wants. Especially the Republicans

The Republicans know full well that if they don’t pass a debt ceiling increase, and the government has to default on it’s debt, nothing good happens in the country. We’ll be seeing a huge recession, the dollar will go to zero as far as buying ability, and other countries will stop using the dollar as the international reserve currency. And don’t think the Democrats won’t be there in spades pointing fingers!

But the Republicans realize, along with people like Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, that you can’t keep spending like a drunken sailor and expect everything to come home fine and dandy in the end. There will be a day of reckoning. That’s what scares the more conservative folks in this country. So, the GOP has decided to plant the flag and tell the Biden administration that the House isn’t going to go along with any debt ceiling increase unless it is tied to a spending reduction of rather large magnitude. That’s where all of this gets sticky.

Joe Biden has said he wants a “clean bill”, meaning he doesn’t want to tie the spending to the debt ceiling increase. Of course, he’d say that because he is the one spending like a drunken sailor! And in the end, it becomes a question of who is going to blink first. If the Republicans do, they are basically going back on their word to the people that put them in charge in the House of Representatives. If Biden blinks first, his entire agenda comes to an abrupt end…which it probably will anyway. After all, the House can basically kill any bill that the Republicans don’t like. They can’t do much in the Senate about it, but they can stop it in the House.

So, the Social Security mess boils down to about a dozen folks from both the House and Senate that want to fix Social Security, now scheduled to run out of money in 2034. That means that for the first time in a long time, we’re looking at the expiration date of the most expensive item on the federal budget running out of money within a ten year window. That’s not good for the economy. There are 66 million people who get a Social Security check each month, with the average benefit being just over $1,500!

What changes are going to have to happen? Well, for one thing, they are again toying with the retirement age to get at the money you’ve put into the Social Security program all of your life. And they are looking at putting an extra billion dollars in the kitty, and investing that money in countries around the world, like a lot of other countries do. They hope they could get a decent rate of return on that. Now, Democrats are worried that will lead to investing your retirement money in the stock market…which they view as unsafe. Of course, if you have a 401k, you’re already invested in the stock market, and it’s the one thing that is making you able to retire when you want. Beyond that, there are tax increases for those folks still working that will most likely kick in.

I’ve always thought that means testing would be a viable alternative. Let’s face it. If you’re a millionaire when you retire, do you really need $1,500 a month from the government? Why not let someone else get that money that isn’t sitting on a bundle of cash? The one thing Washington can’t afford to do is what I always wanted to do when I was working, which is to make Social Security voluntary. Of course, no one would be left at that point to pay into it. I don’t know many people still working today and under the age of say, 45 that think Social Security is going to be around for them anyway.

It will be interesting to see what this bi-partisan group comes up with. Hopefully, it’ll be a saving grace. Democrats that voted this in back in the 1940’s have to realize they never had a good exit strategy when the whole Other People’s Money syndrome ran out on them. It always does!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Why Is Joe Manchin Pissed?

Joe Manchin has a LOT to be thankful for. He’s probably, along with Kyrsten Sinema, the most powerful people that caucus with the Democrats. Of course, Joe still IS a Democrat, while Sinema has switched to being an Independent (which by the way, will play MUCH better in Arizona!) So why in the world is Joe Manchin pissed?

Joe Biden screwed him royally!

See, when they were arguing over the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden wanted to have a lot of stuff in there for climate change. He saw it as a way to get the country on board and spend money to “save the planet”. That’s money by the way, we don’t have. Meanwhile, Manchin saw it as a way to keep our energy supply secure, by moving jobs from overseas to the United States, so we would have control of our own energy supply. It’s not that Manchin was against electric vehicles and the like per se. It was that he wanted his constituents in West Virginia to be able to keep their jobs.

But that’s not what has happened. Biden is reportedly ready to roll out a $7,500 tax credit for people that buy EV’s. Manchin is livid because nothing is being done about moving jobs back to the US especially from China. The Biden administration take is that you either take a $7,500 check from the federal government, or you don’t buy a new car.

So, what does all of this have to do with the price of eggs? Absolutely nothing. It’s not about inflation. It never was about inflation, or reducing it. It was about funding “green new deal” ideas. And that is why Manchin is pissed. He didn’t care if you funded green new deal stuff as long as his folks in West Virginia still had jobs. I get that. He should care about his constituents. I wish more people on Capitol Hill felt the same way. Hell, I wish MY Senator felt that way instead of being a mouthpiece for Biden.

Here’s why it’s probably not going to work long-term. First of all, all this does is piss off Joe Manchin. And when he gets pissed, he withholds his support to things the Dems may need. Remember, if he and Sinema still vote against stuff, they still fall a vote short of 50. Chuckles Schumer still needs both of them voting with him.

The bigger problem that the country is going to be facing is that China still will maintain the jobs, the raw material, and the ability to control how many electric vehicles America produces, and how much they cost. And right now, they are about 40% more expensive than comparable combustion engine cars. While that doesn’t seem to bother Joe Biden a bit, it should. As we get farther and farther down the road, he is going to learn what apparently most Republicans already know. EV’s are a LONG way off of becoming practical.

You cannot have a car that’s unreliable in this country. This is not Sweden or Norway, which is nowhere near the size of the US. And to have an EV that only goes 400 miles on a charge isn’t going to cut it in most areas of this country. Where I live, a 400 mile drive is commonplace. You can do that a couple of times a week, certainly go farther than that in a day. But don’t forget, our speed limits out here can reach 75 or 80 mph. Now let’s look at the problem with batteries given today’s technology.

They are working on car batteries that will have a 10 year life span. And that’s great. Except that if you live in North Dakota or Minnesota, where the temperatures in winter routinely get to be 25 below zero, you’re going to have a problem. Batteries are a very inefficient energy storage system, and will given out in temperature extremes. That means the folks living in southern Nevada, or Arizona are also going to find it tough going. Here in the desert 115-118 degree summer days are also commonplace. And batteries hate heat.

Now, let’s get back to China. The Chinese control 80% of the raw material on earth that goes into making car batteries. We’re talking lithium, cobalt, and graphite, as well as rare earth materials. And to mine these elements is very damaging to the environment…but the administration doesn’t seem to care about that. Another problem in that vein is what do you do with spent batteries? No one has successfully designed a system of recycling them yet. And the experts say that we are anywhere from 25-50 years away from that happening. That’s a problem when Biden wants gas cars off the dealer’s showroom floors by 2035.

I can see why Joe Manchin is upset. He should be. He was taken advantage of to get his vote. And now, he is losing everything that he compromised on in that process. His only revenge? Get Sinema to go along with him and vote against Biden any chance he can. At least for the next two years!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Dem’s Are Rightfully Worried About 2024!

Oh, Democrats are really worried. Not just because Joe Biden hasn’t been able to crack the 50% barrier in his presidential approval ratings even once in two years. But also because the Democrats will be trying to defend 20 seats of the 33 seats that are up for grabs in the Senate. And that’s going to be a tall order. Actually, there are the three Independents in the Senate that caucus with the Dems that will be up as well. So, you can say 17 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 3 Independents will be on the ballot.

And that has Democrats shaking a bit.

Not only that, but there are several that may not run for reelection. Rumor has been circulating that Joe Manchin (D-WV) is seriously thinking of getting out of the rat race and retiring. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has already announced she won’t be seeking reelection come 2024. And several others will most likely follow. Add to that there are probably six more seats that could very easily flip away from the Democrats that year, and a 51-49 Senate could very well turn into a 43-57 Senate for the leftists.

Here are the seats that The Hill says could most likely flip in 2024:

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Sinema dropped out of the Democrat party after the midterms when it became obvious to her that she was going to be primaried. See, her independent streak cost Dems a few votes along with Manchin, and while that made her rather powerful, the Democrats out here in the desert weren’t real happy with her.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Stabenow has already announced her intention to not seek reelection. Michigan is one of those states that could go either way in the Senate. If the GOP puts up a decent candidate, and funds them correctly, they could indeed take the seat. Rumor has it, Gretchen Whitmer, the current Governor may make a run at the seat.

John Testor (D-MT). John Testor has squeaked by in his last election, winning by only 3.5 points. Montana isn’t known as a Democrat state. So a reelection bid by Testor isn’t assured. It will depend on who the Republicans put up. If they do a Mehmet Oz, or a Blake Masters type of candidate, Testor will probably be reelected. If not and they find someone that actually is a decent politician, the Republicans could easily take the seat back.

Jacky Rosen (D-NV). We learned that Nevada is becoming purple. Catherine Cortez Masto almost lost her seat in November’s midterms, and Rosen isn’t viewed as half as well liked as Cortez Masto. The Republicans should take this seat fairly easily. That would hold true especially if Adam Laxalt tries to get this seat.

Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Brown is the senior Senator from the Buckeye State. But he’s finding more and more that he could be on an island that is slowly sinking. His popularity in Ohio isn’t what it was when he was first elected. And he may realize that his time in DC has come to an end. Rumor has it that he may also be one that announces his retirement if it looks like the internal polling numbers show too close a race to call.

Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin is in the same boat Sinema is. Yes, he’s a maverick, but unless he decides to join the Republican party, something he swears he isn’t likely to do, he most likely will get defeated if he runs for reelection. Manchin is the only Democrat to win state-wide elections recently, and that doesn’t bode well for him. That and the GOP is going to target him heavily in deep red, West Virginia.

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Baldwin will be seeking her third term in a state that is certainly turned purple since she last won. Ron Johnson, the senior Senator from the Badger State won a very close race this past fall, and Baldwin may not have the same luck. Wisconsin is one of those states that quite frankly could go either way. If that happens, it just adds to the Republican wave (if there actually is one!).

Bob Casey (D-PA). Casey could be in trouble in a state that saw two less than stellar candidates battle it out this past fall. But Casey is hoping that if he seeks reelection, he won’t have half the problem that John Fetterman had against a terrible candidate in Mehmet Oz. It all depends on if the GOP can find someone that is adored state-wide. That and they need to be able to offset the heavily Democrat vote coming out of Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

There you have it. Eight Democrats that could be in trouble if the choose to try and hang around DC for another six years.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is A GOP Senate Possible BEFORE 2024?

Well, if you’re wondering if the GOP has enough oomph left in the tank after failing to have the anticipated midterm results, and if they can actually succeed in taking over the Senate in 2024, I can’t answer that. I CAN say unequivocally that I think they can actually do it before 2024.

Here’s why.

There are always Senators and Representatives that go out and get elected, and then for some reason, they retire mid-stream. Maybe it’s a health issue. Sometimes it’s a family issue, but it seems that there are always things going on that will preclude at least some members of Congress from completing their term. This year and next year is not any different. According to The Hill, there are five Senators that could step down between today and the election in 2024. So, in no particular order, here they are:

Joe Manchin: Manchin is the only Democrat to win a state-wide election in West Virginia. He’s been a thorn in Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s side for the past two years, and most likely will continue to be. He has stated that he has no desire to switch parties and become a Republican, and I don’t see him becoming an independent, like Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema did. But I do see him not running in 2024. He’s already hinted at that. But becoming a thorn in Schumer’s side has a price to pay. And Manchin may not enjoy that his ethics and morals differ so greatly from a party that he once loved. He may just bolt and resign prior to the election in 2024.

John Testor: The Montana Senator has won his election as a Democrat in a usually red state three times. But he’s not quite so sure that a fourth is in the cards. Testor is only 66 years old (he’ll be 68 by the 2024 elections), and while there are a ton of people older than him in the Senate, he may decide not to go through another battle with Matt Rosendale, who he only beat by single digits in 2018.

Bob Casey: Casey is a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Now, he says that his prognosis is good, and that he plans on beating it through some aggressive treatments, but you never can tell with cancer. And you can never tell about Pennsylvania. A lot will depend on who the Republicans decide to run in 2024 should Casey opt to stay in the fray. If it’s going to be a weak candidate like Mehmet Oz, the chances of this seat flipping are next to nothing. But never underestimate what a health problem can do to a sitting Senator. It happens all the time!

Tammy Baldwin: Baldwin watched, probably with tears in her eyes, as fellow Democrat, Mandela Barnes lost to Ron Johnson in one of the closest races of this past November. And with Wisconsin definitely a “battleground state” now with Trump having beaten Clinton in 2016, and Biden beating Trump by single digits in 2020, it could be interesting to see if Baldwin wants to go through the hassle, not knowing the outcome. Baldwin won her first race by 6 points and her reelection bid in 2018 by 10. But Ron Johnson’s win may signal that Wisconsin is ready to be a little more conservative than Baldwin may like, and she may decide to pull the plug before 2024.

Tim Kaine: Kaine, from Virginia is the former running mate of Hillary Clinton. He’s a two-term Senator and will most likely be facing an uphill election in a state that was once solidly blue, but has turned bright purple recently. The reason is simple. Glenn Younkin beat an incumbent Terry McAuliffe to win the Governor’s seat a few years back, and in 2021, the Republicans flipped the state’s House of Delegates. That could bode poorly for Kaine. Especially if Youngkin decides that he wants to run against him. Current polling shows that race a dead heat at the moment. Kaine may decide to jump ship, retire at 65, and enjoy his retirement.

If the Democrats see three of these guys retire or quit early, it could very well put the Republicans in charge of the Senate prior to 2024. All of the Governor’s of these states are Republicans with the exception of Pennsylvania. That would mean that if more than one would retire prior to the end of their term in 2024, the GOP would take back the Senate, and give Republicans the entire Congress.

And, while I really don’t see two or three retiring, there is always that possibility!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

EXTRA! Dems’ Lose Another Member

All this while I thought it would be Joe Manchin that would be leaving the Democrat Party and joining the GOP. I was dead wrong on that one! In case you missed it, there has been yet another defection from the ranks of the Democrats in Washington. This time it’s a sitting Senator.

It’s Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema!

Sinema wrote a huge OpEd in the Arizona Republic to let the folks she represents in Arizona know why she was leaving the Democrats to become independent. And to be honest, it’s actually one of the things I admire about Sinema. I did not vote for her back in 2018 when she ran against Martha McSally for the seat. She’s up for reelection in 2024.

The decision also hit the airwaves on CNN when Sinema told Jake Tapper, “I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to,” she added. “Removing myself from the partisan structure – not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”

So, before you get all excited in thinking the Senate is now going to be 50-50, hang on a bit. Sinema may be going independent, but at this point she has not decided whether or not she’s going to follow the lead of two other independents in the nation’s upper chamber, Angus King of Maine, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Both of those guys caucus with the Democrats. Sinema hasn’t made that decision yet. But she has said that she has no plans in losing her committee assignments, something Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader assigns. That would tell me she may not caucus with the Dems, but she’s certainly not going to be a Republican. She’s just doing what a lot of people on both sides of the aisle are now starting to do, remain independent totally from either political party.

I think this is a move that needs to be applauded. I’m sure the majority of folks in politics aren’t going to become independent just because the Senior Senator from AZ decided to do it. After all, the other two independents in the Senate may just as well be Democrats by the way they vote. Sinema at least, has been rather independent and undependable when it comes to backing the Democrat line in votes this past year. She and Joe Manchin have gone their own way numerous times.

This is what needs to happen to change DC. It needs to continue as more and more people get fed up with both parties and their partisan politics. Sinema basically said that the State of Arizona is made up of a lot of independents. There are, as of January 1st of this year, 1.5 million Republicans, 1.3 million Democrats and 36,000 Libertarians. The other 1.45 million voters are registered as Independent.

Sinema always hit me as being very liberal, but she’s proven me wrong in that thinking. She’s been conservative on lots of issues, like the border security and immigration, and is currently working across the aisle with Republican Thom Tillis (R-NC). She also is someone that doesn’t believe that the tax and spend politics of the left is anything she can back as has been evidenced with her backing Joe Manchin (D-WV) in voting down key spending bills. She has, by virtue of her independence, become one of the most powerful Senators in Washington.

So, the question is how many other Senators (and I’m looking at YOU, Joe Manchin) want to join her and become independent as well? Getting rid of partisan politics starts with getting rid of the two party system that has birthed it. It’s going to take a lot more than just Sinema and Manchin to get things rolling, but it’s a start!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

What’s Left On Dems’ Agenda?

Democrats are going to use the lame duck session of Congress to try and get as many of their liberal wish-list items through Congress and on to Joe Biden’s desk as they can before the next Congress takes over with Republicans at the helm in the House. And knowing the speed at which Congress has been working this term, they’ll be lucky to get some sort of budget resolution passed.

The list is long and complicated. And, with a 50/50 split in the Senate, it’s not a sure thing that either Kirsten Sinema or Joe Manchin are going to go along with the stuff. First and foremost, they need to address the elephant in the room, which is the December 16th deadline to fund the government without shutting it down. Then there’s the whole same-sex marriage codification, which should probably be a slam dunk since the Supreme Court has already okayed it, and there are more than enough Republicans ready to sign on to it. Democrats are also worried about doing something to help those illegal aliens who came to this country as children (known as “dreamers”), and give them a path to citizenship.

The Dems are also working on a way to raise the debt ceiling of $31.4 trillion. If they don’t get that done, they won’t be able to accomplish anything up the road. And it will most likely cause Joe Biden’s request of $37 billion for more aid to Ukraine to go unheeded. That’s not to say anything of getting any new gun legislation through, as Biden wants. The House is ready to pass a measure, but the Senate is far short of the 60 votes it needs to cut off debate.

So, each of the items I just mentioned would take a “normal” Congress about a year to get hammered down and passed. And there’s no guarantee that any of the stuff, other than the budget would get passed anyway. There are just not enough people sitting on the Democrats’ side to pass anything that big.

What do I see happening between now and the end of the term? Probably a last minute budget resolution that kicks the can down the road until next year. Of course, that means Biden’s wish list is not just dead, it’s dead, buried, and rotting by now. I do see the whole same-sex marriage thing passing because there isn’t enough opposition to that, but as far as trying to do stuff that would actually improve this nation and the troubles we are in (that have been basically caused by the Democrats), you have a better chance of catching Santa Claus leaving you presents on December 24th!

We aren’t going to get anything dealing with the crime problem. You can forget about the southern border as an issue until next year, because most Democrats don’t want to tackle immigration, and certainly not the wall. Inflation will be left to the FED, and there are a number of leftists that will say that inflation is coming down on it’s own due to interest rate hikes. As far as a faltering economy, how do you tell a tax and spend liberal that they’ve spent way too much money too fast, and are now paying the price for it? They’ll never believe you. As far as the debt ceiling being raised, that’s going to be a tough road with a 50/50 split in the Senate as well. And though the Republicans will kick and scream about sending more money to Ukraine ($37 billion IS a lot!!!), they probably are going to hold their nose and go along with it.

Overall, Congress is going to try and do more in the next month than they’ve done in the past two years. Frankly, I can’t see more than one, maybe two bills coming through Congress, and most of those leaving Washington either through retirement or losing their reelection are going to want to be sitting by the fire at home rather than debating any of the really important issues facing this country. Leave it for the next Congress. That’ll be the mantra!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Lindsey Graham Screwing The Pooch?

In case you missed it this past week, on Tuesday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced an abortion bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks except for instances of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother if she is in danger from a physical condition.

In short, Lindsey Graham is rubbing salt into an already gaping wound.

Graham did manage to get Joe Manchin on board by giving him the “exceptions” rule, but it seems to me that the last thing Republicans would want to do is take the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which already has ignited some of the Democrat base, and make it worse.

The GOP has traditionally been pro-life, which is fine, but they’ve also believed in states’ rights, which is what Dobbs did. It didn’t outlaw abortion, it only sent it back to the states to decide the issue because the Constitution says that if the federal government isn’t given express authority to do something, or if the states are expressly prohibited from doing something, the states have the right to rule on it. That’s what the whole abortion thing was about in Dobbs v. Jackson.

Graham didn’t need to introduce a law, because it flies in the face of the Supreme Court ruling, much like “codifying” abortion like what the Dems want to do. Both are futile efforts to take something that doesn’t belong at the federal level, and shoe-horn it into federal law. Neither would be constitutional.

And why someone that is typically as smart as Graham, would be so addle-minded as to hand over yet another campaign issue to the Democrats during a midterm season that should be a giant red wave is undeniably stupid.

What’s amazing here, is that the bill has no chance of getting through the US Senate, much less the House. First of all, both houses of Congress have so much on their plate that needs to be done this fall that it’s insane to think they have the time and the inclination to tackle something that’s already been decided by the Supreme Court. Why not spend the time on issues that they CAN make a difference on. What about doing something about energy production? What about tackling the immigration reform issue and solving the crisis at the southern border? This is just crazy that Congress is so out of touch with the American people and their needs that they don’t even have a clue what bills to introduce!

Sorry, Lindsey, if that’s the best you can do, you need to retire and have South Carolina elect somebody more like Tim Scott than you!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

But Is It Too Little Too Late?

Democrats are scurrying. Not the rank and file Dems that are your neighbors. I’m talking about the do-nothing Democrats (when they do something, it’s usually the wrong thing!) in Congress. Realizing they are less than two months away from midterm elections that still don’t bode well for their party, Democrats in the House and Senate are trying desperately to do SOMETHING before November 8th.

But it ain’t gonna be easy.

See, in order to get Joe Manchin on his side for the big trillion dollar budget busting spending bill Congress passed (I think they called it “Inflation Reduction”?) Chuckles Schumer had to agree to a side deal. That was that the fossil fuel industry was going to get some sweetheart deals going forward. Of course, that is included as part of the federal budget bill that has yet to pass Congress. But that throws a wrinkle into the whole process because people like Lizzy Warren and Bernie Sanders are totally against the deal. Worse yet, there are 70 Democrats in the House that say they won’t vote for the budget if Manchin’s deal is included. They don’t have a 70 vote margin! It won’t even pass the House!

So, what happens if Manchin gets screwed and the federal budget doesn’t pass because they don’t have 50 Democrats to vote for it (without Sanders and Warren)? Does Manchin get fed up and join the Republicans (which would give them a majority and totally throw the last month into chaos)? It would be interesting.

But Democrats can’t afford to be blamed for a government shutdown at the end of this month. That would put the brakes on any “wins” they think they’ve had this past summer.

That is the most pressing issue Dems face leading up to the midterms, but they want more. They want a “Defense of Marriage” act that basically codifies what has already been passed as a federal law. Interestingly enough, Congress is worried because of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling by the Supreme Court that ended the federal law with abortion rights. The reasoning here is that it’s a states-rights issue and that states can decide whether or not same sex marriage is legal in their state. But the difference is huge. One is a procedure. The other is a “binding contract” between two parties. I don’t know how you could be recognized in California as a married couple, but not in Ohio (which is the case). A lot of states don’t recognize same sex marriage today, some even have it in their state’s constitution that it’s banned!

The House is still considering a “robust public safety package”. It’s basically a walk-back of the Democrats’ “defund the police” movement. It was supposed to go for a vote in July, but Nancy Pelosi didn’t have the votes (and still doesn’t).

Then there is the ubiquitous assault weapons ban that keeps rearing it’s ugly head. Doubtful that will even come up before the midterms.

Dems are hoping that they can do something besides pass a federal budget bill before the midterms. However that could very well be too little too late. Most people seem to already have made up their minds. Only the independents are making up theirs now, and that’s what causing the races around the country to be tightening. The big question is, will it be enough?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Manchin’s Big Got

Joe Manchin caved on the one-third of a trillion dollar spending spree that the Democrats got earlier this month. It took literally months of negotiations between Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuckles Schumer and Manchin to reach the deal. And so, you have to ask yourself, what did Manchin get for caving? :Politicians don’t just change positions overnight. They usually get something either right then and there, or up the road in exchange for their vote.

Manchin got something up the road.

Joe Manchin got the president and the leaders in the House and Senate to agree that they would pass a bill by October 1st, and Biden would sign it into law by then, that eased environmental reviews on fossil fuel drilling. Manchin got something for his West Virginia coal miners, except he never said anything about it.

Well, it’s out there now. And it has a lot of Democrats upset.

Arizona Representative, Raul Grijalva has sent a letter to his colleagues stating that the part of the budget bill that talks about easing environmental review should be stripped out of the House version, and discussed individually so as to get “accountability” from everyone. But that’s not the deal Pelosi signed on to. She said that this would pass her House by the end of the fiscal year. And the only major piece of legislation that Congress has to deal with between now and the end of September is the budget for fiscal 2023. That’s where Manchin’s payback is located.

So, will Grijalva and his minions thwart the budget and shut down the government? Highly doubtful. He has been in Congress almost 20 years. He understands what it means to be the ones shutting down the federal government less than two months from a midterm election. But if Democrats don’t go along with the budget bill as written, it doesn’t pass. If it strips out Manchin’s “get” for caving on the Inflation Reduction Act, you stand the chance of Manchin never voting with Democrats again, which could very well squash anything getting through the Senate.

Grijalva’s office refuses to confirm how many representatives are backing his proposal to strip out the Manchin deal. But if more than 5 more climb on board (and there are at least five members of the Whackjob Five, AOC’s group), then the budget bill doesn’t pass. And they don’t have much time to do it. The Senate gets back to work on September 6th, and the House reconvenes on the 13th. That’s not a lot of time for Congress to do anything.

At least we know Joe Manchin isn’t slipping. If you’re going to sell out your values and your ethics, you need to make sure you get SOMETHING! Right?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!