Many considered this election to be a bellwether for the 2022 mid-terms.
In theory, he would become an independent, not a Republican, but would presumably caucus with whichever side he cares to, giving him tremendous power, since he can swing the Senate either way at his sole discretion.
After this article was published, reporters questioned Manchin about it. He replied, “I can’t control rumors, and it’s bullshit, bullshit spelled with a B, U, L, L, capital B.”
The reporter stands by the story, saying his source in unimpeachable.
As far as I know, only one observer saw this coming. I need to add here that having this come out is a major monkey wrench in the plan. The real key to the plan, as I see it, is to keep a Manchin move secret, so that the Republicans can first trick the gullible Democrats into abolishing the filibuster, then have Manchin exit, leaving the Democrats with a minority and no filibuster to protect them. According to the scenario I presented, Manchin’s departure was supposed to be the hole card which enabled them to win that pot.
Now that the hole card is exposed, the Democrats will be wary of any sudden Republican co-operation to eliminate the filibuster. Even if the filibuster remains, the Senate could turn topsy-turvy if Manchin were to caucus with the GOP, since McConnell would then control all committees, and be able to block all of Biden’s appointments, including to the Supreme Court if a position comes open.
On the one hand, he’s told his lackeys and sycophants that he’ll run again in 2024. On the other hand, he’s telling Republicans not to vote in 2024 (or for that matter in 2022). He said that this is the single most important thing Republicans can do.
He told Republicans not to vote unless the election fraud problem is “solved.” Since there is no significant fraud to solve, and Joe Biden will certainly remain in the White House until the next election (unless he dies), that means the Republicans should not vote at all.
But that’s not what he means. Remember that he basically has no grasp of the English language, so he does not express himself precisely. What he is really saying is that his base should not vote for any Republican UNLESS they embrace the election fraud theory. In other words, his base should kick out anyone not personally loyal to Trump himself, and to Trump’s mad assertion that he must somehow have been cheated out of the election.
In reality, it is Trump’s vote count that seems suspiciously high in the 2020 election. Consider:
- The final polls, averaged and weighted, predicted a Biden victory by 8.4 points, but the final tally showed only a 4.4 Biden victory. Those 4 points represent some 6.3 million votes.
- In 2016 Trump got 63 million votes.
Negative adjustments: During his presidency he became the only President in the long history of Gallup’s approval polls never to hit 50%, and his average approval rating over the course of his presidency was the lowest ever, and by a wide margin. Because of that, exit polls show that he lost 4.4 million (7%) of the people who voted for him in 2016. It is estimated that 3.8 million of his 2016 voters died before they could vote in 2020.
Positive adjustments: He did pick up 2.6 million (4%) former Clinton voters, 6.7 million (39%) of the people who did not vote in 2016, and 1.9 million (25%) who voted for third parties in 2016, so his vote total should have gone up about three million net after subtracting the 2016 voters that abandoned him or died. So how did the least popular presidency in history, led by a man who apparently gained only three million net voters from 2016, manage to earn an additional 11.2 million votes in 2020? Where did the additional eight million votes come from?
Doing the same calculation for Biden shows absolutely nothing suspicious.
Hillary got 65.9 million votes in 2016. Here are the adjustments from that number in 2020:
- Biden picked up 4.4 million (7%) former Trump voters.
- Biden lost 2.6 million (4%) former Clinton voters to Trump.
- Biden picked up 10.0 million (59%) voters who did not vote in 2016.
- Biden picked up 4.6 million (60%) voters who voted for a third party in 2016.
- Biden lost about two million 2016 Clinton voters to the grim reaper. Not as many Democrats die each year as Republicans because of the age differential.
So Biden’s total should have been a bit more than 80 million, and it was a bit more than 81. Given that everything here is an estimate, he got exactly what he should have.
I’m not presenting a point that contains mathematical certainty. I know there are answers to those extra Trump votes that don’t involve fraud. Many of those answers center around people lying to pre-election pollsters, or the fact that one cannot easily conduct an exit poll of mail-in voters, but the point of the observation is that it is possible to argue that Trump’s 2020 vote count seems suspiciously high while Biden’s seems to be what it should have been.
For the moment, let’s assume there was no significant fraud in favor of either candidate, and let’s come back to the real world. Where Trump lost the election was in the voters who did not vote for a major candidate in 2016, but did in 2020. The exit polls show that this amounted to about 25 million voters (about 17 million who did not vote at all in 2016 and about 8 million who voted for third parties), and that Biden won those groups by a mile – 19 points among those who did not vote in 2016, and 35 points among those voted for third parties in 2016.
Hell, he’s not even close to being the cagiest, toughest, slimiest guy to be a Senate leader. Here is what the real master, Lyndon Johnson, would do in McConnell’s place.
1. In a secret backdoor deal, he would make whatever promises are necessary to get Manchin to switch parties, or to become an independent and caucus with the GOP.
2. It would be important NOT to announce the move until the time is right.
3. He would then give in to Democrats on eliminating the filibuster. They would be easily duped into doing so, thinking they had won a great victory.
4. Manchin would then officially switch parties and begin caucusing with the GOP.
At that point, McConnell, possessed by Lyndon’s ghost, would have control of the Senate with the votes necessary to pass anything his heart desires, because with the filibuster gone, all Senate votes would require only 51 votes. That may not do much while the Democrats control the House, but he would also have the ability to reject all of Biden’s judicial nominations. He would also have the ability to take over the chairmanship of all committees, effectively suppressing many facets of the Senate investigations into Trump and January 6th.
Could reincarnated Lyndon find a way to coerce or persuade Manchin to change teams? You bet. How about chairmanship of any committees he likes, and all the money he wants for his next re-election campaign from conservative super-PACs. And those are only the carrots. If he failed with those alone, the ever-ruthless Lyndon would bring out the sticks.
McConnell tough? Lyndon, wherever he is, presumably looking up from the lowest rings of hell, is laughing at Mitch and calling him a pussy, as Trump did today! Lyndon and Trump were a lot alike – egomaniacs, megalomaniacs, narcissists … dicks. Of course, as the other American Pie kids said to Stifler:
Yup, at least Lyndon was OUR dick.
It’s kind of interesting to watch the progress of these two bills.
One thing that is completely clear is that the Build Back Better Bill, the $3.5 trillion one, is absolutely not going to pass under any circumstances. Manchin has made that very clear, and he holds all the power. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to get him to vote for that. The liberals can whine and cry about how that should not be true because 96%-97% of Democrat lawmakers support the bill, but the fact of the matter is that it is true, and they need a Plan B.
The three-week audit has finally come to a conclusion after nearly six months. A draft of the Republican-backed “audit” of the Arizona election results in Maricopa County showed that Biden actually won by more than previously thought!
I was surprised by this result. I assumed that the Cyber Ninjas guy was both ignorant and corrupt. He did turn out to be incredibly ignorant about election procedures and laws, based on some of the bizarre statements in the report, but it seems that he did not prove to be corrupt, and did not manufacture some phony-baloney reasons why Trump actually got more votes, or Biden less.
His original margin of victory in 2018 was 24 points. This one is running 28 as I type this.
When he won in 2018, he got the highest number of gubernatorial votes (7.7 million) in California history. In fact, he got more than the two major 2014 candidates added together! This recall election has a chance to top that number, depending on the final count of voters and the final margin of victory.
Having noted all of that, let’s add that it is time for California to review some of its preposterous election procedures on recalls and referenda.
Dan Quayle saved American democracy? Whoda thunk it?
Clive Owen as Clinton; Edie Falco as Hilary; Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp; Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge; Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewisky (definitely looks like her). How the heck are they going to pad this out to ten episodes?
Looks like Falco has a pretty good throwing arm. I doubt if the real Hilary got that much behind the lamp or ashtray or whether it was she threw at Slick Willie.
But it’s not a certainty because of the complicated process. Sources say that the new ranked-order voting system will not permit an official result until mid-July.
Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels and a conservative talk show host, won the GOP nomination in a landslide.
“The Texas congressman asked whether there was anything the U.S. Forest Service could do ‘to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun.'”
The noted genius addressed a Forest Service spokesperson as follows: “If you figure out there’s a way in the Forest Service you could make that change, I’d like to know.”
Unfortunately, the Forest Service was too busy raking the forests to deploy any of their latest orbit-altering technology.
How could Trump fail? I am shocked.
When I saw this, I almost choked on my nightly meal – the same thing I eat every night: Trump Steaks washed down with Trump Vodka.
Is this a great country, or what?
“Political power in the United States will continue to shift south this decade, as historically Democratic states that border the Great Lakes give up congressional seats and electoral votes to regions where Republicans currently enjoy a political advantage, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Texas, Florida and North Carolina, three states that voted twice for President Donald Trump, are set to gain a combined four additional seats in Congress in 2023 because of population growth, granting them collectively as many new votes in the electoral college for the next presidential election as Democratic-leaning Hawaii has in total.
Republicans will control line-drawing for 187 congressional seats over the coming year, with Democrats controlling 75 seats, while the remaining seats that need to be drawn will be decided by independent commissions or divided governments, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.”
That works out to more than $500 per child per day, and it’s apparently a discount based on this sentence: “Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, said the average daily cost per child is ‘approximately $775 per day based on past experience.’”
In comparison, I just checked the price of a Sandals all-inclusive 5-star resort in Negril, Jamaica, and it works out to $300 per person per day ($4200 for a couple, 7-nights). So we could transport the kids there, hire each kid a personal nanny at $90 a day (a desirable job with a solid wage in Jamaica), house them in a 5-star resort with unlimited gourmet meals included, and still cut the price in half from that $775 figure. The older kids can even drink booze for free! (Alcohol is also included at Sandals, and Jamaica has no minimum drinking age.)
In equally daunting math:
$60 million per week is three billion dollars per year – and the number of kids is expected to grow dramatically.
The cited rate of $775 per child per day multiplies out to $280,000 per child per year!
Of course I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of the kids, but perhaps we need to improve our efficiency.
I have told the story many times, but it bears repeating. When one got to upper-middle management in a company I used to work for, one was required to read the “Code of Ethical Conduct,” then sign an acknowledgment of having read it.
The most infamous passage went something like this:
“No official of XYZ corporation may offer a bribe to a public official.
However, there may be from time to time certain places where normal operations cannot be conducted without bribery. In such cases, the situation must be reported to the Vice-President in charge of the legal department. Such places may include Russia, Mexico, Nigeria … yadda, yadda … and Chicago!”
So, congrats to Chi-Town for living up to your hard-earned reputation.
This is, honest to god, a real quote from Dave Ball, the chair of the Washington County Republican Party, talking about Senator Pat Toomey:
“We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing. We sent him there to represent us, and we feel very strongly that he did not represent us.”