The next build back better

Featured image When the latest inflation numbers came out this week, Joe Manchin used the occasion to again denounce appropriating trillions and trillions of dollars in new spending. This comment, of course, was a shot at the Democrats’ build back better proposal. I suggested that this boondoggle was on life support. But now, after all these months, the White House seems finally to be listening to Manchin’s concerns over inflation and the »

Manchin still balking at spending trillions as inflation hits 40-year high

Featured image The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.5 percent. That’s a 40-year high. I’ll take the BLS’ word over my impressions. However, I feel like the prices I’m paying have risen more than 7.5 percent in just six months. »

Pelosi drives spending spree bill towards vote [UPDATED]

Featured image Today, the House started debating the more than $2 trillion spending package that Democrats hope ultimately to push through the Senate in some form via reconciliation. By agreement, a vote in the House couldn’t take place until the Congressional Budget Office completed its analysis of whether the bill is fully paid for. Now, the CBO has spoken, paving the way for a vote. It estimates that enacting the legislation “would »

Biden shocked that inflation isn’t “transitory”; Manchin not so much.

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “the White House was thrown on the defensive Wednesday by an inflation report that showed the largest annual increase in prices in three decades.” The inflation report, says the Post, “trigger[ed] fresh criticisms of President Biden’s legislative plans on Capitol Hill and rais[ed] questions about what the administration can do to stem the politically perilous tide of rising prices.” Here’s one way Team Biden can »

House passes infrastructure bill

Featured image Tonight (Friday), the House passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure that the Senate passed months ago. It will now go to the White House and Joe Biden will sign it into law. The vote was 228-206. According to this report, 13 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Six leftist Democrats — Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib (the four original “squad” members), Cori Bush, and Jamaal Bowman »

Manchin digs in

Featured image The Virginia gubernatorial race is the big news of the week. The outcome of the race, whatever it is, will remain Topic A for a while, as it should. However, the struggle of congressional Democrats to pass their two spending bills — infrastructure and reconciliation — is the big news of this Autumn, and continues to provide headlines. Yesterday’s development, reported by the Wall Street Journal, was Sen. Joe Manchin’s »

Two polls of interest

Featured image A new NBC News poll shows that Joe Biden’s approval among American adults has fallen to 42 percent. 54 percent disapprove. This represents a remarkable shrinkage. In August the same pollsters found America split 49-48 on Biden’s performance, with the marginally larger percentage approving of it. In April, they found that Americans approved of Biden’s performance, 53-39. Now, only 40 percent of adults approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. »

Not reconciled: An update

Featured image Yesterday morning the White House posted a summary of its so-called Framework of a Spendapalooza bill to be jammed through Congress by Democrats via the reconciliation process. The White House posted the summary just before President Biden went up to Capitol Hill to meet with the House Democratic caucus. Biden followed up with one of those 20-minute White House speeches in which he stares vacantly into the teleprompter while he »

Not reconciled

Featured image President Biden is going on up to Capitol Hill to rally House Democrats this morning. He is promoting a Spendapalooza “Framework” of $1.75 trillion to bring them all together. I have been following the intense cheerleading for the Democrats to come together and get it done at Politico. Politico reports this morning that the $1.75 trillion “includes investments in home care, education and immigration.” They are light on the details, »

Has Sinema outgrown the Democrats?

Featured image How is the left’s campaign to harass Sen. Kyrsten Sinema until she agrees to in excess of $4 trillion in new spending working out? Not well, if this report is true: U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a key moderate, told fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives this week that she will not vote for a multitrillion-dollar package that is a top priority for President Joe Biden before Congress approves a »

A Sanders-Manchin stalemate?

Featured image Back in 2009-10, when the Democrats controlled 59-60 Senate seats, they were pleased as punch to pass a $1 trillion stimulus package and the “camel” known as Obamacare. Sure, some Dems wished for even more stimulus money and the “horse” of single-payer health insurance. But there was no serious resistance to settling for less and few public complaints about not getting more. Twelve years later, with the Dems controllingly only »

Biden does Michigan

Featured image President Biden visited a union training facility in Michigan and addressed the alleged need for his proposed tax-and-spend blowout (White House transcript here). Things are looking up for the blowout, but I think it is fair to say that the enthusiasm on the ground in Michigan was limited while the antipathy was audible. My guess is that meritless Merrick Garland is on the case. #LetsGoBrandon crowd greets Biden in Michigan »

Joe Biden, reconciliation, and “the third rail”

Featured image When conservatives attack the Democrats’ attempt to pass an enormous reconciliation package, we focus on the cost and the left-wing agenda items the Dems are imposing, some of which have little to do with what is properly the subject of budget reconciliation. These are valid attacks and they resonate not just with strong conservatives, but also with those on the center-right. When Joe Manchin criticizes the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, »

Stalking Sinema: The Biden variations

Featured image Following remarks on raising the debt ceiling yesterday — remarks whose gist was that Republicans are bad — President Biden took a few questions from the press (White House transcript here). Republicans are guilty of using “procedural tricks” and “elaborate procedural schemes” that call for numerous votes. It’s “a Republican stunt”! Republicans are “playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy.” Bad! The stalking of Senator Sinema in the ladies’ room »

Whom do you trust?

Featured image Groucho Marx was a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan. He often played recordings of their comic operettas at home to the annoyance of his wife. One day Groucho said to her, “did you know that Gilbert couldn’t stand Sullivan and Sullivan couldn’t stand Gilbert?” The long-suffering woman replied, “it doesn’t surprise me, I can’t stand either one of them.” That line came back to me when I read the »

Understanding the stalking of Sinema

Featured image The LUCHA thugs who stalked Senator Sinema into the ladies’ room at Arizona State yesterday were not out to win friends or influence people in the style of Dale Carnegie. In lieu of decency or an argument, they applied time-tested tactics. At the opening of chapter 4 of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010), Stanley Kurtz relates a well-sourced story illustrating the precedent for LUCHA’s »

Stalking Sinema

Featured image The stalking of Senator Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom stall during her return to Arizona over the weekend (video below) is disgusting. I would like to say it is disgusting beyond comment, but there is much that might be learned or inferred from it. Here are 10 notes and queries that occur to me this morning. • Did you know that this happened yesterday at Arizona State University? If I »