Manchin Caves And Funding Bill Moves On - The Wednesday AM Quickie 9/28/22

Here we are again on Wednesday. We've got some updates on Hurricane Ian, but for today we're going to focus on the Senate for a bit and see what their whole deal is right now (unclear, as always). – Jack

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Manchin Caves on Poison Pill Amendment After Even GOP Backs Out

Some progress (?) perhaps (?) from the Senate today: it appears progressive opposition and lackluster GOP support have successfully done the thing many have tried and failed to do before: managed to shoot down one of Joe Manchin's ridiculous climate-killing amendments to otherwise productive legislation.

As I mentioned yesterday, the issue at hand here was a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open so it doesn't shut down on Friday. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had bought Manchin's support for the Inflation Reduction Act with a promise that he'd be able to slip in a provision that would fast-track large energy projects like pipelines with some behind-the-scenes deregulation. This "side-deal" as it was called, was immediately torched by progressives, but Schumer forged ahead to make good on his deal. Unfortunately for Manchin, he couldn't find the votes. The Guardian reports that even the usually-friendly GOP didn't come to Manchin's aid on this one, and with several Democrats against the resolution, it left Manchin and Schumer way short of the 60 votes they'd need to slip in the back-deal, forcing Manchin to pull the resolution. The Senate then voted overwhelmingly to send the spending bill forward on Tuesday evening.

For reference, here's a peek at who fought the good fight (via the Guardian):

When progressives learned of Manchin’s proposal, they revolted. In a letter to colleagues last week, Sanders implored Democrats not to support the “disastrous side deal” that he warned would “make it easier for the fossil fuel industry to destroy the planet and pollute the environment”.

The choice before Congress was clear, Sanders wrote. “We can listen to the fossil fuel industry and climate deniers who are spending huge amounts of money on lobbying and campaign contributions to pass this side deal. Or we can listen to the scientists and the environmental community who are telling us loudly and clearly to reject it.”

Tim Kaine, a Democrat of Virginia, also said he would vote against the permitting reform. Kaine said he was not consulted on the potential impact of greenlighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would run through his state.

The Guardian reports that the GOP opposed the deal because they were still pissed at Manchin for supporting the IRA. Turns out riding the fence between two parties isn't always in one's best interest!

Hurricane Ian Bears Down on Florida

Preparations are still ongoing for the looming impact of Hurricane Ian on Florida's west coast. The latest projections from the National Hurricane Center say that the storm will come ashore this afternoon as Category 4 storm, bringing torrential rain and winds of more than 130 miles per hour. This one is going to be brutal. Some 2.5 million people have already been asked to evacuate along the Gulf Coast. It's expected to make landfall near Port Charlotte, FL, a bit further south than initially projected. “You’re going to likely have power go out in lots of parts of the state as this thing goes through,” Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said in a news conference on Tuesday, per the Times. He added, “You’re talking about really, really, significant impacts.”

Did Russia Sabotage a European Oil Pipeline?

Some more odd spook-intrigue coming out of Europe today: the Nordstream pipeline, which carries natural gas from Russia to Germany, appears to have sprung a leak. And by "sprung a leak" I mean "was damaged by explosions that appear deliberate." Here's a fun paragraph from the Times:

Three separate leaks erupted from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which were already caught up in the conflict over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sending swirling streams of methane to the surface of waters off Denmark and Sweden. Top Polish and Ukrainian leaders blamed Moscow, while Russian state media suggested U.S. or Ukrainian involvement.

Both sides blaming each other? Check. Likelihood that it was the Russians? Well, that depends who you ask, but they certainly stand to gain more from continued instability. Neither pipeline is currently in use, due to European sanctions, so it's possible this is Russia sending a message that if Europe wants to freeze them out, they won't give them the chance to make up and be friends when winter bears down.


  • PA State Legislature Still Gunning For D.A. Krasner So far he's still in his post – though if the GOP wins the governorship, it doesn't look good. via Axios
  • Jan. 6 Panel Postpones Hearings For Hurricane Safety Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy's district is right in Ian's path, so she'll have more pressing concerns than J6. via NYT.
  • Biden Framing Midterms As Turning Point For Social Security The President is making the point that there are plenty of other issues at stake in the midterms besides abortion, guns, economics, climate change – the list goes on, and now it includes social security. via NYT.
  • Kevin McCarthy Was Behind Madison Cawthorn's Swift Fall From Grace The Post confirms that Cawthorn was taken out by his own party. via WaPo.


95 percent

The margin by which many "referendums" on whether or not to join Russia proper in occupied territories of Ukraine passed in Russia's favor (some were a bit higher, some a bit lower.) Democracy in action, clearly!


9/28 Sam and Emma host Timothy Jost, Emeritus Professor at Washington & Lee University Law School, to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court Case Talevski v. Health and Hospital Corps of Marion County. Then, they are joined by Nick Weiner, Senior Campaign Lead for the Committee for Better Banks at the Communications Workers of America, to discuss Wells Fargo's recent unionization efforts.


Virginia Students Protest Republican School Transgender Policy With Massive Walkout

Good for these kids, man. They'll be all right.

Joe Manchin Slowly Realizing Everyone Hates His Guts

Crazy how that works! Oops!


“I do believe the future of the planet is more important than the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry. Defeat the Big Oil side deal.”

– Bernie Sanders, signifying his commitment to defeating Manchin's machinations.

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