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Secret Joe Manchin ‘Agreement’ With Chuck Schumer Leaves Democrats Scrambling

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WASHINGTON ― Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) secret agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took many of his Democratic colleagues by surprise on Thursday as they came face-to-face with the reality that their grand plans for an ambitious safety net and climate spending package may need to be scaled back.

Manchin revealed for the first time on Thursday that he won’t accept a package totaling more than $1.5 trillion, which is far lower than the $3.5 trillion figure Democrats have been seeking. The moderate Democrat outlined his spending cap and other conditions in a private document with Schumer in July, weeks before Democrats voted to begin drafting a bill that totaled $3.5 trillion.

“It’s pretty sad if you ask me,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told reporters when asked about Manchin’s position on Thursday.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said a bill totaling $1.5 trillion wouldn’t be nearly enough investment to address the urgent threat of climate change. He cited an opinion article that former West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, Manchin’s predecessor, wrote in 2009 arguing on behalf of robust action to address climate change. “He was onto something,” Heinrich tweeted.

But other senators struck a more pragmatic tone, welcoming the fact that Manchin revealed exactly where he stands on their legislative priority. Progressive lawmakers in recent days have complained that Manchin wasn’t being forthcoming about what he wanted to see in the bill as he negotiated with President Joe Biden at the White House.

“My impression is he may have released that, surprising many of us, in order to make clear he’s had a list that showed some basic positions and principles,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told HuffPost about the July document. “That’s positive in that it moves us from we don’t have much of a sense at all to here’s a clear list.”

“Now that we know what his priority is, we will work on him to try to push him to do more… we’re closer to a deal,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) added.

A bill totaling $1.5 trillion would force Democrats to narrow many of their priorities or strip them out. The $3.5 trillion proposal, as it stands, includes funding for free community college and prekindergarten; monthly payments to most households with children, which started this summer; expanded health care coverage for seniors and the poor; and new subsidies for green energy. If Manchin holds firm on $1.5 trillion, Democrats would be forced to ditch many of those programs.

Manchin said in a Thursday briefing with reporters that he opposed adding too many new government programs because it would create an “entitlement mentality” among the American people. He said he preferred imposing “means testing” and “work requirements” for existing programs.

Democrats control only 50 seats in the Senate, and they need all 50 senators on board in order to pass a bill under the reconciliation process, which allows them to avoid a Republican filibuster. Manchin and other moderate senators who share his views, therefore, have outsized leverage in the talks.

The typed “agreement” Manchin and Schumer both signed in July that Politico revealed outlining Manchin’s demands said he does not guarantee voting for the reconciliation bill if it exceeds $1.5 trillion, leaving open the possibility he could support a higher number. It also includes a written note from Schumer stating, “I will try to dissuade Joe on many” of the demands.

The news of the document landed like a bombshell on Capitol Hill, where reporters have tried for months to get Manchin to spell out his demands with little success. Asked Thursday why he wasn’t more transparent about his position on reconciliation, including on the overall spending total he is willing to support, Manchin said he “was trying to honor my agreement” with Schumer. He didn’t elaborate.

A spokesperson for Schumer sought to downplay the significance of the document their boss signed, saying the senator “never agreed to any of the conditions Sen. Manchin laid out; he merely acknowledged where Sen. Manchin was on the subject at the time.”

Still, Schumer kept many of his members in the dark about the existence of the document, which stayed secret for over two months as lawmakers pressed forward with expectations of a larger bill that included many progressive priorities. Schumer even kept members of his leadership team out of the loop.

“I did not,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chair of the party’s policy committee, told HuffPost when asked if she was previously aware of the document.

“It’s always helpful when you’re negotiating to have information about the other people you’re talking about,” added Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the vice chair of the conference. She said she was “not pleasantly” surprised by the news.

That Schumer signed the document is also notable — members of both parties have touted promises from leadership on pet issues before; rarely have they come on a signed piece of paper.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who worked closely with Manchin this summer on an infrastructure overhaul, said it was clear that he had given Democrats a heads up from the beginning “and the leader knew exactly what he wanted, and somehow that was ignored.”

Democrats are hoping they can ultimately get Manchin to agree to a bill totaling more than $1.5 trillion. But Manchin seemed firm on that number Thursday, suggesting that his party can take a second crack at passing more of Biden’s legislative agenda in follow-up legislation next year.

“I’m willing to sit down and work through 1.5 and get at my priorities, and [the rest of the party] can come back with it later and they can run on the rest of it later. … not everything at one time,” Manchin said.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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Today in History for October 18th

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The Daily Beast

Katie Couric’s RBG Coverup Shows How We Ended Up With Trump

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyThe mainstream media’s credibility took another big hit this week. Katie Couric, the former co-host of NBC’s Today show, revealed in a new memoir that she chose not to air some controversial comments made to her five years ago by the sainted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, involving RBG’s criticism of NFL players like Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.Couric says she was “conflicted” because she was a “big RBG fan,



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American missionaries were kidnapped by gang members in Haiti

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41-year-old man granted parole after killing a 4-year-old when he was 13

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Olympics-Protests in Athens as Beijing prepares for Games flame

Greek police detained two human rights activists after they unfurled banners at the Athens Acropolis on Sunday opposing the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as China’s Games organisers prepare to receive the Olympic flame. The protest was made hours before a dress rehearsal in Greece’s Olympia, site of the ancient Olympics, of the torch-lighting ceremony for the Games set for Monday. Greek police, with several dozen officers present, were quick to stop the activists.



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Katie Couric’s RGB Coverup Shows How We Ended Up With Trump

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Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

The mainstream media’s credibility took another big hit this week. Katie Couric, the former co-host of NBC’s Today show, revealed in a new memoir that she chose not to air some controversial comments made to her five years ago by the sainted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, involving RBG’s criticism of NFL players like Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

Couric says she was “conflicted” because she was a “big RBG fan,” so she only aired some of the harsh words RBG had for the football players refusing to stand for the national anthem. According to her story, after talking with New York Times columnist David Brooks, Couric concluded that Ginsburg—who was on the Supreme Court at the time—was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question.” Couric confesses in her book that she “‘wanted to protect’ Ginsburg and felt that the issue of racial justice was a ‘blind spot’ for her.”

Couric’s revelation comes on the heels of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) being forced to apologize for altering a famous RBG quote. During her 1993 confirmation hearings, Ginsburg said, “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity.” In keeping with today’s gender-neutral nomenclature, the group changed “woman” to a bracketed “[person’s]” and swapped the word “her” with a bracketed “[their].”

These back-to-back incidents reveal the degree to which progressives have a vested interest in preserving and protecting RBG’s image, even as what constitutes being politically correct continues to evolve. In the service of some higher cause, they reimagined their hero’s actual words to comport with what, in their minds, she really represents. In other words, to “print the legend.” The inconvenient truth, though, is that RBG had more nuanced beliefs than her fans, many of them probably sipping coffee from RBG coffee mugs as they read this, might realize—including her thoughts on Roe v. Wade.

It’s ironic to see the ACLU, a group once dedicated to free and diverse speech, bowdlerize RBG’s speech, but Couric represents a bigger problem. Pressure groups aren’t held to the same standards as the news media. We hire professional journalists to exercise news judgment, and when their motives are not in the service of the public’s interest, but rather, in the service of something else (even something as arguably noble as protecting a hero’s legacy), they forfeit our trust.

Hey Media, Would You Please Stop Helping Trump Prove His ‘Fake News’ Case?

Indeed, according to a Gallup survey out last week, just 7 percent of Americans have a “great deal” of trust in the mainstream media, and 34 percent have “none at all.”

One of the few members of the mainstream media who takes this problem seriously is The Atlantic’s Tim Alberta. “This week alone we had [Katie] Couric showing herself (again) to be a hack; [ESPN NFL reporter Adam] Schefter emailing a source, ‘Mr. Editor,’ his unpublished story for approval; and [Sanjay] Gupta exposing CNN’s petty, needless deception,” Alberta tweeted, adding: “People despise us. They distrust us. Maybe we stop whistling past the graveyard.”

This deception has disproportionately eroded trust in the media among conservatives, with Gallup’s survey showing 68 percent of Democrats saying they trust the media “a great deal or fair amount,” but just 11 percent of Republicans holding that same opinion. “Confidence in the media among Republicans over the past five years is at unprecedented lows,” says Gallup, and who could blame them?

Whether we’re talking about the media’s initial portrayal of Covington student Nick Sandmann’s smug privilege, credulity towards Jussie Smollett’s status as a victim of a “hate crime,” reflexive portrayal of the lab leak theory as a debunked “conspiracy theory,” or double standard when it came to the lack of social distancing at Black Lives Matter rallies, liberal media bias is a long-standing and observable phenomenon.

The media’s coverups always seem to benefit the same political side. The same year Couric interviewed RBG, for example, her documentary on gun violence “deceptively edited” an interview with pro-gun activists.

I am also reminded of an even more consequential example that does not involve Couric. Back in 2012, CBS’s 60 Minutes withheld some of President Barack Obama’s comments about the attack on Benghazi. That controversy may seem like ancient history, but the airing of Obama’s comments would have benefitted Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.

Crowley Crushes Romney On Libya

Indeed, days after that interview was conducted, but months before it was seen in full (which not incidentally only happened after the election), Mitt Romney was cut off in a crucial debate moment by CNN moderator Candy Crowley, who “fact-checked” Romney when he said that Obama suggested for weeks after the attack that it was a spontaneous demonstration rather than a planned act of terror.

Romney was correct “in the main” (as Crowley later conceded)—and the footage that 60 Minutes withheld would have buttressed that sense. Instead, Crowley’s intervention took the wind out of Romney’s sails, serving as a turning point for that debate, which was a turning point for the 2012 election. The debate over Obama’s characterization of the Benghazi attack dominated multiple news cycles, but rather than airing footage that would have provided additional context for the American people (not to mention, driven ratings and clicks), CBS chose to sit on it.

Romney’s loss convinced many conservatives that nice guys can’t win and they they needed a fighter to take on the left and the media—which is no small part of the story of how the party ended up with Trump.

Collectively, these incidents have eroded trust in the media as an institution, persuaded millions of Americans to tune out mainstream media elites and outlets (and tune into alternative outlets), and empowered bad political actors who want to exploit this lack of trust for political gain.

Bias isn’t just what you cover, it’s also what you decide not to cover. By employing the sin of omission, the media protects its progressive heroes and, in the process, picks political winners and losers. Instead of telling us the facts, they print the legend. Is it any surprise that we don’t believe them anymore?

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Lord of the plants: death metal eco-baron rewilds Irish estate

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China surprised US officials with August missiles test: Report

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China surprised U.S. officials by testing a new hypersonic missile in August that went around the globe before it made its way toward the intended target, according to a report.

China had made “astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than U.S. officials realized,” two people told the Financial Times Saturday, with another source adding he or she was unsure how China was able to accomplish it.

The country has tested 79 Long March 2C rockets that carry the missiles so far, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. Five people with knowledge of the launch told the outlet that the missile flew in low orbit before going down toward its target, which it missed by 24 miles.

ARMY CHIEF PUSHES BACK ON FORMER SOFTWARE CHIEF’S CLAIM US LOST THE TECHNOLOGY BATTLE TO CHINA

John Kirby, the press secretary for the Department of Defense, said the United States sees China as the No. 1 “pacing challenge” as the two countries work toward developing hypersonic weapons that travel at five times the speed of sound.

“We have made clear our concerns about the military capabilities China continues to pursue, capabilities that only increase tensions in the region and beyond,” Kirby said.

But a spokesman for China, Liu Pengyu, said the country has no global strategy or plans of military operations.

“We are not at all interested in having an arms race with other countries,” Liu said. “In contrast, the U.S. has in recent years been fabricating excuses like ‘the China threat’ to justify its arms expansion and development of hypersonic weapons. This has directly intensified the arms race in this category and severely undermined global strategic stability.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

A hypersonic missile would be slower than a ballistic missile, but the weapon has the maneuverability that ballistic missiles lack, which helps them dodge and become harder for enemies to track.

The Washington Examiner has reached out to the Pentagon for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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Tags: News, China, Space, National Security, Foreign Policy, Technology, Missile Test

Original Author: Misty Severi

Original Location: China surprised US officials with August missiles test: Report



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