Y’all, I have had it with the whining. 

I get it.  Our task would be much easier if Joe Manchin were a lot more liberal.

Here is the thing: if Joe Manchin was a lot more liberal, he wouldn’t be a senator from West Virginia.

Trump won West Virginia by 39 points last year(from the NYT) .  No other member of the House or Senate represents voters who favored the other party’s presidential candidate by more than 16 points. 

Joe Manchin may be a showboating pain in the ass, but he is our showboating pain the ass, Without him do you know what we would have?  Mitch fucking McConnell running the Senate.  Biden’s agenda would be all but dead and the Senate would be holding hearings on Hunter Biden.  

That is what Joe Manchin gets us: the motherfucking Senate.  

Not good enough for you?

I don’t believe for a minute that Joe Manchin is the only one keeping us from getting rid of the filibuster.  AOC herself said that there are many other senators against it but they are happy to let Manchin take the fire for them.  And Manchin is doing just that.

Why do we care?  Well for one reason because we need to win the Senate again in 2022 and Manchin is taking hits that protect other members of the senate

Manchin taking the hits protects Schumer’s other members running in 2022, like Arizona’s Mark Kelly, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen.

Think holding onto the Senate isn’t a good enough reason to be grateful that we have Joe Manchin?  Think helping his colleagues win in 2022 by taking the heat isn’t a good enough reason? Well then, keep in mind that he votes with us the vast majority of the time

Manchin voted consistently against repeal of Obamacare and for Medicare for All, to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood, against Trump’s tax cuts (and for his impeachment), and periodically reintroduces a gun control bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey. He’s no longer high on S.1, the bloated For the People Act, but he wants to fatten and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

You don’t have to love Manchin.  You don’t have to like Manchin.  But blaming all our woes on Manchin isn’t getting anyone anywhere. We have work to do.

Our democracy is in peril.  There is no doubt about that.  And it would be great if the Senate was willing to get rid of the filibuster AND they were able to get all 50 Senators to vote for HR1.

But we now know that isn’t likely to happen.  So we have to keep working and working hard.  You can whine about how Manchin won’t fix everything for us.  YOu can whine about how democrats seem unwilling to destroy democracy in order to save it.  But those actions will do nothing to help us. 

Get over it and get to work.  As the great Teri Kanefield  says: Nobody owes you a democracy. You want it? You have to work for it

The great news is that WE CAN WORK FOR.  We did it before and we can do it agian.  Yes, the work of a democracy is slow. But it is worth it. 

And we are in it together and that is worth a heck of a lot ❤️ 

With Hard Work, We Can Win in 2022

Some great news late yesterday from our AG

Garland declares voting rights expansion ‘central’ to democracy

Attorney General Merrick Garland affirmed Friday the expansion of voting rights as a “central pillar” to American democracy, building upon the Biden administration’s commitment as the issue has gained prominence in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.

“We know that expanding the ability of all eligible citizens to vote is a central pillar,” Garland said. “That means ensuring that all eligible voters can cast a vote; that all lawful votes are counted; and that every voter has access to accurate information.”

How will he do that?  well: AG Garland to double enforcement staff to protect voting rights

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday announced the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will double the number of enforcement staff dedicated to protecting the right to vote in the next 30 days.

Why it matters: After an election fraught with baseless claims of fraud and a recent flurry of voter restriction bills in state legislatures, Garland underscored his dedication to protecting voting rights. He said the DOJ will “do everything in its power to prevent election fraud, and if found to vigorously prosecute” but will also scrutinize “new laws that seek to curb voter access.”

and he plans to scrutinize GOP-backed voting restrictions and ballot reviews

Garland said the additional trial attorneys, which he plans to hire over the coming 30 days, will scrutinize new laws and existing practices across the nation for potential discrimination against Americans of color, including new measures being pushed by GOP state lawmakers. They will vigorously enforce provisions of the Voting Rights Act by challenging such laws or practices in court — and prosecute anyone found to intimidate or threaten violence against election officials.

there is other reason for hope for 2022:

A new election forecast gives Democrats hope for 2022

While history doesn’t look great for Democrats’ chances of holding onto their narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Abramowitz’s model suggest that all is not lost for the Party — by a long shot.
    “A model using the generic ballot and seat exposure shows that a single digit lead on the generic ballot would give Democrats a good chance to keep control of the Senate,” he writes. “Given the expected impact of redistricting, however, Democrats probably need a larger lead to keep control of the House.”
    Depending then on which side has the edge in the generic ballot, Abramowitz’s model spits out a variety of outcomes.
    The rosiest for Democrats (a 10-point lead in the generic ballot in the fall of 2022) would result in a gain of two seats for House Democrats and a three-seat pickup for Senate Democrats.
    The worst scenario (a 10-point edge for Republicans in the generic ballot) would, according to the Abramowitz model, result in a 32-seat loss by Democrats in the House and a 1-seat loss in the Senate.
    (Worth noting: A Quinnipiac University national poll in May gave Democrats a 9-point advantage in the generic ballot.)

    and people on the ground are doing what they can to counteract the new awful laws

    Texas Democrats Begin Voter Registration Push as G.O.P. Eyes Limits

    The Texas Democratic Party and a coalition of allied progressive groups announced a major voter registration program on Tuesday, pledging to focus on registration in racially diverse communities at a time when the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature is vowing to pass a host of new voting restrictions, many of which would disproportionately affect communities of color.

    The plan, which aims to register at least one million Democrats out of the state’s three million unregistered eligible voters, will be a combination of old-school field operations, mail outreach, digital ads and door-to-door canvassing.

    and we need to work on the ground → Democrats have a path to victory. It starts on the ground.

    The good news for Democrats is that the potential now exists for organizing to be more effective than in the past. One chief complaint progressives have about former president Barack Obama is that he ran two brilliant presidential campaigns on a foundation of activism, but after the elections they left little or nothing behind.

    The situation today, Putnam told me, is very different. “The state level panorama on the Democratic side has really shifted in the last few years,” with a new wave of activists and local organizations getting involved.

    Those organizations are absolutely central to what Democrats need to do. They provide channels through which resources can flow to have the greatest impact — if Democrats make the investment.

    And that’s what they ought to do: Spend not millions of dollars on organizing, but billions of dollars. And start now, not in 2024.

    special election data is looking promising so far (overall):

    Democrat Muriel Hall wins NH House special election in Bow/Dunbarton district

    Voters in Bow and Dunbarton elected retired school teacher Muriel Hall to the New Hampshire House in a high-turunout special election Tuesday.

    The final official vote total was 1,912 for Hall and 1,393 for Republican Chris Lins, a sales executive and coach – a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent.

    Turnout in the two towns combined was about 36 percent, a high percentage turnout for an off-year special House election. Hall (D) won in a district that has far more Republican than Democratic registered voters, yet elected three Democrats to the House while Republicans won the majority of the House in November

    And this:

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    and this:

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    another summary of why we should hold out hope (and work hard) → Why Democrats may defy history and win the 2022 midterms

    This week’s special election in New Mexico’s 1st congressional district is part of a larger trend that shows us that if President Joe Biden remains as popular as he is now, Democrats have a fighting chance to maintain House control.

    Of course, this was just one special election. But there have been a slew of special elections, mostly on the state legislative level since Biden became president, that seem to indicate something similar. Look at these specials using the past two presidential elections (giving more weight to 2020) as a baseline.
      Democrats seem to be doing 2 points to 5 points better than you’d expect in a neutral political environment, depending on whether you look at all special elections involving at least one Democrat and Republican or those taking place with only one Democrat and one Republic
      If Biden doesn’t lose ground going forward, the 2022 midterms may prove to be an ahistorical event.

      Biden is great

      Biden continues to do great things for America and the world.

      Biden nixes Trump proposal that would have kicked 3 million off food stamps

      In one of its latest steps to erase Trump administration policies, the Biden administration has withdrawn a controversial proposal that could have kicked 3 million Americans off of food stamps and cost nearly 1 million children automatic eligibility for free school meals.

      Biden is showing that the U.S. can help vaccinate the world — and lead it

      PRESIDENT BIDEN’S announcement that the United States will purchase and share with lower-income nations 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this year and next is a sign of much-needed empathy for millions of people whose lives are threatened by the global pandemic. Mr. Biden also makes a large down payment on restoring American leadership in a world that has been doubting it.

      Biden officials move to reinstate Alaska roadless rule, overturning Trump policy

      The Biden administration said Friday that it would “repeal or replace” a rule allowing roads and other types of development in more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, reviving 20-year-old protections President Donald Trump had stripped three months before leaving office.

      Biden administration will return $2 billion to military projects that had been set aside for border wall construction

      The Biden administration is returning more than $2 billion to military projects that had previously been set aside for the construction of former President Donald Trump’s border wall, the White House Office of Management and Budget said Friday

      this Biden is pretty amazing too

      Jill Biden Challenged Melania Trump’s ‘I Really Don’t Care, Do U?’ Coat With ‘Love’

      Jill Biden wrote a new chapter in the unending saga of Melania’s $39 coat this week. While her husband met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Cornwall, England, Mrs. Biden spoke to reporters. She put on a black Zadig & Voltaire blazer for the occasion.

      In a way that was reminiscent of Melania Trump’s jacket, it initially didn’t look like much at first. But then Jill Biden turned around.

      According to The New York Times, she said: “I think that we’re bringing love from America. This is a global conference, and we are trying to bring unity across the globe. And I think it’s needed right now, that people feel a sense of unity from all the countries and feel a sense of hope after this year of the pandemic.”

      Democrats are great

      We have a heck of a team

      Why Democrats are voting on bills that have no chance of passing

      Senate Democrats — many of whom support a change to the filibuster — are building the case for getting rid of the rule, in an effort to change the minds of their colleagues who want to keep it.

      A vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act this week marked the latest development in this process, which will soon include votes on a series of other Democratic priorities that will likely fail. These votes are intended to demonstrate Democrats’ commitment to issues like voting rights protections and gun control, while underscoring how willing Republicans are to obstruct these policies.

      x

      Democrats reintroduce legislation to protect abortion access around the country

      Congressional Democrats reintroduced legislation on Tuesday that would protect abortion access around the country, even if Roe v. Wade were weakened or overturned.

      The Women’s Health Protection Act, if passed, would guarantee the right for health care professionals to provide abortion care and their patients to receive care, without restrictions and bans that impede access.

      Specifically, it would prohibit state and federal lawmakers from imposing several limits on abortion care, including mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods, admitting privileges requirements, and limits on medication abortion.

      x

      ‘Bernie Sanders has real influence’: Vermont’s longtime outsider has become a trusted voice in the Biden White House

      At first glance, they seem like an odd couple — Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive and quintessential outsider, and President Joe Biden, moderate politician and political insider.

      And yet, the 79-year-old Vermont senator has become a key voice in the Biden administration
      “As somebody who wrote a book called ‘Outsider in the House,’ yes, it is a strange experience to be having that kind of influence that we have now,” Sanders told CNN’s Gloria Borger as they sat together in Burlington, Vermont, recently.
      “We have had a good relationship,” Sanders told Borger. “He wants to be a champion of working families, and I admire that and respect that.”
      “One of the things that struck me about Joe Biden is the very strong sense of loyalty, which I like and respect,” Sanders said.
      Biden’s shift from centrist to big spender has left progressives pleasantly surprised. Sanders told Borger, “I think the Biden of today is not what I or others would have expected” based on the Biden of 20 years ago.

      x

      HUD to reinstate Obama-era fair housing rule gutted under Trump — minus the ‘burdensome’ reporting requirement

      Nearly a year after the Trump administration replaced an Obama-era fair housing rule that critics decried as “burdensome” and that President Donald Trump alleged would “abolish” suburbs, President Biden’s housing department is restoring the requirement that communities take steps to reduce racial segregation or risk losing federal funds.

      Senate Democrats start confirming Biden’s judges to ‘restore the balance’ in courts

      The Senate began to approve President Joe Biden’s first judicial nominees this week, marking the start of an ambitious push to make an impact on the federal courts.

       the Senate will “swiftly and consistently” process Biden’s judicial picks, “bringing balance, experience and diversity back to the judiciary.”

      There are 71 vacancies in district courts and nine openings in appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The numbers are set to rise with additional retirements.

      Justice Department watchdog to investigate data seizure as House Democrats discuss impacts of leak probe

      The Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate the department’s handling of a leak investigation into former President Donald Trump’s political enemies that included a subpoena to collect metadata of lawmakers, staff and some family members, the office announced Friday.

      While we are defending Manchin, let’s put in a word for Garland too

      Saw a lot of “Merrick Garland” must resign hot takes about Garland’s JD continuing to defend Trump.  To me, it comes back to the basic idea that if we don’t follow the rule of law because THEY didn’t follow the rule of law, then there is no more rule of law.  

      Merrick Garland is right to be cautious about breaking with Trump’s Justice Department 

      As frustrating and galling as it may be to see President Biden’s administration make anything less than a clean break with its predecessors, Attorney General Merrick Garland is right not to peremptorily reverse positions taken by the Justice Department during the Trump era. And his caution is appropriate even if those positions, such as continuing to represent a certain Mar-a-Lago resident in a defamation case, are clearly wrong.

      I hope the Justice Department ultimately loses the case and Carroll gets her day in court. But Garland, by staying the course, is sending a powerful message: The Justice Department doesn’t “belong” to Trump or Joe Biden or any one president. The meaning of the law does not change depending on who is in power. We should all swallow hard and accept Garland’s general commitment to some measure of continuity, because the alternative can be much worse.

      Why on earth is Biden’s DOJ backing Trump in a rape denial case?

      as fraught as this particular case is, it is not surprising that the Justice Department is making the arguments it is making on Trump’s behalf.

      One of the Justice Department’s primary functions is to defend the institutional interests of the presidency, even when those interests conflict with some of DOJ’s other obligations, such as its obligation to defend the constitutionality of federal laws. The Justice Department is also normally reluctant to change its position in a pending case, lest it give judges the impression that DOJ’s arguments are motivated more by politics than by law.

      The Carroll case presents profoundly important questions about when the president can be sued by a private citizen and what sort of suits are permitted against a president. Carroll has strong legal arguments on her side, but if she ultimately prevails, her victory could fundamentally weaken the presidency as an institution — and it could do so when future presidents are sued for conduct far less odious than Trump’s.

      Carroll, in other words, forced the Justice Department to choose between its institutional responsibilities and avoiding the repugnance of being associated with Trump’s behavior. It ultimately decided that its larger responsibilities must prevail.

      On the Lighter Side

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      Want to help us win in 2022?  We need you!

      Here are some things you can do:

      Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE.  This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light.  We never give up.

      I’ll be away from the computer this morning but will pop in later.  

      I am so lucky and so proud to be in this with you ✊🏾✊🏻♥💙💚💛💜🧡✊🏽✊🏻

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