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Fiendish Thingy

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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Number of posts: 7,853

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My concrete suggestion on how to handle Manchin & Sinema, and pass jobs bill and voting rights:

1) Biden and Schumer announce that Manchin and Sinema are in charge of bipartisan outreach, and responsible for generating 10 Republican senate votes on some version of both infrastructure and voting rights bills- these bipartisan supported drafts would become the opening negotiating point between the parties.

2) give them a deadline for obtaining these Republican votes- end of May for infrastructure, end of July for voting rights.

3) if the deadline passes and Republicans aren’t on board with some version of the bills, and aren’t negotiating in good faith, then Schumer moves to reconciliation for infrastructure, and executes the nuclear option to kill/modify the filibuster to pass HR1 as currently written. As Republicans have been given the opportunity for bipartisan cooperation and input, Manchin and Sinema will be expected to support both votes for reconciliation and the rule change to pass HR 1.

4) If Manchin and Sinema don’t vote to move these bills forward, and continue to obstruct, they will return to their home states for the August recess to find the streets filled with vaccinated constituents demanding action on Biden’s jobs bill and on voting rights. In addition, billboards and media ads will demand that Manchin and Sinema support these bills. Before adjourning, Schumer warns Manchin and Sinema of the consequences if they don’t vote to support these bills, as written, upon their return to DC after Labor Day, which will be:

5) if, after all this, Manchin and Sinema still refuse to support passing the infrastructure bill through reconciliation and changing to filibuster rules to allow HR1 to pass by simple majority, then Schumer strips them of all committee assignments, including Manchin’s chairman position, leaving them as members of the Steve King/MTG club. Their assignments would be reinstated once they vote to support the bills. (Edit to add: Ok, so that process is more complicated than I initially described it- it doesn’t mean Schumer is powerless, or should stand by and do nothing, if it comes down to it, Manchin and Sinema’s peers may have to weigh in as well) If, by The end of September, they still don’t support the bills, then Jamie Harrison informs them both that they will receive no more campign funds from the DNC moving forward.

The stakes are too high for the future of the Democratic Party and for American democracy to cater to these two any longer. If they value their careers, they will comply. Switching parties is not a viable option, unless they both plan to retire from the senate in 2024.

to those who oppose my concrete suggestion:
What is your concrete suggestion on how Dems should move forward on Biden’s jobs bill and voting rights? (Edit to add: still waiting to hear constructive, realistic ideas)

(Note: “work hard to flip more senate seats to blue in 2022 to make Manchin and Sinema irrelevant” or “make DC and Puerto Rico states so the new senators would make Manchin and Sinema irrelevant” are both unrealistic, unviable options, since, without out passage of HR1, which must pass by this fall to block gerrymandering that will cause Dems to lose the house before a single vote is cast in 2022, Dems lose their majorities for a decade or more, and the GOP install their candidate as president in 2024, regardless of the will of the people. So, what else you got?)
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Mon Apr 12, 2021, 10:43 AM (28 replies)

Rep. Clyburn rips Manchin and Sinema over filibuster and voting rights bill

From his interview with Politico:

"This whole thing that the filibuster cannot be changed, that's almost like saying to me Brown vs. Board of Education was wrongly decided. That's what you're saying?" Clyburn said in a Politico interview. "We've got 50 Democrats, Warnock and Ossoff are two. Since when did Sinema and Manchin get to be more important than Ossoff and Warnock?" said Clyburn. "They all got us to 50. So this whole notion that we've got to do what Manchin says—Warnock is up in two years for reelection."

Clyburn knows how critical the voting rights bill is, that it’s not some “puffed up” piece of political strategy, that it is essential to protect Dems majorities and to protect democracy itself.

Clyburn knows it
Schiff knows it
Schumer knows it
Klobuchar knows it
Durbin knows it
The entire progressive caucus knows it.
Obama knows it

Do you know how critical passage of HR1/SB1 is? That without passing it, which requires at the very least the modification of the filibuster so it can pass with 50 votes, Dems will lose their majorities, and the WH in 2024, for a decade or longer?

If you do know how critical the voting rights bill is, and how devastating the consequences of not passing it will be, smash the rec button (since I can’t create polls).
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Mar 18, 2021, 03:55 PM (31 replies)

Progressives turn up the Heat on Manchin and Sinema!



Interesting tidbit: Bernie Sanders carried every county in WV in the 2016 primaries.

This is just the beginning- as more folks get vaccinated, more will take to the streets; if the filibuster survives until the August recess, it’s going to be a long, hot summer for Manchin and Sinema.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sat Mar 6, 2021, 05:10 PM (30 replies)

Pod Save America: Democracy vs. The Filibuster

The title says it all...

These guys used to work for Obama, and their hair is on fire about the cataclysmic effect on American democracy if HR1 fails and the filibuster stands. Lots of important info along with sounding the alarm, in the second half of the video (first half is about COVID relief).

These are some of the folks who are adamant that Republicans will control all three branches of government for a decade or longer if HR1 doesn’t pass- they know their stuff.

Interesting tidbit:
There are 253 recently passed or pending voter suppression bills in 43 states...
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Mar 4, 2021, 08:41 PM (0 replies)

538: Dems split on how much party and American Democracy itself are in danger


Article splits Dems into three camps:

Camp No. 1: We are in a Democratic and democratic emergency.

I am in this group

From the article:

The people in this camp don’t agree on everything, but they foresee a nightmarish (and fairly plausible) scenario for Democrats, and they’re proposing a series of steps to avoid that calamity. Here’s the Democratic nightmare: Biden and congressional Democrats pass a few major bills over the next two years but leave the filibuster in place, preventing the passage of major reforms to America’s electoral system. A federal judiciary stacked with Trump appointees strikes down all or parts of many of the laws the Democrats do pass as well as many of Biden’s executive actions, leaving Democrats few permanent policy victories and driving down the president’s approval ratings.

Meanwhile, Republicans use their control of most state legislatures to draw state legislative and U.S. House district lines in ways that are even more favorable to the GOP than the current ones and enact laws that make it harder for liberal-leaning voting blocs to cast ballots. Combine gerrymandering, voting limitations, lackluster poll numbers for Biden and the historic trend of voters rejecting the party of the incumbent president in a midterm election, and it results in the Republicans winning control of the House and the Senate and making even more gains at the state legislative level in November 2022.

Post-2022, Republicans in Congress block everything Biden tries to do, further driving down his approval ratings. Meanwhile, Republicans use their enhanced power at the state level to continue to adopt laws that make it harder for people in liberal-leaning constituencies to vote and harder for Democrats to win in swing states. Then, these laws are upheld by lower courts and a U.S. Supreme Court still packed with Trump appointees. In 2024, Biden (or whomever the Democrats nominate) wins the popular vote but still loses the Electoral College — in part because Republicans have limited Democratic votes in some swing states. A GOP with control of the White House, Senate, House and most state governments in 2025 then effectively creates a system of “minority rule” in which Republicans can keep control of America’s government for decades even if the majority of voters favor Democrats as well as liberal and left-of-center policies.

In this scenario, the Democratic Party is in peril, but in some ways so is American democracy more broadly. So to this camp, Democrats must act aggressively and quickly over the next two years to forestall this outcome, by getting rid of the filibuster as it currently operates (most legislation requires 60 votes to pass in the Senate) and enacting an aggressive “democracy agenda.” This is a pro-democratic (small “d”) agenda in many ways, particularly in giving residents of Washington, D.C., representation in Congress and enhancing protections of the right to vote for Black Americans who live in GOP-dominated states. But it’s also clearly a pro-Democratic agenda (big “D”) in that it would, for example, add the two senators from D.C., who would almost certainly be Democrats.

Former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer says “the decision (on the filibuster) will decide the next decade” and that keeping the filibuster is effectively “a decision to return to the minority and stay there for at least a decade”.

Meagan Hatcher-May’s of Indivisible says “ Democrats have been handed this power to save it. We don’t have two years. We have a year. The window to actually get things done is really closer to 10 months.”

The other groups of Dems outlined in the article are:

Camp No. 2: Maybe there’s an emergency, maybe not; either way, just do popular stuff.

Camp No. 3: We can and should work with Republicans.
Manchin, Sinema and Feinstein fall into this camp.

Much more at link, with lots of links to supporting data.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sun Feb 28, 2021, 01:43 PM (8 replies)

Mehdi Hasan slams Nancy Mace for lying about AOC #Nancymacelies

Mace is fundraising off these lies, using the hashtag #AOClied (folks have been flooding that hashtag with pet photos)

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:55 PM (3 replies)

I'd like to dedicate this song to all the insurrectionists and Trump enablers...your ship is coming

Oh, the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'
Like the stillness in the wind
Before the hurricane begins
The hour that the ship comes in

And the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking
Oh, the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ship comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'

Oh, the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real
The hour when the ship comes in

Then they'll raise their hands
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharaoh's tribe
They'll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Jan 20, 2021, 08:44 AM (0 replies)

My Favorite Christmas Albums:

from my blog at:


Below is a list of my favorite Christmas Albums; although there are many excellent various artist compliations out there (especially on the Rhino and Bear Family labels), this list focuses on albums that were conceived as whole entities, hence most are by individual artists.

1. Various Artists, produced by Phil Spector - A Christmas Gift For You (originally released 1963). This album, along with #2 below, has been part of our family’s Christmas eve listening for decades.
2. Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas (originally released 1965). For anyone, but especially Baby Boomers, this music is essential listening.
3. The Fab Four (Beatles Tribute Band)- A Fab Four Christmas/Have Yourself a FAB-ulous Little Christmas (2002). Covers of Christmas songs, Beatle-Style. Captures the joy and spirit of both Christmas and the Beatles.
4. J.D. McPherson - Socks (2018). If this disc doesn’t have you smiling and bopping around the house, you must be six feet under.
5. Cyndi Lauper - Merry Christmas…Have A Nice Life! (1998). Fun collection,mixing originals with covers. Some bouncy tunes along with some sentimental ones too.
6. Rotary Connection - Peace (1968). This soulful collection Features Minnie Riperton.
7. The Smithereens - Christmas with The Smithereens (2007). Power Pop Christmas Rock!
8. The Grip Weeds - Under The Influence Of Christmas (2011) More Power Pop Christmas Rock!
9. Nat King Cole - The Magic Of Christmas (1960, rereleased as “The Christmas Song”)
10. Emmylou Harris - A Light In The Stable (1992, expanded with new tracks in 2002). If you’re looking for a Roots/Bluegrass Christmas album, this is the one. Guest appearances by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young.

What are your favorite Christmas albums?
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Dec 24, 2020, 02:51 PM (8 replies)

Humbug Hitmakers: Recording Stars (1950-2000) who never made a Christmas Record

(taken from my blog at: https://www.afiendishthingy.com/blog/Entries/2020/12/hitmaking-humbugs-recording-stars-1950-2000-who-never-made-a-christmas-record.html )

I collect Christmas records. I have in my collection, hundereds of discs, containing Christmas recordings by probably over a thousand artists. In my years of collecting, it struck me that, despite the ubiquity of pop star Christmas recordings, there were a few stars who never succumbed to the commercial pull to put out a holiday song. Below is my list of hitmakers who never released a Christmas/Holiday song.

Criteria for inclusion:

To make this list, an artist/band had to have had multiple Top 20 hits, singles or LP (US pop/C&W/R&B charts) between 1950-2000, and have never issued a Christmas/Holiday record (generic winter-themed songs that have become holiday standards, such as “Winter Wonderland” count). The Christmas recording could be released any year (hence, Dylan is not on this list). I included that criteria because many artists release Christmas recordings in the waning years of their careers. Limited edition/fan club releases OK (hence, the Beatles are not on the list).

The Humbug Hitmakers List:

Patsy Cline- Patsy did do a couple of duets of “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow” for a TV show in 1959-60

Hank Williams- no, the depressing “First Fall of Snow” doesn’t count.

The Dave Clark Five

The Hollies- they did sing “Winter Wonderland” on the Ready Steady Go TV program in 1966

Led Zeppelin

The Yardbirds- although original member Eric Clapton has released a Christmas LP

The GO-GO’s- although Belinda Carlisle did make a Christmas record

Muddy Waters

The Byrds

Buffalo Springfield

Sam & Dave

Carl Perkins

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young- although Neil Young has guested on some Christmas recordings by friends.

Pink Floyd- they did do an original Christmas song as a one off for a BBC radio show.

Buddy Holly- had his career not been tragically cut short, I’m sure he would have recorded a Christmas song, probably an original composition.

I'm sure I have missed a few Humbugs; feel free to add your own Humbugs below.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Dec 17, 2020, 01:23 PM (1 replies)

Anyone know when GA runoff winners are sworn in?

The election is January 5, and EV’s are certified January 6. All it takes is one rep and one Senator to object to an elector/slate, and the joint sessions adjourn to separate chambers to debate and vote on sustaining/overruling the objection. Pence is “presiding” in a ceremonial role, and AFAIK can’t break ties in this particular process.

With the GA seats vacant as of January 3, that would give a 50-48 majority to the GOP (assuming they win both NC and AK) unless Dems win and new senators are immediately sworn in, brining it to 50-50. IIRC, ties to objections to electors mean the objection is not sustained...can anyone verify?
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Fri Nov 6, 2020, 12:51 PM (7 replies)
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