By Howie Klein, Down With Tyranny

Whether Joe Manchin’s private jet landing in Lexington, Kentucky yesterday signaled a meeting with McConnell to discuss his defection to the GOP or not, is unclear. What is clear at this moment is what Manchin wants– basically the same thing Sinema and other, quieter Senate conservative Democrats like Mark Warner and Maggie Hassan want– a drastically reduced reconciliation package and protection against increased taxes for the wealthy. To be fair, that’s always what the corrupt Manchin-Sinema wing of the party has wanted. Before getting into that, let me just warn you again, that Schumer only recruits and backs nominees who fit that conservative profile– Cheri Beasely and Jeff Jackson in North Carolina, Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania, Val Demings in Florida, Abby Finkenauer in Iowa, Tim Ryan in Ohio…

This morning, Axios posted a “scoop” by Hans Nichols: Manchin’s demands. He wants to cut down the immensely popular $3.5 trillion package to something between $1 and $1.5 trillion. Other than Sinema, it’s unclear how many other Democrats feel the same way, although, at the minimum, he’s getting moral support from Mark Warner (VA), Maggie Hassan (NH), Tom Carper (DE), Jon Tester (MT), Chris Coons (DE), Jacky Rosen (NV) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH). [Increasingly senile California Senator Dianne Feinstein isn’t lucid enough to support or oppose anything and there are conflicting reports about where her team stands.] But it doesn’t matter; all it takes is one vote in a 50-50 Senate to derail the whole project. Manchin is in a perfect bargaining position to get what he wants.

Read More