The best definition of chutzpah is a man who murders his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.
This is, of course, a post about Senator (and de facto Co-president) Joe Manchin.
Yesterday revealed that Manchin, after demanding the Child Tax Credit be scaled back to a one-year program, is now accusing said scaling back of being a budgetary gimmick. This timeline really needs new writers.
So it’s time to bribe Manchin. While the current model of the Evil Politician is the maniacal, cunning fanatic, Manchin is a throwback to an older model: the corrupt dim bulb with a good head of hair. To wit (boldface mine):
In Sen. Joe Manchin III’s hilly West Virginia home county, his family’s business has made millions by taking waste coal from long-abandoned mines and selling it to a power plant that emits air pollution at a higher rate than any other plant in the state.
That enterprise could have taken a hit under a key part of President Biden’s climate agenda, a $150 billion plan to push coal plants toward cleaner energy. One lawmaker, though, played a central role in killing that proposal: Manchin, who has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the family coal company while using his role as a Democratic swing vote in a 50-50 Senate to dictate Biden’s policies.
When pressed about whether he has a conflict of interest, Manchin bristles. “I have been in a blind trust for 20 years. I have no idea what they’re doing,” the senator told reporters in September, referring to his family’s coal firm. “You got a problem?”
But contrary to his public statements, documents filed by the senator show the blind trust is much too small to account for all his reported earnings from the coal company, as of his latest financial disclosure report, which covers 2020 and was filed in May.
Manchin’s latest financial disclosure report says that the West Virginia family coal business that he helped found and run, Enersystems, paid him $492,000 in interest, dividends and other income in 2020, and that his share of the firm is worth between $1 million and $5 million. He signed a sworn statement saying he is aware of these earnings, underscoring that he is not blind to them…
If Manchin’s coal interests are not in a blind trust, ethics experts said, it calls into question the impartiality of a senator who in October forced Biden to drop the plan in his Build Back Better bill to phase out the same kinds of coal plants that are key to his family company’s profitability.
As the old saw goes, it’s not what’s illegal, but what is legal that’s scandalous.
What I don’t get is that this gives Democrats leverage over all of his other demands, yet they refuse to use it. Same as it ever was, I guess.