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Opinion

Joe Manchin’s River Cruises are Shaping Washington’s Centrism

His guests hail from both sides of the aisle as well.

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After the spectacle of the waning days of Donald Trump’s first term as President, Americans the nation over were suddenly clamoring for a little bit of moderate influence in politics.  The last several weeks of the Trump administration’s time behind the wheel were shocking to many of the centrists in Washington, and there is still plenty of reason to believe that the American peoples’ shock has yet to wear off…especially given how flippantly we still speak on the subject of January 6th.

And so now, as the GOP struggles to find its footing with the far right constantly tugging at their attention, their is an unlikely hero over on the left side of the aisle  Well, just barely on the left side of the aisle:  Joe Manchin.

The fate of Joe Biden’s massive spending plans, and the future of America, may be decided on an innocuous looking houseboat several miles away from the US Capitol.

It belongs to Joe Manchin, the Democrat senator from West Virginia, who has emerged as the key vote needed to secure the passage through Congress of Mr Biden’s multi-trillion dollar proposals.

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The Senate is divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding a casting vote.

Republicans are unified in their opposition. So it all hangs on Mr Manchin, the most conservative Democrat senator. He is now widely referred to as “the second most powerful ‘Joe’ in Washington”.

And, stranger still, as Manchin has decided to take up residence on a houseboat during his time in DC, a number of influential politicians have found themselves going for dinner cruisers with the centrist Democrat.

He takes political friends and foes on evening cruises along the Potomac River, serving pizza and beer, and his boat has been dubbed the “flagship of the centrist Navy”.

While Mr Biden promised bipartisanship, in practice it is Mr Manchin who is actually pursuing it. Republicans are currently talking, not to the White House, but to “the other Joe”.

Read more: Douglas Murray: Cuddly old Joe Biden is just as divisive as Donald Trump ever was

Even Ted Cruz, the firebrand Republican senator, has been aboard. Susan Collins, the moderate Republican from Maine, is a frequent guest, as is the Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer.

Manchin’s centrism may make him a friend to all, but the power that he holds as a politician who straddles the line should not be underestimated either.

Opinion

Russia Rebukes USA with Childish, Gibberish Response on Sanctions

The Kremlin isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be.

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Russia

The world fears Russia, this much is ostensibly true, but is it for the right reasons?

Sure, the wannabe superpower does own a rather large arsenal of nuclear weapons.  And Vladimir Putin certainly carries himself with all of the tact of a frat boy with a jacked up truck who’s very obviously compensating for something. But the Kremlin’s negotiating tactics have lately been closer to North Korea’s pedantic missile-waving contests than any chess-like, super-brain maneuvering. In fact, the military buildup near Ukraine and this prolonged “negotiation” about it feels rather beneath the Kremlin, doesn’t it?

Take, for instance, the latest rebuke from the Russian government on the US threat of sanctioning Vladimir Putin personally.

Russia on Wednesday dismissed the latest warning from President Joe Biden, who said the previous day that the U.S. could seek to sanction President Vladimir Putin personally if he sends forces across the border to invade Ukraine. Putin’s spokesman said any such sanctions would be “destructive,” but not “painful” because, according to the Kremlin press secretary, Russia’s senior leaders don’t hold overseas bank accounts or assets.

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Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, President Biden said that if Putin were to send the roughly 100,000 troops he’s massed along Ukraine’s borders into the U.S.-allied country, “it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.”

Asked if his administration would sanction Putin personally, Mr. Biden replied: “Yes… I would see that.”

The Russian response was pure gibberish, and gave the impression of a young child smashing words together in an attempt to sound smart.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov delivered the rebuttal to the latest warning from Washington on Wednesday. He was quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti as attributing the notion of sanctions against Putin or other Russian leaders to “U.S. congressmen and senators who are not entirely familiar with this topic,” and who would have been wise to first consult “those who are professionally engaged in Russia.”

He said it had “long been prohibited for representatives of senior leadership and officials” to hold foreign assets. “Therefore, of course, such a formulation of the question is absolutely not painful for any one of the representatives of the top management.”

This certainly isn’t the sort of cunning behavior that the world seems to expect from Russia, and it begs the question:  Is this Ukraine nonsense nothing but a big bluff from the belligerent mind of Putin?

The world fears Russia, this much is ostensibly true, but is it for the right reasons? Sure, the wannabe superpower does own a rather large arsenal of nuclear weapons.  And Vladimir Putin certainly carries himself with all of the tact of a frat boy with a jacked up truck who’s very obviously compensating for something. But the Kremlin’s negotiating tactics have lately been closer to North Korea’s pedantic missile-waving contests than any chess-like, super-brain maneuvering. In fact, the military buildup near Ukraine and this prolonged “negotiation” about it feels rather beneath the Kremlin, doesn’t it? Take, for instance, the latest rebuke from the Russian government on the US threat of sanctioning Vladimir Putin personally. Russia on Wednesday dismissed the latest warning from President Joe Biden, who said the previous day that the U.S. could seek to sanction President Vladimir Putin personally if he sends forces across the border to invade Ukraine. Putin’s spokesman said any such sanctions would be “destructive,” but not “painful” because, according to the Kremlin press secretary, Russia’s senior leaders don’t hold overseas bank accounts or assets. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, President Biden said that if Putin were to send the roughly 100,000 troops he’s massed along Ukraine’s borders into the U.S.-allied country, “it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.” Asked if his administration would sanction Putin personally, Mr. Biden replied: “Yes… I would see that.” The Russian response was pure gibberish, and gave the impression of a young child smashing words together in an attempt to sound smart. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov delivered the rebuttal to the latest warning from Washington on Wednesday. He was quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti as attributing the notion of sanctions against Putin or other Russian leaders to “U.S. congressmen and…

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Opinion

Americans Groan as SCOTUS Opening Invites Further Dysfunction

Any nomination by Biden is sure to kick off a firestorm of controversy, grinding the gears of government to a halt.

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The sheer lack of progress that our political machine has made over the course of the last year is laughable.  The bipartisan bickering and nitpicking has gotten to an abominable point here in the United States, allowing our public servants to cash in on their elected positions while the American people suffer mightily.

It hasn’t been this bad in years, maybe decades, and the latest news out of the Supreme Court could make things even less manageable on Capitol Hill.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire, setting up a seismic confirmation battle at the start of a midterm election year as President Joe Biden tries to find his footing with his agenda stalled and Democrats divided in Congress.

Breyer, 83, is expected to stay on until the end of the court term and until a replacement is confirmed, a well-placed source familiar with the matter told CNN.

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He informed Biden of his plans last week and will formally announce his retirement at a White House event with the President as early as Thursday, two sources told CNN.

The news is sure to set off a firestorm of political posturing, with the GOP and Democratic Party likely to lock horns over whomever the Biden administration chooses to nominate.

Further more, some activists legislators on the left may now feel emboldened enough to make life difficult for the President should his choice not be radical enough.

 

The sheer lack of progress that our political machine has made over the course of the last year is laughable.  The bipartisan bickering and nitpicking has gotten to an abominable point here in the United States, allowing our public servants to cash in on their elected positions while the American people suffer mightily. It hasn’t been this bad in years, maybe decades, and the latest news out of the Supreme Court could make things even less manageable on Capitol Hill. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire, setting up a seismic confirmation battle at the start of a midterm election year as President Joe Biden tries to find his footing with his agenda stalled and Democrats divided in Congress. Breyer, 83, is expected to stay on until the end of the court term and until a replacement is confirmed, a well-placed source familiar with the matter told CNN. He informed Biden of his plans last week and will formally announce his retirement at a White House event with the President as early as Thursday, two sources told CNN. The news is sure to set off a firestorm of political posturing, with the GOP and Democratic Party likely to lock horns over whomever the Biden administration chooses to nominate. Further more, some activists legislators on the left may now feel emboldened enough to make life difficult for the President should his choice not be radical enough.  

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