• Democrats Are Hoping They Lose Only 10-20 Seats in the House
• House Republicans Are Already Planning What They Will Do with the Majority in 2023...
• ...But Some Republicans Are Worried about Roe v. Wade
• Omicron Is Going to Take over This Winter
• Capitol Rioter Gets Sentence of Over 5 Years
• Another House Democrat Calls It Quits
• The FDIC Is in Turmoil
• In Nevada, It's Environmentalists vs. Environmentalists
• Johnny Isakson Passes Away
In fact, Sen. Joe Manchin (?-WV) doesn't want to build back at all. He apparently wants to leave things just as they are. He never was a huge fan of the Build Back Better bill, though he indicated that he would vote for the right bill. But yesterday he apparently closed the door to any bill, even one he likes. On Fox News Sunday, he said: "And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there."
This is completely disingenuous. If Manchin had told Joe Biden exactly what he wanted in the bill, exactly what he didn't want in the bill, and how it was to be paid for, he would have probably gotten that, unless it conflicted with what Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) wanted. But most observers believe that Sinema could ultimately be pressured into supporting some kind of bill. She was never "no bill, no way, no matter what."
Manchin claims that he is worried about inflation, but a bill with fewer programs that was fully funded for 10 years would not have increased inflation. He could have asked any economist about that. So his real motivation remains a mystery. If all he wanted was more pork than in all of Iowa, it was his for the asking. Biggest solar panel factory in the world in Charleston, WV? No problem. Gigabit fiber to every home, cabin, and moonshine still in West Virginia? A done deal. Biden wouldn't have vetoed anything he wanted. Surely bringing home so much bacon would have allowed him to campaign in 2024 on the slogan "Nobody in history has ever done so much for West Virginians and if I am replaced by a Republican, he will be low man on the Republican totem pole with no seniority and no power." Is it all about the grift? Maybe, but how does taking down Biden and the Democrats help? Yes, he may get some campaign donations from Republican donors now, but he could have shaken down the Democrats for even more if he tried.
Two sources told CNN that Manchin informed the White House half an hour before going on the Fox program. Biden immediately called Manchin but the Senator refused the call. Manchin's heads up to Biden didn't prevent the administration from slamming Manchin. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted to the President, in person, directly, a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President's framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all." Apparently not. Then she added: "If his comments on Fox and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator's colleagues in the House and Senate."
She's 100% right about that, as Manchin got his (the bipartisan infrastructure bill), based partly on the premise that he was amenable to supporting the larger bill. And Democrats were quick to react to his backsliding. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was, naturally, very angry. He told CNN's Jake Tapper: "We've been dealing with Mr. Manchin for month after month after month. But if he doesn't have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world." When asked if Biden's entire agenda was dead now, Sanders said that now the Democrats had to move on to voting rights. But since that would require limiting the filibuster—something Manchin is against—that also seems a tall order.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) was even less kind than Sanders. She told Tapper: "He has continued to move the goalposts, he has never negotiated in good faith. And he is obstructing the President's agenda. Eighty-five percent of which is still left on the table. And in obstructing the president's agenda, he is obstructing the people's agenda."
The Senate recessed for the year on Saturday and won't be back until Jan. 3, although a 30-second pro-forma session with one senator present will be held every 3 days until then. However, if what Manchin wants is simply to negotiate some more, he can call Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or the president at any time, day or night, and get through.
It is hard to see how Manchin is helping his reelection effort this way. After all, he needs Democratic votes to win in 2024 as dyed-in-the-wool Republican voters will vote for the Republican nominee, no matter how much Manchin stymies the Democrats. If enough Democrats figure that he is just as bad as the Republican and stay home, he will lose, so all this drama will have been for nothing. In 2018, he got 49.6% of the vote and beat West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey (R) by 3 points only because the Libertarian candidate took 4 points out of Morrisey's hide. It won't take very many disgruntled Democrats staying at home to sink Manchin in 2024.
It is possible that Manchin has concluded that even he can't get elected as a Democrat anymore, and that his next move is to announce that he's become a Republican. After all, he did go on Fox to make his bombshell announcement. But switching teams would be a huge gamble and likely to fail, since the Republican bench in West Virginia is very deep, including every statewide elected official, the entire congressional delegation outside of Manchin, and the majority leaders of both chambers of the state legislature. There was a time, between 1970 or so and 2000 or so, when Southern members of Congress flipped from Democratic to Republican fairly regularly. However, that was because most or all of the other prominent Republicans in their state were recent converts. Now, there are plenty of Southern Republicans who have been Republicans their whole lives—and who didn't twice vote to remove Donald Trump from office.
If this is the end, the blame game will tear the Democrats apart and likely ruin the Party's 2022 hopes. There will, of course, be an intra-party squabble over the decision to separate the bipartisan infrastructure bill vote from the Build Back Better vote. Progressives, and many moderates, will be furious they gave up the one piece of leverage they had over Manchin: forcing a single up-or-down vote on both bills, so he would have to choose all or none. It will be bloody.
There will also be much arguing over why Build Back Better failed. Manchin will say that progressives kept trying to trick him in a dozen ways by including all their priorities and then funding them with smoke and mirrors. They will say that he ran as a Democrat, told the people of West Virginia that he was a Democrat, and then in the end gave the Republicans what they wanted. He will respond that losing 12 seats in the House in 2020 and getting a 50-50 Senate by unexpectedly winning two Senate seats in Georgia, because Trump convinced some Republicans not to vote in the runoff, is not a mandate to change the country. Progressives will say that if Manchin had proposed an actual bill 6 months ago with what he wanted and the funding to pay for it, they would have negotiated with him over his bill, but he didn't because he never wanted any bill and didn't have the guts to say it out loud. Manchin will say that he told them what he wanted but they ignored him and insisted on having a bill that looked like a Christmas tree hung with all their sparkly wishes as ornaments.
One conceivable way forward might be to break the bill into several reconciliation bills and hope to get Republican votes on a couple of them. For example, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) might be willing to vote for a bill that created universal pre-K and maternity leave and nothing else. On the other hand, with Donald Trump supporting her primary opponent, she needs all the help she can get from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and giving Biden a victory of any kind, no matter how small, is not the way to his heart (if turtles have hearts). Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has a backbone of rubber and all Sen. Susan Collins will do is express her "concern," so while they are possible partners, it's not promising. And no other Republican would even consider voting for a bill that will help Biden, no matter how good it might be for the country.
If Biden loses this battle and gets nothing else through Congress before 2024, it is hard to see him running for reelection. If he doesn't throw in the towel, he is likely to get a serious primary challenge from one or more Democrats who say they could do the job better.
That said, 3 years is a long time. In fact, 1 year is a long time. Things don't look good for Build Back Better at the moment, but this may not be over yet. Manchin has been so opaque that he is the only one who knows what his real thinking is. Thanks to his announcement, he now has the absolute upper hand here. If he'd said, "Sorry! Only $1 trillion!" on Wednesday, his fellow Democrats would have been furious. If he says that at the start of the next session, they'll still be furious, but they'll keep it to themselves, and they'll bend over backwards to at least get that much out of him. He could announce, "My colleagues and I have reached agreement on a much more reasonable $1 trillion bill that does not risk inflation and that does not risk surrendering to socialism."
The item below was written based on sources that talked to Politico reporters before Manchin's bombshell. If the reporters were to call again, the sources might just change 10-20 to something much bigger. The Democrats' best chance was to pass popular legislation, but if that is really gone forever, they have problems a lot bigger than Spruce Knob, WV. In short, St. Joe just delivered President Joe a lump of coal for Christmas, an appropriate gift given his state's signature industry. (V)
Politico interviewed over two dozen state Democratic Party leaders, executive directors, and strategists. The optimists said they hope they can hold House losses to the range of 10-20, but fear worse. The "good" news is that the Senate is a crapshoot due to the exceptionally favorable map and potentially weak general election opponents endorsed by Donald Trump due to their loyalty to him rather than their ability to win elections. If Democrats want to have a working majority in Jan. 2025, they have to win the seats in 2022, as the 2024 map strongly favors the Republicans.
Democratic leaders all but concede the House is gone in 2022, but think that if they can keep the losses to the 10-20 range they can recover in 2024 when Democratic turnout will almost certainly be higher. Comments from the leaders were things like this:
- I don't see any way we keep the House
- I'm scared
- We need to get the vote out, and in the midterms, it's hard
Inflation is soaring, COVID-19 is surging, people are anxious about the economy, and Joe Biden's approval rating is in the 40s. Combine this with a long history of the president's party taking a beating in the midterms, reapportionment, and gerrymandering and it's no wonder that Party leaders are merely worried silly.
However, many leaders said that defeatism is not a winning strategy. For example, Nevada State Party Chair Judith Whitmer said: "We have to stop with this tendency to have a self-fulfilling prophecy." There is still a chance that some version of Build Back Better will get passed and the country will be back to some sense of normalcy by next November.
Part of the pessimism comes from internal infighting. Some Democratic House members are at loggerheads with the DCCC and its chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY). The dissident members think the DCCC should stop yelling at Trump and talk about pocketbook issues that voters can relate to. The great job market is an obvious one and so is the roaring stock market and how it is making people's 401(k) accounts zoom up. Another dissident wants the DCCC to stop talking about abortion so much and leave that to other groups as supporting abortion is not a winner in all swing districts.
Another point of contention is the pressure that the DCCC and Speaker Nancy Pelosi exerted on members to vote for the $3.5-trillion reconciliation bill that some swing voters think is too much. Some of the members in swing districts didn't appreciate being told that a "no" vote meant no help from the DCCC in 2022. Finally, some members think that Maloney often sides with the House progressives in order to curry favor with them and hopefully climb the leadership ladder—at the expense of moderates. But in Maloney's defense, making these choices is not easy.
Despite all these problems, you just can't know what the next year will bring (as we note above). The Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade altogether. The omicron virus could devastate Florida, Texas, and other Republican-led states, making voters skittish about giving the Republicans more power. Donald Trump's new social media platform could flourish, allowing him much greater reach, and reminding Democrats why they were so eager to get to the polls in 2020. A lot can happen. (V)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is already licking his chops and thinking about all the things he will do if he becomes speaker in Jan. 2023. He can't wait. First, he will send notices to all executive departments ordering them to preserve every scrap of paper and every electronic memo in case some House committee subpoenas them at some later date. It is clear he intends to use the House investigative powers to stoke the culture wars in 2024 and kill off the 1/6 Committee if it is still going.
Among other items on his agenda are investigating how Pro Publica obtained IRS records showing how billionaires avoid paying taxes, looking into whether the NSA somehow targeted Tucker Carlson, finding out why AG Merrick Garland was planning to mobilize the FBI to protect school board members being attacked by MAGA mobs, researching the origins of the coronavirus and the resulting school closures, examining the decisions behind the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and much more.
But unlike Mitch McConnell, who once said his top legislative goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president, McCarthy actually wants to pass some laws. After all, that is the House's core business. Consequently, he has set up seven task forces to prepare those laws. The seven areas, and the point people for each one, are as follows:
- Jobs and the economy (Patrick McHenry, R-NC)
- Big tech censorship and data (Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA)
- The future of American freedoms (Jim Jordan, R-OH)
- Energy, climate, and conservation (Garret Graves, R-LA)
- American security (John Katko, R-NY)
- Healthy future (Brett Guthrie, R-KY)
- China accountability (Michael McCaul, R-TX)
Each task force has 14-18 members—all Republicans, naturally. Unlike Joe Manchin, who believes that legislation shouldn't be passed unless it is bipartisan, McCarthy believes that if 218 Republicans and 0 Democrats support a bill, that is good enough. (V)
Maybe McCarthy shouldn't count his chickens before they have hatched. More generally, Republicans should be careful about what they are wishing for—they might get it. They are close to achieving one of the goals they have pursued for decades: the overturning of Roe v. Wade. But a number of Republicans are worried that their dream might come true—and ruin their expected 2022 romp (and all the plans Kevin McCarthy has; see above). One long-time GOP political operative told Axios that repeal could "derail what could be a 2010-level victory next year for the party and the movement." Another said: "Republicans and operatives in the party, I don't think they're ready. They better get ready before this decision comes out."
What, exactly, does "get ready" mean? Well, one party operative said that Republicans had to be advocates for women who were raped. Yet another said that candidates had better have one message in the Republican primaries and a different one in the general election (and hope that the other side forgets to record what the candidates say in the primaries). His idea is to talk about the overturn of Roe in the primaries as a great victory but pivot to something else in the general election. He also warned state legislatures to tread lightly after a repeal since overly restrictive laws might well backfire (see above comment about rape).
Their fear is that repeal of Roe will trigger suburban women who were open to voting for Republicans to switch plans and vote for Democrats, and also will persuade low-engagement Democratic voters (e.g., young people) to get to the polls to register their outrage. Former NRCC Chairman Tom Davis said that if Roe is repealed, it will be front and center and will certainly have an impact in higher-income districts. That is an interesting comment since women in higher-income districts would be the least affected. They could just fly off to some blue state to get an abortion if needed. It is the women in the lower-income districts who would be hit the hardest by it.
On the other hand, some Republicans said that history, inflation, reapportionment, and redistricting will be enough to carry the day, even if Roe is repealed. (V)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, went on CNN yesterday and told Jake Tapper that omicron is going to take over, beating delta, and he didn't mean in some kind of intramural fraternity sports league. He also went on NBC's Meet the Press and gave a stark warning that winter will be tough for unvaccinated Americans. This will be a blow to Joe Biden, who in the spring told Americans that the country would be back to normal by Christmas.
Fauci also said: "The idea about hoping and having an aspiration to be independent of the virus after a period of time is understandable and reasonable. But the one thing that we know from, now, almost two years' experience with this virus is that it is really very unpredictable." He urged the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and the vaccinated to get boostered.
The situation in Europe does not bode well for the U.S. In the U.K. and Denmark, countries with high vaccination rates, cases of COVID-19 are spiking. Several countries in Europe are now in complete lockdown. Fauci said there is no reason to expect things will be different in the U.S. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said that once omicron makes up 1% of the cases in a country, it is 2 weeks from overtaking delta. He expects it to become the dominant strain all over the country by the end of January. He said that indoor holiday gatherings are going to fuel transmission.
The political implications of more overflowing hospitals, lockdowns, and deaths are hard to foresee at this point. Nationally, when things are bad, the president gets the blame. However, if the omicron variant leaves a path of dead people in its wake primarily in Florida, Texas, and other red states, the governors of those who are up for reelection in 2022 are going to have to answer to their voters, and "It's Biden's fault" is probably not going to cut it if things aren't nearly as grim in blue states with highly vaccinated populations and various restrictions in place.
Another bad piece of news is that the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Chinese, and Russian vaccines, which are the main vaccines in most of the world, don't appear to prevent omicron infections (though they do seem to prevent severe illness). This means millions of people in Africa, Asia, Russia, and China are likely to get sick and provide new breeding grounds for yet more lethal variants. If Charles Darwin were alive, he would probably say: "See, I told you about evolution, but you didn't believe me." (V)
A Florida man, Robert Palmer, who threw a fire extinguisher at a Capitol policeman, will have his freedom extinguished for the next 5 years. Apparently, when the opportunity came to lash out like that, it was simply irresistible.
Palmer's 63 month sentence is the longest yet among the 700+ people being prosecuted for the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. He asked for leniency on the grounds that since Donald Trump hasn't been charged with any crimes (yet), the events of the day weren't so bad, so he shouldn't be punished so harshly. Actually, that makes no sense. Following his logic, if Trump has not been charged because he wasn't actually involved in the riot, then it was the entire responsibility of the rioters—including Palmer. If the president had ordered them to do it to save the country then they might have had a better case for a shorter sentence. The "I was just following orders" plea for leniency is not great, but is probably better than the "it was my idea" plea for leniency.
Palmer brought his children to the sentencing hearing and they begged for mercy, but District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan was having none of it. She said: "It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transition of power, means absolutely certain punishment. Not staying at home. Not watching Netflix."
Chutkan did note that Trump has not been charged but said that wasn't her responsibility. Her job was to sentence Palmer for what he did, no more, no less. And what he did was attack Capitol Police officers. That is a crime and the one for which he was getting 63 months as the guest of Uncle Sam. Palmer tried to please the Judge by saying that he saw his activities that day being reported on MSNBC and was horrified by what he saw himself doing. She thanked him for diversifying his media intake but also said a steady diet of cable shows is not good for anyone. If Palmer behaves himself in prison, he might get out a bit earlier than 2027, but that is up to him. (V)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), who represents CA-47, a D+13 district that covers part of southern Los Angeles and east almost to the I-5, has announced his retirement after this session of Congress. He is 80 and has been an elected official for 30 years. He said he wants to spend more time with his young grandchildren, but also noted that his decision was partly motivated by his expectation that the Republicans will control the House in Jan. 2023. In a way, of course, this is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If enough Democrats think they will lose control of the House and retire, that could bring about the very thing they fear. Still, in a D+13 district, Lowenthal is not in much danger of being replaced by a Republican. Possibly also a factor is that Lowenthal does not chair any House committee and would not be the ranking member of any committee in the minority.
The Representative was formerly a professor of psychology at Cal State University. Then he ran for and was elected to the Long Beach City Council. From there he moved on to the California assembly, where he served three terms. Then he served two terms in the state Senate where he made history, of sorts. He and his former wife, Bonnie, were the first divorced couple to serve concurrently in the state legislature, as she was in the Assembly when he was in the state Senate. In 2012, he was elected to the U.S. House on his first run. (V)
Donald Trump may be out of office, but some of his appointees are most definitely still around and acting, well, Trumpish. For example, doing things they have no legal power to do. A case study here is the FDIC. You've probably heard of it since banks are constantly trumpeting the fact that accounts there are insured by the FDIC. But the agency does more than just pay depositors when an insured bank goes belly up. It is one of the various agencies that regulates the banks, along with the comptroller of the currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Reserve.
By law, the FDIC is run by a five-member board, three of whose members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and two of whom are ex officio members, namely the comptroller of the currency and the head of the CFPB. The president picks one to be chair, with consent of the Senate. Currently the FDIC is in the middle of a bitter power struggle. The chair is Jelena McWilliams, a Trump appointee. The other members are Joe Biden appointees.
In the past, the FDIC tried to keep a low profile so as not to make people worried about the safety of their bank accounts. But now McWilliams wants to run the show all by herself, despite the law saying that the board has all the power and the chair has no more real power than any of the other four members. Ignoring the law and trying to rule like an autocrat is a hallmark of Trumpishness, of course.
The issue at hand arose when one of the other board members wanted to put an item on the agenda to find out how the FDIC handles proposed bank mergers, possibly in preparation for changing the rules. McWilliams refused. That led the remaining board members to vote to get the information anyway. McWilliams declared the vote invalid and forbade the staff from providing the information to the other members. Does that sound Trumpish enough for you? Legally, McWilliams does not have the power to block the board but she did it anyway.
McWilliams' term ends in June 2023, but she is allowed to continue until a successor is confirmed by the Senate. If the Republicans take the Senate, they are unlikely to confirm a successor, so under those circumstances she might be able to continue until the Democrats controlled the White House and the Senate again.
However, a recent Supreme Court decision gives the president the power to fire the heads of nominally independent agencies. So Biden could get Trumpy, call her, and say: "You're fired." This would infuriate Republicans, but if he wanted to do it, he could probably make it stick.
The big issue here is whether Biden will accept illegal behavior on the part of one agency head and embolden other Trump holdovers in other agencies. We have little doubt that if Trump is reelected in 2024, he will not hesitate for a minute before firing all the Democratic holdovers he can. This whole ugly incident will test whether Biden will stand up for the rule of law and use his power to flatten anyone who violates it. (V)
Although it is the fifth most urban state, Nevada is 99% empty desert. But it is about to pit environmentalists against environmentalists, which means Democrats against Democrats. Why would Democrats fight with each other over empty land that is fundamentally inhospitable to living things other than sage brush and cacti, plus a few snakes here and there?
The periodic table of the elements holds the answer. The third lightest element, after hydrogen and helium, is the metal lithium which, unlike the first two, is a solid at room temperature. And lithium is a key element in batteries. Without lithium batteries, electric cars would not be possible. So environmentalists who want to phase out fossil fuels are very interested in lithium. And it turns out, one of the biggest lithium deposits in the world is in the northern Nevada desert about 185 miles northeast of Reno and 420 miles north of Las Vegas, roughly in the middle of nowhere:
The controversy exists because the Lithium Nevada Corporation wants to create a 1,000-acre mine at Thacker Pass to extract the lithium and break America's dependence on foreign lithium sources. So, what's wrong with having a big mine in the middle of some useless desert almost 200 miles from the nearest city in order to extract a metal needed for electric car batteries (also batteries for storing solar energy at night and for powering consumer electronics)? Shouldn't all environmentalists be in favor of this?
Well, no. First, the mine and its associated processing plant will be an environmental disaster area and will pollute the groundwater. Second, the area is a prime breeding site for golden eagles. Third, the pass is critical to the survival of some wildlife that need to move to lower altitudes to survive the winter. In addition, the pass is culturally important to several tribes of Paiute Native Americans who live nearby. While this is not an environmental issue per se, Democrats tend to be sensitive to the cultural wishes of Native Americans and don't really want to put a huge polluting mine in the middle of land they consider sacred. One person is already camping out at the site and is willing to stand in front of the machinery in an attempt to block it.
An initial decision from the Bureau of Land Management gave approval for the mine, but three tribes have already sued to stop the project. Joe Biden hasn't taken a position on this specific matter, but earlier this year he made it clear that he wants to reduce America's dependence on foreign sources of critical raw materials, including lithium, cobalt, and other key materials needed in a post-fossil fuel economy.
Another factor that could come into play here is jobs. There aren't a lot of them in that part of the state. If the company promises to hire local people to work in the mine and associated plant rather than bringing them in from outside, that could reduce some of the local resistance. Nevertheless, the courts may end up deciding whether the lithium can be mined. (V)
Former Georgia senator Johnny Isakson died yesterday. He had been ill with Parkinson's disease and other ailments for years. He resigned from his Senate seat on Dec 31, 2019, for health reasons. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) appointed Kelly Loeffler to his seat over the objections of Donald Trump (who wanted fire-breathing then-representative Doug Collins to be appointed), because Kemp thought Loeffler would be a stronger special election candidate than Collins. We'll never know if Collins would have been stronger, but we do know that Loeffler was a pretty weak candidate who lost to Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in the runoff by almost 100,000 votes.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Isakson joined his father's real estate firm, which he later built into one of the largest in the U.S., becoming a multimillionaire in the process. He then decided to get into politics. Isakson worked his way up the political ladder the standard way. He served seven terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, ending as minority leader. Then, in 1992, he moved up to the Georgia Senate. In 1999, he ran for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives being vacated by Newt Gingrich after Republicans lost seats in the House in 1998. Isakson won the special election and two more regular elections. In 2004, a Senate seat became vacant when Zell Miller decided to retire. Isakson ran for the seat and won. He was reelected in 2010 and again in 2016, serving until his health failed, forcing his 2019 retirement.
As a U.S. senator, Isakson was squarely in the middle of the Republican caucus. He was neither more conservative nor more liberal than the other Republican senators. He tended not to make waves and tried to work behind the scenes to achieve consensus on bills. The most important bill he worked on was George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind bill, which became law. In 2019, Mitch McConnell said of Isakson: "If you had a vote in the Senate on who's the most respected and well-liked member, Johnny would win probably 100 to nothing." We could use more Johnny Isaksons in the Senate now. (V)
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Dec18 Saturday Q&A
Dec17 Build Back Better Will Wait Until Next Year
Dec17 FDA Makes More Relaxed Abortion-Pill Rules "Permanent"
Dec17 Rep. Jim Jordan Sent Insurrectionist Text Message
Dec17 Gonna Turn My Red State...Redder
Dec17 This Week in Schadenfreude
Dec17 Is BoJo about to BoGo? Readers Weigh In...
Dec17 A December to Rhymember (Parts 22-23-24)
Dec16 Is This The 1/6 Committee's Endgame?
Dec16 Senate Democrats Are Pushing Hard to Change the Filibuster Rules
Dec16 DeSantis Announces His Christmas Stunt
Dec16 Voter Fraud Is Almost Nonexistent
Dec16 When Fox Says "Jump," Oz Says "How High?"
Dec16 Jackson to Bow Out of North Carolina Senate Race
Dec16 Is BoJo about to BoGo?
Dec16 A December to Rhymember (Parts 19-20-21)
Dec15 Corporations Are Giving to Republicans--Again
Dec15 Trump Loses in Court--Again
Dec15 Debt Ceiling Crisis Averted--Again
Dec15 House Votes to Hold Meadows in Contempt
Dec15 Omicron Is Bad News for the Democrats
Dec15 Name Calling Works
Dec15 Trump: Mike Pence is Mortally Wounded
Dec15 Delaying North Carolina Primaries Could Affect Many Races
Dec15 Nevada Democrats Play Defense
Dec15 D.C. Sues Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for Damages
Dec15 Biden Nominates a Black Woman to Run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Dec15 What Does Chris Wallace's Departure Mean for Fox News?
Dec15 Rick Perry Is Running for Governor of Texas
Dec15 A December to Rhymember (Parts 17-18)
Dec14 House 1/6 Committee Recommends Contempt Charges for Mark Meadows
Dec14 A Moment of Silence for the COVID Dead...
Dec14 ...And a Very Different Moment of Silence in South Dakota
Dec14 Don't Pack the Court
Dec14 This Doesn't Look Good for the Biden Administration...
Dec14 ...And This Doesn't Look Good for Joe Manchin
Dec14 A December to Rhymember (Parts 15-16)
Dec13 Protecting Our Democracy Act Passes the House
Dec13 What Can People Do If the Supreme Court Repeals Roe v. Wade?
Dec13 Pack the Court
Dec13 Democrats Are Losing the Culture Wars
Dec13 Democrats Are Also Losing the Generic Poll
Dec13 Georgia Republicans Take Aim at Atlanta
Dec13 California Copies Texas
Dec13 Pelosi Will Run for Reelection in 2022
Dec13 What If Biden Doesn't Run in 2024?
Dec13 Chris Wallace Will Leave Fox News
Dec13 A December to Rhymember (Parts 13-14)
Dec12 Sunday Mailbag