That was some headline from the Associated Press this morning: Manchin agreeable to wealth tax for Biden plan. Biden had Schumer and Manchin over to Wilmington house for brunch over the weekend and, supposedly-- I'm skeptical-- Manchin "generally backs the White House proposals," (2 trillion with a modest tax on 1,000 billionaires' unrealized investment gains and a 15% corporate minimum tax that is designed to ensure all companies pay what Biden calls their "fair share"-- theoretically ending the practice of some big-name firms paying no taxes. And all the deal cost Biden was what little progress the Democrats were proposing on the Climate Crisis.
So what about Psycho-Sinema? Even though he has not the slightest clue about what Sinema has always been, Jonathan Allen reminded NBCNews.com readers early this morning that she's holding Build Back Better Act hostage. Biden and other Democrats he wrote, "have tried nearly every imaginable strategy to get Sinema to abandon or soften her demands. Those demands include the House passing a bipartisan infrastructure bill first, shrinking the overall size of the Build Back Better bill and abandoning income-tax rate hikes for corporations and high-end earners. Biden has sat down repeatedly with Sinema, still in her first term. At other times, Democratic leaders have tried to isolate her. Arizona activists took the opposite approach, pursuing Sinema into a bathroom earlier this month to harangue her. Last week, five members of her veterans advisory council resigned, citing her 'unwillingness to act on behalf of [her] constituents’ needs.' And Democratic officials in Washington and Arizona have tried to create an electoral threat by recruiting Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) to announce now that he will run a primary campaign against Sinema-- in 2024. None of it has worked."
No one in the media want to talk about her psychological profile, of course. But there is no way to fully understand Sinema-- a malignant narcissist like Trump-- without it. Allen wrote that her allies say she's been "maligned and mischaracterized." He's clueless. Her strategies for getting attention over the course of her miserable attention were just strategies. When Allen notes that she is "a political progressive turned moderate," he should hand in his journalism license. Oh... there's no such thing? That explains a lot about the nonsense we read, nonsense that might show up on a lazy high school paper that a teacher would flunk. Allen tries white-washing her entirely. What a laugh for anyone who knows anything about her!
"She’s kind of a head-down hard worker and she just doesn’t play the game the same way" as many other members of Congress, said one lawmaker who is close to her. "It gets lost in the 'Saturday Night Live' view of her, which is off. People just don't understand her."
Sinema described her own legislative philosophy-- and how it changed when she was in the Arizona legislature-- in a 2009 book.
Sinema wrote that she came into elective office as a partisan bomb-thrower and found that she had ostracized herself from serious negotiations on legislation. She decided she wanted to be part of coalitions that could pass, kill or amend legislation and transformed her approach to colleagues with different views.
She also decried the modern era of hyper-partisanship in Congress, in which "wholesale ideas created by one party were brought to the floor and ushered through." Politicians have not "made any real effort to change the way we do business, and so the hyper-partisanship continues," she wrote.
Sinema's approach is designed to get the kind of buy-in from the parties and the public that ensures legislation isn't repealed when power shifts in Washington, according to spokesman John LaBombard.
"She would much prefer sturdier, long-term legislative solutions for everyday people as opposed to short-term partisan victories that have a tendency to be wiped out in a new majority just a couple of years down the road," he said.
LaBombard said she wants to strike a deal on the "Build Back Better" plan.
If there's ever an honest book written about her, none of this nonsense will be part of it. As Ruben Gallego said in an interview with Allen, Arizona Democrats knew she was a conservative shitbag when Schumer recruited her for the Senate-- she had been the chair of the Blue Dogs in the House and had happily run up the single worst voting record of any Democrat in Congress, something Allen forgot to mention in his "analysis." Gallego told him that "We always thought in the end, when push came to shove, given the situation such as this where her vote would be transformational in terms of changing millions of people’s lives, that she would make the right call and the fact is she’s not making the right call. Now she’s negotiating in secret and not talking to her constituents." Was he ever wrong!
Even if the Beltway generally won't go there, at least Biden compared her, inadvertently, publicly to Satan: "she's smart as the devil." Allen, a conservative himself admires her because he sees her as an ex-hippie-turned-hippie-puncher, a simple-minded approach to a psychopath. His NBC post conclude with a mention of Elizabeth Warren's appearance on MSNBC yesterday during which she outlined how she is working with Sinema to find ways to tax the wealthy without raising income tax rates on individuals and corporations. 'The axis that I’ve been arguing for for a long time now is to say we need a tax on the billionaires, we need a tax on the billionaire corporations that haven’t been paying taxes, and we need to enable the IRS to go after the billionaire tax cheats,' Warren said, referring to a tax on individual wealth rather than income, international tax rules and federal enforcement of existing taxes. 'Those three things are how we can form the core of the revenues we need to be able to do the things we need to do for the American people,' she said. The challenge for Democratic leaders is not that Sinema is enigmatic or erratic, it's that she is holding firm to positions they don't agree with. But if they can pass Biden's plan in some form, it will not be in spite of Sinema. They have to do it with her."
In the end, if she judges it good for Sinema, she will have no problem blowing up the whole deal at the last second. She's not bluffing; she's psychotic.
I do want to note a Reuters report by Ahmed Aboulenein and Carol O'Donnell this morning about who's being bribed by big PhRMA. "Democratic Party lawmakers holding up proposed drug pricing reforms," they wrote, "are among the largest beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry's push to stave off price cuts, a Reuters analysis of public lobbying and campaign data shows. The industry, which traditionally gives more to Republicans, channeled around 60% of donated campaign funds to Democrats this year. It has spent over $177 million on lobbying and campaign donations in 2021."
So who are the biggest crooks in Congress, according to Reuters' report? "They include Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and Representative Scott Peters of California, OpenSecrets data covering industry donations through September of 2021 shows. In all, they have received around $1 million in pharmaceutical and health product industry donations this year. A spokesperson for Sinema did not respond to a request for comment on the funds she has received but said the Senator supports making drugs as cheap as possible for patients. Menendez and Peters said the donations did not influence their views. All three said they are opposed to The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which is sponsored by Democrats in the House of Representatives and also known as H.R.3." They forgot to mention other crooked players like Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL), Lou Correa (Blue Dog-CA) and, of course, Manchin.
"Sinema, who campaigned in 2018 on cutting drug prices," they wrote, "told the White House she opposes allowing Medicare to negotiate them. She received about $466,000 from the industry in 2021, according to OpenSecrets data."
Note: there has never been a congressional bribe taker, caught in the act, who has not said, as Peters did, that the bribes they take have no impact on how they vote and behave. That they vote against their own constituents' interests while feathering their nests, is... just a coincidence.