Suited Sack-Of-Shit & Fossil Fuel Pimpster Joe Manchin REAPS Big-Bucks Rewards from Network of Dirty Coal Corps
September 4, 2021 at 8:35 AM - Views: 173 #443943SegamiParticipant
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In the early hours of August 11, the Senate voted to approve a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would mark the nation’s most significant investment in the fight against climate change ever undertaken in the United States. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., cast the tie-breaking vote. The resolution’s approval kicked off a legislative process likely to last months, all of it hinging on Manchin’s continued support. Not long after casting his vote, he issued a public statement warning the bill’s backers not to take him for granted.
“Adding trillions of dollars more to nearly $29 trillion of national debt, without any consideration of the negative effects on our children and grandchildren, is one of those decisions that has become far too easy in Washington,” Manchin said. The month prior, he had specified that some of the climate-related provisions were “very, very disturbing.”
“If you’re sticking your head in the sand, and saying that fossil [fuel] has to be eliminated in America, and they want to get rid of it, and thinking that’s going to clean up the global climate, it won’t clean it up all,” Manchin told CNN after a private meeting with President Joe Biden and his fellow Senate Democrats. “If anything, it would be worse.”
Manchin’s claim that climate pollution would be worsened by the elimination of fossil fuels — or by the resolution’s actual, more incremental climate provisions — is highly dubious, if not outright false. What would unquestionably be impacted, however, is Manchin’s own personal wealth. Though Manchin’s motivations are often ascribed to the conservative, coal-friendly politics of West Virginia, it is also the case that the state’s senior senator is heavily invested in the industry — and owes much of his considerable fortune to it. For decades, Manchin has profited from a series of coal companies that he founded during the 1980s. His son, Joe Manchin IV, has since assumed leadership roles in the firms, and the senator says his ownership is held in a blind trust. Yet between the time he joined the Senate and today, Manchin has personally grossed more than $4.5 million from those firms, according to financial disclosures. He also holds stock options in Enersystems Inc., the larger of the two firms, valued between $1 and $5 million.
Those two companies are Enersystems Inc. and Farmington Resources Inc., the latter of which was created by the rapid merging of two other firms, Manchin’s Transcon and Farmington Energy in 2005. Enersystems purchases low-quality waste coal from mines and resells it to power plants as fuel, while Farmington Resources provides “support activities for mining” and holds coal reserves in the Fairmont area. Over the decades, whether feeding tens of thousands of tons of dirty waste coal into the power plants in northern West Virginia or subjecting workers to unsafe conditions, Manchin’s family coal business has almost entirely avoided public scrutiny. Manchin did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
For the first time, a Type Investigations and Intercept analysis of public records reveals the impact of Manchin’s coal firms. For decades, they have relied on mines and refuse piles cited for dozens of Mine Safety and Health Agency violations, multiple deaths, and wastewater discharging that has poisoned tributaries feeding into the Monongahela River, as hundreds of thousands of tons of carcinogenic coal ash are dumped across Marion County. While Manchin does not own the mines, refuse piles, and power plants that have polluted Marion County, he continues to reap their financial rewards. In tracing the life cycle of Manchin’s coal, from its origin at refuse sites, to the looming plants it powers, down into the water and soil of northern West Virginia, the steep and complex cost of Manchin’s empire begins to take shape.
— The Intercept (@theintercept) September 4, 2021
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September 4, 2021 at 10:28 AM #443945
September 4, 2021 at 1:27 PM #443949
September 4, 2021 at 2:00 PM #443950NV WinoModerator
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September 4, 2021 at 4:51 PM #443963jbnwParticipant
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by the people of his state.
Probably selected to run, of course –
September 7, 2021 at 6:34 AM #444422
I don’t know why some people have so much trouble accepting the fact: Sometimes, people we don’t like win elections. West Virginia is a conservative state. It elects people like Manchin, who are well to the right of anyone on JPR.
You write of Manchin: “Probably selected to run, of course” – well, actually, there was a primary. Manchin was challenged by Paula Jean Swearengin, a progressive who supported causes like Medicare for All and the $15 federal minimum wage. In the Democratic primary, Manchin beat her, 70% to 30%.
Incidentally, two years later, there was no incumbent Democrat in the field. Swearengin won a contested Democratic primary to become the nominee, but she lost to the Republican nominee, 70% to 28%.
West Virginia is just conservative.
September 7, 2021 at 8:27 AM #444426djean111Participant
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That’s why a politician identifying as a “Democrat” means fuck-all to me, that’s all. IMO and all that, Manchin pretty much represents the Democratic Party now, and the rest is all campaign posturing. Time to move on, really!
America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)
Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.
"black flag" is an inadvertent mash-up of black ops and false flag. . I think it is accurate, and I will keep it. Thanks to those who pointed it out!
September 7, 2021 at 1:37 PM #444444jbnwParticipant
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I was raised in Idaho – some places are just conservative. It also doesn’t hurt conservative candidates that it’s usually easier to raise money for conservative candidates – of either party.
It’s not likely to change anytime soon.
September 7, 2021 at 1:37 PM #444445
@jimlane?As a West Virginian born and raised,I respectfully differ.
West Virginia went for Bernie in the 2016 primary.That’s right,Bernie.Yes,we’re a socially conservative state,but we will listen to anyone who wants genuinely to make our lives better—and that doesn’t include cows cackling with delight about putting miners out of work or senile old crocks snobbishly saying “they’ll just have to learn to code.”
Paul Jean was hampered from in front in her campaigns against Manchin—the media gave her virtually no coverage.She was treated like a fringe crackpot by local TV.
And don’t underestimate the voting machines,either.Our state is notoriously crooked electorally.
September 7, 2021 at 7:36 PM #444476
You write: “West Virginia went for Bernie in the 2016 primary.”
More precisely, West Virginia went for Bernie in the 2016 Democratic primary. Trump got more primary votes than Bernie did. Also, by then, Trump was the only candidate on the ballot who had not withdrawn, so Republicans had no particular reason even to go to the polls. If there had been a genuine contest on the GOP side, Trump’s margin over Bernie would have been even greater.
In the general election, Trump beat Clinton, 68.5% to 28.4%. In 2020, Trump over Biden, 68.6% to 29.7%.
One explanation: West Virginia isn’t really conservative, but will vote for a progressive who will make people’s lives better, but Clinton didn’t qualify, Biden didn’t qualify (even though Biden won the 2020 primary with more than five times as many votes as Bernie), Swearengin would have coasted to victory either time except for the media, and the wealthiest guy in the state (a billionaire Trump supporter who inherited a coal mining business from his father) was elected and re-elected as Governor, the other U.S. Senator (besides Manchin) is a Republican, and every U.S. Representative is a Republican, but there’s just this big progressive constituency that somehow or other never shows up at the polls.
Another explanation: West Virginia is a conservative state.
I’ve always been partial to Occam’s Razor so I’m going with door #2.
I do agree with you about Manchin benefiting from name recognition. But in 2018, he won re-election by 49.57% to 46.26%. If he had tacked far enough to the left to win JPR approval, his name recognition would not have saved him, and the overtly Republican candidate would have won.
September 7, 2021 at 7:51 PM #444479
@jimlane,went reliably Democratic until 2000,when Bore was the nominee and never bothered to come to our state to campaign.That was seen as a put down…weLOVE personal attention.Kennedy spoiled us.Also,Bore was seen as anti-coal,which has plagued Democrats ever since.
We’re basically a one industry state.Legislatures and governors have been heavily bribed over a century to keep other industries out,leaving our folks no choice but to mine coal.Small wonder so many think the Democrats are coming after their livelihood.And the Democrats haven’t shown much interest in altering that perspective.
It would have been interesting to see how West Virginia would have gone in a Bernie vs.Trump matchup.As it was,Trump was the only guy on the ballot the voters even halfway liked.
September 7, 2021 at 10:28 PM #444531
Gore had a record (even before An Inconvenient Truth) of being more oriented toward environmental protection than most U.S. politicians. (Before people start trashing Gore, please note that I compared him to “most U.S. politicians.” That’s a pretty low bar.) Republican attacks on him as “Ozone Man” resonated in coal country, as you say.
I don’t think Gore’s failure to visit West Virginia in 2000 is that big a deal. With Gore largely out of public life now, did West Virginia voters give Trump two 40-point wins because they’re still carrying a grudge about that one campaign? Not plausible. The fact is that, since 2000, the GOP has moved wholly into the climate-denier camp. The difference between the two parties on environmental issues was sharper in 2000 than in previous years, because of Gore’s candidacy, and the gap has grown even wider since.
You complained that Swearengin was ignored by the media. If she had gotten more coverage, wouldn’t that have included asking her about climate change and other environmental issues? And if she had joined other progressives in calling for stronger protection for the environment and action on climate issues, wouldn’t that have left her with fewer votes than she actually got?
The bottom line is that Manchin, the worst Democrat in the Senate, is still the best person whom we can expect to win in West Virginia.
September 8, 2021 at 10:35 AM #444576
@jimlane,West Virginians like me have long,long memories.We think it is a sign of honor to carry a grudge to the grave.So yes,most West Virginians,fearful of losing the only livelihood this system will let them have, still curse the names of Al Bore and Obama.Since Hillary actually gloated about putting coal miners out of work,is it any wonder they went for Trump?
Paula Jean,like Bernie,had ideas about how to handle climate change that neither belittled and put down the miners nor exempted Big Business.Such ideas could never be covered in current West Virginia media,which actually used to be very good but now is just as awful as the rest of the country’s.As for West Virginians concerned about losing their livelihoods,ask some college professors about being laid off and see if they’ll thank the politician who,proposes it.
Joe’s not the best we can do.He’s the best the current system will let us do.
September 8, 2021 at 12:44 PM #444584
I’m not addressing the issue whether West Virginians who fear losing their livelihoods are morally culpable for voting for Trump. Deciding who gets into Heaven is above my pay grade.
If your analysis is correct, though, it means that West Virginia is a lost cause for any Democrat who wants to address climate change. Did West Virginians vote for Trump because they thought that Clinton or Biden would take action to move away from coal? Well, they were probably right in their prediction. If Bernie had been the nominee against Trump, in either year, his support for the Paris accords would have doomed him there.
Democrats of the Clinton/Biden wing of the party won’t do all they should to reduce emissions, but they’ll still do a hell of a lot more than Republicans, who are now full-on climate-change deniers. The fact is that, regardless of whatever Swearengin was saying in her campaigns, effective action on climate change will reduce the amount of coal burned and will therefore put some miners out of work. That’s not belittling them. It’s just the hard reality.
You write, “Joe’s not the best we can do.He’s the best the current system will let us do.” I take it you mean that, if the state’s media were somehow magically and instantaneously transformed, their truthful reporting would turn West Virginia into a progressive state. Even assuming that to be true, there’s no prospect for such a sudden wholesale transformation, in West Virginia or anywhere else. For the foreseeable future, the choices for the West Virginia delegation in Congress are a bad Manchin-esque DINO or an even worse Republican.
September 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM #444587
..an entire state and consign it to the conservatives forever,@jimlane.
West Virginians didn’t become the way they are overnight.Maybe they won’t get out of their morass overnight either,but that day will come a lot later if we don’t keep trying.
We once had progressive representatives like Ken Hechler,,who was no friend to the coal barons.Even Robert Byrd became more progressive in later years,becoming one of the few senators who opposed the Iraq War.No rule says we couldn’t have that again.
But first we’d need a decent media again who could educate voters,and the political parties themselves would have to exert some effort to flip the state,which they are no longer willing to do.After all,we don’t have a bunch of big donors and only three small cities in the state,and the party would rather go where the bucks are.
September 9, 2021 at 4:11 AM #444661
I certainly never said we should “write off an entire state and consign it to the conservatives forever.” What I actually wrote, with emphasis added, was: “For the foreseeable future, the choices for the West Virginia delegation in Congress are a bad Manchin-esque DINO or an even worse Republican.” Also, of course, I never said that we should not keep trying.
The problem is that the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, has limited resources (money, candidate time, etc.). Both parties do triage. There are some states, like California and Texas, where the outcome in the presidential race is considered to be certain, but they’re regarded as cash cows. Other than such fundraising, both parties concentrate on the swing states. New Hampshire has fewer electoral votes than West Virginia but it gets a lot more attention, because each party thinks it has a chance there. OTOH, neighboring Maryland, with twice as many electoral votes as West Virginia, is also largely ignored, and for the same reason: It’s in the bag for one party or the other. This is a major drawback of the Electoral College system, a problem well known to us here in New Jersey.
Do you think the Democrats should “exert some effort to flip the state” over the next few years? It’s a noble objective but it has to be limited by practical considerations. In 2022 there will be races for open Senate seats in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 2022 and 2024, if effort exerted in West Virginia cuts the GOP margins there from 40 points all the way down to 10 points (an unrealistically optimistic hypothetical), but those efforts in Ohio or Pennsylvania could have swung a Senate seat or a double-digit bloc of presidential electors, then the effort in West Virginia was a bad idea. So the Democrats should not write the state off completely but they have priorities elsewhere.
September 9, 2021 at 3:01 PM #444702
@jimlane.Asking if the Democrats should try and flip the state…which in this case would mean throwing resources behind a more progressive challenger like Paula Jean.
Damn right they ought to do it,although that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll succeed for a couple of tries.
I don’t buy the triage argument though.The Democrats have millions of donors,but the donors are corporate and urban,thereby the party is beholden to promote those upper class interests.They would have funds to compete in West Virginia—they just don’t want to because our state doesn’t host the kind of voters they want.
September 4, 2021 at 11:02 PM #444032
September 7, 2021 at 1:46 PM #444448youroutParticipant
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Stealth Republican Joe Mansion.
September 7, 2021 at 1:58 PM #444449
..about West Virginia voters I forgot to mention above.
Like with most Southern states,the thing that gets our politicians elected is name recognition.Joe came from a political family that used to be pretty good,actually,and he ran for governor based on his family name,got in office,and parlayed that into becoming a senator.
If you have name recognition in a state like ours,you’re guaranteed the Senate seat for about as long as you can walk.Heck,Robert Byrd governed from a wheelchair his last few years.
September 8, 2021 at 3:34 PM #444593Ohio BarbarianModerator
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I don’t notice anyone posting on Nancy Pelosi’s real estate dealings, where she and hubby stand to make millions from all those rental properties that are going to be snatched up after the evictions. Never anything on her.
This leads me to believe that Manchin is just a foil, a convenient excuse for the rest of the Democrats to do nothing.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton
September 8, 2021 at 10:21 PM #444622
September 9, 2021 at 12:26 PM #444677
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