"I don't give a shit" -- Senator Joe once again gets a bit annoyed with critics
Senator Manchin has been known to occasionally express his displeasure at those who criticize him. The best recent example that comes to mind is probably his conversation with a political activist back in February (see here). This morning's Charleston Gazette-Mail describes why Manchin didn't sign a letter dealing with tax reform and the criticism that followed:
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of three Senate Democrats who didn’t sign a letter establishing the party line on tax reform, though he said Tuesday he agrees with all its components.
Manchin, who is up for re-election in 2018, said even though he supports the Democrats’ fiscal ideas, he won’t sign on without efforts to bring Republicans on board. He also said the election is not influencing his decision-making.
The senator, given the vote in the last election, is obviously playing the role of the Democrat who wants to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans. The senator was then criticized by one of his more-likely opponents in 2018, Attorney General Morrisey, who suggested that Manchin needed to get away from the Democratic leadership team because they don't care about West Virginians.
According to the Gazette-Mail:
When asked if Morrisey’s request and related messaging attempting to tie him in with Democratic leadership affected his decision to not sign the letter, Manchin said he doesn’t care about the attacks and they don’t affect policy decisions.
“I don’t give a s--t, you understand? I just don’t give a s--t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s--t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
Okay, Joe, I think we get your point.
Sinclair Broadcasting and Trump
I've been writing about Sinclair Broadcasting's increasing far-right tilt, its pro-Trump news and about the company's growth. This story from yesterday's Politico is no surprise:
How Trump's FCC aided Sinclair's expansion
The article argues that local channel 9's parent company's recent acquisitions were made possible by a Trump-appointed FCC chair:
Sinclair, already the nation’s largest TV broadcaster, plans to buy 42 stations from Tribune Media in cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, on top of the more than 170 stations it already owns. It got a critical assist this spring from Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who revived a decades-old regulatory loophole that will keep Sinclair from vastly exceeding federal limits on media ownership.
The change will allow Sinclair — a company known for injecting "must run" conservative segments into its local programming — to reach 72 percent of U.S. households after buying Tribune’s stations. That’s nearly double the congressionally imposed nationwide audience cap of 39 percent.
The FCC and the company both say the agency wasn’t giving Sinclair any special favors by reviving the loophole, known as the “UHF discount,” which has long been considered technologically obsolete. But the Tribune deal would not have been viable if not for Pai’s intervention: Sinclair already reaches an estimated 38 percent of U.S. households without the discount, leaving it almost no room for growth.
Good thing there weren't any "special favors."
Local favorite Mac Warner
Last February I wrote about how newly-elected Secretary of State Mac Warner fired 16 long-term employees and replaced them with 22 new employees. Our local "newspapers" ignored the story at first and then eventually printed an AP story. Since then, Ogden "newspapers" have made him a favorite with a number of positive stories and frequent words of praise on the editorial page.
Yesterday's front page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail detailed the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by ten of those former employees fired in February:
Ten former employees of the West Virginia secretary of state’s office who were fired by new Secretary of State Mac Warner have filed wrongful termination lawsuits in Kanawha Circuit Court.
The workers were part of a 16-employee purge — about one-third of the office’s workers — when Warner took office in January. The lawsuits, filed this week by Charleston attorneys Ben Salango and Mark Atkinson, contend that the employees were part of a mass firing orchestrated by Warner so he could replace longtime office staffers with handpicked new hires — a throwback to a spoils system that the suits argue is illegal under state law and the West Virginia Constitution. . . .
The lawsuits allege that 15 of the 16 fired employees were registered Democrats, and 19 of the 22 new employees are registered Republicans.
The complaints also note that many of the fired employees, most of whom had between eight and 50 years’ experience, were replaced with hires with little or no governmental experience.
Like the previous Warner story, my hunch is that we won't see much about this story in our local papers.