Mind Melding


President Joe Biden’s sit-down on Wednesday with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional leaders comes as the White House accelerates its efforts to reach a bipartisan infrastructure agreement — or at least aims to show it’s trying. But McConnell is plainly stating in advance that he’s not interested in the plan as proposed.

The president’s meeting with McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is the first formal gathering of the “big four” congressional leaders since the president took office — a late start after a tumultuous new year. But the timing is crucial for White House’s outreach on Biden’s two-pronged $4 trillion American jobs and families plans.

At the center are Biden and McConnell, two stalwarts of the Senate who have traded expressions of friendship but whose ability to find political common ground seems limited. In a Washington controlled by Democrats by the slimmest of margins, it’s unclear if they actually need each other to accomplish their political goals.



36 thoughts on “Mind Melding”

  1. Moscow Mitch’s only goal is to stop POTUS Joe from achieving his goals. He said so. 
    Hmmm, POTUS Joe’s goals are to help Americans in the areas of jobs, health, security, fairness…   That means Mitch is trying to hurt Americans.  

  2. Someone in the media needs to call out these q-nazis for what that are, a dangerous cult. 

    If Dick Cheney doesn’t have the clout to protect Liz, whelp, the Republican Party is now a zombie wasp.

  3. wapo:

    Opinion: Jeff Flake: In today’s Republican Party, there is no greater offense than honesty
    When I became an unwitting dissident in my party by speaking in defense of self-evident truths, I assumed that more and more of my colleagues would follow me. I remain astonished that so few did. Congresswoman Cheney, I know how alone you must be feeling. But just know that history keeps the score, not Kevin McCarthy or Elise Stefanik.
    It is elementary to have to say this, but we did not become a great nation by believing or espousing nonsense, or by embracing lunacy. And if my party continues down this path, we will not be fit to govern.
    Cheney has proved her fitness, and today it seems that adherents to the “big lie” will cast her out. Hold your head high, congresswoman. Those of us who believe in American democracy and who live in objective reality are grateful that you have chosen to take a stand for truth — self-evident truth — regardless of the consequences.

  4. https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/11/politics/liz-cheney-republican-party-trump-long-game/index.html

    “But Cheney is also planning to take advantage of her expected removal as a way to further her fight against Donald Trump’s grip over the GOP and continue hammering the message that got her in trouble in the first place: that Trump’s lies about the 2020 election are damaging for her party and the country.“

    I can’t believe I’m saying this to someone other than Senator Warren but go, Liz, go!

    “You’re just not gonna be a leader of the party if you’re anti-Trump,” Graham told CNN.

    Translation: You must bow down to the orange monster who owns the brand rights to the Republican Party.

  5. as former sen. claire mccaskill asked this morning on mojo after citing the poll: “but what about the other 50%?”

    the hill:

    Roughly 50 percent of Republican voters said that they believe Rep.Liz Cheney(R-Wyo.) should be removed from her role as GOP House Conference chair, according to a Politico-Morning Consult pollreleased Wednesday. 


    claire went on to point out the GOPers dumping liz don’t have much of a future since  25% of GOPers plus 60+% of indies plus 90% of dems say joe won the election fair & square and the former guy is a big loser as well as a big liar.

  6. apologies for length, but jon makes a very important point

    from   CNN transcript

    ERIN BURNETT: And I want to go now to Historian and Author Jon Meacham. He is the host of the podcast Fate Of The Fact released under Shining City Audio. He is also advised President Biden on some items.
    So let me ask you, Jon, how significant is this moment of history? You’ve got the Republican Party. You’ve got two major political parties in this country. That’s how this country is run. One of them is purging one of its leaders with a 98 percent perfect score from the Conservative Heritage Action group, just because she is standing up to a lie about who won an election. What does this say to you?
    JON MEACHAM, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: It says that one of our two major parties is totally unmoored from reality. And as you say, that’s not the way a constitutional republic can work. We need two vibrant vital parties that debate ideas, that debate the course of action about how we solve largely mutually agreed upon problems.
    We don’t need a party that just makes up their own facts when they don’t find the discernible reality of eyes and ears to be congenial. And so I think Rep. Cheney’s issues at the moment, I think the social media decision is hugely important tomorrow.
    One of the interesting things about America is we are very good at moving on quickly. And sometimes that’s great and sometimes it’s not. And January 6th now in political time feels like we’re talking about Thermopylae or some ancient, ancient remote thing. It was January 6th, it was this tax year, it was in the first quarter of this year and we almost lost our democracy, because of what Liz Cheney is standing up against.
    BURNETT: You raised an interesting point, though, because there are some who may not have thought to this level, when you have a two party system, you do need to vibrant parties, otherwise one party steamrolls everything, controls everything. You could end up dealing with things like Mexico’s had to deal with when one party is just in control all of the time and does whatever it wants, so that that’s what’s at stake here.
    What does it do to our democracy to have one party that is completely shackled to its base? A party that in and of itself only now represents 25 percent to 27 percent of the American population.
    MEACHAM: About two centuries and a half of democratic lowercase D experience is at risk, unquestionably. The founders hoped in sort of a dreamy way that we would have a supra party system that we would be above faction, that lasted about four minutes.
    The first competitive race was 1796, George Washington didn’t like being criticized by the newspapers and by his opponents, he thought about getting out after one term and he never had anybody run against him. So if you wonder or ever wonder where the politicians are sensitive, I refer you to George Washington.
    Without this clash of parties, we don’t have a capacity to move forward. And the very roots of the word, your President Biden’s been talking about democracy versus autocracy. If you actually do the etymology of that, democracy means the rule of the many. The rule of the people.
    Autocracy means the rule of the one. And that can be the Chinese Communist Party. It can be a dictator. It could be one ideology. It could be one worldview. But the problem and the virtue of democracy is when we all accept the rules of the game, we all have a chance to advance our interests according to the constitutional safeguards.
    If you want total victory every time, which is what the Republicans want in this era, then that system falls apart and you better hope you always win. Because if you’re in an autocratic system, you’re in one where if you’re on top, fantastic. That’s great. If you’re not, God help you, right?

  7. When my dad passed it wasn’t so much to deal with because we’d actually lost him little by little along towards the end due to the alzheimer’s, and by the end he’d been totally gone for quite some time……no more questions, no more answers, no more nothing.     Had it been a situation like Mr. Crawford’s I’m sure it would have been much more traumatic and longer lasting.

  8. Sturg, and our Jeckyls and Hydes.
    I predict that the meeting between Biden and McConnell will be the stuff of SNL takes on it.

  9. KGC
    Lots of healing thought sent MrCrackers way. I’ve dealt with kidney stones and lost one of my kidneys so they are serious as well as being painful. And a big hug for you as it is not easy dealing with hospital rules in the era of covid.

  10. Interesting side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is outrageously low positive cases of flu this season.  So far there have been a total of only 2068 positive results from clinical and public labs and one death reported for the entire 2020-21 flu season.  As a point of comparison, CDC estimated that about 38 million people were sick with the flu during the 2019-2020 season with 22,000 deaths. Of course COVID and flu could have been comorbidities for some Covid positive patients and deaths, but the cases and deaths were coded for Covid, one explanation being that flu vaccinations were up 20% above the prior year and another, likely significant one being that people with flu-like symptoms got tested for Covid rather than flu, and it’s entirely possible that some proportion of the Covid victims also had the flu.  

  11. KGC…  may healing and love rule the day for you and Mr. C.
    Being the oldest of 3… it was my job to be the executor of my parents’ will.  They didn’t own much… but still… it took me a year after the death of my mother to fully do the job.  As each task got done, I’d think…  good…  I never have to do that again.  But it also felt like I was slowly erasing my parents lives.  It can physically be an easy thing…  but emotionally…  that’s another story.  Wishing you the best, Craig.

  12. https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/12/texas-republicans-liz-cheney/

    “The move to depose her as House Republican Conference Chair, the third-ranking GOP position in the House, came in a closed-door caucus vote. The votes of the 22 Texas Republicans were not immediately clear. Most members have stayed silent on the issue.“

    “Two Texas Republicans — U.S. Reps. Lance Gooden and Chip Roy — were vocal about their desire to remove Cheney before Wednesday’s closed-door vote. But most members of the delegation kept their cards close to their chests.“

    If the scared, little weasels aren’t vocally supporting Orange Adolf, their silence does the job.

  13. sounds like today doesn’t it?

    Mr. President,” she began, “I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition…. The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body…. But recently that deliberative character has…been debased to…a forum of hate and character assassination.” In her 15-minute address, delivered as McCarthy looked on, Smith endorsed every American’s right to criticize, to protest, and to hold unpopular beliefs. “Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America,” she complained. “It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.” She asked her fellow Republicans not to ride to political victory on the “Four Horsemen of Calumny–Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.” As she concluded, Smith introduced a statement signed by herself and six other Republican senators–her “Declaration of Conscience.”

    [u.s.senate.gov on sen margaret chase smith speech 71 yrs ago]

  14. No photo description available.

    It is the most invasive and dangerous species on the planet. It destroys the whole ecosystem and then moves to new areas and does the same until everything is exhausted.
    The other one is a fish with big teeth.
  15. And from the “pot calling the kettle black” corner… (WaPo)

    Trump celebrated the ouster of Cheney from her House GOP leadership position in a statement calling her “a bitter, horrible human being.”

    The statement came as Cheney told reporters that she would do everything she could to keep Trump from returning to the White House, citing his continued false assertions that last year’s election was stolen from him.

    “I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party,” Trump said of Cheney, who delivered remarks on the House floor Tuesday night.

    The repugs have gone off the deep end.

  16. And while I’m no fan of Liz Cheney, on this one issue I do think her head is in the right place.  More from that politics feed at Wapo.:

    A defiant Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) vowed to do everything in her power to keep Trump from returning to power minutes after her House Republican colleagues ousted her from her leadership post in response to her continued criticism of the former president.

    “I will do everything I can to ensure the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney told reporters at the U.S. Capitol. “We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.”

    Cheney said that the Republican Party needs to focus on a return to conservative principles and that she intends to lead that fight.

    “We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president,” Cheney said, referring to Trump’s continuing insistence that last year’s election was stolen from him.

    Liz, if that’s your aim, you better point the bow of your canoe upstream and paddle like hell because you are being dragged quickly toward that waterfall behind you.

  17. There are almost no Republicans brave enough to speak up.   They are destined for the trash heap of history.

  18. I sure hope those idiots who filled garbage bags, garbage cans, tubs and other open containers with gasoline that when those rupture or leak they are in their own garages or homes.  Those should be worthy of a Hollywood explosion.  Colonial has restarted operations and pushing gas and diesel up the pipeline.  Looks like this weekend when I need to refill the truck things will be nearly normal again.

  19. Brake fluid is a powerful solvent (melted my shoes) but I don’t know about gasoline. Probably so.

  20. I’m not sure a garbage can with a garbage bag as a liner is an approved container…

  21. You have to wonder how many of the geniuses filled styrofoam coolers with gas.  Now they are stuck with high priced gas, which is quite volatile hanging around the house.  Bet of a few house fires for a while.

  22. Clothing accounts for more emissions than air travel and shipping, combined? 

  23. BB – But will they take the vaccine because they don’t think it’s safe? 

  24. BiD,  it is difficult (read impossible) to balance the carbon footprint/value of this and that. We talk about reducing/eliminating petroleum-based transportation carbon but never think twice about advocating reducing/eliminating clothing (ok, there are niche exceptions). Go figure.  

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