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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/5/21

Mean Tweets Vs King Coal

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Message Gene Case

WATCH LIVE: Senate Budget Committee considers nomination of Neera Tanden, Biden's pick to lead OMB Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG Find more from PBS NewsHour at pbs.org/newshour Subscribe to our ...
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If a Republican lies about a Democrat, the political punditsphere shrugs its shoulders and moves on. If a Democrat states an inconvenient truth about a Republican, then we have a story! Case in point: Neera Tanden, and her unsuccessful nomination to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden demonstrated, once again, that really smart people can be made to appear the fool by their own hand - or by their own keystrokes. In preparation for her potential confirmation, Tanden scrubbed her Twitter history of a thousand tweets - gems like stating that "a vampire has more heart than Ted Cruz", comparing Mitch McConnell to Voldemort and declaring Susan Collins "criminally ignorant". Even though these observations may appear understated to some, in the new reality of a futile one-sided initiative to restore comity and decorum to interactions within our nation's most august deliberative body, this kind of clarity was never going to fly.

Tanden failed in her attempts to gain support from "moderate" Senate Republicans like Murkowski, Collins (yeah, right.) and Romney - necessary because W. Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin was a definite "no" on Tanden.

Ostensibly, Manchin was completely aghast at the nastiness of Tanden's tweets that besmirched his Republican colleagues (and, Bernie Sanders). Remember, Manchin voted to approve Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (of de-parented kids-in-cages fame) as Attorney General - although he did draw the line with some of the worst Trump appointments (Price, DeVos and Ross).

Manchin's problem with Tanden may not be grounded in her "mean tweets". He may have taken exception to a Tanden missive critical of his daughter, Heather Bresch, for overseeing a 200% increase in the price of EpiPen - the emergency medication used to treat severe allergic reactions - as CEO of Mylan pharmaceutical. Previous to Bresch's tenure as CEO, Mylan had increased the price of newly acquired EpiPen 100% between 2007 and 2012. Tanden also weighed-in on the amount of increase in Bresch's compensation as CEO.

As homage to the important role West Virginians historically have played in the domestic energy sector, Manchin shot an environmental bill with a rifle in a 2010 campaign ad. Apparently the ad was meant to assure constituents employed in the coal industry that he was committed - regardless of the consequences - to resist any movement away from coal as a major energy source (as of 2018, coal extraction accounted for 2% of W. Virginia jobs).

Anyway, it worked, and Manchin secured a valuable Democratic Senate seat in a deep red state. In a 50/50 +1 Senate, Manchin is the wild card on any party-line votes. So any thoughts by disgruntled Democrats of neutering Manchin, are misbegotten - to say the least. Manchin has committed to the success of the Biden/Harris administration. Hopefully he's a man of his word.
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Retired mechanical designer. Advocate for effective government.
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