Joe Says No

Joe Says No

W.J. Astore

Clearly, the unofficial motto of the Democratic Party in 2021-22 is “Joe says no.” And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s President Joe Biden or Senator Joe Manchin.

Joe, as in Biden, says no to ending the Senate filibuster. He says no to Medicare for all. He says no to a single-payer option for health care. He says no to a $15 an hour minimum wage. (I know — it was allegedly the Senate Parliamentarian who said no here, except this person is both unelected and easily fired.) President Joe says no a lot, even though his campaign promises and pledges included a $15 federal minimum wage, a single-payer option, and so on.

Joe, as in Manchin, says no to the Build Back Better program. He says no to more affordable prices for prescription drugs. He says no to extending child tax credits. He says no to paid family leave. (Joe said family members on leave might go hunting instead of caring for their kids.) Like President Joe, Senator Joe says no to reforming the Senate filibuster.

Joe and Joe say no a lot, especially to policies that would help working Americans.

What do they say yes to? They say yes to massive spending on weapons and wars. They say yes to fossil fuels, including offshore oil drilling, fracking, and coal. They say yes to corporate agendas and corporate lobbyists and corporate cash. They say yes to higher drug prices. They say yes quite often, actually, but not to us.

When the Democrats lose the presidency in 2024, Joe Says No should be their epitaph. No to the workers, no to the middle class, no to helping the less fortunate — and no to a fairer, more just, America.

(With thanks to my wife for coming up with the pithy, Joe says no, slogan.)

49 thoughts on “Joe Says No

  1. I posted the email I sent to all 100 US Senators in the 1st half of November clearly establishing I’m Canadian yet I’m still getting their newsletters intended for the voters of their own states. I’ve got a Senate Majority of those kinds of replies. Even though I unsubscribe, and I never subscribed in the 1st place, I still get them.

    This was sent to Joe Manchin a while ago via the embedded email system of his Office. I had to find 50 ZIP Codes and addresses for each State to reach all 100.

    Senator Manchin,

    When I sent you the same Message I sent all 99 other US Senators November 5, 8, 15 &16, I did not sign up for your newsletter. I’m still getting them even though I went through all the steps to unsubscribe many times since then, the latest I got Today.

    I made very clear in that November 5 Message I’m Canadian, so it’s pointless sending me generic information for the residents of your State.
    I wrote to ALL Senators as National and International Leaders, not as Representatives of Parochial interests.

    It is a wonder I’m still getting generic replies to that Message signed by the Senator on their Senate letterhead, the latest from Senator Catherine Cortez Masto this morning.
    To Date not one Senator has replied, addressing the Substance in the November Message.

    The Kansas City Times, September 13, 1976,

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

    That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter. The World is waking up to see Americans may hasten “its days are numbered” part of the 1976 Vision, and waits with bated breath.

    With the benefit of 45 years hindsight, the last 8 years of intensified Military, FBI and Intelligence “experts” on TV constantly, unanimously, demonizing Putin and Russia, the People have been prepared.

    Few will recognize “this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered” as the 1st 2 parts of the 3 part Writing on the Wall from Daniel 5 in the Bible. People may not be aware of the source, but most People understand what’s implied using the adage, “The writing’s on the Wall!”

    Senator Manchin, watching from CanaDa, I find it incomprehensible how you can be against a Child Tax Credit, but Vote yes on a $778 BILLION NDAA budget for next year, never mind over 10 years, without personally having read the thousands of pages in the Bill?

    The Kansas City Times did a followup on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976 publishing this Historical Newspaper record:

    You might be able to understand my Surprise and Wonder when the TV movie, ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust was shown 7 years to the month later, on November 20, 1983. Most probably, I was the only person on Earth watching it that night to NOTE, at THE END, the movie pauses at the same picture frame The Kansas City Times published on ALL SOULS DAY, 1976, the PROOF being this TV screenshot:

    You can accept those Historical records as Signs of the Times this World is at Today, or you can dismiss them as being of no consequence, your free choice!
    Obviously I had nothing to do with those Historical FACTS come into being other than being a Messenger.

    Ottawa-Hull, CanaDa

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good one Bill! But you forgot to mention “no to cancelling student debt.” I’m glad you’re calling out Biden, so many in the MSM are praising him. I know he’s not Trump, but he’s not so different either.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Nothing will fundamentally change.” — presidential candidate Joe Biden (2020). I wonder where people get off criticizing the “Biden” hologram (Vice President for the Black Male Guy who proudly proclaimed his policies “Moderate Republican”) for winning election promising to do nothing and then following through on his promise. The Global Corporate Oligarchy likes the status quo just fine and the American electorate apparently agreed not to insist on any alternatives.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” — Will Rogers

    “If you give the American people a choice between a Republican or someone who just looks and acts like a Republican, they’ll choose the real Republican every time.” — President Harry S. Truman

    “While the Republican Party is ever vigilant about the care and feeding of its zealots, the Democratic Party is equally concerned to discourage its democrats.
    The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts points to the crucial fact that, for the poor, minorities, the working class, anti-corporatists, pro-environmentalists, and anti-imperialists, there is no opposition party working actively on their behalf. And this despite the fact that these elements are recognized as the loyal base of the party. By ignoring dissent and by assuming that the dissenters have no alternative, the party serves as an important, if ironical, stabilizing function and in effect marginalizes any possible threat to the corporate allies of the Republicans.” — Sheldon Wolin

    ” … the Democratic Party, as always, won’t do anything that Republicans wouldn’t agree on. Because the Democrats are an arm of the Republican Party. Their role is to protect the Republican Party from left-wing criticism.” — Michael Hudson

    “America has only one political party: The Property Party, and it has two right wings.” — Gore Vidal

    “Obviously, the United States is already a uni-party system which is a single political party with different neo-liberal wings. It’s just that the Democratic part of the neo-liberalism is more totalitarian . . . you have these old farts who run the whole inner party there and who cannot do a thing. The only competence they have is how to play apparatchik games within the American political discourse. How to elect, re-elect. How to take bribes or refund, you know, whatever they do there. How to lobby and do favors. They have no competences as statesmen.” — Andrei Martyanov

    Or, as I prefer to paraphrase the Oligarchy’s Operative Paradigm: “You buy the Elephant and rent the Ass.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Christopher Hitchens was once asked for a “thumbnail sketch” of Presidential candidates Clinton and Dole. I believe his answer also fits a “thumbnail sketch” of the two political parties: “Two haunches of the same behind.”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hormonally Pigmented Puppets on Parade
    (in the accentual-alliterative Anglo Saxon style)

    Uttering unctuously undulating ugliness
    A warmongering woman’s wanton whim
    Suckles sick snakes seeking something for seizure.
    Manifestly, miserably mumbling her mantras,
    Conventionally dressing for “victory.” Dreadful
    Expression expressly appropriating platitudes:
    “Noise” from a face-hole numbingly fatuous.

    Onset of Alzheimer’s ought to scare all of the
    Citizens sitting at home (if they have one)
    As Dithering Dude chooses Melanin Mamma,
    Hormones and pigments heralding hopelessness:
    Pipsqueaks Pretending. Puppet “alternatives.”

    Meanwhile the other two men mangle management.
    Orange and albino (the one thumping Bibles)
    Propose printing paper, apocalypse pending.
    The plague settles everything — properly. Error
    Invalidates polling: Variable poisoning.

    Browbeaten brutally, bullied electorates
    Validate viciousness, verbiage and vanity.
    Ballots? Needless. Bullets next?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2020

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are a master at capturing the sententious non-sentience, in strikingalliterative poesy, of the US’ benighted uni-party spectra, MM. other political parties are doomed by america’s uni-party’s masters and the corporate ownership of DC’s elite. the ideation of the US as representative of democratic ideals is a chimera. yet it has gained seigneury over the electorate from its inception in the late 1700’s. the electoral college system that the elite instaurated has been a devious, subreptitious scam from the outset, yet for hundreds of years it has been ‘honoured’ by the ovine US electorate as legitimate. as chris hedges exhorts, we need nothing less than a revolution.


  5. Concisely but comprehensively put, Bill. We know that Biden said nothing would fundamentally change for corporations, but nevertheless, he made a LOT of promises that have totally dropped off the radar, and he has no excuse.

    Manchin….is simply pond scum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So….the Progressives are wrecking their own chances by assuming they’d look too “fringe” if they ran against Biden?? Sounds as if they’re as unsure of their platform and messaging as the corporate Dems.


  6. When I see Biden on television, whenever he’s allowed to be in front of the camera, I see an increasingly frail-looking man. That suggests, to me, that he won’t be the nominee in 2024.

    At the same time, the vile Hilary Clinton appears to have emerged from her crypt and is starting to do interviews. I suspect her calculation is that neither Harris nor Buttigieg would be a strong candidate – and if Biden is not the candidate due to choice or infimity, she would be the best choice.

    A corporate Democratic party led (again) by a corporate candidate (any of the above three) is not going to defeat the anti-elite candidate put up by the Republicans – Trump or someone else. I fear the 2024 election will be the final nail in the coffin of what little remains of a populist democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This article defines the condition of the U.S. now:

    It is time to stop talking about Democrats and Republicans. As all the above comments indicate we know that we have a one party system, the MICC. One could pare that down to the Corporate Party since that is what makes the calls the in the military, and Congress.

    The above article ends with: “The situation is clear and the choice is basic: re-invention or fall.” I would change the word re-invention to revolution. There have been peaceful revolutions but the United States does nothing peacefully so I expect an old fashioned violent revolution.

    People will say that if one does not vote for the Democratic candidate, one is helping turn the country over to the Republicans and fascism. It seems to me that by continuing to vote Democratic and hoping something will change is delusional. We just saw how one Democratic senator sank the ambitious bill to begin re-building this country. There will always be another Manchin or Sinema. Well I know because many of us in Arizona voted for her when she ran against McSally. The betrayals will continue because the Democratic party itself is corrupt.

    I will quote Jerry Garcia again about why he and the Grateful Dead did not lend their support to Democratic candidates:
    “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “The political problems are both structural and immediate, the crisis both longstanding and accelerating.”

      Marche’s summary here is succinct and incisive. I don’t necessarily agree with his assertion that it doesn’t matter who’s in the political parties, but I agree that even the better angels, such as Sanders and possibly Warren, aren’t making any headway at this point.

      Marche does sound a bit alarmist, but a clear-eyed look at the U.S. right now reveals a bleak situation indeed, so it’s likely we’ll find that he’s not exaggerating at all.


    2. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee will refuse to allow a truly progressive Bernie Sanders presidential candidacy, regardless of what Democratic Party members/voters want. For example, every county in (ironically) West Virginia voted for Sanders in 2016, yet the DNC declared them as wins for Clinton, the latter candidate’s neo-liberalism, unlike Sanders’ fiscal-progressiveness, already known for not rubbing against any big business grain.

      Clearly, Democrats like Manchin should really be with the GOP.

      Fiscal conservative ideology/politics, big business interests and most of the corporate mainstream news-media resist sufficiently progressive ideas from actually being implemented. They all favor big money interests over people.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Everything is interconnected.
    I came across 3 articles since yesterday, all interconnected.

    This is the View of a US University Professor I read this am.
    The U.S. will not face reality about its foreign policy disasters but rather retreats to fantasy worlds that exist only in its own imagination, writes Michael Brenner.

    These 2 following, are written by Canadians paying attention to what’s happening in that Goliath South of our Border.
    I’ve been warning for years the leading indicators point to a Time coming when there will be more Americans than came here to escape the Vietnam War, seeking Refugee Status in CanaDa to escape crazy American style home grown terrorism in an uncivil unholy War.

    ‘Why the U.S. Military Isn’t Ready for Civil War’
    A significant portion of Americans seek the destruction of political authority. What if they succeed?

    ‘The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. Canada must prepare’
    The U.S. is becoming increasingly ungovernable, and some experts believe it could descend into civil war. What should Canada do then?


  9. Though I may have said this here before, I believe that any elected leader who would do such truly humanely great things, or at least seriously try — genuinely anti-war, reducing military spending, anti-imperialism, universal single-payer healthcare, writing-off student deb, increasing the minimum wage, and reigning in Wall Street — would likely be assassinated, sooner rather than later. No exaggeration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree, that is exactly what the wealthy did in Rome whenever populist politicians like the Gracchis tried to equalize the wealth.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I watched Joe Rogan’s talk with Oliver Stone (recorded on January 5th). Stone made just that point. Since JFK, no President has taken on the military/industrial complex. The message was delivered and received.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree completely. Have said as much for decades.

        A friend saw a news clip of Obama coming out of the White House after a traditional post-election, pre-augural meeting with Bush II, and my friend said Obama looked as if he was in shock. Perhaps that was when Obama got the message about the MIC. Maybe Bush relayed the real facts of life.


      2. For all President’s obligatory God Bless America! there is none that won The White House yet – who truly believes this Fundamental of the Christian Faith, and acts on it while in The White House,

        For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
        And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
        Hebrews 2


  10. “[Biden] says no to Medicare for all. He says no to a single-payer option for health care. … He says no to more affordable prices for prescription drugs.”

    Canada is the only “universal”-health-care-coverage country (theoretically, anyway) that doesn’t also fully cover medication. (Considering the U.S. has no universal health care nor medication coverage, would that make Canada the ‘next greatest country in the world’? Hah, a bit of stress-relieving cynical humour, there.) Seriously, within our “universal” health-care system, there are important health treatments that are universally inaccessible, except for those with a lot of extra doe to blow. Also, is it just me, or is it a bit curious how the only two health professions’ appointments for which Canadians are fully covered by the public plan are the two readily pharmaceutical-prescribing psychiatry and general practitioner health professions? Such non-Big-Pharma-benefiting health specialists as counsellors, therapists and naturopaths (etcetera) are not covered a red cent. …

    When a federal Liberal government promises Canadians universal generic-brand medication coverage (and such promises on their own are extremely rare here) the pharmaceutical industry reacts with threats of abandoning their Canada-based R&D (etcetera) if the government goes ahead with its ‘pharmacare’ plan. Why? Because such universal medication coverage, generic brand or not, would negatively affect the industry’s plentiful profits. The profits would still be great, just not as great. Meanwhile, we continue to be the world’s sole nation that has universal healthcare but no similar coverage of prescribed medication, however necessary.

    In order for the industry to continue raking in huge profits, Canadians, as both individual consumers and a taxpaying collective, must lose out huge. And our elected representatives, be they federal (neo)Liberals or Conservatives, shrug their figurative shoulders in favor of the pharmaceutical industry — time and again. This angers me greatly. Such facts should frequently be made widely public. Yet, I’ve noticed that our elected leaders and mainstream news-media seem to not find such heavy corporate lobbyist manipulation of our governments a societal problem requiring rectification. I fear it has become so systematic thus normalized that those who are aware of it, notably politicians and political writers, don’t bother publicly discussing it.


        1. Wow! What a concept—NOT urging patients to self-prescribe! I wonder if that’s admirable restraint on the part of the drug companies, or does Canadian law proscribe such advertising?


        2. Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is prohibited in Canada as a health protection measure. Manufacturers cannot advertise prescription-only drugs directly to the public because of their toxicity and the potential for harm from medically unnecessary or inappropriate use.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. In CanaDa, most Company-employee private supplemental Insurance Companies cover the cost of Prescription Drugs.
            It makes me wonder how many shares the Health Insurance Financial Companies hold in Stocks of the Drug Manufacturers?

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I tend to see Canadian PMs and American presidents as mostly symbolically ‘in charge’, beneath the most power entrenched and saturated national interests and institutions. To me, our elected heads ‘lead’ a virtual corpocracy, i.e. “a society dominated by politically and economically large corporations”. … Apparently, politically potent and focused big business interests get catered-to regardless of which of these two parties rules; and it’s always one or the other.

        I believe that Western governances are heavily steered by corporate interests, sometimes through economic intimidation, and I’m not just talking about huge party donations come election time. To me, it’s as though the elected heads are meant to represent huge money interests over those of the working citizenry and poor. Accordingly, major political decisions will normally foremost reflect what is in the influential corporations’ best interests.

        Anyone who doubts the potent persuasion of huge business interests here need to consider how high-level elected officials can become crippled by implicit/explicit threats to transfer or eliminate jobs and capital investment, thus economic stability, if corporate ‘requests’ aren’t met. It’s a crippling that’s made even worse by a blaring news-media that’s permitted to be naturally critical of incumbent governments, especially in regards to job and capital transfers and economic weakening.

        For so much of this, we can credit our First Past The Post electoral-system dinosaur. FPTP barely qualifies as democratic rule within the democracy spectrum, though it seems to well-serve corporate interests. I believe it’s basically why those powerful interests generally resist attempts at changing from FPTP to proportional representation electoral systems of governance, the latter which dilutes lobbyist influence.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. While I was in the unique position to stand Face to Face with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin’s father, as he entered or left The Members Entrance to the House of Commons and speak or hand him a note without any intermediaries the last 7 Years of his Administration, there was only 1 Time I made the Front Page of The Citizen with him.
          It was certainly interesting for me to learn, when he quit being Prime Minister, he moved from that House to the Cormier House in Montreal.

          The Newspaper header does not convey the exact Reality. I am between the photographer and Trudeau with the grin on my face, holding a sign which was beautifully done in Calligraphy reading, “Woe to those who judge for hire and profit but not for Justice and Truth”

          Just steps away as he got out of his limo I said, “Prime Minister! Look at my Sign! I had it made just for you and the Premiers”
          It’s obvious Trudeau liked it!

          Kinda ironic these Days, his son is in constant talks with the Provinces on the Economy taking up most of his Time.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Verse composition number two for 2022:

    They Get What You Pay For

    Oh, woe! The Joes say, “No.”
    Tweedledee and Tweedledumb agree:
    War? Spend freely. Peace? Go slow.
    Manchin, Biden: urinate or pee.

    Trousers, diapers soil the same.
    Shit or defecate, mere choice of words.
    Donors rule. The people? Tame.
    Schiff and Cheney: Siamese twin turds.

    Democrats. What can one say?
    Wannabe Republicans for rent.
    Call them “Leftists,” they’ll obey.
    “Always Further Right” → the way they went.

    Really. What did you expect?
    President and Senator for you?
    Cast your vote, then genuflect.
    Money purchased not one Joe, but two.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2022


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