In an example of bribery, unusual even by Washington standards, Biden has just appointed Gayle Conelly Manchin to be federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the entity responsible for economic development and investment in its 13-state catchment area.
Manchin’s salary would be $163,000 a year, among the highest in the federal government and only slightly less than the $174,000 her husband, Joe Machin, Democratic Senator from West Virginia earns as a member of the upper chamber.
Her nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, but, as a matter of senatorial courtesy — and because of the rubber-stamp Democratic Senate majority — her approval is likely.
Manchin, of course, has emerged as the key player in Senate deliberations over whether to pass the aggressive package of radical legislation Biden has laid before the Congress. Whether or not Biden’s and Pelosi’s bill to impose voting regulations on states that enable massive fraud or his bill to borrow another $4 trillion for domestic spending are approved, largely hinge on how Manchin votes on the filibuster.
Originally, the West Virginia Senator said that he would never agree to ending the practice “under any conditions,” but lately has indicated that he would leave the door open to exempting the election regulation changes from the filibuster, likely assuring its passage.
More immediately, the appointment of Mrs. Manchin was announced on Friday, March 27th, ten days after the Senate Armed Services Committee “indefinitely postponed” a vote on Biden’s nomination of his former staff aide Colin Kahl to be the Pentagon Policy Chief. Manchin, who sits on the Committee and was undecided on March 16h when the nomination was postponed, voted to back the nomination and report it out to the floor on Wednesday, 25th. Two days later, Mrs. Manchin’s appointment was announced.
Kahl’s nomination had run into Republican opposition over his highly partisan tweet calling the GOP the “party of ethnic cleansing” and saying that Republicans “debase themselves at the altar of Trump.” He is also under fire for his criticism of Israel.
The Hill reported that “Christians United for Israel placed full page ads in newspapers across West Virginia urging people to contact Manchin in opposition to Kahl, accusing the nominee of ‘hostility’ toward Israel. The same group also backed a letter sent to Manchin from 70 Republican West Virginia state lawmakers opposing Kahl.”
Kahl strongly supports the US rejoining the Iranian WMD accords, a position strongly at odds with the Republicans on the Committee.
When the Committee deadlocked on the Kahl nomination ten days before it was approved, Senator Manchin said he was “still looking” at the nomination and had not decided to back it.
That likely was a dog whistle signal to Biden to proceed with Mrs. Manchin’s appointment. Her appointment duly followed the whistle 48 hours later.
Peter Schweizer, “Politicians use various inducements to get other politicians to change their minds on issues,” Peter Schweizer, the best-selling author of the book Clinton Cash that exposed the workings of the Clinton Foundation, and the president of the Government Accountability Institute, told the Washington Times that “Politicians use various inducements to get other politicians to change their minds on issues.” He noted “Unfortunately, it often works all too well.”
It is impolite and perhaps impolitic to accuse the president and a key senator of giving and receiving a bribe, but what else would you call it?
Don’t count on Manchin to stand against the filibuster. He has been bought and paid for.
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