Joe Manchin

A Hard Film to Swallow

The anti-drug documentary that West Virginians refuse to watch

The anti-drug documentary that West Virginians refuse to watch.

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Who Killed Gun Control?

The gun-control bill is dead. Why?

The gun-control push basically died today. Could the president have done anything to have it turn out differently?

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When West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller announced this morning that he won't seek reelection to the Senate in 2014, political commentators immediately downgraded Democrats' chances of holding his Senate seat. Politico wrote that Rockefeller’s retirement put the seat in deeply conservative “in play,” while The Fix’s Sean Sullivan said that Rockefeller’s retirement "boosted" Republican hopes.

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It may be a long time before West Virginia votes to send another Democrat to Washington.

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It’s time again to look in on the past week’s stranger super PACs—the small PACs you’ve never heard of that will affect congressional and Senate races across the country. No new super PACs spent their first dime in the last week, but two existing PACs worth highlighting did make independent expenditures.

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I'm blinking in astonishment at the vote breakdown on the motion to table the Blunt-Rubio amendment allowing any "sponsor, issuer, or other entity" involved in providing health insurance--not just the Catholic Church--to eliminate coverage for contraceptives  if doing so conflicts with that sponsor's, issuer's, or other entitity's "religious beliefs or moral convictions." In the name of religious freedom, Sens.

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Just a few days ago, I said once again that I would try to resist engaging in media criticism on this blog. Today I'm going to officially declare one of the exceptions to that rule: when I see the need to correct the record on matters of political geography, a subject of special interest to me. In this case, I'm basically rehashing a point I made a couple weeks ago because, well, it appears no one's paying me any mind. So here goes again.

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Are Senate Democrats really foolish enough not to line up behind President Obama's jobs bill?  Quite possibly. On Tuesday night, Majority Leader Harry Reid will try to bring the newly revised package to a vote. He won't succeed, because the chamber's 47 Republicans will vote unanimously to filibuster it. And it takes only 40 to succeed. But if Reid can get just 50 Democrats to signal their support by voting to break that filibuster, then the Democrats will have a powerful rhetorical weapon.

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While the political circus kept spinning its what-might-have-beens around Chris Christie yesterday, there was an actual election going on in West Virginia, where Democratic governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who took over from Joe Manchin when he moved to the Senate, was up against Republican Bill Maloney.

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Why is Obama giving Republicans an extension of upper income tax cuts when polls show Americans overwhelmingly oppose them? Maybe because those polls don't translate into leverage on Capitol Hill. Political scientist and blogger Brendan Nyhan makes the case: First, public opinion in more conservative states is likely to be less favorable to Obama's original position than national polls.

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