And Then You Have This Idiot

Jesus christ:

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin called for a new “war on drugs” Tuesday to combat the opioid crisis striking his state of West Virginia, eagerly adopting the language of the now much-criticized Nixon-era push to curb illicit substance use.
“We need to declare a war on drugs,” Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” when asked what President-elect Donald Trump should do to combat the situation.

And maybe a slogan! Like, say… “JUST SAY NO!.” And commercials… I have an idea! An egg in a frying pan representing your brain on drugs. And maybe we can DARE our kids to not do drugs. We should probably gut the bill of rights to fight this war. And mandatory minimums.

Also was a fan of when he said when he was a kid, they didn’t have this kind of problem with these drugs. Oxycontin was introduced in 1996, when Senator Manchin was 39.

But he’s a real American, because he ended the interview wishing Jake Tapper a Merry Christmas.

60 replies
  1. 1
    JMG says:

    He’s a moron. Fortunately, he’ll be gone in 2018. Either he’ll turn Republican and lose the primary, or stay Democrat (why don’t you primary him, John? We’d all help) and get clobbered in the general.
    I was only half joking about you running John. I think you’d be a good candidate except for all the times you tell voters to fuck off.

  2. 2
    mai naem mobile says:

    His daughter is a BigPharma whore so Joe Manchin loves him all the drug companies . It can’t ever ever be the fault of BigPharma.

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    Senator Manchin.
    As JMG said, he is a fucking moron.
    I wonder if telling people to fuck off might just be the key to winning. Maybe that’s a big part of the problem, we don’t tell them to fuck off, while rethugs actually fuck them. I bet they just expect to get fucked. And they like fucking, so maybe they figure getting fucked by politicians is the next best thing. And dems haven’t been doing that. We could at least tell them to fuck off, that might win them over.

  4. 4
    tobie says:

    He wished Jack Tapper a Merry Christmas? Okay…sounds like this was the least of his offenses in the course of the interview but nonetheless. So much for religious pluralism or any other kind of pluralism in this country henceforth.

  5. 5
  6. 6

    @Ruckus: worth trying, lol. Whoever is up in WV will be a sacrificial lamb–might as well be an experimental one too.

  7. 7
    Denali says:

    Telling basically everyone except Putin to fuck off is TEFA’s strategy and it worked for him.

  8. 8
    Willie! says:

    Well, bless his heart. West By God Virginny is not sending us her best people, believe me. Manchin and his odius Epi-spawn, Jesco White and family, it’s a grim scene down there in Appalachia’s asshole.

    How about a war on the pharma companies, distributors, and doctors that send a gazillion doses of hillbilly heroin into these places with nothing better to do than drugs, while happily watching their profits mount? How about some treatment programs, job programs, and safety net?

  9. 9
    Bobby D says:

    Well, bless his heart. West By God Virginny is not sending us her best people, believe me. Manchin and his odius Epi-spawn, Jesco White and family, it’s a grim scene down there in Appalachia’s asshole.

    How about a war on the pharma companies, distributors, and doctors that send a gazillion doses of hillbilly heroin into these places with nothing better to do than drugs, while happily watching their profits mount? How about some treatment programs, job programs, and safety net?

  10. 10
    Citizen Alan says:

    Off topic, but this might cheer some people up. It did me.
    Caller: Hi! I’m [so and so] from the National Rifle Association. Would you be willing to listen to a brief statement from our Executive Director Wayne LaPierre and then give us some feedback?

    Me: … sure.

    Wayne LaPierre: [About 45 seconds of boiler plate rightwing ammosexual paranoia bullshit.]

    Caller: Now, based on what you’ve just heard, do you think the NRA should (a) focus on getting judges on the federal bench who support the 2nd Amendment, (b) fighting against the liberal billionaire elites like Michael Bloomberg, (c) I don’t even remember the third thing because it was more ammosexual nonsense.

    Me: [Pause.] I think the NRA should go to hell and die.

    Caller: [3 seconds of complete silence.]

    Caller: [muttered through gritted teeth] Thank you for your time. CLICK.

    Cheered me up anyway.

  11. 11
    eclare says:

    @Ruckus: Didn’t Rump call Iowans stupid, and then they voted for him and proved his point? No offense, Iowa Old Lady, I know it wasn’t all Iowans.

  12. 12
    Shalimar says:

    We need a war on all the assholes who like wars.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: All Holidays Matter!

  14. 14
    Shalimar says:

    @Bobby D: The #1 article in the Alabama online site today was about how Alabama wasn’t sending it’s best and brightest to Washington. I didn’t bother clicking on it. Many years ago, I used to know every member of the Alabama legislature. It doesn’t get any better than the clowns they send to Washington, regardless of how far you go down the well.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Citizen Alan: They did a video op-ed yesterday where they referred to minimum wage laws as the most tyrannical legislation ever passed in the US and calling for them to be repealed for Freedom!
    (I’m not kidding)

  16. 16
    goblue72 says:

    Yeah, because an incumbent Democratic Senator in deep red West Virginia who might possibly get re-elected in year that is likely to be brutal for Democrats in the Senate should be totally chased out of the party.

    I got news for you. Manchin ain’t the moron in this story.

  17. 17
    CaseyL says:

    Here’s what I think: Manchin’s blathering is a hint that the new Congress will support cracking down on legal weed, something Sessions wants very much to do.

    I had an interesting phone conversation today. I called my state representative’s office. I didn’t get the rep, of course, but I had a nice long conversation with the person who answers the phone. One subject I brought up is the idea of all-but-literal secession, particularly economic. I told him about a particular idea I have – built around a “keep our money here” model – which he liked, and said he would pass it on to the representative.

    The subject of legal weed came up, when I said one thing that might concern the people of my state is a crackdown. The office person said he didn’t think that would happen, because weed is legal in too many states, is too big an industry. He agreed that Sessions would love to re-criminalize weed; just that he didn’t think it was top of the agenda due to how much trouble it would cause.

    I’m not sure if he’s correct. I think making a lot of trouble, hurting a lot of people, and a lot of state economies (particularly in Blue states) is right up Trump/Sessions’ alleys. But I also think a move along those lines would radicalize people who otherwise might not give a shit about national politics.

  18. 18
    MD Rackham says:

    Manchin’s wife runs Mylan, a major supplier of fentanyl, a drug with a higher probability of fatal overdose than oxycontin. It’s a huge problem in Canada as fentanyl is so cheap that it’s used to cut oxy and heroin as well as being sold by itself. I’ve not been paying attention to whether it’s hit big in the States yet.

    So if Joe wants to have a war on drugs, perhaps he should start at home.

  19. 19
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Wonder if the good Senator ever reads anything besides press releases from his staff, or google searches with his name? Sheesh,

    America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.

    However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.

    Nor should anyone in his office be aware of the opiod industry’s Arizona opposition to legalization,

    The campaign to prevent cannabis legalization in Arizona recently accepted a half-million dollar donation from a pharmaceutical company accused of peddling a dangerous narcotic painkiller off-label.

    Drug company Insys made the donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy on Aug. 31, according to information posted by the Arizona Secretary of State. The revelation has lent support to longstanding claims by legalization proponents that drug companies view cannabis as a source of competition for their more addictive, dangerous and expensive products.

    It is hard to imagine why the world is going insane when the United States continues to either produce leaders as ignorant as ours appear to be, or so venal as ours are proving, and proven, to be, should the assertion of ignorance be rejected.

    Far be it for me to wonder if anyone is inquiring of China what the odds are of getting the President elect enrolled in an internet addiction program over there before the inauguration, but in the interest of public service, perhaps someone should intervene.

    (thus endeth the edits)

  20. 20
    John Weiss says:

    Well, I’ve gotten over the worst of election shock and depression. I came to realize (again) that the coming years were going to be like many years I’ve lived through; bewildering, weird, sad, depressing (if I allow that) and deeply mortifying. With, gods willing, more than a tad of joy. And now I didn’t feel so bad.

  21. 21
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MD Rackham: Fentanyl is a major problem in the US, yes.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MD Rackham: Anyway, I think that’s his daughter, not his wife.

  23. 23
    John Weiss says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The fact that many drugs are illegal is a major problem in the US. People should have the right to soar and the right to crash.

  24. 24
    jonas says:

    @Ruckus: “You’re nothing but a pack of fickle mush-heads!” “Give us hell, Quimby!”

    Could work!

  25. 25
    ant says:


    Here’s what I think: Manchin’s blathering is a hint that the new Congress will support cracking down on legal weed, something Sessions wants very much to do.

    then there’s this:

    They found that, in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication.

    But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.

  26. 26
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Someone tell Joe Manchin that the “War on Drugs” REALLY involves a few things he and his shitfaced friends across the aisle can’t seem to understand: access to and funding for mental health counseling, education funds for jobs and a sense of hope for the future—and the DEA not declaring a war on marijuana because it interferes with the profits of pharmaceutical companies when it comes to chronic pain patients.

    I’m sorry our seat-holder in WV is such a douche- copter.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Weiss: Fentanyl is, as many other drugs, a controlled substance. It is not illegal. Very few drugs are.

    And I’ll respectfully disagree with you about controls on substances like Fentanyl.

  28. 28
    Raoul says:

    The war on drugs has been the worst imaginable public policy response to a social problem. As a person with 14 years of sobriety (booze, mostly, was my drug of choice), I am as much pro-legalization/decriminalization as I have ever been.
    IF it is coupled with tax revenues from recreational sales (including tax money from booze) being spent on education, treatment, recovery, and destigmatization of addiction.

    But, unfortunately, the war on drugs facilitates a war on liberty, so we’re much more likely to get a new super-sized failed policy. And to think the stoner libertarians probably voter for Rump. Jeepers they’re dumb.

    eta: I’m in favor of legalization of pot/decriminalization for users of scheduled narcotics, heroin etc. I am not in favor of just making any ol drug buyable at the 7-11 like it was a sixer of Bud Lite, just to be clear.

  29. 29

    Today I learned that goblue is only on my troll filter on my main computer, and not this one. Learning is essential!

  30. 30
    fuckwit says:

    The problems people are trying to drown away with painkillers, weed, antidepressants, what have you, are the problems of a deeply sadistic and neurotic, anxiety-producing, crazy-making society.

    I look at it this way: what’s easier, fixing the society, or just letting people use whatever drugs work for them to be able to cope with it?

    I don’t know how any American could possibly survive without antidepressants, weed, opiods, or copious amounts of alcohol. At any moment, you could be homeless. You could be dead. You have no control over how or when. You live with that over your head every night and day.

    Quiz question: if you put rats in a cage where they are randomly shocked for no reason, what happens to them after a while?

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    When he was a kid people were popping diet pills and Miltown.

  32. 32
    Mike G says:

    The war on some people taking some drugs will continue because it combines numerous things that Repukes love —
    Taking away something enjoyed supposedly by hippies and minorities
    Increasing profits for pharmaceutical companies who will return the favor
    Funneling money to Repuke-leaning cops
    Unleashing cops to inflict violence and pain on people Repukes don’t like.

  33. 33
    frosty says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Cheered me up anyway.

    Me too! Maybe when I get old(er) and cranky(er) I’ll start picking up some of these unknown callers. Might hit the jackpot like you just did.

  34. 34
    Chris says:


    Yep. American society is built to grind people down. Unfortunately, more and more countries seem to be emulating that about us.

  35. 35
    Mike in NC says:

    WV has some fabulous places to visit (Antietam, Harper’s Ferry, etc.) but apparently the majority of the people are just dimwitted racist shitheads. Will never go back there.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    You seem to be forgetting that many of the people we need to convince are morons. To reach them one has to speak in a dialect that they understand. “Fuck You” is damn near universal and even morons understand it. Mush-heads, fickle, Quimby, these are not even words in most moron’s vocabularies.

  37. 37
    Lemon Kraken says:

    @Citizen Alan: Delurking to say that you are a great American.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    At any moment, you could be homeless. You could be dead. You have no control over how or when. You live with that over your head every night and day.
    You think this isn’t easier if you are an addict?
    You can cope without all the stimulants/depressants because it is easier to keep from becoming exactly what you said people who use/abuse them become in the first place. If you are an addict, no matter what the addiction, (OK some are far worse than others in their affects) keeping a job, a home, a car (even just to sleep in), health care, a family, friends…. can and often does become a serious issue. That’s why you stay sober and/or straight, life is in total a lot easier and less messy that way.

  39. 39
    ms_canadada says:

    @CaseyL: Weed will be legal across Canada this Spring…Go Justin!

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve talked about it here briefly (but probably very late at night for you – east/west coast and all)
    Been treated, now comes the second session of waiting. I knew in mid 2015 after the first one but we had to do a second biopsy and many, many other tests when they thought the first and a test to see if it had metastasized didn’t line up. It takes up to a year to find out that 9 weeks of daily radiation worked or didn’t do squat. My oncologist is being very positive, but then it’s not him with the cancer. Too many people I know have had one cancer or another and too many of them have died from it, so my mantra is FUCK FUCKING CANCER!

  41. 41
    Ruckus says:

    A lot of the younguns think we are the entire problem. Some of us are, some are not. But a lot of those younguns are just as much a problem as some of the olds.
    Just had a thought. A lot of countries that have parliamentary systems have gone/are going through a period of right wing nuttyness, like we have done over some of the last few cycles, with some real nut jobs getting in power. But because they can call for a vote of confidence and have to form coalitions to get anything done, they seem to be less able to cause as much trouble. Our system is made to have as smooth a transition and hand off power so that people have a more equal say. But the safeguards in place for that to happen, prevent the relatively easy removal of people who should never be in charge. We of course have impeachment but political cronies are never going to use that. We’ve seen what happens when a third party idiot runs and especially when one runs out of his/her own party (Bernie). Our founders didn’t like that a third or fourth party would dilute some power and there weren’t really more than two parties when this place was being set up so we got a system of odds or evens. It’s worked OK, if not always great, until the advent of wide spread media and blatant lying by same which has facilitated an us or them atmosphere. Those parliamentary systems usually had a history of someone screwing the pooch and having to be thrown out by force, so they came up with a system that makes that easier than ours, because our pooch screwer was actually a foreign power and we had to not just throw them out but go to real war over it. I see this and our not having actual equal representation as major issues. How do we address this?

  42. 42
    Batocchio says:

    It’d be nice if we could treat drugs as a health issue versus one of crime.

  43. 43
    mai naem mobile says:

    @EZSmirkzz: a bunch of people within the company got arrested a couple of weeks ago. I think it was related to the marketing/bribing doctors to write scripts for the meds.

  44. 44
    kindness says:

    Joe Manchin is very upset he couldn’t play Joe Lieberman’s role in a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    So are we Joe. So are we.

  45. 45
    Dadadadadadada says:

    @fuckwit: I’m an American, and I get by pretty well without any of those things, mostly by drowning my sorrows by ranting on Balloon Juice.

  46. 46
    sherparick says:

    @tobie: Yes, Tapper is Jewish, but his Opiod-fried West Virginia constituents love their Jesus, so no, he is not a moron. Just cynical.

    A good question to ask is what would the people in Mingo County and Wyoming County do without Opiod now that the Mr. Market has decided, that like the people of inner city Baltimore and Detroit in the 1970s, they had become just “lumpen proletariat,” surplus people as David Simon describes them and they and their children have no plausible future as Mr. Market does not need them anymore. And Mr. Market, and the winners who were born and raised in the right spots to win Mr. Market’s favor, considers them losers because they did not pick themselves up by their own bootstraps and get out of Dodge once Dodge had no reason for being.

    So Senator Manchin wants a new war on drugs. Somehow I don’t think that will be a war on the drug companies that make the drugs or the doctors who grow rich prescribing them. I expect the war will the on the small timers who deal and those that use them. That will certainly be good for the private prison industry and the law enforcement cadres that support the authoritarian state. As David Simon writes: ”

    “…You’re seeing the underclass hunted through an alleged war on dangerous drugs that is in fact merely a war on the poor and has turned us into the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we’ve put in American prisons and the percentage of Americans we put into prisons. No other country on the face of the Earth jails people at the number and rate that we are…” Putting the poor people of Wyoming and Mingo counties in prison is the perfect solution for the “good” people of West Virginia. It will be creating a profit center out of people who are just mooching otherwise.

  47. 47
    cmorenc says:

    Want to bet whether one of the first concrete moves of the new Trump Administration toward addressing the opioid epidemic in Appalachia will be Atty General Sessions announcement that he’s notifying states that have legalized marijuana that the Justice Department and the DEA are promptly shutting that down, and hard, using the full powers the federal government has to act against Schedule 1 illicit drugs. Among the political incentives is that nearly every state which has legalized marijuana so far is a solidly blue state – BONUS POINTS in the fuck-you department.

  48. 48
    cmorenc says:


    Here’s what I think: Manchin’s blathering is a hint that the new Congress will support cracking down on legal weed, something Sessions wants very much to do.

    Sessions does not need to wait for Congress whatsoever in order to immediately and completely begin fucking over states with legal marijuana – including medicinal use, not just recreational use. The necessary federal legal opening which allowed legal pot to become established in several states during the Obama Administration is entirely supported by the discretionary decision to not enforce the DEA’s schedule 1 status of marijuana in states that had passed legalization measures. As such, it has exactly only as much legal footing as the Obama Administration’s decision to not go after “Dreamers”, i.e. undocumented aliens who were brought into the US as children by their parents. To add to the vulnerability of state law-based legalized pot, so far it’s almost entirely limited to either solidly blue states, or to purple states like Colorado which have been trending toward blue.

  49. 49
    sherparick says:

    @sherparick: For more, see David Dayen’s column in the Fiscal Times.

  50. 50
    sherparick says:

    @Mike G: @Mike in NC: Antietam Battlefield is in Maryland, west of Fredrick. Harpers Ferry is nearby, but that portion of both Maryland, West Virginia, as well as far Northern Virginia,(Loudoun and Clarke counties), are now mostly a combination of park land, D.C. exurbs, second homes of D.C. ex pats, and farms. There may be racists around, but it is a far more prosperous, happy area, then Wyoming and Mingo counties.

  51. 51
    khead says:


    The way I explain it to folks: Jefferson County might as well be the moon when compared to McDowell, Mingo, etc. Still red enough to elect the carpetbagger Alex Mooney though.

  52. 52
    Tami Ross says:

    @Citizen Alan: Hey, I got this exact call on December 16th. While listening to that prick during the recording I summoned up as much detail and outrage as I could, and in response to their leading question said that it was two days past the fourth anniversary of innocents killed at Sandy Hook, their obsession with guns and making money off tragedy was disgusting, the idea that they are somehow victims is ridiculous, and finished up with a flourish of “you should be ashamed of yourself. If you could feel shame.” Then hung up. I know they just moved on to the next sucker, but I felt better!

  53. 53
    J R in WV says:


    Yes, all too true.

    And to think I was thinking of spending more time in locations with legalized pot! At least state LEOs won’t be enforcing federal pot restrictions in those states. There are far more state law enforcement officers than federal.

    But maybe Trump won’t let Sessions run wild ! Maybe the Horse will learn to sing!

  54. 54
    J R in WV says:


    There are lots of scenic and wonderful natural areas in the state, usually removed from the coal country. And even most of the rednecks are usually helpful and friendly.

    The New River Gorge from Hinton to Fayetteville attracts rock climbers, trail riders and hikers and white water folks from all over the world, and is a National Park system unit.

    Dolly Sod, Canaan Valley and the Monongahela National Forest is pretty sweet too, running along the eastern ridges of the high country. And in what was coal country there is a huge set of off-road trails for 4-wheelers and Jeeps and such, called the Hatfield-McCoy Trail, which attracts people from all over the eastern half of the country.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of rednecks around. They leave me alone, and lend a hand if I ask, so we manage. So far.

  55. 55
    Marc says:

    @tobie: also Tapper is Jewish, so it was ignorant.

  56. 56
    Miss Bianca says:

    @cmorenc: yeah, but about the only faintly positive result of the way that legalization got put in place in CO – namely, pretty much only affluent white people were able to jump thru’ all the hoops to do it – is that those same affluent white people are likely to raise holy hell – *and* get their voices heard – if Sessions decides to go thru’ with it.

    Not much of a silver/white lining to the cloud, but we gotta look for hope – or at least bitter amusement value – where we can.

  57. 57
    coloradoblue says:

    Because Prohibition worked so well Joe?

    But here’s an idea. From Salon: “Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.”

  58. 58
    salvage says:

    Clinton is also a Drug Warrior and vowed to keep Nixon’s policies alive and well into her administration, when that seemed to be likely, so what? This guys is just more of the same bullshit that both parties swim in..

  59. 59
    opiejeanne says:

    @salvage: Fuck off.

  60. 60
    PrahaPartizan says:

    @sherparick: Look on the bright side of all of that incarceration. When those counties have arrested and incarcerated 30-50% of the population, the other 30-50% of the population will have jobs as prison guards. One group has a roof over their heads and the other has employment. Problems solved. At least from a conservative point of view. Oh, did I mention that the conservative politicians’ overlords will also be making a boatload of money after the prison privatization?

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