Lolly: Hi, this is Lolly Lemingway from NOX news. Today we are talking to Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer about their incredible teamwork on the side deal for the Inflation Reduction Act. We also hope that Senators Wyden and Merkley from Oregon will join us later to explain why they have been completely silent on the side deal.
First you, Chuck: This bill was such a great surprise! How did you manage to keep it hush-hush so that the American people had no clue you were rolling back health and safety protections? [big smile for camera]
Chuck: Well Lolly, with the public distracted by their favorite tv shows, we knew no one would pay attention to our little conversations. We got some great cover when J-Lo and Ben Affleck tied the knot. [chuckles]
Lolly: Chuck, how was it working with Senator Manchin? Who had the great idea of gutting the EPA’s regulatory requirements? [big smile for camera]
Chuck: Why schucks, Lolly, thank you. Let’s just say that I’m very good at what I do. [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: Was it also your idea to attach the side deal to a must-pass bill? So clever. But some people say if it is such a good bill, it should be able to stand on its own and win on its own merits, including with a roll call vote. [big smile for camera]
Chuck: Nonsense. The American people don’t understand politics. They need to get out of the way and let us politicians work things out. Isn’t that why they voted for us? We know what we’re doing. [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: Environmentalists like to claim that the world is on fire, but you and Joe are on fire! Do you have plans for future collaborations? [big smile for camera]
Chuck: We are always looking for other ways to undermine the will of the voters. But I won’t reveal anything. I know people love surprises!
Salmon jump in front of camera, crying “But what about us?!”
Lolly: Oops, that’s not the kind of surprise Chuck was talking about! Let’s take a break to hear from one of our sponsors. [big smile for camera]
Advertiser Voice: We are the American Petroleum Institute, the really loud voice of the fossil fuel industry. When we aren’t drowning out the voices of grassroots Americans, we also write federal legislation. If you want to pollute the air, foul the water and increase global temperatures, while maximizing your profits, we can write a bill for you. API, America’s favorite fossil fuel lobbyists!
Lolly: Now to you, Joe. This side deal is genius work. You cut out the pesky democratic process, silenced the obnoxious voices of protesters and also denied Indigenous people their treaty rights. This streamlining will get pipelines in the ground even faster, protecting industry profits. What was your inspiration? [big smile for camera]
Joe: The American people always inspire me to take advantage of them. They don’t seem to mind conflicts of interest or self-dealing, as long as I feed them some hogwash about creating jobs or saving jobs. I think I’ve even managed to hoodwink those supposed climate champions, Senators Merkley and Wyden of the Anarchist Jurisdiction, cuz I haven’t heard one word of complaint from them. [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: Joe, you usually slash environmental spending (unless it protects your condo in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia) it must feel great to have written a bill that rejects the liberal climate-change agenda. What message do you have for the anti-fossil fuel doomsayers? [big smile for camera]
Joe: Protecting clean water will not create a profit for the investors taking the big risks. We must feed the capitalists to keep our economy humming! Democracy and freedom are built on capitalism! [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: Which reminds me, you are the senator who makes the most money from fossil fuels. (Congrats on being #1!) We know you are driven by your love of West Virginia and the American people, not your own interests, but some people question that. How do you feel about those doubts? [big smile for camera]
Joe: Thank you. It hurts when the voters don’t appreciate how hard I work to enrich myself— er, to enrich their lives. Fossil fuel is legal in the US, and being filthy rich is legal too. I am just pursuing the American Dream. [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: You have single-handedly done so much for the fossil fuel industry and now you are doing a fabulous job of clearing the path of the obstacles whiny environmentalists might throw in your way; your side deal would limit environmental reviews, limit permit reviews and limit legal challenges. [big smile for camera]
Joe: Yes, and I am getting rid of the activist judges too, so the courts will be on my side, all the way to the Supreme Court! [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Lolly: Joe, are you happy that you finally get your Mountain Valley Pipeline? It’s been such a long road for you. You have suffered and sacrificed to get this. How do you feel about that success? [big smile for camera]
Joe: Yeah, this process has been torture. I rarely had time to get out on my yacht or escape to my vacation home. But now, I am so excited! I love to give people gas. [Crowd erupts in boos and shouts of No Dirty Deal!]
Protester with “No Dirty Deal” sign jumps in front of camera.
Lolly: We’re gonna have to end this here. Unfortunately, we were unable to track down Senators Wyden and Merkley from Oregon. They seem to be hiding from unhappy constituents who say they should be speaking up against the side deal and protecting the right to challenge fossil fuel projects. But we’ve had a splendid chat with Joe and Chuck. Thanks guys, for your great service to America and the fossil fuel industry! Here’s another message from one of our sponsors. [big smile for camera]
Advertiser Voice: This newscast was brought to you by The Mountain Valley Pipeline. The MVP is another great American endeavor. It will pump methane gas into your home and profits into Joe Manchin’s pockets. Methane gas makes life easier and it smells good too!
[This skit was performed at XRPDX-led actions at Senators Wyden’s and Merkley’s Portland offices on Sept 9 and 13, as part of the national campaign to #StopTheDirtySideDeal. Lolly was played by script writer annie (yes, lower case), Senator Schumer was played by Mark, and Senator Manchin was played by Bill. – Ed.]