What Now?!? – December 29, 2018

Nancy Pelosi “will be speaker in six days, and she plans to do one of the following things to open the shuttered portion of the government,” Politico reports.

“OPTION 1) Pass a full-year CR for the portion of the government that’s shut. That would keep all government agencies at their current funding levels. OPTION 2) Pass a six-bill package, and a CR for Homeland Security until September. This would boost some government agencies’ money, but would keep DHS at its current levels. OPTION 3) Pass the stopgap that the Senate passed, which would fund all government agencies through Feb. 8 at their current levels.”

“Each one of those options would result in President Trump getting $1.3 billion for border security. No wall. Not $1.6 billion. No slush fund. Nada.”

“A smart Republican Hill hand makes this point: Trump can not get out of here without folding in some way, since he won’t be getting the $5 billion he’s asking for. Why isn’t he folding before the Dem majority takes over, and before it seems like he’s folding to Pelosi?”

President Trump “threatened on Friday to close the nation’s southern border if Congress doesn’t fund his border wall,” NBC News reports.

Said Trump: “We build the wall or close the southern border.”

“Trump also said he would cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where violence and crime have motivated thousands of people to flee and seek asylum in the United States. He also said another migrant caravan is heading toward the U.S.”

Daily Beast: “Days into a partial government shutdown that has left tens of thousands of federal workers furloughed, President Donald Trump and his close allies have begun feeling more confident about the political perch they occupy.”

“In their eyes, a prolonged stalemate will likely fracture voters along traditional partisan lines, and the ultimate outcome will be a debate waged largely on the president’s terms. Increasingly, they see an upside in forcing likely incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have to spend the first days, if not weeks, of the next Congress engaged in an argument over border wall funding rather than her preferred agenda: a mix of sweeping ethics and election reforms and congressional oversight. And they continue to believe that a conversation around immigration and border security is in the president’s best political interests.”

“Some of his top congressional supporters won’t commit to backing him if he runs for president again — and two may join the 2020 race themselves. A handful of former aides might work for other candidates. And Bernie Sanders’s initial standing in Iowa polls is well below the 49.6 percent he captured in nearly defeating Hillary Clinton there in 2016,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Sanders may have been the runner-up in the last Democratic primary, but instead of expanding his nucleus of support, in the fashion of most repeat candidates, the Vermont senator is struggling to retain even what he garnered two years ago, when he was far less of a political star than he is today.”

Law & Crime: “One of the Russian companies indicted by Robert Mueller over its alleged involvement in an infamous trolling operation during the 2016 presidential election filed a motion on Thursday chock full of jabs at the special counsel’s legal knowledge and respect for the rule of law.”

“And in the process, they casually note that Mueller has apparently collected a ‘nude selfie’ of someone.”

Eugene Robinson: “Anyone who thinks Trump is a master politician is wrong. He’s a master illusionist, which isn’t the same thing. Politicians can’t keep pulling rabbits out of empty hats forever. At some point, they face a reckoning, and Trump’s is well underway.”

“Trump is talented at making it appear that he has more than he really does — more money, more respect, more support. All those campaign rallies before the midterm elections were not just an attempt to save the Republican majorities in Congress or feed Trump’s insatiable ego. They were also demonstrations of the fervor of his core supporters — and implied warnings to Republicans who might cross him.”

Walter Shapiro: “In prior years, the problem with handicapping the Iowa caucuses has been predicting who would show up in person to vote on a cold mid-winter Monday night. The assumption has always been that — unlike a primary — Iowa measures the enthusiasm of activists.”

“But party rules will now allow for absentee balloting at the caucuses. Does that argue that the participation will be even greater than the 240,000 Iowa Democrats who powered insurgent Barack Obama to victory in 2008? Does that mean that the caucus electorate will not tilt as far left (Bernie Sanders almost beat Hillary Clinton in 2016) as in prior years?”

Another change: “Until now, due to a quirk in caucus procedures, a Democratic candidate needed 15-percent support in any precinct to have his or her votes tallied at all. But in 2020, Iowa caucus votes will be counted just like they are in primaries. As a result, it is easy to envision a cluttered Iowa result with, say, a half-dozen candidates clustered around 8 percent.”

“The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has offered federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown a guide for negotiating with creditors, landlords and mortgage companies while their income is cut off,” USA Today reports.

“Among the suggested strategies: A furloughed employee might offer to trade maintenance services such as painting or carpentry work in exchange for a reduction in rent.”

Rudy Giuliani walked back comments in which he said that President Trump “might agree” to give more written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller, The Hill reports.

Said Giuliani: “He’s not answering any more questions from these people… we did enough.”

I’m still blown away by this strategy.   To win over the voters who love Obama they are going to attack Obama.  LOL.  Brilliant.

President Trump “has gotten more judges confirmed to federal appeals courts in his first two years in office than any president in modern history. With 30 new circuit judges on the bench, and a dozen nominees pending in the Senate, Trump has more than made good on a campaign promise to reshape the judiciary,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“These judges have lifetime appointments, but they haven’t wasted time asserting themselves on everything from gun rights and abortion to political speech and the power of federal agencies — subjects at the heart of partisan battles leading up to their confirmation. Conservatives are thrilled.”

David Drucker: “Without naming names, I asked several senior Republican insiders which Democrat, or Democrats, at the top of the opposition ticket would most reassure them about 2020. Without exception, Elizabeth Warren, the 69-year-old progressive senator from Massachusetts, topped every wish list.”

Said one GOP insider: “There’s a lot of Hillary Clinton in her.”

“As often as Warren and her like-styled cohorts were mentioned as easy Trump foils, former Vice President Joe Biden was cited as among the few Democrats who many Republicans believe might dispatch the incumbent with relative ease. Is Biden progressive? Absolutely. Gaffe-prone? Duh. But he is the antithesis of Trump, with the added benefit that he’s been vetted before, and passed muster.”

The other two Democrats that Republicans don’t want to face: Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Associated Press: “In his first two years in office, President Donald Trump has rewritten the rules of the presidency and the norms of the nation’s capital, casting aside codes of conduct and traditions that have held for generations. In Trump’s Washington, facts are less relevant. Insults and highly personal attacks are increasingly employed by members of both parties. The White House press briefing is all but gone, international summits are optional, the arts are an afterthought and everything — including inherently nonpartisan institutions and investigations — is suddenly political.”

“Taking a wrecking ball to decorum and institutions, Trump has changed, in ways both subtle and profound, how Washington works and how it is viewed by the rest of the nation and world.”

Los Angeles Times: “The visit confirmed U.S. disregard for other nations’ sovereignty, said Hamdillah Kaabi, spokesman for nationalist Muqtada Sadr’s Sairoon party. Sadr, the Shiite Muslim cleric whose loyalists battled U.S. forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, now heads parliament’s largest bloc. He campaigned to limit the influence of both Washington and Tehran in Iraq’s affairs. Kaabi said Thursday the party had long sought to end Washington’s ‘arrogance and disrespect’ in its dealings with Iraq.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

2 comments on “What Now?!? – December 29, 2018

  1. cassandram

    Christian nationalists are trying to seize power — but progressives have a plan to fight back

    “We do not often surface a document that fundamentally changes the way we view a subject. In the case of the strategy paper of Project Blitz, we have just that,” Clarkson said in his introduction. “The Project Blitz playbook shows us that while the Christian right see the bills as distinct, they are also envisioning a political building process that leads to a comprehensive vision of a conservative Christian nation, and even the more totalitarian idea of conservative Christian Dominion.”

    Important read. Because as you hear these wingnuts talking about “following the Constitution” they are really talking about promoting Christian Dominionism. AND as you hear from various politicians who keep claiming that progressives have too little respect for religion, you can remind them that it is the creeping Dominionism that you are arrayed against. Then ask them why they aren’t?

  2. Nancy is a pure flip-flopper! As long as she is getting re-elected and money in her pocket!

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