What Now?!? – 1/8/2019

“Senate Democrats are coalescing behind a strategy to block any legislation on the floor that doesn’t re-open the federal government — planning to paralyze the Senate as the partial government shutdown enters its third week with no end in sight,” the Washington Post reports.

“A growing coalition of Senate Democrats — hailing primarily from states that have a large population of federal workers, as well as the contingent of senators eyeing presidential bids in 2020 — say the chamber should not vote on anything else until the shutdown ends.”

President Trump will travel to the U.S. border with Mexico on Thursday, the Washington Post reports. “The visit comes amid the continuing partial government shutdown and the president’s insistence that any funding bill to reopen federal agencies include $5.7 billion for his border wall.”

The lying bastard also wants to make an Oval Office address on Tuesday night, and have all networks cover it live.

New York Times: “The White House did not immediately respond to questions about a request to television networks to carve out time for an Oval Office address. A person familiar with the request said the White House had asked to interrupt prime time programming on Tuesday.”

“The Internal Revenue Service will issue refunds to taxpayers even if the U.S. government shutdown extends into the filing season, a decision that may reduce political pressure on Congress and President Trump to reach a deal to re-open the federal government,” Bloomberg reports.

New York Times: “The move seeks to circumvent a potential political problem for the Trump administration by allowing taxpayers to claim refunds despite the protracted government shutdown, which is already dragging into Day 17.”

A new Morning Consult poll in all 50 states finds President Trump’s net approval rating is now negative in nine states that he won in the 2016 presidential election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Overall, Trump’s net approval fell in 43 states in last month.

First Read: “As we enter Day 17 of the government shutdown, President Trump isn’t budging on his demands for more than $5 billion in border wall funding, and Democrats are panning his offer to build it from steel rather than concrete.”

“But amid the noise of his daily repetition of the same demands for a border wall — and the daily coverage of the negotiations over how the impasse could end — it’s important not to obscure the larger truth here: Trump hasn’t been winning on the immigration issue, at the ballot box or in public opinion polls.”

“Remember, Trump spent the final weeks of the 2018 campaign making aggressive moves to mobilize his base with the immigration issue… But with immigration front and center late last year, the GOP suffered its worst midterm House loss since Watergate. They lost the popular vote by nine points. Democrats gained seven governorships. While Republicans did pick up two Senate seats, they also saw seats flip to Democrats in two Southwestern states (Nevada and Arizona) and got at least a scare in a third (Texas.)”

“So Trump is staking all the political and economic consequences of a lengthy shutdown on an immigration play that hasn’t been shown to be a political winner outside of his own base.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “will not be on the bench Monday when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, the first time in her career she has missed a session,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ginsburg had surgery Dec. 21 for two malignant nodules in her left lung, the 85-year-old justice’s third bout with cancer.”

The Economist: “Ever since district borders in America’s House of Representatives were redrawn in 2011, Republicans’ share of seats has exceeded their proportion of the vote. In 2012 Democrats won 51% of the two-party vote but just 46% of seats.”

“The Congress that began on January 3rd, however, has no such imbalance. Democrats won 54% of the total two-party vote—and also 54% of House seats. Whatever became of the vaunted pro-Republican bias?”

“Many Republican mapmakers tried to neutralize Democratic voters by burying them in suburban districts full of educated whites. They never imagined that this ruse would backfire, but Mr Trump drove these once-loyal Republicans into Democrats’ arms.”

Gallup: “Significantly more U.S. adults continued to identify as political independents (42%) in 2018 than as either Democrats (30%) or Republicans (26%). At least four in 10 Americans have been political independents in seven of the past eight years, including a record-high 43% in 2014.”

“Democrats want to investigate the Trump Hotel deal and President Trump’s taxes. They want to haul up conflicted Cabinet officials and dig into controversial changes to the census and food stamps. They want to put Education Secretary Betsy DeVos under oath and investigate child detentions at the border,” Politico reports.

“The threat of subpoenas, investigations and oversight hearings will dominate the new House Democratic majority agenda, targeting the White House’s most controversial policies and personnel, spanning immigration, the environment, trade and of course, the biggest question of them all: Russian collusion.”

Edward Luce: “Politics isn’t usually this simple. But Donald Trump lives and dies by marketing slogans. In this case — ‘Build the wall!’ — the outcome is near certain defeat. It’s all the more remarkable for being self-created. The fact that he only started to care about redeeming his promise after Democrats regained the House in the midterms, makes it even more self-destructive. He had two years of Republican control to push it through and failed. It’s hard to see Democrats striking almost any deal to fund a wall they revile and that even anti-immigrant hardliners concede would do little to fix America’s immigration problems… As a result, Trump is hurtling with great steam into an entirely needless train wreck.”

“The question is why he is only now becoming serious when he has the least chance of succeeding. The charitable answer is that he didn’t see the midterm election defeat coming. He tried to win that election by hyping up a crisis about an invasion of central American migrants. It backfired. This is his last chance to fund a wall. The uncharitable answer, which I think is the right one, is that Trump’s politics only works in a climate of permanent frenzy. A government shutdown meets that test.”

“But even if he got his wall, it wouldn’t redeem his election promise. The second half of his promise was ‘…and Mexico will pay for it.’ Two years later, Trump is holding the federal government to ransom in an attempt to force Americans to pay for it. We shouldn’t overlook that irony. In the unlikely event Trump upheld his promise, he would be breaking it.”

“President Trump is betting big on the Supreme Court in 2019 to revive controversial policies on issues ranging from immigration and border security to transgender soldiers in the military,” USA Today reports.

“Seeking to match the success he had at the high court on his immigration travel ban against predominantly Muslim countries last year, Trump is counting on the justices – including two that he picked – to reverse lower court losses at the hands of both liberal and conservative judges.”

“Whatever questions Elizabeth Warren faced before becoming the first major Democratic candidate to step toward the 2020 presidential race, a nearly flawless and well-received trip to Iowa this weekend made it clear she intends to win and has a plan to do it,” NBC News reports.

“But a pointed question from an audience member about the bungled roll out of her DNA test, along with doubts about whether she can beat Trump, offered reminders that nobody will have an easy path to the Democratic nomination in 2020.”

David Leonhardt: “He has repeatedly put his own interests above those of the country. He has used the presidency to promote his businesses. He has accepted financial gifts from foreign countries. He has lied to the American people about his relationship with a hostile foreign government. He has tolerated cabinet officials who use their position to enrich themselves.”

“To shield himself from accountability for all of this — and for his unscrupulous presidential campaign — he has set out to undermine the American system of checks and balances. He has called for the prosecution of his political enemies and the protection of his allies. He has attempted to obstruct justice. He has tried to shake the public’s confidence in one democratic institution after another, including the press, federal law enforcement and the federal judiciary.

“The unrelenting chaos that Trump creates can sometimes obscure the big picture. But the big picture is simple: The United States has never had a president as demonstrably unfit for the office as Trump.”

President Trump “is tightening his iron grip on the Republican Party, launching an elaborate effort to stamp out any vestiges of GOP opposition that might embarrass him at the 2020 Republican convention,” Politicoreports.

“The president’s reelection campaign is intent on avoiding the kind of circus that unfolded on the convention floor in 2016, when Never Trump Republicans loudly protested his nomination before a national TV audience. The effort comes as party elites like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney are openly questioning Trump’s fitness for the job, and it’s meant to to ensure that delegates to next year’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., are presidential loyalists — not anti-Trump activists looking to create a stir.”

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

2 comments on “What Now?!? – 1/8/2019

  1. Give him the wall WITH…

    Pass the Dream Act,
    repeal all hits to ACA OR pass medicare of all
    70% tax on top incomes
    pass legislation repealing CU.
    Equal Rights amendment.

    then, hold up construction and rip down what did get build when he’s gone.

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