"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

So much winning!

Please, Mr. President, we're tired of all the winning!
Because "negotiating" means "I win, you lose!"

“The president was in this private meeting with Senate Republicans who were really—respectfully, in the words of Senator Murkowski—giving him a tough time, challenging him on the fact that the government should be re-opened by negotiations continued, and he was absolutely flat-out saying ‘no way,'” Bash said. “One senator I spoke to who asked that the identity not be discussed because it was a private meeting, said the president was determined not to budge and indicated no interest in compromising.”

Trump is not looking for a way out, that anonymous GOP senator said.

“He believes he is winning politically,” Bash said, quoting the senator. “This Senator said to me that every Republican has to stick together, that was the president’s message.”
No, literally!

So the beatings will continue until morale improves!

A few Republicans voiced concerns about the current situation, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). But the vast majority made clear that they’re behind the President, even as some privately admit that they’re losing the argument over why the government should remain partly closed until Trump gets the $5.7 billion he’s demanded to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The shutdown is just two days away from being the longest in U.S. history.

Murkowski is one of the few senators who has publicly questioned Trump’s strategy, and she confronted him during the meeting.

She told reporters that she pointed out that “the government is shut down and there are consequences and people are starting to feel those consequences.”

His response?

“He urged us to remain unified,” Murkowski said.

A handful of moderate Republicans, many from swing states, have been floating the idea of a Senate vote to reopen certain parts of government. But most remain publicly behind Trump, even as they grow increasingly nervous about the political and real-world consequences of the ongoing shutdown.

“I didn’t say nobody raised any concerns but nobody raised any negative concerns, and everybody is committed to staying the course,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) said.

“Everybody’s going to remain in unity,” freshman Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said it would be “futile” to vote on the individual departmental funding bills that House Democrats plan to pass, noting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he won’t bring the bills up. Trump also said he would veto the bills.

The President also didn’t bring up the possibility of declaring a national emergency in his remarks. But when a senator said they were glad Trump hadn’t declared one in order to try to seize other national security funds to build the wall, he held out the possibility that he still might, according to two senators in the room.

“He made it clear that it’s still an option but he decided at this point it wasn’t the right time,” said Rounds.

And when TSA agents start quitting in droves? (air traffic controllers aren't getting paid, either.  Think about that as you sit on the tarmac.)  And the IRS finds it can't legally distribute tax refunds?  C'est la vie, n'est pas?  And about that "national emergency" escape valve?  Yeah, Andrew Napolitano is schooling Fox & Friends about that:

Napolitano went on to say that in parts of Texas, the wall would need to be built on what is now private property—and the federal government “would have to condemn it and pay for it. (Trump) can’t do that without congressional authorization. He can’t spend money without congressional authorization.”

Napolitano added, “The emergency declaration allows him to mobilize assets, but it doesn’t allow him to take or occupy property—and it doesn’t allow him to spend money that Congress hasn’t authorized.”

At Fox News, Trump supporter Sean Hannity has asserted that forcing the construction of a border wall via an emergency declaration is a good idea. But Napolitano has not been shy about parting company with his colleagues at Fox News when he believes they are wrong. And on “Fox and Friends,” the judge stressed that a border wall would have to be funded by Congress whether Trump likes it or not.

“If the president, frustrated by Congress, could declare a national emergency and go around Congress, we would have seen this before,” Napolitano explained. “Barack Obama would have declared a national emergency in health care and started spending money on insurance policies to keep people healthy. And obviously, he didn’t because he couldn’t.”

Trump made his case for a border wall during a speech Tuesday. Napolitano noted that while Trump speech could urge the construction of a wall, “he can’t change the law, and he can’t avoid the Constitution.”
Will that dissuade Trump from winning? Of course not!

The emergency will be when his position becomes politically untenable!  Still doesn't mean he can do it; just means he can assure a quicker end to his Presidency, an end de facto if not de jure.

In the meantime, let's just say, if you work for the Border Patrol or the TSA or the IRS, or you're waiting for Trump to build the wall by Presidential fiat:  don't hold your breath.

You'll turn blue; for one thing.

UPDATE:  Unity already not holding.


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