Consider just how lazy you have to be to write something like this:
President Trump’s repeated threat to declare a national emergency so he can build his border wall without congressional approval has been denounced by Democrats as extreme and an overreach. But it could be the only politically realistic way out of the shutdown crisis in the nation’s capital.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t, I may go that route. I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.”
If the president does invoke emergency powers to circumvent Congress, it would be an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms — and establish a precedent for presidents who fail to win approval for funding a policy goal.
But Mr. Trump’s threatened move offers both sides a face-saving solution in the budget standoff between the president and congressional Democrats that has prompted a partial government shutdown, which, if it lasts to Saturday, will be at 22 days the longest in American history.
Both sides have taken absolutist positions that leave no room for the kind of split-the-difference compromise that usually ends budget impasses.
Yes the Democrats can “save face” by not having to acknowledge that they have simply forced Donald Trump to engage in what even Charlie Savage characterizes as “an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms.”
But the president using the Constitution as toilet paper is a small price to pay if the alternative is forcing reporters to be a little more honest and tiny bit more hardworking, instead of hitting the bothsides macro for the eleventyzillionth time.
BTW in case you’re wondering there’s no mention in this 1500-word story that Republicans controlled the entire federal government for two years, and the Great Wall of MAGA didn’t get funded then, either.
The last sentence, THIS EXACTLY. "BTW in case you’re wondering there’s no mention in this 1500-word story that Republicans controlled the entire federal government for two years, and the Great Wall of MAGA didn’t get funded then, either."
When will we hear reporting that states that the shutdown started under a completely republican controlled congress???
To the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who will work without pay or be furloughed over the holidays if there is a government shutdown, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) says it is just part of the risk of working in public service.
Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a leading conservative voice urging President Trump not to accept a short-term spending bill absent funding for a border wall, was responding to reporters who asked about Transportation Security Administration and Border Patrol agents who would be required to continue working on Christmas without getting a paycheck.
“It’s actually part of what you do when you sign up for any public service position," Meadows said. "And it’s not lost on me in terms of, you know, the potential hardship. At the same time, they know they would be required to work and even in preparation for a potential shutdown those groups within the agencies have been instructed to show up.”
This is probably news to the 6,200 or so federal employees who live in Meadows’s North Carolina district.
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), who decided not to seek re-election this year and has been increasingly critical of Trump, blasted Meadow’s comments in a tweet:
Great way to recruit highly-qualified people to serve in gvt rather than higher pay in private sector. Not only will u make less, boys & girls, but your paychecks will always be subject to kamikaze political stunts in order to avoid attacks from Rush & Hannity. Awesome. https://t.co/cIUZ3iP6DE
Meadows also justified the shutdown by saying Border Patrol agents support Trump holding out for border wall money.
It is difficult to say whether all border agents feel that way, but it is true that Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, told The Washington Post on Monday that his group would “support the president 100 percent if he were to force the government to shut down over wall funding.”
Meadows, whose name had been floated for Trump’s chief of staff, was at the White House on Thursday afternoon to convince the president that conceding on the wall would be terrible for his relationship with his base.
On the other hand, if the government does shut down, Meadows, unlike more than 800,000 federal workers, would still receive his pay on time. In past years, lawmakers in the Senate and the House have introduced “No Budget, No Pay" legislation, which would withhold lawmakers' salary if they didn’t get a budget resolution and all 12 appropriations bills finished on time.
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Well, it looks like grandpa got up and immediately started yelling at the TV on the interwebs this morning...
Jerome Corsi is suing Robert Mueller, the NSA, CIA, FBI and DOJ for a total of $350 million after Mueller circulated draft documents that said Corsi lied to federal investigators. Corsi says his lies about lying are lies, and everyone is a lying liar, so he's tapped Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman to smear his crap around the court.
WaPo has a good rundown of all the shady Russians Trump was COLLUDING with during the 2016 campaign. There's a hell of a lot of them!
Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, has an op-ed in WaPo further reviewing all the shady COLLUSION that went down during the election. Mook reminds us that the Trump campaign and its minions asked -- and later bragged -- about their support from the Kremlin, but nobody took the threat of foreign interference as seriously as HER EMAILS.
On Saturday Trump created another distraction by announcing John Kelly was being "You're Fired"retiring at the end of the year. It WAS widely believed he'd be replaced with Mike Pence's smarmy chief of staff, 36-year-old Nick Ayers, but less than 24 hours later Ayers declined the gig. Maggie Haberman gossips that Ayers decided to go back to Georgia to be with his family, but the rumor mill just off the Hill speculates he wants to run for office and didn't feel like killing his career. Somewhere between blowjobs, Jonathan Swann heard that Trump wants House Freedom crazy Mark Meadows to ruin his future lobbying prospects by serving as his chief of staff. Reports are all over the place right now, human meatball/Acting AG Matthew Whitaker, CFPB dingus Mick Mulvaney, crumb-bum Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, shady hedgefundy Wayne Berman, and even neo-nationalist dicknoodle Robert Lighthizer are all being considered. Ayers has said he's willing to hang around through the spring, but Trump wants a two year loyalty pledge, and it's anyone's guess who in DC would be dumb enough to eat shit sandwiches through 2020.
Jared Kushner's bromance with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has continued even after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to the New York Times, the Saudis knew damn well that Kushner was A Idiot, and MBS purposely got close to Trump's spawn-in-law by buying weapons and shacking up in Trump trash palaces just as he was pulling his own coup.
At least 16 different companies and 300 drugs are now involved in an ALLEGED massive price-fixing scheme to control the cost of generic prescription drugs. New documents in a lawsuit accusing the companies appear to show executives getting chummy and shh-wasted, and agreeing not to compete with one another on the open market when they jack up prices for 3,400 percent.
Roll Call has a roundup of the 15 anti-Pelosi House Democrats. Pelosi can't afford to lose any more votes in her favor, so she's now trying to convince some of them to vote "present" in order to move things along.
Wisconsin governor-elect Tony Evers went on Meet the Press to call state Republican efforts to screw his incoming administration during the lame duck session "a hot mess." Evers revealed that he had spoken with the used car salesman pretending to be governor, Scott Walker, about the bills, but received a "noncommittal" response. [Video]
After students were unable to pay for their school lunches, Cranston Public Schools in Rhode Island has turned the outstanding lunch debt over to a collection agency. The school district COO, Raymond Votto Jr., says students with more than $20 in debt will start getting debt collection letters. #MAGA
In a less than ironic twist, the Trump administration plans to push coal and other fossil fuels at a Polish climate change conference intended to reduce the use of fossil fuels. It's being hosted in a small coal-mining city entirely dependent on the coal industry, and held in a pavilion that's literally made from coal. The administration is also joining Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait in challenging a UN report to cut carbon emissions within the next 10 years in order to avoid The Day After Tomorrow.
Robert Lighthizer went on Face the Nation to say it's a total coincidence the CFO of shady Chinese telecom Huawei was arrested in Canada and charged with violating US sanctions while Trump learns trade wars are hard to win. This is a criminal justice matter, Lighthizer started with a straight face, "It is totally separate from anything I work on or anything that trade policy people in the administration work on."
WaPo has a great photo essay and lengthy 'splainer about all the autocrats seizing power in Europe, just like they did decades ago. The only difference between the old'n timey days and now is that it's happening at an alarming rate.
WaPo's Fact Checker has introduced the "Bottomless Pinocchio" for politicians who repeat the same lie so much that they are "engaging in campaigns of disinformation." The paper clarifies claims must have already received three or four Pinocchios, and been repeated at least 20 times, adding, "Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware his or her facts are wrong." Naturally, there's about 40 different statements from Trump that have been awarded a "Bottomless Pinocchio."
NPR has been using temps to produce news stories for flagship newscasts as a way to get cheap labor and avoid union contracts in the increasingly shitty world of journalism. One temp tells WaPo, "You feel like you have the boyfriend who's never going to put a ring on it." This is some bullshit!
People in Hollywood are literally losing their shit over Trump's star on the Walk of Fame. Besides the poop and graffiti, there's been performance art for-and-against Trump, including a number of people who keep trying to deport Trump's star.
An Irish woman who spent thousands of pounds to turn herself into a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator has decided to end her marriage with a Haitian ghost pirate. Back in 2014, the woman said she "wasn't really cool with having casual sex" with a ghost, and now says that people should be "VERY careful" when they start banging ghosts.
A new story by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation looks at a group of people who are fighting the future: shoppers who refuse to use self-checkout lines because they’re worried they’ll lead to job loss.
“They’re trying to basically herd everyone in, get everyone used to the self-checkouts to continuously cut down on staff,” said Dan Morris, one of the people the public broadcaster interviewed. “Machines don’t pay taxes, they don’t pay into the pension plan.”
CBC‘s reporting comes during a precipitous era for retail automation. Online sellers like Amazon have come to dominate consumer commerce over the past two decades, and some companies that have attained mastery in that space — including Amazon and Walmart — are now turning their attention back to the real world, where they’re working to use sensors and artificial intelligence to open stores that have no cashiers at all.
Whether that’s a future consumers want is a more complex question. CBC‘s story about self-checkout abstainers was inspired by a study from last week that found that only 11 percent of Canadian shoppers use self-checkout regularly. And that’s without getting into theft from self-checkout systems, a topic the Atlanticexplored in depth earlier this year.
The CBC pointed to a Facebook meme that’s racked up hundreds of thousands of shares with the admonition to “never use a self checkout” because they “kill jobs” — and, as Morris pointed out, they don’t contribute to payroll taxes.
It’s tough to argue with that logic, but history has shown that many consumer boycott campaigns sputter. Perhaps the buyers avoiding self-checkout, more than seeking systemic change, are just trying to navigate an increasingly complex world of interconnected personal choices.
“Maybe the little bit we do makes no difference at all,” said Peggy Eburne, another shopper the CBC talked to. “But we like to stand by what we believe in.”