Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic Senate Minority leader, wrapped up a closed-door meeting with Trump at the White House, as these words were being written.
Trump, the self-billed master negotiator, would not make a deal to avert a shutdown. Or to spare the misery of uncertainty to 200,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program.
Schumer told reporters outside the Capitol: “We had a long and detailed meeting. We discussed all of the major outstanding issues. We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. The discussions will continue.”
So what does a government shutdown mean, and how would it affect our lives until it ended?
Every federally funded agency, program, and service will be classified “essential” or “non-essential”.
If you’re a government employee, depending on which category your agency falls into, you may not be going to work tomorrow. Worse yet, you may be going to work tomorrow without compensation.
The military is essential, of course. But if the government shuts down tomorrow, servicemen won’t receive money for their work until it reopens.
Agencies and departments who are classified nonessential, including agencies that pay out small business loans and process passport requests, will cease to work until Congress is able to agree on a bill for the federal budget. Their employees will be on furlough.
The last time the government went through a shutdown was in 2013. Afterwards, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after an agreement was reached in Washington, but this administration couldn’t be more different than the one running the show in 2013. Trump is mean and vindictive. He will seek to punish and destroy. He will do everything he can to deny those people payment, so he can turn around
In the Art of the Deal, Trump writes, “Go for the jugular so they won’t wan’t to mess with you.”
And that’s all this is really about. Going for the jugular. Viciousness and cruelty as a legitimate means of deterrence. It’s the political equivalent of a countersuit. The ghost of Roy Cohn must be gnashing its teeth in glee, down there in hell.
The one positive is that Robert Mueller’s investigation will continue unhampered. In every other way, this is very bad news.
My mind just keeps coming back to my friends.
One guy I know is really good at detailing cars. The very best.
Another man I know has had a kind word and a smile for me, every day I’ve known him. Some days I was really down, and it helped, just to have a human interaction, to be reminded that I wasn’t alone.
I would miss that man. Very much.
The situation is terrible, and the maniac in charge of it will not bend just out of spite. We can’t either. It’s impossible. Such a thing can never be.
It’s either stand up for our Dreamers or accept the end of every American value that has meaning.
As we proceed forward into these last few hours, it’s important to take stock of why this is happening- and to bear witness. Donald Trump, the Nero of our time, the tyrant and petty dictator who is gambling with the futures of 200,00 human beings, will be vilified by this for all eternity.
By glorious misdeed, he has made himself renowned. After this step, he will not turn back.
His frenzy, feeding on its own violence, with outrage ever fresh will mark his days.
But in the end, the people, sick and tired, will add his name to the list of his other victims. And in the days to come, his name will transform into a slight to cast at other wicked presidents.
The very name of Trump will be an insult.