Two Minutes To Midnight- A Looming Shutdown.

Two Minutes To Midnight

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.”

Every time this comes up, it’s enough to blow my mind. I just can’t believe it. Who cares where they were born. These are Americans. Millennials, mostly. People we went to school with. To have them all ripped out of our lives, and sent tumbling backward into a place they’ve never even been to, over a wall that would be good for nothing but a big mess and an eyesore?
Leaving all the rest aside, fixed fortifications never work. The Great Wall of China is the one human creation we can see from the moon. Neat. But did it save the Chinese when the Mongols came to conquer them? No! They just hopped right over it!
This as compared to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Nobody crosses it. Ever. The zone is so free from human habitation that flora and fauna live there that can be found nowhere else on Earth. The will to keep people out is there and enforced with absolute rigor.
There’s also no wall.
Democrats and any other citizens of conscience have no choice here but to push for a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and insist that it be addressed before the next deadline Friday evening. That is now about four hours away and counting- and it’s not clear whether the two parties will reach an agreement by then.
A senior White House official gave a rather miserable summary of the day’s meeting, confirming that a lengthy list of obstacles still remains. But he was eager to tell everyone it was “cordial”, i.e. Trump was wearing pants, and he did not hop up on his desk and defile the bipartisan proposal in the manner of a baboon.
That’s the progress Chuck Schumer was referring to.

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.

No Wall, No Government, and a Presidential Tantrum.

NakedTrump

The Washington Post published an op-ed piece today, asking this question- How unstable and divorced from reality is President Trump? It seems natural to wonder, especially after Tuesday’s ranting rally.  America has the right and the need to know.

It’s true that Fox News did a counterpiece, giving the opinion that the president is “stone cold sane”. But one wonders- What conservative news organization would have thought it necessary to write such an article about Reagan? Is it usually necessary, to insist upon the sanity of solid and reliable people? What would be the point?

We’re out of orbit here, folks. A great deal of this is completely new to everyone. None of us have been accustomed to asking such questions about our presidents. We don’t know how to even begin a formal inquiry into a president’s mental health, and this has led to many attempts to rationalize his aberrant behavior. It is the nature of the human mind to try and sort things out and make them orderly. It’s a sad fact of life that this often cannot be done.

It is also a sad fact of life that when people try and make themselves stupider than they normally are, they nearly always succeed. So it is that an alarming number of people have fooled themselves in to thinking this is all part of some subtle strategy, when every conceivable evidence has been given to the contrary. Maya Angelou wrote, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Trump has not only shown us, he has forced it down our throats on a worldwide and daily basis. This says a lot about the state of mind the country’s people are in. Ideological polarity has now reached a level, where radicals will willfully blind themselves to almost anything, in the name of a cause they can hardly define. Finding a way to effectively counter and combat this woeful, deliberate ignorance will be our fundamental task moving forward.

This has led to us Democrats being given a significant opening in Trump’s threatened vow to shut down the government, if he doesn’t soon get money for his border wall.

Democrats value order and decency above all else, and are not so small-minded as to wish the government mired in chaos for the sake of political expediency. However, if Trump does decide to cause some sort of governmental interruption, of course all the blame will belong to him. Likewise, we will be called upon to be stolid and brave in the face of a very difficult task in cleaning that mess up. Should the public then choose to honor us for our earnest attempts at good service, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that we would not be undeserving.

Past government shutdowns have not been a hit among Americans. We seem to be unhappy when the trains fail to run on time, and not without cause, since our collective hard work is what allows for their existence. On Capitol Hill, they’ve got a clever euphemism for bringing national operations to a halt, in the name of partisan causes. They call it a “Spending Gap”. Since the modern congressional budgeting process took effect in 1976, there have been a total of seventeen separate government shutdowns, which have caused us to grind to a halt for 110 combined days since that time.

However, instead of using his touted skills as a dealmaker, Trump has spent most of the past few weeks, taunting and denigrating the Republican leaders he will need to pass through his agenda. Mitch McConnell in particular will be responsible for the navigating of the fiscal obstacles involved.

On Thursday, the president again undercut McConnell as well as Speaker Paul D. Ryan over his proposed maneuver to raise the debt limit by tying it to a popular veteran benefits bill.

“Could have been so easy — now a mess!” the president tweeted..

All of this keeps leading to a flood of resignations. It would seem that the swamp is draining itself. The White House’s rapid response director left his job on Monday, the latest in a swath of departures by high-ranking aides, Politico reported late Thursday.

Andy Hemming left the White House after what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called a “mutual decision that he could best help promote the president’s agenda on the outside. It’s part of a trend of resignations and cancellations and withdrawn endorsements that have rained down upon Trump in a torrent, since his awful comments about the Charlottesville riots that claimed Heather Heyer’s life.

A man named Theo Wilson recently went undercover as a white supremacist for the number of months since just before the inauguration of Trump. The conclusions that he brought back are interesting. The social forces that make racism commonplace aren’t going away anytime soon. For example, just weeks after being hired, four key members of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s communications team have resigned in the wake of the Republican’s confusing response to a political cartoon depicting a black child begging a white man for money.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, said on Thursday that “With the White House, House and Senate under one-party control, the American people expect and deserve a plan from Republicans to avert a catastrophic default and ensure the full faith and credit of the United States. With so much at risk for hard-working families, Republicans need to stop the chaos and sort themselves out in a hurry.” However, it’s clear that’s not going to happen anytime soon. #RiseAndOrganize.