Trump and Republicans are counting on Democratic empathy and compassion

Trump giving speech

Neither Trump nor Congressional Republicans would continue with the shutdown debacle except for one thing: they’re counting on Democratic empathy and compassion.

They assume that, at some point, Congressional Democrats won’t be able to ignore the hardships federal employees are enduring by not getting their regular paychecks. They’re counting on Congressional Democrats being concerned about the average citizens who are as equally impacted. They believe they can ‘hold the line’ because Democrats are empathetic and compassionate.

And they are correct:  Democrats do care about the people.

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No National Emergency but the faux crises and shutdown continues

Trump giving speech

Trump did not declare a national emergency last night. I strongly suspect he had planned to, though. After all, the staging was there.

A prime time Oval Office formal speech. The President, grave and solemn as he sets the stage for an emergency declaration.  Days of hints (in order to bolster the audience numbers). Minions out and about ponderously declaiming how everything is going to hell on the southern border.

I suspect the networks also bet on his declaring a national emergency. If they knew he was just going to dish out the usual, they wouldn’t have given up their ad revenue.

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It’s not about the wall, it’s about control

Soldiers laying wire on wall

The government is partially shutdown, hundreds of thousands of federal employees aren’t being paid, and all major networks are about to let Trump kick off his 2020 campaign with a faux declaration of emergency, aired live, and in prime time.

In ‘negotiations’, not only has Trump not been willing to budge on his wall, he’s actually added to the demands. The general consensus is that the only reason Trump is doubling down on the wall is because of criticism from Fox talking heads. That people will suffer matters little to him, unless he finds out they are ‘his’ people, and then he’ll just tell his staff to do whatever needs to be done, regardless of the law.

Law. That’s something that doesn’t matter much nowadays. Keep the national parks open, because that’s what his people want. And then when they trash the parks, (Freedom!) raid entrance fee funds, even though doing so is against the law. Go ahead and issue tax refunds, even though doing so is likely illegal. Oh, and no worries on those gas and well permits. Or that the clock tower at the Trump International Hotel is still staffed.

Ostensibly this is about a wall, a stupid wall that no one really wants. A wall that actually came about as a mnemonic. A wall that will tear land from private owners, destroy nature preserves, endanger both our environment and vulnerable animal species, and cost many more times that $5.7 billion Trump is currently fixated on. A wall that won’t add to our nation’s security, will have minimal impact on an influx of immigrants, and no impact on securing our borders from terrorists.

That damn wall.

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What’s at risk with Kavanaugh’s Appointment

I would like to claim prescience for correctly guessing that Brett Kavanaugh would be the Supreme Court pick, but his choice was fairly obvious. And has been noted in various press publications, Justice Kennedy likely retired now  because he knew of Kavanaugh’s pick.

Kavanaugh’s rulings and writings are now being scrutinized, particularly when it comes to decisions that can impact on Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, we’re so fixated on this one specific case that we’re ignoring the real threat that Kavanaugh’s appointment will be in the court.

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SCOTUS Pick: Kavanaugh’s Advantage

According to media reports, Trump has narrowed his SCOTUS pick to *three people: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge.

I suspect that Trump had narrowed his choice even before Kennedy retired. And I also suspect Trump’s short list was communicated to Kennedy, leading Kennedy to feel he could safely retire. After all, two members of the short list clerked with Kennedy; his legacy could continue if either is picked.

Each candidate has attributes that would appeal to Trump, as well as drawbacks. However, I believe that Kavanaugh will end up the pick, because he represents a way to attack Obama’s legacy not just once, but twice.

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