Thursday, January 24, 2019

Trump delays speech until after shutdown - Coultergeists go on the attack

Quote of the Day: “… everything is negotiable. Border security is negotiable. Immigration policy is negotiable. Shutting down the government is not negotiable, and we’re angry about it.” - Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, on the consensus of the House Democratic caucus.

Word of the Day: You saw it here first!

Coultergeist noun
/ˈkoʊltərˌɡaɪst/
a female spirit or force that makes loud noises, threatens government officials, and throws her weight around
In Scriber’s revised ghostlore, Coultergeists are troublesome spirits who haunt a particular person instead of a specific location. Coultergeist manifestations have been reported in many cultures and countries and date back to the 1st century - as do Coultergeist social policies.
For location-specific hauntings see McConnellist.

“Trump Blinks”

Being its usually unhelpful self, that’s what Fox News said about the report that Trump Says He’ll Delay Speech Until After Shutdown, as Democrats Draft Border Security Plan.

President Trump said late Wednesday that he would deliver his State of the Union address once the federal government reopens, capping a day of brinkmanship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who told the president that he was not welcome to deliver the speech in the House chamber while the government is partly closed.

“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after 11 p.m., hours after he had said he would look for another venue for the speech. “I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.”

The president’s seeming capitulation came even as House Democratic leaders said they were prepared to give him a substantial sum of money for border security — perhaps even the $5.7 billion he has requested — but not for a wall and not until he agreed to reopen the government. That figure is roughly double what Democrats had previously approved.

Mr. Trump’s actions during the shutdown have often seemed in response to criticism from allies like the conservative commentator Ann Coulter [an instance of Coultergeist] and the prime-time hosts on Fox News. The network’s first reaction to the president’s decision to delay his speech appeared to indicate trouble ahead: “Trump Blinks” read the headline atop the Fox website.

You will remember, I am sure, that Trump has reneged before on agreements and promises. For that reason alone we should be suspicious of what he says. But for another reason as well: the Coultergeists start sucking at his political blood and he caves, apparently believing that those ghouls are more powerful than he, the President of the United States. Trump needs to say “F’em” and get on with doing the job of president, and that does not include doing harm to untold millions of Americans.

Democrats hang firm

During a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Wednesday morning, Ms. Pelosi urged her caucus to stay unified and not to peel off and begin negotiating with the president on his terms, which could muddle the stark differences between Mr. Trump and them on a critical issue.

She also told rank-and-file lawmakers that they should not get “too bogged down” on what legislation was being voted upon — a direct message to some of her restive centrist freshmen, who have been meeting with Republican freshmen to discuss a bipartisan path out of the shutdown. The appeal seems to have worked; as they emerged from the closed-door meeting, rank-and-file Democrats appeared united behind their leaders’ demand that the government open before border security negotiations took place.

“There’s an overwhelming consensus that this is about establishing that shutdowns are wrong,” said one centrist, Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey. “From my standpoint, and I think this is the consensus of the caucus,everything is negotiable. Border security is negotiable. Immigration policy is negotiable. Shutting down the government is not negotiable, and we’re angry about it.”

Mr. Malinowski went on: “If we give in to this tactic in any way we will validate it, and there will be no end to these shutdowns, and the people who suffer today will be suffering again and again and again. We cannot have that.”

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