Shutting down the government over the Wall & Planned Parenthood

Chuck_Schumer_January_2016Senate Democrats say they will shut down the government by filibustering any spending bills that include building a wall along the Mexican border or that defund Planned Parenthood.

The government runs out of money on April 28 unless more funding is approved.

President Trump plans to release his proposed budget this week.

If the government gets shut down, the Democrats are convinced that Republicans will get blamed.


Photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by Senate Democrats ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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The ACLU “resistance”

American_Civil_Liberties_Union_The American Civil Liberties Union conducted livestreamed training across the country Saturday, teaching people how to stage protests and other acts of “resistance” against the Trump administration.

The ACLU also said that it would be organizing “freedom cities” to defy immigration laws.

The Executive Director of the ACLU promised new lawsuits.  “We’ll do the work in the courts,” he told participants in the workshops. “You do the work in the streets.”

The ACLU’s priorities, he said, would be immigration, free speech, religious freedom, “reproductive rights” (a.k.a., facilitating abortion),  and LGBT issues.

Honest questions:  Does the ACLU defend free speech on college campuses?  Does the ACLU restrict its “freedom of religion” activities to Muslims and other minority religions, or do they also defend Christians who have been restricted or punished for acting on their beliefs?  Is there any “civil liberties” emphasis left in the organization, or has it become just another leftwing political group?

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The difference between Mike Pence’s e-mails and Hillary Clinton’s

email-1818544_640Vice-President Mike Pence, it turns out, used his private e-mail account for government business when he was governor of Indiana.  Democrats are indignant, accusing Republicans of making it into a big scandal when Hillary Clinton did the same thing.

But the two cases are not at all the same.  Tyler O’Neil gives three reasons why not.  The most important:  The state of Indiana has no laws regarding state officials using their own e-mail accounts.  Whereas there is a law against U.S. State Department officials using unauthorized accounts.  Mike Pence, unlike Hillary Clinton, didn’t break the law!

O’Neil’s other two reasons are also telling. [Read more…]

Trumpism as the new punk rock

Sex_Pistols_in_Paradiso_-_Johnny_Rotten_&_Steve_JonesA young former-buttoned-down conservative at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) said that he has moved to the alt.right because it feels like “the new punk rock.”  Scott Galupo of The Week discussed this with Daniel Wattenberg, a former punk rocker, now a respectable editor.

Wattenberg disassociated punks with the alt.right, but he did see a connection to the Donald Trump phenomenon.  He said, “I have to say, it does feel similar in a lot of ways, psychologically and emotionally,”

Wattenberg says that Trump and his supporters are to traditional conservatives as the punks were to the hippies.  Trump and his supporters are to professional politicians as punk music was to progressive rock.  Also, both Trumpism and punks are “transgressive” in defying political correctness.

Wattenberg and Galupo unpack those observations and more  after the jump.
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The presidential President Trump

President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress is being hailed as a “home run.”  He came across as presidential.  He was eloquent, measured, and reasonable.  He also showed a lot of heart, expressing compassion (including for the Muslims who are also victims of ISIS) and giving a touching tribute to the widow of a Navy SEAL killed in a recent operation in Yemen.  (Now Trump, like virtually every modern president, has had a soldier die under his command.  That has to be hard.)

Trump was also reassuring.  Not only did he refrain from his bomb-throwing Twitter mode.  He defending his immigration policies, while also opening the door to comprehensive immigration reform that would include a path to legality–if not citizenship–for law abiding illegal immigrants who are already here.  He promised to eliminate Obamacare but to replace it with a better comprehensive health plan.  He made a case for the policies he campaigned on, but made them seem not so scary to those whom they might affect.

He put forward ideas that Democrats usually advocate and which they will find hard to oppose, despite their posture of “resistance”:  paid family leave, $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, protection for American workers.

After his speech, the reassured stock market soared 300 points.  Republican lawmakers became ebullient.  Democrats were frustrated.  And despite the way  the media and Trump have been bashing each other, the press gave the speech glowing reviews.

Controversies will continue to flare up, but no one should underestimate President Trump.

Read the speech after the jump or watch it here:

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The travails of pro-life Democrats

Who do you think said this?

“Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old. When history looks back at this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.”

Find out after the jump.

Also find out about pro-life Democrats trying to have an impact in their party and how they are being treated.

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