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Federal shutdown begins after lawmakers fail to reach deal

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Federal shutdown begins after lawmakers fail to reach deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A partial federal shutdown took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to start erecting his cherished Mexican border wall, a chaotic postscript for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.

Vice President Mike Pence, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney left the Capitol late Friday after hours of bargaining with congressional leaders produced no apparent compromise. “We don’t have a deal. We’re still talking,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters.

Late Friday, Mulvaney sent agency heads a memorandum telling them to “execute plans for an orderly shutdown.” He wrote that administration officials were “hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” — an expectation that was widely shared.

With negotiations expected to continue, the House and Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions. House members were told they’d get 24 hours’ notice before a vote.

The gridlock blocks money for nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice.

The lack of funds will disrupt many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and will work unpaid just days before Christmas, while 380,000 will be furloughed, meaning they’ll stay home without pay.

Those being furloughed include nearly everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service will stay home and many parks were expected to close.

The Senate passed legislation ensuring workers will receive back pay, which the House seemed sure to approve.

Some agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, were already funded for the year in agreements reached earlier, and they will operate as usual.

The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, will not be affected because it’s an independent agency. Social Security checks will still be mailed, troops will remain on duty and food inspections will continue.

Also still functioning will be the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard. Transportation Security Administration officers will continue to staff airport checkpoints and air traffic controllers will also remain at work.

Trump has openly savored a shutdown over the wall for months, saying last week he’d be “proud” to have one and saying Friday he was “totally prepared for a very long” closure. While many of Congress’ most conservative Republicans were welcoming such a confrontation, most GOP lawmakers have wanted to avoid one, since polling shows the public broadly opposes the wall and a shutdown over it.

Initial Republican reaction to the shutdown was muted. Among the few GOP lawmakers who issued statements as it began were Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who expressed disappointment at the lack of a deal, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. “This is a complete failure of negotiations and a success for no one,” Alexander said.

“Instead of honoring his responsibility to the American people, President Trump threw a temper tantrum and convinced House Republicans to push our nation into a destructive Trump Shutdown in the middle of the holiday season,” said a joint statement by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Despite saying last week he’d not blame Democrats for the closure, Trump and his GOP allies spent the last two days blaming Democrats anyway. Trump said now was the time for Congress to provide taxpayers’ money for the wall, even though he’s said repeatedly that Mexico will pay for it — something that country has repeatedly rebuffed.

“This is our only chance that we’ll ever have, in our opinion, because of the world and the way it breaks out, to get great border security,” Trump said Friday. Democrats will take control of the House January 3, and they oppose major funding for wall construction.

Looking for a way to claim victory, Trump said he would accept money for a “Steel Slat Barrier” with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a “wall” and “at the same time beautiful.”

Trump called GOP senators to the White House Friday morning, but Republicans said afterward that the session did not produce a strategy.

Early this week, the Senate approved a bipartisan deal keeping government open into February and providing $1.3 billion for border security projects but not the wall. In a GOP victory Thursday, the House rebelled and approved a package temporarily financing the government but also providing $5.7 billion for the border wall.

Friday afternoon, a Senate procedural vote showed that Republicans lacked the 60 votes they’d need to force that measure through their chamber. That jump-started negotiations between Congress and the White House.

Republicans conceded that one of their biggest hurdles was Trump’s legendary unpredictability and proclivity for abruptly changing his mind.

“The biggest problem is, we just don’t know what the president will sign,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

The White House said Trump did not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday.

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Kevin Freking, Mary Clare Jalonick and Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.

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Culture and Religion

Liz Wheeler on Ilhan Omar: Chant ‘vote her out’ and then do it

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Liz Wheeler on Ilhan Omar Chant vote her out and then do it

One America News host Liz Wheeler was in rare form yesterday as she hammered Representative Ilhan Omar over a plethora of bigoted statements, horrible policy proposals, and anti-American perspectives. Her worldview is not one that should be in Congress, but Wheeler also made an important point about how that worldview needs to be removed. Instead of calling to “send her back,” Americans should be chanting, “vote her out.”

This is America. As ridiculous as it is that someone with the radically unpatriotic ideology that Omar demonstrates is sitting in a chair on Capitol Hill, we must respect that she’s an American citizen and a duly elected representative of her Congressional district. It makes no sense, but that’s the way things are for now. As much as we would love to see her replaced, we must do it the way that makes the most sense – at the ballot box.

If it’s proven that she broke immigration laws or committed fraud of other kinds, then we can talk about other measures. But until then, she is innocent until proven guilty. At this point, there isn’t even an investigation into her past actions, let alone charges filed. We must respect due process rights from start to finish, even if we disagree with someone. We expect people on the left to disregard the Constitution. As conservatives, we must not go to that low level with them.

Here’s the transcript from the video of Wheeler’s final point on her show, Tipping Point:

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is a bigot.

She supports the anti-semitic BDS movement that does not think Israel has a right to exist.

Ilhan Omar compared Israel to Nazi Germany just yesterday she spoke at a conference this year sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic relations who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror financing prosecution in US history.

Ilhan Omar once tweeted that Jews and Israel have hypnotized the world.

Omar claimed that any U.S. politician who supports Israel was bought off by the Jews. She says their support for Israel is “All about the Benjamins.”

Ilhan Omar laughed about al-Qaeda during an interview and asked why we don’t talk about the U.S. the same way we talked about al-Qaeda. You know, the terror organization that waged the 9/11 terror attacks against us and killed 3,000 people.

Ilhan Omar then dismissed 9/11 as “some people did something.”

She supports Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro. In fact, Ilhan omar blames the U.S. for Maduro’s tyranny and oppression as the Maduro regime murders dissidents in the street if they dare to protest or criticize him.

Ilhan Omar is also pushing the Green New Deal in Congress which would transform the United States into a socialist state and force you to pay for other people’s universal basic income if they don’t want to work. It would also ban fossil fuels and force you to retrofit your house to be green and prohibit or penalize air travel.

Ilhan Omar supports Medicare-For-All which would force 150 million people off their current health care plans, cost 1 million Americans their jobs, and forced tax hikes on the middle class. In fact, Omar wants to force you to be a part of Medicare-for-All because she thinks she knows what’s best for you.

At the same time she’s introducing a bill in Congress pushing the BDS movement that literally says what’s best for Israel is for Israel not to have the right to exist. Imagine this woman having power over your health care.

And speaking of the right to exist., Ilhan Omar glorifies abortion without restriction up until the moment of birth and after all this, when Omar was asked if she regrets her vile anti-Semitic comments that even drew condemnation from Nancy Pelosi, Omar says “nope.”

This is why Ilhan Omar only has nine percent approval rating among swing voters in our country, because Omar’s views are bigoted and racist and socialist and radical and utterly antithetical to the values on which this nation was built – freedom and liberty and justice for all. So chant, “vote her out.” Do not chants “send her back.” She’s a citizen of the United States. This is her home. Do not distract from her bigotry. Chant “vote her out” and then do it. Vote her out of office before she imposes her disgusting bigotry on our nation.

And that’s is my final point.

Wheeler is absolutely correct. The time to vote Ilhan Omar out of office is coming next year. In the meantime, let’s keep the focus on her bigotry and failed socialist ideology. The left has no defense against the truth.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

The real reason Kamala Harris and others keep dodging on Medicare-for-All funding

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The real reason Kamala Harris and others keep dodging on Medicare-for-All funding

Arguably the first major “dumb” moment for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was when she replied to a question about paying the $32 trillion price tag associated with Medicare-for-All. She said, “You just pay for it.”

Conservatives were laughing at the response while many Independents and even some Democrats were scratching their collective heads. But she meant exactly what we said. Let’s put a pin in that for a moment and move on to an interview Kamala Harris did with CNN.

Even the Democrat-friendly CNN reporter couldn’t help but press Harris about how she plans to pay for Medicare-for-All without raising taxes on the middle class. Bernie Sanders has acknowledged he’d have to raise taxes to pay for Medicare-for-All. What strange math does Harris know that Sanders does not? Is it simply artful dodging of the question over and over again as the Senator kept calling it an “investment”? Is she just pandering, knowing darn well she’ll have to raise taxes on everyone in order to fund socialized medicine but pretending like she won’t? Or is she being absolutely serious?

I’m going with that. She’s saying what she means. In essence, she’s saying what AOC said. Harris is just going to have the U.S. government pay for it even if tax dollars won’t cover it.

At this point one might be thinking that both Harris and Ocasio-Cortez are delusional. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be too worried. But they’re not delusional, at least not to the point that they don’t really know what they’re insinuating by saying the government is going to “invest” in Medicare-for-All and we’re just going to pay for it. There’s only one way to do this without drastic tax increases. It’s called Modern Monetary Theory and AOC has been on board with the disastrous concept since before she was elected. Now, it seems Harris is going to invoke the same methodology to pay for her version of Medicare-for-All and whatever else she has up her sleeve.

In essence, Modern Monetary Theory erases the fear of budget deficits and skyrocketing national debt by printing money. And more money. And again. Rinse. Repeat.

It’s the precursor for hyperinflation, though its proponents claim otherwise. They’ll tell you we’re already running trillion dollar deficits and nothing bad is happening, so why not keep going? Why not run five trillion dollar deficits? Or more? The government and the Fed have the power to keep printing as much money as they want, and as long as the U.S. Dollar is the world reserve currency, there’s really no way for hyperinflation to set in.

But it will. There’s no possible way to avoid it once the world takes note because they’ll instantly seek other avenues to replace the Dollar. That includes OPEC and the designation of the petrodollar being shifted. Nobody wants to rely on a currency that is being devalued by its own government. They’ll bail. And when they do, hyperinflation will set in.

When radical progressive politicians give strange responses about how they’re going to pay for their huge projects, take them at their word when they say they’ll just pay for it. They have a plan in mind that’s more dangerous than anything our economy has faced.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Socialist revolt: Sanders campaign staff union ‘fighting for $15’… for themselves

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Sanders campaign staff union fighting for 15 for themselves

Senator Bernie Sanders has marched with McDonald’s employees. He’s called on Walmart and other large corporations to pay their employees a “living wage.” He’s pushed legislation to make the national minimum wage $15 per hour. But as it turns out, he’s not only underpaying his own staff, but his leadership team is using the same arguments against the union that businesses have used against Sanders’s own rhetoric.

The Sanders campaign issued a statement Thursday from campaign manager Faiz Shakir. [Emphasis added]: “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports. Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”

According to union members, many on the staff are working as much as 60 hours per week, which brings their hourly compensation well below $15 per hour. Yet the work they do out in weather conditions, talking to people about policies, and memorizing said policies is arguably more skill-intensive than the entry level jobs the campaign says deserves to be paid higher.

The real minimum wage should be zero

In a free market economy, businesses negotiate deals in order to acquire the resources they need, including human resources. This is why setting an arbitrary minimum wage is philosophically ludicrous, especially at the national level. Businesses and employees should be allowed free and open negotiations. If a job is worth $5 per hour and there are people willing to do the work for that wage, so be it.

Then, there’s the real-world challenges with a national minimum wage that Sanders and other Democrats never tackle. For a small-town store in West Virginia, $15 per hour may be enough to force it to shut down. Meanwhile, it’s hard to get anyone in a city like San Francisco to do any challenging work for $15 per hour. When the national government sets mandates for states based on a universal criteria, it’s bound to fail. The United States is too economically diverse when it comes to labor for Washington DC to get involved.

Then, of course, there’s the non-partisan CBO’s report that raising the minimum wage would kill 1.3 million jobs.

Socialist politicians rarely have the stomach to turn their policy proposals towards themselves. But they’re not interested in equality for all. They want to be part of the ruling elite while the rest of us are equally miserable.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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