Michael Maiello's picture

    How the Shutdown Could Wreck the Economy

    The China trade war seems to be costing both the U.S. and China, as trade wars do.  President Trump is probably correct that China is suffering more, but if you look at Apple's warning about diminishing iPhone sales, you see that punishing China has something of a boomerang effect for American multinationals.  Of course, anything that hurts Apple hurts the entire semiconductor supply chain, so there are far reaching consequences. Still, if Trump's argument is that China will eventually give because it's feeling more pain, then I think I can at least entertain the notion.

    The problem is that while he's picking this fight, he's also delivering self-inflicted wounds to the U.S. economy by yanking pay from 800,000 workers.  David Kelly, the Chief Global Strategist for JP Morgan Funds puts this into context:

    "If the shutdown were to continue for the entire first quarter, it would thus directly knock roughly 1.1% annualized from GDP and 2.1% annualized from wage income (assuming the hourly output and wages of the impacted federal are similar to those of the general workforce).  These effects would, of course be amplified by the multiplier effects of spending not done by these workers due to a lack of ready income and by all the federal contractors who are also not being paid."

    Dang.  If the trade war with China moves us from around ~3% annualized to ~2% annualized and the shutdown costs us a little more than 1%, then we're growing more slowly than inflation and things could feel recessionary even if we don't technically have a recession (2 quarters of negative GDP growth.)

    This doesn't leave a lot of cushion in the event of unanticipated shock such as natural disaster, political instability around the world or a debt shock emanating from a weak borrower economy from within the EU (Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal remain shaky) or from something closer to home.  Quoting Kelly again:

    "So far the damage has been relatively minor (from a macro perspective – obviously not for the people affected) with the shutdown of some national parks and a halt to the processing of many loans and permits.  The Treasury department claims that income tax refunds will be paid on time and TSA workers and air traffic controllers are still working, although not getting paid.  However, this could easily get out of hand as it is unclear how long these workers would or could continue to work without pay.  If income tax refunds were delayed the impact on consumer spending would be huge.  If TSA workers or air-traffic controllers stopped showing up on mass, the impact on the air traffic system and the U.S. economy could be even worse."

    There's also a chance that Fitch will downgrade US Treasury debt, following the lead set by S&P back during the debt ceiling revolt of 2011.  The ratings agencies will downgrade your credit if your government seems dysfunctional.  It's hard to argue with that.

    So far, I think the shutdown has been covered as an oddity or an expression of Trump's personality.  I'm not sure we're getting the full story on economic risk and since a lot of this stuff will only be reported on a trailing basis, even ending the shutdown now might have serious consequences in April.  I'm also still reading a lot of "don't worry, the workers get paid back when the government reopens."  Well, I guess that makes sense if people are paid back within the same billing cycle but if this stretches beyond a month, payments will be missed, personal credit will be impacted, fees and penalties will be assessed -- homes could even be lost.  So it's not as simple as "They didn't get paid in January but they'll consume more in February when they are made whole."  It may be too late to make people whole in February if the January drought forced any personal defaults.



    This type of speculation about possible, even if exaggerated, costs of the shutdown is probably harmless but leaving out the fact there are two parties involved and their motives is harmful and biased.Trump has already made major compromises to his plan to keep his promise to do his duty for the American people by securing our southern border and protect us all from the known dangerous and deadly consequences of porous borders. The other party responsible for this shutdown, who once supported this needed deterrent  to chaos, crime, drugs and illegal aliens is cynically and selfishly putting their Party's needs and goals before the needs of the American public. A few dems have realized how deranged this obsession is  to stop anything Trump wants for America, no matter the cost.  

    Here is how the shutdown is impacting the farm community right now.


    Trump was the one who shutdown the government. Trump said that he owned the shutdown 

    Easy on the TV detective thrillers, Peter - and the Republicans had 2 years controlling both houses. If they're too lazy and unorganized to carry out their crackpot dreams then, don't blame Dems for not wanting to hold their dicks. Elections have consequences, and Trumo/McConnell/Putin can go suck ass.

    This post is an illustration of why I despise you. You're a nasty little shit that refuses to treat those who disagree with you with respect. There is a real issue here with real people on both sides with real beliefs. I don't think a wall is an effective investment to deter illegal immigration. I think it will have a most a marginal effect at a large cost in both money and environmental damage. It has nothing to do with the party or my hatred of Trump. I think those pushing for the wall sincerely believe it would be effective. I don't think they're cynical or selfish. I just think they're incorrect in their analysis of the situation on the border. 

    You demean the honesty and integrity of those who disagree with you. I simply disagree with the reasoning of those who disagree with me.

    re, chiding Mr. Maiello as harmful and biased

    Er, let me warn that you don't seem to know who you are dealing with. Besides being a full-time wrestling fan, a writer of comedy and plays and sundry, in his spare time, he's a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). And your creds on financial and economic matters are? Why should I take internet Peter anonymous, and not verified, for that matter, seriously on this?

    I didn't make any judgment on Mike's qualifications to speculate on the economics of the shutdown except that they might be exaggerated and that he neglected the political part of the story. Mike doesn't need the peanut gallery to defend him and I expect and hope he will respond to my criticism in the same spirit of reasonable discussion I was attempting to further.

    So, "whose fault is it, politically?" is a legitimate question, but it doesn't interest me much at the moment.  I'm more concerned about the total economic impact of the Trump economic program.

    Even if you think the JP Morgan strategist I'm citing is exaggerating the potential effects here (I tend to find his forecasts conservative and I have been reading his commentary weekly for years), nobody is arguing that the shutdown is expansionary.  

    The effects might be muted in a booming economy, I admit.  But now you have to turn to the China trade war.  Again, you might think it's the right thing to do for any number of reasons.  I don't happen to agree, but I don't need to take a stance on it to say that it is not expansionary, at least in the immediate term.

    Set the politics aside and just deal with the potential consequences of these projections if something goes wrong.

    Economy growing ~3% annualized headed into 2019.

    Subtract ~1-1.5% for China trade war.

    Subtract ~1-1.2% for the shutdown.

    At the extreme, you're under 1% GDP growth for 2019.  That's if nothing else goes wrong.  Yikes!


    I'm not that interested in playing the blame game either but we live in a political world and the economic consequences of the shutdown depend on a political solution. If Trump takes your and JP's projections to heart and folds to avoid those possible costs he will fail in his duty to protect the US from all the known costs, social and economic, that a porous southern border are already inflicting on us.

    Some people may try but it is impossible to deny that Trump and his teams have produced amazing results with their policies on economics, trade, taxes, regulation and FP with a booming economy and real confidence in the future spreading across the country. It's okay to disagree with those policies on ideological grounds but it isn't okay to sabotage them for political gain that puts everyone's prosperity and security in jeopardy.

    I criticized the quisling republicans who failed to fund the wall when they had the House because some of them also are globalists and supporters of crony capitalists who profit from illegal alien immigration. Now that the dems control the House it's their duty to serve the country first and their party second if they are capable of that simple choice.

    Amazing outstanding extraordifuckinary, all the best people. Spare us the hand jive.

    To people outside of your political belief system, it appears that you are a member of a cult. There can be no compromise with the cult. The only response to the cult can be obedience.

    Edit to add:

    In a democracy, politicians serve those who put them in office. People who voted for Democrats don’t want athe stupid wall, kidnapping children, and collusion with Russia. They want health care expansion.It is their patriotic duty to oppose Trump’s policies. 

    When you are in a cult with a leader like Trump, you rationalize the leader’s behavior. For reference to what can go wrong, Google Jim Jones and Guyana.

    Okay, say you think the wall is either good long term policy or important enough to be worth short term economic sacrifice... you still have to view shut down against the potential recession risk in the current environment, right?

    I don't like walls but this one is necessary but not necessarily good. The cost of the shutdown already is about what Trump wants for the wall and that money is gone but further costs could be avoided easily. The recession risk may exist but there is no rational reason for the shutdown to continue that long unless the dems decide that their hatred for Trump is more important to them than the security and prosperity of the American people. If the dems remain blinded by their hate I expect Trump will declare an emergency to avoid what you and others fear but he has said he would rather make a deal.  

    And apparently you don't believe in elections and democratic procedures (like persuasion of representatives to get your way), instead believing authoritarian fiat is the appropriate answer when others don't believe your "sky is falling" prognosis? And you still haven't answered why the malicious motherfuckers didn't pass this so gosh-wonderful brainfart when they had control of Congress, rather than trying to pass this steaming pile of dogshit on to the Democrats at the last minute - answer that, you smug deceptive distorting twit. Your butt-buddy McConnell could twist the Constitution and Senate procedures to steal a Supreme Court choice for his team and ride roughshod over opposition participation and pass an outrageous $2 trillion tax break for corporations & the rich, but he couldn't bring his heinous den of anti-patriotic thieves together long enough to give his party's chief traitor the signature Wall issue he'd campaigned on (except promised to pay for another way)? Why the fuck do you keep trying to make this an issue of substance? if he fucking wanted a Wall, he had 2 years to push for it rather than jacking Putin off in Helsiniki or pimping himself to corrupt donors at Mar-a-Lago. Times up, he missed his chance, fuck the bastard.

    If the cost of the shutdown turns out to be 1.1% of annualized GDP... it's 35 walls.

    The resistance now knows these possible costs but don't seem to care and they also know that destroying economic growth with all its' costs may be the only way to undermine Trump's support and beat him in 2020. Some people may be cold and calculating enough to sacrifice other peoples livelihood for the power they crave.  

    It's the "Let's not turn this rape into a murder" argument - "i'm going to fuck you one way or the other, but if you resist it's your fault - and if you din't you consented!!!"

    So why didn't Trump do this rapey stuff when he had both houses of Congress? Because he doesn't care about the Wall - he cares about fucking Democrats and destroying the country (and stokung his own ego and making a bit of illegal cash). His goals are largely Putin's - treating him any other way, pretending he's negotiating in earnest, is a mistake and a path to disaster. The heartland yokels are already getting screwed by his arbitrary trade wars and now the shutdown (how many heartland towns and villages are massively dependent on government dollarrs? You know how Congressmen like to spread government programs out to their districts, whereas the Amazons of the world head straight to the major saturated hubs?)

    You've been away too long living under the EU autocrats and have forgotten that our President doesn't rule by fiat. You seem to have adopted the Eurotrash elite attitude that is driving the Yellow Jackets that are  burning Paris  along with the Yellow Jackets around Europe and even in Canada now. It must be doubly frustrating to find your Euro-snowflake safe space surrounded by Trumpian yokels.

    One of Trump's appointees is recommending that he adopt a cold and calculating attitude and use a long shutdown to force out the thousands of useless nonproductive Clintonites protected by the Civil Service who do little but try to sabotage MAGA agendas.

    What you say is being suggested would be rule by fiat.

    Which appointee is saying it?

    I too would like to know which one is pushing the Grover Norquist brand. Must not be thrilled with the current debt levels.

    It was another one of those unidentified WH sources many people love. but perhaps not this time. Your reaction shows me just how much fun I and many others would have watching the Statist commies suffer apoplexy as the useless fat is sliced from the Administrative State and rendered in the hot fire of reform to KAG.

    Since when did the Clintons join the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria?

    good one, I laughed!

    (Aside: my thoughts then went like this: you pegged Peter Unverified well--of oourse you would, you're a playwright--and then I then see why Peter is sometimes intriguing to me: when he rants, he is a "character" almost similar to the famous Mrs. Malaprop)

    Is Ann Coulter the one advising Trump?

    When asked why Trump is “digging his heels” over the issue, Coulter replied: “It is self-preservation because he is dead in the water if he does not build that wall. Dead, dead, dead.”

    Coulter argued that Trump might be responding to criticism that he pandered to “Wall Street and Manhattan elites” during his first two years as president by refusing to back down from the negotiations.

    Coulter was a staunch supporter of Trump during his election campaign, but has increasingly criticized the president over his failure to act upon his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    During the interview, Coulter said that Trump has “screwed up” during the first two years of his presidency by not building the wall, but now “with three seconds on the clock, he’s finally throwing the ball.”

    Coulter criticized Trump for being the “worst negotiator God ever created” for his failure to reach an agreement with the Democrats to end the current shutdown. Coulter added that Trump’s previous and often touted claims that he was a great businessman and negotiator “turns out [to] have been exaggerated.”





    Peter, neo-Stalinist Trumper, the authoritarian leadership cult never changes.

    Peter's Clintonite = Stalin's Trotskyite

    Peter's "Sabotage of MAGA 4 year plan by "Civil Service Clintonites" = Stalin's "wrecking" of Soviet 5 year plan, a violation of :

    Arcticle 58, Stalin's Soviet Penal Code on Sabotage by Government workers:

    Soviet article 58, 1927 Stalinist Code: Wrecking (Russian: вредительство or vreditel'stvo, lit. "inflicting damage", "harming"), was a crime specified in the criminal code of the Soviet Union in the Stalin era. It is often translated as "sabotage";  ....Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code) (58-7, 58-9, and 58-14 respectively)

    Stalin and Trump labeled as traitors people (Democrats with Trump) not clapping enough. link.

    Did Trump get training on the Stalin legal doctrines in his secret meetings with Putin....? How did Peter know?

    a little point along the lines of "garbage in, garbage out"

    re, he says: TSA workers and air traffic controllers are still working 

    While I see this alternate reality reported:

    How many other things like this going on, where the true affect is not known yet?

    Examples of  some of those other things, from WSJ:

    Unbelievable that we’re letting this happen.  We deserve to be downgraded.

    Who is "we"? If someone wants to drive over the line into oncoming traffic, it's damn tough to stop them. You can put "walls" everywhere, but they can still drive up and on an offramp. Yes, liberal democracies rely on some agreement that rules are actually serious rules - otherwise we wage a war of silly season.

    Someone must tell the Führer !!

    Love your analogy here!

    Kudlow is certainly the emasculated lackey yes man.

    Except that now after seeing this, I can't get out of my head that this fuhrer is more of a Mel Brooks version. Bob Woodward's quote still works for me: Crazytown. WTF are they all so afraid of? It's just a job, and one that's gonna hurt their resume rather than help it, working for a lunatic.

    I repeat Crazytown:

    Fiscal Policy Barbie by Mattel.

    And Crazytown! infects Senate, like this, for one example:

    FYI https://t.co/9r6lT9bMq5

    — Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) January 15, 2019

    If the Trump crash comes while Trump is still President, Kudlow will be reduced to private, and sent to confront the deadly invasion forces on the Southern Front...with trowel and cement....the Trumpian version of the Ostfront.

    As usual, Orwellian-style doublespeak is teh answer:

    The White House is predicting that the White House's decision to shut down the federal government could drive the economy into recession.


    — Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) January 16, 2019


    It’s funny... Peter made the argument I expected from the other side - that I’m exaggerating the economic effects. Now I’m seeing the most dire projections coming from Trump and his people. They know what damage they’re doing. If Trump owns the shutdown he owns the resulting recession.

    Meanwhile, I am starting to think Mitch McConnell is the exceptionally evil one here, as even with an assured veto, Americans deserve to know and have a record of the vote of their representatives in a situation as dire as this. And then's there's the override potential after that. That is what is supposed to happen in our system with this kind of problem and he's the one blocking it. Make them vote.

    True.  You'd think they'd realize that passing a bill, letting Trump vetoing it and then overriding the veto would open the government but allow Trump to declare that he never wavered.  I can only guess that he's worried this will lead to Trumpist Republican primary challengers in the next Senate elections and that enough of those challengers would win their primaries and lose in the general that it will cost them the Senate.

    If you are right about this calculation, the real axis of weasel is between McConnell and Limbaugh.

    Trump could be thrown under the bus while Mitch watches the detectives drag the lake from his balcony.

    I just saw Claire McAskill discuss this with Lawrence O'Donnell on a rerun of his show. She thinks he is doing it to protect his guys from the swingier districts from having to take a vote. As long as possible. Because polls show those voters are blaming the president and not Congress. So she was basically saying McConnell would rather through Trump under the buss than his vulnerable guys.

    She also thought the Ocasio-Cortez's "where is Mitch?" for social media antics today (she went to the Senate looking for him) were great. They spent a lot of time explaining about the Senate tradition of having hideaway offices and how OC was sort of treading on unspoken tradition, that House members do not often go to the Senate, they just don't, but they are actually allowed to, there's no rule against it. All of which McAskill thought was clever.

    I thought it was clever too - "where's Waldo?" Go, AOC.

    The WH is playing Pong with the demented and ossified resistance leadership and their minions redirecting their fear tactics right back at them. Some of the less ideologically possessed new and old members of the Party are already in revolt against their deranged leadership and this volley may help bring other sane dems to demand negotiation.

    I don't know if these claims of costs are accurate or exaggerated but I do know missing one or even two mortgage payments won't drive anyone into default, if they pay what they owe in time.

    If the cost effects of this limited shutdown are dramatic Trump could use that fact to show that our bloated bureaucracy has too much influence on our economy and enable him to use a very sharp knife to further slash the overgrown Administrative State.

    Your solution to economic downturn would be sending more people to the unemployment lines and defaulting on mortgages?

    As long as the knife doesn't cut him, everyone else deserves what they get.

    Some people say that about 80% of these bureaucrats produce little but take a lot so cutting them from the government and forcing them to become productive citizens in the private sector would be a win-win scenario.

    Trump took ownership of the shutdown publicly before he enforced it and accepted the political costs while staring down smirking Schumer in the WH. That ownership doesn't reduce the responsibility shared by the resistance for ending the shutdown and protecting Americans from  already porous borders and the effects of the shutdown.

    Trump already took a huge pay cut and had to move into old public housing in a crime filled hood to work for the benefit of the whole country.




    Until we see his taxes, how do we know if he took a pay cut? Even his unethical post office/hotel has stayed open during the shutdown, bringing him his illegal emoluments. Plus, all the money he's getting from Putin must dwarf any presidential salary - would've been better for us if he'd just taken a salary and skipped all the payoffs, but that wasn't going to happen.

    The President refused to sign bills that had already been negotiated in the House and the Senate to allow the government to keep operating. McConnell is colluding with the President to prevent those bills to be voted upon. What you refer to as the "resistance" is known more commonly as the process of legislation as governed by the Constitution.

    But your reply doesn't touch upon the claim you made that people suffering the consequences of the shutdown deserve it. Your bunker is safe and warm. Say anything you need to keep it that way. Trump does.

    Our Representative Republic requires representatives who behave as adults and serve our democratic goals not the childish and deadly power seeking of globalist commies and our crony capitalists.supported by some in both parties.

    No one has been permanently harmed by the shutdown yet, only inconvenienced but that could change unless the TDS infected resistance for once puts America First.

    You have found your champion and threaten us in the same way he does.

    Some weak people look for ways to amplify their power through hired thugs.

    Thank you for admitting you are no longer speaking within the framework of our polity.

    It clarifies things.

    the childish and deadly power

    Too many modifiers. To the extent a power is childish, it would decrease its' deadliness.

    globalist commies.


    "Globalist" tends to be used to deprecate some one unconnected to  any specific country ;more concerned about many  From NATO perhaps. Or the EU. Or an international business person , say like Trump,who goes where he can make a buck. 

    As for Commie. Yawn. It's sort of automatic as if the key board stuck  "commies" in. .  But most  communists  are advancing the interests of  a particular communist country  or at most of a couple.  Not trying to do something that affects many . Accuse someone   of being one or the other .But  globalist commie? No.

    I'll give you "crony capitalists".  They exist: go duck hunting with CEO's  when -or at best when -not currently  holding- a government position. For example Cheney.

    No one has been permanently harmed.?. You can't know that. In fact the one thing one can be sure of is that someone will have been,

    I have (a) a relative who works for the government and (b) one  who in the course of the shut down has learned  of a serious medical problems.  Which absolutely require immediate treatment. Simply considering the bad things that happen in life its completely likely that among a million victims of the shut down you just can't say "no one has been harmed". Life's like not that.

    It requires either a level or callousness or- as in your case I'm sure- being very young,  to be indifferent to the very likely probability that there are people being harmed.


    Of course people are being permanently harmed. If you miss one credit payment due to no cash flow, it can cause all of your debt rates to spike. That is permanent harm. It’s not like the government fixes your credit and pays the fees and excess interest charges for you.

    You claimed that homes could be lost and used the word default because of missing one payment which isn't true. I don't think there is even a penalty assessed for missing one payment. Miss two payments and a demand letter is sent if I recall correctly requiring payment by certified check within 30 days. If this demand for payment isn't met another demand letter is sent warning the homeowner that they will face default if they don't respond and bring their payments up to date.

    You're correct that a late payment could affect someones credit rating but that can be temporary while actual default can only be corrected by payment of the total loan amount of the broken contract.

    To protect the innocent, hardworking and loyal Americans who work for the government I wouldn't support the cold and calculating use of a long shutdown to rid it of its ideologically obsessed people. I'd prefer to see more of what happened at the EPA where many of these professionals resigned because they couldn't tolerate life under the new regime.  Even in that professional class there are many loyal hardworking people but there appears to be too many who aren't.

    Macron offered sanctuary and high paying positions in France to the refugees from Trump's evil capitalist takeover of the EPA so I'm sure other Marxist/globalist in in industry and academia would keep these poor professionals out of the unemployment lines. 

    I never said home payment.  If you miss a single credit card payment, you have defaulted.  It affects your credit rating immediately and by most credit card agreements, if you miss a payment your APR jumps, generally from whatever market rate you are paying to 30%.  Further, if one card reports a missed payment and elevates your APR because of it, all of your other revolving creditors can do the same.

    If you miss a mortgage payment and your lender reports it, guess what?  Your credit card companies can hike your APR.  This is permanent damage.  If you don't believe me, read the fine print on your card agreements.  You'll be shocked.

    Fortunately my eyesight is poor and I can't read the fine print.

    Do you think enough sane dems will confront the Ice Queen and demand she negotiate a deal before she drags them all down by trying to cage fight the Hegemon?

    Trump cares only if it hurts Trump.

    Trumpkins only care if it hurts them -

    “I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” Minton told Mazzei. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.” link

    Trump will blame any pain to The Base on Democrats, which The Base will sop up as Trump is their trusted authority. Making them even more angry and hateful than they already are, and that much simpler to exploit..

    Thanks for linking to that Vox piece, this is a great couple sentences that I feel are pretty much correct:

    Trump supporters don’t so much love the Republican party as they hate Democrats, a phenomenon political scientists call “negative partisanship.” They like Trump not because he sells them on the GOP, but because they believe he’ll stick it to the Democrats harder than anyone else.

    This is why I think attacking the GOP is not the same as attacking Trumpism and it's not wise to present arguments that way.This is also why many of the GOP elected are chicken to denounce many of the things he says and does that they secretly loathe.Dems cannot win over this segment of the population. But if they want to get anything done it is really important to stay open to those GOP who are secretly open to bi-partisanship. Someone with sorry experience like Obama knows this, hence he does not stoke a Manichean divisiveness. In actuality, there are not just 2 parties in this country, but 3. One is cowering. How to get them to uncloak is the question. I think labeling them the same as Trumpists is the wrong way to go, it just makes Trumpism stronger. Never Trumpers need support of the left until things can be clarified. Dems need to change messaging somehow to lower the hate quotient a tad. I think Pelosi is doing an encouraging job of that so far from what I have seen. In public so far as Leader, she is never shrill or angry or even very partisan, rather I see acting like the mature parent. In fact, occurs to me now that she is acting very presidential, like a president of "all the people" would act. I suspect she's learned a thing or two over the years from feedback from behavior on how to act and how not to act.

    The rational Republicans made their break in 2018.

    Pelosi regarding Trump

    “It’s like a manhood thing with him — as if manhood can be associated with him,” Pelosi deadpanned. “This wall thing.”



    Excellent points!

    Perhaps postmodern neo-Marxist would be a better description of what individuals are or are supporting when they belong to the democrat party or vote for its' agendas. Too many of the people in the republican party also support the globalist agenda and that might include Cheney. This was the reason voters rejected the republican party's choice of Jeb Bush and voted for Trump because he was and is anti-globalist and anti-crony capitalist.

    I'm sorry to hear about your relative's health problems, I have serious health problems, but Trump just signed a bill guaranteeing government employees will receive all back pay when the shutdown ends and I doubt their health insurance will be allowed to lapse because of any delay in payments.

    A real threat to peoples health care happened yesterday when a democrat controlled committee in the House rejected on party lines an amendment offered by a NA representative  from Oklahoma to continue funding for the Indian Health Service doctors and clinics during the shutdown. These caring dems wouldn't even allow him to speak and explain that this funding was guaranteed by a 150 year old treaty and should not be subject to a political dispute in the US government.

    Peter, Democrats offered bills to reopen government. Mitch McConnell refuses to bring the bills to the Senate because he is Trump’s buttboy. McConnell forgets that he has the power to engineer a veto to reopen the government if necessary. Once again, you offer nonsense.


    Mr. neo-Stalinist Trumpkin, The Oklahoma Republican attached an amendment to HR 268:

    This bill, 268, provides $12.1 billion in FY2019 supplemental appropriations to several federal departments and agencies for expenses related to the consequences of recent wildfires, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters.

    The funding provided by this bill is designated as emergency spending, which is exempt from discretionary  spending, limits and other budget enforcement rules.


    It was a cynical ploy by Republicans.The only health emergency is being created by Republicans.

    Indian Health Service doctors should not be funded with hurricane and fire relief and repair funds. The Dems have passed a Bill to restore normal funding to IHS.

    The cynical dems wrote a bill that you and they well know will go nowhere and fund nothing. The emergency fund could have been tapped and repaid when the normal function of the government resumed honoring our treaty obligations.

    I hope the republicans will find a way to keep the IHS operating because the dems don't seem to care.

    With Trump's budget slashing Indian Health Service and other funds for Indian country, your touching and phony devotion and Briebart's sham concern for Native American health care and well being will be especially not needed!

    You should read your links before you make foolish, ignorant and mistaken statements because Trump signed the omnibus budget bill that increased the IHS budget by nearly a half billion dollars last year.

    Briebart as might be expected, is headlining "Democrats Refuse to Fund Indian Health" with a picture of a Native American family. Since when did Briebart care about Indian Country ?

    And since they know the right wing mob never looks anything up they don't mention the Amendment is to a Disaster Aid Bill, not a funding through normal HHS appropriations.

    It's a sick deceptive ruse. Typically Trumpian Republican subterfuge.

    Now I’m confused:

    “Some people say that about 80% of these bureaucrats produce little but take a lot so cutting them from the government and forcing them to become productive citizens in the private sector would be a win-win scenario.”

    The whole argument for building the wall is that it stop illegal immigration and that this is necessary because illegal immigrants flood the labor force and drive down wages.  But now you want to lay off 800,000 people and send them into the private sector looking for work?  What do you think that would do to wages?

    Just another example of the doublespeak from this administration, how he is not very capable of enabling the policies he says he wants:

    Trump's nominee for the EPA today -->

    QUESTION: "Mr. Wheeler, President Trump has indicated his belief that climate change is a hoax... Do you agree?"

    WHEELER: "I believe that climate change is real. I believe that man has an impact on it... I've not used the hoax word myself."

    — Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) January 17, 2019

    Chaotic, crazytown, often what you see/hear tweeted is not what you get. No there there. Just temper tantrums about things he's fixated on, like a Wall. He doesn't really know how to govern, no clue.

    Art, I can understand your confusion about this science stuff and what Trump is saying about the political agendas related to GW. The climate change agenda and its' claims of catastrophe caused by human activity is a hoax while everyone knows that the climate changes and has changed since there has been a climate. Trump may have oversimplified CAGWA with the term CC but most people know what he is talking about even if you don't.

    Trump just grounded Pelosi and her mob so they wouldn't fly off on a foreign junket because they shouldn't be using US military resources during the shutdown but he may have also helped them to reduce their carbon footprint. This is what their CAGWA cult is demanding of the rest of us so perhaps he has become a true believer.

    Perhaps not but this was the most hilarious  bit of political theater I have seen and I bet the Ice Queen  is melting down where she was stranded on the tarmac.

    Your links will all be snowflakes and globalist commies I surmise. The absurdity of the whole game plan is like this: if you just call them a name, no one who can read will pay any attention. Or what? Really, what is the plan here, to fantasize enough in rants made real by typing them on the internet in order to convince oneself of the delusion? Sharing emotion is one thing, i.e. "I hate Steve King" or "I hate Nancy Pelosi", this strange behavior is quite different.

    Well, I have said this many times before:

    It is not about persuasion. When contradicted or undermined, the ground is immediately abandoned. If something is given to make it about something else, then that is what is seized upon. I have searched the language used and it is all copied and pasted from sites on Reddit and Briebart. The occasional use of a personal narrative to seem human is always followed soon after by the same boilerplate.

    The only "plan" I can discern is to keep repeating fragments as a matter of conditioning. Whether that project is personal or part of something else doesn't matter on some level.

    Have you seen the film Pontypool?

    thanks for the link, after reading the wikipiedia entry, I went to this 2009 NYTimes review (10 yrs. ago!) which sums things up nicely “Pontypool” barely develops a premise that has all kinds of implications about the mass media (talk radio in particular) and the degradation of language in a culture overrun with hyperbole, jargon, disinformation and contrived drama. But when one infected character is reduced to spouting gibberish as she suicidally hurls herself at the glass booth that has become a fortress against the zombie terror, the notion that we are all being driven mad by an incessant verbal deluge makes nasty comic sense. I, of course, especially liked the phrase "contrived drama", got to remember that. The thing with Peter Unverified:  I do get what you are saying, that he was basically born and raised in a Breitbart, and the spew just lets go whenever, it's uncontrolled. To counter the zombie analogy, though, I am always getting this inkling here and there that it's more like along the lines of demonic possession, and he is crying for help to break free of the grip of the nonsense agitprop with which he was raised and somehow learn to communicate his thoughts in a more useful language.  And that's why he's here instead of a more appropriate site?

    You can't trigger libtards unless you go out to where they are.
    It is not "uncontrolled" spewing. The condescending certainty expressed requires a particular kind of scene to burst into. The cruelty is its own reward. The anger and frustration of the recipients is the pay off.

    Your idea that such a spirit of punishment is seeking its own demise places the matter of pretension in sharp relief. In the production of "contrived drama", there are only masks turning others into masks. The semblance that it is some other process is needed for the stage to exist.

    Trying to be #1 Troll, Spurious Peter the Insincere?

    Screaming Carrot Demon has you beat!

    well there's your skill showing, NCD! I just basically said the same thing below, but it took a gazillion words.

    You're really not aware of how pitiful you come off to readers when you start the shtick of fantasizing about supposed political enemies, are you? You sound like you're trying to troll the earnest liberal teen fan girl club of Pelosi. It's really early-20th-C blogosphere stuff. Makes me see while you favor Trump, you like to make up "stories" just like he does, you're favorite being about some kind of club you call "snowflakes" and at other times in the worst kind of malapropism, "commies." Flavius easily got your number elsewhere on the thread, it's like talking to a 12-yr. old boy. Stop with the stories and flights of fancy, talk real if you want to be taken seriously, nobody here is that stupid, we can see what you do, we have reading comprehension. The rest of us don't hang around here to talk to a 12 year old fantasizing about how he's gonna see revenge against Nancy Pelosi. Video gamers need not apply it here.

    Trump flew to Iraq during the shutdown to do his photo-op with the teoops and spew nonsense (did he give them a Happy Meal, no fries?). Patheti child imitation of a man.

    Anyway, Steve Mnuchin's boondoggle to Davos git cancelled, which probably cost Trump a few million in bag money from his favorite bribers, as per Palmer. No Happy Meal there either for President Hamburglar.

    Of course Trump could give the State of the Union anyway, with a Secret Servic that hasn't been paid in weeks. In fact I'd kind of prefer it. An armed disgruntled security detail sounds perfect.


    Perhaps Trump could bring a company of Marines to the House in full battle kit wearing KAG hats to make the worriers feel safer.

    Great reply to Jake Sherman's tweeted news that Kushner and Pence just arrived on the hill to meet with McConnell:

    Nice try, Art I'll bet the tabloids would pay a fortune for a pic of Pelosi trying to produce a facial expression when she read Trump's letter grounding her.

    I doubt she will fly commercial as the CiC said she could because there would be at least one unwashed yokel, unafraid of her icy stare, who would smirk and chuckle at her due to her reduced status.

    Trump is stupid. He has the power to ground Pelosi’s jet. This means that he controls things. Trump owns the shutdown. Trump is insecure and mean-spirited. Pelosi cannot give in to Trump’s authoritarian desires because he will only ask for more. Trump is energizing Democrats and Independents to vote him out of office. Cohen’s Congressional testimony will increase the urge to vote Trump out..I hope the nitwit contour follow the advice of Limbaugh and Coulter. Trump is destroying the economy while the wheels are still turning on the 17 investigations into his administration. Russia, emoluments, etc. Lock him up!


    None of your fantasizing is going to convince me that Kushner and Pence are brilliant political operatives or that McConnell is a great and popular leader after reading on it for two years. I stand by the metaphor video I posted. Go ahead, keep knocking yourself out!

    Lighten up, Art I got a good laugh from your parody and all politicians should be mocked occasionally. We need more humor and Trump's letter will go to the Library of Congress to be viewed by future generations as an example of a master tricksters work.

    I do hope someone on that bus got a picture of the Ice Queen when she read it so it can be included in the display of Trump's letter and others in the future can see humor wasn't totally absent during these troubling times.

    you do like this, talk for real, and I will.

    You display a particularly revolting anger for powerful women...it seems one of your only sincere personality traits,  aside from your unhinged adoration of the groper in chief.

    Did you review your link? You know ignorance can be cured but stupidity is permanent.

    Creepy power hungry women are no different than creepy power hungry men. I prefer powerful people in government who are also responsible and serve the nation not just their own agendas.

    The powerful person Trump supporters lust after is Putin.

    From the WaPo in August 2014


    From Politico in December 2016


    Trump supporters are butt hurt because Obama was not an authoritarian. People who deviate from the authoritarian plan are called RINOs or quislings. Trump supporters have no problem with bowing to the will of Vlad Putin, because Putin is their role model. Unfortunately, Trump is an incompetent racist and misogynist who has 17 investigations that are closing in on him. Trump is a flailing wanna be authoritarian. He is alone in a White House that leaks like a sieve. Melania had to take a break.

    Peter, anyone who says "I am a Trump supporter, because I support responsible people who serve the nation, not their own agendas" is reality challenged way beyond mere tone deafness, and/or, is a complete fraud.

    You clearly derive a perverse satisfaction at spewing venom at powerful women, while claiming a bizarre personal  "ideological purity" so far into classic Orwellian "doublethink" it is remarkable.

    NCD, you must not have read Orwell or your link or understood either.but you seem to have mastered leftist projection.and denial.

    David Duke, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter love your commentary. They are all having meltdowns because their white supremacist message is being spoiled by Donald Trump. Trump and his cronies are so inept that they can’t keep track of how many children they stole from their parents. Senate Republicans just lifted sanctions on a Putin ally. Trump’s tariffs are ruining the economy. They side with the white authoritarian, Putin. Trump’s lies continue at a rate of 10 per day and you ignore them. Danny had you and the other Trump supporters pegged. You confirm his post repeatedly. You have no problem being in league with racists. White authoritarian rule is your wet dream.


    Duke is a nobody, rejected by all good people, while Tucker and the others have traction and are forces to be reckoned with. What you really need to fear is the growing Intellectual Dark Web that  is offering an antidote, to millions of young people, for the poison you and your Cultural Marxist friends are spreading.

    Most of the vloggers on the "intellectual dark web" get less views than Lil Tay and are about as influential. It's all part of this fragmentation of the media market where voices can make significant cash by appealing to a small select group of viewers. Most don't have the reach of Alex Jones who is merely a fringe figure. None of them have the reach of Limbaugh.

    You underestimate what is occurring and the power of the message being transmitted around the world. Jordan Peterson is traveling around the world and speaking to hundreds of thousands of people hungry for a positive message to counter the nihilism that is undermining western civilization. Go to Peterson's site and listen, really listen, and see the hundreds of thousands of views of his lectures and the comments. He avoids politics as much as possible which is brilliant and concentrates on storytelling, science, myth , history and his experience dealing with the human mind and human condition.

    Watch the expressions on the faces of the young men and women in his audiences as they sit in rapt silence while enraged SJW smash stained glass windows with bloody hands trying to disrupt their search for meaning in their lives.

    In a nation of 325 million almost anyone can get a few hundred thousand followers. That's how Lil Tay can get as many views, probably more than, Jordan Peterson. What you're missing is how the internet has made it possible for everyone to not only get their 15 minutes of fame, but to actually get paid for it. eta: I just did a quick check and Peterson is usually getting a few hundred thousand views on his youtube videos, occasionally a couple million, while Lil Tay is regularly getting 8 million and more. Now tell me who is more influential. That's a more interesting phenomena to me than a narrow focus on just the "intellectual dark web."

    Of course I watched some Peterson and Shapiro and others. I follow both conservative and liberal voices. But even if I didn't I'm a fan of Sam Harris and he's debated both of them. When you count the numbers of people watching videos of the "intellectual dark web" be aware they don't represent a monolith. Those who follow the atheist Sam Harris don't agree with the religionists like Peterson and Shapiro.

    I agree with the gist of you comment but I believe that your example in the first paragraph has a major flaw. I do not  recall ever hearing the name "Lil Tay" so I googled. After about three minutes I decided that I could not imagine many of her fans who might have been strongly influenced by her 'message', if she has one, having even voted in recent elections or likely  to vote in any near term. Does she have an even near adult fan base? As to whatever message she might have that would influence anyone's vote one way or the other I could not guess. But, based on only a couple minutes, maybe she is a phenomenon or one in the making that I am yet to credit. 

     Shapiro is too annoying to me. I have listened to a fair amount of Sam Harris and read Peterson's book at the urging of a friend. I have also watched him quite a bit on Youtube. People are showing up in overflowing crowds and paying to hear him speak. His book isa best seller. I would bet that a higher percentage of  his audience have voted recently or will soon than the overall average of the national voting age population did.  I think Peterson is probably many times as influential where it might affect societal changes than Lil Tay. 

    Sure, but there are dozens of so called Influencers out there posting and making money that are getting hundreds of thousands to millions of clicks. I just recall Lil Tay's name because she was in the news recently. I think it's meaningful to weigh the influence of Peterson by comparison. I really like Sam Harris but he isn't getting any more clicks than Peterson so it's not like I'm celebrating Lil Tay's success. He's had several best sellers. And while they're both part of the so called intellectual dark web I doubt that they would agree on anything political or spiritual. Happily I don't see Peterson as that influential and unfortunately the same can be said about Sam Harris. They each have their relatively small group of enthusiastic followers and aren't well known outside that group.

    Peterson isn't a religionist he's a clinical psychologist and he's more a classical liberal than conservative which may be why so many young people listen to him. He isn't teaching people to follow but to lead themselves out of this mess we're in before it's too late. Atheism is too much like a religion for me being nonreligious but Peterson's advice to behave as if there were a God even if there isn't is sage advice.

    I'm about half way through his twelve two hour lectures on the Bible stories from a psychological/mythological perspective and now see just how important this repository  of ancient knowledge is to western civilization. This is why the postmodern neo-Marxists Left is intent on destroying any belief system dependent on the truth and knowledge and the civilization that it helped build.

    Many people on the left recognize he is a threat and attack him but his books are selling worldwide and  his lectures are well attended and demanded. He's already helped some people whose' thinking was moving to the extreme Right to resist that form of identity politics and he can help some on the Left who aren't yet ideologically possessed to chose a more positive individual path.

    He's a Jungian and I found his psychological/mythological views rather narrow after reading Joseph Campbell's series on mythology. As I've gotten older I've become more straight forward in my thinking and grown tired of looking for hidden or subtle motivations for human behavior. Perhaps I'm just not that deep.

    What I fear is the man that you support who kidnaps black and brown children. I fear the man who found good people among Nazi who attacked Christians and threatened Jewish people in Charlottesville. Trump felt comfortable hiring white supremacists like Bannon, Gorka, and Miller. Trump takes advice from white supremacists like Ann Coulter. Republicans supported Steve King until recently. The Manhattan GOP felt comfortable about inviting the leader of the Proud Boys to speak. When Republicans lost elections in Wisconsin and Michigan they tried coup by legislation. They Republicans win by suppressing minority votes. The scumbag racists openly stole the Governor’s race in Georgia. You support the white supremacist in the White House and the white supremacists throughout the Republican Party. I repeat that Martin Luther King Jr. said that people of good conscience could not vote for Barry Goldwater. MLK would be condemning Trump supporters. His birthday is approaching. We should honor him by condemning Trump and his supporters.

    I don’t hate you. I don’t hate Trump supporters. I do know that you are wrong to support Trump. You can be better. Look at the way to talk to others in this forum. Nothing but pure venom. The last thing that any rational person would want is someone who posts the bile that you post in charge of anything that impacted their lives. The classic Trump supporter was a woman who survived a hurricane and needed government assistance. She is impacted by Trump’s incompetence. Her response was that she elected Trump and Trump was hurting her,  not other people who needed to be hurt. The woman wants to see others in pain. That is the true Trump supporter. Trump and the Republicans have no policies. They win the rubes by making statements that are supposed to make Liberal’s heads explode. That is the sole purpose of right wing media. Sound bites with zero substance. 

    You align yourself with racists. You make hateful statements. You do this and expect to come across as a decent, thoughtful person. All you have shown me is that if Trump decided to declare martial law, and began rounding up black and brown people, you would be cheering.

    The first words out of your lips......”I’m not a racist.......But”. The roundup would be okay. I have a rational fear of Trump supporters.

    Peter, you may consider the round up of black and brown citizens by Trump an over the top statement. I think that it is a possible scenario. 

    1. Trump issued a Muslim ban that resulted in Muslims being detained at airports. There was a large protest at JFK. Trump supporters did not lead the protests. The Resistance to Trump led the protests.


    2. Trump carried out child separations at the order. Trump supporters did not lead the protests. In fact Evangelicals who support Trump criticized those who objected.

    Trump’s detention 


    Evangelicals support Trump’s action at the border despite the death of two children. Jerry Falwell spoke blasphemy when he said

    A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.” He then suggested that it might be immoral for Christians not to support Trump.


    Given the silence of Trump supporters in these instances, I have no reason to believe that they would act in future events.

    Trump has said that he would send fools into Chicago to quell violence. Fox News salivated


    Trump told police to be rough when making an arrest.


    Trump is in political trouble, he needs a victory. Using stopping come as a diversion from his troubles is right up his alley. He seems fixated on Chicago. The violent crime rate is decreasing in Chicago. There was a recent conviction of a Chicago officer who murdered an unarmed man. However, three other officers who covered up the murder in their reports acquitted.


    Chicago is still on edge. Sending troops into Chicago would inflame things, benefiting Tump, it endangering citizens. A great diversion. If masses of citizens were held under martial law, Trump supporters would not question Trump’s actions. They would remain on the sidelines. Just a hypothetical, but not really a stretch.

    There is no reason to trust Trump supporters, they side with the authoritarians.





    RM, do you live alone? You are so FOS I can't imagine anyone tolerating your constant spewing. You know as well as everyone else that Obama designated the countries Trump restricted travel from because they are not our allies and had lax screening of people leaving for the US. It was a temporary restriction approved by the SCOTUS.

    Every day children are taken from their criminal parents and put into protective custody at HHS just as your children would be if you committed a crime and there was no family to take them.

    What is your solution to these young people killing each other en mass in the democrat controlled inner cities?


    You willingly align yourself with white supremacists by supporting Trump. Your response to kidnapping children at the border was predictable and heartless. Immigration is decreasing. Homicides in the 50 biggest cities is trending downward, no need for troops.

    Immigration decreasing


    Pew Center Data documenting the decrease in crime


    Homicides decreasing in Chicago


    You confirm my impression of you. You do not operate on facts, but fear. 

    MLK Day is Monday. King practiced agape love. Agape love means not returning hate with hate. Some mistake this practice for not calling out racists. King had no problem labeling racists and attacking those who gave aid and comfort to racists.

    MLK defines agape

    King further defined agape when he argued at the University of California at Berkeley that the concept of agape “stands at the center of the movement we are to carry on in the Southland.” It was a love that demanded that one stand up for oneself and tells those who oppress that what they were doing was wrong.

    MLK On Goldwater

    The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism...On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represents a philosophy that is morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I have no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that does not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.”


    Trump is our modern Goldwater. Decent people have to distance themselves from Trump’s bans, walls, kidnapping and racism. Your diversion does not absolve your walking in lockstep with racists. 

    Here are your fellow MAGA travelers training the young to hate. A group of high school,students from a Catholic institution are encouraged by their chaperones to mock a Native American elder.


    The MAGA hat represents a threat to minorities and Gay people. Trump had recently joked about Wounded Knee. He signals that mockery is OK. 


    This is a good discussion in this sub-thread. That is all.

    Is Peter really Giuliani? They both have the same lack of command of the facts.

    More like absolute indifference, disregard, totally oblivious to facts, reality without a shred of integrity.

    the latest real news, pass it on: McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government

    By Jordain Carney @ TheHill.com - 01/17/19 06:25 PM EST

    from National political correspondent for The Hill. Covering WH, Congress, politics:

    Michael Steele & Rick Wilson:

    Expert Trump translator (ghost writer of Art of The Deal) says:

    example of damage going beyond 800,000 missing salaries:

    Grocery store profit margins are notoriously slim, they need regular volume.

    Ask Merv Griffin, it's not about the economy, stupid, it's about Trump:

    Rather, Mr. Schwartz said, Mr. Trump’s “virtue” in negotiating was his relentlessness and lack of concern for anything but claiming victory.

    “If you don’t care what the collateral damage you create is, then you have a potential advantage,” he said. “He used a hammer, deceit, relentlessness and an absence of conscience as a formula for getting what he wanted.”

    NEWS ANALYSIS In Business and Governing, Trump Seeks Victory in Chaos by Russ Buttner & Maggie Haberman @ NYTimes.com, Jan. 20

    Aargh, why dont we have a like button?

    Article really is a good big picture reminder about what he is all about isn't it?

    Why isn't there someone from the left of the aisle who knows how to manipulate him as well as Ann Coulter can? All you really got to to do with him is say "shows what a loser you are", and whatever it is, he'll do the opposite. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad or him or anybody else, he wants to able to say he won. This article made me remember hearing Merv Griffin on TV talk about their dealings after the fact and he was basically saying the same thing: I let Trump think he won something and talk like he won something and I laughed all the way to the bank. And I remembered him saying it because it was in that mischievious gay way Merv had, like gossip queen, with a wink.

    Edit to add: I once thought NYC boy Chuck could maninpulate him, but he's disappointed me on that front. Nancy is playing a grownup mom figure ,which as I said elsewhere, I think is good and needed, don't know if she can do both. Though the disinvitation to SOTU is a thing along those lines.

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