News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.
John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the ongoing trade negotiations with China. It is an open secret that China has been stealing American intellectual property for years. They have also engaged in other unfair trade practices such as manipulating their currency. What is happening now is that President Trump is trying to make the playing field more level. There will be opposition. There also may be some short-term losses for Americans, but the President is doing what needs to be done.
The Daily Caller reported today that the Democrats refused to negotiate with President Trump on the wall and then blamed President Trump for the government shutdown that is the result of unsuccessful negotiations.
The article reports:
Democratic leaders walked away from the negotiating table Thursday in the midst of a government shutdown over funding for border security, a senior White House official tells The Daily Caller.
The government partially shut down shortly before Christmas after President Donald Trump refused to sign an appropriations bill that did not contain his requested $5 billion for border wall funding. Since then, Republicans and Democrats — who will take control of the House in the New Year – have been looking to strike a deal to reopen the government.
…The new development all but confirms that the government will remain shut down through the New Year — until Democrats take over the House and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets confirmed as Speaker. House Republicans confirmed on Thursday that there are no votes scheduled for the remainder of the week.
Pelosi promised that when she assumes the speakership, she will put forth appropriations legislation that does not include any of the president’s demands.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have repeatedly sworn not they would not budge on funding for Trump’s border wall.
There are actually very few people in Washington who want a border wall. However, there are many people throughout America who want the wall. So what is the disconnect about? It’s about money and votes. The Democrat Party sees illegal immigrants as people who will eventually become citizens and Democratic voters. The Republican Party sees illegal immigrants as a cheap source of labor for their corporate sponsors. One of the major lobbying groups and campaign contributors is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce–a group that loves cheap labor. Unfortunately neither political party is willing to address the danger to Americans caused by an open border.
After a week of reports about 90-year-old vets being barricaded out of war memorials and federal park rangers trying to cone off the roads in front of Mt. Rushmore, The One’s decided it’s time for a messaging reboot. He’s holding a snap presser at 2 p.m. ET to remind America that (a) Republicans are suicidally stubborn and unreasonable in digging in when the debt limit is approaching and (b) that he himself is dug in and categorically refuses to negotiate even though the debt limit is approaching.
There is a way out of this, but I can guarantee that we won’t find it if people continue saying things like, “I will not negotiate.” As you hear the spin, remember that the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills to fund various parts of the government and that Harry Reid has refused to bring those bills to the floor in the Senate. This is political theater. I only hope that the Americans who have been evicted from their homes and those who have had their businesses closed will be able to recover from this impasse quickly.
Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella, who represents the U.S. on the U.N.’s budget committee, said Monday that the tense process of negotiating the world body’s annual budget is made more complicated by the number of diplomats who turn up drunk.
The U.N. budget is finalized in December, when holiday parties apparently lead to some revelry spilling over into budget negotiations.
The U.S. is making “the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone,” Torsella said during a private meeting of the budget committee. The U.S. mission released a transcript of his remarks.
It’s mostly American money, so why should they worry?
I have no problem with victory celebrations in football. It is a competitive sport and in that setting they are appropriate, but I will admit that President Obama is getting on my nerves with his political victory celebrations. Being President does not mean that you have to destroy the other political party–it means that you have to lead the country and create unity. I guess President Obama never got that message.
Last night Breitbart.com reported on the current state of the fiscal cliffnegotiations. It appears as if a deal may have been reached (the question is whether or not the deal will pass in the House of Representatives). With passage in the House not a given, it was rather unwise of the President to spike the football–unless he wants the deal to fail so that he can blame Republicans. I hope that is not the case, because that would be putting politics over the welfare of the country, and I don’t like to think any President would do that.
The article reports:
However, there are several reasons a deal could fail. One is the President’s bizarre press conference earlier today, at which he appeared to mock Republicans and hinted at further tax hikes in the future. The event, timed at a sensitive stage in the negotiating process, irked Republicans and damaged whatever trust might have begun. Obama seems to have been torn between the desire to strike a victorious posture, and the real fear–driven, perhaps, by sharply falling approval ratings–that he would be blamed if the “fiscal cliff” caused a new recession.
The article also reminds us that we have already hit the debt ceiling:
Negotiations will also take place about the debt ceiling. The Treasury reports that the U.S. has officially hit the $16.4 trillion limit on what it can borrow, and that the government must resort to “extraordinary measures” to cover additional borrowing, which it can only do for a few more weeks. Congress will revisit the debt ceiling negotiations of the summer of 2011, even as it struggles with the aftermath of the “fiscal cliff.”
The problem is excessive spending–not lack of revenue!