Woot! Woot! Woot! Comrade Stupid is tied for first place for shutting down the gubmint the longest, and tomorrow he takes the lead! Also, today is the first missed payday, so what was theoretical is now real: 800,000+ are unpaid (the + includes an unknown number of contractors who will never be repaid). Some 420,000 federal employees are working without pay, including the FBI, TSA and other federal law enforcement officers. Some staff at the State and Homeland Security departments are also working without pay.
So the advice for garage sales and knitting scarves still stands:
- Have a garage sale
- Sell unwanted, larger-ticket items through the newspaper or online
- Offer to watch children, walk pets, house-sit
- Turn your hobby into income
- Become a mystery shopper. Retailers are desperate to check how their in-store customer service is and will employ you to shop and rate their services.
The House as promised passed a series of bills to open up individual departments of the gubmint, and they are dying on amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell’s desk. The Senate passed a
stone, er, bill that legislated that shut-out federal employees would receive back pay when this shut-show is over, and it is a pretty safe bet that the House will pass it and it will go to Prznint Stupid. Will he sign it? Who knows!
UPDATE: Crooked Media email thingie raises the point we’ve been making – this is Mitch McConnell’s shut-show as much as Prznint Stupid’s —
House Democrats and eight Republicans voted to reopen the Treasury Department, and other independent agencies on Wednesday. Today, 12 House Republicans crossed the aisle to fund the Transportation Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These bills will be transmitted to the Senate, where Mitch McConnell, who is almost single-handedly keeping the government closed, will refuse to hold votes on them. From Jon Favreau: “Forget about Trump. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy could re-open the government today if they wanted. Hold the vote.”
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (Thanks Charlie!) says (emphasis mine):
“Estimates from President Donald Trump’s chief economist peg the cost to the overall U.S. economy at about $1.2 billion for each week the shutdown persists. While that’s just 0.05 percentage points off the GDP growth rate, it could be among the factors complicating the administration’s aspiration of reaching sustained 3 percent growth.”
So if we do the math… $3.6B Ameros so far. Well-done, Comrade!
Not to be out-down, Axios morning email thingie tells us (weird formatting is all theirs):
- “White House officials [are considering] diverting emergency aid from storm- and fire-ravaged Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California to build a border barrier, perhaps under an emergency declaration,” per the N.Y. Times.
- Cleanups at Superfund sites are suspended around the nation, “deepening the mistrust and resentment of surrounding residents who feel people in power long ago abandoned them.” (AP)
- “With more federal security screeners refusing to work without pay, Miami International Airport plans to cut off access to one of its terminals over the weekend … to send TSA workers to busier checkpoints.”(Miami Herald)
A reporter asked Prznint Stupid: “Does the buck stop with you over this shutdown?”
“The buck stops with everybody.”
UPDATE – From the Crooked Media email thingie:
There is no national emergency. Trump is threatening to abuse provisions of the law granting the president power to declare national emergencies in order to raid Pentagon funds and order the military to build a border wall on seized private land.
Trump and his advisers reportedly assume the judiciary would step in quickly to stop him. At that point he could reopen the government while legal challenges to the emergency declaration, land seizures, and raided funds wound their way through the courts. In other words, he and his advisers are contemplating a gross violation of the Constitution—an impeachable offense—to spare him from the embarrassment of caving in the shutdown fight. Cool administration!
The fact that Trump’s biggest sycophants in Congress are clamoring for Trump to commit this abuse of power is an indication of just how desperate they are for the shutdown to be over (Lindsey Graham’s quote above captures the mood).
The question is whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is so craven that he’ll encourage Trump to commit a blatant violation of his oath of office rather than just pass a bill to reopen the government. And we have a feeling the answer to that question is… well, come on.
From Brian: This is all incredibly stupid and dangerous—in part because there’s no guarantee that Trump would ultimately lose the court fight, opening a Pandora’s box that lets Trump and future corrupt presidents rule by fiat. But the fact that this is under consideration at all is another indication that Trump has lost the debate over whether there should be a wall spanning the southern border—and that it’s worth a shutdown to get it done. He knows the only way he’ll get it is to steal it.