What’s the Hurry to End the Shutdown?
Government shutdowns are supposed to favor Democrats, according to conventional wisdom. All they need do, pundits pompously declare, is wait patiently until the Republican President caves into their demands.
That is the mindset that brought us the current shutdown. Senate Democrats dug in and refused to approve the modest $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall as approved by the outgoing House of Representatives in December.
President Trump’s approval rating has remained steady during the shutdown, according to the respected Hill- HarrisX survey, in contrast with how President Clinton’s approval rating plummeted 10 points during the 1995- 96 shutdown. This leaves Democrats in a quandary they did not expect. President Trump, unlike past Republican presidents, has stood his ground and refused to buckle.
The shutdown disarms the Democrats of their most powerful weapon against Trump: investigations by the House of Representatives, now controlled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With committee majorities starting in 2019, Democrats could serve subpoenas on anyone they choose, from Trump’s children to his biggest supporters.
Pelosi is lawyering-up with attorneys who want to impeach the president. Fourteen of the nation’s most aggressive and partisan lawyers are already working for Robert Mueller, but there is no shortage of liberal hacks anxious to take on the assignment of trying to bring down a conservative Republican president.
With their new majority, House Democrats plan to launch many investigations and hold numerous committee hearings against those who supported President Trump. If someone turns on the lights, heats the buildings, pays the congressional staff, and serves the subpoenas, that is. The shutdown postpones some of these bad things from happening. Liberals are not interested in working for free in a cold building, and investigations will go nowhere if subpoenas cannot be enforced.
As Trump enjoys a rock-solid base of support, he is probably asking himself why he would want to fund Pelosi and the House Democrats to harass him, his family, and his supporters. The spectacle of Pelosi not having funds to accomplish her political mischief should be appealing to the president and all conservatives. There has already been enough wasteful distraction caused by the funding of Robert Mueller and his search for non-existent crimes. The shutdown prevents a multiplication of that in the House.
The shutdown may even cause unexpected problems for the Mueller investigation itself, despite official denials. The Department of Justice insists that the Mueller probe will be unaffected by the shutdown, but reports are that President Trump thinks otherwise and he may well be right.
Federal district courts around the country are warning attorneys that court funding could run out by mid-January, which would place federal litigation on hold. Several federal courts have already suspended their pending cases involving the United States.
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will need to prioritize the urgent cases in the Department of Justice as resources dwindle and dry up in courthouses and in his department. It is difficult to see how Mueller’s searching for imaginary crimes would rank as more important than processing drug kingpins.
Mueller depends on support by the Department of Justice for serving subpoenas, bringing people into custody, and making court appearances. Whitaker could politely decline that support of Mueller due to the shutdown, as there is no reason why Mueller should get special treatment over other investigations.
Mueller has already run aground in his effort to hold a foreign corporation in contempt. Chief Justice John Roberts intervened in that potential abuse of power by Mueller, and has set a briefing scheduling before allowing Mueller to move forward on that front.
But heat and light will be needed at the federal courthouses to resolve that and other pending issues in the Mueller investigation. Staff may not show up unless paid, and Chief Justice Roberts will not be assuming the role of the clerk to accept newly filed briefs.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has long been a liberal hangout to interfere with job creation, suffered the same fate that its regulations have caused to many businesses. The EPA furloughed 13,705 employees, telling them to stay home without pay.
That means a slowdown in EPA regulations and enforcement actions, which is good for the economy. It is a temporary hardship on the EPA employees, but far more employees of businesses hurt by EPA regulations have permanently lost their jobs because of it.
So what is the hurry for ending the shutdown? For many of us who voted for President Trump, this is the moment we have been looking forward to.
Stand strong, Mr. President, and watch the Democrats beat a path to your door to end the shutdown, on your terms.
Trump’s Christmas Echoes the One in 1776
For the 22nd time since 1975, an impasse between Congress and the president has resulted in a partial shutdown of non-essential government offices. Like the 21-day shutdown in 1995-96, this one is occurring over the Christmas holidays when little government work is done anyway.
Members of Congress went home after failing to approve a modest down-payment on essential border security. Thankfully, President Trump has stood strong for building a wall along our southern border, where over 100,000 people crossed illegally last year.
Of course the Republican Congress should have addressed this long ago, not days before they lost their majority in the House. It should not have required a successful “GoFundMe” fundraising effort for the wall to prod the House to finally authorize $5.7 billion to fund it.
Some Democrats are refusing to support a border wall merely because Trump supports it. As Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) said last week, “I talked to four Democrats that said: ‘Look, if you just stop calling it the wall, we’re in.’ ”
Democrats thought that a shutdown always works to their advantage, but that calculation changed after Republicans benefited from the Schumer shutdown in January 2018. Trump had generously offered to sign legislation protecting the children of illegal aliens, but his offer was rebuffed by Schumer and Pelosi.
Democrats claim they support “border security,” but what they really mean is money to process thousands of bogus claims of asylum by people hoping to land in the great American safety net while they wait for their claims to be heard. Trump has outfoxed the asylum industry by requiring claimants to remain in Mexico while they wait.
To reinforce his commitment to protect Americans first, the president also announced plans to withdraw troops from Syria, where ISIS has been decimated, along with a reduction of our involvement in the 17-year, no-win war in Afghanistan. He accepted the resignation of the defense secretary who disagreed with these decisions.
Among the D.C. swamp dwellers, many of the same people who resist building a wall on our own border insist that American troops be permanently deployed in faraway countries. They support an endless presence by our soldiers elsewhere, but oppose a wall to protect our own people from the influx of illegal aliens and drugs from Central America.
“We fight for the borders of other countries,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 22, “but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!”
It’s time to recall the first government shutdown in American history, and how a future president won that battle with his bold, decisive action. It was in December of 1776, when General George Washington was camped along the Delaware River in northeastern Pennsylvania.
On Dec. 12, 1776, Congress adjourned without extending the enlistments of American soldiers or approving their pay for the coming year. Members of Congress abandoned Philadelphia, where they had been meeting, because they feared the British troops nearby in New Jersey.
If the soldiers’ enlistments ran out on Jan. 1, 1777, the Continental Army would disband and soldiers would return to their farms in the 13 colonies. Some of the young men had already gone home, some were barefoot, food was running short, and winter was coming in.
But Washington was not going to give up the American cause without a fight. In an incredibly bold and risky maneuver, he decided to load his entire army – men, horses and munitions – into boats to cross the icy Delaware River on Christmas night.
To inspire his men, Washington ordered them to assemble for a public reading of Thomas Paine’s new pamphlet, “The American Crisis,” which had just been published on Dec. 19: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
On Dec. 23 and 24, boats were collected and secured with the help of experienced seamen. The crossing began at sundown Dec. 25 and lasted all night amid horrendous weather: rain, sleet, snow, ice and winds that were called a hurricane.
It was daylight on Dec. 26 when troops reassembled on the Jersey shore. They marched nine miles to Trenton where they surprised and defeated a contingent of British- allied Hessian troops, took them prisoner and captured their food, supplies and horses.
The effect on Americans was immediate and electric.
As Paine had predicted in his pamphlet, “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” Congress, hastily reassembled in Baltimore, passed a continuing resolution giving Washington full authority for the next 6 months.
On December 30, Washington appealed to his troops to stay the course, and virtually all of them responded. Washington did not yet have the money he needed from Congress, but his soldiers believed he would find a way to pay them eventually. In effect, it was the Go Fund Me of its time.
President Trump faces different kinds of storms today, but he addresses them with decisiveness that our Founding Fathers would admire, even on Christmas Day. Amid the current Democrat-caused shutdown, Trump delivers the best Christmas present a president can give to the people: leadership to Make America Great Again.
General Mattis Misses the Boat
General James Mattis, the outgoing Secretary of Defense, recorded a short video message for Christmas, which he sent to U.S. troops around the world.
“Since Washington crossed the Delaware at Christmas in 1776,” General Mattis said, “American troops have missed holidays at home to defend our experiment in democracy.”
General Mattis continued: “To all you lads and lasses holding the line in 2018 on land, at sea or in the air, thanks for keeping the faith. Merry Christmas and may God hold you safe.”
Lasses? There were no “lasses” on the boats crossing the Delaware that Christmas night. Washington’s boats were “manned” — literally. And the men of the Continental Army weren’t fighting “to defend our experiment in democracy,” either; they were fighting for America’s independence. That’s why July 4 is called Independence Day, not Democracy Day.
Entrapment of Flynn Takes Another Dark Turn
Life in the Deep State took another dark turn on December 18 when Lt. General Michael T. Flynn appeared in U.S. District Court for a sentencing that did not happen. Instead, Flynn was asked if he had committed treason, which is something not even the partisan Mueller prosecutors ever considered charging him with.
Rather than being able to celebrate Christmas with his family, General Flynn was left wondering how his lifelong patriotism could be called into question. In a word, “entrapment” by an unconstitutional independent prosecutor. Flynn was ambushed by an interview that never should have occurred, misled into not having counsel present, and then left helpless against Mueller’s $50 million wrecking machine.
A mere four days after the inauguration of President Trump, then-FBI Director James Comey sent senior agents to ambush Lt. Gen. Flynn with a surprise interview. Comey recently admitted that this was not ordinary procedure, and that proper protocol was to arrange such interviews through attorneys.
It was a setup of Lt. Gen. Flynn, with the since- discredited agents of the Deep State Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok playing their parts. Both have since been fired, but as Shakespeare observed, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
General Flynn had been an outspoken supporter of President Trump, which liberals consider unforgivable. The former National Security Advisor to President Trump would be a trophy for Mueller to justify his prosecutorial crusade. Outside the federal courthouse, a crowd of Leftists chanted against him.
Flynn never would have been prosecuted by a properly functioning Department of Justice, but the unconstitutional Mueller investigation has spent more than a fortune hunting for crimes. As a career veteran of the Armed Forces, Flynn cannot afford to spend millions on high-priced defense attorneys.
This Kafkaesque nightmare was supposed to end when Flynn was expected to receive leniency by the federal district court in D.C. Instead the hearing unraveled when Judge Emmet G. Sullivan asked if Lt. Gen. Flynn’s conduct “rises to the level of treasonous activity.” The unexpected question stung for the family of the man who has repeatedly risked his life defending our Nation.
After a short break, Judge Sullivan took back his question about treason, and urged everyone not to read too much into his comments. But the emotional dismay at the injustice became too much at that point. Flynn’s attorneys felt compelled to request postponement of the sentencing, and the court requested a status report by March 13, 2019.
Judge Sullivan has been tough on prosecutors, too. He ordered Mueller to file a “302” report of the fateful interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, which Mueller had long withheld from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. Mueller ultimately filed a heavily redacted “302” report with the district court on Monday, but he continues to conceal from the public how Flynn was entrapped by the Deep State.
The FBI already knew the answers to the questions it asked of Lt. Gen. Flynn during his fateful interview in January 2017, due to its secret wiretaps of his conversations. But entrapment may have been the goal of the Deep State, the term for the entrenched intelligentsia in D.C. that continued to oppose President Trump after his election by the American People.
More than two years past the 2016 presidential campaign, there is no plausible justification for Mueller to conceal so much information in his filings from the public that is footing Mueller’s bill. With no end in sight for Mueller’s probe, there should at least be some transparency.
Trump Train Pauses for One Who Missed It
It is difficult to imagine two Republicans who are more different from each other than George H.W. Bush and Donald Trump. Bush based his career on the Establishment, while Trump rose by defying it. Bush pushed for a “New World Order” and entangled us in foreign wars. Trump promotes national sovereignty and seeks to Make American Great Again.
Bush generally pandered to the liberal media, which mostly got its way with him. Trump is not afraid to take on liberals in the media and call them out. Bush pledged “read my lips: no new taxes,” but then raised taxes anyway. Trump has not caved in on any of his campaign promises despite enormous pressure to do so.
Everything about Bush was a mixed bag, a compromise, and a combination of the bitter with the sweet. Everything about Trump is unambiguous, clear, and sharply defined.
Despite their contrasts and how the Bush family broke with precedent by refusing to support the Republican nominee, President Trump graciously put the federal government at the service of those honoring the 41st president. Now is a good time to observe how much the Republican Party has changed since it was Bush’s party.
The Bush political dynasty began when George H.W.’s father, Prescott Bush, was elected U.S. Senator from Connecticut in 1952. As a typical liberal Republican of that era, Prescott Bush voted to censure the anti-communist Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954, and backed his fellow eastern liberal Senator Henry Cabot Lodge’s last-ditch effort to stop the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Prescott Bush, who made his money on Wall Street as a partner of the leading Democratic power broker, W. Averell Harriman, was the epitome of the “eastern establishment.” Like his mentor, Nelson Rockefeller, Bush was an internationalist and a fanatical supporter of birth control, both domestically and around the world.
Senator Prescott Bush’s son George H.W. moved to Texas as young man, first Midland and then Houston, but the apple didn’t fall very far from the family tree. During his brief service in Congress, George H.W. Bush sponsored the landmark legislation that made family planning a federal priority, the program known as Title X, which distributes $56 million a year in taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.
Bush was a supportive acolyte to Ronald Reagan during his eight years as vice president, but as president he seemed to forget the lessons that made Reagan so successful. Reagan was not a globalist, but Bush was. In a high-profile address to Congress on September 11, 1990, President Bush shocked Americans with his proclamation that it was time for a “New World Order.” Ronald Reagan would never have used that kind of language, which Bush kept using although he never defined it.
By launching the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, Bush changed American foreign policy from defense of the homeland to foreign interventionism. Bush’s war was the first of several futile attempts to impose Western values on Middle Easterners who lack the cultural conditions for democratic self-government.
President Trump, by contrast, has reclaimed and rehabilitated nationalism and America First. As he said in his address to the United Nations in September, “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”
Even when it comes to Planned Parenthood, Trump has turned the corner on Bush. New regulations published by the Trump administration would curtail taxpayer funding of groups like Planned Parenthood which violate federal law by using abortion as a method of family planning.
In remembering Bush 41, we should note his affection for our national pastime, ever since Bush was captain of his college baseball team at Yale. As president, Bush honored the holders of two of the most remarkable records in baseball history, both set in 1941: Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and Ted Williams’ .406 season batting average.
Those records had stood for 50 years when President Bush welcomed the elderly DiMaggio and Williams to the White House in 1991. Another 27 years have gone by since then, but no other baseball player has ever come close to those feats.
Bush set important records of his own, which richly deserve the praise that he is receiving. He was the only president to have received the Distinguished Flying Cross, which he earned for having been shot down during a World War II bombing mission.
Bush also loyally stood by his Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas despite the all-out smear campaign by the Left to stop him. As Bush’s continuing legacy, Thomas has sided with Trump more than Bush did.