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The Common Sense Coalition’s amendment is pretty much a bait-and-switch con job piece of legislation. For starters, amnesty for DACA recipients is immediate. That isn’t surprising. Next, building President Trump’s wall isn’t a priority. On Pg. 51 of the amendment, we learn that $1,571,000,000,000 is appropriated to build President Trump’s wall in 2018. Further, $2,500,000,000,000 is available to be appropriated in each year starting in 2019 and going through 2027. Further, the legislative language states that “the amount specified in subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019-2027 shall not be available for such fiscal year unless (A) the Secretary submits to Congress, not later than 60 days before the start of such fiscal year a report setting forth a description of every planned expenditure…, (B) a description of the total number of miles of security fencing… etc.

In other words, they’re limiting the speed with which the wall can be built. Further. they’re making it possible for future Democratic administrations to kill the building of the wall.

Simply put, this bill has no chance of getting 6o votes. It doesn’t stand a chance of getting signed into law, either. Here’s a picture of most of the members of the Common Sense Coalition:

It’s worth noting that a significant percentage of these senators are either retiring or will be defeated this fall. Sen. Donnelly fits that description. Jeff Flake definitely fits that description. Joe Manchin is inching closer to fitting that description. Heidi Heitkamp definitely fits that description. Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson fit that description. The senators from New Hampshire don’t exactly fit the description but they’re getting there. Bob Corker fits that description.

Simply put, most of the senators in the Common Sense Coalition won’t be in the Senate a year from now. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to vote. That’s their right until their replacement is sworn in, either after their retirement or their defeat. What it means, though, is that members of the Coalition don’t care about national security. They certainly aren’t interested in listening to the people. Thus far, they haven’t listened to the people.

This coalition isn’t made up of principled politicians. It’s made up of elitists who aren’t interested in listening to the people. Chuck Grassley is the senior senator from Iowa. He isn’t part of that Coalition. He’s just a politician who’s interested in doing the right thing, both for DACA recipients and for national security. He’s the chief author of a bill that’s been endorsed by President Trump. It’s the only bill that the Senate will debate that President Trump will sign or should sign. Listen to Sen. Grassley’s speech explaining why senators should vote for his legislation:

The text of Sen. Grassley’s bill, known as the Secure and Succeed Act, is significantly different than the CSC’s legislation. The biggest difference between the 2 bills is that the Grassley bill appropriates the money for the wall right away. In the section titled “Subtitle C—Border Security Enforcement Fund” the following appropriations are made:

The Secretary shall transfer, 8 from the Fund to the “U.S. Customs and Border 9 Protection—Procurement, Construction and Improvements” account, for the purpose described in 11 subsection (a)(1), $18,000,000,000, of which— 12 (A) $1,571,000,000 shall be transferred in 13 fiscal year 2018; 14 (B) $1,600,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2019; 16 (C) $1,842,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2020; (D) $2,019,000,000 shall be transferred in 19 fiscal year 2021; (E) $2,237,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2022; (F) $1,745,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2023; 177 (G) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2024; (H) $1,776,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2025; (I) $1,746,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2026; and (J) $1,718,000,000 shall be transferred in fiscal year 2027.

Barring an act of Congress, the money for President Trump’s wall will be appropriated this year.

The Common Sense Coalition’s bill appropriates approximately $1,700,000,000,000 this year, then requires separate appropriations in the years following to build the wall. The Grassley bill appropriates the money immediately.

It’s worth noting that Democrats have the proverbial gun pointed at their heads. If Democrats don’t agree to President Trump’s conditions, DACA collapses and the recipients hold Democrats responsible. Remember this?

The chances for a repeat of that scene is high if Democrats don’t deliver.

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Make no mistake about this: President Trump is establishing the parameters for a DACA deal. In fact, he’s drawing a bright line in the sand on this, saying “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!”

This is also a sharp rebuke to Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham. They’ve both advocated for a clean DACA bill for all intents and purposes. Technically, their bill isn’t clean but it’s a far cry from ending chain migration or building the wall.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also rebuked Flake and Graham, saying “In a bipartisan meeting here at the White House two weeks ago we outlined a path forward on four issues: serious border security, an end to chain migration, the cancellation of the outdated and unsafe visa lottery and a permanent solution to DACA. Unfortunately, the Flake-Graham-Durbin agreement does not meet these bench marks.”

By saying this, Sanders has essentially told Democrats that they won’t take legislation negotiated by Flake and Graham seriously so they shouldn’t waste time with that legislation. That isn’t to say Republicans would be totally opposed to Graham-negotiated immigration reform. There are other squishes in the Senate. What I’m saying is that President Trump has made it perfectly clear that he won’t accept anything that Bob Goodlatte, Tom Cotton and Martha McSally haven’t approved.


Sen. Schumer has opened with a hardball position:

“There is no deal that Sen. Cotton or Rep. [Bob] Goodlatte could forge that could earn the majority of either the House or the Senate,” Schumer said, adding, “If Sen. Cotton and Rep. Goodlatte have veto power over an agreement, everyone knows there won’t be an agreement.” He said the same thing directly to the president, Politico reported.

The Goodlatte bill would pass the House because President Trump has endorsed it and because it’s what the American people want. These negotiations aren’t dividing Republicans. They’re uniting them:

So far the attacks appear to be stiffening the White House’s resolve. Sanders defended Miller from what she characterized as a “sad and desperate attempt by a few people trying to tarnish a staffer.” One of her deputies, Hogan Gidley, shot back that Graham was the outlier on immigration, not Miller, and said the South Carolina Republican had been in “lockstep” with Democrats for “decades” on “amnesty” and “open borders.”

Democrats argue that this kind of GOP infighting demonstrates precisely why immigration hawks are disruptive of any attempt to arrive at a deal. If one is not reached by Feb. 8, they believe they are owed a vote on a clean DACA bill as a condition of ending the first shutdown fight, a strategic decision that did not wow liberal activists but may have been necessitated by the position of the ten Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states that Trump won as well as polling unfavorable to an immigration-driven shutdown.

If this reporting is accurate, then Democrats have an uphill fight on DACA. It isn’t that DACA isn’t popular. It’s that large majorities of people also want family-based, aka chain, migration and the diversity visa lottery ended and the wall built. If Democrats dig in their heels on that, they’ll lose this fight.

Jackie Kucinich and Andrew Desiderio insist that President Trump has picked another losing fight in their latest Daily Beast article.

According to Ms. Kucinich and Mr. Desiderio, “After backing a series of unsuccessful health care repeal efforts and a failed attempt to weaken a congressional effort to slap new sanctions on Russia, Trump has thrown his questionable political weight behind another effort that could already be doomed: The RAISE Act. The bill, authored by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA), was unveiled on Wednesday at the White House and touted as a way to ensure that American workers’ wages and job security are prioritized, and that legal, skilled immigrants who speak English are sent to the front of the employment line.”

There’s little question that Democrats won’t let the RAISE Act get to a final vote. In that sense, President Trump has picked a losing fight. In the bigger sense, though, President Trump couldn’t pick a bigger winner for the Republican Party.

First, before the bill got its first committee hearing, Jim Acosta teed things up perfectly for Republicans in this diatribe:

To the left, Jim Acosta is a hero. In their minds, he stood up to the Trump administration and proved that Republicans were evil. Unfortunately for Democrats, they come across as not caring about blue collar voters in this fight. First, RAISE is an acronym that stands for “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment.” Blue collar voters understand the negative effects that illegal immigration has had on their (stagnant) wages.

The bigger victory for Republicans is that Democrats will filibuster the RAISE Act, which will strengthen the impression with voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan that Democrats don’t like blue collar voters. Finally, Republicans can use this fight between Acosta and Stephen Miller in ads next year. They’ll use these ads to re-inforce the Democrats’ elitist image.

If there was ever a doubt about whether Senate Democrats would be obstructionists, this article should shout ‘Democratic obstructionism’. President Trump announced today that he’ll announce his SCOTUS nominee next week sometime. Democrats are feeling bitter that Republicans give Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia, a committee hearing.

It isn’t surprising to hear that “Democrats and their allies remain furious that Senate Republicans refused to even consider Judge Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court, with 10 months remaining in Mr. Obama’s second term. That deep resentment is certain to color their handling of Mr. Trump’s choice just as it has contributed to their resistance to moving quickly on Mr. Trump’s cabinet selections.”

I respectfully disagree with that last statement. Democrats aren’t just upset with the fact that Republicans didn’t hold a hearing on Judge Garland. They’re also upset that Hillary lost. They’re upset that they didn’t retake the majority in the Senate, too. They’re upset that their coalition was demolished by ‘blue collar billionaire’ Donald Trump.

That’s their fault. Democrats hitched their wagon to Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s stars. The DNC leadership team was corrupt to the point that they, not voters, picked Hillary Clinton to be their presidential nominee. Mrs. Clinton ran the worst campaign in the last half-century.

All indications are that they see the forthcoming nomination as a chance to take a strong stand against the new president, since they still have the power to filibuster a Supreme Court choice — at least for now.

Democrats now think that resisting the newly-sworn-in president is their path back to power. What they’re really doing is paving the way for his re-election.

People won’t agree with Senate Republicans not granting Garland a hearing but they definitely won’t agree with Democrats acting like spoiled brats, either. That’s what the Democrats’ ‘resistance’ looks like to apolitical people.

Top Democrats say they don’t intend to play “tit for tat” with the nomination. But they say they will insist on what they consider to be a mainstream candidate capable of securing at least the 60 votes needed to thwart any filibuster. Otherwise, they promise to do whatever they can to block the nominee.

The Democrats are being stupid. If President Trump nominates Judge Gorsuch, he’ll be nominating a solid judge whose opinions are well-written. Do Democrats really want to put up a big fight against an articulate judge? It’s their option but I wouldn’t advise them to do that. That’s wasting tons of political capital on a lost cause. If Democrats filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, they’ll put the Supreme Court off-limits for a generation. This is the face of Democratic senators:

This is rich:

“We are not going to do what the Republicans did,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, “but if the candidate’s out of the mainstream, I can tell you I will fight and my caucus will fight tooth and nail against them.”

That’s coming from the liar who sabotaged Mike Pompeo’s confirmation vote.

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When I wrote this post, I hadn’t read Stephen Hayes’ devastating article about Sen. Chuck Schumer’s dishonesty. In the post, I wrote that Democrats put a higher priority on their PR stunt, aka “the Resistance”, than they put on protecting national security.

I wasn’t as cynical as I should’ve been. According to Hayes’ article, according “to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.”

Later in the article, Hayes wrote “McConnell consulted Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Intel committee member Tom Cotton, and the incoming Trump administration. Republicans agreed to delay Pompeo, whose team was happy to have an extra day to prepare. But the Republicans had a condition. If we agree to push back Pompeo’s hearing for a day, they told Schumer, you must agree to include him in the group of national security officials who will be confirmed by a voice vote on Inauguration Day, January 20. According to these sources, Schumer agreed, with alacrity, having secured the delay he’d sought.”

That didn’t happen:

But on January 19, one day before Trump’s inauguration, Ron Wyden said he’d seek to delay Pompeo’s confirmation when the Senate convened late Friday afternoon. That evening Cotton, who is close to Pompeo from their time together in the House of Representatives, began calling his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Wyden, seeking to avoid the delay. Some of the calls were cordial. Others were testy.

The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. “We need to take this out into the hallway,” Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. “Don’t tell me to lower my voice!” he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. Burr and Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.

Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. “Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,” Cotton snapped. “So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.

Sen. Schumer shouldn’t be trusted. He’s always been a snake whose word was worthless. Sen. McConnell should try to work with trustworthy Democrats while avoiding dealing with Sen. Schumer as often as possible.

Sen. Schumer is a liar. I don’t trust him whatsoever. If he tries filibustering President Trump’s SCOTUS nominees, I’d blow up the filibuster, then name it the Schumer Option. I’d explain that name by saying Sen. Schumer’s dishonesty forced the rule change.

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This article contains one of the most stunning political quotes I’ve ever read. When I first read it, I immediately reread it to make sure I didn’t misread it.

According to the article, Reps. Keith Ellison, (D-MN), Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ), and Mark Pocan, (D-WI), sent a letter to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, saying “As our party deliberates on how best to move forward, the Congressional Progressive Caucus encourages our colleagues to move beyond misguided debates such as whether to aggressively court blue-collar, rural, and inland voters or instead focus on professional, urban, and coastal Democrats.”

As a Republican, I wholeheartedly agree. Aggressively courting blue collar and rural voters is a waste of time for Democrats. Everyone’s seen pictures of the red county-blue county maps. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that 98% of the Democratic Party lives either on the East or Left Coast, big cities or college campuses.

I wrote this post to highlight how much Democrats are in denial after the election. Couple that with this trio’s letter and Corey Booker’s publicity stunt today at Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing and it’s clear that they aren’t willing to stop relying on identity politics or to admit that the Democratic Party is, right now, a niche party. Here’s the video of Booker’s ‘testimony’:

The truth is that Sen. Booker didn’t add anything substantial to the confirmation hearing. This was him taking the opportunity to grab some spotlight to further his presidential ambitions. He came across as a phony. His ‘testimony’ was contrived and poorly delivered. He came across, too, as another windbag politician lacking in sincerity. Finally, his about-face on what he said about being honored to have worked with Sen. Sessions makes him look like a cheap politician.

But I digress. I hope these Democrats keep thinking that they don’t have to moderate their positions. I hope they think the Obama coalition is all they need. That’s how they dug this hole in the first place.

There’s an unmistakable trend in the McConnell-Grimes race, a trend best illustrated by this morning’s RCP average of polls:

That’s what a consistently growing lead looks like. None of these polls show Lundergan-Grimes leading. In fact, none of these polls shows Sen. McConnell’s lead inside the polls’ margin of error. There’s nothing in this graphic that suggests any of these are outliers.

This weekend’s developments don’t hint that Sen. McConnell will become the next Senate Majority Leader. This weekend’s polls strongly suggest that Sen. McConnell will be the Senate Majority Leader sooner rather than later.

For instance, Joni Ernst got great news last night. This isn’t good news for Mark Udall:

The trend isn’t Mark Pryor’s friend in Arkansas:

That’s before talking about Montana, South Dakota or West Virginia, which are certainties. That’s before talking about Alaska or Louisiana, where Democrat incumbents appear to be living on borrowed time. To make matters worse for Democrats, that isn’t the full extent of their potential losses. Scott Brown has run a fantastic campaign in New Hampshire. Defeating Sen. Shaheen would be a mild upset but it wouldn’t stun people like his defeat of Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election. Mike McFadden’s run a solid campaign in Minnesota. While defeating Sen. Franken would be a major upset, it’s worth noting that momentum appears to be on McFadden’s side.

Monday, I’ll publish a post about a wave election’s definition. Yes, this year’s election fits that description.

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If Salena Zito’s theory is right, which I’m betting it is, DC elites will badly misread the American people:

Late this summer, along the edges of this Mountain State town, a homemade sign jutted from the edge of a country road. It read, simply: “Change is coming.” A few miles west, toward Coopers Rock State Forest, another sign almost hidden by a cornfield read, “Change is in the air.”

DC elites have tried holding onto tired incumbents or tried running candidates that sound like the Washington insiders that created this mess. That’s why Joni Ernst’s campaign is doing well in Iowa. That’s why Cory Gardner’s campaign is going well in Colorado. That’s why Tom Cotton’s campaign is going well in Arkansas.

Colorado’s Senate race is just stunning: Congressman Cory Gardner is the best candidate the Republicans have in the field, despite being pounded for nine months by incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. In fact, Gardner’s image has only gotten better — he lifts people up, he’s an optimist and happy to be a conservative; in contrast, Udall’s campaign is malpractice.

Joni Ernst in Iowa is a strong candidate for Republicans. Yes, she’s conservative, but her personal strength is what independents like most; she is proof that the GOP can fix its problems with female candidates and voters. Tom Cotton in Arkansas is serious, smart, disciplined, and part of the next generation of Republicans who run on what they have done, not on shrill ideology.

Democrats have spent their money on shrill-sounding ads attacking their opponents as a) shills of the Koch Brothers, b) waging a war against women or c) both. They’ll turn out their progressive base but they won’t win a majority of independent voters.

It is a sign that has been waving in the weeds for more than a year, since the 2013 scandals involving the IRS, the Department of Justice and the Department of Veterans Affairs started rolling out. But it appears that this administration, Democrats in general and Washington’s political class kept driving past those signs and missing them.

This isn’t just about Democrats, though they’ll get hit the worst this November. I wouldn’t say that people hate Republicans but I’d say that they want to see Republicans become the party of sane-sounding solutions.

They want a political party that respects the rule of law. They want a political party that limits government’s authority to reach inside their lives. (Just ask Catherine Engelbrecht on that. Just ask Andy Johnson and his wife about overly intrusive government that doesn’t respect private property rights.)

The general sense is that Washington exists to serve itself, not the people back in their districts or their states. Obamacare is the perfect example of that. The Democrats wanted it so badly that some progressive politicians were willing to vote for it even if it cost them their jobs.

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