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The biggest problem that the Democrats have is that they can’t tell the truth about the Graham-Durbin disgrace. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly explained that the Graham-Durbin legislation was bipartisan. That’s the only criteria President Trump established that the legislation met, according to Kelly, who said “According to Kelly, while the bill was bipartisan in the sense it was crafted by lawmakers of both parties in the Senate, members of the House and Republican Sens. David Perdue of Georgia, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina should have been included in the discussions. ‘It did not include all of the senators that had been involved in the discussions about DACA, and certainly did not involve the House,’ he said. ‘And the president has said from the beginning, this has got to be bipartisan, and unless it involves the House as well as the Senate, it’s going to go down as a bill that is not going to pass into law.'”

Sen. Graham knew that including Sen. Cotton in the negotiations would produce a different outcome, either in the form of Sen. Cotton rejecting Sen. Graham’s and Sen. Durbin’s proposal or in the form of Sen. Durbin rejecting Sen. Cotton’s demands. Knowing this, Sen. Graham knew that he had to exclude any immigration hawks.

Kelly laid things out perfectly in this article:

The President that I work for wants 700,000 or so DACA recipients, the vast majority of whom are now adults, to have a way to stay in the United States legally. He wants that. That’s a given. But what we cannot have is a unprotected, unsecured southwest border that five, six, seven years from now, we have another group of 600 or 700,000 DACA people.

The Graham-Durbin bill contains $1,500,000,000 of funding for the wall, whereas President Trump requested $21,600,000,000 for funding the wall. The Graham-Durbin travesty fell 90+ percent short of the amount President Trump requested. No wonder President Trump was upset. It isn’t surprising that President Trump has lost all trust in Sen. Durbin.

The deal would have been ‘horrible’ for security, Trump said, according to the wire service, and would not have allowed enough funding for construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Trump also said the Durbin-Graham proposal would have been weak in terms of curbing visas for immigrants’ extended family members and did not end a lottery program, both things he wanted to see in an immigration deal.

After watching this video, I understand why President Trump wouldn’t trust Sen. Durbin:

Less than 30 seconds into the press conference, Sen. Durbin said that Republicans hadn’t put together a proposal dealing with DACA. That’s a lie. In the House, Bob Goodlatte, Martha McSally, Michael McCaul and Raul Labrador introduced a bill that meets all 4 of President Trump’s criteria. When they submitted the bill, they issued this statement.

I’d expect that Sen. Durbin wouldn’t agree with much in the bill. That’s different, though, than saying a Republican proposal doesn’t exist. Rep. McSally said this about the bill:

Our unsecure border and broken immigration system threaten our country’s safety and prosperity; no one knows this better than Arizona. As if the most recent terrorist attacks don’t stand as reason enough, sophisticated drug cartels, human traffickers, and an opioid crisis all point to the need for action. Now is the time.

Our legislation finally strengthens America’s borders. It moves us towards a merit-based immigration system. It includes funds for necessary infrastructure, interior law enforcement, a biometric exit-entry system, and an e-verify system for employers so that our immigration laws are enforced. It cracks down on sanctuary cities and focuses on public safety of our citizens like Kate Steinle who was killed by a man deported 5 times. And it also puts more boots on the border and supports our Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers on the frontlines. America is the most generous and welcoming nation in the world, and that will continue. But we won’t be taken advantage of any longer. This bill delivers on what the American people want and what our President has requested, and I urge my colleagues to join us and support it.

Democrats won’t support this bill because they aren’t serious about enforcing the Tex-Mex border.

What’s needed to pass this bill are about 5-6 more Republicans in the Senate and a significant Republican majority in the House.

If there is a government shutdown, it should be known as the Democrats’ Shutdown’. It should be called the Democrats’ Shutdown because they aren’t hiding the fact that they’re putting a higher priority on protecting adult illegal immigrants than they put on funding the military.

Democrats might be spared because “there may be enough moderate Democrats in the Senate who are not eager to shut down the government over the issue.” Then again, the thought of Democrat moderates is quaint but it’s living in the past.

Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip, is sounding a hardline note, saying “Time’s up. We want to keep the government open. But I will repeat, we’re not going to be held hostage to do things that we think are contrary to the best interests of the American people because we will do the right thing and [Republicans] don’t care.”

Actually, I’m betting against a government shutdown because Democrats know that they’re in an impossible position. They’re fighting for DACA illegal immigrants. Republicans are fighting to rebuild the military. That’s a fight Democrats can’t win. In a fight between sympathetic figures and legitimate American heroes, heroes win every time in a rout. This is rather telling:

Democratic leaders and centrists fear they’ll be blamed for shuttering federal agencies — and that President Donald Trump’s accusation that they’re doing so to protect undocumented immigrants will backfire.

Democrats are in God’s little acre — east of the rock, west of the hard place. Good luck with that.

Thank God that Lindsey Graham isn’t doing the negotiating on DACA for the Republicans. Thank God that President Trump is the negotiator, instead. First, according to Ed Henry, “the White House is planning on taking a hard line” on DACA negotiations. Henry also reported that ICE is stepping up enforcement activities at businesses like 7-11s in an attempt to put greater pressure on Democrats to negotiate a better deal for the White House. But I digress. Back to Sen. Graham.

Sen. Graham is stuck in a Gang of Eight rut. Tuesday, Sen. Graham implored President Trump to “close this deal.” Next, Sen. Graham explains his plan, saying “So here’s what I would suggest to you. Phase one: To expect my friends on the other side to go comprehensive for us, and DACA for them, is not going to happen. I’m telling my friends on the other side, DACA and nothing else is not going to happen. The sweet spot is DACA-plus, more than the DACA kids. And making down payments on border security. Moving slowly but surely towards a merit-based immigration system, to be followed by Phase Two.”

With all due respect to Sen. Graham, in this instance, slow and steady lets too many illegal immigrants into the U.S. It doesn’t win a race. With this administration putting pressure on Democrats and with the Democrats’ special interests freaking out, don’t be surprised if President Trump’s pressure isn’t a game-changer.

Last week, Rep. Martha McSally, (R-AZ), made things exceptionally clear that the Democrats’ clean DACA bill was essentially dead and buried:

This wasn’t communicated in gentle speak. Rep. McSally laid down the law on immigration. Don’t be surprised if McSally’s star doesn’t rise during the DACA negotiations. Footnote: If that happens, the likelihood that she replaces Jeff Flake as Arizona’s junior senator would increase significantly.

The Democrats are facing tons of pressure from immigration special interest groups, though they’ve been pressuring Democrats to hold to a hard line on DACA. Now that ICE is stepping up raids, don’t be surprised if these special interest organizations don’t experience a change of heart.

Appearing on Fox News’ Outnumbered, David Asman started off the show by saying that he thinks Democrats don’t want a DACA deal because they don’t want to give President Trump a political victory. That’s an opinion I hold because the Democrats’ Resistance Movement has been their strategy since President Trump’s inauguration. The proof is plentiful that Democrats have deployed obstructionism since President Trump’s inauguration. They’ve used every Senate rule to slow the confirmations of President Trump’s Cabinet secretaries.

Further, Democrats unanimously voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts even though many so-called moderates said there were parts of the tax cuts that they really liked. Despite liking major parts of the Trump/GOP tax cuts, every Democrat in the House and Senate voted against helping their constituents in the hopes of retaking the House of Representatives.

Multiple Senate Democrats oppose the building of Trump’s wall, saying that it doesn’t work. There’s tons of proof that it does. It’s in ICE’s official reports. It’s in FBI reports, too. The statistics speak for themselves. It isn’t that the Wall doesn’t work. It’s that the special interests that fund the Democrats’ campaigns insist that Democrats not vote for anything that would improve border security.

Here’s the dirty truth: Democrats would much rather do what their special interest allies instruct them to do rather than make life better for DACA recipients. Here’s another dirty little truth: Democrats don’t want a merit-based immigration system. Asman explains why we need to implement a merit-based immigration system immediately in this video:

Nothing that Asman said in describing his sister-in-law interests the Democrats. Why would they want self-sufficient immigrants with a history of creating small businesses to move to the United State? Democrats have shown that they prefer people who can’t stand on their own or that need government programs. If you don’t think that’s the truth, explain why Democrats insist on increasing the number of refugees entering from terrorist-infested nations.

Finally, Democrats want to create the storyline that Republicans shut down the government. Democrats are playing with fire this time. They’re saying no to increasing military spending, something that won’t play well this November. Think about this: Democrats don’t want to secure the Tex-Mex border. Democrats don’t want to rebuild the military, either. Democrats oppose stopping drug cartel-related crime, too.

Perhaps Democrats would like to explain something that they’re for that the American people want. And when I say that they should explain what they’re for, I’m talking about actually voting for it, not just saying that they’re for it. Words don’t mean much without actions.

Spoken like a true cookie cutter Democrat, last Friday night, newly minted U.S. Senator Tina Smith said that she’s opposed to building the wall, saying that “the wall is just a dumb idea”, adding that “most people don’t think it’s a good idea.” It’s good to know that Democrats think it’s smart to set national security policy based on public opinion rather than on what works.

I’d love hearing Democrats explain why they’re opposed to the wall after people read this article about El Paso. In the article, it says “Tell that to the residents of El Paso, Texas. Federal data show a far-less imposing wall than the one Trump envisions — a two-story corrugated metal fence first erected under the Bush administration — already has dramatically curtailed both illegal border crossings and crime in Texas’ sixth-largest city, which borders the high-crime Mexican city of Juarez. In fact, the number of deportable illegal immigrants located by the US Border Patrol plummeted by more than 89 percent over the five-year period during which the controversial new fence was built, according to Homeland Security data reviewed by me. When the project first started in 2006, illegal crossings totaled 122,261, but by 2010, when the 131-mile fence was completed from one end of El Paso out into the New Mexico desert, immigrant crossings shrank to just 12,251.”

In other words, a wall has already significantly reduced illegal border crossings in El Paso. That isn’t the only benefit of building the wall:

And crime abated with the reduced human traffic from Juarez, considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to drug-cartel violence, helping El Paso become one of the safest large cities in America.

Let’s summarize. The wall in El Paso dramatically reduced illegal border crossings and it helped reduce drug-related crime, too. Let’s hear Democrats explain their opposition to something that dramatically reduces illegal border crossings and drug-related crimes.

Before 2010, federal data show the border city was mired in violent crime and drug smuggling, thanks in large part to illicit activities spilling over from the Mexican side. Once the fence went up, however, things changed almost overnight. El Paso since then has consistently topped rankings for cities of 500,000 residents or more with low crime rates, based on FBI-collected statistics.

Democrats opposed to the wall need to explain why they’re opposed to stopping violent crime and drug smuggling.

Another core promise made by Trump to justify constructing a massive wall spanning from Texas to California is that it will slow the flow of drugs coming across the border from Mexico. “We need the wall for security. We need the wall for safety,” Trump said last week while answering questions about the sweeping new GOP immigration bill. “We need the wall for stopping the drugs from pouring in.”
On that score, El Paso already has exceeded expectations.

Drug smuggling along that border entry point has also fallen dramatically. In fact, since the fence was completed, the volume of marijuana and cocaine coming through El Paso and seized by Border Patrol agents has been cut in half. The year before the wall was fully built in 2010, the volume of illegal drugs confiscated by the feds along the El Paso border hit 87,725 pounds. The year after, the amount of drug seizures plummeted to 43,783 pounds. Last year, they dropped even further to a total of 34,329, according to Border Patrol reports obtained by The Post.

Obama, Schumer and Feinstein all voted for building a wall in 2006:

I don’t doubt that Democrats will insist that things have changed since 2006. That’s true. Since then, large portions of the wall have been built. The FBI and ICE have had time to accumulate crime data. Since those sections of walls were built, illegal crossings have dropped, illegal drug confiscation has significantly increased and crime has dropped.

In other words, we now have proof that walls work. This isn’t theory anymore.

With Democrats insisting that they won’t vote to fund government unless there’s also a ‘clean DACA bill’, I’d recommend that President Trump’s speechwriters put together a speech that politically cuts the Democrats’ legs off. That speech must spell out several things, starting with funding the military but also including the fact that any negotiations must include the top priorities for both parties. Specifically, it must say that a DACA fix is available only if it includes funding for President Trump’s wall. Period. It must also include a funding increase for the military. Here’s what that speech would say if I wrote it:

My fellow Americans, American politics has been broken since before I got to DC. A prime example of this was a moment of bipartisan insanity that eventually got called sequestration. When Congress passed sequestration, they voted to cut military spending unless they spent additional money on domestic programs. Often, those programs were used to buy votes.

When I got elected, the American people voted for someone who wanted to drain the bipartisan swamp. That’s my goal today. It’s been my goal since the day I got here. Now, the bipartisan swamp is trying to maintain the status quo by insisting that I sign a clean DACA fix. While that sounds good, the truth is that it would hurt American workers because a clean DACA bill wouldn’t fix chain migration, build the wall or end the visa lottery. It’s important that we have all 3 of those things.

Let’s make this perfectly clear. I won’t sign a clean DACA fix. Further, I’m insisting that Democrats vote with Republicans to pass another continuing resolution. This time, though, I want it to include a significant increase in military spending. Considering how hollowed out the military became thanks to sequestration, it’s unforgivable not to fix the problem that’s been created. Once we fix the military’s funding crisis, then we’ll sit down with leaders of both parties who are willing to negotiate in good faith. The foundation for those good faith negotiations are simple.

First, the wall is an essential tool in preventing drug smuggling and human trafficking. It isn’t the only tool but it’s an important tool. Second, not fixing chain migration simply means that the illegal immigrants already here would be able to bring their relatives to the United States simply because they’re relatives. I’m trying to change the immigration system to a merit-based system. It’s impossible to co-maintain a merit-based system and a chain migration-based system. They’re incompatible with each other. Third, we must end the Diversity Visa Lottery because its goal is to “ensure plenty of diversity in US immigration, so only individuals from countries underrepresented in US immigration are allowed to apply.”

My goal is to make sure that immigration helps strengthen the US economy. Wherever there are talented people who will help the American economy grow, we should consider their applications. To Washington, that doesn’t make sense. Throughout the rest of the nation, it’s the only system that makes sense.

Bringing me another rehash of the same policies that have been discussed before, whether it’s from the Gang of Eight bill or from the recent Gang of Six proposal, will be immediately rejected. As a negotiator, I understand giving on something I don’t like to get something I really want. Thus far, Democrats have said they won’t budge on funding the wall in exchange for the DACA fix.

I’m here to tell DACA recipients something important. Namely, I’m willing to sign a bill that gives DACA recipients piece of mind if it includes funding for the Wall and if it ends chain migration. The minute a bill that contains those things reaches my desk is the minute I’ll sign it.

Let me finish by summarizing my proposals. First, Congress must pass a clean CR that includes a funding increase for the military and that funds the government for the rest of this year by this Friday. Second, I will sign a DACA fix bill that includes funding for the Wall and that ends chain migration. Third, I won’t sign a rehash legislation that’s been the centerpiece of the Gang of Eight or Gang of Six bills because I want to sign something that puts America first.

Thank you and may God bless America.

It’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech does 3 things. It’s imperative that President Trump insists on a clean CR that increases military spending and that funds the government for the rest of the year. Further, it’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech calls out the Democrats for not negotiating in good faith on the military and on DACA. Finally, it’s imperative that President Trump’s next speech defines what he’ll sign in terms of DACA and why he’s insisting on those things.

If President Trump’s next speech happens this week and lays out those things, he will change the conversation. In fact, I’d argue that that speech would put Democrats on the defensive. Finally, it’s time to start hyping the theme that Sen. Durbin isn’t a trustworthy person:

Salena Zito’s column asks a brilliant question. First, she made the observation that “Few focused on who wasn’t there and why they weren’t. Once again, the pundits were missing the little nuances of how much American politics really has changed, and what that may mean for future results. Once again, the pundits were missing the little nuances of how much American politics really has changed, and what that may mean for future results. Importantly, three people in states that went heavily for Trump in 2016, Indiana’s Sen. Joe Donnelly, West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, and Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill, were all absent. Two less vulnerable incumbent Democrats Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Pennsylvania’s Sen. Bob Casey were also not there.”

Then she made a statement that said “They have made the bet to pick their donors in California and New York over their voters back home.” Democrats don’t have a message but they’re well-financed. Republicans stumbled early but they’ve put together a solid list of accomplishments. Meanwhile, the RNC has been kicking the DNC’s behind in fundraising ever since Ronna McDaniel took over.

None of these so-called ‘moderate’ Democrats voted for the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Then they weren’t anywhere to be found to negotiate a DACA fix. That begs this question: what identifies them as moderates?

If anyone of those senators get caught near Trump, all of those donors would ditch them in a minute. They’re basically asking McCaskill and Manchin and Donnelly to do an act of levitation. Win without doing the things your voters would like you to do.

The question is will the voters hold them accountable? They’re gambling they won’t be held accountable. They’re gambling that Trump is so polarizing that there are no Trump voters available to them on a positive scale. They’re thinking they’re going to have to obliterate their opponent, tear their opponent to shreds.

Yet think about the margins here. Trump won Indiana and Missouri by more than 18 points. He won North Dakota and West Virginia by 30-some points. He won Ohio by 9 points. It’s not like you only need a few Trump voters to stay home, they would need a lot of them, like a third of them, to stay home. And that is just not going to happen.

A quick look around the room speaks volumes:

Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly, McCaskill and Brown better hope that voters didn’t notice that they didn’t support any part of President Trump’s agenda. If they notice, that fivesome is history.

Michigan’s Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s statement about the tax cuts in Michigan is the perfect example of that risk. When tax reform passed late last year, Stabenow issued a statement that read:

“I’ve said from the beginning that we need tax reform that makes the tax system simpler, puts more money in your pocket, closes tax loopholes that send jobs overseas and supports small businesses and farms across Michigan. Unfortunately that isn’t at all what this republican bill does.”

Ten days later, Fiat Chrysler announced that they would invest more than $1 billion to modernize the company’s Warren Truck Plant in Detroit, adding 2,500 jobs and moving production of its Ram trucks from Mexico. They also announced they would be giving $2,000 bonuses to their hourly U.S. workers. The company credited the moves to the new tax law.

The Democrats have been on the wrong side of the tax cuts from the start. As these bonuses, pay raises and other positive announcements get factored in, how will Democrats defend their unanimous vote against the Trump/GOP tax cuts?

The pundits talk about how the President’s party usually does poorly in a new president’s first term. I certainly cant dispute that that’s the history. What’s disputable, though, is that that pattern will apply this time. I see information that indicates it might not.

Ladies and gentlemen, Tina Smith gave us proof that she’s a typical Metrocrat when she was interviewed by Almanac’s Eric Eskola and Cathy Wurzer. During the interview, Cathy Wurzer asked Smith if she thought the Senate was close to a DACA deal. Sen. Smith replied that she thought there was a good chance of senators coming together on a deal on DACA. Then Eskola essentially asked why Democrats weren’t willing to trade funding for President Trump’s wall for protection of DACA-protected illegals.

That’s when Sen. Smith said “Well, you know the wall is just a dumb idea. To try to pay for a big wall is just — most people don’t think it’s a good idea. At the same time, we have to have really strong border security and so I hope that a compromise can be reached that makes sense so that we can have strong border security.” Eskola jumped in, saying “That’s a compromise — wall- DACA”. Sen. Smith then countered, saying “I don’t think a wall is — I think a wall is — what? $18,000,000,000? I think we need to focus on border security and not the idea of tons and tons of cement, which doesn’t really work.”

There’s reason to question Sen. Smith’s commitment to border security. She recently participated in a DACA rally that featured her and Keith Ellison.

At the rally, Smith told the crowd of about 200 people “Minnesota Dreamers are American in every way except their immigration status. They work hard to improve our communities and to make our state better, not just for themselves and their families but for all of us. So the notion that we would turn our backs on Dreamers now … it’s just disgraceful.”

In other words, Sen. Smith thinks that there’s no problem admitting lots of illegal immigrants into Minnesota. On Almanac, Smith talked repeatedly about needing to secure the border. At this rally, Smith talked about how DREAMers were “American in every way except their immigration status.”

Which is it, Sen. Smith? If DREAMers are “American in every way except their immigration status”, why do we need tight security at the border? If we need tight security on the border, how can DREAMers be “American in every way except their immigration status”? It’s apparent that Sen. Smith is already adept at talking out of both sides of her mouth.

Smith’s interview is the first segment of Friday night’s show:

It’s understatement to say that it didn’t help improve her trustworthy rating.

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These days, Democrats are using the term border security as their new euphemism for comprehensive immigration reform. To Democrats, border security means not building the wall or ending chain migration. Democrats insist that the wall is a poison pill, that linking DACA to building the wall is a deal-breaker.

I’m upset with Republicans for not fighting that by questioning Democrats why they think that building a border wall is a poison pill. For that matter, I’d love seeing Chairman Goodlatte invite someone from the Israeli Defense Forces, aka the IDF, or Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee on whether their wall has protected Israel from terrorist attacks.

The Israelis are the gold standard at keeping their people safe. They’re surrounded by water and terrorists. The terrorists have a virtual unlimited supply of short- and medium-range rockets. They also have the determination to kill Israelis. During the “Second Intifada”, which started in 2000, Israelis built the border wall. From 2000 to 2003, there were 73 terrorist attacks. After the wall was built, from 2003 through 2006, terrorist attacks dropped to 12.

Let’s hear Democrats insist that a border wall doesn’t work or that it’s a poison pill after hearing that type of testimony. The Democrats insist that the wall is a poison pill because special interest organizations that fund their campaigns want to keep the stream of illegal aliens flowing. Period. That’s why it’s imperative Republicans hold onto the U.S. House. Everyone knows that there’s enough Senate Republicans who will cave on the wall. We need to keep our majority in the House to shut down any bill that doesn’t include funding for President Trump’s wall.

Let’s be exceptionally clear about this. Conservative hardliners should stop debate of any immigration bill that doesn’t end chain migration, doesn’t end the visa lottery and doesn’t fund the building of President Trump’s wall. That’s our poison pill because, without all of those things, the border isn’t secure.

No amount of happy talk will make it so. Finally, Republicans should insist that Democrats eliminate any euphemisms that make it sound like they’re serious about securing the border when they aren’t serious about securing the border. If Chuck Schumer wants to throw a hissy fit on the Senate floor after getting called out on this, that’s fine. Let him look like a jackass. After Sen. Schumer finishes his diatribe, the Republicans should then reiterate how the border wall between Israel and the West Bank has kept Israel safe for a decade.

When I read BS like this, I immediately get disgusted. Why shouldn’t I think that the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is working together with the DFL?

For instance, the editorial says “New Americans are significant and substantial contributors to the development and growth of Minnesota’s economy. They play critical roles as workers, entrepreneurs, consumers and linking Minnesota to the world economy. Immigration reform will help our new Americans contribute more than they now do and propel our state’s economy forward.”

First, until they’re here legally, they aren’t “new Americans.” They’re illegal immigrants. Period. Second, the key to “development and growth of Minnesota’s economy” shouldn’t rely on importing illegal immigrants. I’ve written frequently about the outmigration of students to our neighboring states. How can the Chamber look at that situation and not think that that’s the real problem? Until people of all ages stop leaving Minnesota in numbers greater than the people moving into Minnesota, Minnesota’s labor shortage will continue.

This is BS, too:

Our current immigration system has not been overhauled since 1986. That’s the same year, coincidentally, that our federal tax system had a major revision. It’s time overdue for Congress to design an immigration system that aligns with today’s economy.

Our immigration system wasn’t overhauled in 1986. Approximately “2.7 million immigrants” got green cards as a result of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. What’s needed in 2018 is a big beautiful border wall to prevent additional illegal immigrants from crossing the Tex-Mex border.

A DACA fix is definitely possible. An easy-to-see deal is waiting to be made. All that’s required is for Democrats to say yes to ending chain migration, funding the border wall and to end the immigration lottery. Once that’s agreed to, a DACA fix will become reality. Without that, a DACA fix is impossible.

It’s time for Democrats to be reasonable. Negotiations require give and take. Thus far, the Democrats’ negotiating strategy appears to be more like demand, demand, demand.