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Nutless Wonder Paul Ryan is about to P90X his way out of DC "for good," or at least until he gets done registering for wingnut welfare. After getting fragged by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, Trump backed out of the temporary budget deal that had passed the Senate without WALL money. And instead of calling his bluff and passing the bill they'd all agreed on, Ryan folded like the pair of twos we always knew he was. Slow clap for Paul Ryan, and he exits stage right into ignominy.

So now what?

Well, now we wait for Nancy Pelosi to come in and get shit done. We're closing in on a week of federal government shutdown. The halls of Congress are empty, trash is piling up in federal parks, the EPA has run out of temporary funds and will be shuttered tonight, the Smithsonian will close its doors January 2, and 800,000 federal employees, plus countless additional subcontractors, are without paychecks during the holidays. And throughout it all, the Mad King tweets.



"Border is tight," and we're out of danger from the caravan. Also "[t]he crisis of illegal activity at our Southern Border is real," and we desperately need WALL to prevent "Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more." So we need WALL like in Israel, where it's "99.9% successful." "Drones and all of the rest are wonderful and lots of fun," but you gotta have WALL running right through the Rio Grande, or else skeery Messicans kidnap pretty white girls from Duluth and get them addicted to Chinese fentanyl.

WALL is funded "with the Shutdown money plus funds already in hand," and also Trump "just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas." (He didn't.) Also, too, Democrats know we need WALL, but they vote against it because they're Trump haters who want Open Borders. So Trump will hold his breath until he gets WALL, which is okay because most of the federal employees getting stiffed are Democrats.

And just as the stock market was rallying this morning, Trump went on a bender and threatened to seal the southern border completely.

HOW YOU LIVIN' IOWA CORN FARMERS!

We pulled out of NAFTA and you replaced it with NAFT2. Oh, sorry, USMCA. But GO ON!

Forget WALL, what we need is MOAT. Full of sharks with giant frickin' laser beams attached to their heads! And the Mexicans will pay for it, in some fashion, indirectly.

Not for nothing, but the president is BATSHIT CRAZY and no one can rely on anything he says, least of all Mitch McConnell, who already landed on his ass like Charlie Brown when Trump bailed on the bill he'd promised to sign 10 days ago. The Post reports that Chuck and Nancy told Mother's Boy Pence to get bent when he offered to accept $1.3 billion of WALL money this weekend, since they have no reason to believe that Trump would actually sign it.

"Different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not accept," Pelosi and Schumer said Wednesday in a joint statement.

Trump's position is a critical roadblock to any negotiating. Democrats do not want to support something presented by Pence, only to have Trump balk at the idea and then move the goal posts farther right because of the apparent Democratic concession.

And congressional Republicans are adamant that they will not get caught flat-footed like last week, when the Senate unanimously approved a temporary funding plan to keep the entire government open through Feb. 8, only to learn later that Trump would veto the bill because it did not have funds for a wall.

And so Trump retreats further into his echo chamber of sycophants, who assure him that this is all going exactly to plan! The majority of Americans oppose the border wall and blame Trump for the shutdown, but obviously this is just what the president needs to stick it to Nancy Pelosi. The Daily Beast reports,

"The more the focus is on the wall, the more Pelosi is forced to focus on this fight instead of the investigations," said one source close to the White House, expressing a sentiment shared with The Daily Beast by three other individuals allied with Trump. "It's a situation where [Trump] has no choice but to shut it down. It's the best of the worst choices. It's really the only choice [because] I think there are people who would vote for him today who might not if he gave in too quickly."

Odds that this source had Fox News on in the background while speaking to DB reporters: 100%.

And while we're in bizarroworld, Trump surrogates are promising him that this time it will work. They just got shellacked in the House, but if they just beat that nativist drum harder, they'll win back suburban women. You bet!

[T]wo people who've spoken with Trump about the shutdown—one during and the other just before it began—said the president believes the politics have been a boon for him and a potential humiliation for the Democrats. One of these sources said Trump has privately predicted that Democratic politicians are "screwing themselves" with voters by resisting his hard-line, restrictionist immigration policies, and not signing on to his wall.

Another top adviser said internal polling showed illegal immigration was a galvanizing issue for the suburban women voters Republicans had lost in the midterm elections. Trump and the Republican Party's strategy leading up to those midterm elections had relied heavily on overhyping fears about asylum seekers on the southern border. That nativist touch ultimately proved ineffective in helping the GOP hold on to its House majority, though the adviser insisted that the messaging was simply overshadowed by other issues, including health care.

And who wouldn't trust the political instincts of a guy who just threatened to seal the Mexican border and shut down the market for Iowa corn farmers, right? Luckily those guys will just hop off their tractors and immediately shift to manufacturing cars like in the old days before NAFTA.

Meanwhile, FEMA can't issue new flood insurance policies during the shutdown, which makes Don McGahn's wife Shannon very sad, since her new gig is lobbying for the National Association of Realtors (of course!), which won't be able to move houses in large swathes of the country while the government is closed for business. Nothing like a good housing market freeze to goose the economy!

Good thing Trump told us weeks ago that he was proud to own this shutdown.

You break it, you own it, Poppy!

[WaPo / Daily Beast]

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