Donald Trump is planning to give an address to the nation tonight at 9:00 pm that will be carried live on all the major TV networks. I will not be watching it because I find it hard to watch him lying in real time. I will choose instead to read later about all the lies and fear-mongering that I expect him to deliver as he gets increasingly desperate to get out of the box he put himself into by tying funding for his wall with keeping the government open. Expect to hear apocalyptic visions of the doom facing the nation if the wall is not built.
The Democrats are suggesting different ways to fight Trump on his government shut down, now in its third week. In the House of Representatives, the idea is to keep passing funding bills piecemeal that are exactly like the ones that the Republican-controlled congress passed easily in December.
Sensing a winning hand, Democrats this week will repackage a handful of uncontroversial bills funding a number of shuttered agencies — excluding Homeland Security, which covers the proposed wall — and send them off to the Senate one by one, forcing GOP leaders to explain their promised inaction on measures they supported just weeks ago.
In the Senate there are moves to refuse to deal with any bills at all until the government is funded, even though the very first bill is the one that seeks to punish those who support the BDS movement.
As of this writing, at least ten senators have publicly vowed to stand with the progressive grassroots and block legislation unrelated to reopening the government. Those senators are: Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
According to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “has started telling the caucus he will vote against” the motion to proceed on Tuesday “because the government shutdown remains unresolved.” This news comes just days after The Intercept reported that Schumer plans to support the legislation punishing boycotts of Israel.
Meanwhile, Seth Meyers has returned from a two-week break and there is a lot for him to catch up on in the news starting with, of course, the Trump government shut down.