US Government Shutdown Watch: 2018 Edition. More Bricks in the Wall?


So if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re saying this is definitely the year to start cheating on taxes? Is that 26 OT hours for each person, each week? Looks like the administration is increasing wages after all!


Remember that they can audit you for taxes prior to this year’s.

Or, for this year’s, at some point in the future.


I have so little doubt this is true.


(They don’t need a majority in the GOP to vote against it. They need 4 votes.)


Actually we can work up to 38 hours this week, just no more than 52 in two weeks. Overtime is normal around April 15th, but this is unusual.

And as part of the agreement to end the shutdown all government employees got their 1.9% raise, retroactive to the start of the year.



Democrats suggesting that they would tap military pay and pensions to pay for the Green New Deal would be the spark that started the second Civil War. I mean they wouldn’t even dare.


At this point I think they could literally throw a Trump logo on every military uniform (charging the govt for the privilege) and install Ivanka and Junior as the co-commanders-in-chief of the armed forces and military families will still vote for him.


So it looks like the article is saying that the money is coming out of a pool used for recruitment and early retirements, and not active service personnel pay.

Durbin said the funds are available because Army recruitment is down and a voluntary early military retirement program is being underutilized.

The Army missed its recruiting goal this year, falling short by about 6,500 soldiers, despite pouring an extra $200 million into bonuses and approving some additional waivers for bad conduct or health issues.

Congress also appropriated money to give members of the military incentive to take early retirement, but enrollment in the program is coming in well under expectations.

I mean, there’s probably ten million ways that money could be better utilized than the stupid wall, but it doesn’t sound as bad as the headline makes out.


Because I was curious, the Army recruited 70,000 new soldiers in FY2018.


When last we left this…

  1. We had what looked like 4 “Ayes” from Republicans on the resolution to block Trump’s declaration of emergency. BUT WAIT! The Republicans in the Senate have an idea!!

  2. Over the last few days, Mike Lee of Utah came up with a bill that would alter the 1976 National Emergency act. It would give congress 30 days to provide legislative approval of such declarations. The senate frames it as “We want to take away the unilateral power of the president to make such declarations.”

Oh! That’s a good thing. But…the idea is, they’d pass this new bill, but it wouldn’t apply to the Feb. 15 Wall declaration. In other words, we’ll grandfather that thing in, but then NO MORE. We mean it!

  1. Unfortunately, the White House – with a way out of this mess in their grasp – wasn’t real sold on it, and pushed back a bit. And the bill failed to catch on. And so just after a Republican senate lunch get-together today, a source told reporters that there are definitely enough Republican votes to pass the House resolution to block when that comes for a vote tomorrow…and that Senator Lee’s bill is now dead.


I don’t hate Senator Lee’s idea (the only time I will ever type that sentence).

The wall is a dumb idea for many reasons, and we shouldn’t build it. But keeping our Democratic institutions intact is more important. I don’t love that his bill would have been yet another pander to Trump, but I do like the idea of drawing the fucking lines around executive authority more clearly.

Maybe we’ll still get there, I hope so. Speaking only for myself, I would have given up a few billion in wall funding to clearly and in writing reign in the executive branch’s authority.


That would mean some douche would do it again in the future. (Not saying no one will regardless.) Like a hostage situation basically. “Give me money or you’ll never see your wife and kids again.”


I don’t think so, as the legislation in question was evidently designed to stop exactly this sort of thing. ( I have not read it… I’m just going by my quick and possibly wrong interpretation of what Triggercut posted).


I mean, I don’t know that it ever got to a whip count, but I would imagine that if the White House gave the Senate this off-ramp by getting behind Lee’s legislation, they’d have taken it. Now they’re appear poised to slam his dick in the dryer tomorrow.


Setting aside the question of Trump, it strikes me that this is the sort of legislation that would be opposed by the advisors in any White House, because it has the effect of reducing the power of the Executive.


I would imagine Obama’s WH would not have supported it.

As for the vote tomorrow bothering Trump, do you really think he gives a damn. All it requires is his veto and he still gets his way.


Oh, I imagine most executives would be against such curbing of their own authority…

…but then most executives didn’t so stupidly and wrecklessly paint themselves into a corner the way the current president did.


It’s anyone’s guess what the courts do with this emergency nonsense, but I think the courts have long maintained that Presidential authority is at its strongest when he acts with the approval of Congress, and it is at its least when he acts in opposition to Congress. An emergency declaration rejected by Congress and used to allocate funds expressly rejected by Congress is hardly a slam dunk. And yes, I know Kavanaugh and Alito will love that sort of thing, but I don’t really know how Roberts will feel about it.


I would hope the courts would side with congress in this case.

I had forgotten Trump’s nonsensical speech where he explained how the courts would handle this case. :)