Friday, January 19, 2018

Last Call For Shutdown Countdown

Senate vote to keep the government open failed.  Republicans couldn’t even get 50 votes from their own caucus to pass the House GOP bill, so a shutdown at his point seems inevitable. Five Democrats voted for the cloture measure: McCaskill, Heitkamp, Manchin, Donnelly and Doug Jones, but cloture needed 60 votes and Republicans Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake and (of course) Rand Paul voted against it.

GOP just shut down the government.


Just A Steel Clown Guy On A Saturday Night

Steel workers in the Rust Belt voted for Trump because of "economic anxiety" and whatnot, abandoning the Dems in the hope that The Donald would treat blue-collar union workers better than the black guy did a couple years ago.  Turns out that the steel industry lined up to be the among the first shafted by Trump's promises.

The president of the United Steelworkers union says the group is "terribly disappointed" with President Trump, who he says has done nothing to protect American jobs since taking office last January.

In an interview with CNN, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said that American workers are in some ways worse off now than they were just a year ago.

"We're terribly disappointed and hugely frustrated," Gerard told CNN. "There's been no action that has done anything to protect and defend American jobs. ... In some cases we're worse off now than we were then."Chief among Gerard's concerns is the Trump administration's investigation, announced last April, into steel and aluminum imports from China and other countries suspected of violating trade practices.

At the time, Trump called the investigation “a historic day for American steel and, most importantly, for American steelworkers," and predicted that his administration would take action stemming from the investigation by the summer. So far, no action has been taken.

Part of the Trump administration's dialing back of pressure on China has been due to North Korean aggression, which Trump hopes China will help the U.S. solve.

To recap, Trump's stupid belligerence only made things worse with North Korea, and then Trump screwed over US steelworkers to make China happy so that they would agree to help him clean up his mess with Pyongyang.

But hey Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, this is the guy you voted for, who would save US steel jobs because the Democrats were too busy helping those people and not you.  Well, guess what?  Trump always screws over the people he works with, and we warned you that would happen.  You didn't listen, because you hated Hillary more than you loved common sense.

Now you've been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency in under a year.

Still think he'll make your America great again?

The Next Flipping Point

Republican Tim Murphy resigned from the House late last year after an ugly scandal involving multiple affairs and an abortion and the special election to replace him is the next major political contest in 2018 and it's one the Democrats can definitely win.

After a shocking win in a rural Wisconsin senate race Tuesday, Democrats are feeling increasingly bullish they can win another target deep in Trump territory, flip their first House seat since Trump’s 2016 victory and strike fear into the hearts of Republicans across the country. 
Their target: a blue-collar southwestern Pennsylvania House seat recently vacated by disgraced former Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) in territory national Democrats haven’t seriously contested this decade.

Strategists in both parties see a surprisingly close race developing in the district ahead of the March 13 special election. After some major investments, Republicans are pulling out the big guns on Thursday: A visit from President Trump himself, who will hold an official event on the district’s edges where he’s expected to boost the Republican candidate. 
“Clearly there’s a lot of intensity and energy on the Democratic side and they’ve outperformed their recent numbers in other special elections. We’ve got to take this very, very seriously,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) told TPM. “I do think we are taking this seriously and I think we’re going to win, but we’re not going to be asleep at the switch.” 
Republicans know a loss in this deep-red, blue-collar district after blowing an Alabama Senate race, getting crushed in Virginia’s gubernatorial race and losing more than 30 statehouse seats in the past year would further alarm their party — and be a sign that the 2018 Democratic wave might be large enough to drown some members who never thought they’d even need to swim. 
If we lost that race, it’d be quite an earthquake. I don’t know if I’d say on the scale of Alabama, but it’d be close,” one Pennsylvania Republican congressman told TPM.
Republicans have reason for concern.

Democrats have landed a top-notch recruit in Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old former Marine and federal prosecutor whose family is a Democratic powerhouse in the Pittsburgh area. Republicans have by their own account nominated a somewhat lackluster candidate, dubbed “not Jack Kennedy” by one national Republican. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R) is a conservative firebrand who’s known as a weak fundraiser. 
That matchup, paired with white-hot opposition to the president from the left, has created a single-digit race, according to private polling from both sides. And while Democrats admit it’s an uphill battle in the GOP-friendly district, they’re feeling bullish that they can pull off an upset that would prove they can win in rural, populist terrain. 
“I think he’s going to win,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) told TPM Monday night, calling it “a very strong indicator of a good year” for Democrats that the race is competitive.

I think Conor Lamb has an excellent chance, and the reason why is Trump's absolute failure in Steel Country.  The GOP isn't taking chances after Tuesday's disaster and Roy Moore's crash and burn.  They think Trump will help, so Trump will be on the road "helping" them.

More on Steel Country this afternoon. Trump is very vulnerable there and it's why he wants to scrap NAFTA.


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