Shutdown Demonstrates How “Vital” Government Scientists Are… NOT

 

Guest laugh by David Middleton

The laugh is the fact that an article demonstrating the nonessential nature of government scientists, is titled “The Shutdown Shows Just How Vital Government Scientists Are”

ERIC NIILER SCIENCE 01.08.19

THE SHUTDOWN SHOWS JUST HOW VITAL GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS ARE

 

INSTEAD OF FIGURING out how many Pacific hake fishermen can catch sustainably, as his job demands, scientist Ian Taylor is at home with his four-month old daughter, biding his time through the partial government shutdown.

[…]

Some federal science agencies are open, such as the National Institutes for Health and the Department of Energy, since their appropriations bills were already signed by Trump. Others, such as NASA, are continuing to operate key programs such as the International Space Station, although 95 percent of its 15,000 workers were sent home on Dec. 22.

[…]

The shutdown has led to a hodgepodge of federal science-based activity across the country. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is sitting on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral ready for a planned launch on Jan. 17, but without NASA personnel to oversee testing, that liftoff will be delayed. Crews that fly over the Atlantic to check on endangered Atlantic right whales and send those positions to commercial ships are still working, but they aren’t being paid.

Weather forecasters are working during the shutdown, but hundreds of scientists from NOAA and the National Weather Service have been banned from attending the annual American Meteorological Society meeting this week in Phoenix.

[…]

The Environmental Protection Agency furloughed about 14,000 of its employees, leaving just 753 “essential” workers on the job.

[…]

Leslie Rissler, an evolutionary biologist and program director at the NSF, tweeted last week that she had applied for unemployment benefits.

[…]

Wired

So… NASA and the EPA can maintain essential operations with only 5% of their workforce, evolutionary biologists are nonessential drains on the taxpayers, NOAA meteorologists can’t attend the American Meteorological Society convention on the taxpayers’ dime… Maybe I’m just a bit jaded, but how does the word “vital” fit in here?  Can you think of a better example of a nonessential government employee than an evolutionary biologist?

Is anyone else laughing at all of the blather about government scientists not being able to attend conventions?  I call them conventions as do most people I know, even though the official title is usually “conference and exposition.”  If I had a dollar for every time I couldn’t attend the AAPG, SEG or GCAGS* convention because my employer was tightening their belt, I’d have a lot of dollars.  For that matter, I’ve even become proactive in belt-tightening… The only times I ever request to attend AAPG, SEG or GCAGS conventions are when they are in Dallas or Houston (where I can keep the costs pretty-well limited to the registration fee).  Having survived multiple oil price crashes, I’ve learned that controlling costs enables companies (and paychecks) to survive downturns and to be more profitable during “booms”.  I don’t recall any geologists complaining about not being able to attend the 2016 AAPG convention in Calgary because their companies were cutting costs due to the collapse in oil prices.  Most of them probably felt like I did: Thankful to still have a job… if they still had jobs.

Regarding the possible delay in the launch of the privately owned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the key takeaway is that the “privatization” of spaceflight is still mostly a buzzword.  If “Paul Allen, Larry Page, Eric E. Schmidt, Ram Shriram, Charles Simony, Ross Perot, Jr., Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Robert Bigelow” want to privatize spaceflight, maybe they might think about building their own launch facilities… with their own money.  Or, maybe the US government should privatize NASA’s space operations.

*Abbreviations

AAPG: American Association of Petroleum Geologists

SEG: Society of Exploration Geophysicists

GCAGS: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies

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163 thoughts on “Shutdown Demonstrates How “Vital” Government Scientists Are… NOT

    • This is exactly correct, and I suspect it will be what finally makes Chuck and Nancy do the right thing in the end. IOW…do the job they were elected to do, and which they took an oath wherein they swore to do it.

      • “do the job they were elected to do, and which they took an oath wherein they swore to do it” I think those 2 items are mutually exclusive.

      • At one stage Belgium did not have a govt. for around 18 mo. and no one seemed to notice much.

        Can you think of a better example of a nonessential government employee than an evolutionary biologist?

        let me see ….. climate modeller ??

      • Which part of their job aren’t they doing? The constitution clearly states that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” So clearly the responsibility for the budget lies with the House of Representatives and not the president. It is also worth noting that the shutdown was started when the republicans were in charge of the House of Representatives and did not want to fund the wall either.

        • I shall be kind and assume ignorance.

          The Republican House of Representatives DID pass a bill with funding for vital border security – including the barrier.

          Now, I will admit that the Republican Senate didn’t muster up the guts to overrule the MINORITY of Democrats to finish the job.

          • Republicans: If we keep the filibuster rule in place while we are in the majority, the Democrats will keep it in place if they regain the majority.
            Democrats: Hang the rules, we’re getting rid of the filibuster next time we have 51 votes.

          • Also note that the Republican senate passed a bill that would have kept the
            government open and which funded border security at the level of 1.6 billion.
            The Republican controlled house of representatives voted against it and Trump indicated that he would veto it. Since then the Democratic lead House of Representatives have passed the same bill that the Senate approved in December 2018 but currently the Republicans controlling the Senate are not allowing this to come to a vote.

          • It’s amazing how quickly the Democrats have forgotten the filibuster.
            Back when Obama was messing things up, they constantly blamed the filibuster for everything Obama didn’t get to.

          • Make that “how quickly the Democrat apologists”.
            The Democrats in the Senate have obviously not forgotten about the filibuster.

        • Percy, while Trump had said he was willing to shut the Government down if necessary, he never got that chance. The House of Representatives passed a bill funding the Government (including $5.7 for the border wall) and sent it to the Senate. The shutdown was started when Democrats in the Senate blocked passage of the funding bill because it had the funding Trump requested.

          SR

        • Yes, and the President can veto the bill.

          Congress can break the log jam by over riding the veto. An override requires the votes of 2/3rds of each House. Given the current partisan make-up of Congress, that means about 50 Republican representatives out of 195 and 20 Republican Senators.

          Unless some remarkable new event occurs that causes Republicans to abandon the President en masse, I can’t see that happening.

          The media is trying to stampede Republicans into abandoning the President. But, they know that they will be primaried if they do.

          Bottom line, Trump cannot afford to back down, because if he does his Presidency is over. Congressional Democrats can, because only their crazies will be upset.

          • “Congressional Democrats can, because only their crazies will be upset.”

            Americans have mostly stopped voting for Democrats, so they desperately need more illegals to do the votes Americans won’t do. This is a life-and-death issue for them.

        • “Percy Jackson January 9, 2019 at 1:32 pm
          Which part of their job aren’t they doing?

          So clearly the responsibility for the budget lies with the House of Representatives”

          You just answered your own question.

          The obstructing democrats are ignoring the country’s budget needs and requirements.
          Their refusal to fund what they have supported in the past is sheer anti-Trump derangement.

          They’d much rather government departments and agencies suffer and degrade while citizens are denied services than “do their job!”

          And yes, they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and to perform their duties.

          • They have performed their duties. They have passed bills and sent them to the Senate. The problem is that the majority leader of the Senate refuses to bring the already passed House bills up for consideration in the Senate.

          • re legislative rules specified in the Constitution:
            The Constitution only says that each House of the legislature shall adopt their own rules. Tradition has given the Senate the 60 vote plurality to limit a filibuster. Many think it was wise to do this to prevent the ‘tyranny of the majority’. And remember, the Senate was originally a body appointed by and beholden only to the the party in control of each state so basically, the rule required that 60% OF THE STATES had to agree with an action.

        • Even though the Republicans controlled the House there were too many RINOs who were afraid of what the media would say about them to get the wall funded.

        • The GOP in the house did push forward a bill with wall spending. It was the Senate where it didnt go through because of the outdated, nonconstitutional (yes non not un) filibuster rules.

        • But it was a Republican president who now has the formerly reluctant Republicans ready to fund the wall and the communist Democrats about to buckle
          I mean after all, Congress overwhelmingly gave US taxpayers money to fund Israel’s massive wall.
          https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/135533120?profile=original

          And then we supposedly can’t afford $5 billion for a border wall, but we can afford to give Israel 85 billion dollars more; it the very first bill out of the 2019 Congress.
          And note that the ‘govt funding shutdown’ does not apply to what he already are giving Israel, of course.
          ‘Israel’s $38 Billion Scam, Bibi wants more and Congress might deliver’
          http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-38-billion-scam/

        • The “Budget” is proposed by the Executive Branch, it is a request for money from Congress to fund all those government agencies. Congress in turn requests (demands) money from The People since it doesn’t have money of its own.

  1. ” If Paul Allen, Larry Page, Eric E. Schmidt, Ram Shriram, Charles Simony, Ross Perot, Jr., Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Robert Bigelow want to privatize spaceflight,…”

    Paul Allen can’t do much of anything anymore… he’s dead.

  2. Hmm…let’s not be too hasty in determining that scientists are not vital. True they are not vital if you do not want any further progress in understanding things. The time scales of their work do not fit into the 24 hr news cycle and the “what-have-you done-for-me-today” myopic public view. I however, like to set my horizons a bit farther.
    Such progress has afforded us all the nice things we have and with such we can coast along just fine. Its simply that NO FURTHER progress will be made or it will be made at a much more torpid pace.

      • I’d be willing to bet that the author of the Wired article probably thinks that the only vital scientists work for the government and/or academia.

        • The only vital scientists to Wired are those that mindlessly spew socialist party dogma and advance their propaganda narrative.

    • I never suggested that “scientists” in general weren’t vital… Just that “government scientists” were nonessential government employees and that the partial shutdown of the government does not demonstrate that government scientists are vital.

      • David Middleton,

        From above:

        Others, such as NASA, are continuing to operate key programs such as the International Space Station, although 95 percent of its 15,000 workers were sent home on Dec. 22.

        First, happy birthday to me. Hopefully, if 95 percent of NASA employees are not essential, I hope Gavin is one of them (he doesn’t do any Space Station work, does he)?

    • Hmm…let’s not be too hasty in determining that scientists are not vital

      You are attacking a strawman. No one claimed “scientists are not vital.” (full stop). what is being said is that they are not “vital” government employees. They are mostly non-essential personal as far as government work goes. And government scientists are not the old scientists in the world. And most real progress takes place outside of the insular halls of government.

      • It is the only way they can argue i.e. attack. When you pose salient observations they segue to bogus strawmen and proceed to knock them down hoping that the public school graduates will be dazzled by their “brilliance” and won’t notice that they changed the subject.

      • We could probably cut academic and government scientists (really the same thing since academics mostly get government grants) by 2/3 and I doubt anyone would notice.

        • Teaching and research assistants would notice… Oh wait, they wouldn’t notice… They already do all of the work.

    • If they’re that vital, someone will pay them to do the vital work.

      Reality is, most scientists are a long way from vital, and many are being paid not to progress society but to destroy it.

      Everything Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address has come to pass.

      • Yah, but… you didn’t need a government scientist to tell you that.

        There are only a few things you need to know in life:

        1. Shinola
        2. CO2
        3. Russians
        4. Orange man bad
        5. 42

        Write those down, preferably in stone. I’ll have 5 more later.

        Now if you’ll excuse me I have to return to my cave high up in the mountains.

  3. This may give government funded scientists some time for thinking.
    “Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions”
    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000065

    “ As a result, much of the scientific impact of the funding program is squandered. ….Note that while an investigator will never enter a grant competition against her own self interest, there is no guarantee that the scientific value per funded proposal will exceed the scientific waste ….. Unfortunately, empirical comparisons between the efficiencies of funding competitions versus partial lotteries do not yet exist, to the best of our knowledge”

    A Partial Lottery proposal, still models, lots of assumptions, suggest they still don’t know the complete problem, administrators need education to value education, and still the contest fallacy, but maybe a step forward.

  4. Government shutdown demonstrates how vital gubmint science leeche’s jobs are to them. I bet half of them could be fired, and no one would notice a difference.

  5. “but without NASA personnel to oversee testing, that liftoff will be delayed.”

    In other words it’s a union shop and the govies stand around while SpaceX personal do the actually work.

    • Hmmm. How does one “oversee” the testing?

      I think you’ve got it in one. They need the NASA personnel to open the front gates and shoo the birds, else nothing gets done.

  6. Hake sustainability assessor Ian Taylor should enjoy the time with his 4 mo. old daughter. It is too precious to squander.

    The hake fishermen will do just fine without him. Really.
    And if the Missus gets cranky, he should just go fishin’ himself, sans gov’t. subsidy. Really.
    The Washington D.C. charade is all too predictable.
    All the posturing, all the seemingly serious words: “His fault, not mine.”
    At least there’s the comic relief of American Gothic and the Game of THR⌽NES banners.

    It’s a proverbial Mexican Standoff, first one to blink loses.

  7. Just to point out the obvious… To all those furloughed government employees, there are jobs out there in the private sector.

    • Last month they were saying unemployment was at an all time low…more jobs were created, etc

      ….somehow they will spin this into unemployment at a all time high

      wait for it…….

      • Is it a “vital” government job to spin the unemployment numbers?

        Or are we just going to run to ADP for employment number proxies?

    • ScienceABC123

      American climate scientists were offered jobs in France by President Macron.

      Isn’t that good enough for them?

  8. “…Or, maybe the US government should privatize NASA’s space operations…”

    I’ve been thinking along those same lines during this partial shutdown. If it is conceivably possible for the private sector to do what NASA does, then govt should just contract with the private space organizations to do what NASA does now.

    I also don’t see why the National Park system cannot be privatized. If turned over to the private sector, the contract or sales agreement must specify that the parks will be operated as parks forever (no development) in the private sector and must always be open and available to everyone in the public.

    The Postal Service is still operating (at least I am still getting my mail), but it could be privatized too. Also, maybe the National Weather Service. Threats of severe weather could still be automatically dispensed to the public under federal law with a privatized NWS.

    Those who are enamored with Big Government will probably howl at the notion of all this privatization. But at times like this with dysfunctional govt, it starts to make sense.

  9. Just farm the work out to Brazilian agencies. Their staffs comment on how much they get done with one tenth the budget of their U.S. counterpart.

  10. I’m sure Elon’s crews would be happy to launch the Falcon for the Crew Dragon demonstration in a week if NASA simply got out of the way. They will have recordings of telemetry and video for later analysis by NASA if/when they go back to work. Heck they can follow it in real time on the SpaceX feed. NASA is the customer here though and the customer is always right.
    BTW the pads are actually rented by SpaceX, not given for free even though they weren’t doing much of anything and SpaceX spent real money refurbishing and modifying them.

    • The USAF runs range safety for both Vandenberg and Cape launches. And the FAA keeps the airspace clear. Both are funded. The launch critical aspects could proceed without NASA. But that would show how much of NASA is just a self-licking ice cream cone (that is, it exists for its own benefit).

  11. The thought of Gavin and his fellow travelers at GISS on furlough has me all choked up… with tears of joy.
    The climate scam is on hold, awaiting more tax dollars. Fitting.

  12. It’s pretty damning that so many government websites are apparently run manually, so that they have to shut down when their handlers go home for a few days.

    “Yeah, we have to turn the website off, even if the server hosting the site is still running a site with a ‘this site is turned off’ message.”

    • Actually, the sites shut down to prevent access to online government services. Even though the websites are simple and cost a few dollars a day to run, the services they link out to can cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.

      I’m loving the shutdown as much as anyone else here but having written software for the government and having seen how much money can be spent in a single 24-hour period to keep their digital services up… well, it’s staggering.

      That said, it is quite stupid that many of them spent more money just to put up a “Closed until further notice” sign.

  13. It has been said that the government scientists at the PFRA helped prevent Saskatchewan from becoming a desert. Men Against the Desert

    … we learn that in Canada during the 1930s, known also as the “Dirty Thirties” because of the worsening drought conditions in the Canadian Prairies, a popular mentality totally different from that of today’s was dominant. This was a mentality that reflected a powerful optimism that man could totally improve the land and stop nature in its suicidal path towards destruction, even if financial means were lacking.

    That was before the environmentalists got stupid.

  14. Oh no! It’s worse than you think!
    Here’s the list …
    Many routers have failed overnight!
    The price of lima beans set to fall by 3%!
    A wheat crop somewhere failed!
    Another foreign war might be declared!
    Oil runs out! (of the can)
    The economy normalizes!
    Some flights are delayed!
    Nationally this morning at least one hundred different vehicles failed to start first time!

    Agghhh! Where are the government scientists ?

    /sarc-off

    So government employees, get the message all of the items listed above are more important than you who are the servant to the people.

  15. Does this mean we may be getting less scaremongering and fewer new reasons/proof about climate change? I wonder why so much time, energy, and money is being spent on proving something that is supposed to be so incontrovertible and harmful instead of mitigating it?

  16. Trump met with the Democrats today to try to work out a deal to fund the wall and open the government.

    After a lot of haggling, with the Democrats saying they wouldn’t negotiate until the government was open, and then Trump said to Nancy Pelosi, “If I agree to everything you want and open the government, will you then fund the Wall?” Nancy Pelosi said, “No.”

    Trump said, This meeting is over.”

    Trump should probably start setting the groundwork for declaring a National Emergency. Trump will have to deal with lawsuits to get this implemented, but that should go fast, and should go in the president’s favor, and once this is done, Trump has the option of building the wall without Congress specifically funding it.

    Of course, the Lefties will go nuts and accuse Trump of violating the U.S. Constitution, and all sorts of other crimes and evil motivations, and will declare the nation is in danger from an out-of-control president. But it’s all hyperbole and partisan political rhetoric.

    The truth is the National Emergency Act (1976) authorizes the president to call a National Emergency unilaterally, and the law also authorizes that the president can carry out, among other things, construction, during the National Emergency, and can do so without prior funding authorization of Congress. This law is his authorization.

    Before you start believing in the rogue president meme the Left will put out, keep in mind that his National Emergency Act also provides a method for Congress to overrule any actions by the president if Congress can muster enough votes to do so.

    So the president can only go as far as the Congress will allow, although they do have to take active steps to stop him, if that’s what they want to do.

    This law was actually written to reign in presidential power, and is probably unconstitutional in any restrictions placed on the president when it comes to the president and national defense and national security. The president is the Commander-in-Chief and has the constitutional power to defend the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

    Trump should declare a National Emergency and tell the nation that he will open up the government just as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court rules he can declare a National Emergency on the southern border under the National Emergency Act of 1976.

    Meanwhile the Democrats will be raising all sorts of hell, but Trump can tell them if they don’t want him taking this action then they should authorize funding for the Wall and eliminate Trump’s need to go around them.

    There IS a national emergency. Trump has tried to make a deal with the Democrats. The Democrats won’t deal for partisan political reasons. The emergency still exists. The president has to act. He can’t wait for the Democrats to play their politics any longer.

          • However Dave, the courts can block it, so in fact the call by the president can be reviewed and overridden.

          • Oh yeah Dave, don’t forget the House of Representatives can deem an unwarranted declaration of a “National Emergency” and abuse of power which is considered a “high crime.”

          • 218 members of the House can declare anything to be “high crimes and misdemeanors”… It takes 67 Senators to confirm that definition. The Democrats are at least 21 votes short of 67 votes in the Senate. In the meantime the Wall gets built, or at least meaningfully started… And SCOTUS will probably uphold it 5-4.

          • Congress gave Trump such authority in the National Emergencies Act, augmenting claims of inherent authority, but the source of the funds could be more challenging. Under two laws in Title 10 and Title 33 of the United States Code, he could seek to use unobligated funds originally set aside for military construction projects, or divert funds from Army civil works projects. There are limitations on the use of such money, and there could be strong challenges to the use of unobligated funds in other areas. There is money there to start but not nearly enough to finish such a wall without proper appropriation. Recall Obama funded the undeclared war in Libya out of money slushing around in the Pentagon, without the new strict constitutionalists objecting from the Democratic side of the aisle.

            Courts generally have deferred to the judgments of presidents on the basis for such national emergencies, and dozens of such declarations have been made without serious judicial review. Indeed, many of the very same politicians and pundits declared the various travel ban orders to be facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ultimately lifted the injunctions of lower courts. Moreover, Trump does not have to ultimately prevail to achieve part of his objective. Even if a court were to enjoin construction, the declaration could afford Trump the political cover to end the government shutdown, as the issue moved its way through the courts.

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

          • Another thing you seem to have forgotten about Dave, is that a lot of the land on which this “wall” will be built is private property. The government can’t build it there without either getting permission from the owner, or TAKING the land away from the owner by eminent domain. That needs to go in front of a judge.

          • Dave you don’t need 67 votes in the Senate, all you need is a single federal judge to find that the declaration of a “National Emergency” is an unconstitutional act.

          • Courts generally have deferred to the judgments of presidents on the basis for such national emergencies, and dozens of such declarations have been made without serious judicial review. Indeed, many of the very same politicians and pundits declared the various travel ban orders to be facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ultimately lifted the injunctions of lower courts. Moreover, Trump does not have to ultimately prevail to achieve part of his objective. Even if a court were to enjoin construction, the declaration could afford Trump the political cover to end the government shutdown, as the issue moved its way through the courts.

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

          • Dave the last time the SCOTUS looked at a declaration of a “National Emergency” Truman lost.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIWs5VDF6ZA

            The problem is Trump does have that power because Congress gave it to him. Schiff is referring to the historic case of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company versus Charles Sawyer, in which the Supreme Court rejected the use of inherent executive powers by President Truman to seize steel mills during a labor dispute. He wanted to claim a national security emergency if steel production halted during the Korean War. In a powerful check on executive authority, the Supreme Court rejected his rationale for unilateral action. The Supreme Court was correct. But that was in 1952.

            More than two decades later, Congress expressly gave presidents the authority to declare such emergencies and act unilaterally. The 1976 National Emergencies Act gives presidents sweeping authority as well as allowance in federal regulations to declare an “immigration emergency” to deal with an “influx of aliens which either is of such magnitude or exhibits such other characteristics that effective administration of the immigration laws of the United States is beyond the existing capabilities” of immigration authorities “in the affected area or areas.” The basis for such an invocation generally includes the “likelihood of continued growth in the magnitude of the influx,” rising criminal activity, as well as high “demands on law enforcement agencies” and “other circumstances.”

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

          • Thank you Dave for posting this: “There are limitations on the use of such money, and there could be strong challenges to the use of unobligated funds in other areas. There is money there to start but not nearly enough to finish such a wall without proper appropriation. ”

            Trump isn’t doing very well when his actions are challenged in court.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIWs5VDF6ZA

            Trump is winning when the battleground is in the courts…

            Courts generally have deferred to the judgments of presidents on the basis for such national emergencies, and dozens of such declarations have been made without serious judicial review. Indeed, many of the very same politicians and pundits declared the various travel ban orders to be facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ultimately lifted the injunctions of lower courts. Moreover, Trump does not have to ultimately prevail to achieve part of his objective. Even if a court were to enjoin construction, the declaration could afford Trump the political cover to end the government shutdown, as the issue moved its way through the courts.

            While the matter could be expedited to move through the courts in a matter of months, the government could seek to slow litigation to push any final decision into 2020. There are compelling arguments against funding the entire wall demanded by Trump, although some added border barriers clearly are warranted. However, one can oppose an emergency declaration without claiming that it is facially unconstitutional. It is not.

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

          • “Which can be immediately appealed to SCOTUS on an national security basis.”


            Stick to working in the oil business Davie, because you’re not doing all that well when it comes to the area of law.

            You seem to be confusing “emergency” and “security.”

          • Maybe you missed this…

            Trump is winning when the battleground is in the courts…

            Courts generally have deferred to the judgments of presidents on the basis for such national emergencies, and dozens of such declarations have been made without serious judicial review. Indeed, many of the very same politicians and pundits declared the various travel ban orders to be facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court ultimately lifted the injunctions of lower courts. Moreover, Trump does not have to ultimately prevail to achieve part of his objective. Even if a court were to enjoin construction, the declaration could afford Trump the political cover to end the government shutdown, as the issue moved its way through the courts.

            While the matter could be expedited to move through the courts in a matter of months, the government could seek to slow litigation to push any final decision into 2020. There are compelling arguments against funding the entire wall demanded by Trump, although some added border barriers clearly are warranted. However, one can oppose an emergency declaration without claiming that it is facially unconstitutional. It is not.

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

          • Dave, Pelosi told Donald “NO.”

            He stormed out of the meeting.

            He’s acting like a 12 year old.

            I’ll bet if he sits on top of his gold plated toilet and is constipated, he’ll declare a “national emergency.”

            If he did that, I’d agree with him, because if he’s constipated, he’s full of $h_t.

          • I have plenty Dave, the problem you have is your petulant, pubescent president has yet to realize that the political arena has changed due to the midterms. He can’t get away with it anymore.

            Sure he can declare a “national emergency” if he so chooses, but a wiser politician would take note of the opinion polls that tell him that a majority of American don’t want a wall, and don’t want a shutdown.

            His problem is that on national TV, he’s accepted responsibility for the shutdown. He own’s it.

            Donald’s father Fred neglected to teach his son the meaning of the word “NO.”

          • What’s the matter Davie? Are you now saying the same thing over and over expecting different results?

          • Everything you have posted on this subject has been demonstrated to be wrong… You have nothing. Yet you keep babbling nonsense.

          • Dave this guy can’t seem to make a “deal.” He stormed out of a meeting with Congressional leaders saying it was a “waste of time.”

            The “Dealmaker” can’t make a deal?

            Why is that?

          • Wrong again…

            Vice President Pence defended President Trump’s conduct on Wednesday following a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), following claims from Democrats that the president stormed out of the meeting.

            Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Pence said that Trump remained calm during the meeting and began by passing out candy to his guests, which also included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

            “The president walked into the room and passed out candy. It’s true,” Pence told reporters. “I don’t recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand.”

            “He never raised his voice,” added McCarthy, who was standing behind Pence during the press conference.

            “This is a president who feels very strongly about his commitment to see to the security of the American people,” Pence continued, explaining Trump’s continued demand for border wall funding in any bill to reopen the government.

            “He brought the whole issue to the center of the national debate when he sought this office,” Pence added.

            Democrats exited Wednesday’s meeting complaining of a “temper tantrum” they said Trump had during the meeting, which according to Pelosi and Schumer ended with the president abruptly leaving the meeting after Pelosi refused his latest demand for $5.7 billion in border security funding.

            The president meanwhile slammed the meeting with Democrats as a “waste of time,” signaling that the partial shutdown of the federal government will continue while the White House and congressional Democrats are unable to reach an agreement.

            “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO,” Trump tweeted after the meeting, adding: “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

            McCarthy at the Capitol after the meeting also disputed accounts that Trump lashed out.

            “The president turned to Nancy — and it was all very calm — and he asked her, ‘OK, if I open up the government, in 30 days could we have border security?’ And she said, ‘No, not at all.’ ”

            Pressed on Trump’s precise request, McCarthy said, “He may have said ‘border wall.’ ”

            “He didn’t slam his hands down, he just said, ‘Alright, I guess you guys don’t want to do anything.’ ”

            https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/424616-pence-says-trump-passed-out-candy-and-didnt-raise-his-voice-in

            Trump can use the National Emergencies Act to bludgeon a deal out of Congress, just like he used the threat of tariffs to bludgeon trade deals out of the EU, Mexico, Canada and Red China… The Art of the Deal.

          • No Dave I’m not wrong. The president first made the mistake of accepting responsibility for the shutdown. He did it on TV, and he can’t take it back.

            He is caught between a rock and a hard place. He promised a “wall” to his base, and he cannot get it politically now that the Democrats have won control of the House.

            He owns the shutdown, and he is unable to compromise.

            He walked out of the meeting, unable to make a “deal.”

            So much for his book “The Art of the Deal.”

            He’s a failure at making a deal.

          • Democrats walked out ot the meeting… Because they lost.

            Democrats exited Wednesday’s meeting complaining of a “temper tantrum” they said Trump had during the meeting, which according to Pelosi and Schumer ended with the president abruptly leaving the meeting after Pelosi refused his latest demand for $5.7 billion in border security funding.

            The president meanwhile slammed the meeting with Democrats as a “waste of time,” signaling that the partial shutdown of the federal government will continue while the White House and congressional Democrats are unable to reach an agreement.

            “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO,” Trump tweeted after the meeting, adding: “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

            McCarthy at the Capitol after the meeting also disputed accounts that Trump lashed out.

            “The president turned to Nancy — and it was all very calm — and he asked her, ‘OK, if I open up the government, in 30 days could we have border security?’ And she said, ‘No, not at all.’ ”

            Pressed on Trump’s precise request, McCarthy said, “He may have said ‘border wall.’ ”

            “He didn’t slam his hands down, he just said, ‘Alright, I guess you guys don’t want to do anything.’ ”

            https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/424616-pence-says-trump-passed-out-candy-and-didnt-raise-his-voice-in

          • Dave, if Trump couldn’t get funding for his “wall” in the past two years when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress, there is no way he’s going to get it now that Democrats control the House. The problem is that Trump is a political neophyte and will fail with his temper tantrum. Pelosi is a much better politician.

          • Trump couldn’t get funding for the wall while the Republicans controlled Congress because the Democrats could filibuster it in the Senate. The Democrat take-over of the House gave Trump the perfect opportunity to invoke the National Emergencies Act. He sandbagged the Democrats… again.

          • Middleton posts: “Democrats walked out ot the meeting… Because the lost.”


            I assume you’ve had a bunch of beers, and meant to type: “Democrats walked out of the meeting… Because they lost.”

            Now, don’t you know the meaning of the word “stalemate?”

            Nobody left the meeting a winner.

            Nobody left the meeting a loser

            They all left with nothing.

            No winners.

            No losers.

            Dave, your grasp of reality seems to be fleeting.

          • ” He sandbagged the Democrats… again.”

            Nope.

            He failed to get Congressional approval when the GOP controlled Congress, now he’s going to circumvent the will of Congress after losing control of half of Congress.
            ..
            He could have invoked “National Emergency” a long time ago. Now that Congress says “NO” he’s going to do it?

            Remember Dave, this guy is not “King” ….. as much as he’s acting like one. If Congress says “NO” he needs to listen.

          • He *could* have invoked the National Emergencies Act a long time ago… That’s why it’s called “sandbagging.”

          • Try to follow along… When the GOP controlled both houses of Congress, Trump offered the Democrats a DACA deal in exchange for the wall and other immigration reforms. The Democrats rejected it and they didn’t get DACA. While the GOP still controlled the House, there was a chance that the wall might get funded through a budget reconciliation process. That never happened.

            So… The Democrats take the House and the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate in 2018. With the Democrats controlling the House, the wall is dead in the minds of the Democrats. While all this is going on, caravans of illegal aliens from Central America have been attempting to invade the United States and the numbers of unaccompanied children and family units being apprehended by CPB was skyrocketing. These are the most problematic illegal aliens because they can’t be detained until their hearings.

             CPB Apprehensions
             Family Units % Increase since 2013  Unaccompanied Children % Increase since 2010
            2010                                           18,622
            2011                                           16,067 -14%
            2012                                           24,481 31%
            2013                                15,056                                           38,833 109%
            2014                                68,684 403%                                           68,631 269%
            2015                                40,053 166%                                           40,035 115%
            2016                                77,857 417%                                           59,757 221%
            2017                                75,802 403%                                           41,435 123%

            https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/media-resources/stats

            Now here’s where the real sandbagging comes in. President Trump declares that he will not sign any more spending bills unless the wall is funded to at least $5.6 billion. Democrats won’t budge… Roughly 25% of the government shuts down, 25% that most people won’t notice… Except…

            The shutdown, itself, has become a factor in the decision whether or not to invoke the National Emergencies Act. And at least one Senate Democrat is OK with this…

            MANCHIN: Over the years Congress has giving away a lot of authority to the Executive Branch. So if that’s wrong then we ought to take it back, but if the President declares a state of emergency he has a right to do that. It will probably go to the courts and be contested. If that gets us out of a shutdown then so be it, I want to get out of this shutdown.

            https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/01/08/senator_manchin_if_state_of_emergency_ends_the_shutdown_then_so_be_it.html

            So… Now the Democrats are in the position of not getting DACA or anything else in exchange for the wall. President Trump may not get the entire barrier system in place under the National Emergencies Act; but he can get a big chunk of it, particularly if he starts in Texas. Texas’ State government fully backs the wall and any lawsuits filed will go to the 5th Circuit, rather than the 9th Circus. The wall gets started, Democrats get nothing and the government reopens.

            MAGA!

          • J. Philip, a wise man once said, “There are none so blind who will not see”. I wish you well with your braille classes.

            Forget him, David. His mind has crossed over into another dimension and is incapable of rational thought processes.

          • Remember Dave, this guy is not “King” ….. as much as he’s acting like one. If Congress says “NO” he needs to listen.

            JPP, You mean like Barrack “If Congress won’t act, I will” Obama listened when congress told him no? You seem to forget that the President is not subordinate to congress, they’re two separate branches of the government and as such, each has their own powers and abilities that can be used even when the two are not in agreement. For example, if Congress passes legislation the President doesn’t like, he can say “NO” (it’s called a veto) and congress can listen or congress can override that NO if they can muster enough votes in both houses. If congress won’t give the president what he wants one way, as Obama showed, there are other ways the president can accomplish his goals. And there are ways for congress to say NO to those other ways (but they’ll require more votes in the two houses than the democrats currently have on their side). The courts (the third branch of government) can also attempt to say no, but as long as Trump is within his authority (and make no mistake, he is well within the authority as laid out in the National Emergency act like it or not) ultimately he’ll prevail in the courts (even if it end up as a 5-4 in the Supreme Court) just as he has on a number of other issues that the more liberal courts have attempted to block just because he’s Trump.

          • So… You have nothing

            That was obvious from the way he kept jumping from talking point to talking point every time the previous talking point was smacked down only to circle back to those previously smacked down talking points. it’s like a game of whack the mole.

          • Dave, since you might have missed this mole I figure I’d smack it for you 🙂

            JPP: The government can’t build it there without either getting permission from the owner, or TAKING the land away from the owner by eminent domain

            Other statutes afford additional emergency powers. Indeed, a report by the Congressional Research Service in 2007 stated, “Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the president may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.”

            https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/424314-yes-trump-has-authority-to-declare-national-emergency-for-border-wall

        • Floyd, the military has already been dispatched to the southern boarder. Are you telling us that our military can’t handle the job?

          • Well Dave, if the military is already there, and they can handle the job, then there is no reason for a “National Emergency” to be declared.

          • The fact that the military is there proves it is a national emergency. There were 42 national emergencies declared between 1976 and 2007 and at least two concerned trafficking, one of narcotics. The tie to the opioid crisis in obvious and legitimate.

          • The President already made the case that a wall is needed. Neither, ICE or the military can handle the situation with additional tools.

          • “The fact that the military is there proves it is a national emergency.”

            No, the military was sent there as a political stunt to ward off the hoards of women and children approaching the boarder seeking asylum.

          • “The President already made the case that a wall is needed. ”

            Fine, then all he needs to do is get Congress to appropriate the money for his “wall.” That’s how the system works. If Congress disagrees with him, and refuses to appropriate, then there isn’t much he can do.

          • Trump will build the wall with military funds if he has to. Despite the Democrats urge to commit national suicide by wanting open borders in a country that hands out welfare cheques and food stamps; the US people know in a primal way that Trump is right. The US simply cant afford 50000 people a month illegally entering the US and then applying for asylum and then getting welfare cheques while the applications are processed. That 50000 will turn into a 100000 a month and then 200000 a month. 3 billion people in the world would instantly move to the US if they could because a welfare cheque in the US is higher than their full time paying job. Democrats want to have these people in the US because they all vote Democrat to keep the welfare gravy train happening. The money is running out and Trump knows it. That is why a wall.

          • If Congress disagrees with him, and refuses to appropriate, then there isn’t much he can do.

            As Obama showed (“If congress won’t act, I will”), when congress refuses there are other ways to go about accomplishing your goals. Invoking the National Emergencies Act is one possible way.

          • It is unlikely that the “Rules of Engagement” for military will allow them to do much.

            ????
            Not sure what that non-sequitur is in reference to. Nobody is talking about military engagements (as in combat). What was touched up is the use of military *resources* (money, equipment & man-power) to possibly build the wall (or at least get it started).

  17. In the Maggie Thatcher era in UK, there became known the >90% rule of privatization. The rule is that a government owned company can shed more than 90% of its workforce while improving product quality and quantity and level of service after going private. Such shedding usually took a couple of years, or more, in multiple steps, but nevertheless……. The new “Trump” rule seems to be showing the same magnitude of over-staffing even if in a different order.

    • We survived, and prospered for over 200 years without an EPA. Average lifespan went up much faster, before the EPA was established, than it did after they were established. That clearly shows, with modern methods of “settled science” that the EPA is KILLING PEOPLE!!!!

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