President Donald Trump is scheduled to give an immigration talk tonight, during which we can expect more bloviating about the billions in border-wall funding that he wants. On Monday afternoon, the president tweeted "I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border."
ABC, CBS, and NBC have all announced that they'll air the primetime speech live, starting at 9 p.m. Trump's speech will allegedly last only eight minutes. That move isn't sitting right with some people, since the networks all refused to air a 2015 immigration broadcast from then-president Barack Obama. (Obama didn't get the ratings Trump does, though.) "Cable networks CNN, Fox News, and Fox Business all confirmed they would carry the speech" as well, notes The Daily Beast.
Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) are demanding Democrats get equal on-air time too.
Full @SpeakerPelosi / @SenSchumer statement here: "Now that the television networks have decided to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime" pic.twitter.com/oREAjvUaPn— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 8, 2019
Tonight's Trump talk is predicted to be heavy on The Wall and perhaps include the declaration of a state of emergency.
The White House "knows GOP holding together is critical," tweeted Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa yesterday. "That's why POTUS and VP are phoning mbrs. That's in part why there is a speech to nation and trip to border. Direct msg to skittish Rs that this is the line, this is a crisis, so hold on tight."
6. While VP Pence's pitch today signaled the admin's possible action, so did voices on right who have POTUS's ear. Trump confidant Sean Hannity said, "I'm guessing he's going to declare a national emergency." https://t.co/9PJ7imlAei— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 8, 2019
The impediments to such action would be myriad, thank goodness. Trump "could declare a national emergency," said Republican Sen. John Cornyn (R–Texas) on CNN. "But what that may mean in terms of adding new elements to this—court hearings and litigation that may carry this on for weeks and months and years. To me, injecting a new element in this just makes it more complicated."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–N.Y.) said Democrats "will oppose any effort by the president to make himself a king and a tyrant. The president has no authority to usurp Congress' power of the purse."
Has anyone explained to Trump (or those encouraging him) that it's not like you say "state of emergency" and billions of $ start falling from the sky? You have to actually unlock specific funding sources? And you can't declare one until you spell out how you're using it?— Dara Lind (@DLind) January 8, 2019
Israel boycott bill divides Democrats. The Senate is voting today on a measure that includes the "Combating BDS Act" from Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.). The measure "seeks to counter the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians and the settlements," explains the Associated Press. The measure has divided Democrats, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) and other prominent liberal legislators strongly opposed.
The Israel anti-boycott legislation being brought before the Senate tomorrow would give states a free pass to restrict First Amendment protections for millions of Americans. Despite my strong support for Israel, I oppose this bill because it clearly violates the Constitution.— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 7, 2019
The "skills gap" was a lie. A lot of think pieces and government initiatives were devoted to pondering an alleged skills gap between what U.S. employers needed and what U.S. workers could do. The idea was that massive worker re-training programs might be needed. But, as Vox puts it, "new research shows it was the consequence of high unemployment rather than its cause." Companies requested more specific skills and credentials after being flooded with applications owing to a lot of recently laid-off workers. "The education and experience qualifications employers were looking for got steadily higher as the unemployment rate rose during the Great Recession," writes Matthew Yglesias. But "as the unemployment rate started to fall, so did employers skill needs."
Read the whole study here.
I have some good news pic.twitter.com/wB3kVMjUSR— Christopher Mims (@mims) January 7, 2019
• And here's some more:
Gov. Bill Haslam grants full clemency to Cyntoia Brown. She will be released from prison on August 7, 2019. "Imposing a life sentence on a juvenile ... is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life." https://t.co/J7cCIhJy4x— The Appeal (@theappeal) January 7, 2019
• However, the state will still make Brown jump through some hoops:
Please remember that #CyntoiaBrown has full clemency and will still have to serve 10 years of probation - she has not been paroled— Senator Brenda Gilmore (@SenatorGilmore) January 7, 2019
• Rhode Island's iconic Foxy Lady strip club will be able to reopen, at least temporarily, as it fights back against city regulators and vice cops in the state's Supreme Court.
• Former Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love was hired by CNN as a political commentator.
• Owning the libs with grass-fed beef:
Everything in our house, including geothermal heat-pump and deep freezer (full of grass-fed beef we raised), is running on this rekt ModelS tesla battery right now. It was charged by solar today. I built it & programmed it in C on a Pi.
TFW haters call me anti-science... pic.twitter.com/x90e6wQya4— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 8, 2019
The middle of the Venn diagram of people who think Trump is a dangerous immoral authoritarian and people who think Trump should have power to throw more people in jail is significantly larger than it should be https://t.co/xYH2kI1DkY— Eric Boehm (@EricBoehm87) January 8, 2019
• And another:
Anyone who reports as if "holiday steak" in an American prison is some kind of luxury should be forced to eat it https://t.co/g34DskiODV— Kerry Howley (@KerryHowley) January 7, 2019
Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/SIPA/Newscom