Budget Fiasco and OPEN THREAD

Democrats confident they can block Trump’s agenda after spending-bill win

Democrats think they have set the stage to block President Trump’s legislative priorities for years to come by winning major concessions in a spending bill to keep the government open.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) secured nearly $5 billion in new domestic spending by exploiting disagreements between Trump and GOP lawmakers over spending priorities.

Democrats’ lopsided victory on the five-month deal, which is likely to be approved this week, means it will be very difficult — if not impossible — for the GOP to exert its will in future budget negotiations, including when it comes to Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint.

That’s because Republicans are hopelessly divided over how much to spend on government programs, with a small but vocal minority unwilling to support such measures at all. That has forced Republicans to work with Democrats to avoid politically damaging government shutdowns.

And that means Democrats are in the driver’s seat when it comes to budget battles, even with Trump in the White House.

Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of April 27, 2017
  • Scalia

    And more from the sicko front:

    Mom signs son up for ballet to make him more girlish:

    The other day I was sitting in the park with James, 3, when I picked a dandelion and handed it to him as a present. “No way, Mummy,” he said, pushing away my gift. “Flowers are pretty and I’m a boy.”

    And I thought: That’s it. I’m signing him up for ballet.


    When his older brother complained about having to watch Frozen because it was “girlish,” James instantly struck it off his list of favourite movies and now refuses to play Elsa and Anna even when his best nursery school girlfriends insist.

    You might think this is no big deal, that my son is just behaving “naturally,” but I’m automatically wary of notions of biological determinism. When he hands me back a flower because pretty things are for girls, I think, what’s next? Kindness? Decency? Dancing?


    If I want my son to love and respect women, I am going to have to teach him to embrace – and ideally appreciate – “girlish” things. That’s why I’m weaving him a dandelion crown and signing him up for ballet.

    I’m going to turn the little alphabet belcher into a proud princess whether he likes it or not.

    • Retired military

      20 years from now she will be wondering why her son isn’t married and why she doesn’t have grandchildren.

    • pennywit

      *Sigh*. More than a bit to unpack there. But two things really stand out to me:

      First, if she wants to sign her son up for ballet, nothing wrong with that. Plenty of male ballet dancers out there, and it’s good exercise.

      Second, if she wants to fight with her son over liking girly things, she’s going to lose in the long run.

      • Scalia

        First, if she wants to sign her son up for ballet, nothing wrong with that.

        Given the reason she’s doing so, yes, there is something wrong with it.

        Second, if she wants to fight with her son over liking girly things, she’s going to lose in the long run.

        Maybe, maybe not. Lots of people are very impressionable, so her tactics could end up warping her son significantly.

        This mother doesn’t realize that things tend to iron out over time. When I was a boy, my mom would comment on pretty landscapes, flowers, etc. That type of stuff bored me, so I really couldn’t have cared less how “pretty” they were. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate things like that.

        This mom should be ashamed of herself, but at this stage, perhaps shame is beyond her.

        • pennywit

          Maybe, maybe not. Lots of people are very impressionable, so her tactics could end up warping her son significantly.

          Certainly a form of “losing.” I’m not a fan of parents who try to shoehorn their square peg kids into round holes for any reason. If you want your kid to play soccer, baseball, or football, but he absolutely hates soccer, baseball, and football, and he’d rather take a theater class, I would think a good parent would let the kid pursue theater instead.

          • Scalia

            I would generally agree, with some exceptions of course. For example, I know some piano players who detested taking lessons when they were children, but now they’re very grateful their parents made them stick with it. Besides, there’s generally not a lot of exercise in theater.

          • pennywit

            For example, I know some piano players who detested taking lessons when they were children, but now they’re very grateful their parents made them stick with it.

            I was neutral on my piano lessons, as I recall. And it turned out that after developing a certain basic proficiency, I honestly didn’t have the musical ability to get any better. And I hated sports because I wasn’t good at them, so my parents eventually gave up. Looking back, I wish they’d pushed physical activity at me. If not competitive sports, then swimming, or running, or something. Would have been better for me.

            Besides, there’s generally not a lot of exercise in theater.

            Depends on the speed of the local critics.

    • Hank_M

      I see that the author is divorced (no surprise) and also a bit of a loon, having been suspended by the Globe and Mail for trying to breast feed someone else’s baby.

      This is what you get with a modern liberal education.
      Babbling about biological determinism and poststructuralist gender theory.

      Her ex-husband, a lucky man indeed being free of her, should sue for full custody based on the on-going child abuse she’s inflicting on her boys.

      • Brucehenry

        Sorry, her ex-husband is here:

    • pennywit

      I just noticed this is from a year ago. I wonder how the ballet experiment turned out.

    • Lightninbug

      Satire, right?

  • Retired military

    Get rid of RINO RYan and McCuckold McConnell.

  • Scalia

    Governor vetoes bill to increase penalties for violent protests:

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is striking down a bill from Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-31st District, that would’ve stiffened penalties against anyone that incites a violent riot against police or other first responders, amidst fears that the legislation could be used to target organizers of political protests.

    The Democrat announced that he’d be vetoing H.B. 1791 on April 28. The legislation would’ve made it a “Class 3” felony for anyone that directs a riot that results in acts of violence against law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or even members of the state’s National Guard. That charges would have carried a sentence of anywhere from five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

    McAuliffe offered an amendment to the bill that would’ve created the same penalty for anyone inciting a violent riot against someone because of their “race, religious convictions, color, sexual orientation, or national origin.” But state lawmakers declined to consider that change, ruling it wasn’t relevant to the intent of the original bill, so the governor broke out his veto pen.

    • I hope they burn the Governor’s mansion down with him still in it.

  • Scalia

    Advanced Talks Underway For New Conservative Network Amid Fears Fox News Moving Too Far Left:

    On the heels of major shakeups at the Fox News Network, an alternative conservative network is being actively discussed amongst conservative fat cats.

    A well-placed source close to the proposal tells Mediaite that serious discussions are underway to create an alternative conservative cable network on the belief that the Fox News Network is moving too far to the left. The source, who is engaged in the talks, says a meeting is planned for today with two prominent high-powered television executives, some underperforming conservative networks and people who have an interest and the ability to fund a new network.

    The potential aim? Putting “the old band” back together. There are certainly plenty of (out-of-work?) conservative powerhouses to pick from that could star on a new network, and perhaps even some executives from within Fox News who might be lured by the new opportunity. Could the new channel include stars like the ousted Bill O’Reilly, who didn’t waste much time hitting the podcast waves after he was fired amid a sexual harassment scandal? Could Tomi Lahren, the conservative mega star, who was recently sidelined at The Blaze also take on a prominent role? The exact “who” won’t be clear until the deal is more defined but the source says the pitch is that the network could immediately reach at least 85 million homes.

  • Scalia

    Mayor Asking FBI For Help With Investigating City Crime, Rising Murder Rate:

    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s mayor is asking for help from the FBI as the city struggles to contain a soaring murder rate. But will bringing in the feds stop the killings?

    Catherine Pugh pulled no punches earlier this week when she said the violence is out of control.

    “I’m calling on all the assistance we can possibly get because I can’t imagine going into our summer months with our crime rate where it is today, what that’s going to look like by the end of the summer,” Mayor Pugh said. “… Murder is out of control.”

    Some people are skeptical that the FBI will be able to help matters.

    Violence has reached a crisis level, with the number of killings shattering a 20-year high this early in the year.

    But WJZ has learned Mayor Pugh wants both manpower and technology from the FBI.

    She met with the special agent in charge of the Baltimore division of the FBI, but wouldn’t provide specifics. She says they’ll come out next week, and the FBI isn’t talking.

    WJZ spoke to public safety expert Rob Weinhold, who isn’t sure the FBI alone will be effective.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      This will help with the crime rate in Baltimore.

      The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office has instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration.

      Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow, in a memo sent to all staff Thursday and obtained by The Baltimore Sun, wrote that the Justice Department’s deportation efforts “have increased the potential collateral consequences to certain immigrants of minor, non-violent criminal conduct.”

      “In considering the appropriate disposition of a minor, non-violent criminal case, please be certain to consider those potential consequences to the victim, witnesses, and the defendant,” Schatzow wrote.

    • Let it burn.

  • Scalia

    Lab-Grown Meat Coming to Supermarket Shelves Soon?:

    If this Silicon Valley food-tech startup has its way, its lab-grown meat—which includes chicken, duck and beef—will be on a supermarket shelf near you within the next five years.

    “[We’re] trying to put products on the shelves by 2021/2022,” Uma Valeti, Memphis Meats co-founder and CEO, tells FOX Business.

    In March, the company announced that it created the “world’s first chicken strip from animal cells,” following their animal-free meatball debut in 2016. Lab-grown beef was previously developed in 2012 by a group of Dutch scientists.

    “Essentially, we are taking a number of animal cells, giving them clean and nutritious food and then we watch them grow into a muscle. We harvest that muscle and then cook it,” Valeti says.

    The whole process from start to finish takes about four to six weeks, depending on the texture. Valeti says the company’s current main goal is to raise capital and lower their production costs, in order to quickly bring the product to market.

    • pennywit

      Unfortunately, it all tastes like chicken.

      • Retired military

        Throw some BBQ sauce on it and I am good.

  • Scalia

    Barbra Streisand: Sexism cost me multiple Oscar nominations:

    Barbra Streisand argued that sexism cost her Oscar nominations for “Yentl” and “The Prince of Tides” during a spirited public interview at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday. But it wasn’t just men who balked at the idea of a woman calling the shots on a major motion picture.

    “There were a lot of older people,” Streisand told her interlocutor Robert Rodriguez. “They don’t want to see a woman director.”

    “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director,” she added.

    Streisand said that jealousy and competitiveness are partly to blame for women turning on one of their own gender. As evidence, she claimed that female critics were harsher than their male counterparts to “Yentl.” Three decades after the drama’s release, a review by former New York Times critic Janet Maslin still seemed to rankle the recording star and filmmaker. She remained put out by Maslin’s reference to Streisand’s use of a “pillbox-contoured designer yarmulke” in the film.

    • stan25

      Both of those movies were big steaming piles of crap.

      • Brucehenry

        You are right, and both the short story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” by Isaac Bashevis Singer, and the book “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy were excellent. So Streisand failed the source material.

    • Retired military

      Babs sucks as an actress and umm everything else.

  • Scalia

    More sick news from the Left Coast:

    Judge: California must allow transgender inmates’ earrings:

    SAN FRANCISCO — California prison officials must provide for free undergarments that flatten the chest of transgender inmates at women’s prisons and give transgender inmates at men’s prisons access to bracelets, earrings, hair brushes and hair clips, a federal judge said Friday.

    U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued the order in a federal lawsuit that earlier led California to become the first state to provide taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery to an inmate.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also agreed as part of the suit by Shiloh Quine to give transgender inmates access to certain products. Quine, 57, had sex reassignment surgery in January and was transferred from a men’s facility to a women’s prison in Chowchilla. She is serving a life sentence for murder, kidnapping and robbery.

    Prison officials said they are reviewing the ruling.

    Tigar’s ruling came in a dispute over the products transgender inmates should have access to. Corrections officials allow transgender female inmates in men’s prisons to have sandals, t-shirts and walking shoes. Tigar’s ruling Friday expanded that list to include pajamas, nightgowns, robes and scarves, rejecting the corrections department’s argument that those items could be altered to resemble street clothes, aiding in escape attempts.

    • Retired military

      Half that stuff can be turned into weapons.

  • Scalia

    Woman feared ‘for her life’ when she shot burglar:

    BLOOMINGTON — An Ohio woman said she was “fearing for her life” when she shot an intruder who tackled her after she discovered him in the garage of her parents’ south Bloomington home early Friday morning.

    “Anything could have happened by just the way he lunged at me, and I had the gun in his face and told him not to come out because I would shoot,” said Kim Sinnott of Hamilton, Ohio. “He probably thought I wouldn’t shoot.”

    Sinnott was still shaking nearly 10 hours later as she recalled details of the incident. She and her twin sister, Tamie Lesher, also of Hamilton, Ohio, had arrived at their parents’ home in the 700 block of South Clayton Street on Thursday night for a visit to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday.

    “About 1:30 a.m. the alarm went off in the house. We noticed the light on in the garage. We saw somebody walking in the garage,” said Sinnott.

    Sinnott’s mother handed her her father’s .32-caliber handgun while her sister grabbed a pipe, and they walked outside to the detached garage.

    “I told him that I had a gun. I was standing there looking at him with the gun pointing at him,” said Sinnott. “I told him a hundred times not to come out because I had a gun and that I would shoot and that we were waiting for the cops, that we had the cops on the line right now.”

    The intruder opened up the overhead garage door and “lunged at me and tackled me, and we wrestled all the way over to my sister’s car,” said Sinnott.

    “He grabbed me and pulled me down and that’s when I shot (him), and he ran off that way,” she said, pointing to the 900 block of Clayton Street where police apprehended the suspect.

    “When he grabbed me and pulled me down I was fearing for my life,” said Sinnott. “I shot him just for him to let me go. I don’t know if it was in the leg or in the foot. I was scared to death.”

    The suspect, 21-year-old Mykale B. Davis of Bloomington, was taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said. He has been charged with one count of burglary and one count of battery.

  • Wild_Willie

    Complaining is all the dem’s have left. NO POWER. This is a continuing resolution from Obama and teams budget. Not Trumps. Come October 1st, I will see what Trump does.

    I do agree Ryan is a very ineffective leader. ww

    • pennywit

      You forget fear and surprise, and a fanatical devotion to the pope.

  • Paul Hooson

    Portland, Oregon’s downtown area is cleaning up after a riot caused by anarchists who marched through the streets with Communist red hammer and sickle flags setting fires, attacking police and breaking store windows. The radical leftists were marching in a proCommunist May Day parade at first peacefully, but the marchers soon turned to violence where a number of them were arrested on arson and riot charges.

  • Paul Hooson

    The UN celebrated the 69th Independence Day for the state of Israel since 1948 with an outlandish antiIsrael resolution challenging their sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem, the hometown of Jesus and many other good Jews who have lived in the area for the past 5,000 years.

  • Vagabond661

    I am willing to wait all 1360 days before I pass judgement. Or even add 1460 days to that.

    We know the RINOs and the Looney Left will do all they can to stop him. Let’s see if he can JR Ewing them in the end.

    • pennywit

      He gets shot and then we don’t know whodunit for eight months?

      • Vagabond661

        Hehe. Well in this case, they will blame the Russians.

        • Retired military

          With Hillary handing the gun over to the cops saying “Hey I just found it in my house. It was there for months and I never noticed it”

          • pennywit

            Wow, RM, that’s completely partisan and uncalled for.
            Actually Huma Abedin turned it over to Anthony Weiner, and HE held on to it for eight months because he had nothing better to do.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    New York proud to put targets on the back of happy residents:

    If the next president’s immigration agenda includes a pitched battle over “sanctuary” cities, a term Donald Trump uses with disgust, the proper response from places like New York will be: Bring it on….
    New York City wears that kind of “sanctuary” label proudly.

    Authorities in New York announced Wednesday that three members of the MS-13 gang have been charged with attempted murder in an attack over the weekend involving a machete….Authorities said the Hernandez brothers, both from El Salvador and in the country illegally, are responsible for an additional assault in January when a 19-year-old man was slashed in the face with a machete. Arguenta, also born in El Salvador, was in the process of applying for a green card, according to police….
    In the most recent assault on Sunday, police said the three attacked a 19-year-old man because they didn’t like the way he was laughing.

  • Scalia

    House votes to repeal Obamacare:

    After years of debate, the House on Thursday voted to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act and replace them with new provisions.

    The vote, which President Donald Trump was planning to tout as a big victory, sends the Republican-sponsored bill to gut Obamacare to the Senate for consideration.

    But winning approval for the bill could be even more difficult in the Senate than it has been in the House, where Republican leaders struggled for nearly two months to wrangle enough votes in their caucus to secure its passage.

    The bill passed by a vote of 217 to 213. All 193 Democrats voting opposed the bill; they were joined by 20 Republicans voting “no.”

    “A lot of us have waited seven years to case this vote,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said shortly before the voting began. “Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this vote: to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

    “This bill delivers the promises we have made to the American people,” Ryan said.

    House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told MSNBC shortly before the vote began, “We were elected to do this.”

    The bill — which would dramatically change the way the federal government funds purchases of individual health plans and Medicaid — is expected to dramatically increase the number of people without health insurance if enacted into law.

    • stan25

      A one sentence passage on a 3×5 index card would have been more effective and less expensive


      A lot of members in the House are in bulletproof districts, but the Senate is far different. It appears they have already stated that they will simply begin anew.

      If they write anything like this in the Senate it would be considered political suicide. The Senate is not really vulnerable in the mid-terms unless they do something stupid and anything along these lines would be just that, stupid. They will construct some version of watered-down Obamacare and Trump will sign anything, so that is where it ends.

      It appears the House passed this bill for no other reason than to say they repealed Obamacare and claim some kind of hollow victory.

      Maybe Trump should consider that Australian health care plan he was touting yesterday. Of course that would demand provider price controls. It would cost me personally, but it is a necessary step as there are always a lot of hands in the till.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    An interesting column on the ever-advancing, progressive-backed racism on today’s college campuses. Quotable quote:

    Animal House has turned into Animal Farm

    • Scalia

      The old George Wallace would be proud. Animal Farm all over again.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Will the newly discovered “outrage” of “activist appropriation” lead to the demise of progressive protests/riots?

    By definition, it would appear so:

    Activist appropriation, adhering to my definition, is the popularization and generalization of political ideas or protests, movements, or symbols without an actual understanding of said ideas movements or symbols.

    • Scalia

      Walter, your link doesn’t work.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        OOPS – I think it’s fixed now. Sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    But, but – they have free health care. A truly haunting article: Venezuela Is Starving.

    Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls

    Willfully ignorant journalists blame everything but the cause.

    Here is how the Times explained the reason for Venezuela’s dire situation: “The growing economic crisis (was) fueled by low prices for oil, the country’s main export; a drought that has crippled Venezuela’s ability to generate hydroelectric power; and a long decline in manufacturing and agricultural production.”

    There’s no mention — not one — of the fact that Hugo Chávez tried to turn Venezuela into a socialist paradise, policies that his successor Nicolás Maduro has continued. The Times’ coverage is par for the course.

    Venezuela was never a model free market economy. A couple decades ago, the Heritage Foundation gave it a 59.8 ranking on its Index of Freedom — which measures how free or government-controlled an economy is. That put it at the edge of being “moderately free.”

    Then Chavez nationalized the oil industry, agricultural operations, transportation, power generation, telecommunications, steel production, banks. Today Venezuela is the third least free economy in the world, ahead of only Cuba and North Korea.

    As a direct result of those actions, Venezuela went from being on the wealthiest countries in South America — one rich in natural resources — to a country where people are literally fighting for scraps of food. Last year, Venezuela’s economy shrank 18%. The unemployment rate is 25% and climbing. Inflation could reach 2,068% next year. Riots have become routine.

    As we have noted many times in this space, it is socialism, not oil prices or the weather or greedy businessmen or any other such factor that’s to blame for Venezuela’s economic crisis. This is what socialism produces. Always and everywhere. It is as close to an iron law of economics as there can be.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    I miss Rick. Where has he gone? We could have a grand argument about this [from Instapundit]: “WELL, YES: Pope Eminently Fallible on Free Markets. His views are exactly what one would expect from an Argentine lefty: Embarrassing.”

    • jim_m

      Because Rick would not have engaged on this. He would have posted a link with someone else’s commentary and not have offered any thoughts of his own.

      He would have misrepresented Francis’ pronouncements and, while agreeing that Francis is not infallible, would claim that he is nevertheless always correct.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        You’re probably right “sigh”.

        • jim_m

          Well, that and he would have taken every criticism of Francis’ economic views as an assault on Catholicism and on himself personally.

    • Scalia

      You know, I almost posted a couple of pieces on the pope, but I nixed them because Rick’s non-stop Catholic/Pope posts still leave a bad taste in my mouth. I guess I’ll, for the most part, limit my religious posts to Christmas and Easter.

      I had hoped to write more on the topic of natural law and rights in my discussion with pennywit, but he hasn’t posted anything else. Maybe we can revive it with a new column if the community wants to discuss it. Most people here understand the divine ground for rights, and an appeal to anything else ends up being incoherent, so perhaps not much else needs to be explored.

      I’ve been super busy of late, so all I can do at present is cut-and-paste several articles and open a thread. David and Rodney appear to have gone dormant, so it appears that it’s just Kevin with the Caption Contest and me with one post a week.

      DJ, where are you?

      • Walter_Cronanty

        Sorry you’ve been so busy – I miss your posts.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        Yes, given the history of man’s incalculable ability and wont to inflict cruelty through “government,” it’s always baffled me why the left would not at least give lip service to “rights” being granted divinely, with government’s role being limited to protecting those rights, as set forth in the context of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. It’s as if their antipathy towards a divine being overwhelms their knowledge of history and instinct towards self-preservation.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    The academic left eating its own, while: 1. asking and answering questions of relevance to almost no one; 2. coming up with new outrages [“deadnaming”]; and, 3. providing society with an endless supply of pseudo-aggrieved, cry-bully victims whose reply to any thought they may disagree with is: “SHUT UP!”

    Lesson to be learned: don’t be a feminist, untenured academic and write an article arguing “in favor of both transgender and transracial identities, as well as for a more fluid conception of identity more generally” – whatever that progressive gobbledygook might mean. I agree with the title, but this article is pathetic on several levels.