What the hell is he thinking?

And. what’s his next move?
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Gotta admit, I was surprised that the self-proclaimed tough man folded so quickly.

Driving around on Friday morning, I heard the the headlines:”Flights delayed at LaGuardia due to air controller absences.”

But, the story didn’t exactly match the severity of the news reader’s tonality as he read that there were 15 minute gate holds and some arriving flights were instructed to take a lap in holding patterns.

Geez, that sounds like a pretty normal day at any of the big airports.

When I got to my destination I was pleasantly out of media reach.

Then … BAM!

image
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No way to spin it … the man threw in the towel … proclaiming that he was going to trust Lucy (Nancy Pelosi) to tee up the ball again … and negotiate a wall-inclusive compromise in the next couple of weeks.

Are you kidding me?

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So, what’s really going to happen next?

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The way I see it, the are a couple of possible outcomes

For openers, I set the probability of the confab of Congressional leaders coming up with a compromise that Trump can sign at near zero..

I expect a package that includes amnesty for all and no meaningful border security (i.e. walls) — except where it they’re already in place (think: California).

There is a slim chance that they come up with a DACA – Wall package, but I doubt that’ll happen.

So, what if Trump doesn’t get wall funding?

He’ll be right back where he was last Friday.

He can close 1/4th of the government again.

But, that didn’t seem to work this time and the pain point finally became evident … get air controllers to call in sick.

Note: most polls continued to show that 60% of people didn’t think they were impacted by the shutdown (I’m in that group), 20% felt some minor impact, and 10% were experiencing serious issues.

That leaves him with only one option: declare an emergency and build the wall with funds siphoned from other government budgets.

That’s what I expect he’ll do.

If he doesn’t, he concedes that his red lines are as pink as Obama’s …. and, he loses his base and his international standing as a tough guy.  So much for dealings with China and North Korea,

I’m unswayed by arguments that he’d be setting a precedent that the Dems will use someday to enforce one of their mega-priorities.

Get serious.  The Dems don’t need a precedent.  They’ll eventually declare a climate change emergency whether Trump calls a border emergency or not.  Take that to the bank.  It’s not “if”, it’s “when” … and totally separate from what Trump does now.

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The only thing, for sure, is that things are going to get even uglier.

Pelosi promised a State of the Union when the government was re-opened.  That won’t happen in the next 3 weeks.  She’ll won’t let Trump present an hour long sales pitch for the wall to the American public — supported by Angel Moms and border guards in the audience.

Sure, the emergency declaration will be adjoined by the 9th circuit, but an appeal will be fast-tracked to the Supreme Court.

I think the odds are better than 50-50 that the SCOTUS will side with Trump.  After all, the move would be constitutional … and Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will be casting votes.

Plus, timing should be about right … another mass caravan is scheduled to approach the border about then.

Do you think the SCOTUS wants to own the caravan’s behavior and outcomes? I don’t.

This will be an interesting couple of weeks.

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