Monday, January 22, 2018

Trump Wins! Senate votes to end the Schumer shutdown


Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell announce a deal to re-open the government after a three-day standoff.

By SEUNG MIN KIM, BURGESS EVERETT and ELANA SCHOR

In a dramatic turnaround, Senate Democrats voted to re-open the government on Monday after receiving a commitment from Republicans to hold a vote on immigration legislation — paving the way to end the three-day shutdown.

The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to end the shutdown and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters.

Without a broader deal, the Senate would take up legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who are losing legal protections, as long as the government remains open.



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An Average American’s Comments:


Cristiano Lima 

01/22/2018 12:49 PM EST


Not good for Schumer when left-wing outlets report that Dems "cave" on shutdown







Senate Democrats cave, provide votes based on McConnell’s empty promise https://thinkprogress.org/senate-democrats-cave-9c2e6aa1bf95/ …

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Democrats Cave on ‘Schumer Shutdown,’ Agree to Three-Week Spending Bill


Senate Democrats caved on the “Schumer Shutdown,” on Monday and agreed to a three-week spending bill that will fund the government until February 8.

Shortly before the cloture vote, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told reporters that after leaving the Democratic meeting, the three-week Continuing Resolution (CR) might even get 70 votes.

In the end, the Senate approved the motion to invoke cloture and end debate, 81-18, featuring overwhelming bipartisan support.

One Senate Democratic source told reporters that the CR is “good to go” in the Senate, and revealed that Democrats remain fully aware of the negative polling that suggests that Democrats will take the blame for shutting the government to force a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal aliens.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) argued on the Senate floor on Monday, “We will vote today to reopen the government, to continue negotiating a global agreement, with the commitment that, if an agreement isn’t reached by February the 8th, the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA. The process will be neutral and fair to all sides. We expect that a bipartisan bill on DACA will receive fair consideration and an up or down vote on the floor.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor on Monday, “I think if we learned anything is that a strategy of shutting down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something that the American people didn’t understand.”


CORRUPTION SHOCK: FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Text Messages Between Anti-Trump FBI Agents

By Chuck Ross


The FBI “failed to preserve” five months’ worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees who made pro-Clinton and anti-Trump comments while working on the Clinton email and the Russia collusion investigations.

The disclosure was made Friday in a letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).

“The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department, wrote to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of HSGAC.

He said that texts are missing for the period between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.

Boyd attributed the failure to “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.”

“The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” Boyd wrote.
Strzok and Page were significant players in the Clinton and Trump investigations. As deputy chief of counterintelligence, Strzok oversaw the Trump investigation when it was opened in July 2016. Weeks earlier, he had wrapped up his work as one of the top investigators on the Clinton email probe.

Both worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation until July 2017.

But Strzok was removed after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered text messages he exchanged with Page, with whom he was having an affair, in which both expressed strong criticism of Trump.

In one text, Strzok called Trump and “idiot.” In another, he said “F Trump.”
In another more cryptic exchange, Strzok spoke of an “insurance policy” that the FBI sought to take out in case Trump defeated Clinton in the election.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016.

“Andy” was a reference to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok added. Republicans have questioned what Strzok meant by “insurance policy.”

Page left the Mueller team prior to the discovery of the texts.

Johnson expressed concern over the missing text messages, which were sent during a key period of the Russia investigation. During that time frame is when the Steele dossier was published by BuzzFeed News, when Strzok participated in a Jan. 24 interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, and when James Comey was fired as FBI director.

The end date of the missing Strzok-Page texts is also significant. That’s because May 17 is the day when Mueller was appointed to take over the FBI’s probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

“The loss of records from this period is concerning,” Johnson wrote in a letter sent Saturday to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Along with its disclosure of the missing text messages, DOJ’s Boyd handed over 384 pages of additional text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page.

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Was Lynch coordinating with Comey in the Clinton investigation?

BY SHARYL ATTKISSON


Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew well in advance of FBI Director James Comey's 2016 press conference that he would recommend against charging Hillary Clinton, according to information turned over to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday.

The revelation was included in 384 pages of text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and it significantly diminishes the credibility of Lynch's earlier commitment to accept Comey's recommendation — a commitment she made under the pretense that the two were not coordinating with each other.

And it gets worse. Comey and Lynch reportedly knew that Clinton would never face charges even before the FBI conducted its three-hour interview with Clinton, which was supposedly meant to gather more information into her mishandling of classified information.

On July 1, 2016, as the Lynch announcement became public, Page texted Strzok:

Page: And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.

There are other revelations within the text messages. 

But in the cover letter accompanying them, the FBI notified Congress that many additional text messages are missing. 

Photo: Peter Strzok (Left) and Lisa Page (Right)

According to the FBI, its “technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page from December 14, 2016 to approximately to [sic] May 17, 2017.”

The reason?

(M)any FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices did not capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities. The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray sent yesterday, the head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, called the loss of records “concerning.”

Strzok and Page communicated in a voluminous fashion via text message while allegedly having an illicit affair. 

Strzok was a key figure in the Hillary Clinton exoneration and reportedly interviewed President Trump's former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (which resulted in Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI). 

Until last summer, Strzok and Page were both members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating the allegations of collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign. 

Neither has been accused of wrongdoing.

The text messages seem to indicate that some within the FBI were making investigatory decisions based on Trump’s ascendancy among the Republican field of presidential candidates. 

On May 4, 2016 Strzok and Page had the following text message exchange:

Page: And holy shit Cruz just dropped out of the race. It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.

Strzok: What?!?!??

Page: You heard it right my friend.

 Strzok: I saw trump won, figured it would be a bit…Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE…

Page: It sure does. We need to talk about follow up call tomorrow.

“MYE” stands for “midyear exam” and was the FBI case name for the Clinton email investigation.

The text exchanges also indicate the FBI substituted, and then omitted, damaging language in FBI Director Comey’s July 5, 2016 statement that recommended Clinton not be charged. 

The original draft noted that Clinton had improperly used personal email to contact President Obama while abroad in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. 

According to the text exchange, an FBI official then removed President Obama’s name and stated that Clinton had simply emailed “another senior government official.” In the final statement as delivered by Comey on July 5, both references were omitted entirely.

Other texts suggest Strzok and Page intended to subvert rules governing preservation of their discussions about FBI matters. 

In April of 2016, Page texted:

Page: so look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can’t be traced…

In previous text messages produced to the House of Representatives, Strzok and Page discussed needing an “insurance policy” in the event Trump were to become president. 

The newest batch of text messages turned over on Friday show that in February of 2016, Page texted Strzok that then-candidate Trump “simply can not [sic] be president.”

Any neutral observer would have to be concerned about supposed missing evidence from a premier law enforcement and intel collection agency as well as the types of discussions and conflicts of interest apparently at issue with key officials within the FBI. 

It’s one more piece of a developing story that unfortunately points to alleged misconduct by some at top levels in our intelligence community. 

If the allegations bear out, it could have huge implications for a number of investigations handled by the officials in question over the past decade — not just cases related to the 2016 campaign.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program “Full Measure.”


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Leading House Democrat willing to fund ‘idiotic’ border wall in exchange for DACA

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times


 Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., center, standing with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., right, chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., second from right, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, said Sunday he’s willing to pay for a border wall in exchange for protections for illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers” as the federal government entered the second day of a partial shutdown.

“Look, I think the wall is a monumental waste of taxpayers’ money, and it’s to build a monument to stupidity, and it’s just idiotic,” said Mr. Gutierrez on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Having said that, if that’s what it’s going to take in order to put 800,000 young men and women in this country — Dreamers — and put them in a safe place and put them on a course to full integration in our society?” he said. “If that’s what the hostage-takers of the dreamers, if that’s their ransom cost, I say, ‘Pay it.’”

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

Mr. Gutierrez, who chairs the immigration and border issues task force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, added that in November, “we’ll deal with the kidnappers at the election, at the polls.”

Democrats have pushed for permanent legal status for illegal immigrants who came to the country as children, known as the dreamers, in exchange for a continuing budget resolution to fund the federal government.

Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said border security involves more than building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The president has been very clear: It is about border security, but border security is not just what we do at the southern border,” Mr. Meadows said on “This Week.” “It’s also about visa overstays, it’s also about chain migration, it’s also about interior enforcement.”

He challenged the wisdom of trying to resolve complex immigration issues in the middle of a partial federal shutdown.

“What this is all about is we’re in the middle of a shutdown, but yet we’re talking about immigration. And so is this an amnesty shutdown?” said Mr. Meadows, who chairs the House Freedom Caucus.

The shutdown began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after Senate Republicans were unable to cobble together the 60 votes needed to stave off a Democratic filibuster.

“My good friend Luis was talking about holding people hostage,” said Mr. Meadows. 

“This is the Democrats trying to hold our military hostage for an issue that has been with us for decades. I think we need to resolve it, the president wants to resolve it, but you don’t do that in the middle of a shutdown.”

Mr. Gutierrez added that “as despicable at it [the wall] is, as hurtful as it is to people like me and others in this country, we are ready to sacrifice that so that dreamers have freedom in this country.”


Trump Campaign Slams Democrats As ‘Complicit’ In Murders By Illegal Immigrants In Explosive New Ad


President Trump’s re-election campaign released a new ad on Saturday slamming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats as “complicit” in future murders committed by illegal immigrants.

The ad featured Luis Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant on trial for killing two police officers who told a judge he only wished he “had killed more of the mother******s.”

WATCH: 


The ad “contrasts Democrats, who stand by those who commit acts of ‘pure evil,’ versus President Trump, who was elected to build a wall to stop illegal immigration and keep American families safe,” said a press release from the campaign.

“President Trump is right: build the wall, deport criminals, stop illegal immigration NOW. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants,” the ad states. “President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe.”

The explosive new ad comes amid a government shutdown led by Senate Democrats holding the government hostage until Congress grants amnesty to illegal immigrants who came here as children.



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‘I’LL BREAK OUT AND KILL AGAIN’ 

Twisted killer who slayed two cops LAUGHS in court and vows to murder again because he ‘wishes he’d killed more’

By Sofia Petkar

Illegal immigrant Luis Bracamonte admitted the murders and asked for the death penalty

AN ILLEGAL immigrant who brutally murdered two policemen in California laughed as he appeared in court and vowed to "break out of jail and kill more".

In a series of chilling courtroom outbursts, Luis Bracamontes grinned as he joyfully admitted slaying the cops in 2014.

Illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes laughed in court as his murder trial began
The 37-year-old shamelessly looked Judge Steve White in the eye as he said: “I wish I could have killed more of those motherf***ers.”

He then vowed: “I will break out soon, and I will kill more, kill whoever gets in front of me.”

Bracamontes has repeatedly asked for the death penalty in several hearings in the run up to his trial.

He laughed and smiles as prosecutor Rod Norgaard described the violent events that took place on the night of October 24, 2014, which culminated with the deaths of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr.

The smiling killer interrupted: “There’s no need for a f***ing trial.”

Bracamontes repeatedly interrupted proceedings and admitted the murders
In response to his outbursts, the judge halted proceedings briefly and ordered the jury temporarily out of the courtroom.

The defendant grinned, laughed and interrupted opening statements despite being warned to remain quiet.

He continued saying: “I don’t f***ing regret that s***. The only thing I f***ing regret is I only killed two.”

As he defied orders, his lawyer asked the judge if, based on his behaviour, he would reconsider if the defendant was even mentally competent to stand trial.


Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Oliver was one of two officers fatally shot in 2014

The trial is set to continue despite Bracamontes’ legal team accepting that he did kill the policemen.

The illegal immigrant is also charged with injuring another deputy officer and shooting at a motorist on the same day.

Public defence attorney Jeffrey Barbour’s defence rests on trying to prove that his client was high on methamphetamines at time of the murders, and therefore lacked the mental capacity to know what he was doing.

If proven to have been drug-fuelled, the death penalty would no longer be an option, and the maximum sentence would become life in prison.

Placer County Deputy Michael Davis Jr. was the other office killed

On the day of the murders, Bracamontes - a Mexican national - was driving around with his 41-year-old wife Janelle Monroy, a US citizen.

The pair allegedly left their Salt Lake City home and drove to Sacramento, with Bracamontes smoking methamphetamines and marijuana on the way.
His rampage began at a Motel 6 near the Arden Fair Mall and ended in Auburn, California.

He admits killing two police officers, injuring another and shooting a bystander in the head in an attempt to steal his car.

According to prosecutors, he then locked himself in a home and turned on the stove’s gas burners in an attempt to start a fire.

He intended to kill himself and any officers who followed him into the property.
Bracamontes even wrote a suicide note, saying: “Forgive me, God. Please take me with you. I love you, Janelle.”

However, he eventually crawled out and surrendered.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Democrats shut government down, but they're still struggling to explain why

By Thomas Binion


 © Greg Nash

While they may not be able to admit it publicly (or even to themselves), it’s clear that the Democrats have deliberately manufactured a government shutdown.

Banking on a complicit media and a confused electorate, they have now fully embraced a political tactic they decried for eight years under President Obama.

Charges that this shutdown is the fault of Republicans, or that Democrats haven’t been part of the negotiations leading to the spending bill they rejected, are not true. 

Instead what’s obvious is that Democrats methodically engineered a situation where the government could shut down over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Here are the steps they employed to get us here.

Step one: Democrats have yet to agree to a long-term spending deal that would allow Congress to appropriate funds on an annual basis instead of passing short-term continuing resolutions. 

This fiscal year began three and half months ago, and under ordinary circumstances the funding question would have been resolved long ago, and the opportunity to shut down the government wouldn’t even exist.

However, Democrats blocked a necessary increase in Pentagon funding in a naked attempt to leverage national security to win more funding for domestic programs. 

For that reason, Congress passed three short-term bills. Democrats blocked passage of the fourth.

Step two: Democrats rejected numerous offers to get just want they want, which is a permanent solution for DACA. 

While DACA is not in any way related to government spending, the Democrats have taken spending hostage in an attempt to force Republicans to deal on DACA.

There’s just one problem: Republicans are perfectly willing to deal on DACA. 

Trump and even the most conservative Republican leaders have proposed a true compromise and even written legislation that reflects it. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) proposed legislation that grants permanent amnesty to DACA recipients, in addition to common-sense border security and enforcement provisions. 

Having rejected this proposal, Democrats are claiming they’ll block government funding until a more favorable compromise to them emerges.

Step three: The Democrats distracted from the reality of the negotiations by creating a media circus around a comment that President Trump allegedly made during a private meeting — a comment the president denies.

Step four: The Democrats have used the alleged comment to confuse people, charging that the president is a racist rather admitting the truth, which is that he sincerely wants a DACA deal. Otherwise, their manufactured shutdown wouldn’t make any sense at all in the face of a president who wants to give them what they want.

Step five: Having refused a long-term deal (step one), the Democrats then turned to refusing a short-term stopgap. 

This is the step that really brings the shutdown into play. The House proposed and passed a four-week continuing resolution that would have kept the government running while the two parties continued to hash out DACA and the long-term spending bill. Instead, Democrats rejected that offer of more time and instead opted to all discretionary spending lapse.

Step six: Democrats have cranked up the blame machine. Republicans have majorities in the House and in the Senate. This is a fact that Democrats believe makes them blameless in the Senate, but anyone who buys this line is ignorant of the Senate’s rules. 

Any spending bill must have 60 votes to pass the Senate. That means that while Republicans enjoy the majority, they don’t control the outcome by themselves.

Almost every Republican senator is ready to support a short-term spending bill. It is only the Democrat senators that are blocking its passage. If Republicans really did “control” the Senate, as Democrats are saying, the government would have remained open.

As has been the case in each and every policy debate so far, compromise between the parties has been elusive. A quick review of the facts reveals exactly why. 

Democrats, exerting the leverage they have over what can pass the Senate, will block any compromise.

While feigning interest in a compromise, they continue to block any proposal that doesn’t give them exactly what they want and only what they want.

In short order, we’ll all find out whether the American people are clued in to this brand of brinksmanship.

Thomas Binion is the director of Congressional and Executive Branch Relations at The Heritage Foundation.


Friday, January 19, 2018

USA Or KGB? Bombshell Memo Details FISA Abuses So Serious It Could Bring Changes To The FBI/DOJ



With shutdown theater in high gear, some stories get buried. 

The government runs out of money at midnight tonight, but there was another story that was trending on social media last night. 

The House Intelligence Committee voted to release a four-page memo on FISA abuses that have disturbed lawmakers to their core. Some were saying the actions described were akin to the KGB. 

The vote to release the memo to all members was along party lines, and House Republicans seem adamant that the information should be released to the public. 

The consequences of these abuses have some members of Congress commenting that deep, structural changes could be coming to the Department of Justice and the FBI (via Fox News):

A four-page memo circulating in Congress that reveals alleged United States government surveillance abuses is being described by lawmakers as “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming,” with one congressman likening the details to KGB activity in Russia.

Speaking with Fox News, the lawmakers said they could not yet discuss the contents of the memo they reviewed on Thursday after it was released to members by the House Intelligence Committee. But they say the memo should be immediately made public.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said.

“It's troubling. It is shocking,” North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. “Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said he believed people could lose their jobs after the memo is released.

“I believe the consequence of its release will be major changes in people currently working at the FBI and the Department of Justice,” he said, referencing DOJ officials Rod Rosenstein and Bruce Ohr.

The DOJ and FBI have been subjected to increased scrutiny by Congress and some in the media over the allegation that the Trump dossier may have been (and by saying that, I mean most likely) was the spark that prompted wiretaps for Paul Manafort and Carter Page, two aides to then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election. 

It’s an allegation that will continue to fester since the FBI refuses to turn over documents related to the file, which was a Democrat-funded opposition research project executed by research firm Fusion GPS, who hired a former MI6 operative to collect information. The Hillary Clinton campaign retained Fusion for this purpose. 

Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion and he met with the firm and tried to conceal those meetings. He was then demoted once this fact became known.

Release the memo on the alleged FISA abuses and allow Congress to go through the FBI files on the dossier. 

It’s about time since the Russian collusion narrative has decayed into a rotting corpse of baseless claims. 

There is still no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to tilt the 2016 election. 

There seems to be something more concerning the FBI, DOJ, and apparently now how FISA is used by the intelligence community. 

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) says it raises more questions about the upper crust of the Russia probe headed by Robert Muller. 


Schumer Shutdown: Senate Democrats Brag About Having Votes to Shut Down Government via Filibuster



There was a time, in the very recent past, when Democrats insisted that a partial government shutdown would usher in the apocalypse -- overwrought framing they promiscuously apply to numerous political debates -- and any attempt to extract policy concessions during a shutdown showdown was extreme recklessness.

Obama White House officials likened lawmakers seeking to leverage fiscal "cliff" scenarios for ideological gain to hostage takers, kidnappers, arsonists and suicide bombers.

There was also a time, in the very recent past, when Democrats demanded an extension of CHIP, a healthcare program for children (proposals to do just that they voted against, over funding mechanism disagreements).

More than a dozen upper chamber Democrats also lined up to vote with Republicans against the implementation of Obamacare's harmful, job-killing and innovation-stifling medical device tax.

Last night, House Republicans overcame internal divisions and passed a government funding bill that would keep the lights on for another month, would allocate money to keep CHIP running for six years, and would further delay a handful of unpopular Obamacare taxes.

Nearly every lower chamber Democrat voted no.  Or as Democrats would likely put it if the roles were reversed, nearly every House Democrat voted against the children and the troops, and in favor of shutdown chaos.  Monsters.

Attention now shifts to the Senate, where Democrats are boasting to reporters that they've marshaled the requisite votes to block GOP attempts to keep the federal government open, via a filibuster.

Even if every Senate Republican voted for the House-passed plan (Mitch McConnell's caucus has a few members who've vowed to vote no), 60 votes are required to overcome a potential minority filibuster.

And Democrats are stating, quite openly, that they're ready to filibuster the GOP spending bill and force a shutdown unless they get their way on immigration.

Chuck and Nancy are banking on two dynamics here: First, that the public will be inclined to blame any shutdown on the party that is intrinsically more hostile toward government (not a bad bet), and second, that the press will help them blame Republicans -- or at least muddy the waters (also a decent wager).
  
But the dynamics are so clear on this one that the media has had less room for obfuscation.  I'm not sure Democrats were counting on headlines like this:
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BREAKING: Senior Democratic aide tells NBC News that Democrats have enough votes to block the spending bill in the Senate and prevent Republicans from keeping the government up and running
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It's hard to spin that as anything other than a 'Schumer Shutdown,' as Republicans are aptly labeling it on social media.  Why is the Senate Minority Leader promising to kill a bill that would keep the government open and give years-long stability to a healthcare program he believes is vital?  Because of pressure from his left-wing base over DACA.

Put bluntly, Senate Democrats are prepared to shut down the government on behalf of illegal immigrants.  I've made clear that I favor a DREAM Act compromise and support ongoing negotiations to that end (though initial drafts of a potential agreement are far too weak on border security and enforcement).

But the DACA deadline is about a month-and-a-half away, with good-faith bipartisan talks still underway.  Needlessly tying a specific DREAM Act outcome to keeping the government funded, especially while eschewing a CHIP extension, looks foolish and unreasonable.  But it's what the base wants. Thus, whiplash.

A senior aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan laid things out clearly and effectively in a tweet storm last evening.

But that's what Republicans did under Obama, critics will object.  Yes, although the GOP had at least won back some power on the promise of stopping the Obama agenda by that point, which they were exerting.  Either way, it didn't work out especially well for the party, even if it didn't end up hurting them in the following national election.

And Democrats condemned those tactics in the most hyperbolic of terms, blasting the GOP as unconscionably irresponsible.

Now Democrats find themselves out of power, so they're eagerly "taking hostages."  It seems as though political parties radically alter their own positions and rhetoric when their electoral fates change.  What a surprise.  I'll leave you with my analysis from this morning on the Schumer Shutdown, and why the Democrats' spin is weak.

Keep the government open, and keep the DACA talks open, too.  The latter an important goal, but there's still time to address and achieve it.  Two issues, two tracks.  By the way, if Democrats do force a (partial) shutdown, I'll highlight this thought experiment from last year.

How they could play it: "We regret that Democrats have decided to shut down the government on behalf of illegal immigrants whose ordeal we also support resolving.  This is unwise, in our view, and we are eager to reopen the government as soon as possible.  But as long as Democrats insist that it remain closed, the Trump administration -- unlike previous Democratic administrations -- will do everything in its power to make this partial government shutdown as unobtrusive and painless as possible for the American people."  

A teachable moment, perhaps?  

By the way, how can someone like Dianne Feinstein say this, then vote against a reasonable CR?