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Here’s how Pelosi and Schumer called Trump’s bluff — and hung the shutdown around his neck

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In a deep dive into the relationship between House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Politico reveals that the two have formed a pact that any dealings with President Donald Trump will be conducted jointly as a show of power.

According to the report, Trump sought to speak with Schumer alone in the hopes of getting the senator to work with him on getting a border wall deal that would pass muster in Senate with the help of Democrats.

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Despite a history of having one-on-one meetings with the president, Schumer said no more, telling the president’s advisers: “Only with Nancy.”

Forced to meet with the two together, Trump allowed the media to cover their now-public debate where the frustrated Trump blurted out that he would be proud to shut down the government — which has come back to haunt him.

According to the report, “Republicans have tried to drive a wedge between the duo for more than a month now. They’ve cast Schumer as eager to cut a deal and Pelosi as an impediment. They’ve floated the idea that Pelosi would be more willing to compromise after she was elected speaker.”

Instead, as Politico reports, “By setting a model of unity, Schumer and Pelosi have also kept moderates in their caucus from breaking ranks and underscored how difficult it will be for Trump to get Democrats to fold. From House freshmen in Trump-held districts to centrist Senate Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, they’ve all said: Open the government, then let’s talk about the border.”

Democratic lawmakers say the dynamic works because each one recognizes what the other brings to the table.

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“She is the lead Democrat by virtue of her title and majority status,” explained Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VVA). “He kind of is playing the role of wingman right now [but] I think Chuck is a pro and I think he understands roles ebb and flow.”

Added Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), “It forces Republicans to think differently about their strategy if they see Nancy and Chuck as a unit for the next two years.”

You can read more here.

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‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’

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The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s.  In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices.  One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.

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Virginia capitol staff will be forced to confront armed protesters because of official’s ‘bravado’: strategist

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Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency after white supremacists threatened to come to the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia, with weapons to protest new gun laws. Northam gave a "mandatory" order for every staffer in the executive branch and General Assembly to telework for safety.

The problem, according to Virginia-based political strategist Ben Tribbett, elected officials are still planning to go to the Capitol to attend committee hearings, putting other Capitol staff in danger.

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Trump is trying Middle East Peace plan 2.0 after the first one flopped

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President Donald Trump is scheduled to submit his second Middle East peace plan after the first one senior son-in-law Jared Kushner came up with didn't go over very well.

"We will get this done," Trump claimed in May 2017.

“We'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace,” Trump said. “Over the course of my lifetime, I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Let's see if we can prove them wrong, okay?”

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