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Trump signing Omnibus Bill in context of upcoming confrontations with North Korea and Iran

Trump signing Omnibus Bill in context of upcoming confrontations with North Korea and Iran

What else explains the rush to sign a bill with substantial increases in military spending NOW?

The Omnibus bill Trump signed today is a crap sandwich.

Sure, with over a trillion dollars in spending there are some individual items that could be praised, but as a totality it’s a monstrosity, a POS, a sellout to the worst of D.C. big spending.

It would be easy to become apocalyptic about what this means for the Trump presidency, as Rush Limbaugh was on radio today. I’m not so sure this will be the break that separates Trump voters from Trump, but it certainly smells like a sellout. And it has the potential to exacerbate the Democrat turnout and motivation advantage. The Omnibus bill is blood in the water for #TheResistance.

The failure to achieve important immigration objectives was particularly galling, a case of one step forward and two steps backward. At least there is a second shot at immigration at such point as a DACA deal is negotiated, so Trump may be able to salvage something on immigration and the Wall.

Regardless of some minor victories and a second chance on immigration, the Omnibus bill appears to be a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Republicans may have majorities in the House and Senate, but Chuck and Nancy seem to be in control.

Trump barely tried to justify the Omnibus bill during his press conference, except in one respect: A dramatic increase in military spending including funding for cutting edge weapons systems. The increase in military spending was the only significant justification Trump gave for why he was not vetoing the bill.

How to understand this?

It might be just a moment of weakness or a reflection that there is not a lot of real spending difference between Trump and the Democrats. Those are the simplest explanations. But as I thought about this some more, I wonder if there are other things going on.

Why the need for government funding for at least 6 months? That could have waited for another short term funding bill, some more muddling through, perhaps even muddling through until the November elections.

What was the rush to sign a bill with increases in authorized military spending NOW?

While Trump ran as someone who wasn’t looking at foreign policy as his reason for election, his presidency and attention increasingly are turning to foreign potential conflicts. In the next couple of months Trump will be dealing with two major potential conflict areas: North Korea and Iran.

As to North Korea, Trump is gearing up for talks with “Little Rocket Man.” As to Iran, Trump is facing fights both with the Europeans and the Iranians as to whether Obama’s Iran Nuclear deal survives. Trump already has made moves to strengthen the U.S. posture. Adding John Bolton as National Security Advisor sends a get-tough signal, a message that Trump will not repeat the appeasement mistakes of Obama-Kerry.

As Trump approaches potential conflict with North Korea and Iran, he could spend the prior months rolling through one “shutdown” after another, one-month spending bills, an inadequate military budget held hostage by Democrats, and the prospect of months more such turmoil at least through the midterm elections.

Alternatively, Trump could approach the North Koreans and Iranians with government funding in place including substantial increases for the military.

Do you think the North Koreans and Iranians care about the domestic spending fights that now occupy media coverage? I doubt it. I do think they care about a Trump focused on rebuilding the military and a U.S. military which has just been given additional resources. Trump wants to be the strong horse, a dramatic change from the Obama administration posture. Add to this increased military aggressiveness by Russia and China.

In light of upcoming battles, Trump might very well view an increase in authorized military spending as worth the price of all the other crap in the Omnibus sandwich.


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Yeah and those trashy pols who voted for this thing knew that as well. We keep looking at enemies abroad when the worst are right there in Congress.

I sense you are correct, but I am not looking forward to the hysterics on the right and the smugness on the left this weekend.

DieJustAsHappy | March 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm

As you have flushed this out, I’d say this is the most plausible explanation that I’ve heard to-date.

Eh, maybe. Perhaps there is a slim chance your analysis is correct. Even if so, something dramatic will have to happen domestically before the mid-terms or he’s in the impeachment dock by 1-31-19. Maybe his base voters will just sulk for a while & come back, but that’s a big gamble.

OTH, his primary mission was accomplished, something I take great comfort in, but if it all turns out to have been nothing more than a delay in the inevitable, it will be yugely disappointing.

The Dems rolled Trump. Does that empower him to go toe to toe with NK and Iran? Trump goes into these meetings shorn of major support from this base who now really can not trust him to abide by anything. Sounds more like Jimmy Carter cancelling the B-1 bomber project BEFORE using it as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

The Norks and Iran know he has wounded himself to get along with the Swamp. Another hint to Trump… The Dems yanked promised support for South Vietnam leaving them to perish… so they can do the same in the future if they want status quo with MK and Iran.

    inspectorudy in reply to alaskabob. | March 25, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Bob, you are wrong! Trump rolled Congress! Here’s why. When there is an Omnibus bill passed it is only the amount of money available but no specific time or how any item in it will be funded. obama did the same thing for 8 years. He spent the money from the Omnibus bills the way he wanted and there is nothing Congress can/could do about it. The reason is because Congress has not passed a budget. A budget is exactly what it says and that is how the money will be spent, all of it. Trump can spend money on the wall that is slated for the Border Patrol. He can delay payments to PP or Sanctuary cities until he gets what he wants in return. But he can spend what he wants on the military right now as fast as he likes and cannot spend money on things he opposes. He also doesn’t have to spend all of the allocated money. Trump rolled Congress!

Yes, the first thought is obviously that he’s gone squashy and the super deal-maker let himself be outmaneuvered by those third-raters in Congress. Not too probable, but, I suppose, possible.

The second thought is—equally obviously—that he’s expecting a fairly serious war in the near future, and knows just how big a rotten hole Obama left in the American military, a rotten hole which must be patched, and soon. And that will involve money. Lots of it, and pronto.

One point supporting that second thought is that if it describes the situation, he certainly can’t publicize it; he just has to get money somehow to address it as best he can, and hope he’s in time.

A point not supporting it is that I myself don’t see any major wars looming on the horizon.

    alaskabob in reply to tom_swift. | March 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    A question? If we are going to risk conflict with NK and Iran, how does this bill empower the President now or in the near future to significantly build up military forces? Does passing this budget bill make a War Powers approval by Congress more likely? Trump added on Bolton but today’s action helps Bolton?

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to alaskabob. | March 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Noting that I consider this bill another betrayal, unconstitutional, and that we are already in a civil war with Democrat controlled areas nullifying Federal law at will, and being invaded by both Muslim terrorists and by hostile Mexican nationals; and that we are beyond voting our way out of this . . .

      The quickest way to improve readiness is spending money on spares and maintenance. I am more familiar with the Navy, and a significant portion [1/4-1/3?] of our primary strike aircraft [F/A-18’s] are down due to lack of spare parts for maintenance. The parts can be shipped as soon as ordered, but the Left has not allowed the money to be spent. We have at least one, and I think 3 nuclear attack subs down for lack of required maintenance. The other services are in a similar situation. So, yes, IF it is allowed to be used for maintenance and repairs cash will get us readier for the coming internal and external wars in fairly short order.

      There is, however, no proof that the money will be so utilized.

If I didn’t think McConnell and Ryan would sell us republicans out in a heartbeat, I would be more likely to be ok with this bill. Goodness it’s wasteful just in paper alone! I’m glad though others can see a little ray of hope. This Republican party sure makes it hard not to feel that the Federal congress is just like my state, CA – single party!

It’s an omnibus bill, not a budget. Trump isn’t obligated to spend the money. He can even move some of the money around. He has to abide by a budget, which is why Congress gave Obama omnibus bills instead. Congress just gave Trump a huge bargaining chip. You want PP to gets its money? Then give me this. . .

    jack burns in reply to elliesmom. | March 23, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Then it will be another level of litmus test. If he spends the money as allocated he is truly owned entirely by whatever we’re calling the dark forces these days. If not, hope, cruel as that may seem now. The problem is that I doubt if he knows that he has this option. Hate to say it.

Stabbed in the back. Trump KNOWS McConnell and Ryan are deep state. McConnell is a stooge for China, Ryan’s wife is seeing her investment funds grow as fast as Hillary’s cattle futures with equally poor explanations.

“A point not supporting it is that I myself don’t see any major wars looming on the horizon.”

1860: “An American civil war to free the southern slaves? You’ve got to be kidding.”

1913: “A world war resulting from the assassination of some Austrian archduke? Not bloody likely, mate.”

1938: “Germany would be absolutely insane to start another world war.”

1949: “A North Korean invasion of the south? Can’t see that on the horizon.”

1963: “Full blown American involvement in Vietnam? Not a chance.”

1989: “Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait? The guy is nuts but he isn’t insane.”

1999: “Islamic crazies flying hijacked airliners into skyscrapers? That’s hilarious.”

2000: “Afghanistan? Why in the world would we want to get involved in that godforsaken place?

2002: “We really aren’t going to invade Iraq. And you can take that to the bank.”

2015: “Hillary Clinton will be our next president. And I’ll bet the farm on it.”

great unknown | March 23, 2018 at 6:03 pm

If that was LOTUS’ justification, then he’s really fooling himself. The Norks, Iran, and Europeans now realize that he’s less than a lame-duck president: he’s going to be impeached by this time next year.

There is a cautionary tenet in both the intelligence community and law enforcement. It is “Don’t look in the mirror when you attempt to analyze the reasons for another person’s actions”. The same is true when analyzing Trump’s actions.

Trump is NOT an ideologue. He is not interested in duking it out with RINOs or Dems or liberals or anyone else. He is only interested in advancing his own agenda which is to strengthen the nation, economically.

Here, Trump has two options. He can veto the spending bill and shut the government down until the Congress can produce a bill that he likes. He will be painted as the bad guy, because he will be directly responsible for the shutdown. Or, he can sign the bill and point out that whatever anyone finds objectionable or disappointing in the bill is the direct fault of the Congress Critters who voted for it. Will signing this bill lead to Trump not being reelected, not for three more years. Will it cause his supporters to abandon him? Not likely. They know as well as he does that the shortcomings in this bill are entirely the fault of the Congress, not Trump. Will it result in his impeachment? Possibly. Why? Because the GOP, in an effort to avoid a government shutdown, which might be laid at their doorstep, gave the Dems everything that they asked for and violated their own promises to their constituents. Come November, we will see what those constituents remember and how they feel about it. It is possible that there might be enough voter backlash to swing the Congress back to the Dems. Unfortunately for the GOP, the midterms come a month after this spending bill expires. So, it is unclear exactly what the GOP gained here. The Dems base is energized and the Repub base is becoming demoralized. Interesting strategy to maintain GOP control of Congress.

    alaskabob in reply to Mac45. | March 23, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    The new Triumvirate… GOPe, Dems and Donald?

      Mac45 in reply to alaskabob. | March 23, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Not at all.

      Trump was trapped by the media, and both parties in the Congress. The GOP put together a bill that the Dems were not likely to block. All that domestic pork that the GOP has been promising to cut out for the last decade, don’t you know. They did this so they would not get blamed for shutting down the government, something which no sane person can understand them being against. The Dems get what they want so they vote for it. The it foes to Dur Donald. He immediately says it stinks and that he will, or wants to, veto it. His staff goes nuts and talks him out of the veto, not wanting to deal with defending a government shutdown. This could be good ot bad, depending upon their strategic goals. They probably sold it to him on the basis of the fact that it is only good for the next 6 mo0nths and they can slow walk any disbursement of funding during that time.

      Remember what I said. Trump is not an ideologue. He will drain the swamp, but that is not his first priority. His first priority is to stimulate the US economy. Once he has that on track, then he will turn to restructuring the practice of the DC swamp. His agenda is not necessarily yours.

      On the other hand, the GOP has done what it does best, ignore its promises to its constituents. We’ll have to see how well that works out for them in November.

Rushing through a military bump does not require a complete cave to the democrats and RINOs on every single other point, from guns to sanctuary cities. Maybe we’re looking at another war, probably. In the tradition of the European monarchs and their predecessors they might suspect that the “useless” population needs to be culled before the restless. Iran looks like a near perfect place to do that since we’re already in the neighborhood. Are they reckless and/or stupid enough to risk war with Russia? Probably.

He just banned bump stocks by the way. Wants to beat the weekend rush.

    alaskabob in reply to jack burns. | March 23, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Cave V2.0.

    Nothing like giving the protesters fresh red meat to encourage them on.

    Maybe next week he will authorize open borders. With the budget bill, he is well on his way to making America’s Southeast and Southwest Spanish again.

    tom_swift in reply to jack burns. | March 23, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Rushing through a military bump does not require a complete cave to the democrats and RINOs on every single other point

    Without a line-item veto, that’s exactly what it requires.

      jack burns in reply to tom_swift. | March 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Sure but why rush it at all? Are we mobilizing? Scrambling to avoid the supposed disasters of shutdowns is either an excuse or the consequences are poorly understood.

      Ragspierre in reply to tom_swift. | March 23, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Reagan…and IIRC even Carter…shut the government down.

      They won.

Bump stocks illegal, which won’t make a difference in any way except to harm the people who made and own them, the omnibus bill signed even after proclaiming it to be garbage… I must say, my rectum feels a bit sore this evening. And it’s not even Saturday night yet. (rimshot)

Oh, well. What can one do? I suppose I’ll just wait and see how this all plays out.

And buy ointment. (hmm… Anusol Plus, that may help…)

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to JohnC. | March 25, 2018 at 12:21 am

    I understand your soreness. I would suggest that buying more kinetic items would be more on point.

norks and iranians don’t vote, Americans do. saying at least he isn’t hildabeast won’t cut it anymore.

    Daiwa in reply to 4fun. | March 23, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    True enough, but that singular fact will just have to be enough. It would be so much worse right now if she’d won. And we’d never have known how corrupt the upper echelons of of our government had become; in fact, they’d have been emboldened to further subvert our electoral sovereignty with impunity.

    He’s broken faith with a large segment of his voters, for sure. Gonna be up to him to restore trust, a task which will become pointless if the Dems indeed take the House and/or, G forbid, the Senate this fall, which would stick the plug back in the swamp drain. It’s really quite demoralizing at the moment.

“Viewing Trump signing Omnibus Bill in context of upcoming confrontations with North Korea and Iran”

I liked it better in its short form: “n-dimensional chess.”

Listen to some of you whining little bitches whine! HAHAHAHAHHAAA.

Yeah go on then, don’t vote in the mid terms and next Presidential elections and see what you get in return? I can tell you bitches now that you WONT get an accountable Government if the Democrats take over.

What you will get is 24/7/365 BLMATIFAWHITESARERACIST! But hey, at least you didn’t vote to oppose Democrats right!

You want these RINO’s fickwits held accountable then get out there and VOTE for true conservatives! Work to get TRUE conservatives in to Government! But no, you cry baby living at home little fucking fucks while just sit at your keyboards bitching about who Trump abandoned you and gave everything to the Democrats!

As I keep telling my eye-ranian friends, you get the Government you deserve and if you dumb fucks are dumb fuckery enough to get Democrats elected in to control then you thoroughly deserve EVERYTHING that will be coming your way (think South Africa on steroids because there will be much payback to be had!).

Trump is not the savior of America. For those who have been paying attention the subversion and perversion of just about everything pertaining to governance and culture is well entrenched and has no intention of yielding. Expecting him to be invincible is not useful; continuing the struggle against the totalitarian wave is

    mailman in reply to lehnne. | March 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    If you are stupid to believe that one man can change the swamp then you thoroughly deserve the Democrats being back in power in November.

    On the other hand if you are capable of rubbing two or more brain cells together then you should be able to work out that its going to take a hell of a lot of hard work from a hell of a lot of people to get that swamp drained.

    This didn’t end with Trump. This didn’t even begin with Trump. But Trump is the end of the beginning…or the beginning of the end. It will take a lot of hard work from a lot of dedicated people to undo all the damage liberals have done to your country and giving up now isn’t going to help anyone other than liberals.

People have got to place things into perspective.

There is an ideological war going on in this country. It is the middle class versus the Progressive Elite. At the highest levels of the US government you have Donald Trump, representing the middle class, versus EVERYONE ELSE, representing the elitist establishment. Trump is not going to win every single battle against the Establishment. Look at how many generals commanded the union forces in the Civil War or how many battles the US lost at the start of WWII against an entrenched foe in the Pacific.

In this case, the Uniparty in Congress, especially the GOPe, mousetrapped Der Donald. And, there was nothing that he could do about it. The Congress presented him with a spending bill which was everything he is against. And, they presented it to him on the eve of the expiration of the current CR. Vetoing the bill would have triggered a government shutdown. Trumps initial reaction was to veto the bill, as he said in his initial tweets. Given the history of Trump’s actions to his tweets, this suggests, strongly, that he was going to veto the bill, initially. His turn-about, especially given his strong statements that the bill was an affront and that he would never sign another such bill, strongly suggest that his advisors convinced him to sign this bill and that he followed their advice, rather than follow his own initial response.

Now, the Establishment scored a small victory here. And, it will remain a small victory if people simply keep their heads. Instead we see that the actions of the MSM and operators such as Ragspierre may be working. We have a bunch of Trump supporters who are wringing their hands and worrying that Trump has betrayed them. That signing this bill is evidence that he either can’t stand or won’t stand up to the Establishment or is secretly an Establishment stooge. First it was Trump’s decision to honor the DACA extensions to which the US Government [in other words WE, the people] agreed. Then it was tariffs. Now it is signing the 2018 Omnibus Spending bill, that is being touted as reason to believe that Trump is betraying his constituency. We hired him to do a job. So, it would be a good idea to allow him to do that job. He has been in office a little longer than a single year and look at what has been accomplished.

Now, about the passage of the bill, itself. This was an act of desperation by the Establishment. By presenting and passing this bill, the bulk of the Republicans in Congress outed themselves as card carrying members of the enemy of the middle class. And, this puts a number of them at risk for losing their seats. For a career politician to do this, the pressure from their masters has to be intense. Add to that the unprecedented number of career Republican politicians who resigned or will not seek reelection for spurious reasons and this shows just how desperate the Establishment has become. The current political situation in the federal government bears no resemblance to normal politics. It is war. And, it has to be viewed as such. The Trump Presidency is the first campaign in that war. And, just as in any war, the entrenched defenders, the Establishment, are going to dig in and fight back. To borrow an old political saying, we have to stay the course. Like it or not, Trump is the only game in town for the middle class. If the middle class abandons him, refuses to support him, then the Establishment wins and the destruction of the middle class will continue.

    willow in reply to Mac45. | March 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

    What do you think he should do, say to encourage the supporters who feel so let down? I am not let down.

      Mac45 in reply to willow. | March 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      It is what people can understand about the conflict that will determine what they will do.

      First of all, forget about party affiliations. This is not the traditional Republican v Democrat conflict. This is the middle class v the Elitist Establishment, which encompasses BOTH political parties. The entire Democrat Congress and most of the Republican Congress is directly controlled by the Establishment Elite. The Establishment strategy is to make it look as though the parties are in opposition, when, in fact, they have the same goals and are only engaged in a theatrical performance to suggest that they do not share the same goals. There is only one real party, the Uniparty, and it is controlled by the Establishment. Everyone got that part?

      So along comes Trump. He will support the espoused goals of the Republican party to balance the budget, reduce taxes, stop the flow of illegal immigration, repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. So, with a majority in both houses of Congress and a President sympathetic to the espoused goals of the Republican Party, all of these things should have been accomplished within the first year. Have they? No. Why? Because the Republican Party does not really want any of those things. Why? Because their masters, the Elitist Establishment, do not want any of those things. Everyone still following me?

      First the Establishment attempts to undermine and remove Trump using the Russian Collusion narrative, which also serves to protect their favored lackeys who would otherwise end up in jail for activities during the Obama Administrations. It blocks Trump at nearly every turn, legislatively. It engages is horrendous lawfare against Trump’s actions, using untenable legal positions to stymie him. But, Trump continued to pursue his agenda, and he was succeeding. The economy was on the upswing. Then Trump, entered a realm which is going to cost the Elitist Establishment, which is heavily composed of Wall Street financial interests, a HUGE amount of money. He institutes tariffs which will harm China and other foreign parties in which these financial parties have a huge interest. The strategy changes.

      Now, the masks come off the Republican Congressmen. We all know exactly who is a card carrying member of the Establishment. They push through a bill so swollen with anti-middle class pork that the Republicans never would have passed it, let alone proposed it 2 years ago. It will kill the careers of a significant number of Republicans in Congress. The problem becomes, who will replace them following the elections in eight months? Conservative Republicans who are not beholden to the Establishment? Not likely. So, it will be a Democrat, who will be securely in the pocket of the Establishment, or the same Establishment Republican will be returned to office. Either way, the Establishment wins.

      So, we come to the Omnibus Spending bill. The Republican [read Establishment] Congress drops this steaming pile of bull excrement on the President’s desk 24 hours before the current CR expires and portions of the government have to shut down. Then they leave town. What is the President to do? He could veto the bill and then he would have had to try to get the Congress back in session to deal with it. But, if they dragged their feet reconvening, the media will declare that Trump can not control his own party [which is true]. Even if the Congress had not adjourned, the the media will still portray Trump as being unable to control his party and, therefor, an ineffectual leader. And, he will get blamed for the government shutdown. If he signs the bill, he still is branded an ineffectual leader, but does not have to defend shutting down the government for 2 weeks. And, he can continue to point out that it is not HIS bill, but that of the Republican leadership.

      This was planned by the leadership of the Republican Party to harm the President. And, in the long run, the real enemy of the people, the Elitist Establishment, gains an advantage. And do not think that the anti-gun, anti-assault weapons push is merely a coincidence, at this time. Neither is the reduction in funds for border security and a cap on the number of illegal aliens which the government can keep in custody. The Establishment is ramping up its defenses by increasing attacks on the middle class and this country.

      People should not be discouraged. People should be terrified and angry. But, at least, there is no doubt as to who is the enemy of those who supported Trump in the last election. People can either continue to support the fight or stand down and watch the nation get run over by the Elitist Establishment. Life is full of hard choices.

        mailman in reply to Mac45. | March 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        People need to understand there are no parties. Everyone is in it for number 1…and guess what. Number 1 isn’t you, the people! Number 1 is them politicians, who at the end of the day are only interested in protecting themselves from you scum out there on the street!

          Mac45 in reply to mailman. | March 24, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          Everyone is out for #1. We are all born as amoral opportunists. Society is supposed to train us to be more moral and less opportunistic, but we are still what we are.

          Now, there are two types of people. One is the person who practices selfish acquisition. And the other is the one who practices enlightened self-interest. The selfish, short-sighted man grabs the bag with %10,000 in it lying outside the bank and runs away. If he gets away with it, he has $10,000. and that is all. If he does not get away with it, he is branded a thief, forever. The practitioner of enlightened self-interest picks up the bag and takes it into the bank and turns it in. He establishes himself as an honest man. Also, he might just get a job with the bank, where he can climb the corporate ladder and make considerably more than $10,000 a year for several decades.

          So, you see, everyone is interested in his own welfare first. The smart man takes the long view and stupid man the short one. Politicians are no different. However, entry into the job of politician seems to require the lowest possible level of intelligence available. The dumber the better.