This is Friday, so it is roundtable day!
So, we are now into day 7 of the partial government shutdown, it goes into full effect next week. House Democrats hope to pass a funding bill shortly after members are sworn in. They believe that would put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to follow suit. Most people see this as a two-sided issue, Republicans vs. Democrats. I see this quickly developing into three sides if it has not already, Trump, Democrats and Republicans. Trump, playing to his base sees an advantage. Democrats see this as a Trump shutdown since he claimed ownership of the crisis two weeks ago. Where are most Republicans? Siding with the head of their party or slowly starting to pressure him to give in?
Trump has threatened to shut down southern border as government funding stalemate drags on. President Trump today issued a string of tweets in which he again vowed to close the entire US border with Mexico and halt aid to several Latin American countries unless Democrats agree to his demand for billions of dollars in wall funding. "We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with," Trump said in a morning tweet.
Hundreds of asylum-seekers spent part of Christmas Eve in a downtown parking lot in El Paso without knowing where they'll end up next. Lawmakers and immigrant rights groups scramble after ICE releases hundreds of migrants without alerting local shelters. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began dropping off the migrants late Sunday at a local bus station without warning local shelters that usually take in large groups after they seek asylum and are released by federal agents. About 200 arrived Sunday, about 200 more arrived Monday and the total number could exceed 800 by Wednesday, according to U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso. Normally, ICE would alert the Annunciation House, a local shelter that has taken in tens of thousands of migrants and has several locations across this border city. But that didn't happen Sunday night, O'Rourke said. What's going on here?
President Donald Trump took a whirlwind, secret trip to Iraq this week but it has to be placed into the context of a week ago, Trump hastily declared that he had defeated ISIS, and that the US would pull its troops out of Syria. The abrupt move was reportedly resisted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who appealed to the president to reconsider and then resigned when his counsel fell on deaf ears. The president failed to meet with any Iraqi officials while in the country and I believe that Iraq is supposed to be a sovereign nation — despite the fact that the US invaded the country in 2003 and has had a continuous troop presence there ever since. Though the trip had reportedly been planned for weeks, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was invited to meet the president only two hours in advance and was unable to make it to the event. The two leaders spoke over the phone instead, and the prime minister later said that the meeting was canceled because of a disagreement over how to conduct the session.
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Dr. Mamie Locke — Professor of Political Science at Hampton University and former Senate member of the Hampton, Virginia city council 1996-2004, and mayor 2000-2004. Since 2004, she has been a member of the Senate of Virginia from the 2nd district.
Colin Campbell — Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University's School of Communication. He has been a TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large covering two presidencies, Congress and State departments.
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
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