President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump has shown he is unable to compromise. He has reacted to the past week’s defeats at the hands of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats with what can only be called a rage attack.

He laid down the gauntlet in his Wall Street Journal interview on Sunday making it clear that he anticipates the Democrats holding firm on refusal to fund his wall. He told the Journal that he thinks the chances of a new deal being reached before the government shuts down again because of lack of funding in less than three weeks are “less than 50-50” and he kept the possibility of initiating another shutdown open. He is threatening to use emergency powers to build the wall if all else fails.

There seems to be some doubt in his mind about how far he is willing to go in order to have his full demands met indicating he isn’t sure he’d accept less than $5.7 billion for the wall, and also doubting that he’d open a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers and those here on Temporary Protected Status.

He’s still not exactly sure what kind of structure he wants at the border telling the Journal “I have to see what it is. As long as it can stop criminals, gangs, human trafficking and drugs, I’m open to anything. But the only thing that will work is a very strong form of physical barrier.”

Trump is insisting on a wall. Nancy Pelosi is insisting that the Democrats will not fund the wall. There is no way out for Trump except compromise and that would mean defeat for him.

It is not difficult to predict what Trump will do and how he will do it. He has been humiliated by the Speaker of the House, who he insults by calling her by her first name. Nancy not only a woman’s name but a name it can’t be lost on Trump is also used pejorative to refer to an effeminate man.

I’d like to believe that Trump will not shut down the government again because he’s already tried that and it didn’t lead to him achieving his goals. The only reason I could see this angry vengeful man doing this is because relishes demonstrating what he sees as his personal power, not mind you the power of the presidency. He may want to exercise it any way he can and damn the consequences of the negative publicity.

Another shutdown will hurt a few million people but we know the president doesn’t have an iota of empathy.

My hunch is that he will declare a national emergency and declare victory.


What else might Trump do as he proves his prowess by using the powers of the presidency? This article In Foreign Policy is not reassuring: Trump Can’t Do That. Can He? On NATO withdrawal and other issues, it turns out presidential powers are constrained by norms but not laws.

If U.S. President Donald Trump decides to withdraw from NATO tomorrow, Congress might be unable to stop him.

That’s the conclusion a group of top lawmakers and some legal experts have reached, as Trump over the past two years has repeatedly bashed the alliance and extended olive branches to Russian President Vladimir Putin—even while his administration has taken some steps to support NATO.

The legal assessment is particularly worrying for some Democratic lawmakers in the wake of a New York Times report revealing that Trump had privately discussed leaving NATO. And it reflects a broader challenge that the Trump presidency poses on a number of issues, including trade policy, international treaties, and clean governance: The guardrails that curb a president’s powers are often traditions and norms but not actual laws.

An opinion piece by The Editorial Board in today’s New York Times doesn’t lead one to be optimistic either.  Saving NATO: The House voted overwhelmingly to block President Trump’s threat to quit the Atlantic alliance. The Senate should promptly follow suit.

It seems obvious that leaving NATO would be a foreign policy debacle, eroding American influence in Europe and emboldening Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, who wants to weaken NATO so he can expand his political and military sway.

Despite all that, there is no sign that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, would stop such a move if Mr. Trump were to make it, as he has repeatedly threatened to do.

Mr. Trump’s own skepticism has long been apparent. He has questioned the alliance’s purpose and hectored the allies to pay more for defense. Spending has risen, but it also rose under Mr. Trump’s predecessors, who urged greater military spending but never wavered in their commitment to NATO.

Now the threat is growing: Several times last year, the president privately told senior administration officials that he wanted to withdraw from NATO, viewing it as a drain on the United States.

Lashing out in rage the beleagued challenged and thwarted narcissist could be prompted by editorials such as this in the hated New York Times and could push Trump to let the chips fall where they may and withdraw from NATO.


UPDATE Jan 26 9PM:  Another distraction, and opportunity for Trump to flex his muscles and play superman has been foretold by an amazing demostration of ineptitude by John Bolton. A photo of him holding a notepad saying “Afghanistan -> Welcome the Talks. 5,000 troops to Colombia.” is circulating on Twitter. Read story.

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