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And on the 35th day of the shutdown …

When the shutdown ends, nobody knows

As the shutdown ground into a 35th day, it might be time to get helmets for the hard negotiations ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
As the shutdown ground into a 35th day, it might be time to get helmets for the hard negotiations ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Shutdown, chapter 35

So what’s Washington got in store on the day furloughed federal workers miss a second paycheck, otherwise known as Day 35 of the partial government shutdown? Well, on the heels of a Day 34, when a bunch of votes went nowhere, there’s a meeting at the White House between the president and congressional leaders. It went so well the last time

A whimper, not a bang

After all the back and forth on State of the Union timing, delivery and venue, President Donald Trump late on Wednesday night quietly folded, acknowledging Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s position that the annual speech should be postponed until the shutdown is resolved. “I’m glad we could get that off the table because I know it was the source of many questions,” Pelosi said after. 


Talk about a real deadline to end the shutdown: “Worried about ‘Mass Exodus Monday’ when an estimated 120,000 Super Bowl partiers will leave Atlanta en masse, the city is taking matters into its own hands to help keep unpaid airport screeners on the job.” Think about that. Atlanta can be a tough airport on a normal day. On the day after the Super Bowl, with a bunch of unpaid TSA workers? Ugh.

Graham slammed

Sen. Lindsey Graham is having quite the week. First conservative columnist George Will calls him “Sen. Windsock” and then he picks up a potentially strong challenger in 2020, former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, who said he is “giving serious consideration” to challenging Graham “and will make a final decision in the next two weeks.” At least Graham can console himself with pushing through some judges as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Oscar bait: RBG and Cheney

Who knew a liberal Supreme Court justice and a conservative vice president could be worthy of Academy Award consideration? Movie biz specialist Renee Tsao of PR Collaborative discusses politics in movies, and movie politics, in the latest Political Theater podcast.

Going after leaks, er, condensation

When is water dripping from the ceiling not a leak? When it’s classified as condensation. Whatever. They still needed buckets to catch it in the Rotunda

One man’s gaffe …

You know what they say about gaffes: They’re an accidental admission of the truth. Thus White House chief economic adviser Lawrence Kudlow was assigned mop-up duty when Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the shutdown was dragging down economic growth and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he didn’t get why furloughed workers had to get food from charities. 

Amateur hour

“Take it from a professional mediator: Both the president and Congress have engaged in bad bargaining practices,” writes Joshua M. Javits in an opinion piece noting that the so-called negotiating during the government shutdown has been akin to malpractice. “Here are 7 basic tenets of bargaining that are essential to the process have been totally ignored and violated.”

With lawyers like these

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