1. Government Shutdown: I remember chastising the right when they shut the government down over Obamacare funding in 2013. So, I’m trying to be fair here. No party should shut the government down. So in this space I’ll just try to navigate the buzz words that are circulating in the news. First, Republicans have been using a budgetary technique called reconciliation that allows them to pass laws with a simple majority. Therefore they haven’t really had to negotiate with the left over anything.

Even with reconciliation, the GOP couldn’t pass healthcare reform and only passed tax reform because it was basically an ideological wish list of long desired goals. Reconciliation can only be used during a particular window of time. So now nothing can pass without 60 votes in the Senate or at least some support from the other side. These rules had the best of intentions. They are designed to force compromise and negotiations, but instead they have lead to government shutdowns. Republicans are blaming the shutdown on Democrats, predictably.

However, the only way to have avoided this would have been to compromise in order to lure more Democratic votes. Barack said it best though when he said said if you make your opponent out to be the devil it becomes very hard to then negotiate with or compromise with Satan (paraphrasing). Another term you’ll hear is continuing resolution. The Congress hasn’t passed an actual budget in a minute. This is largely because the two sides can’t ever negotiate on a compromise budget. It’s usually all or nothing. So instead the government has been running on what are called continuing resolutions or limited stop gap measures.

The CR is limited in scope and could never replace an actual budget with appropriation of funds and resources. The debate now is hovering around passing a three week CR or one that covers just a few days. Politicians say the CR will provide more time to negotiate. Our political system is dead broke and can only be fixed if both sides relax their ideologies and instead engage in a little give and take.

2. DACA and the immigration debate: I think it’s abundantly clear that the motivation behind the GOP’s staunch opposition to both legal and illegal immigration is rooted in their fear of the country’s shifting demographics. America is becoming more and more a land of color and that reality has shaken some to their core.

However, that is not the argument the GOP uses in the immigration debate. Instead they argue that the immigration issue is entirely based on the preservation of law and order. On the other side of the debate, the Democrats have based their argument on intangibles like justice, morality, and kindness. This is why the Dems are fighting so hard for DACA. DACA provides the left with an actual argument that can stand in court. If parents robbed a bank with a kid in the car, the kid doesn’t get charged as an accomplice.

Similarly, if a child is brought into the country illegally they shouldn’t be punished in the same way as someone who willfully and knowingly entered the country illegally. The Republican buzz word on this topic is amnesty. They argue if you let some people stay, even if it’s for the most noble of reasons, it equates to letting folks off the hook, which in turn weakens the country. So, the Dems have no interest in giving up the one concrete argument they have in the immigration debate.

Don’t look for comprehensive immigration reform beyond DACA because the question that neither side can answer is what do you do with the near 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. The republican law and order argument is clear on that. Deport them. The Democrats are hoping for soft hearts and understanding, but this is America and a soft heart and fifty cents can get you a bag of chips and a hearty chuckle.

3. Monique, Monique, Monique: I think the last movie I saw Monique in was Almost Christmas. She was a secondary character and I remember thinking she was doing the most and being way to vulgar. She was trying real hard to be a scene stealer. I don’t know any Monique jokes, for example we all know the way Kevin Hart’s bank account is set up, yet we have no lasting Monique punchlines.

Amy Schumer also isn’t that funny to me, but she had a super popping three year run. During this time she hit a lick off Netflix. Now, Monique is asking us to boycott Netflix because she wasn’t offered Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, or Amy Schumer money. I disagree with Monique’s overall premise that Netflix is racially biased. A quick perusal of the sight will find many comedians of color and different genders. Matt Williams has a new special up. So I have a few questions most comedy specials are filmed while the comedian is on tour. One specific date is chosen for filming or a compilation of clips is put together.

Is Monique on tour? Or was this an offer for a one and done comedy show? If so $500k is nothing to sneeze at in terms of a one hitter quitter. Other than that, I feel like our forefathers and civil rights icons are turning over in their graves at the reckless use of the boycott strategy. Withholding our purchasing power is a tried and true method of protest, but it loses some of its power when employed as a balm for hurt feelings or salve for perceived injustice.

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