Senate adjourns with no deal or compromise, however, there could be a vote at noon today…As the clock ticked toward a scheduled 1 a.m. Monday vote — set by McConnell in part because of arcane Senate rules but later postponed — the moderates made the most visible progress toward a deal…No firm proposal emerged from the meeting, but senators discussed a broad outline that could unlock a deal: modify the temporary spending bill now under consideration in the Senate to expire on Feb. 8, and then find some way to guarantee that immigration legislation moves forward in the interim.  The White House has said it supports the plan for funding through Feb. 8 but has been wary of making concessions on immigration…READ MORE

Senator Chuck Schumer is arguing that he offered the GOP & President Donald Trump a great deal…On the floor of the Senate on Saturday, though, Schumer explained that it was almost exactly that: A deal on those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that would also potentially fund the wall.  “On the thorniest issue, of immigration,” Schumer said, “the president said many times he would take a deal that had included DACA in exchange for the wall. I put that deal on the table in the Oval Office in a sincere effort at compromise. I put the wall on the table in exchange for strong DACA protections. … It was a generous offer.”  READ MORE

Because the deal was rejected after Trump was receptive to it Schumer argues the GOP is negotiating in bad faith…“Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Schumer said, drawing a comparison to the wobbly gelatin dessert.  “It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard-right forces the president three steps back,” Schumer said…READ MORE

NOT SO FAST: Senator Tom Cotton, on Meet The Press, says it’s the Democrats who misrepresenting the negotiations…“It’s hard for the president, or for Senate Republicans, to negotiate with Senate Democrats sitting across the table” who, “when they don’t get what they want, they run out and they misrepresent what was a good-faith effort” and “claim that some ridiculous deal was made and then claim the president walked away from that deal and the media buys it hook, line and sinker,”  WATCH VIDEO


Paul Kane over at the Washington Post seems surprised that the GOP seems unified on the idea that Senator Chuck Schumer is responsible for the shutdown…This is not normal behavior for House Republicans. They have fought bitterly among themselves since winning the majority in 2010, perhaps never more so than in the fall of 2013. That’s when a small but influential faction of conservatives caused the last federal government shutdown, over a bid to force President Barack Obama to zero out funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  By the time it was finished, Republicans had accused one another of acting like “lemmings with suicide vests” and of leading them into a “boxed canyon” to be slaughtered by Obama and congressional Democrats…READ MORE

Republicans can confidently make this argument because it’s the truth.  Just ask…

The Wall Street Journal…The most important political fact of this latest shutdown melodrama is that Democrats feel they can get away with it. Democrats are essentially doing what GOP Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee tried in 2013 over repealing ObamaCare: Refuse to fund the government over an unrelated policy issue…READ MORE

New York Times…Much of the federal government officially shut down early Saturday morning after Senate Democrats, showing remarkable solidarity in the face of a clear political danger, blocked consideration of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating…READ MORE

The AP…Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century…READ MORE

The impact on 2018

Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) tweeted: “When the GOP passed the tax bill, Democrats held a 13 point lead on the generic ballot. A month later, that lead is now down to 7.3 points and tightening quickly.  Whether this is sustainable or not for Republicans, there is no denying the current trend.”  See Tweet w/ Chart

WaPo’s Weigel, O’Keefe, & Portnoy argue that the shutdown could hurt Democrats in red states…Some Democrats also quietly conceded that the impasse — if it is seen as a fight over immigration — holds risks for vulnerable senators, even if they voted to keep the government open.  One worrisome data point: A super PAC allied with Senate Democrats commissioned a poll in 12 battleground states in early December 2017, and it found that in more conservative states, blame for a shutdown would be split between Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress. But when interviewers asked respondents about a shutdown that might be tied to the legal status of dreamers, Democrats absorbed more blame…READ MORE

Jeff Greenfield of POLITICO has 5 reasons why the Democrats might not want to count their chickens…First, those generic numbers may not tell us what it looks like it’s telling us.  Democrats learned to their sorrow that national polls in 2016 showing a Hillary Clinton victory were misleading. She did indeed win the national popular vote, and that, along with a dollar, will get her a choice of offerings at McDonald’s. That same reality has to be factored in to today’s generic congressional number, because it includes huge margins for Democrats in places like California and New York; they tell us a lot less about what’s going on in marginal districts and in red states…READ MORE


PROGRAM NOTE: I will interview BOG member, Thom Goolsby about this topic at 8AM this morning…LISTEN LIVE @

Tensions on the Board of Governors are being exacerbated by a proposal that would merge UNC Health Care and Carolinas HealthCare System.

But First, a brief history courtesy of the News & Observer…In August, [Tom] Fetzer sent a sharply-worded letter to Spellings and Bissette, chastising them for their handling of issues around the Silent Sam Confederate monument on the Chapel Hill campus. The letter was signed by 15 members, a majority of the Republican-dominated board. It took Spellings and Bissette to task for communicating with Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, about campus security concerns and their request that Cooper convene the state historical commission to decide the future of the statue.  The letter was followed in September by a flurry of surprise resolutions by members in the majority faction, calling for significant changes to the university system. They wanted to lower tuition and fees, review Spellings’ staff and consider moving the system headquarters out of Chapel Hill. The proposals prompted concerns that the UNC board was undermining Spellings’ authority as president.

Back to present day: On Thursday Tom Fetzer sent a email to UNC System President, Margaret Spelling and Board Chairman,Louis Bissette, questioning the legality of the merger…To my knowledge, no members of the BOG that I’m aware of were informed of this proposed merger until a few days before it was made public.  In my opinion, this begs the reasonable question: were relevant North Carolina statutes followed during the period, which many have described as being the better part of a year, in which this proposed merger was being planned?…READ EMAIL

Some board members responded on Friday to this email:

Leo Daughtry Believed that UNC Health Care had met its legal obligation and didn’t understand why Fetzer had singled Spelling out: “I don’t know why he would single her out,” Daughtry said. “I don’t know whether Tom doesn’t like her or has a personal problem with her.”

Board Chairman Lou Bissette notified Fetzer on Friday that they were concerned about his conflict of interest: We are responding to your email because we are concerned about your potential conflicts under the North Carolina State Ethics Act. As you know, the Ethics Act requires you, as a member of the Board, to identify potential conflicts, disclose them, and then refrain from participating in any official action relating to a conflict, which includes any verbal or written action in furtherance of official action.