Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mueller's Russia Indictment is Bullshit

All you need to know whether there is any there there to the Mueller indictment is to read Trump's response, as reported by Mark Landler and Michael Shear in "Indictment Makes Trump’s Hoax Claim Harder to Sell," one of four stories as well as the lede editorial published by The New York Times in today's national edition:
Far from being rattled, Mr. Trump was elated, according to his advisers, because he viewed it as evidence that Mr. Mueller now knows who the malefactors are — and they do not include him or members of his team. (The indictment refers to campaign officials who met or communicated with Russians, but says they were “unwitting.”)
The Mueller indictment boils down to this: An internet troll farm in St. Petersburg, the Internet Research Agency, ran a three-year social media campaign to "sow discord" in the American electorate and undermine confidence in Hillary Clinton. According to Matt Apuzzo and Sharon LaFraniere in "13 Russians Indicted as Mueller Reveals Effort to Aid Trump Campaign":
The Russian nationals were accused of working with the Internet Research Agency, which had a budget of millions of dollars and was designed to reach millions of Americans. The defendants were charged with carrying out a massive fraud against the American government and conspiring to obstruct enforcement of federal laws.
Their tasks included undermining Mrs. Clinton by supporting her Democratic primary campaign rival, Bernie Sanders, prosecutors said. Those instructions were detailed in internal documents: “Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).” Mr. Mueller identified 13 digital advertisements paid for by the Russian operation. All of them attacked Mrs. Clinton or promoted Mr. Trump.
With the above -- Trump elation combined with the indictment's quantification of 13 digital ads funded by an ambiguous "budget of millions" -- we have all we need to know that this indictment is  bullshit.

The "budget of millions" is the strong tell.  The indictment  states that the Internet Research Agency's entire annual budget "totaled the equivalent of millions of U.S. dollars."

But we're not talking about the entire Internet Research Agency, which has many departments with different tasks; we're only talking about one ad hoc department allegedly created in the spring of 2014 to engage in "information warfare" in the United States, the "translator project." The indictment states that by July 2016 more than 80 employees were assigned to "translator project."

But being assigned to something doesn't mean that you're actually doing any work. Where's the quantification?

To provide that quantification, the indictment does a little fudging. It stops talking about "translator project" and starts talking about "Project Lakhta":
Project Lakhta had multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in various countries, including the United States.
By in or around September 2016, the ORGANIZATION's [Internet Research Agency] monthly budget for Project Lakhta submitted to CONCORD [company owned by Kremlin-friendly mogul Yevgeny V. Prigozhin] exceed 73 million Russian rubles (over 1,250,000 U.S dollars), including approximately one million rubles in bonus payments.
So we have 80 workers assigned to something called the "translator project," which is waging info war within the U.S. by means of social medium. Then we have something call "Project Lakhta," which is an all-points-of-compass info-war campaign, targeting audiences both domestic and foreign. The indictment states that Project Lakhta's monthly budget is $1.25 million.

Look what this becomes in the NYT editorial:
By the spring of 2016, the operation had zeroed in on supporting Mr. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton. The Internet Research Agency alone had a staff of 80 and a monthly budget of $1.25 million. On the advice of a real, unnamed grass-roots activist from Texas, it had focused its efforts on swing states like Colorado, Virginia and Florida.
Staffers bought ads with messages like “Hillary is a Satan,” “Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison” and “Vote Republican, Vote Trump, and support the Second Amendment!”
The "newspaper of record" can't even keep this straight. The passage regarding the "unnamed grass-roots activist in Texas" is particularly embarrassing. According to Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti, "Inside a 3-Year Russian Campaign to Influence U.S. Voters":
The Russian operatives contacted, among others, a real Texas activist who, evidently assuming they were Americans, advised them to focus on “purple states like Colorado, Virginia & Florida.” After that, F.B.I. agents found that the phrase “purple states” became a mantra for the Russian operation.
So we're supposed to believe that secret Russian agents traveled all the way to the Lone Star State in order to discover the philosopher's stone of U.S. electioneering -- purple states?

Are we really that stupid?

The obvious thing about the indictment is included the Shane and Mazzetti story: There is no mention of the hack of the DNC, nor of Podesta's Gmail account:
Mr. Mueller’s indictment does not present evidence that the campaign overseen by Mr. Prigozhin was ordered by Mr. Putin. American officials have traced other elements of the Russian meddling, notably the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails, to Russian intelligence agencies carrying out Mr. Putin’s orders.
While the indictment certainly undermines Mr. Trump’s blanket assertions that the Russian interference is a political “hoax,” it does not accuse anyone from his campaign or any other American of knowingly aiding in the effort.
No connection to the Russian government; no collusive tie to the Trump campaign. Caitlin Johnstone does a good job collecting frantic Democratic tweets in her post "Insane Anti-Trumpists Call For Even More Escalations Against A Nuclear Superpower."

Another obvious thing about the indictment, which is mentioned by Apuzzo and LaFraniere, is that this kind of background info war is stock and trade of the U.S. government:
Such anecdotes are rare examples of how intelligence agencies work covertly to influence political outcomes abroad. The C.I.A. has conducted such operations for decades, but both Mr. Mueller’s indictment and an intelligence assessment last year present a startling example — unprecedented in its scope and audacity — of a foreign government [the indictment doesn't name a foreign government -- sloppy editing] working to help elect an American president.
I imagine all governments employ these kind of private-sector contractors to test messaging and fiddle about in their neighbors' affairs. Russia has promised to expose U.S. meddling in its upcoming presidential election. What is Navalny's presidential boycott campaign if not a U.S. intelligence operation?

The Democrats are headed into the midterms with their dirigible deflating. They will try to keep the New Cold War inflated at all costs. Judging from CBS News "Key Takeaways," it is going to be a lot of effort for not much return. Russiagate has been deflating for months. It has required periodic scare headlines to refocus the citizenry's wandering attention.

Even though Democrats have real, powerful issues with which to mobilize their base -- gun safety and immigration, to name but two -- this is a party that has a visceral aversion to reality. Their cry will be for Trump to slap even more sanctions on Russia, to lock in the New Cold War, to guarantee the New McCarthyism will determine the Democratic nominee, which will assure Trump's reelection. That is how self-destructively stupid the power brokers of the Democratic Party are. Rather than fight to win, they choose to lose so that they can retain power in the organization.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tillerson Signals Long Anticipated U.S. Betrayal of the Kurds

The news from Tillerson's meeting today in Turkey with foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is not good. The oft-anticipated U.S. sellout of its Kurdish partners in northern Syria appears to be in the works.

Rudaw is reporting that
The United States and Turkey are “locking arms” in Syria, said Tillerson in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. “We’re not going to act alone any longer… We are going to act together from this point forward.”
They will begin in Manbij, the northern Syrian city under control of US-ally the Manbij Military Council and the Kurdish YPG, a force Ankara alleges is a terror group.
The US promised the YPG will leave the Manbij region, Cavusoglu stated. And once the Kurdish forces are gone, Turkey will be able to take steps forward with its NATO ally, he said.
Tillerson asserted that they “share the same objective in Syria” – to defeat ISIS, stabilize the country in order to allow refugees to return home, and support a political solution for a unified Syria, with no internal demarcations dividing the country.
They will closely coordinate on the final defeat of ISIS “and other terror groups” inside Syria, Tillerson added.
Bloomberg does not mention the "The U.S. promised that the YPG will vacate Manbij" statement by Cavusoglu:
The incursion has created an unprecedented military face-off between the two largest armies in NATO, with U.S. forces fighting alongside the YPG in northeastern Syria while Turkey attacks members of the group to the west. The two sides said the top priority of the working group established Friday will be addressing Manbij, a town in northern Syria held by the YPG with the backing of American forces. Erdogan has threatened to attack the town.
Manbij should stay under the control of the U.S. or its allied forces, Tillerson said.
“We have made clear our expectations from the U.S. in terms of its support for the YPG and the fight against terrorist groups,” Cavusoglu said. “We’d like to think that our vital security concerns are taken seriously.” He said previous promises made to Turkey by the U.S. were broken, but that the two sides had “reached an understanding to normalize our relationship again."
Previously, Tillerson has spoken of allowing the Turks to create a buffer zone in northern Syria in territory that is now Rojava.

Something is definitely happening here. There are contradictory reports that the Syrian government will join the Kurds in battling the invading Turks in Afrin. It seems Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch" is a slow, methodical grind. Turkey is peeling off villages. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that Turkey now controls 7% of the canton.

For an excellent overview of what is going on with the Kurds and Turkey, as well as a fulsome defense of Rojava, read "Defending Afrin" by ROSA BURÇ  and KEREM SCHAMBERGER.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Russophobia, Domestic Dissent and Internet Censorship

The story "Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn.," by Mathew Rosenberg, Charlie Savage and Michael Wines, has been topping the news for close to 24 hours.

There are two takeaways from the story, neither of which bolster the headline. The first is that there is no evidence that Russia is targeting U.S. election infrastructure:
Russia does not, however, appear to be trying to penetrate voting machines or Americans’ ballots, United States officials said.
“While scanning and probing of networks happens across the internet every day, we have not seen specific or credible evidence of Russian attempts to infiltrate state election infrastructure like we saw in 2016,” Jeanette Manfra, the chief cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview last week.
Right now, Mr. Pompeo said, Russia is trying to focus on what are known as influence operations — using social media and other platforms to spread favorable messages — not hacking.
“The things we have seen Russia doing to date are mostly focused on information types of warfare,” he said.
Which is takeaway two. What we're talking about here in terms of Russia is people like me, citizens of the United States who read the news and who express dissent when it comes to the destructive course of American global hegemony, whose views are being amplified by Russian clickbots:
“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee at its annual hearing on worldwide threats.
[snip]
Russia appears eager to spread information — real and fake — that deepens political divisions. Bot armies promoted partisan causes on social media, including the recent push to release a Republican congressional memo critical of law enforcement officials.
The bots have also sought to portray the F.B.I. and Justice Department as infected by partisan bias, said Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee.
“Other threats to our institutions come from right here at home,” he said. “There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian internet bots and trolls, who have attacked the basic integrity of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. This is a dangerous trend.”
So at root Russiagate, the New Cold War, Cold War 2.0, the trenchant Russophobia of the Democratic Party are about domestic dissent. Support for the governing political establishment is collapsing. (It is more visible in Europe because European nations have a parliamentary system and party formation and coalition creation are much more fluid.)

But make no mistake. The same thing is happening in the United States. The Democratic Party is facing an existential crisis, one which likely will become even more acute after the November midterms. Ever since the Democrats blocked Bernie in the primaries and then Hillary lost the general, they have been confronting this crisis. Their solution was to concoct Russiagate.

Are clickbots real? Absolutely. They are an inseparable part of the functioning Internet. Giants like Google and Facebook couldn't survive without them. Does Russia employ bots to juice "sympathetic spokespeople"? Absolutely. I can bear witness. This is a humble, low-traffic page. But when I do harvest a lot of clicks on a particular day -- what I consider a lot of clicks, a couple hundred -- the country of origin is Russia; and it is presumably machine driven because the traffic is to entries made several years ago, and they are counted off in chronological sequence.

Is this illegal? Of course not. You don't think U.S. bots juice Russian opposition blogs? How about all those hits for Alexei Navalny's YouTube talks?

So what is to be done? How to keep clickbots for commerce but bar them from enhancing "sympathetic spokespeople"?

I guess we should look to China for an answer. In other words, massive censorship. The corporate world appears to be turning in that direction.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Silver Lining to a GOP Win of the Midterms: Pelosi Will be Removed from Leadership

If you consider The New York Times the flagship of Democratic centrism, the signals it is sending belie the prospects of the Democratic Party retaking the House in November.

Yesterday Nate Cohn's tendentious "Big Republican Advantages Are Eroding in the Race for House Control" was published. It lists GOP gerrymandering court loses in key states, coupled with Republican retirements and successful Democratic candidate recruitment in swing districts, to meekly conclude:
Even so, Democrats still seem poised to have viable if imperfect candidates in a large number of battleground districts. Upshot estimates indicate that Democrats would need to win the popular vote by 7.4 points — albeit with a healthy margin of error of plus or minus more than four points — to take the House. Today, most estimates put the generic congressional ballot very near that number. So far from the election, the fight for control remains a tossup.
When coupled with Cohn's intro -- "The Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot has slipped over the last few weeks." -- the reader is more likely to come away with the opposite conclusion: Republicans are likely to hold the House.

There is an attack piece on Trump's infrastructure scam ("Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Burden on State and Private Money," by Patricia Cohen and Alan Rappeport) and yet another Russiagate 101 ("‘An Extraordinary Moment’: Explaining the Russia Inquiry") to refocus flagging liberal attention.

Then the other day there was another respectful nudge ("Nancy Pelosi Wants to Take Back the House. But She Faces a More Urgent Test.," by Sheryl Gay Stolberg) for Nancy Pelosi to get lost:
David Wasserman, who tracks House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said that in an era when voters are disaffected with Washington, it is difficult for Democrats to make the case that they are change agents with Ms. Pelosi at the helm.
“There’s no question she’s been a highly skilled legislative tactician for Democrats for decades; she has also been very effective for Democrats raising money and behind the scenes,” Mr. Wasserman said. “But if House Democrats could do one thing to improve their odds of winning the House back, it would probably be to install leaders that no one’s ever heard of.”
One silver lining to Republican victory in November: It will force a change in Democratic leadership going into the presidential election.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hope on the Korean Peninsula

War appears to be our only future, unless the United States can somehow be knocked off its hegemonic throne without blowing the planet to kingdom come.

A hopeful development in this regard has been the tentative movement toward rapprochement  between the governments of the two Koreas. Choe Sang-Hun writes in "Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean Leader to North for Summit Meeting":
North and South Korea marched under one flag at the Olympics’ opening ceremony. Some South Koreans hope it is a symbol of a peaceful unification. Others fear it is an omen of larger political ambitions of the North.
Mr. Pence, by contrast, avoided speaking with North Korean officials on Friday, and he and his wife did not stand, as most spectators did, when the athletes from both Koreas marched together under a flag representing a unified Korea. Earlier Friday, Mr. Pence met with defectors from the North and invited them to tell their stories of repression under Pyongyang.
Mr. Moon would like to bring both North Korea and the United States to the negotiating table. China has suggested that talks could start if the United States suspended its regular joint military exercises with South Korea, and if North Korea reciprocated by shelving nuclear and missile tests.
But both sides have held their ground. North Korea has said that its nuclear weapons are not for bargaining away. In a speech that Mr. Kim gave on New Year’s Day, in which he first raised the possibility of the North participating in the Olympics, he vowed to “mass-produce” nuclear weapons and missiles.
Mr. Pence reiterated on Friday that the North must “put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
“Then, and only then, will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that’s placed on them today,” Mr. Pence said after a meeting with Mr. Moon.
“Kim Jong-un has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons,” said Cheon Seong-whun, a former presidential secretary for security strategy and now a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. “With his summit proposal, he seeks to incite friction between Seoul and Washington by widening their policy gap.”
Mr. Moon cannot rush for a summit meeting given Washington’s deep misgivings and because “South Koreans are not as enthused about another summit meeting with North Korea as they used to,” Mr. Cheon added.
A senior analyst at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, Cheong Seong-chang, agreed that Mr. Kim’s latest overtures were aimed at easing its isolation and the impact of sanctions. But South Korea also needed to ease tensions, especially given Mr. Trump’s threat to take a military option, he said.
“It will not be wise for President Moon to reject dialogue with the North and do nothing but stick to sanctions for the sake of the alliance with the United States,” Mr. Cheong said. “South Korea will suffer the most if miscalculation or hostility drives the North and the United States into an armed clash.”
The main political opposition, the conservative Liberty Korea Party, warned that Mr. Moon was duped by the North’s “false peace offensives.” But Mr. Moon’s governing Democratic Party heartily welcomed the prospect of an inter-Korean summit meeting.
A party spokeswoman, Kim Hyo-eun, went so far as to call for the reopening of a joint factory park in the North Korean town of Kaesong. Mr. Moon’s conservative and impeached predecessor, President Park Geun-hye, shut down the park two years ago. Washington says that the reopening of the park would violate sanctions — a concern Mr. Moon shared.
The United States has also opposed suspending its joint military exercises with the South, though it agreed to delay drills scheduled for February until the Olympics are over. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, asked Mr. Moon on Friday to hold the exercises soon after the Games end, but Mr. Moon told Mr. Abe not to meddle in South Korea’s “sovereignty and internal affairs,” South Korean officials said.
On Saturday, members of the small progressive Minjung Party held a rally near an Olympic site, condemning Mr. Pence and Mr. Abe for committing “diplomatic discourtesy” and “ruining South Korea’s party.”
It's not been a good games so far for the United States and Japan. NBC shit-canned an analyst after he praised Japan, saying “Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technical and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation.”

I guess the analyst doesn't read newspapers.

U.S. policy on North Korea is geared toward conflict. The two options boil down to harsh sanctions and first strike, as Ben Norton of FAIR reports in "Vox’s US Government-Linked Experts Present Options for Korea: Sanctions or War."

These two options don't offer much to the Korean people. So expect Moon to keep moving toward peace. The U.S. no doubt would love the conservatives to return to power. But that's not going to happen in the near future, particularly now that Samsung scion Jay H. Lee got a get-out-of-jail prematurely card. It was a corruption scandal involving Park Geun-hye and Samsung that allowed Moon to enter the Blue House on a wave of people power. Elections do matter.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Scramble for Northern Syria

UPDATE: I guess it is being discussed. This is Rebecca Shabad reporting for CBS News, "Tim Kaine demands release of memo outlining legal basis for U.S. airstrikes in Syria":
Sen. Tim Kaine is calling on the Trump administration to disclose a memo that he says outlines the legal basis for U.S. airstrikes conducted last year in Syria.
"The fact that there is a lengthy memo with a more detailed legal justification that has not been shared with Congress, or the American public, is unacceptable," the Virginia Democrat wrote in a letter Thursday night to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Kaine said he's concerned that the legal justification in that memo "may now become precedent for additional executive unilateral military action, including this week's U.S. airstrikes in Syria against pro-Assad forces or even an extremely risky 'bloody nose' strike against North Korea."
He also argued in the letter that the administration's justification so far for airstrikes conducted in April 2017 has been "insufficient" and that because there was no immediate threat to the U.S. or personnel abroad, he suggests the president should have sought authorization from Congress to carry out those strikes. The U.S. had launched cruise missiles against a Syrian regime target in retaliation for a chemical attack at the time. In a televised statement, President Trump said he authorized the airstrike because "it is in the vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the use of deadly chemical weapons."   
Kaine has asked for legal justification and further information about the U.S. mission in Syria twice since those airstrikes in April of last year.
The senator and 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee has long advocated for a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), updating the version approved by Congress in 2001 that the Bush administration, Obama administration and now Trump administration have relied on to conduct military action against terrorist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
On Wednesday, the U.S. launched airstrikes on Syrian government-backed troops after they attacked Syrian opposition forces.
The April 2017 airstrikes reinvigorated the debate on Capitol Hill over a new AUMF last year, but division among lawmakers about whether to provide a more broad or more narrow authorization has impeded the effort to craft a new measure

****

Rather than "It’s Hard to Believe, but Syria’s War Is Getting Even Worse," the NYT headline of a story by longtime Syria war scribes Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad, I would say it is very much expected.

Islamic State has been crushed in Syria; its fighters, either spread out in the desert along the border with Iraq, assimilated with various Al Qaeda affiliates still fighting in Idlib and East Ghouta, or part of the Turkish-led Free Syria Army battling the Kurds in Afrin.

Going back to 2014 and the ISIS blitzkrieg, the idea was always to collapse the governments of Iraq and Syria and then have the U.S. intervene to liberate -- and control -- the two nations.

It didn't work out that way because ISIS foreign mercenaries were beaten on the battlefield by the Russian- and Iranian-backed armed forces of Iraq and Syria, as well as a U.S.-led Kurdish force that conquered Raqqa.

Now we have what we have -- a U.S. scramble for northern Syrian. Read Rod Nordland's "On Northern Syria Front Line, U.S. and Turkey Head Into Tense Face-off"and ask yourself, Is there any soft landing for this flight?

Ask yourself another question, Where is the congressional mandate for the U.S. occupation of northern Syria?

There is none. People don't care. It is not even discussed. The U.S. is nominally democratic but in substance a closed society.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Wave Won't Come

The GOP-controlled congress appears keen to turn the page on the shutdown politics that have dominated the nation for the last seven years. Democrats are willing to go along -- January's mini-shutdown proved to be a debacle for the party -- and they're hoping that Pelosi's eight-hour Dreamers speech yesterday on the House floor will somehow mollify and inspire #Resistance and make groups like Indivisible forget promises made that there would be no budget deal, no lifting of the debt limit, until the Dreamers were taken care of. Well, that's obviously not going to happen.

Thomas Kaplan provides the basics of the McConnell-Schumer budget deal in "Senate Leaders Reach Budget Deal to Raise Spending Over Two Years":
WASHINGTON — Senate leaders struck a far-reaching bipartisan agreement on Wednesday that would add hundreds of billions of dollars to military and domestic programs over the next two years while raising the federal debt limit, moving to end the cycle of fiscal showdowns that have roiled the Capitol.
The accord between Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer of New York, his Democratic counterpart, would raise strict caps on military and domestic spending that were imposed in 2011 as part of a deal with President Barack Obama that was once seen as a key triumph for Republicans in Congress.
The deal would raise the spending caps by about $300 billion over two years. The limit on military spending would be increased by $80 billion in the current fiscal year and $85 billion in the next year, which begins Oct. 1. The limit on nondefense spending would increase by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.
[snip]
From the increase in domestic spending, Mr. Schumer said the deal includes $20 billion for infrastructure, $6 billion for the opioid crisis and mental health, $5.8 billion for child care and $4 billion for veterans hospitals and clinics. In addition, the deal includes almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires.
The agreement includes an additional four-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, on top of the six-year extension that Congress approved last month.
The deal also lifts the debt limit until March 2019, pushing any future confrontation over that issue until after the midterm elections. The Congressional Budget Office recently projected that the Treasury would probably run out of cash in the first half of March if the limit were not raised.
[snip]
The Senate was expected to vote on the deal on Thursday, with the House to follow afterward. It was not clear if enough Democrats would oppose the deal to imperil its passage in the House, given the likely opposition from at least some fiscal conservatives. If lawmakers cannot pass a temporary funding measure by the end of Thursday — either tied to the budget pact or by itself — the government would shut down for the second time this year.
Pelosi promises a "No" vote on the budget. But will she be able to bring enough rank'n'file Democrats with her -- after adding many likely Republican "No" votes from the Freedom Caucus -- to block the budget deal?

Highly unlikely. Pelosi's opposition is purely ceremonial. Democrats won't trigger another shutdown because they know that Trump will eat them alive.

So the Democrats are back to where they were before the rise of #Resistance. The Resistance has been foiled by Democratic leadership. Will this spur a break with the Democratic Party? That's the only move to make. A no-brainer, right?  But it's not going to happen.

What will happen is Democratic turnout will likely fall short in November. You need proof of live to go to the polls. And there's nothing alive about the Dems. The wave election will not appear.