McConnell’s Next Move

by Rich Lowry

McConnell has gotten Graham and Flake behind a proposal to move the expiration date for the continuing resolution up to February 8 and a promise to have the Senate vote on any and all immigration proposals if there is not a deal on DACA before the CR expires. He also said, subtly, that he’s not bringing up an immigration bill if there’s a government shutdown. This should put some more pressure on moderate Senate Democrats, since it is a guarantee to debate the DACA issue (although not a guarantee of an outcome). We’ll see how this latest proposal fares when there is a vote tomorrow; it will pass the House if it passes the Senate. If it fails, it sounds like McConnell is going to stick this out for a while. The Democrats have, naturally, gotten incredibly sympathetic press given that they forced a shutdown of the government, and there’s no predicting what Trump’s Twitter account may bring. But this shutdown really should be on them, and McConnell’s move cuts some more ground out from under Schumer.

McConnell’s speech:

Mr. President, I wanted to give my colleagues an update on where we are.

First, I would like to thank Senator Graham, Senator Flake, Senator Collins, and many others who have been working across the aisle to help resolve this impasse.

When the Democrat filibuster of the government funding bill ends, the serious, bipartisan negotiations that have been going on for months now to resolve our unfinished business — military spending; disaster relief; healthcare; immigration and border security — will continue.

It would be my intention to resolve these issues as quickly as possible so that we can move on to other business that is important to our country.

However, should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8, 2018, assuming that the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security, and related issues. It is also my intention to take up legislation regarding increased defense funding, disaster relief, and other important matters.

Importantly, when I proceed to the immigration debate, it will have an amendment process that is fair to all sides.

I would hope there would be cooperation on these matters in advance of yet another funding deadline. There is a bipartisan, bicameral group that will continue its negotiations, and I look forward to the completion of their work. It would be my strong preference for the Senate to consider a bipartisan, bicameral proposal that can be signed into law.

But the first step in any of this is reopening the government and preventing any further delay. The shutdown should stop today. And we’ll soon have a vote that will allow us to do that.

Let’s step back from the brink. Let’s stop victimizing the American people and get back to work on their behalf.

Beware a Democratic ‘Surrender’ on the Wall

by Rich Lowry

Luis Gutiérrez says he’s willing to build the Wall himself if it helps the Dreamers, and Chuck Schumer put funding for the Wall on the table in his Friday meeting with Trump. There should be an enormous amount of skepticism about this. 

Even if everyone in Washington has the best of intentions, a Wall is unlikely to be built anytime soon, given the the logistical, legal, and bureaucratic challenges. And Democrats don’t have good intentions. If they take back Congress, surely one of their first priorities will be to defund and stop whatever Wall has been authorized. 

Also, border security, properly considered, is about much more than the Wall — it requires all sorts of resources and authorities to make sure that people who are caught at the border don’t make it into the country anyway. Are Democrats going to accede to those? 

Finally, this isn’t a big departure for immigration doves — they were also willing to throw money, about $30 billion, at the border to sweeten up the Gang of Eight bill. They are in a position now where they can make a theatrical concession on the border to try to get the kind of deal that restrictionists have always opposed — an immediate amnesty, for border security later.

Translating the Lord’s Prayer

by Nicholas Frankovich

Sensationalized headlines about the pope’s wanting to “update” or “reword” the Lord’s Prayer have provoked a predictable reaction. He was speaking about translations into modern languages. The traditional English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is longstanding and etched in deep strata of the Anglophone Christian’s mind; he memorized the words in childhood. Through loving repetition over many years, they have been assimilated into his inmost being. If in his old age dementia begins to touch him, he might still be able to recite “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” even after he has lost most of his ability to gather and assemble words to express himself coherently, and after memories closer to the surface have fallen away, layer by layer.

Pope Francis threatened to uproot that sturdy oak of Christian practice and identity when last month on Italian TV he explained his view that the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer is “not good.” At the same time, he spoke favorably of the new translation that went into effect in Catholic churches in France in November. “I don’t want anybody messing with the Lord’s Prayer,” a conservative Catholic friend wrote to me, echoing many, “even if it’s the pope.”

Much of the reaction against the pope’s comments can be attributed to his reputation among conservative skeptics. They see him as more interested in upending settled doctrine than in doing his job of preserving the Church’s deposit of faith. Then add the bitterness that traditional Catholics tend to harbor toward ressourcement, the movement of 20th-century theologians seeking to recover a Catholic tradition older and purer than the one that existed at the time. The primary fruit of that project was the new Mass and related liturgical changes, which seem to reflect the mind and tastes of the mid 20th century far more than those of any earlier period in Church history. Against that background, talk of reaching back behind traditional translations of the Our Father to recover the true meaning of the prayer in its original form sounds too much like “Here we go again.”

Francis’s brief remarks were confused, and I disagree with his understanding of what Jesus means by, as we say in English, “Lead us not into temptation,” but the philological discussion that has ensued in Catholic media is a delight for traditionalists, or should be. Traditional Catholics are keen on the value of the Latin from which Scripture and Catholic liturgy are translated into modern languages. In the case of Scripture, the Latin Vulgate itself is a translation, from Hebrew and Greek, and the traditionalist’s convictions about the primacy of primary sources should lead him naturally to those ancient tongues.

Some of the Church Fathers, including Ambrose, interpreted the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer to mean “Let us not be led into temptation,” which is the wording (Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation) recently approved by the French bishops. Lots of hand-wringing then, as now, about whether it’s right to imply that God would tempt us to sin. Close readers are correct to home in on that line and question its meaning, but debates about whether the Greek expression meaning “Carry us not into” can be interpreted as “Let us not be led into” are fussy and miss the mark, in my view.

Bear in mind that the line in question is part of the earthly petitions, the first of which is our request to God for daily bread. It’s good that we see the spiritual applications of the petition, but God loves our humanity, too, and we deny his interest in attending to our mundane needs if we insist that “bread” means only the Eucharist or Scripture as nourishment for our soul. Read the last two petitions of the prayer in the same light. I explain further in a short piece at Commonweal.

Belgian Palliative Care MDs and Nurses Flee Euthanasia

by Wesley J. Smith

You become a doctor or nurse to be a healer palliator of people in serious pain and distress. You have a special place in your heart for the dying, and so you enter the specialized field of palliative care and hospice medicine.

But then, your country decides you should also become killers of the patients you want to succor. If you refuse, you face public criticism, the prospect of being sued, and perhaps one day, professional censure

What do you do? If you are an ethical professional, rather than be complicit in homicide, you leave the field. 

That’s what seems to be happening in Belgium as palliative care doctors and nurses flee the euthanasia regime. From the Catholic Herald story:

Belgian nurses and social workers who specialise in treating dying patients are quitting their jobs because palliative care units are being turned into “houses of euthanasia”, a senior doctor has alleged.

Increasing numbers of hospital staff employed in the palliative care sector are abandoning their posts because they did not wish to be reduced to preparing “patients and their families for lethal injections”, according to Professor Benoit Beuselinck, a consultant oncologist of the Catholic University Hospitals of Leuven.

He said that after more than 15 years of legal euthanasia in Belgium “palliative care units are … at risk of becoming ‘houses of euthanasia’, which is the opposite of what they were meant to be”.

Prof Beuselinck said palliative care nurses found the demands for euthanasia an “impossible burden” and a “complete contradiction of their initial desire to administer genuine palliative care to terminally ill patients”.

Apparently Belgium is cutting palliative care budgets too. As one Dutch doctor once put it (this is close to a quote), “What do we need with palliative care when we have euthanasia?”

Here’s a preview of coming attractions: Euthanasia for convicted prisoners who would rather die than remain incarcerated:

A British contributor, Dr Trevor Stammers of St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, predicted in his article that Belgium would soon effectively re-introduce the death penalty by permitting the euthanasia of prisoners so their organs be harvested for transplant surgery. He said about 15 prisoners had already elected to die this way.

Such a prisoner euthanasia was approved in Belgium, but after an international outcry, the prisoner euthanasia was postponed for further consideration.

The same things will happen here too eventually if we keep on the current course. But then, powerful forces want to drive Hippocratic Oath-believing and pro-life doctors and nurses out of their professions.

Euthanasia corrupts everything it touches. Those who have eyes to see, let them see.

Dribblers, Skaters, and Others

by Jay Nordlinger

On Thursday, I had an all-sports Impromptus, heavy on Stan Van Gundy and Jim Caldwell. (The former is the coach of the Detroit Pistons, and the latter is the former coach of the Detroit Lions.) (Odd sentence, right?) A friend of mine sent me a clip of Van Gundy dribbling — here. He is teaching players how to do it. I almost fell out. The guy still has “handles.”

In that same column, I had a note about Jo Jo White, the great Boston Celtic, who just died. A reader wrote me to say that, in addition to being drafted by the Celtics, White was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. And the Cincinnati Reds. (For the uninitiated, that’s basketball, football, and baseball.)

What an athlete. (Also, White was a Marine, and would be inducted into the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.)

Do you know who Charlie White is? He is the American figure skater — an ice dancer — who partnered with Meryl Davis to win the 2014 Olympic gold medal. He is married to another skater, Tanith Belbin White.

He tweeted that he liked my sports Impromptus — Charlie White is a Michigander — but he wondered why people like me so often include mentions of Reagan in our articles. I said something like this: “Look, not all of us get to hang out with Tanith and Meryl. We have to have something to hold on to.” He allowed that this was fair.

P.S. I have done a Need to Know with Mona Charen. Lady-like, she says “ess-hole.” I let it all hang out.

P.P.S. The late Florence King did not like the way we punctuated here at NR — we write “Charles’s birthday,” for example, and not “Charles’ birthday.” (That is the first rule in Strunk & White, by the way.) She condemned one of our editors as “an apostrophe-ess-hole.” Not bad. Extraordinary, actually.

Frum and ‘Trumpocracy’

by Jay Nordlinger

I first met David Frum in the mid-’90s, when he wrote for The Weekly Standard. I enjoyed talking with him, immensely. I likened him to a cocktail-lounge pianist with a wide, wide repertoire: “Play ‘Misty,’” you can say to the cocktail pianist. “Play ‘Blue Skies.’” “Play ‘Nola.’” And he does. Similarly, you could toss out requests to David: “What about term limits?” “What about the flat tax versus the retail-sales tax?” “What about intervention in the Balkans?” And he would give you several angles, along with his own conclusion.

I have never really stopped talking with David, or reading him. He wrote here at NR. He and WFB were friends, and mutual admirers. David is now a senior editor at The Atlantic. Whether I agree or disagree with him, I always find his arguments something to reckon with. And one does.

The latest of his books is Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic. And David is my latest guest on Q&A (here). We talk, needless to say, about Trump, the GOP, conservatives, America, and the world. The “ocracy” in “Trumpocracy” is more important than the man, says David. He is focusing on what he regards as a big problem in the American system, regardless of the current president.

Obviously, David Frum is not the cup of tea of today’s Right, nor is it his. But life is long, times change, and alliances shift. Years ago — for example, in his 2007 book Comeback — David was sounding themes about conservatism’s relationship with American society — especially those “left behind” — that crashed like thunder in 2016. He was anti-“GOPe,” you might say, before the term cropped up on Twitter.

Anyway, a stimulating conversation, this Q&A (again, here). See what you think.

National Review Summer Internship

by NR Staff

National Review is accepting applications for its summer internship. The intern will work in our New York office, receive a modest stipend, participate in every part of the editorial process, and have some opportunities to write. The ideal candidate will have an excellent academic record and some experience in student or professional journalism. If you wish to apply, please send a cover letter, your résumé, and two of your best writing samples (no more, please) to editorial.applications (at)

Unhappy Valley

by Andrew Stuttaford

Despite the headline (“Trump Damaged Democracy, Silicon Valley Will Finish It Off”), which probably wasn’t chosen by Joel Kotkin, the author of the intriguing and alarming piece it introduces, Kotkin has very little to say in it about Trump, but he has a lot to say about our future. Cheery reading, it’s not. 

Two main themes emerge. The first concerns the impact of the Silicon Valley giants on, in the broader sense of the word (this is not a First Amendment issue), free speech. That this is rapidly becoming a topic is the result of a certain carelessness on their part, a carelessness that might be the product of too little exposure to differing views, but, like it or not, it has become a topic:

Both Facebook and Google now offer news “curated” by algorithms. Bans are increasingly used by Facebook and Twitter to keep out unpopular or incendiary views, and especially in the echo chamber of the Bay Area. This is sometimes directed at conservatives, such as Prager University, whose content may be offensive to some, but hardly subversive or “fake.” The real crime now is simply to question dominant ideology of Silicon Valley gentry progressivism.

Even at their most powerful the industrial age moguls could not control what people knew. They might back a newspaper, or later a radio or television station, but never secured absolute control of media. Competing interests still tussled in a highly regionalized and diverse media market. In contrast the digital universe, dominated by a handful of players located in just a few locales, threaten to make a pluralism of opinions a thing of the past. The former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris suggests that “a handful of tech leaders at Google and Facebook have built the most pervasive, centralized systems for steering human attention that has ever existed.”

…In a future Democratic administration, as is already evident in places like California, the tech titans will use their money, savvy, and new dominance over our communications channels to steer and even dictate America’s political and cultural agendas to wield power in ways that even the likes of J.P. Morgan or John D. Rockefeller would envy.

Food for thought, I would think.

And then there’s the question of what the current automation wave will do to the labor market. Forget all the dismissive talk about Ned Ludd (who was, at least arguably, sort of right for two generations so far as his own class was concerned, and disastrously wrong thereafter) and buggy whip manufacturers (this time round, we’re the horses), and concentrate on what the politics and the economy of the future, particularly the relatively short-term future, are going to look like, because they are going to be something of a roadblock on the road to technotopia. 

The problems in the heartland are well-known, but surely things will be different in ‘the Valley’, and in the economy that it is creating.

Kotkin (my emphasis added):

Rather than expand opportunity, the Valley increasingly creates jobs in the “gig economy” that promises not a way to the middle class, much less riches, but into the rising precariat—part-time, conditional workers. This emerging “gig economy” will likely expand with the digitization of retail, which could cost millions of working-class jobs.

For most Americans, the once promising “New Economy,” has meant a descent, as MIT’s Peter Temin recently put it, toward a precarious position usually associated with developing nations. Workers in the “gig economy,” unlike the old middle- and working-class, have little chance, for example, of buying a house—once a sure sign of upward mobility, something that is depressingly evident in the Bay Area, along the California coast, and parts of the Northeast….

That’s not great news for those of us who believe in the connection (sporadic speculative bubbles notwithstanding) between home ownership and sustainable democracy.


Rather than expand opportunity, the Valley increasingly creates jobs in the “gig economy” that promises not a way to the middle class, much less riches, but into the rising precariat—part-time, conditional workers. This emerging “gig economy” will likely expand with the digitization of retail, which could cost millions of working-class jobs.

For most Americans, the once promising “New Economy,” has meant a descent, as MIT’s Peter Temin recently put it, toward a precarious position usually associated with developing nations. Workers in the “gig economy,” unlike the old middle- and working-class, have little chance, for example, of buying a house—once a sure sign of upward mobility, something that is depressingly evident in the Bay Area, along the California coast, and parts of the Northeast….

Unlike their often ruthless and unpleasant 20th century moguls, the Silicon Valley elite has done relatively little for the country’s lagging productivity or to create broad-based opportunity. The information sector has overall been a poor source of new jobs—roughly 70,000 since 2010—with the gains concentrated in just a few places. This as the number of generally more middle-class jobs tied to producing equipment has fallen by half since 1990 and most new employment opportunities have been in low-wage sectors like hospitality, medical care, and food preparation….

Not at all coincidentally, the Bay Area itself—once a fertile place of grassroots and middle-class opportunity—now boasts an increasingly bifurcated economy. San Francisco, the Valley’s northern annex, regularly clocks in as among the most unequal cities in the country, with both extraordinary wealth and a vast homeless population.

The more suburban Silicon Valley now suffers a poverty rate of near 20 percent, above the national average. It also has its own large homeless population living in what KQED has described as “modern nomadic villages.” In recent years income gains in the region have flowed overwhelmingly to the top quintile of income-earners, who have seen their wages increase by over 25 percent since 1989, while income levels have declined for low-income households.

That’s ominous enough on any number of grounds, not least political grounds. Now think about what will happen as automation grinds its way through the top quintile, either annihilating previously well-paid jobs or (to use an ugly word) ‘deskilling’ them, with consequences for pay that don’t need spelling out.

As for the consequences for politics, well, I’ll shamelessly quote from a piece I wrote for NRODT in 2016:

[W]hen we reach the point where even those who are still doing well see robots sending proletarianization their way, there’s a decent chance that something akin to “middle-class panic” (a phenomenon identified by sociologist Theodor Geiger in, ominously, 1930s Germany) will ensue. Many of the best and brightest will face a stark loss of economic and social status, a blow that will sting far more than the humdrum hopelessness that many at the bottom of the pile have, sadly, long learned to accept. They will resist while they still have the clout to do so, and the media, filled with intelligent people who have already found themselves on the wrong side of technology, will have their back.

Unless they are blocked, banned, ‘fake newsed’ or otherwise muted.  

Story Recognizes Pro-Lifers’ Pro-Science Arguments

by Wesley J. Smith

The Left smugly claim to be the “pro-science” side of the political divide–until pro-lifers bring up the scientifically uncontestable biological humanity of fetuses and embryos, or, for example, that later term fetuses can feel pain or react in a sentient way to their environment. Then, suddenly, science doesn’t matter.

These scientific arguments made by the Pro-Life movement caught writer Emma Green’s attention, leading to a generally good and fair story in The Atlantic. From, “Science is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost:

Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movement’s arguments in scientific fact.

“The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus … is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have,” she said. “That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so.” But, she added, “when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping,” it becomes “harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”

Yes, those who claim a fetus is just a ball of cells or more akin to a tumor are the ones who have “the science” wrong. 

It is also why the pro-choice movement is morphing into a pro-abortion movement, since it is becoming impossible to claim that abortion does not kill a human life. Hence, a new billboard campaign has started to boost the supposed morality and unexceptional nature of abortion, claiming such advocacy memes as, ”Abortion is normal,” or, “Abortion is sacred,” etc..

The story was generally fair and substantive–and worth your read whatever your position on abortion. But I was a bit puzzled by Green’s conclusion:

This, above all, represents the shift in America’s abortion debate: An issue that has long been argued in normative claims about the nature of human life and women’s autonomy has shifted toward a wobbly empirical debate.

As Tenney suggested, it is a move made with an eye toward winning—on policy, on public opinion, and, ultimately, in courtrooms. The side effect of this strategy, however, is ever deeper politicization and entrenchment.

A deliberative democracy where even basic facts aren’t shared isn’t much of a democracy at all. It’s more of an exhausting tug-of-war, where the side with the most money and the best credentials is declared the winner.

Funny, I thought that an essential aspect of a proper policy deliberation was finding the facts–and science proves that a gestating baby is a human being. Or to put it another way, he or she is a human organism, a member of the species.

That should be a “shared fact.” That some may not like the policy implications that follow–that some may choose to plug their ears and hide their eyes so as to remain ignorant of it or pretend the facts aren’t real–is their failing, not that of pro-lifers.

Illegal Immigration and Crime

by Peter Kirsanow

Conventional political wisdom holds that there will be some sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors. The Obama administration’s original DACA memorandum applied to individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16, but where the line would be drawn in any permanent DACA deal remains unclear.

There are a number of familiar talking points surrounding this amnesty, which tend to give the impression that the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients are disproportionately valedictorians and Medal of Honor recipients. Amnesty proponents often extend these characterizations to illegal immigrants generally, claiming that they’re the “real Americans,” better, harder-working, and more law-abiding (with the exception of that pesky “illegal presence” thing) than native-born Americans.

DACA amnesty is merely the first of what will likely become many amnesties. The ink will not have dried on the bill before pro-amnesty organizations and politicians will begin agitating for amnesty for the parents of DACA recipients. Then we must have amnesty for illegal immigrants whose children are native-born U.S. citizens. After all, why should parents of DACA recipients receive legal status simply because their children were born in another country? If anything, the parents of U.S. citizens have a stronger claim to receive amnesty. Still more will be added through chain migration. On and on it will go.

Before we start down this road, then, we should grapple with some facts regarding illegal immigrants and crime. Unfortunately, almost every public official not named Jeff Sessions guards against disclosure of illegal-immigrant crime data more tenaciously than disclosure of nuclear launch codes. But in 2011, GAO conducted a study on criminal aliens incarcerated in state jails and prisons. According to GAO, in FY 2009 295,959 SCAAP criminal aliens, of whom approximately 227,600 are illegal aliens, were incarcerated in state jails and prisons. This is a 40 percent and 25 percent increase, respectively, in criminal-alien incarcerations in state jails and prisons since FY 2003.

The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) partially reimburses states and localities for the cost of incarcerating certain criminal aliens. It does not reimburse states and localities for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens who are in the country legally. There are two types of criminal aliens for which SCAAP will reimburse the incarcerating authority: SCAAP illegal aliens, whom DHS has definitively determined are in the country illegally; and SCAAP unknown aliens, for whom DHS is unable to find a record, but who are probably in the country illegally.

In FY 2009, there were 295,959 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in state and local jails and prisons. DOJ uses a reimbursement metric based on how many SCAAP unknown aliens are believed to be illegal aliens:

DOJ is to reimburse states for 65 percent, cities for 60 percent, and counties for 80 percent of correctional salary costs associated with unknown aliens. According to DOJ officials, this methodology was developed based on analysis that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) conducted in 2000 where it analyzed the records of aliens submitted for SCAAP reimbursement in 1997 whose immigration status was at that time unknown. Based upon this analysis, INS determined that 65 percent of those unknown aliens submitted for reimbursement by states did not have legal status, 60 percent submitted for reimbursement by cities did not have legal status, and 80 percent submitted for reimbursement by counties did not have legal status.

Using DOJ’s metrics, it therefore appears that approximately 81,200 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in state prisons, out of a possible 91,000 examined by GAO, were in the country illegally. Using those same metrics, approximately 146,400 to 175,200 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails, out of a possible 204,000 examined by GAO, were in the country illegally. (The range is because “local jails” are not differentiated into city and county jails, but DOJ believes that the percentage of illegal aliens within the SCAAP unknown alien group varies between the two.)

Keep reading this post . . .

Breaking: Congress Misses Deadline to Prevent Shutdown

by Jibran Khan

The midnight deadline for preventing a government shutdown has passed, following a failed Senate vote to advance the House GOP’s stopgap measure.

There is a chance that some kind of measure could be reached during the weekend, as late night discussion and negotiation were underway up until the deadline. As it is a weekend, any deal made before next week will mean a minimal impact of the shutdown.

The shutdown will go into effect following a memo from the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

Shutdown Hackery

by Theodore Kupfer

Shutdown politics are deeply exasperating. But they can also prove useful, as the melodrama reveals who the hacks are.

Yesterday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi said the following about funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the continuing resolution: “[The bill] is like giving you a bowl of doggy-doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae.” Obviously, Pelosi doesn’t object to anything in the continuing resolution; she objects to what’s not in it, which is a legislative fix for DACA. Her scatological metaphor stinks.

It’s hardly news that Pelosi was being dishonest. During shutdowns, politicians overplay their roles. It’s like watching the Duke and Dauphin from Huck Finn take a turn at serious drama: not art, but hard to expect anything better. Republicans made their fair share of slippery statements to justify shutting down the government in 2013, which Democrats are putting their own spin on. There is honor among professionals, even professional hacks.

But the biggest hack of all in this case is Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian-cum–public intellectual who last graced the polity with his insistence that the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill would have “kicked off” 30 million Americans from their insurance coverage. Hours after Pelosi’s press conference, Kimmel performed a sketch on his show called Barista Theater that was, essentially, a stolen bit. “Hello, I’d like a cappuccino, please,” Kimmel said to the barista. “Okay, great, that’s one cappuccino and one giant bag of horses***,” the barista replied. “But what if I just want the cappuccino?” Kimmel asked, and was met with this: “Whoa, buddy, you start making demands like that and I will shut down this entire coffee establishment.”

Leave aside that the sketch makes the same basic error as Pelosi’s, and leave aside that it’s the Democratic party that is threatening a shutdown. Kimmel’s political illiteracy (really, his writers’) should at this point be expected. His comedic hackery, however, is a new development. Not only is the joke dishonest and unfunny, it’s stolen — and in comedy, stealing bits is the worst kind of hackery there is. They’d be better off letting Pelosi tell her own jokes. She’s a professional, too.

One Place This Thing Could End Up...

by Rich Lowry

…assuming Schumer doesn’t want a shutdown: An extension that’s longer than the 4-5 days that he’s been pitching, but shorter than the 4-week measure that passed the House.

CNN Poll: 56 Percent Say Don’t Shut Down Government to Save DACA

by Jim Geraghty

Are Senate Democrats sure they want to step out further on that branch? A new CNN poll shows that Americans like the DACA program… but not enough to accept a government shutdown in order to keep the program:

Still, 56% overall say approving a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing the DACA program, while just 34% choose DACA over a shutdown. Democrats break narrowly in favor of DACA — 49% say it’s more important vs. 42% who say avoiding a shutdown is the priority — while majorities of both Republicans (75%) and independents (57%) say avoiding a shutdown is more important.

The survey answers on “who do you blame?” aren’t that much more reassuring to Democrats: “Overall, about half of Americans say they would blame either Trump (21%) or his Republican counterparts in Congress (26%) should Congress fail to fund the government by the midnight Friday deadline. About a third, 31%, say they would hold the Democrats in Congress responsible, and another 10% say they’d blame all three groups.”

This is not a big political winner for Chuck Schumer and the Democrats, and this explains why Joe Manchin says he would vote to keep the government open and Claire McCaskill sounded unenthusiastic about a government shutdown. If people just get mad at “Washington,” that probably makes life slightly more difficult for all incumbents in November.

NR Seeks Assistant to the Editor

by NR Staff

National Review is seeking an assistant to the editor to work in our New York office. Must be organized, detail-oriented, interested in politics, calm under pressure, and good at dealing with people. Two or three years experience a plus. Key responsibilities and duties include: 

  • Handling scheduling and travel arrangements
  • Light research, fact-checking, and editing
  • Assisting in production of magazine 
  • Managing relationships with contributors 

Please send a cover letter and résumé to [email protected] with the subject line “Assistant to the Editor.”

The Looming Shutdown

by Rich Lowry

Chuck Schumer is pushing for a days-long CR. Maybe he can get Trump to go along with it, but it doesn’t make much sense. It’s highly unlikely that Congress is going to arrive at a DACA deal and write a bill in a matter of days. If Trump doesn’t go for a very short-term CR, McConnell certainly isn’t going to sign on for it, and then the question is what’s Schumer’s next move?

Maybe he will push this all the way into a shutdown, although it’s a very risky gambit. Perhaps anything can be pinned on Trump and Republicans at this point, but it would objectively be Democrats forcing the shutdown, even if McConnell loses a couple of members of his caucus (Lindsey Graham is playing an especially destructive role).

Republicans would be in a much stronger position than in past shutdown fights, because this time they really don’t want a shutdown, and a Republican House, with the support of the Republican president, has passed a measure to keep the government open. It is the Democrats who want to force an extraneous measure, DACA, on the bill to keep the government operating. This should be a heavy lift for them. The advantage the Democrats have, of course, is a very sympathetic media and the wild card of Trump himself.

‘We Made Some Progress’, says Schumer After Trump Meeting on Shutdown

by Jibran Khan

After his meeting at the White House to discuss the temporary funding bill to avert a government shutdown, Chuck Schumer told reporters that they “made some progress but we still have a good number of disagreements”.

While no deal is in place, this discussion means that one might still be made in the Senate before the midnight deadline. The House passed a funding bill last night, which if passed by the Senate would keep the government open until mid-February.

Washington State Congresswoman Tells March for Life about Her Miracle Baby

by Alexandra DeSanctis

At the March for Life rally on the National Mall this afternoon, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) told the story of her daughter Abigail to illustrate the value of every unborn life.

As she stood on the stage with her husband and children, Herrera Beutler said that several years ago, her unborn daughter had been diagnosed at 20 weeks’ gestation with a fatal deformity. The doctor told her and her husband Dan that their child had no kidneys and would miscarry or suffocate at birth because her lungs could not develop.

Their doctor told them, too, that, when women received this type of news, they would immediately head across the street to schedule an abortion procedure. “The sooner you start over, the better off you will be emotionally,” the doctor told them.

But Herrera Beutler and her husband did not choose to “start over” in that way. They chose, instead, to hope, and pray, and even work for a miracle. They found doctors willing to believe that their unborn daughter could be saved and who tried experimental medical procedures to save her life. And, as Herrera Beutler addressed the crowd, her daughter Abigail stood beside her, holding her hand, smiling, and waving.

“I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong,” Herrera Beutler went on. “And they weren’t bad people. They just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point. What if they’re wrong about others, too? What if, together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families?  What if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential?”

Herrera Beutler continued:

Who would we be as a nation? What richness would we get to see? Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice. Would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty? What if we had spent the last 45 years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly or congenital heart defects? What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease, and not the baby’s life?

 . . . Today, we have come together to say, ‘There’s hope for every expectant mother who has been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear, or anger, or anxiety because she doesn’t know how she can afford care for that child, for every woman that feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that has been given up on by the status quo: Jesus still does miracles.

We must recognize the unborn child as the miracle that he or she is, a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose, who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. I believe it’s the only way our society is ever truly going to reach ours.

Breaking: Last-Minute Shutdown Talks with Chuck Schumer at White House

by Jibran Khan

The President has just invited Chuck Schumer to the White House for last-minute talks aimed at trying to avert a government shutdown.

Following the move by GOP leadership to send House members home for the weekend, the Senate will need to pass the temporary measure for stopgap spending by midnight if a shutdown is to be avoided.

National Review Summer Internship

by NR Staff

National Review is accepting applications for its summer internship. The intern will work in our New York office, receive a modest stipend, participate in every part of the editorial process, and have some opportunities to write. The ideal candidate will have an excellent academic record and some experience in student or professional journalism. If you wish to apply, please send a cover letter, your résumé, and two of your best writing samples (no more, please) to editorial.applications (at)