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Monday, December 09, 2019

Pawlenty Doubles Down On Government Shutdowns

Former Minnesota Governor and presidential contender Tim Pawlenty, who made news last week when he suggested government shutdowns are sometimes a good thing, apparently thinks he’s onto something here, making his history of government paralysis a central theme in his second Iowa TV ad:

Pawlenty’s point is that his stubbornness won the day, state Democratic leaders yielding on the contentious issues. But he need only ask his Republican primary rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, how standing firm on conservative principles in the 1995 budget showdown with Bill Clinton affected the party in the 1996 and 1998 elections (hint: not well).

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With Republicans once again setting the stage for gridlock in Congress over raising the U.S. Treasury's statutory debt limit, and using interviews to push disingenuous analogies comparing the federal government’s budgeting practices to that of an average American household. The real danger is that mainstream media could fall for this misleading comparison and pressure Democrats into enacting painful cuts to popular social programs, while also letting Republicans off the hook for their role in manufacturing this crisis in the first place.

These comparisons between federal and household budgets go back many years, and they ignore some glaring differences: Unlike a household or business, the U.S. government issues its own currency and can roll over its own debt. The political utility of this comparison, however, is that it has enabled conservatives to target social programs, while they avoid answering for their own role in running up the public debt through unfunded tax cuts under Republican administrations.

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Former President Donald Trump

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Donald Trump has hired one of America's top trial attorneys to go after a former Manhattan prosecutor who allegedly defamed him, TMZ reports.

Joe Tacopina sent a letter to Mark Pomerantz, claiming Pomerantz falsely stated in a 2022 resignation letter to Manhattan D.A. Alvin Braggthat Trump was "guilty of numerous felony violations" and that it was a "grave failure of justice not to hold [Trump] accountable by way of criminal prosecution."

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