On Ari Melber's MSNBC show, MSNBC contributor Eleanor Clift praises the refusal of Democrats to negotiate with Republicans on the government shutdown, saying, "the Democrats are defending a principle here, that you don't negotiate with terrorists when they're holding hostages."



On MSNBC, ripping President Trump over the shutdown, an overwrought Elise Jordan declared that Trump "won't skip paychecks" as a result of the shutdown. Technically that's true, since by law the President is deemed an essential employee. But Jordan is apparently unaware that Trump has never cashed a presidential paycheck, donating each one instead to different government departments to fund good works.



Appearing as a guest on Friday's All In show on MSNBC, former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines suggested that there is the "functional equivalent of treason" in the White House, and asserted that, unlike President Abraham Lincoln's Republican party, the modern GOP is "intent on tearing apart" the Union.



Serious commentary, or just a bad case of ratings envy rearing its ugly head? On CNN's New Day this morning, former Bill Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart, now a CNN political commentator, took some ugly shots at two of the Fox & Friends crew. Reacting to President Trump's decision not to sign a government funding bill that would not have included money for the border wall, Lockhart said that Trump was going to sign the bill, but: "when the great powerhouses like Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy weighed in, and then Ann Coulter weighed in, Trump folded, and folded quickly."



With the deadline for a budget to fully fund the federal government fast approaching (Friday), a major sticking point in the negotiations has been President Trump’s insistence of $5 billion for a border wall. But that may have changed Tuesday after the White House signaled it was open to compromise. Despite that glimmer, ABC and NBC both used their evening broadcasts to stoke fears of a looming government shutdown and downplayed the chance for a deal.



Reporter Patrick Kingsley followed in the left-foot only footsteps of his New York Times colleague, Peter Goodman, in finding child “hunger” in the United Kingdom and blaming it on “gleeful” austerity by the ruling Conservatives, in Wednesday’s “Touring World’s Fifth-Richest Nation for Lessons on Poverty.” A Times’ front page from September warned, “Warning Sign in Leaner Times: Hungry Children.”



As difficult as it may be to believe, there was a time when Republicans were known as the anti-debt and balanced budget party. Now, the GOP prefers to tout low unemployment as the debt soars and they are co-conspirators in its rise. It's not that Republicans (and once-fiscally responsible Democrats) lack a way out of debt; it's that they lack the will. Both parties, but especially Republicans, fear a backlash from voters if they cut spending, much less make actual reductions.



It was the $40 trillion question.And once again, Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer it. Like other Democratic socialists and many progressives, Ocasio-Cortez has a long list of government giveaway programs. But even when confronted with a price tag, wouldn’t say how they’d be paid for (or who would pay).



The New York Times can be relied upon to push government spending everywhere, in all situations, which explains how a story from Northampton, England makes it to its front page on Saturday. The online headline: “As Austerity Helps Bankrupt an English County, Even Conservatives Mutiny.” It’s part of the paper’s series, “Britain’s Big Squeeze,” whose chief villain is spending limits aka “austerity,” which the paper is obsessively trying to discredit.



Poverty is no mystery, and it's easily avoidable. The poverty line that the Census Bureau used in 2016 for a single person was an income of $12,486 that year. For a two-person household, it was $16,072, and for a four-person household, it was $24,755. To beat those poverty thresholds is fairly simple. Here's the road map: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen.



Several recent polls, plus the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders, demonstrate that young people prefer socialism to free market capitalism. That, I believe, is a result of their ignorance and indoctrination during their school years, from kindergarten through college. For the most part, neither they nor many of their teachers and professors know what free market capitalism is.



The front of Monday’s New York Times featured socialist-spouting economics reporter Peter Goodman using Prescot, a struggling town in northwest England, as a cudgel for Margaret Thatcher bashing worthy of a Marxist professor: "After Years of Fiscal Belt-Tightening, England is Feeling the Pinch – Prolonged Budget Cuts Reshape British Life.” Goodman started hot and didn’t let up: "A walk through this modest town in the northwest of England amounts to a tour of the casualties of Britain’s age of austerity."