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New Shutdown Looms Over Immigration Impasse

Talks over border security break down, imperiling effort to prevent shutdown. NYT: "Congressional efforts to reach a border security deal ahead of another government shutdown broke down on Sunday over Democratic demands to limit the detention of undocumented immigrants, as President Trump moved more troops to the border and prepared to rally supporters in Texas on Monday. The 17 House and Senate negotiators had hoped to finalize a border security agreement on Monday, but hours before that deadline, communications had stopped, lawmakers and aides said. Meantime, the Trump administration was moving on its own to fortify the southwestern border with thousands of active-duty military troops. The number of deployed troops on the Mexican border was set to exceed the high of 5,900 reached around the November elections, as about 3,700 active-duty troops were being sent to assist with the Department of Homeland Security’s border patrol efforts. Senior officers are voicing greater worries that the deployed troops are not conducting the training needed for their regular missions, while other military units must now pick up the routine duties on behalf of their deployed colleagues. But efforts to reach a broader, bipartisan deal on border security bogged down, days before much of the government is set to run out of funds at midnight Friday."

CA To Withdraw National Guard From Border

Gov. Gavin Newsom to pull National Guard from California's border with Mexico. LA Times: "As a second partial government shutdown looms in Washington over border discussions, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday will order the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico, repudiating President Trump’s characterization of a recent influx of Central American refugees and migrants as a national security crisis. The announcement comes just one day before the governor delivers his first State of the State address Tuesday, setting the stage for Newsom to counter Trump’s State of the Union address from last week. In released excerpts of his speech, Newsom says he is giving the National Guard a new mission so that troops would not take part in the White House’s 'political theater' and instead “refocus on the real threats facing our state.” The governor said he would sign a general order to redeploy the troops to support wildfire prevention efforts and expand operations to counter drugs and cartels across California, with a group of forces trained in spotting narcotics to be stationed at the state’s international points of entry. 'The Border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,' Newsom is expected to say Tuesday, according to prepared remarks provided by the governor’s office. 'This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.' Newsom’s move is an escalation of a long-running battle over immigration between California and the federal government, with the state’s Democratic majorities pledging to serve as a buffer to Trump’s hard-line rhetoric and policies."

Denver Teachers To Strike

Denver teachers plan to go on strike for the first time in 25 years. HuffPost: "Teachers in Colorado’s capital are planning to strike Monday for the first time in 25 years after failed negotiations with the school district over base pay. The teachers union and Denver Public Schools met Saturday in an attempt to reach a new contract after more than a year of negotiations, but both sides left disappointed. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association released a statement after the meeting saying the district’s proposal lacks transparency and 'pushes for failed incentives for some over meaningful base salary for all.' 'We will strike Monday for our students and for our profession, and perhaps then DPS will get the message and return to the bargaining table with a serious proposal aimed at solving the teacher turnover crisis in Denver,' said Henry Roman, president of the teachers union."

Trump, Beto Face Off At Border

Trump, Beto to face off Monday in El Paso in dueling rallies near the border. USA Today: "If American politics has turned into a three-ring circus, this city in West Texas will hoist the Big Top on Monday, with President Donald Trump coming to rally for a border wall, Democratic wunderkind Beto O'Rourke leading a protest march and even the Trump Baby blimp putting in an appearance. The Trump rally at the El Paso County Coliseum will come only four days before the possibility of either another government shutdown or a declaration of a national emergency over what the president deems a national-security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. O'Rourke, whose skillful use of social media has made him a national figure and prolific fundraiser, plans to join a one-mile march past Trump's rally on Monday and speak across the street from the president at about the same time Monday evening. 'He’s offering us a chance to tell our story and we’re going to take that chance, all of us,' O'Rourke told the El Paso Times. O'Rourke's camp described Monday's protest march as an effort to 'show the country the reality of the border — a vibrant, safe, bi-national community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants.' The president triggered local anger by alleging in his State of the Union address that El Paso "used to have extremely high" crime rate before a border fence was constructed and that the rate of crime dropped substantially after it was completed. The statement quickly prompted blowback from local politicians and law-enforcement figures. Even Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, insisted that El Paso was "never" among the nation's most dangerous cities."

Buttigieg Defends Socialism Debate

Buttigieg: The word 'socialism' has lost its meaning. The Hill: "Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) on Sunday dismissed President Trump's efforts to portray Democratic policy pitches as 'socialism,' arguing that the term no longer carries negative connotations. 'I think he's clinging to a rhetorical strategy that was very powerful when he was coming of age 50 years ago, but it's just a little bit different right now,' Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor who has launched an exploratory committee to run for president, said on CNN's 'State of the Union.' 'Today, I think a word like that is the beginning of a debate, not the end of the debate,' he added. Trump has in recent weeks attempted to tie Democrats and their more progressive ideas to socialism, and pointed to the state of affairs in Venezuela as a potential consequence. During last week's State of the Union address, he pledged that 'America will never be a socialist country.' Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), two leading voices in the Democratic caucus, both identify as democratic socialists. Buttigieg, who is 37, said someone close to his age is unlikely to reject a policy proposal simply because a critic calls it socialist. 'If someone my age or younger is weighing a policy idea, and somebody comes along and says, you can't do that, it's socialist, I think our answer is going to be, OK, is it a good idea or is it not?' he said. 'So, I think the word has mostly lost its meaning,' Buttigieg added. 'And it's certainly lost its ability to be used as a kill switch on debate.'"

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