Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) slams the chaotic budget process. “We can’t keep careening from short-term [continuing resolution] to short-term CR. If this bill passes, there’ll be no incentive to negotiate, and we’ll be right back here in a month with the same problems at our feet. Eventually, we need to make progress on the biggest issues before us. Don’t ask me, ask Secretary Mattis. When you talk to him, he knows how bad it is to continue CRs on the defense side. Why would our Republican colleagues go along with that?”

Republicans’ confusion is in plain view. “How can you have a government shutdown when one party controls both Congress and the White House? If it happens, it will be because Republicans couldn’t keep key factions of their party happy or curry favor with Democrats over immigration — not to mention tweets undermining the negotiations from President Trump himself.”

The GOP’s tax-cut public-relations effort may get bollixed up. “America’s biggest banks just spent a week regaling shareholders about brighter days ahead, when tax cuts add billions of dollars to the firms’ annual profits. About 8,000 people are getting left behind.” They should never have tied immediate bonuses and hires to the bill.

Climate change deniers’ battle against science is in disarray. “2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday. The year was the second-hottest in recorded history, NASA said, while scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 2017 was the third-warmest they have ever recorded.”

In a topsy-turvy 2016 campaign, the one constant was the omnipresence of Kremlin-connected players. “The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy. FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.”

Eventually the tumult created by Trump will subside. “Perhaps the very darkness of the Trump experience can summon the nation to its senses and jolt Americans to a new politics of commonality, a new politics in which the Trump experience is remembered as the end of something bad, and not the beginning of something worse. Trump appealed to what was mean and cruel and shameful. The power of that appeal should never be underestimated. But once its power fades, even those who have succumbed will feel regret.”

A deal to end the budget hullabaloo: “Raise the formal caps in the Budget Control Act on both defense and nondefense spending equally, through some kind of a bridging deal like those recently negotiated twice during the Obama years. This would please Democrats. At the same time, allow defense spending to grow beyond what those higher caps would allow through a new mechanism. … Allow dreamers to stay in this country, while also increasing planned refugee admission targets. But also use some of the added funds for nondefense accounts that the new deal will create to fully fund President Trump’s larger budget request for a stronger southern border and tougher enforcement of future immigration.” Too bad they lost so much revenue in a tax cut primarily for the rich.