Opinion writer

* David Fahrenthold and Josh Dawsey have the skinny on the president's latest toy:

President Trump has installed a room-sized “golf simulator” game at the White House, which allows him to play virtual rounds at courses all over the world by hitting a ball into a large video screen, according to two people told about the system.

That system replaced an older, less sophisticated golf simulator that had been installed under President Obama, according to two people with knowledge of the previous system.

Trump’s system cost about $50,000, and was put in during the last few weeks in a room in his personal quarters, a White House official said.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the president’s private residence, said Trump had paid for the new system and the installation personally.

Executive time, baby!

* Erica Werner, John Wagner, and Robert Costa have the latest on the pending shutdown:

Lawmakers scrambled Wednesday to finalize a sweeping spending bill that includes a compromise on border security, grappling with a series of last-minute disputes two days ahead of a government shutdown deadline.

President Trump appeared open to signing the legislation — which includes far less funding than he has sought for construction of barriers along the southern border — but he said he was waiting to see the final package before making a decision. If Trump does not sign legislation by midnight Friday, another partial government shutdown will ensue.

“We haven’t gotten it yet. We’ll be getting it and we’ll be looking for land mines” in the bill, Trump told reporters at the White House.

I still think they ought to do a “This Is Spinal Tap” Stonehenge thing: Make him a tiny model of the wall, and tell him it’s the real thing.

* Jonathan Bernstein points out that Republicans are abandoning Trump on his wall, and suggests this portends more of the same on the renegotiated NAFTA.

* John Harwood looks at how Republicans in Congress have grow fed up with Trump’s wall nonsense.

* Ryan Goodman examines Sen. Richard Burr’s actions in the 2016 campaign and how they bear on his ability to lead an objective Intelligence Committee investigation of the Russia scandal.

* Nate Silver considers the implications of a Democratic presidential primary field with 20 candidates.

* Bill Barrow reports that Howard Dean will be leading a new effort to consolidate Democratic voter data and make it more accessible for candidates at all levels.

* Helaine Olen explains Bernie Sanders’ new plan to shore up Social Security.

* Jamil Smith argues that it’s time to impeach Justin Fairfax.

* Umair Irfan examines whether the Green New Deal could help improve our abysmal train system.

* Laura Barrón-López and Alex Thompson report on the Democratic presidential candidates’ efforts to make sure their senior staffs are diverse.

* And Kevin Quealy offers an epic graphic depiction of all the different ways Trump has talked about his wall.