MCALLEN, Texas — Taking the shutdown fight to the Mexican border, President Donald Trump edged closer Thursday to declaring a national emergency in an extraordinary end run around Congress to fund his long-promised border wall. Pressure was mounting to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, cutting scattered services and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

Trump, visiting McAllen, Texas, and the Rio Grande to highlight what he says is a crisis of drugs and crime, said that “if for any reason we don’t get this going” — an agreement with House Democrats who have refused to approve the US$5.7 billion he demands for the wall — “I will declare a national emergency.”

Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first paycheque on Friday under the stoppage, and Washington was close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history. Those markers — along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall — left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the president shifted the focus, saying he felt badly “for people that have family members that have been killed” by criminals who came over the border.

Trump was consulting with White House attorneys and allies about using presidential emergency powers to take unilateral action to construct the wall over the objections of Congress. He claimed his lawyers told him the action would withstand legal scrutiny “100 per cent.” But such a move to bypass Congress’ constitutional control of the nation’s purse strings would spark certain legal challenges and bipartisan cries of executive overreach.

“We’re either going to have a win, make a compromise —because I think a compromise is a win for everybody— or I will declare a national emergency,” Trump said before departing the White House for his politically flavoured visit to the border. He wore his campaign-slogan “Make America Great Again” cap throughout.

It was not clear what a compromise might entail, and there were no indications that one was in the offing. Trump says he won’t reopen the government without money for the wall. Democrats say they favour measures to bolster border security but oppose the long, impregnable barrier that Trump envisions.

No negotiations were taking place at the Capitol.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at one point that he didn’t “see a path in Congress” to end the shutdown, then stated later that enough was enough: “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier.”

Visiting a border patrol station in McAllen, Trump viewed tables piled with weapons and narcotics. Like nearly all drugs trafficked across the border, they were intercepted by agents at official ports of entry, he was told, and not in the remote areas where he wants to extend tall barriers.

Still, he declared, “A wall works. … Nothing like a wall.”

He argued that the U.S. can’t solve the problem without a “very substantial barrier” along the border, but offered exaggerations about the effectiveness of border walls and current apprehensions of those crossing illegally.

Sitting among border patrol officers, state and local officials and military representatives, Trump insisted he was “winning” the shutdown fight and criticized Democrats for asserting he was manufacturing a sense of crisis in order to declare an emergency. “What is manufactured is the use of the word ’manufactured,”’ Trump said.

As he arrived in Texas, several hundred protesters near the airport in McAllen chanted and waved signs opposing a wall. Across the street, a smaller group chanted back: “Build that wall!”

In Washington, federal workers denounced Trump at a rally with congressional Democrats, demanding he reopen the government so they can get back to work.

Union members and other federal employees rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of engaging in political games to fire up his most loyal supporters, suggesting that a heated meeting Wednesday with legislators at the White House had been “a setup” so that Trump could walk out of it.

In an ominous sign for those seeking a swift end to the showdown, Trump announced he was cancelling his trip to Davos, Switzerland, scheduled for later this month, citing Democrats’ “intransigence” on border security. He was to leave Jan. 21 to attend the World Economic Forum.

The partial shutdown would set a record early Saturday, stretching beyond the 21-day closure that ended on Jan. 6, 1996, during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

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By The Wall of Law January 11, 2019 Off

SAHM, EBF, BLW: A New Mom Glossary For Navigating Facebook Groups

Parents love acronyms.

“FTM here. My DS won’t STTN. ISO EUC book on gentle CIO methods. TIA.”

If you’re a parent fluent in “online forum lingo,” chances are you can decode the code above. (A rough translation is “HALP ME, my baby won’t sleep.”)

But to a new mom or dad just starting to explore the endless options of Facebook groups and forums for parents, it might look like the locals are speaking another language. All you wanted was to ask a question about car seats or see if anyone was selling used sleep sacks, and suddenly you’re trying to figure out WTF VGUC means (vaginal guacamole?) and why people keep talking about the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in fertility forums.

A new mom trying to figure out WTF people are saying in her local buy/sell group.

Digital parenting groups can be a life-saver for new parents seeking to connect with others, ask questions, and vent. It takes a village to raise a child, and for modern parents, that village is often online: 75 per cent of parents use social media, according to Pew Research Center, and many use it as a parenting resource.

And it seems there’s a Facebook group that caters to every type of parent. Say you’re a working mom of a toddler and you live in Ottawa, just as a totally random example. You might be in the following Facebook groups: working moms, meal-planning parents, sleep-deprived parents, crunchy moms, frugal moms, fertility support, car seat questions, playdate groups for your neighbourhood, and three or four local buy/sell groups.

Parenting groups love acronyms

Their goals may differ, but parenting groups have one thing in common: acronyms. And not just the ones you’d expect of people trying to raise tiny humans, like WTF and LOL and OMG.

We can only assume acronyms started out of necessity as moms and dads struggled to ask questions of their online brethren while rocking a colicky baby in one arm or while running after a toddler hell-bent on flushing Play-Doh down the toilet.

A glossary of terms

With that, we give you this glossary of online parenting lingo. It’s by no means complete (we’d need two years and an anthropology degree for that), but it should help guide you through most posts, and maybe save you the embarrassment of having to ask Susan from “Attachment Moms” what CIO means.

Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments! TIA!

Buy/Sell Groups

VGUC stands for very good used condition.

If there’s anything parents love, it is buying, selling, and trading used items online. You might be in several buy/sell groups on Facebook led by iron-fisted admins deleting pyramid scheme posts and frequented by people who want $45 for a half-empty can of formula that expires tomorrow (but only if you pick it up). Giddy up!

BNIB: Brand new in box. The NWT (see below) version of non-clothes items.

BNWOB: Brand new without box. It came in a box, but the person tossed it.

BNWOT: Brand new without tags. This person probably ordered maternity clothes online, ripped off the tags eagerly, then realized their boobs are three sizes bigger than they thought.

EUC: Excellent used condition. It was used, but there’s nary a scratch, stain, or pull. Might as well be NWT.

GUC: Good used condition. Now it’s getting borderline.

ISO: In search of. Samesies as LF.

LF: Looking for. Susan is LF a Hatchimal three days before Christmas. LOL, good luck, Susan!

NWT: New with tags. Happens more often than you’d think, because parents always buy way more than they need, or baby came out a whopping 10 pounds and doesn’t fit in any of those newborn clothes, or you didn’t get any gift receipts from your baby shower and don’t need another effing “Cute Like Daddy” onesie.

WATCH: Postpartum hair loss is no joke. Story continues below video.

PC: Play condition. This item is rough. It’s seen things. But your kids will probably destroy it anyway, so why not?

PO: Pickup only. If you want this item, you gotta go get it.

PPO: Porch pickup only. A stealth exchange that involves zero actual human contact.

PPU: Pending pickup. Someone nabbed this item already, but they haven’t picked it up yet and the parent doesn’t want to take down the post in case the deal falls through. It can still be yours if they’re a no-show!

TIA: Thanks in advance. This person probably wants something tricky or annoying, like for you to drive across town to deliver an item.

UC: Used condition. A kid definitely pooped through this onesie or bit the ear off this stuffy. But maybe you don’t mind, or really, really want it.

VGUC: Very good used condition. It’s no EUC. This person is probably lying and it’s really UC. You’d probably still buy it.

Fertility and pregnancy groups

BD stands for baby dance.

So, you’re trying to get knocked up, or maybe you already are and want more info. If you happen to be in a Facebook group, use an app, or look in forums, chances are you’ve seen these and wondered WTF people were talking about.

Wonder no more.

AC: Assisted conception. An umbrella term for fertility treatments and procedures.

AI: Artificial insemination.

AF: Aunt Flow. Your period. Men-stroo-ation.

AIH: Artificial insemination with husband’s sperm.

ART: Assisted reproductive technology.

BBT: Basal body temperature.

BC: Birth control.

BD: Baby dance. A cute way of saying having sex for the purposes of TTC. See also: DTD.

BFN: Big fat negative (on a pregnancy test) Not pregnant. Better luck next month 🙁

BFP: Big fat positive (on a pregnancy test). Congrats! You did it! Prepare for the MS.

BW: Blood week. Your period. Not cute. You hate BW.

CD: Cycle day. CD14 = day 14 of your cycle. If you happen to ovulate on CD14… get to the BD.

CM: Cervical mucous. Perhaps you are tracking this in an app you hope no one ever sees.

CMP: Complete molar pregnancy. A rare type of miscarriage.

CS: C-section.

DI: Donor insemination.

DPO: Days past ovulation.

DTD: Do the deed. Sex. Maybe you’ve been TTC for so long that it’s a job now. A deed, indeed.

Looks like she got a BFP.

EP: Ectopic pregnancy. A complication where the embryo implants outside the uterus.

ER: Egg retrieval.

ET: Embryo transfer.

EWCM: Egg white cervical mucous. It’s go time. Sorry to ruin your ability to eat eggs ever again.

HPT: Home pregnancy test. You’ll probably need a few of these while you’re TTC.

IUI: Intrauterine insemination.

IVF:In vitro fertilization.

LH: Luteinizing hormone. An LH “surge” can trigger ovulation. Get to the BD.

LP: Luteal phase.

MC: Miscarriage.

MS: Morning sickness, i.e. why you can only eat crackers and no one is allowed to cook indoors anymore.

OPK: Ovulation predictor kit. Another way to attempt to track your cycles.

POAS: Pee on a stick. Take a HPT.

PMP: Partial molar pregnancy. Another rare type of miscarriage.

TTC: Trying to conceive, i.e. get pregnant. No, not Toronto Transit Commission, although it might also get sweaty and feel like it’s taking forever.

US: Ultrasound.

VBAC: Vaginal birth after C-section.

People in these groups

FTM stands for first time mom.

You are no longer just Anna. Online you are Anna, FTM! Oh yes, you and your loved ones all have code names now. It’s fun.

AP:Attachment parent. Someone who ascribes to a parenting style about providing consistent, immediate and nurturing responses to a child’s needs.

DD: Dear daughter, and sometimes darling daughter. Your kid.

DF: Dear fiance. Your betrothed.

DH: Dear husband. “DH stepped on a squeak toy and woke the baby, so I filed for divorce.”

DS: Dear son, and sometimes darling son. Your kid of the male persuasion.

DSD: Dear step-daughter.

DSS: Dear step-son.

DW: Dear wife. “DW has been hiding in the bathroom for three hours. Do I dare knock?”

DXP: Dear ex-partner. “DXP has the kids this weekend. Who wants to go out?”

FIL: Father-in-law. “FIL bought the kids a trampoline, FML.”

SAHD gettin' it done.

FTM: First-time mom. “FTM here. When do babies sleep?”

FTD: First-time dad. “FTD here. When do babies sleep?”

LO: Little one. Your kid. “When will my LO start sleeping?”

MIL: Mother-in-law. “MIL thinks car seats are just a suggestion. Help!”

OH: Other half. Your partner in baby-raising crime.

SAHD: Stay-at-home dad.

SAHM: Stay-at-home mom.

WAHD: Work-at-home dad.

WAHM: Work-at-home mom.

WOHD: Work-out-of-home dad.

WOHM: Work-out-of-home mom

WD: Working dad.

WM: Working mom.

Baby-wearing groups:

SSC stands for soft structured carrier

Congratulations! You joined a cult. JUST KIDDING. Kind of. The wonderful world of baby wearing has saved many a parent, but … bet you can’t buy just one.

BC: Baby carrier. What you wear your baby in. Not you, the carrier of the baby.

BW: Baby wearing. Wearing a baby strapped to your own person.

FFO: Front facing out. Baby is on your front, facing the world.

MT: Mei tai. A type of carrier. Like an SSC (see below), but without buckles.

RS: Ring sling. Exactly what it sounds like: a sling with a ring.

SPOC: Simple piece of cloth. A wrap, but probably homemade.

SSC: Soft-structured carrier, like an Ergo. It has buckles and velcro. It’s for rookies, but good luck with that back shoulder clip.

SW: Stretchy wrap, like a Moby or Boba. You probably need to watch a few YouTube tutorials to figure this one out.

T2T: Tummy to tummy. Baby is on your front, facing you.

WW: Woven Wrap. Ah, now you’re a true baby-wearer. Bonus marks if you can still carry your toddler in one.

Posts about eating, sleeping, travel:

STTN stands for sleep through the night.

Whether you’re in groups specific to these things or you just dabble in general parenting groups, chances are people will be posting about feeding, sleeping, and getting around. You know, the basics.

BF: Breastfed. Baby eats from the boob.

BLW:Baby-led weaning. A style of introducing kids to solid foods where they take the lead. Baby wanna gnaw on a pork chop? Sure.

BP: Breast pump, also known as milking oneself.

CC: Controlled crying (a type of sleep training).

CD: Cloth diapers.

CIO: Cry it out (another type of sleep training).

DA: Dairy allergy. The worst.

EBF: Exclusively breastfed. Baby only eats from the boob.

EN: Extended nursing. Breastfeeding a toddler or small child.

ERF: Extended rear-facing. A car seat term. Keeping your kid rear-facing in their car seat.

A mom wonders when her DS will STTN.

FF: Formula fed. Baby eats formula.

FF: Forward-facing. A car seat term. Kid’s car seat faces forward.

GF: Gluten free.

LC: Lactation consultant. Actual angels sent to this earth to help with feeding.

MIC: More in comments. Someone who has LOTS to say will probably tack this on the end of a post.

NAK: Nursing at keyboard. This person is BFing their kid as they type. Probably one-handed. Pardon the typos.

NIP: Nursing in public.

RF: Rear-facing. A car seat term. Kid’s car seat faces the rear of the car.

STTN: Sleep through the night. THE ULTIMATE GOAL. Until your baby STTN, you hate all the other parents who talk about how their kids STTN. But once your kid does, you’ll probably post about it.

More from HuffPost Canada:

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Trudeau Cabinet Shuffle Happening Monday In Wake Of Scott Brison Resignation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau passes members of the Ceremonial Guard as he arrives for a press conference following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on July 18, 2018.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will shuffle his cabinet Monday to deal with the resignation of Treasury Board President Scott Brison, he said in a news conference Thursday.

Brison announced Thursday morning that he won’t seek re-election this fall because he wants to spend more time with his family. He’ll said he’ll quit the cabinet before then because the government is best served by ministers who are running again.

Trudeau said he respects Brison’s decision to leave to spend time with his young twin daughters.

“Obviously this will require some changes to our cabinet, and that’s something that we’re going to be announcing on Monday,” he said to reporters during a tour of a new building at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.

Trudeau refused to be drawn on whether he plans a small shuffle just to replace Brison or a larger one with multiple ministers changing portfolios.

As president of the Treasury Board (and the minister responsible for digital government), Brison has had responsibilities for minding the public purse and overseeing the federal public service. The portfolio isn’t flashy but can cause big headaches for a government if it’s mishandled.

“His thoughtfulness, his capacity to understand how best to deliver programming, his ability to understand Canadians through his many, many years of service was extremely valuable around the cabinet table,” Trudeau said.

Brison has been the face of the Liberal government in Nova Scotia, where the party won every seat in 2015. But he’s also been close to the story of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who is facing a trial for breach of trust related to allegations he leaked secrets to promote a navy shipbuilding contract. Norman’s case is to go to trial late this summer, just as the campaign for the Oct. 21 election is getting underway.

Vice-admiral’s court case in focus

Brison has been accused of pressuring the newly-minted Trudeau government in 2015 to suspend a $700-million plan to build a new supply ship, a move that the RCMP alleges prompted Norman to leak secrets to Quebec’s Davie Shipbuilding so it could pressure the Liberals into restarting the project.

Brison has told the House of Commons that he simply did his job as Treasury Board president, the minder of the public purse, to ensure taxpayers were getting good value for the ship contract.

Brison has denied accusations levelled by Norman’s lawyers and echoed by opposition MPs that he lobbied on behalf of Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding, which wanted the Liberals to cancel the Davie deal and hire Irving for the supply-ship job instead.

Earlier: Scheer presses Trudeau on Mark Norman

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Court May Force Probe Into OPP Bid To Hire Ron Taverner

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he wasn't involved in selecting family friend Ron Taverner, right, as the Ontario Provincial Police's next commissioner.

TORONTO — An Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner is asking a court to urgently consider ordering the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a friend of the premier’s to the job of top cop.

Brad Blair has applied to Ontario’s Divisional Court in an attempt to force an investigation into the hiring of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as the new OPP commissioner.

Blair asked the Ontario ombudsman last month to probe the hiring process that saw Taverner get the job, but Paul Dube declined, saying cabinet deliberations are outside the office’s jurisdiction.

More from HuffPost Canada:

A few days after Blair asked the courts to consider the case, the Integrity Commissioner launched an investigation and Taverner has delayed his appointment until it is complete.

Blair’s lawyer is arguing in documents filed to the court that the integrity probe could be complete in a matter of weeks, leaving a narrow window for the court case and he wants it to therefore be expedited.

The court is set to hear the plea for a sped up hearing on Monday.

Earlier On HuffPost:

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By The Wall of Law January 11, 2019 Off

Scott Brison Resigning From Liberal Cabinet, Won’t Run In 2019 Federal Election

Treasury Board President and Digital Government Minister Scott Brison has announced he is stepping down from cabinet and quitting politics to spend more time with his family.

OTTAWA — Scott Brison is quitting a political career he loves to spend more time with a cherished family that politics made possible.

After 22 years representing the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants — initially as a Progressive Conservative MP before jumping to the Liberals in 2003 — Brison told The Canadian Press it’s time for a change. He’s decided not to seek re-election this fall.

He’s not sure whether he’ll remain a Liberal MP until the Oct. 21 vote but he will be resigning shortly from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, where he serves as president of the Treasury Board.

“I’ve informed the prime minister that I’m not running again but I’ve also told him that I want to relinquish my cabinet responsibilities in a timely manner and support transition to a new minister,” Brison said in an interview. “My personal view is that the prime minister and the government are best served by ministers who will be running in the next election.”

He said he’s announcing his decision now to give Liberals in his riding time for a nomination contest to choose who will carry the party’s banner in the coming election.

Brison’s departure will trigger at least a small cabinet shuffle, although there is speculation that Trudeau will make bigger changes to his front bench as early as Monday to put it in fighting trim for the election.

Trudeau praised Brison in a tweet Thursday as “a tireless champion for the people of Nova Scotia and for Canada” and as “one of the friendliest people you will ever meet in this business.”

In an era of mounting cynicism about politics, Brison is passionate about its ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I believe now, more than ever before, that government matters, that members of Parliament matter and that politics matters. There’s no area of work where you can make more of a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

So why retire from the political fray he so evidently loves? He offered three reasons.

“They say that life begins at 50. Well, I’m 51 and I’m ready for new challenges,” he said, adding that he’ll likely wind up back in business, where he once worked as an investment banker.

Beyond that, he said he wants to leave when he’s “on top” of his political career, not waiting to be carried off “in a body bag or air-lifted off the field.”

But above all else, he said the decision is about — and was made together with — his family, husband Maxime St. Pierre and their four-year-old twin daughters Rose and Claire.

“I think Max and Rose and Claire, to me they’re miracles.”

Brison made history as Canada’s first openly gay federal cabinet minister and again as the first federal politician to wed his same-sex partner. Yet homosexuality wasn’t even legal in Canada until two years after he was born.

“I spent the first two years of my life destined for a life of criminality,” he quipped.

They say that life begins at 50. Well, I’m 51 and I’m ready for new challenges.

But Brison became emotional as he reflected on the transformation in gay rights since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in Canada’s Constitution in 1982 and his own part in subsequent debates that resulted in equality for same-sex couples.

“When I realized I was gay, when I totally accepted that I was gay, I thought that my life, I thought that it was going to be very compromised,” Brison said, his voice catching as he struggled to hold back tears.

“I thought accepting the fact that I was gay was going to mean, among other things, that I would not be able to ever enter public life or successfully accomplish the kinds of things that I wanted to do. I thought it would mean that I would never have a spouse or children.

“I just feel very lucky in that I’ve been able to be part of changing history … during a time when these decisions have been made that have actually made a difference not just in the lives of Canadians broadly but have made a direct difference in my life.”

And those decisions, he emphasized, were made by politicians, underscoring his belief that “politics matters, government matters, leadership matters and good people can make a big difference in public life.”

For his own part, Brison believes he was able to make a difference in each of the seven mandates the people of Kings-Hants gave him, whether it was as an opposition MP in the “nosebleeds” of the House of Commons or on the front bench in the governments of Paul Martin and now Trudeau.

He denied that his decision to quit politics is in any way related to the current controversy surrounding his role in the suspension of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the military’s second-in-command who has been charged with leaking cabinet secrets. Defence lawyers are expected to make Brison a star witness when the case goes to trial in August — just weeks before this year’s election campaign officially starts.

“If that issue had never occurred, I would be making the same decision that I’m making now,” he said, refusing to further discuss issues that are now before the court.

Brison has been accused of pressuring the newly minted Trudeau government in 2015 to suspend a $700-million plan to build a new supply ship, a move that the RCMP alleges prompted Norman to leak secrets to Quebec’s Davie Shipbuilding so it could pressure the Liberals into restarting the project.

But he’s told the House of Commons that he simply did his job as Treasury Board president, the minder of the public purse, to ensure taxpayers were getting good value for the ship contract.

Brison has also denied accusations levelled by Norman’s lawyers and echoed by opposition MPs that he lobbied on behalf of Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding, which wanted the Liberals to cancel the Davie deal and hire Irving for the supply-ship job instead.

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By The Wall of Law January 10, 2019 Off