Declaring Emergencies

Declaring emergency1

Donald Trump declared a National Emergency in an attempt to bypass Congress to get funding for his utterly pointless, needlessly divisive border wall.  Now some people are concerned that Trump may set a bad precedent for making such declarations to get what he wants.  I think whether that is true or not will ultimately depend on how successful his little run around is.  And it might be successful.  There does appear to be several avenues to challenge this decision.  Already we’re seeing various states and civil liberties organizations turning to the courts to put a kibosh on this nonsense.  The Pentagon itself may be able to refuse the allocate the funding.  And there is definitely a contingent on both sides of Congress getting ready to battle this out.  But even with this assault on multiple fronts, Trump might still end up the victor.  And if he does…well I think we should all be concerned for what the means for future “National Emergencies”.


Pants on Fire

pants of fire1

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 was an interesting night in the history of the United States.  Donald Trump went on live television to declare that there was a humanitarian crisis at the southern border, even though there wasn’t/isn’t.  He distorted facts and lied for about 10 minutes, and then, like the most informal debate ever recorded, the Democratic leaders of congress went on TV to rebut Trump’s speech.  Just so we’re clear, the President of the United States went on TV for the express purpose of lying to the people, and Congressional leaders followed up immediately by going on TV to call him on it.  It was crazy enough that I can’t even think of a fitting metaphor to compare it to.  It feels kind of unprecedented and it really encapsulates what political discourse has turned into over the last couple of years.  Even if Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi didn’t rebut Trump’s speech, most major news organizations were running fact checks as he was speaking, and news sites put up annotated transcripts of exactly what was said and what was wrong.  That’s just what politics is in 2019.  And I don’t know that it’s ever going back to what it was.

The Emperor’s New Wall

the Emperor's New Wall1

Donald Trump is trying really hard to convince people that his border wall is both paid for, and under construction.  Now, if you take any cursory look at the facts, than you’d know that it isn’t true.  It’s not a difficult thing to disprove.  And yet his base doesn’t seem to care.  The Huffington Post recently did an article talking to Trump supporters about their belief in Trump’s lies over the border wall.  Most of them either believed him regardless of the evidence, choosing rather to believe that Trump is more reliable than reality, or they just didn’t care.  They didn’t care that he was lying about the border wall, because it’s the lie they want to hear, and the lie, I suppose, is better than nothing, I guess?  I don’t know.  Their responses were baffling.  It goes to show that in Donald Trump’s war on Truth, he’s made more headway than we seem ready to admit.  And when truth ceases to matter, than we are all in a lot of trouble.

This Isn’t My Fault!

not my fault1

The more that I read stories of kids getting separated from their parents at borders, the more I read of the damaging effects it’s having, including a devastating story about a father who committed suicide, the more I and I think most of the country is wondering when this senseless cruelty will end.  At a certain point, I’m hoping Trump won’t be able to hide behind the lie that he isn’t responsible for this, and will mandate this stop happening.  I’m hoping that for once in his time in office, public pressure will force his hand to do something outside of his agenda against immigration.  Cruelty should never be acceptable, and it should be even less acceptable when played in the name of politics.  Innocent people are having their lives destroyed over the pride of powerful men.

Footing the Bill

Military Wall1

The Border Wall might be concept I want to just go away the most.  It’s an entirely pointless, useless construct that will do almost nothing to curb undocumented immigration, because as anyone with a cursory understanding of the subject will tell you, the VAST majority of people here illegally didn’t cross the border in the dead of night, they came over perfectly legally and didn’t leave when they were supposed to.  If built, it’s a symbol of our dedication to Security Theater, or providing the visual appearance of impressive security, but lacking any real teeth to do the job.  Of course the big selling point Trump originally had was that Mexico would in fact be paying for this massively expensive project.  Mexico in laughed in Trump’s face, and now keeps trying to weasel the US and it’s citizens into paying for it.  Now he wants the military to pay for it.  Not only that, but he thinks having the Military build the damn thing falls well within the purview of national defense.  I think any normal person would feel that nagging sensation of embarrassment and shame creeping over them.  I have to give it to Trump that he seems unable to feel shame for anything.

Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines1

The New York Times posted an article titled “A Visit Behind Enemy Lines” about Trump visiting California this week.  A headline like that, you might expect it to be about Trump’s upcoming visit to North Korea, but instead, it’s the state his administration has basically declared war on, with Sessions mounting legal attacks against their immigration laws.  The rhetoric is funny, but not necessarily incorrect.  One gets the feeling he won’t feel very welcome in California, especially as his visit is to see progress on his stupid wall. That said, I’m absolutely sure that we’ll be hearing tweets coming from Trump soon enough about how welcome and beloved he is California.

The Art of the Deal

Best deals1

Schumer offered him the wall.  The President offered a number. Schumer agreed. And Trump walked away from the table.  He walked away from two bipartisan deals, one which included EVERYTHING THAT TRUMP WANTED, and he still goes on to call the shutdown the Democrats fault, blaming Chuck Schumer specifically, a guy who was willing to compromise to an outrageous degree to get a deal made, and the President, master deal maker, can’t take a deal where he gets what he wants.  Of sound mind and body, that’s what we were told mere days ago, right?

Master Dealmaker

Tough Negotiator1

So, Trump basically sh*t the negotiating bed with the DACA negotiations.  Trump asked for $18 billion dollars for his wall, Sen. Diane Feinstein came back asking for “clean DACA” bill, Trump didn’t know what that meant, and just agreed to it, like a true negotiator. Gotta love his tough stance on the issues.