Tag Archives: Nancy Pelosi

Trump ‘wins,’ but declares emergency anyway?

What am I missing here?

Donald Trump said that we’re already building The Wall along our southern border. A bipartisan group of senators and House members have worked out a deal to keep the government functioning fully while spending $1.37 billion for more fencing/wall/barriers along our southern border.

The president said he is “unhappy” with the agreement. The Senate has approved it. He said he’ll sign it.

Oh, but then the president reportedly is going to declare a “national emergency” to push ahead with more construction of The Wall.

Holy crap, man! My head is spinning . . . rapidly!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she might file a legal challenge to the president’s effort to usurp Congress’s budgeting authority; Trump’s declaration would enable him, he says, to divert money from other projects to build The Wall.

The speaker says, in effect, “No can do, Mr. President, and I might take you to court to prove my point.”

McConnell flips on emergency

What puzzles me is that Donald Trump and his allies have declared victory, more or less, because they contend The Wall already is being built. Why, then, declare a national emergency? Indeed, there is no emergency on the border.

I am going to agree with Nancy Pelosi, who said today that the president ought to declare the rash of gun violence in our schools and other public places as a real national emergency. 

Dems worry about intraparty conflict? Get over it!

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly is worried that factions within the Democratic Party are too busy fighting with each other while not fighting hard enough against, oh, Donald Trump and the Republicans.

Hey, get over it, Mme. Speaker and your fellow party honchos.

Your friends on the other side have had their share of intraparty squabbles, too. There have been spats between the so-called Establishment Republicans and the TEA Party wing of the GOP; the TEA Party has morphed more or less into something called the Freedom Caucus, which continues to raise Cain against the Establishment types.

The Republican Party is going through much of the same kind of tumult, tempest and turmoil that plagued the Democrats back in the 1960s. Perhaps some of today’s Democratic leaders recall when the Vietnam War split the party — and the nation — between the Hawks and the Doves.

Fights sometimes are worth having

I don’t believe there’s as much to “worry” about as some within today’s Democratic Party seem to suggest there is.

A little internal fighting is good for the organization. It keeps everyone sharp, on both sides. Republicans have sought to take that lesson away during their own ideological struggles.

These lessons know no partisan boundaries.

Please, Mr. POTUS, no shutdown . . . again!

OK, Mr. President, you once said you would be “proud” to take responsibility for shutting down part of the federal government in pursuit of The Wall along our southern border.

Then you made good on that prideful pledge. The government shuttered for more than a month, the longest ever such demonstration of political idiocy in U.S. history.

So here we are again. Some of us thought, Mr. President, there might be a deal in the works. The New York Times reported over the weekend that you and congressional Democrats were close to a deal in principle. Then it ended. The talks wilted.

Do you really intend to take pride in another one of these idiotic demonstrations? Do you really intend to deny more federal workers of their paychecks? Do you really mean to create this kind of chaos in their households, the kind that matches at times what is happening inside the White House?

You can knock off the “national emergency” bullsh** as well, Mr. President. There is no such emergency occurring on the border. Those crime-ridden cities you keep mentioning? They’re among the safest in the country.

While we’re at it, have you mentioned the crime in northern border cities such as, say, Detroit? The Motor City sits on the Canadian border. Is there a connection between its proximity to an international border and the crime that plagues it? Hey, I am just asking, Mr. President.

If you hadn’t looked Sen. Charles Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the eye in that goofy Oval Office meeting and said you would be proud to shut down the government, I wouldn’t lay this at your feet.

You, though, say you’re The Man. You keep insisting you’re the best deal maker in human history. You keep telling us about the “fine-tuned machine” you are running inside the White House.

Make the deal, Mr. President. The Wall already is under construction in places. Democrats don’t favor “open border,” nor do they want criminals pouring into the country. For you to say such a thing is just another shameful example of fear-mongering.

Stop the demagoguery. Do not allow the government to shut down again. This ain’t how you lead, Mr. President.

Pelosi isn’t the first to sit

The Internet is alive with idiotic chatter, as always.

Part of that chatter involves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to most of Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech the other evening.

The goofballs out there just couldn’t understand why the speaker didn’t lead the cheers for the president. The picture I posted here, of course, tells the story of what is customary at these events.

Speaker Paul Ryan belongs to a different party than President Barack Obama. The picture shows Vice President Joe Biden clapping while Speaker Ryan sits there. Stone-faced. Expressionless. Have you ever noticed the dour look that Ryan’s GOP predecessor as speaker, John Boehner, would display when President Obama was being cheered by Democrats?

It’s all part of the time-honored game. Speakers from the opposing party do stand — on occasion — when the president says something that engenders bipartisan cheers. Trump did so the other night on more than one occasion and, yes, Pelosi joined Vice President Mike Pence in applauding the president.

Speaker Tip O’Neill sat on his hands often whenever President Reagan drew whoops and hollers from the GOP lawmakers. Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich did the same thing when President Clinton fired up the partisans on the other side. Democratic Speakers Jim Wright and Tom Foley also played the game when Republican presidents were cheered by their congressional brethren.

So, let’s cool it with the malarkey about Speaker Pelosi’s SOTU behavior. She did what all her predecessors have done since the beginning of the Republic.

There’s still that ‘elephant in the room,’ Mr. President

Donald Trump’s second State of the Union speech reportedly went over well with most Americans, who told pollsters overnight they approved of what he had to say.

I was one of those Americans. The pollsters didn’t call me, but I’ll offer this unsolicited view: The president did hit a few good notes and I applaud him for hitting them.

  • Criminal justice reform is a big deal and I am glad to hear him insist on reforming federal laws that punish non-violent criminals too harshly. I was delighted that Gladys Johnson, whose life sentence in prison for a first-time drug conviction that Trump commuted, was there to receive bipartisan applause.
  • Infrastructure repair also is a big deal. We need to fix our crumbling roads, bridges and airports. How we pay for it is another matter, given that it’s going to cost well north of $1 trillion.

That’s about it in terms of supporting the president’s policies.

Trump called for an end to “partisan investigations.” Well, actually, I don’t consider special counsel Robert Mueller’s search for the truth behind allegations of “collusion” with Russians who attacked our electoral system to be a partisan exercise.

It’s an important one. Yes, the president is right to assert that we need unity at home if we’re going to assume our role as world leader. I’ll just offer this notion: Let the special counsel finish his work, allow him to reveal to the public what he found, let us discuss the findings openly and then we can decide what steps — if any — to take before we move on.

Some takeaways from SOTU speech

I won’t get into the body language chatter that has erupted on social media, such as the strange hand-clap given by Speaker Nancy Pelosi or the sitting on hands by congressional Democrats who now comprise a majority of the House membership.

I simply find the president’s pleas to be utterly lacking in sincerity. He says the right words, but I cannot get past the belief that he doesn’t actually believe what he says. Therefore, how can he expect the rest of us to buy into whatever message he seeks to deliver.

Why didn’t speaker introduce POTUS?

Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech has concluded, but I want to revisit the very beginning of the president’s remarks.

These events usually commence with the following sequence:

The Cabinet comes into the House chamber, along with the Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Then the sergeant at arms bellows out, “Madam Speaker, the president of the United States.” 

The president walks down the aisle, shaking hands and greeting those who want to be seen in his presence.

Then the president ascends to the podium, hands copies of his speech to the vice president and the speaker of the House.

The president takes the applause. Then the clapping subsides.

Then the speaker usually says something like this: “It is my high honor and privilege to introduce to you, the president of the United States.” Applause commences again.

Except that Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t introduce the president.

Donald Trump started his speech right away.

What . . . happened?

Watch the body language at the SOTU

I don’t know about you but I plan to try to interpret some body language that will be on full display this evening in front of the entire United States of America when Donald Trump delivers the presidential State of the Union speech.

Sitting over his left shoulder will be a woman with whom he has had, um . . . words. Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited him to the House of Representatives chamber, then uninvited him, then reinvited him.

The president and the speaker aren’t exactly close. They’re fighting over The Wall. Trump wants money to build it along our southern border; Pelosi says it is an “immoral” request and opposes its construction.

Hey, we’ve seen this kind of thing play out many times over many decades. Speaker John Boehner and later Paul Ryan never looked all that thrilled when Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union speeches. The speakers were Republicans, the president was a Democrat.

How about when Speaker Pelosi sat behind GOP President Bush, or when GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich had to listen to Democratic President Clinton deliver the SOTU? Same thing, man. The speaker of a different party than the president usually doesn’t jump to his or her feet to applaud when POTUS delivers a line that suggests he expects some hand claps.

The animus between the current speaker and the president, though, is more visceral. Or so it appears. Sure, Trump said some nice things about Pelosi when House Democrats elected her speaker at the start of this congressional session. Did he mean them? Hah, you figure it out!

Pelosi, meanwhile, has been even less generous in her public comments about Trump. I believe the president knows it and likely will feel the speaker’s icy stare on the back of his neck while he talks about the State of the (dis)Union.

Pass the popcorn.

Where is the ’emergency,’ Mr. POTUS?

So help me, Mr. President, I am having a devil of a time trying to pinpoint where the “national emergency” is occurring on our nation’s southern border.

Is it along the Rio Grande River, which separates Texas from Mexico? I keep reading how safe El Paso has become sitting across the river from Juarez. Is it at Nogales or Yuma in Arizona, or at San Diego?

We keep hearing this stuff about how “illegal” crossings have declined. There’s also the number of immigrants we are deporting back to the countries of their origin.

You keep harping about a national emergency occurring on our border. You keep insisting you have the power to declare such an emergency and that you just might do so if congressional Democrats don’t fork over the billions of bucks you want to build The Wall.

Oh, but what the heck. You know that already.

What I and I’ll presume millions of other Americans want to know is this: How do you define an emergency and what evidence can you present that demonstrates that an emergency actually exists?

Look, Mr. President, I’m with you on the issue of border security. I want a secure border just as much as you do. Maybe more so, given that I live in a border state. You can scurry off to Florida or to New Jersey or New York City when you’re not holed up in the “dump” — aka the White House.

The Wall, though, is too expensive, it is too cumbersome, it is too fraught with legal complexities relating to eminent domain and Fifth Amendment guarantees of “just compensation” for property the government will have to seize from private owners.

Just settle on legislation that allows the expenditure of more money on technology we’re already using to secure our southern border, Mr. President.

I believe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is good with that. So, let’s get it done. Do not declare an emergency, Mr. President, because I believe there is no emergency to declare!

Another critic says ‘goodbye’

I have written on this blog and in other forums about the need to read and listen to opinions that differ from our own.

I’ll stand by that belief for as long as I write this blog.

That said, I got a scolding overnight from a (former) reader of High Plains Blogger. He didn’t like a post I published that stood up for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her ongoing battle with Donald Trump over funding for The Wall and, well, other matters.

My critic said he once thought I harbored some “common sense.” Now he is convinced I have none. He’s done reading the “crap” I post on the blog.

Dang it! That means he won’t read this item. Supposedly. That’s if he can resist the temptation to get his dander up all over again. I’ll assume he means what he said.

Here’s my point . . .

I welcome criticism of this blog. I make no apologies for my own political bias. You know where I stand regarding the president of the United States; you understand my partisan leaning; I make my political orientation clear.

Yes, I do read the opinions of other bloggers and commentators. Some of my favorite opinion writers happen to be folks with whom I have strong disagreements. They include folks such as Jonah Goldberg, Peggy Noonan, William Kristol, the late Charles Krauthammer.

I admire those who can express themselves as brilliantly as they do.

I do not begin to pretend I am in their league. I am just a schmuck blogger who fires off these posts when the spirit moves me. Since I am retired these days, I have plenty of time to devote to this blog. Which I do.

The world would be pretty damn boring if all we read were thoughts and beliefs that agreed with our own. Don’t you think?

I’ll keep on keepin’ on with this blog. I might lose some more readers along the way. Or . . . I might gain a few, too.

It’s all part of the process of learning about this great big world of ours and about this wonderful country that enables us to speak our minds, even when it angers others.

No, Mr. POTUS, Pelosi isn’t ‘bad for the country’; you are!

Mr. President, I cannot let you get away with this nonsense you spouted on CBS News.

Your belief that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “very bad for the country” is laughable on its face. Except that it ain’t funny.

What’s “funny,” and my laughter is of the derisive kind, is that you say these things with a straight face. You, sir, are the one who is “bad for the country.” I hate saying that about the president of the United States, but I feel as though I must.

Speaker Pelosi is performing just as she did when he held the post the first time. You weren’t around Washington back then. You were still slapping your name on high-rise buildings and “firing” people on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Pelosi was controlling her Democratic Party congressional caucus. She was helping ensure that President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act legislation got passed by the House and eventually by the Senate. She was doing her job as a legislative leader.

She is displaying her strong hand once again in this silly battle over The Wall and whether we should pay for it. Your ridiculous campaign promise that Mexico would pay for it has been exposed for what it is: utter nonsense. Yet you make these idiotic pledges anyway.

You call Pelosi “rigid”? No, sir. She is standing behind her principles and is holding her caucus firm in its resistance to building The Wall. You contend you are ready to declare a “national emergency” where none exists on our southern border. You are prompting a legal challenge. You are intent on putting our military personnel to work as wall builders. Haven’t you heard your fellow Republicans urge you to resist this measure, that you are courting disaster?

That, Mr. President, represents a public policy that is “very bad for the country.”