Tag Archives: national emergency

Border shutdown does more harm than good

Donald Trump wants to make good on his boast that he intends to stop illegal immigration altogether, no matter what, no matter the measure he intends to implement.

So now he’s threatening to shut down the southern border. All 2,000 miles of it. From the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. From California to Texas. He’s gonna shut ‘er down!

OK, but at what cost?

The trade that flows between the United States and Mexico contributes billions of dollars each year in income for businesses in both countries. I long have thought that Mexico was a good neighbor.  I still do. The president of the United States acts as though Mexico is that annoying next-door neighbor who plays his music too loudly or whose dog poops on his yard.

You may spare me the comments uttered by Jeh Johnson, homeland security secretary in the Obama administration who says the border crossing numbers have reached a crisis proportion.

Shutting down the border isn’t the way you fix a problem. You don’t punish an entire nation the way Trump wants to punish Mexico. Make no mistake, the damage he intends to inflict on our southern neighbor is going to ripple into four border states: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

He wants Mexico to stop the immigrants traipsing through its land from Central America. They can stop it, he says. If they don’t, he intends to shut down the border. “I’m not kidding around,” the president said.

I get it, Mr. President.

It’s not going to stop the drug flow that comes into this country through legal ports of entry. You know, airports and maritime docks . . . those kinds of places. Indeed, that’s where most of it enters the United States, not on the backs of asylum seekers fleeing repression in Latin America.

Send in more agents. Deploy more technology. Round up illegal immigrants, frisk ’em and then send the bad guys back. I have no problem with that.

I simply refuse to acknowledge the existence of a phony “national emergency.” It doesn’t exist. Shutting down the border is a solution in search of a problem.

Veto likely will hold up, but then what?

Donald Trump’s first veto of his presidency is likely to withstand congressional efforts to overturn it.

It’s good to ask, though: What happens next?

The president vetoed House and Senate bills that sought to toss aside his national emergency declaration that he sought to build The Wall along our southern border. Congress based its action on a couple of key issues: there is no national emergency, the president’s action sets the stage for future presidents to do the same thing and it usurps congressional authority to appropriate money for specific projects.

Trump wants to divert funds allocated for various programs to build The Wall.

Twelve Senate Republicans voted with Democrats to wipe out the declaration. Democrats control the House, so that vote was a done deal from the get-go. Neither vote was veto-proof, however.

Trump is messing with fire with this veto. Sure, the Constitution grants him the authority to do what he did. However, it’s not yet clear whether his action will withstand a legal challenge if it comes from congressional Democrats.

Never mind that Attorney General William Barr said when Trump signed the veto document that he was within his right legally; we all expected the AG to stand with the president.

The animosity between the legislative and executive branches of government is as vivid as ever. Trump’s veto is likely to stand. However, the fight over The Wall is far from over.

Veto would inflame already red-hot tensions

Donald Trump had a one-word, four-letter response to the U.S. Senate vote rejecting his declaration of a national emergency on our nation’s southern border.

“VETO!” he wrote via Twitter.

OK, so the president has thrown down on both chambers of Congress.

The House and the Senate both have rejected Trump’s view that a national emergency exists on our border. They contend that no such emergency exists. A majority of both legislative chambers has stood up against the president.

This is what divided government brings to the table.

Trump has the constitutional authority to veto the legislation that rejects his national emergency declaration. Congress also has the authority to override a presidential veto. It cannot do so with a simple majority. The override sets the bar higher than a vote to enact a law in the first place.

Should the president carry out his veto threat? Does he risk sticking in the eye of a co-equal government branch that has spoken ostensibly for the constituents who elected its members?

Trump’s national emergency declaration is as phony as it gets.

Astonishingly, the president himself has admitted that the declaration is unnecessary. “I didn’t need to do it,” he said immediately after declaration the emergency. The move is meant to empower the president to reallocate money approved by Congress for specific projects; he wants to redirect the funds to build The Wall he says would stem the flow of criminals pouring into the country.

Twelve Senate Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in rejecting Trump’s emergency declaration. The rest of the Senate GOP caucus, interestingly, stood behind the president of their own party after chiding his predecessor — Democrat Barack Obama — for the alleged “lawlessness” of his own executive procedures.

To my way of thinking, Trump’s serious overreach in reaction to a phony immigration crisis is far more “lawless” than anything that Obama ever did.

But that’s just me.

The president is empowered to veto the rejection that is heading for his desk. He’ll likely carry through with the threat. It won’t solve any of the political problems that are piling up around him.

So the battle rages on.

And on and on.

House Democrats flex their muscles; Senate GOP is up next

The Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives stuck together today. They got a few of their Republican friends to join them in blocking Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration.

The vote was 245-182, which is almost a full House tabulation. The issue is that important.

Trump has declared there to be an emergency on our southern border. He did so even while acknowledging that “I didn’t need to” make the declaration. He did so to make a political point.

The president’s ostensible point is to stem the tide of drug dealers, killers, rapists, human traffickers and terrorists he says are pouring into the country. Military officials say no such emergency exists. Indeed, the president’s declaration is as phony as a degree from Trump University.

Now it’s the Senate’s turn. Republicans still run the upper chamber. However, some GOP senators are peeling away from the president, who now stands likely to lose this emergency declaration travesty.

Trump is likely to veto whatever Congress sends to him. The margins of defeat in the House and Senate are not “veto proof,” meaning that Congress likely will be unable to override a presidential veto.

But what does this mean to the president’s declaration?

It means to me that he doesn’t have the support of a majority of a co-equal branch of the federal government. Will he proceed anyway with this idiotic emergency declaration? Oh, more than likely he will because he doesn’t understand the political implications of what he intends to do — which is build The Trump Wall along our border with Mexico.

This is getting weirder by the hour.

Declaring rhetorical ‘war’ on border-security demagogues

I am on the verge — or perhaps I’ve already taken the step — of declaring rhetorical “war” on those who insist that that those who oppose The Trump Wall are in favor of “open borders,” or are soft on crime, or who don’t want to protect the nation.

I am one of those who opposes the barrier that Donald Trump keeps insisting we build along our southern border.

Do I favor open borders? No. Am I soft on crime? No. Do I want to protect the nation against those who would do us harm? Yes.

Why is this so troublesome? It bothers me in the extreme to hear otherwise normally reasonable people say the things they do out loud, in public, about those of us who believe the president is wrong to declare a national emergency just to build The Trump Wall.

The president promised to make Mexico pay for its construction. It didn’t happen; it won’t happen. Now he is trying to foist The Wall on taxpayers. Congressional Democrats are digging in against that idea, too. So, to circumvent Congress, the president has declared a national emergency where none exists. Democrats are fighting back and, lo and behold, they’re getting some Republican support against the emergency declaration idea.

The day after making the declaration, he flew to Florida to play a few rounds of golf. National emergency? Hmm?

Trump has led the demagogic drumbeat against those who oppose The Wall. He yaps and yammers about open borders, national security and contends that his foes favor the former and oppose the latter.

I simply cannot take any more of that blind demagoguery coming from the president and his political base of supporters.

No one will get hurt in this “war” I intend to declare. Unless, of course, I inflict damage on some feelings along the way.

If so . . . that is just too bad.

‘Emergency’ plays second fiddle to golf at Mar-a-Lago

I admit readily that I am a bit slow on the uptake at times.

Such as when the president of the United States declares a “national emergency” and then jets off to Florida for a weekend of fun in the sun and a round or three of golf at his posh Mar-a-Lago resort.

What am I missing? I cannot grasp what he’s doing here.

When a president declares a “national emergency,” doesn’t he remain on his watch, pouring all his energy into solving the problem that causes the emergency? Yeah, I know I’ve declared my lack of angst over all the golf that Donald Trump plays; he’s always on the clock. It’s just that he said he wouldn’t “have time” for golf once he took office as president.

So he says our southern border has become a “point of entry” for hordes of drug dealers, human traffickers, killers, rapists and assorted international terrorists. His response was to declare the “national emergency” that in fact doesn’t exist.

The president betrayed the urgency of the declaration, I am going to presume, when he boarded Air Force One and headed to South Florida for the weekend.

I always have considered “national emergencies” to be, by definition, events that require the president’s undivided attention. President Carter declared such an emergency when the Iranian terrorists took our embassy personnel in 1979. If memory serves, the president acted the way one in his position must act.

Donald John Trump Sr.? He has fabricated a “national emergency” where no such thing exists.

‘I didn’t need’ to declare emergency?

Did the president of the United States just shoot himself in the gut with that idiotic declaration of a “national emergency”?

I believe that’s the case. Donald Trump has declared an emergency because of what he alleges is a flood of human traffickers, killers, drug dealers, rapists and terrorists coming into the country through our supposedly “porous” southern border.

Then the Idiot in Chief stood on the White House lawn and said he “didn’t need to do this,” meaning that he seems to believe that he didn’t need to declare an emergency.

What kind of buffoon makes a declaration and then says he acted out of political concern? Donald Trump doesn’t know what in the name of governance he is doing with the office he occupies.

He wants to build The Trump Wall no matter what. So he declares an emergency where none exists, tries to foist the cost of the wall off on Americans after pledging that Mexico would pay for it.

Pathetic.

Then he trots out Stephen Miller, the right-wing fanatic who serves as a White House adviser to explain it all.

Get a load of the sequence on “Fox News Sunday.” I’ll just give host Chris Wallace props for trying to get Miller to justify what the president has done.

Nice try, Stephen Miller

National emergency? What national emergency?

Robert Reich is a vocal critic of the president of the United States. I mean, he served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration. His progressive credentials are established.

He wrote this on Facebook today in response to Donald Trump’s declaration of a phony “national emergency”:

Just hours after Trump declared a national emergency to secure funding for his nonsensical border wall without congressional approval, he jetted off to Mar-a-Lago for a weekend of golf and relaxation. Excuse me, but shouldn’t the president be in the White House during a national emergency?

The truth is there is no emergency. Border crossings are at historic lows, immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans, and a wall would do little to curb the flow of illegal drugs. This entire crisis is designed solely to score points with Trump’s political base and consolidate his own power.

What Reich neglected to mention in this message — although I am certain it wasn’t lost on him — was that Trump himself actually dismissed the “national emergency” in a rambling, incoherent “press availability” on the White House lawn.

Trump knows there’s no “emergency” on the border. He made the declaration, it seems to me, because he wanted to create a pretext to erect something to which he can attach his name.

OK, then. Let’s call it The Trump Wall.

It’s all his. He can have it.

Trump raid on military projects produces bipartisan ire

So, the president of the United States has done it.

Donald Trump declared a national emergency where none actually exists. He wants to build The Wall. He is intent on erecting that structure along our southern border to, as he said, stem the flow of human traffickers, drug dealers, murderers, terrorists and assorted riff raff he insists are “pouring” across the border.

That isn’t happening, no matter what the says.

There’s more, though. He wants to pilfer money already appropriated for defense projects to pay for construction of The Wall. That move has produced criticism from unlikely sources, such as from Republican U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, the Texas Panhandle congressman who once chaired the House Armed Services Committee. Thornberry, now the ranking member of Armed Services, says wall construction is not part of the military mission. Thornberry, who isn’t prone to criticize the president, opposes this initiative.

Congressional Democrats are going to contest the emergency declaration. Of course they oppose Trump’s decision.

The president, though, appears to be miffed that members of Congress who should have stepped up didn’t do as he wished. So he’s conducted this end-around.

The current chairman of the House Armed Services panel, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said this: “It is utterly disrespectful of U.S. national security and the needs of our men and women in uniform, and it further undermines his credibility in requesting the upcoming defense budget.”

That’s the president’s modus operandi. He says he “loves” the military and the men and women who defend the country. However, he is quite willing to undercut their work so he can build The Wall.

POTUS to declare a made-up ’emergency’?

I am just going to stand with those who believe that there is no “national emergency” occurring on our southern border.

Does that mean that we have no problem with illegal immigration? Of course not! It means that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is seriously overstating the situation to suit some political agenda he wants to fulfill.

Trump has pledged to build The Wall along our southern border. He cannot persuade Congress to give him all the money he wants to build it. So he now intends to sign a border security agreement while declaring the existence of a phony “national emergency.”

How many times must it be said: There is no national emergency on our nation’s southern border!

But the president will not be dissuaded. He won’t be deterred. He won’t let facts get in the way of his bogus boastfulness about building The Wall.

Don’t misunderstand me. I do not favor “open borders.” I want our borders secured as much as Donald Trump does. Hell, maybe more so! I simply do not believe the president’s ridiculous assertion about the presence of an “emergency” existing on the border.

Trump wants to usurp Congress’s role in appropriating money for government projects. He seems intent on diverting money to build The Wall from other actual emergencies.

The most galling example of that is a report that the president intends to take money earmarked for disaster relief in California and Puerto Rico for construction of The Wall. Hmm. How in the world can this be seen as anything other than political payback for the intense criticism the president has received for his policies in general and for his response to disasters in those two disparate regions?

The “national emergency” on our border with Mexico is a figment of Donald Trump’s fixation with pleasing his political base.

This fixation makes me sick.