Tag Archives: The Wall

Hello, demagogues? Stop yapping about ‘open borders’

I want to call out the right-wing demagogues who appear to be winning the argument about what those who oppose their immigration “policy” believe should be done.

The righties — led by Donald J. Trump — keep yammering and yapping about how Democrats favor “open borders” in lieu of the tragedy that is unfolding along our nation’s southern border.

Oh, sure. There might be a few on the far, far left who talk about “open borders,” preferring to let migrants into the country with no penalty. The rest of the Trump administration’s critics, though, are talking instead about “de-criminalizing” illegal immigration and making the act a “civil” matter.

Does that constitute an “open border” policy? No. It does not!

I am one of those Trump critics who has been saying all along that increased border security can be done without building a massive, expensive and impractical wall along our nation’s southern border. Of course, the president’s pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall is fading rapidly onto the trash heap full of unkept campaign promises.

My point is that the demagogues must be called out for lying about what the vast majority of their opponents want regarding immigration policy.

I among those who favor increased technological enforcement. I also favor more Border Patrol officers deployed along our border. State and local law enforcement could use increased federal support as well.

I do not favor “open borders.” Nor do the majority of those who argue against the detention centers along our border. Those who are calling attention to the horrific conditions being foisted on migrant families — especially the children — are not arguing to throw the borders wide open.

The demagoguery and fearmongering must end.

Immediately!

How does Trump plan to make his re-election case?

Donald J. Trump is going to ask Americans to re-elect him to another term as president of the United States. I am baffled to the max over this question: How is he going to make the case that he has earned a second term?

Trump got elected in 2016 by demonizing his opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton and by stoking fear of enemies outside of our borders and of those within them. He promised to vanquish them all. He told us that “I, alone” can repair all that ailed the nation.

Well, he hasn’t.

He has been bedeviled by questions concerning his relationships — business, personal and political — with foreign governments. He claims today that he has been “exonerated.” He hasn’t been cleared of anything. That’s another story.

As he ramps up his re-election campaign, Donald Trump is facing a critical question. How is he going to sell himself for another four years in the White House?

I am reminded a bit of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards, who ran for re-election as governor in 1994 against a political novice, a fellow named George W. Bush. Richards was thought of at the time to be highly popular. She had good — if not great — public approval ratings.

She made a critical error during her first term. She vetoed legislation that would have referred a concealed handgun carry bill to the voters for their endorsement. The veto enraged gun enthusiasts.

More than that, though, Richards hardly spoke of how she would govern during a second term. She spent a lot of public time blasting George W. Bush, calling him a lightweight and a “jerk.” Bush remained focused on his campaign themes.

Bush ended up winning. Richards was gone.

There ought to be a lesson for Trump here. Except that he won’t accept it. He won’t campaign on a second-term vision because, in my view, he doesn’t have one. Heck, he didn’t have a first-term vision, other than banning Muslims from traveling to this country, building The Wall along our southern border and eliminating the Affordable Care Act.

He stoked fear and loathing. He appealed to our darker instincts.

Is he going to brighten his vision for the future? Hah! Hardly! A 70-something-year-old man isn’t likely to change the strategy that won him election to the first public office he ever sought.

In my humble view, these basic tenets remain the same today as they were when Trump rode down the Trump Tower escalator to announce his presidential candidacy:

  • Donald Trump is unfit at every level imaginable to be president.
  • Trump will continue to be the fear monger in chief.
  • He will continue to lie incessantly.
  • Trump will demonize his opponents in the most venal, disgusting, disgraceful, personal terms.

Donald Trump doesn’t deserve re-election any more than he deserved election in the first place. I intend to do everything within my meager power — through this forum — to make that case.

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.

John Kelly turns on Trump? Shocking! Just shocking!

John Kelly has served his country with honor, courage and distinction.

Now the former White House chief of staff is telling us that many of Donald J. Trump’s policies are wrong for the country.

The wall along our southern border? Kelly, the retired four-star Marine Corps general and combat veteran, says now that the wall is a non-starter. Donald Trump’s national emergency doesn’t exist along our southern border.

“Waste of money”

He said building a wall “from sea to shining sea” is a “waste of money.” Gee, do you think?

He said of all the jobs he has held, the chief of staff gig was the worst among them. Kelly also said that he wasn’t working for Trump but was seeking to serve the country.

Gen. Kelly also declared that had Hillary Rodham Clinton won the 2016 election he would have worked in her White House.

He kept quiet during his time as chief of staff. He also didn’t argue out loud over the wall issue when he served as homeland security secretary before moving into the chief of staff job.

That tells me he is a good Marine . . . always faithful, if you will.

He is now free to speak his mind and from his heart.

Far-right pundit goes after the ‘ghost’ of a statesman

I’ll just get this off my chest from the get-go: Michelle Malkin makes me sick.

The Fox News contributor and far-right columnist took it upon herself at a conference of fellow far-righties to attack the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, who she called a “grifter.” She said McCain, who died in August of brain cancer, didn’t do enough to secure our borders against illegal immigrants.

She was speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which has become a haven in recent years for far-right activists to vent their frustration not just at the rest of the country, but also at members of the Republican Party who don’t see the world through the same prism as they do.

Malkin said this to the CPAC crowd: “And yes, I’m looking at you, the ghost of John McCain. It’s the GOP sellouts, not just the radical open-borders left that is in bed with the immigration saboteurs. Those are the real grifters.”

Sen. McCain’s wife, Cindy (pictured above), fired back at Malkin via Twitter, saying that “You never knew @SenJohnMcCain. You should be so lucky.”

Indeed, Malkin and others of her stripe are making a lot of hay against those who favor increased border security but see no need to spend billions of dollars while seizing Americans’ private property to erect a structure along our southern border. And to what end? Illegal border crossings have plummeted in recent years, negating the phony notion of a “national emergency” existing along our border.

As for attacking Sen. McCain, Malkin and others of her ilk continue to act as shameless demagogues. Malkin’s “grifter” crack got her a standing ovation from the CPAC crowd. It didn’t do anything to advance the only solution worth discussing: comprehensive immigration reform.

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.

Immigration reform? Remember that matter?

The nation is getting all tangled up in this discussion over whether to build Trump’s Wall along our southern border.

Democrats and a growing number of Republicans don’t want it; Donald Trump’s followers — led by the cadre of talk-radio blowhards — are all for it.

What I am not hearing — maybe I’m not paying enough attention — is any serious discussion about how we might actually apply a permanent repair to the problem of illegal immigration.

How about turning our attention to serious immigration reform legislation?

We keep making feeble attempts at it. We get sidetracked and discouraged because too many members of Congress are resisting those calls for reform.

Then we hear about data that tell us that a huge percentage of those who are in the United States illegally are those whose work visas have expired. So, they arrive here legally but become illegal residents because those visas have run out. These one-time legal residence then are called “criminals” and “lawbreakers.” The become fodder for the president and his supporters to erect that wall along our southern border.

Can’t there be a concerted push to hire more administrative personnel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to process these visas or to speed up citizenship requests from those who want to become Americans?

The president did offer a form of compromise during that partial government shutdown by suggesting a three-year reprieve from deportation for so-called Dreamers, those who were brought here as children when their parents sneaked in illegally. That’s a start. However, Donald Trump connected that idea with more money to build his wall, which made it a non-starter for those who oppose The Trump Wall.

So now the president has declared a “national emergency.” There is no such thing on our border with Mexico. The only “emergency,” it seems to me, rests with the interminable delays that occur when foreign-born residents’ work visas run out or when they seek citizenship to the Land of Opportunity.

How about getting busy applying a permanent repair to the problem?

‘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