Tag Archives: The Wall

Yes, POTUS did say Mexico would ‘pay for The Wall’

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump is trying now to take back what he said the day he announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency.

You can’t do that, Mr. President. Really. You cannot!

He now says he never pledged to have Mexico pay “directly” for a “big, beautiful wall” he wants to build along our nation’s southern border. But actually, he did say it. Many times, in fact. He said it all along the campaign trail. He’s been repeating it since winning the 2016 election.

When you say “Mexico is going to pay for the wall, believe me,” then what else are Americans supposed to infer? When I heard him say it, I heard that “Mexico is going to pay,” period … full stop, end of story.

Sure, POTUS did seek on a few occasions say that he never suggested Mexico would “write a check” to cover the wall’s cost. He said it again Thursday at the White House. However, the direct payment idea has been crystal clear since the day he entered political life in June 2015, when he declared he would run for the presidency.

Let’s not play these games. The notion of Mexico paying for a wall along our nations’ shared border has been arguably the key campaign pledge that Trump made on his way to the White House.

He must not be allowed to lie his way out of what he said repeatedly.

The fact checkers  are hard at work keeping track of these things.

When did Jared find peace in the Middle East?

I must have missed something regarding the tasks assigned to Jared “The Grifter-in-Law” Kushner.

Wasn’t he assigned to craft a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement, one that allows Israel to rest knowing that it never would be threatened by its neighbors? Did he finish the job?

Now I hear the president of the United States, the father of Kushner’s wife, wants the young man to oversee construction of The Wall along our nation’s southern border.

Wow! Talk about multi-tasking!

Kushner, of course, has no business serving as a senior policy adviser to the president. Neither does his wife, Ivanka, for that matter. They hold those posts because Donald Trump cannot find senior advisers with actual experience in world affairs. Folks with actual relationships with world leaders. Those with real-life knowledge of what it takes to find peace, to keep peace and to build international alliances.

So the POTUS turned to his daughter and son-in-law. Their so-called “qualifications” utterly mystify me.

Now Jared Kushner gets a new task. How does he have the time? He’s also in charge of trade policy, innovation, not to mention a growing list of other jobs.

Get cracking! Build that wall, Jared!

It’s easy, Mr. POTUS: you get impeached for violating your oath

Mr. President, a recent tweet from you compels me to offer an answer.

You wrote this, which I want to share with readers of this blog: How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, entirely rebuilt our Military into the most powerful it has ever been, Cut Record Taxes & Regulations, fixed the VA & gotten Choice for our Vets (after 45 years), & so much more?…

I have an answer.

An impeachment has nothing to do with all the assorted duties of your office. It has, in this instance, everything to do with whether you have violated your oath.

A lot of folks in Congress — not to mention tens of millions of Americans — believe you are guilty of violating your oath.

You took an oath to defend the Constitution and to protect Americans against our enemies. Then this past summer you chatted up the Ukrainian president, who thanked you for the assistance you had given to his government’s struggle against the Russian aggressors. During that conversation, the Ukrainian head of state sought assurance that would provide arms to help Ukraine fight the Russians. You said, sure … but then you said had a favor to ask “though.” You wanted help with your re-election effort and you sought that help from a foreign government and you wanted that government to dig up dirt on a potential foe.

There’s your impeachable offense, Mr. President.

All that other stuff about the economy, the military, taxes, veterans issues, regulations have nothing to do with what we’re discussing.

Bill Clinton was impeached, too, because he lied to a grand jury about his dalliance with the intern. Meanwhile, the economy was rocking along; he worked with Congress to balance the federal budget. President Clinton was doing a good job, but Republicans impeached him anyway. Or don’t you remember that?

I don’t yet know how I feel about whether the House should proceed with impeaching you, Mr. President. I’m struggling with that one.

Here’s the deal, though: Impeachment has nothing to do with the job you are doing. Oh, I guess I should say that you are overstating your accomplishments. You forgot to mention pi**ing off our allies, failing on your promise to make Mexico pay for The Wall and the litany of insults and innuendo you have hurled at your foes.

But you did ask just how we could impeach a president who’s done all you claim to have done.

I hope I have answered it for you.

Mr. President, you have violated your sacred oath.

Trump robs Pentagon trough to pay for The Wall

If there was a signature promise that Donald Trump made in 2016 while campaigning for president of the United States, it was this:

I am going to build a beautiful wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

He made the promise countless times while campaigning for the office. Has he delivered on that one? Hah! Nope.

Mexico has said “no way” will that country pay for it.

Instead, he has just ordered the diversion of $3.6 billion of money already appropriated for the Pentagon to, that’s right, help fund construction of The Wall along our southern border.

Let me see if I have this right: The president is so intent on building The Wall that he is willing to sacrifice funds targeted for actual military construction projects. Is that a form of weakening our national defense network?

More critically, is that even legal, given that Congress has the authority to appropriate money for executive branch functions?

Trump is playing with our money. He is seeking to build that “beautiful” wall with funds set aside for national defense. Yes, the president considers illegal immigration to be a national security concern.

However, what in the name of campaign rhetoric has become of that signature promise he made, that Mexico is going to pay for The Wall?

Cure for AIDS and childhood cancer on tap?

Donald Trump went way overboard in handing out grand promises during a political rally this week in Cincinnati.

First, he said he intends to find a cure for HIV/AIDS “very soon.” How soon? That remains to be seen and perhaps how the president defines the term “very soon.”

Second, he announced his intention to cure childhood cancer.

There you go. Two deadly diseases are headed for extinction on this president’s watch. Naturally, the crowd cheered. Hey, who can blame them? I mean, it was their guy making the dubious boasts, although the subject of the prediction certainly is worth cheering, no matter how serious one should take the claim being made by the miracle worker in chief.

What will happen, though, if we don’t find a cure for HIV/AIDS or childhood cancer by the time Trump leaves office? I am presuming he means in January 2025, at the end of his second term. Oh, the humanity, if he gets re-elected next year.

I suppose he’ll blame Democrats in Congress for however short he might fall in that grand prediction.

I am going to hope that Trump delivers on the grand effort, although I have about as much confidence in his delivering the goods as I do on his insistence that “Mexico will pay for The Wall.”

Gun violence now crosses a second issue of the day

When gun violence erupts in this country, Americans naturally get drawn into the ongoing debate over how to stem the scourge of such insane acts.

More gun control? More guns? Longer waiting periods? No waiting periods? 

Now, though, the issue has crossed another issue line of demarcation.

How would building a wall along our nation’s southern border stop home-grown terrorists from erupting?

A corn-fed young American man killed three people at a food festival in Gilroy, Calif.; one of the victims was a 6-year-old boy, another was a teenage girl. Twelve more were injured in the melee. The shooter — whom the police shot to death — was not from south of the border. He wasn’t a Mexican gang member, nor did he hail from Central America. The shooter was far from the kind of individual that Donald Trump once said is being “sent” into our country “by Mexico.”

This lunatic was one of ours. He was one of us. He was just like any one of the other home-grown idiots who decide to open fire with an “assault weapon.”

These political calculations are becoming too complex for many of us. Count me as one who is getting mighty confused over how to handle this latest tragedy.

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.