Tag Archives: The Wall

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.

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.