Graphic: Quino Al via Unsplash (mod by Rayne)

Urgent, Urgent: Head to the Phones

I can’t help it. Trump’s so-called national emergency made these lyrics pop into my head:

…You’re not warm or sentimental
You’re so extreme, you can be so temperamental
But I’m not looking for a love that will last
I know what I need and I need it fast…

He needs his bloody wall and he needs it fast, on the heels of his usual dose of projection.

The real emergency is Trump himself. If you only caught snippets of his speech you missed out on the real horror. Here’s an excerpt (the entire speech can be found at The Atlantic, do read it in its entirety):

What the almighty fuck? If this rambling nonsense is what FBI’s former deputy director Andrew McCabe experienced on the phone and in person, you can understand why he would have been wigging out about this person’s capacity to perform his Article II duties.

But this isn’t the first time Trump has spoken and acted this way. One only needs to revisit journalist Daniel Dale’s so-patient coverage of Trump including his live tweeting and dissecting each of Trump’s public speeches. (I don’t know how Dale does it, though it may be his tolerance is bolstered by his Canadian citizenship and working for the Toronto Star.)

Not only is Trump’s presidency questionably legitimate, not only is the man an inveterate liar and an unapologetic freeloader milking the presidency for profit, he is mentally incompetent. He’s unable to string together a complete sentence if more than four words long.

His declaration of a national emergency is all the more untenable. Though lawsuits have already been filed — including Public Citizen on behalf of landowners and the ACLU — we can’t hope that the courts will see the declaration as unsustainable under law. We have to make it clear to Congress they must do their jobs and ensure the emergency is unapproved.

Representatives Joaquin Castro and Jerry Nadler are drafting a joint resolution to this end; though it’s expected to pass the House, the GOP may bottleneck the resolution.

This is where we need to come in and make it clear the GOP cannot continue to fail its sworn obligations under the Constitution. The GOP’s Class II senators in particular must be held to account and told they own this if they do not push back and disapprove the non-emergent emergency.

This is what the hollow men approve if they don’t stop this insanity:

…Make it fast, make it urgent
Do it quick, do it urgent
Gotta rush, make it urgent
Want it quick
Urgent, urgent, emergency…

Just make your calls, leave voicemails; Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Do reassure Democratic representatives and senators they have our support on disapproval. Need a script? @Celeste_P has you covered here.

This is an open thread.

116 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Ha. I actually did get a little golf in this weekend post if you think about it.

    Declaring a national emergency to get to the golf club’s goddamn omelet bar. I can’t with this.

  2. hops says:

    I’ll ping my R senator via his website, although he makes it hard with mind-boggling captas.

    But I don’t know that that’s Trump in the photo; not wearing a bib or drooling.

  3. Areader2019 says:

    Watching his Rose Garden speech…..I was wondering “is he having a stroke right now on national tv?”

    Because he was not on the TelePrompTer and therefore completely unintelligible. And slurred his speech in a weird asymmetrical way, consistent with neurological problems.

    • Cathy says:

      Is it Bill Shine et. al’s passive-aggressive plea for help, do y’think, putting him on nat’l TV unprompted?

      • Badger Robert says:

        Several presidents have had severe health problems while in office. Taylor, Harrison and Roosevelt died in office. Guys over 50 are prone to declining health. I don’t know why the media cannot accept that. But caregivers are often overwhelmed by the gradual onset of the syndrome.

        • P J Evans says:

          William Henry Harrison (the president, not the congresscritter from Indiana and Wyoming) died of pneumonia after delivering his inaugural address in bad weather without an overcoat. Not “health problems while in office”.

        • Mainmata says:

          The vast majority of US presidents have been over 50 years old when in office so that age mark doesn’t mean much. It’s what they did that obviously matters.

          • Mainmata says:

            Also, Garfield, McKinley, Harding and Kennedy died while in office. (Obviously, all but Harding by assassination.)

        • e.a.f. says:

          yes, but right now its the whole country which might be feeling like they’re the care givers.  if it were just his family, fine, but the whole country has to deal with trump’s “illness” or whatever it is.

          Well if he really is ill, perhaps he’d like to take advantage of the “exit” plans some countries provide for the terminally ill, those who won’t recover and are in pain.  In Canada we do have what some of us refer to as the “Trudeau exit”, however, I don’t know if they provide the “service” for foreigners, but some one could suggest it to Trump, he’s ailing, it will only get worse for the rest of us……….

      • Badger Robert says:

        Did they know he was going to make a fool of himself? Has he raged at everyone to such an extent they just let him do it?

  4. mospeck says:

    >What the almighty fuck?
    yea, Rayne, agree…inside we’re all going off like atomics. I know I am. But we’re all just bystanders trapped by an imperfect process designed against threats from a long time back–that’s now in play. Betting odds say rule of law wins and that we don’t end up like Russia. But we’re not a lock, facing up against GRU guiding this empty vessel called Trump

  5. P J Evans says:

    My congresscritter gets it – but I don’t know if he’s going to do anything. (He’s partially owned by AIPAC, I think.) Will email him anyway. First I have to find the email form on his site. (… It’s buried under “need help with a federal agency?” which is ABSOLUTELY unhelpful.)

  6. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. I could not watch all the blathering on Friday in the Rose Garden. He is a national emergency. Appreciate the script link. I will be busy making calls.

    I also plan to include a statement about the Violence Against Women’s Act which apparently has expired. Shameful.

    • Cathy says:

      According to the WaPo House Democrats have a plan:

      A larger dispute about rewriting the Violence Against Women Act for the first time in more than six years bled into the spending negotiations. Democrats pushed to let the existing law lapse, which would lend momentum to a planned House rewrite. But Republicans wanted to keep the existing law in place through the end of the fiscal year. Democrats say that there will be no practical impact for the time being, and they will work in the coming months to pass an revised bill. [my emphasis]

      To the Democrats’ assertion of no immediate practical impact, the NYT notes that although VAWA wasn’t extended, “grants under the act are funded in the spending bill.”

      Sounds like some Rs realized how poor the optics are for them on the issue. Certainly willing to rub it in and support House Ds’ effort to install next version…

      • P J Evans says:

        The rectangle where his tweetphone normally is, really shows up. Did he sleep on it, or not get his spray job this morning?

        • pdaly says:

          If that rectangular looking area on his cheek is not a reflected highlight of the window in the room could it be a skin graft that extends from his left cheek to under his chin?

          I don’t see a tan/orange makeup on the rest of the face to suggest that his phone wore away any of it on the cheek.

          • Rayne says:

            I think we’ve seen enough closeup shots of his face that any surgical work that obvious would have been detected earlier. Looks like a makeup error to me. Perhaps he screwed up applying his tinted sunblock.

            • pdaly says:

              Noted. I’ve managed to be a low information viewer when it comes to his visuals (and voice). Happy to have the option of hearing about him here in attenuated form!

  7. Arj says:

    Yes, the national emergency is closer than he thinks – it follows him like a shadow. Amazing coincidence. With the Turtle’s climb-down over the wall (how are you liking that image?), will the ‘Pubs fall back into line on this after their recent experiments in vertebrate behaviour (or posturing at least)?

    I can exclusively reveal that the Mueller investigation will finish tomorrow: it’s Sunday, right, and they obviously won’t want to break into another week…

    • Rayne says:

      Wish somebody would put that turtle on a fence post upside down in the Texas sun at the border to wait for the rush of asylum seekers to knock him off onto his feet.

  8. Tom Edelson says:

    May I amend your suggestion? Before calling your Congressbeings, consider whether you might choose to ask them to do more than just “unapprove” the declaration. How about asking them to impeach the president for “declaring” it in the first place?

    To me, this declaration is essentially like the hypothetical that Trump himself offered during the campaign: “I Could Stand In the Middle Of Fifth Avenue And Shoot Somebody ….” Though there are a couple of minor differences:

    1. That was a street crime whose penalty would be prison time. This is a constitutional crime whose penalty is removal from office.

    2. This is something that he has actually done.

  9. OldTulsaDude says:

    From Bob Dylan:
    Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their mark
    Made everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
    It’s easy to see without looking too far
    That not much is really sacred
    While preachers preach of evil fates
    Teachers teach that knowledge waits
    Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
    Goodness hides behind its gates
    But even the president of the United States
    Sometimes must have to stand naked

  10. Jim_46 says:

    Dear Senator:

    I am writing to urge you to offer the strongest possible support to President Donald J. Trump with regard to his declaration of a national emergency on our southern border. As you and I both well know, the Constitution is a dead letter anyway, and the legislative branch has rendered itself all but superfluous, q.v., Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. Your support for President Trump’s commendable effort to hasten the inevitable outcome of this slow, lingering death of government of, by, and for the people is the right thing to do. Think of it as euthanasia — a merciful extinguishing of life. With even the vestiges of democracy consigned to the dustbin of history, we can move forward together under the leadership of the Democratic president who is virtually certain to take office in the next election, the last such election that our country will ever need. She will then be free to address our massive federal debt by pillaging the bank accounts of corporations and billionaires, radically reduce our country’s emission of climate-altering gases through the nationalization of industry and expansion of the regulatory state, provide government-run healthcare for every American, annul the Second Amendment and thereby make our cities and towns completely safe from gun violence, force enlightenment on our deluded fellow citizens by outlawing the practice of organized religion, and so much more.

    President Trump may indeed be the worst person ever to hold public office in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a genius at doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons. As a member of the political party that embraced the goal of reducing government to the size that you could “drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub,” you should be thrilled to see him succeed in bringing the American Experiment to a close.

    Thank you in advance for doing the wrong thing, if you know what I mean, and I’m certain you do.


  11. Tom says:

    Daniel Dale actually writes for the Toronto Star, where Ernest Hemingway used to work as well. The Toronto Sun is a right-leaning tabloid that (I imagine) would generally support Trump, though I haven’t looked at a copy of the Sun in a long time.

  12. Dave says:

    Rayne, one correction:

    Dale works for the Toronto Star, not the Sun. The Sun is a tabloid, right-wing and pro-conservative, Ontario Governor Doug Ford (brother of former mayor Rob Ford, he of the crack and lieing habit — Doug is a thug who thinks Trump is a political role model in right-wing populism), Scheer and Trump.

    The Star is much better…

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, fixed. I knew I missed something when I went through that last pass – it was right there in his tweet. I always think of News Corp-UK’s The Sun (blecch, hideous right-wing rag) when I think of Canada’s Toronto Sun, even though they’re unrelated.

      • Ewan says:

        The parallel with Rob Ford is apposite. Ford nation played the role of the apprentice/ fox and friends. The worrying bit is that Rob Ford only left office because he was dying,  not because he was filmed smoking crack, and then his brother got the Premiership. If history repeats itself, who is the US Doug Ford?

    • Rayne says:

      Talk about colonialism. Just because he’s across the border he thinks norms in his industry don’t apply?

      I hope caddies everywhere prank his cheap, cruel, colonial ass.

  13. boomerlefty46 says:

    ‘EMERGENCY’ cries the combover chicken
    To believe demands logic be stricken
    Here it is – plain and simple
    On his ass it’s a pimple
    The plot from here on sure to thicken

    But let’s close with a word for McTurtle
    Kentucky bootlick removes every hurdle
    Pleased to do all Trump’s bidding
    Constitutional crisis – no kidding
    Words he speaks t’would cause poison to curdle

  14. Tom says:

    The most disturbing part of Trump’s meandering diatribe, in my opinion, was his almost chortling endorsement of China’s practice of executing drug dealers. There is a Canadian man in China facing execution for drug smuggling at the moment and it doesn’t help our government’s efforts to have China reconsider its death sentence when the U.S. President is so conspicuously supporting the Chinese policy. Another example of Trump’s admiration for authoritarian strongman tactics.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Trump is following his other hero, Duarte, President, Philippines.   they were reporting this weekend, he has admitted to tossing a drug dealer out of a helicopter.  Lets hope Canada doesn’t sell him any.  Duarte has also bragged about shooting drug dealers himself.   However, given Trump’s lack of a work ethic I doubt he is up to any of it himself.

      Trump is clearly out of his mind, standing there suggesting drug dealers be executed because China executes drug dealers.   It is doubtful China does much of it, perhaps at a local level but all that fentanyl coming into Canada, comes  from China, via ship and air.  They have whole factories producing the stuff, ship it to Canada,  sold, money  laundered via our casinos, especially in B.C., then laundered via the housing market or stored there and then shipped back to China.  China loves drugs and drug dealers.  They refuse to stop its export to Canada.  (approx. a billion a year goes through the money laundering machine/casinos in British Columbia and we have only a population of 5M and not that many casinos.)

      Perhaps executing drug dealers is Trump’s next plan.  It will reduce the prison population.  If you go back over all the things he has done, he’s gotten away with all of it, including placing children in concentration camps.  In my opinion, each was a test to see if he can get away with it and he has.  Now it will be ramping up executions.  You see his base loves it because to them, it will mean more people of colour are killed and that is what it is all about.  Don’t mention the appeals process because that too can be eliminated or he’ll have the Armed Forces do it for him.

      Having little faith in the last two appointments to the American Supreme Court, I’m not  sure Trump’s executive order will be thrown out.  My take on it is, it will stick and that will be the end of the American democracy.   He has Hitler’s play book and he’s following it.  Putin is getting what he wants, the destruction of the U.S.A.

      The U.S.A. is in decline.  Its place on the international stage is diminishing.  How can you trust a country which just walks away from treaties?

      • Tom says:

        Now we know how the Chinese felt in the 1830s when the British forced them to open their country to foreign trade by “bringing Christ and opium”, as one historian of the Opium Wars has put it.  (The Opium War 1840-1842 by Peter Ward Fay. )

        Also, I’m not sure about the U.S. being in decline.  I think that foreign governments can distinguish between American interests and American policy and Trump’s aberrant decisions and performance on the international stage.    Looking at the long term picture, I also think that the American ship of state has sufficient ballast to ride out the political storm that Trump’s Presidency is generating and eventually regain an even keel, though that may require a whole new generation of younger politicians to come to office with a resolve that “never again” will there be anyone like a Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

      • Rayne says:

        …How can you trust a country which just walks away from treaties?

        The U.S. hasn’t walked away from treaties. Just because Trump says it doesn’t mean the country has. Refresh yourself with the Constitution: the president can make (and unmake) treaties with the advice and consent of Congress. Worry when Congress reverses ratification of treaties; with the House held by Dems, I doubt that will happen.

        Worry instead about what Trump can execute without any further action by Congress.

  15. Rita says:

    The news media interprets or translates Trump’s word salad. I suppose they have to do it. But, in so doing, they make him seem somewhat coherent, when he is not.

    Not only is he lying and making up “facts” on the fly, but his speech pattern is so disjointed that his mental competency should be questioned. The news media, White House staffers (like Anonymous, the Op-ed writer) , Congressional leaders, and Cabinet staff are trying to keep the guy together with the proverbial baling wire. I am not sure that they are doing the country a service.

  16. Raven Eye says:

    This paragraph in the Proclamation bothers me.

    “Sec. 2. The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and, subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the military departments, shall take all appropriate actions, consistent with applicable law, to use or support the use of the authorities herein invoked, including, if necessary, the transfer and acceptance of jurisdiction over border lands.” — Especially “transfer and acceptance of jurisdiction over border lands”.

    There may be more nuances in this that I don’t understand, but DoD accepting jurisdiction over border lands is worrisome. Per a GAO report from 2011 “About 40 percent of these border lands [on the Southwest Border] are managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture”. The Border Patrol must comply with the regulations, policies, and procedures of the land-holding agency. Will DOI be told to cede jurisdiction to DHS and/or DoD? Does “applicable law” mitigate this somewhat?

    • P J Evans says:

      That effing “Patriot Act” gave DHS a lot of power over everything  and everyone within a hundred miles of the borders – including the coasts – with no review of their actions, AFAIK. That provision got some notice, but not enough.

      • e.a.f. says:

        wonder how much oil is in the “border land” and how many mining companies could operate in the “border lands” once the land was transferred to the other department.  They could probably keep all the environmentalists  out also.

        • P J Evans says:

          They didn’t “transfer the land” – DHS has the power to stop anyone and ask for papers, plz.

          (I’d suggest reading the act, but much of it is done with references to other sections of code, which requires a lot of digging and editing – possibly a linked-page setup would work.)

  17. truthteller says:

    Just sent this to Rubio and Scott.

    The United States Senator oath of office:

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

    Do your duty and speak out about the president’s unconstitutional decision.

    If you can’t do your duty, then resign so that someone with courage and principles will do the job of a United States Senator.

    • Buford says:

      I have sent the text of the Oath to Corrupt Gardner, and Scott Tipton, explaining that the Constitution is what they are supposed to Protect and Defend…It has done little in the way of influencing their votes…but I will continue to keep a stream of emails, and occasional phone calls, since this is about the only legal way a cripple can protest…

  18. Rayne says:

    Working on a piece related to Trump’s golf courses and I see things that make my eyebrows go up into my hairline.

    Why would so many pieces written about Trump courses say that West Palm Beach was Trump’s first golf course when in truth he bought Westchester three years earlier?

    Why would so many pieces list 2010 as the date Westchester was acquired and not 1996 when he first bought the course as Briarcliff, renaming it after a redesign in 2002?

    It’s like history was sanitized and the golf industry helped.

    Still working on some of the financing which is just as weird. I will forever detest Mark Burnett and Jeff Zucker for making this guy look clean so that nobody really paid attention to what he was doing with these courses let alone his other property developments.

      • P J Evans says:

        Relying on whatever Himself tells them, without bothering to check, because he’s a “billionaire”? After the second time one of his businesses went broke, they should have figured out that he lies a lot and isn’t a good businessman.

    • Rayne says:


      Why, WHY are there so many reports that say this is his first course? He’s a renter using public property to make a profit!

      ~screaming into a pillow~

      • Rayne says:

        I am soooo confused over the courses in NY. Too many places refer to Westchester and Briarcliff as separate when they are the same course, renamed.

        I am enjoying reading about health code violations, though. Imagine paying nearly $20K annually for live mice and roaches. Yum.

  19. milton wiltmellow says:

    I watched a quaint old movie recently:  The Pelican Brief.

    A preposterous plot (energy billionaire has 2 USSC justices murdered to avoid an adverse ruling.)  Julia Roberts spends the rest of the movie gathering evidence while avoiding bad guys trying to kill her.

    At one point the president (Robert Culp) asks the FBI director to back off on investigating the brief.  The director agrees.  Minor characters are stunned that the president would ask the head of the FBI to “back off”.  “That’s obstruction of justice!” says one in disbelief.

    In the old days, (1993), a corrupt billionaire financing a narcissistic president might have been believable.  Preposterous sure, but still within the bounds of Hollywood reality.

    Now, though, an entire political party supports a narcissistic billionaire president and hides his Russian conspiracy while ignoring his destruction of the ecosystem and economy.

    As I said, a quaint movie when people expected fiction to plausibly mimic reality.

    Today, reality smacks fiction in the nose. Repeatedly.

    “You want preposterous?  Try this.  Donald Trump becomes president assisted by Russian intervention, he removes many taxes on billionaires, lies daily, sells off national parks to corporate mining interests, assigns a bdts scammer as acting attorney general, denounces Canada and Nato, and claims to love the North Korean dictator while California burns from climate change and Puerto Rico rots from a devastating hurricane.  And, oh yeah, he wants to build a wall across the southwestern border to stop the same people he hires for his businesses.”

    That’s reality now.  Fiction will never catch up.

  20. Pajaro says:

    re Raveneye above,

    Much of the lands on the border in AZ are tribal lands, though administered (not owned) by Department of Interior.  Most of these under treaty with U.S.  Tribes are going to take a dim view of confiscation and occupation by the military, IMO.  Trump and his advisers are dim enough to likely not realize the relationship, and see these lands as ‘owned’ by the government.

    Taking (at point of bayonet?) from the thousands of owners along the TX border, many belonging to families that predate the Republic of TX is likely to result in more than one Alamo.  And what of all those ‘freedom’ spouting Texans when faced with blatant confiscation of private land by the government?  There will have to be some soul searching on beliefs.

    I agree with P J Evans; Patriot Act and formation of DHS were first steps toward a institutionalizing (or enabling) fascism (my word, not his) in the USA.

    Rayne, I’ve followed EW since the FDL days, haven’t commented in years, though I visit daily.

    • Rayne says:

      Nice to see you again, it’s been a little while. You’ve posted more frequently here under the diminutive version, Pajarito. :-)

      And yes, I think there’s going to be a real problem with tribal lands. I’m also wondering what the hell happened to Posse Comitatus when he’s pulling military resources to do DHS work.

      Also sets a hideous precedent along anywhere else along international border — the 100-mile perimeter DHS patrols includes the entire state of Michigan, for example, and in it more indigenous land.

      • Pajaro says:

        I’m Feeling diminished, maybe….?  Actually, I couldn’t remember what I used to use of the several forms.  And didn’t record it.  Will try to stick with this label.

      • Raven Eye says:

        I’ve read the definition of the 100 mile “line”, but most of the maps presented online, including by the ACLU and ESRI(!!!), appear to display that zone inaccurately.  News organizations appear to have picked up the ACLU version and run with it.   (I advised the ACLU that I wasn’t going to renew my membership until they fixed their map.)

        CityLab managed to run with this too, apparently not bothering to check the statutory citations.

        This site appears to display it properly:  https:// imgur. com/ gallery/ Xm2pGUv.*  The map on that site is not precise, but is aligned with international boundaries and the territorial sea, not just land boundaries and the shorelines.

        [*link is 404; URL has been ‘broken’ to prevent accidental click through by community./~Rayne]

        • Rayne says:

          Dude. You clearly haven’t been to Michigan and noted the exactly location where that 100 mile interior line exists.

          That’s because it isn’t demarcated with signage anywhere. If ICE/Border Patrol showed up anywhere in state and seized someone it’d be hard for them to argue until they were already in custody that ICE/BP was off limits.

          I half expect them to show up here at my desk some time to harass me.

          (PJ is right. Your link is broken. Get a different one and to an original source, not one on a host like imgur. I’m breaking your link because imgur tracks users and our community doesn’t need that for a broken link.)

          • Raven Eye says:

            My apologies for including a link that could potentially disrupt this site, or cause annoyance to users.

            My comments regarding the “100-Mile Zone” were in response to the statement “the 100-mile perimeter DHS patrols includes the entire state of Michigan, for example, and in it more indigenous land”.

            It doesn’t take a William Bligh or a Prince Henry to find the international boundary, swing some arcs on a map/chart, and conclude that areas of Michigan (UP & LP) are more than 100 (or 115) miles distant from that border.

            Why the ACLU insists on referring to a map that indicates otherwise is a mystery to me.  I hope that isn’t the foundation of their assertion that the entirety of Michigan is in the 100-Mile Zone, and that it isn’t the basis for their FOIA request and court activities vis-à-vis DHS/CBP.  However, it is even more concerning that DHS is unable/unwilling to answer questions regarding 100-Mile Zone in Michigan

            With regard to Native Lands; it would probably have been too much to ask for the White House to consult career officials at BIA, or to have talked with Native American landholders in the Border Zone prior to proclaiming the emergency.


            • Rayne says:

              It only takes a few minutes to look at the demographics of Dearborn, MI to realize why DHS can’t be bothered with specificity. Recall also, the existence of militia groups like the Michigan Militia and the Hutaree.

              It also makes perfect sense why the ACLU would use a map encompassing the entire state of Michigan because until the DHS is definitive about the limits of its perimeter, the state *is* entirely in that zone.

              As for consulting Native Americans: really? This racist administration which had no compunction about abandoning Puerto Rico would go out of its way to talk with other non-white Americans?

    • Cathy says:

      Lol. Did you help Will prep for his interview?

      “In the great state of Texas, we care about a little thing called private property, and there’s going to be over 1,000 ranchers and farmers potentially impacted if the government comes in and takes their land,” Hurd said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.


      Echoing remarks from several of his congressional colleagues, Hurd said the White House’s move sets a “dangerous precedent.” He added he would be willing to support bipartisan legislation to review — and possibly limit — the president’s emergency powers and prevent him from diverting funds earmarked for the military. [embedded link broken]

      The CBS article hits the highlights but includes a link to the interview transcript.  And yes, Will Hurd is a Republican (TX-23). And he speaks Urdu, but that’s neither here nor there.

  21. dude says:

    Does anyone recall that article by an anonymous author who claimed there were ‘adults’ in the White House dedicated to keeping Trump from hurting the country? Do you suppose they are still around? Do you think they have been effective?

  22. JD12 says:

    Anytime DJT experiences positive reinforcement he assumes it means he’s on the right track and pushes the gas pedal to the floorboard. This time he got decent ratings for the SOTU so he puffs his chest out and sprays verbal diarrhea all over the Rose Garden. He’s lucky that it wasn’t prime time and, like Rita mentioned above, the media has to break it down into clips that don’t convey the insanity.

    I’ve been waiting for someone to update whether or not Japan’s Abe really sent him a 5-page letter nominating him for the Nobel Prize, and so far nobody has. I know there were more important topics, but I’m very skeptical because Japan really isn’t happy. They don’t trust DPRK at all and they know Trump is getting played.

    I think Trump is conflating it with President Moon’s comment last year about the Nobel Prize, which only came after Trump asked him in a private phone call to publicly give him more credit. There was debate over whether Moon said Trump “deserves” the Nobel Prize or whether he said Trump “can have it” as long as they get peace.

    I wish we knew for sure one way or the other, but right now Abe’s silence says a lot. We all know Trump’s a liar, but if he hallucinated that letter that’s quite a problem.

  23. Kansas Watcher says:

    Read an interesting article on Salon.

    sum it up if impeachment happens he will pardon every one

    mid lame duck and defeated he will pardon everyone

    the 25th amendment and then being under indicted leads to pence who I truthfully feel had very limited information of the shi show he was getting into but now is in it butt deep.

    But his political career is flat out done.

    and every body in trump circles are going to jail.

    and they are all probably thinking about how a big terrorist attack at the fbi would really solves some issues

    until mueller back up copy of major  reports are found I’m sure he has about 10 different back ups all stashed with people and places.

    so buckle up America we haven’t even seen or heard a tenth of the story and already trump biggest backers are turning on themselves and looking for any way out. And we are not talking rats leaving a sinking ship we are talking about a bag of cats thrown into a dumpster fire.  Every one will be burnt some will die and some will wish for death.  And a few very lucky and smart people will walk out of this.

    • elk_l says:

      This is the way the world ends.

      Not with a bang,

      Not with a whimper,

      But with a banal Trump hollow man Tweet (or speech).

  24. Marinela says:

    Believe this national emergency declaration is a way for Trump to control the news about Mueller team recent activities. And possible to distract attention from the level of interference between Bill Barr and Mueller team. Mueller I understand is now reporting to Bill B. now.
    Aside from appeasing his 30% base and Fox cabinet, there seems to be a reason he telegraphed he is about to declare a national emergency way before he did it. As if he wants all the legal challenges to start immediately. I think this “national emergency” for the border wall is a trial balloon for his next move.
    One way out of playing catch with this circus show is to cancel the show.

    Otherwise we just waist so much time, money, resources just to resist everything he does.

  25. Rusharuse says:

    You don’t need a security clearance to run for/be elected/or to be President of the United States.

    The constitution startin to smell a bit musty!

    Heil Trumpler!

    • Arj says:

      That power grab is not getting anywhere near enough coverage.  ‘Pubs will overlook anything else Trump does while they can keep shovelling right-wing judges into lifetime appointments, with dire consequences for decades to come.

  26. Michael says:

    Oh yes, Rayne, keep a spotlight on the Don’s eyewaterlingly expensive playgrounds and dormitories, how he built them and runs them. I find his business modus – including his abuse of The Trump Foundation – much more interesting than his fumblings in politics.

    • Rayne says:

      Hey. I get it. You and e.a.f. are both feeling down at the mouth about the state of the union in this country.

      Go find something constructive to do instead of trolling here and trying to depress people out of taking action as they still can and should.

  27. Jenny says:

    Good morning, comrades.  In this time of National Emergency, I am stocked with water, toilet paper, wine and chocolate.  Previously made some borscht, stroganoff and shchi (cabbage soup).  All three go well with rye bread and vodka.

    Just in case, I am making a pot of chili and baking some chocolate chip cookies plus date coconut cookies this afternoon.  Now if the electricity goes out, I have lots of batteries for flashlights.  If those goes out, lots of candles.  I am prepared and ready to share with my neighbors.  Have a grand day.

  28. Badger Robert says:

    Do some politics. 1. California and far west. 2. Texas, the plains and the mountain states: the west, 3. The one time northern states, and 4. The one time Confederate states.
    Despite what the White House leaks, the actions are evidence that the action will be in Texas, and in Virginia. That is where the attacks are focused.
    The White House wants to set up Warren and Biden as targets they think they can hit.
    However if California and Texas make a bargain then the White House has to win almost everything else. It depends a great deal on how Texas leans on having the wall shoved down its throat.

    • Cathy says:

      Texans:  Float like a butterfly…

      The National Butterfly Center in the Rio Grande Valley has been fighting the Trump administration for the past year over the planned barrier running through its property. The center filed a restraining order this week to keep federal agents and contractors off the property.

      The deal signed by the president does include protections for the butterfly center and other wildlife areas in southern Texas. However, the center’s executive director, Marianna Treviño-Wright, fears it is “not out of the woods” yet.

      Per The Dallas Morning News, the center gained some breathing space from Congress.

  29. Badger Robert says:

    In a parliamentary system, Harris would be PM and not Senator right now. Klochubar and O’Rourke have that image of  impeachment of T’s playboy lifestyle just standing up to him. No one handles the true populist message like Senator Sanders.

  30. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    In DC with the fam and my sister’s. She’s a refugee from the Vietnam War. She brought “Fuck Trump” shirts for everyone and a bunch of people protesting violence in Sudan wanted pics with us in front of the White House. That’s America.

    And Urgent is my favorite Foreigner song. That sax. Thanks for placing it in my head all day.  Off to the Air and Space Museum.

    • bmaz says:

      The Air & Space Museum is absolutely magnificent. I go every time I am in DC. Sadly, that is not so often anymore since my inlaws decamped their forever home in Potomoc for a beach in Florida. Thankfully, the museums are open again.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d love to go to DC for the museums, and I’ve heard that the doors on the Library of Congress are worth seeing. (I was given the A&S Museum book, when it first came out, and donated a reel of color film that my father had with the Flying Wing leaving Northrop for flight testing in the desert, back in 1940-something. There was a crowd on 120th St, watching it leave.)

        • viget says:

          Strongly recommend making the trek out to Dulles to see the Udvar-Hazy branch of the museum.  It’s amazing to see so many historic aircraft on display.  So much history, and they offer free guided tours every hour. Good way to get your steps in too.

      • posaune says:

        If you are near Dayton OH, check out the Wright Patterson Air Museum. They have the original Memphis Belle B-17, which was restored last year and installed in Dayton, with many accompanying artifacts, records and documents.  We were invited to the opening as my dad was a navigator with 91st Bomber Group (H) in 1943, and knew Morgan while at Bassingbourne.  The 91st Group had a reunion for the event with 6 surviving veterans (in their 90’s now–minds as sharp as a tack).    A big surprise to me was the museum’s display of the stained glass window from the original Wheelis AFB chapel in Tripoli — where my parents were married in 1950.

  31. P J Evans says:

    If wishes were horses, we’d all have stables. Here in the real world, Sanders is a cheap narcissist date, and we work with the governmental system we have.

  32. OldTulsaDude says:

    We are all victims of the Vietnam era.  I can’t tell you how many times back then  I retched hearing, peace is at hand, and, your president is not a crook. Now, am I experiencing Individual-1 induced deja vu?   Bob, is that you?

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’

    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      He’s due for another album, it’s been 2 years. Until then:

      Sometimes I wonder what it’s gonna take
      To find dignity

  33. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    “We are all victims of the Vietnam era.”

    Yes indeed we are but there is a difference: now when our kids hit the streets and lobby congress they are not bein’ chased by cops and National Guard troops called out by their parents (the “Greatest Generation” don’tcha know?). It cost us 55,000+ dead citizens but the kids in the streets back then stopped it or we would still have troops there.  As a  ‘nam vet, I am here to tell you that, as Thomas Paine said, “we have it in our power to make the world over again…” but us Boomers must be out in front of the kids not just in the street but in front of  and behind the new congresspeople and activists and organizers who can make Paine’s statement true. The civil war that has been goin’ on since slavery was legitimized and institutionalized in the Constitution is now coming to a conclusion as we watch an entire cadre of fascists who came of age under Nixon and Vietnam (Stone, Manafort, Cheney, Rumsfeld, George H W and the list goes on) being exposed and a few like Stone and Manafort going to jail. This is the moment either the good guys win and the planet survives or we don’t and it won’r matter.

    • P J Evans says:

      They get to deal with cops, still, arresting people at demonstrations and inventing charges against them.

  34. Marinela says:

    From a slate article:

    “But there was a much more straightforward way for House Democrats to fully block the president from building his wall, and they passed up that opportunity Thursday night.

    If the House had added a single sentence to the government spending bill—saying, in effect, that “no additional funds authorized or appropriated under any other law may be redirected to the building of a border wall”—then the legal landscape would now look quite different. It is entirely within Congress’ power to take away any funds that the president might access under the Military Construction Codification Act, or any other statute, for his border barrier. To be sure, the Senate might not have passed such a bill, and even if it did, Trump might have vetoed it. But at least the House Democrats had leverage—their votes were needed to avert a government shutdown. Now, they have effectively relinquished that leverage until the current spending legislation expires at the end of September.”


    What would happen if the expected upcoming house bill that voids the national emergency passes with super majority, and in parallel, the Supreme Court rules in Trump favor?

    It is probably unlikely it will pass 2/3 in the Senate to be veto override proof, but this is why Rayne wrote this post.

    Thank you Rayne.

  35. Areader2019 says:

    I’m agnostic about whether Mueller is “finishing up” or even what that means: there’s evidence to support both that he is and that he isn’t.
    When I face ambiguity like this, I go to the only news source I truly trust….The Onion

    WASHINGTON—Confirming that the special counsel’s probe into potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election had made significant progress, sources in the Justice Department revealed to reporters Tuesday that Robert Mueller’s investigation was nearly done with the first day of the Trump campaign. “After two years of thoroughly pursuing all leads and documenting any evidence that suggests a connection between the Trump team and Russia, the Mueller investigation is almost ready to reveal the crimes and misdeeds that occurred within the first 24 hours of his campaign,”

    • BobCon says:

      For whatever reason, The Onion hasn’t gotten traction with Trump himself, but the stuff they do with Mueller has been great — “Mueller Annoyed By Chipper, Overeager Adam Schiff Constantly Sending Him Evidence He’s Already Uncovered” “Mueller Immediately Regrets Coercing Michael Cohen To Flip On Trump After Having To Spend Time With Him” “Rain-Soaked Robert Mueller Lets Manafort Surf One Final Monster Wave Before Bringing Him In”

      The stuff mocking Eric and Don Jr. as dimwitted versions of the Hardy Boys is pretty funny too.

  36. e.a.f. says:

    Rayne, 8:53 a.m.,. perhaps not all of the country but the last time I checked the treaty with Iran was not working because Trump walked away with it and any country who does business with them is out of business with the U.S.A. Oh, right Canada has a Ms. Meng here because the American Government wants her extradited to the U.S.A. for what is essential one of her companies doing business with Iran. there were press reports that American representatives had told some European countries to finish off business with Iran, etc.
    If the U.S.A prevents their citizens and the citizens of other countries doing business with the Iran. because Trump says the treaty is off, well he has withdrawn the U.S.A. from the treaty, the U.S.A. walked away from the treaty. You can’t count on the U.S.A. any more. Some may argue its Trump but the last I checked the other two houses of Congress hadn’t done anything to change that.

    Now it may not be a treaty, but to suddenly impose tariffs on Canadian steel because of a security risk, how the two countries did business in this area might not have been in any treaty, but saying Canadian steel was a security risk, right. He walked away from Canada as far as I’m concerned. Next time the U.S.A. has one of those 911 events, as far as I’m concerned the American jets don’t have to land here. We’re a security risk. Trump can send them to Russia or the Philippines or Saudi Arabia. Canada and the U.S.A. have fought over soft lumber for years. Its business. The matter of steel, no that is not o.k.

    I can remember a time when Americans used to say, my country right or wrong. Haven’t heard it in decades, but now, yes, its back because there is nothing we have heard from all the other politicians in office in the U.S.A. to really talk back about any of it. Trump has said negative things regarding NATO and questioning the need for it. Don’t think he wouldn’t walk away from that either if he could. Perhaps we ought to purchase Montana after all, I do believe they have nukes sitting there. if we could get the nukes, it might be a decent deal after all.
    You can’t depend upon the U.S.A. any longer. they have an idiot for President, like a loose canon on a ship and the political body seems quite fine with it. I understand the Democrats aren’t that fine with things, however, the Cabinet is as is majority of the Senate.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank goodness for the 2 and 4 year federal election cycles. They do allow us to claw our way out of the holes we dig for ourselves…even if the intervals may seem oddly out of synch with current expectations (a.k.a., attention span).

      Just as @Tom noted in an earlier thread concerning the difference in context between today and the time in which the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution was written, it’s a constant struggle to evolve to meet the current needs of society.

      Props to @Rayne for providing this opportunity to hash out ideas and reinforce the resolve to actively participate in our government of (for, & by) ourselves…

    • Rayne says:

      First, the president cannot unilaterally implement/change tariffs. This is what happens when tariffs are changed — a bill is presented in both houses of Congress and must pass them before being signed by the president even if he asked Congress to implement/change tariffs.

      Second, the U.S. itself can be trusted on a limited basis; in spite of the GOP’s generalized support for Trump’s policies, they have a few narrow spots where they can be relied upon to act in concert. The challenge is knowing what those issues are. U.S. allies cannot trust Trump or his appointees and they express their displeasure as shown this past week when Pence gave a speech before the Munich Security Conference. Agree entirely the EU in particular knows they can’t trust Team Trump when it comes to EU sovereignty and NATO’s mission. But on some issues allies will consult when they get a handle on how to work Trump’s narcissism and get around Putin’s and petro-states’ influence.

      • Cathy says:

        I take comfort from the fact that

        the president cannot unilaterally implement/change tariffs…[and] in spite of the GOP’s generalized support for Trump’s policies, they have a few narrow spots where they can be relied upon to act in concert.

        Nonetheless he can create something that has a real-world effect:  uncertainty.  The uncertainty that he sows is more corrosive than his overtly horrible talking points.

        • Rayne says:

          I have wished since before Trump was sworn in that some entity was measuring the volatility he injects into markets while monitoring who invests on that volatility. He intends chaos but somebody profits off it.

          • Cathy says:

            Dang it! I can’t keep up – I’m going to hang out back here til my head stops spinning ;-)

            That’s the unfortunate brilliance of trading in a neolib space. It doesn’t take a classic conspiracy to ensure profit from volatility, just a good feel for market behavior, something that used to demand rich experience but appears can now rely on Big Data.

            Still. Trump has come across as something to be wielded rather than someone in command, wielded by folks who don’t mind using an extremely blunt object (even at a distance)…wouldn’t it be something if we could reverse engineer the hand that threw the rock, from the very noisy splash it made?

            Adding: Maybe it’s not so much who engineered it, but who continues to tolerate the chaos?

  37. cue says:

    Two relatively obscure backgrounder items on Jeffrey Rosen (nominated as Rod Rosenstein’s replacement as Deputy Attorney General):

    First Item: Rosen commenting on Scooter Libby, Martha Stewart and prosecutorial perjury traps?

    “Although Stewart, now a business columnist for The New York Times, claims that lying has been on the rise, a more plausible thesis is that prosecutions for false statements have been rising — not because of growing contempt for the truth but because defendants are increasingly prosecuted for doing nothing more than denying their guilt to investigators. (These are the kinds of lies that courts used to excuse under a doctrine called the exculpatory no.) It wasn’t until the post-Watergate era that prosecutors began routinely to indict people not merely for lying under oath but for lying to federal officials even when not under oath — using a novel law that is the basis for several of the prosecutions Stewart celebrates.

    The book is constructed around four ripped-from-the-headlines case studies, involving “recent cases of perjury by people at the pinnacle of their fields”: Martha Stewart, Lewis Libby, Barry Bonds and Bernard Madoff. But the Stewart and Libby prosecutions are hardly typical examples of good prosecutors triumphing over wicked, lying defendants, as the author suggests. Instead, both were widely criticized as perjury traps — that is, cases in which prosecutors can’t prove any underlying crime and instead charge defendants with lying to investigators. Martha Stewart was never indicted for the crime for which she was originally investigated — insider trading — because prosecutors couldn’t be confident that her decision to sell shares in a drug company after her broker told her the chief executive was selling his shares met the legal definition of insider trading as it’s commonly understood in criminal law. (Stewart knew the executive was selling, but not why.)”

    Second item. If the full video of the oversight hearing referenced and excerpted in the following link can be located it should be viewed and made accessible stat imo. No appropriate words come to mind other than the fact that the stench of Rosen’s performance remains fresh in my mind after all these years.

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