AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 208218 times)

Offline RE

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🤡 California, N.Y. and other states sue Trump over national emergency to fund b
« Reply #1770 on: February 19, 2019, 02:11:42 AM »
How Rude!



RE

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/california-ag-least-13-states-suing-over-trump-s-national-n972796

California, N.Y. and other states sue Trump over national emergency to fund border wall
"Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

Image: Gavin Newsom, Xavier Becerra
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, with Gov. Gavin Newsom, has sued the president dozens of times. Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Feb. 18, 2019, 10:01 AM AKST / Updated Feb. 18, 2019, 5:30 PM AKST
By Jane C. Timm

California, New York and 14 other states filed a lawsuit Monday challenging Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.

"Today, on Presidents Day, we take President Trump to court to block his misuse of presidential power," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. President Trump "is willing to manipulate the Office of the Presidency to engage in unconstitutional theatre performed to convince his audience that he is committed to his ‘beautiful’ border wall. We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states."

Joining California in the suit are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.

Becerra's statement slammed the president's justification for a national emergency as a "hyped crisis."

"Unlawful southern border entries are at their lowest point in 20 years, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to commit crimes, and illegal drugs are more likely to come through official ports of entry," the attorney general's statement said.
California AG: President doesn't have authority to violate Constitution
Feb. 18, 201906:02

"The only national emergency is the president's trafficking in lies and deceit," Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement earlier Monday.

Trump said on Friday that he would bypass Congress by declaring a national emergency to build a border wall along the nation’s southern border, after a protracted battle in which Congress has repeatedly declined to give the president billions to build border barriers.
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Japan nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize after White House asked, newspaper reports
Opinion
Trump's emergency declaration may have laid the groundwork for his impeachment

A national emergency declaration gives the president special powers to take taxpayer dollars from other budgets to pay for border wall construction, but legal challenges to such an effort are inevitable. Before the emergency was declared, Becerra vowed "to reject this foolish proposal in court the moment it touches the ground."
Protests erupt over Trump's national emergency declaration
Feb. 18, 201901:39

Trump signaled in remarks last week that he anticipated lawsuits.

"We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued. And they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit, even though it shouldn't be there, the president said, referring to the nation's largest circuit court, whose area encompasses California. "And we'll possibly get a bad ruling and then we'll get another bad ruling and then we'll end up the Supreme Court, and then hopefully we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban."

NBC asked White House aides for a response to the lawsuit, but they have not yet provided a comment.
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Offline RE

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🤡 Trump Threatens To Cancel California's $929 Million High Speed Rail Grant
« Reply #1771 on: February 20, 2019, 02:37:16 AM »
That rail line was a total waste of money anyhow.  Good luck to Trumpty-Dumpty clawing back the money already wasted on it.  Total pettiness.

RE

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/19/696146089/trump-threatens-to-cancel-california-s-929-million-high-speed-rail-grant

Trump Threatens To Cancel California's $929 Million High Speed Rail Grant

February 19, 201910:16 PM ET
Richard Gonzales


A full-scale mockup of a high-speed train on display at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., in 2015. The Trump administration is planning to cancel a $929 million federal grant for the project.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Trump administration says it intends to cancel a $929 million federal grant for California's high-speed rail project. The administration also wants to reclaim another $2.5 billion in federal funds already spent by California on the project.

The Department of Transportation is accusing California officials of missing several deadlines tied to the $929 million appropriation for the state's high speed rail line.

In a letter from the Federal Railroad Administration to the state High-Speed Rail Authority, the federal officials say it will terminate the grant effective March 5.

The FRA letter adds that the agency is concerned that California is changing its original plan to "connect San Francisco in the north and Los Angeles and Anaheim in the south."

In his state of the state address last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, proposed to scale back the project, and focus on completing a link in the Central Valley between Bakersfield and Merced.
National
California To Slow Down Plans For High-Speed Rail System

A day later, President Trump tweeted that California's high-speed rail project was a " 'green' disaster" and demanded that the state return billions of federal dollars.

"California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now," Trump said.

Newsom responded with his own tweet, saying, "Fake news. We're building high-speed rail, connecting the Central Valley and beyond. This is CA's money, allocated by Congress for this project. We're not giving it back. The train is leaving the station — better get on board! (Also, desperately searching for some wall $$??)"

In a statement Tuesday, Newsom said the Trump administration's threat "is clear political retribution" tied to California's involvement in a lawsuit challenging the president's emergency declaration to build a border wall.
16 States Sue Over Trump's National Emergency Declaration
National
16 States Sue Over Trump's National Emergency Declaration

Trump himself connected the two issues in a tweet Tuesday, "As I predicted, 16 states, led mostly by Open Border Democrats and the Radical Left, have filed a lawsuit in, of course, the 9th Circuit! California, the state that has wasted billions of dollars on their out of control Fast Train, with no hope of completion, seems in charge!"

The cost of the original plan to build a high-speed link between San Francisco and Los Angeles is currently estimated at $77 billion, about twice the initial price tag.

As the Associated Press reports, the $929 million that Trump is threatening to cancel was approved by Congress nearly a decade ago. It is not clear how the administration can force California to return the $2.5 billion it has already spent, although the FRA lettter says the agency "is exploring all available legal options."
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🤡 Pelosi backs resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration
« Reply #1772 on: February 20, 2019, 11:46:05 PM »
Who cooda node?  ::)

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/LGxHfe_OPXw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/LGxHfe_OPXw</a>

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/national-emergency-act-democrats-to-introduce-resolution-to-block-trumps-emergency-declaration-friday/

Pelosi backs resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez

Updated on: February 20, 2019 / 8:49 PM / CBS News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats to back a resolution sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) to terminate President Trump's emergency declaration. Mr. Trump issued his national emergency proclamation last week to access billions of dollars to fund his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The declaration, Pelosi wrote in a letter to her House colleagues, "undermines the separation of powers and Congress's power of the purse. This power, she wrote, is reserved by the Constitution to the legislative branch, "a branch co-equal to the Executive."

The terminating resolution will be introduced Friday. Pelosi in the letter vowed to "move swiftly to pass this bill." She said it would go through committee within 15 days and considered on the House floor within three days of that.

"The President's decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated," Pelosi wrote, adding that members have a responsibility to defend the nation's system of checks and balances "against the President's assault."

Since the president decided to circumvent Congress and act unilaterally to secure more border security funding than the amount approved by lawmakers, congressional Democrats have been signing onto Castro's bill to block Mr. Trump's declaration. On Monday, Castro said his joint resolution had garnered 78 co-sponsors.

"Since the beginning of his term, President Trump has used national security as a pretext to fulfill ineffective campaign promises and inject fear into the American public," Castro said in a statement to CBS News. "This unfounded declaration would take money away from actual, identified national security needs." 

The resolution is likely to pass in the Democratic-controlled House, but Democrats face an uphill battle in mustering the necessary votes — let alone a veto-proof majority — to secure its passage in the Senate. Still, the proposal could become a thorny issue for some of the moderate Senate Republicans who have criticized Mr. Trump for bypassing Congress and its constitutional power of the purse.

Mr. Trump's proclamation is already being challenged by a multi-state lawsuit led by California's attorney general and staunch critic of the president, Xavier Becerra.

The White House's proclamation has not only been denounced by Democrats. Some Republicans have criticized the move, including Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who accused Mr. Trump of "usurping congressional authority." Despite voicing concerns about the proclamation before Mr. Trump issued it, most rank-and-file Republicans and the House and Senate GOP leadership have expressed their support since Friday's announcement.

By declaring a national emergency, the White House says it can use $3.6 billion in military construction funds for the construction of a wall along the southwestern border. Through a separate executive order signed last week, the White House will also be able to divert $2.5 billion from counternarcotics initiatives and $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund.

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

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Offline RE

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🤡 What if the Mueller report changes nothing?
« Reply #1773 on: February 21, 2019, 12:09:30 AM »
Of course it won't change anything. Who cares?

RE

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/20/politics/robert-mueller-russia-investigation-findings/index.html

What if the Mueller report changes nothing?
Chris Cillizza

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/2W1D45pOjC4" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/2W1D45pOjC4</a>

Updated 8:28 PM ET, Wed February 20, 2019
Trump leaves Mueller probe in hands of new AG Bill Barr

Current Time 0:07
/
Duration Time 2:49

Washington (CNN)Thanks to CNN reporting, we now know that Attorney General Bill Barr is readying to receive special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election -- and the possibility of collusion with Donald Trump's campaign -- as soon as next week.
Which is BIG news! For the better part of the last 20 months, we've received drips and drabs of what Mueller knows but have never had a chance to see the whole picture (or anything close to it). There have been nearly 200 criminal counts against 39 people and entities, seven people have pleaded guilty and another four have been sentenced to jail.
But what we don't know is whether Trump himself or his son, Donald Trump Jr., or his son-in-law Jared Kushner, might be implicated of wrongdoing by Mueller. That question has hung over Washington -- and Trump's presidency -- like a dark cloud since Mueller was named special counsel in May 2017. 
The assumption has long been that Mueller's report, whenever it came out, would function as a sort of last word on all of this. It would either exonerate or implicate Trump and his closest confidantes. It would, no matter what it said, change the course of Trump's presidency.

    CNN's Chris Cillizza cuts through the political spin and tells you what you need to know. By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy.

And yet, now that we have at least the possibility of a light at the end of this tunnel, I am more and more convinced that the clarity that so many people want from the Mueller report may simply never come.
That's not because Mueller's findings won't be clear. I mean, they might not be -- but my guess is that someone with Mueller's background, including a decade at the head of the FBI, is going to deliver a final product that deals with the questions raised by the 2016 campaign and Russia's role in it comprehensively.
I think the lack of clarity will instead arise from how the report is received. Trump has spent much of the past 18 months savaging the Russia investigation publicly even while privately working hard to end or curtail it, as this amazing New York Times piece documents.
Recent polling conducted by CNN suggests that Trump's negative campaign against Mueller has had some effect: 44% approved of how Mueller had handled the investigation while 41% disapproved in the February poll. That's down from a 50% approve/28% disapprove number for Mueller back in September 2018.

In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe!
What numbers like those make me think is that no matter what is in the Mueller report -- literally, NO MATTER WHAT -- it won't change the minds of most people following the story. For people who already hate Trump, they will see the Mueller report as confirmation that the President was compromised by the Russians. For Trump's backers, they will dismiss the whole thing -- aping their idol -- as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax." They likely won't even engage with what's in Mueller's report, and Trump will egg them on to ignore it -- so much "fake news" and all that.

Which will leave us, roughly, right where we are now. Which is bitterly divided without the ability to even agree on a set of facts and truths.
The Point: The Mueller report has been cast as the panacea for what ails the country. It almost certainly won't be.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤡 What if the Mueller report changes nothing?
« Reply #1774 on: February 21, 2019, 02:15:25 AM »
Of course it won't change anything. Who cares?

RE

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/20/politics/robert-mueller-russia-investigation-findings/index.html

What if the Mueller report changes nothing?
Chris Cillizza
//
Which will leave us, roughly, right where we are now. Which is bitterly divided without the ability to even agree on a set of facts and truths.
The Point: The Mueller report has been cast as the panacea for what ails the country. It almost certainly won't be.

Chris Cilizza is a both-siderist company suck, one of those pundits whose phony baloney job depends on getting Republicans to return his phone calls. Whenever he appears on a TV screen, I immediately change the channel. I consider anything under his authorship to be automatically suspect; fruit of the poison tree. read at your own risk; publish at your own peril.

You might also note with interest that CNN is suffering a great deal of blowback for having nominated a recently separated Trump apologist as head of their political coverage for 2020. Holy Rick Santorum, Batman!
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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🤡 Schumer: Senate Dems to introduce measure to block Trump's national emergency
« Reply #1775 on: February 22, 2019, 02:20:44 AM »
How many Repugnant Senators will vote against Trumpovetsky?  What's the Over-Under?

RE


“This issue transcends partisan politics, and I urge all senators — Democrats and Republicans — to support this resolution," Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

national emergency
Schumer: Senate Dems to introduce measure to block Trump's national emergency

By MARIANNE LEVINE

02/21/2019 03:28 PM EST
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Senate Democrats will introduce a resolution to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.

The Senate Democrats' resolution of disapproval comes as House Democrats plan to introduce a similar resolution disapproving of Trump's emergency declaration on Friday.

“This issue transcends partisan politics, and I urge all senators — Democrats and Republicans — to support this resolution to terminate the president’s emergency declaration when it comes up for a vote in the Senate," Schumer said in a statement, referring to the House resolution. "Identical companion legislation to the House resolution will soon be introduced in the Senate.”

The House resolution is expected to pass easily, with Democrats in control. But it's unclear whether the resolution will pass the Senate. Several Republican senators have voiced concern about Trump's emergency declaration to build a border wall.
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Sen. Susan Collins of Maine became the first Republican Senator Wednesday to say she would support a resolution disapproving of the emergency declaration.

The Senate version of the resolution could place further pressure on Senate Republicans to decide whether to break with the president on his national emergency declaration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he backed the president's decision.

It would take four Republican Senators to join Democrats to approve the measure, though Trump would likely veto it.
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Offline RE

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🤡 Trump and the World Economy
« Reply #1776 on: February 22, 2019, 02:36:47 AM »
https://socialistproject.ca/2019/02/trump-and-the-world-economy/

Trump and the World Economy

Economy, International Relations  •  February 21, 2019  •  Martin Thomas and Leo Panitch


Leo Panitch interviewed by Martin Thomas of Solidarity.

Martin Thomas (MT): I can see four main sorts of possible outcomes to be considered from Trump’s economic jousting.

One: it may reshape some deals, like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] to the USA’s advantage or imagined advantage, but after a flurry relations in the world markets will settle down much as before.

Two: By generally shaking up trade relations, and putting pressure on some of China’s protectionist policies, economic life around the world may settle after the jousting into a more “globalized” form, more subject to world-market rules.

Three: The jousting leaves a world-market system operating in much the same way as now, but with the USA now a rogue state on the edge of it rather than the pivotal state in the system. Maybe the system is organized around a new pivot, maybe China.

Four: The jousting begins a serious unravelling of the world-market order, a contraction of supply chains, a re-raising of trade barriers, a push to economic nationalism. The shift is moderate and limited for now, but escalates in the next big economic crisis.

Some articles in the new Socialist Register argue cogently that the third option is not a real possibility. What do you think about the others? And does this list map out accurately the possibilities we should consider?

Leo Panitch (LP): The list is about right. The main question, though, is: will the effects of Trump’s regime, not just his antics at an international level but his presidency itself, be to render the key American state institutions that have been responsible for firefighting financial crises incapable of being effective firefighters.

MT: Yes. As you argue in your book with Sam Gindin, The Making of Global Capitalism, the current world market order has not just evolved automatically: it has been made and managed by the U.S. state…

LP: The U.S. is already acting as a rogue state under Trump. But the system is so dependent on the role of the U.S. state within it, and the American economy, and the American dollar, so that it is difficult to see how the system can dispense with the centrality of the United States.

If Trump’s effects are longstanding, we may face a very dysfunctional system, but one that is not open to reorganization.

In that framework, and with the rise of right-wing xenophobic nationalisms, with some added militarist dimensions, I fear that this could lead to conditions of extreme nationalisms facing off against each other.

The limiting aspect is the degree of integration of the world bourgeoisies with one another. The kind of shift that the Ruhr industrialists [in Germany] undertook between 1928 and 1932 to back the Nazis is hard to see as on the cards given the degree of capitalist integration. That’s where the cloudy crystal ball leaves us.

MT: The centrality of the U.S. in managing the world economic order has not diminished, despite the 2008 crash and despite the fiasco of U.S. policy in Iraq. China’s holdings of Treasury paper are bigger than they were, not smaller. The dollar’s role in world trade has increased, not diminished.

LP: Yes, 88 per cent of transactions are now conducted through the dollar.

MT: At the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a common theory about it was that the USA was doing it in order to head off the euro taking over from the dollar at the centre of world trade.

LP: There were, possibly, policy-makers in the United States who thought that way. There were certainly loads of left-wing commentators who explained it that way. Neither group had much purchase on reality. As we see with Trump, sometimes U.S. policies are undertaken for reasons which are delusional. But most of the arguments inside the Bush administration were, I think, opportunist, of a militarist kind, or about re-establishing the supremacy of the executive vis-à-vis Congress.

Why the argument about the euro becoming the vehicle currency for Iraqi oil sales leading to its replacing the dollar as the world currency was other-worldly… even if you sold oil in euros, those could be exchanged in milliseconds for dollars. Insofar as big capitalists, institutional funds, corporations and so on find the dollar more useful, it is for a multitude of specific reasons to each of them. The dollar doesn’t hang there in mid-air. Its role is embedded in a set of institutions and practices and skills and knowledge which capitalists pay one another for.

The centrality of the City of London in changing the world’s currencies into dollars through derivatives markets and so on is deeply embedded in the institutions of the City of London, including the American banks operating there and the capitalist skills and knowledge built over centuries of British merchant banking. There is no other set of institutions now capable of replacing them. And that’s why, although there will be some marginal movements of jobs from the City of London, even the Bank of England’s most recent warnings about the effects of Brexit do not talk about the City of London being displaced from the role it plays in the dollar markets of the world.

In this very dysfunctional world, affected by Trump’s ascension to the presidency, it is remarkable that the dollar continues to have its centrality. That’s partly because the American economy has done relatively well, compared to others, in the decade since the fourth great crisis of capitalism, but it is also to do with the centrality of the institutions which sustain the dollar in the quotidian workings of global capitalism. But in the end it is because of capitalists’ confidence in the American state as the ultimate guarantor of property and value and wealth and capital, that the dollar remains so central.

MT: In your Socialist Register article with Sam Gindin (“Trumping the Empire”), you refer to the possibility of the central banks becoming the saviour of the existing order.

LP: This is a great irony. The motivation that drove making central banks independent from elected governments, especially in the era of globalization over the last 30 or 40 years, with the IMF virtually dictating to states that central banks must be made independent, was precisely to remove them from democratic pressures.

Above all, the motivation was the fear that working people, as voters, would opt for monetary policies that would provide room for wage increases – that would open the inflationary space that governments have been guarding against since they defeated trade unions in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Now these right-wing patriotic scoundrels who are being elected find that they can’t force the central banks to do their bidding so easily – above all Trump, and in relation to the Federal Reserve.

That really matters. There is plenty of evidence that the Treasury is being severely hampered by the Trump administration in the role it can play as a firefighter and as a functional actor in the global system.

You see that in the G20 meeting in Argentina [30 November and 1 December]. The G20 is essentially a creation of the United States Treasury, which always wrote the communiqués that were then signed by the finance ministers or by the heads of state. Now its is the senior officials of the other finance ministries who have to scramble to produce consensual texts, and the G20 can’t get the U.S. to sign on to them.

Just recently the Financial Times commented on the appointment of Randal Quarles to head the world Financial Stability Board. Quarles has been a long-time senior figure in the Federal Reserve, a smart functionary of the reproduction of capitalist social relations at a global level. The FSB, created in the wake of the 2008 crisis, was headed by Mark Carney [governor of the Bank of England] before him, and before that by Mario Draghi [chief of the European Central Bank]. The appointment of Quarles indicates that the Fed is putting a lot of resources into infrastructure which will keep the links between the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve of a kind that will allow them to do the super-intendence over the transfers of dollars between the central banks and the general sort of coordination and firefighting that was done after 2008. That would indicate that the system is not quite as dysfunctional as it appears to be.

MT: You’ve discussed the possibility that the end-effect of Trump’s jousting will be to open up the Chinese economy more to world markets.

LP: Ever since Trump was elected, you’ve seen the Chinese, especially Xi, plugging the theme that the United States needs to live up to its global responsibilities.

China is the capitalist late-developer which has relied most in the whole history of capitalist development on foreign direct investment. In our essay in the new Socialist Register, Gindin and I quote Xi saying this earlier this year to a group of visiting foreign capitalists that they are going to remove some of their restrictions on foreign capital becoming majority owners of Chinese firms and on foreign financial institutions operating in China.

Removing those restrictions on foreign financial institutions has long been a main goal of Wall Street and previous American administrations – to allow a larger role in China for Goldman Sachs and the rest of them. The Chinese have also signalled that they will not be protecting as much their rights to technology transfer when firms invest in China. So Xi is prepared to move quite a distance. There are internal pressures from many Chinese capitalists themselves, who want a loosening of China’s capital controls.

The Chinese are very much the takers of this trade war. They are responding, to be sure, in ways which are designed to inflict some harm on, for example, American farmers producing soy which is exported to China, and are having some effects on U.S. construction companies who rely on Chinese wood products. But the Chinese are not leading this trade war. They are trying to find ways to mollify Trump. All this suggests to me that it is possible that Trump will get his way.

At the same time, the Chinese Communist-capitalists are also nationalists. All of the great Third World Communist-revolutionary movements were in very good part nationalist movements.

How far they can be pushed is a significant question. If you read the essays by Lin Chun and Sean Starrs in Socialist Register 2019, the heavy dose of nationalism that defines the ideology of this Chinese leadership, and especially Xi, may mean that they can’t be pushed too far.

On 1 December, Canadian authorities, at the demand of the U.S. seeking her extradition, arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the founder, someone who has been described as a member of Chinese corporate royalty, on the grounds that her firm has allegedly been involved in breaching American sanctions against Iran. This has produced a furore in China. These things can get out of hand.

It would be misleading, when we look at the structural conditions that put limits on the whole system falling apart, to think that these contingent things can’t have effect. We need to watch this closely. It is not only people of our political orientation who are watching Washington with bated breath.

American capitalists, and the world’s capitalists, are watching with bated breath.

MT: It’s said that the economic jousting between the USA and China isn’t fundamentally about tariffs and trade; it’s about technology transfer and the U.S. wanting to maintain its technological lead.

LP: That’s an important dimension. A lot is done in the U.S., for example on microchips, to limit the Chinese to being assemblers. The Chinese have a very explicit goal of becoming, by the 2030s, fully adept in the technologies themselves. It is clearly a concern of the Americans.

The technology transfer issue has long-term economic dimensions to it, but it also has military-strategic-intelligence dimensions. It does reflect – some of the kinds of behaviour and motivations that defined the old inter-imperial rivalries. Some of it has to do with the capacities of rival military and security apparatuses. The fact that China and Russia are not in NATO and are not in the global intelligence and security establishment that operates under the rubric of the United States. The so-called “five eyes,” Anglo-American countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), are at the core of that establishment. The key historical determinant even of Clinton’s and Blair’s view of the world was that Russia and China were not subjected to postwar state reconstruction by American military occupation as Japan and Western Europe were.

MT: The new Socialist Register has material expressing a sceptical view on the prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative [Chinese-sponsored infrastructure development and investment in a range of countries, launched since 2013, to develop a new China-centred trade network].

LP: Yes, I think, we have to take the evidence on this in the outstanding essays by Sean Starrs and Lin Chun very seriously. They show very clearly not only the economic contradictions which have emerged with the Belt and Road Initiative, but also the extent to which China is seen by many other states in southeast Asia in the light of a an imperial power posing the main threat to their national sovereignty.

This is what most people overlook when they see China as forming Asia as a whole into a regional counter-power to the USA, and especially in south-east Asia, China is seen by other nationalist forces as their main enemy. That dimension is largely overlooked when people speak of a multipolar world in which China dominates Asia. As well as the economic limits of the Belt and Road Initiative, there is a very important historical, cultural-nationalist-imperial dimension.

MT: World capitalism is much more integrated in the late 20s and early 30s, and you mentioned that when saying that it is hard to think of the bourgeoisie in any country swinging behind ultra-nationalist forces as heavy industry in Germany swung behind the Nazis.

But there’s another variant historically. In the period up to World War One, people like Bernstein would argue that the degree of integration of capital across borders was such as to make war less and less likely. Writers like Trotsky responded that it was an integration which tended to set up large rival alliances.

The world order became one, not just of molecular struggles between states, but of jousting between large rival alliances. That created the conditions for World War One.

There was a lot of talk in the early 90s about world capitalism developing into three great regional blocs, one dominated by the U.S., one dominated by the EU, and one dominated by Japan. It was mistaken.

What you’ve said about China is an argument against reviving that regional-bloc thesis today. Does that mean the thesis is pretty much ruled out?

LP: Who knows? Karl Kautsky (1854 – 1938) around World War One saw a ruling-class condominium developing among the big capitalist states, along the lines of the Paris discussions which led to the Treaty of Versailles. It didn’t turn out to be all that stable, did it? The flaw in Kautsky’s understanding was that he saw it as a matter of coordination among ruling classes who were accumulating still within the boundaries of their own states or territorial empires. But especially in the second half of the 20th century there was an interpenetration of capital around the world – the material, structural underpinning to the trade and investment agreements made by governments.

It became a different world than that of World War One.

The question we began discussing today was whether the political effects of the current Trump administration will be so dysfunctional as to get in the way of the reproduction of the integration. This is so important to analyse precisely because the economic integration has also produced contradictions, which are increasingly severe in the 21st century. These contradictions partly have to do with the crisis-prone nature of the very volatile global financial system which is essential to tying together global production. They also have to do with the domestic consequences, in class terms, of the ever-greater inequalities of power, income, and wealth which this integrated capitalism produces as states compete to get capital landing inside of them.

Insofar as the world we are living in is increasingly prone to severe contradictions, extending beyond the two I have mentioned to all kinds of morbid symptoms ranging from the climate crisis to the migration crisis and the xenophobia that attends it, we need to see those symptoms as opening up possibilities in terms of revolutionary transformations within particular states which would then have international implications.

But, at the same time, given the weaknesses of the left and of the working classes, those transformations are not going to be triggered by the type of events we’ve seen in Paris [with the “gilets jaunes”], that is, another round of inflammatory protest movements. Since the 1930s, some Trotskyist analysis has been premised on the notion that capitalism is over-ripe for revolution… and thus its fall can be triggered by unexpected conflagrations of any type, which will then have international effects like a falling row of dominoes. I am not of the view that capitalism is, in its material base, “over-ripe for revolution.”

MT: I agree. I know that idea has become a common theme in would-be Trotskyist literature, but I think it comes more from Third Period Stalinism.

LP: So it does. •

This article first published on the Workers’ Liberty website.

Leo Panitch is emeritus professor of political science at York University, co-editor (with Greg Albo) of the Socialist Register and author (with Sam Gindin) of The Making of Global Capitalism (Verso).

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🤡 Graham: 'Handful' of GOP senators will vote to block Trump's emergency declar
« Reply #1777 on: February 23, 2019, 12:12:32 AM »
How many is in a handfull?

RE

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/431154-graham-handful-of-gop-senators-will-vote-to-block-trumps-emergency

Graham: 'Handful' of GOP senators will vote to block Trump's emergency declaration
By Jordain Carney - 02/22/19 12:13 PM EST


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted on Friday that a "handful" of Republicans will back a resolution to block President Trump's emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
"A handful. … [But] there will be enough
to sustain a veto," Graham told Fox News, asked how many Republicans would vote with Democrats in the Senate.
 
Graham didn't offer a specific number for how many of his Republican colleagues he thinks will back the resolution.
 
He said that he would "absolutely not" vote for the Democrat-led resolution, adding that he is "100 percent with the president."
 
Graham, who has emerged as a vocal ally for Trump in the Senate, also accused Democrats of "hypocrisy" on border security and argued they were opposing the president's plan because "they just hate Trump."
 
"I hope Republicans will not reward this, quite frankly," Graham added on Friday.
 
Trump announced last week that he would declare a national emergency to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall after Congress passed a bill that gave him $1.375 billion — well below the $5.7 billion that he requested.
 
The move sparked a political firestorm, with lawmakers preparing to try to derail his emergency declaration.
 
The House is expected to vote on a resolution on Tuesday that would block the declaration.
 
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is the only Republican co-sponsor of the House resolution so far, though Democrats are expected to try to pick up more bipartisan support.
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a Thursday statement that Senate Democrats would introduce a companion resolution "soon," and urged Republicans to support the measure.
 
If all 47 Democrats voted for the resolution to block the declaration, they would need to win over four Republicans to send the measure to Trump's desk, where White House officials expect he would use his first veto of his term.
 
Several Republican senators have raised concerns about, or voiced objections to, Trump's emergency declaration, raising the prospects that a resolution could pass the chamber initially.
 
But Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) is the only Republican senator who has said that she would vote for the resolution.
 
"I don't know what the vote situation will be in the Senate, nor do I know exactly what that resolution will say, but it is a privileged matter. That means that it will come before the Senate for a vote, and if it's a clean disapproval resolution, I will support it," she told reporters in Maine on Wednesday.
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🤡 Trump faces a legal reckoning – but are his worst troubles yet to come?
« Reply #1778 on: February 24, 2019, 08:27:52 AM »
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/24/trump-faces-a-legal-reckoning-this-week-but-are-his-worst-troubles-yet-to-come

Trump faces a legal reckoning – but are his worst troubles yet to come?

Damning evidence revealed by Mueller or Cohen could set in motion proceedings that threaten Trump in new ways
Tom McCarthy

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Sun 24 Feb 2019 01.00 EST
Last modified on Sun 24 Feb 2019 06.58 EST


Five former aides to Donald Trump have pleaded guilty to charges brought forth by special counsel Robert Mueller. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

For most of his life, Donald Trump has managed to stay a step ahead of the courts, the cops and the accountants. Two years into his presidency, however, he appears to be nearing a crossroads of accountability. Reports flew this week that special counsel Robert Mueller was preparing to close up shop. Former Trump crony Michael Cohen, meanwhile, is scheduled to give testimony to three congressional committees in the week ahead.
'You're fired!' America has already terminated Trump
Robert Reich
Read more

Trump’s chickens – or a portion of the flock, at least – might be returning to the roost, in the form of damning evidence revealed by Mueller or sworn testimony by Cohen about the hidden conduct of his former boss. Either development could set in motion legal or congressional proceedings that threaten Trump in new ways, although former federal prosecutors and analysts interviewed by the Guardian said the public might not immediately learn the gist of Mueller’s report, whenever it is delivered.

Alex Whiting, a Harvard law professor and former prosecutor on the international criminal court, said a conclusion of the Mueller investigation would “open up space” for congressional inquiries to take the lead, “and that would start a whole new phase of this information becoming public and being investigated”.
Advertisement

Former federal prosecutor Patrick Cotter said that while he doubted a full Mueller report would be made public soon, if ever, he thought it likely any report would spawn further investigations by other prosecutors and significant congressional activity.

“Congressional action is not sort of an, ‘Oh, by the way,’” Cotter said. “That’s what the Watergate special prosecutor was all about. And so I think yes, other people, including Congress, other entities could take information either directly from Mueller, or from whatever summary is released, and use that to at least launch follow-up investigations.”

Democrats in Congress have not signaled whether they intend to open impeachment proceedings. That decision could be swayed in either direction by Mueller’s report, analysts said. But apart from impeachment, extensive public testimony by a figure such as Cohen, who prosecutors have said was directed by Trump to break the law, could fundamentally shift the way the public sees the Trump presidency.
Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?
Read more

The chairman of the House oversight committee, before which Cohen is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, has promised to interrogate him about “the president’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election”, Trump’s tax-paying and business habits, and other topics.

None of those topics has been publicly explored before by someone with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s actions. But as Trump’s guard dog and gofer for nearly a decade, Cohen is well positioned to shed light on those and other matters, including for example the question of who helped Cohen concoct a false story about a Trump project in Moscow, which Cohen previously admitted to lying about.

Barb McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former US attorney, rattled off a half-dozen questions for Cohen – about Trump Organization efforts to build a tower in Moscow, about illicit payments to women in advance of the 2016 election and about reports Cohen traveled to Prague during the campaign.

“I would want to know from him if he had any knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting of June 2016” between campaign officials and Russian operatives, McQuade said. “Either what he witnessed, or what he heard discussed.”
‘Boy, this sure is a hard one’

Analysts in general advised caution against reports that Mueller was concluding his work. Former prosecutors also disagreed about what a Mueller report was likely to contain, with some expecting Mueller to recommend further indictments and others thinking he would unseal any such indictments himself.

Andy Wright, a former counsel to the House oversight committee and the founding editor of the Just Security blog, said that while it appeared certain strands of Mueller’s investigation had yet to be tied up, Mueller could be nearing the conclusion of his core mission: to investigate Russian election interference and related matters.

“At the macro level, putting aside specific cases and just talking about the American political and legislative calendar, it’s a pretty good time – not that there’s ever a good time – but it’s a pretty good time to wrap something like this up because we’re sort of in a pause in the election cycle,” Wright said, adding: “I’d still want to reserve judgment until I had all the facts.”
Robert Mueller has enjoyed a year of successes … 2019 could be even stronger
Read more

Whiting said the next phase of investigations could be guided by one of a few different narratives which a Mueller report, the timing of which Whiting emphasized was up in the air, might advance.

“There have been kind of three buckets of this investigation,” he said. “There’s the Russian collusion part, there is the obstruction of justice, and then there are the other crimes that have been churned up by this investigation, including for example the campaign finance violations that Cohen pled guilty to for paying off the women to be silent.

“The thing we’ll be looking for with this report is whether the report pushes forward all of those buckets, or one, or shuts down one.”

Mueller must submit his report to the newly installed attorney general, William Barr, who has discretion over what to do with it. Trump called Barr “my first choice from day one” to replace the acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker. The handoff comes amid broader turnover at the justice department, with the deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who has overseen Mueller from the beginning and vowed to see it through its conclusion, telling colleagues he will leave next month.

McQuade said that when and if the Mueller report lands, all eyes will be on Barr.

“I think there’s somewhat of a mystery about how he’ll handle” the report, she said. “Barr did say in his confirmation hearings that he will try to maximize transparency and to make as much of the report as transparent as possible.”

Cotter said: “There are legitimate arguments for keeping at least some portions of such a report confidential.

“And the biggest reason is because if it contains information about anybody that does not lead to Mueller making the argument that criminal charges are justified and should be brought, then there is a significant justice department policy that says that in those circumstances generally you shouldn’t release that, because that would be unfair.”
Will Adam Schiff pose a bigger threat to Trump than Robert Mueller?
Read more

But the significant public interest at stake will make it crucial for the report to be released, Wright said: “The overwhelming interest here is in disclosure, for the American people to be able to make choices both at the ballot box, but also in Congress.

“Everyone’s going to be able to second-guess the prosecutors’ discretion and decisions about how to pursue the investigation. But boy, this sure is a hard one, given all the extra atmospherics, and I’m pretty impressed with how far they’ve come.”

Whiting called the special counsel’s work “incredibly quick and efficient”. Mueller has indicted 34 individuals and three companies, including foreign entities, and has received or won guilty pleas from five former Trump aides.

“It’s enormously consequential,” Whiting said. “People around the president have been indicted and convicted. It has raised at least the possibility of impeachable offenses. And in order to clear the air and resolve all those issues, it’s going to have to be public.”
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Offline Eddie

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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1779 on: February 24, 2019, 08:47:51 AM »
Trump is a Manafort on steroids. He's run roughshod over the legal system for his whole career. In a more perfect world he'd have to face dozens of real crimes from the last 30 plus years. But we'll be lucky,  first, if the now stacked Dept. of Justice even makes any of it public or second, if a single charge can be made to stick.  They won't even release the report unless it gets leaked or there's a huge public outcry, which I doubt.

The Con-gress has too many crimes they're individually accountable for to want to point fingers too hard toward the frauds and the money laundering crimes and to point out Trump's ties to all manner of world-wide gangster connections.

Too many alternative facts from Fox and Fools. Peoples is stoopid.
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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1780 on: February 24, 2019, 08:56:56 AM »
Trump is a Manafort on steroids. He's run roughshod over the legal system for his whole career. In a more perfect world he'd have to face dozens of real crimes from the last 30 plus years. But we'll be lucky,  first, if the now stacked Dept. of Justice even makes any of it public or second, if a single charge can be made to stick.  They won't even release the report unless it gets leaked or there's a huge public outcry, which I doubt.

The Con-gress has too many crimes they're individually accountable for to want to point fingers too hard toward the frauds and the money laundering crimes and to point out Trump's ties to all manner of world-wide gangster connections.

Too many alternative facts from Fox and Fools. Peoples is stoopid.

It still makes no sense to impeach.  The best tactic is to drag out the hearings and then drop a real bombshell right before the 2020 election.

RE
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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1781 on: February 24, 2019, 11:26:16 AM »
Trump is a Manafort on steroids. He's run roughshod over the legal system for his whole career. In a more perfect world he'd have to face dozens of real crimes from the last 30 plus years. But we'll be lucky,  first, if the now stacked Dept. of Justice even makes any of it public or second, if a single charge can be made to stick.  They won't even release the report unless it gets leaked or there's a huge public outcry, which I doubt.

The Con-gress has too many crimes they're individually accountable for to want to point fingers too hard toward the frauds and the money laundering crimes and to point out Trump's ties to all manner of world-wide gangster connections.

Too many alternative facts from Fox and Fools. Peoples is stoopid.

It still makes no sense to impeach.  The best tactic is to drag out the hearings and then drop a real bombshell right before the 2020 election.

RE

Yes, but the Democratic party did not have their shit together the last time around and every indication is they are not learning from their mistakes.  They don't have their shit together to drop a bombshell.  I'm not saying it could not be done.  The former escort as a first lady angle could always get played up more.  I'm not for it.  Fine with me if that shit stays in Vegas.  Justinian and his Theodora.  No wall too tall.

I remember pretty clear the dirt on Hillary got thrown really hard in the last few days before the election.  I said to myself if they don't stop this he could win.  If they don't think this matters they are wrong.  Then I dismissed my thought with some comfort that nobody is paying that close attention. 

Now I note everybody ignores those critical days which made all the difference and claims flyover America grew brains or at least balls.  Both of which they lack but nobody wants to fully fess up to that truth.  Last minute media bought the election.  Played in the shade a last minute angelic portrayal of Hillary would have purchase another outcome.  Gross thought but professional photographers could have pulled it off.  Instead we got Cruella de Vil.  On Olympus the gods laugh.

They really were paying attention and they really were as stupid as my greatest fears.  Now stupidity is doubling down and a tsunami approaches. Grab a tree baby.  Chaos only breeds more chaos.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 11:34:39 AM by K-Dog »
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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1782 on: February 24, 2019, 11:36:04 AM »
Trump is a Manafort on steroids. He's run roughshod over the legal system for his whole career. In a more perfect world he'd have to face dozens of real crimes from the last 30 plus years. But we'll be lucky,  first, if the now stacked Dept. of Justice even makes any of it public or second, if a single charge can be made to stick.  They won't even release the report unless it gets leaked or there's a huge public outcry, which I doubt.

The Con-gress has too many crimes they're individually accountable for to want to point fingers too hard toward the frauds and the money laundering crimes and to point out Trump's ties to all manner of world-wide gangster connections.

Too many alternative facts from Fox and Fools. Peoples is stoopid.

Reading your comment it would seem crimes involving money by people with money get a pass.  Rich people rules have to be followed but that's why judges get paid.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 11:37:48 AM by K-Dog »
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🤡 An Idiot’s National Emergency
« Reply #1783 on: February 25, 2019, 04:27:09 AM »
https://kurtnimmo.blog/2019/02/23/an-idiots-national-emergency/

An Idiot’s National Emergency

Kurt Nimmo
February 23, 2019


"The Real National Emergency Isn't At The Border. It's The National Debt!"

It’s not proper form to open a blog post by calling a sitting president an idiot who knows not what he talks or tweets about. Even so, the conclusion is inescapable.

President Donald Trump is an idiot, at least when it comes to navigating politics, but then this is basically de rigueur in America. As a nation, we know very little about the rest of the world or for that matter our own country, and that includes the real number of criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and terrorists crossing the border.

I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico, less than fifty miles from the US-Mexico border. There is far less crime here than in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco (the liberal troika). I lived in Chicago in the late 1990s, and I can say the murder rate there at that time was far worse than anything happening along the border.

Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute posted an article recently breaking down the numbers. It doesn’t look good for the president and his zombified MAGA supporters.

“First, the crime rate in the 23 counties along the U.S. border with Mexico is below that of counties in the United States that do not lie along the Mexican border,” Nowrasteh writes. “Violent and property crime rates are both slightly lower along the border, but the homicide rate along the border is a whopping 34 percent below the homicide rate in non-border counties. If the entire United States had a homicide rate as low as that along the border in 2017, then there would have been about 5,720 fewer homicides nationwide that year.”

He points out that illegal immigrants “apprehended along the border have a low criminal conviction rate… The most serious offense of ‘homicide, manslaughter’ accounted for 0.04 percent of all convictions of apprehended illegal immigrants from FY2015 through August 31, 2018.”

Nowrasteh points out “resident illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated or convicted of crimes than native-born Americans. The estimated nationwide illegal immigrant incarceration rate in 2016 was 47 percent below that of native-born Americans, including those in immigration detention.

If dangerous drug smugglers, cartel assassins, gang members, and other violent individuals (including nonexistent terrorists) were in fact a serious issue, there would be scores of Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty.

“Border Patrol agents are unlikely to be murdered while on the job. If there was a national emergency on the border, we should at least expect that that would be reflected in a murder rate of Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty. From 2003 through the end of 2018, six Border Patrol agents were murdered on the job. All of those are tragic, but that amounts to a murder rate of about 2 per 100,000 agents per year during that time. That’s far below the national murder-rate of about 5.1 per 100,000 per year during the same time.”

Trump rants about gang violence, but as Cato notes “gang apprehensions by Border Patrol agents in the Fiscal Year 2018 (through August 31st), account for about 0.2 percent of all apprehensions.  One must take these statistics with a grain of salt, but there is no obvious large-scale crossing of gang members along the border.”

Trump’s claim about terrorists crossing the border is pure, unadulterated bunkum. “The perceived threat of terrorists crossing the border with Mexico has been a major justification for beefing up security, but there is little justification for it.  Those most worried about terrorists infiltrating along the border cannot point to any attack, any conviction for planning an attack, or any plot planned by an illegal immigrant who crossed the border with Mexico from 1975 through the end of 2017.”

In short, Trump’s justification for imposing a national emergency is based on hyperbole, similar to the exaggerations and lies told following the attacks of 9/11.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead writes that Trump’s national emergency “is not about illegal immigration or porous borders or who will pay to build that wall. This is about unadulterated power and the rise of an ‘emergency state’ that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.”

He believes the “seeds of this present madness were sown more than a decade ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency.”

For Trump, the border wall is all about his legacy and his grossly overinflated ego. The border wall remains his number one issue, never mind it is a mirage in the desert that disappears when reality is factored in.

Trump built casinos and developed real estate, but when it comes to politics—and especially foreign policy—he is an ignoramus. Donald Trump is certainly unfit for the job. He will eventually be either voted or thrown out of office and the “swamp,” the “deep state” of insiders and corporate interests will find another smooth-talker like Obama to mollify an uninformed and ignorant public.

The real national emergency is an unsustainable national debt. This avalanche will ultimately bury the American people alive and make the largely imaginary situation on the border look like a fender-bender by way of comparison.

Finally, if Trump and his CFR-Goldman Sachs handlers really wanted to stop people crossing the border, they would forbid illegal immigrants from recieving welfare handouts and other goodies (including the unearned “right” to vote for Democrats).

Additionally, his administration—now replete with neocons like Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo—will make the flight of Central Americans far worse.

They plan to take down both Venezuela and Nicaragua. The violence-wracked “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—was made possible by US intervention in the region. The “civil wars” in El Salvador and Guatemala were fueled by the US. It organized and trained death squads and staged a coup in Guatemala. Honduras was destabilized by US support for the Contras. Reagan’s “freedom fighters” killed untold numbers in its effort to destroy the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

It is entirely possible Trump knows virtually nothing about this, along with most of the rest of the country, which remains locked in a “civil war” of its own, artificially produced in classic Hegelian fashion to distract you from real issues—a national debt of crushing proportion and the scourge of wars engineered to never end and feed an obese military-industrial-surveillance complex.
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Offline agelbert

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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1784 on: February 25, 2019, 12:26:49 PM »
https://kurtnimmo.blog/2019/02/23/an-idiots-national-emergency/

An Idiot’s National Emergency

Kurt Nimmo
February 23, 2019



"The Real National Emergency Isn't At The Border. It's The National Debt!"

It’s not proper form to open a blog post by calling a sitting president an idiot who knows not what he talks or tweets about. Even so, the conclusion is inescapable.

President Donald Trump is an idiot, at least when it comes to navigating politics, but then this is basically de rigueur in America. As a nation, we know very little about the rest of the world or for that matter our own country, and that includes the real number of criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and terrorists crossing the border.

I live in Las Cruces, New Mexico, less than fifty miles from the US-Mexico border. There is far less crime here than in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco (the liberal troika). I lived in Chicago in the late 1990s, and I can say the murder rate there at that time was far worse than anything happening along the border.

Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute posted an article recently breaking down the numbers. It doesn’t look good for the president and his zombified MAGA supporters.

“First, the crime rate in the 23 counties along the U.S. border with Mexico is below that of counties in the United States that do not lie along the Mexican border,” Nowrasteh writes. “Violent and property crime rates are both slightly lower along the border, but the homicide rate along the border is a whopping 34 percent below the homicide rate in non-border counties. If the entire United States had a homicide rate as low as that along the border in 2017, then there would have been about 5,720 fewer homicides nationwide that year.”

He points out that illegal immigrants “apprehended along the border have a low criminal conviction rate… The most serious offense of ‘homicide, manslaughter’ accounted for 0.04 percent of all convictions of apprehended illegal immigrants from FY2015 through August 31, 2018.”

Nowrasteh points out “resident illegal immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated or convicted of crimes than native-born Americans. The estimated nationwide illegal immigrant incarceration rate in 2016 was 47 percent below that of native-born Americans, including those in immigration detention.

If dangerous drug smugglers, cartel assassins, gang members, and other violent individuals (including nonexistent terrorists) were in fact a serious issue, there would be scores of Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty.

“Border Patrol agents are unlikely to be murdered while on the job. If there was a national emergency on the border, we should at least expect that that would be reflected in a murder rate of Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty. From 2003 through the end of 2018, six Border Patrol agents were murdered on the job. All of those are tragic, but that amounts to a murder rate of about 2 per 100,000 agents per year during that time. That’s far below the national murder-rate of about 5.1 per 100,000 per year during the same time.”

Trump rants about gang violence, but as Cato notes “gang apprehensions by Border Patrol agents in the Fiscal Year 2018 (through August 31st), account for about 0.2 percent of all apprehensions.  One must take these statistics with a grain of salt, but there is no obvious large-scale crossing of gang members along the border.”

Trump’s claim about terrorists crossing the border is pure, unadulterated bunkum. “The perceived threat of terrorists crossing the border with Mexico has been a major justification for beefing up security, but there is little justification for it.  Those most worried about terrorists infiltrating along the border cannot point to any attack, any conviction for planning an attack, or any plot planned by an illegal immigrant who crossed the border with Mexico from 1975 through the end of 2017.”

In short, Trump’s justification for imposing a national emergency is based on hyperbole, similar to the exaggerations and lies told following the attacks of 9/11.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead writes that Trump’s national emergency “is not about illegal immigration or porous borders or who will pay to build that wall. This is about unadulterated power and the rise of an ‘emergency state’ that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.”

He believes the “seeds of this present madness were sown more than a decade ago when George W. Bush stealthily issued two presidential directives that granted the president the power to unilaterally declare a national emergency.”

For Trump, the border wall is all about his legacy and his grossly overinflated ego. The border wall remains his number one issue, never mind it is a mirage in the desert that disappears when reality is factored in.

Trump built casinos and developed real estate, but when it comes to politics—and especially foreign policy—he is an ignoramus. Donald Trump is certainly unfit for the job. He will eventually be either voted or thrown out of office and the “swamp,” the “deep state” of insiders and corporate interests will find another smooth-talker like Obama to mollify an uninformed and ignorant public.

The real national emergency is an unsustainable national debt. This avalanche will ultimately bury the American people alive and make the largely imaginary situation on the border look like a fender-bender by way of comparison.

Finally, if Trump and his CFR-Goldman Sachs handlers really wanted to stop people crossing the border, they would forbid illegal immigrants from recieving welfare handouts and other goodies (including the unearned “right” to vote for Democrats).

Additionally, his administration—now replete with neocons like Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo—will make the flight of Central Americans far worse.

They plan to take down both Venezuela and Nicaragua. The violence-wracked “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—was made possible by US intervention in the region. The “civil wars” in El Salvador and Guatemala were fueled by the US. It organized and trained death squads and staged a coup in Guatemala. Honduras was destabilized by US support for the Contras. Reagan’s “freedom fighters” killed untold numbers in its effort to destroy the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

It is entirely possible Trump knows virtually nothing about this, along with most of the rest of the country, which remains locked in a “civil war” of its own, artificially produced in classic Hegelian fashion to distract you from real issues—a national debt of crushing proportion and the scourge of wars engineered to never end and feed an obese military-industrial-surveillance complex.


Yep.

The US Dollar as of 2016:

IOW:




« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 12:28:30 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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