AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 219579 times)

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Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

Cascade of lies from the prince of lies: But don't kid yourself, his fans loved it
Trump's State of the Union was a listless torrent of falsehoods. But that doesn't mean he has been defeated

Chauncey DeVega
February 6, 2019 10:30PM (UTC)

Donald Trump is a prince of lies. possessed of a blinding lack of self-awareness and totally devoid of a capacity for critical self-reflection.

As the Washington Post has exhaustively documented, Trump has told at least 8,000 lies as president. Tuesday night's State of the Union address added to this total.

Contrary to Trump's claims, the state of the union is not strong. American democracy is imperiled by him and his party -- by their authoritarianism, petit-fascism, and total and utter disregard for the rule of law.

Trump wants Congress (read: the Democratic House majority) and the country (read: people who voted against him and continue to oppose him) to "reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution."

This is the opposite of Donald Trump's own personal life mantra and decades-long pattern of living.

Throughout his State of the Union speech Trump either lied outright or distorted the facts on a wide range of issues, including immigration, his imaginary border wall, crime, the economy, the war against ISIS, North Korea, women's rights and the drug crisis.

In his flaccid and boring address he also called back to tired Republican talking points about the evils of "socialism." Perhaps White House senior adviser Stephen Miller played the infamous 1961 recording "Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine" for our current president before his speech.

Trump also hung up political red meat for his white evangelical supporters, who are among the most devout and loyal members of the cult of Trumpism.

Predictably, Trump's address was grotesque and full of pornographic violence. Babies are being torn from their mother's wombs and killed by Democrats. Natural-born rapists and other nebulous brown people in "Mad Max"-like "caravans" are coming to America to commit horrific crimes against white people -- especially white women. The Democrats believe in "open borders" and want such crimes to occur.

Trump, a man who has called neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members "very fine people," had the unmitigated gall to use Holocaust survivors as human props. He also used a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were massacred by a far-right anti-Semite, as a human prop as well. Of course he, did not discuss how  his rhetoric and policies helped to create and inspire the conditions for the mass murder which occurred there last October.

Trump, as he has before, featured the family members of a person killed by a criminal gang of "illegal aliens." And of course he never mentions that immigrants, be they legal or otherwise, commit crimes at far lower rates than native-born Americans.

Trump claimed that "all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God." Yet it is was his administration's policy that put brown and black babies from Latin America in concentration camps.

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Perhaps most important, Donald Trump believes he is above the law. He suggested that the safety and security of the United States depends on not holding him accountable for his likely collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election, as well as his many other apparent crimes:

    An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way!

Commentator Van Jones described Trump's address afterward as "a psychotically incoherent speech mixing cookies with dog poop." That is largely accurate, yet Trump supporters and Republican voters in general will devour it as though it were a wonderful meal.

Part of the explanation can be found in Donald Trump's hostage-taking of the U.S. government to get money for his wall. The conventional political wisdom is that Trump "lost": His disapproval numbers increased among the general public and he was apparently forced to capitulate Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats "won" by forcing Trump to end the shutdown, at least temporarily.

Some observers have suggested that the longest government shutdown in U.S. history was the result of an inexperienced White House which had "miscalculated." This is one example among many where, in my judgment, Trump and his agents are playing a different game than the political pundits and so-called experts realize or want to accept.

Trump is not a video-game boss or comic-book supervillain possessed of amazing genius. Rather he and the conservative movement are simply playing a different game with different criteria for victory.

Their goal is not consensus, serving the common good or ensuring that the general will is served in the interest of democracy. It is victory at any cost for their "team" -- democracy and the American people be damned.

Trump's State of the Union address spoke exclusively to his right-wing public and the most extreme elements of the conservative movement, the only audience he cares about. It was successful on those terms.

As stated amid the mountain of lies that was this speech, Trump will try to give right-wing Christians a country where women do not have reproductive rights and the divide between church and state is torn away.

Huge corporations will be further empowered to despoil the earth for profits while workers are left more vulnerable. The social safety net will be cut still more.

Racist, bigots and nativists are empowered with hopes that they will get their wall, immigration "reform" and other policies designed to ensure, both symbolically and literally, that white Americans control every major aspect of the country's political, economic and social life.

The right-wing agenda has other elements as well, which Trump has masterfully advanced. Again, those who focus on the "horse race" aspect of American politics, and who still have faith in the power of previously-existing norms and traditions, are not looking in the correct place for answers. They made this mistake in the 2016 presidential race and continue to do so now.

One of this agenda's guiding principles is that government is illegitimate in itself. It is to be destroyed from within so it can be stripped away and sold off to the highest corporate bidder. The American people are just another product to be monetized and exploited under gangster capitalism.

Trump has appointed corporate executives, incompetents, and other self-interested actors to destroy the very federal agencies they ostensibly "lead." The shutdown and Trump's other policies are designed to undermine faith in the usefulness and legitimacy of the federal government when it comes to solving collective problems and enhancing the lives of the American people.

Contrary to Trump's lies about serving the common good and ensuring "prosperity" and "progress," his policies are designed to cause pain and harm to the American people in general, and particularly to nonwhite people and others viewed as not being "real Americans."

Evidence indicates, for instance, that the government shutdown caused disproportionate harm and pain to African-Americans. Federal employees are also more likely to be Democrats. Trump cares nothing for them and their well-being.

In Trump's State of the Union speech he continued to threaten that he may declare a "national emergency" if he does not get money for his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This will be another way for Trump to further cement his power and to weaken the country's democracy in the service of an extreme right-wing agenda.. Vijay Prashad expands on this in a recent essay at CounterPunch:

    It will all make a mockery of the judicial process. Trump the destroyer would have then galloped through the institutions of the state — setting them aflame with the fires of illegitimacy. The executive branch, the presidency, is already the font of mockery. His acting secretaries are going to deepen the distrust with government. The legislature, already low in public trust, will find its legitimacy eroded further. And then, the judiciary, the final branch of government, will be set aflame. At the end of Trump’s first term in office, it is likely that trust in government will be as low as it could possibly go. If Trump is re-elected, it is likely that during the second term, the government might wither away … leaving behind a police force to patrol the disaffected U.S. population and a military to discipline the world.

Will Donald Trump's government shutdown hurt him at the polls in 2020? Likely not.

Trump's Republican supporters will never abandon him. Those Americans hurt by the government shutdown were already predisposed to vote against Trump and are not going to support him for any reason. As political scientists and others have repeatedly shown, the American people are not very sophisticated politically. A broad swath of undecided and independent voters will no longer remember the shutdown or include it in their decision-making. And if low information and independent voters do actually think about the government shutdown relative to "pocketbook voting" they may not attribute the blame correctly. They may instead choose to punish the Democrats and not Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Last night's State of the Union address was unprecedented in various ways. It was unseemly and lifeless, but nonetheless still very disturbing. This fake billionaire and failed entrepreneur, turned racist demagogue president, is exactly the kind of existential threat to democracy that the framers warned the American people about centuries ago. They also provided a solution for such a disaster.

Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

the American people are not very sophisticated politically.

You could say that....

Or you could say that human beings everywhere, of all political persuasions, share the same kind of bad judgment. You know who Trump really reminds me of?

Hugo Chavez. They are more alike than different.

Easy answers that just happen to be full of lies...but that doesn't matter. All they have to do is say something that reinforces the stupid things that people want to believe because it suits their world view. Some dangerous assholes are naturally gifted at tapping into that zeitgeist.
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🤡 Trump cornered on border wall
« Reply #1756 on: February 08, 2019, 02:37:40 AM »
Good time to declare war on China.  ::)


Though the White House has worked to prepare an emergency declaration invoking President Donald Trump's sweeping executive powers, West Wing aides have warned that it would alienate some conservatives who have otherwise been loyal to the White House. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Government Shutdown
Trump cornered on border wall

The president doesn’t have GOP support to go through another shutdown or declare a national emergency — pressuring him to back whatever deal Congress makes.


02/07/2019 06:09 PM EST
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Inside the White House, the Trump team is increasingly aware that the president is trapped.

Facing a Republican Party unwilling to back another government shutdown or a national emergency declaration to build his border wall, President Donald Trump is in an unfamiliar position, according to multiple White House officials and lawmakers: prepared, potentially, to accept a compromise foisted on him by Congress.

Only a few days ago, Trump called a committee tasked with hammering out a border security deal "a waste of time.”

But he seemed warm to the idea of a bipartisan deal on Thursday after he met with Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Shelby later briefed Senate Republicans on their meeting at a party lunch, which left them hopeful the president was willing to support something that gives him more money for fencing — even if it wasn’t the $5.7 billion he’s been seeking, said one attendee.

“He’ll consider any kind of reasonable proposition … there’s a general openness," said Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a vulnerable GOP senator who stuck by Trump amid the politically debilitating 35-day shutdown. “He’s obviously going to fulfill his campaign promise and there’s got to be some earnest progress. It’s not like he’s going to acquiesce. But I do believe he’s showing good faith.”
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“They intentionally have not set a firm number,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a conference committee member. “And I think that’s to show their willingness to negotiate, so that’s good.”

Though the White House has worked to prepare an emergency declaration invoking the president’s sweeping executive powers, several West Wing aides have warned that invoking it would alienate some conservatives who have otherwise been loyal to the White House. Lawmakers and activists on the right have been critical allies of the president on judicial nominations and have stressed that an emergency declaration could set a precedent for a future Democratic president to take far-reaching action on climate change or gun violence.

Trump has stopped musing as much about a national emergency, both publicly and privately. Asked if he’d been given marching orders or an ultimatum on a unilateral move by the president, Shelby said that didn't happen.

“He didn’t say that. It was a very positive meeting,” said a beaming Shelby on Thursday. “He’s somewhat open, flexible.”

Another close ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was scheduled to meet with the president on Thursday. He said the president appears to be giving negotiators the space they need to make a deal: “So far, so good.”
Richard Shelby and Donald Trump

Congress nears border security deal, but Trump’s support unclear


Republicans have warned the White House against testing the president’s emergency authority.

Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee, who was once interviewed by Trump for a Supreme Court vacancy, approached acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in late December with his concerns about the use of emergency executive powers to fund a border wall project, according to two sources familiar with the exchange.

“Lee said, ‘I’m really worried about this. Have you run it by the lawyers at DOJ?’” said a person familiar with the conversation.

Prominent conservative publications from National Review to the Wall Street Journal editorial board have also opposed the move, the latter warning it would “set a bad precedent that conservatives who believe in the separation of powers could live to regret.”

Trump also might lose a vote in the Senate if he followed through with an emergency declaration. Just four Republicans would have to oppose him for a resolution of disapproval to be passed — an embarrassing outcome that would force him to issue his first veto.

“I wish both of them would find a way to declare victory on each side,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). “I’m tired of talking about all of that stuff … no shutdown, that’s my position.”

Meanwhile, both the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have signaled that they are opposed to signing another short-term spending bill to allow negotiations to stretch past next Friday. And due to new House rules adopted by Democrats that require a three-day review of major legislation, it’s officially crunch time for Congress.

“We really have until, basically, Sunday to file the papers. So they’re going to have to in the next 24-48 hours agree, if there’s going to be a deal,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the party whip. “I hate to raise expectations, but there’s growing optimism that there may be something there.”

That makes it all the more likely that Trump will be forced to choose between two unpalatable options: a bipartisan deal served up by lawmakers, or executive action that falls short of an emergency declaration. A more modest executive order has been under review by the White House counsel’s office for weeks, which Mulvaney has termed “legal executive authority.” Both choices are likely to provide far less money than what the president has been demanding for a border wall.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

‘Too hot to handle’: Pelosi predicts GOP won’t trigger another shutdown


Mulvaney on Wednesday indicated that if Trump is unsatisfied with the deal reached in Congress, the president will take executive action — but avoided saying that he would declare a national emergency.

“If Congress won’t participate and won’t go along, we’ll figure out a way to do it with executive authority,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Privately, Mulvaney and other senior officials, including White House policy adviser Jared Kushner, have been warning Trump about the drawbacks of taking executive action or employing emergency powers. The president’s chief of staff has described an emergency declaration as something he hopes to avoid due to expected legal backlash, according to six people familiar with his thinking.

Congressional Democrats have already threatened to challenge the administration in court if Trump decides to invoke executive authority, and although the White House is weighing several options that vary in their litigation risk, each would likely be opposed by the president’s critics.

Mulvaney pushed back on the notion that he has tried to warn Trump off from declaring a national emergency. “I’ve never said that to anyone in my life,” he said in an interview with POLITICO Wednesday.

And while Mulvaney, Shelby and Graham are all influential, Trump’s about-face in December on a spending bill that provoked the five-week shutdown underscored that his opinions are always subject to change.

So even as Democrats were feeling good on Thursday about avoiding a shutdown, they weren’t counting anything out just yet.

“I can’t predict what the president is going to do from tweet to tweet,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
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🤡 Negotiators close to deal as shutdown deadline approaches
« Reply #1757 on: February 09, 2019, 01:04:41 AM »
They don't sound all that close to a deal to me.


Richard Shelby

Sen. Richard Shelby, shown here before a Homeland Security appropriations meeting on Jan. 30, was upbeat after briefing Trump on the status of the negotiations Thursday. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Negotiators close to deal as shutdown deadline approaches

'We’re working the best we can to find that middle ground,' said one of the lead Democratic negotiators.


02/08/2019 04:14 PM EST
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Congressional negotiators say they’re close to reaching a deal to avert a shutdown, with Democrats acknowledging that a final compromise would include funding for border barriers — a concession that could spark rebellion within their party.

Lawmakers and aides, however, said Friday that the conference committee remains several days away from a final border security deal as top spending leaders continued to trade offers back and forth.

Negotiators technically have until Feb. 15 to reach an agreement to stave off another shutdown, but lawmakers insist the practical deadline for any agreement is much earlier in the week.

The current negotiations have narrowed to the most difficult of issues, with Democrats seeking to limit the number of detention beds for undocumented immigrants while Republicans are pushing for the highest funding level for barriers they can get.

But heading into Friday afternoon, an impasse continued over the dollar amount for border fencing or other barriers. Conservative lawmakers were insisting they and President Donald Trump would accept something around $2 billion — far below their insistence on $5.7 billion that triggered the shutdown in December. But Democrats quickly rejected that amount.
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Most lawmakers left town Friday with few details about the state of talks, still referring to a deal as “if,” rather than “when.” Yet both parties remained adamant that the government would not shut down next Friday, eyeing another stopgap bill as a backup plan. Lawmakers from both parties have no appetite to shutter the government again after ending the longest shutdown in history just a few weeks ago.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, one of the GOP negotiators, said he is aiming for slightly more than $1.6 billion in fencing money, and signaled that Trump had backed off his demands for $5.7 billion.

“I think the political reality is, we can’t get to that,” Fleischmann said. “I think he understands that we’re operating under a divided government scenario and we’ve got to get the best deal that we can get.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) was upbeat after briefing Trump on the status of the negotiations Thursday. And Fleischmann said Friday he’s heard directly from White House officials that the administration is “much more encouraged” on the status of funding talks.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, one of the lead Democratic negotiators, conceded on Friday that a range of $1.6 billion to $2 billion for barriers “possibly could be workable.”

“We’re working the best we can to find that middle ground,” she told reporters. “That’s what we’re going to send over to the president and hopefully he’ll accept it and be able to put this aside.”

But a spokesman for House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who is leading the talks, later said Democrats wouldn’t accept $2 billion or more in barrier funding.

“We will not agree to $2 billion in funding for barriers,” said Lowey spokesman Evan Hollander. “Throughout the talks, Democrats have insisted that a border security compromise not be overly reliant on physical barriers.”

Top Democratic spending leaders will remain in town this weekend while the rest of the negotiators plan to return Sunday evening or early Monday to hopefully sign off on a final deal. Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar said he plans to attend his child’s birthday party back home in California on Saturday and other members of the panel said they too were traveling to their districts this weekend.
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Conferees must be physically present to sign off on any agreement, and several members of the panel said they now see Monday as the deadline to reach a compromise in order to move it through the House on time without needing a special waiver.

Lowey wouldn’t divulge details of the talks, but said the deal could be completed “hopefully Monday.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday he was anticipating a funding deal hitting the floor next week but had no specifics. The Maryland Democrat also deflected a question on the House floor about whether the final deal would include money for physical barriers.

“We are for border security,” Hoyer said on the floor. “I’m hopeful that the conference committee reports out a bill that all sides can support that does, in fact, try to make our borders more secure.”

But some Democrats already admit the deal will likely cost them some votes within the Democratic Caucus, particularly with liberal lawmakers who were demanding negotiators insist on zero funding for physical barriers and decrease spending for the Department of Homeland Security.

“It is unrealistic,” to assume there won’t be any barrier funding in the deal, Roybal-Allard told reporters Thursday. “If the Republicans and the White House are saying they need barriers, wall — whatever you want to call it — and that is an absolute objective, and we’re saying we want some other things. Like in everything else, it’s a trade-off.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a top Trump ally, suggested Friday that he could support less than $5.7 billion for border security but said it depends on what the money is allocated toward. He and other leaders of the Freedom Caucus met with the president on Thursday.

“It really depends on the detail that’s there,” Meadows said. “It’s not as much about the number as it is the flexibility with what it can construct and what it will do to secure our border.”
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If negotiators can’t reach a deal to his liking, Meadows said he would rather see a yearlong continuing resolution that would keep the current funding levels — which were negotiated by Republicans last year — in place.

“I would be more inclined to encourage [Trump] to do a clean CR and do the national emergency,” Meadows said. “A shutdown is not off the table,” he added, but “no one wants it.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), meanwhile, told reporters Thursday that the GOP would be open to a stopgap funding bill, but only “if we’re close, and it looks like there’s serious, honest negotiations going on.”

Democrats have said they would like to avoid a yearlong stopgap funding bill, which would continue funding levels and spending priorities approved when Republicans controlled all levers of government last year.

“Really the worst thing that can happen is if we have to go into a yearlong CR,” said Roybal-Allard. “We’re doing everything we can to avoid that.”
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This POTUS campaign is going to be a HOOT! lol.


POLITICS 02/09/2019 10:51 pm ET
Trump Revives Racist ‘Pocahontas’ Slur Against Warren, Donald Jr. Responds: ‘Savage!’
Like father, like son.

By Mary Papenfuss

President Donald Trump apparently wasn’t paying attention — or maybe he was — when Native American leaders blasted his “racist” use of “Pocahontas” as a slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). He resurrected it — again — Saturday in a tweet. But what was more startling was his eldest son’s response using a astonishing term: “Savage!!! I love my president!”

Trump wondered mockingly in a tweet Saturday if Warren would be the nation’s “first Native American presidential candidate” — denigrating both Warren and appearing to characterize the idea of a Native American candidate as unimaginable.

Warren has been criticized for referring to her Native American heritage. Though a DNA test last year indicated she likely had a Native American ancestor, she is not the member of any tribe. She apologized last week to the Cherokee Nation, whose leaders have said that being a tribal citizen is “rooted in centuries of culture and laws — not through DNA.”

Several who responded on Twitter to Trump’s last line, “See you on the campaign TRAIL Liz,” saw it as a callous reference to the “Trail of Tears,” a brutal series of forced government relocations of Native American in the southwest beginning in 1830 that resulted in countless deaths.

Donald Trump Jr. responded to his father’s tweet on Instagram incorporating an astonishing term — “savage” — harkening back to the height of the nation’s racism amid massacres of thousands of Native Americans. He added: “I love my president.”

He was likely referring to the president’s comment as “savage,” but it was shockingly tone deaf — or a chilling deliberate choice.

Donald Jr.’s Instagram post also included one response to the president’s tweet that joked about the “Native American genocide” which “continues with another murder by the president,” apparently referring to Warren.

Both father and son’s posts drew appalled jeers — and cheers.

“Keep up the work as a mouthpiece for hate,” was one response on Donald Jr.’s Instagram post. “Yes, let’s continue to make jokes about the Native American genocide,” another noted sarcastically.

Still another: “NOT a fan of Elizabeth Warren, but retweeting [genocide tweet] is basically saying that the American presidents’ history of ordering the genocide of the Native Americans was a good thing.” Also, simply: “This is so effed up,” and: “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

The president was most recently attacked by Native Americans last month when he quipped in a tweet that Warren should have made a political video at Wounded Knee. Hundreds of unarmed Native Americans, many of them women and children, were slaughtered by American Troops in 1890 at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
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American Indians and their supporters were not amused. One compared it to joking about 9/11. “Flippant references to deadly historical conflicts and name-calling that mocks Native identity have no place in our political discourse,” Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians, said then in a statement.

Trump has repeatedly been pulled up for using Pocahontas as a slur. John Norwood, general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, said more than a year ago that the president should “stop using our historical people of significance as a racial slur against one of his opponents.”

Criticism continued in response to his latest tweet:



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🤡 Mulvaney: Government shutdown on the table
« Reply #1759 on: February 10, 2019, 02:33:29 PM »
I told you it didn't sound like they were really close to a "deal".  You heard it here first, on the Doomstead Diner.  :icon_sunny:


Mulvaney: Government shutdown on the table
By Alexander Bolton - 02/10/19 10:50 AM EST

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday warned that another partial government shutdown is possible if congressional negotiators fail to reach a border security deal that President Trump finds acceptable by week’s end.

Mulvaney warned on “Fox News Sunday” that “a government shutdown is technically still on the table.”

He reiterated the warning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” telling host Chuck Todd that “you absolutely cannot” rule out another shutdown because the president will not sign on to law a deal he finds unacceptable.

“Let's say for sake of this discussion that the Democrats prevail and the hardcore left-wing Democrats prevail,” Mulvaney said, noting that one Democratic lawmaker proposed on Twitter over the weekend that Congress shouldn’t appropriate any money for the Department of Justice.

“Let's say that the hardcore left wing of the Democrat party prevails this negotiation and they put a bill on the president’s desk with, say, zero money for the wall or $800 million, some absurdly low number. How does he sign that? He cannot in good faith sign that,” he added.

Funding for about 25 percent of the federal department will expire after Feb. 15.

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are at loggerheads over Trump’s request to provide $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mulvaney said on NBC that he didn’t know whether a deal is possible and noted that there is now a lull in the talks.

“I honestly don't know because it depends on who you listen to, and in fact, I think what we're seeing now in these negotiations, and again, the White House, at the request of all the parties on the Hill, have sort of stepped back,” Mulvaney said when asked how close negotiators are to a deal.

He also blamed divisions among Democrats for the lack of progress, arguing that it has made it difficult to pin down their negotiating position.

“It’s all over the map, and I think it’s all over the map because of the Democrats are all over the map,” he said, pointing to ideological differences between liberals represented by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and more moderate Democrats, such as Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a negotiator, and Christopher Coons (D-Del.), a moderate.
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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1760 on: February 10, 2019, 02:51:40 PM »
This tactic will sink the Trump ship, if they don't wise up.

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Re: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #1761 on: February 10, 2019, 03:09:03 PM »
This tactic will sink the Trump ship, if they don't wise up.

Trumpovetsky is the Titanic of the Repugnant Party.  :icon_sunny:

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🤡 Shutdown talks take a turn for the worse
« Reply #1762 on: February 11, 2019, 01:21:50 AM »
I told you so!  I told you so!  lol.


The faltering discussions came after lawmakers entered the weekend feeling optimistic about their chances of crafting a bipartisan deal. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Government Shutdown
Shutdown talks take a turn for the worse

A stopgap Homeland Security bill is being discussed now.


02/10/2019 08:53 AM EST

Updated 02/10/2019 08:10 PM EST
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Negotiations to avert another government shutdown abruptly fell apart over the weekend, raising the risk of another shuttering of services, a stopgap funding bill or a declaration by President Donald Trump of a national emergency at the southern border.

The collapse of the talks over hammering out a border security package and paying for a barrier leave lawmakers in the same place they’ve been for months. Among the issues Democratic negotiators are focused on is Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests of undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., not just crossing the border. They also insist they want a cap on detention beds to force ICE to prioritize which undocumented immigrants it targets within the U.S., and they say that without it, the agency will increase deportation raids in local communities without valid reason.

The latest impasse suggests Democrats are not seeing much incentive to concede to the Trump administration’s requests for billions of dollars in border wall money, after winning the last round of shutdown negotiations. Trump agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to see whether Republicans and Democrats could strike a deal on border security. But the prospect of that is dimming.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) acknowledged on Sunday that negotiations had stalled, and he put the odds of getting a deal at 50-50.

“We’ve got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE,” Shelby told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “I’m not confident we’re going to get there. I’m hoping we will get there.”

The faltering discussions came after lawmakers entered the weekend feeling optimistic about their chances of crafting a bipartisan deal. Negotiators are under pressure to reach an agreement by Monday to fund the government past Feb. 15, in order to allow the House and Senate sufficient time to review and vote on the proposal.

Also on Monday, Trump will hold a rally for supporters in the border city of El Paso, Texas, to once again make his case for building a barrier.
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Even if the conference committee fails and Congress considers a stopgap funding bill, Republicans and Democrats may still clash over the particulars of any continuing resolution, a form of appropriations legislation that Democrats may use to restrict unilateral action by Trump on the border.

The White House is open to signing a continuing resolution, a change from its previous position, according to White House and congressional officials. White House officials signaled to lawmakers during a weekend retreat at Camp David that it preferred a continuing resolution to the deal the committee was likely to offer, which would have supplied between $500 million and $1 billion for border fencing in addition to the $1.3 billion in the current stopgap bill, according to one Democratic aide.

Democrats are blaming Shelby for taking a harder line. The senator met on Thursday with Trump, who gave him general parameters for a deal. But according to one person familiar with the meeting, the president did not discuss with Shelby ICE arrests within the U.S., which Republicans say is the biggest outstanding issue.

Negotiations reached an impasse on Saturday, primarily over detention beds and interior enforcement, according to four sources familiar with the talks. Democratic negotiators offered a deal to their Republican counterparts, but Republicans are refusing to negotiate until Democrats take back their demand for a cap on the number of beds used for undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, two of the sources said.

“A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, one of the lead Democratic negotiators, said in a statement on Sunday.

Though Trump’s hard-line demands for $5.7 billion in border wall funding sparked a 35-day partial shutdown this winter, lawmakers had been negotiating this month on replacing some existing barriers, until the enforcement issue halted things entirely over the weekend.
Greg Walden and Kevin Brady

Republicans can’t wait to debate 'Medicare for all'


A Democrat familiar with the talks said that if Democrats increased barrier funding, Republicans should be willing to concede on a reduction in detention beds.

“Each side can give,” the Democrat said.

Democratic conferees planned to talk by phone later on Sunday to discuss the next steps, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

A congressional source familiar with the talks said: “I would say all is not lost, but it’s certainly not the place anybody wanted to be.”

Trump, meanwhile, went on Twitter on Sunday to blame Democratic leadership for the impasse.

“I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal,” he tweeted. “They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!”

He added that “with the terrible offers being made by them to the Border Committee, I actually believe they want a Shutdown.”

Later in the afternoon he posted: "The Border Committee Democrats are behaving, all of a sudden, irrationally. Not only are they unwilling to give dollars for the obviously needed Wall (they overrode recommendations of Border Patrol experts), but they don’t even want to take muderers into custody! What’s going on?”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), one of the negotiators, appeared slightly more optimistic.

“We are not to a point where we can announce a deal. Negotiations are still going on,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There are good people on this committee, so I have confidence that hopefully we will get something done very soon."

Trump is not ruling out another government shutdown, according to Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff.

“The government shutdown is technically still on the table,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We do not want it to come to that, but that option is still open to the president and will remain so.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mulvaney added: “Let’s say that the hardcore left wing of the Democrat Party prevails this negotiation and they put a bill on the president’s desk with, say, zero money for the wall or $800 million, some absurdly low number. How does he sign that? He cannot in good faith sign that.”

A Democratic source said that Republicans appeared to be walking away because they want a continuing resolution that would give the White House Office of Management and Budget transfer authority over federal dollars.
Lindsey Graham and John Barrasso

Energy & Environment
‘It's crazy. It's loony': Republicans giddy as Democrats champion Green New Deal


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-.S.C.) told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that the president would not sign a bill that would limit the number of detention beds.

“How in the world after that speech does he sign a bill that would reduce the number of bed spaces available for violent offenders,” Graham said, referring to Trump’s State of the Union address last week.

Graham predicted that a continuing resolution was “probably where we’ll go.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, echoed Graham’s remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, and said the Trump administration would not support cutting back the number of detention beds. Meadows described limits on the number of beds as an “open-border policy.” He added that Democrats were trying to control where border money is spent, but that “experts should be the ones deciding how we spend it.”

Meadows predicted that Trump would declare a national emergency or take some form of executive action if a deal was not reached.

“This president is going to build a wall one way or another,” he said.

Lawmakers are discussing the possibility of a yearlong continuing resolution bill, but so far discussions have not led to a proposal that both House Democrats and Senate Republicans could get on board with, the congressional source said.

The impasse in negotiations adds pressure on party leaders and the White House, who will have to step in if the conference members can’t quickly resolve their differences over detention beds and funding for a border barrier.

Last week, conservative lawmakers said Trump would accept around $2 billion, but Democrats have so far rejected that amount.

John Bresnahan, Ted Hesson and Eliana Johnson contributed to this report.
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🤡 Trump pretended that Congress hadn't just demolished his wall
« Reply #1763 on: February 13, 2019, 12:51:41 AM »
How to spin "victory" out of complete and utter defeat?  :icon_sunny:


Trump pretended that Congress hadn't just demolished his wall
ANALYSIS: Lawmakers refused to authorize funding to pay for the president's big campaign promise. Then he took the stage in El Paso.

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in El Paso, Texas on Feb. 11, 2019.Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images

Feb. 12, 2019, 3:25 AM AKST / Updated Feb. 12, 2019, 3:29 AM AKST
By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had the perfect script written for the unofficial launch of his re-election campaign in El Paso, Texas.

Back on the trail on Monday night — amid a flurry of Democrats entering the 2020 race and with the backdrop of an iconic border crossing — the president was champing at the bit to the tell the story of an extremist rival party that is hostile to border security and of the wall he would build come hell or high water.

But just before he took the stage, the script flipped.

Back in Washington, Trump learned, Congress had just demolished his wall.
Trump debuts 'Finish the Wall' slogan despite no new wall construction
Feb. 11, 201902:47

A bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators — no doubt aware of when Trump was set to begin speaking — sent word Monday evening that they had struck a deal to avoid a shutdown and keep the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies open past Friday. Democrats had quickly dropped a demand to cap the number of undocumented immigrants that federal authorities could detain at length that had been hanging up the talks, and Republicans had agreed to limit new border fencing to 55 miles.

In other words, no wall.

It was a predictable outcome: When Trump announced last month that he was ending a self-inflicted 35-day partial government shutdown, it was clear he was flying the white flag of surrender from an imaginary watchtower on the unbuilt wall. But the final frame of the president's slow-motion capitulation couldn't have come at a worse moment for him.

He was minutes away from accusing Democrats of risking a second government shutdown over what he says are far-left immigration policies that endanger Americans' personal and financial security. He has said he believes it's a winning issue for him — and a losing one for them — despite the fact that he campaigned on immigration during the midterm elections and Democrats won handily across the country.

But it will be harder for Trump to paint Democrats as radicals — either in Congress or on the presidential campaign trail — after Republicans struck the border-security deal with them. Now, Trump will have to decide whether he wants to stand against both parties in Congress, whether he wants to shut down the government over the wall again or declare a national emergency and whether he thinks he's a good enough salesman to make the case that Democrats are extremists when his position on the wall is the minority one.

Trump was undeterred by the new information on Monday night.
Trump 'extremely unhappy' with shutdown deal, keeping options open to build wall
Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia

"They said that progress is being made with this committee," he said at the rally. "Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway."

He also continued to say Democrats are for open borders, even as they had just agreed to spend billions of dollars more on border security.

"The Democrat Party has never been more outside the mainstream," he said. "They're becoming the party of socialism, late-term abortion, open borders and crime."

That is to say, logic and the facts weren't the strong suit of his argument.

But it's understandable that Trump — who gave a shoutout to the Alamo during his remarks — didn't want to turn the spectacle of his first big campaign rally of the presidential election season into an acknowledgment that he had just suffered another stinging defeat on the central promise of his last campaign.

By all accounts, including his own, he had been looking forward to this moment. There can be little doubt that, after watching Democrats pile into the presidential race over the last couple of months, Trump had been more than ready to let loose. And, as he said Monday night, it was "more fun" to go to a campaign rally than to deliver his State of the Union address last week.

The next part — the reality of Congress outright rejecting his wall yet again — promises to be a lot less fun.
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🤡 Hannity Calls for a Wall, Trumpovetsky must Obey
« Reply #1764 on: February 14, 2019, 02:02:43 AM »
What Hannity wants, Trumpovetsky delivers.  ::)


Shira Tarlo
February 13, 2019 10:40PM (UTC)

Fox News host Sean Hannity, who acts as an informal adviser to the president, urged Donald Trump on Tuesday to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"This is the time," Hannity said on his primetime show. "That is a necessity."

Hannity's declaration came hours after the commander-in-chief said he was not pleased with a bipartisan agreement reached by Congress "in principle" to avert a second government shutdown over border security and immigration.

"I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm thrilled," Trump told reporters as in response to the deal reached by Democrats and Republicans, which would give him a fraction of the funds he has requested for his wall along the southern border.

The agreement includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new border fences — a figure that Hannity previously suggested was peanuts compared to the $5.7 billion Trump had previously demanded for the construction of 200 miles of walls along the southern border.  Hannity slammed the deal as "garbage" on his show Monday night and warned that any Republican supporting the compromise would "have to explain" his or her position.

On his show Tuesday night, Hannity noted that if the president signs the compromise, it would "guarantee the $1.375 billion down payment for the wall." He added that with the $900 million Trump has identified for additional construction, he would have $2.3 billion. Still, Trump would remain short for cash and "would need to declare a national emergency" to construct his wall, Hannity said.

Declaring a national emergency would allow Trump to start constructing his wall immediately by circumventing the legislative approval required from Congress. Republicans lawmakers and White House officials, including Jared Kushner, have indicated they would prefer Trump not to rely on such an option to build the wall because of the legal challenges that would follow. Hannity noted the possible legal challenges that declaring a national emergency may have on his show.

"The national emergency would be challenged, as we always see with the Democrats. They'll go judge shopping in California, or Oregon or Hawaii. Then they'll go to the Ninth Circuit," he said, referring to the court of appeals that has Republicans, including Trump, have contended is liberal-leaning.

"Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit – we get beaten – and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won," Trump said late last year. "The Ninth Circuit is really something we have to take a look at, because it's not fair."

While it remains unclear whether Trump will declare a national emergency, the president on Tuesday said that another government shutdown looks unlikely.

"If you did have it, it's the Democrats fault," he added. "I would hope that there won't be a shutdown. I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us."

A spending bill must pass the House and Senate and get signed by Trump before the clock strikes midnight Friday. If Congress and Trump do not reach an agreement, large portions of the federal government will run out of money and shut down just three weeks after the the longest budget impasse in U.S. history ended.

Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at Follow @shiratarlo.

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🤡 Judge VOIDS Paul Manafort's plea deal and rules he intentionally lied
« Reply #1765 on: February 14, 2019, 02:15:08 AM »
The Noose gets tighter...

Pauly not looking so good lately...

For more pics, vids and redacted documents, go to the Daily Mail link)


Judge VOIDS Paul Manafort's plea deal and rules he intentionally lied to the FBI and Mueller about his contacts with Russian 'spy' in 2016 - leaving Trump's ex-campaign manager facing years in prison

    Manafort intentionally lied to investigators and federal grand jury, judge rules
    Judge found there was sufficient evidence to say Manafort broke his plea agreement by lying about three of five matters that prosecutors had singled out
    Manafort is accused of lying to Mueller about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, who is alleged to have ties to Russian intelligence
    Kilimnik, who lives in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with conspiracy and obstruction of justice
    Former Trump campaign chairman faces up to 5 years in prison
    Manafort has been charged with illegal lobbying he performed on behalf of Ukrainian interests
    Breaching agreement hurts his chance of receiving a reduced prison sentence
    But judge also said that special counsel failed to show enough evidence that Manafort intentionally lied about Kilimnik's role in witness tampering

By Associated Press and Reporter

Published: 18:53 EST, 13 February 2019 | Updated: 23:00 EST, 13 February 2019




View comments

Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement by intentionally lying to investigators and a federal grand jury in the special counsel in the Russia probe, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was another loss for the former Trump campaign chairman, who faces years in prison in two separate criminal cases stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The judge said Manafort lied to Mueller about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, his co-defendant who the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence.

The ruling on Wednesday hurts Manafort's chance of receiving a reduced sentence, though Jackson said she would decide the exact impact during his sentencing next month.
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🤡 Trump to declare national emergency, announce $8 billion for border wall
« Reply #1766 on: February 15, 2019, 12:08:37 AM »
What did I tell you?  Hannity Speaks, Trumpovetsky Obeys.  You heard it here first.

I guarantee you, the Deal he made with McConjob was he wouldn't sign the bill unless he supported the Emergency declaration.  This is going to totally split the Repugnants.  Lawsuits will fly from the Demodopes.  The Clown Show is about to get very entertaining.


Trump to declare national emergency, announce $8 billion for border wall

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said if Trump declares a national emergency, Democrats could consider legal action to stop him.
Trump will sign funding bill and issue national emergency declaration
Feb. 14, 201901:57
Feb. 14, 2019, 8:20 AM AKST / Updated Feb. 14, 2019, 7:11 PM AKST
By Rebecca Shabad, Alex Moe, Frank Thorp V and Kristen Welker

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency after Congress passed a government spending deal that provides further funding for border security, the White House announced Thursday.

A Trump administration official confirmed Thursday night that the president will announce around $8 billion for a border wall under executive actions, part of which will be the emergency declaration.

That figure includes $1.375 billion in the spending bill for fencing in Texas; $600 million from the Treasury Department’s drug forfeiture fund; $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction program; and $3.5 billion from a military construction budget under an emergency declaration by the president.

Trump will hold an event in the Rose Garden about the border at 10 a.m. Friday, the White House said.

"President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Shortly after the White House's announcement, the Senate voted 83-16 to pass the government spending deal, which would provide further funding for border security but no money for Trump's border wall.

The bill, negotiated by a bipartisan group of congressional leaders, passed the House on Thursday night, a day before the deadline of Friday night to prevent another partial government shutdown. The final vote was 300-128.
Pelosi: Trump has declared national emergency 'on an illusion'
Feb. 14, 201901:27

In declaring a national emergency, Trump plans to use funding from multiple parts of the federal government to extend border barrier mileage, most notably the Defense Department, two senior administration officials and a congressional aide told NBC News.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that if Trump declares a national emergency, Democrats could consider legal action to stop him.

"That's an option, and we'll review our options," Pelosi said. "But it's important to note that when the president declares this emergency, first of all, it's not an emergency. What's happening at the border, it's a humanitarian challenge to us. The president has tried to sell a bill of goods. But putting that aside, just in terms of the president making an end run around Congress, here he said let us respect what the committee will do, then walks away from it.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a joint statement after the White House announcement vowing to defend the constitutional separation of powers.

"Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall," their statement said.

Several Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in criticizing Trump's decision.

"I think it's a dangerous step," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. "One, because of the precedent it sets. Two, because the president is going to get sued and it won't succeed in accomplishing his goal, and three, because I think Mrs. Pelosi will then introduce a resolution which will pass the House, then come over here and divide Republicans. So to me, it strikes me as not a good strategy."
GOP silent on Trump's National Emergency, slammed Obama for 'overreach'
Feb. 14, 201901:05

While Cornyn didn't specify what legislative action he meant, the National Emergencies Act, which gives presidents the power to declare national emergencies, specifies a process by which Congress can terminate such emergencies by joint resolution.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement Thursday night that he would "fully support" the passage of such a resolution and intends "to pursue all other available legal options."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, a former chairwoman of the House Republican caucus, also raised the separation of powers issue, questioning what actions a future Democratic president might take under that precedent.

"By circumventing Congress and Article I of the Constitution, President Trump is opening the door for any future president to act alone without Congressional approval," Rodgers said.
Republicans urge Trump's signature

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced earlier Thursday afternoon that Trump would sign the spending package that resulted from bipartisan negotiations over border security and also declare a national emergency to provide more funding for his proposed border barrier.
2 American women detained after speaking Spanish in Montana file suit
'Dangerous.' 'Abuse.' 'Lawless': Bipartisan attack on Trump national emergency declaration

"I just had an opportunity to speak with President Trump, and he's prepared to sign the bill," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "He will also be signing a national emergency declaration at the same time."

Trump had said earlier in the day that he was still reviewing the bill. The president also had said he wasn't "happy" with the measure.

"Reviewing the funding bill with my team at the @WhiteHouse!" he tweeted Thursday afternoon ahead of the Senate vote.

In the morning, Republican senators said they "pray" that Trump signs it into law, averting another shutdown.

The 1,159-page bill would provide $1.375 billion for 55 miles of pedestrian and levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, significantly less than Trump's $5.7 billion request. It also would prohibit the use of a concrete wall or other Trump prototypes and specify that only "existing technologies" for fencing and barriers could be used.
Rep. King: Federal contractors should get back pay
Feb. 14, 201902:21

Despite a 35-day government shutdown over $5.7 billion for a border wall, the president came out with a worse deal than he would have gotten had he backed the funding bill that lawmakers from both parties agreed to last June as part of the normal appropriations process. That bill included $1.6 billion in border funding — the original request by the Trump administration — and 65 miles of new border fencing.

In remarks on the Senate floor, McConnell defended the agreement, saying that "no side will view this as a perfect deal" but that it's "something both sides should view as an important step."

"And today, I hope we will vote to advance it," he said.

Senate Republicans had publicly urged Trump to sign the deal once it received congressional approval. NBC News reported this week that they expected the president to sign it.

After the Senate chaplain delivered the opening prayer on the Senate floor, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chimed in: "I pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn't shut down."

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who helped negotiate the deal, said he had told Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that the bill should be viewed as a "down payment" to fund border security.

In addition to funding the Department of Homeland Security, the spending package would also fund eight other federal departments: Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Transportation and Treasury.

Notably, the agreement would exclude an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, which Republicans wanted to include, but Democrats insisted on passing a more comprehensive reauthorization of the program later this year.

Democrats also pushed unsuccessfully to include a provision to provide back pay for federal contractors affected by the recent shutdown. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters Wednesday that Trump wouldn't sign the measure if the provision were included.
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🤡 This is not a national emergency: Congress must update the National Emergency
« Reply #1767 on: February 15, 2019, 12:17:23 AM »

This is not a national emergency: Congress must update the National Emergency Act
by Tiana Lowe
 | February 14, 2019 04:50 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has decided to embrace his inner Harry Reid and greenlight President Trump's emergency declaration.

As John Yoo noted earlier this month, the courts may find that Trump is within his rights to mobilize the military to build the wall when his gambit is inevitably challenged for its legality. Even Youngstown v. Sawyer, which reversed former President Harry Truman's seizure of private steel mills to supply the military during the Korean War, wouldn't necessarily imply that Trump would be out-of-bounds building the wall on land not privately owned.

Congress has failed to define the legal bounds of what is or isn't an emergency, but surely, the term was never meant to deal with this.
Would Trump's national emergency really be an "emergency"?
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Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are apprehended at our nation's southern border every year, meaning that the number of immigrants illegally entering the country could be greater by an order of magnitude. A sovereign nation, even one which embraces the free flow of labor, must defend its borders for security's sake, and Democrats calling a physical barrier "immoral" either don't understand the few hundred miles along our border that would see fewer illegal crossings with a wall, or they simply don't care.

But we know that this is not a national emergency for the same reason we knew it wasn't a national emergency a month ago, when Trump first touted this idea: We're all still here.

The threat of illegal immigration mirrors that of climate change. Both must be dealt with at some point, and both loom large as possible catastrophes. But neither issue is immediate. We teach children that 911 is only for instant dangers. We have to teach the president that emergency powers are the same.

What sort of precedent are we willing to accept here? Do we want "President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" to declare a state of emergency to slaughter all the farting cows and ground the entire airline industry in 2028? Just like then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid nuking the filibuster has since backfired against Democrats who can no longer block Trump's judicial nominees, this emergency declaration could bite Republicans in the near future.

Furthermore, the declaration of a state of emergency will essentially punt the border security issue to the courts. This will help Democrats shirk accountability over their unwillingness to protect Americans and do their jobs. Just as the Democratic Party seemed on the edge of crumbling under the weight of their own extremism and economic illiteracy, Trump had to come along and steal back the spotlight.

It's past time for Congress to step up to the plate and pass an update to the National Emergency Act. The law needs a clear definition of the conditions under which the president can declare a national emergency. If members of Congress don't step up with this, they ought not issue a single gripe, tweet, or moan decrying Trump's power grab, because it might well be legal even if it's not in line with the historical consensus.
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🤡 Trump Declares a National Emergency, and Provokes a Constitutional Clash
« Reply #1768 on: February 16, 2019, 12:00:31 AM »

The FUN begins!  :icon_mrgreen:


Trump Declares a National Emergency, and Provokes a Constitutional Clash

Trump Says He ‘Didn’t Need to’ Declare an Emergency

By The Associated Press
After declaring a national emergency to build a border wall, President Trump said “I want to get it done faster, that’s all.” The move bypasses Congress.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

By Peter Baker

    Feb. 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — President Trump declared a national emergency on the border with Mexico on Friday in order to access billions of dollars that Congress refused to give him to build a wall there, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a confrontation over the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution.

Trying to regain momentum after losing a grinding two-month battle with lawmakers over funding the wall, Mr. Trump asserted that the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants from Mexico constituted a profound threat to national security that justified unilateral action.

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” he said in a televised statement in the Rose Garden barely 13 hours after Congress passed a spending measure without the money he had sought. “It’s an invasion,” he added. “We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”

But with illegal border crossings already down and critics accusing him of manufacturing a crisis, he may have undercut his own argument that the border situation was so urgent that it required emergency action. “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” he said. “I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.”

The president’s decision incited instant condemnation from Democrats, who called it an unconstitutional abuse of his authority and vowed to try to overturn it with the support of Republicans who also objected to the move.

“This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed president, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a joint statement.

Mr. Trump’s announcement came during a freewheeling, 50-minute appearance in which he ping-ponged from topic to topic, touching on the economy, China trade talks and his coming summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. The president again suggested that he should win the Nobel Peace Prize, and he reviewed which conservative commentators had been supportive of him, while dismissing Ann Coulter, who has not.

Sounding alternately defensive and aggrieved, Mr. Trump explained his failure to secure wall funding during his first two years in office when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress by saying, “I was a little new to the job.” He blamed “certain people, a particular one, for not having pushed this faster,” a clear reference to former Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a Republican.

Mr. Trump’s assertions were replete with misinformation and, when challenged by reporters, he refused to accept statistics produced by his own government that conflicted with his narrative.

“The numbers that you gave are wrong,” he told one reporter. “It’s a fake question.”

On point after point, the president insisted that he would be proved correct. “People said, ‘Trump is crazy,’” he said at one point, discussing his outreach to Mr. Kim. “And you know what it ended up being? A very good relationship.”

[President Trump declared a national emergency. What happens now?]

Mr. Trump acknowledged that his declaration of a national emergency would be litigated in the courts and even predicted a rough road for his side. “Look, I expect to be sued,” he said, launching into a mocking riff about how he anticipated lower court rulings against him. “And we’ll win in the Supreme Court,” he predicted.

Indeed, Public Citizen, an advocacy group, filed suit by the end of the day on behalf of three Texas landowners whose property might be taken for a barrier. California and New York likewise announced that they will sue over what Gov. Gavin Newsom of California called the president’s “vanity project,” and a roster of other groups lined up to do the same. “Fortunately, Donald Trump is not the last word,” said Mr. Newsom, a Democrat. “The courts will be the last word.”

Among those predicting a flurry of judicial decisions against Mr. Trump was George T. Conway III, a conservative lawyer and the husband of Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor. “If he knows he is going to lose,” Mr. Conway, a vocal critic of Mr. Trump, wrote on Twitter, “then he knows he is violating the Constitution and laws he has sworn to uphold.”

The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it would investigate the president’s emergency claim, while House Democrats plan to introduce legislation to block it. That measure could pass both houses of Congress if it wins the votes of the half-dozen Republican senators who have criticized the declaration, forcing Mr. Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency.

The emergency declaration, according to White House officials, enables the president to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to the wall. Mr. Trump will also use more traditional presidential discretion to tap $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund.

Combined with $1.375 billion authorized for fencing in the spending package passed on Thursday night, Mr. Trump would have about $8 billion in all for barriers, significantly more than the $5.7 billion he unsuccessfully demanded from Congress.

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The president opted not to tap hurricane relief money from Texas or Puerto Rico, an idea that had generated angry complaints from Republicans. But he expressed no concern that diverting military construction money would delay projects benefiting the troops like base housing, schools and gyms. “It didn’t sound too important to me,” he said.

Trump’s Emergency Declaration Is the First Since 9/11 to Authorize Military Action

Here’s how President Trump’s border wall fits on the list of emergency declarations.
Feb. 15, 2019

Neither the White House nor the Pentagon had yet identified which projects may be shelved as a result, but Pentagon lawyers and other officials planned to work over the weekend to identify which construction funds would be diverted.

The declaration also provided that land may be transferred to the Defense Department from other federal agencies or from privately purchased or condemned land. The next step would be to secure those lands, where the Pentagon would erect barriers. The declaration gives Patrick Shanahan, the acting defense secretary, broad latitude to carry out this process.

Most Americans oppose Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration, according to polls. One released this week by Fox News found 56 percent against it, including 20 percent of Republicans.

Mr. Trump’s desire for approval by Fox and other conservative news outlets was on display when he identified various pundits as supporters, naming Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh, although he insisted that “they don’t decide policy.”

But Ms. Coulter, who has viscerally attacked Mr. Trump for caving on the wall, has clearly gotten under his skin. “I don’t know her,” he said before quickly correcting himself. “I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year.” He noted, though, that she was an early predictor of his election victory. “So I like her, but she’s off the reservation,” he said. “But anybody that knows her understands that.”

Ms. Coulter fired back shortly afterward. “The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot,” she said on KABC radio in Los Angeles.

White House officials rejected criticism from across the ideological spectrum that Mr. Trump was creating a precedent that future presidents could use to ignore the will of Congress. Republicans have expressed concern that a Democratic commander in chief could cite Mr. Trump’s move to declare a national emergency over gun violence or climate change without legislation from Congress.

“It actually creates zero precedent,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told reporters. “This is authority given to the president in law already. It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money.”

Presidents have declared national emergencies under a 1970s-era law about five dozen times, and 31 of those prior emergencies remain active. But most of them dealt with foreign crises and involved freezing property, blocking trade or exports or taking other actions against national adversaries, not redirecting money without explicit congressional authorization.

White House officials cited only two times that such emergency declarations were used by presidents to spend money without legislative approval — once by President George Bush in 1990 during the run-up to the Persian Gulf war, and again by his son, President George W. Bush, in 2001 after the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

In both of those cases, the presidents were responding to new events — the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Al Qaeda’s assault on the United States — and were moving military funds around for a military purposes. Neither was taking action specifically rejected by Congress.

In Mr. Trump’s case, he is defining a longstanding problem at the border as an emergency even though border apprehensions have actually fallen in recent years, to 400,000 in the last fiscal year from a peak of 1.6 million in the 2000 fiscal year. And unlike either of the Bushes, he is taking action after failing to persuade lawmakers to go along with his plans through the regular appropriations process.

[Read the first edition of Crossing the Border, a limited-run newsletter about life where the United States and Mexico meet. Sign up for it here.]

The spending package passed Thursday by Congress included none of the $5.7 billion that Mr. Trump demanded for 234 miles of steel wall. Instead, it provided $1.375 billion for about 55 miles of fencing. Mr. Trump signed the package into law on Friday anyway to avoid a second government shutdown after the impasse over border wall funding closed the doors of many federal agencies for 35 days and left 800,000 workers without pay.

For weeks, Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky urged Mr. Trump not to declare a national emergency, but the president opted to go ahead anyway to find a way out of the political corner he had put himself in with the failed effort to force Congress to finance the wall.

Mr. McConnell privately told the president that he would support the move despite his own reservations, but warned Mr. Trump that he had about two weeks to win over critical Republicans to avoid having Congress vote to reject the declaration.

Mr. Trump was among those Republicans who criticized President Barack Obama for using his executive authority to spare millions of illegal immigrants from deportation after failing to persuade Congress to do so. “Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress,” Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014.

But Mr. Trump sought to drive home the personal toll of illegal immigration, inviting to the Rose Garden several relatives of Americans killed by people in the country without authorization. Some of the relatives, known as “angel moms,” stood up holding pictures of loved ones who had died.

“Matthew’s death was preventable and should have been prevented,” one of the women, Maureen Maloney, said in an interview after the event. Her son Matthew Denice, 23, was killed in 2011 in a motorcycle accident in Massachusetts after colliding with an automobile driven by an undocumented immigrant. “He should have never been here in the first place,” she said. “If he wasn’t here, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Reporting was contributed by Annie Karni, Eric Schmitt, Emily Cochrane and Nicholas Fandos from Washington, and Jennifer Medina from Los Angeles.

Follow Peter Baker on Twitter: @peterbakernyt.
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Offline RE

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🤡 Trump's emergency declaration is already facing legal challenges
« Reply #1769 on: February 17, 2019, 01:14:22 AM »
As Surly said, as predictable as the Sunrise.  ::)


Trump's emergency declaration is already facing legal challenges

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Updated on: February 16, 2019 / 8:56 AM / CBS/AP

When President Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border, he predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Mr. Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Mr. Trump's declaration, which said the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen later filed suit, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court. And California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he is filing a lawsuit to challenge the declaration, CBS News' Errol Barnett reported.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler also announced that his committee will be investigating Mr. Trump's reasoning for calling the national emergency.

The coming legal fights seem likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted, and, under the federal law Mr. Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?

Mr. Trump is expecting to use $8 billion to build the wall, including the $1.375 billion approved by Congress, with an additional $600 million expected to come from the Treasury Department's drug forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion coming from the Defense Department's drug interdiction program, and an additional $3.5 billion coming from the Pentagon's military construction budget.

Mr. Trump relied on the National Emergencies Act of 1975, which Congress adopted as a way to put some limits on presidential use of national emergencies. The act requires a president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress.

The House and Senate can revoke a declaration by majority vote, but it would take a two-thirds vote by each house to override an expected presidential veto.

Beyond that, the law doesn't say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president.

The Department of Defense (DOD) released a statement saying the president invoked sections 12302, 284(b)(7), and 2808 of Title X of the U.S. Code.

Section 12302 authorizes "involuntary activation" of reserve troops to perform a "federal mission at the direction of the secretary of defense." Section 284(b)(7) allows the DOD to support counter-drug activities of other federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "with the construction of roads, fences, and lighting" to disrupt drug trafficking.

Section 2808 of Title X authorizes the Defense secretary to decide whether barriers are necessary to support the actions of the armed services, and to redirect unobligated military construction funds to construct the border barriers.

The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Mr. Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency.

"He's the one who gets to make the call. We can't second-guess it," said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.

Courts often are reluctant to look beyond the justifications the president included in his proclamation, Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane said on a call organized by the liberal American Constitution Society.

But other legal experts said the facts are powerfully arrayed against the president. They include government statistics showing a decades-long decline in illegal border crossings, as well as Mr. Trump's rejection of a deal last year that would have provided more than the nearly $1.4 billion he got for border security in the budget agreement he signed Thursday.

Opponents of the declaration also are certain to use Mr. Trump's own words at his Rose Garden news conference Friday to argue that there is no emergency on the border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time," Mr. Trump said. "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Mr. Trump's remarks are an admission that there is no national emergency. "He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress," Romero said in a statement.

However, trying to turn the president's words against him failed in the challenge to Mr. Trump's ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several mostly Muslim countries. The ban's opponents argued that Mr. Trump's comments as a candidate and as president showed the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, not concern about national security. Lower courts struck down the ban, but the Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 vote last year.

Mr. Trump said he expected to lose in lower courts that he claims have been unfair to him, particularly if lawsuits are filed in California. "Hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban," he said on Friday.

Beyond the challenge to Mr. Trump's authority to declare an emergency, lawsuits also are expected to focus on the military construction project law that allows the re-allocation of money in a national emergency.

"It's hard to know how exactly this is going to unfold politically or judicially," said Shane, the Ohio State professor.
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