DOJ: Don’t Do It!

Closing Thought–15Feb19

New CR is a deal and if Trump signs it he stated that he will also issue an emergency declaration….but DoJ does not think that is such a good Idea…..

President Trump says he will sign an emergency declaration to secure funding for a border wall—but he has been warned that the move is likely to encounter a wall of lawsuits from Democrats, immigration advocates, and environmentalists, among others. Sources tell ABC News that the Justice Department has told Trump that the declaration of a national emergency is extremely likely to be blocked by the courts before it can come into effect. Analysts say legal challenges could delay the project for years, though White House officials say they expect to eventually win on appeal. Trump is expected to declare the emergency Friday morning after signing a budget deal that would avert another government shutdown. More:

  • “There is no national emergency.” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is expected to challenge the move in court, said Thursday that any border crisis is of “Trump’s own making,” the Washington Post reports. “There is no national emergency. If Trump oversteps his authority and abandons negotiations with Congress by declaring a fabricated national emergency, we won’t only call his bluff, we will do what we must to hold him accountable,” he said. “No one is above the law.”

 

  • “No bets are safe.” Analysts say it would be very unusual for courts to block a president’s declaration of an emergency—but Trump is a very unusual president. “Normally, any other time, you’d say it’s a no-brainer that the president wins,” University of Texas law professor Bobby Chesney tells Politico. “But with this particular president, no bets are safe in assuming the courts will completely defer to him.” Some 58 emergencies have been declared since the National Emergencies Act, 31 of which are still in effect.
  • The price tag. Sources tell the AP that Trump will announce he will spend $8 billion on border barriers after sidestepping Congress—including the $1.4 billion the latest spending bill provides. Most of the rest is expected to come from military funds earmarked for construction and antidrug efforts.
  • Stopping the move in Congress. It is possible, but highly unlikely, for the move to be blocked by Congress, the BBC reports. It would require both houses of Congress to pass a resolution against it, which Trump could veto unless opponents can build a supermajority
  • Republicans speak out. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a U-turn and announced that he will support an emergency declaration, but several other Republican senators have spoken out against the move, the Hill reports. Sen. Susan Collins said Thursday that she believes the decision is of “dubious constitutionality.” “I don’t believe that the National Emergencies Act contemplated a president repurposing billions of dollars outside of the normal appropriations process,” she said.
  • “A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the move a “lawless act” and warned Trump that he was creating a precedent that could lead to a Democratic president declaring a national emergency on guns, CNBC reports. “If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think about what a president with different values can present to the American people,” she said.
  • The Cruz solution. Sen. Ted Cruz says he has a way to build the wall without taxpayers paying a dime. The Republican writes in the Washington Post that he has reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act” to use funds seized from Joaquin Guzman and other drug lords to build a border wall.

Is he so ignorant that he will not read the Constitution?  The emergency is not real only in his tiny mind from NYC….a made up crisis not an actually crisis like a hurricane……

Did you hear his speech in the Rose Garden today?

OMG!  He relived the 2016 election and talked about the situation on the border that was NOTHING accurate and choked full of LIES…..and the bobble-heads rejoiced!

Please someone take him aside for about a half hour and read the and explain the Constitution to this drooling toad….please!

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Women…..A Media Smear Campaign

If you need an example that the MSM does not really hold to that old saying “fair and balanced”….those days are gone thanx to a Clinton program that allowed corporations to buy then control the news.

Since the midterms and a wealth of freshman Dem reps have entered the House most of whom are more progressive than the cowards that pretend to be so…..and now the media will do their job and try to smear these reps to keep any progressive agenda from seeing the light of day.

The MSM will emphasize the petty stories to keep the bigger stories from the airwaves.

They, MSM, seem to have their sights on 3 or 4 of the freshman representatives, the women, AOC, Ilhan, Rashida….then there is the campaign against an established rep……Tulsi Gabbard……

Apparently these women have more balls than the men in the House and the they plus the media are scared to death of strong women with plans.

Let’s begin with Ilhan and were statement about AIPAC (a statement that was NOT fact checked)…..I wrote about her statement earlier…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/12/speaking-the-truth/

The MSM spent a couple days smearing her as much as possible…..

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has published an apology for making self-evident observations about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an immensely influential lobbying firm which, like all lobbying firms, works to influence government policy toward a specific agenda, in this case the interests of the Israeli government. She issued the apology after hours upon hours of shrill, hysterical shrieking accusations of antisemitism from the entire establishment political-media class.

https://theantimedia.com/ilhan-omar-smeared-by-political-establishment/

Like I wrote….she was not fact checked for her statement and the MSM has full time fact checkers for Trump and they could not take the time to do her the courtesy.

Next on the MSM hit list is the Palestinian-American rep Rashida….she got on the list because she called someone a MF……

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who officially became the first Palestinian-American congresswoman last week, was accused Monday of perpetuating historically anti-Semitic sentiments.

It is already the second major controversy for the freshman lawmaker. Last week — on the same day she was sworn into Congress — Tlaib triggered widespread condemnation and backlash after she referred to President Donald Trump as a “motherf***er,” asserting that she will effortlessly work to impeach the president.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/rashida-tlaib-anti-semitic-smear

I like her grit!

Ilhan and Rashida are targeted by others as well as the MSM….

Hardly anything has been more disruptive to geopolitics as usual in the Middle East than the newly flourishing relationship between the Saudi monarchy and the state of Israel.

While the newfound coziness between the two states is built largely on shared enmity towards Iran, the normalising of ties comes at the expense of the Palestinians, who have become, once again, all but ignored in the world of Arab politics.

https://theantimedia.com/rashida-tlaib-ilhan-omar-saudi-israel/

The most popular of the freshman Congresswoman, AOC, has got the MSM and the conservs running scared because of her popularity and her social media savvy….she is using it more effectively that “what’s his name”……

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a breakout star in the Democratic Party since June, when she pulled off a stunning upset in the New York midterm primaries, beating Rep. Joe Crowley, a top Democrat in the House.

And, not coincidentally, she has also become the white-hot epicenter of not just derision, but blistering, nonstop criticism from conservatives and Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez is a part of the new left flank of the Democratic Party that is fighting both Republicans and establishment Democrats (and, occasionally, the media) in advance of the fall midterms.

https://www.vox.com/explainers/2018/8/20/17674910/conservatives-republicans-ocasio-cortez-democratic-socialist-2018-midterms

Another rep that I like a lot…..she punishes back when morons attack….no excuses….great.

Finally (for now) is the only woman of the list that has announced she is running in 2020 for president….Tulsi.

So far she is the only candidate that is an antiwar candidate (will get my support for now) and the MSM cannot tolerate a candidate that does not support our many many wars…..

Last week, as a polar vortex engulfed broad swaths of the upper Midwest, Rachel Maddow offered a chilling hypothetical. “What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today?” she asked her viewers. “I mean, what would you do if you lost heat indefinitely as the act of a foreign power, on the same day the temperature in your front yard matched the temperature in Antarctica?”

Since Robert Mueller began his collusion investigation nearly two years ago, Maddow has emerged as one of the nation’s leading “Russiagate” conspiracists, but she is hardly alone. Days after the MSNBC host speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin might try to freeze unsuspecting North Dakotans to death, NBC News published an article with the headline, “Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard.” And like Maddow’s on-air musings, the report has proved no less irresponsible.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-mainstream-medias-smearing-of-tulsi-gabbard/

Four strong women representatives and the MSM like the “old guard” in the Congress especially the old white dudes are afraid and running scared as these women come to the forefront.

I am positive that the MSM is not through with the lies and the smears on these women.

******One side note……watch the media and listen……the overpaid douches on TV as pundits are scared to death of these women….they are taking every opportunity to smear them and tell just how ignorant they are, the women I mean, the MSM is SCARED to death that their policies, progressive policies will become popular and they will be in the cross hairs that they will bad mouth every turn these women talk, even the women pundits will them, like good old MIKA……do not be swayed by the fearful pundits……evaluate these women and their policies for yourself and not from slogans…..check their policies and the facts.  The country needs these women and their voices do not let the pundits, corporations and MSM silence them!******

The Wall: Will He Or Won’t He?

Sound the horns!  All praise him!  We all can breath a bit better now….or can we?

The bill keeping the government open will soon head for the desk of our Dear Leader….but before that let’ talk about his physical…..

The good news for President Trump is that the doctor who performed last week’s medical exam pronounced the 72-year-old to be in “very good health overall.” The bad news is that Trump gained 4 pounds from last year, enough to qualify him as technically obese, reports NPR. Trump is 6-3 and weighs 243 pounds, giving him a body mass index of 30.4. The cutoff for obesity is 30. Last year, Dr. Ronny Jackson urged Trump to lose 10 pounds, given that he had fallen just below the obesity mark. Instead, the president, whose main form of exercise is golf, gained a little weight. Still, Trump “is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency, and beyond,” wrote this year’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, per USA Today.

How much does this doctor want an another job with Trump?

And now the rest of this post…..

Of course we all have heard about the wall and the part it played in the last shutdown…..well there seems to be a deal and it should head to Trump’s desk today….but there is more…..

President Trump will sign Congress’ border security compromise. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that Thursday, followed quickly by confirmation from the White House. The announcements removed the last ounce of suspense over the fate of a bill that would provide just a sliver of the money Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico but also would avoid a new government shutdown. But both McConnell and the White House also said Trump would quickly declare a national emergency. The president has said that move would give him power to divert money from other budget projects into wall building. McConnell also said he would support Trump’s emergency declaration, the AP reports. That was a turnabout for the Kentucky Republican, who like Democrats and many Republicans has until now opposed such a declaration.

McConnell said Thursday that the Republican-controlled Senate will soon vote on the bill that’s needed to avoid a partial federal shutdown Friday; the Democrat-controlled House is also expected to vote on the bill later Thursday and passage by both chambers seemed certain. Bargainers formally completed the accord moments before midnight Wednesday night. Trump had previously signaled he would sign the bill but it was unclear until McConnell’s announcement if he would do so, prompting some lawmakers to voice concern. Per CNN, Trump’s only prior public message on the matter Thursday was a tweet: “Reviewing the funding bill with my team at the @WhiteHouse!” But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later issued a statement declaring Trump would sign the bill and “also take other executive action—including a national emergency—to ensure we stop the

national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”

(McConnell has proved that he is a coward and a brown nose douche)

Trump will declare a national emergency…….Damn good idea!

Good idea because when a Dem is in control he/she can do the same for climate change or guns or health care….

But all bets are off if his political advisers on FOX like Hannity tell him to not sign he may do just that…..so “this thing ain’t over ’til it’s over” to quote Yogi.

A side thought……all this declaration stuff sounds more like a dictatorial move than a democratic one….but that is me.

The 12 Step Method

I am not talking about some sort of addiction self-help plan……wait maybe I am…..

The news seems to be that the US is gearing up for yet another regime change….this time it is Venezuela…..

There is a 12 step technique that has been employed in the past and it looks like they shall try it again…..

Let’s look back to Chile in 1970…….

Step One: Colonialism’s Traps. Most of the Global South remains trapped by the structures put in place by colonialism. Colonial boundaries encircled states that had the misfortune of being single commodity producers – either sugar for Cuba or oil for Venezuela. The inability to diversify their economies meant that these countries earned the bulk of their export revenues from their singular commodities (98% of Venezuela’s export revenues come from oil). As long as the prices of the commodities remained high, the export revenues were secure. When the prices fell, revenue suffered. This was a legacy of colonialism. Oil prices dropped from $160.72 per barrel (June 2008) to $51.99 per barrel (January 2019). Venezuela’s export revenues collapsed in this decade.

Step Two: The Defeat of the New International Economic Order. In 1974, the countries of the Global South attempted to redo the architecture of the world economy. They called for the creation of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) that would allow them to pivot away from the colonial reliance upon one commodity and diversify their economies. Cartels of raw materials – such as oil and bauxite – were to be built so that the one-commodity country could have some control over prices of the products that they relied upon. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), founded in 1960, was a pioneer of these commodity cartels. Others were not permitted to be formed. With the defeat of OPEC over the past three decades, its members – such as Venezuela (which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves) – have not been able to control oil prices. They are at the mercy of the powerful countries of the world.

Step Three: The Death of Southern Agriculture. In November 2001, there were about three billion small farmers and landless peasants in the world. That month, the World Trade Organisation met in Doha (Qatar) to unleash the productivity of Northern agri-business against the billions of small farmers and landless peasants of the Global South. Mechanisation and large, industrial-scale farms in North America and Europe had raised productivity to about 1 to 2 million kilogrammes of cereals per farmer. The small farmers and landless peasants in the rest of the world struggled to grow 1,000 kilogrammes of cereals per farmer. They were nowhere near as productive. The Doha decision, as Samir Amin wrote, presages the annihilation of the small farmer and landless peasant. What are these men and women to do? The production per hectare is higher in the West, but the corporate take-over of agriculture (as Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research Senior Fellow P. Sainath shows) leads to increased hunger as it pushes peasants off their land and leaves them to starve.

Step Four: Culture of Plunder. Emboldened by Western domination, monopoly firms act with disregard for the law. As Kambale Musavuli and I writeof the Democratic Republic of Congo, its annual budget of $6 billion is routinely robbed of at least $500 million by monopoly mining firms, mostly from Canada – the country now leading the charge against Venezuela. Mispricing and tax avoidance schemes allow these large firms (Canada’s Agrium, Barrick and Suncor) to routinely steal billions of dollars from impoverished states.

Step Five: Debt as a Way of Life. Unable to raise money from commodity sales, hemmed in by a broken world agricultural system and victim of a culture of plunder, countries of the Global South have been forced to go hat in hand to commercial lenders for finance. Over the past decade, debt held by the Global South states has increased, while debt payments have ballooned by 60%. When commodity prices rose between 2000 and 2010, debt in the Global South decreased. As commodity prices began to fall from 2010, debts have risen. The IMF points out that of the 67 impoverished countries that they follow, 30 are in debt distress, a number that has doubled since 2013. More than 55.4% of Angola’s export revenue is paid to service its debt. And Angola, like Venezuela, is an oil exporter. Other oil exporters such as Ghana, Chad, Gabon and Venezuela suffer high debt to GDP ratios. Two out of five low-income countries are in deep financial distress.

Step Six: Public Finances Go to Hell. With little incoming revenue and low tax collection rates, public finances in the Global South has gone into crisis. As the UN Conference on Trade and Development points out, ‘public finances have continued to be suffocated’. States simply cannot put together the funds needed to maintain basic state functions. Balanced budget rules make borrowing difficult, which is compounded by the fact that banks charge high rates for money, citing the risks of lending to indebted countries.

Step Seven: Deep Cuts in Social Spending. Impossible to raise funds, trapped by the fickleness of international finance, governments are forced to make deep cuts in social spending. Education and health, food sovereignty and economic diversification – all this goes by the wayside. International agencies such as the IMF force countries to conduct ‘reforms’, a word that means extermination of independence. Those countries that hold out face immense international pressure to submit under pain of extinction, as the Communist Manifesto (1848) put it.

Step Eight: Social Distress Leads to Migration. The total number of migrants in the world is now at least 68.5 million. That makes the country called Migration the 21st largest country in the world after Thailand and ahead of the United Kingdom. Migration has become a global reaction to the collapse of countries from one end of the planet to the other. The migration out of Venezuela is not unique to that country but is now merely the normal reaction to the global crisis. Migrants from Honduras who go northward to the United States or migrants from West Africa who go towards Europe through Libya are part of this global exodus.

Step Nine: Who Controls the Narrative? The monopoly corporate media takes its orders from the elite. There is no sympathy for the structural crisis faced by governments from Afghanistan to Venezuela. Those leaders who cave to Western pressure are given a free pass by the media. As long as they conduct ‘reforms’, they are safe. Those countries that argue against the ‘reforms’ are vulnerable to being attacked. Their leaders become ‘dictators’, their people hostages. A contested election in Bangladesh or in the Democratic Republic of Congo or in the United States is not cause for regime change. That special treatment is left for Venezuela.

Step Ten: Who’s the Real President? Regime change operations begin when the imperialists question the legitimacy of the government in power: by putting the weight of the United States behind an unelected person, calling him the new president and creating a situation where the elected leader’s authority is undermined. The coup takes place when a powerful country decides – without an election – to anoint its own proxy. That person – in Venezuela’s case Juan Guaidó – rapidly has to make it clear that he will bend to the authority of the United States. His kitchen cabinet – made up of former government officials with intimate ties to the US (such as Harvard University’s Ricardo Hausmann and Carnegie’s Moisés Naím) – will make it clear that they want to privatise everything and sell out the Venezuelan people in the name of the Venezuelan people.

Step Eleven: Make the Economy Scream. Venezuela has faced harsh US sanctions since 2014, when the US Congress started down this road. The next year, US President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a ‘threat to national security’. The economy started to scream. In recent days, the United States and the United Kingdom brazenly stole billions of dollars of Venezuelan money, placed the shackles of sanctions on its only revenue generating sector (oil) and watched the pain flood through the country. This is what the US did to Iran and this is what they did to Cuba. The UN says that the US sanctions on Cuba have cost the small island $130 billion. Venezuela lost $6 billion for the first year of Trump’s sanctions, since they began in August 2017. More is to be lost as the days unfold. No wonder that the United Nations Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy says that ‘sanctions which can lead to starvation and medical shortages are not the answer to the crisis in Venezuela’. He said that sanctions are ‘not a foundation for the peaceful settlement of disputes’. Further, Jazairy said, ‘I am especially concerned to hear reports that these sanctions are aimed at changing the government of Venezuela’. He called for ‘compassion’ for the people of Venezuela.

Step Twelve: Go to War. US National Security Advisor John Bolton held a yellow pad with the words 5,000 troops in Colombia written on it. These are US troops, already deployed in Venezuela’s neighbour. The US Southern Command is ready. They are egging on Colombia and Brazil to do their bit. As the coup climate is created, a nudge will be necessary. They will go to war.

Keep an eye on the events around Venezuela you will witness these techniques at work……after  40+ years and they cannot come up with an easier and better way to protect democracy….like that was ever going to be the end result

Let’s be honest….our coups or regime changes in Latin America have not always been a good thing…….

As the world watches aghast at another US and allies’ attempt to engineer a coup in Venezuela, I would like to offer a few insights from Stephen Kinzer’ provocative chapter, “The deep hurt,” (pp. 227-250) in his book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire (2017). This remarkable text carries some hope and lessons for all of us. It tells the story of the great conflict around the turn of 20thcentury about the role that the US might play in either dominating the world or building a cosmopolitan democracy where all people feel secure that they reside in one country, the earth. Indeed, Kinzer states: “Anti-imperialists decisively influenced American history by helping to ensure that the first burst of American annexation would be the last” (p. 228).

Even swash-buckling Teddy Roosevelt was influenced, losing his zest for the idea of conquest.  When he charged into the White House he held two views simultaneously, intervene to help other people, without oppressing them. Kinzer thinks that this dichotomy “torments our national psyche” (p. 229). In the early parts of the book Kinzer sets out the anti-imperialist (Mark Twain) and pro-imperialist visions (Henry Cabot Lodge). These speeches are worth gathering round for reflection.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/13/the-deep-hurt-lessons-from-american-coups/

Gee!  Why not ry it one more time….what could it hurt?