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A Horse Named Stranger

U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

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28 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Is it possible this speech is to announce a state of emergency?  The president's expansive (virtually limitless) powers under emergency powers really scare me.  It is the kind of escalation that seems ideally suited for Trump's preference for a quick fix.  We already saw that he has no respect for "Presidents don't do that sort of thing" arguments. 

I'm really not sure what happens if Trump does this.  I have no doubt that Democrats and the press will scream bloody murder, but they've been doing that for two years already.  Will Republicans in the Senate actually vote in large numbers to stop it?  I doubt it, but it essentially turns Congress into the President's doormat, so maybe they won't like that?  Will the Supreme Court agree that a President has unilateral authority to declare an emergency, even when anyone can see that no emergency is present?  I have no idea how that kind of court case will go, but even in the best case scenario a Supreme Court decision is months away, and we have an unchecked President with unilateral authority until then. 

I think he announces the state of emergency. If he doesn't, it'll come in a few days after he visits the southern border unless a deal is made. Regardless, it's going to happen and as you said, it's kind of scary. This article from the Atlantic basically sums it up.

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It would be nice to think that America is protected from the worst excesses of Trump’s impulses by its democratic laws and institutions. After all, Trump can do only so much without bumping up against the limits set by the Constitution and Congress and enforced by the courts. Those who see Trump as a threat to democracy comfort themselves with the belief that these limits will hold him in check.

But will they? Unknown to most Americans, a parallel legal regime allows the president to sidestep many of the constraints that normally apply. The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him. While many of these tee up reasonable responses to genuine emergencies, some appear dangerously suited to a leader bent on amassing or retaining power. For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.

This edifice of extraordinary powers has historically rested on the assumption that the president will act in the country’s best interest when using them. With a handful of noteworthy exceptions, this assumption has held up. But what if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? In that scenario, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down.

 

Edited by Mexal

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46 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Is it possible this speech is to announce a state of emergency?  The president's expansive (virtually limitless) powers under emergency powers really scare me.  It is the kind of escalation that seems ideally suited for Trump's preference for a quick fix.  We already saw that he has no respect for "Presidents don't do that sort of thing" arguments. 

I'm really not sure what happens if Trump does this.  I have no doubt that Democrats and the press will scream bloody murder, but they've been doing that for two years already.  Will Republicans in the Senate actually vote in large numbers to stop it?  I doubt it, but it essentially turns Congress into the President's doormat, so maybe they won't like that?  Will the Supreme Court agree that a President has unilateral authority to declare an emergency, even when anyone can see that no emergency is present?  I have no idea how that kind of court case will go, but even in the best case scenario a Supreme Court decision is months away, and we have an unchecked President with unilateral authority until then. 

Who knows if he will announce it tonight or not, but he will do it eventually. This is why I immediately brought it up when he floated it at his press conference last week. Trump floats crazy ideas and if they don’t get knocked down by the right wing, he leans in on them. I have not seen any significant push back on the issue from conservatives, be it Eos or in the media, which all but assures that he does it.

This has been what Kal and I have been talking about since he won. That Trump would attempt a sweeping power grab and that a feckless Senate would do nothing. Every day we’ve inched closer and closer to it, and tonight Trump might finally cross the Rubicon. And if he does, there’s likely no going back. We must ask ourselves, why would Trump give back power if he’s initially allowed to take it?

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59 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Is it possible this speech is to announce a state of emergency?  The president's expansive (virtually limitless) powers under emergency powers really scare me.  It is the kind of escalation that seems ideally suited for Trump's preference for a quick fix.  We already saw that he has no respect for "Presidents don't do that sort of thing" arguments. 

I'm really not sure what happens if Trump does this.  I have no doubt that Democrats and the press will scream bloody murder, but they've been doing that for two years already.  Will Republicans in the Senate actually vote in large numbers to stop it?  I doubt it, but it essentially turns Congress into the President's doormat, so maybe they won't like that?  Will the Supreme Court agree that a President has unilateral authority to declare an emergency, even when anyone can see that no emergency is present?  I have no idea how that kind of court case will go, but even in the best case scenario a Supreme Court decision is months away, and we have an unchecked President with unilateral authority until then. 

In that case, our only hope is the military. 

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I have no idea how that kind of court case will go, but even in the best case scenario a Supreme Court decision is months away, and we have an unchecked President with unilateral authority until then. 

Of course this all depends on the nature of what provisions he'd be activating, but if it's egregious enough it won't take months for the courts to step in.  Remember appellate courts issued stays on the original travel ban within days.  The much bigger concern is that the newly constituted SCOTUS backs up whatever power grab he makes.

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Just now, DMC said:

Of course this all depends on the nature of what provisions he'd be activating, but if it's egregious enough it won't take months for the courts to step in.  Remember appellate courts issued stays on the original travel ban within days.  The much bigger concern is that the newly constituted SCOTUS backs up whatever power grab he makes.

Yeah, a lower court would probably issue an injunction almost immediately and then we see how the lawsuits play out and what SCOTUS wants to do. If the attempt is egregious enough I'd expect Roberts to vote against it, but the question of Ginsburg's health is looming large; she's missed oral arguments for the first time ever both yesterday and today.

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33 minutes ago, Ice Queen said:

In that case, our only hope is the military. 

Then you might be talking about civil war, for all that Trump has pissed off a lot of the top members of the military, former and present, I can see a lot of the military siding with Trump. Army especially.

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Looks like everyone is carrying the Democratic response, even the Fox channels. https://apnews.com/c73946deffa54d7db6030e4d906d85e7?utm_medium=AP_Politics&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say they will make the case themselves. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox broadcasting, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and MSNBC all said they would air the rebuttal.

 

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The question is whether Trump is really going to the mattresses on this issue, or if he's just trying to use emergency powers to get out of this corner he's painted himself into with the Wall.  If it's the latter, an interminable court battle of Trump vs American Democracy would be just fine with him, he could then say blame the courts and save face. 

But it could be that Trump is really planning on using emergency powers to get whatever he wants, and he'll use those same powers against anyone who tries to stop him.  In which case, America as we know it ends tonight.

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6 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

But it could be that Trump is really planning on using emergency powers to get whatever he wants, and he'll use those same powers against anyone who tries to stop him.  In which case, America as we know it ends tonight.

It's always seemed a matter of when not if Trump goes off the deep end and triggers a constitutional crisis.  I just thought, ya know, there'd actually be something that provoked him.  This would be a very peculiar way to take such a stand, even for him.

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There’s a good story in the NYT about a small Florida town near the Alabama/Georgia border that relies on federal jobs for it’s existence. There’s a prison there (famous for housing Squeaky Fromme, the Manson acolyte) that was seriously damaged by the hurricane. It will take a year to repair it. The inmates were moved to a facility in Alabama, a 7 hour drive away. Employees have been driving there and spending two week shifts in the town, getting their expenses reimbursed by the government.

Now there’s no flow of expense money, and no paycheck coming either. And half the town was damaged, with 10% of employees losing their homes completely. They’re worried about the shutdown and want to see the Democrats and Republicans reach a compromise. The area is heavily Republican.

The article closes with a quote from one Trump supporter that is pretty pithy about what seems to be the mentality of the Trump supporters. A pissed off prison nurse says “He’s not hurting the people he’s supposed to hurt”.

Imagine, it’s not ‘he’s not helping the people he’s supposed to help’, it’s ‘he’s not hurting people’.

I’d link the article but I still haven’t looked up how to link stuff on my phone, lol.

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2 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

There’s a good story in the NYT

The article closes with a quote from one Trump supporter that is pretty pithy about what seems to be the mentality of the Trump supporters. A pissed off prison nurse says “He’s not hurting the people he’s supposed to hurt”.

Imagine, it’s not ‘he’s not helping the people he’s supposed to help’, it’s ‘he’s not hurting people’.

I’d link the article but I still haven’t looked up how to link stuff on my phone, lol.

I've got your back, here's your link.

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21 minutes ago, DMC said:

It's always seemed a matter of when not if Trump goes off the deep end and triggers a constitutional crisis.  I just thought, ya know, there'd actually be something that provoked him.  This would be a very peculiar way to take such a stand, even for him.

Why? Trump takes a stand when he doesn't get what he wants. It doesn't matter the stakes or the issues or anything like that - there is nothing too petty for him to shoot back at, nothing that attempts to provoke him that won't succeed. 

As Clinton said, this is a man who can be provoked by a tweet. Proportionate response is not something he'd understand, even if he understood the word 'proportionate'. 

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29 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Why?

Because doing something like defying court orders significantly risks his presidency.  Nobody knows what would happen in such an instance with any solid degree of probability, sure, but even Trump knows that it's a significant risk - or at least his past behavior suggests he does, and those around him certainly do.  One would think he'd only be willing to take that risk if there was something like Mueller indictments of him or his family, or the economy tanks, or even his poll numbers go south of his base (although that seems to be conditional on one of the first two happening).

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Just now, DMC said:

Because doing something like defying court orders significantly risks his presidency.  Nobody knows what would happen in such an instance with any solid degree of probability, sure, but even Trump knows that it's a significant risk - or at least his past behavior suggests he does, and those around him certainly do.  One would think he'd only be willing to take that risk if there was something like Mueller indictments of him or his family, or the economy tanks, or even his poll numbers go south of his base (although that seems to be conditional on one of the first two happening).

I guess I don't see that as an issue that Trump cares about all that much, especially now that Kelly and Mattis are gone. Trump's worldview is that largely anything he does he'll get away with, because he's done that his entire life. He's consistently done things that weren't particularly risk-averse because it pissed him off. 

His hero POTUS is Andrew Jackson, he of the 'lets see you enforce it' apocryphal story. 

I mentioned before that a narcissist sociopath like Trump will have a hard time ever backing down from his grandstanding, and this is a problem for everyone. I didn't see him declaring a state of emergency, but only because I didn't know that that was even a reasonable option. Now that I know, it seems obvious that he'll do it or try to. Anything to get his way. 

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6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I guess I don't see that as an issue that Trump cares about all that much, especially now that Kelly and Mattis are gone. Trump's worldview is that largely anything he does he'll get away with, because he's done that his entire life. He's consistently done things that weren't particularly risk-averse because it pissed him off. 

This doesn't make sense to me because if that were the case, why wait two years?  Why would Kelly or Mattis (or whomever) be able to restrain him in the first place (not that I'm saying they did much - hell, Kelly would probably be all for calling a national emergency in this case if he was still there)?  Why would he have let the courts effectively rewrite his travel ban?  Why would have still let the Mueller investigation go on?  Etcetera.

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Just now, DMC said:

This doesn't make sense to me because if that were the case, why wait two years?  Why would Kelly or Mattis (or whomever) be able to restrain him in the first place (not that I'm saying they did much - hell, Kelly would probably be all for calling a national emergency in this case if he was still there)?  Why would he have let the courts effectively rewrite his travel ban?  Why would have still let the Mueller investigation go on?  Etcetera.

For the last two years, Trump has been able to get other things he wanted more - namely the tax break, the muslim ban, the ACA gutting, the regulation gutting, etc. Plus he hadn't staked his claim on the wall being the most important thing in the history of ever until recently - because Fox hadn't put him up to it and told him his presidency would be a failure if he didn't stand up to it right now. He didn't have Pelosi challenging him on national TV and having him say he'd be proud to shutdown the government. 

I also think that Trump doesn't really understand how the government works, and until recently no one around him was willing to suggest things like declaration of emergency to get what he wanted because it's an obviously stupid idea. Trump didn't really think he could do this. If he had, he probably would have much sooner. For him (like most people) declaring a national emergency was something you do in the case of an active crisis, and he didn't realize how much power the POTUS has in this specific case. 

As to the Mueller investigation, that's tougher. We have reports that he wanted to end it and kill it, and apparently other people disagreed. My suspicion is that his chief counsel and his kids both advised against it, and he took their advise. On the wall, however, they're not as loud as Limbaugh and Hannity and Stephen Miller. 

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2 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Plus he hadn't staked his claim on the wall being the most important thing in the history of ever until recently - because Fox hadn't put him up to it and told him his presidency would be a failure if he didn't stand up to it right now.

We agree this is the motivation, which is why it seems much more likely based on his past actions that he saves face by declaring a national emergency, re-appropriating and/or using emergency funds (which likely will amount to pocket change), then being fine with getting slapped down by the courts later (or, unfortunately, maybe ultimately not).  Because if he does that, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh will stop calling him mean names, which is really what this is all about.

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My suspicion is that once he does this he'll be doing it a whole lot. He'll find out that it is his favoritest new toy. 

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