Trump threatens dictatorial state of emergency

This 10 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Stealing Money To Build Wall

Trump is LITERALLY stealing money to fund his stupid wall. Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“President Donald Trump has been briefed on a plan that would use the Army Corps of Engineers and a portion of $13.9 billion of Army Corps funding to build 315 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the briefing.

The money was set aside to fund projects all over the country including storm-damaged areas of Puerto Rico through fiscal year 2020, but the checks have not been written yet and, under an emergency declaration, the president could take the money from these civil works projects and use it to build the border wall, said officials familiar with the briefing and two congressional sources.

The plan could be implemented if Trump declares a national emergency in order to build the wall and would use more money and build more miles than the administration has requested from Congress. The president had requested $5.7 billion for a wall stretching 234 miles.”

Read more here.

White House Considers Using Storm Aid Funds as a Way to Pay for the Border Wall: here. So, taking away money from, eg, Hurricane Maria-devastated Puerto Rico to pay for Trump’s wall.

By Patrick Martin and Andre Damon in the USA:

Trump at the Rubicon

11 January 2019

US President Donald Trump visited the southern border of the United States on Thursday, where he continued to peddle his lying claims that the country is in the jaws of a crisis caused by criminals and drugs flowing in from Mexico.

As he left for Texas, Trump reiterated his threats to end the ongoing government shutdown by declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress and appropriate funds to build a border wall.

“I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency,” Trump said. “Probably I will do it… I would almost say definitely. This is a national emergency.”

In threatening to override Congress with a “state of emergency”, Trump is making clear that he is prepared to use the presidency to effectively obliterate the separation of powers, marking a milestone in the destruction of American democracy.

This threat is the consummation of systematic efforts under the Bush and Obama administrations to expand the powers of the presidency to undermine bedrock principles of democratic rule and fundamental rights protected under the Constitution.

Following the stolen election of 2000, the Bush administration used the 9/11 terrorist attacks to rush through the passage of the Patriot Act and implement a series of unconstitutional policies, including indefinite detention, torture, and warrantless domestic surveillance. The pseudo-legal rationale was that the president, as commander-in-chief of the military, has virtually unlimited powers.

The Obama administration used this precedent to claim the right to assassinate American citizens, including within the borders of the United States, without due process, and to impose martial law in Boston in 2013.

Trump, in his unvarnished criminality, is bringing this process to a culmination by using a “state of emergency” to oppose Congress in a domestic political crisis.

Such an action would concentrate in his hands, and in those of his successors, a new mechanism for the exercise of unrestrained presidential power. In this fundamentally new political system, the vast resources that are regularly allocated by Congress to the military can be marshalled by the president to carry out actions not just internationally, but within the United States itself.

If there is anything that constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors”, justifying the immediate drawing up of impeachment procedures, it is such a threat to overrule Congress through executive fiat.

What is striking, however, is the extraordinarily restrained response from Trump’s critics in Washington and in the media, if not their support.

The New York Times, which speaks for the Democratic Party and a substantial section of the financial elite, published an article Thursday calling the declaration of a national emergency “the only politically realistic way out of the shutdown crisis in the nation’s capital.”

While acknowledging that the move would “be an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms”, the newspapers all but endorses the action: “Trump’s threatened move offers both sides a face-saving solution in the budget standoff between the president and congressional Democrats.”

Notably, it was Trump’s Republican allies who raised more serious concerns. Senator Marco Rubio, who opposed the action, said, “If today the national emergency is border security, tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change.”

It does not take a great deal of imagination to recognize that states of emergencies will be invoked, one after another, to carry through the most draconian measures.

A move by Trump to declare an emergency would clear the way for Trump or his successors to bypass congressional and popular opposition and implement whatever policies the president wants—whether a massive escalation of military operations or sweeping attacks on the social and democratic rights of the population.

The conclusion must be drawn that powerful sections of the ruling elite view the granting of such powers to the president as a means of overcoming what has been called “political gridlock” in Congress.

A supposed “emergency” caused by the national debt, and the supposed imminent threat of national bankruptcy, could be invoked to slash Social Security and Medicare. Strikes by teachers, transportation workers, or any other section of the working class could be crushed through the use of a “national emergency” to justify mass arrests and the banning of strikes.

Once Trump usurps such sweeping powers, there is little reason to believe that the state of emergency will ever end. One or another pretext will be found to continue and expand it. The precedent, once set, will be applied again and again.

A political Rubicon is being crossed.

The term “crossing the Rubicon” originates with the decision by Julius Caesar to violate Roman law by crossing into Italy with an army in 49 BC. That action set the stage for civil war, the collapse of the Roman republic, and the establishment of empire—an effectively absolute dictatorship.

Trump’s threat to defy Congress through a state of emergency constitutes just such a historical turning point: one which, once undertaken, cannot be reversed.

The same drive to authoritarian methods of rule characterizes country after country around the world. As Trump declared his “absolute right” to declare a national emergency, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Egypt praising the rule of President al-Sisi, the military dictator who has killed hundreds of people and jailed thousands under a state of emergency imposed to suppress a popular revolution.

Trump’s threats come as fundamental democratic rights are under attack with the support of the entire US political establishment. At the instigation of the US intelligence agencies and the full support of the Democratic Party, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are carrying out mass censorship and domestic surveillance.

In the background of these sweeping attacks on democracy lies the malignant growth of social inequality.

It is notable that, every day since Trump threatened to resolve the crisis by means of a “state of emergency”, the stock market prices have risen. There is within ruling circles an unstated understanding that the turn to dictatorial forms of rule will have one ultimate aim: the protection and expansion of the social interests of a financial oligarchy of which Trump is himself a representative.

The past year has seen growing expressions of social discontent that are continuing into 2019, with the opposition by government workers who are being either involuntarily furloughed or forced to work without pay by Trump’s government shutdown. In their growing opposition, they join thousands of GM auto workers set to imminently lose their jobs and tens of thousands of teachers in Los Angeles preparing to strike in opposition to the dismantling of public education.

The defense of democratic rights is bound up with the expansion of the class struggle within the United States and internationally. Opposition to Trump will not come from within the corrupt and decadent political establishment, but from a mass movement by the working class against the entire capitalist system.

TRUMP ‘TO CALL NATIONAL EMERGENCY’ OVER WALL President Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to declare a national emergency to access funds for his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Sources told The Washington Post and CNN that Trump wants billions of unspent dollars from the Defense Department’s disaster recovery and military construction coffers to build his signature campaign promise. [HuffPost]

21 thoughts on “Trump threatens dictatorial state of emergency

  1. Pingback: Unpaid United States government workers interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. President Trump tweeted an excerpt from a news column written by Pat Buchanan — whom Trump accused 20 years ago of being a “Hitler Lover” and “anti-Semite.”

    Trump shared the column, which makes a case for funding the border wall, on Sunday night. In the tweeted piece, Buchanan, a former senior adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, evokes the unfounded claim that more crimes are committed by undocumented immigrants. The column argues that “the Democratic Party is hostile to white men.”

    Yet Trump denounced Buchanan’s views in a 1999 “Meet the Press” interview.

    “It’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy,” Trump said at the time. “Look, he’s a Hitler lover. I guess he’s an anti-Semite. He doesn’t like the blacks. He doesn’t like the gays. It’s just incredible that anybody could embrace this guy.”


  3. Pingback: Donald Trump’s right-wing coup in Venezuela | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. And here’s the real kicker — Trump’s national emergency plan would allocate $7 billion for a border wall. First, he promised Mexico would pay for the wall (yeah, right). Then, he demanded $5.7 billion in American taxpayer money (he can’t be serious). Now, he wants to steal $7 billion from essential government programs by bypassing Congress (alright, time’s up).

    We can’t give up yet.

    Mayra Macías
    Political Director, Latino Victory


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