All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.
Article 1, Section 7, US Constitution
No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriations made by Law
Article 1, Section 9, US Constitution
SEC. 202. (a) Any national emergency declared by the President
in accordance with this title shall terminate if—
(1) Congress terminates the emergency by concurrent resolution;
National Emergencies Act, 1976
President Trump’s decision to announce emergency action is the predictable and understandable consequence of Democrats’ decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest. I urge my Democratic colleagues to quickly get serious, put partisanship aside, and work with the president and our homeland security experts to provide the funding needed to secure our borders as we begin the next round of appropriations.
Statement released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
I didn’t need to do this. I just wanted to get it done faster.
Donald Trump, declaring a national emergency, Feb. 15
Well, hi there.
I’ve been away for a while. Couldn’t think of a good reason to type anything. Days went by, but nothing came out. Now, what with Trump shredding the Constitution and all, it felt like I should try to write something, and as you can see I was determined to give it a shot. I even copied in some contextual material, the better to explain things – that stuff above is all pertinent to Trump’s stupid national emergency. Next would usually come the part where I tie it all together and explain the politics and the legalities while working myself into a lather.
I’ve been struggling, though. There’s simply nothing new to say. We’ve been over this and over this. Should I say it all again? Should I rant and rave some more about Mitch, and how ludicrously rich it is for the likes of him to piss and moan about supposed partisan obstructionism? Shall I rail about how rambling, incoherent, and flat out stupid Trump’s briefing in the rose garden was? (It was so bad that everybody zoned out and lost the thread. Most people didn’t even notice that he threw in a few lines about executing drug dealers, and how the Japanese President had nominated him for a Nobel, which apparently is true, because Donald asked him to). Normally that would be right up my alley. There’s lots of legal type stuff to complain about too, which I should be jumping all over. My heart’s not in it, but I could try. Does anybody want me to lament the typically lacklustre legislative drafting that makes it possible for Trump to declare an emergency any time he feels like it, when the point of the National Emergencies Act, 1976, was actually to rein in Presidential power on that score?
I could even elaborate, I guess. That’s my schtick, most days. Usually, I’d be off to the races with such a rich tapestry of nonsense. Yet lately it seems a little pointless, doesn’t it?
Anyway, words fail me. What am I supposed to say about this?
Maybe humour is the thing? Would it be cathartic to mock The Donald in a similar sing-song style? I guess we could give it a go…
So sometimes Trump will open his little round yap, and out will spew shit, and then some more idiot lies, and then he’ll set fire to the rule of law, and then he’ll squint and brag, and then waddle away all hunched over, and maybe bump into a post…
Yeah, that didn’t help.
So OK, I’ll rant a little, for all the good it does. Just for old time’s sake.
God knows there’s plenty to work with here. There’s plenty, God knows. Look, here’s a frankly disheartening and disgraceful thing: everybody’s talking about how the courts are going to settle this. They’re relying on it, like there’s no other hope. There are 535 people drawing salaries up on Capital Hill whose job it is to fix this, but everybody’s given up on the political process. Congress could act, decisively, overnight, but nobody thinks the politicians will do anything. Instead, this assault on democracy is being bailed to the judicial branch, with all its glacial uncertainties. That’s an epic abdication of constitutional responsibility.
The courts, for chrissakes. Lawyers, and pleadings, and endless procedure that goes on for frigging ever. Get ready now for years of fun. I’m assuming that the lower courts will enjoin the purported emergency on an interim basis while things get litigated up the chain by all and sundry, and while judges are typically deferential when it comes to the exercise of Presidential discretion, I’m betting that those same lower courts will eventually rule the declaration illegal on two grounds:
a) Though the statute doesn’t say so, it must be inferred that for the President to invoke his authority to declare an emergency, there must actually be one going on, which there isn’t, and Donald himself even said there isn’t, right before he jetted off to play golf for the weekend; and
b) to the extent that the National Emergencies Act can be interpreted to allow a President to circumvent the separation of powers and spend money any way he pleases on any pretext he can devise, that statute is itself unconstitutional.
The thing is, Donald’s little song and dance about the judicial process may be right on the money. Once it gets to the stacked Supreme Court, he might win, if he’s still around at that point, and don’t for a minute assume he won’t be.
But goddammit, it shouldn’t matter what the courts will do. It shouldn’t be allowed to get that far. Screw the courts. Screw Gorsich and Kavanaugh and the rest of them. Any Congress worth a pinch of runny dog shit would rise up in righteous fury at this impertinent, unconstitutional power grab, and simply declare the emergency at an end, just as the statute permits. Both chambers would do so immediately, and with veto-proof majorities. Next, this existential threat to the Constitution and Congressional prerogatives would be addressed by Articles of Impeachment and a swift removal of the piggish outlaw from his groaning swivel chair. Thus removed, he could then be sent away by the boys in the SDNY to prison, there to die behind bars. Nothing else makes sense any longer. This is a defining moment. It’s time to break the glass and yank the loud handle. Trump must go. No other outcome would even be reasonable at this point.
Sadly, the present Congress isn’t worth a pinch of runny dog shit. True, there are some Republicans who’ve gone on the record that this is a genuinely terrifying case of executive overreach, and a few of them would vote with the Democrats in both chambers. They understand the danger of the precedent should this stand; Marco Rubio, for example, echoed a few of his peers in reminding his fellow Senators that if Trump can do this now, then gosh, fellas, some future Democratic President might pull the same stunt to address, say, gun violence, or climate change. Hilariously, what they’re saying, really, is that if Trump can declare himself Emperor over a fake emergency, think what the horrible liberals could get away with in response to a real one!
They should think about that, if nothing else moves them. They won’t though, not enough of them. No, enough Republicans will remain mired in GOP corruption to render veto-proof majorities a pipe dream. God damn them all, the stinking cowards.
Do you think they’re listening? I don’t think they’re listening.
Now I’m just bummed.
You know, it used to feel good to get all worked up and pound out these columns. Now it feels sort of, I dunno, blah. It’s not funny any more. The whole mess is just sad, and writing the same stuff over and over isn’t all that uplifting, and also isn’t making me as famous as I expected. When I started this blog project I figured I’d have, I dunno, 67 million readers by now, not, you know, six, but the masses never flocked to the site, and I reckon it must be the material. Politics. Blech, right? Maybe I should write about dogs, or something. Do dog stories. It seems to work for the nightly news.
Here, this is a dog:
How’s that? Maybe I should have picked a better dog, actually. This one looks like somebody forgot to throw a Bounce sheet after him when they chucked him in the dryer. Those weird sunken eyes. Creepy. You know, I knew a guy who owned one of these critters, years ago. It was named Samantha, and it was inbred to within an inch of its poofy little life. We were over for dinner once, and this pathetic struggling doggie wobbled into the living room on shaky legs, it’s hips shot all to hell after too many generations of narrowing the gene pool, barely able to keep out of its own way, poor thing, and then it looked at us plaintively, paused, and piddled all over the hardwood. There was this big spreading puddle. The little puffball pissed about six litres, while it looked at each of us in turn, maybe hoping for help, whimpering in despair. It would have been a mercy to grab a garden spade and club it like a baby harp seal, but you know, not my place.
I guess the dog story idea wasn’t such a good one, now I think about it.