Category Archives: National Emergency

Protest at noon Monday Feb 18!

By Roger Straw, February 18, 2019

Protest Trump’s Unconstitutional Power Grab on President’s Day!

Noon all over the Bay Area…
Image result for protest national emergency
Gather to protest on Monday, Feb. 18

Calls are out for everyone to take to the streets to protest Trump’s power-grab.  Let’s gather on street corners, in the parks and at city halls on Monday, February 18.

Here are some links to find an event near you:

The 47 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump’s wild national emergency declaration

Repost from CNN

The 47 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump’s wild national emergency declaration

By Chris Cillizza, CNN, Mon February 18, 2019 1:43 PM ET
Below, my thoughts on the lines you need to see.
1. “We have a lot of great announcements having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate. And that’ll be announced over the next 24 hours.”
It’s been 96 hours. No “great” announcement yet. Although the general in charge of leading the fight against ISIS told CNN on Friday that he disagreed with Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria.  And away we go!
2. “And many other things. A lot of positive things are going on.”
Hard to argue! Many other things!
3. “We’re going to do it one way or the other. We have to do it — not because it was a campaign promise, which it is.”
So, the President is declaring a national emergency because “we have to do it,” not because he said we had to do it on the campaign trail. But ask yourself this: If it was such an emergency, why did Trump wait more than two years into his term to declare it one?
4. “You look at other economies, they’re doing terribly, and we’re doing phenomenally.”
Other economies: Bad. Our economy: Good.
5. “We — we have all the records. We have every record. But we’re getting close to that point again where we’ll create new records.”
Trump is speaking specifically about the stock market here, although this also functions as a nice stock quote for, well, anything he is asked about as it pertains to either himself or his presidency. Best ever! Record-breaking!
6. “When you look and when you listen to politicians, in particular certain Democrats, they say it all comes through the port of entry. It’s wrong. It’s wrong.”
“A small percentage of all heroin seized by [Customs and Border Protection agents] along the land border was between Ports of Entry,” reads the Trump Administration’s 2018 Drug Threat Assessment. Sooooooo…
7. “It’s just a lie. It’s all a lie.”
8. “They say walls don’t work. Walls work 100%.”
No one has ever penetrated a wall. Can’t happen. It’s 1,000 feet high and made of sheer ice! Wait
9. “Take a look at Israel. They’re building another wall. Their wall is 99.9% effective, they tell me — 99.9%.”
The border wall between Israel and Egypt is 150 miles long. The US border with Mexico is 2,000 miles long. Apples, please meet oranges.
10. “And a big majority of the big drugs — the big drug loads don’t go through ports of entry.”
Just to reiterate: Trump is wrong about this, according to his own administration.
11. “They can’t see women with tape on their mouth or three women whose hands are tied.”
Trump often leans on this notion — of women who are being taken across the border as part of human trafficking rings. The problem? There doesn’t appear to be any factual evidence for this disturbing image.
12. “It’s all a big lie. It’s a big con game.”
Trump is speaking specifically about the border here. But again, this statement is also a decent stand-in for his worldview: Everyone is lying to you and trying to screw you. Everybody but me.
13. “I’m going to be signing a national emergency. And it’s been signed many times before. It’s been signed by other presidents. From 1977 or so, it gave the presidents the power.”
True! The National Emergencies Act of 1976 did give presidents broad powers to declare national emergencies. And 58 have been declared since the law went into place.
14. “There’s rarely been a problem. They sign it; nobody cares. I guess they weren’t very exciting. But nobody cares.”
The issue here is not whether Trump can declare a national emergency at the border (he can!) but whether it qualifies as an actual national emergency. If it doesn’t, it set a huge precedent for the executive branch to seize power from the legislative branch.
15. “It’s a very good emergency that [Obama] signed, and we’re going to use parts of it in our dealings on cartels.”
Solid emergency. Quality emergency. Some say one of the best emergencies. (Also, here’s Obama 2011 national emergency declaration on cartels.)
16. “Nobody’s done the job that we’ve ever done. I mean, nobody’s done the job that we’ve done on the border.”
Isn’t this an argument against the necessity of the wall? If Trump is doing such an amazing job at the border, one might think a wall was unnecessary?
17. “We’ve done a fantastic job. But we haven’t been given the equipment. We haven’t been given the walls.”
Again the contradiction here is startling. On the one hand, Trump wants to make clear he is doing a better job than any other president ever on immigration (and everything else). On the other, he wants to make excuses for why he hasn’t been able to get it all done. But he just said he did better than any other president!
18. “I was a little new to the job, a little new to the profession, and we had a little disappointment for the first year and a half. People that should have stepped up did not step up. They didn’t step up, and they should have.”
Important thing to always remember about Trump: Nothing is ever his fault. He is always the undeserving victim of other peoples’ malice, incompetence or both.
19. “We’re right now in construction with wall in some of the most important areas. And we have renovated a tremendous amount of wall, making it just as new.”
20. “We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake and we’ll win in the Supreme Court.”
This sentence is 65 words long. Ernest Hemingway would not be pleased.
21. “I am prepared. I’m always prepared.”
[nods head slowly]
22. “I was speaking to a couple of them. They think this is far more important than what they were going to use it for.”
Trump claims here that he spoke to a number of generals who told him that they were fine with using money allocated by Congress for the military to build the wall because the wall is more important than anything they could do with that money. Trump never names these generals who loved the idea of building the wall using military funds. Maybe they exist! Also, maybe they don’t!
23. “You know, I’m a big deficit believer and all of that, but before we really start focusing on certain things, we have to build up our military.”
24. “Go ahead, ABC — not NBC. I like ABC a little bit more, not much. Come on, ABC — not much, pretty close.”
25. “Look, I expect to be sued. I shouldn’t be sued. Very rarely do you get sued when you do national emergency.”
When you do national emergency, you don’t get sued usually. Everybody knows this about national emergency. Of course, past presidents did national emergency when there was actual national emergency.
26. “So I think what will happen is sadly we’ll be sued, and sadly it’ll go through a process and happily we’ll win, I think.”
Sad, sad, then happy!!!
27. “I got almost $1.4 billion when I wasn’t supposed to get $1 — not $1. He’s not going to get $1. Well, I got $1.4 billion, but I’m not happy with it.”
Yet another example of the utter contradictions at the heart of Trump. He refuses to concede that he came out on the losing end of the compromise that emerged out of Congress. But if that was true, then why did he need to declare a national emergency to get the $3.6 billion in military funding? Answer: It’s not true.
28. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time, I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”
In which the President of the United States undermines the necessity of declaring a national emergency even as he is announcing said national emergency. Truly remarkable.
29. “And I don’t have to do it for the election; I’ve already done a lot of wall for the election 2020.”
[Narrator voice] He hasn’t.
30. “So I love tariffs, but I also love them to negotiate.”
Tariffs are great! Negotiating is also great!
31. “The USMCA from Mexico — that’s United States, Mexico, Canada — that’s where the money’s coming from, not directly, but indirectly, for the wall. And nobody wants to talk about that.”
They may not want to talk about it because Trump’s claim is, well, false.
32. “But, you know, I never did politics before. Now I do politics.”
“Now I do politics.” — The President of the United States
33. “In the meantime, I built a lot of wall. I have a lot of money, and I built a lot of wall.”
[narrator voice] He didn’t.
34. “Where a bad person comes in, brings 22 or 23 or 35 of his family members because he has his mother, his grandmother, his sister, his cousin, his uncle. They’re all in.”
Experts in the immigration field have dismissed Trump’s numbers here as wholly untethered to reality.
35. “Here’s a guy who could speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that sometime. For three hours, he speaks.”
Donald Trump likes Rush Limbaugh because Limbaugh can speak for three hours straight. So, there’s that.
36. “Ann Coulter. I don’t know her. I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying, ‘Ann Coulter.'”
Trump has tweeted favorably about — or retweeted — Coulter 47 times since 2015, according to the Trump Twitter archive. “Thank you @AnnCoulter for your nice words. The U.S. is becoming a dumping ground for the world. Pols don’t get it. Make America Great Again,” he tweeted in June 2015.
37. “So I like her. But she’s off the reservation. But anybody that knows her understands that. But I haven’t spoken to her. I don’t follow her. I don’t talk to her. But the press loves to bring up the name ‘Ann Coulter.’ And you know what, I think she’s fine. I think she’s good. But I just don’t speak to her. “
I dare you to tell me, definitively, how Trump feels about Ann Coulter.
38. “I actually have a couple of people on CNN that have been very good.”
Two things here: 1) Trump says he never watches CNN 2) Trump defines “very good” as “they say nice things about me.”
39. “Because your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda, you’re CNN, you’re fake news, you have an agenda.”
But you were just saying such nice things! I thought we had something! Something real!
40. “No, no, I use many stats. I use many stats.”
Trump doesn’t accept stats about border crossing or ports of entry that are provided by his administration. So, what stats does he accept? He won’t say.
41.”You have stats that are far worse than the ones that I use, but I use many stats, but I also use Homeland Security.”
[looks vacantly into space]
42. “When I came into office, I met right there in the Oval Office with President Obama. And I sat in those beautiful chairs.”
Glad he remembers the chairs. So beautiful!
43. “I believe he would have gone to war with North Korea. I think he was ready to go to war. In fact, he told me he was so close to starting a big war with North Korea.”
Wait, so former President Barack Obama told Trump he was planning a “big” war against North Korea? Interesting! I am sure that conversation happened exactly as Trump said it did!
44. “Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize.”
No big deal — just nominated for a little thing called the Nobel Prize. (Side note: Abe is refusing to deny he nominated Trump for the prize.)
45. “Many other people feel that way, too. I’ll probably never get it. But that’s OK. They gave it to Obama. He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds, and he got the Nobel Prize.”
Trump views himself — even now as president — as the guy looking in from the outside at the exclusive club that won’t let him in. And he hates it. It drives the tremendous resentment and bitterness her harbors to the so-called “elites.”
46. “I mean, it was the most beautiful five-letter — five-page letter. Nobel Prize. He sent it to them.”
Nobel Prize. Letter. Beautiful. Five pages. Letter. Beautiful. Nobel Prize.
47. “Nobody else would have done that. The Obama administration couldn’t have done it.”
So true. And, no, I am not totally sure what Trump is referencing here. But, he did it. And Obama didn’t. This feels like a good place to end.

Alert: President’s Day Protest – Fight Trump’s Phony “National Emergency”

By Roger Straw, email to BeniciaResist!  Feb. 17, 2019

Protest Trump’s Unconstitutional Power Grab on President’s Day!

Global Exchange links to a Crisis Response site where you can enter your zip code to find nearby protests against Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.  Find details on nearby events in Walnut Creek, El Cerrito, Albany, San Rafael, Sonoma, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Rosa, Mountain View, and 2 in Oakland.

So far, nothing in Benicia or Vallejo.  Vallejo-Benicia Indivisible is urging attendance at the El Cerrito event:

The El Cerrito event is Monday Feb. 18 at noon
. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build his vanity wall after signing the funding bill is a full-fledged attack on our democracy, an illegal, anti-democratic power grab rooted in racism. The only emergency at the border is the one created by Trump and the GOP enabling his temper tantrum. Congress and the people already rejected Trump’s wall, and going around constitutional separations of power and declaring a fake emergency as a desperate attempt to get his way is an abuse of his executive power. We won’t let Trump get away with this. Take your energy to the streets! On Monday, February 18, MoveOn – along with Indivisible, Win Without War, CREDO, and other activists, are joining for a mass mobilization to call on Congress to act on Trump’s fake national emergency. We’ve got to let every single member of Congress know that they must fight back. To attend you commit to engage in nonviolent, peaceful action, and to act lawfully.


Meet on the sidewalk on San Pablo Ave, at the corner of San Pablo & Carlson, in front of the Daiso Store. From El Cerrito Plaza BART station, walk west to San Pablo Ave and south to Carlson.
Map of 7000 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA 94530


Monday, February 18 at noon (local time)


El Cerrito Plaza, on sidewalk in front of Daiso Store
El Cerrito, CA 94530


Heidi R. Ted L.


Trump’s Power Grab: A Fake National Emergency – Call to Action on Monday, Feb. 18

By Roger Straw, February 16, 2019

Image result for protest national emergency

“These are the times that try men’s souls…”

Ignorant, perhaps, of the souls and sorrows that shape women’s existence and persistence here on earth, Thomas Paine was nonetheless profound in his observation.

His times were beset – as are our own times – by threats of rank privilege and outrageous abuse of power.  In solidarity with the wider community, Paine first shared his sense of the immense burden of those trying times at the birth of our nation, and went on with a clarion call to never give up.

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls….Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”  Thomas Paine, The American Crisis


Image result for donald trump king george iii

Yesterday, Trump asserted imperial powers over the constitutional guarantees of our assembled representatives.   Donald Trump is our King George III.

What congress solidly refused to authorize, King Trump has appropriated for his own small victory.  Small, that is, because it is the blow that can not be ignored, the final failure in a long line of abuses, misuses, lies, poorly-kept secrets and ignorant acts that surely rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Thank all that is good that we the people have powers, oversight authority, and checks and balances that do not necessitate another bloody revolution.  Here’s tomorrow’s TO-DO list:


Image result for congressCongress must act at once to reverse Trump’s executive declaration, an action that is clearly allowable under the National Emergencies Act.

“… it would be straightforward for Congress to reverse a declaration of national emergency. The National Emergencies Act gives legislators authority to reject a presidential declaration of national emergency through simple legislation that would require majorities in the House and Senate. President Trump would presumably veto such action. Legislators would have the opportunity to override a presidential veto with a two-thirds majority vote.”  – Chris Edelson, Assistant Professor of Government, American University School of Public Affairs, quoted on Public Radio International


Image result for courtsA raft of lawsuits has already been brought, including one announced by our California Governor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra.  According to Newsom:

“President Trump is manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up ‘national emergency’ in order to seize power and subvert the constitution. This ’emergency’ is a national disgrace, and the blame lays solely at the feet of the President. Meanwhile, he plans to shutdown and divert funds used by California law enforcement that run counter-narcotics operations and fight drug cartels to build his wall. Our message back to the White House is simple and clear: California will see you in court.”

The Congress, States, Texas landowners, progressive groups, non-profits and others are also mounting legal opposition.
The Fourth & Fifth Estates – the Media

Image result for news mediaOur fact-based news media is called upon to stand tall and firm in this most egregious of times.  For immediate editorial comment, see the New York Times “Phony Wall, Phony Emergency“, the Washington Post “Trump’s make-believe crisis is untethered from truth and reality“, and the San Francisco Chronicle “The true threat of Trump’s phony emergency“.

A Google Search on “trump national emergency” brings up ongoing online coverage.

And perhaps most importantly, YOU and ME…
Image result for protest national emergency
Gather to protest on Monday, Feb. 18

Calls are out for everyone to take to the streets to protest Trump’s power-grab.  Let’s gather on street corners, in the parks and at city halls on Monday, February 18.

Here are some links to find an event near you: