Category Archives: Trump

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:


    Donald Trump’s 10 Impeachable Offenses

    Repost from NEED TO IMPEACH
    [Editor: For some of us, this will serve as a good SUMMARY of the miserable daily onslaught of the last 2 years’ news reporting.  I learned from a friend the other day that the onslaught has been too much for her – she STOPPED watching the daily news.  If that describes you, this can be a quick and easy catch-up.  For ALL OF US, this is yet another alarm bell and maybe time to contact our elected representatives!  – R.S.]


    1   Obstructing Justice

    • After taking office, Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to abandon the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—which the FBI had already connected to Michael Flynn.
    • When Comey refused to alter course, Trump fired him.
    • Trump then admitted the firing was over “the Russia thing” in a televised interview.
    • In a tweet months later, he stated that he “had to fire Michael Flynn because he lied to the FBI”— further affirming that he dismissed James Comey in an attempt to quash the FBI’s investigation.

    Bottom line: Trump has repeatedly attempted to interfere in the Russia investigation, and admitted as much—that’s a clear case of obstructing justice.   SEE MORE

    2   Violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution

    • The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits the president from accepting personal benefits from any foreign government or official.
    • Trump has retained his ownership interests in his family business while he is in office.
    • Thus, every time a foreign official stays at a Trump hotel, or a foreign government approves a new Trump Organization project, or grants a trademark, Trump is in violation of the Constitution.
      • For example: shortly after he was sworn into office, the Chinese government gave preliminary approval to 38 trademarks of Trump’s name. Then, in June, China approved nine Donald Trump trademarks they had previously rejected.
    • And every time he goes to golf at a Trump property, he funnels taxpayer money into his family business—violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

    Bottom line: Because Trump never divested from his business interests, he violates the Constitution every time the Trump Organization has business dealings with foreign or American government officials.

    3   Conspiring with Others to Commit Crimes Against the United States, and Attempting to Conceal Those Violations

    • In the middle of the 2016 election, Trump’s son was invited to meet with a Russian national regarding “information that would incriminate Hillary and…would be very useful to” Donald Trump
    • The Russian, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had ties to high-ranking Kremlin officials.
    • Trump Jr. took the meeting. He said, “I love it,” when told Veselnitskaya may have had dirt on Clinton. Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended.
    • Federal law prohibits campaigns from soliciting anything of value from a foreign national.
    • After journalists broke this story, Trump personally dictated a public statement on behalf of his son that lied about the intended purpose of the meeting.
    • This relationship between the Trump team and the Russian national raises questions of whether the campaign aided a hostile foreign power’s active operation against the United States.

    Bottom line: Trump tried to cover up his campaign’s contacts with a Russian national—which, at very least, constituted a violation of federal law.

    4   Advocating Violence and Undermining Equal Protection Under the Law

    • When Trump gave cover to the neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville and murdered a protester, he violated his obligation to protect the citizenry against domestic violence.
    • When Trump encouraged police officers to rough up people they have under arrest, he violated his obligation to oversee faithful execution of the laws.
    • When Trump shared anti-Muslim content on Twitter, he violated his obligation to uphold equal protection of the laws.
    • This represents a pattern of disregard for some of the president’s basic responsibilities as defined by the Constitution.

    Bottom line: Trump has demonstrated a pattern of behavior amounting to advocating violence, undercutting equal protection, and, as a result, failing basic Constitutional duties.

    5   Abusing the Pardon Power

    • President Trump’s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio amounted to an abuse of the pardon power that revealed his indifference to individual rights and equal protections.
    • Joe Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court after ignoring a court order that he stop detaining and searching people based on the color of their skin, which constitutes a violation of their rights.
    • Pardoning this conviction goes against the Fifth Amendment, which allows the judiciary to issue and enforce injunctions against government officials who flout individual rights.

    Bottom line: Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio violates the Fifth Amendment and harms the guarantee of Constitutional rights.

    6   Engaging in Conduct that Grossly Endangers the Peace and Security of the United States

    • High-ranking administration officials involved in foreign affairs have signaled that Trump does not have the capacity to make informed decisions in the event of a military crisis.
    • Even worse, his actions could spark a needless confrontation stemming from misunderstanding or miscalculation.
    • We see this in full effect every time Trump tweets or makes a public statement taunting and threatening the North Korean regime.
    • The president may be the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” but that does not give him the right to behave in reckless or wanton ways that put millions of lives at risk.
    • If he is unfit to perform his duties as Commander in Chief, he cannot be allowed to remain in the position.

    Bottom line: Trump cannot be permitted to recklessly and needlessly endanger millions of Americans with his unstable behavior.

    7   Directing Law Enforcement to Investigate and Prosecute Political Adversaries for Improper and Unjustifiable Purposes

    • President Trump has repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate and prosecute political adversaries like Hillary Clinton.
    • This is not based in concerns with national security, law enforcement, or any other function of his office—it is an attempted power play, plain and simple.
    • There’s no question that this constitutes an outrageous and inappropriate abuse of executive branch powers and serves as clear grounds for impeachment.

    Bottom line: Trump’s threats against political opponents are threats against American democracy.

    8   Undermining the Freedom of the Press

    • President Trump has repeatedly attacked the concept of an independent press.
    • He’s called critical coverage “fake news” and journalists “the enemy of the American people,” made threats to change libel laws and revoke licenses, and his battles with CNN led him to try to interfere in the AT&T/Time Warner merger.
    • This demonstrates his unwillingness to respect and uphold the Constitution, and disdain for the crucial foundations to our free society.

    Bottom line: Trump’s threats against freedom of the press are also threats against American democracy.
    Thanks to Free Speech for People, whose white paper, ‘The Legal Case for a Congressional Investigation on Whether to Impeach President Donald J. Trump,’ served as the basis for this list.

    9   Cruelly and Unconstitutionally Imprisoning Children and their Families

    Bottom line: Trump’s policy endangers thousands of immigrant children and families, and defies basic Constitutional values.
    Thanks to Free Speech for People, ‘New ground for impeachment hearings: cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families,’ served as content for this impeachable offense.

    10   Violating Campaign Finance Laws

    • Donald Trump knew disclosure of his extramarital affairs with Stephanie Cliffords (A.K.A. Stormy Daniels) and Karen McDougal could hurt his chances at winning the 2016 election.
    • At the direction of Trump, Michael Cohen and American Media, Inc. (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer bought the rights to the women’s stories and forced them to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements to prevent them from going public.
    • Cohen admitted to making illegal, hush-money payments to hide Trump’s affairs in the fall of 2016, just weeks before the election.
    • Federal prosecutors, and Trump’s co-conspirators Cohen and AMI, all say that Cohen made the payments at Trump’s direction, “in concert with the campaign,” and with the intention of helping Trump win.
    • Trump is unindicted co-conspirator because he directed Cohen to “cause an unlawful corporate contribution” and an “excessive campaign contribution” by paying the two women hush money with the intent to influence the election.

    Bottom line: Trump committed at least two felonies to illegally cheat his way into office.


      Former chief of FBI Counterintelligence: Trump a ‘clear and present danger’

      Reprint from
      [Editor: Incredible 6-minute interview at the end of this story!  Be sure to watch!  Note that Laufman is calling on ALL OF US to speak out now.  – R.S.]

      Trump ‘is a clear and present danger’ to national security’: Ex-DOJ counterintelligence head

      By BOB BRIGHAM, 14 JAN 2019 AT 22:15 ET 
      Composite image of MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and David Laufman ran the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (screengrabs)

      SNBC anchor Rachel Maddow brought the former chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section to discuss the latest revelations in scandals involving Russia swirling around President Donald Trump.

      David Laufman served as a federal prosecutor and ran the D.O.J.’s counterintelligence division at the time the FBI, according to a New York Times report, began a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump.

      Maddow noted a tweet by Laufman, which she said, “sent a shiver down my spine.”

      “It was a tipping point, among the data points we’re familiar with through the public actions of the special counsel, other investigative reporting,” he explained. “I spent 25 years in public service, mostly in the national security space and I feel I have a moral obligation to speak up when I see action taken by the president or the members of the administration that in my judgment undermine the national security of the United States.”

      “The notion that the president of the United States would be trying to conceal details of conversations with a leader of our principle foreign adversary was positively chilling,” he continued.

      “When you describe the president as acting in a way that is counter to the national security interest of the United States, those of us who don’t think of this in legalistic terms, those of us who are civilians trying to make sense of this moment in history and thinking about our own responsibility which you’re calling us to think about here, do you mean in blunt terms that the continuing existence of this presidency is a threat to the national security of the United States?” Maddow asked. “Do you think the president is that kind of a threat?”

      “I think there’s a culmination of things we can point to in the public record now, the unbelievable acquiescence to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, that was positively shocking to those of us who worked in the national security, all of the charging documents, people associated with the president, all of those point to a reasonable inference — and it’s a painful anguishing thing to acknowledge — that the president of the United States is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States,” he concluded.



        Robert Reich: We must unite to fight back against our country’s bullies

        Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle

        We must unite to fight back against our country’s bullies

        By Robert Reich, October 7, 2018
        Brett Kavanaugh uses emotional bullying in an effort to get his way. | Erin Schaff / New York Times

        As a kid, I was always a head shorter than other boys, which meant I was bullied — mocked, threatened, sometimes assaulted.

        Childhood bullying has been going on forever. But America has become a culture of bullying — the wealthier over the poorer, CEOs over workers, those with privilege and pedigree over those without, the white over the brown and black, men over women.

        Sometimes the bullying involves physical violence. More often it entails intimidation, displays of dominance, demands for submission, or arbitrary decisions over the lives of those who feel they have no choice but to accept them.

        The hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 was a window into our bullying culture.

        On one side: powerful men who harass or abuse women and get away with it, privileged white men intent on entrenching their power on the Supreme Court, men vested with the power to take away a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body.

        On the other side: women with the courage to tell what has happened to them, to demand an end to white male privilege, and to preserve and enlarge their constitutional rights.

        Christine Blasey Ford was poised, articulate, clear and convincing. More than that: She radiated self-assured power.

        Kavanaugh, by contrast, showed himself to be a vicious partisan — a Trump-like figure who feels entitled to do and say whatever he wants, who suspects left-wing plots against him, who refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and who uses emotional bullying and intimidation to get his way.

        Even if Kavanaugh gets on the Supreme Court, a large portion of the American public will never trust him to be impartial. Many will never believe his denials of sexual harassment. Most will continue to see him as the privileged, arrogant, self-righteous person he revealed himself to be.

        Which brings us to the upcoming midterm elections.

        It’s not really a contest between Democrats or Republicans, left or right. It’s a contest between the bullies and the bullied. It’s about the power of those who are rich, white, privileged or male — or all of the above — to threaten and intimidate those who aren’t.

        And it’s about the courage of the bullied to fight back.

        Donald Trump is America’s bully-in-chief. He exemplifies those who use their wealth to gain power and celebrity, harass or abuse women and get away with it, lie and violate the law with impunity, and rage against anyone who calls them on their bullying.

        Trump became president by exploiting the anger of millions of white working-class Americans who for decades have been economically bullied by corporate executives and Wall Street.

        Even as profits have ballooned and executive pay has gone into the stratosphere, workers have been hammered. Their pay has gone nowhere, their benefits have shrunk, their jobs are less secure.

        Trump used this anger to build his political base, channeling the frustrations and anxieties into racism and nativism. He encouraged Americans who have been bullied to feel more powerful by bullying people with even less power: poor blacks, Latinos, immigrants, Muslims, families seeking asylum.

        This bullying game has been played repeatedly in history, by self-described strongmen who pretend to be tribunes of the oppressed by scapegoating the truly powerless.

        Trump is no tribune of the people. He and his enablers in the Republican Party are working for the moneyed interests — the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other corporate and Wall Street chieftains — by cutting their taxes, eliminating regulations, slashing public services and allowing them to profit off public lands, coastal waters and privatized services.

        The moneyed interests are America’s hidden bullies. They have enlarged their net worth by repressing wages (or pushing the companies they invest in to do so), and enlarged their political power through gerrymandering and suppressing votes (or pushing their political lackeys to do so).

        Their capacity to bully has grown as the nation’s wealth has become concentrated in fewer hands, as the economy has become more monopolized, and as American politics have become more engulfed by big money.

        It is time to fight back against the bullies. It is time to join together to reclaim economic and political power.

        It begins with the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

        © 2018 Robert Reich
        Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, is the author of “The Common Good.”