Tag Archives: presidency

Rule by Fiat: National Crises, Fake Emergencies and Other Dangerous Presidential Powers, by John W. Whitehead

Shutting down the government until he got his way on the wall would have been vastly preferable to declaring an emergency and Trump exercising emergency powers. This will come back and bite supporters who are cheering his move on the ass. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon

Who pays the price for the dissolution of the constitutional covenant that holds the government and its agents accountable to the will of the people?

We all do.

This ill-advised decision by President Trump to circumvent the Constitution’s system of checks and balances by declaring a national emergency in order to build a border wall constitutes yet another expansion of presidential power that exposes the nation to further constitutional peril.

It doesn’t matter that the legal merits of this particular national emergency will be challenged in court.

The damage has already been done.

As reporter Danny Cevallos points out, “President Donald Trump only had to say ‘national emergency’ to dramatically increase his executive and legal authority. By simply uttering those words … Trump immediately unleashed dozens of statutory powers available to a president only during a state of emergency. The power of the nation’s chief executive to declare such an emergency knows few strictures — it was designed that way.”

We have now entered into a strange twilight zone where ego trumps justice, propaganda perverts truth, and imperial presidents—empowered to indulge their authoritarian tendencies by legalistic courts, corrupt legislatures and a disinterested, distracted populace—rule by fiat rather than by the rule of law.

This attempt by Trump to rule by fiat merely plays into the hands of those who would distort the government’s system of checks and balances and its constitutional separation of powers beyond all recognition.

This is about unadulterated power in the hands of the Executive Branch.

This is about corporate greed disguised as a national need.

Most of all, however, this is about the rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security.

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Why This Iraq War Veteran Has Created Panic In The Democratic Party, by Tyler Durden

Tulsi Gabbard running for the Democratic presidential nomination will make that moribund race much more interesting. For one thing, she’s not a fossil. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Hawaiian Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s just announced 2020 presidential bid has unleashed fury from both the right and the left, but more so from within her own party, and especially from corners long focused on regime change in Syria and who generally lobby for a more muscular “boots on the ground” foreign policy from Ukraine to Syria to Afghanistan. Some pundits have already gone so far as to say “keep an eye on her finances,” suggesting illegal foreign campaign funding through Damascus or Moscow.

Congresswoman and Army reserve officer Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

Both neocons and liberal interventionists alike have united to slam the anti-war progressive as “Assad’s mouthpiece in Washington” and an “Assad apologist” and of course there’s the customary “Putin puppet” slur — the latter because as journalist Michael Tracey puts it, she “hasn’t been sufficiently Russiagate-crazy for Democrats”.

The former charge was regularly sounded after her early 2017 trip to Damascus to meet privately with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a diplomatic gesture to personally investigate the West’s regime change efforts and its consequences for the Syrian people. The move was slammed by fellow Congressional Democrats, who raised questions over possible violation of the Logan Act.

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Break the Cycle: In 2019, Say No to the Government’s Cruelty, Brutality and Abuse, by John W. Whitehead

The Founders are spinning in their graves. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”—Edmund Burke

Folks, it’s time to break the cycle.

Let’s make 2019 the year we say no to the laundry list of abuses—cruel, brutal, immoral, unconstitutional and unacceptable—that have been heaped upon us by the government for way too long.

Let’s make 2019 the year we stop living in a state of utter denial, desensitized to the government’s acts of violence, accustomed to reports of government corruption, and anesthetized to the sights and sounds of Corporate America marching in lockstep with the police state.

Let’s make 2019 the year we refuse to allow the government’s abusive behavior to be our new normal. There is nothing normal about egregious surveillance, roadside strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, or pay-to-play politicians.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we suffered through in 2018.

The government failed to protect our lives, liberty and happiness. The predators of the police state wreaked havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government didn’t listen to the citizenry, refused to abide by the Constitution, and treated the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers shot unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—were armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies were allowed to fleece taxpayers. Government technicians spied on our emails and phone calls. And government contractors made a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

The president became more imperial. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill. The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

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