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A national emergency looms (and his name is Trump)

Has Trump’s sending of anonymous federal troops into Portland concerned you? Angered you? It certainly should.

In today’s New York Times, former presidential candidate and former Democratic senator from Colorado Gary Hart asks “How Powerful Is the President?” And what he has to say isn’t likely to help you sleep tonight.

He discusses the secret presidential powers alluded to by Trump’s comment: “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.”

Hart writes:

What little we know about these secret powers comes from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, but we believe they may include suspension of habeas corpus, surveillance, home intrusion, arrest without a judicial warrant, collective if not mass arrests and more; some could violate constitutional protections.

Follow Hart’s link to the Brennan Center and the third paragraph begins:

Presidential declarations of national emergency are governed by the National Emergencies Act, which went into effect in 1978. Under this law, the president has significant discretion to declare a national emergency; there are no statutory limitations, beyond the word “emergency” itself, on what type of event qualifies. 

[Emphasis added]

Elsewhere the Brennan Center lists “The 136 statutory powers that may become available to the president upon declaration of a national emergency.”

It all appears to mean that with a wave of his Sharpie pen, Trump can define and declare a “national emergency” and take whatever action he deems necessary to deal with it. Congress and the Constitution be damned.

Sleep well, citizens. Your president is in charge.

12 Comments »

  1. johnthecook…Yes,a National Emergency Looms…there are communities in our Great Country that are allowing thugs,criminals and those who wish to destroy America ,to reign for extended periods of time. We have Local Leaders(?) who are allowing this to exist without actively trying to stop it. I would not want to live in those communities> I don’t see people moving there because it is having a positive effect in that community.Do YOU want to move there? How much damage should be allowed before corrective action is taken? This level of Civil unrest is unacceptable (in my own opinion) I refuse to go back to the 1960’s…been there ,done that! You want to see civil unrest…just wait until the $600.00 a week unemployment insurance is stopped. A great many people in America are making more NOW,than they were making with full time employment.The thought of the day is…WHY work when I can make more $$ on unemployment than I can working?.SOCIALISM HERE WE COME! You want Joe Biden as President? There is not one Elected Democrat in Office today that truly believes that he will complete a first Term as President as there are obvious signs that he is experiencing early sings of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. THIS IS MY OWN OPINION. The best thing we can do is PRAY for our Country,but then again some people would call me an idiot.

    • I share your sentiments about the violence and vandalism. However, there are at least as many peaceful demonstrators making their point without violence. There are little things called freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the Constitution (see the First Amendment). And don’t forget, this all started with a cop, Derek Chauvin, suffocating a black man, George Floyd, to death. I’m as angry about that and bad cops in general as I am about the violence (from both sides). But a president ordering unidentified federal officers into a city over the objections of local officials is also unconstitutional. Much as Trump might want it, ours is not an authoritarian form of government.

      Given what Covid has done to our economy, I don’t consider some federal assistance out of line. Thousands of those unemployed people were gainfully employed before the pandemic hit.

      Given the mental and emotional shortcomings of Donald Trump, an aging Joe Biden looks mighty fine to me.

      • johnthecook…thank you for you response.You have a good thing going on here! We have freedom of Speech:still in effect AND freedom of assembly, PEACEABLY;still in effect. It is very hard to pick out a few rogue criminals in a large group of peaceably assembled protesters who refuse to give the CRIMINALS up,and they are nothing more that anarchists trying to disguise their intent. Peaceful protesters do not throw bottles,rocks,damage buildings,start fires and attempt to insight riots. Your.fellow commentator ie ImALibertarian refers to our Federal Military Personnel as”Nazi(like) federals as trying to quell our freedom of speech and to speak and seek redress for grievance, is just not true. I was in the Military for 22 years serving America.I was NOT a federally. These Military troops were NOT unidentifiable. Did The Leader of the PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATOR ask to speak to the Ranking Military leader? I don’t think so.

        • I have great respect for the military and am happy to say those anonymous “troops” in military attire in Portland were not US military. They were law enforcement officers from several Homeland Security agencies including ICE and Customs and Border Protection. Beats me what authority they had to attack and detain Portland demonstrators.

  2. One of the best things about the USA is that it’s citizens have the unalloyed freedom to do any stupid thing that doesn’t harm someone else or interfere with their freedom to do likewise. Trying to quell our freedom to speak and seek redress for grievances by bringing in Nazi(like) federales (who only escalate the core grievance) is a disgraceful disregard for the constitutional guarantee that no governmental jurisdiction has the right or authority to do so.

    My hope is that Biden chooses a Vice Presidential candidate who has greater than an 8th graders reading skill and a 6 year olds vocabulary – you know, just enough to best the opposition.

  3. johnthecook…thank you Windwhistle for the correction on “anonymous” troops to Homeland Security agencies and ICE and Customs and Border Protection personal. I am so glad that THAT mess is over! Meanwhile I and many others will continue to Pray for America and ALL her Political Leaders.

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