“Emergency” Open Thread: President #Flopsweat

And it was hardly a last-minute impulse decision! From the Washington Post, “How President Trump came to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall”:

President Trump knew that lawmakers were unlikely to ever give him the billions of dollars he wanted to build a wall on the southern border, so in early 2018, he gave aides a directive: Find a way to do it without Congress.

It was hardly an easy assignment. The White House had some flexibility to spend money the way it wanted, but could not move the necessary billions at will. Trump could declare a national emergency, but White House attorneys repeatedly warned him the risk of failure in court was high.

On Friday, Trump did it anyway. Stepping to a microphone in the Rose Garden, the president told reporters he was invoking his powers to declare a national emergency, then acknowledged what his lawyers had been warning him: He will get sued and, at least initially, will probably lose.

The remarkable moment, people familiar with the matter say, marked the culmination of months of heated internal deliberations between the White House Counsel’s Office, the Justice Department, the Office of Management and Budget, lawmakers and the president over how to fund the wall…

Keep track of the rogues’ gallery here:

The tension came to a head in a March meeting in the White House residence, when Trump learned that his aides had secured only $1.6 billion for border fencing in an omnibus spending bill.

Trump fumed to then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the funding was a fraction of what he would need and threatened not to sign the measure, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation.

“We gave you what you wanted!” Ryan shot back, the people said.
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Late Night Diversions Open Thread: Run, Bill, Run!

I feel no shame in admitting I voted for Governor Bill Weld, and not just because the alternative was John Silber. As I remember it, Bill Weld was denied his hoped-for promotion to Ambassador mostly because Jesse Helms was a vicious little bigot. I suspect that Weld looks at current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and sees the same fat, fatuous, self-satified Southern hypocrisy squatting on the corpse of the American Dream. Per The Root:

As America watches developments in Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump’s national emergency has just begun. Weld, the former Libertarian VP candidate who supports legal abortion, has a no chance of securing the nomination. Even the #NeverTrump contingency of the GOP would be hard-pressed to throw their support behind the comparatively liberal Weld.

Still, Weld’s presence may prove damaging despite his uphill climb to the RNC. Trump, frequently provoked by slights real and imagined, would be likely to embarrass himself in response to a Weld quote via social media. In the especially unlikely event of a televised debate, Trump would be likely to find himself out of his depth. Weld, the federal prosecutor turned two-term governor who missed out on an ambassadorship to Mexico during the Clinton administration due to his support for needle exchanges and legal marijuana.

Weld is banking on fond memories of New Hampshire voters who remember him fondly from his time running the Bay State. The Libertarian who ran alongside Gary Johnson might find support in a state without motorcycle helmet laws.

The last two incumbents to face a serious primary challenge wound up losing. Here’s hoping history repeats itself.

There are problems with his record. His time as U.S. attorney coincided with some of the bloodiest moments in the unholy alliance between the late gangster Whitey Bulger and the Boston office of the FBI. And he does tend to, well, lose interest in things. But he has one thing that is a pre-requisite for anyone planning to run against El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago—Bill Weld truly doesn’t give a damn.
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Friday Morning Open Thread: Come One, Come All…

Given the status of the current Oval Office Occupant, you can’t blame every possible Democrat for dreaming big. From the Washington Post, “‘Off the rails’”:

Headed for another defeat on his signature promise to make Mexico pay for a southern border wall, the president was frustrated after a briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and others on details of the final deal to avoid a shutdown, according to officials involved in the discussions. Trump threatened not to sign the legislation, the officials said, putting the government on the brink of another damaging shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was on the phone with Trump at least three times during the course of the nerve-racking day, pressing him to stay the course and asserting that Democrats had actually lost the spending fight, two people familiar with the conversations said.

“We thought he was good to go all morning, and then suddenly it’s like everything is off the rails,” said one senior Republican aide…

Though White House officials insisted Thursday that Trump was acting in a defiant and assertive way, few Republicans, including the president’s closest allies, were pleased with the ending: $1.375 billion for fencing and other expenditures, plus an emergency gambit that many conservatives view as an executive overreach.

Yet for Trump, the negotiations were never really about figuring out how to win. They were about figuring out how to lose — and how to cast his ultimate defeat as victory instead.

“Zero chance you could spin this as a win for Republicans,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said earlier in the week. He called the bipartisan deal “a total capitulation” and added, “Bluntly, it was a waste of three weeks.”…
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Open Thread: Shadenfreude Silver Lining

At least the Oval Office Squatter is almost as miserable as the rest of us now…

Trump Crime Cartel Open Thread: Pre-Friday Sparring

Matt ‘Big Dick Toilet Salesman’ Whitaker seems to have conceded his latest argument:

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