If we vote to overturn it, he will veto it. If we cannot overturn the veto, we will go to court. And if we lose in court, we will use the powers to advance our goals. That’s both a promise and a threat.

Behind closed doors, Republicans understand they are setting a vast new precedent. Fine. At a minimum, this exposes a vast hypocrisy in their approach to “limiting the size of government and defending the constitution.” That on its own is a major victory for the Democratic Party.

But should all this eventually go sideways…should the courts actually uphold this nonsense, then we as a party need to be crystal clear about how we will use these powers to our own ends. And not later. Now, during the campaign. Make it the direct and explicit consequences of supporting this nonsense, and do so in unambiguous terms.

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/25/i-support-trumps-vision-border-security-i-would-vote-against-emergency/

House Democrats moving to force Senate Vote on Emergency Declaration

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her muscle behind a legislative effort to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, the first formal step to counter Trump and squeeze Republicans on the border wall.

Democrats will introduce legislation Friday to terminate the emergency proclamation and Pelosi is urging House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the resolution, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO on Wednesday.

Politico: https://politi.co/2Ng9FRg

Once this passes the House, the Senate will be forced to vote on it. There are thirty-four seats up for grabs in 2020, so this will be the first truly consequential vote for each of the following Senators: https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2020

Alabama Democratic Party Doug Jones
Alaska Republican Party Dan Sullivan
Arizona Republican Party Martha McSally
Arkansas Republican Party Tom Cotton
Colorado Republican Party Cory Gardner
Delaware Democratic Party Chris Coons
Georgia Republican Party David Perdue
Idaho Republican Party Jim Risch
Illinois Democratic Party Dick Durbin
Iowa Republican Party Joni Ernst
Kansas Republican Party Pat Roberts
Kentucky Republican Party Mitch McConnell
Louisiana Republican Party Bill Cassidy
Maine Republican Party Susan Collins
Massachusetts Democratic Party Ed Markey
Michigan Democratic Party Gary Peters
Minnesota Democratic Party Tina Smith
Mississippi Republican Party Cindy Hyde-Smith
Montana Republican Party Steve Daines
Nebraska Republican Party Ben Sasse
New Hampshire Democratic Party Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey Democratic Party Cory Booker
New Mexico Democratic Party Tom Udall
North Carolina Republican Party Thom Tillis
Oklahoma Republican Party Jim Inhofe
Oregon Democratic Party Jeff Merkley
Rhode Island Democratic Party Jack Reed
South Carolina Republican Party Lindsey Graham
South Dakota Republican Party Mike Rounds
Tennessee Republican Party Lamar Alexander
Texas Republican Party John Cornyn
Virginia Democratic Party Mark Warner
West Virginia Republican Party Shelley Moore Capito
Wyoming Republican Party Mike Enzi

Space Force? There is no Space Force. There is only the Air Force, now as before

Bowing to bipartisan concerns in Congress, President Trump retreated Tuesday from his plan to create an independent “space force” in the Pentagon, proposing instead to consolidate the military’s space operations and personnel in the Air Force.

The scaled-down plan would still establish a new military service focused on war-fighting in outer space — the first new branch since 1947 — with a four-star commander who would become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an executive order that Trump signed Tuesday.

www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pol-space-trump-20190219-story.html

This is a pretty big walk back, except that it’s not back far enough. Congress will never approve this either. The Air Force already has a Space Command, and it does all the things this new “Space Force” is supposed to do. And although inter-service rivalry prevents the leaders of the branches of our armed services from agreeing on much, one thing they will all agree on and lobby Congress on is their opposition to a new co-equal competitor for resources.

So no. Even aside from the dumb name, this was never gonna happen.

Marcy says this is happening when Mueller wants it to happen? That’s good enough for me, and we’ll all know soon enough

I’ve long believed that Mueller would be allowed to finish the work necessary for Congress to take this thing the final mile, and I see nothing that would suggest I should change my mind now. Plus, Marcy Wheeler has reason to believe the same, so I’m in the very best of company!

I’m fairly certain the concerns about Barr coming in and forcing Mueller to finish this are misplaced. I say that, in part, because Mueller seemed to be preparing for this timing. I say it, too, because Barr is too close to Mueller to do that to him.

That says that Mueller is choosing this timing (and choosing not to wait for the appeals to be done). Whatever reason dictates this timing, by doing it in this window, Mueller can ensure the legitimacy of what happens, both legally (because Barr will be in place) and politically (because it will be clear Rosenstein presided over it).

So whatever comes next week, people on both sides should accept that it is the outcome of the investigation that Mueller deemed appropriate.

SOURCE: feedproxy.google.com/~r/emptywheel/cAUy/~3/-wVsL8754Rg/

So Iran having nuclear power is an existential threat to the US, but giving it to the Saudis is A-OK? This makes sense how?!?

They wanted to sell nuclear technology to the Saudis for their personal profit. This makes sense to the “all Muslims hate us and want to impose sharia law” how? This makes sense to the “Trump is the one who will finally put America first” people how? This makes sense to the “Uranium One is treason, and she should be jailed or worse” people how? How can anyone — and by that I literally mean anyone — think this makes ANY sense?

The Saudi Kingdom is one of the very few nations on earth that has an issue with energy supply, and I’m fairly confident I don’t need to explain why. So no, they don’t want nuclear power for power; they want it because they want a weapon. Everyone involved in this scheme understood that, and yet they enthusiastically went ahead with it anyway. Think about that. And as you do, remember how many times they promised to “never forget” 9/11.

The project was an effort to transfer U.S. nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia for the development of nuclear energy sites there. It was spearheaded by a company called IP3 International. Between June 2016 and December 2016, Flynn served as an advisor to a subsidiary to IP3 International called IronBridge Group, Inc. He faced scrutiny for omitting certain details about his relationship with the group on his government security clearance application forms.

From the beginning of the Trump administration, Flynn’s top aide Derek Harvey pushed for the project, described as a Middle East Marshall Plan, according to the report. Harvey claimed that Flynn had already made the decision to move forward with with the project during the transition, the report said.

Flynn is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, where he pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts during the transition.

In early 2017, Harvey was warned by career staff that the White House would need to comply with Atomic Energy Act, which requires congressional approval of any transfer of nuclear technology to a foreign country, according to the report. Yet, Harvey ignored these warnings, the report said.

“Both career and political staff inside the White House reportedly agreed that Mr. Harvey’s directive could violate the law,” the report said. “One senior political official stated that the proposal was ‘not a business plan,’ but rather ‘a scheme for these generals to make some money.’ That official stated: ‘Okay, you know we cannot do this.’”

talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/report-officials-pushed-flynns-saudi-nuke-project-after-warnings-it-broke-law

What on Earth do AMI and the National Enquirer have on Senator Graham?!!

Watching the man’s very abrupt descent into self-parody really has been quite something. From predicting Donald Trump would be the end of his party to this, all in the span of about 18 months. I suppose it’s possible that there’s an innocent explanation to at all, but at this point, Occam would sure suggest otherwise.

I mean…what can you even say about this?

“Aren’t you concerned that some of these projects, that were part of legislation that you helped approve in Congress, are now going to be possibly cut out?” she asked.

Graham said the choice of which DOD funds to use was Trump’s, not his, but, should the military middle school construction project get the ax, “I would say it’s better for the middle school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border.”

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/graham-ky-kids-would-be-better-off-if-school-funds-are-diverted-to-border-wall

This right here is what I expected from a Pelosi Speakership, and it’s why all those calls  for an alternative were always so misguided

When I wrote my last post earlier today, I honestly didn’t expect to see it happen so quickly and from the very highest level of the party. Bravo, Madam Speaker. Bravo.

“A Democrat president can declare emergencies as well,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference, as news broke that Trump would sign a bipartisan spending deal to keep the government open but also take executive action on the border.

Pelosi is playing to some Republicans’ biggest fears around executive power: that a Democratic president would push through policies on everything from health care to gun control through the White House instead of Congress, should Trump lose the presidency in 2020.

“If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency — an illusion that he wants to convey — just think what a president with a different set of values can present to the American people,” Pelosi said. “The precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans.”

Source: Trump’s national emergency sets a new precedent for Democrats, Pelosi says – Vox