Thursday, January 10, 2019

Trump will invoked a state of emergency to build wall (that seems like 99% certain now). Maybe it does get people back to work. (Oops - the 1% happens)

With a spectacle approaching of massed missed paychecks tomorrow for federal workers, Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is calling on for Trump to declare his national emergency and enumerate the powers he wants to use, to build his wall.

Then the government could be reopened.

Graham was despondent about the lack of progress today even among some senior Republicans on coming up with a compromise that Trump could sign.

There are many opinions about how court challenges would go.  It would appear legal for Trump to use surplus Corp of Engineer funds and contractors (it’s less clear that he can legally use military personnel).  However, these fund would be removed from possible use in disaster relief, like wildfires, earthquakes and hurricanes.  In fact, it seems to come from money already intended to help with Puerto Rico (Maria) and also the after effects of hurricanes like Harvey and Florence. 
The enumeration of specific powers could get dangerous if Trump went beyond the immediate issue of the border and got into other areas, like the Internet.  Some of my concern comes from the idea that “asymmetry” is itself a national security problem (following the logic of Taleb’s “skin in the game”).  But as long as Trump can stay away from this particular area (which I blab about a lot) I hope Democrats will leave the wall alone and let employees come back to work. True.
 Trump made this mess. He had promised to cooperate and then caved in to pseudo president Ann Coulter (Kyle Schmidlin on Medium).   

Update: Jan. 11

Trump said late Friday that he would not call an emergency right now. (The 1% probability happened.) He fears he would lose in court. And even with the Senate away for the weekend, Mitch McConnell hinted this after noon he would get talks going behind the scenes. 

The Wall Street Journal today, in an op-ed by Dan Crenshall, "The Silly Arguments Against a Border Wall", argues that the Democrats need to be more flexible on this. 

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