Checks & Balances??? HAH!

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

That, as you all know, is the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the foundation for the government of the U.S.  Until recently, it was a representational form of government.  The Constitution calls for three separate and distinct branches of government in order to achieve a system of checks and balances so that no one branch has complete autonomy.  The reason is to protect our representational form of government from corruption, from making self-serving and destructive decisions. If there was ever a doubt in your mind that there are no longer checks on the executive branch, the presidency, you can put those doubts to bed now, for the proof is in the pudding that Congress, the legislative branch of government, is too afraid of Donald Trump to act on behalf of We The People.

You will recall that on June 1st, Trump imposed a 25% tariff on imports of steel, and a 10% tariff on aluminum, on the European Union, Canada, and Mexico – our allies – citing “national security” as the reason.  Our allies were, justifiably and understandably, disturbed by this move, as were many here at home. The tariffs were poorly received by the vast majority of economists; almost 80% of 104 economists surveyed by Reuters believed that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be a net harm to the U.S. economy.  The World Bank has warned that a spiral of rising tariffs could lead to a drop in global trade not seen since the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

The legal basis for Trump to impose the tariffs is questionable, at best.  It comes from Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 which under certain circumstances allows the president to impose tariffs based on the recommendation from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce if  “an article is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten or impair the national security.”  This section has never been invoked since the creation of the World Trade Organization was established in 1995, and I have to ask just how Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, concluded that the import of steel and aluminum poses a threat to national security.

National security?  There is far more harm in starting a trade war and alienating our closest allies, our friends, than there is in free trade.  In fact, trade agreements such as NAFTA contribute to the economies and safety nets of the nations involved.

The tariffs garnered widespread criticism among members of Congress, even some conservative republicans!  On Thursday, June 7th, Senator Bob Corker filed a proposal to require congressional approval for President Donald Trump’s tariffs in the form of an amendment to a must-pass defense appropriation bill.   Corker was joined by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and eleven other senators who have grave concerns about the tariffs and the near-certain retaliatory tariffs and the damage that will be done to the U.S. economy, not to mention our standing with our allies.

Admittedly, Corker’s bill, even if passed in the Senate, stood a slimmer chance in the House, and was almost certain to fail passing with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.  BUT … it was a beginning that sent a message that perhaps Congress was finally willing to do their job, and it was gaining momentum.  BUT … on Tuesday, at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s request, Senator Jim Inhofe blocked Senator Corker’s tariffs bill from a vote.  The bill is now effectively dead, and Trump has once again proven that he has authoritarian powers.

Why did Senator Inhofe block the bill?  Because it would displease Trump.  Bob Corker said it best …

“The United States Senate, right now, on June 12, is becoming a body where, well, we’ll do what we can do, but my gosh, if the president gets upset with us, then we might not be in the majority. And so let’s don’t do anything that might upset the president. ‘Gosh, we might poke the bear’ is the language I’ve been hearing in the hallways. We might poke the bear. The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we’re going to do everything we can to block it.”

trump constitution 1I am a voter.  I paid federal income taxes from the time I was 13-years-old until I retired a few years ago.  I am a citizen.  I do not want to live in this nation if Herr Trump can wake up one morning and make a decision without any oversight from our elected representatives, or if our elected representatives are so fearful of Trump that they refuse to represent us.  The majority of people in this nation feel the same.  If the “Mitch and Jim Show” can, with the snap of their fingers, render our voices silent by silencing the voices of those people we elected to represent our interests, then we are no longer a representational government, and rather than being citizens, we are now subjects.

27 thoughts on “Checks & Balances??? HAH!

  1. tRump wants to be the hero and just as he sabotaged the rising renewable energy market to try to force more coal use costing many jobs in the renewable energy market, he is now doing the same thing in other areas with these tariffs. He doesn’t realize that even the coal mine owners know coal industry is a dead end and will die soon. tRump also doesn’t seem to understand that tariffs are a tax paid by the US people on goods. In his small mind, with its low processing power, tariffs somehow are paid by and hurt the foreign companies sending products here. So the economy will tank, people will lose jobs, homes, and be unable to buy new items. That will push the economy even lower. tRump though will be making money hand over fist through graft he and his family are openly doing right now by using their positions to raid the treasury and to get money from other governments. Ever notice the countries on tRump’s good list are ones that give him something and praise him. I read a report that many foreign dignitaries rent rooms at the tRump DC hotel and don’t even stay there. The feel obligated to hold events there, even when they would rather have them elsewhere. We have become a banana republic and a laughing stock to the world. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are quite right … the tariffs will hurt us all. Imagine what a new car will cost in a couple of months. Gronda was telling me that the cost of lumber has already increased by 25%. The very people who support Trump so blindly will be hit the hardest. I wonder if that will open their eyes? Trump doesn’t understand international trade, nor does he have a grasp of economics, but the bottom line is that he doesn’t care, either. He only wants to appear “tough” or “strong”. He is neither … he is only a braying ass. Hugs, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, our members of the House and Senate need to be reminded of this key assertion. They need to stop worrying about keeping their job and start doing their job. I spoke to and emailed about twenty five Senators in the past two days. My main purpose this time was to get an audience and support of the fairly logical and reasonable GOP Senator Bob Corker bill that all tariffs needed to be reviewed by Congress. It never got to the floor thanks to Senator Jim Inhofe at the behest of Mitch McConnell.

    These Senators know that the man in the White House is damaging our relationships with allies making us less trustworthy and reliable. The bullying, lying and lack of respect is far worse than the costly tariffs, which are rarely a good idea. We have ceded our global leadership position with a series of unforced errors and have caused companies and governments to consider other options. The Asia Pac trade deal was completed without the US, for example. CEOs and CFOs need to consistency to do business and this Presidency is not known for predictability.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My computer froze. To complete the thought., the country is bigger than its President. We need Senators and Congressman to do their job, before the Fox slip up of calling him a dictator becomes closer to the truth. Keith

      Liked by 2 people

      • You do us all a service by your tireless efforts to make our voices heard with our elected representatives, Keith. I write emails, but find I get discouraged by the lack of a relevant response. You go far beyond what I do … thank you, my friend. You are quite right when you say the members of Congress need to worry less about keeping their jobs and more about doing them. It is a damn shame when the president has influence over whether candidates for Congress get elected or not, and thus they fear the prez more than the voters. This is not how it is supposed to be!

        As I see it, the nation is on a fast track to becoming an autocracy if we do not get rid of Trump. The safeguards of the Constitution can only hold back the floodwaters for so long, and already we are seeing cracks in that dam. Congress, and even the Supreme Court now seem to be on board with his wishes. Simple solution … he has to go. Not-so-simple implementation, unfortunately. Sigh.

        Thanks again for all you do, and I will try to do better … you inspire me!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Thanks Jill. I have had some interesting conversations with staffers who cannot offer opinion or they will be fired. I have asked a few, “am I an outlier or are you hearing this from others?” Invariably, the response is we are hearing a lot from people like you. It enables me to ask the question “what can we do to get Congress to do their job?” They know how frustrating it is to see a so-called leader do damage and see so-called leaders in Congress do nothing. Thanks for the thumbs-up. Keith

          Liked by 2 people

  3. In 1872 the Republican Missouri Senator Carl Schurz, in a Senate speech, elaborated upon the words of Stephen Decatur : “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; if wrong, to be set right.” We the People need to set our country right! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post. This morning I’m certain Draft-Dodge Don and his crime family are sweating over the situation with Cohen and his lawyers. You know, it’s funny, but if the FBI raided my lawyer’s office (I don’t have a lawyer, BTW), I won’t worry about him or her flipping on me. You don’t need to worry about people flipping you if you’re not a friggin’ crook. And Trump is not only ignorant about our Constitution, he’s a full blown rotten to the core criminal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks!!! Same here. I DO have a lawyer, but I have nothing to hide, so if the FBI wants to raid his office, they are more than welcome to. AND … I go to bed every bloomin’ night with a clean conscience. I don’t know how some of the people in Congress and in the administration can sleep at night! I wouldn’t be surprised if they all end up alcoholics, for that is the only way I would be able to stand working for Trump every day.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, WE THE PEOPLE must do what we do best. Protest and cast informed votes. I have never voted a straight party ticket in my life. 2018 and 2020 will be different. The Republican Party has been usurped by an ideology that is absolutely contrary to whom we are as Americans.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I fully agree! That’s what keeps me writing this blog, calling and emailing elected representatives, and talking ’til i turn blue in the face. Like you, I don’t vote for a party, but for a candidate, though I tend to lean toward the left most of the time. But the Republican Party has lost its way and is no longer the same one it was 20 years ago. The Tea Party movement was the beginning of the end of the old party. There are a few left who are honourable, but very few. They sold their souls, and I will not be voting for any of them in November.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my main arguments against Trump when he was running is that he has never demonstrated respect for the laws of this country. His business dealings were proof enough… thanks for another great post.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Dear Jill,
    I have family who is already feeling the pinch. They are in the process of building a new home. The price of lumber has jumped by 26%. They have to come up with more monies. You can now add about $6,000 dollars at a minimum to have a home built.

    This will be true for other products as well, The USA is a consumer driven economy where what the president is doing is counter-productive. It may help a few steel and aluminum manufacturers but it will impose a tax on all the rest of us.

    The president is harming US relations with our neighbors and allies but he is screwing his voters as well. That Senator Bob Corker couldn’t put a stop to this because his fellow republicans in the US Congress are afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, President Trump. They don’t deserve to be there. There ought to be a march calling out these cowards with a bunch of signs.

    This guy in the White House is evil and those republicans who should be a check on power are yellow bellied weenies.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lumber? Wow … didn’t take long, did it? Imagine what this will do to the cost of an automobile? Trump either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the domino effect he has set into motion. Likely he neither understands nor cares. But you are right … his supporters will start feeling the pinch very soon. I wonder if they will still think he’s wonderful?

      I love it when that Italian temper flares and you say things like “yellow bellied weenies”! I fully agree!!!

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I hate to tell you, Jill, but I had no idea what is in the Preamble, or that there even was a preamble. Yes, I did know the USA has a constitution.
    On the other hand, I could not tell you if Canada has a preamble, though I know we do not have a constitution. Rather, I believe we have a Bill of Rights (I think it is called), or something like that. So you can see that while I have some political knowledge, I am not politically astute.
    But then again, one does not have to be politically astute to see that the Deniable Truthspreader wants to be Dictatorial Tyrant (yes, I already used that one).
    However, one has to be pretty much politically blind to see that Trumpfriar is a liar, a thief, and in it only for himself. Did you see the video where he was already looking at beaches he could build his Degradable Towers on, on the shores of North Korea. That is why he wants to make peace with Kim Jung-Un. He doesn’t want to make peace to make America safe again, he wants to make money, as if he doesn’t already have enough of the stuff to make it useless and unmeaningful to him. What leader of a democracy or a republic ever tried to make peace to line his pockets with money? Okay, there have been a few, Canada’s Brian Mulroney, for one. But he stole money only from Canadians (and a German or Two). He didn’t steal it directly from another country’s paupers, like Trump is intending. (Okay, maybe some did that indirectly by buying cheap labour, but the Dartworthy Trumpface is intent only on doing this openly, and he believes he will get away with it.)
    Make him pay, please

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well, I wouldn’t expect you to know the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, since you are Canadian. But you kinda sorta do have a Constitution in Canada as you have a “Constitutional Act” — two of them, actually — and a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. No I didn’t already know that, but was curious enough to do a bit of research.

      No, I didn’t see that picture, but it doesn’t surprise me a bit, for he is always looking for a way to make a buck, to put his name on something else, and to scam someone. He probably hopes to build a hotel and get Kim to pay for it! And since it is said that Kim wants a McDonalds, perhaps they can put one in the lobby of the hotel and everybody will be happy, yes?

      You’re on a roll tonight … my favourite is Dartworthy Trumpface!

      Like

      • Yeah, I liked that one too, so I used it again on Gronda’s site. It was too good for a one-time throwaway.
        And not knowing all that s**t about Canada’s documents really show how much I no not care about politics, per second.
        “But then along came Trump
        Trash walking Trump,
        Trash talking Trump,
        Along came doughy, doughty Trump.”

        Liked by 1 person

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