So the Idiot Declares a State of Emergency

My prediction is that it’s not going to go very well for him. It’s an extreme measure, you see, and it sets a dangerous precedent. Because of how extreme it is, it’s going to be challenged in the courts:

  1. Texas property owners will challenge it because it threatens to result in their property being confiscated via eminent domain. Texas has more privately-owned land along the border than any other state, and the border there is along a river, meaning a wall threatens to cut farmers and ranchers off from a source of water in an arid or semiarid climate.
  2. The usual suspects (i.e. liberals) will of course litigate it.
  3. Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, will litigate as well. Congress has standing in this case; the state of emergency is an attack on the clearly-enumerated constitutional powers of Congress.
  4. When it ends up in the Supreme Court, even the right-wing justices are unlikely to see it in as charitable a light as Trump’s Muslim ban. The sole exception is Kavanaugh, who might be enough of a Trump puppet to go along with it. That means the best case outcome for Trump in the Supreme Court is probably an 8–1 loss.

More on the Supremes: The conservative justices are unlikely to be fans of the measure because of the precedent it sets: they don’t want a future Democratic president using states of emergency to bypass a Republican congress. (If left unchallenged, this would probably happen sooner rather than later, because divided government has been the rule, not the exception, since the 1970’s.)

That latter reason means that some GOP senators are likely to find their spine and oppose the state of emergency in the Senate, when the House sends the Senate a resolution disapproving of it. So it’s going to sew discord within the president’s own party.

This all proves, once again, that Trump is not an evil genius. If he were an evil genius, he would have avoided setting all sorts of traps for himself on the border wall issue. He would have taken some budget funding more border barriers, probably one funding them more generously than what Congress just passed (because a solidly Republican Congress would have passed it), as a sign that the wall is being built, and would have strutted around and proclaimed victory, probably with a victory speech along an existing stretch of border wall.

Wow

This is easily the most snow I’ve seen since moving to the island five years ago. About 9 inches and still coming down! Quite the birthday present from Mother Nature!

View out the back door this morning.

View out the front door this morning.

Some Points on Ralph Northam

Northam’s reaction proves his superiority to Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh lied about and denied his past. When confronted with the evidence, Northam confessed it and expressed contrition for it.
Northam’s reaction proves his superiority to Trump.
Trump expressed no contrition about the Access Hollywood tapes.
The Democrats’ reaction proves their superiority to the Republicans.
There’s already been widespread condemnation of Northam and calls for him to resign from his own party. Contrast with widespread support for Kavanaugh and attacks on his accusers on the Republican side. Contrast with how Republicans stuck with Trump after the Access Hollywood tapes came out.
It’s not just his conduct in medical school.
Northam’s nickname while at Virginia Military Institute was “Coonman.” That not only shows the yearbook photo wasn’t an isolated incident, it points to which of the two figures in it he probably is.
It’s a shock it took so long for the above to be discovered.
Ralph Northam has run in elections since 2007. An old yearbook isn’t that obscure a thing. It’s a standard campaign tactic to go digging for dirt on your opponents. So, it’s a mystery that it took so long for this thing to come to light.
Northam is toast.
He’s still refusing to resign, but given how widespread the calls for his resignation are, he won’t last.