Things That Matter

President Trump Didn’t Get His Border Wall Funding So He Is Now Declaring A National Emergency

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After months of negotiations with Congress, President Trump took the unprecedented step of declaring a national emergency to get funds for a border wall along the U.S-Mexico border. The news came on Friday morning after Congress passed a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. The Senate voted 83-16 to pass the spending deal, which would provide a little over $1 billion for border security but no money for Trump’s border wall. It was soon after that the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the President would “take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”

Trump isn’t the first president to call for a national emergency but he’s the first to declare one for a crisis that technically is not a crisis at all.

After President Trump’s original request for $5.7 billion wasn’t part of the spending bill approved by Congress, he is now taking things into his own hands. The president suggested for weeks that he would declare a national emergency if Congress wouldn’t approve more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says a wall is necessary to counter what he has called a “humanitarian crisis” at the border.

He will now be facing mounting legal opposition now that he has announced $8 billion moved in the budget to fund his border wall. Soon after news broke of the presidents plans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly responded to the belief that there is a crisis happening at the border.

“First of all, it’s not a national emergency; it is a humanitarian challenge to us,” Pelosi said. “The president is making an end run around Congress.”

Pelosi is correct here. Illegal border crossings have been dropping every year since 2006 and the argument that drugs are being smuggled across the border is also incorrect, most drugs are seized at ports of entry.

By declaring a national emergency, Trump plans to use funding from various parts of the federal government for his wall, most notably the Department of Defense.

By declaring a national emergency, President Trump is able to reach into certain funds provided under statutes previously passed by Congress. This essentially means that he has the authority to pull from military construction funds and civil works projects, like infrastructure repair projects. The president has to notify Congress of where he decides to pull money from but they cannot stop him due to the call of a national emergency.

While legal challenges can temporarily stop him, the chances of succeeding are slim because the definition of a national emergency is vague in wording. The president will likely face more roadblocks with landowners whose property is along the border. They will surely take legal action if they are forced to have a border wall built on their property.

Polls show that a majority of Americans are against Trump’s decision to delcare a national emergency.

Americans have overwhelming denied the need for a wall along the southern border. Even more, Americans are against Trump taking money from military and infrastructure budgets to build his wall, which is what Trump is doing with his national emergency delcaration.

What does this all mean going forward?

The president is now facing opposition not only from Democrats but from even some Republicans. The call for national emergency sets precedent moving forward that is a slippery slope when it comes to using presidential authority. It also essentially undermines the purpose and role of Congress.

What happens in the courts next is the big question at hand. A president calling for a national emergency when there technically isn’t one, just to build a large barrier — has yet to be tested in the courts. If the case is to reach all the way to the Supreme Court, which currently favors in the conservative side, the president could likely win. This could take months or even years to get settled. If the president is trying to get a quick fix for his border wall, he’s going to have to wait.


READ: President Trump And Beto O’Rourke Both Speak In The Same City, On The Same Night, Here’s What Happened

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Here Are The Businesses Supporting A Trump 2020 Reelection

Things That Matter

Here Are The Businesses Supporting A Trump 2020 Reelection

Here in America, capitalism gives us all the opportunity to vote with our dollars. That means individuals can make an impact on seemingly untouchable issues, like animal testing (buy cruelty-free), funding immigrant detention camps (stop buying Microsoft), gay rights (adiós Chik-Fil-A), and another four years of Trump in power. If the connections between these issues and their consequent direct action seem random, por favor, read on.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re constantly voting with our dollars. For example, folks who signed up for SoulCycle classes and Equinox memberships didn’t understand the significance of how the companies’ owner would spend his profits. Stephen M. Ross, the billionaire owner of Equinox and SoulCycle hosted a major fundraiser for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign at his mansion in the Hamptons. Spokespersons for these wealthy Trump supporters will tell you that the company profits itself are not used to fund politicians. While the corporation itself will not make contributions to Trump 2020 in the company’s name, the company does issue the largest paychecks to its CEOs. Board members and owners of these companies would not attain the power and wealth to influence campaign elections without every single individual’s choice to funnel their dollars through their companies.

Individuals can do whatever they want their money. Ross can donate to Trump 2020. But you don’t have to direct your hard-earned money towards someone who will create a society you don’t want to live in. If you don’t want Trump 2020 to happen, boycott these companies:

1. Estée Lauder (& its subsidiaries)

Credit: maccosmetics / Instagram

Estée Lauder’s board member Ronald Lauder donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory committee in 2017. Estée Lauder also owns Aveda, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone London, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Smashbox, and other subsidiaries. Boycotting Estée Lauder and its subsidiaries is a win for animals, too! The company continues to sell its products in China where they are legally required to subject rabbits and other small animals to painful chemical tests.

2. The Home Depot

Credit: homedepot / Instagram

Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone co-founded The Home Depot and have collectively donated over $7 million to PACs seeking Trump’s reelection. Another $100k went directly to Trump’s inaugural committee straight from the founders’ pockets. We also can’t shop at Hobby Lobby anymore because its CEO David Green actually urged Americans to support Donald Trump.

3. CVS Pharmacy

Credit: cvspharmacy / Instagram

The Boston-based drugstore chain donated in the company’s name to help get Trump reelected. CVS Health Corp. donated $35,000 to Trump’s Victory PAC and $500,000 to America First Policies, a nonprofit that promotes anti-immigration rhetoric and policies. Once word got out that an official from America First Policies’ had spewed (surprise!) racist and sexist rhetoric, CVS said they would no longer contribute to that particular group. 

4. Las Vegas Sands Group (The Venetian, The Sands, and Marina Bay Sands hotels)

Credit: venetianvegas / Instagram

The biggest donor to Trump’s inauguration was Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, which owns The Venetian, The Sands, and Marina Bay Sands hotel resorts in Las Vegas. Adelson donated $5 million to the inaugural fund. He donated $25 million in “soft money” to Super PACS dedicated to getting Trump elected, which are immune to election finance laws that limit the max donation to $360,000.

5. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsAPP, Spotify, Lyft and Airbnb

Credit: startup_invest / Twitter

Besides the obvious lack of action from Facebook to prevent Russia from fear-mongering and influencing American votes, Facebook board member Peter Theil has donated $250,000 to Trump 2020 and is Trump’s 7th largest donor. Oh, and Theil’s tech company, Palintir, has a $1.5 billion contract to protect ICE’s surveillance network. 

6. Taco Bell

Credit: tacobell / Instagram

We all have an opinion on Taco Bell, and apparently Taco Bell franchise owners are highly opinionated, too. Together, they donate to a TACO PAC, which donated $53,625 to Republicans this year alone. According to Food and Wine, t also donated $5,000 to Trump’s re-election bid so far.

7. Marvel Entertainment

Credit: marvel / Instagram

Former CEO and now Chairman of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is a long-time friend of Donald Trump. Perlmutter donated $360,000 to Trump’s victory committee in 2017. He wrote another $360,000 check last month that went directly to Trump 2020. That’s not even the half of it. Perlmutter donated $5 million to a Super PAC whose mission it is to re-elect Trump and his comrades.

READ: In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

Rebellious Women On Twitter Are Gearing Up To Be #FilthyMouthedWives Thanks To Donald Trump’s Latest Attack

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Rebellious Women On Twitter Are Gearing Up To Be #FilthyMouthedWives Thanks To Donald Trump’s Latest Attack

Sarah Morris / Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s trigger fingers turned to Twitter fingers once again. This time he attacked Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend on Twitter. Trump felt MSNBC didn’t give him sufficient credit on criminal justice reform.

His “tweetstorm” comes in the wake of a new border crisis: Hurrican Dorian survivors from the Bahamas without visas have been denied entry to the United States. Not only are these survivors fleeing a dangerous situation, but this border rule is completely new. Bahamians were previously allowed to enter the United States with a passport and a clear criminal record. The rule is so new, no one was aware it existed until hundreds of Bahamians were turned away. Moreover, the President is also involved in another financial scandal in which the air force has launched an international investigation after it was discovered crew members stayed at Trump’s luxury Turnberry golf resort in Scotland. 

What do these scandals have to do with Teigen and Legend? Nothing. So why is the President of the United States picking on celebrities, when these two much more pressing issues, amid many more, are at the center of the news cycle? Well, I don’t pretend to know what is in Donald Trump’s heart, but I do have a dictionary and know what the word “deflection” means. 

The President compares himself to Obama — again.

On Sunday night, Trump was watching an MSNBC town hall on criminal justice reform. To his chagrin, he felt he didn’t receive any credit for signing the First Step Act into law. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, who has been a longtime activist appeared on the episode. 

“When all of the people pushing so hard for Criminal Justice Reform were unable to come even close to getting it done, they came to me as a group and asked for my help. I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it. Obama couldn’t come close….” he tweeted. 

“musician @johnlegend and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is – but I didn’t see them around when we needed help getting it passed. “Anchor” @LesterHoltNBC doesn’t even bring up the subject of President Trump or the Republicans when talking about….” 

“…..the importance or passage of Criminal Justice Reform. They only talk about the minor players or people that had nothing to do with it…And the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed, all they talk about now is Impeaching President Trump!”

Don’t come for John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.

“Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody–ANYBODY–will praise you.  Melania, please praise this man.  He needs you,” Legend joked. 

However, Teigen wasn’t as nice. Trump didn’t even refer to Teigan by her name, he simply called her John Legend’s “filthy-mouthed wife.” 

Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci noted that Trump has a penchant for targeting private citizens like no other. 

“Have any of the other presidents in recent history — modern history — gone after their private citizens whether they’re celebrities or not celebrities?” Scaramucci told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on New Day. “(For) the last two and a half years this guy has acted like a bully, crazy person against his fellow citizens.”

Is any of what Trump is saying remotely factual? No, of course not.

While Trump did sign the First Step Act in 2018, a bipartisan effort to reform the criminal justice system, many activists, including Latino Justice PRLDEF, do not believe it remotely goes far enough to repair our broken system. Moreover, Trump’s grievance in the first place was factually incorrect. During the Dateline episode, Lester Holt did give Trump credit and showed footage of him signing the bill into law. 

The First Step Act reduces mandatory minimum sentences in certain cases and will result in the release of 3,000 inmates. There are 2.3 million incarcerated people in the United States right now. Of those inmates, roughly 451,000 are nonviolent drug offenders.

John Legend is a real activist.

John Legend has been an activist for years. He is on the advisory board of the Bail Project, which provides free bail assistance to low-come individuals who are legally presumed innocent. He is the founder of the Show Me Campaign, which hopes to provide every child access to education, and #FREEAMERICA, a program to reform the criminal justice system. That’s why he was at the town hall. 

The President is unhinged, and this is another example of how those checks and balance system they taught you about in high school are deeply flawed.