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GOP Senators reveal they WANT an open border in the US [Video]

The adage that the Democrat and Republican Parties are just the same was proven in votes blocking President Trump’s emergency declaration.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill reported on 14 March that the US Senate voted to reject President Trump’s recently declared National Emergency at the US-Mexico border, a move the President made in order to secure funds needed for further construction of the highly controversial Border Wall.

With a 59-41 margin in total, including twelve GOP Senators who voted with the Democrats, the resolution of disapproval passed. It also passed in the House last month, predictably, 245-182, but this was much closer to being a vote strictly along party lines.

While the measure is all but sure to be the first to receive the Presidential veto in Mr. Trump’s term of office, it reflects the viewpoints of politicians over the ongoing issue of border security for the US very clearly.

Here are the Republicans who voted with the Democrats, listed by State:

  • Alaska: Lisa Murkowski
  • Florida: Marco Rubio
  • Kansas: Jerry Moran
  • Kentucky: Rand Paul (we reported on his decision here)
  • Maine: Susan Collins
  • Mississippi: Roger Wicker
  • Missouri: Roy Blunt
  • Ohio: Rob Portman
  • Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey
  • Tennessee: Lamar Alexander
  • Utah: Mike Lee and Mitt Romney

Texas Senator John Cornyn was one of the senators that supported the controversial declaration, and The Hill reported that he considered the overall outcome of this to be a win for the President, due to the fact that his veto will not be overridden in the House of Representatives.

Given the range and reputation of the senators in this group, it is likely that this is not a “Trump-hater” bastion of Republicans. Senator Rand Paul noted Constitutional concerns in his open letter expressing his intention to not support the declaration. Similar thoughts came to the fore as spoken by Senators Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander, as The Hill reports:

GOP supporters of the resolution, such as Maine Sen. Susan Collins, cast their vote not as a rebuke of Trump’s border wall but instead over a constitutional question about Congress’s role in funding the government.

“That is why this issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I support and have voted to advance. …It is a solemn occasion involving whether or not this body will stand up for its institutional prerogatives and will support the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” Collins said. “We must stand up and defend Congress’s institutional powers as the Framers intended that we would. Even when doing so is inconvenient or goes against the outcome that we might prefer.”

Collins said separately that while she had talked to White House staff, she had not spoken directly to Trump about her vote. She added that she expected he would not “be happy” but that she was “letting the chips fall.”

“But I’m a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is retiring at the end of the current Congress, argued that a vote against the emergency declaration was a “check on the executive [that] is a crucial source of our freedom.”

The fact that forty-one Senators did support the President may give lie to this noble-sounding series of statements.

Why? Because the outcome of this is intended for there to be no wall at the border.

While there is certainly a question of separation of powers here because this particular Emergency Declaration was intended to free up access to money (which only the House of Representatives, constitutionally, can allocate), the other side of the argument is that the President, as leader of the Executive Branch of the American government, is responsible for guarding the nation’s security. During the 35 day partial shutdown, a great deal of media attention was focused on the border, and it became clear to more and more Americans that there is indeed a crisis of security taking place there.

Illegal immigrants pelted US Border Patrol agents with rocks thrown over barriers there, they tried to rush the barrier at the Tijuana-California checkpoint on a number of occasions, major drug shipments were caught at the border and the number of illegal migrants is now expected to go north of one million apprehensions, a two- to three-fold increase over those caught in 2018. The Hill noted that these factors did have an effect on some who voted:

There were some last-minute surprises. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who had said he would vote for the resolution blocking Trump, announced moments before the vote started that he was changing his mind.

“We have to recognize that we have a crisis at the border, 76,000 people crossing illegally in February alone. We have narcotics flooding our country, poisoning our children and adults of all ages,” he said from the Senate floor.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a top 2020 target for Democrats, supported Trump, while Blunt, a member of GOP leadership, did not.

The Senate Majority Leader also was supportive of the President:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made no secret of the fact that Trump’s emergency declaration has sparked fierce, lengthy discussions within the caucus. But he urged his caucus to support Trump, arguing that there was a “border security and humanitarian crisis on the southern border.”

“It’s no secret I take the Senate as an institution extremely seriously. I take the separation of powers extremely seriously. And I take Congress’s prerogative over appropriations extremely seriously. But — as I argued yesterday in the context of the Yemen resolution — the Senate should not be in the business of misusing specific resolutions to express opinions on more general matters,” McConnell said.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a close ally of Trump’s, also knocked Democrats for their “howls of outrage” against the White House.

“We have reached a moment of crisis, but it’s not a constitutional crisis. It’s a crisis at the border, a crisis of American sovereignty. When hundreds of thousands of foreigners arrive at the southern border and demand entry, that’s not migration. That’s an emergency,” he said.

The crisis at the border continues. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen gave her comments, distilling the matter into rather clear language:

There is a very clear argument that this border status is a threat to the sovereignty of the United States. This is not to repeat platitudes that sound great politically, but there is precedent behind the claim. Any nation that abdicates its right to allow or disallow immigrants, based on any criteria, but especially their criminal record or attitude towards the country they are entering, places itself in danger. This happened in Germany during the Syrian migrant waves, as well as in other European nations, which now sport ethnic Muslim ghettos that are so dangerous that the police will not even enter such places.

Yet at the same time, the other side of the debate speaks to the idea of compassion for the migrants, who in the most part, are fleeing very poor living conditions and simply want a better chance at life. For these people, the President and other “strong-borders” people have repeatedly stated that they are welcome to come, but that they must submit themselves through the proper immigration procedure.

The observation that this immigration procedure itself has many problems also must come into consideration.

However, this vote’s outcome gives a strong indication of politics playing to the “letter of the law” rather than the “heart of the law.” And behind that, according to sources like Tucker Carlson of Fox News, is the desire to keep the border open for the sake of various short and long term economic and political gains. We attach his assessment here, because it is extremely informative.

 

 

 

 

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Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

Here is an article that looks at how illicit drugs are transported across the U.S. – Mexico border:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/01/transporting-drugs-across-southwest.html

While a wall will make it more difficult for individual drug mules to smuggle relatively small volumes of illicit drugs into the United States, a wall is not going to stop people from importing illicit drugs using a myriad of other methods that involve crossing the border at official crossing points.

Pattymoo
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Pattymoo

Sally have you herd the saying if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound. The same applies to the drugs being smuggled in between ports of entry

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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