Sunday, February 17, 2019

Trump giving Mahathir ideas ....

Dow Jones Industrial Index closed 340 points up on Friday. It is up for the week from last Friday's 25,042 points Monday to close the week at 25,883 points.

Investor's Business Daily attributed the rise due to optimism over US-China Trade talk, but Market Watch brief reported described "negotiators remained deadlocked over key issues" to end the talk in Beijing. It will resume next week in Washington.

Such significant rise could not have been triggered by economics or business events, as economist and analyst keep a close watch and constantly update their analysis and forecast with new announced data. Strong version of market efficient would have built-in the market prices with any probable events to come.

Yesterday's significant rise could only have come from a political event, and something not within expectation. Market Watch reported:
"U.S. political tensions were swinging back into focus for investors. Trump declared a national emergency to secure additional funding for the wall on the southern border, potentially setting him up for a showdown with Congress." 
If DJIA received well US President Donald Trump move to by-pass Congress to get the money needed to "build the wall!", then it is giving the old gerontocrasy leader, Mahathir ideas.

Trump is digging deep to pay for a big item the heavily indebted US could ill afford.

The Wall should have wean on its political value by now, two years after the Presidential election. Trump could typically do blame games on China, state of global economy, Democrats, a small country in South East Asia called Malaysia, even join the chorus of Tun Dr Mahathir and Lim Guan Eng to blame it on 1MDB and Dato' Najib, and emulate Empress Dowagers and gang at Tabung Haji to blame and do a media blitz of police reports against previous management.

However, Trump did not and insisted on delivering this one election promise to build the damn wall.

Washinton Post reported:
Trump declares national emergency on southern border in bid to build wall

By Damian Paletta, Mike DeBonis, John Wagner
February 15, 2019 at 8:28 PM

President Trump declared a national emergency to build a border wall on Feb. 15. Here's what you missed. (Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)
President Trump on Friday declared the situation on the southern border of the United States to be a national emergency, catapulting the country into uncertain legal and political battles as he seeks to fulfill a campaign promise that eluded him for two years.

He made the designation in an attempt to redirect taxpayer money from other accounts and use it to erect more than 230 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. But Trump anticipates a flurry of legal challenges that will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.

Democrats are trying to paint the action as evidence of a rogue president who has finally gone too far, and they vowed to stop him.

Trump’s announcement capped a frenetic two-month period that included the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, at 35 days; the reemergence of Democrats as a political force; and a Republican Party caught between taking signals from Trump and bucking his unconventional impulses. It also begins a new phase of his presidency that will test the separation of powers, as he sidesteps Congress despite Republicans urging restraint.

During a 50-minute, meandering Rose Garden news conference, Trump offered little empirical evidence to back up his assertion that there was a crisis on the border requiring an extraordinary response. Instead, he invoked hyperbolic, campaign-style rhetoric about lawlessness that he said only walls could suitably address.

“We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs,” he said. He used the word “invasion” seven times.

He later said the emergency declaration wasn’t urgent but rather expedient, as it would help him build a wall more quickly than Congress would allow.

“I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster,” he said.

Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union mapped out the ways they would try to block Trump’s wall. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said he would summon White House counsel Pat Cipollone to Capitol Hill to explain the White House’s rationale.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, said he planned to work with other states to take legal action against the White House.

The ACLU said it was preparing a lawsuit of its own, arguing that Trump cannot legally redirect taxpayer money during an “emergency” unless it’s for military construction projects that support the armed forces. Friday afternoon, the advocacy group Public Citizen filed a suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, seeking to block Trump’s declaration on behalf of Texas landowners and an environmental group.

Democrats and several Republicans predicted a two-pronged response to the declaration: one, having Congress vote to reject it in the coming weeks, and two, suing Trump — or at least aiding other parties that attempt to intervene.

“The president’s actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the Courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

Most notably, Pelosi and Schumer said, “We call upon our Republican colleagues to join us to defend the Constitution.”

Republicans are divided over Trump’s declaration, with many unnerved by what they see as an executive power grab while others are unwilling to challenge the president ahead of 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who faces a reelection race next year, suggested that it would be hypocritical for Republicans to support the emergency declaration after criticizing President Barack Obama for “executive overreach,” and he suggested that future Democratic presidents might follow Trump’s precedent.

Tillis described a future “President Bernie Sanders declaring a national emergency to implement the radical Green New Deal” or a “President Elizabeth Warren declaring a national emergency to shut down banks and take over the nation’s financial institutions.”

“I don’t believe in situational principles,” he said.

Other Republicans lodged an even more straightforward objection: Declaring a national emergency might prompt Trump to shift funds from other desperately needed projects.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (Tex.), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, warned against tapping Defense Department and military construction accounts to build the wall.

“Doing so would have detrimental consequences for our troops,” he said in a Thursday statement.

“And it would undercut one of the most significant accomplishments of the last two years — beginning to repair and rebuild our military. I hope that the president will pursue other options.”

The issue was more than a constitutional discussion for Republicans. Democrats signaled that they would proceed with a privileged resolution of disapproval that would force GOP lawmakers to either vote for Trump’s wall or oppose his emergency claim — with certain political repercussions.

By Friday afternoon, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said he had gathered more than 60 co-sponsors for the resolution.

Such a measure would pass in the Democratic-controlled House, and more than enough Republicans could break ranks to ensure its Senate passage. But Trump is certain to veto the resolution, and Congress probably couldn’t muster enough votes to override a veto.

Democratic legislative staffers huddled on Capitol Hill at 2 p.m. Friday, shortly after the White House issued its proclamation. According to a senior Democratic aide, no decisions have been made on how Congress will proceed with a formal measure of disapproval, but House and Senate leaders are expected to move carefully to win over as many Republicans as possible.

The more serious threat to Trump’s move could be litigation, with numerous parties exploring legal challenges — including Democratic House leaders who have been examining various options for months.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said Thursday that he did not consider an emergency declaration to be “a practical solution” for Trump because litigation could keep any potential wall funding on hold for months or years while the lawsuits resolve themselves.

“I thought there were other, better alternatives,” he said.

White House officials want to approve projects and reallocate money as quickly as possible, but no timeline has been given.

Part of their strategy is to try to use eminent domain to seize private property along the border, particularly in Texas, where they want to install parts of the barrier. This is expected to open another round of legal challenges from private landowners.

Other parts of the approach are equally unclear. White House officials have not said, for example, how they plan to solicit bids on the projects or what type of process they will follow. Congressional Democrats and some state leaders, meanwhile, have vowed to try to stop the work before it can even begin.

Trump has long asserted that the United States is full of rapists, murderers and other violent criminals who enter illegally from Mexico, and he has pledged to address the situation by building a wall. Government data, though, shows that attempted border crossings remain near 40-year lows and that drug traffickers primarily attempt to smuggle hard narcotics through ports of entry, not through gaps between border barriers, as Trump has suggested.

The biggest challenge on the border in recent years has been a surge of families seeking to cross into the United States and claim asylum, overwhelming border agents and U.S. facilities.

White House officials plan to use $8 billion to build new fencing that they believe will block or discourage a wide range of immigrants.

Of that money, $1.375 billion was approved by Congress on Thursday, and it can be used for 55 miles of “pedestrian fencing” in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

The White House plans to use $600 million from the Treasury Department’s forfeiture funds account, which contains money seized by the federal government from a range of illicit activities.

An additional $2.5 billion would be redirected from a Pentagon program for countering drug activities, and a final $3.6 billion would be moved from military construction accounts. It’s that final pot of money that White House officials said required the national emergency declaration, as the White House is generally barred from moving money from one account to another without congressional approval.

Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to build a border wall and have Mexico finance it. Since becoming president, he has insisted instead that the money come from U.S. taxpayers.

White House officials said that more than 50 national emergencies have been declared since the 1970s, attempting to rebut concerns that Trump was outside his authority in taking this step.

“This is authority given to the president in law already,” said acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. “It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted, so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money.”

But some presidential historians said Trump’s move was unusual, in part because he stopped short of describing how it would ameliorate a situation that he hasn’t precisely defined. White House officials on Friday wouldn’t disclose where the new border barriers would be placed.

Presidents have taken extraordinary steps before, at times invoking crises facing the United States. Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War in 1861, making it easier to arrest someone without bringing the individual before a judge.

President Harry Truman tried to nationalize the steel industry in the 1950s amid tensions brought by the Korean War; he was rebuked by the Supreme Court.

Presidential scholars said Trump’s move on Friday, though extreme in its rhetoric, will be viewed much differently, even if he attempts to use the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to buttress his case. That’s because Trump isn’t responding to a crisis that’s evident to the American people but is instead taking action after Congress rejected his funding request for the past two years.

“It shrinks the importance of Congress even more,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. “It is a wild-eyed imperial presidency.”

In his Rose Garden remarks, Trump suggested that he had already thought through the legal minefield that his decision was likely to traverse. He predicted that lower-court judges and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit would probably rule against him before the administration ultimately prevailed.

“We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued, and they will sue us in the 9th Circuit, even though it shouldn’t be there, and we will possibly get a bad ruling and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we will get a fair shake,” he said.

As part of the national emergency declaration, Trump signed a $333 billion spending bill that funds many government operations through September. This averted a government shutdown that would have begun Saturday.

Josh Dawsey, Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade contributed to this report.

Mahathir to emulate Trump

Trump has dug deep to get his way to win the Presidential election and many other situation but most are rhetorical. This time he means it to get his way. For further understanding of what power the US President as, read The Atlantic's The Alarming Scope of the President's Emergency Powers.

Here in Malaysia, new government under former PM#7 is facing endless attack from opposition and public for not just their inability to deliver on their promises but announced they are not going to deliver it by citing debt, 1MDB and Dato Najib as blame.

Despite failing even to imprisoned Najib and more so, the low hanging fruit case of SRC looks in a mess, Mahathir face another problem to deliver on the promises. His Minister of Finance and key adviser, Tony Pua failed miserably.

The unqualified accountant narrowed his understanding of fiscal management to that of a bean counter. The economic graduate and Oxford PPE adviser just failed to understand the economic implication of his budgeting and policies.

The high spending tendency Mahathir could not even get a RM7 million requested budget for a program but only limited to RM2 million.

Mahathir initiated two commitee - the Debt Rationalisation Commitee and NEAC 2.0 to take charge of the situation but Guan Eng may not cooperate. He has his socialistic agenda interwoven with chauvanistic bias.

At the same time, his moves indicate he through corporate cronies are pursuing government assets linked to Bumiputera institutions and agenda such as Tabung Haji's TRX land, listing of Petronas, and annual department store sales of Felda and FGV.

It is only in the way of Tun Daim. The presumption is he is back to his old appetite for privatisation again. One will only get to know after it has happened in the same manner RM19.9 billion of Tabung Haji asset were "robbed" out of the Islamic fund into Lim Guan Eng's control.

If Daim has no such interest as his focus is more on the weekly trips to do dialysis and bringing up his children from fourth wife, Naemah Khalid, Mahathir could talk term with Guan Eng. Similar to the robbers in  distributing their loot in a cave in P Ramles movie, "One for you, one for me, Two for you and two for me ... kepala bapal engkau, kepala bapak aku ...."

That could woe DAP and their vote in the event of Anwar putting up a motion of no confidence in Parliament. A financially fulfilled DAP leaders and party support could give him the leeway he wanted.

As far as governance, Trump is truly giving Mahathir ideas. He has no idea of how to rule the country democratically. It is something in his alley. In the last general election, Mahathir's campaign was a page from Trump's shock and awe campaign strategy.

Najib may have declared the end of the Emergency Ordinance that was in unnecessarily extended from PM#4's reign of terror and pilfrige to justify the use of "draconian" laws such as ISA, Printing Press Act, Right to Assembly, etc, during peaceful time.

Mahathir could reinstate it. Tommy Thomas has announced SOSMA, POTA, and those laws in he same time zone with civil liberty and human rights will not be repealed. All Mahathir need now is to come up with similar excuses to what Trump could cook up.

Judicairy pre-emptive move?

The court may be a bit of constraint now that Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer had put up the unexpected too. He submitted a 65-pages court paper in support of an application by Karpal Singh's daughter, Sangeet Kaur.

Sanjeet called on the Chief Justice to address on the allegations and government to look into the misconduct of top judges and judicial  interferences in the past.

NGO, Lawyers for Liberty claimed to have more evidences and seriously consider an RCI. NST reported the Judiciary, represented by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court made a police report. MACC will meet Judge Hamid over the allegations.

Many businessmen, and political conservatives would be bullish should Mahathir emulate Trump and his narrative for politics and discourse be limited to once every five year for general election. Will Bursa's CI to jump too?

1 comment:

sickput said...

The way i see it, nobody in the past and present gahmen have a clue on what to do to boost the economy. I see jb as the heart of new economic development and by working together with singapore as the main import export hub and china investors, it could really be the new shenzhen.

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