By Robert A. Vella

The five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court halted an injunction against President Trump’s diversion of federal funds to build his border wall project.  The court’s majority members questioned the legal standing of the plaintiffs in this case as justification for stopping the injunction on very thin technical grounds;  however, the ruling did not stop their lawsuit.  Regardless, the court did send a pretty clear signal that it is open to usurping the Article I power of the purse authorities granted to Congress in the U.S. Constitution as a means to support what many fear as the growth of an imperial presidency.

Guatemala’s president Jimmy Morales has capitulated to President Trump’s anti-immigration demands and threats just like his Mexican counterpart did a few weeks ago.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under fire for refusing to allow votes on important election security bills despite serious warnings from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia is planning to interfere in the 2020 election.  McConnell’s motives and patriotism are being intensely scrutinized.  Superficially, campaign contributions from voting machine vendors would appear to be legitimate factor;  but, the security measures in the bills McConnell is blocking aren’t really being opposed by those lobbyists because their companies would either receive more contractual work and earn more profits or they wouldn’t be affected at all.  Here are two of the criticisms:

“It’s not surprising to me that Mitch McConnell is receiving these campaign contributions. He seems single-handedly to be standing in the way of anything passing in Congress around election security, and that includes things that the vendors might want, like money for the states to replace antiquated equipment.” – Brennan Center for Justice’s Lawrence Norden

“He is aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy, according to the Republican FBI, CIA, DNI, intel committee. All Republicans are all saying Russia is subverting American democracy and Moscow Mitch won’t even let the Senate take a vote on it. That is un-American.” – Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough

Violent protests have erupted in Moscow, Hong Kong, and Bogota, Columbia.

South Dakota is defying America’s constitutional separation of church and state by inscribing “In God We Trust” on its public schools.

SCOTUS usurps Congress

From:  Supreme Court says Trump can proceed with plan to spend military funds for border wall construction

A split Supreme Court said Friday night that the Trump administration could proceed with its plan to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to build part of the president’s wall project along the southern border.

The court’s conservatives set aside a lower-court ruling for the Sierra Club and a coalition of border communities that said reallocating Defense Department money would violate federal law.

Friday’s unsigned ruling came in response to an emergency filing from the administration during the court’s summer recess. The majority said the government “made a sufficient showing at this stage” that private groups may not be the proper plaintiffs to challenge the transfer of money.

The court’s action is a stay of the injunction issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on a 2-to-1 vote, and the litigation continues. The administration wants to finalize contracts for the work before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Morales folds

From:  US signs controversial deal with Guatemala on immigration

The United States and Guatemala have signed an agreement to allow the U.S. to deport migrants seeking asylum if they reached the southern U.S. border by crossing through Guatemala, the Trump administration said Friday.

The controversial deal, which critics say is illegal and immoral, is sure to face legal challenges in the U.S. and already does in Guatemala.

President Donald Trump had publicly pressured his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales to sign this week, threatening a “ban” or tariffs after Morales was forced to back out of signing a similar deal last week because of political pressure and a legal challenge back home.

McConnell under fire

From:  Mitch McConnell Received Donations from Voting Machine Lobbyists Before Blocking Election Security Bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squashed two bills intended to ensure voting security on Thursday, just one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned that Russians were attempting to sabotage the 2020 presidential elections “as we sit here.”

McConnell said he wouldn’t allow a vote on the bills because they were “so partisan,” but, as previously reported, earlier this year McConnell received a slew of donations from four of the top voting machine lobbyists in the country.


Thursday’s first bill, presented by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would authorize $775 million to bolster election security and require states to keep paper trails of all votes cast. The second, presented by Senator Richard Blumenthal, would require political candidates and their staff and family members to notify the FBI about any offers of assistance from foreign governments.

Related story:  Georgia election officials accused of destroying evidence

Violent protests

From:  Moscow Police Arrest More Than 600 at Election Protest

MOSCOW — The police in Moscow arrested more than 600 people who had gathered near City Hall on Saturday to protest what they called unfair coming elections and to demand that opposition candidates be allowed to run for city office.

The protest in the center of Moscow, which was unauthorized and unraveled into scuffles with police officers, was the latest in a series of street demonstrations staged as President Vladimir V. Putin’s approval ratings have dipped amid economic hardship.

From:  Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters demonstrating against gang attacks

HONG KONG — Police on Saturday fired tear gas and projectiles in a crowded Hong Kong neighborhood after tens of thousands of defiant protesters gathered to denounce apparent pro-Beijing mobs that went on a violent rampage last weekend.

The protest — in the residential neighborhood of Yuen Long in Hong Kong’s New Territories, close to the border with mainland China — was not authorized by police, who cited fears of violence. Clashes left at least 17 people injured.

Yuen Long was the scene of a brazen mob attack on July 21 against anti-government protesters returning from a largely-peaceful march. The mob, who were armed with sticks and batons and carried Chinese flags, are believed to be linked to organized crime syndicates known as triads.

From:  Thousands protest in Colombia against killings of activists

Thousands rallied across Colombia Friday to protest the killing of hundreds of human rights activists since the signing of a historic peace deal with FARC guerrillas.

Demonstrators gathered in major cities under the slogan “defending the peace” to denounce the deaths. 462 campaigners have been killed since 2016, according to the country’s ombudsman.

“They are killing us but seeds of life and dignity are being born,” Luis Acosta said as he walked toward Bolivar square in the capital Bogota, which was packed with protesters.

God in public schools

From:  South Dakota to require “In God We Trust” signs in public schools

A new law in South Dakota now requires all public schools across the state to feature the “In God We Trust” motto on display. Students returning to school this fall will be greeted by the message, which supporters say is meant to “inspire patriotism.”


The Freedom From Religion Foundation has condemned the law, calling it part of a “stealth campaign” to inject religion into state legislation. “The motto ‘In God We Trust’ is inaccurate, exclusionary, and aimed at brainwashing American schoolchildren into believing that our nation is a theocracy,” the organization said in a news release Thursday.

The group urged people to contact their legislators to oppose the law. “Our position is that it’s a terrible violation of freedom of conscience to inflict a godly message on a captive audience of schoolchildren,” co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said.

9 thoughts on “SCOTUS usurps Congress, Morales folds, McConnell under fire, violent protests, and God in public schools

  1. Wonder how SCOTUS is gonna feel when their lord and master, Donny Trump, usurps THEM and begins to overrule THEM on things. Hmmm…Settin’ up an Emperor is what these spineless, moral-less, pieces of crap are doing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: SCOTUS usurps Congress, Morales folds, McConnell under fire, violent protests, and God in public schools | sdbast

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