Trump IS a wartime president. Guess who the enemy is.
Ron Brownstein breaks down this fight between Trump and California over emissions rules. It's going to court and who knows who will win? Republicans have been trying to hobble California for a long time because its economic clout is such that if it makes rules companies often adopt them for the whole country because it doesn't make financial sense to do otherwise. But Trump's visit to California this time has been even more horrific than usual. He's basically saying we're dirty filthy disgusting people and he's going to clean things up by suing San Franciso for environmental crimes --- even as he's blocking environmental rules. (He's been threatening to do this for some time.)
President Trump said late Wednesday that his administration would issue a notice of environmental violation against the city of San Francisco because of what he described as its homelessness problem.
Traveling aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington from a three-day trip to California and New Mexico, Mr. Trump told reporters that San Francisco was in “total violation” of environmental rules because of used needles that were ending up in the ocean.
“They’re in total violation — we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon,” the president said, indicating that the city could be put on notice by the Environmental Protection Agency within a week that its homelessness problem was causing environmental damage.
He said tremendous pollution was flowing into the ocean because of waste in storm sewers, and he specifically cited used needles.
“They’re in serious violation,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.”
San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, called Mr. Trump’s comments “ridiculous.”
“To be clear, San Francisco has a combined sewer system, one of the best and most effective in the country, that ensures that all debris that flow into storm drains are filtered out at the city’s wastewater treatment plants,” Ms. Breed said in a statement Wednesday night. “No debris flow out into the bay or the ocean.”
No, he doesn't make any sense. And the fact that he's doing this nonsense in the face of the climate crisis is outrageous.
But this is really just part of his American Carnage Reboot for 2020. As Brownstein writes:
However the courts resolve this fight, it’s clear that the latest confrontation between Trump and California is just one salvo in the widening conflict between Democratic states and the administration. As president, Trump has pursued a distinctive strategy toward deep-blue states: Rather than trying to persuade them, he’s been more likely to flog them as a symbol of failed policies that he uses to mobilize his base. In many respects, he’s governed as a wartime president, with blue states, rather than any foreign nation, as the enemy. And what’s clear is that Trump’s administration is growing more skilled at finding new ways to launch offensives against the states that he views as his adversaries.
“Now they have figured out, in effect, the dials of the combination lock to try to do some of this, in ways that are breathtaking and have enormous implications for the future,” said Kettl, the author of the forthcoming book The Divided States of America. “If you start looking at the implications of the Affordable Care Act regulations, Medicaid regulations—you have your hands on the jugular of state budgets. There are things about unemployment insurance and food stamps, there is much you can do with highway and bridges … There is an enormous universe of things that really, really matter to state and local governments in terms of their budgets.”
By sending out an early-morning tweet, Trump may have wanted to personally claim credit for confronting California over fuel economy. But more and more, the war between blue states and the administration may be fought far from the headlines, Kettl told me. Trump’s team, he said, has learned that by taking control of relatively obscure budgetary and regulatory decisions that don’t usually reach the front pages, “you can grab them by the throat and inflict real pain without it ever having to reach the level of a presidential tweet.”
It's sad that the constitution didn't anticipate a president and his henchmen abusing power like this.