BREAKING: Spain, Catalonia On Collision Course As Barcelona Votes to Seize Control

UPDATE: Spain’s Senate has voted to invoke Article 155 of its Constitution, seizing direct control of Catalonia, as the Catalan parliament has voted for independence.

Just as Barcelona was trying to seal its takeover of the formerly-semi-autonomous region of Catalonia, its parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain.

Based on AP reports, there’s celebration across Catalan cities and demonstrations in support of independence at the parliament building. Earlier today, Spain’s prime minister said Barcelona’s first move will be to dismiss Catalonia’s president if special powers are granted by the country’s Senate.

The Spanish leader said “what is happening in Catalonia is “a clear violation of the laws, of democracy, of the rights of all, and that has consequences.”

If the Senate invokes Article 155 of Spain’s Constitution, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could impose direct rule on Catalonia. But now, it appears that the separatists have raised the ante.

So what’s next?

It seems like Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has placed the ball right back with Barcelona, daring them to come and arrest him. We now have the makings of another Spanish Civil War.

With all the demonstrating, cheering, and congratulations by thousands outside the parliament and around Catalonia, just how does Spain’s government expect to overrule the vote that just happened, come in and arrest the legislators who voted for it, dismiss the cabinet and Puigdemont, and take control?

It will have to be by force of arms. That will be very, very ugly.

Using the cover of “rule of law” to overturn democracy and the will of the people being governed, in a “semi-autonomous” region, by revoking the semi-autonomy and cracking down invokes images of Budapest in 1956. It’s more fitting of the old Soviet Union than a western democracy.

Huh? Wolf Blitzer Calls Barcelona Attack a Charlottesville Copycat

Wolf Blitzer should have had an extra cup of coffee before he went on the air Thursday, because he made one of the weirdest, nonsensical statements in a long time.

Blitzer was speaking with CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto about the terrorist attack in Barcelona, and he tried to make a bizarre connection between the attack and Charlottesville, simply because cars were involved in both killings.

SCIUTTO: The final point I would make, Wolf, is just this, in light of the uproar of the last couple of days, five days apart you have a white supremacist in Charlottesville using a vehicle to kill, and here you have attackers at least following the modus operandi of terrorists using vehicles apparently to kill, as well. The shared tactics should be alarming.

BLITZER: Yeah, there will be questions about copycats. There will be questions if what happened in Barcelona was at all a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville. Virginia. Even though they may be different characters [with] different political ambitions. They used the same killing device, a vehicle going at high speed into a large group of pedestrians.

Here’s the exchange on video:

I’m not trying to be funny here, but I thought Wolf Blitzer was more intelligent that this. Sciutto mentions that both incidents involve the same method of killing, but Blitzer was the one who made the leap outside of reason.

Islamic terrorists have used vehicles as weapons for years, driving into crowds time and time again to inflict as much damage as possible. If anything, the Charlottesville attack was a copycat of Islamic terrorism, rather than the other way around – but I’m not even going to go so far as to claim that theory.

The Barcelona driver and Charlottesville killer James Alex Fields had only two things in common: unhinged, abject hatred and a working vehicle. To try to tie any other threads together – simply because of timing – and call them copycat incidents stretches logic just a bit too far. Wolf Blitzer is a far better news anchor than this, and he certainly has more sense most of the time.