Showing posts with label executive order. Show all posts
Showing posts with label executive order. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


The New Yorker:
Fom 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior official overseeing a top-secret C.I.A. program that subjected dozens of suspected terrorists to savage interrogations, which included depriving them of sleep, squeezing them into coffins, and forcing water down their throats. In 2002, Haspel was among the C.I.A. officers present at the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda suspect who was tortured so brutally that at one point he appeared to be dead.

On Thursday, the Trump Administration announced that Haspel would become the C.I.A.’s new deputy director.

It appears that the debate about torture in the President’s mind, if there ever was one, is over."
Jesus! If a country considers itself to be civilized, then torture is not to be tolerated. How did we get into the position once again in which we argue whether or not torture is the way to go? Yes, I know, Bannon/Trump.  Note: Waterboarding is torture.

Will Jefferson Beauregard Sessions stand up to the Bannon/Trump maladministration and say no to the use of torture if he is confirmed as Attorney General? My guess is he will not. He'll be another lackey like Alberto Gonzales who refused to oppose the Cheney/Bush maladministration's torture plan.

Thus far, only the courts have succeeded in putting the brakes on Trump's governance by chaos with executive orders such as the travel ban on people from several majority Muslim countries, and only temporarily.

The Justice Department appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court for a stay to Seattle Federal Judge James Robarts' ruling to halt the implementation of Trump's travel ban.
The Ninth Circuit scheduled the oral argument in the case for Tuesday at 3 p.m. Pacific time. It is to take place by telephone, and the court said it would be live-streamed on its website. Holding an oral argument by telephone in a major case is unusual.

The case will be heard by Judge William C. Canby Jr., appointed by President Jimmy Carter; Judge Michelle T. Friedland, appointed by President Barack Obama; and Judge Richard R. Clifton, appointed by President George W. Bush.
We can but hope that Judge Canby upholds the stay.  (Judge Canby is a real judge, along with Judge Robart, despite Trump's disparaging comment calling Robart a so-called judge.)  However Canby rules, the case will very likely end up with an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


A White House adviser's commentary about a massacre in Kentucky that never happened has sparked seemingly endless snickering online, with jabs like "never remember" and "I survived the Bowling Green massacre."

Kellyanne Conway mentioned the fictional massacre in an MSNBC interview Thursday as the reason for a temporary travel ban for Iraqis in 2011, saying it also proved why the Trump administration's ban was necessary. It thrust this college town back into the national spotlight, nearly three years after a sinkhole that swallowed several classic Corvettes at a museum in Bowling Green garnered worldwide attention.
Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said he understands how a person can "misspeak", but what if the same person "misspeaks" over and over?  When do we stop understanding?  Conway "misspoke" again later the same interview when she said Trump's immigration ban of immigrants from several majority Muslim countries was similar to the plan President Obama put in place to slow the vetting of Iraqi refugees in 2011.  Two Iraqis were arrested and charged with trying to send weapons and money to Iraq and helping Al Queda attack Americans in Iraq.  The two were convicted and are now serving prison sentences.
For Bowling Green radio personality Jelisa Chatman, Conway's remarks were like a gift from heaven as an on-the-air subject.

"You wake up in the morning and you think, 'What am I going to talk about today?'" she said. "And God is like, 'Here you go. You need something to talk about, how about this?"
Heh heh.
At Home Cafe Marketplace, the most popular pizza Friday was "the Bowling Green Massacre" pie. The specialty pizza with blackened chicken, mac' and cheese and jalapenos was on pace to set a one-day sales record at the Bowling Green restaurant, said owner Josh Poling.
All proceeds from the specialty pizza's sales will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, he said.
Bravo, Josh!  I give regularly to the SPLC, but I gave an extra and generous donation after the group quickly filed suit to temporarily halt Trump's travel ban from the seven countries.  The order barred entry even to US citizens with dual citizenship, permanent residents with green cards, and refugees who had already been rigorously vetted and cleared for entry into the US.

Many thanks to the many attorneys at airports around the country who volunteer their services to assist people who are detained and interrogated.
"It's funny and we can laugh at it," said Barry Kaufkins, who teaches at Western Kentucky. "But I think a lot of the laughter is so we don't cry. A lot of people are really worried about some of the rhetoric, not to mention the behavior, from this administration."
Indeed. We take our small satisfactions and humor where we find them to take a break from weeping and wailing over the damage the Trump maladministration has done at home and abroad in two short weeks.

Spokespersons for Trump say the several court orders from federal judges around the country to stop implementation of the executive order will be appealed.  I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me Trump's tweet could to his appeals, but what do I know?
@realDonaldTrump  7 hours agoMoreThe opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Dozens of demonstrators converged on New Orleans City Hall on Monday for a second day of demonstrations against President Donald Trump's far-reaching executive order halting the admission of new refugees from war-torn Syria and suspending immigration from several other Muslim-majority countries.

The rally, the second in two days, came as some local religious leaders, including Catholic Archbishop Gregory Aymond, expressed outrage at the president's directive, condemning it as antithetical to humanitarian and American principles.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, called the order "immoral," while City Councilman Jason Williams described it as "unconstitutional."    

"President Trump's discriminatory travel ban will make our country less safe because it will further alienate us from Muslim allies in the fight against terrorism and extremism," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

"New Orleans will remain a welcoming city because we know that our diversity is a strength," he said. "We also know all too well what it feels like to seek shelter and refuge in a place that is not your home."
I'm proud of the people in New Orleans who are out there on the barricades, and I'm grateful to the Democratic political leaders and to Archbishop Aymond for speaking out against the despicable executive order.

And then our brave Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) weighs in:
Sen. John Kennedy said the United States has the "right to control its border," adding that it would be "stupid to let people who want to hurt us into our country."

"We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws," Kennedy said. "I support the following rule: If you want to come to America, you have to be rigorously vetted to make sure you are not a terrorist, regardless of your religion or country of origin."
Perhaps Kennedy does not know the US already has the most rigorous vetting process for refugees in the entire world.

Does the senator believe that translators and intelligence agents from countries in the Middle East who put their lives and the lives of their families at risk to support the members of our military stationed in those countries are "people who want to hurt us"?  Does Kennedy approve of putting our troops the Middle East at greater risk, because people in those countries will no longer be willing to help our military fight ISIS?  Does he approve of putting our country at greater risk by providing ISIS with an excellent recruiting tool to say, "Look! The United States hates all Muslims."

Does Kennedy think citizens with dual citizenship in the US and another country should be barred from reentering the country if they travel outside our borders?  Does he think people who have green cards for permanent residence in the US should be barred?  Students from countries in the Middle East who went to their native countries for a visit?  So many questions, but no answers.

Ever since Trump signed the executive order, I've been calling Kennedy's office, along with the office of Sen. Bill Cassidy to express my opinion, but I can't get through.  Either the line is busy, or I receive a message that the voice mailbox is full.  I spoke to a person in Rep. Garrett Graves office, but I could not get answers to my specific questions, only a vague statement that he supports the order, because he wants to keep us safe, which, of course, the executive order does not do.

There's no point in writing my GOP members of Congress, because they use my letter as an excuse to respond with a spiel about the great things they are doing.  Invariably, their responses have nothing to do with the subject of my message.

I may not be able to reach my GOP senators, but it's good therapy for me to put the questions in writing, outside of myself.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Military veterans were dumbfounded and furious when it became clear over the weekend that President Donald Trump’s executive order barring the admission into the United States of people from seven majority-Muslim countries keeps out interpreters who’d risked their lives helping U.S. forces in Iraq.

“They better make a damn exception, because we are here because of them,” said Andrew Biggio, a former Marine sergeant who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. “Our lives, our families, we have everything to thank for our interpreters. We owe them, we owe them, we owe them.”

Biggio, who voted for Trump, said he and other Marines he served with are waiting for a clarification from the White House. Many of them personally pushed for years to obtain visas for their interpreters and then raised funds to help them settle in.
Andrew Biggio, why are you surprised at the executive order? Good for you that you're speaking up now about what you know is wrong and cruel. My only surprise is that the Bannon/Trump administration is moving so swiftly with a number of executive orders that are signed without the normal vetting process.

It's understandable that a new president will want to change policies, but the ban on immigrants from seven countries with Muslim majorities, and the attempt by the administration to link Obama to the executive order is despicable.  Man up, and take responsibility for your own actions, Mr Bannon and President Trump.  Refugees coming to the US are already subject to the most rigorous vetting in the entire world.
Veterans said that honoring the implicit promise made to those who risked their lives to help the United States has nothing to do with politics, and that they can’t believe it would be up for debate.

“You will find military veterans unified in support of this; it’s not partisan,” said Brandon Friedman, a former Obama administration official who commanded a platoon during the invasion of Iraq. “This order demonstrates that we don’t have their backs. It’s totally un-American.”  
Who is vetting the Bannon/Trump administration's executive orders?  Apparently, no one who knows anything about the process is included.
Veteran officials who normally would have reviewed the order’s language to ensure smooth implementation and avoid potential litigation have been cut out of the typical process by the Trump administration — or simply overruled, current and former officials told FP [Foreign Policy].
As one of my friends asked, is the administration trying to incite ISIS to attack the United States? The executive order is probably unconstitutional, and it will not make the people in the country safer.  It will increase the danger of a terrorist attack, and, worst of all, US members of the military serving in the Middle East will be put at risk.  To ask troops to put their lives on the line, even as the presidential order puts their lives at greater risk is abominable.
President Donald Trump is getting blasted for reorganizing the National Security Council to oust the director of intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [James Mattis] from always attending the Principals Committee -- and installing one of his top political advisers on the key panel.
Trump's order makes his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a regular member of the Principals Committee. The committee is a Cabinet-level group of agencies that deal with national security that was established by President George H. W. Bush in 1989.
Does anyone on Trump's team know what they're doing?  What's going on in the White House?  What is Vice-President Pence doing?  Standing like a potted plant to watch Trump sign executive orders?

Is Bannon/Trump in the middle of an attempted coup to govern by fiat, with no regard for the other two branches of government?  Where is the leadership from the GOP?  Democratic Senators are expected to introduce legislation as early as Monday that aims to overturn President Trump's executive orders on immigration.  Democrats will need cooperation from Republicans to pass a bill to put an end to the madness of the executive order through legislation.  And Trump will have to sign the legislation into law.  What are the chances for an override of a Trump veto?  Probably zero, but Democrats must go on record loudly and proudly in opposing the ban.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


From the New York Times - despicable, chaotic tragedy.  Iraqis who put their lives and the lives of their families at risk to help the US are banned.  People from countries on the executive order list who have green cards are banned from reentering the US. This is our new president, only one week in office, and we are asked time after time to "give him a chance".  Not a chance of that for me.  Never in my wildest nightmares about a Trump presidency did I imagine such an ignorant, heartless dolt could do as much damage to our country and our international relationships in one week.
President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated through the United States and across the globe on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked as an interpreter for the United States Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio, among countless others.

Mr. Trump’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen on Friday afternoon, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Confusion turned to panic at airports around the world, as travelers found themselves unable to board flights bound for the United States. In Dubai and Istanbul, airport and immigration officials turned passengers away at boarding gates and, in at least one case, ejected a family from a flight they had boarded.
Note: I have not previously used the picture of Trump at the head of the post, but it's time, or maybe way past time, as it so perfectly illustrates the message the president sends to the people of the country and to the world.  Of course, there is one exception, as even now the Trump maladministration is considering lifting sanctions on Russia, where his much beloved strong man and BFF, Vlad Putin, rules as despot.

UPDATE: From Talking Points Memo.
A federal judge in New York has issued an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to President Donald Trump's travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly issued the order Saturday evening after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition on behalf of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations who were detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.

Cheers broke out in a crowd of demonstrators outside a Brooklyn courthouse as the decision, effective nationwide, was announced.
Thank you, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)! I will make a donation now. We need the organization desperately in these times.