Link Roundup, 1/30/2017

From BloombergView: The promises Trump kept and the ones he ignored.

From The Federalist (yes, I’ve come around on The Federalist): Tom Nichols has a devastating piece on social capital and misplaced masculinity. It’s long and worth the time.

From Scientific American: Meet the scientists hit by Trump’s bizarre immigration order.

From Wired: A profile of offshore call center workers.

From CNN: Starbucks is promising to hire 10,000 refugees.

287 Comments

  1. An interesting article in Politico Magazine regarding Eric Schneiderman, AG of New York. The link is:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/eric-schneiderman-donald-trump-new-york-214734

    The various Democratic AGs combined with liberal pressure might be a key front in the confrontation with Trump. Note that Ferguson, the AG of Washington State, was the first to file a suit in Federal Court regarding the immigration order. California will be active too. It is already preparing litigation regarding environmental issues including carbon emissions. California has significant experience in regard to environmental litigation and works quite closely with New York. I know the national news media does not give the “left coast” much attention, but it will not be a slackard in confronting Trump.

    1. I read that and forwarded it on to my CO buddy. Could Schneiderman be our next “hot” Dem candidate for potus? The man is smart and he doesn’t lack for cajones. We need to clone him to fire up this Democratic party! One of my disappointments is that for all the grassroots enthusiasm, largely self-directed, there is still no leadership coming from the DNC. I am beginning to hope that a new party emerges as the present apparatus seems terribly inept.

      1. I’ve thought that as well. I fully expect some young dynamic leadership to emerge in the Democratic party. There is still probably a fair amount of shell shock and the leadership may not emerge, in areas where the national press expects or is focused. It would be better if Schneiderman was in the governorship. But then Obama jumped from being state senator to federal senator to the presidency in just four years. FDR also was governor of New York for just four years prior to moving to the presidency, once he returned to public life. Prior to having polio, he had been state senator.

        Historically, it is only rarely that the US elects well known and experienced national politicians to the presidency. Most of the time the successful candidates have only been on the national stage for just a few years.

    2. I am sure that the Sierra Club and NRDC will be heavy hitters as well. These people are tough. I watched them in action in LA and they won’t take no for an answer. And, they seem to have the funding to back up their efforts…Of course both of these organizations are environment-focused but that is critically important and looks to be under attack by potus as well.

      I think we’re moving into a whole new time of activism. People aren’t waiting to be told what to do, they’re chomping at the bit to make a statement and seemingly willing to be very public and dogmatic about their positions.

      But, boy, we are losing so much in the meantime…Even knowing it was going to be bad, one can never prepare for just how awful it is. Still, people are fighting and that is positive.

  2. Potus tweets businesses and states threatening to pull business and/or federal funding when he sees actions he doesn’t like (U of Ca @ Berkeley – milo speech, Carrier, Ford, etc). Now this heavy-handed method is being copied by red state governors. The mere threat is meant to force compliance and avoid the legislative process. Even when there is constitutional infringement, the burden is so great on the other party that it makes it difficult to oppose. In TX, Governor Abbott actually has removed $1.3million in federal funds from the Travis Country Sheriff who has refused to hold illegal detainees for ICE without a warrant. Now, FL Governor Scott is playing this game. I expect more will follow. Drunk with power, arrogant with the arrogant leadership of a crass potus, the shift to authoritative power is filtering down to the states. Read the Atlantic link first to get the big picture, then the link on Scott.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/red-state-blue-city/513857/?utm_source=nl-politics-daily-020217

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/03/governor-rick-scott-florida-ports-cuba-ties-trump?

    1. This is the same pattern Trump has used his entire life. He bullies, threatens legal action, files bogus suits and litigates. More often than not the opponent backs down and he gets away with his outrageous actions. He can do that because of his wealth and perceived power. He has done that numerous times in is construction projects, when he refuses to pay for work that was done in good faith. That attitude was apparent in his comments regarding women during the campaign and in particular the Access Hollywood video. That was the pattern that was apparent in his numerous bankruptcies. In that case the western banks finally caught onto his MO and cut him off, so he turned to Russia. We are slowly finding out the various ramifications of that move.

      Then he justifies his actions by saying it is legal, so he is just being smart. The ethics and morality have no bearing. The only question is “does a particular action benefit Trump?” I think there is a lot more going on here than any of us are aware. Though I think I am just scratching the surface, I think this entire administration has a lot of resemblance to a ponzi scheme with Trump at the top. The reason that the largest part of the Republican establishment is largely quiet is because, they figure they will benefit too. If I am right and Trump follows his past pattern, he’ll double cross them too.

      1. The greater danger is that his successful bullying tactics are now encouraging other bullies to utilize the same tactics, and they are achieving some success.

        All here who live in TX should call Gov. Abbott’s office and let him know you do not support his actions removing federal funds from the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. The funds he has targeted serve victims of domestic violence, Vets, and many other worthy purposes. The sheriff has simply requested that federal warrants be presented to hold illegal detainees beyond their legal release date.

        Phone: (512) 463-1782.

      2. “He bullies, threatens legal action, files bogus suits and litigates. More often than not the opponent backs down and he gets away with his outrageous actions.”

        And this is precisely why the ACLU and other legal action groups must be funded. They have the patience and ability to refuse to not back down, and they can outlast his term limits.

  3. Based on this review in Slate, this book documenting the social effects of “corporate restructuring” on an Ohio town looks important. Kinda like “Hillbilly Elegy” but documenting outside forces that stripped the town’s major employer (Anchor Hocking) and extracted tax breaks that crippled the town’s government, leaving behind – among other things – a police officer who breaks down when he describes arresting people he played high school football with.
    (Glass House, by Brian Alexander)

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2017/02/brian_alexander_s_glass_house_about_lancaster_ohio_reviewed.html

  4. Is the Resistance really just the Democratic equivalent of the Tea Party? A new Vox asserts asserts that, and to be sure there are a lot of obvious similarities, but the most important difference, IMO, is the oncoming coming-of-age of Millennials and Hispanics. Sara Robinson would probably be able to shed some light on this, but I wonder if this movement might inadvertently give them the kind of organized outlet they need to let their voices be heard?

    Hear me out on this. Sanders was successful in mobilizing so many younger voters because they felt like he was giving them and outlet for their real voices and concerns, so it strikes me as a serious possibility that what we’re seeing now could bear a similar result, perhaps much more so, because it’s people taking charge and activating themselves in a much more direct way.

    In much the same way with the T. Party, we’ll probably start to see this bearing out once Congress goes on recess and the summer protests heat up. Keep your eyes out and make sure to relay what you see.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/2/14484550/liberals-obamacare-tea-party

    1. I think the movement is broader-based than the millennial/Hispanic groups. Women of all ages are really, really motivated with many becoming politically active for the first time in their lives. People are deeply offended by this man and his agenda. They feel he is out of control and superficial in his decisions – serious decisions. There are grassroots groups popping up all over, and they aren’t subsiding. Look at what happened with potus’ planned trip to WI to visit the Harley factory…It had to be cancelled due to anticipation of thousands of protestors….That’s well after the Women’s March. I am a member of two area grassroots chapters of national organizations – LivingLiberal.com and Pantsuitrepublic.com….People are meeting to write post cards, set up phone trees, plan visits to elected officials offices, etc.

      What is worrisome is that there are so many different groups which fragments a more cohesive voice; however, given the lack of any leadership form the DNC, it is even more amazing that these groups keep growing. If this momentum continues, it will bode very well for mid-terms.

      1. I wasn’t trying to imply that the Resistance is made up solely of Millennials and Hispanics. Obviously it’s not, but rather the point I was trying to make is that this group, despite its overwhelming size, has never truly flexed its political muscle and that the opportunity before us now may give them the chance to do just that. If that does happen, then the opportunities are limitless, even more so with the combined strength of so many women and others in this country.

        What I find particularly heartening is how so many, particularly those with no previous involvement in politics, are now opting to run for public office. This is the next step towards being successful in the mid-terms and beyond, having citizens being leaders that can articulate a coherent message to take to Trump and the Republican Party.

      2. The key question is whether or not all of this bubbling energy can be translated into real momentum and votes at the ballot box. Historically speaking, with a few exceptions, midterms years are almost universally disastrous for the party in power. Unfortunately, even an anti-Trump tsunami wouldn’t be enough to retake the Senate, so the question naturally falls as to, even in the face of gerrymandering, do Democrats have an open chance at retaking the House?

        Let’s be honest here. Democrats’ House candidates in ’16 were laughable to the point of pity, and that’s where I’m given a spark of hope in the form of all these new people deciding to run for political office.

        On the off chance (and it still is only that right now) that such a turnabout did happen, expect the mother load of political battles to follow almost immediately. If he’s still in office, Democrats will move immediately to impeach Trump. Hold onto your butts if that happens.

      3. Momentum is hard to maintain “unless” there is continuing stimulus. Potus along with GOP commitment to their extreme agenda are going to provide all the incentive one could ask for on the left, but it remains to be seen if his base of “newbies” will. Republicans always turn out. I don’t see potus changing his M.O. which should GOTV if people don’t either give up or burn out.

        Here’s the first projection I have seen about mid-terms from Sabato’s Crystal Ball. He’s more optimistic about Dem’s chances. I think the GOP leadership knows this as well and it’s part of the reason why they are rushing their agenda through the process. Mid-terms are their chance to pick up the 60 votes in the Senate as so many Dems are up for re-election. (8 seats is all they need to hit super-majority).
        http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/2018-house-the-ground-moving-under-their-feet/

    2. This is just anecdotal and may not reflect the wider trends of hashtag The Resistance, but

      the reactionary model of the Tea Party seems to be only half the plan of the people I’ve activated with. The other half is strong and clear interest in writing and delivering legislation. The people I’m involved with aren’t just interested in yelling about what bills are up for vote, but about what bills aren’t.

      That may be part of the Tea Party’s tactics that we never really knew, but in four different groups I’ve been involved with, ALEC has been the model. Basically instead of waiting for these lumbering jackasses in office to ‘hear us’ and ‘support legislation’, we’re writing it and expecting them to sponsor it.

      There will be a learning curve and a lot of missteps, but if this continues and becomes effective, it may become a new dynamic of civic engagement — and increase the complexity of the system such that those who aren’t within it are even more buffeted by forces they don’t understand.

      1. Curiously, are you and these groups coordinating with other Resistance members, feeding back ideas to each other and the like? If a process like that could grow sufficiently, it would well provide for a broad based platform for an entire political party. Ideally, it could even inflate support for big ideas like a UBI and a carbon tax.

      2. I can’t speak for leadership as my role is very limited; however, I think they are operating autonomously….and, that works for now, but to have maximum impact, they do need to have some coordination. All of these people are volunteers, after all, and many have “day” jobs. We are competing with a well financed, bold well organized machine and it will take a lot of grassroots effort to be effective. There is something to be said for regional empowerment, but as we get closer to mid-terms, it will require much more consolidated power.

        That’s my take. Possibly there are others here who are having a more active role than I am. We each have to do what we can. No one can afford to sit this one out, even those who have never ever before participated.

      3. It’s a great focus but Dems won’t be able to draft any legislation and get it calendared if it is substantive. The chair of these committees gets to decide what will be heard and what won’t. If he (since the GOP seems to always appoint male chairs) allows a bill to be presented, it still faces a majority GOP vote to reported out of committee.

        I love the fact that your circle is focusing on policy but until we get the numbers (more Dems elected) we need, the best policies won’t be heard. That’s just how the process works. It’s a chicken and egg sort of thing…The fact that more people are paying attention and understand how the process works is encouraging, but it still comes down to numbers.

      4. Ryan:

        Yes different groups are coordinating, but right now a lot of work is being put into the HOW of the coordination. Again, there will be learning curves, people will drop out, a few core leaders and principles will emerge, and we build from there. I’ve done this a lot before in different, non-politically oriented groups and it always leads to something.

        Mainly, a specific group I joined regarding healthcare has given me tools, tactics, and information regarding local state politicians and policies that I’ve handed over to my Indivisible group. The leader of my Indivisible group is networked with the other leaders of the Indivisible group. Right now my Indivisible group is literally researching certain feckless democrats who don’t seem to vote or stand up very consistently, while other Indivisible groups are throwing weight, some are planning for midterms, others are finding talent to run for election, etc.

        Keep in mind a lot of the Indivisible groups I know about are run by law students and lawyers (!).

        That’s in one state. In the other, where I’m from, things are decidedly different, and the reasons why are largely the reasons I left that state. That’s always been the place where people have sat around and bitched without doing anything. Now, finally, they’re activated, but basic civics are lost on them. They only know to protest, post on Facebook, and are learning the whole calling your representative thing.

        SO, I’m currently working with them remotely as a coach teaching them what this is all about, while prepping them for some of the stuff we’re doing over here. It’s not going well, but at the very least they’re reactive enough that I can hit them up with PMs whenever something happens and they’ve been relatively consistent about activating in protest or calls to representatives. When I visit later this year I’ll use the Indivisible website to find the groups and talk to them more directly in a skills exchange.

        Mary: who said anything about the federal government? The feds are dead to me. I mean not really, but the point is I’m not waiting on the rest of America to get their act together. The game on the ground is building institutions in my backyard.

        Both states I hail from have Democratic majorities in legislature. One has a Democrat governor.

      5. Aaron – I believe it is dangerous to focus all one’s energy at the state level, although I totally agree that efforts there are more likely to bear results. Who would you have do the work at the federal level? The people don’t have lobbyists. Many of the action steps recommend calling or writing our members of Congress. Even though this may have very limited impact, it does signal unrest and disagreement for specific actions among the base. Silence equals acceptance for many of these people. Still, given limited time and resources, I understand that many people prefer to work downstream. The reality is, both are critically important. Obviously, each of us has to do what we feel most comfortable and productive.

  5. Need to simplify?

    https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/

    Here it is. A log of events, to keep it straightforward.

    Secondly:

    http://www.countable.com

    Super duper trooper mooper helpful web and cellphone application for learning what bills are passing which part of Congress, logging your opinion on those bills and forwarding them to the representatives, and following up to see how your representatives actually voted.

    The only catch I’d give is, DO NOT FALL PREY TO SLACKTIVISM. This is a better resource for educating YOURSELF, not your representative. When you cross bills you particularly care about, do yourself the favor of calling them in directly.

    1. Following up: y’all motherfuckers are getting dark hearted and teary eyed.

      Check this shit out:

      “Celebrate our victories!

      For everyone who DID something, small or big, your efforts have been successful. Because of you:

      1. Federal hiring freeze is reversed for VA (Veteran Affairs).
      2. Court order Partial stay of the immigration ban for those with valid visas.
      3. Green card holders can get back in country.
      4. Uber pledges $3M and immigration lawyers for its drivers after #DeleteUber trends on Twitter.
      5. Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) enrollment ads are still going to air.
      6. The ACLU raised 24M over the weekend (normally 3-4Mil/year).
      7. HHS, EPA, USDA gag order lifted.
      8. EPA climate data no longer scrubbed from website.
      9. More people of different career/religious/economic/race backgrounds are considering running for political office than ever before.
      10. MOST importantly, since we live in a participatory democracy, the people are engaged.
      While more is needed, sometimes you have to celebrate your wins.
      Stay vigilant, but also take self care seriously. Activist burnout is a thing. Marathon, don’t sprint.”

      Keep working at it. It’s only just begun.

  6. Public lands are one of this country’s greatest assets, so magnificent that if you’re born in this country, you are granted citizenship. That’s the power of land, of geography. At least, that’s how I see our public parks and lands.

    I’m glad there are thousands of people who do not want to sell public lands to oil companies and other speculating corporations.

    They belong to us and the creatures we nurture.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/02/republican-selling-public-lands-bill-withdraw-jason-chaffetz

    Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be other attempts to rob us in an early morning legislative move, but not today.

  7. From Fox “news”

    Appearing on Fox on Thursday, Rollins linked Trump’s warning to Iran with the Bible, and said Trump and his team are modern-day Crusaders.

    “Clearly, this is a different kind of administration, a much tougher administration, and no nonsense,” Rollins explained. “It’s almost like it’s a crusade, we’re doing it under God.”

    We are screwed, they are making this out to be a religious war.

    1. Tex, you are on to something. Here is the latest potus E.O. It is incredibly sweeping which should not qualify for EO status but who’s stopping him on the right when they like what he’s doing? Normally, something like this would have to go through the amendment process as it impacts numerous laws, but….

      http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/02/02/trumps-new-religious-freedom-executive-order-little-short-awesome/

      Chris – did you see this?

  8. Unarmeds post: Objv – Obama did not take your sister off her husbands policy, the company he works for did. http://time.com/money/2988023/spousal-coverage-health-insurance-employer-premiums/ Costs have been rising for many years and I remember it being a political issue decades ago.
    But what specifically would you change? Would you remove the mandate? Allow yearly caps on individual or family costs. How about lifetime caps on benefits? Allow pre-existing conditions keep you from getting insurance?
    How about if we just go back to where we were pre-ACA? Do you think your sister would be added back to her husbands policy? Healthcare costs have been leveling since Obamacare, what is you opinion on whether they would go up or down if we did repeal everything in the ACA?
    Maybe you would like to have a national healthcare system like England?
    A lot of questions but I’m seriously curious about your thoughts.

    ——————————–

    Unarmed, I hope you don’t mind if I move your post up to the top. I almost missed it down below.

    My thoughts on the subject are not totally mainstream Republican.

    First of all, Obamacare needs to be replaced. Jonathan Gruber said, “If this bill does not work, then we have to rip it up and start over.” He meant that if the ACA failed, the country would have to go to single payer insurance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqBlaz4yGyw

    Well, Obamacare has been a disaster to many middle class people. On the other hand, many have been able to access healthcare that they needed. Mixed results.

    Another problem is that the law is so Byzantine that few are able to understand it. The websites have been a mess and insurers haven’t been able to deliver dependable coverage leaving many patients in a lurch either without insurance or with a policy that does not their needs.

    Is single payer the best solution? Honestly, I don’t know.

    Americans in general have been happy with coverage through their employers. Do we compromise their insurance? My sister is an example of where employers have cut back coverage leaving spouses without a good option.

    I lived in Norway for awhile. The healthcare there was good but had its problems. I spent the 12 days after the birth of my premature daughter in a hospital room with five other women sharing one small bathroom. Hopefully, things have changed there over the years.

    I still have hope that Obamacare can be used as a trial of what works and doesn’t work.

    Catastrophic health insurance should be funded for everyone. No one should have to declare bankruptcy or lose their house due to an accident or cancer treatment.

    Once a level of catastrophic coverage is agreed upon, the public should be able to choose among different levels of affordable insurance.

    Affordability is greatly affected by the skyrocketing price of medical care. At a minimum some type of anti-price gouging laws should be passed. Pricing for medical care is beyond ridiculous. It’s unfair that a drug company, physician or hospital will charge patients wildly differing prices depending on the patients’ or insurance’s negotiating abilities.

    Lawyers won’t like this, but huge settlements and large malpractice premiums also contribute to lack of healthcare affordability. That also needs to be reformed.

    I was curious to see what Ben Carson was going to do with insurance tied to Health Savings Accounts. HSAs are definitely an option that should be explored.

    I was going to add more here, but luckily for you, I have run out of time. 🙂

      1. Tuttabella, I asked Objv. She is the only conservative that still comments here and I am still curious about where we can find common ground after the shitstorm subsides.

        Objv – maybe we should have moved it to an Off Topic.

      2. Unarmed, I am semi-conservative myself, and I was just joking with OV to break the tension, since she seems to be persona non grata here, and she has been my online friend for over 6 years.

        Thank you for engaging respectfully with her. You are a class act.

      1. Wow, only 13 days. It’s been a wild ride.

        I wonder if the character of our nation as a whole will change as a result.

        In order to match the President of Crazy, we may have to become crazy ourselves to keep from getting steam-rolled. We will become a reflection of our president in that sense.

        We Americans have traditionally been known as loud, scrappy, gutsy, confident, with swagger. How will this new administration change us as a nation? Will we become nervous? On edge? Resigned and cowed? Or bolder and braver than ever?

      2. I’m making calls, writing letters, emailing other ladies to inspire and involve them. I see many people getting involved in political activism in small ways who have never ever been involved before. People are outraged at what is happening to our country.

      3. I’ll just say this to you, Tutta. If ever there was a time to be inspired and get involved, it is now. Things are spinning out of “our” control…note that this doesn’t mean that there isn’t control..just not ours. Take a look at how other world leaders are viewing what’s happening. This is not hysteria; this is deadly serious.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/world/donald-trump-world-leaders.html?emc=edit_ne_20170202&nl=evening-briefing&nlid=41048410&te=1

    1. Long time since I’ve been here-and I’m trying oh so hard to not hyperventilate while our President tweets (which is kind of like playing golf-where does he get the time?)

      Anyway.

      Remember, all insurance is about risk. The larger the pool of insured: the more risk is shared, the cheaper it is for everyone. Some ‘lucky duckies’ get more out of the pool because they are sicker. Some middle class people could no longer buy catastrophic plans, they had to buy real insurance-which was a lot more than what they spent before Obamacare.

      1. I recommend for reading to anyone interested in the issue of healthcare, this book: The Healing of America, by T.R. Reid. It is an in-depth look at several of the industrialized countries health care systems as compared to that of the U.S. Released in 2009, it is still highly relevant.

        Bottom line: in countries with some type of over-arching health care program (even if it is an amalgam of public and private options), there is “Zero” personal bankruptcy arising from medical issues.

        I have become convinced that universal health care is what is needed; it should be funded with a dedicated VAT; and there could be private options within it for those who want something specialized.

      1. I guess it is relative. Growing up I shared one bathroom with seven people and with company more. Now me and the boss (wife) have a bathroom apiece. Still not having the health care would’ve been far worse a situation many people still face in our country.

      2. Thanks for being so sympathetic, Texan. It was tough, but you know me; I’m a trooper. 🙂

        If we mean to cut medical costs, many of our current expectations such as private hospital rooms, seeing specialists and the ability to schedule surgeries in a timely way might have to go bye-bye. Healthcare in countries with government sponsored medical care is cheaper for a reason. Just saying ….

        I’m actually fine with trying to save costs in those ways.

      3. objv,

        What was the cost of the birth and childcare in Norway that you incurred? Do you think it would have been cheaper in the US? How do rank the quality of care in Norway to your health, not withstanding the twelve day , five women, one bathroom ordeal?

      4. Ha Texan! I don’t want to be unfair to the Norwegian system since I lived there so long ago. Please keep that in mind. I don’t have information on what care is like right now.

        There was no cost to the mother for anything after a positive pregnancy test.

        Expectant mothers saw a family practice doctor instead of an obstetrician unless there were problems with their pregnancy. My family doctor referred me to an obstetrician for a couple of visits. The obstetrician told me that she would have preferred to see me for the rest of my pregnancy but that her case load was too high.

        The family doctor’s office in Norway missed that I had gestational diabetes. During my second pregnancy in the States, my obstetrician diagnosed it right away with a blood test.

        In Norway, when women went into labor, a midwife, not a doctor, would be the one to deliver the baby at a hospital unless there were complications or the need for a Caesarian Section.

        I did fine with a midwife and had a normal although premature delivery.

        At the time, there was no comparison to the care I and my daughter would have received at a US hospital. I had worked in Labor and Delivery and also in a hospital nursery one summer while I was in Nursing School. The Norwegian System was a least ten years behind as far as I could tell. For example, they ran out of incubators and my baby was bundled up with a hot water bottle to keep her warm. (Cheap but effective.) 🙂

        Norway, like the rest of Scandinavia, has a low infant mortality rate. After my experience, I wondered why. Women there seemed to be healthier, got more exercise, and there were fewer women that were overweight. Perhaps that had a lot to do with pregnancy outcomes.

    2. One last comment-there is no way to have it ‘simpler’-we have too many moving parts. We decided long ago to not have single payer-meaning the government determines the cost and no way the medical professionals (doctors) will allow government to dictate their income. Doctors are employed by hospitals or participate with insurance companies, two more distinct entities that must be addressed by changes. Then we have medicine and medical research-which is supported by companies trying to get a return on their considerable investment of capital, in addition to depending on basic research that we can only hope will still get public (government) funding. So to the extent we are going to ‘replace’-it won’t be in 500 words double spaced.

      1. Profile photo of DS DS

        “no way the medical professionals (doctors) will allow government to dictate their income.”

        Probably true for current medical professionals, but I’ve wondered for some time if a sort of trade-off might be possible for future medical professionals in the form of education reform. Covering the cost of medical education and reducing it’s length seems to me a reasonable way to incentivize lower salaries; if you don’t have 12 years of reduced income potential and six figure school debts, you don’t need to make 200k+ to live a comfortable life.

        Anyhow, that topic probably deserves its own thread, but I thought I’d take the opportunity to put it out there.

    3. Hi OBJV,

      I’ve previously been skeptical of single-payer health insurance (note: not the same as health care) but after joining the local Physicians for a National Healthcare Program initiative for my state I’ve learned a lot more about it and here’s what I can offer in terms of information:

      The biggest thing you should know is that single-payer health insurance is likely to save you money, flat out, period, end of story. The average insurance plan in the US costs 17,500 per year, before deductibles, copays, and prescriptions. The single payer health insurance plan is likely to cost less than $6000 per year, or basically $50 per month for people making less than seven figures. The PNHP sez that this saves 98% of citizens money, reserving minor loses to the top 2%. I’m actually more optimistic than this: this is presuming the top 2% pay for ‘average insurance plans’. They don’t. The tippy top cost of any yearly taxes due to single-payer is $22,500. That’s only $5500 more than ‘average’. By all means, find me any 2%er who spends less than $22500 a year on health insurance, and I’ll amend my belief that this is cheaper for EVERYBODY to this is cheaper for 99.999% of EVERYBODY.

      Now about those deductibles, copays, and prescriptions: those costs are gone. End of story.

      Second thing you should know is that it cuts health care costs to the government by 35%. This is straight up administrative costs — just handling the complex business of health insurance plans drains just over a third of our healthcare spending. You know that expensive and mismanaged rollout of healthcare.gov? That sort of stuff is gone. No need for exchange websites when there’s no insurance to list. Remove those administrative costs and we free up money for pharmaceutical and health tech research, development, and purchases, or we just reduce our federal expenditures. Magical, turns out socialist healthcare is fiscally conservative.

      Next comes some of the common questions / pushbacks:

      > I don’t want the government in my doctor’s office!

      It isn’t, hospitals and doctors are still private.

      > I don’t want to lose my Medicare!

      It is Medicare. For everybody.

      > But what about my special operations for osteopsoriahaptilugibrimocrazi disease?

      Covers it. Pretty much covers everything but elective surgeries. Except interestingly, it covers transgendered surgeries.

      > I DON’T WANT MY MONEY GOING TO TRANSGENDERED SURGERIES OR ABORTION!

      Fuck off.

      Now, additional benefits not typically discussed:

      > Publicly owned, publicly accessible healthcare spending data.

      Much of the healthcare industry is difficult to analyze for inefficiencies because each private insurance owns and protects its own data.

      > Single health records accounting.

      We’ve been moving toward this for a while, but basically it’s held back by the complexity of the system. You should be able to walk into any hospital from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and have your records attainable.

      > Reduced fraud / easier policing

      Simply stated, with only one insurance plan to audit, it’s much easier to catch fraud and abuse.

      > Covers mental health care

      Boo-ya.

      Now, legitimate catches I’m more interested in noodling on:

      > Provisions of ensuring fair bidding process for pharmaceutical and medical tech.

      Details on these aspects are thinner than I would like and the majority of the US public doesn’t trust the gubbermint to bid good. So crafting a competitive and transparent bidding process is essential.

      > The PNHP plan specifically bans private health insurance

      As far as I’m concerned, I don’t see why rich people can’t get their premium doctor specialist flying in on a helicopter private insurance plans.

      I just say they shouldn’t be allowed to write off those plans against their healthcare tax.

      > Fickle fingers of kleptocrats.

      Government in general just needs to be more transparent but starting up a whole national health insurance plan is a good place to develop new standards of transparency and sustainability, including adjustment measures and limitations to prevent, you know, Congress from being Congress.

      > Political capital

      There’s plenty of American cousin-fuckers who hate dem socializm real hard ’cause sand niggers and Jewish bankers.

      It doesn’t matter that this plan saves LITERALLY EVERYONE AND THE GOVERNMENT MONEY, there’ll be plenty of hate. Somehow we need some method of developing an argument for this stuff that reads well.

      Secondly, the plan outright challenges the profits of pharmaceutical and health companies — and obviously strips hundreds of thousands of health insurance company workers out of jobs. There will be pushback.

      And so that’s so far what I know about single-payer health insurance.

      1. I don’t think there’s a person here who

        I don’t believe there is anyone here who is locked into the ACA. The need is for a plan that provides universal coverage (NOT universal access) that is quality care, accessible to all Americans, and affordable. However that can be achieved, I am certainly for it. I do believe, however, that there is much about the ACA that can be built upon rather than the entire program being repealed….if the goal is as I stated above. Repeal for the purpose of politics just isn’t good enough.

      2. Reducing healthcare cost really does boil down to reducing the transaction costs.

        Insurance companies do stand between us and the healthcare providers and negotiate indirectly for us. And they are motivated to push us to be as healthy as possible.

        So another catch, if we remove the insurance companies and insert the government, there will be even more hate for the meddling bureaucrats.

        One more catch. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people will loose their jobs, approving claims, adjudicating and denying claims, selling policies …. Many doctor practices have insurance expediters that are expert in bundling or unbundling procedures to maximize profit for the practice. It would even effect software house that write programs to do the same.

        And finally, multiple top management people at multiple companies will loose multi-million salaries and stock bonuses.

        And that is why we have ObamaCare and not a more transactionally efficient system.

  9. So Chris, I saw the retweets you posted from a number of hours ago. It is a few days after my last posts stating the only way this madness is stopped will be with violence, as we are to that last resort already.

    Given the latest outrages, do you, and others, still think I am wrong?

    My next question is do the leaders of this coup have all the para-military groups (police) as well as the military siding with them? Of so, then the coup is complete, and nothing can be done to stop them, as at least 40% of the population also sides with this regime.

    For those that think that you can hold out until the mid-term elections or 2020, you are dreaming. By then, voter suppression will be so effective in at least 35 states that you can forget about any kind of resistance via democracy. Think Turkey, or Russia, or Iran, or any number of African states as examples of how any future elections will turn out.

    You want a terrifying read? Go absorb the latest article from David Frum of the Atlantic. Truly scary, and a blueprint that bannon et all are using.

    1. I’m not going to write about this in much detail. Just not going to do it.

      Still think that disorganized, private violence is always a bad idea. It never accomplishes a sound objective. It is nearly impossible to envision any return to balance that is accomplished in a truly peaceful fashion, but it doesn’t play out in the streets. That just isn’t where things happen.

      1. Chris, I think you have me wrong. I am not talking about individual, disorganized violence. Yes, that never works, as it feed the ability for the authorities to lessen civil liberties even more….aka war on terrorism.

        But given the dear leader’s suggestion that he will send troops into Mexico, and his delicate handling of the Australian PM, and of course, putting “Iran on notice”, just how much longer do you think this goes before it REALLY gets bad.

    2. Yes, read Frum’s article…..Read along side these articles, it’s a chilling prospect.
      A narcissist madman is being directed by a very smart, angry madman and there doesn’t seem to be the will nor the ability of the traditional forces to stop them. Because – they don’t give a s**t what happens.

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/steve-bannon-donald-trump-war-south-china-sea-no-doubt?

      http://time.com/4657665/steve-bannon-donald-trump/?iid=sr-link2

      And the growing concern among world leaders being openly discussed.

      http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/01/31-tusk-letter-future-europe/

    3. Said it before, gonna say it again; turn to violence and you will be playing directly into Trump’s hands. He would like nothing better and would use such acts as his own personal shield every chance he gets.

      Undermine the moral superiority of the resistance (our greatest weapon), no matter your perceived justification, and you will be abandoned faster than you can blink. No one, least of all the public at large, will stand with you and you’ll be left out in the cold.

  10. Off topic, but interesting. I note from Politico that the Administration is threatening military action against Iran over the ballistic missile test. It may be posturing, but who knows. I do know that some of the hot heads in the Rs have been itching to go to war with Iran for a long time (even before the Iraqi invasion in 2003). Flynn and Bannon both regard Islamic Terrorism as an existential threat and have so convinced T. Iran fits into that picture. They regard Islamic Terrorism as bigger threats that Russia or China.

    If you thought Iraq was a problem, it will be like a picnic compared to Iran. As the neo-cons said – Iran is for the real men. Mattis may really get to earn his pay.

    The link is: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/iran-on-notice-trump-michael-flynn-234503

    1. Well it seems that Trump also threatened the Mexican President that he would invade Mexico. Not sure if real or not but with Trump you just never know.

      “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt seen by the AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

      http://time.com/4657474/donald-trump-enrique-pena-nieto-mexico-bad-hombres/

    2. On Maddow, a few minutes ago, she showcased a memo from central command in middle east that learned about Flynn’s statement “Iran is being put on notice”…from C-span! Plus, they’ve received no orders/directives, etc….just sitting ducks over there while potus and Flynn hurl threats….Who’s on first?

      WWIII anyone? Chaos?

      1. Hey, Canada’s looking pretty good there, Ryan (-;

        My grandson is in the navy……active duty. Another grandson graduates high school this year and another one in two years….lots to think about in terms of unnecessary provocation.

    3. Let us not forget that the Ukraine is now also heating up. Is that related to Trump being pals with Putin, or the election interference????????

      Regarding the military, I am a Vietnam vet. I have a neice who is in the navy and also the father of a grand-neice is with one of the armored units at Fort Hood.

      I think Mattis will earn his salary, especially if he can help control the hot-heads.

  11. Over at http://davidbrin.blogspot.co.nz/ , David Brin suggests how a select few Democrats might curry favor with whatshisface. He suggests complimenting the emperor, and then being honest about his policies. Shallow tactics for a shallow mind.

    Another topic, I got an email from Americans For Responsible Solutions, a gun grabber group, which I support. Part of it reads,
    “Throughout his career on the bench, Judge Gorsuch has made repeated efforts to weaken the laws that prohibit felons from purchasing guns and even suggested that a felony conviction is an insufficient reason to prevent an individual from possessing a firearm.”

    1. Unarmed, from scotusblog.com:

      “Another area in which Gorsuch has written persuasively in a manner that closely echoes Scalia relates to how to interpret criminal laws correctly, so as to avoid criminalizing potentially innocent conduct. One of Gorsuch’s most notable opinions in this area also happens to overlap with the hot-button issue of gun ownership — although the case is not about the Second Amendment, and doesn’t involve anything like the typical gun-rights groups.”

      From what I’ve read on that site and elsewhere, Judge Gorsuch believes the right to bear arms should not be taken lightly and as such, that there must be a clear, legitimate reason to prevent an individual from possessing a firearm.

      1. From scotusblog.com:

        Does it apply whenever a felon knowingly possesses a gun, or must violators also know that they have been convicted of a felony? This matters, because lots of minor crimes might technically be felonies, and lots of dispositions that seem inconsequential (because they involve no jail time) might technically be felony convictions. And the penalties for violating this law can be very high. In United States v. Games-Perez, in 2012, Gorsuch urged the 10th Circuit to review its rule holding that it is enough to support a conviction that the defendant knew he possessed the gun, whether or not he knew he was a felon. The opinion is an example of Gorsuch’s strong commitment to textualism, and a severe critique of using legislative history — particularly to make criminal what might otherwise be innocent.
        *********************
        The way I interpret it, Judge Gorsuch is simply using the “innocent until proven guilty” standard before punishing someone for possessing a firearm.

      2. This is the law in Texas regarding the possession of firearms by convicted felons:

        “Under Texas state law a convicted felon may possess a firearm in the residence, in which he lives, once five years have elapsed from the date his sentence was discharged. This means the later of release from prison or parole. This is not true under federal law. So, while a convicted felony could lawfully possess a firearm in these very limited circumstance under state law, he could possibly be charged and convicted under federal law, even though current federal policy is to defer to state law on this issue.”

      3. Yes, thanks for the link. It seems like gun possession is secondary in this ruling, with the real question of the defendant being knowledgeable about his being a felon or not.

        I should have researched it before I put it into my comment. I feel like such a Republican.

      4. No problem, Unarmed, and sorry for overwhelming you with posts and links.

        I wasn’t trying to prove you wrong. I was learning things as I was posting, discovering new information along the way myself.

        In this particular case Gorsuch was giving a Hispanic man the benefit of the doubt by closely reading the law. I respect that, so maybe he’s a good choice for the court.

  12. Many of my students are immigrants, or have family members who are immigrants. Many are also LGBTQ. The atmosphere at school sucks because so many are scared or angry. Thank god we are a safe space that can’t by law be raided. I am effing DONE with the orange a-hole.

    Sorry, but I had to vent. Back to the trenches.

  13. There are, IMHO, two takeaways from Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch, neither of which have to do with Gorsuch himself.

    The first is that the Senate’s long history as one of our country’s great deliberative bodies, one made to slow down and in many cases stop the excesses of the House, is slowly but surely coming to an end. Partisan rancor has been eroding the upper chamber’s norms for years and with the steady elimination of the filibuster, we can reasonably expect that the Senate will become a near mirror version of the House in the not too distant future.

    Democrats have already said they’ll filibuster Grosuch and force Republicans to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Once that happens, the filibuster for legislation won’t be terribly far behind. Barring a sudden partisan kumbaya moment, it’s a matter of when, not if.

    Secondly, and more pressing in the immediate is that we shouldn’t let this nomination distract from more pressing matters, like investigating Russian ties and the like. Trump and his entourage have a nasty habit of putting out the proverbial shiny object to take people’s eyes away and this is one of those times. Efforts should be made to see that our Representatives and Senators hold Trump’s feet to the fire.

    1. Without the filibuster, the Republicans will be able to pass anything they want. They are already talking about eliminating the federal estate tax, called the death tax so poor people will think it applies to them. They want to reduce social security and medicare. All that will be easily accomplished with no filibuster.
      I blame the Dems for what is happening more than the Republicans. the Dems spent last summer and fall talking about how high school dropouts who flip hamburgers at Burger King should get $15.00 an hour! Free college for all! Dems said “If not Bernie, noone!!”
      Well, here we are folks!

      1. I emphatically agree, Archetrix! Limited resources, poor leadership in DNC (if any) and a very strong, organized opponent. Time to use resources very carefully and fight like hell for the things that really matter.

    2. I do not think Dems should filibuster Gorsuch. He’s not worth the test which surely will come if Kennedy decides to step down. Gorsuch is at least qualified even if I don’t like his personal views. The news on the ground is that members of the Gop have been hoping/trying to get Kennedy to step down so they could appoint someone younger….That is the nominee the filibuster may be important to use, not on Gorsuch.

      Have to pick your battles when you are in the minority.

      1. I hear you, mime, but that doesn’t mean jacks*** to an incensed Democratic base and all the activists who are calling their Senators ’round the clock on this. After what Republicans did to Merrick Garland, this fight was inevitable. I understand why McConnell did what he did, even if I vehemently disagree with it, but he screwed up. If he had just given Democrats a fig leaf and at least given them a hearing and a vote, we might not be where we are right now. That isn’t what happened though.

      2. Creigh – Archetrix is right – we don’t have time to mess around with this. The winners make the rules. Period. The problem with the Dem base is that the Dem leadership is NOT leading. They need to do the smart thing rather than anything stupid to placate the base. Someone is going to have to grow a pair and lead. Right now the democratic leadership is still not decided even while people are marching and protesting….the tail is wagging the dog and this is part of the problem in the Dem Party….It is poorly organized. That better change, fast. You won’t hear me making calls “just cause” they’re on a list if they don’t make sense. I’m fighting for things that are critical and that we have a shot at changing.

      3. Profile photo of DS DS

        “Unilateral disarmament is suicide”

        True, but the Democrats in this case should aim for maximum damage. They won’t get it on Gorsuch. The optics will be better if they force the Republicans to eliminate the filibuster over a truly odious nominee who will actually alter the balance of the court.

      4. I think it’s important to stand one’s ground and fight over every single appointee when it comes to the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is only 49 years old, so he could be on the Court for 30 years or more.

        Executive orders, no matter how draconian, are temporary and can be reversed relatively easily, and to become law would require Congressional approval.

        So, yes, it’s important to pick one’s battles, but I think we should fight with an eye toward the long term.

      5. Profile photo of DS DS

        I understand wanting to stand your ground on principle, but the Democrats were outmaneuvered here. Absent some sort of earth shattering revelation about Gorsuch, he will be the next Associate Justice. So, unless they can find a way to Bork the guy, I’d argue that their best outcome over the long term is to force the Republicans to own the nuclear option.

    3. Yeah, the Republicans have a pretty sweet position. They get to unilaterally hold the entire government hostage when it’s not expected or precedented, and then after they get their way and take control of the government, the same tactics can’t work against them because of the workarounds the “Let’s actually have a functioning government” party had to commit to to prevent stuff like the fiscal cliff.

      It’s beautiful in a way. “Do exactly what we want or we destroy everything. Okay now we’re in control, so we’re going to do exactly what we want.” This is the type of behavior I observed in bullies on the playground. They’d team up to win, but if they ever got out-teamed, they’d change the rules and reteam to win. There is no way to ‘win’ against a bully, there is only avoiding them. We can’t avoid them because they’re elected to office.

      I think in the long run the Democratic party is incapable of consistently playing the foil obstructionist minority. And from a wider perspective, regardless of party, doubling down on partisanship is bad for everyone.

      As for Gorsuch specifically, I think they should just simply vote ‘No’ and let it happen, and hold out the real filibustering until next, highly likely opportunity in the next four years (anybody want to join a Trump v. Ginsberg death by stress pool?). However, I doubt the filibuster will even exist much longer regardless. Other arcane rules will have to be utilized.

      One of the things that still makes me reactively angry, that I need to get over and move on from, is the mere fact that the Merrick Garland refusal worked. That Hail Mary, let’s face it, was very lucky, and adds to the marginal quality of Trump’s black swan event. We Americans REALLY got fucked over with some very, very bad timing. It’s exasperating where it isn’t deeply disturbing.

      So there’s nothing to do about the past. It’s done. Unlikely events happen. Now we just have to look toward the future and protect our own interests as best we can. And so we’ll have Gorsuch on the bench and probably some other right-of-Kennedy on the bench for quite a few decades, but all the more reason to regain territory in the Congress for 2020 districting, all the more reason to focus on local policies that will prevent having to send victims to the Supreme Court, all the more importance to stand up and be clear and firm on what you believe in.

      Let the partisans be partisans. Just tell your representatives, left or right, what you actually want them to do and hold them accountable regardless.

  14. http://gothamist.com/2017/01/31/white_house_phone_numbers.php

    An anonymous group published a list of White House staffer phone numbers. The Gothamist checked the lines and listed the open ones.

    I am not posting this as a call to action in the “What actions are we taking?” thread, as this tool can easily backfire and won’t be available for long. Those that have the patience and composure, if they WANT to use this information, should limit it entirely to leaving messages about

    “I would like the White House to turn on the comment line. Having a method of direct communication between the White House and the American public is essential for transparent governance.”

    Any sort of trolling or bringing up issues beyond scope of the White House line is likely to kill the phone number faster than it’ll change the issues. Keep focused.

  15. It appears that members of the tech industry have more in common ($$) with potus than the average immigrant….and they are being cagey with their criticism, if they offer it at all….Business people who stand to benefit from regulatory roll back and tax reform, are keeping their lips zipped….

    Sort of makes Sally Yates look like a hero for putting her career on the line to uphold her responsibilities to uphold the Constitution….no matter what it says……There aren’ t many brave souls out there.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/140292/silicon-valleys-uneasy-muslim-ban-dance

  16. According to one of my Senators, Bob Casey, constituents are bombarding Washington D.C with phone calls and the entire switchboard is experiencing rolling blackouts because of the sheer volume. I hate that we’re living through all of this, but I admit it’s exciting to see such democracy in action. I’m really proud of my fellow citizens.

  17. What I’m getting from all these presidential actions, both formal and informal, is that, even though they may be totally legal, or at least not illegal, and in some instances based on existing laws not actively enforced, or based on laws that have been enforced prudently . . . the way the Trump administration is going about it, quickly and often without warning, essentially amounts to a PURGE.

    1. “Amounts to a purge”….Yes, Tutta, America’s very own holocaust. The post from Bobo about the development of a new EO dealing with elimination of services to immigrants (they used the term ‘alien’) is how the Republican Party is going to cut costs and begin a systematic deportation process. I feel certain a constitutional challenge will be filed as, at present, any person who goes to a ‘public’ hospital is eligible under EMTALA to receive services regardless of insured status or legal status. If they’re sick, they are treated per the law. People will be tracked by the government services they receive and deported at some capped amount.

      You may recall that one of Pres. Obama’s last EO was to end the federal government subsidies to Cuban ‘aliens’ who were treated uniquely from any other nationality entering the US illegally. Other than refugees, Cuban aliens enjoyed special status under the law and were entitled not only to federal services but guaranteed a visa within one year of entering. Tracking people who receive federal services with the intent of using this information to “purge” ethnic groups, will effectively launch the Republican “self-deportation” plan….

      1. Can’t recall where I posted this but here it is again: (wiki – yesterday, 5:48pm)

        Consolidated list by President – Wiki
        # President Years in Office
        42 Bill Clinton 8
        43 George W. Bush 8
        44 Barack Obama 8
        45 Donald Trump 0.027

        Today, same site, same search information: (wiki)

        # President Period
        42 Bill Clinton January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
        43 George W. Bush January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
        44 Barack Obama January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
        45 Donald Trump January 20, 2017 – present

        Obviously, somebody with math skills decided to get specific (-; with incumbent potus. But, the long arm of potus was watching and now we have, voila! the new and improved wiki list – in group two. 24 hrs makes a big difference….

  18. “Trump administration weighs plan to weed out immigrants deemed likely to require public assistance

    A draft executive order, obtained by The Washington Post, would also seek to deport — when possible — those already living in the United States who depend on taxpayer help.”

    I may be alone in this, but I have no problem with immigrants using taxpayer funds to get settled.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-circulates-more-draft-immigration-restrictions-focusing-on-protecting-us-jobs/2017/01/31/38529236-e741-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html

    1. I would have thought that an immigrant could be deported only for committing fraud or otherwise breaking the law but I found this on several legal sites which supposedly is grounds for deportation:

      “within five years after U.S. entry, has become a public charge (dependent on need-based government assistance) for reasons that did not arise after the person’s U.S. entry.”

    2. Bobo – This has the potential to be the most sweeping EO on immigration yet. Note that people will be tracked by federal services they receive (Big Brother on the job)..This is very concerning….Immigration/budget cuts/medicaid reduction all in one fell swoop. Really, really serious.

      1. Mary, from what I’ve read, a regulation about deporting people who receive government aid (“for reasons that did not arise after the person’s U.S. entry” – not sure what that means) does seem to exist, but it’s rarely been enforced, so to suddenly, sweepingly put it into effect would be cruel and unjust.

      1. If you closely read the proposed immigration order linked by Bobo, this is intended to have sweeping impact…Children are innocents in this scenario. I don’t think people should enter a country illegally but I do think that how America deals with families who have lived here for years requires a humane and sensitive approach…I have read many articles about how law enforcement entraps undocumented people through stops, often resulting in charges that then provide grounds for deportation….much like is done in many cities with black people…harass them, entrap them, fine them knowing they can’t pay, then jail them, then otherwise law abiding people have a record which gives grounds for the next step in the legal process.

  19. Question?

    Should have Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acting in the manner she did? Should the AGs office openly defy the President, Governor, or state legislators in defending laws they may disagree with? Is this a trend that should be occurring? What if an AG decided not to defend LGBT laws due to personal reasons.

    I am asking everyone but an answer from one of the legal types here would be great.

      1. They were discussing this very topic last night on BBC Radio — about her being questioned by Jeff Sessions – and how he grilled her about whether she would uphold the Constitution no matter what, even if it meant defying the president (at that time President Obama).

        The person being interviewed was of the opinion that instead of defying President Trump, she should have resigned.

        I think she was doing her duty to uphold the law, and as such should not have been fired, but I wonder how often this happens, that the attorney general would be in a position to defy the very person who appointed her.

      2. What’s interesting is the news that the refugee order was researched and written by Congressional staff (in the “private” time) without the knowledge of their congressional member or their permission. What’s also interesting is that they were required to sign confidentiality agreements.

        This situation is spinning out of control.

      1. Given the way this EO was crafted and issued, all the confusion it caused, and how DOJ people couldn’t make much of a case in those emergency hearings, she did have a point in questioning the legality in-my-non-lawyer-opinion. This didn’t have to be such a mess. I still have to wonder if this is what Bannon wanted. 1A had a discussion about that, and one thing said about him is that he wants someone to fight.

      2. Lord! NOT James Dean, John Dean….Sorry! Speaking of whom, here’s a tweet from John Dean today:

        “Trump is not a Republican. So it’s striking how he is using them and they him to get what each wants. It’s pure political swamp politics.”

        He should know.

    1. Profile photo of DS DS

      Not a “legal type,” but attorneys have an ethical obligation to act in accordance with the law and the Constitution. Defense attorney’s shouldn’t lie to protect their clients, prosecutors shouldn’t bring cases on thin legal ground, etc. These obligations are often ignored in practice (particularly on the prosecutorial side), but they still exist.

      This goes beyond “personal reasons.” If Yates is sincere in her belief that the order is unconstitutional, she is ethically obligated to remove herself and her department from its defense. That said, she’s a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President; he is within his rights to fire her. That doesn’t mean it’s not outrageous, or even that he should, merely that he hasn’t really done anything illegal. If Trump has overstepped in this instance, it would be up to Congress to step in (clearly, that won’t happen).

      1. Couldn’t President Trump be impeached/removed from office for not upholding the laws of the US and/or by firing the attorney general and thereby keeping that person from upholding the laws?

        Is this firing something that can be appealed and go all the way to the Supreme Court?

      2. Profile photo of DS DS

        Article 2 is pretty vague on impeaching the President. Bribery, treason, and “other high crimes and misdemeanors.” My experience in constitutional law is limited to two semesters in college, so take my interpretation with a grain of salt, but I doubt that firing your attorney general over a difference of constitutional interpretation qualifies as an impeachable offense.

        Andrew Johnson was impeached for removing his Secretary of War, but that was after Congress passed legislation specifically forbidding him from firing his cabinet secretaries without consulting Congress. Ultimately, impeachment is a political matter; the reality is you can probably impeach the President for anything you can get the votes for, but the threshold is high.

      3. I think DS is right. The Constitution is intentionally vague in many areas, because the drafters knew they couldn’t cover every situation and wanted later generations to think for themselves. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is anything that a sufficient number of House members agree on.

      1. Something that hasn’t come up is the statement by Sean Spicer at the press conference in regards to the 100 signatories from the State Department who issued a dissent. His comment: “They should leave.” What right, what authority does he have to make such a statement? Even when one removes their legal right to issue dissents (which they have done for every president on key issues), what makes Spicer feel he can make a comment like this?

        This is what is so worrisome…that the atmosphere of hate, disdain, control, is permeating everyone around this man..up and down the line.

      2. I heard a report about 51 State Dept people signing such a letter about Obama’s Syria policy. I don’t recall anyone calling on those people to resign then. This is supposed to be a channel for personnel to express dissenting opinion freely.

    1. This was discussed last night on the Brian Williams program. It’s an obscure law but if someone wants to test it on Bannon, they will be going right up against Trump…meaning, it ain’t coming from the right. Dems will have to be the ones although McCain would be the logical Repub. However, McCain has folded on every other thing he’s spoken against so wouldn’t count on him….

  20. @objv: >] “Democrats and the media badly assessed the mood of many Americans. They were stung. They were wounded. Now, they are enraged that they have been made to look foolish.

    In this case, the person who wrote the Fox article got it right.

    It’s certainly easy to “get it right” when you cherry pick facts and statistics to suit a partisan point, isn’t it? Curiously, the Quinnipiac poll mentioned in that Fox article was taken in very early January, well before Trump issued his EO and before the whole country had to see what halting immigration actually means.

    Secondly, Quinnipiac’s questioning is about as easily subject to spin as you can get. It’s hardly surprising that when asked if we should limit immigration from “terror-prone” countries, a small majority says yes. Care to guess at how people would respond if we asked them if we should help endangered women and children from those countries that might otherwise likely be killed? Should we bring them into the country if they follow a rigorous screening process? Whatever the answer, rest assured we’d have a majority to swamp the 48% Quinnipiac found.

    That aside, as for your quip about Democrats being “enraged” or whatever, well, I’ve got just two words for you:

    Crowd. Size.

      1. Ouch! Luckily, you missed my eye! Nice try though. (You liberals are so violent.) 🙂

        Maybe anything related to “size” should go down below to the discussion of the lost boys. As a woman I’ve never understood why men seem to have such a fixation on the size of anything.

        Even CNN brought up its own set of alternative facts on inaugural ratings.

        http://www.businessinsider.com/cnn-fox-news-inauguration-ratings-2017-1

        The male mind mystifies me at times – which is why I’m steering clear of the lost boys discussion. 🙂

    1. This is the official start of people being fired when they don’t fall in line. Previous ‘resignings’ came from behind-the-scenes discussions of unclear methods and rationale — enough to worry-worm away doubts with lack of clarity.

      This instance, however, is a straight line: someone stood up to Trump, got fired, statement released says they got fired for standing up to Trump.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/

      “Honor civil servants who are fired or forced to resign because they defied improper orders.”

      Please join me in sending a thank you note to Sally Yates for standing up for honor and integrity in the country.

      (I don’t know what her address is but I’m sending to

      The US Dept. of Justice
      950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
      Washington, DC 20530

      I figure they’ll either forward it or at least someone there will get the message.)

      1. Ted Cruz just weighed in to support potus’ decision to fire Yates, stating that it was unfortunate that an Obama appointee would leave such a poor legacy in defiance of the sitting potus……….

        Don’t waste your phone calls on this man…..bottom feeder that he is…….

      2. “Potus also fired the acting head of Customs and Border Security CPB right after he fired Yates”

        Do you have a source and the name of the CBS head? A quick Google News check yielded four day old info of CBS resignations.

      3. >] Ted Cruz just weighed in to support potus’ decision to fire Yates, stating that it was unfortunate that an Obama appointee would leave such a poor legacy in defiance of the sitting potus……….

        Don’t waste your phone calls on this man…..bottom feeder that he is…….

        Totally understandable, but counterproductive. Cruz shouldn’t be allowed to think that he’s beaten people into submission or made them give up. Opposition to everything that he stands for should be made loud and clear, consistently

        Think of it this way. If we want to make Texas competitive, then that means rallying people into their local and state politics, even if the outcome isn’t something we can necessarily change right now. Voices still shouldn’t be silenced.

      4. Hell, as much as I would love to see a qualified Dem, I’d take a moderate GOPer too. Cruz has always been a concern even though I now realize that given the choice (ugh) between him or potus, he would have been (ugh) the lessor evil…Chris was right about that.

      5. It is quite possible that I vote in the GOP primary next year. My primary voting record is pretty evenly split, and which party I choose depends on which ballot slate gives me the most influence. If there’s an attempt to primary Dan Patrick from the GOPe side and there’s a Senate hopeful less obnoxious than Cruz, that will draw my interest.

  21. More good people are putting their careers and livelihoods on the line to stand up for justice….what a tragedy.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-immigration-executive-order-234401

    As I posted earlier, at the press conference today, the question was asked about the leaked dissent letter from state and civil service employees regarding the travel ban which has a reported 100 signatories…The answer via Spicer? Leave. Years of experience – poof. As one commentator to the linked NYT article noted :

    “You start off trying to tell people to be reasonable. “Look, I don’t agree with him either, but he’s not the next Hitler or Hugo Chavez. He’s the elected president of the United States.” Then his administration asks government agencies for the names of people who attended certain conferences; then it tells the media it should “shut up”; then it starts firing career government employees who don’t agree with their policies; then it removes mention of the judicial branch from the White House website; then it omits mention of Jews from the Holocaust memorial…Then you start thinking, is that a duck quacking that I hear?…
    “https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/us/politics/trump-immigration-ban-memo.html?

  22. The three countries where the deadliest terrorists came to the United States from were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Together they all accounted for 94.1 percent of all American deaths in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil committed by the foreign-born. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are not beset by any of the supposedly-terrorism increasing problems that are described in this order. Egyptians account for 5.4 percent of all terrorist victims but their attacks occurred between 1993 and 2002 when Egypt was a more stable country than it is today. The only exception to this might be Lebanon which accounts for 5.2 percent of all terrorist victims but nearly all of those were committed by Ziad Jarrah on 9/11 – a single data point. Meanwhile, foreign-born people from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and Yemen have not successfully killed anybody in a U.S. terrorist attack.

    https://www.cato.org/blog/guide-trumps-executive-order-limit-migration-national-security-reasons

    According to the CATO Institute 94.1% of foreign born terrorists that have murdered Americans live in countries not covered by Trumps Muslim ban – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.

    Do you know what else these countries have in common? They each have Trump properties. Is it possible that Trump’s own bottom line is guiding his actions. Like Glenn Beck said “we are just asking questions”.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/30/did_trump_write_the_muslim_ban_with_his_business_in_mind.html

    It gets better by the minute.

  23. Thoughts on this article?

    https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/trial-balloon-for-a-coup-e024990891d5#.pgo5a2bkb

    It’s conclusion is running into conspiracy ville, which is why I’m not believing it. What we’re witnessing is most likely Trump pushing the bounds of his power to enact awful measures – which is still a crappy situation, but it’s not the coup d’etat that this article imagines.

    Also, it should be noted that, in the actual Steele dossier, the Rosneft president is claimed have offered “PAGE/TRUMP’s associates” (Carter Page supposedly being a former foreign policy advisor for Trump’s campaign, although Trump campaign staffers deny this) “the brokerage of up to a 19% (privatised) stake in Rosnett,” with Page and his associates offering in return to lift sanctions on Russia should Trump be elected President. The dossier never says that “Putin had offered Trump 19% of Rosneft,” so there’s no evidence this is connected directly to Trump, despite what the article assumes.

  24. With respect to the article titled REVENGE OF THE LOST BOYS, about socially stunted White men who lash out, could their problems be due to all the masculine rivals they have to deal with now and are constantly reminded of via the media, both social and mainstream? Black men, Hispanic men, athletes, musicians, even gay guys have more pull with the ladies.

    And confusion about gender roles, maybe? Not just absent fathers, but over-protective mothers trying to make up for the absent fathers. Just some thoughts.

    1. Profile photo of DS DS

      Honestly, that article strikes me as the same of nostalgic claptrap espoused by the so-called “conservatives” that like to pretend that Trump is going to return us to some sort of golden age of American prosperity. Masculinity in the United States has always rested on an edifice of gender inequality and violence. If you think John Wayne was idolized for his “restraint, self-discipline, or the other traditional masculine virtues,” you’re kidding yourself.

      Feminism has made significant strides in challenging the norms that define traditional masculinity. The examples of mass violence cited by Mr. Nichols are not simple acts of narcissism; they represent the extreme end of the backlash against this challenge. The spectrum that they’re on hearkens back to a time when men were breadwinners, women were to be seen and not heard, and keeping your wife in her place was not only acceptable, but expected.

      Our current crop of male malcontents are struggling with core contradictions that have been present in our society essentially since its inception. What it means to “be a man” is shifting beneath their feat, and they’re not dealing well. They are, of course, still responsible for their actions, but attributing their dysfunction to millennial narcissism and “hyper-sexualized, publicity-obsessed, winner-take-all twenty-first-century culture” dramatically misses the mark.

      1. But these men came of age when the modern idea of what it means to “be a man” was already in existence, after the strides of feminism had already occurred. The shift had already taken place. Why would they be resentful about losing something they never had?

      2. And if deep down, he does long for inequality and violence against women (which would explain the penchant for pornography mentioned in the article) in order to feel like a man, how should parents, or society, or whoever, go about instilling confidence in this type of man?

        The vast majority of men don’t need inequality and violence against women to feel like men. What was done right in their case? What can we learn from them?

      3. Profile photo of DS DS

        I don’t think the question is as settled as you think it is. After all, one of our two major political parties is suffused with the notion of God-given gender roles that put men clearly on top. Modern masculinity continues to be confusing and contentious, and the folks that we’re talking about are particularly ill equipped to navigate that.

        What we’re talking about here is not “deep down” in the sense of being innate; it’s the result of a specific set of beliefs combined with a painful shyness and social awkwardness that could probably be addressed through therapy and sex-positive education. Traditional masculinity demands that men achieve certain social and sexual milestones without assistance, and it still has a powerful hold on the current generation. Removing the stigma of assistance and bringing these kids up to speed will go a long way toward preventing extremism and violence.

      4. DS, I didn’t mean to imply the question was settled. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        When I asked why we were having this conversation, it was because the topic of lost White boys doesn’t really interest me, and I only read the article and commented on it because it seemed important to Chris, and actually, I found it awkward to be speculating about the sexual insecurities of people I don’t even know.

      5. Profile photo of DS DS

        Tutta,

        Sorry, that probably came across harsher than intended. The point that I was initially trying to make is that, rather than being the direct result of cultural change, the problems these young men have are baked into the traditional model. The internet has given new life to it, but the problems have always been there.

        I agree it’s an awkward topic, but I think that’s part of the problem. If we want to prevent the violence mentioned in the article, it’s a conversation that needs to be had openly and honestly.

        I’d also note that I think it’s a mistake to conflate the intentions of people like Snowden, Bergdahl, and Manning with the likes of school shooters. They really are in a different class.

  25. So 48% is now most voters? Alternative math? I get why some blue collar worker in the Rust Belt might not be so immediately concerned- it isn’t impacting their profession. But I can tell you that it just might impact mine (science) for the worse. As I’m typing this, an e-mail from the boss of my institution just landed in my box, advising some of my colleagues to avoid international travel until this mess is sorted out. That’s just the beginning. How many bright young scientists are going to decide in the future that America isn’t the best place for them to go? This isn’t some liberal elite pearl clutching here, this is a tangible bad outcome.

    1. Fly, from the article:

      “Americans did not agree with Obama’s decision to open the door to more Syrian refugees; at the end of 2015, a Quinnipiac poll revealed that 51 percent of the country stood against the move, while only 43 percent supported it.”

      Silly me, you’ve got to forgive the Rust Belt education I received in Cleveland. I thought that 51 percent was a majority.

      Admittedly, there were two polls mentioned. The other showed: 48 percent of the nation approves of “suspending immigration from terror prone regions, even if it means turning away refugees,” while 42 percent oppose such a measure.

      Fly, aren’t you being a bit elitist with your distain for the blue collar worker? My father doesn’t even have a high school diploma but he is extremely intelligent (although his liberal leanings are troubling). My son graduated from college with a 3.9 GPA, has gotten all As in his graduate studies and is currently applying for a Ph.D. My blue collar father is just as smart, if not more so than my academically inclined son. Honestly, no wonder Trump won so many votes in the Rust Belt. The disdainful attitude many liberals hold for people without a college education has done much to help Republicans.

      1. Exactly what was distainful about my comment? Do blue collar workers form international networks? Do they sponsor promising apprentices for H1B visas? Does this ban impact their ability to work?. Weren’t blue collar workers the ones who overwhelmingly supported Trump? Is stating facts now insult? Apparently so.

        As for the 48%, you said, and I quote “.. Most voters support tougher vetting..” . Your source cited several polls with different questions. That one looked like the closest match to your assertion. But any way you care to slice it, it’s basically a statistical dead heat. Don’t start claiming landslides and mandates like your boy Trump.

  26. I am trying hard not to be carried away by outrage, to remain cool and objective, but I am thrilled and moved to see all the people protesting at the airports, protesting with all their hearts, like a primal scream, as if their lives depended on it, which is absolutely the case. And I’m glad we’re presenting that message to the world, that we are not Trump.

    1. True, but as per a discussion I just had with a friend this morning, we must pace ourselves. I would have loved to join in an airport protest, but I had other commitments this weekend. I’m getting e-mail updates from various groups with so many things- I tell myself that I must set priorities. I’ve decided the Scientists’ March and the follow up actions will be my top priority.

      1. Don’t know the day yet. I signed up to help with organizing and there is supposed to be a reply this week. There is talk of having marches in other cities- sibling marches. I would expect Houston to have a very good turn out, given NASA, the TX Med Center, and the Universities. I’ll start a new thread on the forum when I know more.

      2. I was out of pocket all weekend, and came back to probably a hundred emails about different local and regional actions, rallies, phone numbers for representatives, etc. I’m going to need to take some time to figure out which lane(s) I belong in, and direct my efforts there. No way I can do it all (and neither can anyone else).

  27. Profile photo of EJ EJ

    One more for you.

    “China military official: War with US under Donald Trump ‘becoming practical reality'”

    The Chinese military are not exactly the sort to talk without thinking it through. When they say a thing like this, it’s a very scary warning.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-donald-trump-war-us-military-official-practical-reality-president-latest-a7550601.html

    (In the case of a Sino-American sea war, which way would Russia jump, I wonder? Which way would Europe?)

    1. If the u.s. and China get into a shooting war, it won’t really matter which way Russia and Europe/NATO align. The thing will go nuclear very quickly (like when the first Nimitz class is sunk), and its lights out for everyone then.

      But from a purely wargaming/ 1 million mile view, the u.s. military has enough sense to realize it can’t win a conventional war in south-east asia.

      China can bring pretty much all its conventional weaponry to bear, while the u.s. has bases in Japan, Guam, South Korea, and the Philippines to operate from, plus of course the formidable Japanese armed forces and the Taiwanese and South Korean armed forces. Bottom line, even those 3 nations and the u.s forward forces can’t compete with the Chinese.

      1. Under these circumstances I’m not entirely convinced that Japan and S. Korea would stand with us if it came to shooting. Without their support it probably wouldn’t even escalate to a nuclear confrontation. It would just fizzle and we would lose.

      2. Agree. After all, potus just delivered a big f**k-U to the far east with cancellation of the TPP, his talk about tariffs, his criticism of the U.N. and thus our treaties and international accords. Why would these countries feel they should not play for the best deal they can get “in their backyard”…?

      3. Profile photo of DS DS

        It’s an interesting question. I doubt very much that China would be able to stand against the combined forces of the Koreans, Japanese, and US; they’re military is large, but still relatively outmoded. For that reason, I suspect Japan and Korea would ultimately get on board with the US in any conflict; their security is underwritten by US forces, and the US doesn’t represent the same military threat or territorial challenges that China does.

        Whether the thing would go nuclear is a scary question. I actually doubt that China would launch a first strike; they’re completely outclassed when it comes to nuclear and ABM capability, and that would end poorly for them. What Donald Trump chooses to do, however, is another question entirely.

        At the end of the day, the conflict, conventional or nuclear, would have devastating consequences for the world.

      4. Profile photo of DS DS

        He’ll want them to “buy American” when it comes to arms, and ultimately he doesn’t have the time; ending the American presence in East Asia is a serious logistical problem. Plus, I suspect he’ll come to enjoy the negotiating leverage their presence provides.

  28. Here’s the first thought I had when reading the Starbucks article: why would you favor a refugee over a local person who needs that job? Why favor a refugee who worked with the armed services over the armed service member herself?

    I think that a Trump supporter would look at Starbucks and be reinforced in his belief that Starbucks hates Americans. As a Bernie supporter I wouldn’t go that far but at the very least would say they’re being very tone deaf.

      1. Hi Tutt! I might be a progressive elite, because you would find me at Starbucks most Friday mornings meeting with my camping friends. 🙂

        Honestly, I don’t have a problem with Starbucks offering jobs to refugees in the 75 countries they do business including the US.

        Like most people, I don’t mind companies giving jobs to people who are in the country legally even if they are refugees. I commend them for that.

        However, I do think that there should be stricter vetting and that employers should make sure that any “expats” are here legally.

        I doubt my German dad would have been allowed to immigrate here during WWII. As it was, he had to wait two years before he was cleared to move here during the 1950s despite having someone sponsor him.

        Believe me I feel for the refugees who have gone through horrors, but wouldn’t it be better to be cautious and send support for them overseas in Muslim majority countries?

        We are not at war with the countries the refugees are coming from, but many in those countries declared that they are at war with us. Considering that even a lone terrorist can cause massive damage and loss of life, wouldn’t it be better to proceed cautiously?

      2. objv – If Trump spelled out some additional vetting processes and ran it through the State Department, the military, and Homeland Security you might have a point. Instead he whipped out the X.O. out of his arse without consulting these departments. Additionally, he is purposely defying the orders of several judges around the nation that have tried to stop this immigration mess. I am sure you would be all over Obama if he even tried a tenth of what Trump is doing.

        You voted for this shaite storm…..you get to own it.

      3. So, are we angry over the ban itself, or only over how it was carried out?

        I read in this morning’s WSJ that he intentionally waited to spring the executive order without advance warning, apparently because he felt that if he had announced it in advance, that would have given potential terrorists the chance to travel here before the ban went into effect. And when told of the problems that might be encountered by innocent travelers, he replied that it was a necessary inconvenience. That angers me, because I feel that the rights of innocent people are more important than catching a potential terrorist.

      4. Truth – if that had been vetting through people who know how things work, it probably would have been a minor story. Stop new green cards from being issued into people in those countries – that may be unnecessary and upsetting. Bar green card holders from returning to their homes? That’s some Fascist shit. That’s the sort of thing that communicates to all of us that no legal or moral norms will limit this man’s actions.

      5. All of this is orchestrated to cast confusion and create fear. The break-neck speed of launching one E.O. after another, without proper input from impacted agencies, without concern for impact on people’s lives – Mightn’t they be designed to divide and conquer? Throw so many issues out there so fast and of such significance that a cohesive opposition is unable to focus around a central issue? (Where is the indignation from the GOP over all the E.O.s? Better yet, where is the GOP?)

        DJT is complicit because his ego and mean streak are being stoked by Bannon’s diabolical plan to destroy democracy as we know it and replace it with a nationalistic form of government. Here are three excellent articles that support the strong possibility that potus/Bannon know exactly what they are doing. The question is, will America be able to stop them? While potus et al are destroying the pillars of American democracy, Republicans are mute because their plan is to re-write our nations laws and policies for their “Better Way” agenda. Better for whom, of course, is the fallacy.

        “What’s the difference between the civil unrest last weekend and this weekend? Why did the Women’s March result in an almost-immediate “fuck you” to its participants while the airport protests resulted in the government changing course? The difference is that massive civil unrest can work when accompanied by judicial intervention, as the two together make a powerful one-two punch.

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-muslim-ban-why-civil-unrest-judicial-action-works-w463895

        A lesson from the past from Hannah Arendt, 1974: “The law of progress holds that everything now must be better than what was there before. Don’t you see if you want something better, and better, and better, you lose the good. The good is no longer even being measured.”
        “http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1978/10/26/hannah-arendt-from-an-interview/?

        “There was nothing unanticipated in this first disturbing week of the Trump administration. It will not get better. Americans should therefore steel themselves, and hold their representatives to account. Those in a position to take a stand should do so, and those who are not should lay the groundwork for a better day. There is nothing great about the America that Trump thinks he is going to make; but in the end, it is the greatness of America that will stop him.”
        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/a-clarifying-moment-in-american-history/514868/

        Let me repeat: “It is the greatness of America that will stop him.” If nothing else has been achieved, people are waking up to the fact that Democracy is not guaranteed; it is nurtured and defended. When you don’t vote, it loses support; when you vote for imbeciles, it loses support; when you protest, it is strengthened.

        That is our only recourse. As John Lewis stated: Stand up; speak out; fight.

      6. So, are we angry over the ban itself, or only over how it was carried out?

        Why not both?

        I read in this morning’s WSJ that he intentionally waited to spring the executive order without advance warning, apparently because he felt that if he had announced it in advance, that would have given potential terrorists the chance to travel here before the ban went into effect.

        How does that explain his withholding the information from the State Dept and other agencies tasked with enforcing the X.O.? Yes, I heard him trivialized the plight of those affected. It just add further support that this is a man not concerned with the rights that people enjoy in this nation.

      7. Profile photo of EJ EJ

        What Tuttabella said. If one lets refugees in, the worst case scenario is that some people will die violently. If one does not let them in, the very probable scenario is that a whole lot of people will die violently. The fact that it those deaths happen overseas to brown people doesn’t make them any less tragic than if they happen in Germany or America, to white people.

      8. Tutt, yes to the Starbucks meet for coffee!

        I’m really not that heartless. I’d love to give more of the refugees a chance.

        However, given that a not-so-innocent terrorist could cause tremendous injury and death to innocent Americans, I would rather be cautious.

        The ban is for 120 days until the new administration can assess vetting procedures. Is that really such a long time when you consider that a 911 type incident might be prevented?

        I wish that Malik Tashfeen’s had been more vetted more thoroughly even though she was not from one of the countries with current restrictions.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/12/19/tashfeen-maliks-visa-sloppily-approved-according-to-congressman-who-reviewed-immigration-application/?utm_term=.66bf2cc77594

    1. ArmchairPhil, here’s a problem for the media and liberals denouncing Trump: Most voters support tougher vetting for people entering this country.

      http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/01/30/forget-hysterical-mainstream-media-america-likes-trump-s-agenda-including-his-immigration-pivot.html

      “If Democrats now become the Party of No, as the GOP was derisively called, in a childish retaliatory spat, they will further alienate the broad majority of Americans who are frustrated with stagnant earnings and low growth.
      Democrats are already in trouble, having lost more than 1,000 congressional and state legislative seats and governorships – a staggering total — during Obama’s tenure. They will only compound their vanishing act if they fight the Trump agenda.” 

      1. Chris, the Trump administration definitely bungled that. 🙁

        However, are you fine with letting in massive numbers of people like was done in Germany?

        Are you for open borders? What do you feel needs to be criteria for vetting refugees – if anything?

      2. “However, are you fine with letting in massive numbers of people like was done in Germany?”

        False dilemma there. Spicer admitted in today’s presser that there was no specific immediate threat here, so no excuse for not taking your time and making a workable plan. Also- why bypass Congress when you party has a majority? The shitstorm could have easily been avoided with a bit more work, but I suspect that’s just what Herr Bannon wants. That’s the guy who worries me the most.

      3. However, are you fine with letting in massive numbers of people like was done in Germany?

        Are you for open borders? What do you feel needs to be criteria for vetting refugees – if anything?

        Do you have any serious questions. The vetting process currently takes years to complete, exactly what in trump’s action makes the process more stringent? Trump did not consult the State Department or any other group prior to this fark up.

        Your trying to deflect to open borders and trying to make it seem people are suggesting no vetting take place is an attempt to divert the conversation away from the attacks on legal immigrants and the process to get refugees here in this country.

      4. Oh, “they” just don’t understand potus………..says Sean Hannity about elitists who are aghast at his actions….This Fox anchor who pulls down $29m/yr + private jet is calling potus critics “elitists”? In his own words….

        “”When you have The New York Times, a host on CNN, a guest on MSNBC, all calling the President of the United States a liar, if that is their coverage, they will never get their credibility back,” Hannity said. “They don’t understand Donald Trump, they don’t understand the phenomenon, they don’t understand what happened in this election, the level of elitism is breathtaking to me.”

      5. OV wrote: They (Democrats) will only compound their vanishing act if they fight the Trump agenda.”
        ***************************
        OV, I don’t think the Democrats are going to disappear anytime soon, just as the Republicans, who were left for dead not that long ago, are still around in a major way. I think it’s healthy to have a party of NO to at least challenge what the administration-of-the-moment tries to do, to serve as a reminder that there are constituents who think differently. Even if “most voters” support President Trump’s agenda, there is a vocal group of dissenters whose views must be represented.

      6. Chris – you stated Your President…..

        One thing that would infuriate me about the Obama detractors is their refusal to admit he was their President. I feel that we should not fall into the same trap as the far right wing. Trump despite our repulsion of his actions does occupy the Oval Office and at the very least the office should be respected. For right or wrong he is our President.

      7. EJ, I was absolutely, positively posting non-satirically. 🙂

        Democrats and the media badly assessed the mood of many Americans. They were stung. They were wounded. Now, they are enraged that they have been made to look foolish.

        In this case, the person who wrote the Fox article got it right.

      8. ~objv~

        Democrats and the media badly assessed the mood of many Americans. They were stung. They were wounded. Now, they are enraged that they have been made to look foolish.

        Despite Trump’s claims let’s remember that 3MM voters more supported Hillary. Her coalition was made up of a broad spectrum of the population. Trump narrowly won the electoral college, his win does not change the fact that the majority of voters rejected his message of divisiveness, you can pretend it was about bringing back those buggy whip factory jobs but every comment and action by the Trump supporters spells out the true motivation behind their support for Trump.

        We are not enrage by “looking foolish”. We are enraged that Trump in a week and a half has managed to become ISIS’s best recruiting agent, has violated the freedoms of American residents, and has willfully ignored multiple federal court orders.

        You know things that you would gnash your teeth on because of things you imagine Obama doing but in reality are done by the person you support.

        Good to see Trump is all over helping the “blue collar workers”

      9. “Now, they are enraged that they have been made to look foolish.”

        Actually the source of rage is that Trump refuses to clean up his act, and the GOP is quite content to not call him on it. His minions tell the most perposterous lies and play the victim when we refuse to swallow them.

      10. Potus just fired Acting AG Sally Yates and replaced her with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente. Ms. Yates released a statement that as acting AG, she did not think the refugee law was constitutional and therefore would not defend it.

      11. @objv: >] “Democrats and the media badly assessed the mood of many Americans. They were stung. They were wounded. Now, they are enraged that they have been made to look foolish.

        In this case, the person who wrote the Fox article got it right.”

        It’s certainly easy to “get it right” when you cherry pick facts and statistics to suit a partisan point, isn’t it? Curiously, the Quinnipiac poll mentioned in that Fox article was taken in very early January, well before Trump issued his EO and before the whole country had to see what halting immigration actually means.

        Secondly, Quinnipiac’s questioning is about as easily subject to spin as you can get. It’s hardly surprising that when asked if we should limit immigration from “terror-prone” countries, a small majority says yes. Care to guess at how people would respond if we asked them if we should help endangered women and children from those countries that might otherwise likely be killed? Should we bring them into the country if they follow a rigorous screening process? Whatever the answer, rest assured we’d have a majority to swamp the 48% Quinnipiac found.

        That aside, as for your quip about Democrats being “enraged” or whatever, well, I’ve got just two words for you:

        Crowd. Size.

      12. To all of you …

        I completely agree that Republicans should not make the same mistake as the Democrats did in not listening and acting on concerns of people they disagreed with.

        It’s true that more people voted for Hillary than Trump. Republicans need to listen to opposing views or they will find themselves in the same position as the Democrats are in right now.

        My question for you regards the current tactics liberals are using now.

        Are most Americans fine with porous borders and non-citizens of an indeterminate number and unknown background moving freely around in our country?

      13. “Are most Americans fine with porous borders and non-citizens of an indeterminate number and unknown background moving freely around in our country?”

        You should ask a question that is actually relevant to this particular EO and its sloppy and confusing implementation. But to keep you from your continued deflecting- no one here has expressed support for porous borders or not doing background checks. No one has claimed most Americans support tokes things. Now back to the actual issue- this EO affected people has already been vetted. We don’t approve of that, nor do we approve of such a hasty action absent the demonstration of any threat. If Trump wants to change the vetting rule, he ought to consult with the State Dept and Congress and his military advisors, rather than let Bannon pull his strings.

      14. fly, my question is relevant because the Obama administration was negligent in addressing the concerns many American people had about lack of immigration controls and border security. Hillary took money for open borders advocate George Soros. If anything, she wanted to legalize even more illegal expats.

        You may call it xenophobia, racism or whatever, but It hurt Hillary and Democrats who were running for office.

        Democrats will continue to lose elections unless they start to take a stance on the issue that is fair to citizens who are concerned about terrorism and losing jobs.

        I’ve admitted that Trump and his team botched implementation of the travel ban. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes.

      15. Democrats will continue to lose elections unless they start to take a stance on the issue that is fair to citizens who are concerned about terrorism and losing jobs.

        The other day you telling us what the “people of the nation” wanted and it sounded like they wanted what the Democrats are selling.

        Now if trade wars, making products more expensive, giving rich people even more tax breaks, unrealistic plans to bring back buggy whip jobs, and keeping brown people out of the country is what they really want well then they need to go to the Republican Party for that.

        You may call it xenophobia, racism or whatever…..

        http://www.image-maps.com/m/private/0/8uuuc5snq9let55u7i37ts73n2_trump-make-america-white-again.jpg

        What do you call it?

        I rather support candidates that do not feel the need to appeal to racists like these d-bags. When you openly claim that the positions you and your family support are those pushed by Democrats but vote for Trump then that tells everyone here what your biggest motivation is to get your vote.

      16. Turtles, my sister, along with millions of others, found themselves unable to afford the supposedly affordable insurance on her health care exchange.

        What does that have to do with racism? You are not making any sense. Obamacare has helped some but has been a disaster for others – independent of their skin color. I get the feeling it’s easier for you to claim racism when the argument doesn’t go your way. No doubt some people are racist, but aren’t you being racist as well when you characterize me as racist for wanting to make sure we are not letting in terrorists? Or, being concerned that my sister can’t afford health insurance because Obamacare has extra coverage requirements that have priced millions out of the market? Good grief. I really like you Turtles, but the continued charges of racism invalidate your arguments as far as I am concerned. (End of rant.)

        I’ve always been upfront that my support of Trump has been primarily because of the supreme court. I would have preferred someone else, but he was the only choice besides Hillary.

      17. Chris, another article for you. I know that rural white people aren’t your cup of tea, but here are more examples of some folks who have found Obamacare lacking.

        http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/24/health/nebraska-trump-obamacare-aca-eprise/

        If you look back on my comments over the years, I don’t think you will find any where I say that I’m opposed to the government having a say in healthcare. I have been critical of Obamacare, and I think that it needs to replaced rather than patched up.

        I’ve been open about my husband sister and her family benefiting from Medicaid.

        What I find totally confusing is how any criticism of Obamacare, immigration policies, etc., is met with a reflex reaction charge of hating “brown people.”

        How is being concerned about my sister racism?

      18. Objv – Obama did not take your sister off her husbands policy, the company he works for did. http://time.com/money/2988023/spousal-coverage-health-insurance-employer-premiums/ Costs have been rising for many years and I remember it being a political issue decades ago.

        But what specifically would you change? Would you remove the mandate? Allow yearly caps on individual or family costs. How about lifetime caps on benefits? Allow pre-existing conditions keep you from getting insurance?

        How about if we just go back to where we were pre-ACA? Do you think your sister would be added back to her husbands policy? Healthcare costs have been leveling since Obamacare, what is you opinion on whether they would go up or down if we did repeal everything in the ACA?

        Maybe you would like to have a national healthcare system like England?

        A lot of questions but I’m seriously curious about your thoughts.

      19. Sorry for the multiple posts. My daughter was on the Colorado exchange for four months while she was in between jobs.

        I thought that the kinks would have been worked out of the system by 2016. That was not the case. The first time she tried to sign up it didn’t “take” and she didn’t realize she wasn’t covered even though she had received a confirmation email.

        I tried helping her the second time when she became frustrated with the online application. (She’s a science major with a master’s degree who sits in front of a computer for a good deal of the day.) It was hopeless so we called the helpline. The guy we talked to was helpful and checked out what was available (different policies than what showed up online). His conclusion was that she was better off with a private non-exchange policy. Unfortunately, whatever my daughter and I had done online just before had gone through even though we hadn’t gotten any notification and the website just kept sending us back to the beginning. Arrrgh.

        This is one of the reasons I think Obamacare needs to be completely reworked.

        I guess that makes me a racist. Got it.

      20. In any case, thanks for bearing with me, Chris. If at any time you feel that it would be better for me to leave this group, let me know.

        I would leave without any hard feelings. I enjoy the back and forth. I’m not sure the rest of you agree.

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