2017 Politics open thread, January 29 — February 4

We’ve had some spirited discussions recently.  Too heated or appropriately provocative?  What’s your opinion?  Do you want to continue this weekly politics thread?

 

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440 thoughts on “2017 Politics open thread, January 29 — February 4

  1. Not sure it really matters. Damage has been done and no one is going to forget what people have said.

  2. Continuing the conversation from last week’s thread…

    “The order prioritizes Christian refugees”

    Perhaps it does, and reasonable people can disagree whether such a priority is a sound policy. But, as David French noted in the National Review, it is important to understand that religious considerations are already part of refugee policy:

    “federal asylum and refugee law already require a religious test. As my colleague Andy McCarthy has repeatedly pointed out, an alien seeking asylum “must establish that . . . religion [among other things] . . . was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.” Similarly, the term “refugee” means “(A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality . . . and who is unable or unwilling to return to . . . that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of . . . religion [among other things] . . . [.]”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444370/donald-trump-refugee-executive-order-no-muslim-ban-separating-fact-hysteria

    If this order favors Christians, perhaps that is because Christians are, worldwide, far more likely to be facing persecution than members of other religious groups.

  3. “Evidently Steve Bannon is drafting a lot of these orders, including this one, but he doesn’t have the knowledge or policy expertise to do them correctly.”

    Well, that actually explains a lot.

    Putting aside the merits of the policy, the language was awkward and unclear, and, as a purely practical matter, didn’t anyone think through the effects this abrupt order would have on people who were already in transit? “We don’t what the hell we are doing, but, hey, we’re doing something” seems to shine through clearly, which is very troubling.

  4. Scarlett, the point of this thread is to decide whether to continue it. I am concerned that if we don’t, the topics will pop up on the main thread.

  5. Scarlett,

    Why isn’t Saudia Arabia on the list? It doesn’t make any sense. Even the WSJ is just one big condemnation of the whole thing.

  6. I voted “See Comments”. I appreciate the political thread as a place to sharpen my argumentation skills, and because I totally enjoy Rhett’s snarky comments. There are some things said here that I find very counter to my core values, but I would rather know that people see things that way than put my head in the sand. That being said, I am also concerned that this has driven some people away. So I am fine with whatever people decide.

  7. Sorry RMS. I share your concern that these topics will inevitably spill into the main threads but didn’t realize that we were limiting our discussions here to that topic.

    But last week’s thread is last week’s thread, which is why I moved my substantive comments here.

    Rhett,
    At the risk of beating a dead horse…the executive order simply piggybacked on an existing list of problematic countries identified by the Obama Adminstration. Here is an explanation, from the op-ed editor of the Jerusalem Post. https://sethfrantzman.com/2017/01/28/obamas-administration-made-the-muslim-ban-possible-and-the-media-wont-tell-you/

    From his conclusion:

    “Because mainstream media has been purposely lying, either due to ignorance or because of unwillingness to read the document and ask questions and because they are too ready to accept “facts” without investigating. They want to blame Trump for a “Muslim ban” because they were ready with that script since last year. And indeed Trump has enacted a harsh executive order cracking down on visitors from these countries (particularly Syrians), but his crackdown only includes those seven countries because of Obama’s policy. Trump’s decision to go beyond the policy and increase the Obama policy harms refugees, but it only increases an existing discriminatory policy, it doesn’t invent it. Reading media reports you would never know that. Most disingenuous, truly bordering on fake news, are the reports that claimed the seven countries were connected to Trump business interests, as if Obama’s DHS picked them because of Trump?”

  8. Scarlett,

    The entire front page of the WSJ journal is one big condemnation. That being the case, I’m not sure how much faith I’d put in the panicked attempts to justify it that you linked to.

    Think about it Scarlett, they are using “It was Obama’s idea first.” as their defense. That should give you pause.

  9. I voted keep it as a separate thread. I only occasionally glance over there and I prefer to have those discussions separate.

    On that topic, I encourage everyone to listen to the podcast Hidden Brain Episode 59 The Deep Story. Very analytical about where the Democrats have left so many of their “own” behind. At least, I hope every Democrat here listens to it.

    http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510308/hidden-brain

    Also, DH and I generally keep all charitable giving local, and focus all of our resources on one recipient. We believe this gives us the most bang for our buck. But today, for the first time, we made a significant donation to the ACLU. When my Southern, Republican husband thinks this is a good idea, you know the world is upside down.

    Next month we are giving to the Southern Poverty and Law Center. For those feeling helpless, I strongly encourage you to think about donations to those two organizations.

  10. Rhett,

    These are not “panicked attempts to justify it.” This is the opening paragraph of the piece by Seth Frantzman:

    “I was outraged by the ban on refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. I’ve covered refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria over the last two years, meeting families on the road in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, speaking to poor people in Turkey and Jordan and discussing the hopes and fears of people displaced in Iraq. If you want to ban “terrorists,” these are the last people to hit with a refugee ban. Instead the government should be using the best intelligence possible to find people being radicalized, some of whom have lived in the US their whole lives or who come from countries not affected by the ban, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

    So I was outraged, and then I read the executive order.”

    There are plenty of problems with the order without resorting to hysteria and fake news comparisons to Nazi Germany. Your question was why not Saudi Arabia, and the response is that SA wasn’t on the list of countries already subject to restrictive regulations.

  11. SA wasn’t on the list of countries already subject to restrictive regulations.

    And you buy that nonsense?

  12. Houston,
    That was a great story. I have a copy of “The Man Called Intrepid” on my shelf but haven’t gotten to it yet. There are so many good books about the British intelligence service during the war years — Ben McIntyre’s “Operation Mincemeat” was terrific, as was his more recent book on Kim Philby, “A Spy Among Friends.” Philby was an amazingly awful person.

  13. First, Obama’s executive orders are in no way binding on Trump. Under your theory, Trump’s executive orders* amount to a doubling down on Obama’s failed policies.

    * Which two weeks ago Republicans found deplorable as a mater of principle – BTW.

  14. Scarlett,

    Let me see if I understand Seth’s post. Trump’s Muslim ban is a terrible idea but…Obama started it… so how can the media criticize what I myself just said is a terrible thing.

  15. McCain and Graham have issued a joint statement
    “Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred,” the senators said in a joint statement, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

    McConnell is expressing concerns. From WaPo
    “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cautioned that the United States does not have a religious test for entry into the country, though he stopped short of rejecting the order in its entirety. McConnell said that Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, are key allies in the fight against terrorism and urged caution in regard to Trump’s plan to implement “extreme vetting” for refugees from countries where a majority of the citizens are Muslim.”

  16. I usually check the main post and don’t get the time to look at the political thread. If I check it, it’s 100+ comments in, all weighty and fit for the Supreme Court.
    Also, more importantly my MIL reminds me every morning of the pathetic state of the world in general and the faults of America and Americans in particular. She is awaiting The Day of Judgement for all the losers of the world which is yet to come….
    Checking the political thread would feel that the end of the world is near.

  17. “First, Obama’s executive orders are in no way binding on Trump.”

    It wasn’t an executive order by Obama. It was a law, passed by Congress. The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, signed into law by Obama in late 2015, applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan. Obama’s contribution, which may or may not have been by executive order, was to add Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list of countries the citizens of which would not be eligible for visa waivers. When the bill was initially proposed, critics questioned why Saudi Arabia had not been included. Little did they know that their objections would fall on deaf ears because Trump, who has business interests in S.A., would become President in 2017.

    Seriously, Rhett, how can YOU believe this nonsense? A few minutes with Google is all it takes.

  18. That National Review article is yet another wildly inaccurate Trumpian attempt to tell people that what they are seeing with their own eyes did not happen. I’m surprised no one has coined a term for this regime’s gaslighting yet. It certainly seems to be something they intend to continue doing, with the aid of publications like the National Review. Citizens of the US–passport holders–were being detained entry to our own country, green card holders denied entry and sent back, visa holders who had already undergone serious checks refused entry. The vetting process was stopped. All visa interviews at consulates abroad (which is where they are held, not in the US) were cancelled. In a few days, I assume they will continue the attempt to paint people protesting these illegal acts as “hysterical” by pointing to the fact that there is no vetting process. There won’t be, because they are shutting it down. Scarlett is right that it seems these people did not do their homework, if their goal is something having to do with immigration policy. If the goal is to show that agents such as the INS and CBP employees who continued to deny people entry in defiance of the federal court order will not be held accountable for their actions, as long as they are loyal partisans, and that he can easily throw the country into chaos, then the exec order served its purpose.

    Any talk of this order being about terrorism is no sense, designed to further hype up the mob that elected Trump. There are three countries in the region from which terrorists have attacked the US. Trump has business dealings in all of them. None of them are named in this order. This is what is meant by conflict of interest-the whole of the US’s power is being steered to enrichen this individual and his family. Of course, terrorists kill far fewer people than pissed-off white guys.

  19. Scarlett,

    So Trump didn’t do anything it was all Obama’s fault for signing a Republican Congress’s plan? I really am struggling to decipher this tangled thread of nonsense.

  20. Well, this is confusing.

    “A senior White House official said on Sunday that foreign nationals with legal permanent residence in the U.S. wouldn’t be affected by Friday’s executive order restricting entry of visa holders and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said green-card holders from the countries designated in the order could face extra scrutiny at U.S. points of entry under immigration officials’ existing authority, but said the order “doesn’t affect them.” Green-card holders are foreign nationals permitted to live permanently in the U.S.

    “As far as green card holders moving forward, it doesn’t affect them,” he said on ABC News.

    On CBS he said, “The executive order itself is not placing further burdens on people that hold green cards.” ”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/green-card-holders-are-exempt-from-travel-restrictions-white-house-says-1485710137

  21. A few minutes with Google is all it takes.

    Because everything on the Internet is objective, unbiased, and true.

  22. News reports suggested the White House overruled the Department of Homeland Security’s recommendations on excluding green-card holders from the executive orders.

    Now they are apparently walking back green card holders. It’s almost like they have no idea what the fuck they are doing.

  23. Rhett,

    Of course Trump did something. And the executive order has serious flaws. But it’s impossible to discuss those flaws if the media and others insist on pretending that this is a “Muslim ban” without legal precedent.

    If the order does not, in fact, apply to green-card holders, that is one fewer flaw. The order is still questionable as a policy matter, because it focuses on geography rather than ideology, as Andrew McCarthy explains:

    “The real threat to be targeted is sharia-supremacist ideology, which is inherently hostile to the Constitution. Were we to focus our vetting, unapologetically, on that ideology (also known as “radical” or “political” Islam), it would be unnecessary to implement a categorical ban on Muslims or immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. That is critical because non-Islamist Muslims who can demonstrate loyalty to our constitutional principles should not be barred from admission; while Islamists, on the other hand, are not found only in Muslim-majority countries – other things being equal, a sharia supremacist from the banlieues of Paris poses as much of a threat as a sharia supremacist from Raqqa.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444371/donald-trump-executive-order-ban-entry-seven-muslim-majority-countries-legal

  24. I voted yes; I like to see posters’ views. And we are much more civil than other sites even if we’re not as civil as we usually are on the main topics.

    Driving to the gym yesterday I heard a story on NPR about the immigration ban. Bad idea all around, IMO. Also I said to the captive audience in the car (myself) “this’ll get injunctioned pretty quickly.” Well I was right on the quickly part, but the injunction is not as broad as I would have liked.

    I like Lark’s suggestions on ACLU and SPLC contributions.

    Do your best to keep the “civil” in civil discourse.

  25. If the real threat is sharia-ideology, then why didn’t they just revamp their vetting procedures, which could have been done behind the scenes, without triggering so much negativity and chaos? I don’t think it would be hard. But the reality is, they intended the negativity and chaos to occur. It is, as it is with everything Trump, a big FU

  26. MM, those are good questions. One has to wonder whether there isn’t at least one voice of reason in the picture. And did no one ask, “So does this apply to green card holders or not?” before hitting send?

  27. Scarlett – maybe their theory was include everyone in the net initially and then scale back once the courts weigh in.

  28. No, it really was a public message. By doing it this way, it loudly announces to the Trump voters that they are doing what they said they would in the campaign. It was political.

  29. “But the reality is, they intended the negativity and chaos to occur.”

    I agree. Banning Muslims was a campaign promise and Trump is delivering. A quiet or nuanced ban would be less effective for Trump’s purposes.

  30. But it’s impossible to discuss those flaws if the media and others insist on pretending that this is a “Muslim ban” without legal precedent.

    I think the thing to focus on is how poorly it was handled from purely an operational standpoint. And a legal standpoint… And an international relations standpoint…

  31. I voted yes because of the comment I made last week when politics crossed into the main thread. I don’t read the posts here, but it is clear that a subset of our group has a lot to say based on the number of posts.

  32. I was talking to a friend from our heavily Democratic county who was just in Mexico with a bunch of Canadians who are relieved Trump was elected, because they think Trump is less likely to get us into war than Clinton would be. I voted “Yes” because I think there is value in sharing information and assumptions. I find Rhett challenging and engaging, even though he sometimes disagrees strongly with my views.

    One of my local friends hosts a discussion group called “Unlike Minds.” People are invited in part because their views are in some way unique. The other two requirements, along with being “unlike”, are to be kind and thoughtful. To me, those three goals are integral to pleasant political discussion.

  33. “I think the thing to focus on is how poorly it was handled from purely an operational standpoint. And a legal standpoint… And an international relations standpoint…”

    From an operational standpoint — it’s hard to find anything positive. Legally, Trump appears to be on solid ground, at least with respect to people who don’t have green cards. International relations — no idea.

  34. The injunction didn’t bar enforcement of the entire executive order, and at least from this WSJ account, seemed to have been based in large part on the lack of certainty surrounding the application of the order.

    “Government lawyers also acknowledged that officials were still trying to figure out how to enforce the president’s order. When the judge asked the government whether officials could assure that the two Iraqi men would no longer be at risk of removal, Susan Riley, a Brooklyn federal prosecutor, said she had no information on that.

    “This has unfolded with such speed…that we haven’t had an opportunity to address any of the important legal issues,” Ms. Riley said.”

    And the injunction also appeared to be based on the “irreparable injury” rather than “likelihood of success on the merits” rationale for injunctive relief.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/federal-judge-orders-stay-on-donald-trump-s-refugee-ban-1485657154

  35. Not on solid ground legally in the USA or in line with our identity. Not legal in international relations.

  36. I would advice all people with green cards to take citizenship when they are eligible. I have said this no matter which government was in power. My friends who have no very tenuous ties now to the home country, with children who are born citizens have not taken citizenship. You can be deported if you find yourself in a situation you can never imagine.
    My biggest nightmare with being on a green card was not being able to enter the U.S. and resume my life here, because I didn’t want to go back. I feel for the people with papers in order who were suddenly denied entry especially those with green cards. It is a long slog to get that visa, that ticket to a new life, terrible if you are detained and can’t get in. We never left the country without talking to our immigration lawyer.

  37. I’m increasingly convinced that this is just a shell game to prove that he can lead the US into very dangerous positions if he desires and also to distract us from what his other hand is doing. The chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff is no longer on the National Security Council; Steve Bannon is. In something of a 2 for 1 deal, the director of National Intelligence also was removed. So much for people who voted for the racist because they thought he’d have more appreciation of the military.

  38. Louise, make sure that your friends know that if they get into a tangle with the INS (one woman was literally stopped in her neighborhood on the East coast to prove she is a citizen), they will be pressured to sign a 407. If they do so, they are giving up the green card. As permanent residents, they are entitled to an attorney and not required to answer questions until they have one.

  39. The first sentence of the Order enjoining the ban from the federal court in New York states that petitioners have shown “a strong likelihood of success” on the merits. Not just likelihood of irreparable harm.

  40. S&M, I am also very concerned about Bannon being put on the NSC. This is one of several things that make me feel like a consolidation of power, centered on Trump’s inner circle, is taking place.

  41. We have a neighbor who has been 40 years on a green card from Japan. She came as a small child and (for reasons she didn’t share with me) has never sought US citizenship. She is married to an American, has some (American citizen) kids and active in the PTA. I realize we aren’t out for the Japanese, but the vulnerability shocks me.

  42. Fun fact of the day: Last year the ACLU raised 4 million online. In the past 48 hours, has raised more than 20 million.

  43. I voted to keep it going! It has been enlightening to know how people really are.
    We all know people who are willing to infringe women’s rights to their own bodies, because embryos are “people” but turn around and will not let real live children of refugees in, because they are not Christians. Hypocrisy is endless.

  44. On the long term resettlement of refugees. This is where the focus should be because these families require a lot of support. Not just jobs for the adults and school for the kids but English education for the adults, so that the families can move forwards and upwards.
    It is not enough to admit refugees and not take into their long term prospects. I am in a smaller city chosen for refugee settlement so my interaction is direct.
    Their needs are different from legal immigrants who come voluntarily and are educated and many a time in skilled professions.

  45. “turn around and will not let real live children of refugees in, because they are not Christians. Hypocrisy is endless.”

    So is ignorance.
    How many times can the same untruth be repeated?

    And Louise, you are absolutely right about long term support for refugees. Even with such support, it is a long haul. The NYT had an interesting piece about the challenges faced by sponsors for such a family in Canada, especially with respect to cultural norms that the children are embracing but the father is not. His comment to the reporter was just as you note — he’s not in Canada by his own choice.

  46. This editorial is spot on.

    “Mr. Trump campaigned on a promise of “extreme vetting” for refugees from countries with a history of terrorism, and his focus on protecting Americans has popular support. But his refugee ban is so blunderbuss and broad, and so poorly explained and prepared for, that it has produced confusion and fear at airports, an immediate legal defeat, and political fury at home and abroad. Governing is more complicated than a campaign rally.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-refugee-bonfire-1485735021

    But then there’s this.

    “Trent Lott, a former Senate Republican leader from Missouri who is now a lawyer in Washington, D.C., said the orders made sense to “working-class Americans in the real world.”
    “Out in the rest of the country, people are excited to see the president moving forward with securing the border,” he said.University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato agreed that the weekend protests over the executive orders would not hurt Trump politically.
    “His base is as firm as ever,” he said. “What he’s lost in the very early polls is the Republicans who were never Trumpers and ended up voting for Trump.”
    Trump opponents have succeeded in winning some early court decisions that could undermine the practical impact of his executive orders, but Sabato said his base would perceive those as attacks from liberal elites.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-supporters-idUSKBN15E0BH?il=0

    Of course, interviewing a handful of “real-world” Trump supporters, as this reporter did, doesn’t prove the point, but wondering whether there really is a divide in reaction. Maybe people who don’t travel internationally (and have never faced a customs official), who don’t know anyone with a green card, and who don’t pay that much attention to the nuances of executive orders will just shrug this off. Will have to ask my dad to poll his community of elderly middle-class midwesterners.

  47. I did not vote yet, but I like to read and engage in these discussions when I have the time and energy. It is enlightening to see different view points and to see how others take in what I would sometimes consider fake news.

    When I see Trump engage in some outrageous behavior that at first might appear stupid or dangerous, I like to read and consider if he is in fact crazy like a fox. And maybe in the end if he will lead us to a better place.

    Although these discussions can get me a bit fired up, I rarely feel acrimony toward those who hold political beliefs that are polar opposite from mine. But I think I can understand how that happens to others.

  48. The Immigration process in all its forms in its current day state is not discussed or properly understood by many natural born citizens. In my circle of immigrants we are acutely aware of who took what route, who was stuck for years, ignored advice, had an incompetent immigration attorney, married a citizen or got in on a less well known visa category (which I have realized there are a ton).
    You are also treated differently – visitors one line, green card and citizens another, as a former green card holder – I have gotten questions but a “Welcome home” at the end. As a citizen the least amount of scrutiny except if I happen to bring in food. (Again, I have explained to people from the home country to read what they can and cannot bring in).
    With our friends, we broke off with one couple who got their green cards before us and just became obnoxious boasters about it.

  49. “The Immigration process in all its forms in its current day state is not discussed or properly understood by many natural born citizens.”

    So true. My limited exposure (foreign-born friends and relatives, foreign country adoption, struggling immigrants from Latin American countries) only suggests how complicated it is. In particular, your point about different types of visa categories and incompetent attorneys are some things I’ve heard about.

  50. I know someone who is currently helping another person obtain entry to the US for humanitarian reasons. Before I learned some of the details, I did not realize what a broad category that is and how seemingly capricious decisions can be made.

  51. I know way too much about immigration, since there are so many noncitizens in both academia and the tech industry, and I have been or am involved in hiring. Also, I have watched twice as professors made the mistake of travelling abroad to conferences and could not get back in, despite having permission to work. In the first case, it was during the cold war, and the person in question was from Poland and on a visiting scholar visa. He went to Europe for a conference, had to do a fresh interview to return, and was denied because the person at the consulate decided he might try to stay in the US. He never was able to return. I was actually there with him when this happened. What a mess. Another time, one of the people on my DH’s PhD committee went back to India, and for reasons that were not clear, was again not permitted to return. My poor DH had to scramble and find a replacement at the last minute for his defense. That professor eventually got back into the US because his American girlfriend went to India and married him. This was a well known researcher at a major university who had been in this country for 10 years when this happened!!!

    Filling our open positions at my university without sponsoring for a green card has been a nightmare. Every school in the country is after people who can teach and do research in CS and who also already have a green card. It is very expensive to sponsor for a green card so universities don’t like to do it unless there is no choice.

  52. RMS – yes I did. Green card to citizenship.

    Just in general staying on a green card to me appeared risky. One of our friends on a green card was young and reckless. He was in tech, making quite a bit of money, bought a bike had a passenger. He was driving way above the speed limit, crashed his bike, seriously injured his passenger. His woes were not limited to reckless driving. It endangered his immigration process. We were warned by our attorney to be aware to be aware of everyday laws and how breaking them could impact the process.

  53. I have mixed feelings about the politics thread. I am grateful that 95% of discussions about hot button topics have migrated here. It was impossible during the campaign to visit the totebag on the regular thread without dreading the inevitable encounter about the candidates. However, the evolution of this side thread has one drawback. There are a few posters on each side (one of whom is the chronic anonymous) who feel the separate thread allows them to say whatever they want, often posting hastily, including personal attacks or attacks on large groups of people. It may be civil by the standards of the internet but not in any other social sense. The offensive comments cannot be unsaid, and has permanently tainted the enjoyment of many of us for the entire site.

    There are also a number of people who enjoy the back and forth banter for its own sake – they find all of this spirited, and not mean spirited as I do. And there are some of us who like the occasional opportunities for wonkiness – I am still reading up on the Establishment Clause and the many decades of court opinions.

  54. “your point about different types of visa categories and incompetent attorneys are some things I’ve heard about.”

    So true. We know many people who have had green card and visa issues, both from our days in Virginia where many neighbors were foreign nationals posted to international agencies or embassies who wanted to stay on, and from the universities. In some fields, there is such a constant struggle with visa status for potential hires (and their spouses or significant others) that the faculty members develop more expertise on immigration issues than does the general counsel.

    Immigration attorneys, like other specialists whose clients are often poor and uneducated, are not generally drawn from the top of their law school classes. At our law school, the immigration law courses have traditionally been taught by adjuncts, who are not necessarily practitioners (which would make sense), but because the “real” faculty have not been interested in that topic. One professor was, in fact, at the top of his Ivy League class, but had absolutely no background in immigration law and was pretty much staying one step ahead of his students. So perhaps the issues start in the law schools.

  55. I’ll end with – “we” the collective, myself included have elevated Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty to such a symbol of what the U.S. stands for that it is hard to reconcile those symbols with the complex reality of immigration to this country.

  56. I agree completely with Meme.

    And may I add, thank you Cost of College for agreeing to moderate this wild bunch and indeed doing so with diplomatic flair. I appreciate your calm even handed approach to this thread and the blog overall.

  57. I’d like to keep this thread going. I enjoy hearing what other people think, especially since I avoid politics as a discussion topic IRL.

  58. “His base is as firm as ever,” he said.

    From Brietbart:

    Even so-called conservative websites groveling for clicks are making more out of President Trump’s action to fully vet foreigners’ intentions upon U.S. entrance than it obviously is.

    Reading between the lines, it’s an admission that things are not going well even from the heart of the base.

  59. Rhett: I think Trump’s base is happy with his actions. Things are going just peachy. The protests are just liberal elites complaining. Remember: Trump is not a Republican in the classic sense (#NeverTrump).

  60. Rhett: I think Trump’s base is happy

    Right, but that’s 20% of the population. The managerial incompetence displayed this weekend is unlikely to increase his margins.

  61. “What he’s lost in the very early polls is the Republicans who were never Trumpers and ended up voting for Trump.”

    Those are the people that won him the election. He barely won! He needs those people.

    This weekend was a disaster. If we want to have a discussion about changing the vetting process or how many refugees we as a nation can handle – that’s great. But that’s not what happened. This was chaos. Rushing this through without even consulting with DHS was a huge, huge mistake. Proposing putting Bannon on the NSC while removing the CJCS and the DNI is frightening. More alarming than Bannon being added is who was removed. Why? What is the purpose?

    Meanwhile the Koch brothers are having their annual meeting. They must be against the ban because after being holed up with them all weekend in Palm Springs, our Governor finally came out and said that he was against it too.

    I voted to keep it separate so that it doesn’t creep back over to the other posts too much. I have very mixed feelings about this discussion, but I find myself drawn to it because while I get angry & frustrated sometimes, the discussions elsewhere are much, much less civil or interesting.

  62. “Rushing this through without even consulting with DHS was a huge, huge mistake.”

    ITA. It’s one thing to claim that the whole thing had to be secret so that terrorists weren’t tipped off (a questionable claim in itself), but to dump this without warning to the folks charged with enforcing it is incomprehensible.

    “Though drafts of the document were circulating at some agencies as early as Wednesday, many current U.S. immigration officials didn’t see it until after it was signed. Many immigration officials critical to the implementation of the order were in the dark about the particulars of the policy up until they were called on to enforce it, according to people involved in the matter. Senior officials at Customs and Border Protection and agents working at airports were left with key questions unanswered when they began detaining people at the airports on Saturday, these people said.
    Officials at the State Department said they received little information about the temporary ban from the Trump team before it took effect.
    There was particular confusion about what to do with people in transit and how broad exceptions to the policy were, officials said.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-team-kept-plan-for-travel-ban-quiet-1485738314

  63. I’d say 40-45% of Americans support the immigration order. They are just not speaking up because they don’t want to be labelled bigots. The dynamics that drove the election are still the same, I think.

  64. I’d say 40-45% of Americans support the immigration order.

    I would say at least half of those are troubled by how poorly it was implemented.

    As for the secrecy of the order, I assume it comes from a place of paranoia. There is a certain Nixonian element to all this (and to Hillary and the e-mail server) in that their reaction to the fact that others are out to get them ends up being their own ultimate undoing.

  65. But the secrecy was self-destructive, and immediately so.

    They could have avoided much of the confusion, hardship and bad optics had they run this past the people in the field, who could have asked the sensible practical questions about people in transit and green-card holders. Do they not trust their own agencies?

    It doesn’t bode well for the prospects of replacing Obamacare, which has far more moving parts and affects far more people (and all of them voters, not foreign nationals) than the visa thing.

  66. But do you think 40-45% of Americans support this specific order, including the way it has been interpreted and implemented or they just want to have a new look at the “vetting” process and potentially make it tougher? Those are two different things. I haven’t seen evidence that almost half of Americans are happy with what and how things happened this weekend. That difference matters.

    I might support changes to the immigration/visa process depending on the details, but I certainly don’t support the chaos that occurred this weekend. I would potentially even support a temporary ban on NEW visas/green cards depending on the reasoning and circumstances, but stranding people in airports who have already gone through years of paperwork and stranding people who have already packed their bags to move/work/study/go on business trips after already going through the existing visa process makes no sense to me.

  67. Do they not trust their own agencies?

    I think Bannon thinks of them as just another part of the corrupt elite. Think of Bannon as someone like Hugo Chavez. Was there a corrupt elite in place not fairly distributing Venzuela’s oil wealth? Sure. But Chavez came in and threw them all out as he had no use for the old elite. The primary problem with that was they were the only ones who knew how to extract the oil.

  68. I also think we should keep the thread separate, otherwise the political discussions will spill over into the main thread.

    I have started following a lot of the rogue Twitter accounts. The rogue POTUS staff one is particularly interesting.

  69. “But do you think 40-45% of Americans support this specific order, including the way it has been interpreted and implemented or they just want to have a new look at the “vetting” process and potentially make it tougher? ”

    No. That said, they might say “Sure, it could have been smoother, but at least he’s doing something.” I’m not sure that the Trump supporters are paying attention to the implementation. Trump will say that it’s going fairly smoothly for such a quick implementation and that he had to do it quickly to protect Americans from foreigners who want to harm us.

    Many Totebaggers believe that they speak for “most Americans”, but I don’t think that we do.

  70. I heard on Marketplace this morning how some tech companies are thinking about moving to Canada due to immigration issues.

  71. “Many Totebaggers believe that they speak for “most Americans”, but I don’t think that we do.”

    I totally agree that we don’t speak for “most Americans”. I don’t think that I do. But I do think that our backgrounds here are most varied than it appears sometimes when discussing colleges and remodels which is part of what makes it such an interesting site.

    I don’t know what to think about the Rogue accounts. The Rogue POTUS one is definitely entertaining, but I can’t take it seriously.

  72. And I think you are right – I have seen a lot of “at least he’s doing something” sentiment.

  73. I voted yes, both to keep politics out of the main thread and to allow those who enjoy these debates to continue them.

    Also, I have found informative explanations and links on this thread, in support of both sides. If the thread continues, I may read it more often for this reason.

    The few times I’ve glanced on this thread, I’ve certainly seen views opposite of mine, but I haven’t been offended by those views and don’t harbor any ill will toward the people expressing them.

    When it comes down to it, I appreciate hearing the other side (on this blog, at least) more than I am disturbed by hearing it. I don’t want to live my life in an echo chamber; I appreciate hearing other viewpoints and truly want to understand why people feel the way they do.

    Having said all of that, this comment is likely to be my sole contribution to the politics open thread. I appreciate that others like to share and debate their political opinions in public. That has never been my thing.

  74. I enjoy this thread and it’s nice to hear well reasoned comments from both sides without the hysteria that pervades social media.

  75. Scarlett said “Do they not trust their own agencies?”

    No, they do not. That has been clear for a while. Why else was an entire level of the State Department fired? Why else was the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff removed from the NSC? Trump and Bannon have made it clear from the days of the campaign that the federal agencies are the enemy.

    Very Nixonian. Except Nixon was competent.

  76. L, those rogue accounts haven’t been verified and I strongly suspect they may fall into the fake news category.

  77. One of the Koch brothers is concerned about the possibility of authoritarianism

    “And the network’s chief patron, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, who pointedly declined to back Trump in the presidential campaign, warned in stark terms of the potential perils of the anti-establishment mood that gave rise to Trump.
    “We have a tremendous danger because we can go the authoritarian route . . . or we can move toward a free and open society,” he told a packed ballroom Sunday afternoon.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-network-poised-for-new-role–as-the-conservative-resistance-to-trump/2017/01/30/7750ef02-e67c-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_kochnetwork-635a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6f13d2b66c0c

  78. This weekend I started thinking – maybe this is a chaotic smoke screen. What is he trying to draw attention from? My general concern about his cabinet – what do they have planned that multiple billionaire and Goldman Sachs guys prefer to walk away from their lucrative positions to tangle with politics? I do not believe it is a deeply held sense of patriotism….

  79. This has been running through my mind lately:

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist
    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist
    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew
    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

    – Pastor Martin Niemoller

  80. “Soros sponsored ”

    What is it with accusing everyone of being a paid protestor? Sen. Gardner thinks that I and a group I’m part of are paid by Planned Parenthood. Where’s my check, I’d like to know.

  81. the Koch network, Goldman Sachs, a lot of the tech companies, and now Ford have all announced their opposition to it.

  82. Fred – I have had that stuck in my head too.

    There were discussions during the election about having a Muslim registry. I’m waiting for that to be brought up. So I’ve also been wondering when we’ll decide to have Muslims start wearing blue circles or green squares or red Ms to make them more readily identifiable….still trying to figure out where we draw the line.

  83. Fred – Many of my friends – Jewish and otherwise – are fiercely condemning Trump’s order, for precisely that reason. Not this time and never again. People are speaking out.

  84. Without resorting to hysterics and Nazis, can someone explain why this ban is so different from all the previous bans?

    “According to the report, here are the number of times each president, since Reagan, has limited immigration to specific groups of people:

    Ronald Reagan – Five times
    George H. W Bush – One time
    Bill Clinton – 12 times
    George W. Bush – Six times
    Barack Obama – 19 times
    Not included in the CRS report is that Hillary Clinton’s State Department, without a presidential action, suspended all refugee applications from Iraq for six months in 2011.

    ABC News reported, on the de facto ban of Iraqis in 2013:

    As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets. One Iraqi who had aided American troops was assassinated before his refugee application could be processed, because of the immigration delays, two U.S. officials said. In 2011, fewer than 10,000 Iraqis were resettled as refugees in the U.S., half the number from the year before, State Department statistics show.”

  85. “I think the odds are in [Trump’s] favor that [the court will uphold his decision]. But, people need to argue against what is there, not what is more easy to attack. The ACLU has said in the filings that this is a Muslim ban.

    That would be a great thing to challenge, but it is not this thing. It is not a Muslim ban. A court is not going to read into it that this is a religious test, because it excludes most of these other countries.

    There are plenty of reasons to object to this order, but not by making it into something it is not.”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/01/30/jonathan_turley_the_court_will_not_view_this_as_a_muslim_ban.html

    Amen.

  86. The reported intentional inclusion of green card holders is very concerning. They are entitled to certain due process requirements that were ignored. At least one signed a document revoking his status. Additionally, at least one 5 year old US citizen was handcuffed and detained despite prior knowledge of his arrival. The implementatoom was incredibly chaotic. There is no chance they are this stupid. It is all intentional.

  87. Ok, well at least that’s something concrete. I can see that the roll out was horrendous.

    “There is no chance they are this stupid. It is all intentional.”

    You’re talking about the government. Never assume ill intent when simple incompetence is a far likelier explanation.

  88. My friend discussing U.S. politics with the Canadians in Mexico observed that the incompetent Trump administration may wind up having far better long-term policies than the perhaps-more-competent Obama administration due to the effects of an appropriately-critical press. No longer will “We need to pass this legislation so we can find out what’s in it” be considered appropriate defense against unintended consequences of major legislation. We’ll see if she’s right.

  89. Can someone provide a counterpoint to this? I’m really trying to understand this mass freak out.

    Trump’s executive order is so modest that the foundation of it is essentially existing law. That law was passed unanimously by both bodies of Congress in 2002. In fact, it garnered the support of 16 Democrat senators and 57 Democrat House members who are still serving in their respective bodies!

    Following 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which addressed many of the insecurities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. The bill was originally sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, including Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). Among other provisions, it restricted non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror:

    SEC. 306. RESTRICTION ON ISSUANCE OF VISAS TO NONIMMIGRANTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT ARE STATE SPONSORS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.

    (a) IN GENERAL- No nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1101(a)(15)) shall be issued to any alien from a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless the Secretary of State determines, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that such alien does not pose a threat to the safety or national security of the United States. In making a determination under this subsection, the Secretary of State shall apply standards developed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that are applicable to the nationals of such states.

    The directive to cut off non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror is still current law on the books [8 U.S. Code § 1735]. Presidents Bush and Obama later used their discretion to waive the ban, but Trump is actually following the letter of the law — the very law sponsored and passed by Democrats — more closely than Obama did. Trump used his 212(f) authority to add immigrant visas, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every Democrat in the 2002 Senate supported the banning of non-immigrant visas.

  90. I’m really trying to understand this mass freak out.

    Green card holders were being held incommunicado at airports. The freak out is about what everyone agrees was a horribly botched implementation.

  91. Rhett – I’m glad to hear that. From the tone of things in the press, it sounded like people thought this was akin to war crimes, or crimes against humanity. Apparently it’s just frustration with government incompetence, with which I can certainly sympathize.

  92. Perhaps your Facebook feed isn’t filled with anecdata? A mother and 2 children held in an airport for 20 hours with no food? Families that had gone through an intense vetting process and had scheduled flights? Scholars and doctors returning from vacation? Like this: http://kuow.org/post/syrian-refugee-7-months-pregnant-flight-join-seattle-family-cancelled

    I think it is a completely different thing to say “we are going to look very carefully at people casually traveling to the US from Yemen” vs “we changed the rules while you were en route and now you must go home.”

  93. Ada – my FB feed is, on one side, people crying with vague references to Nazis, and on the other, memes like this:

  94. Milo,

    What are they trying to say with that post? That Obama was right? For all the crying on the right about how terrible Obama was, I’m surprised that so many are using Obama (who they despise) did it first as their justification.

  95. I think it’s a complicated and difficult question, balancing security and humanitarian interests. The meme is pointing out that the media and the left calling Trump and all his supporters racist bigots and anathema to our values is hypocritical, since they didn’t make a fuss about Obama doing the same, or nearly the same thing, as the case may be.

    As for your question, while I know quite a few people on the right who frequently criticized Obama, I don’t recall anyone criticizing him for that.

  96. Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates says in letter she will not defend Pres. Donald J. Trump’s executive order regarding immigration because she is not convinced it is “lawful.”

    Amen. lets all say amen after every post since some posts think this is a church

  97. I’m curious to see if rumors of EO on LGBT this week come true. I think my Facebook and Twitter feeds will explode.

  98. Tcmama – somewhat surprising, a little unsettling. Moreso about removing CJCS vs. adding Steve.

  99. “we changed the rules while you were en route and now you must go home.”

    Or perhaps in some cases, now you can’t go home?

  100. tcmama,

    I think that Bannon should disappear. He is way over his head.

    This was in my FB news feed, linked by a law prof friend. It’s an interesting and thoughtful piece, focusing on both the malevolence and incompetence of the EO.

    “NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)”

    This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.”

    http://lawfareblog.com/malevolence-tempered-incompetence-trumps-horrifying-executive-order-refugees-and-visas

  101. Can someone provide a counterpoint to this? I’m really trying to understand this mass freak out.

    Milo – my “freak out” was that this was rushed through so quickly that they had no idea what type of documents anyone they were blocking had. They clearly had no interest in finding out. My FB feed is full of “he just wants to keep us safe! what is wrong with wanting to vet people coming in?” which is making the assumption that thousands of people were arriving daily who had never been vetted. Many of those people had jumped through every hoop we asked of them, and you know that many were people who had been in this country for years. The pretense that any random person could hop a plane to the US from one of those countries and stroll through customs is nonsense. I still have not seen one actual, specific criticism of the current process that needs to be addressed, which, if I were queen, would have been the starting point. We all know that there was nothing magical about implementing it Saturday. It was showmanship at the expense of people’s lives.

    Do you believe US citizens, at home and abroad, are safer today than they were Thursday because of this EO?

  102. This whole thing, even though seemigly incompetent, was intended. If they had wanted to bring in “extreme vetting”, the procedures could have been changed behind the scenes without the chaos. That isn’t what Trump wanted. He wanted to make a splash, for two reasons. One, to throw red meat to his voters. “See, yeah, Trump is screwing them dang Muslims. Go get ’em!”. Two, to fire a shot over the bow, aimed at the rest of us. He wanted to see how we would react – would we lay down and ignore this like his good little Ryan, or would we see this as the step on the slippery slope that it is. And so even though you could look at this as not that bad, temporary only, just 7 countries, yada, yada. yada, for Trump and his minions, it is the test toe in the water. I think many people on the other side recognize this, and thus the large mobilzation. We are saying “Don’t go here, don’t even test your toes in the water”.

    Trump INTENDED the chaos and the anger.

  103. Our administration is sending out memos today, advising people to consult with our general counsel before making any travel plans to or from the affected countries or if the traveller is concerned about his or her status.

  104. “Two, to fire a shot over the bow, aimed at the rest of us. He wanted to see how we would react – would we lay down and ignore this like his good little Ryan, or would we see this as the step on the slippery slope that it is.”

    He doesn’t care how anyone reacts.

    What makes no sense is that, contrary to the “Muslim ban” narrative, Trump isn’t an ideologue. He is a business guy with an intense need to be respected and, perhaps, feared. But the EO, and the nonsensical “for every new regulation, you have to eliminate two” missive that came today, suggest that he is paying way too much attention to ideologues who don’t have a clue how the world actually works.

    “Dear Mr. President, there are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am not a crackpot.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5dmxBUbzBU (Sorry don’t know how to do the Rhett links.)

  105. Mooshi – see rhettt’s comments in the other thread about survivalists and preppers who are eager to believe that the world is more exciting than it really is. You’re giving Trump WAY too much credit.

  106. Nope. This happened at exactly the same time he dumped the chair of the joint chiefs of staff off the NSC and put Bannon on. Yes, he is vain and petty. but what he wants right now is to be seen as the Big Man getting his way, and he sees Bannon’s ideology as the way to do it.

  107. As for not being ideological – this is the guy who spent two years claiming that Obama was not a citizen, in the face of all facts???
    I don’t think he is ideological in the sense that say Pence is, Conservatism is not a core value for him. But he has clearly seen alt-right populism as the path to what IS his core value: being the strongman. He could never accomplish it as a builder, and he had no respect in New York because everyone knew he was not much of anything. But he figured out a couple of years ago that he could hitch to the alt-right to get what he wants.

  108. DT just fired the Acting Attorney General. He thinks it is a reality show. a reality show with Omarosa and Bannon. How did any educated person vote for this moron

  109. “DT just fired the Acting Attorney General”

    She needed firing. I agree that the implementation was a mess, but she was doing nothing but political posturing in what was her last week or so anyway. She probably wanted to be fired.

  110. I’d be pleased if Bannon disappeared from the West Wing. He should start a SuperPAC for Trump’s reelection, but stay out of the day-to-day governing.

  111. you shouldn’t assume that you know everything and that the anonymous poster is the same person.

  112. Soros, through different channels including his son and his Open Society foundations, has provided funding to various groups that participate in demonstrations for progressive causes. One such group is Make the Road, which participated with signs at JFK airport during the anti-refugee ban demonstrations.

    I considered deleting snarky anonymous comments here, but I think just ignoring them is a better idea. I don’t know what other folks here think.

  113. When I say that this was intended, I also do not disagree that the order was implemented in a amateurish fashion. My point is that they didn’t care. What Trump and Bannon INTENDED was to get an order testing the waters on immigration bans as quickly as possible, without worrying about how it affect people. They wanted to get the message out quickly, both to their base and to the other side, to see what would happen.

  114. And the fact thay they completely UNDERMINED the Republican Committee chairs by dealing with their underlings secretly – wowsa. This was intentional.

  115. Yates was an Obama appointee and was going to get fired anyway. This was very sensible of her; gets her some good press with the progressives.

  116. Anonymous at 7:09am. Can you not see the irony in your statement made as troll? No dear, I don’t make any “attacks”, anonymous or otherwise. I just state the facts using my very own handle. If you feel attacked by the other anon troll here– well, as they say, if the shoe fits……

  117. Moonshine and Rms, I think that they are pushing the envelope to see how far they can go while trump is still new and still has support of his base. If it backfires, they can always blame inexperience.

  118. Here is a persuasive argument that Yates should have resigned, instead of playing into Trump’s hands and getting fired.

    “And notwithstanding my sympathy for Yates’s moral and policy position, her action is simply not defensible and not in keeping with the traditions of the Justice Department. What’s more, she had at her disposal a means of giving voice to her (quite correct) view that Trump’s order is neither right nor just, was born in some very sinful original sins, and undoubtedly has a great many unlawful applications. This proper means of expressing these sentiments would have been fully in keeping with the traditions of the department and would have left Yates no more unemployed than the evening has, in fact, done.

    Yates should have resigned.

    Everything she said in her statement amounts to the following: I disagree with what the president did, I don’t trust his motives for doing it, and I think opposing litigants may have some very strong arguments. I agree with all of those points. And they would have made up just as rip-roaring a letter of resignation—one that would have done her and the department honor—as they made up an unconvincing order to the department. Instead, she took a step that amounted to frank insubordination and amply justified, indeed necessitated, her removal, a step which actually muddied the moral waters of our current situation. And she emerged with no more job protection than had she orchestrated her own exit in a fashion that kept her on the right side of propriety.”

    https://lawfareblog.com/what-yates-should-have-done

    BTW, just found the lawfare blog, and there are some interesting insights there.

  119. Finn – to answer your question – teaching Korematsu is regularly taught in Constitutional law courses, which are typically part of the first year curriculum.

  120. View story at Medium.com

    ” It is a much bigger deal that Trump removed a permanent military presence from the NSC than that he issued a temporary stay on immigration. The immigration ban may be more viscerally upsetting, but the other moves are potentially far more dangerous.”

  121. RMS, I agree that the NSC shakeup was huge and have tried to alert everyone I know. But I disagree that this is a distraction. I think it is part of the package. The fact that this EO was planned for in secret, bypassing the Congress committee chairs, is part of this pattern.

  122. “I considered deleting snarky anonymous comments here, but I think just ignoring them is a better idea. I don’t know what other folks here think.”

    I agree. I don’t want you to have to waste your time on that. And it serves as a reminder to me that this is an open forum – not private.

    I fall somewhere in the middle between assuming incompetence and planned chaos. But I’m not sure if it really matters. And I do think that Trump cares very much about what people think. I think that is his main motivation. I believe it bothers him very much to see protests against his policies (or the poor execution of them).

    In reality, the travel ban is a relatively small thing in the # of people it affects. If he actually passes an EO removing protections for LBGT Federal employees, I cannot imagine the size or scope of the outcry. And why?

  123. CoC if you attempt to delete snarky anonymous comments, he will be criticized for what you deem snarky versus acceptable. It is a no-win situation. I say leave them, or better yet, people be civil and put a name on your comments

  124. Ivy said “In reality, the travel ban is a relatively small thing in the # of people it affects. ”

    Agreed, but it is the slippery slope thing. If no one makes a peep, guaranteed, at the end of the 120 days, it would be extended for more time and more countries added to it. In fact, with people yelling, that may well be the outcome. This is the toe in the water test

  125. I think Yates did the right thing by not resigning. We needed the optics of Trump firing anyone who does not agree with him. The wrongful firings have already started.

  126. Dell – I agree. I also do not want the Sec’y of State Dept. employees to resign. I’d rather they stay and do the best they can or be fired.

  127. Some numerical perspective:

    The surefire way to bring the word “un-American” into vogue is to propose a restriction on immigration, no matter how minor.

    Democrats, who have been spending the last half-century since Joe McCarthy objecting to the suggestion that anyone in this country might not be patriotic, can barely mention President Trump’s immigration order without calling it un-American.

    Judging by their performance over the last few days, if Democrats ever take back control of Congress, their first act will be to reinstitute the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate proponents of reduced immigration and their associates (“Are you now or have you ever been an immigration restrictionist?”).

    Trump’s immigration order is vulnerable to any number of legitimate criticisms, on its merits and particularly on its shambolic rollout. But it is not true that a months-long pause in immigration from seven Muslim-majorities countries, some of which lack functioning governments, and all of which are either war-torn or hostile to the United States, is a violation of the nation’s creed.

    Nowhere is it written that the United States can never tap the brakes on immigration. For much of the political class and for an inflamed left, any new restriction is tantamount to melting down the Statue of Liberty. This is an ahistorical attitude that desperately needs a corrective. President Trump, in scattershot fashion, is setting out to provide one.

    Everyone knows that we are a “nation of immigrants,” although immigration has been highly contested throughout our history. “America,” the late political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote, “has been a nation of restricted and interrupted immigration as much as it has been a nation of immigration.”

    Levels of immigration spiked in the 1880s, dropped in the 1890s, and reached new highs before World War I. They declined precipitously during the war and bounced back afterward.

    Then, the 1924 immigration law brought a new phase of lower immigration that didn’t end until the late 1960s. In 1965, fewer than 300,000 immigrants were admitted to the United States.

    We have been at elevated levels for decades since then and now admit about 1 million a year. The proportion of the foreign-born population is set to hit a record in 2025.

    This means there is a lot of room to reduce immigration without shutting our doors entirely. Cutting half legal immigration to the levels of the early 1980s would still mean roughly 500,000 new immigrants a year, a high absolute number compared to almost every other country in the world. Of course, the Trump policy that has caused such a reaction is not close to change of this scale.

    Trump has also temporarily suspended the US refugee program and capped it at 50,000 refugees. This is in the same ballpark as the figure for admittances from the last five years or so, when the number of refugees was typically between 50,000 and 70,000 a year.

    If we are using an overall level of refugees to judge our American-ness, 1976, 1977, 1978, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 must have been woefully un-American years because the number of refugees was less than 50,000 in each of them.

    All of this said, the critics are right to sense something different in President Trump. He is going to put much more emphasis on the integrity of our borders and less on humanitarian considerations than his predecessors. This is a direct challenge to the lazy cosmopolitanism that assumes the only correct answer in immigration policy is always “more” and never “less.”

    The rocky rollout of the Trump policy means that the administration is expending political capital on its executive order that would best be preserved for more important immigration-related causes, like getting Congress to pass a mandatory e-verify system to stop employers from hiring illegal labor and to emphasize skills in the legal immigration system.

    You know, other alleged betrayals of America.

  128. A few thoughts:

    Many African Americans did not come here as immigrants; they came here as slaves.

    “Levels of immigration spiked in the 1880s, dropped in the 1890s, and reached new highs before World War I.” Pre-WWI – that’s when my some of my relatives came over.

    “Then, the 1924 immigration law brought a new phase of lower immigration that didn’t end until the late 1960s. In 1965, fewer than 300,000 immigrants were admitted to the United States.”

    Are you suggesting we want to repeat that period of our history? Disgraceful. Why do you think the Immigration Act was passed in 1965?

    Looking at raw I immigration numbers without looking at concurrent world events does not make a lot of sense to me.

  129. must have been woefully un-American years because the number of refugees was less than 50,000 in each of them.

    How many applied? What’s the ratio of applications to acceptance for each of those years?

  130. @MM – I just meant that given the reaction to this “smaller” EO, I can’t imagine the reaction to overturning discrimination protections for LGBT employees or any of the potential EO’s that would directly affect more people. Not that it isn’t important.

    “The rocky rollout of the Trump policy means that the administration is expending political capital on its executive order that would best be preserved for more important immigration-related causes, like getting Congress to pass a mandatory e-verify system to stop employers from hiring illegal labor and to emphasize skills in the legal immigration system.”

    I believe that this is because he is more interested in big theater than in actually attacking the problem. The two things you mention here would be much more effective, IMHO, than building a “big, beautiful wall”. And I would support both of them. But it’s not as visible to his voters as talking about the stupid wall.

  131. There is no question that we have banned immigrants from entire countries before. What do you think the Chinese Exclusion Act was all about? And did you know that Chinese immigrants already in the country were barred, because of their race, from ever aspiring to citizenship? It was actaully a Supreme Court decision. But do we want to go back to that? Do we want to go back to being the country that barred Anne Frank’s family from entering?

    This is being discussed in the Chinese adoption circles quite a bit. Actually, since Trump was elected. Everyone is scrambling to make sure their kids citizenship papers are in order and easily accessible. But one of the things that is coming up is the fact that the US put people of Japanese origin, including citizens, in internment camps during WWII. If it could be done then, it could happen again. People bring up the possibility that our kids, born in China, could face that if we went to war with China, which in the Trump era is a real possibility.

    Barring people by nationality, even if only temporary (yeah right), is start on the slippery slope

  132. “like getting Congress to pass a mandatory e-verify system to stop employers from hiring illegal labor ”
    Trump would never be for that because it would be a regulation.

  133. “Milo – nicely written.”

    Sorry, guys. I was on my phone and only pasted a NY Post article. It’s not my writing. I just thought that the numbers and cycles were interesting.

    “Barring people by nationality, even if only temporary (yeah right), is start on the slippery slope”

    It’s nothing new, it’s something that Obama, both Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, and Carter have done.

    I don’t think this current trend is unique to Trump, Trumpism, or America. We saw it in Britain last summer. Holland is likely about to elect their own version of Trump, iirc.

    I think it’s possible and entirely reasonable to cut back on immigration, particularly from hostile countries, without everyone assuming that we’re one step away from building the gas chambers.

  134. “Trump would never be for that because it would be a regulation.”

    I also think Trump wouldn’t be for it because the hospitality industry is a heavy employer of immigrants with questionable paperwork. But who knows. I would think that Free Trade has been a net win for him too. I don’t understand his motivations.

  135. Free trade has been a huge win for Trump. I listened to a recent episode of Freakonomics and it had an MIT economist talking about trade with China. Spoiler alert: It absolutely decimated US manufacturing, lowered the standard of living for middle Americans, and cost a lot of jobs. Economists were wrong that trade is a win-win. It ends with Steven Dubner telling people not to trust experts.

    Check it out–very interesting.

  136. @Houston – I listened to that too. It was a really interesting episode. But, I think Trump is personally a winner in the Free Trade equation. Which is why I don’t understand his motivations. I don’t think they are altruistic. But he’s managed to turn the Republican party against Free Trade almost overnight, which is astounding.

  137. “Barring people by nationality, even if only temporary (yeah right), is start on the slippery slope”

    But it’s constitutional.

  138. “According to google, the person who owned the house put an Impeach Nixon sign on it so they couldn’t film it anymore thus the writers had to move her to a new place.”

    I’m bringing this over here. My mom and I were talking about political polarization and general cynicism with government and politicians. I mentioned how it seems so quaint to remember that my grandparents (her parents) had that small portrait of JFK hanging in the hallway at the top of the stairs. Peggy Olson on Mad Men had the exact same one in her apartment.

    My mom responded “you don’t know the half of it! After they hung the JFK stuff [there was also a commemorative plate], they had a giant Nixon poster in the basement rec room! Your father always laughed at it when he’d come over. They truly thought both of them were great.”

  139. Milo, you keep asserting that all these other presidents had nationality-based bans, so I started hunting, and I am not finding much. It is true that Carter banned many Iranians from entry, but his ban had exceptions. Reagan had a ban on certain classes of Cubans, but it wasn’t all Cubans. And there are lots of bans on certain classes of this and that – people who had done certain things, or were members of “the military junta in Sierra Leone” (Clinton) or members of the Nicaraguan government (Reagan). Obama had a bunch like that – banned people who had enabled Syria by selling to the government, for example. But aside from Carter, I don’t see anything that looks like a blanket ban on a nationality post 1965.

  140. I am pretty sure that the ban is illegal because of the Immigration Act of 1965 which prohibits discrimination against immigrants based on national origin. That isn’t the same thing as unconstititional of course, and I think our history shows that banning immigrants based on nationality, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, has been seen as constitutional.

  141. Mooshi – There’s disagreement in the media about whether Obama’s ban on Iraqi refugees was a ban, or a suspension of all visa applications, or simply a drastic slowdown in the processing in favor of stricter vetting.

    Point (from the self-styled “loyal opposition”):
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/30/sorry-mr-president-the-obama-administration-did-nothing-similar-to-your-immigration-ban/

    Counterpoint (from Conservative Tribune):
    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2017/01/is-trumps-immigration-ban-illegal-ask-the-last-five-presidents

    which references this three-year-old article from ABC News:

    Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky — who later admitted in court that they’d attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq — prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists’ fingerprints.

    “We are currently supporting dozens of current counter-terrorism investigations like that,” FBI Agent Gregory Carl, director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), said in an ABC News interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline”.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more than that,” said House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul. “And these are trained terrorists in the art of bombmaking that are inside the United States; and quite frankly, from a homeland security perspective, that really concerns me.”

    As a result of the Kentucky case, the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets

  142. Your second article states
    “According to the report, here are the number of times each president, since Reagan, has limited immigration to specific groups of people:

    Ronald Reagan – Five times
    George H. W Bush – One time
    Bill Clinton – 12 times
    George W. Bush – Six times
    Barack Obama – 19 times

    But banning specific groups of people (and many of these, like banning members of the Sierra Leone junta, were pretty specific) is not the same thing as a blanket ban based on nationality.

  143. “if he had truly wanted to fix the vetting process – and I have said that several times. It was a quiet slowdown while they reviewed things. It was not a ban.”

    If you think something is broken, why would you only slow it down and not stop it?

  144. Becasue doing things quietly lets you focus on the actual problem, at least the alleged actual problem. See, I don’t think Trump had any interest in fixing whatever screening issues might be there. He wanted to make his base happy and see how far he could get with a trial balloon for all out bans

  145. And in any case, until we get back to Carter,and even that one is arguable, I cannot find any actual blanket ban based on nationality. I don’t think it is permitted under the Immigration Act of 1965 but I could be wrong.

  146. From MM’s Chicago Tribune link:

    “The only news report that we could find that referred to a six-month ban was a 2013 ABC News article”

    because it was not only a “quiet slowdown,” but evidently a secret one.

    “Second, Obama did not announce there was a ban on visa applications. In fact, as seen in Napolitano’s answer to Collins, administration officials danced around that question. There was certainly a lot of news reporting that visa applications had been slowed to a trickle. But the Obama administration never said it was their policy to halt all applications. Even so, the delays did not go unnoticed, so there was a lot of critical news reporting at the time about the angst of Iraqis waiting for approval.”

    with plenty of personal hardship to would-be Iraqi immigrants, some of whom were REMOVED FROM PLANES:

    “Immigration authorities soon began rechecking all Iraqi refugees in America, reportedly comparing fingerprints and other records with military and intelligence documents in dusty archives. About 1,000 soon-to-be immigrants in Iraq were told that they would not be allowed to board flights already booked. Some were removed from planes. Thousands more Iraqi applicants had to restart the immigration process, because their security clearances expired when the program stalled. Men must now pass five separate checks, women four, and children three.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-refugee-policy-fact-check-2011-20170129-story.html

  147. “I cannot find any actual blanket ban based on nationality.”

    You have it right there with Obama in 2011, for all intents and purposes.

    “He wanted to make his base happy and see how far he could get with a trial balloon for all out bans”

    Hypothetically speaking, if that’s what most Americans want, should the government do something different?

  148. Well, yes, Milo, if what the majority of Americans want violates the Constitution, then yes, yes, the government should follow the Constitution until such time as a Constitutional Convention can be called and the foundational document changed.

  149. Rocky – How does restricting immigration violate the Constitution? Equal protection doesn’t apply to potential immigrants, does it? I’m not being sarcastic.

  150. You said “hypothetically speaking” and seemed to be reaching for a larger principle, i.e., that majority will should always rule.

  151. “Hypothetically speaking, if that’s what most Americans want, should the government do something different?”

    Most Americans did not want Trump to be president.

  152. Most Americans didn’t want Hillary, either. So that’s a moot point.

    While the question was hypothetical, some recent polls seem to indicate a majority of Americans agree with the President’s intentions on this.

  153. “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here. Thirty-three percent (33%) are opposed, while 10% are undecided.”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/january_2017/most_support_temporary_ban_on_newcomers_from_terrorist_havens

  154. Quinnipiac finds a plurality (48%) supporting the ban but not a majority. It also finds a majority (53%) supporting Muslim registration (but since that is more hypothetical, people may not have thought about it as much) and a bigger majority (59%) favor allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the US and work towards citizenship.
    In other words, people are all over the place on this
    https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2423

  155. “In other words, people are all over the place on this”

    That’s often true on anything. Rasmussen claims “likely voters,” which will change the calculus.

  156. Has anyone noticed that the Canadian mosque shooter is getting 1/10 to 1/100th the coverage that he would have gotten if it was a church and his name was Mohammad?

  157. RMS – which Toyota? The Corolla has all sorts of safety stuff standard, but the Camry doesn’t even have it as optional in some trim levels. I plan to take one of our kids to drive a corolla this weekend. I rented one 27 years ago and didn’t love it. I’m going to assume progress has been made since then.

  158. Camry Hybrid XLE. It’s got the safety stuff. They didn’t have it in red, though. Well, I’m working through a broker and there is a red one in New Mexico, but he’s trying to find a closer one. And tomorrow or Thursday he’ll tell me what my trade-in is likely to be worth.

  159. But that’s interesting about the Corolla. I drove a ’78 Corolla for 12 years and loved it. Rear-wheel drive. Turned on a dime. No safety features, no rear-window defogger, just an AM radio.

  160. Of similar vintage, we had this:

    We bought it used! Same color. Diesel that shook like hell. Four doors, but the rear ones stopped functioning, so I climbed through the window. My dad had a body shop install a middle seatbelt on the backseat. And there was no radio at all.

    That’s how poor we were.

    It died in 1989 when the clutch fell out as my dad was driving to work. Then we got a new Subaru.

  161. That’s how poor we were.

    I’ve got something in my eye. Is someone chopping onions?

    That green one is a ’76. My sister had the ’76, in bright red. She called it her cherry tomato car.

  162. My aunt had that car I think. Looks familiar. I remember a red datsun with the itchiest seats you ever sat on.

  163. Back in those days, just about everybody I knew had cars with vinyl seats that would burn any skin that came into direct contact with them after being parked in the sun.

    One of the great things about cars like the Corollas was the bucket seats that facilitated covering the backs with old t-shirts.

  164. And…it’s Gorsuch. DH has dealt with Gorsuch and thinks he’s reasonable. Of course he’s conservative. But if he’s genuinely reasonable and professional, I’m not going to pitch a fit. I was slightly afraid Trump would nominate his sister.

  165. I think Gorsuch is a fairly reasonable choice, given the universe of candidates Trump was likely to really consider.

  166. given the universe of candidates Trump was likely to really consider.

    Exactly. Hell, he could have chosen Bannon. I don’t think you have to be an attorney or judge to be on the Supreme Court, although obviously all the justices in living memory have been.

  167. “Has anyone noticed that the Canadian mosque shooter is getting 1/10 to 1/100th the coverage that he would have gotten if it was a church and his name was Mohammad?”

    He would have gotten ten times the coverage if it had been in the US. But Canada has much stricter gun control laws, its prime minister is a liberal, and Canada is a welcoming multicultural society. So the usual go-to media narratives don’t work.

  168. After verifying that I’m on the political thread, I will say that I’d like to see both parties nominate Supreme Court candidates without drama. I think Supreme Court justices have worked very hard not to be seen as political.The fact that RMS can say she doesn’t agree with a nominee’s outlook but he is reasonable and professional is a good goal for all nominees.

    I admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the way she supported gender equality when it benefited women and when it benefited men, even though I’m not sure how I think gender equality should be implemented in law overall. On doctrines with which I may disagree with her (she probably can’t publicize her opinion on comparable worth), it’s because I dislike the government rather than the market deciding which jobs are “comparable”, not because I oppose equal pay for equal work.

  169. “I was slightly afraid Trump would nominate his sister.”

    Why?

    I’ve not heard anything to impugn her as a judge. Additionally, she is his older sister, which would limit her impact.

    What I’ve heard of her track record gave me reason to hope that a Trump presidency would not be a disaster, or at least not worse than a W presidency.

  170. “I admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the way she supported gender equality when it benefited women and when it benefited men”

    I think it was great the way she used a single male plaintiff to make obvious how the existing system was unequal.

  171. So the usual go-to media narratives don’t work.

    He’s a gun toting right wing troll who slaughters minorities. Your theory of some massive left wing bias in the media rings false to me in this instance.

  172. Rhett, what is your explanation for the media’s lack of interest?
    The media were only too willing to provide breathless reports of assaults upon innocent Muslims by Trumpian thugs in the days after the election. They were not so diligent in admitting that the reports were largely fabricated, of course. Here is a real massacre and it’s barely mentioned by the US press.
    That there is a left wing bias in the mainstream media is so well established as not to require a citation. It may not be “massive,” but it is empirically beyond dispute.

  173. Rhett – You’re grasping at straws trying to find some double standard in media coverage about a shooting that occurred in another country. But if you’re so convinced that a shooting by a Muslim with terrorist connections would automatically garner wall-to-wall media coverage, why was there so little attention to the Chattanooga murders?

  174. I’ll start this by acknowledging that, if the situation were reversed and a Republican president’s Supreme Court nominee had been ignored for almost a year by a Democratic Senate, then I, too, would be “seething” like Chris Coons (D-De).

    My comment is that, contrary to some of their very recent talk to oppose any nominee Trump puts forward regardless of who it is — what a politically stupid thing to say, btw — it appears that the Democrats are choosing to keep their filibuster ability intact by not exercising it at this point. I’m guessing that McConnell’s very definitive comments on the Sunday talk shows, simply and confidently repeating “the nominee will be confirmed,” convinced enough Democrats that he means it.

    The NYT, after running a letter from a liberal judge who hesitantly says that Gorsuch should be confirmed, offers their own bitter editorial that, yes, the Democrats should just bend over and take it.

    So as a minority party, the GOP used the mere threat of a filibuster to block a lot of what they didn’t like. As the majority party, they use the threat of taking away the SC confirmation filibuster to make sure that Dems don’t use the filibuster.

    Setting aside your personal politics, Mitch McConnell is one hell of a political player.

  175. Yeah, I think the Democrats should just deal with the Supreme Court nominee and not waste time or energy on it. He really isn’t any different from the person that Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio would have chosen. And since this is what conservatives sold their soul to the devil to get, they will play hardball. Far better for Democrats, and anyone really with an iota of integrity, to concentrate on the things that are truly scary about Trump: his massive conflicts of interest, his lack of knowledge about the world, his politicization of the NSC, his meanness and anger, his stupid tweets. You know, all these Republican who think it is just fine that Trump doesn’t follow any norms of conduct may regret their stance one day when a leftwing demagogue appears and there are no norms left to stop him or her.

  176. McConnell’s very definitive comments on the Sunday talk shows, simply and confidently repeating “the nominee will be confirmed,” convinced enough Democrats that he means it.

    Meh, it’s entirely possible that there was a fair amount of back-room chit chat. And I do remain angry that they just stole the seat from Obama. But the Dems shouldn’t go to the mat over Gorsuch. Hey, Mr. President, how ’bout them tax returns?

  177. Gorsuch is a states’ rights advocate and is opposed to the “dormant commerce clause” – judicial doctrine that extends the constitutional power of the Federal govt to regulate interstate commerce further than the framers intended. Taking away the right of a State to regulate insurance sales to its residents is not likely to fly with him. He is also opposed to Chevron deference – namely the judicial doctrine that if something is ambiguous in the law, the interpretation advanced by the Federal regulation promulgated under that law by the executive branch should receive automatic deference. He also believes that statutes should be evaluated according to the text, not according to the historical context. So he is likely to come down on the side of restricting federal power and executive power in particular. His religious freedom opinions should be seen in that context, not so much as advancing any conservative social agenda. He is an Episcopalian according to Wikipedia.

  178. Rhett, what is your explanation for the media’s lack of interest?

    They share you Islamophobia*.

    * I’m not sure if that’s the right word.

  179. Gorsuch is a brilliant pick (and apparently a stickler for grammar).
    But it was funny to see the preprinted protest signs, with his name filled in. If the Democrats want to die on this hill, let them.

  180. why was there so little attention to the Chattanooga murders?

    Was it in a church? Google doesn’t say that it was. That was my point and I stated clearly. Are you being intentionally obtuse?

  181. Rhett,

    Then how do you explain the media’s intense focus on the grave threat of Islamophobia each and every time a Muslim yells “Allahu akbar” and kills someone? The airspace given to the odious spokesman at CAIR?

  182. Then how do you explain the media’s intense focus on the grave threat of Islamophobia each and every time a Muslim yells “Allahu akbar” and kills someone?

    They share your islamophobia…as I said.

  183. Opps, I misread.

    I don’t see that in the media coverage. What I see is the public and the media share your Islamophobia which explains the intense coverage of Muslim shooters. The relative lack of coverage of other types of mass shooters seems to confirm that.

  184. And pointing out that Islamic jihad is inextricably intertwined with Islam is not Islamophobia. Just saying.

  185. And can someone hire a stylist for Stephen Miller, I’m sure they could do something to tone down the looming malevolence. The skinny suits really aren’t helping.

  186. Rhett – The Chattanooga shooting was not in a church; it was an attack on a military office.

    I’m really not sure what your point is here. There’s certainly no reason to speculate about whether the media will give sufficient coverage to a white nut-job who shoots up a church because it actually happened in Charleston. It received extensive coverage for many days, including the President’s eulogy at the funeral. The trial over a year later has received a lot of coverage.

    Your argument was that if a Muslim commits a mass murder, the supposedly Islamophobic media is obsessed with it. I gave you a clear example where that happened and it was largely ignored. Whether he murders people in a church or a recruiting office seems hardly relevant.

    The reason the Canadian mosque shooting is not getting much U.S. coverage is because it happened in Canada.

  187. “What I see is the public and the media share your Islamophobia which explains the intense coverage of Muslim shooters.”

    If that were true, then there would have been a lot of coverage of Chattanooga. There was not.

  188. And pointing out that Islamic jihad is inextricably intertwined with Islam is not Islamophobia.

    True, your irrational fear of Islam is however the definition.

  189. If that were true, then there would have been a lot of coverage of Chattanooga.

    My point was if a Muslim guy shot up a church in North America the coverage would be many times that of a white nationalist shooting up a mosque. The church is the key part of my argument.

  190. Milo,

    Unless we’re talking about a different shooting. The one I found was the 2015 recruitment centers.

  191. “My point was if a Muslim guy shot up a church in North America the coverage would be many times that of a white nationalist shooting up a mosque.”

    Unfortunately, you’ve offered no evidence to support your point. I’ve offered several counterexamples that refute it.

  192. And yet you’re convinced, that if one of these hundreds of routine atrocities were to happen in Canada in a similar fashion to the mosque shooting, the American press would give it much more extensive coverage than the mosque shooting has received? What makes you think so?

  193. He also believes that statutes should be evaluated according to the text,

    So he’s a statute texturalist but a constitutional orginialist?

  194. “The reason the Canadian mosque shooting is not getting much U.S. coverage is because it happened in Canada.”

    I tend to agree with this myself. There was a lot more coverage of the Sikh temple shooting a few years ago, but I think that was because it was semi-local. (and I’m not sure that, in general, the majority of people know/care about the difference between Sikhs and Muslims, even those who are “woke”)

    I also don’t know what the appropriate amount of coverage for a terrorist attack in Quebec City would be. I have certainly heard about it over the past few days, and I’ve seen coverage of the suspect and his background everywhere including the local 10pm news and the usual “big media” sources.

    I am finding it hard to be outraged about the SCOTUS nominee when there is so much else going on – namely the things MM mentioned. Maybe that is the point.

  195. What makes you think so?

    The almost total lack of a Canadian coverage as compared to say, San Bernadino.

  196. Rhett – Have you not realized that there is big difference in attention paid to events that happen domestically vs. internationally?

  197. Milo,

    I guess we’ll just have to disagree then until we have more data. Which hopefully we’ll never have.

  198. Well, I agree with that. I might even concede that the right wing press would pay more attention if this had been a Muslim shooter.

  199. Not only was it in Canada, it was in Quebec. Many USAnians feel like Quebec is even more foreign than Canada. I am not endorsing this attitude, merely reporting on it.

  200. One problem is that Quebec City is a French speaking city, and given our appalling language skills, the Francophone press is sort of invisible to us.

  201. I’m ignorant to the distinctions. I’ve sailed to Halifax, NS and happily spent a few summer days there, and I’ve ridden a submarine to Victoria, BC and drank too much. The next night there was no way I wanted to drink again, so I walked alone to a Barnes and Noble and read the recent bestseller “The Millionaire Next Door” in the coffee shop. I purposed to be one of them someday.

  202. The story is all they’re talking about on the other side of the border, so my mother reports. It doesn’t surprise me to see little coverage of the story in the states. I’m not aware of the states ever covering Canadian news fully.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/two-remain-in-critical-condition-in-quebec-mosque-attack/article33846243/

    I would look at the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and/or McLeans magazine for more coverage, for those inclined.

  203. LOL! If the Democrats boycotted the hearings, they don’t have any ground to complain that the committee voted without them.

  204. Milo,

    It seems like the democrats need a better team of political strategists. I assume the chaos on both sides is because no one on either side expected Trump to win. The battle royal between Bannon/Miller and Priebus/Kurshner is being fought within the Trump administration while the democrats purge the Clintons and look for new leadership.

  205. “I assume the chaos on both sides is because no one on either side expected Trump to win.”

    +1. I’m still in shock that he’s actually our President. I refuse to watch news on TV and have stopped listening to NPR. Now I listen to podcasts in the car and get my news online. I’m not in denial, but I can only take Trump in small doses.

  206. The Democrats are making to very clear that the Republicans own this entire mess. As a Democrat, I say bring it on. The wall, the tariffs, everything. Let’s see how bad it can get.

  207. Rhett – I wonder the same. But I also think that the Democrats may have a harder time of replicating the Republicans’ success in opposition because Democrats are dependent on a wider range of constituencies. It’s difficult to figure out a unified strategy that works simultaneously for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Manchin, and Sherrod Brown. And, just based on the fundamentals*, 2018 is a nightmare for them.

    *Things can always change drastically, and fast. Especially these days. The underlying shift is that there’s so much less party/institutional loyalty than in previous generations. While it’s fun to snicker at Obama for losing so many offices nationwide over eight years and leaving his party in the worst shape it’s been in a century, it’s not entirely fair 1) because he started with a surge, so he could only go down; and 2) there are so many more Independents who are willing to switch sides, or suddenly show up to vote, or suddenly refrain. It’s volatile.

  208. While it’s fun to snicker at Obama for losing so many offices nationwide over eight years and leaving his party in the worst shape it’s been in a century,

    If it results, as I think it has, in the Republican Party moving far to the left how is that a loss? I think your analysis focuses too much of team red, team blue vs. on overall policy. I think the true metric would be the center point on the political spectrum. Obama leaves office with the center point much further to the left than it was when we has elected.

  209. “The Democrats are making to very clear that the Republicans own this entire mess. As a Democrat, I say bring it on. The wall, the tariffs, everything. Let’s see how bad it can get.”

    I don’t disagree. It’s certainly amusing coming from the party that was so quick to complain in 2009 that the Republicans were the “party of no” and not interested in governing, and now they’re boycotting committee hearings and votes. I guess you and the Democrat Party can hope and pray that everything is a disaster, that wages fall, unemployment skyrockets, and people suffer.

    Of course, the risk is that things don’t turn out so bad, and that Middle America might actually like what Trump does.

  210. “Obama leaves office with the center point much further to the left than it was when we has elected.”

    In terms of what?

  211. In terms of what?

    Economics, trade, healthcare, foreign policy, gay rights, etc. pretty much everything. Trump is to the left of Jeb!, Cruz, Rubio, etc. Trump wholeheartedly embraces the idea that the government has a central role to play looking out for the little guy. That differs sharply from the rigid free market ideology of many on the right.

  212. I agree with some of that. But something like healthcare was just a problem that was getting worse, and something had to be done, and you could argue that we’ve shifted rightward from 1994 Clintons bringing us close to single payer to 2009 Obama having to fight to get Romney’s plan.

    And then labor unions continue to lose power and influence. Gun rights have been strengthened.

  213. Milo said “. It’s certainly amusing coming from the party that was so quick to complain in 2009 that the Republicans were the “party of no” and not interested in governing”

    Why is it amusing? It worked, so why wouldn’t the Democrats follow suit. What is more amusing is hearing the Republican complain about it.

  214. Milo,

    Think about trade. You want to buy a new small car. You can buy a Fit made in Japan, a Chrysler 100 made in Illinois a Fiesta made in Mexico. Small government free market Republicans would say that’s between you and Honda, Chrysler and Ford. If Americans think buying American is important they will vote with their wallet. If they don’t vote with their wallet then the free market has spoken and can’t be questioned.

    Trump ( and Pense) are saying you can’t be trusted with the Fit, Fiesta, 100 buying decision. You’ve been making that decision and it’s ruined much of America As such, the government needs to step in to help the folks in Illinois and jack the price of the Fiesta and Fit up 45% to force you to buy the 100. That’s very left wing and it will influence a huge percentage of your buying decisions.

  215. Gun rights have been strengthened.

    Do you have and buy a lot of guns?

    In terms of the impact on your life and your economic freedom Trump’s trade plans represent a huge new level of government interference.

  216. I think CAFE, more than any specific party affiliation, affected vehicle buying and vehicle prices. Like many unintended (or merely unidentified) consequences of legislation, CAFE means buyers of large vehicles subsidize buyers of small vehicles. This means rural people subsidize urban people and older people subsidize younger people, at a demographic level.

    Is the world a better place because the “light truck” fuel classification resulted in a proliferation of minivans/SUV’s in place of station wagons? I don’t know.

  217. Mooshi – It’s amusing because it proves that their previous objections were merely political, and they’re certainly not above doing the same. And I don’t hear many Republicans complaining.

    Rhett – I agree that rethinking free trade is a big deal. It’s a populist shift, certainly. It’s debatable to what leftward direction it’s going, or if it’s a third direction.

  218. Milo,

    In terms of the government’s duty to make your economic decisions for you it’s pretty far to the left.

    CAFE means buyers of large vehicles subsidize buyers of small vehicles.

    How so?

  219. WCE,

    The vast majority of rural people would be fine with this:

    It’s not because of cafe that they aren’t buying one.

  220. Rhett – I’m not disagreeing that the focus on trade is huge. Perhaps what’s even more remarkable is that I’m not opposed to it, but I’ve been adopting aspects of populism for a while now.

    Is that the Ridgeline in the picture? I think what WCE is saying is that CAFE pushes manufacturers toward minivans/suvs/trucks through unintended consequences. Originally, it was because of different standards for “light trucks,” and more recently it has to do with some complex analysis based on a car’s “footprint” — the area of the rectangle on the ground made by the four wheels. IIRC, it rewards taller vehicles.

  221. Milo’s point about CAFE pushing manufacturers from cars to light trucks is what I meant.

    Rhett, most rural people don’t drive trucks. To the extent there are vehicle differences, rural people have more, older vehicles where I imagine urban people tend to have one or two vehicles/household. That means you have a small car that the teenager drives to school and you either have or know someone who has a truck to get a quarter yard of whatever from the garden center, but the truck might be 20 years old and be driven 100 miles/month.

  222. “most rural people don’t drive trucks”

    I get your larger point, but I’m questioning the accuracy of this statement. The Ford F-150, by itself, has been the #1 selling vehicle in America for over three decades. Someone’s buying them!

    I would say that the majority of rural households *own* at least one truck. You make a good point that many probably do more of their actual driving in their Ford Focus.

  223. Milo,

    Without CAFE would the SUV CUV thing still be around? Currently you can only special order this:

    As the demand vs the SUV is so low. Is that mostly CAFE or just changing consumer preference.

  224. Rhett – That looks like a relatively long wheelbase. That’s what CAFE penalizes. People like interior space, so it’s cheaper for the manufacturers to build stout and tall.

    No more:

  225. I’ve got to reconsider this. The footprint thing might be the opposite of what I thought:

    The relevant dimension is called the “footprint” and is defined as the product of a vehicle’s wheelbase and track, in square feet. The idea is to apply fuel-efficiency standards to individual vehicles, thus encouraging all cars and trucks to be more fuel efficient.

    Here’s how it works. A 2010 Honda Accord has a wheelbase of 110.2 inches and a track of 62.6 inches. Multiplying those two figures yields a footprint of 47.9 square feet. If you plug that figure into the government’s formula, you get a target mpg of 35.9 for 2016. The smaller its footprint, the higher the fuel economy a given vehicle has to meet. A current Ford Focus would have to achieve 40.8 by 2016, while a Mercedes S-class will have a bogey of 31.8 mpg. The aforementioned 328i will have to hit 38.2 mpg.

    The demands on trucks are much less severe. A compact Nissan Rogue SUV, for example, would have to achieve 32.5 mpg in 2016, while 24.7 mpg is required of a Chevy Silverado pickup. However, the Silverado’s footprint is as big as the regulations recognize. Larger trucks, despite an even bigger footprint, will still have to meet the same 24.7 mpg as the Silverado. On the other end of the spectrum, the fuel-economy increases stop at cars the size of the Focus. Cars smaller than the Focus won’t be required to get better mileage.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/how-automakers-will-meet-2016-cafe-standards

    When you read these mpg numbers, note that they’re using the older, far more optimistic system of measuring.

    While pondering these figures, keep in mind that the tests used to measure CAFE numbers are based on old city and highway tests. Today’s window stickers take those raw numbers, massage them, and incorporate other tests with the goal of providing a more realistic, lower estimate. Example: A BMW 328i rated at 18 mpg city and 28 highway on its window sticker has a “raw” CAFE fuel economy of about 28 mpg—just above today’s car standard of 27.5.

  226. This is a good analysis of it to read in full:

    https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/new-cafe-standards-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

    My Mini Cooper has a footprint of 39 square feet so in 2012 would have received an emissions target of 244 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. Actual emissions are 296 grams per mile, significantly above the emissions target. Even though my car is one of the smallest on the road weighing only 2,500 pounds and with a paltry 115 horsepower, it is less fuel-efficient than its footprint-based target. Thus if BMW wants to sell more Mini Coopers, it also needs to sell more of some other vehicle that is below its target and/or BMW needs to buy permits from some other manufacturer.

    This a bit surprising isn’t it? Mini Coopers can and probably should be made more fuel-efficient, but at the same time with a respectable 31 MPG (36 highway) most people don’t typically think of them as enemy #1 when it comes to climate change. Herein lies the main problem with footprint-based targets. For a given vehicle footprint, the standards encourage automakers to make their vehicles as fuel-efficient as possible. But the new standards create no incentive for consumers to switch to smaller vehicles. In fact, the footprint-based targets may actually incentivize manufacturers to increase the average footprint of their fleet.

    Another problem with the new CAFE rules is that they give preferential treatment to trucks. In one way or another, preferential treatment for trucks has long been a feature of CAFE (more here). The CAFE rules encourage manufacturers to sell more trucks and fewer cars, as well as to relabel vehicles as trucks. Remember the PT Cruiser? Back in the early 2000s, Chrysler was making big profits on its Dodge Ram pickups, and desperately wanted to sell more, but was running up against CAFE. Ingeniously, Chrysler responded by introducing the PT Cruiser which looked like a car but was built on a “truck” platform, thus raising Chrysler’s average MPG for trucks. This meant Chrysler could sell more low-MPG pickups. This distortion continues under the new CAFE rules because of the higher emissions targets for trucks.

  227. So to answer your question, I would say that the government is unintentionally pushing buyers away from that Volvo wagon you pictured and into a less-efficient XC-90 because they still have lower standards for “trucks.”

  228. “buyers of large vehicles subsidize buyers of small vehicles”

    This was happening way before new CAFE standards. Larger vehicles have a higher profit margin and have subsidized smaller vehicles since the advent of the SUV.

  229. Rhett, most rural people don’t drive trucks.

    Huh? We live in semi-rural area, and all anyone drives around here are trucks. If you’re on backroad in the rural South, I can guarantee you see truck, truck, falling apart Cadillac, truck, Suburban, truck, truck, honda sedan, truck as you pass cars going in the other direction.

  230. Lark, I’ve heard the south is different, but numerically, I suspect the point still holds. When I was at church or at the plant or Walmart in Kentucky, only a [significant] minority of vehicles in the parking lot were trucks, maybe 30%. I’ve never been to North or South Carolina, though.

  231. “In terms of the government’s duty to make your economic decisions for you it’s pretty far to the left.”

    @Rhett – I agree. This is the single most shocking thing about what’s happened over the last year (or even 6 months). All of a sudden, Republicans are falling over themselves to slam free trade. That is exactly upside down from recent history due to Trump’s influence. It’s stunning. And I would agree that it is different from the standards being discussed here because the focus is on “America first” vs. unintentional consequences of environmental policy (or other regulations). The unidenteded consequences of micromanaging US businesses (or at least taking credit for it/pushing positive PR for those who “comply”) and changing our trade agreements have yet to be seen.

    There was just a Planet Money episode called “The Chicken Tax” about how tariffs/trade policy have given American-made (assembled?) trucks a boost over foreign ones that cars don’t have as well due to a leftover tariff from the middle of the century. That was interesting too.

    My neighbor drives an F-150. Whereas at the Hy-Vee by my parents, I see a mix similar to WCE’s description with plenty of small SUV’s too. Anecdata says urbanites love trucks & rural people don’t. ;)

  232. “I imagine urban people tend to have one or two vehicles/household.”

    I imagine a lot of urban households, e.g. in Manhattan, have zero.

  233. Don’t look now, but:

    “Trump’s approval rating is ticking upward toward 50 percent: 49 percent of voters approve of how Trump is handling his job, and 41 percent disapprove. That is more positive than other polls; a 51-percent majority disapproves of Trump in the latest Gallup tracking poll. Even Trump’s favorable rating — 49 percent favorable to 44 percent unfavorable — is a significant departure from other polls, which show Trump viewed more unfavorably.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/poll-donald-trump-voter-fraud-234458

    That’s higher than Obama’s average rating.

  234. Rhett – That’s true, but consider the headwinds he’s been facing in media coverage, the disastrous implementation of the immigration suspensions, the marches, the suggestions that he’s Hitler. Despite all that, the rating is respectable, and he’s trending upward.

  235. WCE, everyone in KY drives a pickup -usually an older small pickup because honestly, most country Kentuckians don’t have the money for a F-150. This goes back a long ways. My best friend in HS drove an ancient, 60’s era king cab pickup.

  236. When I visit the relatives in KY, what strikes me most is a) how white, and downright blonde, everyone is and b) all the pickups

  237. Milo,

    I don’t really understand your theory on the media. It’s like you don’t think the right wing media is a thing or powerful. Breitbart got Trump elected! How much longer are you going to pretend it’s not a powerful and equal part of “the media.”

  238. It almost seems that conservative identity is wrapped up in the idea of being part of some oppressed minority. It’s so nonsensical.

  239. Oh, it’s totally his fault. I’m not arguing that. There is a vast difference, however, between the media’s hysteria over every single thing he does, and the public’s reaction to it. When he fired the acting attorney general, CNN’s headline was “MONDAY NIGHT MASSACRE,” which, in case you didn’t do your 11th grade research paper on Watergate like I did, was an allusion to Nixon’s firing of the special prosecutor, and others.

    If you transported a political science professor from the year 2000 and just had him watch CNN and estimate an approval rating, he’d say 20. The disconnect between the mainstream press and the actual voters is absurd.

  240. Milo,

    With his disastrous wars obvious to all and the economy collapsing like it hasn’t done just 1929, W still have a 33% approval rating. A solid 33% on both sides are hyperpartisians that will support their team no matter what.

    Would you really argue that things weren’t too bad in 2008 because W still had a 33% approval ratting. It’s 1/3 after all.

  241. Rhett – It was in the 20s at one point, and the press coverage wasn’t as hysterical as it is now.

  242. the press coverage wasn’t as hysterical as it is now.

    I worked at home back then and had the TV on, hysterical doesn’t begin to describe it.

    Did you vote for McCain? If so perhaps you were putting the collapse out of your mind and therefor don’t recall the situation clearly.

  243. I actually didn’t vote in 2008. It was kind of complicated, but when you want to make a case for not paying state taxes in either your official state of residence, or the state in which you’re currently residing, it’s best to not vote in either.

  244. I voted for him in 2000 by absentee ballot — my first election. I can’t remember if I voted in 2004. Probably not, though, because of taxes.

    I don’t remember voting in any midterms until 2010. But now I never miss them! :)

  245. in case you didn’t do your 11th grade research paper on Watergate like I did

    Get off my lawn.

  246. I voted for him in 2000 by absentee ballot — my first election.

    An inauspicious start to your participation in the election process, I’m sure you’ll agree.

  247. Eh, I really didn’t want Al Gore to be President. I liked W. A few years later, I turned on him when I came extremely close to getting sent to Iraq (I would have just been writing PowerPoints on some staff, but I didn’t want to go during what was supposed to be my easy tour at home) and he declined the advice of the Iraq Study Group. However, he was right about the surge.

  248. I really didn’t want Al Gore to be President

    And in retrospect, considering all the blood and treasure that could have been saved by only going into Afghanistan?

  249. Wait, you didn’t vote because you didn’t want to pay state taxes? I am having trouble wrapping my brain around that. Or perhaps you were paying in a third state?

  250. Rhett – in retrospect, I’d vote for Al. But remember, at the time I voted for the candidate who was supposed to be less interventionist, as compared to the Clinton Administration, and not so eager to be the “world’s policeman.” Hindsight is 20/20; support for the Iraq invasion was bipartisan.

    Mooshi – you have to realize that there’s no federal law or regulation on military paying state income taxes. So you’re left with a patchwork of often-vague state regulations that address the matter. As far as the military is concerned, you simply indicate your state of residence on a form, just like you might change your withholding or number of dependents on your W-4. Some states don’t have any state income tax, obviously, so when people get stationed in Florida, they tend to keep that residency for the duration of their service, no matter where they go thereafter. Other states, such as Connecticut, have provisions for active duty service members who are claiming Connecticut as their state of residence, but are not actually living there. They can file for a full refund of all taxes withheld called “taxes withheld in error.” But it’s not entirely cut and dry, and there are certain restrictions, iirc, or just helpful suggestions to determine fif you qualify for the refund. Owning real property in the state and renting it out is probably disqualifying, for example. I can’t remember if it specifically addressed voter registration, but I think it may have.

    Likewise, when you’re actually living in a different state, you don’t want to give this state more of a reason to think that you should be paying taxes to them, either. If Virginia ever asks, you say “Hell no, I’m a resident of Connecticut. I file a tax return there very year.” You don’t want them saying “but you’re registered to vote in Va!”

  251. Still confused, but state taxes are confusing. My second tax audit was a situation like that, in which one state (A) claimed I owed taxes when I hadn’t lived in the state in years and in fact lived in state B. But in that situation, I had an address in state B, I voted in state B, and I had a drivers license in state B. I also paid instate tuition at University of state B. The only thing was, I hadn’t paid state taxes in state B, simply because B had no income tax at the time. It wasn’t the reason I lived there, though, in fact I voted for the guy who campaigned on starting a state income tax! Only Republican I ever voted for in my life.

    Resolving the audit was painful simply because so many years had elapsed that it was hard to get my hands on all the proof.

  252. WaPo and Politico are reporting this, but not NYTimes. Still, WaPo and Politico do standard vetting so I wouldn’t think they would fall for really obvious fake news. The link you posted doesn’t seem to take a stance – am I missing something?

  253. According to WaPo, he also accused the leader of Australia of trying to export more Boston bombers to us.

  254. Speaking of state taxes, North Dakota wants to make sure that the paid pipeline protestors are paying their fair share….

    “After spending more than $22 million on the Dakota Access pipeline protest, North Dakota wants to make sure any paid activists remember to submit their state income taxes.
    Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said his office is keeping an eye out for tax forms from environmental groups that may have hired protesters to agitate against the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline project.
    “It’s something we’re looking at. I can tell you I’ve had a number of conversations with legislators regarding this very issue,” said Mr. Rauschenberger. “[We’re] looking at the entities that have potential paid contractors here on their behalf doing work.”
    It’s no secret that millions have been funneled into the six-month-old demonstration via crowdfunding websites, and that more than 30 environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Food and Water Watch, 350.org and Greenpeace, have backed the protest.
    If national environmental organizations are paying protest personnel, they’re not saying so publicly. Still, Mr. Rauschenberger said red flags will be raised if he doesn’t start seeing W2 or 1099 tax forms from those affiliated with the protest arriving at his office.”

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/30/north-dakota-wants-hired-pipeline-protesters-to-pa/

  255. Nothing’s wrong with it, but it does diminish their personal credibility because it shows an ulterior motive for their demonstration.

  256. Sorry, Scarlett, the Washington Times doesn’t cut it. And you know perfectly well there’s no factual reporting there; it’s all hot air. You’d never let something similar on the progressive side pass.

    And I do see now that this is the new meme — protestors on YOUR side are earnest and dear and poor; protestors on the OTHER side are paid.

  257. Rocky – The meat of the article is a direct quote from a ND state official:

    Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said his office is keeping an eye out for tax forms from environmental groups that may have hired protesters to agitate against the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline project.

    “It’s something we’re looking at. I can tell you I’ve had a number of conversations with legislators regarding this very issue,” said Mr. Rauschenberger. “[We’re] looking at the entities that have potential paid contractors here on their behalf doing work.”

    But you’re answering Rhett’s question from yesterday far better than I ever could. You think that the Washington Times “doesn’t cut it,” but presumably the NY Times, for example, which has unabashedly declared themselves “in opposition” to the Trump Administration, is a valid source.

  258. Milo, “It’s something we’re looking at” is hot air. The quote itself, and the dark but entirely content-free mutterings about “keeping an eye out” are the hot air.

    And yes, the NY Times is more reliable than the Washington Times. That’s a fact about the universe, not an opinion.

  259. I agree that there’s not much meat in that specific article. But the fact that the Tax Commissioner said it is probably true.

    The NYT is a more reliable source for a particular worldview.

  260. But today’s important news is here:

    Whatever the hair-growth drug is, it obviously isn’t working.

  261. ” it obviously isn’t working.”

    that’s a lot of hair for a 70-year-old man. If it were mine, I would like to tame it, taper the sides and back, darken it more to a sand with some gray/white. Basically, turn it into Kasich.

    Then again…

  262. The hair growth thing is all over the news sites. I was laughing, but honestly, I suspect it was put out there to distract from last night’s tweet-fun and the phone calls with our allies. So I am officially ignoring it.

  263. While NYTimes and WaPo definitely have their POV (and honestly, I consider NYTimes to be a tad conservative at times), they also have the best network of trustworthy sources, and are totally plugged into the behind the scenes politics. Especially WaPo. The only thing like that on the conservative side is WSJ, and yes, I do trust WSJ as a source of news. I wish they didn’t have that total paywall, because I would like to see more of their articles right now. I read RedState, but I find them so breathless and slightly hysterical, kind of like Huffington Post. Still, they have been influential so I like to see what they are saying. On the other hand, I stay away from Huffington Post which is largely silly, and even more so, I stay away from the very partisan, often fake-news sites, like addinctinginfo, alternet, rawstory, and yes, Breitbart.

    Oh, I also follow The Hill, which is a site devoted to aggregating everything to do with federal politics. They often have interesting news first, before WaPo and even before Politico. But they are often wrong, so I never take anything on their site seriously until I see it picked up on NYTimes or WaPo.

    Washington Times is only about their ideology. They are comparable to MotherJones, just on the opposite side.

  264. I just wanted to post this excerpt (from a Vox article) of a transcript of a Breitbart podcast discussion last summer between Bannon and Miller (former right hand man to Jeff Sessions), two current inner circle White House advisors. (The entire transcript would be of interest to all, including those who have no fear of Trump’s inner circle). The key takeaway for me is their opinion that we should “follow America’s history” and reinstitute restrictions on legal immigration, and they cite favorably the period from 1920 to 1970. It is important to remember that those restrictions not incidentally had the effect of restricting immigration numbers by limiting the number of people able to be accepted from areas of the world outside of northern and western Europe – people who in the estimation of those who drafted the quota laws were less likely to be “assimilated and integrated” effectively.

    BANNON: You saw these guest workers. You saw the CIS report yesterday. You saw that, what is it, 61 million? Isn’t the beating heart of this problem, the real beating heart of it, of what we gotta get sorted here, is not illegal immigration? As horrific as that is, and it’s horrific, don’t we have a problem, we’ve looked the other way on this legal immigration that’s kinda overwhelmed the country? When you look and there’s got 61 million, 20 percent of the country, is immigrants — is that not a massive problem? You were with Jeff Sessions for many, many years. Is that not the beating heart of this problem?

    MILLER: Well, yes, it’s mind-boggling, and it is something I have talked about before at some length on your program. It’s important to understand that historically speaking, that immigration is supposed to be interrupted with periods of assimilation and integration. So if you looked at the numerically smaller immigration waves from 1880 to 1920, when the foreign-born population increased from 7 million to 14 million, there was zero immigration growth for the next half-century. In fact, the foreign-born population growth shrank remarkably. So from 1920 to 1970, the foreign-born population shrank from 14 million to about 10 million. The number of immigrants in the country, the total number of immigrants, shrank in 50 years, and the overall American population doubled. Now, to just finish this short history of immigration, from 1970 to today the foreign-born population has quadrupled, more than quadrupled, from less than 10 million to more than 40 million plus the kids that are from the CIS report.

    BANNON: It’s scary. It’s scary.

    Miller: So there is no precedent for that kind of growth whatsoever. If you were to follow the history of the 20th century — and you want to win an immigration argument with your friends, and they say we should follow America’s history — well, the answer to that is, you’re absolutely right. We should follow America’s history, and the history of America is that an immigration-on period is followed by an immigration-off period.

  265. Here’s the reliable WaPo coverage of the amazingly un-American and intolerant protest at Berkeley. Note that the headline focuses on Trump’s response, rather than the underlying spectacle of “progressives” not only trying to silence speech with which they disagree, but doing so violently.

    “Berkeley said it went to “extraordinary lengths” to plan for the event [a speech by the conservative gay activist Milo Yiannopoulos] , working with the Berkeley College Republicans and adding crowd-control measures and dozens of additional police officers.

    But security officials claim about 150 “masked agitators” joined the demonstration, setting fires, throwing molotov cocktails and rocks and attacking some members of the crowd. Officers from the city of Oakland and Alameda County arrived at 7:45 p.m. to help the university and Berkeley city police. There were no immediate reports of arrests or serious injuries.

    Campus officials said in a statement “they regret that the threats and unlawful actions of a few have interfered with the exercise of First Amendment rights on a campus that is proud of its history and legacy as the home of the Free Speech Movement.” ”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/02/01/berkeley-cancels-speech-by-breitbrart-writer-milo-amid-intense-protests/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_gradepoint-berkeley1028pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.d45443ab94ab

  266. Meme – I’m glad you shared it. Do you think it’s morally wrong to favor tighter restrictions on legal immigration? Should the answer to more or less always be “more”? Isn’t this a fundamental question in Europe right now, too?

  267. “The key takeaway for me is their opinion that we should “follow America’s history” and reinstitute restrictions on legal immigration, and they cite favorably the period from 1920 to 1970.”

    I don’t necessarily agree with this approach, especially given the unfortunate realities driving that reduction in immigration they cite. I also strongly disagree with the notion that “too many LEGAL immigrants” is a massive problem. We are a nation of immigrants, and legal immigrants are an asset rather than a liability, to the extent that they are able and willing to make the effort to assimilate into our society and embrace our culture.

    However, it’s not hard to see that our current immigration policy, like our tax policy, is in need of serious, thoughtful, bipartisan overhaul. I do agree with the concept of putting our nation’s interests first, and designing an immigration policy that serves those interests, rather than allowing geopolitical events over which we have no control to determine who becomes an American citizen and who must be regretfully turned away. So long as the demand exceeds whatever we decide is the supply of immigrant slots, hard decisions will have to be made. I doubt that either Bannon or Miller are the right guys to make those decisions, and hope that they move on to work on the next campaign.

  268. What about that strange and rambling speech on the first day of Black History Month? His overconfidence and incompetence are astounding. Obviously, someone could have written him a coherent speech, but no – we got a rambling diatribe that betrayed his ignorance about the subject.

    It’s laughable in comparison that W was mocked for his “C-average” at Yale and his colloquialisms. (Fool me once…)

    At this point, I can understand why people who voted for him have the political views that they do, but defending Trump personally as President at this point, I don’t understand. Would you rather have Pence? I had been debating which I would prefer – Trump might be to the left & closer to my views in some cases (but who really knows), but Pence’s competence and stability are looking appealing right now even if he wants me barefoot in the kitchen submitting to my husband and popping out babies whether I like it or not.

  269. They are actually a little wrong about the period in question – it ended in 1965 with the passage of that year’s Immigration Act. And to some extent, it started earlier with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Do these people seriously want to go back to that time, which was driven by intense anti-Semitism and anti-Italian sentiment??? That was a good thing??? And it was bad for us as a country. We would have been far better off with more Chinese and more Jewish people entering the country. The kids of Jewish and Chinese immigrants have historically driven our scientific and technological progress.

  270. I see no sign that Trump is anywhere to the left. He even backed down on setting drug prices after meeting with the pharmaceutical industry. His cabinet picks are all hard right. I totally fail to see an iota of leftist views in him.

    Yes, I would prefer Pence. I would prefer to be arguing policy rather than standing with my mouth agape at stupidity, ignorance, corruption, and cruelty.

  271. “At this point, I can understand why people who voted for him have the political views that they do, but defending Trump personally as President at this point, I don’t understand. Would you rather have Pence?”

    That’s the wrong question. The question Trump voters faced was “would you rather have Clinton?”

  272. The real immigration problem in this country is illegal immigration, and that is really hard to tackle because it is driven by employers. Unless someone has the guts to enforce it at the employer level, it can’t be solved. I know some propose guest worker programs to legalize the needed cheap labor, but I think that is a mistake. That is what Europe did for a long time, resulting in big populations of unattached, unassimilated men in all the cities. And eventually, the families came. By the 90’s, Germany had about 2.5 milion Turks living there, mostly with their roots in the guest worker program.

  273. “That’s the wrong question. The question Trump voters faced was “would you rather have Clinton?”

    Bingo. But, yes, I’d rather have Pence. Let’s hope he’s up for it in eight years.

    I’ve said before why there’s a part of me that likes Trump, though. We’ve been over this, and I get attacked for it. Incidentally, I happened to find out that my mom voted for Trump IN THE PRIMARY! That was an amusing surprise. Obviously, she’s a dumb racist woman who just wants to be controlled by my dad (who voted for Kasich).

  274. No. At this point you can make it clear to your Republican representatives that you support them in their opposition of Trump.

  275. I’ve read some articles on progressive economics, trying to understand how progressives think. I understand progressive goals- for good public education, good infrastructure, humanitarian support for immigrants around the world in need, rights to healthcare and housing- but I don’t understand when economic analysis takes place in progressive thought. How are decisions made about how to balance these good things against one another?

    Part of the support for Trump is that low skilled immigrants often wind up in low cost communities who resent the costs they impose on the community. I think I don’t really understand how higher cost sanctuary cities plan to welcome low skilled immigrants and assist them and their children over the decades it takes to fully assimilate.

  276. The question Republicans faced was “would you rather have any of these dozens of people running for the nomination”, and they picked Trump.

  277. Someone explain “sanctuary cities” to me.

    As I understand it, the Fed wants State police to detain people for (alleged) federal crimes (which detention period often violates State laws) but not pay them to do so. (There’s an unfunded mandate for ya, WCE). The State refuses to do so because it violates State law and/or because they are not paid to do so. So the Federal government cuts off other funding because the State is trying to comply with its laws and not go broke?

    Do I have that right?

  278. “Part of the support for Trump is that low skilled immigrants often wind up in low cost communities who resent the costs they impose on the community.”

    Do you mean higher demand for social services, or the fact that 10 people who don’t speak English, with 5 old cars, are living in the 2 BR bungalow next door? Or both?

  279. If crimes are committed, surely state police are arresting people for violating state law. Nothing is preventing them from doing so.

    Whose job is it to enforce federal law? I would have thought it was the Feds.

  280. “The question Republicans faced was “would you rather have any of these dozens of people running for the nomination”, and they picked Trump.”

    That’s a little misleading. Most Republican primary voters cast their votes for not-Trump.

  281. “If crimes are committed, surely state police are arresting people for violating state law. Nothing is preventing them from doing so.”

    Do you tend to see a lot of state troopers in Brooklyn?

    “Whose job is it to enforce federal law? I would have thought it was the Feds.”

    Normally, yes, but we’ve moved to a system where federal funds are granted to state, city, and local law enforcement agencies. It seems reasonable to me that these grants could be predicated on the recipient agencies helping to enforce federal laws as practicable. Otherwise, don’t take the money. The mayors can see if the local taxpayers are eager to pay more.

  282. I know that there are some here who roll their eyes at those of us who think that there are those close to the President who are trying to push the nation down a slippery slope to some dreaded future (or more accurately, some halcyon – for them – past, that was not so great for many of the rest of us). These posters constantly parse the actual words or cite some shred of possible contrary evidence, or in a pinch, point to the actions/faults of the opposition, the media or of past Presidents of both parties.

    The reason I posted that excerpt is two fold. 1, that the Bannon/Miller drafted EO of last Friday is not just fulfilling a campaign promise or a reaction to an isolated security concern, but the first step in a clear plan to whittle away at current legal immigration policy. 2. for most of the rest of us on this site, that while there are no express white nationalist words included, it doesn’t pass the smell test.

  283. Meme – Is there any acceptable way to reduce immigration that would pass the smell test for you, and how would it differ?

  284. “It seems reasonable to me that these grants could be predicated on the recipient agencies helping to enforce federal laws as practicable. ”

    Then the Fed should pay for it. My point is that they are not. AND, these detention periods violate state law. You’re asking those persons tasked with upholding state law to violate state law because the Feds won’t/can’t do their jobs.

    And, Milo, this is NYC – we are crawling with Fed workers with ICE, INS, etc. Apparently just not enough of them.

    (and even moreso now that Milania is staying here.) As a NYC taxpayer who pays federal, state and city tax (and who has never tried to avoid paying any of the foregoing), enough is enough. If the rest of the country wants the Fed govt to enforce its laws, start paying up.

  285. Part of the support for Trump is that low skilled immigrants often wind up in low cost communities who resent the costs they impose on the community. I think I don’t really understand how higher cost sanctuary cities plan to welcome low skilled immigrants and assist them and their children over the decades it takes to fully assimilate.

    I think the plan is to push the low skilled immigrants to low cost communities and call the residents of the low cost communities racists when they complain about the the issues/costs associated with a large population of low skilled immigrants.

  286. Milo – I don’t see any overarching need to reduce legal immigration. There was a chart I saw recently on worker/retiree ratios in many countries. The US has 4.4 workers per adult of retirement age. It is one of the highest ratios in countries where data is available. Some dying off countries have 2.5 workers under the same metric . Immigrants, legal and illegal (many who pay SS taxes under false SSNs with no chance to collect, ever), are part of the reason we have a fairly healthy birthrate in this country and a pipeline for skilled and unskilled workers.

    I do agree that the hypocrisy around illegal immigration needs to end. The corporate types who profit off both undocumented workers and the general depression of wages in areas where undocumented workers are concentrated are the ones who should be targeted and made to pay for the cost of those workers, not innocent children or depressed communities. You can’t prosecute folks who think they are entitled to $10 manicures, $12 sitdown restaurant meals and a lawn mowed by adult non English speakers for less than they would pay a neighborhood teen, but you can hit em in the pocketbook. There are also H1B visa abuses as well at a higher level of qualification.

    An authoritarian government could try to push through universal national identity cards as a security, immigration enforcement, anti poverty fund distribution, and anti-voter fraud measure. I don’t know whether that would fly with the don’t tread on me part of the base. I don’t even know if I am opposed to that level of government ID anymore – we pretty much have that for most of us who need to deal with the banking and air travel systems, and from what people say the health care system as well.

    The smell test issue has to do with citing the 1920-1970 period (it took a while for immigration backlog to increase the foreign born population after 1965) as a good episode in America’s immigration history worthy of repeating. In my circles it is universally regarded as shameful. It is not all that different than recycling “America First” as a slogan, which has terrible historical connotations from the 1930s. Mr Trump was likely unaware of those. Bannon and Miller were not. Both of those are what is meant by “dog whistles” – things that the average person may not “hear” as having a subtext, but that both those whose intend to convey an extra message and those who have good reason to fear such a message can hear.

  287. My interactions with low skilled immigrants have been positive. Almost without exception they are very hard-working. They want to be here. I live in a sanctuary city with a very large Somali immigrant population. I have never heard from anybody I know who lives in this city about the costs they impose, and I’m not sure what costs they impose more than citizens.

    Frankly, I find it fascinating that so many Christians here who talk about their religion often don’t talk more about what their religion says about how we should treat immigrants. I never have read anything where Jesus talked about how we need to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants.

    And if we want to do an economic analysis of the costs that immigrants impose, can we factor in the cost savings they provide through their lower labor rates? I’m guessing that food costs would go up as well as costs by many service providers (hotels, restaurants, etc.)

  288. My interactions with low skilled immigrants have been positive. Almost without exception they are very hard-working.

    That’s the truth in my experience as well. But, the truth is that people oppose illegal immigration because it makes it hard for MM’s neighbor’s idiot sons to find work. But, you can’t campaign on a truth like that.

  289. tcmama

    It costs more to educate a child who does not speak English than a child who does speak English. Schools have to hire interpreters in each of the languages that are at a school. Hmong, Russian, Arab, Oaxacan and other interpreters are not always easy to come by. Immigrants who have barely an elementary school education in their native language cannot help their kids with fifth grade level school work in English.

    Having a mass of low skilled labor, particularly that which can be exploited because they are here illegally, depresses wages. While that may be all well and good for the people who hire housekeeper, pay $15 for manicures, and enjoy inexpensive restaurant meals, it does impose a cost on other lower skilled peoples. In addition, if a labor force predominantly speaks a language other than English, all workers need to speak that language. Only speaking English is not a sufficient language skill to get a job in an industry where everyone speaks a different language.

    Finally, there is a huge difference between illegal and legal immigration. If someone is ok breaking the law getting into the country, they are more likely to disregard other, inconvenient laws regarding, say, hunting, drug cultivation, permitting requirements for construction, registering vehicles and a myriad other rules governing life in civilization .

  290. My interactions with low skilled immigrants have been positive. Almost without exception they are very hard-working.

    My interaction with low skilled immigrants indicate that they span the range of human dignity and idiocy. Good and bad people. Some you want as neighbors, some you don’t want to know where you live.

  291. I’ve heard there will be a bodega strike today from noon to 8 pm. That should be interesting.

    Really, imagine if all the immigrant-owned businesses (even keeping it to first generation) and workers in NYC just stopped. The city would be crippled.

  292. “Frankly, I find it fascinating that so many Christians here who talk about their religion often don’t talk more about what their religion says about how we should treat immigrants. I never have read anything where Jesus talked about how we need to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants.”

    Jesus didn’t have a lot to say about the best way for civil society to solve social problems. When he was asked whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, his response was “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.”

    The Catholic Church has a list of “corporal” works of mercy that include

    feed the hungry
    give drink to the thirsty
    shelter the homeless
    visit the sick
    visit the prisoners
    bury the dead
    give alms to the poor

    but faithful Christians can reach different decisions regarding how best to live out those works of mercy.

  293. Cordelia — For argument’s sake, let me take a position different from the one you expressed at 12:01. We all decided we wanted to be edgy, right? :)

    Some time ago, we Totebaggers had a discussion about “hustle.” The overwhelming consensus on this board was that if someone has hustle, he or she will succeed in life; but if someone doesn’t have hustle, he or she will struggle, irrespective of whether he or she was on the calculus track in high school, or went to a HSS for college, or whatever.

    You imply that the fundamental characteristic of illegal immigrants is that they are law breakers. I might argue that their fundamental characteristic is that they have a hell of a lot of hustle. They didn’t just sit around and complain about whatever terrible situation they were in in their home country; they made an affirmative decision to go find something better. They figured out how to get into the U.S, against all odds. Once here, they figured out how to get work, and find a place to live, and get their kids into a school, even though there are constant road blocks in their way. Do we not want people in our country — and our gene pool — who have that kind of hustle?

    Discuss!

  294. “faithful Christians can reach different decisions regarding how best to live out those works of mercy.”

    I don’t know, Scarlett — I think Jesus would have said — and, indeed, did say — that one is required to do everything that is on your list.

    Per Jesus, here is what will happen on Judgment Day:

    “Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25, 41-46)

    It seems to me that there is not a lot of wiggle room here for reaching different decisions regarding one’s behavior toward those whom one finds to be “the least” among humanity.

  295. NoB,

    Good point. But let me ask you this. Taken to the extreme, your argument suggests that faithful Christians must abandon their family and professional responsibilities in order to spend all of their time ministering to needy strangers. Is that how you read that Gospel passage?

  296. I agree with Kerri at 10:37. I would also add that NYPD and other big-city police forces have their hands full fighting actual crime. They don’t need to be distracted by a directive from the federal government to root out and arrest illegal immigrants who are otherwise law-abiding. And forcing them to do that would deter people (victims, witnesses) from reporting crimes for fear of immigration-related detention, making the NYPD’s job more difficult and the public less safe.

  297. City Mom and Kerri

    What about police departments holding illegal immigrants who have been arrested? Kate Steinle died because the San Francisco police department wouldn’t hold an illegal immigrant who had been arrested.

  298. Cordelia said “Part of the support for Trump is that low skilled immigrants often wind up in low cost communities who resent the costs they impose on the community. I think I don’t really understand how higher cost sanctuary cities plan to welcome low skilled immigrants and assist them and their children over the decades it takes to fully assimilate.”

    Is this really true? One of the shockers for me when I visit family back in low cost KY is how few immigrants, and brown people in general, there are. Living in a place like NYC and its burbs, where there are truly a LOT of immigrants, low skilled, middle skilled, high skilled, etc, I am so suprised when I go to the middle of the country and see so few. My take is that, at least in KY, people are so unfamiliar with immigrants that they are fearful.

  299. Cordelia said “Part of the support for Trump is that low skilled immigrants often wind up in low cost communities who resent the costs they impose on the community. I think I don’t really understand how higher cost sanctuary cities plan to welcome low skilled immigrants and assist them and their children over the decades it takes to fully assimilate.”

    Actually, WCE said that.

    In my area, there are lots of immigrants, and lots of illegal immigrants. It is not lack of familiarity that makes people fearful, but a very real understanding of the costs.

  300. But in places like NYC, or big swathes of the northeast in gemeral, there is also great familiarity with immigration, because these areas are dense with immigrants, and yet these are the regions that support immigration.

  301. But in places like NYC, or big swathes of the northeast in gemeral, there is also great familiarity with immigration, because these areas are dense with immigrants, and yet these are the regions that support immigration.

    Maybe it is because there is a mix of high, medium and low skilled immigrants.

  302. I can see certain changes to the way immigrant visas are determined, perhaps to favor more skilled immigrants rather than family reunification (though that should not be completely dropped because you want stable families of immigrants rather than lots of unattached young people, for assimilation reasons). But the one thing I would never want to see changed is this simple statement in the 1965 Immigration Act
    “No person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

    The immigration rules of 1920, and earlier, were based on the most horrific kinds of racism – northern Europeans were better than southern Europeans, who were better than Eastern Europeans (aka Jews) who were better than Hispanic people who were better than any Asians or Africans. It was a shameful piece of legislation and a shameful time for us. I never ever want to see us go back to anything like that.

    I also think we need immigration to remain dynamic. I think the Europeans will be making a huge mistake if they limit immigration. Even more than us, they don’t have the birthrates to support growing economies and will stagnate. The worst example is Japan, with its extremely low birthrate, and low immigration.

    I also think one of the reasons our big cities have become the engines of growth and dynamicism is not just the presence of elites, but also the large presence of immigrants. Visit Flushing or Brighton Beach or Jackson Heights to see what I mean

  303. Last weekend, I was at an event with some people, all of whom dealt with employees, one of whom was an immigrant who dealt with low skilled immigrants. He had worked all over the world, and at some point at the evening discussed his job interview and how he had been asked if he was comfortable managing people who didn’t speak English. He said that when he was working with immigrants in Europe, the issue was just the language barrier. Here the issue was basically a cognitive one.

    There is a big difference between dealing with someone who just doesn’t speak the language well and one who doesn’t speak the language well and has additionally issues that preclude understanding the task at had. Low skilled immigrants may have more issues than just language.

  304. The girl who used to babysit for us when kids were small was by this afternoon. I shouldn’t say ‘girl’ because she is in her mid twenties now. She is a US citizen by birth, of Honduran background. Her mom made her living as a house cleaner, yep, one of these low skilled immigrants, now a naturalized citizen. The daughter went to one of the NYC CC;s and now works in hospital administration. She is so upset about Trump and the immigration ban that you cannot imagine, even though she is not from any of the affected countries. She says she feels like the US has turned on her and her family and everyone like them. The thing is, she is a morally conservative Pentecostal Christian, who should be firmly in the Republcan party – but she never will be, nor her friends, because they feel that Trump and the current Republicans hate them.

    After catching up on family news for a bit, we commiserated about polticis and the future of the country.

  305. Low skilled immigrants may have issues, but they also have drive. These are people who picked themselves up and moved. They have more grit than the average person just for that alone. I see far more effort in low skilled immigrant enclaves to make things better, to improve the kids lives and make their neighborhoods better, than I see among the lowskilled people back in KY, who mainly seem to have given up trying. The difference is that faced with a lack of jobs, the folks in poor KY counties chose to stay, whereas the immigrants chose to move so they could have more opportunity.

  306. NoB – so slammed today, can’t comment thoughtfully, but I think that’s a pretty insightful comment you have.

  307. My physical therapist assistant cousin works in Marshalltown, which is 24% Hispanic. Most Hispanic immigrants work in the meatpacking plant or run businesses that cater to people who work at the meatpacking plant. Most of the immigrants are legal, but the ESL and healthcare/public safety costs to the community are high. Meme may be right about the long-term demographic benefits of immigration, but the costs of allowing high levels of immigration by low skill people can’t be born solely by towns like Marshalltown.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/future-arrives-to-diversify-small-town-usa/427470/

  308. Scarlett – interesting you referenced that verse. I always took it to mean that we are called to give our whole life to Jesus. A pull from a sermon about it:

    Give Caesar back those things that are Caesar’s. It is his coin anyway, who cares if you give Caesar back his coin for the tax.

    Then Jesus gives the most amazing line of the short encounter when he continues by saying that we are to “give back to God the things that are God’s.” It leaves everyone calculating what exactly is God’s that I am supposed to give back. And in case you were wondering, the clue was the word “icon” or “image” and the word “likeness.”

    For Jesus had met the challenge and gave his answer in terms of The Torah. Jesus’ answer came from Genesis 1:26 and 27 which says, “And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness,” and goes on to state “God created humankind in his Image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

    The principal is this. The coin has Caesar’s icon on it, so it is Caesar’s. But we were made in the image and likeness of God. We are the icons of God, so we are God’s.

    No wonder they were amazed. Jesus cut right through their argument and disabled the trap so carefully set for him. Jesus affirmed the tax while making it irrelevant. Jesus implies that though we do owe the state there are limits to what we owe. Yet, Jesus places no limits regarding what we owe to God.

    So when I read Matthew 25:31-46 and think we’re called to do everything we can.

    31 i“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, jthen he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him kwill be gathered lall the nations, and mhe will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates nthe sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then othe King will say to pthose on his right, ‘Come, you qwho are blessed by my Father, rinherit sthe kingdom tprepared for you ufrom the foundation of the world. 35 For vI was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you wgave me drink, xI was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 vI was naked and you clothed me, yI was sick and you zvisited me, aI was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And bthe King will answer them, c‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these dmy brothers,6 you did it to me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, e‘Depart from me, you fcursed, into gthe eternal fire prepared for hthe devil and his angels. 42 For iI was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, jyou did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away kinto eternal punishment, but the righteous kinto leternal life.”

  309. WCE – why are the healthcare/public safety costs higher with low-skill immigrants? Is it different than low-skill citizens? Are you equating low-skill with poverty and poverty with crime?

  310. WCE – why are the healthcare/public safety costs higher with low-skill immigrants? Is it different than low-skill citizens?

    Answering for WCE. Citizens are likely to speak English. Immigrants, much less likelu.

  311. I am not a Catholic, but I work at a Catholic university. My take on Catholicism as seen through the prism of my university is incredibly different from Scarlett’s views. Our institutional focus and mission is social justice, and the language surrounding that is all based on Catholic tenets.

    My university has also come out strongly against the immigration ban, as has the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

  312. Scarlett – to your question to NOB, yes, I do believe that we are supposed to sacrifice everything to Jesus. I read it that we are called to see Jesus in each and every person we encounter and to be Jesus for each and every person.

    Most of my friends are not Christians, but when we talk about Christianity, it can be summed up as “I like your Christ but don’t see much Christ in Christians.” And I think that when my non-religious friends see what topics Christians are silent on they see much hypocrisy.

    You’re welcome everyone for adding religion to the politics conversation!!!

  313. Why does not speaking English increase public safety and Healthcare costs? I get ESL costs.

  314. Why does not speaking English increase public safety and Healthcare costs? I get ESL costs.\

    Because you need either bilingual staff or translators available. Both add costs.

  315. WCE – Whether the workers are native born or immigrants legal and illegal, many employers pay a wage that requires supplementation in cash or in kind by the extended family, the community, the church, or the government. For smaller businesses, it is usually economics – the employer cannot afford to pay a higher wage, or offer benefits, and still make a profit. For larger businesses, or businesses that use ethnic group outsourced labor services (which often gouge the employees in various ways and shield the contracting business from responsibility to verify the legal status of the employees), there are plenty of profits, but mechanization or relocation are undertaken if local labor costs reach a level where there is a financial benefit to the action. I used to have an ag business as a client 20 years ago and the chicken plucking plant in Tennessee IIRC was staffed by a transplanted village of Cambodians with bilingual foremen. By now I suspect that is all mechanized, probably financed by a state tax incentive maybe in an adjoining state for new plant construction. The local taxpayer is subsidizing larger businesses one way or another. The local taxpayer may also get a benefit, directly or indirectly, from vibrant economic activity in the region as a result of that employment.

  316. “I used to have an ag business as a client 20 years ago and the chicken plucking plant in Tennessee ”

    LOL! Did you ever work onsite?

  317. No. I just had to deal with the tax auditors in MA, where the holding company was located for historical reasons. I was a big agricultural and shipping business. The working HQ was in Kansas City and I did get to go there. That is the client that taught me that sows are depreciable assets and hogs are inventory.

  318. There is a strong statistical correlation between high poverty and high crime in most cities.

  319. “Having a mass of low skilled labor, particularly that which can be exploited because they are here illegally, depresses wages.”

    It also suppresses technical innovation.

  320. “There is a strong statistical correlation between high poverty and high crime in most cities.’

    As well as a correlation between strength of the economy and crime.

  321. “I’ve heard there will be a bodega strike today from noon to 8 pm. That should be interesting.”

    I saw some striking video of their demonstration. Lots of USA flags and bowing for prayer. At the same time I saw Twitter comment about how this is “yet another reason Trump will be elected in 2020”. Did it affect your commute?

  322. “Because you need either bilingual staff or translators available. Both add costs.”

    Ada has previously discussed this, and how even multilingual MDs avail themselves of translation services.

  323. “Taken to the extreme, your argument suggests that faithful Christians must abandon their family and professional responsibilities in order to spend all of their time ministering to needy strangers. ”

    Wouldn’t this make all Christians paupers?

  324. In my experience, immigrants (of any legal status) are much less likely to use medical services than poor people who speak English. Undocumented immigrants are usually trying to have as little contact with authorities as possible. Documented immigrants may stay away because of cost, fear of the system. I’ve got no statistics to back that up – but my impression is based on the fact that I rarely see immigrants for issues such as cough x 1 day, sore throat x 1 day, fever x 2 hours, recurrence chronic headache, recurrence chronic abdominal pain, etc. I frequently see poor, english speaking people for those kinds of problems.

  325. “My take on Catholicism as seen through the prism of my university is incredibly different from Scarlett’s views. Our institutional focus and mission is social justice, and the language surrounding that is all based on Catholic tenets.”

    Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on immigration:

    “2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

    Contrary to what some “social justice” adherents would have you believe, the Catholic Church affirms the right of sovereign nations to maintain secure borders and establish procedures for immigration. The devil is in the details, of course, and IMO this country can afford to be far more generous that it is in welcoming legal immigrants, but Catholics are not required to take any particular political position with regard to immigration.

  326. My physical therapist assistant cousin works in Marshalltown, which is 24% Hispanic. Most Hispanic immigrants work in the meatpacking plant or run businesses that cater to people who work at the meatpacking plant. Most of the immigrants are legal, but the ESL and healthcare/public safety costs to the community are high. Meme may be right about the long-term demographic benefits of immigration, but the costs of allowing high levels of immigration by low skill people can’t be born solely by towns like Marshalltown.

    Greeley, CO has a lot of meat-packing plants too. They can’t get legal workers. What, WCE, do you propose to fix the situation?

  327. tcmama,

    GK Chesterton said: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

    Certainly, there is much apparent hypocrisy among Christians, as there is among all people, for “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We are all called to follow Jesus, who sacrificed his life for those sins. But we are also called to a vocation and state of life, which for some is to pick up lepers on the street in India, but which for the vast majority is to secular professional and family responsibilities. Doing that work well, for the greater glory of God, is our calling. To the extent we are able, we are also called to serve the poor and needy, but we are not required to serve them in any particular way, and certainly not required to prefer government programs to private charity.

  328. The phylacteries were cube shaped “small leather cases” that the Pharisees wore on their foreheads and their arms. http://www.scripturessay.com/what-were-the-phylacteries-that-the-pharisees-wore/

    This is frequently forgotten by contemporary commentators. ““Show me a denarius. Whose head and whose title does it bear?”” Jesus said to the Pharisees. But the implied point is that the Pharisees are wearing “labels” on their own foreheads, labels that commit them to God (or so they claimed). So they were parallel in that way to the coins with Caesar’s head and title.

  329. the vast majority is to secular professional and family responsibilities. Doing that work well, for the greater glory of God, is our calling. To the extent we are able, we are also called to serve the poor and needy, but we are not required to serve them in any particular way, and certainly not required to prefer government programs to private charity.

    That is completely counter to Scripture. But Chesterton’s point is well-taken.

  330. I favor an immigration policy that gives priority to highly skilled immigrants. Canada has a great model for this.

  331. “What, WCE, do you propose to fix the situation?”

    Double the pay and pass along the cost of the higher meat to consumers. If a product is so cheap that you can’t make it legally, then you have a problem.

  332. The Sermon on the Mount does not say that it’s fine to be wealthy and comfortable and do a little charity work when one feels like it. True Christians must sacrifice everything to gain eternal life and follow Jesus. And Paul thinks being married is a crummy second-best for weaklings. You are being deliberately obtuse.

  333. RMS, not being obtuse. But, honestly, you’re not taking the position that Jesus calls ALL of us to sell our worldly goods and live in the desert, are you?

  334. I believe that Acts provides a description of how we are called to live. The apostles just happened to be in the desert. It could be in the rain forest or anywhere else.

  335. @Scarlett
    why are you really defending this man? he is insane

    President Trump and Arnold Schwarzenegger were embroiled in a long-distance feud on Thursday after the president used a prayer breakfast speech to taunt the action star about his reality show ratings, and Mr. Schwarzenegger fired back in a video posted on Twitter.

    To be clear, this is actually happening.

  336. RMS,
    So you read Acts as a prescription for how all Christians everywhere are to live today rather than as a description of how the first Christians – a particular people living in a specific time and place — lived?

  337. “Greeley, CO has a lot of meat-packing plants too. They can’t get legal workers. What, WCE, do you propose to fix the situation?”

    Not speaking for WCE, but espouse increased vegetarianism?

    I like Houston’s answer. Another solution related to hers is to eliminate the need for those workers via automation, the feasibility of which would be related to how high the wages would need to be raised to attract sufficient legal workers.

    As I’ve mentioned before, cheap labor tends to suppress technical innovation.

  338. “Greeley, CO has a lot of meat-packing plants too. They can’t get legal workers. What, WCE, do you propose to fix the situation?”

    If they can’t get legal workers, then clearly they are not paying enough.

    I constantly keep hearing about American workers being left behind, not being able to find jobs, how the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story, yada, yada, but then I also hear a lot about factories not being able to get legal workers. If American workers can’t find jobs, you would think they would want the available jobs. I am guessing that instead, in a place like Greeley, American workers do have better choices.

  339. Mooshi – In agreement with you, I’ve long speculated on this blog that part of the reason the workforce participation rate is low alongside a seemingly contradictory low unemployment rate, is based on what you’re saying. I think you’ve talked about cousins-in-law who do a little bit of work here and there, where they can find it, but the household’s main source of steady, if modest income is the wife’s job as a bank teller, or something similar.

    So yeah, they’re not going cold, hungry, or naked. Yes, they’re probably a little frustrated, but not sufficiently frustrated to uproot and relocate. If meatpacking paid more, they might take it. If their wives couldn’t work, they’d also take it. But for now, no thanks.

  340. The meat-packing jobs are seriously gross and disgusting, and require standing and repetitive motion all day.

    Scarlett, upon reflection, I have decided to walk away from the religious conversation. It’s best for my mental health. You may have the final word and I won’t respond.

  341. Cordelia – not trying to avoid answering you. I’m home sick.

    Your issue should be with the federal government, not state police officers. Again, if they improperly detain people they are breaking state law. What choice do they have?

    Of course, it’s horrible that Katie Steinle died. Your anger is misdirected.

    Milo – by the Fed withholding funds it is punishing those groups that were entitled to those funds (children, elderly, sick, antiterror task forces, whomever) because the Fed won’t pay for Fed enforcement officials and is trying to stick the State with the bill. That’s not fair or right.

  342. What’s weird about the Bowling Green Massacre, RMS? Conway has consistently lied. This is just more of that. The base should be furious at her for this kind of stuff but they eat it up.

    Waiting for Milo and Scarlett to defend it…

  343. “Waiting for Milo and Scarlett to defend it…”

    Why? You want to be outraged, far be it from me to try to stop you. You go right ahead.

    This is interesting, and it comes from a left-of-center persepective:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-02-02/democrats-permanent-outrage-at-donald-trump

    A few highlights:

    “Whether intended or accidental, Trump’s barrage of initiatives is thus far, by sheer volume and audacity, having the effect of confusing and overwhelming his opponents,” said Benjamin Ginsberg, a political scientist at John Hopkins University.

    After Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said he believed Gorsuch deserved a hearing and an eventual vote, the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee emailed its 1 million members to rebuke him.

    “There is zero appetite among the public for weakness from Democratic politicians,” said Stephanie Taylor, the committee’s co-founder.

    Yet given that Trump’s approval rating is hovering between a respectable 45 and 49 percent depending on the poll, the fury emanating out of Washington and other major American cities is likely disproportional to the country at large. To some Democrats, this is a flashing alarm that incessant full-throated opposition is counterproductive.

  344. Milo,

    Thoughts on Trump’s rolling back of the fiduciary rule? The old rule was that a financial adviser couldn’t put a little old lady into a fund that high speed trades commodities futures but he could put her in an index fund that charged a 5% load and a 2% management fee with both going to the financial adviser. The new rule was they had to put the little old lady in the best investment for her without their primary concern being their own compensation.

  345. Rhett – Not knowing much about it, I disagree with rolling it back. I leave open the possibility that someone could convince me of the other side if, for example, it was demonstrated that the rule didn’t work as intended and was somehow an undue burden. As for now, I disagree with that action.

  346. For all of its shortcomings, Breitbart is consistently on top of this stuff.

    “On Thursday’s broadcast of “CNN Tonight,” UC-Berkeley Professor of Public Policy and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich stated, “I was there for part of last, and I know what I saw, and those people were not Berkeley students. Those were outsiders, agitators. They — I’ve never seen them before. For — I — you know, there’s rumors that they actually were right-wingers.
    When asked if he thought the strategy put on by people on the right, Reich answered, “I wouldn’t bet against it, Don. I — again, I saw these people. They were very — they all looked very, almost paramilitary. They were not from the campus. And I’ve heard — again, I don’t want to say factually, but I’ve heard that there was some relationship there between these people and the right wing, and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News.” ”

    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/03/berkeley-prof-reich-i-wouldnt-bet-against-berkeley-riot-being-affiliated-with-the-right-wing-thats-affiliated-with-breitbart/

    Of course, he doesn’t want to say it factually, but he can say it alternatively factually. This guy is a former Cabinet member who probably sailed through his confirmation hearing.

    He should have coordinated his story with this faculty member though:

    “Déborah Blocker, associate professor of French, reports on the anarchy on campus: “Mostly this was typical Black Bloc action, in a few waves — very well-organized and very efficient. They attacked property but they attacked it very sparingly, destroying just enough University property to obtain the cancelation order for the [Yiannopoulos] event and making sure no one in the crowd got hurt.” ”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner

    Had to Google “Black Bloc.” It’s apparently a tactic favored by anarchists.

  347. “The meat-packing jobs are seriously gross and disgusting, and require standing and repetitive motion all day.”

    They sound like ideal candidates for replacement with automation.

  348. Fiduciary rule: there are some cases where some investors, mostly those who understand investing and really want to do it themselves, where the rule was a disservice to them.

    But for the vast majority of people, including a lot of really smart people who just don’t want to spend their time figuring out which mutual fund / asset allocation / risk profile is the right for them (among others I am thinking about MM since when we once discussed this stuff that’s the profile of herself she gave me), this is a bad deal.

    As Rhett/others have said, this is one more executive function activity for which a lot of people have no capacity. For me, personally, it makes no difference. But for what I am sure are 90% of people retiring and then having to decide with their 401k rollovers, this makes it more likely they’ll be put in something that does not take their best interest into account.

  349. There’s an article in todays WSJ Finance section on the fiduciary rule. I’m not trying to link it as it’s probably behind the paywall.

  350. I have a bit of indirect exposure to the fiduciary rule and Dodd-Frank rules. Often they go beyond their original purpose, or their what people think the purpose was is unclear, and therefor they capture activities that probably were not intended to be covered. If what the government is currently seeking are incremental tweaks to these rules to fix them – I am for it. Why that would be done by EO, I don’t know or agree with. Congress should fix these rules. I fear though that is not what they are seeking and instead they will gut them.

  351. Based on Trump’s attacks today on the federal judge, I am beginning to believe he is genuinely trying to provoke a constitutional crisis. It all adds up – the deliberate chaos, the allegations of election fraud, putting former military leaders in positions normally reserved for civilians, the personal attacks on the judiciary. There seems to be a real pattern to it, and reading his tweets today about the judge fit right in. A small part of me is starting to feel fearful, and I am not one who gets to this place easily.

  352. Someone on here recommended the Fresh Air podcast interview with the UAE’s ambassador to Russia, whose name I can’t call up at the moment. I listened to it yesterday. I was struck by his comment that for years, Americans have been telling him, and others in the middle east, that they should imitate our system, because it has so many checks and balances in place to prevent a demagogue rising to and remaining in power, but now he sees Americans all freaking out that our country is lost now that Trump has been elected. He sort of said do you believe in your system, or not? It was a very interesting perspective as I’ve been freaking out.

  353. “Thoughts on Trump’s rolling back of the fiduciary rule?”

    At this point Trump is only asking the Labor department for a review and recommendations. As usual, there’s been a lot of misleading media hype and speculation around this. From my inside source, Trump’s “ability to kill the regulation is limited and uncertain” for now. First of all, Trump’s nominee for Labor Secretary has not even been approved after several delays and it’s hard to believe any material action would be taken before his appointment. After extensive preparation, investment firms are geared up to implement the fiduciary rule in April and it’s hard to see that grinding to a halt. Of course, Trump moves at a pace and intensity not seen in previous administrations, so we’ll see.

    As Kerri suggests, this may be a good rule but with the usual bureaucratic problems associated with well-intended legislation. The change from “know your customer” to fiduciary role is potentially big and could stymie some investors. For example, you could be prevented from buying the high-performing fund with higher fees even though it’s the one you want. As lawyers in particular can appreciate, the higher costs and CYAs involved with implementing this rule could be construed as a huge negative. My source compared it with car sales, which has its share of well-earned hate. A fiduciary rule type of regulation might prohibit you from buying that muscle car you want because you got a speeding ticket ten years ago. Maybe that’s in your best interest, at least from the government’s perspective, but would you want that kind of regulation? At the very least, there are reasonable arguments to be made against some provisions of the new rule.

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