Sunday, January 29, 2017


Of course I would, if I felt like having some Skittles. Why on earth would I believe anything that silly, especially coming from an idiot like you? You don't even go to the daily briefing.

Trump statement in defense of the indefensible, via PoliticusUSA:
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue1 to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens2 and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.3 We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows,4 but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.5 The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.6 To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.7 This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected8 by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days. I have tremendous feeling9 for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
1 Not to be too nitpicky, what compassion-demonstrating activities do you intend to "continue"? If these fleeing oppression are refugees, all you've done as president so far is yesterday's action slamming the door in their faces. Not to mention remorselessly destroying the careers of students, medical professionals, scientists, teachers, and entrepreneurs and violently separating families among the non-refugees as well. You can't "continue" doing something you haven't started yet.

2 Protecting our citizens from what? No fatal attack has ever been carried out on US soil by people born in any of the seven countries listed in the executive order (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen), while numerous mass murders have been committed by citizens of Saudi Arabia (15), the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Kenya, and of course the United States (23; six of them to parents of Middle Eastern origin). Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt, of course, are countries where Donald J. Trump has business interests; none of the seven countries on the list are.

3 Heh.

4 I beg your pardon, this is literally senseless. The media cannot possibly "know" that Donald J. Trump will keep the US free and safe, unless they are endowed with the power of prophecy, in which case you'd think they'd have been able to forecast the ascent to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. They may think he'll keep the country free and safe, or they may not, but they certainly don't know one way or the other. Trump may think he knows, but he's wrong about that too.

The free part isn't looking so good at the moment, starting with Trump's open distaste for journalists "refusing" to report his irrational beliefs as true, and his statement that he and the media have a "running war", or Stephen Bannon's remarkable statement to The Times earlier this week:

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview on Wednesday.
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Keep your mouth shut and quote what I say without comment. Then there are the developments of Customs and Border Protection agents following White House instructions and refusing to obey Judge Donnelly's injunction shutting down further deportations (backed up in an investigation by Broooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and there's some anonymous reporting that Trump is personally encouraging them to ignore the judge's order), the report that the government may require all foreign visitors to provide a list of the contacts on their cell phones (there have already been cases of Green Card holders arriving in airports being handcuffed, "having their social media reviewed" and being questioned as to their views on Trump), and this super-creepy Denver cop:

Also this thing about the Director of National Intelligence (acting director Mike Dempsey pending the Senate's confirmation of Trump's nominee Dan Coats) and chairman of the Joint Chiefs getting disinvited from National Security Council meetings while Stephen Bannon gets to go sounds like a real palace coup, meant to concentrate power inside the White House, and that anonymous inside source (if you believe it, which I kind of do), reinforces the thought:

And as far as safe goes, the last time we had a president who wouldn't listen to or read the intelligence community daily briefing was August 6 2001 ("You've covered your ass"), so I'm not too confident about that either.

5 False. I don't much admire the Obama administration's policy on Syrian refugees up until last year some time (though I understand the Republicans must take most of the blame for it), but this case has no relation or similarity to the idiocy ongoing this weekend.

On the receipt of some evidence from the FBI that some Iraqi bomb makers might have managed to enter the US, stopped the processing of Iraqi refugee applications for six months in 2011. They did not ban anybody, they did not deport anybody; in fact nobody even knew it was going on until 2013, when it was first reported. They just slowed down the process, which was already incredibly slow, effectively cutting the number of Iraq refugees admitted from around 20,000 in 2010 to under 10,000 in 2011. It was at the FBI's instance, whereas the Trump ban is counter to the advice of all the intelligence agencies, and for real reasons, while Trump's isn't motivated by any evidence at all, and it's a noisy, chaotic, and embarrassing disgrace as well as being extraordinarily publicly cruel.

6 Also false. It wasn't a concern that terrorists were coming  from the seven countries listed in the relevant Department of Homeland Security announcement (February 2016) but that terrorists from other countries might be going to those countries, where they might have had contact with hostile forces. And it wasn't about banning anybody, but about requiring them to apply for visas, if they were nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries (western Europe, Japan and South Korea, and Australia and New Zealand); if a French person had visited Somalia any time since 2011, she or he would need to apply for a visa to visit the US (for some of that vetting, though perhaps not Xtreme; people from the seven countries, and from almost all of the world's non-white countries, had and have to get visas in any case). Not quite the same as landing at JFK in the morning and getting rushed back to Somalia before you got to leave the airport.

7 It most certainly is. Rodolfo Giuliani let the cat out of the bag in a Fox News appearance last night, just as he did in early November on his rogue FBI friends' plan to torpedo Clinton's election; the fool can't keep his mouth shut for anything if he has something self-aggrandizing to say:
“When he first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban,’” Giuliani said in a Fox News interview. “He called me up and said, ‘Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.’”
Giuliani put the commission together to put lipstick on that pig. It's still a Muslim ban, but in drag.

8 It's not an effective Muslim ban, of course. That's not its purpose. Why would Trump want to alienate all his rich friends from KSA and UAE and Egypt? Its purpose is to look as if he's keeping a promise he has no intention of keeping, and he doesn't care who gets hurt in the process. And presumably to generally help along with the destruction of everything, as per Bannon's personal yearnings:
 “I’m a Leninist,” Mr. Bannon was quoted as saying by a writer for The Daily Beast who met him at a party in 2014. He later said he did not recall the conversation. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too,” the site quoted him as saying. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
9 Lol, really? I bet it's Huge.

Update: New York Times at its best (it does have a best): Michael Shear and Ron Nixon on the order's chaotic invention.

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