Did You Wake Up This Morning In A Protesting Mood?

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Trump’s so-called travel – but as Trump was never shy about telling his movement, in reality Muslim – ban. Worse, in the interim between now and when the high court rules on the case, the revised executive order is partially enforceable.

In concrete terms this means

foreigners with ties or relationships in the United States would not be prohibited from entering the country. But, those applying for visas who had never been here, or had no family, business or other ties could be prohibited.

The rightmost flank of justices would have gone further.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, dissented from part of the court’s opinion. They said they would have revived the travel ban in its entirety while the court considered the case.

“I fear that the court’s remedy will prove unworkable,” Justice Thomas wrote.

“Today’s compromise will burden executive officials with the task of deciding — on peril of contempt — whether individuals from the six affected nations who wish to enter the United States have a sufficient connection to a person or entity in this country.”

“The compromise also will invite a flood of litigation until this case is finally resolved on the merits, as parties and courts struggle to determine what exactly constitutes a ‘bona fide relationship,’ who precisely has a ‘credible claim’ to that relationship, and whether the claimed relationship was formed ‘simply to avoid’ the executive order, Justice Thomas wrote, quoting from the majority opinion.

Do you have fight left in you? Do you still possess the capacity to rally and rage? The ban continues to be an inflection point on the strictures or lack thereof on Donald Trump’s power. It’s a major bullet point on his fascist agenda. The president claims he has a mandate from Americans to enforce it.

Fight it like you mean it. Scream so loud your dissent can’t be ignored.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Fifty-Eight)

Ten Fun Facts: Andrew Jackson Edition

You’ve seen him on your twenty dollar bills, but how much do you really know about Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of these here United States?

1. Andrew Jackson was immensely proud of his coiffure. He greased it with whale blubber every dawn and again before he went to sleep, earning him the famous nickname “Old Blubberhead”. Jackson in turn affectionately dubbed his hair “My most majestic follicles.”

2. Between 1832 and 1833, Jackson’s Vice President was the mysterious No One. I struggled to dig up any information on him other than his name and I haven’t been able to find anything. Why has this been erased from the national memory? Is there a dark secret involved? Does this have anything to do with a national treasure?

3. If Donald Trump’s feelings about Andrew Jackson could be summed up in one word, that word would be “megaboner”. Trump has such a tumescence for Jackson that one of the first things he did after his inauguration ceremony was dig out an old painting of Jackson to hang in the Oval Office.

This week Trump laid a wreath on Jackson’s tomb at the Hermitage and gave his dusty old bones a salute. Why does Trump feel such a connection to the man? Like Trump, Jackson was a populist; like Trump, Jackson had distinct hair; like Trump, Jackson did all he could to make Other people go away.

4. If there was one thing Jackson excelled at, it was racism. He owned 110 slaves (which was the style at the time) and was responsible for the Indian Removal Act. The IRA amounted to a culturally and physically genocidal policy, as it resulted in the displacement and deaths of thousands of indigenous peoples. You may have heard of this before. It’s known as the Trail of Tears.

5. Andrew Jackson fought up to 100 duels in his lifetime, even killing a man in 1806. Upon reflection, I suppose there were two things Jackson excelled at: racism and surviving duels.

6. Say what you will about the man, but he could throw one hell of a cheese party.

7. Andy was a gambling junkie. One time, he lost a considerable amount of money betting on a cockfight. He had to hand over Lyncoya, the orphan child he had adopted after finding him on a battlefield, to pay the debt. He then challenged Lyncoya’s new guardian to a duel and won the child back, and thus narrowly averted winning the “Worst Dad of the Year” award.

8. Jackson was responsible for something else you’ve heard of: The Democratic Party. So if you were in search of someone to thank for the donkey clan, look no further than Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson.

9. Jackson died at his plantation The Hermitage, having lived to the ripe old age of 78. It was a national tragedy. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing he had died much earlier, whether during a slave revolt, one of his many duels, in battle against an indigenous tribe, a particularly painful wasting sickness or simply from tripping and falling down the stairs. There are many ways to die, and I don’t see why Old Blubberhead had to putter around mucking things up for so long.

10. Andrew Jackson hated paper money. It seems only fitting then that paper currency displaying his visage is jammed up people’s noses so they can get stupid high.

(Year Zero/Day Fifty-Seven)

A Defanged Order? Not Quite.

Trump’s reboot of his “Muslim ban” executive order reads half like a poorly-edited Wikipedia article and half like a pseudo-intellectual high schooler’s Livejournal rants about how the “normies” just don’t understand. If Stephen Miller was in charge of writing it, the analogy is especially apt.

Our opinion on the whole deranged anti-immigration project has not changed substantively. The emphasis on protecting religious minorities in other countries (read: Christians) was removed, but taking into account the administration’s long-standing rhetoric and the language of the first executive order, that’s transparently a legal hedge for future court cases. Gone is the inclusion of Iraq in the list of countries affected by the ban; gone too is the indefinite revocation of asylum to Syrian refugees. Visa holders will be exempt, and the ban won’t take effect until March 16th to avoid chaos at airports – or bad optics.

But the ugly spirit of the order remains. Once the ban ends, if indeed it survives injunctions, the Refugee Admission Program will be forced to cut off yearly admissions into the United States at 50,000. USRAP had planned to admit 110,000 refugees in 2017. Given the distance between now and January 2021, we should not take much comfort at one “defanged” but still awful and xenophobic executive order.

(Year Zero/Day Forty-Six)

Are You Ready For Travel Ban 2.0?

After a vigorous public reaction and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the “Muslim Ban” executive order, the Associated Press is reporting the Trump administration has regrouped. A new travel ban will be issued on Wednesday.

Trump initially planned to sign the new order last week, but spokesman Sean Spicer said the president was holding off “to make sure that when we execute this, it’s done in a manner that’s flawless.”

Translation: this time there were a lot more lawyers at their meetings. How the new order will differ from the old remains to be seen, but if I had to venture a guess I’d say “just enough that it has a better chance of winning the court cases that are sure to come.”

It may just be a coincidence that Trump apparatchiks have spent the last few weeks hammering home the risible notion that spontaneous uprisings of protesters are actually professional provocateurs, making fortunes on the Soros payroll. A more likely explanation is, as has been the case with the media, Trumpland functionaries have been testing how far they can delegitimize the opposition before their next big move.

That’s the story I’m sticking with until George sends me a check.