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)

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.

The Widening Gyre

The implications of the issuance of the executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” can be grasped instantaneously. A wait-and-see approach isn’t needed, as is often the case when made party to a fateful undertaking. Were one to witness a maniac abducting a stranger off the street, dragging them into their garage, tying them to a chair and dousing them in kerosene, the implication is the stranger will be be immolated unless the maniac is incapacitated.

The Trump administration has doused the “your kind” that “we don’t like around here” with kerosene and is looking for a match. “Enhancing Public Safety” indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from being given asylum in the United States and will block upwards of 500,000 legal U.S. residents from returning home. That’s people with green cards and visas whose futures have been displaced. They already submitted to careful vetting by the federal government. Mainstream liberals would say their dues had been paid.

The alacrity with which these discriminatory edicts have rolled out points to their status as a vanguard to more draconian actions. Here we pause for a reminder, because it feels necessary to keep us in the proper context : Donald Trump was inaugurated a little over a week ago. His initial flurry of executive orders is setting the table, bending the stick… whatever turn of phrase drives home Trump and co. are on page two of their novel (come to think of it, that’s not too bad a metaphor either).

Of especial concern is the re-definition of what constitutes deportation-eligible criminality.

Mr. Trump’s order focuses on anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense, even if it has not led to a conviction. He also includes, according to language in the order, anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense,” meaning anyone the authorities believe has broken any type of law — regardless of whether that person has been charged with a crime.

Mr. Trump’s order also includes anyone who has engaged in “fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency,” a category that includes anyone who has used a false Social Security number to obtain a job, as many unauthorized immigrants do. Anyone who has received a final order to leave the country, but has not left, is also considered a priority.

Finally, he allows the targeting of anyone who “in the judgment of an immigration officer” poses a risk to either public safety or national security. That gives immigration officers the broad authority they have been pressing for, and no longer requires them to receive a review from a supervisor before targeting individuals.

Experts on policing and the functions of the American criminal justice system – whether academically or through real-world experience – are quick to point out that if a cop wants to pull someone over or have a “quick talk” on the street they’ll do so without compunction. Not only are there scads of municipal and state misdemeanors that are selectively enforced, terminology like “person of interest” and “reasonable suspicion” give maximal legal C.Y.A.

On top of already established precedent, Trump has given police and immigration officers carte blanche to target any member of a vulnerable population they suspect of thinking of a crime before making them “illegal”. Places like Chicago and Los Angeles are asserting themselves as proud sanctuary cities, and the entire state of California is entertaining the idea of defunding its contributions to the Feds. While admirable, they almost certainly won’t do enough to stop a vortex that’s been growing since June of 2015.


(Year Zero/Day Nine)