Judge Blocks Trump, “What is She Doing?”
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 35
The Travel Ban: A federal judge in Seattle has temporarily blocked President Trump’s ban on travel and immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Airlines that had been refusing to board valid visa holders from the seven countries were told last night to resume accepting those passengers.
The full implications of the decision are not clear because Judge James Robart did not issue a written decision, but he said the federal government is “arguing that we have to protect the US from individuals from these countries, and there’s no support for that.”
The White House called the judge’s order “outrageous” and said it would appeal as soon as possible. Two weeks into his presidency, Trump is in a fight that could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
In Virginia, there were gasps in a courtroom when a lawyer for the government told a federal judge yesterday that as many as 100,000 visas have been revoked since President Trump’s order banning travel and immigration from the seven Muslim countries. A State Department lawyer later said it was fewer than 60,000.
Judge Leonie Brinkema of Federal District Court in Alexandria said of Trump’s order, “It’s quite clear it was not all that thought out. As a result there has been chaos.”
Trust Us: President Trump has begun moving to dismantle the financial rules enacted after the 2008 meltdown designed to protect investors from bad or self-serving advice from brokers. He wants to get rid of the rule that says financial advisors must act in the interest of their customers, not themselves.
Trump’s target is the Dodd-Frank act, which places a lot of responsibility on banks and investment houses to be prepared to absorb a huge economic downturn without endangering the financial system.
Trump said he is acting both to help Wall Street and the workers he championed during his election campaign. “We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can’t borrow money,” Mr. Trump said in the State Dining Room during his meeting with business leaders. “They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow it because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.”
Contra Iran: As threatened, the Trump’s administration placed sanctions against Iran for its recent ballistic missile test. Trump tweeted, “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”
Honest Conflict: Vincent Viola, a billionaire trader who was Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew his name from consideration because it would have been too difficult to untangle his business interests.
Econ 101: The economy added 227,000 jobs last month, an unexpected increase. Unemployment ticked up as more people entered the market looking for work. Wages have not grown in pace with employment increases, suggesting that there are still more workers available than jobs.
The Intel: A terrorist video released Friday by the Pentagon to demonstrate the value of intelligence collected in the near-disastrous Navy SEAL raid in Yemen turned out to be 10 years old. A member of SEAL Team 6 was killed in the action. The video was about making explosives and a Pentagon spokesman said, “Even though the video is old, it shows their intent.” Like we didn’t know before.
Check and Mate: National Public Radio reports that the following was some of the narration by the announcer in the final match of the Gibraltar Chess Championships:
“What’s going on? What the hell is going on? What. Is. Going. On??”
“Has she gone mental?”
“I’ve done this kind of bet when I’ve been extremely drunk with my friends.”
Announcer Simon Williams was describing the moves made by Hou Yifan, a Chinese grandmaster nicknamed the “Queen of Chess,” who managed to lose her final match in just five moves against India’s Lalith Babu.
Hou later complained that she was off her game because 7 of her 10 final matches were against women.