Refugee Ban Uproar, Liar Liar
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 29
Paper Wall: As thousands of protesters gathered at airports across the country yesterday, a federal judge in Brooklyn granted the ACLU’s request to stop the deportation of everyone detained as a result of the president’s immigration order. Protesters had gathered at airports in New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles objecting to President Trump’s new temporarily banning refugees from seven Muslim countries.
Refugees who were on airplanes when Trump signed his order were detained at airports in the US when they landed. At some foreign airports, travelers were blocked from boarding their flights and one family was removed from a plane before it took off. Students studying at American universities were barred from returning to school. The Iranian director of an Oscar-nominated film won’t be able to go to the awards.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, “It’s not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely.”
Because of Trump’s order, authorities turned away people who had gone through all the required vetting and held valid visas. Among those turned away were an Iranian scientist who had received a grant to study cardiovascular medicine at Harvard and a Syrian family of six that had been living in a Turkish refugee camp since 2014. Some of those turned away were holders of US green cards on the path to citizenship.
Some people were released after spending Friday night in custody.
The consequences of Trump’s order set off immediate outrage around the world while immigration lawyers in the US began filing lawsuits to overturn the executive order. Thousands of people whose lives have been interrupted are figuring out what to do. A NY Times editorial posted during the day described Trump’s order as a “bigoted, cowardly, self-defeating policy.”
Pravda: In a telephone conversation yesterday, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to a Kremlin announcement. A Kremlin spokesman said the two presidents had also talked about Ukraine and building stronger economic ties between the United States and Russia.
Hanging in the balance are economic sanctions placed on Russia after it seized Crimea, and again after Russian hackers tried to influence the US election.
Shakeup: Trump has rejiggered the organization of the National Security Council, demoting the military and giving a seat to his advisor Steve Bannon, former editor of the white-supremacist news website Breitbart News. The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs of staff will attend only when invited.
Gaslighting: Trump went on a Twitter attack yesterday morning against the NY Times and Washington Post after a week of unflattering coverage. “The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS! Thr coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its….. …dwindling subscribers and readers. They got me wrong right from the beginning and still have not changed course, and never will. DISHONEST”
The president appears to take any story that does not praise him as a lie or “fake news.” The Washington Post published a list of 23 things Trump said in his first week in office that were misleading, false, or “flights of fancy.” Among them:
– “I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I have received awards on the environment.” — None that anyone can find.
– “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” — No evidence to support that.
– “We had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.” — Not even close.
– “When President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech.” — Didn’t happen, according to Chicago PD.
– “Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady — I mean just terribly increasing.” — It’s been dropping for 10 years.
World: Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, signed an order that would give six million women in that predominantly Catholic country free government-distributed contraception and reproductive health services.
In a move counter to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, Duterte described the order as an antipoverty measure, with an official calling it “pro-life, pro-women, pro-children and pro-economic development.”
End Note: Nothing is funny today.