Trump Fires Acting AG, Get With the Program
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 31
You’re Fired!: President Trump fired Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates last night after she ordered Justice Department lawyers to stop defending and enforcing the president’s immigration and travel ban from seven Muslim countries. Dana J. Boente, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was immediately named to replace Yates until the appointment of a permanent attorney general.
Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, earlier in the day had written a letter to Justice Department lawyers saying, “I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
A White House statement said Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”
It was the first open conflict as Trump seeks to roll back years of practices and policies throughout the government, including some followed by previous Republican presidents. Yates would have had to be certain she would be fired when she issued her letter to department lawyers.
The incident took place as thousands of protesters across the country continued a third night of demonstrations against Trump’s immigration order.
Love it or Leave: State Department employees unhappy with President Trump’s order can quit if they don’t like it, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters yesterday. “I think they should either get with the program or they can go,” Spicer said.
Trump’s executive order puts a 90-day immigration ban on citizens from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq. It also imposes a 120-day ban on admitting all refugees and an indefinite halt for refugees from Syria.
About 100 State Department employees have been preparing a “dissent cable” to be sent through official channels. Employees have been allowed to express their dissent since the Vietnam War. But Spicer said the president has an agenda for peace, “And if somebody has a problem with that agenda, then that does call into question whether or not they should continue in that post or not.”
A couple of illiterate double negatives there, but you get the idea.
Also yesterday, 100 former administrators who served presidents of both parties, signed a letter calling for Trump to “revisit and rescind” his recent executive order on immigration and refugees.
President Obama’s spokesman released a statement saying the former president “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Speaking at a rally in front of the Supreme Court last night, NY Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Trump’s order “is against what America is all about.”
President Trump tweeted, “Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?”
To Your Health: Today is the last day this year, and possibly ever, for Americans seeking health insurance to sign up un the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Republicans and the president have already begun the process of gutting and repealing Obamacare. Administrators say there’s been a rush to sign up before Obamacare goes away, even though the Trump administration withdrew the government’s advertising campaign in the past several days. At least 20 million people are insured under Obamacare.
Stroke of the Pen: Amidst all the other noise, President Trump yesterday signed an order requiring all federal agencies to kill two regulations for every new one they impose. Trump promised during his campaign that he would cut regulations. His order also sets an annual cap on the cost of new regulations.
His order does not apply to regulations mandated by law, or most of the financial reform rules of the Obama administration.
Oh, Canada: The suspect in the Quebec mosque shooting is 27-year-old French-Canadian student, Alexandre Bissonnette, who is described as having extreme conservative political views.
Scout’s Honor: In a move that indicates the Boy Scouts of America are preparing to accept transgender scouts, the organization announced that it will honor the gender prospective scouts note on their applications. Getting with changes in both society and gender, the Scouts chief officer said, “We realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient.”
The whole BSA has earned a gender acceptance achievement badge.