Trump wants to block all Muslims

The LA Times talks about the goal of the travel ban:

Trump’s top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.

That project may live or die in the next three months, as the Trump administration reviews whether and how to expand the visa ban and alter vetting procedures. White House aides are considering new, onerous security checks that could effectively limit travel into the U.S. by people from majority-Muslim countries to a trickle.

and why they’re doing it:

The trio, who make up part of Trump’s inner circle, have a dark view of refugee and immigration flows from majority-Muslim countries, believing that if large numbers of Muslims are allowed to enter the U.S., parts of American cities will begin to replicate disaffected and disenfranchised immigrant neighborhoods in France, Germany and Belgium that have been home to perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years.

Within decades, Americans would have “the kind of large and permanent domestic terror threat that becomes multidimensional and multigenerational and becomes sort of a permanent feature,” one senior administration official argued.

“We don’t want a situation where, 20 to 30 years from now, it’s just like a given thing that on a fairly regular basis there is domestic terror strikes, stores are shut up or that airports have explosive devices planted, or people are mowed down in the street by cars and automobiles and things of that nature,” the official said.

These are the same kind of statements that have in the past included the Irish, Italians, Greeks, and Jews, among others. It is typical of racist xenophobes like Trump and Bannon. Umm, let’s look at some murder rates:

  • United States: 3.9 per 100,000
  • Belgium: 1.8
  • France: 1.2
  • Germany: 0.9

I would hate for the US to become one of those violent hellholes.

Boston welcomes immigrants

Boston telling Trump they support immigrants:

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Trump: let’s be nasty and make the US less safe

So, President Trump has decided to go the anti-life route:

President Trump signed an order Friday to suspend admission of all refugees for 120 days while a new system is put in place to tighten vetting for those from predominantly Muslim countries and give preference to religious minorities. Trump said that the goal is to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists” and that priority for admission would be given to Christians.

People are given refugee status if there is a danger to staying in their country, so it’s almost certain that people will die because of this order.

Also, Trump he wants to give priority to Christians, but Kevin Drum notices that the country that sent the most refugees to the US last year was the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is a majority Christian country. He can’t even discriminate against Muslims right.

The order went into affect immediately so even people who were in the air when it was signed have been blocked. Let’s look at some:

The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was coming to the United States to join his wife, who had worked for a U.S. contractor, and young son, the lawyers said. They said both men had been detained at the airport Friday night after arriving on separate flights.

So, Iraqis who had helped US troops and had been given permission to enter the US after a long screening process were blocked. Given they were targeted because they helped the US, I wonder how many Iraqis will be willing to help US troops in the future? If fewer Iraqis are willing to help, that will make the job more dangerous for US troops. Thanks Donald.

As an aside, a coincidence has been noticed:

The order would place a 30-day stop to visas for immigrant and visitor visas for travelers from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, all Muslim-majority countries whose citizens the order says “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” But it would not affect travelers from all Muslim countries — the ban does not apply to Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, which by complete coincidence are all countries where the Trump Organization has business interests.
If this was anyone other than Trump, everyone would know it really was a coincidence but with Trump you never know.
Note: The ACLU has filed suit on the behalf of the refugees that were blocked. It might be a good time to support the ACLU.

Hey, why not bring back torture?

So, we are supposed to give Donald Trump a chance? Let’s see what he has done:

  • he signed the global gag rule which prohibits groups that get money from the US government from even mentioning abortion.
  • His administration wants to turn Medicaid into block grants and then increase it slower than the rate of medical inflation–in other words, cut it.
  • His pick for budget director wants to cut Medicare and Social Security.
  • When the EPA sent out a tweet that Trump didn’t like, he instituted a media blackout.
  • He is breaking constitutional law already.
  • His pick for Education Secretary hasn’t been involved in public education and doesn’t even know some of the basic elements being discussed.
  • He has signed documents supporting the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline.
  • He will sign an order to build his stupid wall and implement racist immigration policies.
  • He says he will order an investigation into non-existent voter fraud because he can’t accept that Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than he did.
  • His administration lies so much, they’ve decided to change what lies are called–now they’re alternative facts.

I could go on and on and on. And he’s been in power for less than a week.

Oh yeah, he wants to bring back torture, black sites, and start sending more people to Guantanamo.

Fuck this guy.

Trump doesn’t want anyone to know what the government does

Well, this is fun:

Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.

The Trump administration has also ordered what it called a temporary suspension of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders were expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide.

Similar orders barring external communications have been issued by the Trump administration at other federal agencies in recent days, including the Agriculture and Interior departments.

Well, if by fun you mean the potential destruction of our democracy. That sounds melodramatic, but a democracy can’t survive without free and open information–that’s why a Free Press is part of the Constitution. Now, we do get this:

Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump’s transition team at EPA, said he expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week.

‘‘We’re just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration,’’ Ericksen said.

If true that’s good but since these prohibitions because the Interior Department sent out a Tweet which showed how much smaller the crowds were at Trump’s inauguration than they were at Obama’s in 2009, don’t be surprised if these types of prohibitions become common in the years ahead.

Women’s March

Poor Donald Trump, the crowd at the inauguration was so small  he felt the need to lie about it:

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said, less than a minute after declaring that “no one had numbers” because the National Park Service, which controls the Mall, does not release crowd estimates.

One verifiable number that Spicer offered was that ridership on Washington’s subway system on Friday was higher than for Obama’s inauguration four years ago. Spicer said that 420,000 people rode Metro on Friday, while only 317,000 did so for Obama in 2013. Both of these numbers are inaccurate. Nearly 571,000 people rode on Friday, and 782,000 rode on Inauguration Day four years ago, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

And even worse for him:

Demonstrators came to Washington from around the country, sometimes sleeping on the couches of people they had never met. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Metro had recorded more than 597,000 trips, a weekend ridership record. By comparison, as of 4 p.m. on Inauguration Day, there were 368,000 trips.

And that’s just in Washington, DC. There were marches in hundreds of locations around the country. Here are some numbers I’ve gathered (I might add links later):

DC, more than 500,000
Chicago, about 250,000
NY, up to 400,000
Boston, about 175,000
Philadelphia, more than 50,000
St Paul, 90-100,000
LA, estimates range750,000
Seattle, about 120,000
Oakland, about 60,000
Atlanta, about 60,000
Portland, about 100,000
Denver, up to 200,000
Madison, Wisconsin, 75-100,000
The list goes on and on .. Portland, Maine had 10,000, Concord, NH about 3-5000, Montpelier, VT 15-20,000 …

The Women’s March says there were 673 marches around the world with a total estimate of 4.7 million. Now those are big numbers Donald.

Update: there is an attempt to get a good estimate here (story here). They estimate there was a total of between 3.3 and 4.6 million marchers in the US.

Let’s cut jobs so we can increase pollution

In a shocking move (or, you know, the opposite of that), the Trump administration has already taken down the page on climate change at whitehouse.gov (I’m taking this from the Vox article, because I’m not going to link to a Trump anything today):

For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.

Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.

The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.

Well, let’s look at the job report for the energy sector:

The 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) finds that the Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors today employ approximately 6.4 million Americans. These sectors increased in 2016 by just under 5 percent, adding over 300,000 net new jobs, roughly 14% of all those created in the country.

Hmm, looks like the energy sector is doing ok already.

Electric Power Generation and Fuels technologies directly employ more than 1.9 million workers. In 2016, 55 percent, or 1.1 million, of these employees worked in traditional coal, oil, and gas, while almost 800,000 workers were employed in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear, and advanced/low emission natural gas. Just under 374,000 individuals work, in whole or in part, for solar firms, with more than 260,000 of those employees spending the majority of their time on solar. There are an additional 102,000 workers employed at wind firms across the nation. The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, while wind employment increased by 32%.

The 2017 USEER also shows that 2.2 million Americans are employed, in whole or in part, in the design, installation, and manufacture of Energy Efficiency products and services, adding 9133,000 jobs in 2016. (Energy Efficiency employment is defined as the production or installation of energy efficiency products certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program or installed pursuant to the ENERGY STAR® program guidelines or supporting services thereof). Almost 1.4 million Energy Efficiency jobs are in the construction industry. In addition, construction firms involved in the Energy Efficiency sector have experienced an increase in the percentage of their workers who spend at least 50% of their time on Energy Efficiency-related work, rising from 64.8 percent in 2015 to 74.0 percent in 2016. Finally, an improved USEER survey methodology identified almost 290,000 manufacturing jobs, producing Energy Star® certified products and energy efficient building materials in the United States.

Hmm, it looks like clean energy production is doing really well. It seems to be the wave of the future. Of course, this means Trump will concentrate on oil and gas, thus not only increasing the amount of pollution but allowing other countries to jump ahead in the sectors of energy production that are growing by leaps and bounds. Good job.

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