Here’s the Trump/Republican agenda

Today we get an idea of what Trump and Republicans want to do:

The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from the six countries does not apply to those who already have valid visas or people with U.S. green cards.

According to the fact sheet, the Department of Homeland Security will conduct a country-by-country review of the information the six targeted nations provide to the U.S. for visa and immigration decisions. Those countries will then have 50 days to comply with U.S. government requests to update or improve that information.

Additionally, Trump’s order suspends the entire U.S. refugee program for 120 days, though refugees already formally scheduled for travel by the State Department will be allowed entry. When the suspension is lifted, the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. will be capped at 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.

This will probably cut the number of visitors to the US, cut the number of students who want to go to college in the US, and cut the number of people who want to work in the US. This will cost millions of jobs and redirect some of the best and brightest to Europe and Canada.

House Republicans on Monday released their long-awaited plan for unraveling former President Barack Obama’s health care law, a package that would scale back the government’s role in health care and likely leave more Americans uninsured.

House committees planned to begin voting on the 123-page legislation Wednesday, launching what could be the year’s defining battle in Congress.

GOP success is by no means a slam dunk. In perhaps their riskiest political gamble, the plan is expected to cover fewer than the 20 million people insured under Obama’s overhaul, including many residents of states carried by President Donald Trump in November’s election.

The proposal would continue the expansion of Medicaid to additional low-earning Americans until 2020. After that, states adding Medicaid recipients would no longer receive the additional federal funds Obama’s law has provided.

More significantly, Republicans would overhaul the federal-state Medicaid program, changing its open-ended federal financing to a limit based on enrollment and costs in each state.

The changes also might crash the individual market to make it impossible for tens of millions of Americans to get health insurance. That would be a plus for Republicans.

However, it was the next phrase Carson uttered that landed him in hot water.

“There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less,” Carson said. “But they too had a dream that one day, their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters. . . might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land. And do you know of all the nations in the world, this one, the United States of America, is the only one big enough and great enough to allow all those people to realize their dream.”

Ok, that seems a little unfair. Well:

The original nine plaintiffs claim that detainees are forced to work without pay and that those who refuse to do so are threatened with solitary confinement.

Specifically, the lawsuit claims, six detainees are selected at random every day and forced to clean the facility’s housing units. The lawsuit claims the practice violates the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which prohibits modern-day slavery.

‘‘Forced labor is a particular violation of the statute that we’ve alleged,’’ Free said. ‘‘Whether you’re calling it forced labor or slavery, the practical reality for the plaintiffs is much the same. You’re being compelled to work against your will under the threat of force or use of force.’’

This has been going on for a while so it’s not just the new administration, except that President Obama tried to cut back on private prisons for this type of reason and the Trump administration wants to expand them:

Notably, the stocks of the two biggest private prison operators, Geo Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America), have surged since Trump’s election. The companies donated a total of $500,000 to Trump’s inaugural festivities, USA Today reported.

Since Trump took office, his administration has reversed the Obama administration’s policy to end the country’s reliance on private prisons.

And if a little slavery slips in, well all for the better. Just ask Ben Carson–immigration and slavery are basically the same thing.

Stay there

Ben Carson went to visit Syrian refugees in Jordan:

After meeting with refugees at a camp in Jordan, Carson, 64, told CNN that “their true desire is to be resettled in Syria.”

“But they are satisfied to be in the refugee camps if the refugee camps are adequately funded. Recognize that in these camps they have schools, they have recreational facilities that are really quite nice. And there (are) all kind of things that make life more tolerable,” he added.

Speaking from Jordan, told ABC’s “This Week” program: “We’re hearing that they all want to come here to the United States, and that’s not what they want. They want to go back home.”

In the ABC interview, Carson called for increased U.S. aid for regional refugee efforts such as those in Jordan.

“I believe that the right policy is to support the refugee program that is in place, that works extremely well but does not have adequate funding,” Carson said. “If you do that, you solve that problem without exposing the American people to a population that could be infiltrated with terrorists who want to destroy us.”

Of course they want to go home, but there’s a bit of a problem–Syria’s in the midst of a civil war involving at least three sides. What about that?

Carson said that Islamic State should be defeated quickly and criticized the current U.S. strategy as “piecemeal.”

“I think we need to work in close conjunction with our Department of Defense, with our Pentagon, with our experts. Ask them what do you need in order to accomplish this? And then, let’s make a decision,” he told NBC.

Carson went over to Jordan because he is perceived, rightly, as being very weak on foreign policy. Somehow I don’t think announcements like this will help. He has no idea of what defeating ISIS involves and he seems to have no idea that the refugees might want to go home but know they can’t right now. They also might be satisfied with being in a refugee camp, but they don’t want to live there long term–Carson might have noticed that more than a million have tried to make their way into Europe. Or maybe he hasn’t noticed.

Ben Carson is one crazy person

Here’s Ben Carson from a commencement speech (the video is here) he made back in 1998:

“Now, my own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson continued. “Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big — when you stop and think about it, and I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time — to store that much grain.”

“And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for a reason. And various of scientists have said, ‘Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they had special knowledge and that’s how they were —’ you know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you.

“That’s really the key. People may not even be able to explain what it is that you’re accomplishing, but they don’t have to be able to explain it when God is there. All you have to be able to do is to accept his presence and his total understanding of everything and link yourself with that. What a difference that makes. It makes you calm.”

“I remember once, a few years ago, there were about eight or nine panelists. They were all Nobel Prize-winners. And the question came up: how did life originate? And after all their machinations, they finally came to the conclusion that life emanated as a result of a bunch of promiscuous biochemicals getting together. That was the best that they could come up with.”

“I recently had a discussion with a well-known physicist. He was talking about the Big Bang Theory and how all this obviously culminated into this wonderful, extraordinarily organized solar system that we now have, which you can set your watch by, where scientists can predict 70 years away when a comet is coming. That’s an incredible amount of organization to have originated from just a large explosion.”

“Well of course he has no answer for that. They never have an answer for any of these things,” he concludes, broadening his story into a universal. “And see that’s the wonderful thing about having a relationship with God. God has already told us what happened, so we don’t have to come up with fanciful theories so that we can take the place of God. We don’t have to do that.”

So, Ben Carson has no clue about history (or archaeology), no clue about evolution, no clue about the physics, but, hey, he believes in God so he’s good. And he’s leading in polls for the Republican nomination. Makes me proud to be an American.

%d bloggers like this: