Tag Archives: refugee ban

Who’s POTUS calling a ‘so-called judge’?

Donald J. Trump, meet your newest nemesis, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart.

The president has called Robart a “so-called judge” because he had the nerve to halt the president’s ban on refugees entering the United States from Muslim-majority countries.

If I might be so brazen, my inclination is to wonder aloud — given Trump’s love of Twitter as his primary attack medium — whether he could be labeled a “so-called president.”

Nah … I won’t go there.

There’s not a damn thing “so-called” about Robart, who was appointed to the federal bench in western Washington state by President George W. Bush.

According to NBC News: “He (Robart) suggested in court that Trump’s 90-day entry ban on people from the countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen was not ‘rationally based,’ since no one from any those countries had been arrested in the U.S. on terrorism-related charges since 9/11.”

There’s more: “‘I’m sorry, there’s no other way to put it,’ Robarts said from the bench. ‘It’s Keystone Cops. It really is. And that’s not just me speaking, that’s Republican members of Congress.'”

The president doesn’t like being criticized by anyone. Not by the media, or political foes or by judges who disagree with his decisions. His mode of response? Twitter! He tweeted: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”


Judge Robart is doing what he believes his oath requires him to do, which is to interpret federal law to see if it squares against the U.S. Constitution.

Robart is a Seattle native, he received his undergraduate degree in Walla Walla, Wash., got his law degree at Georgetown and practice law in Seattle from 1973 until 2004, when President Bush tapped for him for the federal bench; the Senate approved his nomination.

There’s nothing “so-called” about this fellow, Mr. President.

Pipe down and let the system play out.

Is this an anti-Muslim rule … or not?

Donald J. Trump swears up and down, left and right — puts his hand on a stack of Bibles and says “Scout’s honor” for all I know — that his ban against refugees is not an “anti-Muslim” initiative.

The president, though, has delivered to our enemies a prime-time, gold-and-silver-plated recruitment tool.

He calls our enemies “radical Islamic terrorists.” Yes, they are.

They also are experts at distorting people’s intentions, even their very words, twisting them into propaganda fodder.

What the president has done is create a climate for terrorists such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda to target American Muslims to join their fight against the “infidels.” He also has delivered to a much wider audience the very message that his two immediate predecessors — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack H. Obama — fought like hell to avoid delivering. Presidents Bush and Obama said clearly: We are not at war with Islam! The enemies are the monstrous murderers who have perverted a great religion.

Now we have the potential for the precise opposite message being delivered to those who might be inclined to join a radical militant movement, to take up arms and to join the fight against the rest of the civilized world.

The president of the United States is expected to speak with absolute clarity and precision. When we’re dealing with the complexities of the current world geopolitical climate, any misstep or clumsy language can produce dire consequences.

The president’s refugee ban has roiled members of the president’s own party, created a firestorm within the legal community over its very constitutionality, and it has possibly enraged Muslims around the world — and in the United States — to the point of causing grievous harm.

POTUS fired his own acting AG?

There’s been some interesting reporting overnight about the political earthquake that the president of the United States created.

Donald Trump fired acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates because of her refusal to defend the president’s order banning refugees entering the United States temporarily from certain countries … where Muslims comprise the majority of the population.

Yates is held over from the Obama administration.

Here’s the weird part: Trump and his team reportedly asked Yates to stay on the job until the president could have his own AG confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The president selected her to be the acting attorney general.

Yates is known to be a dedicated career federal prosecutor who has worked in the Justice Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

She said she believed the president’s order was unlawful — under her understanding of federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. I believe it is the duty of the AG — acting or otherwise — to follow the law and not necessarily to do what he or she is told to do by the president.

Trump chose Yates, who then followed the law.

Then the president accused her of “betraying” the Justice Department. Hit the road, he told her.

And now we have our first potential constitutional crisis.

Just think: It’s Day 11 of the Trump administration.

Trump makes history by firing acting AG

I had not heard of Sally Yates until today.

Now she becomes something of political hero in the eyes of millions of Americans — thanks to Donald J. Trump’s decision tonight to fire her from her job as acting U.S. attorney general.

What did the former assistant AG do? She declined to argue on behalf of the president’s decision to ban refugees trying to enter this country from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Yates questioned whether the executive order was lawful. Oh, yes — she is a holdover from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.

My head continues to spin. My eyes are bugging out. My heart is palpitating.

Ten days into his presidency and Donald Trump’s penchant for pandemonium has claimed its first victim.


Yates was holding down the DOJ post until Jeff Sessions was to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

I’m not yet sure about the legality of the executive order. Perhaps the former assistant AG is right; perhaps she is wrong. Whatever the case, the president chose to fire her summarily without first trying to persuade her that she really ought to do the job she was supposed to do.

Some folks around Washington are bringing up some dark memories. Can you recall the Saturday Night Massacre, when President Nixon sought to remove a special prosecutor who was examining the Watergate caper? Do you recall he then fired — in succession — the attorney general and his assistant AG who refused to dismiss the independent counsel?

The task then fell to the U.S. solicitor general, a fellow named Robert Bork, who went on to earn his own place in our nation’s history.

Honeymoon for this president? It is officially over.

Protests too often become annoyances

One aspect of protests deserves a mention here.

It’s the element of disruption they cause to those of us who happen to get caught in the middle of them.

Donald J. Trump’s executive order banning refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries has prompted protests at airports and other transportation terminals around the nation.

I have just returned home from a five-day trip to the Pacific Northwest to wish my beloved uncle a happy 90th birthday.

While I was there the president issued that ridiculous, paranoid order banning refugees. What happened, then, at Portland International Airport? Protesters clogged the place. They carried signs. They yelled at security officials. They made nuisances of themselves!

Other protests broke out all across the country. People marched in the streets.

When I left PDX this morning en route to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, I didn’t encounter any protesters at my point of departure. I thought there might be a horde of ’em at DFW. There weren’t. Good deal.

I got to my next connection to Amarillo and arrived quietly at the terminal.

My point, though, is that protests are fine. We are a country founded by protesters, people who didn’t like taking orders from monarchs. Those good folks then set about to build a government in The New World that guarantees people the right to assemble peaceably to “see redress of grievances” from the government.

It didn’t necessarily suggest they could disrupt the flow of life’s activities for the rest of us who choose to keep our protesting to ourselves.

Just so you know, I detest what the president has done. It’s in-American. For all I know it might even be unconstitutional. I’ll let the legal scholars of the world decide that one.

As for marching at airports, train stations and ship terminals … well, I’ll leave that for others.

Just stay out of my way. Please.