Thursday, May 4, 2017

Juan Cole - How President Bannon’s Whiteboard Sank Trump

Trump’s approval ratings are in the toilet compared to any other modern president at this stage of his presidency. At least some of that public disapproval comes from his repeated attempts to issue overly broad or discriminatory or otherwise unconstitutional executive orders. These were promptly blocked by federal courts, although Trump could yet prevail at the Supreme Court. It turns out that these disastrous EO’s haven’t been The Tangerine One’s ideas at all. He’s just taking marching orders from President Bannon’s whiteboard checklist. Let us underline that: Trump’s agenda is Breitbart, alt-Neo-Nazi agenda.

Alt-White-Supremacist Steve Bannon tried to do a whitewash of his smelly politics by taking a selfie with Rabbi Shmuly Boteach, but instead Bannon got whiteboarded – his neo-Fascist to-do list showed up in the background. You know how in movies about paranoid conspiracy theorists they always show the guy with a bunch of wild items pinned all over his walls? Our country is being run by one of those. According to WaPo and LA Times, these are the items on Bannon-‘s to-do list. For his failed policies I have quoted past Informed Comment articles explaining.

Things President Bannon wants to do that have been blocked by Federal courts:
Cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities
District Judge William Orrick issued a stay on grounds like that Congress decides budgetary issues and that: “Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that the total financial incentive not be coercive. Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves.”

Suspend Syrian Refugee Program
This was part of Trump’s first attempted Executive Order on immigration. It was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle on grounds of being discriminatory and of harming the University of Washington:
“Robart wrote, according to the Seattle Times: “The executive order adversely affects the state’s residents in areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel,” Robart wrote, adding that the order also harmed the state’s public universities and tax base. “These harms are significant and ongoing.”

Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions
Implement new extreme immigration vetting techniques
These two also all got blocked by Federal courts: Derrick Watson, US District Court judge in Honolulu, has issued a nationwide Temporary Restraining Order against Trump’s second attempt at an Executive Order excluding people from Muslim-majority countries from the United States. Watson found that the state of Hawaii, which brought the suit, was likely to prevail in its complaint that the president’s order would impose irreparable harm on the University of Hawaii and on the state’s tourism industry. He also found that it violates the constitutional rights of American Muslims. (I made the same argument soon after it was released).

Things he may actually get through (like, today):
Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Things pending:
Create a 10% repatriation tax
Build the border wall and eventually make Mexico …
Create support program for victims of illegal immigrants
Expand and revitilize the popular 287g partners
Issue detainers for all illegal immigrants who are … for any crime and they will be placed into …removal proceedings
End “catch-and-release”
Hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents
Restore the Secure Communities Program
Triple the number of ICE agents
Sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to periodically revise and revisit them
Finally complete biometric entry-exit tracking
Propose passage of Davis-Oliver bill
The immigration bill, proposed by then Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2015, is named for two California police officers who were killed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
…pass “Kate’s Law”

If Trump tries to push this Mussolini type agenda on the United States of America, I predict that his presidency will sink even faster.

Trump Empire-Dynasty Expands via White House Ties