Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Eventful Three Weeks in Politics

Part One

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      I haven’t posted any commentary on politics in almost three weeks (since March 2, 2017) due to first competing in a powerlifting contest then getting sick. But it was an eventful three weeks in politics, so I want to go back and comment on various things that have been happening. These are in no particular order, just as I remember them as I am writing this article. But so much has been happening, it will require two parts to this article to fully cover them.

 

New Travel Ban

 

      President Trump’s first Executive Order on Immigration banned immigration from seven countries that are hotbeds of terrorism. It was designed to keep us safe but was ridiculously halted by the liberal 9th circuit. That left us open to having terrorists enter out country for weeks, until the Trump administration finally issued a new ban, this time with just six countries. The difference between the two bans is the new one makes exceptions for those who already had green cards or visas. It also does not include Iraq, so as not to exclude those who helped the USA during the Iraqi War.

      The latter is fine, as those who helped the USA can most likely be trusted. But the former is still taking a chance. Remember, all 19 of the 9/11 terrorists had come here with green cards or visas (though expired at the time of the attacks), and the two Boston marathon bombers had green cards (not expired), as have others who have committed terrorist acts here and in Europe.

      But with these changes, I thought this ban would survive the challenges, but one liberal judge in Hawaii (Derrick Watson) put a halt to it, followed by another judge in Maryland. They did so based on the belief that it was a “Muslim ban” despite claims by the administration to the contrary. Below are relevant quotes from the first judge’s decision (bolding added).

 

      Plaintiffs assert that by singling out nationals from the six predominantly Muslim countries, the Executive Order causes harm by stigmatizing not only immigrants and refugees, but also Muslim citizens of the United States. Plaintiffs point to public statements by the President and his advisors regarding the implementation of a “Muslim ban,” which Plaintiffs contend is the tacit and illegitimate motivation underlying the Executive Order…

      Plaintiffs assert the following causes of action: (1) violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (Count I); (2) violation of the equal protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause on the basis of religion, national origin, nationality, or alienage (Count II); ….

      “Muslims in the Hawai‘i Islamic community feel that the new Executive Order targets Muslim citizens because of their religious views and national origin (Fox News. Full Ruling: Federal judge in Hawaii halts Trump travel ban).

 

      The ruling repeatedly refers to this being a Muslim ban and goes on to cite statements made by Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

      To comment, first, this is not a Muslim ban. As the ruling admits, the administration has specifically denied that it is, and the executive order nowhere uses the word “Muslim.” The ruling also admits that the majority of Muslim majority countries are not included in the ban. But the ruling writes these ideas off by saying you can discriminate against a religion without discriminating against all members of that religion.

      The fact that these six countries are “predominantly Muslim” is secondary to them being hotbeds of terrorism. It is only the repeated use of the phrase “predominately Muslim” to describe these countries by the media that gives that impression. But the correct way to refer to them would be as I am, as hotbeds of terrorism. If any “predominantly Christian” countries were hotbed of terrorism, then they would have been included in the ban. But the reality of life today is that the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim, not Christian, not Hindu, not Jewish, nor any other religion. Therefore, to focus on terrorism requires focusing on predominantly Muslims. To focus on members of any other religion would defy common sense.

      Second, all six countries are politically unstable, making the keeping of records unreliable and making it difficult for the USA to attain background on potential immigrants. Consequently, they cannot be vetted properly, like can be done for immigrants from the rest of the world’s countries, including the dozens of other “predominately Muslim” countries that are not included in the ban. 

      Third, the law that grants the President the authority to protect this country states specifically that he has the authority to halt “any alien or class of alien” that he deems to be detrimental to this country. There is no exception for religion. In other words, even if the President wants to ban a certain religion, he can. That is not what this order is doing, but it would not be out of bounds.

      Fourth, the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion and equal protection apply to citizens or at least residents of the USA. They do not apply to non-residents who want to immigrate here. The Constitution begins, “We the people of the United States.” That does not include someone who just wants to be a part of this country. Simply put, non-Americans are not covered by the Bill of Rights.

      Fifth, the ban does not target “Muslim citizens.” This order has nothing whatsoever to do with Muslims who are already here and are citizens of the USA.

      Sixth, the claim that Muslims already in this country are being harmed by banning a select group of Muslims from coming here is to be overly sensitive. Muslims can take offense if they want, but again, the fact remains is the vast majority of terrorist attacks today are by Muslims. If American Muslims do not like it, then they need to clean up their religion rather than getting offended when non-Muslims take steps to protect ourselves from violent Muslims. Again, the vast majority of Muslims are not being banned from immigrating to this country, so the plaintiffs are simply being snowflakes in taking such great offense at this ban.

      Seventh, this is a temporary ban. This relates back to the political situation of the six countries. Once they get stable governments or in some other way vetting becomes possible, the ban will be lifted.

      Eighth, never before has a judge looked at what said during a campaign in his ruling on an order implemented by a now elected official. Lots of things are said during a campaign that do not come to fruition once someone is elected, though Trump has been much better at keeping his promises than most, as will be seen as I continue. But still, all that should matter is what the order actually states. For the judge to reach back to what was said months ago during the campaign is a judicial stretch.

    Ninth, one other difference between the two bans is the new one does not make an exception for members of a persecuted religious minority. That was probably to keep any mention of religion out of the ban, so as to try to avoid a ruling like this one a by a judge. But it was a shame as persecuted Christians and other persecuted religious minorities should be able to immigrate, after proper vetting of course.

      Finally, but most importantly, these rulings are examples of judicial overreach. The President clearly has the constitutional and legislative authority to enact this ban, and it is a tilting of the balance of powers for the judicial branch to overturn his ban. But if there is any sense remaining in our judicial system, this ruling will eventually be overturned. If not, then we are in deep trouble, as we will be quickly on our way to being ruled by unelected judges rather than elected officials.

 

Deportations

 

      Along with the Executive Order on Immigration, Trump is trying to keep his promise to keep us safe by mass deportation that have been accruing. This has the media crying foul and making comparisons to (who else?) Nazis and the Third Reich. But such mass deportations occurred under Obama, Bush, and Clinton. It is simply a normal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practice. Yes, they have been ramped up some since Trump took office, but they are not out of the ordinary.

      The fear mongering of the media misses an important point—yes, if you break the law, you will always be looking over your shoulder in fear that you might be caught someday. That is the natural result of breaking the law. If you don’t want to have to look over your shoulder the rest of your life, then don’t break the law, and that includes our immigration laws.

      The liberal media will trot out every “sob story” they can find, but in doing so, they will often miss reporting the most important point of the situation. For instance, there was a case recently of a woman who was being deported that was being touted by the media as a case of harshness. But what they didn’t report was that in addition to breaking our immigration laws, she was guilty of identity theft. Anyone who has ever been the victim of this fast-growing crime will tell you that it will completely ruin your life. And someone who has so little respect for our laws and for the lives of Americans so as to commit such a dastardly crime does not deserve to live here, so she was rightly deported.

      That is the case for the vast majority of the others who are being deported. In addition to breaking our immigration laws, they have broken other laws, showing how much they disrespect our laws and Americans. As such, they should be deported.

     

The Border Wall

 

      The next promise Trump is set on keeping is the building of a wall along the southern border, another step to keep us safe.  Not only will it keep terrorists and other criminals out of the country, but it will also help to halt the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and other contraband. This was a constant and repeated promise of Trump during the campaign. As such, it is truly amazing how the media is getting in a tizzy over Trump’s continued determination to keep his promise. They continue to think Trump is just like most politicians who do not keep their promises and still have not grasped that he is not, as he really is not a politician, he is a businessman, and he is acting like one. And that leads to the next point.

 

Trump’s 2005 Tax Return

 

      MSNBC thought they had a scoop when they attained a copy of a couple of pages of Trump’s 2005 tax return. First, it must be noted, it is a felony for anyone to release the tax return of another person without their permission. As such, the FBI should track down and put on trial whoever is responsible. If convicted, he or she should then spend the next five years in jail.

      That said, the only thing the tax return showed is that Trump is a good businessman, having made millions. While it reinforced that Hillary is a liar, having lied on yet one more point during the campaign, when she repeatedly claimed Trump had not paid taxes in the past twenty years. The media went along with this unsubstantiated claim, often repeating it themselves. But this return showed that simply was not true.

      Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $158 million in income. That is an effective tax rate of 24%, which is higher than the Obamas paid in 2015, higher than the parent company of NBC paid, higher than Bernie Sanders paid, even higher than Mitt Romney paid (as reported on Sean Hannity’s radio show). As such, the release was a big nothing.

      But this did not keep Racheal Maddow and MSNBC from trying to make a big deal about Trump not releasing his taxes. “Well, maybe elsewhere his returns would show he is beholden to someone for something that he will somehow use the power of Presidency to pay off, and we need to know about that! As such, we will keep digging, keep trying to get more of his tax returns, in our efforts to help you, our viewership!”

      All a bunch of nonsense. First off, MSNBC has no viewership. The only reason it is still on the air is it is owned by a large conglomerate that can right off the losses incurred by keeping that station on the air.

      Second, the majority of American voters did not care about Trump’s tax returns during the election, and we still do not care. All we cared about was that he was obviously a successful businessman and an outsider to Washington. And both of those points have contributed to his successes so far in office.

 

Wiretapping and the Supposed Trump/ Russian Connection

 

      President Trump really caused a stir when he tweeted that the Obama administration “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the election. Every single time the media has reported about the claim, they have added the line “without any evidence.” But during his daily briefing, Sean Spicer read from a litany of news reports that made claims of “wiretapping” of Trump during the campaign. The sources he cited ranged from the liberal New York Times to the conservative National Review. He cited literally dozens of news reports, and it is those reports that Trump was referring to.

      To be clear, the reason for most of these news reports was in the context of claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. But as Sean made clear, there is zero evidence of any such collusion, zilch, nada, none. He has made this point before, but the liberal media keeps repeating this lie, and it is just that, a lie. Again, there is zero evidence of a Trump/ Russian conspiracy during the election. But the liberal media just will not let this false narrative die.

      But in regards to Trump’s “wiretapping” claim, first it must be noted that by “wiretapping” he meant surveillance of any kind, not just the tapping into a land line phone. He just used the term “wiretapping” as that is the term us in the older generation are used to. In comparison, I might say I “taped” Sean’s press briefing and that I “ran out of tape” and thus did not see all of it (which happened). But I am not actually recording it on a VCR or any other device that uses a tape. I am using a DVR just like most everyone else is now using to record TV shows. But many us are so used to saying “taping a TV show” that that language might slip from time to time.

      Even Shepherd Smith of Fox News did not get this when he went on and on about Trump using “wiretapping” not “surveillance” in his tweets. But that is why Trump initially put “wiretapping” in quotes as I have been doing. But Shepherd went on to say that later Trump tweeted “tapped my phones” without putting it in quotes. But that is probably due to the 140 character limit of Twitter or just the tediousness of always doing so, as I am finding out in writing this section.

      In any case, the media cannot have it both ways. They cannot continue the false narrative of a Trump/ Russian conspiracy while at the same time denying there is any evidence of Trump being surveilled, as it is that surveillance that they tried to use to support their claims of a collision.

      Incidentally, this whole situation began when the FBI as part of its normal monitoring of Russian communications noticed a Trump Tower computer being pinged by the Russians. That is the source of the supposed Trump/ Russian connection. But after some investigation, the FBI very quickly discovered that there was nothing there. This was recounted on Sean Hannity’s radio show by a former FBI agent. But the media has continued the false narrative of a Trump/ Russian connection.

      Possibly, what the FBI noticed was an attempt by the Russians to hack Trump’s computers, just like they did with Hillary’s illegal basement server. But Trump had the foresight to put up extra strong firewalls on his computers and had the RNC do the same. But Hillary and the DNC were not so careful and thus were hacked.

 

46 Fired Federal Prosecutors

 

      U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly asked the remaining 46 chief federal prosecutors left over from the Obama administration to resign on Friday, including Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who had been asked to stay on in November by then President-elect Donald Trump.

      Although U.S. attorneys are political appointees, and the request from Trump’s Justice Department is part of a routine process, the move came as a surprise. Not every new administration replaces all U.S. attorneys at once (Reuters. Sessions asks 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys to resign).

 

      As this article makes clear, the firing of all the prosecutors from the previous administration is normal practice. But as always, the media tried to put a sinister spin on it with the Trump administration. “But Trump asked Bharara to stay on!” “But Trump did it all at once!” “But Sean Hannity put Trump up to it!”

      On the first claim, that was then, this is now. The only reason it was an issue was Bharara refused to tender his resignation, so he had to be fired. But apparently, Trump tried to call him the day before, but he refused to take the call, claiming it was not proper. But that was probably when Trump was going to explain to him about the situation, but since he refused to take the call, he was left in confusion. But most of all, he was yet one more Obama appointee looking for some publicity, so he made a public outcry about his firing. In fact, he is now thinking of running for public office. But goodbye and good-riddance for now.

      On the second claim, when Clinton took office, he fired 96 Bush appointees all at once. Therefore, this is nothing new.

      On the third claim, Sean found it rather amusing. Yes, he did on his radio show the day before say that Trump should fire all remaining Obama appointees in his administration. This was because of the many illegal leaks that have been coming out of the administration. There are obviously Obama appointees that are trying to undermine the Trump administration that need to not only be rooted out, but prosecuted for the felonies they are committing by releasing confidential information to the media.

      However, Sean just made a general call to fire all such appointees. He did not specify federal prosecutors. Moreover, Sean had previously called for Trump to stop tweeting, which Trump obviously did not listen to, so Trump is not in the habit of following Sean’s advice.

Eventful Three Weeks in Politics - Part One. Copyright 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.

This article is continued at Eventful Three Weeks in Politics: Part Two.

The above article was posted on this website March 19, 2017.

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