- The Washington Times
Monday, March 6, 2017

They’re still not happy. Furious is more like it. President Trump’s revised, temporary ban on refugee travel from six Middle Eastern nations continues to draw an immediate outcry from his very well-organized critics. They all know the drill, which has come to encompass dramatic protests and strategically coordinated narratives. The arrival of the revised ban on Monday sparked the usual reaction. Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez led an instantly organized rally outside the White House in the evening. The ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, plus union and immigrant advocacy groups follow Tuesday with a press conference in the nation’s capital to protest the ban, claiming that the president “is ripping families apart and terrorizing them.”

The language, meanwhile, remains charged up and combat-ready. A few samples of the cascade of statements:


“The intention and impact of the action remains fundamentally unchanged: This is the Muslim Ban that Trump promised during his campaign. MoveOn members will continue to oppose this hateful and counterproductive proposal and to demand that our elected officials and courts defend the Constitution and strike down this Muslim Ban.” (Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action)

“President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people. What’s more, the changes the Trump administration has made, and everything we’ve learned since the original ban rolled out, completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind and only strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders.” (Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project)

“Trump’s obsession with religious discrimination is disgusting, un-American and outright dangerous. Don’t be fooled — he promised again and again during his campaign that he would single out and persecute a specific religious group, and that’s exactly what he’s trying to do now.” (Democratic National Committee Chairman Mr. Perez)

“These bans, walls and discriminatory, predatory policies are going to require a bigger, more organized response if we hope for a better path forward. We’re going to have to commit ourselves to the effort.” (Kal Penn, speaking on behalf of Organizing for Action)

HERE COMES THE FOIA

Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department essentially seeking “any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak between October 1, 2016 and the present,” the watchdog group notes.

“In its complaint Judicial Watch asks the court to order the agencies to search for all records responsive to its FOIA requests and demonstrate that they employed reasonable search methods; order the agencies to produce by a specific date all non-exempt records and a Vaughn index of all withheld records; and instruct the agencies to cease withholding all non-exempt records,” the group says.

It’s complicated. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton has a simple statement, however.

President Trump is on to something. The Obama-connected wiretapping and illegal leaks of classified material concerning President Trump and General Flynn are a scandal. Judicial Watch aims to get to the truth about these crimes, and we hope the Trump administration stands with us in the fight for transparency,” Mr. Fitton says.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Disputed News”

New Facebook tag that allows users to flag “certain news stories” that have been reported as fake or suspect, and ultimately could be reviewed by independent third-party fact checkers. Of interest: Facebook also notes “this feature isn’t available to everyone yet.”

NIGHTSTAND READING

Just published by Regnery Books: “On Wave and Wing: The 100-Year Quest to Perfect the Aircraft Carrier” by ace military historian Barrett Tillman, who traces this incredible vessel to its origin, citing the British battlecruiser HMS Furious, rigged with a flight deck to accommodate aircraft in 1917 during World War I. And thus began the journey to a historic future for aircraft carriers — “the largest man-made vessel in the history of the world.”

SCHUMER’S DIY PROJECT

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer plans to block President Trump’s wall along the southwestern border any way he can.

“If Republicans put money for the wall into a bill, Democrats block it,” predicts Axios columnist Mike Allen. “It doesn’t matter what else is in the bill — Schumer will make it about the wall. The way Democrats see it, if they can block the wall, they’d crush a central feature of Trump’s political identity. And as the face of the strategy, Schumer would thrill the Democratic base.”

Indeed. Mr. Schumer is seeking to put up a “blue wall,” observes Brietbart.com reporter Neil Munro, who says the lawmaker’s project is risky, primarily because Republicans are in an ideal position to add a few more Senate seats to their existing 52-seat majority, closing in on that magic 60-vote supermajority. There are other dynamics as well, he says. Majorities of Americans are cool to the idea of untrammeled amnesty for illegal immigrants, and are keen to reduce drug trafficking on the border lands and preserve American jobs, among other things.

“If Schumer wants to build his new Blue Wall on the Senate floor, all the evidence suggests that the GOP will run right through it in November 2018,” concludes Mr. Munro.

POLL DU JOUR

70 percent of Americans say Islamic State is a “very serious” threat to the U.S.; 21 percent say “moderately serious,” 5 percent “just a slight threat,” 3 percent “no threat.”

48 percent overall say North Korea is a very serious threat to the U.S.; 33 percent say moderately serious, 9 percent a slight threat, 9 percent no threat.

37 percent overall say Iran is a very serious threat; 38 percent say moderately serious, 14 percent a slight threat, 10 percent no threat.

34 percent overall say Russia is a very serious threat; 41 percent say moderately serious, 14 percent a slight threat, 10 percent no threat.

22 percent overall say China is a very serious threat; 41 percent say moderately serious, 21 percent a slight threat, 16 percent no threat.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted March 1-4.

• Squawks and mutters to jharper@washingtontimes.com


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