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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #151 
Hope you are well, Ethio.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #152 
I certainly share that hope. On the thus far shambolic progress of the Trump presidency, one of the few positives I had hoped for from it was a more positive approach to Russia and a collaboration with it on fighting and hopefully utterly destroying the monstrous and malevolent IS. This article, which David will find particularly interesting, makes me think that that hope might have been ill-considered.

Most of the news focus in the last couple of days has been on the most controversial of the Executive Orders which have streamed like tweets from the Oval Office desk, the immigration ban. Arbitrary, unjust and irrational, if the ban stops a single ill-intentioned person from entering the United States then that will be by pure chance, while its certain consequences will be great disruption and distress to innocent family lives. Trump doesn't care, those affected weren't going to vote for him and those who did vote for him love it.

To the President's blustering and most unpresidential rage, the ban has been stayed by a federal judge, with an appeal court hearing evidence today. Despite the irrationality of the ban its illegality is unclear; it most likely would be nullified by application of the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act, though this does not appear to have taken a leading role in argument. We shall see how things develop, with an eventual Supreme Court decision likely whatever the outcome of the present hearing.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, a further controversy has been over the President's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the current vacancy. The Democrats have vowed to block the choice, but for once I am on Trump's side; he appears an admirable selection to me, one of those rare judges who rules according to his understanding of the law, not his personal preferences and prejudices. We shall see how that turns out too.

PS Forgot to say, loved the Dutch video, and have shared it with a few others who loved it too. Very witty and nicely done.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #153 
Thank you Wessexman and Peter.  I'm doing quit well.  The recuperation is going well.

I had seen the "Netherlands Second" video and had a good laugh (even though it's rather painful to do so post-surgery).  There are now competing videos released for "Switzerland Second", "Portugal Second" and "Germany Second" which are all quite funny.  "Switzerland Second" is particularly funny in my view.  You should check them all out on Youtube.

President Trump made a statement during an interview with relatively friendly conservative Fox journalist Bill O'Reilly where he again said he respected Vladimir Putin.  When O'Reilly challenged him saying Putin was a murderer Trump replied that there were "lots of murderers around" and asked if O'Reilly thought America was "so innocent" itself.  This has not gone over very well with the leadership of his own party.  Vice-President Pence attempted to do some damage control, but there is still some disquiet over the President's apparent refusal to say anything against Russia or Putin.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/04/oreilly-told-trump-that-putin-is-a-killer-trumps-reply-you-think-our-countrys-so-innocent/?utm_term=.1496dc683169

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/05/politics/mike-pence-russia-trump-mitch-mcconnell/index.html

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Peter

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Reply with quote  #154 
They're proliferating like wildfire, actually. I tried Switzerland Second and wasn't very keen, too crude in its humour for my taste. I then tried Denmark Second and liked it much better, also pretty crude but a much lighter touch to it, though they shouldn't have followed the Netherlands model so closely at the end. Apart from those you listed Luxembourg Second, Lithuania Second and, believe it or not, Kazakhstan Second were on offer, and no doubt others will follow. I'll give the rest a try sometime, though I might never find the courage for the Kazakhstan one.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #155 
I was pleasantly surprised the judge who struck down the travel ban didn't seem to do so for nakedly ideologically reasons, such as claiming it violates the first amendment (an extreme and more or less unprecedented understanding of that amendment that some liberal activists have appealed to). We will have to see if his judgement was correct, and what the Supreme Court might do with it (given that body only has eight members as it stands), correct or incorrect. 

I agree with Peter. I think Gorsuch is a very good nominee, very much in the spirit of Scalia. 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #156 
I don't think the Seattle judge gave any reasons at all for his ruling. Which might seem surprising, until you realise that nor did he give a ruling as such. What he did was issue a temporary stay on enforcement of the Executive Order at issue in the case. And what the appellate court in San Francisco was asked by the Government to do was strike down the stay. This it has refused to do, and seems also to have taken over the case in its entirety from the district judge, so perhaps he never will give his reasons.

The Government, otherwise known as the Trump camp, now has three options. It can give up, which seems unlikely. It can wait for the case to be argued in full next month, with no ruling expected until the end of March at the earliest and success seeming unlikely. Or it can make an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court, but the arithmetic makes success there unlikely too. Of course the President's unremitting and very public abuse of all the justices concerned will not aid the Government's prospects at all. I know, I am no great respecter of judges, but nor am I President. What is OK for me to do might well be highly, er, injudicious for him. The Trump camp would appear to be caught between a rock and a hard place, a location which I expect to become increasingly familiar to them.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #157 
Adding to the above, here is an interesting and clearly learned view on the issues in the case. It is also a hostile view from the Trump perspective on almost all points, but does give at least brief reasons why. While writing, from other articles I have seen it does appear that if the administration decided to continue argument in a lower court it would be the Seattle district court that would be the venue, not the appellate court in San Francisco as I originally thought.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #158 
Generally, what happens is the judge agrees with the petitioners have a good chance of success with their case.

I may have been wrong, anyway. Some of the judges at least do seem to have made their rulings for suspicious reasons:

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2017/images/01/28/darweesh.v.trump_decision.and.order.document-3.pdf

It is hard to know what to make of the invocation of violation of due process (is that dreaded oxymoron, substantive due process, rearing its ugly head?) or the 14th Amendment without knowing more about the petitioners arguments, but there is much to be suspicious of.

If the case goes to the Supreme Court, presumably it will be a 4-4 decision. This means the lower courts decisions - to stop the ban - are upheld. But it means there is no precedent set. I would think then Trump could reinstate the ban once Gorsush is on the court, and if challenged then the ban would be upheld.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #159 
Although the main news focus has been on the case brought by Washington and Minnesota, the one that produced the temporary stay in the Seattle court, subsequently upheld in San Francisco, it is just one of around 50 cases brought against the Executive Order in question. It would be surprising if decisions in at least one or two of the multitude of cases were not questionable on grounds of bias one way or the other. The judgement in the main case though appears to me to have been reasonable, proportionate and fair, and was certainly closely argued. Nothing has been decided yet about the overall validity of the order, nor is there likely to be a decision for some time to come.

There may not be one ever, as the administration is reportedly considering withdrawing the order and substituting a new one more likely to survive the inevitable legal challenges. The grounds on which the original order can be and is being challenged are so numerous that finding a form of words that will achieve a similar end yet be upheld will be no easy business. If instead the administration seeks to have the existing order upheld in the Supreme Court, waiting for Gorsuch is not really an option since it is likely to be a long time before he can be confirmed, and it really would not be possible to argue that a) the order was necessary for urgent security reasons and b) it can safely hang around in limbo for the next few months, awaiting a favourable climate in the courts. Not that, going by his reputation, Gorsuch would be an automatic vote in the President's favour. I would certainly feel very disappointed in him if he were.

I realise that waiting for Gorsuch was not quite what you were suggesting, but rather getting a hung verdict in the present court then going back again once the President's nominee is in place. Will the court hear the exact same case twice, with no new grounds adduced? On the face of things I wouldn't have thought so, but maybe. The lengthy delay involved would still defuse the urgency argument, for which there are really no factual grounds whatsoever anyway, and I would not expect this to be a profitable strategy from the administration's point of view.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #160 
That was my impression of the original ruling too. Let's hope we are both correct.

A 4-4 decision would not make precedent. You are correct that the court is unlikely to hear the same case twice. I would presume that another executive order, at least if it wasn't just a word for word reissuing of the original one, would circumvent any barrier here, though I'm not sure.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #161 
One thing you cannot do with Donald Trump is keep him out of the news. Over the last few days his administration has suffered its first high-profile resignation, with the National Security Adviser Michael Flynn quitting after being caught lying over his contacts with Russia (the position as far as I know remains unfilled, Trump's first pick for a replacement having wisely declined the honour), there has been a truly extraordinary press conference/harangue at which the President provoked raucous laughter by claiming that his administration was running like a fine-tuned machine (it's been in chaos) and the travel ban had an extremely smooth rollout (it was chaotic, prior to the judicial mercy killing), and a Twitter designation of apparently the entire media apart from Fox News as enemies of the American people.

The latest, at what appeared to be a campaign rally (no one seems to have told the President that the election is over and he won) at the weekend, was a reference to the terrorist incident 'last night in Sweden'. Er, Sweden hasn't had a terrorist incident since 2010, and then it wasn't much. So what had happened in Sweden on the night concerned? To all intents, absolutely nothing. People are more and more comparing the 45th president with the 37th, one Richard Nixon; both habitual liars, both utterly untrustworthy, the major difference being that Nixon was a lot smarter.

Will Trump's fate be similar to that of his not-so-august predecessor? I worry that it might, most likely because he is removed from office for medical reasons, his lying being diagnosed as pathology rather than mendacity. Which it could well be, he does appear to live in a fantasy world which he cannot or will not distinguish from reality. But I don't want it to happen, I would rather endure more Trump than any Pence at the top of the Western tree. And it can only be for four years. Can't it?
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #162 
The developments coming out of the Trump administration are making me weary.  It's just an endless stream of "Breaking News" banners on cable.  While FOX remains the friendliest media network to the Administration, that isn't saying much as even on FOX, the Administration is continually being berated for lies, chaotic administration, and hostility to critical voices.  In the latest, developments though, President Trump has appointed a new National Security Advisor, Lt. General H.R. McMaster.  This appointment has been very well received by all sides.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-taps-army-lt-gen-hr-mcmaster-as-his-new-national-security-adviser/2017/02/20/3a8fd9fa-f7ae-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html?utm_term=.d367939a4f62

The White House is about to unveil a new more aggressive Immigration policy focused on enforcement.  There have been rumors of a big jump in deportations in recent days, and undocumented workers are said to have become scarce due these fears, putting many farms in a dire situation.  There have been rumors in the press that the Administration was considering calling out the National Guard to round-up undocumented aliens in several states.  The White House has denied those rumors.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/21/white-house-set-for-big-immigration-launch-to-focus-on-dhs-memos-official-says.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/21/politics/dhs-immigration-guidance-detentions/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/california-farmers-backed-trump-but-now-fear-losing-field-workers.html?_r=0

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/feds-mulled-plan-undocumented-immigrant-roundup-article-1.2975394

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-denies-its-considering-using-national-guard-to-round-up-illegal-immigrants/article/2615136

The President was at his Florida estate, Mar-A-Lago, again as he has been every weekend after his inauguration, while anti-Trump protesters took to the streets to mark "Not My President Day".

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/america-gives-trump-earful-not-my-president-s-day-rallies-n723371

There is some grumbling that in just a month, the President has fallen just short of the travel costs of a full year of the Obama presidency.

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-first-month-travel-expenses-11-million-a1feb6cd829b#.iwdg4ce34



__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #163 
Somehow this doesn't shock me...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/21/on-his-93rd-birthday-robert-mugabe-says-of-trump-give-him-time/?utm_term=.7c746287bfb4

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #164 
The Trump administration could hardly be called well organised, but in terms of action I have been pleasantly surprised. The mainstream media has simply descended into partisan hysterics and are even less worth taking seriously than the past. Just compare the scandal ridden Obama administration (Fast and Furious, the IRS, the VA, Benghazi, and so on) and its coverage to Trump. This is an old song - FDR and LBJ got away with much worse than Nixon and yet Nixon was the one who had yo resign.

Now, if you go to the likes of the National Review and the American Conservative you get a much calmer and meaningful commentary on Trump, and you see nothing like the same hysterics - as there just isn't justification for them. And you can hardly call National Review partisan Trump suppprters.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #165 
Quote:
Just compare the scandal ridden Obama administration (Fast and Furious, the IRS, the VA, Benghazi, and so on) and its coverage to Trump. This is an old song
 

That is terribly unfair.  The Benghazi "scandal" has been proven (and even admitted by Republican congressmen) to have been a political exercise that was completely baseless and aimed at undermining Secretary Clinton's campaign.  The VA has been poorly run for decades and is not a "scandal", just gross ineptitude on the part of big government, and it pre-dates Obama by several administrations.  The IRS likewise.  The Obama administration has been actually one of the few recent administrations with a fairly clean record as far as scandals.  We are barely a month into this administration and we are facing rather material questions about the President insisting on hiding his tax returns, on his and his administration members ties to Vladimir Putin and Russia, and rather deep conflict of interest and personal aggrandizement questions.  Unlike the "scandals" that you mentioned, these all directly involve the sitting President himself personally.

Quote:
Now, if you go to the likes of the National Review and the American Conservative you get a much calmer and meaningful commentary on Trump, and you see nothing like the same hysterics - as there just isn't justification for them.


The Conservative press is by it's nature "conservative", they are not going to become hysterical, but behind the scenes establishment Republicans are far from calm.  I see a systematic push by conservatives to check the alt-right element, and they are doing it with outward calm, but their alarm is real.  It is not secret that the meteoric rise of Milo Yiannopolous was torpedoed by the Republican establishment.  Take a look at who released the video that has basically destroyed him.  It certainly wasn't the left.  The Left actually made him bigger by going after him on University campuses making him a chapion of "free speech".  As much as what Milo says and stands for turns my stomach, I don't think honestly that he is in favor of pedophilia.  I don't think the people that just swatted him off the scene believe that either, but clearly the Republican establishment feels that the Breitbart crowd need to be pushed off the place on the stage that Bannon's elevation has put them.  Lt. General McMaster's elevation to the NSA post is significant.  It does not bode well for Bannon and his allies that he replaced General Flynn.  Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Pence are visiting foreign capitals right now and making public pronouncements directly contradicting statements made by the President and Bannon in order to calm alarmed allies.  Secretary of State Tillerson is headed for Mexico today to allegedly try to repair a very damaged relationship.  This has had the effect of confusing allies and making allies wonder what is going on and who is actually in charge.   If you think that outward calm and upholding the party line is indicative of a lack of panic on the right and center-right, you are very mistaken my friend.  See below.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-defense-secretary-mattis-arrives-in-1487537425-htmlstory.html

http://abcnews.go.com/International/analysis-learned-defense-secretary-james-mattiss-trip-overseas/story?id=45614506

https://europeansting.com/2017/02/20/the-four-top-americans-who-flew-to-europe-perplexed-things-about-trumps-intentions/

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/21/pence-appears-support-eu-freedom-of-movement/

http://thehill.com/policy/international/320401-bannon-questioned-eu-in-german-diplomat-meeting-before-pence-visit

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/02/22/trump-sends-tillerson-to-smooth-tensions-with-australia-mexico/

Tillerson looks like he will be getting a rather frosty reception in Mexico

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mexico-idUSKBN16127O?il=0


__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
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