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Trump Imposes Ban On Travel From Several Muslim Countries, Halts Refugee Program

Donald Trump Inauguration

As promised during the campaign, yesterday President Trump signed an executive order that essentially puts a halt to the U.S. acceptance of refugees from around the world and bars any immigration from seven majority Muslim nations alleged to be sources of terrorist activity:

President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

In an executive order that he said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.

“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said of Islamist terrorists during a signing ceremony at the Pentagon. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump explained to an interviewer for the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christians in Syria were “horribly treated” and alleged that under previous administrations, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.

“I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them,” the president said.

In fact, the United States accepts tens of thousands of Christian refugees. According to the Pew Research Center, almost as many Christian refugees (37,521) were admitted as Muslim refugees (38,901) in the 2016 fiscal year.

The executive order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days and directs officials to determine additional screening “to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.”

The order also stops the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism. Those countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

(…)

Announcing his “extreme vetting” plan, the president invoked the specter of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Most of the 19 hijackers on the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pa., were from Saudi Arabia. The rest were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. None of those countries are on Mr. Trump’s visa ban list.

Human rights activists roundly condemned Mr. Trump’s actions, describing them as officially sanctioned religious persecution dressed up to look like an effort to make the United States safer.

The International Rescue Committee called it “harmful and hasty.” The American Civil Liberties Union described it as a “euphemism for discriminating against Muslims.” Raymond Offensheiser, the president of Oxfam America, said the order would harm families around the world who are threatened by authoritarian governments.

“The refugees impacted by today’s decision are among the world’s most vulnerable people — women, children, and men — who are simply trying to find a safe place to live after fleeing unfathomable violence and loss,” Mr. Offensheiser said.

The president signed the executive order shortly after issuing a statement noting that Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an irony that many of his critics highlighted on Twitter. The statement did not mention Jews, although it cited the “depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

Within hours hours after Trump signed the new order, individuals heading to or from the nations impacted by Trump’s order were being turned away from airports in the United States and barred from boarding flights to the United States. Additionally, the first lawsuits against the change in policy were filed in New York City on behalf of Iraqi citizens who were detained at John F. Kennedy Airport after being denied the ability to board flights home. Additionally, there were reports of legal immigrants to the United States who were in one of the countries impacted by the immigration ban being barred from boarding flights notwithstanding their immigration status. While the current order on Muslim immigration falls short of the complete ban on immigration by Muslims regardless of national origin, it does have some interesting oddities. For example, the list of nations included in the ban includes nation’s like Iraq and Libya, where individuals who have aided American and other western powers in military efforts in the past and are now targets for revenge will now be prevented from coming to the United States, it excludes nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, which have been the source of actual terror attack in the United States. Just to name two such cases, the wife of the shooter in the December 2015 attack in San Bernardino was an immigrant from Pakistan, and the hijackers involved in the September 11th attacks came predominantly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, as others have pointed out, the immigration restrictions don’t apply to nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Turkey where Trump’s businesses have significant investments and real estate projects both completed and ongoing.

In addition to the travel ban, Trump also imposed a ban on all refugees from Syria. This extends a debate that began in 2015 in the wake of the attacks in Paris and which led many Republican-controlled states to attempt to bar refugees from being brought into their state and many national GOP politicians, including all of the candidates for President at the time, to argue that the Obama Administration was endangering the nation by allowing even a single refugee into the country because we couldn’t be sure they weren’t terrorists in disguise. As I noted at the time, much of this reaction was based in political pandering and misinformation about both the refugee process and the population of people who actually made up the refugee population. While politicians such as Trump were playing upon the fear that refugees were potential terrorists, the facts showed that, at least as far as the people who made it through the American refugee process largely consisted of women, children, and families who had been rendered homeless thanks to the six year long civil war in Syria, including victims of the relentless attacks on cities such as Aleppo, which has been largely destroyed by Syrian government forces in their efforts to beat back a rebellion that refuses to completely die out. This order leaves those refugees to make the choice between life in a crowded refugee camp in Turkey, Jordan, or Lebanon, or risking their lives by staying in Syria where the civil war rages on.

Former British Foreign Secretary David Milband argues that Trump’s immigration and refugee policies are un-American, while the Cato Institute’s David Bier argues that it is illegal. While the first conclusion is a matter of opinion and the second is one that will ultimately be decided by the Courts, what is clear is that Trump is intent on carrying through with the worst of what he proposed during the campaign. In that respect, I suppose, we can hardly claim to be surprised or shocked by what is going on. Trump told us what he was going to do from the beginning and not only did he win more than 13 million people support him in his march toward the Republican nomination, but he received the votes of nearly 63 million people in November’s General Election. None of them, and none of us, can claim to be surprised by any of this.

Update [Steven Taylor]: Green card holders included in Trump ban: Homeland Security

“It will bar green card holders,” Gillian Christensen, acting Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, said in an email.

See also, ProPublica:  Trump Executive Order Could Block 500,000 Legal U.S. Residents From Returning to America From Trips.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pch101 says:

    Step 1: Invade Iraq

    Step 2: Look for Iraqis who are willing to risk their lives to assist Americans who invaded Iraq

    Step 3: Refuse to help Iraqis who were willing to risk their lives to assist Americans who invaded Iraq because — shockingly — there were other Iraqis who were fighting the Americans (which could explain why we had wanted their help in the first place.)

    Truth is stranger and a lot more pathetic than fiction. Cognitive dissonance and a lack of gratitude are a formidable combination.

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  2. al-Ameda says:

    Trump told us what he was going to do from the beginning and not only did he win more than 13 million people support him in his march toward the Republican nomination, but he received the votes of nearly 63 million people in November’s General Election. None of them, and none of us, can claim to be surprised by any of this.

    Exactly right Doug. Dead on.
    Not only did he tell us, but he has a Republican Congress that is in no way going to pull the plug on this nativist party.

    Trump gives them an awful lot of cover should there be any blow-back. If there is any they can say, well, that’s Trump, I’ll see what I can do.

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  3. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Pch101:

    Refuse to help Iraqis who were willing to risk their lives to assist Americans who invaded Iraq

    Make America Ingrate Again

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  4. @al-Ameda:

    I feel like the next four years are going to consist of those of us who realized what Trump was about from the start just saying “I told you so.” over and over and over again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Lit3Bolt says:

    Hey, let’s create more racial/ethnic/religious tension in our country and be openly hostile to the world and pandering/slavishly worshipful of Russia. That’s sure to bring jobs back to this country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Jeremy R says:

    https://twitter.com/GovPenceIN/status/674249808610066433

    Governor Mike Pence Verified account
    ‏@GovPenceIN
    Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.

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  7. Stormy Dragon says:

    Green card holders included in Trump ban: Homeland Security

    Of course the problem with all the melodramatic virtue signalling of the last three months is that now that there’s something concrete that needs to be fought, there’s no way to really turn up the public outcry.

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  8. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Maybe with your expert PR advice we can find a way. 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Mikey says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Seems to me it wasn’t so much “melodramatic virtue signaling” as it was “accurate forecast of the Trump presidency.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I feel like the next four years are going to consist of those of us who realized what Trump was about from the start just saying “I told you so.” over and over and over again.

    Ha! And that can be tiresome.
    And you know, if somehow Trump does go down in flames, Congressional Republicans will say, “he wasn’t a real Republican, we need a real Republican to drive our agenda.”

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  11. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Says who? I think the public outcry can still be trurned up significantly.

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  12. Terrye Cravens says:

    The man is a national embarrassment.

    Notice how Donald made sure this move did not cost him any money. That is his first consideration.

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  13. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Says who? I think the public outcry can still be trurned up significantly.

    How? What can be done next week that would make it any different than last week, or two weeks ago, or three weeks ago?

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  14. Argon says:

    It’s not as if the rest of the GOP isn’t 100% behind these steps…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. @al-Ameda:

    After awhile, it did become exhausting writing the same thing about Trump over and over again while he kept rising in the polls, winning the nomination, and then doing far better in the General Election than anyone thought. Kind of like yelling at a brick wall.

    Congressional Republicans will say, “he wasn’t a real Republican, we need a real Republican to drive our agenda.”

    That is what they ended up saying about Bush 43, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    @Argon:

    It’s not as if the rest of the GOP isn’t 100% behind these steps…

    And they will be right up until the time it becomes apparent that they might pay a political price for doing so. That’s why, in the end, it’s public opinion that matters the most.

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  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    Update: the detainees are also being denied access to legal counsel

    Iraqi man, a former U.S. Army translator, released as another national remains detained at JFK Airport

    Attorneys for Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, speaking in the arrivals hall of Terminal 4, said they were blocked from meeting with their clients.

    Relatives of the pair, who were traveling with valid visas, “are extremely emotional and saddened by what this country has done to them,” said attorney Julie Kornfeld.

    “We are going for over 12 hours now,” she continued. “We have not been able to see our clients. (Authorities) are aware we’re here.”

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  17. michael reynolds says:

    We are now exactly where I said we’d be when I predicted that Merkel’s refugee policy would do serious political damage in Europe. And where I said we’d be when I suggested delaying Syrian refugee entry until after the election. And had my head bashed in.

    It is not enough to be right, one must also be smart. The game is not ‘virtue’ the game is ‘power’ because without power virtue has very little effect beyond a sense of satisfaction.

    That said, I have a question: Why are 100% of the banned countries places where Trump has no business interests? By what bizarre logic can Saudi Arabia, which is to global jihad what Moscow Center was to Communist agitation and subversion, not be on the list?

    And why not LEBANON?

    Lebanon is Hezbollah’s home office. A nation actually being run by a major terrorist organization. But they aren’t on the list.

    I have an answer. Hezbollah is allied to Assad who is allied to Putin, who controls Trump. Putin can’t let his puppet inconvenience Hezbollah.

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  18. C. Clavin says:

    Trumps approval dropped 8 points in his first week according to Gallup.
    How low do you think he can go?
    And how low does he have to go for weak spurned Republicans to turn their back on him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And where I said we’d be when I suggested delaying Syrian refugee entry until after the election. And had my head bashed in.

    Because “we need to ban Syrian refugees before someone else gets the chance to” is a stupid argument?

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  20. bill says:

    so you’re all shocked that a president is doing what he said he would?! “elections have consequences”- who said that?
    and really wtf cares about taking in more of the sandlands problems anyways- aside from you people i mean? we should properly vet those who want to come here and decide if they’re worthy of our country- we have enough losers who hate it already but won’t leave.

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  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Who said ‘ban?’ I said delay. Delay so that it would not affect the election and contribute to Trump winning. Which it did. Because if we lost the election it would mean zero refugees, which is where we are. All we had to say was, “We intend to participate fully in resettlement of refugees, but in view of concerns raised by some in Congress, we will take a little time to review our procedures and fully explain them.” Easy. And infinitely better for the world and for the refugees themselves.

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  22. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    Why exempt Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Lebanon?

    Explain.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: For years, the Democrats ran as Republican-lite, and lost election after election. Given the choice between a Republican, and someone who acts like a Republican, people prefer an actual Republican.

    Pro-life, pro-gun Democrats don’t get anything by being either pro-life or pro-gun. I fail to see how anti-refugee Democrats are going to gain anything either.

    We lost the election because of a crappy candidate who didn’t work to keep her “safe” states. We won the popular vote in a change election, even with the least changey candidate possible, because the change being offered was so vile.

    What Clinton needed wasn’t to be a little more cold-blooded and calculating. What she needed was better campaign strategists, and to actually show a human side and get out there, rather than just waiting for her opponent to implode.

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  24. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    1.) There’s always an election coming. If you need to delay it to avoid affecting the next election, then it’s always going to be delayed.
    2.) There’s 12.5K Syrian Refugees who are now safe in the US because we didn’t delay. How many of their lives was winning the election worth?
    3.) Name some people who were going to vote for Clinton, but switched because of the Syrian refugee program?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Jeremy R says:

    https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/825445791905021952

    Sr. DHS official tells NBC News: career State/DHS public servants had no input in drafting the order; “Nobody has any idea what is going on”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trump-travel-restrictions-leave-refugees-stranded-reports-n713591

    The Trump administration also has yet to issue guidance to airports and airlines on how to implement the executive order.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Pro-life, pro-gun Democrats don’t get anything by being either pro-life or pro-gun.

    Senator Bob Casey Jr. begs to differ.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Gustopher says:

    The policy is perfectly Trumpian — inhumane, and ineffective. Of the recent terrorist and “terrorist” attacks, how many would have been turned away?

    ISIS is relying upon stochastic terrorism in the US — sending out abroad message which resonates with disgruntled losers who are already unstable, and giving those losers a bit of direction and encouragement. They aren’t terrorists in any conventional sense.

    There are things we can do to identify the losers, and reduce their access to weapons. We aren’t going to do that. We’re just going to harass every Muslim we can, content with the knowledge that some of the losers will be irritated by it.

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  28. Jeremy R says:

    https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/825447254051930114

    Sr. DOJ official tells NBC News the dept had no input on the executive order & isn’t sure who in the White House is writing & reviewing them

    https://twitter.com/BraddJaffy/status/825449302575169536

    Standard NSC process—major moves taken only after input from all relevant agencies—isn’t functioning, sr. DOJ official tells @KenDilanianNBC

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    1) Nonsense.

    2) Their lives were not at issue, they were already in camps awaiting vetting. No lives were at stake at that point – many are now.

    3) Oh, please. Name a specific person? Out of my list of half a dozen lefties that form my ‘circle?’
    Trump ran on this, and he won. It would be bizarre if zero percent of his vote came from people who supported this ban. Obviously this was part of the debate, and obviously we lost.

    It is way past time for virtue signaling. We are in a political war and we are getting our asses kicked. We have lost ground at every level. It is past time for the losing side to grow the hell up and learn some basic strategy, because I don’t like losing so my fellow lefties can make themselves feel good. I have no patience for that kind of smug narcissism. Are we here to win, or are we just jerking off?

    Bottom line is this: you wanted to save Syrian refugees? Well, it didn’t work, did it? When things don’t work you re-evaluate your strategy and tactics. Unless the goal is to go from from righteous defeat to righteous defeat.

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  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Trump didn’t win, Clinton lost. And a big part of why she lost is because she was an insincere schemer who’d say anything she thought would get her elected even if she had no intention on following through on it.

    Getting more Democrats to act that way isn’t the road to success.

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  31. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Getting more Democrats to act that way isn’t the road to success.

    Dude, that’s meaningless mush. We have virtue-signaled our way to a fascist cretin in the White House. You want to go down with your skirts clean? I don’t. I like to win. Wars are not won by virtue, they are won with strategy, tactics, logistics and weapons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So your idea of “strategy, tactics, and logistics” is to spend two years going “Oh no, we hate Syrian refugees, vote for us and will ban them all!” and then after the election go “Suprise suckers, we loved Syrian refugees all along! Everyone in!”

    Yeah, because I’m sure there’s no way that would backfire two years later.

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  33. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Quick summary:

    9/11 was carried out by men from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The Orlando night club shooting was carried out by an American citizen who family was from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The San Bernadino shootings were carried out by an American of Afghan descent and a Pakistani immigrant who spent most of her life living in Saudi Arabia. In addition to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The Tsarnaevs, who bombed the Boston Marathon, were from Chechnya, a Muslim-majority area within Russia. Russian citizens from Chechnya are not included in the immigration and travel ban.

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  34. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Quick summary:

    9/11 was carried out by men from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The Orlando night club shooting was carried out by an American citizen who family was from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The San Bernadino shootings were carried out by an American of Afghan descent and a Pakistani immigrant who spent most of her life living in Saudi Arabia. In addition to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is not included in the immigration and travel ban.

    The Tsarnaevs, who bombed the Boston Marathon, were from Chechnya, a Muslim-majority area within Russia. Russian citizens from Chechnya are not included in the immigration and travel ban.

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  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We have virtue-signaled

    PS – For quite some time, I’ve suspected that your liberalism was a facade that had more to do with maintaining your social standing than reflecting your actual personal principles, so thanks for confirming that it was just virtue signalling for you.

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  36. mannning says:

    Trump has said he was going to exercise extreme vetting of people from lands considered to be harboring terrorists. How is he going to vet real Islamic terrorists from an Islamic State? Does anyone believe the Islamic governments would give up one of their own to us? Or, would they allow their citizens to do so? Is it not more likely that they would give their citizens a clean bill of health regardless? Would such vetting be acceptable at all on either side? Sticky wicket here!

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  37. Hal_10000 says:

    That said, I have a question: Why are 100% of the banned countries places where Trump has no business interests? By what bizarre logic can Saudi Arabia, which is to global jihad what Moscow Center was to Communist agitation and subversion, not be on the list?

    I’m not Trump defender, but I actually don’t think this is a conspiracy by Trump. The seven nations have something in common — chaotic situations, recent civil wars or an ongoing business ban (Iran). Those are not ideal situations for someone to do business in those countries, least of all someone whose business is building luxury hotels and glad-handing politicians. We’ve been exempting Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan from this sort of thing for years. So I actually DO think this is a coincidence.

    I really really hate to defend the Great Orange Minibrain. But I don’t think this the choice of countries was nefarious. And it distracts from the more important point: that we already HAD vetting procedures and at least half a million law-abiding legal immigrants are currently in danger of being kicked out of the country.

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  38. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m going to partially agree with you on this. I don’t think we needed to stop Syrian immigration, but the Democrats needed to make a much more vigorous defense of it. At one of the debates, Clinton needed to say, “Look, Donald is just lying. Our vetting procedures are extremely thorough. It takes years to get refugee status. And we investigate every single claim they make. The vast majority of the Syrian refugees have been women and children. And none of them have engaged in terrorism. These are facts.” Maybe it wouldn’t have won the issue, but it would have moved the needle more than her surrogates saying, “That’s racist”

    (I just looked over the debate transcripts to check my perception. Clinton never defended the Administration’s refugee policy. She just let Trump spew his garbage.)

    Immigration was a big problem for the Democrats and I still don’t think they grasp why. A lot of people, including immigrants I work with, feel like illegal immigrants are trying to steal something they had to work hard for. And, fair or not, the Democrats got painted as the party of amnesty. And their defense of their immigration position has been condescending. They don’t need to go Full Trump. But they at least needed to figure out why this was such a hot button for Trump to slam his tiny little fists on.

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  39. george says:

    The suggestion that Trump only targeted Muslim countries that he doesn’t have a business interest in is interesting. Does Trump have business interests in Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, or Bangladesh, which are (except for India, which is mainly Hindu) the largest Muslim countries?

    From what I can tell from Google, he does have an interest in Indonesia, but I couldn’t tell for the others. It’d be suggestive if the biggest Muslim countries in the world were exempt because of his business ties.

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  40. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: is there any reason to believe that Casey’s views on abortion or guns helped him? It didn’t cripple him within the party, but did it actually help him in the general election?

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  41. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @george: I’m not sure that’s as significant as the fact that exempted countries in the ME are exempted because of his business ties.

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  42. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yes, I think it did. I wasn’t living in Pennsylvania in 2006 but Santorum was unpopular and Casey running as a moderate did help. It helped against in 2012, when I did live here and saw that it made him more palatable. Wolf was able to win the governorship by portraying himself as a moderate. Any Democrat running for state-wide office is going to win the cities. It’s the space in between where the election is decided, however.

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  43. george says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    If Trump’s problem is with Muslims in general, why would it matter if they were in the ME or not? Prejudice is prejudice, he shouldn’t care. Unless he has business interests in those countries as well, which seems likely. At the very least, it makes a testable hypothesis: the only Muslim majority countries that Trump is restricting are ones that he has no business dealings with. And since the most important (in general) countries are those with the biggest populations, they should be the first that he’s restricting.

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  44. Hal_10000 says:

    Note: re Trump business interests. Someone pointed out that the list of countries wasn’t in the EO. Vox says they were designated previously by Congress in 2015 and 2016 so that people from Visa waiver countries who went to those countries would be designated for extra scrutiny. All for reasons of ongoing terrorism or related issues.

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  45. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000: pro-choice is a pretty moderate position, even in Pennsyltucky.

    Not sure what the flavor of the gun debate was at the time, but the public has traditionally been far more approving of gun control than the Democratic Party’s mainstream (more approving, but not more interested).

    Running as a moderate against Santorum does not require being pro-life or pro-gun. I would question whether it depresses the Democrats’ base more than it picks up votes (assuming it picks up any — if those are your priorities, you should be voting Republican)

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  46. Banning nationals from countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Indonesia would prove to be EXTREMELY disruptive for businesses and the economy in general. Trump chose countries where disruption to businesses would be more limited – on the other hand, I think that banning Iranian nationals is going to bring a lot of disruption. Imagine banning people from Indonesia or Turkey.

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  47. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    is there any reason to believe that Casey’s views on abortion or guns helped him?

    In the last 50 years, only two Democrats have won a Senate race in Pennsylvania. Both of them were pro-gun, pro-life Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Calling Casey pro-life is stretching it more than a little. He is PERSONALLY pro-life, but he tends not to VOTE pro-life. The pro-birthers (which is what they really are) hate him.

    While you’re on this contrarian kick though, by all means tell us how YOU believe that Democrats can regain power (and be specific). You’re quite outspoken about what you’re against, so what are you FOR?

    We’re all ears.

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  49. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @bill:

    @bill:
    Why exempt Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Lebanon?
    Explain.

    We know why: Trump has business holdings in those countries.

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  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Any Democrat running for state-wide office is going to win the cities. It’s the space in between where the election is decided, however.

    A good friend / colleague of mine is from Philadelphia. His version of that sentiment is “When it comes to PA, you generally have Pittsburgh and Philly with Alabama in between”.

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  51. Pch101 says:

    @bill:

    Will you being joining the SA or do you prefer the SS?

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  52. Dave N. Johnston says:

    @Doug Mataconis: @Doug Mataconis: US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
    Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    I do not see anything about refugees in this Oath, Do you?

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  53. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Pennsyl-tucky.

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  54. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Dave N. Johnston:

    What’s your point (assuming you’re attempting to make one)?

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  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave N. Johnston:

    I do not see anything about refugees in this Oath, Do you?

    As conservatives are wont to point out, the Tenth Amendment deals with just about anything:
    :

    Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    There you go.

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  56. greg says:

    Why is Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden’s country of birth and the biggest supporter of terrorism behind the U.S., not on the list?

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: values-signaling and identity politics get a bad rap. I know that I am part of a diverse party that values personal freedom, equality and a strong social safety net, and I want the Democrats to shout that from the rooftops.

    Politicians often have unpopular positions — look at the Republican platform as an example — but if they can tie them to their values, they aren’t held against them. Republicans tie destroying the social safety net to Personal Responsibility, and it resonates even when it’s a terrible idea (also, abortion, health insurance, eating spoiled food, having a bank take your home when you owe $.30, etc)

    I don’t think Clinton did enough values signaling. Yes, we knew she was a woman and her opponent is creepy as hell, so she got the identity politics down, but she tried to rest on that. She rarely discussed policies in terms of our values, and she lost to Trump’s fearmongering and false promises (along with her own hubris). She didn’t give people something to vote for.

    Off the top of my head, the policy can be defended along these lines: We welcome the refugees because we can — we are a generous people, and when there is a humanitarian crisis and we can help, we do so. There’s some risk but we minimize it — we screen the refugees carefully, and we follow up with them when they are settled. We are more generous than we are afraid.

    People want to be generous. People want to be brave. People want to do the right thing, even if they know they will wince a little on the details.

    Appealing to people’s best instincts works better than appealing to people’s worst instincts. All this election showed was that appealing to people’s worst instincts does slightly better in the electoral college than not appealing to people at all.

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  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    As conservatives are wont to point out, the Tenth Amendment deals with just about anything

    Conservatives add a word to the 10th Amendment which isn’t contained in the text. In practice, the 10th Amendment is essentially meaningless / inoperative. Its only applicability comes into play with regard to the federal attempting to compel states to enforce federal statutes, and even that application is relatively rare.

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  59. @greg: Because banning nationals from Saudi Arabia would be even more disruptive than the current ban is. This ban is not only atrocious, it makes very little economic sense.

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  60. Ratufa says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    A good friend / colleague of mine is from Philadelphia. His version of that sentiment is “When it comes to PA, you generally have Pittsburgh and Philly with Alabama in between”.

    Substitute Madison and Milwaukee and you could say something similar about Wisconsin.

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  61. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Hal_10000: So, why not include Lebanon and Afghanistan?

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  62. michael gutierrez says:

    @Lit3Bolt:
    Yes of course. Make sure that your house is clear ,and fruitful and solvent before you can help others.

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  63. michael gutierrez says:

    OK sure.

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  64. HarvardLaw92 says:

    FYI: a federal judge in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay a few hours ago blocking enforcement of the EO. Travelers arriving from these countries with valid US visas will, at least for the time being, be allowed to remain.

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  65. Terrye Cravens says:

    This has not gone as expected.;..whatever Trump might say. Congressman Dent, Republican from PA has come out against this ridiculous ban because 6 Syrian Christians were detained at the airport in Philadelphia. They sent him an email and asked for assistance.

    The ACLU managed to get a Federal Judge to put a stop to deportations from airports.

    And no one knows what to do with these people. The order was so poorly written there is chaos.In fact they are saying this ban applies to people with green cards.

    And of course the Canadians, the nice people of North America, have said they will take these people. So has Scotland.

    Every day Trump does or says something crazy. God only knows what his next trick will be.

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  66. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    My ‘social standing?’ Seriously? Want to know how many friends I have outside immediate family (wife and kids) and work relationships? Zero. I am the least social person ever. I’ve lived here five years and I’ve endured precisely one visit, zero parties. My social standing?

    Tell you what, pal, here’s a link to my campaign donations. So, for some reason I’m carrying my phony liberalism to a somewhat expensive degree.

    Every fwcking war since the dawn of time starts with a bunch of cocky loudmouths who thought it was all about them and their courage and their righteousness. One American is worth twenty of them Japs! It’s all roostering, it’s all facade. It used to be courage signaling because that was the virtue of the era. The definition of virtue has changed, but it’s the same thing. Wars are not won by posturing.

    I supported Obama knowing he would raise my taxes. I voted on the state resolution to raise my own taxes. I voted for Jerry Brown knowing he’d raise my taxes. So why don’t you take a look at my political contributions, and the award I earned for creating ads for the DLCC, and the endless stream of anti-Trump tweets I emit, and the thousands of comments I’ve made, and the political blogs I used to write, and flying down to Vegas to walk precincts this round, and the fact that I pay a good 100k a year in taxes that I imposed on myself, and reconsider your suggestion that it’s about my social standing.

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  67. Stormy Dragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    While you’re on this contrarian kick though, by all means tell us how YOU believe that Democrats can regain power (and be specific). You’re quite outspoken about what you’re against, so what are you FOR?

    Short version: be less like Clinton, be more like Obama

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  68. george says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Yeah, I think Obama would have won a third term, and fairly easily. Of course, he would have campaigned, and campaigned hard, in every state. I still don’t understand why Hillary didn’t take Bill’s advice to do just that. It worked well for both Bill and Obama, I don’t get how her team decided neither Bill nor Obama had any useful insight into its importance.

    She missed by 80,000 votes in three states, and the locals on the ground in those states were begging her to come. In baseball that’s called an unforced error, and the more I think about it, the less I understand it that decision.

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  69. C. Clavin says:

    Anyone who voted for this man, or an independent and thus helped this man, should hang their head in shame.

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  70. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That might (and I stress might) have garnered us a third term in the White House. It does little to nothing to address the real problem – far right control of Congress and state legislatures. We aren’t going to get those back by playing nice or by sitting in the corner like frightened cats babbling about fairness.

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  71. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @george:

    In baseball that’s called an unforced error, and the more I think about it, the less I understand it that decision.

    In politics, we call it hubris. She ostensibly made the decision that those states were dependable Democratic strongholds, which would allow her to focus resources elsewhere.

    That said, what defeated Clinton in this election was not some wellspring of Republican fervor. It was, without doubt, depressed Democratic turnout. She didn’t give people enough of a reason to get up out of their Barcaloungers and go vote.

    My view at present is that – between Trump’s continuing litany of screw-ups (which I do not see diminishing at any point) and Congressional Republican overreach – we’ve been handed the best tool we’ve had in years for motivating turnout in 2018 / 2020. Our job now is to focus on 1) using every opportunity to egg Trump into additional unforced errors and 2) conduct ourselves in such a way that we’re able to hang every bad thing that happens over the next two to four years around Republican necks. Do that, and have the discipline to select moderate Dem challengers for House & Senate seats coupled with a motivational candidate for the presidency in 2020, and we’ll have a decent chance of using this fiasco to our advantage.

    They voted for this – they need to be allowed to suffer the consequences and be reminded who’s to blame for them.

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  72. michilines says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    My view at present is that – between Trump’s continuing litany of screw-ups (which I do not see diminishing at any point) and Congressional Republican overreach – we’ve been handed the best tool we’ve had in years for motivating turnout in 2018 / 2020.

    Exactly. Republicans have managed to pin 9/11 on Clinton and the Recession of 2008 on Obama. That stops now.

    Trump voters wanted change. The effects of those changes are on him and them. There is no blaming outcomes on Democrats this time. It’s all on them.

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  73. Dumb Brit says:

    @Pch101: Orange Shirts?

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  74. anjin-san says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Stormy Dragon:

    Micheal is who and what he says he is. I guess when you have nothing, you have to reach for ad hominem character attacks.

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  75. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    One thing that undermines your analysis is that broad spread of Republicans were condemning Trump’s proposed Muslim-only ban around Fall of 2015. So I think even though you’re partially right at accurately predicting the mood of the public reaction to the Syrian refugees in light of the November Paris attacks, I don’t see how agreeing with Trump about the ban, even partially or with caveats, peels off support from him to your faction. If we’re viewing everything through the prism of “power politics,” I don’t see voters as shopping around for politicians with the right amount of “Goldilocks” hatred/fear of refugees. They’re still going to go for the person who hates them the most and has proposed the most draconian measures to deal with them, and any other politician who even agreed partially with Trump at the time would have been seen as being submissive to him.

    And during the general election campaign, I don’t remember Syrian refugees being an issue that sunk Clinton in any political analysis.

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  76. dxq says:

    Giuliani admits Trump asked him how to “do a Muslim ban legally.” So they focused on nationality. Start at 3:00.

    https://twitter.com/Evan_McMullin/status/825694659204767745

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  77. george says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I agree its a great opportunity, and not only to motivate people who couldn’t be bothered to vote. 45% of GOP voters are locked in (about the same for Dems), but the other 10% of people who vote tend to be in play. A lot of people who voted for Obama voted for Trump this time around (around 1% of voters, which sounds small as a percent but which is massive in presidential elections), partly because they felt (rightly or wrongly) that they were being ignored (and that was Bill Clinton’s own assessment during the campaign when he was trying to get Hillary to campaign in those states), partly because people just want a change (political people think this wasn’t a normal election so the rules were different, but only a few percent of people follow politics closely, most seem to have seen it as a normal election).

    Neither of those should work against the Dems next time. Lot’s of time to make people feel listened to (again, this is what both Bill and Obama have said was missing), and they’ll no longer be the party in power. And as you say, the GOP is going to make a huge number of self-inflicted wounds. Their 45% set voters aren’t going to care, but the 10% of the population that swings back and forth between D, R, and 3rd party will if the Dems convince them we’re on their side.

    One of the things what would really help with that is focusing on class. The Dems used to the party of the working class, of the poor. That was given up, and unnecessarily. The GOP has never been working class friendly in their actions, but they learned to talk as if they were. The Dems were until recently working class friendly in action (now they’re mainly a Wall Street Party), but they allowed the GOP to portray them as against the working class (focusing on some of the crazy things some university students and profs have said is something the conservatives have done extremely well … find some obscure prof who said only whites can be racist, or that that poorest white male is privileged compared to the richest black woman and then give them a lot of exposure). The best counter to that is simply to go talk to those working class people (again, that’s what Bill and Obama have both said – it worked for them, and it can work again). That 10% doesn’t have to believe you can magically get rid of Wall Street, they just have to believe you sympathize. If Bill and Obama could do that, so can the next Dem candidate.

    All the Dems have to do to counter that is to do the same thing the GOP does – listen sympathetically, at least pretend to understand their problems instead of telling them their problems aren’t real. Its probably too much to hope that the Dems or the GOP will side with the poor over Wall Street – those days are gone for awhile, but as Bill and Obama have both said, sometimes people just need to hear that you at least recognize they have real problems.

    2018 and 2020 could be blowouts for the Dems (as in 55-45 election results). Its just a question of making people feel the Dems are on their side … most people vote not on policy, but on team. So convince the undecided 10% that you’re on their team.

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  78. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @george: His problem isn’t with Muslims in general. His problem isn’t with Muslims at all. I doubt he even cares about Muslims. His problem need is to maintain his connection with the jingoist sector of the population (and House and Senate) that provided the electoral margin that put him into office. Keeping this particular campaign promise is an easy way to do it.

    (It is possible that the nations under the “ban” could immediately improve their status by agreeing to build Trump hotels in their capital cities, but they would need to consult with his lead foreign policy advisor, Mr. Kershner, or one of Trump’s sons for information on Trump Hotels business model and expansion goals.)

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  79. Pch101 says:

    Terms such as “virtue signalling” are cliches that belong in the spam filter. Please save that drivel for Breitbart.

    That being said, appealing to Americans’ better selves is not a winning strategy. We are ultimately an infantile sanctimonious people that fancies itself as a leader of the world as it beats the drum about retreating from it. We lecture others about moral superiority while failing to follow our own advice. Much of the world knows that we are often hypocrites, yet we are too blind to see it.

    We began as a nation that was inclined to burn witches and attack minorities, and not much has changed. Not everyone wants to do that sort of thing, of course, but taking a strong stand against it will inspire more opposition than support in the voting booth. The Republicans have figured out that they can score badly in opinion polls with their deviant aggressiveness, but the only thing that could actually cost them on election day is a tax increase.

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  80. john430 says:

    From another blog that does not deal in alternative facts and fake news.

    Trump didn’t select seven ‘Muslim-majority’ countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries. The Department of Homeland Security targeted these seven countries over the last years as countries of concern. . . . What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of ‘Muslim ban’ before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”

    Related: The Obama Administration Stopped Processing Iraq Refugee Requests For 6 Months In 2011

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  81. Terrye Cravens says:

    @john430: The difference is that Obama got legal counsel, worked through Homeland Security rather than ignoring their advice and worked with allies and other countries so that there would not be chaos, confusion and angst. Trump either totally screwed this up or intended to make a mess of it. I wonder which it was?

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  82. James Pearce says:

    @john430:

    Trump didn’t select seven ‘Muslim-majority’ countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries.

    Gillian Christensen tells us that Trump‘s EO (nice try, though) will affect green card holders. Reince Priebus says it won’t.

    But a blog commenter who goes by John430 is gonna tell us how it’s really gonna work…..

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  83. Grumpy Realist says:

    @john430: no, what this is is a total screw-up by a clown who couldn’t be bothered to think of the side effects or to make sure that the policy was carefully tailored.

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  84. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    Clueless John is at it again.

    The 2011 suspension was in response to a specific incident, namely the arrest and subsequent prosecution of two Iraqi emigres in Kentucky who were involved in terrorism.

    That was six years ago. The Obama administration has already addressed the problem.

    Trump is doing this in order to appeal to idiots like you. There is no security issue to address at present, as Obama took care of it. The US already has an extensive vetting process for refugees, so there is no need to revisit the issue now. Feel free to thank the last president.

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  85. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: You do realize that the refugees in Germany are committing crimes at a FAR lower rate than native Germans right?

    The outrage that exists was manufactured out of thin air and a handful of real cases. Headlines like “MIGRANT CRIME IN GERMANY HAS INCREASED BY 79% LAST YEAR!!!” exclude the fact that the population of migrants increased by 440% which means that a 79% increase is impressively small. Most of the “facts” being reported by right wingers/conservatives have been like this. AKA lies by omission…

    If anything it shows the power of the media to drive “common knowledge” into territory well outside of reality.

    http://www.dw.com/en/report-refugee-related-crimes-in-germany-increase-less-than-influx-of-asylum-seekers/a-19053227

    http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article148812603/Straftaten-im-sehr-niedrigen-sechsstelligen-Bereich.html

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  86. Matt says:

    @Ratufa: Pretty much all the rust belt states that trend blue in Presidential elections are like that. Highly populated areas that are blue with vast rural areas between that are red as can be.

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  87. john430 says:

    @Pch101: When the delusions wear off, what color is the sky in your world?

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  88. Jake says:

    Pretty funny your lord Obama did the same thing.

    Hate is the theme here.

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  89. Matt says:

    @Jake: Obama did no such thing. The omnibus bill he signed had no such ban and 2011 just saw an increase in vetting of visas which slowed down the process but never banned it.

    You’re lying badly.

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